Superantigen profiles of emm and emm-like typeable and nontypeable pharyngeal streptococcal isolates of South India.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The major virulence factors determining the pathogenicity of streptococcal strains include M protein encoded by emm and emm-like (emmL) genes and superantigens. In this study, the distribution of emm, emmL and superantigen genes was analyzed among the streptococcal strains isolated from the patients of acute pharyngitis. METHODS: The streptococcal strains were isolated from the throat swabs of 1040 patients of acute pharyngitis. The emm and emmL genes were PCR amplified from each strain and sequenced to determine the emm types. The dot-blot hybridization was performed to confirm the pathogens as true emm nontypeable strains. The presence of eleven currently known superantigens was determined in all the strains by multiplex PCR. RESULTS: Totally, 124 beta-hemolytic streptococcal strains were isolated and they were classified as group A streptococcus (GAS) [15.3% (19/124)], group C streptococcus (GCS) [59.7% (74/124)] and group G streptococcus (GGS) [25.0% (31/124)]. Among 124 strains, only 35 strains were emm typeable and the remaining 89 strains were emm nontypeable. All GAS isolates were typeable, whereas most of the GCS and GGS strains were nontypeable. These nontypeable strains belong to S. anginosus [75.3% (67/89)] and S. dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis [24.7% (22/89)]. The emm and emmL types identified in this study include emm12.0 (28.6%), stG643.0 (28.6%), stC46.0 (17.0%), emm30.11 (8.5%), emm3.0 (2.9%), emm48.0 (5.7%), st3343.0 (2.9%), emm107.0 (2.9%) and stS104.2 (2.9%). Various superantigen profiles were observed in typeable as well as nontypeable strains. CONCLUSIONS: Multiplex PCR analysis revealed the presence of superantigens in all the typeable strains irrespective of their emm types. However, the presence of superantigen genes in emm and emmL nontypeable strains has not been previously reported. In this study, presence of at least one or a combination of superantigen coding genes was identified in all the emm and emmL nontypeable strains. Thus, the superantigens may inevitably play an important role in the pathogenesis of these nontypeable strains in the absence of the primary virulence factor, M protein.
Project description:Rapid sequence analysis of specific PCR products was used to accurately deduce emm types corresponding to the majority of the known group A streptococcal (GAS) M serotypes. The study involved 95 M type reference GAS strains and a survey of 74 recent clinical isolates. A high percentage of agreement between M type serology and the previously published 5' sequences of the emm genes of M type reference strains was noted. The 5' sequences for six established M protein genes--the emm-32, emm-34, emm-38, emm-40, emm-42, and emm-71 genes--were determined to supplement the existing emm sequence database. Rapid sequence analysis differentiated serologically M-nontypeable strains and was used to establish the probable.
Project description:The variable 5' emm (M-protein gene) sequences and T-antigen types were determined from 340 systemic group A streptococcal (GAS) isolates taken from hospitalized patients in San Francisco, Calif.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Connecticut in 1994 and 1995. Eighty percent of these isolates had emm sequences and T-antigen types in agreement with previously recorded M- and T-antigen associations. Most of the remaining strains either were T nontypeable (11%) or contained emm genes encoding M proteins for which T-antigen associations have not been made (6%). One newly encountered emm gene, designated ST2974, from each of 13 isolates had the T type 8/25/Imp19. Another new emm gene, ST2967, from 8 of 11 isolates was T nontypeable. Six other unique emm gene sequences from seven isolates were encountered. Sequencing of the variable region of the emm gene of GAS isolates (emm typing) is effective for surveying the sequence variability of the M virulence protein, and combined with T typing, emm typing is useful for monitoring GAS strain diversity.
Project description:In order to investigate molecular characteristics of beta-hemolytic streptococcal isolates from western Norway, we analysed the entire emm gene sequences, obtained superantigen gene profiles and determined the prevalence of the gene encoding streptococcal phospholipase A2 (SlaA) of 165 non-invasive and 34 contemporary invasive group A, C and G streptococci (GAS, GCS and GGS). Among the 25 GAS and 26 GCS/GGS emm subtypes identified, only emm3.1 was significantly associated with invasive disease. M protein size variation within GAS and GCS/GGS emm types was frequently identified. Two non-invasive and one invasive GGS possessed emm genes that translated to truncated M proteins as a result of frameshift mutations. Results suggestive of recombinations between emm or emm-like gene segments were found in isolates of emm4 and stG485 types. One non-invasive GGS possessed speC, speG, speH, speI and smeZ, and another non-invasive GGS harboured SlaA. speA and SlaA were over-represented among invasive GAS, probably because they were associated with emm3. speG(dys) was identified in 83% of invasive and 63% of non-invasive GCS/GGS and correlated with certain emm subtypes. Our results indicate the invasive potential of isolates belonging to emm3, and show substantial emm gene diversity and possible lateral gene transfers in our streptococcal population.
