Abstract: Streptococcus (S.) suis is a zoonotic pathogen causing septicemia and meningitis in pigs and humans. During infection S. suis must metabolically adapt to extremely diverse environments of the host. CcpA and the FNR family of bacterial transcriptional regulators are important for metabolic gene regulation in various bacteria. The role of CcpA in S. suis is well defined, but the function of the FNR-like protein of S. suis, FlpS, is yet unknown. Transcriptome analyses of wild-type S. suis and a flpS mutant strain suggested that FlpS is involved in the regulation of the central carbon, arginine degradation and nucleotide metabolism. However, isotopologue profiling revealed no substantial changes in the core carbon and amino acid de novo biosynthesis. FlpS was essential for the induction of the arcABC operon of the arginine degrading pathway under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The arcABC-inducing activity of FlpS could be associated with the level of free oxygen in the culture medium. FlpS was necessary for arcABC-dependent intracellular bacterial survival but redundant in a mice infection model. Based on these results, we propose that the core function of S. suis FlpS is the oxygen-dependent activation of the arginine deiminase system.
Abstract: Asymptomatic bacteriuria (ABU) is a bacterial carrier state in the urinary tract that resembles commensalism at other mucosal sites. ABU strains often lack the virulence factors that characterize uropathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli) strains and therefore elicit weak innate immune responses in the urinary tract. In addition, ABU strains are active modifiers of the host environment, which they influence by suppressing RNA polymerase II (Pol II)-dependent host gene expression. In patients inoculated with the ABU strain E. coli 83972, gene expression was markedly reduced after 24 h (>60% of all regulated genes). Specific repressors and activators of Pol II-dependent transcription were modified, and Pol II Serine 2 phosphorylation was significantly inhibited, indicating reduced activity of the polymerase. This active inhibition included disease–associated innate immune response pathways, defined by TLR4, IRF-3 and IRF-7, suggesting that ABU strains persist in human hosts by active suppression of the antibacterial defense. In a search for the mechanism of inhibition, we compared the whole genome sequences of E. coli 83972 and the uropathogenic strain E. coli CFT073. In addition to the known loss of virulence genes, we observed that the ABU strain has acquired several phages and identified the lytic Prophage 3 as a candidate Pol II inhibitor. Intact phage particles were released by ABU during in vitro growth in human urine. To address if Prophage 3 affects Pol II activity, we constructed a Prophage 3 negative deletion mutant in E. coli 83972 and compared the effect on Pol II phosphorylation between the mutant and the E. coli 83972 wild type (WT) strains. No difference was detected, suggesting that the Pol II inhibitor is not encoded by the phage. The review summarizes the evidence that the ABU strain E. coli 83972 modifies host gene expression by inhibition of Pol II phosphorylation, and discusses the ability of ABU strains to actively create an environment that enhances their persistence.
Abstract: Among scientists, there exist mixed opinions whether equine influenza viruses infect man. In this report, we summarize a 2016 systematic and comprehensive review of the English, Chinese, and Mongolian scientific literature regarding evidence for equine influenza virus infections in man. Searches of PubMed, Web of Knowledge, ProQuest, CNKI, Chongqing VIP Database, Wanfang Data and MongolMed yielded 2831 articles, of which 16 met the inclusion criteria for this review. Considering these 16 publications, there was considerable experimental and observational evidence that at least H3N8 equine influenza viruses have occasionally infected man. In this review we summarize the most salient scientific reports.
Abstract: Multilocus sequence typing previously identified three predominant sequence types (STs) of Streptococcus suis serotype 2: ST1 strains predominate in Eurasia while North American (NA) strains are generally ST25 and ST28. However, ST25/ST28 and ST1 strains have also been isolated in Asia and NA, respectively. Using a well-standardized mouse model of infection, the virulence of strains belonging to different STs and different geographical origins was evaluated. Results demonstrated that although a certain tendency may be observed, S. suis serotype 2 virulence is difficult to predict based on ST and geographical origin alone; strains belonging to the same ST presented important differences of virulence and did not always correlate with origin. The only exception appears to be NA ST28 strains, which were generally less virulent in both systemic and central nervous system (CNS) infection models. Persistent and high levels of bacteremia accompanied by elevated CNS inflammation are required to cause meningitis. Although widely used, in vitro tests such as phagocytosis and killing assays require further standardization in order to be used as predictive tests for evaluating virulence of strains. The use of strains other than archetypal strains has increased our knowledge and understanding of the S. suis serotype 2 population dynamics.
Abstract: Streptococcus suis is an important bacterial swine pathogen and a zoonotic agent. Recently, two surface proteins of S. suis, Fhb and Fhbp, have been described for their capacity to bind factor H—a soluble complement regulatory protein that protects host cells from complement-mediated damages. Results obtained in this study showed an important role of host factor H in the adhesion of S. suis to epithelial and endothelial cells. Both Fhb and Fhbp play, to a certain extent, a role in such increased factor H-dependent adhesion. The capsular polysaccharide (CPS) of S. suis, independently of the presence of its sialic acid moiety, was also shown to be involved in the recruitment of factor H. However, a triple mutant lacking Fhb, Fhbp and CPS was still able to recruit factor H resulting in the degradation of C3b in the presence of factor I. In the presence of complement factors, the double mutant lacking Fhb and Fhbp was similarly phagocytosed by human macrophages and killed by pig blood when compared to the wild-type strain. In conclusion, this study suggests that recruitment of factor H to the S. suis cell surface is multifactorial and redundant.
Abstract: Invasive Streptococcus suis (S. suis) infections in pigs are often associated with serotypes 2 and 9. Mucosal sites of healthy pigs can be colonized with these serotypes, often multiple serotypes per pig. To unravel the contribution of these serotypes in pathogenesis and epidemiology, simultaneous quantification of serotypes is needed. A quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) targeting cps2J (serotypes 2 and 1/2) and cps9H (serotype 9) was evaluated with nasal and tonsillar samples from S. suis exposed pigs. qPCR specifically detected serotypes in all pig samples. The serotypes loads in pig samples estimated by qPCR showed, except for serotype 9 in tonsillar samples (correlation coefficient = 0.25), moderate to strong correlation with loads detected by culture (correlation coefficient > 0.65), and also in pigs exposed to both serotypes (correlation coefficient > 0.75). This qPCR is suitable for simultaneous differentiation and quantification of important S. suis serotypes.