Species of environmental mycobacteria differ in their abilities to grow in human, mouse, and carp macrophages and with regard to the presence of mycobacterial virulence genes, as observed by DNA microarray hybridization.
ABSTRACT: There are many species of environmental mycobacteria (EM) that infect animals that are important to the economy and research and that also have zoonotic potential. The genomes of very few of these bacterial species have been sequenced, and little is known about the molecular mechanisms by which most of these opportunistic pathogens cause disease. In this study, 18 isolates of EM isolated from fish and humans (including strains of Mycobacterium avium, Mycobacterium peregrinum, Mycobacterium chelonae, and Mycobacterium salmoniphilum) were examined for their abilities to grow in macrophage lines from humans, mice, and carp. Genomic DNA from 14 of these isolates was then hybridized against DNA from an M. avium reference strain, with a custom microarray containing virulence genes of mycobacteria and a selection of representative genes from metabolic pathways. The strains of EM had different abilities to grow within the three types of cell lines, which grouped largely according to the host from which they were isolated. Genes identified as being putatively absent in some of the strains included those with response regulatory functions, cell wall compositions, and fatty acid metabolisms as well as a recently identified pathogenicity island important to macrophage uptake. Further understanding of the role these genes play in host specificity and pathogenicity will be important to gain insight into the zoonotic potential of certain EM as well as their mechanisms of virulence.
Project description:The incidence of lung and other diseases due to nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) is increasing. NTM sources include potable water, especially in households where NTM populate pipes, taps, and showerheads. NTM share habitats with free-living amoebae (FLA) and can grow in FLA as parasites or as endosymbionts. FLA containing NTM may form cysts that protect mycobacteria from disinfectants and antibiotics. We first assessed the presence of FLA and NTM in water and biofilm samples collected from a hospital, confirming the high prevalence of NTM and FLA in potable water systems, particularly in biofilms. Acanthamoeba spp. (genotype T4) were mainly recovered (8/17), followed by Hartmannella vermiformis (7/17) as well as one isolate closely related to the genus Flamella and one isolate only distantly related to previously described species. Concerning mycobacteria, Mycobacterium gordonae was the most frequently found isolate (9/17), followed by Mycobacterium peregrinum (4/17), Mycobacterium chelonae (2/17), Mycobacterium mucogenicum (1/17), and Mycobacterium avium (1/17). The propensity of Mycobacterium avium hospital isolate H87 and M. avium collection strain 104 to survive and replicate within various FLA was also evaluated, demonstrating survival of both strains in all amoebal species tested but high replication rates only in Acanthamoeba lenticulata. As A. lenticulata was frequently recovered from environmental samples, including drinking water samples, these results could have important consequences for the ecology of M. avium in drinking water networks and the epidemiology of disease due to this species.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mycobacteriosis caused by non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), is among the most chronic diseases of aquatic animals. In addition, fish mycobacteriosis has substantial economic consequences especially in the aquaculture and fisheries industry as infections may significantly decrease production and trade. Some fish NTM pathogens are highly virulent and zoonotic; as such, infection of aquaria with these pathogens is a public health concern. In this study, we report isolation of nine different NTM species from sixteen aquatic animals including different fish species, frogs and a crocodile. Given the clinical significance of Mycobacterium marinum and its close relation to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, as well as the significance of ESAT 6 and CFP-10 secretion in mycobacterial virulence, we analysed the esxA and esxB nucleotide sequences of M. marinum isolates identified in this study as well as other mycobacteria in the public databases. RESULTS:Mycobacterium shimoidei, Mycobacterium marinum, Mycobacterium chelonae, Mycobacterium septicum /M. peregrinum and Mycobacterium porcinum were isolated from gold fish, Guppy, exotic fish species in South Africa, koi and undefined fish, Knysna seahorse, as well Natal ghost frogs respectively, presenting tuberculosis like granuloma. Other NTM species were isolated from the studied aquatic animals without any visible lesions, and these include Mycobacterium sp. N845 T, Mycobacterium fortuitum, a member of the Mycobacterium avium complex, and Mycobacterium szulgai. Phylogenetic analysis of mycobacteria, based on esxA and esxB genes, separated slow growing from rapidly growing mycobacteria as well as pathogenic from non-pathogenic mycobacteria in some cases. CONCLUSIONS:Isolation of the different NTM species from samples presenting granuloma suggests the significance of these NTM species in causing mycobacteriosis in these aquatic animals. The study also revealed the potential of esxA and esxB sequences as markers for phylogenetic classification of mycobacteria. Observations regarding use of esxA and esxB sequences for prediction of potential pathogenicity of mycobacteria warrants further investigation of these two genes in a study employing NTM species with well-defined pathogenicity.
