Project description:Streptococcus mitis is the closest relative of the major human pathogen S. pneumoniae. The 2,15 Mb sequence of the Streptococcus mitis B6 chromosome, an unusually high-level beta-lactam resistant and multiple antibiotic resistant strain, has now been determined to encode 2100 genes. The accessory genome is estimated to represent over 40%, including 75 mostly novel transposases and IS, the prophage phiB6 and another seven phage related regions. Tetracycline resistance mediated by Tn5801, and an unusual and large gene cluster containing three aminoglycoside resistance determinants have not been described in other Streptococcus spp. Comparative genomic analyses including hybridization experiments on a S. mitis B6 specific microarray reveal that individual S. mitis strains are almost as distantly related to the B6 strain as S. pneumoniae. Both species share a core of over 900 genes. Most proteins described as pneumococcal virulence factors are present in S. mitis B6, but the three choline binding proteins PcpA, PspA and PspC, and three gene clusters containing the hyaluronidase gene, ply and lytA, and the capsular genes are absent in S. mitis B6 and other S. mitis as well and confirm their importance for the pathogenetic potential of S. pneumoniae. Despite the close relatedness between the two species, the S. mitis B6 genome reveals a striking X-alignment when compared with S. pneumoniae.
Project description:The polysaccharide capsule surrounding Streptococcus pneumoniae is essential for virulence. Recently, Streptococcus mitis, a human commensal and a close relative of S. pneumoniae, was also shown to have a capsule. In this study, the S. mitis type strain switched capsule by acquisition of the serotype 4 capsule locus of S. pneumoniae TIGR4, following induction of competence for natural transformation. Comparison of the wild type with the capsule-switching mutant and with a capsule deletion mutant showed that the capsule protected S. mitis against phagocytosis by RAW 264.7 macrophages. This effect was enhanced in the S. mitis strain expressing the S. pneumoniae capsule, which showed, in addition, increased resistance against early clearance in a mouse model of lung infection. Expression of both capsules also favored survival in human blood, and the effect was again more pronounced for the capsule-switching mutant. S. mitis survival in horse blood or in a mouse model of bacteremia was not significantly different between the wild type and the mutant strains. In all models, S. pneumoniae TIGR4 showed higher rates of survival than the S. mitis type strain or the capsule-switching mutant, except in the lung model, in which significant differences between S. pneumoniae TIGR4 and the capsule-switching mutant were not observed. Thus, we identified conditions that showed a protective function for the capsule in S. mitis. Under such conditions, S. mitis resistance to clearance could be enhanced by capsule switching to serotype 4, but it was enhanced to levels lower than those for the virulent strain S. pneumoniae TIGR4.
Project description:The pioneer human oral commensal bacterium Streptococcus mitis has unique biologic features that make it an attractive mucosal vaccine or therapeutic delivery vector. S. mitis is safe as a natural persistent colonizer of the mouth, throat and nasopharynx and the oral commensal bacterium is capable of inducing mucosal antibody responses. A recombinant S. mitis (rS. mitis) that stably expresses HIV envelope protein was generated and tested in the germ-free mouse model to evaluate the potential usefulness of this vector as a mucosal vaccine against HIV. Oral vaccination led to the efficient and persistent bacterial colonization of the mouth and the induction of both salivary and systemic antibody responses. Interestingly, persistently colonized animals developed antigen-specific systemic T cell tolerance. Based on these findings we propose the use of rS. mitis vaccine vector for the induction of mucosal antibodies that will prevent the penetration of the mucosa by pathogens such as HIV. Moreover, the first demonstration of rS. mitis having the ability to elicit T cell tolerance suggest the potential use of rS. mitis as an immunotherapeutic vector to treat inflammatory, allergic and autoimmune diseases.
