Evidence for acquisition of the lipooligosaccharide biosynthesis locus in Campylobacter jejuni GB11, a strain isolated from a patient with Guillain-Barre syndrome, by horizontal exchange.
ABSTRACT: Campylobacter jejuni GB11, a strain isolated from a patient with Guillain-Barré syndrome, has been shown to be genetically closely related to the completely sequenced strain C. jejuni NCTC 11168 by various molecular typing and serotyping methods. However, we observed that the lipooligosaccharide (LOS) biosynthesis genes strongly diverged between GB11 and NCTC 11168. We sequenced the LOS biosynthesis locus of GB11 and found that it was nearly identical to the class A LOS locus from the C. jejuni HS:19 Penner serotype strain (ATCC 43446). Analysis of the DNA sequencing data showed that a horizontal exchange event involving at least 14.26 kb had occurred in the LOS biosynthesis locus of GB11 between galE (Cj1131c in NCTC 11168) and gmhA (Cj1149 in NCTC 11168). Mass spectrometry of the GB11 LOS showed that GB11 expressed an LOS outer core that mimicked the carbohydrate portion of the gangliosides GM1a and GD1a, similar to C. jejuni ATCC 43446. The serum from the GB11-infected patient was shown to react with the LOS from both GB11 and ATCC 43446 but not with that from NCTC 11168. These data indicate that the antiganglioside response in the GB11-infected patient was raised against the structures synthesized by the acquired class A LOS locus.
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:BACKGROUND: Campylobacter jejuni is the predominant cause of antecedent infection in post-infectious neuropathies such as the Guillain-Barré (GBS) and Miller Fisher syndromes (MFS). GBS and MFS are probably induced by molecular mimicry between human gangliosides and bacterial lipo-oligosaccharides (LOS). This study describes a new C. jejuni-specific high-throughput AFLP (htAFLP) approach for detection and identification of DNA polymorphism, in general, and of putative GBS/MFS-markers, in particular. RESULTS: We compared 6 different isolates of the "genome strain" NCTC 11168 obtained from different laboratories. HtAFLP analysis generated approximately 3000 markers per stain, 19 of which were polymorphic. The DNA polymorphisms could not be confirmed by PCR-RFLP analysis, suggesting a baseline level of 0.6% AFLP artefacts. Comparison of NCTC 11168 with 4 GBS-associated strains revealed 23 potentially GBS-specific markers, 17 of which were identified by DNA sequencing. A collection of 27 GBS/MFS-associated and 17 enteritis control strains was analyzed with PCR-RFLP tests based on 11 of these markers. We identified 3 markers, located in the LOS biosynthesis genes cj1136, cj1138 and cj1139c, that were significantly associated with GBS (P = 0.024, P = 0.047 and P < 0.001, respectively). HtAFLP analysis of 13 highly clonal South African GBS/MFS-associated and enteritis control strains did not reveal GBS-specific markers. CONCLUSION: This study shows that bacterial GBS markers are limited in number and located in the LOS biosynthesis genes, which corroborates the current consensus that LOS mimicry may be the prime etiologic determinant of GBS. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that htAFLP, with its high reproducibility and resolution, is an effective technique for the detection and subsequent identification of putative bacterial disease markers.
Project description: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: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.
Project description:Campylobacter jejuni produces both lipooligosaccharide (LOS) and a higher-molecular-weight polysaccharide that is believed to form a capsule. The role of these surface polysaccharides in C. jejuni-mediated enteric disease is unclear; however, epitopes associated with the LOS are linked to the development of neurological complications. In Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium the waaF gene encodes a heptosyltransferase, which catalyzes the transfer of the second L-glycero-D-manno-heptose residue to the core oligosaccharide moiety of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and mutation of waaF results in a truncated core oligosaccharide. In this report we confirm experimentally that C. jejuni gene Cj1148 encodes the heptosyltransferase II enzyme, WaaF. The Campylobacter waaF gene complements an S. enterica serovar Typhimurium waaF mutation and restores the ability to produce full-sized lipopolysaccharide. To examine the role of WaaF in C. jejuni, waaF mutants were constructed in strains NCTC 11168 and NCTC 11828. Loss of heptosyltransferase activity resulted in the production of a truncated core oligosaccharide, failure to bind specific ligands, and loss of serum reactive GM(1), asialo-GM(1), and GM(2) ganglioside epitopes. The mutation of waaF did not affect the higher-molecular-weight polysaccharide supporting the production of a LOS-independent capsular polysaccharide by C. jejuni. The exact structural basis for the truncation of the core oligosaccharide was verified by comparative chemical analysis. The NCTC 11168 core oligosaccharide differs from that known for HS:2 strain CCUG 10936 in possessing an extra terminal disaccharide of galactose-beta(1,3) N-acetylgalactosamine. In comparison, the waaF mutant possessed a truncated molecule consistent with that observed with waaF mutants in other bacterial species.
