Genomic diversity in Campylobacter jejuni: identification of C. jejuni 81-176-specific genes.
ABSTRACT: Since the publication of the complete genomic sequence of Campylobacter jejuni NCTC 11168 in February 2000, evidence has been compiling that suggests C. jejuni strains exhibit high genomic diversity. In order to investigate this diversity, the unique genomic DNA sequences from a nonsequenced Campylobacter strain, C. jejuni 81-176, were identified by comparison with C. jejuni NCTC 11168 by using a shotgun DNA microarray approach. Up to 63 kb of new chromosomal DNA sequences unique to this pathogen were obtained. Eighty-six open reading frames were identified by the presence of uninterrupted coding regions encoding a minimum of 40 amino acids. In addition, this study shows that the whole-plasmid shotgun microarray approach is effective and provides a comprehensive coverage of DNA regions that differ between two closely related genomes. The two plasmids harbored by this Campylobacter strain, pTet and pVir, were also sequenced, with coverages of 2.5- and 2.9-fold, respectively, representing 72 and 92% of their complete nucleotide sequences. The unique chromosomal genes encode proteins involved in capsule and lipooligosaccharide biosynthesis, restriction and modification systems, and respiratory metabolism. Several of these unique genes are likely associated with C. jejuni 81-176 fitness and virulence. Interestingly, the comparison of C. jejuni 81-176 unique genes with those of C. jejuni ATCC 43431 revealed a single gene which encodes a probable TraG-like protein. The product of this gene might be associated with the mechanism of C. jejuni invasion into epithelial cells. In conclusion, this study extends the repertoire of C. jejuni genes and thus will permit the construction of a composite and more comprehensive microarray of C. jejuni.
Project description:Campylobacter species are a leading cause of bacterial foodborne illness worldwide. Despite the global efforts to curb them, Campylobacter infections have increased continuously in both developed and developing countries. The development of effective strategies to control the infection by this pathogen is warranted. The essential genes of bacteria are the most prominent targets for this purpose. In this study, we used transposon sequencing (Tn-seq) of a genome-saturating library of Tn5 insertion mutants to define the essential genome of C. jejuni at a high resolution.We constructed a Tn5 mutant library of unprecedented complexity in C. jejuni NCTC 11168 with 95,929 unique insertions throughout the genome and used the genomic DNA of the library for the reconstruction of Tn5 libraries in the same (C. jejuni NCTC 11168) and different strain background (C. jejuni 81-176) through natural transformation. We identified 166 essential protein-coding genes and 20 essential transfer RNAs (tRNA) in C. jejuni NCTC 11168 which were intolerant to Tn5 insertions during in vitro growth. The reconstructed C. jejuni 81-176 library had 384 protein coding genes with no Tn5 insertions. Essential genes in both strain backgrounds were highly enriched in the cluster of orthologous group (COG) categories of 'Translation, ribosomal structure and biogenesis (J)', 'Energy production and conversion (C)', and 'Coenzyme transport and metabolism (H)'.Comparative analysis among this and previous studies identified 50 core essential genes of C. jejuni, which can be further investigated for the development of novel strategies to control the spread of this notorious foodborne bacterial pathogen.
