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Brucella papionis sp. nov. isolated from baboons ( Papio spp.).
Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 09-23-2014
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Two Gram-negative, non-motile, non-spore-forming coccoid bacteria (strains F8/08-60T and F8/08-61) isolated from clinical specimens obtained from baboons (Papio spp.) that had delivered stillborn offspring were subjected to a polyphasic taxonomic study. On the basis of 16S rRNA sequence similarities both strains, which possessed identical sequences, were assigned to the genus Brucella. This placement was confirmed by extended multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA), where both strains possessed identical sequences, and whole genome sequencing of a representative isolate. All the above analyses suggested that the two strains represent a novel lineage within the genus Brucella. The strains also possessed a unique profile when subjected to the phenotyping approach classically used to separate Brucella species reacting only with Brucella A monospecific antiserum, being sensitive to the dyes thionin and fuchsin, being lysed by bacteriophage Wb, Bk2, and Fi phage at routine test dilution (RTD) but only partially sensitive to bacteriophage Tb, and with no requirement for carbon dioxide, no production of hydrogen sulphide, but strong urease activity. Biochemical profiling revealed a pattern of enzyme activity and metabolic capabilities distinct from existing Brucella species. Molecular analysis of the omp2 locus genes showed that both strains had a novel combination of two highly similar omp2b gene copies. Both strains shared a unique fingerprint profile of the multiple copy Brucella specific element. IS711. Like MLSA, a multilocus variable number of tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) showed that the isolates clustered very closely together, but represent a distinct group within the genus Brucella. Isolates F8/08-60T and F8/08-61 could clearly be distinguished from all known Brucella species and their biovars by both phenotypic and molecular properties. Therefore, by applying the Brucella species concept suggested by the ICSP Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Brucella, they represent a novel species within the genus Brucella for which the name Brucella papionis sp. nov., with the type strain F8/08-60T (= NCTC 13660T = CIRMBP 0958T), is proposed.
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The new strains Brucella inopinata BO1 and Brucella species 83-210 behave biologically like classic infectious Brucella species and cause death in murine models of infection.
J. Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 02-20-2014
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Recently, novel atypical Brucella strains isolated from humans and wild rodents have been reported. They are phenotypically close to Ochrobactrum species but belong to the genus Brucella, based on genetic relatedness, although genetic diversity is higher among the atypical Brucella strains than between the classic species. They were classified within or close to the novel species Brucella inopinata. However, with the exception of Brucella microti, the virulence of these novel strains has not been investigated in experimental models of infection.
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Mutants in the lipopolysaccharide of Brucella ovis are attenuated and protect against B. ovis infection in mice.
Vet. Res.
PUBLISHED: 01-23-2014
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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.
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The presence of Brucella ceti ST26 in a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) with meningoencephalitis from the Mediterranean Sea.
Vet. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 01-18-2013
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Brucella spp. was isolated from brain, lung and intestinal lymph nodes of a dead adult male striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) found stranded on the Tyrrhenian coast (Tuscany, Italy) of the Mediterranean Sea in February 2012. Brucella spp. was associated with moderate to severe lesions of meningoencephalitis. A co-infection by Toxoplasma gondii was also demonstrated at brain level by means of molecular and histopathologic methods. The Brucella isolate was further characterized based on a fragment-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) approach, consisting of a set of five specific PCRs, targeting specific chromosomal IS711 locations for marine mammal Brucellae, as described previously. The isolate was thus classified as Brucella ceti I; V fragment-positive (or B. ceti dolphin type), according to previous studies. Multi Locus Sequence Analysis demonstrated that the isolate belongs to Sequence Type 26, while omp2 (omp2a and omp2b genes) sequence analysis further confirmed the isolate belonged to this group of strains. This is the first report of Brucella spp. from marine mammals in the Mediterranean Sea, and represents a further observation that this strain group is associated with hosts of the Family Delphinidae, and particularly with the striped dolphins, also in the Mediterranean area, thus constituting a further biological hazard of concern for this vulnerable subpopulation.
