The detection of meningococcal outbreaks relies on serogrouping and epidemiologic definitions. Advances in molecular epidemiology have improved the ability to distinguish unique Neisseria meningitidis strains, enabling the classification of isolates into clones. Around 98% of meningococcal cases in the United States are believed to be sporadic.
Meningococcal isolates from 9 Active Bacterial Core surveillance sites throughout the United States from 2000 through 2005 were classified according to serogroup, multilocus sequence typing, and outer membrane protein (porA, porB, and fetA) genotyping. Clones were defined as isolates that were indistinguishable according to this characterization. Case data were aggregated to the census tract level and all non-singleton clones were assessed for non-random spatial and temporal clustering using retrospective space-time analyses with a discrete Poisson probability model.
Among 1,062 geocoded cases with available isolates, 438 unique clones were identified, 78 of which had ≥2 isolates. 702 cases were attributable to non-singleton clones, accounting for 66.0% of all geocoded cases. 32 statistically significant clusters comprised of 107 cases (10.1% of all geocoded cases) were identified. Clusters had the following attributes: included 2 to 11 cases; 1 day to 33 months duration; radius of 0 to 61.7 km; and attack rate of 0.7 to 57.8 cases per 100,000 population. Serogroups represented among the clusters were: B (n = 12 clusters, 45 cases), C (n = 11 clusters, 27 cases), and Y (n = 9 clusters, 35 cases); 20 clusters (62.5%) were caused by serogroups represented in meningococcal vaccines that are commercially available in the United States.
Around 10% of meningococcal disease cases in the U.S. could be assigned to a geotemporal cluster. Molecular characterization of isolates, combined with geotemporal analysis, is a useful tool for understanding the spread of virulent meningococcal clones and patterns of transmission in populations.
Periodontitis is an infectious inflammatory disease that results in the destruction of the tooth-supporting (periodontal) tissues. The Gram-negative anaerobic species Porphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythia and Treponema denticola, (also known as the “red complex” species) are highly associated with subgingival biofilms at periodontitis-affected sites. A major chemokine produced by the gingival epithelium in response to biofilm challenge, is interleukin (IL)-8. The aim of this in vitro study was to investigate the relative effect of the “red complex” species as constituents of subgingival biofilms, on the regulation of IL-8 by gingival epithelia. Multi-layered organotypic human gingival epithelial cultures were challenged with a 10-species in vitro subgingival biofilm model, or its 7-species variant, excluding the “red complex”. IL-8 gene expression and secretion analyses were performed by qPCR and ELISA, respectively. After 3 h, both biofilms up-regulated IL-8 gene expression, but the presence of the “red complex” resulted in 3-fold greater response. IL-8 secretion was also up-regulated by both biofilms, with no differences between them. After 24 h, the 10-species biofilm reduced IL-8 secretion to 50% of the control, but this was not affected when the “red complex” was absent. In conclusion, as part of biofilms, “red complex” species differentially regulate IL-8 in gingival epithelia, potentially affecting the chemotactic responses of the tissue.
Despite the important diagnostic value of evaluating antibody responses to individual human pathogens, antibody profiles against multiple infectious agents have not been used to explore health and disease mainly for technical reasons. We hypothesized that the interplay between infection and chronic disease might be revealed by profiling antibodies against multiple agents. Here, the levels of antibodies against a panel of 13 common infectious agents were evaluated with the quantitative Luciferase Immunoprecipitation Systems (LIPS) in patients from three disease cohorts including those with pathogenic anti-interferon-γ autoantibodies (IFN-γ AAB), HIV and Sjögren’s syndrome (SjS) to determine if their antibody profiles differed from control subjects. The IFN-γ AAB patients compared to controls demonstrated statistically higher levels of antibodies against VZV (p=0.0003), EBV (p=0.002), CMV (p=0.003), and C. albicans (p=0.03), but lower antibody levels against poliovirus (p=0.04). Comparison of HIV patients with blood donor controls revealed that the patients had higher levels of antibodies against CMV (p=0.0008), HSV-2 (p=0.0008), EBV (p=0.001), and C. albicans (p=0.01), but showed decreased levels of antibodies against coxsackievirus B4 (p=0.0008), poliovirus (p=0.0005), and HHV-6B (p=0.002). Lastly, SjS patients had higher levels of anti-EBV antibodies (p=0.03), but lower antibody levels against several enteroviruses including a newly identified picornavirus, HCoSV-A (p=0.004), coxsackievirus B4 (p=0.04), and poliovirus (p=0.02). For the IFN-γ AAB and HIV cohorts, principal component analysis revealed unique antibody clusters that showed the potential to discriminate patients from controls. The results suggest that antibody profiles against these and likely other common infectious agents may yield insight into the interplay between exposure to infectious agents, dysbiosis, adaptive immunity and disease activity.
