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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: PloS one, 2015, Vol.10(4), pp.e0124373
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi resists the cytotoxic effects of human antimicrobial peptides (APs), including α-defensins, β-defensins, and the cathelicidin LL-37. Resistance to LL-37, mediated by the sensitive to antimicrobial peptide (Sap) transporter, is required for H. ducreyi virulence in humans. Cationic APs are attracted to the negatively charged bacterial cell surface. In other gram-negative bacteria, modification of lipopolysaccharide or lipooligosaccharide (LOS) by the addition of positively charged moieties, such as phosphoethanolamine (PEA), confers AP resistance by means of electrostatic repulsion. H. ducreyi LOS has PEA modifications at two sites, and we identified three genes (lptA, ptdA, and ptdB) in H. ducreyi with homology to a family of bacterial PEA transferases. We generated non-polar, unmarked mutants with deletions in one, two, or all three putative PEA transferase genes. The triple mutant was significantly more susceptible to both α- and β-defensins; complementation of all three genes restored parental levels of AP resistance. Deletion of all three PEA transferase genes also resulted in a significant increase in the negativity of the mutant cell surface. Mass spectrometric analysis revealed that LptA was required for PEA modification of lipid A; PtdA and PtdB did not affect PEA modification of LOS. In human inoculation experiments, the triple mutant was as virulent as its parent strain. While this is the first identified mechanism of resistance to α-defensins in H. ducreyi, our in vivo data suggest that resistance to cathelicidin LL-37 may be more important than defensin resistance to H. ducreyi pathogenesis.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Genetics ; Drug Resistance, Bacterial -- Genetics ; Ethanolaminephosphotransferase -- Genetics ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Genetics ; Lipid A -- Metabolism
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: BMC Microbiology, Sept 22, 2011, Vol.11, p.208
    Description: Background Haemophilus ducreyi, the causative agent of the sexually transmitted disease chancroid, contains a flp (fimbria like protein) operon that encodes proteins predicted to contribute to adherence and pathogenesis. H. ducreyi mutants that lack expression of Flp1 and Flp2 or TadA, which has homology to NTPases of type IV secretion systems, have decreased abilities to attach to and form microcolonies on human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF). A tadA mutant is attenuated in its ability to cause disease in human volunteers and in the temperature dependent rabbit model, but a flp1flp2 mutant is virulent in rabbits. Whether a flp deletion mutant would cause disease in humans is not clear. Results We constructed 35000HP[DELTA]flp1-3, a deletion mutant that lacks expression of all three Flp proteins but has an intact tad secretion system. 35000HP[DELTA]flp1-3 was impaired in its ability to form microcolonies and to attach to HFF in vitro when compared to its parent (35000HP). Complementation of the mutant with flp1-3 in trans restored the parental phenotype. To test whether expression of Flp1-3 was necessary for virulence in humans, ten healthy adult volunteers were experimentally infected with a fixed dose of 35000HP (ranging from 54 to 67 CFU) on one arm and three doses of 35000HP[DELTA]flp1-3 (ranging from 63 to 961 CFU) on the other arm. The overall papule formation rate for the parent was 80% (95% confidence interval, CI, 55.2%-99.9%) and for the mutant was 70.0% (95% CI, 50.5%-89.5%) (P = 0.52). Mutant papules were significantly smaller (mean, 11.2 mm.sup.2.sup.) than were parent papules (21.8 mm.sup.2.sup.) 24 h after inoculation (P = 0.018). The overall pustule formation rates were 46.7% (95% CI 23.7-69.7%) at 30 parent sites and 6.7% (95% CI, 0.1-19.1%) at 30 mutant sites (P = 0.001). Conclusion These data suggest that production and secretion of the Flp proteins contributes to microcolony formation and attachment to HFF cells in vitro. Expression of flp1-3 is also necessary for H. ducreyi to initiate disease and progress to pustule formation in humans. Future studies will focus on how Flp proteins contribute to microcolony formation and attachment in vivo.
