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Pathogens, Volume 9, Issue 1 (January 2020) – 70 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Streptococcus suis is commonly found in pigs colonizing the mucosa without induction of clinical [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Pathogenic and Nonpathogenic Fusarium oxysporum Isolates Associated with Commercial Tomato Crops in the Andean Region of Colombia
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010070 - 20 Jan 2020
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Abstract
In Colombia, tomato production under protected conditions represents an important economic contribution to the agricultural sector. Fusarium wilt diseases, caused by pathogenic formae speciales of the soil-borne fungus Fusarium oxysporum Schltdl., cause significant yield losses in tomatoes throughout the world. Investigation of the [...] Read more.
In Colombia, tomato production under protected conditions represents an important economic contribution to the agricultural sector. Fusarium wilt diseases, caused by pathogenic formae speciales of the soil-borne fungus Fusarium oxysporum Schltdl., cause significant yield losses in tomatoes throughout the world. Investigation of the F. oxysporum–tomato pathosystem in Colombia is required to develop appropriate alternative disease management. In this study, 120 fungal isolates were obtained from four different departments in the Central Andean Region in Colombia from tomato crops with symptoms of wilt disease. A molecular characterization of the fungal isolates was performed using the SIX1, SIX3, and SIX4 effector genes of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici W.C. Snyder & H.N. Hansen (Fol). Additionally, we developed a new specific marker to distinguish between Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici Jarvis & Shoemaker (Forl) and Fol isolates. Furthermore, a phylogenetic analysis using the Translation Elongation Factor 1-alpha (EF1a) gene was performed with the collected isolates. Two isolates (named Fol59 and Fol-UDC10) were identified as Fol race 2, four isolates were identified as Forl, six isolates were identified as F. solani, and most of the isolates were grouped within the F. oxysporum species complex. The phylogenetic tree of EF1a showed that most of the isolates could potentially correspond to nonpathogenic strains of F. oxysporum. Additional pathogenicity assays carried out with Fol59 and Fol-UDC10 confirmed that both isolates were highly virulent strains. This study represents a contribution to the understanding of the local interaction between tomatoes and F. oxysporum in Colombia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil-Borne Plant Pathogenic Fungi)
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Open AccessArticle
Staphylococcus saprophyticus Proteomic Analyses Elucidate Differences in the Protein Repertories among Clinical Strains Related to Virulence and Persistence
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010069 - 19 Jan 2020
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Abstract
Staphylococcus saprophyticus is a Gram-positive and coagulase negative cocci that composes the skin microbiota and can act as an opportunistic agent causing urinary tract infections, being more frequent in sexually active young women. The ability of a pathogen to cause infection in the [...] Read more.
Staphylococcus saprophyticus is a Gram-positive and coagulase negative cocci that composes the skin microbiota and can act as an opportunistic agent causing urinary tract infections, being more frequent in sexually active young women. The ability of a pathogen to cause infection in the host is associated to its ability to adhere to host cells and to survive host immune defenses. In this work, we presented the comparative proteomic profile of three S. saprophyticus strains. It was possible to characterize differences in the proteome content, specially related to expression of virulence factors. We compiled this data and previous data and we detected one strain (9325) possessing higher production and secretion of proteins related to virulence. Our results show that phenotypic, genotypic, and proteomic differences reflect in the ability to survive during interaction with host cells, since the 9325 strain presented a higher survival rate after macrophage interaction. In counterpart, the 7108 strain that possesses lower content of proteins related to virulence presented higher ability to form biofilm suggesting that this strain can be better adapted to persist in the host and in the environment. Our work describes, for the first time, proteomic flexibility among S. saprophyticus strains, reflecting in virulence and persistence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
Differences in Epstein-Barr Virus Characteristics and Viral-Related Microenvironment Could Be Responsible for Lymphomagenesis in Children
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010068 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 320
Abstract
In Argentina, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) presence is associated with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) in patients younger than 10 years, suggesting a relationship between low age of EBV infection and HL. Given that HL is derived from germinal centers (GC), our aim was to compare [...] Read more.
In Argentina, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) presence is associated with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) in patients younger than 10 years, suggesting a relationship between low age of EBV infection and HL. Given that HL is derived from germinal centers (GC), our aim was to compare EBV protein expression and microenvironment markers between pediatric HL patients and EBV+GC in children. Methods: EBV presence and immune cell markers were assessed by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Results: Viral latency II pattern was proved in all HL patients and in 81.8% of EBV+ tonsillar GCs. LMP1 and LMP2 co-expression were proved in 45.7% HL cases, but only in 7.7% EBV+ GC in pediatric tonsils. An increase in CD4+, IL10, and CD68+ cells was observed in EBV+ GC. In pediatric HL patients, only the mean of IL10+ cells was statistically higher in EBV+ HL. Conclusions: Our findings point us out to suggest that LMP1 expression may be sufficient to drive neoplastic transformation, that an immune regulatory milieu counteracts cytotoxic environment in EBV-associated Hodgkin lymphoma, and that CD4+ and CD68+ cells may be recruited to act in a local collaborative way to restrict, at least in part, viral-mediated lymphomagenesis in tonsillar GC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
In Vivo Antiviral Effects of U18666A Against Type I Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010067 - 18 Jan 2020
Viewed by 521
Abstract
Background: The cationic amphiphilic drug U18666A inhibits the proliferation of type I FIPV in vitro. In this study, we evaluated the in vivo antiviral effects of U18666A by administering it to SPF cats challenged with type I FIPV. Methods: Ten SPF cats were [...] Read more.
