Imperial College London

DrGeraldLarrouy-Maumus

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Reader in Molecular Microbiology
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 7463g.larrouy-maumus

 
 
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Location

 

3.42Flowers buildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

97 results found

Wan Y, Myall AC, Boonyasiri A, Bolt F, Ledda A, Mookerjee S, Weiße AY, Getino M, Turton JF, Abbas H, Prakapaite R, Sabnis A, Abdolrasouli A, Malpartida-Cardenas K, Miglietta L, Donaldson H, Gilchrist M, Hopkins KL, Ellington MJ, Otter JA, Larrouy-Maumus G, Edwards AM, Rodriguez-Manzano J, Didelot X, Barahona M, Holmes AH, Jauneikaite E, Davies Fet al., 2024, Integrated analysis of patient networks and plasmid genomes reveals a regional, multi-species outbreak of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales carrying both blaIMP and mcr-9 genes., J Infect Dis

BACKGROUND: Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales (CPE) are challenging in healthcare, with resistance to multiple classes of antibiotics. This study describes the emergence of IMP-encoding CPE amongst diverse Enterobacterales species between 2016 and 2019 across a London regional network. METHODS: We performed a network analysis of patient pathways, using electronic health records, to identify contacts between IMP-encoding CPE positive patients. Genomes of IMP-encoding CPE isolates were overlayed with patient contacts to imply potential transmission events. RESULTS: Genomic analysis of 84 Enterobacterales isolates revealed diverse species (predominantly Klebsiella spp, Enterobacter spp, E. coli); 86% (72/84) harboured an IncHI2 plasmid carrying blaIMP and colistin resistance gene mcr-9 (68/72). Phylogenetic analysis of IncHI2 plasmids identified three lineages showing significant association with patient contacts and movements between four hospital sites and across medical specialities, which was missed on initial investigations. CONCLUSIONS: Combined, our patient network and plasmid analyses demonstrate an interspecies, plasmid-mediated outbreak of blaIMPCPE, which remained unidentified during standard investigations. With DNA sequencing and multi-modal data incorporation, the outbreak investigation approach proposed here provides a framework for real-time identification of key factors causing pathogen spread. Plasmid-level outbreak analysis reveals that resistance spread may be wider than suspected, allowing more interventions to stop transmission within hospital networks.

Journal article

Murphy RA, Pizzato J, Cuthbertson L, Sabnis A, Edwards A, Nolan L, Vorup-Jensen T, Larrouy-Maumus G, Davies Jet al., 2023, Antimicrobial peptide glatiramer acetate targets Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharides to breach membranes without altering lipopolysaccharide modification, Nature Portfolio Journals Antimicrobials and Resistance, ISSN: 2731-8745

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are key components of innate immunity across all domains of life. Both natural and synthetic AMPs are receiving renewed attention in the efforts to combat the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) crisis and the loss of antibiotic efficacy. The gram-negative pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the most concerning infecting bacteria in AMR, particularly in people with cystic fibrosis (CF) where respiratory infections are difficult to eradicate and are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Cationic AMPs exploit the negative charge of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) on P. aeruginosa to bind to and disrupt the bacterial membrane(s) and cause lethal damage. P. aeruginosa modifies its LPS, via environmental or genetic factors, to neutralise the charge of the cell and evade AMP killing. Free-LPS is also a component of CF sputum, as is anionic extracellular DNA (eDNA), each of which can bind AMPs by electrostatic interaction. Both free LPS and eDNA also feed into pro-inflammatory cycles. Glatiramer acetate (GA) is a random peptide co-polymer of glycine, lysine, alanine, and tyrosine and used as drug in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS); we have previously shown GA to be an AMP which synergises with tobramycin against P. aeruginosa from CF, functioning via bacterial membrane disruption. Here, we demonstrate direct binding and sequestration/neutralisation of P. aeruginosa LPS in keeping with GA’s ability to disrupt the outer membrane. Binding and neutralisation of eDNA was also seen. At CF-relevant concentrations, however, neither strongly inhibited membrane disruption by GA. Furthermore, in both type strains and clinical CF isolates of P. aeruginosa, exposure to GA did not result in increased modification of the Lipid A portion of LPS or in increased expression of genetically encoded systems involved in AMP sensing and LPS modification. With GA’s low selective pressure on P. aeruginosa for known AMP resistance mechanisms

Journal article

Liu Y, Kaffah N, Pandor S, Sartain MJ, Larrouy-Maumus Get al., 2023, Ion mobility mass spectrometry for the study of mycobacterial mycolic acids, Scientific Reports, Vol: 13, Pages: 1-8, ISSN: 2045-2322

Lipids are highly structurally diverse molecules involved in a wide variety of biological processes. The involvement of lipids is even more pronounced in mycobacteria, including the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which produces a highly complex and diverse set of lipids in the cell envelope. These lipids include mycolic acids, which are among the longest fatty acids in nature and can contain up to 90 carbon atoms. Mycolic acids are ubiquitously found in mycobacteria and are alpha branched and beta hydroxylated lipids. Discrete modifications, such as alpha, alpha’, epoxy, methoxy, keto, and carboxy, characterize mycolic acids at the species level. Here, we used high precision ion mobility-mass spectrometry to build a database including 206 mass-resolved collision cross sections (CCSs) of mycolic acids originating from the strict human pathogen M. tuberculosis, the opportunistic strains M. abscessus, M. marinum and M. avium, and the nonpathogenic strain M. smegmatis. Primary differences between the mycolic acid profiles could be observed between mycobacterial species. Acyl tail length and modifications were the primary structural descriptors determining CCS magnitude. As a resource for researchers, this work provides a detailed catalogue of the mass-resolved collision cross sections for mycolic acids along with a workflow to generate and analyse the dataset generated.

