• The Gram-Positive Bacterial Cell Wall

      Rohde, Manfred; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (American Society for Microbiology, 2019-05-24)
      The chapter about the Gram-positive bacterial cell wall gives a brief historical background on the discovery of Gram-positive cell walls and their constituents and microscopic methods applied for studying the Gram-positive cell envelope. Followed by the description of the different chemical building blocks of peptidoglycan and the biosynthesis of the peptidoglycan layers and high turnover of peptidoglycan during bacterial growth. Lipoteichoic acids and wall teichoic acids are highlighted as major components of the cell wall. Characterization of capsules and the formation of extracellular vesicles by Gram-positive bacteria close the section on cell envelopes which have a high impact on bacterial pathogenesis. In addition, the specialized complex and unusual cell wall of mycobacteria is introduced thereafter. Next a short back view is given on the development of electron microscopic examinations for studying bacterial cell walls. Different electron microscopic techniques and methods applied to examine bacterial cell envelopes are discussed in the view that most of the illustrated methods should be available in a well-equipped life sciences orientated electron microscopic laboratory. In addition, newly developed and mostly well-established cryo-methods like high-pressure freezing and freeze-substitution (HPF-FS) and cryo-sections of hydrated vitrified bacteria (CEMOVIS, Cryo-electron microscopy of vitreous sections) are described. At last, modern cryo-methods like cryo-electron tomography (CET) and cryo-FIB-SEM milling (focus ion beamscanning electron microscopy) are introduced which are available only in specialized institutions, but at present represent the best available methods and techniques to study Gram-positive cell walls under close-to-nature conditions in great detail and at high resolution.
    • High quality draft genome of Nakamurella lactea type strain, a rock actinobacterium, and emended description of Nakamurella lactea.

      Nouioui, Imen; Göker, Markus; Carro, Lorena; Montero-Calasanz, Maria Del Carmen; Rohde, M; Woyke, Tanja; Kyrpides, Nikos C; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7., 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017)
      Nakamurella lactea DLS-10(T), isolated from rock in Korea, is one of the four type strains of the genus Nakamurella. In this study, we describe the high quality draft genome of N. lactea DLS-10(T) and its annotation. A summary of phenotypic data collected from previously published studies was also included. The genome of strain DLS-10(T) presents a size of 5.82 Mpb, 5100 protein coding genes, and a C + G content of 68.9%. Based on the genome analysis, emended description of N. lactea in terms of G + C content was also proposed.
    • High quality draft genome sequence of Brachymonas chironomi AIMA4T (DSM 19884T) isolated from a Chironomus sp. egg mass

      Laviad, Sivan; Lapidus, Alla; Han, James; Haynes, Matthew; Reddy, TBK; Huntemann, Marcel; Pati, Amrita; Ivanova, Natalia N; Mavromatis, Konstantinos; Lang, Elke; et al. (2015-05-27)
    • High quality draft genome sequence of Flavobacterium rivuli type strain WB 3.3-2(T) (DSM 21788(T)), a valuable source of polysaccharide decomposing enzymes.

      Hahnke, Richard L; Stackebrandt, Erko; Meier-Kolthoff, Jan P; Tindall, Brian J; Huang, Sixing; Rohde, Manfred; Lapidus, Alla; Han, James; Trong, Stephan; Haynes, Matthew; et al. (2015)
      Flavobacterium rivuli Ali et al. 2009 emend. Dong et al. 2013 is one of about 100 species in the genus Flavobacterium (family Flavobacteriacae, phylum Bacteroidetes) with a validly published name, and has been isolated from the spring of a hard water rivulet in Northern Germany. Including all type strains of the genus Myroides and Flavobacterium into the 16S rRNA gene sequence phylogeny revealed a clustering of members of the genus Myroides as a monophyletic group within the genus Flavobacterium. Furthermore, F. rivuli WB 3.3-2(T) and its next relatives seem more closely related to the genus Myroides than to the type species of the genus Flavobacterium, F. aquatile. The 4,489,248 bp long genome with its 3,391 protein-coding and 65 RNA genes is part of the G enomic E ncyclopedia of B acteria and A rchaea project. The genome of F. rivuli has almost as many genes encoding carbohydrate active enzymes (151 CAZymes) as genes encoding peptidases (177). Peptidases comprised mostly metallo (M) and serine (S) peptidases. Among CAZymes, 30 glycoside hydrolase families, 10 glycosyl transferase families, 7 carbohydrate binding module families and 7 carbohydrate esterase families were identified. Furthermore, we found four polysaccharide utilization loci (PUL) and one large CAZy rich gene cluster that might enable strain WB 3.3-2(T) to decompose plant and algae derived polysaccharides. Based on these results we propose F. rivuli as an interesting candidate for further physiological studies and the role of Bacteroidetes in the decomposition of complex polymers in the environment.
    • High-quality draft genome sequence of Flavobacterium suncheonense GH29-5(T) (DSM 17707(T)) isolated from greenhouse soil in South Korea, and emended description of Flavobacterium suncheonense GH29-5(T).

