The current manuscript aims to determine the prevalence, duration and bacterial diversity of bacteraemia following dental extractions using conventional culture-dependent methods and 16S rDNA pyrosequencing.
The study group included 8 patients undergoing dental extractions under general anaesthesia. Peripheral venous blood samples were collected at baseline, 30 seconds and 15 minutes after the dental extractions. Blood samples were analysed for bacteraemia applying conventional microbiological cultures under aerobic and anaerobic conditions as well as pyrosequencing using universal bacterial primers that target the 16S ribosomal DNA gene.
Transient bacteremia was detected by culture-based methods in one sample at baseline time, in eight samples at 30 seconds, and in six samples at 15 minutes after surgical procedure; whereas bacteraemia was detected only in five blood samples at 30 seconds after dental extraction by using pyrosequencing. By applying conventional microbiological methods, a single microbial species was detected in six patients, and Streptococcus viridans was the most frequently cultured identified bacterium. By using pyrosequencing approaches however, the estimated blood microbial diversity after dental extractions was 13.4±1.7 bacterial families and 22.8±1.1 genera per sample.
The application of 16S rDNA pyrosequencing underestimated the prevalence and duration of bacteraemia following dental extractions, presumably due to not reaching the minimum DNA required for PCR amplification. However, this molecular technique, unlike conventional culture-dependent methods, revealed an extraordinarily high bacterial diversity of post-extraction bacteraemia. We propose that microorganisms recovered by culture may be only the tip of an iceberg of a really diverse microbiota whose viability and potential pathogenicity should be further studied.
The specific inhibition of phosphodiesterase (PDE)4 and dual inhibition of PDE3 and PDE4 has been shown to decrease inflammation by suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokine synthesis. We examined the effect of roflumilast, a selective PDE4 inhibitor marketed for severe COPD, and the investigational compound pumafentrine, a dual PDE3/PDE4 inhibitor, in the preventive dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis model.
The clinical score, colon length, histologic score and colon cytokine production from mice with DSS-induced colitis (3.5% DSS in drinking water for 11 days) receiving either roflumilast (1 or 5 mg/kg body weight/d p.o.) or pumafentrine (1.5 or 5 mg/kg/d p.o.) were determined and compared to vehicle treated control mice. In the pumafentrine-treated animals, splenocytes were analyzed for interferon-γ (IFNγ) production and CD69 expression.
Roflumilast treatment resulted in dose-dependent improvements of clinical score (weight loss, stool consistency and bleeding), colon length, and local tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) production in the colonic tissue. These findings, however, were not associated with an improvement of the histologic score. Administration of pumafentrine at 5 mg/kg/d alleviated the clinical score, the colon length shortening, and local TNFα production. In vitro stimulated splenocytes after in vivo treatment with pumafentrine showed a significantly lower state of activation and production of IFNγ compared to no treatment in vivo.
These series of experiments document the ameliorating effect of roflumilast and pumafentrine on the clinical score and TNF expression of experimental colitis in mice.
Roquin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase that localizes to cytosolic RNA granules, is involved in regulating mRNA stability and translation. Mice that have a M199R mutation in the Roquin protein (referred to as sanroque or Roquinsan/san mice) develop autoimmune pathologies, although the extent to which these occur in the intestinal mucosa has not been determined. Here, we demonstrate that Roquinsan/san mice reproducibly develop intestinal inflammation in the small intestine but not the colon. Similarly, mice generated in our laboratory in which the Roquin gene was disrupted by insertion of a gene trap cassette (Roquingt/gt mice) had small intestinal inflammation that mimicked that of Roquinsan/san mice. MLN cells in Roquinsan/san mice consisted of activated proliferating T cells, and had increased numbers of CD44hi CD62Llo KLRG1+ short-lived effector cells. Proportionally more small intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes in Roquinsan/san mice expressed the ICOS T cell activation marker. Of particular interest, small intestinal lamina propria lymphocytes in Roquinsan/san mice consisted of a high proportion of Gr-1+ T cells that included IL-17A+ cells and CD8+ IFN-γ+ cells. Extensive cytokine dysregulation resulting in both over-expression and under-expression of chemotactic cytokines occurred in the ileum of Roquinsan/san mice, the region most prone to the development of inflammation. These findings demonstrate that chronic inflammation ensues in the intestine following Roquin alteration either as a consequence of protein mutation or gene disruption, and they have implications for understanding how small intestinal inflammation is perpetuated in Crohn's disease (CD). Due to the paucity of animal models of CD-like pathophysiology in the small intestine, and because the primary gene/protein defects of the Roquin animal systems used here are well-defined, it will be possible to further elucidate the underlying genetic and molecular mechanisms that drive the disease process.
