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Antimicrobial Resistance

Article Reference [Bacterial meningitis caused by beta-lactamase-negative, ampicillin-resistant nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae in a 1-year-old girl: a case report].
We present herein the case report of bacterial meningitis caused by nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) in a 1-year-7-month-old girl with no medically significant history. NTHi from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was the beta-lactamase non-producing ampicillin resistant strain (BLNAR). Some beta-lactams were administrated, but fever was prolonged. Finally, rifampicin seemed to be effective. In NTHi, compared with H. influenzae type b (Hib), the prevalence of BLNAR is high. Hence, complicated cases may increase in the near future if the use of the Hib vaccine becomes widespread, and meningitis caused by NTHi increases. It may be necessary to consider combination therapy or use of non-beta-lactams that have a different antimicrobial mechanism from beta-lactams. PCR analysis revealed the possibility that the CSF isolate lacked the P5 protein gene. Though deficiency of P5 fimbriae is known to reduce the affinity of NTHi for the human respiratory epithelium, determining whether P5 deficient NTHi induced meningitis will require further study.
Article Reference The Haemophilus influenzae Sap transporter mediates bacterium-epithelial cell homeostasis.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) is a commensal inhabitant of the human nasopharynx and a causative agent of otitis media and other diseases of the upper and lower human airway. During colonization within the host, NTHI must acquire essential nutrients and evade immune attack. We previously demonstrated that the NTHI Sap transporter, an inner membrane protein complex, mediates resistance to antimicrobial peptides and is required for heme homeostasis. We hypothesized that Sap transporter functions are critical for NTHI interaction with the host epithelium and establishment of colonization. Thus, we cocultured the parent or the sapA mutant on polarized epithelial cells grown at an air-liquid interface, as a physiological model of NTHI colonization, to determine the contribution of the Sap transporter to bacterium-host cell interactions. Although SapA-deficient NTHI was less adherent to epithelial cells, we observed a significant increase in invasive bacteria compared to the parent strain. Upon internalization, the sapA mutant appeared free in the cytoplasm, whereas the parent strain was primarily found in endosomes, indicating differential subcellular trafficking. Additionally, we observed reduced inflammatory cytokine production by the epithelium in response to the sapA mutant strain compared to the parental strain. Furthermore, chinchilla middle ears challenged with the sapA mutant demonstrated a decrease in disease severity compared to ears challenged with the parental strain. Collectively, our data suggest that NTHI senses host environmental cues via Sap transporter function to mediate interaction with host epithelial cells. Epithelial cell invasion and modulation of host inflammatory cytokine responses may promote NTHI colonization and access to essential nutrients.
Article Reference Dps promotes survival of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae in biofilm communities in vitro and resistance to clearance in vivo.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is a common airway commensal and opportunistic pathogen that persists within surface-attached biofilm communities. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that bacterial stress-responses are activated within biofilms. Transcripts for several factors associated with bacterial resistance to environmental stress were increased in biofilm cultures as compared to planktonic cultures. Among these, a homolog of the DNA-binding protein from starved cells (dps) was chosen for further study. An isogenic NTHi 86-028NP dps mutant was generated and tested for resistance to environmental stress, revealing a significant survival defects in high-iron conditions, which was mediated by oxidative stress and was restored by genetic complementation. As expected, NTHi 86-028NP dps had a general stress-response defect, exhibiting decreased resistance to many types of environmental stress. While no differences were observed in density and structure of NTHi 86-028NP and NTHi 86-028NP dps biofilms, bacterial survival was decreased in NTHi 86-028NP dps biofilms as compared to the parental strain. The role of dps persistence in vivo was tested in animal infection studies. NTHi 86-028NP dps had decreased resistance to clearance after pulmonary infection of elastase-treated mice as compared to NTHi 86-028NP, whereas minimal differences were observed in clearance from mock-treated mice. Similarly, lower numbers of NTHi 86-028NP dps were recovered from middle-ear effusions and bullar homogenates in the chinchilla model for otitis media (OM). Therefore, we conclude that Dps promotes bacterial survival within NTHi biofilm communities both in vitro and in chronic infections in vivo.