      Tashkandy, Nisreen; Sabban, Sari; Fakieh, Mohammad; Meier-Kolthoff, Jan P; Huang, Sixing; Tindall, Brian J; Rohde, Manfred; Baeshen, Mohammed N; Baeshen, Nabih A; Lapidus, Alla; et al. (2016)
      Flavobacterium suncheonense is a member of the family Flavobacteriaceae in the phylum Bacteroidetes. Strain GH29-5(T) (DSM 17707(T)) was isolated from greenhouse soil in Suncheon, South Korea. F. suncheonense GH29-5(T) is part of the G enomic E ncyclopedia of B acteria and A rchaea project. The 2,880,663 bp long draft genome consists of 54 scaffolds with 2739 protein-coding genes and 82 RNA genes. The genome of strain GH29-5(T) has 117 genes encoding peptidases but a small number of genes encoding carbohydrate active enzymes (51 CAZymes). Metallo and serine peptidases were found most frequently. Among CAZymes, eight glycoside hydrolase families, nine glycosyl transferase families, two carbohydrate binding module families and four carbohydrate esterase families were identified. Suprisingly, polysaccharides utilization loci (PULs) were not found in strain GH29-5(T). Based on the coherent physiological and genomic characteristics we suggest that F. suncheonense GH29-5(T) feeds rather on proteins than saccharides and lipids.
    • High-quality draft genome sequence of Gracilimonas tropica CL-CB462(T) (DSM 19535(T)), isolated from a Synechococcus culture.

      Choi, Dong Han; Ahn, Chisang; Jang, Gwang Il; Lapidus, Alla; Han, James; Reddy, T B K; Huntemann, Marcel; Pati, Amrita; Ivanova, Natalia; Markowitz, Victor; et al. (2015)
      Gracilimonas tropica Choi et al. 2009 is a member of order Sphingobacteriales, class Sphingobacteriia. Three species of the genus Gracilimonas have been isolated from marine seawater or a salt mine and showed extremely halotolerant and mesophilic features, although close relatives are extremely halophilic or thermophilic. The type strain of the type species of Gracilimonas, G. tropica DSM19535(T), was isolated from a Synechococcus culture which was established from the tropical sea-surface water of the Pacific Ocean. The genome of the strain DSM19535(T) was sequenced through the Genomic Encyclopedia of Type Strains, Phase I: the one thousand microbial genomes project. Here, we describe the genomic features of the strain. The 3,831,242 bp long draft genome consists of 48 contigs with 3373 protein-coding and 53 RNA genes. The strain seems to adapt to phosphate limitation and requires amino acids from external environment. In addition, genomic analyses and pasteurization experiment suggested that G. tropica DSM19535(T) did not form spore.
    • High-quality-draft genome sequence of the yellow-pigmented flavobacterium Joostella marina type strain (En5T)

      Stackebrandt, Erko; Chertkov, Olga; Lapidus, Alla; Nolan, Matt; Lucas, Susan; Han, Cliff; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Tapia, Roxanne; Goodwin, Lynne A.; Bruce, David; et al. (2014-01-09)
    • Highly conserved nucleotide phosphatase essential for membrane lipid homeostasis in Streptococcus pneumoniae.

