Host-like carbohydrates promote bloodstream survival of Vibrio vulnificus in vivo.
Bottom Line: Here we demonstrate that sialic acid-like molecules are present on the lipopolysaccharide of V. vulnificus, are required for full motility and biofilm formation, and also contribute to the organism's natural resistance to polymyxin B.Further experiments in a murine model of intravenous V. vulnificus infection demonstrated that expression of nonulosonic acids had a striking benefit for bacterial survival during bloodstream infection and dissemination to other tissues in vivo.In fact, levels of bacterial persistence in the blood corresponded to the overall levels of these molecules expressed by V. vulnificus isolates.
Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA.Show MeSH
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Mentions: Given the common involvement of bacterial surface carbohydrates in biofilm formation (15, 33, 37–39), we next evaluated the potential role of NulO biosynthesis in the ability of V. vulnificus to generate biofilms on abiotic surfaces. The results showed that in the CMCP6 background, nab2 deletion resulted in a defect in biofilm formation compared to that of the WT (Fig. 3A). Moreover, complementation (Δnab2/pnab2 strain) completely restored the ability to form biofilms (Fig. 3A). These data implicate NulO molecules in the generation of V. vulnificus biofilms. However, in contrast to CMCP6, YJ016 (which expresses lower overall levels of NulOs) exhibited minimal, if any, nab2-dependent biofilm formation (not shown).
Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA.