Infectious Disease

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de Almeida LM, Pires C, Cerdeira LT, de Oliveira TGM, McCulloch JA, Perez-Chaparro PJ, Sacramento AG, Brito AC, da Silva JL, de Araújo MRE, Lincopan N, Martin MJ, Gilmore MS, Mamizuka EM. Complete Genome Sequence of Linezolid-Susceptible Staphylococcus haemolyticus Sh29/312/L2, a Clonal Derivative of a Linezolid-Resistant Clinical Strain. Genome Announc 2015;3(3)Abstract

We report the whole-genome sequence (WGS) of an in vitro susceptible derivative revertant mutant from a bloodstream isolate involved in a nosocomial outbreak in Brazil. The WGS comprises 2.5 Mb with 2,500 protein-coding sequences, 16rRNA genes, and 60 tRNA genes.

Almeida LM, Lebreton F, Gaca A, Bispo PM, Saavedra JT, Calumby RN, Grillo LM, Nascimento TG, Filsner PH, Moreno AM, Gilmore MS. Transferable Resistance Gene in Enterococcus faecalis from Swine in Brazil. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2020;64(6)Abstract
OptrA is an ATP-binding cassette (ABC)-F protein that confers resistance to oxazolidinones and phenicols and can be either plasmid-encoded or chromosomally encoded. Here, we isolated 13 strains possessing a linezolid MIC of ≥4 mg/liter from nursery pigs in swine herds located across Brazil. Genome sequence comparison showed that these strains possess in different genetic contexts occurring in 5 different sequence type backgrounds. The gene invariably occurred in association with an regulator and a gene encoding a hypothetical protein. In some contexts, this genetic island was able to excise and form a covalently closed circle within the cell; this circle appeared to occur in high abundance and to be transmissible by coresident plasmids.
Anchouche S, Yin J. Severe vernal keratoconjunctivitis complicated by anaesthetic abuse. Can J Ophthalmol 2020;
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Barros EM, Martin MJ, Selleck EM, Lebreton F, Sampaio JLM, Gilmore MS. Daptomycin Resistance and Tolerance Due to Loss of Function in Staphylococcus aureus dsp1 and asp23. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2019;63(1)Abstract
Lipopeptide daptomycin is a last-line cell-membrane-targeting antibiotic to treat multidrug-resistant Alarmingly, daptomycin-resistant isolates have emerged. The mechanisms underlying daptomycin resistance are diverse and share similarities with resistances to cationic antimicrobial peptides and other lipopeptides, but they remain to be fully elucidated. We selected mutants with increased resistance to daptomycin from a library of transposon insertions in sequent type 8 (ST8) HG003. Insertions conferring increased daptomycin resistance were localized to two genes, one coding for a hypothetical lipoprotein (SAOUHSC_00362, Dsp1), and the other for an alkaline shock protein (SAOUHSC_02441, Asp23). Markerless loss-of-function mutants were then generated for comparison. All transposon mutants and knockout strains exhibited increased daptomycin resistance compared to those of wild-type and complemented strains. Null and transposon insertion mutants also exhibited increased resistance to cationic antimicrobial peptides. Interestingly, the mutant also showed increased resistance to vancomycin, a cell-wall-targeting drug with a different mode of action. Null mutations in both and resulted in increased tolerance as reflected by reduced killing to both daptomycin and vancomycin, as well as an increased tolerance to surfactant (Triton X-100). Neither mutant exhibited increased resistance to lysostaphin, a cell-wall-targeting endopeptidase. These findings identified two genes core to the species that make previously uncharacterized contributions to antimicrobial resistance and tolerance in .
Benchetrit L, van Zyl T, Chodosh J. Bilateral Limbus-Sparing Conjunctivitis in a Boy With Rash and Pneumonia. JAMA Ophthalmol 2019;
Bispo PJM, Haas W, Gilmore MS. Biofilms in infections of the eye. Pathogens 2015;4(1):111-36.Abstract

The ability to form biofilms in a variety of environments is a common trait of bacteria, and may represent one of the earliest defenses against predation. Biofilms are multicellular communities usually held together by a polymeric matrix, ranging from capsular material to cell lysate. In a structure that imposes diffusion limits, environmental microgradients arise to which individual bacteria adapt their physiologies, resulting in the gamut of physiological diversity. Additionally, the proximity of cells within the biofilm creates the opportunity for coordinated behaviors through cell-cell communication using diffusible signals, the most well documented being quorum sensing. Biofilms form on abiotic or biotic surfaces, and because of that are associated with a large proportion of human infections. Biofilm formation imposes a limitation on the uses and design of ocular devices, such as intraocular lenses, posterior contact lenses, scleral buckles, conjunctival plugs, lacrimal intubation devices and orbital implants. In the absence of abiotic materials, biofilms have been observed on the capsule, and in the corneal stroma. As the evidence for the involvement of microbial biofilms in many ocular infections has become compelling, developing new strategies to prevent their formation or to eradicate them at the site of infection, has become a priority.