      Kuipers, Kirsten; Gallay, Clement; Martínek, Václav; Rohde, M; Martínková, Markéta; van der Beek, Samantha L; Jong, Wouter S P; Venselaar, Hanka; Zomer, Aldert; Bootsma, Hester; et al. (2016-07)
      Proteins belonging to the DHH family, a member of the phosphoesterase superfamily, are produced by most bacterial species. While some of these proteins are well studied in Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, their functions in Streptococcus pneumoniae remain unclear. Recently, the highly conserved DHH subfamily 1 protein PapP (SP1298) has been reported to play an important role in virulence. Here, we provide a plausible explanation for the attenuated virulence of the papP mutant. Recombinant PapP specifically hydrolyzed nucleotides 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphate (pAp) and 5'-phosphoadenylyl-(3'->5')-adenosine (pApA). Deletion of papP, potentially leading to pAp/pApA accumulation, resulted in morphological defects and mis-localization of several cell division proteins. Incubation with both polar solvent and detergent led to robust killing of the papP mutant, indicating that membrane integrity is strongly affected. This is in line with previous studies showing that pAp inhibits the ACP synthase, an essential enzyme involved in lipid precursor production. Remarkably, partial inactivation of the lipid biosynthesis pathway, by inhibition of FabF or depletion of FabH, phenocopied the papP mutant. We conclude that pAp and pApA phosphatase activity of PapP is required for maintenance of membrane lipid homeostasis providing an explanation how inactivation of this protein may attenuate pneumococcal virulence.
    • A Highly Polymorphic Receptor Governs Many Distinct Self-Recognition Types within the Myxococcales Order.

      Cao, Pengbo; Wei, Xueming; Awal, Ram Prasad; Müller, Rolf; Wall, Daniel; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (American Society of Microbiology, 2019-02-12)
      Self-recognition underlies sociality in many group-living organisms. In bacteria, cells use various strategies to recognize kin to form social groups and, in some cases, to transition into multicellular life. One strategy relies on a single genetic locus that encodes a variable phenotypic tag (“greenbeard”) for recognizing other tag bearers. Previously, we discovered a polymorphic cell surface receptor called TraA that directs self-identification through homotypic interactions in the social bacterium Myxococcus xanthus. Recognition by TraA leads to cellular resource sharing in a process called outer membrane exchange (OME). A second gene in the traA operon, traB, is also required for OME but is not involved in recognition. Our prior studies of TraA identified only six recognition groups among closely related M. xanthus isolates. Here we hypothesize that the number of traA polymorphisms and, consequently, the diversity of recognition in wild isolates are much greater. To test this hypothesis, we expand the scope of TraA characterization to the order Myxococcales. From genomic sequences within the three suborders of Myxococcales, we identified 90 traA orthologs. Sequence analyses and functional characterization of traAB loci suggest that OME is well maintained among diverse myxobacterial taxonomic groups. Importantly, TraA orthologs are highly polymorphic within their variable domain, the region that confers selectivity in self-recognition. We experimentally defined 10 distinct recognition groups and, based on phylogenetic and experimental analyses, predicted >60 recognition groups among the 90 traA alleles. Taken together, our findings revealed a widespread greenbeard locus that mediates the diversity of self-recognition across the order Myxococcales.
    • Hoffmannoscypha, a novel genus of brightly coloured, cupulate Pyronemataceae closely related to Tricharina and Geopora

      Stielow, Benjamin; Hensel, Gunnar; Strobelt, Dirk; Makonde, Huxley Mae; Rohde, Manfred; Dijksterhuis, Jan; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Göker, Markus; Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures, Uppsalalaan 8, 3584 CT Utrecht, The Netherlands (Springer, 2013-12-09)
    • Homophilic protein interactions facilitate bacterial aggregation and IgG-dependent complex formation by the Streptococcus canis M protein SCM.

