ResearchPad - microbiology https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Gut Microbiota Composition Associated With <i>Clostridium difficile</i>-Positive Diarrhea and <i>C. difficile</i> Type in ICU Patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14191 The gut microbiota composition of intensive care unit (ICU) patients suffering from Clostridium difficile-positive diarrhea (CDpD) is poorly understood. This prospective study aims to use 16S rDNA (and metagenome) sequencing to compare the microbiota composition of 58 (and 5) ICU patients with CDpD (CDpD group), 33 (and 4) ICU patients with C. difficile-negative diarrhea (CDnD group), and 21 (and 5) healthy control subjects (control group), as well as CDpD patients in the A+B+ (N = 34; A/B: C. difficile TcdA/B), AB+ (N = 7), and AB (N = 17) subgroups. For 16S rDNA data, OTU clustering (tool: UPARSE), taxonomic assignment (tool: RDP classifier), α-diversity, and β-diversity analyses (tool: QIIME) were conducted. For metagenome data, metagenome assembly (tool: SOAPdenovo), gene calling (tools: MetaGeneMark, CD-HIT, and SoapAligner), unigene alignment (tool: DIAMOND), taxon difference analysis (tool: Metastats), and gene annotation (tool: DIAMOND) were performed. The microbial diversity of the CDpD group was lower than that of the CDnD and control groups. The abundances of 10 taxa (e.g., Deferribacteres, Cryptomycota, Acetothermia) were significantly higher in the CDpD group than in the CDnD group. The abundances of Saccharomycetes and Clostridia were significantly lower in CDpD in comparison with control. Some taxa were significantly different between the A+B+ and AB subgroups. CDpD might relate to a decrease in beneficial taxa (i.e., Saccharomycetes and Clostridia) and an increase in harmful taxa (e.g., Deferribacteres, Cryptomycota, Acetothermia) in gut microbiota of ICU patients. C. difficile toxin type might be slightly associated with gut microbiota composition.

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<![CDATA[Repertoire and Diversity of Toxin – Antitoxin Systems of Crohn’s Disease-Associated Adherent-Invasive <i>Escherichia coli</i>. New Insight of T his Emergent <i>E. coli</i> Pathotype]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14187 Adherent-invasive Escherichia coli (AIEC) corresponds to an E. coli pathovar proposed as a possible agent trigger associated to Crohn’s disease. It is characterized for its capacity to adhere and to invade epithelial cells, and to survive and replicate inside macrophages. Mechanisms that allow intestinal epithelium colonization, and host factors that favor AIEC persistence have been partly elucidated. However, bacterial factors involved in AIEC persistence are currently unknown. Toxin–antitoxin (TA) systems are recognized elements involved in bacterial persistence, in addition to have a role in stabilization of mobile genetic elements and stress response. The aim of this study was to elucidate the repertoire and diversity of TA systems in the reference AIEC NRG857c strain and to compare it with AIEC strains whose genomes are available at databases. In addition, toxin expression levels under in vitro stress conditions found by AIEC through the intestine and within the macrophage were measured. Our results revealed that NRG857c encodes at least 33 putative TA systems belonging to types I, II, IV, and V, distributed around all the chromosome, and some in close proximity to genomic islands. A TA toxin repertoire marker of the pathotype was not found and the repertoire of 33 TA toxin genes described here was exclusive of the reference strains, NRG857c and LF82. Most toxin genes were upregulated in the presence of bile salts and acidic pH, as well as within the macrophage. However, different transcriptional responses were detected between reference strains (NRG857c and HM605), recalling the high diversity associated to this pathotype. To our knowledge this is the first analysis of TA systems associated to AIEC and it has revealed new insight associated to this emergent E. coli pathotype.