    Keywords: Hemophilus Infections -- Genetic Aspects ; Hemophilus Infections -- Health Aspects ; Hemophilus Infections -- Research
    ISSN: 1471-2180
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: BMC Microbiology, Sept 22, 2011, Vol.11, p.208
    Description: Background Haemophilus ducreyi, the causative agent of the sexually transmitted disease chancroid, contains a flp (fimbria like protein) operon that encodes proteins predicted to contribute to adherence and pathogenesis. H. ducreyi mutants that lack expression of Flp1 and Flp2 or TadA, which has homology to NTPases of type IV secretion systems, have decreased abilities to attach to and form microcolonies on human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF). A tadA mutant is attenuated in its ability to cause disease in human volunteers and in the temperature dependent rabbit model, but a flp1flp2 mutant is virulent in rabbits. Whether a flp deletion mutant would cause disease in humans is not clear. Results We constructed 35000HP[DELTA]flp1-3, a deletion mutant that lacks expression of all three Flp proteins but has an intact tad secretion system. 35000HP[DELTA]flp1-3 was impaired in its ability to form microcolonies and to attach to HFF in vitro when compared to its parent (35000HP). Complementation of the mutant with flp1-3 in trans restored the parental phenotype. To test whether expression of Flp1-3 was necessary for virulence in humans, ten healthy adult volunteers were experimentally infected with a fixed dose of 35000HP (ranging from 54 to 67 CFU) on one arm and three doses of 35000HP[DELTA]flp1-3 (ranging from 63 to 961 CFU) on the other arm. The overall papule formation rate for the parent was 80% (95% confidence interval, CI, 55.2%-99.9%) and for the mutant was 70.0% (95% CI, 50.5%-89.5%) (P = 0.52). Mutant papules were significantly smaller (mean, 11.2 mm.sup.2.sup.) than were parent papules (21.8 mm.sup.2.sup.) 24 h after inoculation (P = 0.018). The overall pustule formation rates were 46.7% (95% CI 23.7-69.7%) at 30 parent sites and 6.7% (95% CI, 0.1-19.1%) at 30 mutant sites (P = 0.001). Conclusion These data suggest that production and secretion of the Flp proteins contributes to microcolony formation and attachment to HFF cells in vitro. Expression of flp1-3 is also necessary for H. ducreyi to initiate disease and progress to pustule formation in humans. Future studies will focus on how Flp proteins contribute to microcolony formation and attachment in vivo.
    Keywords: Hemophilus Infections -- Genetic Aspects ; Hemophilus Infections -- Health Aspects ; Hemophilus Infections -- Research
    ISSN: 1471-2180
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Bacteriology, 2013, Vol.195(15-16), p.3486(17)
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi causes chancroid, a genital ulcer disease that facilitates the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1. In humans, H. ducreyi is surrounded by phagocytes and must adapt to a hostile environment to survive. To sense and respond to environmental cues, bacteria frequently use two-component signal transduction (2CST) systems. The only obvious 2CST system in H. ducreyi is CpxRA; CpxR is a response regulator, and CpxA is a sensor kinase. Previous studies by Hansen and coworkers showed that CpxR directly represses the expression of dsrA, the lspB-lspA2 operon, and the flp operon, which are required for virulence in humans. They further showed that CpxA functions predominantly as a phosphatase in vitro to maintain the expression of virulence determinants. Since a cpxA mutant is avirulent while a cpxR mutant is fully virulent in humans, CpxA also likely functions predominantly as a phosphatase in vivo. To better understand the role of H. ducreyi CpxRA in controlling virulence determinants, here we defined genes potentially regulated by CpxRA by using RNA-Seq. Activation of CpxR by deletion of cpxA repressed nearly 70% of its targets, including seven established virulence determinants. Inactivation of CpxR by deletion of cpxR differentially regulated few genes and increased the expression of one virulence determinant. We identified a CpxR binding motif that was enriched in downregulated but not upregulated targets. These data reinforce the hypothesis that CpxA phosphatase activity plays a critical role in controlling H. ducreyi virulence in vivo. Characterization of the downregulated genes may offer new insights into pathogenesis.
    Keywords: Chancroid – Causes of ; Gene Expression – Research ; Hemophilus Infections – Research ; Virulence (Microbiology) – Research
    ISSN: 0021-9193
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: BMC microbiology, 24 June 2014, Vol.14, pp.166
    Description: Bacterial lipoproteins often play important roles in pathogenesis and can stimulate protective immune responses. Such lipoproteins are viable vaccine candidates. Haemophilus ducreyi, which causes the sexually transmitted disease chancroid, expresses a number of lipoproteins during human infection. One such lipoprotein, OmpP4, is homologous to the outer membrane lipoprotein e (P4) of H. influenzae. In H. influenzae, e (P4) stimulates production of bactericidal and protective antibodies and contributes to pathogenesis by facilitating acquisition of the essential nutrients heme and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). Here, we tested the hypothesis that, like its homolog, H. ducreyi OmpP4 contributes to virulence and stimulates production of bactericidal antibodies. We determined that OmpP4 is broadly conserved among clinical isolates of H. ducreyi. We next constructed and characterized an isogenic ompP4 mutant, designated 35000HPompP4, in H. ducreyi strain 35000HP. To test whether OmpP4 was necessary for virulence in humans, eight healthy adults were experimentally infected. Each subject was inoculated with a fixed dose of 35000HP on one arm and three doses of 35000HPompP4 on the other arm. The overall parent and mutant pustule formation rates were 52.4% and 47.6%, respectively (P = 0.74). These results indicate that expression of OmpP4 in not necessary for H. ducreyi to initiate disease or progress to pustule formation in humans. Hyperimmune mouse serum raised against purified, recombinant OmpP4 did not promote bactericidal killing of 35000HP or phagocytosis by J774A.1 mouse macrophages in serum bactericidal and phagocytosis assays, respectively. Our data suggest that, unlike e (P4), H. ducreyi OmpP4 is not a suitable vaccine candidate. OmpP4 may be dispensable for virulence because of redundant mechanisms in H. ducreyi for heme acquisition and NAD utilization.
