Highly Frequent Mutations in Negative Regulators of Multiple Virulence Genes in Group A Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome Isolates


Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) is a severe invasive infection characterized by the sudden onset of shock and multiorgan failure; it has a high mortality rate. Although a number of studies have attempted to determine the crucial factors behind the onset of STSS, the responsible genes in group A Streptococcus have not been clarified. We previously reported that mutations of csrS/csrR genes, a two-component negative regulator system for multiple virulence genes of Streptococcus pyogenes, are found among the isolates from STSS patients. In the present study, mutations of another negative regulator, rgg, were also found in clinical isolates of STSS patients. The rgg mutants from STSS clinical isolates enhanced lethality and impaired various organs in the mouse models, similar to the csrS mutants, and precluded their being killed by human neutrophils, mainly due to an overproduction of SLO. When we assessed the mutation frequency of csrS, csrR, and rgg genes among S. pyogenes isolates from STSS (164 isolates) and non-invasive infections (59 isolates), 57.3% of the STSS isolates had mutations of one or more genes among three genes, while isolates from patients with non-invasive disease had significantly fewer mutations in these genes (1.7%). The results of the present study suggest that mutations in the negative regulators csrS/csrR and rgg of S. pyogenes are crucial factors in the pathogenesis of STSS, as they lead to the overproduction of multiple virulence factors.


Published in the journal: . PLoS Pathog 6(4): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000832
Category: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000832

Summary

Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) is a severe invasive infection characterized by the sudden onset of shock and multiorgan failure; it has a high mortality rate. Although a number of studies have attempted to determine the crucial factors behind the onset of STSS, the responsible genes in group A Streptococcus have not been clarified. We previously reported that mutations of csrS/csrR genes, a two-component negative regulator system for multiple virulence genes of Streptococcus pyogenes, are found among the isolates from STSS patients. In the present study, mutations of another negative regulator, rgg, were also found in clinical isolates of STSS patients. The rgg mutants from STSS clinical isolates enhanced lethality and impaired various organs in the mouse models, similar to the csrS mutants, and precluded their being killed by human neutrophils, mainly due to an overproduction of SLO. When we assessed the mutation frequency of csrS, csrR, and rgg genes among S. pyogenes isolates from STSS (164 isolates) and non-invasive infections (59 isolates), 57.3% of the STSS isolates had mutations of one or more genes among three genes, while isolates from patients with non-invasive disease had significantly fewer mutations in these genes (1.7%). The results of the present study suggest that mutations in the negative regulators csrS/csrR and rgg of S. pyogenes are crucial factors in the pathogenesis of STSS, as they lead to the overproduction of multiple virulence factors.

Introduction

Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus; GAS) is one of the most common human pathogens. It causes a wide variety of infections, ranging from uncomplicated pharyngitis and skin infections to severe and even life-threatening manifestations, such as necrotizing fasciitis (NF) and bacteremia. Several streptococcal virulence factors, including pyrogenic exotoxins, streptokinase, and streptolysins, are reportedly involved in these diseases. Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) is a severe invasive infection that has been recently characterized by the sudden onset of shock and multiorgan failure; it has a high mortality rate, ranging from 30% to 70% [1]. There is controversy as to whether the cause of STSS largely depends on host factors or bacterial factors. Although many studies have sought to determine the crucial factors behind the onset of STSS, the responsible GAS genes have not been clarified.

Recently, we and others have reported that mutations in the csrS (covS) gene—a sensor gene of a two-component regulatory system—were detected in a panel of clinical isolates from severe invasive streptococcal infections, but not in non-STSS isolates [2][4]. Mutations in the gene caused an increased expression of various virulence genes; the upregulation of streptolysin O (SLO) induced necrosis of neutrophils and prompted the escape of csrS mutated strains from being killed by neutrophils, resulting in increased virulence in lethality in the mouse model [2]. Complementation of the wild csrS gene into csrS-mutated STSS isolates dramatically decreased their virulence in lethality [2]. Similarly, csrR (covR) mutations were found in the clinical isolates of STSS patients [5]. Such results suggest that csrS/csrR mutations are closely associated with the onset of STSS.

However, several study groups that investigated the csrS/csrR gene sequence in each STSS isolate [3],[4],[6],[7] also report that there is no mutation in the csrS/csrR gene of STSS isolates [4]. These results raise questions as to how frequently STSS isolates have mutations in the csrS/csrR genes in a mass of isolates, and what mutations other than csrS/csrR genes may be responsible for the onset of STSS.

In this study, we sequenced the csrS/csrR genes of 164 GAS strains that have been isolated from STSS patients in Japan since 1992. Almost one-half of the STSS isolates had a mutation in the csrS/csrR genes. In addition, we found a mutation in the rgg (ropB) gene, instead of the csrS/csrR genes, in the clinical isolates of patients with STSS. Since the rgg gene negatively regulates various virulence genes in a manner similar to that of the csrS gene, a mutation of the rgg gene in STSS clinical isolates increased the expression of several virulence genes and virulence in lethality in the mouse model. Such mutations were detected at a high frequency in more than 50% of STSS isolates. These findings suggest that mutations in the negative regulators such as csrS/csrR and rgg of S. pyogenes bring about overproduction of a number of virulence factors, such as SLO, and play a crucial role in the onset of STSS.

Results

Mutation frequency of the csrS/csrR gene in STSS isolates

In our previous study, we reported that there were various types of mutations in the csrS gene of emm49 clinical isolates from STSS patients [2] and in the csrR gene in emm3 clinical isolates from STSS patients [5]. These findings strongly suggest that csrS/csrR mutations play important roles in the pathogenesis of STSS. To evaluate the frequency of these csrS/csrR mutations in isolates from clinical cases of STSS [8], we sequenced the csrS and csrR genes in STSS clinical isolates from sterile sites (164 isolates) and non-STSS clinical isolates from non-sterile sites (59 isolates). The diagnoses, sites of bacteria isolation, and characteristics of S. pyogenes isolates are described in Table 1. Of the 164 STSS clinical S. pyogenes isolates, 55 isolates (csrS, 46 isolates; csrS + rgg, 9 isolates) (33.5%) had mutations in the csrS gene, 19 isolates (csrR, 13 isolates; csrR + rgg, 6 isolates) (11.6%) had mutations in the csrR gene, and 2 isolates (1.2%) had mutations in both genes (Tables 1 and 2). The csrS and csrR genes of these isolates had deletions, point mutations, or insertions that created non-functional CsrS and CsrR products, as shown previously [2],[4],[5]. Therefore, 76 isolates (46.3%) had mutations in the csrS and/or csrR genes, while the remaining 88 STSS isolates (53.7%) had mutations in neither csrS nor csrR (Tables 1 and 2). On the other hand, non-STSS GAS isolates had a significantly lower number of mutations in the genes [csrS mutation, 1.69% (1/59); csrR mutation, 0% (0/59); total, 1.69% (1/59); p = 0.00000000062 by χ2 analysis]. Although csrS/csrR mutations were more common among STSS isolates examined than among non-STSS isolates, they were not present in all STSS isolates. This may suggest that mutations in other regulatory genes may also be found among STSS isolates.

10.1371/journal.ppat.1000832.t001Table 1

Clinical isolates used in this study.