Campylobacter jejuni is the most common bacterium that causes diarrhea worldwide, and chickens are considered the main reservoir of this pathogen. This study investigated the effects of serial truncation of lipooligosaccharide (LOS), a major component of the outer membrane of C. jejuni, on its bile resistance and intestinal colonization ability in chickens. Genes encoding manno-heptose synthetases or glycosyltransferases were inactivated to generate isogenic mutants. Serial truncation of the LOS core oligosaccharide caused a stepwise increase in susceptibilities of two C. jejuni strains, NCTC 11168 and 81-176, to bile acids. Inactivation of hldE, hldD, or waaC caused severe truncation of the core oligosaccharide, which greatly increased the susceptibility to bile acids. Both wild-type strains grew normally in chicken intestinal extracts, whereas the mutants with severe oligosaccharide truncation were not detected 12 h after inoculation. These mutants attained viable bacterial counts in the bile acid-free extracts 24 h after inoculation. The wild-type strain 11-164 was present in the cecal contents at >107 CFU/g on 5 days after challenge infection and after this time period, whereas its hldD mutant was present at <103 CFU/g throughout the experimental period. Trans-complementation of the hldD mutant with the wild-type hldD allele completely restored the in vivo colonization level to that of the wild-type strain. Mutants with a shorter LOS had higher hydrophobicities. Thus, the length of the LOS core oligosaccharide affected the surface hydrophobicity and bile resistance of C. jejuni as well as its ability to colonize chicken intestines.
Iron is a critical cofactor for many enzymes and is known to regulate gene expression in many bacterial pathogens. Streptococcus pneumoniae normally inhabits the upper respiratory mucosa but can also invade and replicate in lungs and blood. These anatomic sites vary considerably in both the quantity and form of available iron. The genome of serotype 4 pneumococcal strain TIGR4 encodes a putative iron-dependent transcriptional regulator (IDTR). A mutant deleted at idtr (Δidtr) exhibited growth kinetics similar to parent strain TIGR4 in vitro and in mouse blood for up to 48 hours following infection. However, Δidtr was significantly attenuated in a murine model of sepsis. IDTR down-regulates the expression of ten characterized and putative virulence genes in nasopharyngeal colonization and pneumonia. The host cytokine response was significantly suppressed in sepsis with Δidtr. Since an exaggerated inflammatory response is associated with a poor prognosis in sepsis, the decreased inflammatory response could explain the increased survival with Δidtr. Our results suggest that IDTR, which is dispensable for pneumococcal growth in vitro, is associated with regulation of pneumococcal virulence in specific host environments. Additionally, IDTR ultimately modulates the host cytokine response and systemic inflammation that contributes to morbidity and mortality of invasive pneumococcal disease.
Increase in the number of multidrug resistant pathogens and the accompanied rise in case fatality rates has hampered the treatment of many infectious diseases including cholera. Unraveling the mechanisms responsible for multidrug resistance in the clinical isolates of Vibrio cholerae would help in understanding evolution of these pathogenic bacteria and their epidemic potential. This study was carried out to identify genetic factors responsible for multiple drug resistance in clinical isolates of Vibrio cholerae O1, serotype Ogawa, biotype El Tor isolated from the patients admitted to the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Kolkata, India, in 2009.
One hundred and nineteen clinical isolates of V. cholerae were analysed for their antibiotic resistance phenotypes. Antibiogram analysis revealed that majority of the isolates showed resistance to co-trimoxazole, nalidixic acid, polymixin B and streptomycin. In PCR, SXT integrase was detected in 117 isolates and its sequence showed 99% identity notably to ICEVchInd5 from Sevagram, India, ICEVchBan5 from Bangladesh and VC1786ICE sequence from Haiti outbreak among others. Antibiotic resistance traits corresponding to SXT element were transferred from the parent Vibrio isolate to the recipient E. coli XL-1 Blue cells during conjugation. Double-mismatch-amplification mutation assay (DMAMA) revealed the presence of Haitian type ctxB allele of genotype 7 in 55 isolates and the classical ctxB allele of genotype 1 in 59 isolates. Analysis of topoisomerase sequences revealed the presence of mutation Ser83 → Ile in gyrA and Ser85→ Leu in parC. This clearly showed the circulation of SXT-containing V. cholerae as causative agent for cholera in Kolkata.
There was predominance of SXT element in these clinical isolates from Kolkata region which also accounted for their antibiotic resistance phenotype typical of this element. DMAMA PCR showed them to be a mixture of isolates with different ctxB alleles like classical, El Tor and Haitian variants.