Background: The cationic amphiphilic drug U18666A inhibits the proliferation of type I FIPV in vitro. In this study, we evaluated the in vivo antiviral effects of U18666A by administering it to SPF cats challenged with type I FIPV. Methods: Ten SPF cats were randomly assigned to two experimental groups. FIPV KU-2 were inoculated intraperitoneally to cats. The control group was administered PBS, and the U18666A-treated group was administered U18666A subcutaneously at 2.5 mg/kg on day 0, and 1.25 mg/kg on days 2 and 4 after viral inoculation. Results: Two of the five control cats administered PBS alone developed FIP. Four of the five cats administered U18666A developed no signs of FIP. One cat that temporarily developed fever, had no other clinical symptoms, and no gross lesion was noted on an autopsy after the end of the experiment. The FIPV gene was detected intermittently in feces and saliva regardless of the development of FIP or administration of U18666A. Conclusions: When U18666A was administered to cats experimentally infected with type I FIPV, the development of FIP might be suppressed compared with the control group. However, the number of animals with FIP is too low to establish anti-viral effect of U18666A in cats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feline Infectious Peritonitis)
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Open AccessArticle
Antibiotic and Antibiofilm Activities of Salvadora persica L. Essential Oils against Streptococcus mutans: A Detailed Comparative Study with Chlorhexidine Digluconate
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010066 - 16 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 361
Abstract
The use of organic components from plants as an alternative antimicrobial agent is becoming popular due to the development of drug-resistance in various pathogens. Essential oils from fresh (MF-1) and dried (MD-1) roots of Salvadora persica L. were extracted and benzyl isothiocynate was [...] Read more.
The use of organic components from plants as an alternative antimicrobial agent is becoming popular due to the development of drug-resistance in various pathogens. Essential oils from fresh (MF-1) and dried (MD-1) roots of Salvadora persica L. were extracted and benzyl isothiocynate was determined as their chief constituent using GC-MS and GC-FID. The antibiofilm and antimicrobial activities of MD-1 and MF-1 against Streptococcus mutans a dental caries causing bacteria were determined using multiple assays. These activities were compared with chlorhexidine digluconate (CHX) and clove oil, well known antimicrobial agents for oral hygiene. Essential oils demonstrated IC50 values (10–11 µg/mL) comparable to that of CHX, showed a significant reduction (82 ± 7–87 ± 6%) of the biofilm formation at a very low concentration. These results were supported by RT-PCR studies showing change in the expression levels of AtlE, gtfB, ymcA and sodA genes involved in autolysis, biofilm formation and oxidative stress, respectively. The results presented in this study show the robust bactericidal and antibiofilm activity of MD-1 and MF-1 against S. mutans which is comparable to Chlorhexidine digluconate. Our results suggest that these essential oils can be as effective as CHX and hence can serve as a good alternative antimicrobial agent for oral hygiene. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
High Prevalence of CTX-M Type Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase Genes and Detection of NDM-1 Carbapenemase Gene in Extraintestinal Pathogenic Escherichia coli in Cuba
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010065 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 314
Abstract
Increase of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) showing resistance to beta-lactams is a major public health concern. This study was conducted as a first molecular epidemiological study on ExPEC in Cuba, regarding prevalence of extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) and carbapenemase genes. A total of [...] Read more.
Increase of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) showing resistance to beta-lactams is a major public health concern. This study was conducted as a first molecular epidemiological study on ExPEC in Cuba, regarding prevalence of extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) and carbapenemase genes. A total of 306 ExPEC isolates collected in medical institutions in 16 regions in Cuba (2014–2018) were analyzed for their genotypes and presence of genes encoding ESBL, carbapenemase, plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) determinants by PCR and sequencing. The most common phylogenetic group of ExPEC was B2 (49%), followed by D (23%), A (21%), and B1 (7%). Among ESBL genes detected, blaCTX-M was the most common and detected in 61% of ExPEC, with blaCTX-M-15 being dominant and distributed to all the phylogenetic groups. NDM-1 type carbapenemase gene was identified in two isolates of phylogenetic group B1-ST448. Phylogenetic group B2 ExPEC belonged to mostly ST131 (or its single-locus variant) with O25b allele, harboring blaCTX-M-27, and included an isolate of emerging type ST1193. aac (6’)-Ib-cr was the most prevalent PMQR gene (40.5%), being present in 54.5% of CTX-M-positive isolates. These results indicated high prevalence of CTX-M genes and the emergence of NDM-1 gene among recent ExPEC in Cuba, depicting an alarming situation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Pathogens)
Open AccessArticle
Seroprevalence and Molecular Detection of Bovine Anaplasmosis in Egypt
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010064 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 363
Abstract
Bovine anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease with zoonotic potential, caused by the obligate intracellular bacterium Anaplasma marginale. The disease is distributed worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions. The economic losses from anaplasmosis in animals is of significant importance because it causes severe [...] Read more.
Bovine anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease with zoonotic potential, caused by the obligate intracellular bacterium Anaplasma marginale. The disease is distributed worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions. The economic losses from anaplasmosis in animals is of significant importance because it causes severe morbidity and mortality in cattle. Recovered animals may become persistent carriers. Epidemiological information on the actual status of bovine anaplasmosis in Egypt is scarce. Thus, this study aimed to determine anti-Anaplasma antibody and DNA in serum samples using ELISA and PCR, respectively. In total, 758 bovine sera were collected from cattle farms located in 24 Egyptian governorates in 2015 to 2016. Sera were analyzed with the commercially available ‘Anaplasma antibody competitive ELISA v2’ kit and ‘AmpliTest Anaplasma/Ehrlichia spp. real time TaqMan TM PCR. Anaplasma spp. antibodies were detected in 140 (18.5%) (CI: 15.8–21.4%) of the investigated sera by ELISA, and Anaplasma/Ehrlichia-DNA was detected in 40 (5.3%) (CI: 3.8–7.1%) of the positive sera by real time PCR. Co-detection of both Anaplasma spp. and Coxiella burnetii-specific antibodies was proven in 30 (4%) of the investigated sera. The results of this work confirm the significant prevalence of bovine anaplasmosis in Egypt. Raising awareness in decision makers of the public health, veterinarians and animal owners is required to reduce the spread of infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
High-Resolution Composition Analysis of an Inactivated Polyvalent Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010063 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 308
Abstract
Appropriate vaccine selection is crucial in the control of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). Vaccination can prevent clinical disease and reduces viral shedding, but there is a lack of cross-protection between the seven serotypes and their sublineages, making the selection of an adequately protective vaccine [...] Read more.
