Brucella spp. of amphibians comprise genomically diverse motile strains competent for replication in macrophages and survival in mammalian hosts

Sascha Al Dahouk, Stephan Köhler, Alessandra Occhialini, María Pilar Jiménez De Bagüés, Jens Andre Hammerl, Tobias Eisenberg, Gilles Vergnaud, Axel Cloeckaert, Michel S. Zygmunt, Adrian M. Whatmore, Falk Melzer, Kevin P. Drees, Jeffrey T Foster, Alice R. Wattam, Holger C. Scholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Twenty-one small Gram-negative motile coccobacilli were isolated from 15 systemically diseased African bullfrogs (Pyxicephalus edulis), and were initially identified as Ochrobactrum anthropi by standard microbiological identification systems. Phylogenetic reconstructions using combined molecular analyses and comparative whole genome analysis of the most diverse of the bullfrog strains verified affiliation with the genus Brucella and placed the isolates in a cluster containing B. inopinata and the other non-classical Brucella species but also revealed significant genetic differences within the group. Four representative but molecularly and phenotypically diverse strains were used for in vitro and in vivo infection experiments. All readily multiplied in macrophage-like murine J774-cells, and their overall intramacrophagic growth rate was comparable to that of B. inopinata BO1 and slightly higher than that of B. microti CCM 4915. In the BALB/c murine model of infection these strains replicated in both spleen and liver, but were less efficient than B. suis 1330. Some strains survived in the mammalian host for up to 12 weeks. The heterogeneity of these novel strains hampers a single species description but their phenotypic and genetic features suggest that they represent an evolutionary link between a soil-associated ancestor and the mammalian host-adapted pathogenic Brucella species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number44420
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 16 2017
Externally publishedYes

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Brucella
amphibians
macrophages
Ochrobactrum anthropi
Microtus
infection
spleen
ancestry
animal models
liver
genome
phylogeny
mice
soil
cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Al Dahouk, S., Köhler, S., Occhialini, A., De Bagüés, M. P. J., Hammerl, J. A., Eisenberg, T., ... Scholz, H. C. (2017). Brucella spp. of amphibians comprise genomically diverse motile strains competent for replication in macrophages and survival in mammalian hosts. Scientific Reports, 7, [44420]. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep44420

Brucella spp. of amphibians comprise genomically diverse motile strains competent for replication in macrophages and survival in mammalian hosts. / Al Dahouk, Sascha; Köhler, Stephan; Occhialini, Alessandra; De Bagüés, María Pilar Jiménez; Hammerl, Jens Andre; Eisenberg, Tobias; Vergnaud, Gilles; Cloeckaert, Axel; Zygmunt, Michel S.; Whatmore, Adrian M.; Melzer, Falk; Drees, Kevin P.; Foster, Jeffrey T; Wattam, Alice R.; Scholz, Holger C.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 7, 44420, 16.03.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Al Dahouk, S, Köhler, S, Occhialini, A, De Bagüés, MPJ, Hammerl, JA, Eisenberg, T, Vergnaud, G, Cloeckaert, A, Zygmunt, MS, Whatmore, AM, Melzer, F, Drees, KP, Foster, JT, Wattam, AR & Scholz, HC 2017, 'Brucella spp. of amphibians comprise genomically diverse motile strains competent for replication in macrophages and survival in mammalian hosts', Scientific Reports, vol. 7, 44420. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep44420
Al Dahouk, Sascha ; Köhler, Stephan ; Occhialini, Alessandra ; De Bagüés, María Pilar Jiménez ; Hammerl, Jens Andre ; Eisenberg, Tobias ; Vergnaud, Gilles ; Cloeckaert, Axel ; Zygmunt, Michel S. ; Whatmore, Adrian M. ; Melzer, Falk ; Drees, Kevin P. ; Foster, Jeffrey T ; Wattam, Alice R. ; Scholz, Holger C. / Brucella spp. of amphibians comprise genomically diverse motile strains competent for replication in macrophages and survival in mammalian hosts. In: Scientific Reports. 2017 ; Vol. 7.
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