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Pathogenesis of Bacillus anthracis is associated with the production of lethal toxin (LT), which activates the murine Nalp1b/Nlrp1b inflammasome and induces caspase-1-dependent pyroptotic death in macrophages and dendritic cells. In this study, we investigated the effect of allelic variation of Nlrp1b on the outcome of LT challenge and infection by B.(More)
Burkholderia pseudomallei, the etiologic agent of melioidosis, is a gram-negative facultative intracellular bacterium. This bacterium is endemic in Southeast Asia and Northern Australia and can infect humans and animals by several routes. It has also been estimated to present a considerable risk as a potential biothreat agent. There are currently no(More)
Bacillus spp. and Clostridium spp. form a specialized cell type, called a spore, during a multistep differentiation process that is initiated in response to starvation. Spores are protected by a morphologically complex protein coat. The Bacillus anthracis coat is of particular interest because the spore is the infective particle of anthrax. We determined(More)
Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax, and the spore form of the bacterium represents the infectious particle introduced into a host. The spore is surrounded by an exosporium, a loose-fitting membrane composed of proteins and carbohydrates from which hair-like projections extend. These projections are composed mainly of BclA(More)
Anthrax is a potentially fatal disease resulting from infection with Bacillus anthracis. The outcome of infection is influenced by pathogen-encoded virulence factors such as lethal toxin (LT), as well as by genetic variation within the host. To identify host genes controlling susceptibility to anthrax, a library of congenic mice consisting of strains with(More)
Infection by the Gram-negative pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei results in the disease melioidosis, acquired from the environment in parts of southeast Asia and northern Australia. Clinical symptoms of melioidosis range from acute (fever, pneumonia, septicemia, and localized infection) to chronic (abscesses in various organs and tissues, most commonly(More)
The Bacillus anthracis spore is the causative agent of the disease anthrax. The outermost structure of the B. anthracis spore, the exosporium, is a shell composed of approximately 20 proteins. The function of the exosporium remains poorly understood and is an area of active investigation. In this study, we analyzed the previously identified but(More)
Soluble receptor decoy inhibitors, including receptor-immunogloubulin (Ig) fusion proteins, have shown promise as candidate anthrax toxin therapeutics. These agents act by binding to the receptor-interaction site on the protective antigen (PA) toxin subunit, thereby blocking toxin binding to cell surface receptors. Here we have made the surprising(More)
Yersinia pestis is the etiologic agent of plague that has killed more than 200 million people throughout the recorded history of mankind. Antibiotics may provide little immediate relief to patients who have a high bacteremia or to patients infected with an antibiotic resistant strain of plague. Two virulent factors of Y. pestis are the capsid F1 protein and(More)
Bacillus anthracis spores are the infectious form of the organism for humans and animals. However, the approved human vaccine in the United States is derived from a vegetative culture filtrate of a toxigenic, nonencapsulated B. anthracis strain that primarily contains protective antigen (PA). Immunization of mice with purified spore proteins and(More)