Project description:During the last years, Campylobacter has emerged as the leading cause of bacterial foodborne infections in developed countries. Described as an obligate microaerophile, Campylobacter has puzzled scientists by surviving a wide range of environmental oxidative stresses on foods farm to retail, and thereafter intestinal transit and oxidative damage from macrophages to cause human infection. In this study, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) was used to explore the biofilm development of two well-described Campylobacter jejuni strains (NCTC 11168 and 81-176) prior to or during cultivation under oxygen-enriched conditions. Quantitative and qualitative appraisal indicated that C. jejuni formed finger-like biofilm structures with an open ultrastructure for 81-176 and a multilayer-like structure for NCTC 11168 under microaerobic conditions (MAC). The presence of motile cells within the biofilm confirmed the maturation of the C. jejuni 81-176 biofilm. Acclimation of cells to oxygen-enriched conditions led to significant enhancement of biofilm formation during the early stages of the process. Exposure to these conditions during biofilm cultivation induced an even greater biofilm development for both strains, indicating that oxygen demand for biofilm formation is higher than for planktonic growth counterparts. Overexpression of cosR in the poorer biofilm-forming strain, NCTC 11168, enhanced biofilm development dramatically by promoting an open ultrastructure similar to that observed for 81-176. Consequently, the regulator CosR is likely to be a key protein in the maturation of C. jejuni biofilm, although it is not linked to oxygen stimulation. These unexpected data advocate challenging studies by reconsidering the paradigm of fastidious requirements for C. jejuni growth when various subpopulations (from quiescent to motile cells) coexist in biofilms. These findings constitute a clear example of a survival strategy used by this emerging human pathogen.
Project description:Campylobacter jejuni CG8486, which belongs to the HS4 complex, was isolated from a patient with inflammatory diarrhea in Thailand. This strain caused a diarrheal disease in ferrets comparable to that caused by C. jejuni strain 81-176, but it was much less invasive for epithelial cells in vitro than 81-176. Complete genome sequencing of CG8486 revealed a 1.65-Mb genome that was very similar to the other two published genomes of clinical isolates of C. jejuni, the genomes of 81-176 and NCTC 11168, with a limited number of CG8486-specific genes mapping outside the hypervariable carbohydrate biosynthesis loci. These data suggest that the genes required for induction of inflammatory diarrhea are among the genes shared by CG8486 and 81-176 but that either major changes in the carbohydrate loci and/or more subtle changes in other genes may modulate virulence.
Project description:This study describes a novel approach to identify unique genomic DNA sequences from the unsequenced strain C. jejuni ATCC 43431 by comparison with the sequenced strain C. jejuni NCTC 11168. A shotgun DNA microarray was constructed by arraying 9,600 individual DNA fragments from a C. jejuni ATCC 43431 genomic library onto a glass slide. DNA fragments unique to C. jejuni ATCC 43431 were identified by competitive hybridization to the array with genomic DNA of C. jejuni NCTC 11168. The plasmids containing unique DNA fragments were sequenced, allowing the identification of up to 130 complete and incomplete genes. Potential biological roles were assigned to 66% of the unique open reading frames. The mean G+C content of these unique genes (26%) differs significantly from the G+C content of the entire C. jejuni genome (30.6%). This suggests that they may have been acquired through horizontal gene transfer from an organism with a G+C content lower than that of C. jejuni. Because the two C. jejuni strains differ by Penner serotype, a large proportion of the unique ATCC 43431 genes encode proteins involved in lipooligosaccharide and capsular biosynthesis, as expected. Several unique open reading frames encode enzymes which may contribute to genetic variability, i.e., restriction-modification systems and integrases. Interestingly, many of the unique C. jejuni ATCC 43431 genes show identity with a possible pathogenicity island from Helicobacter hepaticus and components of a potential type IV secretion system. In conclusion, this study provides a valuable resource to further investigate Campylobacter diversity and pathogenesis.
Project description:Analysis of the complete flagellin glycosylation locus of Campylobacter jejuni strain 81-176 revealed a less complex genomic organization than the corresponding region in the genome strain, C. jejuni NCTC 11168. Twenty-four of the 45 genes found between Cj1293 and Cj1337 in NCTC 11168 are missing in 81-176. Mutation of six new genes, in addition to three previously reported, resulted in a non-motile phenotype, consistent with a role in synthesis of pseudaminic acid (PseAc) or transfer of PseAc to flagellin. Mutation of Cj1316c or pseA had been shown to result in loss of the acetamidino form of pseudaminic acid (PseAm). Mutation of a second gene also resulted in loss of PseAm, as well as a minor modification that appears to be PseAm extended with N-acetyl-glutamic acid. Previously described mutants in C. jejuni 81-176 and Campylobacter coli VC167 that produced flagella lacking PseAm or PseAc failed to autoagglutinate. This suggests that interactions between modifications on adjacent flagella filaments are required for autoagglutination. Mutants (81-176) defective in autoagglutination showed a modest reduction in adherence and invasion of INT407 cells. However, there was a qualitative difference in binding patterns to INT407 cells using GFP-labelled 81-176 and mutants lacking PseAm. A mutant lacking PseAm was attenuated in the ferret diarrhoeal disease model.
