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Sample records for pestis em roedores

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. [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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Rapid detection of Yersinia pestis recombinant fraction 1 capsular antigen.

    PubMed

    Tsui, Pei-Yi; Tsai, Hui-Ping; Chiao, Der-Jiang; Liu, Cheng-Che; Shyu, Rong-Hwa

    2015-09-01

    Yersinia pestis, an infectious bacterium that is a causative agent of plague, a disease which has been shown to be one of the most feared in history and which has caused millions of deaths. The capsule-like fraction 1 (F1) antigen expressed by Y. pestis is a known specific marker for the identification of the bacteria; therefore, the detection of F1 is important for Y. pestis recognition. In this study, a rapid, sensitive, and specific technique, the lateral flow assay (LFA), was successfully developed to detect Y. pestis by the recombinant F1 antigen. The assay that utilized an anti-F1 polyclonal antibody (Pab) to identify the bacteria was based on a double-antibody sandwich format on a nitrocellulose membrane. With the LFA method, 50 ng/ml of recombinant F1 protein and 10(5) CFU/mL of Y. pestis could be detected in less than 10 min. This assay also showed no cross-reaction with other Yersinia spp. or with some selected capsule-producing Enterobacteriaceae strains. Furthermore, detection of Y. pestis in simulated samples has been evaluated. The detection sensitivity of Y. pestis in various matrices was 10(5) CFU/mL, which was identical to that in PBS buffer. The results obtained suggest that LFA is an excellent tool for detection of Y. pestis contamination in an environment and hence can be used to monitor plague diseases when they emerge.

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

    DOEpatents

    McCready, Paula M.; Radnedge, Lyndsay; Andersen, Gary L.; Ott, Linda L.; Slezak, Thomas R.; Kuczmarski, Thomas A.; Motin, Vladinir L.

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Production of Recombinant Injectosome and Outer Membrane Proteins from Yersinia Pestis KIM5

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-06-01

    7 2.2 Threat Assessment from WMD ............................................................ 7 2.3 Bacterial Based Biological Weapons (BBBW...Introduction 1.1 Chapter Overview Yersinia pestis, formerly Pasteurella pestis, has long been a blight upon the human species. As the causative agent of...Centers for Disease Control has classified Y. pestis as a Category A Agent (CDC 2009). This bacterial disease is endemic in a large portion of the

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Genotyping of Global Yersinia Pestis Isolates by Using IS285

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-11-01

    ecological variants. In this work , we consider literature data, as well as our previous and new results on genotyping of global Y. pestis strains. We come...as a biological weapon, one should have efficient tools of genotyping. In this work , we analyze literature data and present our results of Y...GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 5e. TASK NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  15. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  17. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. [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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Differential regulation of the hmsCDE operon in Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis by the Rcs phosphorelay system.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xiao-Peng; Ren, Gai-Xian; Zhu, Hui; Mao, Xu-Jian; Sun, Yi-Cheng

    2015-02-12

    Yersinia pestis, the agent of plague, forms a biofilm in its flea vector to enhance transmission. Y. pestis biofilm development is positively regulated by hmsT and hmsD, encoding diguanylate cyclases (DGCs) involved in synthesis of the bacterial second messenger c-di-GMP. rcsA, encoding an auxiliary protein in Rcs phosphorelay, is nonfunctional in Y. pestis, while in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, rcsA is functional and represses biofilms. Previously we showed that Rcs phosphorelay negatively regulates transcription of hmsT in Y. pestis and its ancestor Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. In this study, we show that Rcs positively regulates hmsCDE operon (encoding HmsD) in Y. pestis; while in the presence of functional rcsA, Rcs represses hmsCDE operon in Y. pseudotuberculosis. Loss of rcsA's function in Y. pestis not only causes derepression of hmsT but also causes activation of hmsD, which may account for the increased biofilm formation in Y. pestis. In addition, differential regulation of the two DGCs, HmsT and HmsD by Rcs may help Y. pestis to adapt to different environment.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. [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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

    with F1-V fusion protein by subcutaneous (SC) injection protects the animals against plague upon injection of the bacterium Yersinia pestis. This...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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. [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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-28

    penetration, production of modified restriction endonucleases PLoS ONE | www.plosone.org 1 September 2011 | Volume 6 | Issue 9 | e25486 Report Documentation...bacterial cell surface receptors [29,48]. The purpose of this work was to study spontaneous and site- directed ( non -polar) mutants of Y. pestis resistant...International, http:// www.premierbiosoft.com) and are listed in Table S1. The mutagenesis primers were designed so that the replacements were non -polar and

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. 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

  1. 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.

  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. 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

  4. 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

  5. Performance of a Handheld PCR Instrument in the Detection of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis: Sensitivity, Specificity, and Effect of Interferents on Assay Results

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-12-01

    1 PERFORMANCE OF A HANDHELD PCR INSTRUMENT IN THE DETECTION OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS, FRANCISELLA TULARENSIS, AND YERSINIA PESTIS: SENSITIVITY...fluorogenic PCR assay reagents for the detection of three biological threat agents, Bacillus anthracis (BA), Francisella tularensis (FT), and Yersinia...TITLE AND SUBTITLE Performance Of A Handheld Pcr Instrument In The Detection Of Bacillus Anthracis, Francisella Tularensis, And Yersinia Pestis

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. [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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Growth of a plasmid-bearing (pYV) Yersinia pestis KIM5 in retail raw ground pork

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. [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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The Yersinia pestis Rcs phosphorelay inhibits biofilm formation by repressing transcription of the diguanylate cyclase gene hmsT.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yi-Cheng; Guo, Xiao-Peng; Hinnebusch, B Joseph; Darby, Creg

    2012-04-01

    Yersinia pestis, which causes bubonic plague, forms biofilms in fleas, its insect vectors, as a means to enhance transmission. Biofilm development is positively regulated by hmsT, encoding a diguanylate cyclase that synthesizes the bacterial second messenger cyclic-di-GMP. Biofilm development is negatively regulated by the Rcs phosphorelay signal transduction system. In this study, we show that Rcs-negative regulation is accomplished by repressing transcription of hmsT.

  19. Protection Conferred by recombinant Yersinia pestis Antigens Produced by a Rapid and Highly Scalable Plant Expression System

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-01-24

    variety of molecules have been successfully expressed in plants , including peptides (14), human proteins and enzymes (15), viral and bacterial...contaminated by the Rubisco large subunit, which is very similar in size to F1-V. Analysis of Purified Plant -Produced Antigens. Western blots were...Protection conferred by recombinant Yersinia pestis antigens produced by a rapid and highly scalable plant expression system Luca Santi*†, Anatoli

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. [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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  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. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. [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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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, B.; Bal, Y.; Gage, K.L.; Cully, J.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. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2008.

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. Resistance of Mice of the 129 Background to Yersinia pestis Maps to Multiple Loci on Chromosome 1

    PubMed Central

    Tencati, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Yersinia pestis is a Gram-negative bacterium that is the causative agent of bubonic and pneumonic plague. It is commonly acquired by mammals such as rodents and humans via the bite of an infected flea. We previously reported that multiple substrains of the 129 mouse background are resistant to pigmentation locus-negative (pgm−) Yersinia pestis and that this phenotype maps to a 30-centimorgan (cM) region located on chromosome 1. In this study, we have further delineated this plague resistance locus to a region of less than 20 cM through the creation and phenotyping of recombinant offspring arising from novel crossovers in this region. Furthermore, our experiments have revealed that there are at least two alleles in this initial locus, both of which are required for resistance on a susceptible C57BL/6 background. These two alleles work in trans since resistance is restored in offspring possessing one allele contributed by each parent. Our studies also indicated that the Slc11a1 gene (formerly known as Nramp1) located within the chromosome1 locus is not responsible for conferring resistance to 129 mice. PMID:27481241

  15. 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.

  16. Surveillance of Egyptian fleas for agents of public health significance: Anaplasma, Bartonella, Coxiella, Ehrlichia, Rickettsia, and Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Loftis, Amanda D; Reeves, Will K; Szumlas, Daniel E; Abbassy, Magda M; Helmy, Ibrahim M; Moriarity, John R; Dasch, Gregory A

    2006-07-01

    Serologic surveys in Egypt have documented human and animal exposure to vector-borne bacterial pathogens, but the presence and distribution of these agents in arthropods has not been determined. Between July 2002 and July 2003, fleas were collected from 221 mammals trapped in 17 cities throughout Egypt. A total of 987 fleas were collected, representing four species (Ctenocephalides felis, Echidnophaga gallinacea, Leptopsylla segnis, and Xenopsylla cheopis); 899 of these fleas were X. cheopis from rats (Rattus spp.). Fleas were tested for DNA from Anaplasma spp., Bartonella spp., Coxiella burnetii, Ehrlichia spp., Rickettsia spp., and Yersinia pestis. Rickettsia typhi, the agent of murine typhus, was detected in X. cheopis and L. segnis from rats from nine cities. A spotted-fever group Rickettsia sp. similar to "RF2125" was detected in E. gallinacea, and two unidentified spotted fever group Rickettsia were detected in two X. cheopis. Novel Bartonella genotypes were detected in X. cheopis and L. segnis from three cities. Coxiella burnetii was detected in two fleas. Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Y. pestis were not detected.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Early-phase transmission of Yersinia pestis by unblocked fleas as a mechanism explaining rapidly spreading plague epizootics.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Rebecca J; Bearden, Scott W; Wilder, Aryn P; Montenieri, John A; Antolin, Michael F; Gage, Kenneth L

    2006-10-17

    Plague is a highly virulent disease believed to have killed millions during three historic human pandemics. Worldwide, it remains a threat to humans and is a potential agent of bioterrorism. Dissemination of Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, by blocked fleas has been the accepted paradigm for flea-borne transmission. However, this mechanism, which requires a lengthy extrinsic incubation period before a short infectious window often followed by death of the flea, cannot sufficiently explain the rapid rate of spread that typifies plague epidemics and epizootics. Inconsistencies between the expected rate of spread by blocked rat fleas and that observed during the Black Death has even caused speculation that plague was not the cause of this medieval pandemic. We used the primary vector to humans in North America, Oropsylla montana, which rarely becomes blocked, as a model for studying alternative flea-borne transmission mechanisms. Our data revealed that, in contrast to the classical blocked flea model, O. montana is immediately infectious, transmits efficiently for at least 4 d postinfection (early phase) and may remain infectious for a long time because the fleas do not suffer block-induced mortality. These factors match the criteria required to drive plague epizootics as defined by recently published mathematical models. The scenario of efficient early-phase transmission by unblocked fleas described in our study calls for a paradigm shift in concepts of how Y. pestis is transmitted during rapidly spreading epizootics and epidemics, including, perhaps, the Black Death.

  20. Complete Genome Sequence of Yersinia pestis Strains Antiqua andNepal516: Evidence of Gene Reduction in an Emerging Pathogen

    SciTech Connect

    Chain, Patrick S.G.; Hu, Ping; Malfatti, Stephanie A.; Radnedge,Lyndsay; Larimer, Frank; Vergez, Lisa M.; Worsham, Patricia; Chu, May C.; Andersen, Gary L.

    2006-01-16

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic andpneumonicplague, has undergone detailed study at the molecular level. Tofurther investigate the genomic diversity among this group and to helpcharacterize lineages of the plague organism that have no sequencedmembers, we present here the genomes of two isolates of the "classical"Antiqua biovar, strains Antiqua and Nepal516. The genomes of Antiqua andNepal516 are 4.7 Mb and 4.5 Mb and encode 4,138 and 3,956 open readingframes respectively. Though both strains belong to one of the threeclassical biovars, they represent separate lineages defined by recentphylogenetic studies. We compare all five currently sequenced Y. pestisgenomes and the corresponding features in Y. pseudotuberculosis. Thereare strain-specific rearrangements, insertions, deletions, singlenucleotide polymorphisms and a unique distribution of insertionsequences. We found 453 single nucleotide polymorphisms in protein codingregions, which were used to assess evolutionary relationships of these Y.pestis strains. Gene reduction analysis revealed that the gene deletionprocesses are under selective pressure and many of the inactivations areprobably related to the organism s interaction with its host environment.The results presented here clearly demonstrate the differences betweenthe two Antiqua lineages and support the notion that grouping Y. pestisstrains based strictly on the classical definition of biovars (predicatedupon two biochemical assays) does not accurately reflect the phylogeneticrelationships within this species. Comparison of four virulent Y. pestisstrains with the human-avirulent strain 91001 provides further insightinto the genetic basis of virulence to humans.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Functional and Structural Analysis of a Highly-Expressed Yersinia pestis Small RNA following Infection of Cultured Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Micheva-Viteva, Sofiya; Hu, Bin; Shou, Yulin; Vuyisich, Momchilo; Tung, Chang-Shung; Chain, Patrick S.; Sanbonmatsu, Karissa Y.; Hong-Geller, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    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. We 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. Finally, 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. PMID:28030576

  5. Recent Findings Regarding Maintenance of Enzootic Variants of Yersinia pestis in Sylvatic Reservoirs and Their Significance in the Evolution of Epidemic Plague

    PubMed Central

    Brubaker, Robert R.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Despite the widespread presence of bubonic plague in sylvatic reservoirs throughout the world, the causative agent (Yersinia pestis) evolved in its present form within the last 20,000 years from enteropathogenic Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Comparison of the genomes from the two species revealed that Y. pestis possesses only a few unique plasmid-encoded genes that contribute to acute disease, whereas this organism has lost about 13% of the chromosomal genes that remain active in Y. pseudotuberculosis. These losses reflect readily detectable additions, deletions, transpositions, inversions, and acquisition of about 70 insertion sequence (IS) inserts, none of which are likely to promote increased virulence. In contrast, major enzymes of intermediary metabolism, including glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (Zwf ) and aspartase, are present but not catalytically functional due to the presence of missense mutations. The latter are generally not detectable by the technology of bioinformatics and, in the case of Y. pestis, result in radical changes in the metabolic flow of carbon. As an important consequence, plague bacilli exhibit a stringent low-calcium response characterized by conversion of L-glutamate (and metabolically related amino acids) to L-aspartate with secretion of the latter into supernatant fluid at 37°C in culture media containing Na+ but lacking added Ca2+. This phenomenon also occurs in vivo and likely adversely affects the bioenergetics of host amino acid pools. Curiously, aspartase is functional in all tested enzootic (pestoides) strains of Y. pestis. These isolates are typically restricted to the ancient plague reservoirs of Central Asia and Africa and are fully virulent in members of the rodent Superfamily Muroidea but avirulent in guinea pigs and man. The implications of these findings for the distribution and ecology of Y. pestis could be significant. PMID:20158336

  6. Detection of novel Bartonella strains and Yersinia pestis in prairie dogs and their fleas (Siphonaptera: Ceratophyllidae and Pulicidae) using multiplex polymerase chain reaction.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Heather L; Bai, Ying; Kosoy, Michael Y; Montenieri, John A; Lowell, Jennifer L; Chu, May C; Gage, Kenneth L

    2003-05-01

    We developed a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay that simultaneously detects three types of flea-associated microorganisms. Targets for the assay were sequences encoding portions of the gltA, a 17-kDa antigen, and pla genes of Bartonella spp. Strong et al., Rickettsia spp. da Rocha-Lima, and Yersinia pestis Yersin, respectively. A total of 260 flea samples containing bloodmeal remnants were analyzed from fleas collected from abandoned prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) burrows at the site of an active plague epizootic in Jefferson County, CO. Results indicated that 34 (13.1%) fleas were positive for Bartonella spp., 0 (0%) were positive for Rickettsia spp., and 120 (46.2%) were positive for Y. pestis. Twenty-three (8.8%) of these fleas were coinfected with Bartonella spp. and Y. pestis. A second group of 295 bloodmeal-containing fleas was collected and analyzed from abandoned burrows in Logan County, CO, where a prairie dog die-off had occurred 2-4 mo before the time of sampling. Of these 295 fleas, 7 (2.4%) were positive for Bartonella spp., 0 (0%) were positive for Rickettsia spp., and 46 (15.6%) were positive for Y. pestis. Coinfections were not observed in fleas from the Logan County epizootic site. The multiplex PCR also was used to identify Y. pestis and Bartonella in prairie dog blood and tissues. This report represents the first identification of Bartonella from prairie dogs and their fleas. Prairie dog fleas were tested with PCR, and the Bartonella PCR amplicons produced were sequenced and found to be closely related to similar sequences amplified from Bartonella that had been isolated from prairie dog blood samples. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that the sequences of bartonellae from prairie dogs and prairie dog fleas cluster tightly within a clade that is distinct from those containing other known Bartonella genotypes.

  7. A LysR-Type Transcriptional Regulator, RovM, Senses Nutritional Cues Suggesting that It Is Involved in Metabolic Adaptation of Yersinia pestis to the Flea Gut.

    PubMed

    Vadyvaloo, Viveka; Hinz, Angela K

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis has evolved as a clonal variant of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis to cause flea-borne biofilm-mediated transmission of the bubonic plague. The LysR-type transcriptional regulator, RovM, is highly induced only during Y. pestis infection of the flea host. RovM homologs in other pathogens regulate biofilm formation, nutrient sensing, and virulence; including in Y. pseudotuberculosis, where RovM represses the major virulence factor, RovA. Here the role that RovM plays during flea infection was investigated using a Y. pestis KIM6+ strain deleted of rovM, ΔrovM. The ΔrovM mutant strain was not affected in characteristic biofilm gut blockage, growth, or survival during single infection of fleas. Nonetheless, during a co-infection of fleas, the ΔrovM mutant exhibited a significant competitive fitness defect relative to the wild type strain. This competitive fitness defect was restored as a fitness advantage relative to the wild type in a ΔrovM mutant complemented in trans to over-express rovM. Consistent with this, Y. pestis strains, producing elevated transcriptional levels of rovM, displayed higher growth rates, and differential ability to form biofilm in response to specific nutrients in comparison to the wild type. In addition, we demonstrated that rovA was not repressed by RovM in fleas, but that elevated transcriptional levels of rovM in vitro correlated with repression of rovA under specific nutritional conditions. Collectively, these findings suggest that RovM likely senses specific nutrient cues in the flea gut environment, and accordingly directs metabolic adaptation to enhance flea gut colonization by Y. pestis.

  8. Structural snapshots along the reaction pathway of Yersinia pestis RipA, a putative butyryl-CoA transferase

    SciTech Connect

    Torres, Rodrigo; Lan, Benson; Latif, Yama; Chim, Nicholas; Goulding, Celia W.

    2014-04-01

    The crystal structures of Y. pestis RipA mutants were determined to provide insights into the CoA transferase reaction pathway. Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic plague, is able to survive in both extracellular and intracellular environments within the human host, although its intracellular survival within macrophages is poorly understood. A novel Y. pestis three-gene rip (required for intracellular proliferation) operon, and in particular ripA, has been shown to be essential for survival and replication in interferon γ-induced macrophages. RipA was previously characterized as a putative butyryl-CoA transferase proposed to yield butyrate, a known anti-inflammatory shown to lower macrophage-produced NO levels. RipA belongs to the family I CoA transferases, which share structural homology, a conserved catalytic glutamate which forms a covalent CoA-thioester intermediate and a flexible loop adjacent to the active site known as the G(V/I)G loop. Here, functional and structural analyses of several RipA mutants are presented in an effort to dissect the CoA transferase mechanism of RipA. In particular, E61V, M31G and F60M RipA mutants show increased butyryl-CoA transferase activities when compared with wild-type RipA. Furthermore, the X-ray crystal structures of E61V, M31G and F60M RipA mutants, when compared with the wild-type RipA structure, reveal important conformational changes orchestrated by a conserved acyl-group binding-pocket phenylalanine, Phe85, and the G(V/I)G loop. Binary structures of M31G RipA and F60M RipA with two distinct CoA substrate conformations are also presented. Taken together, these data provide CoA transferase reaction snapshots of an open apo RipA, a closed glutamyl-anhydride intermediate and an open CoA-thioester intermediate. Furthermore, biochemical analyses support essential roles for both the catalytic glutamate and the flexible G(V/I)G loop along the reaction pathway, although further research is required to fully

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. [Macro- and microevolution as related to the problem of origin and global expansion of the plague pathogen Yersinia pestis].

    PubMed

    Suntsov, V V; Suntsova, N I

    2008-01-01

    The ratio of macro- and microevolutionary processes is considered with reference to the ecological scenario of the origin of the plague pathogen and its subsequent natural and anthropogenic global expansion. The macroevolutionary transformation of the ancestral pseudotuberculosis microbe clone into the initial plague microbe Yersinia pestis tarbagani occurred in Central Asia at the end of the Late Pleistocene by a "vertical" Darwinian way in an inadaptive heterothermal continual intermediate environment--the Mongolian marmot Marmota sibirica-flea Oropsylla silantiewi system--via a sequence of unstable and currently extinct intermediate forms. Its natural geographic expansion on the "oil spot" principle in the postglacial time led to the microevolutionary formation of 20-30 hostal subspecies circulating in populations of the background species of burrowing rodents and pikas in arid areas of Eurasia. The intercontinental spread of the "marmot" and "rat" pathogen subspecies in the past few centuries has been exclusively anthropogenic, with the involvement of synanthropic (ship) rats.

  11. A Noise Trimming and Positional Significance of Transposon Insertion System to Identify Essential Genes in Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zheng Rong; Bullifent, Helen L; Moore, Karen; Paszkiewicz, Konrad; Saint, Richard J; Southern, Stephanie J; Champion, Olivia L; Senior, Nicola J; Sarkar-Tyson, Mitali; Oyston, Petra C F; Atkins, Timothy P; Titball, Richard W

    2017-02-06

    Massively parallel sequencing technology coupled with saturation mutagenesis has provided new and global insights into gene functions and roles. At a simplistic level, the frequency of mutations within genes can indicate the degree of essentiality. However, this approach neglects to take account of the positional significance of mutations - the function of a gene is less likely to be disrupted by a mutation close to the distal ends. Therefore, a systematic bioinformatics approach to improve the reliability of essential gene identification is desirable. We report here a parametric model which introduces a novel mutation feature together with a noise trimming approach to predict the biological significance of Tn5 mutations. We show improved performance of essential gene prediction in the bacterium Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague. This method would have broad applicability to other organisms and to the identification of genes which are essential for competitiveness or survival under a broad range of stresses.

  12. Enhanced recovery of airborne T3 coliphage and Pasteurella pestis bacteriophage by means of a presampling humidification technique.

    PubMed

    Hatch, M T; Warren, J C

    1969-05-01

    This paper reports a series of experiments in which two methods of collecting airborne bacteriophage particles were compared. A standard aerosol sampler, the AGI-30, was evaluated for its competence in measuring the content of bacteriophage aerosols. It was used alone or with a prewetting or humidification device (humidifier bulb) to recover T(3) coliphage and Pasteurella pestis bacteriophage particles from aerosols maintained at 21 C and varied relative humidity. Collection of bacteriophage particles via the humidifier bulb altered both the initial recovery level and the apparent biological decay. Sampling airborne bacteriophage particles by the AGI-30 alone yielded data that apparently underestimated the maximal number of potentially viable particles within the aerosol, sometimes by as much as 3 logs.

  13. A Noise Trimming and Positional Significance of Transposon Insertion System to Identify Essential Genes in Yersinia pestis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Zheng Rong; Bullifent, Helen L.; Moore, Karen; Paszkiewicz, Konrad; Saint, Richard J.; Southern, Stephanie J.; Champion, Olivia L.; Senior, Nicola J.; Sarkar-Tyson, Mitali; Oyston, Petra C. F.; Atkins, Timothy P.; Titball, Richard W.

    2017-02-01

    Massively parallel sequencing technology coupled with saturation mutagenesis has provided new and global insights into gene functions and roles. At a simplistic level, the frequency of mutations within genes can indicate the degree of essentiality. However, this approach neglects to take account of the positional significance of mutations - the function of a gene is less likely to be disrupted by a mutation close to the distal ends. Therefore, a systematic bioinformatics approach to improve the reliability of essential gene identification is desirable. We report here a parametric model which introduces a novel mutation feature together with a noise trimming approach to predict the biological significance of Tn5 mutations. We show improved performance of essential gene prediction in the bacterium Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague. This method would have broad applicability to other organisms and to the identification of genes which are essential for competitiveness or survival under a broad range of stresses.

  14. A Noise Trimming and Positional Significance of Transposon Insertion System to Identify Essential Genes in Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zheng Rong; Bullifent, Helen L.; Moore, Karen; Paszkiewicz, Konrad; Saint, Richard J.; Southern, Stephanie J.; Champion, Olivia L.; Senior, Nicola J.; Sarkar-Tyson, Mitali; Oyston, Petra C. F.; Atkins, Timothy P.; Titball, Richard W.

    2017-01-01

    Massively parallel sequencing technology coupled with saturation mutagenesis has provided new and global insights into gene functions and roles. At a simplistic level, the frequency of mutations within genes can indicate the degree of essentiality. However, this approach neglects to take account of the positional significance of mutations - the function of a gene is less likely to be disrupted by a mutation close to the distal ends. Therefore, a systematic bioinformatics approach to improve the reliability of essential gene identification is desirable. We report here a parametric model which introduces a novel mutation feature together with a noise trimming approach to predict the biological significance of Tn5 mutations. We show improved performance of essential gene prediction in the bacterium Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague. This method would have broad applicability to other organisms and to the identification of genes which are essential for competitiveness or survival under a broad range of stresses. PMID:28165493

  15. Evaluation of the FilmArray® system for detection of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis

    SciTech Connect

    Seiner, Derrick R.; Colburn, Heather A.; Baird, Cheryl L.; Bartholomew, Rachel A.; Straub, Tim M.; Victry, Kristin D.; Hutchison, Janine R.; Valentine, Nancy B.; Bruckner-Lea, Cindy J.

    2013-04-29

    To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of the Idaho Technologies FilmArray® Biothreat Panel for the detection of Bacillus anthracis (Ba), Francisella tularensis (Ft), and Yersinia pestis (Yp) DNA, and demonstrate the detection of Ba spores. Methods and Results: DNA samples from Ba, Ft and Yp strains and near-neighbors, and live Ba spores were analyzed using the Biothreat Panel, a multiplexed PCR-based assay for 17 pathogens and toxins. Sensitivity studies with DNA suggest a limit of detection of 250 genome equivalents (GEs) per sample. Furthermore, the correct call of Ft, Yp or Bacillus species was made in 63 of 72 samples tested at 25 GE or less. With samples containing 25 Ba Sterne spores, at least one of the two possible Ba markers were identified in all samples tested. We observed no cross-reactivity with near-neighbor DNAs.

  16. Backbone structure of Yersinia pestis Ail determined in micelles by NMR-restrained simulated annealing with implicit membrane solvation

    PubMed Central

    Marassi, Francesca M.; Ding, Yi; Schwieters, Charles D.; Tian, Ye; Yao, Yong

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY The outer membrane protein Ail (attachment invasion locus) is a virulence factor of Yersinia pestis that mediates cell invasion, cell attachment and complement resistance. Here we describe its three-dimensional backbone structure determined in decyl-phosphocholine (DePC) micelles by NMR spectroscopy. The NMR structure was calculated using the membrane function of the implicit solvation potential, eefxPot, which we have developed to facilitate NMR structure calculations in a physically realistic environment. We show that the eefxPot force field guides the protein towards its native fold. The resulting structures provide information about the membrane-embedded global position of Ail, and have higher accuracy, higher precision and improved conformational properties, compared to the structures calculated with the standard repulsive potential. PMID:26143069

  17. Inactivation of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, as a surrogate for Yersinia pestis, by liquid biocides in the presence of food residue.

    PubMed

    Hilgren, J; Swanson, K M J; Diez-Gonzalez, F; Cords, B

    2009-02-01

    The efficacy of liquid biocides is influenced by surface cleanliness, treatment time, and temperature. Experiments were completed to measure the impact of these variables on the ability of commercial biocides to inactivate Yersinia pseudotuberculosis ATCC 29910, as a surrogate for Yersinia pestis, in the presence of food residues. The test organism was mixed with water, milk, flour, or egg yolk and then dried onto stainless steel coupons. Coupons were then exposed to sodium hypochlorite, acidified sodium chlorite, a quaternary ammonium compound, an iodophor, hydrogen peroxide, peroxyacetic acid, or a peroxy-fatty acid mixture, for 10 or 30 min at 10, 20, or 30 degrees C. For all biocides except the iodophor, manufacturer-recommended disinfection levels applied for 10 min at 20 degrees C resulted in 5-log reductions of the test organism dried alone or with flour. However, in the presence of whole milk or egg yolk residue, markedly higher sodium hypochlorite, peroxyacetic acid, peroxy-fatty acid mixture, quaternary ammonium compound, and iodophor concentrations were needed to achieve the 5-log reductions. Further, the quaternary ammonium compound was incapable of achieving 5-log reductions in 10 min in the presence of milk and egg yolk residues. Hydrogen peroxide and acidified sodium chlorite disinfection levels (7.5% and 2500 ppm, respectively) achieved 5-log reductions under all test conditions. These results suggest that commercial disinfectants can adequately decontaminate clean surfaces contaminated with Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. pestis. These results also provide guidance on the feasibility of overcoming the negative influence of food residues on disinfection by adjusting biocide exposure time, temperature, and concentration.

  18. Effective Protective Immunity to Yersinia pestis Infection Conferred by DNA Vaccine Coding for Derivatives of the F1 Capsular Antigen

    PubMed Central

    Grosfeld, Haim; Cohen, Sara; Bino, Tamar; Flashner, Yehuda; Ber, Raphael; Mamroud, Emanuelle; Kronman, Chanoch; Shafferman, Avigdor; Velan, Baruch

    2003-01-01

    Three plasmids expressing derivatives of the Yersinia pestis capsular F1 antigen were evaluated for their potential as DNA vaccines. These included plasmids expressing the full-length F1, F1 devoid of its putative signal peptide (deF1), and F1 fused to the signal-bearing E3 polypeptide of Semliki Forest virus (E3/F1). Expression of these derivatives in transfected HEK293 cells revealed that deF1 is expressed in the cytosol, E3/F1 is targeted to the secretory cisternae, and the nonmodified F1 is rapidly eliminated from the cell. Intramuscular vaccination of mice with these plasmids revealed that the vector expressing deF1 was the most effective in eliciting anti-F1 antibodies. This response was not limited to specific mouse strains or to the mode of DNA administration, though gene gun-mediated vaccination was by far more effective than intramuscular needle injection. Vaccination of mice with deF1 DNA conferred protection against subcutaneous infection with the virulent Y. pestis Kimberley53 strain, even at challenge amounts as high as 4,000 50% lethal doses. Antibodies appear to play a major role in mediating this protection, as demonstrated by passive transfer of anti-deF1 DNA antiserum. Taken together, these observations indicate that a tailored genetic vaccine based on a bacterial protein can be used to confer protection against plague in mice without resorting to regimens involving the use of purified proteins. PMID:12496187

  19. Rapid Focused Sequencing: A Multiplexed Assay for Simultaneous Detection and Strain Typing of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Zolotova, Anna; Tan, Eugene; Selden, Richard F.

    2013-01-01

    Background The intentional release of Bacillus anthracis in the United States in 2001 has heightened concern about the use of pathogenic microorganisms in bioterrorism attacks. Many of the deadliest bacteria, including the Class A Select Agents Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis, are highly infectious via the pulmonary route when released in aerosolized form. Hence, rapid, sensitive, and reliable methods for detection of these biothreats and characterization of their potential impact on the exposed population are of critical importance to initiate and support rapid military, public health, and clinical responses. Methodology/Principal Findings We have developed microfluidic multiplexed PCR and sequencing assays based on the simultaneous interrogation of three pathogens per assay and ten loci per pathogen. Microfluidic separation of amplified fluorescently labeled fragments generated characteristic electrophoretic signatures for identification of each agent. The three sets of primers allowed significant strain typing and discrimination from non-pathogenic closely-related species and environmental background strains based on amplicon sizes alone. Furthermore, sequencing of the 10 amplicons per pathogen, termed “Rapid Focused Sequencing,” allowed an even greater degree of strain discrimination and, in some cases, can be used to determine virulence. Both amplification and sequencing assays were performed in microfluidic biochips developed for fast thermal cycling and requiring 7 µL per reaction. The 30-plex sequencing assay resulted in genotypic resolution of 84 representative strains belonging to each of the three biothreat species. Conclusions/Significance The microfluidic multiplexed assays allowed identification and strain differentiation of the biothreat agents Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis and clear discrimination from closely-related species and several environmental background strains. The

  20. Kinetic Characterization and Allosteric Inhibition of the Yersinia pestis 1-Deoxy-D-Xylulose 5-Phosphate Reductoisomerase (MEP Synthase)

    PubMed Central

    Haymond, Amanda; Johny, Chinchu; Dowdy, Tyrone; Schweibenz, Brandon; Villarroel, Karen; Young, Richard; Mantooth, Clark J.; Patel, Trishal; Bases, Jessica; Jose, Geraldine San; Jackson, Emily R.; Dowd, Cynthia S.; Couch, Robin D.

    2014-01-01

    The methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway found in many bacteria governs the synthesis of isoprenoids, which are crucial lipid precursors for vital cell components such as ubiquinone. Because mammals synthesize isoprenoids via an alternate pathway, the bacterial MEP pathway is an attractive target for novel antibiotic development, necessitated by emerging antibiotic resistance as well as biodefense concerns. The first committed step in the MEP pathway is the reduction and isomerization of 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate (DXP) to methylerythritol phosphate (MEP), catalyzed by MEP synthase. To facilitate drug development, we cloned, expressed, purified, and characterized MEP synthase from Yersinia pestis. Enzyme assays indicate apparent kinetic constants of KMDXP = 252 µM and KMNADPH = 13 µM, IC50 values for fosmidomycin and FR900098 of 710 nM and 231 nM respectively, and Ki values for fosmidomycin and FR900098 of 251 nM and 101 nM respectively. To ascertain if the Y. pestis MEP synthase was amenable to a high-throughput screening campaign, the Z-factor was determined (0.9) then the purified enzyme was screened against a pilot scale library containing rationally designed fosmidomycin analogs and natural product extracts. Several hit molecules were obtained, most notably a natural product allosteric affector of MEP synthase and a rationally designed bisubstrate derivative of FR900098 (able to associate with both the NADPH and DXP binding sites in MEP synthase). It is particularly noteworthy that allosteric regulation of MEP synthase has not been described previously. Thus, our discovery implicates an alternative site (and new chemical space) for rational drug development. PMID:25171339

  1. Pleiotropic effects of the lpxM mutation in Yersinia pestis resulting in modification of the biosynthesis of major immunoreactive antigens

    PubMed Central

    Feodorova, V.A.; Pan'kina, L.N.; Savostina, E.P.; Kuznetsov, O.S.; Konnov, N.P.; Sayapina, L.V.; Dentovskaya, S.V.; Shaikhutdinova, R.Z.; Ageev, S.A.; Lindner, B.; A.N.Kondakova; Bystrova, O.V.; Kocharova, N.A.; Senchenkova, S.N.; Holst, O.; Pier, G.B.; Knirel, Y.A.; Anisimov, A.P.; Motin, V.L.

    2010-01-01

    Deletion mutants in the lpxM gene in two Y. pestis strains, the live Russian vaccine strain EV NIIEG and a fully virulent strain, 231, synthesise a less toxic penta-acylated lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Analysis of these mutants revealed they possessed marked reductions in expression and immunoreactivity of numerous major proteins and carbohydrate antigens, including F1, Pla, Ymt, V antigen, LPS, and ECA. Moreover, both mutants demonstrated altered epitope specificities of the antigens as determined in immunodot-ELISAs and immunoblotting analyses using a panel of monoclonal antibodies. The strains also differed in their susceptibility to the diagnostic plague bacteriophage L-413C. These findings indicate that the effects of the lpxM mutation on reduced virulence and enhanced immunity of the Y. pestis EV ΔlpxM is also associated with these pleiotropic changes and not just to changes in the lipid A acylation. PMID:19428838

  2. A New Clade of African Body and Head Lice Infected by Bartonella quintana and Yersinia pestis-Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    PubMed

    Drali, Rezak; Shako, Jean-Christophe; Davoust, Bernard; Diatta, Georges; Raoult, Didier

    2015-11-01

    The human body louse is known as a vector for the transmission of three serious diseases-specifically, epidemic typhus, trench fever, and relapsing fever caused by Rickettsia prowazekii, Bartonella quintana, and Borrelia recurrentis, respectively-that have killed millions of people. It is also suspected in the transmission of a fourth pathogen, Yersinia pestis, which is the etiologic agent of plague. To date, human lice belonging to the genus Pediculus have been classified into three mitochondrial clades: A, B, and C. Here, we describe a fourth mitochondrial clade, Clade D, comprising head and body lice. Clade D may be a vector of B. quintana and Y. pestis, which is prevalent in a highly plague-endemic area near the Rethy Health District, Orientale Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  3. VNTR diversity in Yersinia pestis isolates from an animal challenge study reveals the potential for in vitro mutations during laboratory cultivation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vogler, Amy J.; Nottingham, Roxanne; Busch, Joseph D.; Sahl, Jason W.; Shuey, Megan M.; Foster, Jeffrey T.; Schupp, James M.; Smith, Susan; Rocke, Tonie E.; Klein, Paul; Wagner, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Underlying mutation rates and other evolutionary forces shape the population structure of bacteria in nature. Although easily overlooked, similar forces are at work in the laboratory and may influence observed mutations. Here, we investigated tissue samples and Yersinia pestis isolates from a rodent laboratory challenge with strain CO92 using whole genome sequencing and multi-locus variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA). We identified six VNTR mutations that were found to have occurred in vitro during laboratory cultivation rather than in vivo during the rodent challenge. In contrast, no single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mutations were observed, either in vivo or in vitro. These results were consistent with previously published mutation rates and the calculated number of Y. pestis generations that occurred during the in vitro versus the in vivo portions of the experiment. When genotyping disease outbreaks, the potential for in vitro mutations should be considered, particularly when highly variable genetic markers such as VNTRs are used.

