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Pathogens, Volume 9, Issue 11 (November 2020) – 119 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The Tasmanian devil is the largest living marsupial carnivore with wild populations confined to the island state of Tasmania, Australia. Over the past 25 years, devils have been facing devastating declines due to a transmissible cancer. In this collaborative study, we present the first investigation using molecular tools to identify blood parasites circulating in four wild populations. The study identified Trypanosoma infection in 33.7% of devils and a single infection of Babesia. Phylogenetic analysis of trypanosomes showed the presence of the marsupial-related T. copemani and the poorly classified clade T. cyclops. While the clinical impact of these blood parasites is not yet understood, these findings highlight the need for further research to characterize the full diversity and impacts of haemoprotozoa in devils. View this paper
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Open AccessArticle
An Outbreak of Hepatitis A among Young Adult Men in Cyprus
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 979; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110979 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 526
Abstract
Background: Outbreaks of acute hepatitis A (AHA) have recently been reported in Europe among men who have sex with men (MSM). The aim of this work was to evaluate, for the first time, trends in the reported cases of AHA in Cyprus over [...] Read more.
Background: Outbreaks of acute hepatitis A (AHA) have recently been reported in Europe among men who have sex with men (MSM). The aim of this work was to evaluate, for the first time, trends in the reported cases of AHA in Cyprus over the last seven years. Methods: We retrospectively studied all people reported with AHA in Cyprus between January 2013 and December 2019. Demographic data, type of transmission, vaccination status for HAV, laboratory and clinical data were analyzed. Results: The asnalysis involved 33 AHA cases (age 32.7 ± 17.4 years, 78.8% males). An increase in AHA reports was observed between July 2017 and June 2018 when more than a third (n = 13) of the cases of the period 2013–2019 were reported. The reporting rate of AHA doubled from 0.52 cases per 100,000 population (before July 2017) to 1.12 cases per 100,000 population (July 2017–June 2018). The male/female (M/F) ratio increased from one in 2013 to eight in 2018. Conclusion: An increase in AHA reports occurred in Cyprus between July 2017 and June 2018. Many cases with AHA in that period were MSM. Enhanced surveillance and timely public health interventions, like vaccination and awareness promotion, are important for preventing future outbreaks. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Persistence of Legionella in Routinely Disinfected Heater-Cooler Units and Heater Units assessed by Propidium Monoazide qPCR
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 978; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110978 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 412
Abstract
Background: Evidence to date indicates that heater–cooler units (HCUs) and heater units (HUs) can generate potentially infectious aerosols containing a range of opportunistic pathogens such as Mycobacterium chimaera, other non-tuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) species, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Legionella spp. Our purpose was to [...] Read more.
Background: Evidence to date indicates that heater–cooler units (HCUs) and heater units (HUs) can generate potentially infectious aerosols containing a range of opportunistic pathogens such as Mycobacterium chimaera, other non-tuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) species, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Legionella spp. Our purpose was to determine the extent of Legionella contamination and total viable count (TVC) in HCUs and HUs and to analyze the relationship by water system design of devices of two different brands (LivaNova vs. Maquet). Methods: Legionella spp. were detected and quantified by our optimized PMA-qPCR protocol; TVCs were assessed according to ISO protocol 6222. Analyses were performed in the first sampling round and after six months of surveillance. Results: Overall, Legionella spp. was detected in 65.7% of devices. In the second sampling round, Legionella positivity rates were significantly lower in water samples from the Maquet devices compared to the LivaNova ones (27.3% vs. 61.5%). LivaNova HCUs also yielded more Legionella, and aquatic bacteria counts than Maquet in both first and second-round samples. Conclusions: We recommend that all surgical patients and staff exposed to aerosols from thermoregulatory devices should be followed up for Legionella infection and that microbiological surveillance on such devices should be conducted regularly as precautionary principle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Waterborne/Foodborne/Airborne Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
Stability of African Swine Fever Virus in Soil and Options to Mitigate the Potential Transmission Risk
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110977 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 503
Abstract
Understanding African swine fever virus (ASFV) transmission is essential for strategies to minimize virus spread during an outbreak. ASFV can survive for extended time periods in animal products, carcasses, and the environment. While the ASFV genome was found in environments around infected farms, [...] Read more.
Understanding African swine fever virus (ASFV) transmission is essential for strategies to minimize virus spread during an outbreak. ASFV can survive for extended time periods in animal products, carcasses, and the environment. While the ASFV genome was found in environments around infected farms, data on the virus survival in soil are scarce. We investigated different soil matrices spiked with ASFV-positive blood from infected wild boar to see if ASFV can remain infectious in the soil beneath infected carcasses. As expected, ASFV genome detection was possible over the entire sampling period. Soil pH, structure, and ambient temperature played a role in the stability of infectious ASFV. Infectious ASFV was demonstrated in specimens originating from sterile sand for at least three weeks, from beach sand for up to two weeks, from yard soil for one week, and from swamp soil for three days. The virus was not recovered from two acidic forest soils. All risk mitigation experiments with citric acid or calcium hydroxide resulted in complete inactivation. In conclusion, the stability of infectious ASFV is very low in acidic forest soils but rather high in sandy soils. However, given the high variability, treatment of carcass collection points with disinfectants should be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue African Swine Fever Virus Infection)
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Open AccessArticle
Induction of Fusarium lytic Enzymes by Extracts from Resistant and Susceptible Cultivars of Pea (Pisum sativum L.)
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 976; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110976 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 525
Abstract
Being pathogenic fungi, Fusarium produce various extracellular cell wall-degrading enzymes (CWDEs) that degrade the polysaccharides in the plant cell wall. They also produce mycotoxins that contaminate grains, thereby posing a serious threat to animals and human beings. Exposure to mycotoxins occurs through ingestion [...] Read more.
