Next Issue
Volume 11, February
Previous Issue
Volume 10, December

Pathogens, Volume 11, Issue 1 (January 2022) – 109 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Helicobacter pylori is a gastric pathogen that exploits multiple host signaling pathways, leading to the disruption of key cell functions. Two bacterial virulence factors play important roles in this scenario, the vacuolating cytotoxin VacA and the translocated effector protein CagA of the cag type IV secretion system (T4SS). Specifically, by overruling the phosphorylation status of cortactin, H. pylori alternates the activity of molecular interaction partners of this important protein, thereby manipulating the performance of cytoskeletal rearrangements, endosomal trafficking, and cell movement. Here, we found that cortactin is necessary for the effective induction of T4SS- and CagA-dependent AGS cell movement and elongation but is dispensable for VacA uptake and formation of VacA-dependent vacuole formation and cell apoptosis. View this paper.
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Article
Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii Measured by Western Blot, ELISA and DNA Analysis, by PCR, in Cats of Western Mexico
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010109 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 767
Abstract
Toxoplasma gondii is the causative agent of toxoplasmosis in humans and animals. The sexual reproductive cycle of Toxoplasma takes place in the small intestine of felines, the definitive hosts. In the final part of the sexual cycle, T. gondii forms oocysts in infected [...] Read more.
Toxoplasma gondii is the causative agent of toxoplasmosis in humans and animals. The sexual reproductive cycle of Toxoplasma takes place in the small intestine of felines, the definitive hosts. In the final part of the sexual cycle, T. gondii forms oocysts in infected cats. Oocysts transferred via the faeces to the environment are highly infectious to both animals and humans. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and risk factors associated with T. gondii infection in cats from the metropolitan region of Guadalajara in western Mexico. Western blotting and ELISA for anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibodies was performed, and Toxoplasma DNA was identified using polymerase chain reaction. Prevalence of anti-T. gondii antibodies was 14.8% (44/297), and only 2/297 cases were positive for PCR. Cats older than one year were at an increased risk of infection (OR = 3.9, 95% CI 1.844–8.362). Sex, raw meat feeding, hunting habits, vaccination status, and body condition were not associated with positivity. The prevalence of T. gondii infection determined with Western blot in cats in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, was lower than that reported in previous studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Parasitic Pathogens)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
An Artefactual Cluster of Mycobacterium abscessus Pneumonia among Cancer Patients Arising from Contamination
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010108 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 364
Abstract
The Mycobacteriumabscessus complex (MABC) is a group of rapidly growing, nontuberculous mycobacteria that are ubiquitous in soil, urban water pipes, swimming pools, and drinking water. Members of the MABC are considered opportunistic pathogens. The aim of this study was to investigate the [...] Read more.
The Mycobacteriumabscessus complex (MABC) is a group of rapidly growing, nontuberculous mycobacteria that are ubiquitous in soil, urban water pipes, swimming pools, and drinking water. Members of the MABC are considered opportunistic pathogens. The aim of this study was to investigate the origins of MABC detected in broncho-lavage (BL) samples from asymptomatic cancer patients. We turned our attention to washing and disinfection procedures for bronchoscopes; we also assessed water and disinfectant samples. Of 10 BL and 34 environmental samples tested, four BL samples (40%) and seven environmental samples (20.6%) tested positive for MABC. We hypothesized that contamination could arise from the prewashing machine and/or the water used because no patient had clinical or radiological signs consistent with MABC respiratory tract infection. Our study highlights the importance of evaluating cleaning and disinfection procedures for endoscope channels to reduce the potential spread of microorganisms and artefactual results arising from contamination. Full article
Article
West Nile Virus in Common Wild Avian Species in Israel
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010107 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 411
Abstract
In order to evaluate the contribution of different wild bird species to West Nile virus (WNV) circulation in Israel, during the months preceding the 2018 outbreak that occurred in Israel, we randomly sampled 136 frozen carcasses of a variety of avian species. Visceral [...] Read more.
In order to evaluate the contribution of different wild bird species to West Nile virus (WNV) circulation in Israel, during the months preceding the 2018 outbreak that occurred in Israel, we randomly sampled 136 frozen carcasses of a variety of avian species. Visceral and central nervous system (CNS) tissue pools were tested using WNV NS2A RT qPCR assay; of those, 15 (11.03%, 95% CI: 6.31–17.54%) tissue pools were positive. A total of 13 out of 15 WNV RT qPCR positive samples were successfully sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that all WNV isolates were identified as lineage 1 and all categorized as cluster 2 eastern European. Our results indicated that WNV isolates that circulated within the surveyed wild birds in spring 2018 were closely related to several of the isolates of the previously reported 2018 outbreak in birds in Israel and that the majority of infected birds were of local species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Viral Pathogens)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Molecular Detection of Tick-Borne Agents in Cats from Southeastern and Northern Brazil
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010106 - 16 Jan 2022
Viewed by 384
Abstract
Even though the epidemiology of tick-borne agents (TBA) in dogs has been extensively investigated around the world, the occurrence, vectors involved, and molecular identity of these agents in cats remains elusive in many regions. Among TBA, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Babesia, Cytauxzoon [...] Read more.
