Novel Capsular Polysaccharide Loci and New Diagnostic Tools for High-Throughput Capsular Gene Typing in Streptococcus suis.
ABSTRACT: Streptococcus suis is an important pathogen of pigs and may cause serious disease in humans. Serotyping is an important tool for detection and epidemiological studies of S. suis Thirty-three reference serotypes and nine novel cps loci (NCLs) are recognized in S. suis To gain a better understanding of the prevalence and genetic characteristics of NCLs, we investigated the serotype identity of 486 isolates isolated between 2013 and 2015 in China by capsular gene typing methods. Two hundred seventy-six isolates carried NCLs belonging to 16 groups, 8 of which appear to have not been reported previously. These isolates showed autoagglutination, polyagglutination, or nonagglutination with reference antisera and thus were nonserotypeable. Almost all isolates carrying the unknown NCLs were encapsulated, with various capsular thicknesses, indicating that they are most likely novel serotypes. To simultaneously identify the currently recognized 17 NCLs, an 18-plex detection system using the Luminex xTAG universal array technology was developed. Our data also provide valuable genetic information for monitoring the variations within NCLs by investigating the genetic characteristics of different subtypes within NCLs.Nonserotypeable Streptococcus suis isolates have been reported in many studies, and 9 novel cps loci (NCLs) have already been identified in nonserotypeable isolates. Moreover, novel cps loci are continually being found. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence and characteristics of NCLs in S. suis isolates recovered between 2013 and 2015 in China. This study provides valuable genetic information for monitoring the variations within NCLs. Meanwhile, a fast and cost-effective 18-plex detection system that can simultaneously identify the currently recognized 17 NCLs was developed in this study. This system will serve as a valuable tool for detecting known and identifying additional novel cps loci among nonserotypeable S. suis isolates.
Project description:Streptococcus suis is an important pathogen of pigs and may cause serious disease in humans. Serotyping is one of the important diagnostic tools and is used for the epidemiological study of S. suis. Nontypeable S. suis strains have been reported in many studies; however, the capsular polysaccharide (CPS) synthesis cps loci of nontypeable strains have not been analyzed. In this study, we investigated the genetic characteristics of cps loci in 78 nontypeable strains isolated from healthy pigs. Eight novel cps loci (NCLs) were found, and all of them were located between the orfZ-orfX region and the glf gene. All NCLs possess the wzy and wzx genes, strongly suggesting that the CPSs of these NCLs were synthesized using the Wzx/Wzy-dependent pathway. The cps genes found in the 78 isolates were assigned to 96 homology groups (HGs), 55 of which were NCL specific. The encapsulation of the 78 isolates was also examined using transmission electron microscopy. Fifty-three isolates were found to have a capsule, and these were of varied thicknesses. Our data enhance our understanding of the cps gene cluster diversity of nontypeable S. suis strains and provide insight into the evolution of the S. suis capsular genes.
Project description:Streptococcus suis (S. suis) is an important swine pathogen and an emerging zoonotic agent. Most clinical S. suis strains express capsular polysaccharides (CPS), which can be typed by antisera using the coagglutination test. In this study, 79 S. suis strains recovered from diseased pigs in Canada and which could not be typed using antisera were further characterized by capsular gene typing and sequencing. Four patterns of cps locus were observed: (1) fifteen strains were grouped into previously reported serotypes but presented several mutations in their cps loci, when compared to available data from reference strains; (2) seven strains presented a complete deletion of the cps locus, which would result in an inability to synthesize capsule; (3) forty-seven strains were classified in recently described novel cps loci (NCLs); and (4) ten strains carried novel NCLs not previously described. Different virulence gene profiles (based on the presence of mrp, epf, and/or sly) were observed in these non-serotypeable strains. This study provides further insight in understanding the genetic characteristics of cps loci in non-serotypeable S. suis strains recovered from diseased animals. When using a combination of the previously described 35 serotypes and the complete NCL system, the number of untypeable strains recovered from diseased animals in Canada would be significantly reduced.
