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Pathogens, Volume 13, Issue 6 (June 2024) – 81 articles

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15 pages, 1515 KiB  
Article
How to Improve Surveillance Program for Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli (STEC): Gap Analysis and Pilot Study
by Valerio Massimo Sora, Francesca Zaghen and Alfonso Zecconi
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 511; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060511 (registering DOI) - 17 Jun 2024
Abstract
Several pathotypes of enteric E. coli have been identified. The group represented by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) is of particular interest. Raw milk and raw milk products are significant sources of STEC infection in humans; therefore, identifying pathogens at the herd level [...] Read more.
Several pathotypes of enteric E. coli have been identified. The group represented by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) is of particular interest. Raw milk and raw milk products are significant sources of STEC infection in humans; therefore, identifying pathogens at the herd level is crucial for public health. Most national surveillance programs focus solely on raw milk and raw milk cheeses that are ready for retail sale, neglecting the possibility of evaluating the source of contamination directly at the beginning of the dairy chain. To assess the viability of the application of new molecular methodologies to STEC identification in raw milk filters and in calf feces, we analyzed 290 samples from 18 different dairy herds, including 88 bulk tank milk (BTM), 104 raw milk filters (RMF), and 98 calf feces samples. In total 3.4% of BTM, 41.4% of RMF, and 73.4% of calves’ feces were positive for stx, supporting our hypothesis that BTM is not a suitable matrix to assess the presence of STEC at herd level, underestimating it. Our conclusion is that the surveillance program needs critical and extensive improvements such as RMF and calves’ feces analysis implementation to be more efficient in detecting and preventing STEC infections. The epidemiology of these infections and the characteristics of the pathogen clearly show how a One Health approach will be pivotal in improving our capabilities to control the spread of these infections. Full article
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12 pages, 1504 KiB  
Article
Differential Gene Expression in the Upper Respiratory Tract following Acute COVID-19 Infection in Ambulatory Patients That Develop Long COVID
by Mia J. Biondi, Mary Addo, Muhammad Atif Zahoor, Elsa Salvant, Paul Yip, Bethany Barber, David Smookler, Sumaiyah Wasif, Kayla Gaete, Christopher Kandel, Jordan J. Feld, Hubert Tsui and Robert A. Kozak
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060510 (registering DOI) - 17 Jun 2024
Abstract
Background: Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19, or long COVID, is a condition characterized by persistent COVID-19 symptoms. As long COVID is defined by clinical criteria after an elapsed period, an opportunity for early intervention may aid in future prophylactic approaches; however, at present, the [...] Read more.
Background: Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19, or long COVID, is a condition characterized by persistent COVID-19 symptoms. As long COVID is defined by clinical criteria after an elapsed period, an opportunity for early intervention may aid in future prophylactic approaches; however, at present, the pathobiological mechanisms are multifactorial. By analyzing early virally infected upper respiratory tract tissue prior to eventual clinical diagnosis, it may be possible to identify biomarkers of altered immune response to facilitate future studies and interventions. Methods: This is a sub-group analysis of samples collected from those with confirmed COVID-19. RNA extraction from nasopharyngeal/mid-turbinate samples, sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis were performed to analyze long COVID and non-long COVID cohorts at day 14 post infection. Differences in mean viral load at various timepoints were analyzed as well as serological data. Results: We identified 26 upregulated genes in patients experiencing long COVID. Dysregulated pathways including complement and fibrinolysis pathways and IL-7 upregulation. Additionally, genes involved in neurotransmission were dysregulated, and the long COVID group had a significantly higher viral load and slower viral clearance. Conclusions: Uncovering early gene pathway abnormalities associated with eventual long COVID diagnosis may aid in early identification. We show that, post acute infection, in situ pathogenic deviations in viral response are associated with patients destined to meet consensus long COVID diagnosis that is entirely dependent on clinical factors. These results identify an important biological temporal window in the natural history of COVID-19 infection and long COVID pathogenesis amenable to testing from standard-of-care upper respiratory tract specimens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Pathogens)
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12 pages, 830 KiB  
Article
Understanding Artemisia cina Ethyl Acetate Extract’s Anthelmintic Effect on Haemonchus contortus Eggs and L3 Larvae: The Synergism of Peruvin Binary Mixtures
by Luis David Arango-De-la Pava, Manasés González-Cortazar, Alejandro Zamilpa, Jorge Alfredo Cuéllar-Ordaz, Héctor Alejandro de la Cruz-Cruz, Rosa Isabel Higuera-Piedrahita and Raquel López-Arellano
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 509; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060509 (registering DOI) - 16 Jun 2024
Viewed by 99
Abstract
Haemonchus contortus, a blood-feeding parasite in grazing sheep, causes economic losses. Drug resistance necessitates exploring plant-based anthelmintics like Artemisia cina (Asteraceae). The plant, particularly its ethyl acetate extract, shows anthelmintic activity against H. contortus. However, there is limited information on pharmacodynamic [...] Read more.
Haemonchus contortus, a blood-feeding parasite in grazing sheep, causes economic losses. Drug resistance necessitates exploring plant-based anthelmintics like Artemisia cina (Asteraceae). The plant, particularly its ethyl acetate extract, shows anthelmintic activity against H. contortus. However, there is limited information on pharmacodynamic interactions in ethyl acetate compounds. The study aims to identify pharmacodynamic interactions in the ethyl acetate extract of A. cina with anthelmintic effects on H. contortus eggs and L3 larvae using binary mixtures. Bioactive compounds were isolated via chromatography and identified using spectroscopic techniques. Pharmacodynamic interactions were assessed through binary mixtures with a main compound. Four bioactive compounds were identified: 1-nonacosanol, hentriacontane, peruvin, and cinic acid. Binary mixtures, with peruvin as the main compound, were performed. Peruvin/1-nonacosanol-hentriacontane and peruvin/cinic acid mixtures demonstrated 1.42-fold and 4.87-fold increased lethal effects in H. contortus L3 infective larvae, respectively, at a 0.50LC25/0.50LC25 concentration. In this work, we determined the synergism between bioactive compounds isolated from the ethyl acetate extract of A. cina and identified unreported compounds for the specie. Full article
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11 pages, 358 KiB  
Review
Direct-Acting Antiviral Agents in Prevention of Maternal–Fetal Transmission of Hepatitis C Virus in Pregnancy
by Christopher Hartley, Trung Van and Wikrom Karnsakul
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060508 (registering DOI) - 16 Jun 2024
Viewed by 174
Abstract
Prior to the Food and Drug Administration approval of ledipaspavir/sofosbuvir (Harvoni®) in 2014, the treatment of hepatitis C was interferon plus or minus ribavirin. This treatment had low cure rates for hepatitis C virus and was teratogenic and therefore avoided in [...] Read more.