Being pathogenic fungi, Fusarium produce various extracellular cell wall-degrading enzymes (CWDEs) that degrade the polysaccharides in the plant cell wall. They also produce mycotoxins that contaminate grains, thereby posing a serious threat to animals and human beings. Exposure to mycotoxins occurs through ingestion of contaminated grains, inhalation and through skin absorption, thereby causing mycotoxicoses. The toxins weaken the host plant, allowing the pathogen to invade successfully, with the efficiency varying from strain to strain and depending on the plant infected. Fusariumoxysporum predominantly produces moniliformin and cyclodepsipeptides, whereas F. proliferatum produces fumonisins. The aim of the study was to understand the role of various substrates and pea plant extracts in inducing the production of CWDEs and mycotoxins. Additionally, to monitor the differences in their levels when susceptible and resistant pea plant extracts were supplemented. The cultures of F. proliferatum and F. oxysporum strains were supplemented with various potential inducers of CWDEs. During the initial days after the addition of substrates, the fungus cocultivated with pea extracts and other carbon substrates showed increased activities of β-glucosidase, xylanase, exo-1,4-glucanase and lipase. The highest inhibition of mycelium growth (57%) was found in the cultures of F. proliferatum strain PEA1 upon the addition of cv. Sokolik extract. The lowest fumonisin content was exhibited by the cultures with the pea extracts and oat bran added, and this can be related to the secondary metabolites and antioxidants present in these substrates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Resistance Induced by Microorganisms and Pathogens)
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Open AccessReview
The Functional Parasitic Worm Secretome: Mapping the Place of Onchocerca volvulus Excretory Secretory Products
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 975; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110975 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 414
Abstract
Nematodes constitute a very successful phylum, especially in terms of parasitism. Inside their mammalian hosts, parasitic nematodes mainly dwell in the digestive tract (geohelminths) or in the vascular system (filariae). One of their main characteristics is their long sojourn inside the body where [...] Read more.
Nematodes constitute a very successful phylum, especially in terms of parasitism. Inside their mammalian hosts, parasitic nematodes mainly dwell in the digestive tract (geohelminths) or in the vascular system (filariae). One of their main characteristics is their long sojourn inside the body where they are accessible to the immune system. Several strategies are used by parasites in order to counteract the immune attacks. One of them is the expression of molecules interfering with the function of the immune system. Excretory-secretory products (ESPs) pertain to this category. This is, however, not their only biological function, as they seem also involved in other mechanisms such as pathogenicity or parasitic cycle (molting, for example). We will mainly focus on filariae ESPs with an emphasis on data available regarding Onchocerca volvulus, but we will also refer to a few relevant/illustrative examples related to other worm categories when necessary (geohelminth nematodes, trematodes or cestodes). We first present Onchocerca volvulus, mainly focusing on the aspects of this organism that seem relevant when it comes to ESPs: life cycle, manifestations of the sickness, immunosuppression, diagnosis and treatment. We then elaborate on the function and use of ESPs in these aspects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
Electrolyzed Oxidizing Water Modulates the Immune Response in BALB/c Mice Experimentally Infected with Trypanosoma cruzi
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 974; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110974 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 342
Abstract
Chagas disease is a major public health problem in Latin America. The mixed Th1/Th2 immune response is required against Trypanosoma cruzi. Electrolyzed oxidizing water (EOW) has been shown to have germicidal efficacy. The objective of this study was to evaluate the EOW [...] Read more.
Chagas disease is a major public health problem in Latin America. The mixed Th1/Th2 immune response is required against Trypanosoma cruzi. Electrolyzed oxidizing water (EOW) has been shown to have germicidal efficacy. The objective of this study was to evaluate the EOW effectiveness in T. cruzi-infected BALB/c mice clinically, immunologically, and histologically. The severity of the infection was assessed by parasitaemia, general health condition, mortality, mega syndromes, and histological lesions. IgG, TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma, and IL-1 beta levels were quantified. The EOW administration showed a beneficial effect on parasitaemia, general physical condition, and mortality. High levels of IgG1 at 50 days postinfection were observed. Prophylactic EOW treatment was able to induce a predominantly TH1 immune response based on an IgG2a levels increase at the late acute phase, and a 10-fold increase of IFN-gamma in whole acute phase. EOW was able to control the acute phase infection as effectively as benznidazole. Splenomegaly was caused by EOW treatment and lymphadenopathy was stimulated by T. cruzi infection in all groups. Severe tissue damage was not prevented by EOW treatments. Moderate efficacy may be due to immunomodulatory properties and not to a direct toxic effect on the parasite. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Occurrence and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Profiles of Multidrug-Resistant Aeromonads Isolated from Freshwater Ornamental Fish in Chiang Mai Province
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 973; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110973 - 22 Nov 2020
Viewed by 424
Abstract
Antimicrobials are commonly used to prevent and treat disease in the ornamental fish industry. However, the indiscriminate and comprehensive overuse of unregulated antimicrobials without appropriate diagnostic examination could contribute to the development of antimicrobial-resistant strains of bacterial pathogens. Moreover, human infections caused by [...] Read more.
Antimicrobials are commonly used to prevent and treat disease in the ornamental fish industry. However, the indiscriminate and comprehensive overuse of unregulated antimicrobials without appropriate diagnostic examination could contribute to the development of antimicrobial-resistant strains of bacterial pathogens. Moreover, human infections caused by pathogens transmitted from fish or the aquatic environment are quite common. The frequent detection of antimicrobial resistance in ornamental fish and their environments are inevitable so as to decrease the transfer of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria from aquatic sources to other environments. This study evaluated the prevalence of common bacteria species and the antimicrobial susceptibility profile in ornamental fish that were sold in an ornamental fish shop in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Aeromonas spp. were the most dominant of the isolated species from the ornamental fish samples and accounted for 68.09% of the total. Other species detected included Vibrio spp., Pseudomonas spp., and Citrobacter spp. A high percentage of resistance to amoxicillin (93.75%), oxytetracycline (79.69%), and erythromycin (75.00%) was observed among the Aeromonas spp. The antimicrobial resistance information for ornamental fish is very limited, and the results from this study indicate that the Aeromonas spp. are highly resistant to several important antibiotics. The results suggest that additional steps should be taken to educate store owners to reduce the indiscriminate use of these antibiotics to decrease the antimicrobial resistance in ornamental fish to potentially improve public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Infectious Diseases in Aquaculture)
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Open AccessArticle
A Quantitative Live-Cell Superresolution Imaging Framework for Measuring the Mobility of Single Molecules at Sites of Virus Assembly
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 972; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110972 - 21 Nov 2020
Viewed by 775
Abstract
The insurgence of superresolution microscopy into the fields of virology and microbiology has begun to enable the mapping of molecular assemblies critical for host–pathogen interfaces that organize on a scale below the resolution limit of the light microscope. It is, however, challenging to [...] Read more.
