Influenza A viruses evolve at a high rate requiring continuous monitoring to maintain the efficacy of vaccines and antiviral drugs. We performed next generation sequencing analysis of 100 influenza A/H3N2 isolates collected in four Asian countries (Japan, Lebanon, Myanmar, and Vietnam) during 2012-2015. Phylogenetic analysis revealed several reassortment events leading to the circulation of multiple clades within the same season. This was particularly evident during the 2013 and 2013/2014 seasons. Importantly, our data showed that certain lineages appeared to be fitter and were able to persist into the following season. The majority of A/H3N2 viruses continued to harbor the M2-S31N mutation conferring amantadine-resistance. In addition, an S31D mutation in the M2-protein, conferring a similar level of resistance as the S31N mutation, was detected in three isolates obtained in Japan during the 2014/2015 season. None of the isolates possessed the NA-H274Y mutation conferring oseltamivir-resistance, though a few isolates were found to contain mutations at the catalytic residue 151 (D151A/G/N or V) of the NA protein. These variations did not alter the susceptibility to neuraminidase inhibitors and were not detected in the original clinical specimens, suggesting that they had been acquired during their passage in MDCK cells. Novel polymorphisms were detected in the PB1-F2 open-reading frame resulting in truncations in the protein of 24-34 aminoacids in length. Thus, this study has demonstrated the utility of monitoring the full genome of influenza viruses to allow the detection of the potentially fittest lineages. This enhances our ability to predict the strain(s) most likely to persist into the following seasons and predict the potential degree of vaccine match or mismatch with the seasonal influenza season for that year. This will enable the public health and clinical teams to prepare for any related healthcare burden, depending on whether the vaccine match is predicted to be good or poor for that season.
The β-lactamase inhibitor, clavulanic acid is frequently used in combination with β-lactam antibiotics to treat a wide spectrum of infectious diseases. Clavulanic acid prevents drug resistance by pathogens against these β-lactam antibiotics by preventing the degradation of the β-lactam ring, thus ensuring eradication of these harmful microorganisms from the host. This systematic review provides an overview on the fermentation conditions that affect the production of clavulanic acid in the firstly described producer, Streptomyces clavuligerus. A thorough search was conducted using predefined terms in several electronic databases (PubMed, Medline, ScienceDirect, EBSCO), from database inception to June 30th 2015. Studies must involve wild-type Streptomyces clavuligerus, and full texts needed to be available. A total of 29 eligible articles were identified. Based on the literature, several factors were identified that could affect the production of clavulanic acid in S. clavuligerus. The addition of glycerol or other vegetable oils (e.g., olive oil, corn oil) could potentially affect clavulanic acid production. Furthermore, some amino acids such as arginine and ornithine, could serve as potential precursors to increase clavulanic acid yield. The comparison of different fermentation systems revealed that fed-batch fermentation yields higher amounts of clavulanic acid as compared to batch fermentation, probably due to the maintenance of substrates and constant monitoring of certain entities (such as pH, oxygen availability, etc.). Overall, these findings provide vital knowledge and insight that could assist media optimization and fermentation design for clavulanic acid production in S. clavuligerus.
Based on the hygiene hypothesis, a low prevalence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection may explain the recent high prevalence of allergic diseases including food allergy. However, there are very few studies that investigate the relationship between H. pylori and food allergy.