Prior to the Food and Drug Administration approval of ledipaspavir/sofosbuvir (Harvoni®) in 2014, the treatment of hepatitis C was interferon plus or minus ribavirin. This treatment had low cure rates for hepatitis C virus and was teratogenic and therefore avoided in pregnant patients. Vertical transmission is the most common transmission of hepatitis C in pediatric patients, whereas medical equipment that was not properly cleaned and sterilized, blood products which were not checked (historically), sharing and reusing syringes and needles, and dialysis are the most common forms of hepatitis C transmission in adults. The treatment of pregnant women with direct-acting antivirals is important because the treatment of pediatric patients cannot begin until three years of age and does not always occur prior to the symptom development of hepatitis C. This review article will include glecaprevir/pibrentasvir (Mayvret®), sofosbuvir/velpatasvir (Epclusa®), and sofosbuvir/velpatasvir plus voxilaprevir (Vosevi®). We aim to review the teratogenic risk of direct-acting antivirals as well as currently published clinical trials and ongoing research on direct-acting antiviral hepatitis C treatment in pregnancy in this publication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Pathogens)
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6 pages, 227 KiB  
Communication
Complete Genome Sequence of a Klebsiella pneumoniae Strain Carrying Novel Variant blaKPC-203, Cross-Resistant to Ceftazidime/Avibactam and Cefiderocol, but Susceptible to Carbapenems, Isolated in Italy, 2023
by Stefano Amadesi, Gabriele Bianco, Benedetta Secci, Teresa Fasciana, Matteo Boattini, Cristina Costa and Paolo Gaibani
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060507 (registering DOI) - 15 Jun 2024
Viewed by 204
Abstract
Background: Klebsiella pneumoniae is a concerning pathogen, responsible for hospital-associated outbreaks. Multi drug resistant (MDR) strains are especially hard to treat. We conducted whole-genome sequencing on a MDR K. pneumoniae strain in order to identify genomic features potentially linked to its phenotype. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Klebsiella pneumoniae is a concerning pathogen, responsible for hospital-associated outbreaks. Multi drug resistant (MDR) strains are especially hard to treat. We conducted whole-genome sequencing on a MDR K. pneumoniae strain in order to identify genomic features potentially linked to its phenotype. Methods: DNA sequencing was performed on the Illumina iSeq 100 platform. Genome assembly was carried out with SPAdes. The genome was annotated with RASTtk. Typing was performed with MLST and Kaptive. Antibiotic resistance genes were detected with AMRFinderPlus and Abricate, and further verified with BLAST. Results: The strain exhibited resistance to ceftazidime/avibactam and cefiderocol, but remained susceptible to carbapenems. The strain belonged to sequence type ST101, serotype O1:K17. The analysis of antibiotic resistance genes indicated that the strain carried a novel KPC variant, designated as KPC-203, featuring a EL deletion at amino acid position 166–167, within the Ω-loop, and a nine-amino-acid insertion (LAVYTRAPM) at position 259. Sequence alterations were found in porin genes ompK35 and ompK36. Unlike molecular testing, which was able to detect the KPC-203 variant, all phenotypic carbapenemase detection methods achieved negative results. Conclusions: KPC-203, a novel KPC variant, showed a sequence modification in a cephalosporin resistance-associated hotspot. Interestingly, such alterations typically correlate with the restoration of carbapenem susceptibility. We hypothesize that KPC-203 likely led to resistance to ceftazidime/avibactam and cefiderocol, while maintaining susceptibility to carbapenems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Emerging Pathogens)
10 pages, 557 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination and Infection on Humoral and Cellular Immunity in a Cohort of Patients with Immune-Mediated Diseases: A Pilot Study
by Giulia Anna Maria Luigia Costanzo, Giuseppina Sanna, Francesco Pes, Carla Maria Deiana, Andrea Giovanni Ledda, Andrea Perra, Vanessa Palmas, Valeria Manca, Michela Miglianti, Ferdinando Coghe, Aldo Manzin, Stefano Del Giacco, Luchino Chessa and Davide Firinu
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060506 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 281
Abstract
Immunization against COVID-19 is needed in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs). However, data on long-term immunity kinetics remain scarce. This study aimed to compare the humoral and cellular response to COVID-19 in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) compared to healthy controls. [...] Read more.
Immunization against COVID-19 is needed in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs). However, data on long-term immunity kinetics remain scarce. This study aimed to compare the humoral and cellular response to COVID-19 in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) compared to healthy controls. We compared the humoral and cellular response to SARS-Cov-2 elicited by vaccination and/or infection in a prospective cohort of 20 IMID patients compared with a group of 21 healthcare workers (HCWs). We assessed immunity before and after the third and fourth dose of BNT162b2 or after COVID-19 infection using quantitative IgG anti-SARS-CoV-2 Spike antibody (anti-S-IgG), neutralization assay, and specific interferon-gamma (IFN-g) release assay (IGRA). The responses were compared with those of healthy controls. The two groups were similar in age and total exposure, becoming infected for the first time, mainly after the third dose. Neutralizing antibodies and IGRA were negative in 9.5% of IMID patients but not in any HCWs. No significant difference was found between neutralization titers to BA.1 in the IMID and the HCW groups. The study highlights the SARS-CoV-2 immunological responses in healthy controls and IMID patients, suggesting that the combined stimuli of vaccination and infection in IMID patients could promote a more profound immunological response. Full article
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14 pages, 1497 KiB  
Article
A Simulation Study to Reveal the Epidemiology and Aerosol Transmission Characteristics of Botrytis cinerea in Grape Greenhouses
by Lifang Yuan, Hang Jiang, Tinggang Li, Qibao Liu, Xilong Jiang, Xing Han, Yanfeng Wei, Xiangtian Yin and Suna Wang
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 505; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060505 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 183
Abstract
Most previously studies had considered that plant fungal disease spread widely and quickly by airborne fungi spore. However, little is known about the release dynamics, aerodynamic diameter, and pathogenicity threshold of fungi spore in air of the greenhouse environment. Grape gray mold is [...] Read more.
Most previously studies had considered that plant fungal disease spread widely and quickly by airborne fungi spore. However, little is known about the release dynamics, aerodynamic diameter, and pathogenicity threshold of fungi spore in air of the greenhouse environment. Grape gray mold is caused by Botrytis cinerea; the disease spreads in greenhouses by spores in the air and the spore attaches to the leaf and infects plant through the orifice. In this study, 120 μmol/L propidium monoazide (PMA) were suitable for treatment and quantitation viable spore by quantitative real-time PCR, with a limit detection of 8 spores/mL in spore suspension. In total, 93 strains of B. cinerea with high pathogenicity were isolated and identified from the air samples of grapevines greenhouses by a portable sampler. The particle size of B. cinerea aerosol ranged predominately from 0.65–3.3 μm, accounting for 71.77% of the total amount. The B. cinerea spore aerosols were infective to healthy grape plants, with the lowest concentration that could cause disease being 42 spores/m3. Botrytis cinerea spores collected form six greenhouse in Shandong Province were quantified by PMA-qPCR, with a higher concentration (1182.89 spores/m3) in May and June and a lower concentration in July and August (6.30 spores/m3). This study suggested that spore dispersal in aerosol is an important route for the epidemiology of plant fungal disease, and these data will contribute to the development of new strategies for the effective alleviation and control of plant diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Pathogenicity Factors: 2nd Edition)
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8 pages, 1219 KiB  
Article
A Novel Cryptic Virus Isolated from Galphimia spp. in Mexico
by Dianella Iglesias, Kristian Stevens, Ashutosh Sharma and Alfredo Diaz-Lara
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 504; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060504 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 224
Abstract
Galphimia spp. is a plant employed in traditional medicine in Mexico because of its anxiolytic and sedative effects. Viruses have been associated with different alterations in plants, although asymptomatic agents (i.e., cryptic viruses) are also known. High-throughput sequencing (HTS) allows for the detection [...] Read more.
