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Publications (12)30.63 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Discrimination of Burkholderia (B.) pseudomallei and B. mallei from environmental B. thailandensis is challenging. We describe a discrimination method based on sequence comparison of the ribosomal protein S21 (rpsU) gene.The rpsU gene was sequenced in ten B. pseudomallei, six B. mallei, one B. thailandensis reference strains, six isolates of B. pseudomallei, and 37 of B. thailandensis. Further rpsU sequences of six B. pseudomallei, three B. mallei, and one B. thailandensis were identified via NCBI GenBank. Three to four variable base-positions were identified within a 120-base-pair fragment, allowing discrimination of the B. pseudomallei/mallei-cluster from B. thailandensis, whose sequences clustered identically. All B. mallei and three B. pseudomallei sequences were identical, while 17/22 B. pseudomallei strains differed in one nucleotide (78A>C). Sequences of the rpsU fragment of 'out-stander' reference strains of B. cepacia, B. gladioli, B. plantarii, and B. vietnamensis clustered differently.Sequence comparison of the described rpsU gene fragment can be used as a supplementary diagnostic procedure for the discrimination of B. mallei/pseudomallei from B. thailandensis as well as from other species of the genus Burkholderia, keeping in mind that it does not allow for a differentiation between B. mallei and B. pseudomallei.
    European journal of microbiology & immunology. 06/2012; 2(2):148-156.
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    ABSTRACT: The roles of interleukin-17 (IL-17) and neutrophils in the lung have been described as those of two intricate but independent players. Here we identify neutrophils as the primary IL-17-secreting subset of cells in a model of inhalation anthrax using A/J and C57BL/6 mice. With IL-17 receptor A knockout (IL-17RA-/-) mice, we confirmed that IL-17A/F signaling is instrumental in the self-recruitment of this population. We also show that the IL-17A/F axis is critical for surviving pulmonary infection, as IL-17RA-/- mice become susceptible to intranasal infection by Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores. Strikingly, infection with a fully virulent strain did not affect IL-17RA-/- mouse survival. Eventually, by depleting neutrophils in wild-type and IL-17RA-/- mice, we demonstrated the crucial role of IL-17-secreting neutrophils in mouse survival of infection by fully virulent B. anthracis. This work demonstrates the important roles of both IL-17 signaling and neutrophils in clearing this pathogen and surviving pulmonary B. anthracis infection.
    Infection and immunity 01/2012; 80(1):131-42. · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We evaluated newly developed probes for rapid identification of Burkholderia (B.) pseudomallei and B. mallei and differentiation from B. thailandensis by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). FISH correctly identified 100% of the tested B. pseudomallei (11), B. mallei (11), and B. thailandensis (1) strains, excluded 100% of all tested negative controls (61), and allowed demonstration of B. pseudomallei infection in a paraffin-embedded spleen tissue sample of an experimentally infected mouse.
    International journal of medical microbiology: IJMM 06/2011; 301(7):585-90. · 4.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protective antigen (PA)-based anthrax vaccines acting on toxins are less effective than live attenuated vaccines, suggesting that additional antigens may contribute to protective immunity. Several reports indicate that capsule or spore-associated antigens may enhance the protection afforded by PA. Addition of formaldehyde-inactivated spores (FIS) to PA (PA-FIS) elicits total protection against cutaneous anthrax. Nevertheless, vaccines that are effective against cutaneous anthrax may not be so against inhalational anthrax. The aim of this work was to optimize immunization with PA-FIS and to assess vaccine efficacy against inhalational anthrax. We assessed the immune response to recombinant anthrax PA from Bacillus anthracis (rPA)-FIS administered by various immunization protocols and the protection provided to mice and guinea pigs infected through the respiratory route with spores of a virulent strain of B. anthracis. Combined subcutaneous plus intranasal immunization of mice yielded a mucosal immunoglobulin G response to rPA that was more than 20 times higher than that in lung mucosal secretions after subcutaneous vaccination. The titers of toxin-neutralizing antibody and antispore antibody were also significantly higher: nine and eight times higher, respectively. The optimized immunization elicited total protection of mice intranasally infected with the virulent B. anthracis strain 17JB. Guinea pigs were fully protected, both against an intranasal challenge with 100 50% lethal doses (LD(50)) and against an aerosol with 75 LD(50) of spores of the highly virulent strain 9602. Conversely, immunization with PA alone did not elicit protection. These results demonstrate that the association of PA and spores is very much more effective than PA alone against experimental inhalational anthrax.