Journal article

Mozaheb N, Rasouli P, Kaur M, Van Der Smissen P, Larrouy-Maumus G, Mingeot-Leclercq M-Pet al., 2023, A Mildly Acidic Environment Alters Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence and Causes Remodeling of the Bacterial Surface, MICROBIOLOGY SPECTRUM, ISSN: 2165-0497

Journal article

Larrouy-Maumus G, Dortet L, Nix ID, Maier T, Oberheitmann B, Sparbier K, Kostrzewa Met al., 2023, Two-site study on performances of a commercially available MALDI-TOF MS-based assay for the detection of colistin resistance in Escherichia coli, European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases: an international journal on pathogenesis, diagnosis, epidemiology, therapy, and prevention of infectious diseases, Vol: 42, Pages: 669-679, ISSN: 0934-9723

Colistin is a last resort drug for the treatment of multiple drug-resistant (MDR) Gram-negative bacterial infections. Rapid methods to detect resistance are highly desirable. Here, we evaluated the performance of a commercially available MALDI-TOF MS-based assay for colistin resistance testing in Escherichia coli at two different sites. Ninety clinical E. coli isolates were provided by France and tested in Germany and UK using a MALDI-TOF MS-based colistin resistance assay. Lipid A molecules of the bacterial cell membrane were extracted using the MBT Lipid Xtract Kit™ (RUO; Bruker Daltonics, Germany). Spectra acquisition and evaluation were performed by the MBT HT LipidART Module of MBT Compass HT (RUO; Bruker Daltonics) on a MALDI Biotyper® sirius system (Bruker Daltonics) in negative ion mode. Phenotypic colistin resistance was determined by broth microdilution (MICRONAUT MIC-Strip Colistin, Bruker Daltonics) and used as a reference. Comparing the results of the MALDI-TOF MS-based colistin resistance assay with the data of the phenotypic reference method for the UK, sensitivity and specificity for the detection of colistin resistance were 97.1% (33/34) and 96.4% (53/55), respectively. Germany showed 97.1% (33/34) sensitivity and 100% (55/55) specificity for the detection of colistin resistance by MALDI-TOF MS. Applying the MBT Lipid Xtract™ Kit in combination with MALDI-TOF MS and dedicated software showed excellent performances for E. coli. Analytical and clinical validation studies must be performed to demonstrate the performance of the method as a diagnostic tool.

Journal article

Hailu E, Cantillon D, Madrazo C, Rose G, Wheeler PR, Golby P, Adnew B, Gagneux S, Aseffa A, V Gordon S, Comas I, Young DB, Waddell SJ, Larrouy-Maumus G, Berg Set al., 2023, Lack of methoxy- mycolates characterizes the geographically restricted lineage 7 of<i> Mycobacterium</i><i> tuberculosis</i> complex, MICROBIAL GENOMICS, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2057-5858

Journal article

Larrouy-Maumus G, 2023, A whole cell-based Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry lipidomic assay for the discovery of compounds that target lipid a modifications, Frontiers in Microbiology, Vol: 14, Pages: 1-7, ISSN: 1664-302X

Introduction: Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) is a powerful analytical technique that has been applied to a wide variety of applications ranging from proteomics to clinical diagnostics. One such application is its use as a tool for discovery assays, such as monitoring the inhibition of purified proteins. With the global threat from antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) bacteria, new and innovative solutions are required to identify new molecules that could revert bacterial resistance and/or target virulence factors. Here, we used a whole cell-based MALDI-TOF lipidomic assay using a routine MALDI Biotyper Sirius system operating in linear negative ion mode combined with the MBT Lipid Xtract kit to discover molecules targeting bacteria that are resistant to polymyxins, which are considered last-resort antibiotics.Methods: A library of 1200 natural compounds was tested against an E. coli strain expressing mcr-1, which is known to modify lipid A by adding phosphoethanolamine (pETN), making the strain resistant to colistin.Results and Discussion: Using this approach, we identified 8 compounds that led to a decrease in this lipid A modification by MCR-1 and could potentially be employed to revert resistance. Taken together, as-proof-of-principle, the data we report here represent a new workflow based on the analysis of bacterial lipid A by routine MALDI-TOF for the discovery of inhibitors that could target bacterial viability and/or virulence.

