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Pathogens, Volume 10, Issue 1 (January 2021) – 85 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): We describe a COVID-19 outbreak with a high infection and mortality rate among 116 nursing home residents in Rhode Island, USA. While typical symptoms of fever and cough were prevalent, shortness of breath was rarely found despite common hypoxemia. The majority of patients demonstrated atypical symptoms, most common being loss of appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, and fatigue. Mortality was associated with rapid clinical decline beginning with loss of appetite and lethargy and more often involving fever >38 °C, loss of appetite, altered mental status, diarrhea, and respiratory distress. No differences in age or comorbidities were associated with mortality. Treatment with anticoagulation was associated with reduced mortality. Overall, the clinical features of COVID-19 in this population can be subtle and the symptoms commonly atypical. View this paper
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Open AccessArticle
Further In Vitro Assessment and Mid-Term Evaluation of Control Strategy of Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca in Olive Groves of Salento (Apulia, Italy)
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 85; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010085 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 893
Abstract
During recent years; Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca (Xfp) has spread in Salento causing relevant damage to the olive groves. Measures to contain the spreading of the pathogen include the monitoring of the areas bordering the so-called “infected” zone and the tree eradication in [...] Read more.
During recent years; Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca (Xfp) has spread in Salento causing relevant damage to the olive groves. Measures to contain the spreading of the pathogen include the monitoring of the areas bordering the so-called “infected” zone and the tree eradication in case of positive detection. In order to provide a control strategy aimed to maintain the tree productivity in the infected areas, we further evaluated the in vitro and in planta mid-term effectiveness of a zinc-copper-citric acid biocomplex. The compound showed an in vitro bactericidal activity and inhibited the biofilm formation in representative strains of X. fastidiosa subspecies, including Xfp isolated in Apulia from olive trees. The field mid-term evaluation of the control strategy assessed by quantitative real-time PCR in 41 trees of two olive groves of the “infected” area revealed a low concentration of Xfp over the seasons upon the regular spraying of the biocomplex over 3 or 4 consecutive years. In particular, the bacterial concentration lowered in July and October with respect to March, after six consecutive treatments. The trend was not affected by the cultivar and it was similar either in the Xfp-sensitive cultivars Ogliarola salentina and Cellina di Nardò or in the Xfp-resistant Leccino. Moreover, the scoring of the number of wilted twigs over the seasons confirmed the trend. The efficacy of the treatment in the management of olive groves subjected to a high pathogen pressure is highlighted by the yielded a good oil production Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Review of Risk Factors of African Swine Fever Incursion in Pig Farming within the European Union Scenario
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 84; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010084 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 511
Abstract
African swine fever (ASF) is a notifiable viral disease of pigs and wild boars that could lead to serious economic losses for the entire European pork industry. As no effective treatment or vaccination is available, disease prevention and control rely on strictly enforced [...] Read more.
African swine fever (ASF) is a notifiable viral disease of pigs and wild boars that could lead to serious economic losses for the entire European pork industry. As no effective treatment or vaccination is available, disease prevention and control rely on strictly enforced biosecurity measures tailored to the specific risk factors of ASF introduction within domestic pig populations. Here, we present a review addressing the risk factors associated with different European pig farming systems in the context of the actual epidemiological scenario. A list of keywords was combined into a Boolean query, “African swine fever” AND (“Risk factors” OR “Transmission” OR “Spread” OR “Pig farming” OR “Pigs” OR “Wild boars”); was run on 4 databases; and resulted in 52 documents of interest being reviewed. Based on our review, each farming system has its own peculiar risk factors: commercial farms, where best practices are already in place, may suffer from unintentional breaches in biosecurity, while backyard and outdoor farms may suffer from poor ASF awareness, sociocultural factors, and contact with wild boars. In the literature selected for our review, human-related activities and behaviours are presented as the main risks, but we also stress the need to implement biosecurity measures also tailored to risks factors that are specific for the different pig farming practices in the European Union (EU). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue African Swine Fever Virus Infection)
Open AccessArticle
Accurate Diagnosis of Small Ruminant Lentivirus Infection Is Needed for Selection of Resistant Sheep through TMEM154 E35K Genotyping
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 83; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010083 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 447
Abstract
Small ruminant lentiviruses (SRLV) cause an incurable multiorganic disease widely spread in sheep and goats that disturbs animal welfare and production. In the absence of a vaccine, control measures have been traditionally based on early diagnosis and breeding with virus-inactivated colostrum with segregation [...] Read more.
Small ruminant lentiviruses (SRLV) cause an incurable multiorganic disease widely spread in sheep and goats that disturbs animal welfare and production. In the absence of a vaccine, control measures have been traditionally based on early diagnosis and breeding with virus-inactivated colostrum with segregation of seropositive animals. However, antigenic heterogeneity, poor antibody production due to low viral load, and single strain design of most available ELISA, pose a threat to SRLV diagnosis. Genome-wide association studies have described TMEM154 E35K polymorphism as a good genetic marker for selection of resistant animals in some American and European breeds. In this study, a multitargeted serological and virological screening of more than 500 animals from four different breeds (latxa, raza Navarra, assaf, and churra) attending to SRLV infection status was performed. Then, animals were genotyped to characterize TMEM154 E35K polymorphism. ELISA procedures, individually considered, only identified a proportion of the seropositive animals, and PCR detected a fraction of seronegative animals, globally offering different animal classifications according to SRLV infection status. TMEM154 allele frequency differed substantially among breeds and a positive association between seroprevalence and TMEM154 genotype was found only in one breed. Selection based on TMEM154 may be suitable for specific ovine breeds or SRLV strains, however generalization to the whole SRLV genetic spectrum, ovine breeds, or epidemiological situation may need further validation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lentivirus Infections in Small Ruminants)
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Open AccessArticle
Predominance of Candida Glabrata among Non-albicans Candida Species in a 16-Year Study of Candidemia at a Tertiary Care Center in Lebanon
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 82; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010082 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 397
Abstract
Background: Candidemia is associated with a high mortality rate, and its incidence is increasing worldwide with a rise in non-albicans candidemia (NAC). Epidemiologic data from Arab countries are scarce and there are no data from Lebanon; Methods: This is a single-center retrospective [...] Read more.
