The Pathogenic Potential of Proteus mirabilis Is Enhanced by Other Uropathogens during Polymicrobial Urinary Tract Infection.
ABSTRACT: 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: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: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: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 is a leading cause of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) and urolithiasis. The transcriptional regulator MrpJ inversely modulates two critical aspects of P. mirabilis UTI progression: fimbria-mediated attachment and flagellum-mediated motility. Transcriptome data indicated a network of virulence-associated genes under MrpJ's control. Here, we identify the direct gene regulon of MrpJ and its contribution to P. mirabilis pathogenesis, leading to the discovery of novel virulence targets. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) was used for the first time in a CAUTI pathogen to probe for in vivo direct targets of MrpJ. Selected MrpJ-regulated genes were mutated and assessed for their contribution to UTI using a mouse model. ChIP-seq revealed a palindromic MrpJ binding sequence and 78 MrpJ-bound regions, including binding sites upstream of genes involved in motility, fimbriae, and a type VI secretion system (T6SS). A combinatorial mutation approach established the contribution of three fimbriae (fim8A, fim14A, and pmpA) to UTI and a new pathogenic role for the T6SS in UTI progression. In conclusion, this study (i) establishes the direct gene regulon and an MrpJ consensus binding site and (ii) led to the discovery of new virulence genes in P. mirabilis UTI, which could be targeted for therapeutic intervention of CAUTI.
Project description:Pathogenicity islands (PAIs) are a specific group of genomic islands that contribute to genomic variability and virulence of bacterial pathogens. Using a strain-specific comparative genomic hybridization array, we report the identification of a 94-kb PAI, designated ICEPm1, that is common to Proteus mirabilis, Providencia stuartii, and Morganella morganii. These organisms are highly prevalent etiologic agents of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (caUTI), the most common hospital acquired infection. ICEPm1 carries virulence factors that are important for colonization of the urinary tract, including a known toxin (Proteus toxic agglutinin) and the high pathogenicity island of Yersinia spp. In addition, this PAI shares homology and gene organization similar to the PAIs of other bacterial pathogens, several of which have been classified as mobile integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs). Isolates from this study were cultured from patients with caUTI and show identical sequence similarity at three loci within ICEPm1, suggesting its transfer between bacterial genera. Screening for the presence of ICEPm1 among P. mirabilis colonizing isolates showed that ICEPm1 is more prevalent in urine isolates compared to P. mirabilis strains isolated from other body sites (P<0.0001), further suggesting that it contributes to niche specificity and is positively selected for in the urinary tract.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in nursing homes are common, costly, and morbid. PURPOSE:Systematic literature review of strategies to reduce UTIs in nursing home residents. DATA SOURCES:Ovid MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, Web of Science and Embase through June 22, 2015. STUDY SELECTION:Interventional studies with a comparison group reporting at least 1 outcome for: catheter-associated UTI (CAUTI), UTIs not identified as catheter-associated, bacteriuria, or urinary catheter use. DATA EXTRACTION:Two authors abstracted study design, participant and intervention details, outcomes, and quality measures. DATA SYNTHESIS:Of 5794 records retrieved, 20 records describing 19 interventions were included: 8 randomized controlled trials, 10 pre-post nonrandomized interventions, and 1 nonrandomized intervention with concurrent controls. Quality (range, 8-25; median, 15) and outcome definitions varied greatly. Thirteen studies employed strategies to reduce catheter use or improve catheter care; 9 studies employed general infection prevention strategies (eg, improving hand hygiene, surveillance, contact precautions, reducing antibiotics). The 19 studies reported 12 UTI outcomes, 9 CAUTI outcomes, 4 bacteriuria outcomes, and 5 catheter use outcomes. Five studies showed CAUTI reduction (1 significantly); 9 studies showed UTI reduction (none significantly); 2 studies showed bacteriuria reduction (none significantly). Four studies showed reduced catheter use (1 significantly). LIMITATIONS:Studies were often underpowered to assess statistical significance; none were pooled given variety of interventions and outcomes. CONCLUSIONS:Several practices, often implemented in bundles, such as improving hand hygiene, reducing and improving catheter use, managing incontinence without catheters, and enhanced barrier precautions, appear to reduce UTI or CAUTI in nursing home residents. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2017;12:356-368.
Project description:Proteus mirabilis is a leading cause of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (UTIs) and urolithiasis. The transcriptional regulator MrpJ inversely modulates two critical aspects of P. mirabilis UTI progression: fimbria-mediated attachment to the urinary tract, and flagella-mediated motility. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) was used for the first time in a CAUTI pathogen to probe for in vivo direct targets of MrpJ. ChIP-seq revealed 81 78 direct MrpJ targets, including genes for motility, fimbriae and a type VI secretion system (T6SS), and the putative MrpJ binding sequence ACnCnnnnnnnGnGT. Overall design: Four types of P. mirabilis samples were sequenced:1) empty vector with no ChIP antibody (control); 2) pMrpJ (produces His-tagged MrpJ) with no ChIP antibody (control); 3) empty vector with anti-His ChIP (control) and 4) pMrpJ with anti-His ChIP (experimental sample). Two biological replicates were sequenced for each sample type, for a total of 8 samples.
Project description:Urinary tract infections (UTI) are the second-largest group of healthcare-associated infections (HCAI). The Saving Lives Urinary Catheter Care Bundle was introduced to reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). In response, we implemented a catheter care group to examine ways to improve catheter care in an acute hospital NHS Trust.We adopted a multimodal approach, revolving around four components: (1) Catheter Care Pathway; (2) HOUDINI checklist; (3) catheter magnets; and (4) use of bladder ultrasound scanners.The yearly CAUTI prevalence survey showed an annual reduction in CAUTI from 2012-2013 to 2014-2015 (3.5% to 2.4%). Evaluations of the multimodal approach have highlighted limitations, leading to priorities being established around provision of tools, education, and use of measurement and feedback.Our multimodal approach demonstrates CAUTI rate improvements are achievable, directly benefiting patients. However, long-term maintenance of multimodal components is required to ensure sustained benefit. Engagement and accountability have emerged as significant challenges to the effectiveness and longevity of the catheter care group. We suggest greater emphasis on such challenges if long-term national or international improvement is to be achieved.
Project description:Proteus mirabilis, a Gram-negative uropathogen, is a major causative agent in catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). Mannose-resistant Proteus-like fimbriae (MR/P) are crucially important for P. mirabilis infectivity and are required for biofilm formation and auto-aggregation, as well as for bladder and kidney colonization. Here, the X-ray crystal structure of the MR/P tip adhesin, MrpH, is reported. The structure has a fold not previously described and contains a transition metal center with Zn2+ coordinated by three conserved histidine residues and a ligand. Using biofilm assays, chelation, metal complementation, and site-directed mutagenesis of the three histidines, we show that an intact metal binding site occupied by zinc is essential for MR/P fimbria-mediated biofilm formation, and furthermore, that P. mirabilis biofilm formation is reversible in a zinc-dependent manner. Zinc is also required for MR/P-dependent agglutination of erythrocytes, and mutation of the metal binding site renders P. mirabilis unfit in a mouse model of UTI. The studies presented here provide important clues as to the mechanism of MR/P-mediated biofilm formation and serve as a starting point for identifying the physiological MR/P fimbrial receptor.