The enzymes involved in synthesizing the bacterial cell wall are attractive targets for the design of antibacterial compounds, since this pathway is essential for bacteria and is absent in animals, particularly humans. A survey of the genome of a bacterium that belongs to the phylum Verrucomicrobia, the closest free-living relative to bacteria from the Chlamydiales phylum, shows genetic evidence that Verrucomicrobium spinosum possesses a novel fusion open reading frame (ORF) annotated by the locus tag (VspiD_010100018130). The ORF, which is predicted to encode the enzymes UDP-N-acetylenolpyruvoylglucosamine reductase (MurB) and UDP-N-acetylmuramate:l-alanine ligase (MurC) that are involved in the cytoplasmic steps of peptidoglycan biosynthesis, was cloned. In vivo analyses using functional complementation showed that the fusion gene was able to complement Escherichia coli murB and murC temperature sensitive mutants. The purified recombinant fusion enzyme (MurB/C Vs ) was shown to be endowed with UDP-N-acetylmuramate:l-alanine ligase activity. In vitro analyses demonstrated that the latter enzyme had a pH optimum of 9.0, a magnesium optimum of 10 mM and a temperature optimum of 44-46°C. Its apparent K m values for ATP, UDP-MurNAc, and l-alanine were 470, 90, and 25 μM, respectively. However, all attempts to demonstrate an in vitro UDP-N-acetylenolpyruvoylglucosamine reductase (MurB) activity were unsuccessful. Lastly, Hidden Markov Model-based similarity search and phylogenetic analysis revealed that this fusion enzyme could only be identified in specific lineages within the Verrucomicrobia phylum.
Cryptococcus neoformans is an opportunistic fungus that causes fatal meningoencephalitis especially in AIDS patients. There is an increasing need for discovery of new anti-cryptococcal drugs due to emergence of resistance cases in recent years. In this study, we aim to elucidate the antifungal effect of triclosan against C. neoformans.
Emergence of antimicrobial resistance coupled with the slowdown in discovery of new antimicrobial compounds points to serious consequences for human health. Therefore, scientists are looking for new antimicrobial compounds from unique and understudied ecosystems such as tropical peat swamp forests. Over the course of isolating antimicrobial producing bacteria from North Selangor tropical peat swamp forest, Malaysia, a Gram variable, rod shaped, endospore forming, facultative anaerobic novel strain MSt1(T) that exerts potent and broad spectrum antimicrobial activity was isolated. Phylogenetic analysis using 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strain MSt1(T) belonged to the genus Paenibacillus with the highest similarity to Paenibacillus elgii SD17(T) (99.5%). Whole genome comparison between strain MSt1(T) with its closely related species using average nucleotide identity (ANI) revealed that similarity between strain MSt1(T) with P. elgii B69 (93.45%) and Paenibacillus ehimensis A2 (90.42%) was below the recommended threshold of 95%. Further analysis using in silico pairwise DDH also showed that similarity between strain MSt1(T) with P. elgii B69 (55.4%) and P. ehimensis A2 (43.7%) was below the recommended threshold of 70%. Strain MSt1(T) contained meso-diaminopilemic acid in the cell wall and MK-7 as the major menaquinone. The major fatty acids of strain MSt1(T) were anteiso-C15:0 (48.2%) and C16:0 (29.0%) whereas the polar lipid profile consisted of phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine, diphosphatidylglycerol, one unknown lipid, two unknown glycolipids, and one unknown phospholipid. Total DNA G+C content of strain MSt1(T) was 51.5 mol%. The extract from strain MSt1(T) exerted strong antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 (MIC = 1.5 μg/mL), MRSA ATCC 700699 (MIC = 25 μg/mL) and Candida albicans IMR (MIC = 12.5 μg/mL). Partially purified active fraction exerted a strong effect against E. coli ATCC 25922 resulting in cell rupture when viewed with SEM. Based on distinctive taxonomic differences between strain MSt1(T) when compared to its closely related type species, we propose that strain MSt1(T) represents a novel species within the genus of Paenibacillus, for which the name Paenibacillus tyrfis sp. nov. (= DSM 100708(T) = MCCC 1K01247(T)) is proposed.