The insurgence of superresolution microscopy into the fields of virology and microbiology has begun to enable the mapping of molecular assemblies critical for host–pathogen interfaces that organize on a scale below the resolution limit of the light microscope. It is, however, challenging to completely understand the molecular interactions between host and pathogen from strictly time-invariant observations. Herein, we describe a method using simultaneous dual-color superresolution microscopy to gain both structural and dynamic information about HIV-1 assembly. Specifically, we demonstrate the reconstruction of single virus assembly sites using live-cell photo-activated localization microscopy (PALM) while concurrently assessing the sub-viral mobility of the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein during interaction with the viral lattice. We propose that our method is broadly applicable to elucidating pathogen and host protein–protein interactions through quantification of the dynamics of these proteins at the nanoscale. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Infection with Helicobacter pylori Induces Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition in Human Cholangiocytes
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 971; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110971 - 21 Nov 2020
Viewed by 596
Abstract
Recent reports suggest that the East Asian liver fluke infection, caused by Opisthorchis viverrini, which is implicated in opisthorchiasis-associated cholangiocarcinoma, serves as a reservoir of Helicobacter pylori. The opisthorchiasis-affected cholangiocytes that line the intrahepatic biliary tract are considered to be the [...] Read more.
Recent reports suggest that the East Asian liver fluke infection, caused by Opisthorchis viverrini, which is implicated in opisthorchiasis-associated cholangiocarcinoma, serves as a reservoir of Helicobacter pylori. The opisthorchiasis-affected cholangiocytes that line the intrahepatic biliary tract are considered to be the cell of origin of this malignancy. Here, we investigated interactions in vitro among human cholangiocytes, Helicobacter pylori strain NCTC 11637, and the congeneric bacillus, Helicobacter bilis. Exposure to increasing numbers of H. pylori at 0, 1, 10, 100 bacilli per cholangiocyte of the H69 cell line induced phenotypic changes including the profusion of thread-like filopodia and a loss of cell-cell contact, in a dose-dependent fashion. In parallel, following exposure to H. pylori, changes were evident in levels of mRNA expression of epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT)-encoding factors including snail, slug, vimentin, matrix metalloprotease, zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox, and the cancer stem cell marker CD44. Analysis to quantify cellular proliferation, migration, and invasion in real-time by both H69 cholangiocytes and CC-LP-1 line of cholangiocarcinoma cells using the xCELLigence approach and Matrigel matrix revealed that exposure to ≥10 H. pylori bacilli per cell stimulated migration and invasion by the cholangiocytes. In addition, 10 bacilli of H. pylori stimulated contact-independent colony establishment in soft agar. These findings support the hypothesis that infection by H.pylori contributes to the malignant transformation of the biliary epithelium. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multilocus Genotyping Reveals New Molecular Markers for Differentiating Distinct Genetic Lineages among “Candidatus Phytoplasma Solani” Strains Associated with Grapevine Bois Noir
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 970; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110970 - 21 Nov 2020
Viewed by 390
Abstract
Grapevine Bois noir (BN) is associated with infection by “Candidatus Phytoplasma solani” (CaPsol). In this study, an array of CaPsol strains was identified from 142 symptomatic grapevines in vineyards of northern, central, and southern Italy and North Macedonia. Molecular typing of the [...] Read more.
Grapevine Bois noir (BN) is associated with infection by “Candidatus Phytoplasma solani” (CaPsol). In this study, an array of CaPsol strains was identified from 142 symptomatic grapevines in vineyards of northern, central, and southern Italy and North Macedonia. Molecular typing of the CaPsol strains was carried out by analysis of genes encoding 16S rRNA and translation elongation factor EF-Tu, as well as eight other previously uncharacterized genomic fragments. Strains of tuf-type a and b were found to be differentially distributed in the examined geographic regions in correlation with the prevalence of nettle and bindweed. Two sequence variants were identified in each of the four genomic segments harboring hlyC, cbiQ-glyA, trxA-truB-rsuA, and rplS-tyrS-csdB, respectively. Fifteen CaPsol lineages were identified based on distinct combinations of sequence variations within these genetic loci. Each CaPsol lineage exhibited a unique collective restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) pattern and differed from each other in geographic distribution, probably in relation to the diverse ecological complexity of vineyards and their surroundings. This RFLP-based typing method could be a useful tool for investigating the ecology of CaPsol and the epidemiology of its associated diseases. Phylogenetic analyses highlighted that the sequence variants of the gene hlyC, which encodes a hemolysin III-like protein, separated into two clusters consistent with the separation of two distinct lineages on the basis of tufB gene sequences. Alignments of deduced full protein sequences of elongation factor-Tu (tufB gene) and hemolysin III-like protein (hlyC gene) revealed the presence of critical amino acid substitutions distinguishing CaPsol strains of tuf-type a and b. Findings from the present study provide new insights into the genetic diversity and ecology of CaPsol populations in vineyards. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Physics Comes to the Aid of Medicine—Clinically-Relevant Microorganisms through the Eyes of Atomic Force Microscope
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 969; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110969 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 422
Abstract
Despite the hope that was raised with the implementation of antibiotics to the treatment of infections in medical practice, the initial enthusiasm has substantially faded due to increasing drug resistance in pathogenic microorganisms. Therefore, there is a need for novel analytical and diagnostic [...] Read more.