Appropriate vaccine selection is crucial in the control of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). Vaccination can prevent clinical disease and reduces viral shedding, but there is a lack of cross-protection between the seven serotypes and their sublineages, making the selection of an adequately protective vaccine difficult. Since the exact composition of their vaccines is not consistently disclosed by all manufacturers, incompatibility of the strains used for vaccination with regionally circulating strains can cause vaccination campaigns to fail. Here, we present a deep sequencing approach for polyvalent inactivated FMD vaccines that can identify all component strains by their genome sequences. The genomes of all strains of a commercial pentavalent FMD vaccine were de novo assembled and the vaccine composition determined semi-quantitatively. The genome assembly required high stringency parameters to prevent misassemblies caused by conserved regions of the genome shared by related strains. In contrast, reference-guided assembly is only recommended in cases where the number of strains is previously known and appropriate reference sequences are available. The presented approach can be applied not only to any inactivated whole-virus FMD vaccine but also to vaccine quality testing in general and allows for better decision-making for vaccines with an unknown composition. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Challenges and Opportunities towards the Development of Risk Assessment at the Consumer Phase in Developing Countries—The Case of Campylobacter Cross-Contamination during Handling of Raw Chicken in Two Middle Eastern Countries
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010062 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 357
Abstract
In many low- and middle-income countries, data limitations are a major challenge facing the development of food safety risk assessment. In the present study, a questionnaire data collection tool was designed with an emphasis on gathering specific data points required by a risk [...] Read more.
In many low- and middle-income countries, data limitations are a major challenge facing the development of food safety risk assessment. In the present study, a questionnaire data collection tool was designed with an emphasis on gathering specific data points required by a risk modeller for simulating a scenario of Campylobacter cross-contamination during handling of raw chicken meat at the consumer phase. The tool was tested in practice to support its value and applicability in settings where data limitations are a challenge. The study subjects were 450 consumers in two Middle Eastern settings: Alexandria in Egypt (n = 200) and Thi-Qar in Iraq (n = 250). The majority (78.5%) of respondents in Egypt opted for wet markets/live bird shops as their preferred source of chicken meat. In contrast, 59.6% of Iraqi respondents preferred to buy chicken meat from supermarkets. Added to that, 73.0% of consumers in Egypt and 56.8% of consumers in Iraq viewed the quality of frozen chicken as “inferior” to that of chicken from wet markets. Almost all respondents in both Egypt and Iraq shared the practice of washing chicken in water before cooking. The percentage of consumers who ‘very frequently’ or ‘frequently’ prepare chicken prior to making the salad was 32.5% and 55.2% in Egypt and Iraq, respectively. A sizeable proportion of respondents in Iraq (40.8%) reported that they did not consider washing their hands with soapy water after touching raw chicken and preparing a salad in their home kitchen. Finally, 28.8% and 6.5% of respondents in Iraq and Egypt, respectively, indicated that they would not consider using a separate cutting board to avoid cross-contamination between raw chicken and salad. The data collection tool used in this study was designed in the first instance to match a conceptualised risk assessment framework, and that enabled the simultaneous collection of data points on consumption frequency, serving sizes, purchasing patterns, retail chain diversity and food handling practices. Results from such study design could be used for future development of a quantitative risk assessment model and to support food safety promotion efforts for domestic consumers in two of the most populated Middle Eastern countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Campylobacter Infections)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Pathogens in 2019
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010061 - 15 Jan 2020
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Abstract
The editorial team greatly appreciates the reviewers who have dedicated their considerable time and expertise to the journal’s rigorous editorial process over the past 12 months, regardless of whether the papers are finally published or not [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Essential Gene Clusters Involved in Copper Tolerance Identified in Acinetobacter baumannii Clinical and Environmental Isolates
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010060 - 15 Jan 2020
Viewed by 387
Abstract
Copper is widely used as antimicrobial in agriculture and medicine. Copper tolerance mechanisms of pathogenic bacteria have been proven to be required for both copper tolerance and survival during bacterial infections. Here, we determined both copper-tolerant phenotype and genotype in A. baumannii originated [...] Read more.
Copper is widely used as antimicrobial in agriculture and medicine. Copper tolerance mechanisms of pathogenic bacteria have been proven to be required for both copper tolerance and survival during bacterial infections. Here, we determined both copper-tolerant phenotype and genotype in A. baumannii originated from clinical and environmental samples. Using copper susceptibility testing, copper-tolerant A. baumannii could be found in both clinical and environmental isolates. Genotypic study revealed that representative copper-related genes of the cluster A (cueR), B (pcoAB), and D (oprC) were detected in all isolates, while copRS of cluster C was detected in only copper-tolerant A. baumannii isolates. Moreover, we found that copper-tolerant phenotype was associated with amikacin resistance, while the presence of copRS was statistically associated with blaNDM-1. We chose the A. baumannii strain AB003 as a representative of copper-tolerant isolate to characterize the effect of copper treatment on external morphology as well as on genes responsible for copper tolerance. The morphological features and survival of A. baumannii AB003 were affected by its exposure to copper, while whole-genome sequencing and analysis showed that it carried fourteen copper-related genes located on four clusters, and cluster C of AB003 was found to be embedded on genomic island G08. Transcriptional analysis of fourteen copper-related genes identified in AB003 revealed that copper treatment induced the expressions of genes of clusters A, B, and D at the micromolar level, while genes of cluster C were over-expressed at the millimolar levels of copper. This study showed that both clinical and environmental A. baumannii isolates have the ability to tolerate copper and carried numerous copper tolerance determinants including intrinsic copper tolerance (clusters A, B, and D) and acquired copper tolerance (cluster C) that could respond to copper toxicity. Our evidence suggests that we need to reconsider the use of copper in hospitals and other medical environments to prevent the selection and spread of copper-tolerant organisms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Efficacy Evaluation of Two Commercial Vaccines Against a Recombinant PRRSV2 Strain ZJnb16-2 From Lineage 8 and 3 in China
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010059 - 15 Jan 2020
Viewed by 271
Abstract
From 2010, novel recombinant lineage 3 of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus 2 (PRRSV2) has continuously emerged China, which has brought about clinical outbreaks of the disease. Previously, a PRRSV2 strain named ZJnb16-2 was identified as a recombinant virus from lineage 8 [...] Read more.
