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Pathogens, Volume 10, Issue 2 (February 2021) – 168 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Spirocerca lupi is a parasitic nematode that induces a myriad of clinical manifestations in canids and in 25% of infections leads to the formation of sarcomas. The description of the protein composition of the excretory and secretory products of S. lupi (Sl-ESP) has shed light on its possible interactions with the host environment, including migration within the host and mechanisms of immunomodulation. Despite this, the process by which S. lupi induces cancer in the dog remains poorly understood. We propose that sustained inflammatory responses in the dog tissue produced in response to the release of Sl-ESP homologous to other carcinogenic worms promote chronic inflammation and tissue damage and may also dampen effective antitumor immune responses in the malignant phase by affecting tumor antigen cross-presentation. View this paper
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Open AccessArticle
YM155 Inhibits NleB and SseK Arginine Glycosyltransferase Activity
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020253 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 403
Abstract
The type III secretion system effector proteins NleB and SseK are glycosyltransferases that glycosylate protein substrates on arginine residues. We conducted high-throughput screening assays on 42,498 compounds to identify NleB/SseK inhibitors. Such small molecules may be useful as mechanistic probes and may have [...] Read more.
The type III secretion system effector proteins NleB and SseK are glycosyltransferases that glycosylate protein substrates on arginine residues. We conducted high-throughput screening assays on 42,498 compounds to identify NleB/SseK inhibitors. Such small molecules may be useful as mechanistic probes and may have utility in the eventual development of anti-virulence therapies against enteric bacterial pathogens. We observed that YM155 (sepantronium bromide) inhibits the activity of Escherichia coli NleB1, Citrobacter rodentium NleB, and both Salmonella enterica SseK1 and SseK2. YM155 was not toxic to mammalian cells, nor did it show cross-reactivity with the mammalian O-linked N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (OGT). YM155 reduced Salmonella survival in mouse macrophage-like cells but had no direct impact on bacterial growth rates, suggesting YM155 may have utility as a potential anti-virulence inhibitor. Full article
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Open AccessBrief Report
Human-to-Cat SARS-CoV-2 Transmission: Case Report and Full-Genome Sequencing from an Infected Pet and Its Owner in Northern Italy
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020252 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 758
Abstract
There have been previous reports of the human-to-cat transmission of SARS-CoV-2, but there are only a few molecular studies that have compared the whole genome of the virus in cats and their owners. We here describe a case of domestic SARS-CoV-2 transmission from [...] Read more.
There have been previous reports of the human-to-cat transmission of SARS-CoV-2, but there are only a few molecular studies that have compared the whole genome of the virus in cats and their owners. We here describe a case of domestic SARS-CoV-2 transmission from a healthcare worker to his cat for which nasopharyngeal swabs of both the cat and its owner were used for full-genome analysis. The results indicate that quarantine measures should be extended to pets living in SARS-CoV-2-infected households. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Identification of New Cases of Human Dirofilariosis (Dirofilaria repens) in Italy
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020251 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 476
Abstract
(1) Dirofilariosis is a vector-borne parasitic disease mainly in domestic and wild carnivores caused by Dirofilaria (Noctiella) repens, which is endemic in many countries of the Old World, and D. immitis, which has a worldwide distribution. In recent years, [...] Read more.
(1) Dirofilariosis is a vector-borne parasitic disease mainly in domestic and wild carnivores caused by Dirofilaria (Noctiella) repens, which is endemic in many countries of the Old World, and D. immitis, which has a worldwide distribution. In recent years, an increase in the number of human cases has been reported, suggesting that dirofilariosis is an emergent zoonosis. Here, we describe further cases (N = 8), observed in Central Italy during the years 2018–2019. (2) Molecular diagnosis was performed on: (i) live worms extracted from ocular conjunctiva, cheek, and calf muscle; (ii) histological sections of surgically removed nodules from parenchymal lung, coccyx, and breast. (3) Sequence analysis (650-bp) of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene (mtDNA cox1) showed a match of 100% with the sequences of D. repens previously deposited in GenBank. ELISA test to detect IgG against filarial antigens was performed on four patients’ sera and resulted positive in two patients who showed ocular and subcutaneous dirofilariosis, respectively. Microfilariae have been never detected in the peripheral blood of the patients. (4) The occurrence of N = 8 new cases of human D. repens-infections observed in a two-year period suggests an increased circulation of the parasite in Italy. Therefore, dirofilariosis should be included in differential diagnosis in patients presenting subcutaneous and/or pulmonary nodules. Molecular diagnosis of the etiological agents is fundamental. Specific serological diagnosis needs to be improved in future research work. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Insight into One Health Approach: Endoparasite Infections in Captive Wildlife in Bangladesh
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020250 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 363
Abstract
Introduction: Endoparasites in captive wildlife might pose a threat to public health; however, very few studies have been conducted on this issue, and much remains to be learned, especially in limited-resource settings. This study aimed to investigate endoparasites of captive wildlife in [...] Read more.
Introduction: Endoparasites in captive wildlife might pose a threat to public health; however, very few studies have been conducted on this issue, and much remains to be learned, especially in limited-resource settings. This study aimed to investigate endoparasites of captive wildlife in Bangladesh. Perception and understanding of veterinarians regarding one health and zoonoses were also assessed. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from October 2019 to August 2020. A total of 45 fecal samples from 18 different species of wild animals (i.e., 11 species of mammals: herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores, six birds, and a single reptile species) were collected randomly. Parasitological assessments were done by modified formalin ether sedimentation technique and rechecked by Sheather’s sugar floatation technique. Molecular identification of Spirometra spp. was conducted by amplifying the cytochrome c oxidase 1 (cox1) gene. Questionnaire surveys among 15 veterinarians and an in-depth interview (IDI) with a zoo officer were conducted. Results: Helminths (Spirometra sp., Capillaria sp., Ascaridia/Heterakis, opisthorchiid, strongyles, acuariid, hookworms, roundworms, and unidentified nematode larvae) and protozoa (coccidian oocyst) were identified, and the overall prevalence was 48.9% (22/45). The cox1 sequences (341 bp) of the Bangladesh-origin Spirometra species from lion showed 99.3–99.7% similarity to the reference sequences of Spirometra decipiens (GenBank No: KJ599679.1; MT122766). The majority of study participants (86.6%) agreed about the importance of endoparasite control in zoo animals, and 73.3% expressed that the one health concept should be promoted in Bangladesh. Only 6.7% of veterinarians perceived confidence in diagnosing parasitic diseases and preventing antiparasiticidal resistance. Conclusions: In the present survey, we found a considerable prevalence of endoparasites in captive wildlife. For the first time, zoonotically important S. decipiens from lion was molecularly characterized in Bangladesh. Veterinarian training is required to improve parasite control knowledge and practice. This study highlights the need for routine parasitological assessment, promotion of one health, and improvement of the implementation of current parasite control strategies in zoo animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Diseases of Domestic, Wild, and Exotic Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Vector-Borne Pathogens with Veterinary and Public Health Significance in Melophagus ovinus (Sheep Ked) from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020249 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 426
Abstract
Melophagus ovinus (sheep ked) is a hematophagous ectoparasite that mainly parasitizes sheep. In addition to causing inflammation, wool loss, and skin damage to the animal hosts, M. ovinus also serves as a vector for a variety of pathogens and is highly likely to [...] Read more.
