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Berlin, Germany

Bielecki P.,Helmholtz Center for Infection Research | Komor U.,Helmholtz Center for Infection Research | Komor U.,LifeGlimmer GmbH | Bielecka A.,Helmholtz Center for Infection Research | And 10 more authors.
Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2013

The opportunistic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a major nosocomial pathogen causing both devastating acute and chronic persistent infections. During the course of an infection, P.aeruginosa rapidly adapts to the specific conditions within the host. In the present study, we aimed at the identification of genes that are highly expressed during biofilm infections such as in chronically infected lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), burn wounds and subcutaneous mouse tumours. We found a common subset of differentially regulated genes in all three in vivo habitats and evaluated whether their inactivation impacts on the bacterial capability to form biofilms in vitro and to establish biofilm-associated infections in a murine model. Additive effects on biofilm formation and host colonization were discovered by the combined inactivation of several highly expressed genes. However, even combined inactivation was not sufficient to abolish the establishment of an infection completely. These findings can be interpreted as evidence that either redundant traits encode functions that are essential for in vivo survival and chronic biofilm infections and/or bacterial adaptation is considerably achieved independently of transcription levels. Supplemental screens, will have to be applied in order to identify the minimal set of key genes essential for the establishment of chronic infectious diseases. © 2012 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source


Wodke J.A.H.,EMBL CRG Systems Biology Research Unit | Wodke J.A.H.,University Pompeu Fabra | Wodke J.A.H.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Puchalka J.,Helmholtz Center for Infection Research | And 20 more authors.
Molecular Systems Biology | Year: 2013

Mycoplasma pneumoniae, a threatening pathogen with a minimal genome, is a model organism for bacterial systems biology for which substantial experimental information is available. With the goal of understanding the complex interactions underlying its metabolism, we analyzed and characterized the metabolic network of M. pneumoniae in great detail, integrating data from different omics analyses under a range of conditions into a constraint-based model backbone. Iterating model predictions, hypothesis generation, experimental testing, and model refinement, we accurately curated the network and quantitatively explored the energy metabolism. In contrast to other bacteria, M. pneumoniae uses most of its energy for maintenance tasks instead of growth. We show that in highly linear networks the prediction of flux distributions for different growth times allows analysis of time-dependent changes, albeit using a static model. By performing an in silico knock-out study as well as analyzing flux distributions in single and double mutant phenotypes, we demonstrated that the model accurately represents the metabolism of M. pneumoniae. The experimentally validated model provides a solid basis for understanding its metabolic regulatory mechanisms. © 2013 EMBO and Macmillan Publishers Limited. Source


Barbier M.,University of Virginia | Damron F.H.,University of Virginia | Bielecki P.,Helmholtz Center for Infection Research | Suarez-Diez M.,Wageningen University | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a highly versatile opportunistic pathogen capable of colonizing multiple ecological niches. This bacterium is responsible for a wide range of both acute and chronic infections in a variety of hosts. The success of this microorganism relies on its ability to adapt to environmental changes and re-program its regulatory and metabolic networks. The study of P. aeruginosa adaptation to temperature is crucial to understanding the pathogenesis upon infection of its mammalian host. We examined the effects of growth temperature on the transcriptome of the P. aeruginosa PAO1. Microarray analysis of PAO1 grown in Lysogeny broth at mid-exponential phase at 22°C and 37°C revealed that temperature changes are responsible for the differential transcriptional regulation of 6.4% of the genome. Major alterations were observed in bacterial metabolism, replication, and nutrient acquisition. Quorum-sensing and exoproteins secreted by type I, II, and III secretion systems, involved in the adaptation of P. aeruginosa to the mammalian host during infection, were upregulated at 37°C compared to 22°C. Genes encoding arginine degradation enzymes were highly up-regulated at 22°C, together with the genes involved in the synthesis of pyoverdine. However, genes involved in pyochelin biosynthesis were up-regulated at 37°C. We observed that the changes in expression of P. aeruginosa siderophores correlated to an overall increase in Fe2+ extracellular concentration at 37°C and a peak in Fe3+ extracellular concentration at 22°C. This suggests a distinct change in iron acquisition strategies when the bacterium switches from the external environment to the host. Our work identifies global changes in bacterial metabolism and nutrient acquisition induced by growth at different temperatures. Overall, this study identifies factors that are regulated in genome-wide adaptation processes and discusses how this life-threatening pathogen responds to temperature. © 2014 Barbier et al. Source


