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Leptospira interrogans lpxD Homologue Is Required for Thermal Acclimatization and Virulence

Abstract : Leptospirosis is an emerging disease with an annual occurrence of over 1 million human cases worldwide. Pathogenic Leptospira bacteria are maintained in zoonotic cycles involving a diverse array of mammals, with the capacity to survive outside the host in aquatic environments. Survival in the diverse environments encountered by Leptospira likely requires various adaptive mechanisms. Little is known about Leptospira outer membrane modification systems, which may contribute to the capacity of these bacteria to successfully inhabit and colonize diverse environments and animal hosts. Leptospira bacteria carry two genes annotated as UDP-3-O-[3-hydroxymyristoyl] glucosamine N-acyltransferase genes (la0512 and la4326 [lpxD1 and lpxD2]) that in other bacteria are involved in the early steps of biosynthesis of lipid A, the membrane lipid anchor of lipopolysaccharide. Inactivation of only one of these genes, la0512/lpxD1, imparted sensitivity to the host physiological temperature (37°C) and rendered the bacteria avirulent in an animal infection model. Polymyxin B sensitivity assays revealed compromised outer membrane integrity in the lpxD1 mutant at host physiological temperature, but structural analysis of lipid A in the mutant revealed only minor changes in the lipid A moiety compared to that found in the wild-type strain. In accordance with this, an in trans complementation restored the phenotypes to a level comparable to that of the wild-type strain. These results suggest that the gene annotated as lpxD1 in Leptospira interrogans plays an important role in temperature adaptation and virulence in the animal infection model.
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Azad Eshghi, Jeremy Henderson, M. Stephen Trent, Mathieu Picardeau. Leptospira interrogans lpxD Homologue Is Required for Thermal Acclimatization and Virulence. Infection and Immunity, 2015, 83 (11), pp.4314-4321. ⟨10.1128/IAI.00897-15⟩. ⟨pasteur-02539055⟩



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