In Vivo Gene Essentiality and Metabolism in Bordetella pertussis.
ABSTRACT: Bordetella pertussis is the causative agent of whooping cough, a serious respiratory illness affecting children and adults, associated with prolonged cough and potential mortality. Whooping cough has reemerged in recent years, emphasizing a need for increased knowledge of basic mechanisms of B. pertussis growth and pathogenicity. While previous studies have provided insight into in vitro gene essentiality of this organism, very little is known about in vivo gene essentiality, a critical gap in knowledge, since B. pertussis has no previously identified environmental reservoir and is isolated from human respiratory tract samples. We hypothesize that the metabolic capabilities of B. pertussis are especially tailored to the respiratory tract and that many of the genes involved in B. pertussis metabolism would be required to establish infection in vivo In this study, we generated a diverse library of transposon mutants and then used it to probe gene essentiality in vivo in a murine model of infection. Using the CON-ARTIST pipeline, 117 genes were identified as conditionally essential at 1 day postinfection, and 169 genes were identified as conditionally essential at 3 days postinfection. Most of the identified genes were associated with metabolism, and we utilized two existing genome-scale metabolic network reconstructions to probe the effects of individual essential genes on biomass synthesis. This analysis suggested a critical role for glucose metabolism and lipooligosaccharide biosynthesis in vivo This is the first genome-wide evaluation of in vivo gene essentiality in B. pertussis and provides tools for future exploration.IMPORTANCE Our study describes the first in vivo transposon sequencing (Tn-seq) analysis of B. pertussis and identifies genes predicted to be essential for in vivo growth in a murine model of intranasal infection, generating key resources for future investigations into B. pertussis pathogenesis and vaccine design.
Project description:The Gram-negative bacterium Bordetella pertussis is the causative agent of whooping cough, a serious respiratory infection causing hundreds of thousands of deaths annually worldwide. There are effective vaccines, but their production requires growing large quantities of B. pertussis. Unfortunately, B. pertussis has relatively slow growth in culture, with low biomass yields and variable growth characteristics. B. pertussis also requires a relatively expensive growth medium. We present a new, curated flux balance analysis-based model of B. pertussis metabolism. We enhance the model with an experimentally-determined biomass objective function, and we perform extensive manual curation. We test the model's predictions with a genome-wide screen for essential genes using a transposon-directed insertional sequencing (TraDIS) approach. We test its predictions of growth for different carbon sources in the medium. The model predicts essentiality with an accuracy of 83% and correctly predicts improvements in growth under increased glutamate:fumarate ratios. We provide the model in SBML format, along with gene essentiality predictions.
Project description:Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whooping cough, produces a microcapsule at its surface but its role in pertussis pathogenesis remained to be investigated.Absence of KpsT, a membrane-associated protein involved in the polysaccharide transport resulted in the down-modulation of a large number of virulence genes which correlated with strong attenuation in vivo. Overall design: One condition experiment, DeltaKpsT against WT. Biological replicates: 3 control replicates, 3 mutants replicates.
Project description:Recent whooping cough (pertussis) outbreaks in many countries highlight the crucial need for a better understanding of the pathogenesis of Bordetella pertussis infection of the respiratory tract. The baboon is a recently described preclinical model for the study of B. pertussis infection and may be ideal for the evaluation of new pertussis vaccines. However, many pathophysiological aspects, including bacterial localization and interactions, have yet to be described in this model. Here, we used a baboon model of infection with a fluorescent GFP-expressing B. pertussis strain, derived from European clinical isolate B1917. Juvenile baboons were used to evaluate susceptibility to infection and transmission. Non-invasive in vivo imaging procedures, using probe-based confocal endomicroscopy coupled with bronchoscopy, were developed to track fluorescent bacterial localization and cellular interactions with host cells in the lower respiratory tract of infected animals. All B1917-GFP-challenged animals developed classical pertussis symptoms, including paroxysmal cough, nasopharyngeal colonization, and leukocytosis. In vivo co-localization with antigen presenting cells and progressive bacterial colonization of the lower airways were also assessed by imaging during the first weeks of infection. Our results demonstrate that in vivo imaging can be used to assess bacterial colonization and to point out interactions in a baboon model of pertussis.
Project description:The whooping cough agent Bordetella pertussis is closely related to Bordetella bronchiseptica, which is responsible for chronic respiratory infections in various mammals and is occasionally found in humans, and to Bordetella parapertussis, one lineage of which causes mild whooping cough in humans and the other ovine respiratory infections. All three species produce similar sets of virulence factors that are co-regulated by the two-component system BvgAS. We characterized the molecular diversity of BvgAS in Bordetella by sequencing the two genes from a large number of diverse isolates. The response regulator BvgA is virtually invariant, indicating strong functional constraints. In contrast, the multi-domain sensor kinase BvgS has evolved into two different types. The pertussis type is found in B. pertussis and in a lineage of essentially human-associated B. bronchiseptica, while the bronchiseptica type is associated with the majority of B. bronchiseptica and both ovine and human B. parapertussis. BvgS is monomorphic in B. pertussis, suggesting optimal adaptation or a recent population bottleneck. The degree of diversity of the bronchiseptica type BvgS is markedly different between domains, indicating distinct evolutionary pressures. Thus, absolute conservation of the putative solute-binding cavities of the two periplasmic Venus Fly Trap (VFT) domains suggests that common signals are perceived in all three species, while the external surfaces of these domains vary more extensively. Co-evolution of the surfaces of the two VFT domains in each type and domain swapping experiments indicate that signal transduction in the periplasmic region may be type-specific. The two distinct evolutionary solutions for BvgS confirm that B. pertussis has emerged from a specific B. bronchiseptica lineage. The invariant regions of BvgS point to essential parts for its molecular mechanism, while the variable regions may indicate adaptations to different lifestyles. The repertoire of BvgS sequences will pave the way for functional analyses of this prototypic system.
