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Pathogens, Volume 12, Issue 10 (October 2023) – 87 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Malaria parasites in the Plasmodium genus are successful pathogens that replicate within vertebrate erythrocytes to escape host immunity and access hemoglobin as an amino acid source. Because intracellular growth limits access to essential nutrients in host plasma, these parasites insert an unusual nutrient and ion channel into their host’s erythrocyte membrane. This plasmodial surface anion channel (PSAC) and its parasite-derived subunits (CLAG3, RhopH2, and RhopH3) are conserved in all examined Plasmodium spp. Remarkably, while PSAC allows the uptake of diverse nutrients, anions, organic cations and some toxins, it must exclude the small Na+ ion to preserve host cell osmotic stability. We review the most unusual properties of this unusual microbial ion channel, which is an important target for antimalarial therapy development. View this paper
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20 pages, 5748 KiB  
Article
Overoxidation and Oligomerization of Trypanosoma cruzi Cytosolic and Mitochondrial Peroxiredoxins
by María Dolores Piñeyro, María Laura Chiribao, Diego G. Arias, Carlos Robello and Adriana Parodi-Talice
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1273; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101273 - 23 Oct 2023
Viewed by 947
Abstract
Peroxiredoxins (Prxs) have been shown to be important enzymes for trypanosomatids, counteracting oxidative stress and promoting cell infection and intracellular survival. In this work, we investigate the in vitro sensitivity to overoxidation and the overoxidation dynamics of Trypanosoma cruzi Prxs in parasites in [...] Read more.
Peroxiredoxins (Prxs) have been shown to be important enzymes for trypanosomatids, counteracting oxidative stress and promoting cell infection and intracellular survival. In this work, we investigate the in vitro sensitivity to overoxidation and the overoxidation dynamics of Trypanosoma cruzi Prxs in parasites in culture and in the infection context. We showed that recombinant m-TXNPx, in contrast to what was observed for c-TXNPx, exists as low molecular mass forms in the overoxidized state. We observed that T. cruzi Prxs were overoxidized in epimastigotes treated with oxidants, and a significant proportion of the overoxidized forms were still present at least 24 h after treatment suggesting that these forms are not actively reversed. In in vitro infection experiments, we observed that Prxs are overoxidized in amastigotes residing in infected macrophages, demonstrating that inactivation of at least part of the Prxs by overoxidation occurs in a physiological context. We have shown that m-TXNPx has a redox-state-dependent chaperone activity. This function may be related to the increased thermotolerance observed in m-TXNPx-overexpressing parasites. This study suggests that despite the similarity between protozoan and mammalian Prxs, T. cruzi Prxs have different oligomerization dynamics and sensitivities to overoxidation, which may have implications for their function in the parasite life cycle and infection process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research on Trypanosoma cruzi Infection 2023)
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6 pages, 556 KiB  
Brief Report
Absence of Coronavirus RNA in Faecal Samples from Wild Primates in Gabon, Central Africa
by Illich Manfred Mombo, Océane Rieu, Matthieu Fritz, Larson Boundenga, Telstar Ndong Mebaley, Clark Mbou-Boutambe, Léadisaelle Hosanna Lenguiya, Gael Darren Maganga, Virginie Rougeron, Franck Prugnolle, Fredéric Thomas and Eric M. Leroy
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1272; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101272 - 23 Oct 2023
Viewed by 683
Abstract
Coronaviruses (CoVs, Coronaviridae) are a diverse group of viruses that infect mammals, birds, and fish. Seven CoVs infect humans, among which Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoVs-1 and -2 and Middle East respiratory syndrome CoVs have shown how they can impact global health [...] Read more.
Coronaviruses (CoVs, Coronaviridae) are a diverse group of viruses that infect mammals, birds, and fish. Seven CoVs infect humans, among which Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoVs-1 and -2 and Middle East respiratory syndrome CoVs have shown how they can impact global health and the economy. Their spillover from bats-the natural reservoir-to humans has required intermediary hosts. Prevention requires that active surveillance be conducted on animals. Today, there is no data concerning the genetic diversity of CoVs naturally circulating in wild primates. This study aimed to screen wild great apes and mandrills in Gabon for CoVs. A total of 229 faecal samples of great apes and mandrills collected from 2009 to 2012 in forests and national parks were used for the detection of CoVs by nested PCR using primers targeting a conserved region of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. While all samples were negative, this lack of detection could be related to sample size, the transient nature of the infection, or because faecal samples are not suitable for detecting CoVs in primates. A longitudinal study should be performed and other non-invasive methods used to collect respiratory samples to better evaluate the circulation of CoVs in these primates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coronaviruses: Virology and Zoonotic Potential)
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5 pages, 229 KiB  
Editorial
Current Status and Challenges Associated with Tick-Borne Pathogens and Diseases: Where Do We Stand?
by Pavle Banović, Islay Rodríguez and Dejan Jakimovski
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1271; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101271 - 23 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1118
Abstract
Lyme Borreliosis (LB), caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s [...] Full article
8 pages, 5738 KiB  
Case Report
Septic Obturation of a Knee Endoprosthesis Caused by Aspergillus clavatus
by Robert Kuthan, Gabriel Lawrence Zaremba-Wróblewski, Flynn Ott and Dorsa Soltaninia
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1270; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101270 - 23 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1125
Abstract
Aspergillus clavatus is a rare opportunistic fungal pathogen that can be isolated from various environmental sources, including soil and animal feces. Although infrequent, infections caused by A. clavatus can be severe in immunocompromised patients. Here, we present a case of a prosthetic joint [...] Read more.
Aspergillus clavatus is a rare opportunistic fungal pathogen that can be isolated from various environmental sources, including soil and animal feces. Although infrequent, infections caused by A. clavatus can be severe in immunocompromised patients. Here, we present a case of a prosthetic joint infection (PJI) in a 74-year-old female patient caused by A. clavatus. The patient presented with left knee pain, and septic loosening of the left knee endoprosthesis was diagnosed. She underwent surgical revision with the implantation of an antibiotic spacer and microbiologic testing. The results came back positive for both Staphylococcus lugdunensis and A. clavatus (which is found in only a fraction of a percent of PJIs). She was treated with oral antimicrobials for 3 months postoperatively. This case report vividly illustrates a clinical scenario that underscores the significance of rigorous microbiologic testing procedures, accurate pathogen identification, unwavering vigilance in testing protocols, and a cautious approach that avoids succumbing to the seductive simplicity of Occam’s razor. Full article
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18 pages, 1233 KiB  
Review
The Bacterial Oral Microbiome in Children with Congenital Heart Disease: An Extensive Review
by Maria Hofmann, Nelly Schulz-Weidner, Norbert Krämer and Torsten Hain
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1269; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101269 - 21 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1038
Abstract
Children with congenital heart disease have poorer oral health compared with healthy children. Oral diseases, such as dental caries and gingivitis, are associated with the oral microbiome. The objective of this review was to find evidence of differences in the bacterial colonization of [...] Read more.