Diagnosis NIH No. Strain name Site of bacterial isolation emm type csrR csrS rgg Increased SLO, production CsrS/CsrR and Rgg amino acid sequence alterations Accession No. Reference STSS NIH136 blood 1 mut + + + CsrR, Arg→Ser at aa 119 CsrR, AB517819 This study NIH447 blood 1 mut + + + CsrR, Asp→Glu at aa 53 CsrR, AB517877 This study NIH44 blood 1 + mut + + CsrS, delete Glu at aa 252, and Leu→Val at aa 253 CsrS, AB517809 This study NIH73 blood 1 + mut + + CsrS, 5 bp delete  =  stop at aa 407 CsrS, same as TK76 This study NIH83 blood 1 + mut + + CsrS, 5 bp delete  =  stop at aa 407 CsrS, same as TK76 This study NIH102 ascites 1 + mut + + CsrS, 1 bp delete  =  stop at aa 76 CsrS, AB517817 This study NIH205 soft tissue 1 + mut + + CsrS, Gln→Arg at aa 388 CsrS, AB517823 This study NIH202-2 blood 1 + mut + + CsrS, 1 bp delete  =  stop at aa 35 CsrS, same as NIH156-1 This study NIH213-3 blood 1 + mut + + CsrS, 1 bp delete  =  stop at aa 35 CsrS, same as NIH156-1 This study NIH220-1 blood 1 + mut + + CsrS, Gly→Val at aa 457 CsrS, AB517828 [33] NIH222 soft tissue 1 + mut + + CsrS, Ala→Ser at aa 206 CsrS, AB517829 This study NIH235 blood 1 + mut + + CsrS, 1 bp delete  =  stop at aa 35 CsrS, same as NIH156-1 This study NIH243-1 blood 1 + mut + + CsrS, Gly→Arg at aa 291 CsrS, AB517834 This study NIH253-1 blood 1 + mut + + CsrS, 1 bp delete  =  stop at aa 457 CsrS, AB517835 This study NIH286 blood 1 + mut + + CsrS, Ile→Tyr at aa 381 and His→Arg at aa 437 CsrS, AB517845 This study NIH314 rubor site 1 + mut + + CsrS, 11 bp insert  =  stop at aa 39 CsrS, same as NIH287-1 This study NIH397 blood 1 + mut + + CsrS, 1 bp delete  =  stop at aa 35 CsrS, same as NIH156-1 This study TK1097 soft tissue 1 + + mut + Rgg, Lys→Asn at aa 45 Rgg, AB517806 This study NIH60 blood 1 + + mut + Rgg, Ser→Pro at aa 103 Rgg, AB517813 This study NIH91 blood 1 + + mut + Rgg, Tyr→Phe at aa 271 Rgg, AB517816 This study NIH186 blood 1 + + mut + Rgg, point mutation  =  stop at aa 69 Rgg, AB517824 [34] NIH293 blood 1 + + mut + Rgg, Cys→Tyr at aa 249 Rgg, AB517848 This study NIH374-2 wound 1 + + mut + Rgg, 1 bp insert  =  stop at aa 139 Rgg, AB517861 This study NIH390 soft tissue 1 + + mut + Rgg, 6 bp insert  =  insert Apn and Ile between aa 139 and aa 140 Rgg, AB517865 This study NIH409 blood 1 + + mut + Rgg, Val→Ala at aa 148 Rgg, AB517870 This study NIH445 blood 1 + + mut + Rgg, Leu→Pro at aa 95 Rgg, AB517876 This study NIH75 blood 1 mut mut + + CsrR, Ala→Asp at aa 111; CsrS, Pro→Lys at aa 220 CsrR, AB517814; CsrS, AB517815 This study NIH381-1 wound 1 mut + mut + CsrR, Ala→Val at aa 96; Rgg, Leu→Pro at aa 109 CsrR, AB517863; Rgg, AB517864 This study NIH366 blood 1 + mut mut + CsrS, 1 bp delete  =  stop at aa 35; Rgg, delete from aa 129 to aa 247 CsrS, same as NIH156-1; Rgg, AB517857 This study NIH17 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence [35] NIH68 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH94-2 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH111 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH135 soft tissue 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH150 Joint fluid 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH153 wound 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH165-1 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH185 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH187 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence [36] NIH188-1 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH195 amniotic fluid 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH201 Joint fluid 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH204-1 muscle 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH214 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH223 soft tissue 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH224 effusion 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH225 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence [33] NIH242 soft tissue 1 + + + - WT sequence [36] NIH270 pleural effusion 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH261 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH291-1 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH298 soft tissue 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH304 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH315 fluid 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH320 soft tissue 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH324-2 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH342 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH338 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH344-1 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH354 fascia 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH361 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH363 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH380-2 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH392 serum 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH388-2 ascites 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH395-1 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH399-1 pleural effusion 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH413 soft tissue 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH415 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH417-3 blood 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH418 soft tissue 1 + + + + WT sequence This study NIH436 soft tissue 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH444 soft tissue 1 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH9 blood 3 mut * + + - CsrR, Gln→Pro at aa 216 CsrR, AB219966 [35] NIH212 soft tissue 3 mut + + + CsrR, Asp→Tyr at aa 60 CsrR, AB517826 This study NIH216 fascia 3 mut + + - CsrR, Trp→Cys at aa 184 CsrR, AB517827 This study NIH259 blood 3 mut + + - CsrR, point mutation  =  stop at aa 45 CsrR, AB517839 This study NIH300 blood 3 mut + + + CsrR, Arg→Leu at aa 119 CsrR, AB517850 This study NIH404 soft tissue 3 mut + + - CsrR, 1 bp insert  =  stop at aa 146 CsrR, AB517867 This study TK280 blood 3 + mut + + CsrS, point mutation  =  stop at aa 131 CsrS, AB517803 This study NIH152-3 blood 3 + mut + + CsrS, point mutation  =  stop at aa 160 CsrS, AB517820 [37] NIH249 blood 3 + mut + + CsrS, 1 bp delete  =  stop at aa 35 CsrS, same as NIH156-1 This study NIH424-1 blood 3 + mut + + CsrS, 11 bp insert  =  stop at aa 39 CsrS, AB517873 This study NIH453 effusion 3 + mut + + CsrS, 1 bp delete  =  stop at aa 180 CsrS, AB517875 This study NIH3 blood 3 + + mut + Rgg, Tyr→Cys at aa 31 Rgg, AB517795 [35] NIH8 blood 3 + + mut + Rgg, Ile→Phe at aa 162 Rgg, AB517798 [35] TK3 soft tissue 3 + + mut + Rgg, Tyr→Cys at aa 31 Rgg, same as NIH3 This study TK64 fascia 3 + + mut + Rgg, Ile→Phe at aa 162 Rgg, same as NIH8 This study NIH34 blood 3 + + mut + Rgg, Ile→Phe at aa 162 Rgg, same as NIH8 [35] TK1153 blood 3 + + mut + Rgg, Ile→Phe at aa 162 Rgg, same as NIH8 This study NIH357 soft tissue 3 + + mut + Rgg, Phe→Tyr at aa 161 Rgg, AB517856 This study NIH1 fascia 3 mut + mut + CsrR, Arg→Cys at aa 118; Rgg, Tyr→Cys at aa 31 BA000034 [35] TK283 fascia 3 mut + mut + CsrR, point mutation  =  stop at aa 134; Rgg, Ile→Phe at aa 162 CsrR, AB517797; Rgg, same as NIH8 This study NIH18 effusion 3 + mut mut + CsrS, Ala→Tyr at aa 456; Rgg, Arg→Lys at aa 28 CsrS, AB517801; Rgg, AB517802 [35] NIH14 blood 3 + + + - WT sequence [37] NIH16 muscle 3 + + + - WT sequence [35] NIH21 blood 3 + + + - WT sequence [35] NIH158 soft tissue 3 + + + - WT sequence [37] NIH382-1 blood 3 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH406 blood 4 mut + mut + CsrR, Asp→Gln at aa 53; Rgg, Val→Phe at aa 169 CsrR, AB517868; Rgg, AB517869 This study NIH307 wound 4 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH432 Joint fluid 4 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH296 blood 6 + mut + + CsrS, Met→Ile at aa 228 and Gly→Asp at aa 357 CsrS, AB517847 This study NIH323-1 lung 11 mut + + + CsrR, Asp→Gly at aa 10 CsrR, AB517853 This study NIH49 soft tissue 11 + mut + + CsrS, point mutation  =  stop at aa 184 CsrS, AB517810 This study NIH325-1 blood 11 + mut + + CsrS, point mutation  =  stop at aa 450 CsrS, AB517854 This study NIH50 blood 12 + + mut - Rgg, Glu→Asp at aa 89 Rgg, AB517811 This study NIH61 soft tissue 12 + + mut - Rgg, Glu→Asp at aa 89 Rgg, same as NIH50 [33] NIH109 Joint fluid 12 + + mut - Rgg, Glu→Asp at aa 89 Rgg, same as NIH50 This study NIH120 soft tissue 12 + + mut - Rgg, Glu→Asp at aa 89 Rgg, same as NIH50 This study NIH277 blood 12 + + mut - Rgg, Glu→Asp at aa 89 Rgg, same as NIH50 This study NIH383 blood 12 + + mut - Rgg, Glu→Asp at aa 89 Rgg, same as NIH50 This study NIH391 blood 12 + + mut - Rgg, Glu→Asp at aa 89 Rgg, same as NIH50 This study NIH398-2 blood 12 + + mut - Rgg, Glu→Asp at aa 89 Rgg, same as NIH50 This study NIH419 soft tissue 12 + + mut - Rgg, Glu→Asp at aa 89 Rgg, same as NIH50 This study NIH263-2 blood 12 + mut mut + CsrS, Asn→Lys at aa 384; Rgg, Glu→Asp at aa 89 CsrS, AB517840; Rgg, same as NIH50 This study NIH43 effusion 18 mut + mut + CsrR, Ser→Pro at aa 154; Rgg, Cys→Arg at aa 227 CsrR, AB517807; Rgg, AB517808 This study TK76 soft tissue 22 + mut + + CsrS, 5 bp delete  =  stop at aa 407 CsrS, AB517800 This study NIH160 blood 22 + mut + + CsrS, 1 bp delete  =  stop at aa 35 CsrS, same as NIH156-1 This study NIH172 blood 22 + mut + + CsrS, 1 bp delete  =  stop at aa 35 CsrS, same as NIH156-1 This study NIH403 blood 22 + mut + + CsrS, point mutation  =  stop at aa 369 CsrS, AB517866 This study NIH236 blood 22 + mut mut + CsrS, Change TTTTT to GAGG  =  stop at aa158; Rgg, Phe→Leu at aa 150 CsrS, AB517831; Rgg, AB517832 This study NIH98 blood 22 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH429 blood 22 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH35 blood 28 + mut + + CsrS, Glu→Gly at aa 226 CsrS, AB517805 [35] NIH40 blood 28 + mut + + CsrS, Glu→Gly at aa 226 CsrS, same as NIH35 This study NIH440 Joint fluid 28 + mut + + CsrS, Glu→Gly at aa 226 CsrS, same as NIH35 This study NIH422 soft tissue 28 + mut mut + CsrS, 1 bp delete  =  stop at aa 35; Rgg, Glu→Lys at aa 84 CsrS, same as NIH156-1; Rgg, AB517872 This study NIH423-1 blood 28 + mut mut + CsrS, 1 bp delete  =  stop at aa 35; Rgg, Glu→Lys at aa 84 CsrS, same as NIH156-1; Rgg, same as NIH422 This study NIH142-5 blood 28 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH316 soft tissue 28 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH200-4 blood 49 + mut * + + CsrS, Gly→Ser at aa 461 CsrS, AB517825 [34] NIH230 blood 49 + mut * + + CsrS, Change GTTCTTTTTT to TCTGCATTTTC  =  stop at aa 39 CsrS, AB517830 [34] NIH269 soft tissue 49 + mut * + + CsrS, 11 bp insert  =  stop at aa 39 CsrS, same as NIH250-2 [38] NIH346 blood 49 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH410 soft tissue 49 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH389 soft tissue 53 + mut + + CsrS, 11 bp insert  =  stop at aa 39 CsrS, same as NIH250-2 This study TK65 fascia 58 + + mut + Rgg, Cys→Phe at aa 85 Rgg, AB517799 This study NIH273 blood 58 mut + mut + CsrR, Gly→Ser at aa 95; Rgg, Tyr→Cys at aa 135 CsrR, AB517842; Rgg, AB517843 This study NIH301 blood 59 mut + + + CsrR, Ile→Phe at aa 30 CsrR, AB517851 This study NIH317 blood 60 + mut + + CsrS, point mutation  =  stop at aa 282 CsrS, AB517852 This study NIH297 soft tissue 77 + mut + + CsrS, Thr→Ile at aa 266 CsrS, AB517849 This study NIH258 soft tissue 78 + + + - WT sequence This study TK929 blood 81 mut + + + CsrR, Arg→Ser at aa 118 CsrR, AB517804 This study NIH156-1 blood 81 + mut + + CsrS, 1 bp delete  =  stop at aa 35 CsrS, AB517821 This study NIH268 soft tissue 81 + mut + + CsrS, Arg→Cys at aa 241 CsrS, AB517841 This study NIH101 soft tissue 81 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH283-1 blood 87 + mut + + CsrS, Pro→Leu at aa 16 CsrS, AB517844 This study NIH437 blood 87 + mut + + CsrS, Ser→Pro at aa 246 CsrS, AB517862 This study NIH371 blood 87 + mut mut + CsrS, 5 bp delete  =  stop at aa 407; Rgg, Glu→Tyr at aa 2 and Ile→Val at aa 3 CsrS, same as TK76; Rgg, AB517858 This study NIH372 blood 87 + mut mut + CsrS, point mutation  =  stop at aa 193; Rgg, Ala→Thr at aa 245 CsrS, AB517859; Rgg, AB517860 This study NIH157 blood 89 mut + + + CsrR, Asp→Tyr at aa 10 CsrR, AB517822 This study NIH5 blood 89 + mut + + CsrS, 5 bp insert  =  stop at aa 459 CsrS, AB517796 [35] NIH58 Joint fluid 89 + mut + + CsrS, Val→Ala at aa 423 CsrS, AB517812 This study NIH238 soft tissue 89 + mut + + CsrS, Ser→Arg at aa 204 CsrS, AB517833 This study NIH421 blood 89 + mut + + CsrS, Arg→Cys at aa 229 CsrS, AB517871 This study NIH118 blood 89 + + mut + Rgg, Asp→Tyr at aa 174 Rgg, AB517818 This study NIH345 wound 89 mut mut + + CsrR, Arg→Cys at aa 94; CsrS, 1 bp delete  =  stop at aa 35 CsrR, same as NIH252-2; CsrS, AB517855 This study NIH250-2 blood 89 + mut mut + CsrS, 11 bp insert  =  stop at aa 39; Rgg, Tyr→His at aa 135 CsrS, AB517836; Rgg, AB517837 This study NIH208 blood 89 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH256 blood 89 + + + - WT sequence This study NIH252-2 muscle 91 mut + + + CsrR, Arg→Cys at aa 94 CsrR, AB517838 This study NIH287-1 soft tissue 112 + mut + + CsrS, 11 bp insert  =  stop at aa 39 CsrS, AB517846 This study NIH433 blood 113 + mut + + CsrS, 3 bp delete  =  delete Asp at aa 470 CsrS, AB517874 This study non-invasive isolates K01 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study K02 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study K03 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study K04 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study K11 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study K12 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study K13 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study K14 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study S1393 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study S2582 bronchitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study S2638 bronchitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study OS02 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study OS06 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study OS15 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study OS17 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study OT3 vaginitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study OT7 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study OT8 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study OT5 tonsillitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study OT10 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study OT11 scarlet fever 1 + + + - WT sequence This study S1 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study S4 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study S13 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study S14 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study S15 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study S16 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study S25 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study Se235 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study F482 pharyngitis 1 + + + - WT sequence This study Se202 tonsillitis 3 + mut + + CsrS, Val→Leu at aa 25, Leu→His at aa 26 and Phe→Leu at aa 28 CsrS, AB517643 This study K22 pharyngitis 3 + + + - WT sequence [35] K23 pharyngitis 3 + + + - WT sequence [35] K24 pharyngitis 3 + + + - WT sequence [35] K25 pharyngitis 3 + + + - WT sequence [35] K31 pharyngitis 3 + + + - WT sequence [35] K32 pharyngitis 3 + + + - WT sequence [35] K33 pharyngitis 3 + + + - WT sequence [35] K34 pharyngitis 3 + + + - WT sequence [35] K35 pharyngitis 3 + + + - WT sequence [35] OT22 tonsillitis 3 + + + - WT sequence This study OS29 pharyngitis 3 + + + - WT sequence This study OT24 tonsillitis 3 + + + - WT sequence This study OT28 scarlet fever 3 + + + - WT sequence This study F495 pharyngitis 3 + + + - WT sequence This study Se230 pharyngitis 4 + + + - WT sequence This study F2362 pharyngitis 4 + + + - WT sequence This study Se242 pharyngitis 6 + + + - WT sequence This study F2446 pharyngitis 11 + + + - WT sequence This study Se157 pharyngitis 11 + + + - WT sequence This study Se233 pharyngitis 12 + + mut - Rgg, Glu→Asp at aa 89 Rgg, same as NIH50 This study F2369 pharyngitis 12 + + mut - Rgg, Glu→Asp at aa 89 Rgg, same as NIH50 This study StNo.205 pharyngitis 22 + + + - WT sequence This study Se172 pharyngitis 28 + + + - WT sequence This study F2324 pharyngitis 28 + + + - WT sequence This study 1566 pus 49 + + * + - WT sequence [38] Kurume51 pus 49 + + * + - WT sequence [38] KH1651 pus 49 + + * + - WT sequence [38] S26 pharyngitis 58 + + + - WT sequence This study

