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Current Clinical Microbiology Reports

Marcos Lopez, Herbert B Tanowitz, Nisha J Garg
Purpose of review: Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas disease. Decades after initial infection, ~30% of individuals can develop chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy. There are several proposed mechanisms for pathogenesis of Chagas disease, including parasite persistence, immune responses against parasite or self that continue in the heart, vascular compromise, and involvement of autonomous and central nervous system. Herein, we will focus on the significance of macrophages, mitochondrial dysfunction, and oxidative stress in progression of chagasic cardiomyopathy...
March 2018: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
Michelle M Arnold
Purpose of review: Rotavirus vaccines were first introduced more than a decade ago and have had a tremendous impact on reducing the number of hospitalizations and deaths due to rotavirus-associated diarrhea. This review will discuss current rotavirus vaccines, post-licensure surveillance, progress in non-replicating vaccine development, and why continued research is important for understanding a virus that remains a globally leading cause of death due to diarrhea. Recent findings: Research advances have enhanced our understanding of how vaccines induce protection against subsequent severe disease, how the virus replicates and spreads in the face of the host immune system, and basic mechanisms governing the viral life cycle...
March 2018: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
Carolyn M Clark, Antonieta Guerrero-Plata
Purpose of Review: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a global human pathogen responsible for lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI). While RSV infection is innocuous in healthy adults, it is the leading cause of infant hospitalization for respiratory tract infection. Nearly everyone shows evidence of an RSV infection by the age of 3. However, there is still not a vaccine commercially available. This review will provide an update on the clinical and preclinical vaccine studies and different approaches to prevent RSV infection...
December 2017: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
Víctor Hugo Peña-García, Michael K McCracken, Rebecca C Christofferson
Zika and chikungunya viruses emerged as public health emergencies in the Western Hemisphere where previously they had not been reported on a large scale. Millions were infected as the viruses met with virtually no herd immunity upon emergence. Purpose of the Review: We explore the histories of these two recent arbovirus experiences in South America. We then review similarly three endemic South American viruses: yellow fever, Oropouche, and Mayaro viruses. Recent Findings: We discuss the commonalities of the transmission systems and the possibility of an atypical emergence, that of New World virus to the Old World...
December 2017: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
Donna Collins-McMillen, Felicia D Goodrum
Purpose of Review: Herpesvirus latency has been viewed as a binary state where replication is either on or off. During latency, gene expression is thought to be restricted to non-coding RNAs or very few proteins so that the virus avoids detection by the immune system. However, a number of recent studies across herpesvirus families call into question the existence of a binary switch for latency, and suggest that latency is far more dynamic than originally presumed. These studies are the focus of this review...
September 2017: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
Colleen L Mayberry, Christian D S Nelson, Melissa S Maginnis
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: JC polyomavirus (JCPyV) is a significant human pathogen that causes an asymptomatic infection in the kidney in the majority of the population. In immunosuppressed individuals, the virus can become reactivated and spread to the brain, causing the fatal, demyelinating disease progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). There are currently limited treatment options for this fatal disease. Attachment to receptors and entry into host cells are the initiating events in JCPyV infection and therefore an attractive target for therapeutics to prevent or treat PML...
September 2017: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
Jane A O'Halloran, William G Powderly, Andrej Spec
Purpose of the review: Cryptococcal disease is most often thought of in the context of HIV infection. Much of our knowledge of the disease originates from its management in the HIV-positive population over the last 30 years. While the majority of cases globally continue to occur in the setting of advanced HIV, Cryptococcus species is increasingly responsible for disease in HIV-negative populations including those considered normal hosts and these HIV-negative populations will be the focus of this review...
June 2017: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
James B Lok
Signaling or communication between host and parasite may occur over relatively long ranges to enable host finding and acquisition by infective parasitic nematode larvae. Innate behaviors in infective larvae transmitted from the soil that enhance the likelihood of host contact, such as negative geotaxis and hypermotility, are likely mediated by mechanoreception and neuromuscular signaling. Host cues such as vibration of the substratum, elevated temperature, exhaled CO2, and other volatile odorants are perceived by mechanosensory and chemosensory neurons of the amphidial complex...
December 2016: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
Stefan L Oliver, Edward Yang, Ann M Arvin
Varicella-zoster virus (VZV), an alphaherpesvirus that causes chicken pox (varicella) and shingles (herpes zoster), is a medically important pathogen that causes considerable morbidity and, on occasion, mortality in immunocompromised patients. Herpes zoster can afflict the elderly with a debilitating condition, postherpetic neuralgia, triggering severe, untreatable pain for months or years. The lipid envelope of VZV, similar to all herpesviruses, contains numerous glycoproteins required for replication and pathogenesis...
December 2016: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
Anthony P Sinai, Elizabeth A Watts, Animesh Dhara, Robert D Murphy, Matthew S Gentry, Abhijit Patwardhan
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Despite over a third of the world's population being chronically infected with Toxoplasma gondii , little is known about this largely asymptomatic phase of infection. This stage is mediated in vivo by bradyzoites within tissue cysts. The absence of overt symptoms has been attributed to the dormancy of bradyzoites. In this review, we reexamine the conventional view of chronic toxoplasmosis in light of emerging evidence challenging both the nature of dormancy and the consequences of infection in the CNS...
