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Int J Med Microbiol [journal]
- The adhesive properties of the Staphylococcus lugdunensis multifunctional autolysin AtlL and its role in biofilm formation and internalization. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 Nov 27.
Although it belongs to the group of coagulase-negative staphylococci, Staphylococcus lugdunensis has been known to cause aggressive courses of native and prosthetic valve infective endocarditis with high mortality similar to Staphylococcus aureus. In contrast to S. aureus, only little is known about the equipment of S. lugdunensis with virulence factors including adhesins and their role in mediating attachment to extracellular matrix and plasma proteins and host cells. In this study, we show that the multifunctional autolysin/adhesin AtlL of S. lugdunensis binds to the extracellular matrix and plasma proteins fibronectin, fibrinogen, and vitronectin as well as to human EA.hy926 endothelial cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate that AtlL also plays an important role in the internalization of S. lugdunensis by eukaryotic cells: The atlL-deficient mutant Mut17 adheres to and becomes internalized by eukaryotic cells to a lesser extent than the isogenic wild-type strain Sl253 and the complemented mutant Mut17 (pCUatlL) shows an increased internalization level in comparison to Mut17. Thus, surface localized AtlL that exhibits a broad binding spectrum also mediates the internalization of S. lugdunensis by eukaryotic cells. We therefore propose an internalization pathway for S. lugdunensis, in which AtlL plays a major role. Investigating the role of AtlL in biofilm formation of S. lugdunensis, Mut17 shows a significantly reduced ability for biofilm formation, which is restored in the complemented mutant. Thus, our data provide evidence for a significant role for AtlL in adherence and internalization processes as well as in biofilm formation of S. lugdunensis.
- Modelling antibiotic and cytotoxic isoquinoline effects in Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis and mammalian cells. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 Nov 27.
Isoquinolines (IQs) are natural substances with an antibiotic potential we aim to optimize. Specifically, IQ-238 is a synthetic analog of the novel-type N,C-coupled naphthylisoquinoline (NIQ) alkaloid ancisheynine. Recently, we developed and tested other IQs such as IQ-143. By utilizing genome-wide gene expression data, metabolic network modelling and Voronoi tessalation based data analysis - as well as cytotoxicity measurements, chemical properties calculations and principal component analysis of the NIQs - we show that IQ-238 has strong antibiotic potential for staphylococci and low cytotoxicity against murine or human cells. Compared to IQ-143, systemic effects are less pronounced. Most enzyme activity changes due to IQ-238 are located in the carbohydrate metabolism. Validation includes metabolite measurements on biological replicates. IQ-238 delineates key properties and a chemical space for a good therapeutic window. The combination of analysis methods allows suggestions for further lead development and yields an in-depth look at staphylococcal adaptation and network changes after antibiosis. Results are compared to eukaryotic host cells.
- Ndt80p is involved in l-sorbose utilization through regulating SOU1 in Candida albicans. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 Nov 20.
Ndt80p, a known transcriptional factor, regulates various targets involved in stress responses, filamentous growth, and virulence in Candida albicans. Potential targets of Ndt80p have been identified at the transcriptional level. The present study was conducted to identify genes regulated by Ndt80p from the protein level. We found that the levels of Ahp1p, Fma1p, Hsp21p, Rfa2p, Snz1p, Sod1p, Sou1p, Trp99p, orf19.251, orf19.1862, and orf19.5620, were affected by the null mutation of NDT80 by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel-electrophoresis analysis. Among the 11 proteins, all but Sou1p and Rfa2p are suggested to be involved in known functions of Ndt80p. Here, we demonstrate that Ndt80p plays a role in l-sorbose utilization through regulating SOU1 in C. albicans.
- Prevalence of subtilase cytotoxin-encoding subAB variants among Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli strains isolated from wild ruminants and sheep differs from that of cattle and pigs and is predominated by the new allelic variant subAB2-2. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 Nov 20.
