Nuestros investigadores

Ignacio Moriyón Uría

Microbiología y Parasitología
Facultad de Medicina. Universidad de Navarra
Líneas de investigación
Bacterias gram-negativas, patogenicidad, Brucella, Lipopolisacárido. Vacunas. Péptidos antimicrobianos.
Índice H
41, (WoS, 22/01/2018)
52, (Google Scholar, 22/01/2018)

Publicaciones científicas más recientes (desde 2010)

Autores: Barbier, T.; Zúñiga-Ripa, Amaia; Moussa, S.; et al.
ISSN 1040-841X  Vol. 44  Nº 2  2018  págs. 182 - 211
The brucellae are facultative intracellular pathogens causing brucellosis, an important zoonosis. Here, we review the nutritional, genetic, proteomic and transcriptomic studies on Brucella carbon uptake and central metabolism, information that is needed for a better understanding of Brucella virulence. There is no uniform picture across species but the studies suggest primary and/or secondary transporters for unknown carbohydrates, lactate, glycerol phosphate, erythritol, xylose, ribose, glucose and glucose/galactose, and routes for their incorporation to central metabolism, including an erythritol pathway feeding the pentose phosphate cycle. Significantly, all brucellae lack phosphoenolpyruvate synthase and phosphofructokinase genes, which confirms previous evidence on glycolysis absence, but carry all Entner-Doudoroff (ED) pathway and Krebs cycle (and glyoxylate pathway) genes. However, glucose catabolism proceeds through the pentose phosphate cycle in the classical species, and the ED pathway operates in some rodent-associated brucellae, suggesting an ancestral character for this pathway in this group. Gluconeogenesis is functional but does not rely exclusively on classical fructose bisphosphatases. Evidence obtained using infection models is fragmentary but suggests the combined or sequential use of hexoses/pentoses, amino acids and gluconeogenic substrates. We also discuss the role of the phosphotransferase system, stringent reponse, quorum sensing, BvrR/S and sRNAs in metabolism control, an essential aspect of the life style of facultative intracellular parasites.
Autores: Zhao, Y.; Hanniffy, S.; Arce-Gorvel, V.; et al.
ISSN 2150-5594  Vol. 9  Nº 1  2018  págs. 465 - 479
The lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a major virulence factor of Brucella, a facultative intracellular pathogenic Gram-negative bacterium. Brucella LPS exhibits a low toxicity and its atypical structure was postulated to delay the host immune response, favouring the establishment of chronic disease. Here we carried out an in-depth in vitro and in vivo characterisation of the immunomodulatory effects of Brucella LPS on different dendritic cell (DC) subpopulations. By using LPSs from bacteria that share some of Brucella LPS structural features, we demonstrated that the core component of B. melitensis wild-type (Bm-wt) LPS accounts for the low activation potential of Brucella LPS in mouse GM-CSF-derived (GM-) DCs. Contrary to the accepted dogma considering Brucella LPS a poor TLR4 agonist and DC activator, Bm-wt LPS selectively induced expression of surface activation markers and cytokine secretion from Flt3-Ligand-derived (FL-) DCs in a TLR4-dependent manner. It also primed in vitro T cell proliferation by FL-DCs. In contrast, modified LPS with a defective core purified from Brucella carrying a mutated wadC gene (Bm-wadC), efficiently potentiated mouse and human DC activation and T cell proliferation in vitro. In vivo, Bm-wt LPS promoted scant activation of splenic DC subsets and limited recruitment of monocyte- DC like cells in the spleen, conversely to Bm-wadC LPS. Bm-wadC live bacteria drove high cytokine secretion levels in sera of infected mice. Altogether, these results illustrate the immunomodulatory properties of Brucella LPS and the enhanced DC activation ability of the wadC mutation with potential for vaccine development targeting Brucella core LPS structure.
Autores: Conde, Raquel; Palacios, Leyre; et al.
ISSN 1664-302X  Vol. 8  2018  págs. 2657
The brucellae are facultative intracellular bacteria that cause a worldwide extended zoonosis. One of the pathogenicity mechanisms of these bacteria is their ability to avoid rapid recognition by innate immunity because of a reduction of the pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS), free-lipids, and other envelope molecules. We investigated the Brucella homologs of lptA, lpxE, and lpxO, three genes that in some pathogens encode enzymes that mask the LPS PAMP by upsetting the core-lipid A charge/hydrophobic balance. Brucella lptA, which encodes a putative ethanolamine transferase, carries a frame-shift in B. abortus but not in other Brucella spp. and phylogenetic neighbors like the opportunistic pathogen Ochrobactrum anthropi. Consistent with the genomic evidence, a B. melitensis lptA mutant lacked lipid A-linked ethanolamine and displayed increased sensitivity to polymyxin B (a surrogate of innate immunity bactericidal peptides), while B. abortus carrying B. melitensis lptA displayed increased resistance. Brucella lpxE encodes a putative phosphatase acting on lipid A or on a free-lipid that is highly conserved in all brucellae and O. anthropi. Although we found no evidence of lipid A dephosphorylation, a B. abortus lpxE mutant showed increased polymyxin B sensitivity, suggesting the existence of a hitherto unidentified free-lipid involved in bactericidal peptide resistance. Gene lpxO putatively encoding an acyl hydroxylase carries a frame-shift in all brucellae except B. microti and is intact in O. anthropi. Free-lipid analysis revealed that lpxO corresponded to olsC, the gene coding for the ornithine lipid (OL) acyl hydroxylase active in O. anthropi and B. microti, while B. abortus carrying the olsC of O. anthropi and B. microti synthesized hydroxylated OLs. Interestingly, mutants in lptA, lpxE, or olsC were not attenuated in dendritic cells or mice. This lack of an obvious effect on virulence together with the presence of the intact homolog genes in O. anthropi and B. microti but not in other brucellae suggests that LptA, LpxE, or OL beta-hydroxylase do not significantly alter the PAMP properties of Brucella LPS and free-lipids and are therefore not positively selected during the adaptation to intracellular life.
Autores: Ducrotoy, M. J.; Muñoz, P. M.; Conde, Raquel; et al.
ISSN 0167-5877  Vol. 151  Nº 1  2018  págs. 57 - 72
Brucellosis is a worldwide extended zoonosis with a heavy economic and public health impact. Cattle, sheep and goats are infected by smooth Brucella abortus and Brucella melitensis, and represent a common source of the human disease. Brucellosis diagnosis in these animals is largely based on detection of a specific immunoresponse. We review here the immunological tests used for the diagnosis of cattle brucellosis. First, we discuss how the diagnostic sensitivity (DSe) and specificity (DSp), balance should be adjusted for brucellosis diagnosis, and the difficulties that brucellosis tests specifically present for the estimation of DSe/DSp in frequentistic (gold standard) and Bayesian analyses. Then, we present a systematic review (PubMed, GoogleScholar and CABdirect) of works (154 out of 991; years 1960¿August 2017) identified (by title and Abstract content) as DSe and DSp studies of smooth lipopolysaccharide, O-polysaccharide-core, native hapten and protein diagnostic tests. We summarize data of gold standard studies (n¿=¿23) complying with strict inclusion and exclusion criteria with regards to test methodology and definition of the animals studied (infected and S19 or RB51 vaccinated cattle, and Brucella-free cattle affected or not by false positive serological reactions). We also discuss some studies (smooth lipopolysaccharide tests, protein antibody and delayed type hypersensitivity [skin] tests) that do not meet the criteria and yet fill some of the gaps in information. We review Bayesian studies (n¿=¿5) and report that in most cases priors and assumptions on conditional dependence/independence are not coherent with the variable serological picture of the disease in different epidemiological scenarios and the bases (antigen, isotype and immunoglobulin properties involved) of brucellosis tests, practical experience and the results of gold standard studies. We conclude that very useful lipopolysaccharide (buffered plate antigen and indirect ELISA) and native hapten polysaccharide and soluble protein tests exist, provided they are applied taking into account the means available and the epidemiological contexts of this disease: i) mass vaccination; ii) elimination based on vaccination combined with test-and-slaughter; and iii) surveillance and existence of false positive serological reactions. We also conclude that the insistence in recent literature on the lack of usefulness of all smooth lipopolysaccharide or native hapten polysaccharide tests in areas where S19 vaccination is implemented is a misinterpretation that overlooks scientific and practical evidence.
Autores: Letesson, J. J.; Barbier, T.; Zúñiga-Ripa, Amaia; et al.
ISSN 1664-302X  Vol. 8  2017  págs. 506
Autores: de Glanville, W. A. ; Conde, Raquel; Moriyón, Ignacio; et al.
