[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Burkholderia pseudomallei is the bacterium responsible for melioidosis, an infectious disease with high mortality rates. Since melioidosis is a significant public health concern in endemic regions and the organism is currently classified as a potential biothreat agent, the development of effective vaccines and rapid diagnostics is a priority. The capsular polysaccharide (CPS) expressed by B. pseudomallei is a highly conserved virulence factor and a protective antigen. Because of this, CPS is considered an attractive antigen for use in the development of both vaccines and diagnostics. In the present study, we describe the interactions of CPS with the murine monoclonal antibody (mAb) 4C4 using a multidisciplinary approach including organic synthesis, molecular biology techniques, surface plasmon resonance and nuclear magnetic spectroscopy. Using these methods we determined the mode of binding between mAb 4C4 and native CPS or ad hoc synthesized capsular polysaccharide fragments. The antibody-CPS dissociation constant was determined and indicated high affinity binding. Interestingly, we demonstrated that the O-acetyl moiety of CPS is essential for the interaction of the capsular polysaccharide epitope with mAb 4C4. Collectively, our results provide important insights into the structural features of B. pseudomallei CPS that enable antibody recognition that may help to facilitate the rational design of CPS-based vaccine candidates. In addition, our findings confirm that the mAb 4C4 is a suitable for use in an antibody-based detection assay for diagnosis of B. pseudomallei infections.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · ACS Chemical Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several candidates for a vaccine against Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causal bacterium of melioidosis, have been developed, and a rational approach is now needed to select and advance candidates for testing in relevant nonhuman primate models and in human clinical trials. Development of such a vaccine was the topic of a meeting in the United Kingdom in March 2014 attended by international candidate vaccine developers, researchers, and government health officials. The focus of the meeting was advancement of vaccines for prevention of natural infection, rather than for protection from the organism’s known potential for use as a biological weapon. A direct comparison of candidate vaccines in well-characterized mouse models was proposed. Knowledge gaps requiring further research were identified. Recommendations were made to accelerate the development of an effective vaccine against melioidosis.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Emerging infectious diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Melioidosis is a severe disease that can be difficult to diagnose because of its diverse clinical manifestations and a lack of adequate diagnostic capabilities for suspected cases. There is broad interest in improving detection and diagnosis of this disease not only in melioidosis-endemic regions but also outside these regions because melioidosis may be underreported and poses a potential bioterrorism challenge for public health authorities. Therefore, a workshop of academic, government, and private sector personnel from around the world was convened to discuss the current state of melioidosis diagnostics, diagnostic needs, and future directions.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Emerging infectious diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Burkholderia pseudomallei is a gram-negative bacterium that causes melioidosis, a multifaceted disease that is highly endemic in southeast Asia and northern Australia. This facultative intracellular pathogen possesses a large genome that encodes a wide array of virulence factors that promote survival in vivo by manipulating host cell processes and disarming elements of the host immune system. Antigens and systems that play key roles in B. pseudomallei virulence include capsular polysaccharide, lipopolysaccharide, adhesins, specialized secretion systems, actin-based motility and various secreted factors. This review provides an overview of the current and steadily expanding knowledge regarding the molecular mechanisms used by this organism to survive within a host and their contribution to the pathogenesis of melioidosis.
No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Burkholderia pseudomallei, the etiologic agent of melioidosis, is an opportunistic pathogen that harbors a wide array of secretion systems, including
a type II secretion system (T2SS), three type III secretion systems (T3SS), and six type VI secretion systems (T6SS). The
proteins exported by these systems provide B. pseudomallei with a growth advantage in vitro and in vivo, but relatively little is known about the full repertoire of exoproducts associated with each system. In this study, we constructed
deletion mutations in gspD and gspE, T2SS genes encoding an outer membrane secretin and a cytoplasmic ATPase, respectively. The secretion profiles of B. pseudomallei MSHR668 and its T2SS mutants were noticeably different when analyzed by SDS-PAGE. We utilized liquid chromatography-tandem
mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to identify proteins present in the supernatants of B. pseudomallei MSHR668 and B. pseudomallei ΔgspD grown in rich and minimal media. The MSHR668 supernatants contained 48 proteins that were either absent or substantially
reduced in the supernatants of ΔgspD strains. Many of these proteins were putative hydrolytic enzymes, including 12 proteases, two phospholipases, and a chitinase.
