Current vaccine approaches to combat anthrax are effective; however, they target only a single protein [the protective antigen (PA) toxin component] that is produced after spore germination. PA production is subsequently increased during later vegetative cell proliferation. Accordingly, several aspects of the vaccine strategy could be improved. The inclusion of spore-specific antigens with PA could potentially induce protection to initial stages of the disease. Moreover, adding other epitopes to the current vaccine strategy will decrease the likelihood of encountering a strain of Bacillus anthracis (emerging or engineered) that is refractory to the vaccine. Adding recombinant spore-surface antigens (e.g. BclA, ExsFA/BxpB and p5303) to PA has been shown to augment protection afforded by the latter using a challenge model employing immunosuppressed mice challenged with spores derived from the attenuated Sterne strain of B. anthracis. This report demonstrated similar augmentation utilizing guinea pigs or mice challenged with spores of the fully virulent Ames strain or a non-toxigenic but encapsulated ΔAmes strain of B. anthracis, respectively. Additionally, it was shown that immune interference did not occur if optimal amounts of antigen were administered. By administering the toxin and spore-based immunogens simultaneously, a significant adjuvant effect was also observed in some cases. Thus, these data further support the inclusion of recombinant spore antigens in next-generation anthrax vaccine strategies.
Despite significant advances, widespread applicability of islet cell transplantation (ICT) remains elusive. Refinement of current islet isolation protocols may improve ICT outcomes. Islet purification by magnetic separation (MS) has shown early promise. However, surgical protocols must be optimized to maximize the incorporation of paramagnetic microparticles (MP) within a greater number of islets. The objective of this study is to explore the impact of MP concentration and infusion method on optimizing MP incorporation within islets.
Five porcine pancreata were procured from donors following cardiac death. Splenic lobes were isolated and infused with varying concentrations of MP (8, 16 and 32 × 108 MP/L of cold preservation solution) and using one of two delivery techniques (hanging bag versus hand-syringe). Following procurement and infusion, pancreata were stored at 0–4°C during transportation (< 1 hour), fixed in 10% buffered formalin and examined by standard MRI and histopathology.
T2*-weighted MRI illustrated homogeneous distribution of MP in all experimental splenic lobes. In addition, histologic analysis confirmed that MP were primarily located within the microvasculature of islets (82–85%), with few MP present in acinar tissue (15–18%), with an average of 5–7 MP per islet (within a 5 μm thick section). The highest MP incorporation was achieved at a concentration of 16 × 108 MP/L using the hand-syringe technique.
This preliminary study suggests that optimization of a surgical protocol, MP concentrations and applied infusion pressures may enable more uniform distribution of MP in the porcine pancreas and better control of MP incorporation within islets. These results may have implications in maximizing the efficacy of islet purification by MS.
Oocytes in humans, mice and other mammals lack identifiable centrioles. The proximal centriole brought in by the fertilizing sperm in humans and most other mammals appears to gives rise to the centrioles at the spindle poles in the zygote, and is believed to indicate that centrioles are inherited through the paternal lineage. However, both the proximal and distal sperm centrioles degenerate in mice and other rodents. A bipolar mitotic spindle nucleates from multiple centrosome-like structures in the mouse zygote and centrioles are not seen until the blastocyst stage, suggesting that centrioles are inherited through the maternal lineage in mice. We previously identified speriolin as a spermatogenic cell-specific binding partner of Cdc20 that co-localizes with pericentrin in mouse spermatocytes and is present in the centrosome in round spermatids.
The nature and localization of speriolin in mouse and human sperm and the fate of speriolin following fertilization in the mouse were determined using immunofluorescence microscopy, immunoelectron microscopy and western blotting.
Speriolin surrounds the intact proximal centriole in human sperm, but is localized at the periphery of the disordered distal centriole in mouse sperm. Human speriolin contains an internal 163-amino acid region not present in mouse that may contribute to localization differences. Speriolin is carried into the mouse oocyte during fertilization and remains associated with the decondensing sperm head in zygotes. The speriolin spot appears to undergo duplication or splitting during the first interphase and is detectable in 2-cell embryos.