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<![CDATA[Significant Short-Term Shifts in the Microbiomes of Smokers With Periodontitis After Periodontal Therapy With Amoxicillin &amp; Metronidazole as Revealed by 16S rDNA Amplicon Next Generation Sequencing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14168 The aim of this follow-up study was, to compare the effects of mechanical periodontal therapy with or without adjunctive amoxicillin and metronidazole on the subgingival microbiome of smokers with periodontitis using 16S rDNA amplicon next generation sequencing. Fifty-four periodontitis patients that smoke received either non-surgical periodontal therapy with adjunctive amoxicillin and metronidazole (n = 27) or with placebos (n = 27). Subgingival plaque samples were taken before and two months after therapy. Bacterial genomic DNA was isolated and the V4 hypervariable region of the bacterial 16S rRNA genes was amplified. Up to 96 libraries were normalized and pooled for Illumina MiSeq paired-end sequencing with almost fully overlapping 250 base pairs reads. Exact ribosomal sequence variants (RSVs) were inferred with DADA2. Microbial diversity and changes on the genus and RSV level were analyzed with non-parametric tests and a negative binomial regression model, respectively. Before therapy, the demographic, clinical, and microbial parameters were not significantly different between the placebo and antibiotic groups. Two months after the therapy, clinical parameters improved and there was a significantly increased dissimilarity of microbiomes between the two groups. In the antibiotic group, there was a significant reduction of genera classified as Porphyromonas, Tannerella, and Treponema, and 22 other genera also decreased significantly, while Selenomonas, Capnocytophaga, Actinomycetes, and five other genera significantly increased. In the placebo group, however, there was not a significant decrease in periodontal pathogens after therapy and only five other genera decreased, while Veillonella and nine other genera increased. We conclude that in periodontitis patients who smoke, microbial shifts occurred two months after periodontal therapy with either antibiotics or placebo, but genera including periodontal pathogens decreased significantly only with adjunctive antibiotics.

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<![CDATA[Host Immunity to <i>Malassezia</i> in Health and Disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14102 The microbiota plays an integral role in shaping physical and functional aspects of the skin. While a healthy microbiota contributes to the maintenance of immune homeostasis, dysbiosis can result in the development of diverse skin pathologies. This dichotomous feature of the skin microbiota holds true not only for bacteria, but also for fungi that colonize the skin. As such, the yeast Malassezia, which is by far the most abundant component of the skin mycobiota, is associated with a variety of skin disorders, of which some can be chronic and severe and have a significant impact on the quality of life of those affected. Understanding the causative relationship between Malassezia and the development of such skin disorders requires in-depth knowledge of the mechanism by which the immune system interacts with and responds to the fungus. In this review, we will discuss recent advances in our understanding of the immune response to Malassezia and how the implicated cells and cytokine pathways prevent uncontrolled fungal growth to maintain commensalism in the mammalian skin. We also review how the antifungal response is currently thought to affect the development and severity of inflammatory disorders of the skin and at distant sites.

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<![CDATA[What Type of Face Mask Is Appropriate for Everyone-Mask-Wearing Policy amidst COVID-19 Pandemic?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14091 <![CDATA[Global Distribution and Evolution of <i>Mycobacterium bovis</i> Lineages]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14067 Mycobacterium bovis is the main causative agent of zoonotic tuberculosis in humans and frequently devastates livestock and wildlife worldwide. Previous studies suggested the existence of genetic groups of M. bovis strains based on limited DNA markers (a.k.a. clonal complexes), and the evolution and ecology of this pathogen has been only marginally explored at the global level. We have screened over 2,600 publicly available M. bovis genomes and newly sequenced four wildlife M. bovis strains, gathering 1,969 genomes from 23 countries and at least 24 host species, including humans, to complete a phylogenomic analyses. We propose the existence of four distinct global lineages of M. bovis (Lb1, Lb2, Lb3, and Lb4) underlying the current disease distribution. These lineages are not fully represented by clonal complexes and are dispersed based on geographic location rather than host species. Our data divergence analysis agreed with previous studies reporting independent archeological data of ancient M. bovis (South Siberian infected skeletons at ∼2,000 years before present) and indicates that extant M. bovis originated between 715 and 3,556 years BP, with later emergence in the New World and Oceania, likely influenced by trades among countries.

