Open AccessBrief Report
First Detection of Rotavirus Group C in Asymptomatic Pigs of Smallholder Farms in East Africa
Pathogens 2017, 6(3), 37; doi:10.3390/pathogens6030037 -
Abstract
Abstract: Group C rotavirus (RVC) has been described to be a causative agent of gastroenteritis in humans and animals including pigs, cows, and dogs. Fecal samples collected from asymptomatic pigs in smallholder swine farms in Kenya and Uganda were screened for the
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Abstract: Group C rotavirus (RVC) has been described to be a causative agent of gastroenteritis in humans and animals including pigs, cows, and dogs. Fecal samples collected from asymptomatic pigs in smallholder swine farms in Kenya and Uganda were screened for the presence of group C rotaviruses (RVC) using a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay. A total of 446 samples were tested and 37 were positive (8.3%). A significantly larger (p < 0.05) number of RVC-positive samples was detected in groups of older pigs (5–6 months) than in younger piglets (1–2 months). There were no significant differences in the RVC detection rate between the pigs that were full time housed/tethered and those that were free range combined with housing/tethering. After compiling these data with diagnostic results for group A rotaviruses (RVA), 13 RVC-positive samples were also positive for RVA. This study provides the first evidence that porcine group C rotavirus may be detected frequently in asymptomatic piglets (aged < 1–6 months) in East Africa. The occurrence of RVC in mixed infections with RVA and other enteric pathogens requires further research to investigate the pathogenic potential of RVC in pigs. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Hospital Drains as Reservoirs of Pseudomonas aeruginosa: Multiple-Locus Variable-Number of Tandem Repeats Analysis Genotypes Recovered from Faucets, Sink Surfaces and Patients
Pathogens 2017, 6(3), 36; doi:10.3390/pathogens6030036 -
Abstract
Identifying environmental sources of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) related to hospital-acquired infections represents a key challenge for public health. Biofilms in water systems offer protection and favorable growth conditions, and are prime reservoirs of microorganisms. A comparative genotyping survey assessing the relationship
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Identifying environmental sources of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) related to hospital-acquired infections represents a key challenge for public health. Biofilms in water systems offer protection and favorable growth conditions, and are prime reservoirs of microorganisms. A comparative genotyping survey assessing the relationship between Pa strains recovered in hospital sink biofilm and isolated in clinical specimens was conducted. Environmental strains from drain, faucet and sink-surface biofilm were recovered by a culture method after an incubation time ranging from 48 to 240 h. The genotyping of 38 environmental and 32 clinical isolates was performed using a multiple-locus variable-number of tandem repeats analysis (MLVA). More than one-third of Pa isolates were only cultivable following ≥48 h of incubation, and were predominantly from faucet and sink-surface biofilms. In total, 41/70 strains were grouped within eight genotypes (A to H). Genotype B grouped a clinical and an environmental strain isolated in the same ward, 5 months apart, suggesting this genotype could thrive in both contexts. Genotype E grouped environmental isolates that were highly prevalent throughout the hospital and that required a longer incubation time. The results from the multi-hospital follow-up study support the drain as an important reservoir of Pa dissemination to faucets, sink surfaces and patients. Optimizing the recovery of environmental strains will strengthen epidemiological investigations, facilitate pathway identification, and assist in identifying and controlling the reservoirs potentially associated to hospital-acquired infections. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Evolution of Diagnostic Tests for Chronic Wasting Disease, a Naturally Occurring Prion Disease of Cervids
Pathogens 2017, 6(3), 35; doi:10.3390/pathogens6030035 -
Abstract
Since chronic wasting disease (CWD) was first identified nearly 50 years ago in a captive mule deer herd in the Rocky Mountains of the United States, it has slowly spread across North America through the natural and anthropogenic movement of cervids and their
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Since chronic wasting disease (CWD) was first identified nearly 50 years ago in a captive mule deer herd in the Rocky Mountains of the United States, it has slowly spread across North America through the natural and anthropogenic movement of cervids and their carcasses. As the endemic areas have expanded, so has the need for rapid, sensitive, and cost effective diagnostic tests—especially those which take advantage of samples collected antemortem. Over the past two decades, strategies have evolved from the recognition of microscopic spongiform pathology and associated immunohistochemical staining of the misfolded prion protein to enzyme-linked immunoassays capable of detecting the abnormal prion conformer in postmortem samples. In a history that parallels the diagnosis of more conventional infectious agents, both qualitative and real-time amplification assays have recently been developed to detect minute