The Population Structure of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Is Characterized by Genetic Isolation of exoU+ and exoS+ Lineages.
ABSTRACT: The diversification of microbial populations may be driven by many factors including adaptation to distinct ecological niches and barriers to recombination. We examined the population structure of the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa by analyzing whole-genome sequences of 739 isolates from diverse sources. We confirmed that the population structure of P. aeruginosa consists of two major groups (referred to as Groups A and B) and at least two minor groups (Groups C1 and C2). Evidence for frequent intragroup but limited intergroup recombination in the core genome was observed, consistent with sexual isolation of the groups. Likewise, accessory genome analysis demonstrated more gene flow within Groups A and B than between these groups, and a few accessory genomic elements were nearly specific to one or the other group. In particular, the exoS gene was highly overrepresented in Group A compared with Group B isolates (99.4% vs. 1.1%) and the exoU gene was highly overrepresented in Group B compared with Group A isolates (95.2% vs. 1.8%). The exoS and exoU genes encode effector proteins secreted by the P. aeruginosa type III secretion system. Together these results suggest that the major P. aeruginosa groups defined in part by the exoS and exoU genes are divergent from each other, and that these groups are genetically isolated and may be ecologically distinct. Although both groups were globally distributed and caused human infections, certain groups predominated in some clinical contexts.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa uses its type III secretion system to inject the effector proteins ExoS and ExoU into eukaryotic cells, which subverts these cells to the bacterium's advantage and contributes to severe infections. We studied the environmental reservoirs of exoS+ and exoU+ strains of P. aeruginosa by collecting water, soil, moist substrates and plant samples from environments in the Chicago region and neighbouring states. Whole-genome sequencing was used to determine the phylogeny and type III secretion system genotypes of 120 environmental isolates. No correlation existed between geographic separation of isolates and their genetic relatedness, which confirmed previous findings of both high genetic diversity within a single site and the widespread distribution of P. aeruginosa clonal complexes. After excluding clonal isolates cultured from the same samples, 74 exoS+ isolates and 16 exoU+ isolates remained. Of the exoS+ isolates, 41 (55%) were from natural environmental sites and 33 (45%) were from man-made sites. Of the exoU+ isolates, only 3 (19%) were from natural environmental sites and 13 (81%) were from man-made sites (p?<?0.05). These findings suggest that man-made water systems may be a reservoir from which patients acquire exoU+ P. aeruginosa strains.
Project description:The type III secretion system of Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important virulence factor contributing to the cytotoxicity and the invasion process of this microorganism. The current study aimed to determine the presence of the exoU+/exoS+ genotype in P. aeruginosa clinical isolates. The presence of exoS, exoT, exoU and exoY was determined in 189 P. aeruginosa by PCR, and the presence/absence of exoU was analysed according to source infection, clonal relationships, biofilm formation, motility and antimicrobial susceptibility. The gyrA, parC, oprD, efflux pump regulators and ?-lactamases genes were also analysed by PCR/sequencing. The exoS, exoT and exoY genes were found in 100% of the isolates. Meanwhile, exoU was present in 43/189 (22.8%) of the isolates, being significantly associated with multidrug resistance, extensively drug resistance as well as with higher level quinolone resistance. However, the presence of ?-lactamases, mutations in gyrA and parC, and relevant modifications in efflux pumps and OprD were not significantly associated with exoU+ isolates. MLST analysis of a subset of 25 isolates showed 8 different STs displaying the exoU+/exoS+ genotype. The MDR basis of the exoU+ isolates remain to be elucidated. Furthermore, the clinical implications and spread of exoU+/exoS+ P. aeruginosa isolates need to be established.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa, as Gram-negative rod bacilli, has an important role in human infection. In the present study we aimed to investigate the presence of exo genes and biofilm production among Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates in Northwest Iran.160 isolates of P. aeruginosa were collected and identified by biochemical tests and were characterized for antibiotic resistance. Biofilm production was evaluated by microtiter plate assay and the presence of exo genes was evaluated by allele-specific PCR (polymerase chain reaction). Chi-square test was used for statistical analysis.The most effective antibiotics against isolates were colistin and polymyxin B. 87% of the isolates were biofilm producers of which 69% were strongly biofilm producers. 55% of the isolates carried exoY, 52% of the isolates carried exoU, and 26.3% and 5% carried exoS and exoT, respectively.Our findings showed different distribution of exo genes in clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa in Northwest Iran. ExoS and exoU were more prevalent in non-biofilm producers and exoY was more prevalent in biofilm producer isolates. These results might indicate the importance of exoY in biofilm production of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Project description:Purpose:Ventilator-associated pneumonia caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) is a major health-care problem. In this study, we explored the epidemiology of virulence determinants among multi-drug-resistant (MDR) clinical P. aeruginosa isolates from hospitalized patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia in intensive care units in Upper Egypt. Patients and Methods:MDR P. aeruginosa isolates were screened for the presence of eight virulence factors and typed by ERIC-PCR. Results:A total of 39 clinical MDR isolates were selected out of 173 isolated P. aeruginosa showing a combination of adhesion and cytotoxicity virulence patterns, with the detection of aprA, exoU, exoS, lasB, algD, toxA in 74.3%, 58.9%, 46.1%, 41.2%, 30.7%, 20.5% of the isolates, respectively. The MDR isolates were grouped into 13 different virulence profiles according to the pattern of virulence gene distribution. exoU genotype was more predominant among the P. aeruginosa isolates with more than 48% of the isolates harboring this gene alone, 7% harboring both exoU and exoS and 43.5% harboring exoS gene. An intermediate degree of diversity was detected by ERIC-PCR typing where the isolates were clustered in 7 major groups, indicating possible cross-infection within the hospital. Conclusion:Our results highlight the increased frequency of virulent P. aeruginosa isolates with a shift to the more virulent cytotoxic exoU genotype. Further hospital infection-control measures are mandatory to control the hospital cross-transmission of these highly virulent isolates. This study could vastly be a help to develop efficient treatment policies against P. aeruginosa induced ventilator-associated pneumonia.
