Identification of burkholderia cenocepacia strain H111 virulence factors using nonmammalian infection hosts
Date of Issue2013
Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering
Burkholderia cenocepacia H111, a strain isolated from a cystic fibrosis patient, has been shown to effectively kill the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We used the C. elegans model of infection to screen a mini-Tn5 mutant library of B. cenocepacia H111 for attenuated virulence. Of the approximately 5,500 B. cenocepacia H111 random mini-Tn5 insertion mutants that were screened, 22 showed attenuated virulence in C. elegans. Except for the quorum-sensing regulator cepR, none of the mutated genes coded for the biosynthesis of classical virulence factors such as extracellular proteases or siderophores. Instead, the mutants contained insertions in metabolic and regulatory genes. Mutants attenuated in virulence in the C. elegans infection model were also tested in the Drosophila melanogaster pricking model, and those also attenuated in this model were further tested in Galleria mellonella. Six of the 22 mutants were attenuated in D. melanogaster, and five of these were less pathogenic in the G. mellonella model. We show that genes encoding enzymes of the purine, pyrimidine, and shikimate biosynthesis pathways are critical for virulence in multiple host models of infection.
Infection and immunity
© 2013 American Society for Microbiology. This paper was published in Infection and Immunity and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of American Society for Microbiology. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/IAI.00768-12]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.