Phenol-Soluble Modulins Contribute to Early Sepsis Dissemination Not Late Local USA300-Osteomyelitis Severity in Rabbits.
ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION:In bone and joint infections (BJIs), bacterial toxins are major virulence factors: Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) expression leads to severe local damage, including bone distortion and abscesses, while ?-hemolysin (Hla) production is associated with severe sepsis-related mortality. Recently, other toxins, namely phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs) expressed by community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) strain USA300 (LAC WT) were shown to have ex vivo intracellular cytotoxic activity after S. aureus invasion of osteoblasts, but their in vivo contribution in a relatively PVL-sensitive osteomyelitis model remains poorly elucidated. MATERIALS AND METHODS:We compared the outcomes of experimental rabbit osteomyelitises induced with pvl+hla+psms+ LAC WT and its isogenic ?psm derivatives (LAC ?psm? and LAC ?psm??hld) using an inoculum of 3 × 108 CFUs. Mortality, hematogenous spread (blood culture, spleen and kidney), lung and bone involvements were assessed in two groups (non-survivors of severe sepsis and survivors sacrificed on day (D) 14). RESULTS:Severe sepsis-related mortality tended to be lower for ?psm derivatives (Kaplan-Meier curves, P = .06). Non-survivors' bone LAC-?psm? (6.9 log10 CFUs/g of bone, P = .04) or -?psm??hld (6.86 log10 CFUs/g of bone, P = .014) densities were significantly higher than LAC WT (6.43 log10 CFUs/g of bone). Conversely, lung ?psm??hld CFUs were significantly lower than LAC WT (P = .04). LAC ?psm?, ?psm??hld and WT induced similar bone damage in D14 survivors, with comparable bacterial densities (respectively: 5.89, 5.91, and 6.15 log10 CFUs/g of bone). Meanwhile, pulmonary histological scores of inflammation were significantly higher for LAC ?psm?- and ?psm??hld-infected rabbits compared to LAC WT (P = .04 and .01, respectively) but with comparable lung bacterial densities. CONCLUSION:Our experimental results showed that deactivating PSM peptides significantly limited bacterial dissemination from bone during the early phase of infection, but did not affect local severity of USA300 rabbit osteomyelitis.
Project description:Mast cells are located at host interfaces, such as the skin, and contribute to the first-line defense against pathogens by releasing soluble mediators, including those that induce itching and scratching behavior. Here, we show that delta-hemolysin (Hld) and phenol soluble modulins (PSMs) PSM?1 and PSM?3, but not alpha-hemolysin (Hla) or Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), induce dose-dependent tryptase, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release by the HMC-1 human mast cell line. Using supernatants from isogenic strains, we verified that tryptase and LDH release was Hld- and PSM?-dependent. PSM?1 and Hld production was detected in 65 and 17% of human Staphylococcus aureus-infected skin abscess specimens, respectively, but they were produced in vitro by all clinical isolates. The results suggest that Hld and PSM-?1 produced in vivo during S. aureus skin infections induce the release of mast cell mediators responsible for itching and scratching behavior, which may enhance skin to skin transmission of S. aureus via the hands. As Hld and PSMs are upregulated by accessory gene regulator (agr), their association may contribute to the elective transmission of S. aureus strains with a functional agr system.
Project description:Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) has emerged as a major public health problem around the world. In Australia, ST93-IV[2B] is the dominant CA-MRSA clone and displays significantly greater virulence than other S. aureus. Here, we have examined the evolution of ST93 via genomic analysis of 12 MSSA and 44 MRSA ST93 isolates, collected from around Australia over a 17-year period. Comparative analysis revealed a core genome of 2.6 Mb, sharing greater than 99.7% nucleotide identity. The accessory genome was 0.45 Mb and comprised additional mobile DNA elements, harboring resistance to erythromycin, trimethoprim, and tetracycline. Phylogenetic inference revealed a molecular clock and suggested that a single clone of methicillin susceptible, Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) positive, ST93 S. aureus likely spread from North Western Australia in the early 1970s, acquiring methicillin resistance at least twice in the mid 1990s. We also explored associations between genotype and important MRSA phenotypes including oxacillin MIC and production of exotoxins (?-hemolysin [Hla], ?-hemolysin [Hld], PSM?3, and PVL). High-level expression of Hla is a signature feature of ST93 and reduced expression in eight isolates was readily explained by mutations in the agr locus. However, subtle but significant decreases in Hld were also noted over time that coincided with decreasing oxacillin resistance and were independent of agr mutations. The evolution of ST93 S. aureus is thus associated with a reduction in both exotoxin expression and oxacillin MIC, suggesting MRSA ST93 isolates are under pressure for adaptive change.