    Infection and immunity 01/2009; 77(3):1197-207. · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Melioidosis is caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, whose portals of entry into the body include subcutaneous, ingestion and inhalation routes. Animal models play an important role in furthering our understanding of this disease, which is associated with high morbidity and mortality in susceptible subjects. Previous studies using intranasal inoculation showed a differential susceptibility to inhalational melioidosis in BALB/c and C57Bl/6 mice and attributed the difference to genetic factors and host response. However, a recent study found no difference in susceptibility when the two species of mice were exposed to nebulized bacteria. We sought to address this discrepancy by using a nasal route only, instead of whole-body aerosol exposure system. Employing three different clinical strains of B. pseudomallei and following the progression of disease development in both BALB/c and C57Bl/6 mice, we found that BALB/c mice were at least 10- to 100-fold more susceptible to infection than C57Bl/6 mice. Comparison of bacterial burdens in aerosol-challenged mice, at both the pulmonary and distant sites of infection, suggests that C57Bl/6 mice were more efficient in clearing the bacteria than BALB/c mice. In addition, a comprehensive study of a wide panel of chemokines and cytokines at the protein level demonstrated that hyperproduction of proinflammatory cytokines in aerosol-challenged BALB/c mice did not translate into better protection and survival of these mice, whereas a moderate increase in these proteins in aerosol-challenged C57Bl/6 mice was more beneficial in clearing the infection. This suggests that high levels of proinflammatory cytokines are detrimental and contribute to the immunopathogenesis of the infection.
    Journal of Medical Microbiology 05/2008; 57(Pt 4):508-15. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Melioidosis is a severe gram-negative infection caused by the facultative intracellular bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, which is responsible for a broad spectrum of symptoms in both humans and animals. No licensed vaccine currently exists. This study evaluated the protective effect of a monoclonal antibody (Mab Ps6F6) specific to B. pseudomallei exopolysaccharide in an outbred murine model of sub-acute melioidosis. When administered before the infectious challenge, Ps6F6 significantly increased resistance to infection and restrained bacterial burden in the spleen over a 30-days period. Patterns of IFN-gamma production were similar in the treated and non treated groups of mice. However, Ps6F6 lowered IFN-gamma levels over the duration of the assay period, except on day 1, suggesting a transient and rapid production of IFN-gamma under Ps6F6 control. Minor but persisting increases occurred in IL-12 levels while TNF-alpha was detected only in the controls at the later stages of infection. No IL-10 secretion was detected in both groups of mice. These data suggest that passive prophylaxis with Mab Ps6F6 provide a moderate and transient induction of inflammatory responses in infected mice but failed to trigger a sterilizing protective immunity.
    Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology 02/2005; 27(4):565-83. · 1.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Burkholderia pseudomallei is the causative agent of melioidosis, an often fatal infection of humans and animals. The virulence of this pathogen is thought to depend on a number of secreted proteins, including the MprA metalloprotease. We observed that MprA is produced upon entry into the stationary phase, when the cell density is high, and this prompted us to study cell density-dependent regulation in B. pseudomallei. A search of the B. pseudomallei genome led to identification of a quorum-sensing system involving the LuxI-LuxR homologs PmlI-PmlR. PmlI directed the synthesis of an N-acylhomoserine lactone identified as N-decanoylhomoserine lactone. A B. pseudomallei pmlI mutant was significantly less virulent than the parental strain in a murine model of infection by the intraperitoneal, subcutaneous, and intranasal routes. Inactivation of pmlI resulted in overproduction of MprA at the onset of the stationary phase. A wild-type phenotype was restored following complementation with pmlI or addition of cell-free culture supernatant. In contrast, there was no significant difference between the virulence of a B. pseudomallei mprA mutant and the virulence of the wild-type strain. These results suggest that the PmlI-PmlR quorum-sensing system of B. pseudomallei is essential for full virulence in a mouse model and downregulates the production of MprA at a high cell density.
