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  • Fortney, Kate R.
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  • 1
    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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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Bacteriology, 2014, Vol.196(23-24), p.4012(14)
    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: Hemophilus Infections – Causes of ; Sexually Transmitted Diseases – Risk Factors ; Transcription (Genetics) – Analysis
    ISSN: 0021-9193
    E-ISSN: 10985530
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  • 3
    In: Infection and Immunity, 2010, Vol. 78(9), p.3898
    ISSN: 0019-9567
    ISSN: 00199567
    Source: American Society of Microbiology
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Infection and immunity IAI, 2010, Vol.78(9), pp.3898-3904
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi must adapt to the environment of the human host to establish and maintain infection in the skin. Bacteria generally utilize stress response systems, such as the CpxRA two-component system, to adapt to hostile environments. CpxRA is the only obvious two-component system contained in the H. ducreyi genome and negatively regulates the lspB-lspA2 operon, which encodes proteins that enable the organism to resist phagocytosis. We constructed an unmarked, in-frame H. ducreyi cpxA deletion mutant, 35000HPΔcpxA. In human inoculation experiments, 35000HPΔcpxA formed papules at a rate and size that were significantly less than its parent and was unable to form pustules compared to the parent. CpxA usually has kinase and phosphatase activities for CpxR, and the deletion of CpxA leads to the accumulation of activated CpxR due to the loss of phosphatase activity and the ability of CpxR to accept phosphate groups from other donors. Using a reporter construct, the lspB-lspA2 promoter was downregulated in 35000HPΔcpxA, confirming that CpxR was activated. Deletion of cpxA downregulated DsrA, the major determinant of serum resistance in the organism, causing the mutant to become serum susceptible. Complementation in trans restored parental phenotypes. 35000HPΔcpxA is the first H. ducreyi mutant that is impaired in its ability to form both papules and pustules in humans. Since a major function of CpxRA is to control the flow of protein traffic across the periplasm, uncontrolled activation of this system likely causes dysregulated expression of multiple virulence determinants and cripples the ability of the organism to adapt to the host. ; Includes references ; p. 3898-3904.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Physiology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Pathogenicity ; Protein Kinases -- Physiology;
    ISSN: 0019-9567
    E-ISSN: 10985522
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Infectious Diseases, June 1, 2008, Vol.197(11), p.1531(6)
    Description: 〈p〉Haemophilus ducreyi 35000HP contains a cluster of homologues of genes required for the synthesis of enterobacterial common antigen (ECA), suggesting that H. ducreyi may express a putative ECA-like glycoconjugate. WecA initiates the synthesis of ECA by transferring N-acetylglucosamine to undecaprenyl-P, to form lipid I. A wecA mutant (35000HPwecA) was constructed, and 5 volunteers were inoculated at 3 sites with fixed doses of 35000HP on one arm and at 3 sites with varying doses of 35000HPwecA on the other arm. 35000HPwecA caused pustules to form at 3 sites inoculated with a dose 2.5-fold higher than that of 35000HP. However, at sites inoculated with similar doses of 35000HP and 35000HPwecA, pustules developed at 46.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 23.3%-70.0%) of 15 parent-strain sites and at 8.3% (95% CI, 0.01%-23.6%) of 12 mutant-strain sites (P = .013). Thus, the expression of wee A contributes to the ability of H. ducreyi to cause pustules in humans.〈/p〉
    Keywords: Hemophilus Infections -- Development And Progression ; Virulence (Microbiology) -- Research ; Chancroid -- Development And Progression ; Chancroid -- Research
    ISSN: 0022-1899
    E-ISSN: 15376613
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  • 6
    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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  • 7
    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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  • 8
    In: Infection and Immunity, 2000, Vol. 68(11), p.6441
