ResearchPad - intracellular-pathogens https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The influenza replication blocking inhibitor LASAG does not sensitize human epithelial cells for bacterial infections]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14740 Severe influenza virus (IV) infections still represent a major challenge to public health. To combat IV infections, vaccines and antiviral compounds are available. However, vaccine efficacies vary with very limited to no protection against newly emerging zoonotic IV introductions. In addition, the development of resistant virus variants against currently available antivirals can be rapidly detected, in consequence demanding the design of novel antiviral strategies. Virus supportive cellular signaling cascades, such as the NF-κB pathway, have been identified to be promising antiviral targets against IV in in vitro and in vivo studies and clinical trials. While administration of NF-κB pathway inhibiting agents, such as LASAG results in decreased IV replication, it remained unclear whether blocking of NF-κB might sensitize cells to secondary bacterial infections, which often come along with viral infections. Thus, we examined IV and Staphylococcus aureus growth during LASAG treatment. Interestingly, our data reveal that the presence of LASAG during superinfection still leads to reduced IV titers. Furthermore, the inhibition of the NF-κB pathway resulted in decreased intracellular Staphylococcus aureus loads within epithelial cells, indicating a dependency on the pathway for bacterial uptake. Unfortunately, so far it is not entirely clear if this phenomenon might be a drawback in bacterial clearance during infection.

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<![CDATA[Comparing in vitro and in vivo virulence phenotypes of Burkholderia pseudomallei type G strains]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc780

Burkholderia pseudomallei (Bpm) is a saprophytic rod-shaped gram-negative bacterium and the causative agent of melioidosis. This disease has previously been described as endemic in areas such as northern Australia and Southeast Asia, but, more recently, a better understanding of the epidemiology of melioidosis indicated that the disease is distributed worldwide, including regions of the Americas and Africa. A 16S-23S rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) typing system has been developed for Bpm and has revealed that ITS types C, E, and hybrid CE are mainly associated with Australia and Southeast Asia while type G strains are more associated with cases of melioidosis in the Western Hemisphere. The purpose of the current study was to determine the in vitro and in vivo virulence profiles of the understudied Bpm type G strains Ca2009, Ca2013a, Mx2013, and 724644 and compared such phenotypes to the commonly studied Bpm type C strain K96243. We evaluated virulence by measuring invasion/uptake and survival of these Bpm strains in murine respiratory epithelial LA-4 cells and alveolar macrophage MH-S cells using different multiplicity of infections (MOIs of 1 and 10). We also calculated the lethal dose 50 values (LD50) in BALB/c mice that were inoculated intranasally with either Ca2009, Ca2013a, or Mx2013. Overall, the virulence and lethality phenotypes of Bpm type G strains were similar to the Bpm type C strain K96243. Additional comparative analyses between the Bpm ITS types may lead to a better understanding of the contribution of the ITS type to the epidemiology and ecology of Bpm strains.

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<![CDATA[Pathogen diversity drives the evolution of generalist MHC-II alleles in human populations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca310d5eed0c48441f094

Central players of the adaptive immune system are the groups of proteins encoded in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), which shape the immune response against pathogens and tolerance to self-peptides. The corresponding genomic region is of particular interest, as it harbors more disease associations than any other region in the human genome, including associations with infectious diseases, autoimmune disorders, cancers, and neuropsychiatric diseases. Certain MHC molecules can bind to a much wider range of epitopes than others, but the functional implication of such an elevated epitope-binding repertoire has remained largely unclear. It has been suggested that by recognizing more peptide segments, such promiscuous MHC molecules promote immune response against a broader range of pathogens. If so, the geographical distribution of MHC promiscuity level should be shaped by pathogen diversity. Three lines of evidence support the hypothesis. First, we found that in pathogen-rich geographical regions, humans are more likely to carry highly promiscuous MHC class II DRB1 alleles. Second, the switch between specialist and generalist antigen presentation has occurred repeatedly and in a rapid manner during human evolution. Third, molecular positions that define promiscuity level of MHC class II molecules are especially diverse and are under positive selection in human populations. Taken together, our work indicates that pathogen load maintains generalist adaptive immune recognition, with implications for medical genetics and epidemiology.