Journal article

Gonzalo X, Yrah S, Broda A, Laurenson I, Claxton P, Kostrzewa M, Drobniewski F, Larrouy-Maumus Get al., 2023, Performance of lipid fingerprint by routine matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight for the diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex species, Clinical Microbiology and Infection, Vol: 29, Pages: 387.e1-387.e6, ISSN: 1198-743X

Objectives:Rapid detection of bacterial pathogens to species and subspecies level is crucial for appropriate treatment, infection control and public health management. Currently, one of the challenges in clinical microbiology is the discrimination of mycobacterial sub-species within the M. tuberculosis complex (MTBC). Our objective was to evaluate the ability of a biosafe mycobacterial-lipid based approach to identify MTBC cultures and subspecies.Methods:A blinded study was performed using 90 mycobacterial clinical isolates strains comprising MTBC strains sub-cultured in Middlebrook 7H11 media supplemented with 10% OADC growth supplement and incubated for up to six weeks at 37°C and using the following 7 reference strains (M. tuberculosis H37Rv, M canettii, M. africanum, M. pinnipedii, M. caprae, M. bovis, M. bovis BCG) grown under the same conditions, in order to set the reference lipid database and test it against the 90 MTBC clinical isolates. Cultured mycobacteria were heat-inactivated and loaded onto the MALDI target followed by addition of the matrix. Acquisition of the data was done using the positive ion mode.Results:Based on the identification of clear and defined lipid signatures from the 7 reference strains, the method we have developed is fast (<10 mins) and produced interpretable profiles for all but four isolates, caused by poor ionization giving an n = 86 with interpretable spectra. The sensitivity and specificity of the MALDI-ToF, were 94.4 (95% CI 86.4-98.5) and 94.4 (95% CI 72.7-99.9) respectively. .Conclusions:Mycobacterial lipid profiling provides for a means of rapid, safe and accurate discrimination of species within the MTBC.

Journal article

Liu Y, LarrouyMaumus G, 2022, Metabolite supplements as a route to enhance clearance of infections, Clinical and Translational Discovery, Vol: 2, Pages: 1-2, ISSN: 2768-0622

Journal article

Grimes K, Beckwith EJ, Pearson WH, Jacobson J, Chaudhari S, Aughey GN, Larrouy-Maumus G, Southall TD, Dionne MSet al., 2022, A serine-folate metabolic unit controls resistance and tolerance of infection

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Immune activation drives metabolic change in most animals. Immune-induced metabolic change is most conspicuous as a driver of pathology in serious or prolonged infection, but it is normally expected to be important to support immune function and recovery. Many of the signalling mechanisms linking immune detection with metabolic regulation, and their specific consequences, are unknown. Here, we show that<jats:italic>Drosophila melanogaster</jats:italic>respond to many bacterial infections by altering expression of genes of the folate cycle and associated enzymes of amino acid metabolism. The net result of these changes is increased flow of carbon from glycolysis into serine and glycine synthesis and a shift of folate cycle activity from the cytosol into the mitochondrion. Immune-induced transcriptional induction of<jats:italic>astray</jats:italic>and<jats:italic>Nmdmc</jats:italic>, the two most-induced of these enzymes, depends on<jats:italic>Dif</jats:italic>and<jats:italic>foxo</jats:italic>. Loss of<jats:italic>astray</jats:italic>or<jats:italic>Nmdmc</jats:italic>results in infection-specific immune defects. Our work thus shows a key mechanism that connects immune-induced changes in metabolic signalling with the serine-folate metabolic unit to result in changed immune function.</jats:p>

Journal article

Yong H, Chan KLA, Larrouy-Maumus G, Okor J, Munday M, Hall AR, Quaglia A, Oben JAet al., 2022, METABOLITE BIOMARKERS IN OBESITY-INDUCED NAFLD, ASSAYED WITH FOURIER-TRANSFORM INFRARED, NUCLEAR MAGNETIC RESONANCE AND ELECTROSPRAY LIQUID CHROMATOGRAPHY-MASS SPECTROMETRY., Publisher: WILEY, Pages: S711-S712, ISSN: 0270-9139

Conference paper

Weng Y, Shepherd D, Liu Y, Krishnan N, Robertson BD, Platt N, Larrouy-Maumus G, Platt FMet al., 2022, Inhibition of the Niemann-Pick C1 protein is a conserved feature of multiple strains of pathogenic mycobacteria, Nature Communications, Vol: 13, Pages: 1-16, ISSN: 2041-1723

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) survives and replicates within host macrophages (MΦ) and subverts multiple antimicrobial defense mechanisms. Previously, we reported that lipids shed by pathogenic mycobacteria inhibit NPC1, the lysosomal membrane protein deficient in the lysosomal storage disorder Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC). Inhibition of NPC1 leads to a drop in lysosomal calcium levels, blocking phagosome-lysosome fusion leading to mycobacterial survival. We speculated that the production of specific cell wall lipid(s) that inhibit NPC1 could have been a critical step in the evolution of pathogenicity. We therefore investigated whether lipid extracts from clinical Mtb strains from multiple Mtb lineages, Mtb complex (MTBC) members and non-tubercular mycobacteria (NTM) inhibit the NPC pathway. We report that inhibition of the NPC pathway was present in all clinical isolates from Mtb lineages 1, 2, 3 and 4, Mycobacterium bovis and the NTM, Mycobacterium abscessus and Mycobacterium avium. However, lipid extract from Mycobacterium canettii, which is considered to resemble the common ancestor of the MTBC did not inhibit the NPC1 pathway. We conclude that the evolution of NPC1 inhibitory mycobacterial cell wall lipids evolved early and post divergence from Mycobacterium canettii-related mycobacteria and that this activity contributes significantly to the promotion of disease.

