Publications by authors named "Johanna Haiko"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Evaluation of three molecular carbapenemase tests: Eazyplex SuperBug complete B, Novodiag CarbaR+, and Amplidiag CarbaR+MCR.

J Microbiol Methods 2021 01 18;180:106105. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Helsinki University and Helsinki University Hospital, HUSLAB, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address:

Background: Carbapenemase-producing Gram-negative bacilli, i.e., Enterobacterales, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Acinetobacter, are of increased concern for the public health around the world. There is urgent need for rapid and accurate tests in order to provide correct treatment and to prevent bacterial spread in healthcare settings.

Methods: The aim of this study was to evaluate three commercial multiplex carbapenemase tests with CE-IVD marking: Eazyplex SuperBug complete B (AmplexDiagnostics), Novodiag CarbaR+ (Mobidiag), and Amplidiag CarbaR+MCR (Mobidiag). All these tests recognize KPC, NDM, OXA-48/181 group, VIM, OXA-23 group, and OXA-24/40 group, and Novodiag CarbaR+ and Amplidiag CarbaR+MCR additionally recognize IMP, OXA-51 group (with promoter located within ISAbaI), OXA-58 group, and MCR, and Amplidiag CarbaR+MCR further recognizes GES (carbapenemase-type only).

Results: The sensitivities and specificities of these tests with bacterial isolates were 100%. The sensitivity directly from clinical samples was 100%, but the specificity was lower, which is simply explained by the higher sensitivity of the molecular methods compared with culture method.

Conclusions: Overall, these CE-IVD marked tests provide a good alternative in the detection of carbapenemase-producing organisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mimet.2020.106105DOI Listing
January 2021

Identification and Functional Analysis of Temperate Siphoviridae Bacteriophages of .

Viruses 2020 05 31;12(6). Epub 2020 May 31.

Department of Bacteriology and Immunology, Medicum, Human Microbiome Research Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, 00290 Helsinki, Finland.

is an opportunistic pathogen that presents a serious clinical challenge due to its increasing resistance to all available antibiotics. Phage therapy has been introduced recently to treat antibiotic-incurable infections. In search for new specific bacteriophages, 20 clinical strains were used in two pools in an attempt to enrich phages from sewage. The enrichment resulted in induction of resident prophage(s) and three temperate bacteriophages, named vB_AbaS_fEg-Aba01, vB_AbaS_fLi-Aba02 and vB_AbaS_fLi-Aba03, all able to infect only one strain (#6597) of the 20 clinical strains, were isolated. Morphological characteristics obtained by transmission electron microscopy together with the genomic information revealed that the phages belong to the family . The ca. 35 kb genomic sequences of the phages were >99% identical to each other. The linear ds DNA genomes of the phages contained 10 nt cohesive end termini, 52-54 predicted genes, an site and one tRNA gene each. A database search revealed an >99% identical prophage in the genome of strain AbPK1 (acc. no. CP024576.1). Over 99% identical prophages were also identified from two of the original 20 clinical strains (#5707 and #5920) and both were shown to be spontaneously inducible, thus very likely being the origins of the isolated phages. The phage vB_AbaS_fEg-Aba01 was also able to lysogenize the susceptible strain #6597 demonstrating that it was fully functional. The phages showed a very narrow host range infecting only two strains. In conclusion, we have isolated and characterized three novel temperate phages that infect .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v12060604DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7354433PMC
May 2020

Coexistence of Candida species and bacteria in patients with cystic fibrosis.

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 2019 Jun 9;38(6):1071-1077. Epub 2019 Feb 9.