Project description:A striking increase in the frequency and severity of invasive infections caused by Streptococcus pyogenes has occurred in recent years. Among these diseases is streptococcal toxic-shock-like syndrome (TSLS), a condition characterized by fulminant soft-tissue destruction and multiorgan failure. Streptococcal superantigen (SSA), a superantigen isolated from a TSLS-inducing, serotype M3 S. pyogenes strain, has recently been identified. We here describe the cloning, sequencing, and phylogenetic distribution of the SSA structural gene. The 783-bp open reading frame encodes a predicted 260-amino-acid protein that is similar in size to several other bacterial superantigens. The deduced sequence of the mature protein is 60.2% identical to that of staphylococcal enterotoxin B but only 49% identical to that of streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin A. Southern blot and PCR analysis of 138 group A streptococcal strains representing 65 M protein serotypes and 15 nontypeable isolates identified ssa in 68 strains from 10 distinct clonal lineages. All ssa-positive clones expressed SSA. Of the two clones associated with TSLS, the ET 2-M3 lineage, but not the ET 1-M1 lineage, carried the SSA gene. Further analysis of the ET 2-M3 lineage found evidence for temporal variation in ssa association. Contemporary ET 2-M3 disease isolates had ssa, but two older isolates of this clone recovered in 1910 and 1920 lacked the gene. The clonal and temporal distribution patterns of ssa suggest a relatively recent acquisition of this superantigen-encoding gene by the ET 2-M3 lineage, perhaps by horizontal transfer and recombination.
Project description:Twelve strains (the largest number ever reported) of group C and G(1) streptococci (GCS and GGS, respectively) that caused streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) were collected and characterized. Eleven strains were identified as Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis, and one strain was identified as Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus. We found that it was the first reported case of STSS caused by S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus. Cluster analysis according to the 16S rRNA gene (rDNA) sequences revealed that the S. dysgalactiae strains belonged to clusters I and II, both of which were closely related. The emm types and the restriction patterns of chromosomal DNA measured by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis were highly variable in these strains except BL2719 and N1434. The 16S rDNA sequences and other characteristics of these two strains were indistinguishable, suggesting the clonal dissemination of this particular S. dysgalactiae strain in Japan. As the involvement of superantigens in the pathogenesis of group A streptococcus-related STSS has been suggested, we tried to detect known streptococcal superantigens in GCS and GGS strains. However, only the spegg gene was detected in seven S. dysgalactiae strains, with none of the other superantigen genes being detected in any of the strains. However, the sagA gene was detected in all of the strains except Tokyo1291. In the present study no apparent factor(s) responsible for the pathogenesis of STSS was identified, although close genetic relationships of GCS and GGS strains involved in this disease were suggested.
Project description:We conducted a nationwide surveillance of the variable 5' emm-like (M-like protein gene) sequences from 214 pharyngeal group C and group G streptococci. Almost 75% of the isolates exhibited emm or emm-like sequences previously described. We identified six new 5' emm-like regions, and almost 23% of the isolates were nontypeable. Five emm-like sequences accounted for more than 50% of the isolates in group C and group G, suggesting horizontal gene transfer between strains of different species.
Project description:This report discusses the following issues related to typing of group A streptococci (GAS): The development and use of the 5' emm variable region sequencing (emm typing) in relation to the existing serologic typing system; the designation of emm types in relation to M types; a system for validation of new emm types; criteria for validation of provisional M types to new M-types; a list of reference type cultures for each of the M-type or emm-type strains of GAS; the results of the first culture exchange program for a quality control testing system among the national and World Health Organization collaborating centers for streptococci; and dissemination of new approaches to typing of GAS to the international streptococcal community.
