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Pathogens, Volume 11, Issue 8 (August 2022) – 131 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) could develop different diseases in individuals with ancestral MHC-II haplotypes (DR2-DQ6, DR3-DQ2 or DR4-DQ8), as the gp42/MHC-II interaction influences virus entry and forms a new gp42–MHC-II complex that alters antigenic presentation to CD4 T cells. This results in an acquired immunodeficiency that confers an increased level of susceptibility towards the development of EBV-associated diseases. Hence, any inflammatory stimulus in any tissue can result in the formation of EBV-infected ectopic lymphoid aggregates that generate antigen-specific immune responses and infection of new cells in that tissue. This, together with altered immunosurveillance, would lead to the increased proliferation of these cells, which would increase the risk of neoplastic transformation or autoimmune disease in such tissues. View this paper
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Review
Pathogenicity Factors of Botryosphaeriaceae Associated with Grapevine Trunk Diseases: New Developments on Their Action on Grapevine Defense Responses
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 951; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080951 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 509
Abstract
Botryosphaeriaceae are a family of fungi associated with the decay of a large number of woody plants with economic importance and causing particularly great losses in viticulture due to grapevine trunk diseases. In recent years, major advances in the knowledge of the pathogenicity [...] Read more.
Botryosphaeriaceae are a family of fungi associated with the decay of a large number of woody plants with economic importance and causing particularly great losses in viticulture due to grapevine trunk diseases. In recent years, major advances in the knowledge of the pathogenicity factors of these pathogens have been made possible by the development of next-generation sequencing. This review highlights the knowledge gained on genes encoding small secreted proteins such as effectors, carbohydrate-associated enzymes, transporters and genes associated with secondary metabolism, their representativeness within the Botryosphaeriaceae family and their expression during grapevine infection. These pathogenicity factors are particularly expressed during host–pathogen interactions, facilitating fungal development and nutrition, wood colonization, as well as manipulating defense pathways and inducing impacts at the cellular level and phytotoxicity. This work highlights the need for further research to continue the effort to elucidate the pathogenicity mechanisms of this family of fungi infecting grapevine in order to improve the development of control methods and varietal resistance and to reduce the development and the effects of the disease on grapevine harvest quality and yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Pathogenicity Factors)
Review
Development of Novel Anti-Leishmanials: The Case for Structure-Based Approaches
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 950; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080950 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 470
Abstract
The neglected tropical disease (NTD) leishmaniasis is the collective name given to a diverse group of illnesses caused by ~20 species belonging to the genus Leishmania, a majority of which are vector borne and associated with complex life cycles that cause immense [...] Read more.
The neglected tropical disease (NTD) leishmaniasis is the collective name given to a diverse group of illnesses caused by ~20 species belonging to the genus Leishmania, a majority of which are vector borne and associated with complex life cycles that cause immense health, social, and economic burdens locally, but individually are not a major global health priority. Therapeutic approaches against leishmaniasis have various inadequacies including drug resistance and a lack of effective control and eradication of the disease spread. Therefore, the development of a rationale-driven, target based approaches towards novel therapeutics against leishmaniasis is an emergent need. The utilization of Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning methods, which have made significant advances in drug discovery applications, would benefit the discovery process. In this review, following a summary of the disease epidemiology and available therapies, we consider three important leishmanial metabolic pathways that can be attractive targets for a structure-based drug discovery approach towards the development of novel anti-leishmanials. The folate biosynthesis pathway is critical, as Leishmania is auxotrophic for folates that are essential in many metabolic pathways. Leishmania can not synthesize purines de novo, and salvage them from the host, making the purine salvage pathway an attractive target for novel therapeutics. Leishmania also possesses an organelle glycosome, evolutionarily related to peroxisomes of higher eukaryotes, which is essential for the survival of the parasite. Research towards therapeutics is underway against enzymes from the first two pathways, while the third is as yet unexplored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Leishmania)
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Article
Antibiotic Resistance Profile of RT 027/176 Versus Other Clostridioides difficile Isolates in Silesia, Southern Poland
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 949; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080949 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 410
Abstract
Clostridioides difficile is an important health care-associated pathogen. The aim of this study was to analyze the antibiotic susceptibility of C. difficile isolates from feces of patients from 13 hospitals in Silesia, Poland. The incidence of CDI per 100.000 people in Silesia in [...] Read more.
Clostridioides difficile is an important health care-associated pathogen. The aim of this study was to analyze the antibiotic susceptibility of C. difficile isolates from feces of patients from 13 hospitals in Silesia, Poland. The incidence of CDI per 100.000 people in Silesia in 2018–2019 was higher than the average in Poland (39.3–38.7 vs. 30.2–29.5, respectively). The incidence doubled from 26.4 in 2020 to 55.1 in 2021. Two hundred and thirty stool samples tested positive for GDH (glutamate dehydrogenase) and toxins were cultured anaerobically for C. difficile. The isolates were characterized, typed, and tested for susceptibility to 11 antibiotics by E-test (EUCAST, 2021). The genes of toxins A/B and binary were detected by mPCR. Of 215 isolates, 166 (77.2%) were classified as RT 027 and 6 (2.8%) as related RT 176. Resistance to ciprofloxacin (96.7%), moxifloxacin (79.1%), imipenem (78.1%), penicillin (67%), and rifampicin (40.5%) was found. The ermB gene was detected in 79 (36.7%) strains. Multidrug resistance (MDR) was confirmed in 50 (23.3%) strains of RT 027 (94%). We concluded that a high prevalence of MDR among hypervirulent RT 027/176 C. difficile was found in the Silesian region of Poland, emphasizing the need to enhance regional infection control on CDI and antibiotic stewardships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research on Clostridium difficile)
Article
Lineages, Virulence Gene Associated and Integrons among Extended Spectrum β-Lactamase (ESBL) and CMY-2 Producing Enterobacteriaceae from Bovine Mastitis, in Tunisia
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 948; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080948 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 432
Abstract
Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL) Enterobacteriaceae are becoming widespread enzymes in food-producing animals worldwide. Escherichia coli and Klebseilla pneumoniae are two of the most significant pathogens causing mastitis. Our study focused on the characterization of the genetic support of ESBL/pAmpC and antibiotic resistance mechanisms [...] Read more.
Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL) Enterobacteriaceae are becoming widespread enzymes in food-producing animals worldwide. Escherichia coli and Klebseilla pneumoniae are two of the most significant pathogens causing mastitis. Our study focused on the characterization of the genetic support of ESBL/pAmpC and antibiotic resistance mechanisms in cefotaxime-resistant (CTXR) and susceptible (CTXS) Enterobacteriaceae isolates, recovered from bovine mastitis in Tunisia, as well as the analyses of their clonal lineage and virulence-associated genes. The study was carried out on 17 ESBL/pAmpC E. coli and K. pneumoniae and 50 CTXS E. coli. Detection of resistance genes and clonal diversity was performed by PCR amplification and sequencing. The following β-lactamase genes were detected: blaCTX-M-15 (n = 6), blaCTX-M-15 + blaOXA-1 (2), bla CTX-M-15 + blaOXA-1 + blaTEM-1b (2), blaCTX-M-15 + blaTEM-1b (4), blaCMY-2 (3). The MLST showed the following STs: ST405 (n = 4 strains); ST58 (n = 3); ST155 (n = 3); ST471 (n = 2); and ST101 (n = 2). ST399 (n = 1) and ST617 (n = 1) were identified in p(AmpC) E. coli producer strains. The phylogroups A and B1 were the most detected ones, followed by the pathogenic phylogroup B2 that harbored the shigatoxin genes stx1/stx2, associated with the cnf, fimA, and aer virulence factors. The qnrA/qnrB, aac(6′)-Ib-cr genes and integrons class 1 with different gene cassettes were detected amongst these CTXR/S isolated strains. The presence of different genetic lineages, associated with resistance and virulence genes in pathogenic bacteria in dairy farms, may complicate antibiotic therapies and pose a potential risk to public health. Full article
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Article
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 SNPs as Common Genetic Loci and Optimal Early Identification Genetic Markers for COVID-19
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 947; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080947 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 445
Abstract
Background: Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is implicated as a host cell receptor that causes infection in the pathogenesis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and its genetic polymorphisms in the ACE2 gene may promote cardiovascular disease and systemic inflammatory injury in COVID-19 patients. Hence, [...] Read more.
Background: Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is implicated as a host cell receptor that causes infection in the pathogenesis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and its genetic polymorphisms in the ACE2 gene may promote cardiovascular disease and systemic inflammatory injury in COVID-19 patients. Hence, the genetic background may potentially explain the broad interindividual variation in disease susceptibility and/or severity. Methods: Genetic susceptibility to COVID-19 was analyzed by examining single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of ACE2 in 246 patients with COVID-19 and 210 normal controls using the TaqMan genotyping assay. Results: We demonstrated that the ACE2 SNPs rs4646142, rs6632677, and rs2074192 were associated with COVID-19 (for all, p  <  0.05), and the differences in the ACE2 SNPs rs4646142 and rs6632677 were correlated with COVID-19-related systemic inflammatory injury and cardiovascular risk. Specifically, rs4646142 was associated with high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), prealbumin (PAB), apolipoprotein A (APOA), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and acid glycoprotein (AGP) levels. Rs6632677 was also associated with elevated CRP, acid glycoprotein (AGP), and haptoglobin (HPT). Conclusions: Our results suggest that the ACE2 SNPs rs4646142 and rs6632677 may be common genetic loci and optimal early identification genetic markers for COVID-19 with cardiovascular risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Emerging Pathogens)
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Article
Diversity of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Tick Larvae Feeding on Breeding Birds in France
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 946; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080946 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 524
Abstract
Birds play a role in maintaining tick-borne diseases by contributing to the multiplication of ticks and pathogens on a local scale during the breeding season. In the present study, we describe the diversity of tick and pathogen species of medical and veterinary importance [...] Read more.
Birds play a role in maintaining tick-borne diseases by contributing to the multiplication of ticks and pathogens on a local scale during the breeding season. In the present study, we describe the diversity of tick and pathogen species of medical and veterinary importance in Europe hosted by 1040 captured birds (56 species) during their breeding season in France. Of the 3114 ticks collected, Ixodes ricinus was the most prevalent species (89.5%), followed by I. frontalis (0.8%), I. arboricola (0.7%), Haemaphysalis concinna (0.5%), H. punctata (0.5%), Hyalomma spp. (0.2%), and Rhipicephalus spp. (0.06%). Because they may be representative of the bird infection status for some pathogen species, 1106 engorged tick larvae were screened for pathogens. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato was the most prevalent pathogen genus in bird-feeding larvae (11.7%), followed by Rickettsia spp. (7.4%), Anaplasma spp. (5.7%), Babesia spp. (2.3%), Ehrlichia spp. (1.4%), and B. miyamotoi (1%). Turdidae birds (Turdus merula and T. philomelos), Troglodytes troglodytes, and Anthus trivialis had a significantly higher prevalence of B. burgdorferi s.l.-infected larvae than other pathogen genera. This suggests that these bird species could act as reservoir hosts for B. burgdorferi s.l. during their breeding season, and thus play an important role in acarological risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ixodes ricinus and Disease Transmission)
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Review
Getah Virus (Alphavirus): An Emerging, Spreading Zoonotic Virus
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 945; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080945 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 487
Abstract
Getah virus (GETV) is a zoonotic virus transmitted by mosquitoes, belonging to the Togaviridae family, Alphavirus genus. It was first isolated from mosquitoes in Malaysia in 1955, being widespread in island countries in the South Pacific region. Since the beginning of the 21st [...] Read more.
Getah virus (GETV) is a zoonotic virus transmitted by mosquitoes, belonging to the Togaviridae family, Alphavirus genus. It was first isolated from mosquitoes in Malaysia in 1955, being widespread in island countries in the South Pacific region. Since the beginning of the 21st century, GETV expanded its range and geographical distribution from low-latitude tropical regions to 60° north latitude, being isolated from 17 different species of mosquitoes belonging to five genera of Culicidae (Culex, Anopheles, Armigeres, Aedes and Mansonia), as well as from midges in Eurasia. Molecular genetic evolution analysis revealed large molecular differences between the mosquitoes currently circulating Eurasia and those in the South Pacific in 1950s. The number of disease outbreaks caused by GETV in animals is increasing alongside the types of animals infected, from horses and pigs to cattle, blue foxes and red pandas. The disease burden is severely underestimated, and the economic cost to livestock production remains unknown. Herein, we review GETV temporal and spatial distribution, molecular genetic evolution, transmission and data on disease outbreaks. This work provides a reference for public health workers engaged in GETV research and zoonotic disease prevention and control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research on Arboviral Encephalitis)
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Article
Linear Peptide Epitopes Derived from ErpP, p35, and FlaB in the Serodiagnosis of Lyme Disease
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 944; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080944 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 433
Abstract
Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the northern hemisphere. Current serodiagnostics are insensitive in early infection. Sensitivity in these seroassays is compromised by the necessity to preserve specificity in the presence of cross-reactive epitopes in Borrelia burgdorferi target antigens. We [...] Read more.
Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the northern hemisphere. Current serodiagnostics are insensitive in early infection. Sensitivity in these seroassays is compromised by the necessity to preserve specificity in the presence of cross-reactive epitopes in Borrelia burgdorferi target antigens. We evaluated the efficacy of using synthetic peptides containing epitopes unique to B. burgdorferi as antigen targets in a Lyme disease seroassay. We performed linear B cell epitope mapping of the proteins p35 (BBH32) and ErpP to identify unique epitopes. We generated peptides containing these newly identified linear epitope sequences along with previously identified epitopes from the antigens FlaB and VlsE and evaluated their diagnostic capabilities via ELISA using large serum sets. Single-epitope peptides, while specific, demonstrated insufficient sensitivity. However, when epitopes from FlaB, ErpP, or p35 were combined in tandem with an epitope from VlsE, the sensitivity of the assay was significantly increased without compromising specificity. The identification of additional unique epitopes from other B. burgdorferi antigens and the further development of a combined multi-peptide-based assay for the laboratory diagnosis of Lyme disease offers a way to address the poor specificity associated with the use of whole protein antigen targets and thus significantly improve the laboratory diagnosis of Lyme disease. Full article
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Article
First Data on Campylobacter spp. Presence in Shellfish in Croatia
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 943; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080943 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 428
Abstract
This study aimed to assess the presence of thermotolerant Campylobacter spp., as one of the most important foodborne zoonotic pathogens, in three shellfish species: mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis), oysters (Ostrea edulis) and queen scallops (Aequipecten opercularis). The samples [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess the presence of thermotolerant Campylobacter spp., as one of the most important foodborne zoonotic pathogens, in three shellfish species: mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis), oysters (Ostrea edulis) and queen scallops (Aequipecten opercularis). The samples were collected from nine locations in the Istrian aquatory, Croatia. Isolation of Campylobacter was done according to standard ISO method, and species were identified using multiplex PCR. Isolates identified as C. jejuni and C. lari were genotyped using multilocus sequence typing (MLST) to determine the potential source of contamination. Among 108 examined samples of bivalve molluscs, mussels dominated and were the only ones found positive for the presence of Campylobacter (25.6%). In total, 19 C. lari and 1 C. jejuni strains were isolated. C. lari isolates found in this study belong to 13 sequence types (STs), and 9 of them are newly described in this paper. Two out of the four previously described C. lari STs that were found in this study were previously found in human stool. The only C. jejuni isolate was found to be sequence type 1268, which belongs to ST-1275 clonal complex that is almost exclusively found in seabirds and can sporadically cause infection in humans. Regarding the obtained results, introducing surveillance of thermotolerant Campylobacter in shellfish in the Republic of Croatia is advised as an improvement for public health safety. Full article
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Article
Geographic Distribution of Common Vampire Bat Desmodus rotundus (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae) Shelters: Implications for the Spread of Rabies Virus to Cattle in Southeastern Brazil
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 942; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080942 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 442
Abstract
Desmodus rotundus bats show a complex social structure and developed adaptive characteristics, considered key features of a pathogen disseminator, such as the rabies virus, among bats and other mammals, including cattle and humans. Our aim was to understand the correlation between the environment [...] Read more.
Desmodus rotundus bats show a complex social structure and developed adaptive characteristics, considered key features of a pathogen disseminator, such as the rabies virus, among bats and other mammals, including cattle and humans. Our aim was to understand the correlation between the environment and the ecological features of these bats in bovine rabies outbreaks. Geostatistical analyses were performed, covering 104 cattle positives for rabies, between 2016 and 2018, in 25 municipalities, in addition to the characteristics of D. rotundus colonies mapped during this period in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Data from the shelters showed that 86.15% were artificial, mainly abandoned houses (36.10%) and manholes (23.87%), in addition to demonstrating a correlation between these shelters and a higher concentration of bovine rabies cases. Due to their adaptive capacity, these bats choose shelters close to the food source, such as livestock. In Brazil, D. rotundus is the main transmitter of rabies and the cause of outbreaks in cattle and deaths in humans, considering the advance of humans in previously preserved ecosystems. There seems to be a correlation between the impact of anthropic changes on the environment, mainly for the expansion of pasture for cattle and the outbreaks of bovine rabies in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Epidemiology of Zoonotic Pathogens)
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Article
Protein Supplementation as a Nutritional Strategy to Reduce Gastrointestinal Nematodiasis in Periparturient and Lactating Pelibuey Ewes in a Tropical Environment
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 941; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080941 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 340
Abstract
The study was carried out to evaluate the effect of energy and protein supplementation on parasitological and hematological response during peripartum and lactation of productive and non-productive Pelibuey ewes in a tropical environment. Forty-eight Pelibuey ewes aged 3–5 years and with a body [...] Read more.
The study was carried out to evaluate the effect of energy and protein supplementation on parasitological and hematological response during peripartum and lactation of productive and non-productive Pelibuey ewes in a tropical environment. Forty-eight Pelibuey ewes aged 3–5 years and with a body weight of 31 ± 5 kg were used. Four groups of 12 ewes, including non-pregnant and productive ewes, were formed. A factorial treatment design was formulated, where two levels of energy (low, 9.6 MJ/kg, n = 24; and high, 10.1 MJ/kg, n = 24) and two levels of protein (high, 15% crude protein in diet, n = 24; and low, 8% crude protein in diet, n = 24) were studied. Fecal and blood samples were collected to determine the fecal egg count (FEC) of gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN), packed cell volume (PCV) and peripheral eosinophil (EOS) count. These variables were rearranged with respect to the lambing date in a retrospective study. The high dietary protein level had a significant effect on reducing the FEC and increasing the PCV of ewes during lactation, in comparison with animals fed with the low protein level. Differences in the study variables were attributed to physiological stage. Lactating ewes showed the highest FEC values (2709 ± 359 EPG), the lowest PCV values (21.9 ± 0.7%) and the lowest EOS (0.59 ± 0.6 Cells × 103 µL). It is concluded that high levels of dietary protein improve the hematological response and reduce the FEC in Pelibuey ewes under grazing conditions. The non-pregnant ewes maintained some resilience and resistance to GIN infection compared to productive ewes. Full article
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Review
The Effects of Swine Coronaviruses on ER Stress, Autophagy, Apoptosis, and Alterations in Cell Morphology
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080940 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 574
Abstract
Swine coronaviruses include the following six members, namely porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV), porcine delta coronavirus (PDCoV), swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV), porcine hemagglutinating encephalomyelitis virus (PHEV), and porcine respiratory coronavirus (PRCV). Clinically, PEDV, TGEV, PDCoV, and SADS-CoV [...] Read more.