Protozoan grazing is a major mortality factor faced by bacteria in the environment. Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of the disease cholera, is a natural inhabitant of aquatic ecosystems, and its survival depends on its ability to respond to stresses, such as predation by heterotrophic protists. Previous results show that grazing pressure induces biofilm formation and enhances a smooth to rugose morphotypic shift, due to increased expression of Vibrio polysaccharide (VPS). In addition to negatively controlling vps genes, the global quorum sensing (QS) regulator, HapR, plays a role in grazing resistance as the ΔhapR strain is efficiently consumed while the wild type (WT) is not. Here, the relative and combined contributions of VPS and QS to grazing resistance were investigated by exposing VPS and HapR mutants and double mutants in VPS and HapR encoding genes at different phases of biofilm development to amoeboid and flagellate grazers. Data show that the WT biofilms were grazing resistant, the VPS mutants were less resistant than the WT strain, but more resistant than the QS mutant strain, and that QS contributes to grazing resistance mainly in mature biofilms. In addition, grazing effects on biofilms of mixed WT and QS mutant strains were investigated. The competitive fitness of each strain in mixed biofilms was determined by CFU and microscopy. Data show that protozoa selectively grazed the QS mutant in mixed biofilms, resulting in changes in the composition of the mixed community. A small proportion of QS mutant cells which comprised 4% of the mixed biofilm biovolume were embedded in grazing resistant WT microcolonies and shielded from predation, indicating the existence of associational protection in mixed biofilms.
Biofilm-forming cells are distinct from well characterized planktonic cells and aggregate in the extracellular matrix, the so-called extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). The sinR gene of Bacillus subtilis encodes a transcriptional regulator that is known to be involved in the biosynthesis of EPS in biofilms. Porphyromonas gingivalis inhabits the subgingival and extraradicular biofilm of humans and is one of the primary pathogens that cause progressive marginal and refractory apical periodontitis. Furthermore, P. gingivalis possesses PGN_0088, which encodes a putative ortholog of B. subtilis sinR. Here, we investigated the role of PGN_0088 (sinR) on biofilm formation. P. gingivalis strains formed biofilms on saliva-coated glass surfaces in phosphate buffered saline. Quantitative analysis indicated that the biofilm of the sinR null mutant consisted of dense exopolysaccharide. Microscopic observations showed that the increased levels of exopolysaccharide produced by the sinR mutant changed the morphology of the EPS to a mesh-liked structure. Furthermore, physical analyses suggested that the enrichment of exopolysaccharide in the EPS enhanced the resistance of the biofilm to hydrodynamic shear force. The results presented here demonstrate sinR plays important roles in the ability of P. gingivalis strain ATCC 33277 to act as a negative mediator of exopolysaccharide accumulation and is indirectly associated with the structure of the EPS and the force of its adhesion to surfaces.
Rickettsia felis is a common emerging pathogen detected in mosquitoes in sub-Saharan Africa. We hypothesized that, as with malaria, great apes may be exposed to the infectious bite of infected mosquitoes and release R. felis DNA in their feces.
We conducted a study of 17 forest sites in Central Africa, testing 1,028 fecal samples from 313 chimpanzees, 430 gorillas and 285 bonobos. The presence of rickettsial DNA was investigated by specific quantitative real-time PCR. Positive results were confirmed by a second PCR using primers and a probe targeting a specific gene for R. felis. All positive samples were sequenced.
Overall, 113 samples (11%) were positive for the Rickettsia-specific gltA gene, including 25 (22%) that were positive for R. felis. The citrate synthase (gltA) sequence and outer membrane protein A (ompA) sequence analysis indicated 99% identity at the nucleotide level to R. felis. The 88 other samples (78%) were negative using R. felis-specific qPCR and were compatible with R. felis-like organisms.
For the first time, we detected R. felis in wild-living ape feces. This non invasive detection of human pathogens in endangered species opens up new possibilities in the molecular epidemiology and evolutionary analysis of infectious diseases, beside HIV and malaria.