Journal article

Hamilton C, Olona A, Leishman S, MacDonald-Ramsahai K, Cockcroft S, Larrouy-Maumus G, Anand Pet al., 2022, NLRP3 inflammasome priming and activation are regulated by a phosphatidylinositol-dependent mechanism, ImmunoHorizons, Vol: 6, ISSN: 2573-7732

Imbalance in lipid homeostasis is associated with discrepancies in immune signaling and is tightly linked to metabolic disorders. The diverse ways in which lipids impact immune signaling, however, remain ambiguous. The phospholipid phosphatidylinositol (PI), which is implicated in numerous immune disorders, is chiefly defined by its phosphorylation status. By contrast, the significance of the two fatty acid chains attached to the PI remains unknown. Here, by employing a mass-spectrometry-based assay, we demonstrate a role for PI acyl group chains in regulating both the priming and activation steps of the NLRP3 inflammasome in mouse macrophages. In response to NLRP3 stimuli, cells deficient in ABC transporter ABCB1, which effluxes lipid derivatives, revealed defective inflammasome activation. Mechanistically, Abcb1-deficiency shifted the total PI configuration exhibiting a reduced ratio of short-chain to long-chain PI acyl lipids. Consequently, Abcb1-deficiency initiated the rapid degradation of TIRAP, the TLR adaptor protein which binds PI (4,5)-bisphosphate, resulting in defective TLR-dependent signaling, and thus NLRP3 expression. Moreover, this accompanied increased NLRP3 phosphorylation at the Ser291 position and contributed to blunted inflammasome activation. Exogenously supplementing WT cells with linoleic acid, but not arachidonic acid, reconfigured PI acyl chains. Accordingly, linoleic acid supplementation increased TIRAP degradation, elevated NLRP3 phosphorylation, and abrogated inflammasome activation. Furthermore, NLRP3 Ser291 phosphorylation was dependent on prostaglandin E2-induced protein kinase A signaling as pharmacological inhibition of this pathway in linoleic acid-enriched cells dephosphorylated NLRP3. Altogether, our study reveals a novel metabolic-inflammatory circuit which contributes to calibrating immune responses.

Journal article

Pizzato J, Tang W, Bernabeu S, Bonnin RA, Bille E, Farfour E, Guillard T, Barraud O, Cattoir V, Plouzeau C, Corvec S, Shahrezaei V, Dortet L, Larrouy-Maumus Get al., 2022, Discrimination of Escherichia coli, Shigella flexneri, and Shigella sonnei using lipid profiling by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry paired with machine learning, MicrobiologyOpen, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 2045-8827

Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has become a staple in clinical microbiology laboratories. Protein-profiling of bacteria using this technique has accelerated the identification of pathogens in diagnostic workflows. Recently, lipid profiling has emerged as a way to complement bacterial identification where protein-based methods fail to provide accurate results. This study aimed to address the challenge of rapid discrimination between Escherichia coli and Shigella spp. using MALDI-TOF MS in the negative ion mode for lipid profiling coupled with machine learning. Both E. coli and Shigella species are closely related; they share high sequence homology, reported for 16S rRNA gene sequence similarities between E. coli and Shigella spp. exceeding 99%, and a similar protein expression pattern but are epidemiologically distinct. A bacterial collection of 45 E. coli, 48 Shigella flexneri, and 62 Shigella sonnei clinical isolates were submitted to lipid profiling in negative ion mode using the MALDI Biotyper Sirius® system after treatment with mild-acid hydrolysis (acetic acid 1% v/v for 15 min at 98°C). Spectra were then analyzed using our in-house machine learning algorithm and top-ranked features used for the discrimination of the bacterial species. Here, as a proof-of-concept, we showed that lipid profiling might have the potential to differentiate E. coli from Shigella species using the analysis of the top five ranked features obtained by MALDI-TOF MS in the negative ion mode of the MALDI Biotyper Sirius® system. Based on this new approach, MALDI-TOF MS analysis of lipids might help pave the way toward these goals.

Journal article

Wang G, Brunel J-M, Preusse M, Mozaheb N, Willger SD, Larrouy-Maumus G, Baatsen P, Haeussler S, Bolla J-M, Van Bambeke Fet al., 2022, The membrane-active polyaminoisoprenyl compound NV716 re-sensitizes <i>Pseudomonas aeruginosa</i> to antibiotics and reduces bacterial virulence, COMMUNICATIONS BIOLOGY, Vol: 5

Journal article

Larrouy-Maumus G, Thomson M, Nunta K, Liu Y, Fernandes N, Williams R, garza-garcia Aet al., 2022, Expression of a novel mycobacterial phosphodiesterase successfully lowers cAMP levels resulting in reduced tolerance to cell wall-targeting antimicrobials, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol: 298, ISSN: 0021-9258