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The epitopic and structural characterization of Brucella suis biovar 2 O-polysaccharide demonstrates the existence of a new M-negative C-negative smooth Brucella serovar.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2013
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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 ?-(1 ? 2) and ?-(1 ? 3)-linked N-formyl-perosamine polysaccharides that carry M, A and C (A = M, A>M and AA) 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 ?-(1 ? 2)-linkages. By (13)C NMR spectroscopy, B. suis biovar 1 but not B. suis biovar 2 or Y. enterocolitica O:9 polysaccharide showed the signal characteristic of ?-(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 ?-(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.
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Novel IS711 chromosomal location useful for identification of marine mammal Brucella genotype ST27, which is associated with zoonotic infection.
J. Clin. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 08-31-2011
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We report a novel IS711 chromosomal location that is specific for the Brucella genotype ST27 previously associated with Pacific marine mammals and human zoonotic infection in New Zealand and Peru. Our data support the previous observation that this peculiar genotype is distinct from those commonly isolated from the Atlantic and currently classified within the species B. ceti and B. pinnipedialis.
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A potential novel Brucella species isolated from mandibular lymph nodes of red foxes in Austria.
Vet. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 04-15-2011
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The wild red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is a known indicator species for natural foci of brucellosis. Here, we describe phenotypic and molecular characteristics of two atypical Brucella strains isolated from two foxes hunted 2008 in Eastern Austria. Both strains agglutinated with monospecific anti-Brucella A serum and were positive in ELISA with monoclonal antibodies directed against various Brucella lipopolysaccharide epitopes. However, negative nitrate reductase- and negative oxidase-reaction were atypical traits. Affiliation to the genus Brucella was confirmed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and by detection of the Brucella specific insertion element IS711 and gene bcsp31 using real-time PCR. Both fox strains showed identical IS711 Southern blot profiles but were distinct from known brucellae. The number of IS711 copies detected was as high as found in B. ovis or marine mammal Brucella strains. Molecular analyses of the recA and omp2a/b genes suggest that both strains possibly represent a novel Brucella species.
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The genome sequence of Brucella pinnipedialis B2/94 sheds light on the evolutionary history of the genus Brucella.
BMC Evol. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 04-01-2011
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Since the discovery of the Malta fever agent, Brucella melitensis, in the 19th century, six terrestrial mammal-associated Brucella species were recognized over the next century. More recently the number of novel Brucella species has increased and among them, isolation of species B. pinnipedialis and B. ceti from marine mammals raised many questions about their origin as well as on the evolutionary history of the whole genus.
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Novel IS711-specific chromosomal locations useful for identification and classification of marine mammal Brucella strains.
J. Clin. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 08-11-2010
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We report five new IS711 chromosomal locations that are specific for marine mammal Brucella groups of strains and useful for their identification and classification. Our data support their current classification into two species, Brucella ceti and B. pinnipedialis, with subgroups in each, but also the possibility of additional species.
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Brucella inopinata sp. nov., isolated from a breast implant infection.
Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 08-06-2009
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A Gram-negative, non-motile, non-spore-forming coccoid bacterium (strain BO1(T)) was isolated recently from a breast implant infection of a 71-year-old female patient with clinical signs of brucellosis. Affiliation of strain BO1(T) to the genus Brucella was confirmed by means of polyamine pattern, polar lipid profile, fatty acid profile, quinone system, DNA-DNA hybridization studies and by insertion sequence 711 (IS711)-specific PCR. Strain BO1(T) harboured four to five copies of the Brucella-specific insertion element IS 711, displaying a unique banding pattern, and exhibited a unique 16S rRNA gene sequence and also grouped separately in multilocus sequence typing analysis. Strain BO1(T) reacted with Brucella M-monospecific antiserum. Incomplete lysis was detected with bacteriophages Tb (Tbilisi), F1 and F25. Biochemical profiling revealed a high degree of enzymic activity and metabolic capabilities. In multilocus VNTR (variable-number tandem-repeat) analysis, strain BO1(T) showed a very distinctive profile and clustered with the other exotic Brucella strains, including strains isolated from marine mammals, and Brucella microti, Brucella suis biovar 5 and Brucella neotomae. Comparative omp2a and omp2b gene sequence analysis revealed the most divergent omp2 sequences identified to date for a Brucella strain. The recA gene sequence of strain BO1(T) differed in seven nucleotides from the Brucella recA consensus sequence. Using the Brucella species-specific multiplex PCR assay, strain BO1(T) displayed a unique banding pattern not observed in other Brucella species. From the phenotypic and molecular analysis it became evident that strain BO1( T) was clearly different from all other Brucella species, and therefore represents a novel species within the genus Brucella. Because of its unexpected isolation, the name Brucella inopinata with the type strain BO1(T) (=BCCN 09-01(T)=CPAM 6436(T)) is proposed.