Helicobacter pylori infection is a risk factor for the development of gastric adenocarcinoma, a disease that has a high incidence in East Asia. Genes that are highly divergent in East Asian H. pylori strains compared to non-Asian strains are predicted to encode proteins that differ in functional activity and could represent novel determinants of virulence. To identify such proteins, we undertook a comparative analysis of sixteen H. pylori genomes, selected equally from strains classified as East Asian or non-Asian. As expected, the deduced sequences of two known virulence determinants (CagA and VacA) are highly divergent, with 77% and 87% mean amino acid sequence identities between East Asian and non-Asian groups, respectively. In total, we identified 57 protein sequences that are highly divergent between East Asian and non-Asian strains, but relatively conserved within East Asian strains. The most highly represented functional groups are hypothetical proteins, cell envelope proteins and proteins involved in DNA metabolism. Among the divergent genes with known or predicted functions, population genetic analyses indicate that 86% exhibit evidence of positive selection. McDonald-Kreitman tests further indicate that about one third of these highly divergent genes, including cagA and vacA, are under diversifying selection. We conclude that, similar to cagA and vacA, most of the divergent genes identified in this study evolved under positive selection, and represent candidate factors that may account for the disproportionately high incidence of gastric cancer associated with East Asian H. pylori strains. Moreover, these divergent genes represent robust biomarkers that can be used to differentiate East Asian and non-Asian H. pylori strains.
The coupling of environmental sensing to flagella-mediated directed motility allows bacteria to move to optimum environments for growth and survival, either by sensing external stimuli (chemotaxis) or monitoring internal metabolic status (energy taxis). Sensing is mediated by transducer-like proteins (Tlp), either located in the membrane or in the cytoplasm, which commonly influence motility via the CheA-CheY chemotaxis pathway. In this study we have investigated the role of PAS-domain-containing intracellular Tlp-sensors in energy taxis of the food-borne pathogen Campylobacter jejuni, using plate- and tube-based assays utilising the conversion of the redox indicator dyes triphenyl tetrazolium chloride (TTC) and resazurin. Inactivation of the genes encoding the Campylobacter Energy Taxis system (CetA (Tlp9) and CetB (Aer2)) in C. jejuni strain NCTC 11168 resulted in reduced taxis. Inactivation of the cj1191c gene, encoding the CetB homolog CetC (Aer1), did not affect taxis per se, but the cetC gene complemented a cetB mutant in trans, indicating that CetC can form a functional signal transduction complex with CetA in the absence of CetB. Inactivation of both CetB and CetC resulted in greatly reduced taxis confirming the role of CetC in energy taxis. Inactivation of the cj1110c gene, encoding Tlp8 (CetZ), a cytoplasmic sensor with two PAS-domains, resulted in increased taxis, a phenotype opposite to that of CetAB. Inactivation of the cheA gene resulted in the same overall phenotype as the cetAB mutant in both wild-type and cetZ backgrounds, suggesting that both systems use the CheA system for signal transduction. Absence of both CetAB and CetZ resulted in the cetAB taxis phenotype, suggesting that CetZ is subordinate to CetAB. In conclusion, we present evidence that C. jejuni balances the input from two counteracting PAS-domain-containing sensory systems to position itself for optimal usage of energy resources.
Many putative virulence factors of Burkholderia cenocepacia are controlled by various quorum sensing (QS) circuits. These QS systems either use N-acyl homoserine lactones (AHL) or cis-2-dodecenoic acid (“Burkholderia diffusible signal factor”, BDSF) as signalling molecules. Previous work suggested that there is little cross-talk between both types of systems. We constructed mutants in B. cenocepacia strain J2315, in which genes encoding CepI (BCAM1870), CciI (BCAM0239a) and the BDSF synthase (BCAM0581) were inactivated, and also constructed double (ΔcepIΔBCAM0581, ΔcciIΔBCAM0581 and ΔcepIΔcciI) mutants and a triple (ΔcepIΔcciIΔBCAM0581) mutant. Subsequently we investigated phenotypic properties (antibiotic susceptibility, biofilm formation, production of AHL and BDSF, protease activity and virulence in Caenorhabditis elegans) and measured gene expression in these mutants, and this in the presence and absence of added BDSF, AHL or both. The triple mutant was significantly more affected in biofilm formation, antimicrobial susceptibility, virulence in C. elegans, and protease production than either the single or double mutants. The ΔBCAM0581 mutant and the ΔcepIΔBCAM0581 and ΔcciIΔBCAM0581 double mutants produced significantly less AHL compared to the WT strain and the ΔcepI and ΔcciI single mutant, respectively. The expression of cepI and cciI in ΔBCAM0581, was approximately 3-fold and 7-fold (p<0.05) lower than in the WT, respectively. The observed differences in AHL production, expression of cepI and cciI and QS-controlled phenotypes in the ΔBCAM0581 mutant could (at least partially) be restored by addition of BDSF. Our data suggest that, in B. cenocepacia J2315, AHL and BDSF-based QS systems co-regulate the same set of genes, regulate different sets of genes that are involved in the same phenotypes and/or that the BDSF system controls the AHL-based QS system. As the expression of the gene encoding the C6-HSL synthase CciI (and to a lesser extent the C8-HSL synthase CepI) is partially controlled by BDSF, it seems likely that the BDSF QS systems controls AHL production through this system.
