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Pathogens, Volume 11, Issue 6 (June 2022) – 102 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): As atopic dermatitis (AD) is a growing burden to the global health system, the efficacies of the current therapies against it are not satisfactory due to the limited armamentarium and the high heterogeneity of the disease. Recent decades have witnessed the emerging significance of microbiota in human health regulation, particularly for atopic diseases. Our review summarized the knowledge of how microbiota, resident in both skin and gut, modulate AD pathogenesis. We further comprehensively introduced the available therapies based on microbiota and proposed potential novel therapies derived from the latest findings. This review highlighted a promising direction for future AD management. View this paper
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13 pages, 1529 KiB  
Article
Eight Years of African Swine Fever in the Baltic States: Epidemiological Reflections
by Katja Schulz, Edvīns Oļševskis, Arvo Viltrop, Marius Masiulis, Christoph Staubach, Imbi Nurmoja, Kristīne Lamberga, Mārtiņš Seržants, Alvydas Malakauskas, Franz Josef Conraths and Carola Sauter-Louis
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 711; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060711 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1841
Abstract
African swine fever (ASF) was first detected in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia in 2014 and has since been circulating in the Baltic States with a similar epidemiological course characterized by persistence of the disease in the wild boar population and occasional spill-over infections [...] Read more.
African swine fever (ASF) was first detected in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia in 2014 and has since been circulating in the Baltic States with a similar epidemiological course characterized by persistence of the disease in the wild boar population and occasional spill-over infections in domestic pigs. The aim of the present study was to evaluate surveillance data on ASF in wild boar from the three countries to improve our understanding of the course of the disease. ASF surveillance and wild boar population data of the countries were analyzed. In all three countries, a decrease in the prevalence of ASF virus-positive wild boar was observed over time. Although somewhat delayed, an increase in the seroprevalence was seen. At the same time, the wild boar population density decreased significantly. Towards the end of the study period, the wild boar population recovered, and the prevalence of ASF virus-positive wild boar increased again, whereas the seroprevalence decreased. The decreasing virus prevalence has obviously led to virus circulation at a very low level. Together with the decreasing wild boar population density, the detection of ASF-infected wild boar and thus ASF control has become increasingly difficult. The course of ASF and its continuous spread clearly demonstrate the necessity to scrutinize current ASF surveillance and control strategies fundamentally and to consider new transdisciplinary approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Swine Fevers: Global Perspective and Response)
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10 pages, 725 KiB  
Article
Seroprevalence of Transfusion Transmissible Infections and Associated Risk Factors in Hospitalized Patients before Transfusion in Jinling Hospital Nanjing University: A Three-Year Retrospective Study
by Wei Wang, Xiaojun Kong, Guangchao Zhao, Xuelian Huang, Jun Yuan, Na Li, Xiaonan Zhang, Kaiyun Luo, Jianfeng Luan and Xuzhou Fan
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 710; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060710 - 20 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1678
Abstract
Transfusion-transmitted infections (TTIs), such as hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and treponema pallidum (TP), must be detected before blood transfusion. However, few studies have been conducted on the prevalence and accuracy of positive results in hospitalized [...] Read more.
Transfusion-transmitted infections (TTIs), such as hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and treponema pallidum (TP), must be detected before blood transfusion. However, few studies have been conducted on the prevalence and accuracy of positive results in hospitalized patients. The purpose of this study was to investigate the real seroprevalence of TTIs among patients before blood transfusion and analyze the characteristics of false-positive results in Jinling Hospital, Nanjing University, China. TTI results were collected from medical records and analyzed retrospectively. Additionally, we also used confirmatory assays to verify the accuracy of positive results. The overall prevalence of TTI was 8.96%, which was related to gender and age. The real positive rates were 86.67% (HBV), 35.09% (HCV), 20.75% (HIV), and 100% (TP). Our results also showed that high-speed centrifugation can reduce the false-positive rate of HBsAg. In summary, the results demonstrated that the positive rates of TTIs in hospitalized patients are higher than those in the general population. We also confirmed the existence of false-positive results in serological screening for TTIs. The method of processing specimens through high-speed centrifugation could reduce the false-positive results of detecting antigens effectively. Full article
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16 pages, 488 KiB  
Article
Culture-Independent PCR Detection and Differentiation of Mycobacteria spp. in Antemortem Respiratory Samples from African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana) and Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium Simum, Diceros Bicornis) in South Africa
by Wynand J. Goosen, Charlene Clarke, Léanie Kleynhans, Tanya J. Kerr, Peter Buss and Michele A. Miller
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 709; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060709 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2068
Abstract
Since certain Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) members, such as M. bovis, are endemic in specific South African wildlife reserves and zoos, cases of clinically important nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) in wildlife may be neglected. Additionally, due to the inability of tests to differentiate [...] Read more.
Since certain Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) members, such as M. bovis, are endemic in specific South African wildlife reserves and zoos, cases of clinically important nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) in wildlife may be neglected. Additionally, due to the inability of tests to differentiate between the host responses to MTBC and NTM, the diagnosis of MTBC may be confounded by the presence of NTMs. This may hinder control efforts. These constraints highlight the need for enhanced rapid detection and differentiation methods for MTBC and NTM, especially in high MTBC burden areas. We evaluated the use of the GeneXpert MTB/RIF Ultra, the Hain CMdirect V1.0 line probe assay, and novel amplicon sequencing PCRs targeting the mycobacterial rpoB and ku gene targets, directly on antemortem African elephant (n = 26) bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) (n = 22) and trunk washes (n = 21) and rhinoceros (n = 23) BALF (n = 23), with known MTBC culture-positive and NTM culture-positive results. Our findings suggest that the Ultra is the most sensitive diagnostic test for MTBC DNA detection directly in raw antemortem respiratory specimens and that the rpoB PCR is ideal for Mycobacterium genus DNA detection and species identification through amplicon sequencing. Full article
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17 pages, 2158 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Nematicidal Activity and Nematode-Toxic Metabolites of a Soilborne Brevundimonas bullata Isolate
by Jiaoqing Li, Meijuan Ding, Xiaowen Sun, Zhe Li, Liangzheng Xu and Lin Li
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 708; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060708 - 20 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1590
Abstract
The increasing prevalence of crop-threatening root-knot nematodes (RKNs) has stimulated extensive research to discover effective nematicides. A highly focused strategy for accomplishing this is the development of biocontrol agents by a variety of soilborne microorganisms, as different bacterial metabolites have demonstrated promising nematicidal [...] Read more.
