William M. Shafer

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Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a strict human pathogen that causes the sexually transmitted infection termed gonorrhea. The gonococcus can survive extracellularly and intracellularly, but in both environments the bacteria must acquire iron from host proteins for survival. However, upon infection the host uses a defensive response by limiting the bioavailability(More)
Active efflux of antimicrobial agents is one of the most important adapted strategies that bacteria use to defend against antimicrobial factors that are present in their environment. The NorM protein of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and the YdhE protein of Escherichia coli have been proposed to be multidrug efflux pumps that belong to the multidrug and toxic(More)
In Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis, we identified a gene that would encode a protein highly similar to NorM of Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Y. Morita et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 42:1778-1782, 1998). A nonpolar insertional mutation in either the gonococcal or meningococcal norM gene resulted in increased bacterial sensitivity to(More)
A Tn551 insertional library of Staphylococcus aureus strain ISP479 was challenged with an antimicrobial peptide (CG 117-136) derived from human neutrophil cathepsin G (CG). After repeated selection and screening of surviving colonies, a mutant was identified that expressed increased resistance to CG 117-136. Southern hybridization analysis revealed that the(More)
UNLABELLED The MtrC-MtrD-MtrE multidrug efflux pump of Neisseria gonorrhoeae confers resistance to a diverse array of antimicrobial agents by transporting these toxic compounds out of the gonococcus. Frequently in gonococcal strains, the expression of the mtrCDE operon is differentially regulated by both a repressor, MtrR, and an activator, MtrA. The mtrR(More)
LL-37 displays potent broad-spectrum activity against a number of pathogenic bacteria and is the only cathelicidin thus far identified in humans. In this study, we examined the capacity of human LL-37 and the similar CAP-18-derived peptide from rabbits to exert antimicrobial activity against the causative agent of syphilis, Treponema pallidum. We found that(More)
Capsular polysaccharides (CPS) are a major virulence factor in meningococcal infections and form the basis for serogroup designation and protective vaccines. Our work has identified meningococcal CPS as a pro-inflammatory ligand that functions through TLR2 and TLR4-MD2-dependent activation. We hypothesized that human cationic host defense peptides interact(More)
Active efflux of antimicrobial agents is one of the most important strategies used by bacteria to defend against antimicrobial factors present in their environment. Mediating many cases of antibiotic resistance are transmembrane efflux pumps, composed of one or more proteins. The Neisseria gonorrhoeae MtrCDE tripartite multidrug efflux pump, belonging to(More)
UNLABELLED Phosphoethanolamine (PEA) on Neisseria gonorrhoeae lipid A influences gonococcal inflammatory signaling and susceptibility to innate host defenses in in vitro models. Here, we evaluated the role of PEA-decorated gonococcal lipid A in competitive infections in female mice and in male volunteers. We inoculated mice and men with mixtures of(More)
Experimental infection of male volunteers with Neisseria gonorrhoeae is safe and reproduces the clinical features of naturally acquired gonococcal urethritis. Human inoculation studies have helped define the natural history of experimental infection with two well-characterized strains of N. gonorrhoeae, FA1090 and MS11mkC. The human model has proved useful(More)