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Pathogens, Volume 13, Issue 5 (May 2024) – 82 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Prevotella species (spp.) are a diverse genus of anaerobic bacteria implicated in many different infections throughout the human body, but most notably in female genital tract infections (FGTIs). More specifically, P. bivia, P. amnii, and P. timonensis have garnered significant attention in FGTIs such as bacterial vaginosis (BV), endometritis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and chorioamnionitis. These three key Prevotella spp. employ important virulence factors during FGTIs such as sialidase production, ammonia production, antibiotic resistance, and others. However, critical gaps remain in the literature regarding the specific mechanisms of Prevotella spp. pathogenesis during infection. Advancing our understanding of the role of Prevotella spp. in FGTIs will improve diagnostic accuracy, treatment efficacy, and women’s health outcomes. View this paper
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21 pages, 318 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Milk Leakage, Udder Pressure and Further Risk Factors on the Development of New Intramammary Infections during the Dry Period of Dairy Cows
by Pauline Katthöfer, Yanchao Zhang, Nicole Wente, Franziska Preine, Julia Nitz and Volker Krömker
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 430; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050430 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 515
Abstract
Prevention of new intramammary infection (NIMI) during the dry period (DP) is essential to prevent the development of mastitis in dairy cows. To investigate risk factors for NIMI, 212 cows, comprising a total of 848 udder quarters, were examined in this study. Quarter [...] Read more.
Prevention of new intramammary infection (NIMI) during the dry period (DP) is essential to prevent the development of mastitis in dairy cows. To investigate risk factors for NIMI, 212 cows, comprising a total of 848 udder quarters, were examined in this study. Quarter milk samples were taken on the day of drying off and 7 ± 3 days after calving. Cow- and quarter-level associated risk factors were assessed at the beginning of the DP and after calving. In total, 7.1% of the udder quarters developed an NIMI between the samplings. Non-aureus staphylococci (40.4%) and Gram-negative pathogens (22.8%) were most frequently the cause of NIMI. The observed milk leakage prevalence was 16.7%, with a peak 24 h after drying off. Simultaneously, the udder pressure peaked 24 h after drying off. A significant correlation between milk yield on the day before drying off and milk leakage could be proven. Cows with quarters leaking milk produced an average milk yield of 28.32 kg on the day before drying off. Generalised linear mixed models and odds ratios were calculated to determine the significant risk factors for NIMI during the DP and early lactation. Quarters leaking milk had 3.4 higher odds for NIMI between the samplings compared to quarters without milk leakage. Quarters from cows with dirty udders had 3.1 higher odds of developing an NIMI between the samplings compared to quarters from cows with clean udders. The results of this study demonstrate the importance of dry cow management before drying off and during the critical period of active involution of the udder tissue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Mastitis in Dairy Ruminants)
9 pages, 654 KiB  
Brief Report
Kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load in Hospitalized Patients
by Alessandra Panico, Francesco Bagordo, Emanuela Nolasco, Tiziana Grassi, Annagrazia Bianco, Floriano Indino, Federica Taurino, Antonella De Donno and Giambattista Lobreglio
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 429; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050429 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 572
Abstract
The rapid and accurate detection of infectious people is crucial in controlling outbreaks. The aim of this study was to evaluate the kinetics of the viral load expressed as Ct in COVID-19 hospitalized patients. Nasopharyngeal swab specimens were collected for RT-PCR testing. Forty-one [...] Read more.
The rapid and accurate detection of infectious people is crucial in controlling outbreaks. The aim of this study was to evaluate the kinetics of the viral load expressed as Ct in COVID-19 hospitalized patients. Nasopharyngeal swab specimens were collected for RT-PCR testing. Forty-one subjects were recruited, of which 48.8% developed severe symptoms and 51.2% showed milder symptoms. The distribution of Ct values measured from the symptom onset showed that the kinetics of the viral load decreased with increasing time. A Ct of 25 (high viral load) was reached after a mean of 9.9 ± 4.8 days from the symptom onset, without a significant difference between patients with severe (10.9 ± 5.7 days) and milder (9.0 ± 3.9 days) symptoms. In 65.8% of cases, a high viral load was maintained for more than 7 days from the symptom onset, especially in patients with severe symptoms (70.6%). A Ct of 30 (moderate viral load) and of 38 (low viral load) were reached after a mean of 16.1 ± 8.1 and 28.5 ± 22.4 days from the symptom onset, respectively, with a significant difference between patients with severe (Ct = 30:17.9 ± 9.8 days; Ct = 38:34.6 ± 29.6 days) and milder (Ct = 30:14.3 ± 5.8 days; Ct = 38:22.7 ± 9.9 days) symptoms. These results provide an understanding of the viral kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 and have implications for pandemic control strategies and practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection SARS-CoV Infections)
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12 pages, 2655 KiB  
Article
Genetic Diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Strains Isolated from HIV-Infected Patients in Mexico
by Daniel Valencia-Trujillo, Amanda Marineth Avila-Trejo, Rocío Liliana García-Reyes, Luis Narváez-Díaz, Mariela Segura del Pilar, Mario Alberto Mújica-Sánchez, Eduardo Becerril-Vargas, Moises León-Juárez, Mónica Maribel Mata-Miranda, Sandra Rivera-Gutiérrez and Jorge Francisco Cerna-Cortés
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 428; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050428 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 585
Abstract
There has been very limited investigation regarding the genetic diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTb) strains isolated from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients in Mexico. In this study, we isolated 93 MTb strains from pulmonary and extrapulmonary samples of HIV-infected patients treated in a [...] Read more.
There has been very limited investigation regarding the genetic diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTb) strains isolated from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients in Mexico. In this study, we isolated 93 MTb strains from pulmonary and extrapulmonary samples of HIV-infected patients treated in a public hospital in Mexico City to evaluate the genetic diversity using spoligotyping and mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit-variable-number tandem-repeat (MIRU-VNTR) typing (based on 24 loci). The cohort comprised 80 male and 13 female individuals. There was a positive correlation between a high HIV viral load (>100,000 copies) and extrapulmonary tuberculosis (TB) (r = 0.306, p = 0.008). Lineage 4 was the most frequent lineage (79 strains). In this lineage, we found the H clade (n = 24), including the Haarlem, H3, and H1 families; the T clade (n = 22), including T1 and T2; the X clade (n = 15), including X1 and X3; the LAM clade (n = 14), including LAM1, LAM2, LAM3, LAM6, and LAM9; the S clade (n = 2); Uganda (n = 1); and Ghana (n = 1). We also found 12 strains in the EAI clade belonging to lineage 1, including the EAI2-Manila and EAI5 families. Interestingly, we identified one strain belonging to the Beijing family, which is part of lineage 2. One strain could not be identified. This study reports high genetic diversity among MTb strains, highlighting the need for a molecular epidemiological surveillance system that can help to monitor the spread of these strains, leading to more appropriate measures for TB control in HIV-infected patients. Full article
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12 pages, 260 KiB  
Article
Molecular Screening for Digital Dermatitis-Associated Treponemes in Bovine Ischaemic Teat Necrosis Lesions and Milk in Dairy Cattle
by Hayley E. Crosby-Durrani, Stuart D. Carter, Roger W. Blowey and Nicholas J. Evans
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 427; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050427 - 17 May 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 504
Abstract
Bovine ischaemic teat necrosis (ITN) is a disease affecting the skin of the teats of dairy cows with an unknown aetiopathogenesis. Digital dermatitis (DD)-associated treponemes have previously been suggested as a potential aetiological agent in ITN, although the sample size was small. The [...] Read more.