From 2010, novel recombinant lineage 3 of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus 2 (PRRSV2) has continuously emerged China, which has brought about clinical outbreaks of the disease. Previously, a PRRSV2 strain named ZJnb16-2 was identified as a recombinant virus from lineage 8 and 3. In this study, two modified-live vaccines VR2332 MLV and HuN4-F112, which belong to lineage 5 and 8 respectively, were used for efficacy evaluation against the challenge of ZJnb16-2. Piglets vaccinated with HuN4-F112 exhibited temporary fever, higher average daily weight gain, and mild clinical signs as compared to VR2332 MLV vaccinated and unvaccinated piglets upon ZJnb16-2 challenge. Both vaccines could inhibit virus replication in piglets at 21days post challenge (DPC). Cross-reactivity of interferon (IFN)-γ secreting cells against ZJnb16-2 were detected in both vaccinated piglets. The number of IFN-γ secreting cells against ZJnb16-2 in the vaccination group exhibited sustaining elevation after challenge. Results demonstrated that both vaccines provided partial protection against ZJnb16-2 infection. A cross-neutralization antibody against ZJnb16-2 was not detected in any vaccinated piglet before challenge. A low neutralizing antibody titer against ZJnb16-2 was detected after challenge. Besides, all the vaccinated piglets suffered from different degrees of lung pathological lesions, indicating neither VR2332 MLV nor HuN4-F112 provided full protection against ZJnb16-2. This study provides valuable guidelines to control the recombinant virus from lineage 8 and 3 infection with MLV vaccines in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 Alpha (HIF-1α) in Equine Sarcoid: An Immunohistochemical and Biochemical Study
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010058 - 14 Jan 2020
Viewed by 345
Abstract
Background: equine sarcoids are the most frequent skin tumors in equidae worldwide. It is well known that delta bovine papillomaviruses are their causative agents. We have recently shown the presence in equine sarcoids of abnormal vessel structures, which could cause a hypoxic condition. [...] Read more.
Background: equine sarcoids are the most frequent skin tumors in equidae worldwide. It is well known that delta bovine papillomaviruses are their causative agents. We have recently shown the presence in equine sarcoids of abnormal vessel structures, which could cause a hypoxic condition. The aim of this study was to analyze the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α) in a subset of BPV positive equine sarcoids and explore the relationship with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression. Results: 80% of equine sarcoids showed strong cytoplasmic staining in >60% of neoplastic fibroblasts, while 20% of samples showed a moderate cytoplasmic staining in 40–60% of neoplastic fibroblasts for HIF-1α. Results of Western blotting (WB) were consistent with immunohistochemistry (IHC). Moreover, a positive correlation between HIF-1α and VEGF expression (r = 0.60, p < 0.01) was observed. Conclusion: we have shown that HIF-1α was strongly expressed in equine sarcoid. The upregulation of HIF-1α has been described in numerous tumors and can be modulated by many proteins encoded by transforming viruses. Thus, it is also possible that BPV could have a relevant role in HIF-1α pathway regulation, contributing to the development of equine sarcoids by promoting HIF-1α/VEGF mediated tumor angiogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bovine Papillomavirus Infection)
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Open AccessArticle
Protein Elicitor PeBL1 of Brevibacillus laterosporus Enhances Resistance Against Myzus persicae in Tomato
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010057 - 14 Jan 2020
Viewed by 352
Abstract
Myzus persicae, a destructive aphid of tomato usually managed by chemical pesticides, is responsible for huge annual losses in agriculture. In the current work, a protein elicitor, PeBL1, was investigated for its capacity to induce a defense response against M. persicae in [...] Read more.
Myzus persicae, a destructive aphid of tomato usually managed by chemical pesticides, is responsible for huge annual losses in agriculture. In the current work, a protein elicitor, PeBL1, was investigated for its capacity to induce a defense response against M. persicae in tomato. Population growth rates of M. persicae (second and third generation) decreased with PeBL1 treatments as compared with controls. In a host selection assay, M. persicae showed preference for colonizing control plants as compared to tomato seedlings treated with PeBL1. Tomato leaves treated with PeBL1 gave rise to a hazardous surface environment for M. persicae due to formation of trichomes and wax. Jasmonic acid (JA), salicylic acid (SA), and ethylene (ET) showed significant accumulation in tomato seedlings treated by PeBL1. The following results showed that PeBL1 significantly modified the tomato leaf surface structure to reduce reproduction and deter colonization by M. persicae. Defense processes also included activation of JA, SA, and ET pathways. The study provides evidence for use of PeBL1 in the protection of tomato from M. persicae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Microbe-Invertebrate Pest Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
Occurrence and Characterization of Salmonella Isolated from Table Egg Layer Farming Environments in Western Australia and Insights into Biosecurity and Egg Handling Practices
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010056 - 13 Jan 2020
Viewed by 393
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence and distribution of Salmonella in commercial layer farming environments of 26 flocks belonging to seven egg businesses (free-range and barn-laid) in Western Australia (WA). Between November 2017 and June 2018, a total of [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence and distribution of Salmonella in commercial layer farming environments of 26 flocks belonging to seven egg businesses (free-range and barn-laid) in Western Australia (WA). Between November 2017 and June 2018, a total of 265 environmental samples of dust, feed, water, pooled feces, and boot swabs were tested for detection of Salmonella according to standard culture-based methods. Isolates were assayed for serovar and subtyped by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Salmonella spp. were recovered from 35% (93/265) of all tested samples. Dust (53.8%, 28/52) and pooled fecal (54.5%, 18/33) samples provided the highest Salmonella recovery rates. Nine different Salmonella serovars were characterized across the positive (n = 93) environmental samples, of which S. Typhimurium (60/93, 64.5%) and S. Infantis (21/93, 22.5%) were the most prevalent. MLST revealed that all S. Typhimurium isolates were of sequence type ST-19. Microbiological screening of Salmonella was not routinely practiced in any of the surveyed egg businesses. Some of the egg businesses exhibited variable levels of compliance with basic biosecurity measures as well as high-risk egg handling practices. Egg businesses in WA should be encouraged to adopt a voluntary program of environmental sampling and verification testing for Salmonella. Such voluntary programs will aid in supporting solutions for the management of this pathogen in the human food chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Waterborne/Foodborne/Airborne Pathogens)
Open AccessArticle
Comparative Proteomic Analysis of Serum from Pigs Experimentally Infected with Trichinella spiralis, Trichinella britovi, and Trichinella pseudospiralis
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010055 - 11 Jan 2020
Viewed by 524
Abstract
Although the available proteomic studies have made it possible to identify and characterize Trichinella stage-specific proteins reacting with infected host-specific antibodies, the vast majority of these studies do not provide any information about changes in the global proteomic serum profile of Trichinella-infested [...] Read more.
