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Microbiology Spectrum

Lee W Riley
In infectious disease epidemiology, the laboratory plays a critical role in diagnosis, outbreak investigations, surveillance, and characterizing biologic properties of microbes associated with their transmissibility, resistance to anti-infectives, and pathogenesis. The laboratory can inform and refine epidemiologic study design and data analyses. In public health, the laboratory functions to assess effect of an intervention. In addition to research laboratories, the new-generation molecular microbiology technology has been adapted into clinical and public health laboratories to simplify, accelerate, and make precise detection and identification of infectious disease pathogens...
November 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Ronald E Blanton
Molecular epidemiology uses the distribution and organization of a pathogen's DNA to understand the distribution and determinants of disease. Since the biology of DNA for eukaryotic pathogens differs substantially from that of bacteria, the analytic approach to their molecular epidemiology can also differ. While many of the genotyping techniques presented earlier in this series, "Advances in Molecular Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases," can be applied to eukaryotes, the output must be interpreted in the light of how DNA is distributed from one generation to the next...
November 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Lee W Riley, Ronald E Blanton
Molecular epidemiology is a discipline that uses molecular microbiology tools to study the distribution and determinants of diseases in human populations and veterinary animals. Our understanding of epidemiology of infectious diseases has evolved with technological advancements made in molecular biology that refine our perception of the identity and dynamics of microorganisms. This review is an introduction to the Microbiology Spectrum Curated Collection: Advances in Molecular Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases that will discuss how these advancements have contributed to investigations of infectious disease outbreaks/epidemics, surveillance, transmission dynamics, risk factor identification, pathogenesis, and etiologic attribution of bacterial, viral, protozoan, and helminthic pathogens to a disease...
November 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Ricardo Parreira
Viruses, which are the most abundant biological entities on the planet, have been regarded as the "dark matter" of biology in the sense that despite their ubiquity and frequent presence in large numbers, their detection and analysis are not always straightforward. The majority of them are very small (falling under the limit of 0.5 μm), and collectively, they are extraordinarily diverse. In fact, the majority of the genetic diversity on the planet is found in the so-called virosphere, or the world of viruses...
November 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Darío García De Viedma, Laura Pérez-Lago
The introduction of genotypic tools to analyze Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates has transformed our knowledge of the transmission dynamics of this pathogen. We discuss the development of the laboratory methods that have been applied in recent years to study the epidemiology of M. tuberculosis . This review integrates two approaches: on the one hand, it considers how genotyping techniques have evolved over the years; and on the other, it looks at how the way we think these techniques should be applied has changed...
October 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
J Abranches, L Zeng, J K Kajfasz, S R Palmer, B Chakraborty, Z T Wen, V P Richards, L J Brady, J A Lemos
Bacteria belonging to the genus Streptococcus are the first inhabitants of the oral cavity, which can be acquired right after birth and thus play an important role in the assembly of the oral microbiota. In this article, we discuss the different oral environments inhabited by streptococci and the species that occupy each niche. Special attention is given to the taxonomy of Streptococcus , because this genus is now divided into eight distinct groups, and oral species are found in six of them. Oral streptococci produce an arsenal of adhesive molecules that allow them to efficiently colonize different tissues in the mouth...
October 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Maureen Laroche, Didier Raoult, Philippe Parola
Arthropods are small invertebrate animals, among which some species are hematophagous. It is during their blood meal that they can transmit pathogenic microorganisms that they may be harboring to the vertebrate host that they parasitize, which in turn will potentially develop a vector-borne disease. The transmission may occur directly through their bite, but also through contaminated feces. Zoonotic diseases, diseases that can naturally be transmitted between humans and animals, are a considerable part of emerging diseases worldwide, and a major part of them are vector-borne...
October 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Graham F Hatfull
Mycobacteriophages are viruses that infect mycobacterial hosts. A large number of mycobacteriophages have been isolated and genomically characterized, providing insights into viral diversity and evolution, as well as fueling development of tools for mycobacterial genetics. Mycobacteriophages have intimate relationships with their hosts and provide insights into the genetics and physiology of the mycobacteria and tools for potential clinical applications such as drug development, diagnosis, vaccines, and potentially therapy...
October 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Yves Gillet, Thomas Henry, Francois Vandenesch
Fulminant staphylococcal infection indicates an explosive, intense, and severe infection occurring in a patient whose previous condition and antecedent would never have caused any anticipation of life-threatening development. This includes necrotizing pneumonia, necrotizing fasciitis, and to some extent toxic shock syndrome and infective endocarditis. In the three former diseases, toxin production plays a major role whereas in the latter (fulminant presentation of infective endocarditis), association with any particular toxinic profile has never been demonstrated...
October 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Archana Shrestha, Francisco A Uzal, Bruce A McClane
In humans and livestock, Clostridium perfringens is an important cause of intestinal infections that manifest as enteritis, enterocolitis, or enterotoxemia. This virulence is largely related to the toxin-producing ability of C. perfringens . This article primarily focuses on the C. perfringens type F strains that cause a very common type of human food poisoning and many cases of nonfoodborne human gastrointestinal diseases. The enteric virulence of type F strains is dependent on their ability to produce C. perfringens enterotoxin (CPE)...