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<![CDATA[The ESCRT and autophagy machineries cooperate to repair ESX-1-dependent damage at the Mycobacterium-containing vacuole but have opposite impact on containing the infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6059d0d5eed0c4847cbf91

Phagocytic cells capture and kill most invader microbes within the bactericidal phagosome, but some pathogens subvert killing by damaging the compartment and escaping to the cytosol. To prevent the leakage of pathogen virulence and host defence factors, as well as bacteria escape, host cells have to contain and repair the membrane damage, or finally eliminate the cytosolic bacteria. All eukaryotic cells engage various repair mechanisms to ensure plasma membrane integrity and proper compartmentalization of organelles, including the Endosomal Sorting Complex Required for Transport (ESCRT) and autophagy machineries. We show that during infection of Dictyostelium discoideum with Mycobacterium marinum, the ESCRT-I component Tsg101, the ESCRT-III protein Snf7/Chmp4/Vps32 and the AAA-ATPase Vps4 are recruited to sites of damage at the Mycobacterium-containing vacuole. Interestingly, damage separately recruits the ESCRT and the autophagy machineries. In addition, the recruitment of Vps32 and Vps4 to repair sterile membrane damage depends on Tsg101 but appears independent of Ca2+. Finally, in absence of Tsg101, M. marinum accesses prematurely the cytosol, where the autophagy machinery restricts its growth. We propose that ESCRT has an evolutionary conserved function to repair small membrane damage and to contain intracellular pathogens in intact compartments.

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<![CDATA[The afc antifungal activity cluster, which is under tight regulatory control of ShvR, is essential for transition from intracellular persistence of Burkholderia cenocepacia to acute pro-inflammatory infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1028d8d5eed0c4842483ad

The opportunistic pathogen Burkholderia cenocepacia is particularly life-threatening for cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Chronic lung infections with these bacteria can rapidly develop into fatal pulmonary necrosis and septicaemia. We have recently shown that macrophages are a critical site for replication of B. cenocepacia K56-2 and the induction of fatal pro-inflammatory responses using a zebrafish infection model. Here, we show that ShvR, a LysR-type transcriptional regulator that is important for biofilm formation, rough colony morphotype and inflammation in a rat lung infection model, is also required for the induction of fatal pro-inflammatory responses in zebrafish larvae. ShvR was not essential, however, for bacterial survival and replication in macrophages. Temporal, rhamnose-induced restoration of shvR expression in the shvR mutant during intramacrophage stages unequivocally demonstrated a key role for ShvR in transition from intracellular persistence to acute fatal pro-inflammatory disease. ShvR has been previously shown to tightly control the expression of the adjacent afc gene cluster, which specifies the synthesis of a lipopeptide with antifungal activity. Mutation of afcE, encoding an acyl-CoA dehydrogenase, has been shown to give similar phenotypes as the shvR mutant. We found that, like shvR, afcE is also critical for the switch from intracellular persistence to fatal infection in zebrafish. The closely related B. cenocepacia H111 has been shown to be less virulent than K56-2 in several infection models, including Galleria mellonella and rats. Interestingly, constitutive expression of shvR in H111 increased virulence in zebrafish larvae to almost K56-2 levels in a manner that absolutely required afc. These data confirm a critical role for afc in acute virulence caused by B. cenocepacia that depends on strain-specific regulatory control by ShvR. We propose that ShvR and AFC are important virulence factors of the more virulent Bcc species, either through pro-inflammatory effects of the lipopeptide AFC, or through AFC-dependent membrane properties.

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<![CDATA[Salmonella escapes adaptive immune response via SIRT2 mediated modulation of innate immune response in dendritic cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bfc623cd5eed0c484ec7908

Salmonella being a successful pathogen, employs a plethora of immune evasion mechanisms. This contributes to pathogenesis, persistence and also limits the efficacy of available treatment. All these contributing factors call upon for new drug targets against Salmonella. For the first time, we have demonstrated that Salmonella upregulates sirtuin 2 (SIRT2), an NAD+ dependent deacetylase in dendritic cells (DC). SIRT2 upregulation results in translocation of NFκB p65 to the nucleus. This further upregulates NOS2 transcription and nitric oxide (NO) production. NO subsequently shows antibacterial activity and suppresses T cell proliferation. NOS2 mediated effect of SIRT2 is further validated by the absence of effect of SIRT2 inhibition in NOS2-/- mice. Inhibition of SIRT2 increases intracellular survival of the pathogen and enhances antigen presentation in vitro. However, in vivo SIRT2 inhibition shows lower bacterial organ burden and reduced tissue damage. SIRT2 knockout mice also demonstrate reduced bacterial organ burden compared to wild-type mice. Collectively, our results prove the role of SIRT2 in Salmonella pathogenesis and the mechanism of action. This can aid in designing of host-targeted therapeutics directed towards inhibition of SIRT2.

