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Free-living amoebae are thought to represent an environmental niche in which amoeba-resistant bacteria may evolve towards pathogenicity. To get more insights into factors playing a role for adaptation to intracellular life, we characterized the transcriptomic activities of the emerging pathogen Mycobacterium abscessus in amoeba and murine macrophages (Mϕ) and compared them with the intra-amoebal transcriptome of the closely related, but less pathogenic Mycobacterium chelonae. Data on up-regulated genes in amoeba point to proteins that allow M. abscessus to resist environmental stress and induce defense mechanisms, as well as showing a switch from carbohydrate carbon sources to fatty acid metabolism. For eleven of the most upregulated genes in amoeba and/or Mϕ, we generated individual gene knock-out M. abscessus mutant strains, from which ten were found to be attenuated in amoeba and/or Mϕ in subsequence virulence analyses. Moreover, transfer of two of these genes into the genome of M. chelonae increased the intra-Mϕ survival of the recombinant strain. One knock-out mutant that had the gene encoding Eis N-acetyl transferase protein (MAB_4532c) deleted, was particularly strongly attenuated in Mϕ. Taken together, M. abscessus intra-amoeba and intra-Mϕ transcriptomes revealed the capacity of M. abscessus to adapt to an intracellular lifestyle, with amoeba largely contributing to the enhancement of M. abscessus intra-Mϕ survival.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PLoS pathogens
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A rapidly growing non-tuberculous environmental mycobacterium causing OPPORTUNISTIC INFECTION that infects the skin and subcutaneous tissues. It is associated with HEALTH CARE ASSOCIATED INFECTION and causes serious lung infections in persons with various chronic lung diseases.
Strains of Escherichia coli that possess virulence traits which allow them to invade, colonize, and induce disease in tissues outside of the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT. They are a cause of URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS (UROPATHOGENIC ESCHERICHIA COLI); neonatal MENINGITIS; SEPSIS; PNEUMONIA; and SURGICAL WOUND INFECTION.
The degree of pathogenicity within a group or species of microorganisms or viruses as indicated by case fatality rates and/or the ability of the organism to invade the tissues of the host. The pathogenic capacity of an organism is determined by its VIRULENCE FACTORS.
Morphological or behavioral traits influenced by various living conditions that a population encounters especially as it pertains to REPRODUCTION and survival of the population (see POPULATION DYNAMICS) such as age at first reproductive event, number and size of offspring, and lifespan.
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