  4. Evaluation of the Role of the opgGH Operon in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Its Deletion during the Emergence of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Quintard, Kévin; Dewitte, Amélie; Reboul, Angéline; Madec, Edwige; Bontemps-Gallo, Sébastien; Dondeyne, Jacqueline; Marceau, Michaël; Simonet, Michel; Lacroix, Jean-Marie; Sebbane, Florent

    2015-09-01

    The opgGH operon encodes glucosyltransferases that synthesize osmoregulated periplasmic glucans (OPGs) from UDP-glucose, using acyl carrier protein (ACP) as a cofactor. OPGs are required for motility, biofilm formation, and virulence in various bacteria. OpgH also sequesters FtsZ in order to regulate cell size according to nutrient availability. Yersinia pestis (the agent of flea-borne plague) lost the opgGH operon during its emergence from the enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. When expressed in OPG-negative strains of Escherichia coli and Dickeya dadantii, opgGH from Y. pseudotuberculosis restored OPGs synthesis, motility, and virulence. However, Y. pseudotuberculosis did not produce OPGs (i) under various growth conditions or (ii) when overexpressing its opgGH operon, its galUF operon (governing UDP-glucose), or the opgGH operon or Acp from E. coli. A ΔopgGH Y. pseudotuberculosis strain showed normal motility, biofilm formation, resistance to polymyxin and macrophages, and virulence but was smaller. Consistently, Y. pestis was smaller than Y. pseudotuberculosis when cultured at ≥ 37°C, except when the plague bacillus expressed opgGH. Y. pestis expressing opgGH grew normally in serum and within macrophages and was fully virulent in mice, suggesting that small cell size was not advantageous in the mammalian host. Lastly, Y. pestis expressing opgGH was able to infect Xenopsylla cheopis fleas normally. Our results suggest an evolutionary scenario whereby an ancestral Yersinia strain lost a factor required for OPG biosynthesis but kept opgGH (to regulate cell size). The opgGH operon was presumably then lost because OpgH-dependent cell size control became unnecessary.

  5. A non-invasive in vivo imaging system to study dissemination of bioluminescent Yersinia pestis CO92 in a mouse model of pneumonic plague

    PubMed Central

    Sha, Jian; Rosenzweig, Jason A.; Kirtley, Michelle L.; van Lier, Christina J.; Fitts, Eric C.; Kozlova, Elena V.; Erova, Tatiana E.; Tiner, Bethany L.; Chopra, Ashok K.

    2012-01-01

    The gold standard in microbiology for monitoring bacterial dissemination in infected animals has always been viable plate counts. This method, despite being quantitative, requires sacrificing the infected animals. Recently, however, an alternative method of in vivo imaging of bioluminescent bacteria (IVIBB) for monitoring microbial dissemination within the host has been employed. Yersina pestis is a Gram-negative bacterium capable of causing bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague. In this study, we compared the conventional counting of bacterial colony forming units (cfu) in the various infected tissues to IVIBB in monitoring Y. pestis dissemination in a mouse model of pneumonic plague. By using a transposon mutagenesis system harboring the luciferase (luc) gene, we screened approximately 4000 clones and obtained a fully virulent, luc-positive Y. pestis CO92 (Y. pestis-luc2) reporter strain in which transposition occurred within the largest pMT1 plasmid which possesses murine toxin and capsular antigen encoding genes. The aforementioned reporter strain and the wild-type CO92 exhibited similar growth curves, formed capsule based on immunofluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry, and had a similar LD50. Intranasal infection of mice with 15 LD50 of CO92-luc2 resulted in animal mortality by 72 h, and an increasing number of bioluminescent bacteria were observed in various mouse organs over a 24–72 h period when whole animals were imaged. However, following levofloxacin treatment (10 mg/kg/day) for 6 days 24 h post infection, no luminescence was observed after 72 h of infection, indicating that the tested antimicrobial killed bacteria preventing their detection in host peripheral tissues. Overall, we demonstrated that IVIBB is an effective and non-invasive way of monitoring bacterial dissemination in animals following pneumonic plague having strong correlation with cfu, and our reporter CO92-luc2 strain can be employed as a useful tool to monitor the efficacy of

  6. Evaluation of the Role of the opgGH Operon in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Its Deletion during the Emergence of Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Quintard, Kévin; Dewitte, Amélie; Reboul, Angéline; Madec, Edwige; Bontemps-Gallo, Sébastien; Dondeyne, Jacqueline; Marceau, Michaël; Simonet, Michel

    2015-01-01

    The opgGH operon encodes glucosyltransferases that synthesize osmoregulated periplasmic glucans (OPGs) from UDP-glucose, using acyl carrier protein (ACP) as a cofactor. OPGs are required for motility, biofilm formation, and virulence in various bacteria. OpgH also sequesters FtsZ in order to regulate cell size according to nutrient availability. Yersinia pestis (the agent of flea-borne plague) lost the opgGH operon during its emergence from the enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. When expressed in OPG-negative strains of Escherichia coli and Dickeya dadantii, opgGH from Y. pseudotuberculosis restored OPGs synthesis, motility, and virulence. However, Y. pseudotuberculosis did not produce OPGs (i) under various growth conditions or (ii) when overexpressing its opgGH operon, its galUF operon (governing UDP-glucose), or the opgGH operon or Acp from E. coli. A ΔopgGH Y. pseudotuberculosis strain showed normal motility, biofilm formation, resistance to polymyxin and macrophages, and virulence but was smaller. Consistently, Y. pestis was smaller than Y. pseudotuberculosis when cultured at ≥37°C, except when the plague bacillus expressed opgGH. Y. pestis expressing opgGH grew normally in serum and within macrophages and was fully virulent in mice, suggesting that small cell size was not advantageous in the mammalian host. Lastly, Y. pestis expressing opgGH was able to infect Xenopsylla cheopis fleas normally. Our results suggest an evolutionary scenario whereby an ancestral Yersinia strain lost a factor required for OPG biosynthesis but kept opgGH (to regulate cell size). The opgGH operon was presumably then lost because OpgH-dependent cell size control became unnecessary. PMID:26150539

  7. Identification of Ciprofloxacin Resistance by SimpleProbe (trademark), High Resolution Melt and Pyrosequencing (trademark) Nucleic Acid Analysis in Biothreat Agents: Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis and Francisella tularensis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-01

    strains critical for the implementation of suitable infection control measures. The fluorinated quinolone , ciprofloxacin, is an antibiotic effective for...encode the subunits of DNA gyrase (gyrA and gyrB) and topo IV (par C and parE) contain hotspots within an area known as the quinolone resistance...designated the fluorinated quinolone , ciprofloxacin, as one of the antibiotics of choice for treatingB. anthracis, Yersinia pestis, and Francisella

  8. Genomic Insights into a New Citrobacter koseri Strain Revealed Gene Exchanges with the Virulence-Associated Yersinia pestis pPCP1 Plasmid

    PubMed Central

    Armougom, Fabrice; Bitam, Idir; Croce, Olivier; Merhej, Vicky; Barassi, Lina; Nguyen, Ti-Thien; La Scola, Bernard; Raoult, Didier

    2016-01-01

    The history of infectious diseases raised the plague as one of the most devastating for human beings. Far too often considered an ancient disease, the frequent resurgence of the plague has led to consider it as a reemerging disease in Madagascar, Algeria, Libya, and Congo. The genetic factors associated with the pathogenicity of Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of the plague, involve the acquisition of the pPCP1 plasmid that promotes host invasion through the expression of the virulence factor Pla. The surveillance of plague foci after the 2003 outbreak in Algeria resulted in a positive detection of the specific pla gene of Y. pestis in rodents. However, the phenotypic characterization of the isolate identified a Citrobacter koseri. The comparative genomics of our sequenced C. koseri URMITE genome revealed a mosaic gene structure resulting from the lifestyle of our isolate and provided evidence for gene exchanges with different enteric bacteria. The most striking was the acquisition of a continuous 2 kb genomic fragment containing the virulence factor Pla of the Y. pestis pPCP1 plasmid; however, the subcutaneous injection of the CKU strain in mice did not produce any pathogenic effect. Our findings demonstrate that fast molecular detection of plague using solely the pla gene is unsuitable and should rather require Y. pestis gene marker combinations. We also suggest that the evolutionary force that might govern the expression of pathogenicity can occur through the acquisition of virulence genes but could also require the loss or the inactivation of resident genes such as antivirulence genes. PMID:27014253

  9. Genomic Insights into a New Citrobacter koseri Strain Revealed Gene Exchanges with the Virulence-Associated Yersinia pestis pPCP1 Plasmid.

    PubMed

    Armougom, Fabrice; Bitam, Idir; Croce, Olivier; Merhej, Vicky; Barassi, Lina; Nguyen, Ti-Thien; La Scola, Bernard; Raoult, Didier

    2016-01-01

    The history of infectious diseases raised the plague as one of the most devastating for human beings. Far too often considered an ancient disease, the frequent resurgence of the plague has led to consider it as a reemerging disease in Madagascar, Algeria, Libya, and Congo. The genetic factors associated with the pathogenicity of Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of the plague, involve the acquisition of the pPCP1 plasmid that promotes host invasion through the expression of the virulence factor Pla. The surveillance of plague foci after the 2003 outbreak in Algeria resulted in a positive detection of the specific pla gene of Y. pestis in rodents. However, the phenotypic characterization of the isolate identified a Citrobacter koseri. The comparative genomics of our sequenced C. koseri URMITE genome revealed a mosaic gene structure resulting from the lifestyle of our isolate and provided evidence for gene exchanges with different enteric bacteria. The most striking was the acquisition of a continuous 2 kb genomic fragment containing the virulence factor Pla of the Y. pestis pPCP1 plasmid; however, the subcutaneous injection of the CKU strain in mice did not produce any pathogenic effect. Our findings demonstrate that fast molecular detection of plague using solely the pla gene is unsuitable and should rather require Y. pestis gene marker combinations. We also suggest that the evolutionary force that might govern the expression of pathogenicity can occur through the acquisition of virulence genes but could also require the loss or the inactivation of resident genes such as antivirulence genes.

  10. A non-invasive in vivo imaging system to study dissemination of bioluminescent Yersinia pestis CO92 in a mouse model of pneumonic plague.

    PubMed

    Sha, Jian; Rosenzweig, Jason A; Kirtley, Michelle L; van Lier, Christina J; Fitts, Eric C; Kozlova, Elena V; Erova, Tatiana E; Tiner, Bethany L; Chopra, Ashok K

    2013-02-01

    The gold standard in microbiology for monitoring bacterial dissemination in infected animals has always been viable plate counts. This method, despite being quantitative, requires sacrificing the infected animals. Recently, however, an alternative method of in vivo imaging of bioluminescent bacteria (IVIBB) for monitoring microbial dissemination within the host has been employed. Yersinia pestis is a Gram-negative bacterium capable of causing bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague. In this study, we compared the conventional counting of bacterial colony forming units (cfu) in the various infected tissues to IVIBB in monitoring Y. pestis dissemination in a mouse model of pneumonic plague. By using a transposon mutagenesis system harboring the luciferase (luc) gene, we screened approximately 4000 clones and obtained a fully virulent, luc-positive Y. pestis CO92 (Y. pestis-luc2) reporter strain in which transposition occurred within the largest pMT1 plasmid which possesses murine toxin and capsular antigen encoding genes. The aforementioned reporter strain and the wild-type CO92 exhibited similar growth curves, formed capsule based on immunofluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry, and had a similar LD(50). Intranasal infection of mice with 15 LD(50) of CO92-luc2 resulted in animal mortality by 72 h, and an increasing number of bioluminescent bacteria were observed in various mouse organs over a 24-72 h period when whole animals were imaged. However, following levofloxacin treatment (10 mg/kg/day) for 6 days 24 h post infection, no luminescence was observed after 72 h of infection, indicating that the tested antimicrobial killed bacteria preventing their detection in host peripheral tissues. Overall, we demonstrated that IVIBB is an effective and non-invasive way of monitoring bacterial dissemination in animals following pneumonic plague having strong correlation with cfu, and our reporter CO92-luc2 strain can be employed as a useful tool to monitor the efficacy

  11. The N terminus of type III secretion needle protein YscF from Yersinia pestis functions to modulate innate immune responses.

    PubMed

    Osei-Owusu, Patrick; Jessen Condry, Danielle L; Toosky, Melody; Roughead, William; Bradley, David S; Nilles, Matthew L

    2015-04-01

    The type III secretion system is employed by many pathogens, including the genera Yersinia, Shigella, Pseudomonas, and Salmonella, to deliver effector proteins into eukaryotic cells. The injectisome needle is formed by the polymerization of a single protein, e.g., YscF (Yersinia pestis), PscF (Pseudomonas aeruginosa), PrgI (Salmonella enterica SPI-1), SsaG (Salmonella enterica SPI-2), or MxiH (Shigella flexneri). In this study, we demonstrated that the N termini of some needle proteins, particularly the N terminus of YscF from Yersinia pestis, influences host immune responses. The N termini of several needle proteins were truncated and tested for the ability to induce inflammatory responses in a human monocytic cell line (THP-1 cells). Truncated needle proteins induced proinflammatory cytokines to different magnitudes than the corresponding wild-type proteins, except SsaG. Notably, N-terminally truncated YscF induced significantly higher activation of NF-κB and/or AP-1 and higher induction of proinflammatory cytokines, suggesting that a function of the N terminus of YscF is interference with host sensing of YscF, consistent with Y. pestis pathogenesis. To directly test the ability of the N terminus of YscF to suppress cytokine induction, a YscF-SsaG chimera with 15 N-terminal amino acids from YscF added to SsaG was constructed. The chimeric YscF-SsaG induced lower levels of cytokines than wild-type SsaG. However, the addition of 15 random amino acids to SsaG had no effect on NF-κB/AP-1 activation. These results suggest that the N terminus of YscF can function to decrease cytokine induction, perhaps contributing to a favorable immune environment leading to survival of Y. pestis within the eukaryotic host.

  12. The N Terminus of Type III Secretion Needle Protein YscF from Yersinia pestis Functions To Modulate Innate Immune Responses

    PubMed Central

    Osei-Owusu, Patrick; Jessen Condry, Danielle L.; Toosky, Melody; Roughead, William; Bradley, David S.

    2015-01-01

    The type III secretion system is employed by many pathogens, including the genera Yersinia, Shigella, Pseudomonas, and Salmonella, to deliver effector proteins into eukaryotic cells. The injectisome needle is formed by the polymerization of a single protein, e.g., YscF (Yersinia pestis), PscF (Pseudomonas aeruginosa), PrgI (Salmonella enterica SPI-1), SsaG (Salmonella enterica SPI-2), or MxiH (Shigella flexneri). In this study, we demonstrated that the N termini of some needle proteins, particularly the N terminus of YscF from Yersinia pestis, influences host immune responses. The N termini of several needle proteins were truncated and tested for the ability to induce inflammatory responses in a human monocytic cell line (THP-1 cells). Truncated needle proteins induced proinflammatory cytokines to different magnitudes than the corresponding wild-type proteins, except SsaG. Notably, N-terminally truncated YscF induced significantly higher activation of NF-κB and/or AP-1 and higher induction of proinflammatory cytokines, suggesting that a function of the N terminus of YscF is interference with host sensing of YscF, consistent with Y. pestis pathogenesis. To directly test the ability of the N terminus of YscF to suppress cytokine induction, a YscF-SsaG chimera with 15 N-terminal amino acids from YscF added to SsaG was constructed. The chimeric YscF-SsaG induced lower levels of cytokines than wild-type SsaG. However, the addition of 15 random amino acids to SsaG had no effect on NF-κB/AP-1 activation. These results suggest that the N terminus of YscF can function to decrease cytokine induction, perhaps contributing to a favorable immune environment leading to survival of Y. pestis within the eukaryotic host. PMID:25644012

  13. Expression and Association of the Yersinia pestis Translocon Proteins, YopB and YopD, Are Facilitated by Nanolipoprotein Particles

    DOE PAGES

    Coleman, Matthew A.; Cappuccio, Jenny A.; Blanchette, Craig D.; ...

    2016-03-25

    Yersinia pestis enters host cells and evades host defenses, in part, through interactions between Yersinia pestis proteins and host membranes. One such interaction is through the type III secretion system, which uses a highly conserved and ordered complex for Yersinia pestis outer membrane effector protein translocation called the injectisome. The portion of the injectisome that interacts directly with host cell membranes is referred to as the translocon. The translocon is believed to form a pore allowing effector molecules to enter host cells. To facilitate mechanistic studies of the translocon, we have developed a cell-free approach for expressing translocon pore proteinsmore » as a complex supported in a bilayer membrane mimetic nano-scaffold known as a nanolipoprotein particle (NLP) Initial results show cell-free expression of Yersinia pestis outer membrane proteins YopB and YopD was enhanced in the presence of liposomes. However, these complexes tended to aggregate and precipitate. With the addition of co-expressed (NLP) forming components, the YopB and/or YopD complex was rendered soluble, increasing the yield of protein for biophysical studies. Biophysical methods such as Atomic Force Microscopy and Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy were used to confirm that the soluble YopB/D complex was associated with NLPs. An interaction between the YopB/D complex and NLP was validated by immunoprecipitation. The YopB/D translocon complex embedded in a NLP provides a platform for protein interaction studies between pathogen and host proteins. Ultimately, these studies will help elucidate the poorly understood mechanism which enables this pathogen to inject effector proteins into host cells, thus evading host defenses.« less

  14. Expression and Association of the Yersinia pestis Translocon Proteins, YopB and YopD, Are Facilitated by Nanolipoprotein Particles

    SciTech Connect

    Coleman, Matthew A.; Cappuccio, Jenny A.; Blanchette, Craig D.; Gao, Tingjuan; Arroyo, Erin S.; Hinz, Angela K.; Bourguet, Feliza A.; Segelke, Brent; Hoeprich, Paul D.; Huser, Thomas; Laurence, Ted A.; Motin, Vladimir L.; Chromy, Brett A.

    2016-03-25

    Yersinia pestis enters host cells and evades host defenses, in part, through interactions between Yersinia pestis proteins and host membranes. One such interaction is through the type III secretion system, which uses a highly conserved and ordered complex for Yersinia pestis outer membrane effector protein translocation called the injectisome. The portion of the injectisome that interacts directly with host cell membranes is referred to as the translocon. The translocon is believed to form a pore allowing effector molecules to enter host cells. To facilitate mechanistic studies of the translocon, we have developed a cell-free approach for expressing translocon pore proteins as a complex supported in a bilayer membrane mimetic nano-scaffold known as a nanolipoprotein particle (NLP) Initial results show cell-free expression of Yersinia pestis outer membrane proteins YopB and YopD was enhanced in the presence of liposomes. However, these complexes tended to aggregate and precipitate. With the addition of co-expressed (NLP) forming components, the YopB and/or YopD complex was rendered soluble, increasing the yield of protein for biophysical studies. Biophysical methods such as Atomic Force Microscopy and Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy were used to confirm that the soluble YopB/D complex was associated with NLPs. An interaction between the YopB/D complex and NLP was validated by immunoprecipitation. The YopB/D translocon complex embedded in a NLP provides a platform for protein interaction studies between pathogen and host proteins. Ultimately, these studies will help elucidate the poorly understood mechanism which enables this pathogen to inject effector proteins into host cells, thus evading host defenses.

  15. Vaccination with F1-V fusion protein protects black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) against plague upon oral challenge with Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Rocke, Tonie E; Smith, Susan; Marinari, Paul; Kreeger, Julie; Enama, Jeffrey T; Powell, Bradford S

    2008-01-01

    Previous studies have established that vaccination of black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) with F1-V fusion protein by subcutaneous (SC) injection protects the animals against plague upon injection of the bacterium Yersinia pestis. This study demonstrates that the F1-V antigen can also protect ferrets against plague contracted via ingestion of a Y. pestis-infected mouse, a probable route for natural infection. Eight black-footed ferret kits were vaccinated with F1-V protein by SC injection at approximately 60 days-of-age. A booster vaccination was administered 3 mo later via SC injection. Four additional ferret kits received placebos. The animals were challenged 6 wk after the 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 after exposure. To determine the duration of antibody postvaccination, 18 additional black-footed ferret kits were vaccinated and boosted with F1-V by SC injection at 60 and 120 days-of-age. High titers to both F1 and V (mean reciprocal titers of 18,552 and 99,862, respectively) were found in all vaccinates up to 2 yr postvaccination, whereas seven control animals remained antibody negative throughout the same time period.

  16. Vaccination with F1-V fusion protein protects black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) against plague upon oral challenge with Yersinia pestis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, T.E.; Smith, S.; Marinari, Paul E.; Kreeger, J.; Enama, J.T.; Powell, B.S.

    2008-01-01

    Previous studies have established that vaccination of black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) with F1-V fusion protein by subcutaneous (SC) injection protects the animals against plague upon injection of the bacterium Yersinia pestis. This study demonstrates that the F1-V antigen can also protect ferrets against plague contracted via ingestion of a Y. pestis-infected mouse, a probable route for natural infection. Eight black-footed ferret kits were vaccinated with F1-V protein by SC injection at approximately 60 days-of-age. A booster vaccination was administered 3 mo later via SC injection. Four additional ferret kits received placebos. The animals were challenged 6 wk after the 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 after exposure. To determine the duration of antibody postvaccination, 18 additional black-footed ferret kits were vaccinated and boosted with F1-V by SC injection at 60 and 120 days-of-age. High titers to both F1 and V (mean reciprocal titers of 18,552 and 99,862, respectively) were found in all vaccinates up to 2 yr postvaccination, whereas seven control animals remained antibody negative throughout the same time period. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2008.

  17. Yersinia murine toxin is not required for early-phase transmission of Yersinia pestis by Oropsylla montana (Siphonaptera: Ceratophyllidae) or Xenopsylla cheopis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Hinnebusch, B. Joseph; Boegler, Karen A.; Graham, Christine B.; MacMillan, Katherine; Montenieri, John A.; Bearden, Scott W.; Gage, Kenneth L.; Eisen, Rebecca J.

    2014-01-01

    Plague, caused by Yersinia pestis, is characterized by quiescent periods punctuated by rapidly spreading epizootics. The classical ‘blocked flea’ paradigm, by which a blockage forms in the flea’s proventriculus on average 1–2 weeks post-infection (p.i.), forces starving fleas to take multiple blood meals, thus increasing opportunities for transmission. Recently, the importance of early-phase transmission (EPT), which occurs prior to blockage formation, has been emphasized during epizootics. Whilst the physiological and molecular mechanisms of blocked flea transmission are well characterized, the pathogen–vector interactions have not been elucidated for EPT. Within the blocked flea model, Yersinia murine toxin (Ymt) has been shown to be important for facilitating colonization of the midgut within the flea. One proposed mechanism of EPT is the regurgitation of infectious material from the flea midgut during feeding. Such a mechanism would require bacteria to colonize and survive for at least brief periods in the midgut, a process that is mediated by Ymt. Two key bridging vectors of Y. pestis to humans, Oropsylla montana (Siphonaptera: Ceratophyllidae) or Xenopsylla cheopis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae), were used in our study to test this hypothesis. Fleas were infected with a mutant strain of Y. pestis containing a non-functional ymt that was shown previously to be incapable of colonizing the midgut and were then allowed to feed on SKH-1 mice 3 days p.i. Our results show that Ymt was not required for EPT by either flea species. PMID:25187626

  18. Yersinia murine toxin is not required for early-phase transmission of Yersinia pestis by Oropsylla montana (Siphonaptera: Ceratophyllidae) or Xenopsylla cheopis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae).

    PubMed

    Johnson, Tammi L; Hinnebusch, B Joseph; Boegler, Karen A; Graham, Christine B; MacMillan, Katherine; Montenieri, John A; Bearden, Scott W; Gage, Kenneth L; Eisen, Rebecca J

    2014-11-01

    Plague, caused by Yersinia pestis, is characterized by quiescent periods punctuated by rapidly spreading epizootics. The classical 'blocked flea' paradigm, by which a blockage forms in the flea's proventriculus on average 1-2 weeks post-infection (p.i.), forces starving fleas to take multiple blood meals, thus increasing opportunities for transmission. Recently, the importance of early-phase transmission (EPT), which occurs prior to blockage formation, has been emphasized during epizootics. Whilst the physiological and molecular mechanisms of blocked flea transmission are well characterized, the pathogen-vector interactions have not been elucidated for EPT. Within the blocked flea model, Yersinia murine toxin (Ymt) has been shown to be important for facilitating colonization of the midgut within the flea. One proposed mechanism of EPT is the regurgitation of infectious material from the flea midgut during feeding. Such a mechanism would require bacteria to colonize and survive for at least brief periods in the midgut, a process that is mediated by Ymt. Two key bridging vectors of Y. pestis to humans, Oropsylla montana (Siphonaptera: Ceratophyllidae) or Xenopsylla cheopis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae), were used in our study to test this hypothesis. Fleas were infected with a mutant strain of Y. pestis containing a non-functional ymt that was shown previously to be incapable of colonizing the midgut and were then allowed to feed on SKH-1 mice 3 days p.i. Our results show that Ymt was not required for EPT by either flea species.

  19. Yersinia pestis Caf1 Protein: Effect of Sequence Polymorphism on Intrinsic Disorder Propensity, Serological Cross-Reactivity and Cross-Protectivity of Isoforms

    PubMed Central

    Kopylov, Pavel Kh.; Platonov, Mikhail E.; Ablamunits, Vitaly G.; Kombarova, Tat’yana I.; Ivanov, Sergey A.; Kadnikova, Lidiya A.; Somov, Aleksey N.; Dentovskaya, Svetlana V.; Uversky, Vladimir N.

    2016-01-01

    Yersinia pestis Caf1 is a multifunctional protein responsible for antiphagocytic activity and is a key protective antigen. It is generally conserved between globally distributed Y. pestis strains, but Y. pestis subsp. microtus biovar caucasica strains circulating within populations of common voles in Georgia and Armenia were reported to carry a single substitution of alanine to serine. We investigated polymorphism of the Caf1 sequences among other Y. pestis subsp. microtus strains, which have a limited virulence in guinea pigs and in humans. Sequencing of caf1 genes from 119 Y. pestis strains belonging to different biovars within subsp. microtus showed that the Caf1 proteins exist in three isoforms, the global type Caf1NT1 (Ala48 Phe117), type Caf1NT2 (Ser48 Phe117) found in Transcaucasian-highland and Pre-Araks natural plague foci #4–7, and a novel Caf1NT3 type (Ala48 Val117) endemic in Dagestan-highland natural plague focus #39. Both minor types are the progenies of the global isoform. In this report, Caf1 polymorphism was analyzed by comparing predicted intrinsic disorder propensities and potential protein-protein interactivities of the three Caf1 isoforms. The analysis revealed that these properties of Caf1 protein are minimally affected by its polymorphism. All protein isoforms could be equally detected by an immunochromatography test for plague at the lowest protein concentration tested (1.0 ng/mL), which is the detection limit. When compared to the classic Caf1NT1 isoform, the endemic Caf1NT2 or Caf1NT3 had lower immunoreactivity in ELISA and lower indices of self- and cross-protection. Despite a visible reduction in cross-protection between all Caf1 isoforms, our data suggest that polymorphism in the caf1 gene may not allow the carriers of Caf1NT2 or Caf1NT3 variants escaping from the Caf1NT1-mediated immunity to plague in the case of a low-dose flea-borne infection. PMID:27606595

  20. [Experimental observation on the histopathological and ultrastructural pathology of Great Gerbils (Rhombomys opimus) in the Junggar Basin by subcutaneous injecting of Yersinia pestis].

    PubMed

    Li, B; Azhati, Rehemu; Meng, W W; Luo, T; Li, B; Abulimiti, Maituohuti; Wang, X H; Dai, X; Zhang, Y J

    2017-02-06

    Objective: To understand the histopathological and ultrastructural pathology changes of great gerbils in the Junggar Basin to Yersinia pestis infection. Methods: Forty captured great gerbils from the Junggar Basin that tested negative for anti-F1 antibodies were infected. The Y. pestis strain 2504, isolated from a live great gerbil in the natural plague foci of the Junggar Basin in 2005 with a median lethal dose (LD(50)) of <10 CFU/ml, was used in this study. Forty great gerbils were divided into seven infection groups and were subcutaneously infected with 7.4×10(5), 7.4×10(6), 7.4×10(7), 7.4×10(8), 7.4×10(9), 7.4×10(10), or 3.0×10(11) CFU/ml of 2504. One milliliter of physiological saline was injected in the noninfected group as a control. We collected the liver, spleen, heart, and lung from all animals for histopathologic and ultrastructural pathology examination. Results: Great gerbils in the 7.4×10(8)-3.0×10(11) CFU/ml groups did not survive and exhibited pathological changes and altered ultrastructural pathology. The liver tissue of infected great gerbils showed spotty necrosis and fatty degeneration, intranuclear canaliculi with increased hepatocytes, and uneven distribution of organelles. Additionally, reactive proliferation of lymphoid tissue in the spleen, blood sinusoid lacunae with neutrophil infiltration, and phagocytosed bacteria in phagocyte cells were observed. Myocardial fiber hypertrophy and interstitial indistinction, nuclear matrices decreased in cardiac myocytes, and loose arrangement of myogenic fibers in myocardial cells were also observed. Angiectasia, capillary congestion, and tissue necrosis were found in the lung. No significant difference in histopathological and ultrastructural pathology in the parenchymal organ was observed between the 7.4×10(5)-7.4×10(7) CFU/ml groups and the 7.4×10(8)-3.0×10(11) CFU/ml groups, and no specific death caused by Y. pestis infection was apparent in the 7.4×10(5)-7.4×10(7) CFU/ml groups

  1. lcrR, a low-Ca2(+)-response locus with dual Ca2(+)-dependent functions in Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed Central

    Barve, S S; Straley, S C

    1990-01-01

    The low-Ca2+ response (Lcr) of Yersinia includes a regulatory cascade and a set of virulence-related proteins, one of which is the V antigen. The regulatory genes modulate both bacterial growth and expression of the virulence-related proteins in response to temperature and the presence of Ca2+ and nucleotides. In this study we defined a new Lcr locus, lcrR, in Yersinia pestis KIM. An lcrR mutant, obtained by insertion mutagenesis, failed to grow at 37 degrees C whether Ca2+ was present or not. However, it grew normally in the presence of ATP, showing that the Ca2(+)- and nucleotide-responsive mechanisms are separate in Y. pestis. The lcrR mutant was avirulent in mice, probably due to its compromised growth at 37 degrees C. beta-Galactosidase measurements and Northern (RNA blot) analysis revealed that lcrR transcription was regulated primarily by temperature. The DNA sequence of the lcrR locus contained a single open reading frame of 441 bases that could encode a protein with a molecular weight of 16,470 and a pI of 10.73. Expression of an lcrR-containing clone in Escherichia coli yielded a 16,000-molecular-weight protein. At 37 degrees C, the lcrR mutant strongly expressed V antigen and initiated lcrGVH transcription whether Ca2+ was present or not, indicating that this mutant had lost the transcriptional downregulation of lcrGVH shown by the parent in the presence of Ca2+. In the absence of Ca2+, the mutant failed to express LcrG, even though lcrGVH mRNA initiated upstream of lcrG at the normal sites. These data suggest that the lcrR locus is necessary for the regulation of LcrG expression in the absence of Ca2+. Therefore, this locus has a dual regulatory role in the low-Ca2+ response. Images PMID:1695896

  2. Mutated and bacteriophage T4 nanoparticle arrayed F1-V immunogens from Yersinia pestis as next generation plague vaccines.

    PubMed

    Tao, Pan; Mahalingam, Marthandan; Kirtley, Michelle L; van Lier, Christina J; Sha, Jian; Yeager, Linsey A; Chopra, Ashok K; Rao, Venigalla B

    2013-01-01

    Pneumonic plague is a highly virulent infectious disease with 100% mortality rate, and its causative organism Yersinia pestis poses a serious threat for deliberate use as a bioterror agent. Currently, there is no FDA approved vaccine against plague. The polymeric bacterial capsular protein F1, a key component of the currently tested bivalent subunit vaccine consisting, in addition, of low calcium response V antigen, has high propensity to aggregate, thus affecting its purification and vaccine efficacy. We used two basic approaches, structure-based immunogen design and phage T4 nanoparticle delivery, to construct new plague vaccines that provided complete protection against pneumonic plague. The NH₂-terminal β-strand of F1 was transplanted to the COOH-terminus and the sequence flanking the β-strand was duplicated to eliminate polymerization but to retain the T cell epitopes. The mutated F1 was fused to the V antigen, a key virulence factor that forms the tip of the type three secretion system (T3SS). The F1mut-V protein showed a dramatic switch in solubility, producing a completely soluble monomer. The F1mut-V was then arrayed on phage T4 nanoparticle via the small outer capsid protein, Soc. The F1mut-V monomer was robustly immunogenic and the T4-decorated F1mut-V without any adjuvant induced balanced TH1 and TH2 responses in mice. Inclusion of an oligomerization-deficient YscF, another component of the T3SS, showed a slight enhancement in the potency of F1-V vaccine, while deletion of the putative immunomodulatory sequence of the V antigen did not improve the vaccine efficacy. Both the soluble (purified F1mut-V mixed with alhydrogel) and T4 decorated F1mut-V (no adjuvant) provided 100% protection to mice and rats against pneumonic plague evoked by high doses of Y. pestis CO92. These novel platforms might lead to efficacious and easily manufacturable next generation plague vaccines.

  3. Virulence Plasmid (pYV)-Associated Expression of Phenotypic Virulent Determinants in Pathogenic Yersinia Species: A Convenient Method for Monitoring the Presence of pYV under Culture Conditions and Its Application for Isolation/Detection of Yersinia pestis in Food

    PubMed Central

    Bhaduri, Saumya; Smith, James L.

    2011-01-01

    In Yersinia pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y. enterocolitica, phenotypic expression of virulence plasmid (pYV: 70-kb)-associated genetic determinants may include low-calcium response (Lcr, pinpoint colony, size = 0.36 mm), colony morphology (size = 1.13 mm), crystal violet (CV) binding (dark-violet colony), Congo Red (CR) uptake (red pinpoint colony, size = 0.36 mm), autoagglutination (AA = cells agglutinate), and hydrophobicity (HP = clumping of cells). Y. pseudotuberculosis is chromosomally closely related to Y. pestis; whereas, Y. enterocolitica is chromosomally more distantly related to Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis. All three species demonstrate Lcr, CV binding, and CR uptake. The colony morphology/size, AA, and HP characteristics are expressed in both Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica but not in Y. pestis. Congo red uptake in Y. pestis was demonstrated only on calcium-deficient CR magnesium oxalate tryptic soy agar (CR-MOX), whereas this phenotype was expressed on both CR-MOX and low-calcium agarose media in Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica. These phenotypes were detectable at 37°C within 24 h in Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis but did not appear until 48 h in Y. pestis due to its slower growth rate at 37°C. The pYV is unstable (i.e., easily lost under a variety of culture conditions) in all three species but is more unstable in Y. pestis. The specific CR uptake by Y. pestis in CR-MOX and the delayed time interval to express Lcr and CR uptake provide a means to differentiate Y. pestis from Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis. These differences in pYV expression in Y. pestis can be used for its isolation and detection in food. PMID:22567340

  4. Recombinant F1-V fusion protein protects black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) against virulent Yersinia pestis infection

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, T.E.; Mencher, J.; Smith, S.R.; Friedlander, A.M.; Andrews, G.P.; Baeten, L.A.

    2004-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) are highly susceptible to sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, and this disease has severely hampered efforts to restore ferrets to their historic range. A study was conducted to assess the efficacy of vaccination of black-footed ferrets against plague using a recombinant protein vaccine, designated F1-V, developed by personnel at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Seven postreproductive black-footed ferrets were immunized with the vaccine, followed by two booster immunizations on days 23 and 154; three control black-footed ferrets received a placebo. After the second immunization, antibody titers to both F1 and V antigen were found to be significantly higher in vaccinates than controls. On challenge with 7,800 colony-forming units of virulent plague by s.c. injection, the three control animals died within 3 days, but six of seven vaccinates survived with no ill effects. The seventh vaccinate died on day 8. These results indicate that black-footed ferrets can be immunized against plague induced by the s.c. route, similar to fleabite injection.

  5. Monitoring biothreat agents (Francisella tularensis, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis) with a portable real-time PCR instrument.

    PubMed

    Mölsä, Markos; Hemmilä, Heidi; Katz, Anna; Niemimaa, Jukka; Forbes, Kristian M; Huitu, Otso; Stuart, Peter; Henttonen, Heikki; Nikkari, Simo

    2015-08-01

    In the event of suspected releases or natural outbreaks of contagious pathogens, rapid identification of the infectious agent is essential for appropriate medical intervention and disease containment. The purpose of this study was to compare the performance of a novel portable real-time PCR thermocycler, PikoReal™, to the standard real-time PCR thermocycler, Applied Biosystems® 7300 (ABI 7300), for the detection of three high-risk biothreat bacterial pathogens: Francisella tularensis, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis. In addition, a novel confirmatory real-time PCR assay for the detection of F. tularensis is presented and validated. The results show that sensitivity of the assays, based on a dilution series, for the three infectious agents ranged from 1 to 100 fg of target DNA with both instruments. No cross-reactivity was revealed in specificity testing. Duration of the assays with the PikoReal and ABI 7300 systems were 50 and 100 min, respectively. In field testing for F. tularensis, results were obtained with the PikoReal system in 95 min, as the pre-PCR preparation, including DNA extraction, required an additional 45 min. We conclude that the PikoReal system enables highly sensitive and rapid on-site detection of biothreat agents under field conditions, and may be a more efficient alternative to conventional diagnostic methods.

  6. Evaluation of Yersinia pestis Transmission Pathways for Sylvatic Plague in Prairie Dog Populations in the Western U.S.