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<![CDATA[Heterogeneity in pneumolysin expression governs the fate of Streptococcus pneumoniae during blood-brain barrier trafficking]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b600752463d7e39c5526205

Outcome of host-pathogen encounter is determined by the complex interplay between protective bacterial and host defense strategies. This complexity further amplifies with the existence of cell-to-cell phenotypic heterogeneity in pathogens which remains largely unexplored. In this study, we illustrated that heterogeneous expression of pneumolysin (Ply), a pore-forming toxin of the meningeal pathogen, S. pneumoniae (SPN) gives rise to stochastically different bacterial subpopulations with variable fate during passage across blood-brain barrier (BBB). We demonstrate that Ply mediated damage to pneumococcus containing vacuolar (PCV) membrane leads to recruitment of cytosolic “eat-me” signals, galectin-8 and ubiquitin, targeting SPN for autophagic clearance. However, a majority of high Ply producing subset extensively damages autophagosomes leading to pneumococcal escape into cytosol and efficient clearance by host ubiquitination machinery. Interestingly, a low Ply producing subset halts autophagosomal maturation and evades all intracellular defense mechanisms, promoting its prolonged survival and successful transcytosis across BBB, both in vitro and in vivo. Ply therefore acts as both, sword and shield implying that its smart regulation ensures optimal disease manifestation. Our elucidation of heterogeneity in Ply expression leading to disparate infection outcomes attempts to resolve the dubious role of Ply in pneumococcal pathogenesis.

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<![CDATA[Crosstalk between the serine/threonine kinase StkP and the response regulator ComE controls the stress response and intracellular survival of Streptococcus pneumoniae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b28b92b463d7e146ff345ce

Streptococcus pneumoniae is an opportunistic human bacterial pathogen that usually colonizes the upper respiratory tract, but the invasion and survival mechanism in respiratory epithelial cells remains elusive. Previously, we described that acidic stress-induced lysis (ASIL) and intracellular survival are controlled by ComE through a yet unknown activation mechanism under acidic conditions, which is independent of the ComD histidine kinase that activates this response regulator for competence development at pH 7.8. Here, we demonstrate that the serine/threonine kinase StkP is essential for ASIL, and show that StkP phosphorylates ComE at Thr128. Molecular dynamic simulations predicted that Thr128-phosphorylation induces conformational changes on ComE’s DNA-binding domain. Using nonphosphorylatable (ComET128A) and phosphomimetic (ComET128E) proteins, we confirmed that Thr128-phosphorylation increased the DNA-binding affinity of ComE. The non-phosphorylated form of ComE interacted more strongly with StkP than the phosphomimetic form at acidic pH, suggesting that pH facilitated crosstalk. To identify the ComE-regulated genes under acidic conditions, a comparative transcriptomic analysis was performed between the comET128A and wt strains, and differential expression of 104 genes involved in different cellular processes was detected, suggesting that the StkP/ComE pathway induced global changes in response to acidic stress. In the comET128A mutant, the repression of spxB and sodA correlated with decreased H2O2 production, whereas the reduced expression of murN correlated with an increased resistance to cell wall antibiotic-induced lysis, compatible with cell wall alterations. In the comET128A mutant, ASIL was blocked and acid tolerance response was higher compared to the wt strain. These phenotypes, accompanied with low H2O2 production, are likely responsible for the increased survival in pneumocytes of the comET128A mutant. We propose that the StkP/ComE pathway controls the stress response, thus affecting the intracellular survival of S. pneumoniae in pneumocytes, one of the first barriers that this pathogen must cross to establish an infection.

