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Pathogens, Volume 13, Issue 7 (July 2024) – 74 articles

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10 pages, 230 KiB  
Viewpoint
Herpes Zoster and Post-Herpetic Neuralgia—Diagnosis, Treatment, and Vaccination Strategies
by Delwyn Zhi Jie Lim, Hong Liang Tey, Brenda Mae Alferez Salada, Jolene Ee Ling Oon, Ee-Jin Darren Seah, Nisha Suyien Chandran and Jiun Yit Pan
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 596; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070596 - 17 Jul 2024
Viewed by 208
Abstract
Introduction: Herpes zoster is caused by the reactivation of latent varicella infection within the sensory ganglia, caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). The disease is classically characterized by a painful unilateral vesicular eruption. Complications of the disease include herpes zoster ophthalmicus, Ramsay Hunt [...] Read more.
Introduction: Herpes zoster is caused by the reactivation of latent varicella infection within the sensory ganglia, caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). The disease is classically characterized by a painful unilateral vesicular eruption. Complications of the disease include herpes zoster ophthalmicus, Ramsay Hunt syndrome, acute retinal necrosis, and post-herpetic neuralgia. In this paper, we discuss the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, diagnosis, management, and vaccination strategies of herpes zoster and post-herpetic neuralgia. Method: This paper was developed with input from specialists from Singapore’s public sectors—dermatologists, family physicians, and infectious diseases specialists. Results: The diagnosis of herpes zoster is clinical and can be aided with laboratory investigations. Early initiation of antivirals, within 72 h of onset, can reduce the severity and duration of the condition and decrease the intensity of pain. In patients with a high risk of post-herpetic neuralgia, early initiation of anticonvulsants or tricyclic antidepressants can be considered. Herpes zoster is highly preventable, with the advent of the recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV) providing an overall vaccine efficacy of 97.2%. Procedures such as epidural blocks and subcutaneous or intracutaneous injections of local anesthetics and steroids can be considered for patients with a high risk of post-herpetic neuralgia to reduce its incidence. Conclusion: This article serves as a guideline for clinicians in the diagnosis, investigations, management, and prevention of herpes zoster. With the majority of adults in Singapore currently at risk of developing herpes zoster due to varicella immunization being only introduced in 2020, it is important for clinicians to recognize and manage herpes zoster appropriately. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases)
2 pages, 1473 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Elwakil et al. Memory Impairment, Pro-Inflammatory Host Response and Brain Histopathologic Severity in Rats Infected with K. pneumoniae or P. aeruginosa Meningitis. Pathogens 2022, 11, 933
by Bassma H. Elwakil, Basant A. Bakr, Mohammed M. Aljeldah, Nourhan S. Shehata, Yahya H. Shahin, Zakia A. Olama, Maria Augustyniak, Mourad A. M. Aboul-Soud and Abeer El Wakil
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 595; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070595 - 17 Jul 2024
Viewed by 92
Abstract
In the original publication [...] Full article
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14 pages, 598 KiB  
Review
Infective Endocarditis by Campylobacter Species—A Narrative Review
by Petros Ioannou, Angelos Sourris, Andreas G. Tsantes and George Samonis
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 594; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070594 - 17 Jul 2024
Viewed by 332
Abstract
Infective endocarditis (IE) is a disease that may cause significant morbidity and mortality. IE is classically caused by Gram-positive microorganisms; however, Gram-negative bacteria may seldom also be the cause. Campylobacter species cause zoonosis and may also infect humans, mainly causing gastrointestinal infection by [...] Read more.
Infective endocarditis (IE) is a disease that may cause significant morbidity and mortality. IE is classically caused by Gram-positive microorganisms; however, Gram-negative bacteria may seldom also be the cause. Campylobacter species cause zoonosis and may also infect humans, mainly causing gastrointestinal infection by C. jejuni or invasive disease by C. fetus, such as bacteremia, sepsis, meningitis, or vascular infection. Campylobacter species IE has rarely been described, and most reports are cases and/or case series. Thus, the characteristics of this disease, including its epidemiology, clinical presentation, treatment, and outcome, remain largely unknown. This study aimed to review all published Campylobacter IE cases and describe their characteristics. A thorough search of PubMed, the Cochrane Library, and Scopus for published studies providing information on epidemiology, clinical findings, treatment, and outcome of Campylobacter IE cases was performed for the present narrative review. A total of 22 studies containing data from 26 patients were located and included. Among all patients, 73.1% were male; the median age was 65 years. Among all patients, 36.4% had a history of a prosthetic valve. The most commonly affected valve was the aortic, followed by the mitral. Fever, heart failure, and sepsis were the most frequent clinical findings. The most commonly isolated pathogen was C. fetus, with only one patient having C. jejuni IE. Antimicrobial resistance was low for all antimicrobials, with tetracycline having the highest resistance. Aminoglycosides and beta-lactams were the most commonly used antimicrobials. Surgery was performed in 48% of patients. The mortality rate was 26.9%. Patients who died were more likely to have sepsis, shock, and heart failure and were less likely to have been treated with aminopenicillins; however, no factor was identified in a multivariate logistic regression model as an independent factor for overall mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Updates in Infective Endocarditis)
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9 pages, 575 KiB  
Article
New Insights into the Phylogeny of the A.Br.161 (“A.Br.Heroin”) Clade of Bacillus anthracis
by Markus Antwerpen, Wolfgang Beyer and Gregor Grass
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 593; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070593 - 16 Jul 2024
Viewed by 219
Abstract
Bacillus anthracis is a rare but highly dangerous zoonotic bacterial pathogen. At the beginning of this century, a new manifestation of the disease, injectional anthrax, emerged as a result of recreational heroin consumption involving contaminated drugs. The organisms associated with this 13-year-lasting outbreak [...] Read more.
Bacillus anthracis is a rare but highly dangerous zoonotic bacterial pathogen. At the beginning of this century, a new manifestation of the disease, injectional anthrax, emerged as a result of recreational heroin consumption involving contaminated drugs. The organisms associated with this 13-year-lasting outbreak event in European drug consumers were all grouped into the canonical single-nucleotide polymorphism (canSNP) clade A-branch (A.Br.) 161 of B. anthracis. Related clade A.Br.161 strains of B. anthracis not associated with heroin consumption have also been identified from different countries, mostly in Asia. Because of inadvertent spread by anthropogenic activities, other strains of this A.Br.161 lineage were, however, isolated from several countries. Thus, without additional isolates from this clade, its origin of evolution or its autochthonous region remains obscure. Here, we genomically characterized six new A.Br.161 group isolates, some of which were from Iran, with others likely historically introduced into Germany. All the chromosomes of these isolates could be grouped into a distinct sub-clade within the A.Br.161 clade. This sub-clade is separated from the main A.Br.161 lineage by a single SNP. We have developed this SNP into a PCR assay facilitating the future attribution of strains to this group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthrax—a Threat beyond Bacillus anthracis)
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17 pages, 2488 KiB  
Article
The Non-Histone Protein FgNhp6 Is Involved in the Regulation of the Development, DON Biosynthesis, and Virulence of Fusarium graminearum
by Jiakuo Cao, Junbo Lv, Limin Zhang, Heng Li, Hao Ma, Yanxiang Zhao and Jinguang Huang
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 592; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070592 - 16 Jul 2024
Viewed by 259
Abstract
Fusarium graminearum is the primary causative agent of Fusarium head blight (FHB), a devastating disease affecting cereals globally. The high-mobility group (HMG) of non-histone proteins constitutes vital architectural elements within chromatin, playing diverse roles in various biological processes in eukaryotic cells. Nonetheless, the [...] Read more.