Article Reference SapF-mediated heme-iron utilization enhances persistence and coordinates biofilm architecture of Haemophilus.
Non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) is a common commensal bacterium that resides in the human upper respiratory tract of healthy individuals. NTHI is also a known causative agent of multiple diseases including sinusitis, otitis media, as well as exacerbates disease severity of patients with cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We have previously shown that the Sap transporter mediates resistance to host antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and import of the iron-containing compound heme. Here, we analyzed the contribution of the Sap structural ATPase protein, SapF, in these essential functions. In contrast to SapD, SapF was dispensable for NTHI survival when exposed to AMPs in vitro. SapF was responsible for heme utilization and recovery of depleted internal heme-iron stores. Further, a loss of SapF resulted in morphological plasticity and enhanced community development and biofilm architecture, suggesting the potential role of heme-iron availability in coordinating the complexity of NTHI biofilm architecture. SapF was required for colonization of the nasopharynx and acute infection of the middle ear, as SapF deficiency correlated with a statistically significant decrease in NTHI persistence in vivo. These data suggest that SapF is required for proper heme utilization which directly impacts NTHI survival. Thus, these studies further support a role for the Sap complex in the transport of multiple substrates and further defines substrate specificity for the two ATPase subunits. Given the multiple essential functions provided by the Sap transporter, this complex could prove to be an effective therapeutic target for the treatment of NTHI diseases.
Article Reference Impact of recent antibiotics on nasopharyngeal carriage and lower airway infection in Indigenous Australian children with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis.
Indigenous Australian children have increased rates of bronchiectasis. Despite a lack of high-level evidence on effectiveness and antibiotic resistance, these children often receive long-term antibiotics. In this study, we determined the impact of recent macrolide (primarily azithromycin) and β-lactam antibiotic use on nasopharyngeal colonisation, lower airway infection (>10(4) CFU/mL of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid culture) and antibiotic resistance in non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), Streptococcus pneumoniae and Moraxella catarrhalis isolates from 104 Indigenous children with radiographically confirmed bronchiectasis. Recent antibiotic use was associated with significantly reduced nasopharyngeal carriage, especially of S. pneumoniae in 39 children who received macrolides [odds ratio (OR)=0.22, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.08-0.63] and 26 children who received β-lactams (OR=0.07, 95% CI 0.01-0.32), but had no significant effect on lower airway infection involving any of the three pathogens. Children given macrolides were significantly more likely to carry (OR=4.58, 95% CI 1.14-21.7) and be infected by (OR=8.13, 95% CI 1.47-81.3) azithromycin-resistant S. pneumoniae. Children who received β-lactam antibiotics may be more likely to have lower airway infection with β-lactamase-positive ampicillin-resistant NTHi (OR=4.40, 95% CI 0.85-23.9). The risk of lower airway infection by antibiotic-resistant pathogens in children receiving antibiotics is of concern. Clinical trials to determine the overall benefit of long-term antibiotic therapy are underway.
Article Reference Modified lipooligosaccharide structure protects nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae from IgM-mediated complement killing in experimental otitis media.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is a Gram-negative, human-restricted pathogen. Although this bacterium typically colonizes the nasopharynx in the absence of clinical symptoms, it is also one of the major pathogens causing otitis media (OM) in children. Complement represents an important aspect of the host defense against NTHi. In general, NTHi is efficiently killed by complement-mediated killing; however, various resistance mechanisms have also evolved. We measured the complement resistance of NTHi isolates isolated from the nasopharynx and the middle ear fluids of OM patients. Furthermore, we determined the molecular mechanism of NTHi complement resistance. Complement resistance was strongly increased in isolates from the middle ear, which correlated with decreased binding of IgM. We identified a crucial role for the R2866_0112 gene in complement resistance. Deletion of this gene altered the lipooligosaccharide (LOS) composition of the bacterium, which increased IgM binding and complement-mediated lysis. In a novel mouse model of coinfection with influenza virus, we demonstrate decreased virulence for the R2866_0112 deletion mutant. These findings identify a mechanism by which NTHi modifies its LOS structure to prevent recognition by IgM and activation of complement. Importantly, this mechanism plays a crucial role in the ability of NTHi to cause OM.