Typhoid fever, caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, remains an important public health burden in Southeast Asia and other endemic countries. Various genotyping methods have been applied to study the genetic variations of this human-restricted pathogen. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) is one of the widely accepted methods, and recently, there is a growing interest in the re-application of MLST in the post-genomic era. In this study, we provide the global MLST distribution of S. Typhi utilizing both publicly available 1,826 S. Typhi genome sequences in addition to performing conventional MLST on S. Typhi strains isolated from various endemic regions spanning over a century. Our global MLST analysis confirms the predominance of two sequence types (ST1 and ST2) co-existing in the endemic regions. Interestingly, S. Typhi strains with ST8 are currently confined within the African continent. Comparative genomic analyses of ST8 and other rare STs with genomes of ST1/ST2 revealed unique mutations in important virulence genes such as flhB, sipC, and tviD that may explain the variations that differentiate between seemingly successful (widespread) and unsuccessful (poor dissemination) S. Typhi populations. Large scale whole-genome phylogeny demonstrated evidence of phylogeographical structuring and showed that ST8 may have diverged from the earlier ancestral population of ST1 and ST2, which later lost some of its fitness advantages, leading to poor worldwide dissemination. In response to the unprecedented increase in genomic data, this study demonstrates and highlights the utility of large-scale genome-based MLST as a quick and effective approach to narrow the scope of in-depth comparative genomic analysis and consequently provide new insights into the fine scale of pathogen evolution and population structure.
Periodontal disease represents a group of oral inflammatory infections initiated by oral pathogens which exist as a complex biofilms on the tooth surface and cause destruction to tooth supporting tissues. The severity of this disease ranges from mild and reversible inflammation of the gingiva (gingivitis) to chronic destruction of connective tissues, the formation of periodontal pocket and ultimately result in loss of teeth. While human subgingival plaque harbors more than 500 bacterial species, considerable research has shown that Porphyromonas gingivalis, a Gram-negative anaerobic bacterium, is the major etiologic agent which contributes to chronic periodontitis. This black-pigmented bacterium produces a myriad of virulence factors that cause destruction to periodontal tissues either directly or indirectly by modulating the host inflammatory response. Here, this review provides an overview of P. gingivalis and how its virulence factors contribute to the pathogenesis with other microbiome consortium in oral cavity.
In response to the increased seafood demand from the ever-going human population, aquaculture has become the fastest growing animal food-producing sector. However, the indiscriminate use of antibiotics as a biological control agents for fish pathogens has led to the emergence of antibiotic resistance bacteria. Probiotics are defined as living microbial supplement that exert beneficial effects on hosts as well as improvement of environmental parameters. Probiotics have been proven to be effective in improving the growth, survival and health status of the aquatic livestock. This review aims to highlight the genus Streptomyces can be a good candidate for probiotics in aquaculture. Studies showed that the feed supplemented with Streptomyces could protect fish and shrimp from pathogens as well as increase the growth of the aquatic organisms. Furthermore, the limitations of Streptomyces as probiotics in aquaculture is also highlighted and solutions are discussed to these limitations.
Allura Red AC (E129) is an azo dye that widely used in drinks, juices, bakery, meat, and sweets products. High consumption of Allura Red has claimed an adverse effects of human health including allergies, food intolerance, cancer, multiple sclerosis, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, brain damage, nausea, cardiac disease and asthma due to the reaction of aromatic azo compounds (R = R' = aromatic). Several countries have banned and strictly controlled the uses of Allura Red in food and beverage products. This review paper is critically summarized on the available analytical and advanced methods for determination of Allura Red and also concisely discussed on the acceptable daily intake, toxicology and extraction methods.