Background: Candidemia is associated with a high mortality rate, and its incidence is increasing worldwide with a rise in non-albicans candidemia (NAC). Epidemiologic data from Arab countries are scarce and there are no data from Lebanon; Methods: This is a single-center retrospective chart review of patients with candidemia in a tertiary care center in Lebanon from 2004 to 2019. We extracted data on patient characteristics, isolated Candida species antifungal susceptibility, management and outcomes; Results: We included 170 cases of candidemia. NAC was more common than albicans candidemia (64.7% vs. 35.3%). C. glabrata was the most common non-albicans species (37 isolates) followed by C. tropicalis (14). Recent use of antifungals was a risk factor for NAC (OR = 2.8, p = 0.01), while the presence of a central venous catheter was protective (OR = 0.41, p = 0.02). Fluconazole resistance was 12.5% in C. albicans and 21.5% in non-albicans spp. Mortality at 30 days was 55.5%, with no difference between NAC and albicans candidemia. It was higher in older and critically ill patients but lower in patients whose central venous catheter was removed after detecting fungemia; Conclusions: Candidemia is associated with high mortality in Lebanon, with a predominance of NAC and high prevalence of C. glabrata. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Role of a New Compound Micronutrient Multifunctional Fertilizer against Verticillium dahliae on Cotton
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 81; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010081 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 307
Abstract
Verticillium dahliae Kleb., the causal pathogen of vascular wilt, can seriously reduce the yield and quality of many crops, including cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). To control the harm caused by V. dahliae, considering the environmental pollution of chemical fungicides and their [...] Read more.
Verticillium dahliae Kleb., the causal pathogen of vascular wilt, can seriously reduce the yield and quality of many crops, including cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). To control the harm caused by V. dahliae, considering the environmental pollution of chemical fungicides and their residues, the strategy of plant nutrition regulation is becoming increasingly important as an eco-friendly method for disease control. A new compound micronutrient fertilizer (CMF) found in our previous study could reduce the damage of cotton Verticillium wilt and increase yield. However, there is little information about the mode of action of CMF to control this disease. In the present study, we evaluated the role of CMF against V. dahliae and its mechanism of action in vitro and in vivo. In the laboratory tests, we observed that CMF could inhibit hyphal growth, microsclerotia germination, and reduce sporulation of V. dahliae. Further studies revealed that the biomass of V. dahliae in the root and hypocotyl of cotton seedlings treated with CMF were significantly reduced compared with the control, and these results could explain the decline in the disease index of cotton Verticillium wilt. Furthermore, those key genes involved in the phenylpropanoid metabolism pathway, resistance-related genes defense, and nitric oxide signaling pathway were induced in cotton root and hypocotyl tissue when treated with CMF. These results suggest that CMF is a multifaceted micronutrient fertilizer with roles in inhibiting the growth, development, and pathogenicity of V. dahliae and promoting cotton growth. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Current Arboviral Threats and Their Potential Vectors in Thailand
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 80; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010080 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 364
Abstract
Arthropod-borne viral diseases (arboviruses) are a public-health concern in many regions of the world, including Thailand. This review describes the potential vectors and important human and/or veterinary arboviruses in Thailand. The medically important arboviruses affect humans, while veterinary arboviruses affect livestock and the [...] Read more.
Arthropod-borne viral diseases (arboviruses) are a public-health concern in many regions of the world, including Thailand. This review describes the potential vectors and important human and/or veterinary arboviruses in Thailand. The medically important arboviruses affect humans, while veterinary arboviruses affect livestock and the economy. The main vectors described are mosquitoes, but other arthropods have been reported. Important mosquito-borne arboviruses are transmitted mainly by members of the genus Aedes (e.g., dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus) and Culex (e.g., Japanese encephalitis, Tembusu and West Nile virus). While mosquitoes are important vectors, arboviruses are transmitted via other vectors, such as sand flies, ticks, cimicids (Family Cimicidae) and Culicoides. Veterinary arboviruses are reported in this review, e.g., duck Tembusu virus (DTMUV), Kaeng Khoi virus (KKV), and African horse sickness virus (AHSV). During arbovirus outbreaks, to target control interventions appropriately, it is critical to identify the vector(s) involved and their ecology. Knowledge of the prevalence of these viruses, and the potential for viral infections to co-circulate in mosquitoes, is also important for outbreak prediction. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Changes in the Splenic Melanomacrophage Centre Surface Area in Southern Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) Are Associated with Blood Fluke Infections
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 79; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010079 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 233
Abstract
Melanomacrophage centres (MMCs) are aggregates of macrophages accumulating various pigments. They have been proposed as an indicator of fish immune response. Blood flukes are common parasites in farmed fish. Two cohorts of wild Southern Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus maccoyi) were examined at [...] Read more.
Melanomacrophage centres (MMCs) are aggregates of macrophages accumulating various pigments. They have been proposed as an indicator of fish immune response. Blood flukes are common parasites in farmed fish. Two cohorts of wild Southern Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus maccoyi) were examined at transfer, before treatment against blood flukes (pre-treatment) and at harvest. MMCs were assessed in histological sections using image analysis, while Cardicola forsteri and Cardicola orientalis infection severity was determined using qPCR, count of adult flukes in heart flushes and count of eggs in gill filaments. Fish from both cohorts showed the same pattern in the changes in the surface area of MMCs. The surface area of splenic MMCs increased over the ranching duration and was positively correlated to the PCR determined copy numbers of Cardicola forsteri ITS2 rDNA in the gills of those fish. However, the infection with blood fluke was more variable, both between cohorts and individuals within the same cohort. Eggs of blood fluke were detected in renal MMCs using histology. Cardicola forsteri had a higher prevalence than Cardicola orientalis. This study contributes to our understanding of blood fluke infections in Southern Bluefin Tuna and their interactions with MMCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fish Parasites and Immunology)
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Open AccessArticle
Distribution and Genetic Diversity of Aedes aegypti Subspecies across the Sahelian Belt in Sudan
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 78; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010078 - 17 Jan 2021
Viewed by 587
Abstract
Aedes aegypti is the most important arboviral disease vector worldwide. In Africa, it exists as two morphologically distinct forms, often referred to as subspecies, Aaa and Aaf. There is a dearth of information on the distribution and genetic diversity of these two [...] Read more.