Despite the hope that was raised with the implementation of antibiotics to the treatment of infections in medical practice, the initial enthusiasm has substantially faded due to increasing drug resistance in pathogenic microorganisms. Therefore, there is a need for novel analytical and diagnostic methods in order to extend our knowledge regarding the mode of action of the conventional and novel antimicrobial agents from a perspective of single microbial cells as well as their communities growing in infected sites, i.e., biofilms. In recent years, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been mostly used to study different aspects of the pathophysiology of noninfectious conditions with attempts to characterize morphological and rheological properties of tissues, individual mammalian cells as well as their organelles and extracellular matrix, and cells’ mechanical changes upon exposure to different stimuli. At the same time, an ever-growing number of studies have demonstrated AFM as a valuable approach in studying microorganisms in regard to changes in their morphology and nanomechanical properties, e.g., stiffness in response to antimicrobial treatment or interaction with a substrate as well as the mechanisms behind their virulence. This review summarizes recent developments and the authors’ point of view on AFM-based evaluation of microorganisms’ response to applied antimicrobial treatment within a group of selected bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The AFM potential in development of modern diagnostic and therapeutic methods for combating of infections caused by drug-resistant bacterial strains is also discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia Species of Sympatric Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus), Fallow Deer (Dama dama), Sika Deer (Cervus nippon) and Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) in Germany
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 968; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110968 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 421
Abstract
(1) Background: Wild cervids play an important role in transmission cycles of tick-borne pathogens; however, investigations of tick-borne pathogens in sika deer in Germany are lacking. (2) Methods: Spleen tissue of 74 sympatric wild cervids (30 roe deer, 7 fallow deer, 22 sika [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Wild cervids play an important role in transmission cycles of tick-borne pathogens; however, investigations of tick-borne pathogens in sika deer in Germany are lacking. (2) Methods: Spleen tissue of 74 sympatric wild cervids (30 roe deer, 7 fallow deer, 22 sika deer, 15 red deer) and of 27 red deer from a farm from southeastern Germany were analyzed by molecular methods for the presence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia species. (3) Results: Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia DNA was demonstrated in 90.5% and 47.3% of the 74 combined wild cervids and 14.8% and 18.5% of the farmed deer, respectively. Twelve 16S rRNA variants of A. phagocytophilum were delineated. While the infection rate for A. phagocytophilum among the four cervid species was similar (71.4% to 100%), it varied significantly for Babesia between roe deer (73.3%), fallow deer (14.3%), sika deer (27.3%) and red deer (40.0%). Deer ≤2 years of age tested significantly more often positive than the older deer for both A. phagocytophilum and Babesia species. (4) Conclusions: This study confirms the widespread occurrence of A. phagocytophilum and Babesia species in wild cervids and farmed red deer in Germany and documents the co-occurrence of the two tick-borne pathogens in free-ranging sika deer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Frontiers in Tick Research)
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Open AccessArticle
QTL Mapping for Resistance to Cankers Induced by Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa) in a Tetraploid Actinidia chinensis Kiwifruit Population
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 967; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110967 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 403
Abstract
Polyploidy is a key driver of significant evolutionary changes in plant species. The genus Actinidia (kiwifruit) exhibits multiple ploidy levels, which contribute to novel fruit traits, high yields and resistance to the canker-causing dieback disease incited by Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa) biovar [...] Read more.
Polyploidy is a key driver of significant evolutionary changes in plant species. The genus Actinidia (kiwifruit) exhibits multiple ploidy levels, which contribute to novel fruit traits, high yields and resistance to the canker-causing dieback disease incited by Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa) biovar 3. However, the genetic mechanism for resistance to Psa observed in polyploid kiwifruit is not yet known. In this study we performed detailed genetic analysis of a tetraploid Actinidia chinensis var. chinensis population derived from a cross between a female parent that exhibits weak tolerance to Psa and a highly Psa-resistant male parent. We used the capture-sequencing approach across the whole kiwifruit genome and generated the first ultra-dense maps in a tetraploid kiwifruit population. We located quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for Psa resistance on these maps. Our approach to QTL mapping is based on the use of identity-by-descent trait mapping, which allowed us to relate the contribution of specific alleles from their respective homologues in the male and female parent, to the control of Psa resistance in the progeny. We identified genes in the diploid reference genome whose function is suggested to be involved in plant defense, which underly the QTLs, including receptor-like kinases. Our study is the first to cast light on the genetics of a polyploid kiwifruit and suggest a plausible mechanism for Psa resistance in this species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pseudomonas syringae Species Complex)
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Open AccessArticle
Efficient Confirmation of Plant Viral Proteins and Identification of Specific Viral Strains by nanoLC-ESI-Q-TOF Using Single-Leaf-Tissue Samples
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 966; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110966 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 524
Abstract
Plant viruses are important pathogens that cause significant crop losses. A plant protein extraction protocol that combines crushing the tissue by a pestle in liquid nitrogen with subsequent crushing by a roller-ball crusher in urea solution, followed by RuBisCO depletion, reduction, alkylation, protein [...] Read more.
Plant viruses are important pathogens that cause significant crop losses. A plant protein extraction protocol that combines crushing the tissue by a pestle in liquid nitrogen with subsequent crushing by a roller-ball crusher in urea solution, followed by RuBisCO depletion, reduction, alkylation, protein digestion, and ZipTip purification allowed us to substantially simplify the sample preparation by removing any other precipitation steps and to detect viral proteins from samples, even with less than 0.2 g of leaf tissue, by a medium resolution nanoLC-ESI-Q-TOF. The presence of capsid proteins or polyproteins of fourteen important viruses from seven different families (Geminiviridae, Luteoviridae, Bromoviridae, Caulimoviridae, Virgaviridae, Potyviridae, and Secoviridae) isolated from ten different economically important plant hosts was confirmed through many identified pathogen-specific peptides from a protein database of host proteins and potential pathogen proteins assembled separately for each host and based on existing online plant virus pathogen databases. The presented extraction protocol, combined with a medium resolution LC-MS/MS, represents a cost-efficient virus protein confirmation method that proved to be effective at identifying virus strains (as demonstrated for PPV, WDV) and distinct disease species of BYDV, as well as putative new viral protein sequences from single-plant-leaf tissue samples. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD022456. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
COVID-19 as a Trigger of Recurrent Guillain–Barré Syndrome
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 965; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110965 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 1244
Abstract
Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has been reported to trigger Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS). While uncommon, recurrent GBS (rGBS) episodes, triggered by antecedent viral infections, have been reported in a small proportion of GBS patients, here we describe a patient with a recurrent case of GBS, [...] Read more.
Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has been reported to trigger Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS). While uncommon, recurrent GBS (rGBS) episodes, triggered by antecedent viral infections, have been reported in a small proportion of GBS patients, here we describe a patient with a recurrent case of GBS, occurring secondary to COVID-19 infection. Before this patient’s episode, he had two prior GBS flares, each precipitated by a viral infection followed by complete recovery besides intermittent paresthesias. We also consider the nosology of this illness in the spectrum of rGBS and Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP), with their differing natural histories, prognosis, and therapeutic approaches. For patients who have a history of inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculopathies who develop COVID-19, we recommend close observation for neurologic symptoms over the next days and weeks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
Clinical Symptoms of Arboviruses in Mexico
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 964; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110964 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 596
Abstract
Arboviruses such as Chikungunya (CHIKV), Dengue (DENV), and Zika virus (ZIKV) have emerged as a significant public health concern in Mexico. The existing literature lacks evidence regarding the dispersion of arboviruses, thereby limiting public health policy’s ability to integrate the diagnosis, management, and [...] Read more.