ISSN 1935-2735  Vol. 11  Nº 4  2017  págs. e0005508
Human brucellosis is considered to be an important but typically under-diagnosed cause of febrile illness in many low and middle-income countries. In Kenya, and throughout East Africa, laboratory diagnosis for the disease is based primarily on the febrile antigen Brucella agglutination test (FBAT), yet few studies of the diagnostic accuracy of this test exist. Assessment of the performance of the FBAT is essential for its appropriate clinical use, as well as for evaluating surveillance data reported by public health systems. To assess FBAT performance, we collected sera from people with symptoms compatible with brucellosis attending two health facilities in Busia County, Kenya. Sera were tested using the FBAT and results compared with those from the Rose Bengal Test (RBT), an assay with well-known performance characteristics. Positives on either test were confirmed using the classical serum agglutination test (SAT)-Coombs test combination and a rapid IgM/IgG lateral flow immunochromatography assay (LFA). A questionnaire focussing on known risk factors for exposure to Brucella spp. was also conducted, and relationships with FBAT positivity examined using logistic regression. Out of 825 recruited individuals, 162 (19.6%) were classified as positive using the FBAT. In contrast, only eight (1.0%) were positive using the RBT. Of the 162 FBAT positives, one (0.62%) had an atypical agglutination in SAT and three (1.9%) showed low Coombs titres. Out of 148 FBAT positive individuals tested using the LFA, five (3.4%) were IgM positive and none were IgG positive. Poor or no correlation was observed between FBAT results and most established risk factors for Brucella infection. We observed substantial disagreement between the FBAT and a number of well-known serological tests, with the majority of reactive FBAT results appearing to be false positives. Poor FBAT specificity, combined with a lack of confirmatory testing, strongly suggests overdiagnosis of brucellosis is common in this low prevalence setting. This is expected to have important economic impacts on affected patients subjected to the long and likely unnecessary courses of multiple antibiotics required for treatment of the disease.
Autores: Barbier, T.; Machelart, A.; Zúñiga-Ripa, Amaia; et al.
ISSN 1664-302X  Vol. 8  2017  págs. 1088
Erythritol is the preferential carbon source for most brucellae, a group of facultative intracellular bacteria that cause a worldwide zoonosis. Since this polyol is abundant in genital organs of ruminants and swine, it is widely accepted that erythritol accounts at least in part for the characteristic genital tropism of brucellae. Nevertheless, proof of erythritol availability and essentiality during Brucella intracellular multiplication has remained elusive. To investigate this relationship, we compared ¿eryH (erythritol-sensitive and thus predicted to be attenuated if erythritol is present), ¿eryA (erythritol-tolerant but showing reduced growth if erythritol is a crucial nutrient) and wild type B. abortus in various infection models. This reporting system indicated that erythritol was available but not required for B. abortus multiplication in bovine trophoblasts. However, mice and humans have been considered to lack erythritol, and we found that it was available but not required for B. abortus multiplication in human and murine trophoblastic and macrophage-like cells, and in mouse spleen and conceptus (fetus, placenta and envelopes). Using this animal model, we found that B. abortus infected cells and tissues contained aldose reductase, an enzyme that can account for the production of erythritol from pentose cycle precursors.
Autores: Ayoola, M. C .; Akinseye, V. O.; Cadmus, E.; et al.
ISSN 1937-8688  Vol. 28  2017  págs. 68
Introduction: Brucellosis is a neglected zoonosis of public health importance. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and risk factors of brucellosis among slaughtered cattle as well as challenges to the protection of abattoir workers in Nigeria. Methods: A slaughterhouse study was conducted in a major abattoir in Ibadan from March to August, 2013. To diagnose brucellosis, serum samples from 1,241 slaughtered cattle were tested using Rose-Bengal test (RBT) and competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA); again, 57 milk samples were tested with milk ring test (MRT) and indirect ELISA (iELISA). Furthermore, a survey on the usage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and challenges to its use by abattoir workers was done. Data were analysed using Stata 12. Results: Seroprevalence by RBT was 7.8%; 77.3% (75/97) of these were corroborated by cELISA. Prevalence in milk samples by MRT and indirect ELISA were 33.3% and 3.5%, respectively. Sex (OR: 2.5; 95% CI: 1.3-4.5) was the factor significantly associated with Brucella seropositivity. None of the abattoir workers used standard protective overalls; while, 99.6% of the meat handlers and 84.1% of the butchers worked barefoot. Most of the workers (75.7%) wore no protective gloves. The respondents agreed that provision of free PPE and sanctions against non-users would encourage its use. Conclusion: Our findings indicate moderate prevalence (7.8%) of bovine brucellosis with sex of cattle being a risk factor. A notable barrier to better protection of abattoir workers against brucellosis is perceived inconvenience arising from use of gloves. Therefore, preventive and control measures against brucellosis must include education and use of PPE among abattoir workers.
Autores: Ducrotoy, M.; Bertu, W. J.; Matope, G.; et al.
ISSN 0001-706X  Vol. 165  2017  págs. 179 - 193
Brucellosis is a highly contagious zoonosis caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella and affecting domestic and wild mammals. In this paper, the bacteriological and serological evidence of brucellosis in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and its epidemiological characteristics are discussed. The tools available for the diagnosis and treatment of human brucellosis and for the diagnosis and control of animal brucellosis and their applicability in the context of SSA are presented and gaps identified. These gaps concern mostly the need for simpler and more affordable antimicrobial treatments against human brucellosis, the development of a B. melitensis vaccine that could circumvent the drawbacks of the currently available Rev 1 vaccine, and the investigation of serological diagnostic tests for camel brucellosis and wildlife. Strategies for the implementation of animal vaccination are also discussed. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Autores: Khames, M.; Mick, V.; de Miguel, M. J.; et al.
ISSN 0378-1135  Vol. 211  2017  págs. 124 - 128
Brucellosis is a zoonosis caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella that causes important economic losses and human suffering worldwide. Brucellosis control requires an understanding of the Brucella species circulating in livestock and humans and, although prevalent in African countries of the Mediterranean basin, data for this area are mostly restricted to isolates obtained from humans and small ruminants. Here, we report the characterization of twenty-four Brucella strains isolated from Algerian cattle. Bruce-ladder multiplex PCR and conventional biotyping showed that Algerian cattle are infected mostly by B. abortus biovar 3, and to less extent by B. abortus biovar 1 and B. melitensis biovar 3. Extended AMOS-ERY PCR showed that all Algerian B. abortus biovar 3 strains were of the subgroup 3b. Although by multi locus variable number of tandem repeats analysis (MLVA) most isolates were closer to the European counterparts, five strains displayed characteristics distinct from the European isolates and those of countries across the Sahara, including three repetitions of marker Bruce55. These five strains, plus an earlier isolate from an Algerian human patient, may represent a lineage close to clades previously described in Africa. These data provide the basis for additional molecular epidemiology studies in northern Africa and indicate that further bacteriological and molecular investigations are necessary for a complete understanding of the epidemiology of cattle brucellosis in countries north and south of the Sahara.
Autores: Ducrotoy, M. J.; Conde, Raquel; Blasco, J. M.; et al.
ISSN 0165-2427  Vol. 171  2016  págs. 81 - 102
Bacteria of the genus Brucella cause brucellosis, the most common bacterial zoonosis worldwide. The diagnosis of Brucella abortus and Brucella melitensis ruminant brucellosis is based on bacteriological and immunological tests, the latter being routinely used in control and eradication and surveillance programs. Infections by smooth and rough Brucella spp., the use of smooth and rough vaccines, and the false-positive serological reactions caused by Yersinia enterocolitica O:9 and other cross-reacting bacteria represent the immunological contexts in which those tests are used. This complex context explains the large number of brucellosis tests that have been developed, and that vary in antigen type, antigen presentation, antibody and conditions for the reaction, the response detected and the sample required. This wealth of information and an imperfect understanding of Brucella antigens and of the peculiarities of the immunoresponse to Brucella has created confusion and led to several misconceptions on the usefulness and limitations of the brucellosis diagnostic tests. In this review, Brucella antigens are examined focusing on cellular topology, supramolecular properties, epitopic structure and lipopolysaccharide and protein cross-reactivity in the various contexts of the immune response in ruminants. Then, the significance of these features in diagnostic tests that use whole bacteria is discussed with respect to the activities of ruminant immunoglobulins, and the effect of pH on unspecific agglutinations, non-agglutinating and blocking antibodies, pseudo-prozones and complement activation. Similarly, the bacterial surface lipopolysaccharides and cognate polysaccharides are discussed with regards to topological effects, epitope exposure, ionic strength and antibody avidity in immunoprecipitation, immunosorbent and fluorescence polarization assays. Finally, the search for immunodominant protein antigens and their use in immunological tests is reviewed. Critical review of the existing information is necessary both to select optimal tests according to the logistical means available and the epidemiological context, and to focus the development of new tests.
Autores: Ronneau, S.; Moussa, S.; Barbier, T.; et al.