quantities of misfolded prions in a range of biological and environmental samples. With these more sensitive and semi-quantitative approaches has come a greater understanding of the pathogenesis and epidemiology of this disease in the native host. Because the molecular pathogenesis of prion protein misfolding is broadly analogous to the misfolding of other pathogenic proteins, including Aβ and α-synuclein, efforts are currently underway to apply these in vitro amplification techniques towards the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other proteinopathies. Chronic wasting disease—once a rare disease of Colorado mule deer—now represents one of the most prevalent prion diseases, and should serve as a model for the continued development and implementation of novel diagnostic strategies for protein misfolding disorders in the natural host. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
KSHV and the Role of Notch Receptor Dysregulation in Disease Progression
Pathogens 2017, 6(3), 34; doi:10.3390/pathogens6030034 -
Abstract
Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the causative agent of two human cancers, Kaposi’s Sarcoma (KS) and primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), and a lymphoproliferation, Multicentric Castleman’s Disease (MCD). Progression to tumor development in KS is dependent upon the reactivation of the virus from its
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Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the causative agent of two human cancers, Kaposi’s Sarcoma (KS) and primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), and a lymphoproliferation, Multicentric Castleman’s Disease (MCD). Progression to tumor development in KS is dependent upon the reactivation of the virus from its latent state. We, and others, have shown that the Replication and transcriptional activator (Rta) protein is the only viral gene product that is necessary and sufficient for viral reactivation. To induce the reactivation and transcription of viral genes, Rta forms a complex with the cellular DNA binding component of the canonical Notch signaling pathway, recombination signal binding protein for Jk (RBP-Jk). Formation of this Rta:RBP-Jk complex is necessary for viral reactivation to occur. Expression of activated Notch has been shown to be dysregulated in KSHV infected cells and to be necessary for cell growth and disease progression. Studies into the involvement of activated Notch in viral reactivation have yielded varied results. In this paper, we review the current literature regarding Notch dysregulation by KSHV and its role in viral infection and cellular pathogenesis. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Comprehensive Review of Common Bacterial, Parasitic and Viral Zoonoses at the Human-Animal Interface in Egypt
Pathogens 2017, 6(3), 33; doi:10.3390/pathogens6030033 -
Abstract
Egypt has a unique geographical location connecting the three old-world continents Africa, Asia and Europe. It is the country with the highest population density in the Middle East, Northern Africa and the Mediterranean basin. This review summarizes the prevalence, reservoirs, sources of human
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Egypt has a unique geographical location connecting the three old-world continents Africa, Asia and Europe. It is the country with the highest population density in the Middle East, Northern Africa and the Mediterranean basin. This review summarizes the prevalence, reservoirs, sources of human infection and control regimes of common bacterial, parasitic and viral zoonoses in animals and humans in Egypt. There is a gap of knowledge conerning the epidemiology of zoonotic diseases at the human-animal interface in different localities in Egypt. Some zoonotic agents are “exotic” for Egypt (e.g., MERS-CoV and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus), others are endemic (e.g., Brucellosis, Schistosomiasis and Avian influenza). Transboundary transmission of emerging pathogens from and to Egypt occurred via different routes, mainly importation/exportation of apparently healthy animals or migratory birds. Control of the infectious agents and multidrug resistant bacteria in the veterinary sector is on the frontline for infection control in humans. The implementation of control programs significantly decreased the prevalence of some zoonoses, such as schistosomiasis and fascioliasis, in some localities within the country. Sustainable awareness, education and training targeting groups at high risk (veterinarians, farmers, abattoir workers, nurses, etc.) are important to lessen the burden of zoonotic diseases among Egyptians. There is an urgent need for collaborative surveillance and intervention plans for the control of these diseases in Egypt. Full article
Open AccessArticle
ProtozoaDB 2.0: A Trypanosoma Brucei Case Study
Pathogens 2017, 6(3), 32; doi:10.3390/pathogens6030032 -
Abstract
Over the last decade new species of Protozoa have been sequenced and deposited in GenBank. Analyzing large amounts of genomic data, especially using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), is not a trivial task, considering that researchers used to deal or focus their studies on