      Nerlich, Andreas; Lapschies, Antje-Maria; Kohler, Thomas P; Cornax, Ingrid; Eichhorn, Inga; Goldmann, Oliver; Krienke, Petra; Bergmann, Simone; Nizet, Victor; Hammerschmidt, Sven; et al. (Taylor & Francis, 2019-01-01)
      Streptococcus canis is a zoonotic agent that causes serious invasive diseases in domestic animals and humans, but knowledge about its pathogenic potential and underlying virulence mechanisms is limited. Here, we report on the ability of certain S. canis isolates to form large bacterial aggregates when grown in liquid broth. Bacterial aggregation was attributed to the presence and the self-binding activity of SCM, the M protein of S. canis, as evaluated by bacterial sedimentation assays, immunofluorescence- and electron microscopic approaches. Using a variety of truncated recombinant SCM fragments, we demonstrated that homophilic SCM interactions occur via the N-terminal, but not the C-terminal part, of the mature M protein. Interestingly, when incubated in human plasma, SCM forms soluble protein complexes comprising its known ligands, immunoglobulin G (IgG) and plasminogen (Plg). Co-incubation studies with purified host proteins revealed that SCM-mediated complex formation is based on the interaction of SCM with itself and with IgG, but not with Plg or fibrinogen (Fbg), well-established constituents of M protein-mediated protein complexes in human-associated streptococci. Notably, these soluble, SCM-mediated plasma complexes harbored complement factor C1q, which can induce complement breakdown in the periphery and therefore represent another immune evasion mechanism of SCM.
    • Hypericibacter terrae gen. nov., sp. nov. and sp. nov., two new members of the family isolated from the rhizosphere of Hypericum perforatum.

      Noviana, Zahra; Vieira, Selma; Pascual, Javier; Fobofou, Serge Alain Tanemossu; Rohde, Manfred; Spröer, Cathrin; Bunk, Boyke; Overmann, Jorg; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany.; German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures, Inhoffenstraße 7B, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Microbiology Society, 2020-01-20)
      Two strains of the family Rhodospirillaceae were isolated from the rhizosphere of the medicinal plant Hypericum perforatum. Cells of both strains were Gram-stain-negative, motile by means of a single polar flagellum, non-spore-forming, non-capsulated, short rods that divided by binary fission. Colonies were small and white. Strains R5913T and R5959T were oxidase-positive, mesophilic, neutrophilic and grew optimally without NaCl. Both grew under aerobic and microaerophilic conditions and on a limited range of substrates with best results on yeast extract. Major fatty acids were C19 : 0 cyclo ω8c and C16 : 0; in addition, C18 : 1ω7c was also found as a predominant fatty acid in strain R5913T. The major respiratory quinone was ubiquinone 10 (Q-10). The DNA G+C contents of strains R5913T and R5959T were 66.0 and 67.4 mol%, respectively. 16S rRNA gene sequence comparison revealed that the closest relatives (<92 % similarity) of the strains are Oceanibaculum pacificum MCCC 1A02656T, Dongia mobilis CGMCC 1.7660T, Dongia soli D78T and Dongia rigui 04SU4-PT. The two novel strains shared 98.6 % sequence similarity and represent different species on the basis of low average nucleotide identity of their genomes (83.8 %). Based on the combined phenotypic, genomic and phylogenetic investigations, the two strains represent two novel species of a new genus in the family Rhodospirillaceae, for which the name Hypericibacter gen. nov. is proposed, comprising the type species Hypericibacter terrae sp. nov. (type strain R5913T=DSM 109816T=CECT 9472T) and Hypericibacter adhaerens sp. nov. (type strain R5959T=DSM 109817T=CECT 9620T).
    • Identification and Characterization of T5-Like Bacteriophages Representing Two Novel Subgroups from Food Products.

      Sváb, Domonkos; Falgenhauer, Linda; Rohde, M; Szabó, Judit; Chakraborty, Trinad; Tóth, István; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018)
      During recent years, interest in the use of bacteriophages as biocontrol agents against foodborne pathogens has increased, particularly for members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, with pathogenic Escherichia coli, Shigella, and Salmonella strains among them. Here, we report the isolation and characterisation of 12 novel T5-like bacteriophages from confiscated food samples. All bacterophages effectively lysed E. coli K-12 strains and were able to infect pathogenic E. coli strains representing enterohaemorrhagic (EHEC), enteropathogenic (EPEC), enterotoxigenic (ETEC), and enteroinvasive (EIEC) pathotypes, Shigella dysenteriae, S. sonnei strains, as well as multidrug-resistant (MDR) E. coli and multiple strains representing different Salmonella enterica serovars. All the bacteriophages exhibited Siphoviridae morphology. Whole genome sequencing of the novel T5-like bacteriophages showed that they represent two distinct groups, with the genome-based grouping correlating to the different host spectra. As these bacteriophages are of food origin, their stability and lack of any virulence genes, as well as their broad and mutually complementary host spectrum makes these new T5-like bacteriophages valuable candidates for use as biocontrol agents against foodborne pathogenic enterobacteria.
    • IgM cleavage by Streptococcus suis reduces IgM bound to the bacterial surface and is a novel complement evasion mechanism.