ISSN 1040-841X  Vol. 42  Nº 4  2016  págs. 507 - 525
Abstract The brucellae are ¿-Proteobacteria causing brucellosis, an important zoonosis. Although multiplying in endoplasmic reticulum-derived vacuoles, they cause no cell death, suggesting subtle but efficient use of host resources. Brucellae are amino-acid prototrophs able to grow with ammonium or use glutamate as the sole carbon-nitrogen source in vitro. They contain more than twice amino acid/peptide/polyamine uptake genes than the amino-acid auxotroph Legionella pneumophila, which multiplies in a similar vacuole, suggesting a different nutritional strategy. During these two last decades, many mutants of key actors in nitrogen metabolism (transporters, enzymes, regulators, etc.) have been described to be essential for full virulence of brucellae. Here, we review the genomic and experimental data on Brucella nitrogen metabolism and its connection with virulence. An analysis of various aspects of this metabolism (transport, assimilation, biosynthesis, catabolism, respiration and regulation) has highlighted differences and similarities in nitrogen metabolism with other ¿-Proteobacteria. Together, these data suggest that, during their intracellular life cycle, the brucellae use various nitrogen sources for biosynthesis, catabolism and respiration following a strategy that requires prototrophy and a tight regulation of nitrogen use.
Autores: Fontana, C.; Conde, Raquel; Ståhle, J.; et al.
ISSN 0021-9258  Vol. 291  Nº 14  2016  págs. 7727 - 7741
The structures of the lipooligosaccharides from Brucella melitensis mutants affected in the WbkD and ManB(core) proteins have been fully characterized using NMR spectroscopy. The results revealed that disruption of wbkD gives rise to a rough lipopolysaccharide (R-LPS) with a complete core structure (beta-D-Glcp-(1 -> 4)-alpha-Kdop-(2 -> 4)[beta-D-GlcpN-(1 -> 6)-beta-D-GlcpN-(1 -> 4)[beta-D-GlcpN-(1 -> 6)]-beta-D-GlcpN-(1 -> 3)-alpha-D-Manp-(1 -> 5)]-alpha-Kdop-(2 -> 6)-beta-D-GlcpN3N4P-(1 -> 6)-alpha-D-GlcpN3N1P), in addition to components lacking one of the terminal beta-D-GlcpN and/or the beta-D-Glcp residues (48 and 17%, respectively). These structures were identical to those of the R-LPS from B. melitensis EP, a strain simultaneously expressing both smooth and R-LPS, also studied herein. In contrast, disruption of man-B-core gives rise to a deep-rough pentasaccharide core (beta-D-Glcp-(1 -> 4)-alpha-Kdop-(2 -> 4)-alpha-Kdop-(2 -> 6)-beta-D-GlcpN3N4P-(1 -> 6)-alpha-D-GlcpN3N1P) as the major component (63%), as well as a minor tetrasaccharide component lacking the terminal beta-D-Glcp residue (37%). These results are in agreement with the predicted functions of the WbkD (glycosyltransferase involved in the biosynthesis of the O-antigen) and ManB(core) proteins (phosphomannomutase involved in the biosynthesis of a mannosyl precursor needed for the biosynthesis of the core and O-antigen). We also report that deletion of B. melitensis wadC removes the core oligosaccharide branch not linked to the O-antigen causing an increase in overall negative charge of the remaining LPS inner section. This is in agreement with the mannosyltransferase role predicted for WadC and the lack of GlcpN residues in the defective core oligosaccharide. Despite carrying the O-antigen essential in B. melitensis virulence, the core deficiency in the wadC mutant structure resulted in a more efficient detection by innate immunity and attenuation, proving the role of the beta-D-GlcpN-(1 -> 6)-beta-D-GlcpN-(1 -> 4)[beta-D-GlcpN-(1 -> 6)]-beta-D-GlcpN-(1 -> 3)-alpha-D-Manp-(1 -> 5) structure in virulence.
Autores: Dufort, M. J.; Hanniffy, S.; Conde, Raquel; et al.
ISSN 0022-1767  Vol. 196  Nº Supl. 1  2016  págs. 66.21
Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease caused by Brucella bacteria, acquired by humans through contact with or consumption of products from infected animals. Treatment outcomes vary widely; some patients recover, others relapse, and others develop chronic symptoms despite therapy. We employed expression profiling using RNA sequencing (RNAseq) to better understand variation in outcomes and investigate disease mechanisms. We performed RNAseq analysis of whole blood samples from 125 Brucellosis patients and 51 healthy controls from Macedonia. Patients were subdivided based on disease history into primary, secondary, and chronic infection. Secondary and chronic cases did not show differences in gene expression from healthy controls or from each other. Primary cases displayed numerous transcriptional changes relative to healthy controls. Up-regulated genes were enriched for response to interferon-gamma, cytolysis, T cell proliferation, and cell cycle; down-regulated genes, for B cell proliferation. Primary cases were further subdivided based on outcome into those who resolved with treatment and those who developed disease relapse during treatment. In comparison to healthy controls, relapse cases showed larger magnitude differences in expression at diagnosis than resolution cases; this suggests that relapse could potentially be predicted based on transcription levels at time of diagnosis. Differences in gene expression observed at diagnosis were no longer present 6¿9 months after diagnosis. Our results indicate opportunities to prognostically identify patients that may require more intensive treatment and monitoring, and to better understand the symptomology of and immune response to Brucella infection.
Autores: Degos, C.; Gagnaire, A.; Banchereau, R; et al.
ISSN 2150-5594  Vol. 6  Nº 1  2015  págs. 19 - 28
Brucella is the causing agent of a chronic zoonosis called brucellosis. The Brucella ß-1,2 cyclic glucan (CßG) is a virulence factor, which has been described as a potent immune stimulator, albeit with no toxicity for cells and animals. We first used a genome-wide approach to characterize human myeloid dendritic cell (mDC) responses to CßG. Transcripts related to inflammation (IL-6, IL2RA, PTGS2), chemokine (CXCR7, CXCL2) and anti-inflammatory pathways (TNFAIP6, SOCS3) were highly expressed in CßG-treated mDC. In mouse GMCSF-derived DC, CßG triggered the expression of both activation (CXCL2, KC) and inhibition (SOCS3 and TNFAIP6) molecules. We then characterized the inflammatory infiltrates at the level of mouse ear when injected with CßG or LPS. CßG yielded a lower and transient recruitment of neutrophils compared to LPS. The consequence of these dual pro- and anti-inflammatory signals triggered by CßG corresponds to the induction of a controlled local inflammation.
Autores: Bertu, W.J.; Ducrotoy, M.J.; Muñoz, P.M.; et al.
ISSN 0378-1135  Vol. 180  Nº 1 - 2  2015  págs. 103 - 108
Brucellosis is a worldwide widespread zoonosis caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella. Control of this disease in a given area requires an understanding of the Brucella species circulating in livestock and humans. However, because of the difficulties intrinsic to Brucella isolation and typing, such data are scarce for resource-poor areas. The paucity of bacteriological data and the consequent imperfect epidemiological picture are particularly critical for Sahelian and Sub-Sahara African countries. Here, we report on the characterization of 34 isolates collected between 1976 and 2012 from cattle, sheep and horses in Nigeria. All isolates were identified as Brucella abortus by Bruce-ladder PCR and assigned to biovar 3 by conventional typing. Further analysis by enhanced AMOS-ERY PCR showed that all of them belonged to the 3a sub-biovar, and MLVA analysis grouped them in a cluster clearly distinct from that formed by European B. abortus biovar 3b strains. Nevertheless, MLVA detected heterogeneity within the Nigerian biovar 3a strains. The close genetic profiles of the isolates from cattle, sheep and horses, suggest that, at least in some parts of Nigeria, biovar 3a circulates among animal species that are not the preferential hosts of B. abortus. Consistent with previous genetic analyses of 7 strains from Ivory Cost, Gambia and Togo, the analysis of these 34 Nigerian strains supports the hypothesis that the B. abortus biovar 3a lineage is dominant in West African countries.
Autores: Okello, A.L.; Beange, I.; Shaw, A.; et al.
ISSN 1935-2735  Vol. 9  Nº 3  2015  págs. e0003505
Autores: Dieste Pérez, L.; Blasco, J.M.; de Miguel, M.J.; et al.