Department of Clinical Microbiology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) patients become colonized by pathogenic bacteria as well as by Candida species. The interplay between different microorganisms may play a key role in the prognosis of CF. The aim of the study was to analyze the coexistence patterns of bacteria and Candida spp. in sputum samples of patients with CF and to compare these patterns with the results of patients with other respiratory disorders (ORD). Sputum samples from 130 patients with CF and 186 patients with ORD were cultured on six different agar plates promoting the growth of bacteria and yeasts. Bacterial and Candida species were identified with MALDI-TOF MS. Pathogenic bacteria were found in 69.2% of the sputum samples of the CF patients, and in 44.1% the patients with ORD. CF patients tended to have growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus in sputum more often than patients with ORD. Overall, there was no difference in the coexistence of pathogenic bacteria and Candida spp. in these patient groups. However, when analyzed at the species level, P. aeruginosa and S. aureus coexisted with Candida spp. more frequently in sputum samples of CF patients compared with patients with ORD. Also, when analyzed according to age, it was shown that the adult (≥ 18 years) CF patients had a higher rate of coexistence of any pathogenic bacteria and Candida spp. than the children with CF and the adult patients with ORD. The rate for colonization with Candida together with pathogenic bacteria is increased in adult patients with CF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10096-019-03493-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520323PMC
June 2019

Identification of urinary tract pathogens after 3-hours urine culture by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry.

J Microbiol Methods 2016 10 5;129:81-84. Epub 2016 Aug 5.

Department of Clinical Microbiology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, HUSLAB, Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address:

Complicated urinary tract infections, such as pyelonephritis, may lead to sepsis. Rapid diagnosis is needed to identify the causative urinary pathogen and to verify the appropriate empirical antimicrobial therapy. We describe here a rapid identification method for urinary pathogens: urine is incubated on chocolate agar for 3h at 35°C with 5% CO2 and subjected to MALDI-TOF MS analysis by VITEK MS. Overall 207 screened clinical urine samples were tested in parallel with conventional urine culture. The method, called U-si-MALDI-TOF (urine short incubation MALDI-TOF), showed correct identification for 86% of Gram-negative urinary tract pathogens (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and other Enterobacteriaceae), when present at >10(5)cfu/ml in culture (n=107), compared with conventional culture method. However, Gram-positive bacteria (n=28) were not successfully identified by U-si-MALDI-TOF. This method is especially suitable for rapid identification of E. coli, the most common cause of urinary tract infections and urosepsis. Turnaround time for identification using U-si-MALDI-TOF compared with conventional urine culture was improved from 24h to 4-6h.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mimet.2016.08.006DOI Listing
October 2016

Interaction with intestinal epithelial cells promotes an immunosuppressive phenotype in Lactobacillus casei.

PLoS One 2013 7;8(11):e78420. Epub 2013 Nov 7.

Advanced Therapies and Product Development, Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, Helsinki, Finland.

Maintenance of the immunological tolerance and homeostasis in the gut is associated with the composition of the intestinal microbiota. We here report that cultivation of Lactobacillus casei ATCC 334 in the presence of human intestinal epithelial cells promotes functional changes in bacteria. In particular, the interaction enhanced the immunosuppressive phenotype of L. casei as demonstrated by the ability of L. casei to generate functional regulatory T cells (CD4+CD25+FoxP3+) and production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The results indicate microbe-host cross-talk that changes features of microbes, and suggest that in vitro simulation of epithelial cell interaction can reveal functional properties of gut microbes more accurately than conventional cultivation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0078420PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820563PMC
July 2014

Fibrinolytic and coagulative activities of Yersinia pestis.

Front Cell Infect Microbiol 2013 26;3:35. Epub 2013 Jul 26.

General Microbiology, Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki Helsinki, Finland.

The outer membrane protease Pla belongs to the omptin protease family spread by horizontal gene transfer into Gram-negative bacteria that infect animals or plants. Pla has adapted to support the life style of the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis. Pla has a β-barrel fold with 10 membrane-spanning β strands and five surface loops, and the barrel surface contains bound lipopolysaccharide (LPS) that is critical for the conformation and the activity of Pla. The biological activity of Pla is influenced by the structure of the surface loops around the active site groove and by temperature-induced LPS modifications. Several of the putative virulence-related functions documented for Pla in vitro address control of the human hemostatic system, i.e., coagulation and fibrinolysis. Pla activates human plasminogen to the serine protease plasmin and activates the physiological plasminogen activator urokinase. Pla also inactivates the protease inhibitors alpha-2-antiplasmin and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) and prevents the activation of thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI). These functions enhance uncontrolled fibrinolysis which is thought to improve Y. pestis dissemination and survival in the mammalian host, and lowered fibrin(ogen) deposition has indeed been observed in mice infected with Pla-positive Y. pestis. However, Pla also inactivates an anticoagulant, the tissue factor (TF) pathway inhibitor, which should increase fibrin formation and clotting. Thus, Pla and Y. pestis have complex interactions with the hemostatic system. Y. pestis modifies its LPS upon transfer to the mammalian host and we hypothesize that the contrasting biological activities of Pla in coagulation and fibrinolysis are influenced by LPS changes during infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcimb.2013.00035DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3724046PMC
December 2013

