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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)
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)
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)
Many bacterial species use secreted quorum-sensing autoinducer molecules to regulate cell density- and growth phase-dependent gene expression, including virulence factor production, as sufficient environmental autoinducer concentrations are achieved. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, contains a functional autoinducer (AI-2) system, which(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)
Burkholderia mallei (Bm) is a highly infectious intracellular pathogen classified as a category B biological agent by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After respiratory exposure, Bm establishes itself within host macrophages before spreading into major organ systems, which can lead to chronic infection, sepsis, and death. Previously, we(More)
Francisella tularensis, a gram-negative facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen, is the causative agent of tularemia and able to infect many mammalian species, including humans. Because of its ability to cause a lethal infection, low infectious dose, and aerosolizable nature, F. tularensis subspecies tularensis is considered a potential biowarfare(More)