Detection of Gallibacterium spp. in chickens by fluorescent 16S rRNA in situ hybridization.
ABSTRACT: Gallibacterium has recently been included as a new genus of the family Pasteurellaceae Pohl 1981, which encompasses bacteria previously reported as Pasteurella anatis, "Actinobacillus salpingitidis," and avian Pasteurella haemolytica-like organisms. So far, identification has exclusively relied on phenotypic characterization. We present a method based on a cyanine dye 3.18-labeled in situ hybridization probe targeting 16S rRNA to allow specific detection of bacteria belonging to the genus Gallibacterium. The probe, GAN850, showed no cross-reactivity to 25 other poultry-associated bacterial species, including members of the families Pasteurellaceae, Enterobacteriaceae, and Flavobacteriaceae, when cross-reactivities were evaluated by whole-cell hybridization. The probe was further evaluated by hybridization to formalin-fixed spleen and liver tissues from experimentally infected chickens, in which it proved to be useful for the detection of Gallibacterium. Additionally, determination of the spatial distribution and the host cell affiliation of Gallibacterium at various times during the infection process was possible. In conclusion, the in situ hybridization technique described may be of use as a diagnostic tool as well as for studies to elucidate the pathogenesis of Gallibacterium infections in chickens.
Project description:Gallibacterium anatis is a pathogen of poultry. Very little is known about its genetics and pathogenesis. To enable the study of gene function in G. anatis, we have established methods for transformation and targeted mutagenesis. The genus Gallibacterium belongs to the Pasteurellaceae, a group with several naturally transformable members, including Haemophilus influenzae. Bioinformatics analysis identified G. anatis homologs of the H. influenzae competence genes, and natural competence was induced in G. anatis by the procedure established for H. influenzae: transfer from rich medium to the starvation medium M-IV. This procedure gave reproducibly high transformation frequencies with G. anatis chromosomal DNA and with linearized plasmid DNA carrying G. anatis sequences. Both DNA types integrated into the G. anatis chromosome by homologous recombination. Targeted mutagenesis gave transformation frequencies of >2 × 10(-4) transformants CFU(-1). Transformation was also efficient with circular plasmid containing no G. anatis DNA; this resulted in the establishment of a self-replicating plasmid. Nine diverse G. anatis strains were found to be naturally transformable by this procedure, suggesting that natural competence is common and the M-IV transformation procedure widely applicable for this species. The G. anatis genome is only slightly enriched for the uptake signal sequences identified in other pasteurellaceaen genomes, but G. anatis did preferentially take up its own DNA over that of Escherichia coli. Transformation by electroporation was not effective for chromosomal integration but could be used to introduce self-replicating plasmids. The findings described here provide important tools for the genetic manipulation of G. anatis.
Project description:Gallibacterium anatis is an opportunistic pathogen, previously associated with deaths in poultry, domestic birds, and occasionally humans. We obtained G. anatis isolates from bronchoalveolar lavage samples of 10 calves with bronchopneumonia unresponsive to antimicrobial therapy. Collected isolates were multidrug-resistant to extensively drug-resistant, exhibiting resistance against 5-7 classes of antimicrobial drugs. Whole-genome sequencing revealed 24 different antimicrobial-resistance determinants, including genes not previously described in the Gallibacterium genus or even the Pasteurellaceae family, such as aadA23, blaCARB-8, tet(Y), and qnrD1. Some resistance genes were closely linked in resistance gene cassettes with either transposases in close proximity or situated on putative mobile elements or predicted plasmids. Single-nucleotide polymorphism genotyping revealed large genetic variation between the G. anatis isolates, including isolates retrieved from the same farm. G. anatis might play a hitherto unrecognized role as a respiratory pathogen and resistance gene reservoir in cattle and has unknown zoonotic potential.
Project description:Gallibacterium anatis is a pathogen in chickens and other avian species where it is a significant cause of salpingitis and peritonitis. We found that bacterial cells and cell-free, filter-sterilised culture supernatant from the haemolytic G. anatis biovar haemolytica were highly cytotoxic towards avian-derived macrophage-like cells (HD11). We obtained the genome sequence of G. anatis 12656-12 and used a rational approach to identify a gene predicted to encode a 2026 amino acid RTX-toxin, which we named GtxA (Gallibacterium toxin). The construction of a gtxA knock-out mutant showed gtxA to be responsible for G. anatis' haemolytic and leukotoxic activity. In addition, Escherichia coli expressing gtxA and an adjacent acyltransferase, gtxC, became cytolytic. GtxA was expressed during in vitro growth and was localised in the extracellular protein fraction in a growth phase dependent manner. GtxA had an unusual modular structure; the C-terminal 1000 amino acids of GtxA were homologous to the classical pore-forming RTX-toxins in other members of Pasteurellaceae. In contrast, the N-terminal approximately 950 amino acids had few significant matches in sequence databases. Expression of truncated GtxA proteins demonstrated that the C-terminal RTX-domain had a lower haemolytic activity than the full-length toxin, indicating that the N-terminal domain was required for maximal haemolytic activity. Cytotoxicity towards HD11 cells was not detected with the C-terminal alone, suggesting that the N-terminal domain plays a critical role for the leukotoxicity.