Galphimia spp. is a plant employed in traditional medicine in Mexico because of its anxiolytic and sedative effects. Viruses have been associated with different alterations in plants, although asymptomatic agents (i.e., cryptic viruses) are also known. High-throughput sequencing (HTS) allows for the detection of pathogenic and non-pathogenic viral agents in plants, including potential novel viruses. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of viral agents in two populations of Galphimia spp. by HTS. Sequencing was conducted on an Illumina NextSeq 550 platform, and a putative novel virus was identified. Two contigs showed homology to partitiviruses, and these encoded the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and coat protein. These proteins showed the highest identities with orthologs in the recently discovered Vitis cryptic virus. A phylogenetic analysis of both RNAs showed that the new virus clusters into the monophyletic genus Deltapartitivirus along with other plant-infecting viruses. The result of the HTS analysis was validated by conventional RT-PCR and Sanger sequencing. A novel virus was discovered in a symptomless Galphimia spp. plant and tentatively named the Galphimia cryptic virus (GCV). This is the first virus discovered in medicinal plants in Mexico. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Pathogens)
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15 pages, 1296 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Summary of Safety Data on Nirsevimab in Infants and Children from All Pivotal Randomized Clinical Trials
by Vaishali S. Mankad, Amanda Leach, Yue Chang, Ulrika Wählby Hamrén, Alexandre Kiazand, Robert J. Kubiak, Therese Takas, Tonya Villafana and Manish Shroff
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060503 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 215
Abstract
Background: Nirsevimab is approved in the US for the prevention of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) lower respiratory tract disease in neonates and infants during their first RSV season and in children aged ≤24 months who remain vulnerable to severe RSV disease through their [...] Read more.
Background: Nirsevimab is approved in the US for the prevention of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) lower respiratory tract disease in neonates and infants during their first RSV season and in children aged ≤24 months who remain vulnerable to severe RSV disease through their second RSV season. We summarize a pre-specified analysis of nirsevimab safety data from three randomized controlled trials: Phase 2b (NCT02878330; healthy infants born ≥29 to <35 weeks’ gestational age [wGA]); Phase 3 MELODY (NCT03979313; healthy infants born ≥35 wGA); and Phase 2/3 MEDLEY (NCT03959488; infants with congenital heart disease [CHD] and/or chronic lung disease of prematurity [CLD] or born ≤35 wGA). Methods: Participants (randomized 2:1) received a single intramuscular dose of nirsevimab or comparator (placebo, Phase 2b/MELODY; 5× once-monthly palivizumab, MEDLEY) before their first RSV season (recipients < 5 kg, nirsevimab 50 mg; ≥5 kg, nirsevimab 100 mg). In MEDLEY, children with CHD/CLD continued to a second RSV season: first-season nirsevimab recipients received nirsevimab 200 mg; first-season palivizumab recipients were re-randomized 1:1 to receive nirsevimab 200 mg or 5× once-monthly palivizumab. Results: The incidence, severity, and nature of AEs were similar across treatments (nirsevimab, n = 3184; placebo, n = 1284; palivizumab, n = 304). Most AEs were mild to moderate in severity, with ≥98% unrelated to treatment. AEs of special interest occurred infrequently (<1%): no anaphylaxis or thrombocytopenia were treatment-related, and no immune complex disease was reported. Deaths (incidence < 1.0%) were all unrelated to treatment. Conclusions: A single dose per season of nirsevimab for the prevention of RSV disease had a favorable safety profile, irrespective of wGA or comorbidities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pediatric Infectious Diseases)
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1 pages, 138 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Luo et al. Role of Recognition MicroRNAs in Hemaphysalis longicornis and Theileria orientalis Interactions. Pathogens 2024, 13, 288
by Jin Luo, Yangchun Tan, Shuaiyang Zhao, Qiaoyun Ren, Guiquan Guan, Jianxun Luo, Hong Yin and Guangyuan Liu
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060502 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 104
Abstract
In the original publication [...] Full article
13 pages, 1980 KiB  
Article
Prevalence and Control of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Tourist Facilities across the Canary Islands, Spain
by Antonio Doménech-Sánchez, Elena Laso and Sebastián Albertí
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060501 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 299
Abstract
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common pathogen associated with recreational water facilities and poses risks to public health. However, data on the prevalence of P. aeruginosa in tourist destinations like the Canary Islands, Spain, remain limited. We assessed P. aeruginosa prevalence in 23 tourist [...] Read more.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common pathogen associated with recreational water facilities and poses risks to public health. However, data on the prevalence of P. aeruginosa in tourist destinations like the Canary Islands, Spain, remain limited. We assessed P. aeruginosa prevalence in 23 tourist facilities from 2016 to 2019. Compliance with water quality standards was evaluated, and 3962 samples were collected and analyzed. We examined different types of recreational water installations, including outer swimming pools, whirlpools, and cold wells. Of the sampled facilities, 31.2% did not comply with the current legislation’s parametric values, mainly due to inadequate disinfectant levels, water temperature, and P. aeruginosa presence. The prevalence of P. aeruginosa was 4.8%, comparable to some European countries but lower than others. Cold wells displayed the highest non-compliance rate (89.2%) and yet exhibited a lower P. aeruginosa prevalence (1.9%) than outer swimming pools and whirlpools. Children’s presence did not significantly impact P. aeruginosa contamination. Chlorine-based disinfectants are more effective than bromine-based ones in controlling P. aeruginosa. Regional variability in contamination was observed, with Fuerteventura showing lower colonization rates. Disinfectant levels play a critical role in P. aeruginosa control, and maintaining adequate levels is essential, particularly in bromine-treated installations. Our findings provide valuable insights into the prevalence and distribution of P. aeruginosa in recreational waters within tourist facilities. Tailored strategies are needed to ensure water safety in different Spanish regions. Continued monitoring and assessment, combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning, will enable the implementation of targeted interventions to protect the health of recreational water users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Pathogens)
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31 pages, 4291 KiB  
Review
Brief Insights into mRNA Vaccines: Their Successful Production and Nanoformulation for Effective Response against COVID-19 and Their Potential Success for Influenza A and B
by Amerah Parveen and Amal Ali Elkordy
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060500 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 367
Abstract
A mRNA vaccine is a type of vaccine that induces an immune response. Antigen-encoding mRNA is delivered via vaccine carriers into the immune cells, which are produced because of antigen-encoding mRNA translation, a protein. For example, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines produce the spike protein [...] Read more.