Project description:Polygala tenuifolia Willdenow is a herb known for its therapeutic effects in insomnia, depression, disorientation, and memory impairment. In Alzheimer's disease (AD) animal model, there has been no report on the effects of memory and cognitive impairment. PSM-04, an extract from the root of P. tenuifolia Willdenow, was developed with improved bioabsorption. The present study aimed to investigate the neuroprotective effects of PSM-04 on AD and reveal the possible molecular mechanism. The neuroprotective effect of PSM-04 in primary cortical neurons treated with L-glutamate, oligomeric A?, or H2O2. PSM-04 exhibited significant neuroprotective effects against neurotoxicity induced by L-glutamate or oligomeric A? was studied. PSM-04 exhibited significant neuroprotective effects against neurotoxicity induced by L-glutamate or oligomeric A?. Oxidative stress induced by ROS was monitored using the DCF-DA assay, and apoptosis was assessed using the TUNEL assay in primary cortical neurons treated with H2O2 or oligomeric A?. PSM-04 also decreased oxidative stress induced by H2O2 and apoptotic cell death induced by oligomeric A?. We evaluated the therapeutic effect of PSM-04 in 5xFAD (Tg) mice, an animal model for AD. PSM-04 was orally administered to 4-month-old 5xFAD mice for 2 months. To confirm the degree of cognitive impairment, a novel object recognition task was performed. The treatment with PSM-04 significantly alleviated cognitive impairments in Tg mice. In addition, amyloid plaques and gliosis decreased significantly in the brains of PSM-04-administered Tg mice compared with Tg-vehicle mice. Furthermore, the administration of PSM-04 increased the superoxide dismutase-2 (SOD-2) protein level in hippocampal brain tissues. Our results indicated that PSM-04 showed therapeutic effects by alleviating cognitive impairment and decreasing amyloid plaque deposition in Tg mice. Therefore, PSM-04 was considered as a potential pharmacological agent for neuroprotective effects in neurodegenerative diseases, including AD.
Project description:HTLV-1 proviral load (pVL) in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMCs) is proposed as a marker of disease progression but its role still remains controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the levels of HTLV-1 pVL in symptomatic patients and asymptomatic HTLV-1 carriers. In this cross-sectional study the pVL was measured by Real Time PCR in 102 asymptomatic carriers and 22 symptomatic patients (5ATLL, 15 TSP and 2 uveitis). We observed that the HTLV-1 pVL was significantly higher in symptomatic patients (median = 4.99 log10 HTLV-1 copies /106 PBMCs) compared to asymptomatic HTLV-1 carriers (median = 4.38 log10 HTLV-1 copies /106 PBMCs; p = 0.0030). A wide variation on the HTLV-1 pVL levels among asymptomatic HTLV-1 carriers was observed with some pVL as high as those observed in symptomatic patients. The asymptomatic HTLV-1 carriers were divided according to the place of birth and the highest levels of pVL were detected among patients from endemics areas from the North of Argentina. Our results reinforce the usefulness of the proviral load would be a prognostic marker of HTLV-1 disease progression. Moreover, host, viral or socio-environmental factors cannot be excluded as determinant of high proviral load.
