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Microbiology Spectrum

Melanie Bennett, Derek W Gilroy
Lipids are potent signaling molecules that regulate a multitude of cellular responses, including cell growth and death and inflammation/infection, via receptor-mediated pathways. Derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), each lipid displays unique properties, thus making their role in inflammation distinct from that of other lipids derived from the same PUFA. This diversity arises from their synthesis, which occurs via discrete enzymatic pathways and because they elicit responses via different receptors...
November 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Daniel M Albert, Meisha L Raven
Ocular tuberculosis is an extrapulmonary mycobacterial infection with variable manifestations. The reported incidence of ocular involvement varies considerably, depending on the criteria used for diagnosis and the population sampled. However, tuberculosis is thought to affect the lungs in 80% of patients, with the remaining 20% being affected in other organs, such as the eye. It is imperative for physicians to consider this diagnosis in their differential, as ocular tuberculosis can present in a fashion similar to that of more common conditions causing ocular inflammation...
November 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Marvin J Bittner, Laurel C Preheim
The list of clinically important slow-growing nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) continues to expand as new species are identified and older ones are found to be pathogenic. Based on pigment production, the strains may be classified as photochromogenic, scotochromogenic, or unpigmented. Some of these organisms are not newly discovered but have heretofore been considered virtually nonpathogenic. Previously, many were regarded as contaminants when isolated from clinical specimens. Ubiquitous in nature, many NTM have been isolated from groundwater or tap water, soil, house dust, domestic and wild animals, and birds...
November 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Surinder K Jindal, Aditya Jindal, Ritesh Agarwal
Upper respiratory tract involvement in cases of tuberculosis (TB) of the head and neck continues to be described in the most recent reports from several different regions, including some from developed countries. Laryngeal TB is the most common of all forms of upper respiratory tract TB (URT-TB). Pulmonary lesions in URT-TB are present in about 20% of adults and about 50 to 60% of children. Systemic manifestations are uncommon. URT-TB is especially seen in patients with a variety of risk factors, such as the presence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, diabetes, smoking, alcoholism, drug abuse, malignancies, and use of immunosuppressive drugs...
November 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Andreas Nerlich
Malaria is a disease caused by parasites of the genus Plasmodium, transmitted through the bites of female anopheles flies. Plasmodium falciparum causes severe malaria with undulating high fever (malaria tropica). Literary evidence of malarial infection dates back to the early Greek period, when Hippocrates described the typical undulating fever highly suggestive of plasmodial infection. Recent immunological and molecular analyses describe the unambiguous identification of malarial infections in several ancient Egyptian mummies and a few isolated cases in Roman and Renaissance Europe...
November 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Stefan Niemann, Matthias Merker, Thomas Kohl, Philip Supply
Tuberculosis (TB) remains the most deadly bacterial infectious disease worldwide. Its treatment and control are threatened by increasing numbers of multidrug-resistant (MDR) or nearly untreatable extensively drug-resistant (XDR) strains. New concepts are therefore urgently needed to understand the factors driving the TB epidemics and the spread of different strain populations, especially in association with drug resistance. Classical genotyping and, more recently, whole-genome sequencing (WGS) revealed that the world population of tubercle bacilli is more diverse than previously thought...
November 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Neeraj Dhar, John McKinney, Giulia Manina
The interaction between the host and the pathogen is extremely complex and is affected by anatomical, physiological, and immunological diversity in the microenvironments, leading to phenotypic diversity of the pathogen. Phenotypic heterogeneity, defined as nongenetic variation observed in individual members of a clonal population, can have beneficial consequences especially in fluctuating stressful environmental conditions. This is all the more relevant in infections caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis wherein the pathogen is able to survive and often establish a lifelong persistent infection in the host...
November 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
William J Janssen, Donna L Bratton, Claudia V Jakubzick, Peter M Henson
Given the dual and intrinsically contradictory roles of myeloid cells in both protective and yet also damaging effects of inflammatory and immunological processes, we suggest that it is important to consider the mechanisms and circumstances by which these cells are removed, either in the normal unchallenged state or during inflammation or disease. In this essay we address these subjects from a conceptual perspective, focusing as examples on four main myeloid cell types (neutrophils, monocytes, macrophages, and myeloid dendritic cells) and their clearance from the circulation or from naive and inflamed tissues...
November 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Gerald F Bills, James B Gloer
Many Fungi have a well-developed secondary metabolism. The diversity of fungal species and the diversification of biosynthetic gene clusters underscores a nearly limitless potential for metabolic variation and an untapped resource for drug discovery and synthetic biology. Much of the ecological success of the filamentous fungi in colonizing the planet is owed to their ability to deploy their secondary metabolites in concert with their penetrative and absorptive mode of life. Fungal secondary metabolites exhibit biological activities that have been developed into life-saving medicines and agrochemicals...
November 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Michael L Dustin
Myeloid cells make extensive use of the complement system in the context of recruitment, phagocytosis, and other effector functions. There are several types of complement receptors on myeloid cells, including G protein-coupled receptors for localizing the source of complement activation, and three sets of type I transmembrane proteins that link complement to phagocytosis: complement receptor 1, having an extracellular domain with tandem complement regulatory repeats; complement receptors 3 and 4, which are integrin family receptors comprising heterodimers of type I transmembrane subunits; and VSIG4, a member of the Ig superfamily...
