• 4-sulfomuconolactone hydrolases from Hydrogenophaga intermedia S1 and Agrobacterium radiobacter S2.

      Halak, Sad; Basta, Tamara; Bürger, Sibylle; Contzen, Matthias; Wray, Victor; Pieper, Dietmar Helmut; Stolz, Andreas; Institut für Mikrobiologie, Universität Stuttgart, Allmandring 31, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany. (2007-10)
      The 4-carboxymethylen-4-sulfo-but-2-en-olide (4-sulfomuconolactone) hydrolases from Hydrogenophaga intermedia strain S1 and Agrobacterium radiobacter strain S2 are part of a modified protocatechuate pathway responsible for the degradation of 4-sulfocatechol. In both strains, the hydrolase-encoding genes occur downstream of those encoding the enzymes that catalyze the lactonization of 3-sulfomuconate. The deduced amino acid sequences of the 4-sulfomuconolactone hydrolases demonstrated the highest degree of sequence identity to 2-pyrone-4,6-dicarboxylate hydrolases, which take part in the meta cleavage pathway of protocatechuate. The 4-sulfomuconolactone hydrolases did not convert 2-pyrone-4,6-dicarboxylate, and the 2-pyrone-4,6-dicarboxylate hydrolase from Sphingomonas paucimobilis SYK-6 did not convert 4-sulfomuconolactone. Nevertheless, the presence of highly conserved histidine residues in the 4-sulfomuconolactone and the 2-pyrone-4,6-dicarboxylate hydrolases and some further sequence similarities suggested that both enzymes belong to the metallo-dependent hydrolases (the "amidohydrolase superfamily"). The 4-sulfomuconolactone hydrolases were heterologously expressed as His-tagged enzyme variants. Gel filtration experiments suggested that the enzymes are present as monomers in solution, with molecular weights of approximately 33,000 to 35,000. 4-Sulfomuconolactone was converted by sulfomuconolactone hydrolases to stoichiometric amounts of maleylacetate and sulfite. The 4-sulfomuconolactone hydrolases from both strains showed pH optima at pH 7 to 7.5 and rather similar catalytic constant (k(cat)/K(M))values. The suggested 4-sulfocatechol pathway from 4-sulfocatechol to maleylacetate was confirmed by in situ nuclear magnetic resonance analysis using the recombinantly expressed enzymes.
    • The active bacterial assemblages of the upper GI tract in individuals with and without Helicobacter infection.

      Schulz, Christian; Schütte, Kerstin; Koch, Nadine; Vilchez-Vargas, Ramiro; Wos-Oxley, Melissa L; Oxley, Andrew P A; Vital, Marius; Malfertheiner, Peter; Pieper, Dietmar H; Hel,holtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-12-05)
      Patients infected with Helicobacter pylori develop chronic gastritis with a subgroup progressing to further complications. The role of microbiota from the oral cavity swallowed with saliva and either transiting the stomach or persisting in the gastric mucosa is uncertain. It is also not known whether the bacterial community differs in luminal and mucosal niches. A key question is whether H. pylori influences the bacterial communities of gastroduodenal niches.
    • Alterations of the Murine Gut Microbiome with Age and Allergic Airway Disease.

      Vital, Marius; Harkema, Jack R; Rizzo, Mike; Tiedje, James; Brandenberger, Christina; Center for Microbial Ecology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA. (2015)
      The gut microbiota plays an important role in the development of asthma. With advanced age the microbiome and the immune system are changing and, currently, little is known about how these two factors contribute to the development of allergic asthma in the elderly. In this study we investigated the associations between the intestinal microbiome and allergic airway disease in young and old mice that were sensitized and challenged with house dust mite (HDM). After challenge, the animals were sacrificed, blood serum was collected for cytokine analysis, and the lungs were processed for histopathology. Fecal pellets were excised from the colon and subjected to 16S rRNA analysis. The microbial community structure changed with age and allergy development, where alterations in fecal communities from young to old mice resembled those after HDM challenge. Allergic mice had induced serum levels of IL-17A and old mice developed a greater allergic airway response compared to young mice. This study demonstrates that the intestinal bacterial community structure differs with age, possibly contributing to the exaggerated pulmonary inflammatory response in old mice. Furthermore, our results show that the composition of the gut microbiota changes with pulmonary allergy, indicating bidirectional gut-lung communications.
    • Anaerobic naphthalene degradation by sulfate-reducing Desulfobacteraceae from various anoxic aquifers.