Adherence of Campylobacter jejuni to its particular host cells is mediated by several pathogen proteins. We screened a transposon-based mutant library of C. jejuni in order to identify clones with an invasion deficient phenotype towards Caco2 cells and detected a mutant with the transposon insertion in gene cj0268c. In vitro characterization of a generated non-random mutant, the mutant complemented with an intact copy of cj0268c and parental strain NCTC 11168 confirmed the relevance of Cj0268c in the invasion process, in particular regarding adherence to host cells. Whereas Cj0268c does not impact autoagglutination or motility of C. jejuni, heterologous expression in E. coli strain DH5α enhanced the potential of the complemented E. coli strain to adhere to Caco2 cells significantly and, thus, indicates that Cj0268c does not need to interact with other C. jejuni proteins to develop its adherence-mediating phenotype. Flow cytometric measurements of E. coli expressing Cj0268c indicate a localization of the protein in the periplasmic space with no access of its C-terminus to the bacterial surface. Since a respective knockout mutant possesses clearly reduced resistance to Triton X-100 treatment, Cj0268c contributes to the stability of the bacterial cell wall. Finally, we could show that the presence of cj0268c seems to be ubiquitous in isolates of C. jejuni and does not correlate with specific clonal groups regarding pathogenicity or pathogen metabolism.
Microbial communities play an important role in cheese ripening and determine the flavor and taste of different cheese types to a large extent. However, under adverse conditions human pathogens may colonize cheese samples during ripening and may thus cause severe outbreaks of diarrhoea and other diseases. Therefore in the present study we investigated the bacterial community structure of three raw ewe's milk cheese types, which are produced without the application of starter cultures during ripening from two production sites based on fingerprinting in combination with next generation sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. Overall a surprisingly high diversity was found in the analyzed samples and overall up to 213 OTU97 could be assigned. 20 of the major OTUs were present in all samples and include mostly lactic acid bacteria (LAB), mainly Lactococcus, and Enterococcus species. Abundance and diversity of these genera differed to a large extent between the 3 investigated cheese types and in response to the ripening process. Also a large number of non LAB genera could be identified based on phylogenetic alignments including mainly Enterobacteriaceae and Staphylococcacae. Some species belonging to these two families could be clearly assigned to species which are known as potential human pathogens like Staphylococcus saprophyticus or Salmonella spp. However, during cheese ripening their abundance was reduced. The bacterial genera, namely Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Leuconostoc, Bifidobacterium, Brevibacterium, Corynebacterium, Clostridium, Staphylococcus, Thermoanerobacterium, E. coli, Hafnia, Pseudomonas, Janthinobacterium, Petrotoga, Kosmotoga, Megasphaera, Macrococcus, Mannheimia, Aerococcus, Vagococcus, Weissella and Pediococcus were identified at a relative low level and only in selected samples. Overall the microbial composition of the used milk and the management of the production units determined the bacterial community composition for all cheese types to a large extend, also at the late time points of cheese ripening.
Cell death is a critical host response to regulate the fate of bacterial infections, innate immune responses, and ultimately, disease outcome. Shigella
spp. invade and colonize gut epithelium in human and nonhuman primates but adult mice are naturally resistant to intra-gastric Shigella infection. In this study, however, we found Shigella could invade the terminal ileum of the mouse small intestine by 1 hour after infection and be rapidly cleared within 24 h. These early phase events occurred shortly after oral infection resulting in epithelial shedding, degranulation of Paneth cells, and cell death in the intestine. During this process, autophagy proceeded without any signs of inflammation. In contrast, blocking autophagy in epithelial cells enhanced host cell death, leading to tissue destruction and to inflammation, suggesting that autophagic flow relieves cellular stress associated with host cell death and inflammation. Herein we propose a new concept of “epithelial barrier turnover” as a general intrinsic host defense mechanism that increases survival of host cells and inhibits inflammation against enteric bacterial infections, which is regulated by autophagy.