Article Reference Epidemiology and evolution of antibiotic resistance of Haemophilus influenzae in children 5 years of age or less in France, 2001-2008: a retrospective database analysis.
Trends in the evolution of antimicrobial resistance and mechanisms of resistance of Haemophilus influenzae to β-lactam antibiotics in France were assessed through a retrospective database review. The antimicrobial resistance of 2,206 H. influenzae strains from children aged ≤5 years was studied between 2001 and 2008. Strains were isolated from blood or cerebrospinal fluid (n = 170), bronchial secretions (n = 188), middle ear fluid, and nasopharynx or conjunctiva (n = 1,848). A proportion of 95.1 % (n = 2,097) were non-typeable H. influenzae (NTHi). β-lactamase production was identified in 27.5 % of NTHi isolates (all TEM-1), while β-lactamase-negative ampicillin resistance and β-lactamase-negative amoxicillin-clavulanate resistance among NTHi was 16.9 and 6.4 %, respectively. Over time, a statistically significant decrease in β-lactamase-producing strain prevalence (p < 0.0001) and a statistically significant increase in β-lactamase-negative ampicillin-resistant (BLNAR) strains (p < 0.0001) were observed in NTHi isolates from 2001 to 2008. The largest changes coincided with a campaign to reduce antibiotic use in France. An increasing diversity of amino acid substitution patterns was observed, with the emergence of group III/'III-like' patterns linked to high-level resistance. In France, amino acid substitution patterns are increasingly diverse, and strains with high-level antibiotic resistance are emerging. This study highlights the complexity of resistance dynamics within a given country. These results have implications on antibiotic guidelines and illustrate the importance of continued surveillance.
Article Reference Infant rat infection modifies phenotypic properties of an invasive nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae.
Enhancing the virulence trait of a specific bacterium in an animal model is often performed prior to the use of the strain for ex vivo human studies, such as reactivity with complement and antibody, or with phagocytic cells. For example, in Streptococcus pneumoniae mouse passage is used to enhance capsule production. While investigating an unusual serum-resistant unencapsulated Haemophilus influenzae (R2866), we found that animal passage yielded an isolate (R3392) which had decreased resistance to human serum, but increased virulence in Chang conjunctival cell monolayers, but with less invasion and transcytosis of polar H292 cells. We examined 90 colonies recovered from three infant rats for phase variants of LPS biosynthetic genes. In 88 colonies lgtC was OFF due to tetrameric repeat mediated slipped-strand mispairing at the time of DNA replication, while there was no variation in lic1A, lic2A, lic3A, lexA and oaf A. With lgtC OFF the LPS lacks Galα1-4βGal, an epitope mimicking the human p(k) blood group, and molecular mimicry is lost. Selection for strain susceptible to NHS in the infant rat was not antibody mediated. We conclude that the passage of pathogens virulent in humans and animals may select for phenotypes only relevant for the animal species used.
Article Reference Sap transporter mediated import and subsequent degradation of antimicrobial peptides in Haemophilus.
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) contribute to host innate immune defense and are a critical component to control bacterial infection. Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) is a commensal inhabitant of the human nasopharyngeal mucosa, yet is commonly associated with opportunistic infections of the upper and lower respiratory tracts. An important aspect of NTHI virulence is the ability to avert bactericidal effects of host-derived antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). The Sap (sensitivity to antimicrobial peptides) ABC transporter equips NTHI to resist AMPs, although the mechanism of this resistance has remained undefined. We previously determined that the periplasmic binding protein SapA bound AMPs and was required for NTHI virulence in vivo. We now demonstrate, by antibody-mediated neutralization of AMP in vivo, that SapA functions to directly counter AMP lethality during NTHI infection. We hypothesized that SapA would deliver AMPs to the Sap inner membrane complex for transport into the bacterial cytoplasm. We observed that AMPs localize to the bacterial cytoplasm of the parental NTHI strain and were susceptible to cytoplasmic peptidase activity. In striking contrast, AMPs accumulated in the periplasm of bacteria lacking a functional Sap permease complex. These data support a mechanism of Sap mediated import of AMPs, a novel strategy to reduce periplasmic and inner membrane accumulation of these host defense peptides.