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<![CDATA[Population Genomics of <i>Mycobacterium leprae</i> Reveals a New Genotype in Madagascar and the Comoros]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14025 Human settlement of Madagascar traces back to the beginning of the first millennium with the arrival of Austronesians from Southeast Asia, followed by migrations from Africa and the Middle East. Remains of these different cultural, genetic, and linguistic legacies are still present in Madagascar and other islands of the Indian Ocean. The close relationship between human migration and the introduction and spread of infectious diseases, a well-documented phenomenon, is particularly evident for the causative agent of leprosy, Mycobacterium leprae. In this study, we used whole-genome sequencing (WGS) and molecular dating to characterize the genetic background and retrace the origin of the M. leprae strains circulating in Madagascar (n = 30) and the Comoros (n = 3), two islands where leprosy is still considered a public health problem and monitored as part of a drug resistance surveillance program. Most M. leprae strains (97%) from Madagascar and Comoros belonged to a new genotype as part of branch 1, closely related to single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) type 1D, named 1D-Malagasy. Other strains belonged to the genotype 1A (3%). We sequenced 39 strains from nine other countries, which, together with previously published genomes, amounted to 242 genomes that were used for molecular dating. Specific SNP markers for the new 1D-Malagasy genotype were used to screen samples from 11 countries and revealed this genotype to be restricted to Madagascar, with the sole exception being a strain from Malawi. The overall analysis thus ruled out a possible introduction of leprosy by the Austronesian settlers and suggests a later origin from East Africa, the Middle East, or South Asia.

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<![CDATA[Clinical Significance of a High SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load in the Saliva]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13998

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<![CDATA[Differential Expression of Putative <i>Ornithodoros turicata</i> Defensins Mediated by Tick Feeding]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13958 Additional research on soft ticks in the family Argasidae is needed to bridge the knowledge gap relative to hard ticks of the family Ixodidae; especially, the molecular mechanisms of Ornithodoros biology. Ornithodoros species are vectors of human and animal pathogens that include tick-borne relapsing fever spirochetes and African swine fever virus. Soft tick vector-pathogen interactions involving components of the tick immune response are not understood. Ticks utilize a basic innate immune system consisting of recognition factors and cellular and humoral responses to produce antimicrobial peptides, like defensins. In the present study, we identified and characterized the first putative defensins of Ornithodoros turicata, an argasid tick found primarily in the southwestern United States and regions of Latin America. Four genes (otdA, otdB, otdC, and otdD) were identified through sequencing and their predicted amino acid sequences contained motifs characteristic of arthropod defensins. A phylogenetic analysis grouped these four genes with arthropod defensins, and computational structural analyses further supported the identification. Since pathogens transmitted by O. turicata colonize both the midgut and salivary glands, expression patterns of the putative defensins were determined in these tissues 1 week post engorgement and after molting. Defensin genes up-regulated in the tick midgut 1 week post blood feeding were otdA and otdC, while otdD was up-regulated in the midgut of post-molt ticks. Moreover, otdB and otdD were also up-regulated in the salivary glands of flat post-molt ticks, while otdC was up-regulated within 1 week post blood-feeding. This work is foundational toward additional studies to determine mechanisms of vector competence and pathogen transmission from O. turicata.