Campylobacter jejuni is the leading cause of bacterial food-borne gastroenteritis in the world, and thus one of the most important public health concerns. The initial stage in its pathogenesis after ingestion is to overcome colonization resistance that is maintained by the human intestinal microbiota. But how it overcomes colonization resistance is unknown. Recently developed humanized gnotobiotic mouse models have provided deeper insights into this initial stage and host's immune response. These studies have found that a fat-rich diet modifies the composition of the conventional intestinal microbiota by increasing the Firmicutes and Proteobacteria loads while reducing the Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes loads creating an imbalance that exposes the intestinal epithelial cells to adherence. Upon adherence, deoxycholic acid stimulates C. jejuni to synthesize Campylobacter invasion antigens, which invade the epithelial cells. In response, NF-κB triggers the maturation of dendritic cells. Chemokines produced by the activated dendritic cells initiate the clearance of C. jejuni cells by inducing the actions of neutrophils, B-lymphocytes, and various subsets of T-cells. This immune response causes inflammation. This review focuses on the progress that has been made on understanding the relationship between intestinal microbiota shift, establishment of C. jejuni infection, and consequent immune response.
Sexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) across the cervicovaginal mucosa in women is influenced by many factors including the microbiota and the presence of underlying inflammation. It is important that potential HIV preventative agents do not alter the mucosal environment in a way that enhances HIV acquisition. We examined the impact of a “live” microbicide on the vaginal mucosal environment in a rhesus macaque repeated vaginal simian-HIV (SHIVSF162P3) challenge model. The microbicide contained a human vaginal Lactobacillus jensenii expressing the HIV-1 entry inhibitor, modified Cyanovirin-N (mCV-N), and henceforth called LB-mCV-N. Macaques were colonized vaginally each week with LB-mCV-N and sampled six days after colonization for culturable bacteria, pH and cervical-vaginal cytokines during the duration of the six-week study. We show that macaques that retained the engineered LB-mCV-N strain in their vaginal microbiota, during SHIV challenge, had lower pH, when colonization levels were higher, and had no evidence of inflammatory cytokines. Indeed, Interleukin-13, a mediator of inflammation, was detected less often in LB-mCV-N colonized macaques than in controls and we found higher levels of Interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) in LB-mCV-N colonized macaques during the SHIV challenge period. We noted an inverse correlation between levels of mucosal IL-1RA and peak plasma viral load, thus higher IL-1RA correlated with lower viral load in LB-mCV-N treated macaques. These data support the use of LB-mCV-N as a safe “live” microbicide and suggest that lactobacilli themselves may positively impact the mucosal environment.
The Gram-negative bacterium Campylobacter jejuni is able to enter, survive and multiply within the free living amoeba Acanthamoeba polyphaga, but the molecular mechanisms behind these events are still unclear. We have studied the uptake and intracellular trafficking of viable and heat killed bacterial cells of the C. jejuni strain 81–176 in A. polyphaga. We found that viable bacteria associated with a substantially higher proportion of Acanthamoeba trophozoites than heat killed bacteria. Furthermore, the kinetics of internalization, the total number of internalized bacteria as well as the intracellular localization of internalized C. jejuni were dramatically influenced by bacterial viability. Viable bacteria were internalized at a high rate already after 1 h of co-incubation and were observed in small vacuoles tightly surrounding the bacteria. In contrast, internalization of heat killed C. jejuni was low at early time points and did not peak until 96 h. These cells were gathered in large spacious vacuoles that were part of the degradative pathway as determined by the uptake of fluorescently labeled dextran. The amount of heat killed bacteria internalized by A. polyphaga did never reach the maximal amount of internalized viable bacteria. These results suggest that the uptake and intracellular survival of C. jejuni in A. polyphaga is bacterially induced.
Wheat dextrin soluble fibre may have metabolic and health benefits, potentially acting via mechanisms governed by the selective modulation of the human gut microbiota. Our aim was to examine the impact of wheat dextrin on the composition and metabolic activity of the gut microbiota. We used a validated in vitro three-stage continuous culture human colonic model (gut model) system comprised of vessels simulating anatomical regions of the human colon. To mimic human ingestion, 7 g of wheat dextrin (NUTRIOSE® FB06) was administered to three gut models, twice daily at 10.00 and 15.00, for a total of 18 days. Samples were collected and analysed for microbial composition and organic acid concentrations by 16S rRNA-based fluorescence in situ hybridisation and gas chromatography approaches, respectively. Wheat dextrin mediated a significant increase in total bacteria in vessels simulating the transverse and distal colon, and a significant increase in key butyrate-producing bacteria Clostridium cluster XIVa and Roseburia genus in all vessels of the gut model. The production of principal short-chain fatty acids, acetate, propionate and butyrate, which have been purported to have protective, trophic and metabolic host benefits, were increased. Specifically, wheat dextrin fermentation had a significant butyrogenic effect in all vessels of the gut model and significantly increased production of acetate (vessels 2 and 3) and propionate (vessel 3), simulating the transverse and distal regions of the human colon, respectively. In conclusion, wheat dextrin NUTRIOSE® FB06 is selectively fermented in vitro by Clostridium cluster XIVa and Roseburia genus and beneficially alters the metabolic profile of the human gut microbiota.