Project description:The genetic diversity of group A streptococcal (GAS) isolates obtained in 1990 from Ethiopian children with various streptococcal diseases was studied by using emm gene sequence analysis. A total of 217 GAS isolates were included: 155 and 62 isolates from throat and skin, respectively. A total of 78 different emm/st types were detected among the 217 isolates. Of these, 166 (76.5%) belonged to 52 validated reference emm types, 26 (11.9%) belonged to 16 already recognized sequence types (st types) and 25 (11.5%) belonged to 10 undocumented new sequence types. Resistance to tetracycline (148 of 217) was not correlated to emm type. Isolation rate of the classical rheumatogenic and nephritogenic strains was low from cases of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and acute glomerulonephritis (AGN), respectively. Instead, the recently discovered st types were overrepresented among isolates from patients with ARF (3 of 7) and AGN (9 of 16) (P < 0.01) compared to isolates from subjects with tonsillitis and from healthy carriers (10 of 57 and 16 of 90, respectively). In contrast to rheumatogenic strains from the temperate regions, more than half of the isolates from ARF (four of seven) carried the genetic marker for skin preference, emm pattern D, although most of them (six of seven) were isolated from throat. Of 57 tonsillitis-associated isolates, 16 (28%) belonged to emm pattern D compared to <1% in temperate regions. As in other reports emm patterns A to C were strongly associated with throat, whereas emm pattern D did not correlate to skin. This first large-scale emm typing report from Africa has demonstrated a heterogeneous GAS population and contrasting nature of GAS epidemiology in the region.
Project description:Streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin (Spe) A expression is epidemiologically linked to streptococcal tonsillo-pharyngitis and outbreaks of scarlet fever, although the mechanisms by which superantigens confer advantage to Streptococcus pyogenes are unclear. S. pyogenes is an exclusively human pathogen. As the leucocyte profile of tonsil is unique, the impact of SpeA production on human tonsil cell function was investigated. Human tonsil cells from routine tonsillectomy were co-incubated with purified streptococcal superantigens or culture supernatants from isogenic streptococcal isolates, differing only in superantigen production. Tonsil cell proliferation was quantified by tritiated thymidine incorporation, and cell surface characteristics assessed by flow cytometry. Soluble mediators including immunoglobulin were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Tonsil T cells proliferated in response to SpeA and demonstrated typical release of proinflammatory cytokines. When cultured in the absence of superantigen, tonsil preparations released large quantities of immunoglobulin over 7 days. In contrast, marked B cell apoptosis and abrogation of total immunoglobulin (Ig)A, IgM, and IgG production occurred in the presence of SpeA and other superantigens. In SpeA-stimulated cultures, T follicular helper (Tfh) cells showed a reduction in C-X-C chemokine receptor (CXCR)5 (CD185) expression, but up-regulation of OX40 (CD134) and inducible T cell co-stimulator (ICOS) (CD278) expression. The phenotypical change in the Tfh population was associated with impaired chemotactic response to CXCL13. SpeA and other superantigens cause dysregulated tonsil immune function, driving T cells from Tfh to a proliferating phenotype, with resultant loss of B cells and immunoglobulin production, providing superantigen-producing bacteria with a probable survival advantage.
Project description:The lack of epidemiologic data on invasive Streptococcus pyogenes infections in many developing countries is concerning, as S. pyogenes infections are commonly endemic in these areas. Here we present the results of the first prospective surveillance study of invasive Streptococcus pyogenes infections in India. Fifty-four patients with invasive S. pyogenes infections were prospectively enrolled at two study sites, one in the north and one in the south of India. Sterile-site isolates were collected, and clinical information was documented using a standardized questionnaire. Available acute-phase sera were tested for their ability to inhibit superantigens produced by the patient's own isolate using a cell-based neutralizing assay. The most common clinical presentations were bacteremia without focus (30%), pneumonia (28%), and cellulitis (17%). Only two cases of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome and no cases of necrotizing fasciitis were identified. Characterization of the isolates revealed great heterogeneity, with 32 different emm subtypes and 29 different superantigen gene profiles being represented among the 49 sterile-site isolates. Analyses of acute-phase sera showed that only 20% of the cases in the north cohort had superantigen-neutralizing activity in their sera, whereas 50% of the cases from the south site had neutralizing activity. The results demonstrate that there are important differences in both clinical presentation and strain characteristics between invasive S. pyogenes infections in India and invasive S. pyogenes infections in Western countries. The findings underscore the importance of epidemiologic studies on streptococcal infections in India and have direct implications for current vaccine developments.