Antimicrobial tolerance, the ability to survive exposure to antimicrobials via transient nonspecific means, promotes the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The study of the molecular mechanisms that result in antimicrobial tolerance is therefore essential for the understanding of AMR. In gram-negative bacteria, the second messenger molecule 3’,5’-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) has been previously shown to be involved in AMR. In mycobacteria, however, the role of cAMP in antimicrobial tolerance has been difficult to probe due to its particular complexity. In order to address this difficulty, here, through an unbiased biochemical approaches consisting in the fractionation of clear protein lysate from a mycobacterial strain deleted for the known cAMP phosphodiesterase (Rv0805c) combined with mass spectrometry techniques, we identified a novel cyclic nucleotide-degrading phosphodiesterase enzyme (Rv1339) and developed a system to significantly decrease intracellular cAMP levels through plasmid expression of Rv1339 using the constitutive expression system, pVV16. In Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2155, we demonstrate that recombinant expression of Rv1339 reduced cAMP levels 3-fold and resulted in altered gene expression, impaired bioenergetics and a disruption in peptidoglycan biosynthesis leading to decreased tolerance to antimicrobials that target cell wall synthesis such as ethambutol, D-cycloserine and vancomycin. This work increases our understanding of the role of cAMP in mycobacterial antimicrobial tolerance and our observations suggest that nucleotide signaling may represent a new target for the development of antimicrobial therapies.

Journal article

Ciechonska M, Sturrock M, Grob A, Larrouy-Maumus G, Shahrezaei V, Isalan Met al., 2022, Emergent expression of fitness-conferring genes by phenotypic selection, PNAS Nexus, Vol: 1, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 2752-6542

Genotypic and phenotypic adaptation is the consequence of ongoing natural selection in populations and is key to predicting and preventing drug resistance. Whereas classic antibiotic persistence is all-or-nothing, here we demonstrate that an antibiotic resistance gene displays linear dose-responsive selection for increased expression in proportion to rising antibiotic concentration in growing E. coli populations. Furthermore, we report the potentially wide-spread nature of this form of emergent gene expression by instantaneous phenotypic selection process under bactericidal and bacteriostatic antxibiotic treatment, as well as an amino acid synthesis pathway enzyme under a range of auxotrophic conditions. We propose an analogy to Ohm’s law in electricity (V=IR) where selection pressure acts similarly to voltage (V), gene expression to current (I), and resistance (R) to cellular machinery constraints and costs. Lastly, mathematical modelling using agent-based models of stochastic gene expression in growing populations and Bayesian model selection reveal that the emergent gene expression mechanism requires variability in gene expression within an isogenic population, and a cellular ‘memory’ from positive feedbacks between growth and expression of any fitness-conferring gene. Finally, we discuss the connection of the observed phenomenon to a previously described general fluctuation-response relationship in biology.

Journal article

Bikmetov D, Hall AMJ, Livenskyi A, Gollan B, Ovchinnikov S, Gilep K, Kim JY, Larrouy-Maumus G, Zgoda V, Borukhov S, Severinov K, Helaine S, Dubiley Set al., 2022, GNAT toxins evolve toward narrow tRNA target specificities, NUCLEIC ACIDS RESEARCH, Vol: 50, Pages: 5807-5817, ISSN: 0305-1048

Journal article

Furniss RCD, Kaderabkova N, Barker D, Bernal P, Maslova E, Antwi AAA, McNeil HE, Pugh HL, Dortet L, Blair JMA, Larrouy-Maumus G, McCarthy RR, Gonzalez D, Mavridou DAet al., 2022, Breaking antimicrobial resistance by disrupting extracytoplasmic protein folding, ELIFE, Vol: 11, ISSN: 2050-084X

Journal article

Hamilton C, Olona A, Leishman S, MacDonald-Ramsahai K, Cockcroft S, Larrouy-Maumus G, Anand Pet al., 2021, NLRP3 inflammasome priming and activation are regulated by a novel phosphatidylinositol-dependent mechanism, Publisher: bioRxiv

Imbalance in lipid homeostasis is associated with discrepancies in immune signalling and is tightly linked to metabolic disorders. The diverse ways in which lipids impact immune signalling, however, remain ambiguous. The phospholipid phosphatidylinositol (PI), which is implicated in numerous immune disorders, is chiefly defined by its phosphorylation status. By contrast, the significance of the two fatty acid chains attached to the PI remains unknown. Here, by employing a mass-spectrometry-based assay, we demonstrate a role for PI acyl group chains in regulating both the priming and activation steps of the NLRP3 inflammasome in mouse macrophages. In response to NLRP3 stimuli, cells deficient in ABC transporter ABCB1, which effluxes lipid derivatives, revealed defective inflammasome activation. Mechanistically, Abcb1-deficiency shifted the total PI configuration exhibiting a reduced ratio of short-chain to long-chain PI-acyl lipids. Consequently, Abcb1-deficiency resulted in rapid degradation of TIRAP, the TLR adaptor protein which binds PI(4,5)-phosphate. Moreover, this accompanied increased NLRP3 phosphorylation at the Ser293 position and blunted inflammasome activation. Exogenously supplementing WT cells with linoleic acid, but not arachidonic acid, reconfigured PI acyl chains. Accordingly, linoleic acid supplementation increased TIRAP degradation, elevated NLRP3 phosphorylation, and abrogated inflammasome activation. Altogether, our study reveals a novel metabolic-inflammatory circuit which contributes to calibrating immune responses.

