Pathogens2016, 5(3), 46; doi:10.3390/pathogens5030046 (registering DOI) - published 30 June 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Invasive Streptococcus suis (S. suis) infections in pigs are often associated with serotypes 2 and 9. Mucosal sites of healthy pigs can be colonized with these serotypes, often multiple serotypes per pig. To unravel the contribution of these serotypes in pathogenesis and epidemiology, simultaneous quantification of serotypes is needed. A quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) targeting cps2J (serotypes 2 and 1/2) and cps9H (serotype 9) was evaluated with nasal and tonsillar samples from S. suis exposed pigs. qPCR specifically detected serotypes in all pig samples. The serotypes loads in pig samples estimated by qPCR showed, except for serotype 9 in tonsillar samples (correlation coefficient = 0.25), moderate to strong correlation with loads detected by culture (correlation coefficient > 0.65), and also in pigs exposed to both serotypes (correlation coefficient > 0.75). This qPCR is suitable for simultaneous differentiation and quantification of important S. suis serotypes.
Abstract: Streptococcus suis, a major porcine pathogen and an important zoonotic agent, is considered to be composed of phenotypically and genetically diverse strains. However, recent studies reported several “S. suis-like strains” that were identified as S. suis by commonly used methods for the identification of this bacterium, but were regarded as distinct species from S. suis according to the standards of several taxonomic analyses. Furthermore, it has been suggested that some S. suis-like strains can be assigned to several novel species. In this review, we discuss the current taxonomical situation of S. suis with a focus on (1) the classification history of the taxon of S. suis; (2) S. suis-like strains revealed by taxonomic analyses; (3) methods for detecting and identifying this species, including a novel method that can distinguish S. suis isolates from S. suis-like strains; and (4) current topics on the reclassification of S. suis-like strains.
Abstract: Carbonic anhydrases (CAs, EC 188.8.131.52) are metalloenzymes which catalyze the hydration of carbon dioxide to bicarbonate and protons. Many pathogenic bacteria encode such enzymes belonging to the α-, β-, and/or γ-CA families. In the last decade, enzymes from some of these pathogens, including Legionella pneumophila, have been cloned and characterized in detail. These enzymes were shown to be efficient catalysts for CO2 hydration, with kcat values in the range of (3.4–8.3) × 105 s−1 and kcat/KM values of (4.7–8.5) × 107 M−1·s−1. In vitro inhibition studies with various classes of inhibitors, such as anions, sulfonamides and sulfamates, were also reported for the two β-CAs from this pathogen, LpCA1 and LpCA2. Inorganic anions were millimolar inhibitors, whereas diethyldithiocarbamate, sulfamate, sulfamide, phenylboronic acid, and phenylarsonic acid were micromolar ones. The best LpCA1 inhibitors were aminobenzolamide and structurally similar sulfonylated aromatic sulfonamides, as well as acetazolamide and ethoxzolamide (KIs in the range of 40.3–90.5 nM). The best LpCA2 inhibitors belonged to the same class of sulfonylated sulfonamides, together with acetazolamide, methazolamide, and dichlorophenamide (KIs in the range of 25.2–88.5 nM). Considering such preliminary results, the two bacterial CAs from this pathogen represent promising yet underexplored targets for obtaining antibacterials devoid of the resistance problems common to most of the clinically used antibiotics, but further studies are needed to validate them in vivo as drug targets.
Abstract: Streptococcus (S.) suis infections are the most common cause of meningitis in pigs. Moreover, S. suis is a zoonotic pathogen, which can lead to meningitis in humans, mainly in adults. We assume that glial cells may play a crucial role in host-pathogen interactions during S. suis infection of the central nervous system. Glial cells are considered to possess important functions during inflammation and injury of the brain in bacterial meningitis. In the present study, we established primary astrocyte-microglial cell co-cultures to investigate interactions of S. suis with glial cells. For this purpose, microglial cells and astrocytes were isolated from new-born mouse brains and characterized by flow cytometry, followed by the establishment of astrocyte and microglial cell mono-cultures as well as astrocyte-microglial cell co-cultures. In addition, we prepared microglial cell mono-cultures co-incubated with uninfected astrocyte mono-culture supernatants and astrocyte mono-cultures co-incubated with uninfected microglial cell mono-culture supernatants. After infection of the different cell cultures with S. suis, bacteria-cell association was mainly observed with microglial cells and most prominently with a non-encapsulated mutant of S. suis. A time-dependent induction of NO release was found only in the co-cultures and after co-incubation of microglial cells with uninfected supernatants of astrocyte mono-cultures mainly after infection with the capsular mutant. Only moderate cytotoxic effects were found in co-cultured glial cells after infection with S. suis. Taken together, astrocytes and astrocyte supernatants increased interaction of microglial cells with S. suis. Astrocyte-microglial cell co-cultures are suitable to study S. suis infections and bacteria-cell association as well as NO release by microglial cells was enhanced in the presence of astrocytes.
Abstract: In 2007, Australia experienced the most extensive equine influenza outbreak observed in recent years. Extraordinary measures were rapidly implemented in order to control and prevent the spread of this highly contagious disease. The control strategy involved stringent movement restriction and disease surveillance, seconded by emergency post-outbreak vaccination strategies. Sixteen months after the first case and 12 months following the last reported case, Australia regained its equine influenza-free OIE status. This systematic review reports and summarises information relating to the implementation of emergency vaccination during the 2007 Australian equine influenza outbreak, including the choice of vaccine and implementation strategies.
Abstract: Rickettsiosis is a potentially fatal tick borne disease. It is caused by the obligate intracellular bacteria Rickettsia, which is transferred to humans through salivary excretions of ticks during the biting process. Globally, the incidence of tick-borne diseases is increasing; as such, there is a need for a greater understanding of tick–host interactions to create more informed risk management strategies. Flinders Island spotted fever rickettsioses has been identified throughout Australia (Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland and Torres Strait Islands) with possible identifications in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Italy. Flinders Island spotted fever is thought to be spread through tick bites and the reptile tick Bothriocroton hydrosauri has been implicated as a vector in this transmission. This study used qPCR to assay Bothriocroton hydrosauri ticks collected from Tiliqua rugosa (sleepy lizard) hosts on mainland South Australia near where spotted fever cases have been identified. We report that, although we discovered Rickettsia in all tick samples, it was not Rickettsia honei. This study is the first to use PCR to positively identify Rickettsia from South Australian Bothriocrotonhydrosauri ticks collected from Tiliqua rugosa (sleepy lizard) hosts. These findings suggest that B. hydrosauri may be a vector of multiple Rickettsia spp. Also as all 41 tested B. hydrosauri ticks were positive for Rickettsia this indicates an extremely high prevalence within the studied area in South Australia.