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DNA polymorphism analysis of Brucella lipopolysaccharide genes reveals marked differences in O-polysaccharide biosynthetic genes between smooth and rough Brucella species and novel species-specific markers.
BMC Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 05-13-2009
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The lipopolysaccharide is a major antigen and virulence factor of Brucella, an important bacterial pathogen. In smooth brucellae, lipopolysaccharide is made of lipid A-core oligosaccharide and N-formylperosamine O-polysaccharide. B. ovis and B. canis (rough species) lack the O-polysaccharide.
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Marine mammal Brucella isolates with different genomic characteristics display a differential response when infecting human macrophages in culture.
Microbes Infect.
PUBLISHED: 01-14-2009
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Marine mammal Brucella strains with different genomic characteristics according to distribution of IS711 elements in their genomes were analysed for their intracellular behaviour in human THP-1 macrophage-like cells. Seven different groups of marine mammal strains were identified including a human isolate from New Zealand presumably from marine origin. Entry and intracellular survival of strains representative of these groups in THP-1 human macrophage-like cells were analysed at several times of infection. Three patterns of infection were identified. The Brucella strain isolated from the human case from New Zealand, and two other groups of strains belonging to B. ceti or B. pinnipedialis were able to infect THP-1 macrophage cells to the same extent as the virulent strains B. suis 1330 or B. melitensis 16M. Three other groups of strains belonging to B. ceti or B. pinnipedialis were able to enter the cells as classical virulent strains but were eliminated after 48h. The last group was composed only of strains isolated from hooded seals (Cystophora cristata) and was even unable to enter and infect THP-1 macrophage cells. Thus, several groups of marine mammal Brucella strains appear to be non-infectious for human macrophages.
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Rough mutants defective in core and O-polysaccharide synthesis and export induce antibodies reacting in an indirect ELISA with smooth lipopolysaccharide and are less effective than Rev 1 vaccine against Brucella melitensis infection of sheep.
Vaccine
PUBLISHED: 01-11-2009
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Classical brucellosis vaccines induce antibodies to the O-polysaccharide section of the lipopolysaccharide that interfere in serodiagnosis. Brucella rough (R) mutants lack the O-polysaccharide but their usefulness as vaccines is controversial. Here, Brucella melitensis R mutants in all main lipopolysaccharide biosynthetic pathways were evaluated in sheep in comparison with the reference B. melitensis Rev 1 vaccine. In a first experiment, these mutants were tested for ability to induce anti-O-polysaccharide antibodies, persistence and spread through target organs, and innocuousness. Using the data obtained and those of genetic studies, three candidates were selected and tested for efficacy as vaccines against a challenge infecting 100% of unvaccinated ewes. Protection by R vaccines was 54% or less whereas Rev 1 afforded 100% protection. One-third of R mutant vaccinated ewes became positive in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with smooth lipopolysaccharide due to the core epitopes remaining in the mutated lipopolysaccharide. We conclude that R vaccines interfere in lipopolysaccharide immunosorbent assays and are less effective than Rev 1 against B. melitensis infection of sheep.
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Real-time PCR for identification of Brucella spp.: a comparative study of IS711, bcsp31 and per target genes.
