Increased incidence of urolithiasis and bacteremia during Proteus mirabilis and Providencia stuartii coinfection due to synergistic induction of urease activity.
ABSTRACT: Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CaUTIs) are the most common hospital-acquired infections worldwide and are frequently polymicrobial. The urease-positive species Proteus mirabilis and Providencia stuartii are two of the leading causes of CaUTIs and commonly co-colonize catheters. These species can also cause urolithiasis and bacteremia. However, the impact of coinfection on these complications has never been addressed experimentally.A mouse model of ascending UTI was utilized to determine the impact of coinfection on colonization, urolithiasis, and bacteremia. Mice were infected with P. mirabilis or a urease mutant, P. stuartii, or a combination of these organisms. In vitro experiments were conducted to assess growth dynamics and impact of co-culture on urease activity.Coinfection resulted in a bacterial load similar to monospecies infection but with increased incidence of urolithiasis and bacteremia. These complications were urease-dependent as they were not observed during coinfection with a P. mirabilis urease mutant. Furthermore, total urease activity was increased during co-culture.We conclude that P. mirabilis and P. stuartii coinfection promotes urolithiasis and bacteremia in a urease-dependent manner, at least in part through synergistic induction of urease activity. These data provide a possible explanation for the high incidence of bacteremia resulting from polymicrobial CaUTI.
Project description:Urinary catheter use is prevalent in health care settings, and polymicrobial colonization by urease-positive organisms, such as Proteus mirabilis and Providencia stuartii, commonly occurs with long-term catheterization. We previously demonstrated that coinfection with P. mirabilis and P. stuartii increased overall urease activity in vitro and disease severity in a model of urinary tract infection (UTI). In this study, we expanded these findings to a murine model of catheter-associated UTI (CAUTI), delineated the contribution of enhanced urease activity to coinfection pathogenesis, and screened for enhanced urease activity with other common CAUTI pathogens. In the UTI model, mice coinfected with the two species exhibited higher urine pH values, urolithiasis, bacteremia, and more pronounced tissue damage and inflammation compared to the findings for mice infected with a single species, despite having a similar bacterial burden within the urinary tract. The presence of P. stuartii, regardless of urease production by this organism, was sufficient to enhance P. mirabilis urease activity and increase disease severity, and enhanced urease activity was the predominant factor driving tissue damage and the dissemination of both organisms to the bloodstream during coinfection. These findings were largely recapitulated in the CAUTI model. Other uropathogens also enhanced P. mirabilis urease activity in vitro, including recent clinical isolates of Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa We therefore conclude that the underlying mechanism of enhanced urease activity may represent a widespread target for limiting the detrimental consequences of polymicrobial catheter colonization, particularly by P. mirabilis and other urease-positive bacteria.
Project description:Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) are common hospital-acquired infections and frequently polymicrobial, which complicates effective treatment. However, few studies experimentally address the consequences of polymicrobial interactions within the urinary tract, and the clinical significance of polymicrobial bacteriuria is not fully understood. Proteus mirabilis is one of the most common causes of monomicrobial and polymicrobial CAUTI and frequently cocolonizes with Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Providencia stuartii, and Morganella morganii P. mirabilis infections are particularly challenging due to its potent urease enzyme, which facilitates formation of struvite crystals, catheter encrustation, blockage, and formation of urinary stones. We previously determined that interactions between P. mirabilis and other uropathogens can enhance P. mirabilis urease activity, resulting in greater disease severity during experimental polymicrobial infection. Our present work reveals that M. morganii acts on P. mirabilis in a contact-independent manner to decrease urease activity. Furthermore, M. morganii actively prevents urease enhancement by E. faecalis, P. stuartii, and E. coli Importantly, these interactions translate to modulation of disease severity during experimental CAUTI, predominantly through a urease-dependent mechanism. Thus, products secreted by multiple bacterial species in the milieu of the catheterized urinary tract can directly impact prognosis.
Project description:The Gram-negative bacterium Proteus mirabilis is a leading cause of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), which are often polymicrobial. Numerous prior studies have uncovered virulence factors for P. mirabilis pathogenicity in a murine model of ascending UTI, but little is known concerning pathogenesis during CAUTI or polymicrobial infection. In this study, we utilized five pools of 10,000 transposon mutants each and transposon insertion-site sequencing (Tn-Seq) to identify the full arsenal of P. mirabilis HI4320 fitness factors for single-species versus polymicrobial CAUTI with Providencia stuartii BE2467. 436 genes in the input pools lacked transposon insertions and were therefore concluded to be essential for P. mirabilis growth in rich medium. 629 genes were identified as P. mirabilis fitness factors during single-species CAUTI. Tn-Seq from coinfection with P. stuartii revealed 217/629 (35%) of the same genes as identified by single-species Tn-Seq, and 1353 additional factors that specifically contribute to colonization during coinfection. Mutants were constructed in eight genes of interest to validate the initial screen: 7/8 (88%) mutants exhibited the expected phenotypes for single-species CAUTI, and 3/3 (100%) validated the expected phenotypes for polymicrobial CAUTI. This approach provided validation of numerous previously described P. mirabilis fitness determinants from an ascending model of UTI, the discovery of novel fitness determinants specifically for CAUTI, and a stringent assessment of how polymicrobial infection influences fitness requirements. For instance, we describe a requirement for branched-chain amino acid biosynthesis by P. mirabilis during coinfection due to high-affinity import of leucine by P. stuartii. Further investigation of genes and pathways that provide a competitive advantage during both single-species and polymicrobial CAUTI will likely provide robust targets for therapeutic intervention to reduce P. mirabilis CAUTI incidence and severity.
