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Pathogens, Volume 10, Issue 5 (May 2021) – 133 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The circadian clock modulates many physiological processes, including hormone secretion, immune responses, and sleep–wake cycles. Given the impact of diurnal variations on numerous blood-borne factors and the increasing interest in EVs and their miRNAs content as biomarkers for the pathological state, we describe daily variations of two types of plasma EVs, abundance and microRNA contents for HIV-negative people and PLWH. Variation between day and night of large EV abundance and their microRNA contents is least in PLWH despite the suppression of viral replication under ART. An improved understanding of EV production and their miRNA content, as well as their circadian variation, may inform us on pathogenesis. Moreover, measurement of EV daily variation could dictate the best timing of therapeutic interventions and determination of clinical efficacy. View this paper
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Communication
IL-16 and BCA-1 Serum Levels Are Associated with Disease Severity of C. difficile Infection
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 631; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050631 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 540
Abstract
Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is associated with a high risk for complications and death, which requires identifying severe patients and treating them accordingly. We examined the serum level of six cytokines and chemokines (IL-16, IL-21, IL-23, IL-33, BCA-1, TRAIL) and investigated the association [...] Read more.
Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is associated with a high risk for complications and death, which requires identifying severe patients and treating them accordingly. We examined the serum level of six cytokines and chemokines (IL-16, IL-21, IL-23, IL-33, BCA-1, TRAIL) and investigated the association between them and patients’ disease severity. Concentrations of six cytokines and chemokines were measured using the MILLIPLEX®MAP kit (Billerica, MA, USA) in serum samples attained from CDI patients within 24–48 h after laboratory confirmation of C. difficile presence. Demographic and clinical data were collected from medical records. The disease severity score was determined according to guidelines of the “Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and the Infectious Diseases Society of America” (SHEA-IDSA). Out of 54 patients, 20 (37%) had mild to moderate disease and 34 (63%) had severe disease. IL-16 (p = 0.005) and BCA-1 (p = 0.012) were associated with a more severe disease. In conclusion, IL-16 and BCA-1, along with other cytokines and chemokines, may serve as biomarkers for the early prediction of CDI severity in the future. An improved and more accessible assessment of CDI severity will contribute to the adjustment of the medical treatment, which will lead to a better patient outcome. Full article
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Review
Avian Influenza in Wild Birds and Poultry: Dissemination Pathways, Monitoring Methods, and Virus Ecology
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 630; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050630 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 884
Abstract
Avian influenza is one of the largest known threats to domestic poultry. Influenza outbreaks on poultry farms typically lead to the complete slaughter of the entire domestic bird population, causing severe economic losses worldwide. Moreover, there are highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) strains [...] Read more.
Avian influenza is one of the largest known threats to domestic poultry. Influenza outbreaks on poultry farms typically lead to the complete slaughter of the entire domestic bird population, causing severe economic losses worldwide. Moreover, there are highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) strains that are able to infect the swine or human population in addition to their primary avian host and, as such, have the potential of being a global zoonotic and pandemic threat. Migratory birds, especially waterfowl, are a natural reservoir of the avian influenza virus; they carry and exchange different virus strains along their migration routes, leading to antigenic drift and antigenic shift, which results in the emergence of novel HPAI viruses. This requires monitoring over time and in different locations to allow for the upkeep of relevant knowledge on avian influenza virus evolution and the prevention of novel epizootic and epidemic outbreaks. In this review, we assess the role of migratory birds in the spread and introduction of influenza strains on a global level, based on recent data. Our analysis sheds light on the details of viral dissemination linked to avian migration, the viral exchange between migratory waterfowl and domestic poultry, virus ecology in general, and viral evolution as a process tightly linked to bird migration. We also provide insight into methods used to detect and quantify avian influenza in the wild. This review may be beneficial for the influenza research community and may pave the way to novel strategies of avian influenza and HPAI zoonosis outbreak monitoring and prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research on Avian Influenza Virus (AIV))
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Article
Molecular Detection of Bartonella quintana among Long-Tailed Macaques (Macaca fascicularis) in Thailand
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 629; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050629 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 624
Abstract
Bartonella quintana is a zoonotic pathogen with a worldwide distribution. Humans and non-human primates are considered to be natural reservoir hosts for B. quintana. However, information on the molecular epidemiology of this organism is very limited in regard to long-tailed macaques (Macaca [...] Read more.
Bartonella quintana is a zoonotic pathogen with a worldwide distribution. Humans and non-human primates are considered to be natural reservoir hosts for B. quintana. However, information on the molecular epidemiology of this organism is very limited in regard to long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) in Thailand. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the occurrence and genetic diversity of Bartonella spp. among long-tailed macaques in Thailand. In total, 856 blood samples were collected from long-tailed macaques in Thailand. All specimens were screened for Bartonella spp. using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay targeting the 16S rRNA, gltA and ftsZ genes. All positive samples were further analyzed based on nucleotide sequencing, phylogenetic analysis and multiple sequence alignment analysis. Only one macaque showed a positive result in the PCR assays based on the 16S rRNA, gltA and ftsZ genes. Nucleotide sequencing and phylogenetic analysis revealed that the obtained sequences were closely related to B. quintana previously detected in non-human primates. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were detected in the gltA and ftsZ gene sequences. This study revealed that long-tailed macaques in Thailand carried B. quintana. Despite the low infection rate detected, long-tailed macaques may be a reservoir of B. quintana. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Evolving Biomedical Importance of Bartonella Species Infections)
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Review
Airborne Coronaviruses: Observations from Veterinary Experience
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 628; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050628 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 766
Abstract
The virus responsible for the pandemic that has affected 152 countries worldwide is a new strain of coronavirus (CoV), which belongs to a family of viruses widespread in many animal species, including birds, and mammals including humans. Indeed, CoVs are known in veterinary [...] Read more.