Biochemical assays validated the LC-MS/MS results and demonstrated that the export of protease, phospholipase C, and chitinase
activities is T2SS dependent. Previous studies had failed to identify the mechanism of secretion of TssM, a deubiquitinase
that plays an integral role in regulating the innate immune response. Here we present evidence that TssM harbors an atypical
signal sequence and that its secretion is mediated by the T2SS. This study provides the first in-depth characterization of
the B. pseudomallei T2SS secretome.
Preview · Article · May 2014 · Infection and Immunity
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Burkholderia pseudomallei, the etiologic agent of melioidosis, is a CDC tier 1 select agent that causes severe disease in both humans and animals.
Diagnosis and treatment of melioidosis can be challenging, and in the absence of optimal chemotherapeutic intervention, acute
disease is frequently fatal. Melioidosis is an emerging infectious disease for which there are currently no licensed vaccines.
Due to the potential malicious use of B. pseudomallei as well as its impact on public health in regions where the disease is endemic, there is significant interest in developing
vaccines for immunization against this disease. In the present study, type A O-polysaccharide (OPS) and manno-heptose capsular polysaccharide (CPS) antigens were isolated from nonpathogenic, select-agent-excluded strains of B. pseudomallei and covalently linked to carrier proteins. By using these conjugates (OPS2B1 and CPS2B1, respectively), it was shown that
although high-titer IgG responses against the OPS or CPS component of the glycoconjugates could be raised in BALB/c mice,
only those animals immunized with CPS2B1 were protected against intraperitoneal challenge with B. pseudomallei. Extending upon these studies, it was also demonstrated that when the mice were immunized with a combination of CPS2B1 and
recombinant B. pseudomallei LolC, rather than with CPS2B1 or LolC individually, they exhibited higher survival rates when challenged with a lethal dose
of B. pseudomallei. Collectively, these results suggest that CPS-based glycoconjugates are promising candidates for the development of subunit
vaccines for immunization against melioidosis.
Preview · Article · May 2014 · Infection and Immunity
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Burkholderia pseudomallei is a soil-dwelling bacterium and the causative agent of melioidosis. Isolation of B. pseudomallei from clinical samples is the "gold standard" for the diagnosis of melioidosis; results can take 3-7 days to produce. Alternatively, antibody-based tests have low specificity due to a high percentage of seropositive individuals in endemic areas. There is a clear need to develop a rapid point-of-care antigen detection assay for the diagnosis of melioidosis. Previously, we employed In vivo Microbial Antigen Discovery (InMAD) to identify potential B. pseudomallei diagnostic biomarkers. The B. pseudomallei capsular polysaccharide (CPS) and numerous protein antigens were identified as potential candidates. Here, we describe the development of a diagnostic immunoassay based on the detection of CPS. Following production of a CPS-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb), an antigen-capture immunoassay was developed to determine the concentration of CPS within a panel of melioidosis patient serum and urine samples. The same mAb was used to produce a prototype Active Melioidosis Detect Lateral Flow Immunoassay (AMD LFI); the limit of detection of the LFI for CPS is comparable to the antigen-capture immunoassay (∼0.2 ng/ml). The analytical reactivity (inclusivity) of the AMD LFI was 98.7% (76/77) when tested against a large panel of B. pseudomallei isolates. Analytical specificity (cross-reactivity) testing determined that 97.2% of B. pseudomallei near neighbor species (35/36) were not reactive. The non-reactive B. pseudomallei strain and the reactive near neighbor strain can be explained through genetic sequence analysis. Importantly, we show the AMD LFI is capable of detecting CPS in a variety of patient samples. The LFI is currently being evaluated in Thailand and Australia; the focus is to optimize and validate testing procedures on melioidosis patient samples prior to initiation of a large, multisite pre-clinical evaluation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Burkholderia mallei is a facultative intracellular pathogen that causes glanders in humans and animals. Previous studies have demonstrated that the cluster 1 type VI secretion system (T6SS-1) expressed by this organism is essential for virulence in hamsters and is positively regulated by the VirAG two-component system. Recently, we have shown that T6SS-1 gene expression is up-regulated following internalization of this