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<![CDATA[Functional Analysis of Sugars in Modulating Bacterial Communities and Metabolomics Profiles of <i>Medicago sativa</i> Silage]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13923 This study explored the effects of four sugar source treatments, including no sugar (CON), fructose (FRU), pectin (PEC), and starch (STA), on the microbiota and metabolome of alfalfa (Medicago sativa) silage. The bacterial community was determined via 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The metabolome was analyzed using ultra high-performance liquid chromatography tandem time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC/TOF-MS). After 60 days of fermentation, the pH values in FRU and PEC were lower than those in STA and CON. FRU had a greater lactic acid concentration compared to STA and CON. Weissella (47.44%) and Lactobacillus (42.13%) were the dominant species in all four groups. The abundance of Pediococcus was lower, and the abundance of Leuconostoc, Pantoea, and Microbacterium was higher, in FRU compared to CON. The abundance of norank_f__Bacteroidales_S24-7_group was higher, and the abundance of Turicibacter was lower, in both FRU and PEC than in CON. Leuconostoc was negatively correlated with the pH value, and Pediococcus was positively correlated with the pH value. No microbiomes were detected as discriminative features between STA and CON. The addition of FRU and PEC presented more peptides, such as Leu–Val–Thr, Leu–Phe, Ile–Pro–Ile, Val–Trp, and Ile–Leu–Leu but a lower abundance of metabolites for triterpene glycosides including sanchinoside B1, medicagenic acid, betavulgaroside IV, and prosapogenin compared to CON. The addition of PEC presented more phenyllactic acid compared to CON. Our study demonstrated that the addition of pectin and fructose improved the quality of alfalfa silage mainly by promoting Leuconostoc, Pantoea, and Microbacterium, and inhibiting Pediococcus in FRU, and promoting norank_f__Bacteroidales_S24-7_group and inhibiting Turicibacter in both FRU and PEC; this was due to altered metabolic profiles resulting from antifungal activity and decreased triterpene glycoside accumulation. This study improves our understanding of ensiling mechanisms related to the contributions of sugar.

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<![CDATA[Deciphering the Role of Holin in Mycobacteriophage D29 Physiology]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13920 In the era of antibiotic resistance, phage therapy is gaining attention for the treatment of pathogenic organisms such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The selection of phages for therapeutic purposes depends upon several factors such as the host range that a phage can infect, which can be narrow or broad, time required for the host cell lysis, and the burst size. Mycobacteriophage D29 is a virulent phage that has the ability to infect and kill several slow- and fast-growing mycobacterial species including the pathogenic M. tuberculosis. It, therefore, has the potential to be used in phage therapy against M. tuberculosis. D29 lytic cassette encodes three proteins viz. peptidoglycan hydrolase (LysA), mycolylarabinogalactan esterase (LysB), and holin, which together ensure host cell lysis in a timely manner. In this work, we have scrutinized the importance of holin in mycobacteriophage D29 physiology. Bacteriophage Recombineering of Electroporated DNA (BRED) approach was used to generate D29 holin knockout (D29Δgp11), which was further confirmed by the Deletion amplification detection assay (DADA)-PCR. Our results show that D29Δgp11 is viable and retains plaque-forming ability, although with reduced plaque size. Additionally, the host cell lysis governed by the mutant phage is significantly delayed as compared to the wild-type D29. In the absence of holin, D29 shows increased latent period and reduced burst size. Thus, our experiments show that while holin is dispensable for phage viability, it is essential for the optimal phage-mediated host cell lysis and phage propagation, which further points to the significance of the “clock” function of holin. Taken together, we show the importance of holin in governing timely and efficient host cell lysis for efficient progeny phage release, which further dictates its critical role in phage biology.

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<![CDATA[DnmA and FisA Mediate Mitochondria and Peroxisome Fission, and Regulate Mitochondrial Function, ROS Production and Development in <i>Aspergillus nidulans</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13914 The dynamin-like protein Drp1 and its receptor Fis-1 are required for mitochondria and peroxisome fission in animal and yeast cells. Here, we show that in the fungus Aspergillus nidulans the lack of Drp1 and Fis-1 homologs DnmA and FisA has strong developmental defects, leading to a notable decrease in hyphal growth and asexual and sexual sporulation, with some of these defects being aggravated or partially remediated by different carbon sources. Although both DnmA and FisA, are essential for mitochondrial fission, participate in peroxisomal division and are fully required for H2O2-induced mitochondrial division, they also appear to play differential functions. Despite their lack of mitochondrial division, ΔdnmA and ΔfisA mutants segregate mitochondria to conidiogenic cells and produce viable conidia that inherit a single mitochondrion. During sexual differentiation, ΔdnmA and ΔfisA mutants develop fruiting bodies (cleistothecia) that differentiate excessive ascogenous tissue and a reduced number of viable ascospores. ΔdnmA and ΔfisA mutants show decreased respiration and notably high levels of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS), which likely correspond to superoxide. Regardless of this, ΔdnmA mutants can respond to an external H2O2 challenge by re-localizing the MAP kinase-activated protein kinase (MAPKAP) SrkA from the cytoplasm to the nuclei. Our results show that ROS levels regulate mitochondrial dynamics while a lack of mitochondrial fission results in lower respiration, increased mitochondrial ROS and developmental defects, indicating that ROS, mitochondrial division and development are critically interrelated processes.