Project description:Campylobacter jejuni is a leading cause of human gastrointestinal disease and small ruminant abortions in the United States. The recent emergence of a highly virulent, tetracycline-resistant C. jejuni subsp. jejuni sheep abortion clone (clone SA) in the United States, and that strain's association with human disease, has resulted in a heightened awareness of the zoonotic potential of this organism. Pacific Biosciences' Single Molecule, Real-Time sequencing technology was used to explore the variation in the genome-wide methylation patterns of the abortifacient clone SA (IA3902) and phenotypically distinct gastrointestinal-specific C. jejuni strains (NCTC 11168 and 81-176). Several notable differences were discovered that distinguished the methylome of IA3902 from that of 11168 and 81-176: identification of motifs novel to IA3902, genome-specific hypo- and hypermethylated regions, strain level variability in genes methylated, and differences in the types of methylation motifs present in each strain. These observations suggest a possible role of methylation in the contrasting disease presentations of these three C. jejuni strains. In addition, the methylation profiles between IA3902 and a luxS mutant were explored to determine if variations in methylation patterns could be identified that might explain the role of LuxS-dependent methyl recycling in IA3902 abortifacient potential.
Project description:Campylobacter jejuni is a major foodborne pathogen that causes severe gastroenteritis in humans characterized by fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. In the human gut, Campylobacter adheres and invades the intestinal epithelium followed by cytolethal distending toxin mediated cell death, and enteritis. Reducing the attachment and invasion of Campylobacter to intestinal epithelium and expression of its virulence factors such as motility and cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) production could potentially reduce infection in humans. This study investigated the efficacy of sub-inhibitory concentrations (SICs, concentration not inhibiting bacterial growth) of three GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status phytochemicals namely trans-cinnamaldehyde (TC; 0.005, 0.01%), carvacrol (CR; 0.001, 0.002%), and eugenol (EG; 0.005, 0.01%) in reducing the attachment, invasion, and translocation of C. jejuni on human intestinal epithelial cells (Caco-2). Additionally, the effect of these phytochemicals on Campylobacter motility and CDT production was studied using standard bioassays and gene expression analysis. All experiments had duplicate samples and were replicated three times on three strains (wild type S-8, NCTC 11168, 81-176) of C. jejuni. Data were analyzed using ANOVA with GraphPad ver. 6. Differences between the means were considered significantly different at P < 0.05. The majority of phytochemical treatments reduced C. jejuni adhesion, invasion, and translocation of Caco-2 cells (P < 0.05). In addition, the phytochemicals reduced pathogen motility and production of CDT in S-8 and NCTC 11168 (P < 0.05). Real-time quantitative PCR revealed that phytochemicals reduced the transcription of select C. jejuni genes critical for infection in humans (P < 0.05). Results suggest that TC, CR, and EG could potentially be used to control C. jejuni infection in humans.