Speriolin is a novel centrosomal protein present in the connecting piece region of mouse and human sperm that is transmitted to the mouse zygote and can be detected throughout the first mitotic division.
centriole; flagellum; fertilization; paternal inheritance; zygote
The cost of islet procurement from donor pigs is increased by the use of organs that produce low yields. We developed an assessment system using dithizone-stained pig pancreas biopsies to enable the preselection of donor organs.
Pig pancreas biopsy slices were soaked in dithizone solution. The islets were evaluated before islet isolation by converting the islet counts (IC) to islet equivalents (IE), then determining the IE/cm2, IE/IC, % >150 μm islets, and % >200 μm islets. These parameters were evaluated in 3 different areas of pancreas (duodenal, splenic, and connecting lobe; n = 42 each). Stepwise multivariate linear regression analysis was performed to assess for correlations with islet yield and decide which area of the pancreas had the most predictive value. To identify other predictors, including donor and islet isolation variables, we performed binary logistic regression analysis with significant variables from the univariate analysis (n = 67). For this analysis, the pigs were categorized into high (n = 23) and low (n = 44) yield groups.
Stepwise multivariate linear regression analysis revealed that IE/cm2 of the splenic lobe significantly predicted islet yield. Binary logistic regression analysis indicated that the IE/mm2 of the splenic lobe was the only parameter that significantly correlated with successful pig islet isolations (P = .01; odds ratio 3.605). Variables associated with donor and islet isolation, such as age, gender, ischemic time, or enzyme lot, were not significantly correlated with islet yield.
Our study suggests that islet distribution of splenic lobe biopsies can be a reliable predictor of islet yield from pig pancreata.
Islet transplantation is emerging as a promising treatment for patients with type 1 diabetes. It is important to maximize viable islet yield for each organ due to scarcity of suitable human donor pancreata, high cost, and the high dose of islets required for insulin independence. However, organ transport for 8 hours using the two-layer method (TLM) frequently results in lower islet yields. Since efficient oxygenation of the core of larger organs (eg, pig, human) in TLM has recently come under question, we investigated oxygen persufflation as an alternative way to supply the pancreas with oxygen during preservation. Porcine pancreata were procured from non–heart-beating donors and preserved by either TLM or persufflation for 24 hours and fixed. Biopsies were collected from several regions of the pancreas, sectioned, stained with hematoxylin and eosin, and evaluated by a histologist. Persufflated tissues exhibited distended capillaries due to gas perfusion and significantly less autolysis/cell death than regions not exposed to persufflation or tissues exposed to TLM. The histology presented here suggests that after 24 hours of preservation, persufflation dramatically improves tissue health when compared with TLM. These results indicate the potential for persufflation to improve viable islet yields and extend the duration of preservation, allowing more donor organs to be utilized.
neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis; canine; cognition; reversal learning; t-maze
As Schwann cells possess regenerative capabilities there is intense interest concerning their role in central nervous system (CNS) regeneration. We report on a case of an intramedullary schwannoma involving the conus medullaris and spinal cord above it. We discuss the possible origin of these cells and the mechanisms by which these cells may invade the CNS. We offer imaging and discuss experimental studies to support our hypothesis. This case concerns a 48-year-old man, who presented with a 6-month history of bilateral lower extremity weakness. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed an intramedullary tumour extending from the conus to T11. At operation, following laminectomy and durotomy, a schwannoma was dissected free from the conus. Total gross resection of tumour was achieved. The patient made an uneventful and full recovery. This case shows that Schwann cells can invade the CNS. Manipulation of the transitional zone astrocytic barrier may offer a potential avenue for Schwann cells to enter the CNS in pathological states.
CNS regeneration Intramedullary schwannoma Transitional zone
Previous research has suggested that the adhesin encoded by the F18 fimbrial operon in Escherichia coli is either the FedE or FedF protein. In this work, we show that anti-FedF antibodies, unlike anti-FedE serum, were able to inhibit E. coli adhesion to porcine enterocytes. Moreover, specific adhesion to enterocytes was shown with purified FedF-maltose binding protein.
