scispace - formally typeset
Search or ask a question

Showing papers in "Infection and Immunity in 2000"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The data suggest that IBD may be associated with distinctive changes in selective TLR expression in the intestinal epithelium, implying that alterations in the innate response system may contribute to the pathogenesis of these disorders.
Abstract: Initiation and perpetuation of the inflammatory intestinal responses in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may result from an exaggerated host defense reaction of the intestinal epithelium to endogenous lumenal bacterial flora. Intestinal epithelial cell lines constitutively express several functional Toll-like receptors (TLRs) which appear to be key regulators of the innate response system. The aim of this study was to characterize the expression pattern of TLR2, TLR3, TLR4, and TLR5 in primary intestinal epithelial cells from patients with IBD. Small intestinal and colonic biopsy specimens were collected from patients with IBD (Crohn's disease [CD], ulcerative colitis [UC]) and controls. Non-IBD specimens were assessed by immunofluorescence histochemistry using polyclonal antibodies specific for TLR2, TLR3, TLR4, and TLR5. Primary intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) of normal mucosa constitutively expressed TLR3 and TLR5, while TLR2 and TLR4 were only barely detectable. In active IBD, the expression of TLR3 and TLR4 was differentially modulated in the intestinal epithelium. TLR3 was significantly downregulated in IEC in active CD but not in UC. In contrast, TLR4 was strongly upregulated in both UC and CD. TLR2 and TLR5 expression remained unchanged in IBD. These data suggest that IBD may be associated with distinctive changes in selective TLR expression in the intestinal epithelium, implying that alterations in the innate response system may contribute to the pathogenesis of these disorders.

1,290 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Examples of pathogenic relationships are given, focusing on organisms for which many of the facets of their quorum-sensing systems have been elucidated.
Abstract: Bacteria were for a long time believed to exist as individual cells that sought primarily to find nutrients and multiply The discovery of intercellular communication among bacteria has led to the realization that bacteria are capable of coordinated activity that was once believed to be restricted to multicellular organisms The capacity to behave collectively as a group has obvious advantages, for example, the ability to migrate to a more suitable environment/better nutrient supply and to adopt new modes of growth, such as sporulation or biofilm formation, which may afford protection from deleterious environments The “language” used for this intercellular communication is based on small, self-generated signal molecules called autoinducers Through the use of autoinducers, bacteria can regulate their behavior according to population density The phenomenon of quorum sensing, or cell-to-cell communication, relies on the principle that when a single bacterium releases autoinducers (AIs) into the environment, their concentration is too low to be detected However, when sufficient bacteria are present, autoinducer concentrations reach a threshold level that allows the bacteria to sense a critical cell mass and, in response, to activate or repress target genes Most of the bacteria thus far identified that utilize quorum-sensing systems are associated in some way with plants or animals The nature of these relationships can be either amicable, as characterized by symbiotic bacteria, or adversarial, as seen with pathogenic bacteria There are numerous bacteria that have components of a quorum-sensing system for which the phenotype regulated remains an enigma Similarly, there are bacteria known to regulate a specific phenotype via quorum sensing for which one or more of the regulatory components have thus far eluded identification In this review we give examples of pathogenic relationships, focusing on organisms for which many of the facets of their quorum-sensing systems have been elucidated

1,094 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Functional studies demonstrate that the Arg753Gln polymorphism, in comparison to the wild-type TLR2 gene, is significantly less responsive to bacterial peptides derived from B. burgdorferi and T. pallidum.
Abstract: The toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) has gained importance as a major mammalian receptor for lipoproteins derived from the cell wall of a variety of bacteria, such as Borrelia burgdorferi, Treponema pallidum, and Mycoplasma fermentans. We were interested in identifying mutations in the TLR2 gene that might prove to be associated with altered susceptibility to septic shock. We performed a mutation screen of the TLR2 gene using single-stranded conformational polymorphism in 110 normal, healthy study subjects and detected an Arg753Gln mutation in three individuals. No other missense mutations were detected in the TLR2 open reading frame. Functional studies demonstrate that the Arg753Gln polymorphism, in comparison to the wild-type TLR2 gene, is significantly less responsive to bacterial peptides derived from B. burgdorferi and T. pallidum. In a septic shock population, the Arg753Gln TLR2 polymorphism occurred in 2 out of 91 septic patients. More importantly, both of the subjects with the TLR2 Arg753Gln polymorphism had staphylococcal infections. These findings suggest that a mutation in the TLR2 gene may predispose individuals to life-threatening bacterial infections.

606 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is concluded that MBL may be of importance in first-line immune defense against several important pathogens in immunocompromised children.
Abstract: Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) is a collagenous serum lectin believed to be of importance in innate immunity. Genetically determined low levels of the protein are known to predispose to infections. In this study the binding of purified MBL to pathogens isolated from immunocompromised children was investigated by flow cytometry. Diverse Candida species, Aspergillus fumigatus, Staphylococcus aureus, and beta-hemolytic group A streptococci exhibited strong binding of MBL, whereas Escherichia coli, Klebsiella species, and Haemophilus influenzae type b were characterized by heterogeneous binding patterns. In contrast, beta-hemolytic group B streptococci, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Staphylococcus epidermidis showed low levels of binding. Bound MBL was able to promote C4 deposition in a concentration-dependent manner. We conclude that MBL may be of importance in first-line immune defense against several important pathogens.

575 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The origin and historical evolution of key concepts used to describe the outcome of host-microbe interactions, namely, infection, commensalism, colonization, persistence, infection and disease, are critically reviewed.