Working paper

Humphrey M, Larrouy-Maumus GJ, Furniss RCD, Mavridou DA, Sabnis A, Edwards AMet al., 2021, Colistin resistance in Escherichia coli confers protection of the cytoplasmic but not outer membrane from the polymyxin antibiotic, MICROBIOLOGY-SGM, Vol: 167, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 1350-0872

Colistin is a polymyxin antibiotic of last resort for the treatment of infections caused by multi-drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. By targeting lipopolysaccharide (LPS), the antibiotic disrupts both the outer and cytoplasmic membranes, leading to bacterial death and lysis. Colistin resistance in Escherichia coli occurs via mutations in the chromosome or the acquisition of mobilized colistin-resistance (mcr) genes. Both these colistin-resistance mechanisms result in chemical modifications to the LPS, with positively charged moieties added at the cytoplasmic membrane before the LPS is transported to the outer membrane. We have previously shown that MCR-1-mediated LPS modification protects the cytoplasmic but not the outer membrane from damage caused by colistin, enabling bacterial survival. However, it remains unclear whether this observation extends to colistin resistance conferred by other mcr genes, or resistance due to chromosomal mutations. Using a panel of clinical E. coli that had acquired mcr −1, –1.5, −2, –3, −3.2 or −5, or had acquired polymyxin resistance independently of mcr genes, we found that almost all isolates were susceptible to colistin-mediated permeabilization of the outer, but not cytoplasmic, membrane. Furthermore, we showed that permeabilization of the outer membrane of colistin-resistant isolates by the polymyxin is in turn sufficient to sensitize bacteria to the antibiotic rifampicin, which normally cannot cross the LPS monolayer. These findings demonstrate that colistin resistance in these E. coli isolates is due to protection of the cytoplasmic but not outer membrane from colistin-mediated damage, regardless of the mechanism of resistance.

Journal article

Wan Y, Myall AC, Boonyasiri A, Bolt F, Ledda A, Mookerjee S, Weiße AY, Getino M, Turton JF, Abbas H, Prakapaite R, Sabnis A, Abdolrasoulia A, Malpartida-Cardenas K, Miglietta L, Donaldson H, Gilchrist M, Hopkins KL, Ellington MJ, Otter JA, Larrouy-Maumus G, Edwards AM, Rodriguez-Manzano J, Didelot X, Barahona M, Holmes AH, Jauneikaite E, Davies Fet al., 2021, Integrated analysis of patient networks and plasmid genomes reveals a regional, multi-species outbreak of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales carrying both<i>bla</i><sub>IMP</sub>and<i>mcr-9</i>genes

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:sec><jats:title>Background</jats:title><jats:p>Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales (CPE) are challenging in the healthcare setting, with resistance to multiple classes of antibiotics and a high associated mortality. The incidence of CPE is rising globally, despite enhanced awareness and control efforts. This study describes an investigation of the emergence of IMP-encoding CPE amongst diverse Enterobacterales species between 2016 and 2019 in patients across a London regional hospital network.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Methods</jats:title><jats:p>We carried out a network analysis of patient pathways, using electronic health records, to identify contacts between IMP-encoding CPE positive patients. Genomes of IMP-encoding CPE isolates were analysed and overlayed with patient contacts to imply potential transmission events.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Results</jats:title><jats:p>Genomic analysis of 84 Enterobacterales isolates revealed diverse species (predominantly<jats:italic>Klebsiella</jats:italic>spp,<jats:italic>Enterobacter</jats:italic>spp,<jats:italic>E. coli</jats:italic>), of which 86% (72/84) harboured an IncHI2 plasmid, which carried both<jats:italic>bla</jats:italic><jats:sub>IMP</jats:sub>and the mobile colistin resistance gene<jats:italic>mcr-9</jats:italic>(68/72). Phylogenetic analysis of IncHI2 plasmids identified three lineages which showed significant association with patient contact and movements between four hospital sites and across medical specialities, which had been missed on initial investigations.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Conclusions</jats:title><jats:p>Combined, our patient network and plasmid analyses demonstrate an interspecies, plasmid-med

Journal article

Larrouy-Maumus G, Katy J, katheryn H, laurent D, markus K, Filloux A, Plesiat Pet al., 2021, Detection of colistin resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa using the MALDIxin test on the routine MALDI Biotyper Sirius mass spectrometer, Frontiers in Microbiology, Vol: 12, ISSN: 1664-302X

