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Pathogens, Volume 6, Issue 2 (June 2017)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Differences in Gene Expression Profiles between Early and Late Isolates in Monospecies Achromobacter Biofilm
Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 20; doi:10.3390/pathogens6020020
Received: 7 April 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 14 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
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Abstract
Bacteria of genus Achromobacter are emerging pathogens in cystic fibrosis (CF) capable of biofilm formation and development of antimicrobial resistance. Evolutionary adaptions in the transition from primary to chronic infection were assessed by transcriptomic analysis of successive isolates of Achromobacter xylosoxidans from a
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Bacteria of genus Achromobacter are emerging pathogens in cystic fibrosis (CF) capable of biofilm formation and development of antimicrobial resistance. Evolutionary adaptions in the transition from primary to chronic infection were assessed by transcriptomic analysis of successive isolates of Achromobacter xylosoxidans from a single CF patient. Several efflux pump systems targeting antimicrobial agents were upregulated during the course of the disease, whereas all genes related to motility were downregulated. Genes annotated to subsystems of sulfur metabolism, protein metabolism and potassium metabolism exhibited the strongest upregulation. K+ channel genes were hyperexpressed, and a putative sulfite oxidase was more than 1500 times upregulated. The transcriptome patterns indicated a pivotal role of sulfur metabolism and electrical signalling in Achromobacter biofilms during late stage CF lung disease. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Toxoplasma gondii in the Food Supply
Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 21; doi:10.3390/pathogens6020021 (registering DOI)
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
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Abstract
Toxoplasmosis is caused by infection with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Infections are usually either asymptomatic or develop mild symptoms that are self-limited, but infections in immunosuppressed persons can be severe. Infections in pregnant women can cause serious health problems in the
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Toxoplasmosis is caused by infection with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Infections are usually either asymptomatic or develop mild symptoms that are self-limited, but infections in immunosuppressed persons can be severe. Infections in pregnant women can cause serious health problems in the child such as mental retardation and blindness. Infection with T. gondii in immunocompetent adults can lead to impaired eyesight. Toxoplasmosis has ranked very highly in two studies of death and disability attributable to foodborne pathogens. The consumption of raw or undercooked meat containing T. gondii tissue cysts and the consumption of raw vegetables or water contaminated with T. gondii oocysts from cat feces is most frequently associated with human illness. The risk of acquiring a Toxoplasma infection via food varies with cultural and eating habits in different human populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxoplasma gondii Infection)
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Open AccessArticle Application of Hydrogen Peroxide as an Innovative Method of Treatment for Legionella Control in a Hospital Water Network
Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 15; doi:10.3390/pathogens6020015
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 5 April 2017 / Accepted: 11 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of hydrogen peroxide (HP) use as a disinfectant in the hospital water network for the control of Legionella spp. colonization. Methods: Following the detection of high levels of Legionella contamination in a 136-bed general hospital water network, an
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Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of hydrogen peroxide (HP) use as a disinfectant in the hospital water network for the control of Legionella spp. colonization. Methods: Following the detection of high levels of Legionella contamination in a 136-bed general hospital water network, an HP treatment of the hot water supply (25 mg/L) was adopted. During a period of 34 months, the effectiveness of HP on Legionella colonization was assessed. Legionella was isolated in accordance with ISO-11731 and identification was carried out by sequencing of the mip gene. Results: Before HP treatment, L. pneumophila sg 2–15 was isolated in all sites with a mean count of 9950 ± 8279 cfu/L. After one-month of HP treatment, we observed the disappearance of L. pneumophila 2–15, however other Legionella species previously not seen were found; Legionella pneumophila 1 was isolated in one out of four sampling sites (2000 cfu/L) and other non-pneumophila species were present in all sites (mean load 3000 ± 2887 cfu/L). Starting from September 2013, HP treatment was modified by adding food-grade polyphosphates, and in the following months, we observed a progressive reduction of the mean load of all species (p < 0.05), resulting in substantial disappearance of Legionella colonization. Conclusion: Hydrogen peroxide demonstrated good efficacy in controlling Legionella. Although in the initial phases of treatment it appeared unable to eliminate all Legionella species, by maintaining HP levels at 25 mg/L and adding food-grade polyphosphates, a progressive and complete control of colonization was obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogen Legionella pneumophila)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the Immunomodulatory Properties of Streptococcus suis and Group B Streptococcus Capsular Polysaccharides on the Humoral Response
Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 16; doi:10.3390/pathogens6020016
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 15 April 2017 / Accepted: 17 April 2017 / Published: 20 April 2017
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Abstract
Streptococcus suis and group B Streptococcus (GBS) are encapsulated streptococci causing septicemia and meningitis. Antibodies (Abs) against capsular polysaccharides (CPSs) have a crucial protective role, but the structure/composition of the CPS, including the presence of sialic acid, may interfere with the generation of
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Streptococcus suis and group B Streptococcus (GBS) are encapsulated streptococci causing septicemia and meningitis. Antibodies (Abs) against capsular polysaccharides (CPSs) have a crucial protective role, but the structure/composition of the CPS, including the presence of sialic acid, may interfere with the generation of anti-CPS Ab responses. We investigated the features of the CPS-specific Ab response directed against S. suis serotypes 2 and 14 and GBS serotypes III and V after infection or immunization with purified native or desialylated CPSs in mice. Whereas S. suis-infected mice developed a very low/undetectable CPS-specific IgM response, significant anti-CPS IgM titers were measured in GBS-infected animals (especially for type III GBS). No isotype switching was detected in S. suis- or GBS-infected mice. While the expression of sialic acid was essential for the immunogenicity of purified GBS type III CPS, this sugar was not responsible for the inability of purified S. suis types 2, 14 and GBS type V CPSs to induce a specific Ab response. Thus, other biochemical criteria unrelated to the presence of sialic acid may be responsible for the inaptitude of the host immune system to mount an effective response against certain S. suis and GBS CPS types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Streptococcus suis)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Flagellin Inhibits TNF-Induced NF-κB Activation in Intestinal Epithelial Cells
Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 18; doi:10.3390/pathogens6020018
Received: 19 April 2017 / Revised: 2 May 2017 / Accepted: 14 May 2017 / Published: 17 May 2017
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Abstract
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) causes childhood diarrhea in developing countries. ETEC strains produce the heat-labile enterotoxin (LT) and/or heat-stable enterotoxins (ST) and encode a diverse set of colonization factors used for adherence to intestinal epithelial cells. We previously found that ETEC secretes a
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Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) causes childhood diarrhea in developing countries. ETEC strains produce the heat-labile enterotoxin (LT) and/or heat-stable enterotoxins (ST) and encode a diverse set of colonization factors used for adherence to intestinal epithelial cells. We previously found that ETEC secretes a heat-stable protein we designated as ETEC Secreted Factor (ESF) that inhibits the extent of NF-κB activation normally induced by tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF). Here we fractionated ETEC supernatants using fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC) and determined that ETEC flagellin was necessary and sufficient to protect IκBα from degradation in response to TNF stimulation. These data suggest a potentially novel mechanism by which ETEC may evade the host innate immune response by down-regulating NF-κB-dependent host responses. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Natural Pathogen Control Chemistry to Replace Toxic Treatment of Microbes and Biofilm in Cooling Towers
Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 14; doi:10.3390/pathogens6020014
Received: 15 December 2016 / Revised: 15 March 2017 / Accepted: 28 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
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Abstract
Application of toxic antibacterial agents is considered necessary to control prevalent fresh water microorganisms that grow in evaporative cooling water systems, but can adversely affect the environment and human health. However, natural antibacterial water chemistry has been applied in industrial cooling water systems