    PubMed

    Richgels, Katherine L D; Russell, Robin E; Bron, Gebbiena M; Rocke, Tonie E

    2016-06-01

    Sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is periodically responsible for large die-offs in rodent populations that can spillover and cause human mortalities. In the western US, prairie dog populations experience nearly 100% mortality during plague outbreaks, suggesting that multiple transmission pathways combine to amplify plague dynamics. Several alternate pathways in addition to flea vectors have been proposed, such as transmission via direct contact with bodily fluids or inhalation of infectious droplets, consumption of carcasses, and environmental sources of plague bacteria, such as contaminated soil. However, evidence supporting the ability of these proposed alternate pathways to trigger large-scale epizootics remains elusive. Here we present a short review of potential plague transmission pathways and use an ordinary differential equation model to assess the contribution of each pathway to resulting plague dynamics in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and their fleas (Oropsylla hirsuta). Using our model, we found little evidence to suggest that soil contamination was capable of producing plague epizootics in prairie dogs. However, in the absence of flea transmission, direct transmission, i.e., contact with bodily fluids or inhalation of infectious droplets, could produce enzootic dynamics, and transmission via contact with or consumption of carcasses could produce epizootics. This suggests that these pathways warrant further investigation.

  7. Growth Curve Models for the Analysis of Phenotype Arrays for a Systems Biology Overview of Yersinia pestis

    SciTech Connect

    Fodor, I K; Holtz-Morris, A E; McCutchen-Maloney, S L

    2005-09-08

    The Phenotype MicroArray technology of Biolog, Inc. (Hayward, CA) measures the respiration of cells as a function of time in thousands of microwells simultaneously, and thus provides a high-throughput means of studying cellular phenotypes. The microwells contain compounds involved in a number of biochemical pathways, as well as chemicals that test the sensitivity of cells against antibiotics and stress. While the PM experimental workflow is completely automated, statistical methods to analyze and interpret the data are lagging behind. To take full advantage of the technology, it is essential to develop efficient analytical methods to quantify the information in the complex datasets resulting from PM experiments. We propose the use of statistical growth-curve models to rigorously quantify observed differences in PM experiments, in the context of the growth and metabolism of Yersinia pestis cells grown under different physiological conditions. The information from PM experiments complement genomic and proteomic results and can be used to identify gene function and in drug development. Successful coupling of phenomics results with genomics and proteomics will lead to an unprecedented ability to characterize bacterial function at a systems biology level.

  8. Influence of the lipid membrane environment on structure and activity of the outer membrane protein Ail from Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Yi; Fujimoto, L. Miya; Yao, Yong; Plano, Gregory V.; Marassi, Francesca M.

    2014-01-01

    The surrounding environment has significant consequences for the structural and functional properties of membrane proteins. While native structure and function can be reconstituted in lipid bilayer membranes, the detergents used for protein solubilization are not always compatible with biological activity and, hence, not always appropriate for direct detection of ligand binding by NMR spectroscopy. Here we describe how the sample environment affects the activity of the outer membrane protein Ail (attachment invasion locus) from Yersinia pestis. Although Ail adopts the correct β-barrel fold in micelles, the high detergent concentrations required for NMR structural studies are not compatible with the ligand binding functionality of the protein. We also describe preparations of Ail embedded in phospholipid bilayer nanodiscs, optimized for NMR studies and ligand binding activity assays. Ail in nanodiscs is capable of binding its human ligand fibronectin and also yields high quality NMR spectra that reflect the proper fold. Binding activity assays, developed to be performed directly with the NMR samples, show that ligand binding involves the extracellular loops of Ail. The data show that even when detergent micelles support the protein fold, detergents can interfere with activity in subtle ways. PMID:25433311

  9. Evaluation of Yersinia pestis transmission pathways for sylvatic plague in prairie dog populations in the western U.S.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Bron, Gebbiena; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2016-01-01

    Sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is periodically responsible for large die-offs in rodent populations that can spillover and cause human mortalities. In the western US, prairie dog populations experience nearly 100% mortality during plague outbreaks, suggesting that multiple transmission pathways combine to amplify plague dynamics. Several alternate pathways in addition to flea vectors have been proposed, such as transmission via direct contact with bodily fluids or inhalation of infectious droplets, consumption of carcasses, and environmental sources of plague bacteria, such as contaminated soil. However, evidence supporting the ability of these proposed alternate pathways to trigger large-scale epizootics remains elusive. Here we present a short review of potential plague transmission pathways and use an ordinary differential equation model to assess the contribution of each pathway to resulting plague dynamics in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and their fleas (Oropsylla hirsuta). Using our model, we found little evidence to suggest that soil contamination was capable of producing plague epizootics in prairie dogs. However, in the absence of flea transmission, direct transmission, i.e., contact with bodily fluids or inhalation of infectious droplets, could produce enzootic dynamics, and transmission via contact with or consumption of carcasses could produce epizootics. This suggests that these pathways warrant further investigation.

  10. The Role of Transition Metal Transporters for Iron, Zinc, Manganese, and Copper in the Pathogenesis of Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Perry, Robert D.; Bobrov, Alexander G.; Fetherston, Jacqueline D.

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic plague, encodes a multitude of Fe transport systems. Some of these are defective due to frameshift or IS element insertions, while others are functional in vitro but have no established role in causing infections. Indeed only 3 Fe transporters (Ybt, Yfe and Feo) have been shown to be important in at least one form of plague. The yersiniabactin (Ybt) system is essential in the early dermal/lymphatic stages of bubonic plague, irrelevant in the septicemic stage, and critical in pneumonic plague. Two Mn transporters have been characterized (Yfe and MntH). These two systems play a role in bubonic plague but the double yfe mntH mutant is fully virulent in a mouse model of pneumonic plague. The same in vivo phenotype occurs with a mutant lacking two (Yfe and Feo) of four ferrous transporters. A role for the Ybt siderophore in Zn acquisition has been revealed. Ybt-dependent Zn acquisition uses a transport system completely independent of the Fe-Ybt uptake system. Together Ybt components and ZnuABC play a critical role in Zn acquisition in vivo. Single mutants in either system retain high virulence in a mouse model of septicemic plague while the double mutant is completely avirulent. PMID:25891079

  11. Structure of D-alanine-D-alanine ligase from Yersinia pestis: nucleotide phosphate recognition by the serine loop.

    PubMed

    Tran, Huyen Thi; Hong, Myoung Ki; Ngo, Ho Phuong Thuy; Huynh, Kim Hung; Ahn, Yeh Jin; Wang, Zhong; Kang, Lin Woo

    2016-01-01

    D-Alanyl-D-alanine is an essential precursor of bacterial peptidoglycan and is synthesized by D-alanine-D-alanine ligase (DDL) with hydrolysis of ATP; this reaction makes DDL an important drug target for the development of antibacterial agents. Five crystal structures of DDL from Yersinia pestis (YpDDL) were determined at 1.7-2.5 Å resolution: apo, AMP-bound, ADP-bound, adenosine 5'-(β,γ-imido)triphosphate-bound, and D-alanyl-D-alanine- and ADP-bound structures. YpDDL consists of three domains, in which four loops, loop 1, loop 2 (the serine loop), loop 3 (the ω-loop) and loop 4, constitute the binding sites for two D-alanine molecules and one ATP molecule. Some of them, especially the serine loop and the ω-loop, show flexible conformations, and the serine loop is mainly responsible for the conformational change in substrate nucleotide phosphates. Enzyme-kinetics assays were carried out for both the D-alanine and ATP substrates and a substrate-binding mechanism was proposed for YpDDL involving conformational changes of the loops.

  12. Early-phase transmission of Yersinia pestis by unblocked Xenopsylla cheopis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) is as efficient as transmission by blocked fleas.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Rebecca J; Wilder, Aryn P; Bearden, Scott W; Montenieri, John A; Gage, Kenneth L

    2007-07-01

    For almost a century, the oriental rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopis (Rothschild) (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae), was thought to be the most efficient vector of the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis (Yersin). Approximately 2 wk after consuming an infectious bloodmeal, a blockage often forms in the flea's proventriculus, which forces the flea to increase its biting frequency and consequently increases the likelihood of transmission. However, if fleas remain blocked and continue to feed, they usually die within 5 d of blocking, resulting in a short infectious window. Despite observations of X. cheopis transmitting Y. pestis shortly after pathogen acquisition, early-phase transmission (e.g., transmission 1-4 d postinfection [ p.i.]) by unblocked fleas was viewed as anomalous and thought to occur only by mass action. We used an artificial feeding system to infect colony-reared X. cheopis with a fully virulent strain of Y. pestis, and we evaluated transmission efficiency 1- 4 d p.i. We demonstrate 1) that a single infected and unblocked X. cheopis can infect a susceptible host as early as 1 d p.i., 2) the number of fleas per host required for unblocked fleas to drive a plague epizootic by early-phase transmission is within the flea infestation range observed in nature, and 3) early-phase transmission by unblocked fleas in the current study was at least as efficient as transmission by blocked fleas in a previously published study using the same colony of fleas and same bacterial strain. Furthermore, transmission efficiency seemed to remain constant until block formation, resulting in an infectious period considerably longer than previously thought.

  13. Functional and Structural Analysis of HicA3-HicB3, a Novel Toxin-Antitoxin System of Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Bibi-Triki, Sabrina; Li de la Sierra-Gallay, Inès; Lazar, Noureddine; Leroy, Arnaud; Van Tilbeurgh, Herman

    2014-01-01

    The mechanisms involved in the virulence of Yersinia pestis, the plague pathogen, are not fully understood. In previous research, we found that a Y. pestis mutant lacking the HicB3 (YPO3369) putative orphan antitoxin was attenuated for virulence in a murine model of bubonic plague. Toxin-antitoxin systems (TASs) are widespread in prokaryotes. Most bacterial species possess many TASs of several types. In type II TASs, the toxin protein is bound and neutralized by its cognate antitoxin protein in the cytoplasm. Here we identify the hicA3 gene encoding the toxin neutralized by HicB3 and show that HicA3-HicB3 constitutes a new functional type II TAS in Y. pestis. Using biochemical and mutagenesis-based approaches, we demonstrate that the HicA3 toxin is an RNase with a catalytic histidine residue. HicB3 has two functions: it sequesters and neutralizes HicA3 by blocking its active site, and it represses transcription of the hicA3B3 operon. Gel shift assays and reporter fusion experiments indicate that the HicB3 antitoxin binds to two operators in the hicA3B3 promoter region. We solved the X-ray structures of HicB3 and the HicA3-HicB3 complex; thus, we present the first crystal structure of a TA complex from the HicAB family. HicB3 forms a tetramer that can bind two HicA3 toxin molecules. HicA3 is monomeric and folds as a double-stranded-RNA-binding domain. The HicB3 N-terminal domain occludes the HicA3 active site, whereas its C-terminal domain folds as a ribbon-helix-helix DNA-binding motif. PMID:25112480

  14. [On the origin of Yersinia pestis, a causative agent of the plague: A concept of population-genetic macroevolution in transitive environment].

    PubMed

    Suntsov, V V

    2015-01-01

    An ecological scenario is proposed for the origin of causative agent of the plague (the bacterium Yersenia pestis) from the clone of pseudotuberculous microbe of the first serotype Y. pseudotuberculosis O:1b. Disclosed are the conditions of gradual intrusion of psychrophile saprozoonosis ancestor into the blood of the primary host, Mongolian tarbagan marmot Marmota sibirica. As an inductor of speciation acted the Sartan cooling that occurred in the end of late Pleistocene under conditions of arid ultra-continental climate in Central Asia. Soil freezing down to the level of hibernating chambers in marmot burrows initiated the transition of marmot flea, Oropsylla silantiewi, larvae to optional hemophagy on the mucous coat inside the mouth cavity of sleeping marmots. In its turn, this promoted the conditions of mass traumatic intrusion of Y pseudotuberculosis into marmots bloodstream from faecal particles getting in their mouth cavity in course of building up a plug in a burrow for hibernating. In marmot populations, the selection of bacteria underwent under conditions of heterothermy with repeated changes of hibernating marmots body temperature within the range of 5-37 degrees C (torpor-euthermy). During the warm season, when pseudotuberculous microbes are totally eliminated from the bloodstream of healthy marmots with body temperature about 37 degrees C, bacteria could survive in fleas' digestive tract in the form of biofilm developing in proventriculus as a so called blockage. Final isolation between ancestral and daughter species was helped by the development of intrapopulation antagonism related with the beginning of full-scale synthesis of bacteriocin pesticin. Population-genetic processes in the "marmot-flea" system have led to a macroevolutionary event, that is, to passage of bacteria in a new ecological niche and adaptive zone that are principally different from those of the ancestor. All the present intraspecies forms of Y. pestis that appeared due to

  15. Genetic variability of Yersinia pestis isolates as predicted by PCR-based IS100 genotyping and analysis of structural genes encoding glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (glpD).

    PubMed

    Motin, Vladimir L; Georgescu, Anca M; Elliott, Jeffrey M; Hu, Ping; Worsham, Patricia L; Ott, Linda L; Slezak, Tomas R; Sokhansanj, Bahrad A; Regala, Warren M; Brubaker, Robert R; Garcia, Emilio

    2002-02-01

    A PCR-based genotyping system that detects divergence of IS100 locations within the Yersinia pestis genome was used to characterize a large collection of isolates of different biovars and geographical origins. Using sequences derived from the glycerol-negative biovar orientalis strain CO92, a set of 27 locus-specific primers was designed to amplify fragments between the end of IS100 and its neighboring gene. Geographically diverse members of the orientalis biovar formed a homogeneous group with identical genotype with the exception of strains isolated in Indochina. In contrast, strains belonging to the glycerol-positive biovar antiqua showed a variety of fingerprinting profiles. Moreover, strains of the biovar medievalis (also glycerol positive) clustered together with the antiqua isolates originated from Southeast Asia, suggesting their close phylogenetic relationships. Interestingly, a Manchurian biovar antiqua strain Nicholisk 51 displayed a genotyping pattern typical of biovar orientalis isolates. Analysis of the glycerol pathway in Y. pestis suggested that a 93-bp deletion within the glpD gene encoding aerobic glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase might account for the glycerol-negative phenotype of the orientalis biovar. The glpD gene of strain Nicholisk 51 did not possess this deletion, although it contained two nucleotide substitutions characteristic of the glpD version found exclusively in biovar orientalis strains. To account for this close relationship between biovar orientalis strains and the antiqua Nicholisk 51 isolate, we postulate that the latter represents a variant of this biovar with restored ability to ferment glycerol. The fact that such a genetic lesion might be repaired as part of the natural evolutionary process suggests the existence of genetic exchange between different Yersinia strains in nature. The relevance of this observation on the emergence of epidemic Y. pestis strains is discussed.

  16. Genetic Variability of Yersinia pestis Isolates as Predicted by PCR-Based IS100 Genotyping and Analysis of Structural Genes Encoding Glycerol-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (glpD)

    PubMed Central

    Motin, Vladimir L.; Georgescu, Anca M.; Elliott, Jeffrey M.; Hu, Ping; Worsham, Patricia L.; Ott, Linda L.; Slezak, Tomas R.; Sokhansanj, Bahrad A.; Regala, Warren M.; Brubaker, Robert R.; Garcia, Emilio

    2002-01-01

    A PCR-based genotyping system that detects divergence of IS100 locations within the Yersinia pestis genome was used to characterize a large collection of isolates of different biovars and geographical origins. Using sequences derived from the glycerol-negative biovar orientalis strain CO92, a set of 27 locus-specific primers was designed to amplify fragments between the end of IS100 and its neighboring gene. Geographically diverse members of the orientalis biovar formed a homogeneous group with identical genotype with the exception of strains isolated in Indochina. In contrast, strains belonging to the glycerol-positive biovar antiqua showed a variety of fingerprinting profiles. Moreover, strains of the biovar medievalis (also glycerol positive) clustered together with the antiqua isolates originated from Southeast Asia, suggesting their close phylogenetic relationships. Interestingly, a Manchurian biovar antiqua strain Nicholisk 51 displayed a genotyping pattern typical of biovar orientalis isolates. Analysis of the glycerol pathway in Y. pestis suggested that a 93-bp deletion within the glpD gene encoding aerobic glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase might account for the glycerol-negative phenotype of the orientalis biovar. The glpD gene of strain Nicholisk 51 did not possess this deletion, although it contained two nucleotide substitutions characteristic of the glpD version found exclusively in biovar orientalis strains. To account for this close relationship between biovar orientalis strains and the antiqua Nicholisk 51 isolate, we postulate that the latter represents a variant of this biovar with restored ability to ferment glycerol. The fact that such a genetic lesion might be repaired as part of the natural evolutionary process suggests the existence of genetic exchange between different Yersinia strains in nature. The relevance of this observation on the emergence of epidemic Y. pestis strains is discussed. PMID:11807062

  17. Applications of docking and molecular dynamic studies on the search for new drugs against the biological warfare agents Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    França, Tanos Celmar Costa; Guimarães, Ana Paula; Cortopassi, Wilian Augusto; Oliveira, Aline Alves; Ramalho, Teodorico Castro

    2013-12-01

    The fear of biological warfare agents (BWA) use by terrorists is the major concern of the security agencies and health authorities worldwide today. The non-existence of vaccines or drugs against most BWA and the possibility of genetic modified strains has turned the search for new drugs to a state of urgency. Fast in silico techniques are, therefore, perfect tools for this task once they can quickly provide structures of several new lead compounds for further experimental work. Here we try to present a mini-review on docking and molecular dynamics simulations studies applied to the drug design against the BWA Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis.

  18. Oligomerization of PcrV and LcrV, Protective Antigens of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Yersinia pestis*S⃞

    PubMed Central

    Caroline, Gébus; Eric, Faudry; Bohn, Yu-Sing Tammy; Sylvie, Elsen; Attree, Ina

    2008-01-01

    Protective antigens of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PcrV) and Yersinia pestis (LcrV) are key elements of specialized machinery, the type III secretion system (T3SS), which enables the injection of effector molecules into eukaryotic cells. Being positioned at the injectisome extremity, V proteins participate in the translocation process across the host cell plasma membrane. In this study, we demonstrate the assembly of V proteins into oligomeric doughnut-like complexes upon controlled refolding of the proteins in vitro. The oligomeric nature of refolded PcrV was revealed by size exclusion chromatography, native gel electrophoresis, and native mass spectrometry, which ascertain the capacity of the protein to multimerize into higher-order species. Furthermore, transmission electron microscopy performed on oligomers of both PcrV and LcrV revealed the presence of distinct structures with approximate internal and external diameters of 3-4 and 8-10 nm, respectively. The C-terminal helix, α12, of PcrV and notably the hydrophobic residues Val255, Leu262, and Leu276 located within this helix, were shown to be crucial for oligomerization. Moreover, the corresponding mutant proteins produced in P. aeruginosa were found to be non-functional in in vivo type III-dependent cytotoxicity assays by directly affecting the correct assembly of PopB/D translocon within the host cell membranes. The detailed understanding of structure-function relationships of T3SS needle tip proteins will be of value in further developments of new vaccines and antimicrobials. PMID:18583342

  19. Structural and functional significance of the FGL sequence of the periplasmic chaperone Caf1M of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Chapman, D A; Zavialov, A V; Chernovskaya, T V; Karlyshev, A V; Zav'yalova, G A; Vasiliev, A M; Dudich, I V; Abramov, V M; Zav'yalov, V P; MacIntyre, S

    1999-04-01

    The periplasmic molecular chaperone Caf1M of Yersinia pestis is a typical representative of a subfamily of specific chaperones involved in assembly of surface adhesins with a very simple structure. One characteristic feature of this Caf1M-like subfamily is possession of an extended, variable sequence (termed FGL) between the F1 and subunit binding G1 beta-strands. In contrast, FGS subfamily members, characterized by PapD, have a short F1-G1 loop and are involved in assembly of complex pili. To elucidate the structural and functional significance of the FGL sequence, a mutant Caf1M molecule (dCaf1M), in which the 27 amino acid residues between the F1 and G1 beta-strands had been deleted, was constructed. Expression of the mutated caf1M in Escherichia coli resulted in accumulation of high levels of dCaf1M. The far-UV circular dichroism spectra of the mutant and wild-type proteins were indistinguishable and exhibited practically the same temperature and pH dependencies. Thus, the FGL sequence of Caf1M clearly does not contribute significantly to the stability of the protein conformation. Preferential cleavage of Caf1M by trypsin at Lys-119 confirmed surface exposure of this part of the FGL sequence in the isolated chaperone and periplasmic chaperone-subunit complex. There was no evidence of surface-localized Caf1 subunit in the presence of the Caf1A outer membrane protein and dCaf1M. In contrast to Caf1M, dCaf1M was not able to form a stable complex with Caf1 nor could it protect the subunit from proteolytic degradation in vivo. This demonstration that the FGL sequence is required for stable chaperone-subunit interaction, but not for folding of a stable chaperone, provides a sound basis for future detailed molecular analyses of the FGL subfamily of chaperones.

  20. Structural and Functional Significance of the FGL Sequence of the Periplasmic Chaperone Caf1M of Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Chapman, David A. G.; Zavialov, Anton V.; Chernovskaya, Tatiana V.; Karlyshev, Andrey V.; Zav’yalova, Galina A.; Vasiliev, Anatoly M.; Dudich, Igor V.; Abramov, Vyacheslav M.; Zav’yalov, Vladimir P.; MacIntyre, Sheila

    1999-01-01

    The periplasmic molecular chaperone Caf1M of Yersinia pestis is a typical representative of a subfamily of specific chaperones involved in assembly of surface adhesins with a very simple structure. One characteristic feature of this Caf1M-like subfamily is possession of an extended, variable sequence (termed FGL) between the F1 and subunit binding G1 β-strands. In contrast, FGS subfamily members, characterized by PapD, have a short F1-G1 loop and are involved in assembly of complex pili. To elucidate the structural and functional significance of the FGL sequence, a mutant Caf1M molecule (dCaf1M), in which the 27 amino acid residues between the F1 and G1 β-strands had been deleted, was constructed. Expression of the mutated caf1M in Escherichia coli resulted in accumulation of high levels of dCaf1M. The far-UV circular dichroism spectra of the mutant and wild-type proteins were indistinguishable and exhibited practically the same temperature and pH dependencies. Thus, the FGL sequence of Caf1M clearly does not contribute significantly to the stability of the protein conformation. Preferential cleavage of Caf1M by trypsin at Lys-119 confirmed surface exposure of this part of the FGL sequence in the isolated chaperone and periplasmic chaperone-subunit complex. There was no evidence of surface-localized Caf1 subunit in the presence of the Caf1A outer membrane protein and dCaf1M. In contrast to Caf1M, dCaf1M was not able to form a stable complex with Caf1 nor could it protect the subunit from proteolytic degradation in vivo. This demonstration that the FGL sequence is required for stable chaperone-subunit interaction, but not for folding of a stable chaperone, provides a sound basis for future detailed molecular analyses of the FGL subfamily of chaperones. PMID:10198004

  1. Multiple roles of Myd88 in the immune response to the plague F1-V vaccine and in protection against an aerosol challenge of Yersinia pestis CO92 in mice.

    PubMed

    Dankmeyer, Jennifer L; Fast, Randy L; Cote, Christopher K; Worsham, Patricia L; Fritz, David; Fisher, Diana; Kern, Steven J; Merkel, Tod; Kirschning, Carsten J; Amemiya, Kei

    2014-01-01

    The current candidate vaccine against Yersinia pestis infection consists of two subunit proteins: the capsule protein or F1 protein and the low calcium response V protein or V-antigen. Little is known of the recognition of the vaccine by the host's innate immune system and how it affects the acquired immune response to the vaccine. Thus, we vaccinated Toll-like receptor (Tlr) 2, 4, and 2/4-double deficient, as well as signal adaptor protein Myd88-deficient mice. We found that Tlr4 and Myd88 appeared to be required for an optimal immune response to the F1-V vaccine but not Tlr2 when compared to wild-type mice. However, there was a difference between the requirement for Tlr4 and MyD88 in vaccinated animals. When F1-V vaccinated Tlr4 mutant (lipopolysaccharide tolerant) and Myd88-deficient mice were challenged by aerosol with Y. pestis CO92, all but one Tlr4 mutant mice survived the challenge, but no vaccinated Myd88-deficient mice survived the challenge. Spleens from these latter nonsurviving mice showed that Y. pestis was not cleared from the infected mice. Our results suggest that MyD88 appears to be important for both an optimal immune response to F1-V and in protection against a lethal challenge of Y. pestis CO92 in F1-V vaccinated mice.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Serine/threonine acetylation of TGFβ-activated kinase (TAK1) by Yersinia pestis YopJ inhibits innate immune signaling

    PubMed Central

    Paquette, Nicholas; Conlon, Joseph; Sweet, Charles; Rus, Florentina; Wilson, Lindsay; Pereira, Andrea; Rosadini, Charles V.; Goutagny, Nadege; Weber, Alexander N. R.; Lane, William S.; Shaffer, Scott A.; Maniatis, Stephanie; Fitzgerald, Katherine A.; Stuart, Lynda; Silverman, Neal

    2012-01-01

    The Gram-negative bacteria Yersinia pestis, causative agent of plague, is extremely virulent. One mechanism contributing to Y. pestis virulence is the presence of a type-three secretion system, which injects effector proteins, Yops, directly into immune cells of the infected host. One of these Yop proteins, YopJ, is proapoptotic and inhibits mammalian NF-κB and MAP-kinase signal transduction pathways. Although the molecular mechanism remained elusive for some time, recent work has shown that YopJ acts as a serine/threonine acetyl-transferase targeting MAP2 kinases. Using Drosophila as a model system, we find that YopJ inhibits one innate immune NF-κB signaling pathway (IMD) but not the other (Toll). In fact, we show YopJ mediated serine/threonine acetylation and inhibition of dTAK1, the critical MAP3 kinase in the IMD pathway. Acetylation of critical serine/threonine residues in the activation loop of Drosophila TAK1 blocks phosphorylation of the protein and subsequent kinase activation. In addition, studies in mammalian cells show similar modification and inhibition of hTAK1. These data present evidence that TAK1 is a target for YopJ-mediated inhibition. PMID:22802624

  4. Using Comparative Genomics for Inquiry-Based Learning to Dissect Virulence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Baumler, David J.; Banta, Lois M.; Hung, Kai F.; Schwarz, Jodi A.; Cabot, Eric L.; Glasner, Jeremy D.; Perna, Nicole T.

    2012-01-01

    Genomics and bioinformatics are topics of increasing interest in undergraduate biological science curricula. Many existing exercises focus on gene annotation and analysis of a single genome. In this paper, we present two educational modules designed to enable students to learn and apply fundamental concepts in comparative genomics using examples related to bacterial pathogenesis. Students first examine alignments of genomes of Escherichia coli O157:H7 strains isolated from three food-poisoning outbreaks using the multiple-genome alignment tool Mauve. Students investigate conservation of virulence factors using the Mauve viewer and by browsing annotations available at the A Systematic Annotation Package for Community Analysis of Genomes database. In the second module, students use an alignment of five Yersinia pestis genomes to analyze single-nucleotide polymorphisms of three genes to classify strains into biovar groups. Students are then given sequences of bacterial DNA amplified from the teeth of corpses from the first and second pandemics of the bubonic plague and asked to classify these new samples. Learning-assessment results reveal student improvement in self-efficacy and content knowledge, as well as students' ability to use BLAST to identify genomic islands and conduct analyses of virulence factors from E. coli O157:H7 or Y. pestis. Each of these educational modules offers educators new ready-to-implement resources for integrating comparative genomic topics into their curricula. PMID:22383620

  5. Utilization of Nitrophenylphosphates and Oxime-Based Ligation for the Development of Nanomolar Affinity Inhibitors of the Yersinia pestis Outer Protein H (YopH) Phosphatase

    SciTech Connect

    Bahta, Medhanit; Lountos, George T.; Dyas, Beverly; Kim, Sung-Eun; Ulrich, Robert G.; Waugh, David S.; Burke, Jr., Terrence R.

    2012-08-10

    Our current study reports the first K{sub M} optimization of a library of nitrophenylphosphate-containing substrates for generating an inhibitor lead against the Yersinia pestis outer protein phosphatase (YopH). A high activity substrate identified by this method (K{sub M} = 80 {micro}M) was converted from a substrate into an inhibitor by replacement of its phosphate group with difluoromethylphosphonic acid and by attachment of an aminooxy handle for further structural optimization by oxime ligation. A cocrystal structure of this aminooxy-containing platform in complex with YopH allowed the identification of a conserved water molecule proximal to the aminooxy group that was subsequently employed for the design of furanyl-based oxime derivatives. By this process, a potent (IC{sub 50} = 190 nM) and nonpromiscuous inhibitor was developed with good YopH selectivity relative to a panel of phosphatases. The inhibitor showed significant inhibition of intracellular Y. pestis replication at a noncytotoxic concentration. The current work presents general approaches to PTP inhibitor development that may be useful beyond YopH.

  6. The absence of concordant population genetic structure in the black-tailed prairie dog and the flea, Oropsylla hirsuta, with implications for the spread of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Jones, Philip H; Britten, Hugh B

    2010-05-01

    The black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a keystone species on the mid- and short-grass prairies of North America. The species has suffered extensive colony extirpations and isolation as a result of human activity including the introduction of an exotic pathogen, Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of sylvatic plague. The prairie dog flea, Oropsylla hirsuta, is the most common flea on our study colonies in north-central Montana and it has been shown to carry Y. pestis. We used microsatellite markers to estimate the level of population genetic concordance between black-tailed prairie dogs and O. hirsuta in order to determine the extent to which prairie dogs are responsible for dispersing this potential plague vector among prairie dog colonies. We sampled fleas and prairie dogs from six prairie dog colonies in two regions separated by about 46 km. These colonies were extirpated by a plague epizootic that began months after our sampling was completed in 2005. Prairie dogs showed significant isolation-by-distance and a tendency toward genetic structure on the regional scale that the fleas did not. Fleas exhibited higher estimated rates of gene flow among prairie dog colonies than the prairie dogs sampled from the same colonies. While the findings suggested black-tailed prairie dogs may have contributed to flea dispersal, we attributed the lack of concordance between the population genetic structures of host and ectoparasite to additional flea dispersal that was mediated by mammals other than prairie dogs that were present in the prairie system.

  7. Host transcriptomic responses to pneumonic plague reveal that Yersinia pestis inhibits both the initial adaptive and innate immune responses in mice.

    PubMed

    Yang, Huiying; Wang, Tong; Tian, Guang; Zhang, Qingwen; Wu, Xiaohong; Xin, Youqian; Yan, Yanfeng; Tan, Yafang; Cao, Shiyang; Liu, Wanbing; Cui, Yujun; Yang, Ruifu; Du, Zongmin

    2017-01-01

    Pneumonic plague is the most deadly form of infection caused by Yersinia pestis and can progress extremely fast. However, our understanding on the host transcriptomic response to pneumonic plague is insufficient. Here, we used RNA-sequencing technology to analyze transcriptomic responses in mice infected with fully virulent strain 201 or EV76, a live attenuated vaccine strain lacking the pigmentation locus. Approximately 600 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were detected in lungs from both 201- and EV76-infected mice at 12h post-infection (hpi). DEGs in lungs of 201-infected mice exceeded 2000 at 48hpi, accompanied by sustained large numbers of DEGs in the liver and spleen; however, limited numbers of DEGs were detected in those organs of EV-infected mice. Remarkably, DEGs in lungs were significantly enriched in critical immune responses pathways in EV76-infected but not 201-infected mice, including antigen processing and presentation, T cell receptor signaling among others. Pathological and bacterial load analyses confirmed the rapid systemic dissemination of 201-infection and the confined EV76-infection in lungs. Our results suggest that fully virulent Y. pestis inhibits both the innate and adaptive immune responses that are substantially stimulated in a self-limited infection, which update our holistic views on the transcriptomic response to pneumonic plague.

  8. Structure and Activity of Yersinia pestis 6-hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin Pyrophosphokinase as a Novel Target for the Development of Antiplague Therapeutics

    SciTech Connect

    Blaszczyk,J.; Li, Y.; Cherry, S.; Alexandratos, J.; Wu, Y.; Shaw, G.; Tropea, J.; Waugh, D.; Yan, H.; Ji, X.

    2007-01-01

    6-Hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin pyrophosphokinase (HPPK) is a key enzyme in the folate-biosynthetic pathway and is essential for microorganisms but absent from mammals. HPPK catalyzes Mg2+-dependent pyrophosphoryl transfer from ATP to 6-hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin (HP). Previously, three-dimensional structures of Escherichia coli HPPK (EcHPPK) have been determined at almost every stage of its catalytic cycle and the reaction mechanism has been established. Here, the crystal structure of Yersinia pestis HPPK (YpHPPK) in complex with HP and an ATP analog is presented together with thermodynamic and kinetic characterizations. The two HPPK molecules differ significantly in a helix-loop area ([alpha]2-Lp3). YpHPPK has lower affinities than EcHPPK for both nucleotides and HP, but its rate constants for the mechanistic steps of both chemical transformation and product release are comparable with those of EcHPPK. Y. pestis, which causes plague, is a category A select agent according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Therefore, these structural and biochemical data are valuable for the design of novel medical countermeasures against plague.

  9. [Efficacy of levofloxacin, lomefloxacin and moxifloxacin vs. other fluoroquinolones in experimental plague due to FI+ and FI- strains of Yersinia pestis in Albino mice].

    PubMed

    Ryzhko, I V; Tsuraeva, R I; Anisimov, B I; Trishina, A V

    2009-01-01

    Activity of levofloxacin, lomefloxacin and moxifloxacin against 20 FI+ and 20 FI- strains of Yersinia pestis was studied. It was shown that the strains were highly susceptible to the fluoroquinolones. In the experiments on mice subcutaneously infected with suspension of strains 231 FI+ and 231 FI- of Y. pestis in a dose of about 1000 LD50 (10(4) microbial cells) the ED50 of levofloxacin and moxifloxacin was 5.5-14.0 mg/kg independent of the infective culture phenotype and that of lomefloxacin was 18.5 mg/kg. Estimation of the impact of the pathogen infective dose value on the results of the experimental plague treatment with the therapeutic dose equivalent to the human one showed high efficacy of the fluoroquinolones (efficacy index of 10(4)). The treatment for 7 days provided 90-100-percent survival of the animals. The prophylactive use of lomefloxacin (in 5 hours - 5 days) was less efficient (70-80% of the survivals) in the animals infected with the antigen-changed (FI-) variant of the pathogen. Levofloxacin and moxifloxacin provided 90-100-percent survival of the animals treated for a course of 5 days independent of the pathogen phenotype. The study demonstrated that the use oflevofloxacin, lomefloxacin and moxifloxacin was prospective for the prophylaxis and therapy of experimental plague.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  11. Role of the PhoP-PhoQ gene regulatory system in adaptation of Yersinia pestis to environmental stress in the flea digestive tract.

    PubMed

    Vadyvaloo, Viveka; Viall, Austin K; Jarrett, Clayton O; Hinz, Angela K; Sturdevant, Daniel E; Joseph Hinnebusch, B

    2015-06-01

    The Yersinia pestis PhoPQ gene regulatory system is induced during infection of the flea digestive tract and is required to produce adherent biofilm in the foregut, which greatly enhances bacterial transmission during a flea bite. To understand the in vivo context of PhoPQ induction and to determine PhoP-regulated targets in the flea, we undertook whole-genome comparative transcriptional profiling of Y. pestis WT and ΔphoP strains isolated from infected fleas and from temperature-matched in vitro planktonic and flow-cell biofilm cultures. In the absence of PhoP regulation, the gene expression program indicated that the bacteria experienced diverse physiological stresses and were in a metabolically less active state. Multiple stress response genes, including several toxin-antitoxin loci and YhcN family genes responsible for increased acid tolerance, were upregulated in the phoP mutant during flea infection. The data implied that PhoPQ was induced by low pH in the flea gut, and that PhoP modulated physiological adaptation to acid and other stresses encountered during infection of the flea. This adaptive response, together with PhoP-dependent modification of the bacterial outer surface that includes repression of pH 6 antigen fimbriae, supports stable biofilm development in the flea foregut.

  12. HSP70 Domain II of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Modulates Immune Response and Protective Potential of F1 and LcrV Antigens of Yersinia pestis in a Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Batra, Lalit; Verma, Shailendra K.; Nagar, Durgesh P.; Saxena, Nandita; Pathak, Prachi; Pant, Satish C.; Tuteja, Urmil

    2014-01-01

    No ideal vaccine exists to control plague, a deadly dangerous disease caused by Yersinia pestis. In this context, we cloned, expressed and purified recombinant F1, LcrV antigens of Y. pestis and heat shock protein70 (HSP70) domain II of M. tuberculosis in E. coli. To evaluate the protective potential of each purified protein alone or in combination, Balb/C mice were immunized. Humoral and cell mediated immune responses were evaluated. Immunized animals were challenged with 100 LD50 of Y. pestis via intra-peritoneal route. Vaccine candidates i.e., F1 and LcrV generated highly significant titres of anti-F1 and anti-LcrV IgG antibodies. A significant difference was noticed in the expression level of IL-2, IFN-γ and TNF-α in splenocytes of immunized animals. Significantly increased percentages of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells producing IFN-γ in spleen of vaccinated animals were observed in comparison to control group by flow cytometric analysis. We investigated whether the F1, LcrV and HSP70(II) antigens alone or in combination can effectively protect immunized animals from any histopathological changes. Signs of histopathological lesions noticed in lung, liver, kidney and spleen of immunized animals on 3rd day post challenge whereas no lesions in animals that survived to day 20 post-infection were observed. Immunohistochemistry showed bacteria in lung, liver, spleen and kidney on 3rd day post-infection whereas no bacteria was observed on day 20 post-infection in surviving animals in LcrV, LcrV+HSP70(II), F1+LcrV, and F1+LcrV+HSP70(II) vaccinated groups. A significant difference was observed in the expression of IL-2, IFN-γ, TNF-α, and CD4+/CD8+ T cells secreting IFN-γ in the F1+LcrV+HSP70(II) vaccinated group in comparison to the F1+LcrV vaccinated group. Three combinations that included LcrV+HSP70(II), F1+LcrV or F1+LcrV+HSP70(II) provided 100% protection, whereas LcrV alone provided only 75% protection. These findings suggest that HSP70(II) of M. tuberculosis can be a

  13. Validation of cooking times and temperatures for thermal inactivation of Yersinia pestis strains KIM5 and CDC-A1122 in irradiated ground beef.