STSS, streptococcal toxic shock-like syndrome; mut, mutation; SLO, streptolysin O; aa, amino acid; Ala, alanine; Arg, arginine; Asn, asparagine; Asp, aspartic acid; Cys, cysteine; Gln, glutamine; Glu, glutamic acid; Gly, glysine; His, histidine; Ile, Isoleusine; Leu, leucine; Lys, lysine; Met, methionine; Phe, phenylalanine; Pro, proline; Ser, serine; Thr, threonine; Trp, tryptophan; Tyr, Tyrosine; Val, valine; WT, wild type.

+ in csrS, csrR,and rgg, the same sequence as the wild typed gene of SF370. + in SLO, enhanced production. – in SLO, the same amount as the wild strain of SF370. Accession No. deposited in DDBJ.

*: Each gene of these isolates was presented in previous publications [2],[5].

10.1371/journal.ppat.1000832.t002Table 2

Mutation frequency in the csrS/csrR and rgg genes.

No. of strains with mutation(s) in gene(s)(%) Isolates from patients with: csrS csrR rgg csrS+csrR csrS+rgg csrR+rgg csrS+csrR+rgg none Total STSS Total 46 (28.0) 13 (7.9) 27(16.5) 2 (1.2) 9 (5.5) 6 (3.7) 0 (0) 61 (37.2) 164 (100) SLO (+) 46 9b 18 2 9 6 0 1 91 Non-functional mutation 46 (28.0) a 13 (7.9) b 18 (11.0) c 2 (1.2) 9 (5.5) 6 (3.7) 0 (0) 0 (0) 94 (57.3) Non-invasive diseases Total 1 (1.7) 0 (0) 2 (3.4) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 56 (94.9) 59 (100) SLO (+) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 Non-functional mutation 1 (1.7) a 0 (0) b 0 (0) c 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (1.7) a

csrS mutation affects significantly the expression of slo gene [18], and the mutant shows mucoid colony because the expression of the capsule synthesis operon is increased [4],[39]. The function of CsrS was determined by colony morphology and by increase of SLO production.

b

csrR mutation does not affect significantly the expression of slo gene [18]. The cause of SLO increase in the 9 csrR mutants was described in the section of Discussion. The csrR mutant shows mucoid colony because the expression of the capsule synthesis operon is increased [4],[39]. The function of csrR was determined by colony morphology.

c

rgg mutation affects significantly the production of slo gene [Figure 1, [16]] and SpeB [14], [16][17]. The function of Rgg was determined by the increase of SLO production and the decrease of SpeB production.

rgg or csrS mutations in STSS clinical isolates

To identify novel bacterial factors that may contribute to the pathogenesis of STSS, we next investigated the expression pattern of virulence factors in S. pyogenes isolates. We determined the sequence of the csrS/csrR genes from a panel of emm-matched GAS isolated from STSS patients; NIH1 (also called SSI-1), NIH3, NIH8, NIH34, NIH152-3, NIH249, NIH327, and NIH352 were clinical isolates of the emm3 genotype from STSS and C500, OT22, and K33 were emm3 non-STSS isolates (Tables 1 and S1). A mutation in the csrS gene was found in NIH152-3, NIH249, NIH327, and NIH352 of the STSS isolates; however, the other STSS and non-STSS GAS isolates had mutations in neither the csrS nor the csrR gene (data not shown). To determine whether other emm3 STSS strains have possible mutations in their genomes, we used comparative genome sequencing (CGS) [9], a microarray hybridization-based method developed to search for single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertion–deletion sites within a genome between emm3 STSS and non-STSS isolates. We found several genes with SNPs in the NIH1 genome in comparison with that of non-invasive isolates K33. Three (codY, csrR and rgg) of them had non-synonymous amino acid change in NIH1 but not in K33 and C500 (Table S2). We further sequenced these 3 genes in other non-invasive isolate, OT22 and STSS isolates, NIH3, NIH8 and NIH34. A couple of genetic differences which affect amino acid sequence were detected between the STSS and non-STSS GAS isolates (Table 3). All four STSS isolates (NIH1, NIH3, NIH8, and NIH34) had some difference in SPs1742 (Rgg) but not in non-STSS isolates (C500, OT22, and K33) (Table 3). SPs1742 is identified as the rgg gene, a transcriptional regulator of multiple genes [10][13], although the role of the rgg gene is controversial [14].