Project description:Mycobacterium avium is an intracellular pathogen that has evolved to be a frequent cause of disseminated infection in immunocompromised patients. Although these bacilli are readily phagocytized, they are able to survive and even multiply within human macrophages. The process whereby mycobacteria circumvent the lytic functions of the macrophages is currently not well understood, but this is a key aspect in the pathogenicity of all pathogenic mycobacteria. Previously, we identified a gene in M. avium, designated mig (for macrophage-induced gene), the expression of which is induced when the bacilli grow in human macrophages (G. Plum and J. E. Clark-Curtiss, Infect. Immun. 62:476-483, 1994). In the present study we show that (i) the nucleotide sequence of the mig gene has an open reading frame of 295 amino acids with a strong bias for mycobacterial codon usage, (ii) the mig gene also codes for a putative signal peptide of 19 amino acid residues, (iii) mig is induced by acidity to be expressed as an early-secreted 30-kDa protein, and (iv) the Mig protein exhibits an AMP-binding domain signature. However, beyond this motif which is common to enzymes that activate a large variety of substrates, no homologies to known sequences are found. We also show that (v) Mycobacterium smegmatis strains expressing the Mig protein have a limited advantage for survival in macrophages. These findings may be concordant with a role of the mig gene in the virulence of M. avium.
Project description:A novel genus-specific PCR for mycobacteria with simple identification to the species level by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) was established using the 16S-23S ribosomal RNA gene (rDNA) spacer as a target. Panspecificity of primers was demonstrated on the genus level by testing 811 bacterial strains (122 species in 37 genera from 286 reference strains and 525 clinical isolates). All mycobacterial isolates (678 strains among 48 defined species and 5 indeterminate taxons) were amplified by the new primers. Among nonmycobacterial isolates, only Gordonia terrae was amplified. The RFLP scheme devised involves estimation of variable PCR product sizes together with HaeIII and CfoI restriction analysis. It yielded 58 HaeIII patterns, of which 49 (84%) were unique on the species level. Hence, HaeIII digestion together with CfoI results was sufficient for correct identification of 39 of 54 mycobacterial taxons and one of three or four of seven RFLP genotypes found in Mycobacterium intracellulare and Mycobacterium kansasii, respectively. Following a clearly laid out diagnostic algorithm, the remaining unidentified organisms fell into five clusters of closely related species (i.e., the Mycobacterium avium complex or Mycobacterium chelonae-Mycobacterium abscessus) that were successfully separated using additional enzymes (TaqI, MspI, DdeI, or AvaII). Thus, next to slowly growing mycobacteria, all rapidly growing species studied, including M. abscessus, M. chelonae, Mycobacterium farcinogenes, Mycobacterium fortuitum, Mycobacterium peregrinum, and Mycobacterium senegalense (with a very high 16S rDNA sequence similarity) were correctly identified. A high intraspecies sequence stability and the good discriminative power of patterns indicate that this method is very suitable for rapid and cost-effective identification of a wide variety of mycobacterial species without the need for sequencing. Phylogenetically, spacer sequence data stand in good agreement with 16S rDNA sequencing results, as was shown by including strains with unsettled taxonomy. Since this approach recognized significant subspecific genotypes while identification of a broad spectrum of mycobacteria rested on identification of one specific RFLP pattern within a species, this method can be used by both reference (or research) and routine laboratories.
Project description:Here, we present for the first time a high-affinity peptide nucleic acid (PNA) oligonucleotide sequence for detecting Mycobacterium avium bacteria, including the opportunistically pathogenic subspecies M. avium subsp. avium, M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis, and M. avium subsp. silvaticum, by the fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) method. There is evidence that M. avium subsp. avium especially is able to survive and grow in drinking-water biofilms and possibly transmit via drinking water. The designed PNA probe (MAV148) specificity was tested with several bacterial species, including other mycobacteria and mycolic acid-containing bacteria. From the range of bacterial strains tested, only M. avium subsp. avium and M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis strains were hybridized. The PNA FISH method was applied successfully to detect M. avium subsp. avium spiked in water samples and biofilm established within a Propella biofilm reactor fed with potable water from a distribution supply.
Project description:Several mycobacterial strains, such as Mycobacterium flavescens, Mycobacterium gastri, Mycobacterium neoaurum, Mycobacterium parafortuitum, Mycobacterium peregrinum, Mycobacterium phlei, Mycobacterium smegmatis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and Mycobacterium vaccae, were found to grow on carbon monoxide (CO) as the sole source of carbon and energy. These bacteria, except for M. tuberculosis, also utilized methanol as the sole carbon and energy source. A CO dehydrogenase (CO-DH) assay, staining by activity of CO-DH, and Western blot analysis using an antibody raised against CO-DH of Mycobacterium sp. strain JC1 (formerly Acinetobacter sp. strain JC1 [J. W. Cho, H. S. Yim, and Y. M. Kim, Kor. J. Microbiol. 23:1-8, 1985]) revealed that CO-DH is present in extracts of the bacteria prepared from cells grown on CO. Ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO) activity was also detected in extracts prepared from all cells, except M. tuberculosis, grown on CO. The mycobacteria grown on methanol, except for M. gastri, which showed hexulose phosphate synthase activity, did not exhibit activities of classic methanol dehydrogenase, hydroxypyruvate reductase, or hexulose phosphate synthase but exhibited N,N-dimethyl-4-nitrosoaniline-dependent methanol dehydrogenase and RuBisCO activities. Cells grown on methanol were also found to have dihydroxyacetone synthase. Double immunodiffusion revealed that the antigenic sites of CO-DHs, RuBisCOs, and dihydroxyacetone synthases in all mycobacteria tested are identical with those of the Mycobacterium sp. strain JC1 enzymes.
