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Sample records for pestis em roedores

  1. Bacteriophages of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xiangna; Skurnik, Mikael

    2016-01-01

    Bacteriophage play many varied roles in microbial ecology and evolution. This chapter collates a vast body of knowledge and expertise on Yersinia pestis phages, including the history of their isolation and classical methods for their isolation and identification. The genomic diversity of Y. pestis phage and bacteriophage islands in the Y. pestis genome are also discussed because all phage research represents a branch of genetics. In addition, our knowledge of the receptors that are recognized by Y. pestis phage, advances in phage therapy for Y. pestis infections, the application of phage in the detection of Y. pestis, and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) sequences of Y. pestis from prophage DNA are all reviewed here.

  2. Immunology of Yersinia pestis Infection.

    PubMed

    Bi, Yujing

    2016-01-01

    As a pathogen of plague, Yersinia pestis caused three massive pandemics in history that killed hundreds of millions of people. Yersinia pestis is highly invasive, causing severe septicemia which, if untreated, is usually fatal to its host. To survive in the host and maintain a persistent infection, Yersinia pestis uses several stratagems to evade the innate and the adaptive immune responses. For example, infections with this organism are biphasic, involving an initial "noninflammatory" phase where bacterial replication occurs initially with little inflammation and following by extensive phagocyte influx, inflammatory cytokine production, and considerable tissue destruction, which is called "proinflammatory" phase. In contrast, the host also utilizes its immune system to eliminate the invading bacteria. Neutrophil and macrophage are the first defense against Yersinia pestis invading through phagocytosis and killing. Other innate immune cells also play different roles, such as dendritic cells which help to generate more T helper cells. After several days post infection, the adaptive immune response begins to provide organism-specific protection and has a long-lasting immunological memory. Thus, with the cooperation and collaboration of innate and acquired immunity, the bacterium may be eliminated from the host. The research of Yersinia pestis and host immune systems provides an important topic to understand pathogen-host interaction and consequently develop effective countermeasures.

  3. Microgravity Effects on Yersinia Pestis Virulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawal, A.; Abogunde, O.; Jejelowo, O.; Rosenzweig, J.-A.

    2010-04-01

    Microgravity effects on Yersinia pestis proliferation, cold growth, and type three secretion system function were evaluated in macrophage cell infections, HeLa cell infections, and cold growth plate assays.

  4. Genome and Evolution of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Cui, Yujun; Song, Yajun

    2016-01-01

    This chapter summarizes researches on genome and evolution features of Yersinia pestis, the young pathogen that evolved from Y. pseudotuberculosis at least 5000 years ago. Y. pestis is a highly clonal bacterial species with closed pan-genome. Comparative genomic analysis revealed that genome of Y. pestis experienced highly frequent rearrangement and genome decay events during the evolution. The genealogy of Y. pestis includes five major branches, and four of them seemed raised from a "big bang" node that is associated with the Black Death. Although whole genome-wide variation of Y. pestis reflected a neutral evolutionary process, the branch length in the genealogical tree revealed over dispersion, which was supposedly caused by varied historical molecular clock that is associated with demographical effect by alternate cycles of enzootic disease and epizootic disease in sylvatic plague foci. In recent years, palaeomicrobiology researches on victims of the Black Death, and Justinian's plague verified that two historical pandemics were indeed caused by Y. pestis, but the etiological lineages might be extinct today.

  5. Selective isolation of Yersinia pestis from plague-infected fleas

    PubMed Central

    Sarovich, Derek S.; Colman, Rebecca E.; Price, Erin P.; Chung, Wai Kwan; Lee, Judy; Schupp, James M.; Alexander, James; Keim, Paul; Wagner., David M.

    2010-01-01

    We evaluated Yersinia CIN agar for the isolation of Yersinia pestis from infected fleas. CIN media is effective for the differentiation of Y. pestis from flea commensal flora and is sufficiently inhibitory to other bacteria that typically outcompete Y. pestis after 48 hours of growth using less selective media. PMID:20385178

  6. Complete Genome Sequence of Pigmentation Negative Yersinia Pestis strain Cadman Running head: Complete Genome Sequence of Y. pestis strain Cadman

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-10-27

    Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland, USA 9 10 11 Running head: Complete Genome Sequence of Y. pestis strain Cadman...1 Complete Genome Sequence of Pigmentation Negative Yersinia pestis strain Cadman 1 2 3 Sean Lovetta, Kitty Chaseb, Galina Korolevaa, Gustavo...we report the genome sequence of Yersinia pestis strain Cadman, an attenuated strain 25 lacking the pgm locus. Y. pestis is the causative agent of

  7. Yersinia pestis halotolerance illuminates plague reservoirs

    PubMed Central

    Malek, Maliya Alia; Bitam, Idir; Levasseur, Anthony; Terras, Jérôme; Gaudart, Jean; Azza, Said; Flaudrops, Christophe; Robert, Catherine; Raoult, Didier; Drancourt, Michel

    2017-01-01

    The plague agent Yersinia pestis persists for years in the soil. Two millennia after swiping over Europe and North Africa, plague established permanent foci in North Africa but not in neighboring Europe. Mapping human plague foci reported in North Africa for 70 years indicated a significant location at <3 kilometers from the Mediterranean seashore or the edge of salted lakes named chotts. In Algeria, culturing 352 environmental specimens naturally containing 0.5 to 70 g/L NaCl yielded one Y. pestis Orientalis biotype isolate in a 40 g/L NaCl chott soil specimen. Core genome SNP analysis placed this isolate within the Y. pestis branch 1, Orientalis biovar. Culturing Y. pestis in broth steadily enriched in NaCl indicated survival up to 150 g/L NaCl as L-form variants exhibiting a distinctive matrix assisted laser desorption-ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry peptide profile. Further transcriptomic analyses found the upregulation of several outer-membrane proteins including TolC efflux pump and OmpF porin implied in osmotic pressure regulation. Salt tolerance of Y. pestis L-form may play a role in the maintenance of natural plague foci in North Africa and beyond, as these geographical correlations could be extended to 31 plague foci in the northern hemisphere (from 15°N to 50°N). PMID:28054667

  8. Yersinia pestis--etiologic agent of plague.

    PubMed Central

    Perry, R D; Fetherston, J D

    1997-01-01

    Plague is a widespread zoonotic disease that is caused by Yersinia pestis and has had devastating effects on the human population throughout history. Disappearance of the disease is unlikely due to the wide range of mammalian hosts and their attendant fleas. The flea/rodent life cycle of Y. pestis, a gram-negative obligate pathogen, exposes it to very different environmental conditions and has resulted in some novel traits facilitating transmission and infection. Studies characterizing virulence determinants of Y. pestis have identified novel mechanisms for overcoming host defenses. Regulatory systems controlling the expression of some of these virulence factors have proven quite complex. These areas of research have provide new insights into the host-parasite relationship. This review will update our present understanding of the history, etiology, epidemiology, clinical aspects, and public health issues of plague. PMID:8993858

  9. Early emergence of Yersinia pestis as a severe respiratory pathogen.

    PubMed

    Zimbler, Daniel L; Schroeder, Jay A; Eddy, Justin L; Lathem, Wyndham W

    2015-06-30

    Yersinia pestis causes the fatal respiratory disease pneumonic plague. Y. pestis recently evolved from the gastrointestinal pathogen Y. pseudotuberculosis; however, it is not known at what point Y. pestis gained the ability to induce a fulminant pneumonia. Here we show that the acquisition of a single gene encoding the protease Pla was sufficient for the most ancestral, deeply rooted strains of Y. pestis to cause pneumonic plague, indicating that Y. pestis was primed to infect the lungs at a very early stage in its evolution. As Y. pestis further evolved, modern strains acquired a single amino-acid modification within Pla that optimizes protease activity. While this modification is unnecessary to cause pneumonic plague, the substitution is instead needed to efficiently induce the invasive infection associated with bubonic plague. These findings indicate that Y. pestis was capable of causing pneumonic plague before it evolved to optimally cause invasive infections in mammals.

  10. Early emergence of Yersinia pestis as a severe respiratory pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Zimbler, Daniel L.; Schroeder, Jay A.; Eddy, Justin L.; Lathem, Wyndham W.

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis causes the fatal respiratory disease pneumonic plague. Y. pestis recently evolved from the gastrointestinal pathogen Y. pseudotuberculosis; however, it is not known at what point Y. pestis gained the ability to induce a fulminant pneumonia. Here we show that the acquisition of a single gene encoding the protease Pla was sufficient for the most ancestral, deeply rooted strains of Y. pestis to cause pneumonic plague, indicating that Y. pestis was primed to infect the lungs at a very early stage in its evolution. As Y. pestis further evolved, modern strains acquired a single amino-acid modification within Pla that optimizes protease activity. While this modification is unnecessary to cause pneumonic plague, the substitution is instead needed to efficiently induce the invasive infection associated with bubonic plague. These findings indicate that Y. pestis was capable of causing pneumonic plague before it evolved to optimally cause invasive infections in mammals. PMID:26123398

  11. Omics strategies for revealing Yersinia pestis virulence

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ruifu; Du, Zongmin; Han, Yanping; Zhou, Lei; Song, Yajun; Zhou, Dongsheng; Cui, Yujun

    2012-01-01

    Omics has remarkably changed the way we investigate and understand life. Omics differs from traditional hypothesis-driven research because it is a discovery-driven approach. Mass datasets produced from omics-based studies require experts from different fields to reveal the salient features behind these data. In this review, we summarize omics-driven studies to reveal the virulence features of Yersinia pestis through genomics, trascriptomics, proteomics, interactomics, etc. These studies serve as foundations for further hypothesis-driven research and help us gain insight into Y. pestis pathogenesis. PMID:23248778

  12. [Yersinia pestis and plague - an update].

    PubMed

    Stock, Ingo

    2014-12-01

    The plague of man is a severe, systemic bacterial infectious disease. Without antibacterial therapy, the disease is associated with a high case fatality rate, ranging from 40% (bubonic plague) to nearly 100% (septicemic and pneumonic plague). The disease is caused by Yersinia pestis, a non-motile, gram-negative, facultative anaerobic bacterium belonging to the family of Enterobacteriaceae. In nature, Y. pestis has been found in several rodent species and some other small animals such as shrews. Within its reservoir host, Y. pestis circulates via flea bites. Transmission of Y. pestis to humans occurs by the bite of rat fleas, other flea vectors or by non vectorial routes, e. g., handling infected animals or consumption of contaminated food. Human-to-human transmission of the pathogen occurs primarily through aerosol droplets. Compared to the days when plague was a pandemic scourge, the disease is now relatively rare and limited to some rural areas of Africa. During the last ten years, however, plague outbreaks have been registered repea- tedly in some African regions. For treatment of plague, streptomycin is still considered the drug of choice. Chloramphenicol, doxycycline, gentamicin and ciprofloxacin are also promising drugs. Recombinant vaccines against plague are in clinical development.

  13. Developing live vaccines against Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Wei; Roland, Kenneth L.; Curtiss, Roy

    2014-01-01

    Three great plague pandemics caused by the gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis have killed nearly 200 million people and it has been linked to biowarfare in the past. Plague is endemic in many parts of the world. In addition, the risk of plague as a bioweapon has prompted increased research to develop plague vaccines against this disease. Injectable subunit vaccines are being developed in the United States and United Kingdom. However, the live attenuated Y. pestis-EV NIIEG strain has been used as a vaccine for more than 70 years in the former Soviet Union and in some parts of Asia and provides a high degree of efficacy against plague. This vaccine has not gained general acceptance because of safety concerns. In recent years, modern molecular biological techniques have been applied to Y. pestis to construct strains with specific defined mutations designed to create safe, immunogenic vaccines with potential for use in humans and as bait vaccines to reduce the load of Y. pestis in the environment. In addition, a number of live, vectored vaccines have been reported using attenuated viral vectors or attenuated Salmonella strains to deliver plague antigens. Here we summarize the progress of live attenuated vaccines against plague. PMID:21918302

  14. Global Expression Studies of Yersinia Pestis Pathogenicity

    SciTech Connect

    Garcia, E; Motin, V; Brubaker, R; Fitch, P

    2002-10-15

    The aim of these studies continues to be the investigation into the molecular mechanisms that underlie the virulence process in Yersinia pestis. In particular, the focus of this work centers on the identification of novel genes and pathways responsible for the pathogenic properties of this organism. In spite of more than four decades of intense investigation in this field, the dilemma as to what makes Y. pestis such a virulent and lethal pathogen remains unanswered. The method being employed makes use microarray technology (DNA chip) that enables the examination of the global activities of the whole complement of genes in this pathogen. Two primary resources available to the investigators (one directly obtained from a separate CBNP-funded project) make these studies possible: (1) Whole genome comparisons of the genes in Y. pestis and its near neighbors with attenuated or non pathogenic characteristics, and (2) the ability to duplicate in vitro, conditions that mimic the infection process of this pathogen. This year we have extended our studies from the original work of characterizing the global transcriptional regulation in Y. pestis triggered during temperature transition from 26 C to 37 C (roughly conditions found in the flea vector and the mammalian host, respectively) to studies of regulation encountered during shift between growth from conditions of neutral pH to acidic pH (the latter conditions, those mimic the environment found inside macrophages, a likely environment found by these cells during infection.). For this work, DNA arrays containing some 5,000 genes (the entire genome of Y. pestis plus those genes found uniquely in the enteropathogen, and near neighbor, Y. pseudotuberculosis) are used to monitor the simultaneous expression levels of each gene of known and unknown function in Y. pestis. Those genes that are up-regulate under the experimental conditions represent genes potentially involved in the pathogenic process. The ultimate role in

  15. Potency of killed plague vaccines prepared from avirulent Yersinia pestis*

    PubMed Central

    Williams, James E.; Altieri, Patricia L.; Berman, Sanford; Lowenthal, Joseph P.; Cavanaugh, Dan C.

    1980-01-01

    Killed plague vaccines prepared from avirulent strains A1122 and EV76S of Yersinia pestis were more effective in mouse potency tests than samples of Plague Vaccine, USP, prepared from killed Y. pestis of the virulent strain 195/P. Manufacture of vaccine from avirulent Y. pestis would obviate requirements for the large containment facilities that are currently needed for producing Plague Vaccine, USP. PMID:6975184

  16. Survival of Yersinia pestis on environmental surfaces.

    PubMed

    Rose, Laura J; Donlan, Rodney; Banerjee, Shailen N; Arduino, Matthew J

    2003-04-01

    The survival of two strains of Yersinia pestis (avirulent A1122 and virulent Harbin) on the surfaces of four materials was investigated. Viability was evaluated with epifluorescence microscopy by using the metabolic stain cyanoditolyl tetrazolium chloride and plate counts. Small numbers of cells suspended in phosphate buffer survived 2 to 4 h after visible drying on stainless steel, polyethylene, or glass and beyond 48 h on paper. Cells suspended in brain heart infusion broth (BHI) persisted more than 72 h on stainless steel, polyethylene, and glass. Small numbers of cells suspended in BHI were still viable at 120 h on paper. These data suggest that Y. pestis maintains viability for extended periods (last measured at 5 days) under controlled conditions.

  17. Survival of Yersinia pestis on Environmental Surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Laura J.; Donlan, Rodney; Banerjee, Shailen N.; Arduino, Matthew J.

    2003-01-01

    The survival of two strains of Yersinia pestis (avirulent A1122 and virulent Harbin) on the surfaces of four materials was investigated. Viability was evaluated with epifluorescence microscopy by using the metabolic stain cyanoditolyl tetrazolium chloride and plate counts. Small numbers of cells suspended in phosphate buffer survived 2 to 4 h after visible drying on stainless steel, polyethylene, or glass and beyond 48 h on paper. Cells suspended in brain heart infusion broth (BHI) persisted more than 72 h on stainless steel, polyethylene, and glass. Small numbers of cells suspended in BHI were still viable at 120 h on paper. These data suggest that Y. pestis maintains viability for extended periods (last measured at 5 days) under controlled conditions. PMID:12676697

  18. Identification and characterization of small RNAs in Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Beauregard, Arthur; Smith, Eric A.; Petrone, Brianna L.; Singh, Navjot; Karch, Christopher; McDonough, Kathleen A.; Wade, Joseph T.

    2013-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of plague, is closely related to Yersinia pseudotuberculosis evolutionarily but has a very different mode of infection. The RNA-binding regulatory protein, Hfq, mediates regulation by small RNAs (sRNAs) and is required for virulence of both Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis. Moreover, Hfq is required for growth of Y. pestis, but not Y. pseudotuberculosis, at 37°C. Together, these observations suggest that sRNAs play important roles in the virulence and survival of Y. pestis, and that regulation by sRNAs may account for some of the differences between Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis. We have used a deep sequencing approach to identify 31 sRNAs in Y. pestis. The majority of these sRNAs are not conserved outside the Yersiniae. Expression of the sRNAs was confirmed by Northern analysis and we developed deep sequencing approaches to map 5ʹ and 3ʹ ends of many sRNAs simultaneously. Expression of the majority of the sRNAs we identified is dependent upon Hfq. We also observed temperature-dependent effects on the expression of many sRNAs, and differences in expression patterns between Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis. Thus, our data suggest that regulation by sRNAs plays an important role in the lifestyle switch from flea to mammalian host, and that regulation by sRNAs may contribute to the phenotypic differences between Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis. PMID:23324607

  19. Susceptibilities of Yersinia pestis strains to 12 antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed

    Wong, J D; Barash, J R; Sandfort, R F; Janda, J M

    2000-07-01

    Ninety-two strains of Yersinia pestis recovered over a 21-year period were evaluated for susceptibility to traditional and newer antimicrobial agents. In vitro resistance was noted only against rifampin and imipenem (approximately 20% of strains). The most active compounds (MIC at which 90% of the isolates tested are inhibited) against Y. pestis were cefixime, ceftriaxone, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and trovafloxacin.

  20. Nucleotide sequences specific to Yersinia pestis and methods for the detection of Yersinia pestis

    DOEpatents

    McCready, Paula M [Tracy, CA; Radnedge, Lyndsay [San Mateo, CA; Andersen, Gary L [Berkeley, CA; Ott, Linda L [Livermore, CA; Slezak, Thomas R [Livermore, CA; Kuczmarski, Thomas A [Livermore, CA; Motin, Vladinir L [League City, TX

    2009-02-24

    Nucleotide sequences specific to Yersinia pestis that serve as markers or signatures for identification of this bacterium were identified. In addition, forward and reverse primers and hybridization probes derived from these nucleotide sequences that are used in nucleotide detection methods to detect the presence of the bacterium are disclosed.

  1. Proteomic Characterization of Yersinia pestis Virulence

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-01-05

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

  2. Genetic diversity of Yersinia pestis in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, M B M; Barros, M P S; Silveira-Filho, V M; Araújo-Nepomuceno, M R; Balbino, V Q; Leal, N C; Almeida, A M P; Leal-Balbino, T C

    2012-09-25

    Plague outbreaks are occasionally reported in Brazil. Unfortunately, due to great genetic similarity, molecular subtyping of Yersinia pestis strains is difficult. Analysis of multiple-locus variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR), also known as MLVA, has been found to be a valuable tool to discriminate among strains. To check for genetic differences, strains obtained from two different ecological complexes in Brazil collected during two different epidemiological events, an epizootic in Sítio Alagoinha in 1967 and an outbreak in Planalto da Borborema in 1986, were subtyped through MLVA using 12 VNTR loci. Three clusters (A, B and C) were observed. Of the 20 strains from the epizootic, 18 fit into cluster A. Cluster A was divided into two subgroups: A(1) (15 strains) and A(2) (3 strains). Of the 17 strains from the outbreak, 15 fit into cluster B. Cluster B was divided into three subgroups: B(1) (4 strains), B(2) (4 strains) and B(3) (7 strains). Cluster C is a singleton with one epizootic strain. The external standards, Y. pestis CO92 and Y. pseudotuberculosis IP32953, formed two clusters of singletons. The stability of 12 VNTR loci of three unrelated cultures included in this study was assessed. The 12 VNTR loci were stable through multiple serial subcultures in the laboratory. MLVA revealed that Y. pestis populations in Brazil are not monomorphic, and that there is intraspecific genetic diversity among Brazilian plague strains. We conclude that there is some correlation among genetic groups of this species, related to the temporal and geographic origin of isolates.

  3. Ecology of Yersinia pestis and the Epidemiology of Plague.

    PubMed

    Dubyanskiy, Vladimir M; Yeszhanov, Aidyn B

    2016-01-01

    This chapter summarizes information about the natural foci of plague in the world. We describe the location, main hosts, and vectors of Yersinia pestis. The ecological features of the hosts and vectors of plague are listed, including predators - birds and mammals and their role in the epizootic. The epizootic process in plague and the factors affecting the dynamics of epizootic activity of natural foci of Y. pestis are described in detail. The mathematical models of the epizootic process in plague and predictive models are briefly described. The most comprehensive list of the hosts and vectors of Y. pestis in the world is presented as well.

  4. Genome Sequence of Yersinia pestis KIM†

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Wen; Burland, Valerie; Plunkett III, Guy; Boutin, Adam; Mayhew, George F.; Liss, Paul; Perna, Nicole T.; Rose, Debra J.; Mau, Bob; Zhou, Shiguo; Schwartz, David C.; Fetherston, Jaqueline D.; Lindler, Luther E.; Brubaker, Robert R.; Plano, Gregory V.; Straley, Susan C.; McDonough, Kathleen A.; Nilles, Matthew L.; Matson, Jyl S.; Blattner, Frederick R.; Perry, Robert D.

    2002-01-01

    We present the complete genome sequence of Yersinia pestis KIM, the etiologic agent of bubonic and pneumonic plague. The strain KIM, biovar Mediaevalis, is associated with the second pandemic, including the Black Death. The 4.6-Mb genome encodes 4,198 open reading frames (ORFs). The origin, terminus, and most genes encoding DNA replication proteins are similar to those of Escherichia coli K-12. The KIM genome sequence was compared with that of Y. pestis CO92, biovar Orientalis, revealing homologous sequences but a remarkable amount of genome rearrangement for strains so closely related. The differences appear to result from multiple inversions of genome segments at insertion sequences, in a manner consistent with present knowledge of replication and recombination. There are few differences attributable to horizontal transfer. The KIM and E. coli K-12 genome proteins were also compared, exposing surprising amounts of locally colinear “backbone,” or synteny, that is not discernible at the nucleotide level. Nearly 54% of KIM ORFs are significantly similar to K-12 proteins, with conserved housekeeping functions. However, a number of E. coli pathways and transport systems and at least one global regulator were not found, reflecting differences in lifestyle between them. In KIM-specific islands, new genes encode candidate pathogenicity proteins, including iron transport systems, putative adhesins, toxins, and fimbriae. PMID:12142430

  5. Method development for optimum recovery of Yersinia pestis ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Report The primary goal of this project was to determine the best combination of sampling swab, pre-moistening agent, transport media, and extraction method for a high efficiency recovery of Y. pestis and F. tularensis vegetative cells.

  6. Pseudogene accumulation might promote the adaptive microevolution of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Tong, Zongzhong; Zhou, Dongsheng; Song, Yajun; Zhang, Ling; Pei, Decui; Han, Yanping; Pang, Xin; Li, Min; Cui, Baizhong; Wang, Jin; Guo, Zhaobiao; Qi, Zhizhen; Jin, Lixia; Zhai, Junhui; Du, Zongmin; Wang, Jun; Wang, Xiaoyi; Yu, Jun; Wang, Jian; Huang, Peitang; Yang, Huanming; Yang, Ruifu

    2005-03-01

    Plague is a natural focus-based disease, and for better understanding of this disease it is crucial to determine the molecular mechanisms of its pathogen, Yersinia pestis, for adapting to different foci. Gene inactivation, loss and acquisition are the main mechanisms that contribute to a pathogen's fitness. Determination of the whole-genome sequences of three Y. pestis strains, CO92, KIM and 91001, provided a good opportunity to probe into its genome in minute detail. Many genetic variations were found between the three strains. The present work focused on adaptive microevolutionary analysis of Y. pestis from different natural plague foci in China based on pseudogene profiles. Twenty-four mutations that led to inactivation in the corresponding genes were analysed, and a PCR-based screening method was employed to investigate the distribution of these mutations among Y. pestis isolates from different foci and also among seven strains of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. It was found that Y. pestis isolates from the same focus had identical mutation profiles, and 260 isolates of Y. pestis were divided into eight genotypes, while Y. pseudotuberculosis harboured wild-type alleles for all the mutations. The isolates of three known biovars were grouped into distinct branches in the phylogenetic tree, which supports the proposition that biovars mediaevalis and orientalis directly arose from biovar antiqua individually. The constructed phylogenetic tree suggests that the isolates from focus B should be the oldest lineage of Y. pestis in China except for isolates from foci L and M, which might be a special lineage of Y. pestis and originated differently to the others.

  7. Na+/H+ antiport is essential for Yersinia pestis virulence.

    PubMed

    Minato, Yusuke; Ghosh, Amit; Faulkner, Wyatt J; Lind, Erin J; Schesser Bartra, Sara; Plano, Gregory V; Jarrett, Clayton O; Hinnebusch, B Joseph; Winogrodzki, Judith; Dibrov, Pavel; Häse, Claudia C

    2013-09-01

    Na(+)/H(+) antiporters are ubiquitous membrane proteins that play a central role in the ion homeostasis of cells. In this study, we examined the possible role of Na(+)/H(+) antiport in Yersinia pestis virulence and found that Y. pestis strains lacking the major Na(+)/H(+) antiporters, NhaA and NhaB, are completely attenuated in an in vivo model of plague. The Y. pestis derivative strain lacking the nhaA and nhaB genes showed markedly decreased survival in blood and blood serum ex vivo. Complementation of either nhaA or nhaB in trans restored the survival of the Y. pestis nhaA nhaB double deletion mutant in blood. The nhaA nhaB double deletion mutant also showed inhibited growth in an artificial serum medium, Opti-MEM, and a rich LB-based medium with Na(+) levels and pH values similar to those for blood. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that intact Na(+)/H(+) antiport is indispensable for the survival of Y. pestis in the bloodstreams of infected animals and thus might be regarded as a promising noncanonical drug target for infections caused by Y. pestis and possibly for those caused by other blood-borne bacterial pathogens.

  8. Na+/H+ Antiport Is Essential for Yersinia pestis Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Minato, Yusuke; Ghosh, Amit; Faulkner, Wyatt J.; Lind, Erin J.; Schesser Bartra, Sara; Plano, Gregory V.; Jarrett, Clayton O.; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph; Winogrodzki, Judith; Dibrov, Pavel

    2013-01-01

    Na+/H+ antiporters are ubiquitous membrane proteins that play a central role in the ion homeostasis of cells. In this study, we examined the possible role of Na+/H+ antiport in Yersinia pestis virulence and found that Y. pestis strains lacking the major Na+/H+ antiporters, NhaA and NhaB, are completely attenuated in an in vivo model of plague. The Y. pestis derivative strain lacking the nhaA and nhaB genes showed markedly decreased survival in blood and blood serum ex vivo. Complementation of either nhaA or nhaB in trans restored the survival of the Y. pestis nhaA nhaB double deletion mutant in blood. The nhaA nhaB double deletion mutant also showed inhibited growth in an artificial serum medium, Opti-MEM, and a rich LB-based medium with Na+ levels and pH values similar to those for blood. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that intact Na+/H+ antiport is indispensable for the survival of Y. pestis in the bloodstreams of infected animals and thus might be regarded as a promising noncanonical drug target for infections caused by Y. pestis and possibly for those caused by other blood-borne bacterial pathogens. PMID:23774602

  9. Yersinia pestis Ail: multiple roles of a single protein

    PubMed Central

    Kolodziejek, Anna M.; Hovde, Carolyn J.; Minnich, Scott A.

    2012-01-01

    Yersinia pestis is one of the most virulent bacteria identified. It is the causative agent of plague—a systemic disease that has claimed millions of human lives throughout history. Y. pestis survival in insect and mammalian host species requires fine-tuning to sense and respond to varying environmental cues. Multiple Y. pestis attributes participate in this process and contribute to its pathogenicity and highly efficient transmission between hosts. These include factors inherited from its enteric predecessors; Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis, as well as phenotypes acquired or lost during Y. pestis speciation. Representatives of a large Enterobacteriaceae Ail/OmpX/PagC/Lom family of outer membrane proteins (OMPs) are found in the genomes of all pathogenic Yersiniae. This review describes the current knowledge regarding the role of Ail in Y. pestis pathogenesis and virulence. The pronounced role of Ail in the following areas are discussed (1) inhibition of the bactericidal properties of complement, (2) attachment and Yersinia outer proteins (Yop) delivery to host tissue, (3) prevention of PMNL recruitment to the lymph nodes, and (4) inhibition of the inflammatory response. Finally, Ail homologs in Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis are compared to illustrate differences that may have contributed to the drastic bacterial lifestyle change that shifted Y. pestis from an enteric to a vector-born systemic pathogen. PMID:22919692

  10. Typing methods for the plague pathogen, Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Lindler, Luther E

    2009-01-01

    Phenotypic and genotypic methodologies have been used to differentiate the etiological agent of plague, Yersinia pestis. Historically, phenotypic methods were used to place isolates into one of three biovars based on nitrate reduction and glycerol fermentation. Classification of Y. pestis into genetic subtypes is problematic due to the relative monomorphic nature of the pathogen. Resolution into groups is dependent on the number and types of loci used in the analysis. The last 5-10 years of research and analysis in the field of Y. pestis genotyping have resulted in a recognition by Western scientists that two basic types of Y. pestis exist. One type, considered to be classic strains that are able to cause human plague transmitted by the normal flea vector, is termed epidemic strains. The other type does not typically cause human infections by normal routes of infection, but is virulent for rodents and is termed endemic strains. Previous classification schemes used outside the Western hemisphere referred to these latter strains as Pestoides varieties of Y. pestis. Recent molecular analysis has definitely shown that both endemic and epidemic strains arose independently from a common Yersinia pseudotuberculosis ancestor. Currently, 11 major groups of Y. pestis are defined globally.

  11. Distinct Clones of Yersinia pestis Caused the Black Death

    PubMed Central

    Haensch, Stephanie; Bianucci, Raffaella; Signoli, Michel; Rajerison, Minoarisoa; Schultz, Michael; Kacki, Sacha; Vermunt, Marco; Weston, Darlene A.; Hurst, Derek; Achtman, Mark; Carniel, Elisabeth; Bramanti, Barbara

    2010-01-01

    From AD 1347 to AD 1353, the Black Death killed tens of millions of people in Europe, leaving misery and devastation in its wake, with successive epidemics ravaging the continent until the 18th century. The etiology of this disease has remained highly controversial, ranging from claims based on genetics and the historical descriptions of symptoms that it was caused by Yersinia pestis to conclusions that it must have been caused by other pathogens. It has also been disputed whether plague had the same etiology in northern and southern Europe. Here we identified DNA and protein signatures specific for Y. pestis in human skeletons from mass graves in northern, central and southern Europe that were associated archaeologically with the Black Death and subsequent resurgences. We confirm that Y. pestis caused the Black Death and later epidemics on the entire European continent over the course of four centuries. Furthermore, on the basis of 17 single nucleotide polymorphisms plus the absence of a deletion in glpD gene, our aDNA results identified two previously unknown but related clades of Y. pestis associated with distinct medieval mass graves. These findings suggest that plague was imported to Europe on two or more occasions, each following a distinct route. These two clades are ancestral to modern isolates of Y. pestis biovars Orientalis and Medievalis. Our results clarify the etiology of the Black Death and provide a paradigm for a detailed historical reconstruction of the infection routes followed by this disease. PMID:20949072

  12. Distinct clones of Yersinia pestis caused the black death.

    PubMed

    Haensch, Stephanie; Bianucci, Raffaella; Signoli, Michel; Rajerison, Minoarisoa; Schultz, Michael; Kacki, Sacha; Vermunt, Marco; Weston, Darlene A; Hurst, Derek; Achtman, Mark; Carniel, Elisabeth; Bramanti, Barbara

    2010-10-07

    From AD 1347 to AD 1353, the Black Death killed tens of millions of people in Europe, leaving misery and devastation in its wake, with successive epidemics ravaging the continent until the 18(th) century. The etiology of this disease has remained highly controversial, ranging from claims based on genetics and the historical descriptions of symptoms that it was caused by Yersinia pestis to conclusions that it must have been caused by other pathogens. It has also been disputed whether plague had the same etiology in northern and southern Europe. Here we identified DNA and protein signatures specific for Y. pestis in human skeletons from mass graves in northern, central and southern Europe that were associated archaeologically with the Black Death and subsequent resurgences. We confirm that Y. pestis caused the Black Death and later epidemics on the entire European continent over the course of four centuries. Furthermore, on the basis of 17 single nucleotide polymorphisms plus the absence of a deletion in glpD gene, our aDNA results identified two previously unknown but related clades of Y. pestis associated with distinct medieval mass graves. These findings suggest that plague was imported to Europe on two or more occasions, each following a distinct route. These two clades are ancestral to modern isolates of Y. pestis biovars Orientalis and Medievalis. Our results clarify the etiology of the Black Death and provide a paradigm for a detailed historical reconstruction of the infection routes followed by this disease.

  13. An additional step in the transmission of Yersinia pestis?

    PubMed Central

    Easterday, W Ryan; Kausrud, Kyrre L; Star, Bastiaan; Heier, Lise; Haley, Bradd J; Ageyev, Vladimir; Colwell, Rita R; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2012-01-01

    Plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is a mammalian vector-borne disease, transmitted by fleas that serve as the vector between rodent hosts. For many pathogens, including Y. pestis, there are strong evolutionary pressures that lead to a reduction in ‘useless genes', with only those retained that reflect function in the specific environment inhabited by the pathogen. Genetic traits critical for survival and transmission between two environments, the rodent and the flea, are conserved in epizootic/epidemic plague strains. However, there are genes that remain conserved for which no function in the flea–rodent cycle has yet been observed, indicating an additional environment may exist in the transmission cycle of plague. Here, we present evidence for highly conserved genes that suggests a role in the persistence of Y. pestis after death of its host. Furthermore, maintenance of these genes points to Y. pestis traversing a post-mortem path between, and possibly within, epizootic periods and offering insight into mechanisms that may allow Y. pestis an alternative route of transmission in the natural environment. PMID:21833036

  14. Pneumonic Plague: The Darker Side of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Pechous, Roger D; Sivaraman, Vijay; Stasulli, Nikolas M; Goldman, William E

    2016-03-01

    Inhalation of the bacterium Yersinia pestis results in primary pneumonic plague. Pneumonic plague is the most severe manifestation of plague, with mortality rates approaching 100% in the absence of treatment. Its rapid disease progression, lethality, and ability to be transmitted via aerosol have compounded fears of the intentional release of Y. pestis as a biological weapon. Importantly, recent epidemics of plague have highlighted a significant role for pneumonic plague during outbreaks of Y. pestis infections. In this review we describe the characteristics of pneumonic plague, focusing on its disease progression and pathogenesis. The rapid time-course, severity, and difficulty of treating pneumonic plague highlight how differences in the route of disease transmission can enhance the lethality of an already deadly pathogen. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Plague pneumonia disease caused by Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Cleri, D J; Vernaleo, J R; Lombardi, L J; Rabbat, M S; Mathew, A; Marton, R; Reyelt, M C

    1997-03-01

    Plague is a zoonotic infection caused by Yersina pesits, a pleomorphic, gram-negative non-spore-forming coccobacillus that is more accurately classified as a subspecies of Y pseudotuberculosis. Animal reservoirs include rodents, rabbits, and occasionally larger animals. Cats become ill and have spread pneumonic disease to man. Dogs may be a significant sentinel animal as well as a reservoir, although do not usually become ill. Flea bites commonly spread disease to man. Person to person spread has not been a recent feature until the purported outbreak of plague and plague pneumonia in India in 1994. Other factors that increase risk of infection in endemic areas are occupation-veterinarians and assistants, pet ownership, direct animal-reservoir contact especially during the hunting season, living in households with an index case, and, mild winters, cool moist springs, and early summers. Clinical presentations include subclinical plague (positive serology without disease); plague pharyngitis; pestis minor (abortive bubonic plague); bubonic plague; septicemic plague; pneumonic plague; and plague meningitis. Most prominent of plague's differential diagnosis are Reye's syndrome, other causes of lymphadenitis, bacterial pneumonias, tularemia, and acute surgical abdomen. Treatment has reduced mortality from 40-90% to 5-18%. The drug of choice (except for plague meningitis) is streptomycin, with tetracyclines being alternatives. Parenteral cholamphenicol is the treatment of choice for plague meningitis. A tetracycline should be administered as chemoprophylaxis to all contacts over the age of 8 years. Plague vaccine is available, but is only partially protective.

  16. Investigating the ?Trojan Horse? Mechanism of Yersinia pestis Virulence

    SciTech Connect

    McCutchen-Maloney, S L; Fitch, J P

    2005-02-08

    Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, is a Gram-negative, highly communicable, enteric bacterium that has been responsible for three historic plague pandemics. Currently, several thousand cases of plague are reported worldwide annually, and Y. pestis remains a considerable threat from a biodefense perspective. Y. pestis infection can manifest in three forms: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague. Of these three forms, pneumonic plague has the highest fatality rate ({approx}100% if left untreated), the shortest intervention time ({approx}24 hours), and is highly contagious. Currently, there are no rapid, widely available vaccines for plague and though plague may be treated with antibiotics, the emergence of both naturally occurring and potentially engineered antibiotic resistant strains makes the search for more effective therapies and vaccines for plague of pressing concern. The virulence mechanism of this deadly bacterium involves induction of a Type III secretion system, a syringe-like apparatus that facilitates the injection of virulence factors, termed Yersinia outer membrane proteins (Yops), into the host cell. These virulence factors inhibit phagocytosis and cytokine secretion, and trigger apoptosis of the host cell. Y. pestis virulence factors and the Type III secretion system are induced thermally, when the bacterium enters the mammalian host from the flea vector, and through host cell contact (or conditions of low Ca{sup 2+} in vitro). Apart from the temperature increase from 26 C to 37 C and host cell contact (or low Ca{sup 2+} conditions), other molecular mechanisms that influence virulence induction in Y. pestis are largely uncharacterized. This project focused on characterizing two novel mechanisms that regulate virulence factor induction in Y. pestis, immunoglobulin G (IgG) binding and quorum sensing, using a real-time reporter system to monitor induction of virulence. Incorporating a better understanding of the mechanisms of virulence

  17. Recent emergence of new variants of Yersinia pestis in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Guiyoule, A; Rasoamanana, B; Buchrieser, C; Michel, P; Chanteau, S; Carniel, E

    1997-11-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, has been responsible for at least three pandemics. During the last pandemic, which started in Hong Kong in 1894, the microorganism colonized new, previously unscathed geographical areas where it has become well established. The aim of this longitudinal study was to investigate the genetic stability of Y. pestis strains introduced into a new environment just under a century ago and to follow the epidemiology of any new genetic variant detected. In the present study, 187 strains of Y. pestis isolated between 1939 and 1996 from different regions of Madagascar and responsible mainly for human cases of bubonic and pneumonic plague were studied. Our principal genotyping method was rRNA gene profiling (ribotyping), which has previously been shown to be an effective scheme for typing Y. pestis strains of different geographical origins. We report that all studied Y. pestis strains isolated in Madagascar before 1982 were of classical ribotype B, the ribotype attributed to the Y. pestis clone that spread around the world during the third pandemic. In 1982, 1983, and 1994, strains with new ribotypes, designated R, Q, and T, respectively, were isolated on the high-plateau region of the island. Analysis of other genotypic traits such as the NotI genomic restriction profiles and the EcoRV plasmid restriction profiles revealed that the new variants could also be distinguished by specific genomic and/or plasmid profiles. A follow-up of these new variants indicated that strains of ribotypes Q and R have become well established in their ecosystem and have a tendency to spread to new geographical areas and supplant the original classical strain.

  18. LPS modification promotes maintenance of Yersinia pestis in fleas

    PubMed Central

    Aoyagi, Kari L.; Brooks, Benjamin D.; Bearden, Scott W.; Montenieri, John A.; Gage, Kenneth L.

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, can be transmitted by fleas by two different mechanisms: by early-phase transmission (EPT), which occurs shortly after flea infection, or by blocked fleas following long-term infection. Efficient flea-borne transmission is predicated upon the ability of Y. pestis to be maintained within the flea. Signature-tagged mutagenesis (STM) was used to identify genes required for Y. pestis maintenance in a genuine plague vector, Xenopsylla cheopis. The STM screen identified seven mutants that displayed markedly reduced fitness in fleas after 4 days, the time during which EPT occurs. Two of the mutants contained insertions in genes encoding glucose 1-phosphate uridylyltransferase (galU) and UDP-4-amino-4-deoxy-l-arabinose-oxoglutarate aminotransferase (arnB), which are involved in the modification of lipid A with 4-amino-4-deoxy-l-arabinose (Ara4N) and resistance to cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs). These Y. pestis mutants were more susceptible to the CAMPs cecropin A and polymyxin B, and produced lipid A lacking Ara4N modifications. Surprisingly, an in-frame deletion of arnB retained modest levels of CAMP resistance and Ara4N modification, indicating the presence of compensatory factors. It was determined that WecE, an aminotransferase involved in biosynthesis of enterobacterial common antigen, plays a novel role in Y. pestis Ara4N modification by partially offsetting the loss of arnB. These results indicated that mechanisms of Ara4N modification of lipid A are more complex than previously thought, and these modifications, as well as several factors yet to be elucidated, play an important role in early survival and transmission of Y. pestis in the flea vector. PMID:25533446

  19. A transport medium for specimens containing Pasteurella pestis.

    PubMed

    Cavanaugh, D C; Vivona, S; Do-Van-Quy; Gibson, F L; Deuber, G L; Rust, J H

    1967-01-01

    A medium, originally designed by Stuart and co-workers and later modified by Cary & Blair, for the maintenance and transport, without multiplication, of pathogenic bacteria contained in bacteriological specimens was tested in the laboratory and in the field in Viet-Nam to determine its effectiveness in preserving specimens known to contain Pasteurella pestis.The results indicate that this medium should be useful in diagnostic plague studies in areas where transport facilities are inadequate. Properly collected clinical specimens, sent to a central laboratory by any means and under any climatic conditions likely to be encountered in the hot tropics, should yield viable Pasteurella pestis for at least 30 days.

  20. Detection of a Yersinia pestis gene homologue in rodent samples

    PubMed Central

    Greenwood, Alex D.; Tsangaras, Kyriakos; Giles, Tom C.; Barrow, Paul A.; Hannant, Duncan; Abu-Median, Abu-Bakr; Yon, Lisa

    2016-01-01

    A homologue to a widely used genetic marker, pla, for Yersinia pestis has been identified in tissue samples of two species of rat (Rattus rattus and Rattus norvegicus) and of mice (Mus musculus and Apodemus sylvaticus) using a microarray based platform to screen for zoonotic pathogens of interest. Samples were from urban locations in the UK (Liverpool) and Canada (Vancouver). The results indicate the presence of an unknown bacterium that shares a homologue for the pla gene of Yersinia pestis, so caution should be taken when using this gene as a diagnostic marker. PMID:27602258

  1. Delineation and analysis of chromosomal regions specifying Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Derbise, Anne; Chenal-Francisque, Viviane; Huon, Christèle; Fayolle, Corinne; Demeure, Christian E; Chane-Woon-Ming, Béatrice; Médigue, Claudine; Hinnebusch, B Joseph; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2010-09-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, has recently diverged from the less virulent enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Its emergence has been characterized by massive genetic loss and inactivation and limited gene acquisition. The acquired genes include two plasmids, a filamentous phage, and a few chromosomal loci. The aim of this study was to characterize the chromosomal regions acquired by Y. pestis. Following in silico comparative analysis and PCR screening of 98 strains of Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. pestis, we found that eight chromosomal loci (six regions [R1pe to R6pe] and two coding sequences [CDS1pe and CDS2pe]) specified Y. pestis. Signatures of integration by site specific or homologous recombination were identified for most of them. These acquisitions and the loss of ancestral DNA sequences were concentrated in a chromosomal region opposite to the origin of replication. The specific regions were acquired very early during Y. pestis evolution and were retained during its microevolution, suggesting that they might bring some selective advantages. Only one region (R3pe), predicted to carry a lambdoid prophage, is most likely no longer functional because of mutations. With the exception of R1pe and R2pe, which have the potential to encode a restriction/modification and a sugar transport system, respectively, no functions could be predicted for the other Y. pestis-specific loci. To determine the role of the eight chromosomal loci in the physiology and pathogenicity of the plague bacillus, each of them was individually deleted from the bacterial chromosome. None of the deletants exhibited defects during growth in vitro. Using the Xenopsylla cheopis flea model, all deletants retained the capacity to produce a stable and persistent infection and to block fleas. Similarly, none of the deletants caused any acute flea toxicity. In the mouse model of infection, all deletants were fully virulent upon subcutaneous or aerosol infections. Therefore

  2. [Standard algorithm of molecular typing of Yersinia pestis strains].

    PubMed

    Eroshenko, G A; Odinokov, G N; Kukleva, L M; Pavlova, A I; Krasnov, Ia M; Shavina, N Iu; Guseva, N P; Vinogradova, N A; Kutyrev, V V

    2012-01-01

    Development of the standard algorithm of molecular typing of Yersinia pestis that ensures establishing of subspecies, biovar and focus membership of the studied isolate. Determination of the characteristic strain genotypes of plague infectious agent of main and nonmain subspecies from various natural foci of plague of the Russian Federation and the near abroad. Genotyping of 192 natural Y. pestis strains of main and nonmain subspecies was performed by using PCR methods, multilocus sequencing and multilocus analysis of variable tandem repeat number. A standard algorithm of molecular typing of plague infectious agent including several stages of Yersinia pestis differentiation by membership: in main and nonmain subspecies, various biovars of the main subspecies, specific subspecies; natural foci and geographic territories was developed. The algorithm is based on 3 typing methods--PCR, multilocus sequence typing and multilocus analysis of variable tandem repeat number using standard DNA targets--life support genes (terC, ilvN, inv, glpD, napA, rhaS and araC) and 7 loci of variable tandem repeats (ms01, ms04, ms06, ms07, ms46, ms62, ms70). The effectiveness of the developed algorithm is shown on the large number of natural Y. pestis strains. Characteristic sequence types of Y. pestis strains of various subspecies and biovars as well as MLVA7 genotypes of strains from natural foci of plague of the Russian Federation and the near abroad were established. The application of the developed algorithm will increase the effectiveness of epidemiologic monitoring of plague infectious agent, and analysis of epidemics and outbreaks of plague with establishing the source of origin of the strain and routes of introduction of the infection.

  3. Phylogeography and molecular epidemiology of Yersinia pestis in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Vogler, Amy J; Chan, Fabien; Wagner, David M; Roumagnac, Philippe; Lee, Judy; Nera, Roxanne; Eppinger, Mark; Ravel, Jacques; Rahalison, Lila; Rasoamanana, Bruno W; Beckstrom-Sternberg, Stephen M; Achtman, Mark; Chanteau, Suzanne; Keim, Paul

    2011-09-01

    Plague was introduced to Madagascar in 1898 and continues to be a significant human health problem. It exists mainly in the central highlands, but in the 1990s was reintroduced to the port city of Mahajanga, where it caused extensive human outbreaks. Despite its prevalence, the phylogeography and molecular epidemiology of Y. pestis in Madagascar has been difficult to study due to the great genetic similarity among isolates. We examine island-wide geographic-genetic patterns based upon whole-genome discovery of SNPs, SNP genotyping and hypervariable variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) loci to gain insight into the maintenance and spread of Y. pestis in Madagascar. We analyzed a set of 262 Malagasy isolates using a set of 56 SNPs and a 43-locus multi-locus VNTR analysis (MLVA) system. We then analyzed the geographic distribution of the subclades and identified patterns related to the maintenance and spread of plague in Madagascar. We find relatively high levels of VNTR diversity in addition to several SNP differences. We identify two major groups, Groups I and II, which are subsequently divided into 11 and 4 subclades, respectively. Y. pestis appears to be maintained in several geographically separate subpopulations. There is also evidence for multiple long distance transfers of Y. pestis, likely human mediated. Such transfers have resulted in the reintroduction and establishment of plague in the port city of Mahajanga, where there is evidence for multiple transfers both from and to the central highlands. The maintenance and spread of Y. pestis in Madagascar is a dynamic and highly active process that relies on the natural cycle between the primary host, the black rat, and its flea vectors as well as human activity.

  4. Comparison of the Reliability and Sensitivity of Three Serological Procedures in Detecting Antibody to Yersinia pestis (Pasteurella pestis)

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, John D.; Mangiafico, Joseph A.; Cavanaugh, Dan C.

    1972-01-01

    Three serological procedures, the agar-gel precipitin inhibition, the complement fixation, and the indirect hemagglutination tests, were used to detect and measure antibody to Yersinia pestis in the sera from 383 individuals. Although all three tests were useful in detecting plague antibody, the most reliable and sensitive test procedure was indirect hemagglutination. PMID:5071650

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-02-01

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

  6. Development of a real-time quantitative PCR assay to enumerate Yersinia pestis in fleas.

    PubMed

    Gabitzsch, Elizabeth S; Vera-Tudela, Rommelle; Eisen, Rebecca J; Bearden, Scott W; Gage, Kenneth L; Zeidner, Nordin S

    2008-07-01

    A real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay was developed for Yersina pestis. The qPCR assay was developed utilizing a conserved region of the Y. pestis ferric iron uptake regulator gene (fur) to design primers and a fluorescent (FAM-labeled) TaqMan probe. The assay was optimized using cultured Y. pestis (UG05-0454) and was confirmed to work with strains from 3 Y. pestis biovars. The optimized assay was capable of detecting a single organism of cultured Y. pestis and as little as 300 bacteria in infected flea triturates. This qPCR assay enables rapid enumeration of Y. pestis bacterium in laboratory-infected fleas when compared with conventional serial dilution plating.

  7. Cultural and morphological properties of the vaccine strain Yersinia pestis EV NIIEG bacteria after photodynamic inactivation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulianova, Onega V.; Lyapina, Anna M.; Khizhnyakova, Mariya A.; Laskavy, Vladislav N.; Feodorova, Valentina A.; Ulyanov, Sergey S.

    2015-03-01

    New method of photoinactivation of plague microbes (bacteria Yersinia pestis) has been suggested. Rate of growth of colonies of Y. pestis EV NIIEG at specific regimes of photo processing have been analyzed. Dependence of growth on exposure time and concentrations of photosensitizer (methylene blue) has been studied. Number of colony forming units of Y. pestis EV NIIEG bacteria as a function of intensity of light and concentration of methylene blue has been scrutinized.

  8. Identification of Yersinia pestis by BBL Crystal Enteric/Nonfermenter Identification System.

    PubMed Central

    Wilmoth, B A; Chu, M C; Quan, T J

    1996-01-01

    The BBL Crystal Enteric/Nonfermenter System (Crystal) was used to test 25 archived isolates of Yersinia pestis to obtain a unique biochemical profile code for Y. pestis. The revised Crystal system and the API 20E system were compared by using 12 clinical human isolates of Y. pestis. Crystal correctly identified 11 of the 12 isolates, while API correctly identified 7 of the 12 isolates. PMID:8897192

  9. Yersinia pestis Intracellular Parasitism of Macrophages from Hosts Exhibiting High and Low Severity of Plague

    PubMed Central

    Ponnusamy, Duraisamy; Clinkenbeard, Kenneth D.

    2012-01-01

    Background Yersinia pestis causes severe disease in natural rodent hosts, but mild to inapparent disease in certain rodent predators such as dogs. Y. pestis initiates infection in susceptible hosts by parasitizing and multiplying intracellularly in local macrophages prior to systemic dissemination. Thus, we hypothesize that Y. pestis disease severity may depend on the degree to which intracellular Y. pestis overcomes the initial host macrophage imposed stress. Methodology/Principal Findings To test this hypothesis, the progression of in vitro infection by Y. pestis KIM62053.1+ of mouse splenic and RAW264.7 tissue culture macrophages and dog peripheral blood-derived and DH82 tissue culture macrophages was studied using microscopy and various parameters of infection. The study showed that during the early stage of infection, intracellular Y. pestis assumed filamentous cellular morphology with multiple copies of the genome per bacterium in both mouse and dog macrophages. Later, in mouse macrophages, the infection elicited spacious vacuolar extension of Yersinia containing vacuoles (YCV), and the filamentous Y. pestis reverted to coccobacillary morphology with genomic equivalents approximately equaling colony forming units. In contrast, Y. pestis infected dog macrophages did not show noticeable extension of YCV, and intracellular Y. pestis retained the filamentous cellular morphology for the entire experiment in DH82 cells or were killed by blood-derived macrophages. In addition, during the later stage of infection, Y. pestis infected mouse macrophages exhibited cell lysis whereas dog macrophages did not. Conclusion/Significance Overall, these results support our hypothesis that Y. pestis in mouse macrophages can overcome the initial intracellular stress necessary for subsequent systemic infection. However, in dogs, failure of Y. pestis to overcome macrophage imposed stress may result in mild or in apparent disease in dogs. PMID:22848745

  10. Detection of Ciprofloxacin-Resistant Yersinia pestis by Fluorogenic PCR Using the LightCycler

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2001-10-01

    Ciprofloxacin Resistant Yersinia pestis using Fluorogenic PCR Measured in the Lightcycler 6. AUTHOR(S) Luther E. Lindler*, Wei Fan and Nazma Jahan 5...have developed a fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based (FRET) assay to detect ciprofloxacin resistant (Cpr) mutants of the biothreat agent...Yersinia pestis. We selected spontaneous mutants of the attenuated Y. pestis KTM 5 strain that were resistant to at least 1 mg/ml Cp. DNA sequencing of

  11. Host Langerin (CD207) is a receptor for Yersinia pestis phagocytosis and promotes dissemination

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Kun; Park, Chae G; Cheong, Cheolho; Bulgheresi, Silvia; Zhang, Shusheng; Zhang, Pei; He, Yingxia; Jiang, Lingyu; Huang, Hongping; Ding, Honghui; Wu, Yiping; Wang, Shaogang; Zhang, Lin; Li, Anyi; Xia, Lianxu; Bartra, Sara S; Plano, Gregory V; Skurnik, Mikael; Klena, John D; Chen, Tie

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis is a Gram-negative bacterium that causes plague. After Y. pestis overcomes the skin barrier, it encounters antigen-presenting cells (APCs), such as Langerhans and dendritic cells. They transport the bacteria from the skin to the lymph nodes. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in bacterial transmission are unclear. Langerhans cells (LCs) express Langerin (CD207), a calcium-dependent (C-type) lectin. Furthermore, Y. pestis possesses exposed core oligosaccharides. In this study, we show that Y. pestis invades LCs and Langerin-expressing transfectants. However, when the bacterial core oligosaccharides are shielded or truncated, Y. pestis propensity to invade Langerhans and Langerin-expressing cells decreases. Moreover, the interaction of Y. pestis with Langerin-expressing transfectants is inhibited by purified Langerin, a DC-SIGN (DC-specific intercellular adhesion molecule 3 grabbing nonintegrin)-like molecule, an anti-CD207 antibody, purified core oligosaccharides and several oligosaccharides. Furthermore, covering core oligosaccharides reduces the mortality associated with murine infection by adversely affecting the transmission of Y. pestis to lymph nodes. These results demonstrate that direct interaction of core oligosaccharides with Langerin facilitates the invasion of LCs by Y. pestis. Therefore, Langerin-mediated binding of Y. pestis to APCs may promote its dissemination and infection. PMID:25829141

  12. Host Langerin (CD207) is a receptor for Yersinia pestis phagocytosis and promotes dissemination.

    PubMed

    Yang, Kun; Park, Chae G; Cheong, Cheolho; Bulgheresi, Silvia; Zhang, Shusheng; Zhang, Pei; He, Yingxia; Jiang, Lingyu; Huang, Hongping; Ding, Honghui; Wu, Yiping; Wang, Shaogang; Zhang, Lin; Li, Anyi; Xia, Lianxu; Bartra, Sara S; Plano, Gregory V; Skurnik, Mikael; Klena, John D; Chen, Tie

    2015-10-01

    Yersinia pestis is a Gram-negative bacterium that causes plague. After Y. pestis overcomes the skin barrier, it encounters antigen-presenting cells (APCs), such as Langerhans and dendritic cells. They transport the bacteria from the skin to the lymph nodes. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in bacterial transmission are unclear. Langerhans cells (LCs) express Langerin (CD207), a calcium-dependent (C-type) lectin. Furthermore, Y. pestis possesses exposed core oligosaccharides. In this study, we show that Y. pestis invades LCs and Langerin-expressing transfectants. However, when the bacterial core oligosaccharides are shielded or truncated, Y. pestis propensity to invade Langerhans and Langerin-expressing cells decreases. Moreover, the interaction of Y. pestis with Langerin-expressing transfectants is inhibited by purified Langerin, a DC-SIGN (DC-specific intercellular adhesion molecule 3 grabbing nonintegrin)-like molecule, an anti-CD207 antibody, purified core oligosaccharides and several oligosaccharides. Furthermore, covering core oligosaccharides reduces the mortality associated with murine infection by adversely affecting the transmission of Y. pestis to lymph nodes. These results demonstrate that direct interaction of core oligosaccharides with Langerin facilitates the invasion of LCs by Y. pestis. Therefore, Langerin-mediated binding of Y. pestis to APCs may promote its dissemination and infection.

  13. Yersinia pestis survival and replication within human neutrophil phagosomes and uptake of infected neutrophils by macrophages.

    PubMed

    Spinner, Justin L; Winfree, Seth; Starr, Tregei; Shannon, Jeffrey G; Nair, Vinod; Steele-Mortimer, Olivia; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2014-03-01

    Yersinia pestis, the bacterial agent of plague, is transmitted by fleas. The bite of an infected flea deposits Y. pestis into the dermis and triggers recruitment of innate immune cells, including phagocytic PMNs. Y. pestis can subvert this PMN response and survive at the flea-bite site, disseminate, and persist in the host. Although its genome encodes a number of antiphagocytic virulence factors, phagocytosis of Y. pestis by PMNs has been observed. This study tests the hypotheses that Y. pestis, grown at the ambient temperature of the flea vector (21°C), where the major antiphagocytic virulence factors are not produced, can survive and replicate within human PMNs and can use PMNs as a route to infect macrophages subsequently. We show that Y. pestis is localized within PMN phagosomes, predominately as individual bacteria, and that intracellular bacteria can survive and replicate. Within 12 h of infection, ~70% of infected PMNs had PS on their surface and were plausibly competent for efferocytosis. With the use of live cell confocal imaging, we show that autologous HMDMs recognize and internalize infected PMNs and that Y. pestis survives and replicates within these HMDMs following efferocytosis. Addition of HMDMs to infected PMNs resulted in decreased secretion of inflammatory cytokines (compared with HMDMs incubated directly with pCD1(-) Y. pestis) and increased secretion of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-1ra. Thus, Y. pestis can survive and replicate within PMNs, and infected PMNs may be a route for noninflammatory infection of macrophages.

  14. Proteomic Characterization of Host Response to Yersinia pestis

    SciTech Connect

    Chromy, B; Perkins, J; Heidbrink, J; Gonzales, A; Murhpy, G; Fitch, J P; McCutchen-Maloney, S

    2004-05-11

    Host-pathogen interactions result in protein expression changes within both the host and the pathogen. Here, results from proteomic characterization of host response following exposure to Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, and to two near neighbors, Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica, are reported. Human monocyte-like cells were chosen as a model for macrophage immune response to pathogen exposure. Two-dimensional electrophoresis followed by mass spectrometry was used to identify host proteins with differential expression following exposure to these three closely related Yersinia species. This comparative proteomic characterization of host response clearly shows that host protein expression patterns are distinct for the different pathogen exposures, and contributes to further understanding of Y. pestis virulence and host defense mechanisms. This work also lays the foundation for future studies aimed at defining biomarkers for presymptomatic detection of plague.

  15. Yersinia pestis Resists Predation by Acanthamoeba castellanii and Exhibits Prolonged Intracellular Survival.

    PubMed

    Benavides-Montaño, Javier A; Vadyvaloo, Viveka

    2017-07-01

    Plague is a flea-borne rodent-associated zoonotic disease caused by Yersinia pestis The disease is characterized by epizootics with high rodent mortalities, punctuated by interepizootic periods when the bacterium persists in an unknown reservoir. This study investigates the interaction between Y. pestis and the ubiquitous soil free-living amoeba (FLA) Acanthamoeba castellanii to assess if the bacterium can survive within soil amoebae and whether intracellular mechanisms are conserved between infection of mammalian macrophages and soil amoebae. The results demonstrate that during coculture with amoebae, representative Y. pestis strains of epidemic biovars Medievalis, Orientalis, and Antiqua are phagocytized and able to survive within amoebae for at least 5 days. Key Y. pestis determinants of the intracellular interaction of Y. pestis and phagocytic macrophages, PhoP and the type three secretion system (T3SS), were then tested for their roles in the Y. pestis-amoeba interaction. Consistent with a requirement for the PhoP transcriptional activator in the intracellular survival of Y. pestis in macrophages, a PhoP mutant is unable to survive when cocultured with amoebae. Additionally, induction of the T3SS blocks phagocytic uptake of Y. pestis by amoebae, similar to that which occurs during macrophage infection. Electron microscopy revealed that in A. castellanii, Y. pestis resides intact within spacious vacuoles which were characterized using lysosomal trackers as being separated from the lysosomal compartment. This evidence for prolonged survival and subversion of intracellular digestion of Y. pestis within FLA suggests that protozoa may serve as a protective soil reservoir for Y. pestisIMPORTANCEYersinia pestis is a reemerging flea-borne zoonotic disease. Sylvatic plague cycles are characterized by an epizootic period during which the disease spreads rapidly, causing high rodent mortality, and an interepizootic period when the bacterium quiescently persists in an

  16. A Yersinia pestis-specific, lytic phage preparation significantly reduces viable Y. pestis on various hard surfaces experimentally contaminated with the bacterium

    PubMed Central

    Rashid, Mohammed H.; Revazishvili, Tamara; Dean, Timothy; Butani, Amy; Verratti, Kathleen; Bishop-Lilly, Kimberly A.; Sozhamannan, Shanmuga; Sulakvelidze, Alexander; Rajanna, Chythanya

    2012-01-01

    Five Y. pestis bacteriophages obtained from various sources were characterized to determine their biological properties, including their taxonomic classification, host range and genomic diversity. Four of the phages (YpP-G, Y, R and YpsP-G) belong to the Podoviridae family, and the fifth phage (YpsP-PST) belongs to the Myoviridae family, of the order Caudovirales comprising of double-stranded DNA phages. The genomes of the four Podoviridae phages were fully sequenced and found to be almost identical to each other and to those of two previously characterized Y. pestis phages Yepe2 and φA1122. However, despite their genomic homogeneity, they varied in their ability to lyse Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis strains. The five phages were combined to yield a “phage cocktail” (tentatively designated “YPP-100”) capable of lysing the 59 Y. pestis strains in our collection. YPP-100 was examined for its ability to decontaminate three different hard surfaces (glass, gypsum board and stainless steel) experimentally contaminated with a mixture of three genetically diverse Y. pestis strains CO92, KIM and 1670G. Five minutes of exposure to YPP-100 preparations containing phage concentrations of ca. 109, 108 and 107 PFU/mL completely eliminated all viable Y. pestis cells from all three surfaces, but a few viable cells were recovered from the stainless steel coupons treated with YPP-100 diluted to contain ca. 106 PFU/mL. However, even that highly diluted preparation significantly (p = < 0.05) reduced Y. pestis levels by ≥ 99.97%. Our data support the idea that Y. pestis phages may be useful for decontaminating various hard surfaces naturally- or intentionally-contaminated with Y. pestis. PMID:23275868

  17. Dermal neutrophil, macrophage and dendritic cell responses to Yersinia pestis transmitted by fleas.

    PubMed

    Shannon, Jeffrey G; Bosio, Christopher F; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2015-03-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is typically transmitted by the bite of an infected flea. Many aspects of mammalian innate immune response early after Y. pestis infection remain poorly understood. A previous study by our lab showed that neutrophils are the most prominent cell type recruited to the injection site after intradermal needle inoculation of Y. pestis, suggesting that neutrophil interactions with Y. pestis may be important in bubonic plague pathogenesis. In the present study, we developed new tools allowing for intravital microscopy of Y. pestis in the dermis of an infected mouse after transmission by its natural route of infection, the bite of an infected flea. We found that uninfected flea bites typically induced minimal neutrophil recruitment. The magnitude of neutrophil response to flea-transmitted Y. pestis varied considerably and appeared to correspond to the number of bacteria deposited at the bite site. Macrophages migrated towards flea bite sites and interacted with small numbers of flea-transmitted bacteria. Consistent with a previous study, we observed minimal interaction between Y. pestis and dendritic cells; however, dendritic cells did consistently migrate towards flea bite sites containing Y. pestis. Interestingly, we often recovered viable Y. pestis from the draining lymph node (dLN) 1 h after flea feeding, indicating that the migration of bacteria from the dermis to the dLN may be more rapid than previously reported. Overall, the innate cellular host responses to flea-transmitted Y. pestis differed from and were more variable than responses to needle-inoculated bacteria. This work highlights the importance of studying the interactions between fleas, Y. pestis and the mammalian host to gain a better understanding of the early events in plague pathogenesis.

  18. Dermal Neutrophil, Macrophage and Dendritic Cell Responses to Yersinia pestis Transmitted by Fleas

    PubMed Central

    Shannon, Jeffrey G.; Bosio, Christopher F.; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is typically transmitted by the bite of an infected flea. Many aspects of mammalian innate immune response early after Y. pestis infection remain poorly understood. A previous study by our lab showed that neutrophils are the most prominent cell type recruited to the injection site after intradermal needle inoculation of Y. pestis, suggesting that neutrophil interactions with Y. pestis may be important in bubonic plague pathogenesis. In the present study, we developed new tools allowing for intravital microscopy of Y. pestis in the dermis of an infected mouse after transmission by its natural route of infection, the bite of an infected flea. We found that uninfected flea bites typically induced minimal neutrophil recruitment. The magnitude of neutrophil response to flea-transmitted Y. pestis varied considerably and appeared to correspond to the number of bacteria deposited at the bite site. Macrophages migrated towards flea bite sites and interacted with small numbers of flea-transmitted bacteria. Consistent with a previous study, we observed minimal interaction between Y. pestis and dendritic cells; however, dendritic cells did consistently migrate towards flea bite sites containing Y. pestis. Interestingly, we often recovered viable Y. pestis from the draining lymph node (dLN) 1 h after flea feeding, indicating that the migration of bacteria from the dermis to the dLN may be more rapid than previously reported. Overall, the innate cellular host responses to flea-transmitted Y. pestis differed from and were more variable than responses to needle-inoculated bacteria. This work highlights the importance of studying the interactions between fleas, Y. pestis and the mammalian host to gain a better understanding of the early events in plague pathogenesis. PMID:25781984

  19. Microevolution and History of the Plague Bacillus, Yersinia pestis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    recognized by the three methods, and we propose an evolutionary tree for these populations, rooted on Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. The tree in- vokes...were recognized by the three methods, and we propose an evolutionary tree for these populations, rooted on Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. The tree invokes...Microevolution and history of the plague bacillus, Yersinia pestis Mark Achtman*†, Giovanna Morelli*, Peixuan Zhu*‡, Thierry Wirth*§, Ines Diehl

  20. Genotyping of Global Yersinia Pestis Isolates by Using IS285

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-11-01

    National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94550-9234 ABSTRACT Yersinia pestis is the etiologic agent of bubonic and pneumonic plague , one of the most...1989: Plague Microbiology, Manual, Irkutsk State University, Irkutsk, USSR. Barreto, A., Aragon, M. and Epstein, P.R., 1995: Bubonic Plague ...Chanteau, S., 2002: Epidemiologic Features of Four Successive Annual Outbreaks of Bubonic Plague in Mahajanga, Madagascar, Emerg. Infect. Dis., 8, 311

  1. Structural Studies on Toxins and Virulence Factors of Yersinia pestis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-02-01

    If successful, this will help in understanding the translocation mechanism of effector proteins . 15. SUBJECT TERMS Yersinia pestis, Yop complexes...The goal was to study the three-dimensional structures of Yop proteins in complex with their corresponding chaperones. This would allow us study the...complexes of YopB and YopD with other proteins , like their chaperones. We have made progress in purifying YopB:YopD:SycD complex. However, this is

  2. Effect of fat in ground beef on the growth and virulence plasmid (pYV) stability in Yersinia pestis

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Knowledge of the behavior of Yersinia pestis in food may be useful in the event Y. pestis is used in a bioterrorism attack on the food supply. However, there are no reports on the growth of plasmid-bearing (pYV) virulent Y. pestis in food. The growth of a conditionally virulent pYV-bearing Yersini...

  3. EFFECTS OF BICARBONATE ON GROWTH OF PASTEURELLA PESTIS III.

    PubMed Central

    Baugh, C. L.; Andrews, A. W.; Surgalla, M. J.

    1964-01-01

    Baugh, C. L. (Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md.), A. W. Andrews, and M. J. Surgalla. Effects of bicarbonate on growth of Pasteurella pestis. III. Replacement of bicarbonate by pyrimidines. J. Bacteriol. 88:1394–1398. 1964.—The effect of carbon dioxide on the growth of virulent Pasteurella pestis cultures at 37 C with aeration was studied by substituting known products of carbon dioxide fixation for bicarbonate in the test system. The growth of the virulent cells in the inoculum is stimulated and the culture remains virulent, if bicarbonate is replaced by orotic acid. The addition of cytosine, uracil, or citrulline also results in the retention of virulence, but the effect on the growth of the virulent cells is not as pronounced as with bicarbonate or orotic acid. It is proposed that an impaired pyrimidine synthesis due to a deficiency in carbomyl phosphate is responsible for the loss of virulence by P. pestis in aerated broth cultures at 37 C. The carbamyl phosphate deficiency may be enhanced by the loss of metabolically produced carbon dioxide at 37 C. PMID:14234798

  4. Complete Genome Sequence of Pigmentation-Negative Yersinia pestis Strain Cadman

    PubMed Central

    Lovett, Sean; Chase, Kitty; Koroleva, Galina; Palacios, Gustavo; Ladner, Jason T.

    2016-01-01

    Here, we report the genome sequence of Yersinia pestis strain Cadman, an attenuated strain lacking the pgm locus. Y. pestis is the causative agent of plague and generally must be worked with under biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) conditions. However, strains lacking the pgm locus are considered safe to work with under BSL-2 conditions. PMID:27789646

  5. Insights into the evolution of Yersinia pestis through whole-genome comparison with Yersinia pseudotuberculosis

    SciTech Connect

    Chain, Patrick S. G.; Carniel, E.; Larimer, Frank W; Lamerdin, Jane; Vergez, Lisa; Land, Miriam L; Motin, V. L.; Brubaker, R. R.; Fowler, J.; Hinnebusch, J.; Marceau, M.; Medigue, Claudine; Chenal-Francisque, V.; Souza, B.; Dacheux, D.; Elliott, J. M.; Derbise, A.; Hauser, Loren John; Garcia, Emilio

    2004-09-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is a highly uniform clone that diverged recently from the enteric pathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Despite their close genetic relationship, they differ radically in their pathogenicity and transmission. Here, we report the complete genomic sequence of Y. pseudotuberculosis IP32953 and its use for detailed genome comparisons with available Y. pestis sequences. Analyses of identified differences across a panel of Yersinia isolates from around the world reveal 32 Y. pestis chromosomal genes that, together with the two Y. pestis-specific plasmids, to our knowledge, represent the only new genetic material in Y. pestis acquired since the the divergence from Y. pseudotuberculosis. In contrast, 149 other pseudogenes (doubling the previous estimate) and 317 genes absent from Y. pestis were detected, indicating that as many as 13% of Y. pseudotuberculosis genes no longer function in Y. pestis. Extensive insertion sequence-mediated genome rearrangements and reductive evolution through massive gene loss, resulting in elimination and modification of preexisting gene expression pathways, appear to be more important than acquisition of genes in the evolution of Y. pestis. These results provide a sobering example of how a highly virulent epidemic clone can suddenly emerge from a less virulent, closely related progenitor.

  6. Insights into the genome evolution of Yersinia pestis through whole genome comparison with Yersinia pseudotuberculosis

    SciTech Connect

    Souza, B; Stoutland, P; Derbise, A; Georgescu, A; Elliott, J; Land, M; Marceau, M; Motin, V; Hinnebusch, J; Simonet, M; Medigue, C; Dacheux, D; Chenal-Francisque, V; Regala, W; Brubaker, R R; Carniel, E; Chain, P; Verguez, L; Fowler, J; Garcia, E; Lamerdin, J; Hauser, L; Larimer, F

    2004-01-24

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is a highly uniform clone that diverged recently from the enteric pathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Despite their close genetic relationship, they differ radically in their pathogenicity and transmission. Here we report the complete genomic sequence of Y. pseudotuberculosis IP32953 and its use for detailed genome comparisons to available Y. pestis sequences. Analyses of identified differences across a panel of Yersinia isolates from around the world reveals 32 Y. pestis chromosomal genes that, together with the two Y. pestis-specific plasmids, represent the only new genetic material in Y. pestis acquired since the divergence from Y. pseudotuberculosis. In contrast, 149 new pseudogenes (doubling the previous estimate) and 317 genes absent from Y. pestis were detected, indicating that as many as 13% of Y. pseudotuberculosis genes no longer function in Y. pestis. Extensive IS-mediated genome rearrangements and reductive evolution through massive gene loss, resulting in elimination and modification of pre-existing gene expression pathways appear to be more important than acquisition of new genes in the evolution of Y. pestis. These results provide a sobering example of how a highly virulent epidemic clone can suddenly emerge from a less virulent, closely related progenitor.

  7. Yersinia pestis Yop Secretion Portein F: Purification, Characterization, and Protective Efficacy Against Bubonic Plague

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-03-17

    enterocolitica, Yersinia enterocolitica ; Y. pestis, Yersinia pestis.CA), and used for a recombination reaction with the pDONR201 entry vector (Invitrogen, CA...158 (2002) 401–408. [15] E. Hoiczyk, G. Bloebel, Polymerization of a single protein of the pathogen Yersinia enterocolitica into needles punctures

  8. Inactivation of avirulent pgm+ and delta pgm Yersinia pestis by ultraviolet light (UV-C)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of bubonic plague. Though not considered a foodborne pathogen, Y. pestis can survive, and even grow, in some foods, and the foodborne route of transmission is not without precedent. As such, concerns exist over the possible intentional contamination of foods wi...

  9. Inactivation of avirulent Yersinia pestis on food and food contact surfaces by ultraviolet light and freezing

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, can occasionally be contracted as a naso-pharangeal or gastrointestinal illness through consumption of contaminated meat. In this study, the use of 254 nm ultraviolet light (UV-C) to inactivate a multi-isolate cocktail of avirulent Y. pestis on food an...

  10. Inactivation of avirulent Yersinia pestis in beef bologna by gamma irradiation

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Yersinia pestis, a psychrotrophic pathogen capable of growth at refrigeration temperatures, can cause pharyngeal and gastrointestinal plague in humans as a result of eating contaminated foods. Because Y. pestis is listed as a select agent for food safety and defense, evaluation of food safety interv...

  11. Hfq Regulates Biofilm Gut Blockage That Facilitates Flea-Borne Transmission of Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Rempe, Katherine A.; Hinz, Angela K.

    2012-01-01

    The plague bacillus Yersinia pestis can achieve transmission by biofilm blockage of the foregut proventriculus of its flea vector. Hfq is revealed to be essential for biofilm blockage formation and acquisition and fitness of Y. pestis during flea gut infection, consistent with posttranscriptional regulatory mechanisms in plague transmission. PMID:22328669

  12. No evidence of persistent Yersina pestis infection at prairie dog colonies in north-central Montana.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Brian E; Foresman, Kerry R; Matchett, Marc R

    2006-01-01

    Sylvatic plague is a flea-borne zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, which can cause extensive mortality among prairie dogs (Cynomys) in western North America. It is unclear whether the plague organism persists locally among resistant host species or elsewhere following epizootics. From June to August 2002 and 2003 we collected blood and flea samples from small mammals at prairie dog colonies with a history of plague, at prairie dog colonies with no history of plague, and from off-colony sites where plague history was unknown. Blood was screened for antibody to Y. pestis by means of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or passive hemagglutination assay and fleas were screened for Y. pestis DNA by polymerase chain reaction. All material was negative for Y. pestis including 156 blood samples and 553 fleas from colonies with a known history of plague. This and other studies provide evidence that Y. pestis may not persist at prairie dog colonies following an epizootic.

