Abstract: Candida albicans is an ubiquitous fungal commensal of human skin and mucosal surfaces, and at the same time a major life-threatening human fungal pathogen in immunocompromised individuals. Host defense mechanisms rely on the capacity of professional phagocytes to recognize Candida cell wall antigens. During the past decade, the host immune response to Candida was dissected in depth, highlighting the essential role of C-type lectin receptors, especially regarding the power of the Dectins’ family in discriminating between the tolerated yeast-like form of Candida and its invading counterpart, the hyphae. This review focuses on the immuno-modulatory properties of the Candida morphologies and their specific interactions with the host innate immune system in different body surfaces.
Abstract: Theileria is a genus of tick-borne protozoan that is globally widespread and infects nearly all ungulates in which they cause either latent infection or lethal disease. Wild animals are considered reservoir hosts of many species of Theileria and their diversity in wildlife species is increasingly becoming of interest. The molecular characterization and identification of Theileria infecting wildlife has been studied in a few species including buffalo, which are considered reservoir host for Theileria parva infecting cattle. In this study, we sequenced Theileria species infecting wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) and used molecular-genetic and phylogenetic analysis of the 18 Small Subunit of the Ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA) to identify their relationships with known species of Theileria. Our results revealed three new Theileria haplotypes infecting wildebeest. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that haplotype 1 and 2 clustered in the same clade as Theileria separata and with Theileria sp. isolated from other small to medium sized antelopes. Haplotype 3 clustered close to the Theileria ovis clade. This is the first molecular description and characterization of Theileria species infecting blue wildebeest in East Africa. This study demonstrates the potential for Theileria transmission between wildebeest and small domestic ungulates, such as sheep and goats.
Abstract: We evaluated the in vitro potency of cefepime combined with AAI101, a novel extended-spectrum β-lactamase inhibitor, against a population of clinical Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae collected from USA hospitals. Of the 223 cefepime non-susceptible isolates, 95% were ceftazidime non-susceptible, 49% ertapenem non-susceptible, 57% piperacillin/tazobactam non-susceptible, 90% were multidrug-resistant (resistant to ≥3 drug classes), 22% produced carbapenemases, and 67% produced ESBLs. Addition of AAI101 restored the activity of cefepime such that the MIC50 was reduced from >64 mg/L for cefepime to 0.13 mg/L for cefepime/AAI101, supporting its continued development treatment for infections caused by these organisms.
Abstract: Candida albicans is part of the normal microbiota in most healthy individuals. However, it can cause opportunistic infections if host defenses are breached, with symptoms ranging from superficial lesions to severe systemic disease. The study of rare congenital defects in patients with chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis led to the identification of interleukin-17 (IL-17) as a key factor in host defense against mucosal fungal infection. Experimental infections in mice confirmed the critical role of IL-17 in mucocutaneous immunity against C. albicans. Research on mouse models has also contributed importantly to our current understanding of the regulation of IL-17 production by different cellular sources and its effector functions in distinct tissues. In this review, we highlight recent findings on IL-17-mediated immunity against C. albicans in mouse and man.
Abstract: Susceptibility testing with the use of surrogate agents is common among clinical microbiology laboratories. One such example is oxacillin and cefoxitin for β-lactams against methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). This study aimed to assess the surrogate predictive value (SPV) of oxacillin and cefoxitin for the susceptibility of commonly utilized parenteral β-lactams against MSSA as well as to evaluate the concordance between predictive susceptibility testing and the in vivo exposures for ceftriaxone. Broth microdilution MICs were determined for cefazolin, cefoxitin, ceftaroline, ceftriaxone, nafcillin, and oxacillin against a national collection of 1238 MSSA from US hospitals. Pharmacodynamic profiling was utilized to establish a clinical breakpoint for commonly utilized doses of ceftriaxone. Oxacillin had good SPVs for all the β-lactams tested, whereas cefoxitin produced unacceptable major errors for all four agents and thus appears to be an unacceptable susceptibility surrogate. While oxacillin is an adequate surrogate based on the currently defined laboratory criteria, our data also suggest that caution should be exercised when incorporating this testing approach in the clinical setting in view of the fact that the MIC distribution of MSSA coupled with the commonly utilized low doses of ceftriaxone may result in inadequate in vivo exposures against this pathogen.
Abstract: Legionella spp. and Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) are opportunistic pathogens of public health concern. Hot water systems, including showers, have been identified as a potential source of infection. This paper describes the colonization of Legionella and MAC on the flexible tubing within a model potable shower system, utilizing thermostatic mixing and a flexible shower head. A MAC qPCR method of enumeration was also developed. MAC and Legionella spp. were detected within the biofilm at maximum concentrations of 7.0 × 104 and 2.0 × 103 copies/cm2 PVC tubing respectively. No significant changes were observed between sample of the flexible shower tubing that dried between uses and those that remained filled with water. This suggested the “unhooking” showerheads and allowing them to dry is not an effective method to reduce the risk of Legionella or MACcolonisation.