Although the available proteomic studies have made it possible to identify and characterize Trichinella stage-specific proteins reacting with infected host-specific antibodies, the vast majority of these studies do not provide any information about changes in the global proteomic serum profile of Trichinella-infested individuals. In view of the above, the present study aimed to examine the protein expression profile of serum obtained at 13 and 60 days postinfection (d.p.i.) from three groups of pigs experimentally infected with Trichinella spiralis, Trichinella britovi, and Trichinella pseudospiralis and from uninfected, control pigs by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) followed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. The comparative proteomic analysis of the T. spiralis group vs. the control group revealed 5 differently expressed spots at both 13 and 60 d.p.i. Experimental infection with T. britovi induced significant expression changes in 3 protein spots at 13 d.p.i. and in 6 protein spots at 60 d.p.i. in comparison with the control group. Paired analyses between the group infected with T. pseudospiralis and the uninfected control group revealed 6 differently changed spots at 13 d.p.i. and 2 differently changed spots at 60 d.p.i. Among these 27 spots, 15 were successfully identified. Depending on the Trichinella species triggering the infection and the time point of serum collection, they were IgM heavy-chain constant region, antithrombin III-precursor, immunoglobulin gamma-chain, clusterin, homeobox protein Mohawk, apolipoprotein E precursor, serum amyloid P-component precursor, Ig lambda chains, complement C3 isoform X1, and apolipoprotein A-I. Our results demonstrate that various Trichinella species and different phases of the invasion produce a distinct, characteristic proteomic pattern in the serum of experimentally infected pigs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
Clinical, Ultrasonographic, Bacteriological, Cytological and Histopathological Findings of Uterine Involution in Ewes with Uterine Infection
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010054 - 10 Jan 2020
Viewed by 326
Abstract
The objectives of the study were (a) to study the characteristics of uterine involution in ewes that had developed subclinical uterine infection in the immediately post-partum period and (b) to evaluate effects of the infection in the subsequent reproductive performance of ewes. Uterine [...] Read more.
The objectives of the study were (a) to study the characteristics of uterine involution in ewes that had developed subclinical uterine infection in the immediately post-partum period and (b) to evaluate effects of the infection in the subsequent reproductive performance of ewes. Uterine infection was induced in ewes (I, n = 10) by intrauterine inoculation of Escherichia coli; uninoculated controls were included (C, n = 12). Animals were examined at regular intervals before and post-inoculation. Clinical and ultrasonographic examinations were performed. Vaginal swab samples and biopsy uterine tissue samples were collected for bacteriological, cytological and histological examination. Finally, ewes were put to rams and reproductive performance was monitored. After challenge, it was ultrasonographically found that caruncular dimensions, myometrial thickness and diameter of uterine lumen were greater in I ewes. In these ewes, particular reduction of dimensions occurred during the second week post-partum, whilst in C ewes during the first week. The uterine artery diameter and the blood flow into the uterus were also greater in I than in C ewes. E. coli infection was more frequent and of longer duration in I than in C ewes: in 68.1% and 50.0% of ewes and 19.5 and 14 days, respectively. There was lower proportion of neutrophils and higher of lymphocytes in group I than in C. In inoculated ewes, there was histological evidence of uterine epithelial destruction, increased cellular infiltration, hyperaemia and extracasation, which persisted up to 42 days post-partum. During the subsequent reproductive season, all ewes in group I lambed normally and produced healthy and viable lambs. No significant difference in reproductive performance parameters were seen in I comparison to C ewes. It is concluded that the innate immunity of the uterus sufficed to counteract the bacterial infection, although the process of involution took longer than in healthy animals; moreover, the ultrasonographic examination is a useful means for assessment of the genital tract of ewes post-partum; finally, no adverse effects were noted in the subsequent reproductive performance of ewes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
CRISPR-cas3 of Salmonella Upregulates Bacterial Biofilm Formation and Virulence to Host Cells by Targeting Quorum-Sensing Systems
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010053 - 10 Jan 2020
Viewed by 604
Abstract
Salmonella is recognized as one of the most common microbial pathogens worldwide. The bacterium contains the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated (Cas) systems, providing adaptive immunity against invading foreign nucleic acids. Previous studies suggested that certain bacteria employ the Cas proteins [...] Read more.
Salmonella is recognized as one of the most common microbial pathogens worldwide. The bacterium contains the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated (Cas) systems, providing adaptive immunity against invading foreign nucleic acids. Previous studies suggested that certain bacteria employ the Cas proteins of CRISPR-Cas systems to target their own genes, which also alters the virulence during invasion of mammals. However, whether CRISPR-Cas systems in Salmonella have similar functions during bacterial invasion of host cells remains unknown. Here, we systematically analyzed the genes that are regulated by Cas3 in a type I-E CRISPR-Cas system and the virulence changes due to the deletion of cas3 in Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis. Compared to the cas3 gene wild-type (cas3 WT) Salmonella strain, cas3 deletion upregulated the lsrFGBE genes in lsr (luxS regulated) operon related to quorum sensing (QS) and downregulated biofilm-forming-related genes and Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI-1) genes related to the type three secretion system (T3SS). Consistently, the biofilm formation ability was downregulated in the cas3 deletion mutant (Δcas3). The bacterial invasive and intracellular capacity of Δcas3 to host cells was also reduced, thereby increasing the survival of infected host cells and live chickens. By the transcriptome-wide screen (RNA-Seq), we found that the cas3 gene impacts a series of genes related to QS, the flagellum, and SPI-1-T3SS system, thereby altering the virulence phenotypes. As QS SPI-1-T3SS and CRISPR-Cas systems are widely distributed in the bacteria kingdom, our findings extend our understanding of virulence regulation and pathogenicity in mammalian hosts for Salmonella and potentially other bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene Regulation in Biofilms)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Salmonella Isolates from Wastewater Treatment Plant Influents to Estimate Unreported Cases and Infection Sources of Salmonellosis
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010052 - 10 Jan 2020
Viewed by 373
Abstract
Salmonella enterica is a major cause of gastroenteritis usually caused by animal-based contaminated foods. Since the current passive surveillance is not sufficient to detect all infections and infection sources, we determined the prevalence of Salmonella isolated from sewage influent of wastewater treatment plants [...] Read more.