    Keywords: Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins -- Metabolism ; Chancroid -- Microbiology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Pathogenicity ; Virulence Factors -- Metabolism
    E-ISSN: 1471-2180
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: 2015, Vol.9(7), p.e0003918
    Description: Although cutaneous ulcers (CU) in the tropics is frequently attributed to Treponema pallidum subspecies pertenue , the causative agent of yaws, Haemophilus ducreyi has emerged as a major cause of CU in yaws-endemic regions of the South Pacific islands and Africa. H . ducreyi is generally susceptible to macrolides, but CU strains persist after mass drug administration of azithromycin for yaws or trachoma. H . ducreyi also causes genital ulcers (GU) and was thought to be exclusively transmitted by microabrasions that occur during sex. In human volunteers, the GU strain 35000HP does not infect intact skin; wounds are required to initiate infection. These data led to several questions: Are CU strains a new variant of H . ducreyi or did they evolve from GU strains? Do CU strains contain additional genes that could allow them to infect intact skin? Are CU strains susceptible to azithromycin? ; To address these questions, we performed whole-genome sequencing and antibiotic susceptibility testing of 5 CU strains obtained from Samoa and Vanuatu and 9 archived class I and class II GU strains. Except for single nucleotide polymorphisms, the CU strains were genetically almost identical to the class I strain 35000HP and had no additional genetic content. Phylogenetic analysis showed that class I and class II strains formed two separate clusters and CU strains evolved from class I strains. Class I strains diverged from class II strains ~1.95 million years ago (mya) and CU strains diverged from the class I strain 35000HP ~0.18 mya. CU and GU strains evolved under similar selection pressures. Like 35000HP, the CU strains were highly susceptible to antibiotics, including azithromycin. ; These data suggest that CU strains are derivatives of class I strains that were not recognized until recently. These findings require confirmation by analysis of CU strains from other regions. ; Cutaneous ulcers (CU) in children living in equatorial Africa and the South Pacific islands have long been attributed to yaws, which is caused by subsp. . However, PCR-based cross sectional surveys done in yaws-endemic regions show that is the leading cause of CU in these regions. . classically causes the genital ulcer (GU) disease chancroid and was once thought to be exclusively sexually transmitted. We show that CU strains obtained from Samoa and Vanuatu are genetically nearly identical to class 1 GU strains and contain no additional genetic content. The CU strains are highly susceptible to antibiotics, including azithromycin. The data suggest an urgent need to obtain and analyze CU isolates from Africa and other countries in the South Pacific and to search for environmental sources of the organism.