The virus responsible for the pandemic that has affected 152 countries worldwide is a new strain of coronavirus (CoV), which belongs to a family of viruses widespread in many animal species, including birds, and mammals including humans. Indeed, CoVs are known in veterinary medicine affecting several species, and causing respiratory and/or enteric, systemic diseases and reproductive disease in poultry. Animal diseases caused by CoV may be considered from the following different perspectives: livestock and poultry CoVs cause mainly “population disease”; while in companion animals they are a source of mainly “individual/single subject disease”. Therefore, respiratory CoV diseases in high-density, large populations of livestock or poultry may be a suitable example for the current SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic. In this review we describe some strategies applied in veterinary medicine to control CoV and discuss if they may help to develop practical and useful strategies to control the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
Review
From Coxiella burnetii Infection to Pregnancy Complications: Key Role of the Immune Response of Placental Cells
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050627 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 581
Abstract
The infection of pregnant animals and women by Coxiella burnetii, an intracellular bacterium, compromises both maternal health and foetal development. The placenta is targeted by C. burnetii, as demonstrated by bacteriological and histological evidence. It now appears that placental strains of C. [...] Read more.
The infection of pregnant animals and women by Coxiella burnetii, an intracellular bacterium, compromises both maternal health and foetal development. The placenta is targeted by C. burnetii, as demonstrated by bacteriological and histological evidence. It now appears that placental strains of C. burnetii are highly virulent compared to reference strains and that placental injury involves different types of placental cells. Trophoblasts, the major placental cells, are largely infected by C. burnetii and may represent a replicating niche for the bacteria. The placenta also contains numerous immune cells, including macrophages, dendritic cells, and mast cells. Placental macrophages are infected and activated by C. burnetii in an unusual way of M1 polarisation associated with bacterial elimination. Placental mast cells eliminate bacteria through a mechanism including the release of extracellular actin filaments and antimicrobial peptides. In contrast, C. burnetii impairs the maturation of decidual dendritic cells, favouring bacterial pathogenicity. Our aim is to review C. burnetii infections of human placentas, paying special attention to both the action and function of the different cell types, immune cells, and trophoblasts targeted by C. burnetii in relation to foetal injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Updates on Rickettsia and Coxiella)
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Article
Immunogenicity of Adjuvanted Psoralen-Inactivated SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines and SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein DNA Vaccines in BALB/c Mice
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 626; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050626 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 796
Abstract
The development of a safe and effective vaccine to protect against COVID-19 is a global priority due to the current high SARS-CoV-2 infection rate. Currently, there are over 160 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates at the clinical or pre-clinical stages of development. Of these, there [...] Read more.
The development of a safe and effective vaccine to protect against COVID-19 is a global priority due to the current high SARS-CoV-2 infection rate. Currently, there are over 160 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates at the clinical or pre-clinical stages of development. Of these, there are only three whole-virus vaccine candidates produced using β-propiolactone or formalin inactivation. Here, we prepared a whole-virus SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (SARS-CoV-2 PsIV) using a novel psoralen inactivation method and evaluated its immunogenicity in mice using two different adjuvants, alum and Advax-2. We compared the immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 PsIV against SARS-CoV-2 DNA vaccines expressing either full-length or truncated spike proteins. We also compared the psoralen-inactivated vaccine against a DNA prime, psoralen-inactivated vaccine boost regimen. After two doses, the psoralen-inactivated vaccine, when administered with alum or Advax-2 adjuvants, generated a dose-dependent neutralizing antibody responses in mice. Overall, the pattern of cytokine ELISPOT responses to antigen-stimulation observed in this study indicates that SARS-CoV-2 PsIV with the alum adjuvant promotes a Th2-type response, while SARS-CoV-2 PsIV with the Advax-2 adjuvant promotes a Th1-type response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 Infection and COVID-19 Disease)
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Article
Response of Severe EV71-Infected Patients to Hyperimmune Plasma Treatment: A Pilot Study
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 625; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050625 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 526
Abstract
Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is highly prevalent in East and Southeast Asia. It particularly affects children under five years of age. The most common causative agents are coxsackieviruses A6 and A16, and enterovirus A71 (EV71). The clinical presentation is usually mild [...] Read more.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is highly prevalent in East and Southeast Asia. It particularly affects children under five years of age. The most common causative agents are coxsackieviruses A6 and A16, and enterovirus A71 (EV71). The clinical presentation is usually mild and self-limited, but, in some cases, severe and fatal complications develop. To date, no specific therapy or worldwide vaccine is available. In general, viral infection invokes both antibody and cell-mediated immune responses. Passive immunity transfer can ameliorate the severe symptoms of diseases such as COVID-19, influenza, MERS, and SARS. Hyperimmune plasma (HIP) from healthy donors with high anti-EV71 neutralizing titer were used to transfuse confirmed EV71-infected children with neurological involvement (n = 6). It resulted in recovery within three days, with no neurological sequelae apparent upon examination 14 days later. Following HIP treatment, plasma chemokines were decreased, whereas anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory cytokines gradually increased. Interestingly, IL-6 and G-CSF levels in cerebrospinal fluid declined sharply within three days. These findings indicate that HIP has therapeutic potential for HFMD with neurological complications. However, given the small number of patients who have been treated, a larger cohort study should be undertaken. Successful outcomes would stimulate the development of anti-EV71 monoclonal antibody therapy. Full article
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Article
Molecular Characterization of 4/91 Infectious Bronchitis Virus Leading to Studies of Pathogenesis and Host Responses in Laying Hens
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 624; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050624 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 511
Abstract
Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) initially establishes the infection in the respiratory tract and then spreads to other tissues depending on its virulence. During 2011–2018, the 4/91 IBV strain was isolated from poultry flocks affected by decreased egg production and quality in Eastern Canada. [...] Read more.
Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) initially establishes the infection in the respiratory tract and then spreads to other tissues depending on its virulence. During 2011–2018, the 4/91 IBV strain was isolated from poultry flocks affected by decreased egg production and quality in Eastern Canada. One of the Canadian 4/91 IBV isolates, IBV/Ck/Can/17-038913, was propagated in embryonated chicken eggs and molecularly characterized using whole genome sequencing. An in vivo study in laying hens was conducted to observe if IBV/Ck/Can/17-038913 isolate affects the egg production and quality. Hens were infected with IBV/Ck/Can/17-038913 isolate during the peak of egg lay, using a standard dose and routes maintaining uninfected controls. Oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs were collected at predetermined time points for the quantification of IBV genome loads. At 6 and 10 days post-infection, hens were euthanized to observe the lesions in various organs and collect blood and tissue samples for the quantification of antibody response and IBV genome loads, respectively. Egg production was not impacted during the first 10 days following infection. No gross lesions were observed in the tissues of the infected birds. The IBV genome was quantified in swabs, trachea, lung, proventriculus, cecal tonsils, kidney, and reproductive tissues. The serum antibody response against IBV was quantified in infected hens. In addition, histological changes, and recruitment of immune cells, such as macrophages and T cell subsets in kidney tissues, were measured. Overall, data show that IBV/Ck/Can/17-038913 isolate is not associated with egg production issues in laying hens infected at the peak of lay, while it demonstrates various tissue tropism, including kidney, where histopathological lesions and immune cell recruitments were evident. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Viral Pathogens)
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Article
Strong Inhibitory Activity and Action Modes of Synthetic Maslinic Acid Derivative on Highly Pathogenic Coronaviruses: COVID-19 Drug Candidate
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 623; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050623 - 19 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 662
Abstract
In late December 2019, a novel coronavirus, namely severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), escaped the animal–human interface and emerged as an ongoing global pandemic with severe flu-like illness, commonly known as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In this study, a molecular docking [...] Read more.
In late December 2019, a novel coronavirus, namely severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), escaped the animal–human interface and emerged as an ongoing global pandemic with severe flu-like illness, commonly known as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In this study, a molecular docking study was carried out for seventeen (17) structural analogues prepared from natural maslinic and oleanolic acids, screened against SARS-CoV-2 main protease. Furthermore, we experimentally validated the virtual data by measuring the half-maximal cytotoxic and inhibitory concentrations of each compound. Interestingly, the chlorinated isoxazole linked maslinic acid (compound 17) showed promising antiviral activity at micromolar non-toxic concentrations. Thoughtfully, we showed that compound 17 mainly impairs the viral replication of SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, a very promising SAR study for the examined compounds was concluded, which could be used by medicinal chemists in the near future for the design and synthesis of potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 candidates. Our results could be very promising for performing further additional in vitro and in vivo studies on the tested compound (17) before further licensing for COVID-19 treatment. Full article
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Article
Replication of Influenza A Virus in Secondary Lymphatic Tissue Contributes to Innate Immune Activation
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050622 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 563
Abstract
The replication of viruses in secondary lymphoid organs guarantees sufficient amounts of pattern-recognition receptor ligands and antigens to activate the innate and adaptive immune system. Viruses with broad cell tropism usually replicate in lymphoid organs; however, whether a virus with a narrow tropism [...] Read more.
The replication of viruses in secondary lymphoid organs guarantees sufficient amounts of pattern-recognition receptor ligands and antigens to activate the innate and adaptive immune system. Viruses with broad cell tropism usually replicate in lymphoid organs; however, whether a virus with a narrow tropism relies on replication in the secondary lymphoid organs to activate the immune system remains not well studied. In this study, we used the artificial intravenous route of infection to determine whether Influenza A virus (IAV) replication can occur in secondary lymphatic organs (SLO) and whether such replication correlates with innate immune activation. Indeed, we found that IAV replicates in secondary lymphatic tissue. IAV replication was dependent on the expression of Sialic acid residues in antigen-presenting cells and on the expression of the interferon-inhibitor UBP43 (Usp18). The replication of IAV correlated with innate immune activation, resulting in IAV eradication. The genetic deletion of Usp18 curbed IAV replication and limited innate immune activation. In conclusion, we found that IAV replicates in SLO, a mechanism which allows innate immune activation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host Innate Immune Response to Influenza A Virus Infections)
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Case Report
Serological Evidence of Backyard Pig Exposure to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N8 Virus during 2016–2017 Epizootic in France
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 621; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050621 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 594
Abstract
In autumn/winter 2016–2017, HPAI-H5N8 viruses belonging to the A/goose/Guandong/1/1996 (Gs/Gd) lineage, clade 2.3.4.4b, were responsible for outbreaks in domestic poultry in Europe, and veterinarians were requested to reinforce surveillance of pigs bred in HPAI-H5Nx confirmed mixed herds. In this context, ten pig herds [...] Read more.
In autumn/winter 2016–2017, HPAI-H5N8 viruses belonging to the A/goose/Guandong/1/1996 (Gs/Gd) lineage, clade 2.3.4.4b, were responsible for outbreaks in domestic poultry in Europe, and veterinarians were requested to reinforce surveillance of pigs bred in HPAI-H5Nx confirmed mixed herds. In this context, ten pig herds were visited in southwestern France from December 2016 to May 2017 and serological analyses for influenza A virus (IAV) infections were carried out by ELISA and hemagglutination inhibition assays. In one herd, one backyard pig was shown to have produced antibodies directed against a virus bearing a H5 from clade 2.3.4.4b, suggesting it would have been infected naturally after close contact with HPAI-H5N8 contaminated domestic ducks. Whereas pigs and other mammals, including humans, may have limited sensitivity to HPAI-H5 clade 2.3.4.4b, this information recalls the importance of implementing appropriate biosecurity measures in pig and poultry farms to avoid IAV interspecies transmission, a prerequisite for co-infections and subsequent emergence of new viral genotypes whose impact on both animal and human health cannot be predicted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Influenza A Virus)
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Article
Serosurvey and Risk Factors Associated with Brucella Infection in High Risk Occupations from District Lahore and Kasur of Punjab, Pakistan
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 620; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050620 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 604
Abstract
Brucellosis is a neglected zoonotic disease, and occupations with a high risk of infection exist. Limited information is available on brucellosis for these employees at high risk in Pakistan. A total of 459 persons with high-risk occupations, i.e., 211 abattoir workers, 63 milkers, [...] Read more.
