Project description:Genotyping based on genomic comparative hybridization of different isolates of coxiella burnetii compared to NMI reference strain Two-condition experiment, NMI vs. isolates. One replicate per isolate.
Project description:We present the whole genome sequence and annotation of the Coxiella burnetii strain Namibia. This strain was isolated from an aborting goat in 1991 in Windhoek, Namibia. The plasmid type QpRS was confirmed in our work. Further genomic typing placed the strain into a unique genomic group. The genome sequence is 2,101,438 bp long and contains 1,979 protein-coding and 51 RNA genes, including one rRNA operon. To overcome the poor yield from cell culture systems, an additional DNA enrichment with whole genome amplification (WGA) methods was applied. We describe a bioinformatics pipeline for improved genome assembly including several filters with a special focus on WGA characteristics.
Project description:A comparison was made between the THP-1(Human monocytic leukemia cells - TIB-202; ATCC) transcriptional responses of; (i) uninfected versus Coxiella burnetii NMII infected and (ii) uninfected versus Coxiella burnetii NMII infected THP-1 cells transiently treated with bacteriostatic levels (10μg/ml) of chloramphenicol (CAM). Briefly, infections were initiated and cultured in parallel with uninfected cells. At 48 hours post infection (hpi), media containing CAM (10μg/ml) was added to one set of cells (uninfected and infected THP-1 cells) and culturing was continued. The other set of cells were mock treated with normal media. Total RNA was isolated at 72 hpi from all conditions. Microarrays were performed for both condition sets and the results from each of the two microarrays were compared to define the host genes modulated by de novo C. burnetii NMII protein synthesis. Overall design: Two-condition experiment, Human THP-1 cells: Uninfected vs. Coxiella burnetii NMII infected compared to Uninfected with Chloramphenicol vs. Coxiella burnetii NMII infected with Chloramphenicol. Biological replicates: 3, Technical replicates: 2 for both Microarrays - Uninfected vs. Coxiella burnetii NMII infected and Uninfected with Chloramphenicol vs. Coxiella burnetii NMII infected with Chloramphenicol. One Technical replicate per array. One Biological replicate per 2 arrays.
Project description:Coxiella burnetii is a strict intracellular bacterium with potential as a bioterrorism agent. To characterize different isolates of C. burnetii at the molecular level, we performed multispacer sequence typing (MST). MST is based on intergenic region sequencing. These regions are potentially variable since they are subject to lower selection pressure than the adjacent genes. We screened 68 spacers in 14 isolates and selected the 10 that exhibited the most variation. These spacers were then tested in 159 additional isolates obtained from different geographic areas or different hosts or were implicated in different manifestations of human disease caused by C. burnetii. The sequence analysis yielded 30 different allelic combinations. Phylogenic analysis showed 3 major clusters. MST allows easy comparison and exchange of results obtained in different laboratories and could be a useful tool for identifying bacterial strains.
Project description:Coxiella burnetii is the causative agent of Q fever, a zoonotic disease that threatens both human and animal health. Due to the paucity of experimental animal models, little is known about how host factors interface with bacterial components and affect pathogenesis. Here, we used Drosophila melanogaster, in conjunction with the biosafety level 2 (BSL2) Nine Mile phase II (NMII) clone 4 strain of C. burnetii, as a model to investigate host and bacterial components implicated in infection. We demonstrate that adult Drosophila flies are susceptible to C. burnetii NMII infection and that this bacterial strain, which activates the immune deficiency (IMD) pathway, is able to replicate and cause mortality in the animals. We show that in the absence of Eiger, the only known tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily homolog in Drosophila, Coxiella-infected flies exhibit reduced mortality from infection. We also demonstrate that the Coxiella type 4 secretion system (T4SS) is critical for the formation of the Coxiella-containing vacuole and establishment of infection in Drosophila Altogether, our data reveal that the Drosophila TNF homolog Eiger and the Coxiella T4SS are implicated in the pathogenesis of C. burnetii in flies. The Drosophila/NMII model mimics relevant aspects of the infection in mammals, such as a critical role of host TNF and the bacterial T4SS in pathogenesis. Our work also demonstrates the usefulness of this BSL2 model to investigate both host and Coxiella components implicated in infection.
