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Laura M Carroll, Jasna Kovac, Rachel A Miller, Martin Wiedmann
The Bacillus cereus group comprises nine species, several of which are pathogenic. Differentiating between isolates that may cause disease and those that do not is a matter of public health and economic importance, but can be particularly challenging due to the high genomic similarity of the group. To this end, we have developed BTyper, a computational tool that employs a combination of (i) virulence gene-based typing, (ii) multi-locus sequence typing (MLST), (iii) panC clade typing, and (iv) rpoB allelic typing to rapidly classify B...
June 16, 2017: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Dominique Missiakas, Olaf Schneewind
Bacillus anthracis, the anthrax agent, is a member of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group, which includes invasive pathogens of mammals or insects as well as nonpathogenic environmental strains. The genes for anthrax pathogenesis are located on two large virulence plasmids. Similar virulence plasmids have been acquired by other B. cereus strains and enable the pathogenesis of anthrax-like diseases. Among the virulence factors of B. anthracis is the S-layer-associated protein BslA, which endows bacilli with invasive attributes for mammalian hosts...
June 16, 2017: Annual Review of Microbiology
Shane D Falcinelli, Maggie C Shi, Arthur M Friedlander, Jennifer Chua
Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is listed as a Category A biothreat agent by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virulence of the organism is due to expression of two exotoxins and capsule, which interfere with host cellular signaling, alter host water homeostasis, and inhibit phagocytosis of the pathogen, respectively. Concerns regarding the past and possible future use of B. anthracis as a bioterrorism agent have resulted in an impetus to develop more effective protective measures and therapeutics...
June 12, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Letters
Xudong Liang, Jin Zhu, Zhongzhi Zhao, Feng Zheng, Huijuan Zhang, Jianchun Wei, Yon Ji, Yinduo Ji
The poly-γ-D-glutamic acid capsule and anthrax toxins are major virulence factors of Bacillus anthracis. Genes responsible for capsule biosynthesis are located on pXO2, whereas genes encoding the toxins, which are composed of edema factors, lethal factors, and protective antigens (PA), are located on pXO1. In this study, we found that the pag null mutation not only eliminated the production of the protective antigen, it also eliminated the ability of the B. anthracis Pasteur II strain to form capsules. qPCR analysis revealed that the deletion of pag decreased the transcription levels of the capABCD operon and its regulatory genes acpA and acpB...
2017: Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
Vatika Gupta, Neha Chaudhary, Somya Aggarwal, Nidhi Adlakha, Pooja Gulati, Rakesh Bhatnagar
BACKGROUND: Bacillus anthracis (BA) is a major bioterrorism concern which has evolved complex regulatory mechanisms for its virulence factors. Secreted proteases play an imperative role in the pathogenesis of BA, however their regulation remains elusive. Two component systems (TCS) are often employed by bacteria to sense and adapt to the environmental perturbations. In several pathogens, TCS are commonly associated with the regulation of virulence factors including proteases. The genome of BA encodes 41 TCS pairs, however, the role of any TCS in regulation of its proteases is not known...
June 6, 2017: International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology
Abigail L Male, Fedor Forafonov, Francesco Cuda, Gong Zhang, Siqi Zheng, Petra C F Oyston, Peng R Chen, E Diane Williamson, Ali Tavassoli
The protein-protein interaction between the human CMG2 receptor and the Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (PA) is essential for the transport of anthrax lethal and edema toxins into human cells. We used a genetically encoded high throughput screening platform to screen a SICLOPPS library of 3.2 million cyclic hexapeptides for inhibitors of this protein-protein interaction. Unusually, the top 3 hits all contained stop codons in the randomized region of the library, resulting in linear rather than cyclic peptides...
June 8, 2017: Scientific Reports
Daniel J Angelini, Jacquelyn V Harris, Laura L Burton, Pooja R Rastogi, Lisa S Smith, Vipin K Rastogi
Environmental surface sampling is crucial in determining the zones of contamination and overall threat assessment. Viability retention of sampled material is central to such assessments. A systematic study was completed to determine viability of vegetative cells under nonpermissive storage conditions. Despite major gains in nucleic acid sequencing technologies, initial positive identification of threats must be made through direct culture of the sampled material using classical microbiological methods. Solutions have been developed to preserve the viability of pathogens contained within clinical samples, but many have not been examined for their ability to preserve biological agents...
