melitensis (BMEII0520) [16] and, interestingly, these strains did

melitensis (BMEII0520) [16] and, interestingly, these selleck chemicals llc strains did not show urease activity, a factor that has been proposed to favor Brucella gastrointestinal infections

in mice [17]. We investigated whether the marR mutation was involved in the urease-negative phenotype by constructing a B. abortus 2308 ΔmarR mutant. This mutant displayed urease activity (not shown), suggesting that the absence of urease in B16, TGF-beta inhibitor B49 and B50 is probably caused by mutation(s) in ure genes [17]. The fact that these urease negative marR mutant strains were repeatedly isolated from aborted fetuses for at least four years questions the relevance of this factor in placental colonization and abortion induction. Research is in progress to characterize the genetic background of this urease negative phenotype. Conclusions In this report, we have provided evidence that IS711 polymorphism occurs in B. abortus field strains. The fact that such polymorphism can take place in sites shared with related species points out the relevance of a multiple-marker approach in molecular typing of Brucella species. In addition, our results suggest that the extra IS copies might originate from

what seems to be the most active IS711 copy. Although the environmental signals involved in the activation PCI-32765 supplier of the transposase remain unknown, host-pathogen interactions may play a role. Further work is needed to elucidate if changes promoted by IS transposition are associated with virulence fluctuations

in this pathogen. Methods Bacterial strains, growth conditions, plasmids and DNA manipulation The Brucella strains studied are listed in Table 1 and the E. coli strains and plasmids used are in the Additional file 2. Bacteria were stored in tryptic soy broth (Becton Dickinson, Sparks, Md) with 20% glycerol at -70°C and, for routine use, grown on tryptic soy agar (when necessary under a 5% CO2 atmosphere) for 24-48 h at 37°C. Plasmids were obtained with Qiaprep (Qiagen, Hilden, Germany). PCR products and genomic DNA were purified with a QiaexII kit (Qiagen) or by standard protocols [18]. Molecular typing techniques AMOS PCR was carried out as described before [12]. For IS711 Southern blots, genomic DNA (1-2 μg) was digested with AvaI and ClaI (Fermentas Inc, Burlington, Canada) at 37°C overnight, the GBA3 fragments resolved in 1.0% agarose at 15 mA for 10 h, blotted on nylon, fixed at 80°C for 30 min and probed with a biotin-labelled IS711 fragment obtained by PCR with primers 711u and 711d (Table 2). Hybridization was performed at 42°C for 2 h, and detected by chemiluminescence (KPL, Gaithersburg, MD) [19]. Genome mapping of new IS711 insertion sites For IS-anchored PCR, we adapted a protocol previously described [20]. IS711-bound primers RB51 and IS711out in combination with an arbitrary primer P5 (Table 2) were used to generate a pattern of PCR products specific for diverse IS positions. The reaction mixture contained 0.2 μM of RB51 or IS711out primers and P5 decamer, 5.

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