Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-9 (9)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

Year of Publication
Document Types
1.  Variation of Pneumococcal Pilus-1 Expression Results in Vaccine Escape during Experimental Otitis Media [EOM] 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e83798.
The pneumococcal Pilus-1 enhances attachment to epithelial cells in the respiratory tract and subsequent invasion. Pilus-1 expression is bi-stable and positively regulated by the RlrA transcriptional regulator. To delineate the role of pilus-1 in Experimental Otitis Media (EOM), we evaluated colonization and disease due to a Streptococcus pneumoniae (SP) wild type strain (Taiwan19F-14 wt) and its otherwise isogenic pilus-1 and pilus-2 deficient mutant (Taiwan19F-14 ΔPI-1/PI-2-) as well as potential for a chimeric protein (RrgB321) vaccine candidate for prevention of middle ear (ME) disease.
Chinchillas were challenged intranasally with either Taiwan19F-14 wt or Taiwan19F-14PI-1/PI-2 deficient mutant. ME status was assessed and direct cultures performed. New cohorts of animals were immunized with RrgB321 or alum. Intranasal challenge with Taiwan19F-14 wt [erythromycin susceptible E(S)] was performed. Subsequently, a second cohort of animals was immunized and challenged with either Taiwan19F-14 wt or a Pilus-1 over-expressing mutant [Taiwan19F-14+pMU1328_Pc-rlrA mutant; E resistant (R)] strain. Pilus-1 expression was analyzed in SP isolated from nasopharynx (NP) and ME fluids by flow cytometry.
Culture positive EOM developed following challenge with either wild type SP (Taiwan19F-14) or its pilus-1 deficient mutant. Culture positive EOM developed following challenge with wild type in both RrgB321 immunized and control animals. Pilus-1 expression in ME fluids was significantly higher in controls compared to immunized chinchillas. In second cohort of immunized and control animals challenged with the over-expressing Pilus-1 mutant, delayed development of EOM in the immunized animals was observed. Pneumococci recovered from ME fluid of immunized animals were no longer E(R) signifying the loss of the pMU1328_Pc-rlrA plasmid.
Pneumococcal pilus-1 was not essential for EOM. Regulation of Pilus-1 expression in ME fluids in the presence of anti RrgB321 antibody was essential for survival of S. pneumoniae. Pneumococci have evolved mechanisms of regulation of non-essential surface proteins to evade host defenses.
PMCID: PMC3885439  PMID: 24421906
2.  Virulence of Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 6C in experimental otitis media 
Increases in colonization with serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae not contained within the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) have been reported among children following introduction. Serotype 6C has emerged as prevalent in nasopharyngeal colonization and acute otitis media (AOM), though it is uncommonly recovered from children with invasive pneumococcal disease. Vaccine serotypes within PCV7 have been replaced by nonvaccine serotypes without significant changes in the overall carriage rate. We hypothesize 1) that serotypes vary in their ability to evade host defenses and establish AOM following colonization and 2) the observed reduction in pneumococcal otitis results from a reduced disease potential by some ‘replacement serotypes’. We compared the capacity of S. pneumoniae serotypes 6C and 19A to produce experimental otitis media (EOM) in a chinchilla model. The proportion of chinchillas that developed culture positive EOM and density of middle ear infection was evaluated. EOM was found in 28/82 (34%) ears challenged with 6C compared to 13/18(72.2%) with 19A [p=0.0003]. When disease due to 6C did occur, it was characterized by lowdensity infection. Our findings demonstrate that challenge with serotype 6C results in EOM less frequently than 19A. These data support the need for greater knowledge regarding differences among serotypes to produce AOM.
PMCID: PMC3382049  PMID: 22414497
Streptococcus pneumoniae; complement; virulence
3.  Streptococcus pneumoniae Clonal Complex 199: Genetic Diversity and Tissue-Specific Virulence 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(4):e18649.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is an important cause of otitis media and invasive disease. Since introduction of the heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, there has been an increase in replacement disease due to serotype 19A clonal complex (CC)199 isolates. The goals of this study were to 1) describe genetic diversity among nineteen CC199 isolates from carriage, middle ear, blood, and cerebrospinal fluid, 2) compare CC199 19A (n = 3) and 15B/C (n = 2) isolates in the chinchilla model for pneumococcal disease, and 3) identify accessory genes associated with tissue-specific disease among a larger collection of S. pneumoniae isolates. CC199 isolates were analyzed by comparative genome hybridization. One hundred and twenty-seven genes were variably present. The CC199 phylogeny split into two main clades, one comprised predominantly of carriage isolates and another of disease isolates. Ability to colonize and cause disease did not differ by serotype in the chinchilla model. However, isolates from the disease clade were associated with faster time to bacteremia compared to carriage clade isolates. One 19A isolate exhibited hypervirulence. Twelve tissue-specific genes/regions were identified by correspondence analysis. After screening a diverse collection of 326 isolates, spr0282 was associated with carriage. Four genes/regions, SP0163, SP0463, SPN05002 and RD8a were associated with middle ear isolates. SPN05002 also associated with blood and CSF, while RD8a associated with blood isolates. The hypervirulent isolate's genome was sequenced using the Solexa paired-end sequencing platform and compared to that of a reference serotype 19A isolate, revealing the presence of a novel 20 kb region with sequence similarity to bacteriophage genes. Genetic factors other than serotype may modulate virulence potential in CC199. These studies have implications for the long-term effectiveness of conjugate vaccines. Ideally, future vaccines would target common proteins to effectively reduce carriage and disease in the vaccinated population.
