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Pathogens, Volume 9, Issue 9 (September 2020) – 105 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The management of antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) for improving the long-term prognosis of transplants remains immensely challenging. As a diagnostic method, current studies mainly focus on the diagnostic value of immunoglobulin (Ig) G antibodies against human leukocyte antigen (HLA) expressed in donor-derived vascular endothelial cells, primarily due to their antigen specificity. On the other hand, IgM donor-specific anti-HLA antibodies (DSAs) have not demonstrated any clinical significance due to the high probability of non-specific reactions in the field of transplantation. However, it is well known that the IgM antibody is the first antibody isotype produced during foreign antigen invasion. In this article, we would like to elucidate the great potential of IgM antibodies against donor-specific HLA in supernatants from cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells, as predictors of [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview
Orthohantaviruses, Emerging Zoonotic Pathogens
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 775; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090775 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1097
Abstract
Orthohantaviruses give rise to the emerging infections such as of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in Eurasia and the Americas, respectively. In this review we will provide a comprehensive analysis of orthohantaviruses distribution and circulation in Eurasia [...] Read more.
Orthohantaviruses give rise to the emerging infections such as of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in Eurasia and the Americas, respectively. In this review we will provide a comprehensive analysis of orthohantaviruses distribution and circulation in Eurasia and address the genetic diversity and evolution of Puumala orthohantavirus (PUUV), which causes HFRS in this region. Current data indicate that the geographical location and migration of the natural hosts can lead to the orthohantaviruses genetic diversity as the rodents adapt to the new environmental conditions. The data shows that a high level of diversity characterizes the genome of orthohantaviruses, and the PUUV genome is the most divergent. The reasons for the high genome diversity are mainly caused by point mutations and reassortment, which occur in the genome segments. However, it still remains unclear whether this diversity is linked to the disease’s severity. We anticipate that the information provided in this review will be useful for optimizing and developing preventive strategies of HFRS, an emerging zoonosis with potentially very high mortality rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hemorrhagic Fever Viruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Transposon Insertion in the purL Gene Induces Biofilm Depletion in Escherichia coli ATCC 25922
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 774; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090774 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 663
Abstract
Current Escherichia coli antibiofilm treatments comprise a combination of antibiotics commonly used against planktonic cells, leading to treatment failure. A better understanding of the genes involved in biofilm formation could facilitate the development of efficient and specific new antibiofilm treatments. A total of [...] Read more.
Current Escherichia coli antibiofilm treatments comprise a combination of antibiotics commonly used against planktonic cells, leading to treatment failure. A better understanding of the genes involved in biofilm formation could facilitate the development of efficient and specific new antibiofilm treatments. A total of 2578 E. coli mutants were generated by transposon insertion, of which 536 were analysed in this study. After sequencing, Tn263 mutant, classified as low biofilm-former (LF) compared to the wild-type (wt) strain (ATCC 25922), showed an interruption in the purL gene, involved in the de novo purine biosynthesis pathway. To elucidate the role of purL in biofilm formation, a knockout was generated showing reduced production of curli fibres, leading to an impaired biofilm formation. These conditions were restored by complementation of the strain or addition of exogenous inosine. Proteomic and transcriptional analyses were performed to characterise the differences caused by purL alterations. Thirteen proteins were altered compared to wt. The corresponding genes were analysed by qRT-PCR not only in the Tn263 and wt, but also in clinical strains with different biofilm activity. Overall, this study suggests that purL is essential for biofilm formation in E. coli and can be considered as a potential antibiofilm target. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene Regulation in Biofilms)
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Open AccessArticle
Teixobactin Provides Protection against Inhalation Anthrax in the Rabbit Model
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 773; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090773 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1193
Abstract
The use of antibiotics is a vital means of treating infections caused by the bacteria Bacillus (B.) anthracis. Importantly, with the potential future use of multidrug-resistant strains of B. anthracis as bioweapons, new antibiotics are needed as alternative therapeutics. In this blinded [...] Read more.
The use of antibiotics is a vital means of treating infections caused by the bacteria Bacillus (B.) anthracis. Importantly, with the potential future use of multidrug-resistant strains of B. anthracis as bioweapons, new antibiotics are needed as alternative therapeutics. In this blinded study, we assessed the protective efficacy of teixobactin, a recently discovered antibiotic, against inhalation anthrax infection in the adult rabbit model. New Zealand White rabbits were infected with a lethal dose of B. anthracis Ames spores via the inhalation route, and blood samples were collected at various times to assess antigenemia, bacteremia, tissue bacterial load, and antibody production. Treatments were administered upon detection of B. anthracis protective antigen in the animals’ sera. For comparison, a fully protective dose of levofloxacin was used as a positive control. Rabbits treated with teixobactin showed 100% survival following infection, and the bacteremia was completely resolved by 24–48 h post-treatment. In addition, the bacterial/spore loads in tissues of the animals treated with teixobactin were either zero or dramatically less relative to that of the negative control animals. Moreover, microscopic evaluation of the tissues revealed decreased pathology following treatment with teixobactin. Overall, these results show that teixobactin was protective against inhalation anthrax infection in the rabbit model, and they indicate the potential of teixobactin as a therapeutic for the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthrax Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of the Impact of the Recombinant Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus Horsens Strain on the Reproductive Performance in Pregnant Sows
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 772; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090772 - 21 Sep 2020
Viewed by 607
Abstract
This study assessed the impact of a PRRSV (porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus) recombinant strain (Horsens strain) on the reproductive performance of naïve pregnant sows in the last third of gestation. Fifteen sows were included: four negative reproductive controls (NTX), five infected [...] Read more.
This study assessed the impact of a PRRSV (porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus) recombinant strain (Horsens strain) on the reproductive performance of naïve pregnant sows in the last third of gestation. Fifteen sows were included: four negative reproductive controls (NTX), five infected with a PRRSV-1 field strain (Olot/91, T01), and six infected with the recombinant PRRSV-1 strain (Horsens strain, T02). Piglets were monitored until weaning. Reproductive performance was the primary variable. In sows, viremia and nasal shedding (T01 and T02 groups), and, in piglets, viral load in blood and in lungs, as well as macroscopic lung lesions (T01 and T02 groups), were the secondary variables. The reproductive performance results were numerically different between the two challenged groups. Moreover, viral loads in blood were 1.83 × 106 ± 9.05 × 106 copies/mL at farrowing, 1.05 × 107 ± 2.21 × 107 copies/mL at weaning from piglets born from T01 animals and 1.64 × 103 ± 7.62 × 103 copies/mL at farrowing, 1.95 × 103 ± 1.17 × 104 copies/mL at weaning from piglets born from T02 sows. Overall, 68.8% of T01 piglets and 38.1% of T02 piglets presented mild lung lesions. In conclusion, the results suggest that Horsens strain is less virulent than the field strain Olot/91 under these experimental conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Pathogens)
Open AccessArticle
Salmonella and Antimicrobial Resistance in Wild Rodents—True or False Threat?
