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Microbes and Infection

Cheryl Yi-Pin Lee, Lisa F P Ng
Despite being discovered approximately 70 years ago, Zika virus (ZIKV) has received little attention, until the occurrence of alarming epidemics in the Pacific Islands and Latin America between 2013 and 2016. These series of outbreaks resulted in crippling neurological complications in adults, and congenital deformities in new-borns. The dire outcomes marked ZIKV as a re-emerging pathogen of public health concern. Over a period of two years, extensive studies have been conducted to understand different aspects of ZIKV from pathogen biology to infection, including the immune response during virus-host interplay in established animal models, as well as potential therapeutics against ZIKV infection...
March 9, 2018: Microbes and Infection
Etienne Ruppé, Jacques Schrenzel
Clinical metagenomics (CMg) refers to as the application of metagenomic sequencing of clinical samples in order to recover clinically-relevant information. Due to the increasing access to next-generation sequencing (NGS) facilities, CMg is a gast-growing field. In this context, we held the second International Conference on Clinical Metagenomics (ICCMg2) in Geneva in October 2017. During the two days of the conference, several aspects of CMg were addressed, which we propose to summarize in the present manuscript...
March 7, 2018: Microbes and Infection
Jose Luiz Proenca-Modena, Guilherme Paier Milanez, Maria Laura Costa, Carla C Judice, Fabio Trindade Maranhão Costa
Zika virus (ZIKV) greatly impacted the international scientific and public health communities in the last two years due to its association with microcephaly and other neonatal alterations. This review will discuss lessons learned from viral pathogenesis, epidemiology and clinical findings observed during the ZIKV outbreak occurred between 2014 and 2016 in Brazil.
February 28, 2018: Microbes and Infection
Saskia Lehr, Juliane Vier, Georg Häcker, Susanne Kirschnek
The obligate intracellular bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common bacterial agent of sexually transmitted disease world-wide. Chlamydia trachomatis primarily infects epithelial cells of the genital tract but the infection may be associated with ascending infection. Infection-associated inflammation can cause tissue damage resulting in female infertility and ectopic pregnancy. The precise mechanism of inflammatory tissue damage is unclear but earlier studies implicate the chlamydial cryptic plasmid as well as responding neutrophils...
February 27, 2018: Microbes and Infection
Sophia Häfner, Erik Fumi
Article highlight based on "Bioluminescent tracing of a Yersinia pestis pCD1+-mutant and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in subcutaneously infected mice" by Yazhou Zhou et al.
February 24, 2018: Microbes and Infection
Sébastien Boyer, Elodie Calvez, Thais Chouin-Carneiro, Diawo Diallo, Failloux Anna-Bella
The mosquito-borne arbovirus Zika virus (ZIKV, Flavivirus, Flaviviridae), has caused an outbreak impressive by its magnitude and rapid spread. First detected in Uganda in Africa in 1947, from where it spread to Asia in the 1960s, it emerged in 2007 on the Yap Island in Micronesia and hit most islands in the Pacific region in 2013. Subsequently, ZIKV was detected in the Caribbean, and Central and South America in 2015, and reached North America in 2016. Although ZIKV infections are in general asymptomatic or causing mild self-limiting illness, severe symptoms have been described including neurological disorders and microcephaly in newborns...
February 23, 2018: Microbes and Infection
Sarawut Khongwichit, Nitwara Wikan, Prasert Auewarakul, Duncan R Smith
This review examines the historic reports of the presence of Zika virus (ZIKV) in Thailand, as well as collates such information as exists on the current situation in Thailand with regards to ZIKV. We suggest that considerable caution must be applied in interpreting early serological studies, but that ZIKV is presently circulating over much of Thailand, with increasing numbers of cases being reported.
February 22, 2018: Microbes and Infection
D Zamith-Miranda, L Nimrichter, M L Rodrigues, J D Nosanchuk
The secretion of biomolecules by fungal cells occurs via the conventional export of signal peptide-coupled soluble molecules, but it also results from transport within extracellular vesicles (EV). During the last ten years since the description of this non-conventional secretion pathway, varied, interesting biological roles have been associated with EV release by fungi. The various organic molecules carried by these structures are involved in pathogenesis and immune evasion, and may be associated with cell-cell communication...
February 19, 2018: Microbes and Infection
Anaïs Thiriard, Dominique Raze, Camille Locht
The complement cascade participates in protection against bacterial infection and pathogens, including Bordetella pertussis, have developed complement-evading strategies. Here we discuss current knowledge on B. pertussis complement evasion strategies and the role of antibody-dependent complement-mediated killing in protection against B. pertussis infection pointing out important knowledge gaps for further research to improve current pertussis vaccines.
February 14, 2018: Microbes and Infection
Frédérique Vernel-Pauillac, Catherine Werts
What are the new approaches and emerging ideas to prevent leptospirosis, a neglected bacterial re-emerging zoonotic disease? How do Leptospira interrogans escape the host defenses? We aim here to review and discuss the most recent literature that provides some answers to these questions, in particular data related to a better understanding of adaptive and innate immunity towards leptospires, and design of vaccines. This is an opinion paper, not a comprehensive review. We will try to highlight the new strategies and technologies boosting the search for drugs and vaccines...