Fusarium graminearum is the primary causative agent of Fusarium head blight (FHB), a devastating disease affecting cereals globally. The high-mobility group (HMG) of non-histone proteins constitutes vital architectural elements within chromatin, playing diverse roles in various biological processes in eukaryotic cells. Nonetheless, the specific functions of HMG proteins in F. graminearum have yet to be elucidated. Here, we identified 10 HMG proteins in F. graminearum and extensively characterized the biological roles of one HMGB protein, FgNhp6. We constructed the FgNhp6 deletion mutant and its complementary strains. With these strains, we confirmed the nuclear localization of FgNhp6 and discovered that the absence of FgNhp6 led to reduced radial growth accompanied by severe pigmentation defects, a significant reduction in conidial production, and a failure to produce perithecia. The ∆FgNhp6 mutant exhibited a markedly reduced pathogenicity on wheat coleoptiles and spikes, coupled with a significant increase in deoxynivalenol production. An RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis indicated that FgNhp6 deletion influenced a wide array of metabolic pathways, particularly affecting several secondary metabolic pathways, such as sterol biosynthesis and aurofusarin biosynthesis. The findings of this study highlight the essential role of FgNhp6 in the regulation of the asexual and sexual reproduction, deoxynivalenol (DON) production, and pathogenicity of F. graminearum. Full article
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12 pages, 1628 KiB  
Article
Pathogenicity Differentiation of Fusarium spp. Causing Fusarium Basal Rot and Wilt Disease in Allium spp.
by Kosei Sakane, Takashi Ueno, Masayoshi Shigyo, Kazunori Sasaki and Shin-ichi Ito
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 591; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070591 - 16 Jul 2024
Viewed by 208
Abstract
Here, 12 Fusarium strains, previously described as F. oxysporum f. sp. cepae (Foc), were examined via multi-locus sequencing of calmodulin (cmdA), RNA polymerase II second largest subunit (rpb2), and translation elongation factor 1-alpha (tef1), [...] Read more.
Here, 12 Fusarium strains, previously described as F. oxysporum f. sp. cepae (Foc), were examined via multi-locus sequencing of calmodulin (cmdA), RNA polymerase II second largest subunit (rpb2), and translation elongation factor 1-alpha (tef1), to verify the taxonomic position of Foc in the newly established epitype of F. oxysporum. The strains in this study were divided into two clades: F. nirenbergiae and Fusarium sp. To further determine the host specifications of the strains, inoculation tests were performed on onion bulbs and Welsh onion seedlings as potential hosts. Four strains (AC145, AP117, Ru-13, and TA) isolated from diseased onions commonly possessed the secreted in xylem (SIX)-3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, and 14 genes and were pathogenic and highly aggressive to onion bulbs, whereas all strains except for one strain (AF97) caused significant inhibition of Welsh onion growth. The inoculation test also revealed that the strains harboring the SIX9 gene were highly aggressive to both onion and Welsh onion and the gene was expressed during infection of both onions and Welsh onions, suggesting the important role of the SIX9 gene in pathogenicity. This study provides insights into the evolutionary pathogenicity differentiation of Fusarium strains causing Fusarium basal rot and wilt diseases in Allium species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research on Fusarium: 2nd Edition)
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18 pages, 3161 KiB  
Article
Bluetongue Risk Map for Vaccination and Surveillance Strategies in India
by Mohammed Mudassar Chanda, Bethan V. Purse, Luigi Sedda, David Benz, Minakshi Prasad, Yella Narasimha Reddy, Krishnamohan Reddy Yarabolu, S. M. Byregowda, Simon Carpenter, Gaya Prasad and David John Rogers
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 590; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070590 - 16 Jul 2024
Viewed by 279
Abstract
Bluetongue virus (BTV, Sedoreoviridae: Orbivirus) causes an economically important disease, namely, bluetongue (BT), in domestic and wild ruminants worldwide. BTV is endemic to South India and has occurred with varying severity every year since the virus was first reported in 1963. [...] Read more.
Bluetongue virus (BTV, Sedoreoviridae: Orbivirus) causes an economically important disease, namely, bluetongue (BT), in domestic and wild ruminants worldwide. BTV is endemic to South India and has occurred with varying severity every year since the virus was first reported in 1963. BT can cause high morbidity and mortality to sheep flocks in this region, resulting in serious economic losses to subsistence farmers, with impacts on food security. The epidemiology of BTV in South India is complex, characterized by an unusually wide diversity of susceptible ruminant hosts, multiple vector species biting midges (Culicoides spp., Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), which have been implicated in the transmission of BTV and numerous co-circulating virus serotypes and strains. BT presence data (1997–2011) for South India were obtained from multiple sources to develop a presence/absence model for the disease. A non-linear discriminant analysis (NLDA) was carried out using temporal Fourier transformed variables that were remotely sensed as potential predictors of BT distribution. Predictive performance was then characterized using a range of different accuracy statistics (sensitivity, specificity, and Kappa). The top ten variables selected to explain BT distribution were primarily thermal metrics (land surface temperature, i.e., LST, and middle infrared, i.e., MIR) and a measure of plant photosynthetic activity (the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, i.e., NDVI). A model that used pseudo-absence points, with three presence and absence clusters each, outperformed the model that used only the recorded absence points and showed high correspondence with past BTV outbreaks. The resulting risk maps may be suitable for informing disease managers concerned with vaccination, prevention, and control of BT in high-risk areas and for planning future state-wide vector and virus surveillance activities. Full article
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10 pages, 794 KiB  
Communication
Detection of Multiple Human Viruses, including Mpox, Using a Wastewater Surveillance Approach in Brazil
by Juliana Calabria de Araujo, Ana Paula Assad Carvalho, Cintia D. Leal, Manuelle Natividade, Marcus Borin, Augusto Guerra, Natália Carobin, Adriano Sabino, Mariana Almada, Maria Cristina M. Costa, Flavia Saia, Livia V. Frutuoso, Felipe C. M. Iani, Talita Adelino, Vagner Fonseca, Marta Giovanetti and Luiz Carlos Junior Alcantara
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 589; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070589 - 16 Jul 2024
Viewed by 274
Abstract
Sewage surveillance can be used as an effective complementary tool for detecting pathogens in local communities, providing insights into emerging threats and aiding in the monitoring of outbreaks. In this study using qPCR and whole genomic sewage surveillance, we detected the Mpox virus [...] Read more.