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 771; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090771 - 21 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 707
Abstract
Transmission of pathogenic and resistant bacteria from wildlife to the bacterial gene pool in nature affects the ecosystem. Hence, we studied intestine content of five wild rodent species: the yellow-necked wood mouse (Apodemus flavicollis, n = 121), striped field mouse ( [...] Read more.
Transmission of pathogenic and resistant bacteria from wildlife to the bacterial gene pool in nature affects the ecosystem. Hence, we studied intestine content of five wild rodent species: the yellow-necked wood mouse (Apodemus flavicollis, n = 121), striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius, n = 75), common vole (Microtus arvalis, n = 37), bank vole (Myodes glareolus, n = 3), and house mouse (Mus musculus, n = 1) to assess their potential role as an antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and Salmonella vector. The methods adopted from official AMR monitoring of slaughtered animals were applied and supplemented with colistin resistance screening. Whole-genome sequencing of obtained bacteria elucidated their epidemiological relationships and zoonotic potential. The study revealed no indications of public health relevance of wild rodents from the sampled area in Salmonella spread and their limited role in AMR dissemination. Of 263 recovered E. coli, the vast majority was pan-susceptible, and as few as 5 E. coli showed any resistance. In four colistin-resistant strains neither the known mcr genes nor known mutations in pmr genes were found. One of these strains was tetracycline-resistant due to tet(B). High diversity of virulence factors (n = 43) noted in tested strains including ibeA, cdtB, air, eilA, astA, vat, pic reported in clinically relevant types of enteric E. coli indicate that rodents may be involved in the ecological cycle of these bacteria. Most of the strains represented unique sequence types and ST10805, ST10806, ST10810, ST10824 were revealed for the first time, showing genomic heterogeneity of the strains. The study broadened the knowledge on phylogenetic diversity and structure of the E. coli population in wild rodents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
In Silico Identification of Novel Immunogenic Secreted Proteins of Mycoplasma bovis from Secretome Data and Experimental Verification
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 770; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090770 - 21 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 904
Abstract
Mycoplasma bovis is a major pathogen, responsible for bovine respiratory diseases worldwide. The present lack of effective control measures leaves cattle owners at considerable perpetual risk of M. bovis outbreaks. In this study, we identified M. bovis secreted immunogenic proteins in silico as [...] Read more.
Mycoplasma bovis is a major pathogen, responsible for bovine respiratory diseases worldwide. The present lack of effective control measures leaves cattle owners at considerable perpetual risk of M. bovis outbreaks. In this study, we identified M. bovis secreted immunogenic proteins in silico as potential candidates for novel diagnostic agents and vaccines. We used immunoinformatics to analyze 438 M. bovis proteins previously identified with a label-free proteomics analysis of virulent M. bovis HB0801 (P1) and its attenuated P150 strains. The subcellular localization of these proteins was preliminarily screened and 59 proteins were found to be secreted extracellular proteins. Twenty-seven of these proteins contained a large number of predictive T-cell epitopes presented by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and II molecules. Twenty-two of these 27 proteins had a high number of conformational B-cell epitopes, predicted from the corresponding 3D structural templates, including one unique to P1, two unique to P150, and 19 common to both strains. Five proteins were selected for further validation, and two of these, MbovP274 and MbovP570, were successfully expressed and purified. Both were confirmed to be secretory and highly immunogenic proteins that induced a mouse antibody response, reacted with cattle serum positive for M. bovis infection, and significantly increased the production of interleukin 8 (IL-8), IL-12 and interferon γ (IFN-γ) during the secretion of these three cytokines by both M. bovis mutants of these genes. These results should be useful in the development of novel immunological agents against M. bovis infection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Mustelid gammaherpesvirus 1 (MusGHV-1) Reactivation in European Badger (Meles meles) Genital Tracts on Reproductive Fitness
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 769; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090769 - 20 Sep 2020
Viewed by 979
Abstract
Reactivation of latent Gammaherpesvirus in the genital tract can lead to reproductive failure in domestic animals. Nevertheless, this pathophysiology has not received formal study in wild mammals. High prevalence of Mustelid gammaherpesvirus 1 (MusGHV-1) DNA detected in the genital tracts of European badgers [...] Read more.
Reactivation of latent Gammaherpesvirus in the genital tract can lead to reproductive failure in domestic animals. Nevertheless, this pathophysiology has not received formal study in wild mammals. High prevalence of Mustelid gammaherpesvirus 1 (MusGHV-1) DNA detected in the genital tracts of European badgers (Meles meles) implies that this common pathogen may be a sexual transmitted infection. Here we used PCR to test MusGHV-1 DNA prevalence in genital swabs collected from 144 wild badgers in Ireland (71 males, 73 females) to investigate impacts on male fertility indicators (sperm abundance and testes weight) and female fecundity (current reproductive output). MusGHV-1 reactivation had a negative effect on female reproduction, but not on male fertility; however males had a higher risk of MusGHV-1 reactivation than females, especially during the late-winter mating season, and genital MusGHV-1 reactivation differed between age classes, where 3–5 year old adults had significantly lower reactivation rates than younger or older ones. Negative results in foetal tissues from MusGHV-1 positive mothers indicated that cross-placental transmission was unlikely. This study has broader implications for how wide-spread gammaherpesvirus infections could affect reproductive performance in wild Carnivora species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gammaherpesvirus Infection)
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Open AccessArticle
Genetic Diversity of Bovine Hemoprotozoa in South Korea
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 768; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090768 - 20 Sep 2020
Viewed by 708
Abstract
Tick-borne pathogens cause economically significant diseases in cattle. Theileria spp. are parasitic protozoa and the causative agent of bovine theileriosis. Here we report the distribution and risk factors of bovine Theileria using blood samples taken between 2018 and 2019. Of 737 tested cattle, [...] Read more.