Arboviruses such as Chikungunya (CHIKV), Dengue (DENV), and Zika virus (ZIKV) have emerged as a significant public health concern in Mexico. The existing literature lacks evidence regarding the dispersion of arboviruses, thereby limiting public health policy’s ability to integrate the diagnosis, management, and prevention. This study seeks to reveal the clinical symptoms of CHIK, DENV, and ZIKV by age group, region, sex, and time across Mexico. The confirmed cases of CHIKV, DENV, and ZIKV were compiled from January 2012 to March 2020. Demographic characteristics analyzed significant clinical symptoms of confirmed cases. Multinomial logistic regression was used to assess the association between clinical symptoms and geographical regions. Females and individuals aged 15 and older had higher rates of reported significant symptoms across all three arboviruses. DENV showed a temporal variation of symptoms by regions 3 and 5, whereas ZIKV presented temporal variables in regions 2 and 4. This study revealed unique and overlapping symptoms between CHIKV, DENV, and ZIKV. However, the differentiation of CHIKV, DENV, and ZIKV is difficult, and diagnostic facilities are not available in rural areas. There is a need for adequately trained healthcare staff alongside well-equipped lab facilities, including hematological tests and imaging facilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
Rat Cytomegalovirus Virion-Associated Proteins R131 and R129 Are Necessary for Infection of Macrophages and Dendritic Cells
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 963; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110963 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 381
Abstract
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) establishes persistent, latent infection in hosts, causing diseases in immunocompromised patients, transplant recipients, and neonates. CMV infection modifies the host chemokine axis by modulating chemokine and chemokine receptor expression and by encoding putative chemokine and chemokine receptor homologues. The viral proteins [...] Read more.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) establishes persistent, latent infection in hosts, causing diseases in immunocompromised patients, transplant recipients, and neonates. CMV infection modifies the host chemokine axis by modulating chemokine and chemokine receptor expression and by encoding putative chemokine and chemokine receptor homologues. The viral proteins have roles in cellular signaling, migration, and transformation, as well as viral dissemination, tropism, latency and reactivation. Herein, we review the contribution of CMV-encoded chemokines and chemokine receptors to these processes, and further elucidate the viral tropism role of rat CMV (RCMV) R129 and R131. These homologues of the human CMV (HCMV)-encoded chemokines UL128 and UL130 are of particular interest because of their dual role as chemokines and members of the pentameric entry complex, which is required for entry into cell types that are essential for viral transmission and dissemination. The contributions of UL128 and UL130 to acceleration of solid organ transplant chronic rejection are poorly understood, and are in need of an effective in vivo model system to elucidate the phenomenon. We demonstrated similar molecular entry requirements for R129 and R131 in the rat cells, as observed for HCMV, and provided evidence that R129 and R131 are part of the viral entry complex required for entry into macrophages, dendritic cells, and bone marrow cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Infection and Latency)
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Open AccessArticle
Detection of Neospora caninum Infection in Aborted Equine Fetuses in Israel
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 962; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110962 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 484
Abstract
In horses, Neospora caninum and Neospora hughesi have been associated with fetal loss, and neurological disease, respectively. This study investigated the role of Neospora spp. infection in equine abortion in Israel. The presence of anti-Neospora spp. antibodies was evaluated in 31 aborting [...] Read more.
In horses, Neospora caninum and Neospora hughesi have been associated with fetal loss, and neurological disease, respectively. This study investigated the role of Neospora spp. infection in equine abortion in Israel. The presence of anti-Neospora spp. antibodies was evaluated in 31 aborting mares by indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) and the presence of parasite DNA in their aborted fetuses was evaluated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), using two target loci (ITS1 and Nc5). The seroprevalence found in aborting mares was 70.9% and the prevalence by DNA detection in the aborted fetuses was 41.9%. Transplacental transmission from positive mares to their fetuses was 45.4% (10/22), while 33.3% (3/9) of fetuses of seronegative mares also tested positive for Neospora. The use of two PCR targets improved the sensitivity of parasite detection, and positive samples were identified by sequence analyses as N. caninum. These finding suggest that N. caninum could be a significant cause of abortion in horses, and that transplacental transmission in horses is an important way of transmission of N.caninum. The results presented here demonstrated the necessity to use several tests concurrently, including serological and molecular assays in order to confirm the involvement of Neospora in mare abortions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neospora Caninum: Infection and Immunity)
Open AccessCommunication
Antibacterial Activities of Acetic Acid against Major and Minor Pathogens Isolated from Mastitis in Dairy Cows
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 961; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110961 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 373
Abstract
The present study evaluated the antimicrobial activities of acetic acid against bovine mastitis pathogens compared to lactic acid and lauric and caprylic saturated fatty acids. Eleven mastitis pathogens were isolated from sub-clinical and clinical bovine mastitis cases for the study. An initial screening [...] Read more.