Colistin is frequently a last resort treatment for Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections caused by multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug resistant (XDR) strains, and detection of colistin resistance is essential for the management of infected patients. Therefore, we evaluated the recently developed MALDIxin test for the detection of colistin resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical strains using the routine matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) Biotyper Sirius system. The test is based on the detection by mass spectrometry of modified lipid A by the addition of 4-amino-L-arabinose (L-ara4N) molecules on one or two phosphate groups, in strains resistant to colistin. Overproduction of L-Ara4N molecules is mainly due to the constitutive activation of the histidine kinase (PmrB) or the response regulator (PmrA) following an amino-acid substitution in clinical strains. The performance of the test was determined on a panel of 14 colistin-susceptible and 14 colistin-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical strains, the reference strain PAO1 and positive control mutants PmrB (V28G), PmrB (D172), PhoQ (D240-247) and ParR (M59I). In comparison with the broth microdilution (BMD) method, all the susceptible strains (n=14) and 8/14 colistin-resistant strains were detected in less than 1 hour, directly on whole bacteria. The remaining resistant strains (n=6) were all detected after a short pre-exposure (4h) to colistin before sample preparation. Validation of the method on a larger panel of strains will be the next step before its use in diagnostics laboratories. Our data showed that the MALDIxin test offers rapid and efficient detection of colistin resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa and is thus a valuable diagnostics tool to control the spread of these emerging resistant strains.

Journal article

Larrouy-Maumus G, Broda A, Drobniewski F, Khor MJ, kostrzewaet al., 2021, An improved method for rapid detection of Mycobacterium abscessus complex based on species-specific lipids fingerprint by routine MALDI-TOF, Frontiers in Chemistry, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-7, ISSN: 2296-2646

Rapid diagnostics of bacterial infection is the key to successful recovery and eradication of the disease. Currently, identification of bacteria is based on the detection of highly abundant proteins, mainly ribosomal proteins, by routine MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. However, relying solely on proteins is limited in subspecies typing for some pathogens. This is the case for, for example, the mycobacteria belonging to the Mycobacterium abscessus (MABS) complex, which is classified into three subspecies, namely, M. abscessus subsp. abscessus, M. abscessus subsp. bolletii, and M. abscessus subsp. massiliense. Being able to detect bacteria accurately and rapidly at the subspecies level could not only reliably identify the pathogen causing the disease but also enable better antibiotic stewardship. For instance, M. abscessus subsp. abscessus and M. abscessus subsp. bolletii possess a functional erm41 (erythromycin ribosomal methylation gene 41) gene, whilst M. abscessus subsp. massiliense does not, resulting in differences in macrolide antibiotic (e.g., clarithromycin and azithromycin) susceptibilities. This presents a challenge for physicians when designing an appropriate treatment regimen. To address this challenge, in addition to proteins, species-specific lipids have now been considered as a game changer in clinical microbiology diagnostics. However, their extraction can be time-consuming, and analysis requires the use of apolar toxic organic solvents (e.g., chloroform). Here, we present a new method to accurately detect species and subspecies, allowing the discrimination of the mycobacteria within the MABS complex and relying on the use of ethanol. We found that a combination of the matrix named super-DHB with 25% ethanol with a bacterial suspension at McFarland 20 gave robust and reproducible data, allowing the discrimination of the bacteria within the MABS complex strains tested in this study (n = 9). Further investigations have to be conducted to validate the metho

Journal article

Humphrey M, Larrouy-Maumus GJ, Furniss RCD, Mavridou DAI, Sabnis A, Edwards AMet al., 2021, Colistin resistance in <i>Escherichia coli</i> confers protection of the cytoplasmic but not outer membrane from the polymyxin antibiotic

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Colistin is a polymyxin antibiotic of last resort for the treatment of infections caused by multi-drug resistant Gram-negative bacteria. By targeting lipopolysaccharide (LPS), the antibiotic disrupts both the outer and cytoplasmic membranes, leading to lysis and bacterial death. Colistin resistance in <jats:italic>Escherichia coli</jats:italic> occurs via mutations in the chromosome or the acquisition of mobilised colistin resistance (<jats:italic>mcr</jats:italic>) genes. Both these colistin resistance mechanisms result in chemical modifications to the LPS, with positively charged moieties added at the cytoplasmic membrane before the LPS is transported to the outer membrane. We have previously shown that MCR-1-mediated LPS modification protects the cytoplasmic but not the outer membrane from damage caused by colistin, enabling bacterial survival. However, it remains unclear whether this observation extends to colistin resistance conferred by other <jats:italic>mcr</jats:italic> genes, or resistance due to chromosomal mutations. Using a panel of clinical <jats:italic>E. coli</jats:italic> that had acquired <jats:italic>mcr</jats:italic> -1, -1.5, -2, -3, -3.2 or -5, or had acquired polymyxin resistance independently of <jats:italic>mcr</jats:italic> genes, we found that almost all isolates were susceptible to colistin-mediated permeabilisation of the outer, but not cytoplasmic, membrane. Furthermore, we showed that permeabilisation of the outer membrane of colistin resistant isolates by the polymyxin is in turn sufficient to sensitise bacteria to the antibiotic rifampicin, which normally cannot cross the LPS monolayer. These findings demonstrate that colistin resistance in <jats:italic>E. coli</jats:italic> is typically due to protection of the cytoplasmic but not outer membrane from colistin-mediated damage, regardless of th

Working paper

Vivian T, Yi L, Ashleigh C, Larrouy-Maumus Get al., 2021, Metabolomics in infectious diseases and drug discovery, Molecular Omics, Vol: 17, Pages: 376-393, ISSN: 2515-4184