Salmonella strains that lack or overproduce DNA adenine methylase (Dam) elicit a protective immune response to different Salmonella species. To generate vaccines against other bacterial pathogens, the dam genes of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Vibrio cholerae were disrupted but found to be essential for viability. Overproduction of Dam significantly attenuated the virulence of these two pathogens, leading to, in Yersinia, the ectopic secretion of virulence proteins (Yersinia outer proteins) and a fully protective immune response in vaccinated hosts. Dysregulation of Dam activity may provide a means for the development of vaccines against varied bacterial pathogens.
Expression of superoxide dismutases (FeSOD and MnSOD) and catalases by laboratory strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa is modulated by exogenous factors. Whether clinical isolates behave similarly and whether antioxidant enzyme expression influences P. aeruginosa virulence remain unclear. Fifty-seven P. aeruginosa blood culture isolates, plus seven pairs of blood and local-site isolates, were examined for FeSOD, MnSOD, and catalase production in vitro. Under iron-replete growth conditions FeSOD and catalase activities were maximized. MnSOD was not detected. FeSOD and catalase activity decreased under iron-limited growth conditions, whereas MnSOD activity appeared. SOD and catalase activity did not change with site of isolation or by patient. MnSOD could not be expressed by one isolate due to a missense mutation in sodA that produced a premature stop codon. Eleven percent of the isolates expressed a novel, rapidly migrating MnSOD that was associated with missense mutations in the normal stop codon of sodA. We conclude that clinical P. aeruginosa isolates vary little in FeSOD and catalase expression. Some strains produce a newly described MnSOD variant, whereas one is deficient in MnSOD production. The absence of MnSOD expression in a P. aeruginosa strain causing invasive human disease indicates that MnSOD is probably not essential for P. aeruginosa virulence.
Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) induce cytoskeletal changes in infected epithelial cells. To further characterize host cytosolic responses to infection, a series of specific cell-signaling inhibitors were employed. Initial bacterial adhesion to HEp-2 epithelial cells was not reduced, whereas α-actinin accumulation in infected cells was blocked by a phosphoinositide-specific phospholipase C inhibitor (ET-18-OCH3), phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitors (wortmannin and LY294002), and a 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor, nordihydroguaretic acid. A cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor (NS-398), however, did not block α-actinin reorganization in response to EPEC and STEC infections. Understanding signal transduction responses to enteric pathogens could provide the basis for the development of novel therapeutic strategies.
The lack of readily available experimental systems has limited knowledge pertaining to the development of Salmonella-induced gastroenteritis and diarrheal disease in humans. We used a novel low-shear stress cell culture system developed at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in conjunction with cultivation of three-dimensional (3-D) aggregates of human intestinal tissue to study the infectivity of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium for human intestinal epithelium. Immunohistochemical characterization and microscopic analysis of 3-D aggregates of the human intestinal epithelial cell line Int-407 revealed that the 3-D cells more accurately modeled human in vivo differentiated tissues than did conventional monolayer cultures of the same cells. Results from infectivity studies showed that Salmonella established infection of the 3-D cells in a much different manner than that observed for monolayers. Following the same time course of infection with Salmonella, 3-D Int-407 cells displayed minimal loss of structural integrity compared to that of Int-407 monolayers. Furthermore, Salmonella exhibited significantly lower abilities to adhere to, invade, and induce apoptosis of 3-D Int-407 cells than it did for infected Int-407 monolayers. Analysis of cytokine expression profiles of 3-D Int-407 cells and monolayers following infection with Salmonella revealed significant differences in expression of interleukin 1α (IL-1α), IL-1β, IL-6, IL-1Ra, and tumor necrosis factor alpha mRNAs between the two cultures. In addition, uninfected 3-D Int-407 cells constitutively expressed higher levels of transforming growth factor β1 mRNA and prostaglandin E2 than did uninfected Int-407 monolayers. By more accurately modeling many aspects of human in vivo tissues, the 3-D intestinal cell model generated in this study offers a novel approach for studying microbial infectivity from the perspective of the host-pathogen interaction.