Project description:Bordetella pertussis is the causative agent of whooping cough, a highly contagious, acute respiratory illness that has seen resurgence despite the use of vaccines. We present the complete genome sequence of a clinical strain of B. pertussis, D420, which is representative of a currently circulating clade of this pathogen.
Project description:Whooping cough is a highly-contagious respiratory disease caused by Bordetella pertussis. Despite vaccination, its incidence has been rising alarmingly, and yet, the physiology of B. pertussis remains poorly understood. We combined genome-scale metabolic reconstruction, a novel optimization algorithm and experimental data to probe the full metabolic potential of this pathogen, using strain Tohama I as a reference. Experimental validation showed that B. pertussis secretes a significant proportion of nitrogen as arginine and purine nucleosides, which may contribute to modulation of the host response. We also found that B. pertussis can be unexpectedly versatile, being able to metabolize many compounds while displaying minimal nutrient requirements. It can grow without cysteine - using inorganic sulfur sources such as thiosulfate - and it can grow on organic acids such as citrate or lactate as sole carbon sources, providing in vivo demonstration that its TCA cycle is functional. Although the metabolic reconstruction of eight additional strains indicates that the structural genes underlying this metabolic flexibility are widespread, experimental validation suggests a role of strain-specific regulatory mechanisms in shaping metabolic capabilities. Among five alternative strains tested, three were shown to grow on substrate combinations requiring a functional TCA cycle, but only one could use thiosulfate. Finally, the metabolic model was used to rationally design growth media with over two-fold improvements in pertussis toxin production. This study thus provides novel insights into B. pertussis physiology, and highlights the potential, but also limitations of models solely based on metabolic gene content.IMPORTANCE The metabolic capabilities of Bordetella pertussis - the causative agent of whooping cough - were investigated from a systems-level perspective. We constructed a comprehensive genome-scale metabolic model for B. pertussis, and challenged its predictions experimentally. This systems approach shed light on new potential host-microbe interactions, and allowed to rationally design novel growth media with over two-fold improvements in pertussis toxin production. Most importantly, we also uncovered the potential for metabolic flexibility of B. pertussis (significantly larger range of substrates than previously alleged; novel active pathways allowing growth in minimal, nearly mineral nutrient combinations where only the carbon source must be organic), although our results also highlight the importance of strain-specific regulatory determinants in shaping metabolic capabilities. Deciphering the underlying regulatory mechanisms appears crucial for a comprehensive understanding of B. pertussis's lifestyle and the epidemiology of whooping cough. The contribution of metabolic models in this context will require the extension of the genome-scale metabolic model to integrate this regulatory dimension.
Project description:Pertussis (whooping cough) remains a public health problem despite extensive vaccination strategies. Better understanding of the host-pathogen interaction and the detailed B. pertussis (Bp) target recognition pattern will help in guided vaccine design. We characterized the specific epitope antigen recognition profiles of serum antibodies ('the reactome') induced by whooping cough and B. pertussis (Bp) vaccines from a case-control study conducted in 1996 in infants enrolled in a Bp vaccine trial in Sweden (Gustafsson, NEJM, 1996, 334, 349-355).Sera from children with whooping cough, vaccinated with Diphtheria Tetanus Pertussis (DTP) whole-cell (wc), acellular 5 (DPTa5), or with the 2 component (a2) vaccines and from infants receiving only DT (n=10 for each group) were tested with high-content peptide microarrays containing 17 Bp proteins displayed as linear (n=3175) peptide stretches. Slides were incubated with serum and peptide-IgG complexes detected with Cy5-labeled goat anti-human IgG and analyzed using a GenePix 4000B microarray scanner, followed by statistical analysis, using PAM (Prediction Analysis for Microarrays) and the identification of uniquely recognized peptide epitopes.367/3,085 (11.9%) peptides were recognized in 10/10 sera from children with whooping cough, 239 (7.7%) in DTPwc, 259 (8.4%) in DTPa5, 105 (3.4%) DTPa2, 179 (5.8%) in the DT groups. Recognition of strongly recognized peptides was similar between whooping cough and DPTwc, but statistically different between whooping cough vs. DTPa5 (p<0.05), DTPa2 and DT (p<0.001 vs. both) vaccines. 6/3,085 and 2/3,085 peptides were exclusively recognized in (10/10) sera from children with whooping cough and DTPa2 vaccination, respectively. DTPwc resembles more closely the whooping cough reactome as compared to acellular vaccines.We could identify a unique recognition signature common for each vaccination group (10/10 children). Peptide microarray technology allows detection of subtle differences in epitope signature responses and may help to guide rational vaccine development by the objective description of a clinically relevant immune response that confers protection against infectious pathogens.