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<![CDATA[Differential Effects of p38, MAPK, PI3K or Rho Kinase Inhibitors on Bacterial Phagocytosis and Efferocytosis by Macrophages in COPD]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadbab0ee8fa60bb9b1c

Pulmonary inflammation and bacterial colonization are central to the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Defects in macrophage phagocytosis of both bacteria and apoptotic cells contribute to the COPD phenotype. Small molecule inhibitors with anti-inflammatory activity against p38 mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs), phosphatidyl-inositol-3 kinase (PI3K) and Rho kinase (ROCK) are being investigated as novel therapeutics in COPD. Concerns exist, however, about off-target effects. We investigated the effect of p38 MAPK inhibitors (VX745 and SCIO469), specific inhibitors of PI3K α (NVS-P13K-2), δ (NVS-P13K-3) or γ (NVS-P13K-5) and a ROCK inhibitor PF4950834 on macrophage phagocytosis, early intracellular killing of bacteria and efferocytosis of apoptotic neutrophils. Alveolar macrophages (AM) obtained from broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) or monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) from COPD patients (GOLD stage II/III) enrolled from a well characterized clinical cohort (MRC COPD-MAP consortium) or from healthy ex-smoker controls were studied. Both COPD AM and MDM exhibited lower levels of bacterial phagocytosis (using Streptococcus pneumoniae and non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae) and efferocytosis than healthy controls. None of the inhibitors altered bacterial internalization or early intracellular bacterial killing in AM or MDM. Conversely PF4950834, but not other inhibitors, enhanced efferocytosis in COPD AM and MDM. These results suggest none of these inhibitors are likely to exacerbate phagocytosis-related defects in COPD, while confirming ROCK inhibitors can enhance efferocytosis in COPD.

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<![CDATA[Type VI secretion system contributes to Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli virulence by secreting catalase against host reactive oxygen species (ROS)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcee5

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) is one major type of contagious and foodborne pathogens. The type VI secretion system (T6SS) has been shown to be involved in the bacterial pathogenicity and bacteria-bacteria competition. Here, we show that EHEC could secrete a novel effector KatN, a Mn-containing catalase, in a T6SS-dependent manner. Expression of katN is promoted by RpoS and OxyR and repressed by H-NS, and katN contributes to bacterial growth under oxidative stress in vitro. KatN could be secreted into host cell cytosol after EHEC is phagocytized by macrophage, which leads to decreased level of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and facilitates the intramacrophage survival of EHEC. Finally, animal model results show that the deletion mutant of T6SS was attenuated in virulence compared with the wild type strain, while the deletion mutant of katN had comparable virulence to the wild type strain. Taken together, our findings suggest that EHEC could sense oxidative stress in phagosome and decrease the host cell ROS by secreting catalase KatN to facilitate its survival in the host cells.

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<![CDATA[Piscirickettsia salmonis Imbalances the Innate Immune Response to Succeed in a Productive Infection in a Salmonid Cell Line Model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9cab0ee8fa60ba3ffb

Piscirickettsia salmonis is a facultative intracellular bacterium that causes the disease called “salmon rickettsial syndrome”. Attempts to control this disease have been unsuccessful, because existing vaccines have not achieved the expected effectiveness and the antibiotics used fail to completely eradicate the pathogen. This is in part the product of lack of scientific information that still lacks on the mechanisms used by this bacterium to overcome infected–cell responses and survive to induce a productive infection in macrophages. For that, this work was focused in determining if P. salmonis is able to modify the expression and the imbalance of IL-12 and IL-10 using an in vitro model. Additionally, we also evaluated the role the antimicrobial peptide hepcidin had in the control of this pathogen in infected cells. Therefore, the expression of IL-10 and IL-12 was evaluated at earlier stages of infection in the RTS11 cell line derived from Oncorhynchus mykiss macrophages. Simultaneously, the hepcidin expression and location was analyzed in the macrophages infected with the pathogen. Our results suggest that IL-10 is clearly induced at early stages of infection with values peaking at 36 hours post infection. Furthermore, infective P. salmonis downregulates the expression of antimicrobial peptide hepcidin and vesicles containing this peptide were unable to merge with the infective bacteria. Our results suggest that P. salmonis is able to manipulate the behavior of host cytokines and likely might constitute a virulence mechanism that promotes intracellular bacterial replication in leukocytes cells lines of trout and salmon. This mechanism involves the generation of an optimum environment for the microorganism and the downregulation of antimicrobial effectors like hepcidin.

