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Bells Corners, Canada

Aubry A.,NRC Institute for Biological Sciences | Hussack G.,NRC Institute for Biological Sciences | Chen W.,NRC Institute for Biological Sciences | KuoLee R.,NRC Institute for Biological Sciences | And 6 more authors.
Infection and Immunity

We show in this study that toxin production in Clostridium difficile is altered in cells which can no longer form flagellar filaments. The impact of inactivation of fliC, CD0240, fliF, fliG, fliM, and flhB-fliR flagellar genes upon toxin levels in culture supernatants was assessed using cell-based cytotoxicity assay, proteomics, immunoassay, and immunoblotting approaches. Each of these showed that toxin levels in supernatants were significantly increased in a fliC mutant compared to that in the C. difficile 630 parent strain. In contrast, the toxin levels in supernatants secreted from other flagellar mutants were significantly reduced compared with that in the parental C. difficile 630 strain. Transcriptional analysis of the pathogenicity locus genes (tcdR, tcdB, tcdE, and tcdA) revealed a significant increase of all four genes in the fliC mutant strain, while transcription of all four genes was significantly reduced in fliM, fliF, fliG, and flhB-fliR mutants. These results demonstrate that toxin transcription in C. difficile is modulated by the flagellar regulon. More significantly, mutant strains showed a corresponding change in virulence compared to the 630 parent strain when tested in a hamster model of C. difficile infection. This is the first demonstration of differential flagellum-related transcriptional regulation of toxin production in C. difficile and provides evidence for elaborate regulatory networks for virulence genes in C. difficile. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. Source

Gill A.,Bureau of Microbial Hazards | Huszczynski G.,A+ Network | Gauthier M.,A+ Network | Blais B.,A+ Network
Journal of Microbiological Methods

The growth characteristics of 96 shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains representing 36 different O-types (including priority O types O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, O145 and O157) on commercial and in-house agar media were studied. The ability of the strains to grow on agar media with varying selective supplement formulations was evaluated using MacConkey Agar (MAC); Rainbow® Agar O157 (RBA); Rainbow® Agar O157 with manufacturer-recommended selective supplements (RBA-NT); Rainbow® Agar O157 with USDA-recommended selective supplements (RBA-USDA); CHROMagar STEC™ (CH STEC); Tryptone Bile agar containing cefixime and tellurite (TBA-CT); Tryptone Bile agar containing cefixime, tellurite, eosin and methylene blue (TBA-EM); and VTEC agar. All of the strains were able to grow on MAC, RBA and VTEC agar, whereas a number of strains (including some non-O157 priority O types) were unable to grow on the highly selective media CH STEC, RBA-NT, RBA-USDA, TBA-EM and TBA-CT. Only RBA-NT and CH STEC exhibited significant inhibition of background flora from ground beef enrichment. Significant inhibition of background flora from beef trim enrichment was observed with RBA-NT, RBA-USDA, CH STEC, TBA-EM and VTEC agar. With exception of E. coli O157, several different colony morphologies were observed on the differential plating media among strains of the same O type, indicating that this colony morphology is not a reliable means of identifying target STEC. These results suggest that an approach to maximize the recovery of target STEC from beef enrichment cultures is dual plating on lesser (RBA, MAC, VTEC agar) and more highly (RBA-NT, CH STEC) selective agars. © 2013. Source

MacLean L.L.,NRC Institute for Biological Sciences | Vinogradov E.,NRC Institute for Biological Sciences | Pagotto F.,Bureau of Microbial Hazards | Perry M.B.,NRC Institute for Biological Sciences
Carbohydrate Research

Cronobacter turicensis, previously known as Enterobacter sakazakii, is a Gram-negative opportunistic food-borne pathogen that has been reported as a cause of life-threatening neonatal infections. From chemical and physical analyses involving composition analysis, methylation, two-dimensional high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance, and mass spectrometry methods, the antigenic O-polysaccharide in the smooth-type lipopolysaccharide of C. turicensis (strain HPB 3287) was determined to be a high molecular mass polymer of a repeating pentasaccharide unit composed of d-galactose, d-glucose, 2-acetamido-2-deoxy-d-galactose, and 5,7-diacetamido-3,5,7,9-tetradeoxy-d- glycero-d-galacto-non-2-ulosonic acid (legionaminic acid), in a molar ratio 2:1:1:1, and having the structure. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Taboada E.N.,Public Health Agency of Canada | Clark C.G.,Public Health Agency of Canada | Sproston E.L.,Bureau of Microbial Hazards | Carrillo C.D.,Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Journal of Microbiological Methods

Campylobacter remains one of the most common bacterial causes of gastroenteritis worldwide. Tracking sources of this organism is challenging due to the large numbers of human cases, and the prevalence of this organism throughout the environment due to growth in a wide range of animal species. Many molecular subtyping methods have been developed to characterize Campylobacter species, but only a few are commonly used in molecular epidemiology studies. This review examines the applicability of these methods, as well as the role that emerging whole genome sequencing technologies will play in tracking sources of Campylobacter spp. infection. © 2013. Source

Tracking of sources of sporadic cases of campylobacteriosis remains challenging, as commonly used molecular typing methods have limited ability to unambiguously link genetically related strains. Genomics has become increasingly prominent in the public health response to enteric pathogens as methods enable characterization of pathogens at an unprecedented level of resolution. However, the cost of sequencing and expertise required for bioinformatic analyses remains prohibitive, and these comprehensive analyses are limited to a few priority strains. Although several molecular typing methods are currently widely used for epidemiological analysis of campylobacters, it is not clear how accurately these methods reflect true strain relationships. To address this, we have developed a framework and associated computational tools to rapidly analyze draft genome sequence data for the assessment of molecular typing methods against a "gold standard" based on the phylogenetic analysis of highly conserved core (HCC) genes with high sequence quality. We analyzed 104 publicly available whole genome sequences (WGS) of C. jejuni and C. coli. In addition to in silico determination of multi-locus sequence typing (MLST), flaA, and porA type, as well as comparative genomic fingerprinting (CGF) type, we inferred a "reference" phylogeny based on 389 HCC genes. Molecular typing data were compared to the reference phylogeny for concordance using the adjusted Wallace coefficient (AWC) with confidence intervals. Although MLST targets the sequence variability in core genes and CGF targets insertions/deletions of accessory genes, both methods are based on multi-locus analysis and provided better estimates of true phylogeny than methods based on single loci (porA, flaA). A more comprehensive WGS dataset including additional genetically related strains, both epidemiologically linked and unlinked, will be necessary to more comprehensively assess the performance of subtyping methods for outbreak investigations and surveillance activities. Analyses of the strengths and weaknesses of widely used typing methodologies in inferring true strain relationships will provide guidance in the interpretation of this data for epidemiological purposes. Source

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