Swine coronaviruses include the following six members, namely porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV), porcine delta coronavirus (PDCoV), swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV), porcine hemagglutinating encephalomyelitis virus (PHEV), and porcine respiratory coronavirus (PRCV). Clinically, PEDV, TGEV, PDCoV, and SADS-CoV cause enteritis, whereas PHEV induces encephalomyelitis, and PRCV causes respiratory disease. Years of studies reveal that swine coronaviruses replicate in the cellular cytoplasm exerting a wide variety of effects on cells. Some of these effects are particularly pertinent to cell pathology, including endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, unfolded protein response (UPR), autophagy, and apoptosis. In addition, swine coronaviruses are able to induce cellular changes, such as cytoskeletal rearrangement, alterations of junctional complexes, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), that render enterocytes unable to absorb nutrients normally, resulting in the loss of water, ions, and protein into the intestinal lumen. This review aims to describe the cellular changes in swine coronavirus-infected cells and to aid in understanding the pathogenesis of swine coronavirus infections. This review also explores how the virus exerted subcellular and molecular changes culminating in the clinical and pathological findings observed in the field. Full article
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Article
Genome-Wide Association Study for Haemonchus contortus Resistance in Morada Nova Sheep
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 939; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080939 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 360
Abstract
Among the gastrointestinal nematodes affecting sheep, Haemonchus contortus is the most prevalent and virulent, resulting in health problems and production losses. Therefore, selecting sheep resistant to H. contortus is a suitable and sustainable strategy for controlling endoparasites in flocks. Here, 287 lambs of [...] Read more.
Among the gastrointestinal nematodes affecting sheep, Haemonchus contortus is the most prevalent and virulent, resulting in health problems and production losses. Therefore, selecting sheep resistant to H. contortus is a suitable and sustainable strategy for controlling endoparasites in flocks. Here, 287 lambs of the native Brazilian Morada Nova hair sheep breed were subjected to two consecutive artificial infections with H. contortus and assessed for fecal egg count (FEC), packed cell volume (PCV), and live weight (LW). Forty-four animals ranked as having extreme resistance phenotypes were genotyped using the Illumina OvineSNP50v3 chip. A case–control genome-wide association study (GWAS) detected 37 significant (p < 0.001) markers in 12 ovine chromosomes in regions harboring quantitative trait loci (QTL) for FEC, Trichostrongylus spp. adults and larvae, weight, and fat; and candidate genes for immune responses, mucins, hematological parameters, homeostasis, and growth. Four single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP; OAR1_rs427671974, OAR2_rs419988472, OAR5_rs424070217, and OAR17_rs401006318) genotyped by qPCR followed by high-resolution melting (HRM) were associated with FEC and LW. Therefore, molecular markers detected by GWAS for H. contortus resistance in Morada Nova sheep may support animal selection programs aimed at controlling gastrointestinal nematode infections in flocks. Furthermore, genotyping of candidate genes using HRM qPCR may provide a rapid and efficient tool for animal identification. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Next-Generation Sequencing Applied to Cryptosporidium parvum and Cryptosporidium hominis Epidemiological Study
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 938; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080938 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 411
Abstract
Background. Nowadays, most of the C. parvum and C. hominis epidemiological studies are based on gp60 gene subtyping using the Sanger sequencing (SgS) method. Unfortunately, SgS presents the limitation of being unable to detect mixed infections. Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) seems to be [...] Read more.
Background. Nowadays, most of the C. parvum and C. hominis epidemiological studies are based on gp60 gene subtyping using the Sanger sequencing (SgS) method. Unfortunately, SgS presents the limitation of being unable to detect mixed infections. Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) seems to be an interesting solution to overcome SgS limits. Thus, the aim of our study was to (i) evaluate the reliability of NGS as a molecular typing tool for cryptosporidiosis, (ii) investigate the genetic diversity of the parasite and the frequency of mixed infections, (iii) assess NGS usefulness in Cryptosporidium sp. outbreak investigations, and (iv) assess an interpretation threshold of sequencing data. Methods. 108 DNA extracts from positive samples were sequenced by NGS. Among them, two samples were used to validate the reliability of the subtyping obtained by NGS and its capacity to detect DNA mixtures. In parallel, 106 samples from French outbreaks were used to expose NGS to epidemic samples. Results. NGS proved suitable for Cryptosporidium sp. subtyping at the gp60 gene locus, bringing more genetic information compared to SgS, especially by working on many samples simultaneously and detecting more diversity. Conclusions. This study confirms the usefulness of NGS applied to C. hominis and C. parvum epidemiological studies, especially aimed at detecting minority variants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cryptosporidium and Cryptosporidiosis: One Health Perspective)
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Article
An Experiment in Denmark to Infect Wounded Sitka Spruce with the Rotstop Isolate of Phlebiopsis gigantea, and Its Implications for the Control of Heterobasidion annosum in Britain
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 937; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080937 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 391
Abstract
The formulation of a Finnish isolate of the saprotrophic wood-rotting fungus Phlebiopsis gigantea into the biocontrol agent (BCA) Rotstop, which is used to prevent infection of Norway spruce stumps by aerial basidiospores of H. annosum, has led to its application to more than [...] Read more.