Children with congenital heart disease have poorer oral health compared with healthy children. Oral diseases, such as dental caries and gingivitis, are associated with the oral microbiome. The objective of this review was to find evidence of differences in the bacterial colonization of the oral cavity of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) versus healthy children. A literature review was conducted according to predetermined criteria, including the need for controlled clinical trials. Half of the 14 studies that met the inclusion criteria reported significant differences in bacterial colonization in children with congenital heart disease. A variety of influencing factors were discussed. There is some evidence for alterations in the oral microflora as a result of physiopathological and treatment-related factors in children with CHD, but additional research is required to validate these findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral Microbiome and Human Systemic Health)
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13 pages, 1308 KiB  
Article
Pooled Pharyngeal, Rectal, and Urine Specimens for the Point-of-Care Detection of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae by Lay Providers in Key Population-Led Health Services in Thailand
by Narukjaporn Thammajaruk, Reshmie A. Ramautarsing, Akarin Hiransuthikul, Sujittra Suriwong, Waranya Tasomboon, Prasopsuk Thapwong, Atachai Phunkron, Somporn Saiwaew, Theeranat Sangpasert, Tippawan Pankam, Matthew Avery, Stephen Mills, Praphan Phanuphak and Nittaya Phanuphak
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1268; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101268 - 21 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1017
Abstract
Routine testing for Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) in people with heightened risk is lacking in Thailand. This study aimed to assess the performance of the Cepheid Xpert CT/NG assay, conducted by key population (KP) lay providers, for CT and NG [...] Read more.
Routine testing for Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) in people with heightened risk is lacking in Thailand. This study aimed to assess the performance of the Cepheid Xpert CT/NG assay, conducted by key population (KP) lay providers, for CT and NG detection on single-site and pooled specimens from the pharynx, rectum, and urine. Between August and October 2019, 188 men who have sex with men and 11 transgender women were enrolled. Participants collected urine specimens while trained KP lay providers obtained pharyngeal and rectal swabs. Compared to single-site testing with the Abbott RealTime CT/NG assay by medical technologists, the Xpert assay missed one pharyngeal NG infection out of 199 single-site specimens, giving a 93.3% sensitivity for pharyngeal NG and one missed pharyngeal NG infection out of fifty pooled specimens, giving an 88.9% sensitivity for pharyngeal NG. There was no discrepancy between the two assays for CT detection. The Cohen’s Kappa coefficient of pooled specimen testing by the Xpert was 0.93 for NG and 1 for CT when compared to single-site testing by Abbott. Implementing pooled specimen testing by KP lay providers can be a cost-saving strategy to enhance the uptake of CT/NG services for populations facing increased risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis and Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs))
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24 pages, 1192 KiB  
Review
Salmonella Infection in Pigs: Disease, Prevalence, and a Link between Swine and Human Health
by Laura Soliani, Gianluca Rugna, Alice Prosperi, Chiara Chiapponi and Andrea Luppi
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101267 - 21 Oct 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2823
Abstract
Salmonella is one of the most spread foodborne pathogens worldwide, and Salmonella infections in humans still represent a global health burden. The main source of Salmonella infections in humans is represented by contaminated animal-derived foodstuffs, with pork products being one of the most [...] Read more.
Salmonella is one of the most spread foodborne pathogens worldwide, and Salmonella infections in humans still represent a global health burden. The main source of Salmonella infections in humans is represented by contaminated animal-derived foodstuffs, with pork products being one of the most important players. Salmonella infection in swine is critical not only because it is one of the main causes of economic losses in the pork industry, but also because pigs can be infected by several Salmonella serovars, potentially contaminating the pig meat production chain and thus posing a significant threat to public health globally. As of now, in Europe and in the United States, swine-related Salmonella serovars, e.g., Salmonella Typhimurium and its monophasic variant Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica 1,4,[5],12:i:-, are also frequently associated with human salmonellosis cases. Moreover, multiple outbreaks have been reported in the last few decades which were triggered by the consumption of Salmonella-contaminated pig meat. Throughout the years, changes and evolution across the pork industry may have acted as triggers for new issues and obstacles hindering Salmonella control along the food chain. Gathered evidence reinforces the importance of coordinating control measures and harmonizing monitoring programs for the efficient control of Salmonella in swine. This is necessary in order to manage outbreaks of clinical disease in pigs and also to protect pork consumers by controlling Salmonella subclinical carriage and shedding. This review provides an update on Salmonella infection in pigs, with insights on Salmonella ecology, focusing mainly on Salmonella Choleraesuis, S. Typhimurium, and S. 1,4,[5],12:i:-, and their correlation to human salmonellosis cases. An update on surveillance methods for epidemiological purposes of Salmonella infection in pigs and humans, in a “One Health” approach, will also be reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Swine Bacterial Pathogens from a One Health Perspective)
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17 pages, 5250 KiB  
Systematic Review
Meta-Analysis of the Prevalence of Porcine Zoonotic Bacterial Pathogens in India: A 13-Year (2010–2023) Study
by Swaraj Rajkhowa, Joyshikh Sonowal, Udipta Borthakur, Seema Rani Pegu, Rajib Deb, Pranab Jyoti Das, Gyanendra Singh Sengar and Vivek Kumar Gupta
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1266; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101266 - 21 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1108
Abstract
The presence of bacterial pathogens such as Brucella spp., Clostridium spp., E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., Staphylococcus spp., and Streptococcus suis not only hampers pig production but also carries significant zoonotic implications. The present study aims to conduct a comprehensive [...] Read more.
