Virulence plasmid stability in environmentally occurring Bacillus anthracis from North East Turkey
Number of Authors: 9
2017 (English)In: Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. International Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology, ISSN 0003-6072, E-ISSN 1572-9699, Vol. 110, no 1, 167-170 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The Bacillus anthracis virulence plasmid pXO2, which encodes for a polypeptide capsule, can be lost during long term laboratory storage. To determine if pXO2 is lost in nature we screened B. anthracis isolates obtained from B. anthracis spores from contaminated animal burial sites in Turkey for their ability to express a capsule upon primary culture. A total of 672 B. anthracis colonies were examined of which ten produced a mixed mucoid (capsule +ve)/non-mucoid (capsule -ve) phenotype and a further one colony yielded non-mucoid colonies upon repeated culture. Screening by PCR using pXO2 specific primers revealed that seven of these isolates had eliminated the plasmid. Of the four colonies which were positive by PCR, one regained the ability to express a capsule upon repeated culture suggesting that the defect was reversible. This is an important observation as capsule expression is a principal marker of virulence and in the absence of PCR serves as a key diagnostic marker. The results of this preliminary study suggest that pXO2 is lost in nature and that further studies are need to determine the mechanisms by which this occurs.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 110, no 1, 167-170 p.
Plasmid stability, Environmental, Bacillus anthracis
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-140388DOI: 10.1007/s10482-016-0767-5ISI: 000392184800017PubMedID: 27646562OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-140388DiVA: diva2:1083039