ISSN 0167-7012  Vol. 111  2015  págs. 57 - 63
Swine brucellosis caused by Brucella suis biovar 2 is an emerging disease in Europe. Currently used diagnostic tests for swine brucellosis detect antibodies to the O-polysaccharide (O-PS) of Brucella smooth lipopolysaccharide (S-LPS) but their specificity is compromised by false-positive serological reactions (FPSRs) when bacteria carrying cross-reacting O-PS infect pigs. FPSRs occur throughout Europe, and the only tool available for a specific B. suis diagnosis is the intradermal test with Brucella protein extracts free of O-PS or S-LPS. Using sera of 162 sows naturally infected by B. suis biovar 2, 406 brucellosis-free sows, and 218 pigs of brucellosis-free farms affected by FPSR, we assessed the diagnostic performance of an indirect ELISA with rough LPS (thus devoid of O-PS) and of gel immunodiffusion, counterimmunoelectrophoresis, latex agglutination and indirect ELISA with O-PS free proteins in comparison with several S-LPS tests (Rose Bengal, complement fixation, gel immunodiffusion and indirect ELISA). When adjusted to 100% specificity, the sensitivity of the rough LPS ELISA was very low (30%), and adoption of other cut-offs resulted in poor specificity/sensitivity ratios. Although their specificity was 100%, the sensitivity of protein tests (ELISA, latex agglutination, counterimmunoelectrophoresis, and gel immunodiffusion) was only moderate (45, 58, 61 and 63%, respectively). Among S-LPS tests, gel immunodiffusion was the only test showing acceptable sensitivity/specificity (68 and 100%, respectively). Despite these shortcomings, and when the purpose is to screen out FPSR at herd level, gel immunodiffusion tests may offer a technically simple and practical alternative to intradermal testing.
Autores: Ducrotoy, M.; W. J. Bertu; G. Matope; et al.
ISSN 0001-706X  Vol. 165  2015  págs. 179 - 193
Brucellosis is a highly contagious zoonosis caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella and affecting domestic and wild mammals. In this paper, the bacteriological and serological evidence of brucellosis in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and its epidemiological characteristics are discussed. The tools available for the diagnosis and treatment of human brucellosis and for the diagnosis and control of animal brucellosis and their applicability in the context of SSA are presented and gaps identified. These gaps concern mostly the need for simpler and more affordable antimicrobial treatments against human brucellosis, the development of a B. melitensis vaccine that could circumvent the drawbacks of the currently available Rev 1 vaccine, and the investigation of serological diagnostic tests for camel brucellosis and wildlife. Strategies for the implementation of animal vaccination are also discussed.
Autores: Dieste-Pérez, L.; Barberán, M.; Muñoz, P.M.; et al.
ISSN 0165-2427  Vol. 163  Nº 1 - 2  2015  págs. 77 - 85
Current serological tests for swine brucellosis detect antibodies to the Brucella O-polysaccharide (O/PS). However, when infections by bacteria carrying cross-reacting O/PS occur, these tests suffer from false positive serological reactions (FPSR), and the skin test with Brucella soluble protein extracts is the best diagnostic alternative to differentiate true Brucella suis infections from FPSR in pigs. Since this test has been seldom used in B. suis infected swine, the clinical and histological features involved have not been described properly. Here, we describe the clinical and histological events in B. suis biovar 2 infected pigs skin tested with a cytosoluble O/PS free protein extract from rough Brucella abortus Tn5::per mutant. A similar extract from rough Ochrobactrum intermedium was also used for comparative purposes. No relevant differences were evidenced between the homologous and heterologous allergens, and the main clinical feature was an elevated area of the skin showing different induration degrees. Moreover, an important vascular reaction with hyperemia and haemorrhage was produced in most infected sows 24-48 h after inoculation, thus facilitating the clinical interpretation of positive reactions. Histologically, combined immediate (type III) and delayed (type IV) hypersensitivity reactions were identified as the most relevant feature of the inflammatory responses produced.
Autores: Conde, Raquel; Palacios, Leyre; et al.
ISSN 0882-4010  Vol. 73  2014  págs. 53 - 59
Brucellosis is a worldwide extended zoonosis caused by Brucella spp. These gram-negative bacteria are not readily detected by innate immunity, a virulence-related property largely linked to their surface lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The role of the LPS lipid A and O-polysaccharide in virulence is well known. Moreover, mutation of the glycosyltransferase gene wadC of Brucella abortus, although not affecting O-polysaccharide assembly onto the lipid-A core section causes a core oligosaccharide defect that increases recognition by innate immunity. Here, we report on a second gene (wadB) encoding a LPS core glycosyltransferase not involved in the assembly of the O-polysaccharide-linked core section. As compared to wild-type B. abortus, a wadB mutant was sensitive to bactericidal peptides and non-immune serum, and was attenuated in mice and dendritic cells. These observations show that as WadC, WadB is also involved in the assembly of a branch of Brucella LPS core and support the concept that this LPS section is a virulence-related structure.
Autores: Ducrotoy, M.J.; Bertu, W.J.; Ocholi, R.A.; et al.
ISSN 1935-2735  Vol. 8  Nº 7  2014  págs. e3008
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, has a large proportion of the world's poor livestock keepers, and is a hotspot for neglected zoonoses. A review of the 127 accessible publications on brucellosis in Nigeria reveals only scant and fragmented evidence on its spatial and temporal distribution in different epidemiological contexts. The few bacteriological studies conducted demonstrate the existence of Brucella abortus in cattle and sheep, but evidence for B. melitensis in small ruminants is dated and unclear. The bulk of the evidence consists of seroprevalence studies, but test standardization and validation are not always adequately described, and misinterpretations exist with regard to sensitivity and/or specificity and ability to identify the infecting Brucella species. Despite this, early studies suggest that although brucellosis was endemic in extensive nomadic systems, seroprevalence was low, and brucellosis was not perceived as a real burden; recent studies, however, may reflect a changing trend. Concerning human brucellosis, no studies have identified the Brucella species and most reports provide only serological evidence of contact with Brucella in the classical risk groups; some suggest brucellosis misdiagnoses as malaria or other febrile conditions. The investigation of a severe outbreak that occurred in the late 1970s describes the emergence of animal and human disease caused by the settling of previously nomadic populations during the Sahelian drought. There appears to be an increasing risk of re-emergence of brucellosis in sub-Saharan Africa, as a result of the co-existence of pastoralist movements and the increase of intensive management resulting from growing urbanization and food demand. Highly contagious zoonoses like brucellosis pose a threat with far-reaching social and political consequences.
Autores: Barbier, T.; Collard, F.; Zúñiga-Ripa, Amaia; et al.
ISSN 0027-8424  Vol. 111  Nº 50  2014  págs. 17815 - 17820
Erythritol is an important nutrient for several ¿-2 Proteobacteria, including N2-fixing plant endosymbionts and Brucella, a worldwide pathogen that finds this four-carbon polyol in genital tissues. Erythritol metabolism involves phosphorylation to l-erythritol-4-phosphate by the kinase EryA and oxidation of the latter to l-3-tetrulose 4-phosphate by the dehydrogenase EryB. It is accepted that further steps involve oxidation by the putative dehydrogenase EryC and subsequent decarboxylation to yield triose-phosphates. Accordingly, growth on erythritol as the sole C source should require aldolase and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase to produce essential hexose-6-monophosphate. However, we observed that a mutant devoid of fructose-1,6-bisphosphatases grew normally on erythritol and that EryC, which was assumed to be a dehydrogenase, actually belongs to the xylose isomerase superfamily. Moreover, we found that TpiA2 and RpiB, distant homologs of triose phosphate isomerase and ribose 5-phosphate isomerase B, were necessary, as previously shown for Rhizobium. By using purified recombinant enzymes, we demonstrated that l-3-tetrulose-4-phosphate was converted to d-erythrose 4-phosphate through three previously unknown isomerization reactions catalyzed by EryC (tetrulose-4-phosphate racemase), TpiA2 (d-3-tetrulose-4-phosphate isomerase; renamed EryH), and RpiB (d-erythrose-4-phosphate isomerase; renamed EryI), a pathway fully consistent with the isotopomer distribution of the erythrose-4-phosphate-derived amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine obtained from bacteria grown on (13)C-labeled erythritol. d-Erythrose-4-phosphate is then converted by enzymes of the pentose phosphate pathway to glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate and fructose 6-phosphate, thus bypassing fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase. This is the first description to our knowledge of a route feeding carbohydrate metabolism exclusively via d-erythrose 4-phosphate, a pathway that may provide clues to the preferential metabolism of erythritol by Brucella and its role in pathogenicity.
Autores: Ogugua, A. J.; Akinseye, V. O.; Ayoola, M. C; et al.