Aedes aegypti is the most important arboviral disease vector worldwide. In Africa, it exists as two morphologically distinct forms, often referred to as subspecies, Aaa and Aaf. There is a dearth of information on the distribution and genetic diversity of these two forms in Sudan and other African Sahelian region countries. This study aimed to explore the distribution and genetic diversity of Aedes aegypti subspecies using morphology and Cytochrome oxidase-1 mitochondrial marker in a large Sahelian zone in Sudan. An extensive cross-sectional survey of Aedes aegypti in Sudan was performed. Samples collected from eight locations were morphologically identified, subjected to DNA extraction, amplification, sequencing, and analyses. We classified four populations as Aaa and the other four as Aaf. Out of 140 sequence samples, forty-six distinct haplotypes were characterized. The haplotype and nucleotide diversity of the collected samples were 0.377–0.947 and 0.002–0.01, respectively. Isolation by distance was significantly evident (r = 0.586, p = 0.005). The SAMOVA test indicated that all Aaf populations are structured in one group, while the Aaa clustered into two groups. AMOVA showed 53.53% genetic differences within populations and 39.22% among groups. Phylogenetic relationships indicated two clusters in which the two subspecies were structured. Thus, the haplotype network consisted of three clusters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hemorrhagic Fever Viruses)
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Open AccessCase Report
Identification of the Source for Salmonella Contamination of Carcasses in a Large Pig Slaughterhouse
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 77; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010077 - 17 Jan 2021
Viewed by 339
Abstract
To identify the major source of Salmonella contamination in a pig slaughterhouse, samples were collected from the clean and unclean area and Salmonella isolates were further typed. Carcasses entering the clean area showed a Salmonella contamination rate of 96.7% in the oral cavity [...] Read more.
To identify the major source of Salmonella contamination in a pig slaughterhouse, samples were collected from the clean and unclean area and Salmonella isolates were further typed. Carcasses entering the clean area showed a Salmonella contamination rate of 96.7% in the oral cavity and 55.0% in the rectum content samples. Evisceration seemed not to be critical as the contamination rate of the carcasses was similar before (16.7%) and after (18.3%) this slaughter step. In the unclean area, a limited number of oral cavity samples were positive after bleeding, while a dramatic increase of positives was observed after dehairing. Salmonella was detected in up to 0.01 mL of the recycled water collected from the dehairing machine. Genotyping of Salmonella isolates showed that similar pulsotypes were present in the oral cavity and recycled water. Based on these observations it can be concluded that the recycled water used in the dehairing machine was the major source for the carcass contamination in this slaughterhouse. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Epidemiology, Biotic Interactions and Biological Control of Armillarioids in the Northern Hemisphere
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 76; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010076 - 16 Jan 2021
Viewed by 674
Abstract
Armillarioids, including the genera Armillaria, Desarmillaria and Guyanagaster, represent white-rot specific fungal saprotrophs with soilborne pathogenic potentials on woody hosts. They propagate in the soil by root-like rhizomorphs, connecting between susceptible root sections of their hosts, and often forming extended colonies [...] Read more.
Armillarioids, including the genera Armillaria, Desarmillaria and Guyanagaster, represent white-rot specific fungal saprotrophs with soilborne pathogenic potentials on woody hosts. They propagate in the soil by root-like rhizomorphs, connecting between susceptible root sections of their hosts, and often forming extended colonies in native forests. Pathogenic abilities of Armillaria and Desarmillaria genets can readily manifest in compromised hosts, or hosts with full vigour can be invaded by virulent mycelia when exposed to a larger number of newly formed genets. Armillaria root rot-related symptoms are indicators of ecological imbalances in native forests and plantations at the rhizosphere levels, often related to abiotic environmental threats, and most likely unfavourable changes in the microbiome compositions in the interactive zone of the roots. The less-studied biotic impacts that contribute to armillarioid host infection include fungi and insects, as well as forest conditions. On the other hand, negative biotic impactors, like bacterial communities, antagonistic fungi, nematodes and plant-derived substances may find applications in the environment-friendly, biological control of armillarioid root diseases, which can be used instead of, or in combination with the classical, but frequently problematic silvicultural and chemical control measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Reviews for "Plant Pathogens")
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Open AccessArticle
Management of Microbiological Contamination of the Water Network of a Newly Built Hospital Pavilion
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 75; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010075 - 16 Jan 2021
Viewed by 330
Abstract
The good installation, as well as commissioning plan, of a water network is a crucial step in reducing the risk of waterborne diseases. The aim of this study was to monitor the microbiological quality of water from a newly built pavilion before it [...] Read more.
The good installation, as well as commissioning plan, of a water network is a crucial step in reducing the risk of waterborne diseases. The aim of this study was to monitor the microbiological quality of water from a newly built pavilion before it commenced operation. Overall, 91 water samples were tested for coliforms, Escherichia coli, enterococci, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Legionella at three different times: T0 (without any water treatment), T1 (after treatment with hydrogen peroxide and silver ions at initial concentration of 20 mg/L and after flushing of water for 20 min/day for seven successive days) and T2 (15 days later). Coliforms were detected in 47.3% of samples at T0, 36.3% at T1 and 4.4% at T2. E. coli was isolated in 4.4% of the samples only at T1, while enterococci appeared in 12.1% of the samples at T1 and in 2.2% at T2. P. aeruginosa was isolated in 50.5% of the samples at T0, 29.7% at T1 and 1.1% at T2. Legionella pneumophila serogroup 8 was isolated in 80.2% of the samples at T0, 36.3% at T1 and 2.2% at T2. Our results confirmed the need for a water safety plan in new hospital pavilions to prevent the risk of waterborne diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Waterborne/Foodborne/Airborne Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
Correlation between Pathogenic Determinants Associated with Clinically Isolated Non-Typhoidal Salmonella
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 74; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010074 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 308
Abstract
Non-typhoidal and Typhoidal Salmonella are bacterial pathogens source of worldwide and major disease burden. Virulent determinants of specific serovars belonging to non-typhoidal Salmonella have been extensively studied in different models, yet the pathogenesis of this group of bacteria and the development of clinical [...] Read more.
