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Showing papers in "Infection and Immunity in 2006"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The interaction of staphyloxanthin with reactive oxygen substances (ROS) is studied and it is shown that the wild type WT is more resistant to hydrogen peroxide, superoxide radical, hydroxyl radical, hypochloride, and neutrophil killing.
Abstract: Staphyloxanthin is a membrane-bound carotenoid of Staphylococcus aureus Here we studied the interaction of staphyloxanthin with reactive oxygen substances (ROS) and showed by comparative analysis of the wild type (WT) and an isogenic crtM mutant that the WT is more resistant to hydrogen peroxide, superoxide radical, hydroxyl radical, hypochloride, and neutrophil killing

437 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The ability of commercial prebiotics to inhibit attachment of microcolony-forming enteropathogenic Escherichia coli was investigated and observations suggest that some prebiotic oligosaccharides may have antiadhesive activity and directly inhibit the adherence of pathogens to the host epithelial cell surface.
Abstract: Prebiotic oligosaccharides are thought to provide beneficial effects in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals by stimulating growth of selected members of the intestinal microflora Another means by which prebiotic oligosaccharides may confer health benefits is via their antiadhesive activity Specifically, these oligosaccharides may directly inhibit infections by enteric pathogens due to their ability to act as structural mimics of the pathogen binding sites that coat the surface of gastrointestinal epithelial cells In this study, the ability of commercial prebiotics to inhibit attachment of microcolony-forming enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) was investigated The adherence of EPEC strain E2348/69 on HEp-2 and Caco-2 cells, in the presence of fructooligosaccharides, inulin, galactooligosaccharides (GOS), lactulose, and raffinose was determined by cultural enumeration and microscopy Purified GOS exhibited the greatest adherence inhibition on both HEp-2 and Caco-2 cells, reducing the adherence of EPEC by 65 and 70%, respectively In addition, the average number of bacteria per microcolony was significantly reduced from 14 to 4 when GOS was present Adherence inhibition by GOS was dose dependent, reaching a maximum at 16 mg/ml When GOS was added to adhered EPEC cells, no displacement was observed The expression of BfpA, a bundle-forming-pilus protein involved in localized adherence, was not affected by GOS, indicating that adherence inhibition was not due to the absence of this adherence factor In addition, GOS did not affect autoaggregation These observations suggest that some prebiotic oligosaccharides may have antiadhesive activity and directly inhibit the adherence of pathogens to the host epithelial cell surface

360 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This study provides crucial insights into the strategy of intracellular survival and measures taken by L. monocytogenes to escape the host cell responses.
Abstract: Listeria monocytogenes is a gram-positive, food-borne microorganism responsible for invasive infections with a high overall mortality. L. monocytogenes is among the very few microorganisms that can induce uptake into the host cell and subsequently enter the host cell cytosol by breaching the vacuolar membrane. We infected the murine macrophage cell line P388D1 with L. monocytogenes strain EGD-e and examined the gene expression profile of L. monocytogenes inside the vacuolar and cytosolic environments of the host cell by using whole-genome microarray and mutant analyses. We found that ∼17% of the total genome was mobilized to enable adaptation for intracellular growth. Intracellularly expressed genes showed responses typical of glucose limitation within bacteria, with a decrease in the amount of mRNA encoding enzymes in the central metabolism and a temporal induction of genes involved in alternative-carbon-source utilization pathways and their regulation. Adaptive intracellular gene expression involved genes that are associated with virulence, the general stress response, cell division, and changes in cell wall structure and included many genes with unknown functions. A total of 41 genes were species specific, being absent from the genome of the nonpathogenic Listeria innocua CLIP 11262 strain. We also detected 25 genes that were strain specific, i.e., absent from the genome of the previously sequenced L. monocytogenes F2365 serotype 4b strain, suggesting heterogeneity in the gene pool required for intracellular survival of L. monocytogenes in host cells. Overall, our study provides crucial insights into the strategy of intracellular survival and measures taken by L. monocytogenes to escape the host cell responses.

344 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is concluded that OspC is indispensable for establishing infection by B. burgdorferi in mammals but is not required at any other point of the mouse-tick infection cycle.
Abstract: This study demonstrates a strict temporal requirement for a virulence determinant of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi during a unique point in its natural infection cycle, which alternates between ticks and small mammals. OspC is a major surface protein produced by B. burgdorferi when infected ticks feed but whose synthesis decreases after transmission to a mammalian host. We have previously shown that spirochetes lacking OspC are competent to replicate in and migrate to the salivary glands of the tick vector but do not infect mice. Here we assessed the timing of the requirement for OspC by using an ospC mutant complemented with an unstable copy of the ospC gene and show that B. burgdorferi's requirement for OspC is specific to the mammal and limited to a critical early stage of mammalian infection. By using this unique system, we found that most bacterial reisolates from mice persistently infected with the initially complemented ospC mutant strain no longer carried the wild-type copy of ospC. Such spirochetes were acquired by feeding ticks and migrated to the tick salivary glands during subsequent feeding. Despite normal behavior in ticks, these ospC mutant spirochetes did not infect naive mice. ospC mutant spirochetes from persistently infected mice also failed to infect naive mice by tissue transplantation. We conclude that OspC is indispensable for establishing infection by B. burgdorferi in mammals but is not required at any other point of the mouse-tick infection cycle.

