Novel cholix toxin variants, ADP-ribosylating toxins in Vibrio cholerae non-O1/non-O139 strains, and their pathogenicity.
ABSTRACT: Cholix toxin (ChxA) is a recently discovered exotoxin in Vibrio cholerae which has been characterized as a third member of the eukaryotic elongation factor 2-specific ADP-ribosyltransferase toxins, in addition to exotoxin A of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and diphtheria toxin of Corynebacterium diphtheriae. These toxins consist of three characteristic domains for receptor binding, translocation, and catalysis. However, there is little information about the prevalence of chxA and its genetic variations and pathogenic mechanisms. In this study, we screened the chxA gene in a large number (n = 765) of V. cholerae strains and observed its presence exclusively in non-O1/non-O139 strains (27.0%; 53 of 196) and not in O1 (n = 485) or O139 (n = 84). Sequencing of these 53 chxA genes generated 29 subtypes which were grouped into three clusters designated chxA I, chxA II, and chxA III. chxA I belongs to the prototype, while chxA II and chxA III are newly discovered variants. ChxA II and ChxA III had unique receptor binding and catalytic domains, respectively, in comparison to ChxA I. Recombinant ChxA I (rChxA I) and rChxA II but not rChxA III showed variable cytotoxic effects on different eukaryotic cells. Although rChxA II was more lethal to mice than rChxA I when injected intravenously, no enterotoxicity of any rChxA was observed in a rabbit ileal loop test. Hepatocytes showed coagulation necrosis in rChxA I- or rChxA II-treated mice, seemingly the major target for ChxA. The present study illustrates the potential of ChxA as an important virulence factor in non-O1/non-O139 V. cholerae, which may be associated with extraintestinal infections rather than enterotoxicity.
Project description:Background and Objectives:Cholixin (cholix toxin) is a novel exotoxin in Vibrio cholerae identified as an elongation factor II specific ADP-ribosyltransferase which inhibits protein synthesis in the eukaryotic cell. Previous researches have suggested that cholixin probably is an important virulence factor in non-O1/non-O139 V. cholerae (NAG) serotypes that could be related to extra-intestinal rather than intestinal infections. This study was aimed to investigate the frequency and genetic diversity of colixin gene (chxA) in clinical V. cholerae NAG isolates. Materials and Methods:The presence of chxA gene in 44 clinical V. cholerae NAG isolates were screened using PCR through specific primers designed for the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of chxA gene. The five PCR products of chxA gene were sequenced. Results:This study showed that chxA gene presented in 19 V. cholerae NAG isolates. The sequences analysis of 5 out of 19 the partial chxA genes amplicon showed that 4 of them belonged to chxA I and the other one belonged to chxA II subtypes. Two distinct clusters were revealed for these isolates by phylogenic analysis, too. Conclusion:The chxA gene contained high frequency among V. cholerae NAG isolates in Bushehr, Iran. The polymorphism study on RBD of cholixin gene is suggested as an appropriate method for phylogenic characterization of the various chxA gene subtypes.
Project description:The cholix toxin gene (chxA) was first identified in V. cholerae strains in 2007, and the protein was identified by bioinformatics analysis in 2008. It was identified as the third member of the diphtheria toxin group of mono-ADP-ribosyltransferase toxins along with P. aeruginosa exotoxin A and C. diphtheriae diphtheria toxin. Our group determined the structure of the full-length, three-domain cholix toxin at 2.1 Å and its C-terminal catalytic domain (cholixc) at 1.25 Å resolution. We showed that cholix toxin is specific for elongation factor 2 (diphthamide residue), similar to exotoxin A and diphtheria toxin. Cholix toxin possesses molecular features required for infection of eukaryotes by receptor-mediated endocytosis, translocation to the host cytoplasm and inhibition of protein synthesis. More recently, we also solved the structure of full-length cholix toxin in complex with NAD+ and proposed a new kinetic model for cholix enzyme activity. In addition, we have taken a computational approach that revealed some important properties of the NAD+-binding pocket at the residue level, including the role of crystallographic water molecules in the NAD+ substrate interaction. We developed a pharmacophore model of cholix toxin, which revealed a cationic feature in the side chain of cholix toxin active-site inhibitors that may determine the active pose. Notably, several recent reports have been published on the role of cholix toxin as a major virulence factor in V. cholerae (non-O1/O139 strains). Additionally, FitzGerald and coworkers prepared an immunotoxin constructed from domains II and III as a cancer treatment strategy to complement successful immunotoxins derived from P. aeruginosa exotoxin A.