      Kümmel, Steffen; Herbst, Florian-Alexander; Bahr, Arne; Duarte, Márcia; Pieper, Dietmar H; Jehmlich, Nico; Seifert, Jana; von Bergen, Martin; Bombach, Petra; Richnow, Hans H; et al. (2015-03)
      Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are widespread and persistent environmental contaminants, especially in oxygen-free environments. The occurrence of anaerobic PAH-degrading bacteria and their underlying metabolic pathways are rarely known. In this study, PAH degraders were enriched in laboratory microcosms under sulfate-reducing conditions using groundwater and sediment samples from four PAH-contaminated aquifers. Five enrichment cultures were obtained showing sulfate-dependent naphthalene degradation. Mineralization of naphthalene was demonstrated by the formation of sulfide concomitant with the depletion of naphthalene and the development of (13)C-labeled CO2 from [(13)C6]-naphthalene. 16S rRNA gene and metaproteome analyses revealed that organisms related to Desulfobacterium str. N47 were the main naphthalene degraders in four enrichment cultures. Protein sequences highly similar to enzymes of the naphthalene degradation pathway of N47 were identified, suggesting that naphthalene was activated by a carboxylase, and that the central metabolite 2-naphthoyl-CoA was further reduced by two reductases. The data indicate an importance of members of the family Desulfobacteraceae for naphthalene degradation under sulfate-reducing conditions in freshwater environments.
    • Analysis of defence systems and a conjugative IncP-1 plasmid in the marine polyaromatic hydrocarbons-degrading bacterium Cycloclasticus sp. 78-ME.

      Yakimov, Michail M; Crisafi, Francesca; Messina, Enzo; Smedile, Francesco; Lopatina, Anna; Denaro, Renata; Pieper, Dietmar H; Golyshin, Peter N; Giuliano, Laura; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-08)
      Marine prokaryotes have evolved a broad repertoire of defence systems to protect their genomes from lateral gene transfer including innate or acquired immune systems and infection-induced programmed cell suicide and dormancy. Here we report on the analysis of multiple defence systems present in the genome of the strain Cycloclasticus sp. 78-ME isolated from petroleum deposits of the tanker 'Amoco Milford Haven'. Cycloclasticus are ubiquitous bacteria globally important in polyaromatic hydrocarbons degradation in marine environments. Two 'defence islands' were identified in 78-ME genome: the first harbouring CRISPR-Cas with toxin-antitoxin system, while the second was composed by an array of genes for toxin-antitoxin and restriction-modification proteins. Among all identified spacers of CRISPR-Cas system only seven spacers match sequences of phages and plasmids. Furthermore, a conjugative plasmid p7ME01, which belongs to a new IncP-1θ ancestral archetype without any accessory mobile elements was found in 78-ME. Our results provide the context to the co-occurrence of diverse defence mechanisms in the genome of Cycloclasticus sp. 78-ME, which protect the genome of this highly specialized PAH-degrader. This study contributes to the further understanding of complex networks established in petroleum-based microbial communities.
    • Application of a Novel "Pan-Genome"-Based Strategy for Assigning RNAseq Transcript Reads to Staphylococcus aureus Strains.

