Genome-wide identification of Streptococcus pneumoniae genes essential for bacterial replication during experimental meningitis
until further notice
SourceInfection and Immunity, 79, 1, (2011), pp. 288-297
Article / Letter to editor
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Paediatrics - OUD tm 2017
Laboratory of Genetic, Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases
Infection and Immunity
SubjectDCN 2: Functional Neurogenomics; N4i 1: Pathogenesis and modulation of inflammation NCMLS 1: Infection and autoimmunity
Meningitis is the most serious of invasive infections caused by the Gram-positive bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae. Vaccines protect only against a limited number of serotypes, and evolving bacterial resistance to antimicrobials impedes treatment. Further insight into the molecular pathogenesis of invasive pneumococcal disease is required in order to enable the development of new or adjunctive treatments and/or pneumococcal vaccines that are efficient across serotypes. We applied genomic array footprinting (GAF) in the search for S. pneumoniae genes that are essential during experimental meningitis. A total of 6,000 independent TIGR4 marinerT7 transposon mutants distributed over four libraries were injected intracisternally into rabbits, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was collected after 3, 9, and 15 h. Microarray analysis of mutant-specific probes from CSF samples and inocula identified 82 and 11 genes mutants of which had become attenuated or enriched, respectively, during infection. The results point to essential roles for capsular polysaccharides, nutrient uptake, and amino acid biosynthesis in bacterial replication during experimental meningitis. The GAF phenotype of a subset of identified targets was followed up by detailed studies of directed mutants in competitive and noncompetitive infection models of experimental rat meningitis. It appeared that adenylosuccinate synthetase, flavodoxin, and LivJ, the substrate binding protein of a branched-chain amino acid ABC transporter, are relevant as targets for future therapy and prevention of pneumococcal meningitis, since their mutants were attenuated in both models of infection as well as in competitive growth in human cerebrospinal fluid in vitro.
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