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We recently described the presence of 3 pilus variants in the human pathogen group B streptococcus (GBS; also known as Streptococcus agalactiae), each encoded by a distinct pathogenicity island, as well as the ability of pilus components to elicit protection in mice against homologous challenge. To determine whether a vaccine containing a combination of(More)
Both active and passive immunization strategies against Staphylococcus aureus have thus far failed to show efficacy in humans. With the attempt to develop an effective S. aureus vaccine, we selected five conserved antigens known to have different roles in S. aureus pathogenesis. They include the secreted factors α-hemolysin (Hla), ess extracellular A(More)
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a multiserotype bacterial pathogen representing a major cause of life-threatening infections in newborns. To develop a broadly protective vaccine, we analyzed the genome sequences of eight GBS isolates and cloned and tested 312 surface proteins as vaccines. Four proteins elicited protection in mice, and their combination(More)
We have recently reported the presence of covalently linked pilus-like structures in the human pathogen, Group B Streptococcus (GBS). The pilus operon codes for three proteins which contain the conserved amino acid motif, LPXTG, associated with cell wall-anchored proteins together with two genes coding for sortase enzymes. Analysis of the eight sequenced(More)
Gram-positive bacteria assemble pili through class C sortase enzymes specialized in polymerizing pilin subunits into covalently linked, high-molecular-weight, elongated structures. Here we report the crystal structures of two class C sortases (SrtC1 and SrtC2) from Group B Streptococcus (GBS) Pilus Island 1. The structures show that both sortases are(More)
Pili are essential virulence factors in many Gram-negative bacteria; however, they have not been described in most important Gram-positive pathogens. While screening the sequence of multiple genomes of Group B Streptococcus, we identified protective antigens that formed high molecular weight polymers. Immunogold electron microscopy revealed that the(More)
Streptococcus agalactiae is the primary colonizer of the anogenital mucosa of up to 30% of healthy women and can infect newborns during delivery and cause severe sepsis and meningitis. Persistent colonization usually involves the formation of biofilm and increasing evidences indicate that in pathogenic streptococci biofilm formation is mediated by pili.(More)
The tetracycline (Tc)-dependent system in its "on" version (rtTA system) displays a baseline activity in the uninduced state, severely limiting its potential applicability in human gene therapy. So far, two different strategies to circumvent this limitation have been described. On one side, co-expression of the tetracycline regulated repressor tTS(kid) has(More)
The tetracycline (Tet)-dependent regulatory system has been widely used for controlling gene expression. The Tet-on version of the system, in which the reverse Tet-responsive transcriptional activator (rtTA) is positively regulated by Tet or its analogs, such as doxycycline (Dox), is of potential utility for gene therapy applications in humans. However,(More)
Vaccination has played a significant role in controlling and eliminating life-threatening infectious diseases throughout the world, and yet currently licensed vaccines represent only the tip of the iceberg in terms of controlling human pathogens. However, as we discuss in this Review, the arrival of the genome era has revolutionized vaccine development and(More)