September 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Blanca M Perez-Sepulveda, Jay C D Hinton
Developments in transcriptomic technology and the availability of whole-genome-level expression profiles for many bacterial model organisms have accelerated the assignment of gene function. However, the deluge of transcriptomic data is making the analysis of gene expression a challenging task for biologists. Online resources for global bacterial gene expression analysis are not available for the majority of published data sets, impeding access and hindering data exploration. Here, we show the value of preexisting transcriptomic data sets for hypothesis generation...
September 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Medha Raina, Alisa King, Colleen Bianco, Carin K Vanderpool
Bacteria are known to use RNA, either as mRNAs encoding proteins or as noncoding small RNAs (sRNAs), to regulate numerous biological processes. However, a few sRNAs have two functions: they act as base-pairing RNAs and encode a small protein with additional regulatory functions. Thus, these so called "dual-function" sRNAs can serve as both a riboregulator and an mRNA. In some cases, these two functions can act independently within the same pathway, while in other cases, the base-pairing function and protein function act in different pathways...
September 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Fernando Baquero
Transmission is a basic process in biology that can be analyzed in accordance with information theory. A sender or transmitter located in a particular patch of space is the source of the transmitted object, the message. A receiver patch interacts to receive the message. The "messages" that are transmitted between patches (eventually located in different hierarchical biological levels) are "meaningful" biological entities (biosemiotics). cis -acting transmission occurs when unenclosed patches acting as emitter and receiver entities of the same hierarchical level are linked (frequently by a vehicle) across an unfit space; trans -acting transmission occurs between biological individuals of different hierarchical levels, embedded within a close external common limit...
September 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Johann D D Pitout
Surveillance of antibiotic resistance involves the collection of antibiotic susceptibility patterns undertaken by clinical microbiology laboratories on bacteria isolated from clinical specimens. Global surveillance programs have shown that antibiotic resistance is a major threat to the public at large and play a crucial role in the development of enhanced diagnostics as well as potential vaccines and novel antibiotics with activity against antimicrobial-resistant organisms. This review focuses primarily on examples of global surveillance systems...
September 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Jingyi Fei, Cynthia M Sharma
Diverse mechanisms and functions of posttranscriptional regulation by small regulatory RNAs and RNA-binding proteins have been described in bacteria. In contrast, little is known about the spatial organization of RNAs in bacterial cells. In eukaryotes, subcellular localization and transport of RNAs play important roles in diverse physiological processes, such as embryonic patterning, asymmetric cell division, epithelial polarity, and neuronal plasticity. It is now clear that bacterial RNAs also can accumulate at distinct sites in the cell...
September 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Jonathan R Goodson, Wade C Winkler
Transcription is a discontinuous process, where each nucleotide incorporation cycle offers a decision between elongation, pausing, halting, or termination. Many cis -acting regulatory RNAs, such as riboswitches, exert their influence over transcription elongation. Through such mechanisms, certain RNA elements can couple physiological or environmental signals to transcription attenuation, a process where cis -acting regulatory RNAs directly influence formation of transcription termination signals. However, through another regulatory mechanism called processive antitermination (PA), RNA polymerase can bypass termination sites over much greater distances than transcription attenuation...
September 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Debra E Bessen, Pierre R Smeesters, Bernard W Beall
The clinico-epidemiological features of diseases caused by group A streptococci (GAS) is presented through the lens of the ecology, population genetics, and evolution of the organism. The serological targets of three typing schemes (M, T, SOF) are themselves GAS cell surface proteins that have a myriad of virulence functions and a diverse array of structural forms. Horizontal gene transfer expands the GAS antigenic cell surface repertoire by generating numerous combinations of M, T, and SOF antigens. However, horizontal gene transfer of the serotype determinant genes is not unconstrained, and therein lies a genetic organization that may signify adaptations to a narrow ecological niche, such as the primary tissue reservoirs of the human host...
September 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Michael Otto
Staphylococci, with the leading species Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis , are the most frequent causes of infections on indwelling medical devices. The biofilm phenotype that those bacteria adopt during device-associated infection facilitates increased resistance to antibiotics and host immune defenses. This review presents and discusses the molecular mechanisms contributing to staphylococcal biofilm development and their in-vivo importance. Furthermore, it summarizes current strategies for the development of therapeutics against staphylococcal biofilm-associated infection...
August 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Thea S Lotz, Beatrix Suess
RNA is a versatile biomolecule capable of transferring information, taking on distinct three-dimensional shapes, and reacting to ambient conditions. RNA molecules utilize a wide range of mechanisms to control gene expression. An example of such regulation is riboswitches. Consisting exclusively of RNA, they are able to control important metabolic processes, thus providing an elegant and efficient RNA-only regulation system. Existing across all domains of life, riboswitches appear to represent one of the most highly conserved mechanisms for the regulation of a broad range of biochemical pathways...
August 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Constança Pomba, Boudewijn Catry, Jordi Torren Edo, Helen Jukes
The importance of antimicrobial resistance and the urgent need to combat it has increased the already existent complexity of licensing and approval of antimicrobial agents for use in animals due to its possible impact on animal and public health. VICH-the International Cooperation on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Veterinary Medicinal Products-is the trilateral (European Union-Japan-United States) program that has the goal of harmonizing technical requirements for veterinary product registration...
August 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
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