Prevalence of genetic differences in phosphorylcholine expression between nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae and Haemophilus haemolyticus

Article (PDF Available)inBMC Microbiology 10(1):286 · November 2010with33 Reads
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2180-10-286 · Source: PubMed
Although non-typeable (NT) Haemophilus influenzae and Haemophilus haemolyticus are closely related human commensals, H. haemolyticus is non-pathogenic while NT H. influenzae is an important cause of respiratory tract infections. Phase-variable phosphorylcholine (ChoP) modification of lipooligosaccharide (LOS) is a NT H. influenzae virulence factor that, paradoxically, may also promote complement activation by binding C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP is known to bind more to ChoP positioned distally than proximally in LOS, and the position of ChoP within LOS is dictated by specific licD alleles (designated here as licDI, licDIII, and licDIV) that are present in a lic1 locus. The lic1 locus contains the licA-licD genes, and ChoP-host interactions may also be influenced by a second lic1 locus that allows for dual ChoP substitutions in the same strain, or by the number of licA gene tetranucleotide repeats (5'-CAAT-3') that reflect phase-variation mutation rates. Using dot-blot hybridization, 92% of 88 NT H. influenzae and 42.6% of 109 H. haemolyticus strains possessed a lic1 locus. Eight percent of NT H. influenzae and none of the H. haemolyticus strains possessed dual copies of lic1. The licDIII and licDIV gene alleles were distributed similarly (18-22%) among the NT H. influenzae and H. haemolyticus strains while licDI alleles were present in 45.5% of NT H. influenzae but in less than 1% of H. haemolyticus strains (P < .0001). NT H. influenzae had an average of 26.8 tetranucleotide repeats in licA compared to 14.8 repeats in H. haemolyticus (P < .05). In addition, NT H. influenzae strains that possessed a licDIII allele had increased numbers of repeats compared to NT H. influenzae with other licD alleles (P < .05). These data demonstrate that genetic similarities and differences of ChoP expression exist between NT H. influenzae and H. haemolyticus and strengthen the hypothesis that, at the population level, these differences may, in part, provide an advantage in the virulence of NT H. influenzae.

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    • "However, the H. haemolyticus and NTHi inocula were prepared in the same manner and the NTHi preparation was not cytotoxic. Differences in the phosphorylcholine (ChoP) decoration of LOS between H. haemolyticus and NTHi have been identified and have been suggested to provide an explanation for NTHi pathogenesis through promotion of bacterial adherence and invasion of host cells (McCrea et al., 2010b; Post et al., 2016). Detailed comparison of LOS structures from nine H. haemolyticus and six NTHi strains found that only 4/9 (44%) of the H. haemolyticus strains tested expressed ChoP decorated LOS in comparison with 5/6 of NTHi strains (Post et al., 2016). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is an opportunistic pathogen that resides in the upper respiratory tract and contributes to a significant burden of respiratory related diseases in children and adults. Haemophilus haemolyticus is a respiratory tract commensal that can be misidentified as NTHi due to high levels of genetic relatedness. There are reports of invasive disease from H. haemolyticus, which further blurs the species boundary with NTHi. To investigate differences in pathogenicity between these species, we optimized an in vitro epithelial cell model to compare the interaction of 10 H. haemolyticus strains with 4 NTHi and 4 H. influenzae-like haemophili. There was inter- and intra-strain variability but overall, H. haemolyticus had reduced capacity to attach to and invade nasopharyngeal and bronchoalveolar epithelial cell lines (D562 and A549) within 3h when compared with NTHi. H. haemolyticus was cytotoxic to both cell lines at 24h, whereas NTHi was not. Nasopharyngeal epithelium challenged with some H. haemolyticus strains released high levels of inflammatory mediators IL-6 and IL-8, whereas NTHi did not elicit an inflammatory response despite higher levels of cell association and invasion. Furthermore, peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated with H. haemolyticus or NTHi released similar and high levels of IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-1β and TNFα when compared with unstimulated cells but only NTHi elicited an IFNγ response. Due to the relatedness of H. haemolyticus and NTHi, we hypothesized that H. haemolyticus may compete with NTHi for colonization of the respiratory tract. We observed that in vitro pre-treatment of epithelial cells with H. haemolyticus significantly reduced NTHi attachment, suggesting interference or competition between the two species is possible and warrants further investigation. In conclusion, H. haemolyticus interacts differently with host cells compared to NTHi, with different immunostimulatory and cytotoxic properties. This study provides an in vitro model for further investigation into the pathogenesis of Haemophilus species and the foundation for exploring whether H. haemolyticus can be used to prevent NTHi disease.