      Chaves-Moreno, Diego; Wos-Oxley, Melissa L; Jáuregui, Ruy; Medina, Eva; Oxley, Andrew P A; Pieper, Dietmar H; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2015)
      Understanding the behaviour of opportunistic pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus in their natural human niche holds great medical interest. With the development of sensitive molecular methods and deep-sequencing technology, it is now possible to robustly assess the global transcriptome of bacterial species in their human habitat. However, as the genomes of the colonizing strains are often not available compiling the pan-genome for the species of interest may provide an effective method to reliably and rapidly compile the transcriptome of a bacterial species. The pan-genome of S. aureus and its associated core and accessory components were compiled based on 25 genomes and comprises a total of 65,557 proteins clustering into 4,198 Orthologous Groups (OGs). The generated gene catalogue was used to assign RNAseq-derived sequence reads to S. aureus in a variety of in vitro and in vivo samples. In all cases, the number of reads that could be assigned to S. aureus was greater using the OG database than using a reference genome. Growth of two S. aureus strains in synthetic nasal medium confirmed that both strains experienced strong iron starvation. Traits such as purine metabolism appeared to be more affected in a typical nasal colonizer than in a strain representative of the S. aureus USA300 lineage. Mapping sequencing reads from a metatranscriptome generated from the human anterior nares allowed the identification of genes highly expressed by S. aureus in vivo. The OG database generated in this study represents a useful tool to obtain a snapshot of the functional attributes of S. aureus under different in vitro and in vivo conditions. The approach proved to be advantageous to assign sequencing reads to bacterial strains when RNAseq data is derived from samples where strain information and/or the corresponding genome/s are unavailable.
    • AromaDeg, a novel database for phylogenomics of aerobic bacterial degradation of aromatics.

      Duarte, Márcia; Jauregui, Ruy; Vilchez-Vargas, Ramiro; Junca, Howard; Pieper, Dietmar H; Research group Microbial interactions and processes (MINP). Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, D38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2014)
      Understanding prokaryotic transformation of recalcitrant pollutants and the in-situ metabolic nets require the integration of massive amounts of biological data. Decades of biochemical studies together with novel next-generation sequencing data have exponentially increased information on aerobic aromatic degradation pathways. However, the majority of protein sequences in public databases have not been experimentally characterized and homology-based methods are still the most routinely used approach to assign protein function, allowing the propagation of misannotations. AromaDeg is a web-based resource targeting aerobic degradation of aromatics that comprises recently updated (September 2013) and manually curated databases constructed based on a phylogenomic approach. Grounded in phylogenetic analyses of protein sequences of key catabolic protein families and of proteins of documented function, AromaDeg allows query and data mining of novel genomic, metagenomic or metatranscriptomic data sets. Essentially, each query sequence that match a given protein family of AromaDeg is associated to a specific cluster of a given phylogenetic tree and further function annotation and/or substrate specificity may be inferred from the neighboring cluster members with experimentally validated function. This allows a detailed characterization of individual protein superfamilies as well as high-throughput functional classifications. Thus, AromaDeg addresses the deficiencies of homology-based protein function prediction, combining phylogenetic tree construction and integration of experimental data to obtain more accurate annotations of new biological data related to aerobic aromatic biodegradation pathways. We pursue in future the expansion of AromaDeg to other enzyme families involved in aromatic degradation and its regular update. Database URL: http://aromadeg.siona.helmholtz-hzi.de.
    • Association between cytokine response, the LRINEC score and outcome in patients with necrotising soft tissue infection: a multicentre, prospective study.

      Hansen, Marco Bo; Rasmussen, Lars Simon; Svensson, Mattias; Chakrakodi, Bhavya; Bruun, Trond; Madsen, Martin Bruun; Perner, Anders; Garred, Peter; Hyldegaard, Ole; Norrby-Teglund, Anna; et al. (2017-02-08)
      Early assessment of necrotising soft tissue infection (NSTI) is challenging. Analysis of inflammatory markers could provide important information about disease severity and guide decision making. For this purpose, we investigated the association between cytokine levels and the Laboratory Risk Indicator for Necrotising Fasciitis (LRINEC)-score, disease severity and mortality in NSTI patients. In 159 patients, plasma was analysed for IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10 and TNF-α upon admission. The severity of NSTI was assessed by SAPS, SOFA score, septic shock, microbial aetiology, renal replacement therapy and amputation. We found no significant difference in cytokine levels according to a LRINEC- score above or below 6 (IL-1β: 3.0 vs. 1.3; IL-6: 607 vs. 289; IL-10: 38.4 vs. 38.8; TNF-α: 15.1 vs. 7.8 pg/mL, P > 0.05). Patients with β-haemolytic streptococcal infection had higher level of particularly IL-6. There was no difference in mortality between patients with a LRINEC-score above or below 6. In the adjusted analysis assessing 30-day mortality, the association was strongest for IL-1β (OR 3.86 [95% CI, 1.43-10.40], P = 0.008) and IL-10 (4.80 [1.67-13.78], P = 0.004). In conclusion, we found no significant association between the LRINEC-score and cytokine levels on admission. IL-6 was consistently associated with disease severity, whereas IL-1β had the strongest association with 30-day mortality.
    • Bacterial community structure and effects of picornavirus infection on the anterior nares microbiome in early childhood.