The presence of bacterial pathogens such as Brucella spp., Clostridium spp., E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., Staphylococcus spp., and Streptococcus suis not only hampers pig production but also carries significant zoonotic implications. The present study aims to conduct a comprehensive meta-analysis spanning over 13 years (2010–2023) to ascertain the prevalence of these zoonotic bacterial pathogens in Indian pig populations. The study seeks to synthesize data from diverse geographic regions within India and underscores the relevance of the One Health framework. A systematic search of electronic databases was meticulously performed. Inclusion criteria encompassed studies detailing zoonotic bacterial pathogen prevalence in pigs within India during the specified timeframe. Pertinent information including authors, publication year, geographical location, sampling techniques, sample sizes, and pathogen-positive case counts were meticulously extracted. The meta-analysis of zoonotic bacterial pathogens in Indian pig populations (2010–2023) unveiled varying prevalence rates: 9% Brucella spp., 22% Clostridium spp., 19% E. coli, 12% Listeria monocytogenes, 10% Salmonella spp. and Streptococcus suis, and 24% Staphylococcus spp. The application of random effects further revealed additional variability: 6% Brucella spp., 23% Clostridium spp., 24% E. coli, 14% Listeria monocytogenes, 10% Salmonella spp. and Streptococcus suis, and 35% Staphylococcus spp. Notably, the observed heterogeneity (I2) varied significantly from 87% to 99%. The meta-analysis findings underscore the pervasive nature of these diseases throughout India’s pig populations, accentuating the substantial impact of these pathogens on pig health and the potential for zoonotic transmission. The present study reinforces the importance of the adoption of a comprehensive One Health approach that acknowledges the intricate interplay between animal, human and environmental health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Swine Bacterial Pathogens from a One Health Perspective)
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20 pages, 2738 KiB  
Review
Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia after Heart Transplantation: Two Case Reports and a Review of the Literature
by Carlo Burzio, Eleonora Balzani, Silvia Corcione, Giorgia Montrucchio, Anna Chiara Trompeo and Luca Brazzi
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1265; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101265 - 21 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1465
Abstract
Post-transplant Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PcP) is an uncommon but increasingly reported disease among solid organ transplantation (SOT) recipients, associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Although the introduction of PcP prophylaxis has reduced its overall incidence, its prevalence continues to be high, especially during [...] Read more.
Post-transplant Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PcP) is an uncommon but increasingly reported disease among solid organ transplantation (SOT) recipients, associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Although the introduction of PcP prophylaxis has reduced its overall incidence, its prevalence continues to be high, especially during the second year after transplant, the period following prophylaxis discontinuation. We recently described two cases of PcP occurring more than one year after heart transplantation (HT) in patients who were no longer receiving PcP prophylaxis according to the local protocol. In both cases, the disease was diagnosed following the diagnosis of a viral illness, resulting in a significantly increased risk for PcP. While current heart transplantation guidelines recommend Pneumocystis jirovecii prophylaxis for up to 6–12 months after transplantation, after that period they only suggest an extended prophylaxis regimen in high-risk patients. Recent studies have identified several new risk factors that may be linked to an increased risk of PcP infection, including medication regimens and patient characteristics. Similarly, the indication for PcP prophylaxis in non-HIV patients has been expanded in relation to the introduction of new medications and therapeutic regimens for immune-mediated diseases. In our experience, the first patient was successfully treated with non-invasive ventilation, while the second required tracheal intubation, invasive ventilation, and extracorporeal CO2 removal due to severe respiratory failure. The aim of this double case report is to review the current timing of PcP prophylaxis after HT, the specific potential risk factors for PcP after HT, and the determinants of a prompt diagnosis and therapeutic approach in critically ill patients. We will also present a possible proposal for future investigations on indications for long-term prophylaxis. Full article
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10 pages, 1391 KiB  
Communication
Interleukin-6 and Its Soluble Receptor Complex in Intensive Care Unit COVID-19 Patients: An Analysis of Second Wave Patients
by Gaetano Di Spigna, Daniela Spalletti Cernia, Bianca Covelli, Maria Vargas, Valentina Rubino, Carmine Iacovazzo, Filomena Napolitano and Loredana Postiglione
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1264; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101264 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 867
Abstract
In December 2019, a SARS-CoV-2 virus, coined Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), discovered in Wuhan, China, affected the global population, causing more than a million and a half deaths. Since then, many studies have shown that the hyperinflammatory response of the most severely affected [...] Read more.
In December 2019, a SARS-CoV-2 virus, coined Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), discovered in Wuhan, China, affected the global population, causing more than a million and a half deaths. Since then, many studies have shown that the hyperinflammatory response of the most severely affected patients was primarily related to a higher concentration of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6, which directly correlated with disease severity and high mortality. Our study analyzes IL-6 and its soluble receptor complex (sIL-6R and sgp130) in critically ill COVID-19 patients who suffered severe respiratory failure from the perspective of the second COVID wave of 2020. A chemiluminescent immunoassay was performed for the determination of IL6 in serum together with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to detect serum levels of sIL-6R and sgp130, which confirmed that the second wave’s serum levels of IL-6 were significantly elevated in the more severe patients, as with the first 2019 COVID-19 wave, resulting in adverse clinical outcomes. At present, considering that no specific treatment for severe COVID-19 cases in its later stages exists, these molecules could be considered promising markers for disease progression, illness severity, and risk of mortality. Full article
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3 pages, 219 KiB  
Editorial
Therapeutic Strategies against Leishmania and Trypanosoma
by André L. S. Santos, Igor A. Rodrigues, Claudia M. d’Avila-Levy, Cátia L. Sodré, Koert Ritmeijer and Marta H. Branquinha
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1263; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101263 - 19 Oct 2023
Viewed by 954
Abstract
Human African trypanosomiasis (also known as sleeping sickness, with Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense as etiological agents), American trypanosomiasis (also known as Chagas disease, with Trypanosoma cruzi as the etiological agent), and leishmaniasis (including cutaneous, mucocutaneous, and visceral forms, with multiple [...] Read more.
Human African trypanosomiasis (also known as sleeping sickness, with Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense as etiological agents), American trypanosomiasis (also known as Chagas disease, with Trypanosoma cruzi as the etiological agent), and leishmaniasis (including cutaneous, mucocutaneous, and visceral forms, with multiple species belonging to the Leishmania genus as etiological agents) are recognized as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) [...] Full article
10 pages, 1035 KiB  
Article
Plasmodium Infection–Cure Cycles Increase the Capacity of Phagocytosis in Conventional Dendritic Cells
by Ryosuke Adachi and Takahiko Tamura
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1262; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101262 - 19 Oct 2023
Viewed by 751
Abstract
Malaria stands as one of the most pervasive human infectious diseases globally and represents a prominent cause of mortality. Immunity against clinical malaria disease is achieved through multiple infection and treatment cycles, culminating in a substantial reduction in parasite burden. To investigate this [...] Read more.
Malaria stands as one of the most pervasive human infectious diseases globally and represents a prominent cause of mortality. Immunity against clinical malaria disease is achieved through multiple infection and treatment cycles, culminating in a substantial reduction in parasite burden. To investigate this phenomenon, we established a murine model involving repeated infection–cure cycles, whereby mice were infected with the lethal rodent malarial parasite Plasmodium berghei ANKA and subsequently treated with the anti-malarial drug pyrimethamine. Our earlier study revealed a significant decrease in the capacity of conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) to produce cytokines upon stimulation in infection-cured mice. In the present study, we aimed to further elucidate the modulation of cDC functionality during repeated infection–cure cycles by examining their phagocytic capacity. Administering fluorescent beads to mice resulted in no significant difference in the total number of bead-positive cells within the spleens of both uninfected and 3-cure (three cycles of infection–cure) mice. However, the proportion of the CD11c+F4/80 population within bead-positive cells was notably higher in 3-cure mice compared to uninfected mice. Subsequent in vitro analysis of bead phagocytosis by purified CD11c+cDCs revealed that the cDC2 subset from 3-cure mice exhibited significantly enhanced phagocytic capacity in comparison to their uninfected counterparts. These findings underscore the substantial impact of repeated infection–cure cycles on various facets of cDC function, potentially influencing the trajectory of immune responses against subsequent malaria infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology of Parasitism)
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12 pages, 870 KiB  
Article
Factors Influencing HPV Vaccine Intentions in Malaysian Men Who Have Sex with Men: A Cross-Sectional Study in Malaysia
by Li Ping Wong, Haridah Alias and Sin How Lim
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1261; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101261 - 19 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1080
Abstract
In the landscape of healthcare disparities and the marginalized status of men who have sex with men (MSM) in Malaysia, understanding the dynamics surrounding HPV vaccination is of paramount importance. The purpose of this study is to examine the knowledge and attitudes of [...] Read more.