Non-typhoidal and Typhoidal Salmonella are bacterial pathogens source of worldwide and major disease burden. Virulent determinants of specific serovars belonging to non-typhoidal Salmonella have been extensively studied in different models, yet the pathogenesis of this group of bacteria and the development of clinical symptoms globally remains underexplored. Herein, we implemented microbiological and molecular procedures to investigate isolate virulence traits and molecular diversity, likely in association with disease severity. Our results show that selected clinical isolates from a tertiary referring hospital, depending on the richness of the environment and isolate serotypes, exhibited different, and sometimes controversial, virulence properties. The tested strains were susceptible to Ceftriaxone (90%) with decreasing reactivity to Trimethoprim–Sulfamethoxazole (72%), Chloramphenicol (64%), Ampicillin (48%), Gentamicin (44%), and Ciprofloxacin (2%). Disc susceptibility results partially correlated with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC); however, special attention must be given to antimicrobial treatment, as a rise in multi-resistant isolates to Trimethoprim–Sulfamethoxazole (2/38 µg/mL), Minocycline (8 µg/mL) and Ampicillin (16 µg/mL) has been noticed, with two isolates resistant to Ceftazidime (16 µg/mL). By comparison to previous molecular epidemiology studies, the variation in the gene profiles of endemic pathogens supports the need for continuous and up-to-date microbiological and molecular reports. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Emerging and Neglected Viruses of Zoonotic Importance in Croatia
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 73; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010073 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 459
Abstract
Several arboviruses have emerged in Croatia in recent years. Tick-borne encephalitis is endemic in continental counties; however, new natural micro-foci have been detected. Two autochthonous dengue cases were reported in 2010. West Nile virus emerged in 2012, followed by emergence of Usutu virus [...] Read more.
Several arboviruses have emerged in Croatia in recent years. Tick-borne encephalitis is endemic in continental counties; however, new natural micro-foci have been detected. Two autochthonous dengue cases were reported in 2010. West Nile virus emerged in 2012, followed by emergence of Usutu virus in 2013. Although high seroprevalence rates of Toscana virus have been detected among residents of Croatian littoral, the virus remains neglected, with only a few clinical cases of neuroinvasive infections reported. Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus is a neglected neuroinvasive rodent-borne virus. So far, there are no reports on human clinical cases; however, the seroprevalence studies indicate the virus presence in the Croatian mainland. Puumala and Dobrava hantaviruses are widely distributing rodent-borne viruses with sporadic and epidemic occurrence. Hepatitis E virus is an emerging food-borne virus in Croatia. After the emergence in 2012, cases were regularly recorded. Seropositivity varies greatly by region and population group. Rotaviruses represent a significant healthcare burden since rotavirus vaccination is not included in the Croatian national immunization program. Additionally, rotaviruses are widely distributed in the Croatian ecosystem. A novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, emerged in February 2020 and spread rapidly throughout the country. This review focuses on emerging and neglected viruses of zoonotic importance detected in Croatia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging and Neglected Viruses and Zoonoses)
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Open AccessEditorial
Pathogens: Journal Section Readjustment
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 72; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010072 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 348
Abstract
The impact of infectious diseases on human life is incalculable [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
An Integrated Approach to Identify New Anti-Filarial Leads to Treat River Blindness, a Neglected Tropical Disease
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 71; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010071 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 418
Abstract
Filarial worms cause multiple debilitating diseases in millions of people worldwide, including river blindness. Currently available drugs reduce transmission by killing larvae (microfilariae), but there are no effective cures targeting the adult parasites (macrofilaricides) which survive and reproduce in the host for very [...] Read more.
Filarial worms cause multiple debilitating diseases in millions of people worldwide, including river blindness. Currently available drugs reduce transmission by killing larvae (microfilariae), but there are no effective cures targeting the adult parasites (macrofilaricides) which survive and reproduce in the host for very long periods. To identify effective macrofilaricides, we carried out phenotypic screening of a library of 2121 approved drugs for clinical use against adult Brugia pahangi and prioritized the hits for further studies by integrating those results with a computational prioritization of drugs and associated targets. This resulted in the identification of 18 hits with anti-macrofilaricidal activity, of which two classes, azoles and aspartic protease inhibitors, were further expanded upon. Follow up screening against Onchocerca spp. (adult Onchocerca ochengi and pre-adult O. volvulus) confirmed activity for 13 drugs (the majority having IC50 < 10 μM), and a counter screen of a subset against L. loa microfilariae showed the potential to identify selective drugs that prevent adverse events when co-infected individuals are treated. Stage specific activity was also observed. Many of these drugs are amenable to structural optimization, and also have known canonical targets, making them promising candidates for further optimization that can lead to identifying and characterizing novel anti-macrofilarial drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Onchocerciasis and River Epilepsy)
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Open AccessArticle
Enlisting the Ixodes scapularis Embryonic ISE6 Cell Line to Investigate the Neuronal Basis of Tick—Pathogen Interactions
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 70; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010070 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 529
Abstract
Neuropeptides are small signaling molecules expressed in the tick central nervous system, i.e., the synganglion. The neuronal-like Ixodes scapularis embryonic cell line, ISE6, is an effective tool frequently used for examining tick–pathogen interactions. We detected 37 neuropeptide transcripts in the I. scapularis ISE6 [...] Read more.