10.1371/journal.ppat.1000832.t003Table 3

Amino acid difference in comparison with intact ORF of SF370.

Isolates Strain name SPs0322 (CodY) SPs1615 (CsrR) SPs1742 (Rgg) CsrS Non-STSS isolates C500 + + + + OT22 + + + + K33 + + + + STSS isolates NIH1 - - - + NIH3 - + - + NIH8 + + - + NIH34 + + - +

(+): the same as the intact ORF of SF370 (accession No. AE004092)).

(-): difference from the intact ORF.

Increased SLO expression in STSS isolates with csrS or rgg mutations

We [2] and others [4] have previously reported that STSS emm49 and emm1 clinical isolates exhibit a higher expression of the SLO gene (slo) than non-STSS isolates, due to a mutation in the csrS gene. Therefore, we examined whether a panel of emm3-genotyped STSS isolates possessing mutations in the csrS or rgg gene and emm3 non-STSS isolates lacking mutations could produce SLO (i.e., secretion of SLO in the culture supernatant). The comparison of the supernatants at the same growth condition (data not shown) showed that larger amounts of SLO were secreted by STSS isolates possessing mutations in the csrS gene (NIH152, NIH249, NIH327, and NIH352) or rgg gene (NIH1, NIH3, NIH8, and NIH34) than by non-STSS isolates (C500, OT22, and K33) (Figure 1). These data suggest that rgg mutations may be related to an increased expression of SLO, as observed in the case of csrS mutations. To clarify the role of rgg gene mutation in STSS isolates in terms of SLO production, we created the rgg mutants K33rgg and OT22rgg, non-STSS isolates into which an rgg mutation had been introduced. They exhibited increased SLO secretion, as observe with STSS isolates (Figure 1). In contrast, when an intact rgg gene was integrated into the genomic DNA of the STSS isolates NIH8 and NIH34 (NIH8rgg+ and NIH34rgg+), the SLO secretion was decreased to the level of that in non-STSS isolates (Figure 1). Taken together, it appears that the mutation of the rgg gene was responsible for increased SLO production in the culture supernatant as that of csrS gene was.

10.1371/journal.ppat.1000832.g001Figure 1

More SLO is secreted in STSS isolates than in isolates from non-invasive infections.

The supernatants from an overnight culture (OD600 = 1.0) of emm3 S. pyogenes clinical isolates (non-STSS: C500, OT22, and K33; STSS: NIH1, NIH3, NIH8, NIH34, NIH152, NIH249, NIH327, and NIH352; non-STSS isolates with the mutated rgg gene: OT22rgg and K33rgg; STSS isolates complemented with the intact rgg gene: NIH8rgg+ and NIH34rgg+) were concentrated with trichloroacetic acid, and 5 µl of each sample was analyzed by western blotting with rabbit anti-SLO polyclonal antibody. Representative data of two independent experiments are shown.

Enhanced expression of various virulence genes in STSS isolates is attributed to mutation of the rgg gene

It has been reported that Rgg influences the transcription of many virulence-associated genes in S. pyogenes [10][13]. To test the possibility that the transcriptional expression levels of virulence genes are regulated by the function of the rgg gene, we performed real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) with specific primers for each virulence-associated gene. The amounts of mRNA of protein G-related alpha2-macroglobulin-binding protein (grab), nicotine adenine dinucleotide glycohydrolase (nga), streptodornase (phage-associated) (sdn), streptokinase (ska), and slo in the STSS isolate of NIH34 with the rgg mutation were larger than those of the pharyngitis isolate of K33 with the intact rgg gene (Figure 2). On the other hand, the amounts of mRNA of the cystein protease (speB) and streptolysin S (sagA) genes in the STSS isolate of NIH34 were less than a half of those in the non-STSS isolate of K33 (Figure 2). The amounts of mRNA of the IgG-degrading protease of GAS, Mac-1-like protein (mac), C5a peptidase (scpA), IL-8 protease (scpC), superantigen (speA), and DNA gyrase (gyrA) genes in NIH34 were almost the same as those in K33 (Figure 2 and data not shown). NIH34rgg+ suppressed the expression of virulence-associated genes to the levels found in non-STSS isolates; further, the expression of speB and sagA genes was increased to levels observed in non-STSS isolates (Figure 2). Additionally, the expression pattern of the virulence genes in K33rgg was similar to that in the STSS isolate NIH34 (Figure 2). These findings suggest that the transcriptional expression of multiple virulence genes, including the slo gene in GAS, was strongly influenced by the mutation in the rgg gene.

10.1371/journal.ppat.1000832.g002Figure 2

Mutation of the rgg gene influences expression of virulence-associated genes.

The expression of virulence-associated genes in non-STSS, STSS GAS isolates, and strains into which an intact gene or mutant rgg or mutant csrS gene had been introduced was analyzed by RT-PCR; columns represent the relative mRNA expression levels of virulence-associated genes of each strain: nicotine adenine dinucleotide glycohydrolase (nga), streptolysin O (slo), streptokinase (ska), protein G-related alpha2-macroglobulin-binding protein (grab), streptodornase (phage-associated) (sdn), streptolysin S (sagA), streptococcal pyrogenic endotoxin (speB), and IL-8 protease (scpC). The expression level of K33 strain is shown as 1. Values are means ± SD (n = 4).

rgg mutation is important in the pathogenesis of invasive infections in mouse models

To elucidate the role of rgg in infections in vivo, we used GAS intraperitoneal injections to compare the lethality and histopathology of NIH34 with that of the K33 strain in a mouse model. The NIH34 strain showed significantly higher lethality than the K33 strain (p = 0.00027) (Figure 3A). Introduction of the rgg mutation in the K33 strain (K33rgg) resulted in higher lethality among infected mice than the K33 strain (p = 0.00067) and exerted a level of lethality similar to NIH34. The NIH34 strain into which an intact rgg gene (NIH34rgg+) had been introduced exhibited less lethality than the NIH34 strain (p = 0.0000097) and possessed the same level of lethality as the K33 strain. We confirmed that bacteria isolated from kidney or liver of infected mice at day 6 retained the mutation (data not shown). Therefore, the mutation of the rgg gene in the STSS isolates contributed to enhanced lethality in the mouse model. Histopathological examination of mice infected with NIH34 or K33rgg strains was carried out. Scattered multiple inflammatory foci containing bacterial colonies were observed in the kidney. The foci were accompanied with neutrophil infiltration, cell debris and hyalinization (Figure 3B). In contrast, no significant pathological change was observed in mice inoculated with the K33 or NIH34rgg+ strains (Figure 3B). In another mouse model of soft-tissue infections, subcutaneous infection with NIH34 or K33rgg resulted in significantly larger lesions as compared to the infection with NIH34rgg+ or K33 (p<0.01) (Figure 3C). Bacteria were isolated from spleen and kidney after the subcutaneous infection of the rgg mutants but not the intact rgg strains. We confirmed that bacteria isolated from lesions retained the mutation (data not shown).This showed that subcutaneous inoculation of mice led to the systemic spreading in the rgg mutant. These results suggest that the rgg-mutated strains isolated from STSS patients are more virulent in vivo than strains from patients with non-invasive infections, and that the increase in virulence in vivo is canceled by introducing an intact rgg gene.

10.1371/journal.ppat.1000832.g003Figure 3

Mutation of rgg gene enhances the lethality and histopathology of GAS in mouse in vivo infection models.

(A) Survival curves of mice infected with each strain. Mice were intraperitoneally inoculated with 1×107 CFU of each GAS, and mouse survival was observed for 7 days post-infection. Mortality differences were statistically significant (P<0.01), as determined by a log-rank test. Survival curves were generated from 3 independent experiments using a total of 10–16 ddY mice for each strain. (B) Histopathological changes in the kidneys of mice infected with GAS. Tissue was extracted at 24 h after the intraperitoneal injection of GAS (1×107 CFU). The black arrows indicate clusters of bacteria with filtrated inflammatory cells. The triangle heads indicate fibrous debris. (C) Lesion areas of subcutaneous infection in hairless mice injected with GAS. 1×107 CFU in 100 µL suspension of GAS in PBS was injected subcutaneously, and the lesion area and body weight were measured each day after infection. The peak values are shown as means ± SD (n = 5). *The skin-lesion area in rgg mutant strains-infected mice was significantly larger than that in rgg intact strains (p<0.05), as estimated by ANOVA.