In the landscape of healthcare disparities and the marginalized status of men who have sex with men (MSM) in Malaysia, understanding the dynamics surrounding HPV vaccination is of paramount importance. The purpose of this study is to examine the knowledge and attitudes of MSM regarding HPV vaccination and to identify factors that may hinder or facilitate its uptake. The findings will contribute to the development of targeted interventions to promote HPV vaccination and reduce the burden of HPV-related health issues among Malaysian MSM. Between May 2019 and September 2022, an online cross-sectional survey was conducted to collect data through popular social media platforms targeting MSM in Malaysia. A multivariable logistic regression model was employed to investigate the associations between HPV vaccination intention and various influencing factors. Out of the total 411 respondents in the study, 266 (60.3%) indicated an intent to receive the HPV vaccination, falling under the categories of “certain to happen”, “very likely”, and “likely”. The average knowledge score for participants was 6.82 (SD = 3.93, range 0–13) out of a total possible score of 13. In the multivariate logistic model, participants who identified themselves as bisexual (OR 6.93, 95% CI 2.35–20.41) and gay/homosexual (OR 4.36, 95% CI 1.66–11.42) showed a greater inclination to receive the HPV vaccine compared to heterosexual participants. High intent to be vaccinated for HPV infection was positively and significantly associated with a high level of knowledge (OR 1.79, 95% CI 1.09–2.95). In the multivariable model, there was no significant association between all variables of attitudes towards HPV infection and HPV vaccinations and the intention to receive HPV vaccination. Study participants reported a low level of susceptibility to HPV infection despite their perception that HPV infection is severe. Two-thirds of participants expected to encounter stigma in healthcare settings during future implementation of HPV vaccination programs. This study underscores the importance of improving HPV vaccine acceptance among Malaysian MSM due to the moderate acceptance level observed. In Malaysia, promoting HPV awareness, enhancing risk perception, and addressing stigma and sensitivity surrounding HPV vaccination may be beneficial in increasing the vaccination willingness among MSM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology of Human Papillomavirus Infection)
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25 pages, 877 KiB  
Review
Plants and Their Derivatives as Promising Therapeutics for Sustainable Control of Honeybee (Apis mellifera) Pathogens
by Roberto Bava, Fabio Castagna, Stefano Ruga, Saverio Nucera, Rosamaria Caminiti, Maria Serra, Rosa Maria Bulotta, Carmine Lupia, Mariangela Marrelli, Filomena Conforti, Giancarlo Statti, Britti Domenico and Ernesto Palma
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1260; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101260 - 19 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1366
Abstract
The most important pollinator for agricultural crops is the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera). During the winter and summer seasons, diseases and stresses of various kinds endanger honeybee numbers and production, resulting in expenses for beekeepers and detrimental effects on agriculture and [...] Read more.
The most important pollinator for agricultural crops is the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera). During the winter and summer seasons, diseases and stresses of various kinds endanger honeybee numbers and production, resulting in expenses for beekeepers and detrimental effects on agriculture and ecosystems. Researchers are continually in search of therapies for honeybees using the resources of microbiology, molecular biology, and chemistry to combat diseases and improve the overall health of these important pollinating insects. Among the most investigated and most promising solutions are medicinal plants and their derivatives. The health of animals and their ability to fight disease can be supported by natural products (NPs) derived from living organisms such as plants and microbes. NPs contain substances that can reduce the effects of diseases by promoting immunity or directly suppressing pathogens, and parasites. This literature review summarises the advances that the scientific community has achieved over the years regarding veterinary treatments in beekeeping through the use of NPs. Their impact on the prevention and control of honeybee diseases is investigated both in trials that have been conducted in the laboratory and field studies. Full article
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37 pages, 1278 KiB  
Review
Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines: A Review of the Candidates and the Approved Vaccines
by Xanthippi Topalidou, Alexis M. Kalergis and Georgios Papazisis
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1259; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101259 - 19 Oct 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 8233
Abstract
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is responsible for a significant proportion of global morbidity and mortality affecting young children and older adults. In the aftermath of formalin-inactivated RSV vaccine development, the effort to develop an immunizing agent was carefully guided by epidemiologic and pathophysiological [...] Read more.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is responsible for a significant proportion of global morbidity and mortality affecting young children and older adults. In the aftermath of formalin-inactivated RSV vaccine development, the effort to develop an immunizing agent was carefully guided by epidemiologic and pathophysiological evidence of the virus, including various vaccine technologies. The pipeline of RSV vaccine development includes messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), live-attenuated (LAV), subunit, and recombinant vector-based vaccine candidates targeting different virus proteins. The availability of vaccine candidates of various technologies enables adjustment to the individualized needs of each vulnerable age group. Arexvy® (GSK), followed by Abrysvo® (Pfizer), is the first vaccine available for market use as an immunizing agent to prevent lower respiratory tract disease in older adults. Abrysvo is additionally indicated for the passive immunization of infants by maternal administration during pregnancy. This review presents the RSV vaccine pipeline, analyzing the results of clinical trials. The key features of each vaccine technology are also mentioned. Currently, 24 vaccines are in the clinical stage of development, including the 2 licensed vaccines. Research in the field of RSV vaccination, including the pharmacovigilance methods of already approved vaccines, promotes the achievement of successful prevention. Full article
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31 pages, 2793 KiB  
Review
Perception of Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases Worldwide
by José de la Fuente, Agustín Estrada-Peña, Marta Rafael, Consuelo Almazán, Sergio Bermúdez, Abdelbaset E. Abdelbaset, Paul D. Kasaija, Fredrick Kabi, Foluke Adedayo Akande, Dorcas Oluwakemi Ajagbe, Timothy Bamgbose, Srikant Ghosh, Azhahianambi Palavesam, Penny H. Hamid, Charlotte L. Oskam, Siobhon L. Egan, Amanda Duarte-Barbosa, Olcay Hekimoğlu, Matias P. J. Szabó, Marcelo B. Labruna and Ananta Dahaladd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1258; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101258 - 19 Oct 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3419
Abstract
In this comprehensive review study, we addressed the challenge posed by ticks and tick-borne diseases (TBDs) with growing incidence affecting human and animal health worldwide. Data and perspectives were collected from different countries and regions worldwide, including America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. [...] Read more.