Bovine ischaemic teat necrosis (ITN) is a disease affecting the skin of the teats of dairy cows with an unknown aetiopathogenesis. Digital dermatitis (DD)-associated treponemes have previously been suggested as a potential aetiological agent in ITN, although the sample size was small. The current study, using established PCR techniques, aimed to examine the association with the presence of DD-associated treponemes in a large number of ITN samples from a wider geographical area, and surveyed the potential of milk as an infection reservoir. From 95 ITN lesions, 35.8% (n = 34) were positive for at least one DD-associated treponeme compared with only 5.6% (n = 1) of 18 non-lesioned teats from cows with ITN lesions on a different teat using a nested PCR approach. All 10 age- and production-matched control cows were negative for DD-associated treponemes via PCR. No DD-associated treponemes could be detected from foremilk of cows with (n = 19) and without (n = 31) a DD lesion on the hind feet. DD-associated treponemes could be detected via PCR after incubation in milk for up to 2 h. Therefore, milk does not appear to be a competent reservoir for transmission of DD-associated treponemes. Moreover, in the current study DD-associated treponemes were only detected in a subset of ITN samples, so it is unlikely these opportunistic skin-associated pathogens are the major or sole agent of ITN. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Pathogens)
24 pages, 4008 KiB  
Review
Humans vs. Fungi: An Overview of Fungal Pathogens against Humans
by Kasun M. Thambugala, Dinushani A. Daranagama, Danushka S. Tennakoon, Dona Pamoda W. Jayatunga, Sinang Hongsanan and Ning Xie
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 426; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050426 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 1543
Abstract
Human fungal diseases are infections caused by any fungus that invades human tissues, causing superficial, subcutaneous, or systemic diseases. Fungal infections that enter various human tissues and organs pose a significant threat to millions of individuals with weakened immune systems globally. Over recent [...] Read more.
Human fungal diseases are infections caused by any fungus that invades human tissues, causing superficial, subcutaneous, or systemic diseases. Fungal infections that enter various human tissues and organs pose a significant threat to millions of individuals with weakened immune systems globally. Over recent decades, the reported cases of invasive fungal infections have increased substantially and research progress in this field has also been rapidly boosted. This review provides a comprehensive list of human fungal pathogens extracted from over 850 recent case reports, and a summary of the relevant disease conditions and their origins. Details of 281 human fungal pathogens belonging to 12 classes and 104 genera in the divisions ascomycota, basidiomycota, entomophthoromycota, and mucoromycota are listed. Among these, Aspergillus stands out as the genus with the greatest potential of infecting humans, comprising 16 species known to infect humans. Additionally, three other genera, Curvularia, Exophiala, and Trichophyton, are recognized as significant genera, each comprising 10 or more known human pathogenic species. A phylogenetic analysis based on partial sequences of the 28S nrRNA gene (LSU) of human fungal pathogens was performed to show their phylogenetic relationships and clarify their taxonomies. In addition, this review summarizes the recent advancements in fungal disease diagnosis and therapeutics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue An Update on Fungal Infections)
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14 pages, 701 KiB  
Article
Sex Pheromone Receptor Ste2 Orchestrates Chemotropic Growth towards Pine Root Extracts in the Pitch Canker Pathogen Fusarium circinatum
by Jane B. Ramaswe, Emma T. Steenkamp, Lieschen De Vos, Felix F. Fru, Omotayo O. Adegeye and Brenda D. Wingfield
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 425; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050425 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 604
Abstract
In ascomycetous fungi, sexual mate recognition requires interaction of the Ste2 receptor protein produced by one partner with the α-factor peptide pheromone produced by the other partner. In some fungi, Ste2 is further needed for chemotropism towards plant roots to allow for subsequent [...] Read more.
In ascomycetous fungi, sexual mate recognition requires interaction of the Ste2 receptor protein produced by one partner with the α-factor peptide pheromone produced by the other partner. In some fungi, Ste2 is further needed for chemotropism towards plant roots to allow for subsequent infection and colonization. Here, we investigated whether this is also true for the pine pitch canker fungus, Fusarium circinatum, which is a devastating pathogen of pine globally. Ste2 knockout mutants were generated for two opposite mating-type isolates, after which all strains were subjected to chemotropism assays involving exudates from pine seedling roots and synthetic α-factor pheromone, as well as a range of other compounds for comparison. Our data show that Ste2 is not required for chemotropism towards any of these other compounds, but, in both wild-type strains, Ste2 deletion resulted in the loss of chemotropism towards pine root exudate. Also, irrespective of mating type, both wild-type strains displayed positive chemotropism towards α-factor pheromone, which was substantially reduced in the deletion mutants and not the complementation mutants. Taken together, these findings suggest that Ste2 likely has a key role during the infection of pine roots in production nurseries. Our study also provides a strong foundation for exploring the role of self-produced and mate-produced α-factor pheromone in the growth and overall biology of the pitch canker pathogen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Pathogens of Crops)
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12 pages, 603 KiB  
Review
Phage Therapy for Cardiac Implantable Electronic Devices and Vascular Grafts: A Targeted Literature Review
by Matteo Passerini, Francesco Petri and Gina A. Suh
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 424; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050424 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 584
Abstract
Infections of cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) and vascular grafts are some of the most dreaded complications of these otherwise life-saving devices. Many of these infections are not responsive to conventional treatment, such as systemic antibiotics and surgical irrigation and debridement. Therefore, innovative [...] Read more.
