The DmsABC Sulfoxide Reductase Supports Virulence in Non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae.

Frontiers Media
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Frontiers in Microbiology, 2021, 12, pp. 1-11
Issue Date:
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Although molybdenum-containing enzymes are well-established as having a key role in bacterial respiration, it is increasingly recognized that some may also support bacterial virulence. Here, we show that DmsABC, a putative dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) reductase, is required for fitness of the respiratory pathogen Haemophilus influenzae (Hi) in different models of infection. Expression of the dmsABC operon increased with decreasing oxygen availability, but despite this, a Hi2019Δd msA strain did not show any defects in anaerobic growth on chemically defined medium (CDM), and viability was also unaffected. Although Hi2019Δd msA exhibited increased biofilm formation in vitro and greater resistance to hypochlorite killing compared to the isogenic wild-type strain, its survival in contact with primary human neutrophils, in infections of cultured tissue cells, or in a mouse model of lung infection was reduced compared to Hi2019WT. The tissue cell infection model revealed a two-fold decrease in intracellular survival, while in the mouse model of lung infection Hi2019Δd msA was strongly attenuated and below detection levels at 48 h post-inoculation. While Hi2019WT was recovered in approximately equal numbers from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and lung tissue, survival of Hi2019Δd msA was reduced in lung tissue compared to BALF samples, indicating that Hi2019Δd msA had reduced access to or survival in the intracellular niche. Our data clearly indicate for the first time a role for DmsABC in H. influenzae infection and that the conditions under which DmsABC is required in this bacterium are closely linked to interactions with the host.
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