A mRNA vaccine is a type of vaccine that induces an immune response. Antigen-encoding mRNA is delivered via vaccine carriers into the immune cells, which are produced because of antigen-encoding mRNA translation, a protein. For example, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines produce the spike protein of the COVID-19 virus, whereas for influenza virus, mRNA vaccines target the haemagglutinin protein to treat the flu, and it requires modifications depending on the pandemic or seasonal viruses as it is capable of adapting the immune response, which makes the development of vaccines arduous. The protein molecule promotes an adaptive immune response that eliminates and terminates the corresponding virus or pathogen. There are many challenges to delivering an mRNA vaccine into the body; hence, the encapsulation of the mRNA (usually within lipid nanoparticles) is necessary to protect the mRNA from the body’s surrounding environment. In this review article, we focus mainly on the production, formulation, and stabilization of mRNA vaccines in general, elaborating more on and focusing more on SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19, and influenza viruses, which have become a major concern as these viruses have turned into life-threatening diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Influenza A and Influenza B Viruses)
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15 pages, 1364 KiB  
Article
Cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr Virus, Herpes Simplex Virus, and Varicella Zoster Virus Infection Dynamics in People with Multiple Sclerosis from Northern Italy
by Peter A. Maple, Radu Tanasescu, Cris S. Constantinescu, Paola Valentino, Marco Capobianco, Silvia D’Orso, Giovanna Borsellino, Luca Battistini, Giovanni Ristori, Rosella Mechelli, Marco Salvetti and Bruno Gran
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060499 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 367
Abstract
Previous exposure to Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) is strongly associated with the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). By contrast, past cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection may have no association, or be negatively associated with MS. This study aimed to investigate the associations of herpesvirus infections with [...] Read more.
Previous exposure to Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) is strongly associated with the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). By contrast, past cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection may have no association, or be negatively associated with MS. This study aimed to investigate the associations of herpesvirus infections with MS in an Italian population. Serum samples (n = 200) from Italian people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) classified as the relapsing-and-remitting clinical phenotype and (n = 137) healthy controls (HCs) were obtained from the CRESM Biobank, Orbassano, Italy. Both PwMS and HCs samples were selected according to age group (20–39 years, and 40 or more years) and sex. EBV virus capsid antigen (VCA) IgG, EBV nucleic acid-1 antigen (EBNA-1) IgG, CMV IgG, herpes simplex virus (HSV) IgG, and varicella zoster virus (VZV) IgG testing was undertaken using commercial ELISAs. EBV VCA IgG and EBNA-1 IgG seroprevalences were 100% in PwMS and 93.4% and 92.4%, respectively, in HCs. EBV VCA IgG and EBNA-1 IgG levels were higher (p < 0.001) in PwMS compared with HCs. For PwMS, the EBNA-1 IgG levels decreased with age, particularly in females. The CMV IgG seroprevalence was 58.7% in PwMS and 62.9% in HCs. CMV IgG seroprevalence increased with age. The HSV IgG seroprevalence was 71.2% in PwMS and 70.8% in HCs. HSV IgG levels were lower (p = 0.0005) in PwMS compared with HCs. VZV IgG seroprevalence was 97.5% in PwMS and 98.5% in HCs. In the population studied, several herpesvirus infections markers may have been influenced by the age and sex of the groups studied. The lack of a negative association of MS with CMV infection, and the observation of lower levels of HSV IgG in PwMS compared with HCs are findings worthy of further investigation. Full article
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18 pages, 4633 KiB  
Article
Assessing the In Vitro Individual and Combined Effect of Arthrobotrys oligospora and A. musiformis (Orbiliales) Liquid Culture Filtrates against Infective Larvae of the Sheep Blood-Feeding Nematode Haemonchus contortus (Trichostrongylidae)
by Antonio Colinas-Picazo, Pedro Mendoza-de Gives, Gustavo Pérez-Anzúrez, Enrique Gutiérrez-Medina, Génesis Andrea Bautista-García, Edgar Jesús Delgado-Núñez and Agustín Olmedo-Juárez
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060498 - 11 Jun 2024
Viewed by 237
Abstract
Background: Arthrobotrys species are nematophagous fungi that secrete extracellular nematocidal products (ECP). The individual and combined effects of ECP from Arthrobotrys oligospora (Ao) and A. musiformis (Am) growth in liquid media against Haemonchus contortus L3 (HcL3) were assessed. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Arthrobotrys species are nematophagous fungi that secrete extracellular nematocidal products (ECP). The individual and combined effects of ECP from Arthrobotrys oligospora (Ao) and A. musiformis (Am) growth in liquid media against Haemonchus contortus L3 (HcL3) were assessed. Methods: The isolation, morphological (MI) and molecular identification (Mol-I), assessment of nematocidal activity (NA) of fungal liquid culture filtrates (LCF) in two liquid media alone and in combination and the myco-compound profile identification (MCP) were performed. Results: The MI suggested that the fungi corresponded to the species Ao and Am. This result was confirmed by PCR analysis followed by sequencing, alignment and a phylogenetic analysis. Likewise, the highest Hc mortalities were 91.4% with individual LCF of Am and 86.2% with those of Ao at the highest concentration (100 mg/mL) in Czapek-Dox Broth. The combination of both LCF resulted in a similarly high larval mortality with no statistical differences in relation to individual activity (p > 0.05). The MCP showed the presence of alkaloids in both fungi. Coumarins, sterols and saponins were found only in Ao. Main conclusions: Both fungi produced ECP with a high NA that could be identified and assessed in future studies as potential natural anthelmintic compounds. Full article
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5 pages, 207 KiB  
Case Report
HIV-Negative MSM Infected with Two Different Isolates of Drug-Resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae—Case Report
by Martyna Biała, Bartosz Pencakowski, Beata Mączyńska, Konrad Starzyński and Bartosz Szetela
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060497 - 10 Jun 2024
Viewed by 381
Abstract
The antimicrobial resistance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) is an increasing public health concern, highlighted by the fact that gonococcus is considered as a ‘high’-priority pathogen by the WHO for research and development of new therapeutic options. According to the data of the European [...] Read more.
The antimicrobial resistance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) is an increasing public health concern, highlighted by the fact that gonococcus is considered as a ‘high’-priority pathogen by the WHO for research and development of new therapeutic options. According to the data of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in 2022, the rate of NG infections is the highest recorded since European surveillance of sexually transmitted infections began in 2009. We report a brief description of a patient infected with two different isolates of drug-resistant N. gonorrhoeae. N. gonorrhoeae cultures were positive from oropharyngeal and urethral swabs and isolates had different antimicrobial susceptibility. We investigated the antimicrobial susceptibility of these isolates to six antimicrobials (ceftriaxone, cefixime, azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, tetracycline, and benzylpenicillin), and minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs; mg/L) were determined using Etest on gonococcal isolates. Oropharyngeal isolate was resistant to azithromycin while urethral was resistant to penicillin, ciprofloxacin, and tetracycline. Two different and phylogenetically distinct sequence types of NG isolates were identified. Understanding the dynamics and drivers of resistance spread can provide an improved rationale for antibiotic management, and the level of NG resistance should be monitored closely. Full article
18 pages, 632 KiB  
Article
Antiparasitic Evaluation of Aquiluscidin, a Cathelicidin Obtained from Crotalus aquilus, and the Vcn-23 Derivative Peptide against Babesia bovis, B. bigemina and B. ovata
by Edwin Esaú Hernández-Arvizu, Masahito Asada, Shin-Ichiro Kawazu, Carlos Agustín Vega, Angelina Rodríguez-Torres, Rodrigo Morales-García, Aldo J. Pavón-Rocha, Gloria León-Ávila, Bruno Rivas-Santiago and Juan Mosqueda
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060496 - 10 Jun 2024
Viewed by 361
Abstract
Babesiosis is a growing concern due to the increased prevalence of this infectious disease caused by Babesia protozoan parasites, affecting various animals and humans. With rising worries over medication side effects and emerging drug resistance, there is a notable shift towards researching babesiacidal [...] Read more.