Infections of cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) and vascular grafts are some of the most dreaded complications of these otherwise life-saving devices. Many of these infections are not responsive to conventional treatment, such as systemic antibiotics and surgical irrigation and debridement. Therefore, innovative strategies to prevent and manage these conditions are warranted. Among these, there is an increasing interest in phages as a therapeutical option. In this review, we aim to collect the available evidence for the clinical application of phage therapy for CIED and vascular graft infections through literature research. We found 17 studies for a total of 34 patients. Most of the indications were left ventricular assist device (LVAD) (n = 20) and vascular graft infections (n = 7). The bacteria most often encountered were Staphylococcus aureus (n = 18) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n = 16). Clinical improvements were observed in 21/34 (61.8%) patients, with microbiological eradication in 18/21 (85.7%) of them. In eight cases, an adverse event related to phage therapy was reported. Phage therapy is a promising option for difficult-to-treat CIED and vascular graft infections by means of an individualized approach. Clinical trials and expanded access programs for compassionate use are needed to further unveil the role of phage therapy in clinical application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Updates in Infective Endocarditis)
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15 pages, 834 KiB  
Article
A Rapid and Inexpensive PCR Test for Mastitis Diagnosis Based on NGS Data
by Agnieszka Kajdanek, Magdalena Kluska, Rafał Matusiak, Joanna Kazimierczak and Jarosław Dastych
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 423; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050423 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 713
Abstract
Mastitis is a common mammary gland disease of dairy cattle caused by a wide range of organisms including bacteria, fungi and algae. Mastitis contributes to economic losses of dairy farms due to reduced yield and poor quality of milk. Since the correct identification [...] Read more.
Mastitis is a common mammary gland disease of dairy cattle caused by a wide range of organisms including bacteria, fungi and algae. Mastitis contributes to economic losses of dairy farms due to reduced yield and poor quality of milk. Since the correct identification of pathogens responsible for the development of mastitis is crucial to the success of treatment, it is necessary to develop a quick and accurate test to distinguish the main pathogens causing this disease. In this paper, we describe the development of a test based on the multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method allowing for the identification of Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus dysgalactiae, Streptococcus uberis and Staphylococcus aureus. When creating our test, we relied on the results from new generation sequencing (NGS) for accurate determination of species affiliation. The multiplex PCR test was verified on 100 strains including veterinary samples, ATCC and Polish Collection of Microorganisms (PCM) reference strains. The obtained results indicate that this test is accurate and displays high specificity. It may serve as a valuable molecular tool for the detection of major mastitis pathogens. Full article
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9 pages, 4675 KiB  
Communication
The Braconid Syntretomorpha szaboi Papp Is Posing a Great Threat to the Eastern Honeybee, Apis cerana
by Yanling Xie, Xiaoling Su, Ruike Wei, Lianfei Cao and Huoqing Zheng
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 422; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050422 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 594
Abstract
The expansion of pathogen distribution may result in a new threat to the host. The braconid Syntretomorpha szaboi Papp is an obligate parasite that targets Apis cerana, the Eastern honeybee, engaging in endoparasitism by ovipositing eggs inside the host bee. Although S. [...] Read more.
The expansion of pathogen distribution may result in a new threat to the host. The braconid Syntretomorpha szaboi Papp is an obligate parasite that targets Apis cerana, the Eastern honeybee, engaging in endoparasitism by ovipositing eggs inside the host bee. Although S. szaboi has been documented in India and in various regions across China, its epidemiological data are notably lacking. In this study, we summarized the distribution of S. szaboi based on the available literature and described the symptoms of infested honeybee workers. We also investigated the infestation rate in 36 apiaries in Zhejiang Province, China, after a new occurrence of the parasite was reported in these regions in 2020. A rapid increase in infestation rate was found from the year 2021 to 2022, reaching 53.88% at the colony level of the sampled colonies in the Jinhua and Wenzhou apiaries. The infestation rate at an individual level in positive colonies reached an average of 26%. A monthly survey showed high seasonal variation in S. szaboi infestation, with the peak occurring from May to August. These results suggest that S. szaboi poses a great threat to A. cerana. Further research is needed to elucidate its epidemiology and pathology and to develop disease prevention and control strategies. Full article
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11 pages, 2397 KiB  
Article
Tick-Borne Pathogens in Dermacentor reticulatus Ticks from Bosnia and Herzegovina
by Teufik Goletić, Darinka Klarić Soldo, Naida Kapo, Šejla Goletić, Amira Koro-Spahić, Amra Alispahić, Adis Softić, Vedad Škapur and Jasmin Omeragić
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 421; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050421 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 1311
Abstract
Dermacentor (D.) reticulatus ticks carry and transmit a wide range of pathogens to vertebrate hosts. Limited information is available about the existence of emerging tick-borne pathogens and the distribution of D. reticulatus in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The study aimed to investigate the occurrence [...] Read more.
Dermacentor (D.) reticulatus ticks carry and transmit a wide range of pathogens to vertebrate hosts. Limited information is available about the existence of emerging tick-borne pathogens and the distribution of D. reticulatus in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The study aimed to investigate the occurrence and distribution of D. reticulatus and to detect the presence of Anaplasma spp., Borrelia (B.) burgdorferi s.l., Rickettsia spp., and Babesia spp. in samples originating from questing ticks and ticks collected from domestic animals in various regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. A total of 402 collected D. reticulatus ticks were widely distributed throughout the country. Of the 41 pools consisting of 205 individual D. reticulatus ticks, 21 (51.2%) indicated the presence of Rickettsia spp., 17 (41.4%) of Babesia spp., 2 (4.8%) of Anaplasma spp., and 1 (2.4%) of B. burgdorferi s.l. after real-time PCR screening. Our study indicates that D. reticulatus has significantly expanded its distribution and host range in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Moreover, our results represent the first detection of Babesia spp. in D. reticulatus in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Given the demonstrated presence of emerging pathogens in questing and feeding ticks, there is an urge to establish a surveillance system for ticks and tick-borne pathogens in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ticks and Tick-Borne Pathogens in the Balkans)
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13 pages, 6625 KiB  
Article
A Comparison of RML Prion Inactivation Efficiency by Heterogeneous and Homogeneous Photocatalysis
by Ioannis Paspaltsis, Eirini Kanata, Sotirios Sotiriadis, Susana Silva Correia, Matthias Schmitz, Inga Zerr, Dimitra Dafou, Konstantinos Xanthopoulos and Theodoros Sklaviadis
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 420; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050420 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 653
Abstract
Prions are proteinaceous pathogens responsible for a variety of devastating diseases in mammals, including scrapie in sheep and goats, chronic wasting disease in cervids, and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. They are characterized by their exceptional persistence to common inactivation procedures. This applies [...] Read more.
Prions are proteinaceous pathogens responsible for a variety of devastating diseases in mammals, including scrapie in sheep and goats, chronic wasting disease in cervids, and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. They are characterized by their exceptional persistence to common inactivation procedures. This applies to all possible sources of prion contamination as prions may be present in the tissues and biological fluids of infected individuals. Hence, efficient prion inactivation procedures are still being sought to minimize the risk of intra- or inter-species transmission. In the past, photocatalytic treatment has been proven to be capable of efficiently oxidizing and inactivating prions. In the present study, the efficacy of homogeneous photo-Fenton-based photocatalysis as well as heterogeneous photocatalysis with TiO2 in reducing RML mouse scrapie infectivity was evaluated. Prion inactivation was assessed by means of a bioassay, and the results were confirmed by in vitro experiments. While the prion infectivity of the RML mouse scrapie was reduced after treatment with the photo-Fenton reagent, the heterogeneous photocatalytic treatment of the same prion strain completely eliminated prion infectivity. Full article
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17 pages, 791 KiB  
Review
Effect of Probiotic Supplements on the Oral Microbiota—A Narrative Review
by Christine Lundtorp-Olsen, Merete Markvart, Svante Twetman and Daniel Belstrøm
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 419; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050419 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 529
Abstract
Data from systematic reviews and meta-analyses show that probiotics positively impact clinical parameters of oral diseases such as gingivitis, dental caries, and periodontitis. However, the working mechanism of probiotics is not fully understood, but is hypothesized to be mediated by direct and indirect [...] Read more.
