Acid stress response and protein induction in Campylobacter jejuni isolates with different acid tolerance.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: During the transmission route from poultry to the human host, the major foodborne pathogen C. jejuni may experience many types of stresses, including low pH caused by different acids. However, not all strains are equally sensitive to the stresses. The aim of this study was to investigate the response to acid stress of three sequenced C. jejuni strains with different acid tolerances using HCl and acetic acid. RESULTS: Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis was used for proteomic analysis and proteins were radioactively labelled with methionine to identify proteins only related to acid exposure. To allow added radioactive methionine to be incorporated into induced proteins, a modified chemically defined broth was developed with the minimal amount of methionine necessary for satisfactory growth of all strains. Protein spots were analyzed using image software and identification was done with MALDI-TOF-TOF. The most acid-sensitive isolate was C. jejuni 327, followed by NCTC 11168 and isolate 305 as the most tolerant. Overall, induction of five proteins was observed within the pI range investigated: 19 kDa periplasmic protein (p19), thioredoxin-disulfide (TrxB), a hypothetical protein Cj0706 (Cj0706), molybdenum cofactor biosynthesis protein (MogA), and bacterioferritin (Dps). Strain and acid type dependent differences in the level of response were observed. For strain NCTC 11168, the induced proteins and the regulator fur were analysed at the transcriptomic level using qRT-PCR. In this transcriptomic analysis, only up-regulation of trxB and p19 was observed. CONCLUSIONS: A defined medium that supports the growth of a range of Campylobacter strains and suitable for proteomic analysis was developed. Mainly proteins normally involved in iron control and oxidative stress defence were induced during acid stress of C. jejuni. Both strain and acid type affected sensitivity and response.
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:Multiple strains of Campylobacter coli, C. jejuni, C. helveticus, C. lari, C. sputorum, and C. upsaliensis isolated from animal, clinical, or food samples have been analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Whole bacterial cells were harvested from colonies or confluent growth on agar and transferred directly into solvent and then to a spot of dried 3-methoxy-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (matrix). Multiple ions in the 5,000- to 15,000-Da mass range were evident in spectra for each strain; one or two ions in the 9,500- to 11,000-Da range were consistently high intensity. "Species-identifying" biomarker ions (SIBIs) were evident from analyses of multiple reference strains for each of the six species, including the genome strains C. jejuni NCTC 11168 and C. jejuni RM1221. Strains grown on nine different combinations of media and atmospheres yielded SIBI masses within +/-5 Da with external instrument calibration. The highest-intensity C. jejuni SIBIs were cytosolic proteins, including GroES, HU/HCj, and RplL. Multiple intraspecies SIBIs, corresponding probably to nonsynonymous nucleotide polymorphisms, also provided some intraspecies strain differentiation. MALDI-TOF MS analysis of 75 additional Campylobacter strains isolated from humans, poultry, swine, dogs, and cats revealed (i) associations of SIBI type with source, (ii) strains previously speciated incorrectly, and (iii) "strains" composed of more than one species. MALDI-TOF MS provides an accurate, sensitive, and rapid method for identification of multiple Campylobacter species relevant to public health and food safety.
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 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:BACKGROUND:Campylobacter jejuni contains a homologue of the luxS gene shown to be responsible for the production of the signalling molecule autoinducer-2 (AI-2) in Vibrio harveyi and Vibrio cholerae. The aim of this study was to determine whether AI-2 acted as a diffusible quorum sensing signal controlling C. jejuni gene expression when it is produced at high levels during mid exponential growth phase. RESULTS:AI-2 activity was produced by the parental strain NCTC 11168 when grown in rich Mueller-Hinton broth (MHB) as expected, but interestingly was not present in defined Modified Eagles Medium (MEM-alpha). Consistent with previous studies, the luxS mutant showed comparable growth rates to the parental strain and exhibited decreased motility halos in both MEM-alpha and MHB. Microarray analysis of genes differentially expressed in wild type and luxS mutant strains showed that many effects on mRNA transcript abundance were dependent on the growth medium and linked to metabolic functions including methionine metabolism. Addition of exogenously produced AI-2 to the wild type and the luxS mutant, growing exponentially in either MHB or MEM-alpha did not induce any transcriptional changes as analysed by microarray. CONCLUSION:Taken together these results led us to conclude that there is no evidence for the role of AI-2 in cell-to-cell communication in C. jejuni strain NCTC 11168 under the growth conditions used, and that the effects of the luxS mutation on the transcriptome are related to the consequential loss of function in the activated methyl cycle.
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: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: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:Reference and type strains of well-known bacteria have been a cornerstone of microbiology research for decades. The sharing of well-characterized isolates among laboratories has run in parallel with research efforts and enhanced the reproducibility of experiments, leading to a wealth of knowledge about trait variation in different species and the underlying genetics. Campylobacter jejuni strain NCTC 11168, deposited at the National Collection of Type Cultures in 1977, has been adopted widely as a reference strain by researchers worldwide and was the first Campylobacter for which the complete genome was published (in 2000). In this study, we collected 23 C. jejuni NCTC 11168 reference isolates from laboratories across the UK and compared variation in simple laboratory phenotypes with genetic variation in sequenced genomes. Putatively identical isolates, identified previously to have aberrant phenotypes, varied by up to 281 SNPs (in 15 genes) compared to the most recent reference strain. Isolates also display considerable phenotype variation in motility, morphology, growth at 37?°C, invasion of chicken and human cell lines, and susceptibility to ampicillin. This study provides evidence of ongoing evolutionary change among C. jejuni isolates as they are cultured in different laboratories and highlights the need for careful consideration of genetic variation within laboratory reference strains. This article contains data hosted by Microreact.
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.