    Full-text · Article · May 2016
    • "All strains rendered a PCho signal, despite the fact that some of them contained a phase OFF lic1A gene, according to the number of repeats. Evidence points out that PCho expression may also be influenced by a second lic1 locus that allows for dual PCho substitutions in the same strain [69], which could also contribute to explain the observations shown in this study. LOS decoration with PCho and lipid A acylation prompted us to further analyse the series of three strains recovered from patient 1. Genome sequence revealed that these three isolates are not identical, despite displaying the same PFGE profile. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nontypable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) has emerged as an important opportunistic pathogen causing infection in adults suffering obstructive lung diseases. Existing evidence associates chronic infection by NTHi to the progression of the chronic respiratory disease, but specific features of NTHi associated with persistence have not been comprehensively addressed. To provide clues about adaptive strategies adopted by NTHi during persistent infection, we compared sequential persistent isolates with newly acquired isolates in sputa from six patients with chronic obstructive lung disease. Pulse field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) identified three patients with consecutive persistent strains and three with new strains. Phenotypic characterisation included infection of respiratory epithelial cells, bacterial self-aggregation, biofilm formation and resistance to antimicrobial peptides (AMP). Persistent isolates differed from new strains in showing low epithelial adhesion and inability to form biofilms when grown under continuous-flow culture conditions in microfermenters. Self-aggregation clustered the strains by patient, not by persistence. Increasing resistance to AMPs was observed for each series of persistent isolates; this was not associated with lipooligosaccharide decoration with phosphorylcholine or with lipid A acylation. Variation was further analyzed for the series of three persistent isolates recovered from patient 1. These isolates displayed comparable growth rate, natural transformation frequency and murine pulmonary infection. Genome sequencing of these three isolates revealed sequential acquisition of single-nucleotide variants in the AMP permease sapC, the heme acquisition systems hgpB, hgpC, hup and hxuC, the 3-deoxy-D-manno-octulosonic acid kinase kdkA, the long-chain fatty acid transporter ompP1, and the phosphoribosylamine glycine ligase purD. Collectively, we frame a range of pathogenic traits and a repertoire of genetic variants in the context of persistent infection by NTHi.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014
    • "It is not clear if the absence of these epitopes from H. parainfluenzae LPS is due to some instability of the respective SSR-containing genes. In H. influenzae the uptake of choline and its incorporation into the LPS as PCho requires the four genes (lic1A-lic1D) of the lic1 locus, which is found in most NTHi and capsular strains [13, 28]. Lic1A contains a (CAAT) n SSR that underlies phase variation of Lic1A and PCho ex- pression [15]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell surface lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a well characterized virulence determinant for the human pathogen Haemophilus influenzae, so an investigation of LPS in the less pathogenic Haemophilus parainfluenzae could yield important insights. Using a panel of 18 commensal H. parainfluenzae isolates we demonstrate that the set of genes for inner core LPS biosynthesis largely resembles that of H. influenzae, with an additional heptosyltransferase I gene similar to waaC from Pasteurella multocida. Inner core LPS structure is therefore likely to be largely conserved across the two Haemophilus species. Outer core LPS biosynthetic genes are much less prevalent in H. parainfluenzae, although homologues of the H. influenzae LPS genes lpsB, non-phase variable lic2A and lgtC, and losA1, losB1 and lic2C are found in certain isolates. Immunoblotting using antibodies directed against selected LPS epitopes was consistent with these data. We found no evidence for tetranucleotide repeat-mediated phase variation in H. parainfluenzae. Phosphocholine, a phase variable H. influenzae LPS epitope that has been implicated in disease, was absent in H. parainfluenzae LPS as were the respective (lic1) biosynthetic genes. The introduction of the lic1 genes into H. parainfluenzae led to the phase variable incorporation of phosphocholine into its LPS. Differences in LPS structure between Haemophilus species could affect interactions at the bacterial-host interface and therefore the pathogenic potential of these bacteria.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012
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