Highly Variable Streptococcus oralis Strains Are Common among Viridans Streptococci Isolated from Primates.
ABSTRACT: Viridans streptococci were obtained from primates (great apes, rhesus monkeys, and ring-tailed lemurs) held in captivity, as well as from free-living animals (chimpanzees and lemurs) for whom contact with humans is highly restricted. Isolates represented a variety of viridans streptococci, including unknown species. Streptococcus oralis was frequently isolated from samples from great apes. Genotypic methods revealed that most of the strains clustered on separate lineages outside the main cluster of human S. oralis strains. This suggests that S. oralis is part of the commensal flora in higher primates and evolved prior to humans. Many genes described as virulence factors in Streptococcus pneumoniae were present also in other viridans streptococcal genomes. Unlike in S. pneumoniae, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated protein (Cas) gene clusters were common among viridans streptococci, and many S. oralis strains were type PI-2 (pilus islet 2) variants. S. oralis displayed a remarkable diversity of genes involved in the biosynthesis of peptidoglycan (penicillin-binding proteins and MurMN) and choline-containing teichoic acid. The small noncoding cia-dependent small RNAs (csRNAs) controlled by the response regulator CiaR might contribute to the genomic diversity, since we observed novel genomic islands between duplicated csRNAs, variably present in some isolates. All S. oralis genomes contained a ?-N-acetyl-hexosaminidase gene absent in S. pneumoniae, which in contrast frequently harbors the neuraminidases NanB/C, which are absent in S. oralis. The identification of S. oralis-specific genes will help us to understand their adaptation to diverse habitats. IMPORTANCE Streptococcus pneumoniae is a rare example of a human-pathogenic bacterium among viridans streptococci, which consist of commensal symbionts, such as the close relatives Streptococcus mitis and S. oralis. We have shown that S. oralis can frequently be isolated from primates and a variety of other viridans streptococci as well. Genes and genomic islands which are known pneumococcal virulence factors are present in S. oralis and S. mitis, documenting the widespread occurrence of these compounds, which encode surface and secreted proteins. The frequent occurrence of CRISP-Cas gene clusters and a surprising variation of a set of small noncoding RNAs are factors to be considered in future research to further our understanding of mechanisms involved in the genomic diversity driven by horizontal gene transfer among viridans streptococci.
Project description:Eight optochin-susceptible (Opt(s)) alpha-hemolytic (viridans) streptococcus isolates were characterized at the molecular level. These isolates showed phenotypic characteristics typical of both viridans streptococci and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Comparison of the sequence of housekeeping genes from these isolates with those of S. pneumoniae, Streptococcus mitis, Streptococcus oralis, and Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae suggested that the Opt(s) isolates corresponded to streptococci of the mitis group. Besides, the Opt(s) streptococci were negative by a Gen-Probe AccuProbe pneumococcus test and hybridized with specific pneumococcal probes (lytA and ply) but also with ant, a gene not present in most S. pneumoniae strains. Moreover, the isolates were insoluble in 1% sodium deoxycholate but completely dissolved in 0.1% deoxycholate. Sequence analysis of the lytA gene revealed that the Opt(s) streptococci carried lytA alleles characteristic of those present in nonpneumococcal streptococci of the mitis group. The determination of the partial nucleotide sequence embracing the atp operon encoding the F(o)F(1) H(+)-ATPase indicated that the optochin susceptibility of the isolates was due to the acquisition of atpC, atpA, and part of atpB from S. pneumoniae by horizontal gene transfer.
Project description:The nucleotide sequences of the quinolone resistance-determining regions (QRDRs) of the parC and gyrA genes from seven ciprofloxacin-resistant (Cpr) isolates of viridans group streptococci (two high-level Cpr Streptococcus oralis and five low-level Cpr Streptococcus mitis isolates) were determined and compared with those obtained from susceptible isolates. The nucleotide sequences of the QRDRs of the parE and gyrB genes from the five low-level Cpr S. mitis isolates and from the NCTC 12261 type strain were also analyzed. Four of these low-level Cpr isolates had changes affecting the subunits of DNA topoisomerase IV: three in Ser-79 (to Phe or Ile) of ParC and one in ParE at a position not previously described to be involved in quinolone resistance (Pro-424). One isolate did not show any mutation. The two high-level Cpr S. oralis isolates showed mutations affecting equivalent residue positions of ParC and GyrA, namely, Ser-79 to Phe and Ser-81 to Phe or Tyr, respectively. The parC mutations were able to transform Streptococcus pneumoniae to ciprofloxacin resistance, while the gyrA mutations transformed S. pneumoniae only when mutations in parC were present. These results suggest that DNA topoisomerase IV is a primary target of ciprofloxacin in viridans group streptococci, DNA gyrase being a secondary target.