The formulation of a Finnish isolate of the saprotrophic wood-rotting fungus Phlebiopsis gigantea into the biocontrol agent (BCA) Rotstop, which is used to prevent infection of Norway spruce stumps by aerial basidiospores of H. annosum, has led to its application to more than 200,000 ha of forest in Scandinavia and North Europe. The success of this treatment opens the possibility of introducing the Rotstop strain into Britain for use on Sitka spruce stumps, which at present (2022) are lacking adequate prophylactic treatment. However, Rotstop is probably non-native to Britain and to North America (the ancestral home of this spruce), and we do not know if this xylem-decaying BCA can invade standing trees. In this paper, we describe a trial into this issue conducted for the U.K. Forestry Commission in Denmark, in a country where both Rotstop and Sitka spruce have been naturalised. It was preliminary to further stump treatment trials, and is relevant to long-term issues surrounding stump treatment in Britain. Inoculations into 44-year-old standing Sitka spruce with 20 mm wooden Scots pine plugs pre-colonised with Rotstop resulted in decay of the S1, S2, S3 and middle lamellae of sapwood above and below the wounds after 11–18 months. In contrast, infection of sapwood occurred in only one of 39 wounds on the same trees challenged with oidial spore inoculants adpressed to undamaged xylem sapwood during the same period. While the results suggest that release of Rotstop into the productive stands of Sitka spruce in Britain would be unlikely to cause long-term commercial losses to wounded trees, the work highlights issues relating to the assessment of risk associated with the introduction of non-native BCAs within the forest environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention and Management of Tree Diseases)
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Article
Zika Virus Infection Alters Gene Expression and Poly-Adenylation Patterns in Placental Cells
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 936; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080936 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 808
Abstract
Flaviviruses are small RNA viruses that are mainly transmitted via arthropod vectors and are found in tropic and sub-tropical regions. Most infections are asymptomatic (90–95%), but symptoms can be as severe as hemorrhagic fever and encephalitis. One recently emerged flavivirus is Zika virus [...] Read more.
Flaviviruses are small RNA viruses that are mainly transmitted via arthropod vectors and are found in tropic and sub-tropical regions. Most infections are asymptomatic (90–95%), but symptoms can be as severe as hemorrhagic fever and encephalitis. One recently emerged flavivirus is Zika virus (ZIKV), which was originally isolated from rhesus monkeys in Uganda roughly 70 years ago but has recently spread east, reaching S. America in 2015–2016. This outbreak was associated with the development of Guillain–Barré syndrome in adults and microcephaly in infants born to expectant mothers infected early in pregnancy. ZIKV must traverse the placenta to impact the development of the fetus, but the mechanisms responsible are unknown. While flaviviruses are known to disrupt splicing patterns in host cells, little is known about how flaviviruses such as ZIKV impact the alternative polyadenylation (APA) of host transcripts. This is important as APA is well-established as a mechanism in the regulation of mRNA metabolism and translation. Thus, we sought to characterize transcriptomic changes including APA in human placental (JEG3) cells in response to ZIKV infection using Poly(A)-ClickSeq (PAC-Seq). We used our differential Poly(A)-cluster (DPAC) analysis pipeline to characterize changes in differential gene expression, alternative poly-adenylation (APA) and the use of alternative terminal exons. We identified 98 upregulated genes and 28 downregulated genes. Pathway enrichment analysis indicated that many RNA processing and immune pathways were upregulated in ZIKV-infected JEG3 cells. We also updated DPAC to provide additional metrics of APA including the percentage-distal usage index (PDUI), which revealed that APA was extensive and the 3′ UTRs of 229 genes were lengthened while 269 were shortened. We further found that there were 214 upregulated and 59 downregulated poly(A)-clusters (PACs). We extracted the nucleotide sequences surrounding these PACs and found that the canonical signals for poly-adenylation (binding site for poly-A binding protein (PABP) upstream and a GU-rich region down-stream of the PAC) were only enriched in the downregulated PACs. These results indicate that ZIKV infection makes JEG3 cells more permissive to non-canonical poly-adenylation signals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Pathogens)
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Review
The Skin Microbiome in Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphomas (CTCL)—A Narrative Review
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 935; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080935 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 501
Abstract
In recent years, numerous studies have shown a significant role of the skin microbiome in the development and exacerbation of skin diseases. Cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCL) are a group of malignancies primary involving skin, with unclear pathogenesis and etiology. As external triggers appear [...] Read more.
In recent years, numerous studies have shown a significant role of the skin microbiome in the development and exacerbation of skin diseases. Cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCL) are a group of malignancies primary involving skin, with unclear pathogenesis and etiology. As external triggers appear to contribute to chronic skin inflammation and the malignant transformation of T-cells, some microorganisms or dysbiosis may be involved in these processes. Recently, studies analyzing the skin microbiome composition and diversity have been willingly conducted in CTCL patients. In this review, we summarize currently available data on the skin microbiome in CTLC. We refer to a healthy skin microbiome and the contribution of microorganisms in the pathogenesis and progression of other skin diseases, focusing on atopic dermatitis and its similarities to CTCL. Moreover, we present information about the possible role of identified microorganisms in CTCL development and progression. Additionally, we summarize information about the involvement of Staphylococcus aureus in CTCL pathogenesis. This article also presents therapeutic options used in CTCL and discusses how they may influence the microbiome. Full article
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Article
Dirofilaria immitis: Genotyping Randomly Selected European Clinical Samples and USA Laboratory Isolates with Molecular Markers Associated with Macrocyclic Lactone Susceptibility and Resistance
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 934; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080934 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 336
Abstract
Dirofilaria immitis is a parasitic nematode and causes dirofilariosis, a potentially fatal pulmonary infection which primarily infects canids. Dirofilariosis infections are controlled via prophylactic macrocyclic lactone (ML) regimens. Recent evidence has confirmed the development of ML-resistant isolates in the USA, which are genetically [...] Read more.
Dirofilaria immitis is a parasitic nematode and causes dirofilariosis, a potentially fatal pulmonary infection which primarily infects canids. Dirofilariosis infections are controlled via prophylactic macrocyclic lactone (ML) regimens. Recent evidence has confirmed the development of ML-resistant isolates in the USA, which are genetically distinct from wildtype populations. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) associated with ML-resistant phenotypes were clinically validated in USA populations. In this study, 3 USA laboratory-maintained isolates (Berkeley, Georgia II, and WildCat) and 11 randomly selected European clinical samples from 7 hosts were analyzed. The samples tested were fresh microfilaria (mf) in blood or adult worms preserved in ethanol. The samples underwent MiSeq sequencing of the top 9 SNP associated with ML resistance. The results provide the first genotypic analysis of the three USA laboratory-maintained isolates and any European samples. The European clinical samples show no genomic evidence of ML resistance based on the 9 SNP. The early adoption of genotyping of clinical D. immitis samples could provide an early indication of the potential development of ML resistance and aid to distinguish clinical cases of heartworm infection due to ML resistance from those due to a lack compliance with the recommended treatments, as has been seen in North America. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Parasitic Diseases)
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Article
Memory Impairment, Pro-Inflammatory Host Response and Brain Histopathologic Severity in Rats Infected with K. pneumoniae or P. aeruginosa Meningitis
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 933; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080933 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 487
Abstract
Meningitis caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa has lately become a prevalent cause of the central nervous system (CNS) infection. Bacterial invasion into the subarachnoid space prompts the releasing mechanism of chemokines and pro-inflammatory cytokines. The present study aimed to compare K. [...] Read more.