Project description:Providencia stuartii is a common cause of polymicrobial catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), and yet literature describing the molecular mechanisms of its pathogenesis is limited. To identify factors important for colonization during single-species infection and during polymicrobial infection with a common cocolonizer, Proteus mirabilis, we created a saturating library of ?50,000 transposon mutants and conducted transposon insertion site sequencing (Tn-Seq) in a murine model of CAUTI. P. stuartii strain BE2467 carries 4,398 genes, 521 of which were identified as essential for growth in laboratory medium and therefore could not be assessed for contribution to infection. Using an input/output fold change cutoff value of 20 and P values of <0.05, 340 genes were identified as important for establishing single-species infection only and 63 genes as uniquely important for polymicrobial infection with P. mirabilis, and 168 genes contributed to both single-species and coinfection. Seven mutants were constructed for experimental validation of the primary screen that corresponded to flagella (fliC mutant), twin arginine translocation (tatC), an ATP-dependent protease (clpP), d-alanine-d-alanine ligase (ddlA), type 3 secretion (yscI and sopB), and type VI secretion (impJ). Infection-specific phenotypes validated 6/7 (86%) mutants during direct cochallenge with wild-type P. stuartii and 3/5 (60%) mutants during coinfection with P. mirabilis, for a combined validation rate of 9/12 (75%). Tn-Seq therefore successfully identified genes that contribute to fitness of P. stuartii within the urinary tract, determined the impact of coinfection on fitness requirements, and added to the identification of a collection of genes that may contribute to fitness of multiple urinary tract pathogens.IMPORTANCE Providencia stuartii is a common cause of polymicrobial catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), particularly during long-term catheterization. However, little is known regarding the pathogenesis of this organism. Using transposon insertion site sequencing (Tn-Seq), we performed a global assessment of P. stuartii fitness factors for CAUTI while simultaneously determining how coinfection with another pathogen alters fitness requirements. This approach provides four important contributions to the field: (i) the first global estimation of P. stuartii genes essential for growth in laboratory medium, (ii) identification of novel fitness factors for P. stuartii colonization of the catheterized urinary tract, (iii) identification of core fitness factors for both single-species and polymicrobial CAUTI, and (iv) assessment of conservation of fitness factors between common uropathogens. Genomewide assessment of the fitness requirements for common uropathogens during single-species and polymicrobial CAUTI thus elucidates complex interactions that contribute to disease severity and will uncover conserved targets for therapeutic intervention.
Project description:Plasmid-encoded urease gene clusters found in uropathogenic isolates of Escherichia coli, Providencia stuartii, and Salmonella cubana demonstrated DNA homology, similar positions of restriction endonuclease cleavage sites, and manners of urease expression and therefore represent the same locus. DNA sequence analysis indicated that the plasmid-encoded urease genes are closely related to the Proteus mirabilis urease genes.
Project description:Proteus mirabilis is an important etiological agent of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) owing to its efficient crystalline biofilm formation and virulence enzyme production. Hence, the present study explicated the antibiofilm and antivirulence efficacies of 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzaldehyde (HMB) against P. mirabilis in a non-bactericidal manner. HMB showed concentration-dependent biofilm inhibition, which was also evinced in light, confocal, and scanning electron microscopic (SEM) analyses. The other virulence factors such as urease, hemolysin, siderophores, and extracellular polymeric substances production as well as swimming and swarming motility were also inhibited by HMB treatment. Further, HMB treatment effectively reduced the struvite/apatite production as well as crystalline biofilm formation by P. mirabilis. Furthermore, the results of gene expression analysis unveiled the ability of HMB to impair the expression level of virulence genes such as flhB, flhD, rsbA, speA, ureR, hpmA, and hpmB, which was found to be in correlation with the results of in vitro bioassays. Additionally, the cytotoxicity analysis divulged the innocuous characteristic of HMB against human embryonic kidney cells. Thus, the present study reports the potency of HMB to act as a promising therapeutic remedy for P. mirabilis-instigated CAUTIs.