Project description:Transcriptional profiling of Coxiella burnetii phase I (RSA 493) submitting either to Cold and Heat shock comparing to control untreated Coxiella burnetii phase I (RSA 493) grown at 35°C. Overall design: Four experiments : Cold shock 30 min Vs 35°C; Cold shock 60 min Vs 35°C; Heat shock 30 min Vs 35°C; Heat shock 60 min Vs 35°C 3 biological replicates, independently grown and harvested. Four replicate per array.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Q fever is a widespread zoonotic disease caused by Coxiella burnetii. Ticks may act as vectors, and many epidemiological studies aim to assess C. burnetii prevalence in ticks. Because ticks may also be infected with Coxiella-like bacteria, screening tools that differentiate between C. burnetii and Coxiella-like bacteria are essential. METHODS:In this study, we screened tick specimens from 10 species (Ornithodoros rostratus, O. peruvianus, O. capensis, Ixodes ricinus, Rhipicephalus annulatus, R. decoloratus, R. geigy, O. sonrai, O. occidentalis, and Amblyomma cajennense) known to harbor specific Coxiella-like bacteria, by using quantitative PCR primers usually considered to be specific for C. burnetii and targeting, respectively, the IS1111, icd, scvA, p1, and GroEL/htpB genes. RESULTS:We found that some Coxiella-like bacteria, belonging to clades A and C, yield positive PCR results when screened with primers initially believed to be C. burnetii-specific. CONCLUSIONS:These results suggest that PCR-based surveys that aim to detect C. burnetii in ticks by using currently available methods must be interpreted with caution if the amplified products cannot be sequenced. Future molecular methods that aim at detecting C. burnetii need to take into account the possibility that cross-reactions may exist with Coxiella-like bacteria.
Project description:Coxiella burnetii is an intracellular pathogen that causes human Q fever, a disease that normally presents as a severe flu-like illness. Due to high infectivity and disease severity, the pathogen is considered a risk group 3 organism. Full-length lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is required for full virulence and disease by C. burnetii and is the only virulence factor currently defined by infection of an immunocompetent animal. Transition of virulent phase I bacteria with smooth LPS, to avirulent phase II bacteria with rough LPS, occurs during in vitro passage. Semi-rough intermediate forms are also observed. Here, the genetic basis of LPS phase conversion was investigated to obtain a more complete understanding of C. burnetii pathogenesis. Whole genome sequencing of strains producing intermediate and/or phase II LPS identified several common mutations in predicted LPS biosynthesis genes. After passage in broth culture for 30 weeks, phase I strains from different genomic groups exhibited similar phase transition kinetics and elevation of mutations in LPS biosynthesis genes. Targeted mutagenesis and genetic complementation using a new C. burnetii nutritional selection system based on lysine auxotrophy confirmed that six of the mutated genes were necessary for production of phase I LPS. Disruption of two of these genes in a C. burnetii phase I strain resulted in production of phase II LPS, suggesting inhibition of the encoded enzymes could represent a new therapeutic strategy for treatment of Q fever. Additionally, targeted mutagenesis of genes encoding LPS biosynthesis enzymes can now be used to construct new phase II strains from different genomic groups for use in pathogen-host studies at a risk group 2 level.
Project description:The inability to propagate obligate intracellular pathogens under axenic (host cell-free) culture conditions imposes severe experimental constraints that have negatively impacted progress in understanding pathogen virulence and disease mechanisms. Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of human Q (Query) fever, is an obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen that replicates exclusively in an acidified, lysosome-like vacuole. To define conditions that support C. burnetii growth, we systematically evaluated the organism’s metabolic requirements using expression microarrays, genomic reconstruction, and metabolite typing. This led to development of a complex nutrient medium that supported substantial growth (~ 3 log10) of C. burnetii in a 2.5% oxygen environment. Importantly, axenically grown C. burnetii were highly infectious for Vero cells and exhibited developmental forms characteristic of in vivo grown organisms. Axenic cultivation of C. burnetii will facilitate studies of the organism’s pathogenesis and genetics, and aid development of Q fever preventatives such as an effective subunit vaccine. Furthermore, the systematic approach used here may be broadly applicable to development of axenic media that support growth of other medically important obligate intracellular pathogens. Overall design: Host cell-free growth, Vero cell growth and carryover baseline of Coxiella burnetii
Project description:Coxiella burnetii, the agent of Q fever, persists in humans despite specific immune responses: however, its reservoir remains unknown. We detected C. burnetii in adipose tissue from BALB/c and C57/BL6 mice 4 months after infection when no bacteria were found in other tissues. C. burnetii infected cultivated adipocytes, replicated within late phagosomes and induced a transcriptional program that was enriched for the expression of genes associated with inflammatory response, hormonal responses and cytoskeleton. 3T3-L1 (ATCC) differentiated adipocytes were stimulated or not with Coxiella burnetii (NMI) at a ratio of 50 bacteria per cell. Four biological replicates were analyzed in each group. Due to technical reason, one unstimulated sample was discarded from the analysis.