The capacity of Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) to adhere to the intestinal mucosa undoubtedly contributes to pathogenesis of human disease. The majority of STEC strains isolated from severe cases produce attaching and effacing lesions on the intestinal mucosa, a property mediated by the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) pathogenicity island. This element is not essential for pathogenesis, as some cases of severe disease, including hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), are caused by LEE-negative STEC strains, but the mechanism whereby these adhere to the intestinal mucosa is not understood. We have isolated a gene from the megaplasmid of a LEE-negative O113:H21 STEC strain (98NK2) responsible for an outbreak of HUS, which encodes an auto-agglutinating adhesin designated Saa (STEC autoagglutinating adhesin). Introduction of saa cloned in pBC results in a 9.7-fold increase in adherence of E. coli JM109 to HEp-2 cells and a semilocalized adherence pattern. Mutagenesis of saa in 98NK2, or curing the wild-type strain of its megaplasmid, resulted in a significant reduction in adherence. Homologues of saa were found in several unrelated LEE-negative STEC serotypes, including O48:H21 (strain 94CR) and O91:H21 (strain B2F1), which were also isolated from patients with HUS. Saa exhibits a low degree of similarity (25% amino acid [aa] identity) with YadA of Yersinia enterocolitica and Eib, a recently described phage-encoded immunoglobulin binding protein from E. coli. Saa produced by 98NK2 is 516 aa long and includes four copies of a 37-aa direct repeat sequence. Interestingly, Saa produced by other STEC strains ranges in size from 460 to 534 aa as a consequence of variation in the number of repeats and/or other insertions or deletions immediately proximal to the repeat domain.
A subset of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) biotype IV isolates from the human genital tract or from infected newborn infants forms a cryptic genospecies characterized by, among other features, the presence of peritrichous pili. The objective of this study was to determine the similarity of these pili to hemagglutinating, HifA- and HifE-containing pili expressed by respiratory H. influenzae isolates. For this analysis, the presence of hifA and hifE and their gene products in NTHI biotype IV strains was assessed, the binding of H. influenzae biotype IV strains to human epithelial cells was characterized, possible genital tissue tropism of these isolates was explored, and the role of HifA- and HifE-possessing pili in the adhesion of NTHI biotype IV strains to human epithelial cells was determined. None of the six biotype IV NTHI isolates tested agglutinated human red blood cells, nor could they be enriched for hemagglutinating variants. Although hifA, which encodes the major structural subunit of hemagglutinating pili, and hifE, which encodes the tip adhesin of hemagglutinating pili, were detected by PCR from six and five, respectively, of the six biotype IV strains tested, neither HifA nor HifE (the gene products of hifA and hifE) were detected in any of these strains by Western blot analysis using antisera that recognize HifA and HifE of respiratory strains. Transmission electron microscopy showed no surface pili on the two biotype IV H. influenzae isolates examined; strain 4162 containing an insertional mutation in hifA also showed no surface pili, whereas strain 1595 containing an insertional mutation in hifB showed pilus-like structures that were shorter and thicker than hemagglutinating pili of the respiratory strains AAr176 and M43. In enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, biotype IV strains adhered to 16HBE14o− and HEp-2 cells of respiratory origin as well as to ME180 and HeLa cells of genital origin. This adherence was not pilus specific, however, as GM-1, a known pilus receptor analog, did not inhibit binding of biotype IV strains to ME180, HEp-2, or HeLa cells, and GM-1 inhibition of binding to 16HBE14o− cells did not correlate with the presence of hifE. While both nonpiliated variants and hifA and hifB (encoding the pilus chaperone) mutants of respiratory strain AAr176 showed reduced binding (64 to 87% of that of piliated AAr176) to 16HBE14o− and ME180 cells, hifA and hifB mutants of the biotype IV strains showed minimal reduction in binding to these cell lines (91 to 98% of that of wild-type strains). Thus, although biotype IV H. influenzae isolates of the cryptic genospecies possess the genes that code for HifA- and HifE-containing hemagglutinating pili, epithelial cell adherence exhibited by these strains is not mediated by expression of hemagglutinating pili.