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Over the last decade new species of Protozoa have been sequenced and deposited in GenBank. Analyzing large amounts of genomic data, especially using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), is not a trivial task, considering that researchers used to deal or focus their studies on few genes or gene families or even small genomes. To facilitate the information extraction process from genomic data, we developed a database system called ProtozoaDB that included five genomes of Protozoa in its first version. In the present study, we present a new version of ProtozoaDB called ProtozoaDB 2.0, now with the genomes of 22 pathogenic Protozoa. The system has been fully remodeled to allow for new tools and a more expanded view of data, and now includes a number of analyses such as: (i) similarities with other databases (model organisms, the Conserved Domains Database, and the Protein Data Bank); (ii) visualization of KEGG metabolic pathways; (iii) the protein structure from PDB; (iv) homology inferences; (v) the search for related publications in PubMed; (vi) superfamily classification; and (vii) phenotype inferences based on comparisons with model organisms. ProtozoaDB 2.0 supports RESTful Web Services to make data access easier. Those services were written in Ruby language using Ruby on Rails (RoR). This new version also allows a more detailed analysis of the object of study, as well as expanding the number of genomes and proteomes available to the scientific community. In our case study, a group of prenyltransferase proteinsalready described in the literature was found to be a good drug target for Trypanosomatids. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Staphylococcus aureus Regulator Sigma B is Important to Develop Chronic Infections in Hematogenous Murine Osteomyelitis Model
Pathogens 2017, 6(3), 31; doi:10.3390/pathogens6030031 -
Abstract
Staphylococcus aureus is a major pathogen causing bone infections that can become chronic and difficult to treat. Recently, we described the mechanism employed by S. aureus to switch to small colony variants (SCVs) and trigger intracellular bacterial persistence through the global stress regulator
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Staphylococcus aureus is a major pathogen causing bone infections that can become chronic and difficult to treat. Recently, we described the mechanism employed by S. aureus to switch to small colony variants (SCVs) and trigger intracellular bacterial persistence through the global stress regulator SigB. Here, we studied the role of SigB in the formation of chronic osteomyelitis. We used a murine hematogenous osteomyelitis model, where the mice were infected via the tail vein and subsequently developed chronic osteomyelitis. Mice were infected with S. aureus LS1, LS1ΔsigB and LS1ΔsigB complemented and kidney and bone tissues were analyzed six weeks after infection. S. aureus LS1ΔsigB formed a high rate of abscesses in kidneys, but the bacterial loads and the weight loss of the animals were lower in comparison with animals infected with the wild type and the complemented strain, indicating a more rapid and efficient bacterial clearing by the host immune system. Moreover, the sigB-mutant was not able to form SCV phenotypes either in kidney or in bone tissue. Our results demonstrate that staphylococcal SigB is important to avoid bacterial elimination by the host immune response, establish a bone infection and mediate bacterial adaptation (SCV-formation) for persistent infections Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Carbonic Anhydrase from Porphyromonas Gingivalis as a Drug Target
Pathogens 2017, 6(3), 30; doi:10.3390/pathogens6030030 -
Abstract
Periodontitis originates from a microbial synergy causing the development of a mouth microbial imbalance (dysbiosis), consisting of a microbial community composed of anaerobic bacteria. Most studies concerning the treatment of periodontitis have primarily take into account the Gram-negative bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis, because
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Periodontitis originates from a microbial synergy causing the development of a mouth microbial imbalance (dysbiosis), consisting of a microbial community composed of anaerobic bacteria. Most studies concerning the treatment of periodontitis have primarily take into account the Gram-negative bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis, because it is a prominent component of the oral microbiome and a successful colonizer of the oral epithelium. Here, we focus our attention on the study of the carbonic anhydrases (CAs, EC 4.2.1.1) encoded in the genome of this pathogen as a possible drug target. Carbonic anhydrases are a superfamily of metalloenzymes, which catalyze the simple but physiologically crucial reaction of carbon dioxide hydration to bicarbonate and protons. Bacterial CAs have attracted significant attention for affecting the survival, invasion, and pathogenicity of many microorganisms. The P. gingivalis genome encodes for two CAs belonging to β-CA (PgiCAβ) and γ-CA (PgiCAγ) families. These two enzymes were cloned, heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli, and purified to homogeneity. Moreover, they were subject to extensive inhibition studies using the classical CA inhibitors (sulfonamides and anions) with the aim of identifying selective inhibitors of PgiCAβ and PgiCAγ to be used as pharmacological tools for P. gingivalis eradication. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Implications of Neuroinvasive Bacterial Peptides on Rodents Behaviour and Neurotransmission
Pathogens 2017, 6(3), 27; doi:10.3390/pathogens6030027 -
Abstract