Even though the epidemiology of tick-borne agents (TBA) in dogs has been extensively investigated around the world, the occurrence, vectors involved, and molecular identity of these agents in cats remains elusive in many regions. Among TBA, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Babesia, Cytauxzoon, and Hepatozoon are responsible for diseases with non-specific clinical signs in cats, making essential the use of molecular techniques for accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. The present work aimed to investigate the occurrence and molecular identity of tick-borne agents (Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Babesia/Theileria, Cytauxzoon, and Hepatozoon) in cats from southeastern (states of São Paulo (SP) and Minas Gerais (MG)) and northern (state of Rondônia (RO)) Brazil. For this purpose, 390 blood samples were collected from domiciled cats in MG (n = 155), SP (n = 151), and RO(n = 84) states, submitted to DNA extraction and PCR assays for Ehrlichia spp. (dsb gene), Anaplasma spp. (rrs gene), piroplasmids (18S rRNA gene), and Hepatozoon spp. (18S rRNA gene), sequencing, and phylogenetic inferences. The overall positivity for Anaplasma spp., Ehrlichia spp., Babesia/Theileria spp., Cytauxzoon spp., and Hepatozoon spp. were 7.4% (12.3% (MG) and 6.6% (SP)), 2% (4.5% (MG) and 0.6% (SP)), 0.7% (0.6% (MG), 0.6% (SP) and 1.2% (RO)), 27.2% (41.9% (MG), 24.5% (SP) and 4.8% (RO), and 0%, respectively. The phylogenetic analysis grouped the obtained sequences with ‘Candidatus Anaplasma amazonensis’, A. platys, B. vogeli, and Cytauxzoon sp. previously detected in wild felids from Brazil. qPCR specific for E. canis based on the dsb gene confirmed the molecular identity of the detected ehrlichial agent. The present study expanded the list and geographical distribution of hemoparasites in cats. ‘Candidatus Anaplasma amazonensis’, recently detected in sloths from northern Brazil, was described for the first time in cats. This is the first report of piroplasmids infecting cats in northern Brazil. Coinfection by Cytauxzoon and other TBA (Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, and B. vogeli) reported in the present study raises the need for veterinary practitioners’ awareness of cats parasitized by multiple TBA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Parasitic Pathogens)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Giardia duodenalis in Wildlife: Exploring Genotype Diversity in Italy and across Europe
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010105 - 16 Jan 2022
Viewed by 425
Abstract
Fragmented data are so far available on genotype diversity of G. duodenalis in wildlife in different countries in Europe, in particular, in Italy. In the present study, G. duodenalis sequences obtained from different Italian wild animals [12 porcupines (Hystrix cristata), 4 [...] Read more.
Fragmented data are so far available on genotype diversity of G. duodenalis in wildlife in different countries in Europe, in particular, in Italy. In the present study, G. duodenalis sequences obtained from different Italian wild animals [12 porcupines (Hystrix cristata), 4 wild boars (Sus scrofa), 1 wolf (Canis lupus italicus), 6 Alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra rupicapra)] were compared with those available from wild host species in Europe to add new data on the geographic distribution of Giardia assemblages/sub-assemblages and their transmission patterns among natural hosts. Thirty-eight sequences were obtained by MLG analysis (SSU-rRNA, bg, gdh, and tpi genes) and subsequently compared by phylogenetic and network analyses with those from wild species monitored in the last decades in Europe. The results revealed the presence of potentially zoonotic (A-AI, A-AII from wild boar; B from porcupine) and host-adapted (D from wolf; E, A-AIII from chamois) assemblages and sub-assemblages and represent the first report for Italian wild boar. The analysis did not find any evidence of spatial or host segregation for specific genetic variants, mostly shared between different hosts from different European countries. However, conflicting evidence was found in genotypic assignment, advocating for data improvement and new genomic approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Diseases of Domestic, Wild, and Exotic Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Major Surface Antigens in Zoonotic Babesia
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010099 - 15 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 391
Abstract
Human babesiosis results from a combination of tick tropism for humans, susceptibility of a host to sustain Babesia development, and contact with infected ticks. Climate modifications and increasing diagnostics have led to an expanded number of Babesia species responsible for human babesiosis, although, [...] Read more.
Human babesiosis results from a combination of tick tropism for humans, susceptibility of a host to sustain Babesia development, and contact with infected ticks. Climate modifications and increasing diagnostics have led to an expanded number of Babesia species responsible for human babesiosis, although, to date, most cases have been attributed to B. microti and B. divergens. These two species have been extensively studied, and in this review, we mostly focus on the antigens involved in host–parasite interactions. We present features of the major antigens, so-called Bd37 in B. divergens and BmSA1/GPI12 in B. microti, and highlight the roles of these antigens in both host cell invasion and immune response. A comparison of these antigens with the major antigens found in some other Apicomplexa species emphasizes the importance of glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins in host–parasite relationships. GPI-anchor cleavage, which is a property of such antigens, leads to soluble and membrane-bound forms of these proteins, with potentially differential recognition by the host immune system. This mechanism is discussed as the structural basis for the protein-embedded immune escape mechanism. In conclusion, the potential consequences of such a mechanism on the management of both human and animal babesiosis is examined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Babesia and Human Babesiosis)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Brief Report
Avian Bornaviruses in Wild Aquatic Birds of the Anseriformes Order in Poland
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010098 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 354
Abstract
Bornaviruses are a diverse family of viruses infecting various hosts, including birds. Aquatic bird bornavirus 1 (ABBV-1) and aquatic bird bornavirus 2 (ABBV-2) have been found in wild waterfowl but data on their prevalence are scarce. To gain knowledge on the occurrence of [...] Read more.
Bornaviruses are a diverse family of viruses infecting various hosts, including birds. Aquatic bird bornavirus 1 (ABBV-1) and aquatic bird bornavirus 2 (ABBV-2) have been found in wild waterfowl but data on their prevalence are scarce. To gain knowledge on the occurrence of ABBVs in Poland, samples originating from dead birds of the Anseriformes order collected in 2016–2021 were tested with a real time RT-PCR method targeting the ABBVs genome. A total of 514 birds were examined, including 401 swans, 96 ducks and 17 geese. The presence of ABBV-1 RNA was detected in 52 swans (10.1% of all tested birds) from 40 different locations. No positive results were obtained for ducks and geese. Sequences of about 2300 bases were generated for 18 viruses and phylogenetic analysis was performed. A relatively low genetic diversity of the examined ABBV-1 strains was observed as all were gathered in a single cluster in the phylogenetic tree and the minimum nucleotide identity was 99.14%. The Polish strains were closely related to ABBV-1 identified previously in Denmark and Germany, but a limited number of sequences from Europe hinders the drawing of conclusions about interconnections between Polish and other European ABBVs. The results of the present study provide new insights into the distribution and genetic characteristics of ABBVs in wild birds in Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Pathogens)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Phenotypic Selection of Dairy Cattle Infected with Bovine Leukemia Virus Demonstrates Immunogenetic Resilience through NGS-Based Genotyping of BoLA MHC Class II Genes
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010104 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 724
Abstract
Characterization of the bovine leukocyte antigen (BoLA) DRB3 gene has shown that specific alleles associate with susceptibility or resilience to the progression of bovine leukemia virus (BLV), measured by proviral load (PVL). Through surveillance of multi-farm BLV eradication field trials, we observed differential [...] Read more.
