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1.  Acute phase protein response in an experimental model of ovine caseous lymphadenitis 
Caseous lymphadenitis (CLA) is a disease of small ruminants caused by Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis. The pathogenesis of CLA is a slow process, and produces a chronic rather than an acute disease state. Acute phase proteins (APP) such as haptoglobin (Hp) serum amyloid A (SAA) and α1 acid glycoprotein (AGP) are produced by the liver and released into the circulation in response to pro-inflammatory cytokines. The concentration of Hp in serum increases in experimental CLA but it is not known if SAA and AGP respond in parallel or have differing response profiles.
The concentration in serum of Hp, SAA and AGP in 6 sheep challenged with 2 × 105 cells of C. pseudotuberculosis showed significant increases (P < 0.05) compared to 3 unchallenged control sheep. By day 7 post infection. (p.i.) the Hp and SAA concentrations reached mean (± SEM) values of 1.65 ± 0.21 g/L and 18.1 ± 5.2 mg/L respectively. Thereafter, their concentrations fell with no significant difference to those of the control sheep by day 18 p.i.. In contrast, the serum AGP concentration in infected sheep continued to rise to a peak of 0.38 ± 0.05 g/L on day 13 p.i., after which a slow decline occurred, although the mean concentration remained significantly higher (P < 0.05) than the control group up to 29 days p.i.. Specific IgG to phospholidase D of C. pseudotuberculosis became detectable at 11 days p.i. and continued to rise throughout the experiment.
The serum concentrations of Hp, SAA and AGP were raised in sheep in an experimental model of CLA. An extended response was found for AGP which occurred at a point when the infection was likely to have been transforming from an acute to a chronic phase. The results suggest that AGP could have a role as a marker for chronic conditions in sheep.
PMCID: PMC2235841  PMID: 18093286
2.  New Temperature-Sensitive Alleles of ftsZ in Escherichia coli 
Journal of Bacteriology  2005;187(1):358-365.
We isolated five new temperature-sensitive alleles of the essential cell division gene ftsZ in Escherichia coli, using P1-mediated, localized mutagenesis. The five resulting single amino acid changes (Gly109→Ser109 for ftsZ6460, Ala129→Thr129 for ftsZ972, Val157→Met157 for ftsZ2066, Pro203→Leu203 for ftsZ9124, and Ala239→Val239 for ftsZ2863) are distributed throughout the FtsZ core region, and all confer a lethal cell division block at the nonpermissive temperature of 42°C. In each case the division block is associated with loss of Z-ring formation such that fewer than 2% of cells show Z rings at 42°C. The ftsZ9124 and ftsZ6460 mutations are of particular interest since both result in abnormal Z-ring formation at 30°C and therefore cause significant defects in FtsZ polymerization, even at the permissive temperature. Neither purified FtsZ9124 nor purified FtsZ6460 exhibited polymerization when it was assayed by light scattering or electron microscopy, even in the presence of calcium or DEAE-dextran. Hence, both mutations also cause defects in FtsZ polymerization in vitro. Interestingly, FtsZ9124 has detectable GTPase activity, although the activity is significantly reduced compared to that of the wild-type FtsZ protein. We demonstrate here that unlike expression of ftsZ84, multicopy expression of the ftsZ6460, ftsZ972, and ftsZ9124 alleles does not complement the respective lethalities at the nonpermissive temperature. In addition, all five new mutant FtsZ proteins are stable at 42°C. Therefore, the novel isolates carrying single ftsZ(Ts) point mutations, which are the only such strains obtained since isolation of the classical ftsZ84 mutation, offer significant opportunities for further genetic characterization of FtsZ and its role in cell division.
PMCID: PMC538815  PMID: 15601720
3.  Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Profiles of Danofloxacin Administered by Two Dosing Regimens in Calves Infected with Mannheimia (Pasteurella) haemolytica 
The pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of danofloxacin in calves with induced Mannheimia (Pasteurella) haemolytica pneumonia were evaluated. Calves received either saline as an intravenous (IV) bolus or danofloxacin (0.738 mg/kg of body weight) administered as either a single IV bolus or a 36-h continuous IV infusion. Blood samples and bronchial secretions were collected before and at predetermined times over 48 h following the start of treatment. Calves were assessed clinically throughout, and lung consolidation was assessed at necropsy. Bronchial secretions and lung tissue were cultured for M. haemolytica. Bolus administration of danofloxacin produced a high maximum drug concentration-to-MIC ratio (Cmax:MIC) of 14.5 and a time period of 9.1 h when plasma danofloxacin concentrations exceeded the MIC (T>MIC). Following danofloxacin infusion, the Cmax:MIC was low (2.3), with a long T>MIC (33.3 h). The area under the curve-to-MIC ratios were 43.3 and 49.1 for the bolus and infusion administrations, respectively. The single bolus of danofloxacin was more effective than the same dose administered by continuous infusion, as indicated by a significantly lower (P < 0.05) number of animals with M. haemolytica in bronchial secretions after treatment and lower rectal temperatures in the 24 h after the start of treatment. Thus, danofloxacin exhibited concentration-dependent antimicrobial activity in cattle with respiratory disease caused by M. haemolytica.