Neuroinvasive microbes are capable of applying their influences on the autonomic nervous system (ANS) of the host followed by the involvement of central nervous system (CNS) by releasing extracellular metabolites that may cause alterations in the biochemical and neurophysiological environment. Consequently synaptic, neuroendocrine,
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Neuroinvasive microbes are capable of applying their influences on the autonomic nervous system (ANS) of the host followed by the involvement of central nervous system (CNS) by releasing extracellular metabolites that may cause alterations in the biochemical and neurophysiological environment. Consequently synaptic, neuroendocrine, peripheral immune, neuro-immune, and behavioural responses of the host facilitate the progression of infection. The present study was designed to extrapolate the effects of crude and purified extracellular peptides of neuropathogenic bacteria on behavioural responses and neurotransmission of Sprague Dawley (SD) models. Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) and Neisseria meningitides (Nm) were isolated from the 92 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples collected from mentally compromised patients. Bacillus cereus (Bc) and Clostridium tetani (Ct) were also included in the study. All bacterial strains were identified by the standard biochemical procedures. Filter sterilized cell free cultural broths (SCFBs) were prepared of different culture media. Behavioural study and neurotransmitter analysis were performed by giving an intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of each bacterial SCFB to four groups (Test; n = 7) of SD rats, whereas two groups each (Control; n = 7) received a nutrient broth (NB) control and sterile physiological saline control, respectively. Extracellular bioactive peptides of these bacteria were screened and purified. All experiments were repeated using purified bacterial peptides on SD rat cohorts. Our study indicated promising behavioural changes, including fever, swelling, and hind paw paralysis, in SD rat cohorts. Purified bacterial peptides of all bacteria used in the present study elicited marked changes in behaviour through the involvement of the autonomic nervous system. Furthermore, these peptides of meningitis bacteria were found to potently affect the dopaminergic neurotransmission in CNS. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Cytological Events and Molecular Control of Life Cycle Development of Trypanosoma brucei in the Mammalian Bloodstream
Pathogens 2017, 6(3), 29; doi:10.3390/pathogens6030029 -
Abstract
African trypanosomes cause devastating disease in sub-Saharan Africa in humans and livestock. The parasite lives extracellularly within the bloodstream of mammalian hosts and is transmitted by blood-feeding tsetse flies. In the blood, trypanosomes exhibit two developmental forms: the slender form and the stumpy
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African trypanosomes cause devastating disease in sub-Saharan Africa in humans and livestock. The parasite lives extracellularly within the bloodstream of mammalian hosts and is transmitted by blood-feeding tsetse flies. In the blood, trypanosomes exhibit two developmental forms: the slender form and the stumpy form. The slender form proliferates in the bloodstream, establishes the parasite numbers and avoids host immunity through antigenic variation. The stumpy form, in contrast, is non-proliferative and is adapted for transmission. Here, we overview the features of slender and stumpy form parasites in terms of their cytological and molecular characteristics and discuss how these contribute to their distinct biological functions. Thereafter, we describe the technical developments that have enabled recent discoveries that uncover how the slender to stumpy transition is enacted in molecular terms. Finally, we highlight new understanding of how control of the balance between slender and stumpy form parasites interfaces with other components of the infection dynamic of trypanosomes in their mammalian hosts. This interplay between the host environment and the parasite’s developmental biology may expose new vulnerabilities to therapeutic attack or reveal where drug control may be thwarted by the biological complexity of the parasite’s lifestyle. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Herpes Simplex Virus Establishment, Maintenance, and Reactivation: In Vitro Modeling of Latency
Pathogens 2017, 6(3), 28; doi:10.3390/pathogens6030028 -
Abstract
All herpes viruses establish lifelong infections (latency) in their host, and herpes simplex viruses (HSVs) are highly prevalent worldwide. Recurrence of HSV infections contributes to significant disease burden in people and on rare occasion can be fatal. Cell culture models that recapitulate latent
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All herpes viruses establish lifelong infections (latency) in their host, and herpes simplex viruses (HSVs) are highly prevalent worldwide. Recurrence of HSV infections contributes to significant disease burden in people and on rare occasion can be fatal. Cell culture models that recapitulate latent infection provide valuable insight on the host processes regulating viral establishment and maintenance of latency. More robust and rapid than infections in live animal studies, advancements in neuronal culture techniques have made the systematic analysis of viral reactivation mechanisms feasible. Only recently have human neuronal cell lines been available, but models in the natural host cell are a critical addition to the currently available models. Full article