    PubMed

    Porto-Fett, Anna C S; Juneja, Vijay K; Tamplin, Mark L; Luchansky, John B

    2009-03-01

    Irradiated ground beef samples (ca. 3-g portions with ca. 25% fat) inoculated with Yersina pestis strain KIM5 (ca. 6.7 log CFU/g) were heated in a circulating water bath stabilized at 48.9, 50, 52.5, 55, 57.5, or 60 degrees C (120, 122, 126.5, 131, 135.5, and 140 degrees F, respectively). Average D-values were 192.17, 34.38, 17.11, 3.87, 1.32, and 0.56 min, respectively, with a corresponding z-value of 4.67 degrees C (8.41 degrees F). In related experiments, irradiated ground beef patties (ca. 95 g per patty with ca. 25% fat) were inoculated with Y. pestis strains KIMS or CDC-A1122 (ca. 6.0 log CFU/g) and cooked on an open-flame gas grill or on a clam-shell type electric grill to internal target temperatures of 48.9, 60, and 71.1 degrees C (120, 140, and 160 degrees F, respectively). For patties cooked on the gas grill, strain KIM5 populations decreased from ca. 6.24 to 4.32, 3.51, and < or = 0.7 log CFU/g at 48.9, 60, and 71.1 degrees C, respectively, and strain CDC-A1122 populations decreased to 3.46 log CFU/g at 48.9 degrees C and to < or = 0.7 log CFU/g at both 60 and 71.1 degrees C. For patties cooked on the clam-shell grill, strain KIM5 populations decreased from ca. 5.96 to 2.53 log CFU/g at 48.9 degrees C and to < or = 0.7 log CFU/g at 60 or 71.1 degrees C, and strain CDC-A1122 populations decreased from ca. 5.98 to < or = 0.7 log CFU/g at all three cooking temperatures. These data confirm that cooking ground beef on an open-flame gas grill or on a clam-shell type electric grill to the temperatures and times recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Food Code, appreciably lessens the likelihood, severity, and/or magnitude of consumer illness if the ground beef were purposefully contaminated even with relatively high levels of Y. pestis.

  14. Identification of Yersinia pestis and Escherichia coli strains by whole cell and outer membrane protein extracts with mass spectrometry-based proteomics.

    PubMed

    Jabbour, Rabih E; Wade, Mary Margaret; Deshpande, Samir V; Stanford, Michael F; Wick, Charles H; Zulich, Alan W; Snyder, A Peter

    2010-07-02

    Whole cell protein and outer membrane protein (OMP) extracts were compared for their ability to differentiate and delineate the correct database organism to an experimental sample and for the degree of dissimilarity to the nearest neighbor database organism strains. These extracts were isolated from pathogenic and nonpathogenic strains of Yersinia pestis and Escherichia coli using ultracentrifugation and a sarkosyl extraction method followed by protein digestion and analysis using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (MS). Whole cell protein extracts contain many different types of proteins resident in an organism at a given phase in its growth cycle. OMPs, however, are often associated with virulence in Gram-negative pathogens and could prove to be model biomarkers for strain differentiation among bacteria. The mass spectra of bacterial peptides were searched, using the SEQUEST algorithm, against a constructed proteome database of microorganisms in order to determine the identity and number of unique peptides for each bacterial sample. Data analysis was performed with the in-house BACid software. It calculated the probabilities that a peptide sequence assignment to a product ion mass spectrum was correct and used accepted spectrum-to-sequence matches to generate a sequence-to-bacterium (STB) binary matrix of assignments. Validated peptide sequences, either present or absent in various strains (STB matrices), were visualized as assignment bitmaps and analyzed by the BACid module that used phylogenetic relationships among bacterial species as part of a decision tree process. The bacterial classification and identification algorithm used assignments of organisms to taxonomic groups (phylogenetic classification) based on an organized scheme that begins at the phylum level and follows through the class, order, family, genus, and species to the strain level. For both Gram-negative organisms, the number of unique distinguishing proteins arrived at by the whole

  15. Detection of 400-year-old Yersinia pestis DNA in human dental pulp: an approach to the diagnosis of ancient septicemia.

    PubMed

    Drancourt, M; Aboudharam, G; Signoli, M; Dutour, O; Raoult, D

    1998-10-13

    Ancient septicemic plague epidemics were reported to have killed millions of people for 2 millenniums. However, confident diagnosis of ancient septicemia solely on the basis of historical clinical observations is not possible. The lack of suitable infected material has prevented direct demonstration of ancient septicemia; thus, the history of most infections such as plague remains hypothetical. The durability of dental pulp, together with its natural sterility, makes it a suitable material on which to base such research. We hypothesized that it would be a lasting refuge for Yersinia pestis, the plague agent. DNA extracts were made from the dental pulp of 12 unerupted teeth extracted from skeletons excavated from 16th and 18th century French graves of persons thought to have died of plague ("plague teeth") and from 7 ancient negative control teeth. PCRs incorporating ancient DNA extracts and primers specific for the human beta-globin gene demonstrated the absence of inhibitors in these preparations. The incorporation of primers specific for Y. pestis rpoB (the RNA polymerase beta-subunit-encoding gene) and the recognized virulence-associated pla (the plasminogen activator-encoding gene) repeatedly yielded products that had a nucleotide sequence indistinguishable from that of modern day isolates of the bacterium. The specific pla sequence was obtained from 6 of 12 plague skeleton teeth but 0 of 7 negative controls (P < 0.034, Fisher exact test). A nucleic acid-based confirmation of ancient plague was achieved for historically identified victims, and we have confirmed the presence of the disease at the end of 16th century in France. Dental pulp is an attractive target in the quest to determine the etiology of septicemic illnesses detected in ancient corpses. Molecular techniques could be applied to this material to resolve historical outbreaks.

  16. Deletion of Braun lipoprotein and plasminogen-activating protease-encoding genes attenuates Yersinia pestis in mouse models of bubonic and pneumonic plague.

    PubMed

    van Lier, Christina J; Sha, Jian; Kirtley, Michelle L; Cao, Anthony; Tiner, Bethany L; Erova, Tatiana E; Cong, Yingzi; Kozlova, Elena V; Popov, Vsevolod L; Baze, Wallace B; Chopra, Ashok K

    2014-06-01

    Currently, there is no FDA-approved vaccine against Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic and pneumonic plague. Since both humoral immunity and cell-mediated immunity are essential in providing the host with protection against plague, we developed a live-attenuated vaccine strain by deleting the Braun lipoprotein (lpp) and plasminogen-activating protease (pla) genes from Y. pestis CO92. The Δlpp Δpla double isogenic mutant was highly attenuated in evoking both bubonic and pneumonic plague in a mouse model. Further, animals immunized with the mutant by either the intranasal or the subcutaneous route were significantly protected from developing subsequent pneumonic plague. In mice, the mutant poorly disseminated to peripheral organs and the production of proinflammatory cytokines concurrently decreased. Histopathologically, reduced damage to the lungs and livers of mice infected with the Δlpp Δpla double mutant compared to the level of damage in wild-type (WT) CO92-challenged animals was observed. The Δlpp Δpla mutant-immunized mice elicited a humoral immune response to the WT bacterium, as well as to CO92-specific antigens. Moreover, T cells from mutant-immunized animals exhibited significantly higher proliferative responses, when stimulated ex vivo with heat-killed WT CO92 antigens, than mice immunized with the same sublethal dose of WT CO92. Likewise, T cells from the mutant-immunized mice produced more gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4. These animals had an increasing number of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α)-producing CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells than WT CO92-infected mice. These data emphasize the role of TNF-α and IFN-γ in protecting mice against pneumonic plague. Overall, our studies provide evidence that deletion of the lpp and pla genes acts synergistically in protecting animals against pneumonic plague, and we have demonstrated an immunological basis for this protection.

  17. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of PsaA, the adhesive pilin subunit that forms the pH 6 antigen on the surface of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Bao, Rui; Esser, Lothar; Sadhukhan, Annapurna; Nair, Manoj K M; Schifferli, Dieter M; Xia, Di

    2012-10-01

    Yersinia pestis has been responsible for a number of high-mortality epidemics throughout human history. Like all other bacterial infections, the pathogenesis of Y. pestis begins with the attachment of bacteria to the surface of host cells. At least five surface proteins from Y. pestis have been shown to interact with host cells. Psa, the pH 6 antigen, is one of them and is deployed on the surface of bacteria as thin flexible fibrils that are the result of the polymerization of a single PsaA pilin subunit. Here, the crystallization of recombinant donor-strand complemented PsaA by the hanging-drop vapor-diffusion method is reported. X-ray diffraction data sets were collected to 1.9 Å resolution from a native crystal and to 1.5 Å resolution from a bromide-derivatized crystal. These crystals displayed the symmetry of the orthorhombic space group P222(1), with unit-cell parameters a = 26.3, b = 54.6, c = 102.1 Å. Initial phases were derived from single isomorphous replacement with anomalous scattering experiments, resulting in an electron-density map that showed a single molecule in the crystallographic asymmetric unit. Sequence assignment was aided by residues binding to bromide ions of the heavy-atom derivative.

  18. Reliable detection of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis by using multiplex qPCR including internal controls for nucleic acid extraction and amplification

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Several pathogens could seriously affect public health if not recognized timely. To reduce the impact of such highly pathogenic micro-organisms, rapid and accurate diagnostic tools are needed for their detection in various samples, including environmental samples. Results Multiplex real-time PCRs were designed for rapid and reliable detection of three major pathogens that have the potential to cause high morbidity and mortality in humans: B. anthracis, F. tularensis and Y. pestis. The developed assays detect three pathogen-specific targets, including at least one chromosomal target, and one target from B. thuringiensis which is used as an internal control for nucleic acid extraction from refractory spores as well as successful DNA amplification. Validation of the PCRs showed a high analytical sensitivity, specificity and coverage of diverse pathogen strains. Conclusions The multiplex qPCR assays that were developed allow the rapid detection of 3 pathogen-specific targets simultaneously, without compromising sensitivity. The application of B. thuringiensis spores as internal controls further reduces false negative results. This ensures highly reliable detection, while template consumption and laboratory effort are kept at a minimum PMID:21143837

  19. In Vivo Photo-Cross-Linking to Study T3S Interactions Demonstrated Using the Yersinia pestis T3S System.

    PubMed

    Henderson, Thomas A; Nilles, Matthew L

    2017-01-01

    Cross-linking of proteins is effective in determining protein-protein interactions. The use of photo-cross-linkers was developed to study protein interactions in several manners. One method involved the incorporation of photo-activatable cross-linking groups into chemically synthesized peptides. A second approach relies on incorporation of photo-activatable cross-linking groups into proteins using tRNAs with chemically bound photo-activatable amino acids with suppressor tRNAs translational systems to incorporate the tags into specific sites. A third system was made possible by the development of photoreactive amino acids that use the normal cellular tRNAs and aminoacyl tRNA synthetases. In this method, the third system is used to demonstrate its utility for the study of T3S system interactions. This method describes how two photo-activatable amino acids, photo-methionine and photo-leucine, that use the normal cellular machinery are incorporated into Yersinia pestis and used to study interactions in the T3S system. To demonstrate the system, the method was used to cross-link the T3S regulatory proteins LcrG and LcrV.

  20. β-Hydroxyacyl-acyl Carrier Protein Dehydratase (FabZ) from Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis : Structure Determination, Enzymatic Characterization, and Cross-Inhibition Studies

    DOE PAGES

    McGillick, Brian E.; Kumaran, Desigan; Vieni, Casey; ...

    2016-01-28

    The bacterial system for fatty acid biosynthesis (FAS) contains several enzymes whose sequence and structure are highly conserved across a vast array of pathogens. Coupled with their low homology and difference in organization compared to the equivalent system in humans, this makes the FAS pathway an excellent target for antimicrobial drug development. To this end, we have cloned, expressed, and purified the β-hydroxyacyl-acyl carrier protein dehydratase (FabZ) from both Francisella tularensis (FtFabZ) and Yersinia pestis (YpFabZ). We also solved the crystal structures and performed an enzymatic characterization of both enzymes and several mutant forms of YpFabZ. In addition, we havemore » discovered two novel inhibitors of FabZ, mangostin and stictic acid, which show similar potencies against both YpFabZ and FtFabZ. Lastly, we selected several compounds from the literature that have been shown to be active against single homologues of FabZ and tested them against both YpFabZ and FtFabZ. Our results have revealed clues as to which scaffolds are likely to lead to broad-spectrum antimicrobials targeted against FabZ as well as modifications to existing FabZ inhibitors that may improve potency.« less

  1. Demonstration of early-phase transmission of Yersinia pestis by the mouse flea, Aetheca wagneri (Siphonaptera: Ceratophylidae), and implications for the role of deer mice as enzootic reservoirs.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Rebecca J; Holmes, Jennifer L; Schotthoefer, Anna M; Vetter, Sara M; Montenieri, John A; Gage, Kenneth L

    2008-11-01

    The role of deer mice and other species of Peromyscus as enzootic reservoirs for plague remains controversial. In this study, we evaluated early-phase vector efficiency of Aetheca wagneri Baker, a common flea species infesting deer mice, to determine the likelihood that Y. pestis could be spread mouse to mouse by this species. We showed that A. wagneri could transmit plague bacteria to laboratory mice as early as 3 d postinfection (p.i.), but transmission efficiency was quite low (1.03%; 95% CI: 0.19-3.34%) 1-4 d p.i. compared with that for the established plague vector Oropsylla montana Baker (10.63%; 95% CI: 4.18-25.91). Using this early-phase transmission efficiency estimate, we determined through parameterization of a simple predictive model that at least 68 A. wagneri per deer mouse would be required to support levels of transmission adequate for enzootic maintenance. Because deer mice typically harbor fewer than three A. wagneri per host, our data do not support the notion of an independent deer mouse--A. wagneri transmission cycle.

  2. Structural Characterization of the Yersinia pestis Type III Secretion System Needle Protein YscF in Complex with Its Heterodimeric Chaperone YscE/YscG

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, Ping; Tropea, Joseph E.; Austin, Brian P.; Cherry, Scott; Waugh, David S.

    2008-05-03

    The plague-causing bacterium Yersinia pestis utilizes a type III secretion system to deliver effector proteins into mammalian cells where they interfere with signal transduction pathways that mediate phagocytosis and the inflammatory response. Effector proteins are injected through a hollow needle structure composed of the protein YscF. YscG and YscE act as 'chaperones' to prevent premature polymerization of YscF in the cytosol of the bacterium prior to assembly of the needle. Here, we report the crystal structure of the YscEFG protein complex at 1.8 {angstrom} resolution. Overall, the structure is similar to that of the analogous PscEFG complex from the Pseudomonas aeruginosa type III secretion system, but there are noteworthy differences. The structure confirms that, like PscG, YscG is a member of the tetratricopeptide repeat family of proteins. YscG binds tightly to the C-terminal half of YscF, implying that it is this region of YscF that controls its polymerization into the needle structure. YscE interacts with the N-terminal tetratricopeptide repeat motif of YscG but makes very little direct contact with YscF. Its function may be to stabilize the structure of YscG and/or to participate in recruiting the complex to the secretion apparatus. No electron density could be observed for the 49 N-terminal residues of YscF. This and additional evidence suggest that the N-terminus of YscF is disordered in the complex with YscE and YscG. As expected, conserved residues in the C-terminal half of YscF mediate important intra- and intermolecular interactions in the complex. Moreover, the phenotypes of some previously characterized mutations in the C-terminal half of YscF can be rationalized in terms of the structure of the heterotrimeric YscEFG complex.

  3. A bivalent typhoid live vector vaccine expressing both chromosome- and plasmid-encoded Yersinia pestis antigens fully protects against murine lethal pulmonary plague infection.

    PubMed

    Galen, James E; Wang, Jin Yuan; Carrasco, Jose A; Lloyd, Scott A; Mellado-Sanchez, Gabriela; Diaz-McNair, Jovita; Franco, Olga; Buskirk, Amanda D; Nataro, James P; Pasetti, Marcela F

    2015-01-01

    Live attenuated bacteria hold great promise as multivalent mucosal vaccines against a variety of pathogens. A major challenge of this approach has been the successful delivery of sufficient amounts of vaccine antigens to adequately prime the immune system without overattenuating the live vaccine. Here we used a live attenuated Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi strain to create a bivalent mucosal plague vaccine that produces both the protective F1 capsular antigen of Yersinia pestis and the LcrV protein required for secretion of virulence effector proteins. To reduce the metabolic burden associated with the coexpression of F1 and LcrV within the live vector, we balanced expression of both antigens by combining plasmid-based expression of F1 with chromosomal expression of LcrV from three independent loci. The immunogenicity and protective efficacy of this novel vaccine were assessed in mice by using a heterologous prime-boost immunization strategy and compared to those of a conventional strain in which F1 and LcrV were expressed from a single low-copy-number plasmid. The serum antibody responses to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced by the optimized bivalent vaccine were indistinguishable from those elicited by the parent strain, suggesting an adequate immunogenic capacity maintained through preservation of bacterial fitness; in contrast, LPS titers were 10-fold lower in mice immunized with the conventional vaccine strain. Importantly, mice receiving the optimized bivalent vaccine were fully protected against lethal pulmonary challenge. These results demonstrate the feasibility of distributing foreign antigen expression across both chromosomal and plasmid locations within a single vaccine organism for induction of protective immunity.

  4. A Bivalent Typhoid Live Vector Vaccine Expressing both Chromosome- and Plasmid-Encoded Yersinia pestis Antigens Fully Protects against Murine Lethal Pulmonary Plague Infection

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jin Yuan; Carrasco, Jose A.; Lloyd, Scott A.; Mellado-Sanchez, Gabriela; Diaz-McNair, Jovita; Franco, Olga; Buskirk, Amanda D.; Nataro, James P.; Pasetti, Marcela F.

    2014-01-01

    Live attenuated bacteria hold great promise as multivalent mucosal vaccines against a variety of pathogens. A major challenge of this approach has been the successful delivery of sufficient amounts of vaccine antigens to adequately prime the immune system without overattenuating the live vaccine. Here we used a live attenuated Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi strain to create a bivalent mucosal plague vaccine that produces both the protective F1 capsular antigen of Yersinia pestis and the LcrV protein required for secretion of virulence effector proteins. To reduce the metabolic burden associated with the coexpression of F1 and LcrV within the live vector, we balanced expression of both antigens by combining plasmid-based expression of F1 with chromosomal expression of LcrV from three independent loci. The immunogenicity and protective efficacy of this novel vaccine were assessed in mice by using a heterologous prime-boost immunization strategy and compared to those of a conventional strain in which F1 and LcrV were expressed from a single low-copy-number plasmid. The serum antibody responses to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced by the optimized bivalent vaccine were indistinguishable from those elicited by the parent strain, suggesting an adequate immunogenic capacity maintained through preservation of bacterial fitness; in contrast, LPS titers were 10-fold lower in mice immunized with the conventional vaccine strain. Importantly, mice receiving the optimized bivalent vaccine were fully protected against lethal pulmonary challenge. These results demonstrate the feasibility of distributing foreign antigen expression across both chromosomal and plasmid locations within a single vaccine organism for induction of protective immunity. PMID:25332120

  5. Using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy and electrochemically driven melting to discriminate Yersinia pestis from Y. pseudotuberculosis based on single nucleotide polymorphisms within unpurified polymerase chain reaction amplicons.

    PubMed

    Papadopoulou, Evanthia; Goodchild, Sarah A; Cleary, David W; Weller, Simon A; Gale, Nittaya; Stubberfield, Michael R; Brown, Tom; Bartlett, Philip N

    2015-02-03

    The development of sensors for the detection of pathogen-specific DNA, including relevant species/strain level discrimination, is critical in molecular diagnostics with major impacts in areas such as bioterrorism and food safety. Herein, we use electrochemically driven denaturation assays monitored by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to target single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that distinguish DNA amplicons generated from Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, from the closely related species Y. pseudotuberculosis. Two assays targeting SNPs within the groEL and metH genes of these two species have been successfully designed. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to produce Texas Red labeled single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) amplicons of 262 and 251 bases for the groEL and metH targets, respectively. These amplicons were used in an unpurified form to hybridize to immobilized probes then subjected to electrochemically driven melting. In all cases electrochemically driven melting was able to discriminate between fully homologous DNA and that containing SNPs. The metH assay was particularly challenging due to the presence of only a single base mismatch in the middle of the 251 base long PCR amplicon. However, manipulation of assay conditions (conducting the electrochemical experiments at 10 °C) resulted in greater discrimination between the complementary and mismatched DNA. Replicate data were collected and analyzed for each duplex on different days, using different batches of PCR product and different sphere segment void (SSV) substrates. Despite the variability introduced by these differences, the assays are shown to be reliable and robust providing a new platform for strain discrimination using unpurified PCR samples.

  6. Identification and quantification of N alpha-acetylated Y. pestis fusion protein F1-V expressed in Escherichia coli using LCMS E.

    PubMed

    Bariola, Pauline A; Russell, Brett A; Monahan, Steven J; Stroop, Steven D

    2007-05-31

    N-terminal acetylation in E coli is a rare event catalyzed by three known N-acetyl-transferases (NATs), each having a specific ribosomal protein substrate. Multiple, gram-scale lots of recombinant F1-V, a fusion protein constructed from Y. Pestis antigens, were expressed and purified from a single stably transformed E. coli cell bank. A variant form of F1-V with mass increased by 42-43 Da was detected in all purified lots by electrospray orthogonal acceleration time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MS). Peptide mapping LCMS localized the increased mass to an N-terminal Lys-C peptide, residues 1-24, and defined it as +42.0308+/-0.0231 Da using a LockSpray exact mass feature and a leucine enkaphalin mass standard. Sequencing of the variant 1-24 peptide by LCMS and high-energy collision induced dissociation (LCMS(E)) further localized the modification to the amino terminal tri-peptide ADL and identified the modification as N(alpha)-acetylation. The average content of N(alpha)-acetylated F1-V in five lots was 24.7+/-2.6% indicating that a stable acetylation activity for F1-V was established in the E. coli expression system. Alignment of the F1-V N-terminal sequence with those of other known N(alpha)-acetylated ectopic proteins expressed in E. coli reveals a substrate motif analogous to the eukaryote NatA' acetylation pathway and distinct from endogenous E. coli NAT substrates.

  7. EMS Student Handbook.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ogle, Patrick

    This student guide is one of a series of self-contained materials for students enrolled in an emergency medical services (EMS) training program. Discussed in the individual sections of the guide are the following topics: the purpose and history of EMS professionals; EMS training, certification and examinations (national and state certification and…

  8. EM International. Volume 1

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-07-01

    It is the intent of EM International to describe the Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management`s (EM`s) various roles and responsibilities within the international community. Cooperative agreements and programs, descriptions of projects and technologies, and synopses of visits to international sites are all highlighted in this semiannual journal. Focus on EM programs in this issue is on international collaboration in vitrification projects. Technology highlights covers: in situ sealing for contaminated sites; and remote sensors for toxic pollutants. Section on profiles of countries includes: Arctic contamination by the former Soviet Union, and EM activities with Germany--cooperative arrangements.

  9. Leveraging EMS and VPP

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-05-01

    Elements of EMS  International Standards Organization ( ISO ) 14001 , Environmental Management Systems  The Key Elements of EMS: - Policy - Planning...wingman-- ON and OFF duty Fully Conforming vs. Fully Implemented  “Fully Conforming”  Meets standards established in ISO 14001  ESOH council...e n c e Every airman looking out for his wingman-- ON and OFF duty EMS & VPP Commonalities Environmental Management System ISO 14001 : 2004 Voluntary

  10. A pivotal role for reductive methylation in the de novo crystallization of a ternary complex composed of Yersinia pestis virulence factors YopN, SycN and YscB.

    PubMed

    Schubot, Florian D; Waugh, David S

    2004-11-01

    Structural studies of a ternary complex composed of the Yersina pestis virulence factors YopN, SycN and YscB were initially hampered by poor solubility of the individual proteins. Co-expression of all three proteins in Escherichia coli yielded a well behaved complex, but this sample proved to be recalcitrant to crystallization. As crystallization efforts remained fruitless, even after the proteolysis-guided engineering of a truncated YopN polypeptide, reductive methylation of lysine residues was employed to alter the surface properties of the complex. The methylated complex yielded crystals that diffracted X-rays to a maximal resolution of 1.8 A. The potential utility of reductive methylation as a remedial strategy for high-throughput structural biology was further underscored by the successful modification of a selenomethionine-substituted sample.

  11. Development of a Chemoenzymatic-like and Photoswitchable Method for the High-Throughput creation of Protein Microarrays. Application to the Analysis of the Protein/Protein Interactions Involved in the YOP Virulon from Yersinia pestis.

    SciTech Connect

    Camarero, J A

    2006-12-07

    Protein arrays are ideal tools for the rapid analysis of whole proteomes as well as for the development of reliable and cheap biosensors. The objective of this proposal is to develop a new ligand assisted ligation method based in the naturally occurring protein trans-splicing process. This method has been used for the generation of spatially addressable arrays of multiple protein components by standard micro-lithographic techniques. Key to our approach is the use of the protein trans-splicing process. This naturally occurring process allows the development of a truly generic and highly efficient method for the covalent attachment of proteins through its C-terminus to any solid support. This technology has been used for the creation of protein chips containing several virulence factors from the human pathogen Y. pestis.

  12. Influence of the conserved disulphide bond, exposed to the putative binding pocket, on the structure and function of the immunoglobulin-like molecular chaperone Caf1M of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Zav'yalov, V P; Chernovskaya, T V; Chapman, D A; Karlyshev, A V; MacIntyre, S; Zavialov, A V; Vasiliev, A M; Denesyuk, A I; Zav'yalova, G A; Dudich, I V; Korpela, T; Abramov, V M

    1997-06-01

    The Yersinia pestis protein Caf1M is a typical representative of a subfamily of periplasmic molecular chaperones with characteristic structural and functional features, one of which is the location of two conserved cysteine residues close to the putative binding pocket. We show that these residues form a disulphide bond, the reduction and alkylation of which significantly increases the dissociation constant of the Caf1M-Caf1 (where Caf 1 is a polypeptide subunit of the capsule) complex [from a Kd of (4.77+/-0.50)x10(-9) M for the intact protein to one of (3.68+/-0.68)x10(-8) M for the modified protein]. The importance of the disulphide bond for the formation of functional Caf1M in vivo was demonstrated using an Escherichia coli dsbA mutant carrying the Y. pestis f1 operon. In accordance with the CD and fluorescence measurements, the disulphide bond is not important for maintenance of the overall structure of the Caf1M molecule, but would appear to affect the fine structural properties of the subunit binding site. A three-dimensional model of the Caf1M-Caf1 complex was designed based on the published crystal structure of PapD (a chaperone required for Pap pili assembly) complexed with a peptide corresponding to the C-terminus of the papG subunit. In the model the disulphide bond is in close proximity to the invariant Caf1M Arg-23 and Lys-142 residues that are assumed to anchor the C-terminal group of the subunit. The importance of this characteristic disulphide bond for the orchestration of the binding site and subunit binding, as well as for the folding of the protein in vivo, is likely to be a common feature of this subfamily of Caf1M-like chaperones. A possible model for the role of the disulphide bond in Caf1 assembly is discussed.

  13. Utilice en forma segura los productos con cebo para roedores

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Si se usan de manera inadecuada, los productos con veneno para ratas y ratones podrían hacerle daño a usted, a sus hijos o a sus mascotas. Siempre que use pesticidas lea la etiqueta del producto y siga todas las indicaciones.

  14. EMS in the pueblos.

    PubMed

    Vigil, M A

    1994-02-01

    Imagine creating a movie by excerpting scenes from "Dances With Wolves," splicing it with footage from "Code 3" or "Emergency Response" and then flavoring the script with the mystery of a Tony Hillerman novel. A film producer would probably find it quite difficult to choreograph a finished product from such a compilation of material. To hundreds of Native American EMS providers, however, such a movie is played out every day in Indian country. And with this movie come some real-life problems, including trauma, which is the number-one cause of premature death among Native Americans. But a high trauma rate is just one of the challenges facing tribal EMS responders. There's also prolonged response and transport, the problems involved in maintaining the unique culture and standard of care, the challenges of tribal EMS administration and EMS education of Native American students, and the unsure future of Native American EMS. Beyond that, there's the fact that EMS is a s unique to each Indian reservation as are the cultures of the native peoples who reside on these lands. Yet while no two systems are alike, most tribal EMS providers face similar challenges.

  15. Influence of the conserved disulphide bond, exposed to the putative binding pocket, on the structure and function of the immunoglobulin-like molecular chaperone Caf1M of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed Central

    Zav'yalov, V P; Chernovskaya, T V; Chapman, D A; Karlyshev, A V; MacIntyre, S; Zavialov, A V; Vasiliev, A M; Denesyuk, A I; Zav'yalova, G A; Dudich, I V; Korpela, T; Abramov, V M

    1997-01-01

    The Yersinia pestis protein Caf1M is a typical representative of a subfamily of periplasmic molecular chaperones with characteristic structural and functional features, one of which is the location of two conserved cysteine residues close to the putative binding pocket. We show that these residues form a disulphide bond, the reduction and alkylation of which significantly increases the dissociation constant of the Caf1M-Caf1 (where Caf 1 is a polypeptide subunit of the capsule) complex [from a Kd of (4.77+/-0.50)x10(-9) M for the intact protein to one of (3.68+/-0.68)x10(-8) M for the modified protein]. The importance of the disulphide bond for the formation of functional Caf1M in vivo was demonstrated using an Escherichia coli dsbA mutant carrying the Y. pestis f1 operon. In accordance with the CD and fluorescence measurements, the disulphide bond is not important for maintenance of the overall structure of the Caf1M molecule, but would appear to affect the fine structural properties of the subunit binding site. A three-dimensional model of the Caf1M-Caf1 complex was designed based on the published crystal structure of PapD (a chaperone required for Pap pili assembly) complexed with a peptide corresponding to the C-terminus of the papG subunit. In the model the disulphide bond is in close proximity to the invariant Caf1M Arg-23 and Lys-142 residues that are assumed to anchor the C-terminal group of the subunit. The importance of this characteristic disulphide bond for the orchestration of the binding site and subunit binding, as well as for the folding of the protein in vivo, is likely to be a common feature of this subfamily of Caf1M-like chaperones. A possible model for the role of the disulphide bond in Caf1 assembly is discussed. PMID:9182720

  16. EMS in Mauritius.

    PubMed

    Ramalanjaona, Georges; Brogan, Gerald X

    2009-02-01

    Mauritius lies in the southwest Indian Ocean about 1250 miles from the African coast and 500 miles from Madagascar. Mauritius (estimated population 1,230,602) became independent from the United Kingdom in 1968 and has one of the highest GDP per capita in Africa. Within Mauritius there is a well established EMS system with a single 999 national dispatch system. Ambulances are either publicly or privately owned. Public ambulances are run by the Government (SAMU). Megacare is a private subscriber only ambulance service. The Government has recently invested in new technology such as telemedicine to further enhance the role of EMS on the island. This article describes the current state of EMS in Mauritius and depicts its development in the context of Government effort to decentralise and modernise the healthcare system.

  17. β-Hydroxyacyl-acyl Carrier Protein Dehydratase (FabZ) from Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis : Structure Determination, Enzymatic Characterization, and Cross-Inhibition Studies

    SciTech Connect

    McGillick, Brian E.; Kumaran, Desigan; Vieni, Casey; Swaminathan, Subramanyam

    2016-01-28

    The bacterial system for fatty acid biosynthesis (FAS) contains several enzymes whose sequence and structure are highly conserved across a vast array of pathogens. Coupled with their low homology and difference in organization compared to the equivalent system in humans, this makes the FAS pathway an excellent target for antimicrobial drug development. To this end, we have cloned, expressed, and purified the β-hydroxyacyl-acyl carrier protein dehydratase (FabZ) from both Francisella tularensis (FtFabZ) and Yersinia pestis (YpFabZ). We also solved the crystal structures and performed an enzymatic characterization of both enzymes and several mutant forms of YpFabZ. In addition, we have discovered two novel inhibitors of FabZ, mangostin and stictic acid, which show similar potencies against both YpFabZ and FtFabZ. Lastly, we selected several compounds from the literature that have been shown to be active against single homologues of FabZ and tested them against both YpFabZ and FtFabZ. Our results have revealed clues as to which scaffolds are likely to lead to broad-spectrum antimicrobials targeted against FabZ as well as modifications to existing FabZ inhibitors that may improve potency.

  18. The EM Earthquake Precursor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, K. B., II; Saxton, P. T.

    2013-12-01

    Many attempts have been made to determine a sound forecasting method regarding earthquakes and warn the public in turn. Presently, the animal kingdom leads the precursor list alluding to a transmission related source. By applying the animal-based model to an electromagnetic (EM) wave model, various hypotheses were formed, but the most interesting one required the use of a magnetometer with a differing design and geometry. To date, numerous, high-end magnetometers have been in use in close proximity to fault zones for potential earthquake forecasting; however, something is still amiss. The problem still resides with what exactly is forecastable and the investigating direction of EM. After the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, American earthquake investigators predetermined magnetometer use and a minimum earthquake magnitude necessary for EM detection. This action was set in motion, due to the extensive damage incurred and public outrage concerning earthquake forecasting; however, the magnetometers employed, grounded or buried, are completely subject to static and electric fields and have yet to correlate to an identifiable precursor. Secondly, there is neither a networked array for finding any epicentral locations, nor have there been any attempts to find even one. This methodology needs dismissal, because it is overly complicated, subject to continuous change, and provides no response time. As for the minimum magnitude threshold, which was set at M5, this is simply higher than what modern technological advances have gained. Detection can now be achieved at approximately M1, which greatly improves forecasting chances. A propagating precursor has now been detected in both the field and laboratory. Field antenna testing conducted outside the NE Texas town of Timpson in February, 2013, detected three strong EM sources along with numerous weaker signals. The antenna had mobility, and observations were noted for recurrence, duration, and frequency response. Next, two

  19. EMS & the DEA.

    PubMed

    Beeson, Jeff; Ayres, Chris

    2010-01-01

    It's clear that EMS medical directors and management staff must be vigilant in their oversight of implementation, administration and monitoring of controlled substances within their agencies to best serve the public and avoid running afoul of investigation and incurring significant penalties. Those potentially affected by the need for individual registrations of both emergency vehicles and central inventory systems should carefully monitor upcoming developments in the interpretation od DEA regulations.

  20. Identified EM Earthquake Precursors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Kenneth, II; Saxton, Patrick

    2014-05-01

    Many attempts have been made to determine a sound forecasting method regarding earthquakes and warn the public in turn. Presently, the animal kingdom leads the precursor list alluding to a transmission related source. By applying the animal-based model to an electromagnetic (EM) wave model, various hypotheses were formed, but the most interesting one required the use of a magnetometer with a differing design and geometry. To date, numerous, high-end magnetometers have been in use in close proximity to fault zones for potential earthquake forecasting; however, something is still amiss. The problem still resides with what exactly is forecastable and the investigating direction of EM. After a number of custom rock experiments, two hypotheses were formed which could answer the EM wave model. The first hypothesis concerned a sufficient and continuous electron movement either by surface or penetrative flow, and the second regarded a novel approach to radio transmission. Electron flow along fracture surfaces was determined to be inadequate in creating strong EM fields, because rock has a very high electrical resistance making it a high quality insulator. Penetrative flow could not be corroborated as well, because it was discovered that rock was absorbing and confining electrons to a very thin skin depth. Radio wave transmission and detection worked with every single test administered. This hypothesis was reviewed for propagating, long-wave generation with sufficient amplitude, and the capability of penetrating solid rock. Additionally, fracture spaces, either air or ion-filled, can facilitate this concept from great depths and allow for surficial detection. A few propagating precursor signals have been detected in the field occurring with associated phases using custom-built loop antennae. Field testing was conducted in Southern California from 2006-2011, and outside the NE Texas town of Timpson in February, 2013. The antennae have mobility and observations were noted for

  1. Tandem heterocyclization activity of the multidomain 230 kDa HMWP2 subunit of Yersinia pestis yersiniabactin synthetase: interaction of the 1-1382 and 1383-2035 fragments.

