Staphylococcus sciuri bacteriophages double-convert for staphylokinase and phospholipase, mediate interspecies plasmid transduction, and package mecA gene.
ABSTRACT: Staphylococcus sciuri is a bacterial pathogen associated with infections in animals and humans, and represents a reservoir for the mecA gene encoding methicillin-resistance in staphylococci. No S. sciuri siphophages were known. Here the identification and characterization of two temperate S. sciuri phages from the Siphoviridae family designated ?575 and ?879 are presented. The phages have icosahedral heads and flexible noncontractile tails that end with a tail spike. The genomes of the phages are 42,160 and 41,448?bp long and encode 58 and 55 ORFs, respectively, arranged in functional modules. Their head-tail morphogenesis modules are similar to those of Staphylococcus aureus ?13-like serogroup F phages, suggesting their common evolutionary origin. The genome of phage ?575 harbours genes for staphylokinase and phospholipase that might enhance the virulence of the bacterial hosts. In addition both of the phages package a homologue of the mecA gene, which is a requirement for its lateral transfer. Phage ?879 transduces tetracycline and aminoglycoside pSTS7-like resistance plasmids from its host to other S. sciuri strains and to S. aureus. Furthermore, both of the phages efficiently adsorb to numerous staphylococcal species, indicating that they may contribute to interspecies horizontal gene transfer.
Project description:A homolog of the Staphylococcus aureus methicillin resistance gene mecA was recently shown to be ubiquitous in independent isolates of the animal species Staphylococcus sciuri. The mecA gene homolog and regions flanking it were cloned and sequenced from four strains of S. sciuri: strain K1 (ATCC 29062), a representative of S. sciuri subsp. sciuri; two strains (K3 and K8) representing S. sciuri subsp. rodentius; and strain K11, a representative of S. sciuri subsp. carnaticum. Strains K1 and K11 were susceptible to methicillin, while strains K3 and K8 showed heterogeneous resistance. The mecA genes of strains K1 and K11 and one of the two copies of mecA (mecA1) present in strain K3 had virtually identical DNA sequences in the mecA gene and were similar in genetic organization in the flanking regions. In contrast, the single copy of mecA in strain K8 and the second copy of mecA (mecA2) in strain K3 had mecA DNA sequences identical to that of S. aureus mecA, and the mecA region in these two strains was also similar to that of the same region in the S. aureus strain used for comparison. Interestingly, an open reading frame defining an N-terminal truncated polypeptide, NTORF101, with a high degree of homology to a DNA segment in the hypervariable region of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (and also similar to the Escherichia coli gene ugpQ) was also identified downstream of the mecA homolog of strain K11, representing S. sciuri subsp. carnaticum. The ugpQ-like gene is not present in methicillin-susceptible strains of S. aureus. The presence of such a ugpQ-like gene together with the homolog of mecA in strain K11 supports the speculation that these genetic elements may be evolutionary relatives and/or precursors of the genetic determinant of methicillin resistance in S. aureus.
Project description:Oxacillin/methicillin-resistance is related to the mecA and its regulatory genes mecR1 and mecI. Its origin is still unknown, although evidences support that it is related to CNS, once mecA and a homologue gene, pbpD, were both detected in Staphylococcus sciuri species group. The present work evaluated 210 samples of skin and ear swabs from rodents and 60 nasal swabs from equines of Army Biologic Institute, Rio de Janeiro. Pheno- and genotypic characterization provided 59.52% (25/42) and 78.57% (11/14) S. lentus and S. sciuri, respectively. It was observed that although all S. sciuri isolates tested positive for pbpD, there was no correlation with oxacillin-resistance. On the other hand, isolates tested positive for mecA gene also presented phenotypic oxacillin-resistance in at least one assay. The alignment of the mecA gene showed that the nucleotide sequences were sorted into 2 different groups, one comprising the bovine strains and the other containing human and equine strains.