Abstract: Most of the terminology used to define the host-microbe interaction has been in use for nearly a century. Early in this period, microbes were thought to be primary aggressors that governed the host-pathogen interaction, resulting in disease. Later, new information about the attributes of microbes and their hosts resulted in the understanding that the hostpathogen interaction does not always result in disease. This recognition, in turn, led to the introduction of terms to explain states in which microbes exist within hosts without causing overt disease and why some microbes only cause disease in certain hosts. Commensal, carrier state, and opportunist were terms put forth to account for microbes and conditions that were sometimes associated with disease but for which Koch’s postulates could not be fulfilled for one reason or another. Most of these terms were originally proposed to describe the behavior of particular microbes, rather than to define a more general host-microbe relationship. Recently, we reviewed the concepts of virulence and pathogenicity and described how the definitions for these terms changed over the years as microbiologists tried to find ways to convey that microbial pathogenesis reflects an interaction between two entities, host and pathogen (7). Based on the concept that host damage was the most relevant outcome of the host-pathogen interaction, we proposed revisions to the definitions of the terms pathogen, pathogenicity, and virulence (7). However, the proposed framework suggested a need to reexamine the terms used to define the outcomes of host-microbe interactions. Here, we critically review the origin and historical evolution of key concepts used to describe the outcome of host-microbe interactions, namely, infection, commensalism, colonization, persistence, infection, and disease. We propose that the meaning of these terms can be clarified by placing them in the context of the damage framework put forth previously (7).

521 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The results suggest that urease activity is involved in the pathogenesis of cryptococcosis but that the importance may be species and/or infection site specific.
Abstract: Urease catalyzes the hydrolysis of urea to ammonia and carbamate and has been found to be an important pathogenic factor for certain bacteria. Cryptococcus neoformans is a significant human pathogenic fungus that produces large amounts of urease; thus we wanted to investigate the importance of urease in the pathogenesis of cryptococcosis. We cloned and sequenced the genomic locus containing the single-copy C. neoformans urease gene (URE1) and used this to disrupt the native URE1 in the serotype A strain H99. The ure1 mutant strains were found to have in vitro growth characteristics, phenoloxidase activity, and capsule size similar to those of the wild type. Comparison of a ure1 mutant with H99 after intracisternal inoculation into corticosteroid-treated rabbits revealed no significant differences in colony counts recovered from the cerebrospinal fluid. However, when these two strains were compared in both the murine intravenous and inhalational infection models, there were significant differences in survival. Mice infected with a ure1 strain lived longer than mice infected with H99 in both models. The ure1 strain was restored to urease positivity by complementation with URE1, and two resulting transformants were significantly more pathogenic than the ure1 strain. Our results suggest that urease activity is involved in the pathogenesis of cryptococcosis but that the importance may be species and/or infection site specific.

478 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The existence of a yet-unknown family of intimin was suspected because several EHEC strains, isolated from human and cattle, did not react with any of the specific primer pairs, although these strains were eaepositive when primers amplifying the conserved 5′ end were used.
Abstract: Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) and enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) produce the characteristic "attaching and effacing" (A/E) lesion of the brush border. Intimin, an outer membrane protein encoded by eae, is responsible for the tight association of both pathogens with the host cell. Several eae have been cloned from different EPEC and EHEC strains isolated from humans and animals. These sequences are conserved in the N-terminal region but highly variable in the last C-terminal 280 amino acids (aa), where the cell binding activity is localized. Based on these considerations, we developed a panel of specific primers to investigate the eae heterogeneity of the variable 3' region by using PCR amplification. We then investigated the distribution of the known intimin types in a large collection of EPEC and EHEC strains isolated from humans and different animal species. The existence of a yet-unknown family of intimin was suspected because several EHEC strains, isolated from human and cattle, did not react with any of the specific primer pairs, although these strains were eae positive when primers amplifying the conserved 5' end were used. We then cloned and sequenced the eae present in one of these strains (EHEC of serotype O103:H2) and subsequently designed a PCR primer that recognizes in a specific manner the variable 3' region of this new intimin type. This intimin, referred to as "epsilon," was present in human and bovine EHEC strains of serogroups O8, O11, O45, O103, O121, and O165. Intimin epsilon is the largest intimin cloned to date (948 aa) and shares the greatest overall sequence identity with intimin beta, although analysis of the last C-terminal 280 aa suggests a greater similarity with intimins alpha and gamma.

441 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The cloning of the gene encoding the 32-kDa lipoprotein, designated LipL32, the most prominent protein in the leptospiral protein profile, is reported, indicating that LipL 32 may be important in the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and prevention ofLeptospirosis.
Abstract: We report the cloning of the gene encoding the 32-kDa lipoprotein, designated LipL32, the most prominent protein in the leptospiral protein profile. We obtained the N-terminal amino acid sequence of a staphylococcal V8 proteolytic-digest fragment to design an oligonucleotide probe. A Lambda-Zap II library containing EcoRI fragments of Leptospira kirschneri DNA was screened, and a 5.0-kb DNA fragment which contained the entire structural lipL32 gene was identified. Several lines of evidence indicate that LipL32 is lipid modified in a manner similar to that of other procaryotic lipoproteins. The deduced amino acid sequence of LipL32 would encode a 272-amino-acid polypeptide with a 19-amino-acid signal peptide, followed by a lipoprotein signal peptidase cleavage site. LipL32 is intrinsically labeled during incubation of L. kirschneri in media containing [(3)H]palmitate. The linkage of palmitate and the amino-terminal cysteine of LipL32 is acid labile. LipL32 is completely solubilized by Triton X-114 extraction of L. kirschneri; phase separation results in partitioning of LipL32 exclusively into the hydrophobic, detergent phase, indicating that it is a component of the leptospiral outer membrane. CaCl(2) (20 mM) must be present during phase separation for recovery of LipL32. LipL32 is expressed not only during cultivation but also during mammalian infection. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated intense LipL32 reactivity with L. kirschneri infecting proximal tubules of hamster kidneys. LipL32 is also a prominent immunogen during human leptospirosis. The sequence and expression of LipL32 is highly conserved among pathogenic Leptospira species. These findings indicate that LipL32 may be important in the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and prevention of leptospirosis.

432 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is suggested that the BCG-CWS induces TNF-α secretion from DC via TLR2 and TLR4 and that the secreted T NF-α induces the maturation of DC per se.