Project description:Gallibacterium anatis is a pathogen associated with peritonitis and salpingitis in chickens and other avian species. Novel safety prevention strategies are urgently needed because of widespread multidrug resistance and antigenic diversity. The objective of this study was to produce a specific chicken egg yolk antibody and evaluate its protective response against a G. anatis infection model in 4-week-old chicks. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays showed that hens immunized with the recombinant N terminus of Gallibacterium toxin A (GtxA-N) had significantly increased antibody titers against GtxA-N in serum and egg yolk IgY. Western blotting showed that IgY antibody had specificity against GtxA-N in the egg yolks of immunized hens. The growth of G. anatis in brain heart infusion (BHI) broth and agar was significantly inhibited by the GtxA-N-specific IgY antibody. The protective effects of the specific IgY antibody were evaluated in G. anatis-infected chicks after intramuscular injection (10 mg/ml). The anti-GtxA-N antibody titers in the sera of G. anatis-challenged chicks following an injection of specific IgY antibody were significantly higher than those of the control and the nonspecific IgY groups, but lower lesion scores for the peritoneum, liver, and duodenum were found after specific IgY antibody treatment. The results from this study suggest that the GtxA-N-specific IgY antibody could potentially improve the protective response against G. anatis infection in chicks.
Project description:Gallibacterium anatis is a Gram-negative opportunistic avian pathogen representing an emerging threat to poultry meat and egg production worldwide. To date, no vaccine able to effectively prevent the morbidity associated with G. anatis infections has been developed yet. Our group previously reported that inoculation of different combinations of G. anatis outer membrane vesicles (OMVs), FlfA and GtxA-N proteins is effective in preventing lesions caused by G. anatis infections in layer chickens. Here we report the testing of the efficacy as vaccine prototypes of G. anatis OMVs isolated by hydrostatic filtration, a simple technique that allows the cost-effective isolation of high yields of OMVs. Layer chickens were immunized with OMVs alone or in combination with FlfA and/or GtxA-N proteins. Subsequent challenge with a heterologous G. anatis strain showed that immunization with OMVs alone could significantly reduce the lesions following a G. anatis infection. A second study was carried out to characterize the dose-response (0.25, 2.5 and 25 µg) relationship of G. anatis OMVs as immunogens, showing that 2.5 ?g of OMVs represent the optimal dose to elicit protection in the immunized animals after a similar challenge. Additionally, administration of ?2.5 ?g of G. anatis OMVs induced specific IgY titers and possibly vertical transfer of immunity.
Project description:The Gram-negative bacterium Gallibacterium anatis is a major cause of salpingitis and peritonitis in commercial egg-layers, leading to reduced egg production and increased mortality. Unfortunately, widespread multidrug resistance and antigenic diversity makes it difficult to control infections and novel prevention strategies are urgently needed. In this study, a pan-genomic reverse vaccinology (RV) approach was used to identify potential vaccine candidates. Firstly, the genomes of 10 selected Gallibacterium strains were analyzed and proteins selected on the following criteria; predicted surface-exposure or secretion, none or one transmembrane helix (TMH), and presence in six or more of the 10 genomes. In total, 42 proteins were selected. The genes encoding 27 of these proteins were successfully cloned in Escherichia coli and the proteins expressed and purified. To reduce the number of vaccine candidates for in vivo testing, each of the purified recombinant proteins was screened by ELISA for their ability to elicit a significant serological response with serum from chickens that had been infected with G. anatis. Additionally, an in silico prediction of the protective potential was carried out based on a protein property prediction method. Of the 27 proteins, two novel putative immunogens were identified; Gab_1309 and Gab_2312. Moreover, three previously characterized virulence factors; GtxA, FlfA and Gab_2156, were identified. Thus, by combining the pan-genomic RV approach with subsequent in vitro and in silico screening, we have narrowed down the pan-proteome of G. anatis to five vaccine candidates. Importantly, preliminary immunization trials indicated an in vivo protective potential of GtxA-N, FlfA and Gab_1309.