  13. Dynamics of CRISPR loci in microevolutionary process of Yersinia pestis strains.

    PubMed

    Barros, Maria Paloma S; França, Camila T; Lins, Rosanny Holanda F B; Santos, Milena Danda V; Silva, Ednaldo J; Oliveira, Maria Betânia M; Silveira-Filho, Vladimir M; Rezende, Antônio M; Balbino, Valdir Q; Leal-Balbino, Tereza Cristina

    2014-01-01

    The potential use of CRISPR loci genotyping to elucidate population dynamics and microevolution of 146 Yersinia pestis strains from different biovars and locations was investigated in this work. The majority of strains from the Orientalis biovar presented specific spacer arrays, allowing for the establishment of a CRISPR signature for their respective isolates. Twenty-one new spacers were found in the Y. pestis strains from plague foci in Brazil. Ninety-three (64%) strains were grouped in the G1 genotype, whereas the others were distributed in 35 genotypes. This study allowed observing a microevolutionary process in a group of Y. pestis isolated from Brazil. We also identified specific genotypes of Y. pestis that were important for the establishment of the bacteria in plague foci in Brazil. The data have provided supporting evidence for the diversity and dynamics of CRISPR loci present in the genome of Y. pestis strains from plague foci in Brazil.

  14. A bibliography of literature pertaining to plague (Yersinia pestis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ellison, Laura E.; Frank, Megan K. Eberhardt

    2011-01-01

    Plague is an acute and often fatal zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Y. pestis mainly cycles between small mammals and their fleas; however, it has the potential to infect humans and frequently causes fatalities if left untreated. It is often considered a disease of the past; however, since the late 1800s, plagueis geographic range has expanded greatly, posing new threats in previously unaffected regions of the world, including the Western United States. A literature search was conducted using Internet resources and databases. The keywords chosen for the searches included plague, Yersinia pestis, management, control, wildlife, prairie dogs, fleas, North America, and mammals. Keywords were used alone or in combination with the other terms. Although this search pertains mostly to North America, citations were included from the international research community, as well. Databases and search engines used included Google (http://www.google.com), Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com), SciVerse Scopus (http://www.scopus.com), ISI Web of Knowledge (http://apps.isiknowledge.com), and the USGS Library's Digital Desktop (http://library.usgs.gov). The literature-cited sections of manuscripts obtained from keyword searches were cross-referenced to identify additional citations or gray literature that was missed by the Internet search engines. This Open-File Report, published as an Internet-accessible bibliography, is intended to be periodically updated with new citations or older references that may have been missed during this compilation. Hence, the authors would be grateful to receive notice of any new or old papers that the audience (users) think need to be included.

  15. Attenuated enzootic (pestoides) isolates of Yersinia pestis express active aspartase.

    PubMed

    Bearden, Scott W; Sexton, Christopher; Pare, Joshua; Fowler, Janet M; Arvidson, Cindy G; Yerman, Lyudmyla; Viola, Ronald E; Brubaker, Robert R

    2009-01-01

    It is established that Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic plague, recently evolved from enteropathogenic Yersinia pseudotuberculosis by undergoing chromosomal degeneration while acquiring two unique plasmids that facilitate tissue invasion (pPCP) and dissemination by fleabite (pMT). Thereafter, plague bacilli spread from central Asia to sylvatic foci throughout the world. These epidemic isolates exhibit a broad host range including man as opposed to enzootic (pestoides) variants that remain in ancient reservoirs where infection is limited to muroid rodents. Cells of Y. pseudotuberculosis are known to express glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (Zwf) and aspartase (AspA); these activities are not detectable in epidemic Y. pestis due to missense mutations (substitution of proline for serine at amino position 155 of Zwf and leucine for valine at position 363 of AspA). In this study, functional Zwf was found in pestoides strains E, F and G but not seven other enzootic isolates; enzymic activity was associated with retention of serine at amino acid position 155. Essentially, full AspA activity occurred in pestoides isolates where valine (pestoides A, B, C and D) or serine (pestoides E, F, G and I) occupied position 363. Reduced activity occurred in strains Angola and A16, which contained phenylalanine at this position. The kcat but not Km of purified AspA from strain Angola was significantly reduced. In this context, aspA of the recently described attenuated enzootic microtus biovar encodes active valine at position 363, further indicating that functional AspA is a biomarker for avirulence of Y. pestis in man.

  16. Acquisition of omptin reveals cryptic virulence function of autotransporter YapE in Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Pennington, Jarrod; Miller, Virginia L.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Autotransporters, the largest family of secreted proteins in Gram negative bacteria, perform a variety of functions, including adherence, cytotoxicity, and immune evasion. In Yersinia pestis the autotransporter YapE has adhesive properties and contributes to bubonic infection of the mouse model. Here, we demonstrate that omptin cleavage of Y. pestis YapE is required to mediate bacterial aggregation and adherence to eukaryotic cells. We demonstrate that omptin cleavage is specific for the Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis YapE orthologs but is not conserved in the Y. enterocolitica protein. We also show that cleavage of YapE occurs in Y. pestis but not in the enteric Yersinia species, and requires the omptin Pla (plasminogen activator protease), which is encoded on the Y. pestis-specific plasmid pPCP1. Together, these data show that post-translation modification of YapE appears to be specific to Y. pestis, was acquired along with the acquisition of pPCP1 during the divergence of Y. pestis from Y. pseudotuberculosis, and are the first evidence of a novel mechanism to regulate bacterial adherence. PMID:23701256

  17. Pestoides F, and Atypical Yersinia pestis Strain from the Former Soviet Union

    SciTech Connect

    Garcia, E; Worsham, P; Bearden, S; Malfatti, S; Lang, D; Larimer, F; Lindler, L; Chain, P

    2007-01-05

    Unlike the classical Yersinia pestis strains, members of an atypical group of Y. pestis from Central Asia, denominated Y. pestis subspecies caucasica (also known as one of several pestoides types), are distinguished by a number of characteristics including their ability to ferment rhamnose and melibiose, their lacking the small plasmid encoding the plasminogen activator (pla) and pesticin, and their exceptionally large variants of the virulence plasmid pMT (encoding murine toxin and capsular antigen). We have obtained the entire genome sequence of Y. pestis Pestoides F, an isolate from the former Soviet Union that has enabled us to carryout a comprehensive genome-wide comparison of this organism's genomic content against the six published sequences of Y. pestis and their Y. pseudotuberculosis ancestor. Based on classical glycerol fermentation (+ve) and nitrate reduction (+ve) Y. pestis Pestoides F is an isolate that belongs to the biovar antiqua. This strain is unusual in other characteristics such as the fact that it carries a non-consensus V antigen (lcrV) sequence, and that unlike other Pla{sup -} strains, Pestoides F retains virulence by the parenteral and aerosol routes. The chromosome of Pestoides F is 4,517,345 bp in size comprising some 3,936 predicted coding sequences, while its pCD and pMT plasmids are 71,507 bp and 137,010 bp in size respectively. Comparison of chromosome-associated genes in Pestoides F with those in the other sequenced Y. pestis strains, reveals a series of differences ranging from strain-specific rearrangements, insertions, deletions, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and a unique distribution of insertion sequences. There is a single {approx}7 kb unique region in the chromosome not found in any of the completed Y. pestis strains sequenced to date, but which is present in the Y. pseudotuberculosis ancestor. Taken together, these findings are consistent with Pestoides F being derived from the most ancient lineage of Y. pestis yet

  18. Role of Tellurite Resistance Operon in Filamentous Growth of Yersinia pestis in Macrophages.

    PubMed

    Ponnusamy, Duraisamy; Clinkenbeard, Kenneth D

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis initiates infection by parasitism of host macrophages. In response to macrophage infections, intracellular Y. pestis can assume a filamentous cellular morphology which may mediate resistance to host cell innate immune responses. We previously observed the expression of Y. pestis tellurite resistance proteins TerD and TerE from the terZABCDE operon during macrophage infections. Others have observed a filamentous response associated with expression of tellurite resistance operon in Escherichia coli exposed to tellurite. Therefore, in this study we examine the potential role of Y. pestis tellurite resistance operon in filamentous cellular morphology during macrophage infections. In vitro treatment of Y. pestis culture with sodium tellurite (Na2TeO3) caused the bacterial cells to assume a filamentous phenotype similar to the filamentous phenotype observed during macrophage infections. A deletion mutant for genes terZAB abolished the filamentous morphologic response to tellurite exposure or intracellular parasitism, but without affecting tellurite resistance. However, a terZABCDE deletion mutant abolished both filamentous morphologic response and tellurite resistance. Complementation of the terZABCDE deletion mutant with terCDE, but not terZAB, partially restored tellurite resistance. When the terZABCDE deletion mutant was complemented with terZAB or terCDE, Y. pestis exhibited filamentous morphology during macrophage infections as well as while these complemented genes were being expressed under an in vitro condition. Further in E. coli, expression of Y. pestis terZAB, but not terCDE, conferred a filamentous phenotype. These findings support the role of Y. pestis terZAB mediation of the filamentous response phenotype; whereas, terCDE confers tellurite resistance. Although the beneficial role of filamentous morphological responses by Y. pestis during macrophage infections is yet to be fully defined, it may be a bacterial adaptive strategy to macrophage

  19. Pestoides F, an atypical Yersinia pestis strain from the former Soviet Union.

    SciTech Connect

    Garcia, Emilio; Worsham, Patricia; Bearden, S.; Malfatti, Stephanie; Lang, D.; Larimer, Frank W; Lindler, L.; Chain, Patrick S. G.

    2007-01-01

    Unlike the classical Yersinia pestis strains, members of an atypical group of Y. pestis from Central Asia, denominated Y. pestis subspecies caucasica (also known as one of several pestoides types), are distinguished by a number of characteristics including their ability to ferment rhamnose and melibiose, their lack of the small plasmid encoding the plasminogen activator (pla) and pesticin, and their exceptionally large variants of the virulence plasmid pMT (encoding murine toxin and capsular antigen). We have obtained the entire genome sequence of Y. pestis Pestoides F, an isolate from the former Soviet Union that has enabled us to carryout a comprehensive genome-wide comparison of this organism's genomic content against the six published sequences of Y. pestis and their Y. pseudotuberculosis ancestor. Based on classical glycerol fermentation (+ve) and nitrate reduction (+ve) Y. pestis Pestoides F is an isolate that belongs to the biovar antiqua. This strain is unusual in other characteristics such as the fact that it carries a non-consensus V antigen (lcrV) sequence, and that unlike other Pla(-) strains, Pestoides F retains virulence by the parenteral and aerosol routes. The chromosome of Pestoides F is 4,517,345 bp in size comprising some 3,936 predicted coding sequences, while its pCD and pMT plasmids are 71,507 bp and 137,010 bp in size respectively. Comparison of chromosome-associated genes in Pestoides F with those in the other sequenced Y. pestis strains reveals differences ranging from strain-specific rearrangements, insertions, deletions, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and a unique distribution of insertion sequences. There is a single approximately 7 kb unique region in the chromosome not found in any of the completed Y. pestis strains sequenced to date, but which is present in the Y. pseudotuberculosis ancestor. Taken together, these findings are consistent with Pestoides F being derived from the most ancient lineage of Y. pestis yet sequenced.

  20. Yersinia pestis subverts the dermal neutrophil response in a mouse model of bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Shannon, Jeffrey G; Hasenkrug, Aaron M; Dorward, David W; Nair, Vinod; Carmody, Aaron B; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2013-08-27

    The majority of human Yersinia pestis infections result from introduction of bacteria into the skin by the bite of an infected flea. Once in the dermis, Y. pestis can evade the host's innate immune response and subsequently disseminate to the draining lymph node (dLN). There, the pathogen replicates to large numbers, causing the pathognomonic bubo of bubonic plague. In this study, several cytometric and microscopic techniques were used to characterize the early host response to intradermal (i.d.) Y. pestis infection. Mice were infected i.d. with fully virulent or attenuated strains of dsRed-expressing Y. pestis, and tissues were analyzed by flow cytometry. By 4 h postinfection, there were large numbers of neutrophils in the infected dermis and the majority of cell-associated bacteria were associated with neutrophils. We observed a significant effect of the virulence plasmid (pCD1) on bacterial survival and neutrophil activation in the dermis. Intravital microscopy of i.d. Y. pestis infection revealed dynamic interactions between recruited neutrophils and bacteria. In contrast, very few bacteria interacted with dendritic cells (DCs), indicating that this cell type may not play a major role early in Y. pestis infection. Experiments using neutrophil depletion and a CCR7 knockout mouse suggest that dissemination of Y. pestis from the dermis to the dLN is not dependent on neutrophils or DCs. Taken together, the results of this study show a very rapid, robust neutrophil response to Y. pestis in the dermis and that the virulence plasmid pCD1 is important for the evasion of this response. Yersinia pestis remains a public health concern today because of sporadic plague outbreaks that occur throughout the world and the potential for its illegitimate use as a bioterrorism weapon. Since bubonic plague pathogenesis is initiated by the introduction of Y. pestis into the skin, we sought to characterize the response of the host's innate immune cells to bacteria early after

  1. Functional Characterization of Yersinia pestis Aerobic Glycerol Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Willias, Stephan P.; Chauhan, Sadhana; Motin, Vladimir L.

    2014-01-01

    Yersinia pestis biovar Orientalis isolates have lost the capacity to ferment glycerol. Herein we provide experimental validation that a 93 bp in-frame deletion within the glpD gene encoding the glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase present in all biovar Orientalis strains is sufficient to disrupt aerobic glycerol fermentation. Furthermore, the inability to ferment glycerol is often insured by a variety of additional mutations within the glpFKX operon which prevents glycerol internalization and conversion to glycerol-3-phosphate. The physiological impact of functional glpFKX in the presence of dysfunctional glpD was assessed. Results demonstrate no change in growth kinetics at 26°C and 37°C. Mutants deficient in glpD displayed decreased intracellular accumulation of glycerol-3-phosphate, a characterized inhibitor of cAMP receptor protein (CRP) activation. Since CRP is rigorously involved in global regulation Y. pestis virulence, we tested a possible influence of a single glpD mutation on virulence. Nonetheless, subcutaneous and intranasal murine challenge was not impacted by glycerol metabolism. As quantified by crystal violet assay, biofilm formation of the glpD-deficient KIM6+ mutant was mildly repressed; whereas, chromosomal restoration of glpD in CO92 resulted in a significant increase in biofilm formation. PMID:25220241

  2. Yersinia pestis targets neutrophils via complement receptor 3

    PubMed Central

    Merritt, Peter M.; Nero, Thomas; Bohman, Lesley; Felek, Suleyman; Krukonis, Eric S.; Marketon, Melanie M.

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia species display a tropism for lymphoid tissues during infection, and the bacteria select innate immune cells for delivery of cytotoxic effectors by the type III secretion system. Yet the mechanism for target cell selection remains a mystery. Here we investigate the interaction of Yersinia pestis with murine splenocytes to identify factors that participate in the targeting process. We find that interactions with primary immune cells rely on multiple factors. First, the bacterial adhesin Ail is required for efficient targeting of neutrophils in vivo. However, Ail does not appear to directly mediate binding to a specific cell type. Instead, we find that host serum factors direct Y. pestis to specific innate immune cells, particularly neutrophils. Importantly, specificity towards neutrophils was increased in the absence of bacterial adhesins due to reduced targeting of other cell types, but this phenotype was only visible in the presence of mouse serum. Addition of antibodies against complement receptor 3 and CD14 blocked target cell selection, suggesting that a combination of host factors participate in steering bacteria toward neutrophils during plague infection. PMID:25359083

  3. Caspase-12 and the inflammatory response to Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Ferwerda, Bart; McCall, Matthew B B; de Vries, Maaike C; Hopman, Joost; Maiga, Boubacar; Dolo, Amagana; Doumbo, Ogobara; Daou, Modibo; de Jong, Dirk; Joosten, Leo A B; Tissingh, Rudi A; Reubsaet, Frans A G; Sauerwein, Robert; van der Meer, Jos W M; van der Ven, André J A M; Netea, Mihai G

    2009-09-01

    Caspase-12 functions as an antiinflammatory enzyme inhibiting caspase-1 and the NOD2/RIP2 pathways. Due to increased susceptibility to sepsis in individuals with functional caspase-12, an early-stop mutation leading to the loss of caspase-12 has replaced the ancient genotype in Eurasia and a significant proportion of individuals from African populations. In African-Americans, it has been shown that caspase-12 inhibits the pro-inflammatory cytokine production. We assessed whether similar mechanisms are present in African individuals, and whether evolutionary pressures due to plague may have led to the present caspase-12 genotype population frequencies. No difference in cytokine induction through the caspase-1 and/or NOD2/RIP2 pathways was observed in two independent African populations, among individuals with either an intact or absent caspase-12. In addition, stimulations with Yersinia pestis and two other species of Yersinia were preformed to investigate whether caspase-12 modulates the inflammatory reaction induced by Yersinia. We found that caspase-12 did not modulate cytokine production induced by Yersinia spp. Our experiments demonstrate for the first time the involvement of the NOD2/RIP2 pathway for recognition of Yersinia. However, caspase-12 does not modulate innate host defense against Y. pestis and alternative explanations for the geographical distribution of caspase-12 should be sought.

  4. Characterization of residual medium peptides from Yersinia pestis cultures.

    PubMed

    Clowers, Brian H; Wunschel, David S; Kreuzer, Helen W; Engelmann, Heather E; Valentine, Nancy; Wahl, Karen L

    2013-04-16

    Here we demonstrate that when Yersinia pesitis is grown in laboratory media, peptides from the medium remain associated with cellular biomass even after washing and inactivation of the bacteria by different methods. These peptides are characteristic of the type of growth medium and of the manufacturer of the medium, reflecting the specific composition of the medium. We analyzed biomass-associated peptides from cultures of two attenuated strains of Yersinia pestis [KIM D27 (pgm-) and KIM D1 (lcr-)] grown in several formulations of 4 different media (tryptic soy broth (TSB), brain-heart infusion (BHI), Luria-Bertani broth (LB), and glucose (G) medium) made from components purchased from different suppliers. Despite the range of growth medium sources and the associated manufacturing processes used in their production, a high degree of peptide similarity was observed for a given medium recipe; however, notable differences in the termination points of select peptides were observed in media formulated using products from some suppliers, presumably reflecting the process by which a manufacturer performed protein hydrolysis for use in culture media. These results may help explain the presence of peptides not explicitly associated with target organisms during proteomic analysis of microbes and other biological systems that require culturing. While the primary aim of this work is to outline the range and type of medium peptides associated with Yersinia pestis biomass and improve the quality of proteomic measurements, these peptides may also represent a potentially useful forensic signature that could provide information about microbial culturing conditions.

  5. Yersinia pestis infection and laboratory conditions alter flea-associated bacterial communities.

    PubMed

    Jones, Ryan T; Vetter, Sara M; Montenieiri, John; Holmes, Jennifer; Bernhardt, Scott A; Gage, Kenneth L

    2013-01-01

    We collected Oropsylla montana from rock squirrels, Spermophilus varigatus, and infected a subset of collected fleas with Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague. We used bar-tagged DNA pyrosequencing to characterize bacterial communities of wild, uninfected controls and infected fleas. Bacterial communities within Y. pestis-infected fleas were substantially more similar to one another than communities within wild or control fleas, suggesting that infection alters the bacterial community in a directed manner such that specific bacterial lineages are severely reduced in abundance or entirely eliminated from the community. Laboratory conditions also significantly altered flea-associated bacterial communities relative to wild communities, but much less so than Y. pestis infection. The abundance of Firmicutes decreased considerably in infected fleas, and Bacteroidetes were almost completely eliminated from both the control and infected fleas. Bartonella and Wolbachia were unaffected or responded positively to Y. pestis infection.

  6. Rapid identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing of Yersinia pestis using bioluminescent reporter phage.

    PubMed

    Schofield, David A; Molineux, Ian J; Westwater, Caroline

    2012-08-01

    The rapid identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing of Yersinia pestis is paramount for a positive prognosis. We previously engineered a Y. pestis-specific 'bioluminescent' reporter phage for the identification of Y. pestis. In this study, we generated an improved reporter phage and evaluated the ability of this phage to provide direct and rapid susceptibility testing. Compared to the first generation reporter, the second generation reporter exhibited a 100-fold increase in signal strength, leading to a 10-fold increase in assay sensitivity. Y. pestis antimicrobial testing in the presence of the reporter elicited bioluminescent signals that were drug concentration-dependent, and produced susceptibility profiles that mirrored the standard CLSI method. The phage-generated susceptibility profiles, however, were obtained within hours in contrast to days with the conventional method.

  7. Rapid identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing of Yersinia pestis using bioluminescent reporter phage

    PubMed Central

    Schofield, David A.; Molineux, Ian J.; Westwater, Caroline

    2012-01-01

    The rapid identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing of Yersinia pestis is paramount for a positive prognosis. We previously engineered a Y. pestis-specific ‘bioluminescent’ reporter phage for the identification of Y. pestis. In this study, we generated an improved reporter phage and evaluated the ability of this phage to provide direct and rapid susceptibility testing. Compared to the first generation reporter, the second generation reporter exhibited a 100-fold increase in signal strength, leading to a 10-fold increase in assay sensitivity. Y. pestis antimicrobial testing in the presence of the reporter elicited bioluminescent signals that were drug concentration-dependent, and produced susceptibility profiles that mirrored the standard CLSI method. The phage-generated susceptibility profiles, however, were obtained within hours in contrast to days with the conventional method. PMID:22579583

  8. Exposing Laboratory-Reared Fleas to Soil and Wild Flea Feces Increases Transmission of Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Ryan T.; Vetter, Sara M.; Gage, Kenneth L.

    2013-01-01

    Laboratory-reared Oropsylla montana were exposed to soil and wild-caught Oropsylla montana feces for 1 week. Fleas from these two treatments and a control group of laboratory-reared fleas were infected with Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague. Fleas exposed to soil transmitted Y. pestis to mice at a significantly greater rate (50.0% of mice were infected) than control fleas (23.3% of mice were infected). Although the concentration of Y. pestis in fleas did not differ among treatments, the minimum transmission efficiency of fleas from the soil and wild flea feces treatments (6.9% and 7.6%, respectively) were more than three times higher than in control fleas (2.2%). Our results suggest that exposing laboratory-reared fleas to diverse microbes alters transmission of Y. pestis. PMID:23939709

  9. Early divergent strains of Yersinia pestis in Eurasia 5,000 years ago.

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, Simon; Allentoft, Morten Erik; Nielsen, Kasper; Orlando, Ludovic; Sikora, Martin; Sjögren, Karl-Göran; Pedersen, Anders Gorm; Schubert, Mikkel; Van Dam, Alex; Kapel, Christian Moliin Outzen; Nielsen, Henrik Bjørn; Brunak, Søren; Avetisyan, Pavel; Epimakhov, Andrey; Khalyapin, Mikhail Viktorovich; Gnuni, Artak; Kriiska, Aivar; Lasak, Irena; Metspalu, Mait; Moiseyev, Vyacheslav; Gromov, Andrei; Pokutta, Dalia; Saag, Lehti; Varul, Liivi; Yepiskoposyan, Levon; Sicheritz-Pontén, Thomas; Foley, Robert A; Lahr, Marta Mirazón; Nielsen, Rasmus; Kristiansen, Kristian; Willerslev, Eske

    2015-10-22

    The bacteria Yersinia pestis is the etiological agent of plague and has caused human pandemics with millions of deaths in historic times. How and when it originated remains contentious. Here, we report the oldest direct evidence of Yersinia pestis identified by ancient DNA in human teeth from Asia and Europe dating from 2,800 to 5,000 years ago. By sequencing the genomes, we find that these ancient plague strains are basal to all known Yersinia pestis. We find the origins of the Yersinia pestis lineage to be at least two times older than previous estimates. We also identify a temporal sequence of genetic changes that lead to increased virulence and the emergence of the bubonic plague. Our results show that plague infection was endemic in the human populations of Eurasia at least 3,000 years before any historical recordings of pandemics. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Early Divergent Strains of Yersinia pestis in Eurasia 5,000 Years Ago

    PubMed Central

    Rasmussen, Simon; Allentoft, Morten Erik; Nielsen, Kasper; Orlando, Ludovic; Sikora, Martin; Sjögren, Karl-Göran; Pedersen, Anders Gorm; Schubert, Mikkel; Van Dam, Alex; Kapel, Christian Moliin Outzen; Nielsen, Henrik Bjørn; Brunak, Søren; Avetisyan, Pavel; Epimakhov, Andrey; Khalyapin, Mikhail Viktorovich; Gnuni, Artak; Kriiska, Aivar; Lasak, Irena; Metspalu, Mait; Moiseyev, Vyacheslav; Gromov, Andrei; Pokutta, Dalia; Saag, Lehti; Varul, Liivi; Yepiskoposyan, Levon; Sicheritz-Pontén, Thomas; Foley, Robert A.; Lahr, Marta Mirazón; Nielsen, Rasmus; Kristiansen, Kristian; Willerslev, Eske

    2015-01-01

    Summary The bacteria Yersinia pestis is the etiological agent of plague and has caused human pandemics with millions of deaths in historic times. How and when it originated remains contentious. Here, we report the oldest direct evidence of Yersinia pestis identified by ancient DNA in human teeth from Asia and Europe dating from 2,800 to 5,000 years ago. By sequencing the genomes, we find that these ancient plague strains are basal to all known Yersinia pestis. We find the origins of the Yersinia pestis lineage to be at least two times older than previous estimates. We also identify a temporal sequence of genetic changes that lead to increased virulence and the emergence of the bubonic plague. Our results show that plague infection was endemic in the human populations of Eurasia at least 3,000 years before any historical recordings of pandemics. PMID:26496604

  11. The Role of Early-Phase Transmission in the Spread of Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    EISEN, REBECCA J.; DENNIS, DAVID T.; GAGE, KENNETH L.

    2015-01-01

    Early-phase transmission (EPT) of Yersinia pestis by unblocked fleas is a well-documented, replicable phenomenon with poorly defined mechanisms. We review evidence demonstrating EPT and current knowledge on its biological and biomechanical processes. We discuss the importance of EPT in the epizootic spread of Y. pestis and its role in the maintenance of plague bacteria in nature. We further address the role of EPT in the epidemiology of plague. PMID:26336267

  12. Bacteriophage-Resistant Mutants in Yersinia pestis: Identification of Phage Receptors and Attenuation for Mice

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-28

    case of drug-resistant plague. A major concern of bacteriophage therapy is the emergence of phage- resistant mutants. The use of phage cocktails can... bacteriophage therapy . Methodology/Principal Findings: The purpose of this work was to identify Y. pestis phage receptors using site-directed...cocktails. Most phage-resistant Y. pestis mutants become attenuated and thus should not pose a serious problem for bacteriophage therapy of plague. LPS is a

  13. Bacteriophage-Resistant Mutants in Yersinia pestis: Identification of Phage Receptors and Attenuation for Mice

    PubMed Central

    Filippov, Andrey A.; Sergueev, Kirill V.; He, Yunxiu; Huang, Xiao-Zhe; Gnade, Bryan T.; Mueller, Allen J.; Fernandez-Prada, Carmen M.; Nikolich, Mikeljon P.

    2011-01-01

    Background Bacteriophages specific for Yersinia pestis are routinely used for plague diagnostics and could be an alternative to antibiotics in case of drug-resistant plague. A major concern of bacteriophage therapy is the emergence of phage-resistant mutants. The use of phage cocktails can overcome this problem but only if the phages exploit different receptors. Some phage-resistant mutants lose virulence and therefore should not complicate bacteriophage therapy. Methodology/Principal Findings The purpose of this work was to identify Y. pestis phage receptors using site-directed mutagenesis and trans-complementation and to determine potential attenuation of phage-resistant mutants for mice. Six receptors for eight phages were found in different parts of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) inner and outer core. The receptor for R phage was localized beyond the LPS core. Most spontaneous and defined phage-resistant mutants of Y. pestis were attenuated, showing increase in LD50 and time to death. The loss of different LPS core biosynthesis enzymes resulted in the reduction of Y. pestis virulence and there was a correlation between the degree of core truncation and the impact on virulence. The yrbH and waaA mutants completely lost their virulence. Conclusions/Significance We identified Y. pestis receptors for eight bacteriophages. Nine phages together use at least seven different Y. pestis receptors that makes some of them promising for formulation of plague therapeutic cocktails. Most phage-resistant Y. pestis mutants become attenuated and thus should not pose a serious problem for bacteriophage therapy of plague. LPS is a critical virulence factor of Y. pestis. PMID:21980477

  14. Interactions of Yersinia pestis penicillin-binding proteins with beta-lactam antibiotics.

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, R C; Park, J T; Camelo, D; De Almeida, D F; Ferreira, L C

    1995-01-01

    The affinities of six major penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) of Yersinia pestis EV76 to different beta-lactam antibiotics were determined. The results indicate that, similar to their counterparts in Escherichia coli, PBP2 and PBP3 are the lethal targets of amdinocillin and furazlocillin, respectively. The PBP contents of four additional Y. pestis strains and the morphological effects produced by some beta-lactam antibiotics are also reported. PMID:7486931

  15. Bacteriophage-resistant mutants in Yersinia pestis: identification of phage receptors and attenuation for mice.

    PubMed

    Filippov, Andrey A; Sergueev, Kirill V; He, Yunxiu; Huang, Xiao-Zhe; Gnade, Bryan T; Mueller, Allen J; Fernandez-Prada, Carmen M; Nikolich, Mikeljon P

    2011-01-01

    Bacteriophages specific for Yersinia pestis are routinely used for plague diagnostics and could be an alternative to antibiotics in case of drug-resistant plague. A major concern of bacteriophage therapy is the emergence of phage-resistant mutants. The use of phage cocktails can overcome this problem but only if the phages exploit different receptors. Some phage-resistant mutants lose virulence and therefore should not complicate bacteriophage therapy. The purpose of this work was to identify Y. pestis phage receptors using site-directed mutagenesis and trans-complementation and to determine potential attenuation of phage-resistant mutants for mice. Six receptors for eight phages were found in different parts of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) inner and outer core. The receptor for R phage was localized beyond the LPS core. Most spontaneous and defined phage-resistant mutants of Y. pestis were attenuated, showing increase in LD₅₀ and time to death. The loss of different LPS core biosynthesis enzymes resulted in the reduction of Y. pestis virulence and there was a correlation between the degree of core truncation and the impact on virulence. The yrbH and waaA mutants completely lost their virulence. We identified Y. pestis receptors for eight bacteriophages. Nine phages together use at least seven different Y. pestis receptors that makes some of them promising for formulation of plague therapeutic cocktails. Most phage-resistant Y. pestis mutants become attenuated and thus should not pose a serious problem for bacteriophage therapy of plague. LPS is a critical virulence factor of Y. pestis.

  16. Fast and Simple Detection of Yersinia pestis Applicable to Field Investigation of Plague Foci

    PubMed Central

    Simon, Stéphanie; Demeure, Christian; Lamourette, Patricia; Filali, Sofia; Plaisance, Marc; Créminon, Christophe; Volland, Hervé; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2013-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the plague bacillus, has a rodent-flea-rodent life cycle but can also persist in the environment for various periods of time. There is now a convenient and effective test (F1-dipstick) for the rapid identification of Y. pestis from human patient or rodent samples, but this test cannot be applied to environmental or flea materials because the F1 capsule is mostly produced at 37°C. The plasminogen activator (PLA), a key virulence factor encoded by a Y. pestis-specific plasmid, is synthesized both at 20°C and 37°C, making it a good candidate antigen for environmental detection of Y. pestis by immunological methods. A recombinant PLA protein from Y. pestis synthesized by an Escherichia coli strain was used to produce monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). PLA-specific mAbs devoid of cross-reactions with other homologous proteins were further cloned. A pair of mAbs was selected based on its specificity, sensitivity, comprehensiveness, and ability to react with Y. pestis strains grown at different temperatures. These antibodies were used to develop a highly sensitive one-step PLA-enzyme immunoassay (PLA-EIA) and an immunostrip (PLA-dipstick), usable as a rapid test under field conditions. These two PLA-immunometric tests could be valuable, in addition to the F1-disptick, to confirm human plague diagnosis in non-endemic areas (WHO standard case definition). They have the supplementary advantage of allowing a rapid and easy detection of Y. pestis in environmental and flea samples, and would therefore be of great value for surveillance and epidemiological investigations of plague foci. Finally, they will be able to detect natural or genetically engineered F1-negative Y. pestis strains in human patients and environmental samples. PMID:23383008

  17. Fast and simple detection of Yersinia pestis applicable to field investigation of plague foci.

    PubMed

    Simon, Stéphanie; Demeure, Christian; Lamourette, Patricia; Filali, Sofia; Plaisance, Marc; Créminon, Christophe; Volland, Hervé; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2013-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the plague bacillus, has a rodent-flea-rodent life cycle but can also persist in the environment for various periods of time. There is now a convenient and effective test (F1-dipstick) for the rapid identification of Y. pestis from human patient or rodent samples, but this test cannot be applied to environmental or flea materials because the F1 capsule is mostly produced at 37°C. The plasminogen activator (PLA), a key virulence factor encoded by a Y. pestis-specific plasmid, is synthesized both at 20°C and 37°C, making it a good candidate antigen for environmental detection of Y. pestis by immunological methods. A recombinant PLA protein from Y. pestis synthesized by an Escherichia coli strain was used to produce monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). PLA-specific mAbs devoid of cross-reactions with other homologous proteins were further cloned. A pair of mAbs was selected based on its specificity, sensitivity, comprehensiveness, and ability to react with Y. pestis strains grown at different temperatures. These antibodies were used to develop a highly sensitive one-step PLA-enzyme immunoassay (PLA-EIA) and an immunostrip (PLA-dipstick), usable as a rapid test under field conditions. These two PLA-immunometric tests could be valuable, in addition to the F1-disptick, to confirm human plague diagnosis in non-endemic areas (WHO standard case definition). They have the supplementary advantage of allowing a rapid and easy detection of Y. pestis in environmental and flea samples, and would therefore be of great value for surveillance and epidemiological investigations of plague foci. Finally, they will be able to detect natural or genetically engineered F1-negative Y. pestis strains in human patients and environmental samples.

  18. Dynamics of Yersinia pestis and its antibody response in great gerbils (Rhombomys opimus) by subcutaneous infection.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yujiang; Dai, Xiang; Wang, Xinhui; Maituohuti, Abulimiti; Cui, Yujun; Rehemu, Azhati; Wang, Qiguo; Meng, Weiwei; Luo, Tao; Guo, Rong; Li, Bing; Abudurexiti, Abulikemu; Song, Yajun; Yang, Ruifu; Cao, Hanli

    2012-01-01

    Rhombomys opimus (great gerbil) is a reservoir of Yersinia pestis in the natural plague foci of Central Asia. Great gerbils are highly resistant to Y. pestis infection. The coevolution of great gerbils and Y. pestis is believed to play an important role in the plague epidemics in Central Asia plague foci. However, the dynamics of Y. pestis infection and the corresponding antibody response in great gerbils have not been evaluated. In this report, animal experiments were employed to investigate the bacterial load in both the liver and spleen of infected great gerbils. The dynamics of the antibody response to the F1 capsule antigen of Y. pestis was also determined. Captured great gerbils that tested negative for both anti-F1 antibodies and bacterial isolation were infected subcutaneously with different doses (10(5) to 10(11) CFU) of a Y. pestis strain isolated from a live great gerbil during routine plague surveillance in the Junggar Basin, Xinjiang, China. The clinical manifestations, changes in body weight, anal temperature, and gross anatomy of the infected animals were observed. The blood cell count, bacterial load, and anti-F1 antibody titers were determined at different time points after infection using a blood analyzer, plate counts, and an indirect hemagglutination assay, respectively. The dynamics of bacterial load and the anti-F1 antibody concentration in great gerbils are highly variable among individuals. The Y. pestis infection in great gerbils could persist as long as 15 days. They act as an appropriate reservoir for plague in the Junggar Basin, which is part of the natural plague foci in Central Asia. The dynamics of the Y. pestis susceptibility of great gerbil will improve the understanding of its variable resistance, which would facilitate the development of more effective countermeasures for controlling plague epidemics in this focus.

  19. Ribosomal vaccines. I. Immunogenicity of ribosomal fractions isolated from Salmonella typhimurium and Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Johnson, W

    1972-06-01

    The immunogenicity of ribosomes and ribosomal subfractions isolated from Yersina pestis and Salmonella typhimurium has been studied. Ribosomes and ribosomal protein isolated from S. typhimurium protected mice against lethal challenge. Ribosomal ribonucleic acid isolated by phenol extraction failed to induce any significant level of protection in mice. None of the ribosomes or ribosomal subfractions isolated from Y. pestis were effective in inducing immunity to lethal challenge. These results suggest that the immunogen of the ribosomal vaccine is protein.

  20. Adhesive Properties of YapV and Paralogous Autotransporter Proteins of Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Nair, Manoj K. M.; De Masi, Leon; Yue, Min; Galván, Estela M.; Chen, Huaiqing; Wang, Fang

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of plague. This bacterium evolved from an ancestral enteroinvasive Yersinia pseudotuberculosis strain by gene loss and acquisition of new genes, allowing it to use fleas as transmission vectors. Infection frequently leads to a rapidly lethal outcome in humans, a variety of rodents, and cats. This study focuses on the Y. pestis KIM yapV gene and its product, recognized as an autotransporter protein by its typical sequence, outer membrane localization, and amino-terminal surface exposure. Comparison of Yersinia genomes revealed that DNA encoding YapV or each of three individual paralogous proteins (YapK, YapJ, and YapX) was present as a gene or pseudogene in a strain-specific manner and only in Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis. YapV acted as an adhesin for alveolar epithelial cells and specific extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, as shown with recombinant Escherichia coli, Y. pestis, or purified passenger domains. Like YapV, YapK and YapJ demonstrated adhesive properties, suggesting that their previously related in vivo activity is due to their capacity to modulate binding properties of Y. pestis in its hosts, in conjunction with other adhesins. A differential host-specific type of binding to ECM proteins by YapV, YapK, and YapJ suggested that these proteins participate in broadening the host range of Y. pestis. A phylogenic tree including 36 Y. pestis strains highlighted an association between the gene profile for the four paralogous proteins and the geographic location of the corresponding isolated strains, suggesting an evolutionary adaption of Y. pestis to specific local animal hosts or reservoirs. PMID:25690102

  1. Temperature-dependence of yadBC phenotypes in Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Uittenbogaard, Annette M.; Myers-Morales, Tanya; Gorman, Amanda A.; Welsh, Erin; Wulff, Christine; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph; Korhonen, Timo K.

    2014-01-01

    YadB and YadC are putative trimeric autotransporters present only in the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis and its evolutionary predecessor, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Previously, yadBC was found to promote invasion of epithelioid cells by Y. pestis grown at 37 °C. In this study, we found that yadBC also promotes uptake of 37 °C-grown Y. pestis by mouse monocyte/macrophage cells. We tested whether yadBC might be required for lethality of the systemic stage of plague in which the bacteria would be pre-adapted to mammalian body temperature before colonizing internal organs and found no requirement for early colonization or growth over 3 days. We tested the hypothesis that YadB and YadC function on ambient temperature-grown Y. pestis in the flea vector or soon after infection of the dermis in bubonic plague. We found that yadBC did not promote uptake by monocyte/macrophage cells if the bacteria were grown at 28 °C, nor was there a role of yadBC in colonization of fleas by Y. pestis grown at 21 °C. However, the presence of yadBC did promote recoverability of the bacteria from infected skin for 28 °C-grown Y. pestis. Furthermore, the gene for the proinflammatory chemokine CXCL1 was upregulated in expression if the infecting Y. pestis lacked yadBC but not if yadBC was present. Also, yadBC was not required for recoverability if the bacteria were grown at 37 °C. These findings imply that thermally induced virulence properties dominate over effects of yadBC during plague but that yadBC has a unique function early after transmission of Y. pestis to skin. PMID:24222617

  2. [Adenylate cyclase. A possible factor in the pathogenicity of Yersinia pestis].

    PubMed

    Michankin, B N; Chevchenko, L A; Asseeva, L E

    1992-01-01

    Biological effect of homogenous preparation of Y. pestis adenylate cyclase on eucaryotic cells was studied. Adenylate cyclase, added (7.5 x 10(8) g/ml) to guinea pig macrophages lowers the level of chemiluminescence to 50-70%, has an appreciable cytotoxic effect on peritoneal macrophages and suppresses phosphorylation processes of leucocyte proteins from white mice. The experimental results obtained allow to suggest Y. pestis adenylate cyclase to be a pathogenic factor, contributing to the development of plague infection.

  3. Real-time multiplex PCR assay for detection of Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Matero, Pirjo; Pasanen, Tanja; Laukkanen, Riikka; Tissari, Päivi; Tarkka, Eveliina; Vaara, Martti; Skurnik, Mikael

    2009-01-01

    A multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed for the detection of Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. The assay includes four primer pairs, two of which are specific for Y. pestis, one for Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis and one for bacteriophage lambda; the latter was used as an internal amplification control. The Y. pestis-specific target genes in the assay were ypo2088, a gene coding for a putative methyltransferase, and the pla gene coding for the plasminogen activator. In addition, the wzz gene was used as a target to specifically identify both Y. pestis and the closely related Y. pseudotuberculosis group. The primer and probe sets described for the different genes can be used either in single or in multiplex PCR assays because the individual probes were designed with different fluorochromes. The assays were found to be both sensitive and specific; the lower limit of the detection was 10-100 fg of extracted Y. pestis or Y. pseudotuberculosis total DNA. The sensitivity of the tetraplex assay was determined to be 1 cfu for the ypo2088 and pla probe labelled with FAM and JOE fluorescent dyes, respectively.

  4. Yersinia pestis, the cause of plague, is a recently emerged clone of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Achtman, M; Zurth, K; Morelli, G; Torrea, G; Guiyoule, A; Carniel, E

    1999-11-23

    Plague, one of the most devastating diseases of human history, is caused by Yersinia pestis. In this study, we analyzed the population genetic structure of Y. pestis and the two other pathogenic Yersinia species, Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica. Fragments of five housekeeping genes and a gene involved in the synthesis of lipopolysaccharide were sequenced from 36 strains representing the global diversity of Y. pestis and from 12-13 strains from each of the other species. No sequence diversity was found in any Y. pestis gene, and these alleles were identical or nearly identical to alleles from Y. pseudotuberculosis. Thus, Y. pestis is a clone that evolved from Y. pseudotuberculosis 1,500-20,000 years ago, shortly before the first known pandemics of human plague. Three biovars (Antiqua, Medievalis, and Orientalis) have been distinguished by microbiologists within the Y. pestis clone. These biovars form distinct branches of a phylogenetic tree based on restriction fragment length polymorphisms of the locations of the IS100 insertion element. These data are consistent with previous inferences that Antiqua caused a plague pandemic in the sixth century, Medievalis caused the Black Death and subsequent epidemics during the second pandemic wave, and Orientalis caused the current plague pandemic.

  5. Genome-scale reconstruction of the metabolic network in Yersinia pestis, strain 91001

    SciTech Connect

    Navid, A; Almaas, E

    2009-01-13

    The gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis, the aetiological agent of bubonic plague, is one the deadliest pathogens known to man. Despite its historical reputation, plague is a modern disease which annually afflicts thousands of people. Public safety considerations greatly limit clinical experimentation on this organism and thus development of theoretical tools to analyze the capabilities of this pathogen is of utmost importance. Here, we report the first genome-scale metabolic model of Yersinia pestis biovar Mediaevalis based both on its recently annotated genome, and physiological and biochemical data from literature. Our model demonstrates excellent agreement with Y. pestis known metabolic needs and capabilities. Since Y. pestis is a meiotrophic organism, we have developed CryptFind, a systematic approach to identify all candidate cryptic genes responsible for known and theoretical meiotrophic phenomena. In addition to uncovering every known cryptic gene for Y. pestis, our analysis of the rhamnose fermentation pathway suggests that betB is the responsible cryptic gene. Despite all of our medical advances, we still do not have a vaccine for bubonic plague. Recent discoveries of antibiotic resistant strains of Yersinia pestis coupled with the threat of plague being used as a bioterrorism weapon compel us to develop new tools for studying the physiology of this deadly pathogen. Using our theoretical model, we can study the cell's phenotypic behavior under different circumstances and identify metabolic weaknesses which may be harnessed for the development of therapeutics. Additionally, the automatic identification of cryptic genes expands the usage of genomic data for pharmaceutical purposes.

  6. Yersinia pestis kills Caenorhabditis elegans by a biofilm-independent process that involves novel virulence factors

    PubMed Central

    Styer, Katie L; Hopkins, Gregory W; Bartra, Sara Schesser; Plano, Gregory V; Frothingham, Richard; Aballay, Alejandro

    2005-01-01

    It is known that Yersinia pestis kills Caenorhabditis elegans by a biofilm-dependent mechanism that is similar to the mechanism used by the pathogen to block food intake in the flea vector. Using Y. pestis KIM5, which lacks the genes that are required for biofilm formation, we show that Y. pestis can kill C. elegans by a biofilm-independent mechanism that correlates with the accumulation of the pathogen in the intestine. We used this novel Y. pestis–C. elegans pathogenesis system to show that previously known and unknown virulence-related genes are required for full virulence in C. elegans. Six Y. pestis mutants with insertions in genes that are not related to virulence before were isolated using C. elegans. One of the six mutants carried an insertion in a novel virulence gene and showed significantly reduced virulence in a mouse model of Y. pestis pathogenesis. Our results indicate that the Y. pestis–C. elegans pathogenesis system that is described here can be used to identify and study previously uncharacterized Y. pestis gene products required for virulence in mammalian systems. PMID:16170309

  7. Detections of Yersinia pestis East of the Known Distribution of Active Plague in the United States.

    PubMed

    Mize, Erica L; Britten, Hugh B

    2016-02-01

    We examined fleas collected from black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) burrows from 2009 through 2011 in five national park units east of the known distribution of active plague across the northern Great Plains for the presence of Yersinia pestis. Across all national park units, Oropsylla tuberculata and Oropsylla hirsuta were the most common fleas collected from prairie dog burrows, 42.4% and 56.9%, respectively, of the 3964 fleas collected from burrow swabbing. Using a nested PCR assay, we detected 200 Y. pestis-positive fleas from 3117 assays. In total, 6.4% of assayed fleas were Y. pestis positive and 13.9% of prairie dog burrows swabbed contained Y. pestis-positive fleas. Evidence of the presence of Y. pestis was observed at all national park units except Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. We detected the presence of Y. pestis without large die-offs, i.e., enzootic sylvatic plague, east of the known distribution of active plague and near the eastern edge of the present distribution of black-tailed prairie dogs. This study, in combination with previous work suggests that sylvatic plague likely occurs across the range of black-tailed prairie dogs and should now be treated as endemic across this range.

  8. Gene flow in a Yersinia pestis vector, Oropsylla hirsuta, during a plague epizootic.

    PubMed

    Jones, Philip H; Washburn, Leigh R; Britten, Hugh B

    2011-09-01

    Appreciating how Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, spreads among black - tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies (BTPD), is vital to wildlife conservation programs in North American grasslands. A little - studied aspect of the system is the role of Y. pestis vectors, i.e. fleas, play in the spreading of plague in natural settings. We investigated the genetic structure and variability of a common prairie dog flea (Oropsylla hirsuta) in BTPD colonies in order to examine dispersal patterns. Given that this research took place during a widespread plague epizootic, there was the added advantage of gaining information on the dynamics of sylvatic plague. Oropsylla hirsuta were collected from BTPD burrows in nine colonies from May 2005 to July 2005, and eight polymorphic microsatellite markers were used to generate genotypic data from them. Gene flow estimates revealed low genetic differentiation among fleas sampled from different colonies. NestedPCR plague assays confirmed the presence of Y. pestis with the average Y. pestis prevalence across all nine colonies at 12%. No significant correlations were found between the genetic variability and gene flow of O. hirsuta and Y. pestis prevalence on a per -colony basis. Oropsylla hirsuta dispersal among BTPD colonies was high, potentially explaining the rapid spread of Y. pestis in our study area in 2005 and 2006.

  9. Quantitative competitive PCR as a technique for exploring flea-Yersina pestis dynamics.

    PubMed

    Engelthaler, D M; Hinnebusch, B J; Rittner, C M; Gage, K L

    2000-05-01

    We used a quantitative competitive polymerase chain reaction assay to quantify Yersinia pestis loads in fleas and bacteremia levels in mice that were used as sources of infectious blood meals for feeding the fleas. Xenopsylla cheopis, the Oriental rat flea, achieved higher infection rates, developed greater bacterial loads, and became infectious more rapidly than Oropsylla montana, a ground squirrel flea. Both flea species required about 10(6) Y. pestis cells per flea to be able to transmit to mice. Most fleas that achieved these levels, however, were incapable of transmitting. Our results suggest that at the time of flea feeding, host blood must contain > or = 10(6) bacteria/ml to result in detectable Y. pestis infections in these fleas, and > or = 10(7) bacteria/mL to cause infection levels sufficient for both species to eventually become capable of transmitting Y. pestis to uninfected mice. Yersinia pestis colonies primarily developed in the midguts of O. montana, whereas infections in X. cheopis often developed simultaneously in the proventriculus and the midgut. These findings were visually confirmed by infecting fleas with a strain of Y. pestis that had been transformed with the green fluorescent protein gene.

  10. Inactivation of avirulent Yersinia pestis on food and food contact surfaces by ultraviolet light and freezing.

    PubMed

    Sommers, Christopher H; Sheen, Shiowshuh

    2015-09-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, can occasionally be contracted as a naso-pharyngeal or gastrointestinal illness through consumption of contaminated meat. In this study, the use of 254 nm ultraviolet light (UV-C) to inactivate a multi-isolate cocktail of avirulent Y. pestis on food and food contact surfaces was investigated. When a commercial UV-C conveyor was used (5 mW/cm(2)/s) 0.5 J/cm(2) inactivated >7 log of the Y. pestis cocktail on agar plates. At 0.5 J/cm(2), UV-C inactivated ca. 4 log of Y. pestis in beef, chicken, and catfish, exudates inoculated onto high density polypropylene or polyethylene, and stainless steel coupons, and >6 log was eliminated at 1 J/cm(2). Approximately 1 log was inactivated on chicken breast, beef steak, and catfish fillet surfaces at a UV-C dose of 1 J/cm(2). UV-C treatment prior to freezing of the foods did not increase the inactivation of Y. pestis over freezing alone. These results indicate that routine use of UV-C during food processing would provide workers and consumers some protection against Y. pestis. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis infection: a regulatory RNA perspective

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Chavarría, Luary C.; Vadyvaloo, Viveka

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, responsible for causing fulminant plague, has evolved clonally from the enteric pathogen, Y. pseudotuberculosis, which in contrast, causes a relatively benign enteric illness. An ~97% nucleotide identity over 75% of their shared protein coding genes is maintained between these two pathogens, leaving much conjecture regarding the molecular determinants responsible for producing these vastly different disease etiologies, host preferences and transmission routes. One idea is that coordinated production of distinct factors required for host adaptation and virulence in response to specific environmental cues could contribute to the distinct pathogenicity distinguishing these two species. Small non-coding RNAs that direct posttranscriptional regulation have recently been identified as key molecules that may provide such timeous expression of appropriate disease enabling factors. Here the burgeoning field of small non-coding regulatory RNAs in Yersinia pathogenesis is reviewed from the viewpoint of adaptive colonization, virulence and divergent evolution of these pathogens. PMID:26441890

  12. Structural Insights into Ail-Mediated Adhesion in Yersinia pestis

    SciTech Connect

    Yamashita, Satoshi; Lukacik, Petra; Barnard, Travis J.; Noinaj, Nicholas; Felek, Suleyman; Tsang, Tiffany M.; Krukonis, Eric S.; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph; Buchanan, Susan K.

    2012-01-30

    Ail is an outer membrane protein from Yersinia pestis that is highly expressed in a rodent model of bubonic plague, making it a good candidate for vaccine development. Ail is important for attaching to host cells and evading host immune responses, facilitating rapid progression of a plague infection. Binding to host cells is important for injection of cytotoxic Yersinia outer proteins. To learn more about how Ail mediates adhesion, we solved two high-resolution crystal structures of Ail, with no ligand bound and in complex with a heparin analog called sucrose octasulfate. We identified multiple adhesion targets, including laminin and heparin, and showed that a 40 kDa domain of laminin called LG4-5 specifically binds to Ail. We also evaluated the contribution of laminin to delivery of Yops to HEp-2 cells. This work constitutes a structural description of how a bacterial outer membrane protein uses a multivalent approach to bind host cells.

  13. Protocol for Detection of Yersinia pestis in Environmental ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Methods Report This is the first ever open-access and detailed protocol available to all government departments and agencies, and their contractors to detect Yersinia pestis, the pathogen that causes plague, from multiple environmental sample types including water. Each analytical method includes sample processing procedure for each sample type in a step-by-step manner. It includes real-time PCR, traditional microbiological culture, and the Rapid Viability PCR (RV-PCR) analytical methods. For large volume water samples it also includes an ultra-filtration-based sample concentration procedure. Because of such a non-restrictive availability of this protocol to all government departments and agencies, and their contractors, the nation will now have increased laboratory capacity to analyze large number of samples during a wide-area plague incident.

  14. Protocol for Detection of Yersinia pestis in Environmental ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Methods Report This is the first ever open-access and detailed protocol available to all government departments and agencies, and their contractors to detect Yersinia pestis, the pathogen that causes plague, from multiple environmental sample types including water. Each analytical method includes sample processing procedure for each sample type in a step-by-step manner. It includes real-time PCR, traditional microbiological culture, and the Rapid Viability PCR (RV-PCR) analytical methods. For large volume water samples it also includes an ultra-filtration-based sample concentration procedure. Because of such a non-restrictive availability of this protocol to all government departments and agencies, and their contractors, the nation will now have increased laboratory capacity to analyze large number of samples during a wide-area plague incident.

  15. Characterization of Residual Medium Peptides from Yersinia pestis Cultures

    SciTech Connect

    Clowers, Brian H.; Wunschel, David S.; Kreuzer, Helen W.; Engelmann, Heather E.; Valentine, Nancy B.; Wahl, Karen L.

    2013-04-03

    Using a range of common microbial medium formulations (TSB, BHI, LB, and G-media), two attenuated strains of Y. pestis (KIM D27 (pgm-) and KIMD1 lcr-) were cultivated in triplicate. These cellular suspensions were used to develop a method of extracting residual medium peptides from the final microbial preparation to assess their relative abundance and identity. Across the conditions examined, which included additional cellular washing and different forms of microbial inactivation, residual medium peptides were detected. Despite the range of growth medium sources used and the associated manufacturing processes used in their production, a high degree of peptide similarity was observed for a given medium recipe. These results demonstrate that residual medium peptides are retained using traditional microbial cultivation techniques and may be used to inform forensic investigations with respect to production deduction.

  16. Yersinia pestis YopM: thrombin binding and overexpression.

    PubMed Central

    Reisner, B S; Straley, S C

    1992-01-01

    In previous studies, Yersinia pestis YopM has been shown through mutational analysis to be necessary for virulence in mice and found to have homology with the thrombin-binding domain of the platelet receptor GPIb alpha. In this study, YopM was purified and shown by dot blot and chemical cross-linking tests to bind to human alpha-thrombin. No cross-linked product could be detected when human prothrombin was incubated with YopM. As a functional test of thrombin binding, it was shown that native but not boiled YopM inhibits thrombin-induced aggregation of human platelets. Control tests showed that YopM did not inactivate the platelets themselves, nor was its effect a nonspecific consequence of its very acidic isoelectric point. Microsequencing of YopM revealed an intact N terminus, indicating that functional YopM is not processed at the N terminus or secreted by a mechanism involving a cleavable signal sequence. Further characterization was made of an interesting effect on yopM expression that had been noticed in a previous study. A 1.5-kb HaeIII subclone overexpressed YopM in both Y. pestis and Escherichia coli compared with a larger clone containing the 5.3-kb HindIII-F fragment. To search for a possible regulator of YopM expression, the HindIII-F fragment was sequenced, revealing several open reading frames and three large repeated sequences. Deletional analysis showed that these were not involved in regulation of yopM. The data implicated a DNA structure 5' to yopM in moderating yopM expression. Images PMID:1452357

  17. Vaccination with F1-V Fusion Protein Protects Black-Footed Ferrets (Mustela Nigripes) Against Plague Upon Oral Challenge with Yersinia Pestis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-01-01

    study demonstrates that the F1-V antigen can also protect ferrets against plague contracted via ingestion of a Y. pestis-infected mouse , a probable...boost by feeding each one a Y. pestis-infected mouse . All eight vaccinates survived challenge, while the four controls succumbed to plague within 3 days...survived an initial SC challenge with Y. pestis were com- pletely resistant to a secondary exposure via consumption of a Y. pestis-infected mouse (Rocke et

  18. Genotyping and phylogenetic analysis of Yersinia pestis by MLVA: insights into the worldwide expansion of Central Asia plague foci.

    PubMed

    Li, Yanjun; Cui, Yujun; Hauck, Yolande; Platonov, Mikhail E; Dai, Erhei; Song, Yajun; Guo, Zhaobiao; Pourcel, Christine; Dentovskaya, Svetlana V; Anisimov, Andrey P; Yang, Ruifu; Vergnaud, Gilles

    2009-06-22

    The species Yersinia pestis is commonly divided into three classical biovars, Antiqua, Medievalis, and Orientalis, belonging to subspecies pestis pathogenic for human and the (atypical) non-human pathogenic biovar Microtus (alias Pestoides) including several non-pestis subspecies. Recent progress in molecular typing methods enables large-scale investigations in the population structure of this species. It is now possible to test hypotheses about its evolution which were proposed decades ago. For instance the three classical biovars of different geographical distributions were suggested to originate from Central Asia. Most investigations so far have focused on the typical pestis subspecies representatives found outside of China, whereas the understanding of the emergence of this human pathogen requires the investigation of strains belonging to subspecies pestis from China and to the Microtus biovar. Multi-locus VNTR analysis (MLVA) with 25 loci was performed on a collection of Y. pestis isolates originating from the majority of the known foci worldwide and including typical rhamnose-negative subspecies pestis as well as rhamnose-positive subspecies pestis and biovar Microtus. More than 500 isolates from China, the Former Soviet Union (FSU), Mongolia and a number of other foci around the world were characterized and resolved into 350 different genotypes. The data revealed very close relationships existing between some isolates from widely separated foci as well as very high diversity which can conversely be observed between nearby foci. The results obtained are in full agreement with the view that the Y. pestis subsp. pestis pathogenic for humans emerged in the Central Asia region between China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia, only three clones of which spread out of Central Asia. The relationships among the strains in China, Central Asia and the rest of the world based on the MLVA25 assay provide an unprecedented view on the expansion and microevolution of Y

  19. A live attenuated strain of Yersinia pestis KIM as a vaccine against plague.

    PubMed

    Sun, Wei; Six, David; Kuang, Xiaoying; Roland, Kenneth L; Raetz, Christian R H; Curtiss, Roy

    2011-04-05

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is a potential weapon of bioterrorism. Y. pestis evades the innate immune system by synthesizing tetra-acylated lipid A with poor Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-stimulating activity at 37°C, whereas hexa-acylated lipid A, a potent TLR4 agonist, is made at lower temperatures. Synthesis of Escherichia coli LpxL, which transfers the secondary laurate chain to the 2'-position of lipid A, in Y. pestis results in production of hexa-acylated lipid A at 37°C, leading to significant attenuation of virulence. Previously, we described a Y. pestis vaccine strain in which crp expression is under the control of the arabinose-regulated araC P(BAD) promoter, resulting in a 4-5 log reduction in virulence. To reduce the virulence of the crp promoter mutant further, we introduced E. coli lpxL into the Y. pestis chromosome. The χ10030(pCD1Ap) (ΔlpxP32::P(lpxL)lpxL ΔP(crp21)::TT araC P(BAD)crp) construct likewise produced hexa-acylated lipid A at 37°C and was significantly more attenuated than strains harboring each individual mutation. The LD(50) of the mutant in mice, when administered subcutaneously or intranasally was >10(7)-times and >10(4)-times greater than wild type, respectively. Mice immunized subcutaneously with a single dose of the mutant were completely protected against a subcutaneous challenge of 3.6×10(7) wild-type Y. pestis and significantly protected (80% survival) against a pulmonary challenge of 1.2×10(4) live cells. Intranasal immunization also provided significant protection against challenges by both routes. This mutant is an immunogenic, highly attenuated live Y. pestis construct that merits further development as a vaccine candidate. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Phenotypic and molecular characterizations of Yersinia pestis isolates from Kazakhstan and adjacent regions.

    PubMed

    Lowell, Jennifer L; Zhansarina, Aigul; Yockey, Brook; Meka-Mechenko, Tatyana; Stybayeva, Gulnaz; Atshabar, Bakyt; Nekrassova, Larissa; Tashmetov, Rinat; Kenghebaeva, Kuralai; Chu, May C; Kosoy, Michael; Antolin, Michael F; Gage, Kenneth L

    2007-01-01

    Recent interest in characterizing infectious agents associated with bioterrorism has resulted in the development of effective pathogen genotyping systems, but this information is rarely combined with phenotypic data. Yersinia pestis, the aetiological agent of plague, has been well defined genotypically on local and worldwide scales using multi-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA), with emphasis on evolutionary patterns using old isolate collections from countries where Y. pestis has existed the longest. Worldwide MLVA studies are largely based on isolates that have been in long-term laboratory culture and storage, or on field material from parts of the world where Y. pestis has potentially circulated in nature for thousands of years. Diversity in these isolates suggests that they may no longer represent the wild-type organism phenotypically, including the possibility of altered pathogenicity. This study focused on the phenotypic and genotypic properties of 48 Y. pestis isolates collected from 10 plague foci in and bordering Kazakhstan. Phenotypic characterization was based on diagnostic tests typically performed in reference laboratories working with Y. pestis. MLVA was used to define the genotypic relationships between the central-Asian isolates and a group of North American isolates, and to examine Kazakh Y. pestis diversity according to predefined plague foci and on an intermediate geographical scale. Phenotypic properties revealed that a large portion of this collection lacks one or more plasmids necessary to complete the blocked flea/mammal transmission cycle, has lost Congo red binding capabilities (Pgm-), or both. MLVA analysis classified isolates into previously identified biovars, and in some cases groups of isolates collected within the same plague focus formed a clade. Overall, MLVA did not distinguish unique phylogeographical groups of Y. pestis isolates as defined by plague foci and indicated higher genetic diversity among older biovars.

  1. Phenotypic characterization of OmpX, an Ail homologue of Yersinia pestis KIM.

    PubMed

    Kolodziejek, Anna M; Sinclair, Dylan J; Seo, Keun S; Schnider, Darren R; Deobald, Claudia F; Rohde, Harold N; Viall, Austin K; Minnich, Scott S; Hovde, Carolyn J; Minnich, Scott A; Bohach, Gregory A

    2007-09-01

    The goal of this study was to characterize the Yersinia pestis KIM OmpX protein. Yersinia spp. provide a model for studying several virulence processes including attachment to, and internalization by, host cells. For Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, Ail, YadA and Inv, have been implicated in these processes. In Y. pestis, YadA and Inv are inactivated. Genomic analysis of two Y. pestis strains revealed four loci with sequence homology to Ail. One of these genes, designated y1324 in the Y. pestis KIM database, encodes a protein designated OmpX. The mature protein has a predicted molecular mass of 17.47 kDa, shares approximately 70 % sequence identity with Y. enterocolitica Ail, and has an identical homologue, designated Ail, in the Y. pestis CO92 database. The present study compared the Y. pestis KIM6(+) parental strain with a mutant derivative having an engineered disruption of the OmpX structural gene. The parental strain (and a merodiploid control strain) expressed OmpX at 28 and 37 degrees C, and the protein was detectable throughout all phases of growth. OmpX was required for efficient adherence to, and internalization by, cultured HEp-2 cell monolayers and conferred resistance to the bactericidal effect of human serum. Deletion of ompX resulted in a significantly reduced autoaggregation phenotype and loss of pellicle formation in vitro. These results suggest that Y. pestis OmpX shares functional homology with Y. enterocolitica Ail in adherence, internalization into epithelial cells and serum resistance.

  2. Circumventing Y. pestis Virulence by Early Recruitment of Neutrophils to the Lungs during Pneumonic Plague.

    PubMed

    Vagima, Yaron; Zauberman, Ayelet; Levy, Yinon; Gur, David; Tidhar, Avital; Aftalion, Moshe; Shafferman, Avigdor; Mamroud, Emanuelle

    2015-05-01

    Pneumonic plague is a fatal disease caused by Yersinia pestis that is associated with a delayed immune response in the lungs. Because neutrophils are the first immune cells recruited to sites of infection, we investigated the mechanisms responsible for their delayed homing to the lung. During the first 24 hr after pulmonary infection with a fully virulent Y. pestis strain, no significant changes were observed in the lungs in the levels of neutrophils infiltrate, expression of adhesion molecules, or the expression of the major neutrophil chemoattractants keratinocyte cell-derived chemokine (KC), macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (MIP-2) and granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF). In contrast, early induction of chemokines, rapid neutrophil infiltration and a reduced bacterial burden were observed in the lungs of mice infected with an avirulent Y. pestis strain. In vitro infection of lung-derived cell-lines with a YopJ mutant revealed the involvement of YopJ in the inhibition of chemoattractants expression. However, the recruitment of neutrophils to the lungs of mice infected with the mutant was still delayed and associated with rapid bacterial propagation and mortality. Interestingly, whereas KC, MIP-2 and G-CSF mRNA levels in the lungs were up-regulated early after infection with the mutant, their protein levels remained constant, suggesting that Y. pestis may employ additional mechanisms to suppress early chemoattractants induction in the lung. It therefore seems that prevention of the early influx of neutrophils to the lungs is of major importance for Y. pestis virulence. Indeed, pulmonary instillation of KC and MIP-2 to G-CSF-treated mice infected with Y. pestis led to rapid homing of neutrophils to the lung followed by a reduction in bacterial counts at 24 hr post-infection and improved survival rates. These observations shed new light on the virulence mechanisms of Y. pestis during pneumonic plague, and have implications for the development of novel

  3. Circumventing Y. pestis Virulence by Early Recruitment of Neutrophils to the Lungs during Pneumonic Plague

    PubMed Central

    Vagima, Yaron; Zauberman, Ayelet; Levy, Yinon; Gur, David; Tidhar, Avital; Aftalion, Moshe; Shafferman, Avigdor; Mamroud, Emanuelle

    2015-01-01

    Pneumonic plague is a fatal disease caused by Yersinia pestis that is associated with a delayed immune response in the lungs. Because neutrophils are the first immune cells recruited to sites of infection, we investigated the mechanisms responsible for their delayed homing to the lung. During the first 24 hr after pulmonary infection with a fully virulent Y. pestis strain, no significant changes were observed in the lungs in the levels of neutrophils infiltrate, expression of adhesion molecules, or the expression of the major neutrophil chemoattractants keratinocyte cell-derived chemokine (KC), macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (MIP-2) and granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF). In contrast, early induction of chemokines, rapid neutrophil infiltration and a reduced bacterial burden were observed in the lungs of mice infected with an avirulent Y. pestis strain. In vitro infection of lung-derived cell-lines with a YopJ mutant revealed the involvement of YopJ in the inhibition of chemoattractants expression. However, the recruitment of neutrophils to the lungs of mice infected with the mutant was still delayed and associated with rapid bacterial propagation and mortality. Interestingly, whereas KC, MIP-2 and G-CSF mRNA levels in the lungs were up-regulated early after infection with the mutant, their protein levels remained constant, suggesting that Y. pestis may employ additional mechanisms to suppress early chemoattractants induction in the lung. It therefore seems that prevention of the early influx of neutrophils to the lungs is of major importance for Y. pestis virulence. Indeed, pulmonary instillation of KC and MIP-2 to G-CSF-treated mice infected with Y. pestis led to rapid homing of neutrophils to the lung followed by a reduction in bacterial counts at 24 hr post-infection and improved survival rates. These observations shed new light on the virulence mechanisms of Y. pestis during pneumonic plague, and have implications for the development of novel

  4. A procedure for monitoring the presence of the virulence plasmid (pYV) in Yersinia pestis under culture conditions

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The pathogenicity of Yersinia pestis depends on the presence of a virulence plasmid (pYV). The unstable nature of pYV in Y. pestis leads to the eventual outgrowth of pYV less cells due its higher growth rate. Thus, it was necessary to develop procedures to monitor the presence of the plasmid durin...

  5. A procedure for maintenance of the virulence plasmid (pYV) in Yersinia pestis under culture conditions

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The pathogenicity of Yersinia pestis depends on the presence of a virulence plasmid (pYV). The unstable nature of pYV in Y. pestis leads to the eventual outgrowth of pYV less cells due to its higher growth rate. Thus, it was necessary to develop procedures to monitor the presence of the plasmid du...

  6. Inactivation of avirulent Yersinia pestis in Butterfield's phosphate buffer and frankfurters by UVC (254 nm) and gamma radiation.

    PubMed

    Sommers, Christopher H; Cooke, Peter H

    2009-04-01

    Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of plague. Although rare, pharyngeal plague in humans has been associated with consumption or handling of meat prepared from infected animals. The risks of contracting plague from consumption of deliberately contaminated food are currently unknown. Gamma radiation is a penetrating form of electromagnetic radiation, and UVC radiation is used for decontamination of liquids or food surfaces. Gamma radiation D10-values (the radiation dose needed to inactivate 1 log unit pathogen) were 0.23 (+/-0.01) and 0.31 (+/-0.03) kGy for avirulent Y. pestis inoculated into Butterfield's phosphate buffer and onto frankfurter surfaces, respectively, at 0 degree C. A UVC radiation dose of 0.25 J/cm2 inactivated avirulent Y. pestis suspended in Butterfield's phosphate buffer. UVC radiation doses of 0.5 to 4.0 J/cm2 inactivated 0.97 to 1.20 log units of the Y. pestis surface inoculated onto frankfurters. A low gamma radiation dose of 1.6 kGy could provide a 5-log reduction and a UVC radiation dose of 1 to 4 J/cm2 would provide a 1-log reduction of Y. pestis surface inoculated onto frankfurters. Y. pestis was capable of growth on frankfurters during refrigerated storage (10 degrees C). Gamma radiation of frankfurters inhibited the growth of Y. pestis during refrigerated storage, and UVC radiation delayed the growth of Y. pestis.

  7. Draft genome sequence of Yersinia pestis strain 2501, an isolate from the great gerbil plague focus in Xinjiang, China.

    PubMed

    Sun, Surong; Yang, Xianwei; Yuan, Yanting; Dai, Xiang; Yan, Yanfeng; Cao, Hanli; Luo, Tao; Guo, Rong; Wang, Xinhui; Song, Yajun; Yang, Ruifu; Zhang, Yujiang; Cui, Yujun

    2012-10-01

    We deciphered the genome of Yersinia pestis strain 2501, isolated from the Junggar Basin, a newly discovered great gerbil plague focus in Xinjiang, China. The total length of assembly was 4,597,322 bp, and 4,265 coding sequences were predicted within the genome. It is the first Y. pestis genome from this plague focus.

  8. Resistance to Innate Immunity Contributes to Colonization of the Insect Gut by Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Earl, Shaun C; Rogers, Miles T; Keen, Jennifer; Bland, David M; Houppert, Andrew S; Miller, Caitlynn; Temple, Ian; Anderson, Deborah M; Marketon, Melanie M

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic and pneumonic plague, is typically a zoonotic vector-borne disease of wild rodents. Bacterial biofilm formation in the proventriculus of the flea contributes to chronic infection of fleas and facilitates efficient disease transmission. However prior to biofilm formation, ingested bacteria must survive within the flea midgut, and yet little is known about vector-pathogen interactions that are required for flea gut colonization. Here we establish a Drosophila melanogaster model system to gain insight into Y. pestis colonization of the insect vector. We show that Y. pestis establishes a stable infection in the anterior midgut of fly larvae, and we used this model system to study the roles of genes involved in biofilm production and/or resistance to gut immunity stressors. We find that PhoP and GmhA both contribute to colonization and resistance to antimicrobial peptides in flies, and furthermore, the data suggest biofilm formation may afford protection against antimicrobial peptides. Production of reactive oxygen species in the fly gut, as in fleas, also serves to limit bacterial infection, and OxyR mediates Y. pestis survival in both insect models. Overall, our data establish the fruit fly as an informative model to elucidate the relationship between Y. pestis and its flea vector.

  9. An Experimentally-Supported Genome-Scale Metabolic Network Reconstruction for Yersinia pestis CO92

    SciTech Connect

    Charusanti, Pep; Chauhan, Sadhana; Mcateer, Kathleen; Lerman, Joshua A.; Hyduke, Daniel R.; Motin, Vladimir L.; Ansong, Charles; Adkins, Joshua N.; Palsson, Bernhard O.

    2011-10-13

    Yersinia pestis is a gram-negative bacterium that causes plague, a disease linked historically to the Black Death in Europe during the Middle Ages and to several outbreaks during the modern era. Metabolism in Y. pestis displays remarkable flexibility and robustness, allowing the bacterium to proliferate in both warm-blooded mammalian hosts and cold-blooded insect vectors such as fleas. Here we report a genome-scale reconstruction and mathematical model of metabolism for Y. pestis CO92 and supporting experimental growth and metabolite measurements. The model contains 815 genes, 678 proteins, 963 unique metabolites and 1678 reactions, accurately simulates growth on a range of carbon sources both qualitatively and quantitatively, and identifies gaps in several key biosynthetic pathways and suggests how those gaps might be filled. Furthermore, our model presents hypotheses to explain certain known nutritional requirements characteristic of this strain. Y. pestis continues to be a dangerous threat to human health during modern times. The Y. pestis genome-scale metabolic reconstruction presented here, which has been benchmarked against experimental data and correctly reproduces known phenotypes, thus provides an in silico platform with which to investigate the metabolism of this important human pathogen.

  10. Characterization of the rat pneumonic plague model: infection kinetics following aerosolization of Yersinia pestis CO92.

    PubMed

    Agar, Stacy L; Sha, Jian; Foltz, Sheri M; Erova, Tatiana E; Walberg, Kristin G; Baze, Wallace B; Suarez, Giovanni; Peterson, Johnny W; Chopra, Ashok K

    2009-02-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of human bubonic and pneumonic plague, is spread during natural infection by the fleas of rodents. Historically associated with infected rat fleas, studies on the kinetics of infection in rats are surprisingly few, and these reports have focused mainly on bubonic plague. Although the natural route of primary infection results in bubonic plague in humans, it is commonly thought that aerosolized Y. pestis will be utilized during a biowarfare attack. Accordingly, based on our previous characterization of the mouse model of pneumonic plague, we sought to examine the progression of infection in rats exposed in a whole-body Madison chamber to aerosolized Y. pestis CO92. Following an 8.6 LD(50) dose of Y. pestis, injury was apparent in the rat tissues based on histopathology, and chemokines and cytokines rose above control levels (1h post infection [p.i.]) in the sera and organ homogenates over a 72-h infection period. Bacteria disseminated from the lungs to peripheral organs, with the largest increases in the spleen, followed by the liver and blood at 72h p.i. compared to the 1h controls. Importantly, rats were as sensitive to pneumonic plague as mice, having a similar LD(50) dose by the intranasal and aerosolized routes. Further, we showed direct transmission of plague bacteria from infected to uninfected rats. Taken together, the data allowed us to characterize for the first time a rat pneumonic plague model following aerosolization of Y. pestis.

  11. Transcriptomic and innate immune responses to Yersinia pestis in the lymph node during bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Comer, Jason E; Sturdevant, Daniel E; Carmody, Aaron B; Virtaneva, Kimmo; Gardner, Donald; Long, Dan; Rosenke, Rebecca; Porcella, Stephen F; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2010-12-01

    A delayed inflammatory response is a prominent feature of infection with Yersinia pestis, the agent of bubonic and pneumonic plague. Using a rat model of bubonic plague, we examined lymph node histopathology, transcriptome, and extracellular cytokine levels to broadly characterize the kinetics and extent of the host response to Y. pestis and how it is influenced by the Yersinia virulence plasmid (pYV). Remarkably, dissemination and multiplication of wild-type Y. pestis during the bubonic stage of disease did not induce any detectable gene expression or cytokine response by host lymph node cells in the developing bubo. Only after systemic spread had led to terminal septicemic plague was a transcriptomic response detected, which included upregulation of several cytokine, chemokine, and other immune response genes. Although an initial intracellular phase of Y. pestis infection has been postulated, a Th1-type cytokine response associated with classical activation of macrophages was not observed during the bubonic stage of disease. However, elevated levels of interleukin-17 (IL-17) were present in infected lymph nodes. In the absence of pYV, sustained recruitment to the lymph node of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN, or neutrophils), the major IL-17 effector cells, correlated with clearance of infection. Thus, the ability to counteract a PMN response in the lymph node appears to be a major in vivo function of the Y. pestis virulence plasmid.

