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Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology

Alexander E Lang, Sonja Kühn, Hans Georg Mannherz
Actin is one of the most abundant cellular proteins and an essential constituent of the actin cytoskeleton, which by its dynamic behavior participates in many cellular activities. The organization of the actin cytoskeleton is regulated by a large number of proteins and represents one of the major targets of bacterial toxins. A number of bacterial effector proteins directly modify actin: Clostridial bacteria produce toxins, which ADP-ribosylate actin at Arg177 leading to inhibition of actin polymerization. The bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens produces several types of protein toxins, including the high molecular weight Tc toxin complex, whose component TccC3 ADP-ribosylates actin at Thr148 promoting polymerization and aggregation of intracellular F-actin leading to inhibition of several cellular functions, such as phagocytosis...
October 19, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Xenia Naj, Stefan Linder
The spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi is the causative agent of Lyme disease, a multisystemic disorder affecting primarily skin, nervous system, and joints. If an infection with Borrelia proceeds unchecked, the disease can also enter a chronic stage, leading to the development of neuroborreliosis or cardiac arrhythmia. Successful elimination of B. burgdorferi by the host immune system is thus decisive for the positive outcome of a respective infection. Accordingly, host immune cells such as macrophages and dendritic cells have to be able to efficiently internalize and degrade infecting spirochetes...
October 16, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Masafumi Moriyama, Seiji Nakamura
IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD) is a systemic disease characterized by elevated serum IgG4 levels and a strong infiltration of IgG4-positive plasma cells in various organs. IgG4-RD patients also frequently suffer from allergic diseases, including asthma and atopic dermatitis. It is well known that T helper type 2 (Th2) cells have an important role in the initiation of allergic diseases, and Th2 cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 promote class switching to IgG4. Therefore, IgG4-RD is considered to be a Th2-predominant disease...
October 16, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Tomohiro Watanabe, Kouhei Yamashita, Masatoshi Kudo
An increased number of clinicopathological studies on autoimmune pancreatitis, cholangitis, and sialoadenitis have led to the recognition of immunoglobulin G4-related disease (IgG4-RD) as a novel disorder, characterized by elevated levels of serum IgG4 and infiltration of IgG4-expressing plasma cells in the affected organs. Although the immunological background associated with the development of IgG4-RD remains poorly understood, recent studies have suggested involvement of the innate immune response in its pathogenesis...
October 16, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Martin Aepfelbacher, Manuel Wolters
Pathogenic bacteria of the genus Yersinia include Y. pestis-the agent of plaque-and two enteropathogens, Y. enterocolitica, and Y. pseudotuberculosis. These pathogens have developed an array of virulence factors aimed at manipulating Rho GTP-binding proteins and the actin cytoskeleton in host cells to cross the intestinal barrier and suppress the immune system. Yersinia virulence factors include outer membrane proteins triggering cell invasion by binding to integrins, effector proteins injected into host cells to manipulate Rho protein functions and a Rho protein-activating exotoxin...
October 16, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Emmanuel Lemichez
The virulence of highly pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella, Yersinia, Staphylococci, Clostridia, and pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli involves intimate cross-talks with the host actin cytoskeleton and its upstream regulators. A large number of virulence factors expressed by these pathogens modulate Rho GTPase activities either by mimicking cellular regulators or by catalyzing posttranslational modifications of these small proteins. This impressive convergence of virulence toward Rho GTPases and actin indeed offers pathogens the capacity to breach host defenses and invade their host, while it promotes inflammatory reactions...
October 16, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Reuben Olaniyi, Clarissa Pozzi, Luca Grimaldi, Fabio Bagnoli
Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) are among the most common infections worldwide. They range in severity from minor, self-limiting, superficial infections to life-threatening diseases requiring all the resources of modern medicine. Community (CA) and healthcare (HA) acquired SSTIs are most commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus . They have variable presentations ranging from impetigo and folliculitis to surgical site infections (SSIs). Superficial SSTIs may lead to even more invasive infections such as bacteraemia and osteomyelitis...
October 16, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Theresia E B Stradal, Sonia C P Costa
A key aspect of bacterial pathogenesis is the colonization and persistence within the host and, later on, its dissemination to new niches. During evolution, bacteria developed a myriad of virulence mechanisms to usurp the host's sophisticated defense mechanisms in order to establish their colonization niche. Elucidation of the highly dynamic and complex interactions between host and pathogens remains an important field of study. Here, we highlight the conserved manipulation of the actin cytoskeleton by some Gram-negative gastrointestinal pathogens, addressing the role of type III secreted bacterial GEFs at the different steps of pathogenesis...
October 16, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Maren Seitz, Peter Valentin-Weigand, Jörg Willenborg
Use of antimicrobial agents in veterinary medicine is essential to control infectious diseases, thereby keeping animals healthy and animal products safe for the consumer. On the other hand, development and spread of antimicrobial resistance is of major concern for public health. Streptococcus (S.) suis reflects a typical bacterial pathogen in modern swine production due to its facultative pathogenic nature and wide spread in the pig population. Thus, in the present review we focus on certain current aspects and problems related to antimicrobial use and resistance in S...
October 15, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Kathrin I Mohr
For thousands of years people were delivered helplessly to various kinds of infections, which often reached epidemic proportions and have cost the lives of millions of people. This is precisely the age since mankind has been thinking of infectious diseases and the question of their causes. However, due to a lack of knowledge, the search for strategies to fight, heal, and prevent the spread of communicable diseases was unsuccessful for a long time. It was not until the discovery of the healing effects of (antibiotic producing) molds, the first microscopic observations of microorganisms in the seventeenth century, the refutation of the abiogenesis theory, and the dissolution of the question "What is the nature of infectious diseases?" that the first milestones within the history of antibiotics research were set...