PMCID: PMC3077395  PMID: 21533186
4.  Capacity of serotype 19A and 15B/C Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates for experimental otitis media: implications for the conjugate vaccine 
Vaccine  2010;28(12):2450-2457.
Non-vaccine Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes are increasingly associated with disease. We evaluated isolates of the same sequence type (ST199) but different serotype (15B/C, 19A) for growth in vitro, and pathogenic potential in a chinchilla otitis media model. We also developed a qPCR assay to quantitatively assess each isolate, circumventing the need for selectable markers. In vitro studies showed faster growth of serotype 19A over 15B/C. Both were equally capable of colonization and middle ear infection in this model. Serotype 19A is included in new conjugate vaccine formulations while serotype 15B/C is not. Non-capsular vaccine targets will be important in disease prevention efforts.
PMCID: PMC2851619  PMID: 20067753
Streptococcus pneumoniae; conjugate vaccine; qPCR assay
5.  Sialic acid mediated transcriptional modulation of a highly conserved sialometabolism gene cluster in Haemophilus influenzae and its effect on virulence 
BMC Microbiology  2010;10:48.
Sialic acid has been shown to be a major virulence determinant in the pathogenesis of otitis media caused by the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae. This study aimed to characterise the expression of genes required for the metabolism of sialic acid and to investigate the role of these genes in virulence.
Using qRT-PCR, we observed decreased transcriptional activity of genes within a cluster that are required for uptake and catabolism of 5-acetyl neuraminic acid (Neu5Ac), when bacteria were cultured in the presence of the sugar. We show that these uptake and catabolic genes, including a sialic acid regulatory gene (siaR), are highly conserved in the H. influenzae natural population. Mutant strains were constructed for seven of the nine genes and their influence upon LPS sialylation and resistance of the bacteria to the killing effect of normal human serum were assessed. Mutations in the Neu5Ac uptake (TRAP transporter) genes decreased virulence in the chinchilla model of otitis media, but the attenuation was strain dependent. In contrast, mutations in catabolism genes and genes regulating sialic acid metabolism (siaR and crp) did not attenuate virulence.
The commensal and pathogenic behaviour of H. influenzae involves LPS sialylation that can be influenced by a complex regulatory interplay of sialometabolism genes.
PMCID: PMC2836998  PMID: 20158882
6.  Role of Complement in Host Defense against Pneumococcal Otitis Media▿ §  
Infection and Immunity  2009;77(3):1121-1127.
Strategies to limit complement deposition on Streptococcus pneumoniae are established as virulence features for invasive disease, but their role in respiratory tract infection requires further analysis. We evaluated complement C3 protein deposition on discordant S. pneumoniae isolates of the same serotype (6A) and their capacity to cause nasopharyngeal (NP) colonization and experimental otitis media (EOM) in an animal model. We compared C3 binding to five 6A isolates from asymptomatic NP carriers with five 6A strains that caused invasive disease, and we observed less C3 (∼10-fold less fluorescence) binding to invasive isolates. We selected two high-level C3-binding carriage and two low-level C3-binding invasive 6A isolates for further study. In the EOM model, 11/12 (92%) ears challenged with a low-level C3-binding 6A strain became infected. Only 2/8 (25%) ears challenged with the discordant high-level C3-binding 6A isolate developed disease (P = 0.005). Results with the second discordant 6A isolate pair were comparable. Cobra venom factor (CoVF) treatment, which depletes C3 and consumes complement, restored virulence of the high-level C3-binding strain; 8/8 (100%) ears in CoVF-treated animals developed EOM compared to only 25% of ears in naïve animals (P = 0.007). These studies demonstrate the critical role for complement evasion in pneumococcal EOM. Colonization with carriage isolates that bound high levels of C3 caused EOM in fewer animals compared to low-level C3-binding invasive strains. Thus, limiting C3 deposition on the surface of S. pneumoniae correlates with increased incidence of EOM following NP colonization and barotrauma in the animal model.
PMCID: PMC2643640  PMID: 19139190
7.  Application of Capillary Electrophoresis Mass Spectrometry and Liquid Chromatography Multiple-Step Tandem Electrospray Mass Spectrometry To Profile Glycoform Expression during Haemophilus influenzae Pathogenesis in the Chinchilla Model of Experimental Otitis Media ▿  
Infection and Immunity  2008;76(7):3255-3267.
