Project description:This paper describes the complete genome sequence of Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis strain FNO01, which was isolated during the first outbreak of francisellosis in cultured Nile tilapia in Brazil. The genome is composed of a circular chromosome with 1,859,830 bp and a G+C content of ~32%.
Project description:Vaccine development against extracellular bacteria has been important for the sustainability of the aquaculture industry. In contrast, infections with intracellular pathogens remain largely an unresolved problem. Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis is a Gram-negative, facultative intracellular bacterium that causes the disease francisellosis in fish. Francisellosis is commonly characterized as a chronic granulomatous disease with high morbidity and can result in high mortality depending on the host. In this study, we explored the potential of bacterial membrane vesicles (MVs) as a vaccine agent against F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis Bacterial MVs are spherical structures naturally released from the membrane of bacteria and are often enriched with selected bacterial components such as toxins and signaling molecules. MVs were isolated from broth-cultured F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis in the present work, and proteomic analysis by mass spectrometry revealed that MVs contained a variety of immunogenic factors, including the intracellular growth proteins IglC and IglB, known to be part of a Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI), as well as outer membrane protein OmpA, chaperonin GroEL, and chaperone ClpB. By using flow cytometry and electron microscopy, we observed that F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis mainly infects myelomonocytic cells, both in vivo and in vitro Immunization with MVs isolated from F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis protects zebrafish from subsequent challenge with a lethal dose of F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis To determine if MVs induce a typical acute inflammatory response, mRNA expression levels were assessed by quantitative real-time PCR. Expression of tnfa, il1b, and ifng, as well as mhcii, mpeg1.1, and ighm, was upregulated, thus confirming the immunogenic properties of F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis-derived MVs.
Project description:The genus Francisella is composed of Gram-negative, pleomorphic, strictly aerobic and non-motile bacteria, which are capable of infecting a variety of terrestrial and aquatic animals, among which Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis stands out as the causative agent of pyogranulomatous and granulomatous infections in fish. Accordingly, F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis is responsible for high mortality rates in freshwater fish, especially Nile Tilapia. In the current study, we present the genome sequences of F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis strains FNO12, FNO24 and FNO190. The genomes include one circular chromosome of 1,859,720 bp, consisting of 32 % GC content, 1538 coded proteins and 363 pseudogenes for FNO12; one circular chromosome of 1,862,322 bp, consisting of 32 % GC content, 1537 coded proteins and 365 pseudogenes for FNO24; and one circular chromosome of 1,859,595 bp, consisting of 32 % GC content, 1539 coded proteins and 362 pseudogenes for FNO190. All genomes have similar genetic content, implicating a clonal-like behavior for this species.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Francisella is a genus of gram-negative bacterium highly virulent in fishes and human where F. tularensis is causing the serious disease tularaemia in human. Recently Francisella species have been reported to cause mortality in aquaculture species like Atlantic cod and tilapia. We have completed the sequencing and draft assembly of the Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalisToba04 strain isolated from farmed Tilapia. Compared to other available Francisella genomes, it is most similar to the genome of Francisella philomiragia subsp. philomiragia, a free-living bacterium not virulent to human. RESULTS: The genome is rearranged compared to the available Francisella genomes even though we found no IS-elements in the genome. Nearly 16% percent of the predicted ORFs are pseudogenes. Computational pathway analysis indicates that a number of the metabolic pathways are disrupted due to pseudogenes. Comparing the novel genome with other available Francisella genomes, we found around 2.5% of unique genes present in Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis Toba04 and a list of genes uniquely present in the human-pathogenic Francisella subspecies. Most of these genes might have transferred from bacterial species through horizontal gene transfer. Comparative analysis between human and fish pathogen also provide insights into genes responsible for pathogenecity. Our analysis of pseudogenes indicates that the evolution of Francisella subspecies's pseudogenes from Tilapia is old with large number of pseudogenes having more than one inactivating mutation. CONCLUSIONS: The fish pathogen has lost non-essential genes some time ago. Evolutionary analysis of the Francisella genomes, strongly suggests that human and fish pathogenic Francisella species have evolved independently from free-living metabolically competent Francisella species. These findings will contribute to understanding the evolution of Francisella species and pathogenesis.