Characterization of the bovine leukocyte antigen (BoLA) DRB3 gene has shown that specific alleles associate with susceptibility or resilience to the progression of bovine leukemia virus (BLV), measured by proviral load (PVL). Through surveillance of multi-farm BLV eradication field trials, we observed differential phenotypes within seropositive cows that persist from months to years. We sought to develop a multiplex next-generation sequencing workflow (NGS-SBT) capable of genotyping 384 samples per run to assess the relationship between BLV phenotype and two BoLA genes. We utilized longitudinal results from milk ELISA screening and subsequent blood collections on seropositive cows for PVL determination using a novel BLV proviral load multiplex qPCR assay to phenotype the cows. Repeated diagnostic observations defined two distinct phenotypes in our study population, ELISA-positive cows that do not harbor detectable levels of provirus and those who do have persistent proviral loads. In total, 565 cows from nine Midwest dairy farms were selected for NGS-SBT, with 558 cows: 168 BLV susceptible (ELISA-positive/PVL-positive) and 390 BLV resilient (ELISA-positive/PVL-negative) successfully genotyped. Three BoLA-DRB3 alleles, including one novel allele, were shown to associate with disease resilience, *009:02, *044:01, and *048:02 were found at rates of 97.5%, 86.5%, and 90.3%, respectively, within the phenotypically resilient population. Alternatively, DRB3*015:01 and *027:03, both known to associate with disease progression, were found at rates of 81.1% and 92.3%, respectively, within the susceptible population. This study helps solidify the immunogenetic relationship between BoLA-DRB3 alleles and BLV infection status of these two phenotypic groupings of US dairy cattle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Bovine Leukemia Virus Infection)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Literature Review: Coinfection in Young Ruminant Livestock—Cryptosporidium spp. and Its Companions
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010103 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 512
Abstract
The protozoan Cryptosporidium parvum is one of the major causative pathogens of diarrhoea in young ruminants; therefore, it causes economic losses and impairs animal welfare. Besides C. parvum, there are many other non-infectious and infectious factors, such as rotavirus, Escherichia coli, [...] Read more.
The protozoan Cryptosporidium parvum is one of the major causative pathogens of diarrhoea in young ruminants; therefore, it causes economic losses and impairs animal welfare. Besides C. parvum, there are many other non-infectious and infectious factors, such as rotavirus, Escherichia coli, and Giardia duodenalis, which may lead to diarrhoeic disease in young livestock. Often, more than one infectious agent is detected in affected animals. Little is known about the interactions bet-ween simultaneously occurring pathogens and their potential effects on the course of disease. In this review, a brief overview about pathogens associated with diarrhoea in young ruminants is presented. Furthermore, information about coinfections involving Cryptosporidium is provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonotic Parasitoses)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Regulatory Role of Phospholipids in Hepatitis C Virus Replication and Protein Function
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010102 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 387
Abstract
Positive-strand RNA viruses such as hepatitis C virus (HCV) hijack key factors of lipid metabolism of infected cells and extensively modify intracellular membranes to support the viral lifecycle. While lipid metabolism plays key roles in viral particle assembly and maturation, viral RNA synthesis [...] Read more.
Positive-strand RNA viruses such as hepatitis C virus (HCV) hijack key factors of lipid metabolism of infected cells and extensively modify intracellular membranes to support the viral lifecycle. While lipid metabolism plays key roles in viral particle assembly and maturation, viral RNA synthesis is closely linked to the remodeling of intracellular membranes. The formation of viral replication factories requires a number of interactions between virus proteins and host factors including lipids. The structure–function relationship of those proteins is influenced by their lipid environments and lipids that selectively modulate protein function. Here, we review our current understanding on the roles of phospholipids in HCV replication and of lipid–protein interactions in the structure–function relationship of the NS5A protein. NS5A is a key factor in membrane remodeling in HCV-infected cells and is known to recruit phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase III alpha to generate phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate at the sites of replication. The dynamic interplay between lipids and viral proteins within intracellular membranes is likely key towards understanding basic mechanisms in the pathobiology of virus diseases, the mode of action of specific antiviral agents and related drug resistance mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis Associated with Hepatitis Viruses)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Communication
Endothelium Activation during Severe Yellow Fever Triggers an Intense Cytokine-Mediated Inflammatory Response in the Liver Parenchyma
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010101 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 432
Abstract
Yellow fever (YF) is a pansystemic disease caused by the yellow fever virus (YFV), the prototype species of the family Flaviviridae and genus Flavivirus, and has a highly complex host-pathogen relationship, in which endothelial dysfunction reflects viral disease tropism. In this study, [...] Read more.
Yellow fever (YF) is a pansystemic disease caused by the yellow fever virus (YFV), the prototype species of the family Flaviviridae and genus Flavivirus, and has a highly complex host-pathogen relationship, in which endothelial dysfunction reflects viral disease tropism. In this study, the in situ endothelial response was evaluated. Liver tissue samples were collected from 21 YFV-positive patients who died due to the disease and five flavivirus-negative controls who died of other causes and whose hepatic parenchyma architecture was preserved. Immunohistochemical analysis of tissues in the hepatic parenchyma of YF cases showed significantly higher expression of E-selectin, P-selectin, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, and very late antigen-4 in YFV-positive cases than in flavivirus-negative controls. These results indicate that endothelium activation aggravates the inflammatory response by inducing the expression of adhesion molecules that contribute to the rolling, recruitment, migration, and construction of the inflammatory process in the hepatic parenchyma in fatal YF cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vector Born and Zoonotic Disease Pathogenesis and Immunopathogenesis)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Avian Macrophage Responses to Virulent and Avirulent Clostridium perfringens
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010100 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 391
Abstract
The present study evaluated the avian macrophage responses against Clostridium perfringens that varied in their ability to cause necrotic enteritis in chickens. Strains CP5 (avirulent-netB+), CP1 (virulent-netB+), and CP26 (highly virulent-netB+tpeL+) were used to evaluate [...] Read more.