315 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The quorum-quenching AHL acylase may enable P. aeruginosa PAO1 to modulate its own quorum -sensing-dependent pathogenic potential and, moreover, offers possibilities for novel antipseudomonal therapies.
Abstract: The virulence of the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 is controlled by an N-acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL)-dependent quorum-sensing system. During functional analysis of putative acylase genes in the P. aeruginosa PAO1 genome, the PA2385 gene was found to encode an acylase that removes the fatty acid side chain from the homoserine lactone (HSL) nucleus of AHL-dependent quorum-sensing signal molecules. Analysis showed that the posttranslational processing of the acylase and the hydrolysis reaction type are similar to those of the beta-lactam acylases, strongly suggesting that the PA2385 protein is a member of the N-terminal nucleophile hydrolase superfamily. In a bioassay, the purified acylase was shown to degrade AHLs with side chains ranging in length from 11 to 14 carbons at physiologically relevant low concentrations. The substituent at the 3′ position of the side chain did not affect activity, indicating broad-range AHL quorum-quenching activity. Of the two main AHL signal molecules of P. aeruginosa PAO1, N-butanoyl-l-homoserine lactone (C4-HSL) and N-(3-oxododecanoyl)-l-homoserine lactone (3-oxo-C12-HSL), only 3-oxo-C12-HSL is degraded by the enzyme. Addition of the purified protein to P. aeruginosa PAO1 cultures completely inhibited accumulation of 3-oxo-C12-HSL and production of the signal molecule 2-heptyl-3-hydroxy-4(1H)-quinolone and reduced production of the virulence factors elastase and pyocyanin. Similar results were obtained when the PA2385 gene was overexpressed in P. aeruginosa. These results demonstrate that the protein has in situ quorum-quenching activity. The quorum-quenching AHL acylase may enable P. aeruginosa PAO1 to modulate its own quorum-sensing-dependent pathogenic potential and, moreover, offers possibilities for novel antipseudomonal therapies.

302 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: ESX-1-complemented BCG and M. microti strains were more efficiently engulfed by bone-marrow-derived macrophages than controls, and this may account for the enhanced in vivo growth of ESX- 1-carrying strains.
Abstract: The dedicated secretion system ESX-1 of Mycobacterium tuberculosis encoded by the extended RD1 region (extRD1) assures export of the ESAT-6 protein and its partner, the 10-kDa culture filtrate protein CFP-10, and is missing from the vaccine strains M. bovis BCG and M. microti. Here, we systematically investigated the involvement of each individual ESX-1 gene in the secretion of both antigens, specific immunogenicity, and virulence. ESX-1-complemented BCG and M. microti strains were more efficiently engulfed by bone-marrow-derived macrophages than controls, and this may account for the enhanced in vivo growth of ESX-1-carrying strains. Inactivation of gene pe35 (Rv3872) impaired expression of CFP-10 and ESAT-6, suggesting a role in regulation. Genes Rv3868, Rv3869, Rv3870, Rv3871, and Rv3877 encoding an ATP-dependent chaperone and translocon were essential for secretion of ESAT-6 and CFP-10 in contrast to ppe68 Rv3873 and Rv3876, whose inactivation did not impair secretion of ESAT-6. A strict correlation was found between ESAT-6 export and the generation of ESAT-6 specific T-cell responses in mice. Furthermore, ESAT-6 secretion and specific immunogenicity were almost always correlated with enhanced virulence in the SCID mouse model. Only loss of Rv3865 and part of Rv3866 did not affect ESAT-6 secretion or immunogenicity but led to attenuation. This suggests that Rv3865/66 represent a new virulence factor that is independent from ESAT-6 secretion. The present study has allowed us to identify new aspects of the extRD1 region of M. tuberculosis and to explore its role in the pathogenesis of tuberculosis.

302 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A number of unique genetic features which may confer specific metabolic and pathogenic properties on this strain are identified and regions of the C. jejuni genome that are hot spots for the integration of horizontally acquired genetic material are identified.
Abstract: Campylobacter jejuni, a major human enteric pathogen, exhibits significant strain-to-strain differences which result in differences in pathogenic potential. C. jejuni 81-176 is a highly virulent strain that exhibits unique pathogenic features and is used by many research laboratories. We have determined the nucleotide sequence of its genome and compared it to the genomes of other sequenced C. jejuni strains. We identified a number of unique genetic features which may confer specific metabolic and pathogenic properties on this strain. We have also identified regions of the C. jejuni genome that are hot spots for the integration of horizontally acquired genetic material. This information should help the understanding of the pathogenesis of C. jejuni and, in particular, the unique features of this highly pathogenic strain.

289 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Full human monoclonal antibodies (HuMAbs) that neutralize these toxins and prevent disease in hamsters are described and compared to controls, combination therapy reduced mortality in hamster models and offered enhanced protection.