Project description:A total of 46 ciprofloxacin-resistant (Cip(r)) Streptococcus pneumoniae strains were isolated from 1991 to 2001 at the Hospital of Bellvitge. Five of these strains showed unexpectedly high rates of nucleotide variations in the quinolone resistance-determining regions (QRDRs) of their parC, parE, and gyrA genes. The nucleotide sequence of the full-length parC, parE, and gyrA genes of one of these isolates revealed a mosaic structure compatible with an interspecific recombination origin. Southern blot analysis and nucleotide sequence determinations showed the presence of an ant-like gene in the intergenic parE-parC regions of the S. pneumoniae Cip(r) isolates with high rates of variations in their parE and parC QRDRs. The ant-like gene was absent from typical S. pneumoniae strains, whereas it was present in the intergenic parE-parC regions of the viridans group streptococci (Streptococcus mitis and Streptococcus oralis). These results suggest that the viridans group streptococci are acting as donors in the horizontal transfer of fluoroquinolone resistance genes to S. pneumoniae.
Project description:Streptococcus tigurinus is a novel species of viridans streptococci, shown to cause severe invasive infections such as infective endocarditis, spondylodiscitis and meningitis. S. tigurinus belongs to the Streptococcus mitis group and is most closely related to Streptococcus mitis, Streptococcus oralis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae and Streptococcus infantis. The presence of S. tigurinus in the human oral cavity has been documented, including in patients with periodontal disease. This review addresses the available scientific knowledge on S. tigurinus and its association with closely related streptococci, and discusses its putative involvement in common oral infections. While there is as yet no strong evidence on the involvement of S. tigurinus with oral infections, its presence in the oral cavity and its association with endocarditis warrants special attention for a link between oral and systemic infection.
Project description:Oropharyngeal samples from 60 hospitalized patients (30 fluoroquinolone [FQ]-treated and 30 non-FQ-treated patients) and 30 untreated nonhospitalized healthy control subjects yielded 20 isolates of viridans group streptococci with reduced susceptibility to FQ, mostly from the hospitalized patients. An efflux phenotype was commonly encountered, expressed either alone or with topoisomerase mutations. Interspecies transfer of the efflux phenotype was demonstrated via transformation of Streptococcus pneumoniae R6 with DNA from S. mitis and S. oralis.
Project description:Atypical strains, presumed to be pneumococcus, with ciprofloxacin MICs of > or =4.0 microg/ml and unique sequence variations within the quinolone resistance-determining regions (QRDRs) of the gyrase and topoisomerase genes in comparison with the Streptococcus pneumoniae R6 strain, were examined. These strains were reidentified using phenotypic methods, including detection of optochin susceptibility, bile solubility, and agglutination by serotype-specific antisera, and genotypic methods, including detection of pneumolysin and autolysin genes by PCR, 16S rRNA sequencing, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). The analysis based on concatenated sequences of the six MLST loci distinguished the "atypical" strains from pneumococci, and these strains clustered closely with S. mitis. However, all these strains and five of nine strains from the viridans streptococcal group possessed one to three gyrA, gyrB, parC, and parE genes whose QRDR sequences clustered with those of S. pneumoniae, providing evidence of horizontal transfer of the QRDRs of the gyrase and topoisomerase genes from pneumococci into viridans streptococci. These genes also conferred fluoroquinolone resistance to viridans streptococci. In addition, the fluoroquinolone resistance determinants of 32 well-characterized Streptococcus mitis and Streptococcus oralis strains from bacteremic patients were also compared. These strains have unique amino acid substitutions in GyrA and ParC that were distinguishable from those in fluoroquinolone-resistant pneumococci and the "atypical" isolates. Both recombinational events and de novo mutations play an important role in the development of fluoroquinolone resistance.
Project description:The viridans group streptococci comprise multiple species and have gained more recognition in recent years as common etiologic agents of bacterial endophthalmitis. The purpose of this study was to identify the species of human endophthalmitis isolates of viridans streptococci and to characterize their potential virulence attributes. The species of 22 endophthalmitis strains of viridans streptococci were identified by Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight. Susceptibilities to 3 antibiotics commonly used for bacterial endophthalmitis were determined. The extracellular milieu of each strain was tested for cytotoxicity of retinal pigmented epithelial cells, hemolysis of sheep erythrocytes, and protease activity using gelatin zymography. Identified species were Streptococcus mitis/oralis, S. salivarius, S. vestibularis, S. parasanguinis, S. mutans, S. constellatus, and S. gordonii. One strain of S. pseudoporcinus was also identified. All strains were sensitive to vancomycin, 77% were resistant to amikacin, and 27% had intermediate resistance to ceftazidime. Extracellular milieu from all strains except one (S. pseudoporcinus) were largely devoid of toxicity to retinal pigmented epithelial cells and sheep erythrocytes. Twelve strains, 10 of which were S. mitis/oralis, produced protease activity. Interestingly, not all of the S. mitis/oralis strains were proteolytic. These findings highlight the diversity of virulence factor production in ocular strains of the viridans streptococci not only at the group level but also at the species level.