Tuberculosis (TB) remains a global threat in the 21st century. Traditional studies of the disease are focused on the single pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Recent studies have revealed associations of some diseases with an imbalance in the microbial community. Characterization of the TB microbiota could allow a better understanding of the disease.
Here, the sputum microbiota in TB infection was examined by using 16S rRNA pyrosequencing. A total of 829,873 high-quality sequencing reads were generated from 22 TB and 14 control sputum samples. Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, and Fusobacteria were the five major bacterial phyla recovered, which together composed over 98% of the microbial community. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were more represented in the TB samples and Firmicutes was more predominant in the controls. Sixteen major bacterial genera were recovered. Streptococcus, Neisseria and Prevotella were the most predominant genera, which were dominated by several operational taxonomic units grouped at a 97% similarity level. Actinomyces, Fusobacterium, Leptotrichia, Prevotella, Streptococcus, and Veillonella were found in all TB samples, possibly representing the core genera in TB sputum microbiota. The less represented genera Mogibacterium, Moryella and Oribacterium were enriched statistically in the TB samples, while a genus belonging to the unclassified Lactobacillales was enriched in the controls. The diversity of microbiota was similar in the TB and control samples.
The composition and diversity of sputum microbiota in TB infection was characterized for the first time by using high-throughput pyrosequencing. It lays the framework for examination of potential roles played by the diverse microbiota in TB pathogenesis and progression, and could ultimately facilitate advances in TB treatment.
Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC), enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) and enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) are intestinal pathogens that cause food and water-borne disease in humans. Using biochemical methods and NMR-based comparative metabolomics in conjunction with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, we developed a bioassay to identify secreted small molecules produced by these pathogens. We identified indole, indole-3-carboxaldehyde (ICA), and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), as factors that only in combination are sufficient to kill C. elegans. Importantly, although lethal to C. elegans, these molecules downregulate several bacterial processes important for pathogenesis in mammals. These include motility, biofilm formation and production of Shiga toxins. Some pathogenic E. coli strains are known to contain a Locus of Enterocyte Effacement (LEE), which encodes virulence factors that cause “attaching and effacing” (A/E) lesions in mammals, including formation of actin pedestals. We found that these indole derivatives also downregulate production of LEE virulence factors and inhibit pedestal formation on mammalian cells. Finally, upon oral administration, ICA inhibited virulence and promoted survival in a lethal mouse infection model. In summary, the C. elegans model in conjunction with metabolomics has facilitated identification of a family of indole derivatives that broadly regulate physiology in E. coli, and virulence in pathogenic strains. These molecules may enable development of new therapeutics that interfere with bacterial small-molecule signaling.
Latent changes in trigeminal ganglion structure and function resembling inflammatory conditions may predispose to acute attacks of migraine pain. Here, we investigated whether, in trigeminal sensory ganglia, cytokines such as TNFα might contribute to a local inflammatory phenotype of a transgenic knock-in (KI) mouse model of familial hemiplegic migraine type-1 (FHM-1). To this end, macrophage occurrence and cytokine expression in trigeminal ganglia were compared between wild type (WT) and R192Q mutant CaV2.1 Ca2+ channel (R192Q KI) mice, a genetic model of FHM-1. Cellular and molecular characterization was performed using a combination of confocal immunohistochemistry and cytokine assays. With respect to WT, R192Q KI trigeminal ganglia were enriched in activated macrophages as suggested by their morphology and immunoreactivity to the markers Iba1, CD11b, and ED1. R192Q KI trigeminal ganglia constitutively expressed higher mRNA levels of IL1β, IL6, IL10 and TNFα cytokines and the MCP-1 chemokine. Consistent with the report that TNFα is a major factor to sensitize trigeminal ganglia, we observed that, following an inflammatory reaction evoked by LPS injection, TNFα expression and macrophage occurrence were significantly higher in R192Q KI ganglia with respect to WT ganglia. Our data suggest that, in KI trigeminal ganglia, the complex cellular and molecular environment could support a new tissue phenotype compatible with a neuroinflammatory profile. We propose that, in FHM patients, this condition might contribute to trigeminal pain pathophysiology through release of soluble mediators, including TNFα, that may modulate the crosstalk between sensory neurons and resident glia, underlying the process of neuronal sensitisation.
