[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maggots of the blowfly Lucilia sericata are used for the treatment of chronic wounds. As haemostatic processes play an important role in wound healing, this study focused on the effects of maggot secretions on coagulation and fibrinolysis. The results showed that maggot secretions enhance plasminogen activator-induced formation of plasmin and fibrinolysis in a dose- and time-dependent manner. By contrast, coagulation was not affected by secretions. Biochemical studies indicated that a novel serine protease within secretions, designated Sericase, cleaved plasminogen to several fragments. Recombinant Sericase degraded plasminogen leading amongst others to the formation of the mini-plasminogen like fragment Val454-plasminogen. In addition, the presence of a non-proteolytic cofactor in secretions was discovered, which plays a role in the enhancement of plasminogen activator-induced fibrinolysis by Sericase. We conclude from our in vitro studies that the novel serine protease Sericase, with the aid of a non-proteolytic cofactor, enhances plasminogen activator-induced fibrinolysis.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(3):e92096. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The virulent capacity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa can largely be ascribed to quorum sensing, i.e. the ability to evade host defence by a coordinated production and secretion of virulence factors. When P. aeruginosa is harboured in chronic wounds, a non-healing condition is often observed. In this study, we examined the in vitro cellular responses of the major cell types of re-epithelialization to supernatants of P. aeruginosa wild-type or an isogenic mutant not expressing quorum sensing-regulated virulence genes. We observed impairment of cell migration in keratinocytes (p = 0.009) and fibroblasts (p = 0.043) when supplementing medium with 20% P. aeruginosa culture supernatants. Cell proliferation was not significantly reduced, except for keratinocytes (p = 0.040). Data show compliance with in vivo observations of proliferating, non-motile epithelial cell behaviour in bacterially contaminated chronic wounds. Our findings suggest that quorum sensing may serve as an interesting target for controlling P. aeruginosa virulence in modern wound care.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability to manage the bioburden in chronic wounds is most likely coupled to the humoral immune response of the patient. We analysed markers of systemic immune response in patients with chronic venous leg ulcers (CVLUs) colonised (no-systemic infection) with the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Sera from 44 clinically non infected patients with CVLUs were analysed for total IgM and IgG isotype 1-4, complement C3, mannose-binding lectin (MBL), interleukin (IL)-6, C-reactive protein (CRP) and specific anti-P. aeruginosa antibodies against exotoxin A, elastase and alkaline phosphatase. Concentrations of IL-6 versus CRP intercorrelated (β = 2.43 95% CI (1.34-4.34)), but were independent of P. aeruginosa colonisation. MBL deficiency (MBL < 500 ng/ml) correlated to high serum levels of IgG(1) (P = 0.038) consistent with a compensatory mechanism, but not related to presence of P. aeruginosa in the ulcers. Twenty-four patients (54.5%) were culture positive for P. aeruginosa, also conferring significantly high serum levels of complement C3 (P = 0.014), but only two of these had positive titres for antibodies against exotoxin A. All patient sera were negative for antibodies against elastase and alkaline phosphatase. Fluorescent in situ hybridization analysis on randomly selected culture-positive patients could not establish unambiguous presence of P. aeruginosa biofilms in the ulcers. A multiple regression model showed P. aeruginosa and systemic CRP as significant factors in deterioration of ulcer healing rate.
International Wound Journal 02/2011; 8(1):33-43. · 1.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Culture independent methods are used widely in diagnostic laboratories for infectious disease Isolation of genomic DNA from clinical samples is the first and important step in the procedure. Several procedures for extracting DNA from faecal samples have been described, including different mechanical cell disruptors. To our knowledge, the use of TissueLyser as a mechanical disruptor on faecal samples before DNA extraction has not been previously described. The purpose of the study was to implement a method for preparing faecal samples for optimal DNA extraction. Thus, three different procedures for extracting DNA from human faeces were compared. This was done either by using the mechanical disrupter by Mini BeadBeater 8, or the TissueLyser both followed by DNA purification using QIAamp DNA stool MiniKit, in comparison with DNA extractions using QIAamp DNA stool MiniKit without any prior mechanical disruption, according to manufacturer's instructions. The obtained DNA from the three procedures was analysed by DGGE, and the number of bands was compared between each procedure. There was no significant difference between the numbers of bacterial bands obtained from DGGE when using a TissueLyser or Mini BeadBeater 8, so the two different mechanical cell disruptors can be used comparably when isolating bacterial DNA from faecal samples. The QIAamp DNA stool MiniKit alone resulted in a reduced number of bands compared to the two mechanical disruption methods.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Commercially produced sterile green bottle fly Lucilia sericata maggots are successfully employed by practitioners worldwide to clean a multitude of chronic necrotic wounds and reduce wound bacterial burdens during maggot debridement therapy (MDT). Secretions from the maggots exhibit antimicrobial activity along with other activities beneficial for wound healing. With the rise of multidrug-resistant bacteria, new approaches to identifying the active compounds responsible for the antimicrobial activity within this treatment are imperative. Therefore, the aim of this study was to use a novel approach to investigate the output of secreted proteins from the maggots under conditions mimicking clinical treatments.
cDNA libraries constructed from microdissected salivary glands and whole maggots, respectively, were treated with transposon-assisted signal trapping (TAST), a technique selecting for the identification of secreted proteins. Several putative secreted components of insect immunity were identified, including a defensin named lucifensin, which was produced recombinantly as a Trx-fusion protein in Escherichia coli, purified using immobilized metal affinity chromatography and reverse-phase HPLC, and tested in vitro against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains.
