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Pathogens, Volume 10, Issue 10 (October 2021) – 128 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The extrinsic incubation period (EIP) is the time it takes for an arbovirus to propagate within a mosquito and become transmissible. EIP is one of the most influential determinants of a mosquito’s ability to transmit a pathogen. The EIP for Zika virus (ZIKV) by potential mosquito vectors in Florida is unknown. This study was designed to determine the EIP of an emergent genotype of ZIKV using local populations of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes from Florida and provide an assessment of the relative vector competency for ZIKV by these mosquito species. View this paper.
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Article
Intracellular Behaviour of Legionella Non-pneumophila Strains within Three Amoeba Strains, Including Willaertia magna C2c Maky
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1350; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101350 (registering DOI) - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 445
Abstract
Legionellosis, an often-lethal pneumonia, is generally associated with contamination by Legionella pneumophila. This bacterium can persist in the environment and resist chemical treatment when it is internalized by amoebae. In addition, there is increasing medical proof that other Legionella species can be [...] Read more.
Legionellosis, an often-lethal pneumonia, is generally associated with contamination by Legionella pneumophila. This bacterium can persist in the environment and resist chemical treatment when it is internalized by amoebae. In addition, there is increasing medical proof that other Legionella species can be causative agents of Legionellosis. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether Legionella non-pneumophila (Lnp) strains were able to use the machinery of amoeba to multiply, or whether amoebae were able to limit their proliferation. Seven strains belonging to the species L. longbeachae, L. anisa, L. bozemanae, L. taurinensis, and L. dumoffii were cocultured with three amoebae, Acanthamoeba castellanii, Willaertia magna T5(S)44, and Willaertia magna C2c Maky, at two temperatures, 22 and 37 °C. We found that at 22 °C, all amoebae were able to phagocytose the seven Lnp strains and to avoid intracellular development, except for L. longbeachae, which was able to multiply inside W. magna T5(S)44. At 37 °C, four Lnp strains were able to hijack the machinery of one or two amoebae and to use it to proliferate, but none were able to multiply inside W. magna C2c Maky. Full article
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Article
Serum Cytokine Profile in Patients with Candidemia versus Bacteremia
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1349; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101349 (registering DOI) - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 157
Abstract
Bloodstream Candida infections constitute a major threat for hospitalized patients in intensive care units and immunocompromised hosts. Certain serum cytokines play a decisive role in anti-microbial host defense. Cytokines may act as discriminatory biomarkers that can significantly increase in candidemia compared to bacteremia [...] Read more.
Bloodstream Candida infections constitute a major threat for hospitalized patients in intensive care units and immunocompromised hosts. Certain serum cytokines play a decisive role in anti-microbial host defense. Cytokines may act as discriminatory biomarkers that can significantly increase in candidemia compared to bacteremia patients. The concentration of secreted cytokine/chemokines was determined using a multiplexed cytometric bead array run on a cell analyzer. The cytokines tested during the study were interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-17A, IL-10, IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-2, IL-8, IL-12p70 and the tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. The cytokines of 51 candidemia patients were characterized and compared to the cytokine levels of 20 bacteremia patients. Levels were significantly elevated in patients with bloodstream infections compared to healthy controls. Cytokines comprising IL-2, IL-17A, IL-6 and IL-10 were significantly elevated in the patients with bloodstream Candida infection as compared to the patients having bloodstream bacterial infections. The levels were found to be promising as a potential diagnostic marker for bloodstream Candida infections. Full article
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Perspective
Operational Considerations in Global Health Modeling
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1348; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101348 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 187
Abstract
Epidemiological modeling and simulation can contribute cooperatively across multifaceted areas of biosurveillance systems. These efforts can be used to support real-time decision-making during public health emergencies and response operations. Robust epidemiological modeling and simulation tools are crucial to informing risk assessment, risk management, [...] Read more.
Epidemiological modeling and simulation can contribute cooperatively across multifaceted areas of biosurveillance systems. These efforts can be used to support real-time decision-making during public health emergencies and response operations. Robust epidemiological modeling and simulation tools are crucial to informing risk assessment, risk management, and other biosurveillance processes. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has sponsored the development of numerous modeling and decision support tools to address questions of operational relevance in response to emerging epidemics and pandemics. These tools were used during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the Ebola outbreaks in West Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This perspective discusses examples of the considerations DTRA has made when employing epidemiological modeling to inform on public health crises and highlights some of the key lessons learned. Future considerations for researchers developing epidemiological modeling tools to support biosurveillance and public health operations are recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biosurveillance for Human, Animal, and Plant Health)
Article
Vaginal and Anal Microbiome during Chlamydia trachomatis Infections
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1347; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101347 (registering DOI) - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 202
Abstract
Background.Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) is the agent of the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection worldwide, with a significant impact on women’s health. Despite the increasing number of studies about the vaginal microbiome in women with CT infections, information about the composition of [...] Read more.
Background.Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) is the agent of the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection worldwide, with a significant impact on women’s health. Despite the increasing number of studies about the vaginal microbiome in women with CT infections, information about the composition of the anal microbiome is still lacking. Here, we assessed the bacterial community profiles of vaginal and anal ecosystems associated or not with CT infection in a cohort of Caucasian young women. Methods. A total of 26 women, including 10 with a contemporary vaginal and ano-rectal CT infection, were enrolled. Composition of vaginal and anal microbiome was studied by 16S rRNA gene profiling. Co-occurrence networks of bacterial communities and metagenome metabolic functions were determined. Results. In case of CT infection, both vaginal and anal environments were characterized by a degree of dysbiosis. Indeed, the vaginal microbiome of CT-positive women were depleted in lactobacilli, with a significant increase in dysbiosis-associated bacteria (e.g., Sneathia, Parvimonas, Megasphaera), whereas the anal microbiota of CT-infected women was characterized by higher levels of Parvimonas and Pseudomonas and lower levels of Escherichia. Interestingly, the microbiome of anus and vagina had numerous bacterial taxa in common, reflecting a significant microbial ‘sharing’ between the two sites. In the vaginal environment, CT positively correlated with Ezakiella spp. while Gardnerella vaginalis co-occurred with several dysbiosis-related microbes, regardless of CT vaginal infection. The vaginal microbiome of CT-positive females exhibited a higher involvement of chorismate and aromatic amino acid biosynthesis, as well as an increase in mixed acid fermentation. Conclusions. These data could be useful to set up new diagnostic/prognostic tools, offering new perspectives for the control of chlamydial infections. Full article
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Review
Review of the New Zealand Theileria orientalis Ikeda Type Epidemic and Epidemiological Research since 2012
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1346; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101346 (registering DOI) - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 199
Abstract
This article sets out to document and summarise the New Zealand epidemic and the epidemiological research conducted on the epizootic of bovine anaemia associated with Theileria orientalis Ikeda type infection, which began in New Zealand in August 2012. As New Zealand has no [...] Read more.