The selC tRNA gene is a common site for the insertion of pathogenicity islands in a variety of bacterial enteric pathogens. We demonstrate here that Escherichia coli that produces Shiga toxin 2d and does not harbor the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) contains, instead, a novel genomic island. In one representative strain (E. coli O91:H− strain 4797/97), this island is 33,014 bp long and, like LEE in E. coli O157:H7, is integrated 15 bp downstream of selC. This E. coli O91:H− island contains genes encoding a novel serine protease, termed EspI; an adherence-associated locus, similar to iha of E. coli O157:H7; an E. coli vitamin B12 receptor (BtuB); an AraC-type regulatory module; and four homologues of E. coli phosphotransferase proteins. The remaining sequence consists largely of complete and incomplete insertion sequences, prophage sequences, and an intact phage integrase gene that is located directly downstream of the chromosomal selC. Recombinant EspI demonstrates serine protease activity using pepsin A and human apolipoprotein A-I as substrates. We also detected Iha-reactive protein in outer membranes of a recombinant clone and 10 LEE-negative, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) strains by immunoblot analysis. Using PCR analysis of various STEC, enteropathogenic E. coli, enterotoxigenic E. coli, enteroaggregative E. coli, uropathogenic E. coli, and enteroinvasive E. coli strains, we detected the iha homologue in 59 (62%) of 95 strains tested. In contrast, espI and btuB were present in only two (2%) and none of these strains, respectively. We conclude that the newly described island occurs exclusively in a subgroup of STEC strains that are eae negative and contain the variant stx2d gene.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common inflammatory diseases. Acute UTIs are typically caused by type 1-piliated Escherichia coli and result in urothelial apoptosis, local cytokine release, and neutrophil infiltration. To examine the urothelial apoptotic response, a human urothelial cell line was incubated with various E. coli isolates and was then characterized by flow cytometry. Uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) induced rapid urothelial apoptosis that was strictly dependent upon interactions mediated by type 1 pili. Interestingly, nonpathogenic HB101 E. coli expressing type 1 pili induced apoptosis at approximately 50% of the level induced by UPEC, suggesting that pathogenic strains contribute to apoptosis by pilus-independent mechanisms. Consistent with this possibility, UPEC blocked activity of an NF-κB-dependent reporter in response to inflammatory stimuli, yet this effect was independent of functional type 1 pili and was not mediated by laboratory strains of E. coli. UPEC suppressed NF-κB by stabilizing IκBα, and UPEC rapidly altered cellular signaling pathways. Finally, blocking NF-κB activity increased the level of piliated HB101-induced apoptosis to the level of apoptosis induced by UPEC. These results suggest that UPEC blocks NF-κB and thereby enhances type 1 pili-induced apoptosis as a component of the uropathogenic program.
The family of attaching and effacing (A/E) bacterial pathogens, which includes diarrheagenic enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) and enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), remains a significant threat to human and animal health. These bacteria intimately attach to host intestinal cells, causing the effacement of brush border microvilli. The genes responsible for this phenotype are encoded in a pathogenicity island called the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE). Citrobacter rodentium is the only known murine A/E pathogen and serves as a small animal model for EPEC and EHEC infections. Here we report the full DNA sequence of C. rodentium LEE and provide a comparative analysis with the published LEEs from EPEC, EHEC, and the rabbit diarrheagenic E. coli strain RDEC-1. Although C. rodentium LEE shows high similarities throughout the entire sequence and shares all 41 open reading frames with the LEE from EPEC, EHEC, and RDEC-1, it is unique in its location of the rorf1 and rorf2/espG genes and the presence of several insertion sequences (IS) and IS remnants. The LEE of EPEC and EHEC is inserted into the selC tRNA gene. In contrast, the Citrobacter LEE is flanked on one side by an operon encoding an ABC transport system, and an IS element and sequences homologous to Shigella plasmid R100 and EHEC pO157 flank the other. The presence of plasmid sequences next to C. rodentium LEE suggests that the prototype LEE resided on a horizontally transferable plasmid. Additional sequence analysis reveals that the 3-kb plasmid in C. rodentium is nearly identical to p9705 in EHEC O157:H7, suggesting that horizontal plasmid transfer among A/E pathogens has occurred. Our results indicate that the LEE has been acquired by C. rodentium and A/E E. coli strains independently during evolution.
Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) is an extracellular bacterial pathogen that infects the human intestinal epithelium and is a major cause of infantile diarrhea in developing countries. EPEC belongs to the group of attaching and effacing (A/E) pathogens. It uses a type III secretion system to deliver proteins into the host cell that mediate signal transduction events in host cells. We used gene array technology to study epithelial cell responses to EPEC infection at the level of gene expression. We found that EPEC induces the expression of several genes in infected HeLa cells by a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-independent mechanism, including cytokines and early growth response factor 1 (Egr-1). The transcription factor Egr-1 is an immediate-early-induced gene that is activated in most cell types in response to stress. EPEC-induced upregulation of egr-1 is mediated by the activation of the MEK/extracellular signal-regulated kinase signal transduction pathway and is dependent on the type III secretion system. egr-1 is also induced during infection of mice by the A/E pathogen Citrobacter rodentium, suggesting that both Egr-1 and the activation of this mitogen-activated protein kinase signal transduction pathway may play a role in disease.
Infection of rat prostates with cytotoxic necrotizing factor type 1 (CNF1)-positive uropathogenic Escherichia coli caused more inflammation-mediated morphological and histological tissue damage than did infection with isogenic CNF1-negative mutants. These striking differences occurred despite the finding that bacterial counts for the strain pairs were indistinguishable. We conclude that CNF1 contributes to E. coli virulence in a model of acute prostatitis. To our knowledge, the results of this study provide the first demonstration of a role for any uropathogenic E. coli virulence factor in acute prostatitis.
Shigella spp. cause dysentery, a severe form of bloody diarrhea. Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is induced during Shigella infections and has been proposed to be a key event in the pathogenesis of dysentery. Here, we describe a novel cytotoxic activity in the sterile-culture supernatants of Shigella flexneri. An identical activity was identified in purified S. flexneri endotoxin, defined here as a mixture of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and endotoxin-associated proteins (EP). Separation of endotoxin into EP and LPS revealed the activity to partition exclusively to the EP fraction. Biochemical characterization of S. flexneri EP and culture supernatants, including enzymatic deactivation, reverse-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography analysis, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and a Toll-like receptor-2 (TLR2) activation assay, indicates that the cytotoxic component is a mixture of bacterial lipoproteins (BLP). We show that biologically active BLP are liberated into culture supernatants of actively growing S. flexneri. In addition, our data indicate that BLP, and not LPS, are the component of endotoxin of gram-negative organisms responsible for activating TLR2. The activation of apoptosis by BLP shed from S. flexneri is discussed as a novel aspect of the interaction of bacteria with the host.
Infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic abdominal pain are frequent complications of genital infections with Chlamydia trachomatis. In an attempt to produce a vaccine to protect against this pathogen we purified and refolded the C. trachomatis mouse pneumonitis (MoPn) major outer membrane protein (MOMP). This preparation, mixed with Freund's adjuvant using vortexing or sonication, was used to immunize BALB/c mice that were subsequently challenged in the upper genital tract. Vaginal cultures were taken on a weekly basis, and mice were mated 6 weeks after the challenge. Gels of the vortexed MOMP showed a predominant band with a molecular size of 62 kDa and weaker bands at 42 and 132 kDa, while the sonicated MOMP had a single band with a molecular size of 42 kDa. Following immunization with these two preparations, strong humoral and cell-mediated immune responses were detected in the mice inoculated with the vortexed MOMP. On the other hand, mice immunized with the sonicated MOMP had a strong humoral immune response but a relatively weak cell-mediated immune response, as determined by a T-cell lymphoproliferative assay and level of cytokine production by splenocytes. Vaginal cultures showed that the mice immunized with the vortexed MOMP were significantly protected, as determined by a decrease in the number of animals with positive cultures, the length of time the mice shed viable organisms, and the number of inclusion-forming units recovered per mouse. Animals immunized with the sonicated MOMP, on the other hand, showed a weaker level of protection based on the same three parameters. After mating, the number of fertile animals and number of embryos per mouse were significantly higher for the mice immunized with vortexed MOMP, but not for the mice immunized with sonicated MOMP, compared to those of the control groups. In conclusion, immunization with a purified and refolded preparation of the C. trachomatis MoPn MOMP confers a significant level of protection in mice against a genital challenge.
