Int J Med Microbiol [journal]
- Potential overfeeding and malnutrition might affect experimental outcomes in laboratory mice. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2016 Jun 3.
Data from literature suggests that laboratory mice are often overfed and malnourished. This might have several reasons, including: (i) we usually offer an ad libitum diet, which is not the natural way of feeding for a wild mouse; (ii) many commercial diets we use contain rather high amounts of carbohydrates, particularly of sugars, and low amounts of fat; and (iii) laboratory mice live in a warm and constricted environment in which energy expenditure is lower than in the wild. Such selective or global overfeeding in laboratory mice, which resembles the widespread overfeeding in humans, although it does not always result in overweight, likely affects a number of outcome variables analyzed in laboratory mice, such as microbiota composition and function, metabolic alterations, longevity, intestinal permeability and inflammation. Therefore, a careful selection of experimental diets and their way of administration, as well as detailed documentation, is mandatory in order to understand and compare scientific data obtained from different mouse experiments.
- Propionibacterium acnes inhibits FOXM1 and induces cell cycle alterations in human primary prostate cells. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2016 Jun 28.
Propionibacterium acnes has been detected in diseased human prostate tissue, and cell culture experiments suggest that the bacterium can establish a low-grade inflammation. Here, we investigated its impact on human primary prostate epithelial cells. Microarray analysis confirmed the inflammation-inducing capability of P. acnes but also showed deregulation of genes involved in the cell cycle. qPCR experiments showed that viable P. acnes downregulates a master regulator of cell cycle progression, FOXM1. Flow cytometry experiments revealed that P. acnes increases the number of cells in S-phase. We tested the hypothesis that a P. acnes-produced berninamycin-like thiopeptide is responsible for this effect, since it is related to the FOXM1 inhibitor siomycin. The thiopeptide biosynthesis gene cluster was strongly expressed; it is present in subtype IB of P. acnes, but absent from type IA, which is most abundant on human skin. A knock-out mutant lacking the gene encoding the berninamycin-like peptide precursor was unable to downregulate FOXM1 and to halt the cell cycle. Our study reveals a novel host cell-interacting activity of P. acnes.
- Differential compartmentalization of Streptococcus pyogenes virulence factors and host protein binding properties as a mechanism for host adaptation. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2016 Jun 29.
Streptococcus pyogenes is an important human pathogen responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although S. pyogenes is a strictly human pathogen with no other known animal reservoir, several murine infection models exist to explore different aspects of the bacterial pathogenesis. Inoculating mice with wild-type S. pyogenes strains can result in the generation of new bacterial phenotypes that are hypervirulent compared to the original inoculum. In this study, we used a serial mass spectrometry based proteomics strategy to investigate if these hypervirulent strains have an altered distribution of virulence proteins across the intracellular, surface associated and secreted bacterial compartments and if any change in compartmentalization can alter the protein-protein interaction network between bacteria and host proteins. Quantitative analysis of the S. pyogenes surface and secreted proteomes revealed that animal passaged strains are associated with significantly higher amount of virulence factors on the bacterial surface and in the media. This altered virulence factor compartmentalization results in increased binding of several mouse plasma proteins to the bacterial surface, a trend that was consistent for mouse plasma from several different mouse strains. In general, both the wild-type strain and animal passaged strain were capable of binding high amounts of human plasma proteins. However, compared to the non-passaged strains, the animal passaged strains displayed an increased ability to bind mouse plasma proteins, in particular for M protein binders, indicating that the increased affinity for mouse blood plasma proteins is a consequence of host adaptation of this pathogen to a new host. In conclusion, plotting the total amount of virulence factors against the total amount of plasma proteins associated to the bacterial surface could clearly separate out animal passaged strains from wild type strains indicating a virulence model that could predict the virulence of a S. pyogenes strain in mice and which could be used to identify key aspects of this bacteria's pathogenesis.
