Chitin promotes Mycobacterium ulcerans growth

TitleChitin promotes Mycobacterium ulcerans growth
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsSanhueza D, Chevillon C, Colwell RR, Babonneau J, Marion E, Marsollier L, gan çoisé
Secondary AuthorsSobecky P
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Date PublishedJun-06-2017

Mycobacterium ulcerans (MU) is the causative agent of Buruli ulcer, an emerging human infectious disease. However, both the ecology and life cycle of MU are poorly understood. The occurrence of MU has been linked to the aquatic environment, notably water bodies affected by human activities. It has been hypothesized that one or a combination of environmental factor(s) connected to human activities could favour growth of MU in aquatic systems. Here, we tested in vitro the growth effect of two ubiquitous polysaccharides and five chemical components on MU at concentration ranges shown to occur in endemic regions. Real-time PCR showed that chitin increased MU growth significantly providing a nutrient source or environmental support for the bacillus, thereby, providing a focus on the association between MU and aquatic arthropods. Aquatic environments with elevated population of arthropods provide increased chitin availability and, thereby, enhanced multiplication of MU. If calcium very slightly enhanced MU growth, iron, zinc, sulphate and phosphate did not stimulate MU growth, and at the concentration ranges of this study would limit MU population in natural ecosystems.

Short TitleFEMS Microbiology Ecology