Over a Decade of recA and tly Gene Sequence Typing of the Skin Bacterium Propionibacterium acnes: What Have We Learnt?
ABSTRACT: The Gram-positive, anaerobic bacterium Propionibacterium acnes forms part of the normal microbiota on human skin and mucosal surfaces. While normally associated with skin health, P. acnes is also an opportunistic pathogen linked with a range of human infections and clinical conditions. Over the last decade, our knowledge of the intraspecies phylogenetics and taxonomy of this bacterium has increased tremendously due to the introduction of DNA typing schemes based on single and multiple gene loci, as well as whole genomes. Furthermore, this work has led to the identification of specific lineages associated with skin health and human disease. In this review we will look back at the introduction of DNA sequence typing of P. acnes based on recA and tly loci, and then describe how these methods provided a basic understanding of the population genetic structure of the bacterium, and even helped characterize the grapevine-associated lineage of P. acnes, known as P. acnes type Zappe, which appears to have undergone a host switch from humans-to-plants. Particular limitations of recA and tly sequence typing will also be presented, as well as a detailed discussion of more recent, higher resolution, DNA-based methods to type P. acnes and investigate its evolutionary history in greater detail.
Project description:Although two phenotypes of the opportunistic pathogen Propionibacterium acnes (types I and II) have been described, epidemiological investigations of their roles in different infections have not been widely reported. Using immunofluorescence microscopy with monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) QUBPa1 and QUBPa2, specific for types I and II, respectively, we investigated the prevalences of the two types among 132 P. acnes isolates. Analysis of isolates from failed prosthetic hip implants (n = 40) revealed approximately equal numbers of type I and II organisms. Isolates from failed prosthetic hip-associated bone (n = 6) and tissue (n = 38) samples, as well as isolates from acne (n = 22), dental infections (n = 8), and skin removed during surgical incision (n = 18) were predominately of type I. A total of 11 (8%) isolates showed atypical MAb labeling and could not be conclusively identified. Phylogenetic analysis of P. acnes by nucleotide sequencing revealed the 16S rRNA gene to be highly conserved between types I and II. In contrast, sequence analysis of recA and a putative hemolysin gene (tly) revealed significantly greater type-specific polymorphisms that corresponded to phylogenetically distinct cluster groups. All 11 isolates with atypical MAb labeling were identified as type I by sequencing. Within the recA and tly phylogenetic trees, nine of these isolates formed a cluster distinct from other type I organisms, suggesting a further phylogenetic subdivision within type I. Our study therefore demonstrates that the phenotypic differences between P. acnes types I and II reflect deeper differences in their phylogeny. Furthermore, nucleotide sequencing provides an accurate method for identifying the type status of P. acnes isolates.
Project description:We previously described a Multilocus Sequence Typing (MLST) scheme based on eight genes that facilitates population genetic and evolutionary analysis of P. acnes. While MLST is a portable method for unambiguous typing of bacteria, it is expensive and labour intensive. Against this background, we now describe a refined version of this scheme based on two housekeeping (aroE; guaA) and two putative virulence (tly; camp2) genes (MLST4) that correctly predicted the phylogroup (IA1, IA2, IB, IC, II, III), clonal complex (CC) and sequence type (ST) (novel or described) status for 91% isolates (n = 372) via cross-referencing of the four gene allelic profiles to the full eight gene versions available in the MLST database (http://pubmlst.org/pacnes/). Even in the small number of cases where specific STs were not completely resolved, the MLST4 method still correctly determined phylogroup and CC membership. Examination of nucleotide changes within all the MLST loci provides evidence that point mutations generate new alleles approximately 1.5 times as frequently as recombination; although the latter still plays an important role in the bacterium's evolution. The secreted/cell-associated 'virulence' factors tly and camp2 show no clear evidence of episodic or pervasive positive selection and have diversified at a rate similar to housekeeping loci. The co-evolution of these genes with the core genome might also indicate a role in commensal/normal existence constraining their diversity and preventing their loss from the P. acnes population. The possibility that members of the expanded CAMP factor protein family, including camp2, may have been lost from other propionibacteria, but not P. acnes, would further argue for a possible role in niche/host adaption leading to their retention within the genome. These evolutionary insights may prove important for discussions surrounding camp2 as an immunotherapy target for acne, and the effect such treatments may have on commensal lineages.