ISSN 0309-3913  Vol. 43  Nº Supl. 1  2014  págs. 121 - 129
Available reports on brucellosis in Nigeria are largely confined to cattle while it is believed that other ruminants like sheep and goats are equally exposed to the disease. To have an insight into the role of goats in the epidemiology of brucellosis in Nigeria, we conducted a cross-sectional study between June 2011 and May 2013 to determine the seroprevalence of brucellosis in goats in some selected states in Nigeria. Serum samples were collected from goats at different locations and tested for antibodies to Brucella spp using the Rose Bengal Test (RBT), samples positive by RBT were further subjected to Competitive Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (cELISA). Data collected to determine risk factors were also analysed using chi-square and logistics regression statistics. Out of a total of 2827 samples tested from the different states (Benue = 331; Borno =195; Oyo = 2155; Sokoto = 146), we recorded an overall seroprevalence of 2.83% (Benue = 17.30%; Borno = 2.05%; Oyo = 0.60% and Sokoto = 0.00%) by RBT. The cELISA further supported 9.45% (7/74) of the total RBT positive samples. Logistic regression analysis showed that the location (p = 0.004) and source (p < 0.0001); are probable risk factors to be considered in the epidemiology of brucellosis with sex (p = 0.179); age (p = 0.791) and breed (p = 0.369) not playing any major role. Our findings reveal a relatively low seroprevalence of brucellosis among goats screened except for Benue State. Since most of the goats sampled in the present study were from the abattoirs, further farm level investigations are required to determine the role of goats in the epidemiology of brucellosis in Nigeria since they share common environment with sheep and cattle that are natural hosts of Brucella species which are of major public health threat.
Autores: Dieste Pérez, L.; Blasco, J. M.; De Miguel, M. J.; et al.
ISSN 0378-1135  Vol. 168  Nº 1  2014  págs. 161 - 168
Swine brucellosis by Brucella suis biovar 2 is an emerging disease whose control is based on serological testing and culling. However, current serological tests detect antibodies to the O-polysaccharide (O/PS) moiety of Brucella smooth lipopolysaccharide (S-LPS), and thus lack specificity when infections by Yersinia enterocolitica 0:9 and other gram-negative bacteria carrying cross-reacting O/PS occur. The skin test with the protein-rich brucellin extract obtained from rough B. melitensis B115 is assumed to be specific for discriminating these false positive serological reactions (FPSR). However, B115 strain, although unable to synthesize S-LPS, accumulates O/PS internally, which could cause diagnostic problems. Since the brucellin skin test has been seldom used in pigs and FPSR are common in these animals, we assessed its performance using cytosoluble protein extracts obtained from B. abortus rough mutants in manBcore or per genes (critical for O/PS biosynthesis) and B. melitensis B115. The diagnostic sensitivity and specificity were determined in B. suis biovar 2 culture positive and brucellosis free sows, and apparent prevalence in sows of unknown individual bacteriological and serological status belonging to B. suis biovar 2 naturally infected herds. Moreover, the specificity in discriminating brucellosis from FPSR was assessed in brucellosis free boars showing FPSR. The skin test with B. abortus Delta manBcore and B. melitensis B115 allergens performed similarly, and the former one resulted in 100% specificity when testing animals showing FPSR in indirect ELISA, Rose Bengal and complement fixation serological tests. We conclude that O/PS-free genetically defined mutants represent an appropriate alternative to obtain Brucella protein extracts for diagnosing swine brucellosis.
Autores: Soler, Pedro Francisco; A. Zabalza-Baranguá; et al.
ISSN 0928-4249  Vol. 45  Nº 72  2014 
Brucella spp. are Gram-negative bacteria that behave as facultative intracellular parasites of a variety of mammals. This genus includes smooth (S) and rough (R) species that carry S and R lipopolysaccharides (LPS), respectively. S-LPS is a virulence factor, and mutants affected in the S-LPS O-polysaccharide (R mutants), core oligosaccharide or both show attenuation. However, B. ovis is naturally R and is virulent in sheep. We studied the role of B. ovis LPS in virulence by mutating the orthologues of wadA, wadB and wadC, three genes known to encode LPS core glycosyltransferases in S brucellae. When mapped with antibodies to outer membrane proteins (Omps) and R-LPS, wadB and wadC mutants displayed defects in LPS structure and outer membrane topology but inactivation of wadA had little or no effect. Consistent with these observations, the wadB and wadC but not the wadA mutants were attenuated in mice. When tested as vaccines, the wadB and wadC mutants protected mice against B. ovis challenge. The results demonstrate that the LPS core is a structure essential for survival in vivo not only of S brucellae but also of a naturally R Brucella pathogenic species, and they confirm our previous hypothesis that the Brucella LPS core is a target for vaccine development. Since vaccine B. melitensis Rev 1 is S and thus interferes in serological testing for S brucellae, wadB mutant represents a candidate vaccine to be evaluated against B. ovis infection of sheep suitable for areas free of B. melitensis.
Autores: Zúñiga-Ripa, Amaia; Thilbault Barbier; Conde, Raquel; et al.
ISSN 0021-9193  Vol. 196  Nº 16  2014  págs. 3045 - 3057
The brucellae are the etiological agents of brucellosis, a worldwide-distributed zoonosis. These bacteria are facultative intracellular parasites and thus are able to adjust their metabolism to the extra- and intracellular environments encountered during an infectious cycle. However, this aspect of Brucella biology is imperfectly understood, and the nutrients available in the intracellular niche are unknown. Here, we investigated the central pathways of C metabolism used by Brucella abortus by deleting the putative fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (fbp and glpX), phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (pckA), pyruvate phosphate dikinase (ppdK), and malic enzyme (mae) genes. In gluconeogenic but not in rich media, growth of ¿ppdK and ¿mae mutants was severely impaired and growth of the double ¿fbp-¿glpX mutant was reduced. In macrophages, only the ¿ppdK and ¿mae mutants showed reduced multiplication, and studies with the ¿ppdK mutant confirmed that it reached the replicative niche. Similarly, only the ¿ppdK and ¿mae mutants were attenuated in mice, the former being cleared by week 10 and the latter persisting longer than 12 weeks. We also investigated the glyoxylate cycle. Although aceA (isocitrate lyase) promoter activity was enhanced in rich medium, aceA disruption had no effect in vitro or on multiplication in macrophages or mouse spleens. The results suggest that B. abortus grows intracellularly using a limited supply of 6-C (and 5-C) sugars that is compensated by glutamate and possibly other amino acids entering the Krebs cycle without a critical role of the glyoxylate shunt.
Autores: Ciesielski, F.; Griffin, D. C.; Rittig, M.; et al.
ISSN 0005-2736  Vol. 1828   Nº 8  2013  págs. 1731 - 1742
Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a major component of the external leaflet of bacterial outer membranes, key pro-inflammatory factor and an important mediator of host-pathogen interactions. In host cells it activates the complement along with a pro-inflammatory response via a TLR4-mediated signalling cascade and shows preference for cholesterol-containing membranes. Here, we use solid state C-13 and P-31 MAS NMR to investigate the interactions of LPS from three bacterial species, Brucella melitensis, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coil, with mixed lipid membranes, raft models. All endotoxin types are found to be pyrophosphorylated and Klebsiellar LPS is phosphonylated, as well. Carbon-13 MAS NMR indicates an increase in lipid order in the presence of LPS. Longitudinal P-31 relaxation, providing a direct probe of LPS molecular and segmental mobility, reveals a significant reduction in P-31 T-1 times and lower molecular mobility in the presence of ternary lipid mixtures. Along with the ordering effect on membrane lipid, this suggests a preferential partitioning of LPS into, ordered bilayer sphingomyelin/cholesterol-rich domains. We hypothesise that this is an important evolutionary drive for the selection of GPI-anchored raft-associated LPS-binding proteins as a first line of response to membrane-associated LPS.
Autores: Zaccheus; Ali; Cloeckaert; et al.
Revista: PLOS ONE
ISSN 1932-6203  Vol. 8  Nº 1  2013  págs. e53941
The brucellae are Gram-negative bacteria that cause an important zoonosis. Studies with the main Brucella species have shown that the O-antigens of the Brucella smooth lipopolysaccharide are alpha-(1 -> 2) and alpha-(1 -> 3)-linked N-formyl-perosamine polysaccharides that carry M, A and C (A = M, A>M and A<M) epitopes relevant in serodiagnosis and typing. We report that, in contrast to the B. suis biovar 1 O-antigen used as a reference or to all described Brucella O-antigens, B. suis biovar 2 O-antigen failed to bind monoclonal antibodies of C (A = M), C (M>A) and M specificities. However, the biovar 2 O-antigen bound monoclonal antibodies to the Brucella A epitope, and to the C/Y epitope shared by brucellae and Yersinia enterocolitica O:9, a bacterium that carries an N-formyl-perosamine O-antigen in exclusively alpha-(1 -> 2)-linkages. By C-13 NMR spectroscopy, B. suis biovar 1 but not B. suis biovar 2 or Y.enterocolitica O:9 polysaccharide showed the signal characteristic of alpha-(1 -> 3)-linked N-formyl-perosamine, indicating that biovar 2 may altogether lack this linkage. Taken together, the NMR spectroscopy and monoclonal antibody analyses strongly suggest a role for alpha-(1 -> 3)-linked N-formyl-perosamine in the C (A = M) and C (M>A) epitopes. Moreover, they indicate that B. suis biovar 2 O-antigen lacks some lipopolysaccharide epitopes previously thought to be present in all smooth brucellae, thus representing a new brucella serovar that is M-negative, C-negative. Serologically and structurally this new serovar is more similar to Y. enterocolitica O:9 than to other brucellae.