Neuropeptides are small signaling molecules expressed in the tick central nervous system, i.e., the synganglion. The neuronal-like Ixodes scapularis embryonic cell line, ISE6, is an effective tool frequently used for examining tick–pathogen interactions. We detected 37 neuropeptide transcripts in the I. scapularis ISE6 cell line using in silico methods, and six of these neuropeptide genes were used for experimental validation. Among these six neuropeptide genes, the tachykinin-related peptide (TRP) of ISE6 cells varied in transcript expression depending on the infection strain of the tick-borne pathogen, Anaplasma phagocytophilum. The immunocytochemistry of TRP revealed cytoplasmic expression in a prominent ISE6 cell subpopulation. The presence of TRP was also confirmed in A. phagocytophilum-infected ISE6 cells. The in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry of TRP of I. scapularis synganglion revealed expression in distinct neuronal cells. In addition, TRP immunoreaction was detected in axons exiting the synganglion via peripheral nerves as well as in hemal nerve-associated lateral segmental organs. The characterization of a complete Ixodes neuropeptidome in ISE6 cells may serve as an effective in vitro tool to study how tick-borne pathogens interact with synganglion components that are vital to tick physiology. Therefore, our current study is a potential stepping stone for in vivo experiments to further examine the neuronal basis of tick–pathogen interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ticks)
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Open AccessArticle
In Silico Analysis of Possible Interaction between Host Genomic Transcription Factors (TFs) and Zika Virus (ZikaSPH2015) Strain with Combinatorial Gene Regulation; Virus Versus Host—The Game Reloaded
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 69; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010069 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 352
Abstract
In silico analysis is a promising approach for understanding biological events in complex diseases. Herein we report on the innovative computational workflow allowed to highlight new direct interactions between human transcription factors (TFs) and an entire genome of virus ZikaSPH2015 strain in order [...] Read more.
In silico analysis is a promising approach for understanding biological events in complex diseases. Herein we report on the innovative computational workflow allowed to highlight new direct interactions between human transcription factors (TFs) and an entire genome of virus ZikaSPH2015 strain in order to identify the occurrence of specific motifs on a genomic Zika Virus sequence that is able to bind and, therefore, sequester host’s TFs. The analysis pipeline was performed using different bioinformatics tools available online (free of charge). According to obtained results of this in silico analysis, it is possible to hypothesize that these TFs binding motifs might be able to explain the complex and heterogeneous phenotype presentation in Zika-virus-affected fetuses/newborns, as well as the less severe condition in adults. Moreover, the proposed in silico protocol identified thirty-three different TFs identical to the distribution of TFBSs (Transcription Factor Binding Sites) on ZikaSPH2015 strain, potentially able to influence genes and pathways with biological functions confirming that this approach could find potential answers on disease pathogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Interactions during Infection)
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Open AccessArticle
The Remarkable Metabolism of Vickermania ingenoplastis: Genomic Predictions
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 68; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010068 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 379
Abstract
A recently redescribed two-flagellar trypanosomatid Vickermania ingenoplastis is insensitive to the classical inhibitors of respiration and thrives under anaerobic conditions. Using genomic and transcriptomic data, we analyzed its genes of the core metabolism and documented that subunits of the mitochondrial respiratory complexes III [...] Read more.
A recently redescribed two-flagellar trypanosomatid Vickermania ingenoplastis is insensitive to the classical inhibitors of respiration and thrives under anaerobic conditions. Using genomic and transcriptomic data, we analyzed its genes of the core metabolism and documented that subunits of the mitochondrial respiratory complexes III and IV are ablated, while those of complexes I, II, and V are all present, along with an alternative oxidase. This explains the previously reported conversion of glucose to acetate and succinate by aerobic fermentation. Glycolytic pyruvate is metabolized to acetate and ethanol by pyruvate dismutation, whereby a unique type of alcohol dehydrogenase (shared only with Phytomonas spp.) processes an excess of reducing equivalents formed under anaerobic conditions, leading to the formation of ethanol. Succinate (formed to maintain the glycosomal redox balance) is converted to propionate by a cyclic process involving three enzymes of the mitochondrial methyl-malonyl-CoA pathway, via a cyclic process, which results in the formation of additional ATP. The unusual structure of the V. ingenoplastis genome and its similarity with that of Phytomonas spp. imply their relatedness or convergent evolution. Nevertheless, a critical difference between these two trypanosomatids is that the former has significantly increased its genome size by gene duplications, while the latter streamlined its genome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinetoplastid Phylogenomics and Evolution)
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Open AccessArticle
Emergence of the New KPC-49 Variant Conferring an ESBL Phenotype with Resistance to Ceftazidime-Avibactam in the ST131-H30R1 Escherichia coli High-Risk Clone
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 67; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010067 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 379
Abstract
We report the emergence of an isolate belonging to the sequence type (ST)131-Escherichia coli high-risk clone with ceftazidime-avibactam resistance recovered from a patient with bacteremia in 2019. Antimicrobial susceptibility was determined and whole genome sequencing (Illumina-NovaSeq6000) and cloning experiments were performed to [...] Read more.
We report the emergence of an isolate belonging to the sequence type (ST)131-Escherichia coli high-risk clone with ceftazidime-avibactam resistance recovered from a patient with bacteremia in 2019. Antimicrobial susceptibility was determined and whole genome sequencing (Illumina-NovaSeq6000) and cloning experiments were performed to investigate its resistance phenotype. A KPC-3-producing E. coli isolate susceptible to ceftazidime-avibactam (MIC = 0.5/4 mg/L) and with non-wild type MIC of meropenem (8 mg/L) was detected in a blood culture performed at hospital admission. Following 10-days of standard ceftazidime-avibactam dose treatment, a second KPC-producing E. coli isolate with a phenotype resembling an extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) producer (meropenem 0.5 mg/L, piperacillin-tazobactam 16/8 mg/L) but resistant to ceftazidime-avibactam (16/4 mg/L) was recovered. Both E. coli isolates belonged to ST131, serotype O25:H4 and sublineage H30R1. Genomics analysis showed a core genome of 5,203,887 base pair with an evolutionary distance of 6 single nucleotide polymorphisms. A high content of resistance and virulence genes was detected in both isolates. The novel KPC-49 variant, an Arg-163-Ser mutant of blaKPC-3, was detected in the isolate with resistance to ceftazidime-avibactam. Cloning experiments revealed that blaKPC-49 gene increases ceftazidime-avibactam MIC and decreases carbapenem MICs when using a porin deficient Klebsiella pneumoniae strain as a host. Both blaKPC-3 and blaKPC-49 genes were located on the transposon Tn4401a as a part of an IncF [F1:A2:B20] plasmid. The emergence of novel blaKPC genes conferring decreased susceptibility to ceftazidime-avibactam and resembling ESBL production in the epidemic ST131-H30R1-E. coli high-risk clone presents a new challenge in clinical practice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Contamination Sources and Transmission Routes for Campylobacter on (Mixed) Broiler Farms in Belgium, and Comparison of the Gut Microbiota of Flocks Colonized and Uncolonized with Campylobacter
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 66; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010066 - 13 Jan 2021
Viewed by 332
Abstract
Biosecurity seems to be the most promising tool for Campylobacter control on poultry farms. A longitudinal molecular epidemiological study was performed during two production cycles, in which the broilers, the poultry house, and the environment of 10 (mixed) broiler farms were monitored weekly. [...] Read more.