Vet. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 01-04-2009
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Culture is considered as the reference standard assay for diagnosis of Brucella spp. in humans and animals but it is time-consuming and hazardous. In this study, we evaluated the performances of newly designed real-time PCR assays using TaqMan probes and targeting the 3 following specific genes: (i) the insertion sequence IS711, (ii) bcsp31 and (iii) per genes for the detection of Brucella at genus level. The real-time PCR assays were compared to previously described conventional PCR assays targeting the same genes. The genus-specificity was evaluated on 26 Brucella strains, including all species and biovars. The analytical specificity was evaluated on a collection of 68 clinically relevant, phylogenetically related or serologically cross-reacting micro-organisms. The analytical sensitivity was assessed using decreasing DNA quantities of Brucella ovis, B. melitensis bv. 1, B. abortus bv. 1 and B. canis reference strains. Finally, intra-assay repeatability and inter-assay reproducibility were assessed. All Brucella species DNA were amplified in the three tests. However, the earliest signal was observed with the IS711 real-time PCR, where it varied according to the IS711 copy number. No cross-reactivity was observed in all three tests. Real-time PCR was always more sensitive than conventional PCR assays. The real-time PCR assay targeting IS711 presented an identical or a greater sensitivity than the two other tests. In all cases, the variability was very low. In conclusion, real-time PCR assays are easy-to-use, produce results faster than conventional PCR systems while reducing DNA contamination risks. The IS711-based real-time PCR assay is specific and highly sensitive and appears as an efficient and reproducible method for the rapid and safe detection of the genus Brucella.
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The two-component system PrlS/PrlR of Brucella melitensis is required for persistence in mice and appears to respond to ionic strength.
Microbiology (Reading, Engl.)
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Bacterial adaptation to environmental conditions is essential to ensure maximal fitness in the face of several stresses. In this context, two-component systems (TCSs) represent a predominant signal transduction mechanism, allowing an appropriate response to be mounted when a stimulus is sensed. As facultative intracellular pathogens, Brucella spp. face various environmental conditions, and an adequate response is required for a successful infection process. Recently, bioinformatic analysis of Brucella genomes predicted a set of 15 bona fide TCS pairs, among which some have been previously investigated. In this report, we characterized a new TCS locus called prlS/R, for probable proline sensor-regulator. It encodes a hybrid histidine kinase (PrlS) with an unusual Na(+)/solute symporter N-terminal domain and a transcriptional regulator (belonging to the LuxR family) (PrlR). In vitro, Brucella spp. with a functional PrlR/S system form bacterial aggregates, which seems to be an adaptive response to a hypersaline environment, while a prlS/R mutant does not. We identified ionic strength as a possible signal sensed by this TCS. Finally, this work correlates the absence of a functional PrlR/S system with the lack of hypersaline-induced aggregation in particular marine Brucella spp.
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Lipopolysaccharide heterogeneity in the atypical group of novel emerging Brucella species.
Clin. Vaccine Immunol.
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Recently, novel Brucella strains with phenotypic characteristics that were atypical for strains belonging to the genus Brucella have been reported. Phenotypically many of these strains were initially misidentified as Ochrobactrum spp. Two novel species have been described so far for these strains, i.e., B. microti and B. inopinata, and other strains genetically related to B. inopinata may constitute other novel species as well. In this study, we analyzed the lipopolysaccharides (LPS) (smooth LPS [S-LPS] and rough LPS [R-LPS]) of these atypical strains using different methods and a panel of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) directed against several epitopes of the Brucella O-polysaccharide (O-PS) and R-LPS. Among the most striking results, Brucella sp. strain BO2, isolated from a patient with chronic destructive pneumonia, showed a completely distinct S-LPS profile in silver stain gels that looked more similar to that of enterobacterial S-LPS. This strain also failed to react with MAbs against Brucella O-PS epitopes and showed weak reactivity with anti-R-LPS MAbs. B. inopinata reference strain BO1 displayed an M-dominant S-LPS type with some heterogeneity relative to the classical M-dominant Brucella S-LPS type. Australian wild rodent strains belonging also to the B. inopinata group showed a classical A-dominant S-LPS but lacked the O-PS common (C) epitopes, as previously reported for B. suis biovar 2 strains. Interestingly, some strains also failed to react with anti-R-LPS MAbs, such as the B. microti reference strain and B. inopinata BO1, suggesting modifications in the core-lipid A moieties of these strains. These results have several implications for serological typing and serological diagnosis and underline the need for novel tools for detection and correct identification of such novel emerging Brucella spp.
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