Autores: Mancilla, M.; Grilló, M. J.; De Miguel, M. J.; et al.
ISSN 1746-6148  Vol. 44  2013  págs. 105
Brucella melitensis Rev 1 is the best vaccine available for the prophylaxis of small ruminant brucellosis and, indirectly, for reducing human brucellosis. However, Rev 1 shows anomalously high rates of spontaneous dissociation from smooth (S) to rough (R) bacteria, the latter being inefficacious as vaccines. This S-R instability results from the loss of the O-polysaccharide. To overcome this problem, we investigated whether some recently described mechanisms promoting mutations in O-polysaccharide genes were involved in Rev 1 S-R dissociation. We found that a proportion of Rev 1 R mutants result from genome rearrangements affecting the wbo O-polysaccharide loci of genomic island GI-2 and the wbkA O-polysaccharide glycosyltransferase gene of the wbk region. Accordingly, we mutated the GI-2 int gene and the wbk IS transposase involved in those arrangements, and found that these Rev 1 mutants maintained the S phenotype and showed lower dissociation levels. Combining these two mutations resulted in a strain (Rev 2) displaying a 95% decrease in dissociation with respect to parental Rev 1 under conditions promoting dissociation. Rev 2 did not differ from Rev 1 in the characteristics used in Rev 1 typing (growth rate, colonial size, reactivity with O-polysaccharide antibodies, phage, dye and antibiotic susceptibility). Moreover, Rev 2 and Rev 1 showed similar attenuation and afforded similar protection in the mouse model of brucellosis vaccines. We conclude that mutations targeting genes and DNA sequences involved in spontaneous O-polysaccharide loss enhance the stability of a critical vaccine phenotype and complement the empirical stabilization precautions taken during S Brucella vaccine production.
Autores: Martirosyan, A; Ohne, Y.; Degos, C.; et al.
Revista: PLOS ONE
ISSN 1932-6203  Vol. 8  Nº 2  2013 
Lipopolysaccharides or endotoxins are components of Gram-negative enterobacteria that cause septic shock in mammals. However, a LPS carrying hexa-acyl lipid A moieties is highly endotoxic compared to a tetra-acyl LPS and the latter has been considered as an antagonist of hexa-acyl LPS-mediated TLR4 signaling. We investigated the relationship between the structure and the function of bacterial LPS in the context of human and mouse dendritic cell activation. Strikingly, LPS with acylation defects were capable of triggering a strong and early TLR4-dependent DC activation, which in turn led to the activation of the proteasome machinery dampening the pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion. Upon activation with tetraacyl LPS both mouse and human dendritic cells triggered CD4(+) T and CD8(+) T cell responses and, importantly, human myeloid dendritic cells favored the induction of regulatory T cells. Altogether, our data suggest that LPS acylation controlled by pathogenic bacteria might be an important strategy to subvert adaptive immunity.
Autores: Conde, Raquel; Arce-Gorvel; Gil-Ramírez; et al.
ISSN 0882-4010  Vol. 58  2013  págs. 29-34
The gram-negative bacteria of the genus Brucella are facultative intracellular parasites that cause brucellosis, a world wide-distributed zoonotic disease that represents a serious problem for animal and human health. There is no human-to-human contagion and, since there is no human vaccine, animal vaccination is essential to control brucellosis. However, current vaccines (all developed empirically) do not provide 100% protection and are infectious in humans. Attempts to generate new vaccines by obtaining mutants lacking the lipopolysaccharide O-polysaccharide, in purine metabolism or in Brucella type IV secretion system have not been successful. Here we propose a new approach to develop brucellosis vaccines based on the concept that Brucella surface molecules evade efficient detection by innate immunity, thus delaying protective Th1 responses and opening a time window to reach sheltered intracellular compartments. We showed recently that a branch of the core oligosaccharide section of Brucella lipopolysaccharide hampers recognition by TLR4-MD2. Mutation of glycosyltransferase WadC, involved in the synthesis of this branch, results in a lipopolysaccharide that, while keeping the O-polysaccharide essential for optimal protection, shows a truncated core, is more efficiently recognized by MD2 and triggers an increased cytokine response. In keeping with this, the wadC mutant is attenuated in dendritic cells and mice. In the mouse model of brucellosis vaccines, the Brucella abortus wadC mutant conferred protection similar to that provided by S19, the best cattle vaccine available. The properties of the wadC mutant provide the proof of concept for this new approach and open the way for more effective brucellosis vaccines.
Autores: Palacios, Leyre; Conde, Raquel; Zúñiga-Ripa, Amaia; et al.
ISSN 0175-7571  Vol. 42  Nº Supl. 1  2013  págs. S154
Autores: Mancilla M; CM MARIN; Blasco JM; et al.
ISSN 0021-9193  Vol. 194  Nº 8  2012  págs. 1860-1867
The brucellae are Gram-negative pathogens that cause brucellosis, a zoonosis of worldwide importance. The genus Brucella includes smooth and rough species that differ in that they carry smooth and rough lipopolysaccharides, respectively. Brucella abortus, B. melitensis, and B. suis are typical smooth species. However, these smooth brucellae dissociate into rough mutants devoid of the lipopolysaccharide O-polysaccharide, a major antigen and a virulence determinant encoded in regions wbo (included in genomic island-2) and wbk. We demonstrate here the occurrence of spontaneous recombination events in those three Brucella species leading to the deletion of a 5.5-kb fragment carrying the wbkA glycosyltranferase gene and to the appearance of rough mutants. Analysis of the recombination intermediates suggested homologous recombination between the ISBm1 insertion sequences flanking wbkA as the mechanism generating the deletion. Excision of wbkA was reduced but not abrogated in a recA-deficient mutant, showing the existence of both RecA-dependent and -independent processes. Although the involvement of the ISBm1 copies flanking wbkA suggested a transpositional event, the predicted transpositional joint could not be detected. This absence of detectable transposition was consistent with the presence of polymorphism in the inverted repeats of one of the ISBm1 copies. The spontaneous excision of wbkA represents a novel dissociation mechanism of smooth brucellae that adds to the previously described excision of genomic island-2. This ISBm1-mediated wbkA excision and the different %GC levels of the excised fragment and of other wbk genes suggest that the Brucella wbk locus is the result of at least two horizontal acquisition events.
Autores: Grilló, M.J.; Blasco , J.M.; Gorvel, J.P.; et al.
ISSN 0928-4249  Vol. 43  Nº 1  2012  págs. 29
Brucellosis is a zoonosis caused by Brucella species. Brucellosis research in natural hosts is often precluded by practical, economical and ethical reasons and mice are widely used. However, mice are not natural Brucella hosts and the course of murine brucellosis depends on bacterial strain virulence, dose and inoculation route as well as breed, genetic background, age, sex and physiological statu of mice. Therefore, meaningful experiments require a definition of these variables. Brucella spleen replication profiles are highly reproducible and course in four phases: i), onset or spleen colonization (first 48 h); ii), acute phase, from the third day to the time when bacteria reach maximal numbers; iii), chronic steady phase, where bacterial numbers plateaus; and iv), chronic declining phase, during which brucellae are eliminated. This pattern displays clear physiopathological signs and is sensitive to small virulence variations, making possible to assess attenuation when fully virulent bacteria are used as controls. Similarly, immunity studies using mice with known defects are possible. Mutations affecting INF-gamma, TLR9, Myd88, T gamma delta and TNF-beta favor Brucella replication; whereas IL-1 beta, IL-18, TLR4, TLR5, TLR2, NOD1, NOD2, GM-CSF, IL/17r, Rip2, TRIF, NK or Nramp1 deficiencies have no noticeable effects. Splenomegaly development is also useful: it correlates with IFN-gamma and IL-12 levels and with Brucella strain virulence. The genetic background is also important: Brucella-resistant mice (C57BL) yield lower splenic bacterial replication and less splenomegaly than susceptible breeds. When inoculum is increased, a saturating dose above which bacterial numbers per organ do not augment, is reached. Unlike many gram-negative bacteria, lethal doses are large (>= 10(8) bacteria/mouse) and normally higher than the saturating dose. Persistence is a useful virulence/attenuation index and is used in vaccine (Residual Virulence) quality control. Vaccine candidates are also often tested in mice by determining splenic Brucella numbers after challenging with appropriate virulent brucellae doses at precise post-vaccination times. Since most live or killed Brucella vaccines provide some protection in mice, controls immunized with reference vaccines (S19 or Rev1) are critical. Finally, mice have been successfully used to evaluate brucellosis therapies. It is concluded that, when used properly, the mouse is a valuable brucellosis model.
Autores: Palacios, Leyre; Zúñiga-Ripa, Amaia; Gutiérrez, A.; et al.