Perez-Cobas A.E.,University of Valencia | Gosalbes M.J.,University of Valencia | Friedrichs A.,University of Kiel | Knecht H.,University of Kiel | And 18 more authors.
Gut | Year: 2013

Objective: Antibiotic (AB) usage strongly affects microbial intestinal metabolism and thereby impacts human health. Understanding this process and the underlying mechanisms remains a major research goal. Accordingly, we conducted the first comparative omic investigation of gut microbial communities in faecal samples taken at multiple time points from an individual subjected to β-lactam therapy. Methods: The total (16S rDNA) and active (16S rRNA) microbiota, metagenome, metatranscriptome (mRNAs), metametabolome (high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionisation and quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry) and metaproteome (ultra high performing liquid chromatography coupled to an Orbitrap MS2 instrument [UPLC-LTQ Orbitrap-MS/MS]) of a patient undergoing AB therapy for 14 days were evaluated. Results: Apparently oscillatory population dynamics were observed, with an early reduction in Gram-negative organisms (day 6) and an overall collapse in diversity and possible further colonisation by 'presumptive' naturally resistant bacteria (day 11), followed by the re-growth of Gram-positive species (day 14). During this process, the maximum imbalance in the active microbial fraction occurred later (day 14) than the greatest change in the total microbial fraction, which reached a minimum biodiversity and richness on day 11; additionally, major metabolic changes occurred at day 6. Gut bacteria respond to ABs early by activating systems to avoid the antimicrobial effects of the drugs, while 'presumptively' attenuating their overall energetic metabolic status and the capacity to transport and metabolise bile acid, cholesterol, hormones and vitamins; host-microbial interactions significantly improved after treatment cessation. Conclusions: This proof-of-concept study provides an extensive description of gut microbiota responses to followup β-lactam therapy. The results demonstrate that ABs targeting specific pathogenic infections and diseases may alter gut microbial ecology and interactions with host metabolism at a much higher level than previously assumed. Source


Ferrer M.,CSIC - Institute of Catalysis | dos Santos V.A.P.M.,Wageningen University | dos Santos V.A.P.M.,LifeGlimmer GmbH | Ott S.J.,University of Kiel | And 2 more authors.
Gut Microbes | Year: 2014

It is known that the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) microbiota responds to different antibiotics in different ways and that while some antibiotics do not induce disturbances of the community, others drastically influence the richness, diversity, and prevalence of bacterial taxa. However, the metabolic consequences thereof, independent of the degree of the community shifts, are not clearly understood. In a recent article, we used an integrative OMICS approach to provide new insights into the metabolic shifts caused by antibiotic disturbance. The study presented here further suggests that specific bacterial lineage blooms occurring at defined stages of antibiotic intervention are mostly associated with organisms that possess improved survival and colonization mechanisms, such as those of the Enterococcus, Blautia, Faecalibacterium, and Akkermansia genera. The study also provides an overview of the most variable metabolic functions affected as a consequence of a β-lactam antibiotic intervention. Thus, we observed that anabolic sugar metabolism, the production of acetyl donors and the synthesis and degradation of intestinal/colonic epithelium components were among the most variable functions during the intervention. We are aware that these results have been established with a single patient and will require further confirmation with a larger group of individuals and with other antibiotics. Future directions for exploration of the effects of antibiotic interventions are discussed. © 2014 Landes Bioscience. Source

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