Int J Med Microbiol [journal]
- A geospatial analysis of flies and the spread of antimicrobial resistant bacteria. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2016 Jun 14.
Livestock is often colonized with ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E) and Staphylococcus aureus. There is a risk that flies spread antimicrobial resistant bacteria from livestock to humans. Here, we screened flies from urban and rural areas near the city of Münster, Germany, for the presence of ESBL-E and S. aureus and compared molecular characteristics of these isolates with those isolated from humans in the same region. In total, 1346 single flies were grinded and cultured overnight in BHI-broth. The broth was cultured on Columbia blood agar and selective media for the detection of S. aureus and ESBL-E. Human isolates from routine diagnostics at the University Hospital Münster were used for comparison. Antimicrobial susceptibility, phylogroups (Escherichia coli), spa types/multilocus sequence types (S. aureus) and selected antimicrobial resistance genes were determined for each isolate. GPS data of the sampling sites were used to map flies carrying ESBL-E and S. aureus. Overall, Serratia fonticola (123/1346; 9.1%) was the most prevalent ESBL-E in flies, followed by E. coli (44/1346; 3.3%). A high proportion of flies was positive for ESBL-producing E. coli (15.0-22.2%) in a rural area. CTX-M-1 was the most prevalent beta-lactamase in E. coli (38.6%). One livestock-associated methicillin resistant S. aureus (LA-MRSA, t011/ST398) was found in the city centre of Münster. Overall, a substantial part of ESBL-producing E. coli and S. aureus from flies and humans showed a similar genetic background. In conclusion, flies can carry ESBL-E and LA-MRSA in urban and rural areas. The similar genetic background of isolates from humans and flies points towards a common source.
- AAA+ proteases and their role in distinct stages along the Vibrio cholerae lifecycle. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2016 May 25.
The facultative human pathogen Vibrio cholerae has to adapt to different environmental conditions along its lifecycle by means of transcriptional, translational and post-translational regulation. This study provides a first comprehensive analysis regarding the contribution of the cytoplasmic AAA+ proteases Lon, ClpP and HslV to distinct features of V. cholerae behaviour, including biofilm formation, motility, cholera toxin expression and colonization fitness in the mouse model. While absence of HslV did not yield to any altered phenotype compared to wildtype, absence of Lon or ClpP resulted in significantly reduced colonization in vivo. In addition, a Δlon deletion mutant showed altered biofilm formation and increased motility, which could be correlated with higher expression of V. cholerae flagella gene class IV. Concordantly, we could show by immunoblot analysis, that Lon is the main protease responsible for proteolytic control of FliA, which is required for class IV flagella gene transcription, but also downregulates virulence gene expression. FliA becomes highly sensitive to proteolytic degradation in absence of its anti-sigma factor FlgM, a scenario reported to occur during mucosal penetration due to FlgM secretion through the broken flagellum. Our results confirm that the high stability of FliA in the absence of Lon results in less cholera toxin and toxin corgulated pilus production under virulence gene inducing conditions and in the presence of a damaged flagellum. Thus, the data presented herein provide a molecular explanation on how V. cholerae can achieve full expression of virulence genes during early stages of colonization, despite FliA getting liberated from the anti-sigma factor FlgM.
- Local activation of coagulation factor XIII reduces systemic complications and improves the survival of mice after Streptococcus pyogenes M1 skin infection. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2016 Jun 8.
Coagulation is a mechanism for wound healing after injury. Several recent studies delineate an additional role of the intrinsic pathway of coagulation, also known as the contact system, in the early innate immune response against bacterial infections. In this study, we investigated the role of factor XIII (FXIII), which is activated upon coagulation induction, during Streptococcus pyogenes-mediated skin and soft tissue infections. FXIII has previously been shown to be responsible for the immobilization of bacteria within a fibrin network which may prevent systemic bacterial dissemination. In order to investigate if the FXIII-mediated entrapment of S. pyogenes also influences the disease outcome we used a murine S. pyogenes M1 skin and soft tissue infection model. Here, we demonstrate that a lack of FXIII leads to prolonged clotting times, increased signs of inflammation, and elevated bacterial dissemination. Moreover, FXIII-deficient mice show an impaired survival when compared with wildtype animals. Additionally, local reconstitution of FXIII-deficient mice with a human FXIII-concentrate (Fibrogammin(®)P) could reduce the systemic complications, suggesting a protective role for FXIII during early S. pyogenes skin infection. FXIII therefore might be a possible therapeutically application to support the early innate immune response during skin infections caused by S. pyogenes.
- Substantial molecular evolution and mutation rates in prolonged latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in humans. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2016 May 28.
The genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) of latently infected individuals may hold the key to understanding the processes that lead to reactivation and progression to clinical disease. We report here analysis of pairs of Mtb isolates from putative prolonged latent TB cases. We identified two confirmed cases, and used whole genome sequencing to investigate the mutational processes that occur over decades in latent Mtb. We found an estimated mutation rate between 0.2 and 0.3 over 33 years, suggesting that latent Mtb accumulates mutations at rates similar to observations from cases of active disease.
- Sub-inhibitory tigecycline concentrations induce extracellular matrix binding protein Embp dependent Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm formation and immune evasion. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2016 May 25.
Biofilm-associated Staphylococcus epidermidis implant infections are notoriously reluctant to antibiotic treatment. Here we studied the effect of sub-inhibitory concentrations of penicillin, oxacillin, vancomycin, daptomycin, linezolid and tigecycline on S. epidermidis 1585 biofilm formation, expression of extracellular matrix binding protein (Embp) and potential implications for S. epidermidis - macrophage interactions. Penicillin, vancomycin, daptomycin, and linezolid had no biofilm augmenting effect at any of the concentrations tested. In contrast, at sub-inhibitory concentrations tigecycline and oxacillin exhibited significant biofilm inducing activity. In S. epidermidis 1585, SarA is a negative regulator of giant 1 MDa Embp, and down regulation of sarA induces Embp-dependent assembly of a multi-layered biofilm architecture. Dot blot immune assays, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and qPCR showed that under biofilm inducing conditions, tigecycline augmented embp expression compared to the control grown without antibiotics. Conversely, expression of regulator sarA was suppressed, suggesting that tigecycline exerts its effects on embp expression through SarA. Tigecycline failed to induce biofilm formation in embp transposon mutant 1585-M135, proving that under these conditions Embp up-regulation is necessary for biofilm accumulation. As a functional consequence, tigecycline induced biofilm formation significantly impaired the up-take of S. epidermidis by mouse macrophage-like cell line J774A.1. Our data provide novel evidence for the molecular basis of antibiotic induced biofilm formation, a phenotype associated with inherently increased antimicrobial tolerance. While this could explain failure of antimicrobial therapies, persistence of S. epidermidis infections in the presence of sub-inhibitory antimicrobials is additionally propelled by biofilm-related impairment of macrophage-mediated pathogen eradication.
- Inhibition of TLR4 signaling by Brucella TIR-containing protein TcpB-derived decoy peptides. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2016 May 28.
Brucella spp. avoid host immune recognition and thus, weaken the immune response to infection. The Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR) domain-containing protein (TcpB/Btp1) of Brucella spp. is thought to be involved in blocking host innate immune responses by binding to adaptors downstream of Toll-like receptors. In this study, based on the observation that TcpB binds to the host target proteins, MAL, through the TIR domain, we examined decoy peptides from TcpB TIR domains and found that TB-8 and TB-9 substantially inhibit lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced signaling in vitro and in vivo. Both these peptides share a common loop, the DD loop, indicating a novel structural region mediating TIR interactions. The inhibition of LPS signaling by TB-8 and TB-9 shows no preference to MyD88-dependent cytokines, such as TNF-α and IL-1β or TRIF-dependent cytokines including IFN-β and IL-6. Furthermore, these two peptides rescue the virulence of Brucella ΔtcpB mutants at the cellular level, indicating key roles of the DD loop in Brucella pathogenesis. In conclusion, identification of inhibitors from the bacterial TIR domains is helpful not only for illustrating interacting mechanisms between TIR domains and bacterial pathogenesis, but also for developing novel signaling inhibitors and therapeutics for human inflammatory diseases.
- Legionella-protozoa-nematode interactions in aquatic biofilms and influence of Mip on Caenorhabditis elegans colonization. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2016 May 25.
Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaireś disease, is naturally found in aquatic habitats. The intracellular life cycle within protozoa pre-adapted the "accidental" human pathogen to also infect human professional phagocytes like alveolar macrophages. Previous studies employing the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans suggest that also nematodes might serve as a natural host for L. pneumophila. Here, we report for the first time from a natural co-habitation of L. pneumophila and environmental nematode species within biofilms of a warm water spring. In addition, we identified the protozoan species Oxytricha bifaria, Stylonychia mytilus, Ciliophrya sp. which have never been described as potential interaction partners of L. pneumophila before. Modeling and dissection of the Legionella-protozoa-nematode interaction revealed that C. elegans ruptures Legionella-infected amoebal cells and by this means incorporate the pathogen. Further infection studies revealed that the macrophage infectivity potentiator (Mip) protein of L. pneumophila, which is known to bind collagen IV during human lung infection, promotes the colonization of the intestinal tract of L4 larvae of C. elegans and negatively influences the life span of the worms. The Mip-negative L. pneumophila mutant exhibited a 32-fold reduced colonization rate of the nematodes after 48h when compared to the wild-type strain. Taken together, these studies suggest that nematodes may serve as natural hosts for L. pneumophila, promote their persistence and dissemination in the environment, and co-evolutionarily pre-adapt the pathogen for interactions with extracellular constituents of human lung tissue.
