Andrea Vettiger

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Mycolactones are polyketide-derived lipid virulence factors made by the slow-growing human pathogen, Mycobacterium ulcerans. Three unusually large and homologous plasmid-borne genes (mlsA1: 51 kb, mlsB: 42 kb and mlsA2: 7 kb) encode the mycolactone type I polyketide synthases (PKS). The extreme size and low sequence diversity of these genes has posed(More)
Buruli ulcer (BU) caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans is a devastating skin disease, occurring mainly in remote West African communities with poor access to health care. Early case detection and subsequent antibiotic treatment are essential to counteract the progression of the characteristic chronic ulcerative lesions. Since the accuracy of clinical BU(More)
Interactions between environmental stressors play an important role in shaping the health of an organism. This is particularly true in terms of the prevalence and severity of infectious disease, as stressors in combination will not always act to simply decrease the immune function of a host, but may instead interact to compound or even oppose the influence(More)
Bacterial type VI secretion system (T6SS) is a nanomachine that works similarly to a speargun. Rapid contraction of a sling (sheath) drives a long shaft (Hcp) with a sharp tip and associated effectors through the target cell membrane. We show that the amount and composition of the tip regulates initiation of full-length sheath assembly and low amount of(More)
BACKGROUND Buruli ulcer, caused by infection with Mycobacterium ulcerans, is a chronic ulcerative neglected tropical disease of the skin and subcutaneous tissue that is most prevalent in West African countries. M. ulcerans produces a cytotoxic macrolide exotoxin called mycolactone, which causes extensive necrosis of infected subcutaneous tissue and the(More)
The bacterial Type VI secretion system (T6SS) delivers proteins into target cells using fast contraction of a long sheath anchored to the cell envelope and wrapped around an inner Hcp tube associated with the secreted proteins. Mechanisms of sheath assembly and length regulation are unclear. Here we study these processes using spheroplasts formed from(More)
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