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<![CDATA[An In Vivo Selection Identifies Listeria monocytogenes Genes Required to Sense the Intracellular Environment and Activate Virulence Factor Expression]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db47ab0ee8fa60bd8e0c

Listeria monocytogenes is an environmental saprophyte and facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen with a well-defined life-cycle that involves escape from a phagosome, rapid cytosolic growth, and ActA-dependent cell-to-cell spread, all of which are dependent on the master transcriptional regulator PrfA. The environmental cues that lead to temporal and spatial control of L. monocytogenes virulence gene expression are poorly understood. In this study, we took advantage of the robust up-regulation of ActA that occurs intracellularly and expressed Cre recombinase from the actA promoter and 5’ untranslated region in a strain in which loxP sites flanked essential genes, so that activation of actA led to bacterial death. Upon screening for transposon mutants that survived intracellularly, six genes were identified as necessary for ActA expression. Strikingly, most of the genes, including gshF, spxA1, yjbH, and ohrA, are predicted to play important roles in bacterial redox regulation. The mutants identified in the genetic selection fell into three broad categories: (1) those that failed to reach the cytosolic compartment; (2) mutants that entered the cytosol, but failed to activate the master virulence regulator PrfA; and (3) mutants that entered the cytosol and activated transcription of actA, but failed to synthesize it. The identification of mutants defective in vacuolar escape suggests that up-regulation of ActA occurs in the host cytosol and not the vacuole. Moreover, these results provide evidence for two non-redundant cytosolic cues; the first results in allosteric activation of PrfA via increased glutathione levels and transcriptional activation of actA while the second results in translational activation of actA and requires yjbH. Although the precise host cues have not yet been identified, we suggest that intracellular redox stress occurs as a consequence of both host and pathogen remodeling their metabolism upon infection.

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<![CDATA[Mycobacterium tuberculosis AtsG (Rv0296c), GlmU (Rv1018c) and SahH (Rv3248c) Proteins Function as the Human IL-8-Binding Effectors and Contribute to Pathogen Entry into Human Neutrophils]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0dab0ee8fa60bcace8

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an extremely successful intracellular pathogen that has evolved a broad spectrum of pathogenic mechanisms that enable its manipulation of host defense elements and its survival in the hostile environment inside phagocytes. Cellular influx into the site of mycobacterial entry is mediated by a variety of chemokines, including interleukin-8 (IL-8), and the innate cytokine network is critical for the development of an adaptive immune response and infection control. Using affinity chromatography, liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry and surface plasmon resonance techniques, we identified M. tuberculosis AtsG arylsulphatase, bifunctional glucosamine-1-phosphate acetyltransferase and N-acetylglucosamine-1-phosphate uridyl transferase (GlmU) and S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine hydrolase (SahH) as the pathogen proteins that bind to human IL-8. The interactions of all of the identified proteins (AtsG, GlmU and SahH) with IL-8 were characterized by high binding affinity with KD values of 6.83x10-6 M, 5.24x10-6 M and 7.14x10-10 M, respectively. Furthermore, the construction of Mtb mutant strains overproducing AtsG, GlmU or SahH allowed determination of the contribution of these proteins to mycobacterial entry into human neutrophils. The significantly increased number of intracellularly located bacilli of the overproducing M. tuberculosis mutant strains compared with those of “wild-type” M. tuberculosis and the binding interaction of AtsG, GlmU and SahH proteins with human IL-8 may indicate that these proteins participate in the modulation of the early events of infection with tubercle bacilli and could affect pathogen attachment to target cells.

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<![CDATA[Unveiling the Intracellular Survival Gene Kit of Trypanosomatid Parasites]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da53ab0ee8fa60b8e411

Trypanosomatids are unicellular protozoans of medical and economical relevance since they are the etiologic agents of infectious diseases in humans as well as livestock. Whereas Trypanosoma cruzi and different species of Leishmania are obligate intracellular parasites, Trypanosoma brucei and other trypanosomatids develop extracellularly throughout their entire life cycle. After their genomes have been sequenced, various comparative genomic studies aimed at identifying sequences involved with host cell invasion and intracellular survival have been described. However, for only a handful of genes, most of them present exclusively in the T. cruzi or Leishmania genomes, has there been any experimental evidence associating them with intracellular parasitism. With the increasing number of published complete genome sequences of members of the trypanosomatid family, including not only different Trypanosoma and Leishmania strains and subspecies but also trypanosomatids that do not infect humans or other mammals, we may now be able to contemplate a slightly better picture regarding the specific set of parasite factors that defines each organism's mode of living and the associated disease phenotypes. Here, we review the studies concerning T. cruzi and Leishmania genes that have been implicated with cell invasion and intracellular parasitism and also summarize the wealth of new information regarding the mode of living of intracellular parasites that is resulting from comparative genome studies that are based on increasingly larger trypanosomatid genome datasets.