      Rungelrath, Viktoria; Weiße, Christine; Schütze, Nicole; Müller, Uwe; Meurer, Marita; Rohde, Manfred; Seele, Jana; Valentin-Weigand, Peter; Kirschfink, Michael; Beineke, Andreas; et al. (Taylor & Francis, 2018-08-28)
      Streptococcus suis (S. suis) causes meningitis, arthritis and endocarditis in piglets. The aim of this study was to characterize the IgM degrading enzyme of S. suis (IdeSsuis) and to investigate the role of IgM cleavage in evasion of the classical complement pathway and pathogenesis. Targeted mutagenesis of a cysteine in the putative active center of IdeSsuis abrogated IgM cleavage completely. In contrast to wt rIdeSsuis, point mutated rIdeSsuis_C195S did not reduce complement-mediated hemolysis indicating that complement inhibition by rIdeSsuis depends on the IgM proteolytic activity. A S. suis mutant expressing IdeSsuis_C195S did not reduce IgM labeling, whereas the wt and complemented mutant showed less IgM F(ab')2 and IgM Fc antigen on the surface. IgM cleavage increased survival of S. suis in porcine blood ex vivo and mediated complement evasion as demonstrated by blood survival and C3 deposition assays including the comparative addition of rIdeSsuis and rIdeSsuis_C195S. However, experimental infection of piglets disclosed no significant differences in virulence between S. suis wt and isogenic mutants without IgM cleavage activity. This work revealed for the first time in vivo labeling of S. suis with IgM in the cerebrospinal fluid of piglets with meningitis. In conclusion, this study classifies IdeSsuis as a cysteine protease and emphasizes the role of IgM cleavage for bacterial survival in porcine blood and complement evasion though IgM cleavage is not crucial for the pathogenesis of serotype 2 meningitis.
    • IL-1β Promotes Biofilms on Implants .

      Gutierrez Jauregui, Rodrigo; Fleige, Henrike; Bubke, Anja; Rohde, Manfred; Weiss, Siegfried; Förster, Reinhold; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Frontiers, 2019-01-01)
      Implant associated infections represent a serious health burden in clinics since some microorganisms are able to colonize biological surfaces or surfaces of indwelling medical devices and form biofilms. Biofilms represent communities of microorganisms attached to hydrated surfaces and enclosed in self-produced extracellular matrix. This renders them resistant to exogenous assaults like antibiotics or immune effector mechanisms. Little is known regarding the role of the immune system in the formation of biofilms during implant associated infections, largely due to the lack of suitable mouse models. Here we use colonized osmotic pumps in mice to study the interaction of an activated immune system with biofilm-forming Staphylococcus aureus encoding Gaussia luciferase. This approach permits biofilm formation on the osmotic pumps in living animals. It also allows the continuous supply of soluble immune cell activating agents, such as cytokines to study their effect on biofilm formation in vivo. Using non-invasive imaging of the bioluminescent signal emitted by the lux expressing bacteria for quantification of bacterial load in conjunction with light and electron microscopy, we observed that pump-supplied pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β strongly increased biofilm formation along with a massive influx of neutrophils adjacent to the biofilm-coated pumps. Thus, our data demonstrate that immune defense mechanisms can augment biofilm formation.
    • The immunogenic potential of bacterial flagella for Salmonella-mediated tumor therapy.

