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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, 2006, Vol. 74(2), p.1394
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi produces two outer membrane proteins, called DltA (H. ducreyi lectin A) and DsrA (H. ducreyi serum resistance A), that contribute to the ability of the organism to evade complement-mediated serum killing. In contrast to their isogenic parent strain, 35000HP, the DsrA mutant FX517 exhibits 0% survival in 50% normal human serum and the DltA mutant FX533 exhibits 23% survival. Compared to 35000HP, FX517 does not cause pustule formation in human volunteers. To test whether DltA was required for virulence in humans, seven volunteers were experimentally infected with 35000HP and FX533. Four subjects were inoculated with fixed doses of 35000HP (101 CFU or 130 CFU) at three sites on one arm and escalating doses of FX533 (range, 46 CFU to 915 CFU) at three sites on the other arm. Pustules only developed at mutant-injected sites at doses nearly twofold higher than that of the parent, suggesting that FX533 was partially attenuated. Three subjects were inoculated with similar doses of the parent (67 CFU) and mutant (104 CFU) at three sites. Pustules formed at five of nine parent sites and one of nine mutant sites. Overall, the papule and pustule formation rates for 35000HP and FX533 were similar for the trial. However, for the five subjects who received similar doses of the parent and mutant, pustules developed at 7 of 15 sites (46.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 16.9% to 76.5%) inoculated with the parent and at 1 of 15 (6.7%; 95% CI, 0.1% to 18.4%) sites inoculated with the mutant (P = 0.043). We concluded that the DltA mutant was attenuated in its ability to cause disease at doses similar to that of the parent.
    Keywords: Mutation ; Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins -- Genetics ; Chancroid -- Pathology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Pathogenicity;
    ISSN: 0019-9567
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 10985522
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