Project description:<i>Streptococcus pneumoniae</i> and <i>Streptococcus mitis</i> are genetically closely related and both frequently colonise the naso-oropharynx, yet <i>S. pneumoniae</i> is a common cause of invasive infections whereas <i>S. mitis</i> is only weakly pathogenic. We hypothesise that sensitivity to innate immunity may underlie these differences in virulence phenotype. We compared the sensitivity of <i>S. pneumoniae</i> and <i>S. mitis</i> strains to complement-mediated immunity, demonstrating <i>S. mitis</i> strains were susceptible to complement-mediated opsonophagocytosis. <i>S. pneumoniae</i> resistance to complement is partially dependent on binding of the complement regulator Factor H by the surface protein PspC. However, <i>S. mitis</i> was unable to bind factor H. The <i>S. pneumoniae</i> TIGR4 strain <i>pspC</i> was expressed in the <i>S. mitis</i> SK142 strain to create a <i>S. mitis pspC<sup>+</sup></i> strain. Immunoblots demonstrated the <i>S. mitis pspC<sup>+</sup></i> strain expressed PspC, and flow cytometry confirmed this resulted in Factor H binding to <i>S. mitis</i>, reduced susceptibility to complement and improved survival in whole human blood compared to the wild-type <i>S. mitis</i> strain. However, in mouse models the <i>S. mitis pspC<sup>+</sup></i> strain remained unable to establish persistent infection. Unlike <i>S. pneumoniae</i> strains, culture in serum or blood did not support increased CFU of the <i>S. mitis</i> strains. These results suggest <i>S. mitis</i> is highly sensitive to opsonisation with complement partially due to an inability to bind Factor H, but even when complement sensitivity was reduced by expression of <i>pspC</i>, poor growth in physiological fluid limited the virulence of <i>S. mitis</i> in mice.
Project description:The direct binding of bacteria to platelets is a postulated major interaction in the pathogenesis of infective endocarditis. To identify bacterial components that mediate platelet binding by Streptococcus mitis, we screened a Tn916deltaE-derived mutant library of S. mitis strain SF100 for reduced binding to human platelets in vitro. Two distinct loci were found to affect platelet binding. The first contains a gene (pblT) encoding a highly hydrophobic, 43-kDa protein with 12 potential membrane-spanning segments. This protein resembles members of the major facilitator superfamily of small-molecule transporters. The second platelet binding locus consists of an apparent polycistronic operon. This region includes genes that are highly similar to those of Lactococcus lactis phage r1t and Streptococcus thermophilus phage 01205. Two genes (pblA and pblB) encoding large surface proteins are also present. The former encodes a 107-kDa protein containing tryptophan-rich repeats, which may serve to anchor the protein within the cell wall. The latter encodes a 121-kDa protein most similar to a tail fiber protein from phage 01205. Functional mapping by insertion-duplication mutagenesis and gene complementation indicates that PblB may be a platelet adhesin and that expression of PblB may be linked to that of PblA. The combined data indicate that at least two genomic regions contribute to platelet binding by S. mitis. One encodes a probable transmembrane transporter, while the second encodes two large surface proteins resembling structural components of lysogenic phages.
Project description:Streptococcus mitis is found in the oral cavity and nasopharynx and forms a significant portion of the human microbiome. In this study, in silico analyses indicated the presence of an Rgg regulator and short hydrophobic peptide (Rgg/SHP) cell-to-cell communication system in S. mitis Although Rgg presented greater similarity to a repressor in Streptococcus pyogenes, autoinducing assays and genetic mutation analysis revealed that in S. mitis Rgg acts as an activator. Transcriptome analysis showed that in addition to shp, the system regulates two other downstream genes, comprising a segment of a putative lantibiotic gene cluster that is in a conjugative element locus in different members of the mitis group. Close comparison to a similar lantibiotic gene cluster in Streptococcus pneumoniae indicated that S. mitis lacked the full set of genes. Despite the potential of SHP to trigger a futile cycle of autoinduction, growth was not significantly affected for the rgg mutant under normal or antibiotic stress conditions. The S. mitis SHP was, however, fully functional in promoting cross-species communication and increasing S. pneumoniae surface polysaccharide production, which in this species is regulated by Rgg/SHP. The activity of SHPs produced by both species was detected in cocultures using a S. mitis reporter strain. In competitive assays, a slight advantage was observed for the rgg mutants. We conclude that the Rgg/SHP system in S. mitis regulates the expression of its own shp and activates an Rgg/SHP system in S. pneumoniae that regulates surface polysaccharide synthesis. Fundamentally, cross-communication of such systems may have a role during multispecies interactions.IMPORTANCE Bacteria secrete signal molecules into the environment which are sensed by other cells when the density reaches a certain threshold. In this study, we describe a communication system in Streptococcus mitis, a commensal species from the oral cavity, which we also found in several species and strains of streptococci from the mitis group. Further, we show that this system can promote cross-communication with S. pneumoniae, a closely related major human pathogen. Importantly, we show that this cross-communication can take place during coculture. While the genes regulated in S. mitis are likely part of a futile cycle of activation, the target genes in S. pneumoniae are potentially involved in virulence. The understanding of such complex communication networks can provide important insights into the dynamics of bacterial communities.
Project description:Streptococcus salivarius 57.I is one of the most abundant and highly ureolytic bacteria in the human mouth. It can utilize urea as the sole nitrogen source via the activity of urease. Complete genome sequencing of S. salivarius 57.I revealed a chromosome and a phage which are absent in strain SK126.