Lucifensin was active against Staphylococcus carnosus, Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus pneumoniae (MIC 2 mg/L), as well as Staphylococcus aureus (MIC 16 mg/L). The peptide did not show antimicrobial activity towards Gram-negative bacteria. The MIC of lucifensin for the methicillin-resistant S. aureus and glycopeptide-intermediate S. aureus isolates tested ranged from 8 to >128 mg/L.
The TAST results did not reveal any highly secreted compounds with putative antimicrobial activity, implying an alternative antimicrobial activity of MDT. Lucifensin showed antimicrobial activities comparable to other defensins and could have potential as a future drug candidate scaffold, for redesign for other applications besides the topical treatment of infected wounds.
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 08/2010; 65(8):1646-54. · 5.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Host defense peptides such as defensins are components of innate immunity and have retained antibiotic activity throughout evolution. Their activity is thought to be due to amphipathic structures, which enable binding and disruption of microbial cytoplasmic membranes. Contrary to this, we show that plectasin, a fungal defensin, acts by directly binding the bacterial cell-wall precursor Lipid II. A wide range of genetic and biochemical approaches identify cell-wall biosynthesis as the pathway targeted by plectasin. In vitro assays for cell-wall synthesis identified Lipid II as the specific cellular target. Consistently, binding studies confirmed the formation of an equimolar stoichiometric complex between Lipid II and plectasin. Furthermore, key residues in plectasin involved in complex formation were identified using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and computational modeling.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maggot debridement therapy (MDT) is widely used for debridement of chronic infected wounds; however, for wounds harbouring specific bacteria limited effect or failure of the treatment has been described. Here we studied the survival of Lucilia sericata maggots encountering Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 in a simple assay with emphasis on the quorum-sensing (QS)-regulated virulence. The maggots were challenged with GFP-tagged P. aeruginosa wild-type (WT) PAO1 and a GFP-tagged P. aeruginosa DeltalasR rhlR (DeltaRR) QS-deficient mutant in different concentrations. Maggots were killed in the presence of WT PAO1 whereas the challenge with the QS mutant showed a survival reduction of approximately 25 % compared to negative controls. Furthermore, bacterial intake by the maggots was lower in the presence of WT PAO1 compared to the PAO1 DeltaRR mutant. Maggot excretions/secretions (ES) were assayed for the presence of QS inhibitors; only high doses of ES showed inhibition of QS in P. aeruginosa. Thus P. aeruginosa was shown to be toxic to L. sericata maggots. This, coupled to the preferential feeding by the maggots and reduced ingestion of P. aeruginosa, could explain MDT failure in wounds colonized by P. aeruginosa. Wounds heavily colonized with P. aeruginosa should be a counterindication for MDT unless used in combination with a pre-treatment with other topical therapeutics targeting P. aeruginosa.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The spatial organization of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus in chronic wounds was investigated in the present study. Wound biopsy specimens were obtained from patients diagnosed as having chronic venous leg ulcers, and bacterial aggregates in these wounds were detected and located by the use of peptide nucleic acid-based fluorescence in situ hybridization and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). We acquired CLSM images of multiple regions in multiple sections cut from five wounds containing P. aeruginosa and five wounds containing S. aureus and measured the distance of the bacterial aggregates to the wound surface. The distance of the P. aeruginosa aggregates to the wound surface was significantly greater than that of the S. aureus aggregates, suggesting that the distribution of the bacteria in the chronic wounds was nonrandom. The results are discussed in relation to our recent finding that swab culturing techniques may underestimate the presence of P. aeruginosa in chronic wounds and in relation to the hypothesis that P. aeruginosa bacteria located in the deeper regions of chronic wounds may play an important role in keeping the wounds arrested in a stage dominated by inflammatory processes.
Journal of clinical microbiology 10/2009; 47(12):4084-9. · 4.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wound healing can be delayed by the presence of colonising bacteria, and in polymicrobial wounds they may act synergistically to the further detriment of wound healing. In this pilot investigation, biopsy and swab samples were obtained as part of skin-graft operations performed on a chronic venous leg ulcer in order to study the spatial microbial diversity and to compare standard bacteriological and molecular biological techniques.
The wound was sampled before excision, and sampling was undertaken at multiple locations across the wound. Swab samples and biopsies were subjected to culture analysis and 16S rRNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and to denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE).
Within the wound samples, DGGE identified the major wound microflora components and established the extent of local differences in bacterial diversity.
This ongoing investigation has verified DGGE as a powerful tool for elucidating the clinical microbiology of a chronic disease state. It also suggests that skin graft operations are a novel way of obtaining multiple samples for in vivo bacteriology and for establishing the spatial distribution of bacteria in the complex micro-environment of chronic wounds.
Journal of Wound Care 05/2007; 16(4):171-5. · 1.91 Impact Factor