October 15, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Ulrich Nübel
Driven by progress of DNA sequencing technologies, recent population genomics studies have revealed that several bacterial pathogens constitute 'measurably evolving populations'. As a consequence, it was possible to reconstruct the emergence and spatial spread of drug-resistant bacteria on the basis of temporally structured samples of bacterial genome sequences. Based on currently available data, some general inferences can be drawn across different bacterial species as follows: (1) Resistance to various antibiotics evolved years to decades earlier than had been anticipated on the basis of epidemiological surveillance data alone...
October 15, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Jennifer Herrmann, Tadeja Lukežič, Angela Kling, Sascha Baumann, Stephan Hüttel, Hrvoje Petković, Rolf Müller
Natural products continue to be a predominant source for new anti-infective agents. Research at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS) and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) is dedicated to the development of new lead structures against infectious diseases and, in particular, new antibiotics against hard-to-treat and multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens. In this chapter, we introduce some of the concepts currently being employed in the field of antibiotic discovery...
October 15, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Sophie Thiemann, Nathiana Smit, Till Strowig
The intestinal microbiota is a diverse ecosystem containing thousands of microbial species, whose metabolic activity affects many aspects of human physiology. Large-scale surveys have demonstrated that an individual's microbiota composition is shaped by factors such as diet and the use of medications, including antibiotics. Loss of overall diversity and in some cases loss of single groups of bacteria as a consequence of antibiotic treatment in humans has been associated with enhanced susceptibility toward gastrointestinal infections and with enhanced weight gain and obesity in young children...
October 15, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Wiebke Landwehr, Corinna Wolf, Joachim Wink
Bacteria have been by far the most promising resource for antibiotics in the past decades and will in all undoubtedly remain an important resource of innovative bioactive natural products in the future. Actinobacteria have been screened for many years, whereas the Myxobacteria have been underestimated in the past. Even though Actinobacteria belong to the Gram-positive and Myxobacteria to the Gram-negative bacteria both groups have a number of similar characters, as they both have huge genomes with in some cases more than 10kB and a high GC content and they both can differentiate and have often cell cycles including the formation of spores...
October 5, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Markus Kalesse, Andreas Böhm, Andi Kipper, Vanessa Wandelt
The synthesis of β-lactams, tetracyclines, and erythromycins as three of the major families of antibiotics will be described herein. We will describe why these antibiotics were the ultimate synthetic targets in the past and how modern synthetic organic chemistry has evolved to address these challenges with new, improved strategies and methods. An additional aspect we would like to highlight here is the fact that these first syntheses had to be particularly creative as most of the modern synthetic methods were not available at that time, or were developed in the course of these syntheses...
October 5, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Philipp Klahn, Mark Brönstrup
The development of bacterial resistance against current antibiotic drugs necessitates a continuous renewal of the arsenal of efficacious drugs. This imperative has not been met by the output of antibiotic research and development of the past decades for various reasons, including the declining efforts of large pharma companies in this area. Moreover, the majority of novel antibiotics are chemical derivatives of existing structures that represent mostly step innovations, implying that the available chemical space may be exhausted...
October 5, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Natalia Savelyeva, Alex Allen, Warayut Chotprakaikiat, Elena Harden, Jantipa Jobsri, Rosemary Godeseth, Yidao Wang, Freda Stevenson, Christian Ottensmeier
In the last decade, immunotherapy with monoclonal antibodies targeting immunological check points has become a breakthrough therapeutic modality for solid cancers. However, only up to 50 % of patients benefit from this powerful approach. For others vaccination might provide a plausible addition or alternative. For induction of effective anticancer immunity CD4+ T cell help is required, which is often difficult to induce to self cancer targets because of tolerogenic mechanisms. Our approach for cancer vaccines has been to incorporate into the vaccine design sequences able to activate foreign T cell help, through genetically linking cancer targets to microbial sequences (King et al...
October 5, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Helena Pillich, Madhu Puri, Trinad Chakraborty
Listeria monocytogenes is a ubiquitously occurring gram-positive bacterium in the environment that causes listeriosis, one of the deadliest foodborne infections known today. It is a versatile facultative intracellular pathogen capable of growth within the host's cytosolic compartment. Following entry into the host cell, L. monocytogenes escapes from vacuolar compartments to the cytosol, where the bacterium begins a remarkable journey within the host cytoplasm, culminating in bacterial spread from cell to cell, to deeper tissues and organs...
September 21, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Anna Klöckner, Henrike Bühl, Patrick Viollier, Beate Henrichfreise
The evolutionary separated Gram-negative Chlamydiales show a biphasic life cycle and replicate exclusively within eukaryotic host cells. Members of the genus Chlamydia are responsible for many acute and chronic diseases in humans, and Chlamydia-related bacteria are emerging pathogens. We revisit past efforts to detect cell wall material in Chlamydia and Chlamydia-related bacteria in the context of recent breakthroughs in elucidating the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms of the chlamydial cell wall biosynthesis...
September 21, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Shigeyuki Kawa
High serum immunoglobulin (Ig) G4 concentration and abundant IgG4-bearing plasma cell infiltration are characteristic features in autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP). AIP is also complicated with a variety of other organ involvements that commonly share marked IgG4-bearing plasma cell infiltration, suggesting the existence of a systemic disease associated with IgG4 currently recognized as IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD). However, it is controversial whether IgG4 plays a role in the pathogenesis of AIP or IgG4-RD through such characteristic attributes as Fab-arm exchange and rheumatoid factor (RF)-like activity...
September 21, 2016: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
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