Human single-chain urokinase is activated by the omptins PgtE of Salmonella enterica and Pla of Yersinia pestis despite mutations of active site residues.

Mol Microbiol 2013 Aug 11;89(3):507-17. Epub 2013 Jul 11.

Division of General Microbiology, Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 56, FI, 00014, Finland.

Fibrinolysis is important in cell migration and tightly regulated by specific inhibitors and activators; of the latter, urokinase (uPA) associates with enhancement of cell migration. Active uPA is formed through cleavage of the single-chain uPA (scuPA). The Salmonella enterica strain 14028R cleaved human scuPA at the peptide bond Lys158-Ile159, the site cleaved also by the physiological activator human plasmin. The cleavage led to activation of scuPA, while no cleavage or activation were detected with the mutant strain 14028R lacking the omptin protease PgtE. Complementation and expression studies confirmed the role of PgtE in scuPA activation. Similar cleavage and activation of scuPA were detected with recombinant Escherichia coli expressing the omptin genes pla from Yersinia pestis, ompT and ompP from E. coli, sopA from Shigella flexneri, and leo from Legionella pneumophila. For these omptins the activation of scuPA is the only shared function so far detected. Only poor cleavage and activation of scuPA were seen with YcoA of Y. pestis and YcoB of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis that are considered to be proteolytically inactive omptin variants. Point mutations of active site residues in Pla and PgtE had different effects on the proteolysis of plasminogen and of scuPA, indicating versatility in omptin proteolysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mmi.12293DOI Listing
August 2013

The role of the bacterial flagellum in adhesion and virulence.

Biology (Basel) 2013 Oct 25;2(4):1242-67. Epub 2013 Oct 25.

Division of General Microbiology, Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, P. O. Box 56, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.

The bacterial flagellum is a complex apparatus assembled of more than 20 different proteins. The flagellar basal body traverses the cell wall, whereas the curved hook connects the basal body to the whip-like flagellar filament that protrudes several µm from the bacterial cell. The flagellum has traditionally been regarded only as a motility organelle, but more recently it has become evident that flagella have a number of other biological functions. The major subunit, flagellin or FliC, of the flagellum plays a well-documented role in innate immunity and as a dominant antigen of the adaptive immune response. Importantly, flagella have also been reported to function as adhesins. Whole flagella have been indicated as significant in bacterial adhesion to and invasion into host cells. In various pathogens, e.g., Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Clostridium difficile, flagellin and/or the distally located flagellar cap protein have been reported to function as adhesins. Recently, FliC of Shiga-toxigenic E. coli was shown to be involved in cellular invasion via lipid rafts. Here, we examine the latest or most important findings regarding flagellar adhesive and invasive properties, especially focusing on the flagellum as a potential virulence factor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biology2041242DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4009794PMC
October 2013

Molecular adaptation of a plant-bacterium outer membrane protease towards plague virulence factor Pla.

BMC Evol Biol 2011 Feb 11;11:43. Epub 2011 Feb 11.

Division of General Microbiology, Department of Biosciences, P,O, Box 56, FI 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.

Background: Omptins are a family of outer membrane proteases that have spread by horizontal gene transfer in Gram-negative bacteria that infect vertebrates or plants. Despite structural similarity, the molecular functions of omptins differ in a manner that reflects the life style of their host bacteria. To simulate the molecular adaptation of omptins, we applied site-specific mutagenesis to make Epo of the plant pathogenic Erwinia pyrifoliae exhibit virulence-associated functions of its close homolog, the plasminogen activator Pla of Yersinia pestis. We addressed three virulence-associated functions exhibited by Pla, i.e., proteolytic activation of plasminogen, proteolytic degradation of serine protease inhibitors, and invasion into human cells.