June 6, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Sarangthem Indira Devi, H Lotjem, Elangbam Julia Devi, Momota Potshangbam, Ng Ngashangva, Jagat Bora, Dinabandhu Sahoo, Chandradev Sharma
In this study, fungi isolated from less explored forest soil ecosystem of Northeast India were studied for the production of potential antimicrobial metabolites (AMM). Out of the 68 fungi isolated from forest soil of Manipur, 7 of them showed AMA against the test pathogens. Among them, Aspergillus terreus (IBSD-F4) showed the most significant activity against Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC-25923), Bacillus anthracis (IBSD-C370), Pseudomonas fluorescens (ATCC-13525), Salmonella typhimurium (ATCC-14028), Escherichia coli (ATCC-25922) and Candida albicans (ATCC-10231)...
May 21, 2017: Bioresource Technology
Audrey W Hou, Amanda M Morrill
OBJECTIVE: To review the safety and efficacy of obiltoxaximab, a monoclonal antibody indicated for the treatment of Bacillus anthracis inhalational anthrax in adult and pediatric patients. DATA SOURCES: A MEDLINE (1946 to May, week 1, 2017) and EMBASE (1980 to 2017, week 19) search was performed using the search terms obiltoxaximab OR ETI-204 OR Anthim AND anthrax. STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: All English-language clinical studies in both animal and human models assessing the safety and efficacy of obiltoxaximab were included...
June 1, 2017: Annals of Pharmacotherapy
Meong Il Kim, Choongdeok Lee, Minsun Hong
To overcome safety restrictions and regulations when studying genes and proteins from true pathogens, their homologues can be studied. Bacillus anthracis is an obligate pathogen that causes fatal inhalational anthrax. Bacillus cereus is considered a useful model for studying B. anthracis due to its close evolutionary relationship. The gene cluster ba1554 - ba1558 of B. anthracis is highly conserved with the bc1531- bc1535 cluster in B. cereus, as well as with the bt1364-bt1368 cluster in Bacillus thuringiensis, indicating the critical role of the associated genes in the Bacillus genus...
May 16, 2017: Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE
Shihui Liu, Qian Ma, Rasem Fattah, Thomas H Bugge, Stephen H Leppla
Anthrax lethal toxin is a typical A-B type protein toxin secreted by Bacillus anthracis. Lethal factor (LF) is the catalytic A-subunit, a metalloprotease having MEKs as targets. LF relies on the cell-binding B-subunit, protective antigen (PA), to gain entry into the cytosol of target cells. PA binds to cell surface toxin receptors and is activated by furin protease to form an LF-binding-competent oligomer-PA pre-pore, which converts to a functional protein-conductive pore in the acidic endocytic vesicles, allowing translocation of LF into the cytosol...
May 9, 2017: Oncotarget
Mohamed Seghir Daas, Albert Remus R Rosana, Jeella Z Acedo, Farida Nateche, Salima Kebbouche-Gana, John C Vederas, Rebecca J Case
Two strains of Bacillus, B. cereus E41 and B. anthracis F34, were isolated from a salt lake in Aïn M'lila-Oum El Bouaghi, eastern Algeria, and Ain Baida-Ouargla, southern Algeria, respectively. Their genomes display genes for the production of several bioactive secondary metabolites, including polyhydroxyalkanoate, iron siderophores, lipopeptides, and bacteriocins.
May 18, 2017: Genome Announcements
Rudra P Saha, Saikat Samanta, Surajit Patra, Diganta Sarkar, Abinit Saha, Manoj Kumar Singh
Bacterial infections cause severe medical problems worldwide, resulting in considerable death and loss of capital. With the ever-increasing rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the lack of development of new antibiotics, research on metal-based antimicrobial therapy has now gained pace. Metal ions are essential for survival, but can be highly toxic to organisms if their concentrations are not strictly controlled. Through evolution, bacteria have acquired complex metal-management systems that allow them to acquire metals that they need for survival in different challenging environments while evading metal toxicity...