Babesiosis is a growing concern due to the increased prevalence of this infectious disease caused by Babesia protozoan parasites, affecting various animals and humans. With rising worries over medication side effects and emerging drug resistance, there is a notable shift towards researching babesiacidal agents. Antimicrobial peptides, specifically cathelicidins known for their broad-spectrum activity and immunomodulatory functions, have emerged as potential candidates. Aquiluscidin, a cathelicidin from Crotalus aquilus, and its derivative Vcn-23, have been of interest due to their previously observed antibacterial effects and non-hemolytic activity. This work aimed to characterize the effect of these peptides against three Babesia species. Results showed Aquiluscidin's significant antimicrobial effects on Babesia species, reducing the B. bigemina growth rate and exhibiting IC50 values of 14.48 and 20.70 μM against B. ovata and B. bovis, respectively. However, its efficacy was impacted by serum presence in culture, and it showed no inhibition against a B. bovis strain grown in serum-supplemented medium. Conversely, Vcn-23 did not demonstrate babesiacidal activity. In conclusion, Aquiluscidin shows antibabesia activity in vitro and its efficacy is affected by the presence of serum in the culture medium. Nevertheless, this peptide represents a candidate for further investigation of its antiparasitic properties and provides insights into potential alternatives for the treatment of babesiosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Advances in Tick Research)
13 pages, 256 KiB  
Review
Improving Outcomes in Nosocomial Pneumonia: Recent Evidence and More Challenges
by Ihab H. Masri, Bethany Busack and Andrew F. Shorr
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060495 - 10 Jun 2024
Viewed by 416
Abstract
Nosocomial pneumonia (NP) represents a leading nosocomial infection and results in substantial morbidity and cost. Over the last several years, the evidence has evolved which directs our approach to NP. Specifically, the definition of NP and classification of its various subtypes has expanded [...] Read more.
Nosocomial pneumonia (NP) represents a leading nosocomial infection and results in substantial morbidity and cost. Over the last several years, the evidence has evolved which directs our approach to NP. Specifically, the definition of NP and classification of its various subtypes has expanded to capture nuances among various phenotypes of this syndrome. For example, segregating those with hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) based on whether they subsequently require mechanical ventilation has been shown to be important. Likewise, newer data indicate the true economic cost of NP and underscore the diverse range of pathogens that can cause NP. Moreover, multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria have become a major threat in NP. Fortunately, newer simple preventive strategies have been tested and found to be effective at reducing the incidence of NP. Should prevention fail, a range of new antibiotics have been formally studied in NP and found to be effective. Some of these novel agents have relatively broad ranges of activity and are in vitro active against select MDR organisms. Others, however, are narrower in spectrum and directed against specific problem bacteria. In short, the literature in the field of NP has progressed rapidly, and clinicians require a clear appreciation of these changes so as to improve patient outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nosocomial Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance)
17 pages, 547 KiB  
Article
Antibiotic Resistance Profile and Bio-Control of Multidrug-Resistant Escherichia coli Isolated from Raw Milk in Vietnam Using Bacteriophages
by Hoang Minh Duc, Tran Thi Khanh Hoa, Cam Thi Thu Ha, Le Van Hung, Nguyen Van Thang, Hoang Minh Son and Gary A. Flory
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 494; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060494 - 9 Jun 2024
Viewed by 363
Abstract
E. coli is an important zoonotic pathogen capable of causing foodborne illness and bovine mastitis. Bacteriophages have been increasingly considered a promising tool to control unwanted bacteria. The aim of this study is to determine the antibiotic resistance profile of E. coli isolated [...] Read more.
E. coli is an important zoonotic pathogen capable of causing foodborne illness and bovine mastitis. Bacteriophages have been increasingly considered a promising tool to control unwanted bacteria. The aim of this study is to determine the antibiotic resistance profile of E. coli isolated from raw milk and the efficacy of phage in controlling multidrug-resistant E. coli in raw milk. Antibiotic susceptibility testing showed the highest resistance rates of E. coli isolates to co-trime (27.34%) and ampicillin (27.34%), followed by streptomycin (25.18%), tetracycline (23.02%), and the lowest resistance rates to ciprofloxacin, gentamycin, and ceftazidime, all at a rate of 2.16%. All isolates were susceptible to meropenem. Of the 139 E. coli isolates, 57 (41.01%) were resistant to at least one antibiotic, and 35 (25.18%) were classified as MDR strains. Molecular characterization indicated that 5 (3.6%) out of the 139 isolates were STEC strains carrying stx1 gene. Seven (5.04%) isolates were phenotypically identified as ESBLEC, and four isolates (2.88%) were resistant to colistin. The results of the genotypic test revealed that four out of seven ESBLEC strains carried both blaTEM and blaCTX-M-1, two harbored blaTEM, and one possessed blaCTX-M-1, while mcr-1 was detected in all four colistin-resistant E. coli isolates. In particular, one isolated E. coli strain (EM148) was determined to be a multidrug-resistant strain simultaneously carrying blaTEM, blaCTX-M-1, and mcr-1. A total of eight phages were successfully recovered from raw milk. The application of phage PEM3 significantly reduced viable counts of multidrug-resistant host EM148 in raw milk by at least 2.31 log CFU/mL at both 24 °C and 4 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Approaches to Combating Multidrug-Resistant Pathogens)
12 pages, 381 KiB  
Article
Prevalence of Helminths in Small Ruminant Farms and Evaluation of Control Practices Used to Counter Anthelmintic Resistance in Southern Italy
by Fabio Castagna, Roberto Bava, Marta Gagliardi, Simone Russo, Giusi Poerio, Stefano Ruga, Carmine Lupia, Giuseppe Cringoli, Antonio Bosco, Laura Rinaldi, Ernesto Palma, Domenico Britti and Vincenzo Musella
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 493; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060493 - 9 Jun 2024
Viewed by 310
Abstract
Anthelmintic resistance in small ruminants is a serious worldwide problem. To reduce their spread, it is essential to know the prevalence of helminths on farms and the control practices adopted. As these studies in the Calabria region of southern Italy are fragmentary and [...] Read more.