Abstract: Clostridium difficile is the leading cause of nosocomial antibiotic-associated diarrhea, and recent outbreaks of strains with increased virulence underscore the importance of identifying novel approaches to treat and prevent relapse of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD). CDAD pathology is induced by two exotoxins, toxin A and toxin B, which have been shown to be cytotoxic and, in the case of toxin A, enterotoxic. In this report we describe fully human monoclonal antibodies (HuMAbs) that neutralize these toxins and prevent disease in hamsters. Transgenic mice carrying human immunoglobulin genes were used to isolate HuMAbs that neutralize the cytotoxic effects of either toxin A or toxin B in cell-based in vitro neutralization assays. Three anti-toxin A HuMAbs (3H2, CDA1, and 1B11) could all inhibit the enterotoxicity of toxin A in mouse intestinal loops and the in vivo toxicity in a systemic mouse model. Four anti-toxin B HuMAbs (MDX-1388, 103-174, 1G10, and 2A11) could neutralize cytotoxicity in vitro, although systemic toxicity in the mouse could not be neutralized. Anti-toxin A HuMAb CDA1 and anti-toxin B HuMAb MDX-1388 were tested in the well-established hamster model of C. difficile disease. CDA1 alone resulted in a statistically significant reduction of mortality in hamsters; however, the combination treatment offered enhanced protection. Compared to controls, combination therapy reduced mortality from 100% to 45% (P < 0.0001) in the primary disease hamster model and from 78% to 32% (P < 0.0001) in the less stringent relapse model.

282 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In vitro results suggest that GroEL proteins from La1 and other lactic acid bacteria might play a role in gastrointestinal homeostasis due to their ability to bind to components of the gastrointestinal mucosa and to aggregate H. pylori.
Abstract: Heat shock proteins of the GroEL or Hsp60 class are highly conserved proteins essential to all living organisms. Even though GroEL proteins are classically considered intracellular proteins, they have been found at the surface of several mucosal pathogens and have been implicated in cell attachment and immune modulation. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the GroEL protein of a gram-positive probiotic bacterium, Lactobacillus johnsonii La1 (NCC 533). Its presence at the bacterial surface was demonstrated using a whole-cell enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and could be detected in bacterial spent culture medium by immunoblotting. To assess binding of La1 GroEL to mucins and intestinal epithelial cells, the La1 GroEL protein was expressed in Escherichia coli. We report here that La1 recombinant GroEL (rGroEL) binds to mucins and epithelial cells and that this binding is pH dependent. Immunomodulation studies showed that La1 rGroEL stimulates interleukin-8 secretion in macrophages and HT29 cells in a CD14-dependent mechanism. This property is common to rGroEL from other gram-positive bacteria but not to the rGroEL of the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori. In addition, La1 rGroEL mediates the aggregation of H. pylori but not that of other intestinal pathogens. Our in vitro results suggest that GroEL proteins from La1 and other lactic acid bacteria might play a role in gastrointestinal homeostasis due to their ability to bind to components of the gastrointestinal mucosa and to aggregate H. pylori.

277 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Intranasal immunization with flagellin and the F1 antigen was protective against intranasAL challenge with virulent Y. pestis CO92, with 93 to 100% survival of immunized mice, and vaccination of cynomolgus monkeys with flagesllin induced a robust antigen-specific IgG antibody response.
Abstract: Gram-negative flagellin, a Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) agonist, is a potent inducer of innate immune effectors such as cytokines and nitric oxide. In the lung, flagellin induces a localized and transient innate immune response characterized by neutrophil infiltration and the production of cytokines and chemokines. In view of the extraordinary potency of flagellin as an inducer of innate immunity and the contribution of innate responses to the development of adaptive immunity, we evaluated the efficacy of recombinant Salmonella flagellin as an adjuvant in an acellular plague vaccine. Mice immunized intranasally or intratracheally with the F1 antigen of Yersinia pestis and flagellin exhibited dramatic increases in anti-F1 plasma immunoglobulin G (IgG) titers that remained stable over time. In contrast, control mice had low or undetectable antibody responses. The IgG1/IgG2a ratio of antibody titers against F1 in immunized mice is consistent with a Th2 bias. However, no significant antigen-specific IgE production was detected. Interferons, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and interleukin-6 were not essential for the adjuvant effects of flagellin. Preexisting antiflagellin antibodies had no significant effect on the adjuvant activity of flagellin. Importantly, intranasal immunization with flagellin and the F1 antigen was protective against intranasal challenge with virulent Y. pestis CO92, with 93 to 100% survival of immunized mice. Lastly, vaccination of cynomolgus monkeys with flagellin and a fusion of the F1 and V antigens of Y. pestis induced a robust antigen-specific IgG antibody response.

276 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a large-scale longitudinal study of M. marinum-induced tuberculosis in adult zebrafish where both innate and adaptive immunity are operant was conducted. And they found that the adaptive immunity is dependent on adaptive immunity.