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<![CDATA[Assessing entomological risk factors for arboviral disease transmission in the French Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13872 The French overseas Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands, located in the South Pacific, has been affected by several dengue epidemics, but did not face Zika or chikungunya outbreaks, unlike other neighboring islands. The near-exclusive presence of the Aedes polynesiensis mosquito in the islands of Wallis and Futuna confirmed the role played by this mosquito as a vector of dengue fever. A local Ae. polynesiensis population was recently shown to be able to transmit the Zika virus under experimental conditions, but its susceptibility to the chikungunya virus was still unknown, and recent data on the presence of other potential arbovirus vectors were missing. Therefore, we investigated the entomological risk factors for the transmission of arboviral diseases in the Wallis and Futuna Islands. We reported the occurrence and distribution of different Aedes species, especially the abundant presence of Ae. polynesiensis across the territory and the spread of Ae. aegypti in the island of Wallis. Our results demonstrated the ability of local Ae. polynesiensis populations to transmit the chikungunya virus. These findings highlight the risk of arbovirus transmission in the Wallis and Futuna Islands and provide relevant data to guide prevention and vector control strategies in the territory.

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<![CDATA[Genome reconstruction of the non-culturable spinach downy mildew <i>Peronospora effusa</i> by metagenome filtering]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13800 Peronospora effusa (previously known as P. farinosa f. sp. spinaciae, and here referred to as Pfs) is an obligate biotrophic oomycete that causes downy mildew on spinach (Spinacia oleracea). To combat this destructive many disease resistant cultivars have been bred and used. However, new Pfs races rapidly break the employed resistance genes. To get insight into the gene repertoire of Pfs and identify infection-related genes, the genome of the first reference race, Pfs1, was sequenced, assembled, and annotated. Due to the obligate biotrophic nature of this pathogen, material for DNA isolation can only be collected from infected spinach leaves that, however, also contain many other microorganisms. The obtained sequences can, therefore, be considered a metagenome. To filter and obtain Pfs sequences we utilized the CAT tool to taxonomically annotate ORFs residing on long sequences of a genome pre-assembly. This study is the first to show that CAT filtering performs well on eukaryotic contigs. Based on the taxonomy, determined on multiple ORFs, contaminating long sequences and corresponding reads were removed from the metagenome. Filtered reads were re-assembled to provide a clean and improved Pfs genome sequence of 32.4 Mbp consisting of 8,635 scaffolds. Transcript sequencing of a range of infection time points aided the prediction of a total of 13,277 gene models, including 99 RxLR(-like) effector, and 14 putative Crinkler genes. Comparative analysis identified common features in the predicted secretomes of different obligate biotrophic oomycetes, regardless of their phylogenetic distance. Their secretomes are generally smaller, compared to hemi-biotrophic and necrotrophic oomycete species. We observe a reduction in proteins involved in cell wall degradation, in Nep1-like proteins (NLPs), proteins with PAN/apple domains, and host translocated effectors. The genome of Pfs1 will be instrumental in studying downy mildew virulence and for understanding the molecular adaptations by which new isolates break spinach resistance.