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<![CDATA[Oral Administration of Electron-Beam Inactivated Rhodococcus equi Failed to Protect Foals against Intrabronchial Infection with Live, Virulent R. equi]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3cab0ee8fa60b88683

There is currently no licensed vaccine that protects foals against Rhodococcus equi–induced pneumonia. Oral administration of live, virulent R. equi to neonatal foals has been demonstrated to protect against subsequent intrabronchial challenge with virulent R. equi. Electron beam (eBeam)-inactivated R. equi are structurally intact and have been demonstrated to be immunogenic when administered orally to neonatal foals. Thus, we investigated whether eBeam inactivated R. equi could protect foals against developing pneumonia after experimental infection with live, virulent R. equi. Foals (n = 8) were vaccinated by gavaging with eBeam-inactivated R. equi at ages 2, 7, and 14 days, or gavaged with equal volume of saline solution (n = 4), and subsequently infected intrabronchially with live, virulent R. equi at age 21 days. The proportion of vaccinated foals that developed pneumonia following challenge was similar among the vaccinated (7/8; 88%) and unvaccinated foals (3/4; 75%). This vaccination regimen did not appear to be strongly immunogenic in foals. Alternative dosing regimens or routes of administration need further investigation and may prove to be immunogenic and protective.

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<![CDATA[Targeted Delivery of Amoxicillin to C. trachomatis by the Transferrin Iron Acquisition Pathway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daefab0ee8fa60bc0be6

Weak intracellular penetration of antibiotics makes some infections difficult to treat. The Trojan horse strategy for targeted drug delivery is among the interesting routes being explored to overcome this therapeutic difficulty. Chlamydia trachomatis, as an obligate intracellular human pathogen, is responsible for both trachoma and sexually transmitted diseases. Chlamydia develops in a vacuole and is therefore protected by four membranes (plasma membrane, bacterial inclusion membrane, and bacterial membranes). In this work, the iron-transport protein, human serum-transferrin, was used as a Trojan horse for antibiotic delivery into the bacterial vacuole. Amoxicillin was grafted onto transferrin. The transferrin-amoxicillin construct was characterized by mass spectrometry and absorption spectroscopy. Its affinity for transferrin receptor 1, determined by fluorescence emission titration [KaffTf-amox = (1.3 ± 1.0) x 108], is very close to that of transferrin [4.3 x 108]. Transmission electron and confocal microscopies showed a co-localization of transferrin with the bacteria in the vacuole and were also used to evaluate the antibiotic capability of the construct. It is significantly more effective than amoxicillin alone. These promising results demonstrate targeted delivery of amoxicillin to suppress Chlamydia and are of interest for Chlamydiaceae and maybe other intracellular bacteria therapies.

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<![CDATA[Macropinosomes are Key Players in Early Shigella Invasion and Vacuolar Escape in Epithelial Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daafab0ee8fa60baae1d

Intracellular pathogens include all viruses, many bacteria and parasites capable of invading and surviving within host cells. Key to survival is the subversion of host cell pathways by the pathogen for the purpose of propagation and evading the immune system. The intracellular bacterium Shigella flexneri, the causative agent of bacillary dysentery, invades host cells in a vacuole that is subsequently ruptured to allow growth of the pathogen within the host cytoplasm. S. flexneri invasion has been classically described as a macropinocytosis-like process, however the underlying details and the role of macropinosomes in the intracellular bacterial lifestyle have remained elusive. We applied dynamic imaging and advanced large volume correlative light electron microscopy (CLEM) to study the highly transient events of S. flexneri’s early invasion into host epithelial cells and elucidate some of its fundamental features. First, we demonstrate a clear distinction between two compartments formed during the first step of invasion: the bacterial containing vacuole and surrounding macropinosomes, often considered identical. Next, we report a functional link between macropinosomes and the process of vacuolar rupture, demonstrating that rupture timing is dependent on the availability of macropinosomes as well as the activity of the small GTPase Rab11 recruited directly to macropinosomes. We go on to reveal that the bacterial containing vacuole and macropinosomes come into direct contact at the onset of vacuolar rupture. Finally, we demonstrate that S. flexneri does not subvert pre-existing host endocytic vesicles during the invasion steps leading to vacuolar rupture, and propose that macropinosomes are the major compartment involved in these events. These results provide the basis for a new model of the early steps of S. flexneri epithelial cell invasion, establishing a different view of the enigmatic process of cytoplasmic access by invasive bacterial pathogens.