  12. Transcriptomic and Innate Immune Responses to Yersinia pestis in the Lymph Node during Bubonic Plague▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Comer, Jason E.; Sturdevant, Daniel E.; Carmody, Aaron B.; Virtaneva, Kimmo; Gardner, Donald; Long, Dan; Rosenke, Rebecca; Porcella, Stephen F.; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph

    2010-01-01

    A delayed inflammatory response is a prominent feature of infection with Yersinia pestis, the agent of bubonic and pneumonic plague. Using a rat model of bubonic plague, we examined lymph node histopathology, transcriptome, and extracellular cytokine levels to broadly characterize the kinetics and extent of the host response to Y. pestis and how it is influenced by the Yersinia virulence plasmid (pYV). Remarkably, dissemination and multiplication of wild-type Y. pestis during the bubonic stage of disease did not induce any detectable gene expression or cytokine response by host lymph node cells in the developing bubo. Only after systemic spread had led to terminal septicemic plague was a transcriptomic response detected, which included upregulation of several cytokine, chemokine, and other immune response genes. Although an initial intracellular phase of Y. pestis infection has been postulated, a Th1-type cytokine response associated with classical activation of macrophages was not observed during the bubonic stage of disease. However, elevated levels of interleukin-17 (IL-17) were present in infected lymph nodes. In the absence of pYV, sustained recruitment to the lymph node of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN, or neutrophils), the major IL-17 effector cells, correlated with clearance of infection. Thus, the ability to counteract a PMN response in the lymph node appears to be a major in vivo function of the Y. pestis virulence plasmid. PMID:20876291

  13. Adaptive response of Yersinia pestis to extracellular effectors of innate immunity during bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Sebbane, Florent; Lemaître, Nadine; Sturdevant, Daniel E; Rebeil, Roberto; Virtaneva, Kimmo; Porcella, Stephen F; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2006-08-01

    Yersinia pestis causes bubonic plague, characterized by an enlarged, painful lymph node, termed a bubo, that develops after bacterial dissemination from a fleabite site. In susceptible animals, the bacteria rapidly escape containment in the lymph node, spread systemically through the blood, and produce fatal sepsis. The fulminant progression of disease has been largely ascribed to the ability of Y. pestis to avoid phagocytosis and exposure to antimicrobial effectors of innate immunity. In vivo microarray analysis of Y. pestis gene expression, however, revealed an adaptive response to nitric oxide (NO)-derived reactive nitrogen species and to iron limitation in the extracellular environment of the bubo. Polymorphonuclear neutrophils recruited to the infected lymph node expressed abundant inducible NO synthase, and several Y. pestis homologs of genes involved in the protective response to reactive nitrogen species were up-regulated in the bubo. Mutation of one of these genes, which encodes the Hmp flavohemoglobin that detoxifies NO, attenuated virulence. Thus, the ability of Y. pestis to destroy immune cells and remain extracellular in the bubo appears to limit exposure to some but not all innate immune effectors. High NO levels induced during plague may also influence the developing adaptive immune response and contribute to septic shock.

  14. An experimentally-supported genome-scale metabolic network reconstruction for Yersinia pestis CO92.

    PubMed

    Charusanti, Pep; Chauhan, Sadhana; McAteer, Kathleen; Lerman, Joshua A; Hyduke, Daniel R; Motin, Vladimir L; Ansong, Charles; Adkins, Joshua N; Palsson, Bernhard O

    2011-10-13

    Yersinia pestis is a gram-negative bacterium that causes plague, a disease linked historically to the Black Death in Europe during the Middle Ages and to several outbreaks during the modern era. Metabolism in Y. pestis displays remarkable flexibility and robustness, allowing the bacterium to proliferate in both warm-blooded mammalian hosts and cold-blooded insect vectors such as fleas. Here we report a genome-scale reconstruction and mathematical model of metabolism for Y. pestis CO92 and supporting experimental growth and metabolite measurements. The model contains 815 genes, 678 proteins, 963 unique metabolites and 1678 reactions, accurately simulates growth on a range of carbon sources both qualitatively and quantitatively, and identifies gaps in several key biosynthetic pathways and suggests how those gaps might be filled. Furthermore, our model presents hypotheses to explain certain known nutritional requirements characteristic of this strain. Y. pestis continues to be a dangerous threat to human health during modern times. The Y. pestis genome-scale metabolic reconstruction presented here, which has been benchmarked against experimental data and correctly reproduces known phenotypes, provides an in silico platform with which to investigate the metabolism of this important human pathogen.

  15. Rapid Detection and Identification of Yersinia pestis from Food Using Immunomagnetic Separation and Pyrosequencing.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    Interest has recently been renewed in the possible use of Y. pestis, the causative agent of plague, as a biological weapon by terrorists. The vulnerability of food to intentional contamination coupled with reports of humans having acquired plague through eating infected animals that were not adequately cooked or handling of meat from infected animals makes the possible use of Y. pestis in a foodborne bioterrorism attack a reality. Rapid, efficient food sample preparation and detection systems that will help overcome the problem associated with the complexity of the different matrices and also remove any ambiguity in results will enable rapid informed decisions to be made regarding contamination of food with biothreat agents. We have developed a rapid detection assay that combines the use of immunomagnetic separation and pyrosequencing in generating results for the unambiguous identification of Y. pestis from milk (0.9 CFU/mL), bagged salad (1.6 CFU/g), and processed meat (10 CFU/g). The low detection limits demonstrated in this assay provide a novel tool for the rapid detection and confirmation of Y. pestis in food without the need for enrichment. The combined use of the iCropTheBug system and pyrosequencing for efficient capture and detection of Y. pestis is novel and has potential applications in food biodefence.

  16. Yersinia pestis Requires Host Rab1b for Survival in Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Connor, Michael G.; Pulsifer, Amanda R.; Price, Christopher T.; Abu Kwaik, Yousef; Lawrenz, Matthew B.

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis is a facultative intracellular pathogen that causes the disease known as plague. During infection of macrophages Y. pestis actively evades the normal phagosomal maturation pathway to establish a replicative niche within the cell. However, the mechanisms used by Y. pestis to subvert killing by the macrophage are unknown. Host Rab GTPases are central mediators of vesicular trafficking and are commonly targeted by bacterial pathogens to alter phagosome maturation and killing by macrophages. Here we demonstrate for the first time that host Rab1b is required for Y. pestis to effectively evade killing by macrophages. We also show that Rab1b is specifically recruited to the Yersinia containing vacuole (YCV) and that Y. pestis is unable to subvert YCV acidification when Rab1b expression is knocked down in macrophages. Furthermore, Rab1b knockdown also altered the frequency of association between the YCV with the lysosomal marker Lamp1, suggesting that Rab1b recruitment to the YCV directly inhibits phagosome maturation. Finally, we show that Rab1b knockdown also impacts the pH of the Legionella pneumophila containing vacuole, another pathogen that recruits Rab1b to its vacuole. Together these data identify a novel role for Rab1b in the subversion of phagosome maturation by intracellular pathogens and suggest that recruitment of Rab1b to the pathogen containing vacuole may be a conserved mechanism to control vacuole pH. PMID:26495854

  17. A draft genome of Yersinia pestis from victims of the Black Death.

    PubMed

    Bos, Kirsten I; Schuenemann, Verena J; Golding, G Brian; Burbano, Hernán A; Waglechner, Nicholas; Coombes, Brian K; McPhee, Joseph B; DeWitte, Sharon N; Meyer, Matthias; Schmedes, Sarah; Wood, James; Earn, David J D; Herring, D Ann; Bauer, Peter; Poinar, Hendrik N; Krause, Johannes

    2011-10-12

    Technological advances in DNA recovery and sequencing have drastically expanded the scope of genetic analyses of ancient specimens to the extent that full genomic investigations are now feasible and are quickly becoming standard. This trend has important implications for infectious disease research because genomic data from ancient microbes may help to elucidate mechanisms of pathogen evolution and adaptation for emerging and re-emerging infections. Here we report a reconstructed ancient genome of Yersinia pestis at 30-fold average coverage from Black Death victims securely dated to episodes of pestilence-associated mortality in London, England, 1348-1350. Genetic architecture and phylogenetic analysis indicate that the ancient organism is ancestral to most extant strains and sits very close to the ancestral node of all Y. pestis commonly associated with human infection. Temporal estimates suggest that the Black Death of 1347-1351 was the main historical event responsible for the introduction and widespread dissemination of the ancestor to all currently circulating Y. pestis strains pathogenic to humans, and further indicates that contemporary Y. pestis epidemics have their origins in the medieval era. Comparisons against modern genomes reveal no unique derived positions in the medieval organism, indicating that the perceived increased virulence of the disease during the Black Death may not have been due to bacterial phenotype. These findings support the notion that factors other than microbial genetics, such as environment, vector dynamics and host susceptibility, should be at the forefront of epidemiological discussions regarding emerging Y. pestis infections.

  18. Spatial analysis of Yersinia pestis and Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii seroprevalence in California coyotes (Canis latrans).

    PubMed

    Hoar, B R; Chomel, B B; Rolfe, D L; Chang, C C; Fritz, C L; Sacks, B N; Carpenter, T E

    2003-01-15

    Zoonotic transmission of sylvatic plague caused by Yersinia pestis occurs in California, USA. Human infections with various Bartonella species have been reported recently. Coyotes (Canis latrans) are ubiquitous throughout California and can become infected with both bacterial agents, making the species useful for surveillance purposes. This study examined the geographic distribution of 863 coyotes tested for Y. pestis and Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii serologic status to gain insight into the natural history of B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii and to characterize the spatial distribution of the two agents. We found 11.7% of specimens positive to Y. pestis and 35.5% positive to B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii. The two pathogens had distinct spatial clusters: Y. pestis was more prevalent in eastern portions of the state and B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii in coastal regions. Prevalence of Y. pestis increased with increasing elevation, whereas prevalence of B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii decreased with increasing elevation. There were differences in the proportions of positive animals on a yearly basis to both pathogens.

  19. Yersinia pestis Biofilm in the Flea Vector and Its Role in the Transmission of Plague

    PubMed Central

    Erickson, D. L.

    2013-01-01

    Transmission by fleabite is a relatively recent evolutionary adaptation of Yersinia pestis, the bacterial agent of bubonic plague. To produce a transmissible infection, Y. pestis grows as an attached biofilm in the foregut of the flea vector. Biofilm formation both in the flea foregut and in vitro is dependent on an extracellular matrix (ECM) synthesized by the Yersinia hms gene products. The hms genes are similar to the pga and ica genes of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus epidermidis, respectively, that act to synthesize a poly-β-1,6-N-acetyl-d-glucosamine ECM required for biofilm formation. As with extracellular polysaccharide production in many other bacteria, synthesis of the Hms-dependent ECM is controlled by intracellular levels of cyclic-di-GMP. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, the food- and water-borne enteric pathogen from which Y. pestis evolved recently, possesses identical hms genes and can form biofilm in vitro but not in the flea. The genetic changes in Y. pestis that resulted in adapting biofilm-forming capability to the flea gut environment, a critical step in the evolution of vector-borne transmission, have yet to be identified. During a flea bite, Y. pestis is regurgitated into the dermis in a unique biofilm phenotype, and this has implications for the initial interaction with the mammalian innate immune response. PMID:18453279

  20. High-frequency conjugative transfer of antibiotic resistance genes to Yersinia pestis in the flea midgut.

    PubMed

    Hinnebusch, B Joseph; Rosso, Marie-Laure; Schwan, Tom G; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2002-10-01

    The acquisition of foreign DNA by horizontal transfer from unrelated organisms is a major source of variation leading to new strains of bacterial pathogens. The extent to which this occurs varies widely, due in part to lifestyle factors that determine exposure to potential donors. Yersinia pestis, the plague bacillus, infects normally sterile sites in its mammalian host, but forms dense aggregates in the non-sterile digestive tract of its flea vector to produce a transmissible infection. Here we show that unrelated co-infecting bacteria in the flea midgut are readily incorporated into these aggregates, and that this close physical contact leads to high-frequency conjugative genetic exchange. Transfer of an antibiotic resistance plasmid from an Escherichia coli donor to Y. pestis occurred in the flea midgut at a frequency of 10-3 after only 3 days of co-infection, and after 4 weeks 95% of co-infected fleas contained an average of 103 antibiotic-resistant Y. pestis transconjugants. Thus, transit in its arthropod vector exposes Y. pestis to favourable conditions for efficient genetic exchange with microbial flora of the flea gut. Horizontal gene transfer in the flea may be the source of antibiotic-resistant Y. pestis strains recently isolated from plague patients in Madagascar.

  1. Comparative efficacies of candidate antibiotics against Yersinia pestis in an in vitro pharmacodynamic model.

    PubMed

    Louie, Arnold; Vanscoy, Brian; Liu, Weiguo; Kulawy, Robert; Brown, David; Heine, Henry S; Drusano, George L

    2011-06-01

    Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes plague, is a potential agent of bioterrorism. Streptomycin is the "gold standard" for the treatment of plague infections in humans, but the drug is not available in many countries, and resistance to this antibiotic occurs naturally and has been generated in the laboratory. Other antibiotics have been shown to be active against Y. pestis in vitro and in vivo. However, the relative efficacies of clinically prescribed regimens of these antibiotics with streptomycin and with each other for the killing of Yersinia pestis are unknown. The efficacies of simulated pharmacokinetic profiles for human 10-day clinical regimens of ampicillin, meropenem, moxifloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and gentamicin were compared with the gold standard, streptomycin, for killing of Yersinia pestis in an in vitro pharmacodynamic model. Resistance amplification with therapy was also assessed. Streptomycin killed the microbe in one trial but failed due to resistance amplification in the second trial. In two trials, the other antibiotics consistently reduced the bacterial densities within the pharmacodynamic systems from 10⁸ CFU/ml to undetectable levels (<10² CFU/ml) between 1 and 3 days of treatment. None of the comparator agents selected for resistance. The comparator antibiotics were superior to streptomycin against Y. pestis and deserve further evaluation.

  2. Yersinia pestis and host macrophages: immunodeficiency of mouse macrophages induced by YscW.

    PubMed

    Bi, Yujing; Du, Zongmin; Han, Yanping; Guo, Zhaobiao; Tan, Yafang; Zhu, Ziwen; Yang, Ruifu

    2009-09-01

    The virulence of the pathogenic Yersinia species depends on a plasmid-encoded type III secretion system (T3SS) that transfers six Yersinia outer protein (Yop) effector proteins into the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells, leading to disruption of host defence mechanisms. It is shown in this study that Yersinia pestis YscW, a protein of the T3SS injectisome, contributes to the induction of a deficiency in phagocytosis in host macrophages and a reduction in their antigen-presenting capacity. A Y. pestis strain lacking yscW had no effect on uptake by host macrophages. In mice infected with wild-type Y. pestis, the yscW mutant or a complement strain, immunodeficiency was observed in host macrophages compared with those from uninfected mice. However, the phagocytosis and antigen presenting capacities of macrophages infected by yscW mutant strain both in vivo and in vitro were significantly higher than those by wild type strain. Consistent with this finding, when YscW was expressed in the RAW264.7 macrophage cell line, phagocytosis and antigen-presenting capacities were significantly lower than those of the control groups. These results indicate that Y. pestis YscW may directly induce immunodeficiency in murine macrophages by crippling their phagocytosis and antigen-presenting capacities. These data provide evidences to Y. pestis pathogenesis that some proteins in T3SS injectisome, such as YscW protein, might play independent roles in disrupting host defense apart from their known functions.

  3. Yersinia pestis IS1541 transposition provides for escape from plague immunity.

    PubMed

    Cornelius, Claire A; Quenee, Lauriane E; Elli, Derek; Ciletti, Nancy A; Schneewind, Olaf

    2009-05-01

    Yersinia pestis is perhaps the most feared infectious agent due to its ability to cause epidemic outbreaks of plague disease in animals and humans with high mortality. Plague infections elicit strong humoral immune responses against the capsular antigen (fraction 1 [F1]) of Y. pestis, and F1-specific antibodies provide protective immunity. Here we asked whether Y. pestis generates mutations that enable bacterial escape from protective immunity and isolated a variant with an IS1541 insertion in caf1A encoding the F1 outer membrane usher. The caf1A::IS1541 insertion prevented assembly of F1 pili and provided escape from plague immunity via F1-specific antibodies without a reduction in virulence in mouse models of bubonic or pneumonic plague. F1-specific antibodies interfere with Y. pestis type III transport of effector proteins into host cells, an inhibitory effect that was overcome by the caf1A::IS1541 insertion. These findings suggest a model in which IS1541 insertion into caf1A provides for reversible changes in envelope structure, enabling Y. pestis to escape from adaptive immune responses and plague immunity.

  4. Development of a vaccinia virus based reservoir-targeted vaccine against Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharya, Debaditya; Mecsas, Joan; Hu, Linden T.

    2010-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative organism of plague, is a zoonotic organism with a worldwide distribution. Although the last plague epidemic occurred in early 1900s, human cases continue to occur due to contact with infected wild animals. In this study, we have developed a reservoir-targeted vaccine against Y. pestis, to interrupt transmission of disease in wild animals as a potential strategy for decreasing human disease. A vaccinia virus delivery system was used to express the F1 capsular protein and the LcrV type III secretion component of Y. pestis as a fusion protein. Here we show that a single dose of this vaccine administered orally, generates a dose-dependent antibody response in mice. Antibody titers peak by 3 weeks after administration and remain elevated for a minimum of 45 weeks. Vaccination provided up to 100% protection against challenge with Y. pestis administered by intranasal challenge at 10 times the lethal dose with protection lasting a minimum of 45 weeks. An orally available, vaccinia virus expressed vaccine against Y. pestis may be a suitable vaccine for a reservoir targeted strategy for the prevention of enzootic plague. PMID:20875494

  5. Vulnerabilities in Yersinia pestis caf operon are unveiled by a Salmonella vector.

    PubMed

    Cao, Ling; Lim, Timothy; Jun, SangMu; Thornburg, Theresa; Avci, Recep; Yang, Xinghong

    2012-01-01

    During infection, Yersinia pestis uses its F1 capsule to enhance survival and cause virulence to mammalian host. Since F1 is produced in large quantities and secreted into the host tissues, it also serves as a major immune target. To hold this detrimental effect under proper control, Y. pestis expresses the caf operon (encoding the F1 capsule) in a temperature-dependent manner. However, additional properties of the caf operon limit its expression. By overexpressing the caf operon in wild-type Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium under a potent promoter, virulence of Salmonella was greatly attenuated both in vitro and in vivo. In contrast, expression of the caf operon under the regulation of its native promoter exhibited negligible impairment of Salmonellae virulence. In-depth investigation revealed all individual genes in the caf operon attenuated Salmonella when overexpressed. The deleterious effects of caf operon and the caf individual genes were further confirmed when they were overexpressed in Y. pestis KIM6+. This study suggests that by using a weak inducible promoter, the detrimental effects of the caf operon are minimally manifested in Y. pestis. Thus, through tight regulation of the caf operon, Y. pestis precisely balances its capsular anti-phagocytic properties with the detrimental effects of caf during interaction with mammalian host.

  6. [Modeling of interaction between Yersinia pestis and Tetrahymena pyriformis in experimental ecosystems].

    PubMed

    Breneva, N V; Maramovich, A S

    2008-01-01

    Modeling of interaction Yersinia pestis-Tetrahymena pyriformis in artificial soil ecosystem (ASE) containing soil of burrows of main carrier from Gorno-Altayski natural plague reservoir, as well as in physiological solution (PS) and in Hottinger broth (HB). Optimal proportion of bacterial and protozoa cells was possible to obtain and depended from virulence of Y. pestis and environmental conditions. In ASE at 18-22 degrees C association was the most stable under the microbial burden of 100 microbial cells (m.c.) per infusorian. Resistance of plague agent to phagocytosis by T. pyriformis was determined by strain's virulence. Avirulent strain Y. pestis [cyrillic letter: see text]-2377 was rapidly eliminated by protozoan in HB, PS and in ASE under the burden of 10 m.c per infusorian. Y. pestis [cyrillic letter: see text]-3443 with selective virulence compared with [cyrillic letter: see text]-2377 preserved in association longer in any tested medium. Highly virulent Y. pestis [cyrillic letter: see text]-3448 was the most resistant to phagocytosis by T. pyriformis.

  7. Yersinia pestis biofilm in the flea vector and its role in the transmission of plague.

    PubMed

    Hinnebusch, B J; Erickson, D L

    2008-01-01

    Transmission by fleabite is a relatively recent evolutionary adaptation of Yersinia pestis, the bacterial agent of bubonic plague. To produce a transmissible infection, Y. pestis grows as an attached biofilm in the foregut of the flea vector. Biofilm formation both in the flea foregut and in vitro is dependent on an extracellular matrix (ECM) synthesized by the Yersinia hms gene products. The hms genes are similar to the pga and ica genes of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus epidermidis, respectively, that act to synthesize a poly-beta-1,6-N-acetyl-d-glucosamine ECM required for biofilm formation. As with extracellular polysaccharide production in many other bacteria, synthesis of the Hms-dependent ECM is controlled by intracellular levels of cyclic-di-GMP. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, the food- and water-borne enteric pathogen from which Y. pestis evolved recently, possesses identical hms genes and can form biofilm in vitro but not in the flea. The genetic changes in Y. pestis that resulted in adapting biofilm-forming capability to the flea gut environment, a critical step in the evolution of vector-borne transmission, have yet to be identified. During a flea bite, Y. pestis is regurgitated into the dermis in a unique biofilm phenotype, and this has implications for the initial interaction with the mammalian innate immune response.

  8. The Pla Protease of Yersinia pestis Degrades Fas Ligand to Manipulate Host Cell Death and Inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Caulfield, Adam J.; Walker, Margaret E.; Gielda, Lindsay M.; Lathem, Wyndham W.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Pneumonic plague is a deadly respiratory disease caused by Yersinia pestis. The bacterial protease Pla contributes to disease progression and manipulation of host immunity, but the mechanisms by which this occurs are largely unknown. Here we show that Pla degrades the apoptotic signaling molecule Fas ligand (FasL) to prevent host cell apoptosis and inflammation. Wild-type Y. pestis, but not a Pla mutant (Δpla), degrades FasL, which results in decreased downstream caspase-3/7 activation and reduced apoptosis. Similarly, lungs of mice challenged with wild-type Y. pestis show reduced levels of FasL and activated caspase-3/7 compared to Δpla infection. Consistent with a role for FasL in regulating immune responses, Δpla infection results in aberrant pro-inflammatory cytokine levels. The loss of FasL or inhibition of caspase activity alters host inflammatory responses and enables enhanced Y. pestis outgrowth in the lungs. Thus, by degrading FasL, Y. pestis manipulates host cell death pathways to facilitate infection. PMID:24721571

  9. Rapid Detection and Identification of Yersinia pestis from Food Using Immunomagnetic Separation and Pyrosequencing

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Interest has recently been renewed in the possible use of Y. pestis, the causative agent of plague, as a biological weapon by terrorists. The vulnerability of food to intentional contamination coupled with reports of humans having acquired plague through eating infected animals that were not adequately cooked or handling of meat from infected animals makes the possible use of Y. pestis in a foodborne bioterrorism attack a reality. Rapid, efficient food sample preparation and detection systems that will help overcome the problem associated with the complexity of the different matrices and also remove any ambiguity in results will enable rapid informed decisions to be made regarding contamination of food with biothreat agents. We have developed a rapid detection assay that combines the use of immunomagnetic separation and pyrosequencing in generating results for the unambiguous identification of Y. pestis from milk (0.9 CFU/mL), bagged salad (1.6 CFU/g), and processed meat (10 CFU/g). The low detection limits demonstrated in this assay provide a novel tool for the rapid detection and confirmation of Y. pestis in food without the need for enrichment. The combined use of the iCropTheBug system and pyrosequencing for efficient capture and detection of Y. pestis is novel and has potential applications in food biodefence. PMID:23091729

  10. Adaptive response of Yersinia pestis to extracellular effectors of innate immunity during bubonic plague

    PubMed Central

    Sebbane, Florent; Lemaître, Nadine; Sturdevant, Daniel E.; Rebeil, Roberto; Virtaneva, Kimmo; Porcella, Stephen F.; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph

    2006-01-01

    Yersinia pestis causes bubonic plague, characterized by an enlarged, painful lymph node, termed a bubo, that develops after bacterial dissemination from a fleabite site. In susceptible animals, the bacteria rapidly escape containment in the lymph node, spread systemically through the blood, and produce fatal sepsis. The fulminant progression of disease has been largely ascribed to the ability of Y. pestis to avoid phagocytosis and exposure to antimicrobial effectors of innate immunity. In vivo microarray analysis of Y. pestis gene expression, however, revealed an adaptive response to nitric oxide (NO)-derived reactive nitrogen species and to iron limitation in the extracellular environment of the bubo. Polymorphonuclear neutrophils recruited to the infected lymph node expressed abundant inducible NO synthase, and several Y. pestis homologs of genes involved in the protective response to reactive nitrogen species were up-regulated in the bubo. Mutation of one of these genes, which encodes the Hmp flavohemoglobin that detoxifies NO, attenuated virulence. Thus, the ability of Y. pestis to destroy immune cells and remain extracellular in the bubo appears to limit exposure to some but not all innate immune effectors. High NO levels induced during plague may also influence the developing adaptive immune response and contribute to septic shock. PMID:16864791

  11. Development of bioluminescent bioreporters for in vitro and in vivo tracking of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yanwen; Connor, Michael G; Pennington, Jarrod M; Lawrenz, Matthew B

    2012-01-01

    Yersinia pestis causes an acute infection known as the plague. Conventional techniques to enumerate Y. pestis can be labor intensive and do not lend themselves to high throughput assays. In contrast, bioluminescent bioreporters produce light that can be detected using plate readers or optical imaging platforms to monitor bacterial populations as a function of luminescence. Here, we describe the development of two Y. pestis chromosomal-based luxCDABE bioreporters, Lux(PtolC) and Lux(PcysZK). These bioreporters use constitutive promoters to drive expression of luxCDABE that allow for sensitive detection of bacteria via bioluminescence in vitro. Importantly, both bioreporters demonstrate a direct correlation between bacterial numbers and bioluminescence, which allows for bioluminescence to be used to compare bacterial numbers. We demonstrate the use of these bioreporters to test antimicrobial inhibitors (Lux(PtolC)) and monitor intracellular survival (Lux(PtolC) and Lux(PcysZK)) in vitro. Furthermore, we show that Y. pestis infection of the mouse model can be monitored using whole animal optical imaging in real time. Using optical imaging, we observed Y. pestis dissemination and differentiated between virulence phenotypes in live animals via bioluminescence. Finally, we demonstrate that whole animal optical imaging can identify unexpected colonization patterns in mutant-infected animals.

  12. Transcriptome analysis of acyl-homoserine lactone-based quorum sensing regulation in Yersinia pestis [corrected].

    PubMed

    LaRock, Christopher N; Yu, Jing; Horswill, Alexander R; Parsek, Matthew R; Minion, F Chris

    2013-01-01

    The etiologic agent of bubonic plague, Yersinia pestis, senses self-produced, secreted chemical signals in a process named quorum sensing. Though the closely related enteric pathogen Y. pseudotuberculosis uses quorum sensing system to regulate motility, the role of quorum sensing in Y. pestis has been unclear. In this study we performed transcriptional profiling experiments to identify Y. pestis quorum sensing regulated functions. Our analysis revealed that acyl-homoserine lactone-based quorum sensing controls the expression of several metabolic functions. Maltose fermentation and the glyoxylate bypass are induced by acyl-homoserine lactone signaling. This effect was observed at 30°C, indicating a potential role for quorum sensing regulation of metabolism at temperatures below the normal mammalian temperature. It is proposed that utilization of alternative carbon sources may enhance growth and/or survival during prolonged periods in natural habitats with limited nutrient sources, contributing to maintenance of plague in nature.

  13. Yersinia pestis uses the Ail outer membrane protein to recruit vitronectin.

    PubMed

    Bartra, Sara Schesser; Ding, Yi; Fujimoto, L Miya; Ring, Joshua G; Jain, Vishal; Ram, Sanjay; Marassi, Francesca M; Plano, Gregory V

    2015-11-01

    Yersinia pestis, the agent of plague, requires the Ail (attachment invasion locus) outer membrane protein to survive in the blood and tissues of its mammalian hosts. Ail is important for both attachment to host cells and for resistance to complement-dependent bacteriolysis. Previous studies have shown that Ail interacts with components of the extracellular matrix, including fibronectin, laminin and heparan sulfate proteoglycans, and with the complement inhibitor C4b-binding protein. Here, we demonstrate that Ail-expressing Y. pestis strains bind vitronectin - a host protein with functions in cell attachment, fibrinolysis and inhibition of the complement system. The Ail-dependent recruitment of vitronectin resulted in efficient cleavage of vitronectin by the outer membrane Pla (plasminogen activator protease). Escherichia coli DH5α expressing Y. pestis Ail bound vitronectin, but not heat-treated vitronectin. The ability of Ail to directly bind vitronectin was demonstrated by ELISA using purified refolded Ail in nanodiscs.

  14. Yersinia pestis uses the Ail outer membrane protein to recruit vitronectin

    PubMed Central

    Bartra, Sara Schesser; Ding, Yi; Miya Fujimoto, L.; Ring, Joshua G.; Jain, Vishal; Ram, Sanjay; Marassi, Francesca M.

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the agent of plague, requires the Ail (attachment invasion locus) outer membrane protein to survive in the blood and tissues of its mammalian hosts. Ail is important for both attachment to host cells and for resistance to complement-dependent bacteriolysis. Previous studies have shown that Ail interacts with components of the extracellular matrix, including fibronectin, laminin and heparan sulfate proteoglycans, and with the complement inhibitor C4b-binding protein. Here, we demonstrate that Ail-expressing Y. pestis strains bind vitronectin – a host protein with functions in cell attachment, fibrinolysis and inhibition of the complement system. The Ail-dependent recruitment of vitronectin resulted in efficient cleavage of vitronectin by the outer membrane Pla (plasminogen activator protease). Escherichia coli DH5α expressing Y. pestis Ail bound vitronectin, but not heat-treated vitronectin. The ability of Ail to directly bind vitronectin was demonstrated by ELISA using purified refolded Ail in nanodiscs. PMID:26377177

  15. Eighteenth century Yersinia pestis genomes reveal the long-term persistence of an historical plague focus.

    PubMed

    Bos, Kirsten I; Herbig, Alexander; Sahl, Jason; Waglechner, Nicholas; Fourment, Mathieu; Forrest, Stephen A; Klunk, Jennifer; Schuenemann, Verena J; Poinar, Debi; Kuch, Melanie; Golding, G Brian; Dutour, Olivier; Keim, Paul; Wagner, David M; Holmes, Edward C; Krause, Johannes; Poinar, Hendrik N

    2016-01-21

    The 14th-18th century pandemic of Yersinia pestis caused devastating disease outbreaks in Europe for almost 400 years. The reasons for plague's persistence and abrupt disappearance in Europe are poorly understood, but could have been due to either the presence of now-extinct plague foci in Europe itself, or successive disease introductions from other locations. Here we present five Y. pestis genomes from one of the last European outbreaks of plague, from 1722 in Marseille, France. The lineage identified has not been found in any extant Y. pestis foci sampled to date, and has its ancestry in strains obtained from victims of the 14th century Black Death. These data suggest the existence of a previously uncharacterized historical plague focus that persisted for at least three centuries. We propose that this disease source may have been responsible for the many resurgences of plague in Europe following the Black Death.

  16. Regulation of Yersina pestis Virulence by AI-2 Mediated Quorum Sensing

    SciTech Connect

    Segelke, B; Hok, S; Lao, V; Corzett, M; Garcia, E

    2010-03-29

    The proposed research was motivated by an interest in understanding Y. pestis virulence mechanisms and bacteria cell-cell communication. It is expected that a greater understanding of virulence mechanisms will ultimately lead to biothreat countermeasures and novel therapeutics. Y. pestis is the etiological agent of plague, the most devastating disease in human history. Y. pestis infection has a high mortality rate and a short incubation before mortality. There is no widely available and effective vaccine for Y. pestis and multi-drug resistant strains are emerging. Y. pestis is a recognized biothreat agent based on the wide distribution of the bacteria in research laboratories around the world and on the knowledge that methods exist to produce and aerosolize large amounts of bacteria. We hypothesized that cell-cell communication via signaling molecules, or quorum sensing, by Y. pestis is important for the regulation of virulence factor gene expression during host invasion, though a causative link had never been established. Quorum sensing is a mode of intercellular communication which enables orchestration of gene expression for many bacteria as a function of population density and available evidence suggests there may be a link between quorum sensing and regulation of Y. pesits virulence. Several pathogenic bacteria have been shown to regulate expression of virulence factor genes, including genes encoding type III secretion, via quorum sensing. The Y. pestis genome encodes several cell-cell signaling pathways and the interaction of at least three of these are thought to be involved in one or more modes of host invasion. Furthermore, Y. pestis gene expression array studies carried out at LLNL have established a correlation between expression of known virulence factors and genes involved in processing of the AI-2 quorum sensing signal. This was a basic research project that was intended to provide new insights into bacterial intercellular communication and how it is

  17. Chemical composition and biological activity of the Yersinia pestis envelope substance.

    PubMed Central

    Głosnicka, R; Gruszkiewicz, E

    1980-01-01

    Purification of the envelope antigen of Yersinia pestis EV with passive hemagglutination activity is described. The purification procedure consisted of pancreatin digestion, chromatography on human erythrocyte stroma set on Celite, and rechromatography on Sephadex G-200. Chemical, physical, and biological properties of this antigen were investigated. The results show the lipid-polysaccharide structure of the isolated antigen. The carbohydrate moiety of the galactolipid antigen consists of galactose and fucose. The lipid fraction contained phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylserine. The preparation showed high specificity in the hemagglutination reaction and in Y. pestis phage receptor activity. In two-dimensional immunoelectrophoresis, the isolated pancreatic envelope digest antigen appeared as a single line. Two-dimensional immunoelectrophoresis was modified for tandem separation and was employed to electrophoretically identify the pancreatic envelope digest, trypsin envelope digest preparation, and F1 envelope antigen of Y. pestis. Related or identical antigens showed confluence of peaks with reactions of identity. Images Fig. 8 Fig. 9 PMID:7002800

  18. Poor vector competence of fleas and the evolution of hypervirulence in Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Lorange, Ellen A; Race, Brent L; Sebbane, Florent; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2005-06-01

    Population genetics and comparative genomics analyses of the pathogenic Yersinia species have indicated that arthropodborne transmission is an evolutionarily recent adaptation in Yersinia pestis, the agent of plague. We show that the infectivity of Y. pestis to its most proficient vector, the rat flea Xenopsylla cheopis, and subsequent transmission efficiency are both low. The poor vector competence of fleas likely imposed selective pressure that favored the emergence and continued maintenance of a hypervirulent Y. pestis clone. In particular, the rapidly fatal gram-negative sepsis that typifies plague is a consequence of the high threshold bacteremia level that must be attained to complete the transmission cycle. Epidemiological modeling predicts that, to compensate for a relatively short period of infectivity of the mammalian host for the arthropod vector, plague epizootics require a high flea burden per host, even when the susceptible host population density is high.

  19. Characterization of the Na⁺/H⁺ antiporter from Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Ganoth, Assaf; Alhadeff, Raphael; Kohen, Dovrat; Arkin, Isaiah T

    2011-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that historically accounts for the Black Death epidemics, has nowadays gained new attention as a possible biological warfare agent. In this study, its Na⁺/H⁺ antiporter is investigated for the first time, by a combination of experimental and computational methodologies. We determined the protein's substrate specificity and pH dependence by fluorescence measurements in everted membrane vesicles. Subsequently, we constructed a model of the protein's structure and validated the model using molecular dynamics simulations. Taken together, better understanding of the Yersinia pestis Na⁺/H⁺ antiporter's structure-function relationship may assist in studies on ion transport, mechanism of action and designing specific blockers of Na⁺/H⁺ antiporter to help in fighting Yersinia pestis -associated infections. We hope that our model will prove useful both from mechanistic and pharmaceutical perspectives.

  20. [Origin of the plague microbe Yersinia pestis: structure of the process of speciation].

    PubMed

    Suntsov, V V

    2012-01-01

    The origin and evolution of the plague microbe Yersinia pestis are considered in the context of propositions of modern Darwinism. It was shown that the plague pathogen diverged from the pseudotuberculous microbe Yersinia pseudotuberculosis O:1b in the mountain steppe landscapes of Central Asia in the Sartan: 22000-15000 years ago. Speciation occurred in the tarbagan (Marmota sibirica)--flea (Oropsylla silantiewi) parasitic system. The structure of the speciation process included six stages: isolation, genetic drift, enhancement of intrapopulational polymorphism, the beginning of pesticin synthesis (genetic conflict and emergence of hiatus), specialization (stabilization of characteristics), and adaptive irradiation (transformation of the monotypic species Y. pestis tarbagani into a polytypic species). The scenario opens up wide prospects for construction of the molecular phylogeny of the plague microbe Y. pestis and for investigation of the biochemical and molecular-genetic aspects of "Darwinian" evolution of pathogens from many other nature-focal infections.

  1. Pulmonary infection by Yersinia pestis rapidly establishes a permissive environment for microbial proliferation.

    PubMed

    Price, Paul A; Jin, Jianping; Goldman, William E

    2012-02-21

    Disease progression of primary pneumonic plague is biphasic, consisting of a preinflammatory and a proinflammatory phase. During the long preinflammatory phase, bacteria replicate to high levels, seemingly uninhibited by normal pulmonary defenses. In a coinfection model of pneumonic plague, it appears that Yersinia pestis quickly creates a localized, dominant anti-inflammatory state that allows for the survival and rapid growth of both itself and normally avirulent organisms. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, the relatively recent progenitor of Y. pestis, shows no similar trans-complementation effect, which is unprecedented among other respiratory pathogens. We demonstrate that the effectors secreted by the Ysc type III secretion system are necessary but not sufficient to mediate this apparent immunosuppression. Even an unbiased negative selection screen using a vast pool of Y. pestis mutants revealed no selection against any known virulence genes, demonstrating the transformation of the lung from a highly restrictive to a generally permissive environment during the preinflammatory phase of pneumonic plague.

  2. Adaptive strategies of Yersinia pestis to persist during inter-epizootic and epizootic periods

    PubMed Central

    Eisen, Rebecca J.; Gage, Kenneth L.

    2009-01-01

    Plague is a flea-borne zoonotic bacterial disease caused by Yersinia pestis. It has caused three historical pandemics, including the Black Death which killed nearly a third of Europe's population in the 14th century. In modern times, plague epizootics can extirpate entire susceptible wildlife populations and then disappear for long time periods. Understanding how Y. pestis is maintained during inter-epizootic periods and the factors responsible for transitioning to epizootics is important for preventing and controlling pathogen transmission and ultimately reducing the burden of human disease. In this review, we focus primarily on plague in North American foci and discuss the potential adaptive strategies Y. pestis might employ to ensure not only its survival during inter-epizootic periods but also the rapid epizootic spread and invasion of new territories that are so characteristic of plague and have resulted in major pandemics and establishment of plague foci throughout much of the world. PMID:18803931

  3. In Vitro Antibiotic Susceptibilities of Yersinia pestis Determined by Broth Microdilution following CLSI Methods

    PubMed Central

    Hershfield, Jeremy; Marchand, Charles; Miller, Lynda; Halasohoris, Stephanie; Purcell, Bret K.; Worsham, Patricia L.

    2015-01-01

    In vitro susceptibilities to 45 antibiotics were determined for 30 genetically and geographically diverse strains of Yersinia pestis by the broth microdilution method at two temperatures, 28°C and 35°C, following Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) methods. The Y. pestis strains demonstrated susceptibility to aminoglycosides, quinolones, tetracyclines, β-lactams, cephalosporins, and carbapenems. Only a 1-well shift was observed for the majority of antibiotics between the two temperatures. Establishing and comparing antibiotic susceptibilities of a diverse but specific set of Y. pestis strains by standardized methods and establishing population ranges and MIC50 and MIC90 values provide reference information for assessing new antibiotic agents and also provide a baseline for use in monitoring any future emergence of resistance. PMID:25583720

  4. In vitro antibiotic susceptibilities of Yersinia pestis determined by broth microdilution following CLSI methods.

    PubMed

    Heine, Henry S; Hershfield, Jeremy; Marchand, Charles; Miller, Lynda; Halasohoris, Stephanie; Purcell, Bret K; Worsham, Patricia L

    2015-04-01

    In vitro susceptibilities to 45 antibiotics were determined for 30 genetically and geographically diverse strains of Yersinia pestis by the broth microdilution method at two temperatures, 28°C and 35°C, following Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) methods. The Y. pestis strains demonstrated susceptibility to aminoglycosides, quinolones, tetracyclines, β-lactams, cephalosporins, and carbapenems. Only a 1-well shift was observed for the majority of antibiotics between the two temperatures. Establishing and comparing antibiotic susceptibilities of a diverse but specific set of Y. pestis strains by standardized methods and establishing population ranges and MIC50 and MIC90 values provide reference information for assessing new antibiotic agents and also provide a baseline for use in monitoring any future emergence of resistance. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  5. Structural insights into Ail-mediated adhesion in Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Satoshi; Lukacik, Petra; Barnard, Travis J; Noinaj, Nicholas; Felek, Suleyman; Tsang, Tiffany M; Krukonis, Eric S; Hinnebusch, B Joseph; Buchanan, Susan K

    2011-11-09

    Ail is an outer membrane protein from Yersinia pestis that is highly expressed in a rodent model of bubonic plague, making it a good candidate for vaccine development. Ail is important for attaching to host cells and evading host immune responses, facilitating rapid progression of a plague infection. Binding to host cells is important for injection of cytotoxic Yersinia outer proteins. To learn more about how Ail mediates adhesion, we solved two high-resolution crystal structures of Ail, with no ligand bound and in complex with a heparin analog called sucrose octasulfate. We identified multiple adhesion targets, including laminin and heparin, and showed that a 40 kDa domain of laminin called LG4-5 specifically binds to Ail. We also evaluated the contribution of laminin to delivery of Yops to HEp-2 cells. This work constitutes a structural description of how a bacterial outer membrane protein uses a multivalent approach to bind host cells. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Fibrinolytic and procoagulant activities of Yersinia pestis and Salmonella enterica.

    PubMed

    Korhonen, T K

    2015-06-01

    Pla of the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis and PgtE of the enteropathogen Salmonella enterica are surface-exposed, transmembrane β-barrel proteases of the omptin family that exhibit a complex array of interactions with the hemostatic systems in vitro, and both proteases are established virulence factors. Pla favors fibrinolysis by direct activation of plasminogen, inactivation of the serpins plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and α2-antiplasmin, inactivation of the thrombin-activable fibrinolysis inhibitor, and activation of single-chain urokinase. PgtE is structurally very similar but exhibits partially different functions and differ in expression control. PgtE proteolysis targets control aspects of fibrinolysis, and mimicry of matrix metalloproteinases enhances cell migration that should favor the intracellular spread of the bacterium. Enzymatic activity of both proteases is strongly influenced by the environment-induced variations in lipopolysaccharide that binds to the β-barrel. Both proteases cleave the tissue factor pathway inhibitor and thus also express procoagulant activity. © 2015 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

  7. Defective Innate Cell Response and Lymph Node Infiltration Specify Yersinia pestis Infection

    PubMed Central

    Guinet, Françoise; Avé, Patrick; Jones, Louis; Huerre, Michel; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2008-01-01

    Since its recent emergence from the enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, Y. pestis, the plague agent, has acquired an intradermal (id) route of entry and an extreme virulence. To identify pathophysiological events associated with the Y. pestis high degree of pathogenicity, we compared disease progression and evolution in mice after id inoculation of the two Yersinia species. Mortality studies showed that the id portal was not in itself sufficient to provide Y. pseudotuberculosis with the high virulence power of its descendant. Surprisingly, Y. pseudotuberculosis multiplied even more efficiently than Y. pestis in the dermis, and generated comparable histological lesions. Likewise, Y. pseudotuberculosis translocated to the draining lymph node (DLN) and similar numbers of the two bacterial species were found at 24 h post infection (pi) in this organ. However, on day 2 pi, bacterial loads were higher in Y. pestis-infected than in Y. pseudotuberculosis-infected DLNs. Clustering and multiple correspondence analyses showed that the DLN pathologies induced by the two species were statistically significantly different and identified the most discriminating elementary lesions. Y. pseudotuberculosis infection was accompanied by abscess-type polymorphonuclear cell infiltrates containing the infection, while Y. pestis-infected DLNs exhibited an altered tissue density and a vascular congestion, and were typified by an invasion of the tissue by free floating bacteria. Therefore, Y. pestis exceptional virulence is not due to its recently acquired portal of entry into the host, but is associated with a distinct ability to massively infiltrate the DLN, without inducing in this organ an organized polymorphonuclear cell reaction. These results shed light on pathophysiological processes that draw the line between a virulent and a hypervirulent pathogen. PMID:18301765

  8. Imaging of bubonic plague dynamics by in vivo tracking of bioluminescent Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Nham, Toan; Filali, Sofia; Danne, Camille; Derbise, Anne; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2012-01-01

    Yersinia pestis dissemination in a host is usually studied by enumerating bacteria in the tissues of animals sacrificed at different times. This laborious methodology gives only snapshots of the infection, as the infectious process is not synchronized. In this work we used in vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI) to follow Y. pestis dissemination during bubonic plague. We first demonstrated that Y. pestis CO92 transformed with pGEN-luxCDABE stably emitted bioluminescence in vitro and in vivo, while retaining full virulence. The light produced from live animals allowed to delineate the infected organs and correlated with bacterial loads, thus validating the BLI tool. We then showed that the first step of the infectious process is a bacterial multiplication at the injection site (linea alba), followed by a colonization of the draining inguinal lymph node(s), and subsequently of the ipsilateral axillary lymph node through a direct connection between the two nodes. A mild bacteremia and an effective filtering of the blood stream by the liver and spleen probably accounted for the early bacterial blood clearance and the simultaneous development of bacterial foci within these organs. The saturation of the filtering capacity of the spleen and liver subsequently led to terminal septicemia. Our results also indicate that secondary lymphoid tissues are the main targets of Y. pestis multiplication and that colonization of other organs occurs essentially at the terminal phase of the disease. Finally, our analysis reveals that the high variability in the kinetics of infection is attributable to the time the bacteria remain confined at the injection site. However, once Y. pestis has reached the draining lymph nodes, the disease progresses extremely rapidly, leading to the invasion of the entire body within two days and to death of the animals. This highlights the extraordinary capacity of Y. pestis to annihilate the host innate immune response.

  9. Imaging of Bubonic Plague Dynamics by In Vivo Tracking of Bioluminescent Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Nham, Toan; Filali, Sofia; Danne, Camille; Derbise, Anne; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2012-01-01

    Yersinia pestis dissemination in a host is usually studied by enumerating bacteria in the tissues of animals sacrificed at different times. This laborious methodology gives only snapshots of the infection, as the infectious process is not synchronized. In this work we used in vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI) to follow Y. pestis dissemination during bubonic plague. We first demonstrated that Y. pestis CO92 transformed with pGEN-luxCDABE stably emitted bioluminescence in vitro and in vivo, while retaining full virulence. The light produced from live animals allowed to delineate the infected organs and correlated with bacterial loads, thus validating the BLI tool. We then showed that the first step of the infectious process is a bacterial multiplication at the injection site (linea alba), followed by a colonization of the draining inguinal lymph node(s), and subsequently of the ipsilateral axillary lymph node through a direct connection between the two nodes. A mild bacteremia and an effective filtering of the blood stream by the liver and spleen probably accounted for the early bacterial blood clearance and the simultaneous development of bacterial foci within these organs. The saturation of the filtering capacity of the spleen and liver subsequently led to terminal septicemia. Our results also indicate that secondary lymphoid tissues are the main targets of Y. pestis multiplication and that colonization of other organs occurs essentially at the terminal phase of the disease. Finally, our analysis reveals that the high variability in the kinetics of infection is attributable to the time the bacteria remain confined at the injection site. However, once Y. pestis has reached the draining lymph nodes, the disease progresses extremely rapidly, leading to the invasion of the entire body within two days and to death of the animals. This highlights the extraordinary capacity of Y. pestis to annihilate the host innate immune response. PMID:22496846

  10. Phosphoglucomutase of Yersinia pestis Is Required for Autoaggregation and Polymyxin B Resistance▿

    PubMed Central

    Felek, Suleyman; Muszyński, Artur; Carlson, Russell W.; Tsang, Tiffany M.; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph; Krukonis, Eric S.

    2010-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, autoaggregates within a few minutes of cessation of shaking when grown at 28°C. To identify the autoaggregation factor of Y. pestis, we performed mariner-based transposon mutagenesis. Autoaggregation-defective mutants from three different pools were identified, each with a transposon insertion at a different position within the gene encoding phosphoglucomutase (pgmA; y1258). Targeted deletion of pgmA in Y. pestis KIM5 also resulted in loss of autoaggregation. Given the previously defined role for phosphoglucomutase in antimicrobial peptide resistance in other organisms, we tested the KIM5 ΔpgmA mutant for antimicrobial peptide sensitivity. The ΔpgmA mutant displayed >1,000-fold increased sensitivity to polymyxin B compared to the parental Y. pestis strain, KIM5. This sensitivity is not due to changes in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) since the LPSs from both Y. pestis KIM5 and the ΔpgmA mutant are identical based on a comparison of their structures by mass spectrometry (MS), tandem MS, and nuclear magnetic resonance analyses. Furthermore, the ability of polymyxin B to neutralize LPS toxicity was identical for LPS purified from both KIM5 and the ΔpgmA mutant. Our results indicate that increased polymyxin B sensitivity of the ΔpgmA mutant is due to changes in surface structures other than LPS. Experiments with mice via the intravenous and intranasal routes did not demonstrate any virulence defect for the ΔpgmA mutant, nor was flea colonization or blockage affected. Our findings suggest that the activity of PgmA results in modification and/or elaboration of a surface component of Y. pestis responsible for autoaggregation and polymyxin B resistance. PMID:20028810

  11. The Role of relA and spoT in Yersinia pestis KIM5+ Pathogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Wei; Roland, Kenneth L.; Branger, Christine G.; Kuang, Xiaoying; Curtiss, Roy

    2009-01-01

    The ppGpp molecule is part of a highly conserved regulatory system for mediating the growth response to various environmental conditions. This mechanism may represent a common strategy whereby pathogens such as Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, regulate the virulence gene programs required for invasion, survival and persistence within host cells to match the capacity for growth. The products of the relA and spoT genes carry out ppGpp synthesis. To investigate the role of ppGpp on growth, protein synthesis, gene expression and virulence, we constructed a ΔrelA ΔspoT Y. pestis mutant. The mutant was no longer able to synthesize ppGpp in response to amino acid or carbon starvation, as expected. We also found that it exhibited several novel phenotypes, including a reduced growth rate and autoaggregation at 26°C. In addition, there was a reduction in the level of secretion of key virulence proteins and the mutant was>1,000-fold less virulent than its wild-type parent strain. Mice vaccinated subcutaneously (s.c.) with 2.5×104 CFU of the ΔrelA ΔspoT mutant developed high anti-Y. pestis serum IgG titers, were completely protected against s.c. challenge with 1.5×105 CFU of virulent Y. pestis and partially protected (60% survival) against pulmonary challenge with 2.0×104 CFU of virulent Y. pestis. Our results indicate that ppGpp represents an important virulence determinant in Y. pestis and the ΔrelA ΔspoT mutant strain is a promising vaccine candidate to provide protection against plague. PMID:19701461

  12. Temporal phylogeography of Yersinia pestis in Madagascar: Insights into the long-term maintenance of plague.

    PubMed

    Vogler, Amy J; Andrianaivoarimanana, Voahangy; Telfer, Sandra; Hall, Carina M; Sahl, Jason W; Hepp, Crystal M; Centner, Heather; Andersen, Genevieve; Birdsell, Dawn N; Rahalison, Lila; Nottingham, Roxanne; Keim, Paul; Wagner, David M; Rajerison, Minoarisoa

    2017-09-01

    Yersinia pestis appears to be maintained in multiple, geographically separate, and phylogenetically distinct subpopulations within the highlands of Madagascar. However, the dynamics of these locally differentiated subpopulations through time are mostly unknown. To address that gap and further inform our understanding of plague epidemiology, we investigated the phylogeography of Y. pestis in Madagascar over an 18 year period. We generated whole genome sequences for 31 strains and discovered new SNPs that we used in conjunction with previously identified SNPs and variable-number tandem repeats (VNTRs) to genotype 773 Malagasy Y. pestis samples from 1995 to 2012. We mapped the locations where samples were obtained on a fine geographic scale to examine phylogeographic patterns through time. We identified 18 geographically separate and phylogenetically distinct subpopulations that display spatial and temporal stability, persisting in the same locations over a period of almost two decades. We found that geographic areas with higher levels of topographical relief are associated with greater levels of phylogenetic diversity and that sampling frequency can vary considerably among subpopulations and from year to year. We also found evidence of various Y. pestis dispersal events, including over long distances, but no evidence that any dispersal events resulted in successful establishment of a transferred genotype in a new location during the examined time period. Our analysis suggests that persistent endemic cycles of Y. pestis transmission within local areas are responsible for the long term maintenance of plague in Madagascar, rather than repeated episodes of wide scale epidemic spread. Landscape likely plays a role in maintaining Y. pestis subpopulations in Madagascar, with increased topographical relief associated with increased levels of localized differentiation. Local ecological factors likely affect the dynamics of individual subpopulations and the associated

  13. Characterization of outer membrane proteins of Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis strains isolated from India.

    PubMed

    Khushiramani, Rekha; Tuteja, Urmil; Shukla, Jyoti; Batra, Harsh Vardhan

    2004-05-01

    The majority of virulence factors including the 12 Yersinia outer membrane proteins (Yops), 29 Yop secretion proteins (Ysc) and few specific Yop chaperone (Syc) are contributed by the 70 kb LCR middle plasmid of Yersinia pestis. Yersinia pestis isolates recovered during 1994 plague outbreak and rodent surveillance samples of Southern states of India were studied for the presence of important Yops by the conventional procedure of partially purifying outer membrane proteins (Omps) after cultivation in calcium deficient media. Prominent bands numbering 4-5 between 34-42 kDa region corresponding to important Yops were seen in all the isolates as well as in other Yersinia and non-Yersinia species by SDS-PAGE. Western blotting with the polyclonal antisera raised against these Omp preparations revealed few immuno-reactive bands that appeared to be shared among Y. pestis, Y. pseudotruberculosis, Y. enterocolitica, Y. fredrocksenii, Y. intermedia, Y. kristensenii and E. coli. Three recombinant Yop proteins namely, YopM, YopB and LcrV were produced and antisera to these proteins could reveal presence of these Yops in the Y. pestis Omp preparations. In order to further characterize the important Yops among Omps, attempts were made to generate monoclonal antibodies against Omp preparation. Three of the 4 stable reactive clones that were obtained, when tested, had extensive cross-reactions among pathogenic Yersinia species, Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis isolates, other Yersinia species and the members of Enterobacteriaceae in dot-ELISA and Western blotting. One of the monoclonal antibodies, YP1, exhibited reaction to all the pathogenic Yersinia species and the isolates, with restricted cross-reactivity to Y. intermedia, Y. kristensenii, K. pneumoniae. None of the 4 monoclonal antibodies had reactions with the 3 recombinant Yop proteins. It appears that under low calcium response, the Y. pestis not only activates secretion of Yops but also a large number of other proteins

  14. Fatal laboratory-acquired infection with an attenuated Yersinia pestis Strain--Chicago, Illinois, 2009.

    PubMed

    2011-02-25

    On September 18, 2009, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) was notified by a local hospital of a suspected case of fatal laboratory-acquired infection with Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague. The patient, a researcher in a university laboratory, had been working along with other members of the laboratory group with a pigmentation-negative (pgm-) attenuated Y. pestis strain (KIM D27). The strain had not been known to have caused laboratory-acquired infections or human fatalities. Other researchers in a separate university laboratory facility in the same building had contact with a virulent Y. pestis strain (CO92) that is considered a select biologic agent; however, the pgm- attenuated KIM D27 is excluded from the National Select Agent Registry. The university, CDPH, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and CDC conducted an investigation to ascertain the cause of death. This report summarizes the results of that investigation, which determined that the cause of death likely was an unrecognized occupational exposure (route unknown) to Y. pestis, leading to septic shock. Y. pestis was isolated from premortem blood cultures. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) identified the clinical isolate as a pgm- strain of Y. pestis. Postmortem examination revealed no evidence of pneumonic plague. A postmortem diagnosis of hereditary hemochromatosis was made on the basis of histopathologic, laboratory, and genetic testing. One possible explanation for the unexpected fatal outcome in this patient is that hemochromatosis-induced iron overload might have provided the infecting KIM D27 strain, which is attenuated as a result of defects in its ability to acquire iron, with sufficient iron to overcome its iron-acquisition defects and become virulent. Researchers should adhere to recommended biosafety practices when handling any live bacterial cultures, even attenuated strains, and institutional biosafety committees should implement and maintain effective

  15. Defective innate cell response and lymph node infiltration specify Yersinia pestis infection.

    PubMed

    Guinet, Françoise; Avé, Patrick; Jones, Louis; Huerre, Michel; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2008-02-27

    Since its recent emergence from the enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, Y. pestis, the plague agent, has acquired an intradermal (id) route of entry and an extreme virulence. To identify pathophysiological events associated with the Y. pestis high degree of pathogenicity, we compared disease progression and evolution in mice after id inoculation of the two Yersinia species. Mortality studies showed that the id portal was not in itself sufficient to provide Y. pseudotuberculosis with the high virulence power of its descendant. Surprisingly, Y. pseudotuberculosis multiplied even more efficiently than Y. pestis in the dermis, and generated comparable histological lesions. Likewise, Y. pseudotuberculosis translocated to the draining lymph node (DLN) and similar numbers of the two bacterial species were found at 24 h post infection (pi) in this organ. However, on day 2 pi, bacterial loads were higher in Y. pestis-infected than in Y. pseudotuberculosis-infected DLNs. Clustering and multiple correspondence analyses showed that the DLN pathologies induced by the two species were statistically significantly different and identified the most discriminating elementary lesions. Y. pseudotuberculosis infection was accompanied by abscess-type polymorphonuclear cell infiltrates containing the infection, while Y. pestis-infected DLNs exhibited an altered tissue density and a vascular congestion, and were typified by an invasion of the tissue by free floating bacteria. Therefore, Y. pestis exceptional virulence is not due to its recently acquired portal of entry into the host, but is associated with a distinct ability to massively infiltrate the DLN, without inducing in this organ an organized polymorphonuclear cell reaction. These results shed light on pathophysiological processes that draw the line between a virulent and a hypervirulent pathogen.

  16. Novel genetic tools for diaminopimelic acid selection in virulence studies of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Bland, David M; Eisele, Nicholas A; Keleher, Lauren L; Anderson, Paul E; Anderson, Deborah M

    2011-03-02

    Molecular studies of bacterial virulence are enhanced by expression of recombinant DNA during infection to allow complementation of mutants and expression of reporter proteins in vivo. For highly pathogenic bacteria, such as Yersinia pestis, these studies are currently limited because deliberate introduction of antibiotic resistance is restricted to those few which are not human treatment options. In this work, we report the development of alternatives to antibiotics as tools for host-pathogen research during Yersinia pestis infections focusing on the diaminopimelic acid (DAP) pathway, a requirement for cell wall synthesis in eubacteria. We generated a mutation in the dapA-nlpB(dapX) operon of Yersinia pestis KIM D27 and CO92 which eliminated the expression of both genes. The resulting strains were auxotrophic for diaminopimelic acid and this phenotype was complemented in trans by expressing dapA in single and multi-copy. In vivo, we found that plasmids derived from the p15a replicon were cured without selection, while selection for DAP enhanced stability without detectable loss of any of the three resident virulence plasmids. The dapAX mutation rendered Y. pestis avirulent in mouse models of bubonic and septicemic plague which could be complemented when dapAX was inserted in single or multi-copy, restoring development of disease that was indistinguishable from the wild type parent strain. We further identified a high level, constitutive promoter in Y. pestis that could be used to drive expression of fluorescent reporters in dapAX strains that had minimal impact to virulence in mouse models while enabling sensitive detection of bacteria during infection. Thus, diaminopimelic acid selection for single or multi-copy genetic systems in Yersinia pestis offers an improved alternative to antibiotics for in vivo studies that causes minimal disruption to virulence.

  17. Inactivation of Peroxiredoxin 6 by the Pla Protease of Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Zimbler, Daniel L.; Eddy, Justin L.; Schroeder, Jay A.

    2015-01-01

    Pneumonic plague represents the most severe form of disease caused by Yersinia pestis due to its ease of transmission, rapid progression, and high mortality rate. The Y. pestis outer membrane Pla protease is essential for the development of pneumonic plague; however, the complete repertoire of substrates cleaved by Pla in the lungs is not known. In this study, we describe a proteomic screen to identify host proteins contained within the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of mice that are cleaved and/or processed by Y. pestis in a Pla-dependent manner. We identified peroxiredoxin 6 (Prdx6), a host factor that contributes to pulmonary surfactant metabolism and lung defense against oxidative stress, as a previously unknown substrate of Pla. Pla cleaves Prdx6 at three distinct sites, and these cleavages disrupt both the peroxidase and phospholipase A2 activities of Prdx6. In addition, we found that infection with wild-type Y. pestis reduces the abundance of extracellular Prdx6 in the lungs compared to that after infection with Δpla Y. pestis, suggesting that Pla cleaves Prdx6 in the pulmonary compartment. However, following infection with either wild-type or Δpla Y. pestis, Prdx6-deficient mice exhibit no differences in bacterial burden, host immune response, or lung damage from wild-type mice. Thus, while Pla is able to disrupt Prdx6 function in vitro and reduce Prdx6 levels in vivo, the cleavage of Prdx6 has little detectable impact on the progression or outcome of pneumonic plague. PMID:26553463

  18. Inactivation of Peroxiredoxin 6 by the Pla Protease of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Zimbler, Daniel L; Eddy, Justin L; Schroeder, Jay A; Lathem, Wyndham W

    2015-11-09

    Pneumonic plague represents the most severe form of disease caused by Yersinia pestis due to its ease of transmission, rapid progression, and high mortality rate. The Y. pestis outer membrane Pla protease is essential for the development of pneumonic plague; however, the complete repertoire of substrates cleaved by Pla in the lungs is not known. In this study, we describe a proteomic screen to identify host proteins contained within the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of mice that are cleaved and/or processed by Y. pestis in a Pla-dependent manner. We identified peroxiredoxin 6 (Prdx6), a host factor that contributes to pulmonary surfactant metabolism and lung defense against oxidative stress, as a previously unknown substrate of Pla. Pla cleaves Prdx6 at three distinct sites, and these cleavages disrupt both the peroxidase and phospholipase A2 activities of Prdx6. In addition, we found that infection with wild-type Y. pestis reduces the abundance of extracellular Prdx6 in the lungs compared to that after infection with Δpla Y. pestis, suggesting that Pla cleaves Prdx6 in the pulmonary compartment. However, following infection with either wild-type or Δpla Y. pestis, Prdx6-deficient mice exhibit no differences in bacterial burden, host immune response, or lung damage from wild-type mice. Thus, while Pla is able to disrupt Prdx6 function in vitro and reduce Prdx6 levels in vivo, the cleavage of Prdx6 has little detectable impact on the progression or outcome of pneumonic plague. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  19. Insight into microevolution of Yersinia pestis by clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats.

    PubMed

    Cui, Yujun; Li, Yanjun; Gorgé, Olivier; Platonov, Mikhail E; Yan, Yanfeng; Guo, Zhaobiao; Pourcel, Christine; Dentovskaya, Svetlana V; Balakhonov, Sergey V; Wang, Xiaoyi; Song, Yajun; Anisimov, Andrey P; Vergnaud, Gilles; Yang, Ruifu

    2008-07-09

    Yersinia pestis, the pathogen of plague, has greatly influenced human history on a global scale. Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat (CRISPR), an element participating in immunity against phages' invasion, is composed of short repeated sequences separated by unique spacers and provides the basis of the spoligotyping technology. In the present research, three CRISPR loci were analyzed in 125 strains of Y. pestis from 26 natural plague foci of China, the former Soviet Union and Mongolia were analyzed, for validating CRISPR-based genotyping method and better understanding adaptive microevolution of Y. pestis. Using PCR amplification, sequencing and online data processing, a high degree of genetic diversity was revealed in all three CRISPR elements. The distribution of spacers and their arrays in Y. pestis strains is strongly region and focus-specific, allowing the construction of a hypothetic evolutionary model of Y. pestis. This model suggests transmission route of microtus strains that encircled Takla Makan Desert and ZhunGer Basin. Starting from Tadjikistan, one branch passed through the Kunlun Mountains, and moved to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Another branch went north via the Pamirs Plateau, the Tianshan Mountains, the Altai Mountains and the Inner Mongolian Plateau. Other Y. pestis lineages might be originated from certain areas along those routes. CRISPR can provide important information for genotyping and evolutionary research of bacteria, which will help to trace the source of outbreaks. The resulting data will make possible the development of very low cost and high-resolution assays for the systematic typing of any new isolate.

  20. Proteomic analysis of iron acquisition, metabolic and regulatory responses of Yersinia pestis to iron starvation

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The Gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of the bubonic plague. Efficient iron acquisition systems are critical to the ability of Y. pestis to infect, spread and grow in mammalian hosts, because iron is sequestered and is considered part of the innate host immune defence against invading pathogens. We used a proteomic approach to determine expression changes of iron uptake systems and intracellular consequences of iron deficiency in the Y. pestis strain KIM6+ at two physiologically relevant temperatures (26°C and 37°C). Results Differential protein display was performed for three Y. pestis subcellular fractions. Five characterized Y. pestis iron/siderophore acquisition systems (Ybt, Yfe, Yfu, Yiu and Hmu) and a putative iron/chelate outer membrane receptor (Y0850) were increased in abundance in iron-starved cells. The iron-sulfur (Fe-S) cluster assembly system Suf, adapted to oxidative stress and iron starvation in E. coli, was also more abundant, suggesting functional activity of Suf in Y. pestis under iron-limiting conditions. Metabolic and reactive oxygen-deactivating enzymes dependent on Fe-S clusters or other iron cofactors were decreased in abundance in iron-depleted cells. This data was consistent with lower activities of aconitase and catalase in iron-starved vs. iron-rich cells. In contrast, pyruvate oxidase B which metabolizes pyruvate via electron transfer to ubiquinone-8 for direct utilization in the respiratory chain was strongly increased in abundance and activity in iron-depleted cells. Conclusions Many protein abundance differences were indicative of the important regulatory role of the ferric uptake regulator Fur. Iron deficiency seems to result in a coordinated shift from iron-utilizing to iron-independent biochemical pathways in the cytoplasm of Y. pestis. With growth temperature as an additional variable in proteomic comparisons of the Y. pestis fractions (26°C and 37°C), there was little evidence for

  1. The Yersinia pestis Effector YopM Inhibits Pyrin Inflammasome Activation

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Donghai; Gavrilin, Mikhail A.; Alnemri, Emad S.; Johnson, Peter F.; Lee, Bettina; Mecsas, Joan; Kayagaki, Nobuhiko; Goguen, Jon D.; Lien, Egil

    2016-01-01

    Type III secretion systems (T3SS) are central virulence factors for many pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria, and secreted T3SS effectors can block key aspects of host cell signaling. To counter this, innate immune responses can also sense some T3SS components to initiate anti-bacterial mechanisms. The Yersinia pestis T3SS is particularly effective and sophisticated in manipulating the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-18, which are typically processed into their mature forms by active caspase-1 following inflammasome formation. Some effectors, like Y. pestis YopM, may block inflammasome activation. Here we show that YopM prevents Y. pestis induced activation of the Pyrin inflammasome induced by the RhoA-inhibiting effector YopE, which is a GTPase activating protein. YopM blocks YopE-induced Pyrin-mediated caspase-1 dependent IL-1β/IL-18 production and cell death. We also detected YopM in a complex with Pyrin and kinases RSK1 and PKN1, putative negative regulators of Pyrin. In contrast to wild-type mice, Pyrin deficient mice were also highly susceptible to an attenuated Y. pestis strain lacking YopM, emphasizing the importance of inhibition of Pyrin in vivo. A complex interplay between the Y. pestis T3SS and IL-1β/IL-18 production is evident, involving at least four inflammasome pathways. The secreted effector YopJ triggers caspase-8- dependent IL-1β activation, even when YopM is present. Additionally, the presence of the T3SS needle/translocon activates NLRP3 and NLRC4-dependent IL-1β generation, which is blocked by YopK, but not by YopM. Taken together, the data suggest YopM specificity for obstructing the Pyrin pathway, as the effector does not appear to block Y. pestis-induced NLRP3, NLRC4 or caspase-8 dependent caspase-1 processing. Thus, we identify Y. pestis YopM as a microbial inhibitor of the Pyrin inflammasome. The fact that so many of the Y. pestis T3SS components are participating in regulation of IL-1β/IL-18 release suggests

  2. Rapid identification of Yersinia pestis and Brucella melitensis by chip-based continuous flow PCR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dietzsch, Michael; Hlawatsch, Nadine; Melzer, Falk; Tomaso, Herbert; Gärtner, Claudia; Neubauer, Heinrich

    2012-06-01

    To combat the threat of biological agents like Yersinia pestis and Brucella melitensis in bioterroristic scenarios requires fast, easy-to-use and safe identification systems. In this study we describe a system for rapid amplification of specific genetic markers for the identification of Yersinia pestis and Brucella melitensis. Using chip based PCR and continuous flow technology we were able to amplify the targets simultaneously with a 2-step reaction profile within 20 minutes. The subsequent analysis of amplified fragments by standard gel electrophoresis requires another 45 minutes. We were able to detect both pathogens within 75 minutes being much faster than most other nucleic acid amplification technologies.

  3. Yersinia pestis DNA from Skeletal Remains from the 6th Century AD Reveals Insights into Justinianic Plague

    PubMed Central

    Harbeck, Michaela; Seifert, Lisa; Hänsch, Stephanie; Wagner, David M.; Birdsell, Dawn; Parise, Katy L.; Wiechmann, Ingrid; Grupe, Gisela; Thomas, Astrid; Keim, Paul; Zöller, Lothar; Bramanti, Barbara; Riehm, Julia M.; Scholz, Holger C.

    2013-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of the disease plague, has been implicated in three historical pandemics. These include the third pandemic of the 19th and 20th centuries, during which plague was spread around the world, and the second pandemic of the 14th–17th centuries, which included the infamous epidemic known as the Black Death. Previous studies have confirmed that Y. pestis caused these two more recent pandemics. However, a highly spirited debate still continues as to whether Y. pestis caused the so-called Justinianic Plague of the 6th–8th centuries AD. By analyzing ancient DNA in two independent ancient DNA laboratories, we confirmed unambiguously the presence of Y. pestis DNA in human skeletal remains from an Early Medieval cemetery. In addition, we narrowed the phylogenetic position of the responsible strain down to major branch 0 on the Y. pestis phylogeny, specifically between nodes N03 and N05. Our findings confirm that Y. pestis was responsible for the Justinianic Plague, which should end the controversy regarding the etiology of this pandemic. The first genotype of a Y. pestis strain that caused the Late Antique plague provides important information about the history of the plague bacillus and suggests that the first pandemic also originated in Asia, similar to the other two plague pandemics. PMID:23658525

  4. Yersinia pestis DNA from skeletal remains from the 6(th) century AD reveals insights into Justinianic Plague.

    PubMed

    Harbeck, Michaela; Seifert, Lisa; Hänsch, Stephanie; Wagner, David M; Birdsell, Dawn; Parise, Katy L; Wiechmann, Ingrid; Grupe, Gisela; Thomas, Astrid; Keim, Paul; Zöller, Lothar; Bramanti, Barbara; Riehm, Julia M; Scholz, Holger C

    2013-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of the disease plague, has been implicated in three historical pandemics. These include the third pandemic of the 19(th) and 20(th) centuries, during which plague was spread around the world, and the second pandemic of the 14(th)-17(th) centuries, which included the infamous epidemic known as the Black Death. Previous studies have confirmed that Y. pestis caused these two more recent pandemics. However, a highly spirited debate still continues as to whether Y. pestis caused the so-called Justinianic Plague of the 6(th)-8(th) centuries AD. By analyzing ancient DNA in two independent ancient DNA laboratories, we confirmed unambiguously the presence of Y. pestis DNA in human skeletal remains from an Early Medieval cemetery. In addition, we narrowed the phylogenetic position of the responsible strain down to major branch 0 on the Y. pestis phylogeny, specifically between nodes N03 and N05. Our findings confirm that Y. pestis was responsible for the Justinianic Plague, which should end the controversy regarding the etiology of this pandemic. The first genotype of a Y. pestis strain that caused the Late Antique plague provides important information about the history of the plague bacillus and suggests that the first pandemic also originated in Asia, similar to the other two plague pandemics.

  5. An aroA mutant of Yersinia pestis is attenuated in guinea-pigs, but virulent in mice.

    PubMed

    Oyston, P C; Russell, P; Williamson, E D; Titball, R W

    1996-07-01

    This study describes a PCR-based approach for the production of a rationally attenuated mutant of Yersinia pestis. Degenerate primers were used to amplify a fragment encoding 91.45% of the aroA gene of Y. pestis MP6 which was cloned into pUC18. The remainder of the gene was isolated by inverse PCR. The gene was sequenced and a restriction map was generated. The Y. pestis aroA gene had 75.9% identity with the aroA gene of Yersinia enterocolitica. The cloned gene was inactivated in vitro and reintroduced into Y. pestis strain GB using the suicide vector pGP704. A stable aro-defective mutant. Y. pestis GB aroA, was isolated and its virulence was examined in vivo. The mutant was attenuated in guinea-pigs and capable of inducing a protective immune response against challenge with the virulent Y. pestis strain GB. Unusually for an aro-defective mutant, the Y. pestis aroA mutant was virulent in mice, with a median dose which induced morbidity of death similar to that of the wild-type, although time to death was significantly prolonged.

  6. Origins of Yersinia pestis Sensitivity to the Arylomycin Antibiotics and the Inhibition of Type I Signal Peptidase

    PubMed Central

    Steed, Danielle B.; Liu, Jian; Wasbrough, Elizabeth; Miller, Lynda; Halasohoris, Stephanie; Miller, Jeremy; Somerville, Brandon; Hershfield, Jeremy R.

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis is the etiologic agent of the plague. Reports of Y. pestis strains that are resistant to each of the currently approved first-line and prophylactic treatments point to the urgent need to develop novel antibiotics with activity against the pathogen. We previously reported that Y. pestis strain KIM6+, unlike most Enterobacteriaceae, is susceptible to the arylomycins, a novel class of natural-product lipopeptide antibiotics that inhibit signal peptidase I (SPase). In this study, we show that the arylomycin activity is conserved against a broad range of Y. pestis strains and confirm that it results from the inhibition of SPase. We next investigated the origins of this unique arylomycin sensitivity and found that it does not result from an increased affinity of the Y. pestis SPase for the antibiotic and that alterations to each component of the Y. pestis lipopolysaccharide—O antigen, core, and lipid A—make at most only a small contribution. Instead, the origins of the sensitivity can be traced to an increased dependence on SPase activity that results from high levels of protein secretion under physiological conditions. These results highlight the potential of targeting protein secretion in cases where there is a heavy reliance on this process and also have implications for the development of the arylomycins as an antibiotic with activity against Y. pestis and potentially other Gram-negative pathogens. PMID:25896690

  7. Yersinia pestis endowed with increased cytotoxicity is avirulent in a bubonic plague model and induces rapid protection against pneumonic plague.

    PubMed

    Zauberman, Ayelet; Tidhar, Avital; Levy, Yinon; Bar-Haim, Erez; Halperin, Gideon; Flashner, Yehuda; Cohen, Sara; Shafferman, Avigdor; Mamroud, Emanuelle

    2009-06-16

    An important virulence strategy evolved by bacterial pathogens to overcome host defenses is the modulation of host cell death. Previous observations have indicated that Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague disease, exhibits restricted capacity to induce cell death in macrophages due to ineffective translocation of the type III secretion effector YopJ, as opposed to the readily translocated YopP, the YopJ homologue of the enteropathogen Yersinia enterocolitica Oratio8. This led us to suggest that reduced cytotoxic potency may allow pathogen propagation within a shielded niche, leading to increased virulence. To test the relationship between cytotoxic potential and virulence, we replaced Y. pestis YopJ with YopP. The YopP-expressing Y. pestis strain exhibited high cytotoxic activity against macrophages in vitro. Following subcutaneous infection, this strain had reduced ability to colonize internal organs, was unable to induce septicemia and exhibited at least a 10(7)-fold reduction in virulence. Yet, upon intravenous or intranasal infection, it was still as virulent as the wild-type strain. The subcutaneous administration of the cytotoxic Y. pestis strain appears to activate a rapid and potent systemic, CTL-independent, immunoprotective response, allowing the organism to overcome simultaneous coinfection with 10,000 LD(50) of virulent Y. pestis. Moreover, three days after subcutaneous administration of this strain, animals were also protected against septicemic or primary pneumonic plague. Our findings indicate that an inverse relationship exists between the cytotoxic potential of Y. pestis and its virulence following subcutaneous infection. This appears to be associated with the ability of the engineered cytotoxic Y. pestis strain to induce very rapid, effective and long-lasting protection against bubonic and pneumonic plague. These observations have novel implications for the development of vaccines/therapies against Y. pestis and shed new light on the

  8. Rapid and sensitive detection of Yersinia pestis using amplification of plague diagnostic bacteriophages monitored by real-time PCR.

