Photorhabdus insect-related (Pir) toxin-like genes in a plasmid of Vibrio parahaemolyticus, the causative agent of acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) of shrimp.
ABSTRACT: The 69 kb plasmid pVPA3-1 was identified in Vibrio parahaemolyticus strain 13?028/A3 that can cause acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND). This disease is responsible for mass mortalities in farmed penaeid shrimp and is referred to as early mortality syndrome (EMS). The plasmid has a GC content of 45.9% with a copy number of 37 per bacterial cell as determined by comparative quantitative PCR analyses. It consists of 92 open reading frames that encode mobilization proteins, replication enzymes, transposases, virulence-associated proteins, and proteins similar to Photorhabdus insect-related (Pir) toxins. In V. parahaemolyticus, these Pir toxin-like proteins are encoded by 2 genes (pirA- and pirB-like) located within a 3.5 kb fragment flanked with inverted repeats of a transposase-coding sequence (1 kb). The GC content of these 2 genes is only 38.2%, substantially lower than that of the rest of the plasmid, which suggests that these genes were recently acquired. Based on a proteomic analysis, the pirA-like (336 bp) and pirB-like (1317 bp) genes encode for 13 and 50 kDa proteins, respectively. In laboratory cultures of V. parahaemolyticus 13-028/A3, both proteins were secreted into the culture medium. We developed a duplex PCR diagnostic method, with a detection limit of 10(5) CFU ml(-1) and targeting pirA- and pirB-like genes in this strain of V. parahaemolyticus. This PCR protocol can reliably detect AHPND-causing strains of V. parahaemolyticus and does not cross react with non-pathogenic strains or with other species of Vibrio isolated from shrimp ponds.
Project description:Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) of shrimp is caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus isolates (VPAHPND isolates) that harbor a pVA plasmid encoding toxins PirA Vp and PirB Vp These are released from VPAHPND isolates that colonize the shrimp stomach and produce pathognomonic AHPND lesions (massive sloughing of hepatopancreatic tubule epithelial cells). PCR results indicated that V. parahaemolyticus isolate XN87 lacked pirA Vp but carried pirB Vp Unexpectedly, Western blot analysis of proteins from the culture broth of XN87 revealed the absence of both toxins, and the lack of PirB Vp was further confirmed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. However, shrimp immersion challenge with XN87 resulted in 47% mortality without AHPND lesions. Instead, lesions consisted of collapsed hepatopancreatic tubule epithelia. In contrast, control shrimp challenged with typical VPAHPND isolate 5HP gave 90% mortality, accompanied by AHPND lesions. Sequence analysis revealed that the pVA plasmid of XN87 contained a mutated pirA Vp gene interrupted by the out-of-frame insertion of a transposon gene fragment. The upstream region and the beginning of the original pirA Vp gene remained intact, but the insertion caused a 2-base reading frameshift in the remainder of the pirA Vp gene sequence and in the downstream pirB Vp gene sequence. Reverse transcription-PCR and sequencing of 5HP revealed a bicistronic pirAB Vp mRNA transcript that was not produced by XN87, explaining the absence of both toxins in its culture broth. However, the virulence of XN87 revealed that some V. parahaemolyticus isolates carrying mutant pVA plasmids that produce no Pir Vp toxins can cause mortality in shrimp in ponds experiencing an outbreak of early mortality syndrome (EMS) but may not have been previously recognized to be AHPND related because they did not cause pathognomonic AHPND lesions.IMPORTANCE Shrimp acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) is caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus isolates (VPAHPND isolates) that harbor the pVA1 plasmid encoding toxins PirA Vp and PirB Vp The toxins are produced in the shrimp stomach but cause death by massive sloughing of hepatopancreatic tubule epithelial cells (pathognomonic AHPND lesions). V. parahaemolyticus isolate XN87 harbors a mutant pVA plasmid that produces no Pir toxins and does not cause AHPND lesions but still causes ?50% shrimp mortality. Such isolates may cause a portion of the mortality in ponds experiencing an outbreak of EMS that is not ascribed to VPAHPND Thus, they pose to shrimp farmers an additional threat that would be missed by current testing for VPAHPND Moribund shrimp from ponds experiencing an outbreak of EMS that exhibit collapsed hepatopancreatic tubule epithelial cells can serve as indicators for the possible presence of such isolates, which can then be confirmed by additional PCR tests for the presence of a pVA plasmid.
