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Kiljunen S.,University of Turku | Kiljunen S.,University of Helsinki | Datta N.,University of Helsinki | Dentovskaya S.V.,State Research Center for Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Bacteriology | Year: 2011

φA1122 is a T7-related bacteriophage infecting most isolates of Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of plague, and used by the CDC in the identification of Y. pestis. φA1122 infects Y. pestis grown both at 20°C and at 37°C. Wild-type Yersinia pseudotuberculosis strains are also infected but only when grown at 37°C. Since Y. pestis expresses rough lipopolysaccharide (LPS) missing the O-polysaccharide (O-PS) and expression of Y. pseudotuberculosis O-PS is largely suppressed at temperatures above 30°C, it has been assumed that the phage receptor is rough LPS. We present here several lines of evidence to support this. First, a rough derivative of Y. pseudotuberculosis was also φA1122 sensitive when grown at 22°C. Second, periodate treatment of bacteria, but not proteinase K treatment, inhibited the phage binding. Third, spontaneous φA1122 receptor mutants of Y. pestis and rough Y. pseudotuberculosis could not be isolated, indicating that the receptor was essential for bacterial growth under the applied experimental conditions. Fourth, heterologous expression of the Yersinia enterocolitica O:3 LPS outer core hexasaccharide in both Y. pestis and rough Y. pseudotuberculosis effectively blocked the phage adsorption. Fifth, a gradual truncation of the core oligosaccharide into the Hep/Glc (L-glycero-D-manno-heptose/D-glucopyranose)-Kdo/Ko (3-deoxy-D-manno-oct-2-ulopyranosonic acid/D-glycero-Dtalo-oct-2-ulopyranosonic acid) region in a series of LPS mutants was accompanied by a decrease in phage adsorption, and finally, a waaA mutant expressing only lipid A, i.e., also missing the Kdo/Ko region, was fully φA1122 resistant. Our data thus conclusively demonstrated that the φA1122 receptor is the Hep/Glc-Kdo/Ko region of the LPS core, a common structure in Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis. © 2011, American Society for Microbiology.

Perez-Cidoncha M.,CSIC - National Center for Biotechnology | Perez-Cidoncha M.,CIBER ISCIII | Perez-Cidoncha M.,St Georges, University of London | Killip M.J.,University of St. Andrews | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

The NS1 protein of influenza A viruses is the dedicated viral interferon (IFN)-antagonist. Viruses lacking NS1 protein expression cannot multiply in normal cells but are viable in cells deficient in their ability to produce or respond to IFN. Here we report an unbiased mutagenesis approach to identify positions in the influenza A NS1 protein that modulate the IFN response upon infection. A random library of virus ribonucleoproteins containing circa 40 000 point mutants in NS1 were transferred to infectious virus and amplified in MDCK cells unable to respond to interferon. Viruses that activated the interferon (IFN) response were subsequently selected by their ability to induce expression of green-fluorescent protein (GFP) following infection of A549 cells bearing an IFN promoter-dependent GFP gene. Using this approach we isolated individual mutant viruses that replicate to high titers in IFN-compromised cells but, compared to wild type viruses, induced higher levels of IFN in IFN-competent cells and had a reduced capacity to counteract exogenous IFN. Most of these viruses contained not previously reported NS1 mutations within either the RNA-binding domain, the effector domain or the linker region between them. These results indicate that subtle alterations in NS1 can reduce its effectiveness as an IFN antagonist without affecting the intrinsic capacity of the virus to multiply. The general approach reported here may facilitate the generation of replication-proficient, IFN-inducing virus mutants, that potentially could be developed as attenuated vaccines against a variety of viruses. © 2014 Pérez-Cidoncha et al.

Garmendia J.,Public University of Navarra | Garmendia J.,Research Center Biomedica En Red Of Enfermedades Respiratorias Ciberes | Garmendia J.,Laboratory Microbial Pathogenesis | Viadas C.,Public University of Navarra | And 17 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Nontypable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) has emerged as an important opportunistic pathogen causing infection in adults suffering obstructive lung diseases. Existing evidence associates chronic infection by NTHi to the progression of the chronic respiratory disease, but specific features of NTHi associated with persistence have not been comprehensively addressed. To provide clues about adaptive strategies adopted by NTHi during persistent infection, we compared sequential persistent isolates with newly acquired isolates in sputa from six patients with chronic obstructive lung disease. Pulse field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) identified three patients with consecutive persistent strains and three with new strains. Phenotypic characterisation included infection of respiratory epithelial cells, bacterial self-aggregation, biofilm formation and resistance to antimicrobial peptides (AMP). Persistent isolates differed from new strains in showing low epithelial adhesion and inability to form biofilms when grown under continuous-flow culture conditions in microfermenters. Self-aggregation clustered the strains by patient, not by persistence. Increasing resistance to AMPs was observed for each series of persistent isolates; this was not associated with lipooligosaccharide decoration with phosphorylcholine or with lipid A acylation. Variation was further analyzed for the series of three persistent isolates recovered from patient 1. These isolates displayed comparable growth rate, natural transformation frequency and murine pulmonary infection. Genome sequencing of these three isolates revealed sequential acquisition of single-nucleotide variants in the AMP permease sapC, the heme acquisition systems hgpB, hgpC, hup and hxuC, the 3-deoxy-D-manno-octulosonic acid kinase kdkA , the long-chain fatty acid transporter ompP1 , and the phosphoribosylamine glycine ligase purD. Collectively, we frame a range of pathogenic traits and a repertoire of genetic variants in the context of persistent infection by NTHi. © 2014 Garmendia et al.

