Apr 29, 2011

The GBS PI-2a pilus is required for virulence in mice neonates

PloS One
Salvatore PapasergiShaynoor Dramsi

Abstract

Streptococcus agalactiae (Group B Streptococcus) is a leading cause of sepsis and meningitis in newborns. Most bacterial pathogens, including gram-positive bacteria, have long filamentous structures known as pili extending from their surface. Although pili are described as adhesive organelles, they have been also implicated in many other functions including thwarting the host immune responses. We previously characterized the pilus-encoding operon PI-2a (gbs1479-1474) in strain NEM316. This pilus is composed of three structural subunit proteins: PilA (Gbs1478), PilB (Gbs1477), and PilC (Gbs1474), and its assembly involves two class C sortases (SrtC3 and SrtC4). PilB, the bona fide pilin, is the major component whereas PilA, the pilus associated adhesin, and PilC the pilus anchor are both accessory proteins incorporated into the pilus backbone. In this study, the role of the major pilin subunit PilB was tested in systemic virulence using 6-weeks old and newborn mice. Notably, the non-piliated ΔpilB mutant was less virulent than its wild-type counterpart in the newborn mice model. Next, we investigated the possible role(s) of PilB in resistance to innate immune host defenses, i.e. resistance to macrophage killing and to antimicrob...Continue Reading

  • References42
  • Citations18

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Gram-Positive Bacteria
Septicemia
Macrophages, Peritoneal
Buffers
PilB protein, Bacteria
Immune Response
Immune System
Adhesins, Bacterial
Phosphatidyl glycerol
Bacterial Proteins

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