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Critical Reviews in Microbiology

Amir Saber, Beitollah Alipour, Zeinab Faghfoori, Ahmad Yari Khosroushahi
The cancer is one of the main causes of human deaths worldwide. The exact mechanisms of initiation and progression of malignancies are not clear yet, but there is a common agreement about the role of colonic microbiota in the etiology of different cancers. Probiotics have been examined for their anti-cancer effects, and different mechanisms have been suggested about their antitumor functions. Nonpathogenic yeasts, as members of probiotics family, can be effective on gut microbiota dysbiosis. Generally safe yeasts have shown so many beneficial effects on human health...
August 25, 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Panchanathan Manivasagan, Seung Yun Nam, Junghwan Oh
The use of marine microorganisms as potential biofactories for green synthesis of metallic nanoparticles is a relatively new field of research with considerable prospects. This method is eco-friendly, time saving, and inexpensive and can be easily scaled up for large-scale synthesis. The increasing need to develop simple, nontoxic, clean, and environmentally safe production methods for nanoparticles and to decrease environmental impact, minimize waste, and increase energy productivity has become important in this field...
November 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Konrad Krysiak-Baltyn, Gregory J O Martin, Anthony D Stickland, Peter J Scales, Sally L Gras
The use of phages to control and reduce numbers of unwanted bacteria can be traced back to the early 1900s, when phages were explored as a tool to treat infections before the wide scale use of antibiotics. Recently, phage therapy has received renewed interest as a method to treat multiresistant bacteria. Phages are also widely used in the food industry to prevent the growth of certain bacteria in foods, and are currently being explored as a tool for use in bioremediation and wastewater treatment. Despite the large body of biological research on phages, relatively little attention has been given to computational modeling of the population dynamics of phage and bacterial interactions...
November 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Jennifer L Edwards, Michael P Jennings, Michael A Apicella, Kate L Seib
Gonorrhea is a major, global public health problem for which there is no vaccine. The continuing emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains raises concerns that untreatable Neisseria gonorrhoeae may become widespread in the near future. Consequently, there is an urgent need for increased efforts towards the development of new anti-gonococcal therapeutics and vaccines, as well as suitable models for potential pre-clinical vaccine trials. Several current issues regarding gonorrhea are discussed herein, including the global burden of disease, the emergence of antibiotic-resistance, the status of vaccine development and, in particular, a focus on the model systems available to evaluate drug and vaccine candidates...
November 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Bijender Singh, Marcio J Poças-Fonseca, B N Johri, Tulasi Satyanarayana
Thermophilic molds thrive in a variety of natural habitats including soils, composts, wood chip piles, nesting materials of birds and other animals, municipal refuse and others, and ubiquitous in their distribution. These molds grow in simple media containing carbon and nitrogen sources and mineral salts. Polyamines are synthesized in these molds and the composition of lipids varies considerably, predominantly containing palmitic, oleic and linoleic acids with low levels of lauric, palmiotoleic and stearic acids...
November 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Stefanie Roberfroid, Jos Vanderleyden, Hans Steenackers
During the last decade it has been shown that among cell variation in gene expression plays an important role within clonal populations. Here, we provide an overview of the different mechanisms contributing to gene expression variability in clonal populations. These are ranging from inherent variations in the biochemical process of gene expression itself, such as intrinsic noise, extrinsic noise and bistability to individual responses to variations in the local micro-environment, a phenomenon called phenotypic plasticity...
November 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Bruna Gonçalves, Carina Ferreira, Carlos Tiago Alves, Mariana Henriques, Joana Azeredo, Sónia Silva
Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is an infection caused by Candida species that affects millions of women every year. Although Candida albicans is the main cause of VVC, the identification of non-Candida albicans Candida (NCAC) species, especially Candida glabrata, as the cause of this infection, appears to be increasing. The development of VVC is usually attributed to the disturbance of the balance between Candida vaginal colonization and host environment by physiological or nonphysiological changes. Several host-related and behavioral risk factors have been proposed as predisposing factors for VVC...