Melophagus ovinus (sheep ked) is a hematophagous ectoparasite that mainly parasitizes sheep. In addition to causing inflammation, wool loss, and skin damage to the animal hosts, M. ovinus also serves as a vector for a variety of pathogens and is highly likely to participate in the life and transmission cycle of pathogenic organisms. Herein, we investigated the presence and molecular characterization of vector-borne pathogens in M. ovinus from Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. A total of 92 M. ovinus pools collected from the Qinghai province of China were screened for the presence of selected vector-borne pathogens. The overall positive rate of A. ovis, A. bovis, A. phagocytophilum, and T. ovis in M. ovinus was 39.1%, 17.4%, 9.8%, and 89.1%, respectively. All of the samples were negative for Border disease virus (BDV), other Anaplasma species, Babesia spp., Rickettsia spp., and Borrelia spp. Co-infection of different Anaplasma species and T. ovis occurred in 51.2% of all samples with T. ovis. The positive rates of A. ovis, A. bovis, and A. phagocytophilum in different regions and altitudes of the sampling sites were significantly different. Sequence and phylogenetic analysis of target genes confirmed their identity with corresponding pathogens. Our results elucidate the occurrence and molecular characterization of Anaplasma spp. and Theileria spp. in M. ovinus, which could act as potential zoonotic reservoirs. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the detection of A. bovis and A. phagocytophilum DNA in M. ovinus. This study gives the first extensive molecular survey of vector-borne pathogens with veterinary and public health significance in M. ovinus from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Review of Streptococcus pyogenes: Public Health Risk Factors, Prevention and Control
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020248 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 449
Abstract
Streptococcus pyogenes, (colloquially named “group A streptococcus” (GAS)), is a pathogen of public health significance, infecting 18.1 million people worldwide and resulting in 500,000 deaths each year. This review identified published articles on the risk factors and public health prevention and control strategies [...] Read more.
Streptococcus pyogenes, (colloquially named “group A streptococcus” (GAS)), is a pathogen of public health significance, infecting 18.1 million people worldwide and resulting in 500,000 deaths each year. This review identified published articles on the risk factors and public health prevention and control strategies for mitigating GAS diseases. The pathogen causing GAS diseases is commonly transmitted via respiratory droplets, touching skin sores caused by GAS or through contact with contaminated material or equipment. Foodborne transmission is also possible, although there is need for further research to quantify this route of infection. It was found that GAS diseases are highly prevalent in developing countries, and among indigenous populations and low socioeconomic areas in developed countries. Children, the immunocompromised and the elderly are at the greatest risk of S. pyogenes infections and the associated sequelae, with transmission rates being higher in schools, kindergartens, hospitals and residential care homes. This was attributed to overcrowding and the higher level of social contact in these settings. Prevention and control measures should target the improvement of living conditions, and personal and hand hygiene. Adherence to infection prevention and control practices should be emphasized in high-risk settings. Resource distribution by governments, especially in developed countries, should also be considered. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Atopobium vaginae and Prevotella bivia Are Able to Incorporate and Influence Gene Expression in a Pre-Formed Gardnerella vaginalis Biofilm
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020247 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 367
Abstract
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is associated with a highly structured polymicrobial biofilm on the vaginal epithelium where Gardnerella species presumably play a pivotal role. Gardnerella vaginalis, Atopobium vaginae, and Prevotella bivia are vaginal pathogens detected during the early stages of incident BV. [...] Read more.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is associated with a highly structured polymicrobial biofilm on the vaginal epithelium where Gardnerella species presumably play a pivotal role. Gardnerella vaginalis, Atopobium vaginae, and Prevotella bivia are vaginal pathogens detected during the early stages of incident BV. Herein, we aimed to analyze the impact of A. vaginae and P. bivia on a pre-established G. vaginalis biofilm using a novel in vitro triple-species biofilm model. Total biofilm biomass was determined by the crystal violet method. We also discriminated the bacterial populations in the biofilm and in its planktonic fraction by using PNA FISH. We further analyzed the influence of A. vaginae and P. bivia on the expression of key virulence genes of G. vaginalis by quantitative PCR. In our tested conditions, A. vaginae and P. bivia were able to incorporate into pre-established G. vaginalis biofilms but did not induce an increase in total biofilm biomass, when compared with 48-h G. vaginalis biofilms. However, they were able to significantly influence the expression of HMPREF0424_0821, a gene suggested to be associated with biofilm maintenance in G. vaginalis. This study suggests that microbial relationships between co-infecting bacteria can deeply affect the G. vaginalis biofilm, a crucial marker of BV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaginal Bacteria from the Genus Gardnerella)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Nucleotide Sequence of Tax, miRNA and LTR of Bovine Leukemia Virus in Cattle with Different Levels of Persistent Lymphocytosis in Russia
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 246; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020246 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 592
Abstract
Bovine Leukemia Virus (BLV) is the etiological agent of enzootic bovine leucosis (EBL), a lymphoproliferative disease of the bovine species. In BLV-infected cells, the long terminal repeat (LTR), the viral Tax protein and viral miRNAs promote viral and cell proliferation as well as [...] Read more.