Internal contamination of Salmonella in plants is attracting increasing attention for food safety reasons. In this study, three different tomato cultivars “Florida Lanai”, “Crown Jewel”, “Ailsa Craig” and the transgenic line Sp5 of “Ailsa Craig” were inoculated with 1 µl GFP-labeled Salmonella Typhimurium through guttation droplets at concentrations of 109 or 107 CFU/ml. Survival of Salmonella on/in tomato leaves was detected by both direct plating and enrichment methods. Salmonella cells survived best on/in the inoculated leaves of cultivar “Ailsa Craig” and decreased fastest on/in “Florida Lanai” leaves. Increased guttation in the abscisic acid over-expressing Sp5 plants may have facilitated the entrance of Salmonella into leaves and the colonization on the surface of tomato leaves. Internalization of Salmonella Typhimurium in tomato leaves through guttation drop inoculation was confirmed by confocal laser microscopy. For the first time, convincing evidence is presented that S. enterica can enter tomato leaves through hydathodes and move into the vascular system, which may result in the internal translocation of the bacteria inside plants.
The dimorphic fungus Candida albicans is able to trigger a cytokine-mediated pro-inflammatory response that increases tumor cell adhesion to hepatic endothelium and metastasis. To check the intraspecific differences in this effect, we used an in vitro murine model of hepatic response against C. albicans, which made clear that tumor cells adhered more to endothelium incubated with blastoconidia, both live and killed, than germ tubes. This finding was related to the higher carbohydrate/protein ratio found in blastoconidia. In fact, destruction of mannose ligand residues on the cell surface by metaperiodate treatment significantly reduced tumor cell adhesion induced. Moreover, we also noticed that the effect of clinical strains was greater than that of the reference one. This finding could not be explained by the carbohydrate/protein data, but to explain these differences between strains, we analyzed the expression level of ten genes (ADH1, APE3, IDH2, ENO1, FBA1, ILV5, PDI1, PGK1, QCR2 and TUF1) that code for the proteins identified previously in a mannoprotein-enriched pro-metastatic fraction of C. albicans. The results corroborated that their expression was higher in clinical strains than the reference one. To confirm the importance of the mannoprotein fraction, we also demonstrate that blocking the mannose receptor decreases the effect of C. albicans and its mannoproteins, inhibiting IL-18 synthesis and tumor cell adhesion increase by around 60%. These findings could be the first step towards a new treatment for solid organ cancers based on the role of the mannose receptor in C. albicans-induced tumor progression and metastasis.
Brachyspira species are fastidious anaerobic microorganisms, that infect the colon of various animals. The genus contains both important pathogens of livestock as well as commensals. Two species are known to infect humans: B. aalborgi and B. pilosicoli. There is some evidence suggesting that the veterinary pathogenic B. pilosicoli is a potential zoonotic agent, however, since diagnosis in humans is based on histopathology of colon biopsies, species identification is not routinely performed in human materials.
The study population comprised 57 patients with microscopic evidence of Brachyspira infection and 26 patients with no histopathological evidence of Brachyspira infection. Concomitant faecal samples were available from three infected patients. Based on publically available 16S rDNA gene sequences of all Brachyspira species, species-specific primer sets were designed. DNA was extracted and tested by real-time PCR and 16S rDNA was sequenced.
Sensitivity and specificity for identification of Brachyspira species in colon biopsies was 100% and 87.7% respectively. Sequencing revealed B. pilosicoli in 15.4% of patients, B. aalborgi in 76.9% and a third species, tentatively named “Brachyspira hominis”, in 26.2%. Ten patients (12.3%) had a double and two (3.1%) a triple infection. The presence of Brachyspira pilosicoli was significantly associated with inflammatory changes in the colon-biopsy (p = 0.028).
This newly designed PCR allows for sub-differentiation of Brachyspira species in patient material and thus allows large-scaled surveillance studies to elucidate the pathogenicity of human Brachyspira infections. One-third of affected patients appeared to be infected with a novel species.
Rifampicin is currently recognized as the most potent drug against Gram positive implant related infections. The use of rifampicin is limited by the emergence of bacterial resistance, which is often managed by coadministration of a second antibiotic. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of soluble rifampicin in combination with vancomycin tethered to titanium metal as a means to control bacterial growth and resistance in vitro. Bacterial growth was inhibited when the vancomycin-tethered titanium discs were treated with Staphylococcus aureus inocula of ≤2×106 CFU, however inocula greater than 2×106 CFU/disc adhered and survived. The combination of surface-tethered vancomycin with soluble rifampicin enhanced the inhibitory effect of rifampicin for an inoculum of 106 CFU/cm2 by one dilution (combination MIC of 0.008 mg/L versus 0.015 mg/L for rifampicin alone). Moreover, surface tethered vancomycin prevented the emergence of a rifampicin resistant population in an inoculum of 2×108 CFU.