Project description:Inflammation is commonly observed in radical prostatectomy specimens, and evidence suggests that inflammation may contribute to prostate carcinogenesis. Multiple microorganisms have been implicated in serving as a stimulus for prostatic inflammation. The pro-inflammatory anaerobe, Propionibacterium acnes, is ubiquitously found on human skin and is associated with the skin disease acne vulgaris. Recent studies have shown that P. acnes can be detected in prostatectomy specimens by bacterial culture or by culture-independent molecular techniques.Radical prostatectomy tissue samples were obtained from 30 prostate cancer patients and subject to both aerobic and anaerobic culture. Cultured species were identified by 16S rDNA gene sequencing. Propionibacterium acnes isolates were typed using multilocus sequence typing (MLST).Our study confirmed that P. acnes can be readily cultured from prostatectomy tissues (7 of 30 cases, 23%). In some cases, multiple isolates of P. acnes were cultured as well as other Propionibacterium species, such as P. granulosum and P. avidum. Overall, 9 of 30 cases (30%) were positive for Propionibacterium spp. MLST analyses identified eight different sequence types (STs) among prostate-derived P. acnes isolates. These STs belong to two clonal complexes, namely CC36 (type I-2) and CC53/60 (type II), or are CC53/60-related singletons.MLST typing results indicated that prostate-derived P. acnes isolates do not fall within the typical skin/acne STs, but rather are characteristic of STs associated with opportunistic infections and/or urethral flora. The MLST typing results argue against the likelihood that prostatectomy-derived P. acnes isolates represent contamination from skin flora.
Project description:The Gram-positive anaerobic bacterium Propionibacterium acnes is a prevalent member of the normal skin microbiota of human adults. In addition to its suspected role in acne vulgaris it is involved in a variety of opportunistic infections. Multi-locus sequence-typing (MLST) schemes identified distinct phylotypes associated with health and disease. Being based on 8 to 9 house-keeping genes these MLST schemes have a high discriminatory power, but their application is time- and cost-intensive. Here we describe a single-locus sequence typing (SLST) scheme for P. acnes. The target locus was identified with a genome mining approach that took advantage of the availability of representative genome sequences of all known phylotypes of P. acnes. We applied this SLST on a collection of 188 P. acnes strains and demonstrated a resolution comparable to that of existing MLST schemes. Phylogenetic analysis applied to the SLST locus resulted in clustering patterns identical to a reference tree based on core genome sequences. We further demonstrate that SLST can be applied to detect multiple phylotypes in complex microbial communities by a metagenomic pyrosequencing approach. The described SLST strategy may be applied to any bacterial species with a basically clonal population structure to achieve easy typing and mapping of multiple phylotypes in complex microbiotas. The P. acnes SLST database can be found at http://medbac.dk/slst/pacnes.
