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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Infection and immunity, September 2010, Vol.78(9), pp.3898-904
    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, 35000HPDeltacpxA. In human inoculation experiments, 35000HPDeltacpxA 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 35000HPDeltacpxA, 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. 35000HPDeltacpxA 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.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Physiology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Pathogenicity ; Protein Kinases -- Physiology
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 1098-5522
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  • 2
    In: Infection and Immunity, 2010, Vol. 78(3), p.1176
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi is an extracellular pathogen of human epithelial surfaces that resists human antimicrobial peptides (APs). The organism's genome contains homologs of genes sensitive to antimicrobial peptides (sap operon) in nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae. In this study, we characterized the sap-containing loci of H. ducreyi 35000HP and demonstrated that sapA is expressed in broth cultures and H. ducreyi-infected tissue; sapA is also conserved among both class I and class II H. ducreyi strains. We constructed a nonpolar sapA mutant of H. ducreyi 35000HP, designated 35000HPsapA, and compared the percent survival of wild-type 35000HP and 35000HPsapA exposed to several human APs, including alpha-defensins, beta-defensins, and the cathelicidin LL-37. Unlike an H. influenzae sapA mutant, strain 35000HPsapA was not more susceptible to defensins than strain 35000HP was. However, we observed a significant decrease in the survival of strain 35000HPsapA after exposure to LL-37, which was complemented by introducing sapA in trans. Thus, the Sap transporter plays a role in resistance of H. ducreyi to LL-37. We next compared mutant strain 35000HPsapA with strain 35000HP for their ability to cause disease in human volunteers. Although both strains caused papules to form at similar rates, the pustule formation rate at sites inoculated with 35000HPsapA was significantly lower than that of sites inoculated with 35000HP (33.3% versus 66.7%; P = 0.007). Together, these data establish that SapA acts as a virulence factor and as one mechanism for H. ducreyi to resist killing by antimicrobial peptides. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that an antimicrobial peptide resistance mechanism contributes to bacterial virulence in humans.
    Keywords: Medicine ; Biology;
    ISSN: 0019-9567
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 10985522
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  • 3
    In: Infection and Immunity, 2007, Vol. 75(12), p.5686
    Description: In experimentally infected human volunteers, the cutaneous immune response to Haemophilus ducreyi is orchestrated by serum, polymorphonuclear leukocytes, macrophages, T cells, and myeloid dendritic cells (DC). This response either leads to spontaneous resolution of infection or progresses to pustule formation, which is associated with the failure of phagocytes to ingest the organism and the presence of Th1 and regulatory T cells. In volunteers who are challenged twice, some subjects form at least one pustule twice (PP group), while others have all inoculated sites resolve twice (RR group). Here, we infected PP and RR subjects with H. ducreyi and used microarrays to profile gene expression in infected and wounded skin. The PP and RR groups shared a core response to H. ducreyi. Additional transcripts that signified effective immune function were differentially expressed in RR infected sites, while those that signified a hyperinflammatory, dysregulated response were differentially expressed in PP infected sites. To examine whether DC drove these responses, we profiled gene expression in H. ducreyi-infected and uninfected monocyte-derived DC. Both groups had a common response that was typical of a type 1 DC (DC1) response. RR DC exclusively expressed many additional transcripts indicative of DC1. PP DC exclusively expressed differentially regulated transcripts characteristic of DC1 and regulatory DC. The data suggest that DC from the PP and RR groups respond differentially to H. ducreyi. PP DC may promote a dysregulated T-cell response that contributes to phagocytic failure, while RR DC may promote a Th1 response that facilitates bacterial clearance.
    Keywords: Medicine ; Biology;
    ISSN: 0019-9567
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 10985522
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