February 13, 2018: Microbes and Infection
Nathalie Loeper, Simon Graspeuntner, Jan Rupp
The integrity of the human urogenital microbiome is crucial for women's health and well-being. An imbalance of the urogenital microbiota increases the risk for sexually transmitted infections. In this review, we discuss the microbiota composition of the female urogenital tract and its role in protecting from sexually transmitted infections and the emergence of pelvic inflammatory disease.
February 13, 2018: Microbes and Infection
Shijun Li, Ming Wang, David M Ojcius, Bijun Zhou, Weilin Hu, Ying Liu, Qing Ma, Guangpeng Tang, Dingming Wang, Jie Yan
Leptospirosis is a worldwide zoonosis caused by spirochetes from the genus Leptospira. Although there is a large diversity of clinical signs and symptoms, a severe inflammatory response is common to all leptospirosis patients. The mechanism of IL-1βß secretion during Leptospira infection has been previously studied in mouse macrophages. However, the outcome of Leptospira infection is very different in human and murine macrophages, and the mechanisms responsible for IL-1β secretion in human macrophages had not been investigated...
February 9, 2018: Microbes and Infection
Mostafa Rahnama, Kenneth A Fields
The intonation "The king is dead, long live the king" aptly describes the state of Chlamydia research. Genetic-based approaches are rapidly replacing correlative strategies to provide new insights. We describe how current transformation technologies are enhancing progress in understanding Chlamydia infection biology and present key opportunities for further development.
February 1, 2018: Microbes and Infection
Phanramphoei N Frantz, Samaporn Teeravechyan, Frédéric Tangy
Infectious disease epidemics match wars and natural disasters in their capacity to threaten lives and damage economies. Like SARS previously and Zika recently, the Ebola crisis in 2015 showed how vulnerable the world is to these epidemics, with over 11,000 people dying in the outbreak. In addition to causing immense human suffering, these epidemics particularly affect low- and middle-income countries. Many of these deadly infectious diseases that have epidemic potential can become global health emergencies in the absence of effective vaccines...
January 31, 2018: Microbes and Infection
Weigel W A, P Dersch
Growing knowledge of the complexity of the host-pathogen interactions during the course of an infection revealed an amazing variability of bacterial pathogens within the same host tissue site. This heterogeneity in bacterial populations is either the result of a different bacterial response to a slightly divergent tissue microenvironment or is caused by a genetic circuit in which small endogenous fluctuations in a small number of transcription factors drive gene expression in combination with a positive feedback loop...
January 31, 2018: Microbes and Infection
Cassandra L Olds, Elizabeth K K Glennon, Shirley Luckhart
Few biological molecules have as far reaching and dynamic effects as abscisic acid (ABA). In this review, we draw together the often segregated fields of plant, animal, and human biology to highlight ABA biosynthesis, signaling and physiological effects with examples of host-pathogen interactions to emphasize the cross-kingdom biology of this ancient signaling molecule.
January 31, 2018: Microbes and Infection
Larry K Kociolek, Dale N Gerding, David W Hecht, Egon A Ozer
Clostridium difficile PCR ribotype 106 (also identified as restriction endonuclease analysis [REA] group DH) recently emerged as the most common strain causing C. difficile infection (CDI) among US adults. We previously identified this strain predominating our pediatric cohort. Pediatric clinical CDI isolates previously characterized by REA underwent antibiotic resistance testing and whole genome sequencing. Of 134 isolates collected from children, 31 (23%) were REA group DH. We performed a comparative genomics analysis to identify DH-associated accessory genes...
January 29, 2018: Microbes and Infection
Abhineet S Sheoran, Ruby Pina-Mimbela, Alison Keleher, Donald Girouard, Saul Tzipori
Cryptosporidium hominis and C. parvum are the major Cryptosporidium species that infect humans. Earlier studies in gnotobiotic piglets, model susceptible to both, showed that piglets recovered from infection with C. hominis were fully protected against challenge with same species but incompletely protected against C. parvum challenge. In the present study, piglets were infected with C. parvum first, and after recovery were re-challenged with C. parvum or C. hominis. Again, full protection was only observed when piglets were challenged with the homologous parasite strain...
January 18, 2018: Microbes and Infection
Mariana T Q de Magalhães, Fábio S Mambelli, Bruno P O Santos, Suellen B Morais, Sergio C Oliveira
Proteins containing a Kunitz domain have the typical serine protease inhibition function ranging from sea anemone to man. Protease inhibitors play major roles in infection, inflammation disorders and cancer. This review discusses the role of serine proteases containing a Kunitz domain in immunomodulation induced by helminth parasites. Helminth parasites are associated with protection from inflammatory conditions. Therefore, interest has raised whether worm parasites or their products hold potential as drugs for treatment of immunological disorders...
January 18, 2018: Microbes and Infection
Mary M Weber, Robert Faris, Erin J van Schaik, James E Samuel
Coxiella burnetii is an obligate intracellular pathogen that replicates in an endolysosome-like compartment termed the Coxiella-containing vacuole (CCV). Formation of this unique replicative niche requires delivery of bacterial effector proteins into the host cytosol where they mediate crucial interactions with the host. We previously identified an essential Dot/Icm effector, CirA that is required for intracellular replication and CCV formation. Furthermore, CirA was shown to stimulate the GTPase activity of RhoA in vitro...
January 10, 2018: Microbes and Infection
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