Foci of Listeria monocytogenes persist in the bone marrow
ABSTRACT Murine listeriosis is one of the most comprehensive and well-studied models of infection, and Listeria monocytogenes has provided seminal information regarding bacterial pathogenesis. However, many aspects of the mouse model remain poorly understood, including carrier states and chronic colonization which represent important features of the spectrum of host-pathogen interaction. Bone marrow has recently been shown to harbor L. monocytogenes, which spreads from this location to the central nervous system. Bone could, therefore, be an important chronic reservoir, but this infection is difficult to study because it involves only a few bacteria and the extent of infection cannot be assessed until after the animal is sacrificed. We employed in vivo bioluminescence imaging to localize L. monocytogenes bone infections over time in live mice, revealing that the bacteria grow in discrete foci. These lesions can persist in many locations in the legs of mice and are not accompanied by a histological indication such as granuloma or a neutrophil infiltratate. We demonstrate that highly attenuated hly mutants, which have defective intracellular replication, are capable of prolonged focal infection of the bone marrow for periods of up to several weeks. These results support the recently proposed hypothesis that the bone marrow is a unique niche for L. monocytogenes.
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ABSTRACT: Cardiac infections caused by the foodborne bacterium Listeria monocytogenes represent a significant but poorly studied facet of disease. It is not known whether L. monocytogenes cardiac infections stem solely from host susceptibility, or whether bacterial isolates exist that exhibit a tropism for cardiac tissue. Here we examine the cardio-invasive capacity of a recent L. monocytogenes cardiac case strain (07PF0776) as well as nine additional outbreak and clinical isolates. Mice infected with the cardiac isolate 07PF0776 had 10-fold more bacteria recovered from heart tissue than those infected with L. monocytogenes strain 10403S, a well-characterized clinical isolate originally obtained from a human skin lesion. Additional L. monocytogenes isolates exhibited varied capacities to colonize the hearts of mice; however, those with the highest efficiency of mouse cardiac invasion also demonstrated the highest levels of bacterial invasion in cultured myoblast cells. Our findings strongly suggest that subpopulations of L. monocytogenes strains have acquired an enhanced ability to target and invade the myocardium.Journal of Medical Microbiology 03/2011; 60(Pt 4):423-34. DOI:10.1099/jmm.0.027185-0 · 2.27 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: According to World Health Organization estimates, infectious organisms are responsible for approximately one in four deaths worldwide. Animal models play an essential role in the development of vaccines and therapeutic agents but large numbers of animals are required to obtain quantitative microbiological data by tissue sampling. Biophotonic imaging (BPI) is a highly sensitive, nontoxic technique based on the detection of visible light, produced by luciferase-catalysed reactions (bioluminescence) or by excitation of fluorescent molecules, using sensitive photon detectors. The development of bioluminescent/fluorescent microorganisms therefore allows the real-time noninvasive detection of microorganisms within intact living animals. Multiple imaging of the same animal throughout an experiment allows disease progression to be followed with extreme accuracy, reducing the number of animals required to yield statistically meaningful data. In the study of infectious disease, the use of BPI is becoming widespread due to the novel insights it can provide into established models, as well as the impact of the technique on two of the guiding principles of using animals in research, namely reduction and refinement. Here, we review the technology of BPI, from the instrumentation through to the generation of a photonic signal, and illustrate how the technique is shedding light on infection dynamics in vivo.FEMS microbiology reviews 09/2010; 35(2):360-94. DOI:10.1111/j.1574-6976.2010.00252.x · 13.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The bacterium Listeria monocytogenes is the causative agent of listeriosis, a highly fatal opportunistic foodborne infection. Listeria spp. are isolated from a diversity of environmental sources, including soil, water, effluents, a large variety of foods, and the feces of humans and animals. Recent outbreaks demonstrated that L. monocytogenes can cause gastroenteritis in otherwise healthy individuals and more severe invasive disease in immunocompromised patients. Common symptoms include fever, watery diarrhea, nausea, headache, and pains in joints and muscles. The intestinal tract is the major portal of entry for L. monocytogenes, whereby strains penetrate the mucosal tissue either directly, via invasion of enterocytes, or indirectly, via active penetration of the Peyer's patches. Studies have revealed the strategy taken by the bacteria to overcome changes in oxygen tension, osmolarity, acidity, and the sterilizing effects of bile or antimicrobial peptides to adapt to conditions in the gut. In addition, L. monocytogenes has evolved species-specific strategies for intestinal entry by exploiting the interaction between the internalin protein and its receptor E-cadherin, or inducing diarrhea and an inflammatory response via the activity of its hemolytic toxin, listeriolysin. The ability of these bacteria to survive in bile-rich environments, and to induce depletion of sentinel cells such as Paneth cells that monitor the luminal burden of commensal bacteria, suggest strategies that have evolved to promote intestinal survival. Preexisting gastrointestinal disease may be a risk factor for infection of the gastrointestinal tract with L. monocytogenes. Currently, there is enough evidence to warrant consideration of L. monocytogenes as a possible etiology in outbreaks of febrile gastroenteritis, and for further studies to examine the genetic structure of Listeria strains that have a propensity to cause gastrointestinal versus systemic infections.Current topics in microbiology and immunology 01/2009; 337:173-95. DOI:10.1007/978-3-642-01846-6_6 · 3.47 Impact Factor