Anthelmintic resistance in small ruminants is a serious worldwide problem. To reduce their spread, it is essential to know the prevalence of helminths on farms and the control practices adopted. As these studies in the Calabria region of southern Italy are fragmentary and outdated, a study on the prevalence of helminths in small ruminant holdings in this area has been conducted. The measures implemented to control helminths were also evaluated through questionnaires administered to farmers. In particular, on 90 farms (45 sheep and 45 goats), 1800 faecal samples from 900 sheep and 900 goats were collected in the spring. Using the FLOTAC dual technique, parasitological examinations demonstrated the presence of gastrointestinal nematodes in 100% of sheep and goat farms, followed by Nematodirus spp. (84.44% sheep and 48.89% goats), Moniezia spp. (73.33% sheep and 35.56% goats), Trichuris ovis (48.89% sheep and 42.22% goats), lungworms (28.89% sheep and 42.22% goats), Strongyloides papillosus (40% sheep and 26.67% goats), Dicrocoelium dendriticum (13.33% sheep and 26.67% goats), Calicophoron daubneyi (6.67% sheep and 31.11% goats), Fasciola hepatica (6.67% sheep and 4.44% goats), and Skrjabinema ovis (4.44% sheep and goats). The questionnaires showed that 82% and 85% of the farmers had applied pasture rotation, and that 93.3% and 86.6% had used anthelmintics in the previous year for sheep and goats, respectively. Only 24.4% of sheep farmers and 11.3% of goat farmers had carried out parasitological tests prior to treatments. The most used classes of anthelmintics were macrocyclic lactones and benzimidazoles, and only in 21.6% and 15.6%, for sheep and goats, respectively, was drug rotation carried out. These results denote that helminths represent a health problem for small ruminants and highlight a lack of knowledge of parasite control strategies among farmers. In these conditions, anthelmintic resistance phenomena could develop over time. Therefore, it is necessary to implement all possible strategies for the control of helminths, and to prevent the spread of anthelmintic resistance phenomena on farms in southern Italy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Epidemiology, and Drug Resistance in Nematode Parasites)
12 pages, 330 KiB  
Article
Medical Causes of Hospitalisation among Patients with Bronchiectasis: A Nationwide Study in Japan
by Akihiko Hagiwara, Hisayuki Shuto, Ryohei Kudoh, Shota Omori, Kazufumi Hiramatsu, Jun-ichi Kadota, Kiyohide Fushimi and Kosaku Komiya
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060492 - 9 Jun 2024
Viewed by 324
Abstract
Purpose: Although the international guidelines for managing bronchiectasis are centred on preventing the exacerbation of bronchiectasis, the medical causes of admissions to hospital among patients with bronchiectasis have not been fully investigated. Methods: This study targeted patients with bronchiectasis who were admitted to [...] Read more.
Purpose: Although the international guidelines for managing bronchiectasis are centred on preventing the exacerbation of bronchiectasis, the medical causes of admissions to hospital among patients with bronchiectasis have not been fully investigated. Methods: This study targeted patients with bronchiectasis who were admitted to hospitals between April 2018 and March 2020 using the national inpatient database in Japan. The causes of hospitalisation and types of antibiotics used for hospitalised patients were recorded. Results: In total, 21,300 hospitalisations of 16,723 patients with bronchiectasis were analysed. The most common cause was respiratory diseases in 15,145 (71.1%) admissions, including bacterial pneumonia and the exacerbation of bronchiectasis in 6238 (41.2%) and 3151 (20.8%), respectively. Antipseudomonal antibiotics were used in approximately 60% of patients with bacterial pneumonia who were administered antibiotic treatments and in approximately 50% of patients with the exacerbation of bronchiectasis. Conclusions: Bacterial pneumonia was the most frequent cause of hospitalisation, followed by the exacerbation of bronchiectasis, among patients with bronchiectasis. Physicians need to focus on the prevention of bacterial pneumonia in addition to the exacerbation of bronchiectasis in patients with bronchiectasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases)
13 pages, 670 KiB  
Review
Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Respiratory Diseases and Their Economic Impacts
by Ananya Sivaraman Jayaraman, Ishita Darekar, Nidhi Vijayprakash Dadhich, Lakshmi Sai Manasvi Tadepalli, Yao Gongwang, Sunil Singh and Edem Gavor
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060491 - 8 Jun 2024
Viewed by 332
Abstract
COVID-19 is an airborne respiratory disease that mainly affects the lungs. To date, COVID-19 has infected 580 million people with a mortality of approximately 7 million people worldwide. The emergence of COVID-19 has also affected the infectivity, diagnosis, and disease outcomes of existing [...] Read more.
COVID-19 is an airborne respiratory disease that mainly affects the lungs. To date, COVID-19 has infected 580 million people with a mortality of approximately 7 million people worldwide. The emergence of COVID-19 has also affected the infectivity, diagnosis, and disease outcomes of existing diseases such as influenza, TB, and asthma in human populations. These are airborne respiratory diseases with symptoms and mode of transmission similar to those of COVID-19. It was speculated that the protracted nature of the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with vaccination could impact other respiratory diseases and mortality. In this study, we analyzed the impact of COVID-19 on flu, tuberculosis (TB), and asthma. Our analyses suggest that COVID-19 has a potential impact on the mortality of flu, TB, and asthma. These impacts vary across before the COVID-19 era, during the peak period of the pandemic, and after vaccinations/preventive measures were implemented, as well as across different regions of the world. Overall, the spread of flu generally reduced during the pandemic, resulting in a reduced expenditure on flu-related hospitalizations, although there were sporadic spikes at setting times. In contrast, TB deaths generally increased perhaps due to the disruption in access to TB services and reduction in resources. Asthma deaths, on the other hand, only marginally varied. Collectively, the emergence of COVID-19 added extra cost to the overall expenditure on some respiratory infectious diseases, while the cost for other infectious diseases was either reduced or somewhat unaffected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reviews of Infectious Diseases)
12 pages, 413 KiB  
Article
Echinococcus multilocularis and Other Intestinal Parasites of the Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) from the Pomerania Region, Northern Poland
by Bogumiła Pilarczyk, Agnieszka Tomza-Marciniak, Renata Pilarczyk, Małgorzata Bąkowska, Izabella Rząd, Agata Stapf, Lidia Felska-Błaszczyk, Agnieszka Tylkowska and Beata Seremak
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060490 - 8 Jun 2024
Viewed by 307
Abstract
The aim of the study was to determine the species composition of the intestinal parasite fauna of foxes from the Pomerania region, with a particular emphasis on helminth species considered dangerous to humans, and to determine their prevalence and intensity of infection. In [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to determine the species composition of the intestinal parasite fauna of foxes from the Pomerania region, with a particular emphasis on helminth species considered dangerous to humans, and to determine their prevalence and intensity of infection. In total, 165 digestive systems from foxes inhabiting the Pomeranian region were examined. The prevalence of intestinal parasites among the studied foxes was 61.8%. Our findings confirm that foxes in Pomerania carry various parasites, some of which pose a direct threat to human health. As such, constant monitoring of their infestation is essential. Particular attention should be paid to parasite species with potential for transmission to humans, such as Echinococcus multilocularis, Alaria alata and Toxocara canis, whose respective prevalence was found to be 10.9%, 17.6% and 28.5%. Full article
9 pages, 2179 KiB  
Article
Rickettsia asembonensis Isolated from Four Human Cases with Acute Undifferentiated Febrile Illness in Peru
by Steev Loyola, Rosa Palacios-Salvatierra, Omar Cáceres-Rey and Allen L. Richards
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060489 - 8 Jun 2024
Viewed by 425
Abstract
Rickettsioses, often underreported, pose public health challenges. Rickettsia asembonensis is a potential emerging pathogen that was previously detected in humans, animals, and a variety of arthropods. While its pathogenicity in humans remains unclear, it poses a potential public health threat. Here, we present an [...] Read more.