Project description:We have identified an unusual group of viridans group streptococci that resemble Streptococcus pneumoniae. DNA-DNA homology studies suggested that a subset of these isolates represent a novel species that may be included in the S. oralis-S. mitis group of viridans group streptococci. We suggest that this novel species be termed Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae. A combination of phenotypic and genetic reactions allows its identification. S. pseudopneumoniae strains do not have pneumococcal capsules, are resistant to optochin (inhibition zones, less than 14 mm) when they are incubated under an atmosphere of increased CO2 but are susceptible to optochin (inhibition zones, >14 mm) when they are incubated in ambient atmospheres, are not soluble in bile, and are positive by the GenProbe AccuProbe Pneumococcus test. The bile solubility test is more specific than the optochin test for identification of S. pneumoniae. Genetic tests for pneumolysin (ply) and manganese-dependent superoxide dismutase (sodA) and identification tests with a commercial probe, AccuProbe Pneumococcus, do not discriminate between the new species and S. pneumoniae.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Post-transcriptional regulation by small RNAs (sRNAs) in bacteria is now recognized as a wide-spread regulatory mechanism modulating a variety of physiological responses including virulence. In Streptococcus pneumoniae, an important human pathogen, the first sRNAs to be described were found in the regulon of the CiaRH two-component regulatory system. Five of these sRNAs were detected and designated csRNAs for cia-dependent small RNAs. CiaRH pleiotropically affects ?-lactam resistance, autolysis, virulence, and competence development by yet to be defined molecular mechanisms. Since CiaRH is highly conserved among streptococci, it is of interest to determine if csRNAs are also included in the CiaRH regulon in this group of organisms consisting of commensal as well as pathogenic species. Knowledge on the participation of csRNAs in CiaRH-dependent regulatory events will be the key to define the physiological role of this important control system. RESULTS: Genes for csRNAs were predicted in streptococcal genomes and data base entries other than S. pneumoniae by searching for CiaR-activated promoters located in intergenic regions that are followed by a transcriptional terminator. 61 different candidate genes were obtained specifying csRNAs ranging in size from 51 to 202 nt. Comparing these genes among each other revealed 40 different csRNA types. All streptococcal genomes harbored csRNA genes, their numbers varying between two and six. To validate these predictions, S. mitis, S. oralis, and S. sanguinis were subjected to csRNA-specific northern blot analysis. In addition, a csRNA gene from S. thermophilus plasmid pST0 introduced into S. pneumoniae was also tested. Each of the csRNAs was detected on these blots and showed the anticipated sizes. Thus, the method applied here is able to predict csRNAs with high precision. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study strongly suggest that genes for small non-coding RNAs, csRNAs, are part of the regulon of the two-component regulatory system CiaRH in all streptococci.
Project description:Discrimination between Streptococcus pneumoniae and its close relatives of the viridans group is a common difficulty in matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry-based identification. In the present study, the performances of the Vitek MS MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry system were assessed using 334 pneumococci, 166 other S. mitis group streptococci, 184 non-S. mitis group streptococci, and 19 related alpha- and nonhemolytic aerobic Gram-positive catalase-negative coccal isolates. Pneumococci had been identified by means of optochin susceptibility and bile solubility or serotyping, and other isolates mainly by use of RapidID32 Strep strips. In case of discordant or low-discrimination results, genotypic methods were used. The sensitivity of the Vitek MS for the identification of S. pneumoniae was 99.1%, since only three bile-insoluble isolates were misidentified as Streptococcus mitis/Streptococcus oralis. Conversely, two optochin-resistant pneumococci were correctly identified (specificity, 100%). Three Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae isolates were also correctly identified. Among nonpneumococcal isolates, 90.8% (n = 335) were correctly identified to the species or subspecies level and 2.4% (n = 9) at the group level. For the remaining 25 isolates, the Vitek MS proposed a bacterial species included in the list of possible species suggested by genotypic methods, except for 4 isolates which were not identified due to the absence of the species in the database. According to our study, the Vitek MS displays performance similar to that of the optochin susceptibility test for routine identification of pneumococcal isolates. Moreover, the Vitek MS is efficient for the identification of other viridans group streptococci and related isolates, provided that the species are included in the database.