Meningitis caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa has lately become a prevalent cause of the central nervous system (CNS) infection. Bacterial invasion into the subarachnoid space prompts the releasing mechanism of chemokines and pro-inflammatory cytokines. The present study aimed to compare K. pneumoniae and P. aeruginosa meningitis concerning the memory, pro-inflammatory mediators and brain histopathological changes at different time intervals in adult Albino rats. The animals were sacrificed at three time intervals comprising 5, 10 and 15 days after meningitis induction. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture, relative brain weights, complete blood analysis, biochemical markers, levels of cytokine, chemokine and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotransmitter acetylcholine esterase (AChE) activity, and the brain histopathology of the infected rats in comparison to those in the control group were assessed. There was a significant increase in the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines including TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and AChE after 5 days of bacterial meningitis infection with both K. pneumoniae and P. aeruginosa. The histopathological analysis of the cerebral cortex in the P. aeruginosa meningitis model at different time intervals revealed abundant numbers of dilated and congested blood vessels with severe hemorrhage, cerebral infarct, intracellular and extracellular vacuoles, and gliosis. Fifteen days post infection, a significant reduction in the brain tissue weight was observed. The meningitis model employing P. aeruginosa exhibited more evident time-dependent severity compared to K. pneumoniae, which may advocate its validity as a simple and effective research model to study meningitis of the CNS. This model may be utilized for further investigation to ascertain the molecular and biological association between bacterial meningitis and the development of the pathophysiological hallmarks underlying Alzheimer’s disease in preclinical and clinical setups. Clinical extrapolation based on studies employing animal disease models should be carefully interpreted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Pathogens)
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Article
An Investigation of the Effect of Water Additives on Broiler Growth and the Caecal Microbiota at Harvest
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 932; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080932 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 457
Abstract
Campylobacter is the most common foodborne pathogen in developed countries and most cases are associated with poultry. This study investigated the effect of three anti-Campylobacter water additives on broiler growth and on the caecal microbiota at harvest using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. [...] Read more.
Campylobacter is the most common foodborne pathogen in developed countries and most cases are associated with poultry. This study investigated the effect of three anti-Campylobacter water additives on broiler growth and on the caecal microbiota at harvest using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Mixtures of organic acids (OA) and essential oils (EO) were administered to broilers for the entirety of the production cycle (35 d) and medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) for 5 d immediately before harvest, under commercial conditions. Bird weight gain was significantly (p < 0.001) reduced in broilers receiving the OA and EO treatments. While this was most likely due to reduced water intake and corresponding lower feed consumption, changes to the caecal microbiota may also have contributed. Firmicutes made up over 75% of the bacteria regardless of sample type, while the minor phyla included Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Melainabacteria, and Proteobacteria. There were no significant (p > 0.05) differences in the alpha diversity as measured using ACE, Chao1, and Shannon indices, except for control (water) versus MCFA and OA versus MCFA, using the Wilcox test. In contrast, there was a significant (p < 0.05) difference in beta diversity when the treated were compared to the untreated control and main flock samples, while linear discriminant analysis effect size (LeFSe) identified three OTUs that were present in the control but absent in the treated birds. It was concluded that the water additives tested adversely affected broiler performance, which may, at least in part, be due to changes in the caecal microbiota, assuming that the altered microbiota at day 35 is indicative of a change throughout the production cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Current Status of Research on Gut Metabolites and Microbiota)
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Review
The Exploration of Complement-Resistance Mechanisms of Pathogenic Gram-Negative Bacteria to Support the Development of Novel Therapeutics
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 931; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080931 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 443
Abstract
Resistance to antibiotics in Bacteria is one of the biggest threats to human health. After decades of attempting to isolate or design antibiotics with novel mechanisms of action against bacterial pathogens, few approaches have been successful. Antibacterial drug discovery is now moving towards [...] Read more.
Resistance to antibiotics in Bacteria is one of the biggest threats to human health. After decades of attempting to isolate or design antibiotics with novel mechanisms of action against bacterial pathogens, few approaches have been successful. Antibacterial drug discovery is now moving towards targeting bacterial virulence factors, especially immune evasion factors. Gram-negative bacteria present some of the most significant challenges in terms of antibiotic resistance. However, they are also able to be eliminated by the component of the innate immune system known as the complement system. In response, Gram-negative bacteria have evolved a variety of mechanisms by which they are able to evade complement and cause infection. Complement resistance mechanisms present some of the best novel therapeutic targets for defending against highly antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacterial infections. Full article
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Article
Localization of Epigenetic Markers in Leishmania Chromatin
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 930; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080930 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 493
Abstract
Eukaryotes use histone variants and post-translation modifications (PTMs), as well as DNA base modifications, to regulate DNA replication/repair, chromosome condensation, and gene expression. Despite the unusual organization of their protein-coding genes into large polycistronic transcription units (PTUs), trypanosomatid parasites also employ a “histone [...] Read more.
Eukaryotes use histone variants and post-translation modifications (PTMs), as well as DNA base modifications, to regulate DNA replication/repair, chromosome condensation, and gene expression. Despite the unusual organization of their protein-coding genes into large polycistronic transcription units (PTUs), trypanosomatid parasites also employ a “histone code” to control these processes, but the details of this epigenetic code are poorly understood. Here, we present the results of experiments designed to elucidate the distribution of histone variants and PTMs over the chromatin landscape of Leishmania tarentolae. These experiments show that two histone variants (H2A.Z and H2B.V) and three histone H3 PTMs (H3K4me3, H3K16ac, and H3K76me3) are enriched at transcription start sites (TSSs); while a histone variant (H3.V) and the trypanosomatid-specific hyper-modified DNA base J are located at transcription termination sites (TTSs). Reduced nucleosome density was observed at all TTSs and TSSs for RNA genes transcribed by RNA polymerases I (RNAPI) or RNAPIII; as well as (to a lesser extent) at TSSs for the PTUs transcribed by RNAPII. Several PTMs (H3K4me3, H3K16ac H3K20me2 and H3K36me3) and base J were enriched at centromeres, while H3K50ac was specifically associated with the periphery of these centromeric sequences. These findings significantly expand our knowledge of the epigenetic markers associated with transcription, DNA replication and/or chromosome segregation in these early diverging eukaryotes and will hopefully lay the groundwork for future studies to elucidate how they control these fundamental processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Leishmania)
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Systematic Review
Epidemiology of Ticks and Tick-Borne Pathogens in Domestic Ruminants across Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region from 1980 until 2021: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 929; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080929 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 580
Abstract
Ticks are hematophagous ectoparasites that are capable of infesting a wide range of mammals, including domestic animals, ruminants, wildlife, and humans across the world, and they transmit disease-causing pathogens. Numerous individual epidemiological studies have been conducted on the distribution and prevalence of ticks [...] Read more.