Abstract: The constituents of mycobacteria are an effective immune adjuvant, as observed with complete Freund's adjuvant. In this study, we demonstrated that the cell wall skeleton of Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG-CWS), a purified noninfectious material consisting of peptidoglycan, arabinogalactan, and mycolic acids, induces maturation of human dendritic cells (DC). Surface expression of CD40, CD80, CD83, and CD86 was increased by BCG-CWS on human immature DC, and the effect was similar to those of interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), heat-killed BCG, and viable BCG. BCG-CWS induced the secretion of TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IL-12 p40. CD83 expression was increased by a soluble factor secreted from BCG-CWS-treated DC and was completely inhibited by monoclonal antibodies against TNF-alpha. BCG-CWS-treated DC stimulated extensive allogeneic mixed lymphocyte reactions. The level of TNF-alpha secreted through BCG-CWS was partially suppressed in murine macrophages with no Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR 2) or TLR4 and was completely lost in TLR2 and TLR4 double-deficient macrophages. These results suggest that the BCG-CWS induces TNF-alpha secretion from DC via TLR2 and TLR4 and that the secreted TNF-alpha induces the maturation of DC per se.

423 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The observations suggest that C. neoformans occupies a unique niche among the intracellular pathogens whereby survival in phagocytic cells is accompanied by intrACEllular polysaccharide production, and this niche is associated with replication, residence in a membrane-bound phagosome, and cytotoxicity to macrophages, despite phagolysosomal fusion.
Abstract: To produce chronic infection, microbial pathogens must escape host immune defenses. Infection with the human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans is typically chronic. To understand the mechanism by which C. neoformans survives in tissue after the infection of immunocompetent hosts, we systematically studied the course of pulmonary infection in mice by electron microscopy. The macrophage was the primary phagocytic cell at all times of infection, but neutrophils also ingested yeast. Alveolar macrophages rapidly internalized yeast cells after intratracheal infection, and intracellular yeast cells were noted at all times of infection from 2 h through 28 days. However, the proportion of yeast cells in the intracellular and extracellular spaces varied with the time of infection. Early in infection, yeast cells were found predominantly in the intracellular compartment. A shift toward extracellular predominance occurred by 24 h that was accompanied by macrophage cytotoxicity and disruption. Later in infection, intracellular persistence in vivo was associated with replication, residence in a membrane-bound phagosome, polysaccharide accumulation inside cells, and cytotoxicity to macrophages, despite phagolysosomal fusion. Many phagocytic vacuoles with intracellular yeast had discontinuous membranes. Macrophage infection resulted in cells with a distinctive appearance characterized by large numbers of vacuoles filled with polysaccharide antigen. Similar results were observed in vitro using a macrophage-like cell line. Our results show that C. neoformans is a facultative intracellular pathogen in vivo. Furthermore, our observations suggest that C. neoformans occupies a unique niche among the intracellular pathogens whereby survival in phagocytic cells is accompanied by intracellular polysaccharide production.

412 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is suggested that different aspects of innate immune responses are differentially regulated and that commensal organisms have a role in stimulating mucosal epithelial cells in maintaining the barrier that contributes to homeostasis and host defense.
Abstract: Human gingival epithelial cells (HGE) express two antimicrobial peptides of the β-defensin family, human β-defensin 1 (hBD-1) and hBD-2, as well as cytokines and chemokines that contribute to innate immunity. In the present study, the expression and transcriptional regulation of hBD-2 was examined. HBD-2 mRNA was induced by cell wall extract of Fusobacterium nucleatum, an oral commensal microorganism, but not by that of Porphyromonas gingivalis, a periodontal pathogen. HBD-2 mRNA was also induced by the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA), an epithelial cell activator. HBD-2 mRNA was also expressed in 14 of 15 noninflamed gingival tissue samples. HBD-2 peptide was detected by immunofluorescence in HGE stimulated with F. nucleatum cell wall, consistent with induction of the mRNA by this stimulant. Kinetic analysis indicates involvement of multiple distinct signaling pathways in the regulation of hBD-2 mRNA; TNF-α and F. nucleatum cell wall induced hBD-2 mRNA rapidly (2 to 4 h), while PMA stimulation was slower (∼10 h). In contrast, each stimulant induced interleukin 8 (IL-8) within 1 h. The role of TNF-α as an intermediary in F. nucleatum signaling was ruled out by addition of anti-TNF-α that did not inhibit hBD-2 induction. However, inhibitor studies show that F. nucleatum stimulation of hBD-2 mRNA requires both new gene transcription and new protein synthesis. Bacterial lipopolysaccharides isolated from Escherichia coli andF. nucleatum were poor stimulants of hBD-2, although they up-regulated IL-8 mRNA. Collectively, our findings show inducible expression of hBD-2 mRNA via multiple pathways in HGE in a pattern that is distinct from that of IL-8 expression. We suggest that different aspects of innate immune responses are differentially regulated and that commensal organisms have a role in stimulating mucosal epithelial cells in maintaining the barrier that contributes to homeostasis and host defense.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: An initial demonstration that F. nucleatum adhered to and invaded HGEC and that this was accompanied by high levels of IL-8 secretion from the epithelial cells is provided, indicating the requirement of bacterial components in these processes.
Abstract: Bacteria are causative agents of periodontal diseases. Interactions between oral bacteria and gingival epithelial cells are essential aspects of periodontal infections. Using an in vitro tissue culture model, a selected group of gram-negative anaerobic bacteria frequently associated with periodontal diseases, including Bacteroides forsythus, Campylobacter curvus, Eikenella corrodens, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Prevotella intermedia, were examined for their ability to adhere to and invade primary cultures of human gingival epithelial cells (HGEC). The effects of these bacteria on the production of interleukin-8 (IL-8), a proinflammatory chemokine, were also measured. These studies provided an initial demonstration that F. nucleatum adhered to and invaded HGEC and that this was accompanied by high levels of IL-8 secretion from the epithelial cells. The attachment and invasion characteristics of F. nucleatum were also tested using KB cells, an oral epithelial cell line. The invasion was verified by transmission electron microscopy and with metabolic inhibitors. Invasion appeared to occur via a "zipping" mechanism and required the involvement of actins, microtubules, signal transduction, protein synthesis, and energy metabolism of the epithelial cell, as well as protein synthesis by F. nucleatum. A spontaneous mutant, lam, of F. nucleatum, isolated as defective in autoagglutination, was unable to attach to or invade HGEC or KB cells, further indicating the requirement of bacterial components in these processes. Sugar inhibition assays indicated that lectin-like interactions were involved in the attachment of F. nucleatum to KB cells. Investigation of these new virulence phenotypes should improve our understanding of the role of F. nucleatum in periodontal infections.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Experiments demonstrated virulence attenuation when the strains were administered orally but not when they were administered intraperitoneally, indicating that Ara4N addition may be important for resistance to host innate defenses within intestinal tissues.