The use of biological scaffold materials for wound healing and tissue remodeling has profoundly impacted regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. The porcine-derived small intestinal submucosa (SIS) is a licensed bioscaffold material regularly used in wound and tissue repair, often in contaminated surgical fields. Complications and failures due to infection of this biomaterial have therefore been a major concern and challenge. SIS can be colonized and infected by wound-associated bacteria, particularly Staphylococcus aureus. In order to address this concern and develop novel intervention strategies, the immune microenvironment orchestrated by the combined action of S. aureus and SIS should be critically evaluated. Since the outcome of tissue remodeling is largely controlled by the local immune microenvironment, we assessed the innate immune profile in terms of cytokine/chemokine microenvironment and inflammasome-responsive genes. BALB/c mice were injected intra-peritoneally with heat-killed S. aureus in the presence or absence of SIS. Analyses of cytokines, chemokines and microarray profiling of inflammasome-related genes were done using peritoneal lavages collected 24 hours after injection. Results showed that unlike SIS, the S. aureus-SIS interactome was characterized by a Th1-biased immune profile with increased expressions of IFN-γ, IL-12 and decreased expressions of IL-4, IL-13, IL-33 and IL-6. Such modulation of the Th1/Th2 axis can greatly facilitate graft rejections. The S. aureus-SIS exposure also augmented the expressions of pro-inflammatory cytokines like IL-1β, Tnf-α, CD30L, Eotaxin and Fractalkine. This heightened inflammatory response caused by S. aureus contamination could enormously affect the biocompatibility of SIS. However, the mRNA expressions of many inflammasome-related genes like Nlrp3, Aim2, Card6 and Pycard were down-regulated by heat-killed S. aureus with or without SIS. In summary, our study explored the innate immune microenvironment induced by the combined exposure of SIS and S. aureus. These results have practical implications in developing strategies to contain infection and promote successful tissue repair.
Campylobacter jejuni is a leading cause of human gastroenteritis worldwide. This study aimed at a better understanding of the genetic diversity of this pathogen disseminated in Japan. We performed multilocus sequence typing (MLST) of Campylobacter jejuni isolated from different sources (100 human, 61 poultry, and 51 cattle isolates) in Japan between 2005 and 2006. This approach identified 62 sequence types (STs) and 19 clonal complexes (CCs), including 11 novel STs. These 62 STs were phylogenetically divided into 6 clusters, partially exhibiting host association. We identified a novel ST (ST-4526) that has never been reported in other countries; a phylogenetic analysis showed that ST-4526 and related STs showed distant lineage from the founder ST, ST-21 within CC-21. Comparative genome analysis was performed to investigate which properties could be responsible for the successful dissemination of ST-4526 in Japan. Results revealed that three representative ST-4526 isolates contained a putative island comprising the region from Cj0737 to Cj0744, which differed between the ST-4526 isolates and the reference strain NCTC11168 (ST-43/CC-21). Amino acid sequence alignment analyses showed that two of three ST-4526 isolates expressed 693aa- filamentous hemagglutination domain protein (FHA), while most of other C. jejuni strains whose genome were sequenced exhibited its truncation. Correspondingly, host cell binding of FHA-positive C. jejuni was greater than that of FHA-truncated strains, and exogenous administration of rFHA protein reduced cell adhesion of FHA-positive bacteria. Biochemical assays showed that this putative protein exhibited a dose-dependent binding affinity to heparan sulfate, indicating its adhesin activity. Moreover, ST-4526 showed increased antibiotic-resistance (nalidixic acid and fluoroquinolones) and a reduced ability for DNA uptake. Taken together, our data suggested that these combined features contributed to the clonal thriving of ST-4526 in Japan.
Bartonella are hemotropic bacteria responsible for emerging zoonoses. These heme auxotroph alphaproteobacteria must import heme for their growth, since they cannot synthesize it. To import exogenous heme, Bartonella genomes encode for a complete heme uptake system enabling transportation of this compound into the cytoplasm and degrading it to release iron. In addition, these bacteria encode for four or five outer membrane heme binding proteins (Hbps). The structural genes of these highly homologous proteins are expressed differently depending on oxygen, temperature and heme concentrations. These proteins were hypothesized as being involved in various cellular processes according to their ability to bind heme and their regulation profile. In this report, we investigated the roles of the four Hbps of Bartonella henselae, responsible for cat scratch disease. We show that Hbps can bind heme in vitro. They are able to enhance the efficiency of heme uptake when co-expressed with a heme transporter in Escherichia coli. Using B. henselae Hbp knockdown mutants, we show that these proteins are involved in defense against the oxidative stress, colonization of human endothelial cell and survival in the flea.