Project description:Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis (Fno) is the causative agent of piscine francisellosis, an emerging infectious disease in Asia and Latin America. In this study two outbreaks of francisellosis were diagnosed in the UK on the basis of histopathology, electron microscopy, PCR, bacterial isolation and fulfillment of Koch's postulates. Furthermore, a phenotypic fingerprint based on biochemical analyses, metabolic activity, chemotaxonomic composition, and antimicrobial assays was generated for the novel isolates, the Fno type strain Ehime-1 from Asia and other Fno from Latin America. The genetic relatedness between the novel Fno and other Francisellaceae species was investigated by sequencing and comparing the 16SrRNA gene, 8 housekeeping genes (individually and concatenated) and the 16SrRNA-ITS-23SrRNA sequence. The phenotypic profiling indicated a high degree of similarity among the Fno strains as all were able to metabolize dextrin, N-acetyl-D glucosamine, D-fructose, ?-D-glucose, D-mannose, methyl pyruvate, acetic acid, ?-keto butyric acid, L-alaninamide, L-alanine, L-alanylglycine, L-asparagine, L-glutamic acid, L-proline, L-serine, L-threonine, inosine, uridine, glycerol, D L-?-glycerol phosphate, glucose-1-phosphate, and glucose-6-phosphate. The chemotaxonomic analyses indicated that 24:1 (20.3%), 18:1n-9 (16.9%), 24:0 (13.1%) 14:0 (10.9%), 22:0 (7.8%), 16:0 (7.6%), and 18:0 (5.5%) were the predominant structural fatty acids in Fno. The antimicrobial assays showed little variation between the isolates and high susceptibility to enrofloxacin, gentamicin, neomycin, streptomycin, amikacin, ciprofloxacin, gatifloxacin, nitrofurantoin, tobramycin, kanamycin, tetracycline, oxytetracycline, florfenicol, oxolinic acid, and streptomycin in all the Fno analyzed. In all the phylogenetic trees the Fno strains clustered together in independent branches confirming a high degree of homogeneity. Interestingly in five of the 11 trees i.e., mutS, putA, rpoB, 16SrRNA-ITS-23SrRNA, and concatenated sequence the two Francisella noatunensis ssp. diverged more from each other than from the closely related Francisella philomiragia (Fp). The phenotypic and genetic characterization confirmed the Fno isolates represent a solid phylo-phenetic taxon that in the current context of the genus seems to be misplaced within the species Fn. We propose the use of the present polyphasic approach in future studies to characterize strains of Fnn and Fp and verify their current taxonomic rank of Fno and other aquatic Francisella spp.
Project description:Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis (Fno) is the causative agent of piscine francisellosis in warm water fish including tilapia. The disease induces chronic granulomatous inflammation with high morbidity and can result in high mortality. Early and accurate detection of Fno is crucial to set appropriate outbreak control measures in tilapia farms. Laboratory detection of Fno mainly depends on bacterial culture and molecular techniques. Recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) is a novel isothermal technology that has been widely used for the molecular diagnosis of various infectious diseases. In this study, a recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) assay for rapid detection of Fno was developed and validated. The RPA reaction was performed at a constant temperature of 42°C for 20 min. The RPA assay was performed using a quantitative plasmid standard containing a unique Fno gene sequence. Validation of the assay was performed not only by using DNA from Fno, closely related Francisella species and other common bacterial pathogens in tilapia farms, but also by screening 78 Nile tilapia and 5 water samples. All results were compared with those obtained by previously established real-time qPCR. The developed RPA showed high specificity in detection of Fno with no cross-detection of either the closely related Francisella spp. or the other tested bacteria. The Fno-RPA performance was highly comparable to the published qPCR with detection limits at 15 and 11 DNA molecules detected, respectively. The RPA gave quicker results in approximately 6 min in contrast to the qPCR that needed about 90 min to reach the same detection limit, taking only 2.7-3 min to determine Fno in clinical samples. Moreover, RPA was more tolerant to reaction inhibitors than qPCR when tested with field samples. The fast reaction, simplicity, cost-effectiveness, sensitivity and specificity make the RPA an attractive diagnostic tool that will contribute to controlling the infection through prompt on-site detection of Fno.