Project description:Non-O1/O139 Vibrio cholerae is naturally present in aquatic ecosystems and has been linked with cholera-like diarrhea and local outbreaks. The distribution of virulence-associated genes and genetic relationships among aquatic isolates from China are largely unknown. In this study, 295 aquatic isolates of V. cholerae non-O1/O139 serogroups from different regions in China were investigated. Only one isolate was positive for ctxB and harbored a rare genotype; 10 (3.4%) isolates carried several types of rstR sequences, eight of which carried rare types of toxin-coregulated pili (tcpA). Furthermore, 16 (5.4%) isolates carried incomplete (with partial open reading frames [ORFs]) vibrio seventh pandemic island I (VSP-I) or VSP-II clusters, which were further classified as 11 novel types. PCR-based analyses revealed remarkable variations in the distribution of putative virulence genes, including mshA (95.6%), hlyA (95.3%), rtxC (89.8%), rtxA (82.7%), IS1004 (52.9%), chxA (30.2%), SXT (15.3%), type III secretion system (18.0%), and NAG-ST (3.7%) genes. There was no correlation between the prevalence of putative virulence genes and that of CTX prophage or TCP genes, whereas there were correlations among the putative virulence genes. Further multilocus sequence typing (MLST) placed selected isolates (n = 70) into 69 unique sequence types (STs), which were different from those of the toxigenic O1 and O139 counterparts, and each isolate occupied a different position in the MLST tree. The V. cholerae non-O1/O139 aquatic isolates predominant in China have high genotypic diversity; these strains constitute a reservoir of potential virulence genes, which may contribute to evolution of pathogenic isolates.
Project description:Cholera is still an important public health problem in several countries, including Thailand. In this study, a collection of clinical and environmental V. cholerae serogroup O1, O139, and non-O1/non-O139 strains originating from Thailand (1983 to 2013) was characterized to determine phenotypic and genotypic traits and to investigate the genetic relatedness. Using a combination of conventional methods and whole genome sequencing (WGS), 78 V. cholerae strains were identified. WGS was used to determine the serogroup, biotype, virulence, mobile genetic elements, and antimicrobial resistance genes using online bioinformatics tools. In addition, phenotypic antimicrobial resistance was determined by the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) test. The 78 V. cholerae strains belonged to the following serogroups O1: (n = 44), O139 (n = 16) and non-O1/non-O139 (n = 18). Interestingly, we found that the typical El Tor O1 strains were the major cause of clinical cholera during 1983-2000 with two Classical O1 strains detected in 2000. In 2004-2010, the El Tor variant strains revealed genotypes of the Classical biotype possessing either only ctxB or both ctxB and rstR while they harbored tcpA of the El Tor biotype. Thirty O1 and eleven O139 clinical strains carried CTX? (Cholera toxin) and tcpA as well four different pathogenic islands (PAIs). Beside non-O1/non-O139, the O1 environmental strains also presented chxA and Type Three Secretion System (TTSS). The in silico MultiLocus Sequence Typing (MLST) discriminated the O1 and O139 clinical strains from other serogroups and environmental strains. ST69 was dominant in the clinical strains belonging to the 7th pandemic clone. Non-O1/non-O139 and environmental strains showed various novel STs indicating genetic variation. Multidrug-resistant (MDR) strains were observed and conferred resistance to ampicillin, azithromycin, nalidixic acid, sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline, and trimethoprim and harboured variants of the SXT elements. For the first time since 1986, the presence of V. cholerae O1 Classical was reported causing cholera outbreaks in Thailand. In addition, we found that V. cholerae O1 El Tor variant and O139 were pre-dominating the pathogenic strains in Thailand. Using WGS and bioinformatic tools to analyze both historical and contemporary V. cholerae circulating in Thailand provided a more detailed understanding of the V. cholerae epidemiology, which ultimately could be applied for control measures and management of cholera in Thailand.