    PubMed

    Sergueev, Kirill V; He, Yunxiu; Borschel, Richard H; Nikolich, Mikeljon P; Filippov, Andrey A

    2010-06-28

    Yersinia pestis, the agent of plague, has caused many millions of human deaths and still poses a serious threat to global public health. Timely and reliable detection of such a dangerous pathogen is of critical importance. Lysis by specific bacteriophages remains an essential method of Y. pestis detection and plague diagnostics. The objective of this work was to develop an alternative to conventional phage lysis tests--a rapid and highly sensitive method of indirect detection of live Y. pestis cells based on quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) monitoring of amplification of reporter Y. pestis-specific bacteriophages. Plague diagnostic phages phiA1122 and L-413C were shown to be highly effective diagnostic tools for the detection and identification of Y. pestis by using qPCR with primers specific for phage DNA. The template DNA extraction step that usually precedes qPCR was omitted. phiA1122-specific qPCR enabled the detection of an initial bacterial concentration of 10(3) CFU/ml (equivalent to as few as one Y. pestis cell per 1-microl sample) in four hours. L-413C-mediated detection of Y. pestis was less sensitive (up to 100 bacteria per sample) but more specific, and thus we propose parallel qPCR for the two phages as a rapid and reliable method of Y. pestis identification. Importantly, phiA1122 propagated in simulated clinical blood specimens containing EDTA and its titer rise was detected by both a standard plating test and qPCR. Thus, we developed a novel assay for detection and identification of Y. pestis using amplification of specific phages monitored by qPCR. The method is simple, rapid, highly sensitive, and specific and allows the detection of only live bacteria.

  9. Genotyping Yersinia pestis in Historical Plague: Evidence for Long-Term Persistence of Y. pestis in Europe from the 14th to the 17th Century.

    PubMed

    Seifert, Lisa; Wiechmann, Ingrid; Harbeck, Michaela; Thomas, Astrid; Grupe, Gisela; Projahn, Michaela; Scholz, Holger C; Riehm, Julia M

    2016-01-01

    Ancient DNA (aDNA) recovered from plague victims of the second plague pandemic (14th to 17th century), excavated from two different burial sites in Germany, and spanning a time period of more than 300 years, was characterized using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis. Of 30 tested skeletons 8 were positive for Yersinia pestis-specific nucleic acid, as determined by qPCR targeting the pla gene. In one individual (MP-19-II), the pla copy number in DNA extracted from tooth pulp was as high as 700 gene copies/μl, indicating severe generalized infection. All positive individuals were identical in all 16 SNP positions, separating phylogenetic branches within nodes N07_N10 (14 SNPs), N07_N08 (SNP s19) and N06_N07 (s545), and were highly similar to previously investigated plague victims from other European countries. Thus, beside the assumed continuous reintroduction of Y. pestis from central Asia in multiple waves during the second pandemic, long-term persistence of Y. pestis in Europe in a yet unknown reservoir host has also to be considered.

  10. Genome assemblies for 11 Yersinia pestis strains isolated in the Caucasus region

    SciTech Connect

    Zhgenti, Ekaterine; Johnson, Shannon L.; Davenport, Karen W.; Chanturia, Gvantsa; Daligault, Hajnalka E.; Chain, Patrick S.; Nikolich, Mikeljon P.

    2015-09-17

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is endemic to the Caucasus region but few reference strain genome sequences from that region are available. We present the improved draft or finished assembled genomes from 11 strains isolated in the nation of Georgia and surrounding countries.

  11. Novel Yersinia Pestis Toxin that Resembles Bacillus Anthracis Edema Factor: Study of Activity and Structural Modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Motin, V; Garcia, E; Barsky, D; Zemla, A

    2003-02-05

    The goal of this project was to begin both experimental and computational studies of the novel plague toxin to establish its biological properties and create its 3D-model. The project was divided into two parts. (1) Experimental--This part was devoted to determine distribution of the genes encoding novel plague toxin among different isolates of Y.pestis. If the EF-like activity is important for Y.pestis pathogenicity, it is anticipated that all highly virulent strains will contain the toxin genes. Also, they proposed to initiate research to investigate the functionality of the novel Y.pestis toxin that they hypothesize is likely to significantly contribute to the virulence of this dangerous microbe. this research design consisted of amplification, cloning and expression in E.coli the toxin genes followed by affinity purification of the recombinant protein that can be further used for testing of enzymatic activity. (2) Computational--The structural modeling of the putative EF of Y.pestis was based on multiple sequence alignments, secondary structure predictions, and comparison with 3D models of the EF of B. anthracis. The x-ray structure of the last has been recently published [Nature. 2002. 415(Jan):396-402]. The final model was selected after detailed analysis to determine if the structure is consistent with the biological function.

  12. Glutathionylation of Yersinia pestis LcrV and Its Effects on Plague Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Anthony; Tam, Christina; Elli, Derek; Charlton, Thomas; Osei-Owusu, Patrick; Fazlollahi, Farbod; Faull, Kym F.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Glutathionylation, the formation of reversible mixed disulfides between glutathione and protein cysteine residues, is a posttranslational modification previously observed for intracellular proteins of bacteria. Here we show that Yersinia pestis LcrV, a secreted protein capping the type III secretion machine, is glutathionylated at Cys273 and that this modification promotes association with host ribosomal protein S3 (RPS3), moderates Y. pestis type III effector transport and killing of macrophages, and enhances bubonic plague pathogenesis in mice and rats. Secreted LcrV was purified and analyzed by mass spectrometry to reveal glutathionylation, a modification that is abolished by the codon substitution Cys273Ala in lcrV. Moreover, the lcrVC273A mutation enhanced the survival of animals in models of bubonic plague. Investigating the molecular mechanism responsible for these virulence attributes, we identified macrophage RPS3 as a ligand of LcrV, an association that is perturbed by the Cys273Ala substitution. Furthermore, macrophages infected by the lcrVC273A variant displayed accelerated apoptotic death and diminished proinflammatory cytokine release. Deletion of gshB, which encodes glutathione synthetase of Y. pestis, resulted in undetectable levels of intracellular glutathione, and we used a Y. pestis ΔgshB mutant to characterize the biochemical pathway of LcrV glutathionylation, establishing that LcrV is modified after its transport to the type III needle via disulfide bond formation with extracellular oxidized glutathione. PMID:28512097

  13. Fibrin facilitates both innate and T cell-mediated defense against Yersinia pestis.1

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Deyan; Lin, Shiuan; Parent, Michelle A.; Kanevsky, Isis Mullarky; Szaba, Frank M.; Kummer, Lawrence W.; Duso, Debra K.; Tighe, Michael; Hill, Jim; Gruber, Andras; Mackman, Nigel; Gailani, David; Smiley, Stephen T.

    2013-01-01

    The gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis causes plague, a rapidly progressing and often fatal disease. The formation of fibrin at sites of Y. pestis infection supports innate host defense against plague, perhaps by providing a non-diffusible spatial cue that promotes the accumulation of inflammatory cells expressing fibrin-binding integrins. This report demonstrates that fibrin is an essential component of T cell-mediated defense against plague but can be dispensable for antibody-mediated defense. Genetic or pharmacologic depletion of fibrin abrogated innate and T cell-mediated defense in mice challenged intranasally with Y. pestis. The fibrin-deficient mice displayed reduced survival, increased bacterial burden, and exacerbated hemorrhagic pathology. They also showed fewer neutrophils within infected lung tissue and reduced neutrophil viability at sites of liver infection. Depletion of neutrophils from wild type mice weakened T cell-mediated defense against plague. The data suggest that T cells combat plague in conjunction with neutrophils, which require help from fibrin in order to withstand Y. pestis encounters and effectively clear bacteria. PMID:23487423

  14. Genome assemblies for 11 Yersinia pestis strains isolated in the Caucasus region

    DOE PAGES

    Zhgenti, Ekaterine; Johnson, Shannon L.; Davenport, Karen W.; ...

    2015-09-17

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is endemic to the Caucasus region but few reference strain genome sequences from that region are available. We present the improved draft or finished assembled genomes from 11 strains isolated in the nation of Georgia and surrounding countries.

  15. Yersinia pestis TonB: Role in Iron, Heme, and Hemoprotein Utilization

    PubMed Central

    Perry, Robert D.; Shah, Jessica; Bearden, Scott W.; Thompson, Jan M.; Fetherston, Jacqueline D.

    2003-01-01

    In Yersinia pestis, the siderophore-dependent yersiniabactin (Ybt) iron transport system and heme transport system (Hmu) have putative TonB-dependent outer membrane receptors. Here we demonstrate that hemin uptake and iron utilization from Ybt are TonB dependent. However, the Yfe iron and manganese transport system does not require TonB. PMID:12819108

  16. Thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor is degraded by Salmonella enterica and Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Valls Serón, M; Haiko, J; DE Groot, P G; Korhonen, T K; Meijers, J C M

    2010-10-01

     Pathogenic bacteria modulate the host coagulation system to evade immune responses or to facilitate dissemination through extravascular tissues. In particular, the important bacterial pathogens Salmonella enterica and Yersinia pestis intervene with the plasminogen/fibrinolytic system. Thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI) has anti-fibrinolytic properties as the active enzyme (TAFIa) removes C-terminal lysine residues from fibrin, thereby attenuating accelerated plasmin formation.  Here, we demonstrate inactivation and cleavage of TAFI by homologous surface proteases, the omptins Pla of Y. pestis and PgtE of S. enterica. We show that omptin-expressing bacteria decrease TAFI activatability by thrombin-thrombomodulin and that the anti-fibrinolytic potential of TAFIa was reduced by recombinant Escherichia coli expressing Pla or PgtE. The functional impairment resulted from C-terminal cleavage of TAFI by the omptins.  Our results indicate that TAFI is degraded directly by the omptins PgtE of S. enterica and Pla of Y. pestis. This may contribute to the ability of PgtE and Pla to damage tissue barriers, such as fibrin, and thereby to enhance spread of S. enterica and Y. pestis during infection. © 2010 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

  17. Analysis of temperature-dependent changes in the metabolism of Yersinia pestis.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Navid, Ali; Almaas, Eivind

    2008-03-01

    The gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis is the aetiological agent of bubonic plague, a zoonotic infection that occurs through the bite of a flea. It has long been known that Y. pestis has different metabolic needs upon transition from the flea gut environment (26 C) to that of a mammalian host (37 C). To study this and other outstanding questions about metabolic function of Y. pestis, we used the available genomic, biochemical and physiological data to develop a constraint-based flux balance model of metabolism in the avirulent 91001 strain (biovar Mediaevalis) of this organism. Utilizing two sets of whole-genome DNA microarray expression data, we examined the system level changes that occur when Y. pestis acclimatizes to temperature shifts. Our results point to fundamental changes in its oxidative metabolism of sugars and use of amino acids, in particular that of arginine. This behavior is indicative of an inefficient metabolism that could be caused by adaptation to life in a nutrient rich environment.

  18. Yersinia pestis and the plague of Justinian 541-543 AD: a genomic analysis.

    PubMed

    Wagner, David M; Klunk, Jennifer; Harbeck, Michaela; Devault, Alison; Waglechner, Nicholas; Sahl, Jason W; Enk, Jacob; Birdsell, Dawn N; Kuch, Melanie; Lumibao, Candice; Poinar, Debi; Pearson, Talima; Fourment, Mathieu; Golding, Brian; Riehm, Julia M; Earn, David J D; Dewitte, Sharon; Rouillard, Jean-Marie; Grupe, Gisela; Wiechmann, Ingrid; Bliska, James B; Keim, Paul S; Scholz, Holger C; Holmes, Edward C; Poinar, Hendrik

    2014-04-01

    Yersinia pestis has caused at least three human plague pandemics. The second (Black Death, 14-17th centuries) and third (19-20th centuries) have been genetically characterised, but there is only a limited understanding of the first pandemic, the Plague of Justinian (6-8th centuries). To address this gap, we sequenced and analysed draft genomes of Y pestis obtained from two individuals who died in the first pandemic. Teeth were removed from two individuals (known as A120 and A76) from the early medieval Aschheim-Bajuwarenring cemetery (Aschheim, Bavaria, Germany). We isolated DNA from the teeth using a modified phenol-chloroform method. We screened DNA extracts for the presence of the Y pestis-specific pla gene on the pPCP1 plasmid using primers and standards from an established assay, enriched the DNA, and then sequenced it. We reconstructed draft genomes of the infectious Y pestis strains, compared them with a database of genomes from 131 Y pestis strains from the second and third pandemics, and constructed a maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree. Radiocarbon dating of both individuals (A120 to 533 AD [plus or minus 98 years]; A76 to 504 AD [plus or minus 61 years]) places them in the timeframe of the first pandemic. Our phylogeny contains a novel branch (100% bootstrap at all relevant nodes) leading to the two Justinian samples. This branch has no known contemporary representatives, and thus is either extinct or unsampled in wild rodent reservoirs. The Justinian branch is interleaved between two extant groups, 0.ANT1 and 0.ANT2, and is distant from strains associated with the second and third pandemics. We conclude that the Y pestis lineages that caused the Plague of Justinian and the Black Death 800 years later were independent emergences from rodents into human beings. These results show that rodent species worldwide represent important reservoirs for the repeated emergence of diverse lineages of Y pestis into human populations. McMaster University, Northern

  19. Glutathionylation of Yersinia pestis LcrV and Its Effects on Plague Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Anthony; Tam, Christina; Elli, Derek; Charlton, Thomas; Osei-Owusu, Patrick; Fazlollahi, Farbod; Faull, Kym F; Schneewind, Olaf

    2017-05-16

    Glutathionylation, the formation of reversible mixed disulfides between glutathione and protein cysteine residues, is a posttranslational modification previously observed for intracellular proteins of bacteria. Here we show that Yersinia pestis LcrV, a secreted protein capping the type III secretion machine, is glutathionylated at Cys(273) and that this modification promotes association with host ribosomal protein S3 (RPS3), moderates Y. pestis type III effector transport and killing of macrophages, and enhances bubonic plague pathogenesis in mice and rats. Secreted LcrV was purified and analyzed by mass spectrometry to reveal glutathionylation, a modification that is abolished by the codon substitution Cys(273)Ala in lcrV Moreover, the lcrVC273A mutation enhanced the survival of animals in models of bubonic plague. Investigating the molecular mechanism responsible for these virulence attributes, we identified macrophage RPS3 as a ligand of LcrV, an association that is perturbed by the Cys(273)Ala substitution. Furthermore, macrophages infected by the lcrVC273A variant displayed accelerated apoptotic death and diminished proinflammatory cytokine release. Deletion of gshB, which encodes glutathione synthetase of Y. pestis, resulted in undetectable levels of intracellular glutathione, and we used a Y. pestis ΔgshB mutant to characterize the biochemical pathway of LcrV glutathionylation, establishing that LcrV is modified after its transport to the type III needle via disulfide bond formation with extracellular oxidized glutathione.IMPORTANCEYersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, has killed large segments of the human population; however, the molecular bases for the extraordinary virulence attributes of this pathogen are not well understood. We show here that LcrV, the cap protein of bacterial type III secretion needles, is modified by host glutathione and that this modification contributes to the high virulence of Y. pestis in mouse and rat models for

  20. Effects of low-temperature flea maintenance on the transmission of Yersinia pestis by Oropsylla montana.

    PubMed

    Williams, Shanna K; Schotthoefer, Anna M; Montenieri, John A; Holmes, Jennifer L; Vetter, Sara M; Gage, Kenneth L; Bearden, Scott W

    2013-07-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is primarily a rodent-associated, flea-borne zoonosis maintained in sylvatic foci throughout western North America. Transmission to humans is mediated most commonly by the flea vector Oropsylla montana and occurs predominantly in the southwestern United States. With few exceptions, previous studies showed O. montana to be an inefficient vector at transmitting Y. pestis at ambient temperatures, particularly when such fleas were fed on susceptible hosts more than a few days after ingesting an infectious blood meal. We examined whether holding fleas at subambient temperatures affected the transmissibility of Y. pestis by this vector. An infectious blood meal containing a virulent Y. pestis strain (CO96-3188) was given to colony-reared O. montana fleas. Potentially infected fleas were maintained at different temperatures (6°C, 10°C, 15°C, or 23°C). Transmission efficiencies were tested by allowing up to 15 infectious fleas to feed on each of 7 naïve CD-1 mice on days 1-4, 7, 10, 14, 17, and 21 postinfection (p.i.). Mice were monitored for signs of infection for 21 days after exposure to infectious fleas. Fleas held at 6°C, 10°C, and 15°C were able to effectively transmit at every time point p.i. The percentage of transmission to naïve mice by fleas maintained at low temperatures (46.0% at 6°C, 71.4% at 10°C, 66.7% at 15°C) was higher than for fleas maintained at 23°C (25.4%) and indicates that O. montana fleas efficiently transmit Y. pestis at low temperatures. Moreover, pooled percent per flea transmission efficiencies for flea cohorts maintained at temperatures of 10°C and 15°C (8.67% and 7.87%, respectively) showed a statistically significant difference in the pooled percent per flea transmission efficiency from fleas maintained at 23°C (1.94%). This is the first comprehensive study to demonstrate efficient transmission of Y. pestis by O. montana fleas maintained at temperatures as low as 6°C. Our

  1. Feeding Behavior Modulates Biofilm-Mediated Transmission of Yersinia pestis by the Cat Flea, Ctenocephalides felis

    PubMed Central

    Bland, David M.; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Background The cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, is prevalent worldwide, will parasitize animal reservoirs of plague, and is associated with human habitations in known plague foci. Despite its pervasiveness, limited information is available about the cat flea’s competence as a vector for Yersinia pestis. It is generally considered to be a poor vector, based on studies examining early-phase transmission during the first week after infection, but transmission potential by the biofilm-dependent proventricular-blocking mechanism has never been systematically evaluated. In this study, we assessed the vector competence of cat fleas by both mechanisms. Because the feeding behavior of cat fleas differs markedly from important rat flea vectors, we also examined the influence of feeding behavior on transmission dynamics. Methodology/Principal Findings Groups of cat fleas were infected with Y. pestis and subsequently provided access to sterile blood meals twice-weekly, 5 times per week, or daily for 4 weeks and monitored for infection, the development of proventricular biofilm and blockage, mortality, and the ability to transmit. In cat fleas allowed prolonged, daily access to blood meals, mimicking their natural feeding behavior, Y. pestis did not efficiently colonize the digestive tract and could only be transmitted during the first week after infection. In contrast, cat fleas that were fed intermittently, mimicking the feeding behavior of the efficient vector Xenopsylla cheopis, could become blocked and regularly transmitted Y. pestis for 3–4 weeks by the biofilm-mediated mechanism, but early-phase transmission was not detected. Conclusions The normal feeding behavior of C. felis, more than an intrinsic resistance to infection or blockage by Y. pestis, limits its vector competence. Rapid turnover of midgut contents results in bacterial clearance and disruption of biofilm accumulation in the proventriculus. Anatomical features of the cat flea foregut may also restrict

  2. Feeding Behavior Modulates Biofilm-Mediated Transmission of Yersinia pestis by the Cat Flea, Ctenocephalides felis.

    PubMed

    Bland, David M; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2016-02-01

    The cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, is prevalent worldwide, will parasitize animal reservoirs of plague, and is associated with human habitations in known plague foci. Despite its pervasiveness, limited information is available about the cat flea's competence as a vector for Yersinia pestis. It is generally considered to be a poor vector, based on studies examining early-phase transmission during the first week after infection, but transmission potential by the biofilm-dependent proventricular-blocking mechanism has never been systematically evaluated. In this study, we assessed the vector competence of cat fleas by both mechanisms. Because the feeding behavior of cat fleas differs markedly from important rat flea vectors, we also examined the influence of feeding behavior on transmission dynamics. Groups of cat fleas were infected with Y. pestis and subsequently provided access to sterile blood meals twice-weekly, 5 times per week, or daily for 4 weeks and monitored for infection, the development of proventricular biofilm and blockage, mortality, and the ability to transmit. In cat fleas allowed prolonged, daily access to blood meals, mimicking their natural feeding behavior, Y. pestis did not efficiently colonize the digestive tract and could only be transmitted during the first week after infection. In contrast, cat fleas that were fed intermittently, mimicking the feeding behavior of the efficient vector Xenopsylla cheopis, could become blocked and regularly transmitted Y. pestis for 3-4 weeks by the biofilm-mediated mechanism, but early-phase transmission was not detected. The normal feeding behavior of C. felis, more than an intrinsic resistance to infection or blockage by Y. pestis, limits its vector competence. Rapid turnover of midgut contents results in bacterial clearance and disruption of biofilm accumulation in the proventriculus. Anatomical features of the cat flea foregut may also restrict transmission by both early-phase and proventricular biofilm

  3. Amino acid and structural variability of Yersinia pestis LcrV protein

    SciTech Connect

    Anisimov, A P; Dentovskaya, S V; Panfertsev, E A; Svetoch, T E; Kopylov, P K; Segelke, B W; Zemla, A; Telepnev, M V; Motin, V L

    2009-11-09

    The LcrV protein is a multifunctional virulence factor and protective antigen of the plague bacterium which is generally conserved between the epidemic strains of Yersinia pestis. They investigated the diversity in the LcrV sequences among non-epidemic Y. pestis strains which have a limited virulence in selected animal models and for humans. Sequencing of lcrV genes from ten Y. pestis strains belonging to different phylogenetic groups (subspecies) showed that the LcrV proteins possess four major variable hotspots at positions 18, 72, 273, and 324-326. These major variations, together with other minor substitutions in amino acid sequences, allowed them to classify the LcrV alleles into five sequence types (A-E). They observed that the strains of different Y. pestis subspecies can have the same typ of LcrV, and different types of LcrV can exist within the same natural plague focus. The LcrV polymorphisms were structurally analyzed by comparing the modeled structures of LcrV from all available strains. All changes except one occurred either in flexible regions or on the surface of the protein, but local chemical properties (i.e. those of a hydrophobic, hydrophilic, amphipathic, or charged nature) were conserved across all of the strains. Polymorphisms in flexible and surface regions are likely subject to less selective pressure, and have a limited impact on the structure. In contrast, the substitution of tryptophan at position 113 with either glutamic acid or glycine likely has a serious influence on the regional structure of the protein, and these mutations might have an effect on the function of LcrV. The polymorphisms at positions 18, 72 and 273 were accountable for differences in oligomerization of LcrV. The importance of the latter property in emergence of epidemic strains of Y. pestis during evolution of this pathogen will need to be further investigated.

  4. Human Anti-Plague Monoclonal Antibodies Protect Mice from Yersinia pestis in a Bubonic Plague Model

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Xiaodong; Zhu, Zhongyu; Dankmeyer, Jennifer L.; Wormald, Michael M.; Fast, Randy L.; Worsham, Patricia L.; Cote, Christopher K.; Amemiya, Kei; Dimitrov, Dimiter S.

    2010-01-01

    Yersinia pestis is the etiologic agent of plague that has killed more than 200 million people throughout the recorded history of mankind. Antibiotics may provide little immediate relief to patients who have a high bacteremia or to patients infected with an antibiotic resistant strain of plague. Two virulent factors of Y. pestis are the capsid F1 protein and the low-calcium response (Lcr) V-protein or V-antigen that have been proven to be the targets for both active and passive immunization. There are mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against the F1- and V-antigens that can passively protect mice in a murine model of plague; however, there are no anti-Yersinia pestis monoclonal antibodies available for prophylactic or therapeutic treatment in humans. We identified one anti-F1-specific human mAb (m252) and two anti-V-specific human mAb (m253, m254) by panning a naïve phage-displayed Fab library against the F1- and V-antigens. The Fabs were converted to IgG1s and their binding and protective activities were evaluated. M252 bound weakly to peptides located at the F1 N-terminus where a protective mouse anti-F1 mAb also binds. M253 bound strongly to a V-antigen peptide indicating a linear epitope; m254 did not bind to any peptide from a panel of 53 peptides suggesting that its epitope may be conformational. M252 showed better protection than m253 and m254 against a Y, pestis challenge in a plague mouse model. A synergistic effect was observed when the three antibodies were combined. Incomplete to complete protection was achieved when m252 was given at different times post-challenge. These antibodies can be further studied to determine their potential as therapeutics or prophylactics in Y. pestis infection in humans. PMID:20976274

  5. Human anti-plague monoclonal antibodies protect mice from Yersinia pestis in a bubonic plague model.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Xiaodong; Zhu, Zhongyu; Dankmeyer, Jennifer L; Wormald, Michael M; Fast, Randy L; Worsham, Patricia L; Cote, Christopher K; Amemiya, Kei; Dimitrov, Dimiter S

    2010-10-13

    Yersinia pestis is the etiologic agent of plague that has killed more than 200 million people throughout the recorded history of mankind. Antibiotics may provide little immediate relief to patients who have a high bacteremia or to patients infected with an antibiotic resistant strain of plague. Two virulent factors of Y. pestis are the capsid F1 protein and the low-calcium response (Lcr) V-protein or V-antigen that have been proven to be the targets for both active and passive immunization. There are mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against the F1- and V-antigens that can passively protect mice in a murine model of plague; however, there are no anti-Yersinia pestis monoclonal antibodies available for prophylactic or therapeutic treatment in humans. We identified one anti-F1-specific human mAb (m252) and two anti-V-specific human mAb (m253, m254) by panning a naïve phage-displayed Fab library against the F1- and V-antigens. The Fabs were converted to IgG1s and their binding and protective activities were evaluated. M252 bound weakly to peptides located at the F1 N-terminus where a protective mouse anti-F1 mAb also binds. M253 bound strongly to a V-antigen peptide indicating a linear epitope; m254 did not bind to any peptide from a panel of 53 peptides suggesting that its epitope may be conformational. M252 showed better protection than m253 and m254 against a Y, pestis challenge in a plague mouse model. A synergistic effect was observed when the three antibodies were combined. Incomplete to complete protection was achieved when m252 was given at different times post-challenge. These antibodies can be further studied to determine their potential as therapeutics or prophylactics in Y. pestis infection in humans.

  6. Antigenic profiling of Yersinia pestis infection in the Wyoming coyote (Canis latrans)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vernati, G.; Edwards, W.H.; Rocke, T.E.; Little, S.F.; Andrews, G.P.

    2011-01-01

    Although Yersinia pestis is classified as a "high-virulence" pathogen, some host species are variably susceptible to disease. Coyotes (Canis latrans) exhibit mild, if any, symptoms during infection, but antibody production occurs postinfection. This immune response has been reported to be against the F1 capsule, although little subsequent characterization has been conducted. To further define the nature of coyote humoral immunity to plague, qualitative serology was conducted to assess the antiplague antibody repertoire. Humoral responses to six plasmid-encoded Y. pestis virulence factors were first examined. Of 20 individual immune coyotes, 90% were reactive to at least one other antigen in the panel other than F1. The frequency of reactivity to low calcium response plasmid (pLcr)-encoded Yersinia protein kinase A (YpkA) and Yersinia outer protein D (YopD) was significantly greater than that previously observed in a murine model for plague. Additionally, both V antigen and plasminogen activator were reactive with over half of the serum samples tested. Reactivity to F1 was markedly less frequent in coyotes (35%). Twenty previously tested antibody-negative samples were also examined. While the majority were negative across the panel, 15% were positive for 1-3 non-F1 antigens. In vivo-induced antigen technology employed to identify novel chromosomal genes of Y. pestis that are up-regulated during infection resulted in the identification of five proteins, including a flagellar component (FliP) that was uniquely reactive with the coyote serum compared with immune serum from two other host species. Collectively, these data suggest that humoral immunity to pLcr-encoded antigens and the pesticin plasmid (pPst)-encoded Pla antigen may be relevant to plague resistance in coyotes. The serologic profile of Y. pestis chromosomal antigens up-regulated in vivo specific to C. latrans may provide insight into the differences in the pathogen-host responses during Y. pestis infection.

  7. Two Distinct Yersinia pestis Populations Causing Plague among Humans in the West Nile Region of Uganda.

    PubMed

    Respicio-Kingry, Laurel B; Yockey, Brook M; Acayo, Sarah; Kaggwa, John; Apangu, Titus; Kugeler, Kiersten J; Eisen, Rebecca J; Griffith, Kevin S; Mead, Paul S; Schriefer, Martin E; Petersen, Jeannine M

    2016-02-01

    Plague is a life-threatening disease caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. Since the 1990s, Africa has accounted for the majority of reported human cases. In Uganda, plague cases occur in the West Nile region, near the border with Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite the ongoing risk of contracting plague in this region, little is known about Y. pestis genotypes causing human disease. During January 2004-December 2012, 1,092 suspect human plague cases were recorded in the West Nile region of Uganda. Sixty-one cases were culture-confirmed. Recovered Y. pestis isolates were analyzed using three typing methods, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and multiple variable number of tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) and subpopulations analyzed in the context of associated geographic, temporal, and clinical data for source patients. All three methods separated the 61 isolates into two distinct 1.ANT lineages, which persisted throughout the 9 year period and were associated with differences in elevation and geographic distribution. We demonstrate that human cases of plague in the West Nile region of Uganda are caused by two distinct 1.ANT genetic subpopulations. Notably, all three typing methods used, SNPs, PFGE, and MLVA, identified the two genetic subpopulations, despite recognizing different mutation types in the Y. pestis genome. The geographic and elevation differences between the two subpopulations is suggestive of their maintenance in highly localized enzootic cycles, potentially with differing vector-host community composition. This improved understanding of Y. pestis subpopulations in the West Nile region will be useful for identifying ecologic and environmental factors associated with elevated plague risk.

  8. Contributions of chaperone/usher systems to cell binding, biofilm formation and Yersinia pestis virulence

    PubMed Central

    Felek, Suleyman; Jeong, Jenny J.; Runco, Lisa M.; Murray, Susan; Thanassi, David G.; Krukonis, Eric S.

    2011-01-01

    Yersinia pestis genome sequencing projects have revealed six intact uncharacterized chaperone/usher systems with the potential to play roles in plague pathogenesis. We cloned each locus and expressed them in the Δfim Escherichia coli strain AAEC185 to test the assembled Y. pestis surface structures for various activities. Expression of each chaperone/usher locus gave rise to specific novel fibrillar structures on the surface of E. coli. One locus, y0561-0563, was able to mediate attachment to human epithelial cells (HEp-2) and human macrophages (THP-1) but not mouse macrophages (RAW264.7), while several loci were able to facilitate E. coli biofilm formation. When each chaperone/usher locus was deleted in Y. pestis, only deletion of the previously described pH 6 antigen (Psa) chaperone/usher system resulted in decreased adhesion and biofilm formation. Quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) revealed low expression levels for each novel chaperone/usher system in vitro as well as in mouse tissues following intravenous infection. However, a Y. pestis mutant in the chaperone/usher locus y1858-1862 was attenuated for virulence in mice via the intravenous route of infection, suggesting that expression of this locus is, at some stage, sufficient to affect the outcome of a plague infection. qRT-PCR experiments also indicated that expression of the chaperone/usher-dependent capsule locus, caf1, was influenced by oxygen availability and that the well-described chaperone/usher-dependent pilus, Psa, was strongly induced in minimal medium even at 28 °C rather than 37 °C, a temperature previously believed to be required for Psa expression. These data indicate several potential roles for the novel chaperone/usher systems of Y. pestis in pathogenesis and infection-related functions such as cell adhesion and biofilm formation. PMID:21088108

  9. Antigenic profiling of yersinia pestis infection in the Wyoming coyote (Canis latrans).

    PubMed

    Vernati, G; Edwards, W H; Rocke, T E; Little, S F; Andrews, G P

    2011-01-01

    Although Yersinia pestis is classified as a "high-virulence" pathogen, some host species are variably susceptible to disease. Coyotes (Canis latrans) exhibit mild, if any, symptoms during infection, but antibody production occurs postinfection. This immune response has been reported to be against the F1 capsule, although little subsequent characterization has been conducted. To further define the nature of coyote humoral immunity to plague, qualitative serology was conducted to assess the antiplague antibody repertoire. Humoral responses to six plasmid-encoded Y. pestis virulence factors were first examined. Of 20 individual immune coyotes, 90% were reactive to at least one other antigen in the panel other than F1. The frequency of reactivity to low calcium response plasmid (pLcr)-encoded Yersinia protein kinase A (YpkA) and Yersinia outer protein D (YopD) was significantly greater than that previously observed in a murine model for plague. Additionally, both V antigen and plasminogen activator were reactive with over half of the serum samples tested. Reactivity to F1 was markedly less frequent in coyotes (35%). Twenty previously tested antibody-negative samples were also examined. While the majority were negative across the panel, 15% were positive for 1-3 non-F1 antigens. In vivo-induced antigen technology employed to identify novel chromosomal genes of Y. pestis that are up-regulated during infection resulted in the identification of five proteins, including a flagellar component (FliP) that was uniquely reactive with the coyote serum compared with immune serum from two other host species. Collectively, these data suggest that humoral immunity to pLcr-encoded antigens and the pesticin plasmid (pPst)-encoded Pla antigen may be relevant to plague resistance in coyotes. The serologic profile of Y. pestis chromosomal antigens up-regulated in vivo specific to C. latrans may provide insight into the differences in the pathogen-host responses during Y. pestis infection.

  10. Immunological and clinical response of coyotes (Canis latrans) to experimental inoculation with Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Baeten, Laurie A; Pappert, Ryan; Young, John; Schriefer, Martin E; Gidlewski, Thomas; Kohler, Dennis; Bowen, Richard A

    2013-10-01

    Multiple publications have reported the use of coyotes (Canis latrans) in animal-based surveillance efforts for the detection of Yersinia pestis. Coyotes are likely exposed via flea bite or oral routes and are presumed to be resistant to the development of clinical disease. These historic data have only been useful for the evaluation of the geographic distribution of Y. pestis in the landscape. Because the canid immunologic response to Y. pestis has not been thoroughly characterized, we conducted experimental inoculation of captive-reared, juvenile coyotes (n = 8) with Y. pestis CO92 via oral or intradermal routes. We measured the humoral response to Y. pestis fraction 1 capsular protein (anti-F1) and found a significant difference between inoculation groups in magnitude and duration of antibody production. The anti-F1 titers in animals exposed intradermally peaked at day 10 postinoculation (PI; range = 1∶32 to 1∶128) with titers remaining stable at 1∶32 through week 12. In contrast, orally inoculated animals developed higher titers (range = 1∶256 to 1∶1,024) that remained stable at 1∶256 to 1∶512 through week 6. No clinical signs of disease were observed, and minimal changes were noted in body temperature, white blood cell counts, and acute phase proteins during the 7 days PI. Gross pathology was unremarkable, and minimal changes were noted in histopathology at days 3 and 7 PI. Rechallenge at 14 wk PI via similar dosage and routes resulted in marked differences in antibody response between groups. Animals in the orally inoculated group produced a striking increase in anti-F1 titers (up to 1∶4,096) within 3 days, whereas there was minimal to no increase in antibody response in the intradermal group. Information gathered from this experimental trial may provide additional insight into the spatial and temporal evaluation of coyote plague serology.

  11. Differential plague-transmission dynamics determine Yersinia pestis population genetic structure on local, regional, and global scales

    PubMed Central

    Girard, Jessica M.; Wagner, David M.; Vogler, Amy J.; Keys, Christine; Allender, Christopher J.; Drickamer, Lee C.; Keim, Paul

    2004-01-01

    Plague, the disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, has greatly impacted human civilization. Y. pestis is a successful global pathogen, with active foci on all continents except Australia and Antarctica. Because the Y. pestis genome is highly monomorphic, previous attempts to characterize the population genetic structure within a single focus have been largely unsuccessful. Here we report that highly mutable marker loci allow determination of Y. pestis population genetic structure and tracking of transmission patterns at two spatial scales within a single focus. In addition, we found that in vitro mutation rates for these loci are similar to those observed in vivo, which allowed us to develop a mutation-rate-based model to examine transmission mechanisms. Our model suggests there are two primary components of plague ecology: a rapid expansion phase for population growth and dispersal followed by a slower persistence phase. This pattern seems consistent across local, regional, and even global scales. PMID:15173603

  12. Role of the Yersinia pestis yersiniabactin iron acquisition system in the incidence of flea-borne plague.

    PubMed

    Sebbane, Florent; Jarrett, Clayton; Gardner, Donald; Long, Daniel; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2010-12-17

    Plague is a flea-borne zoonosis caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Y. pestis mutants lacking the yersiniabactin (Ybt) siderophore-based iron transport system are avirulent when inoculated intradermally but fully virulent when inoculated intravenously in mice. Presumably, Ybt is required to provide sufficient iron at the peripheral injection site, suggesting that Ybt would be an essential virulence factor for flea-borne plague. Here, using a flea-to-mouse transmission model, we show that a Y. pestis strain lacking the Ybt system causes fatal plague at low incidence when transmitted by fleas. Bacteriology and histology analyses revealed that a Ybt-negative strain caused only primary septicemic plague and atypical bubonic plague instead of the typical bubonic form of disease. The results provide new evidence that primary septicemic plague is a distinct clinical entity and suggest that unusual forms of plague may be caused by atypical Y. pestis strains.

  13. Short report: Exposing laboratory-reared fleas to soil and wild flea feces increases transmission of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Jones, Ryan T; Vetter, Sara M; Gage, Kenneth L

    2013-10-01

    Laboratory-reared Oropsylla montana were exposed to soil and wild-caught Oropsylla montana feces for 1 week. Fleas from these two treatments and a control group of laboratory-reared fleas were infected with Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague. Fleas exposed to soil transmitted Y. pestis to mice at a significantly greater rate (50.0% of mice were infected) than control fleas (23.3% of mice were infected). Although the concentration of Y. pestis in fleas did not differ among treatments, the minimum transmission efficiency of fleas from the soil and wild flea feces treatments (6.9% and 7.6%, respectively) were more than three times higher than in control fleas (2.2%). Our results suggest that exposing laboratory-reared fleas to diverse microbes alters transmission of Y. pestis.

  14. Role of the Yersinia pestis Yersiniabactin Iron Acquisition System in the Incidence of Flea-Borne Plague

    PubMed Central

    Sebbane, Florent; Jarrett, Clayton; Gardner, Donald; Long, Daniel; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph

    2010-01-01

    Plague is a flea-borne zoonosis caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Y. pestis mutants lacking the yersiniabactin (Ybt) siderophore-based iron transport system are avirulent when inoculated intradermally but fully virulent when inoculated intravenously in mice. Presumably, Ybt is required to provide sufficient iron at the peripheral injection site, suggesting that Ybt would be an essential virulence factor for flea-borne plague. Here, using a flea-to-mouse transmission model, we show that a Y. pestis strain lacking the Ybt system causes fatal plague at low incidence when transmitted by fleas. Bacteriology and histology analyses revealed that a Ybt-negative strain caused only primary septicemic plague and atypical bubonic plague instead of the typical bubonic form of disease. The results provide new evidence that primary septicemic plague is a distinct clinical entity and suggest that unusual forms of plague may be caused by atypical Y. pestis strains. PMID:21179420

  15. Evaluation of the Effect of Host Immune Status on Short-Term Yersinia pestis Infection in Fleas With Implications for the Enzootic Host Model for Maintenance of Y. pestis During Interepizootic Periods

    PubMed Central

    GRAHAM, CHRISTINE B.; WOODS, MICHAEL E.; VETTER, SARA M.; PETERSEN, JEANNINE M.; MONTENIERI, JOHN A.; HOLMES, JENNIFER L.; MAES, SARAH E.; BEARDEN, SCOTT W.; GAGE, KENNETH L.; EISEN, REBECCA J.

    2015-01-01

    Plague, a primarily flea-borne disease caused by Yersinia pestis, is characterized by rapidly spreading epizootics separated by periods of quiescence. Little is known about how and where Y. pestis persists between epizootics. It is commonly proposed, however, that Y. pestis is maintained during interepizootic periods in enzootic cycles involving flea vectors and relatively resistant host populations. According to this model, while susceptible individuals serve as infectious sources for feeding fleas and subsequently die of infection, resistant hosts survive infection, develop antibodies to the plague bacterium, and continue to provide bloodmeals to infected fleas. For Y. pestis to persist under this scenario, fleas must remain infected after feeding on hosts carrying antibodies to Y. pestis. Studies of other vector-borne pathogens suggest that host immunity may negatively impact pathogen survival in the vector. Here, we report infection rates and bacterial loads for fleas (both Xenopsylla cheopis (Rothschild) and Oropsylla montana (Baker)) that consumed an infectious bloodmeal and subsequently fed on an immunized or age-matched naive mouse. We demonstrate that neither the proportion of infected fleas nor the bacterial loads in infected fleas were significantly lower within 3 d of feeding on immunized versus naive mice. Our findings thus provide support for one assumption underlying the enzootic host model of interepizootic maintenance of Y. pestis. PMID:25276941

  16. Roles of chaperone/usher pathways of Yersinia pestis in a murine model of plague and adhesion to host cells.

    PubMed

    Hatkoff, Matthew; Runco, Lisa M; Pujol, Celine; Jayatilaka, Indralatha; Furie, Martha B; Bliska, James B; Thanassi, David G

    2012-10-01

    Yersinia pestis and many other Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria use the chaperone/usher (CU) pathway to assemble virulence-associated surface fibers termed pili or fimbriae. Y. pestis has two well-characterized CU pathways: the caf genes coding for the F1 capsule and the psa genes coding for the pH 6 antigen. The Y. pestis genome contains additional CU pathways that are capable of assembling pilus fibers, but the roles of these pathways in the pathogenesis of plague are not understood. We constructed deletion mutations in the usher genes for six of the additional Y. pestis CU pathways. The wild-type (WT) and usher deletion strains were compared in the murine bubonic (subcutaneous) and pneumonic (intranasal) plague infection models. Y. pestis strains containing deletions in CU pathways y0348-0352, y1858-1862, and y1869-1873 were attenuated for virulence compared to the WT strain by the intranasal, but not subcutaneous, routes of infection, suggesting specific roles for these pathways during pneumonic plague. We examined binding of the Y. pestis WT and usher deletion strains to A549 human lung epithelial cells, HEp-2 human cervical epithelial cells, and primary human and murine macrophages. Y. pestis CU pathways y0348-0352 and y1858-1862 were found to contribute to adhesion to all host cells tested, whereas pathway y1869-1873 was specific for binding to macrophages. The correlation between the virulence attenuation and host cell binding phenotypes of the usher deletion mutants identifies three of the additional CU pathways of Y. pestis as mediating interactions with host cells that are important for the pathogenesis of plague.

  17. Duration of plague (Yersinia pestis) outbreaks in black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies of northern Colorado.

    PubMed

    St Romain, Krista; Tripp, Daniel W; Salkeld, Daniel J; Antolin, Michael F

    2013-09-01

    Plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, triggers die-offs in colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), but the time-frame of plague activity is not well understood. We document plague activity in fleas from prairie dogs and their burrows on three prairie dog colonies that suffered die-offs. We demonstrate that Y. pestis transmission occurs over periods from several months to over a year in prairie dog populations before observed die-offs.

  18. Insight into bacterial virulence mechanisms against host immune response via the Yersinia pestis-human protein-protein interaction network.

    PubMed

    Yang, Huiying; Ke, Yuehua; Wang, Jian; Tan, Yafang; Myeni, Sebenzile K; Li, Dong; Shi, Qinghai; Yan, Yanfeng; Chen, Hui; Guo, Zhaobiao; Yuan, Yanzhi; Yang, Xiaoming; Yang, Ruifu; Du, Zongmin

    2011-11-01

    A Yersinia pestis-human protein interaction network is reported here to improve our understanding of its pathogenesis. Up to 204 interactions between 66 Y. pestis bait proteins and 109 human proteins were identified by yeast two-hybrid assay and then combined with 23 previously published interactions to construct a protein-protein interaction network. Topological analysis of the interaction network revealed that human proteins targeted by Y. pestis were significantly enriched in the proteins that are central in the human protein-protein interaction network. Analysis of this network showed that signaling pathways important for host immune responses were preferentially targeted by Y. pestis, including the pathways involved in focal adhesion, regulation of cytoskeleton, leukocyte transendoepithelial migration, and Toll-like receptor (TLR) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. Cellular pathways targeted by Y. pestis are highly relevant to its pathogenesis. Interactions with host proteins involved in focal adhesion and cytoskeketon regulation pathways could account for resistance of Y. pestis to phagocytosis. Interference with TLR and MAPK signaling pathways by Y. pestis reflects common characteristics of pathogen-host interaction that bacterial pathogens have evolved to evade host innate immune response by interacting with proteins in those signaling pathways. Interestingly, a large portion of human proteins interacting with Y. pestis (16/109) also interacted with viral proteins (Epstein-Barr virus [EBV] and hepatitis C virus [HCV]), suggesting that viral and bacterial pathogens attack common cellular functions to facilitate infections. In addition, we identified vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) as a novel interaction partner of YpkA and showed that YpkA could inhibit in vitro actin assembly mediated by VASP.

  19. Roles of Chaperone/Usher Pathways of Yersinia pestis in a Murine Model of Plague and Adhesion to Host Cells

    PubMed Central

    Hatkoff, Matthew; Runco, Lisa M.; Pujol, Celine; Jayatilaka, Indralatha; Furie, Martha B.; Bliska, James B.

    2012-01-01

    Yersinia pestis and many other Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria use the chaperone/usher (CU) pathway to assemble virulence-associated surface fibers termed pili or fimbriae. Y. pestis has two well-characterized CU pathways: the caf genes coding for the F1 capsule and the psa genes coding for the pH 6 antigen. The Y. pestis genome contains additional CU pathways that are capable of assembling pilus fibers, but the roles of these pathways in the pathogenesis of plague are not understood. We constructed deletion mutations in the usher genes for six of the additional Y. pestis CU pathways. The wild-type (WT) and usher deletion strains were compared in the murine bubonic (subcutaneous) and pneumonic (intranasal) plague infection models. Y. pestis strains containing deletions in CU pathways y0348-0352, y1858-1862, and y1869-1873 were attenuated for virulence compared to the WT strain by the intranasal, but not subcutaneous, routes of infection, suggesting specific roles for these pathways during pneumonic plague. We examined binding of the Y. pestis WT and usher deletion strains to A549 human lung epithelial cells, HEp-2 human cervical epithelial cells, and primary human and murine macrophages. Y. pestis CU pathways y0348-0352 and y1858-1862 were found to contribute to adhesion to all host cells tested, whereas pathway y1869-1873 was specific for binding to macrophages. The correlation between the virulence attenuation and host cell binding phenotypes of the usher deletion mutants identifies three of the additional CU pathways of Y. pestis as mediating interactions with host cells that are important for the pathogenesis of plague. PMID:22851745

  20. CRP-Mediated Carbon Catabolite Regulation of Yersinia pestis Biofilm Formation Is Enhanced by the Carbon Storage Regulator Protein, CsrA

    PubMed Central

    Willias, Stephan P.; Chauhan, Sadhana; Lo, Chien-Chi; Chain, Patrick S. G.; Motin, Vladimir L.

    2015-01-01

    The natural transmission of Yersinia pestis is reliant upon biofilm blockage of the flea vector. However, the environmentally-responsive adaptive regulators which facilitate Y. pestis biofilm production in accordance with the flea midgut milieu are not well understood. We seek to establish the impact of available carbon source metabolism and storage upon Y. pestis biofilm production. Our findings demonstrate that Y. pestis biofilm production is subject to carbon catabolite regulation in which the presence of glucose impairs biofilm production; whereas, the sole metabolism of alternate carbon sources promotes robust biofilm formation. This observation is facilitated by the cAMP receptor protein, CRP. In accordance with a stark growth defect, deletion of crp in both CO92 and KIM6+ Y. pestis strains significantly impaired biofilm production when solely utilizing alternate carbon sources. Media supplementation with cAMP, a small-molecule activator of CRP, did not significantly alter Y. pestis biofilm production. Furthermore, CRP did not alter mRNA abundance of previously-characterized hms biofilm synthesis and regulation factors. Therefore, our findings indicate CRP does not confer a direct stimulatory effect, but may indirectly promote Y. pestis biofilm production by facilitating the alternate carbon source expression profile. Additionally, we assessed the impact of the carbon storage regulator protein, CsrA, upon Y. pestis biofilm production. Contrary to what has been described for E. coli, Y. pestis biofilm formation was found to be enhanced by CsrA. Regardless of media composition and available carbon source, deletion of csrA significantly impaired Y. pestis biofilm production. CsrA was found to promote Y. pestis biofilm production independent of glycogen regulation. Loss of csrA did not significantly alter relative hmsH, hmsP, or hmsT mRNA abundance. However, deletion of hmsP in the csrA-deficient mutant enabled excessive biofilm production, suggesting Csr

  1. CRP-Mediated Carbon Catabolite Regulation of Yersinia pestis Biofilm Formation Is Enhanced by the Carbon Storage Regulator Protein, CsrA.

    PubMed

    Willias, Stephan P; Chauhan, Sadhana; Lo, Chien-Chi; Chain, Patrick S G; Motin, Vladimir L

    2015-01-01

    The natural transmission of Yersinia pestis is reliant upon biofilm blockage of the flea vector. However, the environmentally-responsive adaptive regulators which facilitate Y. pestis biofilm production in accordance with the flea midgut milieu are not well understood. We seek to establish the impact of available carbon source metabolism and storage upon Y. pestis biofilm production. Our findings demonstrate that Y. pestis biofilm production is subject to carbon catabolite regulation in which the presence of glucose impairs biofilm production; whereas, the sole metabolism of alternate carbon sources promotes robust biofilm formation. This observation is facilitated by the cAMP receptor protein, CRP. In accordance with a stark growth defect, deletion of crp in both CO92 and KIM6+ Y. pestis strains significantly impaired biofilm production when solely utilizing alternate carbon sources. Media supplementation with cAMP, a small-molecule activator of CRP, did not significantly alter Y. pestis biofilm production. Furthermore, CRP did not alter mRNA abundance of previously-characterized hms biofilm synthesis and regulation factors. Therefore, our findings indicate CRP does not confer a direct stimulatory effect, but may indirectly promote Y. pestis biofilm production by facilitating the alternate carbon source expression profile. Additionally, we assessed the impact of the carbon storage regulator protein, CsrA, upon Y. pestis biofilm production. Contrary to what has been described for E. coli, Y. pestis biofilm formation was found to be enhanced by CsrA. Regardless of media composition and available carbon source, deletion of csrA significantly impaired Y. pestis biofilm production. CsrA was found to promote Y. pestis biofilm production independent of glycogen regulation. Loss of csrA did not significantly alter relative hmsH, hmsP, or hmsT mRNA abundance. However, deletion of hmsP in the csrA-deficient mutant enabled excessive biofilm production, suggesting Csr

  2. Role of the Yersinia pestis Ail protein in preventing a protective polymorphonuclear leukocyte response during bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Hinnebusch, B Joseph; Jarrett, Clayton O; Callison, Julie A; Gardner, Donald; Buchanan, Susan K; Plano, Gregory V

    2011-12-01

    The ability of Yersinia pestis to forestall the mammalian innate immune response is a fundamental aspect of plague pathogenesis. In this study, we examined the effect of Ail, a 17-kDa outer membrane protein that protects Y. pestis against complement-mediated lysis, on bubonic plague pathogenesis in mice and rats. The Y. pestis ail mutant was attenuated for virulence in both rodent models. The attenuation was greater in rats than in mice, which correlates with the ability of normal rat serum, but not mouse serum, to kill ail-negative Y. pestis in vitro. Intradermal infection with the ail mutant resulted in an atypical, subacute form of bubonic plague associated with extensive recruitment of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN or neutrophils) to the site of infection in the draining lymph node and the formation of large purulent abscesses that contained the bacteria. Systemic spread and mortality were greatly attenuated, however, and a productive adaptive immune response was generated after high-dose challenge, as evidenced by high serum antibody levels against Y. pestis F1 antigen. The Y. pestis Ail protein is an important bubonic plague virulence factor that inhibits the innate immune response, in particular the recruitment of a protective PMN response to the infected lymph node.

  3. Role of the Yersinia pestis Ail Protein in Preventing a Protective Polymorphonuclear Leukocyte Response during Bubonic Plague▿

    PubMed Central

    Hinnebusch, B. Joseph; Jarrett, Clayton O.; Callison, Julie A.; Gardner, Donald; Buchanan, Susan K.; Plano, Gregory V.

    2011-01-01

    The ability of Yersinia pestis to forestall the mammalian innate immune response is a fundamental aspect of plague pathogenesis. In this study, we examined the effect of Ail, a 17-kDa outer membrane protein that protects Y. pestis against complement-mediated lysis, on bubonic plague pathogenesis in mice and rats. The Y. pestis ail mutant was attenuated for virulence in both rodent models. The attenuation was greater in rats than in mice, which correlates with the ability of normal rat serum, but not mouse serum, to kill ail-negative Y. pestis in vitro. Intradermal infection with the ail mutant resulted in an atypical, subacute form of bubonic plague associated with extensive recruitment of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN or neutrophils) to the site of infection in the draining lymph node and the formation of large purulent abscesses that contained the bacteria. Systemic spread and mortality were greatly attenuated, however, and a productive adaptive immune response was generated after high-dose challenge, as evidenced by high serum antibody levels against Y. pestis F1 antigen. The Y. pestis Ail protein is an important bubonic plague virulence factor that inhibits the innate immune response, in particular the recruitment of a protective PMN response to the infected lymph node. PMID:21969002

  4. Resistance of Yersinia pestis to Complement-Dependent Killing Is Mediated by the Ail Outer Membrane Protein▿

    PubMed Central

    Bartra, Sara Schesser; Styer, Katie L.; O'Bryant, Deanna M.; Nilles, Matthew L.; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph; Aballay, Alejandro; Plano, Gregory V.

    2008-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, must survive in blood in order to cause disease and to be transmitted from host to host by fleas. Members of the Ail/Lom family of outer membrane proteins provide protection from complement-dependent killing for a number of pathogenic bacteria. The Y. pestis KIM genome is predicted to encode four Ail/Lom family proteins. Y. pestis mutants specifically deficient in expression of each of these proteins were constructed using lambda Red-mediated recombination. The Ail outer membrane protein was essential for Y. pestis to resist complement-mediated killing at 26 and 37°C. Ail was expressed at high levels at both 26 and 37°C, but not at 6°C. Expression of Ail in Escherichia coli provided protection from the bactericidal activity of complement. High-level expression of the three other Y. pestis Ail/Lom family proteins (the y1682, y2034, and y2446 proteins) provided no protection against complement-mediated bacterial killing. A Y. pestis ail deletion mutant was rapidly killed by sera obtained from all mammals tested except mouse serum. The role of Ail in infection of mice, Caenorhabditis elegans, and fleas was investigated. PMID:18025094

  5. Resistance of Yersinia pestis to complement-dependent killing is mediated by the Ail outer membrane protein.

    PubMed

    Bartra, Sara Schesser; Styer, Katie L; O'Bryant, Deanna M; Nilles, Matthew L; Hinnebusch, B Joseph; Aballay, Alejandro; Plano, Gregory V

    2008-02-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, must survive in blood in order to cause disease and to be transmitted from host to host by fleas. Members of the Ail/Lom family of outer membrane proteins provide protection from complement-dependent killing for a number of pathogenic bacteria. The Y. pestis KIM genome is predicted to encode four Ail/Lom family proteins. Y. pestis mutants specifically deficient in expression of each of these proteins were constructed using lambda Red-mediated recombination. The Ail outer membrane protein was essential for Y. pestis to resist complement-mediated killing at 26 and 37 degrees C. Ail was expressed at high levels at both 26 and 37 degrees C, but not at 6 degrees C. Expression of Ail in Escherichia coli provided protection from the bactericidal activity of complement. High-level expression of the three other Y. pestis Ail/Lom family proteins (the y1682, y2034, and y2446 proteins) provided no protection against complement-mediated bacterial killing. A Y. pestis ail deletion mutant was rapidly killed by sera obtained from all mammals tested except mouse serum. The role of Ail in infection of mice, Caenorhabditis elegans, and fleas was investigated.

  6. A New Generation Microarray for the Simultaneous Detection and Identification of Yersinia pestis and Bacillus anthracis in Food.

    PubMed

    Goji, Noriko; Macmillan, Trevor; Amoako, Kingsley Kwaku

    2012-01-01

    The use of microarrays as a multiple analytic system has generated increased interest and provided a powerful analytical tool for the simultaneous detection of pathogens in a single experiment. A wide array of applications for this technology has been reported. A low density oligonucleotide microarray was generated from the genetic sequences of Y. pestis and B. anthracis and used to fabricate a microarray chip. The new generation chip, consisting of 2,240 spots in 4 quadrants with the capability of stripping/rehybridization, was designated as "Y-PESTIS/B-ANTHRACIS 4x2K Array." The chip was tested for specificity using DNA from a panel of bacteria that may be potentially present in food. In all, 37 unique Y. pestis-specific and 83 B. anthracis-specific probes were identified. The microarray assay distinguished Y. pestis and B. anthracis from the other bacterial species tested and correctly identified the Y. pestis-specific oligonucleotide probes using DNA extracted from experimentally inoculated milk samples. Using a whole genome amplification method, the assay was able to detect as low as 1 ng genomic DNA as the start sample. The results suggest that oligonucleotide microarray can specifically detect and identify Y. pestis and B. anthracis and may be a potentially useful diagnostic tool for detecting and confirming the organisms in food during a bioterrorism event.

  7. Silencing urease: A key evolutionary step that facilitated the adaptation of Yersinia pestis to the flea-borne transmission route

    PubMed Central

    Chouikha, Iman; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph

    2014-01-01

    The arthropod-borne transmission route of Yersinia pestis, the bacterial agent of plague, is a recent evolutionary adaptation. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, the closely related food-and water-borne enteric species from which Y. pestis diverged less than 6,400 y ago, exhibits significant oral toxicity to the flea vectors of plague, whereas Y. pestis does not. In this study, we identify the Yersinia urease enzyme as the responsible oral toxin. All Y. pestis strains, including those phylogenetically closest to the Y. pseudotuberculosis progenitor, contain a mutated ureD allele that eliminated urease activity. Restoration of a functional ureD was sufficient to make Y. pestis orally toxic to fleas. Conversely, deletion of the urease operon in Y. pseudotuberculosis rendered it nontoxic. Enzymatic activity was required for toxicity. Because urease-related mortality eliminates 30–40% of infective flea vectors, ureD mutation early in the evolution of Y. pestis was likely subject to strong positive selection because it significantly increased transmission potential. PMID:25453069

  8. A New Generation Microarray for the Simultaneous Detection and Identification of Yersinia pestis and Bacillus anthracis in Food

    PubMed Central

    Goji, Noriko; MacMillan, Trevor; Amoako, Kingsley Kwaku

    2012-01-01

    The use of microarrays as a multiple analytic system has generated increased interest and provided a powerful analytical tool for the simultaneous detection of pathogens in a single experiment. A wide array of applications for this technology has been reported. A low density oligonucleotide microarray was generated from the genetic sequences of Y. pestis and B. anthracis and used to fabricate a microarray chip. The new generation chip, consisting of 2,240 spots in 4 quadrants with the capability of stripping/rehybridization, was designated as “Y-PESTIS/B-ANTHRACIS 4x2K Array.” The chip was tested for specificity using DNA from a panel of bacteria that may be potentially present in food. In all, 37 unique Y. pestis-specific and 83 B. anthracis-specific probes were identified. The microarray assay distinguished Y. pestis and B. anthracis from the other bacterial species tested and correctly identified the Y. pestis-specific oligonucleotide probes using DNA extracted from experimentally inoculated milk samples. Using a whole genome amplification method, the assay was able to detect as low as 1 ng genomic DNA as the start sample. The results suggest that oligonucleotide microarray can specifically detect and identify Y. pestis and B. anthracis and may be a potentially useful diagnostic tool for detecting and confirming the organisms in food during a bioterrorism event. PMID:23125935

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-12-23

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

  10. Integrating High-Content Imaging and Chemical Genetics to Probe Host Cellular Pathways Critical for Yersinia Pestis Infection

    PubMed Central

    Kota, Krishna P.; Eaton, Brett; Lane, Douglas; Ulrich, Melanie; Ulrich, Ricky; Peyser, Brian D.; Robinson, Camenzind G.; Jaissle, James G.; Pegoraro, Gianluca; Bavari, Sina; Panchal, Rekha G.

    2013-01-01

    The molecular machinery that regulates the entry and survival of Yersinia pestis in host macrophages is poorly understood. Here, we report the development of automated high-content imaging assays to quantitate the internalization of virulent Y. pestis CO92 by macrophages and the subsequent activation of host NF-κB. Implementation of these assays in a focused chemical screen identified kinase inhibitors that inhibited both of these processes. Rac-2-ethoxy-3 octadecanamido-1-propylphosphocholine (a protein Kinase C inhibitor), wortmannin (a PI3K inhibitor), and parthenolide (an IκB kinase inhibitor), inhibited pathogen-induced NF-κB activation and reduced bacterial entry and survival within macrophages. Parthenolide inhibited NF-κB activation in response to stimulation with Pam3CSK4 (a TLR2 agonist), E. coli LPS (a TLR4 agonist) or Y. pestis infection, while the PI3K and PKC inhibitors were selective only for Y. pestis infection. Together, our results suggest that phagocytosis is the major stimulus for NF-κB activation in response to Y. pestis infection, and that Y. pestis entry into macrophages may involve the participation of protein kinases such as PI3K and PKC. More importantly, the automated image-based screening platform described here can be applied to the study of other bacteria in general and, in combination with chemical genetic screening, can be used to identify host cell functions facilitating the identification of novel antibacterial therapeutics. PMID:23383093

  11. Silencing urease: a key evolutionary step that facilitated the adaptation of Yersinia pestis to the flea-borne transmission route.

    PubMed

    Chouikha, Iman; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2014-12-30

    The arthropod-borne transmission route of Yersinia pestis, the bacterial agent of plague, is a recent evolutionary adaptation. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, the closely related food-and water-borne enteric species from which Y. pestis diverged less than 6,400 y ago, exhibits significant oral toxicity to the flea vectors of plague, whereas Y. pestis does not. In this study, we identify the Yersinia urease enzyme as the responsible oral toxin. All Y. pestis strains, including those phylogenetically closest to the Y. pseudotuberculosis progenitor, contain a mutated ureD allele that eliminated urease activity. Restoration of a functional ureD was sufficient to make Y. pestis orally toxic to fleas. Conversely, deletion of the urease operon in Y. pseudotuberculosis rendered it nontoxic. Enzymatic activity was required for toxicity. Because urease-related mortality eliminates 30-40% of infective flea vectors, ureD mutation early in the evolution of Y. pestis was likely subject to strong positive selection because it significantly increased transmission potential.

  12. Replication of Yersinia pestis in interferon gamma-activated macrophages requires ripA, a gene encoded in the pigmentation locus.

    PubMed

    Pujol, Céline; Grabenstein, Jens P; Perry, Robert D; Bliska, James B

    2005-09-06

    Yersinia pestis is a facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen that can replicate in macrophages. Little is known about the mechanism by which Y. pestis replicates in macrophages, and macrophage defense mechanisms important for limiting intracellular survival of Y. pestis have not been characterized. In this work, we investigated the ability of Y. pestis to replicate in primary murine macrophages that were activated with IFN-gamma. Y. pestis was able to replicate in macrophages that were activated with IFN-gamma after infection (postactivated). A region of chromosomal DNA known as the pigmentation (pgm) locus was required for replication in postactivated macrophages, and this replication was associated with reduced nitric oxide (NO) levels but not with reduced inducible NO synthase (iNOS) expression. Y. pestis delta pgm replicated in iNOS-/- macrophages that were postactivated with IFN-gamma, suggesting that killing of delta pgm Y. pestis is NO-dependent. A specific genetic locus within pgm, which shares similarity to a pathogenicity island in Salmonella, was shown to be required for replication of Y. pestis and restriction of NO levels in postactivated macrophages. These data demonstrate that intracellular Y. pestis can evade killing by macrophages that are exposed to IFN-gamma and identify a potential virulence gene encoded in the pgm locus that is required for this activity.

  13. [The phylogeography of the Yersinia pestis vole strains isolated from the natural foci of caucasian region].

    PubMed

    Platonov, M E; Evseeva, V V; Svetoch, T E; Efremenko, D V; Kuznetsova, I V; Dentovskaia, S V; Kulichenko, A N; Anisimov, A P

    2012-01-01

    57 Y pestis bv. caucasica strains were assayed using molecular typing. The results of these assays indicated the presence within this biovar of the three separate clonal clusters and necessity of detachment of the Leninakan mountain mesofocus (subfocus) from the structure of Transcaucasian-highland focus into self-supporting one, as well as inclusion of a part of the Pre-Araks low-mountain natural plague focus in the capacity of the subfocus along with Pre-Sevan mountain and Zanzegur-Karabakh mountain subfoci into the structure of Transcaucasian-highland focus. It was shown that the strains circulating in the East-Caucasian highland plague focus were the most ancient branch of bv. caucasica or even of the entire Y pestis phylogenetic tree.

  14. Crystal Structure of the Protease-Resistant Core Domain of Yersinia Pestis Virulence Factor Yopr

    SciTech Connect

    Schubot,F.; Cherry, S.; Austin, B.; Tropea, J.; Waugh, D.

    2005-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of the plague, employs a type III secretion system (T3SS) to secrete and translocate virulence factors into the cytoplasm of mammalian host cells. One of the secreted virulence factors is YopR. Little is known about the function of YopR other than that it is secreted into the extracellular milieu during the early stages of infection and that it contributes to virulence. Hoping to gain some insight into the function of YopR, we determined the crystal structure of its protease-resistant core domain, which consists of residues 38--149 out of 165 amino acids. The core domain is composed of five {alpha}-helices that display unexpected structural similarity with one domain of YopN, a central regulator of type III secretion in Y. pestis. This finding raises the possibility that YopR may play a role in the regulation of type III secretion.

  15. Stable reagent for the detection of antibody to the specific fraction I antigen of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Rust, J H; Berman, S; Habig, W H; Marshall, J D; Cavanaugh, D C

    1972-04-01

    A stable hemagglutinating antigen for detection of fraction I (FR-I) antibody of Yersinia pestis (Pasteurella pestis) is described. The antigen was prepared by sensitizing tanned, pyruvaldehyde-treated sheep erythrocytes (PAT SRBC) with FR-I antigen. Preliminary standardization by titration of each lot of FR-I was required to minimize the effect of molecular heterogeneity of specific FR-I antigen and to eliminate nonspecific reactions caused by the presence of a minor antigenic contaminant. In tests with sera from rabbits, dogs, and humans, FR-I PAT SRBC were as reactive as the previously employed standard antigen, FR-I-sensitized tanned erythrocytes. Fluid suspensions of FR-I PAT SRBC stored at 4 C for 3 months, or lyophilized preparations stored at ambient temperature for 6 months, showed no loss in antigenic activity.

  16. Plasmid regulation and temperature-sensitive behavior of the Yersinia pestis penicillin-binding proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, R C; Park, J T; Ferreira, L C

    1994-01-01

    Six major bands corresponding to penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) with molecular weights ranging from 43,000 to 97,000 were detected in cell envelopes of Yersinia pestis EV76 grown at 28 degrees C. When cells were transferred to 37 degrees C and incubated for extended periods of time, the amounts of all PBPs, except for PBP2, were gradually reduced in cell envelopes of a strain carrying a 75-kb virulence-associated plasmid (as measured by penicillin-binding capacity), whereas in a strain cured of the plasmid, all PBPs were stable. The results indicated that the stability and/or the expression of Y. pestis PBPs is affected by a temperature-inducible pathway associated with the virulence-associated plasmid. Images PMID:8188365

  17. Effect of MarA-like proteins on antibiotic resistance and virulence in Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Lister, Ida M; Mecsas, Joan; Levy, Stuart B

    2010-01-01

    MarA, an AraC/XylS transcriptional regulator in Escherichia coli, affects drug susceptibility and virulence. Two MarA-like proteins have been found in Yersinia pestis: MarA47 and MarA48. Deletion or overexpression of these proteins in the attenuated KIM 1001 Deltapgm strain led to a change in multidrug susceptibility (including susceptibility to clinically relevant drugs). Additionally, lung colonization by the marA47 or marA48 deletion mutant was decreased about 10-fold in a pneumonic plague mouse model. Complementation of the deletions by replacing the deleted genes on the chromosome restored wild-type characteristics. These findings show that two MarA homologs in Y. pestis affect antibiotic susceptibility and virulence.

  18. Yersinia pestis caf1 Variants and the Limits of Plague Vaccine Protection▿

    PubMed Central

    Quenee, Lauriane E.; Cornelius, Claire A.; Ciletti, Nancy A.; Elli, Derek; Schneewind, Olaf

    2008-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the highly virulent agent of plague, is a biological weapon. Strategies that prevent plague have been sought for centuries, and immunization with live, attenuated (nonpigmented) strains or subunit vaccines with F1 (Caf1) antigen is considered effective. We show here that immunization with live, attenuated strains generates plague-protective immunity and humoral immune responses against F1 pilus antigen and LcrV. Y. pestis variants lacking caf1 (F1 pili) are not only fully virulent in animal models of bubonic and pneumonic plague but also break through immune responses generated with live, attenuated strains or F1 subunit vaccines. In contrast, immunization with purified LcrV, a protein at the tip of type III needles, generates protective immunity against the wild-type and the fully virulent caf1 mutant strain, in agreement with the notion that LcrV can elicit vaccine protection against both types of virulent plague strains. PMID:18347051

  19. Further development of raccoon poxvirus-vectored vaccines against plague (Yersinia pestis).

    PubMed

    Rocke, Tonie E; Iams, Keith P; Dawe, Sandra; Smith, Susan R; Williamson, Judy L; Heisey, Dennis M; Osorio, Jorge E

    2009-12-11

    In previous studies, we demonstrated protection against plague in mice and prairie dogs using a raccoon pox (RCN) virus-vectored vaccine that expressed the F1 capsular antigen of Yersinia pestis. In order to improve vaccine efficacy, we have now constructed additional RCN-plague vaccines containing two different forms of the lcrV (V) gene, including full-length (Vfull) and a truncated form (V307). Mouse challenge studies with Y. pestis strain CO92 showed that vaccination with a combination of RCN-F1 and the truncated V construct (RCN-V307) provided the greatest improvement (P=0.01) in protection against plague over vaccination with RCN-F1 alone. This effect was mediated primarily by anti-F1 and anti-V antibodies and both contributed independently to increased survival of vaccinated mice.

  20. Further development of raccoon poxvirus-vectored vaccines against plague (Yersinia pestis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, T.E.; Iams, Keith P.; Dawe, S.; Smith, S.R.; Williamson, J.L.; Heisey, D.M.; Osorio, J.E.

    2009-01-01

    In previous studies, we demonstrated protection against plague in mice and prairie dogs using a raccoon pox (RCN) virus-vectored vaccine that expressed the F1 capsular antigen of Yersinia pestis. In order to improve vaccine efficacy, we have now constructed additional RCN-plague vaccines containing two different forms of the lcrV (V) gene, including full-length (Vfull) and a truncated form (V307). Mouse challenge studies with Y. pestis strain CO92 showed that vaccination with a combination of RCN-F1 and the truncated V construct (RCN-V307) provided the greatest improvement (P = 0.01) in protection against plague over vaccination with RCN-F1 alone. This effect was mediated primarily by anti-F1 and anti-V antibodies and both contributed independently to increased survival of vaccinated mice.

  1. Strategy for Sensitive and Specific Detection of Yersinia pestis in Skeletons of the Black Death Pandemic

    PubMed Central

    Seifert, Lisa; Harbeck, Michaela; Thomas, Astrid; Hoke, Nadja; Zöller, Lothar; Wiechmann, Ingrid; Grupe, Gisela; Scholz, Holger C.; Riehm, Julia M.

    2013-01-01

    Yersinia pestis has been identified as the causative agent of the Black Death pandemic in the 14th century. However, retrospective diagnostics in human skeletons after more than 600 years are critical. We describe a strategy following a modern diagnostic algorithm and working under strict ancient DNA regime for the identification of medieval human plague victims. An initial screening and DNA quantification assay detected the Y. pestis specific pla gene of the high copy number plasmid pPCP1. Results were confirmed by conventional PCR and sequence analysis targeting both Y. pestis specific virulence plasmids pPCP1 and pMT1. All assays were meticulously validated according to human clinical diagnostics requirements (ISO 15189) regarding efficiency, sensitivity, specificity, and limit of detection (LOD). Assay specificity was 100% tested on 41 clinically relevant bacteria and 29 Y. pseudotuberculosis strains as well as for DNA of 22 Y. pestis strains and 30 previously confirmed clinical human plague samples. The optimized LOD was down to 4 gene copies. 29 individuals from three different multiple inhumations were initially assessed as possible victims of the Black Death pandemic. 7 samples (24%) were positive in the pPCP1 specific screening assay. Confirmation through second target pMT1 specific PCR was successful for 4 of the positive individuals (14%). A maximum of 700 and 560 copies per µl aDNA were quantified in two of the samples. Those were positive in all assays including all repetitions, and are candidates for future continuative investigations such as whole genome sequencing. We discuss that all precautions taken here for the work with aDNA are sufficient to prevent external sample contamination and fulfill the criteria of authenticity. With regard to retrospective diagnostics of a human pathogen and the uniqueness of ancient material we strongly recommend using a careful strategy and validated assays as presented in our study. PMID:24069445

  2. RovA, a global regulator of Yersinia pestis, specifically required for bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Cathelyn, Jason S; Crosby, Seth D; Lathem, Wyndham W; Goldman, William E; Miller, Virginia L

    2006-09-05

    The pathogenic species of Yersinia contain the transcriptional regulator RovA. In Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia enterocolitica, RovA regulates expression of the invasion factor invasin (inv), which mediates translocation across the intestinal epithelium. A Y. enterocolitica rovA mutant has a significant decrease in virulence by LD(50) analysis and an altered rate of dissemination compared with either wild type or an inv mutant, suggesting that RovA regulates multiple virulence factors. Here, we show the involvement of RovA in the virulence of Yersinia pestis, which naturally lacks a functional inv gene. A Y. pestis DeltarovA mutant is attenuated approximately 80-fold by LD(50) and is defective in dissemination/colonization of spleens and lungs after s.c. inoculation. However, the DeltarovA mutant is only slightly attenuated when given via an intranasal or i.p. route, indicating a more important role for RovA in bubonic plague than pneumonic plague or systemic infection. Microarray analysis was used to define the RovA regulon. The psa locus was among the most highly down-regulated loci in the DeltarovA mutant. A DeltapsaA mutant had a significant dissemination defect after s.c. infection but only slight attenuation by the pneumonic-disease model, closely mimicking the virulence defect seen with the DeltarovA mutant. DNA-binding studies revealed that RovA specifically interacts with the psaE and psaA promoter regions, indicating a direct role for RovA in regulating this locus. Thus, RovA appears to be a global transcription factor in Y. pestis and, through its regulatory influence on genes such as psaEFABC, contributes to the virulence of Y. pestis.

  3. Susceptibility of the Siberian polecat to subcutaneous and oral Yersinia pestis exposure.

    PubMed

    Castle, K T; Biggins, D; Carter, L G; Chu, M; Innes, K; Wimsatt, J

    2001-10-01

    To determine if the Siberian polecat (Mustela eversmannii) represents a suitable model for the study of plague pathogenesis and prevention in the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes), polecats were exposed to 10(3), 10(7), or 10(10) Yersinia pestis organisms by subcutaneous injection; an additional group was exposed to Y. pestis via ingestion of a plague-killed mouse. Plague killed 88% of polecats exposed to Y. pestis (71% mortality in the 10(3) group, 100% mortality in the 10(7) and 10(10) groups, and 83% mortality in the mouse-fed group). Within the challenged group, mean day of death post-challenge ranged from 3.6 to 7.6 days; all polecats died on or before day 12 post-challenge. Animals receiving the lowest parenteral dose survived significantly longer than those receiving higher parenteral doses. Within challenged animals, mean survival time was lower in those presenting with significant weight loss by day 3, lethargy, and low fecal output; time to onset of lethargy and other signs was also related to risk of dying and/or plague dose. Six polecats developed serum antibody titers to the Y. pestis F1 protein. Three seropositive polecats survived the initial challenge and a subsequent exposure to a plague-killed mouse, while two seropositive animals later died. This study confirms that the Siberian polecat is susceptible to plague and suggests that this species will offer an appropriate surrogate for black-footed ferrets in future plague studies and related vaccine trials.