The present study evaluated the avian macrophage responses against Clostridium perfringens that varied in their ability to cause necrotic enteritis in chickens. Strains CP5 (avirulent-netB+), CP1 (virulent-netB+), and CP26 (highly virulent-netB+tpeL+) were used to evaluate their effect on macrophages (MQ-NCSU cells) and primary splenic and cecal tonsil mononuclear cells. The bacilli (whole cells) or their secretory products from all three strains induced a significant increase in the macrophage transcription of Toll-like receptor (TLR)21, TLR2, interleukin (IL)-1β, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and CD80 genes as well as their nitric oxide (NO) production and major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-II surface expression compared to an unstimulated control. The CP1 and CP26-induced expression of interferon (IFN)γ, IL-6, CD40 genes, MHC-II upregulation, and NO production was significantly higher than that of CP5 and control groups. Furthermore, splenocytes and cecal tonsillocytes stimulated with bacilli or secretory products from all the strains showed a significant increase in the frequency of macrophages, their surface expression of MHC-II and NO production, while CP26-induced responses were significantly higher for the rest of the groups. In summary, macrophage interaction with C. perfringens can lead to cellular activation and, the ability of this pathogen to induce macrophage responses may depend on its level of virulence. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Genetic Characterization and Variation of African Swine Fever Virus China/GD/2019 Strain in Domestic Pigs
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010097 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 454
Abstract
African swine fever (ASF) was first introduced into Northern China in 2018 and has spread through China since then. Here, we extracted the viral DNA from the blood samples from an ASF outbreak farm in Guangdong province, China and sequenced the whole genome. [...] Read more.
African swine fever (ASF) was first introduced into Northern China in 2018 and has spread through China since then. Here, we extracted the viral DNA from the blood samples from an ASF outbreak farm in Guangdong province, China and sequenced the whole genome. We assembled the full length genomic sequence of this strain, named China/GD/2019. The whole genome was 188,642 bp long (terminal inverted repeats and loops were not sequenced), encoding 175 open reading frames (ORF). The China/GD/2019 strain belonged to p72 genotype II and p54 genotype IIa. Phylogenetic analysis relationships based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) also demonstrated that it grouped into genotype II. A certain number of ORFs mainly belonging to multigene families (MGFs) were absent in the China/GD/2019 strain in comparison to the China/ASFV/SY-18 strain. A deletion of approximately 1 kb was found in the China/GD/2019 genome which was located at the EP153R and EP402R genes in comparison to the China/2018/AnhuiXCGQ strain. We revealed a synonymous mutation site at gene F317L and a non-synonymous mutation site at gene MGF_360-6L in China/GD/2019 comparing to three known Chinese strains. Pair-wise comparison revealed 165 SNP sites in MGF_360-1L between Estonia 2014 and the China/GD/2019 strain. Comparing to China/GD/2019, we revealed a base deletion located at gene D1133L in China/Pig/HLJ/2018 and China/DB/LN/2018, which results in a frameshift mutation to alter the encoding protein. Our findings indicate that China/GD/2019 is a new variant with certain deletions and mutations. This study deepens our understanding of the genomic diversity and genetic variation of ASFV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Viral Pathogens)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Impact of Inherited Genetic Variants on Critically Ill Septic Children
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010096 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 309
Abstract
Sepsis remains an important source of morbidity and mortality in children, despite the development of standardized care. In the last decades, there has been an increased interest in genetic and genomic approaches to early recognition and development of treatments to manipulate the host [...] Read more.
Sepsis remains an important source of morbidity and mortality in children, despite the development of standardized care. In the last decades, there has been an increased interest in genetic and genomic approaches to early recognition and development of treatments to manipulate the host inflammatory response. This review will present a summary of the normal host response to infection and progression to sepsis, followed by highlighting studies with a focus on gene association studies, epigenetics, and genome-wide expression profiling. The susceptibility (or outcome) of sepsis in children has been associated with several polymorphisms of genes broadly involved in inflammation, immunity, and coagulation. More recently, gene expression profiling has been focused on identifying novel biomarkers, pathways and therapeutic targets, and gene expression-based subclassification. Knowledge of a patient’s individual genotype may, in the not-too-remote future, be used to guide tailored treatment for sepsis. However, at present, the impact of genomics remains far from the bedside of critically ill children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sepsis and Immune Response in Critically Ill Children and Newborn)
Article
HERV-K and HERV-H Env Proteins Induce a Humoral Response in Prostate Cancer Patients
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010095 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 464
Abstract
A higher expression of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) has been associated with several malignancies, including prostate cancer, implying a possible use as a diagnostic or prognostic cancer biomarker. For this reason, we examined the humoral response against different epitopes obtained from the envelope [...] Read more.
A higher expression of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) has been associated with several malignancies, including prostate cancer, implying a possible use as a diagnostic or prognostic cancer biomarker. For this reason, we examined the humoral response against different epitopes obtained from the envelope protein of HERV-K (HERV-K env-su19–37, HERV-K env-su109–126), HERV-H (HERV-H env-su229–241, HERV-H env387–399) and HERV-W (HERV-W env-su93–108, HERV-W env-su248–262) in the plasma of patients affected by prostate cancer (PCa), and compared to that of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and a borderline group of patients with atypical small acinar proliferation (ASAP) and prostate intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) and healthy controls. A significant antibody response was observed against HERV-K env-su109–126 (p = 0.004) and HERV-H env-su229–241 (p < 0.0001) in PCa patients compared to HCs, BPH and borderline cohorts, whilst no significance difference was found in the antibodies against HERV-W env-su93–108 and HERV-W env-su248–262 in patients with PCa. Our results provided further proof of the association between HERV-K and PCa and added new evidence about the possible involvement of HERV-H in PCa pathogenesis, highlighting their possibility of being used as biomarkers of the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Pathogens in Chronic Inflammatory Diseases and Cancer)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Perspective
The Conserved Macrodomain Is a Potential Therapeutic Target for Coronaviruses and Alphaviruses
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010094 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 762
Abstract
Emerging and re-emerging viral diseases pose continuous public health threats, and effective control requires a combination of non-pharmacologic interventions, treatment with antivirals, and prevention with vaccines. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that the world was least prepared to provide effective treatments. This lack [...] Read more.