Abstract: The two-component regulatory system PmrA-PmrB confers resistance of Salmonella spp. to cationic antimicrobial peptides (AP) such as polymyxin (PM), bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein, and azurocidin. This resistance occurs by transcriptional activation of two loci termed pmrE and pmrHFIJKLM. Both pmrE and pmrHFIJKLM produce products required for the biosynthesis of lipid A with 4-aminoarabinose (Ara4N). Ara4N addition creates a more positively charged lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and thus reduces cationic AP binding. Experiments were conducted to further analyze the regulation of the pmrHFIJKLM operon and the role of this operon and the surrounding genomic region in LPS modification and antimicrobial peptide resistance. The pmrHFIJKLM genes are cotranscribed and over 3,000-fold regulated by PmrA-PmrB. The pmrHFIJKLM promoter bound PmrA, as determined by gel shift analysis, as did a 40-bp region of the PmrA-PmrB-regulated pmrCAB promoter. Construction of nonpolar mutations in the pmrHFIJKLM genes showed that all except pmrM were necessary for the Ara4N addition to lipid A and PM resistance. The flanking genes of the operon (pmrG and pmrD) were not necessary for PM resistance, but pmrD was shown to be regulated by the PhoP-PhoQ regulatory system. BALB/c mice inoculated with pmrA and pmrHFIJKLM mutant strains demonstrated virulence attenuation when the strains were administered orally but not when they were administered intraperitoneally, indicating that Ara4N addition may be important for resistance to host innate defenses within intestinal tissues.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The isogenic virB11 mutant of strain 81-176 also demonstrated significantly reduced virulence in the ferret diarrheal disease model, suggesting that plasmids are involved in the virulence of a subset of C. jejuni pathogens.
Abstract: Campylobacter jejuni strain 81-176 contains two, previously undescribed plasmids, each of which is approximately 35 kb in size. Although one of the plasmids, termed pTet, carries a tetO gene, conjugative transfer of tetracycline resistance to another strain of C. jejuni could not be demonstrated. Partial sequence analysis of the second plasmid, pVir, revealed the presence of four open reading frames which encode proteins with significant sequence similarity to Helicobacter pylori proteins, including one encoded by the cag pathogenicity island. All four of these plasmid-encoded proteins show some level of homology to components of type IV secretion systems. Mutation of one of these plasmid genes, comB3, reduced both adherence to and invasion of INT407 cells to approximately one-third that seen with wild-type strain 81-176. Mutation of comB3 also reduced the natural transformation frequency. A mutation in a second plasmid gene, a virB11 homolog, resulted in a 6-fold reduction in adherence and an 11-fold reduction in invasion compared to the wild type. The isogenic virB11 mutant of strain 81-176 also demonstrated significantly reduced virulence in the ferret diarrheal disease model. The virB11 homolog was detected on plasmids in 6 out of 58 fresh clinical isolates of C. jejuni, suggesting that plasmids are involved in the virulence of a subset of C. jejuni pathogens.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The salt-resistant, antimicrobial properties of CAP18 and SMAP29 suggest that these peptides or congeneric structures have potential for the treatment of bacterial infections in normal and immunocompromised persons and individuals with cystic fibrosis.
Abstract: Endogenous antimicrobial peptides of the cathelicidin family contribute to innate immunity. The emergence of widespread antibiotic resistance in many commonly encountered bacteria requires the search for new bactericidal agents with therapeutic potential. Solid-phase synthesis was employed to prepare linear antimicrobial peptides found in cathelicidins of five mammals: human (FALL39/LL37), rabbit (CAP18), mouse (mCRAMP), rat (rCRAMP), and sheep (SMAP29 and SMAP34). These peptides were tested at ionic strengths of 25 and 175 mM against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Each peptide manifested activity against P. aeruginosa irrespective of the NaCl concentration. CAP18 and SMAP29 were the most effective peptides of the group against all test organisms under both low- and high-salt conditions. Select peptides of 15 to 21 residues, modeled on CAP18 (37 residues), retained activity against the gram-negative bacteria and methicillin-sensitive S. aureus, although the bactericidal activity was reduced compared to that of the parent peptide. In accordance with the behavior of the parent molecule, the truncated peptides adopted an α-helical structure in the presence of trifluoroethanol or lipopolysaccharide. The relationship between the bactericidal activity and several physiochemical properties of the cathelicidins was examined. The activities of the full-length peptides correlated positively with a predicted gradient of hydrophobicity along the peptide backbone and with net positive charge; they correlated inversely with relative abundance of anionic residues. The salt-resistant, antimicrobial properties of CAP18 and SMAP29 suggest that these peptides or congeneric structures have potential for the treatment of bacterial infections in normal and immunocompromised persons and individuals with cystic fibrosis.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: An inverse correlation between colonization of the human nasopharynx by Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae, both common upper respiratory pathogens, has been reported and elevated hydrogen peroxide production may be a means by which S. pneumoniae is able to inhibit a variety of competing organisms in the aerobic environment of the upper respiratory tract.