Tick-borne pathogens cause economically significant diseases in cattle. Theileria spp. are parasitic protozoa and the causative agent of bovine theileriosis. Here we report the distribution and risk factors of bovine Theileria using blood samples taken between 2018 and 2019. Of 737 tested cattle, nine animals (1.2%) were positive for Theileria orientalis infection by 18S rRNA gene amplification. Further analysis of the infected samples using the T. orientalis major piroplasm surface protein (MPSP) gene revealed five different genotypes circulating in the population: Types 1, 2, 3, 7, and N3. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first research to describe the existence of the T. orientalis MPSP genotype N3 in South Korea. Although the prevalence of bovine T. orientalis was low, our study offers data on the geographical distribution and prevalence of bovine Theileria spp. in South Korea. Further studies are warranted to determine the correlation of clinical symptoms with parasite MPSP genotypes. Our data provide epidemiological information to help control bovine theileriosis in South Korea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Parasitic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Does Curcumin Have a Role in the Interaction between Gut Microbiota and Schistosoma mansoni in Mice?
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 767; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090767 - 19 Sep 2020
Viewed by 686
Abstract
There is strong correlation between changes in abundance of specific bacterial species and several diseases including schistosomiasis. Several studies have described therapeutic effects of curcumin (CUR) which may arise from its regulative effects on intestinal microbiota. Thus, we examined the impact of CUR [...] Read more.
There is strong correlation between changes in abundance of specific bacterial species and several diseases including schistosomiasis. Several studies have described therapeutic effects of curcumin (CUR) which may arise from its regulative effects on intestinal microbiota. Thus, we examined the impact of CUR on the diversity of intestinal microbiota with/without infection by Schistosoma mansoni cercariae for 56 days. Enterobacteriaceae was dominating in a naive and S. mansoni infected mice group without CUR treatment, the most predominant species was Escherichia coli with relative density (R.D%) = 80.66% and the least one was Pseudomonas sp. (0.52%). The influence of CUR on murine microbiota composition was examined one week after oral administration of high (40) and low (20 mg/kg b.w.) CUR doses were administered three times, with two day intervals. CUR induced high variation in the Enterobacteriaceae family, characterized by a significant (p < 0.001) reduction in E. coli and asignificant (p < 0.001) increase in Pseudomonas sp. in both naïve and S. mansoni-infected mice, compared to untreated mice, in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, our study showed the effects of high CUR doses on S. mansoni infection immunological and parasitological parameters. These data support CUR’s ability to promote Pseudomonas sp. known to produce schistosomicidal toxins and offset the sequelae of murine schistosomiasis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Glycyrrhizin on Multi-Drug Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 766; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090766 - 18 Sep 2020
Viewed by 742
Abstract
The effects of glycyrrhizin (GLY) on multi-drug resistant (MDR) systemic (MDR9) vs. ocular (B1045) Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates were determined. Proteomes of each isolate with/without GLY treatment were profiled using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The effect of GLY on adherence of MDR [...] Read more.
The effects of glycyrrhizin (GLY) on multi-drug resistant (MDR) systemic (MDR9) vs. ocular (B1045) Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates were determined. Proteomes of each isolate with/without GLY treatment were profiled using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The effect of GLY on adherence of MDR isolates to immortalized human (HCET) and mouse (MCEC) corneal epithelial cells, and biofilm and dispersal was tested. Both isolates were treated with GLY (0.25 minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), 10 mg/mL for MDR9 and 3.75 mg/mL for B1045) and subjected to proteomic analysis. MDR9 had a greater response to GLY (51% of identified proteins affected vs. <1% in B1045). In MDR9 vs. controls, GLY decreased the abundance of proteins for: antibiotic resistance, biofilm formation, and type III secretion. Further, antibiotic resistance and type III secretion proteins had higher control abundances in MDR9 vs. B1045. GLY (5 and 10 mg/mL) significantly reduced binding of both isolates to MCEC, and B1045 to HCET. MDR9 binding to HCET was only reduced at 10 mg/mL GLY. GLY (5 and 10 mg/mL) enhanced dispersal for both isolates, at early (6.5 h) but not later times (24–72 h). This study provides evidence that GLY has a greater effect on the proteome of MDR9 vs. B1045, yet it was equally effective at disrupting adherence and early biofilm dispersal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pseudomonas aeruginosa Pathogenesis)
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Open AccessReview
Long Noncoding RNAs in Plant Viroids and Viruses: A Review
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 765; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090765 - 18 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 975
Abstract
Infectious long-noncoding (lnc) RNAs related to plants can be of both viral and non-viral origin. Viroids are infectious plant lncRNAs that are not related to viruses and carry the circular, single-stranded, non-coding RNAs that replicate with host enzymatic activities via a rolling circle [...] Read more.
Infectious long-noncoding (lnc) RNAs related to plants can be of both viral and non-viral origin. Viroids are infectious plant lncRNAs that are not related to viruses and carry the circular, single-stranded, non-coding RNAs that replicate with host enzymatic activities via a rolling circle mechanism. Viroids interact with host processes in complex ways, emerging as one of the most productive tools for studying the functions of lncRNAs. Defective (D) RNAs, another category of lnc RNAs, are found in a variety of plant RNA viruses, most of which are noncoding. These are derived from and are replicated by the helper virus. D RNA-virus interactions evolve into mutually beneficial combinations, enhancing virus fitness via competitive advantages of moderated symptoms. Yet the satellite RNAs are single-stranded and include either large linear protein-coding ss RNAs, small linear ss RNAs, or small circular ss RNAs (virusoids). The satellite RNAs lack sequence homology to the helper virus, but unlike viroids need a helper virus to replicate and encapsidate. They can attenuate symptoms via RNA silencing and enhancement of host defense, but some can be lethal as RNA silencing suppressor antagonists. Moreover, selected viruses produce lncRNAs by incomplete degradation of genomic RNAs. They do not replicate but may impact viral infection, gene regulation, and cellular functions. Finally, the host plant lncRNAs can also contribute during plant-virus interactions, inducing plant defense and the regulation of gene expression, often in conjunction with micro and/or circRNAs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Uropathogens Preferrentially Interact with Conditioning Film Components on the Surface of Indwelling Ureteral Stents Rather than Stent Material
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 764; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090764 - 18 Sep 2020
Viewed by 593
Abstract
Despite routine implementation in urology, indwelling ureteral stents pose as a nidus for infection. Conditioning film accumulates on stents, which prime pathogen adhesion, promoting infectious biofilm formation. However, the extent to which conditioning film components play a role in facilitating bacterial adhesion and [...] Read more.
