Christopher K. Cote

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Bacillus anthracis spore germination is usually detected in vitro by alterations in spore refractility, heat resistance, and stainability. We developed a more quantitative, sensitive, and semi-automated procedure for detecting germination by using a microtiter kinetic reader for fluorescence spectrophotometry. The procedure was based on the increase in(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)
The protective antigen (PA) component of the anthrax toxins is an essential virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis and is the major protective immunogen. The kinetics of PA production during growth of B. anthracis, and the roles of anti-PA antibody in host immunity are not clearly defined. Production of PA by the vegetative organisms peaks during the shift(More)
The development of new approaches to combat anthrax requires that the pathogenesis and host response to Bacillus anthracis spores be better understood. We investigated the roles that macrophages and neutrophils play in the progression of infection by B. anthracis in a mouse model. Mice were treated with a macrophage depletion agent (liposome-encapsulated(More)
Immunization with the Yersinia pestis F1 and LcrV proteins improves survival in mouse and non-human primate models of pneumonic plague. F1- and LcrV-specific antibodies contribute to protection, however, the mechanisms of antibody-mediated defense are incompletely understood and serum antibody titers do not suffice as quantitative correlates of protection.(More)
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)
The role of macrophages in the pathogenesis of anthrax is unresolved. Macrophages are believed to support the initiation of infection by Bacillus anthracis spores, yet are also sporicidal. Furthermore, it is believed that the anthrax toxins suppress normal macrophage function. However, the significance of toxin effects on macrophages has not been addressed(More)
Carbohydrate analyses of whole-spore extracts have confirmed the presence of rhamnose in the spore of the fully virulent Ames strain of Bacillus anthracis. A gene cluster containing loci with high homology to the rhamnose biosynthetic genes, rmlACBD, was identified within the B. anthracis chromosome. The first gene of this cluster, rmlA, was inactivated by(More)
The pathogenesis of infection by Bacillus anthracis has been the subject of many investigations, but remains incompletely understood. It has been shown that B. anthracis spores germinate in macrophages and perhaps require this intracellular niche to germinate in vivo before outgrowth of the vegetative organism. However, it has also been reported that(More)
At the genomic level, Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis are nearly identical but cause very different diseases. Y. pestis is the etiologic agent of plague; whereas Y. pseudotuberculosis causes a gastrointestinal infection primarily after the consumption of contaminated food. In many gram-negative pathogenic bacteria, PhoP is part of a(More)