Large-scale identification of pathogen essential genes during coinfection with sympatric and allopatric microbes.
ABSTRACT: Recent evidence suggests that the genes an organism needs to survive in an environment drastically differ when alone or in a community. However, it is not known if there are universal functions that enable microbes to persist in a community and if there are functions specific to interactions between microbes native to the same (sympatric) or different (allopatric) environments. Here, we ask how the essential functions of the oral pathogen Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans change during pairwise coinfection in a murine abscess with each of 15 microbes commonly found in the oral cavity and 10 microbes that are not. A. actinomycetemcomitans was more abundant when coinfected with allopatric than with sympatric microbes, and this increased fitness correlated with expanded metabolic capacity of the coinfecting microbes. Using transposon sequencing, we discovered that 33% of the A. actinomycetemcomitans genome is required for coinfection fitness. Fifty-nine "core" genes were required across all coinfections and included genes necessary for aerobic respiration. The core genes were also all required in monoinfection, indicating the essentiality of these genes cannot be alleviated by a coinfecting microbe. Furthermore, coinfection with some microbes, predominately sympatric species, induced the requirement for over 100 new community-dependent essential genes. In contrast, in other coinfections, predominately with nonoral species, A. actinomycetemcomitans required 50 fewer genes than in monoinfection, demonstrating that some allopatric microbes can drastically alleviate gene essentialities. These results expand our understanding of how diverse microbes alter growth and gene essentiality within polymicrobial infections.
Project description:Bacteria rarely inhabit infection sites alone, instead residing in diverse, multispecies communities. Despite this fact, bacterial pathogenesis studies primarily focus on monoculture infections, overlooking how community interactions influence the course of disease. In this study, we used global mutant fitness profiling (transposon sequencing [Tn-seq]) to determine the genetic requirements for the pathogenic bacterium Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans to cause disease when coinfecting with the commensal bacterium Streptococcus gordonii Our results show that S. gordonii extensively alters A. actinomycetemcomitans requirements for virulence factors and biosynthetic pathways during infection. In addition, we discovered that the presence of S. gordonii enhances the bioavailability of oxygen during infection, allowing A. actinomycetemcomitans to shift from a primarily fermentative to a respiratory metabolism that enhances its growth yields and persistence. Mechanistically, respiratory metabolism enhances the fitness of A. actinomycetemcomitans in vivo by increasing ATP yields via central metabolism and creating a proton motive force. Our results reveal that, similar to cross-feeding, where one species provides another species with a nutrient, commensal bacteria can also provide electron acceptors that promote the respiratory growth and fitness of pathogens in vivo, an interaction that we term cross-respiration.Commensal bacteria can enhance the virulence of pathogens in mixed-species infections. However, knowledge of the mechanisms underlying this clinically relevant phenomenon is lacking. To bridge this gap, we comprehensively determined the genes a pathogen needs to establish coinfection with a commensal. Our findings show that the metabolism of the pathogen is low-energy-yielding in monoinfection, but in coinfection, the commensal improves the fitness of the pathogen by increasing the bioavailability of oxygen, thereby shifting the pathogen toward a high-energy-yielding metabolism. Similar to cross-feeding, this interaction, which we term cross-respiration, illustrates that commensal bacteria can provide electron acceptors that enhance the virulence of pathogens during infection.