Mechanism of the resistance of rgg mutants to killing by human neutrophils

In our previous study, using the Transwell system, we showed that SLO, which causes necrosis in neutrophils, and an IL-8 protease of ScpC are important for bacterial resistance to killing by neutrophils [2]. Here, we examined the effect of rgg mutation on resistance to killing by neutrophils. As shown in Figure 4A, the migration ability of human neutrophils in response to chemokine IL-8 did not significantly differ between K33 and K33rgg or between NIH34 and NIH34rgg+. Furthermore, the scpC mutation in the NIH34 strain did not have a significant influence on the migration of human neutrophils, compared to the csrS mutation, as previously reported (Figure 4A). This finding is in accordance with the less influence of ScpC expression in the rgg mutation (Figure 2). Collectively, the mutation of the rgg gene had little influence on the migration of human neutrophils in response to IL-8. As previously reported [2], migrated neutrophils may be killed by the STSS GAS isolates via enhanced SLO production, and therefore we examined this possibility. Human neutrophils were efficiently killed by the rgg-mutated strains (NIH34 and K33rgg), whereas strains with the intact rgg gene (K33 and NIH34rgg+) did not cause obvious impairment of neutrophils (Figure 4B). In the slo-deficient mutant, the ability to kill neutrophils was abolished. Nicotine adenine dinucleotide glycohydrolase (Nga) is a cytotoxic protein secreted through the SLO complex [15]. Based on the results that the nga expression was negatively regulated by the rgg gene (Figure 2), we examined the lethal activity of the nga mutant against neutrophils. The neutrophil-killing activity was significantly decreased in an nga-deficient mutant (NIH34nga), but to a lesser extent as compared to the activity of NIH34slo. Therefore, these findings strongly suggest that SLO is a factor essential for neutrophil-killing activity in rgg-mutated emm3 STSS isolates, and that Nga partially influences the neutrophil-killing activity.

10.1371/journal.ppat.1000832.g004Figure 4

Effect of rgg and other mutations on migration and survival of human neutrophils.

(A) The effect of human neutrophil migration in response to IL-8 by various GAS strains (K33, NIH34, and their rgg, slo, scpC, nga, and csrS mutants) was analyzed using a Transwell system and flow cytometry. About 62% of applied human neutrophils migrated through the Transwell, under the conditions of IL-8 addition. Values shown are means ± SD (n = 3). *p<0.05, as estimated by ANOVA. The results shown are representative of one of five individual experiments, all of which had similar results. (B) The viability of human neutrophils in the lower wells of a Transwell system, after migration in response to IL-8. The migrated human neutrophils were bought into contact with various GAS strains (K33, NIH34, and their rgg, slo, scpC, nga, and csrS mutants), and the remaining viable neutrophils were counted. Values shown are means ± SD (n = 3). *p<0.05, as estimated by ANOVA.

Comparison of virulence between the csrS and rgg mutations

In our previous study, a csrS mutation in the emm49-genotyped strains was a key to the onset of severe invasive streptococcal infections [2]. The csrS mutant showed higher lethality in a mouse model and more efficiently killed human neutrophils than the non-mutated strain [2]. Therefore, we next compared the effect of the mutation in the csrS gene with that in the rgg gene, in terms of in vivo virulence in lethality and impairment of neutrophil function in vitro. Intraperitoneal infection of mice with the csrS mutant (K33csrS) caused earlier death and higher lethality than did infection with the rgg mutant (K33rgg) (p = 0.017) (Figure 3A). Furthermore, K33csrS strains decreased the migration ability of neutrophils in response to IL-8, and they induced necrosis of migrated neutrophils to a greater degree than did the rgg mutants (Figures 4A, B). These and the aforementioned results suggest that the rgg mutant can escape being killed by neutrophils only because of the SLO function, and not because of ScpC, whereas both SLO and ScpC in the csrS mutant contribute to the escape. This suggests that the csrS mutant may be more virulent in systemic infections than the rgg mutant, owing to its ability to up-regulate more virulence factors such as ScpC (Figures 2 and 3A,B).

Mutation frequency of the rgg and the csrS/csrR genes in STSS clinical isolates

In this study, we found that there are mutations in the rgg gene or the csrS/csrR genes in STSS clinical isolates. We sequenced the rgg gene in strains isolated from sterile sites of STSS patients and found that 42 of 164 (25.6%) isolates carried some mutations (deletion, point mutation, or insertion) in the rgg gene. To determine whether these mutations contributed to a loss of Rgg function, we examined the level of SLO and SpeB [14] secretion and compared it with that in non-STSS isolates because overproduction of SLO [This study, 16] and less secretion of SpeB are also reported in the rgg mutation [14], [16][17]. We defined these phenotyped isolates as Rgg non-functional mutants. In 33 of 42 isolates, SLO production had increased and SpeB production had decreased (Tables 1 and 2 and data not shown). All of remaining nine rgg mutants (strains with mutation only in rgg) showing no increase of SLO expression were emm12-genotyped strains and had a mutation at the same position in comparison with other non-invasive strains. This mutation was synonymous in the level of amino acid, so we defined the mutants are functional as shown in Table 2. Collectively, 11.0%, 28.0%, 7.9%, 1.2%, 5.5%, and 3.7% of the 164 STSS clinical isolates carried non-functional mutations in the rgg, csrS, csrR, both csrS and csrR, both csrS and rgg, and both csrR and rgg genes, respectively, so that a total of 57.3% of the STSS isolates carried mutations in one or more of these negative regulator genes (Tables 1 and 2). On the other hand, the frequency of mutations in these genes was very low (1.7%) in non-invasive isolates (Tables 1 and 2). Therefore, the incidence of mutations in these genes is higher in STSS isolates than in non-invasive isolates (p<0.01 by χ2 analysis). This finding suggests that mutations in the csrS/csrR genes or the rgg gene are crucial factors causing severe invasive infections, such as STSS.

Discussion

Since the late 1980s, STSS caused by S. pyogenes has become a serious health problem in both developed and developing countries. In this study, we found a high frequency of mutations of negative regulators in STSS clinical isolates. The rgg mutant killed human neutrophils, impaired multiple organs, and enhanced lethality in the mouse model, similar to the csrS mutant. These findings suggest that the impairment of negative regulators of S. pyogenes virulence genes induces neutrophil incompetence and subsequent STSS infection. This study is the first to show that clinical S. pyogenes isolates from STSS patients have mutations in one or more of genes––rgg, csrS, and csrR––which are involved in the negative regulation of multiple virulence genes.

In our previous study, we found mutations in the csrS/csrR genes of 5 emm49 strains isolated from patients with severe invasive infections [2]. In the present study, we further examined whether STSS isolates other than the emm49 genotype possess mutations in the csrS and csrR genes: 46.3% of the STSS isolates including various emm genotypes had non-functional mutations in one or more of the csrS/csrR genes. This finding suggests that mutations in the csrS/csrR genes are commonly recognized in STSS clinical isolates with various emm genotypes.

We have shown that the amount of SLO protein produced in STSS isolates is greater than that in non-STSS isolates, and that this effect is due to mutations in both the rgg and csrS genes of the isolates. The loss of function incurred by the mutation in the rgg gene in emm3-genotyped S. pyogenes affected the regulatory network of the virulence-associated genes; hence, the mutated strains could resist killing by neutrophils and caused damage to various organs in the mouse models. Therefore, the mutated emm3-genotyped S. pyogenes strains may potentially cause severe infections such as STSS in humans. Hollands et al. [14] reported that a mutation of the rgg (ropB) gene reduces M1T1 group A streptococcal virulence. We examined the contribution of Rgg to the pathogenesis of systemic infections by using a clinical emm1-genotyped STSS isolate, NIH186, and an emm1-genotyped pharyngitis isolate, Se235. NIH186 and Se235rgg, both of which had a mutation in the rgg gene, showed higher lethality than NIH186rgg+ and Se235, in both of which the rgg gene is intact (data not shown). The rgg mutants impaired neutrophils to a greater extent than the rgg-intact strains did (Figure S1); this finding suggests that rgg mutants are more virulent than rgg-intact strains, in the emm1 genotype. Therefore, the discrepancy between the finding in this study and that of Hollands et al. [14] may be attributed to modified regulation of SLO expression in rgg-mutated isolate in the latter, but not downregulation of speB and sagA operons.

Rgg is reported to regulate the transcription of many virulence-associated genes in S. pyogenes [10][13], and its regulatory profile varies among strains used [16][17]. Nevertheless, up-regulation of the slo, nga and ska genes and down-regulation of the speB gene are commonly found in the rgg mutation of emm3-genotyped isolates (Figure 2) and of M49 serotyped-strains, NZ131 and CS101 [16][17], suggesting they are the Rgg core regulon of GAS strains.

In recent studies, it has been reported that expression of the rgg gene is positively regulated by CsrS [4], while it is negatively regulated by CsrR [16]. Expression of the slo gene is enhanced in the csrS mutant (Figure 2) [2],[4], but not in the csrR mutant [18]. In this study, the expression of the slo gene was enhanced in the rgg mutant (Figure 2), suggesting that the enhancement of the slo gene may serve as the same regulatory pathway as the effect of the csrS mutation. These findings suggest that CsrS affects the Rgg regulon as well as the CsrR regulon (Figure 5); in the csrS mutant, CsrR is not phosphorylated by CsrS, and Rgg expression is suppressed.

10.1371/journal.ppat.1000832.g005Figure 5

Schema of regulatory network and its dysfunction in STSS isolates leading to host evasion.

CsrS phosphorylates CsrR, and the CsrR represses expression of a number of virulence genes including rgg and scpC [18]. CsrS also positively regulates the expression of rgg [4], which suppresses slo gene expression (Figure 2). The rgg mutation causes an overexpression of SLO, which kills neutrophils, but has no influence on ScpC expression. In the csrR mutant, overproduced ScpC inhibits the migration of neutrophils, and upregulated Rgg reduces the slo gene expression. In the csrS mutant, inactive form of CsrR leads to the overproduction of ScpC, which inhibits the migration of neutrophils, and decrease of Rgg leads to the overproduction of SLO, which kills neutrophils.