  4. Strategy for sensitive and specific detection of Yersinia pestis in skeletons of the black death pandemic.

    PubMed

    Seifert, Lisa; Harbeck, Michaela; Thomas, Astrid; Hoke, Nadja; Zöller, Lothar; Wiechmann, Ingrid; Grupe, Gisela; Scholz, Holger C; Riehm, Julia M

    2013-01-01

    Yersinia pestis has been identified as the causative agent of the Black Death pandemic in the 14(th) century. However, retrospective diagnostics in human skeletons after more than 600 years are critical. We describe a strategy following a modern diagnostic algorithm and working under strict ancient DNA regime for the identification of medieval human plague victims. An initial screening and DNA quantification assay detected the Y. pestis specific pla gene of the high copy number plasmid pPCP1. Results were confirmed by conventional PCR and sequence analysis targeting both Y. pestis specific virulence plasmids pPCP1 and pMT1. All assays were meticulously validated according to human clinical diagnostics requirements (ISO 15189) regarding efficiency, sensitivity, specificity, and limit of detection (LOD). Assay specificity was 100% tested on 41 clinically relevant bacteria and 29 Y. pseudotuberculosis strains as well as for DNA of 22 Y. pestis strains and 30 previously confirmed clinical human plague samples. The optimized LOD was down to 4 gene copies. 29 individuals from three different multiple inhumations were initially assessed as possible victims of the Black Death pandemic. 7 samples (24%) were positive in the pPCP1 specific screening assay. Confirmation through second target pMT1 specific PCR was successful for 4 of the positive individuals (14%). A maximum of 700 and 560 copies per µl aDNA were quantified in two of the samples. Those were positive in all assays including all repetitions, and are candidates for future continuative investigations such as whole genome sequencing. We discuss that all precautions taken here for the work with aDNA are sufficient to prevent external sample contamination and fulfill the criteria of authenticity. With regard to retrospective diagnostics of a human pathogen and the uniqueness of ancient material we strongly recommend using a careful strategy and validated assays as presented in our study.

  5. Yersinia pestis infection in cats: ABCD guidelines on prevention and management.

    PubMed

    Pennisi, Maria Grazia; Egberink, Herman; Hartmann, Katrin; Lloret, Albert; Addie, Diane; Belák, Sándor; Boucraut-Baralon, Corine; Frymus, Tadeusz; Gruffydd-Jones, Tim; Hosie, Margaret J; Lutz, Hans; Marsilio, Fulvio; Möstl, Karin; Radford, Alan D; Thiry, Etienne; Truyen, Uwe; Horzinek, Marian C

    2013-07-01

    Plague, the medieval 'Black Death', is caused by a Gram-negative coccobacillus, Yersinia pestis, which also infects cats. As in people, it is transmitted from rodents through flea bites; it occurs in Asia, Africa and the Americas in flea-infested regions, all year round, and where rodent reservoirs are abundant. A poor prognosis is associated with high fever, and the pulmonary and septicaemic forms. Antibiotic therapy, flea control and avoidance of rodent contacts have made this infection manageable.

  6. Investigation of Yersinia pestis laboratory adaptation through a combined genomics and proteomics approach

    DOE PAGES

    Leiser, Owen P.; Merkley, Eric D.; Clowers, Brian H.; ...

    2015-11-24

    Here, the bacterial pathogen Yersinia pestis, the cause of plague in humans and animals, normally has a sylvatic lifestyle, cycling between fleas and mammals. In contrast, laboratory-grown Y. pestis experiences a more constant environment and conditions that it would not normally encounter. The transition from the natural environment to the laboratory results in a vastly different set of selective pressures, and represents what could be considered domestication. Understanding the kinds of adaptations Y. pestis undergoes as it becomes domesticated will contribute to understanding the basic biology of this important pathogen. In this study, we performed a Parallel Serial Passage Experimentmore » (PSPE) to explore the mechanisms by which Y. pestis adapts to laboratory conditions, hypothesizing that cells would undergo significant changes in virulence and nutrient acquisition systems. Two wild strains were serially passaged in 12 independent populations each for ~750 generations, after which each population was analyzed using whole-genome sequencing. We observed considerable parallel evolution in the endpoint populations, detecting multiple independent mutations in ail, pepA, and zwf, suggesting that specific selective pressures are shaping evolutionary responses. Complementary LC-MS-based proteomic data provide physiological context to the observed mutations, and reveal regulatory changes not necessarily associated with specific mutations, including changes in amino acid metabolism, envelope biogenesis, iron storage and acquisition, and a type VI secretion system. Proteomic data support hypotheses generated by genomic data in addition to suggesting future mechanistic studies, indicating that future whole-genome sequencing studies be designed to leverage proteomics as a critical complement.« less

  7. Investigation of Yersinia pestis Laboratory Adaptation through a Combined Genomics and Proteomics Approach.

    PubMed

    Leiser, Owen P; Merkley, Eric D; Clowers, Brian H; Deatherage Kaiser, Brooke L; Lin, Andy; Hutchison, Janine R; Melville, Angela M; Wagner, David M; Keim, Paul S; Foster, Jeffrey T; Kreuzer, Helen W

    2015-01-01

    The bacterial pathogen Yersinia pestis, the cause of plague in humans and animals, normally has a sylvatic lifestyle, cycling between fleas and mammals. In contrast, laboratory-grown Y. pestis experiences a more constant environment and conditions that it would not normally encounter. The transition from the natural environment to the laboratory results in a vastly different set of selective pressures, and represents what could be considered domestication. Understanding the kinds of adaptations Y. pestis undergoes as it becomes domesticated will contribute to understanding the basic biology of this important pathogen. In this study, we performed a parallel serial passage experiment (PSPE) to explore the mechanisms by which Y. pestis adapts to laboratory conditions, hypothesizing that cells would undergo significant changes in virulence and nutrient acquisition systems. Two wild strains were serially passaged in 12 independent populations each for ~750 generations, after which each population was analyzed using whole-genome sequencing, LC-MS/MS proteomic analysis, and GC/MS metabolomics. We observed considerable parallel evolution in the endpoint populations, detecting multiple independent mutations in ail, pepA, and zwf, suggesting that specific selective pressures are shaping evolutionary responses. Complementary LC-MS/MS proteomic data provide physiological context to the observed mutations, and reveal regulatory changes not necessarily associated with specific mutations, including changes in amino acid metabolism and cell envelope biogenesis. Proteomic data support hypotheses generated by genomic data in addition to suggesting future mechanistic studies, indicating that future whole-genome sequencing studies be designed to leverage proteomics as a critical complement.

  8. Characterization of chromosomal regions conserved in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and lost by Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Pouillot, Flavie; Fayolle, Corinne; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2008-10-01

    The transformation of the enteropathogenic bacterium Yersinia pseudotuberculosis into the plague bacillus, Yersinia pestis, has been accompanied by extensive genetic loss. This study focused on chromosomal regions conserved in Y. pseudotuberculosis and lost during its transformation into Y. pestis. An extensive PCR screening of 78 strains of the two species identified five regions (R1 to R5) and four open reading frames (ORFs; orf1 to orf4) that were conserved in Y. pseudotuberculosis and absent from Y. pestis. Their conservation in Y. pseudotuberculosis suggests a positive selective pressure and a role during the life cycle of this species. Attempts to delete two ORFs (orf3 and orf4) from the chromosome of strain IP32953 were unsuccessful, indicating that they are essential for its viability. The seven remaining loci were individually deleted from the IP32953 chromosome, and the ability of each mutant to grow in vitro and to kill mice upon intragastric infection was evaluated. Four loci (orf1, R2, R4, and R5) were not required for optimal growth or virulence of Y. pseudotuberculosis. In contrast, orf2, encoding a putative pseudouridylate synthase involved in RNA stability, was necessary for the optimal growth of IP32953 at 37 degrees C in a chemically defined medium (M63S). Deletion of R1, a region predicted to encode the methionine salvage pathway, altered the mutant pathogenicity, suggesting that the availability of free methionine is severely restricted in vivo. R3, a region composed mostly of genes of unknown functions, was necessary for both optimal growth of Y. pseudotuberculosis at 37 degrees C in M63S and for virulence. Therefore, despite their loss in Y. pestis, five of the nine Y. pseudotuberculosis-specific chromosomal loci studied play a role in the survival, growth, or virulence of this species.

  9. Kinetics of Innate Immune Response to Yersinia pestis after Intradermal Infection in a Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Jarrett, Clayton O.; Gardner, Donald; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph

    2012-01-01

    A hallmark of Yersinia pestis infection is a delayed inflammatory response early in infection. In this study, we use an intradermal model of infection to study early innate immune cell recruitment. Mice were injected intradermally in the ear with wild-type (WT) or attenuated Y. pestis lacking the pYV virulence plasmid (pYV−). The inflammatory responses in ear and draining lymph node samples were evaluated by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. As measured by flow cytometry, total neutrophil and macrophage recruitment to the ear in WT-infected mice did not differ from phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) controls or mice infected with pYV−, except for a transient increase in macrophages at 6 h compared to the PBS control. Limited inflammation was apparent even in animals with high bacterial loads (105 to 106 CFU). In addition, activation of inflammatory cells was significantly reduced in WT-infected mice as measured by CD11b and major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) expression. When mice infected with WT were injected 12 h later at the same intradermal site with purified LPS, Y. pestis did not prevent recruitment of neutrophils. However, significant reduction in neutrophil activation remained compared to that of PBS and pYV− controls. Immunohistochemistry revealed qualitative differences in neutrophil recruitment to the skin and draining lymph node, with WT-infected mice producing a diffuse inflammatory response. In contrast, focal sites of neutrophil recruitment were sustained through 48 h postinfection in pYV−-infected mice. Thus, an important feature of Y. pestis infection is reduced activation and organization of inflammatory cells that is at least partially dependent on the pYV virulence plasmid. PMID:22966041

  10. [Maldi-tof ms analysis for yersinia pestis, vibrio cholera, and francisella tularensis identification].

    PubMed

    Afanas'ev, M V; Mironova, L V; Balakhonov, S V

    2015-01-01

    Numerous studies showed that a new technology for the clinical microbiology laboratories, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization--Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-ToF MS), allows fast, accurate, and effective identification of most clinically relevant microorganisms to be implemented. In the present review, we discuss applications of this approach for identification and typing of extremely dangerous pathogens--Yersinia pestis, Vibrio cholera, and Francisella tularensis, including the advantages and disadvantages of the method, sample preparation and biosafety problems.

  11. Molecular Survey of Bartonella Species and Yersinia pestis in Rodent Fleas (Siphonaptera) From Chihuahua, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Fernández-González, Adriana M; Kosoy, Michael Y; Rubio, André V; Graham, Christine B; Montenieri, John A; Osikowicz, Lynn M; Bai, Ying; Acosta-Gutiérrez, Roxana; Ávila-Flores, Rafael; Gage, Kenneth L; Suzán, Gerardo

    2016-01-01

    Rodent fleas from northwestern Chihuahua, Mexico, were analyzed for the presence of Bartonella and Yersinia pestis. In total, 760 fleas belonging to 10 species were tested with multiplex polymerase chain reaction analysis targeting the gltA (338-bp) and pla genes (478-bp) of Bartonella and Y. pestis, respectively. Although none was positive for Y. pestis, 307 fleas were infected with Bartonella spp., resulting in an overall prevalence of 40.4%. A logistic regression analysis indicated that the presence of Bartonella is more likely to occur in some flea species. From a subset of Bartonella-positive fleas, phylogenetic analyses of gltA gene sequences revealed 13 genetic variants clustering in five phylogroups (I–V), two of which were matched with known pathogenic Bartonella species (Bartonella vinsonii subsp. arupensis and Bartonella washoensis) and two that were not related with any previously described species or subspecies of Bartonella. Variants in phylogroup V, which were mainly obtained from Meringis spp. fleas, were identical to those reported recently in their specific rodent hosts (Dipodomys spp.) in the same region, suggesting that kangaroo rats and their fleas harbor other Bartonella species not reported previously. Considering the Bartonella prevalence and the flea genotypes associated with known pathogenic Bartonella species, we suggest that analysis of rodent and flea communities in the region should continue for their potential implications for human health. Given that nearby locations in the United States have reported Y. pestis in wild animals and their fleas, we suggest conducting larger-scale studies to increase our knowledge of this bacterium.

  12. Investigation of Yersinia pestis Laboratory Adaptation through a Combined Genomics and Proteomics Approach

    PubMed Central

    Clowers, Brian H.; Deatherage Kaiser, Brooke L.; Lin, Andy; Hutchison, Janine R.; Melville, Angela M.; Wagner, David M.; Keim, Paul S.; Foster, Jeffrey T.; Kreuzer, Helen W.

    2015-01-01

    The bacterial pathogen Yersinia pestis, the cause of plague in humans and animals, normally has a sylvatic lifestyle, cycling between fleas and mammals. In contrast, laboratory-grown Y. pestis experiences a more constant environment and conditions that it would not normally encounter. The transition from the natural environment to the laboratory results in a vastly different set of selective pressures, and represents what could be considered domestication. Understanding the kinds of adaptations Y. pestis undergoes as it becomes domesticated will contribute to understanding the basic biology of this important pathogen. In this study, we performed a parallel serial passage experiment (PSPE) to explore the mechanisms by which Y. pestis adapts to laboratory conditions, hypothesizing that cells would undergo significant changes in virulence and nutrient acquisition systems. Two wild strains were serially passaged in 12 independent populations each for ~750 generations, after which each population was analyzed using whole-genome sequencing, LC-MS/MS proteomic analysis, and GC/MS metabolomics. We observed considerable parallel evolution in the endpoint populations, detecting multiple independent mutations in ail, pepA, and zwf, suggesting that specific selective pressures are shaping evolutionary responses. Complementary LC-MS/MS proteomic data provide physiological context to the observed mutations, and reveal regulatory changes not necessarily associated with specific mutations, including changes in amino acid metabolism and cell envelope biogenesis. Proteomic data support hypotheses generated by genomic data in addition to suggesting future mechanistic studies, indicating that future whole-genome sequencing studies be designed to leverage proteomics as a critical complement. PMID:26599979

  13. Isolation of Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis from Blood Cultures by Plasma Purification and Immunomagnetic Separation Accelerates Antibiotic Susceptibility Determination

    PubMed Central

    Aloni-Grinstein, Ronit; Schuster, Ofir; Yitzhaki, Shmuel; Aftalion, Moshe; Maoz, Sharon; Steinberger-Levy, Ida; Ber, Raphael

    2017-01-01

    The early symptoms of tularemia and plague, which are caused by Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis infection, respectively, are common to other illnesses, resulting in a low index of suspicion among clinicians. Moreover, because these diseases can be treated only with antibiotics, rapid isolation of the bacteria and antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST) are preferable. Blood cultures of patients may serve as a source for bacteria isolation. However, due to the slow growth rates of F. tularensis and Y. pestis on solid media, isolation by plating blood culture samples on proper agar plates may require several days. Thus, improving the isolation procedure prior to antibiotic susceptibility determination is a major clinically relevant need. In this study, we developed a rapid, selective procedure for the isolation of F. tularensis and Y. pestis from blood cultures. We examined drop-plating and plasma purification followed by immunomagnetic separation (IMS) as alternative isolation methods. We determined that replacing the classical isolation method with drop-plating is advantageous with respect to time at the expense of specificity. Hence, we also examined isolation by IMS. Sub-localization of F. tularensis within blood cultures of infected mice has revealed that the majority of the bacteria are located within the extracellular fraction, in the plasma. Y. pestis also resides within the plasma. Therefore, the plasma fraction was isolated from blood cultures and subjected to an IMS procedure using polyclonal anti-F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS) or anti-Y. pestis antibodies conjugated to 50-nm nano-beads. The time required to reach an inoculum of sufficient bacteria for AST was shortest when using the plasma and IMSs for both bacteria, saving up to 2 days of incubation for F. tularensis and 1 day for Y. pestis. Our isolation procedure provides a proof of concept for the clinical relevance of rapid isolation for AST from F. tularensis- and Y. pestis

  14. Cethromycin-mediated protection against the plague pathogen Yersinia pestis in a rat model of infection and comparison with levofloxacin.

    PubMed

    Rosenzweig, Jason A; Brackman, Sheri M; Kirtley, Michelle L; Sha, Jian; Erova, Tatiana E; Yeager, Linsey A; Peterson, Johnny W; Xu, Ze-Qi; Chopra, Ashok K

    2011-11-01

    The Gram-negative plague bacterium, Yersinia pestis, has historically been regarded as one of the deadliest pathogens known to mankind, having caused three major pandemics. After being transmitted by the bite of an infected flea arthropod vector, Y. pestis can cause three forms of human plague: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic, with the latter two having very high mortality rates. With increased threats of bioterrorism, it is likely that a multidrug-resistant Y. pestis strain would be employed, and, as such, conventional antibiotics typically used to treat Y. pestis (e.g., streptomycin, tetracycline, and gentamicin) would be ineffective. In this study, cethromycin (a ketolide antibiotic which inhibits bacterial protein synthesis and is currently in clinical trials for respiratory tract infections) was evaluated for antiplague activity in a rat model of pneumonic infection and compared with levofloxacin, which operates via inhibition of bacterial topoisomerase and DNA gyrase. Following a respiratory challenge of 24 to 30 times the 50% lethal dose of the highly virulent Y. pestis CO92 strain, 70 mg of cethromycin per kg of body weight (orally administered twice daily 24 h postinfection for a period of 7 days) provided complete protection to animals against mortality without any toxic effects. Further, no detectable plague bacilli were cultured from infected animals' blood and spleens following cethromycin treatment. The antibiotic was most effective when administered to rats 24 h postinfection, as the animals succumbed to infection if treatment was further delayed. All cethromycin-treated survivors tolerated 2 subsequent exposures to even higher lethal Y. pestis doses without further antibiotic treatment, which was related, in part, to the development of specific antibodies to the capsular and low-calcium-response V antigens of Y. pestis. These data demonstrate that cethromycin is a potent antiplague drug that can be used to treat pneumonic plague.

  15. Sample collection of virulent and non-virulent B. anthracis and Y. pestis for bioforensics analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Hong-geller, Elizabeth; Valdez, Yolanda E; Shou, Yulin; Yoshida, Thomas M; Marrone, Babetta L; Dunbar, John

    2009-01-01

    Validated sample collection methods are needed for recovery of microbial evidence in the event of accidental or intentional release of biological agents into the environment. To address this need, we evaluated the sample recovery efficiencies of two collection methods -- swabs and wipes -- for both non-virulent and virulent strains of B. anthracis and Y. pestis from four types of non-porous surfaces: two hydrophilic surfaces, stainless steel and glass, and two hydrophobic surfaces, vinyl and plastic. Sample recovery was quantified using Real-time qPCR to assay for intact DNA signatures. We found no consistent difference in collection efficiency between swabs or wipes. Furthermore, collection efficiency was more surface-dependent for virulent strains than non-virulent strains. For the two non-virulent strains, B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis A1122, collection efficiency was approximately 100% and 1 %, respectively, from all four surfaces. In contrast, recovery of B. anthracis Ames spores and Y. pestis C092 from vinyl and plastic was generally lower compared to collection from glass or stainless steel, suggesting that surface hydrophobicity may playa role in the strength of pathogen adhesion. The surface-dependent collection efficiencies observed with the virulent strains may arise from strain-specific expression of capsular material or other cell surface receptors that alter cell adhesion to specific surfaces. These findings contribute to validation of standard bioforensics procedures and emphasize the importance of specific strain and surface interactions in pathogen detection.

  16. Retracing the Evolutionary Path that Led to Flea-borne Transmission of Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yi-Cheng; Jarrett, Clayton O.; Bosio, Christopher F.; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph

    2014-01-01

    Summary Yersinia pestis is an arthropod-borne bacterial pathogen that evolved recently from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, an enteric pathogen transmitted via the fecal-oral route. This radical ecological transition can be attributed to a few discrete genetic changes from a still-extant recent ancestor, thus providing a tractable case study in pathogen evolution and emergence. Here, we determined the precise genetic and mechanistic basis of the evolutionary adaptation of Y. pestis to flea-borne transmission. Remarkably, only four minor changes in the bacterial progenitor, representing one gene gain and three gene losses, enabled transmission by flea vectors. All three loss-of-function mutations enhanced c-di-GMP-mediated bacterial biofilm formation in the flea foregut that greatly increased transmissibility. Our results suggest a step-wise evolutionary model in which Y. pestis emerged as a flea-borne clone, with each genetic change incrementally reinforcing the transmission cycle. The model conforms well to the ecological theory of adaptive radiation. PMID:24832452

  17. Eighteenth century Yersinia pestis genomes reveal the long-term persistence of an historical plague focus

    PubMed Central

    Bos, Kirsten I; Herbig, Alexander; Sahl, Jason; Waglechner, Nicholas; Fourment, Mathieu; Forrest, Stephen A; Klunk, Jennifer; Schuenemann, Verena J; Poinar, Debi; Kuch, Melanie; Golding, G Brian; Dutour, Olivier; Keim, Paul; Wagner, David M; Holmes, Edward C; Krause, Johannes; Poinar, Hendrik N

    2016-01-01

    The 14th–18th century pandemic of Yersinia pestis caused devastating disease outbreaks in Europe for almost 400 years. The reasons for plague’s persistence and abrupt disappearance in Europe are poorly understood, but could have been due to either the presence of now-extinct plague foci in Europe itself, or successive disease introductions from other locations. Here we present five Y. pestis genomes from one of the last European outbreaks of plague, from 1722 in Marseille, France. The lineage identified has not been found in any extant Y. pestis foci sampled to date, and has its ancestry in strains obtained from victims of the 14th century Black Death. These data suggest the existence of a previously uncharacterized historical plague focus that persisted for at least three centuries. We propose that this disease source may have been responsible for the many resurgences of plague in Europe following the Black Death. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12994.001 PMID:26795402

  18. Yersinia pestis Yop secretion protein F: purification, characterization, and protective efficacy against bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Swietnicki, Wieslaw; Powell, Bradford S; Goodin, Jeremy

    2005-07-01

    Yersinia pestis is a gram-negative human pathogen that uses a type III secretion system to deliver virulence factors into human hosts. The delivery is contact-dependent and it has been proposed that polymerization of Yop secretion protein F (YscF) is used to puncture mammalian cell membranes to facilitate delivery of Yersinia outer protein effectors into host cells. To evaluate the potential immunogenicity and protective efficacy of YscF against Y. pestis, we used a purified recombinant YscF protein as a potential vaccine candidate in a mouse subcutaneous infection model. YscF was expressed and purified from Escherichia coli by immobilized metal-ion affinity chromatography and protein identity was confirmed by ion trap mass spectrometry. The recombinant protein was highly alpha-helical and formed relatively stable aggregates under physiological conditions. The properties were consistent with behavior expected for the native YscF, suggesting that the antigen was properly folded. Ten mice were inoculated subcutaneously, administered booster injections after one month, and challenged with 130 LD(50) of wild type Y. pestis CO92. Six animals in the vaccinated group but none in the control group survived the challenge. The vaccinated animals produced high levels of specific antibodies against YscF as determined by Western blot. The data were statistically significant (P = 0.053 by two-tailed Fisher's test), suggesting that the YscF protein can provide a protective immune response against lethal plague challenge during subcutaneous plague infection.

  19. New Insights into How Yersinia pestis Adapts to Its Mammalian Host during Bubonic Plague

    PubMed Central

    Pradel, Elizabeth; Lemaître, Nadine; Merchez, Maud; Ricard, Isabelle; Reboul, Angéline; Dewitte, Amélie; Sebbane, Florent

    2014-01-01

    Bubonic plague (a fatal, flea-transmitted disease) remains an international public health concern. Although our understanding of the pathogenesis of bubonic plague has improved significantly over the last few decades, researchers have still not been able to define the complete set of Y. pestis genes needed for disease or to characterize the mechanisms that enable infection. Here, we generated a library of Y. pestis mutants, each lacking one or more of the genes previously identified as being up-regulated in vivo. We then screened the library for attenuated virulence in rodent models of bubonic plague. Importantly, we tested mutants both individually and using a novel, “per-pool” screening method that we have developed. Our data showed that in addition to genes involved in physiological adaption and resistance to the stress generated by the host, several previously uncharacterized genes are required for virulence. One of these genes (ympt1.66c, which encodes a putative helicase) has been acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Deletion of ympt1.66c reduced Y. pestis' ability to spread to the lymph nodes draining the dermal inoculation site – probably because loss of this gene decreased the bacteria's ability to survive inside macrophages. Our results suggest that (i) intracellular survival during the early stage of infection is important for plague and (ii) horizontal gene transfer was crucial in the acquisition of this ability. PMID:24675805

  20. Plague vaccines and the molecular basis of immunity against Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Quenee, Lauriane E; Schneewind, Olaf

    2009-12-01

    Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of bubonic and pneumonic plague, human diseases with high mortality. Due to the microbe's ability to spread rapidly, plague epidemics present a serious public health threat. A search for prophylactic measures was initially based on historical reports of bubonic plague survivors and their apparent immunity. Due to safety and efficacy concerns, killed whole-cell preparations or live-attenuated plague vaccines are no longer considered in the United States. Vaccine developers have focused on specific subunits of plague bacteria. LcrV, a protein at the tip of type III secretion needles, and F1, the capsular pilus antigen, are both recognized as plague protective antigens. Antibodies against LcrV and F1 interfere with Y. pestis type III injection of host cells. While LcrV is absolutely essential for Y. pestis virulence, expression of F1 is dispensable for plague pathogenesis in small animals, non-human primates and presumably also in humans. Several subunit vaccines, for example rF1+rV (rYP002), rF1V or rV10, are being developed to generate plague protection in humans. Efficacy testing and licensure for human use requires the establishment of correlates for plague immunity.

  1. New insights into how Yersinia pestis adapts to its mammalian host during bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Pradel, Elizabeth; Lemaître, Nadine; Merchez, Maud; Ricard, Isabelle; Reboul, Angéline; Dewitte, Amélie; Sebbane, Florent

    2014-03-01

    Bubonic plague (a fatal, flea-transmitted disease) remains an international public health concern. Although our understanding of the pathogenesis of bubonic plague has improved significantly over the last few decades, researchers have still not been able to define the complete set of Y. pestis genes needed for disease or to characterize the mechanisms that enable infection. Here, we generated a library of Y. pestis mutants, each lacking one or more of the genes previously identified as being up-regulated in vivo. We then screened the library for attenuated virulence in rodent models of bubonic plague. Importantly, we tested mutants both individually and using a novel, "per-pool" screening method that we have developed. Our data showed that in addition to genes involved in physiological adaptation and resistance to the stress generated by the host, several previously uncharacterized genes are required for virulence. One of these genes (ympt1.66c, which encodes a putative helicase) has been acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Deletion of ympt1.66c reduced Y. pestis' ability to spread to the lymph nodes draining the dermal inoculation site--probably because loss of this gene decreased the bacteria's ability to survive inside macrophages. Our results suggest that (i) intracellular survival during the early stage of infection is important for plague and (ii) horizontal gene transfer was crucial in the acquisition of this ability.

  2. Protein markers for identification of Yersinia pestis and their variation related to culture

    SciTech Connect

    Wunschel, David S.; Engelmann, Heather E.; Victry, Kristin D.; Clowers, Brian H.; Sorensen, Christina M.; Valentine, Nancy B.; Mahoney Fahey, Christine M.; Wietsma, Thomas W.; Wahl, Karen L.

    2013-12-11

    The detection of high consequence pathogens, such as Yersinia pestis, is well established in biodefense laboratories for bioterror situations. Laboratory protocols are well established using specified culture media and a growth temperature of 37 °C for expression of specific antigens. Direct detection of Y. pestis protein markers, without prior culture, depends on their expression. Unfortunately protein expression can be impacted by the culture medium which cannot be predicted ahead of time. Furthermore, higher biomass yields are obtained at the optimal growth temperature (i.e. 28 °C–30 °C) and therefore are more likely to be used for bulk production. Analysis of Y. pestis grown on several types of media at 30 °C showed that several protein markers were found to be differentially detected in different media. Analysis of the identified proteins against a comprehensive database provided an additional level of organism identification. Peptides corresponding to variable regions of some proteins could separate large groups of strains and aid in organism identification. This work illustrates the need to understand variability of protein expression for detection targets. The potential for relating expression changes of known proteins to specific media factors, even in nutrient rich and chemically complex culture medium, may provide the opportunity to draw forensic information from protein profiles.

  3. A High-Coverage Yersinia pestis Genome from a Sixth-Century Justinianic Plague Victim.

    PubMed

    Feldman, Michal; Harbeck, Michaela; Keller, Marcel; Spyrou, Maria A; Rott, Andreas; Trautmann, Bernd; Scholz, Holger C; Päffgen, Bernd; Peters, Joris; McCormick, Michael; Bos, Kirsten; Herbig, Alexander; Krause, Johannes

    2016-11-01

    The Justinianic Plague, which started in the sixth century and lasted to the mid eighth century, is thought to be the first of three historically documented plague pandemics causing massive casualties. Historical accounts and molecular data suggest the bacterium Yersinia pestis as its etiological agent. Here we present a new high-coverage (17.9-fold) Y. pestis genome obtained from a sixth-century skeleton recovered from a southern German burial site close to Munich. The reconstructed genome enabled the detection of 30 unique substitutions as well as structural differences that have not been previously described. We report indels affecting a lacl family transcription regulator gene as well as nonsynonymous substitutions in the nrdE, fadJ, and pcp genes, that have been suggested as plague virulence determinants or have been shown to be upregulated in different models of plague infection. In addition, we identify 19 false positive substitutions in a previously published lower-coverage Y. pestis genome from another archaeological site of the same time period and geographical region that is otherwise genetically identical to the high-coverage genome sequence reported here, suggesting low-genetic diversity of the plague during the sixth century in rural southern Germany. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  4. The survival of Pasteurella pestis in materials preserved by solid carbon dioxide (dry-ice)*

    PubMed Central

    Goldenberg, Martin I.; Quan, Stuart F.; Prince, Frank M.

    1964-01-01

    In the investigation of outbreaks of plague it is frequently more satisfactory to send specimens of suspected material collected in the field to a central laboratory, where usually better facilities for their more detailed examination are available. In the present study the authors have investigated the suitability of solid CO2 (dry-ice) for the preservation of such material during transit. Three types of preparation were tested: broth suspensions of Pasteurella pestis, the livers and spleens of guinea-pigs dying after being infected with two different strains of P. pestis, and whole carcasses of mice and ground-squirrels infected with the organism. An additional test to ascertain the rate at which animal specimens became frozen and thawed was also carried out. These studies showed that (1) organisms in the various tissues frozen in dry-ice were not adversely affected by such treatment; (2) the survival of P. pestis cells did not depend on the number of organisms present in broth cultures or tissue suspensions, small numbers surviving equally well as large; and (3) plague bacilli contained in whole carcasses, even when present in small numbers, were also successfully preserved. It is concluded from these results, and also from the authors' practical use of the method over several years, that for the transport of plague-suspect materials from the field to the laboratory freezing with dry-ice can be confidently recommended. PMID:14196818

  5. [Conservation of Yersinia pestis in winter by Citellophilus tesquorum altaicus females and males].

    PubMed

    Bazanova, L P; Nikitin, A Ia; Maevskiĭ, M P

    2007-01-01

    Intersexual differences have been established in Citellophilus tesquorum altaicus Ioff (1936) from a Tuva natural focus in the accumulation of Yersinia pestis in fleas in autumn and its conservation during winter. The ectoparasites were infected and fed on the natural feeder - long-tailed Siberian souslik (Citellus undulates). Small wild animals and insects were infected with the strain Yersinia pestis 1-3226 typical of the focus. In winter fleas survived without the feeder under artificially created conditions of an uninhabited nest for long-tailed souslik. After each feeding, the ectoparasites were microscopically examined, by taking into account the individuals with aggregated agent - bacterial lumps, complete or partial blocks of the proventriculus. The experimental data showed with a high degree of significance that the females had survived the cold season better. Both before and after hibernation of the insects, the plaque agent in the aggregated state was also more frequently recorded in the females than in the males though the proportion of fleas with conglomerates significantly decreased in either sex during that time. If the best female survival and a higher proportion of females with Yersinia pestis are borne in mind, it should be recognized their greater role than that of males in conserving the plague agent during winter.

  6. THE SURVIVAL OF PASTEURELLA PESTIS IN MATERIALS PRESERVED BY SOLID CARBON DIOXIDE (DRY-ICE).

    PubMed

    GOLDENBERG, M I; QUAN, S F; PRINCE, F M

    1964-01-01

    In the investigation of outbreaks of plague it is frequently more satisfactory to send specimens of suspected material collected in the field to a central laboratory, where usually better facilities for their more detailed examination are available. In the present study the authors have investigated the suitability of solid CO(2) (dry-ice) for the preservation of such material during transit. Three types of preparation were tested: broth suspensions of Pasteurella pestis, the livers and spleens of guinea-pigs dying after being infected with two different strains of P. pestis, and whole carcasses of mice and ground-squirrels infected with the organism. An additional test to ascertain the rate at which animal specimens became frozen and thawed was also carried out.These studies showed that (1) organisms in the various tissues frozen in dry-ice were not adversely affected by such treatment; (2) the survival of P. pestis cells did not depend on the number of organisms present in broth cultures or tissue suspensions, small numbers surviving equally well as large; and (3) plague bacilli contained in whole carcasses, even when present in small numbers, were also successfully preserved. It is concluded from these results, and also from the authors' practical use of the method over several years, that for the transport of plague-suspect materials from the field to the laboratory freezing with dry-ice can be confidently recommended.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Historical variations in mutation rate in an epidemic pathogen, Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Yujun; Yu, Chang; Yan, Yanfeng; Li, Dongfang; Li, Yanjun; Jombart, Thibaut; Weinert, Lucy A.; Wang, Zuyun; Guo, Zhaobiao; Xu, Lizhi; Zhang, Yujiang; Zheng, Hancheng; Qin, Nan; Xiao, Xiao; Wu, Mingshou; Wang, Xiaoyi; Zhou, Dongsheng; Qi, Zhizhen; Du, Zongmin; Wu, Honglong; Yang, Xianwei; Cao, Hongzhi; Wang, Hu; Wang, Jing; Yao, Shusen; Rakin, Alexander; Li, Yingrui; Falush, Daniel; Balloux, Francois; Achtman, Mark; Song, Yajun; Wang, Jun; Yang, Ruifu

    2013-01-01

    The genetic diversity of Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of plague, is extremely limited because of its recent origin coupled with a slow clock rate. Here we identified 2,326 SNPs from 133 genomes of Y. pestis strains that were isolated in China and elsewhere. These SNPs define the genealogy of Y. pestis since its most recent common ancestor. All but 28 of these SNPs represented mutations that happened only once within the genealogy, and they were distributed essentially at random among individual genes. Only seven genes contained a significant excess of nonsynonymous SNP, suggesting that the fixation of SNPs mainly arises via neutral processes, such as genetic drift, rather than Darwinian selection. However, the rate of fixation varies dramatically over the genealogy: the number of SNPs accumulated by different lineages was highly variable and the genealogy contains multiple polytomies, one of which resulted in four branches near the time of the Black Death. We suggest that demographic changes can affect the speed of evolution in epidemic pathogens even in the absence of natural selection, and hypothesize that neutral SNPs are fixed rapidly during intermittent epidemics and outbreaks. PMID:23271803

  9. A High-Coverage Yersinia pestis Genome from a Sixth-Century Justinianic Plague Victim

    PubMed Central

    Feldman, Michal; Harbeck, Michaela; Keller, Marcel; Spyrou, Maria A.; Rott, Andreas; Trautmann, Bernd; Scholz, Holger C.; Päffgen, Bernd; Peters, Joris; McCormick, Michael; Bos, Kirsten; Herbig, Alexander; Krause, Johannes

    2016-01-01

    The Justinianic Plague, which started in the sixth century and lasted to the mid eighth century, is thought to be the first of three historically documented plague pandemics causing massive casualties. Historical accounts and molecular data suggest the bacterium Yersinia pestis as its etiological agent. Here we present a new high-coverage (17.9-fold) Y. pestis genome obtained from a sixth-century skeleton recovered from a southern German burial site close to Munich. The reconstructed genome enabled the detection of 30 unique substitutions as well as structural differences that have not been previously described. We report indels affecting a lacl family transcription regulator gene as well as nonsynonymous substitutions in the nrdE, fadJ, and pcp genes, that have been suggested as plague virulence determinants or have been shown to be upregulated in different models of plague infection. In addition, we identify 19 false positive substitutions in a previously published lower-coverage Y. pestis genome from another archaeological site of the same time period and geographical region that is otherwise genetically identical to the high-coverage genome sequence reported here, suggesting low-genetic diversity of the plague during the sixth century in rural southern Germany. PMID:27578768

  10. Comparative Genomics of 2009 Seasonal Plague (Yersinia pestis) in New Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Gibbons, Henry S.; Onischuk, Lisa; Leonard, Pascale; Broomall, Stacey; Sickler, Todd; Betters, Janet L.; McGregor, Paul; Donarum, Greg; Liem, Alvin; Fochler, Ed; McNew, Lauren; Rosenzweig, C. Nicole; Skowronski, Evan

    2012-01-01

    Plague disease caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis routinely affects animals and occasionally humans, in the western United States. The strains native to the North American continent are thought to be derived from a single introduction in the late 19th century. The degree to which these isolates have diverged genetically since their introduction is not clear, and new genomic markers to assay the diversity of North American plague are highly desired. To assay genetic diversity of plague isolates within confined geographic areas, draft genome sequences were generated by 454 pyrosequencing from nine environmental and clinical plague isolates. In silico assemblies of Variable Number Tandem Repeat (VNTR) loci were compared to laboratory-generated profiles for seven markers. High-confidence SNPs and small Insertion/Deletions (Indels) were compared to previously sequenced Y. pestis isolates. The resulting panel of mutations allowed clustering of the strains and tracing of the most likely evolutionary trajectory of the plague strains. The sequences also allowed the identification of new putative SNPs that differentiate the 2009 isolates from previously sequenced plague strains and from each other. In addition, new insertion points for the abundant insertion sequences (IS) of Y. pestis are present that allow additional discrimination of strains; several of these new insertions potentially inactivate genes implicated in virulence. These sequences enable whole-genome phylogenetic analysis and allow the unbiased comparison of closely related isolates of a genetically monomorphic pathogen. PMID:22359605

  11. Retracing the evolutionary path that led to flea-borne transmission of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yi-Cheng; Jarrett, Clayton O; Bosio, Christopher F; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2014-05-14

    Yersinia pestis is an arthropod-borne bacterial pathogen that evolved recently from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, an enteric pathogen transmitted via the fecal-oral route. This radical ecological transition can be attributed to a few discrete genetic changes from a still-extant recent ancestor, thus providing a tractable case study in pathogen evolution and emergence. Here, we determined the genetic and mechanistic basis of the evolutionary adaptation of Y. pestis to flea-borne transmission. Remarkably, only four minor changes in the bacterial progenitor, representing one gene gain and three gene losses, enabled transmission by flea vectors. All three loss-of-function mutations enhanced cyclic-di-GMP-mediated bacterial biofilm formation in the flea foregut, which greatly increased transmissibility. Our results suggest a step-wise evolutionary model in which Y. pestis emerged as a flea-borne clone, with each genetic change incrementally reinforcing the transmission cycle. The model conforms well to the ecological theory of adaptive radiation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. The importance of the small RNA chaperone Hfq for growth of epidemic Yersinia pestis, but not Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, with implications for plague biology.

    PubMed

    Bai, Guangchun; Golubov, Andrey; Smith, Eric A; McDonough, Kathleen A

    2010-08-01

    Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of plague, has only recently evolved from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. hfq deletion caused severe growth restriction at 37 degrees C in Y. pestis but not in Y. pseudotuberculosis. Strains from all epidemic plague biovars were similarly affected, implicating Hfq, and likely small RNAs (sRNAs), in the unique biology of the plague bacillus.

  13. VALIDATION OF COOKING TIMES AND TEMPERATURES FOR THERMAL INACTIVATION OF YERSINIA PESTIS STRAINS KIM5 AND CDC-A1112 IN GROUND BEEF

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The thermal stability of Yersinia pestis inoculated into retail ground beef (25 per cent fat) and heated in a temperature-controlled water bath or cooked on commercial grills was evaluated. Irradiated ground beef (3-g portions) was inoculated with ca. 6.7 log10 CFU/g of Y. pestis strain KIM5 and hea...

  14. Effect of serotonin on the expression of antigens and DNA levels in Yersinia pestis cells with different plasmid content

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klueva, Svetlana N.; Korsukov, Vladimir N.; Schukovskaya, Tatyana N.; Kravtsov, Alexander L.

    2004-08-01

    Using flow cytometry (FCM) the influence of exogenous serotonin on culture growth, DNA content and fluorescence intensity of cells binding FITC-labelled plague polyclonal immunoglobulins was studied in Yersinia pestis EV (pFra+, pCad+, pPst+), Yersinia pestis KM218 (pFra-, pCad-, pPst-), Yersinia pestis KM 216 (pFra-, pCad-, pPst+). The results have been obtained by FCM showed serotonin accelerated Yersinia pestis EV (pFra+, pCad+, pPst+), Yersinia pestis KM218 (pFra-, pCad-, pPst-) culture growth during cultivation in Hottinger broth pH 7.2 at 28°C at concentration of 10-5 M. The presence of 10-5 M serotonin in nutrient broth could modulate DNA content in 37°C growing population of plague microbe independently of their plasmid content. Serotonin have been an impact on the distribution pattern of the cells according to their phenotypical characteristics, which was reflected in the levels of population heterogeneity in the intensity of specific immunofluorescence determined by FMC.

  15. Rapid detection and simultaneous antibiotic susceptibility analysis of Yersinia pestis directly from clinical specimens by use of reporter phage.

    PubMed

    Vandamm, J P; Rajanna, C; Sharp, N J; Molineux, I J; Schofield, D A

    2014-08-01

    Yersinia pestis is a tier 1 agent due to its contagious pneumopathogenicity, extremely rapid progression, and high mortality rate. As the disease is usually fatal without appropriate therapy, rapid detection from clinical matrices is critical to patient outcomes. We previously engineered the diagnostic phage ΦA1122 with luxAB to create a "light-tagged" reporter phage. ΦA1122::luxAB rapidly detects Y. pestis in pure culture and human serum by transducing a bioluminescent signal response. In this report, we assessed the analytical specificity of the reporter phage and investigated diagnostic utility (detection and antibiotic susceptibility analysis) directly from spiked whole blood. The bioreporter displayed 100% (n = 59) inclusivity for Y. pestis and consistent intraspecific signal transduction levels. False positives were not obtained from species typically associated with bacteremia or those relevant to plague diagnosis. However, some non-pestis Yersinia strains and Enterobacteriaceae did elicit signals, albeit at highly attenuated transduction levels. Diagnostic performance was assayed in simple broth-enriched blood samples and standard aerobic culture bottles. In blood, <10(2) CFU/ml was detected within 5 h. In addition, Y. pestis was identified directly from positive blood cultures within 20 to 45 min without further processing. Importantly, coincubation of blood samples with antibiotics facilitated simultaneous antimicrobial susceptibility profiling. Consequently, the reporter phage demonstrated rapid detection and antibiotic susceptibility profiling directly from clinical samples, features that may improve patient prognosis during plague outbreaks.

  16. Detection of Yersinia pestis in environmental and food samples by intact cell immunocapture and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Chenau, Jérôme; Fenaille, François; Simon, Stéphanie; Filali, Sofia; Volland, Hervé; Junot, Christophe; Carniel, Elisabeth; Becher, François

    2014-06-17

    Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of bubonic and pneumonic plague, an acute and often fatal disease in humans. In addition to the risk of natural exposure to plague, there is also the threat of a bioterrorist act, leading to the deliberate spread of the bacteria in the environment or food. We report here an immuno-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (immuno-LC-MS/MS) method for the direct (i.e., without prior culture), sensitive, and specific detection of Y. pestis in such complex samples. In the first step, a bottom-up proteomics approach highlighted three relevant protein markers encoded by the Y. pestis-specific plasmids pFra (murine toxin) and pPla (plasminogen activator and pesticin). Suitable proteotypic peptides were thoroughly selected to monitor the three protein markers by targeted MS using the selected reaction monitoring (SRM) mode. Immunocapture conditions were optimized for the isolation and concentration of intact bacterial cells from complex samples. The immuno-LC-SRM assay has a limit of detection of 2 × 10(4) CFU/mL in milk or tap water, which compares well with those of state-of-the-art immunoassays. Moreover, we report the first direct detection of Y. pestis in soil, which could be extremely useful in confirming Y. pestis persistence in the ground.

  17. Characterization of late acyltransferase genes of Yersinia pestis and their role in temperature-dependent lipid A variation.

    PubMed

    Rebeil, Roberto; Ernst, Robert K; Jarrett, Clayton O; Adams, Kristin N; Miller, Samuel I; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2006-02-01

    Yersinia pestis is an important human pathogen that is maintained in flea-rodent enzootic cycles in many parts of the world. During its life cycle, Y. pestis senses host-specific environmental cues such as temperature and regulates gene expression appropriately to adapt to the insect or mammalian host. For example, Y. pestis synthesizes different forms of lipid A when grown at temperatures corresponding to the in vivo environments of the mammalian host and the flea vector. At 37 degrees C, tetra-acylated lipid A is the major form; but at 26 degrees C or below, hexa-acylated lipid A predominates. In this study, we show that the Y. pestis msbB (lpxM) and lpxP homologs encode the acyltransferases that add C12 and C(16:1) groups, respectively, to lipid IV(A) to generate the hexa-acylated form, and that their expression is upregulated at 21 degrees C in vitro and in the flea midgut. A Y. pestis deltamsbB deltalpxP double mutant that did not produce hexa-acylated lipid A was more sensitive to cecropin A, but not to polymyxin B. This mutant was able to infect and block fleas as well as the parental wild-type strain, indicating that the low-temperature-dependent change to hexa-acylated lipid A synthesis is not required for survival in the flea gut.

  18. Humanized TLR4/MD-2 mice reveal LPS recognition differentially impacts susceptibility to Yersinia pestis and Salmonella enterica.

    PubMed

    Hajjar, Adeline M; Ernst, Robert K; Fortuno, Edgardo S; Brasfield, Alicia S; Yam, Cathy S; Newlon, Lindsay A; Kollmann, Tobias R; Miller, Samuel I; Wilson, Christopher B

    2012-01-01

    Although lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation through the Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4/MD-2 receptor complex activates host defense against Gram-negative bacterial pathogens, how species-specific differences in LPS recognition impact host defense remains undefined. Herein, we establish how temperature dependent shifts in the lipid A of Yersinia pestis LPS that differentially impact recognition by mouse versus human TLR4/MD-2 dictate infection susceptibility. When grown at 37°C, Y. pestis LPS is hypo-acylated and less stimulatory to human compared with murine TLR4/MD-2. By contrast, when grown at reduced temperatures, Y. pestis LPS is more acylated, and stimulates cells equally via human and mouse TLR4/MD-2. To investigate how these temperature dependent shifts in LPS impact infection susceptibility, transgenic mice expressing human rather than mouse TLR4/MD-2 were generated. We found the increased susceptibility to Y. pestis for "humanized" TLR4/MD-2 mice directly paralleled blunted inflammatory cytokine production in response to stimulation with purified LPS. By contrast, for other Gram-negative pathogens with highly acylated lipid A including Salmonella enterica or Escherichia coli, infection susceptibility and the response after stimulation with LPS were indistinguishable between mice expressing human or mouse TLR4/MD-2. Thus, Y. pestis exploits temperature-dependent shifts in LPS acylation to selectively evade recognition by human TLR4/MD-2 uncovered with "humanized" TLR4/MD-2 transgenic mice.

  19. In Silico Molecular Characterization of Cysteine Protease YopT from Yersinia pestis by Homology Modeling and Binding Site Identification

    PubMed Central

    Hasan, Md. Anayet; Alauddin, S. M.; Al Amin, Mohammad; Nur, Suza Mohammad; Mannan, Adnan

    2014-01-01

    Plague is a major health concern and Yersinia pestis plays the central causal role in this disease. Yersinia pestis has developed resistance against the commonly available drugs. So, it is now a key concern to find a new drug target. Cysteine protease YopT enzyme is an important factor used by Yersinia pestis for pathogenesis in its host and it has the anti-phagocytic function of removal of C-termini lipid modification. The 3D structure of cysteine protease YopT of Yersinia pestis was determined by means of homology modeling through multiple alignments followed by intensive optimization and validation. The modeling was done by Phyre 2 and refined by ModRefiner. The obtained model was verified with structure validation programs such as PROCHECK, verify 3D and ERRAT for reliability. Interacting partners and active sites were also determined. PROCHECK analysis showed that 93% of the residues are in the most favored region, 5.9% are in the additional allowed region and 1.1% are in the generously allowed region of the Ramachandran plot. The verify 3D value of 0.78 indicates that the environmental profile of the model is good. SOPMA is employed for calculation of the secondary structural features of cysteine protease YopT. Active site determination through CASTp proposes that this protein can be utilized as a potential drug target. However, these findings should further be confirmed by wet lab studies for a targeted therapeutic agent design against Yersinia pestis. PMID:24526834

  20. [Dynamics of F1 antibody responses to Yersinia pestis infection in Rhombomys opimus].

    PubMed

    Meng, W W; Wang, X H; Luo, T; Li, B; Wang, Q G; Guo, R; Dai, X; Zhang, Y J

    2017-04-06

    Objective: To observe the dynamics of antibody response in great gerbils infected with Yersinia pestis in experiment. Method: A total of 211 great gerbils were captured in the southern margin of plague natural focus of Junggar Basin of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in 2011. Among them, there were 167 great gerbils without infection of Y. pestis and 44 great gerbils infected by Y.pestis. Y.pestis No. 2504 was employed for this experimental strain, which was strong toxic strain with negativity in the reduction experiment of nitrate. 35 great gerbils without the infection of Y. pestis were divided randomly and averagely into 7 groups including 6 experimental groups and 1 control group. Great gerbils in the 1st to 6th experimental groups were exposed first with 1 × 10(6)-1 × 10(11) CFU/ml of bacterial fluid with 10 times of gradient dilution; groin areas of great gerbils in the control group were injected subcutaneously with physiological saline; and the amount of infection was all 1 ml. 17 great gerbils infected with Y. pestis and the first detection of F1-antibody titer in 1∶256-1∶4 096 were grouped according to F1-antibody titer: group 1∶4 096 (n=4), group 1∶2 048 (n=4), group 1∶1 024 (n=3), group 1∶512 (n=3) and group 1∶256 (n=3); and blood in caudal regions was collected in asepsis for the detection of F1-antibody, with a total of 5 times. 9 great gerbils which were selected from the remaining great gerbils infected with Y. pestis and detected F1-antibody negative 2 times were exposed 1×10(6) CFU/ml of bacterial fluid for the second infection, with the amount of infection being 1 ml. Blood in caudal regions of great gerbils after the first and second infection were collected for the detection of plague F1-antibody on the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 15th, 30th, 60th, 90th and 120th day after infection. Declined regression models for great gerbils' antibodies were established with unary linear regression equation; declined change diagrams for the

  1. Effect of natural polymorphism on structure and function of the Yersinia pestis outer membrane porin F (OmpF protein): a computational study.

    PubMed

    Shaban, Hiba; Na, Insing; Kislichkina, Angelina A; Dentovskaya, Svetlana V; Anisimov, Andrey P; Uversky, Vladimir N

    2016-09-03

    The Yersinia pestis outer membrane porin F (OmpF) is a transmembrane protein located in the outer membrane of this Gram-negative bacterium which is the causative agent of plague, where it plays a significant role in controlling the selective permeability of the membrane. The amino acid sequences of OmpF proteins from 48 Y. pestis strains representing all currently available phylogenetic groups of this Gram-negative bacterium were recently deduced. Comparison of these amino acid sequences revealed that the OmpF can be present in four isoforms, the pestis-pestis type, and the pestis-microtus types I, II, and III. OmpF of the most recent pestis-pestis type has an alanine residue at the position 148, where all the pestis-microtus types have threonine there (T148A polymorphism). The variability of different pestis-microtus types is caused by an additional polymorphism at the 193rd position, where the OmpFs of the pestis-microtus type II and type III have isoleucine-glycine (IG(+)193) or isoleucine-glycine-isoleucine-glycine (IGIG(+)193) insertions, respectively (IG(+)193 and IGIG(+)193 polymorphism). To investigate potential effects of these sequence polymorphisms on the structural properties of the OmpF protein, we conducted multi-level computational analysis of its isoforms. Analysis of the I-TASSER-generated 3D-models revealed that the Yersinia OmpF is very similar to other non-specific enterobacterial porins. The T148A polymorphism affected a loop located in the external vestibule of the OmpF channel, whereas IG(+)193 and IGIG(+)193 polymorphisms affected one of its β-strands. Our analysis also suggested that polymorphism has moderate effect on the predicted local intrinsic disorder predisposition of OmpF, but might have some functional implementations.

  2. Historical Y. pestis Genomes Reveal the European Black Death as the Source of Ancient and Modern Plague Pandemics.

    PubMed

    Spyrou, Maria A; Tukhbatova, Rezeda I; Feldman, Michal; Drath, Joanna; Kacki, Sacha; Beltrán de Heredia, Julia; Arnold, Susanne; Sitdikov, Airat G; Castex, Dominique; Wahl, Joachim; Gazimzyanov, Ilgizar R; Nurgaliev, Danis K; Herbig, Alexander; Bos, Kirsten I; Krause, Johannes

    2016-06-08

    Ancient DNA analysis has revealed an involvement of the bacterial pathogen Yersinia pestis in several historical pandemics, including the second plague pandemic (Europe, mid-14(th) century Black Death until the mid-18(th) century AD). Here we present reconstructed Y. pestis genomes from plague victims of the Black Death and two subsequent historical outbreaks spanning Europe and its vicinity, namely Barcelona, Spain (1300-1420 cal AD), Bolgar City, Russia (1362-1400 AD), and Ellwangen, Germany (1485-1627 cal AD). Our results provide support for (1) a single entry of Y. pestis in Europe during the Black Death, (2) a wave of plague that traveled toward Asia to later become the source population for contemporary worldwide epidemics, and (3) the presence of an historical European plague focus involved in post-Black Death outbreaks that is now likely extinct. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Variability of the protein sequences of lcrV between epidemic and atypical rhamnose-positive strains of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Anisimov, Andrey P; Panfertsev, Evgeniy A; Svetoch, Tat'yana E; Dentovskaya, Svetlana V

    2007-01-01

    Sequencing of lcrV genes and comparison of the deduced amino acid sequences from ten Y. pestis strains belonging mostly to the group of atypical rhamnose-positive isolates (non-pestis subspecies or pestoides group) showed that the LcrV proteins analyzed could be classified into five sequence types. This classification was based on major amino acid polymorphisms among LcrV proteins in the four "hot points" of the protein sequences. Some additional minor polymorphisms were found throughout these sequence types. The "hot points" corresponded to amino acids 18 (Lys --> Asn), 72 (Lys --> Arg), 273 (Cys --> Ser), and 324-326 (Ser-Gly-Lys --> Arg) in the LcrV sequence of the reference Y. pestis strain CO92. One possible explanation for polymorphism in amino acid sequences of LcrV among different strains is that strain-specific variation resulted from adaptation of the plague pathogen to different rodent and lagomorph hosts.

  4. Protection against aerosolized Yersinia pestis challenge following homologous and heterologous prime-boost with recombinant plague antigens.

    PubMed

    Glynn, Audrey; Roy, Chad J; Powell, Bradford S; Adamovicz, Jeffrey J; Freytag, Lucy C; Clements, John D

    2005-08-01

    A Yersinia pestis-derived fusion protein (F1-V) has shown great promise as a protective antigen against aerosol challenge with Y. pestis in murine studies. In the current study, we examined different prime-boost regimens with F1-V and demonstrate that (i) boosting by a route other than the route used for the priming dose (heterologous boosting) protects mice as well as homologous boosting against aerosol challenge with Y. pestis, (ii) parenteral immunization is not required to protect mice against aerosolized plague challenge, (iii) the route of immunization and choice of adjuvant influence the magnitude of the antibody response as well as the immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1)/IgG2a ratio, and (iv) inclusion of an appropriate adjuvant is critical for nonparenteral immunization.

  5. Effect of deletion of the lpxM gene on virulence and vaccine potential of Yersinia pestis in mice.

    PubMed

    Anisimov, Andrey P; Shaikhutdinova, Rima Z; Pan'kina, Lyudmila N; Feodorova, Valentina A; Savostina, Elena P; Bystrova, Ol'ga V; Lindner, Buko; Mokrievich, Aleksandr N; Bakhteeva, Irina V; Titareva, Galina M; Dentovskaya, Svetlana V; Kocharova, Nina A; Senchenkova, Sof'ya N; Holst, Otto; Devdariani, Zurab L; Popov, Yuriy A; Pier, Gerald B; Knirel, Yuriy A

    2007-04-01

    Yersinia pestis undergoes an obligate flea-rodent-flea enzootic life cycle. The rapidly fatal properties of Y. pestis are responsible for the organism's sustained survival in natural plague foci. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) plays several roles in Y. pestis pathogenesis, prominent among them being resistance to host immune effectors and induction of a septic-shock state during the terminal phases of infection. LPS is acylated with 4-6 fatty acids, the number varying with growth temperature and affecting the molecule's toxic properties. Y. pestis mutants were constructed with a deletion insertion in the lpxM gene in both virulent and attenuated strains, preventing the organisms from synthesizing the most toxic hexa-acylated lipid A molecule when grown at 25 degrees C. The virulence and/or protective potency of pathogenic and attenuated Y. pestis DeltalpxM mutants were then examined in a mouse model. The DeltalpxM mutation in a virulent strain led to no change in the LD(50) value compared to that of the parental strain, while the DeltalpxM mutation in attenuated strains led to a modest 2.5-16-fold reduction in virulence. LPS preparations containing fully hexa-acylated lipid A were ten times more toxic in actinomycin D-treated mice then preparations lacking this lipid A isoform, although this was not significant (P>0.05). The DeltalpxM mutation in vaccine strain EV caused a significant increase in its protective potency. These studies suggest there is little impact from lipid A modifications on the virulence of Y. pestis strains but there are potential improvements in the protective properties in attenuated vaccine strains.

  6. Comparative Ability of Oropsylla montana and Xenopsylla cheopis Fleas to Transmit Yersinia pestis by Two Different Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Bland, David M.; Bosio, Christopher F.; Jarrett, Clayton O.

    2017-01-01

    Background Transmission of Yersinia pestis by flea bite can occur by two mechanisms. After taking a blood meal from a bacteremic mammal, fleas have the potential to transmit the very next time they feed. This early-phase transmission resembles mechanical transmission in some respects, but the mechanism is unknown. Thereafter, transmission occurs after Yersinia pestis forms a biofilm in the proventricular valve in the flea foregut. The biofilm can impede and sometimes completely block the ingestion of blood, resulting in regurgitative transmission of bacteria into the bite site. In this study, we compared the relative efficiency of the two modes of transmission for Xenopsylla cheopis, a flea known to become completely blocked at a high rate, and Oropsylla montana, a flea that has been considered to rarely develop proventricular blockage. Methodology/Principal findings Fleas that took an infectious blood meal containing Y. pestis were maintained and monitored for four weeks for infection and proventricular blockage. The number of Y. pestis transmitted by groups of fleas by the two modes of transmission was also determined. O. montana readily developed complete proventricular blockage, and large numbers of Y. pestis were transmitted by that mechanism both by it and by X. cheopis, a flea known to block at a high rate. In contrast, few bacteria were transmitted in the early phase by either species. Conclusions A model system incorporating standardized experimental conditions and viability controls was developed to more reliably compare the infection, proventricular blockage and transmission dynamics of different flea vectors, and was used to resolve a long-standing uncertainty concerning the vector competence of O. montana. Both X. cheopis and O. montana are fully capable of transmitting Y. pestis by the proventricular biofilm-dependent mechanism. PMID:28081130

  7. Vaccination of mice with a Yop translocon complex elicits antibodies that are protective against infection with F1- Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Ivanov, Maya I; Noel, Betty L; Rampersaud, Ryan; Mena, Patricio; Benach, Jorge L; Bliska, James B

    2008-11-01

    Yersinia pestis, the bacterial agent of plague, secretes several proteins important for pathogenesis or host protection. The F1 protein forms a capsule on the bacterial cell surface and is a well-characterized protective antigen but is not essential for virulence. A type III secretion system that is essential for virulence exports Yop proteins, which function as antiphagocytic or anti-inflammatory factors. Yop effectors (e.g., YopE) are delivered across the host cell plasma membrane by a translocon, composed of YopB and YopD. Complexes of YopB, YopD, and YopE (BDE) secreted by Yersinia pseudotuberculosis were purified by affinity chromatography and used as immunogens to determine if antibodies to the translocon could provide protection against Y. pestis in mice. Mice vaccinated with BDE generated high-titer immunoglobulin G antibodies specific for BDE, as shown by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunoblotting, and were protected against lethal intravenous challenge with F1(-) but not F1(+) Y. pestis. Mice passively immunized with anti-BDE serum were protected from lethal challenge with F1(-) Y. pestis. The YopB protein or a complex of YopB and YopD (BD) was purified and determined by vaccination to be immunogenic in mice. Mice actively vaccinated with BD or passively vaccinated with anti-BD serum were protected against lethal challenge with F1(-) Y. pestis. These results indicate that anti-translocon antibodies can be used as immunotherapy to treat infections by F1(-) Y. pestis.

  8. Temperature-Induced Changes in the Lipopolysaccharide of Yersinia pestis Affect Plasminogen Activation by the Pla Surface Protease▿

    PubMed Central

    Suomalainen, Marjo; Lobo, Leandro Araujo; Brandenburg, Klaus; Lindner, Buko; Virkola, Ritva; Knirel, Yuriy A.; Anisimov, Andrey P.; Holst, Otto; Korhonen, Timo K.

    2010-01-01

    The Pla surface protease of Yersinia pestis activates human plasminogen and is a central virulence factor in bubonic and pneumonic plague. Pla is a transmembrane β-barrel protein and member of the omptin family of outer membrane proteases which require bound lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to be proteolytically active. Plasminogen activation and autoprocessing of Pla were dramatically higher in Y. pestis cells grown at 37°C than in cells grown at 20°C; the difference in enzymatic activity by far exceeded the increase in the cellular content of the Pla protein. Y. pestis modifies its LPS structure in response to growth temperature. We purified His6-Pla under denaturing conditions and compared various LPS types for their capacity to enhance plasmin formation by His6-Pla solubilized in detergent. Reactivation of His6-Pla was higher with Y. pestis LPSs isolated from bacteria grown at 37°C than with LPSs from cells grown at 25°C. Lack of O antigens and the presence of the outer core region as well as a lowered level of acylation in LPS were found to enhance the Pla-LPS interaction. Genetic substitution of arginine 138, which is part of a three-dimensional protein motif for binding to lipid A phosphates, decreased both the enzymatic activity of His6-Pla and the amount of Pla in Y. pestis cells, suggesting the importance of the Pla-lipid A phosphate interaction. The temperature-induced changes in LPS are known to help Y. pestis to avoid innate immune responses, and our results strongly suggest that they also potentiate Pla-mediated proteolysis. PMID:20368351

  9. In Vitro and In Vivo Activity of Omadacycline Against Two Biothreat Pathogens: Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Steenbergen, Judith; Tanaka, S Ken; Miller, Lynda L; Halasohoris, Stephanie A; Hershfield, Jeremy R

    2017-02-21

    Introduction: The in vitro activity and in vivo efficacy of omadacycline (OMC) were evaluated against the causative pathogens of anthrax and plague, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis, respectively.Methods: Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of OMC were determined by microbroth dilution according to CLSI guidelines for 30 isolates each of Y. pestis and B. anthracis The in vivo efficacy of omadacycline was studied at a range of dosages in both a post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) murine model of anthrax and plague as well as in a delayed treatment model of inhalational anthrax.Results: Omadacycline was active in vitro against Y. pestis (MIC90=1 mcg/mL) and B. anthracis (MIC90=0.06 mcg/mL). Omadacycline was less active in vitro than ciprofloxacin (CIP) against Y. pestis (CIP MIC90=0.03 mcg/mL), but more potent in vitro against B. anthracis (CIP MIC90=0.12 mcg/mL). In the mouse model of infection, the survival curves for all treatment cohorts differed significantly from the vehicle control (p=0.004). The median survival for the vehicle-treated controls was 6 days post-challenge while all antibiotic-treated mice survived the entire study. Omadacycline treatment with 5, 10 or 20 mg/kg twice daily for 14 days had significant efficacy over the vehicle control in the treatment of aerosolized B. anthracis Additionally, for post exposure prophylaxis treatment of mice infected with Y. pestis, the survival curves for omadacycline (40 mg/kg twice daily), ciprofloxacin, and doxycycline cohorts differed significantly from the vehicle control (p<0.0001).Conclusions: Omadacycline is potent and demonstrates efficacy against both B. anthracis and Y. pestis The well-characterized oral and IV pharmacokinetics, safety and tolerability, warrant further assessment of the potential utility of omadacycline in combating these serious biothreat organisms.

  10. Transmission efficiency of the plague pathogen (Y. pestis) by the flea, Xenopsylla skrjabini, to mice and great gerbils.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yujiang; Dai, Xiang; Wang, Qiguo; Chen, Hongjian; Meng, Weiwei; Wu, Kemei; Luo, Tao; Wang, Xinhui; Rehemu, Azhati; Guo, Rong; Yu, Xiaotao; Yang, Ruifu; Cao, Hanli; Song, Yajun

    2015-05-01

    Plague, a zoonotic disease caused by Yersinia pestis, is characterized by its ability to persist in the plague natural foci. Junggar Basin plague focus was recently identified in China, with Rhombomys opimus (great gerbils) and Xenopsylla skrjabini as the main reservoir and vector for plague. No transmission efficiency data of X. skrjabini for Y. pestis is available till now. In this study, we estimated the median infectious dose (ID50) and the blockage rates of X. skrjabini with Y. pestis, by using artificial feeders. We then evaluated the flea transmission ability of Y. pestis to the mice and great gerbils via artificial bloodmeal feeding. Finally, we investigated the transmission of Y. pestis to mice with fleas fed by infected great gerbils. ID50 of Y. pestis to X. skrjabini was estimated as 2.04 × 10(5) CFU (95% CI, 1.45 × 10(5) - 3.18 × 10(5) CFU), around 40 times higher than that of X. cheopis. Although fleas fed by higher bacteremia bloodmeal had higher infection rates for Y. pestis, they lived significantly shorter than their counterparts. X. skrjabini could get fully blocked as early as day 3 post of infection (7.1%, 3/42 fleas), and the overall blockage rate of X. cheopis was estimated as 14.9% (82/550 fleas) during the 14 days of investigation. For the fleas infected by artificial feeders, they seemed to transmit plague more efficiently to great gerbils than mice. Our single flea transmission experiments also revealed that, the transmission capacity of naturally infected fleas (fed by infected great gerbils) was significantly higher than that of artificially infected ones (fed by artificial feeders). Our results indicated that ID50 of Y. pestis to X. skrjabini was higher than other fleas like X. cheopis, and its transmission efficiency to mice might be lower than other flea vectors in the artificial feeding modes. We also found different transmission potentials in the artificially infected fleas and the naturally infected ones. Further studies are

  11. Protective Efficacy of Recombinant Yersinia Outer Proteins against Bubonic Plague Caused by Encapsulated and Nonencapsulated Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Andrews, G. P.; Strachan, S. T.; Benner, G. E.; Sample, A. K.; Anderson, G. W.; Adamovicz, J. J.; Welkos, S. L.; Pullen, J. K.; Friedlander, A. M.

    1999-01-01

    To evaluate the role of Yersinia outer proteins (Yops) in conferring protective immunity against plague, six yop loci from Yersinia pestis were individually amplified by PCR, cloned, and expressed in Escherichia coli. The recombinant proteins were purified and injected into mice. Most Yop-vaccinated animals succumbed to infection with either wild-type encapsulated Y. pestis or a virulent, nonencapsulated isogenic variant. Vaccination with YpkA significantly prolonged mean survival time but did not increase overall survival of mice infected with the nonencapsulated strain. The only significant protection against death was observed in YopD-vaccinated mice challenged with the nonencapsulated strain. PMID:10024607

  12. Molecualr Cloning of the capsular antigen F1 of Yersinia pestis in pBAD/gIII plasmid

    PubMed Central

    Jahanian-Najafabadi, A.; Soleimani, M.; Azadmanesh, K.; Mostafavi, E.; Majidzadeh-A, K.

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis which is the causative agent of pneumonic plague and distributed in all continents has led to many deaths during the history. Because of its high mortality rate, it must be diagnosed and treated at the earliest time post infection and therefore, rapid diagnostic tests are required. In the present study, we cloned the coding sequence of F1 capsular antigen of the bacteria in the pBAD/gIII plasmid for later expression and purification of the protein to produce poly and monoclonal antibodies against this antigen, and subsequently to develop rapid and efficient diagnostics tools for Y. pestis infections. PMID:26430461

  13. YscB of Yersinia pestis Functions as a Specific Chaperone for YopN

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Michael W.; Day, James B.; Plano, Gregory V.

    1998-01-01

    Following contact with a eucaryotic cell, Yersinia species pathogenic for humans (Y. pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y. enterocolitica) export and translocate a distinct set of virulence proteins (YopE, YopH, YopJ, YopM, and YpkA) from the bacterium into the eucaryotic cell. During in vitro growth at 37°C in the presence of calcium, Yop secretion is blocked; however, in the absence of calcium, Yop secretion is triggered. Yop secretion occurs via a plasmid-encoded type III, or “contact-dependent,” secretion system. The secreted YopN (also known as LcrE), TyeA, and LcrG proteins are necessary to prevent Yop secretion in the presence of calcium and prior to contact with a eucaryotic cell. In this paper we characterize the role of the yscB gene product in the regulation of Yop secretion in Y. pestis. A yscB deletion mutant secreted YopM and V antigen both in the presence and in the absence of calcium; however, the export of YopN was specifically reduced in this strain. Complementation with a functional copy of yscB in trans completely restored the wild-type secretion phenotype for YopM, YopN, and V antigen. The YscB amino acid sequence showed significant similarities to those of SycE and SycH, the specific Yop chaperones for YopE and YopH, respectively. Protein cross-linking and immunoprecipitation studies demonstrated a specific interaction between YscB and YopN. In-frame deletions in yopN eliminating the coding region for amino acids 51 to 85 or 6 to 100 prevented the interaction of YopN with YscB. Taken together, these results indicate that YscB functions as a specific chaperone for YopN in Y. pestis. PMID:9733695

  14. Swabbing Prairie Dog Burrows for Fleas That Transmit Yersinia pestis: Influences on Efficiency.

    PubMed

    Eads, David A

    2017-09-01

    Scientists and health-care professionals sometimes use a swabbing technique to collect fleas from rodent burrows, and later test the fleas for Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague. Detection of Y. pestis is enhanced when large pools of fleas are available. The following study investigated factors that might affect the rate at which fleas are collected from burrows in colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Data were collected from 13 colonies in New Mexico during 0600-1000 hours, June-August 2010-2011. Fleas were scarce on swabs inserted into burrows that were not actively used by prairie dogs; fleas are presumably suppressed in burrows that are void of hosts and might have begun to collapse due to a lack of maintenance. Fleas were scarce on swabs inserted into burrows with little sunlight entering the tunnel; many species of fleas use changes in light intensity to locate objects, but if light is limited, it might be difficult to locate a swab. Fleas were scarce on swabs inserted to shallow depths underground, especially during hot mornings, and during the hottest portions of mornings; when conditions are hot above ground, ectothermic fleas might migrate into the deep components of burrows, or become less willing to jump onto hosts, making it difficult to collect the fleas with swabs. If the swabbing technique is used to survey for Y. pestis on colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs, investigators might use the results of this study to modify their methods and increase the number of fleas collected. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Humoral and cellular immune responses to Yersinia pestis infection in long-term recovered plague patients.

    PubMed

    Li, Bei; Du, Chunhong; Zhou, Lei; Bi, Yujing; Wang, Xiaoyi; Wen, Li; Guo, Zhaobiao; Song, Zhizhong; Yang, Ruifu

    2012-02-01

    Plague is one of the most dangerous diseases and is caused by Yersinia pestis. Effective vaccine development requires understanding of immune protective mechanisms against the bacterium in humans. In this study, the humoral and memory cellular immune responses in plague patients (n = 65) recovered from Y. pestis infection during the past 16 years were investigated using a protein microarray and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay (ELISpot). The seroprevalence to the F1 antigen in all recovered patients is 78.5%. In patients infected more than a decade ago, the antibody-positive rate still remains 69.5%. There is no difference in the antibody presence between gender, age, and infected years, but it seems to be associated with the F1 antibody titers during infection (r = 0.821; P < 0.05). Except F1 antibody, the antibodies against LcrV and YopD were detected in most of the patients, suggesting they could be the potential diagnostic markers for detecting the infection of F1-negative strains. Regarding cellular immunity, the cell number producing gamma interferon (IFN-γ), stimulated by F1 and LcrV, respectively, in vitro to the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of 7 plague patients and 4 negative controls, showed no significant difference, indicating F1 and LcrV are not dominant T cell antigens against plague for a longer time in humans. Our findings have direct implications for the future design and development of effective vaccines against Y. pestis infection and the development of new target-based diagnostics.

  16. Effects of temperature on early-phase transmission of Yersina pestis by the flea, Xenopsylla cheopis.

    PubMed

    Schotthoefer, Anna M; Bearden, Scott W; Vetter, Sara M; Holmes, Jennifer; Montenieri, John A; Graham, Christine B; Woods, Michael E; Eisen, Rebecca J; Gage, Kenneth L

    2011-03-01

    Sharp declines in human and animal cases of plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis (Yersin), have been observed when outbreaks coincide with hot weather. Failure of biofilm production, or blockage, to occur in the flea, as temperatures reach 30 degrees C has been suggested as an explanation for these declines. Recent work demonstrating efficient flea transmission during the first few days after fleas have taken an infectious blood meal, in the absence of blockage (e.g., early-phase transmission), however, has called this hypothesis into question. To explore the potential effects of temperature on early-phase transmission, we infected colony-reared Xenopsylla cheopis (Rothchild) fleas with a wild-type strain of plague bacteria using an artificial feeding system, and held groups of fleas at 10, 23, 27, and 30 degrees C. Naive Swiss Webster mice were exposed to fleas from each of these temperatures on days 1-4 postinfection, and monitored for signs of infection for 21 d. Temperature did not significantly influence the rates of transmission observed for fleas held at 23, 27, and 30 degrees C. Estimated per flea transmission efficiencies for these higher temperatures ranged from 2.32 to 4.96% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.96-8.74). In contrast, no transmission was observed in mice challenged by fleas held at 10 degrees C (per flea transmission efficiency estimates, 0-1.68%). These results suggest that declines in human and animal cases during hot weather are not related to changes in the abilities of X. cheopis fleas to transmit Y. pestis infections during the early-phase period. By contrast, transmission may be delayed or inhibited at low temperatures, indicating that epizootic spread of Y. pestis by X. cheopis via early-phase transmission is unlikely during colder periods of the year.

  17. A novel post-exposure medical countermeasure L-97-1 improves survival and acute lung injury following intratracheal infection with Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Constance N; Vance, Constance O; Doyle, Timothy M; Brink, David S; Matuschak, George M; Lechner, Andrew J

    2012-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, a Gram-negative bacillus causing plague and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classified Category A pathogen, has high potential as a bioweapon. Lipopolysaccharide, a virulence factor for Y. pestis, binds to and activates A1 adenosine receptor (AR)s and, in animals, A1AR antagonists block induced acute lung injury (ALI) and increase survival following cecal ligation and perforation. In this study, rats were infected intratracheally with viable Y. pestis [CO99 (pCD1+/Δpgm) 1 × 108 CFU/animal] and treated daily for 3 d with ciprofloxacin (cipro), the A1AR antagonist L-97-1, or cipro plus L-97-1 starting at 0, 6, 24, 48, or 72 h post-Y. pestis. At 72 h post-Y. pestis, cipro plus L-97-1 significantly improved 6-d survival to 60–70% vs 28% for cipro plus H2O and 33% for untreated Y. pestis controls (P = 0.02, logrank test). Lung edema, hemorrhage and leukocyte infiltration index (LII) were evaluated histologically to produce ALI scores. Cipro plus L-97-1 significantly reduced lung edema, as well as aggregate lung injury scores vs controls or cipro plus H2O, and LII vs controls (P < 0.05, Student's unpaired t test). These results support efficacy for L-97-1 as a post-exposure medical countermeasure, adjunctive therapy to antibiotics for Y. pestis. PMID:21862597

  18. Involvement of CD8+ T cell-mediated immune responses in LcrV DNA vaccine induced protection against lethal Yersinia pestis challenge.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shixia; Goguen, Jon D; Li, Fusheng; Lu, Shan

    2011-09-09

    Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis) is the causative pathogen of plague, a highly fatal disease for which an effective vaccine, especially against mucosal transmission, is still not available. Like many bacterial infections, antigen-specific antibody responses have been traditionally considered critical, if not solely responsible, for vaccine-induced protection against Y. pestis. Studies in recent years have suggested the importance of T cell immune responses against Y. pestis infection but information is still limited about the details of Y. pestis antigen-specific T cell immune responses. In current report, studies are conducted to identify the presence of CD8+ T cell epitopes in LcrV protein, the leading antigen of plague vaccine development. Furthermore, depletion of CD8+ T cells in LcrV DNA vaccinated Balb/C mice led to reduced protection against lethal intranasal challenge of Y. pestis. These findings establish that an LcrV DNA vaccine is able to elicit CD8+ T cell immune responses against specific epitopes of this key plague antigen and that a CD8+ T cell immune response is involved in LcrV DNA vaccine-elicited protection. Future studies in plague vaccine development will need to examine if the presence of detectable T cell immune responses, in particular CD8+ T-cell immune responses, will enhance the protection against Y. pestis in higher animal species or humans. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Poly-N-acetylglucosamine expression by wild-type Yersinia pestis is maximal at mammalian, not flea, temperatures.