Surveillance of bloodstream infections (BSI) is a high priority within the hospital setting. Broth-based blood cultures are the current gold standard for detecting BSI, however they can require lengthy incubation periods prior to detection of positive samples. We set out to demonstrate the feasibility of using enzymatic template generation and amplification (ETGA)-mediated measurement of DNA polymerase activity to detect microbes from clinical blood cultures. In addition to routine-collected hospital blood cultures, one parallel aerobic blood culture was collected and immediately refrigerated until being transported for ETGA analysis. After refrigeration holding and transport, parallel-collected cultures were placed into a BACTEC incubator and ETGA time-course analysis was performed. Of the 308 clinical blood cultures received, 22 were BACTEC positive, and thus were initially selected for ETGA time course analysis. The ETGA assay detected microbial growth in all 22 parallel-positive blood cultures in less time than a BACTEC incubator and also yielded genomic DNA for qPCR-based organism identification. In summary, feasibility of detecting microbes from clinical blood culture samples using the ETGA blood culture assay was demonstrated. Additional studies are being considered towards development of clinically beneficial versions of this methodology.
The soil-transmitted helminth (STH), Trichuris trichiura colonises the human large intestine where it may modify inflammatory responses, an effect possibly mediated through alterations in the intestinal microbiota. We hypothesised that patent T. trichiura infections would be associated with altered faecal microbiota and that anthelmintic treatment would induce a microbiota resembling more closely that observed in uninfected individuals.
Materials and Methods
School children in Ecuador were screened for STH infections and allocated to 3 groups: uninfected, T. trichiura only, and mixed infections with T. trichiura and Ascaris lumbricoides. A sample of uninfected children and those with T. trichiura infections only were given anthelmintic treatment. Bacterial community profiles in faecal samples were studied by 454 pyrosequencing of 16 S rRNA genes.
Microbiota analyses of faeces were done for 97 children: 30 were uninfected, 17 were infected with T. trichiura, and 50 with T. trichiura and A. lumbricoides. Post-treatment samples were analyzed for 14 children initially infected with T. trichiura alone and for 21 uninfected children. Treatment resulted in 100% cure of STH infections. Comparisons of the microbiota at different taxonomic levels showed no statistically significant differences in composition between uninfected children and those with T. trichiura infections. We observed a decreased proportional abundance of a few bacterial genera from the Clostridia class of Firmicutes and a reduced bacterial diversity among children with mixed infections compared to the other two groups, indicating a possible specific effect of A. lumbricoides infection. Anthelmintic treatment of children with T. trichiura did not alter faecal microbiota composition.
Our data indicate that patent human infections with T. trichiura may have no effect on faecal microbiota but that A. lumbricoides colonisation might be associated with a disturbed microbiota. Our results also catalogue the microbiota of rural Ecuadorians and indicate differences with individuals from more urban industrialised societies.
Laminitis is a chronic, crippling disease triggered by the sudden influx of dietary starch. Starch reaches the hindgut resulting in enrichment of lactic acid bacteria, lactate accumulation, and acidification of the gut contents. Bacterial products enter the bloodstream and precipitate systemic inflammation. Hindgut lactate levels are normally low because specific bacterial groups convert lactate to short chain fatty acids. Why this mechanism fails when lactate levels rapidly rise, and why some hindgut communities can recover is unknown. Fecal samples from three adult horses eating identical diets provided bacterial communities for this in vitro study. Triplicate microcosms of fecal slurries were enriched with lactate and/or starch. Metabolic products (short chain fatty acids, headspace gases, and hydrogen sulfide) were measured and microbial community compositions determined using Illumina 16S rRNA sequencing over 12-hour intervals. We report that patterns of change in short chain fatty acid levels and pH in our in vitro system are similar to those seen in in vivo laminitis induction models. Community differences between microcosms with disparate abilities to clear excess lactate suggest profiles conferring resistance of starch-induction conditions. Where lactate levels recover following starch induction conditions, propionate and acetate levels rise correspondingly and taxa related to Megasphaeraelsdenii reach levels exceeding 70% relative abundance. In lactate and control cultures, taxa related to Veillonellamontpellierensis are enriched as lactate levels fall. Understanding these community differences and factors promoting the growth of specific lactate utilizing taxa may be useful to prevent acidosis under starch-induction conditions.
