P. Scott Hefty

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Many gram-negative bacterial pathogens employ type III secretion systems for infectious processes. Chlamydiae are obligate intracellular bacteria that encode a conserved type III secretion system that is likely requisite for growth. Typically, genes encoding type III secretion systems are located in a single locus; however, for chlamydiae these genes are(More)
Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen that can cause sexually transmitted and ocular diseases in humans. Its biphasic developmental cycle and ability to evade host-cell defences suggest that the organism responds to external signals, but its genome encodes few recognized signalling pathways. One such pathway is predicted to(More)
Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes can circumvent the vertebrate host's immune system for long periods of time. B. burgdorferi sensu stricto and B. afzelii, but not B. garinii, bind the complement inhibitor factor H to protect themselves against complement-mediated opsonophagocytosis and killing. We found that factor H binding and complement resistance are(More)
Lyme disease is a tick-borne infection that can lead to chronic, debilitating problems if not recognized or treated appropriately. Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, is maintained in nature by a complex enzootic cycle involving Ixodes ticks and mammalian hosts. Many previous studies support the notion that B. burgdorferi(More)
Two-component signal transduction systems are widespread in bacteria and are essential regulatory mechanisms for many biological processes. These systems predominantly rely on a sensor kinase to phosphorylate a response regulator for controlling activity, which is frequently transcriptional regulation. In recent years, an increasing number of atypical(More)
Chlamydia spp. are obligate intracellular bacterial pathogens that alternate between two metabolically and morphologically distinct developmental forms, and differentiation depends on transcriptional regulation. Genome sequencing of Chlamydia trachomatis revealed an ORF, CT630 (chxR), whose amino acid sequence contains a winged helix-turn-helix motif(More)
Chlamydia trachomatis is maintained through a complex bi-phasic developmental cycle that incorporates numerous processes that are poorly understood. This is reflective of the previous paucity of genetic tools available. The recent advent of a method for transforming Chlamydia has enabled the development of essential molecular tools to better study these(More)
Typically as a result of phosphorylation, OmpR/PhoB response regulators form homodimers through a receiver domain as an integral step in transcriptional activation. Phosphorylation stabilizes the ionic and hydrophobic interactions between monomers. Recent studies have shown that some response regulators retain functional activity in the absence of(More)
In previous studies we have characterized the cp32/18 loci in Borrelia burgdorferi 297 which encode OspE and OspF orthologs and a third group of lipoproteins which possess OspE/F-like leader peptides (Elps). To further these studies, we have comprehensively analyzed their patterns of expression throughout the borrelial enzootic cycle. Serial dilution(More)
Serum resistance, an important virulence determinant of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato strains belonging to the Borrelia afzelii and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto genotypes, is related to binding of the complement inhibitor factor H to the spirochete surface protein outer surface protein E (OspE) and its homologues. In this study, we show that the(More)