Project description:Campylobacter jejuni helical shape is important for colonization and host interactions with straight mutants having altered biological properties. Passage on calcofluor white (CFW) resulted in C. jejuni 81-176 isolates with morphology changes: either a straight morphology from frameshift mutations and single nucleotide polymorphisms in peptidoglycan hydrolase genes pgp1 or pgp2 or a reduction in curvature due a frameshift mutation in cjj81176_1105, a putative peptidoglycan endopeptidase. Shape defects were restored by complementation. Whole genome sequencing of CFW-passaged strains showed no specific changes correlating to CFW exposure. The cjj81176_1279 (recR; recombinational DNA repair) and cjj81176_1449 (unknown function) genes were highly variable in all 81-176 strains sequenced. A frameshift mutation in pgp1 of our laboratory isolate of the straight genome sequenced variant of 11168 (11168-GS) was also identified. The PG muropeptide profile of 11168-GS was identical to that of ?pgp1 in the original minimally passaged 11168 strain (11168-O). Introduction of wild type pgp1 into 11168-GS did not restore helical morphology. The recR gene was also highly variable in 11168 strains. Microbial cell-to-cell heterogeneity is proposed as a mechanism of ensuring bacterial survival in sub-optimal conditions. In certain environments, changes in C. jejuni morphology due to genetic heterogeneity may promote C. jejuni survival.
Project description:Campylobacter jejuni is a zoonotic pathogen, and a hypervirulent clone, named clone SA, has recently emerged as the predominant cause of ovine abortion in the United States. To induce abortion, orally ingested Campylobacter must translocate across the intestinal epithelium, spread systemically in the circulation, and reach the fetoplacental tissue. Bacterial factors involved in these steps are not well understood. C. jejuni is known to produce capsular polysaccharide (CPS), but the specific role that CPS plays in systemic infection and particularly abortion in animals remains to be determined. In this study, we evaluated the role of CPS in bacteremia using a mouse model and in abortion using a pregnant guinea pig model following oral challenge. Compared with C. jejuni NCTC 11168 and 81-176, a clone SA isolate (IA3902) resulted in significantly higher bacterial counts and a significantly longer duration of bacteremia in mice. The loss of capsule production via gene-specific mutagenesis in IA3902 led to the complete abolishment of bacteremia in mice and abortion in pregnant guinea pigs, while complementation of capsule expression almost fully restored these phenotypes. The capsule mutant strain was also impaired for survival in guinea pig sera and sheep blood. Sequence-based analyses revealed that clone SA possesses a unique CPS locus with a mosaic structure, which has been stably maintained in all clone SA isolates derived from various hosts and times. These findings establish CPS as a key virulence factor for the induction of systemic infection and abortion in pregnant animals and provide a viable candidate for the development of vaccines against hypervirulent C. jejuni.
Project description:The fastidious nature of the foodborne bacterial pathogen Campylobacter jejuni contrasts with its ability to survive in the food chain. The formation of biofilms, or the integration into existing biofilms by C. jejuni, is thought to contribute to food chain survival. As extracellular DNA (eDNA) has previously been proposed to play a role in C. jejuni biofilms, we have investigated the role of extracellular DNases (eDNases) produced by C. jejuni in biofilm formation. A search of 2791 C. jejuni genomes highlighted that almost half of C. jejuni genomes contains at least one eDNase gene, but only a minority of isolates contains two or three of these eDNase genes, such as C. jejuni strain RM1221 which contains the cje0256, cje0566 and cje1441 eDNase genes. Strain RM1221 did not form biofilms, whereas the eDNase-negative strains NCTC 11168 and 81116 did. Incubation of pre-formed biofilms of NCTC 11168 with live C. jejuni RM1221 or with spent medium from a RM1221 culture resulted in removal of the biofilm. Inactivation of the cje1441 eDNase gene in strain RM1221 restored biofilm formation, and made the mutant unable to degrade biofilms of strain NCTC 11168. Finally, C. jejuni strain RM1221 was able to degrade genomic DNA from C. jejuni NCTC 11168, 81116 and RM1221, whereas strain NCTC 11168 and the RM1221 cje1441 mutant were unable to do so. This was mirrored by an absence of eDNA in overnight cultures of C. jejuni RM1221. This suggests that the activity of eDNases in C. jejuni affects biofilm formation and is not conducive to a biofilm lifestyle. These eDNases do however have a potential role in controlling biofilm formation by C. jejuni strains in food chain relevant environments.