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Application of toxic antibacterial agents is considered necessary to control prevalent fresh water microorganisms that grow in evaporative cooling water systems, but can adversely affect the environment and human health. However, natural antibacterial water chemistry has been applied in industrial cooling water systems for over 10 years to inhibit microorganisms with excellent results. The water chemistry method concentrates natural minerals in highly-softened water to produce elevated pH and dissolved solids, while maintaining low calcium and magnesium content. The method provides further benefits in water conservation, and generates a small volume of non-toxic natural salt concentrate for cost efficient separation and disposal if required. This report describes the antimicrobial effects of these chemistry modifications in the cooling water environment and the resultant collective inhibition of microbes, biofilm, and pathogen growth. This article also presents a novel perspective of parasitic microbiome functional relationships, including “Trojan Protozoans” and biofilms, and the function of polyvalent metal ions in the formation and inhibition of biofilms. Reducing global dependence on toxic antibacterial agents discharged to the environment is an emerging concern due to their impact on the natural microbiome, plants, animals and humans. Concurrently, scientists have concluded that discharge of antibacterial agents plays a key role in development of pathogen resistance to antimicrobials as well as antibiotics. Use of natural antibacterial chemistry can play a key role in managing the cooling water environment in a more ecologically sustainable manner. Full article
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Open AccessReview Subverting Host Cell P21-Activated Kinase: A Case of Convergent Evolution across Pathogens
Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 17; doi:10.3390/pathogens6020017
Received: 25 January 2017 / Revised: 29 March 2017 / Accepted: 9 April 2017 / Published: 21 April 2017
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Abstract
Intracellular pathogens have evolved a wide range of strategies to not only escape from the immune systems of their hosts, but also to directly exploit a variety of host factors to facilitate the infection process. One such strategy is to subvert host cell
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Intracellular pathogens have evolved a wide range of strategies to not only escape from the immune systems of their hosts, but also to directly exploit a variety of host factors to facilitate the infection process. One such strategy is to subvert host cell signalling pathways to the advantage of the pathogen. Recent research has highlighted that the human serine/threonine kinase PAK, or p21-activated kinase, is a central component of host-pathogen interactions in many infection systems involving viruses, bacteria, and eukaryotic pathogens. PAK paralogues are found in most mammalian tissues, where they play vital roles in a wide range of functions. The role of PAKs in cell proliferation and survival, and their involvement in a number of cancers, is of great interest in the context of drug discovery. In this review we discuss the latest insights into the surprisingly central role human PAK1 plays for the infection by such different infectious disease agents as viruses, bacteria, and parasitic protists. It is our intention to open serious discussion on the applicability of PAK inhibitors for the treatment, not only of neoplastic diseases, which is currently the primary objective of drug discovery research targeting these enzymes, but also of a wide range of infectious diseases. Full article
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Open AccessReview Neurophysiological Changes Induced by Chronic Toxoplasma gondii Infection
Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 19; doi:10.3390/pathogens6020019
Received: 10 April 2017 / Revised: 8 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 May 2017 / Published: 17 May 2017
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Abstract
Although the parasite Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most pervasive neurotropic pathogens in the world, the host-parasite interactions during CNS infection and the consequences of neurological infection are just beginning to be unraveled. The chronic stages of infection have been considered dormant,
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Although the parasite Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most pervasive neurotropic pathogens in the world, the host-parasite interactions during CNS infection and the consequences of neurological infection are just beginning to be unraveled. The chronic stages of infection have been considered dormant, although several studies have found correlations of infection with an array of host behavioral changes. These may facilitate parasite transmission and impact neurological diseases. During infection, in addition to the presence of the parasites within neurons, host-mediated neuroimmune and hormonal responses to infection are also present. T. gondii induces numerous changes to host neurons during infection and globally alters host neurological signaling pathways, as discussed in this review. Understanding the neurophysiological changes in the host brain is imperative to understanding the parasitic mechanisms and to delineate the effects of this single-celled parasite on health and its contribution to neurological disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxoplasma gondii Infection)
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