Project description:Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) is a severe, newly emergent penaeid shrimp disease caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus that has already led to tremendous losses in the cultured shrimp industry. Until now, its disease-causing mechanism has remained unclear. Here we show that an AHPND-causing strain of V. parahaemolyticus contains a 70-kbp plasmid (pVA1) with a postsegregational killing system, and that the ability to cause disease is abolished by the natural absence or experimental deletion of the plasmid-encoded homologs of the Photorhabdus insect-related (Pir) toxins PirA and PirB. We determined the crystal structure of the V. parahaemolyticus PirA and PirB (PirA(vp) and PirB(vp)) proteins and found that the overall structural topology of PirA(vp)/PirB(vp) is very similar to that of the Bacillus Cry insecticidal toxin-like proteins, despite the low sequence identity (<10%). This structural similarity suggests that the putative PirAB(vp) heterodimer might emulate the functional domains of the Cry protein, and in particular its pore-forming activity. The gene organization of pVA1 further suggested that pirAB(vp) may be lost or acquired by horizontal gene transfer via transposition or homologous recombination.
Project description:Vibrio parahaemolyticus carrying binary toxin genes, pirAB, is one of the etiological agents causing acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) in shrimp. This disease has emerged recently as a major threat to shrimp aquaculture worldwide. During a routine PCR screening of AHPND-causing V. parahaemolyticus strains, an isolate tested PCR positive for pirB (R13) and another isolate tested positive for both the pirA and pirB (R14) genes. To evaluate the pathogenicity of these isolates, specific pathogen-free (SPF) Penaeus vannamei were experimentally challenged. For both R13 and R14 isolates, the final survival rate was 100% at termination of the challenge, whereas the final survival with the AHPND-causing V. parahaemolyticus was 0%. The nucleotide sequence of the plasmid DNA carrying the binary toxin genes revealed that R13 contains a deletion of the entire pirA gene whereas R14 contains the entire coding regions of both pirA and pirB genes. However, R14 possesses an insertion upstream of the pirA gene. In R14, mRNA for both pirA and pirB genes could be detected but no cognate proteins. This shows that the genome of AHPND-causing V. parahaemolyticus is highly plastic and, therefore, detection of the pirA and pirB genes alone by DNA-PCR is insufficient as a diagnostic test for AHPND.
Project description:The causative agent of acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) is the bacterium, <i>Vibrio parahaemolyticus</i>, which secretes toxins into the gastrointestinal tract of its host. <i>Vibrio parahaemolyticus</i> toxins A and B (PirA<sup>vp</sup>/PirB<sup>vp</sup>) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of this disease, and are, therefore, the focus of studies developing treatments for AHPND. We previously produced recombinant antibodies based on the hagfish variable lymphocyte receptor B (VLRB) capable of neutralizing some viruses, suggesting that this type of antibody may have a potential application for treatment of AHPND. Here, recombinant PirA<sup>vp</sup>/PirB<sup>vp</sup>, produced using a bacterial expression system, were used as antigens to screen a hagfish VLRB cDNA library to obtain PirA<sup>vp</sup>/PirB<sup>vp</sup>-specific antibodies. A cell line secreting these antibodies was established by screening and cloning the DNA extracted from hagfish B cells. Supernatants collected from cells secreting the PirA<sup>vp</sup>/PirB<sup>vp</sup> antibodies were collected and concentrated, and used to passively immunize shrimp to neutralize the toxins PirA<sup>vp</sup> or PirB<sup>vp</sup> associated with AHPND. Briefly, 10 ?g of PirA<sup>vp</sup> and PirB<sup>vp</sup> antibodies, 7C12 and 9G10, respectively, were mixed with the shrimp feed, and fed to shrimp for three days consecutive days prior to experimentally infecting the shrimp with <i>V. parahaemolyticus</i> (containing toxins A and B), and resulting mortalities recorded for six days. Results showed significantly higher level of survival in shrimp fed with the PirB<sup>vp</sup>-9G10 antibody (60%) compared to the group fed the PirA<sup>vp</sup>-7C12 antibody (3%) and the control group (0%). This suggests that VLRB antibodies may be a suitable alternative to immunoglobulin-based antibodies, as passive immunization treatments for effective management of AHPND outbreaks within shrimp farms.