This article sets out to document and summarise the New Zealand epidemic and the epidemiological research conducted on the epizootic of bovine anaemia associated with Theileria orientalis Ikeda type infection, which began in New Zealand in August 2012. As New Zealand has no other pathogenic tick-borne cattle haemoparasites, the effects of the T. orientalis Ikeda type infection observed in affected herds and individual animals were not confounded by other concurrent haemoparasite infections, as was possibly the case in other countries. This has resulted in an unbiased perspective of a new disease. In addition, as both New Zealand’s beef and dairy cattle systems are seasonally based, this has led to a different epidemiological presentation than that reported by almost all other affected countries. Having verified the establishment of a new disease and identified the associated pathogen, the remaining key requirements of an epidemiological investigation, for a disease affecting production animals, are to describe how the disease spreads, describe the likely impacts of that disease at the individual and herd level and explore methods of disease control or mitigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bovine Theileriosis Caused by the Theileria orientalis Group)
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Article
Biofilm Formation of Clinical Klebsiella pneumoniae Strains Isolated from Tracheostomy Tubes and Their Association with Antimicrobial Resistance, Virulence and Genetic Diversity
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1345; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101345 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 189
Abstract
(1) Background: Due to the commonness of tracheotomy procedures and the wide use of biomaterials in the form of tracheostomy tubes (TTs), the problem of biomaterial-associated infections (BAIs) is growing. Bacterial colonization of TTs results in the development of biofilms on the surface [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Due to the commonness of tracheotomy procedures and the wide use of biomaterials in the form of tracheostomy tubes (TTs), the problem of biomaterial-associated infections (BAIs) is growing. Bacterial colonization of TTs results in the development of biofilms on the surface of biomaterials, which may contribute to the development of invasive infections in tracheostomized patients. (2) Methods: Clinical strains of K. pneumoniae, isolated from TTs, were characterized according to their ability to form biofilms, as well as their resistance to antibiotics, whether they harbored ESβL genes, the presence of selected virulence factors and genetic diversity. (3) Results: From 53 patients, K. pneumoniae were detected in 18 of the TTs examined, which constituted 34% of all analyzed biomaterials. Three of the strains (11%) were ESβL producers and all had genes encoding CTX-M-1, SHV and TEM enzymes. 44.4% of isolates were biofilm formers, SEM demonstrating that K. pneumoniae formed differential biofilms on the surface of polyethylene (PE) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) TTs in vitro. A large range of variation in the share of fimbrial genes was observed. PFGE revealed sixteen genetically distinct profiles. (4) Conclusions: Proven susceptibility of TT biomaterials to colonization by K. pneumoniae means that the attention of research groups should be focused on achieving a better understanding of the bacterial pathogens that form biofilms on the surfaces of TTs. In addition, research efforts should be directed at the development of new biomaterials or the modification of existing materials, in order to prevent bacterial adhesion to their surfaces. Full article
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Article
Simultaneous Infection of Elaphostrongylus Nematode Species and Parasite Sharing between Sympatrically Occurring Cervids: Moose, Roe Deer, and Red Deer in Poland
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1344; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101344 (registering DOI) - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 220
Abstract
It is important to assess the distribution of parasite species across wildlife populations, to design strategies for game management and effective disease control in nature. In this project we quantified the prevalence of Elaphostrongylus species in eight moose populations. We used molecular methods [...] Read more.
It is important to assess the distribution of parasite species across wildlife populations, to design strategies for game management and effective disease control in nature. In this project we quantified the prevalence of Elaphostrongylus species in eight moose populations. We used molecular methods for identification of parasite species and host individual genotypes from fecal samples. We also demonstrated sharing of parasite species between three cervid hosts sympatrically occurring in the Biebrza River valley, North-Eastern Poland, which is occupied by the largest autochthonous, non-harvested moose population in Central Europe. Nematode species from the genus Elaphostrongylus are ubiquitous in the studied moose populations. The presence of a single parasite species (e.g., E. alces) in moose individuals was more common than simultaneous infection with E. alces and E. cervi. The prevalence of both E. alces and E. cervi was higher in males than females. The distribution of E. alces and E. cervi prevalence in moose, roe deer, and red deer were in accordance with the membership of a host to a subfamily. Simultaneous occurrences of both Elaphostrongylus species were significantly more frequently noted in red deer fecal samples than those collected from moose or roe deer. Thus, we consider red deer to play a dominant role in sharing of those nematodes to other cervids. Our findings promote applications of molecular methods of identifying parasite species and the assessment of the exchange of parasite community between wild ruminant species in management and health monitoring of game animal populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathology and Parasitic Diseases of Animals)
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Review
Vancomycin Use in Children and Neonates across Three Decades: A Bibliometric Analysis of the Top-Cited Articles
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1343; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101343 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 168
Abstract
Vancomycin is frequently prescribed in pediatrics, especially in intensive care unit settings, to treat Gram-positive bacterial infections. This work aims to collect the top-cited articles of pediatric and infectious diseases areas to gather the current evidence and gaps of knowledge on the use [...] Read more.
Vancomycin is frequently prescribed in pediatrics, especially in intensive care unit settings, to treat Gram-positive bacterial infections. This work aims to collect the top-cited articles of pediatric and infectious diseases areas to gather the current evidence and gaps of knowledge on the use of vancomycin in these populations. The most relevant journals reported in the “pediatrics” and “infectious diseases” categories of the 2019 edition of Journal Citation Reports were browsed. Articles with more than 30 citations and published over the last three decades were collected. A bibliometric analysis was performed and 115 articles were retrieved. They were published in 21 journals, with a median impact factor of 4.6 (IQR 2.9–5.4). Sixty-eight of them (59.1%) belonged to “infectious diseases” journals. The most relevant topic was “bloodstream/complicated/invasive infections”, followed by “antibiotic resistance/MRSA treatment”. As for population distribution, 27 articles were on children only and 27 on neonates, most of which were from intensive care unit (ICU) settings. The current literature mainly deals with vancomycin as a treatment for severe infections and antibiotic resistance, especially in neonatal ICU settings. Lately, attention to new dosing strategies in the neonatal and pediatric population has become a sensible topic. Full article
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Article
Efficacy of a Modified Live Virus Vaccine against Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus 1 (PRRSV-1) Administered to 1-Day-Old Piglets in Front of Heterologous PRRSV-1 Challenge
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1342; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101342 (registering DOI) - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 185
Abstract
PRRSV is one of the most important viruses in the global swine industry and is often controlled by the use of modified live virus (MLV) vaccines. This study assessed the impact of a PRRSV-1 MLV vaccine applied to 1-day-old piglets challenged on day [...] Read more.