Project description:Proteus mirabilis is a model organism for urease-producing uropathogens. These diverse bacteria cause infection stones in the urinary tract and form crystalline biofilms on indwelling urinary catheters, frequently leading to polymicrobial infection. Recent work has elucidated how P. mirabilis causes all of these disease states. Particularly exciting is the discovery that this bacterium forms large clusters in the bladder lumen that are sites for stone formation. These clusters, and other steps of infection, require two virulence factors in particular: urease and MR/P fimbriae. Highlighting the importance of MR/P fimbriae is the cotranscribed regulator, MrpJ, which globally controls virulence. Overall, P. mirabilis exhibits an extraordinary lifestyle, and further probing will answer exciting basic microbiological and clinically relevant questions.
Project description:The human genitourinary tract is a common anatomical niche for polymicrobial infection and a leading site for the development of bacteremia and sepsis. Most uncomplicated, community-acquired urinary tract infections (UTI) are caused by Escherichia coli, while another bacterium, Proteus mirabilis, is more often associated with complicated UTI. Here, we report that uropathogenic E. coli and P. mirabilis have divergent requirements for specific central pathways in vivo despite colonizing and occupying the same host environment. Using mutants of specific central metabolism enzymes, we determined glycolysis mutants lacking pgi, tpiA, pfkA, or pykA all have fitness defects in vivo for P. mirabilis but do not affect colonization of E. coli during UTI. Similarly, the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway is required only for P. mirabilis in vivo. In contrast, gluconeogenesis is required only for E. coli fitness in vivo. The remarkable difference in central pathway utilization between E. coli and P. mirabilis during experimental UTI was also observed for TCA cycle mutants in sdhB, fumC, and frdA. The distinct in vivo requirements between these pathogens suggest E. coli and P. mirabilis are not direct competitors within host urinary tract nutritional niche. In support of this, we found that co-infection with E. coli and P. mirabilis wild-type strains enhanced bacterial colonization and persistence of both pathogens during UTI. Our results reveal that complementary utilization of central carbon metabolism facilitates polymicrobial disease and suggests microbial activity in vivo alters the host urinary tract nutritional niche.
Project description:Proteus mirabilis is a leading cause of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) and urolithiasis. The transcriptional regulator MrpJ inversely modulates two critical aspects of P. mirabilis UTI progression: fimbria-mediated attachment and flagellum-mediated motility. Transcriptome data indicated a network of virulence-associated genes under MrpJ's control. Here, we identify the direct gene regulon of MrpJ and its contribution to P. mirabilis pathogenesis, leading to the discovery of novel virulence targets. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) was used for the first time in a CAUTI pathogen to probe for in vivo direct targets of MrpJ. Selected MrpJ-regulated genes were mutated and assessed for their contribution to UTI using a mouse model. ChIP-seq revealed a palindromic MrpJ binding sequence and 78 MrpJ-bound regions, including binding sites upstream of genes involved in motility, fimbriae, and a type VI secretion system (T6SS). A combinatorial mutation approach established the contribution of three fimbriae (fim8A, fim14A, and pmpA) to UTI and a new pathogenic role for the T6SS in UTI progression. In conclusion, this study (i) establishes the direct gene regulon and an MrpJ consensus binding site and (ii) led to the discovery of new virulence genes in P. mirabilis UTI, which could be targeted for therapeutic intervention of CAUTI.
Project description:Urease (urea amidohydrolase; EC 184.108.40.206) catalyzes the hydrolysis of urea to yield ammonia and carbamate. The latter compound spontaneously decomposes to yield another molecule of ammonia and carbonic acid. The urease phenotype is widely distributed across the bacterial kingdom, and the gene clusters encoding this enzyme have been cloned from numerous bacterial species. The complete nucleotide sequence, ranging from 5.15 to 6.45 kb, has been determined for five species including Bacillus sp. strain TB-90, Klebsiella aerogenes, Proteus mirabilis, Helicobacter pylori, and Yersinia enterocolitica. Sequences for selected genes have been determined for at least 10 other bacterial species and the jack bean enzyme. Urease synthesis can be nitrogen regulated, urea inducible, or constitutive. The crystal structure of the K. aerogenes enzyme has been determined. When combined with chemical modification studies, biophysical and spectroscopic analyses, site-directed mutagenesis results, and kinetic inhibition experiments, the structure provides important insight into the mechanism of catalysis. Synthesis of active enzyme requires incorporation of both carbon dioxide and nickel ions into the protein. Accessory genes have been shown to be required for activation of urease apoprotein, and roles for the accessory proteins in metallocenter assembly have been proposed. Urease is central to the virulence of P. mirabilis and H. pylori. Urea hydrolysis by P. mirabilis in the urinary tract leads directly to urolithiasis (stone formation) and contributes to the development of acute pyelonephritis. The urease of H. pylori is necessary for colonization of the gastric mucosa in experimental animal models of gastritis and serves as the major antigen and diagnostic marker for gastritis and peptic ulcer disease in humans. In addition, the urease of Y. enterocolitica has been implicated as an arthritogenic factor in the development of infection-induced reactive arthritis. The significant progress in our understanding of the molecular biology of microbial ureases is reviewed.