Data from systematic reviews and meta-analyses show that probiotics positively impact clinical parameters of oral diseases such as gingivitis, dental caries, and periodontitis. However, the working mechanism of probiotics is not fully understood, but is hypothesized to be mediated by direct and indirect interactions with the oral microbiota and the human host. In the present narrative review, we focused on the microbiological effect of probiotic supplements based on data retrieved from randomized clinical trials (RCTs). In addition, we assessed to what extent contemporary molecular methods have been employed in clinical trials in the field of oral probiotics. Multiple RCTs have been performed studying the potential effect of probiotics on gingivitis, dental caries, and periodontitis, as evaluated by microbial endpoints. In general, results are conflicting, with some studies reporting a positive effect, whereas others are not able to record any effect. Major differences in terms of study designs and sample size, as well as delivery route, frequency, and duration of probiotic consumption, hamper comparison across studies. In addition, most RCTs have been performed with a limited sample size using relatively simple methods for microbial identification, such as culturing, qPCR, and DNA–DNA checkerboard, while high-throughput methods such as 16S sequencing have only been employed in a few studies. Currently, state-of-the-art molecular methods such as metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, and metaproteomics have not yet been used in RCTs in the field of probiotics. The present narrative review revealed that the effect of probiotic supplements on the oral microbiota remains largely uncovered. One important reason is that most RCTs are performed without studying the microbiological effect. To facilitate future systematic reviews and meta-analyses, an internationally agreed core outcome set for the reporting of microbial endpoints in clinical trials would be desirable. Such a standardized collection of outcomes would most likely improve the quality of probiotic research in the oral context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insights in Oral Microbiota)
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14 pages, 5339 KiB  
Article
Dormancy-like Phenotype of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans: Survival during Famine
by Natalia O. Tjokro, Carolyn B. Marks, Ashley Wu and Casey Chen
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 418; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050418 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 551
Abstract
Microbes frequently experience nutrient deprivations in the natural environment and may enter dormancy. Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans is known to establish long-term infections in humans. This study examined the dormancy-like phenotype of an A. actinomycetemcomitans strain D7S-1 and its isogenic smooth-colony mutant D7SS. A tissue [...] Read more.
Microbes frequently experience nutrient deprivations in the natural environment and may enter dormancy. Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans is known to establish long-term infections in humans. This study examined the dormancy-like phenotype of an A. actinomycetemcomitans strain D7S-1 and its isogenic smooth-colony mutant D7SS. A tissue culture medium RPMI-1640 was nutrient-deficient (ND) and unable to support A. actinomycetemcomitans growth. RPMI-1640 amended with bases was nutrient-limited (NL) and supported limited growth of A. actinomycetemcomitans less than the nutrient-enriched (NE) laboratory medium did. Strain D7S-1, after an initial 2-log reduction in viability, maintained viability from day 4 to day 15 in the NL medium. Strain D7SS, after 1-log reduction in viability, maintained viability from day 3 to day 5. In contrast, bacteria in the NE medium were either non-recoverable (D7S-1; >6-log reduction) or continued to lose viability (D7SS; 3-log reduction) on day 5 and beyond. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy showed that A. actinomycetemcomitans in the NL medium formed robust biofilms similar to those in the NE medium but with evidence of stress. A. actinomycetemcomitans in the ND medium revealed scant biofilms and extensive cellular damage. We concluded that A. actinomycetemcomitans grown in the NL medium exhibited a dormancy-like phenotype characterized by minimum growth, prolonged viability, and distinct cellular morphology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans)
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13 pages, 261 KiB  
Review
Human Cytomegalovirus Infection and Neurocognitive and Neuropsychiatric Health
by Shawn D. Gale, Thomas J. Farrer, Reagan Erbstoesser, Scott MacLean and Dawson W. Hedges
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 417; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050417 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 965
Abstract
A common infection, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been associated with a variety of human diseases, including cardiovascular disease and possibly certain cancers. HCMV has also been associated with cognitive, psychiatric, and neurological conditions. Children with congenital or early-life HCMV are at risk for [...] Read more.
A common infection, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been associated with a variety of human diseases, including cardiovascular disease and possibly certain cancers. HCMV has also been associated with cognitive, psychiatric, and neurological conditions. Children with congenital or early-life HCMV are at risk for microcephaly, cerebral palsy, and sensorineural hearing loss, although in many cases sensorineural loss may resolve. In addition, HCMV can be associated with neurodevelopmental impairment, which may improve with time. In young, middle-aged, and older adults, HCMV has been adversely associated with cognitive function in some but not in all studies. Research has linked HCMV to Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, but again not all findings consistently support these associations. In addition, HCMV has been associated with depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and autism-spectrum disorder, although the available findings are likewise inconsistent. Given associations between HCMV and a variety of neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders, additional research investigating reasons for the considerable inconsistencies in the currently available findings is needed. Additional meta-analyses and more longitudinal studies are needed as well. Research into the effects of antiviral medication on cognitive and neurological outcomes and continued efforts in vaccine development have potential to lower the neurocognitive, neuropsychiatric, and neurological burden of HCMV infection. Full article
10 pages, 990 KiB  
Article
Improved Treatment Outcome Following the Use of a Wound Dressings in Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Lesions
by Pedro B. Borba, Jamile Lago, Tainã Lago, Mariana Araújo-Pereira, Artur T. L. Queiroz, Hernane S. Barud, Lucas P. Carvalho, Paulo R. L. Machado, Edgar M. Carvalho and Camila I. de Oliveira
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 416; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050416 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 621
Abstract
Leishmaniasis, caused by Leishmania parasites, is a neglected tropical disease and Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) is the most common form. Despite the associated toxicity and adverse effects, Meglumine antimoniate (MA) remains the first-choice treatment for CL in Brazil, pressing the need for the development [...] Read more.