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<![CDATA[Uropathogenic E.coli (UPEC) Infection Induces Proliferation through Enhancer of Zeste Homologue 2 (EZH2)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da77ab0ee8fa60b9704f

Host-pathogen interactions can induce epigenetic changes in the host directly, as well as indirectly through secreted factors. Previously, uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) was shown to increase DNA methyltransferase activity and expression, which was associated with methylation-dependent alterations in the urothelial expression of CDKN2A. Here, we showed that paracrine factors from infected cells alter expression of another epigenetic writer, EZH2, coordinate with proliferation. Urothelial cells were inoculated with UPEC, UPEC derivatives, or vehicle (mock infection) at low moi, washed, then maintained in media with Gentamycin. Urothelial conditioned media (CM) and extracellular vesicles (EV) were isolated after the inoculations and used to treat naïve urothelial cells. EZH2 increased with UPEC infection, inoculation-induced CM, and inoculation-induced EV vs. parallel stimulation derived from mock-inoculated urothelial cells. We found that infection also increased proliferation at one day post-infection, which was blocked by the EZH2 inhibitor UNC1999. Inhibition of demethylation at H3K27me3 had the opposite effect and augmented proliferation. CONCLUSION: Uropathogen-induced paracrine factors act epigenetically by altering expression of EZH2, which plays a key role in early host cell proliferative responses to infection.

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<![CDATA[Transcriptional Analysis of PRRSV-Infected Porcine Dendritic Cell Response to Streptococcus suis Infection Reveals Up-Regulation of Inflammatory-Related Genes Expression]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4aab0ee8fa60bd9f7a

The porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is one of the most important swine pathogens and often serves as an entry door for other viral or bacterial pathogens, of which Streptococcus suis is one of the most common. Pre-infection with PRRSV leads to exacerbated disease caused by S. suis infection. Very few studies have assessed the immunological mechanisms underlying this higher susceptibility. Since antigen presenting cells play a major role in the initiation of the immune response, the in vitro transcriptional response of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) and monocytes in the context of PRRSV and S. suis co-infection was investigated. BMDCs were found to be more permissive than monocytes to PRRSV infection; S. suis phagocytosis by PRRSV-infected BMDCs was found to be impaired, whereas no effect was found on bacterial intracellular survival. Transcription profile analysis, with a major focus on inflammatory genes, following S. suis infection, with and without pre-infection with PRRSV, was then performed. While PRRSV pre-infection had little effect on monocytes response to S. suis infection, a significant expression of several pro-inflammatory molecules was observed in BMDCs pre-infected with PRRSV after a subsequent infection with S. suis. While an additive effect could be observed for CCL4, CCL14, CCL20, and IL-15, a distinct synergistic up-regulatory effect was observed for IL-6, CCL5 and TNF-α after co-infection. This increased pro-inflammatory response by DCs could participate in the exacerbation of the disease observed during PRRSV and S. suis co-infection.

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<![CDATA[Identification of CiaR Regulated Genes That Promote Group B Streptococcal Virulence and Interaction with Brain Endothelial Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daedab0ee8fa60bbfdbc

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a major causative agent of neonatal meningitis due to its ability to efficiently cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and enter the central nervous system (CNS). It has been demonstrated that GBS can invade human brain microvascular endothelial cells (hBMEC), a primary component of the BBB; however, the mechanism of intracellular survival and trafficking is unclear. We previously identified a two component regulatory system, CiaR/H, which promotes GBS intracellular survival in hBMEC. Here we show that a GBS strain deficient in the response regulator, CiaR, localized more frequently with Rab5, Rab7 and LAMP1 positive vesicles. Further, lysosomes isolated from hBMEC contained fewer viable bacteria following initial infection with the ΔciaR mutant compared to the WT strain. To characterize the contribution of CiaR-regulated genes, we constructed isogenic mutant strains lacking the two most down-regulated genes in the CiaR-deficient mutant, SAN_2180 and SAN_0039. These genes contributed to bacterial uptake and intracellular survival. Furthermore, competition experiments in mice showed that WT GBS had a significant survival advantage over the Δ2180 and Δ0039 mutants in the bloodstream and brain.

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