Emerging and re-emerging viral diseases pose continuous public health threats, and effective control requires a combination of non-pharmacologic interventions, treatment with antivirals, and prevention with vaccines. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that the world was least prepared to provide effective treatments. This lack of preparedness has been due, in large part, to a lack of investment in developing a diverse portfolio of antiviral agents, particularly those ready to combat viruses of pandemic potential. Here, we focus on a drug target called macrodomain that is critical for the replication and pathogenesis of alphaviruses and coronaviruses. Some mutations in alphavirus and coronaviral macrodomains are not tolerated for virus replication. In addition, the coronavirus macrodomain suppresses host interferon responses. Therefore, macrodomain inhibitors have the potential to block virus replication and restore the host’s protective interferon response. Viral macrodomains offer an attractive antiviral target for developing direct acting antivirals because they are highly conserved and have a structurally well-defined (druggable) binding pocket. Given that this target is distinct from the existing RNA polymerase and protease targets, a macrodomain inhibitor may complement current approaches, pre-empt the threat of resistance and offer opportunities to develop combination therapies for combating COVID-19 and future viral threats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ADP-Ribosylation in Pathogens)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effect of Female Sex Hormones on the Immune Response against Chlamydia abortus and on Protection Conferred by an Inactivated Experimental Vaccine in a Mouse Model
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010093 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 376
Abstract
Mice are valuable models extensively used to test vaccine candidates against Chlamydia abortus and to clarify immunopathological mechanisms of the bacteria. As this pathogen has the ability to reactivate during pregnancy, it is important to deepen the knowledge and understanding of some of [...] Read more.
Mice are valuable models extensively used to test vaccine candidates against Chlamydia abortus and to clarify immunopathological mechanisms of the bacteria. As this pathogen has the ability to reactivate during pregnancy, it is important to deepen the knowledge and understanding of some of the effects of female hormones on immunity and vaccination. This study is aimed at describing the role of sex hormones in the pathology of OEA during chlamydial clearance using ovariectomised mice and also gaining an understanding of how 17β-oestradiol or progesterone may impact the effectiveness of vaccination. Animals were treated with sex hormones and infected with C. abortus, and the kinetics of infection and immune response were analysed by means of bacterial isolation, histopathology, and immunohistochemistry. In a second phase of the study, protection conferred by an experimental vaccine after hormone treatment was assessed. Oestradiol showed a stimulatory effect on the immune response during infection, with a more efficient recruitment of macrophages and T-cells at the infection site. Furthermore, after vaccination, oestradiol-treated animals showed a stronger protection against infection, indicating that this hormone has a positive effect, stimulating a specific memory response to the pathogen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transmissible Diseases Affecting Reproduction in Small Ruminants)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Fatty Acid Profiles of Leishmania major Derived from Human and Rodent Hosts in Endemic Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Areas of Tunisia and Algeria
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010092 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 463
Abstract
Leishmaniasis is a protozoal vector-borne disease that affects both humans and animals. In the Mediterranean Basin, the primary reservoir hosts of Leishmania spp. are mainly rodents and canids. Lipidomic approaches have allowed scientists to establish Leishmania spp. lipid profiles for the identification of [...] Read more.
Leishmaniasis is a protozoal vector-borne disease that affects both humans and animals. In the Mediterranean Basin, the primary reservoir hosts of Leishmania spp. are mainly rodents and canids. Lipidomic approaches have allowed scientists to establish Leishmania spp. lipid profiles for the identification of cell stage specific biomarkers, drug mechanisms of action, and host immune response. Using an in silico approach of global network interaction between genes involved in fatty acid (FA) synthesis followed by the GC-MS approach, we were able to characterize the fatty acid profiles of L. major derived from human and rodent hosts. Our results revealed that the lipid profile of L. major showed similarities and differences with those already reported for other Leishmania species. Phospholipids are the predominant lipid class. FA composition of rodent parasites was characterized by a lower abundance of the precursor C18:2(n-6). One of the rodent clones, which also expressed the lowest lipid abundance in PL and TAG, was the least sensitive clone to the miltefosine drug and has the lowest infection efficiency. Our findings suggest that the lipid composition variation may explain the response of the parasite toward treatment and their ability to infect their host. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Antimicrobial Susceptibility Profiles among Pseudomonas aeruginosa Isolated from Professional SCUBA Divers with Otitis Externa, Swimming Pools and the Ocean at a Diving Operation in South Africa
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010091 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 440
Abstract
SCUBA divers are predisposed to otitis externa caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is becoming increasingly multi-drug resistant (MDR). The present work assessed the antibiotic resistance profiles of P. aeruginosa obtained from SCUBA divers and their environment in Sodwana Bay, South Africa. Bacterial isolates [...] Read more.
SCUBA divers are predisposed to otitis externa caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is becoming increasingly multi-drug resistant (MDR). The present work assessed the antibiotic resistance profiles of P. aeruginosa obtained from SCUBA divers and their environment in Sodwana Bay, South Africa. Bacterial isolates from a total of 137 random water and ear swab samples were identified using biochemical and molecular methods. P. aeruginosa strains were further evaluated for antibiotic susceptibility using the Kirby–Bauer assay. Double disk synergy test (DDST) to confirm metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) production and PCR amplification of specific antibiotic resistance genes was performed. All (100%) 22 P. aeruginosa isolates recovered were resistant to 6 of the β-lactams tested including imipenem but exhibited susceptibility to trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole. MBL production was observed in 77% of isolates while the most prevalent extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) genes present included blaAmpC (86.9%) followed by blaTEM (82.6%). Sulfonamide resistance was largely encoded by sul1 (63.6%) and sul2 (77.3%) genes with a high abundance of class 1 integrons (77.3%) of which 18.2% carried both Intl1 and Intl2. P. aeruginosa found in Sodwana Bay exhibits multi-drug resistance (MDRce) to several pharmaceutically important drugs with the potential to transfer antibiotic resistance to other bacteria if the judicious use of antibiotics for their treatment is not practiced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Pathogens)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Systematic Review
A Systematic Review of Zoonotic Enteric Parasites Carried by Flies, Cockroaches, and Dung Beetles
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010090 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 601
Abstract
Filth flies, cockroaches, and dung beetles have been close neighbors with humans and animals throughout our joint histories. However, these insects can also serve as vectors for many zoonotic enteric parasites (ZEPs). Zoonoses by ZEPs remain a paramount public health threat due to [...] Read more.