Results: Pla and Epo expressed in Escherichia coli are both functional endopeptidases and cleave human serine protease inhibitors, but Epo failed to activate plasminogen and to mediate invasion into a human endothelial-like cell line. Swapping of ten amino acid residues at two surface loops of Pla and Epo introduced plasminogen activation capacity in Epo and inactivated the function in Pla. We also compared the structure of Pla and the modeled structure of Epo to analyze the structural variations that could rationalize the different proteolytic activities. Epo-expressing bacteria managed to invade human cells only after all extramembranous residues that differ between Pla and Epo and the first transmembrane β-strand had been changed.

Conclusions: We describe molecular adaptation of a protease from an environmental setting towards a virulence factor detrimental for humans. Our results stress the evolvability of bacterial β-barrel surface structures and the environment as a source of progenitor virulence molecules of human pathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-11-43DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3048539PMC
February 2011

The omptins of Yersinia pestis and Salmonella enterica cleave the reactive center loop of plasminogen activator inhibitor 1.

J Bacteriol 2010 Sep 16;192(18):4553-61. Epub 2010 Jul 16.

Department of Biosciences, PO Box 56, University of Helsinki, FI 00014 Helsinki, Finland.

Plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) is a serine protease inhibitor (serpin) and a key molecule that regulates fibrinolysis by inactivating human plasminogen activators. Here we show that two important human pathogens, the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis and the enteropathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, inactivate PAI-1 by cleaving the R346-M347 bait peptide bond in the reactive center loop. No cleavage of PAI-1 was detected with Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, an oral/fecal pathogen from which Y. pestis has evolved, or with Escherichia coli. The cleavage and inactivation of PAI-1 were mediated by the outer membrane proteases plasminogen activator Pla of Y. pestis and PgtE protease of S. enterica, which belong to the omptin family of transmembrane endopeptidases identified in Gram-negative bacteria. Cleavage of PAI-1 was also detected with the omptins Epo of Erwinia pyrifoliae and Kop of Klebsiella pneumoniae, which both belong to the same omptin subfamily as Pla and PgtE, whereas no cleavage of PAI-1 was detected with omptins of Shigella flexneri or E. coli or the Yersinia chromosomal omptins, which belong to other omptin subfamilies. The results reveal a novel serpinolytic mechanism by which enterobacterial species expressing omptins of the Pla subfamily bypass normal control of host proteolysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JB.00458-10DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2937412PMC
September 2010

The single substitution I259T, conserved in the plasminogen activator Pla of pandemic Yersinia pestis branches, enhances fibrinolytic activity.

J Bacteriol 2009 Aug 22;191(15):4758-66. Epub 2009 May 22.

General Microbiology, Faculty of Biosciences, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.

The outer membrane plasminogen activator Pla of Yersinia pestis is a central virulence factor in plague. The primary structure of the Pla beta-barrel is conserved in Y. pestis biovars Antiqua, Medievalis, and Orientalis, which are associated with pandemics of plague. The Pla molecule of the ancestral Y. pestis lineages Microtus and Angola carries the single amino acid change T259I located in surface loop 5 of the beta-barrel. Recombinant Y. pestis KIM D34 or Escherichia coli XL1 expressing Pla T259I was impaired in fibrinolysis and in plasminogen activation. Lack of detectable generation of the catalytic light chain of plasmin and inactivation of plasmin enzymatic activity by the Pla T259I construct indicated that Microtus Pla cleaved the plasminogen molecule more unspecifically than did common Pla. The isoform pattern of the Pla T259I molecule was different from that of the common Pla molecule. Microtus Pla was more efficient than wild-type Pla in alpha(2)-antiplasmin inactivation. Pla of Y. pestis and PgtE of Salmonella enterica have evolved from the same omptin ancestor, and their comparison showed that PgtE was poor in plasminogen activation but exhibited efficient antiprotease inactivation. The substitution (259)IIDKT/TIDKN in PgtE, constructed to mimic the L5 region in Pla, altered proteolysis in favor of plasmin formation, whereas the reverse substitution (259)TIDKN/IIDKT in Pla altered proteolysis in favor of alpha(2)-antiplasmin inactivation. The results suggest that Microtus Pla represents an ancestral form of Pla that has evolved into a more efficient plasminogen activator in the pandemic Y. pestis lineages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JB.00489-09DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2715710PMC
August 2009

Invited review: Breaking barriers--attack on innate immune defences by omptin surface proteases of enterobacterial pathogens.