Abstract: An inverse correlation between colonization of the human nasopharynx by Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae, both common upper respiratory pathogens, has been reported. Studies were undertaken to determine if either of these organisms produces substances which inhibit growth of the other. Culture supernatants from S. pneumoniae inhibited growth of H. influenzae, whereas culture supernatants from H. influenzae had no effect on the growth of S. pneumoniae. Moreover, coculture of S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae led to a rapid decrease in viable counts of H. influenzae. The addition of purified catalase prevented killing of H. influenzae in coculture experiments, suggesting that hydrogen peroxide may be responsible for this bactericidal activity. H. influenzae was killed by concentrations of hydrogen peroxide similar to that produced by S. pneumoniae. Hydrogen peroxide is produced by the pneumococcus through the action of pyruvate oxidase (SpxB) under conditions of aerobic growth. Both an spxB mutant and a naturally occurring variant of S. pneumoniae, which is downregulated in SpxB expression, were unable to kill H. influenzae. A catalase-reversible inhibitory effect of S. pneumoniae on the growth of the respiratory tract pathogens Moraxella catarrhalis and Neisseria meningitidis was also observed. Elevated hydrogen peroxide production, therefore, may be a means by which S. pneumoniae is able to inhibit a variety of competing organisms in the aerobic environment of the upper respiratory tract.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is shown that vaccination with ESAT-6 delivered in a combination of MPL and DDA elicited a strong ESat-6-specific T-cell response and protective immunity comparable to that achieved with Mycobacterium bovis BCG.
Abstract: The ESAT-6 antigen from Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a dominant target for cell-mediated immunity in the early phase of tuberculosis (TB) in TB patients as well as in various animal models. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the potential of ESAT-6 in an experimental TB vaccine. We started out using dimethyl dioctadecylammonium bromide (DDA), an adjuvant which has been demonstrated to be efficient for the induction of cellular immune responses and has been used successfully before as a delivery system for TB vaccines. Here we demonstrate that, whereas immune responses to both short-term-culture filtrate and Ag85B are efficiently induced with DDA, this adjuvant was inefficient for the induction of immune responses to ESAT-6. Therefore, we investigated the modulatory effect of monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL), an immunomodulator which in different combinations has demonstrated strong adjuvant activity for both cellular and humoral immune responses. We show in the present study that vaccination with ESAT-6 delivered in a combination of MPL and DDA elicited a strong ESAT-6-specific T-cell response and protective immunity comparable to that achieved with Mycobacterium bovis BCG.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper shows for the first time that bioluminescence offers a method for monitoring S. aureus infections in vivo that is sensitive and noninvasive and requires fewer animals than conventional methodologies.
Abstract: Strains of Staphylococcus aureus were transformed with plasmid DNA containing a Photorhabdus luminescens lux operon (luxABCDE) that was genetically modified to be functional in both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. S. aureus cells containing this novel lux construct, downstream of an appropriate promoter sequence, are highly bioluminescent, allowing the detection of fewer than 100 CFU in vitro (direct detection of exponentially dividing cells in liquid culture). Furthermore, these bacteria produce light stably at 37°C and do not require exogenous aldehyde substrate, thus allowing S. aureus infections in living animals to be monitored by bioluminescence. Two strains of S. aureus 8325-4 that produce high levels of constitutive bioluminescence were injected into the thigh muscles of mice, and the animals were then either treated with the antibiotic amoxicillin or left untreated. Bioluminescence from bacteria present in the thighs of the mice was monitored in vivo over a period of 24 h. The effectiveness of the antibiotic in the treated animals could be measured by a decrease in the light signal. At 8 h, the infection in both groups of treated animals had begun to clear, as judged by a decrease in bioluminescence, and by 24 h no light signal could be detected. In contrast, both groups of untreated mice had strong bioluminescent signals at 24 h. Quantification of CFU from bacteria extracted from the thigh muscles of the mice correlated well with the bioluminescence data. This paper shows for the first time that bioluminescence offers a method for monitoring S. aureus infections in vivo that is sensitive and noninvasive and requires fewer animals than conventional methodologies.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is concluded that Iha is a novel bacterial adherence-conferring protein and is contained within an E. coli chromosomal island of conserved structure.
Abstract: The mechanisms used by Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli to adhere to epithelial cells are incompletely understood. Two cosmids from an E. coli O157:H7 DNA library contain an adherence-conferring chromosomal gene encoding a protein similar to iron-regulated gene A (IrgA) of Vibrio cholerae (M. B. Goldberg, S. A. Boyko, J. R. Butterton, J. A. Stoebner, S. M. Payne, and S. B. Calderwood, Mol. Microbiol. 6:2407-2418, 1992). We have termed the product of this gene the IrgA homologue adhesin (Iha), which is encoded by iha. Iha is 67 kDa in E. coli O157:H7 and 78 kDa in laboratory E. coli and is structurally unlike other known adhesins. DNA adjacent to iha contains tellurite resistance loci and is conserved in structure in distantly related pathogenic E. coli, but it is absent from nontoxigenic E. coli O55:H7, sorbitol-fermenting Stx-producing E. coli O157:H-, and laboratory E. coli. We have termed this region the tellurite resistance- and adherence-conferring island. We conclude that Iha is a novel bacterial adherence-conferring protein and is contained within an E. coli chromosomal island of conserved structure. Pathogenic E. coli O157:H7 has only recently acquired this island.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is reported that Ler is essential for the expression of multiple LEE-located genes in both EPEC and EHEC, including those encoding the type III secretion pathway, the secreted Esp proteins, Tir, and intimin, which indicates that Ler regulates additional virulence properties.