Article Reference Haemophilus influenzae in children with cystic fibrosis: antimicrobial susceptibility, molecular epidemiology, distribution of adhesins and biofilm formation.
Haemophilus influenzae commonly infects the respiratory tract of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), early in childhood. In this investigation, 79 H. influenzae isolates were recovered from the respiratory secretions of 64 CF patients (median age: 5 years) included in a 5-year follow-up study. Fifteen of the 64 patients contributed two or more H. influenzae isolates overtime. Serotyping, antibiotic susceptibility testing, genotyping, detection of both hmwA and hia adhesin genes and hypermutable strains was carried out. Biofilm formation ability was investigated. Most strains (72/79, 91.2%) were nonencapsulated or nontypeable (NTHi). Resistance to ampicillin (13.9%) and imipenem (17.7%) was the most detected. Few isolates (2.5%) exhibited the hypermutable phenotype. The NTHi strains showed 55 different genotypes, but 19 clusters of closely related strains were identified. Nine clusters included strains that cross-colonised several patients over a long-time period (mean: 3.7 years). Most patients with sequential isolates harboured strains genetically unrelated, but persistent colonisation with the same clone was observed in 37.5% of patients. Over 45% of NTHi strains contained hmwA-related sequences, 26.3%, hia, 8.3% both hmwA and hia, while 19.4% lacked both. A significant association was found between occurrence of an adhesive gene (irrespective of which) and both persistence (P<0.0001) and long-term cross-colonisation (P<0.0001). Mean biofilm level formed by the persistent strains was found significantly increased compared to non-persistent ones (P<0.0001). Hia-positive strains produced significantly more biofilm than hmwA-carrying strains (P<0.01). Although a high turnover of NTHi strains in FC patients was observed, distinct clones with increased capacity of persistence or cross-colonisation occurred.
Article Reference Pathogens implicated in acute otitis media failures after 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine implementation in France: distribution, serotypes, and resistance levels.
Before 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) implementation in France, several studies had described the microbiology of acute otitis media (AOM) treatment failures. The causative pathogens were Streptococcus pneumoniae (Sp) followed by nontypable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi). The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiology of pathogens involved in AOM treatment failures or recurrences.
Article Reference Phylogenetic relatedness and diversity of non-typable Haemophilus influenzae in the nasopharynx and middle ear fluid of children with acute otitis media.
The phylogenetic relationships of non-typable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) strains prospectively isolated from healthy children and children with acute otitis media (AOM) were analysed using multilocus sequence typing (MLST). A total of 165 NTHi isolates were collected over a 3.5 year time frame during 2006 through 2009. The strains were tested for β-lactamase production; 28.5% were positive. Seventy different NTHi sequence types (STs) were identified of which 29 (41.4%) were novel. NTHi strains did not show any phylogenetic grouping or clustering among asymptomatic colonizing strains or strains that caused AOM, or based on β-lactamase enzyme production. Evaluation of triplets and other siblings over time demonstrated relatively frequent genetic exchanges in NTHi isolates in vivo in a short time frame and subsequent transfer among children in a family. Comparison of the MLST STs isolated at different time points showed that in 85% of the nasopharynx (NP) colonizations, NTHi strains cleared from the host within 3 months, that sequential colonization in the same child involved different strains in all cases except one, and that NP and middle ear isolates were identical STs in 84% of cases. In this first study of its type to our knowledge, we could not identify predominant MLST types among strains colonizing the NP versus those causing AOM or expressing a β-lactamase enzyme conferring penicillin resistance in children.