pathogen into phagocytic cells and that this system promotes multinucleated giant cell formation in infected tissue culture monolayers. In the present study, we further investigated the complex regulation of this important virulence factor. To assess T6SS-1 expression, B. mallei strains were cultured in various media conditions and Hcp1 production was analyzed by Western immunoblotting. Transcript levels of several VirAG-regulated genes (bimA, tssA, hcp1 and tssM) were also determined using quantitative real time PCR. Consistent with previous observations, T6SS-1 was not expressed during growth of B. mallei in rich media. Curiously, growth of the organism in minimal media (M9G) or minimal media plus casamino acids (M9CG) facilitated robust expression of T6SS-1 genes whereas growth in minimal media plus tryptone (M9TG) did not. Investigation of this phenomenon confirmed a regulatory role for VirAG in this process. Additionally, T6SS-1 gene expression was significantly down-regulated by the addition of iron and zinc to M9CG. Other genes under the control of VirAG did not appear to be as tightly regulated by these divalent metals. Similar results were observed for B. pseudomallei, but not for B. thailandensis. Collectively, our findings indicate that in addition to being positively regulated by VirAG, B. mallei and B. pseudomallei T6SS-1 gene expression is negatively regulated by iron and zinc.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: O-Polysaccharides (OPS) were isolated from purified Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia mallei lipopolysaccharides by mild-acid hydrolysis and gel-permeation chromatography. 1-D and 2-D (1)H and (13)C NMR spectroscopy experiments revealed that the OPS antigens were unbranched heteropolymers with the following structures: Collectively, our results demonstrate that the predominant OPS antigens expressed by B. pseudomallei and B. mallei isolates are structurally more complex than previously described and provide evidence that different capping residues are used by these closely related pathogens to terminate chain elongation. Additionally, they confirm that Burkholderia thailandensis and B. pseudomallei express OPS antigens that are essentially identical to one another.
No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Carbohydrate research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Burkholderia mallei the etiologic agent of glanders, causes severe disease in humans and animals and is a potential agent of biological warfare and terrorism. Diagnosis and treatment of glanders can be challenging, and in the absence of chemotherapeutic intervention, acute human disease is invariably fatal. At present, there are no human or veterinary vaccines available for immunization against disease. One of the goals of our research, therefore, is to identify and characterize protective antigens expressed by B. mallei and use them to develop efficacious glanders vaccine candidates. Previous studies have demonstrated that the O-polysaccharide (OPS) expressed by B. mallei is both a virulence factor and a protective antigen. Recently, we demonstrated that Burkholderia thailandensis, a closely related but non-pathogenic species, can be genetically manipulated to express OPS antigens that are recognized by B. mallei OPS-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). As a result, these antigens have become important components of the various OPS-based subunit vaccines that we are currently developing in our laboratory. In this study, we describe a method for isolating B. mallei-like OPS antigens from B. thailandensis oacA mutants. Utilizing these purified OPS antigens, we also describe a simple procedure for coupling the polysaccharides to protein carriers such as cationized bovine serum albumin, diphtheria toxin mutant CRM197 and cholera toxin B subunit. Additionally, we demonstrate that high titer IgG responses against purified B. mallei LPS can be generated by immunizing mice with the resulting constructs. Collectively, these approaches provide a rational starting point for the development of novel OPS-based glycoconjugates for immunization against glanders.
Preview · Article · Nov 2012 · Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: O-polysaccharide (OPS) was isolated from purified Burkholderia thailandensis E264 lipopolysaccharide by mild-acid hydrolysis and gel-permeation chromatography. Glycosyl composition and methylation analyses along with 1D and 2D (1)H and (13)C NMR spectroscopy experiments revealed that the OPS antigen was an unbranched heteropolymer with the following structure: Collectively, these results suggest that B. thailandensis OPS is structurally more complex than B. pseudomallei OPS and provide evidence of the signal used by B. thailandensis to terminate chain elongation.