The increasing prevalence of crop-threatening root-knot nematodes (RKNs) has stimulated extensive research to discover effective nematicides. A highly focused strategy for accomplishing this is the development of biocontrol agents by a variety of soilborne microorganisms, as different bacterial metabolites have demonstrated promising nematicidal activities. In this study, we characterized the nematicidal and suppressive activity of a bacterial isolate against the agriculturally important RKN Meloidogyne incognita and the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, and the main M. incognita-toxic metabolite of the strain. After a preliminary screening of 22 bacterial isolates with a corrected mortality (CM) of whole-cell culture greater than 50% against C. elegans from different RKN-incident soils in China, a total of 14 isolates with CM of the supernatant of culture suspension (SCS) higher than 50% against both M. incognita and C. elegans were rescreened. An isolate with the highest CM of 86.1% and 95.0% for M. incognita and C. elegans, respectively, was further identified as the species Brevundimonas bullata via morphological examination, physiological and biochemical assays and alignment analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences. The SCS of this strain, namely, B. bullata MB756, exhibited synchronous M. incognita killing activity along with significant detrimental effects on the growth, brood size, and locomotion of C. elegans. The effects of heat treatment, pH, inoculations, and protease K proteolysis on the CM of MB756 SCS were evaluated. A major M. incognita-toxic substance in the MB756 SCS was assayed and identified using thin-layer chromatography, column chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography with a mass spectrometer, and it was preliminarily identified as 2-ethylhexan-1-ol, with a molecular formula of C8H18O and a molecular weight of 130.3 Da. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbe-Nematode Interactions)
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17 pages, 3151 KiB  
Article
Aspartyl Protease Inhibitors as Anti-Filarial Drugs
by Liana Beld, Hyeim Jung, Christina A. Bulman, Bruce A. Rosa, Peter U. Fischer, James W. Janetka, Sara Lustigman, Judy A. Sakanari and Makedonka Mitreva
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060707 - 18 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2346
Abstract
The current treatments for lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis do not effectively kill the adult parasitic nematodes, allowing these chronic and debilitating diseases to persist in millions of people. Thus, the discovery of new drugs with macrofilaricidal potential to treat these filarial diseases is [...] Read more.
The current treatments for lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis do not effectively kill the adult parasitic nematodes, allowing these chronic and debilitating diseases to persist in millions of people. Thus, the discovery of new drugs with macrofilaricidal potential to treat these filarial diseases is critical. To facilitate this need, we first investigated the effects of three aspartyl protease inhibitors (APIs) that are FDA-approved as HIV antiretroviral drugs on the adult filarial nematode, Brugia malayi and the endosymbiotic bacteria, Wolbachia. From the three hits, nelfinavir had the best potency with an IC50 value of 7.78 µM, followed by ritonavir and lopinavir with IC50 values of 14.3 µM and 16.9 µM, respectively. The three APIs have a direct effect on killing adult B. malayi after 6 days of exposure in vitro and did not affect the Wolbachia titers. Sequence conservation and stage-specific gene expression analysis identified Bm8660 as the most likely primary aspartic protease target for these drug(s). Immunolocalization using antibodies raised against the Bm8660 ortholog of Onchocerca volvulus showed it is strongly expressed in female B. malayi, especially in metabolically active tissues such as lateral and dorsal/ventral chords, hypodermis, and uterus tissue. Global transcriptional response analysis using adult female B. pahangi treated with APIs identified four additional aspartic proteases differentially regulated by the three effective drugs, as well as significant enrichment of various pathways including ubiquitin mediated proteolysis, protein kinases, and MAPK/AMPK/FoxO signaling. In vitro testing against the adult gastro-intestinal nematode Trichuris muris suggested broad-spectrum potential for these APIs. This study suggests that APIs may serve as new leads to be further explored for drug discovery to treat parasitic nematode infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Helminths, Anthelmintics and Anthelmintic Resistance)
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17 pages, 3099 KiB  
Article
Chicken Skin Decontamination of Thermotolerant Campylobacter spp. and Hygiene Indicator Escherichia coli Assessed by Viability Real-Time PCR
by Imke F. Wulsten, Maja Thieck, André Göhler, Elisabeth Schuh and Kerstin Stingl
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 706; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060706 - 18 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1926
Abstract
Thermotolerant Campylobacter spp. are fecal contaminants of chicken meat with serious implications for human health. E. coli is considered as hygiene indicator since, in contrast to Campylobacter. spp., the bacterium is generally present in the avian gut. Stress exposure may transiently cease [...] Read more.
Thermotolerant Campylobacter spp. are fecal contaminants of chicken meat with serious implications for human health. E. coli is considered as hygiene indicator since, in contrast to Campylobacter. spp., the bacterium is generally present in the avian gut. Stress exposure may transiently cease bacterial division. Therefore, colony forming units (CFU) may underestimate the infection risk of pathogens. We developed a viability real-time PCR (v-qPCR) for the quantification of viable E. coli targeting the uidA gene, encoding β-glucuronidase, which is usually detected for phenotypic species identification. The short- and long-term effects of decontaminating chicken skin on the survival of both C. jejuni and an ESBL-producing E. coli were evaluated by CFU and v-qPCR. The results showed that freezing and storage in cool conditions are potentially underestimated by CFU but not by v-qPCR. The effect of treatment with peroxyacetic acid on survival was consistently detected by CFU and v-qPCR. v-qPCR analysis detected bacterial survival upon the application of lactic acid, which awaits further analysis. Interestingly, both bacteria showed similar kinetics of inactivation upon the application of reduction strategies, suggesting that E. coli might be a complementary hygiene indicator. We conclude that v-qPCR can improve food safety under the consideration of some limitations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Campylobacter Infections Collection)
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9 pages, 439 KiB  
Article
Prevalence, Serotypes, and Antimicrobial Resistance Patterns of Non-Typhoid Salmonella in Food in Northern Taiwan
by Yi-Jung Chang, Chyi-Liang Chen, Hsin-Ping Yang and Cheng-Hsun Chiu
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060705 - 18 Jun 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2048
Abstract
Salmonella is one of the most common bacteria causing food poisoning worldwide. We evaluated the prevalence, the serotypes, and the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) of Salmonella isolates from many kinds of food, particularly pork and chicken in retail, in Taiwan between January 2017 and [...] Read more.
Salmonella is one of the most common bacteria causing food poisoning worldwide. We evaluated the prevalence, the serotypes, and the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) of Salmonella isolates from many kinds of food, particularly pork and chicken in retail, in Taiwan between January 2017 and December 2019. The E-test was used to assess antimicrobial susceptibility and a polymerase chain reaction was performed for serotyping. A total of 459 different foods were investigated, and 117 Salmonella strains were isolated. Retail pork and chicken were the most common Salmonella-contaminated foods (64.1% and 29.1%, respectively). Of the 117 isolates, 23 serotypes were identified. The serotypes Derby (16.2%), Anatum (13.7%), and Agona (8.5%) were the most prevalent. The resistance rates to ciprofloxacin, ceftriaxone, and carbapenem were 41.9%, 11.1%, and 1.7%, respectively. The Derby and Anatum serotypes were prevalent in chicken and pork; the Anatum serotype had significantly higher ciprofloxacin and ceftriaxone resistance rates and was highly prevalent in 2017 and 2018. Multi-locus sequence typing analysis revealed that the 58 randomly chosen Salmonella isolates belonged to 18 sequence types (STs). ST64 (Anatum, 16 out of 58, 27.6%) was the most common, followed by ST321 (Muenster, 6/58, 10.3%), ST831 (Give, 5/58, 8.6%), ST155 (London, 4/58, 6.9%) and ST314 (Kentucky, 4/58, 6.9%). Multidrug-resistant Salmonella strains were remarkably observed in the serotypes Anatum (ST64) and Goldcoast (ST358). This study revealed that retail pork was commonly contaminated with antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella. Thus, periodic investigations of Salmonella serotypes and AMR are needed. Full article
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10 pages, 1254 KiB  
Review
Epidemiological Trends of Trans-Boundary Tick-Borne Encephalitis in Europe, 2000–2019
by Mulugeta A. Wondim, Piotr Czupryna, Sławomir Pancewicz, Ewelina Kruszewska, Monika Groth and Anna Moniuszko-Malinowska
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 704; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060704 - 18 Jun 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2255
Abstract
Tick-borne encephalitis is a neuroinfection widely distributed in the Euro–Asia region. Primarily, the virus is transmitted by the bite of infected ticks. From 2000–2019, the total number of confirmed cases in Europe reported to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control was [...] Read more.