Project description:Campylobacteriosis incited by C. jejuni is a significant enteric disease of human beings. A person working with two reference strains of C. jejuni National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) 11168 developed symptoms of severe enteritis including bloody diarrhea. The worker was determined to be infected by C. jejuni. In excess of 50 isolates were recovered from the worker's stool. All of the recovered isolates and the two reference strains were indistinguishable from each other based on comparative genomic fingerprint subtyping. Whole genome sequence analysis indicated that the worker was infected with a C. jejuni NCTC 11168 obtained from the American Type Culture Collection; this strain (NCTC 11168-GSv) is the genome sequence reference. After passage through the human host, major genetic changes including indel mutations within twelve contingency loci conferring phase variations were detected in the genome of C. jejuni. Specific and robust single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) changes in the human host were also observed in two loci (Cj0144c, Cj1564). In mice inoculated with an isolate of C. jejuni NCTC 11168-GSv from the infected person, the isolate underwent further genetic variation. At nine loci, mutations specific to inoculated mice including five SNP changes were observed. The two predominant SNPs observed in the human host reverted in mice. Genetic variations occurring in the genome of C. jejuni in mice corresponded to increased densities of C. jejuni cells associated with cecal mucosa. In conclusion, C. jejuni NCTC 11168-GSv was found to be highly virulent in a human being inciting severe enteritis. Host-specific mutations in the person with enteritis occurred/were selected for in the genome of C. jejuni, and many were not maintained in mice. Information obtained in the current study provides new information on host-specific genetic adaptation by 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: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:Conjugation is an important mechanism for horizontal gene transfer in Campylobacter jejuni, the leading cause of human bacterial gastroenteritis in developed countries. However, to date, the factors that significantly influence conjugation efficiency in Campylobacter spp. are still largely unknown. Given that multiple recombinant loci could independently occur within one recipient cell during natural transformation, the genetic materials from a high-frequency conjugation (HFC) C. jejuni strain may be cotransformed with a selection marker into a low-frequency conjugation (LFC) recipient strain, creating new HFC transformants suitable for the identification of conjugation factors using a comparative genomics approach. To test this, an erythromycin resistance selection marker was created in an HFC C. jejuni strain; subsequently, the DNA of this strain was naturally transformed into NCTC 11168, an LFC C. jejuni strain, leading to the isolation of NCTC 11168-derived HFC transformants. Whole-genome sequencing analysis and subsequent site-directed mutagenesis identified Cj1051c, a putative restriction-modification enzyme (aka CjeI) that could drastically reduce the conjugation efficiency of NCTC 11168 (>5,000-fold). Chromosomal complementation of three diverse HFC C. jejuni strains with CjeI also led to a dramatic reduction in conjugation efficiency (?1,000-fold). The purified recombinant CjeI could effectively digest the Escherichia coli-derived shuttle vector pRY107. The endonuclease activity of CjeI was abolished upon short heat shock treatment at 50°C, which is consistent with our previous observation that heat shock enhanced conjugation efficiency in C. jejuni Together, in this study, we successfully developed and utilized a unique cotransformation strategy to identify a restriction-modification enzyme that significantly influences conjugation efficiency in C. jejuni IMPORTANCE Conjugation is an important horizontal gene transfer mechanism contributing to the evolution of bacterial pathogenesis and antimicrobial resistance. Campylobacter jejuni, the leading foodborne bacterial organism, displays significant strain diversity due to horizontal gene transfer; however, the molecular components influencing conjugation efficiency in C. jejuni are still largely unknown. In this study, we developed a cotransformation strategy for comparative genomics analysis and successfully identified a restriction-modification enzyme that significantly influences conjugation efficiency in C. jejuni The new cotransformation strategy developed in this study is also expected to be broadly applied in other naturally competent bacteria for functional comparative genomics research.
Project description:Campylobacter jejuni is the most common bacterium that causes diarrhea worldwide, and chickens are considered the main reservoir of this pathogen. This study investigated the effects of serial truncation of lipooligosaccharide (LOS), a major component of the outer membrane of C. jejuni, on its bile resistance and intestinal colonization ability in chickens. Genes encoding manno-heptose synthetases or glycosyltransferases were inactivated to generate isogenic mutants. Serial truncation of the LOS core oligosaccharide caused a stepwise increase in susceptibilities of two C. jejuni strains, NCTC 11168 and 81-176, to bile acids. Inactivation of hldE, hldD, or waaC caused severe truncation of the core oligosaccharide, which greatly increased the susceptibility to bile acids. Both wild-type strains grew normally in chicken intestinal extracts, whereas the mutants with severe oligosaccharide truncation were not detected 12 h after inoculation. These mutants attained viable bacterial counts in the bile acid-free extracts 24 h after inoculation. The wild-type strain 11-164 was present in the cecal contents at >10(7) CFU/g on 5 days after challenge infection and after this time period, whereas its hldD mutant was present at <10(3) CFU/g throughout the experimental period. Trans-complementation of the hldD mutant with the wild-type hldD allele completely restored the in vivo colonization level to that of the wild-type strain. Mutants with a shorter LOS had higher hydrophobicities. Thus, the length of the LOS core oligosaccharide affected the surface hydrophobicity and bile resistance of C. jejuni as well as its ability to colonize chicken intestines.