Project description:Objectives:Examine HIV-1 plasma viral load (PVL) and genital tract (GT) viral load (GVL) and drug resistance in India. Methods:At the YRG Centre for AIDS Research and Education, Chennai, we tested: PVL in women on first-line ART for ?6?months; GVL when PVL >2000?copies/mL; and plasma, genital and proviral reverse transcriptase drug resistance when GVL >2000?copies/mL. Wilcoxon rank-sum and Fisher's exact tests were used to identify failure and resistance associations. Pearson correlations were calculated to evaluate PVL-GVL associations. Inter-compartmental resistance discordance was evaluated using generalized estimating equations. Results:Of 200 women, 37% had detectable (>400?copies/mL) PVL and 31% had PVL >1000?copies/mL. Of women with detectable PVL, 74% had PVL >2000?copies/mL, of which 74% had detectable GVL. Higher PVL was associated with higher GVL. Paired plasma and genital sequences were available for 21 women; mean age of 34?years, median ART duration of 33?months, median CD4 count of 217?cells/mm3, median PVL of 5.4 log10 copies/mL and median GVL of 4.6 log10?copies/mL. Drug resistance was detected in 81%-91% of samples and 67%-76% of samples had dual-class resistance. Complete three-compartment concordance was seen in only 10% of women. GT-proviral discordance was significantly larger than plasma-proviral discordance. GT or proviral mutations discordant from plasma led to clinically relevant resistance in 24% and 30%, respectively. Conclusions:We identified high resistance and high inter-compartmental resistance discordance in Indian women, which might lead to unrecognized resistance transmission and re-emergence compromising treatment outcomes, particularly relevant to countries like India, where sexual HIV transmission is predominant.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus is a gram-positive bacterium responsible for a wide range of infections. Host cell cycle alteration is a sophisticated mechanism used by pathogens to hijack the defense functions of host cells. We previously demonstrated that S. aureus MW2 (USA400) bacteria induced a G2/M phase transition delay in HeLa cells. We demonstrate here that this activity is triggered by culture supernatant compounds. Using size exclusion chromatography of the MW2 supernatant, followed by mass spectroscopy analysis of corresponding peaks, we identified phenol-soluble modulin ? (PSM?) peptides as the likely candidates for this effect. Indeed, synthetic PSM?1 and PSM?3 caused a G2/M phase transition delay. The implication of PSM? in cell cycle alteration was confirmed by comparison of S. aureus Los Angeles County clone (LAC) wild-type with the isogenic mutant LAC?psm?, which lacks the psm? operon encoding PSM?1-4. PSM?-induced G2/M transition delay correlated with a decrease in the defensin genes expression suggesting a diminution of antibacterial functions of epithelial cells. By testing the supernatant of S. aureus human clinical isolates, we found that the degree of G2/M phase transition delay correlated with PSM?1 production. We show that PSMs secreted by S. aureus alter the host cell cycle, revealing a newly identified mechanism for fostering an infection.
Project description:Ultrasound probes used in endocavitary procedures have been shown to be contaminated with high-risk HPV after routine use and HPV is also known to be resistant to some high level disinfectants (HLDs). This study compared efficacy of two leading ultrasound probe HLD methods; liquid ortho-phthalaldehyde (Cidex® OPA) and an automated device using sonicated hydrogen peroxide (trophon® EPR) against HPV16 and HPV18 in a hard-surface carrier test. Native HPV16 and HPV18 virions were generated in organotypic epithelial raft cultures. Viral lysates were dried onto carriers with a 5% (v/v) protein soil. Efficacy tests were performed against the automated device at 35% and 31.5% H2 O2 and 0.55% OPA in quadruplicate with matched input, neutralization, and cytotoxicity controls. Hypochlorite was included as a positive control. Infectivity was determined by the abundance (qRT-PCR) of the spliced E1^E4 transcript in infected recipient cells. The automated HLD device showed excellent efficacy against HPV16 and HPV18 (>5 log10 reductions in infectivity) whereas OPA showed minimal efficacy (<0.6 log10 reductions). While HPV is highly resistant to OPA, sonicated hydrogen peroxide offers an effective disinfection solution for ultrasound probes. Disinfection methods that are effective against HPV should be adopted where possible.