Bovine Leukemia Virus (BLV) is the etiological agent of enzootic bovine leucosis (EBL), a lymphoproliferative disease of the bovine species. In BLV-infected cells, the long terminal repeat (LTR), the viral Tax protein and viral miRNAs promote viral and cell proliferation as well as tumorigenesis. Although their respective roles are decisive in BLV biology, little is known about the genetic sequence variation of these parts of the BLV genome and their impact on disease outcome. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the relationship between disease progression and sequence variation of the BLV Tax, miRNA and LTR regions in infected animals displaying either low or high levels of persistent lymphocytosis (PL). A statistically significant association was observed between the A(+187)C polymorphism in the downstream activator sequence (DAS) region in LTR (p-value = 0.00737) and high lymphocytosis. Our study also showed that the mutation A(−4)G in the CAP site occurred in 70% of isolates with low PL and was not found in the high PL group. Conversely, the mutations G(−133)A/C in CRE2 (46.7%), C(+160)T in DAS (30%) and A(310)del in BLV-mir-B4-5p, A(357)G in BLV-mir-B4-3p, A(462)G in BLV-mir-B5-5p, and GA(497–498)AG in BLV-mir-B5-3p (26.5%) were often seen in isolates with high PL and did not occur in the low PL group. In conclusion, we found several significant polymorphisms among BLV genomic sequences in Russia that would explain a progression towards higher or lower lymphoproliferation. The data presented in this article enabled the classification between two different genotypes; however, clear association between genotypes and the PL development was not found. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bovine Leukemia Virus Infection)
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Open AccessReview
Current State and Promising Opportunities on Pharmaceutical Approaches in the Treatment of Polymicrobial Diseases
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020245 - 20 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 515
Abstract
In recent years, the emergence of newly identified acute and chronic infectious disorders caused by diverse combinations of pathogens, termed polymicrobial diseases, has had catastrophic consequences for humans. Antimicrobial agents have been clinically proven to be effective in the pharmacological treatment of polymicrobial [...] Read more.
In recent years, the emergence of newly identified acute and chronic infectious disorders caused by diverse combinations of pathogens, termed polymicrobial diseases, has had catastrophic consequences for humans. Antimicrobial agents have been clinically proven to be effective in the pharmacological treatment of polymicrobial diseases. Unfortunately, an increasing trend in the emergence of multi-drug-resistant pathogens and limited options for delivery of antimicrobial drugs might seriously impact humans’ efforts to combat polymicrobial diseases in the coming decades. New antimicrobial agents with novel mechanism(s) of action and new pharmaceutical formulations or delivery systems to target infected sites are urgently required. In this review, we discuss the prospective use of novel antimicrobial compounds isolated from natural products to treat polymicrobial infections, mainly via mechanisms related to inhibition of biofilm formation. Drug-delivery systems developed to deliver antimicrobial compounds to both intracellular and extracellular pathogens are discussed. We further discuss the effectiveness of several biofilm-targeted delivery strategies to eliminate polymicrobial biofilms. At the end, we review the applications and promising opportunities for various drug-delivery systems, when compared to conventional antimicrobial therapy, as a pharmacological means to treat polymicrobial diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Interactions during Infection)
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Open AccessArticle
Akt Interacts with Usutu Virus Polymerase, and Its Activity Modulates Viral Replication
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020244 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 374
Abstract
Usutu virus (USUV) is a flavivirus that mainly infects wild birds through the bite of Culex mosquitoes. Recent outbreaks have been associated with an increased number of cases in humans. Despite being a growing source of public health concerns, there is yet insufficient [...] Read more.
Usutu virus (USUV) is a flavivirus that mainly infects wild birds through the bite of Culex mosquitoes. Recent outbreaks have been associated with an increased number of cases in humans. Despite being a growing source of public health concerns, there is yet insufficient data on the virus or host cell targets for infection control. In this work we have investigated whether the cellular kinase Akt and USUV polymerase NS5 interact and co-localize in a cell. To this aim, we performed co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP) assays, followed by confocal microscopy analyses. We further tested whether NS5 is a phosphorylation substrate of Akt in vitro. Finally, to examine its role in viral replication, we chemically silenced Akt with three inhibitors (MK-2206, honokiol and ipatasertib). We found that both proteins are localized (confocal) and pulled down (Co-IP) together when expressed in different cell lines, supporting the fact that they are interacting partners. This possibility was further sustained by data showing that NS5 is phosphorylated by Akt. Treatment of USUV-infected cells with Akt-specific inhibitors led to decreases in virus titers (>10-fold). Our results suggest an important role for Akt in virus replication and stimulate further investigations to examine the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway as an antiviral target. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Usutu Virus Infection)
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Open AccessArticle
Non-Invasive Molecular Survey of Sarcoptic Mange in Wildlife: Diagnostic Performance in Wolf Faecal Samples Evaluated by Multi-Event Capture–Recapture Models
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020243 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 365
Abstract
Sarcoptic mange is globally enzootic, and non-invasive methods with high diagnostic specificity for its surveillance in wildlife are lacking. We describe the molecular detection of Sarcoptes scabiei in non-invasively collected faecal samples, targeting the 16S rDNA gene. We applied this method to 843 [...] Read more.
Sarcoptic mange is globally enzootic, and non-invasive methods with high diagnostic specificity for its surveillance in wildlife are lacking. We describe the molecular detection of Sarcoptes scabiei in non-invasively collected faecal samples, targeting the 16S rDNA gene. We applied this method to 843 Iberian wolf Canis lupus signatus faecal samples collected in north-western Portugal (2006–2018). We further integrated this with serological data (61 samples from wolf and 20 from red fox Vulpes vulpes, 1997–2019) in multi-event capture–recapture models. The mean predicted prevalence by the molecular analysis of wolf faecal samples from 2006–2018 was 7.2% (CI95 5.0–9.4%; range: 2.6–11.7%), highest in 2009. The mean predicted seroprevalence in wolves was 24.5% (CI95 18.5–30.6%; range: 13.0–55.0%), peaking in 2006–2009. Multi-event capture–recapture models estimated 100% diagnostic specificity and moderate diagnostic sensitivity (30.0%, CI95 14.0–53.0%) for the molecular method. Mange-infected individually identified wolves showed a tendency for higher mortality versus uninfected wolves (ΔMortality 0.150, CI95 −0.165–0.458). Long-term serology data highlights the endemicity of sarcoptic mange in wild canids but uncovers multi-year epidemics. This study developed and evaluated a novel method for surveying sarcoptic mange in wildlife populations by the molecular detection of S. scabiei in faecal samples, which stands out for its high specificity and non-invasive character. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Integrated Sequencing Approach for Updating the Pseudorabies Virus Transcriptome
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020242 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 521
Abstract
In the last couple of years, the implementation of long-read sequencing (LRS) technologies for transcriptome profiling has uncovered an extreme complexity of viral gene expression. In this study, we carried out a systematic analysis on the pseudorabies virus transcriptome by combining our current [...] Read more.
