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

Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.
BMC Microbiology (Impact Factor: 2.73). 11/2010; 10(1):286. 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.

Download full-text


Available from: Jingping Xie
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mycoplasma anatis, a member of the class Mollicutes, is the causative agent of a contagious infectious disease of domestic ducklings, wild birds, and eggs. Increasing reports show that coinfection of M. anatis with Escherichia coli results in substantial economic impacts on the duck farms in China. Here, we announce the first genome sequence of M. anatis.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2011 · Journal of bacteriology
  • Source
    [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 · Glycoconjugate Journal
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: All microorganisms dependent on persistence in a host for survival rely on either hiding from or modulating host responses to infection. The small molecule phosphorylcholine, or choline phosphate (ChoP), is used for both of these purposes by a wide array of bacterial and parasitic microbes. While the mechanisms underlying ChoP acquisition and expression are diverse, a unifying theme is the use of ChoP to reduce the immune response to infection, creating an advantage for ChoP-expressing microorganisms. In this minireview, we discuss several benefits of ChoP expression during infection as well as how the immune system fights back against ChoP-expressing pathogens.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Infection and immunity
Show more