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<![CDATA[Virus detections among patients with severe acute respiratory illness, Northern Vietnam]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13805 Severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) is a major cause of death and morbidity in low- and middle-income countries, however, the etiologic agents are often undetermined due to the lack of molecular diagnostics in hospitals and clinics. To examine evidence for select viral infections among patients with SARI in northern Vietnam, we studied 348 nasopharyngeal samples from military and civilian patients admitted to 4 hospitals in the greater Hanoi area from 2017–2019. Initial screening for human respiratory viral pathogens was performed in Hanoi, Vietnam at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) or the Military Institute of Preventative Medicine (MIPM), and an aliquot was shipped to Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore for validation. Patient demographics were recorded and used to epidemiologically describe the infections. Among military and civilian cases of SARI, 184 (52.9%) tested positive for one or more respiratory viruses. Influenza A virus was the most prevalent virus detected (64.7%), followed by influenza B virus (29.3%), enterovirus (3.8%), adenovirus (1.1%), and coronavirus (1.1%). Risk factor analyses demonstrated an increased risk of influenza A virus detection among military hospital patients (adjusted OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.2–3.2), and an increased risk of influenza B virus detection among patients enrolled in year 2017 (adjusted OR, 7.9; 95% CI, 2.7–22.9). As influenza A and B viruses were commonly associated with SARI and are treatable, SARI patients entering these hospitals would benefit if the hospitals were able to adapt onsite molecular diagnostics.

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<![CDATA[A prospective study of bloodstream infections among febrile adolescents and adults attending Yangon General Hospital, Yangon, Myanmar]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13833 Bloodstream infection (BSI) is common among persons seeking healthcare for severe febrile illness in low-and middle-income countries. Data on community-onset BSI are few for some countries in Asia, including Myanmar. Such data are needed to inform empiric antimicrobial treatment of patients and to monitor and control antimicrobial resistance. We performed a one year, prospective study collecting information and blood cultures from patients presenting with fever at a tertiary referral hospital in Yangon, Myanmar. We found that almost 10% of participants had a bloodstream infection, and that Salmonella enterica serovars Typhi and Paratyphi A were the most common pathogens. Typhoidal Salmonella were universally resistant to ciprofloxacin. More than half of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae were resistant to extended-spectrum cephalosporins and resistance to carbapenems was also identified in some isolates. We show that typhoid and paratyphoid fever are common, and fluoroquinolone resistance is widespread. Extended-spectrum cephalosporin resistance is common in E. coli and K. pneumoniae and carbapenem resistance is present. Our findings inform empiric antimicrobial management of severe febrile illness, underscore the value of routine use of blood cultures, indicate that measures to prevent and control enteric fever are warranted, and suggest a need to monitor and mitigate antimicrobial resistance among community-acquired pathogens.

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<![CDATA[<i>Ehrlichia chaffeensis</i> TRP120-mediated ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of tumor suppressor FBW7 increases oncoprotein stability and promotes infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13827 E. chaffeensis is an obligately intracellular bacterium that replicates in mononuclear phagocytes by secreting effectors that manipulate host cell processes and exploit evolutionarily conserved pathways. This investigation reveals the complex and expanding role of the E. chaffeensis TRP120 moonlighting effector as a ubiquitin (Ub) ligase targeting host nuclear proteins. Herein, we demonstrate that E. chaffeensis TRP120 HECT Ub ligase targets the nuclear tumor suppressor Skp1-cullin-1-FBOX E3 ubiquitin (Ub) ligase complex substrate recognition subunit, F-BOX and WD domain repeating-containing 7 (FBW7) for degradation. FBW7 is a central regulator of broadly acting host cell oncoproteins involved in cell proliferation and survival. The reduction in FBW7 through TRP120-mediated ubiquitination increases cellular oncoprotein levels and promotes E. chaffeensis infection. This study illuminates novel bacterial effector-host interactions, the importance and interplay of both host and bacterial Ub ligases and the Ub-proteasome system for infection, and mechanisms whereby evolutionarily conserved signaling pathways are hijacked by obligately intracellular pathogens.