Rickettsioses, often underreported, pose public health challenges. Rickettsia asembonensis is a potential emerging pathogen that was previously detected in humans, animals, and a variety of arthropods. While its pathogenicity in humans remains unclear, it poses a potential public health threat. Here, we present an extended epidemiological, diagnostic, and genetic analysis of the information provided in a preliminary report on the investigation of rickettsiae in Peru. In particular, we report the detection of R. asembonensis in blood specimens collected from four human patients with an acute undifferentiated fever of a seven- to nine-day duration, all of whom tested negative for other vector-borne pathogens. Additionally, we describe the replicative capacity of the R. asembonensis isolates in cell cultures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Rickettsia and Related Organisms)
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18 pages, 1233 KiB  
Article
Expanding Understanding of Urban Rift Valley Fever Risk and Associated Vector Ecology at Slaughterhouses in Kisumu, Kenya
by Keli Nicole Gerken, Kevin Omondi Owuor, Bryson Ndenga, Sammy Wambua, Christabel Winter, Salome Chemutai, Rodney Omukuti, Daniel Arabu, Irene Miring’u, William C. Wilson, Francis Mutuku, Jesse J. Waggoner, Benjamin Pinsky, Carren Bosire and Angelle Desiree LaBeaud
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060488 - 8 Jun 2024
Viewed by 453
Abstract
Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is an adaptable arbovirus that can be transmitted by a wide variety of arthropods. Widespread urban transmission of RVFV has not yet occurred, but peri-urban outbreaks of RVFV have recently been documented in East Africa. We previously reported [...] Read more.
Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is an adaptable arbovirus that can be transmitted by a wide variety of arthropods. Widespread urban transmission of RVFV has not yet occurred, but peri-urban outbreaks of RVFV have recently been documented in East Africa. We previously reported low-level exposure in urban communities and highlighted the risk of introduction via live animal influx. We deployed a slaughtered animal testing framework in response to an early warning system at two urban slaughterhouses and tested animals entering the meat value chain for anti-RVFV IgG and IgM antibodies. We simultaneously trapped mosquitoes for RVFV and bloodmeal testing. Out of 923 animals tested, an 8.5% IgG seroprevalence was identified but no evidence of recent livestock exposure was detected. Mosquito species abundance varied greatly by slaughterhouse site, which explained 52% of the variance in blood meals. We captured many Culex spp., a known RVFV amplifying vector, at one of the sites (p < 0.001), and this species had the most diverse blood meals. No mosquito pools tested positive for RVFV antigen using a rapid VecTOR test. These results expand understanding of potential RVF urban disease ecology, and highlight that slaughterhouses are key locations for future surveillance, modelling, and monitoring efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Arboviruses: Epidemiology, Vector Dynamics, and Pathogenesis)
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14 pages, 729 KiB  
Article
Development and Application of an In Vitro Tick Feeding System to Identify Ixodes Tick Environment-Induced Genes of the Lyme Disease Agent, Borrelia burgdorferi
by Youki Yamasaki, Preeti Singh, Rubikah Vimonish, Massaro Ueti and Troy Bankhead
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 487; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060487 - 7 Jun 2024
Viewed by 318
Abstract
The bacterial agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, exists in an enzootic cycle by adapting to dissimilar mammalian and tick environments. The genetic elements necessary for host and vector adaptation are spread across a bacterial genome comprised of a linear chromosome and [...] Read more.
The bacterial agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, exists in an enzootic cycle by adapting to dissimilar mammalian and tick environments. The genetic elements necessary for host and vector adaptation are spread across a bacterial genome comprised of a linear chromosome and essential linear and circular plasmids. The promoter trap system, In Vivo Expression Technology (IVET), has been used to identify promoters of B. burgdorferi that are transcriptionally active specifically during infection of a murine host. However, an observed infection bottleneck effect in mice prevented the application of this system to study promoters induced in a tick environment. In this study, we adapted a membrane-based in vitro feeding system as a novel method to infect the Ixodes spp. vector with B. burgdorferi. Once adapted, we performed IVET screens as a proof of principle via an infected bloodmeal on the system. The screen yielded B. burgdorferi promoters that are induced during tick infection and verified relative expression levels using qRT-PCR. The results of our study demonstrate the potential of our developed in vitro tick feeding system and IVET systems to gain insight into the adaptive gene expression of the Lyme disease bacteria to the tick vector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ticks and Tick-Borne Pathogens)
12 pages, 781 KiB  
Brief Report
Detection of Human Adenovirus and Rotavirus in Wastewater in Lusaka, Zambia: Demonstrating the Utility of Environmental Surveillance for the Community
by Ngonda Saasa, Ethel M’kandawire, Joseph Ndebe, Mulenga Mwenda, Fred Chimpukutu, Andrew Nalishuwa Mukubesa, Fred Njobvu, Doreen Mainza Shempela, Jay Sikalima, Carol Chiyesu, Bruce Muvwanga, Sarah M. Nampokolwe, Clement Sulwe, Thokozile Khondiwa, Todd Jennings, Ameck Kamanga, Edgar Simulundu, Conceptor Mulube, Wizaso Mwasinga, Jalaimo Mumeka, John Simwanza, Patrick Sakubita, Otridah Kapona, Chilufya Susan Aneta Mulenga, Musole Chipoya, Kunda Musonda, Nathan Kapata, Nyambe Sinyange, Muzala Kapina, Joyce Siwila, Misheck Shawa, Masahiro Kajihara, Ayato Takada, Hirofumi Sawa, Simulyamana A. Choonga, Roma Chilengi, Earnest Muyunda, King S. Nalubamba and Bernard M. Hang’ombeadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060486 - 7 Jun 2024
Viewed by 279
Abstract
Enteric infections due to viral pathogens are a major public health concern. Detecting the risk areas requires a strong surveillance system for pathogenic viruses in sources such as wastewater. Towards building an environmental surveillance system in Zambia, we aimed to identify group A [...] Read more.