Subtilase cytotoxin (SubAB) is an AB5 toxin produced by Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains usually lacking the eae gene product intimin. Three allelic variants of SubAB encoding genes have been described: subAB1, located on a plasmid, subAB2-1, located on the pathogenicity island SE-PAI and subAB2-2 located in an outer membrane efflux protein (OEP) region. SubAB is becoming increasingly recognized as a toxin potentially involved in human pathogenesis. Ruminants and cattle have been identified as reservoirs of subAB-positive STEC. The presence of the three subAB allelic variants was investigated by PCR for 152 STEC strains originating from chamois, ibex, red deer, roe deer, cattle, sheep and pigs. Overall, subAB genes were detected in 45.5% of the strains. Prevalence was highest for STEC originating from ibex (100%), chamois (92%) and sheep (65%). None of the STEC of bovine or of porcine origin tested positive for subAB. None of the strains tested positive for subAB1. The allelic variant subAB2-2 was detected the most commonly, with 51.4% possessing subAb2-1 together with subAB2-2. STEC of ovine origin, serotypes O91:H- and O128:H2, the saa gene, which encodes for the autoagglutinating adhesin and stx2b were significantly associated with subAB-positive STEC. Our results suggest that subAB2-1 and subAB2-2 is widespread among STEC from wild ruminants and sheep and may be important as virulence markers in STEC pathogenic to humans.
- Acinetobacter baumannii universal stress protein A plays a pivotal role in stress response and is essential for pneumonia and sepsis pathogenesis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 Nov 18.
Acinetobacter baumannii is one of the most significant threats to global public health. This threat is compounded by the fact that A. baumannii is rapidly becoming resistant to all relevant antimicrobials. Identifying key microbial factors through which A. baumannii resists hostile host environment is paramount to the development of novel antimicrobials targeting infections caused by this emerging pathogen. An attractive target could be a molecule that plays a role in the pathogenesis and stress response of A. baumannii. Accordingly, the universal stress protein A (UspA) was chosen to be fully investigated in this study. A platform of A. baumannii constructs, expressing various levels of the uspA gene ranging from zero to thirteen folds of wild-type level, and a recombinant E. coli strain, were employed to investigate the role of UspA in vitro stress and in vivo pathogenesis. The UspA protein plays a significant role in protecting A. baumannii from H2O2, low pH, and the respiratory toxin 2,4-DNP. A. baumannii UspA protein plays an essential role in two of the deadliest types of infection caused by A. baumannii; pneumonia and sepsis. This distinguishes A. baumannii UspA from its closely related homolog, the Staphylococcus aureus Usp2, as well as from the less similar Burkholderia glumae Usps. Heterologous and overexpression experiments suggest that UspA mediates its role via an indirect mechanism. Our study highlights the role of UspA as an important contributor to the A. baumannii stress and virulence machineries, and polishes it as a plausible target for new therapeutics.
- Characterization of sakA gene from pathogenic dimorphic fungus Penicillium marneffei. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 Nov 11.
Eukaryotes utilize stress activated protein kinase (SAPK) pathways to adapt to environmental stress, including heat, osmotic, oxidative or nutrient stresses. Penicillium marneffei (Talaromyces marneffei), the dimorphic pathogenic fungus that can cause disseminated mycosis in HIV-infected patients, has to encounter various types of stresses both outside and inside host cells. However, the strategies used by this fungus in response to these stresses are still unclear. In this report, the stress-activated kinase (sakA) gene of P. marneffei was characterized and the roles of this gene on various stress conditions were studied. The sakA gene deletion mutant was constructed using the split marker method. The phenotypes and sensitivities to varieties of stresses, including osmotic, oxidative, heat and cell wall stresses of the deletion mutant were compared with the wild type and the sakA complemented strains. Results demonstrated that the P. marneffei sakA gene encoded a putative protein containing TXY phosphorylation lip found in the stress high osmolarity glycerol 1 (Hog1)/Spc1/p38 MAPK family, and that this gene was involved not only in tolerance against oxidative and heat stresses, but also played a role in asexual development, chitin deposition, yeast cell generation in vitro and survival inside mouse and human macrophages.
- Antibacterial activity of silver and zinc nanoparticles against Vibrio cholerae and enterotoxic Escherichia coli. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 Nov 11.
Vibrio cholerae and enterotoxic Escherichia coli (ETEC) remain two dominant bacterial causes of severe secretory diarrhea and still a significant cause of death, especially in developing countries. In order to investigate new effective and inexpensive therapeutic approaches, we analyzed nanoparticles synthesized by a green approach using corresponding salt (silver or zinc nitrate) with aqueous extract of Caltropis procera fruit or leaves. We characterized the quantity and quality of nanoparticles by UV-visible wavelength scans and nanoparticle tracking analysis. Nanoparticles could be synthesized in reproducible yields of approximately 10(8)particles/ml with mode particles sizes of approx. 90-100nm. Antibacterial activity against two pathogens was assessed by minimal inhibitory concentration assays and survival curves. Both pathogens exhibited similar resistance profiles with minimal inhibitory concentrations ranging between 5×10(5) and 10(7)particles/ml. Interestingly, zinc nanoparticles showed a slightly higher efficacy, but sublethal concentrations caused adverse effects and resulted in increased biofilm formation of V. cholerae. Using the expression levels of the outer membrane porin OmpT as an indicator for cAMP levels, our results suggest that zinc nanoparticles inhibit adenylyl cyclase activity. This consequently deceases the levels of this second messenger, which is a known inhibitor of biofilm formation. Finally, we demonstrated that a single oral administration of silver nanoparticles to infant mice colonized with V. cholerae or ETEC significantly reduces the colonization rates of the pathogens by 75- or 100-fold, respectively.