Filth flies, cockroaches, and dung beetles have been close neighbors with humans and animals throughout our joint histories. However, these insects can also serve as vectors for many zoonotic enteric parasites (ZEPs). Zoonoses by ZEPs remain a paramount public health threat due to our close contact with animals, combined with poor water, sanitation, and hygiene access, services, and behaviors in many global regions. Our objective in this systematic review was to determine which ZEPs have been documented in these vectors, to identify risk factors associated with their transmission, and to provide effectual One Health recommendations for curbing their spread. Using PRISMA guidelines, a total of 85 articles published from 1926 to 2021 were reviewed and included in this study. Qualitative analysis revealed that the most common parasites associated with these insects included, but were not limited to: Ascaris spp., Trichuris spp., Entamoeba spp., and Cryptosporidium spp. Additionally, prominent risk factors discovered in the review, such as poor household and community WASH services, unsafe food handling, and exposure to domestic animals and wildlife, significantly increase parasitic transmission and zoonoses. The risk of insect vector transmission in our shared environments makes it critically important to implement a One Health approach in reducing ZEP transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonotic Parasitoses)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Ecology of Ixodes pacificus Ticks and Associated Pathogens in the Western United States
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010089 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 889
Abstract
Lyme disease is the most important vector-borne disease in the United States and is increasing in incidence and geographic range. In the Pacific west, the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls, 1943 is an important vector of the causative agent of [...] Read more.
Lyme disease is the most important vector-borne disease in the United States and is increasing in incidence and geographic range. In the Pacific west, the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls, 1943 is an important vector of the causative agent of Lyme disease, the spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi. Ixodes pacificus life cycle is expected to be more than a year long, and all three stages (larva, nymph, and adult) overlap in spring. The optimal habitat consists of forest cover, cooler temperatures, and annual precipitation in the range of 200–500 mm. Therefore, the coastal areas of California, Oregon, and Washington are well suited for these ticks. Immature stages commonly parasitize Western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) and gray squirrels (Sciurus griseus), while adults often feed on deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and black-tailed deer (Odocoileus h. columbianus). Ixodes pacificus carry several pathogens of human significance, such as Borrelia burgdorferi, Bartonella, and Rickettsiales. These pathogens are maintained in the environment by many hosts, including small mammals, birds, livestock, and domestic animals. Although a great deal of work has been carried out on Ixodes ticks and the pathogens they transmit, understanding I. pacificus ecology outside California still lags. Additionally, the dynamic vector–host–pathogen system means that new factors will continue to arise and shift the epidemiological patterns within specific areas. Here, we review the ecology of I. pacificus and the pathogens this tick is known to carry to identify gaps in our knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research on Hard Tick-Borne Diseases)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Brief Report
Histological and Immunohistochemical Characterization of Vascular Alterations in Meninges of Cats Infected with Gurltia paralysans
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010088 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 365
Abstract
Gurltia paralysans, a metastrongyloid nematode, parasitizes in meningeal vessels in the thoracolumbar spinal cord of cats in South America and causes progressive paraparesis. Recently, the first report outside of South America described gurltiosis in a cat in Spain. As this parasitic disease [...] Read more.
Gurltia paralysans, a metastrongyloid nematode, parasitizes in meningeal vessels in the thoracolumbar spinal cord of cats in South America and causes progressive paraparesis. Recently, the first report outside of South America described gurltiosis in a cat in Spain. As this parasitic disease has so far been largely neglected, especially outside of South America, the aim of the present case study was to add knowledge to the histologic and immunohistochemical characterization of central nervous lesions. To this purpose, formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples from the spinal cord and brain of five cats affected by clinical signs caused by Gurltia paralysans and of three control cats without CNS lesions were histopathologically examined using hematoxylin and eosin stain (HE), Elastica van Gieson stain, as well as periodic acid–Schiff (PAS) reaction. Moreover, immuno- histochemistry for alpha smooth muscle actin and Factor VIII-related antigen were performed to characterize vascular lesions. Lesions were consistent with previous descriptions and were mainly located in the spinal cord and consisted of chronic suppurative or lymphoplasmahistiocytic meningi tis as well as suppurative vasculitis, congestion and varicosis of meningeal veins. In view of the recent detection of this parasite in Europe and the increasing inner-European transport of rescued domestic cats, veterinarians in Europe should be aware of the clinical and pathomorphological presentation of this disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Paralysis Worm - Gurltia paralysans)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Multi-Dimensionality Immunophenotyping Analyses of MAIT Cells Expressing Th1/Th17 Cytokines and Cytotoxic Markers in Latent Tuberculosis Diabetes Comorbidity
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010087 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 398
Abstract
Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are innate like, and play a major role in restricting disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) disease before the activation of antigen-specific T cells. Additionally, the potential link and synergistic function between diabetes mellitus (DM) and tuberculosis (TB) [...] Read more.
Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are innate like, and play a major role in restricting disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) disease before the activation of antigen-specific T cells. Additionally, the potential link and synergistic function between diabetes mellitus (DM) and tuberculosis (TB) has been recognized for a long time. However, the role of MAIT cells in latent TB (LTB) DM or pre-DM (PDM) and non-DM (NDM) comorbidities is not known. Hence, we examined the frequencies (represented as geometric means, GM) of unstimulated (UNS), mycobacterial (purified protein derivative (PPD) and whole-cell lysate (WCL)), and positive control (phorbol myristate acetate (P)/ionomycin (I)) antigen stimulated MAIT cells expressing Th1 (IFNγ, TNFα, and IL-2), Th17 (IL-17A, IL-17F, and IL-22), and cytotoxic (perforin (PFN), granzyme (GZE B), and granulysin (GNLSN)) markers in LTB comorbidities by uniform manifold approximation (UMAP) and flow cytometry. We also performed a correlation analysis of Th1/Th17 cytokines and cytotoxic markers with HbA1c, TST, and BMI, and diverse hematological and biochemical parameters. The UMAP analysis demonstrated that the percentage of MAIT cells was higher; T helper (Th)1 cytokine and cytotoxic (PFN) markers expressions were different in LTB-DM and PDM individuals in comparison to the LTB-NDM group on UMAP. Similarly, no significant difference was observed in the geometric means (GM) of MAIT cells expressing Th1, Th17, and cytotoxic markers between the study population under UNS conditions. In mycobacterial antigen stimulation, the GM of Th1 (IFNγ (PPD and WCL), TNFα (PPD and WCL), and IL-2 (PPD)), and Th17 (IL-17A, IL-17F, and IL-22 (PPD and/or WCL)) cytokines were significantly elevated and cytotoxic markers (PFN, GZE B, and GNLSN (PPD and WCL)) were significantly reduced in the LTB-DM and/or PDM group compared to the LTB-NDM group. Some of the Th1/Th17 cytokines and cytotoxic markers were significantly correlated with the parameters analyzed. Overall, we found that different Th1 cytokines and cytotoxic marker population clusters and increased Th1 and Th17 (IL-17A, IL-22) cytokines and diminished cytotoxic markers expressing MAIT cells are associated with LTB-PDM and DM comorbidities. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Biological Control of Fusarium culmorum, Fusarium graminearum and Fusarium poae by Antagonistic Yeasts
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010086 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 575
Abstract
The genus Fusarium is considered to be one of the most pathogenic, phytotoxic and toxin-producing group of microorganisms in the world. Plants infected by these fungi are characterized by a reduced consumer and commercial value, mainly due to the contamination of crops with [...] Read more.