Sedentary lifestyle and excessive energy intake are prominent contributors to obesity; a major risk factors for the development of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying these chronic conditions is of relevant importance as it might lead to the identification of novel anti-obesity targets. The purpose of the current study is to investigate differentially expressed proteins between lean and obese subjects through a shot-gun quantitative proteomics approach using peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) extracts as well as potential modulation of those proteins by physical exercise. Using this approach, a total of 47 proteins showed at least 1.5 fold change between lean and obese subjects. In obese, the proteomic profiling before and after 3 months of physical exercise showed differential expression of 38 proteins. Thrombospondin 1 (TSP1) was among the proteins that were upregulated in obese subjects and then decreased by physical exercise. Conversely, the histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) was downregulated in obese subjects and then induced by physical exercise. The proteomic data was further validated by qRT-PCR, Western blot and immunohistochemistry in both PBMCs and adipose tissue. We also showed that HDAC4 levels correlated positively with maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 Max) but negatively with body mass index, percent body fat, and the inflammatory chemokine RANTES. In functional assays, our data indicated that ectopic expression of HDAC4 significantly impaired TNF-α-dependent activation of NF-κB, establishing thus a link between HDAC4 and regulation of the immune system. Together, the expression pattern of HDAC4 in obese subjects before and after physical exercise, its correlation with various physical, clinical and metabolic parameters along with its inhibitory effect on NF-κB are suggestive of a protective role of HDAC4 against obesity. HDAC4 could therefore represent a potential therapeutic target for the control and management of obesity and presumably insulin resistance.
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) cause secretory diarrhea in children and travelers to endemic areas. ETEC spreads through the fecal-oral route. After ingestion, ETEC passes through the stomach and duodenum before it colonizes the lower part of the small intestine, exposing bacteria to a wide range of pH and environmental conditions. This study aimed to determine the impact of external pH and activity of the Cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP) on the regulation of production and secretion of heat labile (LT) enterotoxin. ETEC strain E2863wt and its isogenic mutant E2863ΔCRP were grown in LBK media buffered to pH 5, 7 and 9. GM1 ELISA, cDNA and cAMP analyses were carried out on bacterial pellet and supernatant samples derived from 3 and 5 hours growth and from overnight cultures. We confirm that CRP is a repressor of LT transcription and production as has been shown before but we show for the first time that CRP is a positive regulator of LT secretion both in vitro and in vivo. LT secretion increased at neutral to alkaline pH compared to acidic pH 5 where secretion was completely inhibited. At pH 9 secretion of LT was optimal resulting in 600 percent increase of secreted LT compared to unbuffered LBK media. This effect was not due to membrane leakage since the bacteria were viable at pH 9. The results indicate that the transition to the alkaline duodenum and/or exposure to high pH close to the epithelium as well as activation of the global transcription factor CRP are signals that induce secretion of the LT toxin in ETEC.
Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive foodborne pathogen and the causative agent of listerosis a disease that manifests predominately as meningitis in the non-pregnant individual or infection of the fetus and spontaneous abortion in pregnant women. Common-source outbreaks of foodborne listeriosis are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. However, relatively little is known concerning the mechanisms that govern infection via the oral route. In order to aid functional genetic analysis of the gastrointestinal phase of infection we designed a novel signature-tagged mutagenesis (STM) system based upon the invasive L. monocytogenes 4b serotype H7858 strain. To overcome the limitations of gastrointestinal infection by L. monocytogenes in the mouse model we created a H7858 strain that is genetically optimised for oral infection in mice. Furthermore our STM system was based upon a mariner transposon to favour numerous and random transposition events throughout the L. monocytogenes genome. Use of the STM bank to investigate oral infection by L. monocytogenes identified 21 insertion mutants that demonstrated significantly reduced potential for infection in our model. The sites of transposon insertion included lmOh7858_0671 (encoding an internalin homologous to Lmo0610), lmOh7858_0898 (encoding a putative surface-expressed LPXTG protein homologous to Lmo0842), lmOh7858_2579 (encoding the HupDGC hemin transport system) and lmOh7858_0399 (encoding a putative fructose specific phosphotransferase system). We propose that this represents an optimised STM system for functional genetic analysis of foodborne/oral infection by L. monocytogenes.
Parasitic nematodes are potent modulators of immune reactivity in mice and men. Intestinal nematodes live in close contact with commensal gut bacteria, provoke biased Th2 immune responses upon infection, and subsequently lead to changes in gut physiology. We hypothesized that murine nematode infection is associated with distinct changes of the intestinal bacterial microbiota composition. We here studied intestinal inflammatory and immune responses in mice following infection with the hookworm Heligmosomoidespolygyrusbakeri and applied cultural and molecular techniques to quantitatively assess intestinal microbiota changes in the ileum, cecum and colon. At day 14 post nematode infection, mice harbored significantly higher numbers of γ-Proteobacteria/Enterobacteriaceae and members of the Bacteroides/Prevotella group in their cecum as compared to uninfected controls. Abundance of Gram-positive species such as Lactobacilli, Clostridia as well as the total bacterial load was not affected by worm infection. The altered microbiota composition was independent of the IL-4/-13 – STAT6 signaling axis, as infected IL-4Rα-/- mice showed a similar increase in enterobacterial loads. In conclusion, infection with an enteric nematode is accompanied by distinct intestinal microbiota changes towards higher abundance of gram-negative commensal species at the small intestinal site of infection (and inflammation), but also in the parasite-free large intestinal tract. Further studies should unravel the impact of nematode-induced microbiota changes in inflammatory bowel disease to allow for a better understanding of how theses parasites interfere with intestinal inflammation and bacterial communities in men.
Proteoglycan (PG) extracted from salmon nasal cartilage has potential to be a prophylactic agent. Daily oral administration of the PG attenuates systemic inflammatory response in the experimental mouse models. In this study, we applied the culture-independent approach to investigate an alteration of intestinal microbiota composition in PG-administered mice. The results indicated that the population level of bacilli increased in the small and large intestine upon PG administration. On the other hand, the population level of clostridia decreased in the large intestine. The proportion of bacteria that are able to ferment saccharides and produce short-chain fatty acids increased in the small intestine and decreased in the large intestine. Importantly, population level of probiotic lactobacilli and bacteria exhibiting the immunomodulatory effect increased in the PG-administered mice. In addition, several disease-associated bacteria decreased upon PG administration. These results provided an understanding of the specific role of PG involved in host immune modulation and supported our hypothesis that daily oral administration of PG improves the overall balance in composition of the intestinal microbial community.
Metal ions are integral parts of pro- as well as eukaryotic cell homeostasis.
Escherichia coli proved a valuable in vitro model
organism to elucidate essential mechanisms involved in uptake, storage, and export of
metal ions. Given that E. coli Nissle 1917 is able to overcome murine
colonization resistance, we generated several E. coli Nissle 1917 mutants
with defects in zinc, iron, copper, nickel, manganese homeostasis and performed a
comprehensive survey of the impact of metal ion transport and homeostasis for E.
coli colonization capacities within the murine intestinal tract. Seven days
following peroral infection of conventional mice with E. coli Nissle 1917
strains exhibiting defined defects in zinc or iron uptake, the respective mutant and
parental strains could be cultured at comparable, but low levels from the colonic lumen.
We next reassociated gnotobiotic mice in which the microbiota responsible for colonization
resistance was abrogated by broad-spectrum antibiotics with six different E.
coli K12 (W3110) mutants. Seven days following peroral challenge, each mutant
and parental strain stably colonized duodenum, ileum, and colon at comparable levels.
Taken together, defects in zinc, iron, copper, nickel, and manganese homeostasis do not
compromise colonization capacities of E. coli in the murine intestinal
bacterial colonization capacity; bacterial fitness; colonization resistance; copper homeostasis; E. coli K12 (W3110); E. coli Nissle 1917; enterobactin; gnotobiotic mice; iron homeostasis; manganese homeostasis; metal ion homeostasis and transport; metal ion mutant strains; periplasmic copper stress; zinc homeostasis
Campylobacter jejuni is among the most frequently reported bacterial
pathogens causing diarrhea in humans worldwide. We recently reported a murine infection
model mimicking key features of human campylobacteriosis. Six days following oral
C. jejuni infection immediately after weaning, infant mice developed
acute enterocolitis resolving within 2 weeks. Thereafter, C. jejuni could
still be isolated from the intestines of asymptomatic mice at low levels accompanied by
distinct immune responses, both at intestinal and extra-intestinal locations. We here show
that, at day 103 post infection (p.i.), long-term C. jejuni-infected mice
exhibited higher numbers of T lymphocytes in liver, lung, kindneys, and cardiac muscle as
compared to uninfected controls. In addition, B lymphocytes were slightly higher, but
macrophage numbers were significantly lower in liver and lung of C.
