Project description:Streptococcus suis (S. suis) is a family of pathogenic gram-positive bacterial strains that represents a primary health problem in the swine industry worldwide. S. suis is also an emerging zoonotic pathogen that causes severe human infections clinically featuring with varied diseases/syndromes (such as meningitis, septicemia, and arthritis). Over the past few decades, continued efforts have made significant progress toward better understanding this zoonotic infectious entity, contributing in part to the elucidation of the molecular mechanism underlying its high pathogenicity. This review is aimed at presenting an updated overview of this pathogen from the perspective of molecular epidemiology, clinical diagnosis and typing, virulence mechanism, and protective antigens contributing to its zoonosis.
Project description:Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is cause of neonatal invasive diseases as well as of severe infections in the elderly and immune-compromised patients. Despite significant advances in the prevention and treatment of neonatal disease, sepsis and meningitis caused by GBS still represent a significant public health care concern globally and additional prevention and therapeutic strategies against infection are highly desirable. The introduction of national recommended guidelines in several countries to screen pregnant women for GBS carriage and the use of antibiotics during delivery significantly reduced disease occurring within the first hours of life (early-onset disease), but it has had no effect on the late-onset diseases occurring after the first week and is not feasible in most countries. Availability of an effective vaccine against GBS would provide an effective means of controlling GBS disease. This review provides an overview of the burden of invasive disease caused by GBS in infants and adults, and highlights the strategies for the development of an effective vaccine against GBS infections.
Project description:RNA-based mechanisms of regulation represent a ubiquitous class of regulators that are associated with diverse processes including nutrient sensing, stress response, modulation of horizontal gene transfer, and virulence factor expression. While better studied in Gram-negative bacteria, the literature is replete with examples of the importance of RNA-mediated regulatory mechanisms to the virulence and fitness of Gram-positives. Regulatory RNAs are classified as cis-acting, e.g. riboswitches, which modulate the transcription, translation, or stability of co-transcribed RNA, or trans-acting, e.g. small regulatory RNAs, which target separate mRNAs or proteins. The group A Streptococcus (GAS, Streptococcus pyogenes) is a Gram-positive bacterial pathogen from which several regulatory RNA mechanisms have been characterized. The study of RNA-mediated regulation in GAS has uncovered novel concepts with respect to how small regulatory RNAs may positively regulate target mRNA stability, and to how CRISPR RNAs are processed from longer precursors. This review provides an overview of RNA-mediated regulation in Gram-positive bacteria, and is highlighted with specific examples from GAS research. The key roles that these systems play in regulating bacterial virulence are discussed and future perspectives outlined.
Project description:The ability of certain oral biofilm bacteria to moderate pH through arginine metabolism by the arginine deiminase system (ADS) is a deterrent to the development of dental caries. Here, we characterize a novel Streptococcus strain, designated strain A12, isolated from supragingival dental plaque of a caries-free individual. A12 not only expressed the ADS pathway at high levels under a variety of conditions but also effectively inhibited growth and two intercellular signaling pathways of the dental caries pathogen Streptococcus mutans. A12 produced copious amounts of H2O2 via the pyruvate oxidase enzyme that were sufficient to arrest the growth of S. mutans. A12 also produced a protease similar to challisin (Sgc) of Streptococcus gordonii that was able to block the competence-stimulating peptide (CSP)-ComDE signaling system, which is essential for bacteriocin production by S. mutans. Wild-type A12, but not an sgc mutant derivative, could protect the sensitive indicator strain Streptococcus sanguinis SK150 from killing by the bacteriocins of S. mutans. A12, but not S. gordonii, could also block the XIP (comX-inducing peptide) signaling pathway, which is the proximal regulator of genetic competence in S. mutans, but Sgc was not required for this activity. The complete genome sequence of A12 was determined, and phylogenomic analyses compared A12 to streptococcal reference genomes. A12 was most similar to Streptococcus australis and Streptococcus parasanguinis but sufficiently different that it may represent a new species. A12-like organisms may play crucial roles in the promotion of stable, health-associated oral biofilm communities by moderating plaque pH and interfering with the growth and virulence of caries pathogens.