Project description:Bacteriophage flux can cause the majority of genetic diversity in free-living bacteria. This tenet of bacterial genome evolution generally does not extend to obligate intracellular bacteria owing to their reduced contact with other microbes and a predominance of gene deletion over gene transfer. However, recent studies suggest intracellular coinfections in the same host can facilitate exchange of mobile elements between obligate intracellular bacteria-a means by which these bacteria can partially mitigate the reductive forces of the intracellular lifestyle. To test whether bacteriophages transfer as single genes or larger regions between coinfections, we sequenced the genome of the obligate intracellular Wolbachia strain wVitB from the parasitic wasp Nasonia vitripennis and compared it against the prophage sequences of the divergent wVitA coinfection. We applied, for the first time, a targeted sequence capture array to specifically trap the symbiont's DNA from a heterogeneous mixture of eukaryotic, bacterial, and viral DNA. The tiled array successfully captured the genome with 98.3% efficiency. Examination of the genome sequence revealed the largest transfer of bacteriophage and flanking genes (52.2 kb) to date between two obligate intracellular coinfections. The mobile element transfer occurred in the recent evolutionary past based on the 99.9% average nucleotide identity of the phage sequences between the two strains. In addition to discovering an evolutionary recent and large-scale horizontal phage transfer between coinfecting obligate intracellular bacteria, we demonstrate that "targeted genome capture" can enrich target DNA to alleviate the problem of isolating symbiotic microbes that are difficult to culture or purify from the conglomerate of organisms inside eukaryotes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Studies have demonstrated reduced rotavirus vaccine effectiveness (VE) in resource-limited settings. Enteropathogen coinfections in rotavirus cases have been hypothesized to contribute to the lower VE in such settings. We sought to determine if coinfections affect rotavirus VE in Botswana. METHODS:Between June 2013 and April 2015, children <60 months old, presenting with severe gastroenteritis at 4 hospitals as part of a national rotavirus surveillance were enrolled. Rotavirus enzyme immunoassay (EIA)-positive samples were tested with an in-house real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) panel that detected 9 pathogens and a commercial 15 multiplex PCR gastrointestinal pathogen panel. Coinfection was defined as detection of rotavirus plus 1 of the 5 pathogens with the highest attributable fractions for diarrhea. Vaccine status was compared between rotavirus case patients and non-rotavirus "test-negative" controls. VE was also calculated restricting cases to those with rotavirus as the only pathogen detected. RESULTS:Two hundred and forty-two children tested rotavirus EIA positive, and 368 children were negative. Of the 182 rotavirus EIA-positive samples tested with the gastrointestinal pathogen panel assay, coinfections were detected in 60 (33%). The overall adjusted 2-dose VE was 59% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 27-77) in the rotavirus coinfection group and 51% (95% CI: -14 to 79) in the rotavirus monoinfection subgroup. Using in-house multiplex PCR panel, of 213 rotavirus EIA-positive subjects, coinfections were detected in 98 samples (46%). The overall adjusted VEs for 2 doses were 48% (95% CI: -2 to 74) and 62% (95% CI: 25-80) in rotavirus monoinfection subgroup. CONCLUSIONS:We could not find evidence of an effect of enteric coinfections on the effectiveness of rotavirus vaccine.
Project description:Gene essentiality is altered during polymicrobial infections. Nevertheless, most studies rely on single-species infections to assess pathogen gene essentiality. Here, we use genome-scale metabolic models (GEMs) to explore the effect of coinfection of the diarrheagenic pathogen Vibrio cholerae with another enteric pathogen, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). Model predictions showed that V. cholerae metabolic capabilities were increased due to ample cross-feeding opportunities enabled by ETEC. This is in line with increased severity of cholera symptoms known to occur in patients with dual infections by the two pathogens. In vitro coculture systems confirmed that V. cholerae growth is enhanced in cocultures relative to single cultures. Further, expression levels of several V. cholerae metabolic genes were significantly perturbed as shown by dual RNA sequencing (RNAseq) analysis of its cocultures with different ETEC strains. A decrease in ETEC growth was also observed, probably mediated by nonmetabolic factors. Single gene essentiality analysis predicted conditionally independent genes that are essential for the pathogen's growth in both single-infection and coinfection scenarios. Our results reveal growth differences that are of relevance to drug targeting and efficiency in polymicrobial infections.IMPORTANCE Most studies proposing new strategies to manage and treat infections have been largely focused on identifying druggable targets that can inhibit a pathogen's growth when it is the single cause of infection. In vivo, however, infections can be caused by multiple species. This is important to take into account when attempting to develop or use current antibacterials since their efficacy can change significantly between single infections and coinfections. In this study, we used genome-scale metabolic models (GEMs) to interrogate the growth capabilities of Vibrio cholerae in single infections and coinfections with enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), which cooccur in a large fraction of diarrheagenic patients. Coinfection model predictions showed that V. cholerae growth capabilities are enhanced in the presence of ETEC relative to V. cholerae single infection, through cross-fed metabolites made available to V. cholerae by ETEC. In vitro, cocultures of the two enteric pathogens further confirmed model predictions showing an increased growth of V. cholerae in coculture relative to V. cholerae single cultures while ETEC growth was suppressed. Dual RNAseq analysis of the cocultures also confirmed that the transcriptome of V. cholerae was distinct during coinfection compared to single-infection scenarios where processes related to metabolism were significantly perturbed. Further, in silico gene-knockout simulations uncovered discrepancies in gene essentiality for V. cholerae growth between single infections and coinfections. Integrative model-guided analysis thus identified druggable targets that would be critical for V. cholerae growth in both single infections and coinfections; thus, designing inhibitors against those targets would provide a broader spectrum of coverage against cholera infections.