Metabolomics has emerged as an invaluable tool that can be used along with genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics to understand host–pathogen interactions at small-molecule levels. Metabolomics has been used to study a variety of infectious diseases and applications. The most common application of metabolomics is for prognostic and diagnostic purposes, specifically the screening of disease-specific biomarkers by either NMR-based or mass spectrometry-based metabolomics. In addition, metabolomics is of great significance for the discovery of druggable metabolic enzymes and/or metabolic regulators through the use of state-of-the-art flux analysis, for example, via the elucidation of metabolic mechanisms. This review discusses the application of metabolomics technologies to biomarker screening, the discovery of drug targets in infectious diseases such as viral, bacterial and parasite infections and immunometabolomics, highlights the challenges associated with accessing metabolite compartmentalization and discusses the available tools for determining local metabolite concentrations.

Journal article

Gonzalo X, Broda A, Drobniewski F, Larrouy-Maumus Get al., 2021, Performance of lipid fingerprint-based MALDI-ToF for the diagnosis of mycobacterial infections, Clinical Microbiology and Infection, Vol: 27, Pages: 912.e1-912.e5, ISSN: 1198-743X

ObjectivesBacterial diagnosis of mycobacteria is often challenging because of the variability of the sensitivity and specificity of the assay used, and it can be expensive to perform accurately. Although matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS) has become the workhorse of clinical laboratories, the current MALDI methodology (which is based on cytosolic protein profiling) for mycobacteria is still challenging due to the number of steps involved (up to seven) and potential biosafety concerns. Knowing that mycobacteria produce surface-exposed species-specific lipids, we here hypothesized that the detection of those molecules could offer a rapid, reproducible and robust method for mycobacterial identification.MethodsWe evaluated the performance of an alternative methodology based on characterized species-specific lipid profiling of intact bacteria, without any sample preparation, by MALDI MS; it uses MALDI-time-of-flight (ToF) MS combined with a specific matrix (super-2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid solubilized in an apolar solvent system) to analyse lipids of intact heat-inactivated mycobacteria. Cultured mycobacteria are heat-inactivated and loaded directly onto the MALDI target followed by addition of the matrix. Acquisition of the data is done in both positive and negative ion modes. Blinded studies were performed using 273 mycobacterial strains comprising both the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) complex and non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTMs) subcultured in Middlebrook 7H9 media supplemented with 10% OADC (oleic acid/dextrose/catalase) growth supplement and incubated for up to 2 weeks at 37°C.ResultsThe method we have developed is fast (<10 mins) and highly sensitive (<1000 bacteria required); 96.7% of the Mtb complex strains (204/211) were correctly assigned as MTB complex and 91.7% (22/24) NTM species were correctly assigned based only on intact bacteria species-specific lipid profiling by MALDI-ToF MS.ConclusionsIntact bacter

Journal article

Larrouy-Maumus G, 2021, Shotgun bacterial lipid A analysis using routine MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry., Mass Spectrometry-Based Lipidomics, Editors: Hsu, Pages: 275-283

Detection of bacterial lipids and particularly the lipid A, the lipid anchor of the lipopolysaccharide, can be very challenging and requires a certain level of expertise. Here, this chapter describes a straightforward and simple method for the analysis of bacterial lipid A. In addition, such approach, lipid fingerprint, has the potential to be applied to other bacteria such as mycobacteria.

Book chapter

Borah K, Mendum TA, Hawkins ND, Ward JL, Beale MH, Larrouy-Maumus G, Bhatt A, Moulin M, Haertlein M, Strohmeier G, Pichler H, Forsyth VT, Noack S, Goulding CW, McFadden J, Beste DJet al., 2021, Metabolic fluxes for nutritional flexibility of <i>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</i>, MOLECULAR SYSTEMS BIOLOGY, Vol: 17, ISSN: 1744-4292

Journal article

Sabnis A, Haggard K, Kloeckner A, Becce M, Evans L, Furniss R, Mavridou D, Stevens M, Murphy R, Davies J, Clarke T, Edwards Aet al., 2021, Colistin kills bacteria by targeting lipopolysaccharide in the cytoplasmic membrane, eLife, Vol: 10, Pages: 1-26, ISSN: 2050-084X

Colistin is an antibiotic of last resort, but has poor efficacy and resistance is a growing problem. Whilst it is well established that colistin disrupts the bacterial outer membrane (OM) by selectively targeting lipopolysaccharide (LPS), it was unclear how this led to bacterial killing. We discovered that MCR-1 mediated colistin resistance in Escherichia coli is due to modified LPS at the cytoplasmic rather than OM. In doing so, we also demonstrated that colistin exerts bactericidal activity by targeting LPS in the cytoplasmic membrane (CM). We then exploited this information to devise a new therapeutic approach. Using the LPS transport inhibitor murepavadin, we were able to cause LPS accumulation in the CM of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which resulted in increased susceptibility to colistin in vitro and improved treatment efficacy in vivo. These findings reveal new insight into the mechanism by which colistin kills bacteria, providing the foundations for novel approaches to enhance therapeutic outcomes.

Journal article

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