The uropathogenic Escherichia coli strain CFT073 has multiple iron acquisition systems, including heme and siderophore transporters. A tonB mutant derivative of CFT073 failed to use heme as an iron source or to utilize the siderophores enterobactin and aerobactin, indicating that transport of these compounds in CFT073 is TonB dependent. The TonB− derivative showed reduced virulence in a mouse model of urinary tract infection. Virulence was restored when the tonB gene was introduced on a plasmid. To determine the importance of the individual TonB-dependent iron transport systems during urinary tract infections, mutants defective in each of the CFT073 high-affinity iron transport systems were constructed and tested in the mouse model. Mouse virulence assays indicated that mutants defective in a single iron transport system were able to infect the kidney when inoculated as a pure culture but were unable to efficiently compete with the wild-type strain in mixed infections. These results indicate a role for TonB-dependent systems in the virulence of uropathogenic E. coli strains.
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) is a food-borne pathogen that causes serious illness, including hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). STEC colonizes the lower intestine and produces Shiga toxins (Stxs). Stxs appear to translocate across intestinal epithelia and affect sensitive endothelial cell beds at various sites. We have previously shown that Stxs cross polarized intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) via a transcellular route and remain biologically active. Since acute inflammatory infiltration of the gut and fecal leukocytes is seen in many STEC-infected patients and since polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) transmigration across polarized IECs diminishes the IEC barrier function in vitro, we hypothesized that PMN transmigration may enhance Stx movement across IECs. We found that basolateral-to-apical transmigration of neutrophils significantly increased the movement of Stx1 and Stx2 across polarized T84 IECs in the opposite direction. The amount of Stx crossing the T84 barrier was proportional to the degree of neutrophil transmigration, and the increase in Stx translocation appears to be due to increases in paracellular permeability caused by migrating PMNs. STEC clinical isolates applied apically induced PMN transmigration across and interleukin-8 (IL-8) secretion from T84 cells. Of the 10 STEC strains tested, three STEC strains lacking eae and espB (eae- and espB-negative STEC strains) induced significantly more neutrophil transmigration and significantly greater IL-8 secretion than eae- and espB-positive STEC or enteropathogenic E. coli. This study suggests that STEC interaction with intestinal epithelia induces neutrophil recruitment to the intestinal lumen, resulting in neutrophil extravasation across IECs, and that during this process Stxs may pass in greater amounts into underlying tissues, thereby increasing the risk of HUS.
Exposure of humans to Shiga toxins (Stxs) is a risk factor for hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). Because Stx-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is a noninvasive enteric pathogen, the extent to which Stxs can cross the host intestinal epithelium may affect the risk of developing HUS. We have previously shown that Stxs can induce and superinduce IL-8 mRNA and protein in intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) in vitro via a ribotoxic stress response. We used cytokine expression arrays to determine the effect of Stx1 on various C-X-C chemokine genes in IECs. We observed that Stx1 induces multiple C-X-C chemokines at the mRNA level, including interleukin-8 (IL-8), GRO-α, GRO-β, GRO-γ, and ENA-78. Like that of IL-8, GRO-α and ENA-78 mRNAs are both induced and superinduced by Stx1. Furthermore, Stx1 induces both IL-8 and GRO-α protein in a dose-response fashion, despite an overall inhibition in host cell protein synthesis. Stx1 treatment stabilizes both IL-8 and GRO-α mRNA. We conclude that Stxs are able to increase mRNA and protein levels of multiple C-X-C chemokines in IECs, with increased mRNA stability at least one mechanism involved. We hypothesize that ribotoxic stress is a pathway by which Stxs can alter host signal transduction in IECs, resulting in the production of multiple chemokine mRNAs, leading to increased expression of specific proteins. Taken together, these data suggest that exposing IECs to Stxs may stimulate a proinflammatory response, resulting in influx of acute inflammatory cells and thus contributing to the intestinal tissue damage seen in STEC infection.
We isolated a Vibrio vulnificus mutant that was deficient in both metalloprotease and cytolysin by allelic exchange. The virulence of this mutant in mice and its cytotoxicity for HEp-2 cells were comparable to those of the wild-type strain, indicating that neither factor was essential for these properties. The cytolysin, but not the protease, seemed to be important for causing damage in the alimentary tract of the mice.