Project description:Methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus spp. results from the expression of an alternative penicillin-binding protein 2a (encoded by mecA) with a low affinity for ?-lactam antibiotics. Recently, a novel variant of mecA known as mecC (formerly mecALGA251) was identified in Staphylococcus aureus isolates from both humans and animals. In this study, we identified two Staphylococcus sciuri subsp. carnaticus isolates from bovine infections that harbour three different mecA homologues: mecA, mecA1 and mecC.We subjected the two isolates to whole-genome sequencing to further understand the genetic context of the mec-containing region. We also used PCR and RT-PCR to investigate the excision and expression of the SCCmec element and mec genes, respectively.Whole-genome sequencing revealed a novel hybrid SCCmec region at the orfX locus consisting of a class E mec complex (mecI-mecR1-mecC1-blaZ) located immediately downstream of a staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) type VII element. A second SCCmec attL site (attL2), which was imperfect, was present downstream of the mecC region. PCR analysis of stationary-phase cultures showed that both the SCCmec type VII element and a hybrid SCCmec-mecC element were capable of excision from the genome and forming a circular intermediate. Transcriptional analysis showed that mecC and mecA, but not mecA1, were both expressed in liquid culture supplemented with oxacillin.Overall, this study further highlights that a range of staphylococcal species harbour the mecC gene and furthers the view that coagulase-negative staphylococci associated with animals may act as reservoirs of antibiotic resistance genes for more pathogenic staphylococcal species.
Project description:The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and diversity of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) species from wild birds in Spain, as well as to analyze the antimicrobial resistance phenotype/genotype and the virulence gene content. During 2015-2016, tracheal samples of 242 wild birds were collected in different regions of Spain for staphylococci recovery. The species identification was performed using MALDI-TOF. The antimicrobial resistance phenotype and genotype was investigated by the disk diffusion method and by PCR, respectively. The presence of the virulence genes lukF/S-PV, tst, eta, etb, etd and scn was investigated by PCR. Moreover, CoNS carrying the mecA gene were subjected to SCCmec typing. Of the tested animals, 60% were CoNS-carriers, and 173 CoNS isolates were recovered from the 146 positive animals, which belonged to 11 species, with predominance of S. sciuri (n = 118) and S. lentus (n = 25). A total of 34% of CoNS isolates showed a multidrug resistance phenotype, and 42 mecA-positive methicillin-resistant CoNS (MRCoNS) were detected. The isolates showed resistance to the following antimicrobials (percentage of resistant isolates/antimicrobial resistance genes detected): penicillin (49/ blaZ, mecA), cefoxitin (24/ mecA), erythromycin and/or clindamycin (92/ erm(B), erm(C), erm(43), msr(A), mph(C), lnu(A), lsa(B), vga(A) and sal(A)), gentamicin and/or tobramycin (5/ aac(6')-Ie-aph(2?)-Ia, ant(4')-Ia), streptomycin (12/str), tetracycline (17/ tet(K), tet(L), tet(M)), ciprofloxacin (4), chloramphenicol (1/ fexA), fusidic acid (86/ fusB, fusD) and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (1/ dfrK). None of the isolates harbored the lukF/S-PV, eta, etb, etd and scn genes, but two S. sciuri isolates (1%) carried the tst gene. Wild birds are frequently colonized by CoNS species, especially S. sciuri. We identified scavenging on intensively produced livestock and feeding on landfills as risk factors for CoNS carriage. High proportions of MRCoNS and multidrug resistant CoNS were detected, which coupled with the presence of important virulence genes is of concern.
Project description:In Staphylococcus aureus strains of human origin, phages which integrate into the chromosomal gene coding for beta-hemolysin (hlb) are widely distributed. Most of them encode accessory virulence determinants such as staphylokinase (sak) or enterotoxins. Here, we analyzed the effects of ciprofloxacin and trimethoprim on phage induction and expression of phage-encoded virulence factors by using isolates from patients with cystic fibrosis for which the induction of hlb-converting phages was demonstrated in vivo (C. Goerke, S. Matias y Papenberg, S. Dasbach, K. Dietz, R. Ziebach, B. C. Kahl, and C. Wolz, J. Infect. Dis. 189:724-734, 2004) as well as a phi13 lysogen of phage-cured strain 8325-4. Treatment of lysogens with subinhibitory concentrations of either antibiotic resulted in (i) delysogenization of strains resembling the isolates picked up after chronic lung infection and (ii) replication of phages in the bacterial host in a dose-dependent manner. Ciprofloxacin treatment resulted in enhanced recA transcription, indicating involvement of the SOS response in phage mobilization. Induction of phi13 was linked to elevated expression of the phage-encoded virulence gene sak, chiefly due to the activation of latent phage promoters. In summary, we could show the induction of hlb-converting phages and a subsequent virulence modulation of the host bacterium by ciprofloxacin and trimethoprim.