Abstract: Regulation of virulence gene expression in enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) and enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) is incompletely understood. In EPEC, the plasmid-encoded regulator Per is required for maximal expression of proteins encoded on the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE), and a LEE-encoded regulator (Ler) is part of the Per-mediated regulatory cascade upregulating the LEE2, LEE3, and LEE4 promoters. We now report that Ler is essential for the expression of multiple LEE-located genes in both EPEC and EHEC, including those encoding the type III secretion pathway, the secreted Esp proteins, Tir, and intimin. Ler is therefore central to the process of attaching and effacing (AE) lesion formation. Ler also regulates the expression of LEE-located genes not required for AE-lesion formation, including rorf2, orf10, rorf10, orf19, and espF, indicating that Ler regulates additional virulence properties. In addition, Ler regulates the expression of proteins encoded outside the LEE that are not essential for AE lesion formation, including TagA in EHEC and EspC in EPEC. delta ler mutants of both EPEC and EHEC show altered adherence to epithelial cells and express novel fimbriae. Ler is therefore a global regulator of virulence gene expression in EPEC and EHEC.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Results suggest that sprEand agr-like genes contribute to the virulence of E. faecalis OG1RF in this model, and that both gelE and fsr are necessary for gelatinase production.
Abstract: Three agr-like genes (fsrA, fsrB, and fsrC, for Enterococcus faecalis regulator) were found upstream of the previously reported gelatinase gene (gelE) and a downstream putative serine protease gene (sprE; accession number Z12296) of Enterococcus faecalis OG1RF. The deduced amino acid sequence of fsrA shows 26% identity and 38% similarity to Staphylococcus aureus AgrA (the response regulator of the accessory gene regulator system in the agr locus), FsrB shows 23% identity and 41% similarity to S. aureus AgrB, and FsrC shows 23% identity and 36% similarity to S. aureus AgrC (the sensor transducer of Agr system). Northern blot analysis suggested that gelE and sprE are cotranscribed and that fsrB and fsrC are also cotranscribed in OG1RF. Northern blot analysis of fsrA, fsrB, fsrC, gelE, and sprE insertion mutants showed that fsrB, fsrC, gelE, and sprE are not expressed in fsrA, fsrB, and fsrC mutants, while insertion in an open reading frame further upstream of fsrA did not effect the expression of these genes, suggesting that agr-like genes may be autoregulated and that they regulate gelE and sprE expression, as further confirmed by complementation of fsr gene mutations with a 6-kb fragment which contains all three fsr genes in the shuttle vector, pAT18. Testing of 95 other isolates of E. faecalis showed that 62% produced gelatinase (Gel(+)), while 91% (including all Gel(+) strains) hybridized to a gelE probe; 71% (including all Gel(+) strains) hybridized to an fsr probe, corroborating the conclusion that both gelE and fsr are necessary for gelatinase production. Testing of fsrA, fsrB, and sprE mutants in a mouse peritonitis model showed that sprE and agr-like gene mutants resulted in highly significantly prolonged survival compared to the parent strain OG1RF, a finding similar to what we had previously shown for a gelE mutant. These results suggest that sprE and agr-like genes contribute to the virulence of E. faecalis OG1RF in this model.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Cell-to-cell signaling controls many virulence genes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and quorum sensing plays a role in P. aerug in neonatal mice, and single mutant strains were reduced in virulence compared with the wild-type strain.
Abstract: Cell-to-cell signaling controls many virulence genes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We tested the virulence of las and rhl quorum-sensing mutants in neonatal mice. A lasI rhlI double mutant was nearly avirulent, and the respective single mutant strains were reduced in virulence compared with the wild-type strain. Quorum sensing plays a role in P. aeruginosa pneumonia in neonatal mice.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The cloning and sequence analysis of the gene encoding this 11A5 antigen showed a very high degree of sequence diversity among C. parvumisolates, and the numerous single-nucleotide and single-amino-acid polymorphisms defined five to six allelic classes, each characterized by additional intra-allelic sequence variation.
Abstract: The apicomplexan parasite Cryptosporidium parvum is a major cause of serious diarrheal disease in both humans and animals. No efficacious chemo- or immunotherapies have been identified for cryptosporidiosis, but certain antibodies directed against zoite surface antigens and/or proteins shed by gliding zoites have been shown to neutralize infectivity in vitro and/or to passively protect against, or ameliorate, disease in vivo. We previously used monoclonal antibody 11A5 to identify a 15-kDa surface glycoprotein that was shed behind motile sporozoites and was recognized by several lectins that neutralized parasite infectivity for cultured epithelial cells. Here we report the cloning and sequence analysis of the gene encoding this 11A5 antigen. Surprisingly, the gene encoded a 330-amino-acid, mucin-like glycoprotein that was predicted to contain an N-terminal signal peptide, a homopolymeric tract of serine residues, 36 sites of O-linked glycosylation, and a hydrophobic C-terminal peptide specifying attachment of a glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor. The single-copy gene lacked introns and was expressed during merogony to produce a 60-kDa precursor which was proteolytically cleaved to 15- and 45-kDa glycoprotein products that both localized to the surface of sporozoites and merozoites. The gp15/45/60 gene displayed a very high degree of sequence diversity among C. parvum isolates, and the numerous single-nucleotide and single-amino-acid polymorphisms defined five to six allelic classes, each characterized by additional intra-allelic sequence variation. The gp15/45/60 single-nucleotide polymorphisms will prove useful for haplotyping and fingerprinting isolates and for establishing meaningful relationships between C. parvum genotype and phenotype.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The extensive recombination which generated the mosaic pattern seen in the pspA locus suggests that natural selection has operated in the history of this gene locus and underscores the likelihood that PspA may be important in the interaction between the pneumococcus and its human host.