Project description:The capsular polysaccharide (CPS) represents a key virulence factor for most encapsulated streptococci. Streptococcus suis and Group B Streptococcus (GBS) are both well-encapsulated pathogens of clinical importance in veterinary and/or human medicine and responsible for invasive systemic diseases. S. suis and GBS are the only Gram-positive bacteria which express a sialylated CPS at their surface. An important difference between these two sialylated CPSs is the linkage between the side-chain terminal galactose and sialic acid, being ?-2,6 for S. suis but ?-2,3 for GBS. It is still unclear how sialic acid may affect CPS production and, consequently, the pathogenesis of the disease caused by these two bacterial pathogens. Here, we investigated the role of sialic acid and the putative effect of sialic acid linkage modification in CPS synthesis using inter-species allelic exchange mutagenesis. To this aim, a new molecular biogenetic approach to express CPS with modified sialic acid linkage was developed. We showed that sialic acid (and its ?-2,6 linkage) is crucial for S. suis CPS synthesis, whereas for GBS, CPS synthesis may occur in presence of an ?-2,6 sialyltransferase or in absence of sialic acid moiety. To evaluate the effect of the CPS composition/structure on sialyltransferase activity, two distinct capsular serotypes within each bacterial species were compared (S. suis serotypes 2 and 14 and GBS serotypes III and V). It was demonstrated that the observed differences in sialyltransferase activity and specificity between S. suis and GBS were serotype unrestricted. This is the first time that a study investigates the interspecies exchange of capsular sialyltransferase genes in Gram-positive bacteria. The obtained mutants represent novel tools that could be used to further investigate the immunomodulatory properties of sialylated CPSs. Finally, in spite of common CPS structural characteristics and similarities in the cps loci, sialic acid exerts differential control of CPS expression by S. suis and GBS.
Project description:To characterize Streptococcus pneumoniae "serotype 6E," complete cps loci were sequenced. The capsular genes of "serotype 6E" isolates differed much from those of serotypes 6A and 6B. We identified 10 additional "serotype 6E" isolates, which are not confined to a restricted geographic locality. Most of these "serotype 6E" isolates belonged to sequence type 90 and its single-locus variants. The homogeneity of their genetic background and cps loci suggests a recent origin of the "serotype 6E" isolates.
Project description:Streptococcus suis strains are classified into 35 serotypes on the basis of the antigenicity of their capsular polysaccharides (CPs). CP synthesis genes are known to be clustered on the chromosome (cps gene cluster). The entire cps gene clusters of S. suis have so far been sequenced in 15 serotypes and found to be located between orfZ and aroA. In this study, to provide comprehensive information about S. suis CPs, we sequenced the entire cps gene clusters of the remaining serotypes and analyzed the complete set of S. suis cps gene clusters. Among the 35 cps gene clusters, 22 were located between orfZ and aroA, whereas the other 13 were flanked by other gene(s) on the chromosomes, and the chromosomal locus was classified into five patterns. By clustering analysis, the predicted products of cps genes found in the 35 serotypes were assigned into 291 homology groups, and all serotypes possessed a serotype-specific gene, except for serotypes 1, 2, 1/2, and 14. Because of the presence of genes encoding flippase (wzx) and polymerase (wzy), CPs of all serotypes were thought to be synthesized by the Wzx/Wzy pathway. Our data also implied the possibility of the transfer of the entire or partial cps gene clusters among S. suis strains, as well as the influence of spontaneous mutations in a single gene or a few genes on the antigenicity of some serotypes. Accumulation of these gene transfers and small-scale mutations may have generated the antigenic diversity of S. suis CPs.
Project description:Recently, Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes 6C and 6D have been identified. It is thought that they emerged by the replacement of wciN(?) in the capsular loci of serotypes 6A and 6B, respectively. However, their evolution has not been unveiled yet. To investigate the evolution of four serotypes of S. pneumoniae serogroup 6, four genes of the capsular polysaccharide synthesis (cps) locus, wchA, wciN, wciO, and wciP, of isolates of S. pneumoniae serotypes 6A, 6B, 6C, and 6D were sequenced. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was performed to investigate their genetic backgrounds. The wchA gene of serotype 6C and 6D isolates was distinct from that of serotype 6A and 6B isolates, which may suggest cotransfer of wchA with wciN(?). Otherwise, serotypes 6C and 6D displayed different genetic backgrounds from serotypes 6A and 6B, which was suggested by MLST analysis. In addition, serotype 6C isolates showed distinct wciP polymorphisms from other serotypes, which also indicated that serotype 6C had not recently originated from serotype 6A. Although serotype 6D shared the same amino acid polymorphisms of wciO with serotype 6B, wciP of serotype 6D differed from that of serotype 6B. The data indicate the implausibility of the scenario of a recent emergence of the cps locus of serotype 6D by genetic recombination between serotypes 6B and 6C. In addition, five serotype 6A and 6B isolates (6X group) displayed cps loci distinct from those of other isolates. The cps locus homogeneity and similar sequence types in MLST analysis suggest that most of the 6X group of isolates originated from the same ancestor and that the entire cps locus might have recently been transferred from an unknown origin. Serotype 6B isolates showed two or more cps locus subtypes, indicating a recombination-mediated mosaic structure of the cps locus of serotype 6B. The collective data favor the emergence of cps loci of serotypes 6A, 6B, 6C, and 6D by complicated recombination.