The present study evaluated the antimicrobial activities of acetic acid against bovine mastitis pathogens compared to lactic acid and lauric and caprylic saturated fatty acids. Eleven mastitis pathogens were isolated from sub-clinical and clinical bovine mastitis cases for the study. An initial screening of their antibacterial activities by agar well diffusion method was performed. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of each acid were obtained using a microdilution method; each acid was diluted from stock solution and then were diluted with culture broth to reach concentrations ranging from 4 to 0.004% w/v. The results showed acetic acid had the highest zone of inhibition against all pathogens except Escherichia coli compared with lauric and caprylic acids. The MIC and MBC were lowest for acetic acid against both Gram-positive (except Staphylococcus chromogenes from the coagulase negative staphylococci (CNS) group) and Gram-negative pathogens, intermediate for lactic and caprylic acids and greatest for lauric acid. In conclusion, acetic acid had antimicrobial activities against most mastitis pathogens compared with other acids. Further studies are needed to optimize the formulation and concentration of acetic acid for teat-dipping agent in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mastitis in Dairy Ruminants)
Open AccessArticle
Altered Salivary Microbiome in the Early Stage of HIV Infections among Young Chinese Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 960; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110960 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 402
Abstract
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections are spiking in Chinese young men who have sex with men (MSM). To explore alterations in the salivary microbiome and its correlation with demographic characteristics, CD4+ T cell count and viral load (VL) in HIV infections, samples of [...] Read more.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections are spiking in Chinese young men who have sex with men (MSM). To explore alterations in the salivary microbiome and its correlation with demographic characteristics, CD4+ T cell count and viral load (VL) in HIV infections, samples of unstimulated whole saliva were analyzed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing using the Illumina MiSeq platform in 20 HIV newly infected patients before the initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and at three and six months after, and in 20 age- and gender-paired healthy Chinese people. The results showed that the alpha diversity of salivary microbiota in HIV infections did not show differences from the healthy controls, but was reduced after six months under ART treatment. Comparative analysis revealed that Streptococcus was enriched in HIV-infected individuals, while Neisseria was enriched in the healthy control group. After effective ART, the salivary microbiota composition was not completely restored, although some microbiota recovered. In addition, we found Provotella_7, Neisseria and Haemophilus were correlated negatively with CD4+ T cell count, while Neisseria was correlated positively with VL. We conclude that HIV infections experience a dysbiosis of the salivary microbiome. The salivary microbiome test could be a substitute for the blood tests in the diagnosis and prognosis of diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Interactions during Infection)
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Open AccessArticle
Systemic Mycobacterium kansasii Infection in Two Related Cats
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 959; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110959 - 18 Nov 2020
Viewed by 911
Abstract
Mycobacterial infections are a major concern in veterinary medicine because of the difficulty achieving an etiological diagnosis, the challenges and concerns of treatment, and the potential zoonotic risk. Mycobacterium kansasii, a slow-growing non-tuberculous mycobacteria, causes disease in both humans and animals. While [...] Read more.
Mycobacterial infections are a major concern in veterinary medicine because of the difficulty achieving an etiological diagnosis, the challenges and concerns of treatment, and the potential zoonotic risk. Mycobacterium kansasii, a slow-growing non-tuberculous mycobacteria, causes disease in both humans and animals. While infections have been well described in humans, where it may be misdiagnosed as tuberculosis, there are fewer reports in animals. Only four cases have been reported in the domestic cat. This case report describes systemic M. kansasii infection in two sibling indoor-only cats that presented two and half years apart with cutaneous disease that was found to be associated with osteolytic and pulmonary pathology. Infection with M. kansasii was confirmed in both cats by polymerase chain reaction on fine-needle aspirate of a lumbosacral soft tissue mass in one cat and on a tissue punch biopsy of a skin lesion in the other; interferon-gamma release assay inferred M. avium-complex and M. tuberculosis-complex infection in the two cats, respectively. Both patients made a full recovery following antimicrobial therapy with rifampicin, azithromycin, and pradofloxacin (plus N-acetyl cysteine in cat 2). This report highlights successful treatment of systemic M. kansasii mycobacteriosis in the cat and the challenge of accurately diagnosing this infection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Candidate Gene Markers Associated with Fecal Shedding of the Feline Enteric Coronavirus (FECV)
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 958; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110958 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 537
Abstract
The Feline coronavirus (FCoV) can cause a fatal disease, the Feline Infectious Peritonitis. Persistent shedders represent the most important source of infection. The role of the host in FCoV fecal shedding is unknown. The objective of this study was to develop gene markers [...] Read more.
The Feline coronavirus (FCoV) can cause a fatal disease, the Feline Infectious Peritonitis. Persistent shedders represent the most important source of infection. The role of the host in FCoV fecal shedding is unknown. The objective of this study was to develop gene markers and to test their associations with FCoV shedding patterns. Fecal samples were taken from 57 cats of 12 breeds on the day 0 and after 2, 4 and 12 months. Variation from persistent and/or high-intensity shedding to no shedding was observed. Thirteen immunity-related genes were selected as functional and positional/functional candidates. Positional candidates were selected in a candidate region detected by a GWAS analysis. Tens to hundreds of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) per gene were identified using next generation sequencing. Associations with different phenotypes were assessed by chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests. SNPs of one functional and one positional candidate (NCR1 and SLX4IP, respectively) and haplotypes of four genes (SNX5, NCR2, SLX4IP, NCR1) were associated with FCoV shedding at pcorected < 0.01. Highly significant associations were observed for extreme phenotypes (persistent/high-intensity shedders and non-shedders) suggesting that there are two major phenotypes associated with different genotypes, highly susceptible cats permanently shedding high amounts of viral particles and resistant non-shedders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Translational Control at the Virus–Host Interface)
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Open AccessReview
Critical Review: Propensity of Premise Plumbing Pipe Materials to Enhance or Diminish Growth of Legionella and Other Opportunistic Pathogens
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 957; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110957 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 793
Abstract
Growth of Legionella pneumophila and other opportunistic pathogens (OPs) in drinking water premise plumbing poses an increasing public health concern. Premise plumbing is constructed of a variety of materials, creating complex environments that vary chemically, microbiologically, spatially, and temporally in a manner likely [...] Read more.
Growth of Legionella pneumophila and other opportunistic pathogens (OPs) in drinking water premise plumbing poses an increasing public health concern. Premise plumbing is constructed of a variety of materials, creating complex environments that vary chemically, microbiologically, spatially, and temporally in a manner likely to influence survival and growth of OPs. Here we systematically review the literature to critically examine the varied effects of common metallic (copper, iron) and plastic (PVC, cross-linked polyethylene (PEX)) pipe materials on factors influencing OP growth in drinking water, including nutrient availability, disinfectant levels, and the composition of the broader microbiome. Plastic pipes can leach organic carbon, but demonstrate a lower disinfectant demand and fewer water chemistry interactions. Iron pipes may provide OPs with nutrients directly or indirectly, exhibiting a high disinfectant demand and potential to form scales with high surface areas suitable for biofilm colonization. While copper pipes are known for their antimicrobial properties, evidence of their efficacy for OP control is inconsistent. Under some circumstances, copper’s interactions with premise plumbing water chemistry and resident microbes can encourage growth of OPs. Plumbing design, configuration, and operation can be manipulated to control such interactions and health outcomes. Influences of pipe materials on OP physiology should also be considered, including the possibility of influencing virulence and antibiotic resistance. In conclusion, all known pipe materials have a potential to either stimulate or inhibit OP growth, depending on the circumstances. This review delineates some of these circumstances and informs future research and guidance towards effective deployment of pipe materials for control of OPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Legionella Contamination in Water Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
PXO_RS20535, Encoding a Novel Response Regulator, Is Required for Chemotactic Motility, Biofilm Formation, and Tolerance to Oxidative Stress in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 956; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110956 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 438
Abstract
Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), a causal agent of bacterial leaf blight of rice, possesses two-component regulatory systems (TCSs) as an intracellular signaling pathway. In this study, we observed changes in virulence, biofilm formation, motility, chemotaxis, and tolerance against oxidative stress [...] Read more.
Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), a causal agent of bacterial leaf blight of rice, possesses two-component regulatory systems (TCSs) as an intracellular signaling pathway. In this study, we observed changes in virulence, biofilm formation, motility, chemotaxis, and tolerance against oxidative stress of a knockout mutant strain for the PXO_RS20535 gene, encoding an orphan response regulator (RR). The mutant strain lost virulence, produced significantly less biofilm, and showed remarkably reduced motility in swimming, swarming, and twitching. Furthermore, the mutant strain lost glucose-guided movement and showed clear diminution of growth and survival in the presence of H2O2. These results indicate that the RR protein encoded in the PXO_RS20535 gene (or a TCS mediated by the protein) is closely involved in regulation of biofilm formation, all types of motility, chemotaxis, and tolerance against reactive oxygen species (ROS) in Xoo. Moreover we found that the expression of most genes required for a type six secretion system (T6SS) was decreased in the mutant, suggesting that lack of the RR gene most likely leads to defect of T6SS in Xoo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Pathogens)
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Open AccessCommunication
Genetic Diversity and Zoonotic Potential of Blastocystis in Korean Water Deer, Hydropotes inermis argyropus
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 955; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110955 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 393
Abstract
Blastocystis is a protozoan parasite commonly detected in the intestinal tract of humans and animals. It has been actively studied worldwide; however, information on Blastocystis is limited in Korea. Because there is an increasing concern about the contact between wildlife and domestic animals [...] Read more.
Blastocystis is a protozoan parasite commonly detected in the intestinal tract of humans and animals. It has been actively studied worldwide; however, information on Blastocystis is limited in Korea. Because there is an increasing concern about the contact between wildlife and domestic animals or humans, we assessed the infection status and zoonotic potential of Blastocystis in Korean water deer (KWD, Hydropotes inermis argyropus) using genotyping and phylogenetic analysis. A total of 125 fresh fecal samples were collected from KWD which were killed by vehicles on highways or roadsides in this study. Among the 125 samples, 51 (40.8%) were PCR positive. We performed nucleotide sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of 26 of the 51 PCR-positive samples. By analyzing Blastocystis 18S rRNA, two subtypes (ST4 and ST14) were identified in this study. Of the 26 samples analyzed, 25 were identified as ST14 and one as ST4. Infection of ST14 in humans has not been reported. Although only one ST4 sample was detected in this study, ST4 has zoonotic potential without showing ruminant specificity. Thus, continuous attention should be provided to the potential of transmission between wildlife and domestic animals and humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Parasitic Diseases)
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Open AccessCase Report
First Report of a Severe Outbreak of Aujeszky’s Disease in Cattle in Sicily (Italy)
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110954 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 433
Abstract
Aujeszky’s disease in cattle is caused by Suid herpes virus 1. The natural infection has been reported worldwide in bovine species and it is related to direct and indirect contact with infected pigs, which represent the main reservoir of the virus. Here, it [...] Read more.
Aujeszky’s disease in cattle is caused by Suid herpes virus 1. The natural infection has been reported worldwide in bovine species and it is related to direct and indirect contact with infected pigs, which represent the main reservoir of the virus. Here, it is reported the first documented outbreak of Aujeszky’s disease in cattle in Sicily (Italy). Severe itching and nonspecific neurological symptoms were the main reported clinical signs. No characteristic gross and histological features were reported other than cutaneous lesions caused by excessive pruritus and hyperaemia, haemorrhages and inflammation in the central nervous system. Diagnosis was confirmed by real time PCR and immunohistochemistry on the nervous tissue. The route of infection remained unknown, but serological data observed in pigs living in close cohabitation with cattle revealed a circulation of a wild strain of the virus in the area. This study contributes to a better knowledge of this disease in a non-conventional host and suggests the need to increase the prophylaxis control plans in specific breeding contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pseudorabies Virus Infections)
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Open AccessArticle
Prevalence and Distribution of Avian Influenza Viruses in Domestic Ducks at the Waterfowl-Chicken Interface in Wetlands
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110953 - 16 Nov 2020
Viewed by 756
Abstract
Ducks are a natural reservoir of influenza A viruses (IAVs) and can act as a reassortment vessel. Wetlands, such as Hakaluki and Tanguar haor in Bangladesh, have unique ecosystems including domestic duck (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus) rearing, especially household and free-range ducks. [...] Read more.