In the last couple of years, the implementation of long-read sequencing (LRS) technologies for transcriptome profiling has uncovered an extreme complexity of viral gene expression. In this study, we carried out a systematic analysis on the pseudorabies virus transcriptome by combining our current data obtained by using Pacific Biosciences Sequel and Oxford Nanopore Technologies MinION sequencing with our earlier data generated by other LRS and short-read sequencing techniques. As a result, we identified a number of novel genes, transcripts, and transcript isoforms, including splice and length variants, and also confirmed earlier annotated RNA molecules. One of the major findings of this study is the discovery of a large number of 5′-truncations of larger putative mRNAs being 3′-co-terminal with canonical mRNAs of PRV. A large fraction of these putative RNAs contain in-frame ATGs, which might initiate translation of N-terminally truncated polypeptides. Our analyses indicate that CTO-S, a replication origin-associated RNA molecule is expressed at an extremely high level. This study demonstrates that the PRV transcriptome is much more complex than previously appreciated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pseudorabies Virus Infections)
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Open AccessArticle
Detection of Rhodococcus fascians, the Causative Agent of Lily Fasciation in South Korea
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020241 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 274
Abstract
Rhodococcus fascians is an important pathogen that infects various herbaceous perennials and reduces their economic value. In this study, we examined R. fascians isolates carrying a virulence gene from symptomatic lily plants grown in South Korea. Phylogenetic analysis using the nucleotide sequences of [...] Read more.
Rhodococcus fascians is an important pathogen that infects various herbaceous perennials and reduces their economic value. In this study, we examined R. fascians isolates carrying a virulence gene from symptomatic lily plants grown in South Korea. Phylogenetic analysis using the nucleotide sequences of 16S rRNA, vicA, and fasD led to the classification of the isolates into four different strains of R. fascians. Inoculation of Nicotiana benthamiana with these isolates slowed root growth and resulted in symptoms of leafy gall. These findings elucidate the diversification of domestic pathogenic R. fascians and may lead to an accurate causal diagnosis to help reduce economic losses in the bulb market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Pathogenic Bacteria in Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Isolation and Characterization of Kingella bonacorsii sp. nov., A Novel Kingella Species Detected in a Stable Periodontitis Subject
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020240 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 571
Abstract
Members of the genus Kingella are mostly commensals of the oral cavity, but some of them are involved in invasive infections, especially in young children. This study provides new knowledge on the diversity of this genus by describing a novel species of Kingella [...] Read more.
Members of the genus Kingella are mostly commensals of the oral cavity, but some of them are involved in invasive infections, especially in young children. This study provides new knowledge on the diversity of this genus by describing a novel species of Kingella isolated from a dental plaque sample from a 51-year-old man with a history of periodontitis. Morphological and chemotaxonomic characteristic were investigated using different growth conditions, pH and temperature. Cellular fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) analysis was performed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA, orthologous average nucleotide identity (OrthoANI) and digital DNA–DNA hybridization (dDDH) relatedness were also performed. Strain Marseille-Q4569T was found to be a facultative aerobic, nonmotile and non-spore-forming rod-shaped bacterium that grows at 28–41.5 °C (optimum 37 °C), pH 5.5–8.5 (optimum pH 7.5) and 5–15 g/L of NaCl. The major fatty acids were Hexadecanoic acid (32.7%), 11-Octadecenoic acid (26.1 %) and 9-Hexadecenoic acid (21.3 %). Despite high 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity (98.72%) between strain Marseille-Q4569T and Kingella oralis strain UB-38T, the degree of OrthoANI was at the limit of the cutoff (95.83%), and the degree of dDDH was lower (63.6%) than thresholds used to delineate prokaryotic species. Therefore, it is proposed that strain Marseille-Q4569T represents a novel species of the genus Kingella, for which the name Kingella bonacorsii sp. nov. is proposed (=CSUR Q4569). Full article
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Open AccessReview
Staphylococcus aureus Internalization in Osteoblast Cells: Mechanisms, Interactions and Biochemical Processes. What Did We Learn from Experimental Models?
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020239 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 376
Abstract
Bacterial internalization is a strategy that non-intracellular microorganisms use to escape the host immune system and survive inside the human body. Among bacterial species, Staphylococcus aureus showed the ability to interact with and infect osteoblasts, causing osteomyelitis as well as bone and joint [...] Read more.
Bacterial internalization is a strategy that non-intracellular microorganisms use to escape the host immune system and survive inside the human body. Among bacterial species, Staphylococcus aureus showed the ability to interact with and infect osteoblasts, causing osteomyelitis as well as bone and joint infection, while also becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotic therapy and a reservoir of bacteria that can make the infection difficult to cure. Despite being a serious issue in orthopedic surgery, little is known about the mechanisms that allow bacteria to enter and survive inside the osteoblasts, due to the lack of consistent experimental models. In this review, we describe the current knowledge about S. aureus internalization mechanisms and various aspects of the interaction between bacteria and osteoblasts (e.g., best experimental conditions, bacteria-induced damages and immune system response), focusing on studies performed using the MG-63 osteoblastic cell line, the best traditional (2D) model for the study of this phenomenon to date. At the same time, as it has been widely demonstrated that 2D culture systems are not completely indicative of the dynamic environment in vivo, and more recent 3D models—representative of bone infection—have also been investigated. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Nosocomial Infections: Do Not Forget the Parasites!