Sewage surveillance can be used as an effective complementary tool for detecting pathogens in local communities, providing insights into emerging threats and aiding in the monitoring of outbreaks. In this study using qPCR and whole genomic sewage surveillance, we detected the Mpox virus along with other viruses, in municipal and hospital wastewaters in Belo Horizonte, Brazil over a 9-month period (from July 2022 until March 2023). MPXV DNA detection rates varied in our study, with 19.6% (11 out of 56 samples) detected through the hybrid capture method of whole-genome sequencing and 20% (12 out of 60 samples) through qPCR. In hospital wastewaters, the detection rate was higher, at 40% (12 out of 30 samples) compared to 13.3% (4 out of 30 samples) in municipal wastewaters. This variation could be attributed to the relatively low number of MPXV cases reported in the city, which ranged from 106 to 341 cases during the study period, and the dilution effects, given that each of the two wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) investigated serves approximately 1.1 million inhabitants. Additionally, nine other virus families were identified in both hospitals and municipal wastewaters, including Adenoviridade, Astroviridae, Caliciviridae, Picornaviridade, Polyomaviridae, Coronaviridae (which includes SARS-CoV-2), Herspesviridae, Papillomaviridae and Flaviviridae (notably including Dengue). These findings underscore the potential of genomic sewage surveillance as a robust public health tool for monitoring a wide range of viruses circulating in both community and hospitals environments, including MPXV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Epidemiology of Emerging Viruses)
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16 pages, 3294 KiB  
Article
Lecanicillium psalliotae (Hypocreales: Cordycipitaceae) Exerts Ovicidal and Larvicidal Effects against the Sheep Blood-Feeding Nematode Haemonchus contortus through Its Liquid Culture Filtrates
by Gustavo Pérez-Anzúrez, Pedro Mendoza-de Gives, Miguel Ángel Alonso-Díaz, Elke von Son-de Fernex, Adolfo Paz-Silva, María Eugenia López-Arellano and Agustín Olmedo-Juárez
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 588; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070588 - 16 Jul 2024
Viewed by 358
Abstract
Nematophagous fungi (NF) form part of the soil microbiota and are natural enemies of nematodes, helping to regulate nematode populations. A verticillate NF isolated from soil from Tepalcingo, Mexico, was morphologically and molecularly characterised. This fungus was cultured in two different liquid media—Czapek-Dox [...] Read more.
Nematophagous fungi (NF) form part of the soil microbiota and are natural enemies of nematodes, helping to regulate nematode populations. A verticillate NF isolated from soil from Tepalcingo, Mexico, was morphologically and molecularly characterised. This fungus was cultured in two different liquid media—Czapek-Dox broth (CzDoxB) and sweet potato dextrose broth (SPDB)—for 21 days. The ovicidal (OA) and larvicidal (LA) activities of fungal liquid culture filtrates (LCFs) were assessed in 96-well microtitre plates at different concentrations against Haemonchus contortus after 48 h. The morphological and molecular identification revealed the presence of Lecanicillium psalliotae. Additionally, the groups of compounds associated with nematocidal activity were determined from a qualitative chemical profile (QCP) using different reagents. The highest OA of the LCFs was obtained at 25 mg/mL from SPDB and CzDoxB and amounted to 97.2 and 99.06%, respectively. Meanwhile, the highest LA recorded with these LCFs at 100 mg/mL was 54.27% and 96.8%, respectively. The QCP revealed the presence of alkaloids and tannins in both LCFs that have previously been associated with nematocidal activity. Lecanicillium psalliotae exerted an important effect on H. contortus and could be of significance in future studies focused on the control and prevention of haemonchosis in small ruminants. Full article
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22 pages, 1975 KiB  
Review
A Comparative Assessment of the Pathogenic Potential of Newly Discovered Henipaviruses
by Kristina Meier, Judith Olejnik, Adam J. Hume and Elke Mühlberger
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 587; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070587 - 16 Jul 2024
Viewed by 392
Abstract
Recent advances in high-throughput sequencing technologies have led to the discovery of a plethora of previously unknown viruses in animal samples. Some of these newly detected viruses are closely related to human pathogens. A prime example are the henipaviruses. Both Nipah (NiV) and [...] Read more.
Recent advances in high-throughput sequencing technologies have led to the discovery of a plethora of previously unknown viruses in animal samples. Some of these newly detected viruses are closely related to human pathogens. A prime example are the henipaviruses. Both Nipah (NiV) and Hendra virus (HeV) cause severe disease in humans. Henipaviruses are of zoonotic origin, and animal hosts, including intermediate hosts, play a critical role in viral transmission to humans. The natural reservoir hosts of NiV and HeV seem to be restricted to a few fruit bat species of the Pteropus genus in distinct geographic areas. However, the recent discovery of novel henipa- and henipa-like viruses suggests that these viruses are far more widespread than was originally thought. To date, these new viruses have been found in a wide range of animal hosts, including bats, shrews, and rodents in Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America. Since these viruses are closely related to human pathogens, it is important to learn whether they pose a threat to human health. In this article, we summarize what is known about the newly discovered henipaviruses, highlight differences to NiV and HeV, and discuss their pathogenic potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Emerging and Re-emerging Pathogens)
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15 pages, 1794 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Altitude on Tick-Borne Pathogens at Two Mountain Ranges in Central Slovakia
by Dana Zubriková, Lucia Blaňarová, Gabriela Hrkľová, Yaroslav Syrota, Jozef Macko, Dana Blahútová, Veronika Blažeková, Michal Stanko, Klaudia Švirlochová and Bronislava Víchová
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 586; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070586 - 15 Jul 2024
Viewed by 317
Abstract
Ticks are ectoparasites of a wide range of animals and are important vectors of numerous pathogens affecting humans, livestock, and pets. This study investigates possible correlations between selected factors, altitude, soil pH, and a factor called ‘amount’ (number of ticks examined in pooled [...] Read more.
Ticks are ectoparasites of a wide range of animals and are important vectors of numerous pathogens affecting humans, livestock, and pets. This study investigates possible correlations between selected factors, altitude, soil pH, and a factor called ‘amount’ (number of ticks examined in pooled samples) on the occurrence of I. ricinus ticks positive for selected tick-borne microorganisms. Questing I. ricinus ticks were collected in 2016 and 2017 across various altitudes, at two mountain ranges in central Slovakia. Tick pools were screened for the presence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bbsl), Babesia/Theileria spp., Rickettsia spp., and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) using molecular methods. Regression analysis was employed to evaluate relationships between selected factors and the occurrence of vector-borne microorganisms. This study revealed a statistically significant influence of altitude on the occurrence of A. phagocytophilum; increasing altitude of the sampling site was associated with increased probability of pathogen occurrence. For Babesia/Theileria spp., neither altitude nor soil pH significantly affected pathogen occurrence. The occurrence of Bbsl was notably impacted by both altitude and soil pH; higher altitudes were associated with a decreased probability of pathogen presence, whereas higher soil pH increased the likelihood of pathogen occurrence. The presence of Rickettsia in a pooled sample was not affected by altitude and soil pH, but the ‘amount’ factor was a significant predictor, increasing the probability of pathogen detection. Neither altitude nor soil pH had a significant impact on TBEV occurrence. The regression models showed moderate goodness-of-fit levels to the data, underscoring their utility in examining the role of altitude and soil pH on pathogen occurrence. However, they explained only a small portion of the overall variance in pathogen occurrence, indicating the presence of other significant factors not covered in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ticks)
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16 pages, 6402 KiB  
Article
Uncovering the Antifungal Potential of Plant-Associated Cultivable Bacteria from the Aral Sea Region against Phytopathogenic Fungi
by Ilkham S. Aytenov, Tohir A. Bozorov, Daoyuan Zhang, Sitora A. Samadiy, Dono A. Muhammadova, Marufbek Z. Isokulov, Sojida M. Murodova, Ozoda R. Zakirova, Bakhodir Kh. Chinikulov and Anvar G. Sherimbetov
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070585 - 15 Jul 2024
Viewed by 359
Abstract
Two freshwater rivers, the Amu Darya and Syr Darya, flow into the Aral Sea, but they began to diminish in the early 1960s, and by the 1980s, the lake had nearly ceased to exist due to excessive water consumption for agriculture and the [...] Read more.