Open AccessArticle
IgG Avidity Test in Congenital Toxoplasmosis Diagnoses in Newborns
Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 26; doi:10.3390/pathogens6020026 -
Abstract
The goal of this study was to investigate the importance of IgG avidity testing in newborns (NBs) diagnosed with early congenital toxoplasmosis. We collected samples from 88 puerperae infected by Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) and their NBs (48 acutely-infected puerperae (AIP) and 40
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The goal of this study was to investigate the importance of IgG avidity testing in newborns (NBs) diagnosed with early congenital toxoplasmosis. We collected samples from 88 puerperae infected by Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) and their NBs (48 acutely-infected puerperae (AIP) and 40 chronically-infected puerperae (CIP)), from two public maternity hospitals in Goiania city, Goias, Brazil, from 2010 to 2015. Specific anti-T. gondii IgM and IgG serum levels and IgG avidity tests were evaluated using chemiluminescence. Congenital toxoplasmosis was observed in 66.66% (n = 32) of NBs with AIP, 94.1% presenting low avidity (LA) and 51.61% presenting high avidity (HA) test results. The IgG and IgM levels of NBs with LA and their puerperae were higher in comparison with HA NBs and puerperae (p = 0.0001). The avidity tests showed 100% specificity and 50% sensitivity (p = 0.0001). NBs with LA had a 15-fold increased risk of developing congenital toxoplasmosis in comparison with HA NBs. The IgG avidity test could be used to assist in early congenital toxoplasmosis diagnoses in NBs and LA, identifying a greater probability of vertical transmission. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Influenza-Omics and the Host Response: Recent Advances and Future Prospects
Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 25; doi:10.3390/pathogens6020025 -
Abstract
Influenza A viruses (IAV) continually evolve and have the capacity to cause global pandemics. Because IAV represents an ongoing threat, identifying novel therapies and host innate immune factors that contribute to IAV pathogenesis is of considerable interest. This review summarizes the relevant literature
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Influenza A viruses (IAV) continually evolve and have the capacity to cause global pandemics. Because IAV represents an ongoing threat, identifying novel therapies and host innate immune factors that contribute to IAV pathogenesis is of considerable interest. This review summarizes the relevant literature as it relates to global host responses to influenza infection at both the proteome and transcriptome level. The various-omics infection systems that include but are not limited to ferrets, mice, pigs, and even the controlled infection of humans are reviewed. Discussion focuses on recent advances, remaining challenges, and knowledge gaps as it relates to influenza-omics infection outcomes. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Modeling HSV-1 Latency in Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Neurons
Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 24; doi:10.3390/pathogens6020024 -
Abstract
Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) uses latency in peripheral ganglia to persist in its human host, however, recurrent reactivation from this reservoir can cause debilitating and potentially life-threatening disease. Most studies of latency use live-animal infection models, but these are complex, multilayered systems
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Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) uses latency in peripheral ganglia to persist in its human host, however, recurrent reactivation from this reservoir can cause debilitating and potentially life-threatening disease. Most studies of latency use live-animal infection models, but these are complex, multilayered systems and can be difficult to manipulate. Infection of cultured primary neurons provides a powerful alternative, yielding important insights into host signaling pathways controlling latency. However, small animal models do not recapitulate all aspects of HSV-1 infection in humans and are limited in terms of the available molecular tools. To address this, we have developed a latency model based on human neurons differentiated in culture from an NIH-approved embryonic stem cell line. The resulting neurons are highly permissive for replication of wild-type HSV-1, but establish a non-productive infection state resembling latency when infected at low viral doses in the presence of the antivirals acyclovir and interferon-α. In this state, viral replication and expression of a late viral gene marker are not detected but there is an accumulation of the viral latency-associated transcript (LAT) RNA. After a six-day establishment period, antivirals can be removed and the infected cultures maintained for several weeks. Subsequent treatment with sodium butyrate induces reactivation and production of new infectious virus. Human neurons derived from stem cells provide the appropriate species context to study this exclusively human virus with the potential for more extensive manipulation of the progenitors and access to a wide range of preexisting molecular tools. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Typing of Staphylococcus aureus Isolated from Patients with Autosomal Dominant Hyper IgE Syndrome
Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 23; doi:10.3390/pathogens6020023 -
Abstract
Autosomal dominant hyper IgE syndrome (AD-HIES) is a primary immunodeficiency caused by a loss-of-function mutation in the Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (STAT3). This immune disorder is clinically characterized by increased susceptibility to cutaneous and sinopulmonary infections, in particular with Candida
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Autosomal dominant hyper IgE syndrome (AD-HIES) is a primary immunodeficiency caused by a loss-of-function mutation in the Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (STAT3). This immune disorder is clinically characterized by increased susceptibility to cutaneous and sinopulmonary infections, in particular with Candida and Staphylococcus aureus. It has recently been recognized that the skin microbiome of patients with AD-HIES is altered with an overrepresentation of certain Gram-negative bacteria and Gram-positive staphylococci. However, these alterations have not been characterized at the species- and strain-level. Since S. aureus infections are influenced by strain-specific expression of virulence factors, information on colonizing strain characteristics may provide insights into host-pathogen interactions and help guide management strategies for treatment and prophylaxis. The aim of this study was to determine whether the immunodeficiency of AD-HIES selects for unique strains of colonizing S. aureus. Using multi-locus sequence typing (MLST), protein A (spa) typing, and PCR-based detection of toxin genes, we performed a detailed analysis of the S. aureus isolates (n = 13) found on the skin of twenty-one patients with AD-HIES. We found a low diversity of sequence types, and an abundance of strains that expressed methicillin resistance, Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), and staphylococcal enterotoxins K and Q (SEK, SEQ). Our results indicate that patients with AD-HIES may often carry antibiotic-resistant strains that harbor key virulence factors. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Antibiotic Resistance and Virulence Phenotypes of Recent Bacterial Strains Isolated from Urinary Tract Infections in Elderly Patients with Prostatic Disease
Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 22; doi:10.3390/pathogens6020022 -
Abstract
Acute bacterial prostatitis is one of the frequent complications of urinary tract infection (UTI). From the approximately 10% of men having prostatitis, 7% experience a bacterial prostatitis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of uropathogens associated with UTIs in
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Acute bacterial prostatitis is one of the frequent complications of urinary tract infection (UTI). From the approximately 10% of men having prostatitis, 7% experience a bacterial prostatitis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of uropathogens associated with UTIs in older patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia and to assess their susceptibility to commonly prescribed antibiotics as well as the relationships between microbial virulence and resistance features. Uropathogenic Escherichia coli was found to be the most frequent bacterial strain isolated from patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia, followed by Enterococcus spp., Enterobacter spp., Klebsiella spp., Proteus spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Serratia marcescens. Increased resistance rates to tetracyclines, quinolones, and sulfonamides were registered. Besides their resistance profiles, the uropathogenic isolates produced various virulence factors with possible implications in the pathogenesis process. The great majority of the uropathogenic isolates revealed a high capacity to adhere to HEp-2 cell monolayer in vitro, mostly exhibiting a localized adherence pattern. Differences in the repertoire of soluble virulence factors that can affect bacterial growth and persistence within the urinary tract were detected. The Gram-negative strains produced pore-forming toxins—such as hemolysins, lecithinases, and lipases—proteases, siderophore-like molecules resulted from the esculin hydrolysis and amylases, while Enterococcus sp. strains were positive only for caseinase and esculin hydrolase. Our study demonstrates that necessity of investigating the etiology and local resistance patterns of uropathogenic organisms, which is crucial for determining appropriate empirical antibiotic treatment in elderly patients with UTI, while establishing correlations between resistance and virulence profiles could provide valuable input about the clinical evolution and recurrence rates of UTI. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Toxoplasma gondii in the Food Supply
Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 21; doi:10.3390/pathogens6020021 -
Abstract
Toxoplasmosis is caused by infection with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Infections are usually either asymptomatic or develop mild symptoms that are self-limited, but infections in immunosuppressed persons can be severe. Infections in pregnant women can cause serious health problems in the