Project description:Background:Molecular diagnostics enable sensitive detection of respiratory viruses, but their clinical significance remains unclear in pediatric lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI). We aimed to determine whether viral coinfections increased life-threatening disease in a large cohort. Methods:Molecular testing was performed for respiratory viruses in nasopharyngeal aspirates collected from children aged <5 years within 24 hours of hospital admission during sentinel surveillance for severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) hospitalization conducted in South Africa during February 2009-December 2013. The primary outcome was life-threatening disease, defined as mechanical ventilation, intensive care unit admission, or death. Results:Of 2322 HIV-uninfected children with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-associated LRTI, 1330 (57.3%) had RSV monoinfection, 38 (1.6%) had life-threatening disease, 575 (24.8%) had rhinovirus, 347 (14.9%) had adenovirus (ADV), and 30 (1.3%) had influenza virus. RSV and any other viral coinfection was not associated with severe disease, ADV coinfection had increased odds of life-threatening disease (adjusted OR, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.6-7.2; P = .001), and influenza coinfection had increased odds of life-threatening disease and prolonged length of stay (adjusted OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.0-4.5; P = .05) compared with RSV monoinfection. Conclusions:RSV coinfection with any respiratory virus is not associated with more severe disease when compared to RSV alone in this study. However, increased life-threatening disease in RSV-ADV and RSV-influenza coinfection warrants further study.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Babesiosis is an important cause of thrombocytopenia and hemolytic anemia in dogs. Babesia vulpes, reported in European dogs and North American foxes, rarely has been reported in domestic North American dogs. Newly optimized polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers facilitate more sensitive amplification of B. vulpes DNA. OBJECTIVES:To determine the prevalence of Babesia sp. infections in dogs being tested for Babesia infection, and to describe co-infections and clinicopathologic abnormalities in B. vulpes positive dogs. ANIMALS:Dog blood or tissue samples (n = 9367) submitted to a diagnostic laboratory between June 2015 and June 2018 were tested using an optimized Babesia PCR assay. METHODS:Comprehensive canine vector-borne disease diagnostic testing was performed on convenience samples. RESULTS:Babesia sp. DNA was amplified from 269/9367 (2.9%) North American dogs. Babesia sp. infections included B. gibsoni monoinfection (157; 1.7%), B. vulpes monoinfection (19; 0.20%), and B. gibsoni and B. vulpes coinfection (29; 0.31%). Forty-three of the 48 total B. vulpes-infected dogs were American Pit Bull Terrier-type breeds, of which 36 historically were involved with dog fights. Coinfections with Mycoplasma, Dirofilaria immitis, or Wolbachia and coexposures to Bartonella, Ehrlichia, and Rickettsia spp. were documented in B. vulpes-infected dogs. Clinicopathologic data in B. vulpes-infected dogs both with and without coinfections included anemia, thrombocytopenia, hyperglobulinemia, hypoalbuminemia, and proteinuria. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE:Babesia vulpes infection in domestic North American dogs is commonly found in conjunction with other coinfections, including B. gibsoni and hemotropic Mycoplasma. Similar to B. gibsoni, dog-to-dog transmission of B. vulpes may be a frequent mode of transmission.
Project description:A gammaproteobacterial facultative symbiont of the genus Rickettsiella was recently identified in the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum. Infection with this symbiont altered the color of the aphid body from red to green, potentially affecting the host's ecological characteristics, such as attractiveness to different natural enemies. In European populations of A. pisum, the majority of Rickettsiella-infected aphids also harbor another facultative symbiont, of the genus Hamiltonella. We investigated this Rickettsiella symbiont for its interactions with the coinfecting Hamiltonella symbiont, its phenotypic effects on A. pisum with and without Hamiltonella coinfection, and its infection prevalence in A. pisum populations. Histological analyses revealed that coinfecting Rickettsiella and Hamiltonella exhibited overlapping localizations in secondary bacteriocytes, sheath cells, and hemolymph, while Rickettsiella-specific localization was found in oenocytes. Rickettsiella infections consistently altered hosts' body color from red to green, where the greenish hue was affected by both host and symbiont genotypes. Rickettsiella-Hamiltonella coinfections also changed red aphids to green; this greenish hue tended to be enhanced by Hamiltonella coinfection. With different host genotypes, Rickettsiella infection exhibited either weakly beneficial or nearly neutral effects on host fitness, whereas Hamiltonella infection and Rickettsiella-Hamiltonella coinfection had negative effects. Despite considerable frequencies of Rickettsiella infection in European and North American A. pisum populations, no Rickettsiella infection was detected among 1,093 insects collected from 14 sites in Japan. On the basis of these results, we discuss possible mechanisms for the interaction of Rickettsiella with other facultative symbionts, their effects on their hosts' phenotypes, and their persistence in natural host populations. We propose the designation "Candidatus Rickettsiella viridis" for the symbiont.