No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Carbohydrate research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia mallei, the etiologic agents of melioidosis and glanders, respectively, cause severe disease in humans and animals and are considered potential agents of biological warfare and terrorism. Diagnosis and treatment of infections caused by these pathogens can be challenging and, in the absence of chemotherapeutic intervention, acute disease is frequently fatal. At present, there are no human or veterinary vaccines available for immunization against these emerging/re-emerging infectious diseases. One of the long term objectives of our research, therefore, is to identify and characterize protective antigens expressed by B. pseudomallei and B. mallei and use them to develop efficacious vaccine candidates. Previous studies have demonstrated that the 6-deoxy-heptan capsular polysaccharide (CPS) expressed by these bacterial pathogens is both a virulence determinant and a protective antigen. Consequently, this carbohydrate moiety has become an important component of the various subunit vaccines that we are currently developing in our laboratory. In the present study, we describe a reliable method for isolating CPS antigens from O-polysaccharide (OPS) deficient strains of B. pseudomallei; including a derivative of the select agent excluded strain Bp82. Utilizing these purified CPS samples, we also describe a simple procedure for covalently linking these T-cell independent antigens to carrier proteins. In addition, we demonstrate that high titer IgG responses can be raised against the CPS component of such constructs. Collectively, these approaches provide a tangible starting point for the development of novel CPS-based glycoconjugates for immunization against melioidosis and glanders.
Preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Capsular polysaccharides (CPSs) were isolated from O-polysaccharide deficient strains of Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei using a modified hot phenol/water extraction procedure. Glycosyl composition, methylation, MALDI-TOF MS analyses as well as (1)H NMR spectroscopy including COSY, TOCSY, NOESY, HMBC and HSQC experiments identified the presence of two distinct CPS antigens in the samples exhibiting the following structures: This study confirms the ability of B. mallei to express a 6-deoxy-heptan CPS and represents the first report of a mannan CPS being expressed by these bacterial pathogens.
No preview · Article · Feb 2012 · Carbohydrate research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Detection of microbial antigens in clinical samples can lead to rapid diagnosis of an infection and administration of appropriate therapeutics. A major barrier in diagnostics development is determining which of the potentially hundreds or thousands of antigens produced by a microbe are actually present in patient samples in detectable amounts against a background of innumerable host proteins. In this report, we describe a strategy, termed in vivo microbial antigen discovery (InMAD), that we used to identify circulating bacterial antigens. This technique starts with “InMAD serum,” which is filtered serum that has been harvested from BALB/c mice infected with a bacterial pathogen. The InMAD serum, which is free of whole bacterial cells, is used to immunize syngeneic BALB/c mice. The resulting “InMAD immune serum” contains antibodies specific for the soluble microbial antigens present in sera from the infected mice. The InMAD immune serum is then used to probe blots of bacterial lysates or bacterial proteome arrays. Bacterial antigens that are reactive with the InMAD immune serum are precisely the antigens to target in an antigen immunoassay. By employing InMAD, we identified multiple circulating antigens that are secreted or shed during infection using Burkholderia pseudomallei and Francisella tularensis as model organisms. Potential diagnostic targets identified by the InMAD approach included bacterial proteins, capsular polysaccharide, and lipopolysaccharide. The InMAD technique makes no assumptions other than immunogenicity and has the potential to be a broad discovery platform to identify diagnostic targets from microbial pathogens.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies have shown that the O polysaccharides (OPS) expressed by Burkholderia mallei are similar to those produced by Burkholderia thailandensis except that they lack the 4-O-acetyl modifications on their 6-deoxy-α-l-talopyranosyl residues. In the present study, we describe the identification and characterization of an open reading frame,
designated oacA, expressed by B. thailandensis that accounts for this phenomenon. Utilizing the B. thailandensis and B. mallei lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-specific monoclonal antibodies Pp-PS-W and 3D11, Western immunoblot analyses demonstrated that the