    PubMed

    Suo, Z; Walsh, C T; Miller, D A

    1999-10-19

    The six-domain, 2035-amino acid subunit high-molecular weight protein 2 (HMWP2) activates salicylate and two cysteines and loads them covalently on its three carrier protein domains during assembly of the iron-chelating virulence factor, yersiniabactin of the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis. The 1-1382 fragment of HMWP2 (ArCP-Cy1-A), overproduced in Escherichia coli, contains the first three domains: the aryl carrier protein (ArCP) domain, the cysteine specific adenylation domain (A), and the first condensation/cyclization domain (Cy1). The ArCP can be posttranslationally phosphopantetheinylated on Ser52 and then loaded with a salicyl group on the phosphopantetheine (Ppant) thiol by action of the YbtE, a salicyl-AMP ligase. The HMWP2 1-1382 fragment can activate L-cysteine as Cys-AMP. The HMWP2 1383-2035 fragment contains the remaining three domains: two peptidyl carrier proteins (PCP1 and PCP2) separated by a second condensation/cyclization domain (Cy2). Phosphopantetheinylation of the HMWP2 1383-2035 fragment at Ser1439 (PCP1) and Ser1977 (PCP2) facilitates cysteinylation of both thiols by HMWP2 1-1382. When the holo 1-1382 and bis-holo 1383-2035 protein fragments are mixed with ATP, salicylate, and cysteine, four products are slowly released [salicylcysteine (Sal-Cys), (hydroxyphenylthiazolinyl)cysteine (HPT-Cys), HPT-Cys-Cys, and the bisheterocyclic HPTT-Cys], reflecting thiolytic rerouting by cysteine in solution of elongating acyl-S-enzyme intermediates tethered at ArCP, PCP1, and PCP2 carrier protein domains, respectively. Conducting the in trans reconstitution with the S1439A mutant of HMWP2 1383-2035 releases only Sal-Cys, while the S1977A mutant leads to HPT-Cys formation but not HPT-Cys-Cys or HPTT-Cys. These results suggest localization of particular acyl-S-enzyme intermediates to each of the three carrier protein regions and also establish the sequential action of Cy1 and Cy2, with the latter producing the tandem 4,2-bisheterocyclic

  2. A comparative biochemical and structural analysis of the intracellular chorismate mutase (Rv0948c) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis H(37)R(v) and the secreted chorismate mutase (y2828) from Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sook-Kyung; Reddy, Sathyavelu K; Nelson, Bryant C; Robinson, Howard; Reddy, Prasad T; Ladner, Jane E

    2008-10-01

    The Rv0948c gene from Mycobacterium tuberculosis H(37)R(v) encodes a 90 amino acid protein as the natural gene product with chorismate mutase (CM) activity. The protein, 90-MtCM, exhibits Michaelis-Menten kinetics with a k(cat) of 5.5+/-0.2s(-1) and a K(m) of 1500+/-100microm at 37 degrees C and pH7.5. The 2.0A X-ray structure shows that 90-MtCM is an all alpha-helical homodimer (Protein Data Bank ID: 2QBV) with the topology of Escherichia coli CM (EcCM), and that both protomers contribute to each catalytic site. Superimposition onto the structure of EcCM and the sequence alignment shows that the C-terminus helix3 is shortened. The absence of two residues in the active site of 90-MtCM corresponding to Ser84 and Gln88 of EcCM appears to be one reason for the low k(cat). Hence, 90-MtCM belongs to a subfamily of alpha-helical AroQ CMs termed AroQ(delta.) The CM gene (y2828) from Yersinia pestis encodes a 186 amino acid protein with an N-terminal signal peptide that directs the protein to the periplasm. The mature protein, *YpCM, exhibits Michaelis-Menten kinetics with a k(cat) of 70+/-5s(-1) and K(m) of 500+/-50microm at 37 degrees C and pH7.5. The 2.1A X-ray structure shows that *YpCM is an all alpha-helical protein, and functions as a homodimer, and that each protomer has an independent catalytic unit (Protein Data Bank ID: 2GBB). *YpCM belongs to the AroQ(gamma) class of CMs, and is similar to the secreted CM (Rv1885c, *MtCM) from M.tuberculosis.

  3. A comparative biochemical and structural analysis of the intracellular chorismate mutase (Rv0948c) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv and the secreted chorismate mutase (y2828) from Yersinia pestis

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, S.K.; Robinson, H.; Reddy, S. K.; Nelson, B. C.; Reddy, P. T.; Ladner, J. E.

    2008-10-01

    The Rv0948c gene from Mycobacterium tuberculosis H{sub 37}R{sub v} encodes a 90 amino acid protein as the natural gene product with chorismate mutase (CM) activity. The protein, 90-MtCM, exhibits Michaelis-Menten kinetics with a k{sub cat} of 5.5 {+-} 0.2 s{sup -1} and a K{sub m} of 1500 {+-} 100 {mu}m at 37 C and pH 7.5. The 2.0 {angstrom} X-ray structure shows that 90-MtCM is an all {alpha}-helical homodimer (Protein Data Bank ID: 2QBV) with the topology of Escherichia coli CM (EcCM), and that both protomers contribute to each catalytic site. Superimposition onto the structure of EcCM and the sequence alignment shows that the C-terminus helix 3 is shortened. The absence of two residues in the active site of 90-MtCM corresponding to Ser84 and Gln88 of EcCM appears to be one reason for the low k{sub cat}. Hence, 90-MtCM belongs to a subfamily of {alpha}-helical AroQ CMs termed AroQ{sub {delta}}. The CM gene (y2828) from Yersinia pestis encodes a 186 amino acid protein with an N-terminal signal peptide that directs the protein to the periplasm. The mature protein, *YpCM, exhibits Michaelis-Menten kinetics with a k{sub cat} of 70 {+-} 5 s{sup -1} and K{sub m} of 500 {+-} 50 {mu}m at 37 C and pH 7.5. The 2.1 {angstrom} X-ray structure shows that *YpCM is an all {alpha}-helical protein, and functions as a homodimer, and that each protomer has an independent catalytic unit (Protein Data Bank ID: 2GBB). *YpCM belongs to the AroQ{sub {gamma}} class of CMs, and is similar to the secreted CM (Rv1885c, *MtCM) from M. tuberculosis.

  4. Intramuscular Immunization of Mice with a Live-Attenuated Triple Mutant of Yersinia pestis CO92 Induces Robust Humoral and Cell-Mediated Immunity To Completely Protect Animals against Pneumonic Plague.

    PubMed

    Tiner, Bethany L; Sha, Jian; Ponnusamy, Duraisamy; Baze, Wallace B; Fitts, Eric C; Popov, Vsevolod L; van Lier, Christina J; Erova, Tatiana E; Chopra, Ashok K

    2015-12-01

    Earlier, we showed that the Δlpp ΔmsbB Δail triple mutant of Yersinia pestis CO92 with deleted genes encoding Braun lipoprotein (Lpp), an acyltransferase (MsbB), and the attachment invasion locus (Ail), respectively, was avirulent in a mouse model of pneumonic plague. In this study, we further evaluated the immunogenic potential of the Δlpp ΔmsbB Δail triple mutant and its derivative by different routes of vaccination. Mice were immunized via the subcutaneous (s.c.) or the intramuscular (i.m.) route with two doses (2 × 10(6) CFU/dose) of the above-mentioned triple mutant with 100% survivability of the animals. Upon subsequent pneumonic challenge with 70 to 92 50% lethal doses (LD(50)) of wild-type (WT) strain CO92, all of the mice survived when immunization occurred by the i.m. route. Since Ail has virulence and immunogenic potential, a mutated version of Ail devoid of its virulence properties was created, and the genetically modified ail replaced the native ail gene on the chromosome of the Δlpp ΔmsbB double mutant, creating a Δlpp ΔmsbB::ailL2 vaccine strain. This newly generated mutant was attenuated similarly to the Δlpp ΔmsbB Δail triple mutant when administered by the i.m. route and provided 100% protection to animals against subsequent pneumonic challenge. Not only were the two above-mentioned mutants cleared rapidly from the initial i.m. site of injection in animals with no histopathological lesions, the immunized mice did not exhibit any disease symptoms during immunization or after subsequent exposure to WT CO92. These two mutants triggered balanced Th1- and Th2-based antibody responses and cell-mediated immunity. A substantial increase in interleukin-17 (IL-17) from the T cells of vaccinated mice, a cytokine of the Th17 cells, further augmented their vaccine potential. Thus, the Δlpp ΔmsbB Δail and Δlpp ΔmsbB::ailL2 mutants represent excellent vaccine candidates for plague, with the latter mutant still retaining Ail immunogenicity but

  5. A Comparative Biochemical and Structural Analysis of the Intracellular chorismate mutase (Rv0948c) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis H(37)R(v) and the Secreted chorismate mutase (y2828) from Yersinia pestis

    SciTech Connect

    S Kim; S Reddy; B Nelson; H Robinson; P Reddy; J Ladner

    2011-12-31

    The Rv0948c gene from Mycobacterium tuberculosis H{sub 37}R{sub v} encodes a 90 amino acid protein as the natural gene product with chorismate mutase (CM) activity. The protein, 90-MtCM, exhibits Michaelis-Menten kinetics with a k{sub cat} of 5.5 {+-} 0.2 s{sup -1} and a K{sub m} of 1500 {+-} 100 {micro}m at 37 C and pH 7.5. The 2.0 {angstrom} X-ray structure shows that 90-MtCM is an all {alpha}-helical homodimer (Protein Data Bank ID: 2QBV) with the topology of Escherichia coli CM (EcCM), and that both protomers contribute to each catalytic site. Superimposition onto the structure of EcCM and the sequence alignment shows that the C-terminus helix 3 is shortened. The absence of two residues in the active site of 90-MtCM corresponding to Ser84 and Gln88 of EcCM appears to be one reason for the low k{sub cat}. Hence, 90-MtCM belongs to a subfamily of {alpha}-helical AroQ CMs termed AroQ{delta}. The CM gene (y2828) from Yersinia pestis encodes a 186 amino acid protein with an N-terminal signal peptide that directs the protein to the periplasm. The mature protein, *YpCM, exhibits Michaelis-Menten kinetics with a k{sub cat} of 70 {+-} 5 s{sup -1} and Km of 500 {+-} 50 {micro}m at 37 C and pH 7.5. The 2.1 {angstrom} X-ray structure shows that *YpCM is an all {alpha}-helical protein, and functions as a homodimer, and that each protomer has an independent catalytic unit (Protein Data Bank ID: 2GBB). *YpCM belongs to the AroQ{gamma} class of CMs, and is similar to the secreted CM (Rv1885c, *MtCM) from M. tuberculosis.

  6. The effects of modeled microgravity on growth kinetics, antibiotic susceptibility, cold growth, and the virulence potential of a Yersinia pestis ymoA-deficient mutant and its isogenic parental strain.

    PubMed

    Lawal, Abidat; Kirtley, Michelle L; van Lier, Christina J; Erova, Tatiana E; Kozlova, Elena V; Sha, Jian; Chopra, Ashok K; Rosenzweig, Jason A

    2013-09-01

    Previously, we reported that there was no enhancement in the virulence potential (as measured by cell culture infections) of the bacterial pathogen Yersinia pestis (YP) following modeled microgravity/clinorotation growth. We have now further characterized the effects of clinorotation (CR) on YP growth kinetics, antibiotic sensitivity, cold growth, and YP's virulence potential in a murine model of infection. Surprisingly, none of the aforementioned phenotypes were altered. To better understand why CR did not enhance YP's virulence potential as it did for other bacterial pathogens, a YP ΔymoA isogenic mutant in the KIM/D27 background strain that is unable to produce the histone-like YmoA protein and influences DNA topography was used in both cell culture and murine models of infection. YmoA represses type three secretion system (T3SS) virulence gene expression in the yersiniae. Similar to our CR-grown parental YP strain data, the CR-grown ΔymoA mutant induced reduced HeLa cell cytotoxicity with concomitantly decreased Yersinia outer protein E (YopE) and low calcium response V (LcrV) antigen production and secretion. Important, however, were our findings that, although no significant differences were observed in survival of mice infected intraperitoneally with either normal gravity (NG)- or CR-grown parental YP, the ΔymoA mutant induced significantly more mortality in infected mice than did the parental strain following CR growth. Taken together, our data demonstrate that CR did enhance the virulence potential of the YP ΔymoA mutant in a murine infection model (relative to the CR-grown parental strain), despite inducing less HeLa cell rounding in our cell culture infection assay due to reduced T3SS activity. Therefore, CR, which induces a unique type of bacterial stress, might be enhancing YP's virulence potential in vivo through a T3SS-independent mechanism when the histone-like YmoA protein is absent.

  7. EPA LABORATORIES IMPLEMENT EMS PROGRAM

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper highlights the breadth and magnitude of carrying out an effective Environmental Management System (EMS) program at the U.S. EPA's research and development laboratories. Federal research laboratories have unique operating challenges compared to more centralized industr...

  8. Busca de estruturas em grandes escalas em altos redshifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boris, N. V.; Sodrã©, L., Jr.; Cypriano, E.

    2003-08-01

    A busca por estruturas em grandes escalas (aglomerados de galáxias, por exemplo) é um ativo tópico de pesquisas hoje em dia, pois a detecção de um único aglomerado em altos redshifts pode por vínculos fortes sobre os modelos cosmológicos. Neste projeto estamos fazendo uma busca de estruturas distantes em campos contendo pares de quasares próximos entre si em z Â3 0.9. Os pares de quasares foram extraídos do catálogo de Véron-Cetty & Véron (2001) e estão sendo observados com os telescópios: 2,2m da University of Hawaii (UH), 2,5m do Observatório de Las Campanas e com o GEMINI. Apresentamos aqui a análise preliminar de um par de quasares observado nos filtros i'(7800 Å) e z'(9500 Å) com o GEMINI. A cor (i'-z') mostrou-se útil para detectar objetos "early-type" em redshifts menores que 1.1. No estudo do par 131046+0006/J131055+0008, com redshift ~ 0.9, o uso deste método possibilitou a detecção de sete objetos candidatos a galáxias "early-type". Num mapa da distribuição projetada dos objetos para 22 < i' < 25 observou-se que estas galáxias estão localizadas próximas a um dos quasares e há indícios de que estejam aglomeradas dentro de um área de ~ 6 arcmin2. Se esse for o caso, estes objetos seriam membros de uma estrutura em grande escala. Um outro argumento em favor dessa hipótese é que eles obedecem uma relação do tipo Kormendy (raio equivalente X brilho superficial dentro desse raio), como a apresentada pelas galáxias elípticas em z = 0.

  9. Rural Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Trauma

    MedlinePlus

    ... a rural EMS unit find funding for major equipment, such as an ambulance? The following programs can ... EMS units. Grants may be used to purchase equipment (including vehicles), provide training, establish wellness and fitness ...

  10. The European Mobile System (EMS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jongejans, A.; Rogard, R.; Mistretta, I.; Ananasso, F.

    1993-01-01

    The European Space Agency is presently procuring an L band payload in order to promote a regional European L band system coping with the specific needs of the European market. The payload, and the two communications systems to be supported, are described below. The potential market for EMS in Europe is discussed.

  11. Complaints against an EMS system.

    PubMed

    Colwell, Christopher B; Pons, Peter T; Pi, Randy

    2003-11-01

    Complaints against Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies represent a concerning and potentially time-consuming problem for all involved in the delivery of prehospital emergency medical care. The objective of this study was to identify the source of complaints against an EMS system to help focus quality and performance improvement and customer service efforts. We conducted a retrospective review of complaints filed against a busy urban EMS agency over a 6-year period. All complaints were included, totaled by season and by year, and categorized by originator and nature of the complaint. A total of 286 complaints were registered during the 6-year period, with an average of 48 per year and 9.3 per 10,000 responses. The most common originators of complaints were patients (53%) followed by medical personnel (19%) and family members or friends (12%). Rude behavior accounted for 23% of the complaints registered, followed by technical skills (20%), transport problems (18%), and loss of belongings (13%). The identification of areas of dissatisfaction will allow focused quality and performance improvement programs directed at customer service and risk management.

  12. DOE/EM Criticality Safety Needs Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Westfall, Robert Michael; Hopper, Calvin Mitchell

    2011-02-01

    The issue of nuclear criticality safety (NCS) in Department of Energy Environmental Management (DOE/EM) fissionable material operations presents challenges because of the large quantities of material present in the facilities and equipment that are committed to storage and/or material conditioning and dispositioning processes. Given the uncertainty associated with the material and conditions for many DOE/EM fissionable material operations, ensuring safety while maintaining operational efficiency requires the application of the most-effective criticality safety practices. In turn, more-efficient implementation of these practices can be achieved if the best NCS technologies are utilized. In 2002, DOE/EM-1 commissioned a survey of criticality safety technical needs at the major EM sites. These needs were documented in the report Analysis of Nuclear Criticality Safety Technology Supporting the Environmental Management Program, issued May 2002. Subsequent to this study, EM safety management personnel made a commitment to applying the best and latest criticality safety technology, as described by the DOE Nuclear Criticality Safety Program (NCSP). Over the past 7 years, this commitment has enabled the transfer of several new technologies to EM operations. In 2008, it was decided to broaden the basis of the EM NCS needs assessment to include not only current needs for technologies but also NCS operational areas with potential for improvements in controls, analysis, and regulations. A series of NCS workshops has been conducted over the past years, and needs have been identified and addressed by EM staff and contractor personnel. These workshops were organized and conducted by the EM Criticality Safety Program Manager with administrative and technical support by staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). This report records the progress made in identifying the needs, determining the approaches for addressing these needs, and assimilating new NCS technologies into EM

  13. EMS provider determinations of necessity for transport and reimbursement for EMS response, medical care, and transport: combined resource document for the National Association of EMS Physicians position statements.

    PubMed

    Millin, Michael G; Brown, Lawrence H; Schwartz, Brian

    2011-01-01

    With increasing demands for emergency medical services (EMS), many EMS jurisdictions are utilizing EMS provider-initiated nontransport policies as a method to offload potentially nonemergent patients from the EMS system. EMS provider determination of medical necessity, resulting in nontransport of patients, has the potential to avert unnecessary emergency department visits. However, EMS systems that utilize these policies must have additional education for the providers, a quality improvement process, and active physician oversight. In addition, EMS provider determination of nontransport for a specific situation should be supported by evidence in the peer-reviewed literature that the practice is safe. Further, EMS systems that do not utilize these programs should not be financially penalized. Payment for EMS services should be based on the prudent layperson standard. EMS systems that do utilize nontransport policies should be appropriately reimbursed, as this represents potential cost savings to the health care system.

  14. School Budget Hold'em Facilitator's Guide

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Education Resource Strategies, 2012

    2012-01-01

    "School Budget Hold'em" is a game designed to help school districts rethink their budgeting process. It evolved out of Education Resource Strategies' (ERS) experience working with large urban districts around the country. "School Budget Hold'em" offers a completely new approach--one that can turn the budgeting process into a long-term visioning…

  15. Side mounted EMS for aluminium scrap melters

    SciTech Connect

    Eidem, M.; Tallbaeck, G.; Hanley, P.J.

    1996-10-01

    Normally the electromagnetic stirrer (EMS) is placed below the furnace. However it has recently been found that the EMS can also be placed at the side of the furnace, still giving good stirring. This makes it possible to install EMS on most existing furnaces. The side-mounted EMS is compared with the standard bottom-mounted stirrer with respect to installation, melting time and flow pattern in the melt. The major conclusion is that a side-mounted EMS is practical and will give about as good a performance as the bottom-mounted. Melting time estimates are based upon 3-D fluid flow and heat transfer predictions in combination with a simplified scrap melting theory. Predicted melting times are in fair agreement with operational data for mechanically stirred and electromagnetically bottom stirred furnaces.

  16. EM International, July 1994, Volume 2

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-10-01

    The Office of Environmental Management (EM) at the Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking out and leveraging foreign technology, data, and resources in keeping with EM`s mandate to protect public health and the environment through the safe and cost-effective remediation of the Department`s nuclear weapons sites. EM works closely with foreign governments, industry, and universities to obtain innovative environmental technologies, scientific and engineering expertise, and operations experience that will support EM`s objectives. Where appropriate, these international resources are used to manage the more urgent risks at our sites, secure a safe workplace, help build consensus on critical issues, and strengthen our technology development program. Through international agreements EM engages in cooperative exchange of information, technology, and individuals. Currently, we are managing agreements with a dozen countries in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. These agreements focus on environmental restoration, waste management, transportation of radioactive wastes, and decontamination and decommissioning. This publication contains the following articles: in situ remediation integrated program; in-situ characterization and inspection of tanks; multimedia environmental pollutant assessment system (MEPAS); LLNL wet oxidation -- AEA technology. Besides these articles, this publication covers: EU activities with Russia; technology transfer activities; and international organization activities.

  17. Project X RFQ EM Design

    SciTech Connect

    Romanov, Gennady; Hoff, Matthew; Li, Derun; Staples, John; Virostek, Steve; /LBNL

    2012-05-09

    Project X is a proposed multi-MW proton facility at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL). The Project X front-end would consist of an H- ion source, a low-energy beam transport (LEBT), a CW 162.5 MHz radio-frequency quadrupole (RFQ) accelerator, and a medium-energy beam transport (MEBT). Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and FNAL collaboration is currently developing the designs for various components in the Project X front end. This paper reports the detailed EM design of the CW 162.5 MHz RFQ that provides bunching of the 1-10 mA H- beam with acceleration from 30 keV to 2.1 MeV.

  18. EMS offshore. A new horizon for paramedics.

    PubMed

    Mallard, A S

    1991-10-01

    The difficulty in getting medical aid to offshore drilling platforms can be a source of life-threatening delays. Recently, some companies have charted new waters by actually stationing EMS crews on their rigs.

  19. Reassessing training levels for prehospital EMS personnel.

    PubMed

    Briese, G L

    1983-01-01

    One of the major questions confronting prehospital care services today concerns determining the appropriate level of training for EMS personnel that will provide the most cost effective systems. Unfortunately there are no studies which assess this problem. Various communities have modified or expanded the roles of prehospital personnel beyond the traditional training of EMTs and paramedics. Continuing education and skills maintenance are ongoing problems faced by all EMS systems, which have been addressed in various ways by individual locales.

  20. SOFIS FTS EM test results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soucy, Marc-Andre A.; Levesque, Luc E.; Tanii, Jun; Kawashima, Takahiro; Nakajima, Hideaki

    2003-04-01

    The Solar Occultation FTS for Inclined-orbit Satellite (SOFIS) is a solar occultation Fourier transform spectrometer developed by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) in Japan for the Global Change Observation Mission-A1 (GCOM-A1) satellite. GCOM-A1 will be placed in a 650 km non-sun-synchronous orbit, with an inclination angle of 69 degrees. ABB-Bomem is a sub-contractor of NTSpace (NEC-Toshiba Space) for the design and manufacturing of the FTS Engineering Model of SOFIS. SOFIS measures the vertical profile of the atmospheric constituents with 0.2 cm-1 spectral resolution for the spectral range covering 3-13 μm. The atmospheric vertical resolution of SOFIS is 1 km. The target of SOFIS measurements is a global distribution of O3, HNO3, NO2, N2O, CH4, H2O, CO2, CFC-11, CFC-12, ClONO2, aerosol extinction, atmospheric pressure and temperature. NTSpace in Japan is the prime contractor of SOFIS. The spectrometer is an adapted version of the classical Michelson interferometer using an optimized optical layout and moving retro-reflectors. A solid-state laser diode operating at 1550 nm is used as metrology source of the interferometer. Its highly folded optical design results in a high performance instrument with a compact size. SOFIS FTS implements high performance control techniques to achieve outstanding speed stability of the moving mechanism. This paper describes the test activities of the SOFIS-FTS Engineering Model (EM) and preliminary results. The performances of the FTS are presented in terms of key parameters like signal-to-noise ratio, modulation efficiency and stability. Spectra acquired are shown and test methodology and analyses are presented. Lessons learned during assembly, integration and testing are described as well as improvements planned to be implemented in the Flight Model.

  1. EMS adaptation for climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, C.; Chang, Y.; Wen, J.; Tsai, M.

    2010-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to find an appropriate scenario of pre-hospital transportation of an emergency medical service (EMS) system for burdensome casualties resulting from extreme climate events. A case of natural catastrophic events in Taiwan, 88 wind-caused disasters, was reviewed and analyzed. A sequential-conveyance method was designed to shorten the casualty transportation time and to promote the efficiency of ambulance services. A proposed mobile emergency medical center was first constructed in a safe area, but nearby the disaster area. The Center consists of professional medical personnel who process the triage of incoming patients and take care of casualties with minor injuries. Ambulances in the Center were ready to sequentially convey the casualties with severer conditions to an assigned hospital that is distant from the disaster area for further treatment. The study suggests that if we could construct a spacious and well-equipped mobile emergency medical center, only a small portion of casualties would need to be transferred to distant hospitals. This would reduce the over-crowding problem in hospital ERs. First-line ambulances only reciprocated between the mobile emergency medical center and the disaster area, saving time and shortening the working distances. Second-line ambulances were highly regulated between the mobile emergency medical center and requested hospitals. The ambulance service of the sequential-conveyance method was found to be more efficient than the conventional method and was concluded to be more profitable and reasonable on paper in adapting to climate change. Therefore, additional practical work should be launched to collect more precise quantitative data.

  2. Filter banks and the EM algorithm

    SciTech Connect

    Mair, B.A.; Carroll, R.B.; Anderson, J.M.M.

    1996-12-31

    In this paper, we present a wavelet based modification of the ML-EM algorithm for reconstructing positron emission tomography images. By using the filter bank implementation of the wavelet transform, this algorithm has the flexibility to incorporate a priori information, while maintaining the same computational complexity as the standard ML-EM algorithm. Thus, it has a significant computational advantage over usual Bayesian methods. It differs from recent wavelet-based Bayesian methods as it achieves {open_quotes}regularization{close_quotes} by an adaptive, wavelet-based method of thresholding which minimizes Stein`s Unbiased Estimate of Risk. The basic method consists of applying Donoho and Johnstone`s SureShrink wavelet denoising of the Poisson data, and then applying the standard ML-EM algorithm to the denoised data. A more elaborate method is discussed in which a wavelet denoising step is inserted after each EM iteration. This technique differs from previous smoothing techniques applied to the ML-EM algorithm since it is able to recover edges in discontinuous images.

  3. 10 CFR Appendixes E-M to Part 52 - [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false E Appendixes E-M to Part 52 Energy NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (CONTINUED) LICENSES, CERTIFICATIONS, AND APPROVALS FOR NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS Appendixes E-M to Part 52...

  4. 10 CFR Appendixes E-M to Part 52 - [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false E Appendixes E-M to Part 52 Energy NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (CONTINUED) LICENSES, CERTIFICATIONS, AND APPROVALS FOR NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS Appendixes E-M to Part 52...

  5. 10 CFR Appendixes E-M to Part 52 - [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false E Appendixes E-M to Part 52 Energy NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (CONTINUED) LICENSES, CERTIFICATIONS, AND APPROVALS FOR NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS Appendixes E-M to Part 52...

  6. 10 CFR Appendixes E-M to Part 52 - [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false E Appendixes E-M to Part 52 Energy NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (CONTINUED) LICENSES, CERTIFICATIONS, AND APPROVALS FOR NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS Appendixes E-M to Part 52...

  7. 10 CFR Appendixes E-M to Part 52 - [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false E Appendixes E-M to Part 52 Energy NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (CONTINUED) LICENSES, CERTIFICATIONS, AND APPROVALS FOR NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS Appendixes E-M to Part 52...

  8. Integrating Green Purchasing Into Your Environmental Management System (EMS)

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The goal of this report is to help Federal facilities integrate green purchasing into their EMS. The intended audience includes those tasked with implementing an EMS, reducing environmental impacts, meeting green purchasing requirements.

  9. Risk Communication Within the EM Program

    SciTech Connect

    Edelson, M.

    2003-02-26

    The U.S. Department of Energy Environmental Management program (EM) conducts the most extensive environmental remediation effort in the world. The annual EM budgets have exceeded $6,000,000,000 for approximately ten years and EM has assumed responsibility for the cleanup of the largest DOE reservations (i.e., at Hanford, Washington, Aiken, South Carolina, and Idaho Falls, Idaho) as well as the facilities at Rocky Flats, Colorado and in Ohio. Each of these sites has areas of extensive radioactive and chemical contamination, numerous surplus facilities that require decontamination and removal, while some have special nuclear material that requires secure storage. The EM program has been criticized for being ineffective (1) and has been repeatedly reorganized to address perceived shortcomings. The most recent reorganization was announced in 2001 to become effective at the beginning of the 2003 Federal Fiscal Year (i.e., October 2002). It was preceded by a ''top to bottom'' review (TTBR) of the program (2) that identified several deficiencies that were to be corrected as a result of the reorganization. One prominent outcome of the TTBR was the identification of ''risk reduction'' as an organizing principle to prioritize the activities of the new EM program. The new program also sought to accelerate progress by identifying a set of critical activities at each site that could be accelerated and result in more rapid site closure, with attendant risk, cost, and schedule benefits. This paper investigates how the new emphasis on risk reduction in the EM program has been communicated to EM stakeholders and regulators. It focuses on the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS) as a case study and finds that there is little evidence for a new emphasis on risk reduction in EM communications with RFETS stakeholders. Discussions between DOE and RFETS stakeholders often refer to ''risk,'' but the word serves as a placeholder for other concepts. Thus ''risk'' communication

  10. Structural Composites With Tuned EM Chirality

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-12-23

    AFRL-OSR-VA-TR-2015-0018 STRUCTURAL COMPOSITES WITH TUNED EM CHIRALITY Siavouche Nemat Nasser UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN DIEGO Final Report 12/23...REPORT Grant/Contract  Title:        STRUCTURAL  COMPOSITES  WITH  TUNED  EM   CHIRALITY     Grant  No.:  FA9550-­‐09-­‐1...structural   composites  with   tunable   chiral   elements   has   produced   some   impressive   results   in   the

  11. Lessons Learned: Integrating EMS and Environmental Compliance Auditing

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-05-06

    audit an EMS against the – ISO 14001 :2004 Standard – Installation’s own commitments and procedures established under their EMS (i.e. are they doing...what they said they would do?) – Army Policy • Findings are documented in a Word report (external audits) • ISO 14001 conformance is determined by...regulatory requirements • EMS Findings – Conformance: management system conforms to ISO 14001 standard – Major Nonconformance: EMS is missing element

  12. 7 CFR 1945.35 - Special EM loan training.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ..., District and County employees, provided there has not been a recent training meeting in that State. (b... employees in administering the EM loan program. (d) Comprehensive EM loan training package. A comprehensive EM loan training package has been developed for use by National Office and Staff Office personnel...

  13. EMS response to an airliner crash.

    PubMed

    Dasgupta, Shuvra; French, Simone; Williams-Johnson, Jean; Hutson, Rhonda; Hart, Nicole; Wong, Mark; Williams, Eric; Espinosa, Kurdell; Maycock, Celeste; Edwards, Romayne; McCartney, Trevor; Cawich, Shamir; Crandon, Ivor

    2012-06-01

    This report of an aircraft crash at a major airport in Kingston, Jamaica examines the response of the local Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Factors that impacted the response are discussed, and the need for more disaster simulation exercises is highlighted. The objective of this case report was to document the response of EMS personnel to the crash of American Airlines Flight 331, and to utilize the information to examine and improve the present protocol. While multiple errors can occur during a mass-casualty event, these can be reduced by frequent simulation exercises during which various personnel practice and learn designated roles. Efficient triage, proper communication, and knowledge of the roles are important in ensuring the best possible outcome. While the triage system and response of the EMS personnel were effective for this magnitude of catastrophe, more work is needed in order to meet predetermined standards. Ways in which this can be overcome include: (1) hosting more disaster simulation exercises; (2) encouraging more involvement with first responders; and (3) strengthening the links in the local EMS system. Vigorous public education must be instituted and maintained.

  14. Accuracy of EMS Trauma Transport Destination Plans in North Carolina.

    PubMed

    Moss, Chailee; Cowden, Christopher S; Atterton, Laurie Meyer; Arasaratnam, Meredith H; Fernandez, Antonio R; Evarts, Jeff S; Barrier, Brian; Lerner, E Brooke; Mann, N Clay; Lohmeier, Chad; Shofer, Frances S; Brice, Jane H

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Objective. Planning for time-sensitive injury may allow emergency medical services (EMS) systems to more accurately triage patients meeting accepted criteria to facilities most capable of providing life-saving treatment. In 2010, North Carolina (NC) implemented statewide Trauma Triage and Destination Plans (TTDPs) in all 100 of North Carolina's county-defined EMS systems. Each system was responsible for identifying the specific destination hospitals with appropriate resources to treat trauma patients. We sought to characterize the accuracy of their hospital designations. Methods. In this cross-sectional study, we collected TTDPs for each county-defined EMS system, including their assigned hospital capabilities (i.e., trauma center or community hospital). We conducted a survey with each EMS system to determine how their TTDP was constructed and maintained, as well as with each TTDP-designated hospital to verify their capabilities. We determined the accuracy of the EMS assigned hospital designations by comparing them to the hospital's reported capabilities. Results. The 100 NC EMS systems provided 380 designations for 112 hospitals. TTDPs were created by EMS administrators and medical directors, with only 55% of EMS systems engaging a hospital representative in the plan creation. Compared to the actual hospital capabilities, 97% of the EMS TTDP designations were correct. Twelve hospital designations were incorrect and the majority (10) overestimated hospital capabilities. Of the 100 EMS systems, 7 misclassified hospitals in their TTDP. EMS systems that did not verify their local hospitals' capabilities during TTDP development were more likely to incorrectly categorize a hospital's capabilities (p = 0.001). Conclusions. A small number of EMS systems misclassified hospitals in their TTDP, but most plans accurately reflected hospital capabilities. Misclassification occurred more often in systems that did not consult local hospitals prior to developing their

  15. What Do They Want from Us? A Survey of EM Program Directors on EM Application Criteria

    PubMed Central

    King, Kevin; Kass, Dara

    2017-01-01

    Introduction Although a relatively young specialty, emergency medicine (EM) is popular among medical students and is one of the most competitive large specialties. Consequently, students increasingly seek more opportunity to differentiate themselves from their colleagues by pursuing more clerkships at the cost of taking out additional loans: this despite the fact that those who match in EM typically do so in their top three choices. We sought to ascertain what factors EM program directors seek in their typical candidate. Methods We recruited EM program directors via the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors email listserv to participate in an anonymous survey regarding the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), the number of standardized letters of evaluation (SLOE), and the number of EM rotations during the fourth year. Results 135 respondents completed the anonymous survey: 59% of respondents stated their program did not have a minimum USMLE Step 1 score, but 39% reported a minimum score of 210 or higher; 95% of programs do not require Step 2 to grant an interview, but 46% require it to place the student on the rank list; 80% require only one EM rotation to grant an interview and none require more than two; 95% of programs will accept two SLOEs for both application and rank list placement. Conclusion For the typical EM applicant, there is likely little benefit to performing more than two rotations and obtaining more than two SLOEs. Students can defer USMLE Step 2 but must complete it by the time rank lists are due. Our study was limited by the anonymity of the survey, and comments by the respondents revealed the questions did not account for some nuances programs apply to their application review process. PMID:28116023

  16. The E-MS Algorithm: Model Selection with Incomplete Data.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Jiming; Nguyen, Thuan; Rao, J Sunil

    2015-04-04

    We propose a procedure associated with the idea of the E-M algorithm for model selection in the presence of missing data. The idea extends the concept of parameters to include both the model and the parameters under the model, and thus allows the model to be part of the E-M iterations. We develop the procedure, known as the E-MS algorithm, under the assumption that the class of candidate models is finite. Some special cases of the procedure are considered, including E-MS with the generalized information criteria (GIC), and E-MS with the adaptive fence (AF; Jiang et al. 2008). We prove numerical convergence of the E-MS algorithm as well as consistency in model selection of the limiting model of the E-MS convergence, for E-MS with GIC and E-MS with AF. We study the impact on model selection of different missing data mechanisms. Furthermore, we carry out extensive simulation studies on the finite-sample performance of the E-MS with comparisons to other procedures. The methodology is also illustrated on a real data analysis involving QTL mapping for an agricultural study on barley grains.

  17. Cryo-EM: Spinning the Micelles Away.

    PubMed

    Singh, Satinder K; Sigworth, Fred J

    2015-09-01

    Structural characterization of integral membrane proteins (MPs) demands that the samples be pure, monodisperse, and stable. Detergents are required to extract MPs from the lipid bilayer in which they reside and to stabilize them for downstream biophysical analyses. Some of the best MP-stabilizing detergents pose problems for cryo-EM studies, but in this issue of Structure, Hauer et al. (2015) now offer a solution called GraDeR.

  18. Leukocyte Recognition Using EM-Algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colunga, Mario Chirinos; Siordia, Oscar Sánchez; Maybank, Stephen J.

    This document describes a method for classifying images of blood cells. Three different classes of cells are used: Band Neutrophils, Eosinophils and Lymphocytes. The image pattern is projected down to a lower dimensional sub space using PCA; the probability density function for each class is modeled with a Gaussian mixture using the EM-Algorithm. A new cell image is classified using the maximum a posteriori decision rule.

  19. Intense EM filamentation in relativistic hot plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Qiang-Lin; Chen, Zhong-Ping; Mahajan, Swadesh M.

    2017-03-01

    Through 2D particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations, we demonstrate that the nature of filamentation of a high intensity electromagnetic (EM) pulse propagating in an underdense plasma, is profoundly affected at relativistically high temperatures. The "relativistic" filaments are sharper, are dramatically extended (along the direction of propagation), and live much longer than their lower temperature counterparts. The thermally boosted electron inertia is invoked to understand this very interesting and powerful phenomenon.

