Stephen Billington

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Clostridium perfringens is a Gram-positive, anaerobic spore-forming bacterium commonly found in soil, sediments, and the human gastrointestinal tract. C. perfringens is responsible for a wide spectrum of disease, including food poisoning, gas gangrene (clostridial myonecrosis), enteritis necroticans, and non-foodborne gastrointestinal infections. The(More)
Arcanobacterium pyogenes is a commensal and an opportunistic pathogen of economically important livestock, causing diseases as diverse as mastitis, liver abscessation and pneumonia. This organism possesses a number of virulence factors that contribute to its pathogenic potential. A. pyogenes expresses a cholesterol-dependent cytolysin, pyolysin, which is a(More)
Beta2-toxin, encoded by cpb2, is implicated in the pathogenesis of Clostridium perfringens enteritis. However, cpb2 genes from nonporcine C. perfringens isolates were not always expressed, at least in vitro. Nucleotide sequencing identified atypical cpb2 genes with 70.2 to 70.7% DNA identity to previously identified (consensus) cpb2. Atypical beta2-toxin(More)
Campylobacter jejuni is a major cause of human diarrheal disease in many industrialized countries and is a source of public health and economic burden. C. jejuni, present as normal flora in the intestinal tract of commercial broiler chickens and other livestock, is probably the main source of human infections. The presence of C. jejuni in biofilms found in(More)
Pyolysin (PLO), the hemolytic exotoxin expressed by Arcanobacterium (Actinomyces) pyogenes, is a member of the thiol-activated cytolysin family of bacterial toxins. Insertional inactivation of the plo gene results in loss of expression of PLO with a concomitant loss in hemolytic activity. The plo mutant, PLO-1, has an approximately 1. 8-log10 reduction in(More)
Bites by Loxosceles spiders can produce severe clinical symptoms, including dermonecrosis, thrombosis, vascular leakage, hemolysis, and persistent inflammation. The causative factor is a sphingomyelinase D (SMaseD) that cleaves sphingomyelin into choline and ceramide 1-phosphate. A similar enzyme, showing comparable bioactivity, is secreted by certain(More)
Four genes, fagA, B, C and D, encoding products with 32-47% identity to proteins involved in bacterial iron uptake systems, were identified immediately downstream of the Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis phospholipase D gene. beta-Galactosidase assays on a C. pseudotuberculosis strain carrying a fagA-lacZ fusion indicated that the putative fagABC operon(More)
Arcanobacterium (Actinomyces) pyogenes, an animal pathogen, produces a hemolytic exotoxin, pyolysin (PLO). The gene encoding PLO was cloned, and sequence analysis revealed an open reading frame of 1,605 bp encoding a protein of 57.9 kDa. PLO has 30 to 40% identity with the thiol-activated cytolysins (TACYs) of a number of gram-positive bacteria. The(More)
Members of the thiol-activated family of cytolysins are involved in the mechanism of pathogenesis of a number of Gram-positive species. While they are pore-forming toxins, their major pathogenic effects may be more subtle than simple lysis of host cells, and may include interference with immune cell function and cytokine induction. Crystal structure,(More)
Beta2 toxin, encoded by the cpb2 gene, has been implicated in the pathogenesis of porcine, equine and bovine enteritis by type A Clostridium perfringens. By incorporating primers to cpb2 into a multiplex genotyping PCR, we screened 3270 field isolates of C. perfringens. Of these, 37.2% were PCR positive for the cpb2 gene. The majority of isolates from cases(More)