Project description:Major contributions from pathogen genome analysis and host genetics have equated the possibility of Mycobacterium tuberculosis co-evolution with its human host leading to more stable sympatric host-pathogen relationships. However, the attribution to either sympatric or allopatric categories depends on the resolution or grain of genotypic characterization. We explored the influence on the sympatric host-pathogen relationship of clinical (HIV infection and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis [MDRTB]) and demographic (gender and age) factors in regards to the genotypic grain by using spacer oligonucleotide typing (spoligotyping) for classification of M. tuberculosis strains within the Euro-American lineage. We analyzed a total of 547 tuberculosis (TB) cases, from six year consecutive sampling in a setting with high TB-HIV coinfection (32.0%). Of these, 62.0% were caused by major circulating pathogen genotypes. The sympatric relationship was defined according to spoligotype in comparison to the international spoligotype database SpolDB4. While no significant association with Euro-American lineage was observed with any of the factors analyzed, increasing the resolution with spoligotyping evidenced a significant association of MDRTB with sympatric strains, regardless of the HIV status. Furthermore, distribution curves of the prevalence of sympatric and allopatric TB in relation to patients' age showed an accentuation of the relevance of the age of onset in the allopatric relationship, as reflected in the trimodal distribution. On the contrary, sympatric TB was characterized by the tendency towards a typical (standard) distribution curve. Our results suggest that within the Euro-American lineage a greater degree of genotyping fine-tuning is necessary in modeling the biological processes behind the host-pathogen interplay. Furthermore, prevalence distribution of sympatric TB to age was suggestive of host genetic determinisms driven by more common variants.
Project description:We examined the impact of HBV/HIV coinfection on outcomes in hospitalized patients compared to those with HBV or HIV monoinfection. Using the 2011 US Nationwide Inpatient Sample, we identified patients who had been hospitalized with HBV or HIV monoinfection or HBV/HIV coinfection using ICD-9-CM codes. We compared liver-related admissions between the three groups. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to identify independent predictors of in-hospital mortality, length of stay and total charges. A total of 72 584 discharges with HBV monoinfection, 133 880 discharges with HIV monoinfection and 8156 discharges with HBV/HIV coinfection were included. HBV/HIV coinfection was associated with higher mortality compared to HBV monoinfection (OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.30-2.15) but not when compared to HIV monoinfection (OR 1.22, 95% CI 0.96-1.54). However, the presence of HBV along with cirrhosis or complications of portal hypertension was associated with three times greater in-hospital mortality in patients with HIV compared to those without these complications (OR 3.00, 95% CI 1.80-5.02). Length of stay and total hospitalization charges were greater in the HBV-/HIV-coinfected group compared to the HBV monoinfection group (+1.53 days, P < 0.001; $17595, P < 0.001) and the HIV monoinfection group (+0.62 days, P = 0.034; $8840, P = 0.005). In conclusion, HBV/HIV coinfection is a risk factor for in-hospital mortality, particularly in liver-related admissions, compared to HBV monoinfection. Overall healthcare utilization from HBV/HIV coinfection is also higher than for either infection alone and higher than the national average for all hospitalizations, thus emphasizing the healthcare burden from these illnesses.
Project description:Genital coinfections increase an individual's risk of becoming infected with HIV-1 by sexual contact. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain this, such as the presence of ulceration and bleeding caused by the coinfecting pathogen. Here we demonstrate that Langerhans cells (LCs) are involved in the increased susceptibility to HIV-1 in the presence of genital coinfections. Although LCs are a target for HIV-1 infection in genital tissues, we found that immature LCs did not efficiently mediate HIV-1 transmission in an ex vivo human skin explant model. However, the inflammatory stimuli TNF-alpha and Pam3CysSerLys4 (Pam3CSK4), the ligand for the TLR1/TLR2 heterodimer, strongly increased HIV-1 transmission by LCs through distinct mechanisms. TNF-alpha enhanced transmission by increasing HIV-1 replication in LCs, whereas Pam3CSK4 acted by increasing LC capture of HIV-1 and subsequent trans-infection of T cells. Genital infections such as Candida albicans and Neisseria gonorrhea not only triggered TLRs but also induced TNF-alpha production in vaginal and skin explants. Thus, during coinfection, LCs could be directly activated by pathogenic structures and indirectly activated by inflammatory factors, thereby increasing the risk of acquiring HIV-1. Our data demonstrate a decisive role for LCs in HIV-1 transmission during genital coinfections and suggest antiinflammatory therapies as potential strategies to prevent HIV-1 transmission.