PMCID: PMC127430  PMID: 12183261
4.  Constitutive Septal Murein Synthesis in Escherichia coli with Impaired Activity of the Morphogenetic Proteins RodA and Penicillin-Binding Protein 2† 
Journal of Bacteriology  2001;183(14):4115-4126.
The pattern of peptidoglycan (murein) segregation in cells of Escherichia coli with impaired activity of the morphogenetic proteins penicillin-binding protein 2 and RodA has been investigated by the d-cysteine–biotin immunolabeling technique (M. A. de Pedro, J. C. Quintela, J.-V. Höltje, and H. Schwarz, J. Bacteriol. 179:2823–2834, 1997). Inactivation of these proteins either by amdinocillin treatment or by mutations in the corresponding genes, pbpA and rodA, respectively, leads to the generation of round, osmotically stable cells. In normal rod-shaped cells, new murein precursors are incorporated all over the lateral wall in a diffuse manner, being mixed up homogeneously with preexisting material, except during septation, when strictly localized murein synthesis occurs. In contrast, in rounded cells, incorporation of new precursors is apparently a zonal process, localized at positions at which division had previously taken place. Consequently, there is no mixing of new and old murein. Old murein is preserved for long periods of time in large, well-defined areas. We propose that the observed patterns are the result of a failure to switch off septal murein synthesis at the end of septation events. Furthermore, the segregation results confirm that round cells of rodA mutants do divide in alternate, perpendicular planes as previously proposed (K. J. Begg and W. D. Donachie, J. Bacteriol. 180:2564–2567, 1998).
PMCID: PMC95299  PMID: 11418550
5.  All Major Regions of FtsK Are Required for Resolution of Chromosome Dimers 
Journal of Bacteriology  2000;182(14):4124-4127.
Resolution of chromosome dimers, by site-specific recombination between dif sites, is carried out in Escherichia coli by XerCD recombinase in association with the FtsK protein. We show here that a variety of altered FtsK polypeptides, consisting of the N-terminal (cell division) domain alone or with deletions in the proline-glutamine-rich part of the protein, or polypeptides consisting of the C-terminal domain alone are all unable to carry out dif recombination. Alteration of the putative nucleotide-binding site also abolishes the ability of FtsK to carry out recombination between dif sites.
PMCID: PMC94604  PMID: 10869097
6.  Characterization of United Kingdom Isolates of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis Using Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2000;38(7):2633-2637.
Caseous lymphadenitis is a chronic suppurative disease caused by Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis and is responsible for serious economic losses to the sheep and goat industry. Caseous lymphadenitis was first reported for goats in the United Kingdom in 1990 and for sheep in 1991. Recent evidence suggests that the prevalence of the disease within the national flock is increasing. Fifty isolates of C. pseudotuberculosis from the United Kingdom comprising sheep and horse isolates, the original goat outbreak strain, and the type strain were characterized by biotyping, antimicrobial susceptibility, production of phospholipase D, and genotyping by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis using SfiI and SmaI. All of the isolates were confirmed as C. pseudotuberculosis, and all produced phospholipase D but none reduced nitrate. Restriction with SfiI generated 16 to 18 bands between 48.5 and 290 kb and differentiated six pulsotypes. We conclude that 80% of the strains tested were epidemiologically related to the outbreak strain and that the equine profile was distinct both phenotypically and genotypically.
PMCID: PMC86984  PMID: 10878055
7.  mraY Is an Essential Gene for Cell Growth in Escherichia coli 
Journal of Bacteriology  1998;180(23):6429-6432.
The synthesis of the murein precursor lipid I is performed by MraY. We have shown that mraY is an essential gene for cell growth. Cells depleted of MraY first swell and then lyse. The expression of mraY DNA in vitro produces a 40-kDa polypeptide detectable by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.
PMCID: PMC107738  PMID: 9829961
8.  Only the N-Terminal Domain of FtsK Functions in Cell Division 
Journal of Bacteriology  1998;180(17):4621-4627.
Deletion of ftsK results in the inhibition of cell division, but this inhibition can be reversed by a plasmid carrying only the first ∼17% of ftsK. The division block can be suppressed in most mutants by deletion of dacA, which codes for the d-alanine:d-alanine carboxypeptidase PBP5, or in all mutants by overexpression of ftsN. Overexpression of ftsK inhibits cell division and the formation of FtsZ rings. This division block is not due to the induction of either the SOS or the heat shock regulons.
PMCID: PMC107476  PMID: 9721304
9.  Roles of FtsA and FtsZ in Activation of Division Sites 
Journal of Bacteriology  1998;180(4):881-884.
Increasing FtsZ induces the formation of minicells at cell poles but does not increase the frequency or timing of central divisions. A coordinate increase in both FtsZ and FtsA, however, increases the frequency of both polar and central divisions.
PMCID: PMC106967  PMID: 9473042

Results 1-9 (9)