Project description:We recently described the novel species Streptococcus tigurinus sp. nov. belonging to the Streptococcus mitis group. The type strain AZ_3a(T) of S. tigurinus was originally isolated from a patient with infective endocarditis. According to its phenotypic and molecular characteristics, S. tigurinus is most closely related to Streptococcus mitis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae, Streptococcus oralis, and Streptococcus infantis. Accurate identification of S. tigurinus is facilitated by 16S rRNA gene analysis. We retrospectively analyzed our 16S rRNA gene molecular database, which contains sequences of all clinical samples obtained in our institute since 2003. We detected 17 16S rRNA gene sequences which were assigned to S. tigurinus, including sequences from the 3 S. tigurinus strains described previously. S. tigurinus originated from normally sterile body sites, such as blood, cerebrospinal fluid, or heart valves, of 14 patients and was initially detected by culture or broad-range 16S rRNA gene PCR, followed by sequencing. The 14 patients had serious invasive infections, i.e., infective endocarditis (n = 6), spondylodiscitis (n = 3), bacteremia (n = 2), meningitis (n = 1), prosthetic joint infection (n = 1), and thoracic empyema (n = 1). To evaluate the presence of Streptococcus tigurinus in the endogenous oral microbial flora, we screened saliva specimens of 31 volunteers. After selective growth, alpha-hemolytic growing colonies were analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and subsequent molecular methods. S. tigurinus was not identified among 608 strains analyzed. These data indicate that S. tigurinus is not widely distributed in the oral cavity. In conclusion, S. tigurinus is a novel agent of invasive infections, particularly infective endocarditis.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Within the genus Streptococcus, only Streptococcus thermophilus is used as a starter culture in food fermentations. Streptococcus macedonicus though, which belongs to the Streptococcus bovis/Streptococcus equinus complex (SBSEC), is also frequently isolated from fermented foods mainly of dairy origin. Members of the SBSEC have been implicated in human endocarditis and colon cancer. Here we compare the genome sequence of the dairy isolate S. macedonicus ACA-DC 198 to the other SBSEC genomes in order to assess in silico its potential adaptation to milk and its pathogenicity status. RESULTS: Despite the fact that the SBSEC species were found tightly related based on whole genome phylogeny of streptococci, two distinct patterns of evolution were identified among them. Streptococcus macedonicus, Streptococcus infantarius CJ18 and Streptococcus pasteurianus ATCC 43144 seem to have undergone reductive evolution resulting in significantly diminished genome sizes and increased percentages of potential pseudogenes when compared to Streptococcus gallolyticus subsp. gallolyticus. In addition, the three species seem to have lost genes for catabolizing complex plant carbohydrates and for detoxifying toxic substances previously linked to the ability of S. gallolyticus to survive in the rumen. Analysis of the S. macedonicus genome revealed features that could support adaptation to milk, including an extra gene cluster for lactose and galactose metabolism, a proteolytic system for casein hydrolysis, auxotrophy for several vitamins, an increased ability to resist bacteriophages and horizontal gene transfer events with the dairy Lactococcus lactis and S. thermophilus as potential donors. In addition, S. macedonicus lacks several pathogenicity-related genes found in S. gallolyticus. For example, S. macedonicus has retained only one (i.e. the pil3) of the three pilus gene clusters which may mediate the binding of S. gallolyticus to the extracellular matrix. Unexpectedly, similar findings were obtained not only for the dairy S. infantarius CJ18, but also for the blood isolate S. pasteurianus ATCC 43144. CONCLUSIONS: Our whole genome analyses suggest traits of adaptation of S. macedonicus to the nutrient-rich dairy environment. During this process the bacterium gained genes presumably important for this new ecological niche. Finally, S. macedonicus carries a reduced number of putative SBSEC virulence factors, which suggests a diminished pathogenic potential.
Project description:Streptococcus suis (SS) is a zoonotic pathogen that can cause systemic infection in pigs and humans. The ingestion of contaminated pig meat is a well-established risk factor for zoonotic S. suis disease. In our studies, we provide experimental evidence that S. suis is capable to translocate across the host gastro-intestinal tract (GIT) using in vivo and in vitro models. Hence, S. suis should be considered an emerging foodborne pathogen. In this addendum, we give an overview of the complex interactions between S. suis and host-intestinal mucosa which depends on the host origin, the serotype and genotype of S. suis, as well as the presence and expression of virulence factors involved in host-pathogen interaction. Finally, we propose a hypothetical model of S. suis interaction with the host-GIT taking in account differences in conditions between the porcine and human host.
Project description:Carolacton is a novel biofilm inhibitor that kills biofilm cells of Streptococcus mutans in nanomolar concentrations. Interestingly, Carolacton also inhibits growth of the clinically relevant and human pathogenic bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae TIGR4. The cellular target of Carolacton is still unknown. Here, we adressed the differential transcription of cellular RNAs when S. pneumoniae TIGR4 was grown in the presence of Carolacton. This was done to identify transcriptional regulatory networks that are directly affected by treatment of the pneumococcus with Carolacton. In order to gain insights into the primary transcriptional response, early time-points were chosen for sampling, which should not reflect secondary responses (e.g. due to differences in growth phase, drop in pH etc.). To achieve a thorough overview over all affected cellular RNA species, such as mRNAs, small regulatory RNAs and tRNAs, and not to lose small transcripts during library preparation, RNAs were separated according to size and used to construct two separate libraries for sequencing. Overall design: For each of the six examined time-points (0, 5, 15, 60, 120, 180 min), two biological replicates of Carolacton-treated and untreated samples were collected.
Project description:Streptococcus agalactiae (Lancefield’s group B Streptococcus, GBS) is a major bacterial species of genus Streptococcus and has medical and veterinary importance by affecting mainly humans (Maione et al., 2005; Johri et al., 2006), cattle (Keefe, 1997) and fish (Mian et al., 2009). The GBS is the most important pathogen for the Nile tilapia, a global commodity of the aquaculture sector, causing outbreaks of septicemia and meningoencephalitis (Hernández et al., 2009; Mian et al., 2009).