Abstract: The zebrafish, a genetically tractable model vertebrate, is naturally susceptible to tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium marinum, a close genetic relative of the causative agent of human tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We previously developed a zebrafish embryo-M. marinum infection model to study host-pathogen interactions in the context of innate immunity. Here, we have constructed a flowthrough fish facility for the large-scale longitudinal study of M. marinum-induced tuberculosis in adult zebrafish where both innate and adaptive immunity are operant. We find that zebrafish are exquisitely susceptible to M. marinum strain M. Intraperitoneal injection of five organisms produces persistent granulomatous tuberculosis, while the injection of approximately 9,000 organisms leads to acute, fulminant disease. Bacterial burden, extent of disease, pathology, and host mortality progress in a time- and dose-dependent fashion. Zebrafish tuberculous granulomas undergo caseous necrosis, similar to human tuberculous granulomas. In contrast to mammalian tuberculous granulomas, zebrafish lesions contain few lymphocytes, calling into question the role of adaptive immunity in fish tuberculosis. However, like rag1 mutant mice infected with M. tuberculosis, we find that rag1 mutant zebrafish are hypersusceptible to M. marinum infection, demonstrating that the control of fish tuberculosis is dependent on adaptive immunity. We confirm the previous finding that M. marinum DeltaRD1 mutants are attenuated in adult zebrafish and extend this finding to show that DeltaRD1 predominantly produces nonnecrotizing, loose macrophage aggregates. This observation suggests that the macrophage aggregation defect associated with DeltaRD1 attenuation in zebrafish embryos is ongoing during adult infection.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: IsdB has excellent prospects for use as a vaccine against S. aureus disease in humans and was highly immunogenic in mice when it was formulated with amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate adjuvant, and the resulting antibody responses were associated with reproducible and significant protection in animal models of infection.
Abstract: Staphylococcus aureus is a major cause of nosocomial infections worldwide, and the rate of resistance to clinically relevant antibiotics, such as methicillin, is increasing; furthermore, there has been an increase in the number of methicillin-resistant S. aureus community-acquired infections. Effective treatment and prevention strategies are urgently needed. We investigated the potential of the S. aureus surface protein iron surface determinant B (IsdB) as a prophylactic vaccine against S. aureus infection. IsdB is an iron-sequestering protein that is conserved in diverse S. aureus clinical isolates, both methicillin resistant and methicillin sensitive, and it is expressed on the surface of all isolates tested. The vaccine was highly immunogenic in mice when it was formulated with amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate adjuvant, and the resulting antibody responses were associated with reproducible and significant protection in animal models of infection. The specificity of the protective immune responses in mice was demonstrated by using an S. aureus strain deficient for IsdB and HarA, a protein with a high level of identity to IsdB. We also demonstrated that IsdB is highly immunogenic in rhesus macaques, inducing a more-than-fivefold increase in antibody titers after a single immunization. Based on the data presented here, IsdB has excellent prospects for use as a vaccine against S. aureus disease in humans.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is demonstrated that alpha-toxin is not an essential virulence factor in the pathogenesis of necrotic enteritis in chickens.
Abstract: The Clostridium perfringens alpha-toxin has previously been implicated as the major virulence factor in necrotic enteritis in chickens, although definitive proof has not been reported. In this study an alpha-toxin mutant was constructed in a virulent chicken isolate and shown to retain full virulence in a chicken disease model. These results demonstrated that alpha-toxin is not an essential virulence factor in the pathogenesis of necrotic enteritis in chickens.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is concluded that GCB is associated with selective intramucosal colonization by E. coli associated with extraintestinal disease in phylogeny and virulence gene profile.
Abstract: The mucosa-associated microflora is increasingly considered to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. This study explored the possibility that an abnormal mucosal flora is involved in the etiopathogenesis of granulomatous colitis of Boxer dogs (GCB). Colonic biopsy samples from affected dogs (n = 13) and controls (n = 38) were examined by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with a eubacterial 16S rRNA probe. Culture, 16S ribosomal DNA sequencing, and histochemistry were used to guide subsequent FISH. GCB-associated Escherichia coli isolates were evaluated for their ability to invade and persist in cultured epithelial cells and macrophages as well as for serotype, phylogenetic group, genome size, overall genotype, and presence of virulence genes. Intramucosal gram-negative coccobacilli were present in 100% of GCB samples but not controls. Invasive bacteria hybridized with FISH probes to E. coli. Three of four GCB-associated E. coli isolates adhered to, invaded, and replicated within cultured epithelial cells. Invasion triggered a "splash"-type response, was decreased by cytochalasin D, genistein, colchicine, and wortmannin, and paralleled the behavior of the Crohn's disease-associated strain E. coli LF 82. GCB E. coli and LF 82 were diverse in serotype and overall genotype but similar in phylogeny (B2 and D), in virulence gene profiles (fyuA, irp1, irp2, chuA, fepC, ibeA, kpsMII, iss), in having a larger genome size than commensal E. coli, and in the presence of novel multilocus sequence types. We conclude that GCB is associated with selective intramucosal colonization by E. coli. E. coli strains associated with GCB and Crohn's disease have an adherent and invasive phenotype and novel multilocus sequence types and resemble E. coli associated with extraintestinal disease in phylogeny and virulence gene profile.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is concluded that immune responses to M. tuberculosis are relatively slow in the local and peripheral compartments and that necrosis occurs surprisingly quickly during granuloma formation.