Two freshwater rivers, the Amu Darya and Syr Darya, flow into the Aral Sea, but they began to diminish in the early 1960s, and by the 1980s, the lake had nearly ceased to exist due to excessive water consumption for agriculture and the unsustainable management of water resources from rivers, which transformed the Aral Sea into a hypersaline lake. Despite this, the flora and fauna of the region began to evolve in the high-salinity seabed soil, which has received little attention in studies. In this study, we isolated approximately 1400 bacterial strains from the rhizosphere and phyllosphere of plant species of distinct families. Bacterial isolates were examined for antifungal activities against a range of pathogenic fungi such as Rhizoctonia gossypii, Trichothecium ovalisporum, Fusarium annulatum, F. oxysporum, F. culmorum, F. brachygibbosum, F. tricinctum, F. verticillioides, Alternaria alternata, A. terreus, Aspergillus niger, and As. flavus. Eighty-eight bacterial isolates exhibited varying antagonistic ability against pathogenic fungi. Furthermore, DNA barcoding of isolates using the 16S rRNA gene indicated that most antagonistic bacteria belonged to the Bacillus and Pseudomonas genera. The study also explored the activity of hydrolytic and cell-wall-degrading enzymes produced by antagonistic bacteria. The findings revealed that antagonistic bacteria can be utilized to widely protect seabed plants and plants growing in saline areas against pathogenic fungi, as well as agricultural crops. Full article
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10 pages, 2024 KiB  
Brief Report
The Genomic Epidemiology of Clinical Burkholderia pseudomallei Isolates in North Queensland, Australia
by Ian Gassiep, Mark D. Chatfield, Budi Permana, Delaney Burnard, Michelle J. Bauer, Thom Cuddihy, Brian M. Forde, Johanna Mayer-Coverdale, Robert E. Norton and Patrick N. A. Harris
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 584; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070584 - 15 Jul 2024
Viewed by 339
Abstract
Background: Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, is highly genetically recombinant, resulting in significant genomic diversity. Multiple virulence factors have been associated with specific disease presentations. To date, there are limited data relating to genomic diversity and virulence factors associated [...] Read more.
Background: Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, is highly genetically recombinant, resulting in significant genomic diversity. Multiple virulence factors have been associated with specific disease presentations. To date, there are limited data relating to genomic diversity and virulence factors associated with melioidosis cases in North Queensland, Australia. Aim: To describe the genetic diversity of B. pseudomallei and identify virulence factors associated with clinical risk factors and patient outcomes. Methods: Whole genome sequencing of clinical isolates was performed and analysed with clinical data obtained from a retrospective melioidosis cohort study. Results: Fifty-nine distinct sequence types (STs) were identified from the 128 clinical isolates. Six STs comprised 64/128 (50%) isolates. Novel STs accounted for 38/59 (64%) STs, with ST TSV-13 as the most prevalent (n = 7), and were less likely to possess an LPS A genotype or YLF gene cluster (p < 0.001). These isolates were most likely to be found outside the inner city (aOR: 4.0, 95% CI: 1.7–9.0, p = 0.001). ST TSV-13 was associated with increased mortality (aOR: 6.1, 95% CI: 1.2–30.9, p = 0.03). Patients with a history of alcohol excess were less likely to be infected by fhaB3 (aOR 0.2, 95% CI: 0.1–0.7, p = 0.01) or YLF (aOR: 0.4, 95% CI: 0.2–0.9, p = 0.04) positive isolates. Conclusions: There are a significant number of novel sequence types in Townsville, Australia. An emerging novel ST appears to have an association with geographic location and mortality. Ongoing investigation is required to further understand the impact of this ST on the Townsville region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Updates on Human Melioidosis)
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18 pages, 1985 KiB  
Article
Clustering of Gastrointestinal Microorganisms in Human Stool Samples from Ghana
by Joy Backhaus, Simone Kann, Andreas Hahn, Felix Weinreich, Martin Blohm, Konstantin Tanida, Torsten Feldt, Fred Stephen Sarfo, Veronica Di Cristanziano, Ulrike Loderstädt, Stephan Ehrhardt, Stefanie Schoppen, Harry Tagbor, Hagen Frickmann and Kirsten Alexandra Eberhardt
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 583; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070583 - 15 Jul 2024
Viewed by 339
Abstract
The study was conducted to identify cluster patterns of enteric microorganisms with potential etiological relevance for infectious gastroenteritis in stool samples of individuals from Ghana, which is a known high-endemicity setting for infectious gastroenteritis. These patterns were compared to previous observations with specimens [...] Read more.
The study was conducted to identify cluster patterns of enteric microorganisms with potential etiological relevance for infectious gastroenteritis in stool samples of individuals from Ghana, which is a known high-endemicity setting for infectious gastroenteritis. These patterns were compared to previous observations with specimens from Colombian indigenous people in order to assess potentially stable clustering for temporally and spatially distinct populations from high-endemicity regions. By doing so, the study aimed to identify stable clusters as markers of microbial interaction with potential importance for etiological relevance assignment in cases of multiple enteric pathogen detections. Stool samples from 1569 Ghanaian individuals (875 from HIV patients, 30 from HIV-negative control adult patients, and 644 from children < 2 years of age) were assessed for enteric microorganisms by applying real-time PCR. As a result, nucleic acids of bacterial microorganisms were most frequently detected, followed by protozoa, microsporidia, and helminths. Interestingly, the cluster assessment confirmed interaction patterns known from the previous analysis with Colombian indigenous people, demonstrating a high likelihood of Blastocystis hominis for clustering with other microorganisms and a prominent, potentially mediating role of Dientamoeba fragilis for microbial interactions within the clusters. In conclusion, the assessment confirmed conserved clustering of enteric microorganisms with potential etiological relevance for human infectious gastroenteritis over geographically distinct high-endemicity settings. Furthermore, the composition of abundant microorganisms is more important than regional factors for the determination of the interplay of enteric microorganisms in the human gut. Thereby, some microbial pathogens and commensals seem more susceptible to a changing microbial composition in the human gut than others. Full article
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12 pages, 1945 KiB  
Article
Monoclonal Antibodies for Rift Valley Fever Virus Nucleocapsid: Application in IgG/IgM ELISA for Sero-Diagnosis
by Jiansheng Huang, Ferdinard Adungo, Samson Limbaso Konongoi, Shingo Inoue, Lin Zhan, Rosemary Sang, Salame Ashur, Allan ole Kwallah, Matilu Mwau, Kouichi Morita and Fuxun Yu
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070582 - 13 Jul 2024
Viewed by 397
Abstract
Introduction: Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) belonging to the Phenuiviridae family is responsible for a zoonotic disease called Rift Valley fever (RVF). Currently, RVFV has spread from Africa to Asia, and due to its ability to cause high mortality rates, it has significantly [...] Read more.
Introduction: Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) belonging to the Phenuiviridae family is responsible for a zoonotic disease called Rift Valley fever (RVF). Currently, RVFV has spread from Africa to Asia, and due to its ability to cause high mortality rates, it has significantly impacted human health and economic development in many societies. Highly specific and sensitive systems for sero-diagnosis of RVFV infection are needed for clinical use. Method: BALB/c mice were immunized with recombinant RVFV nucleocapsid (rRVFV-N) protein and the spleen cells fused with SP2/0 myeloma cells to create hybridoma cell lines. The secreted monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were purified and characterized. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) systems for the detection of IgG and IgM using the new MAbs were established and evaluated. Serum samples from 96 volunteers and 93 patients of suspected RVF from Kenya were tested compared with the ELISA systems based on inactivated viruses and the rabbit polyclonal antibody. Result: Three monoclonal antibodies against rRVFV-N protein were established. The performance of the MAb-based sandwich IgG ELISA and the IgM capture ELISA perfectly matched the ELISA systems using the inactivated virus or the polyclonal antibody. Conclusions: Recombinant RVFV-N protein-specific MAbs were developed and they offer useful tools for RVFV studies. The MAb-based ELISA systems for detecting IgG and IgM offer safe and useful options for diagnosing RVFV infections in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bunyavirales Infections)
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12 pages, 2859 KiB  
Article
Genetic Homogeneity of Francisella tularensis subsp. mediasiatica Strains in Kazakhstan
by Alexandr Shevtsov, Uinkul Izbanova, Asylulan Amirgazin, Alma Kairzhanova, Ayan Dauletov, Vladimir Kiyan and Gilles Vergnaud
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 581; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070581 - 12 Jul 2024
Viewed by 359
Abstract
Tularemia is an acute febrile disease caused by the Gram-negative bacillus Francisella tularensis. Based on genetic and phenotypic characteristics, three subspecies are distinguished: tularensis, holarctica, and mediasiatica. F. tularensis subsp. mediasiatica remains the least studied subspecies. Over the past [...] Read more.