Despite routine implementation in urology, indwelling ureteral stents pose as a nidus for infection. Conditioning film accumulates on stents, which prime pathogen adhesion, promoting infectious biofilm formation. However, the extent to which conditioning film components play a role in facilitating bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation remains largely unknown. Here, we examined the interaction of previously identified stent-bound conditioning film components (fibrinogen, uromodulin, and albumin) with bacterial uropathogens. Cytoscopically removed stents were incubated with common uropathogens (Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, and Staphylococcus aureus). Immunofluorescent double staining was performed to study the localization of uropathogens relative to stent-bound conditioning film proteins. Conditioning film components were identified on the external stent surface with some deposition in the inner lumen. Bacteria co-localized with fibrinogen, uromodulin, and albumin, suggesting a potential mechanism for stent-associated infections. Here, we determine strong co-localization between common uropathogenic bacterial species with prominent conditioning film components on ureteral stents. Further functional validation of interactions amongst these uropathogens and conditioning film proteins may enhance clinical management for stent-associated infections and development of improved stent technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Growth- and Encystation-Inhibitory Efficacies of Matcha Green Tea and Epigallocatechin Gallate Against Acanthameoba Castellanii
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 763; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090763 - 17 Sep 2020
Viewed by 768
Abstract
We examined the inhibitory effect of matcha green tea (Camellia sinensis) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg; the most abundant catechin in tea) on the vegetative growth and encystation of Acanthamoeba castellanii T4 genotype. The sulforhodamine B (SRB) stain-based colorimetric assay and hemocytometer [...] Read more.
We examined the inhibitory effect of matcha green tea (Camellia sinensis) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg; the most abundant catechin in tea) on the vegetative growth and encystation of Acanthamoeba castellanii T4 genotype. The sulforhodamine B (SRB) stain-based colorimetric assay and hemocytometer counting were used to determine the reduction in A. castellanii trophozoite proliferation and encystation, in response to treatment with C. sinensis or EGCg. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microscopy was used to analyze chemical changes in the trophozoites and cysts due to C. sinensis treatment. Hot brewed and cold brewed matcha inhibited the growth of trophozoites by >40% at a 100 % concentration. EGCg at concentrations of 50 to 500 µM significantly inhibited the trophozoite growth compared to control. Hot brewed matcha (100% concentration) also showed an 87% reduction in the rate of encystation compared to untreated control. Although 500 µM of EGCg increased the rate of encystation by 36.3%, 1000 µM reduced it by 27.7%. Both percentages were not significant compared to control. C. sinensis induced more cytotoxicity to Madin Darby canine kidney cells compared to EGCg. FTIR chemical fingerprinting analysis showed that treatment with brewed matcha significantly increased the levels of glycogen and carbohydrate in trophozoites and cysts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Vaccines and Therapeutic Developments)
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Open AccessCommunication
Viral Filtration Efficiency of Fabric Masks Compared with Surgical and N95 Masks
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 762; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090762 - 17 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4088
Abstract
In response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, current modeling supports the use of masks in community settings to reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. However, concerns have been raised regarding the global shortage of medical grade masks and the limited evidence on [...] Read more.
In response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, current modeling supports the use of masks in community settings to reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. However, concerns have been raised regarding the global shortage of medical grade masks and the limited evidence on the efficacy of fabric masks. This study used a standard mask testing method (ASTM F2101-14) and a model virus (bacteriophage MS2) to test the viral filtration efficiency (VFE) of fabric masks compared with commercially available disposable, surgical, and N95 masks. Five different types of fabric masks were purchased from the ecommerce website Etsy to represent a range of different fabric mask designs and materials currently available. One mask included a pocket for a filter; which was tested without a filter, with a dried baby wipe, and a section of a vacuum cleaner bag. A sixth fabric mask was also made according to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) guidelines (Australia). Three masks of each type were tested. This study found that all the fabric masks had a VFE of at least 50% when tested against aerosols with an average size of 6.0 µm (VFE(6.0 µm)). The minimum VFE of fabric masks improved (to 63%) when the larger aerosols were excluded to give and average aerosol size of 2.6 µm (VFE(2.6 µm)), which better represents inhaled aerosols that can reach the lower respiratory system. The best performing fabric masks were the cotton mask with a section of vacuum cleaner bag (VFE(6.0 µm) = 99.5%, VFE(2.6 µm) = 98.8%) or a dried baby wipe (VFE(6.0 µm) = 98.5%, VFE(2.6 µm) = 97.6%) in the pocket designed for a disposable filter, the mask made using the Victorian DHHS design (VFE(6.0 µm) = 98.6%, VFE(2.6 µm) =99.1%) and one made from a layer of 100% hemp, a layer of poly membrane, and a layer of cheesecloth (VFE(6.0 µm) = 93.6%, VFE(2.6 µm) = 89.0%). The VFE of two surgical masks (VFE(6.0 µm) = 99.9% and 99.6%, VFE(2.6 µm) = 99.5% and 98.5%) and a N95 masks (VFE(6.0 µm) = 99.9%, VFE(2.6 µm) = 99.3%) were comparable to their advertised bacterial filtration efficacy. This research supports the use of fabric masks in the community to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2; however, future research is needed to explore the optimum design in ensuring proper fit. There is also a need for mass education campaigns to disseminate this information, along with guidelines around the proper usage and washing of fabric masks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Pathogens)
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Open AccessReview
Zoonotic Implications of Onchocerca Species on Human Health
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 761; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090761 - 17 Sep 2020
Viewed by 866
Abstract
The genus Onchocerca includes several species associated with ungulates as hosts, although some have been identified in canids, felids, and humans. Onchocerca species have a wide geographical distribution, and the disease they produce, onchocerciasis, is generally seen in adult individuals because of its [...] Read more.
