Matching Items (6)

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Spaceflight Enhances Cell Aggregation and Random Budding in Candida albicans

Description

This study presents the first global transcriptional profiling and phenotypic characterization of the major human opportunistic fungal pathogen, Candida albicans, grown in spaceflight conditions. Microarray analysis revealed that C. albicans

This study presents the first global transcriptional profiling and phenotypic characterization of the major human opportunistic fungal pathogen, Candida albicans, grown in spaceflight conditions. Microarray analysis revealed that C. albicans subjected to short-term spaceflight culture differentially regulated 452 genes compared to synchronous ground controls, which represented 8.3% of the analyzed ORFs. Spaceflight-cultured C. albicans–induced genes involved in cell aggregation (similar to flocculation), which was validated by microscopic and flow cytometry analysis. We also observed enhanced random budding of spaceflight-cultured cells as opposed to bipolar budding patterns for ground samples, in accordance with the gene expression data. Furthermore, genes involved in antifungal agent and stress resistance were differentially regulated in spaceflight, including induction of ABC transporters and members of the major facilitator family, downregulation of ergosterol-encoding genes, and upregulation of genes involved in oxidative stress resistance. Finally, downregulation of genes involved in actin cytoskeleton was observed. Interestingly, the transcriptional regulator Cap1 and over 30% of the Cap1 regulon was differentially expressed in spaceflight-cultured C. albicans. A potential role for Cap1 in the spaceflight response of C. albicans is suggested, as this regulator is involved in random budding, cell aggregation, and oxidative stress resistance; all related to observed spaceflight-associated changes of C. albicans. While culture of C. albicans in microgravity potentiates a global change in gene expression that could induce a virulence-related phenotype, no increased virulence in a murine intraperitoneal (i.p.) infection model was observed under the conditions of this study. Collectively, our data represent an important basis for the assessment of the risk that commensal flora could play during human spaceflight missions. Furthermore, since the low fluid-shear environment of microgravity is relevant to physical forces encountered by pathogens during the infection process, insights gained from this study could identify novel infectious disease mechanisms, with downstream benefits for the general public.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-12-04

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Effect of oxygen on the competition between Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus

Description

The viscous lung mucus of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients is characterized by oxygen gradients, which creates a unique niche for bacterial growth. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, two predominant microorganisms

The viscous lung mucus of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients is characterized by oxygen gradients, which creates a unique niche for bacterial growth. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, two predominant microorganisms chronically infecting the airways of CF patients, typically localize in hypoxic regions of the mucus. While interspecies interactions between P. aeruginosa and S. aureus have been reported, little is known about the role of low oxygen in regulating these interactions. Studying interspecies interactions in CF lung disease is important as evidence suggests that microbial community composition governs disease progression. In this study, P. aeruginosa lab strain PAO1 and two primary clinical isolates from hypoxic tissues were cultured alone, or in combination, with methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strain N315 under hypoxic or normoxic conditions. Herein, it is shown for the first time that low oxygen conditions relevant to the CF lung affect the competitive behavior between P. aeruginosa and S. aureus. Specifically, S. aureus was able to better survive competition in hypoxic versus normoxic conditions. Competition data from different oxygen concentrations were consistent using PAO1 and clinical isolates even though differences in the level of competition were observed. PAO1 strains carrying mutations in virulence factors known to contribute to S. aureus competition (pyocyanin/phzS, elastase/lasA and lasI quorum sensing/lasI) were used to determine which genes play a role in the differential growth inhibition. The lasA and lasI mutants competed less effectively with S. aureus regardless of the oxygen level present in the culture compared to the isogenic wild type strain. These results are consistent with previous findings that elastase and lasI quorum sensing play a role in competitive behavior of P. aeruginosa and S. aureus. Interestingly, the phzS mutant competed less effectively in hypoxic conditions suggesting that pyocyanin may be important in microaerophilic conditions. This study demonstrates that oxygen plays a role in competition between P. aeruginosa and S. aureus and contributes to understanding CF environmental factors that may regulate microbial community dynamics important for disease progression with potential for development of therapeutic avenues.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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The Effect of Fluid Shear on Pathogenesis-related Phenotypes of Non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium ST313 A130

