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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 01 December 2016, Vol.10(12), p.e0005259
    Description: BACKGROUND:Haemophilus ducreyi has emerged as a major cause of cutaneous ulcers (CU) in yaws-endemic regions of the tropics in the South Pacific, South East Asia and Africa. H. ducreyi was once thought only to cause the genital ulcer (GU) disease chancroid; GU strains belong to 2 distinct classes, class I and class II. Using whole-genome sequencing of 4 CU strains from Samoa, 1 from Vanuatu and 1 from Papua New Guinea, we showed that CU strains diverged from the class I strain 35000HP and that one CU strain expressed β-lactamase. Recently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released the genomes of 11 additional CU strains from Vanuatu and Ghana; however, the evolutionary relationship of these CU strains to previously-characterized CU and GU strains is unknown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:We performed phylogenetic analysis of 17 CU and 10 GU strains. Class I and class II GU strains formed two distinct clades. The class I strains formed two subclades, one containing 35000HP and HD183 and the other containing the remainder of the class I strains. Twelve of the CU strains formed a subclone under the class I 35000HP subclade, while 2 CU strains formed a subclone under the other class I subclade. Unexpectedly, 3 of the CU strains formed a subclone under the class II clade. Phylogenetic analysis of dsrA-hgbA-ncaA sequences yielded a tree similar to that of whole-genome phylogenetic tree. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:CU strains diverged from multiple lineages within both class I and class II GU strains. Multilocus sequence typing of dsrA-hgbA-ncaA could be reliably used for epidemiological investigation of CU and GU strains. As class II strains grow relatively poorly and are relatively more susceptible to vancomycin than class I strains, these findings have implications for methods to recover CU strains. Comparison of contemporary CU and GU isolates would help clarify the relationship between these entities.
    Keywords: Medicine
    ISSN: 1935-2727
    E-ISSN: 1935-2735
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2015, Vol.10(4), p.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: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 3
    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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