Ticks are hematophagous ectoparasites that are capable of infesting a wide range of mammals, including domestic animals, ruminants, wildlife, and humans across the world, and they transmit disease-causing pathogens. Numerous individual epidemiological studies have been conducted on the distribution and prevalence of ticks and tick-borne diseases (TBDs) in the Southern African Developing Community (SADC) region, but no effort has been undertaken to synchronize findings, which would be helpful in the implementation of consolidated tick control measures. With the aim of generating consolidated pooled prevalence estimates of ticks and TBDs in the SADC region, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of published articles using the PRISMA 2020 guidelines. A deep search was performed on five electronic databases, namely, PubMed, ScienceDirect, Google Scholar, AJOL, and Springer Link. Of the 347 articles identified, only 61 of the articles were eligible for inclusion. In total, 18,355 tick specimens were collected, belonging to the genera Amblyomma, Haemaphysalis, Hyalomma, and Rhipicephalus (including Boophilus) across several countries, including South Africa (n = 8), Tanzania (n = 3), Zambia (n = 2), Zimbabwe (n = 2), Madagascar (n = 2), Angola (n = 2), Mozambique (n = 1), and Comoros (n = 1). The overall pooled prevalence estimate (PPE) of TBPs in livestock was 52.2%, with the highest PPE in cattle [51.2%], followed by sheep [45.4%], and goats [29.9%]. For bacteria-like and rickettsial TBPs, Anaplasma marginale had the highest PPE of 45.9%, followed by A. centrale [14.7%], A. phagocytophilum [2.52%], and A. bovis [0.88%], whilst Ehrlichia ruminantium had a PPE of 4.2%. For piroplasmids, Babesia bigemina and B. bovis had PPEs of 20.8% and 20.3%, respectively. Theileria velifera had the highest PPE of 43.0%, followed by T. mutans [29.1%], T. parva [25.0%], and other Theileria spp. [14.06%]. Findings from this study suggest the need for a consolidated scientific approach in the investigation of ticks, TBPs, and TBDs in the whole SADC region, as most of the TBDs are transboundary and require a regional control strategy. Full article
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Article
High Predictive Value of the Soluble ZEBRA Antigen (Epstein-Barr Virus Trans-Activator Zta) in Transplant Patients with PTLD
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 928; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080928 - 17 Aug 2022
Viewed by 533
Abstract
The ZEBRA (Z EBV replication activator) protein is the major transcription factor of EBV, expressed upon EBV lytic cycle activation. An increasing body of studies have highlighted the critical role of EBV lytic infection as a risk factor for lymphoproliferative disorders, such as [...] Read more.
The ZEBRA (Z EBV replication activator) protein is the major transcription factor of EBV, expressed upon EBV lytic cycle activation. An increasing body of studies have highlighted the critical role of EBV lytic infection as a risk factor for lymphoproliferative disorders, such as post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD). We studied 108 transplanted patients (17 PTLD and 91 controls), retrospectively selected from different hospitals in France and in the Netherlands. The majority of PTLD were EBV-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphomas, five patients experienced atypical PTLD forms (EBV-negative lymphomas, Hodgkin’s lymphomas, and T-cell lymphomas). Fourteen patients among the seventeen who developed a pathologically confirmed PTLD were sZEBRA positive (soluble ZEBRA, plasma level above 20 ng/mL, measured by an ELISA test). The specificity and positive predictive value (PPV) of the sZEBRA detection in plasma were 98% and 85%, respectively. Considering a positivity threshold of 20 ng/mL, the sensitivity of the sZEBRA was 82.35% and the specificity was 94.51%. The mean of the sZEBRA values in the PTLD cases were significantly higher than in the controls (p < 0.0001). The relevance of the lytic cycle and, particularly, the role of ZEBRA in lymphomagenesis is a new paradigm pertaining to the prevention and treatment strategies for PTLD. Given the high-specificity and the predictive values of this test, it now appears relevant to investigate the lytic EBV infection in transplanted patients as a prognostic biomarker. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact of Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) in Clinical Practice)
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Article
Metagenomic Analysis of RNA Fraction Reveals the Diversity of Swine Oral Virome on South African Backyard Swine Farms in the uMgungundlovu District of KwaZulu-Natal Province
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 927; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080927 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 504
Abstract
Numerous RNA viruses have been reported in backyard swine populations in various countries. In the absence of active disease surveillance, a persistent knowledge gap exists on the diversity of RNA viruses in South African backyard swine populations. This is the first study investigating [...] Read more.
Numerous RNA viruses have been reported in backyard swine populations in various countries. In the absence of active disease surveillance, a persistent knowledge gap exists on the diversity of RNA viruses in South African backyard swine populations. This is the first study investigating the diversity of oral RNA virome of the backyard swine in South Africa. We used three samples of backyard swine oral secretion (saliva) collected from three distantly located backyard swine farms (BSFs) in the uMgungundlovu District, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Total viral RNA was extracted and used for the library preparation for deep sequencing using the Illumina HiSeq X instrument. The FASTQ files containing paired-end reads were analyzed using Genome Detective v 1.135. The assembled nucleotide sequences were analyzed using the PhyML phylogenetic tree. The genome sequence analysis identified a high diversity of swine enteric viruses in the saliva samples obtained from BSF2 and BSF3, while only a few viruses were identified in the saliva obtained from BSF1. The swine enteric viruses belonged to various animal virus families; however, two fungal viruses, four plant viruses, and five unclassified RNA viruses were also identified. Specifically, viruses of the family Astroviridae, according to the number of reads, were the most prevalent. Of note, the genome sequences of Rotavirus A (RVA) and Rotavirus C (RVC) at BSF2 and RVC and Hepatitis E virus (HEV) at BSF3 were also obtained. The occurrence of various swine enteric viruses in swine saliva suggests a high risk of diarrhoeic diseases in the backyard swine. Of note, zoonotic viruses in swine saliva, such as RVA, RVC, and HEV, indicate a risk of zoonotic spillover to the exposed human populations. We recommend the implementation of biosecurity to ensure sustainable backyard swine farming while safeguarding public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Infections in Domestic Animals)
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Article
Virulence Mechanisms of Common Uropathogens and Their Intracellular Localisation within Urothelial Cells
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 926; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080926 - 17 Aug 2022
Viewed by 411
Abstract
A recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common debilitating condition whereby uropathogens are able to survive within the urinary tract. In this study, we aimed to determine if the common uropathogens Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, and Group B Streptococcus possessed [...] Read more.
A recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common debilitating condition whereby uropathogens are able to survive within the urinary tract. In this study, we aimed to determine if the common uropathogens Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, and Group B Streptococcus possessed virulence mechanisms that enable the invasion of urothelial cells. Urothelial cells were isolated from women with detrusor overactivity and recurrent UTIs; the intracellular localisation of the uropathogens was determined by confocal microscopy. Uropathogens were also isolated from women with acute UTIs and their intracellular localisation and virulence mechanisms were examined (yeast agglutination, biofilm formation, and haemolysis). Fluorescent staining and imaging of urothelial cells isolated from women with refractory detrusor overactivity and recurrent UTIs demonstrated that all three uropathogens were capable of intracellular colonisation. Similarly, the bacterial isolates from women with acute UTIs were also seen to intracellularly localise using an in vitro model. All Enterococcus and Streptococcus isolates possessed a haemolytic capacity and displayed a strong biofilm formation whilst yeast cell agglutination was unique to Escherichia coli. The expression of virulence mechanisms by these uropathogenic species was observed to correlate with successful urothelial cell invasion. Invasion into the bladder urothelium was seen to be a common characteristic of uropathogens, suggesting that bacterial reservoirs within the bladder contribute to the incidence of recurrent UTIs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Aspects of Urinary Tract Infection)
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Article
Inhibition of Melanization by Kojic Acid Promotes Cell Wall Disruption of the Human Pathogenic Fungus Fonsecaea sp.
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 925; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080925 - 17 Aug 2022
Viewed by 391
Abstract
Chromoblastomycosis (CBM) is a chronic human subcutaneous mycosis caused by various aetiologic agents. CBM does not have an established treatment but may be managed using antifungal agents, surgical removal of the lesions, or cryotherapy. Kojic acid (KA), a known tyrosinase inhibitor with a [...] Read more.
Chromoblastomycosis (CBM) is a chronic human subcutaneous mycosis caused by various aetiologic agents. CBM does not have an established treatment but may be managed using antifungal agents, surgical removal of the lesions, or cryotherapy. Kojic acid (KA), a known tyrosinase inhibitor with a variety of biological actions, including fungistatic action against the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, mediated by inhibiting melanin production, seems to be an alternative to improve the treatment of CBM. The aim of the present study was to analyze the action of KA against the pathogenic fungus Fonsecaea sp., an aetiological agent of CBM. The fungal culture was incubated with KA, and the amount of melanin was assessed, followed by cytochemical detection. Subsequently, the samples were analyzed by light microscopy, transmission and scanning electron microscopy. Culture analysis revealed that 100 g/mL KA significantly decreased the melanization of the fungus and the exocytosis of melanin into the culture supernatant. Additionally, KA induced less growth of biofilm formation and intense disruption of the cell wall, and decreased the number of melanin-containing vesicles in the culture supernatant. Finally, KA inhibited fungal filamentation in culture and the subsequent phagocytosis process. Thus, KA may be a promising substance to help in the treatment of CBM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Pathogens)
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Review
Monkeypox and Its Possible Sexual Transmission: Where Are We Now with Its Evidence?
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 924; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080924 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1420
Abstract
Monkeypox is a rare disease but is increasing in incidence in different countries since the first case was diagnosed in the UK by the United Kingdom (UK) Health Security Agency on 6 May 2022. As of 9 August, almost 32,000 cases have been [...] Read more.
Monkeypox is a rare disease but is increasing in incidence in different countries since the first case was diagnosed in the UK by the United Kingdom (UK) Health Security Agency on 6 May 2022. As of 9 August, almost 32,000 cases have been identified in 89 countries. In endemic areas, the monkeypox virus (MPXV) is commonly transmitted through zoonosis, while in non-endemic regions, it is spread through human-to-human transmission. Symptoms can include flu-like symptoms, rash, or sores on the hands, feet, genitalia, or anus. In addition, people who did not take the smallpox vaccine were more likely to be infected than others. The exact pathogenesis and mechanisms are still unclear; however, most identified cases are reported in men who have sex with other men (MSM). According to the CDC, transmission can happen with any sexual or non-sexual contact with the infected person. However, a recent pooled meta-analysis reported that sexual contact is involved in more than 91% of cases. Moreover, it is the first time that semen analysis for many patients has shown positive monkeypox virus DNA. Therefore, in this review, we will describe transmission methods for MPXV while focusing mainly on potential sexual transmission and associated sexually transmitted infections. We will also highlight the preventive measures that can limit the spread of the diseases in this regard. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Monkeypox: An Emerging Sexually Transmitted Infection?)
Correction
Correction: Kumar et al. The Global Emergence of Human Babesiosis. Pathogens 2021, 10, 1447
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 923; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080923 - 17 Aug 2022
Viewed by 264
Abstract
In the original publication [...] Full article
Article
WO3 Photocatalyst Containing Copper Inactivates SARS-CoV-2 Pango Lineage A and Omicron BA.2 Variant in Visible Light and in Darkness
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 922; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080922 - 16 Aug 2022
Viewed by 468
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019, which has been a global pandemic. Since SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted through contaminated surfaces and aerosols, environmental disinfection is important to block the spread of the virus. Photocatalysts are [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019, which has been a global pandemic. Since SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted through contaminated surfaces and aerosols, environmental disinfection is important to block the spread of the virus. Photocatalysts are attractive tools for virus inactivation and are widely used as air purifiers and coating materials. However, photocatalysts are inactive in the dark, and some of them need to be excited with light of a specific wavelength. Therefore, photocatalysts that can effectively inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in indoor environments are needed. Here, we show that a WO3 photocatalyst containing copper inactivated the SARS-CoV-2 WK-521 strain (Pango lineage A) upon irradiation with white light in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Additionally, this photocatalyst also inactivated SARS-CoV-2 in dark conditions due to the antiviral effect of copper. Furthermore, this photocatalyst inactivated not only the WK-521 strain but also the Omicron variant BA.2. These results indicate that the WO3 photocatalyst containing copper can inactivate indoor SARS-CoV-2 regardless of the variant, in visible light or darkness, making it an effective tool for controlling the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging and Re-emerging Viral Infectious Diseases)
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