Brucellosis is a neglected zoonotic disease, and occupations with a high risk of infection exist. Limited information is available on brucellosis for these employees at high risk in Pakistan. A total of 459 persons with high-risk occupations, i.e., 211 abattoir workers, 63 milkers, 52 dung cake makers, 44 veterinarians, 44 shepherds, and 45 veterinary students of the districts Kasur and Lahore, Pakistan, were tested in this study. Blood samples and information on place of residence, gender, age, urbanicity, type of occupation, socioeconomic status, contact with animals, consumption of raw milk, contact to women who had a miscarriage, contact to aborted animal fetus or abortion material, pregnancy, miscarriage history, or intrauterine fetal death were collected. Serum samples were examined using Rose Bengal tests for anti-Brucella antibodies and seropositive samples were subjected to genus-specific qPCR for the detection of DNA. Data were analyzed using chi-squared and binary regression. Twenty (4.35%) persons were seropositive for anti-Brucella antibodies. Out of these, 18 (90%) were tested positive by Brucella genus-specific qPCR. Positive sera were more often found in Lahore district (8.3%) than in Kasur district (3.1%). Persons older than 36 years were more often seropositive. Persons involved in the handing of milk and in contact with animals were more often seropositive. Contact with women who had had a miscarriage was also a significant factor for seropositivity for brucellosis. Place of residence, gender, age, urbanicity, and contact with animals were identified as potential risk factors in the present study. The present study confirmed that brucellosis is an occupation hazard for abattoir workers, milkers, dung cake makers, and veterinarians in the districts of Lahore and Kasur of Punjab, Pakistan. The study shows the need for strategies for safety at work to minimize the risk of infection. Raising awareness for the prevention and use of proper personal protection equipment during the slaughtering and treatment of animal is highly needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brucella Species and Brucella melitensis)
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Review
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart: MCMV as a Model for HCMV-Associated Cardiovascular Diseases
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 619; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050619 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 566
Abstract
Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a widespread pathogen that causes lifelong latent infection and is associated with the exacerbation of chronic inflammatory diseases in seropositive individuals. Of particular impact, HCMV infection is known to worsen many cardiovascular diseases including myocarditis, atherosclerosis, hypertension, and transplant [...] Read more.
Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a widespread pathogen that causes lifelong latent infection and is associated with the exacerbation of chronic inflammatory diseases in seropositive individuals. Of particular impact, HCMV infection is known to worsen many cardiovascular diseases including myocarditis, atherosclerosis, hypertension, and transplant vasculopathy. Due to its similarity to HCMV, murine CMV (MCMV) is an appropriate model to understand HCMV-induced pathogenesis in the heart and vasculature. MCMV shares similar sequence homology and recapitulates much of the HCMV pathogenesis, including HCMV-induced cardiovascular diseases. This review provides insight into HCMV-associated cardiovascular diseases and the murine model of MCMV infection, which has been used to study the viral pathogenesis and mechanisms contributing to cardiovascular diseases. Our new functional studies using echocardiography demonstrate tachycardia and hypertrophy in the mouse, similar to HCMV-induced myocarditis in humans. For the first time, we show long term heart dysfunction and that MCMV reactivates from latency in the heart, which raises the intriguing idea that HCMV latency and frequent virus reactivation perturbs long term cardiovascular function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Murine Models of Cytomegalovirus Infection)
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Review
Fungal Infection and Inflammation in Cystic Fibrosis
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 618; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050618 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 543
Abstract
Fungi are frequently recovered from lower airway samples from people with cystic fibrosis (CF), yet the role of fungi in the progression of lung disease is debated. Recent studies suggest worsening clinical outcomes associated with airway fungal detection, although most studies to date [...] Read more.
Fungi are frequently recovered from lower airway samples from people with cystic fibrosis (CF), yet the role of fungi in the progression of lung disease is debated. Recent studies suggest worsening clinical outcomes associated with airway fungal detection, although most studies to date are retrospective or observational. The presence of fungi can elicit a T helper cell type 2 (Th-2) mediated inflammatory reaction known as allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), particularly in those with a genetic atopic predisposition. In this review, we discuss the epidemiology of fungal infections in people with CF, risk factors associated with development of fungal infections, and microbiologic approaches for isolation and identification of fungi. We review the spectrum of fungal disease presentations, clinical outcomes after isolation of fungi from airway samples, and the importance of considering airway co-infections. Finally, we discuss the association between fungi and airway inflammation highlighting gaps in knowledge and future research questions that may further elucidate the role of fungus in lung disease progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Respiratory Pathogens in Cystic Fibrosis)
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Article
Regulation of Fructose 1,6-Bisphosphatase in Procyclic Form Trypanosoma brucei
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 617; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050617 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 522
Abstract
Glycolysis is well described in Trypanosoma brucei, while the importance of gluconeogenesis and one of the key enzymes in that pathway, fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase, is less understood. Using a sensitive and specific assay for FBPase, we demonstrate that FBPase activity in insect stage, [...] Read more.
Glycolysis is well described in Trypanosoma brucei, while the importance of gluconeogenesis and one of the key enzymes in that pathway, fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase, is less understood. Using a sensitive and specific assay for FBPase, we demonstrate that FBPase activity in insect stage, procyclic form (PF), parasite changes with parasite cell line, extracellular glucose levels, and cell density. FBPase activity in log phase PF 2913 cells was highest in high glucose conditions, where gluconeogenesis is expected to be inactive, and was undetectable in low glucose, where gluconeogenesis is predicted to be active. This unexpected relationship between FBPase activity and extracellular glucose levels suggests that FBPase may not be exclusively involved in gluconeogenesis and may play an additional role in parasite metabolism. In stationary phase cells, the relationship between FBPase activity and extracellular glucose levels was reversed. Furthermore, we found that monomorphic PF 2913 cells had significantly higher FBPase levels than pleomorphic PF AnTat1.1 cells where the activity was undetectable except when cells were grown in standard SDM79 media, which is glucose-rich and commonly used to grow PF trypanosomes in vitro. Finally, we observed several conditions where FBPase activity changed while protein levels did not, suggesting that the enzyme may be regulated via post-translational modifications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Parasitic Pathogens)
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Article
An Outer Membrane Vesicle-Adjuvanted Oral Vaccine Protects Against Lethal, Oral Salmonella Infection
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 616; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050616 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 682
Abstract
Non-typhoidal salmonellosis, caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is a common fecal-oral disease characterized by mild gastrointestinal distress resulting in diarrhea, chills, fever, abdominal cramps, head and body aches, nausea, and vomiting. Increasing incidences of antibiotic resistant invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella infections makes this [...] Read more.