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Toxoplasmosis is caused by infection with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Infections are usually either asymptomatic or develop mild symptoms that are self-limited, but infections in immunosuppressed persons can be severe. Infections in pregnant women can cause serious health problems in the child such as mental retardation and blindness. Infection with T. gondii in immunocompetent adults can lead to impaired eyesight. Toxoplasmosis has ranked very highly in two studies of death and disability attributable to foodborne pathogens. The consumption of raw or undercooked meat containing T. gondii tissue cysts and the consumption of raw vegetables or water contaminated with T. gondii oocysts from cat feces is most frequently associated with human illness. The risk of acquiring a Toxoplasma infection via food varies with cultural and eating habits in different human populations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Differences in Gene Expression Profiles between Early and Late Isolates in Monospecies Achromobacter Biofilm
Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 20; doi:10.3390/pathogens6020020 -
Abstract
Bacteria of genus Achromobacter are emerging pathogens in cystic fibrosis (CF) capable of biofilm formation and development of antimicrobial resistance. Evolutionary adaptions in the transition from primary to chronic infection were assessed by transcriptomic analysis of successive isolates of Achromobacter xylosoxidans from a
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Bacteria of genus Achromobacter are emerging pathogens in cystic fibrosis (CF) capable of biofilm formation and development of antimicrobial resistance. Evolutionary adaptions in the transition from primary to chronic infection were assessed by transcriptomic analysis of successive isolates of Achromobacter xylosoxidans from a single CF patient. Several efflux pump systems targeting antimicrobial agents were upregulated during the course of the disease, whereas all genes related to motility were downregulated. Genes annotated to subsystems of sulfur metabolism, protein metabolism and potassium metabolism exhibited the strongest upregulation. K+ channel genes were hyperexpressed, and a putative sulfite oxidase was more than 1500 times upregulated. The transcriptome patterns indicated a pivotal role of sulfur metabolism and electrical signalling in Achromobacter biofilms during late stage CF lung disease. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Flagellin Inhibits TNF-Induced NF-κB Activation in Intestinal Epithelial Cells
Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 18; doi:10.3390/pathogens6020018 -
Abstract
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) causes childhood diarrhea in developing countries. ETEC strains produce the heat-labile enterotoxin (LT) and/or heat-stable enterotoxins (ST) and encode a diverse set of colonization factors used for adherence to intestinal epithelial cells. We previously found that ETEC secretes a
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Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) causes childhood diarrhea in developing countries. ETEC strains produce the heat-labile enterotoxin (LT) and/or heat-stable enterotoxins (ST) and encode a diverse set of colonization factors used for adherence to intestinal epithelial cells. We previously found that ETEC secretes a heat-stable protein we designated as ETEC Secreted Factor (ESF) that inhibits the extent of NF-κB activation normally induced by tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF). Here we fractionated ETEC supernatants using fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC) and determined that ETEC flagellin was necessary and sufficient to protect IκBα from degradation in response to TNF stimulation. These data suggest a potentially novel mechanism by which ETEC may evade the host innate immune response by down-regulating NF-κB-dependent host responses. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Neurophysiological Changes Induced by Chronic Toxoplasma gondii Infection
Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 19; doi:10.3390/pathogens6020019 -
Abstract
Although the parasite Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most pervasive neurotropic pathogens in the world, the host-parasite interactions during CNS infection and the consequences of neurological infection are just beginning to be unraveled. The chronic stages of infection have been considered dormant,
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Although the parasite Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most pervasive neurotropic pathogens in the world, the host-parasite interactions during CNS infection and the consequences of neurological infection are just beginning to be unraveled. The chronic stages of infection have been considered dormant, although several studies have found correlations of infection with an array of host behavioral changes. These may facilitate parasite transmission and impact neurological diseases. During infection, in addition to the presence of the parasites within neurons, host-mediated neuroimmune and hormonal responses to infection are also present. T. gondii induces numerous changes to host neurons during infection and globally alters host neurological signaling pathways, as discussed in this review. Understanding the neurophysiological changes in the host brain is imperative to understanding the parasitic mechanisms and to delineate the effects of this single-celled parasite on health and its contribution to neurological disease. Full article
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