Abstract: Little is known regarding the early events of infection of humans with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The cynomolgus macaque is a useful model of tuberculosis, with strong similarities to human tuberculosis. In this study, eight cynomolgus macaques were infected bronchoscopically with low-dose M. tuberculosis; clinical, immunologic, microbiologic, and pathologic events were assessed 3 to 6 weeks postinfection. Gross pathological abnormalities were observed as early as 3 weeks, including Ghon complex formation by 5 weeks postinfection. Caseous granulomas were observed in the lung as early as 4 weeks postinfection. Only caseous granulomas were observed in the lungs at these early time points, reflecting a rigorous initial response. T-cell activation (CD29 and CD69) and chemokine receptor (CXCR3 and CCR5) expression appeared localized to different anatomic sites. Activation markers were increased on cells from airways and only at modest levels on cells in peripheral blood. The priming of mycobacterium-specific T cells, characterized by the production of gamma interferon occurred slowly, with responses seen only after 4 weeks of infection. These responses were observed from T lymphocytes in blood, airways, and hilar lymph node, with responses predominantly localized to the site of infection. From these studies, we conclude that immune responses to M. tuberculosis are relatively slow in the local and peripheral compartments and that necrosis occurs surprisingly quickly during granuloma formation.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is shown that Casp-1 is essential for host innate immune defense against S. enterica serovar Typhimurium and that Casing-1 substrates are required at distinct times and anatomical sites and that IL-1β is critical for the intestinal phase of the disease.
Abstract: Caspase-1 (Casp-1) mediates the processing of the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-18 to their mature forms. Casp-1-deficient mice succumb more rapidly to Salmonella challenge than do wild-type animals. Both Casp-1 substrates, IL-18 and IL-1β, are relevant for control of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. We used IL-18−/− and IL-1β−/− mice in addition to administration of recombinant IL-18 to Casp-1−/− mice to demonstrate that IL-18 is important for resistance to the systemic infection but not for resistance to the intestinal phase of the infection. This suggests that IL-1β is critical for the intestinal phase of the disease. Thus, we show that Casp-1 is essential for host innate immune defense against S. enterica serovar Typhimurium and that Casp-1 substrates are required at distinct times and anatomical sites.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This study represents the first genome-wide expression analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from clinical lung samples, which has enabled the identification of M. tuberculosis genes actively expressed during pulmonary tuberculosis.
Abstract: Although tuberculosis remains a substantial global threat, the mechanisms that enable mycobacterial persistence and replication within the human host are ill defined. This study represents the first genome-wide expression analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from clinical lung samples, which has enabled the identification of M. tuberculosis genes actively expressed during pulmonary tuberculosis. To obtain optimal information from our DNA array analyses, we analyzed the differentially expressed genes within the context of computationally inferred protein networks. Protein networks were constructed using functional linkages established by the Rosetta stone, phylogenetic profile, conserved gene neighbor, and operon computational methods. This combined approach revealed that during pulmonary tuberculosis, M. tuberculosis actively transcribes a number of genes involved in active fortification and evasion from host defense systems. These genes may provide targets for novel intervention strategies.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The study provides direct evidence for a hitherto unknown mechanism whereby the junction-dependent barrier of the respiratory epithelium is selectively altered by rhamnolipid-deficient P. aeruginosa.
Abstract: The opportunistic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes chronic respiratory infections in cystic fibrosis and immunocompromised individuals. Bacterial adherence to the basolateral domain of the host cells and internalization are thought to participate in P. aeruginosa pathogenicity. However, the mechanism by which the pathogen initially modulates the paracellular permeability of polarized respiratory epithelia remains to be understood. To investigate this mechanism, we have searched for virulence factors secreted by P. aeruginosa that affect the structure of human airway epithelium in the early stages of infection. We have found that only bacterial strains secreting rhamnolipids were efficient in modulating the barrier function of an in vitro-reconstituted human respiratory epithelium, irrespective of their release of elastase and lipopolysaccharide. In contrast to previous reports, we document that P. aeruginosa was not internalized by epithelial cells. We further report that purified rhamnolipids, applied on the surfaces of the epithelia, were sufficient to functionally disrupt the epithelia and to promote the paracellular invasion of rhamnolipid-deficient P. aeruginosa. The mechanism involves the incorporation of rhamnolipids within the host cell membrane, leading to tight-junction alterations. The study provides direct evidence for a hitherto unknown mechanism whereby the junction-dependent barrier of the respiratory epithelium is selectively altered by rhamnolipids.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This is the first work to identify those proteins that are immunogenic during chronic S. aureus biofilm infections and to simultaneously show the global relationship between the antigens expressed during an in vivo infection and the corresponding in vitro transcriptomic and proteomic gene expression levels.
Abstract: Staphylococcus aureus causes persistent, recurrent infections (e.g., osteomyelitis) by forming biofilms. To survey the antibody-mediated immune response and identify those proteins that are immunogenic in an S. aureus biofilm infection, the tibias of rabbits were infected with methicillin-resistant S. aureus to produce chronic osteomyelitis. Sera were collected prior to infection and at 14, 28, and 42 days postinfection. The sera were used to perform Western blot assays on total protein from biofilm grown in vitro and separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Those proteins recognized by host antibodies in the harvested sera were identified via matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight analysis. Using protein from mechanically disrupted total and fractionated biofilm protein samples, we identified 26 and 22 immunogens, respectively. These included a cell surface-associated β-lactamase, lipoprotein, lipase, autolysin, and an ABC transporter lipoprotein. Studies were also performed using microarray analyses and confirmed the biofilm-specific up-regulation of most of these genes. Therefore, although the biofilm antigens are recognized by the immune system, the biofilm infection can persist. However, these proteins, when delivered as vaccines, may be important in directing the immune system toward an early and effective antibody-mediated response to prevent chronic S. aureus infections. Previous works have identified S. aureus proteins that are immunogenic during acute infections, such as sepsis. However, this is the first work to identify these immunogens during chronic S. aureus biofilm infections and to simultaneously show the global relationship between the antigens expressed during an in vivo infection and the corresponding in vitro transcriptomic and proteomic gene expression levels.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A general scheme of quorum-sensing regulation of biofilm development in staphylococci, which contrasts with that observed in many other bacterial pathogens, is indicated.