December 2016: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
Hector C Aguilar, Bryce A Henderson, J Lizbeth Zamora, Gunner P Johnston
The family Paramyxoviridae includes many viruses that significantly affect human and animal health. An essential step in the paramyxovirus life cycle is viral entry into host cells, mediated by virus-cell membrane fusion. Upon viral entry, infection results in expression of the paramyxoviral glycoproteins on the infected cell surface. This can lead to cell-cell fusion (syncytia formation), often linked to pathogenesis. Thus membrane fusion is essential for both viral entry and cell-cell fusion and an attractive target for therapeutic development...
September 2016: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
Matthew D Badham, Jeremy S Rossman
Influenza A virus is a pathogen of global medical importance causing significant health and socio-economic costs every year. Influenza virus is an unusual pathogen in that it is pleomorphic, capable of forming virions ranging in shape from spherical to filamentous. Despite decades of research on the influenza virus, much remains unknown about the formation of filamentous influenza viruses and their role in the viral replication cycle. Here, we discuss what is known about influenza virus assembly and budding, focusing on the viral and host factors that are involved in the determination of viral morphology...
September 2016: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
Laura R H Ahlers, Alan G Goodman
Innate immunity refers to the body's initial response to curb infection upon exposure to invading organisms. While the detection of pathogen-associated molecules is an ancient form of host defense, if dysfunctional, autoimmune disease may result. The innate immune response during pathogenic infection is initiated through the activation of receptors recognizing conserved molecular patterns, such as nucleic acids from a virus' genome or replicative cycle. Additionally, the host's own nucleic acids are capable of activating an immune response...
September 2016: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
Sheena Mukkada, Jeannette Kirby, Nopporn Apiwattanakul, Randall T Hayden, Miguela A Caniza
Fungal diseases are an important cause of mortality in immunocompromised hosts, and their incidence in pediatric cancer patients in low- to middle-income countries is underestimated. In this review, we present relevant, up-to-date information about the most common opportunistic and endemic fungal diseases among children with cancer, their geographic distribution, and recommended diagnostics and treatment. Efforts to improve the care of children with cancer and fungal disease must address the urgent need for sustainable and cost-effective solutions that improve training, fungal disease testing capability, and the use of available resources...
September 2016: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
Stacey A Maskarinec, Melissa D Johnson, John R Perfect
The development of severe fungal infections has long been associated with traditional risk factors such as profound immunosuppression, yet it remains challenging to understand why under similar conditions only some patients will develop these infections while others will not. Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of host genetic variation in influencing the severity and susceptibility to invasive fungal infections (IFIs). In this review, we examine selected primary immunodeficiencies characterized by their vulnerability to a narrow range of fungal pathogens, and then focus on recently identified genetic polymorphisms associated with an increased susceptibility to IFIs...
June 2016: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
Mark W Tenforde, Rae Wake, Tshepo Leeme, Joseph N Jarvis
Cryptococcal meningitis is a major cause of HIV-associated morbidity and mortality worldwide. Most cases occur in low-income countries, where over half of patients die within 10 weeks of diagnosis compared to as few as 10 % of patients from developed countries. A host of factors, spanning the HIV care continuum, are responsible for this gap in treatment outcomes between developed and resource-limited settings. We explore factors responsible for this outcomes gap and describe low-cost, highly effective measures that can be implemented immediately to improve outcomes in resource-limited settings...
2016: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
Nicole Borel, Cory Leonard, Jessica Slade, Robert V Schoborg
The Chlamydiaceae are widespread pathogens of both humans and animals. Chlamydia trachomatis infection causes blinding trachoma and reproductive complications in humans. Chlamydia pneumoniae causes human respiratory tract infections and atypical pneumonia. Chlamydia suis infection is associated with conjunctivitis, diarrhea, and failure to gain weight in domestic swine. Chlamydial infections in humans and domesticated animals are generally controlled by antibiotic treatment-particularly macrolides (usually azithromycin) and tetracyclines (tetracycline and doxycycline)...
2016: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
Christopher Nosala, Scott C Dawson
Giardia lamblia is a flagellated parasite of the gut and causes significant morbidity worldwide. Novel druggable targets are sorely needed due to Giardia's prevalence and the growing threat of antibiotic resistance. Giardia 's conserved and unique cytoskeletal features, such as its eight flagella and ventral disc, are required for host colonization by facilitating motility, attachment, and cell division. Therapies that target these processes could interfere with trophozoite colonization, reduce the time or severity of the infection, and reduce the number of infectious cysts shed into the environment...
December 2015: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
Rosalynn Louise Ord, Cheryl A Lobo
Human babesiosis is a zoonotic disease caused by protozoan parasites of the Babesia genus, primarily in the Northeastern and Midwest United States due to B. microti, and Western Europe due to B. divergens. Parasites are transmitted by the bite of the ixodid tick when the vector takes a blood meal from the vertebrate host, and the economic importance of bovine babesiosis is well understood. The pathology of human disease is a direct result of the parasite's ability to invade host's red blood cells. The current understanding of human babesiosis epidemiology is that many infections remain asymptomatic, especially in younger or immune competent individuals, and the burden of severe pathology resides within older or immunocompromised individuals...
December 2015: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
Brent Stanfield, Konstantin Gus Kousoulas
Herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) and its closely related type-2 (HSV-2) viruses cause important clinical manifestations in humans including acute ocular disease and genital infections. These viruses establish latency in the trigeminal ganglionic and dorsal root neurons, respectively. Both viruses are widespread among humans and can frequently reactivate from latency causing disease. Currently, there are no vaccines available against herpes simplex viral infections. However, a number of promising vaccine approaches are being explored in pre-clinical investigations with few progressing to early phase clinical trials...
September 1, 2015: Current Clinical Microbiology Reports
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