Feb 26, 2013

Induction of the Yersinia pestis PhoP-PhoQ regulatory system in the flea and its role in producing a transmissible infection

Journal of Bacteriology
Roberto RebeilB J Hinnebusch

Abstract

Transmission of Yersinia pestis is greatly enhanced after it forms a bacterial biofilm in the foregut of the flea vector that interferes with normal blood feeding. Here we report that the ability to produce a normal foregut-blocking infection depends on induction of the Y. pestis PhoP-PhoQ two-component regulatory system in the flea. Y. pestis phoP-negative mutants achieved normal infection rates and bacterial loads in the flea midgut but produced a less cohesive biofilm both in vitro and in the flea and had a greatly reduced ability to localize to and block the flea foregut. Thus, not only is the PhoP-PhoQ system induced in the flea gut environment, but also this induction is required to produce a normal transmissible infection. The altered biofilm phenotype in the flea was not due to lack of PhoPQ-dependent or PmrAB-dependent addition of aminoarabinose to the Y. pestis lipid A, because an aminoarabinose-deficient mutant that is highly sensitive to cationic antimicrobial peptides had a normal phenotype in the flea digestive tract. In addition to enhancing transmissibility, induction of the PhoP-PhoQ system in the arthropod vector prior to transmission may preadapt Y. pestis to resist the initial encounter with the mammalian in...Continue Reading

  • References71
  • Citations25

References

  • References71
  • Citations25

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Immune Response
Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
Bacterial Proteins
Pathogenicity
Arthropod Vectors
Yersinia Infections
Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
aminoarabinose
Mutant
PhoP protein, Salmonella typhimurium

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