Many bacterial pathogens can cause septicemia and spread from the bloodstream into internal organs. During leptospirosis, individuals are infected by contact with Leptospira-containing animal urine-contaminated water. The spirochetes invade internal organs after septicemia to cause disease aggravation, but the mechanism of leptospiral excretion and spreading remains unknown. Here, we demonstrated that Leptospira interrogans entered human/mouse endothelial and epithelial cells and fibroblasts by caveolae/integrin-β1-PI3K/FAK-mediated microfilament-dependent endocytosis to form Leptospira (Lep)-vesicles that did not fuse with lysosomes. Lep-vesicles recruited Rab5/Rab11 and Sec/Exo-SNARE proteins in endocytic recycling and vesicular transport systems for intracellular transport and release by SNARE-complex/FAK-mediated microfilament/microtubule-dependent exocytosis. Both intracellular leptospires and infected cells maintained their viability. Leptospiral propagation was only observed in mouse fibroblasts. Our study revealed that L. interrogans utilizes endocytic recycling and vesicular transport systems for transcytosis across endothelial or epithelial barrier in blood vessels or renal tubules, which contributes to spreading in vivo and transmission of leptospirosis.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Jie Yan
- Jie Yan
- Wei-Lin Hu
- Shi-Jun Li
- Shi-Jun Li
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All animals were handled in strict accordance with good animal practice as defined by the National Regulations for the Administration of Experimental Animals of China (1988-002) and the National Guidelines for Experimental Animal Welfare of China (2006-398).
- Reinhard Jahn, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Germany
© 2019, Li et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Bacterial pathogens show high levels of chromosomal genetic diversity, but the influence of this diversity on the evolution of antibiotic resistance by plasmid acquisition remains unclear. Here, we address this problem in the context of colistin, a ‘last line of defence’ antibiotic. Using experimental evolution, we show that a plasmid carrying the MCR-1 colistin resistance gene dramatically increases the ability of Escherichia coli to evolve high-level colistin resistance by acquiring mutations in lpxC, an essential chromosomal gene involved in lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis. Crucially, lpxC mutations increase colistin resistance in the presence of the MCR-1 gene, but decrease the resistance of wild-type cells, revealing positive sign epistasis for antibiotic resistance between the chromosomal mutations and a mobile resistance gene. Analysis of public genomic datasets shows that lpxC polymorphisms are common in pathogenic E. coli, including those carrying MCR-1, highlighting the clinical relevance of this interaction. Importantly, lpxC diversity is high in pathogenic E. coli from regions with no history of MCR-1 acquisition, suggesting that pre-existing lpxC polymorphisms potentiated the evolution of high-level colistin resistance by MCR-1 acquisition. More broadly, these findings highlight the importance of standing genetic variation and plasmid/chromosomal interactions in the evolutionary dynamics of antibiotic resistance.