Brian Remortel

Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, United States

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Publications (5)19.54 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Here we report the use of a multi-genome DNA microarray to investigate the genome diversity of Bacillus cereus group members and elucidate the events associated with the emergence of Bacillus anthracis the causative agent of anthrax-a lethal zoonotic disease. We initially performed directed genome sequencing of seven diverse B. cereus strains to identify novel sequences encoded in those genomes. The novel genes identified, combined with those publicly available, allowed the design of a "species" DNA microarray. Comparative genomic hybridization analyses of 41 strains indicate that substantial heterogeneity exists with respect to the genes comprising functional role categories. While the acquisition of the plasmid-encoded pathogenicity island (pXO1) and capsule genes (pXO2) represents a crucial landmark dictating the emergence of B. anthracis, the evolution of this species and its close relatives was associated with an overall shift in the fraction of genes devoted to energy metabolism, cellular processes, transport, as well as virulence.
    Genomics 03/2011; 98(1):26-39. · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cocolonization of human mucosal surfaces causes frequent encounters between various staphylococcal species, creating opportunities for the horizontal acquisition of mobile genetic elements. The majority of Staphylococcus aureus toxins and virulence factors are encoded on S. aureus pathogenicity islands (SaPIs). Horizontal movement of SaPIs between S. aureus strains plays a role in the evolution of virulent clinical isolates. Although there have been reports of the production of toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1), enterotoxin, and other superantigens by coagulase-negative staphylococci, no associated pathogenicity islands have been found in the genome of Staphylococcus epidermidis, a generally less virulent relative of S. aureus. We show here the first evidence of a composite S. epidermidis pathogenicity island (SePI), the product of multiple insertions in the genome of a clinical isolate. The taxonomic placement of S. epidermidis strain FRI909 was confirmed by a number of biochemical tests and multilocus sequence typing. The genome sequence of this strain was analyzed for other unique gene clusters and their locations. This pathogenicity island encodes and expresses staphylococcal enterotoxin C3 (SEC3) and staphylococcal enterotoxin-like toxin L (SElL), as confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) and immunoblotting. We present here an initial characterization of this novel pathogenicity island, and we establish that it is stable, expresses enterotoxins, and is not obviously transmissible by phage transduction. We also describe the genome sequence, excision, replication, and packaging of a novel bacteriophage in S. epidermidis FRI909, as well as attempts to mobilize the SePI element by this phage.
    Journal of bacteriology 02/2011; 193(8):1854-62. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The clinical spectrum of Staphylococcus aureus infection ranges from asymptomatic nasal carriage to osteomyelitis, infective endocarditis (IE) and death. In this study, we evaluate potential association between the presence of specific genes in a collection of prospectively characterized S. aureus clinical isolates and clinical outcome. Two hundred thirty-nine S. aureus isolates (121 methicillin-resistant S. aureus [MRSA] and 118 methicillin-susceptible S. aureus [MSSA]) were screened by array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) to identify genes implicated in complicated infections. After adjustment for multiple tests, 226 genes were significantly associated with severity of infection. Of these 226 genes, 185 were not in the SCCmec element. Within the 185 non-SCCmec genes, 171 were less common and 14 more common in the complicated infection group. Among the 41 genes in the SCCmec element, 37 were more common and 4 were less common in the complicated group. A total of 51 of the 2014 sequences evaluated, 14 non-SCCmec and 37 SCCmec, were identified as genes of interest. Of the 171 genes less common in complicated infections, 152 are of unknown function and may contribute to attenuation of virulence. The 14 non-SCCmec genes more common in complicated infections include bacteriophage-encoded genes such as regulatory factors and autolysins with potential roles in tissue adhesion or biofilm formation.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(4):e18673. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Here we report the use of a multi-genome DNA microarray to elucidate the genomic events associated with the emergence of the clonal variants of Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius causing Brazilian Purpuric Fever (BPF), an important pediatric disease with a high mortality rate. We performed directed genome sequencing of strain HK1212 unique loci to construct a species DNA microarray. Comparative genome hybridization using this microarray enabled us to determine and compare gene complements, and infer reliable phylogenomic relationships among members of the species. The higher genomic variability observed in the genomes of BPF-related strains (clones) and their close relatives may be characterized by significant gene flux related to a subset of functional role categories. We found that the acquisition of a large number of virulence determinants featuring numerous cell membrane proteins coupled to the loss of genes involved in transport, central biosynthetic pathways and in particular, energy production pathways to be characteristics of the BPF genomic variants.
    Genomics 11/2010; 96(5):290-302. · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The impact of bacterial clonality on infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus is unclear. Three hundred seventy-nine S. aureus isolates (125 methicillin-resistant S. aureus [MRSA] and 254 methicillin-susceptible S. aureus [MSSA]) were genotyped by spa typing and multilocus sequence typing. For MRSA isolates, the staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) element was also typed. Three clinical categories were identified: nasal carriage only (n=118), uncomplicated infection (n=104), and bacteremia with hematogenous complications (n=157). By use of eBURST, 18 clonal complexes (CCs) were found in 371 isolates. Eight CCs accounted for 89% of isolates and occurred in all clinical categories. CC5 (P=.0025) and CC30 (P=.0308) exhibited a significant trend toward more frequent hematogenous complications. Isolates within spa types 2 and 16 showed the same significant trend and grouped within CC5 and CC30, respectively. SCCmec II isolates also showed the same significant trend compared with SCCmec IV; 96% were CC5 or CC30. Although most S. aureus genotypes exhibited the capacity to cause invasive disease, strains within CC5 and CC30 exhibited a significant trend toward increasing levels of hematogenous complications. Isolates within these CCs were also implicated by use of spa and SCCmec typing. The genetic determinants underlying these findings remain to be demonstrated.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 10/2007; 196(5):738-47. · 5.85 Impact Factor