In this comprehensive review study, we addressed the challenge posed by ticks and tick-borne diseases (TBDs) with growing incidence affecting human and animal health worldwide. Data and perspectives were collected from different countries and regions worldwide, including America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. The results updated the current situation with ticks and TBD and how it is perceived by society with information bias and gaps. The study reinforces the importance of multidisciplinary and international collaborations to advance in the surveillance, communication and proposed future directions to address these challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Diversity in Ticks and Transmitted Pathogens)
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11 pages, 2176 KiB  
Article
New Research on the Bacillus anthracis Genetic Diversity in Siberia
by Vitalii Timofeev, Irina Bakhteeva, Kseniya Khlopova, Raisa Mironova, Galina Titareva, Yulia Goncharova, Viktor Solomentsev, Tatiana Kravchenko, Ivan Dyatlov and Gilles Vergnaud
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1257; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101257 - 18 Oct 2023
Viewed by 942
Abstract
Anthrax is a particularly dangerous infection of humans and ungulates caused by the Gram-positive spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The highly monomorphic and clonal species B. anthracis is commonly divided into three main lineages, A, B, and C, which in turn are divided into [...] Read more.
Anthrax is a particularly dangerous infection of humans and ungulates caused by the Gram-positive spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The highly monomorphic and clonal species B. anthracis is commonly divided into three main lineages, A, B, and C, which in turn are divided into several canSNP groups. We report here a phylogenetic analysis based on the whole-genome sequence (WGS) data of fifteen strains isolated predominantly in Siberia or Central and Southern Russia. We confirm the wide distribution of the cluster of strains of the B.Br.001/002 group, endemic to the Russian Arctic, which is also present in the steppe zone of Southern Siberia. We characterize additional branches within the major A.Br.001/002 polytomy comprising the A.Br.Ames and A.Br.Sterne lineages, one of which is identified in the Arctic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Pathogens)
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11 pages, 1480 KiB  
Article
Acquired blaVIM and blaGES Carbapenemase-Encoding Genes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa: A Seven-Year Survey Highlighting an Increasing Epidemiological Threat
by María Guadalupe Martínez-Zavaleta, Diana Fernández-Rodríguez, Melissa Hernández-Durán, Claudia A. Colín-Castro, María de Lourdes García-Hernández, Noé Becerra-Lobato, Rafael Franco-Cendejas and Luis Esaú López-Jácome
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1256; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101256 - 18 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1111
Abstract
(1) Background: Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative bacterium with several intrinsic and acquired antimicrobial resistance mechanisms. The spread of carbapenemase-encoding genes, an acquired mechanism, enables carbapenem resistance in clinical settings. Detection of the carbapenemase-producer strains is urgent. Therefore, we aimed to characterize carbapenemase [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative bacterium with several intrinsic and acquired antimicrobial resistance mechanisms. The spread of carbapenemase-encoding genes, an acquired mechanism, enables carbapenem resistance in clinical settings. Detection of the carbapenemase-producer strains is urgent. Therefore, we aimed to characterize carbapenemase production in the clinical strains of P. aeruginosa at a tertiary-care center. (2) Methods: We included clinical strains of P. aeruginosa (from August 2011 to December 2018) with resistance towards at least one carbapenem. Strains were isolated in a tertiary-care center in Mexico City. Antimicrobial susceptibility profiles were determined by broth microdilution. Screening for carbapenemase-encoding genes was performed in all strains. Phenotypic assays (CarbaNP and mCIM) were conducted. Additional modifications to mCIM were also tested. (3) Results: One-hundred seventy-one P. aeruginosa strains out of 192 included in this study were resistant towards at least one of the carbapenems tested. Forty-seven of these strains harbored a carbapenemase-encoding gene. VIM (59.6%) and GES (23.4%) were the most frequently found carbapenemases in our study, followed by IMP (14.9%). (4) Among the most frequent carbapenemase genes identified, metallo-ß-lactamases were the most prevalent, which impair new treatment options. Searching for carbapenemase genes should be performed in resistant isolates to stop transmission and guide antimicrobial treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nosocomial Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance)
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12 pages, 2483 KiB  
Article
Single Amino Acid Polymorphisms in the Fasciola hepatica Carboxylesterase Type B Gene and Their Potential Role in Anthelmintic Resistance
by Estefan Miranda-Miranda, Raquel Cossío-Bayúgar, Lauro Trejo-Castro and Hugo Aguilar-Díaz
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1255; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101255 - 18 Oct 2023
Viewed by 879
Abstract
The expression of the Fasciola hepatica carboxylesterase type B (CestB) gene is known to be induced upon exposure to the anthelmintic triclabendazole (TCBZ), leading to a substantial rise in enzyme-specific activity. Furthermore, the nucleotide sequence of the CestB gene displays variations that can [...] Read more.
The expression of the Fasciola hepatica carboxylesterase type B (CestB) gene is known to be induced upon exposure to the anthelmintic triclabendazole (TCBZ), leading to a substantial rise in enzyme-specific activity. Furthermore, the nucleotide sequence of the CestB gene displays variations that can potentially result in radical amino acid substitutions at the ligand binding site. These substitutions hold the potential to impact both the ligand–protein interaction and the catalytic properties of the enzyme. Thus, the objective of our study was to identify novel CestB polymorphisms in TCBZ-resistant parasites and field isolates obtained from a highly endemic region in Central Mexico. Additionally, we aimed to assess these amino acid polymorphisms using 3D modeling against the metabolically oxidized form of the anthelmintic TCBZSOX. Our goal was to observe the formation of TCBZSOX-specific binding pockets that might provide insights into the role of CestB in the mechanism of anthelmintic resistance. We identified polymorphisms in TCBZ-resistant parasites that exhibited three radical amino acid substitutions at positions 147, 215, and 263. These substitutions resulted in the formation of a TCBZSOX-affinity pocket with the potential to bind the anthelmintic drug. Furthermore, our 3D modeling analysis revealed that these amino acid substitutions also influenced the configuration of the CestB catalytic site, leading to alterations in the enzyme’s interaction with chromogenic carboxylic ester substrates and potentially affecting its catalytic properties. However, it is important to note that the TCBZSOX-binding pocket, while significant for drug binding, was located separate from the enzyme’s catalytic site, rendering enzymatic hydrolysis of TCBZSOX impossible. Nonetheless, the observed increased affinity for the anthelmintic may provide an explanation for a drug sequestration type of anthelmintic resistance. These findings lay the groundwork for the future development of a molecular diagnostic tool to identify anthelmintic resistance in F. hepatica. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue One Health: New Approaches, Research and Innovation to Zoonoses)
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15 pages, 4566 KiB  
Article
Immunity Induced by Inactivated SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine: Breadth, Durability, Potency, and Specificity in a Healthcare Worker Cohort
by Ying Chen, Caiqin Hu, Zheng Wang, Junwei Su, Shuo Wang, Bin Li, Xiang Liu, Zhenzhen Yuan, Dan Li, Hong Wang, Biao Zhu and Yiming Shao
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1254; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101254 - 18 Oct 2023
Viewed by 978
Abstract
Vaccination has proven to be highly effective against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), but the long-term immunogenicity and the functional preserved immune responses of vaccines are needed to inform evolving evidence-based guidelines for boosting schedules. We enrolled 205 healthcare workers into [...] Read more.