Project description:Necrotizing pneumonia caused by community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) isolates is increasingly common and frequently severe. The early inflammatory response in the lung after CA-MRSA infection remains largely undefined. Additionally, many workers have hypothesized that the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) is a key virulence determinant in CA-MRSA necrotizing pneumonia. We hypothesized that intratracheal inoculation of rats with a USA300 CA-MRSA isolate would result in early expression of genes involved in the immune response and that this would correlate with inflammation and tissue destruction characteristic of necrotizing pneumonia. In addition, we hypothesized that infection with a PVL deletion mutant would result in an attenuated early host response. Infection of rats with a sublethal inoculum of USA300 (strain LAC) resulted in rapid increased expression of most cytokine, chemokine, and inflammatory receptor gene transcripts studied, as assessed by quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR). The increased gene transcription was followed by inflammation, increased bacterial survival in the lungs, and necrotizing pneumonia. Infection with strain LAC and infection with strain LAC Deltapvl (lukSF-PV deletion mutant) resulted in indistinguishable diseases, as assessed by mortality, in vivo bacterial recovery, and pulmonary pathology. Assessment of the transcription of inflammatory genes by qRT-PCR also revealed little difference after infection with LAC and after infection with LAC Deltapvl, either in animals that died or in animals that survived to 24 h after inoculation. We conclude that in a rat model of necrotizing pneumonia, there was an early, brisk inflammatory transcriptional response associated with neutrophil recruitment and tissue destruction. Deletion of lukSF-PV did not alter the early immune response to CA-MRSA in the lung.
Project description:Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) strains typically carry genes encoding Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL). We used wild-type parental and isogenic PVL-deletion (Delta pvl) strains of USA300 (LAC and SF8300) and USA400 (MW2) to test whether PVL alters global gene regulatory networks and contributes to pathogenesis of bacteremia, a hallmark feature of invasive staphylococcal disease. Microarray and proteomic analyses revealed that PVL does not alter gene or protein expression, thereby demonstrating that any contribution of PVL to CA-MRSA pathogenesis is not mediated through interference of global gene regulatory networks. Inasmuch as a direct role for PVL in CA-MRSA pathogenesis remains to be determined, we developed a rabbit bacteremia model of CA-MRSA infection to evaluate the effects of PVL. Following experimental infection of rabbits, an animal species whose granulocytes are more sensitive to the effects of PVL compared with the mouse, we found a contribution of PVL to pathogenesis over the time course of bacteremia. At 24 and 48 hours post infection, PVL appears to play a modest, but measurable role in pathogenesis during the early stages of bacteremic seeding of the kidney, the target organ from which bacteria were not cleared. However, the early survival advantage of this USA300 strain conferred by PVL was lost by 72 hours post infection. These data are consistent with the clinical presentation of rapid-onset, fulminant infection that has been associated with PVL-positive CA-MRSA strains. Taken together, our data indicate a modest and transient positive effect of PVL in the acute phase of bacteremia, thereby providing evidence that PVL contributes to CA-MRSA pathogenesis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Cervicovaginal HIV level (CV-VL) influences HIV transmission. Plasma viral load (PVL) correlates with CV-VL, but discordance is frequent. We evaluated how PVL, behavioral, immunological, and local factors/conditions individually and collectively correlate with CV-VL. METHODS:CV-VL was measured in the cervicovaginal lavage fluid (CVL) of 481 HIV-infected women over 976 person-visits in a longitudinal cohort study. We correlated identified factors with CV-VL at individual person-visits and detectable/undetectable PVL strata by univariate and multivariate linear regression and with shedding pattern (never, intermittent, persistent ?3 shedding visits) in 136 women with ?3 visits by ordinal logistic regression. RESULTS:Of 959 person-visits, 450 (46.9%) with available PVL were discordant, 435 (45.3%) had detectable PVL with undetectable CV-VL, and 15 (1.6%) had undetectable PVL with detectable CV-VL. Lower CV-VL correlated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) usage (P = 0.01). Higher CV-VL correlated with higher PVL (P < 0.001), inflammation-associated cellular changes (P = 0.03), cervical ectopy (P = 0.009), exudate (P = 0.005), and trichomoniasis (P = 0.03). In multivariate analysis of the PVL-detectable stratum, increased CV-VL correlated with the same factors and friability (P = 0.05), while with undetectable PVL, decreased CV-VL correlated with HAART use (P = 0.04). In longitudinal analysis, never (40.4%) and intermittent (44.9%) shedding were most frequent. Higher frequency shedders were more likely to have higher initial PVL [odds ratio (OR) = 2.47/log10 increase], herpes simplex virus type 2 seropositivity (OR = 3.21), and alcohol use (OR = 2.20). CONCLUSIONS:Although PVL correlates strongly with CV-VL, discordance is frequent. When PVL is detectable, cervicovaginal inflammatory conditions correlate with increased shedding. However, genital shedding is sporadic and not reliably predicted by associated factors. HAART, by reducing PVL, is the most reliable means of reducing cervicovaginal shedding.