Toxoplasma gondii is the causative agent for toxoplasmosis. The rhoptry protein 1 (ROP1) is secreted by rhoptry, an apical secretory organelle of the parasite. ROP1 plays an important role in host cell invasion. In this study, the efficacy of ROP1 as a vaccine candidate against toxoplasmosis was evaluated through intramuscular or subcutaneous injection of BALB/c mice followed by immunological characterization (humoral- and cellular-mediated) and lethal challenge against virulent T. gondii RH strain in BALB/c mice. Briefly, a recombinant DNA plasmid (pVAX1-GFP-ROP1) was expressed in CHO cells while expression of recombinant ROP1 protein (rROP1) was carried out in Escherichia coli expression system. Immunization study involved injection of the recombinant pVAX1-ROP1 and purified rROP1 into different group of mice. Empty vector and PBS served as two different types of negative controls. Results obtained demonstrated that ROP1 is an immunogenic antigen that induced humoral immune response whereby detection of a protein band with expected size of 43 kDa was observed against vaccinated mice sera through western blot analysis. ROP1 antigen was shown to elicit cellular-mediated immunity as well whereby stimulated splenocytes with total lysate antigen (TLA) and rROP1 from pVAX1-ROP1 and rROP1-immunized mice, respectively, readily proliferated and secreted large amount of IFN-γ (712 ± 28.1 pg/ml and 1457 ± 31.19 pg/ml, respectively) and relatively low IL-4 level (94 ± 14.5 pg/ml and 186 ± 14.17 pg/ml, respectively). These phenomena suggested that Th1-favored immunity was being induced. Vaccination with ROP1 antigen was able to provide partial protection in the vaccinated mice against lethal challenge with virulent RH strain of tachyzoites. These findings proposed that the ROP1 antigen is a potential candidate for the development of vaccine against toxoplasmosis.
Toxoplasmosis is a foodborne disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii, an obligate intracellular parasite. Severe symptoms occur in the immunocompromised patients and pregnant women leading to fatality and abortions respectively. Vaccination development is essential to control the disease. The T. gondii dense granule antigen 2 and 5 (GRA2 and GRA5) have been targeted in this study because these proteins are essential to the development of parasitophorous vacuole (PV), a specialized compartment formed within the infected host cell. PV is resistance to host cell endosomes and lysosomes thereby protecting the invaded parasite. Recombinant dense granular proteins, GRA2 (rGRA2) and GRA5 (rGRA5) were cloned, expressed, and purified in Escherichia coli, BL21 (DE3) pLysS. The potential of these purified antigens as subunit vaccine candidates against toxoplasmosis were evaluated through subcutaneous injection of BALB/c mice followed by immunological characterization (humoral- and cellular-mediated) and lethal challenge against virulent T. gondii RH strain in BALB/c mice. Results obtained demonstrated that rGRA2 and rGRA5 elicited humoral and cellular-mediated immunity in the mice. High level of IgG antibody was produced with the isotype IgG2a/IgG1 ratio of ≈0.87 (p < 0.001). Significant increase (p < 0.05) in the level of four cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-4, and IL-10) was obtained. The antibody and cytokine results suggest that a mix mode of Th1/Th2-immunity was elicited with predominant Th1-immune response inducing partial protection against T. gondii acute infection in BALB/c mice. Our findings indicated that both GRA2 and GRA5 are potential candidates for vaccine development against T. gondii acute infection.
Human rhinovirus-C (HRV-C) has been implicated in more severe illnesses than HRV-A and HRV-B, however, the limited number of HRV-C complete genomes (complete 5' and 3' non-coding region and open reading frame sequences) has hindered the in-depth genetic study of this virus. This study aimed to sequence seven complete HRV-C genomes from Malaysia and compare their genetic characteristics with the 18 published HRV-Cs. Seven Malaysian HRV-C complete genomes were obtained with newly redesigned primers. The seven genomes were classified as HRV-C6, C12, C22, C23, C26, C42, and pat16 based on the VP4/VP2 and VP1 pairwise distance threshold classification. Five of the seven Malaysian isolates, namely, 3430-MY-10/C22, 8713-MY-10/C23, 8097-MY-11/C26, 1570-MY-10/C42, and 7383-MY-10/pat16 are the first newly sequenced complete HRV-C genomes. All seven Malaysian isolates genomes displayed nucleotide similarity of 63-81% among themselves and 63-96% with other HRV-Cs. Malaysian HRV-Cs had similar putative immunogenic sites, putative receptor utilization and potential antiviral sites as other HRV-Cs. The genomic features of Malaysian isolates were similar to those of other HRV-Cs. Negative selections were frequently detected in HRV-Cs complete coding sequences indicating that these sequences were under functional constraint. The present study showed that HRV-Cs from Malaysia have diverse genetic sequences but share conserved genomic features with other HRV-Cs. This genetic information could provide further aid in the understanding of HRV-C infection.
