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Articles by Michel Gilbert
Total Records ( 3 ) for Michel Gilbert
  Rogier Louwen , Astrid Heikema , Alex van Belkum , Alewijn Ott , Michel Gilbert , Wim Ang , Hubert P. Endtz , Mathijs P. Bergman and Edward E. Nieuwenhuis
  Campylobacter jejuni is a frequent cause of bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide. Lipooligosaccharide (LOS) has been identified as an important virulence factor that may play a role in microbial adhesion and invasion. Here we specifically address the question of whether LOS sialylation affects the interaction of C. jejuni with human epithelial cells. For this purpose, 14 strains associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), 34 enteritis-associated strains, the 81-176 reference strain, and 6 Penner serotype strains were tested for invasion of two epithelial cell lines. C. jejuni strains expressing sialylated LOS (classes A, B, and C) invaded cells significantly more frequently than strains expressing nonsialylated LOS (classes D and E) (P < 0.0001). To further explore this observation, we inactivated the LOS sialyltransferase (Cst-II) via knockout mutagenesis in three GBS-associated C. jejuni strains expressing sialylated LOS (GB2, GB11, and GB19). All knockout strains displayed significantly lower levels of invasion than the respective wild types. Complementation of a Δcst-II mutant strain restored LOS sialylation and reset the invasiveness to wild-type levels. Finally, formalin-fixed wild-type strains GB2, GB11 and GB19, but not the isogenic Δcst-II mutants that lack sialic acid, were able to inhibit epithelial invasion by viable GB2, GB11, and GB19 strains. We conclude that sialylation of the LOS outer core contributes significantly to epithelial invasion by C. jejuni and may thus play a role in subsequent postinfectious pathologies.
  Craig T. Parker , Michel Gilbert , Nobuhiro Yuki , Hubert P. Endtz and Robert E. Mandrell
  The lipooligosaccharide (LOS) biosynthesis region is one of the more variable genomic regions between strains of Campylobacter jejuni. Indeed, eight classes of LOS biosynthesis loci have been established previously based on gene content and organization. In this study, we characterize additional classes of LOS biosynthesis loci and analyze various mechanisms that result in changes to LOS structures. To gain further insights into the genomic diversity of C. jejuni LOS biosynthesis region, we sequenced the LOS biosynthesis loci of 15 strains that possessed gene content that was distinct from the eight classes. This analysis identified 11 new classes of LOS loci that exhibited examples of deletions and insertions of genes and cassettes of genes found in other LOS classes or capsular biosynthesis loci leading to mosaic LOS loci. The sequence analysis also revealed both missense mutations leading to "allelic" glycosyltransferases and phase-variable and non-phase-variable gene inactivation by the deletion or insertion of bases. Specifically, we demonstrated that gene inactivation is an important mechanism for altering the LOS structures of strains possessing the same class of LOS biosynthesis locus. Together, these observations suggest that LOS biosynthesis region is a hotspot for genetic exchange and variability, often leading to changes in the LOS produced.
  Monika Dzieciatkowska , Xin Liu , Astrid P. Heikema , R. Scott Houliston , Alex van Belkum , Elke K. H. Schweda , Michel Gilbert , James C. Richards and Jianjun Li
  Campylobacter jejuni lipooligosaccharide (LOS) can trigger Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) due to its similarity to human gangliosides. Rapid and accurate structural elucidation of the LOS glycan of a strain isolated from a GBS patient could help physicians determine the spectrum of anti-ganglioside antibodies likely to be found and therefore provide valuable assistance in establishing an appropriate course of treatment. The ability of implemented mass spectrometry-based approaches in a clinical setting has been limited by the laborious and time-consuming nature of the protocols, typically 3 to 4 days, used to prepare LOS. In order to improve the analytical throughput, microwave-assisted enzymatic digestion was investigated. In this study, the bacterial cells were suspended in 50 µl of 20 mM ammonium acetate buffer containing DNase and RNase and treated by direct microwave irradiation for 3 min. Then, proteinase K was added and the samples were again microwaved. The intact LOS samples were analyzed using electrophoresis-assisted open-tubular liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. The reliability of the rapid, high-throughput technique was demonstrated through analysis of LOS glycans from 73 C. jejuni strains. The structure was elucidated using material from a single colony. The total time for sample preparation and MS analysis is less than 60 min.
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