Project description:Although commercially available DNA probes for identification of mycobacteria have been investigated with large numbers of strains, nothing is known about the ability of these probes to identify less frequently encountered species. We analyzed, with INNO LiPA MYCOBACTERIA (Innogenetics) and with GenoType Mycobacterium (Hein), 317 strains, belonging to 136 species, 61 of which had never been assayed before. INNO LiPA misidentified 20 taxa, the majority of which cross-reacted with the probes specific for Mycobacterium fortuitum and the Mycobacterium avium-Mycobacterium intracellulare-Mycobacterium scrofulaceum group. GenoType misidentified 28 taxa, most of which cross-reacted with M. intracellulare and M. fortuitum probes; furthermore, eight species were not recognized as members of the genus Mycobacterium. Among 54 strains investigated with AccuProbe (Gen-Probe), cross-reactions were detected for nine species, with the probes aiming at the M. avium complex being most involved in cross-reactions.
Project description:Polyphasic taxonomic methods were employed to characterize a new species of slowly growing, nonpigmented mycobacteria. We propose the name Mycobacterium triplex sp. nov. for this new taxon. Conventional identification testing demonstrated a group of similar organisms that were geographically widespread in the United States. Commercially available nucleic-acid probes specific for the Mycobacterium avium complex were unreactive for these strains. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis of the mycolic acids revealed mycolate profiles that closely resembled Mycobacterium simiae. Comparative 16S rRNA sequence data confirmed the phylogenetic relationship of the strains with the slowly growing mycobacteria. Representative-type strains have been deposited in the American Type Culture Collection as strain ATCC 700071 [corrected].
Project description:Here, we describe the development of a method that exploits bacteriophage D29 as a lysis agent for efficient DNA extraction from low numbers of mycobacterial cells. This method (Actiphage® ) used in combination with PCR achieved rapid and sensitive (LOD ? 10 cell ml-1 ) detection and identification of viable, pathogenic mycobacteria in blood samples within 6 h. We demonstrate that mycobacteriophage D29 can be used to detect a range of mycobacteria from clinical blood samples including both Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex and Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis without the need for culture and confirms our earlier observations that a low-level bacteraemia is associated with these infections in cattle. In a study of M. bovis-infected cattle (n = 41), the sensitivity of the Actiphage® method was 95 % (95 % CI; 0.84-0.99) and specificity was 100 % (95% CI; 0.92-1). We further used Actiphage® to demonstrate viable Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis is present in the blood of Johne's infected cattle. This method provides a revolutionary new tool for the study of infections caused by these difficult to grow pathogens.
Project description:The main cause of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is believed to be Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis). Nontuberculosis mycobacteria (NTM) are neglected but opportunistic pathogens and obstacles for bTB diagnosis. This study aimed to isolate and characterize the mycobacteria organisms involved in causing TB-like lesions in cattle in northwestern Ethiopia.A total of 2846 carcasses of cattle were inspected for TB lesions. Ninety six tissues (including lymph nodes such as submandibular, retropharyngeal, tonsilar, mediatinal, bronchial and mesenteric, and organs such as lung, liver and kidney) with suspicious TB lesion(s) were collected and cultured on Lowenstein-Jensen medium. Twenty one showed culture growth, of which only 17 were identified containing acid fast bacilli (AFB) by Ziehl-Neelsen staining. Among the 17 AFB isolates 15 generated a polymerase chain reaction product of 1030 bp by gel electrophoresis based on the 16S ribosomal RNA gene amplification. No M. tuberculosis complex species were isolated. Further characterization by Genotype Mycobacterium CM assay showed 6 isolates identified as M. peregrinum. Eight isolates represented by mixed species, which includes M. fortuitum-peregrinum (3 isolates), M. gordonae-peregrinum (3 isolates) and M. fortuitum-gordonae-peregrinum (2 isolates). One NTM could not be interpreted.A significant number of NTM species were isolated from TB-like lesions of grazing cattle slaughtered at Bahir Dar Abattoir. Such finding could suggest the role of NTM in causing lesions in cattle. Further investigations are recommended on the pathogenesis of the reported NTM species in cattle, and if they have public health significance.