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020238 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 634
Abstract
Nosocomial infections (NIs) pose an increasing threat to public health. The majority of NIs are bacterial, fungal, and viral infections; however, parasites also play a considerable role in NIs, particularly in our increasingly complex healthcare environment with a growing proportion of immunocompromised patients. [...] Read more.
Nosocomial infections (NIs) pose an increasing threat to public health. The majority of NIs are bacterial, fungal, and viral infections; however, parasites also play a considerable role in NIs, particularly in our increasingly complex healthcare environment with a growing proportion of immunocompromised patients. Moreover, parasitic infections acquired via blood transfusion or organ transplantation are more likely to have severe or fatal disease outcomes compared with the normal route of infection. Many of these infections are preventable and most are treatable, but as the awareness for parasitic NIs is low, diagnosis and treatment are often delayed, resulting not only in higher health care costs but, importantly, also in prolonged courses of disease for the patients. For this article, we searched online databases and printed literature to give an overview of the causative agents of parasitic NIs, including the possible routes of infection and the diseases caused. Our review covers a broad spectrum of cases, ranging from widely known parasitic NIs, like blood transfusion malaria or water-borne cryptosporidiosis, to less well-known NIs, such as the transmission of Strongyloides stercoralis by solid organ transplantation or nosocomial myiasis. In addition, emerging NIs, such as babesiosis by blood transfusion or person-to-person transmitted scabies, are described. Full article
Open AccessReview
Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia Prophylaxis for Cancer Patients during Chemotherapy
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020237 - 19 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 447
Abstract
Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) is one type of life-threatening pneumonia in immunocompromised patients. PJP development should be considered in not only immunocompromised individuals, but also patients undergoing intensive chemotherapies and immunotherapies, organ transplantation, or corticosteroid treatment. Past studies have described the clinical manifestation [...] Read more.
Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) is one type of life-threatening pneumonia in immunocompromised patients. PJP development should be considered in not only immunocompromised individuals, but also patients undergoing intensive chemotherapies and immunotherapies, organ transplantation, or corticosteroid treatment. Past studies have described the clinical manifestation of PJP in patients during chemotherapy and reported that PJP affects cancer treatment outcomes. Therefore, PJP could be a potential problem for the management of cancer patients during chemotherapy, and PJP prophylaxis would be important during cancer treatment. This review discusses PJ colonization in outpatients during cancer chemotherapy, as well as in healthy individuals, and provides an update on PJP prophylaxis for cancer patients during chemotherapy. Full article
Open AccessReview
Pneumocystis Pneumonia: Immunity, Vaccines, and Treatments
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020236 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 326
Abstract
For individuals who are immunocompromised, the opportunistic fungal pathogen Pneumocystis jirovecii is capable of causing life-threatening pneumonia as the causative agent of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP). PCP remains an acquired immunodeficiency disease (AIDS)-defining illness in the era of antiretroviral therapy. In addition, a rise [...] Read more.
For individuals who are immunocompromised, the opportunistic fungal pathogen Pneumocystis jirovecii is capable of causing life-threatening pneumonia as the causative agent of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP). PCP remains an acquired immunodeficiency disease (AIDS)-defining illness in the era of antiretroviral therapy. In addition, a rise in non-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated PCP has been observed due to increased usage of immunosuppressive and immunomodulating therapies. With the persistence of HIV-related PCP cases and associated morbidity and mortality, as well as difficult to diagnose non-HIV-related PCP cases, an improvement over current treatment and prevention standards is warranted. Current therapeutic strategies have primarily focused on the administration of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, which is effective at disease prevention. However, current treatments are inadequate for treatment of PCP and prevention of PCP-related death, as evidenced by consistently high mortality rates for those hospitalized with PCP. There are no vaccines in clinical trials for the prevention of PCP, and significant obstacles exist that have slowed development, including host range specificity, and the inability to culture Pneumocystis spp. in vitro. In this review, we overview the immune response to Pneumocystis spp., and discuss current progress on novel vaccines and therapies currently in the preclinical and clinical pipeline. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
In vitro–in vivo Validation of Stimulatory Effect of Oat Ingredients on Lactobacilli
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020235 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1039
Abstract
The prebiotic activity of a commercially available oat product and a novel oat ingredient, at similar β-glucan loads, was tested using a validated in vitro gut model (M-SHIME®). The novel oat ingredient was tested further at lower β-glucan loads in vitro, [...] Read more.
The prebiotic activity of a commercially available oat product and a novel oat ingredient, at similar β-glucan loads, was tested using a validated in vitro gut model (M-SHIME®). The novel oat ingredient was tested further at lower β-glucan loads in vitro, while the commercially available oat product was assessed in a randomised, single-blind, placebo-controlled, and cross-over human study. Both approaches focused on healthy individuals with mild hypercholesterolemia. In vitro analysis revealed that both oat products strongly stimulated Lactobacillaceae and Bifidobacteriaceae in the intestinal lumen and the simulated mucus layer, and corresponded with enhanced levels of acetate and lactate with cross-feeding interactions leading to an associated increase in propionate and butyrate production. The in vitro prebiotic activity of the novel oat ingredient remained at lower β-glucan levels, indicating the prebiotic potential of the novel oat product. Finally, the stimulation of Lactobacillus spp. was confirmed during the in vivo trial, where lactobacilli abundance significantly increased in the overall population at the end of the intervention period with the commercially available oat product relative to the control product, indicating the power of in vitro gut models in predicting in vivo response of the microbial community to dietary modulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Status of Research on Gut Metabolites and Gut Microbiota)
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Open AccessArticle
The Herbal Supplements NOZEMAT HERB® and NOZEMAT HERB PLUS®: An Alternative Therapy for N. ceranae Infection and Its Effects on Honey Bee Strength and Production Traits
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020234 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1125
Abstract
Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are the most effective pollinators for different crops and wild flowering plants, thus maintaining numerous ecosystems in the world. However, honey bee colonies often suffer from stress or even death due to various pests and diseases. Among [...] Read more.
Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are the most effective pollinators for different crops and wild flowering plants, thus maintaining numerous ecosystems in the world. However, honey bee colonies often suffer from stress or even death due to various pests and diseases. Among the latter, nosemosis is considered to be one of the most common diseases, causing serious damage to beekeeping every year. Here, we present, for the first time, the effects from the application of the herbal supplements NOZEMAT HERB® (NH) and NOZEMAT HERB PLUS® (NHP) for treating N. ceranae infection and positively influencing the general development of honey bee colonies. To achieve this, in autumn 2019, 45 colonies were selected based on the presence of N. ceranae infections. The treatment was carried out for 11 months (August 2019–June 2020). All colonies were sampled pre- and post-treatment for the presence of N. ceranae by means of light microscopy and PCR analysis. The honey bee colonies’ performance and health were evaluated pre- and post-treatment. The obtained results have shown that both supplements have exhibited statistically significant biological activity against N. ceranae in infected apiaries. Considerable enhancement in the strength of honey bee colonies and the amount of sealed workers was observed just one month after the application of NH and NHP. Although the mechanisms of action of NH and NHP against N. ceranae infection are yet to be completely elucidated, our results suggest a new holistic approach as an alternative therapy to control nosemosis and to improve honey bee colonies’ performance and health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infection in Honey Bees: Host–Pathogen Interaction and Spillover)
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Open AccessArticle
Hypothiocyanite and Hypothiocyanite/Lactoferrin Mixture Exhibit Virucidal Activity In Vitro against SARS-CoV-2
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020233 - 19 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 519
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2 replicates efficiently in the upper airways during the prodromal stage, resulting in environmental viral shedding from patients with active COVID-19 as well as from asymptomatic individuals. There is a need to find pharmacological interventions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Hypothiocyanite and [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2 replicates efficiently in the upper airways during the prodromal stage, resulting in environmental viral shedding from patients with active COVID-19 as well as from asymptomatic individuals. There is a need to find pharmacological interventions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Hypothiocyanite and lactoferrin are molecules of the innate immune system with a large spectrum cidal activity. The Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency designated the hypothiocyanite and lactoferrin combination as an orphan drug. We report an in vitro study showing that micromolar concentrations of hypothiocyanite exhibit dose- and time-dependent virucidal activity against SARS-CoV-2 and that the latter is slightly enhanced by the simultaneous presence of lactoferrin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Vaccines and Therapeutic Developments)
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Open AccessArticle
Will Fly Repellency Using Deltamethrin Reduce Intramammary Infections, Stress and Fatigue Indicators of Dairy Ewes under Intensive Management?
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020232 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 661
Abstract
Intramammary infections (IMIs) caused by various pathogens may lead to clinical or subclinical mastitis, challenging the health and welfare status of infected animals and decreasing the quantity and quality of the produced milk. Additionally, the zoonotic potential of some of the pathogens isolated [...] Read more.
Intramammary infections (IMIs) caused by various pathogens may lead to clinical or subclinical mastitis, challenging the health and welfare status of infected animals and decreasing the quantity and quality of the produced milk. Additionally, the zoonotic potential of some of the pathogens isolated from IMI cases, the emergence of antibiotic resistance due to the extensive antibiotic use for IMI treatment, and the accumulation of antibiotic residues in milk and meat represent significant concerns for public health. Therefore, the investigation of IMI risk factors and the proposal of efficient measures to mitigate their effects on animal health and welfare is crucial. Although fly infestation is considered to play a significant role in the transmission of IMI pathogens, its adverse effects on udder health and the overall comfort status of dairy ewes have not been quantified and assessed on an evidential basis. Hence, the objectives of this study were to assess, for the first time, the fly repellent effect of deltamethrin and link it to: (i) the occurrence of common bacterial IMI; (ii) the somatic cell counts in milk; and (iii) the serum cortisol and creatine kinase levels (stress and fatigue indicators). The study was carried out in an intensive dairy sheep farm in northern Greece, during peak fly season. Deltamethrin treatment was associated with a reduced (i) number of flies (mostly Musca domestica) landing on treated ewes, compared to untreated ones (p < 0.05); (ii) colony-forming units in the case of Non-aureus Staphylococci IMIs (p < 0.05); and (iii) number of somatic cells in the milk (p < 0.001). Finally, serum cortisol and creatine kinase levels were significantly lower in deltamethrin-treated ewes (p < 0.001), indicating a less stressful environment for them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Update of Animal Parasitic Diseases)
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Open AccessReview
Primary Tick-Borne Protozoan and Rickettsial Infections of Animals in Turkey
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020231 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 447
Abstract
Parasitic diseases caused by ticks constitute a barrier on global animal production, mainly in tropical and subtropical regions. As a country with a temperate and subtropical climate, Turkey has topography, climate, and pasture resources, and these resources are suitable for animal breeding and [...] Read more.
Parasitic diseases caused by ticks constitute a barrier on global animal production, mainly in tropical and subtropical regions. As a country with a temperate and subtropical climate, Turkey has topography, climate, and pasture resources, and these resources are suitable for animal breeding and parasite–host–vector relationships throughout the country. This geography restricts the regulations on animal movements in the southeastern and eastern Anatolia because of the close contact with the neighboring states. The livestock resources in Turkey are regulated by strong foundations. Almost 30% of the agriculture-based gross domestic product is provided by the livestock industry. Parasitic diseases arising from ticks are endemic in Turkey, and they have a significant impact on the economy and animal health, particularly for ruminants. The main and economically-important tick-borne diseases (TBDs) suffered by animals include theileriosis, babesiosis, hepatozoonosis, and cytauxzoonosis caused by protozoa, and anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis caused by rickettsiae. The most common hemoprotozoan and rickettsial agents are Anaplasma marginale, Anaplasma ovis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Anaplasma platys, Babesia bigemina, Babesia caballi, Babesia ovis, Cytauxzoon felis, Ehrlichia canis, Hepatozoon canis, Theileria annulata and Theileria equi. These diseases are basically controlled through treatment and measures for tick control. Vaccination can be performed for only tropical theileriosis caused in Turkey. We reviewed the studies published in domestic and international journals to gather epidemiological data regarding the major TBDs suffered by animals in Turkey. Full article
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Open AccessSystematic Review
Global Distribution of Babesia Species in Questing Ticks: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Based on Published Literature
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020230 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 547
Abstract
Babesiosis caused by the Babesia species is a parasitic tick-borne disease. It threatens many mammalian species and is transmitted through infected ixodid ticks. To date, the global occurrence and distribution are poorly understood in questing ticks. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis to estimate [...] Read more.