Tick-borne encephalitis is a neuroinfection widely distributed in the Euro–Asia region. Primarily, the virus is transmitted by the bite of infected ticks. From 2000–2019, the total number of confirmed cases in Europe reported to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control was 51,519. The number of cases decreased in 2014 and 2015; however, since 2015, a growing number of cases have been observed, with the involvement of countries in which TBE has not been previously reported. The determinant factors for the spread of TBE are host population size, weather conditions, movement of hosts, and local regulations on the socioeconomic dynamics of the local and travelling people around the foci areas. The mean incidence rate of tick-borne encephalitis from 2000–2019 in Europe was 3.27, while the age-adjusted mean incidence rate was 2.19 per 100,000 population size. This review used several articles and data sources from the European Centre for Diseases Prevention and Control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus)
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18 pages, 781 KiB  
Review
Powdery Mildew Resistance Genes in Vines: An Opportunity to Achieve a More Sustainable Viticulture
by Viviana Sosa-Zuniga, Álvaro Vidal Valenzuela, Paola Barba, Carmen Espinoza Cancino, Jesus L. Romero-Romero and Patricio Arce-Johnson
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060703 - 18 Jun 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2981
Abstract
Grapevine (Vitis vinifera) is one of the main fruit crops worldwide. In 2020, the total surface area planted with vines was estimated at 7.3 million hectares. Diverse pathogens affect grapevine yield, fruit, and wine quality of which powdery mildew is the [...] Read more.
Grapevine (Vitis vinifera) is one of the main fruit crops worldwide. In 2020, the total surface area planted with vines was estimated at 7.3 million hectares. Diverse pathogens affect grapevine yield, fruit, and wine quality of which powdery mildew is the most important disease prior to harvest. Its causal agent is the biotrophic fungus Erysiphe necator, which generates a decrease in cluster weight, delays fruit ripening, and reduces photosynthetic and transpiration rates. In addition, powdery mildew induces metabolic reprogramming in its host, affecting primary metabolism. Most commercial grapevine cultivars are highly susceptible to powdery mildew; consequently, large quantities of fungicide are applied during the productive season. However, pesticides are associated with health problems, negative environmental impacts, and high costs for farmers. In paralleled, consumers are demanding more sustainable practices during food production. Therefore, new grapevine cultivars with genetic resistance to powdery mildew are needed for sustainable viticulture, while maintaining yield, fruit, and wine quality. Two main gene families confer resistance to powdery mildew in the Vitaceae, Run (Resistance to Uncinula necator) and Ren (Resistance to Erysiphe necator). This article reviews the powdery mildew resistance genes and loci and their use in grapevine breeding programs. Full article
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9 pages, 227 KiB  
Communication
African Swine Fever Outbreak Investigations—The Significance of Disease-Related Anecdotal Information Coming from Laypersons
by Kristīne Lamberga, Felix Ardelean, Sandra Blome, Paulius Busauskas, Boban Djuric, Anja Globig, Vittorio Guberti, Aleksandra Miteva, Edvins Oļševskis, Mārtiņš Seržants, Arvo Viltrop, Laura Zani, Anna Zdravkova and Klaus Depner
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060702 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1642
Abstract
Veterinarians who have conducted numerous investigations of African swine fever outbreaks in pig farms in various European countries over the years shared their experiences during a workshop in Germany in early 2020. One focus was on the so-called “anecdotal information” obtained from farmers, [...] Read more.
Veterinarians who have conducted numerous investigations of African swine fever outbreaks in pig farms in various European countries over the years shared their experiences during a workshop in Germany in early 2020. One focus was on the so-called “anecdotal information” obtained from farmers, farm workers or other lay people during the outbreak investigations. Discussions revolved around how to correctly interpret and classify such information and how the subjective character of the statements can influence follow-up examinations. The statements of the lay persons were grouped into three categories according to their plausibility: (i) statements that were plausible and prompted further investigation, (ii) statements that were not plausible and could therefore be ignored, and (iii) statements that were rather implausible but should not be ignored completely. The easiest to deal with were statements that could be classified without doubt as important and very plausible and statements that were not plausible at all. Particularly difficult to assess were statements that had a certain plausibility and could not be immediately dismissed out of hand. We aim to show that during outbreak investigations, one is confronted with human subjective stories that are difficult to interpret but still important to understand the overall picture. Here, we present and briefly discuss an arbitrary selection of reports made by lay persons during outbreak investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring, Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Diseases)
14 pages, 894 KiB  
Article
Microbiological, Clinical and Radiological Aspects of Diabetic Foot Ulcers Infected with Methicillin-Resistant and -Sensitive Staphylococcus aureus
by Maria Stańkowska, Katarzyna Garbacz, Anna Korzon-Burakowska, Marek Bronk, Monika Skotarczak and Anna Szymańska-Dubowik
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060701 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1945
Abstract
Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is one of the most common chronic complications of diabetes. This study aimed to assess the factors with an impact on the infection of diabetic foot ulcers by methicillin-resistant S. aureus and to evaluate the influence of methicillin resistance [...] Read more.
Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is one of the most common chronic complications of diabetes. This study aimed to assess the factors with an impact on the infection of diabetic foot ulcers by methicillin-resistant S. aureus and to evaluate the influence of methicillin resistance on the frequency of osteitis (based on classic X-ray images). A total of 863 patients suffering from DFU were analyzed during the study period. Out of 201 isolated S. aureus cases, 31 (15.4%) were methicillin-resistant (MRSA). MRSA infections were associated with a higher incidence of osteitis compared to MSSA infections (p << 0.0001), both the occurrence of smaller (<50%)) and greater (>50%) inflammatory bone changes (p << 0.0001). Furthermore, MRSA occurred significantly more frequently in men than in women (p < 0.01) and more often among patients with type 2 diabetes than among patients with type 1 diabetes (p < 0.05). MRSA were isolated statistically less often in overweight patients than in patients with normal BMI (p < 0.05). DFUs infected with MRSA were significantly more frequently associated with the presence of Pseudomonas sp. and other non-fermenting bacilli than those infected with MSSA (p < 0.05). To conclude, osteitis incidence is related to MRSA infection in patients with diabetic foot ulcers; thus, patients infected by S. aureus should be closely monitored in the course of using antibiotics and treated with narrow-spectrum antibiotics. Full article
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11 pages, 821 KiB  
Article
Diagnostic Laboratory Characteristics of COVID-19 Patients Infected by Fomites: COVID-19 Outbreak in a South Korean Public Administrative Facility
by Se-Min Hwang, Yoomi Jung and Haesook Seo
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060700 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1527
Abstract
There is a paucity of data regarding the differentiating characteristics of patients who were infected with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by fomites around the world. We conducted an event-based outbreak investigation, involving 795 public officers and 277 assistant staff, in [...] Read more.