Tularemia is an acute febrile disease caused by the Gram-negative bacillus Francisella tularensis. Based on genetic and phenotypic characteristics, three subspecies are distinguished: tularensis, holarctica, and mediasiatica. F. tularensis subsp. mediasiatica remains the least studied subspecies. Over the past decade, new foci of distribution of F. tularensis subsp. mediasiatica have been discovered in Russia (Siberia), expanding the possible distribution area by thousands of kilometers. This article provides whole genome single nucleotide polymorphism (wgSNP) and polymorphic tandem repeats (MLVA) analyses of 28 mediasiatica strains isolated between 1965 and 2004 in Kazakhstan. Despite high genetic homogeneity, MLVA with eleven loci (MLVA11) demonstrates a high discriminatory ability (diversity index, 0.9497). The topological structure of the trees based on wgSNP and MLVA is not comparable; however, clustering remains congruent for most outbreaks, with the exception of two strains from one outbreak that are identical in terms of wgSNP but differ at three tandem repeat loci. Based on wgSNP, the strains are assigned to one of the three currently known mediasiatica sublineages, lineage M.I, together with other historical strains maintained in collections in Russia and Sweden. wgSNP shows limited previously unknown genetic diversity, with the M.I lineage size being only 118 SNPs. The wgSNP genotype is not strongly correlated with year and place of isolation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Pathogens)
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19 pages, 3410 KiB  
Review
Grade C Molar-Incisor Pattern Periodontitis in Young Adults: What Have We Learned So Far?
by Manuela Maria Viana Miguel and Luciana Macchion Shaddox
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070580 - 12 Jul 2024
Viewed by 278
Abstract
Grade C molar-incisor pattern periodontitis (C-MIP) is a disease that affects specific teeth with an early onset and aggressive progression. It occurs in systemically healthy patients, mostly African descendants, at an early age, with familial involvement, minimal biofilm accumulation, and minor inflammation. Severe [...] Read more.
Grade C molar-incisor pattern periodontitis (C-MIP) is a disease that affects specific teeth with an early onset and aggressive progression. It occurs in systemically healthy patients, mostly African descendants, at an early age, with familial involvement, minimal biofilm accumulation, and minor inflammation. Severe and rapidly progressive bone loss is observed around the first molars and incisors. This clinical condition has been usually diagnosed in children and young adults with permanent dentition under 30 years of age. However, this disease can also affect the primary dentition, which is not as frequently discussed in the literature. Radiographic records have shown that most patients diagnosed in the permanent dentition already presented disease signs in the primary dentition. A hyperresponsive immunological profile is observed in local (gingival crevicular fluid-GCF) and systemic environments. Siblings have also displayed a heightened inflammatory profile even without clinical signs of disease. A. actinomycetemcomitans has been classified as a key pathogen in C-MIP in both dentitions. Scaling and root planning associated with systemic antibiotics is the current gold standard to treat C-MIP, leading to GCF biomarker reduction, some systemic inflammatory response modulation and microbiome profile changes to a healthy-site profile. Further studies should focus on other possible disease-contributing risk factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans)
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15 pages, 514 KiB  
Article
Native Biocrust Cyanobacteria Strains Showing Antagonism against Three Soilborne Pathogenic Fungi
by Pilar Águila-Carricondo, Raúl Román, José Ignacio Marín-Guirao, Yolanda Cantón and Miguel de Cara
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070579 - 11 Jul 2024
Viewed by 303
Abstract
The biocontrol potential of three native soil cyanobacteria from biological soil crusts (Nostoc commune, Scytonema hyalinum, and Tolypothrix distorta) was tested by means of in vitro mycelial growth inhibition assays for eighteen cyanobacteria-based products against three phytopathogenic soilborne fungi [...] Read more.
The biocontrol potential of three native soil cyanobacteria from biological soil crusts (Nostoc commune, Scytonema hyalinum, and Tolypothrix distorta) was tested by means of in vitro mycelial growth inhibition assays for eighteen cyanobacteria-based products against three phytopathogenic soilborne fungi (Phytophthora capsici, Pythium aphanidermatum, and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-cucumerinum). Three cyanobacteria-based production factors were considered: (i) cyanobacterium strain, (ii) cyanobacterial culture growth phase, and (iii) different post-harvest treatments: raw cultures, cyanobacterial filtrates, and cyanobacterial extracts. Results showed that any of the factors considered are key points for successfully inhibiting fungal growth. N. commune showed the highest growth inhibition rates for the three phytopathogens; stationary phase treatments produced higher inhibition percentages than logarithmic ones; and all the post-harvest treatments of N. commune at the stationary phase inhibited the growth of P. capsici, up to 77.7%. Thus, N. commune products were tested in planta against P. capsici, but none of the products showed efficacy in delaying the onset nor reducing the damage due to P. capsici, demonstrating the complexity of the in planta assay’s success and encouraging further research to design an appropriate scaling up methodology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Pathogens)
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10 pages, 745 KiB  
Article
Hepatitis E Virus Genotype 3 among Hemodialysis Patients in Mexico: First Identification of Chronic Infection
by Edgar D. Copado-Villagrana, Ilsy X. Duarte-López, Arturo Calderón-Flores, Isidro Loera-Robles, Oliver Viera-Segura and Nora A. Fierro
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070578 - 11 Jul 2024
Viewed by 371
Abstract
The global distribution of hepatitis E virus (HEV) is attributed to its capacity to spread through several routes of transmission; hemodialysis has gained increased amounts of attention in recent years. Although Mexico is considered a hyperendemic region for hepatitis E, no HEV surveillance [...] Read more.
