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Growth of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in human plasma: impacts on virulence and metabolic gene expression

Abstract : BACKGROUND: In man, infection by the Gram-negative enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is usually limited to the terminal ileum. However, in immunocompromised patients, the microorganism may disseminate from the digestive tract and thus cause a systemic infection with septicemia. RESULTS: To gain insight into the metabolic pathways and virulence factors expressed by the bacterium at the blood stage of pseudotuberculosis, we compared the overall gene transcription patterns (the transcriptome) of bacterial cells cultured in either human plasma or Luria-Bertani medium. The most marked plasma-triggered metabolic consequence in Y. pseudotuberculosis was the switch to high glucose consumption, which is reminiscent of the acetogenic pathway (known as "glucose overflow") in Escherichia coli. However, upregulation of the glyoxylate shunt enzymes suggests that (in contrast to E. coli) acetate may be further metabolized in Y. pseudotuberculosis. Our data also indicate that the bloodstream environment can regulate major virulence genes (positively or negatively); the yadA adhesin gene and most of the transcriptional units of the pYV-encoded type III secretion apparatus were found to be upregulated, whereas transcription of the pH6 antigen locus was strongly repressed. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that plasma growth of Y. pseudotuberculosis is responsible for major transcriptional regulatory events and prompts key metabolic reorientations within the bacterium, which may in turn have an impact on virulence.
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Marie-Laure Rosso, Sylvie Chauvaux, Rodrigue Dessein, Caroline Laurans, Lionel Frangeul, et al.. Growth of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in human plasma: impacts on virulence and metabolic gene expression. BMC Microbiology, BioMed Central, 2008, 8, pp.211. ⟨10.1186/1471-2180-8-211⟩. ⟨inserm-02064904⟩

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