There is a paucity of data regarding the differentiating characteristics of patients who were infected with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by fomites around the world. We conducted an event-based outbreak investigation, involving 795 public officers and 277 assistant staff, in the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) or the same building from March 2 to March 18, 2020. The SARS-CoV-2 patients were found to have more frequently touched fomites and used public toilets than those who were tested negative for the virus (cOR, 24.38; 95% CI, 4.95–120.01). Symptoms such as coughing and loss of taste and smell were more frequently found in the office-cleaner group than in the public-officer group. The SARS-CoV-2 office-cleaner patients were more likely to have a high RdRp(Ct) value of PCR (median: 34.17 vs. 24.99; p = 0.035) and E(Ct) value of PCR (median: 32.30 vs. 24.74; p = 0.045). All office cleaner patients (100%) had a ground glass opacity in both lobes. Regarding segmental lung involvement of CT, two patients (100%) had a lesion in the right middle lobe, which invaded the whole lobe later. This implies that the fomite might be a selective risk factor of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Full article
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18 pages, 2559 KiB  
Article
Cryptococcal Meningitis in Kidney Transplant Recipients: A Two-Decade Cohort Study in France
by Laurène Tardieu, Gillian Divard, Olivier Lortholary, Anne Scemla, Éric Rondeau, Isabelle Accoceberry, Rémi Agbonon, Alexandre Alanio, Adela Angoulvant, Laetitia Albano, Philippe Attias, Anne Pauline Bellanger, Dominique Bertrand, Julie Bonhomme, Françoise Botterel, Nicolas Bouvier, Matthias Buchler, Taieb Chouaki, Thomas Crépin, Marie-Fleur Durieux, Guillaume Desoubeaux, Gary Doppelt, Loïc Favennec, Arnaud Fekkar, Ophélie Fourdinier, Marie Frimat, Jean-Pierre Gangneux, Claire Garandeau, Lilia Hasseine, Christophe Hennequin, Xavier Iriart, Nassim Kamar, Hannah Kaminski, Raphael Kormann, Laurence Lachaud, Christophe Legendre, Moglie Le Quintrec Donnette, Jordan Leroy, Charlène Levi, Marie Machouart, David Marx, Jean Menotti, Valérie Moal, Florent Morio, Natacha Mrozek, Muriel Nicolas, Philippe Poirier, Marie-Noelle Peraldi, Benjamin Poussot, Stéphane Ranque, Jean-Philippe Rerolle, Boualem Sendid, Renaud Snanoudj, Jérôme Tourret, Marc Vasse, Cécile Vigneau, Odile Villard, Laurent Mesnard, Fanny Lanternier and Cédric Rafatadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 699; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060699 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2262
Abstract
Cryptococcosis is the third most common cause of invasive fungal infection in solid organ transplant recipients and cryptococcal meningitis (CM) its main clinical presentation. CM outcomes, as well as its clinical features and radiological characteristics, have not yet been considered on a large [...] Read more.
Cryptococcosis is the third most common cause of invasive fungal infection in solid organ transplant recipients and cryptococcal meningitis (CM) its main clinical presentation. CM outcomes, as well as its clinical features and radiological characteristics, have not yet been considered on a large scale in the context of kidney transplantation (KT). We performed a nationwide retrospective study of adult patients diagnosed with cryptococcosis after KT between 2002 and 2020 across 30 clinical centers in France. We sought to describe overall and graft survival based on whether KT patients with cryptococcosis developed CM or not. Clinical indicators of CNS involvement and brain radiological characteristics were assessed. Eighty-eight cases of cryptococcosis were diagnosed during the study period, with 61 (69.3%) cases of CM. Mortality was high (32.8%) at 12 months (M12) but not significantly different whether or not patients presented with CM. Baseline hyponatremia and at least one neurological symptom were independently associated with CM (p < 0.001). Positive serum cryptococcal antigen at diagnosis was also significantly associated with CM (p < 0.001). On magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), three patterns of brain injury were identified: parenchymal, meningeal, and vascular lesions. Although CM does not affect graft function directly, it entails a grim prognosis. Full article
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20 pages, 2024 KiB  
Systematic Review
Mobile Colistin Resistance (mcr) Genes in Cats and Dogs and Their Zoonotic Transmission Risks
by Afaf Hamame, Bernard Davoust, Zineb Cherak, Jean-Marc Rolain and Seydina M. Diene
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060698 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3314
Abstract
Background: Pets, especially cats and dogs, represent a great potential for zoonotic transmission, leading to major health problems. The purpose of this systematic review was to present the latest developments concerning colistin resistance through mcr genes in pets. The current study also [...] Read more.
Background: Pets, especially cats and dogs, represent a great potential for zoonotic transmission, leading to major health problems. The purpose of this systematic review was to present the latest developments concerning colistin resistance through mcr genes in pets. The current study also highlights the health risks of the transmission of colistin resistance between pets and humans. Methods: We conducted a systematic review on mcr-positive bacteria in pets and studies reporting their zoonotic transmission to humans. Bibliographic research queries were performed on the following databases: Google Scholar, PubMed, Scopus, Microsoft Academic, and Web of Science. Articles of interest were selected using the PRISMA guideline principles. Results: The analyzed articles from the investigated databases described the presence of mcr gene variants in pets including mcr-1, mcr-2, mcr-3, mcr-4, mcr-5, mcr-8, mcr-9, and mcr-10. Among these articles, four studies reported potential zoonotic transmission of mcr genes between pets and humans. The epidemiological analysis revealed that dogs and cats can be colonized by mcr genes that are beginning to spread in different countries worldwide. Overall, reported articles on this subject highlight the high risk of zoonotic transmission of colistin resistance genes between pets and their owners. Conclusions: This review demonstrated the spread of mcr genes in pets and their transmission to humans, indicating the need for further measures to control this significant threat to public health. Therefore, we suggest here some strategies against this threat such as avoiding zoonotic transmission. Full article
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9 pages, 597 KiB  
Communication
Orbivirus Screening from Imported Captive Oryx in the United Arab Emirates Stresses the Importance of Pre-Import and Transit Measures
by Ludovic Martinelle, Andy Haegeman, Louis Lignereux, Anne-Lise Chaber, Fabiana Dal Pozzo, Ilse De Leeuw, Kris De Clercq and Claude Saegerman
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060697 - 17 Jun 2022
Viewed by 3247
Abstract
From 1975 to 2021, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) imported more than 1300 live Arabian oryxes (AOs) and scimitar-horned oryxes (SHOs) for conservation programs. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of orbiviruses Bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease [...] Read more.