Project description:Several lines of evidence indicate that the most primitive staphylococcal species, those of the Staphylococcus sciuri group, were involved in the first stages of evolution of the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec), the genetic element carrying the ?-lactam resistance gene mecA However, many steps are still missing from this evolutionary history. In particular, it is not known how mecA was incorporated into the mobile element SCC prior to dissemination among Staphylococcus aureus and other pathogenic staphylococcal species. To gain insights into the possible contribution of several species of the Staphylococcus sciuri group to the assembly of SCCmec, we sequenced the genomes of 106 isolates, comprising S. sciuri (n = 76), Staphylococcus vitulinus (n = 18), and Staphylococcus fleurettii (n = 12) from animal and human sources, and characterized the native location of mecA and the SCC insertion site by using a variety of comparative genomic approaches. Moreover, we performed a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis of the genomes in order to understand SCCmec evolution in relation to phylogeny. We found that each of three species of the S. sciuri group contributed to the evolution of SCCmec: S. vitulinus and S. fleurettii contributed to the assembly of the mec complex, and S. sciuri most likely provided the mobile element in which mecA was later incorporated. We hypothesize that an ancestral SCCmec III cassette (an element carried by one of the most epidemic methicillin-resistant S. aureus clones) originated in S. sciuri possibly by a recombination event in a human host or a human-created environment and later was transferred to S. aureus.
Project description:One of the most dynamically developing sectors of green biotechnology is molecular farming using transgenic plants as natural bioreactors for the large scale production of recombinant proteins with biopharmaceutical and therapeutic values. Such properties are characteristic of certain proteins of bacterial origin, including staphylokinase. For many years, work has been carried out on the use of this protein in thrombolytic therapy. In this study, transgenic Solanum tuberosum plants expressing a CaMV::sak-mgpf-gusA gene fusion, were obtained. AGL1 A. tumefaciens strain was used in the process of transformation. The presence of the staphylokinase gene was confirmed by PCR in 22.5% of the investigated plants. The expression of the fusion transgene was detected using the ?-glucuronidase activity assay in 32 putative transgenic plants. Furthermore, on the basis of the GUS histochemical reaction, the transgene expression pattern had a strong, constitutive character in seven of the transformants. The polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of a protein extract from the SAK/PCR-positive plants, revealed the presence of a119 kDa protein that corresponds to that of the fusion protein SAK-mGFP-GUSA. Western blot analysis, using an antibody against staphylokinase, showed the presence of the staphylokinase domain in the 119 kDa protein in six analyzed transformants. However, the enzymatic test revealed amidolytic activity characteristic of staphylokinase in the protein extract of only one plant. This is the first report on a Solanum tuberosum plant producing a recombinant staphylokinase protein, a plasminogen activator of bacterial origin.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus MRSA strains belonging to the clonal complex 398 (CC398) are highly prevalent in livestock and companion animals but may also cause serious infections in humans. CC398 strains in livestock usually do not possess well-known virulence factors that can be frequently found in other MRSA sequence types (ST). Since many staphylococcal virulence genes are residing on the genomes of temperate phages, the question arises why livestock-associated (LA-) CC398 strains are only rarely infected by those phages. We isolated and characterized four temperate phages (P240, P282, P630 and P1105) containing genes of the immune evasion cluster (IEC) and/or for the Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL). Sequence analysis of the phage genomes showed that they are closely related to known phages and that the DNA region encoding lysis proteins, virulence factors and the integrase exhibits numerous DNA repeats which may facilitate genomic rearrangements. All phages lysed and lysogenized LA-CC398 strains. Integration of IEC phage P282 was detected at ten sites of the hosts' chromosome. The prophages were stably inherited in LA-CC398 and enterotoxin A, staphylokinase and PVL toxin were produced. The data demonstrate that lysogenic conversion of LA-CC398 strains by virulence-associated phages may occur and that new pathotypes may emerge by this mechanism.
Project description:Staphylococcus sciuri (S. sciuri) is a rare pathogen in humans, but it can cause a wide array of human infections. Recently a S. sciuri isolate (HBXX06) was reported to cause fatal exudative epidermitis (EE) in piglets and thus considered as a potential zoonotic agent. To investigate the pathogenicity of this bacterium, we cloned exfoliative toxin C (ExhC), a major toxin of the S. sciuri isolate and performed functional analysis of the recombinant ExhC-his (rExhC) protein using in vitro cell cultures and newborn mice as models. We found that rExhC could induce necrosis in multiple cell lines and peritoneal macrophages as well as skin lesions in newborn mice, and that the rExhC-induced necrosis in cells or skin lesions in newborn mice could be completely abolished if amino acids 79-128 of rExhC were deleted or blocked with a monoclonal antibody (3E4), indicating aa 79-128 portion as an essential necrosis-inducing domain. This information contributes to further understandings of the mechanisms underlying S. sciuri infection.