jejuni-infected versus naive mice. As compared to uninfected control animals,
proliferating cells were significantly lower in liver, lung, kidneys, cardiac muscle, and
spleen at day 103 p.i., whereas more apoptotic cells were abundant in the spleen with
predominance in the red pulp. This study underlines that post-infectious, immunological
sequelae at extra-intestinal locations are of importance even in asymptomatic long-term
C. jejuni carriers and need to be further studied in order to unravel
the underlying molecular mechanisms.
apoptotic cells; B lymphocytes; Campylobacter jejuni; colonization resistance; extra-intestinal immune cell influx; host–pathogen interaction; infant mice; innate and adaptive immunity; intestinal microbiota; long-term C. jejuni infection; macrophages; proliferative cells; T lymphocytes
Escherichia coli K12 (EcK12) is commonly used for gene technology
purposes and regarded as a security strain due to its inability to adhere to epithelial
cells. The conventional intestinal microbiota composition is critical for physiological
colonization resistance against most bacterial species including pathogens. We were
therefore interested whether intestinal colonization by a genetically modified EcK12
(W3110) strain carrying a chloramphenicol resistance cassette was facilitated following
broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment eradicating the intestinal microbiota or induction of
small intestinal inflammation accompanied by distinct microbiota shifts. Whereas
conventional C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice had virtually expelled the EcK12 (W3110) strain
within the first 3 days upon peroral infection, EcK12 (W3110) could establish within the
small and large intestines of gnotobiotic mice generated by quintuple antibiotic
treatment. Gnotobiotic mice perorally infected with EcK12 (W3110) plus fecal transplant
from conventional donors harbored lower intestinal EcK12 (W3110) loads compared to animals
challenged with EcK12 (W3110) alone. Furthermore, EcK12 (W3110) infection of conventional
mice after but not before induction of ileitis resulted in stable colonization of ileum
and colon by EcK12 (W3110). Taken together, broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment and
intestinal inflammation compromise colonization resistance and thus facilitate
colonization of the intestinal tract with genetically modified EcK12 security strains.
acute small intestinal inflammation; broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment; colonization resistance; E. coli K12 (W3110); Escherichia coli; fecal transplantation; genetically modified security strains; gnotobiotic mice; intestinal microbiota; Toxoplasma gondii
To investigate colonic mucus thickness in vivo in health and during experimental inflammatory bowel disease.
Colitis was induced with 5% DSS in drinking water for 8 days prior to experiment, when the descending colonic mucosa of anesthetized rats was studied using intravital microscopy. Mucus thickness was measured with micropipettes attached to a micromanipulator. To assess the contributions of NOS and prostaglandins in the regulation of colonic mucus thickness, the non-selective NOS-inhibitor L-NNA (10 mg/kg bolus followed by 3 mg/kg/h), the selective iNOS-inhibitor L-NIL (10 mg/kg bolus followed by 3 mg/kg/h) and the non-selective COX-inhibitor diclofenac (5 mg/kg) were administered intravenously prior to experiment. To further investigate the role of iNOS in the regulation of colonic mucus thickness, iNOS −/− mice were used.
Colitic rats had a thicker firmly adherent mucus layer following 8 days of DSS treatment than untreated rats (88±2 µm vs 76±1 µm). During induction of colitis, the thickness of the colonic mucus layer initially decreased but was from day 3 significantly thicker than in untreated rats. Diclofenac reduced the mucus thickness similarly in colitic and untreated rats (−16±5 µm vs −14±2 µm). While L-NNA had no effect on colonic mucus thickness in DSS or untreated controls (+3±2 µm vs +3±1 µm), L-NIL reduced the mucus thickness significantly more in colitic rats than in controls (−33±4 µm vs −10±3 µm). The importance of iNOS in regulating the colonic mucus thickness was confirmed in iNOS−/− mice, which had thinner colonic mucus than wild-type mice (35±3 µm vs 50±2 µm, respectively). Furthermore, immunohistochemistry revealed increased levels of iNOS in the colonic surface epithelium following DSS treatment.