PRRSV is one of the most important viruses in the global swine industry and is often controlled by the use of modified live virus (MLV) vaccines. This study assessed the impact of a PRRSV-1 MLV vaccine applied to 1-day-old piglets challenged on day 28 of life with a PRRSV-1 field isolate (AUT15-33). Twenty-one piglets were vaccinated within 24 h of birth (T02), whereas 20 piglets were left unvaccinated (T01). Necropsy was performed two weeks post-challenge. Comparing the two groups, T02 piglets showed significantly higher (p = 0.017) average daily weight gain. In addition, significantly lower (p < 0.0001) PRRSV RNA loads were measured in serum of T02 piglets at all investigated time points. All T01 piglets were viremic and shed virus in nasal swabs, whereas only 71.4% and 38.1% of the T02 group were viremic or shed virus, respectively. Piglets from T02 had significantly higher numbers (p < 0.0001) of IFN-γ producing lymphocytes compared to T01. At necropsy, differences in gross and histologic lung lesions were statistically significant (p = 0.012 and p < 0.0001, respectively) between the two groups. Hence, this MLV vaccine administered to 1-day-old piglets was able to protect piglets against PRRSV infection at weaning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Viral Pathogens)
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Article
Surveillance of Fresh Artisanal Cheeses Revealed High Levels of Listeria monocytogenes Contamination in the Department of Quindío, Colombia
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1341; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101341 - 17 Oct 2021
Viewed by 303
Abstract
Listeriosis is a foodborne disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes. Because outbreaks of listeriosis are associated with the ingestion of contaminated dairy products, surveillance of artisanal cheeses to detect the presence of this microorganism is necessary. We collected three types of artisanal non-acid [...] Read more.
Listeriosis is a foodborne disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes. Because outbreaks of listeriosis are associated with the ingestion of contaminated dairy products, surveillance of artisanal cheeses to detect the presence of this microorganism is necessary. We collected three types of artisanal non-acid fresh cheese (Campesino, Costeño, and Cuajada) from 12 municipalities of the Department of Quindío, Colombia. L. monocytogenes was identified using VIDAS® and confirmed with API® Listeria Rapid Kit. L. monocytogenes was detected in 104 (53.6%) of the 194 artisanal fresh-cheese samples analyzed. The highest percentages of contamination were detected in Salento (90.9%), Calracá (65.5%), Armenia (64.9%), and Filandia (50%). A significant association between municipality and contamination with L. monocytogenes was identified. However, no association could be established between the type of cheese and the occurrence of the bacterium. This is the first study on the presence of L. monocytogenes in artisanal fresh cheeses sold in the municipalities of the Department of Quindío, and the findings revealed very high percentages of contaminated samples. The presence of L. monocytogenes in artisanal cheeses remains a public health threat in developing countries, especially Colombia, where existing legislation does not require the surveillance of L. monocytogenes in food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial Epidemiology and Surveillance of Foodborne Pathogens)
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Article
Low Prevalence of HEV Infection and No Associated Risk of HEV Transmission from Mother to Child among Pregnant Women in Vietnam
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1340; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101340 - 17 Oct 2021
Viewed by 214
Abstract
Infections with HEV in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are associated with increased rates of preterm birth, miscarriage, and stillbirth. The aim of the present study was to investigate HEV infections in pregnant women and the possibility of mother-to-child transmission, and associated outcomes. [...] Read more.
Infections with HEV in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are associated with increased rates of preterm birth, miscarriage, and stillbirth. The aim of the present study was to investigate HEV infections in pregnant women and the possibility of mother-to-child transmission, and associated outcomes. A total of 183 pregnant women in their third trimester were recruited and followed until delivery. Anti-HEV IgG and IgM were determined via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and HEV nucleic acids were detected in stool and cord blood samples. HEV genotypes were identified by Sanger sequencing, and phylogenetic analyses were performed. Mother-to-child transmission and associated adverse outcomes were not observed. Only 2% of patients (n = 4/183) tested positive for anti-HEV IgM, and 8% (n = 14/183) tested positive for anti-HEV IgG antibodies. Cord blood (n = 150) analysis showed that there was no IgM detected, while 4% (n = 6/150) tested positive for anti-HEV IgG, which was consistent with mothers testing positive for anti-HEV IgG. Nucleic acid tests for HEV RNA yielded 2% (n = 4/183) from the serum and stool of pregnant women, and none from cord blood. The HEV isolates belonged to the genotype HEV-3a, with 99% homology with humans and 96% with pigs. No association was found between the risk of HEV infection and pregnancy outcomes or HEV transmission from mother to child. HEV-3 infections of zoonotic origin in pregnancy might have eventually resolved without complications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Viral Pathogens)
Article
Occurrence of Babesia Species and Co-Infection with Hepatozoon canis in Symptomatic Dogs and in Their Ticks in Eastern Romania
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1339; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101339 - 17 Oct 2021
Viewed by 360
Abstract
Although the distribution of Babesia spp. and Hepatozoon canis is well known in Romania, there is still a marked lack of information in many places of the country. This study aimed to investigate the occurrence of these haemoparasites in symptomatic dogs and in [...] Read more.
