Preferential use of central metabolism in vivo reveals a nutritional basis for polymicrobial infection.
ABSTRACT: 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: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: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: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:Proteus mirabilis is a Gram-negative bacterium and is well known for its ability to robustly swarm across surfaces in a striking bulls'-eye pattern. Clinically, this organism is most frequently a pathogen of the urinary tract, particularly in patients undergoing long-term catheterization. This review covers P. mirabilis with a focus on urinary tract infections (UTI), including disease models, vaccine development efforts, and clinical perspectives. Flagella-mediated motility, both swimming and swarming, is a central facet of this organism. The regulation of this complex process and its contribution to virulence is discussed, along with the type VI-secretion system-dependent intra-strain competition, which occurs during swarming. P. mirabilis uses a diverse set of virulence factors to access and colonize the host urinary tract, including urease and stone formation, fimbriae and other adhesins, iron and zinc acquisition, proteases and toxins, biofilm formation, and regulation of pathogenesis. While significant advances in this field have been made, challenges remain to combatting complicated UTI and deciphering P. mirabilis pathogenesis.
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:Proteus mirabilis causes complicated urinary tract infections (UTIs). While the urinary tract is an iron-limiting environment, iron acquisition remains poorly characterized for this uropathogen. Microarray analysis of P. mirabilis HI4320 cultured under iron limitation identified 45 significantly upregulated genes (P ? 0.05) that represent 21 putative iron-regulated systems. Two gene clusters, PMI0229-0239 and PMI2596-2605, encode putative siderophore systems. PMI0229-0239 encodes a non-ribosomal peptide synthetase-independent siderophore system for producing a novel siderophore, proteobactin. PMI2596-2605 are contained within the high-pathogenicity island, originally described in Yersinia pestis, and encodes proteins with apparent homology and organization to those involved in yersiniabactin production and uptake. Cross-feeding and biochemical analysis shows that P. mirabilis is unable to utilize or produce yersiniabactin, suggesting that this yersiniabactin-related locus is functionally distinct. Only disruption of both systems resulted in an in vitro iron-chelating defect; demonstrating production and iron-chelating activity for both siderophores. These findings clearly show that proteobactin and the yersiniabactin-related siderophore function as iron acquisition systems. Despite the activity of both siderophores, only mutants lacking the yersiniabactin-related siderophore have reduced fitness in vivo. The fitness requirement for the yersiniabactin-related siderophore during UTI shows, for the first time, the importance of siderophore production in vivo for P. mirabilis.
Project description:Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a major global infectious disease affecting millions of people annually. Human urinary copper (Cu) content is elevated during UTI caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). UPEC upregulates the expression of Cu efflux genes during clinical UTI in patients as an adaptive response to host-derived Cu. Whether Cu is mobilized to urine as a host response to UTI and its role in protection against UTI remain unresolved. To address these questions, we tested the hypothesis that Cu is a host effector mobilized to urine during UTI to limit bacterial growth. Our results reveal that Cu is mobilized to urine during UTI caused by the major uropathogens Proteus mirabilis and Klebsiella pneumoniae, in addition to UPEC, in humans. Ceruloplasmin, a Cu-containing ferroxidase, is found at higher levels in UTI urine than in healthy control urine and serves as the molecular source of urinary Cu during UTI. Our results demonstrate that ceruloplasmin decreases the bioavailability of iron in urine by a transferrin-dependent mechanism. Experimental UTI with UPEC in nonhuman primates recapitulates the increased urinary Cu content observed during clinical UTI. Furthermore, Cu-deficient mice are highly colonized by UPEC, indicating that Cu is involved in the limiting of bacterial growth within the urinary tract. Collectively, our results indicate that Cu is a host effector that is involved in protection against pathogen colonization of the urinary tract. Because urinary Cu levels are amenable to modulation, augmentation of the Cu-based host defense against UTI represents a novel approach to limiting bacterial colonization during UTI.
Project description:The epidemiology and bacteriology of urinary tract infection (UTI) varies across the human lifespan, but the reasons for these differences are poorly understood. Using established monomicrobial and polymicrobial murine UTI models caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) and/or Group B Streptococcus (GBS), we demonstrate age and parity as inter-related factors contributing to UTI susceptibility. Young nulliparous animals exhibited 10-100-fold higher bacterial titers compared to older animals. In contrast, multiparity was associated with more severe acute cystitis in older animals compared to age-matched nulliparous controls, particularly in the context of polymicrobial infection where UPEC titers were ?1000-fold higher in the multiparous compared to the nulliparous host. Multiparity was also associated with significantly increased risk of chronic high titer UPEC cystitis and ascending pyelonephritis. Further evidence is provided that the increased UPEC load in multiparous animals required TLR4-signaling. Together, these data strongly suggest that the experience of childbearing fundamentally and permanently changes the urinary tract and its response to pathogens in a manner that increases susceptibility to severe UTI. Moreover, this murine model provides a system for dissecting these and other lifespan-associated risk factors contributing to severe UTI in at-risk groups.
Project description: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:Proteus mirabilis is a primary cause of complicated urinary tract infections (UTI). Surprisingly, iron acquisition systems have been poorly characterized in this uropathogen despite the urinary tract being iron-limited. In this report the transcriptome of strain HI4320, cultured under iron limitation, was examined using microarray analysis. Of genes upregulated at least 2-fold, 45 were statistically significant and comprise 21 putative iron-regulated systems. Two of these systems, PMI0229-0239 and PMI2596-2605, are organized in operons and appear to encode siderophore biosynthesis genes. Five microarrays comparing P. mirabilis HI4320 cultured in LB broth to P. mirabilis cultured in LB broth + 15 uM Desferal (an iron chelator) were analyzed. All five arrays are biological replicates; arrays #2 and 4 are dye swaps.