      Felgner, Sebastian; Spöring, Imke; Pawar, Vinay; Kocijancic, Dino; Preusse, Matthias; Falk, Christine; Rohde, Manfred; Häussler, Susanne; Weiss, Siegfried; Erhardt, Marc; et al. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2019-11-21)
      Genetically engineered Salmonella Typhimurium are potent vectors for prophylactic and therapeutic measures against pathogens as well as cancer. This is based on the potent adjuvanticity that supports strong immune responses. The physiology of Salmonella is well understood. It simplifies engineering of both enhanced immune‐stimulatory properties as well as safety features, thus, resulting in an appropriate balance between attenuation and efficacy for clinical applications. A major virulence factor of Salmonella is the flagellum. It is also a strong pathogen‐associated molecular pattern recognized by extra‐ and intracellular receptors of immune cells of the host. At the same time, it represents a serious metabolic burden. Accordingly, the bacteria evolved tight regulatory mechanisms that control flagella synthesis in vivo. Here, we systematically investigated the immunogenicity and adjuvant properties of various flagella mutants of Salmonella in vitro and in a mouse cancer model in vivo. We found that mutants lacking the flagellum‐specific ATPase FliHIJ or the inner membrane ring FliF displayed the greatest stimulatory capacity and strongest anti‐tumor effects, while remaining safe in vivo. Scanning electron microscopy revealed the presence of outer membrane vesicles in the ΔfliF and ΔfliHIJ mutants. Finally, the combination of the ΔfliF and ΔfliHIJ mutations with our previously described attenuated and immunogenic background strain SF102 displayed strong efficacy against the highly resistant cancer cell line RenCa. We thus conclude that manipulating flagella biosynthesis has great potential for the construction of highly efficacious and versatile Salmonella vector strains.
    • Interaction of myxobacteria-derived outer membrane vesicles with biofilms: antiadhesive and antibacterial effects.

      Goes, Adriely; Vidakovic, Lucia; Drescher, Knut; Fuhrmann, Gregor; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany.; TWINCORE, Zentrum für experimentelle und klinische Infektionsforschung GmbH,Feodor-Lynen Str. 7, 30625 Hannover, Germany.; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2021-08-02)
      Bacterial biofilms are widespread in nature and in medical settings and display a high tolerance to antibiotics and disinfectants. Extracellular vesicles have been increasingly studied to characterise their origins and assess their potential for use as a versatile drug delivery system; however, it remains unclear whether they also have antibiofilm effects. Outer membrane vesicles are lipid vesicles shed by Gram-negative bacteria and, in the case of myxobacteria, carry natural antimicrobial compounds produced by these microorganisms. In this study, we demonstrate that vesicles derived from the myxobacteria Cystobacter velatus Cbv34 and Cystobacter ferrugineus Cbfe23 are highly effective at inhibiting the formation and disrupting biofilms by different bacterial species.
    • An internal thioester in a pathogen surface protein mediates covalent host binding.

      Walden, Miriam; Edwards, John M; Dziewulska, Aleksandra M; Bergmann, Rene; Saalbach, Gerhard; Kan, Su-Yin; Miller, Ona K; Weckener, Miriam; Jackson, Rosemary J; Shirran, Sally L; et al. (2015)
      To cause disease and persist in a host, pathogenic and commensal microbes must adhere to tissues. Colonization and infection depend on specific molecular interactions at the host-microbe interface that involve microbial surface proteins, or adhesins. To date, adhesins are only known to bind to host receptors non-covalently. Here we show that the streptococcal surface protein SfbI mediates covalent interaction with the host protein fibrinogen using an unusual internal thioester bond as a 'chemical harpoon'. This cross-linking reaction allows bacterial attachment to fibrin and SfbI binding to human cells in a model of inflammation. Thioester-containing domains are unexpectedly prevalent in Gram-positive bacteria, including many clinically relevant pathogens. Our findings support bacterial-encoded covalent binding as a new molecular principle in host-microbe interactions. This represents an as yet unexploited target to treat bacterial infection and may also offer novel opportunities for engineering beneficial interactions.
    • Intracellular Streptococcal Uptake and Persistence: A Potential Cause of Erysipelas Recurrence.