Description

In sub-Saharan Africa, an invasive form of nontyphoidal Salmonella (iNTS) belonging to sequence type (ST)313 has emerged as a major public health concern causing widespread bacteremia and mortality in children

In sub-Saharan Africa, an invasive form of nontyphoidal Salmonella (iNTS) belonging to sequence type (ST)313 has emerged as a major public health concern causing widespread bacteremia and mortality in children with malaria and adults with HIV. Clinically, ST313 pathovars are characterized by the absence of gastroenteritis, which is commonly found in “classical” nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS), along with multidrug resistance, pseudogene formation, and chromosome degradation. There is an urgent need to understand the biological and physical factors that regulate the disease causing properties of ST313 strains. Previous studies from our lab using dynamic Rotating Wall Vessel (RWV) bioreactor technology and “classical” NTS strain χ3339 showed that physiological fluid shear regulates gene expression, stress responses and virulence in unexpected ways that are not observed using conventional shake and static flask conditions, and in a very different manner as compared to ST313 strain D23580. Leveraging from these findings, the current study was the first to report the effect of fluid shear on the pathogenesis-related stress responses of S. Typhimurium ST313 strain A130, which evolved earlier than D23580 within the ST313 clade. A130 displayed enhanced resistance to acid, oxidative and bile stresses when cultured in the high fluid shear (HFS) control condition relative to the low fluid shear (LFS) condition in stationary phase using Lennox Broth (LB) as the culture medium. The greatest magnitude of the survival benefit conferred by high fluid shear was observed in response to oxidative and acid stresses. No differences were observed for thermal and osmotic stresses. Based on previous findings from our laboratory, we also assessed how the addition of phosphate or magnesium ions to the culture medium altered the acid or oxidative stress responses of A130 grown in the RWV. Addition of either

phosphate or magnesium to the culture medium abrogated the fluid shear-related differences observed for A130 in LB medium for the acid or oxidative stress responses, respectively. Collectively, these findings indicate that like other Salmonella strains assessed thus far by our team, A130 responds to differences in physiological fluid shear, and that ion concentrations can modulate those responses.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Correlation between physiological fluid shear and RpoS in regulating the stationary phase stress response in Salmonella

Description

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) is a Gram-negative enteric pathogen that causes self-limiting gastroenteritis in healthy individuals and can cause systemic infections in those who are immunocompromised. During its

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) is a Gram-negative enteric pathogen that causes self-limiting gastroenteritis in healthy individuals and can cause systemic infections in those who are immunocompromised. During its natural lifecycle, S. Typhimurium encounters a wide variety of stresses it must sense and respond to in a dynamic and coordinated fashion to induce resistance and ensure survival. Salmonella is subjected to a series of stresses that include temperature shifts, pH variability, detergent-like bile salts, oxidative environments and changes in fluid shear levels. Previously, our lab showed that cultures of S. Typhimurium grown under physiological low fluid shear (LFS) conditions similar to those encountered in the intestinal tract during infection uniquely regulates the virulence, gene expression and pathogenesis-related stress responses of this pathogen during log phase. Interestingly, the log phase Salmonella mechanosensitive responses to LFS were independent of the master stress response sigma factor, RpoS, departing from our conventional understanding of RpoS regulation. Since RpoS is a growth phase dependent regulator with increased stability in stationary phase, the current study investigated the role of RpoS in mediating pathogenesis-related stress responses in stationary phase S. Typhimurium grown under LFS and control conditions. Specifically, stationary phase responses to acid, thermal, bile and oxidative stress were assayed. To our knowledge the results from the current study demonstrate the first report that the mechanical force of LFS globally alters the S. Typhimurium χ3339 stationary phase stress response independently of RpoS to acid and bile stressors but dependently on RpoS to oxidative and thermal stress. This indicates that fluid shear-dependent differences in acid and bile stress responses are regulated by alternative pathway(s) in S. Typhimurium, were the oxidative and thermal stress responses are regulated through RpoS in LFS conditions. Results from this study further highlight how bacterial mechanosensation may be important in promoting niche recognition and adaptation in the mammalian host during infection, and may lead to characterization of previously unidentified pathogenesis strategies.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Fluid shear force regulates the pathogenesis-related stress responses of invasive multidrug resistant Salmonella typhimurium 5579