Project description:The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa employs the type III secretion system (T3SS) and four effector proteins, ExoS, ExoT, ExoU, and ExoY, to disrupt cellular physiology and subvert the host's innate immune response. Of the effector proteins delivered by the T3SS, ExoU is the most toxic. In P. aeruginosa infections, where the ExoU gene is expressed, disease severity is increased with poorer prognoses. This is considered to be due to the rapid and irreversible damage exerted by the phospholipase activity of ExoU, which cannot be halted before conventional antibiotics can successfully eliminate the pathogen. This review will discuss what is currently known about ExoU and explore its potential as a therapeutic target, highlighting some of the small molecule ExoU inhibitors that have been discovered from screening approaches.
Project description:Background and Objectives:Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous opportunistic pathogen. The presence of several virulence factors such as exotoxin and exoenzyme genes and biofilm may contribute to its pathogenicity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the presence of toxA, exoU and exoS, the determination of biofilm production and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns among clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa. Materials and Methods:In this study, 75 isolates of P. aeruginosa were recovered from various clinical specimens. Antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of isolates were identified. Virulence genes toxA, exoU and exoS were determined using PCR. The ability of biofilm production was assessed. Results:Antimicrobial susceptibility test showed that 12 strains were resistant to more than 8 antibiotics (17.14%). The most effective antibiotic was colistin as 98.6% of isolates were sensitive. The frequencies of exoU and exoS genes were detected as 36.6% and 55.7%, respectively. In addition, 98.6% of the isolates were biofilm producers. Exotoxin A was detected in sixty-eight isolates (95.7%). Conclusion:The findings of this study showed that, the presence of P. aeruginosa exotoxin and exoenzyme genes, particularly, the exoU gene is the most common virulence factors in the bacterial isolates from urine samples. Biofilm is a serious challenge in the treatment of P. aeruginosa infection.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen and is associated with nosocomial infections. Its ability to thrive in a broad range of environments is due to a large and diverse genome of which its accessory genome is part. The objective of this study was to characterize P. aeruginosa strains isolated from children who developed bacteremia, using pulse-field gel electrophoresis, and in terms of its genomic islands, virulence genes, multilocus sequence type, and antimicrobial susceptibility. Our results showed that P. aeruginosa strains presented the seven virulence genes: toxA, lasB, lecA, algR, plcH, phzA1, and toxR, a type IV pilin alleles (TFP) group I or II. Additionally, we detected a novel pilin and accessory gene, expanding the number of TFP alleles to group VI. All strains presented the PAPI-2 Island and the majority were exoU+ and exoS+ genotype. Ten percent of the strains were multi-drug resistant phenotype, 18% extensively drug-resistant, 68% moderately resistant and only 3% were susceptible to all the antimicrobial tested. The most prevalent acquired ?-Lactamase was KPC. We identified a group of ST309 strains, as a potential high risk clone. Our finding also showed that the strains isolated from patients with bacteremia have important virulence factors involved in colonization and dissemination as: a TFP group I or II; the presence of the exoU gene within the PAPI-2 island and the presence of the exoS gene.