- A human monoclonal antibody targeting the conserved staphylococcal antigen IsaA protects mice against Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 Nov 11.
Due to substantial therapy failure and the emergence of antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains, alternatives for antibiotic treatment of S. aureus infections are urgently needed. Passive immunization using S. aureus-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAb) could be such an alternative to prevent and treat severe S. aureus infections. The invariantly expressed immunodominant staphylococcal antigen A (IsaA) is a promising target for passive immunization. Here we report the development of the human anti-IsaA IgG1 mAb 1D9, which was shown to bind to all 26 S. aureus isolates tested. These included both methicillin-susceptible and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MSSA and MRSA, respectively). Immune complexes consisting of IsaA and 1D9 stimulated human as well as murine neutrophils to generate an oxidative burst. In a murine bacteremia model, the prophylactic treatment with a single dose of 5mg/kg 1D9 improved the survival of mice challenged with S. aureus isolate P (MSSA) significantly, while therapeutic treatment with the same dose did not influence animal survival. Neither prophylactic nor therapeutic treatment with 5mg/kg 1D9 resulted in improved survival of mice with S. aureus USA300 (MRSA) bacteremia. Importantly, our studies show that healthy S. aureus carriers elicit an immune response which is sufficient to generate protective mAbs against invariant staphylococcal surface antigens. Human mAb 1D9, possibly conjugated to for example another antibody, antibiotics, cytokines or chemokines, may be valuable to fight S. aureus infections in patients.
- Haemophilus influenzae surface fibril (Hsf) is a unique twisted hairpin-like trimeric autotransporter. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 Oct 27.
The Haemophilus surface fibril (Hsf) is an extraordinary large (2413 amino acids) trimeric autotransporter, present in all encapsulated Haemophilus influenzae. It contributes to virulence by directly functioning as an adhesin. Furthermore, Hsf recruits the host factor vitronectin thereby inhibiting the host innate immune response resulting in enhanced survival in serum. Here we observed by electron microscopy that Hsf appears as an 100nm long fibril at the bacterial surface albeit the length is approximately 200nm according to a bioinformatics based model. To unveil this discrepancy, we denaturated Hsf at the surface of Hib by using guanidine hydrochloride (GuHCl). Partial denaturation induced in the presence of GuHCl unfolded the Hsf molecules, and resulted in an increased length of fibres in comparison to the native trimeric form. Importantly, our findings were also verified by E. coli expressing Hsf at its surface. In addition, a set of Hsf-specific peptide antibodies also indicated that the N-terminal of Hsf is located near the C-terminal at the base of the fibril. Taken together, our results demonstrated that Hsf is not a straight molecule but is folded and doubled over. This is the first report that provides the unique structural features of the trimeric autotransporter Hsf.
- Heterogenic virulence in a diarrheagenic Escherichia coli: Evidence for an EPEC expressing heat-labile toxin of ETEC. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 Oct 30.
We have encountered an Escherichia coli strain isolated from a child with acute diarrhea. This strain harbored eae and elt genes encoding for E. coli attaching and effacing property and heat-labile enterotoxin of EPEC and ETEC, respectively. Due to the presence of these distinct virulence factors, we named this uncommon strain as EPEC/ETEC hybrid. The elt gene was identified in a conjugally transferable plasmid of the EPEC/ETEC hybrid. In addition, several virulence genes in the locus of enterocyte effacement have been identified, which confirms that the EPEC/ETEC has an EPEC genetic background. The hybrid nature of this strain was further confirmed by using tissue culture assays. In the multi locus sequence typing (MLST) analysis, the EPEC/ETEC belonged to the sequence type ST328 and was belonging to ST278 Cplx. Sequence analysis of the plasmid DNA revealed presence of six large contigs with several insertion sequences. A phage integrase gene and the prophages of gp48 and gp49 have been found in the upstream of eltAB. In the downstream of elt, an urovirulence loci adhesion encoding (pap) cluster containing papG, and papC were also identified. Similar to other reports, we have identified a heterogenic virulence in a diarrheagenic E. coli but with different combination of genes.