From 1975 to 2021, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) imported more than 1300 live Arabian oryxes (AOs) and scimitar-horned oryxes (SHOs) for conservation programs. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of orbiviruses Bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) in AOs and SHOs from captive herds in the UAE. Between October 2014 and April 2015, 16 AOs and 13 SHOs originating from Texas (USA) and 195 out of about 4000 SHOs from two locations in the UAE were blood sampled to be tested by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) assays. Eight imported AOs (50% CI [24.7–75.4%]) and eight imported SHOs (61.5% CI [31.6–86.1%]) were found BTV seropositive, in contrast with three out of 195 SHOs (1.5% CI [0.3–4.4%]) from the Emirates. BTV-2 genome was detected in 6/16 of the Arabian Oryx, and amongst those, one out of six was seronegative. None of the tested samples was found positive for EHDV. Our results illustrate the wide local variation regarding BTV seroprevalence in domestic and wild ruminants in the Arabian Peninsula. These results stress the need for pre-import risk assessment when considering translocation of wild ruminant species susceptible to orbiviruses not only in the country of destination but also where transit happens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases)
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20 pages, 1108 KiB  
Article
Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) Are Exposed to High Diversity of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato Species Infecting Fox-Derived Ixodes Ticks in West-Central Poland
by Beata Wodecka, Jerzy Michalik and Renata Grochowalska
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 696; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060696 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2037
Abstract
The role of red fox, Vulpes vulpes, and its associated ticks in maintaining Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) was studied. A total of 1583 ticks were removed from ears of 120 infested animals and were identified as species using a nested PCR [...] Read more.
The role of red fox, Vulpes vulpes, and its associated ticks in maintaining Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) was studied. A total of 1583 ticks were removed from ears of 120 infested animals and were identified as species using a nested PCR targeting the ITS2 and coxI fragments of Ixodes DNA. Ixodes kaiseri prevailed (76%), followed by I. canisuga, I. ricinus, and I. hexagonus. In total, 32.4% of 943 ticks revealed Borrelia DNA and 10 species of B. burgdorferi s.l. complex were identified. Borrelia garinii and B. afzelii comprised 70% of all infections. The other eight species included B. americana, B. bissettiae, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), B. californiensis, B. carolinensis, B. lanei, B. spielmanii, and B. valaisiana. Analysis of tissues from 243 foxes showed that 23.5% were infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. Borrelia garinii was detected in 91% of the infected animals, including 31% of mixed infections with B. afzelii, the second most prevalent species, followed by B. spielmanii. The predominance of B. garinii in PCR-positive animals and infected larval ticks (38.1%), suggests that this spirochete and B. afzelii are preferentially associated with foxes. Although red foxes are exposed to a high diversity of B. burgdorferi s.l. species found in engorged Ixodes ticks, their reservoir competence for most of them appears to be low. Full article
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7 pages, 444 KiB  
Article
Efficacy of a Fungal Formulation with the Nematophagous Fungus Pochonia chlamydosporia in the Biological Control of Bovine Nematodiosis
by Júlia dos Santos Fonseca, Vinícius Monteiro Ferreira, Samuel Galvão de Freitas, Ítalo Stoupa Vieira and Jackson Victor de Araújo
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 695; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060695 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1586
Abstract
In the control of bovine worms, biological control by nematophagous fungi stands out, especially Pochoniachlamydosporia which causes the destruction of helminth eggs. This study aims to test the effectiveness of a formulation containing the nematophagous fungus Pochonia chlamydosporia isolated for the biological control [...] Read more.
In the control of bovine worms, biological control by nematophagous fungi stands out, especially Pochoniachlamydosporia which causes the destruction of helminth eggs. This study aims to test the effectiveness of a formulation containing the nematophagous fungus Pochonia chlamydosporia isolated for the biological control of bovine nematodiosis. Twelve cattle were divided into two groups: control group (GC) and the group that received the formulation (GT). Feces and pasture samples were collected for the research of gastrointestinal nematodes. Lung worms and trematodes were investigated. The animals were weighed monthly. The averages of temperature and rainfall were recorded. The supply of the fungus Pochonia chlamydosporia was not effective in reducing the eggs per gram of feces of gastrointestinal nematodes (EPG) of the animals, not differing statistically (p > 0.05) between the groups. The mean values of larvae recovered in the pasture did not differ significantly (p > 0.05). The genus Haemonchus sp. was the most prevalent. There was no correlation between the number of larvae with temperature and rainfall (p > 0.05). There was a statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) in the penultimate weighing of the experiment. The formulation containing Pochonia chlamydosporia was not efficient in the biological control of bovine gastrointestinal nematodes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Control of the Helminthosis in Domestic Animals)
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21 pages, 1932 KiB  
Article
First Data on Ornithodoros moubata Aquaporins: Structural, Phylogenetic and Immunogenic Characterisation as Vaccine Targets
by Ricardo Pérez-Sánchez, Ana Laura Cano-Argüelles, María González-Sánchez and Ana Oleaga
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060694 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2550
Abstract
Ornithodoros moubata transmits African swine fever and human relapsing fever in Africa. The elimination of O. moubata populations from anthropic environments is expected to improve the prevention and control of these diseases. Tick vaccines have emerged as a sustainable method for tick control, [...] Read more.
