NanH Is Produced by Sporulating Cultures of Clostridium perfringens Type F Food Poisoning Strains and Enhances the Cytotoxicity of C. perfringens Enterotoxin

Jihong Li, Bruce A McClane
2021 mSphere  
Clostridium perfringens type F food poisoning (FP) strains cause one of the most common foodborne illnesses. This FP develops when type F FP strains sporulate in the intestines and produce C. perfringens enterotoxin (CPE), which is responsible for the diarrhea and abdominal cramps of this disease. While C. perfringens can produce up to three different sialidases, the current study surveyed FP strains, which confirmed the results of a previous study that they consistently carry the nanH
more » ... y the nanH sialidase gene, often as their only sialidase gene. NanH production was found to be associated with sporulating cultures of the surveyed type F FP strains, including SM101 (a transformable derivative of a FP strain). The sporulation-associated regulation of NanH production by strain SM101 growing in modified Duncan-Strong medium (MDS) was shown to involve Spo0A, but it did not require the completion of sporulation. NanH production was not necessary for either the growth or sporulation of SM101 when cultured in MDS. In those MDS cultures, NanH accumulated in the sporulating mother cell until it was released coincidently with CPE. Since CPE becomes extracellular when mother cells lyse to release their mature spores, this indicates that mother cell lysis is also important for NanH release. The copresence of NanH and CPE in supernatants from lysed sporulating cultures was shown to enhance CPE cytotoxicity for Caco-2 cells. This enhancement was attributable to NanH increasing CPE binding and could be replicated with purified recombinant NanH. These in vitro findings suggest that NanH may be an accessory virulence factor during type F FP.IMPORTANCE Clostridium perfringens type F strains cause the second most common bacterial foodborne illness in the United States. C. perfringens enterotoxin (CPE) is responsible for the diarrhea and cramping symptoms of this food poisoning (FP). Previous studies showed that NanI sialidase can enhance CPE activity in vitro While many type F FP strains do not produce NanI, they do consistently make NanH sialidase. This study shows that, like CPE, NanH is produced by sporulating type F FP strains and then released extracellularly when their sporulating cells lyse to release their mature spore. NanH was shown to enhance CPE cytotoxicity in vitro by increasing CPE binding to cultured Caco-2 cells. This enhancement could be important because many type F FP strains produce less CPE than necessary (in a purified form) to cause intestinal pathology in animal models. Therefore, NanH represents a potential accessory virulence factor for type F FP.
doi:10.1128/msphere.00176-21 pmid:33910991 fatcat:6oeet34ofrfxjknhlp6u7i6mau