November 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
José M Aguado, José Tiago Silva, Palash Samanta, Nina Singh
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a major opportunistic pathogen in transplant recipients. Compared to that in the general population, the frequency of tuberculosis (TB) is 10 to 40 times higher in hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients and 20 to 74 times higher in solid-organ transplant (SOT) recipients. Transplant recipients with TB are also more likely to develop disseminated disease, have longer time to definitive diagnosis, require more invasive diagnostic procedures, and experience greater anti-TB treatment-related toxicity than the general population...
November 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Eva C Boritsch, Roland Brosch
The tuberculosis agent Mycobacterium tuberculosis has undergone a long and selective evolution toward human infection and represents one of the most widely spread pathogens due to its efficient aerosol-mediated human-to-human transmission. With the availability of more and more genome sequences, the evolutionary trajectory of this obligate pathogen becomes visible, which provides us with new insights into the molecular events governing evolution of the bacterium and its ability to accumulate drug-resistance mutations...
October 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Vivek Naranbhai
Familial risk of tuberculosis (TB) has been recognized for centuries. Largely through studies of mono- and dizygotic twin concordance rates, studies of families with Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial disease, and candidate gene studies performed in the 20th century, it was recognized that susceptibility to TB disease has a substantial host genetic component. Limitations in candidate gene studies and early linkage studies made the robust identification of specific loci associated with disease challenging, and few loci have been convincingly associated across multiple populations...
October 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Alexander Mildner, Goran Marinkovic, Steffen Jung
Monocytes are short-lived mononuclear phagocytes that circulate in the bloodstream and comprise two main subpopulations that in the mouse are best defined by the Ly6C marker. Intravascular functions of "classical" Ly6C+ monocytes and their interactions with other lymphoid and myeloid leukocytes in the circulation remain poorly understood. Rather, these cells are known to efficiently extravasate into tissues. Indeed, Ly6C+ monocytes and their descendants have emerged as a third, highly plastic and dynamic cellular system that complements the two classical, tissue-resident mononuclear phagocyte compartments, i...
October 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Lis Alban
Free movement of safe and wholesome food is an essential aspect of any society. This article contains an updated description of the regulatory issues associated with preharvest food safety within the European Union. Salmonella, Campylobacter, Trichinella, antimicrobial resistance, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy are dealt with in detail. Moreover, Cysticercus bovis/Taenia saginata, Toxoplasma, Yersinia, verotoxigenic/shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli, Listeria, and foodborne viruses are briefly covered. The article describes how the focus in the European Union is changing to involve a supply chain view with a focus on cost-effectiveness...
October 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Asif J Iqbal, Edward A Fisher, David R Greaves
What is inflammation's big idea? In this brief overview of the role of myeloid cells in inflammation, we will critically discuss what drives the initiation, amplification, and resolution of inflammation in different anatomical sites in response to different pathological stimuli. It can be argued that we have a good understanding of the basic principles that underlie myeloid cell activation and the mobilization of innate immune cells to sites of injury and infection in acute inflammation. The challenge now for inflammation biologists is to understand how resolution of this normal physiological response goes wrong in hyperacute and chronic inflammation...
October 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Ting Wen, Marc E Rothenberg
Eosinophils are a minority circulating granulocyte classically viewed as being involved in host defense against parasites and promoting allergic reactions. However, a series of new regulatory functions for these cells have been identified in the past decade. During homeostasis, eosinophils develop in the bone marrow and migrate from the blood into target tissues following an eotaxin gradient, with interleukin-5 being a key cytokine for eosinophil proliferation, survival, and priming. In multiple target tissues, eosinophils actively regulate a variety of immune functions through their vast arsenal of granule products and cytokines, as well as direct cellular interaction with cells in proximity...
October 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Matthew Collin, Venetia Bigley
The maintenance of monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells (DCs) involves manifold pathways of ontogeny and homeostasis that have been the subject of intense study in recent years. The concept of a peripheral mononuclear phagocyte system continually renewed by blood-borne monocytes has been modified to include specialized DC pathways of development that do not involve monocytes, and longevity through self-renewal of tissue macrophages. The study of development remains difficult owing to the plasticity of phenotypes and misconceptions about the fundamental structure of hematopoiesis...
October 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Jan M Sargeant, Annette M O'Connor
Meta-analysis, the statistical combination of results from multiple studies, can be used to summarize all of the available research on an intervention, etiology, descriptive, or diagnostic test accuracy question. Meta-analysis should be conducted as a component of a systematic review, to increase transparency in the selection of studies and to incorporate an evaluation of the risk of bias in the individual studies included in the meta-analysis. The process of meta-analysis may include a forest plot to graphically display the study results and the calculation of a weighted average summary effect size...
October 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Suzanne E Geerlings
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common bacterial infections, and the incidence in women is much higher than in men. The diagnosis of a UTI can be made based on a combination of symptoms and a positive urine analysis or culture. Most UTIs are uncomplicated UTIs, defined as cystitis in a woman who is not pregnant, is not immunocompromised, has no anatomical and functional abnormalities of the urogenital tract, and does not exhibit signs of tissue invasion and systemic infection. All UTIs that are not uncomplicated are considered to be complicated UTIs...
October 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
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