Ornithodoros moubata transmits African swine fever and human relapsing fever in Africa. The elimination of O. moubata populations from anthropic environments is expected to improve the prevention and control of these diseases. Tick vaccines have emerged as a sustainable method for tick control, and tick aquaporins (AQPs) are promising targets for tick vaccines due to their vital functions, immunogenicity and ease of access by neutralising host antibodies. This study aimed at the systematic identification of the AQPs expressed by O. moubata (OmAQPs) and their characterisation as vaccine targets. Therefore, AQP coding sequences were recovered from available transcriptomic datasets, followed by PCR amplification, cloning, sequence verification and the analysis of the AQP protein structure and epitope exposure. Seven OmAQPs were identified and characterised: six were aquaglyceroporins, and one was a water-specific aquaporin. All of these were expressed in the salivary glands and midgut and only three in the coxal glands. Epitope exposure analysis identified three extracellular domains in each AQP, which concentrate overlapping B and T cell epitopes, making them interesting vaccine targets. Based on these domain sequences, a set of ten antigenic peptides was designed, which showed adequate properties to be produced and tested in pilot vaccine trials. Full article
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11 pages, 1328 KiB  
Review
Probe Capture Enrichment Methods for HIV and HCV Genome Sequencing and Drug Resistance Genotyping
by Chantal Munyuza, Hezhao Ji and Emma R. Lee
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060693 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2821
Abstract
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections remain a significant public health concern worldwide. Over the years, sophisticated sequencing technologies such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) have emerged and been utilized to monitor the spread of HIV drug resistance (HIVDR), identify HIV drug resistance mutations, and [...] Read more.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections remain a significant public health concern worldwide. Over the years, sophisticated sequencing technologies such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) have emerged and been utilized to monitor the spread of HIV drug resistance (HIVDR), identify HIV drug resistance mutations, and characterize transmission dynamics. Similar applications also apply to the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), another bloodborne viral pathogen with significant intra-host genetic diversity. Several advantages to using NGS over conventional Sanger sequencing include increased data throughput, scalability, cost-effectiveness when batched sample testing is performed, and sensitivity for quantitative detection of minority resistant variants. However, NGS alone may fail to detect genomes from pathogens present in low copy numbers. As with all sequencing platforms, the primary determinant in achieving quality sequencing data is the quality and quantity of the initial template input. Samples containing degraded RNA/DNA and/or low copy number have been a consistent sequencing challenge. To overcome this limitation probe capture enrichment is a method that has recently been employed to target, enrich, and sequence the genome of a pathogen present in low copies, and for compromised specimens that contain poor quality nucleic acids. It involves the hybridization of sequence-specific DNA or RNA probes to a target sequence, which is followed by an enrichment step via PCR to increase the number of copies of the targeted sequences after which the samples are subjected to NGS procedures. This method has been performed on pathogens such as bacteria, fungus, and viruses and allows for the sequencing of complete genomes, with high coverage. Post NGS, data analysis can be performed through various bioinformatics pipelines which can provide information on genetic diversity, genotype, virulence, and drug resistance. This article reviews how probe capture enrichment helps to increase the likelihood of sequencing HIV and HCV samples that contain low viral loads and/or are compromised. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Current Research on HIV Drug Resistance)
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20 pages, 1750 KiB  
Review
Probiotics as Alternatives to Antibiotics for the Prevention and Control of Necrotic Enteritis in Chickens
by Raveendra R. Kulkarni, Carissa Gaghan, Kaitlin Gorrell, Shayan Sharif and Khaled Taha-Abdelaziz
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060692 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 4761
Abstract
Necrotic enteritis (NE) in poultry is an economically important disease caused by Clostridium perfringens type A bacteria. A global trend on restricting the use of antibiotics as feed supplements in food animal production has caused a spike in the NE incidences in chickens, [...] Read more.
Necrotic enteritis (NE) in poultry is an economically important disease caused by Clostridium perfringens type A bacteria. A global trend on restricting the use of antibiotics as feed supplements in food animal production has caused a spike in the NE incidences in chickens, particularly in broiler populations. Amongst several non-antibiotic strategies for NE control tried so far, probiotics seem to offer promising avenues. The current review focuses on studies that have evaluated probiotic effects on C. perfringens growth and NE development. Several probiotic species, including Lactobacillus, Enterococcus, Bacillus, and Bacteroides bacteria as well as some yeast species have been tested in chickens against C. perfringens and NE development. These findings have shown to improve bird performance, reduce C. perfringens colonization and NE-associated pathology. The underlying probiotic mechanisms of NE control suggest that probiotics can help maintain a healthy gut microbial balance by modifying its composition, improve mucosal integrity by upregulating expression of tight-junction proteins, and modulate immune responses by downregulating expression of inflammatory cytokines. Collectively, these studies indicate that probiotics can offer a promising platform for NE control and that more investigations are needed to study whether these experimental probiotics can effectively prevent NE in commercial poultry operational settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring, Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Diseases)
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12 pages, 460 KiB  
Article
A Machine Learning Model for Food Source Attribution of Listeria monocytogenes
by Collins K. Tanui, Edmund O. Benefo, Shraddha Karanth and Abani K. Pradhan
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 691; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060691 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3070
Abstract
Despite its low morbidity, listeriosis has a high mortality rate due to the severity of its clinical manifestations. The source of human listeriosis is often unclear. In this study, we investigate the ability of machine learning to predict the food source from which [...] Read more.
Despite its low morbidity, listeriosis has a high mortality rate due to the severity of its clinical manifestations. The source of human listeriosis is often unclear. In this study, we investigate the ability of machine learning to predict the food source from which clinical Listeria monocytogenes isolates originated. Four machine learning classification algorithms were trained on core genome multilocus sequence typing data of 1212 L. monocytogenes isolates from various food sources. The average accuracies of random forest, support vector machine radial kernel, stochastic gradient boosting, and logit boost were found to be 0.72, 0.61, 0.7, and 0.73, respectively. Logit boost showed the best performance and was used in model testing on 154 L. monocytogenes clinical isolates. The model attributed 17.5 % of human clinical cases to dairy, 32.5% to fruits, 14.3% to leafy greens, 9.7% to meat, 4.6% to poultry, and 18.8% to vegetables. The final model also provided us with genetic features that were predictive of specific sources. Thus, this combination of genomic data and machine learning-based models can greatly enhance our ability to track L. monocytogenes from different food sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomic Epidemiology of Foodborne Pathogens)
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7 pages, 269 KiB  
Article
What Is Anthrax?
by William A. Bower, Katherine A. Hendricks, Antonio R. Vieira, Rita M. Traxler, Zachary Weiner, Ruth Lynfield and Alex Hoffmaster
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 690; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060690 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 6085
Abstract
Anthrax has been feared for its high mortality in animals and humans for centuries. The etiologic agent is considered a potentially devastating bioweapon, and since 1876―when Robert Koch demonstrated that Bacillus anthracis caused anthrax―it has been considered the sole cause of the disease. [...] Read more.
Anthrax has been feared for its high mortality in animals and humans for centuries. The etiologic agent is considered a potentially devastating bioweapon, and since 1876―when Robert Koch demonstrated that Bacillus anthracis caused anthrax―it has been considered the sole cause of the disease. Anthrax is, however, a toxin-mediated disease. The toxins edema toxin and lethal toxin are formed from protein components encoded for by the pXO1 virulence plasmid present in pathogenic B. anthracis strains. However, other members of the Bacillus cereus group, to which B. anthracis belongs, have recently been shown to harbor the pXO1 plasmid and produce anthrax toxins. Infection with these Bacillus cereus group organisms produces a disease clinically similar to anthrax. This suggests that anthrax should be defined by the exotoxins encoded for by the pXO1 plasmid rather than the bacterial species it has historically been associated with, and that the definition of anthrax should be expanded to include disease caused by any member of the B. cereus group containing the toxin-producing pXO1 plasmid or anthrax toxin genes specifically. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthrax—a Threat beyond Bacillus anthracis)
16 pages, 4899 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Biofilm Formation Capacity in S. pseudintermedius and Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci Species
by Vanessa Silva, Elisete Correia, José Eduardo Pereira, Camino González-Machado, Rosa Capita, Carlos Alonso-Calleja, Gilberto Igrejas and Patrícia Poeta
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060689 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1947
Abstract
The ability of biofilm formation seems to play an important role in the virulence of staphylococci. However, studies reporting biofilm formation of coagulase-negative staphylococci isolated from animals are still very scarce. Thus, we aimed to evaluate the biofilm-forming capacity of CoNS and S. [...] Read more.