Phagocytosis is a cellular mechanism that is important to the early induction of antimicrobial responses and the regulation of adaptive immunity. At an inflammatory site, phagocytes serve as central regulators for both pro-inflammatory and homeostatic anti-inflammatory processes. However, it remains unclear if this is a recent evolutionary development or whether the capacity to balance between these two seemingly contradictory processes is a feature already displayed in lower vertebrates. In this study, we used murine (C57BL/6) and teleost fish (C. auratus) in vitro and in vivo models to assess the evolutionary conservation of this dichotomy at a site of inflammation. At the level of the macrophage, we found that teleost fish already displayed divergent pro-inflammatory and homeostatic responses following internalization of zymosan or apoptotic bodies, respectively, and that these were consistent with those of mice. However, fish and mice displayed significant differences in vivo with regards to the level of responsiveness to zymosan and apoptotic bodies, the identity of infiltrating leukocytes, their rate of infiltration, and the kinetics and strength of resulting antimicrobial responses. Unlike macrophages, significant differences were identified between teleost and murine neutrophilic responses. We report for the first time that activated murine, but not teleost neutrophils, possess the capacity to internalize apoptotic bodies. This internalization translates into reduction of neutrophil ROS production. This may play an important part in the recently identified anti-inflammatory activity that mammalian neutrophils display during the resolution phase of inflammation. Our observations are consistent with continued honing of inflammatory control mechanisms from fish to mammals, and provide added insights into the evolutionary path that has resulted in the integrated, multilayered responses that are characteristic of higher vertebrates.
Simultaneous resistance to aminoglycosides and fluoroquinolones in carbapeneme non-susceptible (CNS) isolates will inevitably create problems. The present study was performed to characterize the prevalence of the plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance determinants (QRDs) and aminoglycoside resistance determinants (ARDs) among the CNS Enterobacter cloacae (E. cloacae) isolates in a Chinese teaching hospital, and to acquire their molecular epidemiological characteristics.
The β-lactamases genes (including class A carbapenemase genes blaKPC and blaSME, metallo-β-lactamase genes (MBLs) blaIMP, blaVIM and blaNDM, and extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs),blaCTX-M, blaTEM and blaSHV), QRDs (including qnrA, qnrB, qnrS and aac(6′)-Ib-cr) and ARDs (including aac(6′)-Ib, armA and rmtB) of these 35 isolates were determined by PCR and sequenced bidirectionally. The clonal relatedness was investigated by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).
Of the 35 isolates, 9 (25.7%) harbored a carbapenemase gene; 23 (65.7%) carried ESBLs; 24 (68.6%) were QRD positive; and 27 (77.1%) were ARD positive. Among the 5 blaIMP-8 positive strains, 4 (80%) contained both ESBL and QRD genes, and all the 5 (100%) harbored ARD genes. Of the 23 ESBLs positive isolates, 6 (26.1%) were carbapenemase positive, 14 (60.9%) were QRD positive, and 18 (78.3%) were ARD positive. PFGE revealed genetic diversity among the 35 isolates, indicating that the high prevalence of CNS E. cloacae isolates was not caused by clonal dissemination.
QRD and ARD genes were highly prevalent among the CNS E. cloacae isolates. Multiple resistant genes were co-expressed in the same isolates. The CNS E. cloacae isolate co-expressing blaNDM-1, blaIMP-26, qnrA1 and qnrS1 was first reported.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a leading cause of pneumonia, meningitis, and bacteremia, estimated to cause 2 million deaths annually. The majority of pneumococcal mortality occurs in developing countries, with serotype 1 a leading cause in these areas. To begin to better understand the larger impact that serotype 1 strains have in developing countries, we characterized virulence and genetic content of PNI0373, a serotype 1 strain from a diseased patient in The Gambia. PNI0373 and another African serotype 1 strain showed high virulence in a mouse intraperitoneal challenge model, with 20% survival at a dose of 1 cfu. The PNI0373 genome sequence was similar in structure to other pneumococci, with the exception of a 100 kb inversion. PNI0373 showed only15 lineage specific CDS when compared to the pan-genome of pneumococcus. However analysis of non-core orthologs of pneumococcal genomes, showed serotype 1 strains to be closely related. Three regions were found to be serotype 1 associated and likely products of horizontal gene transfer. A detailed inventory of known virulence factors showed that some functions associated with colonization were absent, consistent with the observation that carriage of this highly virulent serotype is unusual. The African serotype 1 strains thus appear to be closely related to each other and different from other pneumococci despite similar genetic content.