November 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Gabriella Caruso, Rosabruna La Ferla, Maurizio Azzaro, Annamaria Zoppini, Giovanna Marino, Tommaso Petochi, Cinzia Corinaldesi, Marcella Leonardi, Renata Zaccone, Serena Fonda Umani, Carmela Caroppo, Luis Monticelli, Filippo Azzaro, Franco Decembrini, Giovanna Maimone, Rosa Anna Cavallo, Loredana Stabili, Nadezhda Hristova Todorova, Ventzislav K Karamfilov, Eugenio Rastelli, Simone Cappello, Maria Immacolata Acquaviva, Marcella Narracci, Roberta De Angelis, Paola Del Negro, Mario Latini, Roberto Danovaro
The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008/56/EC (MSFD) defines a framework for Community actions in the field of marine environmental policy in order to achieve and/or maintain the Good Environmental Status (GES) of the European seas by 2020. Microbial assemblages (from viruses to microbial-sized metazoa) provide a major contribution to global biodiversity and play a crucial role in the functioning of marine ecosystems, but are largely ignored by the MSFD. Prokaryotes are only seen as "microbial pathogens," without defining their role in GES indicators...
November 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Marijke Peetermans, Thomas Vanassche, Laurens Liesenborghs, Roger H Lijnen, Peter Verhamme
Both coagulation and fibrinolysis are tightly connected with the innate immune system. Infection and inflammation cause profound alterations in the otherwise well-controlled balance between coagulation and fibrinolysis. Many pathogenic bacteria directly exploit the host's hemostatic system to increase their virulence. Here, we review the capacity of bacteria to activate plasminogen. The resulting proteolytic activity allows them to breach tissue barriers and evade innate immune defense, thus promoting bacterial spreading...
November 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Anna Davydova, Maria Vorobjeva, Dmitrii Pyshnyi, Sidney Altman, Valentin Vlassov, Alya Venyaminova
An important current issue of modern molecular medicine and biotechnology is the search for new approaches to early diagnostic assays and adequate therapy of infectious diseases. One of the promising solutions to this problem might be a development of nucleic acid aptamers capable of interacting specifically with bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. Such aptamers can be used for the specific recognition of infectious agents as well as for blocking of their functions. The present review summarizes various modern SELEX techniques used in this field, and of several currently identified aptamers against viral particles and unicellular organisms, and their applications...
November 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Jessica C Song, David A Stevens
Over the past decade, echinocandins have emerged as first-line antifungal agents for many Candida infections. The echinocandins have a unique mechanism of action, inhibiting the synthesis of β-1,3-d-glucan polymers, key components of the cell wall in pathogenic fungi. Caspofungin was the first echinocandin antifungal agent to become licensed for use. The objectives of this review are to summarize the existing published data on caspofungin, under the subject headings of chemistry and mechanism of action, spectrum of activity, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, clinical studies, safety, drug interactions, dosing, and an overview of the drug's current place in therapy...
September 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Margarita K Lay, Susan M Bueno, Nicolás Gálvez, Claudia A Riedel, Alexis M Kalergis
The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most prevalent etiological agent of lower respiratory tract infections and the first cause of hospitalization in infants due to respiratory disease worldwide. However, efforts to develop safe and effective vaccines and antivirals have been challenged by an incomplete understanding of the RSV pathogenesis and the host immune response to RSV infection in the airways. Here, we discuss recent advances in understanding the interaction between RSV and the epithelium to induce pathogenesis in the airways, such as the role of the RSV NS2 protein in the airway epithelium, as well as the events involved in the RSV entry process...
September 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Zhaogang Sun, Weimin Li, Shaofa Xu, Hairong Huang
The method of genotyping by variable number tandem repeats (VNTRs) facilitates the epidemiological studies of different Mycobacterium species worldwide. Until now, the VNTR method is not fully understood, for example, its discovery, function and classification. The inconsistent nomenclature and terminology of VNTR is especially confusing. In this review, we first describe in detail the VNTRs in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis), as this pathogen resulted in more deaths than any other microbial pathogen as well as for which extensive studies of VNTRs were carried out, and then we outline the recent progress of the VNTR-related epidemiological research in several other Mycobacterium species, such as M...