LPS antigens expressed by the oacA mutant, B. thailandensis ZT0715, were antigenically similar to those produced by B. mallei ATCC 23344. In addition, immunoblot analyses demonstrated that when B. mallei ATCC 23344 was complemented in trans with oacA, it synthesized B. thailandensis-like LPS antigens. To elucidate the structure of the OPS moieties expressed by ZT0715, purified samples were analyzed via
nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. As predicted, these studies demonstrated that the loss of OacA activity influenced
the O acetylation phenotype of the OPS moieties. Unexpectedly, however, the results indicated that the O methylation status
of the OPS antigens was also affected by the loss of OacA activity. Nonetheless, it was revealed that the LPS moieties expressed
by the oacA mutant reacted strongly with the B. mallei LPS-specific protective monoclonal antibody 9C1-2. Based on these findings, it appears that OacA is required for the 4-O acetylation and 2-O methylation of B. thailandensis OPS antigens and that ZT0715 may provide a safe and cost-effective source of B. mallei-like OPS to facilitate the synthesis of glanders subunit vaccine candidates.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Infection and immunity
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Burkholderia pseudomallei K96243 genome encodes six type VI secretion systems (T6SSs), but little is known about the role of these systems in the biology
of B. pseudomallei. In this study, we purified recombinant Hcp proteins from each T6SS and tested them as vaccine candidates in the BALB/c mouse
model of melioidosis. Recombinant Hcp2 protected 80% of mice against a lethal challenge with K96243, while recombinant Hcp1, Hcp3, and Hcp6 protected 50% of mice against challenge. Hcp6 was the only Hcp constitutively produced
by B. pseudomallei in vitro; however, it was not exported to the extracellular milieu. Hcp1, on the other hand, was produced and exported in vitro when the VirAG two-component regulatory system was overexpressed in trans. We also constructed six hcp deletion mutants (Δhcp1 through Δhcp6) and tested them for virulence in the Syrian hamster model of infection. The 50% lethal doses (LD50s) for the Δhcp2 through Δhcp6 mutants were indistinguishable from K96243 (<10 bacteria), but the LD50 for the Δhcp1 mutant was >103 bacteria. The hcp1 deletion mutant also exhibited a growth defect in RAW 264.7 macrophages and was unable to form multinucleated giant cells
in this cell line. Unlike K96243, the Δhcp1 mutant was only weakly cytotoxic to RAW 264.7 macrophages 18 h after infection. The results suggest that the cluster 1 T6SS
is essential for virulence and plays an important role in the intracellular lifestyle of B. pseudomallei.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Infection and immunity
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia mallei are closely related gram-negative bacteria that can cause serious diseases in humans and animals. This review summarizes the current and rapidly expanding knowledge on the specific virulence factors employed by these pathogens and their roles in the pathogenesis of melioidosis and glanders. In particular, the contributions of recently identified virulence factors are described in the context of the intracellular lifestyle of these pathogens. Throughout this review, unique and shared virulence features of B. pseudomallei and B. mallei are discussed.
No preview · Article · Oct 2010 · Annual review of microbiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Burkholderia mallei is a facultative intracellular pathogen that causes severe disease in animals and humans. Recent studies have shown that
the cluster 1 type VI secretion system (T6SS-1) expressed by this organism is essential for survival in a hamster model of
glanders. To better understand the role of T6SS-1 in the pathogenesis of disease, studies were initiated to examine the interactions
of B. mallei tssE mutants with RAW 264.7 murine macrophages. Results obtained by utilizing modified gentamicin protection assays indicated
that although the tssE mutants were able to survive within RAW 264.7 cells, significant growth defects were observed in comparison to controls.
In addition, analysis of infected monolayers by differential interference contrast and fluorescence microscopy demonstrated
that the tssE mutants lacked the ability to induce multinucleated giant cell formation. Via the use of fluorescence microscopy, tssE mutants were shown to undergo escape from lysosome-associated membrane protein 1-positive vacuoles. Curiously, however, following
entry into the cytosol, the mutants exhibited actin polymerization defects resulting in inefficient intra- and intercellular
spread characteristics. Importantly, all mutant phenotypes observed in this study could be restored by complementation. Based
upon these findings, it appears that T6SS-1 plays a critical role in growth and actin-based motility following uptake of B. mallei by RAW 264.7 cells.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2009 · Infection and immunity