The genus Fusarium is considered to be one of the most pathogenic, phytotoxic and toxin-producing group of microorganisms in the world. Plants infected by these fungi are characterized by a reduced consumer and commercial value, mainly due to the contamination of crops with mycotoxins. Therefore, effective methods of reducing fungi of the genus Fusarium must be implemented already in the field before harvesting, especially with alternative methods to pesticides such as biocontrol. In this study we identified yeasts that inhibit the growth of the pathogenic fungi Fusarium culmorum, F. graminearum and F. poae. Tested yeasts came from different culture collections, or were obtained from organic and conventional cereals. The greater number of yeast isolates from organic cereals showed antagonistic activity against fungi of the genus Fusarium compared to isolates from the conventional cultivation system. Cryptococcus carnescens (E22) isolated from organic wheat was the only isolate that limited the mycelial growth of all three tested fungi and was the best antagonist against F. poae. Selected yeasts showed various mechanisms of action against fungi, including competition for nutrients and space, production of volatile metabolites, reduction of spore germination, production of siderophores or production of extracellular lytic enzymes: chitinase and β-1,3-glucanase. Of all the investigated mechanisms of yeast antagonism against Fusarium, competition for nutrients and the ability to inhibit spore germination prevailed. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Deltamethrin Application on Pre-Weaned Calves Improves Feed Consumption, Stress and Fatigue Status under Heat Stress Conditions
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010085 - 11 Jan 2022
Viewed by 313
Abstract
Fly infestation remains a universal problem for dairy cattle herds, affecting the animals’ health and welfare status. Pre-weaned dairy calves are significantly challenged by the direct and indirect consequences of severe fly infestation, heat-stress and their interaction, which contribute to a stressful and [...] Read more.
Fly infestation remains a universal problem for dairy cattle herds, affecting the animals’ health and welfare status. Pre-weaned dairy calves are significantly challenged by the direct and indirect consequences of severe fly infestation, heat-stress and their interaction, which contribute to a stressful and fatiguing environment. Among several physiological, behavioral, clinical and biochemical traits, serum cortisol (SC) and creatine kinase (CK) levels, as well as feed consumption can be used as valid indicators of potential stressful and fatiguing conditions and, therefore, can be efficiently used for stress analysis studies. Hence, the objective of the study was to assess the fly-repellency effect of deltamethrin on pre-weaned dairy calves exposed to heat stress conditions, as well as its association with SC, CK concentrations and feed consumption. Two commercial dairy cattle herds of the Holstein breed in Central Macedonia (Greece) were involved in the study during summer months and under heat stress conditions. Deltamethrin administration resulted in (i) a decreased fly population (100% Musca domestica) landing on pre-weaned dairy calves, (ii) a reduced SC (stress indicator) and CK (fatigue indicator) concentration, and (iii) an increased consumption of feedstuff in deltamethrin treated animals compared to the untreated ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Update of Animal Parasitic Diseases)
Article
The Periodontopathic Pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Involves a Gut Inflammatory Response and Exacerbates Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010084 - 11 Jan 2022
Viewed by 520
Abstract
Periodontal disease (PD) is one of the most prevalent disorders globally and is strongly associated with many other diseases. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), an inflammatory condition of the colon and the small intestine, is reported to be associated with PD through undetermined mechanisms. [...] Read more.
Periodontal disease (PD) is one of the most prevalent disorders globally and is strongly associated with many other diseases. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), an inflammatory condition of the colon and the small intestine, is reported to be associated with PD through undetermined mechanisms. We analyzed taxonomic assignment files from the Crohn’s Disease Viral and Microbial Metagenome Project (PRJEB3206). The abundance of Porphyromonadaceae in fecal samples was significantly different between patients with Crohn’s disease and control volunteers. Dextran sulfate sodium was used to induce colitis in mice to reveal the effect of this periodontopathic pathogen in vivo. After intrarectal implantation of Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg)—the primary pathogen causing PD—the disease activity index score, colonic epithelial loss, and inflammatory cell infiltration were intensified. In addition, tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 showed the highest levels in Pg-infected colons. This revealed the importance of Pg in the exacerbation of IBD. Thus, simultaneous treatment of PD should be considered for people with IBD. Moreover, implantation of Pg in the rectum worsened the clinical symptoms of colitis in mice. Because Pg participates in the pathogenesis of IBD, reducing the chances of it entering the intestine might prevent the worsening of this disorder. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Ultraviolet-C Irradiation, Heat, and Storage as Potential Methods of Inactivating SARS-CoV-2 and Bacterial Pathogens on Filtering Facepiece Respirators
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010083 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1042
Abstract
The arrival of SARS-CoV-2 to Aotearoa/New Zealand in February 2020 triggered a massive response at multiple levels. Procurement and sustainability of medical supplies to hospitals and clinics during the then upcoming COVID-19 pandemic was one of the top priorities. Continuing access to new [...] Read more.