      Caputo, Mahrrouz; Zoch-Lesniak, Beate; Karch, André; Vital, Marius; Meyer, Frederic; Klawonn, Frank; Baillot, Armin; Pieper, Dietmar H; Mikolajczyk, Rafael T; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (BMC, 2019-01-07)
      Little is known regarding the nasal microbiome in early childhood and the impact of respiratory infection on the infants' nasal microbial composition. Here we investigated the temporal dynamics and diversity of the bacterial composition in the anterior nares in children attending daycare centers. For our investigation, we considered 76 parental-taken nasal swabs of 26 children (aged 13 to 36 months) collected over a study period of 3 months. Overall, there was no significant age-specific effect or seasonal shift in the nasal bacterial community structure. In a sub-sample of 14 healthy children the relative abundance of individual taxa as well as the overall diversity did not reveal relevant changes, indicating a stable community structure over the entire study period. Moreover, the nasal bacterial profiles clustered subject-specific with Bray-Curtis similarities being elevated in intra-subject calculations compared to between-subject calculations. The remaining subset of 12 children provided samples taken during picornavirus infection (PVI) and either before or after a PVI. We detected an association between the relative abundance of members of the genus Streptococcus and PV when comparing both (i) samples taken during PVI with samples out of 14 healthy children and (ii) samples taken during PVI with samples taken after PVI within the same individual. In addition, the diversity was higher during PVI than after infection. Our findings suggest that a personalized structure of the nasal bacterial community is established already in early childhood and could be detected over a timeframe of 3 months. Studies following infants over a longer time with frequent swab sampling would allow investigating whether certain parameter of the bacterial community, such as the temporal variability, could be related to viral infection.
    • Bacterial Diversity in Bentonites, Engineered Barrier for Deep Geological Disposal of Radioactive Wastes

      Lopez-Fernandez, Margarita; Cherkouk, Andrea; Vilchez Vargas, Ramiro; Jauregui, Ruy; Pieper, Dietmar; Boon, Nico; Sanchez-Castro, Ivan; Merroun, Mohamed L.; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2015-05-30)
    • Characterisation of the human uterine microbiome in non-pregnant women through deep sequencing of the V1-2 region of the 16S rRNA gene.

      Verstraelen, Hans; Vilchez-Vargas, Ramiro; Desimpel, Fabian; Jauregui, Ruy; Vankeirsbilck, Nele; Weyers, Steven; Verhelst, Rita; De Sutter, Petra; Pieper, Dietmar H; Van De Wiele, Tom; et al. (2016)
      Background. It is widely assumed that the uterine cavity in non-pregnant women is physiologically sterile, also as a premise to the long-held view that human infants develop in a sterile uterine environment, though likely reflecting under-appraisal of the extent of the human bacterial metacommunity. In an exploratory study, we aimed to investigate the putative presence of a uterine microbiome in a selected series of non-pregnant women through deep sequencing of the V1-2 hypervariable region of the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene. Methods. Nineteen women with various reproductive conditions, including subfertility, scheduled for hysteroscopy and not showing uterine anomalies were recruited. Subjects were highly diverse with regard to demographic and medical history and included nulliparous and parous women. Endometrial tissue and mucus harvesting was performed by use of a transcervical device designed to obtain endometrial biopsy, while avoiding cervicovaginal contamination. Bacteria were targeted by use of a barcoded Illumina MiSeq paired-end sequencing method targeting the 16S rRNA gene V1-2 region, yielding an average of 41,194 reads per sample after quality filtering. Taxonomic annotation was pursued by comparison with sequences available through the Ribosomal Database Project and the NCBI database. Results. Out of 183 unique 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequences, 15 phylotypes were present in all samples. In some 90% of the women included, community architecture was fairly similar inasmuch B. xylanisolvens, B. thetaiotaomicron, B. fragilis and an undetermined Pelomonas taxon constituted over one third of the endometrial bacterial community. On the singular phylotype level, six women showed predominance of L. crispatus or L. iners in the presence of the Bacteroides core. Two endometrial communities were highly dissimilar, largely lacking the Bacteroides core, one dominated by L. crispatus and another consisting of a highly diverse community, including Prevotella spp., Atopobium vaginae, and Mobiluncus curtisii. Discussion. Our findings are, albeit not necessarily generalizable, consistent with the presence of a unique microbiota dominated by Bacteroides residing on the endometrium of the human non-pregnant uterus. The transcervical sampling approach may be influenced to an unknown extent by endocervical microbiota, which remain uncharacterised, and therefore warrants further validation. Nonetheless, consistent with our understanding of the human microbiome, the uterine microbiota are likely to have a previously unrecognized role in uterine physiology and human reproduction. Further study is therefore warranted to document community ecology and dynamics of the uterine microbiota, as well as the role of the uterine microbiome in health and disease.
    • Characterization of bacterial communities exposed to Cr(III) and Pb(II) in submerged fixed-bed biofilms for groundwater treatment.

      Vílchez, R; Gómez-Silván, C; Purswani, J; González-López, J; Rodelas, B; Grupo de Microbiología Ambiental (Environmental Microbiology Research Group), Instituto del Agua y Departamento de Microbiología, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Granada, 18071, Granada, Spain. (2011-06)
      Two pilot-scale submerged-bed microbial biofilms were set up for the removal of Cr(III) and Pb(II) from groundwater, and the biological activities and structure of the bacterial communities developed in the presence of the heavy metals were analyzed. Artesian groundwater was polluted with Cr(III) or Pb(II) (15 mg/l) and amended with sucrose (250 mg/l) as carbon source. While Pb(II) was over 99% removed from groundwater during long-term operation (130 days), the efficiency of the removal of Cr(III) significantly decreased in time (95-73% after 60 days). Cr(III)-amended biofilms displayed significant lower sucrose consumption, ATP cell contents and alkaline phosphatase activity, compared to biofilms formed in the presence of Pb(II), while analysis of exopolymers demonstrated significant differences in their composition (content of carbohydrates and acetyl groups) in response to each heavy metal. According to transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electron-dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), Cr(III) bioaccumulated in the exopolymeric matrix without entering bacterial cells, while Pb(II) was detected both extra and intracellularly, associated to P and Si. Temperature-gradient gel electrophoresis (TGGE) profiling based on partial amplification of 16S rRNA genes was used to analyze the differences in the structure of the biofilm bacterial communities developed under exposure to each heavy metal. Prevalent populations in the biofilms were further identified by reamplification and sequencing of isolated TGGE bands. 75% of the sequences in the Pb(II) biofilter were evolutively close to the Rhodobacterales, while in the Cr(III) biofilter 43% of the sequences were found affiliated to the Rhizobiales and Sphingomonadales, and 57% to Betaproteobacteria.
    • Chlorophenol hydroxylases encoded by plasmid pJP4 differentially contribute to chlorophenoxyacetic acid degradation.

      Ledger, T; Pieper, D H; González, B (2006-04-01)
      Phenoxyalkanoic compounds are used worldwide as herbicides. Cupriavidus necator JMP134(pJP4) catabolizes 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetate (2,4-D) and 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxyacetate (MCPA), using tfd functions carried on plasmid pJP4. TfdA cleaves the ether bonds of these herbicides to produce 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP) and 4-chloro-2-methylphenol (MCP), respectively. These intermediates can be degraded by two chlorophenol hydroxylases encoded by the tfdB(I) and tfdB(II) genes to produce the respective chlorocatechols. We studied the specific contribution of each of the TfdB enzymes to the 2,4-D/MCPA degradation pathway. To accomplish this, the tfdB(I) and tfdB(II) genes were independently inactivated, and growth on each chlorophenoxyacetate and total chlorophenol hydroxylase activity were measured for the mutant strains. The phenotype of these mutants shows that both TfdB enzymes are used for growth on 2,4-D or MCPA but that TfdB(I) contributes to a significantly higher extent than TfdB(II). Both enzymes showed similar specificity profiles, with 2,4-DCP, MCP, and 4-chlorophenol being the best substrates. An accumulation of chlorophenol was found to inhibit chlorophenoxyacetate degradation, and inactivation of the tfdB genes enhanced the toxic effect of 2,4-DCP on C. necator cells. Furthermore, increased chlorophenol production by overexpression of TfdA also had a negative effect on 2,4-D degradation by C. necator JMP134 and by a different host, Burkholderia xenovorans LB400, harboring plasmid pJP4. The results of this work indicate that codification and expression of the two tfdB genes in pJP4 are important to avoid toxic accumulations of chlorophenols during phenoxyacetic acid degradation and that a balance between chlorophenol-producing and chlorophenol-consuming reactions is necessary for growth on these compounds.
    • Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps is characterized by dysbacteriosis of the nasal microbiota.