- Novel genotypes of Coxiella burnetii identified in isolates from Australian Q fever patients. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2016 May 25.
Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever, was first discovered in Australia in 1937. However, little is known about the strains of C. burnetii present in this country. In this study, six published genotyping methods were applied to 42 isolates from Australian patients with acute (n=39) and chronic (n=3) Q fever. All the isolates contained the plasmid QpRS and lacked the acute disease antigen A (adaA) gene. Two methods of genotyping based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) also failed to discriminate between the isolates. However, results from the method based on SNPs within the multi-spacer sequence typing (MST) loci determined a novel MST genotype, with the Australian isolates forming a unique phylogenetic clade. Multi-locus variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) determined 14 genotypes, all of which were novel compared with those previously identified in strains from other countries. Many of these were single locus variants, differing from each other at just one of the 15 loci tested. Our results show that the Australian isolates exhibit significant diversity from previously characterised strains, but are genetically closely related to each other, supporting a model of evolution by clonal expansion in a geographically isolated location.
- Analysis of the virulence-associated RevSR two-component signal transduction system of Clostridium perfringens. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2016 May 20.
Clostridium perfringens is a Gram-positive, anaerobic, spore-forming bacterium that causes human gas gangrene (clostridial myonecrosis) and food poisoning. Early studies showed that virulence was regulated by the VirSR two-component signal transduction system. However, our identification of the RevR orphan response regulator indicated that more than one system was involved in controlling virulence. To further characterize this virulence-associated regulator, gel mobility shift experiments, coupled with DNase I footprinting, were used to identify the RevR DNA binding sequence. Bioinformatics analysis suggested that an orphan sensor histidine kinase, CPE1757 (renamed RevS), was the cognate sensor of RevR. Interaction between RevS and RevR was demonstrated by use of a bacterial two-hybrid system and validated by protein-protein interaction studies using biolayer interferometry. To assess the involvement of RevS in virulence regulation, the revS gene was inactivated by Targetron insertion. When isogenic wild-type, revS and complemented revS strains were tested in a mouse myonecrosis model, the revS mutant was found to be attenuated in virulence, which was similar to the attenuation observed previously with the revR mutant. However, transcriptional analysis of selected RevR-regulated genes in the revS mutant revealed a different pattern of expression to a revR mutant, suggesting that the RevSR system is more complex than originally thought. Taken together, the results have led to the identification and characterization of the two essential parts of a new regulatory network that is involved in the regulation of virulence in C. perfringens.
- A unique SaeS allele overrides cell-density dependent expression of saeR and lukSF-PV in the ST30-SCCmecIV lineage of CA-MRSA. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2016 May 11.
ST30 (CC30)-SCCmec IV (USA1100) is one of the most common community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) lineages. ST30 isolates typically carry lukSF-PV genes encoding the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) and are responsible for outbreaks of invasive infections worldwide. In this study, twenty CC30 isolates were analyzed. All were very susceptible to non-β-lactam antimicrobials, 18/20 harbored the lukSF-PV genes, only 1/20 exhibited agr-rnaIII dysfunction, and the majority was not able to form biofilm on inert surfaces. Analysis of lukSF-PV temporal regulation revealed that opposite to other CA-MRSA isolates, these genes were more highly expressed in early log phase than in stationary phase. This inverted lukSF-PV temporal expression was associated with a similar pattern of saeRS expression in the ST30 isolates, namely high level expression in log phase and reduced expression in stationary phase. Reduced saeRS expression in stationary phase was associated with low expression levels of the sae regulators, agr and agr-upregulator sarA, which activate the stationary phase sae-P1 promoter and overexpression of agr-RNAIII restored the levels of saeR and lukSF-PV trancripts in stationary phase. Altered SaeRS activity in the ST30 isolates was attributed to amino acid substitutions (N227S, E268K and S351T) in the HTPase_c domain of SaeS (termed SaeS(SKT)). Complementation of a USA300 saeS mutant with the saeS(SKT) and saeS alleles under the direction of the log phase sae-P3 promoter revealed that saeR and lukSF-PV transcription levels were more significantly activated by saeS(SKT) than saeS. In summary our data identify a unique saeS allele (saeS(SKT)) which appears to override cell-density dependent SaeR and PVL expression in ST30 CA-MRSA isolates. Further studies to determine the contribution of saeS(SKT) allele to the pathogenesis of infections caused by ST30 isolates are merited.