[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enterococcus faecalis is an established nosocomial pathogen, yet the pathogenesis of enterococcal infections, particularly of urinary tract infections (UTIs), remains to be fully elucidated. Fibronectin-binding proteins have been identified as potent adhesins in pathogenic Gram-positive cocci. Here, we characterized EfbA, which is encoded by the enterococcal orthologue of Streptococcus pneumoniae pavA. Similar to PavA, the anchorless EfbA protein was localized to the enterococcal cell outer surface and bound to immobilized human fibronectin. In addition to abrogated EfbA expression, deletion of the efbA gene eliminated EfbA from the cell surface and drastically reduced the enterococcal cell binding to immobilized fibronectin. The ΔefbA deletion mutant was highly attenuated vs wild-type in a murine ascending UTI model, consistent with an increased tropism for the kidney relative to the bladder. These results provide the first evidence that EfbA of E. faecalis plays a role in UTIs, probably contributing to the pathogenesis in this site.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 07/2012; 206(6):952-60. DOI:10.1093/infdis/jis440 · 5.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We evaluated the usefulness of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) for Cryptococcus identification at the species and subspecies levels by using an in-house database of 25 reference cryptococcal spectra. Eighty-one out of the 82 Cryptococcus isolates (72 Cryptococcus neoformans and 10 Cryptococcus gattii) tested were correctly identified with respect to their molecular type designations. We showed that MALDI-TOF MS is a practicable alternative to conventional mycology or DNA-based methods.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MALDI-TOF MS was evaluated for testing susceptibility to caspofungin of wild-type and fks mutant isolates of Candida and Aspergillus. Complete essential agreement was observed with the CLSI reference method, with categorical agreement for 94.1% of the Candida isolates tested. Thus, MALDI-TOF MS is a reliable and accurate method to detect fungal isolates with reduced caspofungin susceptibility.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 04/2012; · 4.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clin Microbiol Infect 2012; 18: 475–484
Accurate species discrimination of filamentous fungi is essential, because some species have specific antifungal susceptibility patterns, and misidentification may result in inappropriate therapy. We evaluated matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) for species identification through direct surface analysis of the fungal culture. By use of culture collection strains representing 55 species of Aspergillus, Fusarium and Mucorales, a reference database was established for MALDI-TOF MS-based species identification according to the manufacturer’s recommendations for microflex measurements and MALDI BioTyper 2.0 software. The profiles of young and mature colonies were analysed for each of the reference strains, and species-specific spectral fingerprints were obtained. To evaluate the database, 103 blind-coded fungal isolates collected in the routine clinical microbiology laboratory were tested. As a reference method for species designation, multilocus sequencing was used. Eighty-five isolates were unequivocally identified to the species level (≥99% sequence similarity); 18 isolates producing ambiguous results at this threshold were initially rated as identified to the genus level only. Further molecular analysis definitively assigned these isolates to the species Aspergillus oryzae (17 isolates) and Aspergillus flavus (one isolate), concordant with the MALDI-TOF MS results. Excluding nine isolates that belong to the fungal species not included in our reference database, 91 (96.8%) of 94 isolates were identified by MALDI-TOF MS to the species level, in agreement with the results of the reference method; three isolates were identified to the genus level. In conclusion, MALDI-TOF MS is suitable for the routine identification of filamentous fungi in a medical microbiology laboratory.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fluconazole (FLC), a triazole antifungal drug, is widely used for the maintenance therapy of cryptococcal meningoencephalitis, the most common opportunistic infection in AIDS patients. In this study, we examined changes in the gene expression profile of the C. neoformans reference strain H99 (serotype A) following FLC treatment in order to investigate the adaptive cellular responses to drug stress.
Simultaneous analysis of over 6823 transcripts revealed that 476 genes were responsive to FLC. As expected up-regulation of genes involved in ergosterol biosynthesis was observed, including the azole target gene ERG11 and ERG13, ERG1, ERG7, ERG25, ERG2, ERG3 and ERG5. In addition, SRE1 which is a gene encoding a well-known regulator of sterol homeostasis in C. neoformans was up-regulated. Several other genes such as those involved in a variety of important cellular processes (i.e. lipid and fatty acid metabolism, cell wall maintenance, stress and virulence) were found to be up-regulated in response to FLC treatment. Conversely, expression of AFR1, the major transporter of azoles in C. neoformans, was not regulated by FLC.
Short-term exposure of C. neoformans to FLC resulted in a complex altered gene expression profile. Some of the observed changes could represent specific adaptive responses to the antifungal agent in this pathogenic yeast.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is a microorganism of environmental and clinical importance as well as a frequent airway colonizer of cystic fibrosis (CF) individuals. We combined 2-DE and MALDI-TOF MS to profile the protein expression in S. maltophilia K279a, a completely sequenced clinical isolate, grown at 37 °C with respect to the strain grown at 26 °C. Among the proteins up-regulated at 37 °C, we identified GroEL, a molecular chaperone that mainly assist the folding and unfolding of proteins under both normal and stress conditions. A 2.4-kb groESL mRNA was detected independently by Northern blot analyses with a groES- and a groEL-specific probe, indicating that S. maltophilia groES and groEL form an operon. Primer extension analysis of S. maltophilia groESL done in Escherichia coli showed that 2 promoters, Pσ(32) and Pσ(70), were utilized under the heat-shock and normal condition, respectively, whereas S. maltophilia groEL was shown to act as a heat-shock gene at 37 °C, 42 °C, and, to a lesser extent, at 50 °C by real-time RT-PCR analyses. Finally, immunoblot analyses revealed that S. maltophilia GroEL strongly reacted with sera from CF patients chronically infected by the microorganism, but did not with sera from CF patients with sporadic infection or uninfected.
International journal of medical microbiology: IJMM 11/2010; 301(4):273-81. DOI:10.1016/j.ijmm.2010.10.001 · 3.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Vitek 2 yeast susceptibility test was evaluated by testing 122 Candida isolates against fluconazole and voriconazole. Excellent categorical agreement with the CLSI broth microdilution method was observed (97.5% for both the azoles). Moreover, the Vitek 2 system was able to identify all but 2 of 59 investigated fluconazole-resistant organisms.