It has been reported that the csrR null-mutation does not affect the expression of SLO [18]. However, Treviño et al. [19] reported that SLO production increases as a result of a csrR mutation in which histidine replaces arginine at position 119 of the CsrR protein; however the protein retained DNA-binding activity. The strains carrying such a kind of mutation are phenotypically identical to the csrS mutants [19]. Nine csrR mutants in this study showed increased SLO production (Tables 1 and 2), 2 (NIH136 and NIH300) of which had an amino acid replacement at position 119 of CsrR protein. Other 7 isolates showed mutation in the N-terminal amino acid of CsrR, but the exact mechanism of the CsrR mutant remains to be solved.

The csrS/csrR and rgg genes negatively regulate various virulence genes; however, they regulate different virulence genes. The slo, nga, and ska genes are negatively regulated by both CsrS/R and Rgg. The grab gene is negatively regulated by Rgg, while the mac, scpA, and scpC genes are negatively regulated by CsrS [2] (Figure 2). Thus, in terms of impairing neutrophil function, the csrS mutant inhibits the migration of neutrophils due to the destruction of IL-8 by the increased expression of scpC (Figure 5) [2]; meanwhile, the rgg mutant does not significantly affect the expression of scpC. On the other hand, since both rgg and csrS genes negatively regulate the expression of slo, infections with these mutants result in damage of neutrophils due to the increased production of SLO in the foci. This may explain why neutrophils are observed histopathologically in some cases of severe invasive infection, but are not in others. Indeed, our mouse model shows that neutrophils clustered around the foci of bacteria in the kidney infected by the rgg mutant (Figure 3B) but not by the csrS mutant [2].

The slo, nga, and ska genes are negatively regulated by both CsrS and Rgg [2] (Figure 2). We previously reported that SLO is an important virulence factor for the necrosis of neutrophils, which leads to higher lethality of infected mice [2]. Nucleosidase (NADase), which is encoded by the nga gene, contributes to severe invasive infections by GAS in the murine model of infection [20]. Streptokinase, which is encoded by the ska gene, has an important role in GAS invasion and proliferation [21]. STSS isolates carrying mutations in the csrS gene and/or the rgg gene commonly increased the expression of these genes [2; this study]. Thus, overproduction of these factors in the mutants could cooperatively contribute to increased virulence, thus causing the onset of STSS.

Notably, the mutation frequency of these genes in STSS isolates (57.3%) was much higher than that in non-invasive isolates (1.7%). These results suggest that mutations in the negative regulators of various virulence genes are important to the STSS onset. However, 42.7% of the STSS isolates did not have mutations in the csrS/csrR or rgg genes. Such strains may have mutations in other various other two-component regulatory systems or regulators in the S. pyogenes genome [22], which would be the focus of our research. We could not exclude the possibility that clinical severity of infection by strains lacking any mutations in the three genes depends on host factors, and not on bacterial factors. Specific human leukocyte antigen class II haplotypes are associated with a risk of disease severity [23], and the importance of both host and environmental factors has been reported [24].

In the mouse model, the csrS mutant (K33csrS) showed higher lethality than the rgg mutant. However, in the present study, the mortality rate of STSS patients infected with the rgg mutant was 60.9%, while that of patients infected with the csrS mutant was 47.2% (data not shown). These findings suggest that the rgg mutant also causes high lethality in humans, which may indicate differences in disease severity between humans and mice. Streptokinase is highly specific for human plasminogen, exhibiting little or no activity to those of other animal species [25]. Human-specific pathogenic factor(s) may influence virulence in cases of infection with the rgg mutant.

Collectively, we showed that mutations of negative regulators that result in the overproduction of multiple virulence factors are important to the onset of severe invasive infections such as STSS. Recently, it has been reported that community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) causes severe invasive infections, resulting in NF or even death [26],[27]. The enhanced virulence of CA-MRSA has been linked to an overproduction of leukolytic peptides, phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs) [28],[29]. The production of PSMs is regulated under the strict control of agr [29]. The change of expression of the agr regulator results in increased expression of virulence factors and increased virulence. Severe invasive infections are caused not only by S. pyogenes but also by other bacteria such as other Streptococcus, Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio vulnificus, and Aeromonas spp. Such severe invasive infections may be caused by the coordinated overexpression of multiple virulence factors that are affected by the global regulatory network.

Methods

Ethic statement

This study complies with the guidelines of the declaration of Helsinki. This study protocol was approved by the institutional individual ethics committees for the use of human subjects (the National Institute of Infectious Diseases Ethic Review Board for Human Subjects) and the animal experiments (the National Institute of Infectious Diseases Animal Experiments Committee). Written informed consent was obtained from all study participants or their legal guardians for the patients who died. All clinical samples and healthy human neutrophils were stripped of personal identifiers not necessary for this study. All animal experiments were performed according to the Guide for animal experiments performed at National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan.

Bacterial strains and culture conditions

The S. pyogenes strains and plasmids used in this study are described in Tables 1 and S1. The STSS criteria in this study are based on those proposed by the Working Group on Severe Streptococcal Infections [8]. The clinical isolates used were isolated from sterile sites of patients with STSS (164 isolates; age 0–99 years) and from non-sterile sites of patients with non-invasive infections (59 isolates; ages 1–67 years). The isolates from STSS and non-invasive infections were collected by the Working Group for Beta-hemolytic Streptococci in Japan, as previously reported [30]. Escherichia coli DH5α was used as a host for plasmid construction and was grown in a Luria-Bertani liquid medium with shaking or on agar plates at 37°C. S. pyogenes was cultured in Todd-Hewitt broth supplemented with 0.5% yeast extract (THY medium) without agitation or on tryptic soy agar supplemented with 5% sheep blood. Cultures were grown at 37°C in a 5% CO2 atmosphere. When required, antibiotics were added to the medium at the following final concentrations: erythromycin, 300 µg/mL for E. coli and 1 µg/mL for S. pyogenes; and spectinomycin (Sp), 25 µg/mL for each of E. coli and S. pyogenes. The growth of S. pyogenes was turbidimetrically monitored at 600 nm, using a MiniPhoto 518R (Taitec, Tokyo, Japan).

DNA sequencing and data deposit

The nucleotide sequences of the csrS, csrR, and rgg genes were determined by automated sequencers, i.e., an Applied Biosystems 3130xl Genetic Analyzer and an Applied Biosystems 3130 Genetic Analyzer (both Applied Biosystems, Tokyo, Japan). Sequencing data were deposited in the DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ).

Animals

Male five to six-week-old outbred ddY and hairless mice were purchased from SLC (Shizuoka, Japan) and maintained in specific pathogen-free (SPF) conditions. All animal experiments were performed according to the guidelines of the Ethics Review Committee of Animal Experiments of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan.

Construction of deletion or deficient mutants

(i) Construction of the rgg mutant

A 692-bp DNA fragment containing the internal region of rgg was amplified from the NIH34 (for emm3) and NIH186 (for emm1) chromosomal DNA, using the primers of rgg-del1 and rgg-del2 (Table S3). The PCR products were digested by BamHI and EcoRI. This fragment was then cloned into the integration shuttle vector pSF152 [31] to create the plasmid pSF152rgg3 and pSF152rgg1, respectively, which was then used for the chromosomal inactivation of the rgg gene, as described previously [31]. The inactivated mutant strains K33rgg, OT22rgg, S1rgg, Se235rgg and F482rgg (rgg::aad9 Spr) were then selected by using spectinomycin-containing agar plates. Deficiency of the native rgg gene was verified by PCR.

(ii) Construction of the csrS mutant

A 930-bp DNA fragment containing the internal region of csrS was amplified from the K33 chromosomal DNA, using the primers of csrS-def1 and csrS-def2 (Table S3). The PCR products were digested by BamHI and EcoRI. This fragment was then cloned into the integration shuttle vector pSF152 to create the plasmid pSF152csrS, which was then used to create K33csrS, as described above.

(iii) Construction of the slo mutant

A 1,061-bp DNA fragment containing the internal region of slo was amplified from the NIH34 chromosomal DNA, using the primers of slo-del3 and slo-del4 (Table S3). The PCR products were digested by BamHI and EcoRI. This fragment was then cloned into the integration shuttle vector pSF152 to create the plasmid pSF152slo, which was then used to create NIH34slo, as described above.

(iv) Construction of the scpC mutant

A 1,240-bp DNA fragment containing the internal region of scpC was amplified from the NIH34 chromosomal DNA, using the primers of scpC-del5 and scpC-del6 (Table S3). The PCR products were digested by BamHI and EcoRI. This fragment was then cloned into the integration shuttle vector pSF152 to create the plasmid pSF152scpC, which was then used to create NIH34scpC, as described above.

(v) Construction of the sdn mutant

A 693-bp DNA fragment containing the internal region of sdn was amplified from the NIH34 chromosomal DNA, using the primers of sdn-def3 and sdn-def2 (Table S3). The PCR products were digested by BamHI and EcoRI. This fragment was then cloned into the integration shuttle vector pSF152 to create the plasmid pSF152sdn, which was then used to create NIH34sdn, as described above.

(vi) Construction of the nga mutants

A 1,071-bp DNA fragment containing the 5′ terminal of nga and the adjacent upstream chromosomal DNA was amplified from the NIH34 chromosomal DNA, using the primers of ngadel1 and ngadel2 (Table S3); additionally, a 775-bp fragment containing the 3′ terminal of nga and the adjacent downstream chromosomal DNA was amplified from the NIH34 chromosomal DNA, using the primers of ngadel3 and ngadel4 (Table S3). These two PCR products were digested by BamHI and EcoRI and by EcoRI and PstI, respectively. The digested fragments were cloned into the erythromycin-resistant and temperature-sensitive shuttle vector pJRS233 [32], to create the plasmid pJRSΔnga. This plasmid was then introduced into the strain NIH34 by electroporation, and transformants were selected on erythromycin agar plates at 30°C. To create an integration of pJRSΔnga with the chromosome, transformants were grown at 39°C and selected with erythromycin. Replacement of the native nga gene by the nga-deleted mutant allele was verified by PCR, and the resultant strain was named NIH34nga.