      Chalermwatanachai, Thanit; Vilchez-Vargas, Ramiro; Holtappels, Gabriele; Lacoere, Tim; Jáuregui, Ruy; Kerckhof, Frederiek-Maarten; Pieper, Dietmar H; Van de Wiele, Tom; Vaneechoutte, Mario; Van Zele, Thibaut; et al. (2018-05-21)
      Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyp (CRSwNP) patients are often characterized by asthma comorbidity and a type-2 inflammation of the sinonasal mucosa. The mucosal microbiota has been suggested to be implicated in the persistence of inflammation, but associations have not been well defined. To compare the bacterial communities of healthy subjects with CRSwNP patients, we collected nasal swabs from 17 healthy subjects, 21 CRSwNP patients without asthma (CRSwNP-A), and 20 CRSwNP patients with co-morbid asthma (CRSwNP+A). We analysed the microbiota using high-throughput sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA. Bacterial communities were different between the three groups. Haemophilus influenzae was significantly enriched in CRSwNP patients, Propionibacterium acnes in the healthy group; Staphylococcus aureus was abundant in the CRSwNP-A group, even though present in 57% of patients. Escherichia coli was found in high amounts in CRSwNP+A patients. Nasal tissues of CRSwNP+A patients expressed significantly higher concentrations of IgE, SE-IgE, and IL-5 compared to those of CRSwNP-A patients. Co-cultivation demonstrated that P. acnes growth was inhibited by H. influenzae, E. coli and S. aureus. The nasal microbiota of healthy subjects are different from those of CRSwNP-A and CRSwNP+A patients. However, the most abundant species in healthy status could not inhibit those in CRSwNP disease.
    • Colonic Butyrate-Producing Communities in Humans: an Overview Using Omics Data.

      Vital, Marius; Karch, André; Pieper, Dietmar H.; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-01-18)
      Given the key role of butyrate for host health, understanding the ecology of intestinal butyrate-producing communities is a top priority for gut microbiota research. To this end, we performed a pooled analysis on 2,387 metagenomic/transcriptomic samples from 15 publicly available data sets that originated from three continents and encompassed eight diseases as well as specific interventions. For analyses, a gene catalogue was constructed from gene-targeted assemblies of all genes from butyrate synthesis pathways of all samples and from an updated reference database derived from genome screenings. We demonstrate that butyrate producers establish themselves within the first year of life and display high abundances (>20% of total bacterial community) in adults regardless of origin. Various bacteria form this functional group, exhibiting a biochemical diversity including different pathways and terminal enzymes, where one carbohydrate-fueled pathway was dominant with butyryl coenzyme A (CoA):acetate CoA transferase as the main terminal enzyme. Subjects displayed a high richness of butyrate producers, and 17 taxa, primarily members of the Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae along with some Bacteroidetes, were detected in >70% of individuals, encompassing ~85% of the total butyrate-producing potential. Most of these key taxa were also found to express genes for butyrate formation, indicating that butyrate producers occupy various niches in the gut ecosystem, concurrently synthesizing that compound. Furthermore, results from longitudinal analyses propose that diversity supports functional stability during ordinary life disturbances and during interventions such as antibiotic treatment. A reduction of the butyrate-producing potential along with community alterations was detected in various diseases, where patients suffering from cardiometabolic disorders were particularly affected. IMPORTANCE Studies focusing on taxonomic compositions of the gut microbiota are plentiful, whereas its functional capabilities are still poorly understood. Specific key functions deserve detailed investigations, as they regulate microbiota-host interactions and promote host health and disease. The production of butyrate is among the top targets since depletion of this microbe-derived metabolite is linked to several emerging noncommunicable diseases and was shown to facilitate establishment of enteric pathogens by disrupting colonization resistance. In this study, we established a workflow to investigate in detail the composition of the polyphyletic butyrate-producing community from omics data extracting its biochemical and taxonomic diversity. By combining information from various publicly available data sets, we identified universal ecological key features of this functional group and shed light on its role in health and disease. Our results will assist the development of precision medicine to combat functional dysbiosis.
    • Comparing the anterior nare bacterial community of two discrete human populations using Illumina amplicon sequencing.