May 16, 2017: Biometals: An International Journal on the Role of Metal Ions in Biology, Biochemistry, and Medicine
Aniel Jessica Leticia Brambila-Tapia, Ernesto Perez-Rueda, Humberto Barrios, Nory Omayra Dávalos-Rodríguez, Ingrid Patricia Dávalos-Rodríguez, Ernesto Germán Cardona-Muñoz, Mario Salazar-Páramo
A systematic analysis of beta-lactamases based on comparative proteomics has not been performed thus far. In this report, we searched for the presence of beta-lactam-related proteins in 591 bacterial proteomes belonging to 52 species that are pathogenic to humans. The amino acid sequences for 19 different types of beta-lactamases (ACT, CARB, CifA, CMY, CTX, FOX, GES, GOB, IMP, IND, KPC, LEN, OKP, OXA, OXY, SHV, TEM, NDM, and VIM) were obtained from the ARG-ANNOT database and were used to construct 19 HMM profiles, which were used to identify potential beta-lactamases in the completely sequenced bacterial proteomes...
May 16, 2017: Current Microbiology
Sergey A Grinshpun, Angela M Weber, Michael Yermakov, Reshmi Indugula, Yousef Elmashae, Tiina Reponen, Laura Rose
Risk of inhalation exposure to viable Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis) spores has primarily been assessed using short-term, stationary sampling methods which may not accurately characterize the concentration of inhalable-sized spores reaching a person's breathing zone. While a variety of aerosol sampling methods have been utilized during previous anthrax responses, no consensus has yet been established for personal air sampling. The goal of this study was to determine the best sampler-filter combination(s) for the collection and extraction of B...
May 16, 2017: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Katie R Margulieux, Benjamin K Liebov, Venkata S K K S Tirumala, Arpita Singh, John H Bushweller, Robert K Nakamoto, Molly A Hughes
The antimicrobial activity of the chemokine CXCL10 against vegetative cells of Bacillus anthracis occurs via both bacterial FtsE/X-dependent and-independent pathways. Previous studies established that the FtsE/X-dependent pathway was mediated through interaction of the N-terminal region(s) of CXCL10 with a functional FtsE/X complex, while the FtsE/X-independent pathway was mediated through the C-terminal α-helix of CXCL10. Both pathways result in cell lysis and death of B. anthracis. In other bacterial species, it has been shown that FtsE/X is involved in cellular elongation though activation of complex-associated peptidoglycan hydrolases...
2017: Frontiers in Microbiology
Ekaterine Khmaladze, Giorgi Dzavashvili, Gvantsa Chanturia, Mikeljon P Nikolich, Patrick S G Chain, Shannon L Johnson, Paata Imnadze
Bacillus anthracis causes the acute fatal disease anthrax, is a proven biological weapon, and is endemic in Georgia, where human and animal cases are reported annually. Here, we present whole-genome sequences of 10 historical B. anthracis strains from Georgia.
May 11, 2017: Genome Announcements
Simon A Weller, Jennie Latham
A previous report indicated that a formic acid chemical extraction method for the preparation of protein extracts for matrix-assisted laser desorption time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) identification, with filtration of extracts through 0.2 μm regenerated cellulose (RC) filters, would not reliably inactivate or exclude Bacillus anthracis Vollum cells or spores when tested under high stringency conditions. B. anthracis was recovered from 13/36 extracts (3/18 from vegetative cell extracts and 10/18 from bacterial spore extracts)...
2017: PloS One
Chasper Puorger, Salvatore Di Girolamo, Georg Lipps
Sortases are enzymes that are responsible for the attachment of secreted proteins to the cell wall of Gram-positive bacteria. Hereby, the sortases recognize short, five-residue amino acid sequences present in the target proteins and fuse them to the peptidoglycan layer via a transpeptidation reaction, creating a new peptide bond between the C-terminus of the recognition sequence and the cell wall. The transpeptidation activity of sortases is widely used in protein engineering for modification of target proteins...
May 30, 2017: Biochemistry
Shikha Joon, Monisha Gopalani, Amit Rahi, Parul Kulshreshtha, Himanshu Gogoi, Sonika Bhatnagar, Rakesh Bhatnagar
The pleiotropism of the GTP-sensing transcriptional regulator CodY is evident by the gamut of processes that it regulates in almost all low G+C Gram-positive bacteria, including general metabolism, biosynthesis of some amino acids and transport systems, nitrogen uptake, sporulation, biofilm formation, motility and virulence. The role of CodY in virulence has been established in Bacillus anthracis, the top rated bioterrorism agent. In this study, we investigated the biochemical attributes of this global regulator...
June 1, 2017: Pathogens and Disease
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