    PubMed

    Yoong, Pauline; Cywes-Bentley, Colette; Pier, Gerald B

    2012-01-01

    Numerous bacteria, including Yersinia pestis, express the poly-N-acetylglucosamine (PNAG) surface carbohydrate, a major component of biofilms often associated with a specific appearance of colonies on Congo red agar. Biofilm formation and PNAG synthesis by Y. pestis have been reported to be maximal at 21 to 28°C or "flea temperatures," facilitating the regurgitation of Y. pestis into a mammalian host during feeding, but production is diminished at 37°C and thus presumed to be decreased during mammalian infection. Most studies of PNAG expression and biofilm formation by Y. pestis have used a low-virulence derivative of strain KIM, designated KIM6+, that lacks the pCD1 virulence plasmid, and an isogenic mutant without the pigmentation locus, which contains the hemin storage genes that encode PNAG biosynthetic proteins. Using confocal microscopy, fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis and growth on Congo red agar, we confirmed prior findings regarding PNAG production with the KIM6+ strain. However, we found that fully virulent wild-type (WT) strains KIM and CO92 had maximal PNAG expression at 37°C, with lower PNAG production at 28°C both in broth medium and on Congo red agar plates. Notably, the typical dark colony morphology appearing on Congo red agar was maintained at 28°C, indicating that this phenotype is not associated with PNAG expression in WT Y. pestis. Extracts of WT sylvatic Y. pestis strains from the Russian Federation confirmed the maximal expression of PNAG at 37°C. PNAG production by WT Y. pestis is maximal at mammalian and not insect vector temperatures, suggesting that this factor may have a role during mammalian infection. Yersinia pestis transitions from low-temperature residence and replication in insect vectors to higher-temperature replication in mammalian hosts. Prior findings based primarily on an avirulent derivative of WT (wild-type) KIM, named KIM6+, showed that biofilm formation associated with synthesis of poly

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

    PubMed

    Pohanka, M; Skládal, P

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Genome-scale reconstruction of the metabolic network in Yersinia pestis CO92

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Navid, Ali; Almaas, Eivind

    2007-03-01

    The gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of bubonic plague. Using publicly available genomic, biochemical and physiological data, we have developed a constraint-based flux balance model of metabolism in the CO92 strain (biovar Orientalis) of this organism. The metabolic reactions were appropriately compartmentalized, and the model accounts for the exchange of metabolites, as well as the import of nutrients and export of waste products. We have characterized the metabolic capabilities and phenotypes of this organism, after comparing the model predictions with available experimental observations to evaluate accuracy and completeness. We have also begun preliminary studies into how cellular metabolism affects virulence.

  2. [Natural infection by Yersinia pestis, in fleas from plague foci in the northeast of Brazil].

    PubMed

    Brasil, D P; de Carvalho, F G; de Almeida, C R; de Almeida, A M

    1989-01-01

    Three different containment transport processes of fleas were evaluated as an approach to the bacteriologic isolation of Yersinia pestis. The three methods employed were: live fleas in glass tubes containing pieces of wrapped filter paper; dead fleas in saline solution; and macerated fleas in Cary-Blair culture medium. The two latter methods were almost equal and superior to the first method. A total of 29512 flea pools, from plaque foci in Northeast Brazil collected during 1966 to 1982 were evaluated by the three methods. Among these samples, 236 (0.80%) flea pools were positive with regard to bacteriological cultivation and/or infection of susceptible animals.

  3. The Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia pestis toxin complex is active against cultured mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Hares, Michelle C; Hinchliffe, Stewart J; Strong, Philippa C R; Eleftherianos, Ioannis; Dowling, Andrea J; ffrench-Constant, Richard H; Waterfield, Nick

    2008-11-01

    The toxin complex (Tc) genes were first identified in the insect pathogen Photorhabdus luminescens and encode approximately 1 MDa protein complexes which are toxic to insect pests. Subsequent genome sequencing projects have revealed the presence of tc orthologues in a range of bacterial pathogens known to be associated with insects. Interestingly, members of the mammalian-pathogenic yersiniae have also been shown to encode Tc orthologues. Studies in Yersinia enterocolitica have shown that divergent tc loci either encode insect-active toxins or play a role in colonization of the gut in gastroenteritis models of rats. So far little is known about the activity of the Tc proteins in the other mammalian-pathogenic yersiniae. Here we present work to suggest that Tc proteins in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia pestis are not insecticidal toxins but have evolved for mammalian pathogenicity. We show that Tc is secreted by Y. pseudotuberculosis strain IP32953 during growth in media at 28 degrees C and 37 degrees C. We also demonstrate that oral toxicity of strain IP32953 to Manduca sexta larvae is not due to Tc expression and that lysates of Escherichia coli BL21 expressing the Yersinia Tc proteins are not toxic to Sf9 insect cells but are toxic to cultured mammalian cell lines. Cell lysates of E. coli BL21 expressing the Y. pseudotuberculosis Tc proteins caused actin ruffles, vacuoles and multi-nucleation in cultured human gut cells (Caco-2); similar morphology was observed after application of a lysate of E. coli BL21 expressing the Y. pestis Tc proteins to mouse fibroblast NIH3T3 cells, but not Caco-2 cells. Finally, transient expression of the individual Tc proteins in Caco-2 and NIH3T3 cell lines reproduced the actin and nuclear rearrangement observed with the topical applications. Together these results add weight to the growing hypothesis that the Tc proteins in Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. pestis have been adapted for mammalian pathogenicity. We further

  4. [Thomas Montanus, author of the plague treatise, Qualitas loimodea sive pestis Brugana: some biographical data].

    PubMed

    Van Laere, J

    1999-01-01

    Thomas Montanus (1617-1685), physician of the City of Bruges, is the author of a voluminous treatise on plague, published in 1669, and written after an epidemic of plague in Bruges in 1666. A translation in Dutch of the treatise will be published shortly. In this contribution some biographical data on Montanus are presented: his descendence, his education, his career and his professional experience with plague. On the other hand the structure of the plague treatise Qualitas loimodea sive pestis Brugana is briefly mentioned.

  5. Amino acid and structural variability of Yersinia pestis LcrV protein.

    PubMed

    Anisimov, Andrey P; Dentovskaya, Svetlana V; Panfertsev, Evgeniy A; Svetoch, Tat'yana E; Kopylov, Pavel Kh; Segelke, Brent W; Zemla, Adam; Telepnev, Maxim V; Motin, Vladimir L

    2010-01-01

    The LcrV protein is a multifunctional virulence factor and protective antigen of the plague bacterium and is generally conserved between the epidemic strains of Yersinia pestis. We investigated the diversity in the LcrV sequences among non-epidemic Y. pestis strains which have a limited virulence in selected animal models and for humans. Sequencing of lcrV genes from 19 Y. pestis strains belonging to different phylogenetic groups (subspecies) showed that the LcrV proteins possess four major variable hotspots at positions 18, 72, 273, and 324-326. These major variations, together with other minor substitutions in amino acid sequences, allowed us to classify the LcrV alleles into five sequence types (A-E). We observed that the strains of different Y. pestis "subspecies" can have the same type of LcrV, including that conserved in epidemic strains, and different types of LcrV can exist within the same natural plague focus. Therefore, the phenomenon of "selective virulence" characteristic of the strains of the microtus biovar is unlikely to be the result of polymorphism of the V antigen. The LcrV polymorphisms were structurally analyzed by comparing the modeled structures of LcrV from all available strains. All changes except one occurred either in flexible regions or on the surface of the protein, but local chemical properties (i.e. those of a hydrophobic, hydrophilic, amphipathic, or charged nature) were conserved across all of the strains. Polymorphisms in flexible and surface regions are likely subject to less selective pressure, and have a limited impact on the structure. In contrast, the substitution of tryptophan at position 113 with either glutamic acid or glycine likely has a serious influence on the regional structure of the protein, and these mutations might have an effect on the function of LcrV. The polymorphisms at positions 18, 72 and 273 were accountable for differences in the oligomerization of LcrV. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Detection of Rickettsia felis, Rickettsia typhi, Bartonella Species and Yersinia pestis in Fleas (Siphonaptera) from Africa.

    PubMed

    Leulmi, Hamza; Socolovschi, Cristina; Laudisoit, Anne; Houemenou, Gualbert; Davoust, Bernard; Bitam, Idir; Raoult, Didier; Parola, Philippe

    2014-10-01

    Little is known about the presence/absence and prevalence of Rickettsia spp, Bartonella spp. and Yersinia pestis in domestic and urban flea populations in tropical and subtropical African countries. Fleas collected in Benin, the United Republic of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo were investigated for the presence and identity of Rickettsia spp., Bartonella spp. and Yersinia pestis using two qPCR systems or qPCR and standard PCR. In Xenopsylla cheopis fleas collected from Cotonou (Benin), Rickettsia typhi was detected in 1% (2/199), and an uncultured Bartonella sp. was detected in 34.7% (69/199). In the Lushoto district (United Republic of Tanzania), R. typhi DNA was detected in 10% (2/20) of Xenopsylla brasiliensis, and Rickettsia felis was detected in 65% (13/20) of Ctenocephalides felis strongylus, 71.4% (5/7) of Ctenocephalides canis and 25% (5/20) of Ctenophthalmus calceatus calceatus. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, R. felis was detected in 56.5% (13/23) of Ct. f. felis from Kinshasa, in 26.3% (10/38) of Ct. f. felis and 9% (1/11) of Leptopsylla aethiopica aethiopica from Ituri district and in 19.2% (5/26) of Ct. f. strongylus and 4.7% (1/21) of Echidnophaga gallinacea. Bartonella sp. was also detected in 36.3% (4/11) of L. a. aethiopica. Finally, in Ituri, Y. pestis DNA was detected in 3.8% (1/26) of Ct. f. strongylus and 10% (3/30) of Pulex irritans from the villages of Wanyale and Zaa. Most flea-borne infections are neglected diseases which should be monitored systematically in domestic rural and urban human populations to assess their epidemiological and clinical relevance. Finally, the presence of Y. pestis DNA in fleas captured in households was unexpected and raises a series of questions regarding the role of free fleas in the transmission of plague in rural Africa, especially in remote areas where the flea density in houses is high.

  7. Detection of Rickettsia felis, Rickettsia typhi, Bartonella Species and Yersinia pestis in Fleas (Siphonaptera) from Africa

    PubMed Central

    Leulmi, Hamza; Socolovschi, Cristina; Laudisoit, Anne; Houemenou, Gualbert; Davoust, Bernard; Bitam, Idir; Raoult, Didier; Parola, Philippe

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about the presence/absence and prevalence of Rickettsia spp, Bartonella spp. and Yersinia pestis in domestic and urban flea populations in tropical and subtropical African countries. Methodology/Principal findings Fleas collected in Benin, the United Republic of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo were investigated for the presence and identity of Rickettsia spp., Bartonella spp. and Yersinia pestis using two qPCR systems or qPCR and standard PCR. In Xenopsylla cheopis fleas collected from Cotonou (Benin), Rickettsia typhi was detected in 1% (2/199), and an uncultured Bartonella sp. was detected in 34.7% (69/199). In the Lushoto district (United Republic of Tanzania), R. typhi DNA was detected in 10% (2/20) of Xenopsylla brasiliensis, and Rickettsia felis was detected in 65% (13/20) of Ctenocephalides felis strongylus, 71.4% (5/7) of Ctenocephalides canis and 25% (5/20) of Ctenophthalmus calceatus calceatus. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, R. felis was detected in 56.5% (13/23) of Ct. f. felis from Kinshasa, in 26.3% (10/38) of Ct. f. felis and 9% (1/11) of Leptopsylla aethiopica aethiopica from Ituri district and in 19.2% (5/26) of Ct. f. strongylus and 4.7% (1/21) of Echidnophaga gallinacea. Bartonella sp. was also detected in 36.3% (4/11) of L. a. aethiopica. Finally, in Ituri, Y. pestis DNA was detected in 3.8% (1/26) of Ct. f. strongylus and 10% (3/30) of Pulex irritans from the villages of Wanyale and Zaa. Conclusion Most flea-borne infections are neglected diseases which should be monitored systematically in domestic rural and urban human populations to assess their epidemiological and clinical relevance. Finally, the presence of Y. pestis DNA in fleas captured in households was unexpected and raises a series of questions regarding the role of free fleas in the transmission of plague in rural Africa, especially in remote areas where the flea density in houses is high. PMID:25299702

  8. Evolution and virulence contributions of the autotransporter proteins YapJ and YapK of Yersinia pestis CO92 and their homologs in Y. pseudotuberculosis IP32953.

    PubMed

    Lenz, Jonathan D; Temple, Brenda R S; Miller, Virginia L

    2012-10-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, evolved from the gastrointestinal pathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Both species have numerous type Va autotransporters, most of which appear to be highly conserved. In Y. pestis CO92, the autotransporter genes yapK and yapJ share a high level of sequence identity. By comparing yapK and yapJ to three homologous genes in Y. pseudotuberculosis IP32953 (YPTB0365, YPTB3285, and YPTB3286), we show that yapK is conserved in Y. pseudotuberculosis, while yapJ is unique to Y. pestis. All of these autotransporters exhibit >96% identity in the C terminus of the protein and identities ranging from 58 to 72% in their N termini. By extending this analysis to include homologous sequences from numerous Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis strains, we determined that these autotransporters cluster into a YapK (YPTB3285) class and a YapJ (YPTB3286) class. The YPTB3286-like gene of most Y. pestis strains appears to be inactivated, perhaps in favor of maintaining yapJ. Since autotransporters are important for virulence in many bacterial pathogens, including Y. pestis, any change in autotransporter content should be considered for its impact on virulence. Using established mouse models of Y. pestis infection, we demonstrated that despite the high level of sequence identity, yapK is distinct from yapJ in its contribution to disseminated Y. pestis infection. In addition, a mutant lacking both of these genes exhibits an additive attenuation, suggesting nonredundant roles for yapJ and yapK in systemic Y. pestis infection. However, the deletion of the homologous genes in Y. pseudotuberculosis does not seem to impact the virulence of this organism in orogastric or systemic infection models.

  9. Growth of a plasmid-bearing (pYV) Yersinia pestis KIM5 in retail raw ground pork

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Yersinia pestis can cause oro-pharyngeal plague as a result of consumption or handling of meat from infected animals. Thus, food naturally or intentionally contaminated can have a role in the dissemination of human plague. The growth of a conditionally virulent plasmid (pYV)-bearing rifampicin-res...

  10. Redefining the differences in gene content between Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis using large-scale comparative genomics

    PubMed Central

    Califf, Katy J.; Keim, Paul S.; Wagner, David M.

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is best known for historical pandemics, but still actively causes disease in many parts of the world. Y. pestis is a recently derived clone of the pathogenic species Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, but is more associated with human infection. Numerous studies have documented genomic changes since the two species differentiated, although all of these studies used a relatively small sample set for defining these differences. In this study, we compared the complete genomic content between a diverse set of Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis genomes, and identified unique loci that could serve as diagnostic markers or for better understanding the evolution and pathogenesis of each group. Comparative genomics analyses also identified subtle variations in gene content between individual monophyletic clades within these species, based on a core genome single nucleotide polymorphism phylogeny that would have been undetected in a less comprehensive genome dataset. We also screened loci that were identified in other published studies as unique to either species and generally found a non-uniform distribution, suggesting that the assignment of these unique genes to either species should be re-evaluated in the context of current sequencing efforts. Overall, this study provides a high-resolution view into the genomic differences between Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis, demonstrating fine-scale differentiation and unique gene composition in both species. PMID:28348813

  11. Relationship between bacterial virulence and nucleotide metabolism: a mutation in the adenylate kinase gene renders Yersinia pestis avirulent.

    PubMed Central

    Munier-Lehmann, Hélène; Chenal-Francisque, Viviane; Ionescu, Mihaela; Chrisova, Petya; Foulon, Jeannine; Carniel, Elisabeth; Bârzu, Octavian

    2003-01-01

    Nucleoside monophosphate kinases (NMPKs) are essential catalysts for bacterial growth and multiplication. These enzymes display high primary sequence identities among members of the family Enterobacteriaceae. Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, belongs to this family. However, it was previously shown that its thymidylate kinase (TMPKyp) exhibits biochemical properties significantly different from those of its Escherichia coli counterpart [Chenal-Francisque, Tourneux, Carniel, Christova, Li de la Sierra, Barzu and Gilles (1999) Eur. J. Biochem. 265, 112-119]. In this work, the adenylate kinase (AK) of Y. pestis (AKyp) was characterized. As with TMPKyp, AKyp displayed a lower thermodynamic stability than other studied AKs. Two mutations in AK (Ser129Phe and Pro87Ser), previously shown to induce a thermosensitive growth defect in E. coli, were introduced into AKyp. The recombinant variants had a lower stability than wild-type AKyp and a higher susceptibility to proteolytic digestion. When the Pro87Ser substitution was introduced into the chromosomal adk gene of Y. pestis, growth of the mutant strain was altered at the non-permissive temperature of 37 degree C. In virulence testings, less than 50 colony forming units (CFU) of wild-type Y. pestis killed 100% of the mice upon subcutaneous infection, whereas bacterial loads as high as 1.5 x 10(4) CFU of the adk mutant were unable to kill any animals. PMID:12879903

  12. Purification and characterization of Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pestis LcrV-cholera toxin A(2)/B chimeras.

    PubMed

    Tinker, Juliette K; Davis, Chadwick T; Arlian, Britni M

    2010-11-01

    Yersinia pestis is a virulent human pathogen and potential biological weapon. Despite a long history of research on this organism, there is no licensed vaccine to protect against pneumonic forms of Y. pestis disease. In the present study, plasmids were constructed to express cholera toxin A(2)/B chimeric molecules containing the LcrV protective antigen from Yersinia enterocolitica and Y. pestis. These chimeras were expressed and purified to high yields from the supernatant of transformed Escherichia coli. Western and GM(1) ELISA assays were used to characterize the composition, receptor-binding and relative stability of the LcrV-CTA(2)/B chimera in comparison to cholera toxin. In addition, we investigated the ability of the Y. pestis LcrV-CTA(2)/B chimera to bind to and internalize into cultured epithelial cells and macrophages by confocal microscopy. These studies indicate that the uptake and trafficking of the LcrV antigen from the chimera is comparable to the trafficking of native toxin. Together these findings report that stable, receptor-binding, non-toxic LcrV-cholera toxin A(2)/B chimeras can be expressed at high levels in E. coli and purified from the supernatant. In addition, the internalization of antigen in vitro reported here supports the development of these molecules as novel mucosal vaccine candidates. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Purification and characterization of Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pestis LcrV–cholera toxin A2/B chimeras

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Chadwick T.; Arlian, Britni M.

    2010-01-01

    Yersinia pestis is a virulent human pathogen and potential biological weapon. Despite a long history of research on this organism, there is no licensed vaccine to protect against pneumonic forms of Y. pestis disease. In the present study, plasmids were constructed to express cholera toxin A2/B chimeric molecules containing the LcrV protective antigen from Y. enterocolitica and Y. pestis. These chimeras were expressed and purified to high yields from the supernatant of transformed E. coli. Western and GM1 ELISA assays were used to characterize the composition, receptor-binding and relative stability of the LcrV-CTA2/B chimera in comparison to cholera toxin. In addition, we investigated the ability of the Y. pestis LcrV-CTA2/B chimera to bind to and internalize into cultured epithelial cells and macrophages by confocal microscopy. These studies indicate that the uptake and trafficking of the LcrV antigen from the chimera is comparable to the trafficking of native toxin. Together these findings report that stable, receptor-binding, non-toxic LcrV-cholera toxin A2/B chimeras can be expressed at high levels in E. coli and purified from the supernatant. In addition, the internalization of antigen in vitro reported here supports the development of these molecules as novel mucosal vaccine candidates. PMID:20438844

  15. In Vitro and In Vivo Activity of Omadacycline Against Two Biothreat Pathogens: Bacillus Anthracis and Yersinia Pestis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-02-27

    anthracis or Y. pestis was estimated using mouse respiratory rates according to Guyton ( Guyton , 1947). Mice were randomly placed into separate cages upon...biowarfare and public health importance. World J Clin Cases. 2015;3(1):20-33. Guyton AC. Measurement of the respiratory volumes of laboratory animals. Am J

  16. A Bivalent Anthrax–Plague Vaccine That Can Protect against Two Tier-1 Bioterror Pathogens, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Tao, Pan; Mahalingam, Marthandan; Zhu, Jingen; Moayeri, Mahtab; Kirtley, Michelle L.; Fitts, Eric C.; Andersson, Jourdan A.; Lawrence, William S.; Leppla, Stephen H.; Chopra, Ashok K.; Rao, Venigalla B.

    2017-01-01

    Bioterrorism remains as one of the biggest challenges to global security and public health. Since the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001 in the United States, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis, the causative agents of anthrax and plague, respectively, gained notoriety and were listed by the CDC as Tier-1 biothreat agents. Currently, there is no Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccine against either of these threats for mass vaccination to protect general public, let alone a bivalent vaccine. Here, we report the development of a single recombinant vaccine, a triple antigen consisting of all three target antigens, F1 and V from Y. pestis and PA from B. anthracis, in a structurally stable context. Properly folded and soluble, the triple antigen retained the functional and immunogenicity properties of all three antigens. Remarkably, two doses of this immunogen adjuvanted with Alhydrogel® elicited robust antibody responses in mice, rats, and rabbits and conferred complete protection against inhalational anthrax and pneumonic plague. No significant antigenic interference was observed. Furthermore, we report, for the first time, complete protection of animals against simultaneous challenge with Y. pestis and the lethal toxin of B. anthracis, demonstrating that a single biodefense vaccine can protect against a bioterror attack with weaponized B. anthracis and/or Y. pestis. This bivalent anthrax–plague vaccine is, therefore, a strong candidate for stockpiling, after demonstration of its safety and immunogenicity in human clinical trials, as part of national preparedness against two of the deadliest bioterror threats. PMID:28694806

  17. A Bivalent Anthrax-Plague Vaccine That Can Protect against Two Tier-1 Bioterror Pathogens, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Tao, Pan; Mahalingam, Marthandan; Zhu, Jingen; Moayeri, Mahtab; Kirtley, Michelle L; Fitts, Eric C; Andersson, Jourdan A; Lawrence, William S; Leppla, Stephen H; Chopra, Ashok K; Rao, Venigalla B

    2017-01-01

    Bioterrorism remains as one of the biggest challenges to global security and public health. Since the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001 in the United States, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis, the causative agents of anthrax and plague, respectively, gained notoriety and were listed by the CDC as Tier-1 biothreat agents. Currently, there is no Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccine against either of these threats for mass vaccination to protect general public, let alone a bivalent vaccine. Here, we report the development of a single recombinant vaccine, a triple antigen consisting of all three target antigens, F1 and V from Y. pestis and PA from B. anthracis, in a structurally stable context. Properly folded and soluble, the triple antigen retained the functional and immunogenicity properties of all three antigens. Remarkably, two doses of this immunogen adjuvanted with Alhydrogel(®) elicited robust antibody responses in mice, rats, and rabbits and conferred complete protection against inhalational anthrax and pneumonic plague. No significant antigenic interference was observed. Furthermore, we report, for the first time, complete protection of animals against simultaneous challenge with Y. pestis and the lethal toxin of B. anthracis, demonstrating that a single biodefense vaccine can protect against a bioterror attack with weaponized B. anthracis and/or Y. pestis. This bivalent anthrax-plague vaccine is, therefore, a strong candidate for stockpiling, after demonstration of its safety and immunogenicity in human clinical trials, as part of national preparedness against two of the deadliest bioterror threats.

  18. Biomarker Candidate Identification in Yersinia Pestis Using Organism-Wide Semiquantitative Proteomics

    SciTech Connect

    Hixson, Kim K.; Adkins, Joshua N.; Baker, Scott E.; Moore, Ronald J.; Smith, Richard D.; McCutchen-Maloney, Sandra L.; Lipton, Mary S.

    2006-11-03

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is listed by the CDC as a level A select pathogen. To better enable detection, intervention and treatment of Y. pestis infections, it is necessary to understand its protein expression under conditions that promote or inhibit virulence. To this end, we have utilized a novel combination of the accurate mass and time tag methodology of mass spectrometry and clustering analysis using OmniViz™ to compare the protein abundance changes of 992 identified proteins under four growth conditions. Temperature and Ca2+ concentration were used to trigger virulence associated protein expression fundamental to the low calcium response. High-resolution liquid chromatography and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry were utilized to determine protein identity and abundance on the genome-wide level. The cluster analyses revealed, in a rapid visual platform, the reproducibility of the current method as well as relevant protein abundance changes of expected and novel proteins relating to a specific growth condition and sub-cellular location. Using this method, 89 proteins were identified as having a similar abundance change profile to 29 known virulence associated proteins, providing additional biomarker candidates for future detection and vaccine development strategies.

  19. Forensic Signature Detection of Yersinia Pestis Culturing Practices Across Institutions Using a Bayesian Network

    SciTech Connect

    Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.; Corley, Courtney D.; McCue, Lee Ann; Clowers, Brian H.; Dowling, Chase P.; Wahl, Karen L.; Wunschel, David S.; Kreuzer, Helen W.

    2014-03-21

    The field of bioforensics is focused on the analysis of evidence from a biocrime. Existing laboratory analyses can identify the specific strain of an organism in the evidence, as well signatures of the specific culture batch of organisms, such as low-frequency contaminants or indicators of growth and processing methods. To link these disparate types of physical data to potential suspects, investigators may need to identify institutions or individuals whose access to strains and culturing practices match those identified from the evidence. In this work we present a Bayesian statistical network to fuse different types of analytical measurements that predict the production environment of a Yersinia pestis sample under investigation with automated test processing of scientific publications to identify institutions with a history of growing Y. pestis under similar conditions. Furthermore, the textual and experimental signatures were evaluated recursively to determine the overall sensitivity of the network across all levels of false positives. We illustrate that institutions associated with several specific culturing practices can be accurately selected based on the experimental signature from only a few analytical measurements. These findings demonstrate that similar Bayesian networks can be generated generically for many organisms of interest and their deployment is not prohibitive due to either computational or experimental factors.

  20. Rapid detection and antimicrobial resistance gene profiling of Yersinia pestis using pyrosequencing technology.

    PubMed

    Amoako, Kingsley K; Thomas, Matthew C; Kong, Fanliang; Janzen, Timothy W; Hahn, Kristen R; Shields, Michael J; Goji, Noriko

    2012-09-01

    When a bioterrorism attack is attempted or perpetrated there is considerable risk for public health and large scale socioeconomic consequences. It is imperative that we possess established assays for the rapid identification of biothreat agents with high sensitivity and specificity to ensure emergency response measures can be deployed appropriately. Highly trustworthy information within a relevant timeframe is required to make a rapid and informed decision. Obtaining DNA sequence data from a suspected agent provides an added layer of confidence compared to a presumptive positive PCR amplicon. Sequencing based technologies, such as pyrosequencing, have sufficient discrimination potential to be used for microbial identification and can also be used to identify antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes. We have shown in this study the power of pyrosequencing in the unambiguous detection and identification of nine Yersinia pestis strains based on virulence genes. Furthermore, we developed assays to characterize their AMR gene profiles. Sequence results ranging from 40 to 84bp were generated in about 60 min following initial PCR amplification and provide a rapid method for determining the AMR profile as compared to the conventional plate method which takes several days. The high sequence identities (95-100%) and specificity observed indicate the high level of accuracy of pyrosequencing technology. In addition, the read lengths of up to 84 bp observed in this study are unprecedented for pyrosequencing using the Pyromark Q24. We propose this method as a novel, rapid, sequence based detection and identification tool for Y. pestis with a potential application in biodefence.

  1. Molecular identification by "suicide PCR" of Yersinia pestis as the agent of medieval black death.

    PubMed

    Raoult, D; Aboudharam, G; Crubézy, E; Larrouy, G; Ludes, B; Drancourt, M

    2000-11-07

    Medieval Black Death is believed to have killed up to one-third of the Western European population during the 14th century. It was identified as plague at this time, but recently the causative organism was debated because no definitive evidence has been obtained to confirm the role of Yersinia pestis as the agent of plague. We obtained the teeth of a child and two adults from a 14th century grave in France, disrupted them to obtain the pulp, and applied the new "suicide PCR" protocol in which the primers are used only once. There were no positive controls: Neither Yersinia nor Yersinia DNA were introduced in the laboratory. A negative result is followed by a new test using other primers; a positive result is followed by sequencing. The second and third primer pair used, coding for a part of the pla gene, generated amplicons whose sequence confirmed that it was Y. pestis in 1 tooth from the child and 19/19 teeth from the adults. Negative controls were negative. Attempts to detect the putative alternative etiologic agents Bacillus anthracis and Rickettsia prowazekii failed. Suicide PCR avoids any risk of contamination as it uses a single-shot primer-its specificity is absolute. We believe that we can end the controversy: Medieval Black Death was plague.

  2. SELECTIVE INHIBITION BY TRYPTOPHAN ANALOGUES OF MURINE TOXIN SYNTHESIS IN PASTEURELLA PESTIS

    PubMed Central

    Montie, Thomas C.; Ajl, Samuel J.

    1964-01-01

    Montie, Thomas C. (Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pa.), and Samuel J. Ajl. Selective inhibition by tryptophan analogues of murine toxin synthesis in Pasteurella pestis. J. Bacteriol. 88:1467–1475. 1964.—Washed-cell suspensions of Pasteurella pestis, avirulent strain “Tjiwidej,” exhibited a preferential inhibition of toxin synthesis relative to total protein formation, when grown in the presence of various tryptophan analogues. Growth was partially inhibited in the presence of methyl analogues. High concentrations of 5-fluorotryptophan induced slight growth-inhibitory effects. However, toxin production was more sensitive to these levels of the analogue. Growth inhibition appeared not to relate to toxin inhibition. Inhibition of toxin synthesis by analogues was reversed by l-tryptophan and indole. Shikimic acid but not anthranilic acid antagonized the action of 4-methyltryptophan on selective toxin synthesis. The formation of tryptophanless protein accounted for continued protein synthesis in tryptophan-depleted cells. Protein resolved by acrylamide gel electrophoresis from crude cell extracts exhibited two toxic protein bands. The synthesis of one toxin-protein band, the less-mobile of the two, appeared to be associated with the membrane fraction of the cell, and was selectively blocked in cells grown in the presence of tryptophan analogues. Cellular tryptophan levels may determine the quantity and quality of proteins made. Images PMID:14234807

  3. RfaL Is Required for Yersinia pestis Type III Secretion and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Houppert, Andrew S.; Bohman, Lesley; Merritt, Peter M.; Cole, Christopher B.; Caulfield, Adam J.; Lathem, Wyndham W.

    2013-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, uses a type III secretion system (T3SS) to inject cytotoxic Yop proteins directly into the cytosol of mammalian host cells. The T3SS can also be activated in vitro at 37°C in the absence of calcium. The chromosomal gene rfaL (waaL) was recently identified as a virulence factor required for proper function of the T3SS. RfaL functions as a ligase that adds the terminal N-acetylglucosamine to the lipooligosaccharide core of Y. pestis. We previously showed that deletion of rfaL prevents secretion of Yops in vitro. Here we show that the divalent cations calcium, strontium, and magnesium can partially or fully rescue Yop secretion in vitro, indicating that the secretion phenotype of the rfaL mutant may be due to structural changes in the outer membrane and the corresponding feedback inhibition on the T3SS. In support of this, we found that the defect can be overcome by deleting the regulatory gene lcrQ. Consistent with a defective T3SS, the rfaL mutant is less virulent than the wild type. We show here that the virulence defect of the mutant correlates with a decrease in both T3SS gene expression and ability to inject innate immune cells, combined with an increased sensitivity to cationic antimicrobial peptides. PMID:23357388

  4. Diverse Genotypes of Yersinia pestis Caused Plague in Madagascar in 2007.

    PubMed

    Riehm, Julia M; Projahn, Michaela; Vogler, Amy J; Rajerison, Minoaerisoa; Andersen, Genevieve; Hall, Carina M; Zimmermann, Thomas; Soanandrasana, Rahelinirina; Andrianaivoarimanana, Voahangy; Straubinger, Reinhard K; Nottingham, Roxanne; Keim, Paul; Wagner, David M; Scholz, Holger C

    2015-06-01

    Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of human plague and is endemic in various African, Asian and American countries. In Madagascar, the disease represents a significant public health problem with hundreds of human cases a year. Unfortunately, poor infrastructure makes outbreak investigations challenging. DNA was extracted directly from 93 clinical samples from patients with a clinical diagnosis of plague in Madagascar in 2007. The extracted DNAs were then genotyped using three molecular genotyping methods, including, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) typing, multi-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA), and Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) analysis. These methods provided increasing resolution, respectively. The results of these analyses revealed that, in 2007, ten molecular groups, two newly described here and eight previously identified, were responsible for causing human plague in geographically distinct areas of Madagascar. Plague in Madagascar is caused by numerous distinct types of Y. pestis. Genotyping method choice should be based upon the discriminatory power needed, expense, and available data for any desired comparisons. We conclude that genotyping should be a standard tool used in epidemiological investigations of plague outbreaks.

  5. [Determination of genetic bases of auxotrophy in Yersinia pestis ssp. caucasica strains].

    PubMed

    Odinokov, G N; Eroshenko, G A; Kukleva, L M; Shavina, N Iu; Krasnov, Ia M; Kutyrev, V V

    2012-04-01

    Based on the results of computer analysis of nucleotide sequences in strains Yersinia pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis recorded in the files of NCBI GenBank database, differences between genes argA, aroG, aroF, thiH, and thiG of strain Pestoides F (subspecies caucasica) were found, compared to other strains of plaque agent and pseudotuberculosis microbe. Using PCR with calculated primers and the method of sequence analysis, the structure of variable regions of these genes was studied in 96 natural Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis strains. It was shown that all examined strains of subspecies caucasica, unlike strains of plague-causing agent of other subspecies and pseudotubercolosis microbe, had identical mutations in genes argA (integration of the insertion sequence IS100), aroG (insertion of ten nucleotides), aroF (inserion of IS100), thiH (insertion of nucleotide T), and thiG (deletion of 13 nucleotides). These mutations are the reason for the absence in strains belonging to this subspecies of the ability to synthesize arginine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, and vitamin B1 (thiamine), and cause their auxotrophy for these growth factors.

  6. [Yersinia pestis infection in the State of Bahia: effective control or epidemiological silence?].

    PubMed

    Saavedra, Ramon da Costa; Dias, Juarez Pereira

    2011-01-01

    From an epidemiological point of view, the plague is still being considered of great importance, because of its high epidemic potential. Despite the absence of cases of human plague in Brazil, its etiologic agent, the bacteria Yersinia pestis, is still deep rooted in its natural environment. The occurrence of positive serology for plague in domestic carnivores in plague areas in Bahia in the past few years implies the need for a more rigorous evaluation in order to verify whether the bacillus of the plague is still active in these areas. In this study, the presence of infection caused by Y. pestis was analyzed by seroprevalence tests on humans, dogs and rodents and by the detection of the bacteria in rodents and fleas. A structured questionnaire was used to analyze the association between environmental, socioeconomic and biological factors and seroprevalence in humans. Of the 630 serum samples examined (88 from humans, 480 from dogs and 62 from rodents), all were nonreactive for plague and bacteriological analyses performed on 14 rodents and 2 flea lots showed no signs of the bacteria. These results cannot confirm the eradication of the disease in the entire State, since the cyclic nature of the plague indicates that it can go silent for long periods and then resurge, affecting large numbers of people. Thus, maintenance of active, permanent surveillance is required for early detection and the development of adequate control measures.

  7. Effects of Land Use on Plague (Yersinia pestis) Activity in Rodents in Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    McCauley, Douglas J.; Salkeld, Daniel J.; Young, Hillary S.; Makundi, Rhodes; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Eckerlin, Ralph P.; Lambin, Eric F.; Gaffikin, Lynne; Barry, Michele; Helgen, Kristofer M.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the effects of land-use change on zoonotic disease risk is a pressing global health concern. Here, we compare prevalence of Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of plague, in rodents across two land-use types—agricultural and conserved—in northern Tanzania. Estimated abundance of seropositive rodents nearly doubled in agricultural sites compared with conserved sites. This relationship between land-use type and abundance of seropositive rodents is likely mediated by changes in rodent and flea community composition, particularly via an increase in the abundance of the commensal species, Mastomys natalensis, in agricultural habitats. There was mixed support for rodent species diversity negatively impacting Y. pestis seroprevalence. Together, these results suggest that land-use change could affect the risk of local transmission of plague, and raise critical questions about transmission dynamics at the interface of conserved and agricultural habitats. These findings emphasize the importance of understanding disease ecology in the context of rapidly proceeding landscape change. PMID:25711606

  8. Effects of temperature on the transmission of Yersinia Pestis by the flea, Xenopsylla Cheopis, in the late phase period

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Traditionally, efficient flea-borne transmission of Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, was thought to be dependent on a process referred to as blockage in which biofilm-mediated growth of the bacteria physically blocks the flea gut, leading to the regurgitation of contaminated blood into the host. This process was previously shown to be temperature-regulated, with blockage failing at temperatures approaching 30°C; however, the abilities of fleas to transmit infections at different temperatures had not been adequately assessed. We infected colony-reared fleas of Xenopsylla cheopis with a wild type strain of Y. pestis and maintained them at 10, 23, 27, or 30°C. Naïve mice were exposed to groups of infected fleas beginning on day 7 post-infection (p.i.), and every 3-4 days thereafter until day 14 p.i. for fleas held at 10°C, or 28 days p.i. for fleas held at 23-30°C. Transmission was confirmed using Y. pestis-specific antigen or antibody detection assays on mouse tissues. Results Although no statistically significant differences in per flea transmission efficiencies were detected between 23 and 30°C, efficiencies were highest for fleas maintained at 23°C and they began to decline at 27 and 30°C by day 21 p.i. These declines coincided with declining median bacterial loads in fleas at 27 and 30°C. Survival and feeding rates of fleas also varied by temperature to suggest fleas at 27 and 30°C would be less likely to sustain transmission than fleas maintained at 23°C. Fleas held at 10°C transmitted Y. pestis infections, although flea survival was significantly reduced compared to that of uninfected fleas at this temperature. Median bacterial loads were significantly higher at 10°C than at the other temperatures. Conclusions Our results suggest that temperature does not significantly effect the per flea efficiency of Y. pestis transmission by X. cheopis, but that temperature is likely to influence the dynamics of Y. pestis flea

  9. Effects of temperature on the transmission of Yersinia Pestis by the flea, Xenopsylla Cheopis, in the late phase period.

    PubMed

    Schotthoefer, Anna M; Bearden, Scott W; Holmes, Jennifer L; Vetter, Sara M; Montenieri, John A; Williams, Shanna K; Graham, Christine B; Woods, Michael E; Eisen, Rebecca J; Gage, Kenneth L

    2011-09-29

    Traditionally, efficient flea-borne transmission of Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, was thought to be dependent on a process referred to as blockage in which biofilm-mediated growth of the bacteria physically blocks the flea gut, leading to the regurgitation of contaminated blood into the host. This process was previously shown to be temperature-regulated, with blockage failing at temperatures approaching 30°C; however, the abilities of fleas to transmit infections at different temperatures had not been adequately assessed. We infected colony-reared fleas of Xenopsylla cheopis with a wild type strain of Y. pestis and maintained them at 10, 23, 27, or 30°C. Naïve mice were exposed to groups of infected fleas beginning on day 7 post-infection (p.i.), and every 3-4 days thereafter until day 14 p.i. for fleas held at 10°C, or 28 days p.i. for fleas held at 23-30°C. Transmission was confirmed using Y. pestis-specific antigen or antibody detection assays on mouse tissues. Although no statistically significant differences in per flea transmission efficiencies were detected between 23 and 30°C, efficiencies were highest for fleas maintained at 23°C and they began to decline at 27 and 30°C by day 21 p.i. These declines coincided with declining median bacterial loads in fleas at 27 and 30°C. Survival and feeding rates of fleas also varied by temperature to suggest fleas at 27 and 30°C would be less likely to sustain transmission than fleas maintained at 23°C. Fleas held at 10°C transmitted Y. pestis infections, although flea survival was significantly reduced compared to that of uninfected fleas at this temperature. Median bacterial loads were significantly higher at 10°C than at the other temperatures. Our results suggest that temperature does not significantly effect the per flea efficiency of Y. pestis transmission by X. cheopis, but that temperature is likely to influence the dynamics of Y. pestis flea-borne transmission, perhaps by affecting

  10. Complete Genome Sequence of Yersinia pestis Strains Antiqua and Nepal516: Evidence of Gene Reduction in an Emerging Pathogen†

    PubMed Central

    Chain, Patrick S. G.; Hu, Ping; Malfatti, Stephanie A.; Radnedge, Lyndsay; Larimer, Frank; Vergez, Lisa M.; Worsham, Patricia; Chu, May C.; Andersen, Gary L.

    2006-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic and pneumonic plagues, has undergone detailed study at the molecular level. To further investigate the genomic diversity among this group and to help characterize lineages of the plague organism that have no sequenced members, we present here the genomes of two isolates of the “classical” antiqua biovar, strains Antiqua and Nepal516. The genomes of Antiqua and Nepal516 are 4.7 Mb and 4.5 Mb and encode 4,138 and 3,956 open reading frames, respectively. Though both strains belong to one of the three classical biovars, they represent separate lineages defined by recent phylogenetic studies. We compare all five currently sequenced Y. pestis genomes and the corresponding features in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. There are strain-specific rearrangements, insertions, deletions, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and a unique distribution of insertion sequences. We found 453 single nucleotide polymorphisms in protein-coding regions, which were used to assess the evolutionary relationships of these Y. pestis strains. Gene reduction analysis revealed that the gene deletion processes are under selective pressure, and many of the inactivations are probably related to the organism's interaction with its host environment. The results presented here clearly demonstrate the differences between the two biovar antiqua lineages and support the notion that grouping Y. pestis strains based strictly on the classical definition of biovars (predicated upon two biochemical assays) does not accurately reflect the phylogenetic relationships within this species. A comparison of four virulent Y. pestis strains with the human-avirulent strain 91001 provides further insight into the genetic basis of virulence to humans. PMID:16740952

  11. Complete Genome Sequence of Yersinis pestis Strains Antiqua and Nepa1516: Evidence of Gene Reduction in an Emerging Pathogen

    SciTech Connect

    Chain, Patrick S; Hu, Ping; Malfatti, Stephanie; Radnedge, Lyndsay; Larimer, Frank W; Vergez, Lisa; Worsham, Patricia; Chu, May C; Anderson, Gary L

    2006-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic and pneumonic plagues, has undergone detailed study at the molecular level. To further investigate the genomic diversity among this group and to help characterize lineages of the plague organism that have no sequenced members, we present here the genomes of two isolates of the ''classical'' antiqua biovar, strains Antiqua and Nepal516. The genomes of Antiqua and Nepal516 are 4.7 Mb and 4.5 Mb and encode 4,138 and 3,956 open reading frames, respectively. Though both strains belong to one of the three classical biovars, they represent separate lineages defined by recent phylogenetic studies. We compare all five currently sequenced Y. pestis genomes and the corresponding features in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. There are strain-specific rearrangements, insertions, deletions, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and a unique distribution of insertion sequences. We found 453 single nucleotide polymorphisms in protein-coding regions, which were used to assess the evolutionary relationships of these Y. pestis strains. Gene reduction analysis revealed that the gene deletion processes are under selective pressure, and many of the inactivations are probably related to the organism's interaction with its host environment. The results presented here clearly demonstrate the differences between the two biovar antiqua lineages and support the notion that grouping Y. pestis strains based strictly on the classical definition of biovars (predicated upon two biochemical assays) does not accurately reflect the phylogenetic relationships within this species. A comparison of four virulent Y. pestis strains with the human-avirulent strain 91001 provides further insight into the genetic basis of virulence to humans.

  12. Oral vaccination with salmonella simultaneously expressing Yersinia pestis F1 and V antigens protects against bubonic and pneumonic plague.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xinghong; Hinnebusch, B Joseph; Trunkle, Theresa; Bosio, Catharine M; Suo, Zhiyong; Tighe, Mike; Harmsen, Ann; Becker, Todd; Crist, Kathryn; Walters, Nancy; Avci, Recep; Pascual, David W

    2007-01-15

    The gut provides a large area for immunization enabling the development of mucosal and systemic Ab responses. To test whether the protective Ags to Yersinia pestis can be orally delivered, the Y. pestis caf1 operon, encoding the F1-Ag and virulence Ag (V-Ag) were cloned into attenuated Salmonella vaccine vectors. F1-Ag expression was controlled under a promoter from the caf1 operon; two different promoters (P), PtetA in pV3, PphoP in pV4, as well as a chimera of the two in pV55 were tested. F1-Ag was amply expressed; the chimera in the pV55 showed the best V-Ag expression. Oral immunization with Salmonella-F1 elicited elevated secretory (S)-IgA and serum IgG titers, and Salmonella-V-Ag(pV55) elicited much greater S-IgA and serum IgG Ab titers than Salmonella-V-Ag(pV3) or Salmonella-V-Ag(pV4). Hence, a new Salmonella vaccine, Salmonella-(F1+V)Ags, made with a single plasmid containing the caf1 operon and the chimeric promoter for V-Ag allowed the simultaneous expression of F1 capsule and V-Ag. Salmonella-(F1+V)Ags elicited elevated Ab titers similar to their monotypic derivatives. For bubonic plague, mice dosed with Salmonella-(F1+V)Ags and Salmonella-F1-Ag showed similar efficacy (>83% survival) against approximately 1000 LD(50) Y. pestis. For pneumonic plague, immunized mice required immunity to both F1- and V-Ags because the mice vaccinated with Salmonella-(F1+V)Ags protected against 100 LD(50) Y. pestis. These results show that a single Salmonella vaccine can deliver both F1- and V-Ags to effect both systemic and mucosal immune protection against Y. pestis.

  13. The Yfe and Feo Transporters Are Involved in Microaerobic Growth and Virulence of Yersinia pestis in Bubonic Plague

    PubMed Central

    Fetherston, Jacqueline D.; Mier, Ildefonso; Truszczynska, Helena

    2012-01-01

    The Yfe/Sit and Feo transport systems are important for the growth of a variety of bacteria. In Yersinia pestis, single mutations in either yfe or feo result in reduced growth under static (limited aeration), iron-chelated conditions, while a yfe feo double mutant has a more severe growth defect. These growth defects were not observed when bacteria were grown under aerobic conditions or in strains capable of producing the siderophore yersiniabactin (Ybt) and the putative ferrous transporter FetMP. Both fetP and a downstream locus (flp for fet linked phenotype) were required for growth of a yfe feo ybt mutant under static, iron-limiting conditions. An feoB mutation alone had no effect on the virulence of Y. pestis in either bubonic or pneumonic plague models. An feo yfe double mutant was still fully virulent in a pneumonic plague model but had an ∼90-fold increase in the 50% lethal dose (LD50) relative to the Yfe+ Feo+ parent strain in a bubonic plague model. Thus, Yfe and Feo, in addition to Ybt, play an important role in the progression of bubonic plague. Finally, we examined the factors affecting the expression of the feo operon in Y. pestis. Under static growth conditions, the Y. pestis feo::lacZ fusion was repressed by iron in a Fur-dependent manner but not in cells grown aerobically. Mutations in feoC, fnr, arcA, oxyR, or rstAB had no significant effect on transcription of the Y. pestis feo promoter. Thus, the factor(s) that prevents repression by Fur under aerobic growth conditions remains to be identified. PMID:22927049

  14. The Yfe and Feo transporters are involved in microaerobic growth and virulence of Yersinia pestis in bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Fetherston, Jacqueline D; Mier, Ildefonso; Truszczynska, Helena; Perry, Robert D

    2012-11-01

    The Yfe/Sit and Feo transport systems are important for the growth of a variety of bacteria. In Yersinia pestis, single mutations in either yfe or feo result in reduced growth under static (limited aeration), iron-chelated conditions, while a yfe feo double mutant has a more severe growth defect. These growth defects were not observed when bacteria were grown under aerobic conditions or in strains capable of producing the siderophore yersiniabactin (Ybt) and the putative ferrous transporter FetMP. Both fetP and a downstream locus (flp for fet linked phenotype) were required for growth of a yfe feo ybt mutant under static, iron-limiting conditions. An feoB mutation alone had no effect on the virulence of Y. pestis in either bubonic or pneumonic plague models. An feo yfe double mutant was still fully virulent in a pneumonic plague model but had an ∼90-fold increase in the 50% lethal dose (LD(50)) relative to the Yfe(+) Feo(+) parent strain in a bubonic plague model. Thus, Yfe and Feo, in addition to Ybt, play an important role in the progression of bubonic plague. Finally, we examined the factors affecting the expression of the feo operon in Y. pestis. Under static growth conditions, the Y. pestis feo::lacZ fusion was repressed by iron in a Fur-dependent manner but not in cells grown aerobically. Mutations in feoC, fnr, arcA, oxyR, or rstAB had no significant effect on transcription of the Y. pestis feo promoter. Thus, the factor(s) that prevents repression by Fur under aerobic growth conditions remains to be identified.

  15. Subcellular proteomic analysis of host-pathogen interactions using human monocytes exposed to Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, C G; Gonzales, A D; Choi, M W; Chromy, B A; Fitch, J P; McCutchen-Maloney, S L

    2004-05-20

    Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, is of concern to human health both from an infectious disease and a civilian biodefense perspective. While Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis share more than 90% DNA homology, they have significantly different clinical manifestations. Plague is often fatal if untreated, yet Y. pseudotuberculosis causes severe intestinal distress and is rarely fatal. A better understanding of host response to these closely related pathogens may help explain the different mechanisms of virulence and pathogenesis that result in such different clinical outcomes. The aim of this study was to characterize host protein expression changes in human monocyte-like U937 cells after exposure to Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis. In order to gain global proteomic coverage of host response, proteins from cytoplasmic, nuclear and membrane fractions of host cells were studied by 2-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis (2-D DIGE) and relative protein expression differences were quantitated. Differentially expressed proteins, with at least 1.5 fold expression changes and p values of 0.01 or less, were identified by MALDI-MS or LC/MS/MS. With these criteria, differential expression was detected in 16 human proteins after Y. pestis exposure and 13 human proteins after Y. pseudotuberculosis exposure, of which only two of the differentially expressed proteins identified were shared between the two exposures. Proteins identified in this study are reported to be involved in a wide spectrum of cellular functions and host defense mechanisms including apoptosis, cytoskeletal rearrangement, protein synthesis and degradation, DNA replication and transcription, metabolism, protein folding, and cell signaling. Notably, the differential expression patterns observed can distinguish the two pathogen exposures from each other and from unexposed host cells. The functions of the differentially expressed proteins identified provide insight on the different

  16. Real-Time Characterization of Virulence Factor Expression in Yersinia pestis Using a Green Fluorescent Protein Reporter System

    SciTech Connect

    Forde, C; Rocco, J; Fitch, J P; McCutchen-Maloney, S

    2004-06-09

    A real-time reporter system was developed to monitor the thermal induction of virulence factors in Yersinia pestis. The reporter system consists of a plasmid in Y. pestis in which the expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) is under the control of the promoters for six virulence factors, yopE, sycE, yopK, yopT, yscN, and lcrE/yopN, which are all components of the Type III secretion virulence mechanism of Y. pestis. Induction of the expression of these genes in vivo was determined by the increase in fluorescence intensity of GFP in real time. Basal expression levels observed for the Y. pestis promoters, expressed as percentages of the positive control with GFP under the control of the lac promoter, were: yopE (15%), sycE (15%), yopK (13%), yopT (4%), lcrE (3.3%) and yscN (0.8%). The yopE reporter showed the strongest gene induction following temperature transition from 26 C to 37 C. The induction levels of the other virulence factors, expressed as percentages of yopE induction, were: yopK (57%), sycE (9%), yscN (3%), lcrE (3%), and yopT (2%). The thermal induction of each of these promoter fusions was repressed by calcium, and the ratios of the initial rates of thermal induction without calcium supplementation compared to the rate with calcium supplementation were: yopE (11 fold), yscN (7 fold), yopK (6 fold), lcrE (3 fold), yopT (2 fold), and sycE (2 fold). This work demonstrates a novel approach to quantify gene induction and provides a method to rapidly determine the effects of external stimuli on expression of Y. pestis virulence factors in real time, in living cells.

  17. Misidentification of Yersinia pestis by automated systems, resulting in delayed diagnoses of human plague infections--Oregon and New Mexico, 2010-2011.

    PubMed

    Tourdjman, Mathieu; Ibraheem, Mam; Brett, Meghan; Debess, Emilio; Progulske, Barbara; Ettestad, Paul; McGivern, Teresa; Petersen, Jeannine; Mead, Paul

    2012-10-01

    One human plague case was reported in Oregon in September 2010 and another in New Mexico in May 2011. Misidentification of Yersinia pestis by automated identification systems contributed to delayed diagnoses for both cases.

  18. Application of the flow cytometry for determination of the amount of DNA in Yersinia pestis cells under the influence of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korsukov, Vladimir N.; Shchukovskaya, Tatyana N.; Kravtsov, Alexander L.; Popov, Youri A.

    2002-07-01

    Using flow cytometry a low DNA content in inoculated Yersinia pestis EV cells have been shown at the beginning of culture in Hottinger broth pH 7.2. The dependence serotonin action of its concentration on DNA content have been demonstrated. Serotonin accelerated Yersinia pestis culture growth during cultivation in Hottinger broth pH 7.2 both at 28 degrees C and 37 degrees C at concentration of 10-5 M.

  19. Insight into Bacterial Virulence Mechanisms against Host Immune Response via the Yersinia pestis-Human Protein-Protein Interaction Network ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Huiying; Ke, Yuehua; Wang, Jian; Tan, Yafang; Myeni, Sebenzile K.; Li, Dong; Shi, Qinghai; Yan, Yanfeng; Chen, Hui; Guo, Zhaobiao; Yuan, Yanzhi; Yang, Xiaoming; Yang, Ruifu; Du, Zongmin

    2011-01-01

    A Yersinia pestis-human protein interaction network is reported here to improve our understanding of its pathogenesis. Up to 204 interactions between 66 Y. pestis bait proteins and 109 human proteins were identified by yeast two-hybrid assay and then combined with 23 previously published interactions to construct a protein-protein interaction network. Topological analysis of the interaction network revealed that human proteins targeted by Y. pestis were significantly enriched in the proteins that are central in the human protein-protein interaction network. Analysis of this network showed that signaling pathways important for host immune responses were preferentially targeted by Y. pestis, including the pathways involved in focal adhesion, regulation of cytoskeleton, leukocyte transendoepithelial migration, and Toll-like receptor (TLR) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. Cellular pathways targeted by Y. pestis are highly relevant to its pathogenesis. Interactions with host proteins involved in focal adhesion and cytoskeketon regulation pathways could account for resistance of Y. pestis to phagocytosis. Interference with TLR and MAPK signaling pathways by Y. pestis reflects common characteristics of pathogen-host interaction that bacterial pathogens have evolved to evade host innate immune response by interacting with proteins in those signaling pathways. Interestingly, a large portion of human proteins interacting with Y. pestis (16/109) also interacted with viral proteins (Epstein-Barr virus [EBV] and hepatitis C virus [HCV]), suggesting that viral and bacterial pathogens attack common cellular functions to facilitate infections. In addition, we identified vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) as a novel interaction partner of YpkA and showed that YpkA could inhibit in vitro actin assembly mediated by VASP. PMID:21911467

  20. Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms Reveal Spatial Diversity Among Clones of Yersinia pestis During Plague Outbreaks in Colorado and the Western United States.

    PubMed

    Lowell, Jennifer L; Antolin, Michael F; Andersen, Gary L; Hu, Ping; Stokowski, Renee P; Gage, Kenneth L

    2015-05-01

    In western North America, plague epizootics caused by Yersinia pestis appear to sweep across landscapes, primarily infecting and killing rodents, especially ground squirrels and prairie dogs. During these epizootics, the risk of Y. pestis transmission to humans is highest. While empirical models that include climatic conditions and densities of rodent hosts and fleas can predict when epizootics are triggered, bacterial transmission patterns across landscapes, and the scale at which Y. pestis is maintained in nature during inter-epizootic periods, are poorly defined. Elucidating the spatial extent of Y. pestis clones during epizootics can determine whether bacteria are propagated across landscapes or arise independently from local inter-epizootic maintenance reservoirs. We used DNA microarray technology to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 34 Y. pestis isolates collected in the western United States from 1980 to 2006, 21 of which were collected during plague epizootics in Colorado. Phylogenetic comparisons were used to elucidate the hypothesized spread of Y. pestis between the mountainous Front Range and the eastern plains of northern Colorado during epizootics. Isolates collected from across the western United States were included for regional comparisons. By identifying SNPs that mark individual clones, our results strongly suggest that Y. pestis is maintained locally and that widespread epizootic activity is caused by multiple clones arising independently at small geographic scales. This is in contrast to propagation of individual clones being transported widely across landscapes. Regionally, our data are consistent with the notion that Y. pestis diversifies at relatively local scales following long-range translocation events. We recommend that surveillance and prediction by public health and wildlife management professionals focus more on models of local or regional weather patterns and ecological factors that may increase risk of widespread

  1. Testing of the Bio-Seeq (Smiths Detection Handheld PCR Instrument): Sensitivity, Specificity, and Effect of Interferents on Yersinia Pestis Assay Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-04-01

    HANDHELD PCR INSTRUMENT): SENSITIVITY, SPECIFICITY, AND EFFECT OF INTERFERENTS ON YERSINIA PESTIS ASSAY PERFORMANCE Kevin P. O’Connell Patricia E...Bio-Seeq® (Smiths Detection Handheld PCR Instrument): Sensitivity, Specificity, and Effect of Interferents on Yersinia pestis Assay 5b. GRANT NUMBER...DIR, ECBC, ATTN: AMSRD-ECB- RT -BM, APG, MD 21010-5424 NUMBER ECBC-TR-437 9. SPONSORING I MONITORING AGENCY NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) 10. SPONSORIMONITOR’S

  2. Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms Reveal Spatial Diversity Among Clones of Yersinia pestis During Plague Outbreaks in Colorado and the Western United States

    PubMed Central

    Antolin, Michael F.; Andersen, Gary L.; Hu, Ping; Stokowski, Renee P.; Gage, Kenneth L.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background: In western North America, plague epizootics caused by Yersinia pestis appear to sweep across landscapes, primarily infecting and killing rodents, especially ground squirrels and prairie dogs. During these epizootics, the risk of Y. pestis transmission to humans is highest. While empirical models that include climatic conditions and densities of rodent hosts and fleas can predict when epizootics are triggered, bacterial transmission patterns across landscapes, and the scale at which Y. pestis is maintained in nature during inter-epizootic periods, are poorly defined. Elucidating the spatial extent of Y. pestis clones during epizootics can determine whether bacteria are propagated across landscapes or arise independently from local inter-epizootic maintenance reservoirs. Material and Methods: We used DNA microarray technology to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 34 Y. pestis isolates collected in the western United States from 1980 to 2006, 21 of which were collected during plague epizootics in Colorado. Phylogenetic comparisons were used to elucidate the hypothesized spread of Y. pestis between the mountainous Front Range and the eastern plains of northern Colorado during epizootics. Isolates collected from across the western United States were included for regional comparisons. Results: By identifying SNPs that mark individual clones, our results strongly suggest that Y. pestis is maintained locally and that widespread epizootic activity is caused by multiple clones arising independently at small geographic scales. This is in contrast to propagation of individual clones being transported widely across landscapes. Regionally, our data are consistent with the notion that Y. pestis diversifies at relatively local scales following long-range translocation events. We recommend that surveillance and prediction by public health and wildlife management professionals focus more on models of local or regional weather patterns and

  3. Distinct CCR2(+) Gr1(+) cells control growth of the Yersinia pestis ΔyopM mutant in liver and spleen during systemic plague.

    PubMed

    Ye, Zhan; Uittenbogaard, Annette M; Cohen, Donald A; Kaplan, Alan M; Ambati, Jayakrishna; Straley, Susan C

    2011-02-01

    We are using a systemic plague model to identify the cells and pathways that are undermined by the virulence protein YopM of the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis. In this study, we pursued previous findings that Gr1(+) cells are required to selectively limit growth of ΔyopM Y. pestis and that CD11b(+) cells other than polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) are selectively lost in spleens infected with parent Y. pestis. When PMNs were ablated from mice, ΔyopM Y. pestis grew as well as the parent strain in liver but not in spleen, showing that these cells are critical for controlling growth of the mutant in liver but not spleen. In mice lacking expression of the chemokine receptor CCR2, wild-type growth was restored to ΔyopM Y. pestis in both organs. In spleen, the Gr1(+) cells differentially recruited by parent and ΔyopM Y. pestis infections were CCR2(+) Gr1(+) CD11b(+) CD11c(Lo-Int) MAC3(+) iNOS(+) (inducible nitric oxide synthase-positive) inflammatory dendritic cells (iDCs), and their recruitment to spleen from blood was blocked when YopM was present in the infecting strain. Consistent with influx of iDCs being affected by YopM in spleen, the growth defect of the ΔyopM mutant was relieved by the parent Y. pestis strain in a coinfection assay in which the parent strain could affect the fate of the mutant in trans. In a mouse model of bubonic plague, CCR2 also was shown to be required for ΔyopM Y. pestis to show wild-type growth in skin. The data imply that YopM's pathogenic effect indirectly undermines signaling through CCR2. We propose a model for how YopM exerts its different effects in liver and spleen.

  4. Use of an in vitro pharmacodynamic model to derive a moxifloxacin regimen that optimizes kill of Yersinia pestis and prevents emergence of resistance.

    PubMed

    Louie, A; Heine, H S; VanScoy, B; Eichas, A; Files, K; Fikes, S; Brown, D L; Liu, W; Kinzig-Schippers, M; Sörgel, F; Drusano, G L

    2011-02-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague, is classified as a CDC category A bioterrorism pathogen. Streptomycin and doxycycline are the "gold standards" for the treatment of plague. However, streptomycin is not available in many countries, and Y. pestis isolates resistant to streptomycin and doxycycline occur naturally and have been generated in laboratories. Moxifloxacin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that demonstrates potent activity against Y. pestis in in vitro and animal infection models. However, the dose and frequency of administration of moxifloxacin that would be predicted to optimize treatment efficacy in humans while preventing the emergence of resistance are unknown. Therefore, dose range and dose fractionation studies for moxifloxacin were conducted for Y. pestis in an in vitro pharmacodynamic model in which the half-lives of moxifloxacin in human serum were simulated so as to identify the lowest drug exposure and the schedule of administration that are linked with killing of Y. pestis and with the suppression of resistance. In the dose range studies, simulated moxifloxacin regimens of ≥175 mg/day killed drug-susceptible bacteria without resistance amplification. Dose fractionation studies demonstrated that the AUC (area under the concentration-time curve)/MIC ratio predicted kill of drug-susceptible Y. pestis, while the C(max) (maximum concentration of the drug in serum)/MIC ratio was linked to resistance prevention. Monte Carlo simulations predicted that moxifloxacin at 400 mg/day would successfully treat human infection due to Y. pestis in 99.8% of subjects and would prevent resistance amplification. We conclude that in an in vitro pharmacodynamic model, the clinically prescribed moxifloxacin regimen of 400 mg/day is predicted to be highly effective for the treatment of Y. pestis infections in humans. Studies of moxifloxacin in animal models of plague are warranted.

  5. Intraspecies and temperature-dependent variations in susceptibility of Yersinia pestis to the bactericidal action of serum and to polymyxin B.

    PubMed

    Anisimov, Andrey P; Dentovskaya, Svetlana V; Titareva, Galina M; Bakhteeva, Irina V; Shaikhutdinova, Rima Z; Balakhonov, Sergey V; Lindner, Buko; Kocharova, Nina A; Senchenkova, Sof'ya N; Holst, Otto; Pier, Gerald B; Knirel, Yuriy A

    2005-11-01

    Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) structure impacts the bactericidal action of cationic peptides, such as polymyxin B (PMB), and sensitivity to killing by normal human serum (NHS). Cultivation of different subspecies strains of Yersinia pestis isolated from unrelated geographic origins at various temperatures (mammals, 37 degrees C; fleas, 25 degrees C; or winter hibernation, 6 degrees C) affects LPS composition and structure. We tested the susceptibilities of various strains of Y. pestis grown at these different temperatures to PMB and serum bactericidal killing. Both properties varied significantly in response to temperature changes. In Y. pestis subsp. pestis (the main subspecies causing human plague), high levels of resistance to PMB and NHS were detected at 25 degrees C. However, at the same temperature, Y. pestis subsp. caucasica was highly sensitive to PMB. At both of the extreme temperatures, all strains were highly susceptible to PMB. At 25 degrees C and 37 degrees C, Y. pestis subsp. caucasica strain 1146 was highly susceptible to the bactericidal activity of 80% NHS. All Y. pestis strains studied were able to grow in heat-inactivated human serum or in 80% normal mouse serum. At 6 degrees C, all strains were highly sensitive to NHS. Variations in the PMB resistance of different bacterial cultures related to both the content of cationic components (4-amino-4-deoxyarabinose in lipid A and glycine in the core) and a proper combination of terminal monosaccharides in the LPS. The NHS resistance correlated with an elevated content of N-acetylglucosamine in the LPS. Structural variation in the LPS of Y. pestis correlates with the organism's ability to resist innate immunity in both fleas and mammals.

  6. Targeted enrichment of ancient pathogens yielding the pPCP1 plasmid of Yersinia pestis from victims of the Black Death.

    PubMed

    Schuenemann, Verena J; Bos, Kirsten; DeWitte, Sharon; Schmedes, Sarah; Jamieson, Joslyn; Mittnik, Alissa; Forrest, Stephen; Coombes, Brian K; Wood, James W; Earn, David J D; White, William; Krause, Johannes; Poinar, Hendrik N

    2011-09-20

    Although investigations of medieval plague victims have identified Yersinia pestis as the putative etiologic agent of the pandemic, methodological limitations have prevented large-scale genomic investigations to evaluate changes in the pathogen's virulence over time. We screened over 100 skeletal remains from Black Death victims of the East Smithfield mass burial site (1348-1350, London, England). Recent methods of DNA enrichment coupled with high-throughput DNA sequencing subsequently permitted reconstruction of ten full human mitochondrial genomes (16 kb each) and the full pPCP1 (9.6 kb) virulence-associated plasmid at high coverage. Comparisons of molecular damage profiles between endogenous human and Y. pestis DNA confirmed its authenticity as an ancient pathogen, thus representing the longest contiguous genomic sequence for an ancient pathogen to date. Comparison of our reconstructed plasmid against modern Y. pestis shows identity with several isolates matching the Medievalis biovar; however, our chromosomal sequences indicate the victims were infected with a Y. pestis variant that has not been previously reported. Our data reveal that the Black Death in medieval Europe was caused by a variant of Y. pestis that may no longer exist, and genetic data carried on its pPCP1 plasmid were not responsible for the purported epidemiological differences between ancient and modern forms of Y. pestis infections.

  7. Oropsylla hirsuta (Siphonaptera: Ceratophyllidae) can support plague epizootics in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) by early-phase transmission of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Wilder, Aryn P; Eisen, Rebecca J; Bearden, Scott W; Montenieri, John A; Gage, Kenneth L; Antolin, Michael F

    2008-06-01

    Plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, often leads to rapid decimation of black-tailed prairie dog colonies. Flea-borne transmission of Y. pestis has been thought to occur primarily via blocked fleas, and therefore studies of vector efficiency have focused on the period when blockage is expected to occur (> or =5 days post-infection [p.i.]). Oropsylla hirsuta, a prairie dog flea, rarely blocks and transmission is inefficient > or =5 days p.i.; thus, this flea has been considered incapable of explaining rapid dissemination of Y. pestis among prairie dogs. By infecting wild-caught fleas with Y. pestis and exposing naïve mice to groups of fleas at 24, 48, 72, and 96 h p.i., we examined the early-phase (1-4 days p.i.) efficiency of O. hirsuta to transmit Y. pestis to hosts and showed that O. hirsuta is a considerably more efficient vector at this largely overlooked stage (5.19% of fleas transmit Y. pestis at 24 h p.i.) than at later stages. Using a model of vectorial capacity, we suggest that this level of transmission can support plague at an enzootic level in a population when flea loads are within the average observed for black-tailed prairie dogs in nature. Shared burrows and sociality of prairie dogs could lead to accumulation of fleas when host population is reduced as a result of the disease, enabling epizootic spread of plague among prairie dogs.

  8. Antibody against V antigen prevents Yop-dependent growth of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Philipovskiy, Alexander V; Cowan, Clarissa; Wulff-Strobel, Christine R; Burnett, Sandra H; Kerschen, Edward J; Cohen, Donald A; Kaplan, Alan M; Straley, Susan C

    2005-03-01

    The V antigen (LcrV) of the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis is a potent protective antigen that is under development as a vaccine component for humans. LcrV is multifunctional. On the bacterial surface it mediates delivery of a set of toxins called Yops into host cells, and as a released protein it can cause production of the immunosuppressive cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10) and can inhibit chemotaxis of polymorphonuclear neutrophils. It is not known how these mechanisms of LcrV operate, what their relative importance is, when they function during plague, and which are critical to protection by antibody. This study investigated several of these issues. C57BL/6 mice, mice unable to express IL-10, or mice with the macrophage lineage eliminated were treated with a protective anti-LcrV antibody or a nonprotective antibody against YopM and infected intravenously by Y. pestis KIM5 or a strain that lacked the genes encoding all six effector Yops. Viable bacterial numbers were determined at various times. The data indicated that Yops were necessary for Yersinia growth after the bacteria had seeded liver and spleen. Anti-LcrV antibody prevented this growth, even in IL-10-/- mice, demonstrating that one protective mechanism for anti-LcrV antibody is independent of IL-10. Anti-LcrV antibody had no effect on persistence in organs of Y. pestis lacking effector Yops, even though the yersiniae could strongly express LcrV, suggesting that Yops are necessary for building sufficient bacterial numbers to produce enough LcrV for its immunosuppressive effects. In vitro assays showed that anti-LcrV antibody could partially block delivery of Yops and downstream effects of Yops in infected macrophage-like J774A.1 cells. However, cells of the macrophage lineage were found to be dispensable for protection by anti-LcrV antibody in spleen, although they contributed to protection in liver. Taken together, the data support the hypothesis that one protective effect of the antibody is to block

  9. Using every trick in the book: the Pla surface protease of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Suomalainen, Marjo; Haiko, Johanna; Ramu, Päivi; Lobo, Leandro; Kukkonen, Maini; Westerlund-Wikström, Benita; Virkola, Ritva; Lähteenmäki, Kaarina; Korhonen, Timo K

    2007-01-01

    The Pla surface protease of Yersinia pestis, encoded by the Y. pestis-specific plasmid pPCP1, is a versatile virulence factor. In vivo studies have shown that Pla is essential in the establishment of bubonic plague, and in vitro studies have demonstrated various putative virulence functions for the Pla molecule. Pla is a surface protease of the omptin family, and its proteolytic targets include the abundant, circulating human zymogen plasminogen, which is activated by Pla to the serine protease plasmin. Plasmin is important in cell migration, and Pla also proteolytically inactivates the main circulating inhibitor of plasmin, alpha2-antiplasmin. Pla also is an adhesin with affinity for laminin, a major glycoprotein of mammalian basement membranes, which is degraded by plasmin but not by Pla. Together, these functions create uncontrolled plasmin proteolysis targeted at tissue barriers. Other proteolytic targets for Pla include complement proteins. Pla also mediates bacterial invasion into human endothelial cell lines; the adhesive and invasive charateristics of Pla can be genetically dissected from its proteolytic activity. Pla is a 10-stranded antiparallel beta-barrel with five surface-exposed short loops, where the catalytic residues are oriented inwards at the top of the beta-barrel. The sequence of Pla contains a three-dimensional motif for protein binding to lipid A of the lipopolysaccharide. Indeed, the proteolytic activity of Pla requires rough lipopolysaccharide but is sterically inhibited by the O antigen in smooth LPS, which may be the selective advantage of the loss of O antigen in Y. pestis. Members of the omptin family are highly similar in structure but differ in functions and virulence association. The catalytic residues of omptins are conserved, but the variable substrate specificities in proteolysis by Pla and other omptins are dictated by the amino acid sequences near or at the surface loops, and hence reflect differences in substrate binding. The

  10. Extraction of Aerosol-Deposited Yersinia pestis from Indoor Surfaces To Determine Bacterial Environmental Decay

    PubMed Central

    Bartlett, Ryan A.; Yeager, John J.; Leroux, Brian; Ratnesar-Shumate, Shanna; Dabisch, Paul

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Public health and decontamination decisions following an event that causes indoor contamination with a biological agent require knowledge of the environmental persistence of the agent. The goals of this study were to develop methods for experimentally depositing bacteria onto indoor surfaces via aerosol, evaluate methods for sampling and enumerating the agent on surfaces, and use these methods to determine bacterial surface decay. A specialized aerosol deposition chamber was constructed, and methods were established for reproducible and uniform aerosol deposition of bacteria onto four coupon types. The deposition chamber facilitated the control of relative humidity (RH; 10 to 70%) following particle deposition to mimic the conditions of indoor environments, as RH is not controlled by standard heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Extraction and culture-based enumeration methods to quantify the viable bacteria on coupons were shown to be highly sensitive and reproducible. To demonstrate the usefulness of the system for decay studies, Yersinia pestis persistence as a function of surface type at 21°C and 40% RH was determined to be >40%/min for all surfaces. Based upon these results, at typical indoor temperature and RH, a 6-log reduction in titer would expected to be achieved within 1 h as the result of environmental decay on surfaces without active decontamination. The developed approach will facilitate future persistence and decontamination studies with a broad range of biological agents and surfaces, providing agent decay data to inform both assessments of risk to personnel entering a contaminated site and decontamination decisions following biological contamination of an indoor environment. IMPORTANCE Public health and decontamination decisions following contamination of an indoor environment with a biological agent require knowledge of the environmental persistence of the agent. Previous studies on Y. pestis persistence have

  11. Extraction of Aerosol-Deposited Yersinia pestis from Indoor Surfaces To Determine Bacterial Environmental Decay.

    PubMed

    Gut, Ian M; Bartlett, Ryan A; Yeager, John J; Leroux, Brian; Ratnesar-Shumate, Shanna; Dabisch, Paul; Karaolis, David K R

    2016-05-01

    Public health and decontamination decisions following an event that causes indoor contamination with a biological agent require knowledge of the environmental persistence of the agent. The goals of this study were to develop methods for experimentally depositing bacteria onto indoor surfaces via aerosol, evaluate methods for sampling and enumerating the agent on surfaces, and use these methods to determine bacterial surface decay. A specialized aerosol deposition chamber was constructed, and methods were established for reproducible and uniform aerosol deposition of bacteria onto four coupon types. The deposition chamber facilitated the control of relative humidity (RH; 10 to 70%) following particle deposition to mimic the conditions of indoor environments, as RH is not controlled by standard heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Extraction and culture-based enumeration methods to quantify the viable bacteria on coupons were shown to be highly sensitive and reproducible. To demonstrate the usefulness of the system for decay studies,Yersinia pestis persistence as a function of surface type at 21 °C and 40% RH was determined to be >40%/min for all surfaces. Based upon these results, at typical indoor temperature and RH, a 6-log reduction in titer would expected to be achieved within 1 h as the result of environmental decay on surfaces without active decontamination. The developed approach will facilitate future persistence and decontamination studies with a broad range of biological agents and surfaces, providing agent decay data to inform both assessments of risk to personnel entering a contaminated site and decontamination decisions following biological contamination of an indoor environment. Public health and decontamination decisions following contamination of an indoor environment with a biological agent require knowledge of the environmental persistence of the agent. Previous studies on Y. pestis persistence have utilized large liquid

  12. Toward a molecular pathogenic pathway for Yersinia pestis YopM

    PubMed Central

    Uittenbogaard, Annette M.; Chelvarajan, R. Lakshman; Myers-Morales, Tanya; Gorman, Amanda A.; Brickey, W. June; Ye, Zhan; Kaplan, Alan M.; Cohen, Donald A.; Ting, Jenny P.-Y.; Straley, Susan C.