Both prostaglandins and nitric oxide regulate basal colonic mucus thickness. During onset of colitis, the thickness of the mucus layer is initially reduced followed by an iNOS mediated increase.
Obesity has been associated with a more severe disease course in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and epidemiological data identified dietary fats but not obesity as risk factors for the development of IBD. Crohn’s disease is one of the two major IBD phenotypes and mostly affects the terminal ileum. Despite recent observations that high fat diets (HFD) impair intestinal barrier functions and drive pathobiont selection relevant for chronic inflammation in the colon, mechanisms of high fat diets in the pathogenesis of Crohn’s disease are not known. The aim of this study was to characterize the effect of HFD on the development of chronic ileal inflammation in a murine model of Crohn’s disease-like ileitis.
TNFΔARE/WT mice and wildtype C57BL/6 littermates were fed a HFD compared to control diet for different durations. Intestinal pathology and metabolic parameters (glucose tolerance, mesenteric tissue characteristics) were assessed. Intestinal barrier integrity was characterized at different levels including polyethylene glycol (PEG) translocation, endotoxin in portal vein plasma and cellular markers of barrier function. Inflammatory activation of epithelial cells as well as immune cell infiltration into ileal tissue were determined and related to luminal factors.
HFD aggravated ileal inflammation but did not induce significant overweight or typical metabolic disorders in TNFΔARE/WT. Expression of the tight junction protein Occludin was markedly reduced in the ileal epithelium of HFD mice independently of inflammation, and translocation of endotoxin was increased. Epithelial cells showed enhanced expression of inflammation-related activation markers, along with enhanced luminal factors-driven recruitment of dendritic cells and Th17-biased lymphocyte infiltration into the lamina propria.
HFD feeding, independently of obesity, accelerated disease onset of small intestinal inflammation in Crohn’s disease-relevant mouse model through mechanisms that involve increased intestinal permeability and altered luminal factors, leading to enhanced dendritic cell recruitment and promoted Th17 immune responses.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxal-5'-phosphate, PLP) is linked to a variety of biological functions in prokaryotes. Here, we report that the pdxA (putative 4-hydroxy-L-threonine phosphate dehydrogenase) gene plays a pivotal role in the PLP-dependent regulation of flagellar motility, thereby altering host colonization in a leading foodborne pathogen, Campylobacter jejuni. A C. jejuni pdxA mutant failed to produce PLP and exhibited a coincident loss of flagellar motility. Mass spectrometric analyses showed a 3-fold reduction in the main flagellar glycan pseudaminic acid (Pse) associated with the disruption of pdxA. The pdxA mutant also exhibited reduced growth rates compared with the WT strain. Comparative metabolomic analyses revealed differences in respiratory/energy metabolism between WT C. jejuni and the pdxA mutant, providing a possible explanation for the differential growth fitness between the two strains. Consistent with the lack of flagellar motility, the pdxA mutant showed impaired motility-mediated responses (bacterial adhesion, ERK1/2 activation, and IL-8 production) in INT407 cells and reduced colonization of chickens compared with the WT strain. Overall, this study demonstrated that the pdxA gene affects the PLP-mediated flagellar motility function, mainly through alteration of Pse modification, and the disruption of this gene also alters the respiratory/energy metabolisms to potentially affect host colonization. Our data therefore present novel implications regarding the utility of PLP and its dependent enzymes as potent target(s) for the control of this pathogen in the poultry host.
Innate immunity involving antimicrobial peptides represents an integrated and highly effective system of molecular and cellular mechanisms that protects host against infections. One of the most frequent hospital-acquired pathogens, Staphylococcus aureus, capable of producing proteolytic enzymes, which can degrade the host defence agents and tissue components. Numerous antimicrobial peptides derived from chromogranins, are secreted by nervous, endocrine and immune cells during stress conditions. These kill microorganisms by their lytic effect at micromolar range, using a pore-forming mechanism against Gram-positive bacteria, filamentous fungi and yeasts. In this study, we tested antimicrobial activity of chromogranin A-derived peptides (catestatin and cateslytin) against S. aureus and analysed S. aureus-mediated proteolysis of these peptides using HPLC, sequencing and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Interestingly, this study is the first to demonstrate that cateslytin, the active domain of catestatin, is active against S. aureus and is interestingly resistant to degradation by S. aureus proteases.