Non-typhoidal salmonellosis, caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is a common fecal-oral disease characterized by mild gastrointestinal distress resulting in diarrhea, chills, fever, abdominal cramps, head and body aches, nausea, and vomiting. Increasing incidences of antibiotic resistant invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella infections makes this a global threat requiring novel treatment strategies including next-generation vaccines. The goal of the current study was to formulate a novel vaccine platform against Salmonella infection that could be delivered orally. To accomplish this, we created a Salmonella-specific vaccine adjuvanted with Burkholderia pseudomallei outer membrane vesicles (OMVs). We show that adding OMVs to a heat-killed oral Salmonella vaccine (HKST + OMVs) protects against a lethal, oral challenge with Salmonella. Further, we show that opsonizing anti-Salmonella antibodies are induced in response to immunization and that CD4 T cells and B cells can be induced when OMVs are used as the oral adjuvant. This study represents a novel oral vaccine approach to combatting the increasing problem of invasive Salmonella infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Vaccine Strategies against Intracellular Bacteria)
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Article
Microbial Contamination in Hospital Environment Has the Potential to Colonize Preterm Newborns’ Nasal Cavities
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 615; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050615 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 507
Abstract
Infants born before 28 weeks are at risk of contracting healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), which could be caused by pathogens residing on contaminated hospital surfaces. In this longitudinal study, we characterized by NGS the bacterial composition of nasal swabs of preterm newborns, at the [...] Read more.
Infants born before 28 weeks are at risk of contracting healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), which could be caused by pathogens residing on contaminated hospital surfaces. In this longitudinal study, we characterized by NGS the bacterial composition of nasal swabs of preterm newborns, at the time of birth and after admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), comparing it with that of the environmental wards at the time of delivery and during the hospitalization. We characterized the resistome on the samples too. The results showed that environmental microorganisms responsible for HAIs, in particular Staphylococcus spp., Streptococcus spp., Escherichia-Shigella spp., and K. pneumoniae, were detected in higher percentages in the noses of the babies after 13 days of hospitalization, in terms of the number of colonized patients, microorganism amount, and relative abundance. The analysis of nasal bacteria resistome evidenced the absence of resistance genes at the time of birth, some of which appeared and increased after the admission in the NICU. These data suggest that hospital surface microbiota might be transported to respiratory mucosae or other profound tissues. Our study highlights the importance of a screening that allows characterizing the microbial profile of the environment to assess the risk of colonization of the newborn. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare-Associated Infections)
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Case Report
Mild Symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 P.1 (B.1.1.28) Infection in a Fully Vaccinated 83-Year-Old Man
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 614; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050614 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 635
Abstract
The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and the associated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continue to spread throughout the world, causing more than 120 million infections. Several variants of concern (VOCs) have emerged and spread with implications for vaccine efficacy, therapeutic antibody [...] Read more.
The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and the associated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continue to spread throughout the world, causing more than 120 million infections. Several variants of concern (VOCs) have emerged and spread with implications for vaccine efficacy, therapeutic antibody treatments, and possible reinfections. On 17 March 2021, several VOCs were detected, including lineage B.1.1.7, first identified in the UK, B.1.351 in South Africa, Lineage P.1 (B.1.1.28.1) in Brazil, and novel Sub-Lineage A (A.23.1), reported in Uganda, and B.1.525, reported in Nigeria. Here, we describe an 83-year-old man infected with the SARS-CoV-2 P.1 variant after two doses of the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection SARS-CoV Infections)
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Article
Molecular Detection and Phylogeny of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Ticks Collected from Dogs in the Republic of Korea
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050613 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 773
Abstract
Ticks are important vectors of various pathogens that result in clinical illnesses in humans and domestic and wild animals. Information regarding tick infestations and pathogens transmitted by ticks is important for the identification and prevention of disease. This study was a large-scale investigation [...] Read more.
Ticks are important vectors of various pathogens that result in clinical illnesses in humans and domestic and wild animals. Information regarding tick infestations and pathogens transmitted by ticks is important for the identification and prevention of disease. This study was a large-scale investigation of ticks collected from dogs and their associated environments in the Republic of Korea (ROK). It included detecting six prevalent tick-borne pathogens (Anaplasma spp., A. platys, Borrelia spp., Babesia gibsoni, Ehrlichia canis, and E. chaffeensis). A total of 2293 ticks (1110 pools) were collected. Haemaphysalis longicornis (98.60%) was the most frequently collected tick species, followed by Ixodes nipponensis (0.96%) and H. flava (0.44%). Anaplasma spp. (24/1110 tick pools; 2.16%) and Borrelia spp. (4/1110 tick pools; 0.36%) were detected. The phylogenetic analyses using 16S rRNA genes revealed that the Anaplasma spp. detected in this study were closely associated with A. phagocytophilum reported in humans and rodents in the ROK. Borrelia spp. showed phylogenetic relationships with B. theileri and B. miyamotoi in ticks and humans in Mali and Russia. These results demonstrate the importance of tick-borne disease surveillance and control in dogs in the ROK. Full article
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Article
Bacteriophage-Host Association in the Phytoplasma Insect Vector Euscelidius variegatus
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 612; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050612 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 585
Abstract
Insect vectors transmit viruses and bacteria that can cause severe diseases in plants and economic losses due to a decrease in crop production. Insect vectors, like all other organisms, are colonized by a community of various microorganisms, which can influence their physiology, ecology, [...] Read more.
