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Infect Immun. 2007 Mar;75(3):1186-95. Epub 2006 Dec 22.

Development of signature-tagged mutagenesis in Burkholderia pseudomallei to identify genes important in survival and pathogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, United Kingdom.


Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, is an important human pathogen in Southeast Asia and northern Australia for which a vaccine is unavailable. A panel of 892 double signature-tagged mutants was screened for virulence using an intranasal BALB/c mouse model of infection. A novel DNA tag microarray identified 33 mutants as being attenuated in spleens, while 6 were attenuated in both lungs and spleens. The transposon insertion sites in spleen-attenuated mutants revealed genes involved in several stages of capsular polysaccharide biosynthesis and DNA replication and repair, a putative oxidoreductase, ABC transporters, and a lipoprotein that may be important in intercellular spreading. The six mutants identified as missing in both lungs and spleens were found to have insertions in recA involved in the SOS response and DNA repair; putative auxotrophs of leucine, threonine, p-aminobenzoic acid, and a mutant with an insertion in aroB causing auxotrophy for aromatic compounds were also found. Murine challenge studies revealed partial protection in BALB/c mice vaccinated with the aroB mutant. The refined signature-tagged mutagenesis approach developed in this study was used to efficiently identify attenuating mutants from this highly pathogenic species and could be applied to other organisms.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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