The genus Onchocerca includes several species associated with ungulates as hosts, although some have been identified in canids, felids, and humans. Onchocerca species have a wide geographical distribution, and the disease they produce, onchocerciasis, is generally seen in adult individuals because of its large prepatency period. In recent years, Onchocerca species infecting animals have been found as subcutaneous nodules or invading the ocular tissues of humans; the species involved are O. lupi, O. dewittei japonica, O. jakutensis, O. gutturosa, and O. cervicalis. These findings generally involve immature adult female worms, with no evidence of being fertile. However, a few cases with fertile O. lupi, O. dewittei japonica, and O. jakutensis worms have been identified recently in humans. These are relevant because they indicate that the parasite’s life cycle was completed in the new host—humans. In this work, we discuss the establishment of zoonotic Onchocerca infections in humans, and the possibility of these infections to produce symptoms similar to human onchocerciasis, such as dermatitis, ocular damage, and epilepsy. Zoonotic onchocerciasis is thought to be an emerging human parasitic disease, with the need to take measures such as One Health Strategies, in order to identify and control new cases in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Onchocerciasis and River Epilepsy)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of Streptomyces scabies Causing Potato Scab by Various Detection Techniques, Its Pathogenicity and Determination of Host-Disease Resistance in Potato Germplasm
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 760; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090760 - 17 Sep 2020
Viewed by 891
Abstract
Streptomyces scabies is a Gram-positive bacterial pathogen that causes common scab disease to several crops, particularly in the potato. It is a soil borne pathogen, a very devastating scab pathogen and difficult to manage in the field. Streptomyces has several species that cause [...] Read more.
Streptomyces scabies is a Gram-positive bacterial pathogen that causes common scab disease to several crops, particularly in the potato. It is a soil borne pathogen, a very devastating scab pathogen and difficult to manage in the field. Streptomyces has several species that cause common scab such as S. scabiei, S. acidiscabies, S. europaeiscabiei, S. luridiscabiei, S. niveiscabiei, S. puniciscabiei, S. reticuliscabiei, S. stelliscabiei, S. turgidiscabies, S. ipomoeae. Common scab disease harmfully affects potato economic and market value due to the presence of black spots on the tuber. Owing to its genetic diversity and pathogenicity, the determination of pathogen presence in potato fields is still challenging. In this study, S. scabies genetic diversity was measured by surveying five potato-growing areas of Pakistan during the growing season 2019. A total of 50 Streptomyces isolates, including S. scabies, S. acidiscabies, S. griseoflavus were isolated and identified based on morphologic, biochemical and molecular analysis. Virulent confirmation assays confirmed ten virulent strains of Streptomyces spp. On the potato cultivars Cardinal and Santee. Among the Streptomyces species, S. scabies showed the highest scab index, followed by S. acidiscabies and S. griseoflavus by exhibiting the scab-like lesions on potato tubers. Ten potato cultivars were screened against these virulent isolates of Streptomyces. The Faisalabad white variety showed the highest scab index followed By Cardinal, Tourag, Kuroda, Santee, Lady Rosetta, Asterix, Diamant, Faisalabad red and Sadaf. Moreover, genetic diversity and pathogenicity of Streptomyces spp. on potato tubers were also likely diverse in different geographical regions and also potato cultivars. This study represents a contribution to understanding the local interaction between potatoes and Streptomyces spp. in Pakistan. It will aid in supporting a solution for the management of this pathogen around the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Resistance Induced by Microorganisms and Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
Statin Use Is Associated with Decreased Risk of Invasive Mechanical Ventilation in COVID-19 Patients: A Preliminary Study
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 759; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090759 - 17 Sep 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1022
Abstract
COVID-19 disproportionately affects patients with medical comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease (CVD). Patients with CVD are widely prescribed 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutayl-CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors (statins), a class of lipid-lowering medications known for their pleiotropic anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. However, the relationship between statin use and [...] Read more.
COVID-19 disproportionately affects patients with medical comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease (CVD). Patients with CVD are widely prescribed 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutayl-CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors (statins), a class of lipid-lowering medications known for their pleiotropic anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. However, the relationship between statin use and COVID-19 outcomes is not fully understood. In this preliminary study, we explored the association between statin use and severe COVID-19 outcomes in hospitalized patients, including intensive care unit (ICU) admission, the need for invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), and in-hospital death. We performed a retrospective cohort study of 249 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 from 3 March 2020 to 10 April 2020 in Rhode Island, USA. Patient demographics, past medical history, current medications, and hospital course were recorded and analyzed. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine associations. After adjusting for age, sex, race, cardiovascular disease, chronic pulmonary disease, diabetes, and obesity, statin use was significantly associated with decreased risk for IMV (adjusted Odds Ratio (aOR) = 0.45, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.20–0.99). Our results support the continued use of statins among COVID-19 patients and could have implications for future prospective studies on the management of COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection SARS-CoV Infections)
Open AccessArticle
Modulation of the Functions of Goat Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells by Fasciola gigantica Thioredoxin Peroxidase In Vitro
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 758; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090758 - 17 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 672
Abstract
The liver fluke Fasciola gigantica has a remarkable ability to establish a long-term infection within the hepatobiliary system of the mammalian definitive host. F. gigantica achieves this by producing excretory–secretory molecules, which have immunomodulatory activities. In an effort to elucidate the immunomodulatory functions [...] Read more.
The liver fluke Fasciola gigantica has a remarkable ability to establish a long-term infection within the hepatobiliary system of the mammalian definitive host. F. gigantica achieves this by producing excretory–secretory molecules, which have immunomodulatory activities. In an effort to elucidate the immunomodulatory functions of F. gigantica thioredoxin peroxidase protein (FgTPx), we expressed recombinant FgTPx (rFgTPx) in Escherichia coli bacteria and examined its effects on several functions of goat peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in vitro. Sequence analysis revealed that FgTPx is related to a thioredoxin-like superfamily. Western blot analysis showed that rFgTPx was recognized by the sera of goats experimentally infected by F. gigantica. The specific binding of rFgTPx protein to the surface of goat PBMCs was demonstrated by immunofluorescence staining. We investigated the influence of serial concentrations of rFgTPx on various functions of goat PBMCs. All concentrations of rFgTPx increased the secretion of interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4, IL-10, IL-17, transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β), and interferon gamma (IFN-γ), but inhibited PBMC proliferation, migration, and monocyte phagocytosis. Goat PBMCs exposed to 20–40 μg/mL of rFgTPx secreted increased levels of nitric oxide (NO), and 10–40 μg/mL of rFgTPx promoted cell apoptosis. These findings indicate that rFgTPx influences various functions of goat PBMCs by interacting with a large number of cellular targets, ultimately to promote the parasite’s survival. The roles of rFgTPx and their interacting proteins warrant further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Parasitic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of GVPC and BCYE Media for Legionella Detection and Enumeration in Water Samples by ISO 11731: Does Plating on BCYE Medium Really Improve Yield?