      Camarinha-Silva, Amélia; Jáuregui, Ruy; Chaves-Moreno, Diego; Oxley, Andrew P A; Schaumburg, Frieder; Becker, Karsten; Wos-Oxley, Melissa L; Pieper, Dietmar H; Microbial Interactions and Processes Research Group, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany. (2014-09)
      The anterior nares are an important reservoir for opportunistic pathogens and commensal microorganisms. A barcoded Illumina paired-end sequencing method targeting the 16S ribosomal RNA V1-2 hypervariable region was developed to compare the bacterial diversity of the anterior nares across distinct human populations (volunteers from Germany vs a Babongo Pygmy tribe, Africa). Of the 251 phylotypes detected, 231 could be classified to the genus level and 109 to the species level, including the unambiguous identification of the ubiquitous Staphylococcus aureus and Moraxella catarrhalis. The global bacterial community of both adult populations revealed that they shared 85% of the phylotypes, suggesting that our global bacterial communities have likely been with us for thousands of years. Of the 34 phylotypes unique to the non-westernized population, most were related to members within the suborder Micrococcineae. There was an even more overwelming distinction between children and adults of the same population, suggesting a progression of a childhood community of high-diversity comprising species of Moraxellaceae and Streptococcaceae to an adult community of lower diversity comprising species of Propionibacteriaceae, Clostridiales Incertae Sedis XI, Corynebacteriaceae and Staphylococcaceae. Thus, age was a stronger factor for accounting for differing bacterial assemblages than the origin of the human population sampled.
    • Correlation between immunoglobulin dose administered and plasma neutralization of streptococcal superantigens in patients with necrotizing soft tissue infections.

      Bergsten, Helena; Madsen, Martin Bruun; Bergey, Francois; Hyldegaard, Ole; Skrede, Steinar; Arnell, Per; Oppegaard, Oddvar; Itzek, Andreas; Perner, Anders; Svensson, Mattias; et al. (Oxford University Press, 2020-01-09)
      Analyses of plasma collected pre- and post-administration of intravenous immunoglobulin G (IVIG) from patients with Group A Streptococcus necrotizing soft tissue infections demonstrated a negative correlation between IVIG dose and toxin-triggered T-cell proliferation (r=-0.67, p<0.0001). One 25g-dose IVIG was sufficient to yield patient plasma neutralizing activity against streptococcal superantigens.
    • The culturome of the human nose habitats reveals individual bacterial fingerprint patterns.

      Kaspar, Ursula; Kriegeskorte, André; Schubert, Tanja; Peters, Georg; Rudack, Claudia; Pieper, Dietmar H; Wos-Oxley, Melissa; Becker, Karsten; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-07)
      The complex anatomy of the human nose might offer distinct microbial niches. Microbiota composition may affect nose inflammatory diseases and Staphylococcus aureus carriage. Considering different nasal cavity locations, microbial colonization was analysed across individuals exhibiting chronic nasal inflammatory diseases (n = 18) and those without local inflammation signs (n = 16). Samples were collected systematically during surgery and examined by an extensive culture-based approach and, for a subset, by 16S rRNA gene community profiling. Cultivation yielded 141 taxa with members of Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium and Propionibacterium as most common isolates comprising the nasal core culturome together with Finegoldia magna. Staphylococcus aureus was most frequently found in association with Staphylococcus epidermidis and Propionibacterium acnes, and the posterior vestibules were redefined as S. aureus' principle habitat. Culturome analysis revealed host-specific bacterial 'fingerprints' irrespective of host-driven factors or intranasal sites. Comparisons between cultivable and molecular fingerprints demonstrated that only a small fraction of phylotypes (6.2%) was correlated. While the total number of different phylotypes was higher in the molecular dataset, the total number of identifications down to the species level was higher in the culturomic approach. To determine host-specific microbiomes, the advantages of molecular approaches should be combined with the resolution and reliability of species identification by culturomic analyses.
    • Deep sequencing of biofilm microbiomes on dental composite materials.