Project description:The Gram-negative bacterium Gallibacterium anatis is a major cause of salpingitis and peritonitis in egg-laying chickens, leading to decreased egg production worldwide. Widespread multidrug resistance largely prevents treatment of this organism using traditional antimicrobial agents, while antigenic diversity hampers disease prevention by classical vaccines. Thus, insight into its pathogenesis and knowledge about important virulence factors is urgently required. A key event during the colonization and invasion of mucosal surfaces is adherence, and recently, at least three F17-like fimbrial gene clusters were identified in the genomes of several G. anatis strains. The objective of this study was to characterize the putative F17-like fimbrial subunit protein FlfA from G. anatis 12656-12 and determine its importance for virulence. In vitro expression and surface exposure of FlfA was demonstrated by flow cytometry and immunofluorescence microscopy. The predicted function of FlfA as a fimbrial subunit protein was confirmed by immunogold electron microscopy. An flfA deletion mutant (ΔflfA) was generated in G. anatis 12656-12, and importantly, this mutant was significantly attenuated in the natural chicken host. Furthermore, protection against G. anatis 12656-12 could be induced by immunizing chickens with recombinant FlfA. Finally, in vitro expression of FlfA homologs was observed in a genetically diverse set of G. anatis strains, suggesting the potential of FlfA as a serotype-independent vaccine candidate This is the first study describing a fimbrial subunit protein of G. anatis with a clear potential as a vaccine antigen.
Project description:We describe the first case of bacteremia due to Gallibacterium anatis. The patient, a 26-year-old woman, developed bacteremia and diarrhea. The origin of infection was possibly due to a diet contaminated by G. anatis in this highly immunocompromised patient.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Fimbriae are bacterial cell surface organelles involved in the pathogenesis of many bacterial species, including Gallibacterium anatis, in which a F17-like fimbriae of the chaperone-usher (CU) family was recently shown to be an important virulence factor and vaccine candidate. To reveal the distribution and variability of CU fimbriae 22 genomes of the avian host-restricted bacteria Gallibacterium spp. were investigated. Fimbrial clusters were classified using phylogeny-based and conserved domain (CD) distribution-based approaches. To characterize the fimbriae in depth evolutionary analysis and in vitro expression of the most prevalent fimbrial clusters was performed. RESULTS: Overall 48 CU fimbriae were identified in the genomes of the examined Gallibacterium isolates. All fimbriae were assigned to γ4 clade of the CU fimbriae of Gram-negative bacteria and were organized in four-gene clusters encoding a putative major fimbrial subunit, a chaperone, an usher and a fimbrial adhesin. Five fimbrial clusters (Flf-Flf4) and eight conserved domain groups were defined to accommodate the identified fimbriae. Although, the number of different fimbrial clusters in individual Gallibacterium genomes was low, there was substantial amino acid sequence variability in the major fimbrial subunit and the adhesin proteins. The distribution of CDs among fimbrial clusters, analysis of their flanking regions, and evolutionary comparison of the strains revealed that Gallibacterium fimbrial clusters likely underwent evolutionary divergence resulting in highly host adapted and antigenically variable fimbriae. In vitro, only the fimbrial subunit FlfA was expressed in most Gallibacterium strains encoding this protein. The absence or scarce expression of the two other common fimbrial subunits (Flf1A and Flf3A) indicates that their expression may require other in vitro or in vivo conditions. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first approach establishing a systematic fimbria classification system within Gallibacterium spp., which indicates a species-wide distribution of γ4 CU fimbriae among a diverse collection of Gallibacterium isolates. The expression of only one out of up to three fimbriae present in the individual genomes in vitro suggests that fimbriae expression in Gallibacterium is highly regulated. This information is important for future attempts to understand the role of Gallibacterium fimbriae in pathogenesis, and may prove useful for improved control of Gallibacterium infections in chickens.
Project description:GtxA, a leukotoxic RTX-toxin, has been proposed a main virulence factor of Gallibacterium anatis. To evaluate the impact of GtxA during infection, we experimentally infected laying hens with a G. anatis wild-type (WT) strain and its isogenic gtxA deletion mutant (?gtxA), respectively, and monitored the birds during a 6 day period. Birds inoculated with ?gtxA had significantly reduced gross lesions and microscopic changes compared to the birds inoculated with the WT strain. To assess the host response further, we quantified the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and apoptosis genes by RT-qPCR. In the ovarian tissue, the expression levels of IL-4 and TNF-? were significantly lower in the ?gtxA group compared to the WT group, while IL-6 and IL-10 levels appeared similar in the two groups. In the spleen tissue of ?gtxA infected chickens, IL-4 expression was also lower compared to the WT infected chickens. The results indicated that GtxA plays a key role in an acute cytokine-mediated Th2-like response against G. anatis infection in the ovary tissue. The pro-inflammatory response in the ovary tissue of birds inoculated with ?gtxA mutant was thus significantly lower than the wild-type response. This was, at least partly, supported by the apoptosis gene expression levels, which were significantly higher in the ?gtxA mutant compared to the wild-type infected chickens. In conclusion, GtxA clearly plays an important role in the pathogenesis of G. anatis infections in laying hens. Further investigations into the specific factors regulating the host response is however needed to provide a more complete understanding of the bacteria-host interaction.