Although the distribution of Babesia spp. and Hepatozoon canis is well known in Romania, there is still a marked lack of information in many places of the country. This study aimed to investigate the occurrence of these haemoparasites in symptomatic dogs and in their ticks in Iasi, eastern Romania. Ninety owned dogs were subjected to clinical examination at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Iasi and all detectable ticks (58 ticks from 15 dogs) were collected. Additionally, 124 ticks collected from the coat of other dogs (no. = 23) were included. Three Babesia species were found in dogs: Babesia canis (94.4%), Babesia vogeli (3.3%), and Babesia rossi (2.2%). All the dogs resulted negative for H. canis. The ticks were identified as follows: Ixodes ricinus (64%), Dermacentor reticulatus (33%), and Rhipicephalus sanguineus group (3%). B. canis (Minimum Infection Rate; MIR = 81%), B. vogeli (MIR = 3%), and Babesia microti-like piroplasm (MIR = 1%) were found in ticks. Moreover, 15 ticks were positive for H. canis, 6 were co-infected with B. canis, and 1 with B. microti-like piroplasm. This is the first molecular identification of B. rossi in two symptomatic dogs from Romania, although further studies are needed to investigate the vector competence of other ticks from Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasites of the Third Millennium)
Article
Control of Strongyles in First-Season Grazing Ewe Lambs by Integrating Deworming and Thrice-Weekly Administration of Parasiticidal Fungal Spores
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1338; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101338 - 17 Oct 2021
Viewed by 253
Abstract
Parasiticidal fungi have been used in several in vivo experiments in livestock farms worldwide, constituting an effective tool for the biocontrol of gastrointestinal parasites in grazing animals. In the first year of study, two groups of eight first-season pasturing ewe lambs infected by [...] Read more.
Parasiticidal fungi have been used in several in vivo experiments in livestock farms worldwide, constituting an effective tool for the biocontrol of gastrointestinal parasites in grazing animals. In the first year of study, two groups of eight first-season pasturing ewe lambs infected by strongyles were dewormed with albendazole, and then, the test group received an oral dose of 106 chlamydospores of Mucor circinelloides and 106 Duddingtonia flagrans individually and thrice a week from mid-September to May (FS1), while the control group remained without fungi (CT1). In the second year, two new groups of first-season grazing ewe lambs were treated with ivermectin and subjected to the same experimental design (FS2 and CT2, respectively). The anthelmintic efficacy was 96.6% (CT1), 95.6% (FS1), 96.1% (CT2), and 95.1% (FS2). The counts of strongyle egg output increased in the control groups (CT1 and CT2) throughout the study and reached numbers higher than 600 eggs per gram of feces (EPG), while in FS1 and FS2, they were <250 EPG. The values of red blood cell parameters registered for CT1 and CT2 were lower than those of the reference standards, while a significant increment was recorded in FS1 and FS2, and values within the physiological range were attained. It is concluded that integrating efficient anthelminthic deworming with rotational pasturing and the regular intake of chlamydospores of M. circinelloides and D. flagrans provides a helpful strategy for maintaining low levels of strongyle egg output in first-season grazing ewe lambs and improves their health status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention of Soil-Borne Parasites)
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Article
Seroreactivity to Coxiella burnetii in an Agricultural Population and Prevalence of Coxiella burnetii Infection in Ticks of a Non-Endemic Region for Q Fever in South Korea
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1337; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101337 - 17 Oct 2021
Viewed by 233
Abstract
Coxiella burnetii infects humans and wild and domesticated animals. Although reported cases on Jeju Island, off the coast of South Korea, are rare, the region is considered to have a high potential for Q fever. We investigated the seroprevalence of antibodies to C. [...] Read more.
Coxiella burnetii infects humans and wild and domesticated animals. Although reported cases on Jeju Island, off the coast of South Korea, are rare, the region is considered to have a high potential for Q fever. We investigated the seroprevalence of antibodies to C. burnetii in 230 farmers living in ten rural areas on Jeju Island between January 2015 and December 2019. Blood samples were collected and examined for C. burnetii Phase I/II IgM and IgG antibodies. Trained researchers collected ticks from rural areas. Clone XCP-1 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing was performed to identify Coxiella species from the collected ticks. The overall seroprevalence of antibodies to C. burnetii in farmers was 35.7%. The seroprevalence was significantly higher in fruit farmers. Of the collected ticks, 5.4% (19/351) of the Haemaphysalis longicornis ticks harbored C. burnetti. A high seroprevalence of antibodies to C. burnetii was observed in this region of Jeju Island, confirming that C. burnetti is endemic. Physicians should thus consider Q fever in the differential diagnosis of patients that present with acute fever after participating in outdoor activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases―Pathogens, Parasites and People)
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Article
The Application of Terahertz Time-Domain Spectroscopy to Identification of Potato Late Blight and Fusariosis
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1336; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101336 (registering DOI) - 16 Oct 2021
Viewed by 249
Abstract
Fusarium and late blight (fungal diseases of cereals and potatoes) are among the main causes of crop loss worldwide. A key element of success in the fight against phytopathogens is the timely identification of infected plants and seeds. That is why the development [...] Read more.
Fusarium and late blight (fungal diseases of cereals and potatoes) are among the main causes of crop loss worldwide. A key element of success in the fight against phytopathogens is the timely identification of infected plants and seeds. That is why the development of new methods for identifying phytopathogens is a priority for agriculture. The terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) is a promising method for assessing the quality of materials. For the first time, we used THz-TDS for assessing the infection of seeds of cereals (oats, wheat and barley) with fusarium and potato tubers of different varieties (Nadezhda and Meteor) with late blight. We evaluated the refractive index, absorption coefficient and complex dielectric permittivity in healthy and infected plants. The presence of phytopathogens on seeds was confirmed by microscopy and PCR. It is shown, that Late blight significantly affected all the studied spectral characteristics. The nature of the changes depended on the variety of the analyzed plants and the localization of the analyzed tissue relative to the focus of infection. Fusarium also significantly affected all the studied spectral characteristics. It was found that THz-TDS method allows you to clearly establish the presence or absence of a phytopathogens, in the case of late blight, to assess the degree and depth of damage to plant tissues. Full article
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Article
Maca against Echinococcosis?—A Reverse Approach from Patient to In Vitro Testing
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1335; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101335 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 137
Abstract
Drug-based treatment of alveolar echinococcosis (AE) with benzimidazoles is in most cases non-curative, thus has to be taken lifelong. Here, we report on a 56-year-old male AE patient who received standard benzimidazole treatment and biliary plastic stents, and additionally self-medicated himself with the [...] Read more.
