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Berlin Brandenburg

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  • 1
    Description: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Haemophilus ducreyi is the causative agent of the genital ulcer disease chancroid, which has been shown to facilitate the transmission of HIV. H. ducreyi is likely exposed to multiple sources of antimicrobial peptides in vivo. APs are small, cationic molecules with both bactericidal and immunomodulatory functions. Because H. ducreyi is able to establish and maintain an infection in an environment rich with antimicrobial peptides, we hypothesized that the bacterium was resistant to the bactericidal effects of these peptides. Using a 96-well AP bactericidal assay, we examined H. ducreyi susceptibility to eight human APs likely to be encountered at the site of infection, including the α-defensins human neutrophil peptide-1, human neutrophil peptide-2, human neutrophil peptide-3, and human defensin 5, the β-defensins human β defensin-2, human beta defensin-3, and human beta defensin-4, and the human cathelicidin, LL-37. H. ducreyi survival was compared to the survival of Escherichia coli ML35, a strain known to be susceptible to several antimicrobial peptides. H. ducreyi was significantly more resistant than E. coli ML35 to the bactericidal effects of all peptides tested. Furthermore, we found that representative class I and class II strains of H. ducreyi were each resistant to APs of each functional category, indicating that resistance to antimicrobial peptides could represent a conserved method of pathogenesis for H. ducreyi as a species. The H. ducreyi genome contains a homolog for the Sap influx transporter. To study the role of the H. ducreyi Sap transporter in AP resistance, we generated an isogenic sapA mutant and used the 96-well AP bactericidal assay to compare the AP susceptibility profiles of wild-type H. ducreyi, the sapA mutant and the sapA trans-complement to α-defensins, β-defensins, and LL-37. We observed a 25% decrease in the survival of the sapA mutant when it was exposed to LL-37. These findings suggest that the H. ducreyi Sap transporter plays a role in H. ducreyi resistance to LL-37, but it is likely that other AP resistance mechanisms co-exist within the bacterium.
    Keywords: Antimicrobial Peptides ; Chancroid ; Hnp-2 ; Ll-37 ; Haemophilus Ducreyi ; Hnp-2 ; Hnp-3 ; Hd-5 ; Hbd-2 ; Hbd-3 ; Hbd-4 ; Haemophilus Ducreyi ; Chancroid ; Sexually Transmitted Diseases ; Peptide Antibiotics
    Source: Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations
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  • 2
    Description: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) 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. Mutants with deletions in two PEA transferase genes were significantly more susceptible to β-defensins, and the triple mutant was significantly more susceptible to both α- and β-defensins, but not LL-37; 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, suggesting these three genes contribute to the addition of positively charged moieties on the cell surface. Mass spectrometric analysis revealed that LptA was required for PEA modification of lipid A; PtdtA 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 may be more important than defensin resistance to H. ducreyi pathogenesis.
    Keywords: Haemophilus Ducreyi ; Phosphoethanolamine Transferase ; Antimicrobial Peptide Resistance
    Source: Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations
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  • 3
    Description: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Haemophilus ducreyi causes chancroid, a sexually transmitted genital ulcerative disease that facilitates the transmission of HIV-1. H. ducreyi also causes non-sexually transmitted cutaneous ulcers in children in tropical regions. During human infection, H. ducreyi is subject to a variety of stresses. The stringent response is a bacterial stress response system induced by nutrient limiting conditions and mediated by guanosine tetra- and pentaphosphate [(p)ppGpp] and the transcriptional regulator DksA. (p)ppGpp and DksA jointly interact with RNA polymerase to regulate genes critical for bacterial survival. We hypothesized that the stringent response is required for H. ducreyi virulence in humans. A ΔrelAΔspoT mutant, which is unable to synthesize (p)ppGpp, was partially attenuated for abscess formation in human volunteers. Loss of (p)ppGpp increased bacterial resistance to phagocytosis and stationary phase survival; however, the mutant was more sensitive to oxidative stress. A ΔdksA mutant was also partially attenuated in humans. The ΔdksA mutant behaved like the (p)ppGpp mutant in stationary phase survival and sensitivity to oxidative stress, but exhibited decreased resistance to phagocytosis. Both mutants had decreased adherence to fibroblasts, but the mechanisms underlying the adherence defect were distinct. To better understand the roles of (p)ppGpp and DksA in regulating gene expression, we performed transcriptome analysis of the parent and mutant strains. (p)ppGpp and DksA deficiency resulted in dysregulation of multiple genes including several known virulence determinants. At stationary phase, (p)ppGpp and DksA targets were not identical but significantly overlapped; as the mutants were phenotypically distinct, this finding underscores both the unique and joint roles DksA and (p)ppGpp play in regulation of H. ducreyi virulence. We conclude that (p)ppGpp and DksA play significant roles in H. ducreyi pathogenesis. This is the first study to show that the stringent response has a direct role in the ability of a bacterial pathogen to cause disease in humans.
    Keywords: Haemophilus Ducreyi ; Humans ; Pathogenesis ; Stringent Response ; Virulence ; Haemophilus Ducreyi ; Chancroid -- Etiology ; Sexually Transmitted Diseases ; Haemophilus Infections ; Rna Polymerases ; Transcription ; Mutation -- Genetics
    Source: Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations
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