Rifampin chemoprophylaxis against Neisseria meningitidis infections led to the onset of rifampin resistance in clinical isolates harboring point mutations in the rpoB gene, coding for the RNA polymerase β chain. These resistant strains are rare in medical practice, suggesting their decreased fitness in the human host. In this study, we isolated rifampin-resistant rpoB mutants from hypervirulent serogroup C strain 93/4286 and analyzed their different properties, including the ability to grow/survive in different culture media and in differentiated THP-1 human monocytes and to compete with the wild-type strain in vitro. Our results demonstrate that different rpoB mutations (H553Y, H553R, and S549F) may have different effects, ranging from low- to high-cost effects, on bacterial fitness in vitro. Moreover, we found that the S549F mutation confers temperature sensitivity, possibly explaining why it is observed very rarely in clinical isolates. Comparative high-throughput RNA sequencing analysis of bacteria grown in chemically defined medium demonstrated that the low-cost H553Y substitution resulted in global transcriptional changes that functionally mimic the stringent response. Interestingly, many virulence-associated genes, including those coding for meningococcal type IV pili, porin A, adhesins/invasins, IgA protease, two-partner secretion system HrpA/HrpB, enzymes involved in resistance to oxidative injury, lipooligosaccharide sialylation, and capsular polysaccharide biosynthesis, were downregulated in the H553Y mutant compared to their level of expression in the wild-type strain. These data might account for the reduced capacity of this mutant to grow/survive in differentiated THP-1 cells and explain the rarity of H553Y mutants among clinical isolates.
|Titolo:||The fitness cost of rifampicin-resistance in Neisseria meningitidis: mechanisms associated with RpoB H553Y mutation by an in vitro study|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|