Insect vectors transmit viruses and bacteria that can cause severe diseases in plants and economic losses due to a decrease in crop production. Insect vectors, like all other organisms, are colonized by a community of various microorganisms, which can influence their physiology, ecology, evolution, and also their competence as vectors. The important ecological meaning of bacteriophages in various ecosystems and their role in microbial communities has emerged in the past decade. However, only a few phages have been described so far in insect microbiomes. The leafhopper Euscelidius variegatus is a laboratory vector of the phytoplasma causing Flavescence dorée, a severe grapevine disease that threatens viticulture in Europe. Here, the presence of a temperate bacteriophage in E. variegatus (named Euscelidius variegatus phage 1, EVP-1) was revealed through both insect transcriptome analyses and electron microscopic observations. The bacterial host was isolated in axenic culture and identified as the bacterial endosymbiont of E. variegatus (BEV), recently assigned to the genus Candidatus Symbiopectobacterium. BEV harbors multiple prophages that become active in culture, suggesting that different environments can trigger different mechanisms, finely regulating the interactions among phages. Understanding the complex relationships within insect vector microbiomes may help in revealing possible microbe influences on pathogen transmission, and it is a crucial step toward innovative sustainable strategies for disease management in agriculture. Full article
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Review
Neonatal SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Practical Tips
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 611; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050611 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 610
Abstract
The recent viral pandemic in Wuhan, Hubei, China has led to the identification of a new species of beta-coronavirus, able to infect humans, the 2019-nCoV, later named SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 causes a clinical syndrome named COVID-19, which presents with a spectrum of symptoms ranging [...] Read more.
The recent viral pandemic in Wuhan, Hubei, China has led to the identification of a new species of beta-coronavirus, able to infect humans, the 2019-nCoV, later named SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 causes a clinical syndrome named COVID-19, which presents with a spectrum of symptoms ranging from mild upper respiratory tract infection to severe pneumonia, with acute respiratory distress syndrome and frequent death. All age groups are susceptible to the infection, but children, especially infants, seem to be partially spared, having a more favorable clinical course than other age groups. There is currently no clear evidence showing vertical transmission and intrauterine SARS-CoV-2 infection in fetuses of women developing COVID-19 pneumonia in late pregnancy, and even if transmission is possible, the SARS-CoV2 positivity of the mother does not require delivery by caesarean section, does not contraindicate the management of the infant in rooming-in and allows breastfeeding. This review provides an overview on the biology of the virus, on the pathogenesis of the infection, with particular attention to pregnancy and neonatal age, on the clinical presentation of infection in newborns and young infants and summarizes the international recommendations currently available on the clinical care of neonates with SARS-CoV2 infection or at risk of catching the virus. The main objective of the review is to provide an update especially focused to the clinical management of COVID-19 infection in the perinatal and neonatal age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection SARS-CoV Infections)
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Brief Report
Direct Diagnosis of Echovirus 12 Meningitis Using Metagenomic Next Generation Sequencing
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 610; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050610 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 627
Abstract
The current point-of-care diagnosis of enterovirus meningitis does not identify the viral genotype, which is prognostic. In this case report, more than 81% of an Echovirus 12 genome were detected and identified by metagenomic next-generation sequencing, directly from the cerebrospinal fluid collected in [...] Read more.
The current point-of-care diagnosis of enterovirus meningitis does not identify the viral genotype, which is prognostic. In this case report, more than 81% of an Echovirus 12 genome were detected and identified by metagenomic next-generation sequencing, directly from the cerebrospinal fluid collected in a 6-month-old child with meningeal syndrome and meningitis: introducing Echovirus 12 as an etiological agent of acute meningitis in the pediatric population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Viral Pathogens)
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Article
Existence of Similar Leptospira Serovars among Dog Keepers and Their Respective Dogs in Mwanza, Tanzania, the Need for a One Health Approach to Control Measures
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 609; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050609 - 16 May 2021
Viewed by 759
Abstract
This study investigated seroepidemiology of Leptospira serovars among the dog keepers and their dogs in the city of Mwanza, Tanzania. A total of 205 dog keepers and 414 dogs were tested for Leptospira antibodies using a microscopic agglutination test (MAT). The median age [...] Read more.
This study investigated seroepidemiology of Leptospira serovars among the dog keepers and their dogs in the city of Mwanza, Tanzania. A total of 205 dog keepers and 414 dogs were tested for Leptospira antibodies using a microscopic agglutination test (MAT). The median age of the dog keepers was 26 (inter quartile range (IQR): 17–40) years and median duration of keeping dogs was 36 (IQR: 24–120) months. The seropositivity of Leptospira antibodies was (33/205 (16.1%, 95% CI: 11.0–21.1) among dog keepers and (66/414 (15.9%, 95% CI: 12.4–19.4) among dogs, p = 0.4745. Among the serovars tested (Sokoine, Grippotyphosa, Kenya, Pomona and Hebdomadis), the most prevalent serovar was Sokoine in both dog keepers and their dogs (93.9% (31/33) vs. and 65.1% (43/66), p = 0.009). Thirty-one out of thirty-three seropositive dog keepers (93.9%) had dogs positive for Leptospira antibodies with 28 (84.9%) having similar serovars with their respective seropositive dogs. Having tertiary education (AOR: 0.24, 95% CI: 0.07–0.84, p = 0.026) independently protected individuals from being Leptospira seropositive. More than three quarters of dog keepers had similar serovars as their dogs, necessitating one health approach to control measures in endemic areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Disease with Dual Impacts: Leptospirosis in Humans and Livestock)
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Review
Are There Effective Intervention Measures in Broiler Production against the ESBL/AmpC Producer Escherichia coli?