September 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Mahendra Rai, Avinash P Ingle, Sonal Birla, Alka Yadav, Carolina Alves Dos Santos
Noble metals and their compounds have been used as therapeutic agents from the ancient time in medicine for the treatment of various infections. Recently, much progress has been made in the field of nanobiotechnology towards the development of different kinds of nanomaterials with a wide range of applications. Among the metal nanoparticles, noble metal nanoparticles have demonstrated potential biomedical applications. Due to the small size, nanoparticles can easily interact with biomolecules both at surface and inside cells, yielding better signals and target specificity for diagnostics and therapeutics...
September 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Yih-Ling Tzeng, Jennifer Thomas, David S Stephens
Neisseria meningitidis, a devastating pathogen exclusive to humans, expresses capsular polysaccharides that are the major meningococcal virulence determinants and the basis for successful meningococcal vaccines. With rare exceptions, the expression of capsule (serogroups A, B, C, W, X, Y) is required for systemic invasive meningococcal disease. Changes in capsule expression or structure (e.g. hypo- or hyper-encapsulation, capsule "switching", acetylation) can influence immunologic diagnostic assays or lead to immune escape...
September 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Alison J Carey, Chee K Tan, Deepak S Ipe, Matthew J Sullivan, Allan W Cripps, Mark A Schembri, Glen C Ulett
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common bacterial infections in humans. Murine models of human UTI are vital experimental tools that have helped to elucidate UTI pathogenesis and advance knowledge of potential treatment and infection prevention strategies. Fundamentally, several variables are inherent in different murine models, and understanding the limitations of these variables provides an opportunity to understand how models may be best applied to research aimed at mimicking human disease...
September 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Melina Kachrimanidou, Theopisti Sarmourli, Lemonia Skoura, Symeon Metallidis, Nikolaos Malisiovas
Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is an important cause of mortality and morbidity in healthcare settings and represents a major social and economic burden. The major virulence determinants are large clostridial toxins, toxin A (TcdA) and toxin B (TcdB), encoded within the pathogenicity locus. Traditional therapies, such as metronidazole and vancomycin, frequently lead to a vicious circle of recurrences due to their action against normal human microbiome. New disease management strategies together with the development of novel therapeutic and containment approaches are needed in order to better control outbreaks and treat patients...
September 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Prajna Rao Krishnapura, Prasanna D Belur, Sandeep Subramanya
l-Asparaginase is one of the main drugs used in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a commonly diagnosed pediatric cancer. Although several microorganisms are found to produce l-asparaginase, only the purified enzymes from E. coli and Erwinia chrysanthemi are employed in the clinical and therapeutic applications in humans. However, their therapeutic response seldom occurs without some evidence of hypersensitivity and other toxic side effects. l-Asparaginase is also of prospective use in food industry to reduce the formation of acrylamide in fried, roasted or baked food products...
September 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Kai Zheng, Kaio Kitazato, Yifei Wang, Zhendan He
Actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin proteins are key players in controlling the temporal and spatial extent of actin dynamics, which is crucial for mediating host-pathogen interactions. Pathogenic microbes have evolved molecular mechanisms to manipulate cofilin activity to subvert the actin cytoskeletal system in host cells, promoting their internalization into the target cells, modifying the replication niche and facilitating their intracellular and intercellular dissemination. The study of how these pathogens exploit cofilin pathways is crucial for understanding infectious disease and providing potential targets for drug therapies...
September 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Christopher A Baker, Peter M Rubinelli, Si Hong Park, Steven C Ricke
Certain pathogenic Escherichia coli known as Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing E. coli (STEC) are a public health threat to the consumer, and are problematic for the food industry. Food products containing STEC are deemed unfit for human consumption, and STEC illnesses can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a disease affecting the kidneys in susceptible individuals. Optimizing detection methods in foods have been focused on more prompt and accurate analysis. This review addresses the role and applications of immuno-based assays for STEC detection in food systems...
August 2016: Critical Reviews in Microbiology
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