      Jendoubi, Fatma; Rohde, M; Prinz, Jörg Christoph; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Frontiers, 2019-01-01)
      Erysipelas is a severe streptococcal infection of the skin primarily spreading through the lymphatic vessels. Penicillin is the treatment of choice. The most common complication consists in relapses which occur in up to 40% or more of patients despite appropriate antibiotic treatment. They cause lymphatic damage resulting in irreversible lymphedema and ultimately elephantiasis nostras and lead to major health restrictions and high socio-medical costs. Prevention of relapses is an unmet need, because even long-term prophylactic penicillin application does eventually not reduce the risk of recurrence. In this article we assess risk factors and causes of erysipelas recurrence. A systematic literature search for clinical studies addressing potential causes and measures for prevention of erysipelas recurrence was combined with a review of experimental and clinical data assessing the ability and clinical relevance of streptococci for intracellular uptake and persistence. The literature review found that venous insufficiency, lymphedema, and intertrigo from fungal infections are considered to be major risk factors for recurrence of erysipelas but cannot adequately explain the high recurrence rate. As hitherto unrecognized likely cause of erysipelas relapses we identify the ability of streptococci for intracellular uptake into and persistence within epithelial and endothelial cells and macrophages. This creates intracellular streptococcal reservoirs out of reach of penicillins which do not reach sufficient bactericidal intracellular concentrations. Incomplete streptococcal elimination due to intracellular streptococcal persistence has been observed in various deep tissue infections and is considered as cause of relapsing streptococcal pharyngitis despite proper antibiotic treatment. It may also serves as endogenous infectious source of erysipelas relapses. We conclude that the current antibiotic treatment strategies and elimination of conventional risk factors employed in erysipelas management are insufficient to prevent erysipelas recurrence. The reactivation of streptococcal infection from intracellular reservoirs represents a plausible explanation for the frequent occurrence erysipelas relapses. Prevention of erysipelas relapses therefore demands for novel antibiotic strategies capable of eradicating intracellular streptococcal persistence.
    • Iron Regulation in Clostridioides difficile.

      Berges, Mareike; Michel, Annika-Marisa; Lassek, Christian; Nuss, Aaron M; Beckstette, Michael; Dersch, Petra; Riedel, Katharina; Sievers, Susanne; Becher, Dörte; Otto, Andreas; et al. (2018-01-01)
      The response to iron limitation of several bacteria is regulated by the ferric uptake regulator (Fur). The Fur-regulated transcriptional, translational and metabolic networks of the Gram-positive, pathogen Clostridioides difficile were investigated by a combined RNA sequencing, proteomic, metabolomic and electron microscopy approach. At high iron conditions (15 μM) the C. difficile fur mutant displayed a growth deficiency compared to wild type C. difficile cells. Several iron and siderophore transporter genes were induced by Fur during low iron (0.2 μM) conditions. The major adaptation to low iron conditions was observed for the central energy metabolism. Most ferredoxin-dependent amino acid fermentations were significantly down regulated (had, etf, acd, grd, trx, bdc, hbd). The substrates of these pathways phenylalanine, leucine, glycine and some intermediates (phenylpyruvate, 2-oxo-isocaproate, 3-hydroxy-butyryl-CoA, crotonyl-CoA) accumulated, while end products like isocaproate and butyrate were found reduced. Flavodoxin (fldX) formation and riboflavin biosynthesis (rib) were enhanced, most likely to replace the missing ferredoxins. Proline reductase (prd), the corresponding ion pumping RNF complex (rnf) and the reaction product 5-aminovalerate were significantly enhanced. An ATP forming ATPase (atpCDGAHFEB) of the F0F1-type was induced while the formation of a ATP-consuming, proton-pumping V-type ATPase (atpDBAFCEKI) was decreased. The [Fe-S] enzyme-dependent pyruvate formate lyase (pfl), formate dehydrogenase (fdh) and hydrogenase (hyd) branch of glucose utilization and glycogen biosynthesis (glg) were significantly reduced, leading to an accumulation of glucose and pyruvate. The formation of [Fe-S] enzyme carbon monoxide dehydrogenase (coo) was inhibited. The fur mutant showed an increased sensitivity to vancomycin and polymyxin B. An intensive remodeling of the cell wall was observed, Polyamine biosynthesis (spe) was induced leading to an accumulation of spermine, spermidine, and putrescine. The fur mutant lost most of its flagella and motility. Finally, the CRISPR/Cas and a prophage encoding operon were downregulated. Fur binding sites were found upstream of around 20 of the regulated genes. Overall, adaptation to low iron conditions in C. difficile focused on an increase of iron import, a significant replacement of iron requiring metabolic pathways and the restructuring of the cell surface for protection during the complex adaptation phase and was only partly directly regulated by Fur.