The ability of biofilm formation seems to play an important role in the virulence of staphylococci. However, studies reporting biofilm formation of coagulase-negative staphylococci isolated from animals are still very scarce. Thus, we aimed to evaluate the biofilm-forming capacity of CoNS and S. pseudintermedius isolated from several animal species and to investigate the effect of conventional antimicrobials on biofilm reduction. A total of 35 S. pseudintermedius and 192 CoNS were included. Biofilm formation was accessed by the microtiter plate assay and the biofilms were stained by crystal violet. Association between biofilm formation and staphylococci species and antimicrobial resistance was also performed. Biofilm susceptibility testing was performed with tetracycline and amikacin at the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and 10 × MIC. The metabolic activity of the biofilm cells after antimicrobial treatment was accessed by the XTT assay. All isolates formed biofilm, with S. urealyticus producing the most biofilm biomass and S. pseudintermedius producing the least biomass. There was a positive association between biofilm formation and multidrug resistance as well as resistance to individual antimicrobials. Neither tetracycline nor amikacin were able to eradicate the biofilm, not even at the highest concentration used. This study provides new insights into biofilm formation and the effects of antimicrobials on CoNS species. Full article
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13 pages, 1553 KiB  
Article
Oral and Intragastric: New Routes of Infection by Leishmania braziliensis and Leishmania infantum?
by Mayra M. Reimann, Eduardo Caio Torres-Santos, Celeste S. F. de Souza, Valter V. Andrade-Neto, Ana Maria Jansen, Reginaldo P. Brazil and André Luiz R. Roque
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060688 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2456
Abstract
Although Leishmania transmission in nature is associated with the bite of an infected sandfly vector, other possible transmission routes are speculated to occur, such as the oral route. We evaluated the possibility of infection by this route in golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus [...] Read more.
Although Leishmania transmission in nature is associated with the bite of an infected sandfly vector, other possible transmission routes are speculated to occur, such as the oral route. We evaluated the possibility of infection by this route in golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) using Leishmania braziliensis (Lb) and Leishmania infantum (Li). Hamsters were exposed to experimental oral or intragastrical infection with axenic promastigotes, besides oral ingestion of a suspension of cultivated macrophages infected with amastigotes, lesion-fed Lutzomyia longipalpis, skin lesion or infective spleen fragment. The parasite’s isolation, besides a positive PCR and IFAT, confirmed the intragastric infection by promastigote parasites. The oral ingestion of macrophages infected with L. braziliensis amastigotes was also infective. These results confirmed that Leishmania parasites could infect mammals by the intragastric route through the ingestion of promastigote forms (what can happen after a sandfly ingestion) and by the oral ingestion of infected macrophages (what can happen in nature in a predator–prey interaction). The better understanding of these alternative routes is essential to understand their transmission dynamics in nature. As far as we know, this is the first time that oral and intragastric Leishmania transmission has been experimentally demonstrated, constituting new infection routes, at least for L. infantum and L. braziliensis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Parasitic Diseases)
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9 pages, 274 KiB  
Review
Enterococci—Involvement in Pathogenesis and Therapeutic Potential in Cancer Treatment: A Mini-Review
by Anna Grenda, Tomasz Grenda, Piotr Domaradzki and Krzysztof Kwiatek
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060687 - 15 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2291
Abstract
Enterococcus spp. are Gram-positive, heterogeneous lactic acid bacteria inhabiting various environments. Several species of Enterococci are considered to be able to stimulate the immune system and play an important role in intestinal homeostasis. Some Enterococci can be used as probiotics. Some strains of [...] Read more.
Enterococcus spp. are Gram-positive, heterogeneous lactic acid bacteria inhabiting various environments. Several species of Enterococci are considered to be able to stimulate the immune system and play an important role in intestinal homeostasis. Some Enterococci can be used as probiotics. Some strains of E. faecium are components of pharmaceutical products used to treat diarrhea, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, it has been proved that they are responsible for food contamination, and are sometimes undesirable from the point of view of food technology. Additionally, the virulence and multi-drug resistance of Enterococci potentially pose a risk of an epidemic, especially in hospital environments. Moreover, there are indications of their negative role in colon tumorigenesis; however, some nterococci are proved to support immunotherapy in cancer treatment. In general, it can be concluded that this group of microorganisms, despite its nature, has properties that can be used to support cancer treatment—both aggressive chemotherapy and cutting-edge therapy targeting immune checkpoints (IC). Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Current Status of Research on Gut Metabolites and Microbiota)
8 pages, 1248 KiB  
Brief Report
Evaluation of Ultraviolet Type C Radiation in Inactivating Relevant Veterinary Viruses on Experimentally Contaminated Surfaces
by Cristina Mendes Peter, Willian Pinto Paim, Mayara Fernanda Maggioli, Rafael Costa Ebling, Kylie Glisson, Tara Donovan and Fernando Vicosa Bauermann
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 686; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060686 - 15 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1821
Abstract
Many swine farms employ UVC treatment in employees’ personal belongings and small tools entering farms as part of the biosecurity protocol to decrease the risk of pathogen introduction into the operation. However, the UVC efficacy in some veterinary viruses is not fully evaluated. [...] Read more.
Many swine farms employ UVC treatment in employees’ personal belongings and small tools entering farms as part of the biosecurity protocol to decrease the risk of pathogen introduction into the operation. However, the UVC efficacy in some veterinary viruses is not fully evaluated. This study evaluated the efficacy of ultraviolet type C (UVC) radiation in inactivating seven relevant veterinary viruses: Swine Poxvirus (SwPV), Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV), Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV), Swine Influenza Virus (SIV), Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV), Porcine Parvovirus (PPV), and Senecavirus A (SVA). The experimentally contaminated materials included polystyrene and filter paper. The samples were exposed to UVC for 5 min (total dose of 360 mJ/cm2). The UVC treatment caused a decrease over 4 log10 in SwPV titer on the polystyrene surface, whereas it consistently reduced about 5 log10 in PPV and SVA samples. No viable virus was recovered from PRRSV, PEDV, SIV, and BVDV samples. In filter paper, conversely, the efficacy was reduced. This study provides essential information on the inactivation effectiveness of a specific dose of UVC on important veterinary viruses, further supporting the rational application and strategic guidance for UVC radiation use to disinfect materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Pathogens)
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20 pages, 4452 KiB  
Article
Corynebacterium striatum—Got Worse by a Pandemic?
by László Orosz, József Sóki, Dávid Kókai and Katalin Burián
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060685 - 14 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2160
Abstract
The role of Corynebacterium striatum has been demonstrated in different nosocomial infections. An increasing number of publications have demonstrated its virulence in the respiratory tract, especially in the immunosuppressed patient population. The number of these patients has increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. [...] Read more.