Acinetobacter baumannii is a Gram-negative nosocomial pathogen of importance due to its uncanny ability to acquire resistance to most antimicrobials. These include carbapenems, which are the drugs of choice for treating A. baumannii infections, and polymyxins, the drugs of last resort. Whole genome sequencing was performed on two clinical carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii AC29 and AC30 strains which had an indistinguishable ApaI pulsotype but different susceptibilities to polymyxin. Both genomes consisted of an approximately 3.8 Mbp circular chromosome each and several plasmids. AC29 (susceptible to polymyxin) and AC30 (resistant to polymyxin) belonged to the ST195 lineage and are phylogenetically clustered under the International Clone II (IC-II) group. An AbaR4-type resistance island (RI) interrupted the comM gene in the chromosomes of both strains and contained the bla OXA-23 carbapenemase gene and determinants for tetracycline and streptomycin resistance. AC29 harbored another copy of bla OXA-23 in a large (~74 kb) conjugative plasmid, pAC29b, but this gene was absent in a similar plasmid (pAC30c) found in AC30. A 7 kb Tn1548::armA RI which encodes determinants for aminoglycoside and macrolide resistance, is chromosomally-located in AC29 but found in a 16 kb plasmid in AC30, pAC30b. Analysis of known determinants for polymyxin resistance in AC30 showed mutations in the pmrA gene encoding the response regulator of the two-component pmrAB signal transduction system as well as in the lpxD, lpxC, and lpsB genes that encode enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Experimental evidence indicated that impairment of LPS along with overexpression of pmrAB may have contributed to the development of polymyxin resistance in AC30. Cloning of a novel variant of the bla AmpC gene from AC29 and AC30, and its subsequent expression in E. coli also indicated its likely function as an extended-spectrum cephalosporinase.
Enterococcus lactis IW5 was obtained from human gut and the potential probiotic characteristics of this organism were then evaluated. Results showed that this strain was highly resistant to low pH and high bile salt and adhered strongly to Caco-2 human epithelial colorectal cell lines. The supernatant of E. lactis IW5 strongly inhibited the growth of several pathogenic bacteria and decreased the viability of different cancer cells, such as HeLa, MCF-7, AGS, HT-29, and Caco-2. Conversely, E. lactis IW5 did not inhibit the viability of normal FHs-74 cells. This strain did not generate toxic enzymes, including β-glucosidase, β-glucuronidase, and N-acetyl-β-glucosaminidase and was highly susceptible to ampicillin, gentamycin, penicillin, vancomycin, clindamycin, sulfamethoxazol, and chloramphenicol but resistant to erythromycin and tetracyclin. This study provided evidence for the effect of E. lactis IW5 on cancer cells. Therefore, E. lactis IW5, as a bioactive therapeutics, should be subjected to other relevant tests to verify the therapeutic suitability of this strain for clinical applications.
A Streptomyces strain, MUM256 was isolated from Tanjung Lumpur mangrove soil in Malaysia. Characterization of the strain showed that it has properties consistent with those of the members of the genus Streptomyces. In order to explore the potential bioactivities, extract of the fermented broth culture of MUM256 was prepared with organic solvent extraction method. DPPH and SOD activity were utilized to examine the antioxidant capacity and the results have revealed the potency of MUM256 in superoxide anion scavenging activity in dose-dependent manner. The cytotoxicity of MUM256 extract was determined using cell viability assay against 8 different panels of human cancer cell lines. Among all the tested cancer cells, HCT116 was the most sensitive toward the extract treatment. At the highest concentration of tested extract, the result showed 2.3-, 2.0-, and 1.8-folds higher inhibitory effect against HCT116, HT29, and Caco-2 respectively when compared to normal cell line. This result has demonstrated that MUM256 extract was selectively cytotoxic toward colon cancer cell lines. In order to determine the constituents responsible for its bioactivities, the extract was then subjected to chemical analysis using GC-MS. The analysis resulted in the identification of chemical constituents including phenolic and pyrrolopyrazine compounds which may responsible for antioxidant and anticancer activities observed. Based on the findings of this study, the presence of bioactive constituents in MUM256 extract could be a potential source for the development of antioxidative and chemopreventive agents.