Ducks are a natural reservoir of influenza A viruses (IAVs) and can act as a reassortment vessel. Wetlands, such as Hakaluki and Tanguar haor in Bangladesh, have unique ecosystems including domestic duck (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus) rearing, especially household and free-range ducks. A cross-sectional study was, therefore, conducted to explore avian influenza status and its distribution and risk factors in the wetland areas. During the three consecutive winters of 2015–2017, specifically in December of these years, we collected a total of 947 samples including blood, oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs from domestic ducks (such as free-range ducks (n = 312 samples) and household ducks (n = 635 samples) in wetlands. We screened serum samples using a nucleoprotein competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (c-ELISA) to estimate seroprevalence of IAV antibodies and swab samples by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) to detect IA viral M gene. Eleven M gene positive samples were subjected to sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. Serological and viral prevalence rates of IAVs were 63.8% (95% CI: 60.6–66.8) and 10.7% (8.8–12.8), respectively. Serological and viral RNA prevalence rates were 51.8% (95% CI: 47.2–56.4) and 10.2% (7.6–13.3) in Hakaluki haor, 75.6% (71.5–79.4) and 11.1% (8.5–14.3) in Tanguar haor, 66.3% (62.5–69.9) and 11.2% (8.8–13.9) in household ducks and 58.7% (52.9–64.2) and 9.6% (6.5–13.4) in free-range ducks, respectively. The risk factors identified for higher odds of AI seropositive ducks were location (OR = 2.9, 95% CI: 2.2–3.8, p < 0.001; Tanguar haor vs. Hakaluki haor), duck-rearing system (OR = 1.4, 1.1–1.8, household vs. free-range), farmer’s education status (OR = 1.5, 1.2–2.0, p < 0.05 illiterate vs. literate) and contact type (OR = 3.0, 2.1–4.3, p < 0.001; contact with chicken vs. no contact with chicken). The risk factors identified for higher odds of AI viral RNA positive ducks were farmer’s education status (OR = 1.5, 1.0–2.3, p < 0.05 for illiterate vs literate), contact type (OR = 2.7, 1.7–4.2, p < 0.001; ducks having contact with chicken vs. ducks having contact with waterfowl). The phylogenetic analysis of 11 partial M gene sequences suggested that the M gene sequences detected in free-range duck were very similar to each other and were closely related to the M gene sequences of previously reported highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) subtypes in waterfowl in Bangladesh and Southeast Asian countries. Results of the current study will help provide significant information for future surveillance programs and model IAV infection to predict the spread of the viruses among migratory waterfowl, free-range ducks and domestic poultry in Bangladesh. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Genomic Analysis of Oral Lichen Planus and Related Oral Microbiome Pathogens
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 952; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110952 - 16 Nov 2020
Viewed by 466
Abstract
Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a common chronic inflammatory disease affecting the oral mucosa. The pathogenesis of OLP is incompletely understood but is thought to be related to the immune system. As the oral cavity is a major reservoir and transmission gateway for [...] Read more.
Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a common chronic inflammatory disease affecting the oral mucosa. The pathogenesis of OLP is incompletely understood but is thought to be related to the immune system. As the oral cavity is a major reservoir and transmission gateway for bacteria, viruses, and fungi, the microbial composition of the oral cavity could play a role in the pathogenesis of OLP. However, limited by analytic technology and knowledge of the microbial community in the oral cavity, it is not yet clear which pathogens are associated with OLP. Next generation sequencing (NGS) is a powerful tool to identify pathogens for many infectious diseases. In this study, we compared the host cell gene expression profiles and the microbial profiles between OLP patients and matched healthy individuals. We identified the activation of the hepatocyte nuclear factor alpha (HNF4A) network in OLP patients and potential pathogens, including Corynebacterium matruchotii, Fusobacterium periodonticum, Streptococcus intermedius, Streptococcus oralis, and Prevotella denticola. Prevotella denticola is capable of activating the HNF4A gene network. Our findings shed light on the previously elusive association of OLP with various diseases like hepatitis, and indicate that OLP is a T-helper type 17 (Th17) mediated mucosal inflammatory process. The identified molecular pathways and microbes could be used to inform future investigations into OLP pathogenesis and to develop novel therapeutics for OLP treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Pathogens)
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Open AccessReview
Organization of the Influenza A Virus Genomic RNA in the Viral Replication Cycle—Structure, Interactions, and Implications for the Emergence of New Strains
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 951; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110951 - 15 Nov 2020
Viewed by 622
Abstract
The influenza A virus is a human pathogen causing respiratory infections. The ability of this virus to trigger seasonal epidemics and sporadic pandemics is a result of its high genetic variability, leading to the ineffectiveness of vaccinations and current therapies. The source of [...] Read more.
The influenza A virus is a human pathogen causing respiratory infections. The ability of this virus to trigger seasonal epidemics and sporadic pandemics is a result of its high genetic variability, leading to the ineffectiveness of vaccinations and current therapies. The source of this variability is the accumulation of mutations in viral genes and reassortment enabled by its segmented genome. The latter process can induce major changes and the production of new strains with pandemic potential. However, not all genetic combinations are tolerated and lead to the assembly of complete infectious virions. Reports have shown that viral RNA segments co-segregate in particular circumstances. This tendency is a consequence of the complex and selective genome packaging process, which takes place in the final stages of the viral replication cycle. It has been shown that genome packaging is governed by RNA–RNA interactions. Intersegment contacts create a network, characterized by the presence of common and strain-specific interaction sites. Recent studies have revealed certain RNA regions, and conserved secondary structure motifs within them, which may play functional roles in virion assembly. Growing knowledge on RNA structure and interactions facilitates our understanding of the appearance of new genome variants, and may allow for the prediction of potential reassortment outcomes and the emergence of new strains in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Influenza A Virus)
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Open AccessArticle
Increased Prevalence of Liver Fibrosis and HIV Viremia among Patients with HIV, HBV, and Tuberculosis in Botswana
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 950; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110950 - 14 Nov 2020
Viewed by 452
Abstract
People with concomitant human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis (TB) have an increased risk of hepatotoxic reactions due to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and anti-TB therapy (ATT). Concomitant hepatitis B virus (HBV) in these patients may lead to poorer health outcomes. To assess liver [...] Read more.
People with concomitant human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis (TB) have an increased risk of hepatotoxic reactions due to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and anti-TB therapy (ATT). Concomitant hepatitis B virus (HBV) in these patients may lead to poorer health outcomes. To assess liver enzyme levels and immune response in adults with HIV, HBV, and TB, data from 300 antiretroviral-naïve people living with HIV (PLWHIV) were analyzed. The prevalence of HIV/HBV (cHIV/HBV) and HIV/TB (cHIV/TB) was 28% (95% CI: 23.0–33.4) and 10% (95% CI: 6.8–14.0), respectively. HIV/HBV/TB (cHIV/HBV/TB) prevalence was 5.3% (95% CI: 3.1–8.5). There was a statistically significant difference between the groups of participants in HIV viral load (p = 0.004), hemoglobin levels (p = 0.025), and body mass index (p = 0.011). A larger proportion of cHIV/HBV/TB participants (37.5%) had an aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index (APRI) score ≥0.5 (p = 0.013), a lower cutoff for significant liver fibrosis. Immunological non-responders (CD4+ T-cell count <20% gain and HIV viral load <400 copies/mL at 6 months) were observed in all groups except those with cHIV/TB. Our findings support the need to screen for infections that could cause excessive liver damage prior to ATT or ART initiation, such as HBV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Pathogens)
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