Abstract: Nosocomial infections caused by Staphylococcus epidermidis are characterized by biofilm formation on implanted medical devices. Quorum-sensing regulation plays a major role in the biofilm development of many bacterial pathogens. Here, we describe luxS, a quorum-sensing system in staphylococci that has a significant impact on biofilm development and virulence. We constructed an isogenic ΔluxS mutant strain of a biofilm-forming clinical isolate of S. epidermidis and demonstrated that luxS signaling is functional in S. epidermidis. The mutant strain showed increased biofilm formation in vitro and enhanced virulence in a rat model of biofilm-associated infection. Genetic complementation and addition of autoinducer 2-containing culture filtrate restored the wild-type phenotype, demonstrating that luxS repressed biofilm formation through a cell-cell signaling mechanism based on autoinducer 2 secretion. Enhanced production of the biofilm exopolysaccharide polysaccharide intercellular adhesin in the mutant strain is presumably the major cause of the observed phenotype. The agr quorum-sensing system has previously been shown to impact biofilm development and biofilm-associated infection in a way similar to that of luxS, although by regulation of different factors. Our study indicates a general scheme of quorum-sensing regulation of biofilm development in staphylococci, which contrasts with that observed in many other bacterial pathogens.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The data suggest that the absence of d-alanine in LTA plays a role in environmental interactions, probably by modulating the net negative charge of the bacterial cell surface, and therefore it may be involved in the pathogenesis of this organism.
Abstract: Enterococcus faecalis is among the predominant causes of nosocomial infections. Surface molecules like d-alanine lipoteichoic acid (LTA) perform several functions in gram-positive bacteria, such as maintenance of cationic homeostasis and modulation of autolytic activities. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of d-alanine esters of teichoic acids on biofilm production and adhesion, autolysis, antimicrobial peptide sensitivity, and opsonic killing. A deletion mutant of the dltA gene was created in a clinical E. faecalis isolate. The absence of d-alanine in the LTA of the dltA deletion mutant was confirmed by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The wild-type strain and the deletion mutant did not show any significant differences in growth curve, morphology, or autolysis. However, the mutant produced significantly less biofilm when grown in the presence of 1% glucose (51.1% compared to that of the wild type); adhesion to eukaryotic cells was diminished. The mutant absorbed 71.1% of the opsonic antibodies, while absorption with the wild type resulted in a 93.2% reduction in killing. Sensitivity to several cationic antimicrobial peptides (polymyxin B, colistin, and nisin) was considerably increased in the mutant strain, confirming similar results from other studies of gram-positive bacteria. Our data suggest that the absence of d-alanine in LTA plays a role in environmental interactions, probably by modulating the net negative charge of the bacterial cell surface, and therefore it may be involved in the pathogenesis of this organism.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is demonstrated that Per2-deficient mice were more resistant to lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced endotoxic shock than control wild-type mice and suggested that Per1 is an important regulator of NK cell function, therefore providing the first direct link between the circadian clock system and innate immune responses.
Abstract: The Period 2 (Per2) gene is a key molecular component in controlling mammalian circadian rhythms at the levels of gene expression, physiology, and pathogenesis. Although many immune parameters, such as the number of different subtypes of circulating immune cells and the level of cytokine production in response to infection with bacteria and viruses, have been well documented to display a circadian pattern in mammals, the basic features of molecular clock components in the immune system and the role of clock genes in regulating host immune defenses remain uncharacterized. Previously, we have reported that circadian clock genes oscillate in human mononuclear cells. Here we report that Per2-deficient mice were more resistant to lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced endotoxic shock than control wild-type mice. We further demonstrate that the levels of the proinflammatory cytokines gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) in the serum were dramatically decreased in Per2−/− mice following LPS challenge, while production of tumor necrosis factor alpha, IL-6, and IL-10 was approximately normal, compared to that in control wild-type mice. Flow cytometric analyses confirmed that the cellularity of most of the immune cell subsets in the spleens of LPS-challenged mice was normal and that the impaired IFN-γ production in Per2−/− mice was attributable to defective NK and NKT cell function. Our data suggest that Per2 is an important regulator of NK cell function, therefore providing the first direct link between the circadian clock system and innate immune responses.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: An influenza infection of 6 days increases susceptibility to S. pneumoniae by both suppression of neutrophil function and by neutrophIL-independent mechanisms such as enhanced cytokine production.