Drug-based treatment of alveolar echinococcosis (AE) with benzimidazoles is in most cases non-curative, thus has to be taken lifelong. Here, we report on a 56-year-old male AE patient who received standard benzimidazole treatment and biliary plastic stents, and additionally self-medicated himself with the Peruvian plant extract Maca (Lepidium meyenii). After 42 months, viable parasite tissue had disappeared. Based on this striking observation, the anti-echinococcal activity of Maca was investigated in vitro and in mice experimentally infected with Echinococcus multilocularis metacestodes. Albendazole (ABZ)-treated mice and mice treated with an ABZ+Maca combination exhibited a significantly reduced parasite burden compared to untreated or Maca-treated mice. As shown by a newly established UHPLC-MS/MS-based measurement of ABZ-metabolites, the presence of Maca during the treatment did not alter ABZ plasma levels. In vitro assays corroborated these findings, as exposure to Maca had no notable effect on E. multilocularis metacestodes, and in cultures of germinal layer cells, possibly unspecific, cytotoxic effects of Maca were observed. However, in the combined treatments, Maca inhibited the activity of ABZ in vitro. While Maca had no direct anti-parasitic activity, it induced in vitro proliferation of murine spleen cells, suggesting that immunomodulatory properties could have contributed to the curative effect seen in the patient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alveolar Echinococcosis: Joining Hands to Tackle a Lethal Parasitosis)
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Article
Distribution and Molecular Identification of Culex pipiens and Culex tritaeniorhynchus as Potential Vectors of Rift Valley Fever Virus in Jazan, Saudi Arabia
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1334; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101334 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 122
Abstract
Entomologic investigations were conducted in the Al-Darb, Al-Reath, Al-Aridah, Abuareesh, Al-Ahad, Samttah, Sabyah, Damad and Beash areas by CO2-baited CDC miniature light traps in the Jazan region. Vectors were identified morphologically, as well as COI gene segment amplification and sequencing. The [...] Read more.
Entomologic investigations were conducted in the Al-Darb, Al-Reath, Al-Aridah, Abuareesh, Al-Ahad, Samttah, Sabyah, Damad and Beash areas by CO2-baited CDC miniature light traps in the Jazan region. Vectors were identified morphologically, as well as COI gene segment amplification and sequencing. The relative abundance (RA%) and pattern of occurrence (C%) were recorded. The presence of the Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) in pooled mosquito samples was investigated by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Culex pipiens (C. pipiens) and Culex tritaeniorhynchus (C. tritaeniorhynchus) were found with RA% values of 96% and 4%, respectively, in the region. Significant variations in vector population densities were observed in different districts. The C. pipiens was found highly abundant in all districts and RA% value (100%) was recorded in the Al-Darb, Al-Reath, Al-Aridah, Samttah and Damad areas, whereas RA% values (93.75%, 93.33%, 92.30% and 91.66%) were noted in Al-Ahad, Sabyah, Abuareesh and Beash districts, respectively. RA% values for C. tritaeniorhynchus were recorded as 8.33%, 7.70%, 6.66% and 6.25% in Beash, Abuareesh, Sabyah and Al-Ahad areas, respectively. The pattern of occurrence for C. pipiens and C. tritaeniorhynchus was recorded as 100% and 44.4% in the region. Phylogenetic analysis of C. pipiens and C. tritaeniorhynchus exhibited a close relationship with mosquitoes from Kenya and Turkey, respectively. All mosquito samples tested by RT-PCR were found negative for RVFV. In summary, the current study assessed the composition, abundance, distribution of different mosquito vectors and presence of RVFV in different areas of the Jazan region. Our data will help risk assessments of RVFV future re-emergence in the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bunyavirus)
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Article
Variable Proportions of Phylogenetic Clustering and Low Levels of Antiviral Drug Resistance among the Major HBV Sub-Genotypes in the Middle East and North Africa
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1333; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101333 - 15 Oct 2021
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Abstract
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a major public health threat in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Phylogenetic analysis of HBV can be helpful to study the putative transmission links and patterns of inter-country spread of the virus. The objectives of [...] Read more.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a major public health threat in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Phylogenetic analysis of HBV can be helpful to study the putative transmission links and patterns of inter-country spread of the virus. The objectives of the current study were to analyze the HBV genotype/sub-genotype (SGT) distribution, reverse transcriptase (RT), and surface (S) gene mutations and to investigate the domestic transmission of HBV in the MENA. All HBV molecular sequences collected in the MENA were retrieved from GenBank as of 30 April 2021. Determination of genotypes/SGT, RT, and S mutations were based on the Geno2pheno (hbv) 2.0 online tool. For the most prevalent HBV SGTs, maximum likelihood phylogenetic analysis was conducted to identify the putative phylogenetic clusters, with approximate Shimodaira–Hasegawa-like likelihood ratio test values ≥ 0.90, and genetic distance cut-off values ≤ 0.025 substitutions/site as implemented in Cluster Picker. The total number of HBV sequences used for genotype/SGT determination was 4352 that represented a total of 20 MENA countries, with a majority from Iran (n = 2103, 48.3%), Saudi Arabia (n = 503, 11.6%), Tunisia (n = 395, 9.1%), and Turkey (n = 267, 6.1%). Genotype D dominated infections in the MENA (86.6%), followed by genotype A (4.1%), with SGT D1 as the most common in 14 MENA countries and SGT D7 dominance in the Maghreb. The highest prevalence of antiviral drug resistance was observed against lamivudine (4.5%) and telbivudine (4.3%). The proportion of domestic phylogenetic clustering was the highest for SGT D7 (61.9%), followed by SGT D2 (28.2%) and genotype E (25.7%). The largest fraction of domestic clusters with evidence of inter-country spread within the MENA was seen in SGT D7 (81.3%). Small networks (containing 3-14 sequences) dominated among domestic phylogenetic clusters. Specific patterns of HBV genetic diversity were seen in the MENA with SGT D1 dominance in the Levant, Iran, and Turkey; SGT D7 dominance in the Maghreb; and extensive diversity in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. A low prevalence of lamivudine, telbivudine, and entecavir drug resistance was observed in the region, with almost an absence of resistance to tenofovir and adefovir. Variable proportions of phylogenetic clustering indicated prominent domestic transmission of SGT D7 (particularly in the Maghreb) and relatively high levels of virus mobility in SGT D1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Elimination of Viral Hepatitis)
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Commentary
HIV and Aging: Overcoming Challenges in Existing HIV Guidelines to Provide Patient-Centered Care for Older People with HIV
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1332; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101332 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 143
Abstract
With advances in antiretroviral therapy and subsequent increase in life expectancy, People with HIV (PWH) now experience multiple geriatric syndromes in the setting of advanced aging and increased multimorbidity. HIV clinicians bear the responsibility of delivering geriatric care to this vulnerable population, despite [...] Read more.
