Abstract: Human Metapneumovirus (hMPV) is a leading respiratory viral pathogen associated with bronchiolitis, pneumonia, and asthma exacerbation in young children, the elderly and immunocompromised individuals. The development of a potential vaccine against hMPV requires detailed understanding of the host immune system, which plays a significant role in hMPV pathogenesis, susceptibility and vaccine efficacy. As a result, animal models have been developed to better understand the mechanisms by which hMPV causes disease. Several animal models have been evaluated and established so far to study the host immune responses and pathophysiology of hMPV infection. However, inbred laboratory mouse strains have been one of the most used animal species for experimental modeling and therefore used for the studies of immunity and immunopathogenesis to hMPV. This review summarizes the contributions of the mouse model to our understanding of the immune response against hMPV infection.
Abstract: Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a positive-sense RNA virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. CHIKV is a reemerging Alphavirus that causes acute febrile illness and severe and debilitating polyarthralgia of the peripheral joints. Huge epidemics and the rapid spread of CHIKV seen in India and the Indian Ocean region established CHIKV as a global health concern. This concern was further solidified by the recent incursion of the virus into the Western hemisphere, a region without pre-existing immunity. Nonhuman primates (NHPs) serve as excellent animal models for understanding CHIKV pathogenesis and pre-clinical assessment of vaccines and therapeutics. NHPs present advantages over rodent models because they are a natural amplification host for CHIKV and they share significant genetic and physiological homology with humans. CHIKV infection in NHPs results in acute fever, rash, viremia and production of type I interferon. NHPs develop CHIKV-specific B and T-cells, generating neutralizing antibodies and CHIKV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells. CHIKV establishes a persistent infection in NHPs, particularly in cynomolgus macaques, because infectious virus could be recovered from spleen, liver, and muscle as late as 44 days post infection. NHPs are valuable models that are useful in preclinical testing of vaccines and therapeutics and uncovering the details of CHIKV pathogenesis.
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.