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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)
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 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)
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)
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 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)
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 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)
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)
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)