Vaccination has proven to be highly effective against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), but the long-term immunogenicity and the functional preserved immune responses of vaccines are needed to inform evolving evidence-based guidelines for boosting schedules. We enrolled 205 healthcare workers into a cohort study; all had received three doses of BBIBP-CorV (China Sinopharm Bio-Beijing Company, Beijing, China) inactivated vaccine. We assessed SARS-CoV-2 specific binding antibodies, neutralizing antibodies, and peripheral T and B cell responses. We demonstrated that more robust antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 were elicited by booster immunization compared with primary vaccination. Neutralizing antibody titers to SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.1 were also efficiently elevated post-homologous vaccine booster despite being in a lower titer compared with the prototype stain. In addition to S-specific humoral and cellular immunity, BBIBP-CorV also induced N-specific antibody and effector T cell responses. The third-dose vaccination led to further expansion of critical polyfunctional T cell responses, likely an essential element for vaccine protection. In particular, a functional role for Tfh cell subsets in immunity was suggested by the correlation between both CD4+ Tfh and CD8+ Tfh with total antibody, IgG, B cell responses, and neutralizing antibodies. Our study details the humoral and cellular responses generated by the BBIBP-CorV booster vaccination in a seven-month follow-up study. There is a clear immunologic boosting value of homologous inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine boosters, a consideration for future vaccine strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Pathogenesis and Immunity (Volume II))
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3 pages, 178 KiB  
Editorial
A Brief Focus on SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Evolution and Vaccines
by Annamaria Pratelli and Canio Buonavoglia
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1253; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101253 - 18 Oct 2023
Viewed by 859
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in a live animal market in the Hubei Province of Wuhan in China in late 2019 and was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020 [...] Full article
20 pages, 3168 KiB  
Review
Evolution and Current Status of Influenza A Virus in Chile: A Review
by Marcos Godoy, Marco Montes de Oca, Diego Caro, Juan Pablo Pontigo, Molly Kibenge and Frederick Kibenge
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1252; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101252 - 17 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3566
Abstract
The influenza A virus (IAV) poses a significant global threat to public health and food security. Particularly concerning is the avian influenza virus (AIV) subtype H5N1, which has spread from Europe to North and Central/South America. This review presents recent developments in IAV [...] Read more.
The influenza A virus (IAV) poses a significant global threat to public health and food security. Particularly concerning is the avian influenza virus (AIV) subtype H5N1, which has spread from Europe to North and Central/South America. This review presents recent developments in IAV evolution in birds, mammals, and humans in Chile. Chile’s encounter with IAV began in 2002, with the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H7N3 virus, derived from a unique South American low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) virus. In 2016–2017, LPAI H7N6 caused outbreaks in turkey, linked to wild birds in Chile and Bolivia. The pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 (H1N1pdm09) virus in 2009 decreased egg production in turkeys. Since 2012, diverse IAV subtypes have emerged in backyard poultry and pigs. Reassortant AIVs, incorporating genes from both North and South American isolates, have been found in wild birds since 2007. Notably, from December 2022, HPAI H5N1 was detected in wild birds, sea lions, and a human, along Chile’s north coast. It was introduced through Atlantic migratory flyways from North America. These findings emphasize the need for enhanced biosecurity on poultry farms and ongoing genomic surveillance to understand and manage AIVs in both wild and domestic bird populations in Chile. Full article
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16 pages, 1128 KiB  
Review
Outlook on RNAi-Based Strategies for Controlling Culicoides Biting Midges
by Cameron J. Osborne, Lee W. Cohnstaedt and Kristopher S. Silver
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1251; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101251 - 17 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1248
Abstract
Culicoides are small biting midges with the capacity to transmit important livestock pathogens around much of the world, and their impacts on animal welfare are likely to expand. Hemorrhagic diseases resulting from Culicoides-vectored viruses, for example, can lead to millions of dollars [...] Read more.
Culicoides are small biting midges with the capacity to transmit important livestock pathogens around much of the world, and their impacts on animal welfare are likely to expand. Hemorrhagic diseases resulting from Culicoides-vectored viruses, for example, can lead to millions of dollars in economic damages for producers. Chemical insecticides can reduce Culicoides abundance but may not suppress population numbers enough to prevent pathogen transmission. These insecticides can also cause negative effects on non-target organisms and ecosystems. RNA interference (RNAi) is a cellular regulatory mechanism that degrades mRNA and suppresses gene expression. Studies have examined the utility of this mechanism for insect pest control, and with it, have described the hurdles towards producing, optimizing, and applying these RNAi-based products. These methods hold promise for being highly specific and environmentally benign when compared to chemical insecticides and are more transient than engineering transgenic insects. Given the lack of available control options for Culicoides, RNAi-based products could be an option to treat large areas with minimal environmental impact. In this study, we describe the state of current Culicoides control methods, successes and hurdles towards using RNAi for pest control, and the necessary research required to bring an RNAi-based control method to fruition for Culicoides midges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases)
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9 pages, 638 KiB  
Article
Glanders Diagnosis in an Asymptomatic Mare from Brazil: Insights from Serology, Microbiological Culture, Mass Spectrometry, and Genome Sequencing
by Paula Adas Pereira Suniga, Cynthia Mantovani, Maria Goretti dos Santos, Andréa Alves do Egito, Newton Valério Verbisck, Lenita Ramires dos Santos, Alberto Martín Rivera Dávila, Cristina Kraemer Zimpel, Maria Carolina Sisco Zerpa, Daniela Pontes Chiebao, Ana Márcia de Sá Guimarães, Alessandra Figueiredo de Castro Nassar and Flábio Ribeiro de Araújo
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1250; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101250 - 17 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1022
Abstract
This manuscript elucidates the occurrence of glanders in an asymptomatic mare from Brazil presenting positive Burkholderia mallei antibody titers. The diagnosis was established through a multi-pronged approach encompassing microbiological culture, mass spectrometry, and genome sequencing. The outbreak occurred in 2019 in Tatuí, São [...] Read more.
