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Identification of specific and universal virulence factors in Burkholderia cenocepacia strains by using multiple infection hosts


Uehlinger, S; Schwager, S; Bernier, S P; Riedel, K; Nguyen, D T; Sokol, P A; Eberl, L (2009). Identification of specific and universal virulence factors in Burkholderia cenocepacia strains by using multiple infection hosts. Infection and Immunity, 77(9):4102-4110.

Abstract

Over the past few decades, strains of the Burkholderia cepacia complex have emerged as important pathogens for patients suffering from cystic fibrosis. Identification of virulence factors and assessment of the pathogenic potential of Burkholderia strains have increased the need for appropriate infection models. In previous studies, different infection hosts, including mammals, nematodes, insects, and plants, have been used. At present, however, the extent to which the virulence factors required to infect different hosts overlap is not known. The aim of this study was to analyze the roles of various virulence factors of two closely related Burkholderia cenocepacia strains, H111 and the epidemic strain K56-2, in a multihost pathogenesis system using four different model organisms, namely, Caenorhabditis elegans, Galleria mellonella, the alfalfa plant, and mice or rats. We demonstrate that most of the identified virulence factors are specific for one of the infection models, and only three factors were found to be essential for full pathogenicity in several hosts: mutants defective in (i) quorum sensing, (ii) siderophore production, and (iii) lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis were attenuated in at least three of the infection models and thus may represent promising targets for the development of novel anti-infectives.

Over the past few decades, strains of the Burkholderia cepacia complex have emerged as important pathogens for patients suffering from cystic fibrosis. Identification of virulence factors and assessment of the pathogenic potential of Burkholderia strains have increased the need for appropriate infection models. In previous studies, different infection hosts, including mammals, nematodes, insects, and plants, have been used. At present, however, the extent to which the virulence factors required to infect different hosts overlap is not known. The aim of this study was to analyze the roles of various virulence factors of two closely related Burkholderia cenocepacia strains, H111 and the epidemic strain K56-2, in a multihost pathogenesis system using four different model organisms, namely, Caenorhabditis elegans, Galleria mellonella, the alfalfa plant, and mice or rats. We demonstrate that most of the identified virulence factors are specific for one of the infection models, and only three factors were found to be essential for full pathogenicity in several hosts: mutants defective in (i) quorum sensing, (ii) siderophore production, and (iii) lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis were attenuated in at least three of the infection models and thus may represent promising targets for the development of novel anti-infectives.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Date:2009
Deposited On:04 Dec 2009 07:38
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:33
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN:0019-9567
Additional Information:Copyright: American Society for Microbiology
Publisher DOI:10.1128/IAI.00398-09
PubMed ID:19528212
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-24167

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