- Monocyte-derived dendritic cells early exposed to Mycobacterium tuberculosis induce an enhanced T helper 17 response and transfer mycobacterial antigens. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2016 Jun 23.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a complex disease, and the success of the bacterium depends on its ability to evade the immune response. Previously, we determined that Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) impairs the function of dendritic cells (DC), promoting the generation of cells that are poor stimulators of mycobacterial antigen-specific CD4T cells, which are required to control this persistent infection. In this study, we aimed to determine the mechanisms by which monocyte-derived DCs differentiated in the presence of Mtb (MtbDC) may impact on the proliferation of specific anti-mycobacterial T cells. We found that the presence of Mtb during monocyte-derived DC differentiation favours T helper (Th) 2 and Th17 polarization, in detriment of a Th1 response, compared to DC mature with Mtb. The bias on T cell polarization was associated to the profile of C-type lectin receptors expression found in MtbDC (DC-SIGN(low)/MR(low)/Dectin-1(high)). Alternatively, MtbDC release Mtb antigens (Ag) that can be taken up and presented by bystander DC, promoting the proliferation of CD4T cells, but to a lesser extent than direct presentation by Mtb-matured DC. In summary, we have further characterized the generation of MtbDC as an effective evasion strategy driven by the pathogen, leading to the inhibition of Ag-presentation and bias of T cell polarization towards Th2 and Th17 profiles, features which partially explain the persistence of Mtb in the host.
- Role in proinflammatory response of YghJ, a secreted metalloprotease from neonatal septicemic Escherichia coli. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2016 Jun 19.
Neonatal sepsis is the invasion of microbial pathogens into blood stream and is associated with a systemic inflammatory response with production and release of a wide range of inflammatory mediators. The increased serum levels of cytokines were found to correlate with the severity and mortality in course of sepsis. There have been no reports on the role of microbial proteases in stimulation of proinflammatory response in neonatal sepsis. We have identified YghJ, a secreted metalloprotease from a neonatal septicemic Escherichia coli (NSEC) isolate. The protease was partially purified from culture supernatant by successive anion and gel filtration chromatography. MS/MS peptide sequencing of the protease showed homology with YghJ. YghJ was cloned, expressed and purified in pBAD TOPO expression vector. YghJ was found to be proteolytically active against Methoxysuccinyl Ala-Ala-Pro-Met-p-nitroanilide oligopeptide substrate, but not against casein and gelatin. YghJ showed optimal activity at pH 7-8 and at temperatures 37-40°C. YghJ showed clear changes in cellular morphologies of Int407, HT-29 and HEK293 cells. YghJ stimulated the secretion of cytokines IL-1α, IL-1β and TNF-α in murine macrophages (RAW 264.7) and IL-8 from human intestinal epithelial cells (HT-29). YghJ also down-regulated the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-10. YghJ is present in both septicemic (78%) and fecal E. coli isolates (54%). However, expression and secretion of YghJ is significantly higher among the septicemic (89%) than the fecal isolates (33%). This is the first study to show the role of a microbial protease, YghJ in triggering proinflammatory response in NSEC.
- Identification of new heat-stable (STa) enterotoxin allele variants produced by human enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2016 Jun 15.
We describe natural variants of the heat stable toxin (STa) produced by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) isolates collected worldwide. Previous studies of ETEC isolated from human diarrheal cases have reported the existence of three natural STa gene variants estA1, estA2 and estA3/4 where the first variant encodes STp (porcine, bovine, and human origin) and the two latter ones encode STh (human origin). We identified STa sequences by BLASTn and profiled ST amino acid polymorphisms in a collection of 118 clinical ETEC isolates from children and adults from Asia, Africa and, Latin America that were characterized by whole genome sequencing. Three novel variants of STp and STh were found and designated STa5 and STa6, and STa7, respectively. Presence of glucose significantly decreased the production of STh and STp toxin variants (p<0.05) as well as downregulated the gene expression (STh: p<0.001, STp: p<0.05). We found that the ETEC isolates producing the most common STp variant, STa5, co-expressed coli surface antigen CS6 and was significantly associated with disease in adults in this data set (p<0.001). Expression of mature STa5 peptide as well as gene expression of tolC, involved in ST secretion, increased in response to bile (p<0.05). ETEC expressing the common STh variant STa3/4 was associated with disease in children (p<0.05). The crp gene, that positively regulate estA3/4 encoding STa3/4, and estA3/4 itself had decreased transcriptional levels in presence of bile. Since bile levels in the intestine are lower in children than adults, these results may suggest differences in pathogenicity of ETEC in children and adult populations.
- 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.