This manuscript elucidates the occurrence of glanders in an asymptomatic mare from Brazil presenting positive Burkholderia mallei antibody titers. The diagnosis was established through a multi-pronged approach encompassing microbiological culture, mass spectrometry, and genome sequencing. The outbreak occurred in 2019 in Tatuí, São Paulo, Brazil, and the infected mare, despite displaying no clinical symptoms, had multiple miliary lesions in the liver, as well as intense catarrhal discharge in the trachea. Samples were collected from various organs and subjected to bacterial isolation, molecular detection, and identification. The strain was identified as B. mallei using PCR and confirmed by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Whole-genome sequencing revealed a genome size of 5.51 Mb with a GC content of 65.8%, 5871 genes (including 4 rRNA and 53 tRNA genes), and 5583 coding DNA sequences (CDSs). Additionally, 227 predicted pseudogenes were detected. In silico analysis of different genomic loci that allow for differentiation with Burkholderia pseudomallei confirmed the identity of the isolate as B. mallei, in addition to the characteristic genome size. The BAC 86/19 strain was identified as lineage 3, sublineage 2, which includes other strains from Brazil, India, and Iran. The genome sequencing of this strain provides valuable information that can be used to better understand the pathogen and its epidemiology, as well as to develop diagnostic tools for glanders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Epidemiology of Zoonotic Bacterial Pathogens)
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11 pages, 964 KiB  
Article
Molecular Characterisation of M. kansasii Isolates by Whole-Genome Sequencing
by Priya Rajendran, Chandrasekaran Padmapriyadarsini, Naveenkumar Nagarajan, Roja Samyuktha, Vadivu Govindaraju, Radhika Golla, Shanmugavel Ashokkumar and Sivakumar Shanmugam
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1249; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101249 - 17 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1056
Abstract
M. kansasii is the most common non-tuberculous mycobacteria, known to be causing pulmonary and extrapulmonary diseases in humans. Based on molecular methods, M. kansasii has been previously classified into seven different subtypes. Now, based on whole-genome sequence analysis, a new species designation was [...] Read more.
M. kansasii is the most common non-tuberculous mycobacteria, known to be causing pulmonary and extrapulmonary diseases in humans. Based on molecular methods, M. kansasii has been previously classified into seven different subtypes. Now, based on whole-genome sequence analysis, a new species designation was proposed, in which M. kansasii species was designated subtype 1 and is of pathogenic significance in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients. The aim of the study is to examine the distribution of subtypes, based on whole-genome sequence analysis, and identify the genetic determinants of drug resistance for the isolates. Whole-genome sequencing was performed using 12 isolates for which phenotypic DST results were available. A phylogenetic tree was constructed by alignment of each of the 12 isolates and the additional strains, as well as the M. kansasii reference strain, using the MAFFT algorithm. Based on this analysis, all 12 isolates were classified as subtype I. Drug-resistant mutations were identified by analysing the isolates with known drug-resistant loci of MTB and NTM. Although we had mutations in the drug-resistant genes, the significance of those mutations could not be explored due to the minimal availability of data available to compare. Further large-scale studies targeting the phenotypic and genotypic drug-resistance pattern, along with whole-genome analysis, will facilitate a better understanding of the resistance mechanisms involved in M. kansasii. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM))
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10 pages, 837 KiB  
Communication
Screening for Hepatitis C Virus Reinfection Using a Behaviour-Based Risk Score among Men Who Have Sex with Men with HIV: Results from a Case–Control Diagnostic Validation Study
by Kris Hage, Marita van de Kerkhof, Anders Boyd, Joanne M. Carson, Astrid M. Newsum, Amy Matser, Marc van der Valk, Kees Brinkman, Joop E. Arends, Fanny N. Lauw, Bart J. A. Rijnders, Arne van Eeden, Marianne Martinello, Gail V. Matthews, Janke Schinkel and Maria Prins
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1248; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101248 - 16 Oct 2023
Viewed by 975
Abstract
We assessed the predictive capacity of the HCV-MOSAIC risk score, originally developed for primary early HCV infection, as a screening tool for HCV reinfection in 103 men who have sex with men (MSM) with HIV using data from the MOSAIC cohort, including MSM [...] Read more.
We assessed the predictive capacity of the HCV-MOSAIC risk score, originally developed for primary early HCV infection, as a screening tool for HCV reinfection in 103 men who have sex with men (MSM) with HIV using data from the MOSAIC cohort, including MSM with HIV/HCV-coinfection who became reinfected (cases, n = 27) or not (controls, n = 76) during follow-up. The overall predictive capacity of the score was assessed using the area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curve. The effects of covariates on the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve were assessed using parametric ROC regression. The score cut-off validated for primary early infection (≥2.0) was used, from which the sensitivity and specificity were calculated. The AUROC was 0.74 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.63–0.84). Group sex significantly increased the predictive capacity. Using the validated cut-off, sensitivity was 70.4% (95%CI = 49.8–86.2%) and specificity was 59.2% (95%CI: 47.3–70.4%). External validation from a cohort of 25 cases and 111 controls, all MSM with HIV, resulted in a sensitivity of 44.0% (95%CI = 24.4–65.1) and specificity of 71.2% (95%CI = 61.8–79.4). The HCV-MOSAIC risk score may be useful for identifying individuals at risk of HCV reinfection. In sexual health or HIV-care settings, this score could help guide HCV-RNA testing in MSM with a prior HCV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Hepatitis in Europe: The Unresolved Issues)
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18 pages, 4130 KiB  
Article
The Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles from Avena fatua Extract: Antifungal Activity against Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. lycopersici
by Ahmad Kaleem Qureshi, Umar Farooq, Qaiser Shakeel, Sajjad Ali, Sarfraz Ashiq, Sohail Shahzad, Muhammad Tariq, Mahmoud F. Seleiman, Aftab Jamal, Muhammad Farhan Saeed and Barbara Manachini
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1247; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101247 - 16 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1287
Abstract
Using plant extracts as eco-friendly reducing and stabilizing agents for the synthesis of nanoparticles has gained significant attention in recent years. The current study explores the green synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using the Avena fatua extract and evaluates their antifungal activity against [...] Read more.