The global distribution of hepatitis E virus (HEV) is attributed to its capacity to spread through several routes of transmission; hemodialysis has gained increased amounts of attention in recent years. Although Mexico is considered a hyperendemic region for hepatitis E, no HEV surveillance is performed in the country. The frequency of HEV in hemodialysis (HD) patients has not been determined. Herein, we conducted a cross-sectional single-center analytical study including 67 serum samples from HD patients. Anti-HEV IgG and IgM antibodies and the viral genome were determined; partial regions within the HEV genome were sequenced for further phylogenetic analysis. Globally, 14.9% of the tested patients exhibited reactivity for IgG antibodies against HEV, and none showed reactivity to IgM. A total of 5.9% of the samples showed HEV genome amplification, and sequencing confirmed the identity of genotype 3; subsequent analysis of positive cases revealed two acute cases and chronic hepatitis E infection in one patient. Notably, the chronic patient was negative for anti-HEV IgG antibodies. Our findings highlight the importance of viral genome testing in HD patients and the need to establish guidelines for HEV detection in Mexico. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Elimination Strategies for Viral Hepatitis in Latin America)
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13 pages, 1578 KiB  
Article
Plasma Photoinactivation of Bacterial Isolated from Blood Donors Skin: Potential of Security Barrier in Transfusional Therapy
by Yanet Ventura-Enríquez, Antonio Casas-Guerrero, María de Jesús Sánchez-Guzmán, Miguel Ángel Loyola-Cruz, Clemente Cruz-Cruz, Andres Emmanuel Nolasco-Rojas, Emilio Mariano Durán-Manuel, Dulce Milagros Razo Blanco-Hernández, Francisco Álvarez-Mora, Gabriela Ibáñez-Cervantes, Mónica Alethia Cureño-Díaz, Juan Manuel Bello-López and Verónica Fernández-Sánchez
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070577 - 11 Jul 2024
Viewed by 319
Abstract
The presence of skin bacteria capable of forming biofilm, exhibiting antibiotic resistance, and displaying virulence represents a significant challenge in the field of transfusion medicine. This underscores the necessity of enhancing the microbiological safety of blood and blood components against pathogens with virulent [...] Read more.
The presence of skin bacteria capable of forming biofilm, exhibiting antibiotic resistance, and displaying virulence represents a significant challenge in the field of transfusion medicine. This underscores the necessity of enhancing the microbiological safety of blood and blood components against pathogens with virulent characteristics. The aim of this work was to demonstrate bacterial inactivation in plasma by using a photoinactivation method against virulent bacteria and to evaluate coagulation factors before and after treatment. Logarithmic loads of biofilm-producing, antibiotic-resistant, and virulent bacteria isolated from skin (Enterobacter cloacae, Klebsiella ozaenae, and Staphylococcus epidermidis) were used in artificial contamination assays of fresh frozen plasma bags and subjected to photoreduction. FVIII and FI activity were evaluated before and after photoinactivation. The photoinactivation of plasma was demonstrated to be an effective method for the elimination of these bacteria. However, the efficiency of this method was found to be dependent on the bacterial load and the type of test microorganism. Conversely, decay of coagulation factors was observed with net residual activities of 61 and 69% for FVIII and FI, respectively. The photoinactivation system could have a bias in its effectiveness that is dependent on the test pathogen. These findings highlight the importance of employing technologies that increase the safety of the recipient of blood and/or blood components, especially against virulent bacteria, and show the relevance of the role of photoinactivation systems as an option in transfusion practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases)
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8 pages, 248 KiB  
Article
Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Isolated from Wild Ruminants in Liguria, North-West Italy
by Valeria Listorti, Lisa Guardone, Carolina Piccinini, Isabella Martini, Carla Ferraris, Carmela Ligotti, Maria Luisa Cristina, Nicola Pussini, Monica Pitti and Elisabetta Razzuoli
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 576; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070576 - 11 Jul 2024
Viewed by 382
Abstract
Wildlife may represent an important source of infectious diseases for humans and other wild and domestic animals. Wild ruminants can harbour and transmit Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) to humans, and some strains even carry important antimicrobial resistance. In this study, 289 livers [...] Read more.
Wildlife may represent an important source of infectious diseases for humans and other wild and domestic animals. Wild ruminants can harbour and transmit Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) to humans, and some strains even carry important antimicrobial resistance. In this study, 289 livers of wild roe deer, fallow deer, red deer and chamois collected in Liguria, north-west Italy, from 2019 to 2023 were analysed. Overall, 44 STEC strains were isolated from 28 samples. The characterisation of serogroups showed the presence of O104, O113, O145 and O146 serogroups, although for 28 colonies, the serogroup could not be determined. The most prevalent Shiga toxin gene in isolated strains was Stx2, and more specifically the subtype Stx2b. The other retrieved subtypes were Stx1a, Stx1c, Stx1d and Stx2g. The isolated strains generally proved to be susceptible to the tested antimicrobials. However, multi-drug resistances against highly critical antimicrobials were found in one strain isolated from a roe deer. This study highlights the importance of wildlife monitoring in the context of a “One Health” approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research on Host–Pathogen Interaction in 2024)
13 pages, 1657 KiB  
Article
Molecular Identification of Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiae in Ticks in the Republic of Korea
by Ji-Ye Seo, Jin-Seo Park, Hee-Il Lee and Jung-Won Ju
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 575; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070575 - 10 Jul 2024
Viewed by 415
Abstract
The Rickettsia species transmitted by ticks are mostly classified within the spotted fever group rickettsiae (SFGR), which causes tick-borne rickettsiosis. Although efforts have been made to investigate their prevalence in the Republic of Korea (ROK), research has been limited to certain areas. Furthermore, [...] Read more.
The Rickettsia species transmitted by ticks are mostly classified within the spotted fever group rickettsiae (SFGR), which causes tick-borne rickettsiosis. Although efforts have been made to investigate their prevalence in the Republic of Korea (ROK), research has been limited to certain areas. Furthermore, the pooling method for ticks does not fully reflect the exact infection rate. Therefore, we aimed to perform molecular identification of SFGR in ticks to elucidate the current prevalence of tick-borne rickettsiosis in the ROK. The SFGR of ticks was identified using polymerase chain reaction targeting the 17 kDa antigen, ompA, and gltA, followed by sequencing for species identification and phylogenetic analysis. In total, 302 ticks belonging to four species (Haemaphysalis flava, H. longicornis, Ixodes nipponensis, and Amblyomma testudinarium) were collected between April and November 2022. The overall SFGR infection rate was 26.8% (81/302 patients). Both adult and nymphal ticks and the SFGR infection rate increased during April–May, reaching their peaks in June, followed by a marked decline in August and July, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis revealed three species (R. monacensis, R. heilongjiangensis, and Candidatus R. jingxinensis) of SFGR. Thus, our results emphasize the importance of tick surveys for the prevention and management of tick-borne rickettsiosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ticks and Tick-Borne Pathogens)
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16 pages, 9860 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Primers OPF-01, P54, and 1253 to Identify A. fumigatus, A. flavus, and A. niger from Polymorphic Patterns Obtained by RAPD-PCR
by Carlos Alberto Castro-Fuentes, María Guadalupe Frías-De-León, María del Carmen González-Villaseñor, Esperanza Duarte-Escalante, Omar Esteban Valencia-Ledezma, Areli Martínez-Gamboa, Beatriz Meraz-Ríos and María del Rocío Reyes-Montes
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070574 - 10 Jul 2024
Viewed by 348
Abstract
We evaluated the specificity of the primers OPF-01, P54, and 1253 to identify A. fumigatus, A. flavus, and A. niger, respectively, with the RAPD-PCR method. Eighty-two isolates belonging to the sections Fumigati, Flavi, and Nigri were used. The [...] Read more.