Leishmaniasis, caused by Leishmania parasites, is a neglected tropical disease and Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) is the most common form. Despite the associated toxicity and adverse effects, Meglumine antimoniate (MA) remains the first-choice treatment for CL in Brazil, pressing the need for the development of better alternatives. Bacterial NanoCellulose (BNC), a biocompatible nanomaterial, has unique properties regarding wound healing. In a previous study, we showed that use of topical BNC + systemic MA significantly increased the cure rate of CL patients, compared to treatment with MA alone. Herein, we performed a study comparing the combination of a wound dressing (BNC or placebo) plus systemic MA versus systemic MA alone, in CL caused by Leishmania braziliensis. We show that patients treated with the combination treatment (BNC or placebo) + MA showed improved cure rates and decreased need for rescue treatment, although differences compared to controls (systemic MA alone) were not significant. However, the overall time-to-cure was significantly lower in groups treated with the combination treatment (BNC+ systemic MA or placebo + systemic MA) in comparison to controls (MA alone), indicating that the use of a wound dressing improves CL treatment outcome. Assessment of the immune response in peripheral blood showed an overall downmodulation in the inflammatory landscape and a significant decrease in the production of IL-1a (p < 0.05) in patients treated with topical BNC + systemic MA. Our results show that the application of wound dressings to CL lesions can improve chemotherapy outcome in CL caused by L. braziliensis. Full article
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19 pages, 4502 KiB  
Article
Label-Free Detection of African Swine Fever and Classical Swine Fever in the Point-of-Care Setting Using Photonic Integrated Circuits Integrated in a Microfluidic Device
by Georgios Manessis, Maciej Frant, Katarzyna Podgórska, Anna Gal-Cisoń, Magdalena Łyjak, Kinga Urbaniak, Grzegorz Woźniakowski, Lilla Denes, Gyula Balka, Lapo Nannucci, Amadeu Griol, Sergio Peransi, Zoitsa Basdagianni, Christos Mourouzis, Alessandro Giusti and Ioannis Bossis
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 415; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050415 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 673
Abstract
Swine viral diseases have the capacity to cause significant losses and affect the sector’s sustainability, a situation further exacerbated by the lack of antiviral drugs and the limited availability of effective vaccines. In this context, a novel point-of-care (POC) diagnostic device incorporating photonic [...] Read more.
Swine viral diseases have the capacity to cause significant losses and affect the sector’s sustainability, a situation further exacerbated by the lack of antiviral drugs and the limited availability of effective vaccines. In this context, a novel point-of-care (POC) diagnostic device incorporating photonic integrated circuits (PICs), microfluidics and information, and communication technology into a single platform was developed for the field diagnosis of African swine fever (ASF) and classical swine fever (CSF). The device targets viral particles and has been validated using oral fluid and serum samples. Sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, precision, positive likelihood ratio (PLR), negative likelihood ratio (NLR), and diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) were calculated to assess the performance of the device, and PCR was the reference method employed. Its sensitivities were 80.97% and 79%, specificities were 88.46% and 79.07%, and DOR values were 32.25 and 14.21 for ASF and CSF, respectively. The proposed POC device and PIC sensors can be employed for the pen-side detection of ASF and CSF, thus introducing novel technological advancements in the field of animal diagnostics. The need for proper validation studies of POC devices is highlighted to optimize animal biosecurity. Full article
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4 pages, 188 KiB  
Reply
About Chlamydia trachomatis. Reply to Garcia-Teillard et al. Trachoma and the Importance of Sexual Infective Route in Developed Countries. Comment on “Gallenga et al. Why the SAFE—S Strategy for Trachoma? Are Musca sorbens or Scatophaga stercoraria Really the Culprit?—A Brief Historical Review from an Italian Point of View. Pathogens 2023, 12, 1419”
by Martina Maritati, Carlo Contini, Marco Del Boccio, Rossella D’Aloisio, Pio Conti, Marco Mura, Pier Enrico Gallenga and Carla Enrica Gallenga
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 414; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050414 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 389
Abstract
The confirmatory comment of Garcia-Teillard et al [...] Full article
2 pages, 180 KiB  
Comment
Trachoma and the Importance of Sexual Infective Route in Developed Countries. Comment on Gallenga et al. Why the SAFE—S Strategy for Trachoma? Are Musca sorbens or Scatophaga stercoraria Really the Culprit?—A Brief Historical Review from an Italian Point of View. Pathogens 2023, 12, 1419
by Damian Garcia-Teillard, Salvador García-Delpech and Patricia Udaondo
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 413; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050413 - 16 May 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 357
Abstract
We have read the review article entitled “Why the SAFE—S Strategy for Trachoma [...] Full article
10 pages, 1328 KiB  
Article
Novel Experimental Mouse Model to Study the Pathogenesis and Therapy of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae Infection
by Duc-Thang Bui, Yi-San Lee, Tien-Fen Kuo, Zeng-Weng Chen and Wen-Chin Yang
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 412; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050412 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 651
Abstract
Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (APP) is a major cause of lung infections in pigs. An experimental mouse has the edge over pigs pertaining to the ease of experimental operation, disease study and therapy, abundance of genetic resources, and cost. However, it is a challenge to [...] Read more.
Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (APP) is a major cause of lung infections in pigs. An experimental mouse has the edge over pigs pertaining to the ease of experimental operation, disease study and therapy, abundance of genetic resources, and cost. However, it is a challenge to introduce APP into a mouse lung due to the small respiratory tract of mice and bacterial host tropism. In this study, an effective airborne transmission of APP serovar 1 (APP1) was developed in mice for lung infection. Consequently, APP1 infected BALB/c mice and caused 60% death within three days of infection at the indicated condition. APP1 seemed to enter the lung and, in turn, spread to other organs of the mice over the first 5 days after infection. Accordingly, APP1 damaged the lung as evidenced by its morphological and histological examinations. Furthermore, ampicillin fully protected mice against APP1 as shown by their survival, clinical symptoms, body weight loss, APP1 count, and lung damages. Finally, the virulence of two extra APP strains, APP2 and APP5, in the model was compared based on the survival rate of mice. Collectively, this study successfully established a fast and reliable mouse model of APP which can benefit APP research and therapy. Such a model is a potentially useful model for airway bacterial infections. Full article
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16 pages, 940 KiB  
Article
Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria in Surgical Intensive Care Units: Antibiotic Susceptibility and β-Lactamase Characterization
by Daniela Bandić Pavlović, Mladen Pospišil, Marina Nađ, Vilena Vrbanović Mijatović, Josefa Luxner, Gernot Zarfel, Andrea Grisold, Dinko Tonković, Mirela Dobrić and Branka Bedenić
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 411; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050411 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 642
Abstract
Multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria of the utmost importance are extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales (CRE), carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB), carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus spp. (VRE). In this study, an evaluation of MDR bacteria in surgical intensive [...] Read more.
Multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria of the utmost importance are extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales (CRE), carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB), carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus spp. (VRE). In this study, an evaluation of MDR bacteria in surgical intensive care units in a tertiary referral hospital was conducted. The study aimed to characterize β-lactamases and other resistance traits of Gram-negative bacteria isolated in surgical intensive care units (ICUs). Disk diffusion and the broth dilution method were used for antibiotic susceptibility testing, whereas ESBL screening was performed through a double disk synergy test and an inhibitor-based test with clavulanic acid. A total of 119 MDR bacterial isolates were analysed. ESBL production was observed in half of the Proteus mirabilis, 90% of the Klebsiella pneumoniae and all of the Enterobacter cloacae and Escherichia coli isolates. OXA-48 carbapenemase, carried by the L plasmid, was detected in 34 K. pneumoniae and one E. coli and Enterobacter cloacae complex isolates, whereas NDM occurred sporadically and was identified in three K. pneumoniae isolates. OXA-48 positive isolates coharboured ESBLs belonging to the CTX-M family in all but one isolate. OXA-23 carbapenemase was confirmed in all A. baumannii isolates. The findings of this study provide valuable insight of resistance determinants of Enterobacterales and A. baumannii which will enhance surveillance and intervention strategies that are necessary to curb the ever-growing carbapenem resistance rates. Full article
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20 pages, 5838 KiB  
Article
Leucoverdazyls as Novel Potent Inhibitors of Enterovirus Replication
by Alexandrina S. Volobueva, Tatyana G. Fedorchenko, Galina N. Lipunova, Marina S. Valova, Valeriya A. Sbarzaglia, Anna S. Gladkikh, Olga I. Kanaeva, Natalia A. Tolstykh, Andrey N. Gorshkov and Vladimir V. Zarubaev
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 410; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050410 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 599
Abstract
Enteroviruses (EV) are important pathogens causing human disease with various clinical manifestations. To date, treatment of enteroviral infections is mainly supportive since no vaccination or antiviral drugs are approved for their prevention or treatment. Here, we describe the antiviral properties and mechanisms of [...] Read more.
Enteroviruses (EV) are important pathogens causing human disease with various clinical manifestations. To date, treatment of enteroviral infections is mainly supportive since no vaccination or antiviral drugs are approved for their prevention or treatment. Here, we describe the antiviral properties and mechanisms of action of leucoverdazyls—novel heterocyclic compounds with antioxidant potential. The lead compound, 1a, demonstrated low cytotoxicity along with high antioxidant and virus-inhibiting activity. A viral strain resistant to 1a was selected, and the development of resistance was shown to be accompanied by mutation of virus-specific non-structural protein 2C. This resistant virus had lower fitness when grown in cell culture. Taken together, our results demonstrate high antiviral potential of leucoverdazyls as novel inhibitors of enterovirus replication and support previous evidence of an important role of 2C proteins in EV replication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hand–Foot–Mouth Disease)
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24 pages, 1810 KiB  
Review
The Impact of Enterococcus spp. in the Immunocompromised Host: A Comprehensive Review
by Giuseppe Sangiorgio, Maddalena Calvo, Giuseppe Migliorisi, Floriana Campanile and Stefania Stefani
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 409; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050409 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 634
Abstract
The immunocompromised host is usually vulnerable to infectious diseases due to broad-spectrum treatments and immunological dysregulation. The Enterococcus genus consists of normal gut commensals, which acquire a leading role in infective processes among individuals with compromised immune systems. These microorganisms may express a [...] Read more.
The immunocompromised host is usually vulnerable to infectious diseases due to broad-spectrum treatments and immunological dysregulation. The Enterococcus genus consists of normal gut commensals, which acquire a leading role in infective processes among individuals with compromised immune systems. These microorganisms may express a potential virulence and resistance spectrum, enabling their function as severe pathogens. The Enterococcus spp. infections in immunocompromised hosts appear to be difficult to resolve due to the immunological response impairment and the possibility of facing antimicrobial-resistant strains. As regards the related risk factors, several data demonstrated that prior antibiotic exposure, medical device insertion, prolonged hospitalization and surgical interventions may lead to Enterococcus overgrowth, antibiotic resistance and spread among critical healthcare settings. Herein, we present a comprehensive review of Enterococcus spp. in the immunocompromised host, summarizing the available knowledge about virulence factors, antimicrobial-resistance mechanisms and host-pathogen interaction. The review ultimately yearns for more substantial support to further investigations about enterococcal infections and immunocompromised host response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Pathogens)
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16 pages, 1838 KiB  
Article
Phenotypic and Genotypic Characterization of Staphylococcus aureus Isolated from Nasal Samples of Healthy Dairy Goats in Algeria
by Yacine Titouche, Madjid Akkou, Allelen Campaña-Burguet, Carmen González-Azcona, Yasmina Djaoui, Donia Mechoub, Abdelhak Fatihi, Pascal Bouchez, Laurence Bouhier, Karim Houali, Yacine Nia, Carmen Torres and Jacques-Antoine Hennekinne
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 408; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050408 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 643
Abstract
The present study aimed to determine the phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of S. aureus isolates from the nasal swabs of goats. A total of 232 nasal samples (one per animal) were collected from goats on 13 farms located in two regions of [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to determine the phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of S. aureus isolates from the nasal swabs of goats. A total of 232 nasal samples (one per animal) were collected from goats on 13 farms located in two regions of Algeria and were analyzed for the presence of S. aureus. The detection of virulence factors was carried out using PCR. The antibiotic susceptibility of the recovered isolates was assessed using the disc diffusion method. The biofilm formation ability was assessed by the Congo red agar method and a microtiter plate assay, and the molecular characterization of isolates was carried out by spa-typing, and for selected isolates also by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Overall, 36 out of 232 nasal swabs (15.5%) contained S. aureus, and 62 isolates were recovered. Regarding the virulence factors, at least one staphylococcal enterotoxin gene was detected in 30 (48.4%) isolates. The gene tst encoding the toxic shock syndrome toxin was detected in fifteen isolates (24.2%), but none of the isolates harbored the gene of Panton–Valentine leukocidin (lukF/S-PV). Nine different spa-types were identified, including the detection of a new one (t21230). The recovered isolates were assigned to three clonal complexes, with CC5 (51.8%) being the most common lineage. Two isolates were methicillin-resistant (MRSA) and belonged to ST5 (CC5) and to spa-types t450 and t688. Moreover, 27 (43.5%) of the S. aureus isolates were found to be slime producers in Congo red agar, and all of the recovered isolates could produce biofilms in the microtiter plate assay. Our study showed that the nares of healthy goats could be a reservoir of toxigenic and antibiotic-resistant strains of S. aureus isolates, including MRSA, which could have implications for public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection and Epidemiology of Drug-Resistant Bacteria)
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13 pages, 472 KiB  
Article
The Host Range of Fusarium proliferatum in Western Canada
by Haitian Yu, Sheau-Fang Hwang and Stephen E. Strelkov
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 407; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050407 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 544
Abstract
Fusarium proliferatum is associated with the root rot of many plant species, but knowledge of its impact on western Canadian field crops is limited. This study assessed the host range of this fungus and its effect on plant emergence, plant height, and shoot [...] Read more.