  20. TandEM: Titan and Enceladus mission

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coustenis, A.; Atreya, S.K.; Balint, T.; Brown, R.H.; Dougherty, M.K.; Ferri, F.; Fulchignoni, M.; Gautier, D.; Gowen, R.A.; Griffith, C.A.; Gurvits, L.I.; Jaumann, R.; Langevin, Y.; Leese, M.R.; Lunine, J.I.; McKay, C.P.; Moussas, X.; Muller-Wodarg, I.; Neubauer, F.; Owen, T.C.; Raulin, F.; Sittler, E.C.; Sohl, F.; Sotin, C.; Tobie, G.; Tokano, T.; Turtle, E.P.; Wahlund, J.-E.; Waite, J.H.; Baines, K.H.; Blamont, J.; Coates, A.J.; Dandouras, I.; Krimigis, T.; Lellouch, E.; Lorenz, R.D.; Morse, A.; Porco, C.C.; Hirtzig, M.; Saur, J.; Spilker, T.; Zarnecki, J.C.; Choi, E.; Achilleos, N.; Amils, R.; Annan, P.; Atkinson, D.H.; Benilan, Y.; Bertucci, C.; Bezard, B.; Bjoraker, G.L.; Blanc, M.; Boireau, L.; Bouman, J.; Cabane, M.; Capria, M.T.; Chassefiere, E.; Coll, P.; Combes, M.; Cooper, J.F.; Coradini, A.; Crary, F.; Cravens, T.; Daglis, I.A.; de Angelis, E.; De Bergh, C.; de Pater, I.; Dunford, C.; Durry, G.; Dutuit, O.; Fairbrother, D.; Flasar, F.M.; Fortes, A.D.; Frampton, R.; Fujimoto, M.; Galand, M.; Grasset, O.; Grott, M.; Haltigin, T.; Herique, A.; Hersant, F.; Hussmann, H.; Ip, W.; Johnson, R.; Kallio, E.; Kempf, S.; Knapmeyer, M.; Kofman, W.; Koop, R.; Kostiuk, T.; Krupp, N.; Kuppers, M.; Lammer, H.; Lara, L.-M.; Lavvas, P.; Le, Mouelic S.; Lebonnois, S.; Ledvina, S.; Li, J.; Livengood, T.A.; Lopes, R.M.; Lopez-Moreno, J. -J.; Luz, D.; Mahaffy, P.R.; Mall, U.; Martinez-Frias, J.; Marty, B.; McCord, T.; Salvan, C.M.; Milillo, A.; Mitchell, D.G.; Modolo, R.; Mousis, O.; Nakamura, M.; Neish, C.D.; Nixon, C.A.; Mvondo, D.N.; Orton, G.; Paetzold, M.; Pitman, J.; Pogrebenko, S.; Pollard, W.; Prieto-Ballesteros, O.; Rannou, P.; Reh, K.; Richter, L.; Robb, F.T.; Rodrigo, R.; Rodriguez, S.; Romani, P.; Bermejo, M.R.; Sarris, E.T.; Schenk, P.; Schmitt, B.; Schmitz, N.; Schulze-Makuch, D.; Schwingenschuh, K.; Selig, A.; Sicardy, B.; Soderblom, L.; Spilker, L.J.; Stam, D.; Steele, A.; Stephan, K.; Strobel, D.F.; Szego, K.; Szopa,

    2009-01-01

    TandEM was proposed as an L-class (large) mission in response to ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Call, and accepted for further studies, with the goal of exploring Titan and Enceladus. The mission concept is to perform in situ investigations of two worlds tied together by location and properties, whose remarkable natures have been partly revealed by the ongoing Cassini-Huygens mission. These bodies still hold mysteries requiring a complete exploration using a variety of vehicles and instruments. TandEM is an ambitious mission because its targets are two of the most exciting and challenging bodies in the Solar System. It is designed to build on but exceed the scientific and technological accomplishments of the Cassini-Huygens mission, exploring Titan and Enceladus in ways that are not currently possible (full close-up and in situ coverage over long periods of time). In the current mission architecture, TandEM proposes to deliver two medium-sized spacecraft to the Saturnian system. One spacecraft would be an orbiter with a large host of instruments which would perform several Enceladus flybys and deliver penetrators to its surface before going into a dedicated orbit around Titan alone, while the other spacecraft would carry the Titan in situ investigation components, i.e. a hot-air balloon (Montgolfi??re) and possibly several landing probes to be delivered through the atmosphere. ?? Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2008.

  1. The US DOE EM international program

    SciTech Connect

    Elmetti, Rosa R.; Han, Ana M.; Roach, Jay A.

    2013-07-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) conducts international collaboration activities in support of U.S. policies and objectives regarding the accelerated risk reduction and remediation of environmental legacy of the nations' nuclear weapons program and government sponsored nuclear energy research. The EM International Program supported out of the EM Office of the Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary pursues collaborations with foreign government organizations, educational institutions and private industry to assist in identifying technologies and promote international collaborations that leverage resources and link international experience and expertise. In fiscal year (FY) 2012, the International Program awarded eight international collaborative projects for work scope spanning waste processing, groundwater and soil remediation, deactivation and decommissioning (D and D) and nuclear materials disposition initiatives to seven foreign organizations. Additionally, the International Program's scope and collaboration opportunities were expanded to include technical as well as non-technical areas. This paper will present an overview of the on-going tasks awarded in FY 2012 and an update of upcoming international activities and opportunities for expansion into the remainder of FY 2013 and beyond. (authors)

  2. The State of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems in Africa.

    PubMed

    Mould-Millman, Nee-Kofi; Dixon, Julia M; Sefa, Nana; Yancey, Arthur; Hollong, Bonaventure G; Hagahmed, Mohamed; Ginde, Adit A; Wallis, Lee A

    2017-02-23

    Introduction Little is known about the existence, distribution, and characteristics of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) systems in Africa, or the corresponding epidemiology of prehospital illness and injury.

  3. 2. HI PAR (ACQUISITION RADAR) TOWER AND ENLISTED MEN (EM) ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    2. HI PAR (ACQUISITION RADAR) TOWER AND ENLISTED MEN (EM) BARRACKS WITH RADAR ATTACHED. - Nike Hercules Missile Battery Summit Site, Battery Control Administration & Barracks Building, Anchorage, Anchorage, AK

  4. Recruitment and retention in rural and urban EMS: results from a national survey of local EMS directors.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Victoria A; Slifkin, Rebecca T; Patterson, P Daniel

    2009-01-01

    Maintaining an adequate staff is a challenge for rural emergency medical services (EMS) providers. This national survey of local EMS directors finds that rural EMS are more likely to be freestanding, that is, not affiliated with other public services, to employ only emergency medical technician-basics (EMT-Bs), and to be all volunteer. Rural EMS directors are more likely than urban ones to report that they are not currently fully staffed. The most common barriers to recruitment of EMTs in both urban and rural areas include unwillingness of community members to volunteer and lack of certified EMTs in the area. In rural areas, barriers to EMT training were noted more often than in urban areas as was the lack of employer support for employee volunteers. Similar rural training barriers affected retention of staff. Rural respondents reported that they lose staff to burnout and to difficulty in meeting continuing education requirements. Among rural respondents, those who direct all-volunteer EMS were the most likely to report recruitment and retention problems. The results suggest areas for further study including how volunteer EMS agencies can transition to paid agencies, how to bring EMS education to rural areas, and how EMS can work with other agencies to ensure EMS viability.

  5. Communication - An Effective Tool for Implementing ISO 14001/EMS

    SciTech Connect

    Rachel Damewood; Bowen Huntsman

    2004-04-01

    The Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) received ISO 14001/EMS certification in June 2002. Communication played an effective role in implementing ISO 14001/EMS at the INEEL. This paper describes communication strategies used during the implementation and certification processes. The INEEL achieved Integrated Safety Management System (ISMS) and Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star status in 2001. ISMS implemented a formal process to plan and execute work. VPP facilitated worker involvement by establishing geographic units at various facilities with employee points of contact and management champions. The INEEL Environmental Management System (EMS) was developed to integrate the environmental functional area into its ISMS and VPP. Since the core functions of ISMS, VPP, and EMS are interchangeable, they were easy to integrate. Communication is essential to successfully implement an EMS. (According to ISO 14001 requirements, communication interacts with 12 other elements of the requirements.) We developed communication strategies that integrated ISMS, VPP, and EMS. For example, the ISMS, VPP, and EMS Web sites communicated messages to the work force, such as “VPP emphasizes the people side of doing business, ISMS emphasizes the system side of doing business, and EMS emphasizes the systems to protect the environment; but they all define work, identify and analyze hazards, and mitigate the hazards.” As a result of this integration, the work force supported and implemented the EMS. In addition, the INEEL established a cross-functional communication team to assist with implementing the EMS. The team included members from the Training and Communication organizations, VPP office, Pollution Prevention, Employee and Media Relations, a union representative, facility environmental support, and EMS staff. This crossfunctional team used various communication strategies to promote our EMS to all organization levels and successfully implemented EMS

  6. Improving Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in the United States Through Improved and Centralized Federal Coordination

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-03-01

    other emergencies. 4 • Public Awareness of the EMS Discipline. The public at large is not aware of the EMS structure in its community or at a higher...regard for its imperative role in community service. For this reason, placing EMS under the USFA at the federal level would cause EMS to still be...service to include EMS is appropriate, and in some cases, it is not. Not all communities have a dedicated fire service, which can make EMS provision

  7. EM threat analysis for wireless systems.

    SciTech Connect

    Burkholder, R. J. (Ohio State University Electroscience Laboratory); Mariano, Robert J.; Schniter, P. (Ohio State University Electroscience Laboratory); Gupta, I. J. (Ohio State University Electroscience Laboratory)

    2006-06-01

    Modern digital radio systems are complex and must be carefully designed, especially when expected to operate in harsh propagation environments. The ability to accurately predict the effects of propagation on wireless radio performance could lead to more efficient radio designs as well as the ability to perform vulnerability analyses before and after system deployment. In this report, the authors--experts in electromagnetic (EM) modeling and wireless communication theory--describe the construction of a simulation environment that is capable of quantifying the effects of wireless propagation on the performance of digital communication.

  8. CryoEM at IUCrJ: a new era

    PubMed Central

    Subramaniam, Sriram; Kühlbrandt, Werner; Henderson, Richard

    2016-01-01

    In this overview, we briefly outline recent advances in electron cryomicroscopy (cryoEM) and explain why the journal IUCrJ, published by the International Union of Crystallography, could provide a natural home for publications covering many present and future developments in the cryoEM field. PMID:26870375

  9. Genetic-based EM algorithm for learning Gaussian mixture models.

    PubMed

    Pernkopf, Franz; Bouchaffra, Djamel

    2005-08-01

    We propose a genetic-based expectation-maximization (GA-EM) algorithm for learning Gaussian mixture models from multivariate data. This algorithm is capable of selecting the number of components of the model using the minimum description length (MDL) criterion. Our approach benefits from the properties of Genetic algorithms (GA) and the EM algorithm by combination of both into a single procedure. The population-based stochastic search of the GA explores the search space more thoroughly than the EM method. Therefore, our algorithm enables escaping from local optimal solutions since the algorithm becomes less sensitive to its initialization. The GA-EM algorithm is elitist which maintains the monotonic convergence property of the EM algorithm. The experiments on simulated and real data show that the GA-EM outperforms the EM method since: 1) We have obtained a better MDL score while using exactly the same termination condition for both algorithms. 2) Our approach identifies the number of components which were used to generate the underlying data more often than the EM algorithm.

  10. Light curve analysis of southern eclipsing binary EM Car

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ćiçek, C.; Bulut, I.; Bulut, A.

    2017-02-01

    In this study, ASAS light curve of the eclipsing binary EM Car (Sp = O8V, P = 3.4 days) has been analyzed using the Wilson-Devinney method. The light curve analyses have found that EM Car is a detached eclipsing binary system with small eccentric orbit

  11. The Post-LBV Supernova 2001em

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Dyk, Schuyler D.; Chornock, R.; Filippenko, A. V.; Foley, R. J.; Lewin, W. H. G.; Li, W.; Panagia, N.; Pooley, D.; Stockdale, C. J.; Weiler, K. W.

    2009-12-01

    The supernova (SN) 2001em in UGC 11794 was classified early as Type Ib/c, i.e., as one arising from a hydrogen-stripped star. As part of a radio survey with the Very Large Array of SNe Ib/c at late times (Stockdale et al. 2003, BAAS, 35, 1346), SN 2001em was detected as a highly luminous radio source ˜2 years after explosion. The SN was also subsequently discovered with Chandra to be a very luminous X-ray source. The properties of both the radio and X-ray emission are more characteristic of the Type II-narrow (IIn) SNe, where the SN shock is interacting with dense, massive circumstellar matter, resulting in bright radio synchrotron emission and thermal bremsstrahlung from the interaction region. In fact, SN 2001em has shown to have spectroscopically transformed to a SN IIn. The premise that this might indicate an off-axis gamma-ray burst has been presented (Granot & Ramirez-Ruiz 2004, ApJ, 609, L9) and later, rather convincingly, refuted (e.g., Schinzel et al. 2009, ApJ, 691, 1380). Chugai & Chevalier (2006, ApJ, 641, 1051) have interpreted the spectral transformation and radio/X-ray emission as the SN shock overtaking the detached hydrogen envelope of the progenitor star, which was shed in a superwind episode many years prior to explosion. Chevalier (2007, RMxAC, 30, 41) has further pointed to the required mass-loss rate in the event being equivalent to what would occur in the eruption of a luminous blue variable (LBV). The optical (ground-based and HST) and radio/X-ray data, together with mid-infrared Spitzer observations, tend to support this scenario of a very massive star that experienced a powerful LBV outburst prior to explosion. Such an event may not be unique, with possible parallels in the cases of SNe 2005bf and 2006jc, and may provide valuable new information about massive stellar evolution.

  12. Refinement of atomic models in high resolution EM reconstructions using Flex-EM and local assessment

    PubMed Central

    Joseph, Agnel Praveen; Malhotra, Sony; Burnley, Tom; Wood, Chris; Clare, Daniel K.; Winn, Martyn; Topf, Maya

    2016-01-01

    As the resolutions of Three Dimensional Electron Microscopic reconstructions of biological macromolecules are being improved, there is a need for better fitting and refinement methods at high resolutions and robust approaches for model assessment. Flex-EM/MODELLER has been used for flexible fitting of atomic models in intermediate-to-low resolution density maps of different biological systems. Here, we demonstrate the suitability of the method to successfully refine structures at higher resolutions (2.5–4.5 Å) using both simulated and experimental data, including a newly processed map of Apo-GroEL. A hierarchical refinement protocol was adopted where the rigid body definitions are relaxed and atom displacement steps are reduced progressively at successive stages of refinement. For the assessment of local fit, we used the SMOC (segment-based Manders’ overlap coefficient) score, while the model quality was checked using the Qmean score. Comparison of SMOC profiles at different stages of refinement helped in detecting regions that are poorly fitted. We also show how initial model errors can have significant impact on the goodness-of-fit. Finally, we discuss the implementation of Flex-EM in the CCP-EM software suite. PMID:26988127

  13. EMS incident management: emergency medical logistics.

    PubMed

    Maniscalco, P M; Christen, H T

    1999-01-01

    If you had to get x amount of supplies to point A or point B, or both, in 10 minutes, how would you do it? The answer lies in the following steps: 1. Develop a logistics plan. 2. Use emergency management as a partner agency for developing your logistics plan. 3. Implement a push logistics system by determining what supplies/medications and equipment are important. 4. Place mass casualty/disaster caches at key locations for rapid deployment. Have medication/fluid caches available at local hospitals. 5. Develop and implement command caches for key supervisors and managers. 6. Anticipate the logistics requirements of a terrorism/tactical violence event based on a community threat assessment. 7. Educate the public about preparing a BLS family disaster kit. 8. Test logistics capabilities at disaster exercises. 9. Budget for logistics needs. 10. Never underestimate the importance of logistics. When logistics support fails, the EMS system fails.

  14. A new preparedness policy for EMS logistics.

    PubMed

    Lee, Seokcheon

    2017-03-01

    Response time in emergency medical services (EMS) is defined as the interval for an ambulance to arrive the scene after receipt of a 911 call. When several ambulances are available upon the receipt of a new call, a decision of selecting an ambulance has to be made in an effort to reduce response time. Dispatching the closest unit available is commonly used in practice; however, recently the Preparedness policy was designed that is in a simplistic form yet being capable of securing a long-term efficiency. This research aims to improve the Preparedness policy, resolving several critical issues inherent in the current form of the policy. The new Preparedness policy incorporates a new metric of preparedness based on the notion of centrality and involves a tuning parameter, weight on preparedness, which has to be appropriately chosen according to operational scenario. Computational experiment shows that the new policy significantly improves the former policy robustly in various scenarios.

  15. Online EM with weight-based forgetting.

    PubMed

    Celaya, Enric; Agostini, Alejandro

    2015-05-01

    In the online version of the EM algorithm introduced by Sato and Ishii ( 2000 ), a time-dependent discount factor is introduced for forgetting the effect of the old estimated values obtained with an earlier, inaccurate estimator. In their approach, forgetting is uniformly applied to the estimators of each mixture component depending exclusively on time, irrespective of the weight attributed to each unit for the observed sample. This causes an excessive forgetting in the less frequently sampled regions. To address this problem, we propose a modification of the algorithm that involves a weight-dependent forgetting, different for each mixture component, in which old observations are forgotten according to the actual weight of the new samples used to replace older values. A comparison of the time-dependent versus the weight-dependent approach shows that the latter improves the accuracy of the approximation and exhibits much greater stability.

  16. Epidemiology of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Utilization in Four Indian Emergency Departments.

    PubMed

    Wijesekera, Olindi; Reed, Amanda; Chastain, Parker S; Biggs, Shauna; Clark, Elizabeth G; Kole, Tamorish; Chakrapani, Anoop T; Ashish, Nandy; Rajhans, Prasad; Breaud, Alan H; Jacquet, Gabrielle A

    2016-12-01

    Introduction Without a universal Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system in India, data on the epidemiology of patients who utilize EMS are limited. This retrospective chart review aimed to quantify and describe the burden of disease and patient demographics of patients who arrived by EMS to four Indian emergency departments (EDs) in order to inform a national EMS curriculum.

  17. Environmental Education and Development Division (EM-522). Annual report, Fiscal year 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-12-31

    The Environmental Education and Development Division (EM-522) is one of three divisions within the Office of Technology Integration and Environmental Education and Development (EM-52) in Environmental Restoration and Waste Management`s (EM`s) Office of Technology Development (EM-50). The primary design criterion for EM-522 education activities is directly related to meeting EM`s goal of environmental compliance on an accelerated basis and cleanup of the 1989 inventory of inactive sites and facilities by the year 2019. Therefore, EM-522`s efforts are directed specifically toward stimulating knowledge and capabilities to achieve the goals of EM while contributing to DOE`s overall goal of increasing scientific, mathematical, and technical literacy and competency. This report discusses fiscal year 1993 activities.

  18. Near-atomic-resolution cryo-EM for molecular virology.

    PubMed

    Hryc, Corey F; Chen, Dong-Hua; Chiu, Wah

    2011-08-01

    Electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) is a technique in structural biology that is widely used to solve the three-dimensional structures of macromolecular assemblies, close to their biological and solution conditions. Recent improvements in cryo-EM and single-particle reconstruction methodologies have led to the determination of several virus structures at near-atomic resolution (3.3 - 4.6 Å). These cryo-EM structures not only resolve the Cα backbones and side-chain densities of viral capsid proteins, but also suggest functional roles that the protein domains and some key amino acid residues play. This paper reviews the recent advances in near-atomic-resolution cryo-EM for probing the mechanisms of virus assembly and morphogenesis.

  19. Classification of ASASSN-17em/AT2017cts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bersier, David

    2017-04-01

    We obtained a spectrum of the candidate supernova ASASSN-17em/AT2017cts (ATEL #10241), using the SPRAT spectrograph mounted on the robotic 2m Liverpool Telescope at the Roque de los Muchachos observatory (La Palma).

  20. DOE-EM Science of Safety Robotics Challenge

    SciTech Connect

    Rimando, Rodrigo; Watts, Alex; Bobbitt, John; McLaughlin, Doug; Quigley, Morgan; Gladwell, Scott; McLoughlin, Mike; Kinnamon, Tony; Garcia, Joe; Ansari, Alex; Voyles, Richard; Chambers, David; Pryor, Mitch; Workman, Theresa; Mehling, Joshua; Browning, Kimberly; Deuel, Jake; Profitt, Bryan; Reibold, Marty

    2016-09-20

    During the week of August 22nd, 2016, over 150 technologists, stakeholders, and Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management workers, met at DOE’s Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Ohio, for the EM Science of Safety Robotics Challenge.

  1. E.M. and Hadronic Shower Simulation with FLUKA

    SciTech Connect

    Battistoni, G.; Fasso, A.; Ferrari, A.; Ranft, J.; Rubbia, A.; Sala, P.R.; /INFN, Milan /SLAC /CERN /Siegen U. /Zurich, ETH

    2005-10-03

    A description of the main features of e.m. and hadronic shower simulation models used in the FLUKA code is summarized and some recent applications are discussed. The general status of the FLUKA project is also reported.

  2. Molecular Characterization of Attenuated Junin Virus Variants

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-12-15

    U -. A UUU - AUU F i f 1383 1396 C - A UCC -. UCA S - S 1404 1417 C -. U GGC -’ GGU G -. G 1411 1424 A -" U ACC - UCC T S g 1416 1429 U -+ C CAU...roedores con virus Junin. Medicina (Buenos Aires) 37 (Suppl. 3), 149-161. Salvato, M., and Shimomaye, E.M. (1989). The completed sequence of

  3. NASA EM Followup of LIGO-Virgo Candidate Events

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blackburn, Lindy L.

    2011-01-01

    We present a strategy for a follow-up of LIGO-Virgo candidate events using offline survey data from several NASA high-energy photon instruments aboard RXTE, Swift, and Fermi. Time and sky-location information provided by the GW trigger allows for a targeted search for prompt and afterglow EM signals. In doing so, we expect to be sensitive to signals which are too weak to be publicly reported as astrophysical EM events.

  4. STEME: efficient EM to find motifs in large data sets.

    PubMed

    Reid, John E; Wernisch, Lorenz

    2011-10-01

    MEME and many other popular motif finders use the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm to optimize their parameters. Unfortunately, the running time of EM is linear in the length of the input sequences. This can prohibit its application to data sets of the size commonly generated by high-throughput biological techniques. A suffix tree is a data structure that can efficiently index a set of sequences. We describe an algorithm, Suffix Tree EM for Motif Elicitation (STEME), that approximates EM using suffix trees. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first application of suffix trees to EM. We provide an analysis of the expected running time of the algorithm and demonstrate that STEME runs an order of magnitude more quickly than the implementation of EM used by MEME. We give theoretical bounds for the quality of the approximation and show that, in practice, the approximation has a negligible effect on the outcome. We provide an open source implementation of the algorithm that we hope will be used to speed up existing and future motif search algorithms.

  5. EM Telemetry Tool for Deep Well Drilling Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Jeffrey M. Gabelmann

    2005-11-15

    This final report discusses the successful development and testing of a deep operational electromagnetic (EM) telemetry system, produced under a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory. This new electromagnetic telemetry system provides a wireless communication link between sensors deployed deep within oil and gas wells and data acquisition equipment located on the earth's surface. EM based wireless telemetry is a highly appropriate technology for oil and gas exploration in that it avoids the need for thousands of feet of wired connections. In order to achieve the project performance objectives, significant improvements over existing EM telemetry systems were made. These improvements included the development of new technologies that have improved the reliability of the communications link while extending operational depth. A key element of the new design is the incorporation of a data-fusion methodology which enhances the communication receiver's ability to extract very weak signals from large amounts of ambient environmental noise. This innovative data-fusion receiver based system adapts advanced technologies, not normally associated with low-frequency communications, and makes them work within the harsh drilling environments associated with the energy exploration market. Every element of a traditional EM telemetry system design, from power efficiency to reliability, has been addressed. The data fusion based EM telemetry system developed during this project is anticipated to provide an EM tool capability that will impact both onshore and offshore oil and gas exploration operations, for conventional and underbalanced drilling applications.

  6. A History and Informal Assessment of the <em>Slacker Astronomyem> Podcast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, Aaron; Gay, Pamela; Searle, Travis; Brissenden, Gina

    Slacker Astronomyem> is a weekly podcast that covers a recent astronomical news event or discovery. The show has a unique style consisting of irreverent, over-the-top humor combined with a healthy dose of hard science. According to our demographic analysis, the combination of this style and the unique podcasting distribution mechanism allows the show to reach audiences younger and busier than those reached via traditional channels. We report on the successes and challenges of the first year of the show, and provide an informal assessment of its role as a source for astronomical news and concepts for its approximately 15,500 weekly listeners.

  7. A HF EM installation allowing simultaneous whole body and deep local EM hyperthermia.

    PubMed

    Mazokhin, V N; Kolmakov, D N; Lucheyov, N A; Gelvich, E A; Troshin, I I

    1999-01-01

    The structure and main features of a HF EM installation based upon a new approach for creating electromagnetic fields destined for whole body (WBH) and deep local (DLH) hyperthermia are discussed. The HF EM field, at a frequency of 13.56 MHz, is created by a coplanar capacity type applicator positioned under a distilled water filled bolus that the patient is lying on. The EM energy being released directly in the deep tissues ensures effective whole body heating to required therapeutic temperatures of up to 43.5 degrees C, whereas the skin temperature can be maintained as low as 39-40.5 degrees C. For DLH, the installation is equipped with additional applicators and a generator operating at a frequency of 40.68 MHz. High efficiency of the WBH applicator makes it possible to carry out the WBH procedure without any air-conditioning cabin. Due to this, a free access to the patient's body during the WBH treatment is provided and a simultaneous WBH/DLH or WBH/LH procedure by means of additional applicators is possible. Controllable power output in the range of 100-800 W at a frequency of 13.56 MHz and 50-350 W at a frequency of 40.68 MHz allows accurate temperature control during WBH, DLH and WBH/DLH procedures. SAR patterns created by the WBH and DLH applicators in a liquid muscle phantom and measured by means of a non-perturbing E-dipole are investigated. The scattered EM field strength measured in the vicinity of the operating installation during the WBH, DLH and WBH/DLH procedures does not exceed security standards. Examples of temperature versus time graphs in the course of WBH, DLH and WBH/DLH procedures in clinics are presented. The installation is successfully used in leading oncological institutions of Russia and Belarus, though combined WBH/DLH procedures are evidently more complicated and demand thorough planning and temperature measurements to avoid overheating.

  8. Airborne EM for mine infrastructure planning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wijns, Chris

    2016-08-01

    Airborne electromagnetic (AEM) surveys with near-surface vertical resolution provide rapid and comprehensive coverage of a mine site ahead of infrastructure planning. In environments of sufficient electrical conductivity contrast, the data will map variations in the depth to bedrock, providing guidance for expected excavation depths for solid building foundations, or mine pre-strip volumes. Continuous coverage overcomes the severe areal limitation of relying only on drilling and test pits. An AEM survey in northern Finland illustrates the success of this approach for guiding the placement of a mine crusher and related infrastructure. The cost of the EM data collection and interpretation is insignificant in comparison to the US$300 million capital cost of the mine infrastructure. This environment of shallow glacial cover challenges the limits of AEM resolution, yet analysis of subsequently collected three-dimensional (3D) surface seismic data and actual pre-strip excavation depths reinforces the predictive, but qualitative, mapping capability of the AEM. It also highlights the need to tune the modelling via petrophysics for the specific goal of the investigation, and exposes the limitations of visual drill core logging.

  9. DOE EM industry programs robotics development

    SciTech Connect

    Staubly, R.; Kothari, V.

    1998-12-31

    The Office of Science and Technology (OST) manages an aggressive program for RD and D, as well as testing and evaluation for the Department of Energy`s (DOE`s) Environmental Management (EM) organization. The goal is to develop new and improved environmental restoration and waste management technologies to clean up the inventory of the DOE weapons complex faster, safer, and cheaper than is possible with currently available technologies. Robotic systems reduce worker exposure to the absolute minimum, while providing proven, cost-effective, and, for some applications, the only acceptable technique for addressing challenging problems. Development of robotic systems for remote operations occurs in three main categories: tank waste characterization and retrieval; decontamination and dismantlement; and characterization, mapping, and inspection systems. In addition, the Federal Energy Technology Center (FETC) has some other projects which fall under the heading of supporting R and D. The central objective of all FETC robotic projects is to make robotic systems more attractive by reducing costs and health risks associated with the deployment of robotic technologies in the cleanup of the nuclear weapons complex. This will be accomplished through development of robots that are cheaper, faster, safer, and more reliable, as well as more straightforward to modify/adapt and more intuitive to operate with autonomous capabilities and intelligent controls that prevent accidents and optimize task execution.

  10. Databases and archiving for cryoEM

    PubMed Central

    Patwardhan, Ardan; Lawson, Catherine L.

    2017-01-01

    Cryo-EM in structural biology is currently served by three public archives – EMDB for 3DEM reconstructions, PDB for models built from 3DEM reconstructions and EMPIAR for the raw 2D image data used to obtain the 3DEM reconstructions. These archives play a vital role for both the structural community and the wider biological community in making the data accessible so that results may be reused, reassessed and integrated with other structural and bioinformatics resources. The important role of the archives is underpinned by the fact that many journals mandate the deposition of data to PDB and EMDB on publication. The field is currently undergoing transformative changes where on the one hand high-resolution structures are becoming a routine occurrence while on the other hand electron tomography is enabling the study of macromolecules in the cellular context. Concomitantly the archives are evolving to best serve their stakeholder communities. In this chapter we describe the current state of the archives, resources available for depositing, accessing, searching, visualising and validating data, on-going community-wide initiatives and opportunities and challenges for the future. PMID:27572735

  11. Analysis of EM dataset with several sensor configurations obtained by the loop-loop EM survey on magnetic anomalies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    CHOI, J.; Yi, M. J.; Sasaki, Y.; Son, J.; Nam, M. J.

    2015-12-01

    Most of mineral mines in Korea are located in rugged mountain area embedding small-scale anomalies. Loop-loop EM survey system can be a better choice for exploring those mines because no ground contact is required and portable loops are freely positioned. Survey design is very important for detecting small amount of mineral deposits efficiently and spatial limits of survey lines should be considered. Along a same survey line, surveys with different separations between a transmitter and a receiver are applicable. EM responses are calculated in a layered-earth model embedding magnetic anomalies and analyses considering electric conductivity and magnetic permeability are made for the loop-loop EM survey data. Combining EM dataset with multi-frequency and multi-separation slightly enhanced a reconstructed image. Loop-loop EM survey using PROMOIS system was conducted on a small magnetite mine. Inversion with and without considering magnetic permeability was conducted for EM data with multi-frequency and multi-separation between a transmitter and a receiver.

  12. Image segmentation by EM-based adaptive pulse coupled neural networks in brain magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Fu, J C; Chen, C C; Chai, J W; Wong, S T C; Li, I C

    2010-06-01

    We propose an automatic hybrid image segmentation model that integrates the statistical expectation maximization (EM) model and the spatial pulse coupled neural network (PCNN) for brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) segmentation. In addition, an adaptive mechanism is developed to fine tune the PCNN parameters. The EM model serves two functions: evaluation of the PCNN image segmentation and adaptive adjustment of the PCNN parameters for optimal segmentation. To evaluate the performance of the adaptive EM-PCNN, we use it to segment MR brain image into gray matter (GM), white matter (WM) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The performance of the adaptive EM-PCNN is compared with that of the non-adaptive EM-PCNN, EM, and Bias Corrected Fuzzy C-Means (BCFCM) algorithms. The result is four sets of boundaries for the GM and the brain parenchyma (GM+WM), the two regions of most interest in medical research and clinical applications. Each set of boundaries is compared with the golden standard to evaluate the segmentation performance. The adaptive EM-PCNN significantly outperforms the non-adaptive EM-PCNN, EM, and BCFCM algorithms in gray mater segmentation. In brain parenchyma segmentation, the adaptive EM-PCNN significantly outperforms the BCFCM only. However, the adaptive EM-PCNN is better than the non-adaptive EM-PCNN and EM on average. We conclude that of the three approaches, the adaptive EM-PCNN yields the best results for gray matter and brain parenchyma segmentation.

  13. Degradation of Benzodiazepines after 120 Days of EMS Deployment

    PubMed Central

    McMullan, Jason T.; Jones, Elizabeth; Barnhart, Bruce; Denninghoff, Kurt; Spaite, Daniel; Zaleski, Erin; Silbergleit, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Introduction EMS treatment of status epilepticus improves outcomes, but the benzodiazepine best suited for EMS use is unclear, given potential high environmental temperature exposures. Objective To describe the degradation of diazepam, lorazepam, and midazolam as a function of temperature exposure and time over 120 days of storage on active EMS units. Methods Study boxes containing vials of diazepam, lorazepam, and midazolam were distributed to 4 active EMS units in each of 2 EMS systems in the southwestern United States during May–August 2011. The boxes logged temperature every minute and were stored in EMS units per local agency policy. Two vials of each drug were removed from each box at 30-day intervals and underwent high-performance liquid chromatography to determine drug concentration. Concentration was analyzed as mean (and 95%CI) percent of initial labeled concentration as a function of time and mean kinetic temperature (MKT). Results 192 samples were collected (2 samples of each drug from each of 4 units per city at 4 time-points). After 120 days, the mean relative concentration (95%CI) of diazepam was 97.0% (95.7–98.2%) and of midazolam was 99.0% (97.7–100.2%). Lorazepam experienced modest degradation by 60 days (95.6% [91.6–99.5%]) and substantial degradation at 90 days (90.3% [85.2-95.4%]) and 120 days (86.5% [80.7–92.3%]). Mean MKT was 31.6°C (95%CI 27.1–36.1). Increasing MKT was associated with greater degradation of lorazepam, but not midazolam or diazepam. Conclusions Midazolam and diazepam experienced minimal degradation throughout 120 days of EMS deployment in high-heat environments. Lorazepam experienced significant degradation over 120 days and appeared especially sensitive to higher MKT exposure. PMID:24548058

  14. Emergency medical service (EMS): A unique flight environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shively, R. Jay

    1993-01-01

    The EMS flight environment is unique in today's aviation. The pilots must respond quickly to emergency events and often fly to landing zones where they have never been before . The time from initially receiving a call to being airborne can be as little as two to three minutes. Often the EMS pilot is the only aviation professional on site, they have no operations people or other pilots to aid them in making decisons. Further, since they are often flying to accident scenes, not airports, there is often complete weather and condition information. Therefore, the initial decision that the pilot must make, accepting or declining a flight, can become very difficult. The accident rate of EMS helicopters has been relatively high over the past years. NASA-Ames research center has taken several steps in an attempt to aid EMS pilots in their decision making and situational awareness. A preflight risk assessment system (SAFE) was developed to aid pilots in their decision making, and was tested at an EMS service. The resutls of the study were promising and a second version incorporating the lessons learned is under development. A second line of research was the development of a low cost electronic chart display (ECD). This is a digital map display to help pilots maintain geographical orientation. Another thrust was undertaken in conjunction with the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS). This involved publicizing the ASRS to EMS pilots and personnel, and calling each of the reporters back to gather additional information. This paper will discuss these efforts and how they may positively impact the safety of EMS operations.

  15. The EM-POGO: A simple, absolute velocity profiler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terker, S. R.; Sanford, T. B.; Dunlap, J. H.; Girton, J. B.

    2013-01-01

    Electromagnetic current instrumentation has been added to the Bathy Systems, Inc. POGO transport sondes to produce a free-falling absolute velocity profiler called EM-POGO. The POGO is a free-fall profiler that measures a depth-averaged velocity using GPS fixes at the beginning and end of a round trip to the ocean floor (or a preset depth). The EM-POGO adds a velocity profile determined from measurements of motionally induced electric fields generated by the ocean current moving through the vertical component of the Earth's magnetic field. In addition to providing information about the vertical structure of the velocity, the depth-dependent measurements improve transport measurements by correcting for the non-constant fall-rate. Neglecting the variable fall rate results in errors O (1 cm s-1). The transition from POGO to EM-POGO included electrically isolating the POGO and electric-field-measuring circuits, installing a functional GPS receiver, finding a pressure case that provided an optimal balance among crush-depth, price and size, and incorporating the electrodes, electrode collar, and the circuitry required for the electric field measurement. The first EM-POGO sea-trial was in July 1999. In August 2006 a refurbished EM-POGO collected 15 absolute velocity profiles; relative and absolute velocity uncertainty was ˜1cms-1 and 0.5-5 cm s-1, respectively, at a vertical resolution of 25 m. Absolute velocity from the EM-POGO compared to shipboard ADCP measurements differed by ˜ 1-2 cm s-1, comparable to the uncertainty in absolute velocity from the ADCP. The EM-POGO is thus a low-cost, easy to deploy and recover, and accurate velocity profiler.

  16. Refinement of Atomic Structures Against cryo-EM Maps.

    PubMed

    Murshudov, G N

    2016-01-01

    This review describes some of the methods for atomic structure refinement (fitting) against medium/high-resolution single-particle cryo-EM reconstructed maps. Some of the tools developed for macromolecular X-ray crystal structure analysis, especially those encapsulating prior chemical and structural information can be transferred directly for fitting into cryo-EM maps. However, despite the similarities, there are significant differences between data produced by these two techniques; therefore, different likelihood functions linking the data and model must be used in cryo-EM and crystallographic refinement. Although tools described in this review are mostly designed for medium/high-resolution maps, if maps have sufficiently good quality, then these tools can also be used at moderately low resolution, as shown in one example. In addition, the use of several popular crystallographic methods is strongly discouraged in cryo-EM refinement, such as 2Fo-Fc maps, solvent flattening, and feature-enhanced maps (FEMs) for visualization and model (re)building. Two problems in the cryo-EM field are overclaiming resolution and severe map oversharpening. Both of these should be avoided; if data of higher resolution than the signal are used, then overfitting of model parameters into the noise is unavoidable, and if maps are oversharpened, then at least parts of the maps might become very noisy and ultimately uninterpretable. Both of these may result in suboptimal and even misleading atomic models.

  17. Breaking Cryo-EM Resolution Barriers to Facilitate Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Merk, Alan; Bartesaghi, Alberto; Banerjee, Soojay; Falconieri, Veronica; Rao, Prashant; Davis, Mindy I; Pragani, Rajan; Boxer, Matthew B; Earl, Lesley A; Milne, Jacqueline L S; Subramaniam, Sriram

    2016-06-16

    Recent advances in single-particle cryoelecton microscopy (cryo-EM) are enabling generation of numerous near-atomic resolution structures for well-ordered protein complexes with sizes ≥ ∼200 kDa. Whether cryo-EM methods are equally useful for high-resolution structural analysis of smaller, dynamic protein complexes such as those involved in cellular metabolism remains an important question. Here, we present 3.8 Å resolution cryo-EM structures of the cancer target isocitrate dehydrogenase (93 kDa) and identify the nature of conformational changes induced by binding of the allosteric small-molecule inhibitor ML309. We also report 2.8-Å- and 1.8-Å-resolution structures of lactate dehydrogenase (145 kDa) and glutamate dehydrogenase (334 kDa), respectively. With these results, two perceived barriers in single-particle cryo-EM are overcome: (1) crossing 2 Å resolution and (2) obtaining structures of proteins with sizes < 100 kDa, demonstrating that cryo-EM can be used to investigate a broad spectrum of drug-target interactions and dynamic conformational states.