Project description:Streptococcus suis type 2 is a major swine pathogen and a zoonotic agent, causing meningitis in both swine and humans. S. suis infects the host through the respiratory route, reaches the bloodstream, and persists until breaching into the central nervous system. The capsular polysaccharide (CPS) of S. suis type 2 is considered a key virulence factor of the bacteria. Though CPS allows S. suis to adhere to the membrane of cells of the immune system, it provides protection against phagocytosis. In fact, nonencapsulated mutants are easily internalized and killed by macrophages and dendritic cells. The objective of this work was to study the molecular mechanisms by which the CPS of S. suis prevents phagocytosis. By using latex beads covalently linked with purified CPS, it was shown that CPS itself was sufficient to inhibit entry of both latex beads and bystander fluorescent beads into macrophages. Upon contact with macrophages, encapsulated S. suis was shown to destabilize lipid microdomains at the cell surface, to block nitric oxide (NO) production during infection, and to prevent lactosylceramide accumulation at the phagocytic cup during infection. In contrast, the nonencapsulated mutant was easily internalized via lipid rafts, in a filipin-sensitive manner, leading to lactosylceramide recruitment and strong NO production. This is the first report to identify a role for CPS in lipid microdomain stability and to recognize an interaction between S. suis and lactosylceramide in phagocytes.
Project description:<i>Streptococcus suis</i> and group B <i>Streptococcus</i> (GBS) are encapsulated streptococci causing septicemia and meningitis. Antibodies (Abs) against capsular polysaccharides (CPSs) have a crucial protective role, but the structure/composition of the CPS, including the presence of sialic acid, may interfere with the generation of anti-CPS Ab responses. We investigated the features of the CPS-specific Ab response directed against <i>S. suis</i> serotypes 2 and 14 and GBS serotypes III and V after infection or immunization with purified native or desialylated CPSs in mice. Whereas <i>S. suis</i>-infected mice developed a very low/undetectable CPS-specific IgM response, significant anti-CPS IgM titers were measured in GBS-infected animals (especially for type III GBS). No isotype switching was detected in <i>S. suis</i>- or GBS-infected mice. While the expression of sialic acid was essential for the immunogenicity of purified GBS type III CPS, this sugar was not responsible for the inability of purified <i>S. suis</i> types 2, 14 and GBS type V CPSs to induce a specific Ab response. Thus, other biochemical criteria unrelated to the presence of sialic acid may be responsible for the inaptitude of the host immune system to mount an effective response against certain <i>S. suis</i> and GBS CPS types.
Project description:A total of 79 capsular types have been reported in Klebsiella spp., whereas capsular polysaccharide synthesis (cps) regions were available in only 22 types. Due to the limitations of serotyping, complete repertoire of cps will be helpful for capsular genotyping. We therefore resolved the rest 57 cps and conducted comparative analysis. Clustering results of 1,515 predicted proteins from cps loci categorized proteins which share similarity into homology groups (HGs) revealing that 77 Wzy polymerases were classified into 56 HGs, which indicate the high specificity of wzy between different types. Accordingly, wzy-based capsular genotyping could differentiate capsule types except for those lacking wzy (K29 and K50), those sharing identical wzy (K22 vs. K37); and should be carefully applied in those exhibited high similarity (K12 vs. K41, K2 vs. K13, K74 vs. K80, K79 vs. KN1 and K30 vs. K69). Comparison of CPS structures in several capsular types that shared similarity in their gene contents implies possible functions of glycosyltransferases. Therefore, our results provide complete set of cps in various types of Klebsiella spp., which enable the understandings of relationship between genes and CPS structures and are useful for identification of documented or new capsular types.
Project description:Streptococcus suis serotype 2 is an extracellular encapsulated bacterium that causes severe septicemia and meningitis in swine and humans. Albeit crucial in the fight against encapsulated bacteria, the nature of the capsular polysaccharide (CPS)-specific antibody (Ab) response during S. suis type 2 infection is unknown. We compared for the first time the features of CPS-specific versus protein-specific Ab responses during experimental infections with live virulent S. suis type 2 in mice. The primary protein-specific Ab response was dominated by both type 1 and 2 IgG subclasses, whereas IgM titers were more modest. The secondary protein-specific Ab response showed all of the features of a memory response with faster kinetics and boosted the titers of all Ig isotypes. In contrast, the primary CPS-specific Ab response was either inexistent or had titers only slightly higher than those in noninfected animals and was essentially composed of IgM. A poor CPS-specific memory response was observed, with only a moderate boost in IgM titers and no IgG. Both protein- and CPS-specific Ab responses were Toll-like receptor 2 independent. By using S. suis type 2 strains of European or North American origin, the poor CPS-specific Ab response was demonstrated to be independent of the genotypic/phenotypic diversity of the strain within serotype 2. Finally, the CPS-specific Ab response was also impaired and lacked isotype switching in S. suis-infected pigs, the natural host of the bacterium. The better resistance of preinfected animals to reinfection with the same strain of S. suis type 2 might thus more likely be related to the development of a protein rather than CPS Ab response.