    Keywords: Research Article
    ISSN: 19352727
    E-ISSN: 1935-2735
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: The Journal of infectious diseases, 15 June 2011, Vol.203(12), pp.1859-65
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi 35000HP contains a homolog of the CpxRA 2-component signal transduction system, which controls the cell envelope stress response system in other gram-negative bacteria and regulates some important H. ducreyi virulence factors. A H. ducreyi cpxR mutant was compared with its parent for virulence in the human challenge model of experimental chancroid. The pustule formation rate in 5 volunteers was 33% (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3%-65.3%) at 15 parent sites and 40% (95% CI, 18.1%-61.9%) at 15 mutant sites (P = .35). Thus, the cpxR mutant was not attenuated for virulence. Inactivation of the H. ducreyi cpxR gene did not reduce the ability of this mutant to express certain proven virulence factors, including the DsrA serum resistance protein and the LspA2 protein, which inhibits phagocytosis. These results expand our understanding of the involvement of the CpxRA system in regulating virulence expression in H. ducreyi.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Genetics ; Chancroid -- Microbiology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Genetics
    ISSN: 00221899
    E-ISSN: 1537-6613
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: The Journal of infectious diseases, November 2012, Vol.206(9), pp.1407-14
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi encounters several classes of antimicrobial peptides (APs) in vivo and utilizes the sensitive-to-antimicrobial-peptides (Sap) transporter as one mechanism of AP resistance. A mutant lacking the periplasmic solute-binding component, SapA, was somewhat more sensitive to the cathelicidin LL-37 than the parent strain and was partially attenuated for virulence. The partial attenuation led us to question whether the transporter is fully abrogated in the sapA mutant. We generated a nonpolar sapBC mutant, which lacks both inner membrane permeases of the Sap transporter, and tested the mutant for virulence in human volunteers. In vitro, we compared LL-37 resistance phenotypes of the sapBC and sapA mutants. Unlike the sapA mutant, the sapBC mutant was fully attenuated for virulence in human volunteers. In vitro, the sapBC mutant exhibited significantly greater sensitivity than the sapA mutant to killing by LL-37. Similar to the sapA mutant, the sapBC mutant did not affect H. ducreyi's resistance to human defensins. Compared with the sapA mutant, the sapBC mutant exhibited greater attenuation in vivo, which directly correlated with increased sensitivity to LL-37 in vitro. These results strongly suggest that the SapBC channel retains activity when SapA is removed.
    Keywords: Drug Resistance, Bacterial ; Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides -- Pharmacology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Enzymology ; Membrane Transport Proteins -- Metabolism ; Virulence Factors -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00221899
    E-ISSN: 1537-6613
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: The Journal of infectious diseases, 15 June 2010, Vol.201(12), pp.1839-48
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi causes chancroid, a genital ulcer disease. Among human volunteers, the majority of experimentally infected individuals fail to clear the infection and form pustules. Here, we investigated the role played by CD4(+)FOXP3(+) regulatory T (T(reg)) cells in the formation of pustules. In pustules, there was a significant enrichment of CD4(+)FOXP3(+) T cells, compared with that in peripheral blood. The majority of lesional FOXP3(+) T cells were CD4(+), CD25(+), CD127(lo/-), and CTLA-4(+). FOXP3(+) T cells were found throughout pustules but were most abundant at their base. Significantly fewer lesional CD4(+)FOXP3(+) T cells expressed interferon gamma, compared with lesional CD4(+)FOXP3(-) effector T cells. Depletion of CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells from the peripheral blood of infected and uninfected volunteers significantly enhanced proliferation of H. ducreyi-reactive CD4(+) T cells. Our results indicate that the population of CD4(+)CD25(+)CD127(lo/-)FOXP3(+) T(reg) cells are expanded at H. ducreyi-infected sites and that these cells may play a role in suppressing the host immune response to the bacterium.
    Keywords: Immune Tolerance ; Cd4-Positive T-Lymphocytes -- Immunology ; Forkhead Transcription Factors -- Analysis ; Haemophilus Infections -- Immunology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Immunology ; T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory -- Immunology
    ISSN: 00221899
    E-ISSN: 1537-6613
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Journal of bacteriology, December 2014, Vol.196(23), pp.4012-25
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi causes the sexually transmitted disease chancroid and a chronic limb ulceration syndrome in children. In humans, H. ducreyi is found in an abscess and overcomes a hostile environment to establish infection. To sense and respond to membrane stress, bacteria utilize two-component systems (TCSs) and extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factors. We previously showed that activation of CpxRA, the only intact TCS in H. ducreyi, does not regulate homologues of envelope protein folding factors but does downregulate genes encoding envelope-localized proteins, including many virulence determinants. H. ducreyi also harbors a homologue of RpoE, which is the only ECF sigma factor in the organism. To potentially understand how H. ducreyi responds to membrane stress, here we defined RpoE-dependent genes using transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq). We identified 180 RpoE-dependent genes, of which 98% were upregulated; a major set of these genes encodes homologues of envelope maintenance and repair factors. We also identified and validated a putative RpoE promoter consensus sequence, which was enriched in the majority of RpoE-dependent targets. Comparison of RpoE-dependent genes to those controlled by CpxR showed that each transcription factor regulated a distinct set of genes. Given that RpoE activated a large number of genes encoding envelope maintenance and repair factors and that CpxRA represses genes encoding envelope-localized proteins, these data suggest that RpoE and CpxRA appear to play distinct yet complementary roles in regulating envelope homeostasis in H. ducreyi.
    Keywords: Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial ; Stress, Physiological ; Bacterial Proteins -- Metabolism ; Cell Membrane -- Physiology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Physiology ; Protein Kinases -- Metabolism ; Sigma Factor -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00219193
    E-ISSN: 1098-5530
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