Host-like carbohydrates promote bloodstream survival of Vibrio vulnificus in vivo.
Bottom Line: Sialic acids are found on all vertebrate cell surfaces and are part of a larger class of molecules known as nonulosonic acids.In fact, levels of bacterial persistence in the blood corresponded to the overall levels of these molecules expressed by V. vulnificus isolates.Taken together, these results suggest that molecules similar to sialic acids evolved to facilitate the aquatic lifestyle of V. vulnificus but that their emergence also resulted in a gain of function with life-threatening potential in the human host.
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.