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Current Opinion in Microbiology

Joshua M Lensmire, Neal D Hammer
Pathogens have evolved elegant mechanisms to acquire essential nutrients from host environments. Sulfur is a requirement for bacterial growth and inorganic and organic sulfur-containing metabolites are abundant within the host-pathogen interface. A growing body of evidence suggests that pathogens are capable of scavenging both types of sulfur sources to fulfill the nutritional requirement. While therapeutic strategies focusing on inhibiting inorganic sulfate assimilation and cysteine synthesis show promise in vitro, in vivo efficacy maybe limited due to the diversity of host-derived sulfur sources and the fact that most pathogens are capable of acquiring multiple sources of sulfur...
December 7, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Benjamin H Good, Oskar Hallatschek
Microbes evolve rapidly. Yet they do so in idiosyncratic ways, which depend on the specific mutations that are beneficial or deleterious in a given situation. At the same time, some population-level patterns of adaptation are strikingly similar across different microbial systems, suggesting that there may also be simple, quantitative principles that unite these diverse scenarios. We review the search for simple principles in microbial evolution, ranging from the biophysical level to emergent evolutionary dynamics...
December 6, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Linda J Kenney
After uptake by epithelial cells or engulfment by macrophages, Salmonella resides in an acidic vacuole. Salmonella senses this acidic compartment through the action of the EnvZ/OmpR two-component regulatory system. OmpR, in turn, represses the cadC/BA system, preventing neutralization of the bacterial cytoplasm. New, single cell techniques now enable us to observe that in response to acid stress, the pH is low in bacterial cells and acidification is critical for infection. Instead of recovering from acid stress, Salmonella uses acid pH as a signal to drive pathogenesis...
December 4, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Jeff Gore
There is a great deal of interest in discovering the principles that organize microbial communities, to better understand the structure and diversity of these communities in the natural world. Recent conceptual and technical advances have shown how simple organizing principles can give rise to surprising diversity and complex patterns in these consortia. Understanding competition, cooperation, and communication among microbes has provided novel insights into the structure and behavior of microbial collectives, and the use of simple animal models has advanced our understanding of microbial ecology in the host...
November 29, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Christina Yang, Karen M Ottemann
The epithelial cell layer of the major organs of the mammalian gastrointestinal (GI) tract is extensively invaginated into thousands of gland and crypt structures. These are lined by distinct sets of epithelial cells and may comprise discrete niches. The host maximizes the distance between the epithelial cell layer and GI-inhabiting microbes to limit inflammation, and these strategies also likely keep bacteria out of the glands and crypts. We discuss here the specific host processes that have been shown to restrict bacterial presence in the glands and crypts, specifically the immune system, acid, mucin, oxygen, and reactive oxygen species...
November 28, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Vishal C Kalel, Pascal Mäser, Michael Sattler, Ralf Erdmann, Grzegorz M Popowicz
Glycosomes evolved as specialized system for glycolysis in trypanosomatids. These organelle rely on protein import to maintain function. A machinery of peroxin (PEX) proteins is responsible for recognition and transport of glycosomal proteins to the organelle. Disruption of PEX-based import system was expected to be a strategy against trypanosomatids. Recently, a proof of this hypothesis has been presented. Here, we review current information about trypanosomatids' glycosomal transport components as targets for new trypanocidal therapies...
November 24, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Victoria Korolik
Campylobacter jejuni is a ubiquitous gastrointestinal pathogen, transmitted to humans from birds and animals, where C. jejuni is part of normal intestinal flora. In C. jejuni, similar to other motile bacteria, chemotaxis pathway and the array of chemosensors sense and respond to external stimuli with unique precision and sensitivity and are considered to be critical for bacterial colonisation and pathogenicity. Disruption of any component of the signal transduction pathway consisting of receptor-CheA/CheW-CheY-flagella cascade, the signal adaptation system, and even a loss of a single chemosensory receptor, dramatically reduce the ability of C...
November 23, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Leou Ismael Banla, Nita H Salzman, Christopher J Kristich
Enterococci are colonizers of the mammalian gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and normally live in healthy association with their human host. However, enterococci are also major causes of healthcare-acquired infections, prompting the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to declare vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) a serious threat to public health. Because of both intrinsic and acquired antibiotic resistance, enterococci proliferate in the GIT during antibiotic therapy, leading to dissemination and disease...
November 12, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Brittany R Ruhland, Michelle L Reniere
Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) is a Gram-positive bacterium that thrives in nature as a saprophyte and in the mammalian host as an intracellular pathogen. Both environments pose potential danger in the form of redox stress. In addition, endogenous reactive oxygen species (ROS) are continuously generated as by-products of aerobic metabolism. Redox stress from ROS can damage proteins, lipids, and DNA, making it highly advantageous for bacteria to evolve mechanisms to sense and detoxify ROS. This review focuses on the five redox-responsive regulators in Lm: OhrR (to sense organic hydroperoxides), PerR (peroxides), Rex (NAD+ /NADH homeostasis), SpxA1/2 (disulfide stress), and PrfA (redox stress during infection)...