Enteric infections due to viral pathogens are a major public health concern. Detecting the risk areas requires a strong surveillance system for pathogenic viruses in sources such as wastewater. Towards building an environmental surveillance system in Zambia, we aimed to identify group A rotavirus (RVA) and human adenovirus (HAdV) in wastewater. Convenient sampling was conducted at four study sites every Tuesday for five consecutive weeks. The research team focused on three different methods of viral concentration to determine the suitability in terms of cost and applicability for a regular surveillance system: the bag-mediated filtration system (BMFS), polyethylene glycol-based (PEG) precipitation, and skimmed milk (SM) flocculation. We screened 20 wastewater samples for HAdV and RVA using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and conventional polymerase chain reaction (cPCR). Of the 20 samples tested using qPCR, 18/20 (90%) tested positive for HAdV and 14/20 (70%) tested positive for RVA. For the genetic sequencing, qPCR positives were subjected to cPCR, of which 12 positives were successfully amplified. The human adenovirus was identified with a nucleotide identity range of 98.48% to 99.53% compared with the reference genome from GenBank. The BMFS and SM flocculation were the most consistent viral concentration methods for HAdV and RVA, respectively. A statistical analysis of the positives showed that viral positivity differed by site (p < 0.001). SM and PEG may be the most appropriate options in resource-limited settings such as Zambia due to the lower costs associated with these concentration methods. The demonstration of HAdV and RVA detection in wastewater suggests the presence of the pathogens in the communities under study and the need to establish a routine wastewater surveillance system for the identification of pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses in Water)
7 pages, 1658 KiB  
Communication
Novel Theileria sp. as an Etiology of Cutaneous Theileriosis among the Vulnerable Arabian Oryx
by Sonia Boughattas, Mutassim A. Salih, Andrea Dogliero and Nahla O. Eltai
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060485 - 7 Jun 2024
Viewed by 575
Abstract
The Arabian Peninsula’s endemic ungulate, Oryx leucoryx, was on the verge of extinction at the end of the 1970s. Despite the different reintroduction programs, the International Union for Conservation of Nature is still classifying it as Vulnerable. Among other factors, their vulnerability [...] Read more.
The Arabian Peninsula’s endemic ungulate, Oryx leucoryx, was on the verge of extinction at the end of the 1970s. Despite the different reintroduction programs, the International Union for Conservation of Nature is still classifying it as Vulnerable. Among other factors, their vulnerability lies in their susceptibility to specific etiological agents that affect livestock, necessitating health monitoring and strict preventive/biosecurity measures. Within this frame, the current work investigated the determination of the etiological agent potentially involved with cutaneous lesions observed in eight males of Arabian oryx within one of the several national governance conservation programs. Microscopic examination from one animal specimen suggested theileriosis association, which was confirmed by molecular tools using 18S gene sequencing and the report of a novel Theileria sp. not clustering with previously reported antelope sequences. This finding prompts further explorations into the disease dynamics within the Arabian oryx population, especially with the scarcity of data in Qatar about tick-borne pathogens and their transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ticks and Tick-Borne Pathogens)
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15 pages, 682 KiB  
Review
Parasitic Plants—Potential Vectors of Phytopathogens
by Stefan Savov, Bianka Marinova, Denitsa Teofanova, Martin Savov, Mariela Odjakova and Lyuben Zagorchev
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060484 - 7 Jun 2024
Viewed by 378
Abstract
Parasitic plants represent a peculiar group of semi- or fully heterotrophic plants, possessing the ability to extract water, minerals, and organic compounds from other plants. All parasitic plants, either root or stem, hemi- or holoparasitic, establish a vascular connection with their host plants [...] Read more.
Parasitic plants represent a peculiar group of semi- or fully heterotrophic plants, possessing the ability to extract water, minerals, and organic compounds from other plants. All parasitic plants, either root or stem, hemi- or holoparasitic, establish a vascular connection with their host plants through a highly specialized organ called haustoria. Apart from being the organ responsible for nutrient extraction, the haustorial connection is also a highway for various macromolecules, including DNA, proteins, and, apparently, phytopathogens. At least some parasitic plants are considered significant agricultural pests, contributing to enormous yield losses worldwide. Their negative effect is mainly direct, by the exhaustion of host plant fitness and decreasing growth and seed/fruit formation. However, they may pose an additional threat to agriculture by promoting the trans-species dispersion of various pathogens. The current review aims to summarize the available information and to raise awareness of this less-explored problem. We further explore the suitability of certain phytopathogens to serve as specific and efficient methods of control of parasitic plants, as well as methods for control of the phytopathogens. Full article
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18 pages, 3237 KiB  
Article
First Report of Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens in Bulgaria
by Yoana Kizheva, Maria Pandova, Melani Dimitrova, Yoana Gladicheva, Maria Garkova, Desislava Pirnareva, Deyan Donchev, Penka Moncheva and Petya Hristova
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060483 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 260
Abstract
This study aims at the identification and characterization of five actinobacterial strains with presumed belonging to the species Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens isolated from tomato and pepper plants, and establishing the potential role of both plants as natural reservoirs of this phytopathogen. Species identification was [...] Read more.
This study aims at the identification and characterization of five actinobacterial strains with presumed belonging to the species Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens isolated from tomato and pepper plants, and establishing the potential role of both plants as natural reservoirs of this phytopathogen. Species identification was performed via MALDI-ToF MS, 16S rDNA sequencing and PCR. The strains were Gram-positive with a coryneform cell shape having yellow/orange-pigmented colonies; positive for catalase and esculin, and starch and casein hydrolysis; oxidase-, urease-, indole- and nitrate-reduction-negative and were strictly aerobic. All isolates produced antimicrobial substances against various phytopathogenic bacteria. Tomato and pepper plants were artificially infected with newly isolated strains in order to establish their role as natural reservoirs of the bacteria. Morphological alterations were observed only in the tomato plants, with defoliation of the first two to four leaves at the 28th day. Then, viable coryneform bacterial isolates (n = 73) were successfully re-isolated only from the stems of the infected plants. The similarity between the re-isolates and the respective initial isolates was confirmed phenotypically and genotypically by RAPD-PCR, confirming that solanaceous vegetables can act as reservoirs of C. flaccumfaciens. This is the first report of C. flaccumfaciens in Bulgaria. Full article
16 pages, 1937 KiB  
Article
Peptide-Alkoxyamine Drugs: An Innovative Approach to Fight Schistosomiasis: “Digging Their Graves with Their Forks”
by Ange W. Embo-Ibouanga, Michel Nguyen, Jean-Patrick Joly, Mathilde Coustets, Jean-Michel Augereau, Lucie Paloque, Nicolas Vanthuyne, Raphaël Bikanga, Anne Robert, Françoise Benoit-Vical, Gérard Audran, Philippe Mellet, Jérôme Boissier and Sylvain R. A. Marque
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060482 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 371
Abstract
The expansion of drug resistant parasites sheds a serious concern on several neglected parasitic diseases. Our recent results on cancer led us to envision the use of peptide-alkoxyamines as a highly selective and efficient new drug against schistosome adult worms, the etiological agents [...] Read more.
The expansion of drug resistant parasites sheds a serious concern on several neglected parasitic diseases. Our recent results on cancer led us to envision the use of peptide-alkoxyamines as a highly selective and efficient new drug against schistosome adult worms, the etiological agents of schistosomiasis. Indeed, the peptide tag of the hybrid compounds can be hydrolyzed by worm’s digestive enzymes to afford a highly labile alkoxyamine which homolyzes spontaneously and instantaneously into radicals—which are then used as a drug against Schistosome adult parasites. This approach is nicely summarized as digging their graves with their forks. Several hybrid peptide-alkoxyamines were prepared and clearly showed an activity: two of the tested compounds kill 50% of the parasites in two hours at a concentration of 100 µg/mL. Importantly, the peptide and alkoxyamine fragments that are unable to generate alkyl radicals display no activity. This strong evidence validates the proposed mechanism: a specific activation of the prodrugs by the parasite proteases leading to parasite death through in situ alkyl radical generation. Full article
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