Salmonella enterica is a major cause of gastroenteritis usually caused by animal-based contaminated foods. Since the current passive surveillance is not sufficient to detect all infections and infection sources, we determined the prevalence of Salmonella isolated from sewage influent of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and compared the characteristics of human and food isolates to identify the infection sources. Sewage influent samples were collected monthly from two WWTPs located in the Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, for three years. Serotypes, antimicrobial resistances, isolation periods, isolated areas, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns of six isolates belonging to five serotypes were consistent with those of the isolates from patients. Real-time PCR for Salmonella indicated that sewage influents reflect cases of patients infected with Salmonella, including unreported cases. Serovars Schwarzengrund and Anatum were predominant in sewage, but not in humans, and their characteristics were closely related or identical to those isolated from poultry heart and liver, respectively. These results suggest that sewage influent contains Salmonella isolates from humans and that some originated from unreported human cases infected by poultry-associated products. Therefore, it is necessary to take countermeasures against Salmonella infection based on the unreported cases, which would be disclosed by analysis of sewage influent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Waterborne/Foodborne/Airborne Pathogens)
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Open AccessReview
HMPV in Immunocompromised Patients: Frequency and Severity in Pediatric Oncology Patients
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010051 - 10 Jan 2020
Viewed by 268
Abstract
Cancer is the first cause of death by disease in childhood globally. The most frequent types of cancers in children and adolescents are leukemias, followed by brain and central nervous system tumors and lymphomas. The recovery rate of cancer in children is around [...] Read more.
Cancer is the first cause of death by disease in childhood globally. The most frequent types of cancers in children and adolescents are leukemias, followed by brain and central nervous system tumors and lymphomas. The recovery rate of cancer in children is around 80% in developed countries and up to 30% in developing countries. Some of the main causes of complications in children and adolescents with cancer are respiratory viral infections, mainly in bone marrow-transplanted patients. Respiratory viruses have been detected in the bronchoalveolar lavage or nasal wash specimens from cancer patients with or without respiratory illness symptoms. Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is within the ten most common viruses that are encountered in samples from pediatric patients with underlying oncology conditions. In most of cases, HMPV is found as the only viral agent, but co-infection with other viruses or with bacterial agents has also been reported. The discrepancies between the most prevalent viral agents may be due to the different populations studied or the range of viral agents tested. Some of the cases of infection with HMPV in cancer patients have been fatal, especially in those who have received a hematopoietic stem cell transplant. This review seeks to show a general view of the participation of HMPV in respiratory illness as a complication of cancer in childhood and adolescence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Metapneumovirus Infection)
Open AccessArticle
Genotypic Comparison between Streptococcus suis Isolated from Pigs and Humans in Thailand
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010050 - 09 Jan 2020
Viewed by 375
Abstract
Streptococcus suis is a zoonotic pathogen of economic significance to the swine industry. The number of infected cases is increasing in humans worldwide. In this study, we determined the prevalence and diversity of S. suis carriage in slaughterhouse pigs in Phayao province, Thailand, [...] Read more.
Streptococcus suis is a zoonotic pathogen of economic significance to the swine industry. The number of infected cases is increasing in humans worldwide. In this study, we determined the prevalence and diversity of S. suis carriage in slaughterhouse pigs in Phayao province, Thailand, where an outbreak occurred in 2007. The overall S. suis carriage rate was 35.2% among slaughterhouse pigs. The prevalence rates of serotypes 2 and 14 (the major serotypes infected in humans) were 6.7% and 2.6%, respectively. In both serotypes, 70.4% of isolates of serotypes 2 and 14 revealed sequence types and pulsotypes identical to human isolates in Thailand. It is suggested that pathogenic strains of S. suis are a risk factor for occupational exposure to pigs or the consumption of raw pork products. Food safety, hygiene, and health education should be encouraged to reduce the risk group. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antileishmanial Activity and Synergistic Effects of Amphotericin B Deoxycholate with Allicin and Andrographolide against Leishmania martiniquensis In Vitro
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010049 - 09 Jan 2020
Viewed by 381
Abstract
Leishmania (Mundinia) martiniquensis is a causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis, but in HIV-infected patients both visceral and disseminated cutaneous leishmaniasis are presented. Recurrence of the disease after treatment has been reported in some cases indicating that improved chemotherapy is required. In [...] Read more.
Leishmania (Mundinia) martiniquensis is a causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis, but in HIV-infected patients both visceral and disseminated cutaneous leishmaniasis are presented. Recurrence of the disease after treatment has been reported in some cases indicating that improved chemotherapy is required. In this study, the susceptibility of L. martiniquensis to Amphotericin B deoxycholate (AmB), allicin, and andrographolide was evaluated and the synergistic effects of allicin or andrographolide combined with AmB against L. martiniquensis intracellular amastigotes in mouse peritoneal exudate macrophages (PEMs) were investigated in vitro for the first time. The results showed that L. martiniquensis was highly susceptible to AmB as expected, but allicin and andrographolide had selectivity index (SI) values greater than 10, indicating promise in both compounds for treatment of host cells infected with L. martiniquensis. Four AmB/allicin combinations presented combination index (CI) values less than 1 (0.58–0.68) for intracellular amastigotes indicating synergistic effects. The combination with the highest dose reduction index (DRI) allowed an approximately four-fold reduction of AmB use in that combination. No synergistic effects were observed in AmB/andrographolide combinations. The data provided in this study leads for further study to develop novel therapeutic agents and improve the treatment outcome for leishmaniasis caused by this Leishmania species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Pathogens)
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Open AccessReview
Comparative Pathology of West Nile Virus in Humans and Non-Human Animals
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010048 - 07 Jan 2020
Viewed by 531
Abstract
West Nile virus (WNV) continues to be a major cause of human arboviral neuroinvasive disease. Susceptible non-human vertebrates are particularly diverse, ranging from commonly affected birds and horses to less commonly affected species such as alligators. This review summarizes the pathology caused by [...] Read more.