  18. International Space Station (ISS) Emergency Mask (EM) Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toon, Katherine P.; Hahn, Jeffrey; Fowler, Michael; Young, Kevin

    2011-01-01

    The Emergency Mask (EM) is considered a secondary response emergency Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) designed to provide respiratory protection to the International Space Station (ISS) crewmembers in response to a post-fire event or ammonia leak. The EM is planned to be delivered to ISS in 2012 to replace the current air purifying respirator (APR) onboard ISS called the Ammonia Respirator (AR). The EM is a one ]size ]fits ]all model designed to fit any size crewmember, unlike the APR on ISS, and uses either two Fire Cartridges (FCs) or two Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) 3M(Trademark). Ammonia Cartridges (ACs) to provide the crew with a minimum of 8 hours of respiratory protection with appropriate cartridge swap ]out. The EM is designed for a single exposure event, for either post ]fire or ammonia, and is a passive device that cannot help crewmembers who cannot breathe on their own. The EM fs primary and only seal is around the wearer fs neck to prevent a crewmember from inhaling contaminants. During the development of the ISS Emergency Mask, several design challenges were faced that focused around manufacturing a leak free mask. The description of those challenges are broadly discussed but focuses on one key design challenge area: bonding EPDM gasket material to Gore(Registered Trademark) fabric hood.

  19. EMS Stretcher “Misadventures” in a Large, Urban EMS System: A Descriptive Analysis of Contributing Factors and Resultant Injuries

    PubMed Central

    Goodloe, Jeffrey M.; Crowder, Christopher J.; Arthur, Annette O.; Thomas, Stephen H.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose. There is a paucity of data regarding EMS stretcher-operation-related injuries. This study describes and analyzes characteristics associated with undesirable stretcher operations, with or without resultant injury in a large, urban EMS agency. Methods. In the study agency, all stretcher-related “misadventures” are required to be documented, regardless of whether injury results. All stretcher-related reports between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010 were queried in retrospective analysis, avoiding Hawthorne effect in stretcher operations. Results. During the year studied, 129,110 patients were transported. 23 stretcher incidents were reported (0.16 per 1,000 transports). No patient injury occurred. Four EMS providers sustained minor injuries. Among contributing aspects, the most common involved operations surrounding the stretcher-ambulance safety latch, 14/23 (60.9%). From a personnel injury prevention perspective, there exists a significant relationship between combative patients and crew injury related to stretcher operation, Fisher's exact test 0.048. Conclusions. In this large, urban EMS system, the incidence of injury related to stretcher operations in the one-year study period is markedly low, with few personnel injuries and no patient injuries incurred. Safety for EMS personnel and patients could be advanced by educational initiatives that highlight specific events and conditions contributing to stretcher-related adverse events. PMID:22606379

  20. Recent technical advancements enabled atomic resolution CryoEM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xueming, Li

    2016-01-01

    With recent breakthroughs in camera and image processing technologies single-particle electron cryo-microscopy (CryoEM) has suddenly gained the attention of structural biologists as a powerful tool able to solve the atomic structures of biological complexes and assemblies. Compared with x-ray crystallography, CryoEM can be applied to partially flexible structures in solution and without the necessity of crystallization, which is especially important for large complexes and assemblies. This review briefly explains several key bottlenecks for atomic resolution CryoEM, and describes the corresponding solutions for these bottlenecks based on the recent technical advancements. The review also aims to provide an overview about the technical differences between its applications in biology and those in material science. Project supported by Tsinghua-Peking Joint Center for Life Sciences, China.

  1. Lietuvos Teritorijos Gravimetrinio Žemėlapio Tikslumo Vertinimas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birvydienė, Rosita; Krikštaponis, Boleslovas; Obuchovski, Romuald; Paršeliūnas, Eimuntas; Petroškevičius, Petras; Šlikas, Dominykas

    2010-01-01

    Remiantis matavimų, atliktų Lietuvos gravimetrinio tinklo punktuose, duomenimis, įvertintas Lietuvos teritorijos 1:200 000 mastelio Bouguer anomalijų gravimetrinio žemėlapio tikslumas. Vertinimui naudota 686 gravimetrinių punktų sunkio pagreičio reikšmės, kurių vidutinė kvadratinė paklaida neviršija 9 μGal. Nustatytos teritorijos, kuriose sunkio pagreitis, apskaičiuotas pagal žemėlapį, turi sistemingąsias paklaidas. Gautas vidutinis skirtumas tarp žemėlapyje taikomos Potsdamo sunkio sistemos ir IGSN 71 sistemos, apibrėžtos Lietuvos gravimetriniame tinkle atliktais absoliučiaisiais gravimetriniais matavimais.

  2. EMS-induced cytomictic variability in safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.).

    PubMed

    Srivastava, P; Kumar, G

    2011-01-01

    Seeds of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) were subjected to three treatment durations (3h, 5h and 7h) of 0.5 % Ethyl Methane Sulphonate (EMS). Microsporogenesis was carried out in the control as well as in the treated materials. EMS treated plants showed interesting feature of partial inter-meiocyte chromatin migration through channel formation, beak formation or direct cell fusion. Another interesting feature noticed during the study was the fusion among tetrads due to wall dissolution. The phenomenon of cytomixis was recorded at nearly all the stages of microsporogenesis connecting from a few to several meiocytes. Other abnormalities such as laggards, precocious movement, bridge and non-disjunction of chromosomes were also recorded but in very low frequencies. The phenomenon of cytomixis increased along with the increase in treatment duration of EMS. Cells with these types of cytomictic disturbances may probably result in uneven formation of gametes or zygote, heterogenous sized pollen grains or even loss of fertility in future.

  3. Low Bandwidth Vocoding using EM Sensor and Acoustic Signal Processing

    SciTech Connect

    Ng, L C; Holzrichter, J F; Larson, P E

    2001-10-25

    Low-power EM radar-like sensors have made it possible to measure properties of the human speech production system in real-time, without acoustic interference [1]. By combining these data with the corresponding acoustic signal, we've demonstrated an almost 10-fold bandwidth reduction in speech compression, compared to a standard 2.4 kbps LPC10 protocol used in the STU-III (Secure Terminal Unit, third generation) telephone. This paper describes a potential EM sensor/acoustic based vocoder implementation.

  4. Speaker verification using combined acoustic and EM sensor signal processing

    SciTech Connect

    Ng, L C; Gable, T J; Holzrichter, J F

    2000-11-10

    Low Power EM radar-like sensors have made it possible to measure properties of the human speech production system in real-time, without acoustic interference. This greatly enhances the quality and quantity of information for many speech related applications. See Holzrichter, Burnett, Ng, and Lea, J. Acoustic. SOC. Am . 103 ( 1) 622 (1998). By combining the Glottal-EM-Sensor (GEMS) with the Acoustic-signals, we've demonstrated an almost 10 fold reduction in error rates from a speaker verification system experiment under a moderate noisy environment (-10dB).

  5. The photon: EM fields, electrical potentials, and AC charge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meulenberg, A.; Hudgins, W. R.; Penland, R. F.

    2015-09-01

    Photons are here considered to be resonant oscillations (solitons) in four dimensions (space/time) of an undefined `field' otherwise generally existing at a local energy minimum. The photons' constituent EM fields result in elevated energy, and therefore potentials, within that field. It is in the context of the standing waves of and between photons that the EM fields and potentials lead to a description of alternating (AC) `currents' (of some form) of unquantized alternating `charge' (of some sort). The main topic of this paper is the alternating charge.

  6. Geospatial Analysis of Pediatric EMS Run Density and Endotracheal Intubation

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Matthew; Loker, William; Warden, Craig

    2016-01-01

    Introduction The association between geographic factors, including transport distance, and pediatric emergency medical services (EMS) run clustering on out-of-hospital pediatric endotracheal intubation is unclear. The objective of this study was to determine if endotracheal intubation procedures are more likely to occur at greater distances from the hospital and near clusters of pediatric calls. Methods This was a retrospective observational study including all EMS runs for patients less than 18 years of age from 2008 to 2014 in a geographically large and diverse Oregon county that includes densely populated urban areas near Portland and remote rural areas. We geocoded scene addresses using the automated address locator created in the cloud-based mapping platform ArcGIS, supplemented with manual address geocoding for remaining cases. We then use the Getis-Ord Gi spatial statistic feature in ArcGIS to map statistically significant spatial clusters (hot spots) of pediatric EMS runs throughout the county. We then superimposed all intubation procedures performed during the study period on maps of pediatric EMS-run hot spots, pediatric population density, fire stations, and hospitals. We also performed multivariable logistic regression to determine if distance traveled to the hospital was associated with intubation after controlling for several confounding variables. Results We identified a total of 7,797 pediatric EMS runs during the study period and 38 endotracheal intubations. In univariate analysis we found that patients who were intubated were similar to those who were not in gender and whether or not they were transported to a children’s hospital. Intubated patients tended to be transported shorter distances and were older than non-intubated patients. Increased distance from the hospital was associated with reduced odds of intubation after controlling for age, sex, scene location, and trauma system entry status in a multivariate logistic regression. The

  7. A emissão em 8mm e as bandas de Merrill-Sanford em estrelas carbonadas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Mello, A. B.; Lorenz-Martins, S.

    2003-08-01

    Estrelas carbonadas possuem bandas moleculares em absorção no visível e, no infravermelho (IR) as principais características espectrais se devem a emissão de grãos. Recentemente foi detectada a presença de bandas de SiC2 (Merrill-Sanford, MS) em emissão sendo atribuída à presença de um disco rico em poeira. Neste trabalho analisamos uma amostra de 14 estrelas carbonadas, observadas no telescópio de 1.52 m do ESO em 4 regiões espectrais diferentes, a fim de detectar as bandas de MS em emissão. Nossa amostra é composta de estrelas que apresentam além da emissão em 11.3 mm, outra em 8 mm. Esta última emissão, não usual nestes objetos, tem sido atribuída ou a moléculas de C2H2, ou a um composto sólido ainda indefinido. A detecção de emissões de MS e aquelas no IR, simultaneamente, revelaria um cenário mais complexo que o habitualmente esperado para os ventos destes objetos. No entanto como primeiro resultado, verificamos que as bandas de Merrill-Sanford encontram-se em absorção, não revelando nenhuma conexão com a emissão a 8 mm. Assim, temos duas hipóteses: (a) a emissão a 8 mm se deve à molécula C2H2 ou (b) essa emissão é resultado da emissão térmica de grãos. Testamos a segunda hipótese modelando a amostra com grãos não-homogêneos de SiC e quartzo, o qual emite em aproximadamente 8mm. Este grão seria produzido em uma fase evolutiva anterior a das carbonadas (estrelas S) e por terem uma estrutura cristalina são destruídos apenas na presença de campos de radiação ultravioleta muito intensos. Os modelos para os envoltórios utilizam o método de Monte Carlo para descrever o problema do transporte da radiação. As conclusões deste trabalho são: (1) as bandas de Merrill-Sanford se encontram em absorção, sugerindo um cenário usual para os ventos das estrelas da amostra; (2) neste cenário, a emissão em 8 mm seria resultado de grãos de quartzo com mantos de SiC, indicando que o quartzo poderia sobreviver a fase

  8. An EM System with Dynamic Multi-Axis Transmitter and Tensor Gradiometer Receiver

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-06-01

    FINAL REPORT An EM System With Dynamic Multi-Axis Transmitter and Tensor Gradiometer Receiver SERDP Project MR-1534 JUNE 2011 David C...2006- 2010 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER An EM System with Dynamic Multi-Axis transmitter and Tensor Gradiometer W91 2HQ-06-C-0050...239.18 EM Tensor Gradiometer SERDP MM-1532 i Contents Contents

  9. Texas Hold 'em Online Poker: A Further Examination

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hopley, Anthony A. B.; Dempsey, Kevin; Nicki, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Playing Texas Hold 'em Online Poker (THOP) is on the rise. However, there is relatively little research examining factors that contribute to problem gambling in poker players. The aim of this study was to extend the research findings of Hopley and Nicki (2010). The negative mood states of depression, anxiety and stress were found to be linked to…

  10. Implementing an Air Force Major Command-Level EMS

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-05-01

    n c e 7 Required ISO Elements for AF Organizational-Level EMS  MAJCOMs Are Required to Have the Following ISO Elements:  Scope and Policy...systems - Satisfy requirements of Execut ive Orders 13423 and 13514 and the I SO 14001 environmental management standard - Integrate ESOH tools and

  11. Symmetry-restrained flexible fitting for symmetric EM maps

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Kwok-Yan; Gumbart, James; McGreevy, Ryan; Watermeyer, Jean M.; Sewell, B. Trevor; Schulten, Klaus

    2011-01-01

    Summary Many large biological macromolecules have inherent structural symmetry, being composed of a few distinct subunits, repeated in a symmetric array. These complexes are often not amenable to traditional high-resolution structural determination methods, but can be imaged in functionally relevant states using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). A number of methods for fitting atomic-scale structures into cryo-EM maps have been developed, including the molecular dynamics flexible fitting (MDFF) method. However, quality and resolution of the cryo-EM map are the major determinants of a method’s success. In order to incorporate knowledge of structural symmetry into the fitting procedure, we developed the symmetry-restrained MDFF method. The new method adds to the cryo-EM map-derived potential further restraints on the allowed conformations of a complex during fitting, thereby improving the quality of the resultant structure. The benefit of using symmetry-based restraints during fitting, particularly for medium to low-resolution data, is demonstrated for three different systems. PMID:21893283

  12. DOE-EM Science of Safety Robotics Challenge

    ScienceCinema

    Rimando, Rodrigo; Watts, Alex; Bobbitt, John; McLaughlin, Doug; Quigley, Morgan; Gladwell, Scott; McLoughlin, Mike; Kinnamon, Tony; Garcia, Joe; Ansari, Alex; Voyles, Richard; Chambers, David; Pryor, Mitch; Workman, Theresa; Mehling, Joshua; Browning, Kimberly; Deuel, Jake; Profitt, Bryan; Reibold, Marty

    2016-10-19

    During the week of August 22nd, 2016, over 150 technologists, stakeholders, and Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management workers, met at DOE’s Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Ohio, for the EM Science of Safety Robotics Challenge.

  13. EM-63 Decay Curve Analysis for UXO Discrimination

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-06-13

    rectangular with 25% duty cycle , 15 amps maximum. The EM bottom sensor coil is a circular 50 cm diameter multiturn air cored coil, co- planar with the...to discriminate metal objects (both UXO and non- UXO) from magnetic rocks /soil, 32% of target excavations, over 3,800 targets, would have been

  14. Functionalized Anatomical Models for EM-Neuron Interaction Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Neufeld, Esra; Cassará, Antonino Mario; Montanaro, Hazael; Kuster, Niels; Kainz, Wolfgang

    2017-01-01

    The understanding of interactions between electromagnetic (EM) fields and nerves are crucial in contexts ranging from therapeutic neurostimulation to low frequency EM exposure safety. To properly consider the impact of in-vivo induced field inhomogeneity on non-linear neuronal dynamics, coupled EM-neuronal dynamics modeling is required. For that purpose, novel functionalized computable human phantoms have been developed. Their implementation and the systematic verification of the integrated anisotropic quasi-static EM solver and neuronal dynamics modeling functionality, based on the method of manufactured solutions and numerical reference data, is described. Electric and magnetic stimulation of the ulnar and sciatic nerve were modeled to help understanding a range of controversial issues related to the magnitude and optimal determination of strength-duration (SD) time constants. The results indicate the importance of considering the stimulation-specific inhomogeneous field distributions (especially at tissue interfaces), realistic models of non-linear neuronal dynamics, very short pulses, and suitable SD extrapolation models. These results and the functionalized computable phantom will influence and support the development of safe and effective neuroprosthetic devices and novel electroceuticals. Furthermore they will assist the evaluation of existing low frequency exposure standards for the entire population under all exposure conditions. PMID:27224508

  15. Functionalized anatomical models for EM-neuron Interaction modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neufeld, Esra; Cassará, Antonino Mario; Montanaro, Hazael; Kuster, Niels; Kainz, Wolfgang

    2016-06-01

    The understanding of interactions between electromagnetic (EM) fields and nerves are crucial in contexts ranging from therapeutic neurostimulation to low frequency EM exposure safety. To properly consider the impact of in vivo induced field inhomogeneity on non-linear neuronal dynamics, coupled EM-neuronal dynamics modeling is required. For that purpose, novel functionalized computable human phantoms have been developed. Their implementation and the systematic verification of the integrated anisotropic quasi-static EM solver and neuronal dynamics modeling functionality, based on the method of manufactured solutions and numerical reference data, is described. Electric and magnetic stimulation of the ulnar and sciatic nerve were modeled to help understanding a range of controversial issues related to the magnitude and optimal determination of strength-duration (SD) time constants. The results indicate the importance of considering the stimulation-specific inhomogeneous field distributions (especially at tissue interfaces), realistic models of non-linear neuronal dynamics, very short pulses, and suitable SD extrapolation models. These results and the functionalized computable phantom will influence and support the development of safe and effective neuroprosthetic devices and novel electroceuticals. Furthermore they will assist the evaluation of existing low frequency exposure standards for the entire population under all exposure conditions.

  16. <em>An Amphibious Magnetotelluric Investigation of the Cascadian Seismogenic and ETS zones.em>

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parris, B. A.; Livelybrooks, D.; Bedrosian, P.; Egbert, G. D.; Key, K.; Schultz, A.; Cook, A.; Kant, M.; Wogan, N.; Zeryck, A.

    2015-12-01

    The amphibious Magnetotelluric Observations of Cascadia using a Huge Array (MOCHA) experiment seeks to address unresolved questions about the seismogenic locked zone and down-dip transition zone where episodic tremor and slip (ETS) originates. The presence of free fluids is thought to be one of the primary controls on ETS behavior within the Cascadia margin. Since the bulk electrical conductivity in the crust and mantle can be greatly increased by fluids, magnetotelluric(MT) observations can offer unique insights on the fluid distribution and its relation to observed ETS behavior. Here we present preliminary results from the 146 MT stations collected for the MOCHA project. MOCHA is unique in that it is the first amphibious array of MT stations occupied to provide for 3-D interpretation of conductivity structure of a subduction zone. The MOCHA data set comprises 75 onshore stations and 71 offshore stations, accumulated over a two-year period, and located on an approximate 25km grid, spanning from the trench to the Eastern Willamette Valley, and from central Oregon into middle Washington. We present the results of a series of east-west (cross-strike) oriented, two-dimensional inversions created using the MARE2DEM software that provide an initial picture of the conductivity structure of the locked and ETS zones and its along strike variations. Our models can be used to identify correlations between ETS occurrence rates and inferred fluid concentrations. Our modeling explores the impact of various parameterizations on 2-D inversion results, including inclusion of a smoothness penalty reduction along the inferred slab interface. This series of 2-D inversions can then be used collectively to help make and guide an a priori 3-D inversion. In addition we will present a preliminary 3-D inversion of the onshore stations created using the ModEM software. We are currently working on modifying ModEM to support inversion of offshore data. The more computationally intensive 3-D

  17. GPS computer navigators to shorten EMS response and transport times.

    PubMed

    Ota, F S; Muramatsu, R S; Yoshida, B H; Yamamoto, L G

    2001-05-01

    GPS (global positioning satellite system to determine one's position on earth) units have become inexpensive and compact. The purpose of this study is to assess the effectiveness of a GPS enhanced computer street map navigator to improve the ability of EMS drivers in an urban setting to locate their destination and shorten response times. For part I, residential addresses in the city were randomly selected from a telephone directory. Two driver/navigator teams were assigned to drive to the address adhering to speed limits. One team used a standard street map, whereas the other team used a GPS computer navigator. The travel time and distance of the runs were compared. For part II, the computer GPS navigator was placed on an ambulance to supplement their normal methods of navigation to find the address requesting EMS. After the run was completed, EMS providers were interviewed to determine their opinion of whether the GPS navigator was helpful. For part I the results showed that in the 29 initial test runs, comparing the GPS team versus the standard map team, the mean distances traveled were 8.7 versus 9.0 kilometers (not significant) and the mean travel times were 13.5 versus 14.6 minutes (P=.02), respectively. The GPS team arrived faster in 72% runs. For part II the results showed that most EMS providers surveyed noted that the GPS computer navigator enhanced their ability to find the destination and all EMS providers acknowledged that it would enhance their ability to find a destination in an area in which they were unfamiliar. These results suggest that a portable GPS computer navigator system is helpful and can enhance the ability of prehospital care providers to locate their destination. Because these units are accurate and inexpensive, GPS computer navigators may be a valuable tool in reducing pre-hospital transport times.

  18. The B and Be States of the Star EM Cepheus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kjurkchieva, Diana; Marchev, Dragomir; Sigut, T. A. A.; Dimitrov, Dinko

    2016-09-01

    We present 11 yr of high-resolution, spectroscopic observations for the star EM Cep. EM Cep switches between B and Be star states, as revealed by the level of Hα emission, but spends most of its time in the B star state. EM Cep has been considered to be an eclipsing, near-contact binary of nearly equal-mass B stars in order to reproduce regular photometric variations; however, this model is problematic due to the lack of any observed Doppler shift in the spectrum. Our observations confirm that there are no apparent Doppler shifts in the wide spectral lines Hα and He i λ6678 in either the B or Be star states. The profiles of He i λ6678 typically exhibited a filled-in absorption core, but we detected weak emission in this line during the highest Be state. Given the lack of observed Doppler shifts, we model EM Cep as an isolated Be star with a variable circumstellar disk. We can reproduce the observed Hα emission profiles over the 11 yr period reasonably well with disk masses on the order of 3{--}10× {10}-11 {M}* in the Be state with the circumstellar disk seen at an inclination of 78° to the line of sight. From a disk ejection episode in 2014, we estimate a mass-loss rate of ≈ 3× {10}-9 {M}⊙ {{yr}}-1. The derived disk density parameters are typical of those found for the classical Be stars. We therefore suggest that the EM Cep is a classical Be star and that its photometric variations are the result of β Cep or nonradial pulsations.

  19. Application of Electromagnetic (EM) Separation Technology to Metal Refining Processes: A Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Lifeng; Wang, Shengqian; Dong, Anping; Gao, Jianwei; Damoah, Lucas Nana Wiredu

    2014-12-01

    Application of electromagnetic (EM) force to metal processing has been considered as an emerging technology for the production of clean metals and other advanced materials. In the current paper, the principle of EM separation was introduced and several schemes of imposing EM field, such as DC electric field with a crossed steady magnetic field, AC electric field, AC magnetic field, and traveling magnetic field were reviewed. The force around a single particle or multi-particles and their trajectories in the conductive liquid under EM field were discussed. Applications of EM technique to the purification of different liquid metals such as aluminum, zinc, magnesium, silicon, copper, and steel were summarized. Effects of EM processing parameters, such as the frequency of imposed field, imposed magnetic flux density, processing time, particle size, and the EM unit size on the EM purification efficiency were discussed. Experimental and theoretical investigations have showed that the separation efficiency of inclusions from the molten aluminum using EM purification could as high as over 90 pct. Meanwhile, the EM purification was also applied to separate intermetallic compounds from metal melt, such as α-AlFeMnSi-phase from the molten aluminum. And then the potential industrial application of EM technique was proposed.

  20. Composting of rice straw with effective microorganisms (EM) and its influence on compost quality

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    This study aims to assess the effect of EM application on the composting process of rice straw with goat manure and green waste and to evaluate the quality of both compost treatments. There are two treatment piles in this study, in which one pile was applied with EM and another pile without EM. Each treatment was replicated three times with 90 days of composting duration. The parameters for the temperature, pH, TOC and C/N ratio, show that decomposition of organic matter occurs during the 90-day period. The t-test conducted shows that there is a significant difference between compost with EM and compost without EM. The application of EM in compost increases the macro and micronutrient content. The following parameters support this conclusion: compost applied with EM has more N, P and K content (P < 0.05) compared to compost without EM. Although the Fe in compost with EM is much higher (P < 0.05) than in the compost without EM, for Zn and Cu, there is no significant difference between treatments. This study suggests that the application of EM is suitable to increase the mineralization in the composting process. The final resultant compost indicated that it was in the range of the matured level and can be used without any restriction. PMID:23390930

  1. ATTRACT-EM: A New Method for the Computational Assembly of Large Molecular Machines Using Cryo-EM Maps

    PubMed Central

    de Vries, Sjoerd J.; Zacharias, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Many of the most important functions in the cell are carried out by proteins organized in large molecular machines. Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is increasingly being used to obtain low resolution density maps of these large assemblies. A new method, ATTRACT-EM, for the computational assembly of molecular assemblies from their components has been developed. Based on concepts from the protein-protein docking field, it utilizes cryo-EM density maps to assemble molecular subunits at near atomic detail, starting from millions of initial subunit configurations. The search efficiency was further enhanced by recombining partial solutions, the inclusion of symmetry information, and refinement using a molecular force field. The approach was tested on the GroES-GroEL system, using an experimental cryo-EM map at 23.5 Å resolution, and on several smaller complexes. Inclusion of experimental information on the symmetry of the systems and the application of a new gradient vector matching algorithm allowed the efficient identification of docked assemblies in close agreement with experiment. Application to the GroES-GroEL complex resulted in a top ranked model with a deviation of 4.6 Å (and a 2.8 Å model within the top 10) from the GroES-GroEL crystal structure, a significant improvement over existing methods. PMID:23251350

  2. Development of the Emergency Medical Services Role Identity Scale (EMS-RIS).

    PubMed

    Donnelly, Elizabeth A; Siebert, Darcy; Siebert, Carl

    2015-01-01

    This article describes the development and validation of the theoretically grounded Emergency Medical Services Role Identity Scale (EMS-RIS), which measures four domains of EMS role identity. The EMS-RIS was developed using a mixed methods approach. Key informants informed item development and the scale was validated using a representative probability sample of EMS personnel. Factor analyses revealed a conceptually consistent, four-factor solution with sound psychometric properties as well as evidence of convergent and discriminant validities. Social workers work with EMS professionals in crisis settings and as their counselors when they are distressed. The EMS-RIS provides useful information for the assessment of and intervention with distressed EMS professionals, as well as how role identity may influence occupational stress.

  3. Nonlinear Smoothing and the EM Algorithm for Positive Integral Equations of the First Kind

    SciTech Connect

    Eggermont, P. P. B.

    1999-01-15

    We study a modification of the EMS algorithm in which each step of the EMS algorithm is preceded by a nonlinear smoothing step of the form Nf-exp(S*log f) , where S is the smoothing operator of the EMS algorithm. In the context of positive integral equations (a la positron emission tomography) the resulting algorithm is related to a convex minimization problem which always admits a unique smooth solution, in contrast to the unmodified maximum likelihood setup. The new algorithm has slightly stronger monotonicity properties than the original EM algorithm. This suggests that the modified EMS algorithm is actually an EM algorithm for the modified problem. The existence of a smooth solution to the modified maximum likelihood problem and the monotonicity together imply the strong convergence of the new algorithm. We also present some simulation results for the integral equation of stereology, which suggests that the new algorithm behaves roughly like the EMS algorithm.

  4. An economic toolkit for identifying the cost of emergency medical services (EMS) systems: detailed methodology of the EMS Cost Analysis Project (EMSCAP).

    PubMed

    Lerner, E Brooke; Garrison, Herbert G; Nichol, Graham; Maio, Ronald F; Lookman, Hunaid A; Sheahan, William D; Franz, Timothy R; Austad, James D; Ginster, Aaron M; Spaite, Daniel W

    2012-02-01

    Calculating the cost of an emergency medical services (EMS) system using a standardized method is important for determining the value of EMS. This article describes the development of a methodology for calculating the cost of an EMS system to its community. This includes a tool for calculating the cost of EMS (the "cost workbook") and detailed directions for determining cost (the "cost guide"). The 12-step process that was developed is consistent with current theories of health economics, applicable to prehospital care, flexible enough to be used in varying sizes and types of EMS systems, and comprehensive enough to provide meaningful conclusions. It was developed by an expert panel (the EMS Cost Analysis Project [EMSCAP] investigator team) in an iterative process that included pilot testing the process in three diverse communities. The iterative process allowed ongoing modification of the toolkit during the development phase, based upon direct, practical, ongoing interaction with the EMS systems that were using the toolkit. The resulting methodology estimates EMS system costs within a user-defined community, allowing either the number of patients treated or the estimated number of lives saved by EMS to be assessed in light of the cost of those efforts. Much controversy exists about the cost of EMS and whether the resources spent for this purpose are justified. However, the existence of a validated toolkit that provides a standardized process will allow meaningful assessments and comparisons to be made and will supply objective information to inform EMS and community officials who are tasked with determining the utilization of scarce societal resources.

  5. Translation of EMS: clinical practice and system oversight from core content study guide to best practices implementation in an Urban EMS system.

    PubMed

    Tataris, Katie; Mercer, Mary; Brown, John

    2015-01-01

    Since 2009, the seminal text in emergency medical services (EMS) medicine has been used to guide the academic development of the new subspecialty but direct application of the material into EMS oversight has not been previously described. The EMS/Disaster Medicine fellowship program at our institution scheduled a monthly meeting to systematically review the text and develop a study guide to assist the fellow and affiliated faculty in preparation for the board examination. In addition to the summary of chapter content, the review included an assessment of areas from each chapter subject where our EMS system did not exhibit recommended characteristics. A matrix was developed in the form of a gap analysis to include specific recommendations based on each perceived gap. Initial review and completion dates for each identified gap enable tracking and a responsible party. This matrix assisted the fellow with development of projects for EMS system improvement in addition to focusing and prioritizing the work of other interested physicians working in the system. By discussing expert recommendations in the setting of an actual EMS system, the faculty can teach the fellow how to approach system improvements based on prior experiences and current stakeholders. This collaborative environment facilitates system-based practice and practice-based learning, aligning with ACGME core competencies. Our educational model has demonstrated the success of translating the text into action items for EMS systems. This model may be useful in other systems and could contribute to the development of EMS system standards nationwide.

  6. EM susceptibility studies and measurements on electro explosive devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deb, G. K.; Mukherjee, M.

    Electroexplosive devices (EEDs) are susceptible to stray electromagnetic (EM) fields near high-power communications and radar transmitters. Experiments have been carried out to measure the exact susceptibility of EED resistive squibs in pulsed and continuous EM environments, respectively. The susceptibility test procedure consisted of individual measurements of direct current sensitivity (mA); impulse sensitivity; RF impedance measurements; and safety margin calculations. A stray energy monitor was used to evaluate the safe performance of a hybrid weapons system. It is found that the RF sensitivity of the squib was influenced by the transmission characteristics of the transmission line connected to it. RF absorption peaks were observed above the EED sensitivity threshold of 120 MHz. Methods of EMI control are discussed, including: low-pass pin filters; lossy line filters for all dc power line interconnections; and twisting and shielding of the wires.

  7. Superconducting Electromagnetic Suspension (EMS) system for Grumman Maglev concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kalsi, Swarn S.

    1994-01-01

    The Grumman developed Electromagnetic Suspension (EMS) Maglev system has the following key characteristics: a large operating airgap--40 mm; levitation at all speeds; both high speed and low speed applications; no deleterious effects on SC coils at low vehicle speeds; low magnetic field at the SC coil--less than 0.35 T; no need to use non-magnetic/non-metallic rebar in the guideway structure; low magnetic field in passenger cabin--approximately 1 G; low forces on the SC coil; employs state-of-the-art NbTi wire; no need for an active magnet quench protection system; and lower weight than a magnet system with copper coils. The EMS Maglev described in this paper does not require development of any new technologies. The system could be built with the existing SC magnet technology.

  8. Environmental Restoration and Waste Management (EM) program: An introduction

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-12-01

    This booklet introduces the reader to the mission and functions of a major new unit within the US Department of Energy (DOE): the Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management (EM). The Secretary of Energy established EM in November 1989, implementing a central purpose of DOE's first annual Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Five-Year Plan, which had appeared three months earlier. The contents of this booklet, and their arrangement, reflect the annual update of the Five-Year Plan. The Five-Year Plan supports DOE's strategy for meeting its 30-year compliance and cleanup goal. This strategy involves: focusing DOE's activities on eliminating or reducing known or recognized potential risks to worker and public health and the environment, containing or isolating, removing, or detoxifying onsite and offsite contamination, and developing technology to achieve DOE's environmental goals.

  9. Generalized single-particle cryo-EM--a historical perspective.

    PubMed

    Frank, Joachim

    2016-02-01

    This is a brief account of the earlier history of single-particle cryo-EM of biological molecules lacking internal symmetry, which goes back to the mid-seventies. The emphasis of this review is on the mathematical concepts and computational approaches. It is written as the field experiences a turning point in the wake of the introduction of digital cameras capable of single electron counting, and near-atomic resolution can be reached even for smaller molecules.

  10. Principles of cryo-EM single-particle image processing

    PubMed Central

    Sigworth, Fred J.

    2016-01-01

    Single-particle reconstruction is the process by which 3D density maps are obtained from a set of low-dose cryo-EM images of individual macromolecules. This review considers the fundamental principles of this process and the steps in the overall workflow for single-particle image processing. Also considered are the limits that image signal-to-noise ratio places on resolution and the distinguishing of heterogeneous particle populations. PMID:26705325

  11. Range Condition and ML-EM Checkerboard Artifacts

    PubMed Central

    You, Jiangsheng; Wang, Jing; Liang, Zhengrong

    2007-01-01

    The expectation maximization (EM) algorithm for the maximum likelihood (ML) image reconstruction criterion generates severe checkerboard artifacts in the presence of noise. A classical remedy is to impose an a priori constraint for a penalized ML or maximum a posteriori probability solution. The penalty reduces the checkerboard artifacts and also introduces uncertainty because a priori information is usually unknown in clinic. Recent theoretical investigation reveals that the noise can be divided into two components: one is called null-space noise and the other is range-space noise. The null-space noise can be numerically estimated using filtered backprojection (FBP) algorithm. By the FBP algorithm, the null-space noise annihilates in the reconstruction while the range-space noise propagates into the reconstructed image. The aim of this work is to investigate the relation between the null-space noise and the checkerboard artifacts in the ML-EM reconstruction from noisy projection data. Our study suggests that removing the null-space noise from the projection data could improve the signal-to-noise ratio of the projection data and, therefore, reduce the checkerboard artifacts in the ML-EM reconstructed images. This study reveals an in-depth understanding of the different noise propagations in analytical and iterative image reconstructions, which may be useful to single photon emission computed tomography, where the noise has been a major factor for image degradation. The reduction of the ML-EM checkerboard artifacts by removing the null-space noise avoids the uncertainty of using a priori penalty. PMID:18449363

  12. EMS Mutagenesis in the Pea Aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum

    PubMed Central

    Tagu, Denis; Le Trionnaire, Gaël; Tanguy, Sylvie; Gauthier, Jean-Pierre; Huynh, Jean-René

    2014-01-01

    In aphids, clonal individuals can show distinct morphologic traits in response to environmental cues. Such phenotypic plasticity cannot be studied with classical genetic model organisms such as Caenorhabditis elegans or Drosophila melanogaster. The genetic basis of this biological process remain unknown, as mutations affecting this process are not available in aphids. Here, we describe a protocol to treat third-stage larvae with an alkylating mutagen, ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS), to generate random mutations within the Acyrthosiphon pisum genome. We found that even low concentrations of EMS were toxic for two genotypes of A. pisum. Mutagenesis efficiency was nevertheless assessed by estimating the occurrence of mutational events on the X chromosome. Indeed, any lethal mutation on the X-chromosome would kill males that are haploid on the X so that we used the proportion of males as an estimation of mutagenesis efficacy. We could assess a putative mutation rate of 0.4 per X-chromosome at 10 mM of EMS. We then applied this protocol to perform a small-scale mutagenesis on parthenogenetic individuals, which were screened for defects in their ability to produce sexual individuals in response to photoperiod shortening. We found one mutant line showing a reproducible altered photoperiodic response with a reduced production of males and the appearance of aberrant winged males (wing atrophy, alteration of legs morphology). This mutation appeared to be stable because it could be transmitted over several generations of parthenogenetic individuals. To our knowledge, this study represents the first example of an EMS-generated aphid mutant. PMID:24531730

  13. Color a bright energy picture with EMS controls

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-09-01

    After 80 years in the crayon-manufacturing business, Binney and Smith found that more than 50% of their staggering annual utility costs were being generated by non-production loads. To curtail waste, they installed an expandable EMS which controls energy in the company's two separate, multi-building facilities from one central location. The system selected was an AI2100/MAX System manufactured by American Auto-Matrix, Export, PA.

  14. Love 'em or they'll leave: motivating volunteers.

    PubMed

    McDowell, D

    1999-11-01

    Running a successful volunteer-based service does not begin and end with the recruitment of volunteers. You need to first consider what is in it for the prospective volunteer, define why you want volunteers and then decide exactly what you want those volunteers to do. Then you recruit them, face-to-face, ensuring that every prospect is offered something specific to do and is welcomed into your EMS family.

  15. Forward Genetics by Sequencing EMS Variation-Induced Inbred Lines

    PubMed Central

    Addo-Quaye, Charles; Buescher, Elizabeth; Best, Norman; Chaikam, Vijay; Baxter, Ivan; Dilkes, Brian P.

    2016-01-01

    In order to leverage novel sequencing techniques for cloning genes in eukaryotic organisms with complex genomes, the false positive rate of variant discovery must be controlled for by experimental design and informatics. We sequenced five lines from three pedigrees of ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS)-mutagenized Sorghum bicolor, including a pedigree segregating a recessive dwarf mutant. Comparing the sequences of the lines, we were able to identify and eliminate error-prone positions. One genomic region contained EMS mutant alleles in dwarfs that were homozygous reference sequences in wild-type siblings and heterozygous in segregating families. This region contained a single nonsynonymous change that cosegregated with dwarfism in a validation population and caused a premature stop codon in the Sorghum ortholog encoding the gibberellic acid (GA) biosynthetic enzyme ent-kaurene oxidase. Application of exogenous GA rescued the mutant phenotype. Our method for mapping did not require outcrossing and introduced no segregation variance. This enables work when line crossing is complicated by life history, permitting gene discovery outside of genetic models. This inverts the historical approach of first using recombination to define a locus and then sequencing genes. Our formally identical approach first sequences all the genes and then seeks cosegregation with the trait. Mutagenized lines lacking obvious phenotypic alterations are available for an extension of this approach: mapping with a known marker set in a line that is phenotypically identical to starting material for EMS mutant generation. PMID:28040779

  16. Improving EM&V for Energy Efficiency Programs (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2012-07-01

    This fact sheet describes the objectives of the U.S. Department of Energy Uniform Methods Project to bring consistency to energy savings calculations in U.S. energy efficiency programs. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is developing a framework and a set of protocols for determining gross energy savings from energy efficiency measures and programs. The protocols represent a refinement of the body of knowledge supporting energy efficiency evaluation, measurement, and verification (EM&V) activities. They have been written by technical experts within the field and reviewed by industry experts. Current EM&V practice allows for multiple methods for calculating energy savings. These methods were developed to meet the needs of energy efficiency program administrators and regulators. Although they served their original objectives well, they have resulted in inconsistent and incomparable savings results - even for identical measures. The goal of the Uniform Methods Project is to strengthen the credibility of energy savings determinations by improving EM&V, increasing the consistency and transparency of how energy savings are determined.