March C.,Laboratory Microbial Pathogenesis | March C.,Research Center Biomedica en Red Enfermedades Respiratorias CibeRes | Cano V.,Laboratory Microbial Pathogenesis | Cano V.,Research Center Biomedica en Red Enfermedades Respiratorias CibeRes | And 14 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Phagocytosis is a key process of the immune system. The human pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae is a well known example of a pathogen highly resistant to phagocytosis. A wealth of evidence demonstrates that the capsule polysaccharide (CPS) plays a crucial role in resistance to phagocytosis. The amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum shares with mammalian macrophages the ability to phagocytose and kill bacteria. The fact that K. pneumoniae is ubiquitous in nature and, therefore, should avoid predation by amoebae, poses the question whether K. pneumoniae employs similar means to counteract amoebae and mammalian phagocytes. Here we developed an assay to evaluate K. pneumoniae-D. discoideum interaction. The richness of the growth medium affected the threshold at which the cps mutant was permissive for Dictyostelium and only at lower nutrient concentrations the cps mutant was susceptible to predation by amoebae. Given the critical role of bacterial surface elements on host-pathogen interactions, we explored the possible contribution of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and outer membrane proteins (OMPs) to combat phagoyctosis by D. discoideum. We uncover that, in addition to the CPS, the LPS O-polysaccharide and the first core sugar participate in Klebsiella resistance to predation by D. discoideum. K. pneumoniae LPS lipid A decorations are also necessary to avoid predation by amoebae although PagP-dependent palmitoylation plays a more important role than the lipid A modification with aminoarabinose. Mutants lacking OMPs OmpA or OmpK36 were also permissive for D. discoideium growth. Except the LPS O-polysaccharide mutants, all mutants were more susceptible to phagocytosis by mouse alveolar macrophages. Finally, we found a correlation between virulence, using the pneumonia mouse model, and resistance to phagocytosis. Altogether, this work reveals novel K. pneumoniae determinants involved in resistance to phagocytosis and supports the notion that Dictyostelium amoebae might be useful as host model to measure K. pneumoniae virulence and not only phagocytosis. © 2013 March et al.

Lery L.M.S.,Institute Pasteur Paris | Lery L.M.S.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Lery L.M.S.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Frangeul L.,Institute Pasteur Paris | And 20 more authors.
BMC Biology | Year: 2014

Background: Klebsiella pneumoniae strains are pathogenic to animals and humans, in which they are both a frequent cause of nosocomial infections and a re-emerging cause of severe community-acquired infections. K. pneumoniae isolates of the capsular serotype K2 are among the most virulent. In order to identify novel putative virulence factors that may account for the severity of K2 infections, the genome sequence of the K2 reference strain Kp52.145 was determined and compared to two K1 and K2 strains of low virulence and to the reference strains MGH 78578 and NTUH-K2044.Results: In addition to diverse functions related to host colonization and virulence encoded in genomic regions common to the four strains, four genomic islands specific for Kp52.145 were identified. These regions encoded genes for the synthesis of colibactin toxin, a putative cytotoxin outer membrane protein, secretion systems, nucleases and eukaryotic-like proteins. In addition, an insertion within a type VI secretion system locus included sel1 domain containing proteins and a phospholipase D family protein (PLD1). The pld1 mutant was avirulent in a pneumonia model in mouse. The pld1 mRNA was expressed in vivo and the pld1 gene was associated with K. pneumoniae isolates from severe infections. Analysis of lipid composition of a defective E. coli strain complemented with pld1 suggests an involvement of PLD1 in cardiolipin metabolism.Conclusions: Determination of the complete genome of the K2 reference strain identified several genomic islands comprising putative elements of pathogenicity. The role of PLD1 in pathogenesis was demonstrated for the first time and suggests that lipid metabolism is a novel virulence mechanism of K. pneumoniae. © 2014 Lery et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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