November 6, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Joanne Wk Ku, Yunn-Hwen Gan
Glutathione is a low molecular weight thiol that is important for maintaining intracellular redox homeostasis. Some bacteria are able to import exogenous glutathione as a nutritional source and to counter oxidative stress. In cytosolic pathogens Burkholderia pseudomallei and Listeria monocytogenes, host glutathione regulates bacterial virulence. In B. pseudomallei, glutathione activates the membrane-bound histidine kinase sensor VirA that leads to activation of the Type VI Secretion System. In L. monocytogenes, host glutathione leads to the binding of bacterial glutathione to the master virulence regulator PrfA as an allosteric activator...
November 2, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Tomoko Kubori, Tomoe Kitao, Hiroki Nagai
Bacterial pathogens utilize eukaryotic cellular systems in various ways for their own benefits. To counteract host immune responses and survive in cells, bacteria modify host signaling pathways. For this aim, they have evolved virulence secretion systems. Bacteria-encoded effector proteins delivered via these secretion systems are the key players in bacterial pathogenesis. Ubiquitination is a post-translational modification that governs eukaryotic cellular systems. Recent studies have revealed that many bacterial effector proteins target the host ubiquitin system, often acting as ubiquitin-modulating enzymes such as ubiquitin ligases and deubiquitinases...
November 1, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Amit Tuli, Mahak Sharma
Pathogens have devised various strategies to alter the host endomembrane system towards building their replicative niche. This is aptly illustrated by Salmonella Typhimurium, whereby it remodels the host endolysosomal system to form a unique niche, also known as Salmonella-containing vacuole (SCV). Decades of research using in vitro cell-based infection studies have revealed intricate details of how Salmonella effectors target endocytic trafficking machinery of the host cell to acquire membrane and nutrients for bacterial replication...
November 1, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Usheer Kanjee, Gabriel W Rangel, Martha A Clark, Manoj T Duraisingh
Plasmodium vivax is uniquely restricted to invading reticulocytes, the youngest of red blood cells. Parasite invasion relies on the sequential deployment of multiple parasite invasion ligands. Correct targeting of the host reticulocyte is mediated by two families of invasion ligands: the reticulocyte binding proteins (RBPs) and erythrocyte binding proteins (EBPs). The Duffy receptor has long been established as a key determinant for P. vivax invasion. However, recently, the RBP protein PvRBP2b has been shown to bind to transferrin receptor, which is expressed on reticulocytes but lost on normocytes, implicating the ligand-receptor in the reticulocyte tropism of P...
October 23, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Terry Hwa, Uwe Sauer
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 17, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Shahid Siddique, Florian Mw Grundler
Cyst and root-knot nematodes, the two economically most important groups of plant parasitic nematodes, induce neoplastic feeding sites in the roots of their host plants. The formation of feeding sites is accompanied by large-scale transcriptomic, metabolomic, and structural changes in host plants. However, the mechanisms that lead to such remarkable changes have remained poorly understood until recently. Now, genomic and genetic analyses have greatly enhanced our understanding of all aspects of plant-nematode interaction...
October 13, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Mariana De Niz, Volker T Heussler
The use of rodents as model organisms to study human disease is based on the genetic and physiological similarities between the species. Successful molecular methods to generate transgenic reporter or humanized rodents has rendered rodents as powerful tools for understanding biological processes and host-pathogen interactions relevant to humans. In malaria research, rodent models have been pivotal for the study of liver stages, syndromes arising from blood stages of infection, and malaria transmission to and from the mammalian host...
October 11, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Matthew L Blank, Jon P Boyle
Locus expansion and diversification is pervasive in apicomplexan genomes and is predominantly found in loci encoding secreted proteins that interact with factors outside of the parasite. Key for understanding the impact of each of these loci on the host requires identification and functional characterization of their protein products, but these repetitive loci often are refractory to genome assembly. In this review we focus on Toxoplasma gondii and its nearest relatives to highlight the known impact of duplicated and diversified loci on our understanding of the host-pathogen molecular arms race...
October 11, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Mayowa Musah-Eroje, Robin J Flynn
Helminths parasites undergo developmental changes and migration within their definitive host, in addition to establishing chronic infection. Essential to this is the evasion of host immune responses; the canonical Th2 response is effective at removing parasites resident in the intestine. Conversely, helminths also promote the development of antigen-specific anergy and regulation. This often limits pathology but allows parasite survival, parasite effectors mediating this are the subject of intense study. They may be useful as future vaccine targets or xenogenic therapeutics...
October 11, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Akram M Salam, Cassandra L Quave
The continued spread of antimicrobial resistance represents one of the most serious infectious disease threats to global health. There is consensus that a key component of addressing this threat is to replenish the waning pipeline of antimicrobials, with attention being paid to novel mechanisms of action. This includes the development of new classes of classic bacteriostatic and bactericidal antibiotics as well as antivirulence drugs, and it is especially in these areas where plant natural products demonstrate great potential...
September 12, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Gilles P van Wezel, Gerald D Wright
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 31, 2018: Current Opinion in Microbiology
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