Construction of strains integrating the intact rgg gene

The replacement of a mutated rgg gene by an intact rgg gene was performed by allelic recombination. Specifically, the chromosomal DNA derived from the GAS strains K33 (for emm3) and F482 (for emm1) was purified and used as a template for the PCR amplification of the intact rgg gene. The primers used were 5′-GGGGATCCTTATGGCTATATCATAGCTG-3′ (sense) and 5′-GGGAATTCTGTTGAGATAAACTACACC-3′ (antisense). The PCR fragment was ligated into the plasmid pSF152, and the resultant plasmids pSFrgg3+ (for emm3) and pSFrgg1+ (for emm1) were used for chromosomal integration into the mutated rgg gene of isolates from STSS patients, as described previously [31]. The integrated strains (Spr) were then selected by using spectinomycin (Sp)-containing agar plates. Integration of the intact rgg gene was confirmed by PCR.

Western blotting

A total of 1 mL of the supernatant of an overnight bacterial culture (OD600 = 1.0) was passed through a 0.45-mm pore size membrane filter (Nippon Millipore, Tokyo, Japan), to remove the remaining cells. Proteins in the resulting cell-free supernatant were precipitated with 10% trichloroacetic acid and resuspended in a sample loading buffer containing a saturated Tris base. Samples were heated at 100°C for 3 min and separated on sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)–12.5% polyacrylamide gels. To detect SLO, the proteins on the gels were electrophoretically transferred onto a PVDF membrane. The membrane was blocked with 5% nonfat milk +0.2% Tween-20 and reacted with primary anti-SLO polyclonal antibody (American Research Products, Belmont, MA, USA), secondary antibody peroxidase-conjugated anti-rabbit Ig (GE Healthcare, Tokyo, Japan), and an ECL Plus Western blotting Detection System (GE Healthcare).

Complete-genome comparisons

Complete-genome comparisons were performed with an array-based service (CGS) provided by NimbleGen Systems Inc. (Madison, WI, USA) [9]. The reference genome sequence used in the microarray was that of S. pyogenes SSI-1 (GenBank accession No. BA000034).

Quantitative RT-PCR analysis

Total RNA was extracted from bacterial cells using the RNeasy Protect Bacteria Mini Kit (QIAGEN, Tokyo, Japan), according to the manufacturer's instructions. Complementary DNA synthesis was performed with the PrimeScript RT reagent kit (Perfect Real Time) (Takara Bio, Otsu, Japan), also following the manufacturer's instructions. Transcript levels were determined using the ABI PRISM Sequence Detection System 7000 (Applied Biosystems) and Premix Ex Taq (Perfect Real Time) (Takara). For real-time amplification, the template was equivalent to 5 ng of total RNA. Measurements were performed in triplicate; a reverse-transcription-negative blank of each sample and a no-template blank served as negative controls. The primers and probes used are listed in Table S4.

GAS infection in a mouse model

GAS was grown to late-log phase (OD600 = 0.6−0.8) at 37°C in a 5% CO2 atmosphere, pelleted by centrifugation, washed twice with sterile phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), suspended in sterile PBS. A total of 1×107 CFU of GAS suspended in 0.5 mL of PBS was injected intraperitoneally into five to six-week-old ddY outbred male mice (10–16 mice/GAS isolate). The number of surviving mice was compared statistically, using the Kaplan-Meier log-rank test. For the subcutaneous infection model, male hairless mice Hos:Hr-1 were injected with 1×107 CFU of GAS in a 100-µl suspension of GAS in PBS. The lesion area was measured daily and analyzed. Dissemination in kidney and spleen of GAS was evaluated by colony counting at day 7 post-infection.

Histopathological examination

For histopathological analysis, the tissues from GAS-infected mice were directly fixed in 10% neutral-buffered formalin, embedded in paraffin, sectioned and stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E).

Isolation of human neutrophils

Human neutrophils were isolated from the venous blood of five healthy volunteers, in accordance with a protocol approved by the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects, National Institute of Infectious Diseases [2]. This study complies with the guidelines of the declaration of Helsinki.

Migration assay

Chemotaxis assays were performed as previously described [2]. Briefly, 5×105 neutrophils in Roswell Park Memorial Institute (RPMI) medium containing 25 mM HEPES and 1% FCS in Transwell inserts (3-µm pore size; Coaster, Corning, NY, USA) were placed in 24-well plates containing 600 µl medium or 100 nM interleukin (IL)-8 solution (Pertec, London, UK); the plates were then incubated with or without 5×106 bacteria for 1 h at 37°C, in advance of the assay. After 1 h of incubation, cells in the lower wells were collected and 104 10-µm microsphere beads (Polysciences Inc., Warrington, MA, USA) were added. Cells were stained with propidium iodine (Sigma, St Louis, MO, USA) for flow cytometry to quantify the viable neutrophils; analysis was performed, using the FACS Calibur (BD Biosciences, San Jose, CA, USA).

Accession numbers

The DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ) (http://www.ddbj.nig.ac.jp/index-e.html) accession numbers for the genes and gene products discussed in this paper are: TK283 csrR locus - AB517797; TK929 csrR locus - AB517804; NIH43 csrR locus - AB517807; NIH75 csrR locus - AB517814; NIH136 csrR locus - AB517819; NIH157 csrR locus - AB517822; NIH212 csrR locus - AB517826; NIH216 csrR locus -AB517827; NIH252-2 csrR locus - AB517838; NIH259 csrR locus - AB517839; NIH273 csrR locus - AB517842; NIH300 csrR locus - AB517850; NIH301 csrR locus - AB517851; NIH323-1 csrR locus - AB517853; NIH381-1 csrR locus - AB517863; NIH404 csrR locus - AB517867; NIH406 csrR locus - AB517868; NIH447 csrR locus - AB517877; NIH5 csrS locus - AB517796; TK76 csrS locus - AB517800; NIH18 csrS locus - AB517801; TK280 csrS locus - AB517803; NIH35 csrS locus - AB517805; NIH44 csrS locus - AB517809; NIH49 csrS locus - AB517810; NIH55 csrS locus - AB517812; NIH75 csrS locus - AB517815; NIH102 csrS locus - AB517817; NIH152-3 csrS locus - AB517820; NIH156-1 csrS locus - AB517821; NIH205 csrS locus - AB517823; NIH200-4 csrS locus - AB517825; NIH220-1 csrS locus - AB517828; NIH222 csrS locus – AB517829; NIH230 csrS locus - AB517830; NIH236 csrS locus - AB517831; NIH238 csrS locus - AB517833; NIH243 csrS locus - AB517834; NIH253-1 csrS locus - AB517835; NIH250-2 csrS locus - AB517836; NIH263-2 csrS locus - AB517840; NIH268 csrS locus - AB517841; NIH283-1 csrS locus - AB517844; NIH286 csrS locus - AB517845; NIH287-1 csrS locus - AB517846; NIH296 csrS locus - AB517847; NIH297 csrS locus - AB517849; NIH317 csrS locus - AB517852; NIH325-1 csrS locus - AB517854; NIH345 csrS locus - AB517855; NIH372 csrS locus - AB517859; NIH437 csrS locus - AB517862; NIH403 csrS locus - AB517866; NIH421 csrS locus - AB517871; NIH424-1 csrS locus - AB517873; NIH433 csrS locus - AB517874; NIH453 csrS locus - AB517875; Se202 csrS locus - AB517643; NIH3 rgg locus - AB517795; NIH8 rgg locus - AB517798; TK65 rgg locus - AB517799; NIH18 rgg locus - AB517802; TK1097 rgg locus - AB517806; NIH43 rgg locus - AB517808; NIH50 rgg locus - AB517811; NIH60 rgg locus - AB517813; NIH91 rgg locus - AB517816; NIH118 rgg locus - AB517818; NIH186 rgg locus - AB517824; NIH236 rgg locus - AB517832; NIH250.2 rgg locus - AB517837; NIH273 rgg locus - AB517843; NIH293 rgg locus - AB517848; NIH357 rgg locus - AB517856; NIH366 rgg locus - AB517857; NIH371 rgg locus - AB517858; NIH372 rgg locus - AB517860; NIH374-2 rgg locus - AB517861; NIH381-1 rgg locus - AB517864; NIH390 rgg locus - AB517865; NIH406 rgg locus - AB517869; NIH409 rgg locus - AB517870; NIH422 rgg locus - AB517872; NIH445 rgg locus - AB517876.