The arrival of SARS-CoV-2 to Aotearoa/New Zealand in February 2020 triggered a massive response at multiple levels. Procurement and sustainability of medical supplies to hospitals and clinics during the then upcoming COVID-19 pandemic was one of the top priorities. Continuing access to new personal protective equipment (PPE) was not guaranteed; thus, disinfecting and reusing PPE was considered as a potential alternative. Here, we describe part of a local program intended to test and implement a system to disinfect PPE for potential reuse in New Zealand. We used filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) coupons inoculated with SARS-CoV-2 or clinically relevant multidrug-resistant pathogens (Acinetobacter baumannii Ab5075, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus USA300 LAC and cystic-fibrosis isolate Pseudomonas aeruginosa LESB58), to evaluate the potential use of ultraviolet-C germicidal irradiation (UV-C) or dry heat treatment to disinfect PPE. An applied UV-C dose of 1000 mJ/cm2 was sufficient to completely inactivate high doses of SARS-CoV-2; however, irregularities in the FFR coupons hindered the efficacy of UV-C to fully inactivate the virus, even at higher UV-C doses (2000 mJ/cm2). Conversely, incubating contaminated FFR coupons at 65 °C for 30 min or 70 °C for 15 min, was sufficient to block SARS-CoV-2 replication, even in the presence of mucin or a soil load (mimicking salivary or respiratory secretions, respectively). Dry heat (90 min at 75 °C to 80 °C) effectively killed 106 planktonic bacteria; however, even extending the incubation time up to two hours at 80 °C did not completely kill bacteria when grown in colony biofilms. Importantly, we also showed that FFR material can harbor replication-competent SARS-CoV-2 for up to 35 days at room temperature in the presence of a soil load. We are currently using these findings to optimize and establish a robust process for decontaminating, reusing, and reducing wastage of PPE in New Zealand. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Phytobacter diazotrophicus from Intestine of Caenorhabditis elegans Confers Colonization-Resistance against Bacillus nematocida Using Flagellin (FliC) as an Inhibition Factor
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010082 - 10 Jan 2022
Viewed by 447
Abstract
Symbiotic microorganisms in the intestinal tract can influence the general fitness of their hosts and contribute to protecting them against invading pathogens. In this study, we obtained isolate Phytobacter diazotrophicus SCO41 from the gut of free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans that displayed strong colonization-resistance [...] Read more.
Symbiotic microorganisms in the intestinal tract can influence the general fitness of their hosts and contribute to protecting them against invading pathogens. In this study, we obtained isolate Phytobacter diazotrophicus SCO41 from the gut of free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans that displayed strong colonization-resistance against invading biocontrol bacterium Bacillus nematocida B16. The colonization-resistance phenotype was found to be mediated by a 37-kDa extracellular protein that was identified as flagellin (FliC). With the help of genome information, the fliC gene was cloned and heterologously expressed in E. coli. It could be shown that the B. nematocida B16 grows in chains rather than in planktonic form in the presence of FliC. Scanning Electronic Microscopy results showed that protein FliC-treated B16 bacterial cells are thinner and longer than normal cells. Localization experiments confirmed that the protein FliC is localized in both the cytoplasm and the cell membrane of B16 strain, in the latter especially at the position of cell division. ZDOCK analysis showed that FliC could bind with serine/threonine protein kinase, membrane protein insertase YidC and redox membrane protein CydB. It was inferred that FliC interferes with cell division of B. nematocidal B16, therefore inhibiting its colonization of C. elegans intestines in vivo. The isolation of P. diazotrophicus as part of the gut microbiome of C. elegans not only provides interesting insights about the lifestyle of this nitrogen-fixing bacterium, but also reveals how the composition of the natural gut microbiota of nematodes can affect biological control efforts by protecting the host from its natural enemies. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Case Report
Xanthogranulomatous Pyelonephritis Caused by Stenotrophomonas maltophilia—The First Case Report and Brief Review
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010081 - 10 Jan 2022
Viewed by 420
Abstract
Xanthogranulomatous pyelonephritis (XGP) represents a rare and severe pathology secondary to chronic urinary obstruction and recurrent infections. Commonly, this condition leads to loss of kidney function, and frequently, surgical approach is the only optional treatment. Proteus mirabilis and Escherichia coli are the most [...] Read more.
Xanthogranulomatous pyelonephritis (XGP) represents a rare and severe pathology secondary to chronic urinary obstruction and recurrent infections. Commonly, this condition leads to loss of kidney function, and frequently, surgical approach is the only optional treatment. Proteus mirabilis and Escherichia coli are the most frequent pathogens associated with XGP. The actual changes in the pathogen’s characteristics increased the risk of newly acquired infections once considered opportunistic. Stenotrophomonas malthophilia is one of those agents more related to immunocompromised patients, presenting an increased incidence and modified antibiotic resistance profile in the modern era. This case report presents a healthy female patient with an underlying renal stone pathology diagnosed with XGP related to S. maltophilia urinary infection. After a complete biological and imagistic evaluation, the case was treated as pyonephrosis. Empirical antibiotic administration and a surgical approach were considered. A total nephrectomy was performed, but the patient’s condition did not improve. The patient’s status improved when specific antibiotics were administered based on the bacterial identification and antibiotic susceptibility pattern of drained perinephric fluid. Levofloxacin and Vancomycin were considered the optimal combination in this case. The histopathological examination revealed XGP secondary to chronic renal stone. The present study describes the first case of XGP related to an aerobic Gram-negative pathogen such as S. maltophilia, once considered opportunistic, in an apparently healthy female adult. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virulence Mechanisms of Uropathogenic Bacteria)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Diagnosis and Treatment of Local Allergic Rhinitis
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010080 - 09 Jan 2022
Viewed by 528
Abstract
Some patients with chronic rhinitis have a positive nasal allergen provocation test (NAPT) without systemic IgE sensitization by skin prick tests or serum allergen-specific IgE (sIgE). This novel concept is called local allergic rhinitis (LAR) and affects children and adults worldwide, but is [...] Read more.
Some patients with chronic rhinitis have a positive nasal allergen provocation test (NAPT) without systemic IgE sensitization by skin prick tests or serum allergen-specific IgE (sIgE). This novel concept is called local allergic rhinitis (LAR) and affects children and adults worldwide, but is underdiagnosed. LAR is not just the initial state of allergic rhinitis (AR), it is a unique form of chronic rhinitis that is neither classical AR nor non-AR. Many of the features of AR and LAR are similar, such as a positive NAPT, positive type 2 inflammatory markers, including the nasal discharge of sIgE, and a high incidence of asthma. A differential diagnosis of LAR needs to be considered in patients with symptoms suggestive of AR in the absence of systemic atopy, regardless of age. The diagnostic method for LAR relies on positive responses to single or multiple allergens in NAPT, the sensitivity, specificity, and reproducibility of which are high. The basophil activation test and measurement of IgE in nasal secretions also contribute to the diagnosis of LAR. Treatment for LAR is similar to that for AR and is supported by the efficacy and safety of allergen exposure avoidance, drug therapy, and allergen immunotherapy. This review discusses current knowledge on LAR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Allergy and Immunotherapy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop