Chapter 60 : Actinomyces and Arcanobacterium spp.: Host-Microbe Interactions

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This chapter describes the current knowledge of the mechanisms of and spp. host-microbe interactions, with an emphasis on recent advances in the molecular analyses of toxins and factors involved in bacterial adherence. Members of the genus are nonmotile and non-spore-forming and although facultative anaerobes, most species grow best under anaerobic conditions. Numerous in vivo and in vitro studies have demonstrated the significance of spp. in the initiation and progression of plaque development. Adhesion of spp. to host epithelial, phagocytic, and red blood (hemagglutination) cells requires the action of neuraminidase to expose cryptic host cell receptors. The major receptor on host polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) was identified as CD43 (leukosialin). The levansucrases (fructosyltransferases) from spp. catabolize sucrose to form ß2,6-linked (levans or fructans) or β2,1-linked (inulin) homopolymers of fructose. Three recently described spp., , , and , are also associated with skin, genital, urinary, and reproductive tract infections. The genus is closely related to that of , so much so in fact that until recently, members of these genera were intermingled with each other phylogenetically. The two predominant species within the arcanobacteria are the ubiquitous animal commensal and opportunistic pathogen and the human pathogen . Further research investigating the mechanisms and regulation of the adhesins of and spp., as well as their interactions with other bacteria in polymicrobial infections, will be necessary to complete the understanding of disease pathogenesis.

Citation: Jost B, Billington S. 2006. Actinomyces and Arcanobacterium spp.: Host-Microbe Interactions, p 738-749. In Fischetti V, Novick R, Ferretti J, Portnoy D, Rood J (ed), Gram-Positive Pathogens, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816513.ch60
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Image of FIGURE 1

Organization of the fimbrial operons from spp. and . The size and direction of transcription of each gene are shown by the arrows. Genes with similar functions are shaded as follows: hatched lines, adhesin-minor subunit-accessory protein; white, major structural subunit; black, sortase; stippled, pre-pilin peptidase-like protein. Bar, 1 kb (lower right).

Citation: Jost B, Billington S. 2006. Actinomyces and Arcanobacterium spp.: Host-Microbe Interactions, p 738-749. In Fischetti V, Novick R, Ferretti J, Portnoy D, Rood J (ed), Gram-Positive Pathogens, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816513.ch60
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Generic image for table

fimbrial proteins

Citation: Jost B, Billington S. 2006. Actinomyces and Arcanobacterium spp.: Host-Microbe Interactions, p 738-749. In Fischetti V, Novick R, Ferretti J, Portnoy D, Rood J (ed), Gram-Positive Pathogens, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816513.ch60
Generic image for table

TABLE 2 Known and putative virulence factors of

Citation: Jost B, Billington S. 2006. Actinomyces and Arcanobacterium spp.: Host-Microbe Interactions, p 738-749. In Fischetti V, Novick R, Ferretti J, Portnoy D, Rood J (ed), Gram-Positive Pathogens, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816513.ch60

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