Project description:The human skin surface harbors huge numbers of microbes. The skin microbiota interacts with its host and forms a skin microbiome profile that is specific for each individual. It has been reported that the skin microbiota that is left on an individual's possessions can act as a sort of "fingerprint" and be used for owner identification. However, this approach needs to be improved to take into account any long-term instability of skin microbiota and contamination from nonspecific bacteria. Here, we took advantage of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the 16S-encoding rRNA gene of Cutibacterium acnes, the most common and abundant bacterium on human skin, to perform owner identification. We first developed a high-throughput genotyping method based on next-generation sequencing to characterize the SNPs of the C. acnes 16S rRNA gene and found that the genotype composition of C. acnes 16S rRNA is individual specific. Owner identification accuracy of around 90% based on random forest machine learning was achieved by using a combination of C. acnes 16S rRNA genotype and skin microbiome profile data. Furthermore, our study showed that the C. acnes 16S rRNA genotype remained more stable over time than the skin microbiome profile. This characteristic of C. acnes was further confirmed by the analysis of publicly available human skin metagenome data. Our approach, with its high precision, good reproducibility, and low costs, thus provides new possibilities in the field of microbiome-based owner identification and forensics in general.IMPORTANCE Cutibacterium acnes is the most common and abundant bacterial species on human skin, and the gene that encodes its 16S rRNA has multiple single-nucleotide polymorphisms. In this study, we developed a method to efficiently determine the C. acnes 16S rRNA genotype composition from microbial samples taken from the hands of participants and from their possessions. Using the C. acnes 16S rRNA genotype composition, we could predict the owner of a possession with around 90% accuracy when the 16S rRNA gene-based microbiome profile was included. We also showed that the C. acnes 16S rRNA genotype composition was more stable over time than the skin microbiome profile and thus is more suitable for owner identification.
Project description:The anaerobic gram-positive bacterium Propionibacterium acnes is a human skin commensal that is occasionally associated with inflammatory diseases. Recent work has indicated that evolutionary distinct lineages of P. acnes play etiologic roles in disease while others are associated with maintenance of skin homeostasis. To shed light on the molecular basis for differential strain properties, we carried out genomic and transcriptomic analysis of distinct P. acnes strains. We sequenced the genome of the P. acnes strain 266, a type I-1a strain. Comparative genome analysis of strain 266 and four other P. acnes strains revealed that overall genome plasticity is relatively low; however, a number of island-like genomic regions, encoding a variety of putative virulence-associated and fitness traits differ between phylotypes, as judged from PCR analysis of a collection of P. acnes strains. Comparative transcriptome analysis of strains KPA171202 (type I-2) and 266 during exponential growth revealed inter-strain differences in gene expression of transport systems and metabolic pathways. In addition, transcript levels of genes encoding possible virulence factors such as dermatan-sulphate adhesin, polyunsaturated fatty acid isomerase, iron acquisition protein HtaA and lipase GehA were upregulated in strain 266. We investigated differential gene expression during exponential and stationary growth phases. Genes encoding components of the energy-conserving respiratory chain as well as secreted and virulence-associated factors were transcribed during the exponential phase, while the stationary growth phase was characterized by upregulation of genes involved in stress responses and amino acid metabolism. Our data highlight the genomic basis for strain diversity and identify, for the first time, the actively transcribed part of the genome, underlining the important role growth status plays in the inflammation-inducing activity of P. acnes. We argue that the disease-causing potential of different P. acnes strains is not only determined by the phylotype-specific genome content but also by variable gene expression.
Project description:The predominant cultivable microbiota from 20 refractory endodontic lesions (9 with abscesses and 11 without abscesses) were determined, and Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis were among the most predominant organisms. The number of species identified from lesions with abscesses (14.1 ± 2.6) was significantly greater (P < 0.001) than the number from lesions without abscesses (7.4 ± 5.9). Comparison of perioral isolates using repetitive extragenic palindromic PCR of the same species from the same subjects demonstrated that the endodontic and skin populations were significantly different. The P. acnes isolates were typed on the basis of recA gene sequence comparison, and only three types (types I, II, and III) were identified among 125 isolates examined. However, we found that type I (type IA and IB) isolates were primarily isolated from the skin, while types II and III were significantly more likely to be isolated from the endodontic lesions (P < 10(-10)). We found that the robustness of the recA phylotypes was not strong by comparing the partial gene sequences of six putative virulence determinants, PAmce, PAp60, PA-25957, PA-5541, PA-21293, and PA-4687. The resulting neighbor-joining trees were incongruent, and significant (phi test; P = 2.2 × 10(-7)) evidence of recombination was demonstrated, with significant phylogenetic heterogeneity being apparent within the clusters. P. acnes and S. epidermidis isolated from refractory endodontic infections, with or without periapical abscesses, are likely to be nosocomial infections.