Abstract: Pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA) is a serologically variable protein of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Twenty-four diverse alleles of the pspA gene were sequenced to investigate the genetic basis for serologic diversity and to evaluate the potential of diversity to have an impact on PspA’s use in human vaccination. The 24 pspA gene sequences from unrelated strains revealed two major allelic types, termed “families,” subdivided into clades. A highly mosaic gene structure was observed in which individual mosaic sequence blocks in PspAs diverged from each other by over 20% in many cases. This level of divergence exceeds that observed for blocks in the penicillin-binding proteins of S. pneumoniae or in many cross-species comparisons of gene loci. Conversely, because the mosaic pattern is so complex, each pair of pspA genes also has numerous shared blocks, but the position of conserved blocks differs from gene pair to gene pair. A central region of pspA, important for eliciting protective antibodies, was found in six clades, which each diverge from the other clades by >20%. Sequence relationships among the 24 alleles analyzed over three windows were discordant, indicating that intragenic recombination has occurred within this locus. The extensive recombination which generated the mosaic pattern seen in the pspA locus suggests that natural selection has operated in the history of this gene locus and underscores the likelihood that PspA may be important in the interaction between the pneumococcus and its human host. Streptococcus pneumoniae is a formidable human pathogen responsible for a major portion of over 3 million deaths worldwide of children from pneumonia and meningitis (22). Recent increases in the rate of isolation of pneumococci resistant to antibiotics promote the expectation that morbidity and mortality caused by this pathogen will increase in the near future. The impact on health is greatest in very young children, elderly individuals, sickle cell patients, and immunocompromised persons of all ages (4). Currently available vaccines are based on immunity to capsular polysaccharides of the pneumococcus, of which 90 serotypes exist. A 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine, recommended for use in adults, is not effective for a large number of the at-risk individuals, including children less than 2 years of age, who are not yet capable of responding adequately to polysaccharide antigens (14, 29). A 7-valent conjugated polysaccharide vaccine was recently licensed for use in children (53), but nonvaccine serotypes will be likely to cause substantial pneumococcal disease even in vaccinated individuals (26, 27). Pneumococcal proteins either in addition to polysaccharides or as stand-alone vaccines have the potential to better protect those for whom the current vaccine is ineffective (5, 7, 45). PspA, which has been shown to effect antibodymediated protection in mouse models of pneumococcal disease (38) and to be safe in administration to humans (43), is one such candidate. PspA is an important virulence factor of the pneumococcus (63) that influences bacterium-host interactions through interference with the fixation of complement C3 (61). PspA also binds human lactoferrin (24). PspA is present on all pneumococcal strains and is serologically variable (15). Mouse models have shown that cross-reactive anti-PspA antisera are also

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The two complete genomic sequences of Helicobacter pylori J99 and 26695 were used to compare the paralogous families of genes predicted to encode outer membrane proteins which were present in each strain, and one subfamily of proteins is extremely highly related at the sequence level.
Abstract: The two complete genomic sequences of Helicobacter pylori J99 and 26695 were used to compare the paralogous families (related genes within one genome, likely to have related function) of genes predicted to encode outer membrane proteins which were present in each strain. We identified five paralogous gene families ranging in size from 3 to 33 members; two of these families contained members specific for either H. pylori J99 or H. pylori 26695. Most orthologous protein pairs (equivalent genes between two genomes, same function) shared considerable identity between the two strains. The unusual set of outer membrane proteins and the specialized outer membrane may be a reflection of the adaptation of H. pylori to the unique gastric environment where it is found. One subfamily of proteins, which contains both channel-forming and adhesin molecules, is extremely highly related at the sequence level and has likely arisen due to ancestral gene duplication. In addition, the largest paralogous family contained two essentially identical pairs of genes in both strains. The presence and genomic organization of these two pairs of duplicated genes were analyzed in a panel of independent H. pylori isolates. While one pair was present in every strain examined, one allele of the other pair appeared partially deleted in several isolates. Helicobacter pylori is a gram-negative bacterial pathogen, and almost 50% of the world’s population, approaching 100% in some countries, is infected (43). Infection with H. pylori has been associated with chronic gastritis and other severe gastroduodenal diseases such as peptic and gastric ulcers, gastric cancer, and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma (14, 29, 35). Several molecular techniques suggest that independent H. pylori isolates exhibit extensive genetic diversity (2, 3, 5, 8, 24, 25, 31, 42, 58‐60) which has been predicted to be important in pathogenesis, possibly relating to the wide variation in patient symptomology. Comparison of two completely sequenced H. pylori isolates, 26695 and J99, showed considerable allelic diversity at the nucleotide level between the gene coding sequences (4). Further, the comparison demonstrated that the chromosomes of these two strains were organized differently in a limited number of discrete regions but the overall gene order was more similar than would have been expected (4). The gram-negative bacterial outer membrane is an asymmetric bilayer with phospholipids in the inner monolayer and the bulky glycolipid lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the outer monolayer. Outer membranes constitute a semipermeable, size-dependent permeability barrier representing an effective barrier to hydrolytic enzymes, detergents, dyes, and hydrophobic antimicrobials. Channel-forming proteins, termed porins, also determine the permeability properties of the outer membrane. Porins contain transmembrane diffusion channels that allow small hydrophilic molecules, nutrients, and even small antibiotics to passively diffuse across the outer membrane. Most bacterial species possess only a modest number of different porins that constitute the most abundant species in the outer membrane. Many porins are nonselective and limit substrate diffusion mainly by size, whereas others have been shown to possess a high degree of selectivity for specific substrates (12, 40, 57). The primary amino acid sequences of porins from different bacterial species generally exhibit little sequence similarity, although all are characterized by a series of amphipathic amino acid sequence motifs (alternating hydrophilic and hydrophobic residues) that form the antiparallel b-sheet structures of the membrane-spanning core region (the b barrel). These b strands are connected on the periplasmic side by short amino acid loops and on the external side of the porin by longer loops. The external loops can then fold back into the core of the b

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Results indicate that PspA and PsaA may be useful for the elicitation of herd immunity in humans and their inclusion in a mucosal vaccine may enable such a vaccine to prevent invasive disease as well as carriage.
Abstract: Acquisition of pneumococci is generally from carriers rather than from infected individuals. Therefore, to induce herd immunity against Streptococcus pneumoniae it will be necessary to elicit protection against carriage. Capsular polysaccharide-protein conjugates, PspA, and PsaA are known to elicit some protection against nasopharyngeal carriage of pneumococci but do not always completely eliminate carriage. In this study, we observed that PsaA elicited better protection than did PspA against carriage. Pneumolysin elicited no protection against carriage. Immunization with a mixture of PsaA and PspA elicited the best protection against carriage. These results indicate that PspA and PsaA may be useful for the elicitation of herd immunity in humans. As PspA and pneumolysin are known to elicit immunity to bacteremia and pneumonia, their inclusion in a mucosal vaccine may enable such a vaccine to prevent invasive disease as well as carriage.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The striking immunodominance of antigens within the ESAT-6 family is discussed, and hypotheses are presented to explain this targeting of the immune response during TB infection.