Babesiosis caused by the Babesia species is a parasitic tick-borne disease. It threatens many mammalian species and is transmitted through infected ixodid ticks. To date, the global occurrence and distribution are poorly understood in questing ticks. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis to estimate the distribution of the pathogen. A deep search for four electronic databases of the published literature investigating the prevalence of Babesia spp. in questing ticks was undertaken and obtained data analyzed. Our results indicate that in 104 eligible studies dating from 1985 to 2020, altogether 137,364 ticks were screened with 3069 positives with an estimated global pooled prevalence estimates (PPE) of 2.10%. In total, 19 different Babesia species of both human and veterinary importance were detected in 23 tick species, with Babesia microti and Ixodesricinus being the most widely reported Babesia and tick species, respectively. Regardless of species, adult ticks with 2.60% had the highest infection rates, while larvae had the least with 0.60%. Similarly, female ticks with 4.90% were infected compared to males with 3.80%. Nested-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) 2.80% had the highest prevalence among the molecular techniques employed. In conclusion, results obtained indicate that Babesia species are present in diverse questing tick species at a low prevalence, of which some are competent vectors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Janthinobacterium tructae sp. nov., Isolated from Kidney of Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020229 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 288
Abstract
This study presents a novel Janthinobacterium strain, SNU WT3, isolated from the kidney of rainbow trout. A phylogenetic study using 16S rRNA sequences indicated that the strain is closely related to Janthinobacterium svalbardensis JA-1T. However, biochemical analysis found differences in D-xylose [...] Read more.
This study presents a novel Janthinobacterium strain, SNU WT3, isolated from the kidney of rainbow trout. A phylogenetic study using 16S rRNA sequences indicated that the strain is closely related to Janthinobacterium svalbardensis JA-1T. However, biochemical analysis found differences in D-xylose adonitol, N-acetylglucosamine, arbutin, and cellobiose. As for genome-to-genome distance and average nucleotide identity values calculated between strain SNU WT3 and other related strains such as J. lividum EIF1, J. svalbardensis PAMC 27463, and J. agaricidamnosum BHSEK were all below the cutoff value between species. DNA-DNA hybridization between strain SNU WT3 and other close relatives indicated the results of J. lividum DSM 1522T (47.11%) and J. svalbardensis JA-1T (38.88%) individually. The major fatty acid compositions of strain SNU WT3 were cylco-C17:0 (41.45%), C16:0 (33.86%) and C12:0 (5.87%). The major polar lipids were phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylglycerol, and diphosphatidylglycerol. The quinone system was composed mainly of ubiquinone Q-8. The genome of strain SNU WT3 consists of 6,314,370 bp with a G + C content of 62.35%. Here, we describe a novel species of the genus Janthinobacterium, and the name Janthinobacterium tructae has been proposed with SNU WT3T (=KCTC 72518 = JCM 33613) as the type strain. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Significant Growth by Rickettsia Species within Human Macrophage-Like Cells Is a Phenotype Correlated with the Ability to Cause Disease in Mammals
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020228 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 784
Abstract
Rickettsia are significant sources of tick-borne diseases in humans worldwide. In North America, two species in the spotted fever group of Rickettsia have been conclusively associated with disease of humans: Rickettsia rickettsii, the causative agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Rickettsia [...] Read more.
Rickettsia are significant sources of tick-borne diseases in humans worldwide. In North America, two species in the spotted fever group of Rickettsia have been conclusively associated with disease of humans: Rickettsia rickettsii, the causative agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Rickettsia parkeri, the cause of R. parkeri rickettsiosis. Previous work in our lab demonstrated non-endothelial parasitism by another pathogenic SFG Rickettsia species, Rickettsia conorii, within THP-1-derived macrophages, and we have hypothesized that this growth characteristic may be an underappreciated aspect of rickettsial pathogenesis in mammalian hosts. In this work, we demonstrated that multiple other recognized human pathogenic species of Rickettsia, including R. rickettsii, R. parkeri, Rickettsia africae, and Rickettsiaakari can grow within target endothelial cells as well as within PMA-differentiated THP-1 cells. In contrast, Rickettsia bellii, a Rickettsia species not associated with disease of humans, and R. rickettsii strain Iowa, an avirulent derivative of pathogenic R. rickettsii, could invade both cell types but proliferate only within endothelial cells. Further analysis revealed that similar to previous studies on R. conorii, other recognized pathogenic Rickettsia species could grow within the cytosol of THP-1-derived macrophages and avoided localization with two different markers of lysosomal compartments; LAMP-2 and cathepsin D. R. bellii, on the other hand, demonstrated significant co-localization with lysosomal compartments. Collectively, these findings suggest that the ability of pathogenic rickettsial species to establish a niche within macrophage-like cells could be an important factor in their ability to cause disease in mammals. These findings also suggest that analysis of growth within mammalian phagocytic cells may be useful to predict the pathogenic potential of newly isolated and identified Rickettsia species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virulence Mechanisms of Rickettsiae)
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Stability of SARS-CoV-2 on Different Types of Surfaces under Indoor and Seasonal Climate Conditions
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020227 - 18 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 656
Abstract
Transmission of severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mainly occurs through direct contact with an infected person via droplets. A potential role of contaminated surfaces in SARS-CoV-2 transmission has been suggested since the virus has been extensively detected on environmental surfaces. These findings [...] Read more.
Transmission of severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mainly occurs through direct contact with an infected person via droplets. A potential role of contaminated surfaces in SARS-CoV-2 transmission has been suggested since the virus has been extensively detected on environmental surfaces. These findings have driven the investigation of virus stability on surfaces under several conditions. However, it remains unclear how long the infectious virus survives on surfaces under different climate conditions, which could play a role in predicting the seasonality of SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, the aim of this study was to estimate the virus stability and its biological half-life on various types of surfaces under indoor and seasonal climate conditions. This study revealed that SARS-CoV-2 survived the longest on surfaces under winter conditions, with a survival post-contamination on most surfaces up to 21 days, followed by spring/fall conditions, with a survival up to 7 days. Infectious virus was isolated up to 4 days post-contamination under indoor conditions, whereas no infectious virus was found at 3 days post-contamination under summer conditions. Our study demonstrates the remarkable persistence of SARS-CoV-2 on many different common surfaces, especially under winter conditions, and raises awareness to the potential risk of contaminated surfaces to spread the virus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging and Neglected Viruses and Zoonoses)
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Open AccessArticle
Borrelia burgdorferi Surface Exposed GroEL Is a Multifunctional Protein
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020226 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 582
Abstract
The spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, has a large number of membrane proteins involved in a complex life cycle, that includes a tick vector and a vertebrate host. Some of these proteins also serve different roles in infection and dissemination of the spirochete in [...] Read more.
The spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, has a large number of membrane proteins involved in a complex life cycle, that includes a tick vector and a vertebrate host. Some of these proteins also serve different roles in infection and dissemination of the spirochete in the mammalian host. In this spirochete, a number of proteins have been associated with binding to plasminogen or components of the extracellular matrix, which is important for tissue colonization and dissemination. GroEL is a cytoplasmic chaperone protein that has previously been associated with the outer membrane of Borrelia. A His-tag purified B. burgdorferi GroEL was used to generate a polyclonal rabbit antibody showing that GroEL also localizes in the outer membrane and is surface exposed. GroEL binds plasminogen in a lysine dependent manner. GroEL may be part of the protein repertoire that Borrelia successfully uses to establish infection and disseminate in the host. Importantly, this chaperone is readily recognized by sera from experimentally infected mice and rabbits. In summary, GroEL is an immunogenic protein that in addition to its chaperon role it may contribute to pathogenesis of the spirochete by binding to plasminogen and components of the extra cellular matrix. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Systematic Review of Intracellular Microorganisms within Acanthamoeba to Understand Potential Impact for Infection
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020225 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1187
Abstract
Acanthamoeba, an opportunistic pathogen is known to cause an infection of the cornea, central nervous system, and skin. Acanthamoeba feeds different microorganisms, including potentially pathogenic prokaryotes; some of microbes have developed ways of surviving intracellularly and this may mean that Acanthamoeba acts [...] Read more.
Acanthamoeba, an opportunistic pathogen is known to cause an infection of the cornea, central nervous system, and skin. Acanthamoeba feeds different microorganisms, including potentially pathogenic prokaryotes; some of microbes have developed ways of surviving intracellularly and this may mean that Acanthamoeba acts as incubator of important pathogens. A systematic review of the literature was performed in order to capture a comprehensive picture of the variety of microbial species identified within Acanthamoeba following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Forty-three studies met the inclusion criteria, 26 studies (60.5%) examined environmental samples, eight (18.6%) studies examined clinical specimens, and another nine (20.9%) studies analysed both types of samples. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by gene sequencing was the most common technique used to identify the intracellular microorganisms. Important pathogenic bacteria, such as E. coli, Mycobacterium spp. and P. aeruginosa, were observed in clinical isolates of Acanthamoeba, whereas Legionella, adenovirus, mimivirus, and unidentified bacteria (Candidatus) were often identified in environmental Acanthamoeba. Increasing resistance of Acanthamoeba associated intracellular pathogens to antimicrobials is an increased risk to public health. Molecular-based future studies are needed in order to assess the microbiome residing in Acanthamoeba, as a research on the hypotheses that intracellular microbes can affect the pathogenicity of Acanthamoeba infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights in Acanthamoeba)
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Open AccessArticle
Dry Period or Early Lactation—Time of Onset and Associated Risk Factors for Intramammary Infections in Dairy Cows
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020224 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 319
Abstract
The aim of this study was to define the time-related period of intramammary infections and its relation to risk factors for intramammary infections and clinical mastitis at cow and quarter levels. In total, 269 German Holstein Frisian dairy cows on three farms in [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to define the time-related period of intramammary infections and its relation to risk factors for intramammary infections and clinical mastitis at cow and quarter levels. In total, 269 German Holstein Frisian dairy cows on three farms in Northern and Eastern Germany were included in this study. Quarter milk samples were collected at dry-off, 3 ± 1 days after calving and 17 ± 3 days after calving, for cytomicrobiological examination. Risk factors at quarter- and cow-level associated with intramammary infections and clinical mastitis were recorded during the trial period. Data were analyzed using logistic regression procedures and odds ratios were calculated. Calving for the second time increased the odds of clinical mastitis during the first 100 days of lactation compared to cows calving for the third time or more. A high milk yield after calving was a risk factor for new infections, with environmental pathogens 17 ± 3 days postpartum. A body condition score after calving less than 3.5 was associated with a decreased risk of having an intra-mammary infection (IMI) with non-aureus staphylococci and coryneforms 3 ± 1 days postpartum and consistent body condition between dry-off and early lactation decreased the risk of intramammary infections after calving. The absence of a ring of hyperkeratosis at the teat apex shown at dry-off was associated with a lower risk of intramammary infections with environmental pathogens 17 ± 3 days postpartum. This study shows the important influence of the dry period and early lactation on intramammary infections and clinical mastitis postpartum in dairy cows. Udder quarters may have eliminated pathogens during the dry period in 43.6% of cases in this study. Additionally, new infections occurred during early lactation, so 5.1% more quarters were infected 17 ± 3 days compared to 3 ± 1 days postpartum. New infections can be traced to non-aureus staphylococci and Staphylococcus aureus from dry-off up until 3 ± 1 days postpartum, and to non-aureus staphylococci, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus uberis, after calving. In total, 88.7% of the infected quarters showed new infections with another pathogen species 3 ± 1 days postpartum than at dry-off, and 89.2% of the quarters 17 ± 3 days postpartum than 3 ± 1 days postpartum. In conclusion, the early lactation has just as important an influence on intramammary infections postpartum in dairy cows as the dry period. There is the possibility that udder quarters eliminate pathogens during the early lactation, especially during the dry period. However, there is also the danger that new infections manifest, with a large proportion of new infections occurring after calving. Thus, additional control strategies are of great importance to prevent new infections occurring during early lactation as well as during the dry period to reduce negative effects on milk yield and culling hazards in dairy cows by minimizing the associated risk factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mastitis in Dairy Ruminants)
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