Project description:Vibrio cholerae non-O1, non-O139 bacteria are natural inhabitants of aquatic ecosystems and have been sporadically associated with human infections. They mostly lack the two major virulence factors of toxigenic V. cholerae serogroups O1 and O139 strains, which are the causative agent of cholera. Non-O1, non-O139 strains are found in water bodies, sediments, and in association with other aquatic organisms. Occurrence of these bacteria in fecal specimens of waterfowl were reported, and migratory birds likely contribute to the long-distance transfer of strains. We investigated four V. cholerae non-O1, non-O139 isolates for phenotypic traits and by whole genome sequencing (WGS). The isolates were recovered from organs of domestic ducks with serious disease symptoms. WGS data revealed only a distant genetic relationship between all isolates. The isolates harbored a number of virulence factors found in most V. cholerae strains. Specific virulence factors of non-O1, non-O139 strains, such as the type III secretion system (TTSS) or cholix toxin, were observed. An interesting observation is that all isolates possess multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin toxins (MARTX) closely related to the MARTX of toxigenic El Tor O1 strains. Different primary sequences of the abundant OmpU proteins could indicate a significant role of this virulence factor. Phenotypic characteristics such as hemolysis and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) were studied. Three isolates showed susceptibility to a number of tested antimicrobials, and one strain possessed AMR genes located in an integron. Knowledge of the environmental occurrence of V. cholerae non-O1, non-O139 in Germany is limited. The source of the infection of the ducks is currently unknown. In the context of the 'One Health' concept, it is desirable to study the ecology of V. cholerae non-O1, non-O139, as it cannot be excluded that the isolates possess zoonotic potential and could cause infections in humans.
Project description:Non-O1, non-O139 Vibrio cholerae can cause gastroenteritis and extraintestinal infections, but, unlike O1 and O139 strains of V. cholerae, little is known about the virulence gene content of non-O1, non-O139 strains and their phylogenetic relationship to other pathogenic V. cholerae. Comparative genomic microarray analysis of four pathogenic non-O1, non-O139 strains indicates that these strains are quite divergent from O1 and O139 strains. Genomic sequence analysis of a non-O1, non-O139 strain (AM-19226) that appeared particularly pathogenic in experimental animals suggests that this strain carries a type III secretion system (TTSS) that is related to the TTSS2 gene cluster found in a pandemic clone of Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The genes for this V. cholerae TTSS system appear to be present in many clinical and environmental non-O1, non-O139 strains, including at least one clone that is globally distributed. We hypothesize that the TTSS present in some pathogenic strains of non-O1, non-O139 V. cholerae may be involved in the virulence and environmental fitness of these strains.
Project description:Vibrio cholerae of serogroup O1 and O139, the etiological agent of the diarrheal disease cholera, expresses the extracellular Zn-dependent metalloprotease hemagglutinin (HA)/protease also reported as vibriolysin. This enzyme is also produced by non-O1/O139 (non-cholera) strains that cause mild, sporadic illness (i.e. gastroenteritis, wound or ear infections). Orthologs of HA/protease are present in other members of the Vibrionaceae family pathogenic to humans and fish. HA/protease belongs to the M4 neutral peptidase family and displays significant amino acid sequence homology to Pseudomonas aeruginosa elastase (LasB) and Bacillus thermoproteolyticus thermolysin. It exhibits a broad range of potentially pathogenic activities in cell culture and animal models. These activities range from the covalent modification of other toxins, the degradation of the protective mucus barrier and disruption of intestinal tight junctions. Here we review (i) the structure and regulation of HA/protease expression, (ii) its interaction with other toxins and the intestinal mucosa and (iii) discuss the possible role(s) of HA/protease in the pathogenesis of cholera.