West Nile virus (WNV) continues to be a major cause of human arboviral neuroinvasive disease. Susceptible non-human vertebrates are particularly diverse, ranging from commonly affected birds and horses to less commonly affected species such as alligators. This review summarizes the pathology caused by West Nile virus during natural infections of humans and non-human animals. While the most well-known findings in human infection involve the central nervous system, WNV can also cause significant lesions in the heart, kidneys and eyes. Time has also revealed chronic neurologic sequelae related to prior human WNV infection. Similarly, neurologic disease is a prominent manifestation of WNV infection in most non-human non-host animals. However, in some avian species, which serve as the vertebrate host for WNV maintenance in nature, severe systemic disease can occur, with neurologic, cardiac, intestinal and renal injury leading to death. The pathology seen in experimental animal models of West Nile virus infection and knowledge gains on viral pathogenesis derived from these animal models are also briefly discussed. A gap in the current literature exists regarding the relationship between the neurotropic nature of WNV in vertebrates, virus propagation and transmission in nature. This and other knowledge gaps, and future directions for research into WNV pathology, are addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis of West Nile Virus)
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Open AccessReview
Currently Available Monitoring and Surveillance Systems for Taenia spp., Echinococcus spp., Schistosoma spp., and Soil-Transmitted Helminths at the Control/Elimination Stage: A Systematic Review
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010047 - 06 Jan 2020
Viewed by 534
Abstract
An increasing global focus on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) has resulted in the set up of numerous control and elimination activities worldwide. This is partly true for Taenia solium taeniasis/cysticercosis, the most important foodborne parasitic infection. Despite substantial progress, adequate monitoring and surveillance [...] Read more.
An increasing global focus on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) has resulted in the set up of numerous control and elimination activities worldwide. This is partly true for Taenia solium taeniasis/cysticercosis, the most important foodborne parasitic infection. Despite substantial progress, adequate monitoring and surveillance (M&S) are required to sustain a status of control/elimination. This is often lacking, especially for T. solium. Therefore, the objective was to conduct a systematic literature review of the currently available M&S systems at the control/elimination stage of the four top-ranked helminth NTDs. Specifically, Taenia spp., Echinococcus spp., Schistosoma spp., and soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) were considered to determine if there are any similarities between their M&S systems and whether certain approaches can be adopted from each other. The systematic review demonstrated that rigorous M&S systems have been designed for the control/elimination stage of both STHs and schistosomiasis, particularly in China. On the other hand, a concept of M&S for Taenia spp. and Echinococcus spp. has not been fully developed yet, due to a lack of epidemiological data and the fact that many endemic countries are far away from reaching control/elimination. Moreover, accurate diagnostic tools for all four diseases are still imperfect, which complicates proper M&S. Finally, there is an urgent need to develop and harmonize/standardize M&S activities in order to reliably determine and compare the epidemiological situation worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Foodborne Parasitic Infections)
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Open AccessArticle
Immunization of Goats with Recombinant Protein 14-3-3 Isoform 2(rHcftt-2) Induced Moderate Protection against Haemonchus contortus Challenge
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010046 - 06 Jan 2020
Viewed by 320
Abstract
A previous study identified that isoform 2 (Hcftt-2) of the 14-3-3 protein of Haemonchus contortus (H. contortus) could suppress immune functions of goat peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and might be a potential vaccine target, as neutralization of the protein function [...] Read more.
A previous study identified that isoform 2 (Hcftt-2) of the 14-3-3 protein of Haemonchus contortus (H. contortus) could suppress immune functions of goat peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and might be a potential vaccine target, as neutralization of the protein function may enhance anti-parasite immunity. In this research, the recombinant Hcftt-2 was evaluated for its immunoprotective efficacy against H. contortus infection in goats. Five experimental goats were immunized twice with rHcftt-2 along with Freund’s adjuvant. The five immunized goats and five nonimmunized goats (adjuvant only) were challenged with 5000 L3-stage H. contortus larvae after 14 days of second immunization. Five nonimmunized and uninfected goats (adjuvant only) were set as the uninfected group. A significant increase in the serum immunoglobin G(IgG) and serum IgA levels were identified in the rHcftt-2 immunized animals. The mean eggs per gram in feces (EPG) and the worm burdens of rHcftt-2 immunized group were reduced by 26.46% (p < 0.05) and 32.33%, respectively. In brief, immunization of goats with rHcftt-2 induced moderate protection against H. contortus challenge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Parasitic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
High Humidity Causes Abnormalities in the Process of Appressorial Formation of Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010045 - 05 Jan 2020
Viewed by 376
Abstract
High humidity decreases the penetration rate of barley powdery mildew Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei. However, the mechanism is not well understood. In this study, the morphological and cytochemical analyses revealed that substances containing proteins leaked from the tip of the appressorial [...] Read more.
High humidity decreases the penetration rate of barley powdery mildew Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei. However, the mechanism is not well understood. In this study, the morphological and cytochemical analyses revealed that substances containing proteins leaked from the tip of the appressorial germ tube of conidia without the formation of appressorium under a high humidity condition. In addition, exposure to high humidity prior to the formation of appressorium caused the aberrant formation of the appressorial germ tube without appressorium formation, resulting in failure to penetrate the host cell. These findings suggest that the formation and maturation of the appressorium requires a low humidity condition, and will be clues to improve the disease management by humidity control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
A Case-Control Study to Investigate the Serotypes of S. suis Isolates by Multiplex PCR in Nursery Pigs in Ontario, Canada
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010044 - 05 Jan 2020
Viewed by 344
Abstract
Streptococcus suis naturally inhabits the tonsils and nasal cavities of pigs. Some strains can cause systemic infection, leading to a wide range of diseases. A case-control study was conducted to (i) examine serotypes isolated from systemic sites (blood/meninges/spleen) in cases, (ii) determine whether [...] Read more.