Supporting Information

Attachment 1

Attachment 2

Attachment 3

Attachment 4

Attachment 5


Zdroje

1. BisnoAL

StevensDL

1996 Streptococcal infections of skin and soft tissues. N Engl J Med 334 240 245

2. AtoM

IkebeT

KawabataH

TakemoriT

WatanabeH

2008 Incompetence of neutrophils to invasive group A streptococcus is attributed to induction of plural virulence factors by dysfunction of a regulator. PLoS ONE 3 e3455 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003455

3. Walker MJ

HollandsA

Sanderson-SmithML

ColeJN

KirkJK

2007 DNase Sda1 provides selection pressure for a switch to invasive group A streptococcal infection. Nat Med 13 981 985

4. SumbyP

WhitneyAR

GravissEA

DeLeoFR

MusserJM

2006 Genome-wide analysis of group a streptococci reveals a mutation that modulates global phenotype and disease specificity. PLoS Pathog 2 e5 doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.0020005

5. Miyoshi-AkiyamaT

IkebeT

WatanabeH

UchiyamaT

KirikaeT

2006 Use of DNA arrays to identify a mutation in the negative regulator, csrR, responsible for the high virulence of a naturally occurring type M3 group A streptococcus clinical isolate. J Infect Dis 193 1677 1684

6. BeresSB

SylvaGL

BarbianKD

LeiB

HoffJS

2002 Genome sequence of a serotype M3 strain of group A Streptococcus: phage-encoded toxins, the high-virulence phenotype, and clone emergence. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 99 10078 10083

7. NakagawaI

KurokawaK

YamashitaA

NakataM

TomiyasuY

2003 Genome sequence of an M3 strain of Streptococcus pyogenes reveals a large-scale genomic rearrangement in invasive strains and new insights into phage evolution. Genome Res 13 1042 1055

8. Working Group on Severe Streptococcal Infections 1993 Defining the group A streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. JAMA 269 390 391

9. AlbertTJ

DailidieneD

DailideG

NortonJE

KaliaA

2005 Mutation discovery in bacterial genomes: metronidazole resistance in Helicobacter pylori. Nat Methods 2 951 953

10. LyonWR

GibsonCM

CaparonMG

1998 A role for trigger factor and an rgg-like regulator in the transcription, secretion and processing of the cysteine proteinase of Streptococcus pyogenes. EMBO J 17 6263 6275

11. ChausseeMS

AjdicD

FerrettiJJ

1999 The rgg gene of Streptococcus pyogenes NZ131 positively influences extracellular SPE B production. Infect Immun 67 1715 1722

12. ChausseeMS

WatsonRO

SmootJC

MusserJM

2001 Identification of Rgg-regulated exoproteins of Streptococcus pyogenes. Infect Immun 69 822 831

13. ChausseeMS

SylvaGL

SturdevantDE

SmootLM

GrahamMR

2002 Rgg influences the expression of multiple regulatory loci to coregulate virulence factor expression in Streptococcus pyogenes. Infect Immun 70 762 770

14. HollandsA

AzizRK

KansalR

KotbM

NizetV

2008 A naturally occurring mutation in ropB suppresses SpeB expression and reduces M1T1 group A streptococcal systemic virulence. PLoS ONE 3 e4102 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004102

15. MaddenJC

RuizN

CaparonM

2001 Cytolysin-Mediated Translocation (CMT): A Functional Equivalent of Type III Secretion in Gram-Positive Bacteria. Cell 104 143 152

16. DmitrievAV

McDowellEJ

KappelerKV

ChausseeMA

RieckLD

2006 The Rgg regulator of Streptococcus pyogenes influences utilization of nonglucose carbohydrates, prophage induction, and expression of the NAD-glycohydrolase virulence operon. J Bacteriol 188 7230 7241

17. DmitrievAV

McDowellEJ

ChausseeMS

2008 Inter- and intraserotypic variation in the Streptococcus pyogenes Rgg regulon. FEMS Microbiol Lett 284 43 51

18. GrahamMR

SmootLM

MigliaccioCA

VirtanevaK

SturdevantDE

2002 Virulence control in group A Streptococcus by a two-component gene regulatory system: global expression profiling and in vivo infection modeling. Proc Natl Acad Sci 99 13855 13860

19. TreviñoJ

PerezN

Ramirez-PeñaE

LiuZ

ShelburneSA3rd

2009 CovS simultaneously activates and inhibits the CovR-mediated repression of distinct subsets of group A Streptococcus virulence factor-encoding genes. Infect Immun 77 3141 3149

20. BrickerAL

CareyVJ

WesselsMR

2005 Role of NADase in virulence in experimental invasive group A streptococcal infection. Infect Immun 73 6562 6566

21. SunH

RingdahlU

HomeisterJW

FayWP

EnglebergNC

2004 Plasminogen is a critical host pathogenicity factor for group A streptococcal infection. Science 305 1283 1286

22. KreikemeyerB

McIverKS

PodbielskiA

2003 Virulence factor regulation and regulatory networks in Streptococcus pyogenes and their impact on pathogen-host interactions. Trends Microbiol 11 224 232

23. KotbM

Norrby-TeglundA

McGeerA

El-SherbiniH

DorakMT

2002 An immunogenetic and molecular basis for differences in outcomes of invasive group A streptococcal infections. Nat Med 8 1398 1404

24. FactorSH

LevineOS

SchwartzB

HarrisonLH

FarleyMM

2003 Invasive group A streptococcal disease: risk factors for adults. Emerg Infect Dis 9 970 977

25. GladyshevaIP

TurnerRB

SazonovaIY

LiuL

ReedGL

2003 Coevolutionary patterns in plasminogen activation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100 9168 9172

26. MillerLG

Perdreau-RemingtonF

RiegG

MehdiS

PerlrothJ

2005 Necrotizing fasciitis caused by community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Los Angeles. N Engl J Med 352 1445 1453

27. ChambersHF

2005 Community-associated MRSA-resistance and virulence converge. N Engl J Med 352 1485 1487

28. VoyichJM

BraughtonKR

SturdevantDE

WhitneyAR

Saïd-SalimB

2005 Insights into mechanisms used by Staphylococcus aureus to avoid destruction by human neutrophils. J Immunol 175 3907 3919

29. WangR

BraughtonKR

KretschmerD

BachTH

QueckSY

2007 Identification of novel cytolytic peptides as key virulence determinants for community-associated MRSA. Nat Med 13 1510 1514

30. IkebeT

HirasawaK

SuzukiR

OhyaH

IsobeJ

2007 Distribution of emm genotypes among group A streptococus isolates from patients with severe invasive streptococcal infections in Japan, 2001-2005. Epidemiol Infect 135 1227 1229

31. TaoL

LeBlancDJ

FerrettiJJ

1992 Novel streptococcal integration shuttle vectors for gene cloning and inactivation. Gene 120 105 110

32. Perez-CasalJ

PriceJA

MaguinE

ScottJR

1993 An M protein with a single C repeat prevents phagocytosis of Streptococcus pyogenes: use of a temperature-sensitive shuttle vector to deliver homologous sequences to the chromosome of S. pyogenes. Mol Microbiol 8 809 819

33. IkebeT

HirasawaK

SuzukiR

IsobeJ

TanakaD

2005 Antimicrobial susceptibility survey of Streptococcus pyogenes isolated from severe invasive group A streptococcal infections in Japan. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 49 788 790

34. IkebeT

EndoM

UedaY

OkadaK

SuzukiR

2004 The genetic properties of Streptococcus pyogenes emm49 genotype strains recently emerged among severe invasive infections in Japan. Jpn J Infect Dis 57 187 188

35. InagakiY

KondaT

MurayamaS

YamaiS

MatsushimaA

1997 Serotyping of Streptococcus pyogenes isolates from common and severe invasive infections in Japan from 1990 to 1995. Epidemiol Infect 119 41 48

36. MoritaM

IkebeT

WatanabeH

2004 Consideration of the cysteine protease activity for the serological M typing of clinical Streptococcus pyogenes isolates. Miclobiol Immunol 48 779 782

37. IkebeT

WadaA

InagakiY

SugamaK

SuzukiR

2002 Dissemination of the phage-associated novel superantigen gene speL in recent invasive and noninvasive Streptococcus pyogenes M3/T3 isolates in Japan. Infect Immun 70 3227 3233

38. IkebeT

EndohM

WatanabeH

2005 Increased expression of the ska gene in emm49-genotyped Streptococcus pyogenes strains isolated from patients with severe invasive streptococcal infections. Jpn J Infect Dis 58 272 275

39. LevinJC

WesselsMR

1998 Identification of csrR/csrS, a genetic locus that regulates hyaluronic acid capsule synthesis in group A streptococcus. Mol Microbiol 30 209 219

40. InagakiY

MyougaF

KawabataH

YamaiS

WatanabeH

2000 Genomic differences in Streptococcus pyogenes serotype M3 between recent isolates associated with toxic shock-like syndrome and past clinical isolates. J Infect Dis 181 975 983

41. IkebeT

WadaA

InagakiY

SugamaK

SuzukiR

2002 Dissemination of the phage-associated novel superantigen gene speL in recent invasive and noninvasive Streptococcus pyogenes M3/T3 isolates in Japan. Infect Immun 70 3227 3233

Štítky
Hygiena a epidemiologie Infekční lékařství Laboratoř

Článek vyšel v časopise

PLOS Pathogens


2010 Číslo 4

Nejčtenější v tomto čísle

Tomuto tématu se dále věnují…


Kurzy

Zvyšte si kvalifikaci online z pohodlí domova

Cesta pacienta s CHOPN
nový kurz
Autoři: doc. MUDr. Vladimír Koblížek, Ph.D.

Arteriální hypertenze ve světle nových evropských guidelines
Autoři: MUDr. Libor Jelínek

Precizní medicína v onkologii
Autoři:

Kožní toxicita cílené terapie inhibitory EGFR a VEGF
Autoři: MUDr. Karolína Svobodová

Jak na psoriázu v každodenní ambulantní praxi?
Autoři: MUDr. Jan Šternberský, Ph. D.

Všechny kurzy
Kurzy Doporučená témata Časopisy
Přihlášení
Zapomenuté heslo

Nemáte účet?  Registrujte se

Zapomenuté heslo

Zadejte e-mailovou adresu se kterou jste vytvářel(a) účet, budou Vám na ni zaslány informace k nastavení nového hesla.

Přihlášení

Nemáte účet?  Registrujte se