Project description:Fish have been considered natural reservoirs of Vibrio cholerae, the deadly diarrheal pathogen. However, little is known about the role of fish in the transmission of V. cholerae from the Bay of Bengal to the households of rural and urban Bangladesh. This study analyzes the incidence and pathogenic potential of V. cholerae in Hilsha (Tenualosa ilisha), a commonly caught and consumed fish that exhibits a life cycle in both freshwater and marine environments in Bangladesh. During the period from October 2014 to October 2015, samples from the gills, recta, intestines, and scale swabs of a total of 48 fish were analyzed. The fish were collected both at local markets in the capital city Dhaka and directly from fishermen at the river. PCR analysis by targeting V. cholerae species-specific ompW gene revealed that 39 of 48 (81%) fish were positive in at least one of the sample types. Real-time PCR analysis demonstrated that the cholera-causing ctxA gene was detected in 20% (8 of 39) of V. cholerae-positive fish. A total of 158 V. cholerae isolates were obtained which were categorized into 35 genotypic groups. Altogether, 25 O1 and 133 non-O1/O139 strains were isolated, which were negative for the cholera toxin gene. Other pathogenic genes such as stn/sto, hlyA, chxA, SXT, rtxC, and HA-P were detected. The type three secretion system gene cluster (TTSS) was present in 18% (24 of 133) of non-O1/O139 isolates. The antibiotic susceptibility test revealed that the isolates conferred high resistance to sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim and kanamycin. Both O1 and non-O1/O139 strains were able to accumulate fluid in rabbit ileal loops and caused distinctive cell death in HeLa cell. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) showed clonal diversity among fish isolates with pandemic clones. Our data suggest a high prevalence of V. cholerae in Hilsha fish, which indicates that this fish could serve as a potential vehicle for V. cholerae transmission. Moreover, the indigenous V. cholerae strains isolated from Hilsha fish possess considerable virulence potential despite being quite diverse from current epidemic strains. This represents the first study of the population structure of V. cholerae associated with fish in Bangladesh.
Project description:Vibrio cholerae is a human pathogen, which is transmitted by the consumption of contaminated food or water. V. cholerae strains belonging to the serogroups O1 and O139 can cause cholera outbreaks and epidemics, a severe life-threatening diarrheal disease. In contrast, serogroups other than O1 and O139, denominated as non-O1/non-O139, have been mainly associated with sporadic cases of moderate or mild diarrhea, bacteremia and wound infections. Here we investigated the virulence determinants and phylogenetic origin of a non-O1/non-O139 V. cholerae strain that caused a gastroenteritis outbreak in Santiago, Chile, 2018. We found that this outbreak strain lacks the classical virulence genes harboured by O1 and O139 strains, including the cholera toxin (CT) and the toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP). However, this strain carries genomic islands (GIs) encoding Type III and Type VI secretion systems (T3SS/T6SS) and antibiotic resistance genes. Moreover, we found these GIs are wide distributed among several lineages of non-O1/non-O139 strains. Our results suggest that the acquisition of these GIs may enhance the virulence of non-O1/non-O139 strains that lack the CT and TCP-encoding genes. Our results highlight the pathogenic potential of these V. cholerae strains.
Project description:Vibrio cholerae belonging to the non-O1, non-O139 serogroups are present in the coastal waters of Germany and in some German and Austrian lakes. These bacteria can cause gastroenteritis and extraintestinal infections, and are transmitted through contaminated food and water. However, non-O1, non-O139 V. cholerae infections are rare in Germany. We studied 18 strains from German and Austrian patients with diarrhea or local infections for their virulence-associated genotype and phenotype to assess their potential for infectivity in anticipation of possible climatic changes that could enhance the transmission of these pathogens. The strains were examined for the presence of genes encoding cholera toxin and toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP), as well as other virulence-associated factors or markers, including hemolysins, repeats-in-toxin (RTX) toxins, Vibrio seventh pandemic islands VSP-1 and VSP-2, and the type III secretion system (TTSS). Phenotypic assays for hemolysin activity, serum resistance, and biofilm formation were also performed. A dendrogram generated by incorporating the results of these analyses revealed genetic differences of the strains correlating with their clinical origin. Non-O1, non-O139 strains from diarrheal patients possessed the TTSS and/or the multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxin, which were not found in the strains from ear or wound infections. Routine matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) analysis of all strains provided reliable identification of the species but failed to differentiate between strains or clusters. The results of this study indicate the need for continued surveillance of V. cholerae non-O1, non-O139 in Germany, in view of the predicted increase in the prevalence of Vibrio spp. due to the rise in surface water temperatures.