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 757; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090757 - 16 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 747
Abstract
Legionella spp are the causative agents of Legionnaires’ diseases, which is a pneumonia of important public health concern. Ubiquitous freshwater and soil inhabitants can reach man-made water systems and cause illness. Legionella enumeration and quantification in water systems is crucial for risk assessment [...] Read more.
Legionella spp are the causative agents of Legionnaires’ diseases, which is a pneumonia of important public health concern. Ubiquitous freshwater and soil inhabitants can reach man-made water systems and cause illness. Legionella enumeration and quantification in water systems is crucial for risk assessment and culture examination is the gold standard method. In this study, Legionella recovery from potable water samples, at presumably a low concentration of interfering microorganisms, was compared by plating on buffered charcoal yeast extract (BCYE) and glycine, vancomycin, polymyxin B, cycloheximide (GVPC) Legionella agar media, according to the International Standard Organization (ISO) 11731: 2017. Overall, 556 potable water samples were analyzed and 151 (27.1%) were positive for Legionella. Legionella grew on both BCYE and GVPC agar plates in 85/151 (56.3%) water samples, in 65/151 (43%) on only GVPC agar plates, and in 1/151 (0.7%) on only BCYE agar plates. In addition, GVPC medium identified Legionella species other than pneumophila in six more samples as compared with the culture on BCYE. Although the medians of colony forming units per liter (CFU/L) detected on the BCYE and GVPC agar plates were 2500 and 1350, respectively (p-value < 0.0001), the difference did not exceed one logarithm, and therefore is not relevant for Legionella risk assessment. These results make questionable the need to utilize BCYE agar plates to analyze potable water samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Legionella Contamination in Water Environment)
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Open AccessCase Report
Fast-Growing Alveolar Echinococcosis Following Lung Transplantation
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 756; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090756 - 16 Sep 2020
Viewed by 577
Abstract
Alveolar echinococcosis is a rare but life-threatening infection caused by the parasite Echinococcus multilocularis. Its natural history is characterized by a slow parasitic growth over several years. Increased incidence and shorter development delay have been reported in immune-compromised patients. We report the [...] Read more.
Alveolar echinococcosis is a rare but life-threatening infection caused by the parasite Echinococcus multilocularis. Its natural history is characterized by a slow parasitic growth over several years. Increased incidence and shorter development delay have been reported in immune-compromised patients. We report the reactivation of aborted lesions within 12 months of lung transplantation leading to a fast-growing aggressive hepatic lesion. Timely identification of alveolar echninococcosis allowed prompt albendazole treatment and radical surgery leading to a favorable outcome 42 months after transplantation. However, close clinical, serological and radiological monitoring is required to rule out relapses in the long term. The pre-existence of aborted self-limited lesions of alveolar echinococcosis and the possibility for their atypical rapid growth in patients undergoing profound immunosuppression should be known by healthcare providers, even if working in non-endemic areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
Significance of Anti-Nuclear Antibodies and Cryoglobulins in Patients with Acute and Chronic HEV Infection
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 755; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090755 - 16 Sep 2020
Viewed by 688
Abstract
Background: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) has been associated with immunological phenomena. Their clinical significance, however, still needs to be clarified, that is, whether cryoglobulins or autoantibodies impact overt disease in HEV-infected individuals. To better understand, we analyzed these different immune phenomena in three [...] Read more.
Background: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) has been associated with immunological phenomena. Their clinical significance, however, still needs to be clarified, that is, whether cryoglobulins or autoantibodies impact overt disease in HEV-infected individuals. To better understand, we analyzed these different immune phenomena in three cohorts, each representing different types of HEV infection. Methods: The cohorts included: (i) immunocompetent patients with acute hepatitis E, (ii) immunosuppressed patients with chronic hepatitis E, and (iii) individuals with asymptomatic HEV infection. Together, they consisted of 57 individuals and were studied retrospectively for the presence of anti-nuclear antibodies (ANAs), cryoglobulins, and serum total IgG. They were then compared with a control cohort of 17 untreated patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Results: Thirteen (23%) were immunocompetent patients with acute hepatitis E (median alanine aminotransferase (ALT) = 872 U/L), 15 (26%) were immunosuppressed patients with chronic hepatitis E (median ALT = 137 U/L), and 29 (51%) were blood donors with asymptomatic HEV infection (median ALT = 35 U/L). Overall, 24% tested positive for elevated ANA titers of >1:160, and 11% presented with a specific ANA pattern. ANA detection was not associated with the type of HEV infection, IgG levels, sex, or age. All individuals tested negative for anti-mitochondrial antibodies, anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies, liver-kidney microsomal antibodies, anti-myeloperoxidase-, and anti-proteinase-3 antibodies. Five patients (9%) tested positive for cryoglobulins. Notably, cryoglobulinemia was present in overt hepatitis E (Groups (i) and (ii); one acute and four chronic HEV infections), but was not present in any of the asymptomatic blood donors (p = 0.02). The frequency of cryoglobulins and elevated ANAs did not differ significantly between HEV and HBV/HCV patients. Conclusion: In line with findings on HBV and HCV infections, we frequently observed detection of ANAs (24%) and cryoglobulins (9%) in association with HEV infections. The presence of cryoglobulins was limited to patients with overt hepatitis E. We add to the findings on the immune phenomena of hepatitis E. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) Infections)
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Open AccessReview
Pathogenic Delivery: The Biological Roles of Cryptococcal Extracellular Vesicles
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 754; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090754 - 16 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1050
Abstract
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are produced by all domains of life. In fungi, these structures were first described in Cryptococcus neoformans and, since then, they were characterized in several pathogenic and non-pathogenic fungal species. Cryptococcal EVs participate in the export of virulence factors that [...] Read more.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are produced by all domains of life. In fungi, these structures were first described in Cryptococcus neoformans and, since then, they were characterized in several pathogenic and non-pathogenic fungal species. Cryptococcal EVs participate in the export of virulence factors that directly impact the Cryptococcus–host interaction. Our knowledge of the biogenesis and pathogenic roles of Cryptococcus EVs is still limited, but recent methodological and scientific advances have improved our understanding of how cryptococcal EVs participate in both physiological and pathogenic events. In this review, we will discuss the importance of cryptococcal EVs, including early historical studies suggesting their existence in Cryptococcus, their putative mechanisms of biogenesis, methods of isolation, and possible roles in the interaction with host cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis of Cryptococcus neoformans)
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Open AccessArticle
Role of TRP Channels in Shaping the Gut Microbiome
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 753; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090753 - 16 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 917
Abstract
Transient receptor potential (TRP) channel family proteins are sensors for pain, which sense a variety of thermal and noxious chemicals. Sensory neurons innervating the gut abundantly express TRPA1 and TRPV1 channels and are in close proximity of gut microbes. Emerging evidence indicates a [...] Read more.
