Biological wastewater treatment plants (BWWTP) are considered to be hotspots of evolution and subsequent spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Mobile genetic elements (MGEs) promote the mobilization and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) and are thereby critical mediators of AMR within the BWWTP microbial community. At present, it is unclear whether specific AMR categories are differentially disseminated via bacteriophages (phages) or plasmids. To understand the segregation of AMR in relation to MGEs, we analyzed meta-omic (metagenomic, metatranscriptomic and metaproteomic) data systematically collected over 1.5 years from a BWWTP. Our results showed a core group of fifteen AMR categories which were found across all timepoints. Some of these AMR categories were disseminated exclusively (bacitracin) or primarily (aminoglycoside, MLS and sulfonamide) via plasmids or phages (fosfomycin and peptide), whereas others were disseminated equally by both MGEs. Combined and timepoint-specific analyses of gene, transcript and protein abundances further demonstrated that aminoglycoside, bacitracin and sulfonamide resistance genes were expressed more by plasmids, in contrast to fosfomycin and peptide AMR expression by phages, thereby validating our genomic findings. In the analyzed communities, the dominant taxon Candidatus Microthrix parvicella was a major contributor to several AMR categories whereby its plasmids primarily mediated aminoglycoside resistance. Importantly, we also found AMR associated with ESKAPEE pathogens within the BWWTP, for which MGEs also contributed differentially to the dissemination of ARGs. Collectively our findings pave the way towards understanding the segmentation of AMR within MGEs, thereby shedding new light on resistome populations and their mediators, essential elements that are of immediate relevance to human health.
The genomic FASTQ files used in this work (previously published) are publicly available at NCBI BioProject PRJNA230567. Metaproteomic data (previously published) are publicly available at the PRIDE database under accession number PXD013655.The open-source tools and algorithms used for the data analyses are reported in the Methods section, including relevant flags used for the various tools. Additionally, custom code for further analysis and generation of the figures can be found at: https://git-r3lab.uni.lu/laura.denies/lao_scripts
- Paul Wilmes
- Paul Wilmes
- Paul Wilmes
- Laura de Nies
- Susheel Bhanu Busi
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- María Mercedes Zambrano, CorpoGen, Colombia
© 2022, de Nies 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.
The type VI secretion system (T6SS) is used by bacteria to deliver toxic effectors directly into target cells. Most T6SSs mediate antibacterial activities, whereas the potential anti-eukaryotic role of T6SS remains understudied. Here, we found a Vibrio T6SS that delivers two novel effectors into mammalian host immune cells. We showed that these effectors induce a pyroptotic cell death in a phagocytosis-dependent manner; we identified the NLRP3 inflammasome as being the underlying mechanism leading to the T6SS-induced pyroptosis. Moreover, we identified a compensatory T6SS-induced pathway that is activated upon inhibition of the canonical pyroptosis pathway. Genetic analyses revealed possible horizontal spread of this T6SS and its anti-eukaryotic effectors into emerging pathogens in the marine environment. Our findings reveal novel T6SS effectors that activate the host inflammasome and possibly contribute to virulence and to the emergence of bacterial pathogens.
The helical shape of Helicobacter pylori cells promotes robust stomach colonization; however, how the helical shape of H. pylori cells is determined is unresolved. Previous work identified helical-cell-shape-promoting protein complexes containing a peptidoglycan-hydrolase (Csd1), a peptidoglycan precursor synthesis enzyme (MurF), a non-enzymatic homolog of Csd1 (Csd2), non-enzymatic transmembrane proteins (Csd5 and Csd7), and a bactofilin (CcmA). Bactofilins are highly conserved, spontaneously polymerizing cytoskeletal bacterial proteins. We sought to understand CcmA’s function in generating the helical shape of H. pylori cells. Using CcmA deletion analysis, in vitro polymerization, and in vivo co-immunoprecipitation experiments, we identified that the bactofilin domain and N-terminal region of CcmA are required for helical cell shape and the bactofilin domain of CcmA is sufficient for polymerization and interactions with Csd5 and Csd7. We also found that CcmA’s N-terminal region inhibits interaction with Csd7. Deleting the N-terminal region of CcmA increases CcmA-Csd7 interactions and destabilizes the peptidoglycan-hydrolase Csd1. Using super-resolution microscopy, we found that Csd5 recruits CcmA to the cell envelope and promotes CcmA enrichment at the major helical axis. Thus, CcmA helps organize cell-shape-determining proteins and peptidoglycan synthesis machinery to coordinate cell wall modification and synthesis, promoting the curvature required to build a helical cell.