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Due to its rapid lethal effect in the early development stage of shrimp, acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) has been causing great economic losses, since its first outbreak in southeast China in 2009. Vibrio parahaemolyticus, carrying the pirA and pirB toxin genes is known to cause AHPND in shrimp. The overall objective of this study was to sequence the whole genome of AHPND positive V. parahaemolyticus strains isolated from shrimp (Peneaus monodon) of the south-west region of Bangladesh in 2016 and 2017 and characterize the genomic features and emergence pattern of this marine pathogen. RESULTS:Two targeted AHPND positive V. parahaemolyticus strains were confirmed using PCR with 16S rRNA, ldh, AP3 and AP4 primers. The assembled genomes of strain MSR16 and MSR17 were comprised of a total of 5,393,740?bp and 5,241,592?bp, respectively. From annotation, several virulence genes involved in chemotaxis and motility, EPS type II secretion system, Type III secretion system-1 (T3SS-1) and its secreted effectors, thermolabile hemolysin were found in both strains. Importantly, the ~?69?kb plasmid was identified in both MSR16 and MSR17 strains containing the two toxin genes pirA and pirB. Antibiotic resistance genes were predicted against ?-lactam, fluoroquinolone, tetracycline and macrolide groups in both MSR16 and MSR17 strains. CONCLUSIONS:The findings of this research may facilitate the tracking of pathogenic and/or antibiotic-resistant V. parahaemolyticus isolates between production sites, and the identification of candidate strains for the production of vaccines as an aid to control of this devastating disease. Also, the emergence pattern of this pathogen can be highlighted to determine the characteristic differences of other strains found all over the world.
Project description:The Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a gram-negative bacterium, which is responsible for acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) in shrimp and has various virulent factors. So, to intensify the knowledge on pathogenic mechanism, the heterogeneous V.parahaemolyticus strains genome are indeed. Here, genome of seven V.parahaemolyticus strains, which are virulent to shrimps were sequenced by PacBio platform and the virulence was confirmed through the presence of plasmid (?69 Kb) with binary toxin genes (i.e., pirA and pirB) with PCR method.
Project description:Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND), also known as Early mortality syndrome (EMS), is a recently emerged lethal disease that has caused major economic losses in shrimp aquaculture. The etiologic agents are Vibrio spp. that carry Photorhabdus Insect-Related (Pir) toxin genes pirA and pirB. A multiplex SYBR Green real-time PCR was developed that detects pirA, pirB, and two internal control genes, the shrimp 18S rRNA and the bacterial 16S rRNA genes in a single reaction. The pirB primers amplify the 3'-end of the pirB gene allowing the detection of Vibrio spp. mutants that contain a complete deletion of pirA and the partial deletion of pirB. The assay also detects mutants that contain the entire pirA gene and the deletion of the pirB gene. Since both toxin genes are needed for disease development, this assays can distinguish between pathogenic strains of Vibrio spp. that cause AHPND in shrimp and mutants that do not cause disease. The amplicons for pirA, pirB, 18S rRNA and 16S rRNA showed easily distinguishable melting temperatures of 78.21?±?0.18, 75.20?±?0.20, 82.28?±?0.34 and 85.41?±?0.21?°C respectively. Additionally, a duplex real-time PCR assay was carried out by designing TaqMan probes for the pirA and pirB primers. The diagnostic sensitivity and specificity was compared between the SYBR Green and TaqMan assays. Both assays showed similar sensitivity with a limit of detection being 10 copies for pirA and pirB, and neither assays showed any cross reaction with other known bacterial and viral pathogens in shrimp. The high sensitivity of both assays make them suitable for the detection of low copies of the pirA and pirB genes in AHPND causing Vibrio spp. as well as for detecting non-pathogenic mutants.