    2012-01-01

    YopM is one of the six “effector Yops” of the human-pathogenic Yersinia, but its mechanism has not been defined. After delivery to J774A.1 monocyte-like cells, YopM can rapidly bind and activate the serine/threonine kinases RSK1 and PRK2. However, in infected mice, effects of Y. pestis YopM have been seen only after 24–48 h post-infection (p.i.). To identify potential direct effects of YopM in-vivo we tested for effects of YopM at 1 h and 16–18 h p.i. in mice infected systemically with 106 bacteria. At 16 h p.i., there was a robust host response to both parent and ΔyopM-1 Y. pestis KIM5. Compared to cells from non-infected mice, CD11b+ cells from spleens of infected mice produced more than 100-fold greater IFNγ. In the corresponding sera there were more than 100-fold greater amounts of IFNγ, G-CSF, and CXCL9, as well as more than 10-fold greater amounts of IL-6, CXCL10, and CXCL1. The only YopM-related differences were slightly lower CXCL10 and IL-6 in sera from mice infected 16 h with parent compared to ΔyopM-1 Y. pestis. Microarray analysis of the CD11b+ cells did not identify consistent transcriptional differences of ≥4-fold at 18 h p.i. However, at 1 h p.i. mRNA for early growth response transcription factor 1 (Egr1) was decreased when YopM was present. Bone marrow-derived macrophages infected for 1 h also expressed lower Egr1 message when YopM was present. Infected J774A.1 cells showed greater expression of Egr1 at 1 h p.i. when YopM was present, but this pattern reversed at 3 h. At 6 h p.i., Cxcl10 mRNA was lower in parent-strain infected cells. We conclude that decreased Egr1 expression is a very early transcriptional effect of YopM and speculate that a pathway may exist from RSK1 through Egr1. These studies revealed novel early transcriptional effects of YopM but point to a time after 18 h of infection when critical transitional events lead to later major effects on cytokine gene transcription. PMID:23248776

  13. Two Isoforms of Yersinia pestis Plasminogen Activator Pla: Intraspecies Distribution, Intrinsic Disorder Propensity, and Contribution to Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Dentovskaya, Svetlana V.; Platonov, Mikhail E.; Svetoch, Tat’yana E.; Kopylov, Pavel Kh.; Kombarova, Tat’yana I.; Ivanov, Sergey A.; Shaikhutdinova, Rima Z.; Kolombet, Lyubov’ V.; Chauhan, Sadhana; Ablamunits, Vitaly G.; Motin, Vladimir L.; Uversky, Vladimir N.

    2016-01-01

    It has been shown previously that several endemic Y. pestis isolates with limited virulence contained the I259 isoform of the outer membrane protease Pla, while the epidemic highly virulent strains possessed only the T259 Pla isoform. Our sequence analysis of the pla gene from 118 Y. pestis subsp. microtus strains revealed that the I259 isoform was present exclusively in the endemic strains providing a convictive evidence of more ancestral origin of this isoform. Analysis of the effects of the I259T polymorphism on the intrinsic disorder propensity of Pla revealed that the I259T mutation slightly increases the intrinsic disorder propensity of the C-terminal tail of Pla and makes this protein slightly more prone for disorder-based protein-protein interactions, suggesting that the T259 Pla could be functionally more active than the I259 Pla. This assumption was proven experimentally by assessing the coagulase and fibrinolytic activities of the two Pla isoforms in human plasma, as well as in a direct fluorometric assay with the Pla peptide substrate. The virulence testing of Pla-negative or expressing the I259 and T259 Pla isoforms Y. pestis subsp. microtus and subsp. pestis strains did not reveal any significant difference in LD50 values and dose-dependent survival assays between them by using a subcutaneous route of challenge of mice and guinea pigs or intradermal challenge of mice. However, a significant decrease in time-to-death was observed in animals infected with the epidemic T259 Pla-producing strains as compared to the parent Pla-negative variants. Survival curves of the endemic I259 Pla+ strains fit between them, but significant difference in mean time to death post infection between the Pla−strains and their I259 Pla+ variants could be seen only in the isogenic set of subsp. pestis strains. These findings suggest an essential role for the outer membrane protease Pla evolution in Y. pestis bubonic infection exacerbation that is necessary for

  14. Two Isoforms of Yersinia pestis Plasminogen Activator Pla: Intraspecies Distribution, Intrinsic Disorder Propensity, and Contribution to Virulence.

    PubMed

    Dentovskaya, Svetlana V; Platonov, Mikhail E; Svetoch, Tat'yana E; Kopylov, Pavel Kh; Kombarova, Tat'yana I; Ivanov, Sergey A; Shaikhutdinova, Rima Z; Kolombet, Lyubov' V; Chauhan, Sadhana; Ablamunits, Vitaly G; Motin, Vladimir L; Uversky, Vladimir N; Anisimov, Andrey P

    2016-01-01

    It has been shown previously that several endemic Y. pestis isolates with limited virulence contained the I259 isoform of the outer membrane protease Pla, while the epidemic highly virulent strains possessed only the T259 Pla isoform. Our sequence analysis of the pla gene from 118 Y. pestis subsp. microtus strains revealed that the I259 isoform was present exclusively in the endemic strains providing a convictive evidence of more ancestral origin of this isoform. Analysis of the effects of the I259T polymorphism on the intrinsic disorder propensity of Pla revealed that the I259T mutation slightly increases the intrinsic disorder propensity of the C-terminal tail of Pla and makes this protein slightly more prone for disorder-based protein-protein interactions, suggesting that the T259 Pla could be functionally more active than the I259 Pla. This assumption was proven experimentally by assessing the coagulase and fibrinolytic activities of the two Pla isoforms in human plasma, as well as in a direct fluorometric assay with the Pla peptide substrate. The virulence testing of Pla-negative or expressing the I259 and T259 Pla isoforms Y. pestis subsp. microtus and subsp. pestis strains did not reveal any significant difference in LD50 values and dose-dependent survival assays between them by using a subcutaneous route of challenge of mice and guinea pigs or intradermal challenge of mice. However, a significant decrease in time-to-death was observed in animals infected with the epidemic T259 Pla-producing strains as compared to the parent Pla-negative variants. Survival curves of the endemic I259 Pla+ strains fit between them, but significant difference in mean time to death post infection between the Pla-strains and their I259 Pla+ variants could be seen only in the isogenic set of subsp. pestis strains. These findings suggest an essential role for the outer membrane protease Pla evolution in Y. pestis bubonic infection exacerbation that is necessary for intensification

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-01

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

  16. An Active Site Water Network in the Plasminogen Activator Pla from Yersinia pestis

    SciTech Connect

    Eren, Elif; Murphy, Megan; Goguen, Jon; van den Berg, Bert

    2010-08-13

    The plasminogen activator Pla from Yersinia pestis is an outer membrane protease (omptin) that is important for the virulence of plague. Here, we present the high-resolution crystal structure of wild-type, enzymatically active Pla at 1.9 {angstrom}. The structure shows a water molecule located between active site residues D84 and H208, which likely corresponds to the nucleophilic water. A number of other water molecules are present in the active site, linking residues important for enzymatic activity. The R211 sidechain in loop L4 is close to the nucleophilic water and possibly involved in the stabilization of the oxyanion intermediate. Subtle conformational changes of H208 result from the binding of lipopolysaccharide to the outside of the barrel, explaining the unusual dependence of omptins on lipopolysaccharide for activity. The Pla structure suggests a model for the interaction with plasminogen substrate and provides a more detailed understanding of the catalytic mechanism of omptin proteases.

  17. Temporal Global Changes in Gene Expression during Temperature Transition in Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Motin, Vladimir L.; Georgescu, Anca M.; Fitch, Joseph P.; Gu, Pauline P.; Nelson, David O.; Mabery, Shalini L.; Garnham, Janine B.; Sokhansanj, Bahrad A.; Ott, Linda L.; Coleman, Matthew A.; Elliott, Jeffrey M.; Kegelmeyer, Laura M.; Wyrobek, Andrew J.; Slezak, Thomas R.; Brubaker, Robert R.; Garcia, Emilio

    2004-01-01

    DNA microarrays encompassing the entire genome of Yersinia pestis were used to characterize global regulatory changes during steady-state vegetative growth occurring after shift from 26 to 37°C in the presence and absence of Ca2+. Transcriptional profiles revealed that 51, 4, and 13 respective genes and open reading frames (ORFs) on pCD, pPCP, and pMT were thermoinduced and that the majority of these genes carried by pCD were downregulated by Ca2+. In contrast, Ca2+ had little effect on chromosomal genes and ORFs, of which 235 were thermally upregulated and 274 were thermally downregulated. The primary consequence of these regulatory events is profligate catabolism of numerous metabolites available in the mammalian host. PMID:15342600

  18. Temporal global changes in gene expression during temperature transition in Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Motin, Vladimir L; Georgescu, Anca M; Fitch, Joseph P; Gu, Pauline P; Nelson, David O; Mabery, Shalini L; Garnham, Janine B; Sokhansanj, Bahrad A; Ott, Linda L; Coleman, Matthew A; Elliott, Jeffrey M; Kegelmeyer, Laura M; Wyrobek, Andrew J; Slezak, Thomas R; Brubaker, Robert R; Garcia, Emilio

    2004-09-01

    DNA microarrays encompassing the entire genome of Yersinia pestis were used to characterize global regulatory changes during steady-state vegetative growth occurring after shift from 26 to 37 degrees C in the presence and absence of Ca2+. Transcriptional profiles revealed that 51, 4, and 13 respective genes and open reading frames (ORFs) on pCD, pPCP, and pMT were thermoinduced and that the majority of these genes carried by pCD were downregulated by Ca2+. In contrast, Ca2+ had little effect on chromosomal genes and ORFs, of which 235 were thermally upregulated and 274 were thermally downregulated. The primary consequence of these regulatory events is profligate catabolism of numerous metabolites available in the mammalian host.

  19. Using a bacteriocin structure to engineer a phage lysin that targets Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Lukacik, Petra; Barnard, Travis J; Buchanan, Susan K

    2012-12-01

    Purified phage lysins present an alternative to traditional antibiotics and work by hydrolysing peptidoglycan. Phage lysins have been developed against Gram-positive pathogens such as Bacillus anthracis and Streptococcus pneumoniae, where the peptidoglycan layer is exposed on the cell surface. Addition of the lysin to a bacterial culture results in rapid death of the organism. Gram-negative bacteria are resistant to phage lysins because they contain an outer membrane that protects the peptidoglycan from degradation. We solved crystal structures of a Yersinia pestis outer-membrane protein and the bacteriocin that targets it, which informed engineering of a bacterial-phage hybrid lysin that can be transported across the outer membrane to kill specific Gram-negative bacteria. This work provides a template for engineering phage lysins against a wide variety of bacterial pathogens.

  20. No evidence of deer mouse involvement in plague (Yersinia pestis) epizootics in prairie dogs.

    PubMed

    Salkeld, Daniel J; Stapp, Paul

    2008-06-01

    Plague, the disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, can have devastating impacts on black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies. One suggested mechanism behind sporadic prairie dog die-offs involves an alternative mammal host, such as the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), which often inhabits prairie dog colonies. We examined the flea populations of deer mice to investigate the potential of flea-borne transmission of plague between deer mice and prairie dogs in northern Colorado, where plague is active in prairie dog colonies. Deer mice were predominantly infested with the flea Aetheca wagneri, and were rarely infested with prairie dog fleas, Oropsylla hirsuta. Likelihood of flea infestation increased with average monthly temperature, and flea loads were higher in reproductive animals. These results suggest that the deer mouse is an unlikely maintenance host of plague in this region.

  1. [Change in the habitat of Yersinia pestis in the Gorno-Altaisk natural focus of plague].

    PubMed

    Korzun, V M; Chipanin, E V; Balakhonov, S V; Denisov, A V; Rozhdestvenskiĭ, E N; Mihaĭlov, E P; Iarygina, M B; Kosilko, S A

    2014-01-01

    The paper analyzes the change that occurred in the habitat of the causative agent of plague in its Gorno-Altaisk natural focus in 1961 to 2012. Since 1961 when the plague microbe was found to come from the southern slopes of the Saylyugem mountain range, which are located in Mongolia, to the northern slopes situated in Russia, a gradual expansion of the habitat of Yersenia pestis subsp. altaica had commenced in South-Eastern Altai. During the considered period, the area where epizootic manifestations were registered showed an 11-fold increase. In most cases, the spread of the plague pathogen within the focus was natural and occurred in the successive and closely related settlements of Mongolian pikas (Ochotona pallasi). By now, the plague microbe has been widely distributed in three populations of this small animal, which inhabit the territory of South-Eastern Altai.

  2. Different genes govern Yersinia pestis pathogenicity in Caenorhabditis elegans and human lice.

    PubMed

    Houhamdi, Linda; Raoult, Didier

    2008-05-01

    To assess the role of virulence factors identified in Caenorhabditis elegans in the transmission of plague by lice, we infected 100 lice by feeding them on rabbits and made them bacteremic; the rabbits had been intravenously inoculated with 10(9) CFU of six different mutant Yersinia pestis strains of lower pathogenicity for C. elegans, obtained from the KIM5 strain. This strain lacks genes used for biofilm formation. High mortality rates were observed in all lice, which excreted viable bacteria in their feces. Mutants killed rabbits when infected intravenously, but mutants were not transmitted to rabbits by infected lice. We conclude that the genes governing pathogenicity in C. elegans and louse are not identical.

  3. The structure of LsrB from Yersinia pestis complexed with autoinducer-2

    PubMed Central

    Kavanaugh, Jeffrey S.; Gakhar, Lokesh; Horswill, Alexander R.

    2011-01-01

    The crystal structure of LsrB from Yersinia pestis complexed with autoinducer-2 (AI-2; space group P212121, unit-cell parameters a = 40.61, b = 61.03, c = 125.23 Å) has been solved by molecular replacement using the structure of LsrB from Salmonella typhimurium (PDB entry 1tjy) and refined to R = 0.180 (R free = 0.213) at 1.75 Å resolution. The electron density for bound AI-2 and the stereochemistry of the AI-2-binding site are consistent with bound AI-2 adopting the (2R,4S)-2-methyl-2,3,3,4-tetrahydroxytetrahydrofuran conformation, just as has been observed in the crystal structures of the Salmonella typhimurium and Sinorhizobium meliloti LsrB–AI-2 complexes. PMID:22139152

  4. Diagnosis of plague and identification of virulence markers in Yersinia pestis by multiplex-PCR.

    PubMed

    Leal, N C; Almeida, A M

    1999-01-01

    We have developed a procedure for the rapid diagnosis of plague that also allows the identification of prominent virulence markers of Y. pestis strains. This procedure is based upon the use of a single polymerase chain reaction with multiple pairs of primers directed at genes present in the three virulence plasmids as well as in the chromosomal pathogenicity island of the bacterium. The technique allowed the discrimination of strains which lacked one or more of the known pathogenic loci, using as template total DNA obtained from bacterial cultures and from simulated blood cultures containing diluted concentration of bacteria. It also proved effective in confirming the disease in a blood culture from a plague suspected patient. As the results are obtained in a few hours this technique will be useful in the methodology of the Plague Control Program.

  5. An active site water network in the plasminogen activator pla from Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Eren, Elif; Murphy, Megan; Goguen, Jon; van den Berg, Bert

    2010-07-14

    The plasminogen activator Pla from Yersinia pestis is an outer membrane protease (omptin) that is important for the virulence of plague. Here, we present the high-resolution crystal structure of wild-type, enzymatically active Pla at 1.9 A. The structure shows a water molecule located between active site residues D84 and H208, which likely corresponds to the nucleophilic water. A number of other water molecules are present in the active site, linking residues important for enzymatic activity. The R211 sidechain in loop L4 is close to the nucleophilic water and possibly involved in the stabilization of the oxyanion intermediate. Subtle conformational changes of H208 result from the binding of lipopolysaccharide to the outside of the barrel, explaining the unusual dependence of omptins on lipopolysaccharide for activity. The Pla structure suggests a model for the interaction with plasminogen substrate and provides a more detailed understanding of the catalytic mechanism of omptin proteases.

  6. Virulence Role of V Antigen of Yersinia pestis at the Bacterial Surface

    PubMed Central

    Fields, Kenneth A.; Nilles, Matthew L.; Cowan, Clarissa; Straley, Susan C.

    1999-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of plague, secretes a set of environmentally regulated, plasmid pCD1-encoded virulence proteins termed Yops and V antigen (LcrV) by a type III secretion mechanism (Ysc). LcrV is a multifunctional protein that has been shown to act at the level of secretion control by binding the Ysc inner-gate protein LcrG and to modulate the host immune response by altering cytokine production. LcrV also is essential for the unidirectional targeting of Yops to the cytosol of infected eukaryotic cells. In this study, we constructed an in-frame deletion within lcrG (ΔlcrG3) to further analyze the requirement of LcrV in Yop targeting. We confirmed the essentiality of LcrV and found that LcrG may have a facilitative role, perhaps by promoting efficient secretion of LcrV. We also constructed mutants of lcrV expressing LcrV truncated at the N or C terminus. Both the N and C termini of LcrV were required for the secretion of LcrV into the medium and targeting of Yops. LcrV was detected in punctate zones on the surface of fixed Y. pestis by laser-scanning confocal microscopy, and this localization required a functional Ysc. However, the truncated LcrV proteins were not found on the bacterial surface. Finally, we tested the ability of LcrV-specific Fab antibody fragments or full-length antibody to interfere with Yop targeting and found no interference, even though this antibody protects mice against plague. These results indicate that LcrV may function in Yop targeting at the extracellular surface of yersiniae and that the protective efficacy of LcrV-specific antibodies can be manifested without blocking Yop targeting. PMID:10496922

  7. Host stress and immune responses during aerosol challenge of Brown Norway rats with Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Gater, Susan T.; Peters, Kristen N.; Kocsis, Andrew G.; Dhariwala, Miqdad O.; Anderson, Deborah M.; Anderson, Paul E.

    2012-01-01

    Inhalation exposure models are becoming the preferred method for the comparative study of respiratory infectious diseases due to their resemblance to the natural route of infection. To enable precise delivery of pathogen to the lower respiratory tract in a manner that imposes minimal biosafety risk, nose-only exposure systems have been developed. Early inhalation exposure technology for infectious disease research grew out of technology used in asthma research where predominantly the Collison nebulizer is used to generate an aerosol by beating a liquid sample against glass. Although infectious aerosol droplets of 1–5 μm in size can be generated, the Collison often causes loss of viability. In this work, we evaluate a gentler method for aerosolization of living cells and describe the use of the Sparging Liquid Aerosol Generator (SLAG) in a rat pneumonic plague model. The SLAG creates aerosols by continuous dripping of liquid sample on a porous metal disc. We show the generation of 0.5–1 μm Yersinia pestis aerosol particles using the SLAG with spray factors typically ranging from 10−7 to 10−8 with no detectable loss of bacterial viability. Delivery of these infectious particles via nose-only exposure led to the rapid development of lethal pneumonic plague. Further, we evaluated the effect of restraint-stress imposed by the nose-only exposure chamber on early inflammatory responses and bacterial deposition. Elevated serum corticosterone which peaked at 2 h post-procedure indicated the animals experienced stress as a result of restraint in the nose-only chamber. However, we observed no correlation between elevated corticosterone and the amount of bacterial deposition or inflammation in the lungs. Together these data demonstrate the utility of the SLAG and the nose-only chamber for aerosol challenge of rodents by Y. pestis. PMID:23226684

  8. A Yersinia pestis lpxM-mutant live vaccine induces enhanced immunity against bubonic plague in mice and guinea pigs.

    PubMed

    Feodorova, V A; Pan'kina, L N; Savostina, E P; Sayapina, L V; Motin, V L; Dentovskaya, S V; Shaikhutdinova, R Z; Ivanov, S A; Lindner, B; Kondakova, A N; Bystrova, O V; Kocharova, N A; Senchenkova, S N; Holst, O; Pier, G B; Knirel, Y A; Anisimov, A P

    2007-11-01

    The lpxM mutant of the live vaccine Yersinia pestis EV NIIEG strain synthesising a less toxic penta-acylated lipopolysaccharide was found to be avirulent in mice and guinea pigs, notably showing no measurable virulence in Balb/c mice which do retain some susceptibility to the parental strain itself. Twenty-one days after a single injection of the lpxM-mutant, 85-100% protection was achieved in outbred mice and guinea pigs, whereas a 43% protection rate was achieved in Balb/c mice given single low doses (10(3) to 2.5 x 10(4) CFU) of this vaccine. A subcutaneous challenge with 2000 median lethal doses (equal to 20,000 CFU) of fully virulent Y. pestis 231 strain, is a 6-10-fold higher dose than that which the EV NIIEG itself can protect against.

  9. Multiple antigens of Yersinia pestis delivered by live recombinant attenuated Salmonella vaccine strains elicit protective immunity against plague.

    PubMed

    Sanapala, Shilpa; Rahav, Hannah; Patel, Hetal; Sun, Wei; Curtiss, Roy

    2016-05-05

    Based on our improved novel Salmonella vaccine delivery platform, we optimized the recombinant attenuated Salmonella typhimurium vaccine (RASV) χ12094 to deliver multiple Yersinia pestis antigens. These included LcrV196 (amino acids, 131-326), Psn encoded on pYA5383 and F1 encoded in the chromosome, their synthesis did not cause adverse effects on bacterial growth. Oral immunization with χ12094(pYA5383) simultaneously stimulated high antibody titers to LcrV, Psn and F1 in mice and presented complete protection against both subcutaneous (s.c.) and intranasal (i.n.) challenges with high lethal doses of Y. pestis CO92. Moreover, no deaths or other disease symptoms were observed in SCID mice orally immunized with χ12094(pYA5383) over a 60-day period. Therefore, the trivalent S. typhimurium-based live vaccine shows promise for a next-generation plague vaccine. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Prevalence and abundance of fleas in black-tailed prairie dog burrows: implications for the transmission of plague (Yersinia pestis).

    PubMed

    Salkeld, Dan J; Stapp, Paul

    2008-06-01

    Plague, the disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, can have devastating impacts on North American wildlife. Epizootics, or die-offs, in prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) occur sporadically and fleas (Siphonaptera) are probably important in the disease's transmission and possibly as maintenance hosts of Y. pestis between epizootics. We monitored changes in flea abundance in prairie dog burrows in response to precipitation, temperature, and plague activity in shortgrass steppe in northern Colorado. Oropsylla hirsuta was the most commonly found flea, and it increased in abundance with temperature. In contrast, Oropsylla tuberculata cynomuris declined with rising temperature. During plague epizootics, flea abundance in burrows increased and then subsequently declined after the extirpation of their prairie dog hosts.

  11. Stable Reagent for the Detection of Antibody to the Specific Fraction I Antigen of Yersinia pestis1

    PubMed Central

    Rust, James H.; Berman, Sanford; Habig, William H.; Marshall, John D.; Cavanaugh, Dan C.

    1972-01-01

    A stable hemagglutinating antigen for detection of fraction I (FR-I) antibody of Yersinia pestis (Pasteurella pestis) is described. The antigen was prepared by sensitizing tanned, pyruvaldehyde-treated sheep erythrocytes (PAT SRBC) with FR-I antigen. Preliminary standardization by titration of each lot of FR-I was required to minimize the effect of molecular heterogeneity of specific FR-I antigen and to eliminate nonspecific reactions caused by the presence of a minor antigenic contaminant. In tests with sera from rabbits, dogs, and humans, FR-I PAT SRBC were as reactive as the previously employed standard antigen, FR-I-sensitized tanned erythrocytes. Fluid suspensions of FR-I PAT SRBC stored at 4 C for 3 months, or lyophilized preparations stored at ambient temperature for 6 months, showed no loss in antigenic activity. PMID:5062977

  12. Absence of Yersinia pestis-specific DNA in human teeth from five European excavations of putative plague victims.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, M Thomas P; Cuccui, Jon; White, William; Lynnerup, Niels; Titball, Richard W; Cooper, Alan; Prentice, Michael B

    2004-02-01

    This study reports the results of a collaborative study undertaken by two independent research groups to (a) confirm recent PCR-based detection of Yersinia pestis DNA in human teeth from medieval plague victims in France, and (b) to extend these observations over five different European burial sites believed to contain plague victims dating from the late 13th to 17th centuries. Several different sets of primers were used, including those previously documented to yield positive results on ancient DNA extracts. No Y. pestis DNA could be amplified from DNA extracted from 108 teeth belonging to 61 individuals, despite the amplification of numerous other bacterial DNA sequences. Several methods of extracting dentine prior to the DNA extraction were also compared. PCR for bacterial 16S rDNA indicated the presence of multiple bacterial species in 23 out of 27 teeth DNA extracts where dentine was extracted using previously described methods. In comparison, positive results were obtained from only five out of 44 teeth DNA extracts for which a novel contamination-minimizing embedding technique was used. Therefore, high levels of environmental bacterial DNA are present in DNA extracts where previously described methods of tooth manipulation are used. To conclude, the absence of Y. pestis-specific DNA in an exhaustive search using specimens from multiple putative European plague burial sites does not allow us to confirm the identification of Y. pestis as the aetiological agent of the Black Death and subsequent plagues. In addition, the utility of the published tooth-based ancient DNA technique used to diagnose fatal bacteraemias in historical epidemics still awaits independent corroboration.

  13. Investigation of Yersinia pestis laboratory adaptation through a combined genomics and proteomics approach

    SciTech Connect

    Leiser, Owen P.; Merkley, Eric D.; Clowers, Brian H.; Kaiser, Brooke L. Deatherage; Lin, Andy; Hutchison, Janine R.; Melville, Angela M.; Wagner, David M.; Keim, Paul S.; Foster, Jeff; Kreuzer, Helen W.

    2015-11-24

    Here, the bacterial pathogen Yersinia pestis, the cause of plague in humans and animals, normally has a sylvatic lifestyle, cycling between fleas and mammals. In contrast, laboratory-grown Y. pestis experiences a more constant environment and conditions that it would not normally encounter. The transition from the natural environment to the laboratory results in a vastly different set of selective pressures, and represents what could be considered domestication. Understanding the kinds of adaptations Y. pestis undergoes as it becomes domesticated will contribute to understanding the basic biology of this important pathogen. In this study, we performed a Parallel Serial Passage Experiment (PSPE) to explore the mechanisms by which Y. pestis adapts to laboratory conditions, hypothesizing that cells would undergo significant changes in virulence and nutrient acquisition systems. Two wild strains were serially passaged in 12 independent populations each for ~750 generations, after which each population was analyzed using whole-genome sequencing. We observed considerable parallel evolution in the endpoint populations, detecting multiple independent mutations in ail, pepA, and zwf, suggesting that specific selective pressures are shaping evolutionary responses. Complementary LC-MS-based proteomic data provide physiological context to the observed mutations, and reveal regulatory changes not necessarily associated with specific mutations, including changes in amino acid metabolism, envelope biogenesis, iron storage and acquisition, and a type VI secretion system. Proteomic data support hypotheses generated by genomic data in addition to suggesting future mechanistic studies, indicating that future whole-genome sequencing studies be designed to leverage proteomics as a critical complement.

  14. Entry of Yersinia Pestis into the Viable but Nonculturable State in a Low-Temperature Tap Water Microcosm

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-03-16

    to enter the VBNC state [17,18,19,20]. In addition, many other bacterial pathogens, including Francisella tularensis, Vibrio cholerae , and Escherichia... Vibrio cholerae , and Escherichia coli enter the VBNC state [12,21]. In addition, the two closest pathogenic relatives of Y. pestis, namely Y...2001) Viability of the Nonculturable Vibrio cholerae O1 and O139. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 24: 331–341. 38. Jang KI, Kim MG, Ha SD, Kim KS

  15. Acquisition of Maternal Antibodies both from the Placenta and by Lactation Protects Mouse Offspring from Yersinia pestis Challenge

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Zhizhen; Zhao, Haihong; Zhang, Qingwen; Bi, Yujing; Ren, Lingling; Zhang, Xuecan; Yang, Hanqing; Yang, Xiaoyan; Wang, Qiong; Li, Cunxiang; Zhou, Jiyuan; Xin, Youquan; Yang, Yonghai; Yang, Huiying; Du, Zongmin; Tan, Yafang; Han, Yanping; Song, Yajun; Zhou, Lei; Zhang, Pingping; Cui, Yujun; Yan, Yanfeng; Zhou, Dongsheng

    2012-01-01

    Artificially passive immunization has been demonstrated to be effective against Yersinia pestis infection in animals. However, maternal antibodies' protective efficacy against plague has not yet been demonstrated. Here, we evaluated the kinetics, protective efficacy, and transmission modes of maternal antibodies, using mice immunized with plague subunit vaccine SV1 (20 μg of F1 and 10 μg of rV270). The results showed that the rV270- and F1-specific antibodies could be detected in the sera of newborn mice (NM) until 10 and 14 weeks of age, respectively. There was no antibody titer difference between the parturient mice immunized with SV1 (PM-S) and the caesarean-section newborns (CSN) from the PM-S or between the lactating mice immunized by SV1 (LM-S) and the cross-fostered mice (CFM) during 3 weeks of lactation. The NM had a 72% protection against 4,800 CFU Y. pestis strain 141 challenge at 6 weeks of age, whereas at 14 weeks of age, NM all succumbed to 5,700 CFU of Y. pestis challenge. After 7 weeks of age, CFM had an 84% protection against 5,000 CFU of Y. pestis challenge. These results indicated that maternal antibodies induced by the plague subunit vaccine in mother mice can be transferred to NM by both placenta and lactation. Passive antibodies from the immunized mothers could persist for 3 months and provide early protection for NM. The degree of early protection is dependent on levels of the passively acquired antibody. The results indicate that passive immunization should be an effective countermeasure against plague during its epidemics. PMID:22933398

  16. The Yersinia pestis caf1M1A1 fimbrial capsule operon promotes transmission by flea bite in a mouse model of bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Sebbane, Florent; Jarrett, Clayton; Gardner, Donald; Long, Daniel; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2009-03-01

    Plague is a zoonosis transmitted by fleas and caused by the gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis. During infection, the plasmidic caf1M1A1 operon that encodes the Y. pestis F1 protein capsule is highly expressed, and anti-F1 antibodies are protective. Surprisingly, the capsule is not required for virulence after injection of cultured bacteria, even though it is an antiphagocytic factor and capsule-deficient Y. pestis strains are rarely isolated. We found that a caf-negative Y. pestis mutant was not impaired in either flea colonization or virulence in mice after intradermal inoculation of cultured bacteria. In contrast, absence of the caf operon decreased bubonic plague incidence after a flea bite. Successful development of plague in mice infected by flea bite with the caf-negative mutant required a higher number of infective bites per challenge. In addition, the mutant displayed a highly autoaggregative phenotype in infected liver and spleen. The results suggest that acquisition of the caf locus via horizontal transfer by an ancestral Y. pestis strain increased transmissibility and the potential for epidemic spread. In addition, our data support a model in which atypical caf-negative strains could emerge during climatic conditions that favor a high flea burden. Human infection with such strains would not be diagnosed by the standard clinical tests that detect F1 antibody or antigen, suggesting that more comprehensive surveillance for atypical Y. pestis strains in plague foci may be necessary. The results also highlight the importance of studying Y. pestis pathogenesis in the natural context of arthropod-borne transmission.

  17. Cethromycin-Mediated Protection against the Plague Pathogen Yersinia pestis in a Rat Model of Infection and Comparison with Levofloxacin ▿

    PubMed Central

    Rosenzweig, Jason A.; Brackman, Sheri M.; Kirtley, Michelle L.; Sha, Jian; Erova, Tatiana E.; Yeager, Linsey A.; Peterson, Johnny W.; Xu, Ze-Qi; Chopra, Ashok K.

    2011-01-01

    The Gram-negative plague bacterium, Yersinia pestis, has historically been regarded as one of the deadliest pathogens known to mankind, having caused three major pandemics. After being transmitted by the bite of an infected flea arthropod vector, Y. pestis can cause three forms of human plague: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic, with the latter two having very high mortality rates. With increased threats of bioterrorism, it is likely that a multidrug-resistant Y. pestis strain would be employed, and, as such, conventional antibiotics typically used to treat Y. pestis (e.g., streptomycin, tetracycline, and gentamicin) would be ineffective. In this study, cethromycin (a ketolide antibiotic which inhibits bacterial protein synthesis and is currently in clinical trials for respiratory tract infections) was evaluated for antiplague activity in a rat model of pneumonic infection and compared with levofloxacin, which operates via inhibition of bacterial topoisomerase and DNA gyrase. Following a respiratory challenge of 24 to 30 times the 50% lethal dose of the highly virulent Y. pestis CO92 strain, 70 mg of cethromycin per kg of body weight (orally administered twice daily 24 h postinfection for a period of 7 days) provided complete protection to animals against mortality without any toxic effects. Further, no detectable plague bacilli were cultured from infected animals' blood and spleens following cethromycin treatment. The antibiotic was most effective when administered to rats 24 h postinfection, as the animals succumbed to infection if treatment was further delayed. All cethromycin-treated survivors tolerated 2 subsequent exposures to even higher lethal Y. pestis doses without further antibiotic treatment, which was related, in part, to the development of specific antibodies to the capsular and low-calcium-response V antigens of Y. pestis. These data demonstrate that cethromycin is a potent antiplague drug that can be used to treat pneumonic plague. PMID:21859946

  18. Homology analysis and cross-immunogenicity of OmpA from pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yuhuang; Duan, Ran; Li, Xu; Li, Kewei; Liang, Junrong; Liu, Chang; Qiu, Haiyan; Xiao, Yuchun; Jing, Huaiqi; Wang, Xin

    2015-12-01

    The outer membrane protein A (OmpA) is one of the intra-species conserved proteins with immunogenicity widely found in the family of Enterobacteriaceae. Here we first confirmed OmpA is conserved in the three pathogenic Yersinia: Yersinia pestis, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica, with high homology at the nucleotide level and at the amino acid sequence level. The identity of ompA sequences for 262 Y. pestis strains, 134 Y. pseudotuberculosis strains and 219 pathogenic Y. enterocolitica strains are 100%, 98.8% and 97.7% similar. The main pattern of OmpA of pathogenic Yersinia are 86.2% and 88.8% identical at the nucleotide and amino acid sequence levels, respectively. Immunological analysis showed the immunogenicity of each OmpA and cross-immunogenicity of OmpA for pathogenic Yersinia where OmpA may be a vaccine candidate for Y. pestis and other pathogenic Yersinia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Rapid Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing of Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, and Burkholderia pseudomallei by Use of Laser Light Scattering Technology

    PubMed Central

    Lascols, Christine; Sue, David; Weigel, Linda M.

    2016-01-01

    Rapid methods to determine antimicrobial susceptibility would assist in the timely distribution of effective treatment or postexposure prophylaxis in the aftermath of the release of bacterial biothreat agents such as Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, or Burkholderia pseudomallei. Conventional susceptibility tests require 16 to 48 h of incubation, depending on the bacterial species. We evaluated a method that is based on laser light scattering technology that measures cell density in real time. We determined that it has the ability to rapidly differentiate between growth (resistant) and no growth (susceptible) of several bacterial threat agents in the presence of clinically relevant antimicrobials. Results were available in <4 h for B. anthracis and <6 h for Y. pestis and B. pseudomallei. One exception was B. pseudomallei in the presence of ceftazidime, which required >10 h of incubation. Use of laser scattering technology decreased the time required to determine antimicrobial susceptibility by 50% to 75% for B. anthracis, Y. pestis, and B. pseudomallei compared to conventional methods. PMID:26984973

  20. Detection of Yersinia pestis using real-time PCR in patients with suspected bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Riehm, Julia M; Rahalison, Lila; Scholz, Holger C; Thoma, Bryan; Pfeffer, Martin; Razanakoto, Léa Mamiharisoa; Al Dahouk, Sascha; Neubauer, Heinrich; Tomaso, Herbert

    2011-02-01

    Yersinia (Y.) pestis, the causative agent of plague, is endemic in natural foci of Asia, Africa, and America. Real-time PCR assays have been described as rapid diagnostic tools, but so far none has been validated for its clinical use. In a retrospective clinical study we evaluated three real-time PCR assays in two different assay formats, 5'-nuclease and hybridization probes assays. Lymph node aspirates from 149 patients from Madagascar with the clinical diagnosis of bubonic plague were investigated for the detection of Y. pestis DNA. Results of real-time PCR assays targeting the virulence plasmids pPCP1 (pla gene), and pMT1 (caf1, Ymt genes) were compared with an F1-antigen immunochromatographic test (ICT) and cultivation of the organism. Out of the 149 samples an infection with Y. pestis was confirmed by culture in 47 patients while ICT was positive in 88 including all culture proven cases. The best real-time PCR assay was the 5'-nuclease assay targeting pla which was positive in 120 cases. In conclusion, the 5'-nuclease assay targeting pla can be recommended as diagnostic tool for establishing a presumptive diagnosis when bubonic plague is clinically suspected. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. A refrigeration temperature of 4 degrees C does not prevent static growth of Yersinia pestis in heart infusion broth.

    PubMed

    Torosian, Stephen D; Regan, Patrick M; Doran, Tara; Taylor, Michael A; Margolin, Aaron

    2009-09-01

    Multiple barriers such as inspections, testing, and proper storage conditions are used to minimize the risk of contaminated food. Knowledge of which barriers, such as refrigeration, are effective in preventing pathogen growth and persistence, can help direct the focus of efforts during food sampling. In this study, the doubling times were evaluated for 10 strains of Yersinia pestis of different genetic background cultured in heart infusion broth (HIB) kept at 4 degrees C +/- 1 degrees C under static conditions. Nine out of the 10 strains were able to grow at 4 degrees C +/- 1 degrees C. Apparent doubling times for 7 of the strains ranged from 41 to 50 h. Strain Harbin and strain D1 had apparent doubling times of 65 and 35 h, respectively, and strain O19 Ca-6 did not grow at all. Analysis of variance showed that the averaged growth data (colony forming units per mL) between strains that grew were not significantly different. The data presented here demonstrate that refrigeration alone is not an effective barrier to prevent static growth of Y. pestis in HIB. These findings provide the preliminary impetus to investigate Y. pestis growth in a variety of food matrices that may provide a similar environment as HIB.

  2. Homology analysis of pathogenic Yersinia species Yersinia enterocolitica, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, and Yersinia pestis based on multilocus sequence typing.

    PubMed

    Duan, Ran; Liang, Junrong; Shi, Guoxiang; Cui, Zhigang; Hai, Rong; Wang, Peng; Xiao, Yuchun; Li, Kewei; Qiu, Haiyan; Gu, Wenpeng; Du, Xiaoli; Jing, Huaiqi; Wang, Xin

    2014-01-01

    We developed a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme and used it to study the population structure and evolutionary relationships of three pathogenic Yersinia species. MLST of these three Yersinia species showed a complex of two clusters, one composed of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia pestis and the other composed of Yersinia enterocolitica. Within the first cluster, the predominant Y. pestis sequence type 90 (ST90) was linked to Y. pseudotuberculosis ST43 by one locus difference, and 81.25% of the ST43 strains were from serotype O:1b, supporting the hypothesis that Y. pestis descended from the O:1b serotype of Y. pseudotuberculosis. We also found that the worldwide-prevalent serotypes O:1a, O:1b, and O:3 were predominated by specific STs. The second cluster consisted of pathogenic and nonpathogenic Y. enterocolitica strains, two of which may not have identical STs. The pathogenic Y. enterocolitica strains formed a relatively conserved group; most strains clustered within ST186 and ST187. Serotypes O:3, O:8, and O:9 were separated into three distinct blocks. Nonpathogenic Y. enterocolitica STs were more heterogeneous, reflecting genetic diversity through evolution. By providing a better and effective MLST procedure for use with the Yersinia community, valuable information and insights into the genetic evolutionary differences of these pathogens were obtained.

  3. Genetic variations of live attenuated plague vaccine strains (Yersinia pestis EV76 lineage) during laboratory passages in different countries.

    PubMed

    Cui, Yujun; Yang, Xianwei; Xiao, Xiao; Anisimov, Andrey P; Li, Dongfang; Yan, Yanfeng; Zhou, Dongsheng; Rajerison, Minoarisoa; Carniel, Elisabeth; Achtman, Mark; Yang, Ruifu; Song, Yajun

    2014-08-01

    Plague, one of the most devastating infectious diseases in human history, is caused by the bacterial species Yersinia pestis. A live attenuated Y. pestis strain (EV76) has been widely used as a plague vaccine in various countries around the world. Here we compared the whole genome sequence of an EV76 strain used in China (EV76-CN) with the genomes of Y. pestis wild isolates to identify genetic variations specific to the EV76 lineage. We identified 6 SNPs and 6 Indels (insertions and deletions) differentiating EV76-CN from its counterparts. Then, we screened these polymorphic sites in 28 other strains of EV76 lineage that were stored in different countries. Based on the profiles of SNPs and Indels, we reconstructed the parsimonious dissemination history of EV76 lineage. This analysis revealed that there have been at least three independent imports of EV76 strains into China. Additionally, we observed that the pyrE gene is a mutation hotspot in EV76 lineages. The fine comparison results based on whole genome sequence in this study provide better understanding of the effects of laboratory passages on the accumulation of genetic polymorphisms in plague vaccine strains. These variations identified here will also be helpful in discriminating different EV76 derivatives. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Adjunctive Corticosteroid Treatment Against Yersinia pestis Improves Bacterial Clearance, Immunopathology, and Survival in the Mouse Model of Bubonic Plague.

    PubMed

    Levy, Yinon; Vagima, Yaron; Tidhar, Avital; Zauberman, Ayelet; Aftalion, Moshe; Gur, David; Fogel, Itay; Chitlaru, Theodor; Flashner, Yehuda; Mamroud, Emanuelle

    2016-09-15

    Plague is initiated by Yersinia pestis, a highly virulent bacterial pathogen. In late stages of the infection, bacteria proliferate extensively in the internal organs despite the massive infiltration of neutrophils. The ineffective inflammatory response associated with tissue damage may contribute to the low efficacy of antiplague therapies during late stages of the infection. In the present study, we address the possibility of improving therapeutic efficacy by combining corticosteroid administration with antibody therapy in the mouse model of bubonic plague. Mice were subcutaneously infected with a fully virulent Y. pestis strain and treated at progressive stages of the disease with anti-Y. pestis antibodies alone or in combination with the corticosteroid methylprednisolone. The addition of methylprednisolone to antibody therapy correlated with improved mouse survival, a significant decrease in the amount of neutrophils and matrix metalloproteinase 9 in the tissues, and the mitigation of tissue damage. Interestingly, the combined treatment led to a decrease in the bacterial loads in infected organs. Corticosteroids induce an unexpectedly effective antibacterial response apart from their antiinflammatory properties, thereby improving treatment efficacy. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Intranasal Administration of an Inactivated Yersinia pestis Vaccine with Interleukin-12 Generates Protective Immunity against Pneumonic Plague ▿ #

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Devender; Kirimanjeswara, Girish; Metzger, Dennis W.

    2011-01-01

    Inhalation of Yersinia pestis causes pneumonic plague, which rapidly progresses to death. A previously licensed killed whole-cell vaccine is presently unavailable due to its reactogenicity and inconclusive evidence of efficacy. The present study now shows that vaccination intranasally (i.n.) with inactivated Y. pestis CO92 (iYp) adjuvanted with interleukin-12 (IL-12) followed by an i.n. challenge with a lethal dose of Y. pestis CO92 prevented bacterial colonization and protected 100% of mice from pneumonic plague. Survival of the vaccinated mice correlated with levels of systemic and lung antibodies, reduced pulmonary pathology and proinflammatory cytokines, and the presence of lung lymphoid cell aggregates. Protection against pneumonic plague was partially dependent upon Fc receptors and could be transferred to naïve mice with immune mouse serum. On the other hand, protection was not dependent upon complement, and following vaccination, depletion of CD4 and/or CD8 T cells before challenge did not affect survival. In summary, the results demonstrate the safety, immunogenicity, and protective efficacy of i.n. administered iYp plus IL-12 in a mouse model of pneumonic plague. PMID:21880856

  6. The omptins of Yersinia pestis and Salmonella enterica cleave the reactive center loop of plasminogen activator inhibitor 1.

    PubMed

    Haiko, Johanna; Laakkonen, Liisa; Juuti, Katri; Kalkkinen, Nisse; Korhonen, Timo K

    2010-09-01

    Plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) is a serine protease inhibitor (serpin) and a key molecule that regulates fibrinolysis by inactivating human plasminogen activators. Here we show that two important human pathogens, the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis and the enteropathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, inactivate PAI-1 by cleaving the R346-M347 bait peptide bond in the reactive center loop. No cleavage of PAI-1 was detected with Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, an oral/fecal pathogen from which Y. pestis has evolved, or with Escherichia coli. The cleavage and inactivation of PAI-1 were mediated by the outer membrane proteases plasminogen activator Pla of Y. pestis and PgtE protease of S. enterica, which belong to the omptin family of transmembrane endopeptidases identified in Gram-negative bacteria. Cleavage of PAI-1 was also detected with the omptins Epo of Erwinia pyrifoliae and Kop of Klebsiella pneumoniae, which both belong to the same omptin subfamily as Pla and PgtE, whereas no cleavage of PAI-1 was detected with omptins of Shigella flexneri or E. coli or the Yersinia chromosomal omptins, which belong to other omptin subfamilies. The results reveal a novel serpinolytic mechanism by which enterobacterial species expressing omptins of the Pla subfamily bypass normal control of host proteolysis.

  7. Genome sequencing and analysis of Yersina pestis KIM D27, an avirulent strain exempt from select agent regulation.

    PubMed

    Losada, Liliana; Varga, John J; Hostetler, Jessica; Radune, Diana; Kim, Maria; Durkin, Scott; Schneewind, Olaf; Nierman, William C

    2011-04-29

    Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of the plague. Y. pestis KIM 10+ strain was passaged and selected for loss of the 102 kb pgm locus, resulting in an attenuated strain, KIM D27. In this study, whole genome sequencing was performed on KIM D27 in order to identify any additional differences. Initial assemblies of 454 data were highly fragmented, and various bioinformatic tools detected between 15 and 465 SNPs and INDELs when comparing both strains, the vast majority associated with A or T homopolymer sequences. Consequently, Illumina sequencing was performed to improve the quality of the assembly. Hybrid sequence assemblies were performed and a total of 56 validated SNP/INDELs and 5 repeat differences were identified in the D27 strain relative to published KIM 10+ sequence. However, further analysis showed that 55 of these SNP/INDELs and 3 repeats were errors in the KIM 10+ reference sequence. We conclude that both 454 and Illumina sequencing were required to obtain the most accurate and rapid sequence results for Y. pestis KIMD27. SNP and INDELS calls were most accurate when both Newbler and CLC Genomics Workbench were employed. For purposes of obtaining high quality genome sequence differences between strains, any identified differences should be verified in both the new and reference genomes.

  8. The Yersinia pestis Ail protein mediates binding and Yop delivery to host cells required for plague virulence.

    PubMed

    Felek, Suleyman; Krukonis, Eric S

    2009-02-01

    Although adhesion to host cells is a critical step in the delivery of cytotoxic Yop proteins by Yersinia pestis, the mechanism has not been defined. To identify adhesins critical for Yop delivery, we initiated two transposon mutagenesis screens using the mariner transposon. To avoid redundant cell binding activities, we initiated the screen with a strain deleted for two known adhesins, pH 6 antigen and the autotransporter, YapC, as well as the Caf1 capsule, which is known to obscure some adhesins. The mutants that emerged contained insertions within the ail (attachment and invasion locus) gene of Y. pestis. A reconstructed mutant with a single deletion in the ail locus (y1324) was severely defective for delivery of Yops to HEp-2 human epithelial cells and significantly defective for delivery of Yops to THP-1 human monocytes. Specifically, the Yop delivery defect was apparent when cell rounding and translocation of an ELK-tagged YopE derivative into host cells were monitored. Although the ail mutant showed only a modest decrease in cell binding capacity in vitro, the KIM5 Deltaail mutant exhibited a >3,000-fold-increased 50% lethal dose in mice. Mice infected with the Deltaail mutant also had 1,000-fold fewer bacteria in their spleens, livers, and lungs 3 days after infection than did those infected with the parental strain, KIM5. Thus, the Ail protein is critical for both Y. pestis type III secretion in vitro and infection in mice.

  9. Differential impact of lipopolysaccharide defects caused by loss of RfaH in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, Jared M; Sullivan, Shea; Wu, Erin; Wilson, Eric; Erickson, David L

    2017-09-07

    RfaH enhances transcription of a select group of operons controlling bacterial surface features such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Previous studies have suggested that rfaH may be required for Yersinia pseudotuberculosis resistance to antimicrobial chemokines and survival during mouse infections. In order to further investigate the role of RfaH in LPS synthesis, resistance to host defense peptides, and virulence of Yersinia, we constructed ΔrfaH mutants of Y. pseudotuberculosis IP32953 and Y. pestis KIM6+. Loss of rfaH affected LPS synthesis in both species, resulting in a shorter core oligosaccharide. Susceptibility to polymyxin and the antimicrobial chemokine CCL28 was increased by loss of rfaH in Y. pseudotuberculosis but not in Y. pestis. Transcription of genes in the ddhD-wzz O-antigen gene cluster, but not core oligosaccharide genes, was reduced in ΔrfaH mutants. In addition, mutants with disruptions in specific ddhD-wzz O-antigen cluster genes produced LPS that was indistinguishable from the ΔrfaH mutant. This suggests that both Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. pestis produce an oligosaccharide core with a single O-antigen unit attached in an RfaH-dependent fashion. Despite enhanced sensitivity to host defense peptides, the Y. pseudotuberculosis ΔrfaH strain was not attenuated in mice, suggesting that rfaH is not required for acute infection.

  10. [Comparison of efficacy of tests for differentiation of typical and atypical strains of Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis].

    PubMed

    Arsen'eva, T E; Lebedeva, S A; Trukhachev, A L; Vasil'eva, E A; Ivanova, V S; Bozhko, N V

    2010-01-01

    To characterize species specificity of officially recommended tests for differentiation of Yersiniapestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and propose additional tests allowing for more accurate identification. Natural, laboratory and typical strains oftwo Yersinia species were studied using microbiological, molecular and biochemical methods. For PCR species-specific primers complementary to certain fragments of chromosomal DNA of each species as well as to several plasmid genes of Y. pestis were used. It was shown that such attributes of Y. pestis as form of colonies, fermentation ofrhamnose, melibiose and urea, susceptibility to diagnostic phages, nutritional requirements could be lost in pestis bacterial species or detected in pseudotuberculosis species. Such attribute as mobility as well as positive result of CoA-reaction on fraction V antigen are more reliable. Guaranteed differentiation of typical and changed according to differential tests strains is provided only by PCR-analysis with primers vlml2for/ISrev216 and JS respectively, which are homologous to certain chromosome fragments of one of two Yersinia species.

  11. Reciprocal regulation of Yersinia pestis biofilm formation and virulence by RovM and RovA

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Lei; Fang, Haihong; Yang, Huiying; Zhang, Yiquan; Han, Yanping; Zhou, Dongsheng; Yang, Ruifu

    2016-01-01

    RovA is known to enhance Yersinia pestis virulence by directly upregulating the psa loci. This work presents a complex gene regulatory paradigm involving the reciprocal regulatory action of RovM and RovA on the expression of biofilm and virulence genes as well as on their own genes. RovM and RovA enhance and inhibit Y. pestis biofilm production, respectively, whereas RovM represses virulence in mice. RovM directly stimulates the transcription of hmsT, hmsCDE and rovM, while indirectly enhancing hmsHFRS transcription. It also indirectly represses hmsP transcription. By contrast, RovA directly represses hmsT transcription and indirectly inhibits waaAE-coaD transcription, while RovM inhibits psaABC and psaEF transcription by directly repressing rovA transcription. rovM expression is significantly upregulated at 26°C (the temperature of the flea gut) relative to 37°C (the warm-blooded host temperature). We speculate that upregulation of rovM together with downregulation of rovA in the flea gut would promote Y. pestis biofilm formation while inhibiting virulence gene expression, leading to a more transmissible infection of this pathogen in fleas. Once the bacterium shifts to a lifestyle in the warm-blooded hosts, inhibited RovM production accompanied by recovered RovA synthesis would encourage virulence factor production and inhibit biofilm gene expression. PMID:26984293

  12. Genome Sequencing and Analysis of Yersina pestis KIM D27, an Avirulent Strain Exempt from Select Agent Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Losada, Liliana; Varga, John J.; Hostetler, Jessica; Radune, Diana; Kim, Maria; Durkin, Scott; Schneewind, Olaf; Nierman, William C.

    2011-01-01

    Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of the plague. Y. pestis KIM 10+ strain was passaged and selected for loss of the 102 kb pgm locus, resulting in an attenuated strain, KIM D27. In this study, whole genome sequencing was performed on KIM D27 in order to identify any additional differences. Initial assemblies of 454 data were highly fragmented, and various bioinformatic tools detected between 15 and 465 SNPs and INDELs when comparing both strains, the vast majority associated with A or T homopolymer sequences. Consequently, Illumina sequencing was performed to improve the quality of the assembly. Hybrid sequence assemblies were performed and a total of 56 validated SNP/INDELs and 5 repeat differences were identified in the D27 strain relative to published KIM 10+ sequence. However, further analysis showed that 55 of these SNP/INDELs and 3 repeats were errors in the KIM 10+ reference sequence. We conclude that both 454 and Illumina sequencing were required to obtain the most accurate and rapid sequence results for Y. pestis KIMD27. SNP and INDELS calls were most accurate when both Newbler and CLC Genomics Workbench were employed. For purposes of obtaining high quality genome sequence differences between strains, any identified differences should be verified in both the new and reference genomes. PMID:21559501

  13. Yersinia pestis insecticidal-like toxin complex (Tc) family proteins: characterization of expression, subcellular localization, and potential role in infection of the flea vector.

    PubMed

    Spinner, Justin L; Jarrett, Clayton O; LaRock, Doris L; Miller, Samuel I; Collins, Carleen M; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2012-12-18

    Toxin complex (Tc) family proteins were first identified as insecticidal toxins in Photorhabdus luminescens and have since been found in a wide range of bacteria. The genome of Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic plague, contains a locus that encodes the Tc protein homologues YitA, YitB, YitC, and YipA and YipB. Previous microarray data indicate that the Tc genes are highly upregulated by Y. pestis while in the flea vector; however, their role in the infection of fleas and pathogenesis in the mammalian host is unclear. We show that the Tc proteins YitA and YipA are highly produced by Y. pestis while in the flea but not during growth in brain heart infusion (BHI) broth at the same temperature. Over-production of the LysR-type regulator YitR from an exogenous plasmid increased YitA and YipA synthesis in broth culture. The increase in production of YitA and YipA correlated with the yitR copy number and was temperature-dependent. Although highly synthesized in fleas, deletion of the Tc proteins did not alter survival of Y. pestis in the flea or prevent blockage of the proventriculus. Furthermore, YipA was found to undergo post-translational processing and YipA and YitA are localized to the outer membrane of Y. pestis. YitA was also detected by immunofluorescence microscopy on the surface of Y. pestis. Both YitA and YipA are produced maximally at low temperature but persist for several hours after transfer to 37°C. Y. pestis Tc proteins are highly expressed in the flea but are not essential for Y. pestis to stably infect or produce a transmissible infection in the flea. However, YitA and YipA localize to the outer membrane and YitA is exposed on the surface, indicating that at least YitA is present on the surface when Y. pestis is transmitted into the mammalian host from the flea.

  14. Znu is the predominant zinc importer in Yersinia pestis during in vitro growth but is not essential for virulence.

    PubMed

    Desrosiers, Daniel C; Bearden, Scott W; Mier, Ildefonso; Abney, Jennifer; Paulley, James T; Fetherston, Jacqueline D; Salazar, Juan C; Radolf, Justin D; Perry, Robert D

    2010-12-01

    Little is known about Zn homeostasis in Yersinia pestis, the plague bacillus. The Znu ABC transporter is essential for zinc (Zn) uptake and virulence in a number of bacterial pathogens. Bioinformatics analysis identified ZnuABC as the only apparent high-affinity Zn uptake system in Y. pestis. Mutation of znuACB caused a growth defect in Chelex-100-treated PMH2 growth medium, which was alleviated by supplementation with submicromolar concentrations of Zn. Use of transcriptional reporters confirmed that Zur mediated Zn-dependent repression and that it can repress gene expression in response to Zn even in the absence of Znu. Virulence testing in mouse models of bubonic and pneumonic plague found only a modest increase in survival in low-dose infections by the znuACB mutant. Previous studies of cluster 9 (C9) transporters suggested that Yfe, a well-characterized C9 importer for manganese (Mn) and iron in Y. pestis, might function as a second, high-affinity Zn uptake system. Isothermal titration calorimetry revealed that YfeA, the solute-binding protein component of Yfe, binds Mn and Zn with comparably high affinities (dissociation constants of 17.8 ± 4.4 nM and 6.6 ± 1.2 nM, respectively), although the complete Yfe transporter could not compensate for the loss of Znu in in vitro growth studies. Unexpectedly, overexpression of Yfe interfered with the znu mutant's ability to grow in low concentrations of Zn, while excess Zn interfered with the ability of Yfe to import iron at low concentrations; these results suggest that YfeA can bind Zn in the bacterial cell but that Yfe is incompetent for transport of the metal. In addition to Yfe, we have now eliminated MntH, FetMP, Efe, Feo, a substrate-binding protein, and a putative nickel transporter as the unidentified, secondary Zn transporter in Y. pestis. Unlike other bacterial pathogens, Y. pestis does not require Znu for high-level infectivity and virulence; instead, it appears to possess a novel class of transporter

  15. Complete DNA Sequence and Detailed Analysis of the Yersinia pestis KIM5 Plasmid Encoding Murine Toxin and Capsular Antigen

    PubMed Central

    Lindler, Luther E.; Plano, Gregory V.; Burland, Valerie; Mayhew, George F.; Blattner, Frederick R.

    1998-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, harbors at least three plasmids necessary for full virulence of the organism, two of which are species specific. One of the Y. pestis-specific plasmids, pMT1, is thought to promote deep tissue invasion, resulting in more acute onset of symptoms and death. We determined the entire nucleotide sequence of Y. pestis KIM5 pMT1 and identified potential open reading frames (ORFs) encoded by the 100,990-bp molecule. Based on codon usage for known yersinial genes, homology with known proteins in the databases, and potential ribosome binding sites, we determined that 115 of the potential ORFs which we considered could encode polypeptides in Y. pestis. Five of these ORFs were genes previously identified as being necessary for production of the classic virulence factors, murine toxin (MT), and the fraction 1 (F1) capsule antigen. The regions of pMT1 encoding MT and F1 were surrounded by remnants of multiple transposition events and bacteriophage, respectively, suggesting horizontal gene transfer of these virulence factors. We identified seven new potential virulence factors that might interact with the mammalian host or flea vector. Forty-three of the remaining 115 putative ORFs did not display any significant homology with proteins in the current databases. Furthermore, DNA sequence analysis allowed the determination of the putative replication and partitioning regions of pMT1. We identified a single 2,450-bp region within pMT1 that could function as the origin of replication, including a RepA-like protein similar to RepFIB, RepHI1B, and P1 and P7 replicons. Plasmid partitioning function was located ca. 36 kb from the putative origin of replication and was most similar to the parABS bacteriophage P1 and P7 system. Y. pestis pMT1 encoded potential genes with a high degree of similarity to a wide variety of organisms, plasmids, and bacteriophage. Accordingly, our analysis of the pMT1 DNA sequence emphasized the mosaic nature of

  16. Evaluation of the Murine Immune Response to Xenopsylla cheopis Flea Saliva and Its Effect on Transmission of Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Bosio, Christopher F.; Viall, Austin K.; Jarrett, Clayton O.; Gardner, Donald; Rood, Michael P.; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph

    2014-01-01

    Background/Aims Arthropod-borne pathogens are transmitted into a unique intradermal microenvironment that includes the saliva of their vectors. Immunomodulatory factors in the saliva can enhance infectivity; however, in some cases the immune response that develops to saliva from prior uninfected bites can inhibit infectivity. Most rodent reservoirs of Yersinia pestis experience fleabites regularly, but the effect this has on the dynamics of flea-borne transmission of plague has never been investigated. We examined the innate and acquired immune response of mice to bites of Xenopsylla cheopis and its effects on Y. pestis transmission and disease progression in both naïve mice and mice chronically exposed to flea bites. Methods/Principal Findings The immune response of C57BL/6 mice to uninfected flea bites was characterized by flow cytometry, histology, and antibody detection methods. In naïve mice, flea bites induced mild inflammation with limited recruitment of neutrophils and macrophages to the bite site. Infectivity and host response in naïve mice exposed to flea bites followed immediately by intradermal injection of Y. pestis did not differ from that of mice infected with Y. pestis without prior flea feeding. With prolonged exposure, an IgG1 antibody response primarily directed to the predominant component of flea saliva, a family of 36–45 kDa phosphatase-like proteins, occurred in both laboratory mice and wild rats naturally exposed to X. cheopis, but a hypersensitivity response never developed. The incidence and progression of terminal plague following challenge by infective blocked fleas were equivalent in naïve mice and mice sensitized to flea saliva by repeated exposure to flea bites over a 10-week period. Conclusions Unlike what is observed with many other blood-feeding arthropods, the murine immune response to X. cheopis saliva is mild and continued exposure to flea bites leads more to tolerance than to hypersensitivity. The immune response to flea

  17. Proteolytic processing of the Yersinia pestis YapG autotransporter by the omptin protease Pla and the contribution of YapG to murine plague pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Lane, M. Chelsea; Lenz, Jonathan D.

    2013-01-01

    Autotransporter protein secretion represents one of the simplest forms of secretion across Gram-negative bacterial membranes. Once secreted, autotransporter proteins either remain tethered to the bacterial surface or are released following proteolytic cleavage. Autotransporters possess a diverse array of virulence-associated functions such as motility, cytotoxicity, adherence and autoaggregation. To better understand the role of autotransporters in disease, our research focused on the autotransporters of Yersinia pestis, the aetiological agent of plague. Y. pestis strain CO92 has nine functional conventional autotransporters, referred to as Yaps for Yersinia autotransporter proteins. Three Yaps have been directly implicated in virulence using established mouse models of plague infection (YapE, YapJ and YapK). Whilst previous studies from our laboratory have shown that most of the CO92 Yaps are cell associated, YapE and YapG are processed and released by the omptin protease Pla. In this study, we identified the Pla cleavage sites in YapG that result in many released forms of YapG in Y. pestis, but not in the evolutionarily related gastrointestinal pathogen, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, which lacks Pla. Furthermore, we showed that YapG does not contribute to Y. pestis virulence in established mouse models of bubonic and pneumonic infection. As Y. pestis has a complex life cycle involving a wide range of mammalian hosts and a flea vector for transmission, it remains to be elucidated whether YapG has a measurable role in any other stage of plague disease. PMID:23657527

  18. Validation of inverse seasonal peak mortality in medieval plagues, including the Black Death, in comparison to modern Yersinia pestis-variant diseases.

    PubMed

    Welford, Mark R; Bossak, Brian H

    2009-12-22

    Recent studies have noted myriad qualitative and quantitative inconsistencies between the medieval Black Death (and subsequent "plagues") and modern empirical Y. pestis plague data, most of which is derived from the Indian and Chinese plague outbreaks of A.D. 1900+/-15 years. Previous works have noted apparent differences in seasonal mortality peaks during Black Death outbreaks versus peaks of bubonic and pneumonic plagues attributed to Y. pestis infection, but have not provided spatiotemporal statistical support. Our objective here was to validate individual observations of this seasonal discrepancy in peak mortality between historical epidemics and modern empirical data. We compiled and aggregated multiple daily, weekly and monthly datasets of both Y. pestis plague epidemics and suspected Black Death epidemics to compare seasonal differences in mortality peaks at a monthly resolution. Statistical and time series analyses of the epidemic data indicate that a seasonal inversion in peak mortality does exist between known Y. pestis plague and suspected Black Death epidemics. We provide possible explanations for this seasonal inversion. These results add further evidence of inconsistency between historical plagues, including the Black Death, and our current understanding of Y. pestis-variant disease. We expect that the line of inquiry into the disputed cause of the greatest recorded epidemic will continue to intensify. Given the rapid pace of environmental change in the modern world, it is crucial that we understand past lethal outbreaks as fully as possible in order to prepare for future deadly pandemics.

  19. [Experimental evaluation of interaction between Yersinia pestis and soil infusoria and possibility of prolonged preservation of bacteria in the protozoan oocysts].

    PubMed

    Pushkareva, V I

    2003-01-01

    The character and outcome of interactions between Y. pestis (vaccine strain and soil infusoria Tetrahymena pyriformis (axenic culture) were under experimental study. The parallel use of the bacteriological method and PCR test systems made it possible to follow the dynamics of Y. pestis cells (strain EV) with different plasmid profiles in their interaction with infusoria, as well as their passage into the protozoa cysts. The study revealed the complete utilization of Y. pestis cells lacking virulence factors by infusoria. The presence of plasmids of virulence influenced only the duration of complete bacterial phagocytosis. A drop in the temperature of cultivation to 2 degrees C induced the mass and rapid encystment of infusoria. In the PCR analysis specific DNA fragments of Y. pestis cells, preserved in the latent (uncultivable) state, were detected in the cysts of protozoa within the period of up to 14 months, while the results of bacteriological studies were negative. The data thus obtained are discussed with regard to the possible mechanisms of the existence and prolonged reservation of Y. pestis in the soils of natural foci with participation of protozoa.

  20. Validation of Inverse Seasonal Peak Mortality in Medieval Plagues, Including the Black Death, in Comparison to Modern Yersinia pestis-Variant Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Welford, Mark R.; Bossak, Brian H.

    2009-01-01

    Background Recent studies have noted myriad qualitative and quantitative inconsistencies between the medieval Black Death (and subsequent “plagues”) and modern empirical Y. pestis plague data, most of which is derived from the Indian and Chinese plague outbreaks of A.D. 1900±15 years. Previous works have noted apparent differences in seasonal mortality peaks during Black Death outbreaks versus peaks of bubonic and pneumonic plagues attributed to Y. pestis infection, but have not provided spatiotemporal statistical support. Our objective here was to validate individual observations of this seasonal discrepancy in peak mortality between historical epidemics and modern empirical data. Methodology/Principal Findings We compiled and aggregated multiple daily, weekly and monthly datasets of both Y. pestis plague epidemics and suspected Black Death epidemics to compare seasonal differences in mortality peaks at a monthly resolution. Statistical and time series analyses of the epidemic data indicate that a seasonal inversion in peak mortality does exist between known Y. pestis plague and suspected Black Death epidemics. We provide possible explanations for this seasonal inversion. Conclusions/Significance These results add further evidence of inconsistency between historical plagues, including the Black Death, and our current understanding of Y. pestis-variant disease. We expect that the line of inquiry into the disputed cause of the greatest recorded epidemic will continue to intensify. Given the rapid pace of environmental change in the modern world, it is crucial that we understand past lethal outbreaks as fully as possible in order to prepare for future deadly pandemics. PMID:20027294

  1. Induction of the Yersinia pestis PhoP-PhoQ regulatory system in the flea and its role in producing a transmissible infection.

    PubMed

    Rebeil, Roberto; Jarrett, Clayton O; Driver, James D; Ernst, Robert K; Oyston, Petra C F; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2013-05-01

    Transmission of Yersinia pestis is greatly enhanced after it forms a bacterial biofilm in the foregut of the flea vector that interferes with normal blood feeding. Here we report that the ability to produce a normal foregut-blocking infection depends on induction of the Y. pestis PhoP-PhoQ two-component regulatory system in the flea. Y. pestis phoP-negative mutants achieved normal infection rates and bacterial loads in the flea midgut but produced a less cohesive biofilm both in vitro and in the flea and had a greatly reduced ability to localize to and block the flea foregut. Thus, not only is the PhoP-PhoQ system induced in the flea gut environment, but also this induction is required to produce a normal transmissible infection. The altered biofilm phenotype in the flea was not due to lack of PhoPQ-dependent or PmrAB-dependent addition of aminoarabinose to the Y. pestis lipid A, because an aminoarabinose-deficient mutant that is highly sensitive to cationic antimicrobial peptides had a normal phenotype in the flea digestive tract. In addition to enhancing transmissibility, induction of the PhoP-PhoQ system in the arthropod vector prior to transmission may preadapt Y. pestis to resist the initial encounter with the mammalian innate immune response.

  2. Environmental drivers of Yersinia pestis - a holistic perspective on Medieval Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buentgen, U.

    2009-09-01

    Recent studies have indicated some evidence for a link between climate variability and plague (Yersinia pestis) dynamics in Central Asia and during most of the 20th century. An intensification of plague outbreaks via population peaks in its host-species, the great gerbil (Rhombomys opimus) and its fleas (Xenopsylla spp) has been found to occur during periods of warmer spring and wetter summer climate. This is important, as human epidemics of plague ultimately originate in its wildlife reservoirs. Given the fact that Medieval Europe was strongly devastated by the Black Death - the second pandemic after the Justinian plague ~540AD, and that the worldwide highest quality and quantity of climate proxy data exist for Europe, we here present, for the first time, a holistic approach to enhance understanding of the mid-14th century Black Death. This is of primary importance not only for medical/epidemiological research, but also for other scientific communities, because the Black Death disease had a sustainable impact on the socio-economic development, culture, art, and religion of Medieval Europe. Palaeoclimatic records of annually resolved European temperature and drought variability are compiled, a high-resolution time-series of anthropogenic deforestation is utilized, documentary archives of socio-economic relevance are considered, and the animal-born plague bacterium is placed in the ecological web. Considering the European/North Atlantic sector and the last millennium, periods of high solar radiation and reduced volcanic activity shift the North Atlantic Oscillation into a generally positive mode, yielding towards warmer temperatures and an intensification of the hydrological cycle. We now argue that increased internal circulation resulted in an overall wetter and warmer climate ~1350AD, which most likely was able to promote the prevalence of existing and widespread Yersinia pestis bacillus. Resulting outbreaks of bubonic plague could have been also supported by the

  3. The Yersinia pestis YscY Protein Directly Binds YscX, a Secreted Component of the Type III Secretion Machinery

    PubMed Central

    Day, James B.; Plano, Gregory V.

    2000-01-01

    Human pathogenic yersiniae organisms export and translocate the Yop virulence proteins and V antigen upon contact with a eukaryotic cell. Yersinia pestis mutants defective for production of YscX or YscY were unable to export the Yops and V antigen. YscX and YscY were both present in the Y. pestis cell pellet fraction; however, YscX was also found in the culture supernatant. YscY showed structural and amino acid sequence similarities to the Syc family of proteins. YscY specifically recognized and bound to a region of YscX that included a predicted coiled-coil region. These data suggest that YscY may function as a chaperone for YscX in Y. pestis. PMID:10714987

  4. The Yersinia pestis type III secretion needle plays a role in the regulation of Yop secretion.

    PubMed

    Torruellas, Julie; Jackson, Michael W; Pennock, Jeffry W; Plano, Gregory V

    2005-09-01

    Activation of bacterial virulence-associated type III secretion systems (T3SSs) requires direct contact between a bacterium and a eukaryotic cell. In Yersinia pestis, the cytosolic LcrG protein and a cytosolic YopN-TyeA complex function to block T3S in the presence of extracellular calcium and prior to contact with a eukaryotic cell. The mechanism by which the bacterium senses extracellular calcium and/or cell contact and transmits these signals to the cytosolic compartment is unknown. We report here that YscF, a small protein that polymerizes to form the external needle of the T3SS, is essential for the calcium-dependent regulation of T3S. Alanine-scanning mutagenesis was used to identify YscF mutants that secrete virulence proteins in the presence and absence of calcium and prior to contact with a eukaryotic cell. Interestingly, one of the YscF mutants that exhibited constitutive T3S was unable to translocate secreted proteins across the eukaryotic plasma membrane. These data indicate that the YscF needle is a multifunctional structure that participates in virulence protein secretion, in translocation of virulence proteins across eukaryotic membranes and in the cell contact- and calcium-dependent regulation of T3S.

  5. Membrane localization and topology of the Yersinia pestis YscJ lipoprotein.

    PubMed

    Silva-Herzog, Eugenia; Ferracci, Franco; Jackson, Michael W; Joseph, Sabrina S; Plano, Gregory V

    2008-02-01

    The localization and membrane topology of the Yersinia pestis YscJ lipoprotein, an essential component of the type III secretion apparatus, was investigated. YscJ was demonstrated to be an inner membrane (IM) lipoprotein that is anchored to the periplasmic face of the IM via an N-terminal lipid moiety and via a C-terminal transmembrane (TM) domain. Localization of the N-terminal lipid moiety to the IM occurred regardless of the amino-acid residues found in the +2 or +3 positions. IM localization was dependent upon an intact N-terminal domain (amino acids +1 to +61), suggesting that this region plays a role in YscJ localization. In contrast, the YscJ C-terminal domain and TM domain were not required for IM localization. N-terminal sequence analysis demonstrated that a significant proportion of membrane-localized YscJ lacks N-acylation, the final modification required for Lol-dependent transport of a lipoprotein to the OM. Interestingly, attachment of the N-terminus to the IM was required for YscJ function; however, the YscJ secretion signal and lipo-box could be functionally replaced by the first TM domain of the YscV protein, suggesting that the mechanism of attachment to the IM was not critical.

  6. Susceptibility to Yersinia pestis experimental infection in wild Rattus rattus, reservoir of plague in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Tollenaere, C; Rahalison, L; Ranjalahy, M; Duplantier, J-M; Rahelinirina, S; Telfer, S; Brouat, C

    2010-06-01

    In Madagascar, the black rat, Rattus rattus, is the main reservoir of plague (Yersinia pestis infection), a disease still responsible for hundreds of cases each year in this country. This study used experimental plague challenge to assess susceptibility in wild-caught rats to better understand how R. rattus can act as a plague reservoir. An important difference in plague resistance between rat populations from the plague focus (central highlands) and those from the plague-free zone (low altitude area) was confirmed to be a widespread phenomenon. In rats from the plague focus, we observed that sex influenced plague susceptibility, with males slightly more resistant than females. Other individual factors investigated (weight and habitat of sampling) did not affect plague resistance. When infected at high bacterial dose (more than 10⁵ bacteria injected), rats from the plague focus died mainly within 3-5 days and produced specific antibodies, whereas after low-dose infection (< 5,000 bacteria), delayed mortality was observed and surviving seronegative rats were not uncommon. These results concerning plague resistance level and the course of infection in the black rat would contribute to a better understanding of plague circulation in Madagascar.

  7. Reconstruction of an ancestral Yersinia pestis genome and comparison with an ancient sequence

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background We propose the computational reconstruction of a whole bacterial ancestral genome at the nucleotide scale, and its validation by a sequence of ancient DNA. This rare possibility is offered by an ancient sequence of the late middle ages plague agent. It has been hypothesized to be ancestral to extant Yersinia pestis strains based on the pattern of nucleotide substitutions. But the dynamics of indels, duplications, insertion sequences and rearrangements has impacted all genomes much more than the substitution process, which makes the ancestral reconstruction task challenging. Results We use a set of gene families from 13 Yersinia species, construct reconciled phylogenies for all of them, and determine gene orders in ancestral species. Gene trees integrate information from the sequence, the species tree and gene order. We reconstruct ancestral sequences for ancestral genic and intergenic regions, providing nearly a complete genome sequence for the ancestor, containing a chromosome and three plasmids. Conclusion The comparison of the ancestral and ancient sequences provides a unique opportunity to assess the quality of ancestral genome reconstruction methods. But the quality of the sequencing and assembly of the ancient sequence can also be questioned by this comparison. PMID:26450112

  8. Isothermal solid-phase amplification system for detection of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Mayboroda, Olena; Gonzalez Benito, Angel; Sabaté del Rio, Jonathan; Svobodova, Marketa; Julich, Sandra; Tomaso, Herbert; O'Sullivan, Ciara K; Katakis, Ioanis

    2016-01-01

    DNA amplification is required for most molecular diagnostic applications, but conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has disadvantages for field testing. Isothermal amplification techniques are being developed to respond to this problem. One of them is the recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) that operates at isothermal conditions without sacrificing specificity and sensitivity in easy-to-use formats. In this work, RPA was used for the optical detection of solid-phase amplification of the potential biowarfare agent Yersinia pestis. Thiolated forward primers were immobilized on the surface of maleimide-activated microtitre plates for the quantitative detection of synthetic and genomic DNA, with elongation occurring only in the presence of the specific template DNA and solution phase reverse primers. Quantitative detection was achieved via the use of biotinylated reverse primers and post-amplification addition of streptavidin-HRP conjugate. The overall time of amplification and detection was less than 1 h at a constant temperature of 37 °C. Single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) sequences were detected, achieving detection limits of 4.04*10(-13) and 3.14*10(-16) M, respectively. The system demonstrated high specificity with negligible responses to non-specific targets.