      Conrads, Georg; Wendt, Laura Katharina; Hetrodt, Franziska; Deng, Zhi-Luo; Pieper, Dietmar; Abdelbary, Mohamed M H; Barg, Andree; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Apel, Christian (2019-01-01)
      Background: The microbiome on dental composites has not been studied in detail before. It has not been conclusively clarified whether restorative materials influence the oral microbiome. Methods: We used Illumina Miseq next-generation sequencing of the 16S V1-V2 region to compare the colonisation patterns of bovine enamel (BE) and the composite materials Grandio Flow (GF) and Grandio Blocs (GB) after 48 h in vivo in 14 volunteers. Applying a new method to maintain the oral microbiome ex vivo for 48 h also, we compared the microbiome on GF alone and with the new antimicrobial substance carolacton (GF+C). Results: All in vitro biofilm communities showed a higher diversity and richness than those grown in vivo but the very different atmospheric conditions must be considered. Contrary to expectations, there were only a few significant differences between BE and the composite materials GB and GF either in vivo or in vitro: Oribacterium, Peptostreptococcaceae [XI][G-1] and Streptococcus mutans were more prevalent and Megasphaera, Prevotella oulorum, Veillonella atypica, V. parvula, Gemella morbillorum, and Fusobacterium periodonticum were less prevalent on BE than on composites. In vivo, such preferences were only significant for Granulicatella adiacens (more prevalent on BE) and Fusobacterium nucleatum subsp. animalis (more prevalent on composites). On DNA sequence level, there were no significant differences between the biofilm communities on GF and GF+C. Conclusion: We found that the oral microbiome showed an increased richness when grown on various composites compared to BE in vitro, but otherwise changed only slightly independent of the in vivo or in vitro condition. Our new ex vivo biofilm model might be useful for pre-clinical testing of preventive strategies.
    • Degradation of 2,3-dihydroxybenzoate by a novel meta-cleavage pathway.

      Marín, Macarena; Plumeier, Iris; Pieper, Dietmar H; Microbial Interactions and Processes Research Group, HZI-Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany. (2012-08)
      2,3-Dihydroxybenzoate is the precursor in the biosynthesis of several siderophores and an important plant secondary metabolite that, in bacteria, can be degraded via meta-cleavage of the aromatic ring. The dhb cluster of Pseudomonas reinekei MT1 encodes a chimeric meta-cleavage pathway involved in the catabolism of 2,3-dihydroxybenzoate. While the first two enzymes, DhbA and DhbB, are phylogenetically related to those involved in 2,3-dihydroxy-p-cumate degradation, the subsequent steps are catalyzed by enzymes related to those involved in catechol degradation (DhbCDEFGH). Characterization of kinetic properties of DhbA extradiol dioxygenase identified 2,3-dihydroxybenzoate as the preferred substrate. Deletion of the encoding gene impedes growth of P. reinekei MT1 on 2,3-dihydroxybenzoate. DhbA catalyzes 3,4-dioxygenation with 2-hydroxy-3-carboxymuconate as the product, which is then decarboxylated by DhbB to 2-hydroxymuconic semialdehyde. This compound is then subject to dehydrogenation and further degraded to citrate cycle intermediates. Transcriptional analysis revealed genes of the dhB gene cluster to be highly expressed during growth with 2,3-dihydroxybenzoate, whereas a downstream-localized gene encoding 2-hydroxymuconic semialdehyde hydrolase, dispensable for 2,3-dihydroxybenzoate metabolism but crucial for 2,3-dihydroxy-p-cumate degradation, was only marginally expressed. This is the first report describing a gene cluster encoding enzymes for the degradation of 2,3-dihydroxybenzoate.