Abstract: Since secondary Streptococcus pneumoniae infections greatly increase the mortality of influenza infections, we determined the relative roles of neutrophil-dependent and -independent mechanisms in increased susceptibility to S. pneumoniae during influenza infection. Mice infected with influenza for 6 days, but not 3 days, showed a significant increase in susceptibility to S. pneumoniae infection compared to mice not infected with influenza. There was significant neutrophil accumulation in the lungs of S. pneumoniae-infected mice regardless of whether or not they were infected with influenza for 3 or 6 days. Depletion of neutrophils in these mice resulted in increased susceptibility to S. pneumoniae in both the non-influenza-infected mice and mice infected with influenza for 3 days but not in the mice infected with influenza for 6 days, indicating that a prior influenza infection of 6 days may compromise neutrophil function, resulting in increased susceptibility to a S. pneumoniae infection. Neutrophils from the lungs of mice infected with influenza for 3 or 6 days exhibited functional impairment in the form of decreased phagocytosis and intracellular reactive oxygen species generation in response to S. pneumoniae. In addition, neutrophil-depleted mice infected with influenza for 6 days were more susceptible to S. pneumoniae than neutrophil-depleted mice not infected with influenza, indicating that neutrophil-independent mechanisms also contribute to influenza-induced increased susceptibility to S. pneumoniae. Pulmonary interleukin-10 levels were increased in coinfected mice infected with influenza for 6 days but not 3 days. Thus, an influenza infection of 6 days increases susceptibility to S. pneumoniae by both suppression of neutrophil function and by neutrophil-independent mechanisms such as enhanced cytokine production.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This review will summarize the current understanding of L. monocytogenes virulence gene regulation and put forth a model that depicts how a humble soil-grown bacterium might transform into a deadly invader.
Abstract: Listeria monocytogenes is a gram-positive bacterium with a Jekyll and Hyde personality (108): it is well adapted as a saprophyte for peaceful survival in soil and decaying vegetation (Dr. Jekyll) (36), but it has a second life as an intracellular bacterial pathogen capable of causing serious infection in humans and in many animal species (Mr. Hyde) (28, 96, 115). In its Mr. Hyde phase, the bacterium is a significant public health hazard, responsible for an estimated 28% of deaths attributable to known food-borne pathogens in the United States (75). How does L. monocytogenes manage the switch between mild-mannered environmental bacterium and potentially deadly human pathogen? The transformation appears to be mediated through complex regulatory pathways that modulate the expression of virulence factors in response to environmental cues. This review will summarize the current understanding of L. monocytogenes virulence gene regulation and will put forth a model that depicts how a humble soil-grown bacterium might transform into a deadly invader.

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TL;DR: Results indicate that flagellin would serve as an efficacious mucosal adjuvant inducing protective immune responses through TLR5 activation.
Abstract: Flagellin, the structural component of flagellar filament in various locomotive bacteria, is the ligand for Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) of host cells. TLR stimulation by various pathogen-associated molecular patterns leads to activation of innate and subsequent adaptive immune responses. Therefore, TLR ligands are considered attractive adjuvant candidates in vaccine development. In this study, we show the highly potent mucosal adjuvant activity of a Vibrio vulnificus major flagellin (FlaB). Using an intranasal immunization mouse model, we observed that coadministration of the flagellin with tetanus toxoid (TT) induced significantly enhanced TT-specific immunoglobulin A (IgA) responses in both mucosal and systemic compartments and IgG responses in the systemic compartment. The mice immunized with TT plus FlaB were completely protected from systemic challenge with a 200× minimum lethal dose of tetanus toxin. Radiolabeled FlaB administered into the nasal cavity readily reached the cervical lymph nodes and systemic circulation. FlaB bound directly to human TLR5 expressed on cultured epithelial cells and consequently induced NF-κB and interleukin-8 activation. Intranasally administered FlaB colocalized with CD11c as patches in putative dendritic cells and caused an increase in the number of TLR5-expressing cells in cervical lymph nodes. These results indicate that flagellin would serve as an efficacious mucosal adjuvant inducing protective immune responses through TLR5 activation.

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TL;DR: A flow-cytometric analysis of polymorphonuclear leukocytes exposed to supernatants from wild-type, ΔgliZ, complemented gliZ, and ΔlaeA strains supported a role for gliotoxin in apoptotic but not necrotic PMN cell death, which may indicate that several secondary metabolites are involved in A. fumigatus virulence.
Abstract: Gliotoxin is a nonribosomal peptide produced by Aspergillus fumigatus. This compound has been proposed as an A. fumigatus virulence factor due to its cytotoxic, genotoxic, and apoptotic properties. Recent identification of the gliotoxin gene cluster identified several genes (gli genes) likely involved in gliotoxin production, including gliZ, encoding a putative Zn2Cys6 binuclear transcription factor. Replacement of gliZ with a marker gene (ΔgliZ) resulted in no detectable gliotoxin production and loss of gene expression of other gli cluster genes. Placement of multiple copies of gliZ in the genome increased gliotoxin production. Using endpoint survival data, the ΔgliZ and a multiple-copy gliZ strain were not statistically different from the wild type in a murine pulmonary model; however, both the wild-type and the multiple-copy gliZ strain were more virulent than ΔlaeA (a mutant reduced in production of gliotoxin and other toxins). A flow-cytometric analysis of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) exposed to supernatants from wild-type, ΔgliZ, complemented ΔgliZ, and ΔlaeA strains supported a role for gliotoxin in apoptotic but not necrotic PMN cell death. This may indicate that several secondary metabolites are involved in A. fumigatus virulence.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is demonstrated for the first time using outbred MF1 mouse models of infection that both NanA and NanB were essential for the successful colonization and infection of the upper and lower respiratory tract, respectively, as well as pneumococcal survival in nonmucosal sites, such as the blood.