Project description:Exoenzyme S (ExoS) is translocated into eukaryotic cells by the type III secretory process and has been hypothesized to function in conjunction with other virulence factors in the pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. To gain further understanding of how ExoS might contribute to P. aeruginosa survival and virulence, ExoS expression and the structural gene sequence were determined in P. aeruginosa soil isolates and compared with ExoS of clinical isolates. Significantly higher levels of ExoS ADP-ribosyltransferase (ADPRT) activity were detected in culture supernatants of soil isolates compared to those of clinical isolates. The higher levels of ADPRT activity of soil isolates reflected both the increased production of ExoS and the production of ExoS having a higher specific activity. ExoS structural gene sequence comparisons found the gene to be highly conserved among soil and clinical isolates, with the greatest number of nonsynonymous substitutions occurring within the region of ExoS encoding GAP function. The lack of amino acid changes in the ADPRT region in association with a higher specific activity implies that other factors produced by P. aeruginosa or residues outside the ADPRT region are affecting ExoS ADPRT activity. The data are consistent with ExoS being integral to P. aeruginosa survival in the soil and suggest that, in the transition of P. aeruginosa from the soil to certain clinical settings, the loss of ExoS expression is favored.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative pathogen commonly associated with nosocomial infections such as hospital-acquired pneumonia. It uses a type III secretion system to deliver effector proteins directly into the cytosol of host cells. Type III secretion in P. aeruginosa has been linked to severe disease and worse clinical outcomes in animal and human studies. The majority of P. aeruginosa strains secrete ExoS, a bifunctional toxin with GTPase-activating protein and ADP-ribosyltransferase activities. Numerous in vitro studies have investigated the targets and cellular effects of ExoS, linking both its enzymatic activities with inhibition of bacterial internalization. However, little is known about how this toxin facilitates the progression of infection in vivo. In this study, we used a mouse model to investigate the role of ExoS in inhibiting phagocytosis during pneumonia. We first confirmed previous findings that the ADP-ribosyltransferase activity of ExoS, but not the GTPase-activating protein activity, was responsible for bacterial persistence and decreased host survival in this model. We then used two distinct assays to demonstrate that ExoS inhibited phagocytosis during pneumonia. In contrast to the findings of several in vitro studies, this in vivo inhibition was also dependent on the ADP-ribosyltransferase activity, but not the GTPase-activating protein activity, of ExoS. These results demonstrate for the first time the antiphagocytic function of ExoS in the context of an actual infection and indicate that blocking the ADP-ribosyltransferase activity of ExoS may have potential therapeutic benefit.Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a major cause of hospital-acquired infections. To cause severe disease, this bacterium uses a type III secretion system that delivers four effector proteins, ExoS, ExoT, ExoU, and ExoY, into host cells. The majority of P. aeruginosa strains secrete ExoS, a bifunctional toxin with GTPase-activating protein and ADP-ribosyltransferase activities. In cell culture models, both enzymatic activities have been associated with decreased bacterial internalization. However, our study is the first to examine a role for ExoS in blocking phagocytosis in an animal model. We report that ExoS does inhibit phagocytosis during pneumonia. The ADP-ribosyltransferase activity, but not the GTPase-activating protein activity, of ExoS is necessary for this effect. Our findings highlight the ability of P. aeruginosa to manipulate the inflammatory response during pneumonia to facilitate bacterial survival.
Project description:Virulent strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa are often associated with an acquired cytotoxic protein, exoenzyme U (ExoU) that rapidly destroys the cell membranes of host cells by its phospholipase activity. Strains possessing the exoU gene are predominant in eye infections and are more resistant to antibiotics. Thus, it is essential to understand treatment options for these strains. Here, we have investigated the resistance profiles and genes associated with resistance for fluoroquinolone and beta-lactams. A total of 22 strains of P. aeruginosa from anterior eye infections, microbial keratitis (MK), and the lungs of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients were used. Based on whole genome sequencing, the prevalence of the exoU gene was 61.5% in MK isolates whereas none of the CF isolates possessed this gene. Overall, higher antibiotic resistance was observed in the isolates possessing exoU. Of the exoU strains, all except one were resistant to fluoroquinolones, 100% were resistant to beta-lactams. 75% had mutations in quinolone resistance determining regions (T81I gyrA and/or S87L parC) which correlated with fluoroquinolone resistance. In addition, exoU strains had mutations at K76Q, A110T, and V126E in ampC, Q155I and V356I in ampR and E114A, G283E, and M288R in mexR genes that are associated with higher beta-lactamase and efflux pump activities. In contrast, such mutations were not observed in the strains lacking exoU. The expression of the ampC gene increased by up to nine-fold in all eight exoU strains and the ampR was upregulated in seven exoU strains compared to PAO1. The expression of mexR gene was 1.4 to 3.6 fold lower in 75% of exoU strains. This study highlights the association between virulence traits and antibiotic resistance in pathogenic P. aeruginosa.