The role of Corynebacterium striatum has been demonstrated in different nosocomial infections. An increasing number of publications have demonstrated its virulence in the respiratory tract, especially in the immunosuppressed patient population. The number of these patients has increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, we aimed to investigate the prevalence and antimicrobial resistance pattern of this species between 2012 and 2021 at the Clinical Center of the University of Szeged, Hungary. Altogether, 498 positive samples were included from 312 patients during the study period. On the isolates, 4529 antibiotic susceptibility tests were performed. Our data revealed that the prevalence of C. striatum increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise occurred in respiratory, blood culture, and superficial samples. During the study period, the rifampicin resistance significantly increased, but others have also changed dynamically, including linezolid. The species occurred with diverse and changing co-pathogens in the COVID-19 era. However, the increasing rifampicin and linezolid resistance of C. striatum was probably not due to the most commonly isolated co-pathogens. Based on resistance predictions, vancomycin is likely to remain the only effective agent currently in use by 2030. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Emerging Pathogens)
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14 pages, 10667 KiB  
Article
Role of a Putative Alkylhydroperoxidase Rv2159c in the Oxidative Stress Response and Virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
by Gunapati Bhargavi, Amit Kumar Singh, Anbarasu Deenadayalan, Chinnaiyan Ponnuraja, Shripad A. Patil and Kannan Palaniyandi
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060684 - 14 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1777
Abstract
Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which causes tuberculosis, is one of the leading infectious agents worldwide with a high rate of mortality. Following aerosol inhalation, M. tuberculosis primarily infects the alveolar macrophages, which results in a host immune response that gradually activates various antimicrobial mechanisms, [...] Read more.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which causes tuberculosis, is one of the leading infectious agents worldwide with a high rate of mortality. Following aerosol inhalation, M. tuberculosis primarily infects the alveolar macrophages, which results in a host immune response that gradually activates various antimicrobial mechanisms, including the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), within the phagocytes to neutralize the bacteria. OxyR is the master regulator of oxidative stress response in several bacterial species. However, due to the absence of a functional oxyR locus in M. tuberculosis, the peroxidase stress is controlled by alkylhydroperoxidases. M. tuberculosis expresses alkylhydroperoxide reductase to counteract the toxic effects of ROS. In the current study, we report the functional characterization of an orthologue of alkylhydroperoxidase family member, Rv2159c, a conserved protein with putative peroxidase activity, during stress response and virulence of M. tuberculosis. We generated a gene knockout mutant of M. tuberculosis Rv2159c (MtbΔ2159) by specialized transduction. The MtbΔ2159 was sensitive to oxidative stress and exposure to toxic transition metals. In a human monocyte (THP-1) cell infection model, MtbΔ2159 showed reduced uptake and intracellular survival and increased expression of pro-inflammatory molecules, including IL-1β, IP-10, and MIP-1α, compared to the wild type M. tuberculosis and Rv2159c-complemented MtbΔ2159 strains. Similarly, in a guinea pig model of pulmonary infection, MtbΔ2159 displayed growth attenuation in the lungs, compared to the wild type M. tuberculosis and Rv2159c-complemented MtbΔ2159 strains. Our study suggests that Rv2159c has a significant role in maintaining the cellular homeostasis during stress and virulence of M. tuberculosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances and Challenges in Tuberculosis Research)
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20 pages, 3594 KiB  
Article
Exogenous Rubella Virus Capsid Proteins Enhance Virus Genome Replication
by Min-Hsin Chen, Cara C. Burns, Emily Abernathy, Adaeze A. Ogee-Nwankwo and Joseph P. Icenogle
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060683 - 14 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1755
Abstract
Enhanced replication of rubella virus (RuV) and replicons by de novo synthesized viral structural proteins has been previously described. Such enhancement can occur by viral capsid proteins (CP) alone in trans. It is not clear whether the CP in the virus particles, i.e., [...] Read more.
Enhanced replication of rubella virus (RuV) and replicons by de novo synthesized viral structural proteins has been previously described. Such enhancement can occur by viral capsid proteins (CP) alone in trans. It is not clear whether the CP in the virus particles, i.e., the exogenous CP, modulate viral genome replication. In this study, we found that exogenous RuV CP also enhanced viral genome replication, either when used to package replicons or when mixed with RNA during transfection. We demonstrated that CP does not affect the translation efficiency from genomic (gRNA) or subgenomic RNA (sgRNA), the intracellular distribution of the non-structural proteins (NSP), or sgRNA synthesis. Significantly active RNA replication was observed in transfections supplemented with recombinant CP (rCP), which was supported by accumulated genomic negative-strand RNA. rCP was found to restore replication of a few mutants in NSP but failed to fully restore replicons known to have defects in the positive-strand RNA synthesis. By monitoring the amount of RuV RNA following transfection, we found that all RuV replicon RNAs were well-retained in the presence of rCP within 24 h of post-transfection, compared to non-RuV RNA. These results suggest that the exogenous RuV CP increases efficiency of early viral genome replication by modulating the stage(s) prior to and/or at the initiation of negative-strand RNA synthesis, possibly through a general mechanism such as protecting viral RNA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rubella Virus Pathogenesis)
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17 pages, 1464 KiB  
Article
Terpinen-4-ol, the Main Bioactive Component of Tea Tree Oil, as an Innovative Antimicrobial Agent against Legionella pneumophila
by Francesca Mondello, Stefano Fontana, Maria Scaturro, Antonietta Girolamo, Marisa Colone, Annarita Stringaro, Maura Di Vito and Maria Luisa Ricci
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060682 - 14 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1867
Abstract
Legionella pneumophila (Lp), responsible for a severe pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease, represents an important health burden in Europe. Prevention and control of Lp contamination in warm water systems is still a great challenge often due to the failure in disinfection procedures. [...] Read more.
Legionella pneumophila (Lp), responsible for a severe pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease, represents an important health burden in Europe. Prevention and control of Lp contamination in warm water systems is still a great challenge often due to the failure in disinfection procedures. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro activity of Terpinen-4-ol (T-4-ol) as potential agent for Lp control, in comparison with the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) (TTO. Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) and Minimum Bactericidal Concentration (MBC) of T-4-ol were determined by broth micro-dilution and a micro-atmosphere diffusion method to investigate the anti-Lp effects of T-4-ol and TTO vapors. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was adopted to highlight the morphological changes and Lp damage following T-4-ol and TTO treatments. The greatest antimicrobial activity against Lp was shown by T-4-ol with a MIC range of 0.06–0.125% v/v and MBC range of 0.25–0.5% v/v. The TTO and T-4-ol MIC and MBC decreased with increasing temperature (36 °C to 45 ± 1 °C), and temperature also significantly influenced the efficacy of TTO and T-4-ol vapors. The time-killing assay showed an exponential trend of T-4-ol bactericidal activity at 0.5% v/v against Lp. SEM observations revealed a concentration- and temperature- dependent effect of T-4-ol and TTO on cell surface morphology with alterations. These findings suggest that T-4-ol is active against Lp and further studies may address the potential effectiveness of T-4-ol for control of water systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Pathogens—Feature Papers)
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