With advances in antiretroviral therapy and subsequent increase in life expectancy, People with HIV (PWH) now experience multiple geriatric syndromes in the setting of advanced aging and increased multimorbidity. HIV clinicians bear the responsibility of delivering geriatric care to this vulnerable population, despite limited geriatric medicine training and limited support from HIV service networks that were not traditionally designed to care for an aging population. Although HIV clinicians reported formal guidelines specific to older PWH to be among the most helpful interventions, current HIV guidelines present multiple issues in their applicability to the care of older PWH, including multifactorial nature of conditions in older adults, difficulty measuring patient-centered outcomes, lack of representation of older PWH in clinical trials, limited guidelines addressing geriatric syndromes, and the use of chronological age as criteria for inclusion despite advanced aging in PWH. Understanding that updated guidelines addressing above challenges may take many years to develop, we offer strategies on the application of current guidelines, including using baseline attributes, time to benefit, and the Geriatrics 5M model to aid in shared decision making and improve outcomes among older PWH. Full article
Article
Biomolecular Investigation of Bartonella spp. in Wild Rodents of Two Swiss Regions
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1331; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101331 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 104
Abstract
Rodents represent a natural reservoir of several Bartonella species, including zoonotic ones. In this study, small wild rodents, collected from two sites in rural areas of Switzerland, were screened for Bartonella spp. using molecular detection methods. In brief, 346 rodents were trapped in [...] Read more.
Rodents represent a natural reservoir of several Bartonella species, including zoonotic ones. In this study, small wild rodents, collected from two sites in rural areas of Switzerland, were screened for Bartonella spp. using molecular detection methods. In brief, 346 rodents were trapped in two rural sites in the Gantrisch Nature Park of Switzerland (Plasselb, canton of Fribourg, and Riggisberg, canton of Bern). Pools of DNA originating from three animals were tested through a qPCR screening and an end-point PCR, amplifying the 16S-23S rRNA gene intergenic transcribed spacer region and citrate synthase (gltA) loci, respectively. Subsequently, DNA was extracted from spleen samples belonging to single animals of gltA positive pools, and gltA and RNA polymerase subunit beta (rpoB) were detected by end-point PCR. Based on PCR results and sequencing, the prevalence of infection with Bartonella spp. in captured rodents, was 21.10% (73/346): 31.78% in Apodemus sp. (41/129), 10.47% in Arvicola scherman (9/86), 17.05% in Myodes glareolus (22/129), and 50% in Microtus agrestis (1/2). A significant association was observed between Bartonella spp. infection and rodent species (p < 0.01) and between trapping regions and positivity to Bartonella spp. infection (p < 0.001). Similarly, prevalence of Bartonella DNA was higher (p < 0.001) in rodents trapped in woodland areas (66/257, 25.68%) compared to those captured in open fields (9/89, 10.11%). Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the extracted Bartonella DNA belonged mainly to B. taylorii and also to Candidatus “Bartonella rudakovii”, B. grahamii, B. doshiae, and B. birtlesii. In conclusion, the present study could rise public health issues regarding Bartonella infection in rodents in Switzerland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Evolving Biomedical Importance of Bartonella Species Infections)
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Review
Structural and Functional Aspects of Ebola Virus Proteins
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1330; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101330 - 15 Oct 2021
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Abstract
Ebola virus (EBOV), member of genus Ebolavirus, family Filoviridae, have a non-segmented, single-stranded RNA that contains seven genes: (a) nucleoprotein (NP), (b) viral protein 35 (VP35), (c) VP40, (d) glycoprotein (GP), (e) VP30, (f) VP24, and (g) RNA polymerase (L). All [...] Read more.
Ebola virus (EBOV), member of genus Ebolavirus, family Filoviridae, have a non-segmented, single-stranded RNA that contains seven genes: (a) nucleoprotein (NP), (b) viral protein 35 (VP35), (c) VP40, (d) glycoprotein (GP), (e) VP30, (f) VP24, and (g) RNA polymerase (L). All genes encode for one protein each except GP, producing three pre-proteins due to the transcriptional editing. These pre-proteins are translated into four products, namely: (a) soluble secreted glycoprotein (sGP), (b) Δ-peptide, (c) full-length transmembrane spike glycoprotein (GP), and (d) soluble small secreted glycoprotein (ssGP). Further, shed GP is released from infected cells due to cleavage of GP by tumor necrosis factor α-converting enzyme (TACE). This review presents a detailed discussion on various functional aspects of all EBOV proteins and their residues. An introduction to ebolaviruses and their life cycle is also provided for clarity of the available analysis. We believe that this review will help understand the roles played by different EBOV proteins in the pathogenesis of the disease. It will help in targeting significant protein residues for therapeutic and multi-protein/peptide vaccine development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis of Emerging Zoonotic Viral Infections)
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Article
“Slash and Clear”, a Community-Based Vector Control Method to Reduce Onchocerciasis Transmission by Simulium sirbanum in Maridi, South Sudan: A Prospective Study
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1329; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101329 - 15 Oct 2021
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Abstract
Background: High ongoing Onchocerca volvulus transmission was recently documented in Maridi County, South Sudan. To complement community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) as the main onchocerciasis control strategy, we initiated a community-based vector control method “slash and clear” at the Maridi dam, a Simulium [...] Read more.
Background: High ongoing Onchocerca volvulus transmission was recently documented in Maridi County, South Sudan. To complement community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) as the main onchocerciasis control strategy, we initiated a community-based vector control method “slash and clear” at the Maridi dam, a Simulium damnosum s.l. breeding site, to reduce O. volvulus transmission. Methods: Simulium damnosum s.l. biting rates were collected before and during the twenty months following the “slash and clear” intervention using the human landing catches. Black flies were dissected to measure parity rates before and twelve months after the intervention. Larvae and pupae of S. damnosum s.l. were collected from the dam for morphological and chromosomal characterization to identify the cytospecies involved. Results: Biting rates of S. damnosum s.l. close to the Maridi dam spillway decreased by >90% post-“slash and clear” for more than six months. Twelve months after the “slash and clear” intervention, the reduction in biting rates was still at <50% (p = 0.0007). Parity rates reduced from 13% pre-“slash and clear” (November 2019) to 5.6% post-“slash and clear” (November 2020). Larvae collected from the dam were identified as Simulium sirbanum. Conclusion: The “slash and clear” method was found to be an effective and cheap community-based method to reduce black fly biting rates caused by S. sirbanum. When repeated at least annually together with a high CDTI coverage, this intervention has the potential to considerably accelerate onchocerciasis elimination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Onchocerciasis and River Epilepsy)
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Review
Oral Immunotherapy for Children with Cow’s Milk Allergy
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1328; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101328 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 61
Abstract
Cow’s milk allergy (CMA) is one of the most common IgE-dependent food allergies in children. Some children develop severe and persistent CMA, with near-fatal reactions after exposure to trace amounts of cow’s milk (CM). Because milk and dairy products are included in various [...] Read more.