  9. LcrG secretion is not required for blocking of Yops secretion in Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Reina, Laura D; O'Bryant, Deanna M; Matson, Jyl S; Nilles, Matthew L

    2008-02-08

    LcrG, a negative regulator of the Yersinia type III secretion apparatus has been shown to be primarily a cytoplasmic protein, but is secreted at least in Y. pestis. LcrG secretion has not been functionally analyzed and the relevance of LcrG secretion on LcrG function is unknown. An LcrG-GAL4AD chimera, originally constructed for two-hybrid analyses to analyze LcrG protein interactions, appeared to be not secreted but the LcrG-GAL4AD chimera retained the ability to regulate Yops secretion. This result led to further investigation to determine the significance of LcrG secretion on LcrG function. Additional analyses including deletion and substitution mutations of amino acids 2-6 in the N-terminus of LcrG were constructed to analyze LcrG secretion and LcrG's ability to control secretion. Some changes to the N-terminus of LcrG were found to not affect LcrG's secretion or LcrG's secretion-controlling activity. However, substitution of poly-isoleucine in the N-terminus of LcrG did eliminate LcrG secretion but did not affect LcrG's secretion controlling activity. These results indicate that secretion of LcrG, while observable and T3SS mediated, is not relevant for LcrG's ability to control secretion.

  10. LcrG-LcrV interaction is required for control of Yops secretion in Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Matson, J S; Nilles, M L

    2001-09-01

    Yersinia pestis expresses a set of plasmid-encoded virulence proteins called Yops and LcrV that are secreted and translocated into eukaryotic cells by a type III secretion system. LcrV is a multifunctional protein with antihost and positive regulatory effects on Yops secretion that forms a stable complex with a negative regulatory protein, LcrG. LcrG has been proposed to block the secretion apparatus (Ysc) from the cytoplasmic face of the inner membrane under nonpermissive conditions for Yops secretion, when levels of LcrV in the cell are low. A model has been proposed to describe secretion control based on the relative levels of LcrG and LcrV in the bacterial cytoplasm. This model proposes that under secretion-permissive conditions, levels of LcrV are increased relative to levels of LcrG, so that the excess LcrV titrates LcrG away from the Ysc, allowing secretion of Yops to occur. To further test this model, a mutant LcrG protein that could no longer interact with LcrV was created. Expression of this LcrG variant blocked secretion of Yops and LcrV under secretion permissive conditions in vitro and in a tissue culture model. These results agree with the previously described secretion-blocking activity of LcrG and demonstrate that the interaction of LcrV with LcrG is necessary for controlling Yops secretion.

  11. LcrG-LcrV Interaction Is Required for Control of Yops Secretion in Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Matson, Jyl S.; Nilles, Matthew L.

    2001-01-01

    Yersinia pestis expresses a set of plasmid-encoded virulence proteins called Yops and LcrV that are secreted and translocated into eukaryotic cells by a type III secretion system. LcrV is a multifunctional protein with antihost and positive regulatory effects on Yops secretion that forms a stable complex with a negative regulatory protein, LcrG. LcrG has been proposed to block the secretion apparatus (Ysc) from the cytoplasmic face of the inner membrane under nonpermissive conditions for Yops secretion, when levels of LcrV in the cell are low. A model has been proposed to describe secretion control based on the relative levels of LcrG and LcrV in the bacterial cytoplasm. This model proposes that under secretion-permissive conditions, levels of LcrV are increased relative to levels of LcrG, so that the excess LcrV titrates LcrG away from the Ysc, allowing secretion of Yops to occur. To further test this model, a mutant LcrG protein that could no longer interact with LcrV was created. Expression of this LcrG variant blocked secretion of Yops and LcrV under secretion permissive conditions in vitro and in a tissue culture model. These results agree with the previously described secretion-blocking activity of LcrG and demonstrate that the interaction of LcrV with LcrG is necessary for controlling Yops secretion. PMID:11489861

  12. LcrG secretion is not required for blocking of Yops secretion in Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Reina, Laura D; O'Bryant, Deanna M; Matson, Jyl S; Nilles, Matthew L

    2008-01-01

    Background LcrG, a negative regulator of the Yersinia type III secretion apparatus has been shown to be primarily a cytoplasmic protein, but is secreted at least in Y. pestis. LcrG secretion has not been functionally analyzed and the relevance of LcrG secretion on LcrG function is unknown. Results An LcrG-GAL4AD chimera, originally constructed for two-hybrid analyses to analyze LcrG protein interactions, appeared to be not secreted but the LcrG-GAL4AD chimera retained the ability to regulate Yops secretion. This result led to further investigation to determine the significance of LcrG secretion on LcrG function. Additional analyses including deletion and substitution mutations of amino acids 2–6 in the N-terminus of LcrG were constructed to analyze LcrG secretion and LcrG's ability to control secretion. Some changes to the N-terminus of LcrG were found to not affect LcrG's secretion or LcrG's secretion-controlling activity. However, substitution of poly-isoleucine in the N-terminus of LcrG did eliminate LcrG secretion but did not affect LcrG's secretion controlling activity. Conclusion These results indicate that secretion of LcrG, while observable and T3SS mediated, is not relevant for LcrG's ability to control secretion. PMID:18261225

  13. The history of the plague and the research on the causative agent Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Zietz, Björn P; Dunkelberg, Hartmut

    2004-02-01

    The plague is an infectious bacterial disease having a high fatality rate without treatment. It has occurred in three huge pandemics since the 6th century with millions of deaths and numerous smaller epidemics and sporadic cases. Referring to specific clinical symptoms of pulmonary plague the disease became known as the Black Death. This pandemic probably originated in central Asia and began spreading westward along major trade routes. Upon the arrival in the eastern Mediterranean the disease quickly spread especially by sea traffic to Italy, Greece and France and later throughout Europe by land. Until the 18th century many European cities were frequently affected by other great plague epidemics. The worldwide spread of the third pandemic began when the plague reached Hong Kong and Canton in the year 1894. The gram-negative coccobacillus now designated as Yersinia pestis has been discovered as the causative agent of plague in this Hong Kong outbreak. In the following years the role of rats and fleas and their detailed role in the transmission of plague has been discovered and experimentally verified. Today the plague is still endemic in many countries of the world.

  14. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of FabG from Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Nanson, Jeffrey David; Forwood, Jade Kenneth

    2014-01-01

    The type II fatty-acid biosynthesis pathway of bacteria provides enormous potential for antibacterial drug development owing to the structural differences between this and the type I fatty-acid biosynthesis system found in mammals. β-Ketoacyl-ACP reductase (FabG) is responsible for the reduction of the β-ketoacyl group linked to acyl carrier protein (ACP), and is essential for the formation of fatty acids and bacterial survival. Here, the cloning, expression, purification, crystallization and diffraction of FabG from Yersinia pestis (ypFabG), the highly virulent causative agent of plague, are reported. Recombinant FabG was expressed, purified to homogeneity and crystallized via the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion technique. Diffraction data were collected at the Australian Synchrotron to 2.30 Å resolution. The crystal displayed P2(1)2(1)2(1) symmetry, with unit-cell parameters a = 68.22, b = 98.68, c = 169.84 Å, and four ypFabG molecules in the asymmetric unit.

  15. THE IDENTIFICATION AND ISOLATION OF TWO MOUSE-TOXIC PROTEIN COMPONENTS IN EXTRACTS FROM PASTEURELLA PESTIS

    PubMed Central

    Montie, Thomas C.; Montie, Diane B.; Ajl, Samuel J.

    1964-01-01

    The toxin activity of Pasteurella pestis cells, strain "Tjiwidej," was found to be associated with two proteins. Using a disc electrophoresis technique in conjunction with mouse lethality, two toxic proteins were isolated exhibiting intraperitoneal LD50's of less than 1.0 to 1.5 µg protein. Each produced a single characteristic precipitin band on agar gel diffusion plates. The slower migrating toxin in gel diffusion or disc electrophoresis was designated as toxin A. It was shown to be sensitive to deoxycholate and digitonin, did not accumulate in 5-fluorotryptophan treated cells, and was associated with the membrane fraction of the cell. The faster migrating toxin B, apparently is resistant to surface-active agents, and is not affected by treatment of cells with 5-fluorotryptophan. Toxin B is associated with the soluble or cytoplasmic fraction of the cell. This evidence suggested that each toxin represented a distinctly different molecular species. The possibility is discussed that toxin B is synonymous with the murine toxin previously isolated by paper curtain electrophoresis which revealed only one antigen band in the Oudin precipitin reaction. PMID:14238935

  16. The structure of the cyclic enterobacterial common antigen (ECA) from Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Vinogradov, E V; Knirel, Y A; Thomas-Oates, J E; Shashkov, A S; L'vov, V L

    1994-05-20

    Two antigenic acidic polysaccharides related to enterobacterial common antigen (ECA) were isolated from a vaccine strain of a pathogenic microorganism Yersinia pestis. The low molecular weight polysaccharide (LMP) is composed of equal amounts of 2-acetamido-2-deoxy-D-mannuronic acid, 4-acetamido-4,6-dideoxy-D-galactose (Fuc4NAc), and 2-amino-2-deoxy-D-glucose which is partially N- and partially 6-O-acetylated. The structure of the trisaccharide repeating unit was established by analyses of LMP and the completely N-acetylated LMP (LMP-NAc) using 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy, including 2D COSY and 1D NOE spectroscopy. Deamination of LMP with nitrous acid gave a set of oligomers terminated with 2,5-anhydromannose and ranging from tri- to dodeca-saccharides, thus indicating a random distribution of free amino groups. FABMS analyses of LMP and LMP-NAc showed that LMP consists mainly of the cyclic tetramer of the trisaccharide repeating unit together with a small amount of the cyclic trimer and a very small amount of the cyclic pentamer and has, thus, the following structure: [formula: see text] where R is Ac or H (approximately 1:1), R' is Ac or H (approximately 1:4), and n = 4 (major), 3, 5 (minor). Small proportions of the linear trimer and the linear tetramer were also detected in the preparations. The high molecular weight polysaccharide is linear and has the same (or a very similar) repeating unit as LMP.

  17. [Preparation and identification of monoclonal antibodies against Pla protein of Yersinia pestis].

    PubMed

    DU, Chun-Hong; Wang, Peng; Zhang, Jian-Zhong; Tang, Xue; Song, Zhi-Zhong

    2011-09-01

    To prepare the monoclonal antibody of Pla with recombinant Pla (rPla) by hybridoma cell technology, which will lay the foundation for related research work. Purified rPla was collected by washing repeatedly with urea, and BALB/c mice were immunized by them. Hybridoma cells were achieved by Sp2/0 cell fusion with mouse spleen cells from successfully immunized mice. Monoclonal antibody was screened by indirect ELISA and Western blots with rPla, natural crude Pla and GST respectively. Three strains of hybridoma cells (named 15B8, 14H4 and 19A4 respectively) which secreted stably the monoclonal antibody of Pla were obtained. Their subclasses were IgG2a and IgG1 in heavy chains and κ chains in light chains. The ELISA titers of ascites were 10(6); respectively.Three of monoclonal antibody can react with natural crude Pla tested by western blots. Monoclonal antibody of natural Pla of Yersinia pestis were successfully got, which has laid the foundation for further study of the Pla protein and development diagnosis reagent.

  18. Derivatives of Salicylic Acid as Inhibitors of YopH in Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Zunnan; He, Yantao; Zhang, Xian; Gunawan, Andrea; Wu, Li; Zhang, Zhong-Yin; Wong, Chung F.

    2010-01-01

    Yersinia pestis causes diseases ranging from gastrointestinal syndromes to bubonic plague and could be misused as a biological weapon. As its protein tyrosine phosphatase YopH has already been demonstrated as a potential drug target, we have developed two series of forty salicylic acid derivatives and found sixteen to have micromolar inhibitory activity. We designed these ligands to have two chemical moieties connected by a flexible hydrocarbon linker to target two pockets in the active site of the protein to achieve binding affinity and selectivity. One moiety possessed the salicylic acid core intending to target the phosphotyrosine-binding pocket. The other moiety contained different chemical fragments meant to target a nearby secondary pocket. The two series of compounds differed by having hydrocarbon linkers with different lengths. Before experimental co-crystal structures are available, we have performed molecular docking to predict how these compounds might bind to the protein and to generate structural models for performing binding affinity calculation to aid future optimization of these series of compounds. PMID:20560978

  19. Evaluation of protective potential of Yersinia pestis outer membrane protein antigens as possible candidates for a new-generation recombinant plague vaccine.

    PubMed

    Erova, Tatiana E; Rosenzweig, Jason A; Sha, Jian; Suarez, Giovanni; Sierra, Johanna C; Kirtley, Michelle L; van Lier, Christina J; Telepnev, Maxim V; Motin, Vladimir L; Chopra, Ashok K

    2013-02-01

    Plague caused by Yersinia pestis manifests itself in bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic forms. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved levofloxacin, there is no approved human vaccine against plague. The capsular antigen F1 and the low-calcium-response V antigen (LcrV) of Y. pestis represent excellent vaccine candidates; however, the inability of the immune responses to F1 and LcrV to provide protection against Y. pestis F1(-) strains or those which harbor variants of LcrV is a significant concern. Here, we show that the passive transfer of hyperimmune sera from rats infected with the plague bacterium and rescued by levofloxacin protected naive animals against pneumonic plague. Furthermore, 10 to 12 protein bands from wild-type (WT) Y. pestis CO92 reacted with the aforementioned hyperimmune sera upon Western blot analysis. Based on mass spectrometric analysis, four of these proteins were identified as attachment invasion locus (Ail/OmpX), plasminogen-activating protease (Pla), outer membrane protein A (OmpA), and F1. The genes encoding these proteins were cloned, and the recombinant proteins purified from Escherichia coli for immunization purposes before challenging mice and rats with either the F1(-) mutant or WT CO92 in bubonic and pneumonic plague models. Although antibodies to Ail and OmpA protected mice against bubonic plague when challenged with the F1(-) CO92 strain, Pla antibodies were protective against pneumonic plague. In the rat model, antibodies to Ail provided protection only against pneumonic plague after WT CO92 challenge. Together, the addition of Y. pestis outer membrane proteins to a new-generation recombinant vaccine could provide protection against a wide variety of Y. pestis strains.

  20. Evaluation of Protective Potential of Yersinia pestis Outer Membrane Protein Antigens as Possible Candidates for a New-Generation Recombinant Plague Vaccine

    PubMed Central

    Erova, Tatiana E.; Rosenzweig, Jason A.; Sha, Jian; Suarez, Giovanni; Sierra, Johanna C.; Kirtley, Michelle L.; van Lier, Christina J.; Telepnev, Maxim V.; Motin, Vladimir L.

    2013-01-01

    Plague caused by Yersinia pestis manifests itself in bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic forms. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved levofloxacin, there is no approved human vaccine against plague. The capsular antigen F1 and the low-calcium-response V antigen (LcrV) of Y. pestis represent excellent vaccine candidates; however, the inability of the immune responses to F1 and LcrV to provide protection against Y. pestis F1− strains or those which harbor variants of LcrV is a significant concern. Here, we show that the passive transfer of hyperimmune sera from rats infected with the plague bacterium and rescued by levofloxacin protected naive animals against pneumonic plague. Furthermore, 10 to 12 protein bands from wild-type (WT) Y. pestis CO92 reacted with the aforementioned hyperimmune sera upon Western blot analysis. Based on mass spectrometric analysis, four of these proteins were identified as attachment invasion locus (Ail/OmpX), plasminogen-activating protease (Pla), outer membrane protein A (OmpA), and F1. The genes encoding these proteins were cloned, and the recombinant proteins purified from Escherichia coli for immunization purposes before challenging mice and rats with either the F1− mutant or WT CO92 in bubonic and pneumonic plague models. Although antibodies to Ail and OmpA protected mice against bubonic plague when challenged with the F1− CO92 strain, Pla antibodies were protective against pneumonic plague. In the rat model, antibodies to Ail provided protection only against pneumonic plague after WT CO92 challenge. Together, the addition of Y. pestis outer membrane proteins to a new-generation recombinant vaccine could provide protection against a wide variety of Y. pestis strains. PMID:23239803

  1. A Transposon Site Hybridization Screen Identifies galU and wecBC as Important for Survival of Yersinia pestis in Murine Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Kathryn A.; Fukuto, Hana S.; Pelletier, Mark; Romanov, Galina; Grabenstein, Jens P.; Palmer, Lance E.; Ernst, Robert

    2012-01-01

    Yersinia pestis is able to survive and replicate within murine macrophages. However, the mechanism by which Y. pestis promotes its intracellular survival is not well understood. To identify genes that are important for Y. pestis survival in macrophages, a library comprised of ∼31,500 Y. pestis KIM6+ transposon insertion mutants (input pool) was subjected to negative selection in primary murine macrophages. Genes underrepresented in the output pool of surviving bacteria were identified by transposon site hybridization to DNA oligonucleotide microarrays. The screen identified several genes known to be important for survival of Y. pestis in macrophages, including phoPQ and members of the PhoPQ regulon (e.g., pmrF). In addition, genes predicated to encode a glucose-1-phosphate uridylyltransferase (galU), a UDP-N-acetylglucosamine 2-epimerase (wecB) and a UDP-N-acetyl-d-mannosamine dehydrogenase (wecC) were identified in the screen. Viable-count assays demonstrated that a KIM6+ galU mutant and a KIM6+ wecBC mutant were defective for survival in murine macrophages. The galU mutant was studied further because of its strong phenotype. The KIM6+ galU mutant exhibited increased susceptibility to the antimicrobial peptides polymyxin B and cathelicidin-related antimicrobial peptide (CRAMP). Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis demonstrated that the lipooligosaccharide (LOS) of the galU mutant migrated faster than the LOS of the parent KIM6+, suggesting the core was truncated. In addition, the analysis of LOS isolated from the galU mutant by mass spectrometry showed that aminoarabinose modification of lipid A is absent. Therefore, addition of aminoarabinose to lipid A and complete LOS core (galU), as well as enterobacterial common antigen (wecB and wecC), is important for survival of Y. pestis in macrophages. PMID:22139502

  2. Novel Plasmids and Resistance Phenotypes in Yersinia pestis: Unique Plasmid Inventory of Strain Java 9 Mediates High Levels of Arsenic Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Eppinger, Mark; Radnedge, Lyndsay; Andersen, Gary; Vietri, Nicholas; Severson, Grant; Mou, Sherry; Ravel, Jacques; Worsham, Patricia L.

    2012-01-01

    Growing evidence suggests that the plasmid repertoire of Yersinia pestis is not restricted to the three classical virulence plasmids. The Java 9 strain of Y. pestis is a biovar Orientalis isolate obtained from a rat in Indonesia. Although it lacks the Y. pestis-specific plasmid pMT, which encodes the F1 capsule, it retains virulence in mouse and non-human primate animal models. While comparing diverse Y. pestis strains using subtractive hybridization, we identified sequences in Java 9 that were homologous to a Y. enterocolitica strain carrying the transposon Tn2502, which is known to encode arsenic resistance. Here we demonstrate that Java 9 exhibits high levels of arsenic and arsenite resistance mediated by a novel promiscuous class II transposon, named Tn2503. Arsenic resistance was self-transmissible from Java 9 to other Y. pestis strains via conjugation. Genomic analysis of the atypical plasmid inventory of Java 9 identified pCD and pPCP plasmids of atypical size and two previously uncharacterized cryptic plasmids. Unlike the Tn2502-mediated arsenic resistance encoded on the Y. enterocolitica virulence plasmid; the resistance loci in Java 9 are found on all four indigenous plasmids, including the two novel cryptic plasmids. This unique mobilome introduces more than 105 genes into the species gene pool. The majority of these are encoded by the two entirely novel self-transmissible plasmids, which show partial homology and synteny to other enterics. In contrast to the reductive evolution in Y. pestis, this study underlines the major impact of a dynamic mobilome and lateral acquisition in the genome evolution of the plague bacterium. PMID:22479347

  3. Direct Neutralization of Type III Effector Translocation by the Variable Region of a Monoclonal Antibody to Yersinia pestis LcrV

    PubMed Central

    Ivanov, Maya I.; Hill, Jim

    2014-01-01

    Plague is an acute infection caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis. Antibodies that are protective against plague target LcrV, an essential virulence protein and component of a type III secretion system of Y. pestis. Secreted LcrV localizes to the tips of type III needles on the bacterial surface, and its function is necessary for the translocation of Yersinia outer proteins (Yops) into the cytosol of host cells infected by Y. pestis. Translocated Yops counteract macrophage functions, for example, by inhibiting phagocytosis (YopE) or inducing cytotoxicity (YopJ). Although LcrV is the best-characterized protective antigen of Y. pestis, the mechanism of protection by anti-LcrV antibodies is not fully understood. Antibodies bind to LcrV at needle tips, neutralize Yop translocation, and promote opsonophagocytosis of Y. pestis by macrophages in vitro. However, it is not clear if anti-LcrV antibodies neutralize Yop translocation directly or if they do so indirectly, by promoting opsonophagocytosis. To determine if the protective IgG1 monoclonal antibody (MAb) 7.3 is directly neutralizing, an IgG2a subclass variant, a deglycosylated variant, F(ab′)2, and Fab were tested for the ability to inhibit the translocation of Yops into Y. pestis-infected macrophages in vitro. Macrophage cytotoxicity and cellular fractionation assays show that the Fc of MAb 7.3 is not required for the neutralization of YopJ or YopE translocation. In addition, the use of Fc receptor-deficient macrophages, and the use of cytochalasin D to inhibit actin polymerization, confirmed that opsonophagocytosis is not required for MAb 7.3 to neutralize translocation. These data indicate that the binding of the variable region of MAb 7.3 to LcrV is sufficient to directly neutralize Yop translocation. PMID:24599533

  4. Direct neutralization of type III effector translocation by the variable region of a monoclonal antibody to Yersinia pestis LcrV.

    PubMed

    Ivanov, Maya I; Hill, Jim; Bliska, James B

    2014-05-01

    Plague is an acute infection caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis. Antibodies that are protective against plague target LcrV, an essential virulence protein and component of a type III secretion system of Y. pestis. Secreted LcrV localizes to the tips of type III needles on the bacterial surface, and its function is necessary for the translocation of Yersinia outer proteins (Yops) into the cytosol of host cells infected by Y. pestis. Translocated Yops counteract macrophage functions, for example, by inhibiting phagocytosis (YopE) or inducing cytotoxicity (YopJ). Although LcrV is the best-characterized protective antigen of Y. pestis, the mechanism of protection by anti-LcrV antibodies is not fully understood. Antibodies bind to LcrV at needle tips, neutralize Yop translocation, and promote opsonophagocytosis of Y. pestis by macrophages in vitro. However, it is not clear if anti-LcrV antibodies neutralize Yop translocation directly or if they do so indirectly, by promoting opsonophagocytosis. To determine if the protective IgG1 monoclonal antibody (MAb) 7.3 is directly neutralizing, an IgG2a subclass variant, a deglycosylated variant, F(ab')2, and Fab were tested for the ability to inhibit the translocation of Yops into Y. pestis-infected macrophages in vitro. Macrophage cytotoxicity and cellular fractionation assays show that the Fc of MAb 7.3 is not required for the neutralization of YopJ or YopE translocation. In addition, the use of Fc receptor-deficient macrophages, and the use of cytochalasin D to inhibit actin polymerization, confirmed that opsonophagocytosis is not required for MAb 7.3 to neutralize translocation. These data indicate that the binding of the variable region of MAb 7.3 to LcrV is sufficient to directly neutralize Yop translocation.

  5. The cyclic AMP receptor protein, CRP, is required for both virulence and expression of the minimal CRP regulon in Yersinia pestis biovar microtus.

    PubMed

    Zhan, Lingjun; Han, Yanping; Yang, Lei; Geng, Jing; Li, Yingli; Gao, He; Guo, Zhaobiao; Fan, Wei; Li, Gang; Zhang, Lianfeng; Qin, Chuan; Zhou, Dongsheng; Yang, Ruifu

    2008-11-01

    The cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP) is a bacterial regulator that controls more than 100 promoters, including those involved in catabolite repression. In the present study, a null deletion of the crp gene was constructed for Yersinia pestis bv. microtus strain 201. Microarray expression analysis disclosed that at least 6% of Y. pestis genes were affected by this mutation. Further reverse transcription-PCR and electrophoretic mobility shift assay analyses disclosed a set of 37 genes or putative operons to be the direct targets of CRP, and thus they constitute the minimal CRP regulon in Y. pestis. Subsequent primer extension and DNase I footprinting assays mapped transcriptional start sites, core promoter elements, and CRP binding sites within the DNA regions upstream of pla and pst, revealing positive and direct control of these two laterally acquired plasmid genes by CRP. The crp disruption affected both in vitro and in vivo growth of the mutant and led to a >15,000-fold loss of virulence after subcutaneous infection but a <40-fold increase in the 50% lethal dose by intravenous inoculation. Therefore, CRP is required for the virulence of Y. pestis and, particularly, is more important for infection by subcutaneous inoculation. It can further be concluded that the reduced in vivo growth phenotype of the crp mutant should contribute, at least partially, to its attenuation of virulence by both routes of infection. Consistent with a previous study of Y. pestis bv. medievalis, lacZ reporter fusion analysis indicated that the crp deletion resulted in the almost absolute loss of pla promoter activity. The plasminogen activator encoded by pla was previously shown to specifically promote Y. pestis dissemination from peripheral infection routes (subcutaneous infection [flea bite] or inhalation). The above evidence supports the notion that in addition to the reduced in vivo growth phenotype, the defect of pla expression in the crp mutant will greatly contribute to the huge

  6. CRP Is an Activator of Yersinia pestis Biofilm Formation that Operates via a Mechanism Involving gmhA and waaAE-coaD

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Lei; Fang, Haihong; Yang, Huiying; Zhang, Yiquan; Han, Yanping; Zhou, Dongsheng; Yang, Ruifu

    2016-01-01

    gmhA encodes a phosphoheptose isomerase that catalyzes the biosynthesis of heptose, a conserved component of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). GmhA plays an important role in Yersinia pestis biofilm blockage in the flea gut. waaA, waaE, and coaD constitute a three-gene operon waaAE-coaD in Y. pestis. waaA encodes a transferase that is responsible for binding lipid-A to the core oligosaccharide of LPS. WaaA is a key determinant in Y. pestis biofilm formation, and the waaA expression is positively regulated by the two-component regulatory system PhoP/PhoQ. WaaE is involved in LPS modification and is necessary for Y. pestis biofilm production. In this study, the biofilm-related phenotypic assays indicate that the global regulator CRP stimulates Y. pestis biofilm formation in vitro and on nematodes, while it has no regulatory effect on the biosynthesis of the biofilm-signaling molecular 3′,5′-cyclic diguanosine monophosphate. Further gene regulation experiments disclose that CRP does not regulate the hms genes at the transcriptional level but directly promotes the gmhA transcription and indirectly activates the waaAE-coaD transcription through directly acting on phoPQ-YPO1632. Thus, it is speculated that CRP-mediated carbon catabolite regulation of Y. pestis biofilm formation depends on the CRP-dependent carbon source metabolic pathways of the biosynthesis, modification, and transportation of biofilm exopolysaccharide. PMID:27014218

  7. DsbA Is Required for Stable Expression of Outer Membrane Protein YscC and for Efficient Yop Secretion in Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Michael W.; Plano, Gregory V.

    1999-01-01

    The role of the periplasmic disulfide oxidoreductase DsbA in Yop secretion was investigated in Yersinia pestis. A Y. pestis dsbA mutant secreted reduced amounts of the V antigen and Yops and expressed reduced amounts of the full-sized YscC protein. Site-directed mutagenesis of the four cysteine residues present in the YscC protein resulted in defects similar to those found in the dsbA mutant. These results suggest that YscC contains at least one disulfide bond that is essential for the function of this protein in Yop secretion. PMID:10438793

  8. Caspase-1 activation in macrophages infected with Yersinia pestis KIM requires the type III secretion system effector YopJ.

    PubMed

    Lilo, Sarit; Zheng, Ying; Bliska, James B

    2008-09-01

    Pathogenic Yersinia species utilize a type III secretion system (T3SS) to translocate effectors called Yersinia outer proteins (Yops) into infected host cells. Previous studies demonstrated a role for effector Yops in the inhibition of caspase-1-mediated cell death and secretion of interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) in naïve macrophages infected with Yersinia enterocolitica. Naïve murine macrophages were infected with a panel of different Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis strains to determine whether Yops of these species inhibit caspase-1 activation. Cell death was measured by release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for secreted IL-1beta was used to measure caspase-1 activation. Surprisingly, isolates derived from the Y. pestis KIM strain (e.g., KIM5) displayed an unusual ability to activate caspase-1 and kill infected macrophages compared to other Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis strains tested. Secretion of IL-1beta following KIM5 infection was reduced in caspase-1-deficient macrophages compared to wild-type macrophages. However, release of LDH was not reduced in caspase-1-deficient macrophages, indicating that cell death occurred independently of caspase-1. Analysis of KIM-derived strains defective for production of functional effector or translocator Yops indicated that translocation of catalytically active YopJ into macrophages was required for caspase-1 activation and cell death. Release of LDH and secretion of IL-1beta were not reduced when actin polymerization was inhibited in KIM5-infected macrophages, indicating that extracellular bacteria translocating YopJ could trigger cell death and caspase-1 activation. This study uncovered a novel role for YopJ in the activation of caspase-1 in macrophages.

  9. Yersinia pestis outer membrane type III secretion protein YscC: expression, purification, characterization, and induction of specific antiserum.

    PubMed

    Goodin, Jeremy L; Raab, Ronald W; McKown, Robert L; Coffman, George L; Powell, Bradford S; Enama, Jeff T; Ligon, John A; Andrews, Gerard P

    2005-03-01

    The type III secretion system (YscC) protein of Yersinia pestis plays an essential role in the translocation of Yersinia outer proteins (Yops) into eukaryotic target cells through a type III secretion mechanism. To assess the immunogenicity and potential protective efficacy of YscC against lethal plague challenge, we cloned, overexpressed, and purified YscC using two different bacterial expression and purification systems. The resulting expression plasmids for YscC, pETBlue-2-YscC and pTYB11-YscC, were regulated by robust T7 promoters that were induced with isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactopyranoside. The intein-fusion pTYB11-YscC system and the six-histidine-tagging pETBlue-2-YscC system were both successful for producing and purifying YscC. The intein-mediated purification system produced about 1mg of soluble YscC per liter of bacterial culture while the YscC-His(6)-tag method resulted in 16mg of insoluble YscC per liter of bacterial culture. Protein identity for purified YscC-His(6) was confirmed by ion trap mass spectrometry. Antisera were produced against both YscC and YscC-His(6). The specific immune response generated in YscC-vaccinated mice was relative to the particular purified protein, YscC or YscC-His(6), which was used for vaccination as determined by Western blot analysis and ELISA. Regardless of the purification method, either form of the YscC protein failed to elicit a protective immune response against lethal plague challenge with either F1 capsule forming Y. pestis CO92 or the isogenic F1(-)Y. pestis C12.

  10. Structural Characterisation of FabG from Yersinia pestis, a Key Component of Bacterial Fatty Acid Synthesis.

    PubMed

    Nanson, Jeffrey D; Forwood, Jade K

    2015-01-01

    Ketoacyl-acyl carrier protein reductases (FabG) are ubiquitously expressed enzymes that catalyse the reduction of acyl carrier protein (ACP) linked thioesters within the bacterial type II fatty acid synthesis (FASII) pathway. The products of these enzymes, saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, are essential components of the bacterial cell envelope. The FASII reductase enoyl-ACP reductase (FabI) has been the focus of numerous drug discovery efforts, some of which have led to clinical trials, yet few studies have focused on FabG. Like FabI, FabG appears to be essential for survival in many bacteria, similarly indicating the potential of this enzyme as a drug target. FabG enzymes are members of the short-chain alcohol dehydrogenase/reductase (SDR) family, and like other SDRs, exhibit highly conserved secondary and tertiary structures, and contain a number of conserved sequence motifs. Here we describe the crystal structures of FabG from Yersinia pestis (YpFabG), the causative agent of bubonic, pneumonic, and septicaemic plague, and three human pandemics. Y. pestis remains endemic in many parts of North America, South America, Southeast Asia, and Africa, and a threat to human health. YpFabG shares a high degree of structural similarity with bacterial homologues, and the ketoreductase domain of the mammalian fatty acid synthase from both Homo sapiens and Sus scrofa. Structural characterisation of YpFabG, and comparison with other bacterial FabGs and the mammalian fatty acid synthase, provides a strong platform for virtual screening of potential inhibitors, rational drug design, and the development of new antimicrobial agents to combat Y. pestis infections.

  11. Application of r-PFE hyperimmune sera for concurrent detection of Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis and staphylococcal enterotoxin B.

    PubMed

    Balakrishna, K; Tuteja, U; Murali, H S; Batra, H V

    2014-06-01

    To evaluate the potential of an intergeneric multidomain recombinant chimeric protein for the simultaneous detection of Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis and Staphylococcal enterotoxin B. Truncated portions of protective antigen (pag) of B. anthracis, fraction 1 capsular antigen (F1) of Y. pestis and enterotoxin B (entB) of Staphylococcus aureus were PCR amplified and linked each other using ligation-dependent cloning. The fusion gene was codon-optimized for expression in Escherichia coli and encoded a 55 kDa recombinant PFE protein (rPFE). Hyperimmune antiserum raised against rPFE specifically reacted individually with the native PA of B. anthracis, F1 antigen of Y. pestis and SEB of S. aureus on Western blot analysis as well as in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). For simultaneous detection of these three antigens from culture supernatants, common media consisting of BHI broth supplemented with 0·2% xylose were used. To assess the detection capability, a known number of these organisms (10(8) -10(2) CFU ml(-1)) were experimentally spiked on to the meat and blood samples, the polyclonal antibodies were again clearly able to identify all three target proteins up to a dilution of 10(5) CFU ml(-1). This recombinant chimeric protein-based immunodetection approach may eventually provide advantages over PCR formats during onsite investigations of biological emergencies or even during routine testing by laboratories. The trivalent recombinant PFE protein could be a novel intervention for possible diagnosis/detection of potential biological agents simultaneously in environmental and clinical samples to reduce the responding time and minimize the impact of the bioattack. © 2014 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  12. Identification of Small-Molecule Inhibitors of Yersinia pestis Type III Secretion System YscN ATPase

    PubMed Central

    Swietnicki, Wieslaw; Carmany, Daniel; Retford, Michael; Guelta, Mark; Dorsey, Russell; Bozue, Joel; Lee, Michael S.; Olson, Mark A.

    2011-01-01

    Yersinia pestis is a Gram negative zoonotic pathogen responsible for causing bubonic and pneumonic plague in humans. The pathogen uses a type III secretion system (T3SS) to deliver virulence factors directly from bacterium into host mammalian cells. The system contains a single ATPase, YscN, necessary for delivery of virulence factors. In this work, we show that deletion of the catalytic domain of the yscN gene in Y. pestis CO92 attenuated the strain over three million-fold in the Swiss-Webster mouse model of bubonic plague. The result validates the YscN protein as a therapeutic target for plague. The catalytic domain of the YscN protein was made using recombinant methods and its ATPase activity was characterized in vitro. To identify candidate therapeutics, we tested computationally selected small molecules for inhibition of YscN ATPase activity. The best inhibitors had measured IC50 values below 20 µM in an in vitro ATPase assay and were also found to inhibit the homologous BsaS protein from Burkholderia mallei animal-like T3SS at similar concentrations. Moreover, the compounds fully inhibited YopE secretion by attenuated Y. pestis in a bacterial cell culture and mammalian cells at µM concentrations. The data demonstrate the feasibility of targeting and inhibiting a critical protein transport ATPase of a bacterial virulence system. It is likely the same strategy could be applied to many other common human pathogens using type III secretion system, including enteropathogenic E. coli, Shigella flexneri, Salmonella typhimurium, and Burkholderia mallei/pseudomallei species. PMID:21611119

  13. Protein Abundances can Distinguish Between Naturally-occurring and Laboratory Strains of Yersinia pestis, the Causative Agent of Plague

    DOE PAGES

    Merkley, Eric D.; Sego, Landon H.; Lin, Andy; ...

    2017-08-30

    Adaptive processes in bacterial species can occur rapidly in laboratory culture, leading to genetic divergence between naturally occurring and laboratory-adapted strains. Differentiating wild and closely-related laboratory strains is clearly important for biodefense and bioforensics; however, DNA sequence data alone has thus far not provided a clear signature, perhaps due to lack of understanding of how diverse genome changes lead to adapted phenotypes. Protein abundance profiles from mass spectrometry-based proteomics analyses are a molecular measure of phenotype. Proteomics data contains sufficient information that powerful statistical methods can uncover signatures that distinguish wild strains of Yersinia pestis from laboratory-adapted strains.

  14. [Genotyping by CRISPR and regional distribution of Yersinia pestis in Qinghai-plateau from 1954 to 2011].

    PubMed

    Xu, X Q; Xin, Y Q; Li, X; Zhang, Q W; Yang, X Y; Jin, Y; Zhao, H H; Jin, X; Qi, Z Z

    2017-03-06

    Objective: To investigate the CRISPR genotypes (clusters) and regional distribution of Yersinia pestis in Qinghai-plateau. Methods: One hundred and two isolates of Y. pestis isolated from human plague patients, host animal and insect vectors from Qinghai-plateau were selected. The DNAs were extracted using the traditional sodium dodecyl sulfate decomposition and phenol-chloroform method. Three CRISPR loci YPa, YPb and YPc of 102 isolates of Y. pesits were amplified and sequenced, and then the CRISPR sequence analysis was carried out by comparing the latest published CRISPR spacer dictionary and the NCBI database to identify the spacer and spacer array. CRISPR genotyping of isolates of Y. pesits were finally conducted according to the polymorphism of the spacer arrays and the regional distribution pattern of isolates of Y. pesits in Qinghai-plateau was described. Results: Forty spacers including 22 of YPa, 13 of YPb and 5 of YPc were observed among 102 isolates of Y. pestis in Qinghai-plateau, of which 5 spacers (a1', a103, a104, b4'' and b4''') were firstly identified. Meanwhile, 16, 10, and 5 different spacer arrays were obtained in YPa, YPb and YPc respectively, including 11 new spacer arrays detected in this study. One hundred and two isolates were divided into 24 CRISPR genotypes and classified into 9 CRISPR clusters (Cb4, Cb4', Cb2, Ca37, Ca7, Ca7', CaΔ5', Ca35' and Cc3'). Each dominant cluster presented significant aggregation geographically: Ca7 were found in Yushu, Nangqian, Chenduo, Zaduo, Zhiduo and Qumalai countries. Ca7' were found in Xunhua, Tongren, Zeku, Tongde, Maqin and Guinan countries. CaΔ5' were restricted to Qilian, Gangcha, Menyuan and Datong countries. CaΔ35' were found in Huangyuan, Haiyan, Gangcha, Tianjun, Delingha, Wulan, Doulan, Gonghe, Xinghai, Guide and Tongde countries. Conclusion: CRISPR-based genotyping analyses showed complicated population of Y. pestis in Qinghai-plateau. Four clusters, Ca7, Ca7', CaΔ5' and Ca35' were the most

  15. Yersinia pestis YscG Protein Is a Syc-Like Chaperone That Directly Binds YscE

    PubMed Central

    Day, James B.; Guller, Inna; Plano, Gregory V.

    2000-01-01

    Pathogenic Yersinia species secrete virulence proteins, termed Yersinia outer proteins (Yops), upon contact with a eukaryotic cell. The secretion machinery is composed of 21 Yersinia secretion (Ysc) proteins. Yersinia pestis mutants defective in expression of YscG or YscE were unable to export the Yops. YscG showed structural and limited amino-acid-sequence similarities to members of the specific Yop chaperone (Syc) family of proteins. YscG specifically recognized and bound YscE; however, unlike previously characterized Syc substrates, YscE was not exported from the cell. These data suggest that YscG functions as a chaperone for YscE. PMID:11035761

  16. pH6 antigen (PsaA protein) of Yersinia pestis, a novel bacterial Fc-receptor.

    PubMed

    Zav'yalov, V P; Abramov, V M; Cherepanov, P G; Spirina, G V; Chernovskaya, T V; Vasiliev, A M; Zav'yalova, G A

    1996-05-01

    It was found that recombinant pH6 antigen (rPsaA protein) forming virulence-associated fimbriae on the surface of Yersinia pestis at pH 6.7 in host macrophage phagolysosomes or extracellularly in abscesses such as buboes, is a novel bacterial Fc-receptor. rPsaA protein displays reactivity with human IgG1, IgG2 and IgG3 subclasses but does not react with rabbit, mouse and sheep IgG.

  17. Protection Against Aerosolized Yersinia pestis Challenge Following Homologous and Heterologous Prime-Boost With Recombinant Plague Antigens

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-08-01

    INFECTION AND IMMUNITY , Aug. 2005, p. 5256–5261 Vol. 73, No. 8 0019-9567/05/$08.000 doi:10.1128/IAI.73.8.5256–5261.2005 Copyright © 2005, American...and heterologous prime-boost with recombinant plague antigens, Infection and Immunity 73:5256 - 5261 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM... infection following aerosol challenge with Y. pestis with a median survival time (MST) of 72 h. By con- trast, 9/10 positive-control animals immunized

  18. Highly Effective Soluble and Bacteriophage T4 Nanoparticle Plague Vaccines Against Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Tao, Pan; Mahalingam, Marthandan; Rao, Venigalla B.

    2016-01-01

    Plague caused by Yersinia pestis is an ancient disease, responsible for millions of deaths in human history. Unfortunately, there is no FDA-approved vaccine available. Recombinant subunit vaccines based on two major antigens, Caf 1 (F1) and LcrV (V), have been under investigation and showed promise. However, there are two main problems associated with these vaccines. First, the Yersinia capsular protein F1 has high propensity to aggregate, particularly when expressed in heterologous systems such as Escherichia coli, thus affecting vaccine quality and efficacy. Second, the subunit vaccines do not induce adequate cell-mediated immune responses that also appear to be essential for optimal protection against plague. We have developed two basic approaches, structure-based immunogen design and phage T4 nanoparticle delivery, to construct new plague vaccines that may overcome these problems. First, by engineering F1 protein, we generated a monomeric and soluble F1V mutant (F1mutV) which has similar immunogenicity as wild-type F1V. The NH2-terminal β-strand of F1 was transplanted to the COOH-terminus and the sequence flanking the β-strand was duplicated to retain a key CD4+ T cell epitope. Second, we generated a nanoparticle plague vaccine that can induce balanced antibody- and cell-mediated immune responses. This was done by arraying the F1mutV on phage T4 via the small outer capsid (Soc) protein which binds to T4 capsid at nanomolar affinity. Preparation of these vaccines is described in detail and we hope that these would be considered as candidates for licensing a next-generation plague vaccine. PMID:27076150

  19. Selection and characterization of Yersinia pestis YopN mutants that constitutively block Yop secretion.

    PubMed

    Ferracci, Franco; Schubot, Florian D; Waugh, David S; Plano, Gregory V

    2005-08-01

    Secretion of Yop effector proteins by the Yersinia pestis plasmid pCD1-encoded type III secretion system (T3SS) is regulated in response to specific environmental signals. Yop secretion is activated by contact with a eukaryotic cell or by growth at 37 degrees C in the absence of calcium. The secreted YopN protein, the SycN/YscB chaperone and TyeA form a cytosolic YopN/SycN/YscB/TyeA complex that is required to prevent Yop secretion in the presence of calcium and prior to contact with a eukaryotic cell. The mechanism by which these proteins prevent secretion and the subcellular location where the block in secretion occurs are not known. To further investigate both the mechanism and location of the YopN-dependent block, we isolated and characterized several YopN mutants that constitutively block Yop secretion. All the identified amino-acid substitutions that resulted in a constitutive block in Yop secretion mapped to a central domain of YopN that is not directly involved in the interaction with the SycN/YscB chaperone or TyeA. The YopN mutants required an intact TyeA-binding domain and TyeA to block secretion, but did not require an N-terminal secretion signal, an intact chaperone-binding domain or the SycN/YscB chaperone. These results suggest that a C-terminal domain of YopN complexed with TyeA blocks Yop secretion from a cytosolic, not an extracellular, location. A hypothetical model for how the YopN/SycN/YscB/TyeA complex regulates Yop secretion is presented.

  20. The Effects of Low-Shear Mechanical Stress on Yersinia pestis Virulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawal, Abidat; Jejelowo, Olufisayo A.; Rosenzweig, Jason A.

    2010-11-01

    Manned space exploration has created a need to evaluate the effects of spacelike stress on pathogenic and opportunistic microbes astronauts could carry with them to the International Space Station and beyond. Yersinia pestis (YP) causes bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague and is capable of killing infected patients within 3-7 days. In this study, low-shear modeled microgravity (LSMMG), a spacelike stress, was used to physically stress YP; and its effects on proliferation, cold growth, and type III secretion system (T3SS) function were evaluated. YP was grown to saturation in either LSMMG or normal gravity (NG) conditions prior to being used for RAW 246.7 cell infections, HeLa cell infections, and Yop secretion assays. A mutant strain of YP (ΔyopB) that lacks the ability to inject Yersinia outer membrane proteins (Yops) into the host cell was used as a negative control in cell infection experiments. Our experimental results indicate that YP cultivated under LSMMG resulted in reduced YopM production and secretion compared to its NG-grown counterpart. Similarly, NG-grown YP induced more cell rounding in HeLa cells than did the LSMMG-grown YP, which suggests that LSMMG somehow impairs T3SS optimum function. Also, LSMMG-grown YP used to infect cultured RAW 246.7 cells showed a similar pattern of dysfunction in that it proliferated less than did its NG-grown counterpart during an 8-hour infection period. This study suggests that LSMMG can attenuate bacterial virulence contrary to previously published data that have demonstrated LSMMG-induced hypervirulence of other Gram-negative enterics.

  1. The effects of low-shear mechanical stress on Yersinia pestis virulence.

    PubMed

    Lawal, Abidat; Jejelowo, Olufisayo A; Rosenzweig, Jason A

    2010-11-01

    Manned space exploration has created a need to evaluate the effects of spacelike stress on pathogenic and opportunistic microbes astronauts could carry with them to the International Space Station and beyond. Yersinia pestis (YP) causes bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague and is capable of killing infected patients within 3-7 days. In this study, low-shear modeled microgravity (LSMMG), a spacelike stress, was used to physically stress YP; and its effects on proliferation, cold growth, and type III secretion system (T3SS) function were evaluated. YP was grown to saturation in either LSMMG or normal gravity (NG) conditions prior to being used for RAW 246.7 cell infections, HeLa cell infections, and Yop secretion assays. A mutant strain of YP (ΔyopB) that lacks the ability to inject Yersinia outer membrane proteins (Yops) into the host cell was used as a negative control in cell infection experiments. Our experimental results indicate that YP cultivated under LSMMG resulted in reduced YopM production and secretion compared to its NG-grown counterpart. Similarly, NG-grown YP induced more cell rounding in HeLa cells than did the LSMMG-grown YP, which suggests that LSMMG somehow impairs T3SS optimum function. Also, LSMMG-grown YP used to infect cultured RAW 246.7 cells showed a similar pattern of dysfunction in that it proliferated less than did its NG-grown counterpart during an 8-hour infection period. This study suggests that LSMMG can attenuate bacterial virulence contrary to previously published data that have demonstrated LSMMG-induced hypervirulence of other Gram-negative enterics.

  2. YscO of Yersinia pestis Is a Mobile Core Component of the Yop Secretion System

    PubMed Central

    Payne, Patricia L.; Straley, Susan C.

    1998-01-01

    The Yersinia pestis low-Ca2+ response stimulon is responsible for the temperature- and Ca2+-regulated expression and secretion of plasmid pCD1-encoded antihost proteins (V antigen and Yops). We have previously shown that lcrD, yscC, yscD, yscG, and yscR encode proteins that are essential for high-level expression and secretion of V antigen and Yops at 37°C in the absence of Ca2+. In this study, we characterized yscO of the Yop secretion (ysc) operon that contains yscN through yscU by determining the localization of its gene product and the phenotype of an in-frame deletion. The yscO mutant grew and expressed the same levels of Yops as the parent at 37°C in the presence of Ca2+. In the absence of Ca2+, the mutant grew independently of Ca2+, expressed only basal levels of V antigen and Yops, and failed to secrete these. These defects could be partially complemented by providing yscO in trans in the yscO mutant. Overexpression of YopM and V antigen in the mutant failed to restore the export of either protein, showing that the mutation had a direct effect on secretion. These results indicated that the yscO gene product is required for high-level expression and secretion of V antigen and Yops. YscO was found by immunoblot analysis in the soluble and membrane fractions of bacteria growing at 37°C irrespective of the presence of Ca2+ and in the culture medium in the absence of Ca2+. YscO is the only mobile protein identified so far in the Yersinia species that is required for secretion of V antigen and Yops. PMID:9683485

  3. Kinetic epitope mapping of monoclonal antibodies raised against the Yersinia pestis virulence factor LcrV.

    PubMed

    Read, Thomas; Olkhov, Rouslan V; Williamson, E Diane; Shaw, Andrew M

    2015-03-15

    Five monoclonal antibodies, mAb7.3, mAb29.3, mAb46.3, mAb12.3 and mAb36.3, raised to the LcrV virulence factor from Yersinia pestis were characterised for their Fab affinity against the purified protein and their Fc affinity to Protein A/G as a proxy for the FcγR receptor. Kinetic measurements were performed label-free in a localised particle plasmon array reader. The Fc-ProteinA/G complex first-order half-life was determined for each antibody and fell in the range of 0.8-3.8h. The Fab first-order half-lives had ranged from 3.4 to 9.2h although two antibodies, mAb12.3 and mAb36.3, showed low affinity interactions. Competitive binding studies of mixtures of the Fab-active antibodies were performed to measure the relative binding efficiency of one antibody in the presence of the other. A geometric relative positioning of the epitopes of mAb7.3, mAb29.3 and mAb46.3 was determined based on the footprint locus of the antibody and the percentage of competitive binding. The two known protective antibodies mAb7.3 and mAb29.3 showed greater interference, indicating epitopes close to one another compared to the non-protective mAb46.3 antibody. The Fab-Fc complex half-life screen and epitope mapping are potentially useful tools in the screening of therapeutic antibodies or vaccine candidates. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Rapid identification and typing of Yersinia pestis and other Yersinia species by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Accurate identification is necessary to discriminate harmless environmental Yersinia species from the food-borne pathogens Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and from the group A bioterrorism plague agent Yersinia pestis. In order to circumvent the limitations of current phenotypic and PCR-based identification methods, we aimed to assess the usefulness of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) protein profiling for accurate and rapid identification of Yersinia species. As a first step, we built a database of 39 different Yersinia strains representing 12 different Yersinia species, including 13 Y. pestis isolates representative of the Antiqua, Medievalis and Orientalis biotypes. The organisms were deposited on the MALDI-TOF plate after appropriate ethanol-based inactivation, and a protein profile was obtained within 6 minutes for each of the Yersinia species. Results When compared with a 3,025-profile database, every Yersinia species yielded a unique protein profile and was unambiguously identified. In the second step of analysis, environmental and clinical isolates of Y. pestis (n = 2) and Y. enterocolitica (n = 11) were compared to the database and correctly identified. In particular, Y. pestis was unambiguously identified at the species level, and MALDI-TOF was able to successfully differentiate the three biotypes. Conclusion These data indicate that MALDI-TOF can be used as a rapid and accurate first-line method for the identification of Yersinia isolates. PMID:21073689

  5. Rapid identification and typing of Yersinia pestis and other Yersinia species by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Ayyadurai, Saravanan; Flaudrops, Christophe; Raoult, Didier; Drancourt, Michel

    2010-11-12

    Accurate identification is necessary to discriminate harmless environmental Yersinia species from the food-borne pathogens Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and from the group A bioterrorism plague agent Yersinia pestis. In order to circumvent the limitations of current phenotypic and PCR-based identification methods, we aimed to assess the usefulness of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) protein profiling for accurate and rapid identification of Yersinia species. As a first step, we built a database of 39 different Yersinia strains representing 12 different Yersinia species, including 13 Y. pestis isolates representative of the Antiqua, Medievalis and Orientalis biotypes. The organisms were deposited on the MALDI-TOF plate after appropriate ethanol-based inactivation, and a protein profile was obtained within 6 minutes for each of the Yersinia species. When compared with a 3,025-profile database, every Yersinia species yielded a unique protein profile and was unambiguously identified. In the second step of analysis, environmental and clinical isolates of Y. pestis (n = 2) and Y. enterocolitica (n = 11) were compared to the database and correctly identified. In particular, Y. pestis was unambiguously identified at the species level, and MALDI-TOF was able to successfully differentiate the three biotypes. These data indicate that MALDI-TOF can be used as a rapid and accurate first-line method for the identification of Yersinia isolates.

  6. Neutralization of Yersinia pestis-mediated macrophage cytotoxicity by anti-LcrV antibodies and its correlation with protective immunity in a mouse model of bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Zauberman, Ayelet; Cohen, Sara; Levy, Yinon; Halperin, Gideon; Lazar, Shirley; Velan, Baruch; Shafferman, Avigdor; Flashner, Yehuda; Mamroud, Emanuelle

    2008-03-20

    Plague is a life-threatening disease caused by Yersinia pestis, for which effective-licensed vaccines and reliable predictors of in vivo immunity are lacking. V antigen (LcrV) is a major Y. pestis virulence factor that mediates translocation of the cytotoxic Yersinia protein effectors (Yops). It is a well-established protective antigen and a part of currently tested plague subunit vaccines. We have developed a highly sensitive in vitro macrophage cytotoxicity neutralization assay which is mediated by anti-LcrV antibodies; and studied the potential use of these neutralizing antibodies as an in vitro correlate of plague immunity in mice. The assay is based on a Y. pestis strain with enhanced cytotoxicity to macrophages in which endogenous yopJ was replaced by the more effectively translocated yopP of Y. enterocolitica O:8. Mice passively immunized with rabbit anti-LcrV IgG or actively immunized with recombinant LcrV were protected against lethal doses of a virulent Y. pestis strain, in a mouse model of bubonic plague. This protection significantly correlated with the in vitro neutralizing activity of the antisera but not with their corresponding ELISA titers. In actively immunized mice, a cutoff value for serum neutralizing activity, above which survival was assured with high degree of confidence, could be established for different vaccination regimes. The impact of overall findings on the potential use of serum neutralizing activity as a correlate of protective immunity is discussed.

  7. Thirty-Two Complete Genome Assemblies of Nine Yersinia Species, Including Y. pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y. enterocolitica

    DOE PAGES

    Johnson, Shannon L.; Daligault, Hajnalka E.; Davenport, Karen W.; ...

    2015-04-30

    The genus Yersinia includes three human pathogens, of which Yersinia pestis is responsible for >2,000 illnesses each year. To aid in the development of detection assays as well as aid further phylogenetic elucidation, we sequenced and assembled the complete genomes of 32 strains (across 9 Yersinia species).

  8. Yersinia pestis requires the 2-component regulatory system OmpR-EnvZ to resist innate immunity during the early and late stages of plague.

    PubMed

    Reboul, Angéline; Lemaître, Nadine; Titecat, Marie; Merchez, Maud; Deloison, Gaspard; Ricard, Isabelle; Pradel, Elizabeth; Marceau, Michaël; Sebbane, Florent

    2014-11-01

    Plague is transmitted by fleas or contaminated aerosols. To successfully produce disease, the causal agent (Yersinia pestis) must rapidly sense and respond to rapid variations in its environment. Here, we investigated the role of 2-component regulatory systems (2CSs) in plague because the latter are known to be key players in bacterial adaptation to environmental change. Along with the previously studied PhoP-PhoQ system, OmpR-EnvZ was the only one of Y. pestis' 23 other 2CSs required for production of bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague. In vitro, OmpR-EnvZ was needed to counter serum complement and leukocytes but was not required for the secretion of antiphagocyte exotoxins. In vivo, Y. pestis lacking OmpR-EnvZ did not induce an early immune response in the skin and was fully virulent in neutropenic mice. We conclude that, throughout the course of Y. pestis infection, OmpR-EnvZ is required to counter toxic effectors secreted by polymorphonuclear leukocytes in the tissues. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Prevalence of Yersinia pestis in rodents and fleas associated with black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) at Thunder Basin National Grassland, Wyoming.

    PubMed

    Thiagarajan, Bala; Bai, Ying; Gage, Kenneth L; Cully, Jack F

    2008-07-01

    Rodents (and their fleas) that are associated with prairie dogs are considered important for the maintenance and transmission of the bacterium (Yersinia pestis) that causes plague. Our goal was to identify rodent and flea species that were potentially involved in a plague epizootic in black-tailed prairie dogs at Thunder Basin National Grassland. We collected blood samples and ectoparasites from rodents trapped at off- and on-colony grids at Thunder Basin National Grassland between 2002 and 2004. Blood samples were tested for antibodies to Y. pestis F-1 antigen by a passive hemagglutination assay, and fleas were tested by a multiplex polymerase chain reaction, for the presence of the plague bacterium. Only one of 1,421 fleas, an Oropsylla hirsuta collected in 2002 from a deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, tested positive for Y. pestis. Blood samples collected in summer 2004 from two northern grasshopper mice, Onychomys leucogaster, tested positive for Y. pestis antibodies. All three positive samples were collected from on-colony grids shortly after a plague epizootic occurred. This study confirms that plague is difficult to detect in rodents and fleas associated with prairie dog colonies, unless samples are collected immediately after a prairie dog die-off.

  10. Prevalence of Yersinia pestis in rodents and fleas associated with black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) at Thunder Basin National Grassland, Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thiagarajan, Bala; Bai, Ying; Gage, Kenneth L.; Cully, Jack F.

    2008-01-01

    Rodents (and their fleas) that are associated with prairie dogs are considered important for the maintenance and transmission of the bacterium (Yersinia pestis) that causes plague. Our goal was to identify rodent and flea species that were potentially involved in a plague epizootic in black-tailed prairie dogs at Thunder Basin National Grassland. We collected blood samples and ectoparasites from rodents trapped at off- and on-colony grids at Thunder Basin National Grassland between 2002 and 2004. Blood samples were tested for antibodies to Y. pestis F-1 antigen by a passive hemagglutination assay, and fleas were tested by a multiplex polymerase chain reaction, for the presence of the plague bacterium. Only one of 1,421 fleas, an Oropsylla hirsuta collected in 2002 from a deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, tested positive for Y. pestis. Blood samples collected in summer 2004 from two northern grasshopper mice, Onychomys leucogaster, tested positive for Y. pestis antibodies. All three positive samples were collected from on-colony grids shortly after a plague epizootic occurred. This study confirms that plague is difficult to detect in rodents and fleas associated with prairie dog colonies, unless samples are collected immediately after a prairie dog die-off.

  11. Thirty-Two Complete Genome Assemblies of Nine Yersinia Species, Including Y. pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y. enterocolitica

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Shannon L.; Daligault, Hajnalka E.; Davenport, Karen W.; Jaissle, James; Frey, Kenneth G.; Ladner, Jason T.; Broomall, Stacey M.; Bishop-Lilly, Kimberly A.; Bruce, David C.; Coyne, Susan R.; Gibbons, Henry S.; Lo, Chien-Chi; Munk, A. Christine; Rosenzweig, C. Nicole; Koroleva, Galina I.; Palacios, Gustavo F.; Redden, Cassie L.; Xu, Yan; Minogue, Timothy D.; Chain, Patrick S.

    2015-04-30

    The genus Yersinia includes three human pathogens, of which Yersinia pestis is responsible for >2,000 illnesses each year. To aid in the development of detection assays as well as aid further phylogenetic elucidation, we sequenced and assembled the complete genomes of 32 strains (across 9 Yersinia species).

  12. A recombinant raccoon poxvirus vaccine expressing both Yersinia pestis F1 and truncated V antigens protects animals against lethal plague.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, Tonie E.; Kingstad-Bakke, B; Berlier, W; Osorio, J.E.

    2014-01-01

    In previous studies, we demonstrated in mice and prairie dogs that simultaneous administration of two recombinant raccoon poxviruses (rRCN) expressing Yersinia pestis antigens (F1 and V307-a truncated version of the V protein) provided superior protection against plague challenge compared to individual single antigen constructs. To reduce costs of vaccine production and facilitate implementation of a sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) control program for prairie dogs, a dual antigen construct is more desirable. Here we report the construction and characterization of a novel RCN-vectored vaccine that simultaneously expresses both F1 and V307 antigens. This dual antigen vaccine provided similar levels of protection against plague in both mice and prairie dogs as compared to simultaneous administration of the two single antigen constructs and was also shown to protect mice against an F1 negative strain of Y. pestis.. The equivalent safety, immunogenicity and efficacy profile of the dual RCN-F1/V307 construct warrants further evaluation in field efficacy studies in sylvatic plague endemic areas.

  13. Two-step source tracing strategy of Yersinia pestis and its historical epidemiology in a specific region.

    PubMed

    Yan, Yanfeng; Wang, Hu; Li, Dongfang; Yang, Xianwei; Wang, Zuyun; Qi, Zhizhen; Zhang, Qingwen; Cui, Baizhong; Guo, Zhaobiao; Yu, Chang; Wang, Jun; Wang, Jian; Liu, Guangming; Song, Yajun; Li, Yingrui; Cui, Yujun; Yang, Ruifu

    2014-01-01

    Source tracing of pathogens is critical for the control and prevention of infectious diseases. Genome sequencing by high throughput technologies is currently feasible and popular, leading to the burst of deciphered bacterial genome sequences. Utilizing the flooding genomic data for source tracing of pathogens in outbreaks is promising, and challenging as well. Here, we employed Yersinia pestis genomes from a plague outbreak at Xinghai county of China in 2009 as an example, to develop a simple two-step strategy for rapid source tracing of the outbreak. The first step was to define the phylogenetic position of the outbreak strains in a whole species tree, and the next step was to provide a detailed relationship across the outbreak strains and their suspected relatives. Through this strategy, we observed that the Xinghai plague outbreak was caused by Y. pestis that circulated in the local plague focus, where the majority of historical plague epidemics in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau may originate from. The analytical strategy developed here will be of great help in fighting against the outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases, by pinpointing the source of pathogens rapidly with genomic epidemiological data and microbial forensics information.

  14. Yersinia pestis biovar Microtus strain 201, an avirulent strain to humans, provides protection against bubonic plague in rhesus macaques

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Qingwen; Wang, Qiong; Tian, Guang; Qi, Zhizhen; Zhang, Xuecan; Wu, Xiaohong; Qiu, Yefeng; Bi, Yujing; Yang, Xiaoyan; Xin, Youquan; He, Jian; Zhou, Jiyuan; Zeng, Lin; Yang, Ruifu; Wang, Xiaoyi

    2014-01-01

    Yersinia pestis biovar Microtus is considered to be a virulent to larger mammals, including guinea pigs, rabbits and humans. It may be used as live attenuated plague vaccine candidates in terms of its low virulence. However, the Microtus strain’s protection against plague has yet to be demonstrated in larger mammals. In this study, we evaluated the protective efficacy of the Microtus strain 201 as a live attenuated plague vaccine candidate. Our results show that this strain is highly attenuated by subcutaneous route, elicits an F1-specific antibody titer similar to the EV and provides a protective efficacy similar to the EV against bubonic plague in Chinese-origin rhesus macaques. The Microtus strain 201 could induce elevated secretion of both Th1-associated cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-2 and TNF-α) and Th2-associated cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, and IL-6), as well as chemokines MCP-1 and IL-8. However, the protected animals developed skin ulcer at challenge site with different severity in most of the immunized and some of the EV-immunized monkeys. Generally, the Microtus strain 201 represented a good plague vaccine candidate based on its ability to generate strong humoral and cell-mediated immune responses as well as its good protection against high dose of subcutaneous virulent Y. pestis challenge. PMID:24225642

  15. S1P-Dependent Trafficking of Intracellular Yersinia pestis through Lymph Nodes Establishes Buboes and Systemic Infection

    PubMed Central

    St. John, Ashley L.; Ang, W.X. Gladys; Huang, Min-Nung; Kunder, Christian A.; Chan, Elizabeth W.; Gunn, Michael D.; Abraham, Soman N.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Pathologically swollen lymph nodes (LNs), or buboes, characterize Yersinia pestis infection, yet how they form and function is unknown. We report that colonization of the draining LN (dLN) occurred due to trafficking of infected dendritic cells and monocytes in temporally distinct waves in response to redundant chemotactic signals, including through CCR7, CCR2, and sphingosine-1-phospate (S1P) receptors. Retention of multiple subsets of phagocytes within peripheral LNs using the S1P receptor agonist FTY720 or S1P1-specific agonist SEW2871 increased survival, reduced colonization of downstream LNs, and limited progression to transmission-associated septicemic or pneumonic disease states. Conditional deletion of S1P1 in mononuclear phagocytes abolished node-to-node trafficking of infected cells. Thus, Y. pestis-orchestrated LN remodeling promoted its dissemination via host cells through the lymphatic system but can be blocked by prevention of leukocyte egress from DLNs. These findings define a novel trafficking route of mononuclear phagocytes and identify S1P as a therapeutic target during infection. PMID:25238098

  16. Functional and structural analysis of a highly-expressed Yersinia pestis small RNA following infection of cultured macrophages

    DOE PAGES

    Li, Nan; Hennelly, Scott P.; Stubben, Chris J.; ...

    2016-12-28

    Non-coding small RNAs (sRNAs) are found in practically all bacterial genomes and play important roles in regulating gene expression to impact bacterial metabolism, growth, and virulence. We performed transcriptomics analysis to identify sRNAs that are differentially expressed in Yersinia pestis that invaded the human macrophage cell line THP-1, compared to pathogens that remained extracellular in the presence of host. Using ultra high-throughput sequencing, we identified 37 novel and 143 previously known sRNAs in Y. pestis. In particular, the sRNA Ysr170 was highly expressed in intracellular Yersinia and exhibited a log2 fold change ~3.6 higher levels compared to extracellular bacteria. Wemore » found that knock-down of Ysr170 expression attenuated infection efficiency in cell culture and growth rate in response to different stressors. In addition, we applied selective 2’-hydroxyl acylation analyzed by primer extension (SHAPE) analysis to determine the secondary structure of Ysr170 and observed structural changes resulting from interactions with the aminoglycoside antibiotic gentamycin and the RNA chaperone Hfq. Interestingly, gentamicin stabilized helix 4 of Ysr170, which structurally resembles the native gentamicin 16S ribosomal binding site. Lastly, we modeled the tertiary structure of Ysr170 binding to gentamycin using RNA motif modeling. Integration of these experimental and structural methods can provide further insight into the design of small molecules that can inhibit function of sRNAs required for pathogen virulence.« less

  17. Two-Step Source Tracing Strategy of Yersinia pestis and Its Historical Epidemiology in a Specific Region

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zuyun; Qi, Zhizhen; Zhang, Qingwen; Cui, Baizhong; Guo, Zhaobiao; Yu, Chang; Wang, Jun; Wang, Jian; Liu, Guangming; Song, Yajun; Li, Yingrui; Cui, Yujun; Yang, Ruifu

    2014-01-01

    Source tracing of pathogens is critical for the control and prevention of infectious diseases. Genome sequencing by high throughput technologies is currently feasible and popular, leading to the burst of deciphered bacterial genome sequences. Utilizing the flooding genomic data for source tracing of pathogens in outbreaks is promising, and challenging as well. Here, we employed Yersinia pestis genomes from a plague outbreak at Xinghai county of China in 2009 as an example, to develop a simple two-step strategy for rapid source tracing of the outbreak. The first step was to define the phylogenetic position of the outbreak strains in a whole species tree, and the next step was to provide a detailed relationship across the outbreak strains and their suspected relatives. Through this strategy, we observed that the Xinghai plague outbreak was caused by Y. pestis that circulated in the local plague focus, where the majority of historical plague epidemics in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau may originate from. The analytical strategy developed here will be of great help in fighting against the outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases, by pinpointing the source of pathogens rapidly with genomic epidemiological data and microbial forensics information. PMID:24416399

  18. Structure of the Yersinia pestis tip protein LcrV refined to 1.65 Å resolution

    PubMed Central

    Chaudhury, Sukanya; Battaile, Kevin P.; Lovell, Scott; Plano, Gregory V.; De Guzman, Roberto N.

    2013-01-01

    The human pathogen Yersinia pestis requires the assembly of the type III secretion system (T3SS) for virulence. The structural component of the T3SS contains an external needle and a tip complex, which is formed by LcrV in Y. pestis. The structure of an LcrV triple mutant (K40A/D41A/K42A) in a C273S background has previously been reported to 2.2 Å resolution. Here, the crystal structure of LcrV without the triple mutation in a C273S background is reported at a higher resolution of 1.65 Å. Overall the two structures are similar, but there are also notable differences, particularly near the site of the triple mutation. The refined structure revealed a slight shift in the backbone positions of residues Gly28–Asn43 and displayed electron density in the loop region consisting of residues Ile46–Val63, which was disordered in the original structure. In addition, the helical turn region spanning residues Tyr77–Gln95 adopts a different orientation. PMID:23695558

  19. [The formation of proventriculus block, alimentary activity and mortality of flea Amphipsylla primaris primaris infected with Yersinia pestis].

    PubMed

    Tokmakova, E G; Verzhutskiĭ, D B; Bazanova, L P

    2006-01-01

    The results of experiments held in 1982-1983 in Tuva plague natural focus with flea Amphipsylla primaris primaris (Jordan et Rothschild, 1915) from natural populations, whish were inflected and fed on specific host--flat-headed vole (Alticola strelzovi), are analyzed. The initial infectivity of the insects in autumn was higher than in spring: 90 and 50 % respectively. Accumulation of the agent in aggregated form in the organism of A. p. primaris, estimated by the quantity of fleas with and partial blocks, was more active in imago of both sexes in autumn than in spring, while sucking flea were observed in spring more often than in autumn. Irrespective of season, the part of males with visible accumulations of Y. pestis was more, and their alimentary activity was higher than that of females. Fleas died much more quickly in spring. Part of the males with proventriculus block exceeded that of females in spring experiment. Females with alimentary canal obstruction prevailed in autumn. Thus, sex of the insect and season of the experiment conducting influenced on all studied indices. Besides that, Y pestis ability for the proventriculus block formation in fleas during different seasons can change by the opposite way depending on sex of the ectoparasites.

  20. Yersinia pestis biovar Microtus strain 201, an avirulent strain to humans, provides protection against bubonic plague in rhesus macaques.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qingwen; Wang, Qiong; Tian, Guang; Qi, Zhizhen; Zhang, Xuecan; Wu, Xiaohong; Qiu, Yefeng; Bi, Yujing; Yang, Xiaoyan; Xin, Youquan; He, Jian; Zhou, Jiyuan; Zeng, Lin; Yang, Ruifu; Wang, Xiaoyi

    2014-01-01

    Yersinia pestis biovar Microtus is considered to be a virulent to larger mammals, including guinea pigs, rabbits and humans. It may be used as live attenuated plague vaccine candidates in terms of its low virulence. However, the Microtus strain's protection against plague has yet to be demonstrated in larger mammals. In this study, we evaluated the protective efficacy of the Microtus strain 201 as a live attenuated plague vaccine candidate. Our results show that this strain is highly attenuated by subcutaneous route, elicits an F1-specific antibody titer similar to the EV and provides a protective efficacy similar to the EV against bubonic plague in Chinese-origin rhesus macaques. The Microtus strain 201 could induce elevated secretion of both Th1-associated cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-2 and TNF-α) and Th2-associated cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, and IL-6), as well as chemokines MCP-1 and IL-8. However, the protected animals developed skin ulcer at challenge site with different severity in most of the immunized and some of the EV-immunized monkeys. Generally, the Microtus strain 201 represented a good plague vaccine candidate based on its ability to generate strong humoral and cell-mediated immune responses as well as its good protection against high dose of subcutaneous virulent Y. pestis challenge.

  1. Molecular identification by “suicide PCR” of Yersinia pestis as the agent of Medieval Black Death

    PubMed Central

    Raoult, Didier; Aboudharam, Gérard; Crubézy, Eric; Larrouy, Georges; Ludes, Bertrand; Drancourt, Michel

    2000-01-01

    Medieval Black Death is believed to have killed up to one-third of the Western European population during the 14th century. It was identified as plague at this time, but recently the causative organism was debated because no definitive evidence has been obtained to confirm the role of Yersinia pestis as the agent of plague. We obtained the teeth of a child and two adults from a 14th century grave in France, disrupted them to obtain the pulp, and applied the new “suicide PCR” protocol in which the primers are used only once. There were no positive controls: Neither Yersinia nor Yersinia DNA were introduced in the laboratory. A negative result is followed by a new test using other primers; a positive result is followed by sequencing. The second and third primer pair used, coding for a part of the pla gene, generated amplicons whose sequence confirmed that it was Y. pestis in 1 tooth from the child and 19/19 teeth from the adults. Negative controls were negative. Attempts to detect the putative alternative etiologic agents Bacillus anthracis and Rickettsia prowazekii failed. Suicide PCR avoids any risk of contamination as it uses a single-shot primer—its specificity is absolute. We believe that we can end the controversy: Medieval Black Death was plague. PMID:11058154

  2. Identification of Novel Protein-Protein Interactions of Yersinia pestis Type III Secretion System by Yeast Two Hybrid System

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Liujun; Wang, Jian; Ke, Yuehua; Guo, Zhaobiao; Yang, Xiaoming; Yang, Ruifu; Du, Zongmin

    2013-01-01

    Type III secretion system (T3SS) of the plague bacterium Y. pestis encodes a syringe-like structure consisting of more than 20 proteins, which can inject virulence effectors into host cells to modulate the cellular functions. Here in this report, interactions among the possible components in T3SS of Yersinia pestis were identified using yeast mating technique. A total of 57 genes, including all the pCD1-encoded genes except those involved in plasmid replication and partition, pseudogenes, and the putative transposase genes, were subjected to yeast mating analysis. 21 pairs of interaction proteins were identified, among which 9 pairs had been previously reported and 12 novel pairs were identified in this study. Six of them were tested by GST pull down assay, and interaction pairs of YscG-SycD, YscG-TyeA, YscI-YscF, and YopN-YpCD1.09c were successfully validated, suggesting that these interactions might play potential roles in function of Yersinia T3SS. Several potential new interactions among T3SS components could help to understand the assembly and regulation of Yersinia T3SS. PMID:23349800

  3. Isothiazolidinone (IZD) as a phosphoryl mimetic in inhibitors of the Yersinia pestis protein tyrosine phosphatase YopH

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Sung-Eun; Bahta, Medhanit; Lountos, George T.; Ulrich, Robert G.; Burke, Terrence R. Jr Waugh, David S.

    2011-07-01

    The first X-ray crystal structure of the Y. pestis protein tyrosine phosphatase YopH in complex with an isothiazolidinone-based lead-fragment compound is reported. Isothiazolidinone (IZD) heterocycles can act as effective components of protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) inhibitors by simultaneously replicating the binding interactions of both a phosphoryl group and a highly conserved water molecule, as exemplified by the structures of several PTP1B–inhibitor complexes. In the first unambiguous demonstration of IZD interactions with a PTP other than PTP1B, it is shown by X-ray crystallography that the IZD motif binds within the catalytic site of the Yersinia pestis PTP YopH by similarly displacing a highly conserved water molecule. It is also shown that IZD-based bidentate ligands can inhibit YopH in a nonpromiscuous fashion at low micromolar concentrations. Hence, the IZD moiety may represent a useful starting point for the development of YopH inhibitors.

  4. A Recombinant Raccoon Poxvirus Vaccine Expressing both Yersinia pestis F1 and Truncated V Antigens Protects Animals against Lethal Plague

    PubMed Central

    Rocke, Tonie E.; Kingstad-Bakke, Brock; Berlier, Willy; Osorio, Jorge E.

    2014-01-01

    In previous studies, we demonstrated in mice and prairie dogs that simultaneous administration of two recombinant raccoon poxviruses (rRCN) expressing Yersinia pestis antigens (F1 and V307—a truncated version of the V protein) provided superior protection against plague challenge compared to individual single antigen constructs. To reduce costs of vaccine production and facilitate implementation of a sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) control program for prairie dogs, a dual antigen construct is more desirable. Here we report the construction and characterization of a novel RCN-vectored vaccine that simultaneously expresses both F1 and V307 antigens. This dual antigen vaccine provided similar levels of protection against plague in both mice and prairie dogs as compared to simultaneous administration of the two single antigen constructs and was also shown to protect mice against an F1 negative strain of Y. pestis. The equivalent safety, immunogenicity and efficacy profile of the dual RCN-F1/V307 construct warrants further evaluation in field efficacy studies in sylvatic plague endemic areas. PMID:26344891

  5. A Recombinant Raccoon Poxvirus Vaccine Expressing both Yersinia pestis F1 and Truncated V Antigens Protects Animals against Lethal Plague.

    PubMed

    Rocke, Tonie E; Kingstad-Bakke, Brock; Berlier, Willy; Osorio, Jorge E

    2014-10-27

    In previous studies, we demonstrated in mice and prairie dogs that simultaneous administration of two recombinant raccoon poxviruses (rRCN) expressing Yersinia pestis antigens (F1 and V307-a tr