Biosecurity seems to be the most promising tool for Campylobacter control on poultry farms. A longitudinal molecular epidemiological study was performed during two production cycles, in which the broilers, the poultry house, and the environment of 10 (mixed) broiler farms were monitored weekly. Cecal droppings from the second production cycle were also used for 16S metabarcoding to study the differences in the microbiota of colonized and uncolonized flocks. Results showed that 3 out of 10 farms were positive for Campylobacter in the first production cycle, and 4 out of 10 were positive in the second. Broilers became colonized at the earliest when they were four weeks old. The majority of the flocks (57%) became colonized after partial depopulation. Before colonization of the flocks, Campylobacter was rarely detected in the environment, but it was frequently isolated from cattle and swine. Although these animals appeared to be consistent carriers of Campylobacter, molecular typing revealed that they were not the source of flock colonization. In accordance with previous reports, this study suggests that partial depopulation appears to be an important risk factor for Campylobacter introduction into the broiler house. Metabarcoding indicated that two Campylobacter-free flocks carried high relative abundances of Megamonas in their ceca, suggesting potential competition with Campylobacter. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Genetic Diversity and Distribution of Virulence-Associated Genes in Y. enterocolitica and Y. enterocolitica-Like Isolates from Humans and Animals in Poland
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 65; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010065 - 13 Jan 2021
Viewed by 428
Abstract
Yersinia enterocolitica, widespread within domestic and wild-living animals, is a foodborne pathogen causing yersiniosis. The goal of this study was to assess a genetic similarity of Y. enterocolitica and Y. enterocolitica-like strains isolated from different hosts using Multiple Locus Variable-Number Tandem Repeat [...] Read more.
Yersinia enterocolitica, widespread within domestic and wild-living animals, is a foodborne pathogen causing yersiniosis. The goal of this study was to assess a genetic similarity of Y. enterocolitica and Y. enterocolitica-like strains isolated from different hosts using Multiple Locus Variable-Number Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA) and Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) methods, and analyze the prevalence of virulence genes using multiplex-Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) assays. Among 51 Yersinia sp. strains 20 virulotypes were determined. The most common virulence genes were ymoA, ureC, inv, myfA, and yst. Yersinia sp. strains had genes which may contribute to the bacterial invasion and colonization of the intestines as well as survival in serum. One wild boar Y. enterocolitica 1A strain possessed ail gene implying the possible pathogenicity of 1A biotype. Wild boar strains, represented mainly by 1A biotype, were not classified into the predominant Variable-Number Tandem Repeats (VNTR)/PFGE profile and virulotype. There was a clustering tendency among VNTR/PFGE profiles of pig origin, 4/O:3, and virulence profile. Pig and human strains formed the most related group, characterized by ~80% of genetic similarity what suggest the role of pigs as a potential source of infection for the pork consumers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a Multiplex Real-Time PCR Assay for Predicting Macrolide and Tetracycline Resistance Associated with Bacterial Pathogens of Bovine Respiratory Disease
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 64; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010064 - 13 Jan 2021
Viewed by 418
Abstract
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is an emerging concern that may threaten both animal and public health. Rapid and accurate detection of AMR is essential for prudent drug therapy selection during BRD outbreaks. This study aimed to develop a multiplex [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is an emerging concern that may threaten both animal and public health. Rapid and accurate detection of AMR is essential for prudent drug therapy selection during BRD outbreaks. This study aimed to develop a multiplex quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assay (qPCR) to provide culture-independent information regarding the phenotypic AMR status of BRD cases and an alternative to the gold-standard, culture-dependent test. Bovine clinical samples (297 lung and 111 nasal) collected in Nebraska were subjected to qPCR quantification of macrolide (MAC) and tetracycline (TET) resistance genes and gold-standard determinations of AMR of BRD pathogens. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used to classify AMR based on the qPCR results. For lung tissues, the qPCR method showed good agreement with the gold-standard test for both MACs and TETs, with a sensitivity of 67–81% and a specificity higher than 80%. For nasal swabs, qPCR results passed validation criteria only for TET resistance detection, with a sensitivity of 88%, a specificity of 80% and moderate agreement. The culture-independent assay developed here provides the potential for more rapid AMR characterization of BRD cases directly from clinical samples at equivalent accuracy and higher time efficiency compared with the gold-standard, culture-based test. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection and Characterization of Drug-Resistant Organisms)
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Open AccessCommunication
Plant Health and Sound Vibration: Analyzing Implications of the Microbiome in Grape Wine Leaves
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 63; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010063 - 12 Jan 2021
Viewed by 407
Abstract
Understanding the plant microbiome is a key for plant health and controlling pathogens. Recent studies have shown that plants are responsive towards natural and synthetic sound vibration (SV) by perception and signal transduction, which resulted in resistance towards plant pathogens. However, whether or [...] Read more.