    Journal of Bacteriology 05/2004; 186(8):2288-94. · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, several cases of melioidosis imported to Europe have been reported. The diagnosis of the acute or chronic infection remains challenging. This report describes an optimised protocol for fast and reliable DNA preparation for use in two different polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays, namely: (1) a seminested PCR assay targeting a genus specific sequence of the ribosomal protein subunit 21 (rpsU) gene and (2) a nested PCR assay targeting the gene encoding the filament forming flagellin (fliC). Various strains of Burkholderia spp, strains of closely related genera, and spleen tissue samples of experimentally infected mice were investigated. The combination of PCR and sequencing of the amplicons resulted in high sensitivity and specificity. These procedures may allow rapid, sensitive, and reliable detection of B pseudomallei DNA in routinely formalin fixed and paraffin wax embedded samples, thus providing a safe diagnostic tool and avoiding the cultivation of a risk group 3 agent. In addition, this method could be useful for retrospective histopathological investigations.
    Molecular Pathology 01/2003; 55(6):398-400.
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    ABSTRACT: Amotile Burkholderia mallei and motile Burkholderia pseudomallei display a high similarity with regard to phenotype and clinical syndromes, glanders and melioidosis. The aim of this study was to establish a fast and reliable molecular method for identification and differentiation. Despite amotility, the gene of the filament forming flagellin (fliC) could be completely sequenced in two B. mallei strains. Only one mutation was identified discriminating between B. mallei and B. pseudomallei. A polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism assay was designed making use of the absence of an AvaII recognition site in B. mallei. All seven B. mallei, 12 out of 15 B. pseudomallei and 36 closely related apathogenic Burkholderia thailandensis strains were identified correctly. However, in three B. pseudomallei strains a point mutation at gene position 798 (G to C) disrupted the AvaII site. Therefore, molecular systems based on the fliC sequence can be used for a reliable proof of strains of the three species but not for the differentiation of B. mallei and B. pseudomallei isolates.
    FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology 12/2002; 34(3):231-6. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Burkholderia pseudomallei is the etiological agent of melioidosis, a potentially fatal disease occurring in man and animals. The aim of this study was to investigate the pathophysiological course of experimental melioidosis, and to identify the target organs, in an animal model. For this purpose SWISS mice were infected intraperitoneally with the virulent strain B. pseudomallei 6068. The bacterial load of various organs was quantified daily by bacteriological analysis and by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based on a monoclonal antibody specific to B. pseudomallei exopolysaccharide (EPS). Electron microscopic investigation of the spleen was performed to locate the bacteria at the cellular level. In this model of acute melioidosis, B. pseudomallei had a marked organ tropism for liver and spleen, and showed evidence of in vivo growth with a bacterial burden of 1.6x10(9) colony forming units (CFU) per gram of spleen 5 days after infection with 200 CFU. The highest bacterial loads were detected in the spleen at all time points, in a range from 2x10(6) to 2x10(9) CFU g(-1). They were still 50-80 times greater than the load of the liver at the time of peak burden. Other investigated organs such as lungs, kidneys, and bone marrow were 10(2)-10(4)-fold less infected than the spleen, with loads ranging from 3x10(2) to 3x10(6) CFU g(-1). The heart and the brain were sites of a delayed infection, with counts in a range from 10(3) to 10(7) times lower than bacterial counts in the spleen. The EPS-specific ELISA proved to be highly sensitive, particularly at the level of those tissues in which colony counting on agar revealed low contamination. In the blood, EPS was detected at concentrations corresponding to bacterial loads ranging from 8x10(3) to 6x10(4) CFU ml(-1). Electron microscopic examination of the spleen revealed figures of phagocytosis, and the presence of large numbers of intact bacteria, which occurred either as single cells or densely packed into vacuoles. Sparse figures suggesting bacterial replication were also observed. In addition, some bacteria could be seen in vacuoles that seemed to have lost their membrane. These observations provide a basis for further investigations on the pathogenesis of the disease.
    FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology 03/2001; 30(1):53-63. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Burkholderia pseudomallei is the etiological agent of melioidosis, a potentially fatal disease occurring in man and animals. The aim of this study was to investigate the pathophysiological course of experimental melioidosis, and to identify the target organs, in an animal model. For this purpose SWISS mice were infected intraperitoneally with the virulent strain B. pseudomallei 6068. The bacterial load of various organs was quantified daily by bacteriological analysis and by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based on a monoclonal antibody specific to B. pseudomallei exopolysaccharide (EPS). Electron microscopic investigation of the spleen was performed to locate the bacteria at the cellular level. In this model of acute melioidosis, B. pseudomallei had a marked organ tropism for liver and spleen, and showed evidence of in vivo growth with a bacterial burden of 1.6×109 colony forming units (CFU) per gram of spleen 5 days after infection with 200 CFU. The highest bacterial loads were detected in the spleen at all time points, in a range from 2×106 to 2×109 CFU g−1. They were still 50–80 times greater than the load of the liver at the time of peak burden. Other investigated organs such as lungs, kidneys, and bone marrow were 102–104-fold less infected than the spleen, with loads ranging from 3×102 to 3×106 CFU g−1. The heart and the brain were sites of a delayed infection, with counts in a range from 103 to 107 times lower than bacterial counts in the spleen. The EPS-specific ELISA proved to be highly sensitive, particularly at the level of those tissues in which colony counting on agar revealed low contamination. In the blood, EPS was detected at concentrations corresponding to bacterial loads ranging from 8×103 to 6×104 CFU ml−1. Electron microscopic examination of the spleen revealed figures of phagocytosis, and the presence of large numbers of intact bacteria, which occurred either as single cells or densely packed into vacuoles. Sparse figures suggesting bacterial replication were also observed. In addition, some bacteria could be seen in vacuoles that seemed to have lost their membrane. These observations provide a basis for further investigations on the pathogenesis of the disease.
    FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology 01/2001; 30(1):53 - 63. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess protease production and virulence of various Burkholderia pseudomallei strains. Protease activity was evaluated in filtrates from cultures grown for 50 h in TSB Dialysate by azocasein hydrolysis, and expressed as absorbancy at 405 nm. Virulence was assessed in 8 weeks old SWISS mice, by intraperitoneal injection of 6-6 x 10(5) CFU, and the LD50 was calculated after 30 days by the method of Reed and Muench. The lethal activity was studied for five strains of B. pseudomallei and the type strains of Burkholderia pseudomallei, Burkholderia mallei, and Burkholderia cepacia. The three type strains appeared to be low protease producers (A405 = 0.11, 0.09 and 0.00, respectively) and avirulent. The two more virulent B. pseudomallei strains exhibited significantly different LD50, 3.5 x 10(2) (IPP 6068 VIR) versus 2.1 x 10(5) CFU/mouse (40/97), and protease activities (A405 = 0.046 and 0.79, respectively). Moreover, the avirulent parent of IPP 6068 (AG), was a better protease producer than the 6068 VIR strain, A405 = 0.26 versus 0.046. These results suggest that there is no correlation between virulence and level of exoproteolytic activity, when B. pseudomallei is injected to mice via the intraperitoneal route.
    Acta Tropica 03/2000; 74(2-3):215-20. · 2.79 Impact Factor