  17. Debris Avalanche Formation at Kick'em Jenny Submarine Volcano

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigurdsson, H.; Carey, S. N.; Wilson, D.

    2005-12-01

    Kick'em Jenny submarine volcano near Grenada is the most active volcanic center in the Lesser Antilles arc. Multibeam surveys of the volcano by NOAA in 2002 revealed an arcuate fault scarp east of the active cone, suggesting flank collapse. More extensive NOAA surveys in 2003 demonstrated the presence of an associated debris avalanche deposit, judging from their surface morphologic expression on the sea floor, extending at least 15 km and possibly as much as 30 km from the volcano, into the Grenada Basin to the west. Seismic air-gun profiles of the region show that these are lobate deposits, that range in thickness from tens to hundreds of meters. The debris avalanche deposit is contained within two marginal levees, that extend symmetrically from the volcano to the west. A conservative estimate of the volume of the smaller debris avalanche deposit is about 10 km3. Age dating of the deposits and the flank failure events is in progress, by analysis of gravity cores collected during the 2003 survey. Reconstruction of the pre-collapse volcanic edifice suggests that the ancestral Kick'em Jenny volcano might have been at or above sea level. Kick'em Jenny is dominantly supplied by basalt to basaltic andesite magmas, that are extruded now as submarine pillow lavas and domes or ejected as tephra in relatively minor phreatomagmatic explosions. Geochemical evolution of this volcano has not, however, reached the stage of generation of volatile-rich silicic magmas that might form highly explosive eruptions.

  18. A study on characteristics of EM radiation from stripline structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kayano, Yoshiki; Inoue, Hiroshi

    2011-10-01

    In recent years, effective methods for predicting and suppressing electromagnetic interference over a broad band are required. In this paper, we focus on the prediction of electromagnetic (EM) radiation from a stripline structure with a ground thin wire by an equivalent circuit model. First, frequency responses of common-mode (CM) current on the printed circuit board and EM radiation are studied with finite difference time domain modeling. Secondly, an equivalent circuit model for predicting CM current is proposed. The equivalent circuit model for prediction is based on the concepts of CM antenna impedance, distributed constant circuit, and electric coupling between the power plane and the thin ground wire. Good agreement between the predicted and full-wave analysis results indicates the validity of the proposed equivalent circuit model. The frequency response of EM radiation from the stripline structure can be identified using our proposed model. In addition, the equivalent circuit model provides enough flexibility for different geometric parameters and can be used to develop physical insights and design guidelines.

  19. Essential ethics for EMS: cardinal virtues and core principles.

    PubMed

    Larkin, Gregory Luke; Fowler, Raymond Logan

    2002-11-01

    Dutiful attention to virtue, teamwork, beneficence, justice, and respect for patient autonomy provides a coherent approach to addressing many ethical dilemmas in the out-of-hospital setting. Most of the great risks of EMS--abandonment, competence, and safe-driving skills--lie at the ethike or character of those who ply the prehospital art. Proactively fostering the personal and professional virtue of team members may be a kind of moral vaccination against the ethical pitfalls inherent in emergency medical service provision. Future training, education, disaster preparedness drills, and related exercises must include opportunities for character and team building before optimal performance and accountability can be assured. In the steady, almost glacial, maturation of the specialty of EMS medicine, truly the character of those who serve in the "line of fire" of evaluation, management, and transport in the out-of-hospital arena must be girded with more than the armor and shields of technology. Since September 11, 2001, it has become increasingly clear that EMS workers must strengthen their ability to bear the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune," armed with swords of discipline, virtue, and character to provide the breadth of care that only a well orchestrated team can deliver. Ultimately, humans perform best when they share themselves unselfconsciously, surrendering to an enterprise and cause far greater than themselves. Our citizens, patients, and heroic colleagues deserve no less.

  20. Integrated GW-EM Follow-up Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ackley, Kendall; Eikenberry, Stephen; Klimenko, Sergey; LSC Collaboration

    2015-04-01

    Advanced Gravitational-Wave (GW) detectors such as Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo are expected to become operational for observation runs in 2015, with an expected ultimate improvement in sensitivity over previous configurations by a factor of 10 by 2019. There are many potential electromagnetic (EM) counterparts to GWs including short and long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and kilonovae. While SGRBs and LGRBs predominantly emit in the X-ray, and the recently-observed kilonova primarily in the infrared, all three sources are expected to have detectable traces in the optical band, albeit requiring very sensitive optical telescopes. In order to aid in the optimization of GW trigger follow-up procedures, we perform an end-to-end analysis feasibility study using synthesized Advanced detector data simulating a GW detection with a theoretical EM counterpart injected into archival optical images. We use images from Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment (ROTSE) and Palomar Transient Factory (PTF), and inject candidate events following observed lightcurves of SGRBs, LGRBs, and kilonovae. The use of Zernike PSF decomposition on candidate objects offers a fast way to identify point sources, speeding up the automated identification of transient sources in the images. We present our method of transient recovery and the latest results of our feasibility study of a joint GW-EM observation.

  1. The US DOE-EM International Program - 13004

    SciTech Connect

    Elmetti, Rosa R.; Han, Ana M.; Williams, Alice C.

    2013-07-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) conducts international collaboration activities in support of U.S. policies and objectives regarding the accelerated risk reduction and remediation of environmental legacy of the nations' nuclear weapons program and government sponsored nuclear energy research. The EM International Program supported out of the EM Office of the Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary pursues collaborations with foreign government organizations, educational institutions and private industry to assist in identifying technologies and promote international collaborations that leverage resources and link international experience and expertise. In fiscal year (FY) 2012, the International Program awarded eight international collaborative projects for work scope spanning waste processing, groundwater and soil remediation, deactivation and decommissioning (D and D) and nuclear materials disposition initiatives to seven foreign organizations. Additionally, the International Program's scope and collaboration opportunities were expanded to include technical as well as non-technical areas. This paper will present an overview of the on-going tasks awarded in FY 2012 and an update of upcoming international activities and opportunities for expansion into FY 2013 and beyond. (authors)

  2. Bayesian Modeling of Biomolecular Assemblies with Cryo-EM Maps

    PubMed Central

    Habeck, Michael

    2017-01-01

    A growing array of experimental techniques allows us to characterize the three-dimensional structure of large biological assemblies at increasingly higher resolution. In addition to X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance in solution, new structure determination methods such cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), crosslinking/mass spectrometry and solid-state NMR have emerged. Often it is not sufficient to use a single experimental method, but complementary data need to be collected by using multiple techniques. The integration of all datasets can only be achieved by computational means. This article describes Inferential structure determination, a Bayesian approach to integrative modeling of biomolecular complexes with hybrid structural data. I will introduce probabilistic models for cryo-EM maps and outline Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms for sampling model structures from the posterior distribution. I will focus on rigid and flexible modeling with cryo-EM data and discuss some of the computational challenges of Bayesian inference in the context of biomolecular modeling. PMID:28382301

  3. EMS-STARS: Emergency Medical Services "Superuser" Transport Associations: An Adult Retrospective Study.

    PubMed

    Hall, M Kennedy; Raven, Maria C; Hall, Jane; Yeh, Clement; Allen, Elaine; Rodriguez, Robert M; Tangherlini, Niels L; Sporer, Karl A; Brown, John F

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Objective. Emergency medical services (EMS) "superusers" -those who use EMS services at extremely high rates -have not been well characterized. Recent interest in the small group of individuals who account for a disproportionate share of health-care expenditures has led to research on frequent users of emergency departments and other health services, but little research has been done regarding those who use EMS services. To inform policy and intervention implementation, we undertook a descriptive analysis of EMS superusers in a large urban community. In this paper we compare EMS superusers to low, moderate, and high users to characterize factors contributing to EMS use. We also estimate the financial impact of EMS superusers. Methods. We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study based on 1 year of data from an urban EMS system. Data for all EMS encounters with patients age ≥18 years were extracted from electronic records generated on scene by paramedics. We identified demographic and clinical variables associated with levels of EMS use. EMS users were characterized by the annual number of EMS encounters: low (1), moderate (2-4), high (5-14), and superusers (≥15). In addition, we performed a financial analysis using San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD) 2009 charge and reimbursement data. Results. A total of 31,462 adults generated 43,559 EMS ambulance encounters, which resulted in 39,107 transports (a 90% transport rate). Encounters for general medical reasons were common among moderate and high users and less frequent among superusers and low users, while alcohol use was exponentially correlated with encounter frequency. Superusers were significantly younger than moderate EMS users, and more likely to be male. The superuser group created a significantly higher financial burden/person than any other group, comprising 0.3% of the study population, but over 6% of annual EMS charges and reimbursements. Conclusions. In this retrospective study, adult

  4. EM absorption reduction in wireless mobile antenna using printed paper-based metamaterial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alam, Touhidul; Islam, Mohammad Tariqul; Kibria, Salehin; Cho, Mengu; Faruque, Mohammad Rashed Iqbal

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents a printed negative index metamaterial for electromagnetic (EM) absorption reduction in portable wireless antenna. The perceptible novelty exhibited in this paper is that EM absorption reduction toward the human head with paper-based metamaterial attachment. This research has been performed using human head phantom integrated in the commercially available CST Microwave Studio software package. The EM absorption has been reduced by 13.2 and 6% at 900 and 1800 MHz, respectively.

  5. An EM System With Dramatic Multi-Axis Transmitter and Tensor Gradiometer Receiver

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-06-01

    FINAL REPORT An EM System With Dramatic Multi-Axis Transmitter and Tensor Gradiometer Receiver SERDP Project MR-1534 JUNE 2011 David C...Technical 2006-20 10 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER An EM System with Dynamic Multi-Axis transmitter and Tensor Gradiometer W912HQ-06-C-0050...ANSI Std. Z39. 18 EM Tensor Gradiometer SERDP MM-1532 i Contents Contents

  6. Multi-frequency electromagnetic sounding tool EMS. Archaeological discoveries. Case stories.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abu Zeid, N.; Balkov, E.; Chemyakina, M.; Manstein, A.; Manstein, Y.; Morelli, G.; Santarato, G.

    2003-04-01

    EMS is the new patented tool for shallow-depth (up to 7 m) induction frequency sounding. The tool is developed in Institute of Geophysics, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy, Novosibirsk, RUSSIA. Few years of application of EMS prototypes in archaeological prospection gave us the well described picture of possibilities and limitations of EM sounding for archaeological purpose. We would like to present several archaeological case stories including paleolitic, bronze and iron ages, antique and medieval targets discovery. The cases include complex geophysical works using GPR, Vertical DC sounding and magnetometry together with EM sounding. Archaeological proofs of geophysical prospection will be presented. The last September in Italy we have done the comparative work at few Italian archaeological sites. The second EMS prototype has been compared with commercially available tools for EM prospection such as EM mappers, georadars and DC electrical resistivity tomography. In the comparison EMS feature good noise immunity, high sensibility and resolution. In some cases only EMS data shows the buried targets and it was proved immediately by excavation. The researches were done with financial support of RFBR grant # 00-06-80421

  7. Volta phase plate cryo-EM of the small protein complex Prx3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khoshouei, Maryam; Radjainia, Mazdak; Phillips, Amy J.; Gerrard, Juliet A.; Mitra, Alok K.; Plitzko, Jürgen M.; Baumeister, Wolfgang; Danev, Radostin

    2016-01-01

    Cryo-EM of large, macromolecular assemblies has seen a significant increase in the numbers of high-resolution structures since the arrival of direct electron detectors. However, sub-nanometre resolution cryo-EM structures are rare compared with crystal structure depositions, particularly for relatively small particles (<400 kDa). Here we demonstrate the benefits of Volta phase plates for single-particle analysis by time-efficient cryo-EM structure determination of 257 kDa human peroxiredoxin-3 dodecamers at 4.4 Å resolution. The Volta phase plate improves the applicability of cryo-EM for small molecules and accelerates structure determination.

  8. Modeling of MHD edge containment in strip casting with ELEKTRA and CaPS-EM codes

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, F. C.

    2000-01-12

    This paper presents modeling studies of magnetohydrodynamics analysis in twin-roll casting. Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and ISPAT Inland Inc. (Inland), formerly Inland Steel Co., have worked together to develop a three-dimensional (3-D) computer model that can predict eddy currents, fluid flows, and liquid metal containment of an electromagnetic (EM) edge containment device. The model was verified by comparing predictions with experimental results of liquid metal containment and fluid flow in EM edge dams (EMDs) that were designed at Inland for twin-roll casting. This mathematical model can significantly shorten casting research on the use of EM fields for liquid metal containment and control. The model can optimize the EMD design so it is suitable for application, and minimize expensive time-consuming full-scale testing. Numerical simulation was performed by coupling a 3-D finite-element EM code (ELEKTRA) and a 3-D finite-difference fluids code (CaPS-EM) to solve heat transfer, fluid flow, and turbulence transport in a casting process that involves EM fields. ELEKTRA can predict the eddy-current distribution and the EM forces in complex geometries. CaPS-EM can model fluid flows with free surfaces. The computed 3-D magnetic fields and induced eddy currents in ELEKTRA are used as input to temperature- and flow-field computations in CaPS-EM. Results of the numerical simulation compared well with measurements obtained from both static and dynamic tests.

  9. Emergency medical services and "psych calls": Examining the work of urban EMS providers.

    PubMed

    Prener, Christopher; Lincoln, Alisa K

    2015-11-01

    Emergency medical technicians and paramedics form the backbone of the United States' Emergency Medical Service (EMS) system. Despite the frequent involvement of EMS with people with mental health and substance abuse problems, the nature and content of this work, as well as how EMS providers think about this work, have not been fully explored. Using data obtained through observations and interviews with providers at an urban American EMS agency, this paper provides an analysis of the ways in which EMS providers interact with people with mental illness and substance abuse problems, as well as providers' experiences with the mental health care system. Results demonstrate that EMS providers share common beliefs and frustrations about "psych calls" and the types of calls that involve people with behavioral health problems. In addition, providers described their understandings of the ways in which people with mental health and substance use problems "abuse the system" and the consequences of this abuse. Finally, EMS providers discuss the system-level factors that impact their work and specific barriers and challenges to care. These results suggest that additional work is needed to expand our understanding of the role of EMS providers in the care of people with behavioral health problems and that mental health practitioners and policy makers should include consideration of the important role of EMS and prehospital care in providing community-based supports for people with behavioral health needs. (PsycINFO Database Record

  10. Accuracy of EMS-Reported Last Known Normal Times in Suspected Acute Stroke Patients

    PubMed Central

    Curfman, David; Connor, Lisa Tabor; Moy, Hawnwan Philip; Heitsch, Laura; Panagos, Peter; Lee, Jin-Moo; Tan, David K.; Ford, Andria L.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Purpose The last known normal (LKN) time is a critical determinant of IV tPA eligibility; however, the accuracy of EMS-reported LKN times is unknown. We determined the congruence between EMS-reported and neurologist-determined LKN times and identified predictors of incongruent LKN times. Methods We prospectively collected EMS-reported LKN times for patients brought into the ED with suspected acute stroke and calculated the absolute difference between the EMS-reported and neurologist-determined LKN times (|ΔLKN|). We determined the rate of inappropriate IV tPA use if EMS-reported times had been used in place of neurologist-determined times. Univariate and multivariable linear regression assessed for any predictors of prolonged |ΔLKN|. Results Of 251 patients, mean and median |ΔLKN| were 28 and 0 minutes, respectively. |ΔLKN| was <15 min in 91% of the entire cohort and was <15 min in 80% of patients with a diagnosis of stroke (n=86). Of patients who received IV tPA, none would have been incorrectly excluded from IV tPA if the EMS LKN time had been used. Conversely, of patients who did not receive IV tPA, 6% would have been incorrectly included for IV tPA consideration had the EMS time been used. In patients with wake-up stroke symptoms, EMS underestimated LKN times: mean EMS LKN time - neurologist LKN time = −208 minutes. The presence of wake-up stroke symptoms (p<0.0001) and older age (p=0.019) were independent predictors of prolonged |ΔLKN|. Conclusions EMS-reported LKN times were largely congruent with neurologist-determined times. Focused EMS training regarding wake-up stroke symptoms may further improve accuracy. PMID:24643409

  11. EM-21 Retrieval Knowledge Center: Waste Retrieval Challenges

    SciTech Connect

    Fellinger, Andrew P.; Rinker, Michael W.; Berglin, Eric J.; Minichan, Richard L.; Poirier, Micheal R.; Gauglitz, Phillip A.; Martin, Bruce A.; Hatchell, Brian K.; Saldivar, Eloy; Mullen, O Dennis; Chapman, Noel F.; Wells, Beric E.; Gibbons, Peter W.

    2009-04-10

    EM-21 is the Waste Processing Division of the Office of Engineering and Technology, within the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM). In August of 2008, EM-21 began an initiative to develop a Retrieval Knowledge Center (RKC) to provide the DOE, high level waste retrieval operators, and technology developers with centralized and focused location to share knowledge and expertise that will be used to address retrieval challenges across the DOE complex. The RKC is also designed to facilitate information sharing across the DOE Waste Site Complex through workshops, and a searchable database of waste retrieval technology information. The database may be used to research effective technology approaches for specific retrieval tasks and to take advantage of the lessons learned from previous operations. It is also expected to be effective for remaining current with state-of-the-art of retrieval technologies and ongoing development within the DOE Complex. To encourage collaboration of DOE sites with waste retrieval issues, the RKC team is co-led by the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Two RKC workshops were held in the Fall of 2008. The purpose of these workshops was to define top level waste retrieval functional areas, exchange lessons learned, and develop a path forward to support a strategic business plan focused on technology needs for retrieval. The primary participants involved in these workshops included retrieval personnel and laboratory staff that are associated with Hanford and Savannah River Sites since the majority of remaining DOE waste tanks are located at these sites. This report summarizes and documents the results of the initial RKC workshops. Technology challenges identified from these workshops and presented here are expected to be a key component to defining future RKC-directed tasks designed to facilitate tank waste retrieval solutions.

  12. Covariance Matrix Estimation for the Cryo-EM Heterogeneity Problem.

    PubMed

    Katsevich, E; Katsevich, A; Singer, A

    2015-01-22

    In cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), a microscope generates a top view of a sample of randomly oriented copies of a molecule. The problem of single particle reconstruction (SPR) from cryo-EM is to use the resulting set of noisy two-dimensional projection images taken at unknown directions to reconstruct the three-dimensional (3D) structure of the molecule. In some situations, the molecule under examination exhibits structural variability, which poses a fundamental challenge in SPR. The heterogeneity problem is the task of mapping the space of conformational states of a molecule. It has been previously suggested that the leading eigenvectors of the covariance matrix of the 3D molecules can be used to solve the heterogeneity problem. Estimating the covariance matrix is challenging, since only projections of the molecules are observed, but not the molecules themselves. In this paper, we formulate a general problem of covariance estimation from noisy projections of samples. This problem has intimate connections with matrix completion problems and high-dimensional principal component analysis. We propose an estimator and prove its consistency. When there are finitely many heterogeneity classes, the spectrum of the estimated covariance matrix reveals the number of classes. The estimator can be found as the solution to a certain linear system. In the cryo-EM case, the linear operator to be inverted, which we term the projection covariance transform, is an important object in covariance estimation for tomographic problems involving structural variation. Inverting it involves applying a filter akin to the ramp filter in tomography. We design a basis in which this linear operator is sparse and thus can be tractably inverted despite its large size. We demonstrate via numerical experiments on synthetic datasets the robustness of our algorithm to high levels of noise.

  13. Perda de massa em ventos empoeirados de estrelas supergigantes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vidotto, A. A.; Jatenco-Pereira, V.

    2003-08-01

    Em praticamente todas as regiões do diagrama HR, as estrelas apresentam evidências observacionais de perda de massa. Na literatura, pode-se encontrar trabalhos que tratam tanto do diagnóstico da perda de massa como da construção de modelos que visam explicá-la. O amortecimento de ondas Alfvén tem sido utilizado como mecanismo de aceleração de ventos homogêneos. Entretanto, sabe-se que os envelopes de estrelas frias contêm grãos sólidos e moléculas. Com o intuito de estudar a interação entre as ondas Alfvén e a poeira e a sua conseqüência na aceleração do vento estelar, Falceta-Gonçalves & Jatenco-Pereira (2002) desenvolveram um modelo de perda de massa para estrelas supergigantes. Neste trabalho, apresentamos um estudo do modelo acima proposto para avaliar a dependência da taxa de perda de massa com alguns parâmetros iniciais como, por exemplo, a densidade r0, o campo magnético B0, o comprimento de amortecimento da onda L0, seu fluxo f0, entre outros. Sendo assim, aumentando f0 de 10% a partir de valores de referência, vimos que aumenta consideravelmente, enquanto que um aumento de mesmo valor em r0, B0 e L0 acarreta uma diminuição em .

  14. Covariance Matrix Estimation for the Cryo-EM Heterogeneity Problem*

    PubMed Central

    Katsevich, E.; Katsevich, A.; Singer, A.

    2015-01-01

    In cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), a microscope generates a top view of a sample of randomly oriented copies of a molecule. The problem of single particle reconstruction (SPR) from cryo-EM is to use the resulting set of noisy two-dimensional projection images taken at unknown directions to reconstruct the three-dimensional (3D) structure of the molecule. In some situations, the molecule under examination exhibits structural variability, which poses a fundamental challenge in SPR. The heterogeneity problem is the task of mapping the space of conformational states of a molecule. It has been previously suggested that the leading eigenvectors of the covariance matrix of the 3D molecules can be used to solve the heterogeneity problem. Estimating the covariance matrix is challenging, since only projections of the molecules are observed, but not the molecules themselves. In this paper, we formulate a general problem of covariance estimation from noisy projections of samples. This problem has intimate connections with matrix completion problems and high-dimensional principal component analysis. We propose an estimator and prove its consistency. When there are finitely many heterogeneity classes, the spectrum of the estimated covariance matrix reveals the number of classes. The estimator can be found as the solution to a certain linear system. In the cryo-EM case, the linear operator to be inverted, which we term the projection covariance transform, is an important object in covariance estimation for tomographic problems involving structural variation. Inverting it involves applying a filter akin to the ramp filter in tomography. We design a basis in which this linear operator is sparse and thus can be tractably inverted despite its large size. We demonstrate via numerical experiments on synthetic datasets the robustness of our algorithm to high levels of noise. PMID:25699132

  15. Testing For EM Upsets In Aircraft Control Computers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Belcastro, Celeste M.

    1994-01-01

    Effects of transient electrical signals evaluated in laboratory tests. Method of evaluating nominally fault-tolerant, aircraft-type digital-computer-based control system devised. Provides for evaluation of susceptibility of system to upset and evaluation of integrity of control when system subjected to transient electrical signals like those induced by electromagnetic (EM) source, in this case lightning. Beyond aerospace applications, fault-tolerant control systems becoming more wide-spread in industry; such as in automobiles. Method supports practical, systematic tests for evaluation of designs of fault-tolerant control systems.

  16. Theme park EMS. It's no Mickey Mouse operation.

    PubMed

    Philips, J H

    1995-07-01

    In a single shift, they can rescue someone trapped in a time warp, perform CPR while menacing monsters look over their shoulders or calmly watch as a motorboat chase ends in a huge ball of fire. It's just another routine day for EMS providers in America's theme parks, where getting ready for unusual calls is the norm. JEMS went behind the scenes with theme park responders to explore the unique challenges of their service environment. What we found was a group of super-dedicated professionals who place genuine hospitality right alongside quality patient care.

  17. Unravelling the structures of biological macromolecules by cryo-EM

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez-Leiro, Rafael; Scheres, Sjors H.W.

    2016-01-01

    Preface Understanding how proteins and other biological macromolecules perform their complicated tasks in the living cell is often aided by knowledge of their three-dimensional structures. Because many tasks involve the cleavage or formation of chemical bonds, structural characterisation at the atomic level is most useful. Recent developments in electron microscopy of frozen hydrated samples (cryo-EM) have provided unprecedented opportunities for the structural characterization of biological macromolecules. This is resulting in a wave of new information about biological processes that were impossible to characterize with previously existing techniques in structural biology. PMID:27629640

  18. The White Dwarf in EM Cygni: Beyond the Veil

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-07-10

    reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. THE WHITE DWARF IN EM CYGNI: BEYOND THE VEIL∗ Patrick Godon1,4, Edward M. Sion1, Paul E. Barrett2, and Albert P. Linnell3 1...However, more recent full three-dimensional hydrodynami- cal simulations, e.g., (Blondin 1998; Kunze et al. 2001; Bisikalo et al. 2003), have followed...deflection is believed to cause X-ray absorption in CVs (and LMXBs) around orbital phase 0.7, if the inclination is at least 65◦ ( Kunze et al. 2001

  19. Single-particle cryo-EM at crystallographic resolution

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Yifan

    2015-01-01

    Until only a few years ago, single-particle electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) was usually not the first choice for many structural biologists due to its limited resolution in the range of nanometer to subnanometer. Now, this method rivals X-ray crystallography in terms of resolution and can be used to determine atomic structures of macromolecules that are either refractory to crystallization or difficult to crystallize in specific functional states. In this review, I discuss the recent breakthroughs in both hardware and software that transformed cryo-microscopy, enabling understanding of complex biomolecules and their functions at atomic level. PMID:25910205

  20. State of the Art in EM Field Computation

    SciTech Connect

    Ng, C.; Akcelik, V.; Candel, A.; Chen, S.; Folwell, N.; Ge, L.; Guetz, A.; Jiang, H.; Kabel, A.; Lee, L.-Q.; Li, Z.; Prudencio, E.; Schussman, G.; Uplenchwar, R.; Xiao, L.; Ko, K.; /SLAC

    2006-09-25

    This paper presents the advances in electromagnetic (EM) field computation that have been enabled by the US DOE SciDAC Accelerator Science and Technology project which supports the development and application of a suite of electromagnetic codes based on the higher-order finite element method. Implemented on distributed memory supercomputers, this state of the art simulation capability has produced results which are of great interest to accelerator designers and with realism previously not possible with standard codes. Examples from work on the International Linear Collider (ILC) project are described.

  1. Demonstrate a Leap-Ahead EM Gun Armament System that Proves the Maturity of the Technology for Future Combat Systems

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2001-03-26

    This report, comprised of viewgraphs, discusses the Army EM program and the challenges it faces. Topics include pulsed power, hypervelocity lethality plans, systems and technology integration , and the army EM gun program.

  2. Method for evaluating compatibility of commercial electromagnetic (EM) microsensor tracking systems with surgical and imaging tables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nafis, Christopher; Jensen, Vern; von Jako, Ron

    2008-03-01

    Electromagnetic (EM) tracking systems have been successfully used for Surgical Navigation in ENT, cranial, and spine applications for several years. Catheter sized micro EM sensors have also been used in tightly controlled cardiac mapping and pulmonary applications. EM systems have the benefit over optical navigation systems of not requiring a line-of-sight between devices. Ferrous metals or conductive materials that are transient within the EM working volume may impact tracking performance. Effective methods for detecting and reporting EM field distortions are generally well known. Distortion compensation can be achieved for objects that have a static spatial relationship to a tracking sensor. New commercially available micro EM tracking systems offer opportunities for expanded image-guided navigation procedures. It is important to know and understand how well these systems perform with different surgical tables and ancillary equipment. By their design and intended use, micro EM sensors will be located at the distal tip of tracked devices and therefore be in closer proximity to the tables. Our goal was to define a simple and portable process that could be used to estimate the EM tracker accuracy, and to vet a large number of popular general surgery and imaging tables that are used in the United States and abroad.

  3. Developing State and National Evaluation Infrastructures- Guidance for the Challenges and Opportunities of EM&V

    SciTech Connect

    Schiller, Steven R.; Goldman, Charles A.

    2011-06-24

    Evaluating the impacts and effectiveness of energy efficiency programs is likely to become increasingly important for state policymakers and program administrators given legislative mandates and regulatory goals and increasing reliance on energy efficiency as a resource. In this paper, we summarize three activities that the authors have conducted that highlight the expanded role of evaluation, measurement and verification (EM&V): a study that identified and analyzed challenges in improving and scaling up EM&V activities; a scoping study that identified issues involved in developing a national efficiency EM&V standard; and lessons learned from providing technical assistance on EM&V issues to states that are ramping up energy efficiency programs. The lessons learned are summarized in 13 EM&V issues that policy makers should address in each jurisdiction and which are listed and briefly described. The paper also discusses how improving the effectiveness and reliability of EM&V will require additional capacity building, better access to existing EM&V resources, new methods to address emerging issues and technologies, and perhaps foundational documents and approaches to improving the credibility and cross jurisdictional comparability of efficiency investments. Two of the potential foundational documents discussed are a national EM&V standard or resource guide and regional deemed savings and algorithm databases.

  4. Global Convergence of the EM Algorithm for Unconstrained Latent Variable Models with Categorical Indicators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weissman, Alexander

    2013-01-01

    Convergence of the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm to a global optimum of the marginal log likelihood function for unconstrained latent variable models with categorical indicators is presented. The sufficient conditions under which global convergence of the EM algorithm is attainable are provided in an information-theoretic context by…

  5. EMS Instructor Training Program. National Standard Curriculum. Instructor Guide. Student Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (DOT), Washington, DC.

    This guide for teaching a course to prepare emergency medical service (EMS) trainers focuses on the skills necessary to present any of the Department of Transportation (DOT), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) EMS courses. Course topics are as follows: (1) introduction; (2) instructor roles and responsibilities; (3) legal…

  6. Broadband EM radiation amplification by means of a monochromatically driven two-level system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soldatov, Andrey V.

    2017-02-01

    It is shown that a two-level quantum system possessing dipole moment operator with permanent non-equal diagonal matrix elements and driven by external semiclassical monochromatic high-frequency electromagnetic (EM) (laser) field can amplify EM radiation waves of much lower frequency.

  7. Covariance Structure Model Fit Testing under Missing Data: An Application of the Supplemented EM Algorithm

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cai, Li; Lee, Taehun

    2009-01-01

    We apply the Supplemented EM algorithm (Meng & Rubin, 1991) to address a chronic problem with the "two-stage" fitting of covariance structure models in the presence of ignorable missing data: the lack of an asymptotically chi-square distributed goodness-of-fit statistic. We show that the Supplemented EM algorithm provides a…

  8. The Effect of Older Age on EMS Use for Transportation to an Emergency Department.

    PubMed

    Jones, Courtney M C; Wasserman, Erin B; Li, Timmy; Amidon, Ashley; Abbott, Marissa; Shah, Manish N

    2017-02-13

    Introduction Previous studies have found that older adults are more likely to use Emergency Medical Services (EMS) than younger adults, but the reasons for this remain understudied. Hypothesis/Problem This study aimed to determine if older age is associated with using EMS for transportation to an emergency department (ED) after controlling for confounding variables.

  9. Chapter 19: HVAC Controls (DDC/EMS/BAS) Evaluation Protocol

    SciTech Connect

    Romberger, J.

    2014-11-01

    The HVAC Controls Evaluation Protocol is designed to address evaluation issues for direct digital controls/energy management systems/building automation systems (DDC/EMS/BAS) that are installed to control heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment in commercial and institutional buildings. (This chapter refers to the DDC/EMS/BAS measure as HVAC controls.) This protocol may also be applicable to industrial facilities such as clean rooms and labs, which have either significant HVAC equipment or spaces requiring special environmental conditions. This protocol addresses only HVAC-related equipment and the energy savings estimation methods associated with installing such control systems as an energy efficiency measure. The affected equipment includes: Air-side equipment (air handlers, direct expansion systems, furnaces, other heating- and cooling-related devices, terminal air distribution equipment, and fans); Central plant equipment (chillers, cooling towers, boilers, and pumps). These controls may also operate or affect other end uses, such as lighting, domestic hot water, irrigation systems, and life safety systems such as fire alarms and other security systems. Considerable nonenergy benefits, such as maintenance scheduling, system component troubleshooting, equipment failure alarms, and increased equipment lifetime, may also be associated with these systems. When connected to building utility meters, these systems can also be valuable demand-limiting control tools. However, this protocol does not evaluate any of these additional capabilities and benefits.

  10. Surgical treatment of moyamoya disease in children: which is more effective procedure, EDAS or EMS?

    PubMed

    Fujita, K; Tamaki, N; Matsumoto, S

    1986-01-01

    At present, encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis (EDAS) and encephalomyosynangiosis (EMS) are the treatments of choice for moyamoya disease in children, but no attempts have been made to determine which is the more effective procedure, for the ischemic lesions in moyamoya disease. Ten patients (seven children and three adults) underwent EDAS and/or EMS: three patients EDAS on both sides; seven patients EDAS on one side and EMS on the other. These ten patients were followed up with a neurological examination and r-CBF and angiographic studies. Postoperative angiograms and r-CBF studies demonstrated more revascularization from the external carotid artery in sides treated with EDAS than with sides treated with EMS. From these results, it is concluded that the EDAS surgical procedure is superior to that of EMS for moyamoya disease.

  11. Fabrication and EM shielding properties of electrospining PANi/MWCNT/PEO fibrous membrane and its composite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhichun; Jiang, Xueyong; Liu, Yanju; Leng, Jinsong

    2012-04-01

    In this paper, Polyaniline-based fibrous membranes were fabricated with multi-walled carbon nanotubes and polyethylene oxide (PEO) by the electrospinning method. And then PANi/PEO/MWCNT fibrous membranes reinforced epoxy based nanocomposite was then fabricated. The morphology and electrical properties of PANi /MWCNT /PEO fibrous membrane was characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM). The morphologies of the membranes indicate that the electrospining method can fabricate well nano structures fibrous membrane. The EM properties of the composite reinforced with the electrospining fibrous membrane were measured by vector network analyzer. The results show that the permittivity real, image parts and permeability real part of the composite increase by filling with PANI/PEO and PANI/CNT/PEO membrane. The EM shielding and absorb performance is base on the dielectric dissipation. And different membranes made of different materials show different EM parameter, and different EM shielding performance, which can be used to the EM shielding and stealth material design and fabrication.

  12. A Generalized Fast Frequency Sweep Algorithm for Coupled Circuit-EM Simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Rockway, J D; Champagne, N J; Sharpe, R M; Fasenfest, B

    2004-01-14

    Frequency domain techniques are popular for analyzing electromagnetics (EM) and coupled circuit-EM problems. These techniques, such as the method of moments (MoM) and the finite element method (FEM), are used to determine the response of the EM portion of the problem at a single frequency. Since only one frequency is solved at a time, it may take a long time to calculate the parameters for wideband devices. In this paper, a fast frequency sweep based on the Asymptotic Wave Expansion (AWE) method is developed and applied to generalized mixed circuit-EM problems. The AWE method, which was originally developed for lumped-load circuit simulations, has recently been shown to be effective at quasi-static and low frequency full-wave simulations. Here it is applied to a full-wave MoM solver, capable of solving for metals, dielectrics, and coupled circuit-EM problems.

  13. The EM/MPM algorithm for segmentation of textured images: analysis and further experimental results.

    PubMed

    Comer, M L; Delp, E J

    2000-01-01

    In this paper we present new results relative to the "expectation-maximization/maximization of the posterior marginals" (EM/MPM) algorithm for simultaneous parameter estimation and segmentation of textured images. The EM/MPM algorithm uses a Markov random field model for the pixel class labels and alternately approximates the MPM estimate of the pixel class labels and estimates parameters of the observed image model. The goal of the EM/MPM algorithm is to minimize the expected value of the number of misclassified pixels. We present new theoretical results in this paper which show that the algorithm can be expected to achieve this goal, to the extent that the EM estimates of the model parameters are close to the true values of the model parameters. We also present new experimental results demonstrating the performance of the EM/MPM algorithm.

  14. Estudo em microondas do aprisionamento e precipitação de elétrons em explosões solares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosal, A. C.; Costa, J. E. R.

    2003-08-01

    Uma explosão solar é uma variação rápida e intensa do brilho que ocorre nas chamadas regiões ativas da atmosfera, constituídas por um plasma magnetizado com intensa indução magnética. Os modelos de explosões solares atuais, discutidos na literatura, apresentam características de aprisionamento e precipitação de elétrons em ambientes magnéticos simplificados. Neste trabalho, nos propusemos a separar a emissão dos elétrons aprisionados da emissão dos elétrons em precipitação apenas a partir da emissão em microondas, melhorando portanto o controle sobre o conjunto de parâmetros inferidos. A emissão em microondas da população em precipitação é bastante fraca e portanto da nossa base de dados de 130 explosões observadas pelo Rádio Polarímetro de Nobeyama, em sete freqüências, apenas para 32 foi possível separar as duas componentes de emissão com uma boa razão sinal/ruído. A partir de estudos das escalas de tempo das emissões devidas à variação gradual da emissão no aprisionamento e da variação rápida da emissão dos elétrons em precipitação foi possível obter a separação utilizando um filtro temporal nas emissões resultantes. Em nossa análise destas explosões estudamos os espectros girossincrotrônicos da emissão gradual, a qual associamos provir do topo dos arcos magnéticos e da emissão de variação rápida associada aos elétrons em precipitação. Estes espectros foram calculados e dos quais inferimos que a induçã