Inhibitory effect of streptococci on the growth of M. catarrhalis strains and the diversity of putative bacteriocin-like gene loci in the genomes of S. pneumoniae and its relatives

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Abstract

S. pneumoniae is a facultative human pathogen causing a wide range of infections including the life-threatening pneumoniae or meningitis. It colonizes nasopharynx as well as its closest phylogenetic relatives S. pseudopneumoniae and S. mitis. Both the latter, despite the considerable morphological and phenotypic similarity with the pneumococcus, are considerably less pathogenic for humans and cause infections mainly in the immunocompromized hosts. In this work, we compared the inhibitory effect of S. pneumoniae and its relatives on the growth of Moraxella catarrhalis strains using the culture-based antagonistic test. We observed that the inhibitory effect of S. mitis strains is kept when a hydrogen peroxide produced by cells is inactivated by catalase, and even when the live cells are killed in chloroform vapors, in contrast to the pneumococcus whose inhibiting ability disappeared when the cells die. It was suggested that this effect may be due to the production of bacterial antimicrobial peptides by S. mitis, so we examined the genomes of our strains for the presence of bacteriocin-like peptides encoding genes. We observed that a set of bacteriocin-like genes in the genome of S. mitis is greatly poorer in comparison with S. pneumoniae one; moreover, in one S. mitis strain we found no bacteriocin-like genes. It could mean that there are probably some additional opportunities of S. mitis to inhibit the growth of competing neighbors which are still have to be discovered.

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Ikryannikova, L. N., Malakhova, M. V., Lominadze, G. G., Karpova, I. Y., Kostryukova, E. S., Mayansky, N. A., … Govorun, V. M. (2017). Inhibitory effect of streptococci on the growth of M. catarrhalis strains and the diversity of putative bacteriocin-like gene loci in the genomes of S. pneumoniae and its relatives. AMB Express, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13568-017-0521-z

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