Fusarium proliferatum is associated with the root rot of many plant species, but knowledge of its impact on western Canadian field crops is limited. This study assessed the host range of this fungus and its effect on plant emergence, plant height, and shoot and root dry weights in repeated greenhouse experiments with wheat, barley, faba beans, peas, lentils, canola, lupine, and soybeans. Infection was confirmed via PCR, and principal component analysis determined the utility of different parameters in assessing host responses. All crops were at least partly susceptible, developing mild to severe disease at the seedling and adult stages, and showing significant reductions in growth. In general, the barley and wheat demonstrated higher tolerances to infection, followed by the faba bean and the pea. The soybean, canola, lupine, and lentil were most susceptible. The canola and the soybean were particularly vulnerable to F. proliferatum at the pre-emergence stage, while infection greatly reduced the lentil’s biomass. Reductions in the barley’s emergence and other growth parameters, however, occurred only under a high inoculum concentration. Variability in root rot severity among cultivars of the same crop indicated some diversity in host reactions within species. Nonetheless, the absence of fully-resistant crops may pose challenges in managing F. proliferatum in western Canadian cropping systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Pathogens of Crops)
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15 pages, 5079 KiB  
Article
Infectivity of Wild-Bird Origin Influenza A Viruses in Minnesota Wetlands across Seasons
by Rebecca L. Poulson, Andrew B. Reeves, Christina A. Ahlstrom, Laura C. Scott, Laura E. Hubbard, Alinde Fojtik, Deborah L. Carter, David E. Stallknecht and Andrew M. Ramey
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 406; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050406 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 853
Abstract
The environmental tenacity of influenza A viruses (IAVs) in the environment likely plays a role in their transmission; IAVs are able to remain infectious in aquatic habitats and may have the capacity to seed outbreaks when susceptible wild bird hosts utilize these same [...] Read more.
The environmental tenacity of influenza A viruses (IAVs) in the environment likely plays a role in their transmission; IAVs are able to remain infectious in aquatic habitats and may have the capacity to seed outbreaks when susceptible wild bird hosts utilize these same environments months or even seasons later. Here, we aimed to assess the persistence of low-pathogenicity IAVs from naturally infected ducks in Northwestern Minnesota through a field experiment. Viral infectivity was measured using replicate samples maintained in distilled water in a laboratory setting as well as in filtered water from four natural water bodies maintained in steel perforated drums (hereafter, mesocosms) within the field from autumn 2020 to spring 2021. There was limited evidence for the extended persistence of IAVs held in mesocosms; from 65 initial IAV-positive samples, only six IAVs persisted to at least 202 days in the mesocosms compared to 17 viruses persisting at least this long when held under temperature-controlled laboratory settings in distilled water. When accounting for the initial titer of samples, viruses detected at a higher concentration at the initiation of the experiment persisted longer than those with a lower starting titer. A parallel experimental laboratory model was used to further explore the effects of water type on viral persistence, and the results supported the finding of reduced tenacity of IAVs held in mesocosms compared to distilled water. The results of this investigation provide evidence that many factors, including temperature and physicochemical properties, impact the duration of viral infectivity in natural settings, further extending our understanding of the potential and limitations of environmental-based methodologies to recover infectious IAVs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Epidemiology, and Control of Animal Influenza Viruses)
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17 pages, 7613 KiB  
Article
Role of Type 4B Secretion System Protein, IcmE, in the Pathogenesis of Coxiella burnetii
by Rajesh Palanisamy, Yan Zhang and Guoquan Zhang
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 405; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050405 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 676
Abstract
Coxiella burnetii is an obligate intracellular Gram-negative bacterium that causes Q fever, a life-threatening zoonotic disease. C. burnetii replicates within an acidified parasitophorous vacuole derived from the host lysosome. The ability of C. burnetii to replicate and achieve successful intracellular life in the [...] Read more.
Coxiella burnetii is an obligate intracellular Gram-negative bacterium that causes Q fever, a life-threatening zoonotic disease. C. burnetii replicates within an acidified parasitophorous vacuole derived from the host lysosome. The ability of C. burnetii to replicate and achieve successful intracellular life in the cell cytosol is vastly dependent on the Dot/Icm type 4B secretion system (T4SSB). Although several T4SSB effector proteins have been shown to be important for C. burnetii virulence and intracellular replication, the role of the icmE protein in the host–C. burnetii interaction has not been investigated. In this study, we generated a C. burnetii Nine Mile Phase II (NMII) mutant library and identified 146 transposon mutants with a single transposon insertion. Transposon mutagenesis screening revealed that disruption of icmE gene resulted in the attenuation of C. burnetii NMII virulence in SCID mice. ELISA analysis indicated that the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin-1β, IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-12p70, in serum from Tn::icmE mutant-infected SCID mice were significantly lower than those in serum from wild-type (WT) NMII-infected mice. Additionally, Tn::icmE mutant bacteria were unable to replicate in mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages (MBMDM) and human macrophage-like cells (THP-1). Immunoblotting results showed that the Tn::icmE mutant failed to activate inflammasome components such as IL-1β, caspase 1, and gasdermin-D in THP-1 macrophages. Collectively, these results suggest that the icmE protein may play a vital role in C. burnetii virulence, intracellular replication, and activation of inflammasome mediators during NMII infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Pathogens)
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13 pages, 5915 KiB  
Article
Metagenomics to Identify Viral Communities Associated with Porcine Respiratory Disease Complex in Tibetan Pigs in the Tibetan Plateau, China
by Long Zhou, Han Zhou, Yandi Fan, Jinghao Wang, Rui Zhang, Zijing Guo, Yanmin Li, Runmin Kang, Zhidong Zhang, Danjiao Yang and Jie Liu
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 404; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050404 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 613
Abstract
Tibetan pig is a unique pig breed native to the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau. To investigate viral communities associated with porcine respiratory disease complex (PRDC), 167 respiratory samples were collected from Tibetan pigs in the Ganzi Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Sichuan province. Following library construction [...] Read more.