Innate Immun 2009 Apr;15(2):67-80

General Microbiology, Faculty of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

The omptin family of Gram-negative bacterial transmembrane aspartic proteases comprises surface proteins with a highly conserved beta-barrel fold but differing biological functions. The omptins OmpT of Escherichia coli, PgtE of Salmonella enterica, and Pla of Yersinia pestis differ in their substrate specificity as well as in control of their expression. Their functional differences are in accordance with the differing pathogenesis of the infections caused by E. coli, Salmonella, and Y. pestis, which suggests that the omptins have adapted to the life-styles of their host species. The omptins Pla and PgtE attack on innate immunity by affecting the plasminogen/plasmin, complement, coagulation, fibrinolysis, and matrix metalloproteinase systems, by inactivating antimicrobial peptides, and by enhancing bacterial adhesiveness and invasiveness. Although the mechanistic details of the functions of Pla and PgtE differ, the outcome is the same: enhanced spread and multiplication of Y. pestis and S. enterica in the host. The omptin OmpT is basically a housekeeping protease but it also degrades cationic antimicrobial peptides and may enhance colonization of E. coli at uroepithelia. The catalytic residues in the omptin molecules are spatially conserved, and the differing polypeptide substrate specificities are dictated by minor sequence variations at regions surrounding the catalytic cleft. For enzymatic activity, omptins require association with lipopolysaccharide on the outer membrane. Modification of lipopolysaccharide by in vivo conditions or by bacterial gene loss has an impact on omptin function. Creation of bacterial surface proteolysis is thus a coordinated function involving several surface structures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1753425909102559DOI Listing
April 2009

Using every trick in the book: the Pla surface protease of Yersinia pestis.

Adv Exp Med Biol 2007 ;603:268-78

Faculty of Biosciences, General Microbiology, University of Helsinki, Finland.

The Pla surface protease of Yersinia pestis, encoded by the Y. pestis-specific plasmid pPCP1, is a versatile virulence factor. In vivo studies have shown that Pla is essential in the establishment of bubonic plague, and in vitro studies have demonstrated various putative virulence functions for the Pla molecule. Pla is a surface protease of the omptin family, and its proteolytic targets include the abundant, circulating human zymogen plasminogen, which is activated by Pla to the serine protease plasmin. Plasmin is important in cell migration, and Pla also proteolytically inactivates the main circulating inhibitor of plasmin, alpha2-antiplasmin. Pla also is an adhesin with affinity for laminin, a major glycoprotein of mammalian basement membranes, which is degraded by plasmin but not by Pla. Together, these functions create uncontrolled plasmin proteolysis targeted at tissue barriers. Other proteolytic targets for Pla include complement proteins. Pla also mediates bacterial invasion into human endothelial cell lines; the adhesive and invasive charateristics of Pla can be genetically dissected from its proteolytic activity. Pla is a 10-stranded antiparallel beta-barrel with five surface-exposed short loops, where the catalytic residues are oriented inwards at the top of the beta-barrel. The sequence of Pla contains a three-dimensional motif for protein binding to lipid A of the lipopolysaccharide. Indeed, the proteolytic activity of Pla requires rough lipopolysaccharide but is sterically inhibited by the O antigen in smooth LPS, which may be the selective advantage of the loss of O antigen in Y. pestis. Members of the omptin family are highly similar in structure but differ in functions and virulence association. The catalytic residues of omptins are conserved, but the variable substrate specificities in proteolysis by Pla and other omptins are dictated by the amino acid sequences near or at the surface loops, and hence reflect differences in substrate binding. The closest orthologs of Pla are PgtE of Salmonella and Epo of Erwinia, which functionally differ from Pla. Pla gives a model of how a horizontally transferred protein fold can diverge into a powerful virulence factor through adaptive mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-72124-8_24DOI Listing
December 2007
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