Article Reference [Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) epidemiology].
While most systemic pediatric Haemophilus influenzae infections are caused by the type b strain (Hib), nontypeable H. influenzae: (NTHi) has been considered a respiratory tract pathogen common in local infection such as acute otitis media, acute pneumonia, secondary chronic respiratory disease and other otorhinolaryngologic infections. Recent findings show, however, that NTHi also causes invasive infections such as meningitis, bacteremia, and lower respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia. A review of NTHi epidemiology from the 1990s onward shows that NTHi causes significant morbidity in pediatric acute otitis media, sinusitis, conjunctivitis and lower respiratory diseases such as pneumonia in Japan. This summary also reviews the worldwide influence of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Hib vaccines on causative pathogens, and several studies about increasing incidence of invasive infections due to NTHi. This review also touches on the emergence of treatment- and drug-resistant H. influenzae, which are now major public health challenges. As a cause of bacterial pediatric infection, NTHi is an important target for prevention.
Article Reference Nontypable Haemophilus influenzae displays a prevalent surface structure molecular pattern in clinical isolates.
Non-typable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is a gram negative pathogen that causes acute respiratory infections and is associated with the progression of chronic respiratory diseases. Previous studies have established the existence of a remarkable genetic variability among NTHi strains. In this study we show that, in spite of a high level of genetic heterogeneity, NTHi clinical isolates display a prevalent molecular feature, which could confer fitness during infectious processes. A total of 111 non-isogenic NTHi strains from an identical number of patients, isolated in two distinct geographical locations in the same period of time, were used to analyse nine genes encoding bacterial surface molecules, and revealed the existence of one highly prevalent molecular pattern (lgtF+, lic2A+, lic1D+, lic3A+, lic3B+, siaA-, lic2C+, ompP5+, oapA+) displayed by 94.6% of isolates. Such a genetic profile was associated with a higher bacterial resistance to serum mediated killing and enhanced adherence to human respiratory epithelial cells.
Article Reference ArcA-regulated glycosyltransferase lic2B promotes complement evasion and pathogenesis of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae.
Signaling mechanisms used by Haemophilus influenzae to adapt to conditions it encounters during stages of infection and pathogenesis are not well understood. The ArcAB two-component signal transduction system controls gene expression in response to respiratory conditions of growth and contributes to resistance to bactericidal effects of serum and to bloodstream infection by H. influenzae. We show that ArcA of nontypeable H. influenzae (NTHI) activates expression of a glycosyltransferase gene, lic2B. Structural comparison of the lipooligosaccharide (LOS) of a lic2B mutant to that of the wild-type strain NT127 revealed that lic2B is required for addition of a galactose residue to the LOS outer core. The lic2B gene was crucial for optimal survival of NTHI in a mouse model of bacteremia and for evasion of serum complement. The results demonstrate that ArcA, which controls cellular metabolism in response to environmental reduction and oxidation (redox) conditions, also coordinately controls genes that are critical for immune evasion, providing evidence that NTHI integrates redox signals to regulate specific countermeasures against host defense.
Article Reference Molecular basis of increased serum resistance among pulmonary isolates of non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae.
Non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), a common commensal of the human pharynx, is also an opportunistic pathogen if it becomes established in the lower respiratory tract (LRT). In comparison to colonizing isolates from the upper airway, LRT isolates, especially those associated with exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, have increased resistance to the complement- and antibody-dependent, bactericidal effect of serum. To define the molecular basis of this resistance, mutants constructed in a serum resistant strain using the mariner transposon were screened for loss of survival in normal human serum. The loci required for serum resistance contribute to the structure of the exposed surface of the bacterial outer membrane. These included loci involved in biosynthesis of the oligosaccharide component of lipooligosaccharide (LOS), and vacJ, which functions with an ABC transporter encoded by yrb genes in retrograde trafficking of phospholipids from the outer to inner leaflet of the cell envelope. Mutations in vacJ and yrb genes reduced the stability of the outer membrane and were associated with increased cell surface hyrophobicity and phospholipid content. Loss of serum resistance in vacJ and yrb mutants correlated with increased binding of natural immunoglobulin M in serum as well as anti-oligosaccharide mAbs. Expression of vacJ and the yrb genes was positively correlated with serum resistance among clinical isolates. Our findings suggest that NTHi adapts to inflammation encountered during infection of the LRT by modulation of its outer leaflet through increased expression of vacJ and yrb genes to minimize recognition by bactericidal anti-oligosaccharide antibodies.