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi expresses a peptidoglycan-associated lipoprotein (PAL) that exhibits extensive homology to Haemophilus influenzae protein 6. We constructed an isogenic PAL mutant (35000HP-SMS4) by the use of a suicide vector that contains lacZ as a counterselectable marker. H. ducreyi 35000HP-SMS4 and its parent, 35000HP, had similar growth rates in broth and similar lipooligosaccharide profiles. 35000HP-SMS4 formed smaller, more transparent colonies than 35000HP and, unlike its parent, was hypersensitive to antibiotics. Complementation of the mutant in trans restored the parental phenotypes. To test whether expression of PAL is required for virulence, nine human volunteers were experimentally infected. Each subject was inoculated with two doses (41 to 89 CFU) of live 35000HP and one dose of heat-killed bacteria on one arm and with three doses (ranging from 28 to 800 CFU) of live 35000HP-SMS4 on the other arm. Papules developed at similar rates at sites inoculated with the mutant or parent but were significantly smaller at mutant-inoculated sites than at parent-inoculated sites. The pustule formation rate was 72% (95% confidence interval [CI], 46.5 to 90.3%) at 18 parent sites and 11% (95% CI, 2.4 to 29.2%) at 27 mutant sites (P 〈 0.0001). The rates of recovery of H. ducreyi from surface cultures were 8% (n = 130; 95% CI, 4.3 to 14.6%) for parent-inoculated sites and 0% (n = 120; 95% CI, 0.0 to 2.5%) for mutant-inoculated sites (P 〈 0.001). H. ducreyi was recovered from six of seven biopsied parent-inoculated sites and from one of three biopsied mutant-inoculated sites. Confocal microscopy confirmed that the bacteria present in a mutant inoculation site pustule lacked a PAL-specific epitope. Although biosafety regulations precluded our testing the complemented mutant in humans, these results suggest that expression of PAL facilitates the ability of H. ducreyi to progress to the pustular stage of disease.
    Keywords: Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins ; Proteoglycans ; Haemophilus Infections -- Etiology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Pathogenicity ; Lipoproteins -- Metabolism ; Peptidoglycan -- Metabolism;
    ISSN: 0019-9567
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 10985522
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  • 9
    In: Infection and Immunity, 2001, Vol. 69(6), p.4180
    Description: The lipooligosaccharide (LOS) of Haemophilus ducreyi contains a major glycoform that is immunochemically identical to paragloboside, a glycosphingolipid precursor of major human blood group antigens. We recently identified the gene responsible for the glucosyltransferase activity and constructed an isogenic mutant (35000glu-) deficient in this activity. 35000glu- makes an LOS that consists only of the heptose trisaccharide core and 2-keto-deoxyoctulosonic acid (KDO). For this study, the mutant was reconstructed in the 35000HP (human passaged [HP]) background. Five human subjects were inoculated with 35000HP and 35000HPglu- in a dose-response trial. The pustule formation rates were 40% (95% confidence interval [CI], 13.7 to 72.6%) at 10 sites for 35000HP and 46.7% (95% CI, 24.8 to 69.9%) at 15 sites for 35000HPglu-. The histopathology and recovery rates of H. ducreyi from surface cultures and biopsies obtained from mutant and parent sites were similar. These results indicate that the expression of glycoforms with sugar moieties extending beyond the heptose trisaccharide core is not required for pustule formation by H. ducreyi in humans.
    Keywords: Mutation ; Chancroid -- Physiopathology ; Glucosyltransferases -- Metabolism ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Pathogenicity ; Lipopolysaccharides -- Metabolism;
    ISSN: 0019-9567
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 10985522
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  • 10
    In: Infection and Immunity, 2001, Vol. 69(3), p.1938
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi makes cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) and hemolysin. In a previous human challenge trial, an isogenic hemolysin-deficient mutant caused pustules with a rate similar to that of its parent. To test whether CDT was required for pustule formation, six human subjects were inoculated with a CDT mutant and parent at multiple sites. The pustule formation rates were similar at both parent and mutant sites. A CDT and hemolysin double mutant was constructed and tested in five additional subjects. The pustule formation rates were similar for the parent and double mutant. These results indicate that neither the expression of CDT, nor that of hemolysin, nor both are required for pustule formation by H. ducreyi in humans.
    Keywords: Bacterial Toxins -- Biosynthesis ; Chancroid -- Pathology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Pathogenicity ; Hemolysin Proteins -- Biosynthesis;
    ISSN: 0019-9567
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 10985522
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