Project description:Whooping cough (pertussis), primarily caused by Bordetella pertussis, has resurged in the United States, and circulating strains exhibit considerable chromosome structural fluidity in the form of rearrangement and deletion. The genus Bordetella includes additional pathogenic species infecting various animals, some even causing pertussis-like respiratory disease in humans; however, investigation of their genome evolution has been limited. We studied chromosome structure in complete genome sequences from 167 Bordetella species isolates, as well as 469 B. pertussis isolates, to gain a generalized understanding of rearrangement patterns among these related pathogens. Observed changes in gene order primarily resulted from large inversions and were only detected in species with genomes harboring multicopy insertion sequence (IS) elements, most notably B. holmesii and B. parapertussis While genomes of B. pertussis contain >240 copies of IS481, IS elements appear less numerous in other species and yield less chromosome structural diversity through rearrangement. These data were further used to predict all possible rearrangements between IS element copies present in Bordetella genomes, revealing that only a subset is observed among circulating strains. Therefore, while it appears that rearrangement occurs less frequently in other species than in B. pertussis, these clinically relevant respiratory pathogens likely experience similar mutation of gene order. The resulting chromosome structural fluidity presents both challenges and opportunity for the study of Bordetella respiratory pathogens.IMPORTANCE Bordetella pertussis is the primary agent of whooping cough (pertussis). The Bordetella genus includes additional pathogens of animals and humans, including some that cause pertussis-like respiratory illness. The chromosome of B. pertussis has previously been shown to exhibit considerable structural rearrangement, but insufficient data have prevented comparable investigation in related species. In this study, we analyze chromosome structure variation in several Bordetella species to gain a generalized understanding of rearrangement patterns in this genus. Just as in B. pertussis, we observed inversions in other species that likely result from common mutational processes. We used these data to further predict additional, unobserved inversions, suggesting that specific genome structures may be preferred in each species.
Project description:Bordetella pertussis is a Gram-negative bacterium and the causative agent of whooping cough. Whooping cough is currently re-emerging worldwide and, therefore, still poses a continuous global health threat. B. pertussis expresses several virulence factors that play a role in evading the human immune response. One of these virulence factors is virulence associated gene 8 (Vag8). Vag8 is a complement evasion molecule that mediates its effects by binding to the complement regulator C1 inhibitor (C1-INH). This regulatory protein is a fluid phase serine protease that controls proenzyme activation and enzyme activity of not only the complement system but also the contact system. Activation of the contact system results in the generation of bradykinin, a pro-inflammatory peptide. Here, the activation of the contact system by B. pertussis was explored. We demonstrate that recombinant as well as endogenous Vag8 enhanced contact system activity by binding C1-INH and attenuating its inhibitory function. Moreover, we show that B. pertussis itself is able to activate the contact system. This activation was dependent on Vag8 production as a Vag8 knockout B. pertussis strain was unable to activate the contact system. These findings show a previously overlooked interaction between the contact system and the respiratory pathogen B. pertussis. Activation of the contact system by B. pertussis may contribute to its pathogenicity and virulence.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Bordetella pertussis is the causative agent of human whooping cough (pertussis) and is particularly severe in infants. Despite worldwide vaccinations, whooping cough remains a public health problem. A significant increase in the incidence of whooping cough has been observed in many countries since the 1990s. Several reasons for the re-emergence of this highly contagious disease have been suggested. A particularly intriguing possibility is based on evidence indicating that pathogen adaptation may play a role in this process. In an attempt to gain insight into the genomic make-up of B. pertussis over the last 60 years, we used an oligonucleotide DNA microarray to compare the genomic contents of a collection of 171 strains of B. pertussis isolates from different countries. RESULTS: The CGH microarray analysis estimated the core genome of B. pertussis, to consist of 3,281 CDSs that are conserved among all B. pertussis strains, and represent 84.8% of all CDSs found in the 171 B. pertussis strains. A total of 64 regions of difference consisting of one or more contiguous CDSs were identified among the variable genes. CGH data also revealed that the genome size of B. pertussis strains is decreasing progressively over the past 60 years. Phylogenetic analysis of microarray data generated a minimum spanning tree that depicted the phylogenetic structure of the strains. B. pertussis strains with the same gene content were found in several different countries. However, geographic specificity of the B. pertussis strains was not observed. The gene content was determined to highly correlate with the ptxP-type of the strains. CONCLUSIONS: An overview of genomic contents of a large collection of isolates from different countries allowed us to derive a core genome and a phylogenetic structure of B. pertussis. Our results show that B. pertussis is a dynamic organism that continues to evolve.