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  • 1
    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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  • 2
    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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  • 3
    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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  • 4
    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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  • 5
    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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  • 6
    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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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Infection and immunity, August 2014, Vol.82(8), pp.3492-502
    Description: (p)ppGpp responds to nutrient limitation through a global change in gene regulation patterns to increase survival. The stringent response has been implicated in the virulence of several pathogenic bacterial species. Haemophilus ducreyi, the causative agent of chancroid, has homologs of both relA and spoT, which primarily synthesize and hydrolyze (p)ppGpp in Escherichia coli. We constructed relA and relA spoT deletion mutants to assess the contribution of (p)ppGpp to H. ducreyi pathogenesis. Both the relA single mutant and the relA spoT double mutant failed to synthesize (p)ppGpp, suggesting that relA is the primary synthetase of (p)ppGpp in H. ducreyi. Compared to the parent strain, the double mutant was partially attenuated for pustule formation in human volunteers. The double mutant had several phenotypes that favored attenuation, including increased sensitivity to oxidative stress. The increased sensitivity to oxidative stress could be complemented in trans. However, the double mutant also exhibited phenotypes that favored virulence. When grown to the mid-log phase, the double mutant was significantly more resistant than its parent to being taken up by human macrophages and exhibited increased transcription of lspB, which is involved in resistance to phagocytosis. Additionally, compared to the parent, the double mutant also exhibited prolonged survival in the stationary phase. In E. coli, overexpression of DksA compensates for the loss of (p)ppGpp; the H. ducreyi double mutant expressed higher transcript levels of dksA than the parent strain. These data suggest that the partial attenuation of the double mutant is likely the net result of multiple conflicting phenotypes.
    Keywords: Guanosine Pentaphosphate -- Deficiency ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Pathogenicity ; Ligases -- Metabolism ; Pyrophosphatases -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 1098-5522
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: The Journal of infectious diseases, 01 June 2009, Vol.199(11), pp.1671-9
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi causes chancroid, which facilitates transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1. To better understand the biology of H. ducreyi, we developed a human inoculation model. In the present article, we describe clinical outcomes for 267 volunteers who were infected with H. ducreyi. There was a relationship between papule formation and estimated delivered dose. The outcome (either pustule formation or resolution) of infected sites for a given subject was not independent; the most important determinants of pustule formation were sex and host effects. When 41 subjects were infected a second time, their outcomes segregated toward their initial outcome, confirming the host effect. Subjects with pustules developed local symptoms that required withdrawal from the study after a mean of 8.6 days. There were 191 volunteers who had tissue biopsy performed, 173 of whom were available for follow-up analysis; 28 (16.2%) of these developed hypertrophic scars, but the model was otherwise safe. Mutant-parent trials confirmed key features in H. ducreyi pathogenesis, and the model has provided an opportunity to study differential human susceptibility to a bacterial infection.
    Keywords: Chancroid -- Microbiology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Pathogenicity
    ISSN: 0022-1899
    E-ISSN: 15376613
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: The Journal of infectious diseases, 01 March 2009, Vol.199(5), pp.684-92
    Description: A gene expression study of Haemophilus ducreyi identified the hypothetical lipoprotein HD0192, renamed here "fibrinogen binder A" (FgbA), as being preferentially expressed in vivo. To test the role played by fgbA in virulence, an isogenic fgbA mutant (35000HPfgbA) was constructed using H. ducreyi 35000HP, and 6 volunteers were experimentally infected with 35000HP or 35000HPfgbA. The overall pustule-formation rate was 61.1% at parent sites and 22.2% at mutant sites (P = .019). Papules were significantly smaller at mutant sites than at parent sites (13.3 vs. 37.9 mm(2); P = .002) 24 h after inoculation. Thus, fgbA contributed significantly to the virulence of H. ducreyi in humans. In vitro experiments demonstrated that fgbA encodes a fibrinogen-binding protein; no other fibrinogen-binding proteins were identified in 35000HP. fgbA was conserved among clinical isolates of both class I and II H. ducreyi strains, supporting the finding that fgbA is important for H. ducreyi infection.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Metabolism ; Chancroid -- Microbiology ; Fibrinogen -- Metabolism ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Genetics ; Lipoproteins -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 0022-1899
    E-ISSN: 15376613
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: The Journal of infectious diseases, 01 August 2009, Vol.200(3), pp.409-16
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi 35000HP contains a homologue of the luxS gene, which encodes an enzyme that synthesizes autoinducer 2 (AI-2) in other gram-negative bacteria. H. ducreyi 35000HP produced AI-2 that functioned in a Vibrio harveyi-based reporter system. A H. ducreyi luxS mutant was constructed by insertional inactivation of the luxS gene and lost the ability to produce AI-2. Provision of the H. ducreyi luxS gene in trans partially restored AI-2 production by the mutant. The luxS mutant was compared with its parent for virulence in the human challenge model of experimental chancroid. The pustule-formation rate in 5 volunteers was 93.3% (95% confidence interval, 81.7%-99.9%) at 15 parent sites and 60.0% (95% confidence interval, 48.3%-71.7%) at 15 mutant sites (1-tailed P 〈 .001). Thus, the luxS mutant was partially attenuated for virulence. This is the first report of AI-2 production contributing to the pathogenesis of a genital ulcer disease.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Metabolism ; Carbon-Sulfur Lyases -- Metabolism ; Chancroid -- Microbiology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Genetics
    ISSN: 0022-1899
    E-ISSN: 15376613
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