Abstract: We examined the role of the neuraminidases NanA and NanB in colonization and infection in the upper and lower respiratory tract by Streptococcus pneumoniae, as well as the role of these neuraminidases in the onset and development of septicemia following both intranasal and intravenous infection. We demonstrated for the first time using outbred MF1 mouse models of infection that both NanA and NanB were essential for the successful colonization and infection of the upper and lower respiratory tract, respectively, as well as pneumococcal survival in nonmucosal sites, such as the blood. Our studies have shown that in vivo a neuraminidase A mutant is cleared from the nasopharynx, trachea, and lungs within 12 h postinfection, while a neuraminidase B mutant persists but does not increase in either the nasopharynx, trachea, or lungs. We also demonstrated both neuraminidase mutants were unable to cause sepsis following intranasal infections. When administered intravenously, however, both mutants survived initially but were unable to persist in the blood beyond 48 h postinfection and were progressively cleared. The work presented here demonstrates the importance of pneumococcal neuraminidase A and for the first time neuraminidase B in the development of upper and lower respiratory tract infection and sepsis.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Results suggest that substantial and systematic differences in var gene expression exist between different clinical presentations of P. falciparum patients with severe, uncomplicated, and asymptomatic malaria.
Abstract: The var gene family of Plasmodium falciparum encodes the variant surface antigen Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1). PfEMP1 is considered an important pathogenicity factor in P. falciparum infection because it mediates cytoadherence to host cell endothelial receptors. var genes can be grouped into three major groups, A, B, and C, and the conserved var genes, var1-4, according to sequence similarities in coding and noncoding upstream regions. Using real-time quantitative PCR in a study conducted in Tanzania, the var transcript abundances of the different var gene groups were compared among patients with severe, uncomplicated, and asymptomatic malaria. Transcripts of var group A and B genes were more abundant in patients with severe malaria than in patients with uncomplicated malaria. In general, the transcript abundances of var group A and B genes were higher for children with clinical malaria than for children with asymptomatic infections. The var group C and var1-like transcript abundances were similar between the three sample groups. A transcript abundance pattern similar to that for var group A was observed for var2csa and var3-like genes. These results suggest that substantial and systematic differences in var gene expression exist between different clinical presentations.

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TL;DR: A role for the TLR in avian defense against bacterial infection is suggested, and it is hypothesized that TLR15 may represent an avian-specific TLR that has been either retained in chicken and lost in other taxa or gained in the chicken.
Abstract: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a group of highly conserved molecules that initiate the innate immune response to pathogens by recognizing structural motifs expressed by microbes. We have identified a novel TLR, TLR15, by bioinformatic analysis of the chicken genome, which is distinct from any known vertebrate TLR and thus appears to be avian specific. The gene for TLR15 was sequenced and is found on chromosome 3, and it has archetypal TIR and transmembrane domains and a distinctive arrangement of extracellular leucine-rich regions. mRNA for TLR15 was detected in the spleen, bursa, and bone marrow of healthy chickens, suggesting a role for this novel receptor in constitutive host defense. Following in vivo Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium infection, quantitative real-time PCR demonstrated significant upregulation of TLR15 in the cecum of infected chickens. Interestingly, similar induction of TLR2 expression following infection was also observed. In vitro studies revealed TLR15 upregulation in chicken embryonic fibroblasts stimulated with heat-killed S. enterica serovar Typhimurium. Collectively, these results suggest a role for the TLR in avian defense against bacterial infection. We hypothesize that TLR15 may represent an avian-specific TLR that has been either retained in chicken and lost in other taxa or gained in the chicken.

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TL;DR: It is reported here that the development of competence is controlled at multiple levels in a complex network that includes two signal-transducing two-component systems (TCS) and that S. mutans integrates multiple environmental signals through CiaHR and ComDE to coordinate induction of com genes and that CiaH can exert its influence through CIAR and as-yet-unidentified regulators.
Abstract: Genetic competence appears to be important in establishment of biofilms and tolerance of environmental insults. We report here that the development of competence is controlled at multiple levels in a complex network that includes two signal-transducing two-component systems (TCS). Using Streptococcus mutans strain UA159, we demonstrate that the histidine kinase CiaH, but not the response regulator CiaR, causes a dramatic decrease in biofilm formation and in transformation efficiency. Inactivation of comE or comD had no effect on stress tolerance, but transformability of the mutants was poor and was not restored by addition of competence-stimulating peptide (CSP). Horse serum (HS) or bovine serum albumin (BSA) had no impact on transformability of any strains. Interestingly, though, the presence of HS or BSA in combination with CSP was required for efficient induction of comD, comX, and comYA, and induction was dependent on ComDE and CiaH, but not CiaR. Inactivation of comC, encoding CSP, had no impact on transformation, and CiaH was shown to be required for optimal comC expression. This study reveals that S. mutans integrates multiple environmental signals through CiaHR and ComDE to coordinate induction of com genes and that CiaH can exert its influence through CiaR and as-yet-unidentified regulators. The results highlight critical differences in the role and regulation of CiaRH and com genes in different S. mutans isolates and between S. mutans and Streptococcus pneumoniae, indicating that substantial divergence in the role and regulation of TCS and competence genes has occurred in streptococci.