Gut Microbes

Wed, 09/23/2020 - 14:07
Campylobacter jejuni is a predominant zoonotic pathogen causing gastroenteritis and other diseases in humans. An important bacterial virulence factor is the secreted serine protease HtrA (HtrA Cj ), which targets tight and adherens junctional proteins in the gut epithelium. Here we have investigated the function and structure of HtrA Cj using biochemical assays and cryo-electron microscopy. Mass...
Sat, 09/05/2020 - 14:06
The symptoms of infectious diarrheal disease are mediated by a combination of a pathogen’s virulence factors and the host immune system. Campylobacter jejuni is the leading bacterial cause of diarrhea worldwide due to its near-ubiquitous zoonotic association with poultry. One of the outstanding questions is to what extent the bacteria are responsible for the diarrheal symptoms via intestinal cell...
Fri, 06/26/2020 - 14:04
The swine gut microbiome has received remarkable attention in recent years given that pigs serve not only as important sources for animal-derived food but also as excellent biomedical models for human health. However, despite recent advances in the understanding of the swine gut microbiome, many important biological and ecological questions are still largely unanswered. In a recent study, we...
Fri, 06/26/2020 - 14:04
Mechanisms of host–pathogen interactions resulting in immunopathological responses upon human Campylobacter jejuni infection are not completely understood, but the recent availability of murine infection models mimicking key features of campylobacteriosis helps solving this dilemma. During a screen for proteases expressed by C. jejuni, we identified a peptidase of the M24 family as a potential...
Sat, 05/09/2020 - 03:28
Diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) has a continuing impact on residents and travelers in underdeveloped countries. Both heat-labile (LT) and heat-stable (ST) enterotoxins contribute to pathophysiology via induction of cyclic nucleotide synthesis, and previous investigations focused on intracellular signal transduction rather than possible intercellular second messenger...
Sun, 03/15/2020 - 03:35
Oral administration of bovine antibodies active against enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) have demonstrated safety and efficacy against diarrhea in human challenge trials. The efficacy of bovine serum immunoglobulins (BSIgG) against recombinant colonization factor CS6 or whole cell ETEC strain B7A was assessed against challenge with the CS6-expressing B7A.
Tue, 01/21/2020 - 03:19
The capacity of bacterial pathogens to infect their hosts depends on the tight spatiotemporal regulation of virulence genes. The Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) metal efflux pump repressor CadC is highly expressed during late infection stages, modulating lipoprotein processing and host immune response. Here we investigate the potential of CadC as broad repressor of virulence genes. We show that CadC...
Sat, 12/14/2019 - 03:20
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi is the etiologic agent of typhoid fever, a major public health problem in the developing world. Moving toward and adhering to the intestinal epithelium represents key initial steps of infection by S. Typhi. We examined the role of the S. Typhi yrbE gene, which encodes an inner membrane phospholipid transporter, in these interactions with epithelial cells....
Mon, 02/04/2019 - 00:54
Shigella is one of the major enteric pathogens worldwide. We present a murine model of S. flexneri infection and investigate the role of zinc deficiency (ZD). C57BL/6 mice fed either standard chow (HC) or ZD diets were pretreated with an antibiotic cocktail and received S. flexneri strain 2457T orally. Antibiotic pre-treated ZD mice showed higher S. flexneri colonization than non-treated mice. ZD...
Wed, 11/14/2018 - 06:17
Heavy metals are highly toxic elements that contaminate the global food supply and affect human and wildlife health. Purification technologies are often too expensive or not practically applicable for large-scale implementation, especially in impoverished nations where heavy metal contamination is widespread. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 (LGR-1) was shown in previous work to reduce heavy metal...
Tue, 09/25/2018 - 00:34
Campylobacter concisus has been isolated from patients with gastroenteritis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), as well as healthy subjects. While strain differences may plausibly explain virulence differentials, an alternative hypothesis posits that the pathogenic potential of this species may depend on altered ecosystem conditions in the inflamed gut. One potential difference is oxygen...
Tue, 10/31/2017 - 02:04
There is a paucity of information on diarrheagenic enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC)’s interaction with innate immune cells, in part due to the lack of reliable models that recapitulate infection in human gut. In a recent publication, we described the development of an ex vivo enteroid-macrophage co-culture model using human primary cells. We reported that macrophages residing underneath...
Fri, 06/09/2017 - 02:49
Shigella is unique among enteric pathogens, as it invades colonic epithelia through the basolateral pole. Therefore, it has evolved the ability to breach the intestinal epithelial barrier to deploy an arsenal of effector proteins, which permits bacterial invasion and leads to a severe inflammatory response. However, the mechanisms used by Shigella to regulate epithelial barrier permeability...
Thu, 02/02/2017 - 21:33
Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive food-borne pathogen that in humans may traverse the intestinal, placental and blood/brain barriers, causing gastroenteritis, abortions and meningitis. Crossing of these barriers is dependent on the bacterial ability to enter host cells, and several L. monocytogenes surface and secreted virulence factors are known to facilitate entry and the intracellular...
Fri, 01/27/2017 - 02:40
Bile salts act as a stressor to bacteria that transit the intestinal tract. Enteric pathogens have hijacked bile as an intestinal signal to regulate virulence factors. We recently demonstrated that Vibrio parahemolyticus senses bile salts via a heterodimeric receptor formed by the periplasmic domains of inner-membrane proteins VtrA and VtrC. Crystal structures of the periplasmic complex reveal...
Thu, 01/12/2017 - 01:06
Chemotaxis, a process that mediates directional motility toward or away from chemical stimuli (chemoeffectors/ligands that can be attractants or repellents) in the environment, plays an important role in the adaptation of Campylobacter jejuni to disparate niches. The chemotaxis system consists of core signal transduction proteins and methyl-accepting-domain-containing Transducer like proteins (...
Thu, 09/22/2016 - 02:55
Shigella flexneri is a Gram-negative pathogen that invades the colonic epithelium and causes millions of cases of watery diarrhea or bacillary dysentery predominately in children under the age of 5 years in developing countries. The effector Shigella enterotoxin 2 (ShET2), or OspD3, is encoded by the sen or ospD3 gene on the virulence plasmid. Previous literature has suggested that ospD3 is in an...
Wed, 09/14/2016 - 08:18
Gut dysbiosis may result in various diseases, such as metabolic and neurobehavioral disorders. Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), including bisphenol A (BPA) and ethinyl estradiol (EE), especially during development, may also increase the risk for such disorders. An unexplored possibility is that EDC-exposure might alter the gut microbial composition. Gut flora and their products...