Transient receptor potential (TRP) channel family proteins are sensors for pain, which sense a variety of thermal and noxious chemicals. Sensory neurons innervating the gut abundantly express TRPA1 and TRPV1 channels and are in close proximity of gut microbes. Emerging evidence indicates a bi-directional gut–brain cross-talk in several entero-neuronal pathologies; however, the direct evidence of TRP channels interacting with gut microbial populations is lacking. Herein, we examine whether and how the knockout (KO) of TRPA1 and TRPV1 channels individually or combined TRPA1/V1 double-knockout (dKO) impacts the gut microbiome in mice. We detect distinct microbiome clusters among the three KO mouse models versus wild-type (WT) mice. All three TRP-KO models have reduced microbial diversity, harbor higher abundance of Bacteroidetes, and a reduced proportion of Firmicutes. Specifically distinct arrays in the KO models are determined mainly by S24-7, Bacteroidaceae, Clostridiales, Prevotellaceae, Helicobacteriaceae, Rikenellaceae, and Ruminococcaceae. A1KO mice have lower Prevotella, Desulfovibrio, Bacteroides, Helicobacter and higher Rikenellaceae and Tenericutes; V1KO mice demonstrate higher Ruminococcaceae, Lachnospiraceae, Ruminococcus, Desulfovibrio and Mucispirillum; and A1V1dKO mice exhibit higher Bacteroidetes, Bacteroides and S24-7 and lower Firmicutes, Ruminococcaceae, Oscillospira, Lactobacillus and Sutterella abundance. Furthermore, the abundance of taxa involved in biosynthesis of lipids and primary and secondary bile acids is higher while that of fatty acid biosynthesis-associated taxa is lower in all KO groups. To our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating distinct gut microbiome signatures in TRPA1, V1 and dKO models and should facilitate prospective studies exploring novel diagnostic/ therapeutic modalities regarding the pathophysiology of TRP channel proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Pathogens)
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Open AccessEditorial
Pathogenesis and Virulence of Candida albicans and Candida glabrata
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 752; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090752 - 16 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 727
Abstract
Fungal infections in humans have historically received comparatively less attention than those caused by bacteria and viruses. This may, in part, stem from the relative differences in infection prevalence. However, the more widespread use of immunosuppressive therapy, invasive surgery and medical devices in [...] Read more.
Fungal infections in humans have historically received comparatively less attention than those caused by bacteria and viruses. This may, in part, stem from the relative differences in infection prevalence. However, the more widespread use of immunosuppressive therapy, invasive surgery and medical devices in modern medicine has resulted in a more frequent occurrence of human fungal infection. There are a number of fungi that can cause human disease. However, it is arguably a species of the genus Candida that are most often encountered. There are over 150 Candida species that are widely encountered in the environment and in animal hosts, however, only a small number are opportunistic pathogens of humans. Candida albicans is a polymorphic yeast-like fungus and undoubtedly the species most often recovered from human infection. As such, the virulence of C. albicans and its susceptibility to antifungal agents are often investigated. More recently, the prevalence of infections caused by non-C. albicansCandida species have increased and, amongst these, infections caused by Candida glabrata have received attention given its often-higher tolerance to frequently used antifungals exhibited by this species. The papers presented in this Special Issue have focused on aspects relating to host responses to Candida infection, the efficacy of novel therapeutic agents and also treatment regimes. The papers highlight novel findings in their respective areas, whilst also highlighting the need for further research in these key and largely under-researched areas of candidoses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis and Virulence of Candida albicans and Candida glabrata)
Open AccessArticle
Elevated Baseline Salivary Protease Activity May Predict the Steadiness of Gingival Inflammation During Periodontal Healing: A 12-Week Follow-Up Study on Adults
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 751; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090751 - 15 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 626
Abstract
Aim was to profile salivary total protease, Porphyromonas gingivalis gingipain, and neutrophil elastase activities in relation to the resolution of periodontal inflammation, salivary macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC), and macrophage inflammatory protein-1α concentrations. Nonsurgical periodontal treatment was performed in 24 periodontitis patients in a prospective [...] Read more.
Aim was to profile salivary total protease, Porphyromonas gingivalis gingipain, and neutrophil elastase activities in relation to the resolution of periodontal inflammation, salivary macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC), and macrophage inflammatory protein-1α concentrations. Nonsurgical periodontal treatment was performed in 24 periodontitis patients in a prospective interventional study design. Periodontal clinical parameters were recorded, and stimulated saliva samples were collected at baseline and 2, 6, and 12 weeks after treatment. Salivary total protease and gingipain activities were determined using fluorogenic substrates, elastase activity by chromogenic substrates, and cytokine concentrations by Luminex immunoassay. For statistical analyses, generalized linear mixed models for repeated measures were used. Salivary total protease activity elevated, while gingival inflammation and plaque accumulation decreased 2 and 6 weeks after periodontal therapy. Salivary MDC concentration was elevated 12 weeks after periodontal treatment. Patients with elevated protease activities at baseline in comparison to patients with low baseline total protease activities, had higher levels of gingival inflammation before and after periodontal treatment. In conclusion, elevations in salivary total protease activity seem to be part of periodontal healing at its early phases. Higher levels of salivary total protease activities before periodontal treatment may predict the severity and steadiness of unresolved gingival inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral Immunology and Periodontitis)
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Open AccessReview
On the History and Applications of Congenic Strains in Cryptococcus Research
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 750; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090750 - 15 Sep 2020
Viewed by 656
Abstract
Congenic strains have been utilized in numerous model organisms to determine the genetic underpinning of various phenotypic traits. Congenic strains are usually derived after 10 backcrosses to a recipient parent, at which point they are 99.95% genetically identical to the parental strain. In [...] Read more.