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 608; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050608 - 15 May 2021
Viewed by 546
Abstract
Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) and AmpC beta-lactamase (AmpC) producing Enterobacteriaceae occur frequently in livestock animals and the subsequent stages of the meat production chain and are therefore considered a risk for human health. Strict biosecurity measures and optimal farm management should reduce or even [...] Read more.
Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) and AmpC beta-lactamase (AmpC) producing Enterobacteriaceae occur frequently in livestock animals and the subsequent stages of the meat production chain and are therefore considered a risk for human health. Strict biosecurity measures and optimal farm management should reduce or even prevent poultry flock colonization at farm level. This review summarizes and evaluates published information on the effectiveness of specific intervention measures and farm management factors aiming to reduce the occurrence and spread of ESBL/AmpC producing or commensal or pathogenic E. coli in broiler chicken farms. In this systematic literature review, a total of 643 publications were analyzed, and 14 studies with significant outcome about the effectiveness of specific measures against E. coli and ESBL/AmpC producing E. coli in broiler chicken farms were found. Different feed additives seem to have an impact on the occurrence of those microorganisms. The measures ‘cleaning and disinfection’ and ‘competitive exclusion’ showed strong effects in prevention in some studies. In summary, some intervention measures showed potential to protect against or eliminate ESBL/AmpC-producing, commensal or pathogenic E. coli at farm level. Due to the high variability in the outcome of the studies, more specific, detailed investigations are needed to assess the potential of the individual intervention measures. Full article
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Article
Label-Free Comparative Proteomics of Differentially Expressed Mycobacterium tuberculosis Protein in Rifampicin-Related Drug-Resistant Strains
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 607; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050607 - 15 May 2021
Viewed by 735
Abstract
Rifampicin (RIF) is one of the most important first-line anti-tuberculosis (TB) drugs, and more than 90% of RIF-resistant (RR) Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates belong to multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB. In order to identify specific candidate target proteins as diagnostic markers [...] Read more.
Rifampicin (RIF) is one of the most important first-line anti-tuberculosis (TB) drugs, and more than 90% of RIF-resistant (RR) Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates belong to multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB. In order to identify specific candidate target proteins as diagnostic markers or drug targets, differential protein expression between drug-sensitive (DS) and drug-resistant (DR) strains remains to be investigated. In the present study, a label-free, quantitative proteomics technique was performed to compare the proteome of DS, RR, MDR, and XDR clinical strains. We found iniC, Rv2141c, folB, and Rv2561 were up-regulated in both RR and MDR strains, while fadE9, espB, espL, esxK, and Rv3175 were down-regulated in the three DR strains when compared to the DS strain. In addition, lprF, mce2R, mce2B, and Rv2627c were specifically expressed in the three DR strains, and 41 proteins were not detected in the DS strain. Functional category showed that these differentially expressed proteins were mainly involved in the cell wall and cell processes. When compared to the RR strain, Rv2272, smtB, lpqB, icd1, and folK were up-regulated, while esxK, PPE19, Rv1534, rpmI, ureA, tpx, mpt64, frr, Rv3678c, esxB, esxA, and espL were down-regulated in both MDR and XDR strains. Additionally, nrp, PPE3, mntH, Rv1188, Rv1473, nadB, PPE36, and sseA were specifically expressed in both MDR and XDR strains, whereas 292 proteins were not identified when compared to the RR strain. When compared between MDR and XDR strains, 52 proteins were up-regulated, while 45 proteins were down-regulated in the XDR strain. 316 proteins were especially expressed in the XDR strain, while 92 proteins were especially detected in the MDR strain. Protein interaction networks further revealed the mechanism of their involvement in virulence and drug resistance. Therefore, these differentially expressed proteins are of great significance for exploring effective control strategies of DR-TB. Full article
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Article
High Incidence of Congenital Syphilis after Implementation of the Brazilian Ministry of Health Ordinances Related to Maternal Diagnostics
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 606; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050606 - 15 May 2021
Viewed by 473
Abstract
The increasing rates of maternal and congenital syphilis (CS) infections are public health concerns and need further investigation in order to provide better assistance in epidemiological surveillance and new strategies for the assistance and prevention of CS. In December 2011, the Brazilian Ministry [...] Read more.
The increasing rates of maternal and congenital syphilis (CS) infections are public health concerns and need further investigation in order to provide better assistance in epidemiological surveillance and new strategies for the assistance and prevention of CS. In December 2011, the Brazilian Ministry of Health (BMH) implemented ordinance number 3.242, reinforced in 2012 by ordinance number 77, aiming to improve the quality of the syphilis diagnosis system using rapid tests. Here, we evaluate the incidence, lethality, and possible factors associated with CS in Salvador, Bahia, in the pre-resolution period (2007 to 2011) and post-resolution (2012 to 2016). An observational, ecological time-series study is conducted using secondary data collected from the National Notifiable Diseases Information System (SINAN). Linear regression analysis to estimate increases or reductions in the mean incidence over time is also performed. A total of 5470 CS cases are analyzed. The incidence ranges from 2.1 cases per 1000 live births in 2007 to 17.1 cases per 1000 live births in 2019, showing a progressive increase in incidence over the years and reduction of lethality in the post-resolution period. The number of CS cases reported prior to the implementation of the ordinances (2007–2011) does not reveal a significant increase in the incidence. However, in the post-ordinances period (2012–2019), there is an average increase of the number of CS cases by three times over the years, with an average increase of 1.8 new cases annually. Our findings highlight the importance of diagnosis and support information in strategies for CS prevention. Furthermore, these data show a positive impact of resolutions on the diagnosis and evolution of the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Congenital and Perinatal Infections)
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Review
Descriptive Comparison of ELISAs for the Detection of Toxoplasma gondii Antibodies in Animals: A Systematic Review
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 605; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050605 - 15 May 2021
Viewed by 718
Abstract
Toxoplasma gondii is the zoonotic parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis in warm-blooded vertebrates. This systematic review compares and evaluates the available knowledge on enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), their components, and performance in detecting T. gondii antibodies in animals. Four databases were searched for published [...] Read more.