Cow’s milk allergy (CMA) is one of the most common IgE-dependent food allergies in children. Some children develop severe and persistent CMA, with near-fatal reactions after exposure to trace amounts of cow’s milk (CM). Because milk and dairy products are included in various processed food products, it is difficult to completely remove milk, which negatively affects the quality of life of children with CMA. Oral immunotherapy (OIT) can alleviate food allergen-induced anaphylaxis under continuous ingestion of a little of the causative food. Children with severe CMA may benefit from OIT, but the treatment requires a long time and poses a risk of anaphylaxis. Moreover, in recent years, new therapies, including omalizumab, sublingual immunotherapy, and epicutaneous immunotherapy, have played the role of optional OIT. In this review, we present the current methods of and other attempts at OIT, and discuss OIT for safely treating CMA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Allergy and Immunotherapy)
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Article
PIAS1 Regulates Hepatitis C Virus-Induced Lipid Droplet Accumulation by Controlling Septin 9 and Microtubule Filament Assembly
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1327; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101327 (registering DOI) - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 97
Abstract
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection often leads to fibrosis and chronic hepatitis, then cirrhosis and ultimately hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The processes of the HVC life cycle involve intimate interactions between viral and host cell proteins and lipid metabolism. However, the molecules and [...] Read more.
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection often leads to fibrosis and chronic hepatitis, then cirrhosis and ultimately hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The processes of the HVC life cycle involve intimate interactions between viral and host cell proteins and lipid metabolism. However, the molecules and mechanisms involved in this tripartite interaction remain poorly understood. Herein, we show that the infection of HCC-derived Huh7.5 cells with HCV promotes upregulation of the protein inhibitor of activated STAT1 (PIAS1). Reciprocally, PIAS1 regulated the expression of HCV core protein and HCV-induced LD accumulation and impaired HCV replication. Furthermore, PIAS1 controlled HCV-promoted septin 9 filament formation and microtubule polymerization. Subsequently, we found that PIAS1 interacted with septin 9 and controlled its assembly on filaments, which thus affected septin 9-induced lipid droplet accumulation. Taken together, these data reveal that PIAS1 regulates the accumulation of lipid droplets and offer a meaningful insight into how HCV interacts with host proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in HCV Research)
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Tutorial
Morphological Characteristics of Alveolar and Cystic Echinococcosis Lesions in Human Liver and Bone
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1326; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101326 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 181
Abstract
Among echinococcoses diseases of human interest, two have a global public health impact: cystic and alveolar echinococcosis caused by Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato and Echinococcus multilocularis, respectively. Cystic and alveolar echinococcosis are neglected infectious diseases epidemiologically and are clinically vastly different with [...] Read more.
Among echinococcoses diseases of human interest, two have a global public health impact: cystic and alveolar echinococcosis caused by Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato and Echinococcus multilocularis, respectively. Cystic and alveolar echinococcosis are neglected infectious diseases epidemiologically and are clinically vastly different with distinct microscopic features. Because of the rareness of these zoonotic diseases, pathologists have limited diagnostic experience in the analysis of the lesions caused by Echinococcus tapeworms. Here, we describe the main microscopic features to be considered to characterize these lesions: laminated layer, central necrosis, growth pattern, and delineation from adjacent tissue. Moreover, immunohistology using monoclonal antibodies is of great diagnostic help in reaching a definitive diagnosis by identifying the laminated body and small particles of E. multilocularis (spems) and small particles of E. granulosus (spegs). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alveolar Echinococcosis: Joining Hands to Tackle a Lethal Parasitosis)
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Article
Detection of Anti-LipL32 Antibodies in Serum Samples from Horses with Chronic Intraocular Infection with Leptospira spp.
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1325; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101325 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 179
Abstract
Equine recurrent uveitis (ERU) is typically caused by chronic intraocular leptospiral infection in warm-blooded horses in central Europe. The most effective therapy for leptospiral-induced ERU is the surgical removal of diseased vitreous (vitrectomy). Since vitrectomy is a highly specialized and invasive surgery, the [...] Read more.
Equine recurrent uveitis (ERU) is typically caused by chronic intraocular leptospiral infection in warm-blooded horses in central Europe. The most effective therapy for leptospiral-induced ERU is the surgical removal of diseased vitreous (vitrectomy). Since vitrectomy is a highly specialized and invasive surgery, the indication must be determined very carefully. In order to obtain evidence of intraocular leptospiral infection by laboratory diagnostics in questionable leptospiral ERU-cases, sampling of aqueous humor is required, because serum tests using microscopic agglutination test (MAT) are too unspecific. The SNAP Lepto is a cross-species rapid test for the detection of anti-Lipl32 antibodies that has a high sensitivity (0.97) and specificity (1.00) for the detection of anti-leptospiral antibodies using aqueous humor or vitreous samples, which is comparable to MAT. To evaluate sensitivity and specificity of SNAP Lepto using serum, serum samples from 90 horses with confirmed leptospiral ERU and from 103 ocularly healthy horses were tested by both MAT and SNAP Lepto. Sensitivity was similar for both tests (0.82 vs. 0.79), but specificity was lower for MAT (0.52 vs. 0.95). Sensitivity and specificity are therefore lower in serum samples compared to intraocular samples, however, the SNAP Lepto is far superior to MAT and suitable as a screening method using equine serum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Pathogens)
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Review
Epidemiology and Laboratory Diagnostics of Dengue, Yellow Fever, Zika, and Chikungunya Virus Infections in Africa
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1324; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101324 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 191
Abstract
Arbovirus infections are widespread, and their disease burden has increased in the past decade. In Africa, arbovirus infections and fever with unknown etiology are common. Due to the lack of well-established epidemiologic surveillance systems and accurate differential diagnosis in most African countries, little [...] Read more.
