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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2005 Aug 1;53(3):455-62.

RpoS involvement and requirement for exogenous nutrient for osmotically induced cross protection in Vibrio vulnificus.

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1
Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte North Carolina, Charlotte, NC 28223, USA.

Abstract

Vibrio vulnificus is an opportunistic human pathogen which is the causative agent of food-borne disease and wound infections. V. vulnificus is able to adapt to a variety of potentially stressful environmental changes, such as osmotic, nutrient, and temperature variations in estuarine environments, as well as oxidative, osmotic, and acidity differences following infection of a human host. After exposure to sub-lethal levels of a particular environmental stress, many bacteria become resistant to unrelated stresses, a phenomenon termed cross protection. In this study, we examined the ability of osmotic shock to cross protect V. vulnificus to high temperature as well as oxidative stress. Log phase cells of V. vulnificus strain C7184o were cross protected by prior osmotic shock to both heat and oxidative challenge, but only when exogenous nutrient was present during the osmotic upshift. Further, and unlike other bacteria, nutrient starvation alone did not result in cross protection against either stress. When small amounts of nutrient were present during osmotic shock, cross protection to an otherwise lethal heat challenge developed extremely rapidly, with significant protection seen within 10 min. Cross protection to oxidative stress was slower to develop, requiring several hours. Although stationary phase alone conferred some cross protection to heat and oxidative stress, the alternate sigma factor RpoS was required for complete cross protection of log phase cells to oxidative stress but not for resistance to heat challenge. Together these findings suggest that the cross protective response in V. vulnificus is complex and appears to involve multiple mechanisms.

PMID:
16329963
DOI:
10.1016/j.femsec.2005.02.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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