Toxoplasmosis is one of the most common opportunistic parasitic diseases in patients living with HIV/AIDS. This study aimed to determine the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma infection in HIV-infected patients and to identify associated risk factors in Toxoplasma seropositive patients. This study was conducted at a regional public hospital in Hat Yai, southern Thailand during October 2009 to June 2010. Blood samples were collected from 300 HIV-infected patients. Each subject also answered a socio-demographic and risk factors associated with Toxoplasma infection. The prevalence of anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibodies in HIV-infected patients was 109 (36.3%), of which 83 (76.2%) had past infection and 26 (23.9%) had recently acquired Toxoplasma infection as indicated by their IgG avidity. Multivariate analysis using logistic regression showed that gender difference (adjusted OR = 1.69, 95% CI = 1.05-2.72) was the only factor associated with Toxoplasma infection. From the results obtained, these HIV-infected patients could be at high risk of developing clinical evidence of severe toxoplasmosis. Therefore, it is necessary to introduce primary behavioral practices to prevent Toxoplasma infection among HIV-infected patients.
High consumer demand for shellfish has led to the need for large-scale, reliable shellfish supply through aquaculture or shellfish farming. However, bacterial infections which can spread rapidly among shellfish poses a major threat to this industry. Shellfish farmers therefore often resort to extensive use of antibiotics, both prophylactically and therapeutically, in order to protect their stocks. The extensive use of antibiotics in aquaculture has been postulated to represent a major contributing factor in the rising incidence of antimicrobial resistant pathogenic bacteria in shellfish. This study aimed to investigate the incidence of pathogenic Vibrio parahaemolyticus and determine the antibiotic resistance profile as well as to perform plasmid curing in order to determine the antibiotic resistance mediation. Based on colony morphology, all 450 samples tested were positive for Vibrio sp; however, tox-R assay showed that only 44.4% (200/450) of these were V. parahaemolyticus. Out of these 200 samples, 6.5% (13/200) were trh-positive while none were tdh-positive. Antibiotic resistance was determined for all V. parahaemolyticus identified against 14 commonly used antibiotics and the multiple antibiotic resistance index (MAR) was calculated. The isolates demonstrated high resistance to several antibiotics tested- including second and third-line antibiotics- with 88% resistant to ampicillin, 81% to amikacin,70.5% to kanamycin, 73% to cefotaxime, and 51.5% to ceftazidime. The MAR index ranged from 0.00 to 0.79 with the majority of samples having an index of 0.36 (resistant to five antibiotics). Among the 13 trh-positive strains, almost 70% (9/13) demonstrated resistance to 4 or more antibiotics. Plasmid profiling for all V. parahaemolyticus isolates revealed that 86.5% (173/200) contained plasmids - ranging from 1 to 7 plasmids with DNA band sizes ranging from 1.2 kb to greater than 10 kb. 6/13 of the pathogenic V. pathogenic strains contained plasmid. After plasmid curing, the plasmid containing pathogenic strains isolated in our study have chromosomally mediated ampicillin resistance while the remaining resistance phenotypes are plasmid mediated. Overall, our results indicate that while the incidence of pathogenic V. parahaemolyticus in shellfish in Selangor still appears to be at relatively reassuring levels, antibiotic resistance is a real concern and warrants ongoing surveillance.
Bacterial cells sense their population density and respond accordingly by producing various signal molecules to the surrounding environments thereby trigger a plethora of gene expression. This regulatory pathway is termed quorum sensing (QS). Plenty of bacterial virulence factors are controlled by QS or QS-mediated regulatory systems and QS signal molecules (QSSMs) play crucial roles in bacterial signaling transduction. Moreover, bacterial QSSMs were shown to interfere with host cell signaling and modulate host immune responses. QSSMs not only regulate the expression of bacterial virulence factors but themselves act in the modulation of host biology that can be potential therapeutic targets.