Congenic strains have been utilized in numerous model organisms to determine the genetic underpinning of various phenotypic traits. Congenic strains are usually derived after 10 backcrosses to a recipient parent, at which point they are 99.95% genetically identical to the parental strain. In recent decades, congenic pairs have provided an invaluable tool for genetics and molecular biology research in the Cryptococcus neoformans species complex. Here, we summarize the history of Cryptococcus congenic pairs and their application in Cryptococcus research on topics including the impact of the mating type locus on unisexual reproduction, virulence, tissue tropism, uniparental mitochondrial inheritance, and the genetic underpinning of other various traits. We also discuss the limitations of these approaches and other biological questions, which could be explored by employing congenic pairs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis of Cryptococcus neoformans)
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Open AccessArticle
Proteomic Characterization of Host-Pathogen Interactions during Bovine Trophoblast Cell Line Infection by Neospora caninum
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 749; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090749 - 15 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 686
Abstract
Despite the importance of bovine neosporosis, relevant knowledge gaps remain concerning the pathogenic mechanisms of Neospora caninum. Infection of the placenta is a crucial event in the pathogenesis of the disease; however, very little is known about the relation of the parasite [...] Read more.
Despite the importance of bovine neosporosis, relevant knowledge gaps remain concerning the pathogenic mechanisms of Neospora caninum. Infection of the placenta is a crucial event in the pathogenesis of the disease; however, very little is known about the relation of the parasite with this target organ. Recent studies have shown that isolates with important variations in virulence also show different interactions with the bovine trophoblast cell line F3 in terms of proliferative capacity and transcriptome host cell modulation. Herein, we used the same model of infection to study the interaction of Neospora with these target cells at the proteomic level using LC-MS/MS over the course of the parasite lytic cycle. We also analysed the proteome differences between high- (Nc-Spain7) and low-virulence (Nc-Spain1H) isolates. The results showed that mitochondrial processes and metabolism were the main points of Neospora-host interactions. Interestingly, Nc-Spain1H infection showed a higher level of influence on the host cell proteome than Nc-Spain7 infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neospora Caninum: Infection and Immunity)
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Open AccessArticle
High Genotypic Diversity, Putative New Types and Intra-Genotype Variants of Bovine Papillomavirus in Northeast Brazil
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090748 - 15 Sep 2020
Viewed by 773
Abstract
Bovine papillomavirus (BPV) can cause damage to the epithelial and mucosal tissue and currently presents 28 known types. Not all BPV types are associated with the development of cancer in cattle. Studies have shown that variants of human papillomavirus types can present different [...] Read more.
Bovine papillomavirus (BPV) can cause damage to the epithelial and mucosal tissue and currently presents 28 known types. Not all BPV types are associated with the development of cancer in cattle. Studies have shown that variants of human papillomavirus types can present different pathogenic profiles. However, despite the similarity, it is not yet known whether variants of BPV types can also present varying degrees of pathogenicity. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the genetic variability of BPV types and variants isolated in Northeastern Brazil. Samples were obtained from animals with papillomatous lesions. BPV DNA was detected by the amplification of the L1 gene and genotyping was performed by sequencing. Mutations were analyzed in a phylogenetic, structural and functional context. In total, 52 positive samples were obtained and 11 different BPV types were identified in the samples. Ten putative new BPV types were also identified. In addition, several non-synonymous mutations were identified and predicted to alter protein stability, having an impact on immune evasion. The study demonstrated a high genetic diversity of BPV in the region with a large number of mutations identified, serving as a basis for more efficient control measures to be adopted for bovine papillomatosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bovine Papillomavirus Infection)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Potential Drug Targets in Helicobacter pylori Using In Silico Subtractive Proteomics Approaches and Their Possible Inhibition through Drug Repurposing
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 747; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090747 - 12 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 883
Abstract
The class 1 carcinogen, Helicobacter pylori, is one of the World Health Organization’s high priority pathogens for antimicrobial development. We used three subtractive proteomics approaches using protein pools retrieved from: chokepoint reactions in the BIOCYC database, the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and [...] Read more.
The class 1 carcinogen, Helicobacter pylori, is one of the World Health Organization’s high priority pathogens for antimicrobial development. We used three subtractive proteomics approaches using protein pools retrieved from: chokepoint reactions in the BIOCYC database, the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes, and the database of essential genes (DEG), to find putative drug targets and their inhibition by drug repurposing. The subtractive channels included non-homology to human proteome, essentiality analysis, sub-cellular localization prediction, conservation, lack of similarity to gut flora, druggability, and broad-spectrum activity. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of three selected ligands was determined to confirm anti-helicobacter activity. Seventeen protein targets were retrieved. They are involved in motility, cell wall biosynthesis, processing of environmental and genetic information, and synthesis and metabolism of secondary metabolites, amino acids, vitamins, and cofactors. The DEG protein pool approach was superior, as it retrieved all drug targets identified by the other two approaches. Binding ligands (n = 42) were mostly small non-antibiotic compounds. Citric, dipicolinic, and pyrophosphoric acid inhibited H. pylori at an MIC of 1.5–2.5 mg/mL. In conclusion, we identified potential drug targets in H. pylori, and repurposed their binding ligands as possible anti-helicobacter agents, saving time and effort required for the development of new antimicrobial compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Vaccines and Therapeutic Developments)
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Open AccessCommunication
New SARS-CoV-2 Infection Detected in an Italian Pet Cat by RT-qPCR from Deep Pharyngeal Swab
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090746 - 11 Sep 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1232
Abstract
The pandemic respiratory disease COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), emerged in Wuhan in December 2019 and then spread throughout the world; Italy was the most affected European country. Despite close pet–human contact, little is known about the predisposition [...] Read more.
The pandemic respiratory disease COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), emerged in Wuhan in December 2019 and then spread throughout the world; Italy was the most affected European country. Despite close pet–human contact, little is known about the predisposition of pets to SARS-CoV-2. Among these, felines are the most susceptible. In this study, a domestic cat with clear clinical signs of pneumonia, confirmed by Rx imaging, was found to be infected by SARS-CoV-2 using quantitative RT–qPCR from a nasal swab. This is the first Italian study responding to the request of the scientific community to focus attention on the possible role of pets as a viral reservoir. An important question remains unanswered: did the cat actually die due to SARS-CoV-2 infection? Full article
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