Tibetan pig is a unique pig breed native to the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau. To investigate viral communities associated with porcine respiratory disease complex (PRDC), 167 respiratory samples were collected from Tibetan pigs in the Ganzi Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Sichuan province. Following library construction and Illunima Novaseq sequencing, 18 distinct viruses belonging to 15 viral taxonomic families were identified in Tibetan pigs with PRDC. Among the 18 detected viruses, 3 viruses were associated with PRDC, including porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV-2), Torque teno sus virus (TTSuV), and porcine cytomegalovirus (PCMV). The genomic sequences of two PCV-2 strains, three TTSuV strains, and one novel Porprismacovirus strain were assembled by SOAPdenovo software (v2). Sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis showed that both PCV-2 strains belonged to PCV-2d, three TTSuVs were classified to TTSuV2a and TTSuV2b genotypes, and the Porprismacovirus strain PPMV-SCgz-2022 showed a close genetic relationship with a virus of human origin. Recombination analysis indicated that PPMV-SCgz-2022 may have originated from recombination events between Human 16,806 × 66-213 strain and Porcine 17,668 × 82-593 strain. Furthermore, the high proportion of single infection or co-infection of PCV2/TTSuV2 provides insight into PRDC infection in Tibetan pigs. This is the first report of the viral communities in PRDC-affected Tibetan pigs in this region, and the results provides reference for the prevention and control of respiratory diseases in these animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Pathogens)
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8 pages, 2166 KiB  
Article
HTLV-1-Associated Myelopathy (HAM) Incidence in Asymptomatic Carriers and Intermediate Syndrome (IS) Patients
by Rosa Maria do Nascimento Marcusso, Tatiane Assone, Michel E. Haziot, Jerusa Smid, Victor A. Folgosi, Carolina Rosadas, Jorge Casseb, Augusto C. Penalva de Oliveira and the HTLV-1 Clinical Definition Working Group
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 403; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050403 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 738
Abstract
Several studies suggest that HTLV-1 infection may be associated with a wider spectrum of neurological and clinical manifestations that do not meet diagnostic criteria for HAM. These conditions may later progress to HAM or constitute an intermediate clinical form: intermediate syndrome (IS), a [...] Read more.
Several studies suggest that HTLV-1 infection may be associated with a wider spectrum of neurological and clinical manifestations that do not meet diagnostic criteria for HAM. These conditions may later progress to HAM or constitute an intermediate clinical form: intermediate syndrome (IS), a mid-point between asymptomatic HTLV-1 carriers and those with full myelopathy. Thus, we determined the incidence of HAM cases in the HTLV-1-asymptomatic and IS patients, and the clinical/laboratory associated markers. A total of 204 HTLV-1-positive patients were included in this study, divided into two groups: Group 1, including 145 asymptomatic HTLV-1 subjects (ASY), and Group 2, including 59 patients with inflammatory clinical symptoms in more than three systems and a high proviral load (PVL). During a 60-month follow-up time, with the age ranging from 47 to 79 years, ten patients of the fifty-nine initially diagnosed as IS developed HAM (iHAM), and two patients of the initial 145 ASY developed HAM directly. Women were more prevalent in all groups. For the iHAM patients, the age ranged from 20 to 72 years, with a mean of 53 (±15 SD). Older age was associated with the development of HAM, higher PVL and IS; however, there was no any specific symptom or clinical sign, that was associated with risk for iHAM. In conclusion, IS cases could be an early phase of development of HAM. These findings show the presence of higher incidence probabilities in our cohort than previously reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections of Humans: Epidemiology and Control)
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19 pages, 3369 KiB  
Article
Oncolytic Tanapoxvirus Recombinants Expressing Flagellin C or Mouse Interleukin-2 Are Capable of Regressing Human Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Xenografts in Immuno-Competent BALB/c Nude Mice
by Michael L. Monaco, Grace A. Filpi, Steven L. Kohler, Robert Eversole, Omer A. Idris and Karim Essani
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 402; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050402 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 712
Abstract
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) in humans is the most aggressive and deadly form of BC. Although TNBCs are about 15 percent of the total number of BC cases, they are associated with the highest mortalities. Current treatment options are limited, and most modalities [...] Read more.
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) in humans is the most aggressive and deadly form of BC. Although TNBCs are about 15 percent of the total number of BC cases, they are associated with the highest mortalities. Current treatment options are limited, and most modalities are toxic and have not increased the 5-year survival rates of TNBC. Many oncolytic viruses are emerging as potential therapies for TNBC. In this study, two Tanapoxvirus (TPV) recombinants, one expressing FliC and the other expressing mouse interleukin-2 (mIL-2), were assessed for their efficacy in an immuno-competent xenograft mouse model. MDA-MB-231 tumors were planted in BALB/c nude mice, treated, made immuno-competent via adoptive transfer of splenocytes from healthy BALB/c donors, and then monitored for 40 days. TPV/Δ2L/66R/FliC and TPV/Δ66R/mIL-2 demonstrated significant tumor reduction (p = 0.01602 and p = 0.03890, respectively) compared to the reconstituted control (RC), whereas wtTPV did not. Pathological analyses of treated tumors revealed cells consistent with lymphocyte and plasma cell morphology in reconstituted mice treated with TPV recombinants. Anti-viral plaque reduction assays conducted using harvested serum from treated animals indicated the presence of anti-TPV antibodies in mice reconstituted and treated with TPV that were missing from immune-deficient nude mice, including those exposed to TPV and of statistically equivalent serum concentrations to normal BALB/c mice immunized against TPV. The results suggest immuno-deficient BALB/c nude mice can become immuno-competent via adoptive transfer of splenocytes from genetically identical donors and allow for testing of tumor xenografts in a competent model system. The TPV recombinants tested should be further studied for the potential treatment of human TNBC. Full article
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14 pages, 2428 KiB  
Article
Neutrophils Expressing Programmed Death-Ligand 1 Play an Indispensable Role in Effective Bacterial Elimination and Resolving Inflammation in Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infection
by Azusa Terasaki, Faizan Ahmed, Alato Okuno, Zhenzi Peng, Duo-Yao Cao and Suguru Saito
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 401; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens13050401 - 11 May 2024
Viewed by 899
Abstract
Programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) is a co-inhibitory molecule expressed on the surface of various cell types and known for its suppressive effect on T cells through its interaction with PD-1. Neutrophils also express PD-L1, and its expression is elevated in specific situations; [...] Read more.
Programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) is a co-inhibitory molecule expressed on the surface of various cell types and known for its suppressive effect on T cells through its interaction with PD-1. Neutrophils also express PD-L1, and its expression is elevated in specific situations; however, the immunobiological role of PD-L1+ neutrophils has not been fully characterized. Here, we report that PD-L1-expressing neutrophils increased in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection are highly functional in bacterial elimination and supporting inflammatory resolution. The frequency of PD-L1+ neutrophils was dramatically increased in MRSA-infected mice, and this population exhibited enhanced activity in bacterial elimination compared to PD-L1- neutrophils. The administration of PD-L1 monoclonal antibody did not impair PD-L1+ neutrophil function, suggesting that PD-L1 expression itself does not influence neutrophil activity. However, PD-1/PD-L1 blockade significantly delayed liver inflammation resolution in MRSA-infected mice, as indicated by their increased plasma alanine transaminase (ALT) levels and frequencies of inflammatory leukocytes in the liver, implying that neutrophil PD-L1 suppresses the inflammatory response of these cells during the acute phase of MRSA infection. Our results reveal that elevated PD-L1 expression can be a marker for the enhanced anti-bacterial function of neutrophils. Moreover, PD-L1+ neutrophils are an indispensable population attenuating inflammatory leukocyte activities, assisting in a smooth transition into the resolution phase in MRSA infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research on Host–Pathogen Interaction in 2024)
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