Pathogens2014, 3(2), 377-389; doi:10.3390/pathogens3020377 (doi registration under processing) - published online 23 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is one of the most prevalent infectious diseases associated with various human liver diseases, including acute, fulminant and chronic hepatitis; liver cirrhosis; and hepatocellular carcinoma. Despite the availability of an HBV vaccine and the development of antiviral therapies, there are still more than 350 million chronically infected people worldwide, approximately 5% of the world population. To understand the virus biology and pathogenesis in HBV-infected patients, several animal modelshave been developed to mimic hepatic HBVinfection and the immune response against HBV, but the narrow host range of HBV infection and lack of a full immune response spectrum in animal models remain significant limitations. Accumulating evidence obtained from studies using a variety of mouse models that recapitulate hepatic HBV infection provides several clues for understanding host-virus immunologic interactions during HBV infection, whereas the determinants of the immune response required for HBV clearance are poorly defined. Therefore, adequate mouse models are urgently needed to elucidate the mechanism of HBV elimination and identify novel targets for antiviral therapies.
Abstract: The global clustering of gene families through network analysis has been demonstrated in whole genome, plasmid, and microbiome analyses. In this study, we carried out a plasmidome network analysis of all available complete bacterial plasmids to determine plasmid associations. A blastp clustering search at 100% aa identity cut-off and sharing at least one gene between plasmids, followed by a multilevel community network analysis revealed that a surprisingly large number of the plasmids were connected by one largest connected component (LCC), with dozens of community sub-groupings. The LCC consisted mainly of Bacilli and Gammaproteobacteria plasmids. Intriguingly, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) was noted between different phyla (i.e., Staphylococcus and Pasteurellaceae), suggesting that Pasteurellaceae can acquireantimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes from closely contacting Staphylococcus spp., which produce the external supplement of V-factor (NAD). Such community network analysis facilitate displaying possible recent HGTs like a class 1 integron, str and tet resistance markers between communities. Furthermore, the distribution of the Inc replicon type and AMR genes, such as the extended-spectrum ß-lactamase (ESBL) CTX-M or the carbapenemases KPC NDM-1, implies that such genes generally circulate within limited communities belonging to typical bacterial genera. Thus, plasmidome network analysis provides a remarkable discriminatory power for plasmid-related HGT and evolution.
Abstract: Preliminary studies aimed at improving the sensitivity of foodborne pathogen detection via lateral flow (LF) test strips by use of high affinity DNA aptamers for capture and reporter functions when coupled to red-emitting quantum dots (Qdot 655) are reported. A variety of DNA aptamers developed against Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella enterica were paired in capture and reporter combinations to determine which yielded the strongest detection of their cognate bacteria using a colloidal gold screening system. Several promising sandwich combinations were identified for each of the three bacterial LF strip systems. The best E. coli aptamer-LF system was further studied and yielded a visible limit of detection (LOD) of ~3,000 E. coli 8739 and ~6,000 E. coli O157:H7 in buffer. These LODs were reduced to ~300–600 bacterial cells per test respectively by switching to a Qdot 655 aptamer-LF system. Novel aspects of these assays such as the use of high levels of detergents to avoid quantum dot agglutination and enhance migration in analytical membranes, identification of optimal analytical membrane types, UV-immobilization of capture aptamers, and novel dual biotin/digoxigenin-end labeled aptamer streptavidin-colloidal gold or -Qdot 655 conjugates plus anti-digoxigenin antibody control lines are also discussed. In general, this work provides proof-of-principle for highly sensitive aptamer-Qdot LF strip assays for rapid foodborne pathogen detection.
Abstract: Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative environmental species and an opportunistic microorganism, establishing itself in vulnerable patients, such as those with cystic fibrosis (CF) or those hospitalized in intensive care units (ICU). It has become a major cause of nosocomial infections worldwide and a serious threat to Public Health because of overuse and misuse of antibiotics that have selected highly resistant strains against which very few therapeutic options exist. Herein is illustrated the intraclonal evolution of the genome of sequential isolates collected in a single CF patient from the early phase of pulmonary colonization to the fatal outcome. We also examined at the whole genome scale a pair of genotypically-related strains made of a drug susceptible, environmental isolate recovered from an ICU sink and of its multidrug resistant counterpart found to infect an ICU patient. Multiple genetic changes accumulated in the CF isolates over the disease time course including SNPs, deletion events and reduction of whole genome size. The strain isolated from the ICU patient displayed an increase in the genome size of 4.8% with major genetic rearrangements as compared to the initial environmental strain. The annotated genomes are given in free access in an interactive web application WallGene designed to facilitate large-scale comparative analysis and thus allowing investigators to explore homologies and syntenies between P. aeruginosa strains, here PAO1 and the five clinical strains described.
Abstract: Leptospirosis, caused by pathogenic spirochetes belonging to the genus Leptospira, is a zoonosis with important impacts on human and animal health worldwide. Research on the mechanisms of Leptospira pathogenesis has been hindered due to slow growth of infectious strains, poor transformability, and a paucity of genetic tools. As a result of second generation sequencing technologies, there has been an acceleration of leptospiral genome sequencing efforts in the past decade, which has enabled a concomitant increase in functional genomics analyses of Leptospira pathogenesis. A pathogenomics approach, by coupling of pan-genomic analysis of multiple isolates with sequencing of experimentally attenuated highly pathogenic Leptospira, has resulted in the functional inference of virulence factors. The global Leptospira Genome Project supported by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to which key scientific contributions have been made from the international leptospirosis research community has provided a new roadmap for comprehensive studies of Leptospira and leptospirosis well into the future. This review describes functional genomics approaches to apply the data generated by the Leptospira Genome Project towards deepening our knowledge of virulence factors of Leptospira using the emerging discipline of pathogenomics.
Abstract: The recent progresses of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies enable easy and cost-reduced access to whole genome sequencing (WGS) or re-sequencing. HTS associated with adapted, automatic and fast bioinformatics solutions for sequencing applications promises an accurate and timely identification and characterization of pathogenic agents. Many studies have demonstrated that data obtained from HTS analysis have allowed genome-based diagnosis, which has been consistent with phenotypic observations. These proofs of concept are probably the first steps toward the future of clinical microbiology. From concept to routine use, many parameters need to be considered to promote HTS as a powerful tool to help physicians and clinicians in microbiological investigations. This review highlights the milestones to be completed toward this purpose.