Streptococcus suis naturally inhabits the tonsils and nasal cavities of pigs. Some strains can cause systemic infection, leading to a wide range of diseases. A case-control study was conducted to (i) examine serotypes isolated from systemic sites (blood/meninges/spleen) in cases, (ii) determine whether serotypes in systemic sites were found in upper respiratory sites (tonsil/nasal cavity) of the same cases, and (iii) determine the serotypes in upper respiratory sites of case and farm and pen- matched controls. In total, 606 samples from 128 pigs were cultured for S. suis. The isolates were examined for presence of gdh and recN genes by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and were identified as S. suis if both genes were present. The S. suis isolates were then serotyped using a two step-multiplex PCR. Serotypes 9 (n = 9), (2,1/2) (n = 7) and untypable isolates (n = 7) were most commonly found in systemic sites. Detection of serotypes 9 (p = 0.03) in upper respiratory sites were positively associated with their detection in systemic sites of cases, while a trend was seen with serotype (2,1/2) (p = 0.07). Last, no association between serotypes recovered from upper respiratory sites of cases and controls could be detected. Untypable isolates were detected in high frequency, which warrants further investigation. This study confirms that a variety of serotypes can be found in commercial swine production and shows a difference in serotypes recovered from systemic sites in pigs with clinical signs of S. suis infections. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Toxoplasma gondii Recombinant antigen AMA1: Diagnostic Utility of Protein Fragments for the Detection of IgG and IgM Antibodies
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010043 - 05 Jan 2020
Viewed by 592
Abstract
Toxoplasma gondii is an important zoonotic protozoan that infects a wide variety of vertebrates as intermediate hosts. For this reason, the diagnosis of this disease is very important and requires continuous improvement. One possibility is to use recombinant antigens in serological tests. Apical [...] Read more.
Toxoplasma gondii is an important zoonotic protozoan that infects a wide variety of vertebrates as intermediate hosts. For this reason, the diagnosis of this disease is very important and requires continuous improvement. One possibility is to use recombinant antigens in serological tests. Apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1), a protein located in specific secretory organelles (micronemes) of T. gondii, is very interesting in regard to its potential diagnostic utility. In the present study, we attempted to identify a fragment of the AMA1 protein with a high sensitivity and specificity for the serological diagnosis of human toxoplasmosis. The full-length AMA1 and two different fragments (AMA1N and AMA1C) were produced using an Escherichia coli expression system. After purification by metal affinity chromatography, recombinant proteins were tested for their utility as antigens in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) for the detection of IgG and IgM anti-T. gondii antibodies in human and mouse immune sera. Our data demonstrate that the full-length AMA1 recombinant antigen (corresponding to amino acid residues 67–569 of the native protein) has a better diagnostic potential than its N- or C-terminal fragments. This recombinant protein strongly interacts with specific anti-T. gondii IgG (99.4%) and IgM (80.0%) antibodies, and may be used for developing new tools for diagnostics of toxoplasmosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Pathogens)
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Open AccessReview
Understanding Flavivirus Capsid Protein Functions: The Tip of the Iceberg
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010042 - 05 Jan 2020
Viewed by 570
Abstract
Flaviviruses are enveloped positive-sense single-stranded RNA arboviruses, infectious to humans and many other animals and are transmitted primarily via tick or mosquito vectors. Capsid is the primary structural protein to interact with viral genome within virus particles and is therefore necessary for efficient [...] Read more.
Flaviviruses are enveloped positive-sense single-stranded RNA arboviruses, infectious to humans and many other animals and are transmitted primarily via tick or mosquito vectors. Capsid is the primary structural protein to interact with viral genome within virus particles and is therefore necessary for efficient packaging. However, in cells, capsid interacts with many proteins and nucleic acids and we are only beginning to understand the broad range of functions of flaviviral capsids. It is known that capsid dimers interact with the membrane of lipid droplets, aiding in both viral packaging and storage of capsid prior to packaging. However, capsid dimers can bind a range of nucleic acid templates in vitro, and likely interact with a range of targets during the flavivirus lifecycle. Capsid may interact with host RNAs, resulting in altered RNA splicing and RNA transcription. Capsid may also bind short interfering-RNAs and has been proposed to sequester these species to protect flaviviruses from the invertebrate siRNA pathways. Capsid can also be found in the nucleolus, where it wreaks havoc on ribosome biogenesis. Here we review flavivirus capsid structure, nucleic acid interactions and how these give rise to multiple functions. We also discuss how these features might be exploited either in the design of effective antivirals or novel vaccine strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccines against Alphaviruses and Flaviviruses)
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Open AccessCommunication
Bee Vectoring: Development of the Japanese Orchard Bee as a Targeted Delivery System of Biological Control Agents for Fire Blight Management
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010041 - 04 Jan 2020
Viewed by 348
Abstract
Fire blight, which is caused by the bacteria Erwinia amylovora, remains one of the most important diseases limiting the productivity of apple and pear orchards in the United States. In commercial orchards, in-season fire blight management relies exclusively on the use of [...] Read more.
Fire blight, which is caused by the bacteria Erwinia amylovora, remains one of the most important diseases limiting the productivity of apple and pear orchards in the United States. In commercial orchards, in-season fire blight management relies exclusively on the use of antibiotic treatments (such as streptomycin and oxytetracycline) and on bacterial biocontrol agents whose efficacy is limited. We hypothesize that the efficacy of the biocontrol agents can be greatly enhanced through targeted delivery to flowers, which serve as initial infection courts, using the Japanese orchard bee, Osmia cornifrons. Many factors, such as the synchrony of life cycle with plant phenology and specificity to pomaceous plants, suggest that O. cornifrons could be an excellent vector of the biocontrol products during bloom in pome tree fruits. However, deployment of this pollinator species to deliver biocontrol agents for fire blight control has not been attempted previously due to the lack of an efficient system to pack the bodies of the bees exiting nesting tubes with the biocontrol products. In this study, we design and test a dispenser system to facilitate the use of O. conifrons as a vector for commercially available biocontrol products for fire blight control. The effectiveness of O. conifrons to deliver biocontrol agents to flowers, and to effect secondary dissemination from treated to untreated flowers is also evaluated in greenhouse experiments. We found that the O. conifrons bees were able to use the nest dispenser designed for the delivery of biological control products, and are effective in vectoring and delivering the Bacillus subtilis-based biological control product (Serenade®) to apple blossoms. We also found that the O. cornifrons were effective in secondary inoculation of this biological control product to newly-opened flowers. These findings suggest the potential use of commercially available O. conifrons and other orchard bees in targeted delivery of biological control products for fire blight, and possibly other diseases, in different fruit crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Pathogens)
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