We evaluated the specificity of the primers OPF-01, P54, and 1253 to identify A. fumigatus, A. flavus, and A. niger, respectively, with the RAPD-PCR method. Eighty-two isolates belonging to the sections Fumigati, Flavi, and Nigri were used. The isolates were identified by phenotypic (macro- and micromorphology) and genotypic (partial sequences of the BenA gene) methods. The RAPD-PCR method was used to obtain polymorphic patterns with the primers OPF-01, P54, and 1253. The specificity of the polymorphic patterns of the isolates of each species was evaluated through the UPGMA clustering method and logistic regression model. All isolates of the genus Aspergillus were identified at the section level by macro- and micromorphology showing the typical morphology of the sections Fumigati, Flavi, and Nigri, and the species were identified by the construction of the phylogeny of the partial sequence of the BenA gene. The patterns’ polymorphic strains obtained with the primers OPF-01, P54, and 1253 for the isolates of A. fumigatus, A. flavus, and A niger, respectively, showed the same polymorphic pattern as the reference strains for each species. To verify the specificity of the primers, they were tested with other species from the sections Fumigati, Flavi and Nigri. The results support that the primers OPF-01, P54, and 1253 generate polymorphic patterns by RAPD-PCR species specific to A. fumigatus, A. flavus, and A. niger, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue An Update on Fungal Infections)
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12 pages, 519 KiB  
Article
Pre-or co-SARS-CoV-2 Infections Significantly Increase Severe Dengue Virus Disease Criteria: Implications for Clinicians
by Moeen Hamid Bukhari, Esther Annan, Ubydul Haque, Pedro Arango, Andrew K. I. Falconar and Claudia M. Romero-Vivas
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 573; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070573 - 10 Jul 2024
Viewed by 543
Abstract
Few studies have investigated whether SARS-CoV-2 infections increase the incidence of dengue haemorrhagic fever/shock syndrome (DHF/DSS) and/or severe dengue (SD) in dengue virus (DENV)-infected patients. This study was performed on a site with high incidences of classical dengue, but relatively few DHF/DSS or [...] Read more.
Few studies have investigated whether SARS-CoV-2 infections increase the incidence of dengue haemorrhagic fever/shock syndrome (DHF/DSS) and/or severe dengue (SD) in dengue virus (DENV)-infected patients. This study was performed on a site with high incidences of classical dengue, but relatively few DHF/DSS or SD cases as defined by the WHO 1997 or 2009 criteria, respectively. Clinical, haematological/biochemical, and viral diagnostic data were collected from febrile patients before, during, and after the COVID-19 epidemic to assess whether (a) DENV-infected patients with prior SARS-CoV-2 infections or (b) DENV-SARS-CoV-2-co-infected patients had increased incidences of SD/DHF/DSS using logistic regression and machine learning models. Higher numbers of DHF/DSS/SD occurred during the COVID-19 epidemic, particularly in males and 18–40-year-olds. Significantly increased symptoms in the DENV-SARS-CoV-2-co-infected cases were (a) haemoconcentration (p < 0.0009) and hypotension (p < 0.0005) (DHF/DSS and SD criteria), (b) thrombocytopenia and mucosal bleeding (DHF/DSS-criteria), (c) abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, mucosal bleeding, and thrombocytopenia (SD warning signs) and (d) dyspnoea, but without fluid accumulation. DENV-infected patients with prior SARS-CoV-2 infections had significantly increased incidences of thrombocytopenia (DHF/DSS-criteria) and/or abdominal pain and persistent vomiting and also thrombocytopenia (SD warning signs), but without significant haemoconcentration or hypotension. DENV-SARS-CoV-2 co-infections significantly increased the incidence of DHF/DSS/SD, while DENV-infected patients with prior SARS-CoV-2 infections displayed significantly increased incidences of thrombocytopenia (DHF/DSS-criteria) and three important SD warning signs, which are therefore very important for health workers/clinicians in assessing patients’ DHF/DSS/SD risk factors and planning their optimal therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surveillance and Control Strategies to Fight Mosquito-Borne Diseases)
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10 pages, 3250 KiB  
Article
Development and Competition of Three Parasitoid Wasps, Brachymeria podagrica, Dirhinus himalayanus, and Nasonia vitripennis, in Their Host, Sarcophaga dux, in Single and Mixed Infections
by Rolf K. Schuster and Saritha Sivakumar
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 572; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070572 - 9 Jul 2024
Viewed by 249
Abstract
Laboratory trials were carried out to investigate the development of three entomophagous parasitoid wasps in preimaginal stages of Sarcophaga dux in monoinfections and mixed infections. Laboratory-raised postfeeding S. dux third-stage larvae were exposed to Brachymeria podagrica. After pupation, 50 of these fly [...] Read more.
Laboratory trials were carried out to investigate the development of three entomophagous parasitoid wasps in preimaginal stages of Sarcophaga dux in monoinfections and mixed infections. Laboratory-raised postfeeding S. dux third-stage larvae were exposed to Brachymeria podagrica. After pupation, 50 of these fly puparia were brought in contact with pupal parasitoid Dirhinus himalayanus and 50 with Nasonia vitripennis, and the remaining 50 puparia were left as Brachymeria monoinfection. In three further trials, each set of 50 freshly pupated host puparia from the same source was exposed to N. vitripennis and D. himalayanus, as monoinfections and mixed infections, respectively. The uninfected control group consisted of 50 S. dux larvae that were kept separately under the same conditions. The percentages of successfully developed B. podagrica and D. himalayanus in monoinfections were 56 and 86%, respectively, and progeny of N. vitripennis hatched from 88% of the exposed host puparia. In mixed infections, N. vitripennis dominated over B. podagrica and D. himalayanus with rates of successfully infected hosts of 50 and 94%, respectively. The number of Nasonia progeny in these groups ranged from 4 to 49 and 5 to 43, respectively. Dirhinus himalayanus did not develop in the simultaneous infection with N. vitripennis. Not a single S. dux eclosed in the six experimental groups, while in the uninfected control group, 46 (92%) adult flies eclosed 11 to 14 days after the start of pupation. Since the three parasitoids emerge from flesh fly pupae, these insects can become important in criminal forensic investigations when corpses are in an advanced stage of decay. More data on their preimaginal development at different temperatures are necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Parasitic Pathogens)
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19 pages, 1470 KiB  
Article
Quantitative Risk Assessment of Wind-Supported Transmission of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus to Dutch Poultry Farms via Fecal Particles from Infected Wild Birds in the Environment
by Clazien J. de Vos and Armin R. W. Elbers
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070571 - 8 Jul 2024
Viewed by 662
Abstract
A quantitative microbial risk assessment model was developed to estimate the probability that the aerosolization of fecal droppings from wild birds in the vicinity of poultry farms would result in the infection of indoor-housed poultry with highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIv) in [...] Read more.
A quantitative microbial risk assessment model was developed to estimate the probability that the aerosolization of fecal droppings from wild birds in the vicinity of poultry farms would result in the infection of indoor-housed poultry with highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIv) in the Netherlands. Model input parameters were sourced from the scientific literature and experimental data. The availability of data was diverse across input parameters, and especially parameters on the aerosolization of fecal droppings, survival of HPAIv and dispersal of aerosols were uncertain. Model results indicated that the daily probability of infection of a single poultry farm is very low, with a median value of 7.5 × 10−9. Accounting for the total number of poultry farms and the length of the bird-flu season, the median overall probability of at least one HPAIv-infected poultry farm during the bird-flu season is 2.2 × 10−3 (approximately once every 455 years). This is an overall estimate, averaged over different farm types, virus strains and wild bird species, and results indicate that uncertainty is relatively high. Based on these model results, we conclude that it is unlikely that this introduction route plays an important role in the occurrence of HPAIv outbreaks in indoor-housed poultry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Epidemiology, and Control of Animal Influenza Viruses)
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11 pages, 294 KiB  
Article
Are Chlamydia Trachomatis and Neisseria Gonorrhoeae Screenings in Pregnant Women Being Properly Performed? A Single-Center Retrospective Observational Study in Italy
by Vito Mondì, Jacopo Caravetta, Piermichele Paolillo, Nicola Salce, Chryssoula Tzialla, Barbara Vasapollo, Herbert Valensise, Manuela Bedetta and Simonetta Picone
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070570 - 8 Jul 2024
Viewed by 484
Abstract
A new Italian intersociety position statement on the prevention of ophthalmia neonatorum was published in 2023. In this document, attention was paid to the indications for the screening of gonococcal and chlamydial infections during pregnancy according to the international and national guidelines for [...] Read more.
