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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: 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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  • 3
    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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  • 4
    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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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Houinei, W., C. Godornes, A. Kapa, S. Knauf, E. Q. Mooring, C. González-Beiras, R. Watup, et al. 2017. “Haemophilus ducreyi DNA is detectable on the skin of asymptomatic children, flies and fomites in villages of Papua New Guinea.” PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 11 (5): e0004958. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004958. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0004958.
    Description: Background: Haemophilus ducreyi and Treponema pallidum subsp. pertenue are major causes of leg ulcers in children in Africa and the Pacific Region. We investigated the presence of DNA (PCR positivity) from these bacteria on asymptomatic people, flies, and household linens in an endemic setting. Methodology/Principal findings We performed a cross-sectional study in rural villages of Lihir Island, Papua New Guinea during a yaws elimination campaign. Participants were asymptomatic subjects recruited from households with cases of leg ulcers, and from households without cases of leg ulcers. We rubbed swabs on the intact skin of the leg of asymptomatic individuals, and collected flies and swabs of environmental surfaces. All specimens were tested by PCR for H. ducreyi and T. p. pertenue DNA. Of 78 asymptomatic participants that had an adequate specimen for DNA detection, H. ducreyi-PCR positivity was identified in 16 (21%) and T. p. pertenue-PCR positivity in 1 (1%). In subgroup analyses, H. ducreyi-PCR positivity did not differ in participants exposed or not exposed to a case of H. ducreyi ulcer in the household (24% vs 18%; p = 0.76). Of 17 cultures obtained from asymptomatic participants, 2 (12%) yielded a definitive diagnosis of H. ducreyi, proving skin colonization. Of 10 flies tested, 9 (90%) had H. ducreyi DNA and 5 (50%) had T. p. pertenue DNA. Of 6 bed sheets sampled, 2 (33%) had H. ducreyi DNA and 1 (17%) had T. p. pertenue DNA. Conclusions/Significance: This is the first time that H. ducreyi DNA and colonization has been demonstrated on the skin of asymptomatic children and that H. ducreyi DNA and T. p. pertenue DNA has been identified in flies and on fomites. The ubiquity of H. ducreyi in the environment is a contributing factor to the spread of the organism.
    Keywords: Medicine And Health Sciences ; Diagnostic Medicine ; Signs And Symptoms ; Ulcers ; Pathology And Laboratory Medicine ; Biology And Life Sciences ; Molecular Biology ; Molecular Biology Techniques ; Artificial Gene Amplification And Extension ; Polymerase Chain Reaction ; Infectious Diseases ; Bacterial Diseases ; Treponematoses ; Yaws ; Tropical Diseases ; Neglected Tropical Diseases ; Dermatology ; Skin Infections ; Microbiology ; Medical Microbiology ; Microbial Pathogens ; Bacterial Pathogens ; Treponema Pallidum ; Pathogens ; Bacteriology ; Gram Negative Bacteria ; Extraction Techniques ; Dna Extraction ; Organisms ; Bacteria ; Haemophilus
    ISSN: 19352727
    E-ISSN: 19352735
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  • 6
    In: The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2016, Vol. 214(3), pp.489-495
    Description: Background.  In humans inoculated with Haemophilus ducreyi , there are host effects on the possible clinical outcomes—pustule formation versus spontaneous resolution of infection. However, the immunogenetic factors that influence these outcomes are unknown. Here we examined the role of 14 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 7 selected pathogen-recognition pathways and cytokine genes on the gradated outcomes of experimental infection. Methods.  DNAs from 105 volunteers infected with H. ducreyi at 3 sites were genotyped for SNPs, using real-time polymerase chain reaction. The participants were classified into 2 cohorts, by race, and into 4 groups, based on whether they formed 0, 1, 2, or 3 pustules. χ 2 tests for trend and logistic regression analyses were performed on the data. Results.  In European Americans, the most significant findings were a protective association of the TLR9 +2848 GG genotype and a risk-enhancing association of the TLR9 TA haplotype with pustule formation; logistic regression showed a trend toward protection for the TLR9 +2848 GG genotype. In African Americans, logistic regression showed a protective effect for the IL10 – 2849 AA genotype and a risk-enhancing effect for the IL10 AAC haplotype. Conclusions.  Variations in TLR9 and IL10 are associated with the outcome of H. ducreyi infection.
    Keywords: 〈Kwd〉〈Italic Toggle="Yes"〉Haemophilus Ducreyi〈/Italic〉〈/Kwd〉 ; Chancroid ; Skin Ulcers ; Immunogenetics ; Humans ; Innate Immunity
    ISSN: 0022-1899
    E-ISSN: 1537-6613
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  • 7
    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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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Infection and Immunity, 2012, Vol. 80(2), p.679
    Description: Sialylated glycoconjugates on the surfaces of mammalian cells play important roles in intercellular communication and self-recognition. The sialic acid preferentially expressed in human tissues is N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac). In a process called molecular mimicry, many bacterial pathogens decorate their cell surface glycolipids with Neu5Ac. Incorporation of Neu5Ac into bacterial glycolipids promotes bacterial interactions with host cell receptors called Siglecs. These interactions affect bacterial adherence, resistance to serum killing and phagocytosis, and innate immune responses. Haemophilus ducreyi, the etiologic agent of chancroid, expresses lipooligosaccharides (LOS) that are highly sialylated. However, an H. ducreyi sialyltransferase (lst) mutant, whose LOS contain reduced levels of Neu5Ac, is fully virulent in human volunteers. Recently, a second sialyltransferase gene (Hd0053) was discovered in H. ducreyi, raising the possibility that Hd0053 compensated for the loss of lst during human infection. CMP-Neu5Ac is the obligate nucleotide sugar donor for all bacterial sialyltransferases; LOS derived from an H. ducreyi CMP-Neu5Ac synthetase (neuA) mutant has no detectable Neu5Ac. Here, we compared an H. ducreyi neuA mutant to its wild-type parent in several models of pathogenesis. In human inoculation experiments, the neuA mutant formed papules and pustules at rates that were no different than those of its parent. When grown in media with and without Neu5Ac supplementation, the neuA mutant and its parent had similar phenotypes in bactericidal, macrophage uptake, and dendritic cell activation assays. Although we cannot preclude a contribution of LOS sialylation to ulcerative disease, these data strongly suggest that sialylation of LOS is dispensable for H. ducreyi pathogenesis in humans.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Metabolism ; Chancroid -- Microbiology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Metabolism ; Lipopolysaccharides -- Metabolism ; N-Acetylneuraminic Acid -- Metabolism;
    ISSN: 1098-5522
    ISSN: 10985522
    ISSN: 00199567
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  • 9
    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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  • 10
    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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