Arbovirus infections are widespread, and their disease burden has increased in the past decade. In Africa, arbovirus infections and fever with unknown etiology are common. Due to the lack of well-established epidemiologic surveillance systems and accurate differential diagnosis in most African countries, little is known about the prevalence of human arbovirus infections in Africa. The aim of this review is to summarize the available epidemiological data and diagnostic laboratory tools of infections with dengue, yellow fever, Zika, and chikungunya viruses, all transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Studies indicate that these arboviral infections are endemic in most of Africa. Surveillance of the incidence and prevalence of the infections would enable medical doctors to improve the diagnostic accuracy in patients with typical symptoms. If possible, arboviral diagnostic tests should be added to the routine healthcare systems. Healthcare providers should be informed about the prevalent arboviral diseases to identify possible cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mosquito-Borne Viral Infections in Africa)
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Review
Concern for Dirofilaria immitis and Macrocyclic Lactone Loss of Efficacy: Current Situation in the USA and Europe, and Future Scenarios
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1323; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101323 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 175
Abstract
Dirofilaria immitis infection is one of the most severe parasitic diseases in dogs. Prevention is achieved by the administration of drugs containing macrocyclic lactones (MLs). These products are very safe and highly effective, targeting the third and fourth larval stages (L3, L4) of [...] Read more.
Dirofilaria immitis infection is one of the most severe parasitic diseases in dogs. Prevention is achieved by the administration of drugs containing macrocyclic lactones (MLs). These products are very safe and highly effective, targeting the third and fourth larval stages (L3, L4) of the parasite. Until 2011, claims of the ineffectiveness of MLs, reported as “loss of efficacy” (LOE), were generally attributed to owners’ non-compliance, or other reasons associated with inadequate preventative coverage. There was solid argumentation that a resistance problem is not likely to occur because of (i) the great extent of refugia, (ii) the complexity of resistance development to MLs, and (iii) the possible large number of genes involved in resistance selection. Nevertheless, today, it is unequivocally proven that ML-resistant D. immitis strains exist, at least in the Lower Mississippi region, USA. Accordingly, tools have been developed to evaluate and confirm the susceptibility status of D. immitis strains. A simple, in-clinic, microfilariae suppression test, 14-28 days after ML administration, and a “decision tree” (algorithm), including compliance and preventatives’ purchase history, and testing gaps, may be applied for assessing any resistant nature of the parasite. On the molecular level, specific SNPs may be used as markers of ML resistance, offering a basis for the validation of clinically suspected resistant strains. In Europe, no LOE/resistance claims have been reported so far, and the existing conditions (stray dogs, rich wildlife, majority of owned dogs not on preventive ML treatment) do not favor selection pressure on the parasites. Considering the genetic basis of resistance and the epizootiological characteristics of D. immitis, ML resistance neither establishes easily nor spreads quickly, a fact confirmed by the current known dispersion of the problem, which is limited. Nevertheless, ML resistance may propagate from an initial geographical point, via animal and vector mobility, to other regions, while it can also emerge as an independent evolutionary process in a new area. For these reasons, and considering the current chemoprophylaxis recommendations and increasing use of ML endectoparasiticides as a potential selection pressure, it is important to remain vigilant for the timely detection of any ML LOE/resistance, in all continents where D. immitis is enzootic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasites of the Third Millennium)
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Article
The Effect of Impaired Polyamine Transport on Pneumococcal Transcriptome
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1322; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101322 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 181
Abstract
Infections due to Streptococcus pneumoniae, a commensal in the nasopharynx, still claim a significant number of lives worldwide. Genome plasticity, antibiotic resistance, and limited serotype coverage of the available polysaccharide-based conjugate vaccines confounds therapeutic interventions to limit the spread of this pathogen. [...] Read more.
Infections due to Streptococcus pneumoniae, a commensal in the nasopharynx, still claim a significant number of lives worldwide. Genome plasticity, antibiotic resistance, and limited serotype coverage of the available polysaccharide-based conjugate vaccines confounds therapeutic interventions to limit the spread of this pathogen. Pathogenic mechanisms that allow successful adaption and persistence in the host could be potential innovative therapeutic targets. Polyamines are ubiquitous polycationic molecules that regulate many cellular processes. We previously reported that deletion of polyamine transport operon potABCD, which encodes a putrescine/spermidine transporter (ΔpotABCD), resulted in an unencapsulated attenuated phenotype. Here, we characterize the transcriptome, metabolome, and stress responses of polyamine transport-deficient S. pneumoniae. Compared with the wild-type strain, the expression of genes involved in oxidative stress responses and the nucleotide sugar metabolism was reduced, while expression of genes involved in the Leloir, tagatose, and pentose phosphate pathways was higher in ΔpotABCD. A metabolic shift towards the pentose phosphate pathway will limit the synthesis of precursors of capsule polysaccharides. Metabolomics results show reduced levels of glutathione and pyruvate in the mutant. Our results also show that the potABCD operon protects pneumococci against hydrogen peroxide and nitrosative stress. Our findings demonstrate the importance of polyamine transport in pneumococcal physiology that could impact in vivo fitness. Thus, polyamine transport in pneumococci represents a novel target for therapeutic interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Streptococcus pneumoniae)
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Review
Bacteria–Cancer Interface: Awaiting the Perfect Storm
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1321; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101321 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 240
Abstract
Epidemiological evidence reveal a very close association of malignancies with chronic inflammation as a result of persistent bacterial infection. Recently, more studies have provided experimental evidence for an etiological role of bacterial factors disposing infected tissue towards carcinoma. When healthy cells accumulate genomic [...] Read more.
Epidemiological evidence reveal a very close association of malignancies with chronic inflammation as a result of persistent bacterial infection. Recently, more studies have provided experimental evidence for an etiological role of bacterial factors disposing infected tissue towards carcinoma. When healthy cells accumulate genomic insults resulting in DNA damage, they may sustain proliferative signalling, resist apoptotic signals, evade growth suppressors, enable replicative immortality, and induce angiogenesis, thus boosting active invasion and metastasis. Moreover, these cells must be able to deregulate cellular energetics and have the ability to evade immune destruction. How bacterial infection leads to mutations and enriches a tumour-promoting inflammatory response or micro-environment is still not clear. In this review we showcase well-studied bacteria and their virulence factors that are tightly associated with carcinoma and the various mechanisms and pathways that could have carcinogenic properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unraveling Chlamydial Pathogenesis)
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