Abstract: Culture filtrate from Mycobacterium tuberculosis contains protective antigens of relevance for the generation of a new antituberculosis vaccine. We have identified two previously uncharacterized M. tuberculosis proteins (TB7.3 and TB10.4) from the highly active low-mass fraction of culture filtrate. The molecules were characterized, mapped in a two-dimensional electrophoresis reference map of short-term culture filtrate, and compared with another recently identified low-mass protein, CFP10 (F. X. Berthet, P. B. Rasmussen, I. Rosenkrands, P. Andersen, and B. Gicquel. Microbiology 144:3195-3203, 1998), and the well-described ESAT-6 antigen. Genetic analyses demonstrated that TB10.4 as well as CFP10 belongs to the ESAT-6 family of low-mass proteins, whereas TB7.3 is a low-molecular-mass protein outside this family. The proteins were expressed in Escherichia coli, and their immunogenicity was tested in cultures of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from human tuberculosis (TB) patients, Mycobacterium bovis BCG-vaccinated donors, and nonvaccinated donors. The two ESAT-6 family members, TB10.4 and CFP10, were very strongly recognized and induced gamma interferon release at the same level (CFP10) as or at an even higher level (TB10.4) than ESAT-6. The non-ESAT-6 family member, TB7.3, for comparison, was recognized at a much lower level. CFP10 was found to distinguish TB patients from BCG-vaccinated donors and is, together with ESAT-6, an interesting candidate for the diagnosis of TB. The striking immunodominance of antigens within the ESAT-6 family is discussed, and hypotheses are presented to explain this targeting of the immune response during TB infection.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Gram-positive bacteria induce a cytokine pattern that promotes Th1 effector functions, similar to that induced by purified LPS, which is suggested to be beneficial to the immune system.
Abstract: Interleukin-10 (IL-10) and IL-12 are two cytokines secreted by monocytes/macrophages in response to bacterial products which have largely opposite effects on the immune system. IL-12 activates cytotoxicity and gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) secretion by T cells and NK cells, whereas IL-10 inhibits these functions. In the present study, the capacities of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria to induce IL-10 and IL-12 were compared. Monocytes from blood donors were stimulated with UV-killed bacteria from each of seven gram-positive and seven gram-negative bacterial species representing both aerobic and anaerobic commensals and pathogens. Gram-positive bacteria induced much more IL-12 than did gram-negative bacteria (median, 3,500 versus 120 pg/ml at an optimal dose of 25 bacteria/cell; P < 0.001), whereas gram-negative bacteria preferentially stimulated secretion of IL-10 (650 versus 200 pg/ml; P < 0.001). Gram-positive species also induced stronger major histocompatibility complex class II-restricted IFN-gamma production in unfractionated blood mononuclear cells than did gram-negative species (12,000 versus 3,600 pg/ml; P < 0.001). The poor IL-12-inducing capacity of gram-negative bacteria was not remediated by addition of blocking anti-IL-10 antibodies to the cultures. No isolated bacterial component could be identified that mimicked the potent induction of IL-12 by whole gram-positive bacteria, whereas purified LPS induced IL-10. The results suggest that gram-positive bacteria induce a cytokine pattern that promotes Th1 effector functions.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is demonstrated that the RIM101 pathway is required for C. albicans virulence in vivo and that the function of Rim8p in pathogenesis is to activate Rim101p.
Abstract: The ability of Candida albicans to respond to diverse environments is critical for its success as a pathogen. TheRIM101 pathway controls gene expression and the yeast-to-hyphal transition in C. albicans in response to changes in environmental pH in vitro. In this study, we found that theRIM101 pathway is necessary in vivo for pathogenesis. First, we show thatrim101−/rim101− andrim8−/rim8− mutants have a significant reduction in virulence using the mouse model of hematogenously disseminated systemic candidiasis. Second, these mutants show a marked reduction in kidney pathology. Third, therim101−/rim101− andrim8−/rim8− mutants show defects in the ability to damage endothelial cells in situ. Finally, we show that an activated allele of RIM101, RIM101-405, is a suppressor of the rim8− mutation in vivo as it rescues the virulence, histological, and endothelial damage defects of the rim8−/rim8−mutant. These results demonstrate that the RIM101 pathway is required for C. albicans virulence in vivo and that the function of Rim8p in pathogenesis is to activate Rim101p.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A chronic recruitment of neutrophils to the infection foci, namely, to the peritoneal cavity after intraperitoneal infection and to the spleen and liver after intravenous inoculation of the mycobacteria, points to a protective role of neutophils in the host defense mechanisms against M. tuberculosis.
Abstract: Evidence showing that neutrophils play a protective role in the host response to infection by different intracellular parasites has been published in the past few years. We assessed this issue with regard to the infection of mice with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We found a chronic recruitment of neutrophils to the infection foci, namely, to the peritoneal cavity after intraperitoneal infection and to the spleen and liver after intravenous inoculation of the mycobacteria. However, bacilli were never found associated with the recruited neutrophils but rather were found inside macrophages. The intravenous administration of the antineutrophil monoclonal antibody RB6-8C5 during the first week of infection led to selective and severe neutropenia associated with an enhancement of bacillary growth in the target organs of the mice infected by the intravenous route. The neutropenia-associated exacerbation of infection was most important in the liver, where a bacterial load 10-fold higher than that in nonneutropenic mice was found; the exacerbation in the liver occurred both during and after the neutropenic period. Early in infection by M. tuberculosis, neutropenic mice expressed lower levels of mRNAs for gamma interferon and inducible nitric oxide synthase in the liver compared to nondepleted mice. These results point to a protective role of neutrophils in the host defense mechanisms against M. tuberculosis, which occurs early in the infection and is not associated with the phagocytic activity of neutrophils but may be of an immunomodulatory nature.