Using plant extracts as eco-friendly reducing and stabilizing agents for the synthesis of nanoparticles has gained significant attention in recent years. The current study explores the green synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using the Avena fatua extract and evaluates their antifungal activity against Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. lycopersici (Fol), a fungal plant pathogen. A green and sustainable approach was adopted to synthesize silver nanoparticles before these nanoparticles were employed for anti-fungal activity. The primary indication that AgNPs had formed was performed using UV-vis spectroscopy, where a strong peak at 425 nm indicated the effective formation of these nanoparticles. The indication of important functional groups acting as reducing and stabilizing agents was conducted using the FTIR study. Additionally, morphological studies were executed via SEM and AFM, which assisted with more effectively analyzing AgNPs. Crystalline behavior and size were estimated using powder XRD, and it was found that AgNPs were highly crystalline, and their size ranged from 5 to 25 nm. Synthesized AgNPs exhibited significant antifungal activity against Fol at a concentration of 40 ppm. Furthermore, the inhibitory index confirmed a positive correlation between increasing AgNPs concentration and exposure duration. This study suggests that the combined phytochemical mycotoxic effect of the plant extract and the smaller size of synthesized AgNPs were responsible for the highest penetrating power to inhibit Fol growth. Moreover, this study highlights the potential of using plant extracts as reducing and capping agents for the green synthesis of AgNPs with antifungal properties. The study concludes that A. fatua extract can synthesize antifungal AgNPs as a sustainable approach with robust antifungal efficacy against Fol, underscoring their promising potential for integration into plant protection strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Pathogens of Crops)
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12 pages, 1900 KiB  
Article
Epidemiological Characteristics of Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacterales in Japan: A Nationwide Analysis of Data from a Clinical Laboratory Center (2016–2022)
by Kentarou Takei, Miho Ogawa, Ryuji Sakata and Hajime Kanamori
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1246; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101246 - 16 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1262
Abstract
In Japan, nationwide epidemiological surveys on carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CREs), including comprehensive information, are scarce, with most data available only through public reports. This study analyzed data on the Enterobacterales family collected from nationwide testing centers between January 2016 and December 2022, focusing on [...] Read more.
In Japan, nationwide epidemiological surveys on carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CREs), including comprehensive information, are scarce, with most data available only through public reports. This study analyzed data on the Enterobacterales family collected from nationwide testing centers between January 2016 and December 2022, focusing on isolates that met the criteria for CRE in Japan based on drug susceptibility. We investigated 5,323,875 Enterobacterales isolates of 12 different species; among 4696 (0.09%) CRE strains, the proportion of major CRE isolates was as follows: Escherichia coli, 31.3%; Klebsiella pneumoniae, 28.0%; Enterobacter cloacae, 18.5%; and Klebsiella aerogenes, 6.7%. Moreover, over a 7-year period, Providencia rettgeri, E. cloacae, K. aerogenes, and K. pneumoniae demonstrated relatively high CRE percentages of 0.6% (156/26,185), 0.47% (869/184,221), 0.28% (313/110,371), and 0.17% (1314/780,958), respectively. The number of CRE strains isolated from different samples was as follows: urine, 2390; respiratory specimens, 1254; stool, 425; blood, 252; others, 375. In the broader context, including colonization, the predominant isolates of CREs collected at nationwide testing centers are E. coli and K. pneumoniae. Furthermore, recently, attention has been directed toward less common CRE species, such as Klebsiella oxytoca and Providencia rettgeri, and thus, it might be necessary to continue monitoring these less common species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection and Epidemiology of Drug-Resistant Bacteria)
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12 pages, 2181 KiB  
Article
Oregano Essential Oil versus Conventional Disinfectants against Salmonella Typhimurium and Escherichia coli O157:H7 Biofilms and Damage to Stainless-Steel Surfaces
by Jesus M. Luna-Solorza, J. Fernando Ayala-Zavala, M. Reynaldo Cruz-Valenzuela, Gustavo A. González-Aguilar, Ariadna T. Bernal-Mercado, M. Melissa Gutierrez-Pacheco and Brenda A. Silva-Espinoza
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1245; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101245 - 15 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1988
Abstract
This study compared the effect of oregano essential oil versus sodium hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, and benzalkonium chloride against the viability of adhered Salmonella Typhimurium and Escherichia coli O157:H7 on 304 stainless steel. Oregano essential oil was effective in disrupting the biofilms of both [...] Read more.
This study compared the effect of oregano essential oil versus sodium hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, and benzalkonium chloride against the viability of adhered Salmonella Typhimurium and Escherichia coli O157:H7 on 304 stainless steel. Oregano essential oil was effective in disrupting the biofilms of both bacteria at concentrations ranging from 0.15 to 0.52 mg mL−1. In addition, damage to stainless-steel surfaces following disinfection treatments was assessed by weight loss analysis and via visual inspection using light microscopy. Compared to the other treatments, oregano oil caused the least damage to stainless steel (~0.001% weight loss), whereas sodium hypochlorite caused the most severe damage (0.00817% weight loss) when applied at 0.5 mg mL−1. Moreover, oregano oil also had an apparent protective impact on the stainless steel as weight losses were less than for the control surfaces (distilled water only). On the other hand, sodium hypochlorite caused the most severe damage to stainless steel (0.00817% weight loss). In conclusion, oregano oil eliminated monoculture biofilms of two important foodborne pathogens on 304 stainless-steel surfaces, while at the same time minimizing damage to the surfaces compared with conventional disinfectant treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies to Counteract Microbial Biofilm Growth)
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9 pages, 1856 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Subinhibitory Concentration of Metronidazole on the Growth and Biofilm Formation on Toxigenic Clostridioides difficile Strains Belonging to Different Ribotypes
by Dorota Wultańska, Paweł Karpiński, Michał Piotrowski and Hanna Pituch
Pathogens 2023, 12(10), 1244; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12101244 - 14 Oct 2023
Viewed by 882
Abstract
Clostridioides difficile is a predominant nosocomial pathogen within the healthcare setting able to produce biofilms. Sub-minimum inhibitory concentrations (sub-MICs) of antibiotics trigger mechanisms affecting bacterial virulence, including increased adhesion and biofilm formation. The aim of this study was to investigate how sub-MICs of [...] Read more.
Clostridioides difficile is a predominant nosocomial pathogen within the healthcare setting able to produce biofilms. Sub-minimum inhibitory concentrations (sub-MICs) of antibiotics trigger mechanisms affecting bacterial virulence, including increased adhesion and biofilm formation. The aim of this study was to investigate how sub-MICs of metronidazole affect the biofilm formation of C. difficile strains. We tested 14 reference and clinical C. difficile strains, including hypervirulent strains of RT027. The MICs of metronidazole for the tested strains were determined using the broth microdilution method. Biofilm formation was evaluated using confocal laser scanning microscopy. The C. difficile strains belonging to RT027 produced the highest amounts of biofilm. The results of confocal laser scanning microscopy showed that all the tested C. difficile strains developed larger biofilms with diversified architectures upon exposure to sub-MICs of metronidazole. In our study, we reveal that sub-MIC concentrations of metronidazole affect the biofilm formation of clinical and reference strains of C. difficile. Importantly, metronidazole induces biofilm formation via hypervirulent RT027 strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hospital-Acquired Infections: Risk Factors and Preventions)
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