Understanding the plant microbiome is a key for plant health and controlling pathogens. Recent studies have shown that plants are responsive towards natural and synthetic sound vibration (SV) by perception and signal transduction, which resulted in resistance towards plant pathogens. However, whether or not native plant microbiomes respond to SV and the underlying mechanism thereof remains unknown. Within the present study we compared grapevine-associated microbiota that was perpetually exposed to classical music with a non-exposed control group from the same vineyard in Stellenbosch, South Africa. By analyzing the 16S rRNA gene and ITS fragment amplicon libraries we found differences between the core microbiome of SV-exposed leaves and the control group. For several of these different genera, e.g., Bacillus, Kocuria and Sphingomonas, a host-beneficial or pathogen-antagonistic effect has been well studied. Moreover, abundances of taxa identified as potential producers of volatile organic compounds that contribute to sensory characteristics of wines, e.g., Methylobacterium, Sphingomonas, Bacillus and Sporobolomyces roseus, were either increased or even unique within the core music-exposed phyllosphere population. Results show an as yet unexplored avenue for improved plant health and the terroir of wine, which are important for environmentally friendly horticulture and consumer appreciation. Although our findings explain one detail of the long-term positive experience to improve grapevine’s resilience by this unusual but innovative technique, more mechanistic studies are necessary to understand the whole interplay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Phytopathogens: Mechanisms and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Psychophysical Evaluation of the Olfactory Function: European Multicenter Study on 774 COVID-19 Patients
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 62; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010062 - 12 Jan 2021
Viewed by 402
Abstract
Background: The objective evaluation of the olfactory function of coronavirus disease 2019 patients is difficult because of logistical and operator-safety problems. For this reason, in the literature, the data obtained from psychophysical tests are few and based on small case series. Methods: A [...] Read more.
Background: The objective evaluation of the olfactory function of coronavirus disease 2019 patients is difficult because of logistical and operator-safety problems. For this reason, in the literature, the data obtained from psychophysical tests are few and based on small case series. Methods: A multicenter, cohort study conducted in seven European hospitals between March 22 and August 20, 2020. The Sniffin-Sticks test and the Connecticut Chemosensory Clinical Research Center orthonasal olfaction test were used to objectively evaluate the olfactory function. Results: This study included 774 patients, of these 481 (62.1%) presented olfactory dysfunction (OD): 280 were hyposmic and 201 were anosmic. There was a significant difference between self-reported anosmia/hyposmia and psychophysical test results (p = 0.006). Patients with gastroesophageal disorders reported a significantly higher probability of presenting hyposmia (OR 1.86; p = 0.015) and anosmia (OR 2.425; p < 0.001). Fever, chest pain, and phlegm significantly increased the likelihood of having hyposmia but not anosmia or an olfactory disturbance. In contrast, patients with dyspnea, dysphonia, and severe-to-critical COVID-19 were significantly more likely to have no anosmia, while these symptoms had no effect on the risk of developing hyposmia or an OD. Conclusions: Psychophysical assessment represents a significantly more accurate assessment tool for olfactory function than patient self-reported clinical outcomes. Olfactory disturbances appear to be largely independent from the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of the patients. The non-association with rhinitis symptoms and the high prevalence as a presenting symptom make olfactory disturbances an important symptom in the differential diagnosis between COVID-19 and common flu. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV Infections)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of N-glycosylation on Expression and Function of Pseudorabies Virus Glycoprotein gB
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 61; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010061 - 12 Jan 2021
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Abstract
Envelope glycoprotein (g)B is conserved throughout the Herpesviridae and mediates fusion of the viral envelope with cellular membranes for infectious entry and spread. Like all viral envelope fusion proteins, gB is modified by asparagine (N)-linked glycosylation. Glycans can contribute to protein function, intracellular [...] Read more.
Envelope glycoprotein (g)B is conserved throughout the Herpesviridae and mediates fusion of the viral envelope with cellular membranes for infectious entry and spread. Like all viral envelope fusion proteins, gB is modified by asparagine (N)-linked glycosylation. Glycans can contribute to protein function, intracellular transport, trafficking, structure and immune evasion. gB of the alphaherpesvirus pseudorabies virus (PrV) contains six consensus sites for N-linked glycosylation, but their functional relevance is unknown. Here, we investigated the occupancy and functional relevance of N-glycosylation sites in PrV gB. To this end, all predicted N-glycosylation sites were inactivated either singly or in combination by the introduction of conservative mutations (N➔Q). The resulting proteins were tested for expression, fusion activity in cell–cell fusion assays and complementation of a gB-deficient PrV mutant. Our results indicate that all six sites are indeed modified. However, while glycosylation at most sites was dispensable for gB expression and fusogenicity, inactivation of N154 and N700 affected gB processing by furin cleavage and surface localization. Although all single mutants were functional in cell–cell fusion and viral entry, simultaneous inactivation of all six N-glycosylation sites severely impaired fusion activity and viral entry, suggesting a critical role of N-glycans for maintaining gB structure and function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pseudorabies Virus Infections)
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Open AccessArticle
Lower Levels of Transaminases but Higher Levels of Serum Creatinine in Patients with Acute Hepatitis E in Comparison to Patients with Hepatitis A
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 60; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010060 - 12 Jan 2021
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Abstract
In patients with hepatitis E virus (HEV) infections, extrahepatic, particularly renal and hematological manifestations, are increasingly reported in the medical literature but have never been studied compared to a control cohort. We retrospectively analyzed medical records of consecutive patients that were diagnosed with [...] Read more.