ISSN 1350-0872  Vol. 158  Nº 4  2012  págs. 1037 - 1044
The brucellae are facultative intracellular pathogens of mammals that are transmitted by contact with infected animals or contaminated materials. Several major lipidic components of the brucella cell envelope are imperfectly recognized by innate immunity, thus contributing to virulence. These components carry large proportions of acyl chains of lactobacillic acid, a long chain cyclopropane fatty acid (CFA). CFAs result from addition of a methylene group to unsaturated acyl chains and contribute to resistance to acidity, dryness and high osmolarity in many bacteria and to virulence in mycobacteria. We examined the role of lactobacillic acid in Brucella abortus virulence by creating a mutant in ORF BAB1_0476, the putative CFA synthase gene. The mutant did not incorporate [(14)C]methyl groups into lipids, lacked CFAs and synthesized the unsaturated precursors, proving that BAB1_0476 actually encodes a CFA synthase. BAB1_0476 promoter-luxAB fusion studies showed that CFA synthase expression was promoted by acid pH and high osmolarity. The mutant was not attenuated in macrophages or mice, strongly suggesting that CFAs are not essential for B. abortus intracellular life. However, when the mutant was tested under high osmolarity on agar and acid pH, two conditions likely to occur on contaminated materials and fomites, they showed reduced ability to grow or survive. Since CFA synthesis entails high ATP expenses and brucellae produce large proportions of lactobacillic acyl chains, we speculate that the CFA synthase has been conserved because it is useful for survival extracellularly, thus facilitating persistence in contaminated materials and transmission to new hosts.
Autores: Conde, Raquel; Arce ; Iriarte, Maite; et al.
ISSN 1553-7374  Vol. 8  Nº 5  2012  págs. e1002675
Innate immunity recognizes bacterial molecules bearing pathogen-associated molecular patterns to launch inflammatory responses leading to the activation of adaptive immunity. However, the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of the gram-negative bacterium Brucella lacks a marked pathogen-associated molecular pattern, and it has been postulated that this delays the development of immunity, creating a gap that is critical for the bacterium to reach the intracellular replicative niche. We found that a B. abortus mutant in the wadC gene displayed a disrupted LPS core while keeping both the LPS O-polysaccharide and lipid A. In mice, the wadC mutant induced proinflammatory responses and was attenuated. In addition, it was sensitive to killing by non-immune serum and bactericidal peptides and did not multiply in dendritic cells being targeted to lysosomal compartments. In contrast to wild type B. abortus, the wadC mutant induced dendritic cell maturation and secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines. All these properties were reproduced by the wadC mutant purified LPS in a TLR4-dependent manner. Moreover, the core-mutated LPS displayed an increased binding to MD-2, the TLR4 co-receptor leading to subsequent increase in intracellular signaling. Here we show that Brucella escapes recognition in early stages of infection by expressing a shield against recognition by innate immunity in its LPS core and identify a novel virulence mechanism in intracellular pathogenic gram-negative bacteria. These results also encourage for an improvement in the generation of novel bacterial vaccines.
Autores: Martirosyan, A.; Pérez-Gutierrez , C.; Banchereau, R.; et al.
ISSN 1553-7374  Vol. 8  Nº 11  2012  págs. e1002983
Bacterial cyclic glucans are glucose polymers that concentrate within the periplasm of alpha-proteobacteria. These molecules are necessary to maintain the homeostasis of the cell envelope by contributing to the osmolarity of Gram negative bacteria. Here, we demonstrate that Brucella beta 1,2 cyclic glucans are potent activators of human and mouse dendritic cells. Dendritic cells activation by Brucella beta 1,2 cyclic glucans requires TLR4, MyD88 and TRIF, but not CD14. The Brucella cyclic glucans showed neither toxicity nor immunogenicity compared to LPS and triggered antigen-specific CD8(+) T cell responses in vivo. These cyclic glucans also enhanced antigen-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell responses including cross-presentation by different human DC subsets. Brucella beta 1,2 cyclic glucans increased the memory CD4(+) T cell responses of blood mononuclear cells exposed to recombinant fusion proteins composed of anti-CD40 antibody and antigens from both hepatitis C virus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Thus cyclic glucans represent a new class of adjuvants, which might contribute to the development of effective antimicrobial therapies.
Autores: Wattam, A. R.; Inzana, T. J.; Williams, K. P.; et al.
Revista: MBIO
ISSN 2150-7511  Vol. 3  Nº 5  2012 
Brucella species are Gram-negative bacteria that infect mammals. Recently, two unusual strains (Brucella inopinata BO1(T) and B. inopinata-like BO2) have been isolated from human patients, and their similarity to some atypical brucellae isolated from Australian native rodent species was noted. Here we present a phylogenomic analysis of the draft genome sequences of BO1(T) and BO2 and of the Australian rodent strains 83-13 and NF2653 that shows that they form two groups well separated from the other sequenced Brucella spp. Several important differences were noted. Both BO1(T) and BO2 did not agglutinate significantly when live or inactivated cells were exposed to monospecific A and Mantisera against O-side chain sugars composed of N-formyl-perosamine. While BO1(T) maintained the genes required to synthesize a typical Brucella O-antigen, BO2 lacked many of these genes but still produced a smooth LPS (lipopolysaccharide). Most missing genes were found in the wbk region involved in O-antigen synthesis in classic smooth Brucella spp. In their place, BO2 carries four genes that other bacteria use for making a rhamnose-based O-antigen. Electrophoretic, immunoblot, and chemical analyses showed that BO2 carries an antigenically different O-antigen made of repeating hexose-rich oligosaccharide units that made the LPS water-soluble, which contrasts with the homopolymeric O-antigen of other smooth brucellae that have a phenol-soluble LPS. The results demonstrate the existence of a group of early-diverging brucellae with traits that depart significantly from those of the Brucella species described thus far. IMPORTANCE This report examines differences between genomes from four new Brucella strains and those from the classic Brucella spp. Our results show that the four new strains are outliers with respect to the previously known Brucella strains and yet are part of the genus, forming two new clades. The analysis revealed important information about the evolution and survival mechanisms of Brucella species, helping reshape our knowledge of this important zoonotic pathogen. One discovery of special importance is that one of the strains, BO2, produces an O-antigen distinct from any that has been seen in any other Brucella isolates to date.
Autores: Palacios, Leyre; Conde, Raquel; et al.
ISSN 1438-4221  Vol. 302  Nº Supl. 1  2012  págs. 79
Autores: Mwebe, R.; Nakavuma, J; Moriyón, Ignacio;
ISSN 0049-4747  Vol. 43  Nº 3  2011  págs. 603 - 608
Autores: Díaz, Ramón Luis; Casanova, A.; Ariza, J.; et al.
ISSN 1935-2727  Vol. 5  Nº 4  2011  págs. 1 - 7
Autores: Japelj , B.; Jerala , R; et al.
ISSN 0066-4804  Vol. 55  Nº 1  2011  págs. 218 - 228
A subinhibitory concentration of compound P2-15 or P2-27 sensitized P. aeruginosa to most classes of antibiotics tested and counteracted several mechanisms of antibiotic resistance, including loss of the OprD porin and overexpression of several multidrug efflux pump systems. Using a mouse model of lethal infection, we demonstrated that whereas P2-15 and erythromycin were unable to protect mice when administered separately, concomitant administration of the compounds afforded long-lasting protection to one-third of the animals
Autores: Palacios, Leyre; Conde, Raquel; et al.
Revista: PLoS One
ISSN 1932-6203  Vol. 6  Nº 1  2011  págs. e16030
The brucellae are ¿-Proteobacteria facultative intracellular parasites that cause an important zoonosis. These bacteria escape early detection by innate immunity, an ability associated to the absence of marked pathogen-associated molecular patterns in the
Autores: Mancilla, Marcos; Ulloa, M.; López-Goñi, I; et al.
ISSN 1471-2180  Vol. 11  Nº 1  2011  págs. 176
Brucellosis is a zoonosis caused by Brucella spp., a group of highly homogeneous bacteria. The insertion sequence IS711 is characteristic of these bacteria, and occurs in variable numbers and positions, but always constant within a given species.
Autores: Godfroid, J.; Scholz, H.C.; Barbier, T.; et al.
Revista: Preventive Veterinary Medicine
ISSN 0167-5877  Vol. 102  Nº 2  2011  págs. 118 - 131
Autores: Gutsmann, T.; Howe, J.; Zahringer, U.; et al.