Toxoplasma gondii is the zoonotic parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis in warm-blooded vertebrates. This systematic review compares and evaluates the available knowledge on enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), their components, and performance in detecting T. gondii antibodies in animals. Four databases were searched for published scientific studies on T. gondii and ELISA, and 57 articles were included. Overall, indirect (95%) and in-house (67%) ELISAs were the most used types of test among the studies examined, but the ‘ID Screen® Toxoplasmosis Indirect Multi-species’ was common among commercially available tests. Varying diagnostic performance (sensitivity and specificity) and Kappa agreements were observed depending on the type of sample (serum, meat juice, milk), antigen (native, recombinant, chimeric) and antibody-binding reagents used. Combinations of recombinant and chimeric antigens resulted in better performance than native or single recombinant antigens. Protein A/G appeared to be useful in detecting IgG antibodies in a wide range of animal species due to its non-species-specific binding. One study reported cross-reactivity, with Hammondia hammondi and Eimeria spp. This is the first systematic review to descriptively compare ELISAs for the detection of T. gondii antibodies across different animal species. Full article
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Article
Correlating Genotyping Data of Coxiella burnetii with Genomic Groups
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 604; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050604 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 644
Abstract
Coxiella burnetii is a zoonotic pathogen that resides in wild and domesticated animals across the globe and causes a febrile illness, Q fever, in humans. Several distinct genetic lineages or genomic groups have been shown to exist, with evidence for different virulence potential [...] Read more.
Coxiella burnetii is a zoonotic pathogen that resides in wild and domesticated animals across the globe and causes a febrile illness, Q fever, in humans. Several distinct genetic lineages or genomic groups have been shown to exist, with evidence for different virulence potential of these lineages. Multispacer Sequence Typing (MST) and Multiple-Locus Variable number tandem repeat Analysis (MLVA) are being used to genotype strains. However, it is unclear how these typing schemes correlate with each other or with the classification into different genomic groups. Here, we created extensive databases for published MLVA and MST genotypes of C. burnetii and analysed the associated metadata, revealing associations between animal host and human disease type. We established a new classification scheme that assigns both MST and MLVA genotypes to a genomic group and which revealed additional sub-lineages in two genomic groups. Finally, we report a novel, rapid genomotyping method for assigning an isolate into a genomic group based on the Cox51 spacer sequence. We conclude that by pooling and streamlining existing datasets, associations between genotype and clinical outcome or host source were identified, which in combination with our novel genomotyping method, should enable an estimation of the disease potential of new C. burnetii isolates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Updates on Rickettsia and Coxiella)
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Article
Altered Nasal Microbiota Composition Associated with Development of Polyserositis by Mycoplasma hyorhinis
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 603; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050603 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 497
Abstract
Fibrinous polyserositis in swine farming is a common pathological finding in nursery animals. The differential diagnosis of this finding should include Glaesserella parasuis (aetiological agent of Glässer’s disease) and Mycoplasma hyorhinis, among others. These microorganisms are early colonizers of the upper respiratory [...] Read more.
Fibrinous polyserositis in swine farming is a common pathological finding in nursery animals. The differential diagnosis of this finding should include Glaesserella parasuis (aetiological agent of Glässer’s disease) and Mycoplasma hyorhinis, among others. These microorganisms are early colonizers of the upper respiratory tract of piglets. The composition of the nasal microbiota at weaning was shown to constitute a predisposing factor for the development of Glässer’s disease. Here, we unravel the role of the nasal microbiota in the subsequent systemic infection by M. hyorhinis, and the similarities and differences with Glässer’s disease. Nasal samples from farms with recurrent problems with polyserositis associated with M. hyorhinis (MH) or Glässer’s disease (GD) were included in this study, together with healthy control farms (HC). Nasal swabs were taken from piglets in MH farms at weaning, before the onset of the clinical outbreaks, and were submitted to 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing (V3–V4 region). These sequences were analyzed together with sequences from similar samples previously obtained in GD and HC farms. Animals from farms with disease (MH and GD) had a nasal microbiota with lower diversity than those from the HC farms. However, the composition of the nasal microbiota of the piglets from these disease farms was different, suggesting that divergent microbiota imbalances may predispose the animals to the two systemic infections. We also found variants of the pathogens that were associated with the farms with the corresponding disease, highlighting the importance of studying the microbiome at strain-level resolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbiota and Respiratory Diseases in Pigs)
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Article
Do All Roads Lead to Rome? The Potential of Different Approaches to Diagnose Aelurostrongylus abstrusus Infection in Cats
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 602; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050602 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 452
Abstract
An infection with the cat lungworm, Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, can be subclinical, but it can also cause severe respiratory clinical signs. Larvae excretion, antibody levels, clinical assessment findings of the respiratory system and diagnostic imaging findings were recorded and compared for six cats [...] Read more.
An infection with the cat lungworm, Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, can be subclinical, but it can also cause severe respiratory clinical signs. Larvae excretion, antibody levels, clinical assessment findings of the respiratory system and diagnostic imaging findings were recorded and compared for six cats with experimental aelurostrongylosis. In five cats, patency started 33–47 days post infection (pi), but two cats excreted larvae only in long intervals and low numbers. Positive ELISA results were observed in four cats with patent aelurostrongylosis, starting between five days before and 85 days after onset of patency. One seropositive cat remained copromicroscopically negative. Mild respiratory signs were observed in all cats examined. A computed tomographic (CT) examination of the lungs displayed distinct alterations, even in absence of evident clinical signs or when larvae excretion was low or negative. The thoracic radiograph evaluation correlated with the CT results, but CT was more distinctive. After anthelmintic treatment in the 25th week post infection, pulmonary imaging findings improved back to normal within 6–24 weeks. This study shows that a multifaceted approach, including diagnostic imaging, can provide a clearer diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression. Furthermore, a CT examination provides an alternative to post mortem examination and worm counts in anthelmintic efficacy studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Felid Parasitoses, New Insights and Open Perspectives)
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