A new Italian intersociety position statement on the prevention of ophthalmia neonatorum was published in 2023. In this document, attention was paid to the indications for the screening of gonococcal and chlamydial infections during pregnancy according to the international and national guidelines for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We conducted an observational retrospective study to assess whether the current guidelines for the prevention of STIs are being followed correctly. From February to August 2022, 2507 women nearing childbirth were enrolled. Among them, 42.4% received a swab for Chlamydia and only 0.5% for gonococcus. Concerning the geographical area of origin, most of the screened women came from Western Europe. None of the women who received gonococcal swabs and only 105 women out of 1062 screened for Chlamydia were under 25 years of age. Overall, only seven swabs were positive for Chlamydia, while none were positive for gonococcus. Concerning the age, geographical area of origin, and medical history of the women with a positive screening for Chlamydia, all were over 25 years old, six were from Western Europe, one was from South America, and none had other STIs. Although monocentric in nature, this study shows that the guidelines are not being followed correctly. Full article
12 pages, 2753 KiB  
Article
Leukotoxin A Production and Release by JP2 and Non-JP2 Genotype Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans in Relation to Culture Conditions
by Sotirios Kalfas, Zahra Khayyat Pour, Rolf Claesson and Anders Johansson
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070569 - 6 Jul 2024
Viewed by 454
Abstract
Aggressive forms of periodontitis, especially in young patients, are often associated with an increased proportion of the Gram-negative bacterium Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans of the microbiota of the affected periodontal sites. One of the virulence factors of A. actinomycetemcomitans is a leukotoxin (LtxA) that induces [...] Read more.
Aggressive forms of periodontitis, especially in young patients, are often associated with an increased proportion of the Gram-negative bacterium Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans of the microbiota of the affected periodontal sites. One of the virulence factors of A. actinomycetemcomitans is a leukotoxin (LtxA) that induces a pro-inflammatory cell death process in leukocytes. A. actinomycetemcomitans exhibits a large genetic diversity and different genotypes vary in LtxA production capacity. The genotype JP2 is a heavy LtxA producer due to a 530-base pair deletion in the promoter for the toxin genes, and this trait has been associated with an increased pathogenic potential. The present study focused on the production and release of LtxA by different A. actinomycetemcomitans genotypes and serotypes under various growth conditions. Four different strains of this bacterium were cultured in two different culture broths, and the amount of LtxA bound to the bacterial surface or released into the broths was determined. The cultures were examined during the logarithmic and the early stationary phases of growth. The JP2 genotype exhibited the highest LtxA production among the strains tested, and production was not affected by the growth phase. The opposite was observed with the other strains. The composition of the culture broth had no effect on the growth pattern of the tested strains. However, the abundant release of LtxA from the bacterial surface into the culture broth was found in the presence of horse serum. Besides confirming the enhanced leucotoxicity of the JP2 genotype, the study provides new data on LtxA production in the logarithmic and stationary phases of growth and the effect of media composition on the release of the toxin from the bacterial membrane. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans)
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14 pages, 1173 KiB  
Article
Dementia Prevalence and Onchocerca volvulus Infection among Rural Elderly Persons in the Ntui Health District, Cameroon: A Population-Based Study
by Wepnyu Yembe Njamnshi, Joseph Nelson Siewe Fodjo, Kongnyu Gamnsi Njamnshi, Leonard Ngarka, Michel K. Mengnjo, Leonard N. Nfor, Martine A. F. Tsasse, Julius N. Taryunyu Njamnshi, Gladys Maestre, Jose E. Cavazos, Sudha Seshadri, Laurent S. Etoundi Ngoa, Marie-Thérèse Obama Abena Ondoa, Bernard Fongang, Anne-Cécile Zoung-Kanyi Bissek and Alfred K. Njamnshi
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070568 - 6 Jul 2024
Viewed by 440
Abstract
Recent research suggests that infection with Onchocerca volvulus induces neurocognitive decline. This study sought to compare the cognitive outcomes of elderly persons based on onchocerciasis infection status and report the overall prevalence of dementia in the rural Ntui Health District in Cameroon. A [...] Read more.
Recent research suggests that infection with Onchocerca volvulus induces neurocognitive decline. This study sought to compare the cognitive outcomes of elderly persons based on onchocerciasis infection status and report the overall prevalence of dementia in the rural Ntui Health District in Cameroon. A community-based approach was used to recruit 103 participants aged ≥60 years. Dementia screening was done using the Community Screening Interview for Dementia (CSID) tool with a cut-off value of ≤29.5. O. volvulus infection was determined via microscopic examination of skin snips and serological testing of Ov16 antibodies using rapid diagnostic tests. Overall, the prevalence of dementia was 10.7%. Among the tested individuals, 17.9% (15/84) and 62.1% (41/66) were positive for O. volvulus and Ov16 antibodies, respectively. A multivariable linear regression model of CSID scores found a significant positive association with education level (8.654; 95% CI: 2.0870 to 15.222). However, having a positive skin snip for O. volvulus (−3.399; 95% CI: −6.805 to 0.007) and inhaling tobacco (−5.441; 95% CI: −9.137 to −1.744) tended to lower the CSID scores. Ongoing onchocerciasis transmission in the Ntui Health District may constitute a risk factor for dementia. Strengthening onchocerciasis elimination and adopting healthier lifestyles would contribute to dementia prevention among the elderly residing in endemic communities. Full article
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11 pages, 2559 KiB  
Communication
Evaluation of Selective Culling as a Containment Strategy for African Swine Fever at a Vietnamese Sow Farm
by Bui Thi To Nga, Agathe Auer, Pawin Padungtod, Klaas Dietze, Anja Globig, Andriy Rozstalnyy, Tran Minh Hai and Klaus Depner
Pathogens 2024, 13(7), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13070567 - 6 Jul 2024
Viewed by 578
Abstract
Selective culling, also known as the “tooth extraction approach”, is a strategy for controlling African swine fever (ASF) by removing only sick and suspect animals instead of the entire herd in Vietnam. This method prioritizes preserving healthy animals, particularly valuable breeding pigs. Despite [...] Read more.
Selective culling, also known as the “tooth extraction approach”, is a strategy for controlling African swine fever (ASF) by removing only sick and suspect animals instead of the entire herd in Vietnam. This method prioritizes preserving healthy animals, particularly valuable breeding pigs. Despite its implementation in various forms, no standardized protocol based on scientific principles has been established. Farms typically adapt this strategy based on their understanding, which can vary significantly. In implementing of selective culling that is not based on scientific principles, there is a significant risk of spreading the disease. The aim of this study is to evaluate the consequences of selective culling as currently implemented in Vietnam. Our analysis on a large sow farm revealed that current practices rely heavily on clinical observations without laboratory confirmations. This approach allows ASF-infected animals to remain on the farm longer, potentially exacerbating the spread of the virus. Thus, selective culling poses a substantial risk by potentially exacerbating the spread of disease. Our findings emphasize that early diagnosis of ASF and systematic removal of infected pigs are critical components for the effective implementation of selective culling strategies and that a high level of fragmentation to minimize contact between animals plays a key role. The optimal approach is to test conspicuous animals and separate them. Under no circumstances should suspect animals be left in the herd for several days before they become severely ill and succumb to the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Pathogens)
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