In patients with hepatitis E virus (HEV) infections, extrahepatic, particularly renal and hematological manifestations, are increasingly reported in the medical literature but have never been studied compared to a control cohort. We retrospectively analyzed medical records of consecutive patients that were diagnosed with acute hepatitis E (AHE) (n = 69) or acute hepatitis A (AHA) (n = 46) at the University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf from January 2009 to August 2019 for demographical, clinical, and laboratory information. Patients with AHE had significantly lower median levels of ALAT (798 U/L) and total bilirubin (1.8 mg/dL) compared to patients with AHA (2326 U/L; p < 0.001 and 5.2 mg/dL; p < 0.001), suggesting a generally less severe hepatitis. In contrast, patients with AHE had significantly higher median serum creatinine levels (0.9 mg/dL vs. 0.8 mg/dL; p = 0.002) and lower median estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (91 mL/min/1.73 m2 vs. 109 mL/min/1.73 m2; p < 0.001) than patients with AHA. Leucocyte, neutrophil and lymphocyte count, hemoglobin, platelets, red cell distribution width (RDW), neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR), and RDW to lymphocyte ratio (RLR) did not differ between patients with AHE and those with AHA. Our observations indicate that renal but not hematological interference presents an underrecognized extrahepatic feature of AHE, while inflammation of the liver seems to be more severe in AHA. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Metformin Improves Biochemical and Pathophysiological Changes in Hepatocellular Carcinoma with Pre-Existed Diabetes Mellitus Rats
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 59; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010059 - 11 Jan 2021
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Abstract
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the world’s most widely recognized malignant tumors that accounts for 90% of all the primary liver cancers and is a major cause of death from cancer, representing half a million deaths per year. Obesity and associated metabolic [...] Read more.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the world’s most widely recognized malignant tumors that accounts for 90% of all the primary liver cancers and is a major cause of death from cancer, representing half a million deaths per year. Obesity and associated metabolic irregularities, particularly diabetes mellitus (DM) and insulin resistance, are important risk factors for the advancement of HCC. Recently, retrospective studies showed that metformin (MET) could protect the hepatic tissues in pre-existing diabetes mellitus from HCC. The purpose of this study was to assess the role of MET treatment in the pre-existing diabetic rats before and after HCC induction by diethylnitrosamine (DEN). Thirty-five male Sprague Dawley albino rats were partitioned into the following groups: Group 1 (Gp1) was the control. Gp2 was injected intraperitoneally (i.p) with streptozotocin (STZ) (80 mg/kg) and DEN (50 mg/kg/7 weeks). Gp3, Gp4, and Gp5 were injected as in Gp2 and treated with MET (150 mg/kg) before and/or after HCC induction. Biochemical parameters including liver functions, lipid profile, and oxidative stress biomarkers were determined. Furthermore, histological and immunohistochemical changes were assessed in all groups. Our results illustrated that the group of rats that were treated with STZ and DEN had significant changes in both liver functions and were associated with alterations in the liver histopathological architectures. Treatment with MET before or after HCC induction ameliorated the cellular changes in the liver tissues; however, the utmost protection was found in a group of rats, which were treated with MET before and after HCC induction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammation and Gastrointestinal/Hepatobiliary Cancers)
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Open AccessArticle
Systemic Inflammatory Index Is a Novel Predictor of Intubation Requirement and Mortality after SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 58; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010058 - 11 Jan 2021
Viewed by 549
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), with an increasing number of deaths worldwide, has created a tragic global health and economic emergency. The disease, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2019 (SARS-CoV-19), is a multi-system inflammatory disease with many of COVID-19-positive patients requiring intensive [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), with an increasing number of deaths worldwide, has created a tragic global health and economic emergency. The disease, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2019 (SARS-CoV-19), is a multi-system inflammatory disease with many of COVID-19-positive patients requiring intensive medical care due to multi-organ failures. Biomarkers to reliably predict the patient’s clinical cause of the virus infection, ideally, to be applied in point of care testing or through routine diagnostic approaches, are highly needed. We aimed to probe if routinely assessed clinical lab values can predict the severity of the COVID-19 course. Therefore, we have retrospectively analyzed on admission laboratory findings in 224 consecutive patients from four hospitals and show that systemic immune inflammation index (SII) is a potent marker for predicting the requirement for invasive ventilator support and for worse clinical outcome of the infected patient. Patients’ survival and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection could reliably be predicted at admission by calculating the systemic inflammatory index of individual blood values. We advocate this approach to be a feasible and easy-to-implement assay that may be particularly useful to improve patient management during high influx crisis. We believe with this work to contribute to improving infrastructure availability and case management associated with COVID-19 pandemic hurdles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Pathogens)
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Open AccessCommunication
Human Herpesvirus 6A Induces Dendritic Cell Death and HMGB1 Release without Virus Replication
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 57; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010057 - 11 Jan 2021
Viewed by 399
Abstract
Human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A) is a common virus that has important immunomodulatory effects. Dendritic cells (DC) are key players in innate and adaptive immunity and are implicated in the pathogenesis of many human diseases, including infections. (1) Background: Previous studies have demonstrated suppressive [...] Read more.
Human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A) is a common virus that has important immunomodulatory effects. Dendritic cells (DC) are key players in innate and adaptive immunity and are implicated in the pathogenesis of many human diseases, including infections. (1) Background: Previous studies have demonstrated suppressive effects of HHV-6A on key DC functions. (2) Methods: human monocyte derived dendritic cells were inoculated with HHV-6A and viral replication, cell viability, and release of high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein from DC and of the cytokines IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, TNF and IFN-γ after co-culture with allogenic CD4+ T cells were assessed. (3) Results: Nonproductive infection of HHV-6A in DC leads to titer-dependent cell death and the release of HMGB1 protein, and a Th2 polarization. (4) Conclusion: These immune responses aimed to clear the infection may also imply risks for inflammatory pathologies associated with HHV-6A such as multiple sclerosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
Emerging Infectious Diseases in Pregnant Women in a Non-Endemic Area: Almost One Out of Four Is at Risk
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 56; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens10010056 - 10 Jan 2021
Viewed by 428
Abstract
We report the results of a targeted testing strategy for five emerging infectious diseases (Chagas disease, human T-lymphotropic virus 1 infection, malaria, schistosomiasis, and Zika virus infection) in pregnant women accessing an Italian referral centre for infectious diseases in pregnancy for unrelated reasons. [...] Read more.
We report the results of a targeted testing strategy for five emerging infectious diseases (Chagas disease, human T-lymphotropic virus 1 infection, malaria, schistosomiasis, and Zika virus infection) in pregnant women accessing an Italian referral centre for infectious diseases in pregnancy for unrelated reasons. The strategy is based on a quick five-question questionnaire which allows the identification of pregnant women at risk who should be tested for a specific disease. One hundred and three (24%) out of 429 pregnant women evaluated in a 20 month period were at risk for at least one emerging infectious disease. Three (2.9%, all from sub-Saharan Africa) out of 103 at-risk women resulted in being affected (one case of Plasmodium falciparum malaria, two cases of schistosomiasis) and were appropriately managed. Prevalence of emerging infectious disease was particularly high in pregnant women from Africa (three out of 25 pregnant women tested, 12%). The proposed strategy could be used by health care professionals managing pregnant women in non-endemic setting, to identify those at risk for one of the five infection which could benefit for a targeted test and treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Congenital and Perinatal Infections)
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