Article Reference Divergent mechanisms for passive pneumococcal resistance to β-lactam antibiotics in the presence of Haemophilus influenzae.
Otitis media, for which antibiotic treatment failure is increasingly common, is a leading pediatric public health problem.
Article Reference Mechanisms of bacterial resistance to antibiotics in infections of COPD patients.
A key characteristic of airway inflammation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the persistent presence of bacteria in the lower airways. The most commonly isolated bacteria in the lower respiratory tract of COPD patients are nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis and Streptococcus pneumoniae, with growing evidence of the significance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in severe COPD disease. This review focuses on the antibiotic resistant mechanisms associated with the gram-negative bacteria H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis and comparison with P. aeruginosa infection because of the recent evidence of its significance in patients with severe COPD disease. These mechanisms of resistance to β-lactams in H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis are mostly associated with serine β-lactamases of class A type, whereas P. aeruginosa strains exhibit a much broader repertoire with class A-D type mechanisms. Other mechanisms of antibiotic resistance include membrane permeability, efflux pump systems and mutations in antimicrobial targets. Antimicrobial resistance within biofilm matrices appears to be different to the mechanisms observed when the bacteria are in the planktonic state. P. aeruginosa exhibits a more numerous and diverse range of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms in comparison to M. catarrhalis and H. influenzae. The recognition that P. aeruginosa is associated with exacerbations in patients with more severe COPD and that turnover in infecting strains is detected (unlike in cystic fibrosis patients), then further investigation is required to better understand the contribution of antimicrobial resistance and other virulence mechanisms to poor clinical outcomes to improve therapeutic approaches.
Article Reference Clonal spread of beta-lactamase-producing amoxicillin-clavulanate-resistant (BLPACR) strains of non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae among young children attending a day care in Japan.
Resistant strains of non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) are one of the principal causes of recurrent acute otitis media (otitis prone), rhinosinusitis, and pneumonia in young children. Beta-lactamase-nonproducing ampicillin-resistant (BLNAR) strains are particularly common in Japan, and beta-lactamase-producing amoxicillin-clavulanate resistant (BLPACR) strains are now emerging. We investigated the nasopharyngeal carriage status of these resistant strains among children attending a same day care center during a 10-year period.
Article Reference Genes required for the synthesis of heptose-containing oligosaccharide outer core extensions in Haemophilus influenzae lipopolysaccharide.
Heptose-containing oligosaccharides (OSs) are found in the outer core of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of a subset of non-typable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) strains. Candidate genes for the addition of either l-glycero-d-manno-heptose (ld-Hep) or d-glycero-d-manno-heptose (dd-Hep) and subsequent hexose sugars to these OSs have been identified from the recently completed genome sequences available for NTHi strains. losA1/losB1 and losA2/losB2 are two sets of related genes in which losA has homology to genes encoding glycosyltransferases and losB to genes encoding heptosyltransferases. Each set of genes is variably present across NTHi strains and is located in a region of the genome with an alternative gene organization between strains that contributes to LPS heterogeneity. Dependent upon the strain background, the LPS phenotype, structure and serum resistance of strains mutated in these genes were altered when compared with the relevant parent strain. Our studies confirm that losB1 and losB2 usually encode dd-heptosyl- and ld-heptosyl transferases, respectively, and that losA1 and losA2 encode glycosyltransferases that play a role in OS extensions of NTHi LPS.