Description

The emergence of invasive non-Typhoidal Salmonella (iNTS) infections belonging to sequence type (ST) 313 are associated with severe bacteremia and high mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Distinct features of ST313 strains

The emergence of invasive non-Typhoidal Salmonella (iNTS) infections belonging to sequence type (ST) 313 are associated with severe bacteremia and high mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Distinct features of ST313 strains include resistance to multiple antibiotics, extensive genomic degradation, and atypical clinical diagnosis including bloodstream infections, respiratory symptoms, and fever. Herein, I report the use of dynamic bioreactor technology to profile the impact of physiological fluid shear levels on the pathogenesis-related responses of ST313 pathovar, 5579. I show that culture of 5579 under these conditions induces profoundly different pathogenesis-related phenotypes than those normally observed when cultures are grown conventionally. Surprisingly, in response to physiological fluid shear, 5579 exhibited positive swimming motility, which was unexpected, since this strain was initially thought to be non-motile. Moreover, fluid shear altered the resistance of 5579 to acid, oxidative and bile stress, as well as its ability to colonize human colonic epithelial cells. This work leverages from and advances studies over the past 16 years in the Nickerson lab, which are at the forefront of bacterial mechanosensation and further demonstrates that bacterial pathogens are “hardwired” to respond to the force of fluid shear in ways that are not observed during conventional culture, and stresses the importance of mimicking the dynamic physical force microenvironment when studying host-pathogen interactions. The results from this study lay the foundation for future work to determine the underlying mechanisms operative in 5579 that are responsible for these phenotypic observations.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Characterizing the molecular genetic, phenotypic and virulence properties of the invasive nontyphoidal Salmonella strain D23580: an integrated approach

Description

Invasive salmonellosis caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium ST313 is a major health crisis in sub-Saharan Africa, with multidrug resistance and atypical clinical presentation challenging current treatment regimens and resulting

Invasive salmonellosis caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium ST313 is a major health crisis in sub-Saharan Africa, with multidrug resistance and atypical clinical presentation challenging current treatment regimens and resulting in high mortality. Moreover, the increased risk of spreading ST313 pathovars worldwide is of major concern, given global public transportation networks and increased populations of immunocompromised individuals (as a result of HIV infection, drug use, cancer therapy, aging, etc). While it is unclear as to how Salmonella ST313 strains cause invasive disease in humans, it is intriguing that the genomic profile of some of these pathovars indicates key differences between classic Typhimurium (broad host range), but similarities to human-specific typhoidal Salmonella Typhi and Paratyphi. In an effort to advance fundamental understanding of the pathogenesis mechanisms of ST313 in humans, I report characterization of the molecular genetic, phenotypic and virulence profiles of D23580 (a representative ST313 strain). Preliminary studies to characterize D23580 virulence, baseline stress responses, and biochemical profiles, and in vitro infection profiles in human surrogate 3-D tissue culture models were done using conventional bacterial culture conditions; while subsequent studies integrated a range of incrementally increasing fluid shear levels relevant to those naturally encountered by D23580 in the infected host to understand the impact of biomechanical forces in altering these characteristics. In response to culture of D23580 under these conditions, distinct differences in transcriptional biosignatures, pathogenesis-related stress responses, in vitro infection profiles and in vivo virulence in mice were observed as compared to those of classic Salmonella pathovars tested.

Collectively, this work represents the first characterization of in vivo virulence and in vitro pathogenesis properties of D23580, the latter using advanced human surrogate models that mimic key aspects of the parental tissue. Results from these studies highlight the importance of studying infectious diseases using an integrated approach that combines actions of biological and physical networks that mimic the host-pathogen microenvironment and regulate pathogen responses.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015