Otitis media caused by nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is a common and recurrent bacterial infection of childhood. The structural variability and diversity of H. influenzae lipopolysaccharide (LPS) glycoforms are known to play a significant role in the commensal and disease-causing behavior of this pathogen. In this study, we determined LPS glycoform populations from NTHi strain 1003 during the course of experimental otitis media in the chinchilla model of infection by mass spectrometric techniques. Building on an established structural model of the major LPS glycoforms expressed by this NTHi strain in vitro (M. Månsson, W. Hood, J. Li, J. C. Richards, E. R. Moxon, and E. K. Schweda, Eur. J. Biochem. 269:808-818, 2002), minor isomeric glycoform populations were determined by liquid chromatography multiple-step tandem electrospray mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MSn). Using capillary electrophoresis ESI-MS (CE-ESI-MS), we determined glycoform profiles for bacteria from direct middle ear fluid (MEF) samples. The LPS glycan profiles were essentially the same when the MEF samples of 7 of 10 animals were passaged on solid medium (chocolate agar). LC-ESI-MSn provided a sensitive method for determining the isomeric distribution of LPS glycoforms in MEF and passaged specimens. To investigate changes in LPS glycoform distribution during the course of infection, MEF samples were analyzed at 2, 5, and 9 days postinfection by CE-ESI-MS following minimal passage on chocolate agar. As previously observed, sialic acid-containing glycoforms were detected during the early stages of infection, but a trend toward more-truncated and less-complex LPS glycoforms that lacked sialic acid was found as disease progressed.
PMCID: PMC2446737  PMID: 18458064
8.  Multiple Consecutive Lavage Samplings Reveal Greater Burden of Disease and Provide Direct Access to the Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae Biofilm in Experimental Otitis Media▿  
Infection and Immunity  2007;75(8):4158-4172.
The typically recovered quantity of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) bacteria in an ex vivo middle ear (ME) aspirate from the chinchilla model of experimental otitis media is insufficient for direct analysis of gene expression by microarray or of lipopolysaccharide glycoforms by mass spectrometry. This prompted us to investigate a strategy of multiple consecutive lavage samplings to increase ex vivo bacterial recovery. As multiple consecutive lavage samples significantly increased the total number of bacterial CFU collected during nasopharyngeal colonization or ME infection, this led us to evaluate whether bacteria sequentially acquired from consecutive lavages were similar. Comparative observation of complete ex vivo sample series by microscopy initially revealed ME inflammatory fluid consisting solely of planktonic-phase NTHi. In contrast, subsequent lavage samplings of the same infected ear revealed the existence of bacteria in two additional growth states, filamentous and biofilm encased. Gene expression analysis of such ex vivo samples was in accord with different bacterial growth phases in sequential lavage specimens. The existence of morphologically distinct NTHi subpopulations with varying levels of gene expression indicates that the pooling of specimens requires caution until methods for their separation are developed. This study based on multiple consecutive lavages is consistent with prior reports that NTHi forms a biofilm in vivo, describes the means to directly acquire ex vivo biofilm samples without sacrificing the animal, and has broad applicability for a study of mucosal infections. Moreover, this approach revealed that the actual burden of bacteria in experimental otitis media is significantly greater than was previously reported. Such findings may have direct implications for antibiotic treatment and vaccine development against NTHi.
PMCID: PMC1952021  PMID: 17517860
9.  Role of Complement in Defense of the Middle Ear Revealed by Restoring the Virulence of Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae siaB Mutants▿  
Infection and Immunity  2006;75(1):325-333.
Nontypeable (NT) Haemophilus influenzae is an important cause of otitis media in children. We have shown previously that NT H. influenzae mutants defective in their ability to sialylate lipopolysaccharide (LPS), called siaB mutants, show attenuated virulence in a chinchilla model of experimental otitis media (EOM). We show that complement is a key arm of host innate immunity against NT H. influenzae-induced EOM. Depleting complement in chinchillas by use of cobra venom factor (CoVF) rendered two otherwise avirulent siaB mutants fully virulent and able to cause EOM with severity similar to that of wild-type strains. Clearance of infection caused by siaB mutants in CoVF-treated animals coincided with reappearance of C3. Wild-type strains were more resistant to direct complement-mediated killing than their siaB mutants. The serum-resistant strain bound less C3 and C4 than the serum-sensitive strain. Neither NT H. influenzae strain tested bound factor H (alternative complement pathway regulator). Selective activation of the alternative pathway resulted in more C3 binding to siaB mutants. LPS sialylation had a more profound impact on the amount of alternative-pathway-mediated C3 binding (∼5-fold decrease in fluorescence) when LPS was the main C3 target, as occurred on the more serum-resistant strain. In contrast, only an ∼1.5-fold decrease in fluorescence intensity of C3 binding was seen with the serum-sensitive strain, where surface proteins predominantly bound C3. Differences in binding sites for C3 and C4 may account for variations in serum resistance between NT H. influenzae strains, which in turn may impact their virulence. These data demonstrate a central role for complement in innate immune defenses against NT H. influenzae infections and specifically EOM.
PMCID: PMC1828410  PMID: 17088344

Results 1-9 (9)