Project description:The involvement of Propionibacterium acnes in the pathogenesis of acne is controversial, mainly owing to its dominance as an inhabitant of healthy skin. This study tested the hypothesis that specific evolutionary lineages of the species are associated with acne while others are compatible with health. Phylogenetic reconstruction based on nine housekeeping genes was performed on 210 isolates of P. acnes from well-characterized patients with acne, various opportunistic infections, and from healthy carriers. Although evidence of recombination was observed, the results showed a basically clonal population structure correlated with allelic variation in the virulence genes tly and camp5, with pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE)- and biotype, and with expressed putative virulence factors. An unexpected geographically and temporal widespread dissemination of some clones was demonstrated. The population comprised three major divisions, one of which, including an epidemic clone, was strongly associated with moderate to severe acne while others were associated with health and opportunistic infections. This dichotomy correlated with previously observed differences in in vitro inflammation-inducing properties. Comparison of five genomes representing acne- and health-associated clones revealed multiple both cluster- and strain-specific genes that suggest major differences in ecological preferences and redefines the spectrum of disease-associated virulence factors. The results of the study indicate that particular clones of P. acnes play an etiologic role in acne while others are associated with health.
Project description:The role of the skin microbiota in human health is poorly understood. Here, we identified and characterized a novel antioxidant enzyme produced by the skin microbiota, designated RoxP for radical oxygenase of Propionibacterium acnes. RoxP is uniquely produced by the predominant skin bacterium P. acnes, with no homologs in other bacteria; it is highly expressed and strongly secreted into culture supernatants. We show that RoxP binds heme, reduces free radicals, and can protect molecules from oxidation. Strikingly, RoxP is crucial for the survival of P. acnes in oxic conditions and for skin colonization of P. acnes ex vivo. Taken together, our study strongly suggests that RoxP facilitates P. acnes' survival on human skin, and is an important beneficial factor for the host-commensal interaction. Thus, RoxP is the first described skin microbiota-derived mutualistic factor that potentially can be exploited for human skin protection.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The anaerobic Gram-positive bacterium Propionibacterium acnes is a human skin commensal that resides preferentially within sebaceous follicles; however, it also exhibits many traits of an opportunistic pathogen, playing roles in a variety of inflammatory diseases such as acne vulgaris. To date, the underlying disease-causing mechanisms remain ill-defined and knowledge of P. acnes virulence factors remains scarce. Here, we identified proteins secreted during anaerobic cultivation of a range of skin and clinical P. acnes isolates, spanning the four known phylogenetic groups. RESULTS: Culture supernatant proteins of P. acnes were separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) and all Coomassie-stained spots were subsequently identified by MALDI mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). A set of 20 proteins was secreted in the mid-exponential growth phase by the majority of strains tested. Functional annotation revealed that many of these common proteins possess degrading activities, including glycoside hydrolases with similarities to endoglycoceramidase, ?-N-acetylglucosaminidase and muramidase; esterases such as lysophospholipase and triacylglycerol lipase; and several proteases. Other secreted factors included Christie-Atkins-Munch-Petersen (CAMP) factors, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), and several hypothetical proteins, a few of which are unique to P. acnes. Strain-specific differences were apparent, mostly in the secretion of putative adhesins, whose genes exhibit variable phase variation-like sequence signatures. CONCLUSIONS: Our proteomic investigations have revealed that the P. acnes secretome harbors several proteins likely to play a role in host-tissue degradation and inflammation. Despite a large overlap between the secretomes of all four P. acnes phylotypes, distinct differences between predicted host-tissue interacting proteins were identified, providing potential insight into the differential virulence properties of P. acnes isolates. Thus, our data presents a rich resource for guiding much-needed investigations on P. acnes virulence factors and host interacting properties.