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<![CDATA[Health profile of adult special immigrant visa holders arriving from Iraq and Afghanistan to the United States, 2009–2017: A cross-sectional analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13850 Between 2,000 and 19,000 Special Immigrant Visa holders (SIVH) from Iraq and Afghanistan have resettled in the United States annually since 2008.Per the Immigration and Nationality Act, SIVH, like other immigrants and refugees, must be examined by a physician before arriving in the US. Results of these overseas examinations are transmitted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to US state and local health departments via CDC’s Electronic Disease Notification system (EDN).Increasing provider knowledge about the health conditions most commonly encountered in SIVH as well as any differences in health conditions between SIVH from Iraq and Afghanistan may facilitate diagnostic screening, examination, and referrals to additional healthcare providers in the US.Information about the health of SIV populations is limited and would be beneficial for US clinicians who see SIVH in their clinics.What did the researchers do and find?In this cross-sectional analysis, we analyzed overseas medical exam data in CDC’s EDN for 19,167 SIV Iraqi and Afghan adults who resettled to the United States from April 2009 through December 2017.Among all SIVH, 56.5% were overweight or had obesity, 2.4% reported hypertension, 1.1% reported diabetes, and 19.4% reported current or previous tobacco use.In general, Iraqi SIVH were more likely to have obesity, diabetes, and be current or former smokers than Afghan SIVH.What do these findings mean?State public health agencies and clinicians screening SIVH should consider screening for diabetes among those with risk factors and prompt referral and management of obesity, hypertension, and smoking.Behavioral risk factor counseling and referral to culturally appropriate chronic disease prevention programs can be initiated at screening visits and subsequently reemphasized with primary care providers and other healthcare professionals.Limitations include the inability to obtain all SIVH records, self-reported medical history of NCDs, and underdiagnosis of NCDs such as hypertension and diabetes because formal laboratory testing for NCDs is not used during overseas medical exams. ]]> <![CDATA[Patients infected with <i>Mycobacterium africanum</i> versus <i>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</i> possess distinct intestinal microbiota]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13847 Mycobacterium africanum (MAF) is a hypovirulent mycobacterium species that is co-endemic with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) in West Africa and is selectively responsible for up to half the tuberculosis cases in this region. Why some individuals become infected with MAF versus MTB is unclear but has been suggested to be determined by differential host immune competency. Since the microbiome has now been implicated in numerous studies to generally influence host resistance to disease, we investigated whether differences in the intestinal microbiota might associate with MAF as compared with MTB infection. This report presents the first analysis of the intestinal microbiome of MAF-infected subjects as well as a comparison with the microbiota of co-endemic MTB patients and reveals that the microbiota of individuals with MAF infection display both decreased diversity and distinct differences in microbial taxa when compared to both MTB-infected and healthy controls. Furthermore, our data reveal for the first time in TB patients a correlation between the abundance of certain taxa and host blood transcriptional changes related to immune function. Our study also establishes that antibiotic treatment induces parallel changes in the gut microbiota of MAF- and MTB-infected patients. Although not directly addressed in the present study, the findings presented here raise the possibility that the microbiota or other host physiologic or immune factors closely associated with it may be a factor underlying the differential susceptibility of West Africans to MAF infection. In addition, the data identify certain commensal taxa that could be tested in future studies as specific determinants of this association.

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<![CDATA[Interaction between host genes and <i>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</i> lineage can affect tuberculosis severity: Evidence for coevolution?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13824 Susceptibility to tuberculosis (TB) is affected by genetic variation in both the human host and the causative bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. However, prior studies of the genetics of each species have not explained a large part of TB risk. The possibility exists that risk can be better estimated from patterns of variation in the two species as a unit, such that some combinations provide increased risk, or in the presence of TB, increased disease severity. We hypothesized that alleles in the two species that have co-existed for long periods are more likely to reduce disease severity so as to promote prolonged co-occurrence. We tested this by studying TB severity in two patient cohorts from Uganda for which paired MTB-human DNA were available. We examined severity, as measured by the Bandim TBscore, and assessed whether there was an interaction between MTB lineage and SNPs in the host with this metric. Our results indicate that the most recent TB lineage (L4.6/Uganda) when found together with an ancestral allele in SLC11A1 resulted in more severe disease. This finding is consistent with the conclusion that MTB and human have coevolved to modulate TB severity.

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