ISSN 1940-3011  Vol. 16  Nº 1  2010  págs. 36 - 47
The structural prerequisites for lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and its partial structures for the activation of the Limulus clotting cascade (Limulus amebocyte lysate [LAL] test) are described and compared with the corresponding requirements for the activation of human immune cells such as mononuclear cells. A necessary, but not sufficient, structural motif for this is the presence of the 40-phosphate-diglucosamine backbone recognition structure ('epitope') in lipid A. High activity is only expressed by assemblies of endotoxins, but this is largely independent of the type of supramolecular aggregate structure. A particular conformation of the epitope within the lipid A assembly must be present, which is influenced by addition of further saccharide units to the lipid A moiety, but also reacts slightly to the acylation pattern. In contrast, the cytokine production of human immune cells induced by LPS sensitively depends on the type of its aggregate structure. In the case of a hexa-acylated bisphosphorylated lipid A structure, high activity is only observed with cubic inverted aggregates. Furthermore, addition of antimicrobial agents (such as polymyxin B) leads to a nearly complete inhibition of cytokine production, whereas the reduction in the Limulus assay is much lower. These data are important since a reliable determination of endotoxin concentrations, in particular with respect to its ability to elicit severe infections, is of high interest.
Autores: Mancilla, Marcos; López-Goñi, I; Moriyón, Ignacio; et al.
Revista: Journal of bacteriology
ISSN 0021-9193  Vol. 192  Nº 24  2010  págs. 6346 - 6351
Brucella is a Gram-negative bacterium that causes a worldwide-distributed zoonosis. The genus includes smooth (S) and rough (R) species that differ in the presence or absence, respectively, of the O-polysaccharide of lipopolysaccharide. In S brucellae, the O-polysaccharide is a critical diagnostic antigen and a virulence determinant. However, S brucellae spontaneously dissociate into R forms, a problem in antigen and S vaccine production. Spontaneous R mutants of Brucella abortus, Brucella melitensis, and Brucella suis carried the chromosomal scar corresponding to genomic island 2 (GI-2) excision, an event causing the loss of the wboA and wboB O-polysaccharide genes, and the predicted excised circular intermediate was identified in B. abortus, B. melitensis, and B. suis cultures. Moreover, disruption of a putative phage integrase gene in B. abortus GI-2 caused a reduction in O-polysaccharide loss rates under conditions promoting S-R dissociation. However, spontaneous R mutants not carrying the GI-2 scar were also detected. These results demonstrate that the phage integrase-related GI-2 excision is a cause of S-R brucella dissociation and that other undescribed mechanisms must also be involved. In the R Brucella species, previous works have shown that Brucella ovis but not Brucella canis lacks GI-2, and a chromosomal scar identical to those in R mutants was observed. These results suggest that the phage integrase-promoted GI-2 excision played a role in B. ovis speciation and are consistent with other evidence, suggesting that this species and B. canis have emerged as two independent lineages.
Autores: Brandenburg, K; Howe, J; et al.
ISSN 1871-5214  Vol. 9  Nº 1  2010  págs. 9 - 22
Bacterial endotoxins (lipopolysaccharide, LPS) from the outer leaflet of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria are among the most effective natural compounds in triggering the human innate immune system. This may be beneficial at low but pathophysiological at high LPS concentrations, the latter leading to the severe septic shock syndrome with still high mortality rates especially in intensity care units. One approach to inactivate compounds such as LPS is the use of cationic amphiphilic peptides based on natural endotoxin- binding proteins, which are designed to neutralize bacterial LPS and thus inhibit its interaction with relevant mammalian binding proteins/ receptors such as lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP), CD14, and TLR4/MD2. We have designed and synthesized peptides based on human lactoferricin, and have applied in an iterative process (first to third generation) various experimental systems to test their ability to fight against bacterial sepsis. Here, four compounds from the third generation were selected, with and without a short hydrocarbon chain, and analysed in detail starting from biophysical over cell biological and microbiological assays up to animal experiments. Thus, we were able to characterize the parameters relevant in endotoxin deactivation, as part of the bacterial cell as well as in isolated form. The most important parameters include the peptide length, number of cationic amino acids, and hydrophobicity of the peptides.
Autores: Lamontagne, J.; Beland, M.; Forest, A.; et al.
ISSN 1471-2164  Vol. 11  2010  págs. 300
Background: Brucellosis is a major bacterial zoonosis affecting domestic livestock and wild mammals, as well as humans around the globe. While conducting proteomics studies to better understand Brucella abortus virulence, we consolidated the proteomic data collected and compared it to publically available genomic data. Results: The proteomic data was compiled from several independent comparative studies of Brucella abortus that used either outer membrane blebs, cytosols, or whole bacteria grown in media, as well as intracellular bacteria recovered at different times following macrophage infection. We identified a total of 621 bacterial proteins that were differentially expressed in a condition-specific manner. For 305 of these proteins we provide the first experimental evidence of their expression. Using a custom-built protein sequence database, we uncovered 7 annotation errors. We provide experimental evidence of expression of 5 genes that were originally annotated as non-expressed pseudogenes, as well as start site annotation errors for 2 other genes. Conclusions: An essential element for ensuring correct functional studies is the correspondence between reported genome sequences and subsequent proteomics studies. In this study, we have used proteomics evidence to confirm expression of multiple proteins previously considered to be putative, as well as correct annotation errors in the genome of Brucella abortus strain 2308.
Autores: Gutsmann, T.; Razquin, Iosu; Kowalski, I.; et al.
ISSN 0066-4804  Vol. 54  Nº 9  2010  págs. 3817 - 3824
Systemic bacterial infections are associated with high mortality. The access of bacteria or constituents thereof to systemic circulation induces the massive release of immunomodulatory mediators, ultimately causing tissue hypoperfusion and multiple-organ failure despite adequate antibiotic treatment. Lipid A, the "endotoxic principle" of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), is one of the major bacterial immunostimuli. Here we demonstrate the biological efficacy of rationally designed new synthetic antilipopolysaccharide peptides (SALPs) based on the Limulus anti-LPS factor for systemic application. We show efficient inhibition of LPS-induced cytokine release and protection from lethal septic shock in vivo, whereas cytotoxicity was not observed under physiologically relevant conditions and concentrations. The molecular mechanism of LPS neutralization was elucidated by biophysical techniques. The lipid A part of LPS is converted from its "endotoxic conformation," the cubic aggregate structure, into an inactive multilamellar structure, and the binding affinity of the peptide to LPS exceeds those of known LPS-binding proteins, such as LPS-binding protein (LBP). Our results thus delineate a novel therapeutic strategy for the clinical management of patients with septic shock.
Autores: Blasco, J.M.; Moriyón, Ignacio;
ISSN 0167-5877  Vol. 94  Nº 1-2  2010  págs. 154 - 157
Autores: Conde, Raquel; Bengoechea, J. A.; et al.
Libro:  Antimicrobial peptides: properties, functions and role in immune response
2012  págs. 1 - 30
In Gram-negative bacteria, lipopolysaccharide (LPS or endotoxin) is the major component of the outer leaflet of the bacterial cell wall and one of the most potent immunostimulary molecules known. The basic structure of LPS is highly conserved among Gram-negative organisms and consists of a polysaccharide (O-chain) covalently linked to a membrane-bound glycolipid (lipid A) through a core oligosaccharide. The inner sections of LPS are highly anionic due to numerous phosphoryl and carboxyl groups present in its core and lipid A sections. Even at exceedingly low concentrations, LPS is detected by innate immune system cells bearing the TLR-4/MD-2 receptor-coreceptor, and this recognition induces beneficial responses including moderate fever and local inflammation. However, release of high concentrations of endotoxin by pathogens into the bloodstream triggers acute systemic reactions that may lead to septic shock and eventually to multiorganic failure and death. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are produced by virtually all types of organisms, and often constitute the first line of defense against microbial pathogens. The highly positive charge of AMPs and their amphiphilic character allow them to bind to anionic residues of the bacterial surface (mainly LPS in Gram-negative bacteria) and to rapidly kill their targets. In addition, AMPs can bind and sequester LPS in vivo, thus hampering recognition of this molecule by the immune system. In fact, treatment with AMPs has been shown to prevent sepsis and septic shock in animal models of endotoxemia. The most important mechanism of resistance to AMPs in Gram-negative bacteria involves the expression of LPS variants with the ability to reduce interaction with AMPs. The LPS modifications include changes in electronegativity and/or hydrohobicity and can affect all the sections of the molecule. Whereas some bacteria are intrinsically resistant to AMPs, others have sophisticated systems of AMP detection coupled to their LPS modification machinery. In this chapter, we will review examples of both types of strategies and will describe how some prominent human pathogens (Proteus spp, Yersinia spp. Brucella spp., Salmonella spp., Bordetella spp. and Escherichia coli) modify their LPS and how these alterations affect the bacterial resistance to AMPs. Interestingly, reduced ability to interact with AMPs correlate in some cases with changes in LPS recognition by cell receptors of the immune system. In addition, bacterial cells expressing these altered LPS display profound changes in virulence and endotoxicity. Examples of these correlations will be discussed in detail throughout the chapter.
Autores: Zinsstag, J.; Schelling, E.; Solera, X.; et al.
Título: Brucellosis
Libro:  Handbook of Zoonoses, Biology, Clinical Practice and Public Health Control
2011  págs. 54-62