Project description:Francisella spp. are facultative intracellular pathogens identified in increasingly diverse hosts, including mammals. F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis and F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis infect fish inhabiting warm and cold waters, respectively, while F. tularensis subsp. novicida is highly infectious for mice and has been widely used as a model for the human pathogen F. tularensis. Here, we established zebrafish embryo infection models of fluorescently labeled F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis, F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis, and F. tularensis subsp. novicida at 22, 28, and 32°C, respectively. All infections led to significant bacterial growth, as shown by reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), and to a robust proinflammatory immune response, dominated by increased transcription of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?) and interleukin-1? (IL-1?). F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis was the most virulent, F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis caused chronic infection, and F. tularensis subsp. novicida showed moderate virulence and led to formation of relatively small granuloma-like structures. The use of transgenic zebrafish strains with enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-labeled immune cells revealed their detailed interactions with Francisella species. All three strains entered preferentially into macrophages, which eventually assembled into granuloma-like structures. Entry into neutrophils was also observed, though the efficiency of this event depended on the route of infection. The results demonstrate the usefulness of the zebrafish embryo model for studying infections caused by different Francisella species at a wide range of temperatures and highlight their interactions with immune cells.
Project description:Francisellosis outbreaks have been reported in the literature as occurring seasonally when water temperature is below 24°C. The aim of this study was to quantify the median lethal doses (LD50) of FNO in experimental challenges at 28°C and 22°C, and to investigate the impact of temperature changes in whole genome expression using microarray technology. The LD50 for Nile tilapia at 28°C was ~105.7, whereas at 22°C, the LD50 was ~102.2, showing that the decrease in temperature enhanced pathogen virulence. Out of 1,917 genes screened, a total of 31 and 19 genes were down- and up-regulated at 22°C, respectively. These genes were grouped by orthology into functional categories of: amino acid, inorganic ion, and carbohydrate transport and metabolism; transcription; and posttranslational modification, protein turnover, and chaperones. Expression of genes related to metabolism, oxidative stress, and thermal shock were regulated by temperature changes, reflecting an ability of FNO to adapt to the environment. Expression of virulence genes usually required for the Francisella genus was not changed between tested temperatures, including that of genes located on the Francisella Pathogenicity Island. Overall design: The F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis FNO12 isolated from diseased fish was used in this study. Quadruplicate culture of this strain were incubated at 22°C or 28°C and harvested at the mid-exponential phase of bacterial growth (OD600 = 0.2) for RNA extraction. The RNA level expression are analyzed on Agilent Microarray platform.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis (Fno) is an emergent fish pathogen and the etiologic agent of piscine francisellosis. Besides persisting in the environment in both biofilm and planktonic forms, Fno is known to infect and replicate inside tilapia macrophages and endothelial-derived cells. However, the mechanism used by this emergent bacterium for intracellular survival is unknown. Additionally, the basis of virulence for Fno is still poorly understood. Several potential virulence determinants have been identified in Fno, including homologues of the recently described F. tularensis Type VI Secretion System (T6SS). In order to gain a better understanding of the role the putative Fno T6SS might play in the pathogenesis of piscine francisellosis, we performed transcriptional analysis of Fno T6SS gene-homologues under temperature, acidic, and oxidative stress conditions. RESULTS:Few transcriptional differences were observed at different temperatures, growth stages and pHs; however, a trend towards higher expression of Fno T6SS-homologue genes at 25?°C and under oxidative stress was detected when compared to those quantified at 30?°C and under no H2O2 (p?<?0.05). CONCLUSIONS:Results from this study suggest that several of the F. tularensis T6SS-homologues may play an important role in the virulence of Fno, particularly when the bacterium is exposed to low temperatures and oxidative stress.