Project description:The acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) of Penaeus vannamei shrimp is caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus carrying toxin genes, pirA and pirB We report the complete genome sequence of the novel V. parahaemolyticus strain R14, which did not display AHPND symptoms in P. vannamei despite containing the binary toxin genes.
Project description:Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) is a newly emerging shrimp disease that has severely damaged the global shrimp industry. AHPND is caused by toxic strains of Vibrio parahaemolyticus that have acquired a "selfish plasmid" encoding the deadly binary toxins PirAvp/PirBvp To better understand the repertoire of virulence factors in AHPND-causing V. parahaemolyticus, we conducted a comparative analysis using the genome sequences of the clinical strain RIMD2210633 and of environmental non-AHPND and toxic AHPND isolates of V. parahaemolyticus Interestingly, we found that all of the AHPND strains, but none of the non-AHPND strains, harbor the antibacterial type VI secretion system 1 (T6SS1), which we previously identified and characterized in the clinical isolate RIMD2210633. This finding suggests that the acquisition of this T6SS might confer to AHPND-causing V. parahaemolyticus a fitness advantage over competing bacteria and facilitate shrimp infection. Additionally, we found highly dynamic effector loci in the T6SS1 of AHPND-causing strains, leading to diverse effector repertoires. Our discovery provides novel insights into AHPND-causing pathogens and reveals a potential target for disease control.IMPORTANCE Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) is a serious disease that has caused severe damage and significant financial losses to the global shrimp industry. To better understand and prevent this shrimp disease, it is essential to thoroughly characterize its causative agent, Vibrio parahaemolyticus Although the plasmid-encoded binary toxins PirAvp/PirBvp have been shown to be the primary cause of AHPND, it remains unknown whether other virulent factors are commonly present in V. parahaemolyticus and might play important roles during shrimp infection. Here, we analyzed the genome sequences of clinical, non-AHPND, and AHPND strains to characterize their repertoires of key virulence determinants. Our studies reveal that an antibacterial type VI secretion system is associated with the AHPND strains and differentiates them from non-AHPND strains, similar to what was seen with the PirA/PirB toxins. We propose that T6SS1 provides a selective advantage during shrimp infections.
Project description:Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) is a major debilitating disease that causes massive shrimp death resulting in substantial economic losses in shrimp aquaculture. The Pir toxin proteins secreted by a unique strain of <i>Vibrio parahaemolyticus</i> play an essential role in the pathogenesis of AHPND. At present, most studies on the effects of Pir toxin proteins in shrimp focus on digestive tissues or organs such as hepatopancreas, stomach, etc., with none on the immune organs. In the present study, two recombinant Pir toxin proteins (rPirA and rPirB) of <i>V. parahaemolyticus</i> were expressed with rPirB shown to enter shrimp hemocytes. Employing pull-down and LC-MS/MS analysis, GST-rPirB was found to interact with 13 proteins in hemocytes, including histone H3 and histone H4 and among which histone H4 had the highest protein score. Further analysis using GST pull-down and Far-Western blot analysis revealed that rPirB could interact with histone H4. In addition, using the purified nucleosome protein from <i>Drosophila</i> S2 cells, it was found that PirB protein could specifically bind to histones. When flow cytometry was applied, it was observed that the interaction between PirB and histones in shrimp hemocytes induces apoptosis, which results in the dephosphorylation of Serine 10 in histone H3. Collectively, the current study shows that in addition to its effect on the digestive tract of shrimp, the PirB toxin protein interacts with histones to affect the phosphorylation of histone H3-S10, thereby inducing apoptosis.