Bispo PJM, Ung L, Chodosh J, Gilmore MS. Hospital-Associated Multidrug-Resistant MRSA Lineages Are Trophic to the Ocular Surface and Cause Severe Microbial Keratitis. Front Public Health 2020;8:204.Abstract
Methicillin-resistant (MRSA) is a common cause of severe and difficult to treat ocular infection. In this study, the population structure of 68 ocular MRSA isolates collected at Massachusetts Eye and Ear between January 2014 and June 2016 was assessed. By using a combination of multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis, SCC typing and detection of the panton-valentine leukocidin (PVL) gene, we found that the population structure of ocular MRSA is composed of lineages with community and hospital origins. As determined by eBURST analysis of MLST data, the ocular MRSA population consisted of 14 different sequence types (STs) that grouped within two predominant clonal complexes: CC8 (47.0%) and CC5 (41.2%). Most CC8 strains were ST8, harbored type IV SCC and were positive for the PVL-toxin (93.7%). The CC5 group was divided between strains carrying SCC type II (71.4%) and SCC type IV (28.6%). Remaining isolates grouped in 6 different clonal complexes with 3 isolates in CC6 and the other clonal complexes being represented by a single isolate. Interestingly, major MRSA CC5 and CC8 lineages were isolated from discrete ocular niches. Orbital and preseptal abscess/cellulitis were predominantly caused by CC8-SCC IV PVL-positive strains. In contrast, infections of the cornea, conjunctiva and lacrimal system were associated with the MDR CC5 lineage, particularly as causes of severe infectious keratitis. This niche specialization of MRSA is consistent with a model where CC8-SCC IV PVL-positive strains are better adapted to cause infections of the keratinized and soft adnexal eye tissues, whereas MDR CC5 appear to have greater ability in overcoming innate defense mechanisms of the wet epithelium of the ocular surface.
Busch C, Iglicki M, Okada M, Gabrielle P-H, Cohen S, Mariussi M, Amphornphruet A, Cebeci Z, Chaikitmongkol V, Couturier A, Fraser-Bell S, Fung AT, Iannetta D, Radecka L, Laíns I, Rodrigues TM, Lupidi M, Ozimek M, Sala-Puigdollers A, Rehak M, Loewenstein A, Zur D, Zur D. Causative Pathogens of Endophthalmitis after Intravitreal Anti-VEGF Injection: An International Multicenter Study. Ophthalmologica 2019;241(4):211-219.Abstract
PURPOSE: The main objective of this study was to investigate the microbiological spectrum of endophthalmitis after anti-VEGF injections and to compare streptococcal with non-streptococcus-associated cases with regard to baseline characteristics and injection procedure. METHODS: Retrospective, international multicenter study of patients with culture-positive endophthalmitis after intravitreal anti-VEGF injection at 17 different retina referral centers. RESULTS: Eighty-three cases with 87 identified pathogens were included. Coagulase-negative staphylococci (59%) and viridans streptococci (15%) were the most frequent pathogens found. The use of postoperative antibiotics and performance of injections in an operating room setting significantly reduced the rate of streptococcus-induced endophthalmitis cases (p = 0.01 for both). CONCLUSION: We found a statistically significant lower rate of postinjectional local antibiotic therapy and operating room-based procedures among the streptococcus-induced cases compared to cases caused by other organisms.
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Chen Y, Liu F, Wang C, Zhao M, Deng L, Zhong J, Zhang Y, Ye J, Jing S, Cheng Z, Guan Y, Ma Y, Sun Y, Zhu B, Zhang Q. Molecular Identification and Epidemiological Features of Human Adenoviruses Associated with Acute Respiratory Infections in Hospitalized Children in Southern China, 2012-2013. PLoS One 2016;11(5):e0155412.Abstract

BACKGROUND: Acute respiratory infections (ARI) are the major worldwide health problem associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. Human adenovirus (HAdV) is one of the most common pathogens associated with viral ARI, and thus calls for specific diagnosis and better understanding of the epidemiology and clinical characteristics. METHODS: Total 4,130 children with ARI requiring hospitalization from 2012 to 2013 were retrospectively studied. Throat swab specimens were collected from each patient. Fluorescence Quantitative PCR was performed to detect adenovirus as well as other common ARI-related pathogens. The seven HAdV hypervariable regions (HVRs) of the hexon gene from fifty-seven HAdVs-positive samples collected in the seasonal peaks were sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis of HVRs was also conducted to confirm the molecular types and genetic variation. In addition, epidemiological features and co-infection with other human respiratory pathogens were investigated and analyzed. RESULTS: Of 4,130 hospitalized pediatric patients tested, the positive rates of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MP), and HAdV were 13.7%, 13.2%, and 12.0%, respectively. The HAdV positive patients accounted for 7.9%, 17.2%, 17.5% and 10.7% in age groups <1, 1-3, 3-6 and 6-14 years, respectively. Eighty-four HAdV positive children were co-infected with other respiratory pathogens (84/495, 17.0%). The most common co-infection pathogens with HAdV were MP (57.1%) and Human Bocavirus (HBoV) (16.7%). The majority of HAdV infected patients were totally recovered (96.9%, 480/495); However, four (0.8%) patients, who were previously healthy and at the age of 2 years or younger died of pneumonia. Seasonal peaks of HAdV infection occurred in the summer season of 2012 and 2013; the predominant HAdV type was HAdV-3 (70%), followed by HAdV-7 (28%). These epidemiological features were different from those in Northern China. The HAdV-55 was identified and reported for the first time in Guangzhou metropolitan area. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that all the HVR sequences of the hexon gene of HAdV-3 and -7 strains have high similarity within their individual types, and these strains were also similar to those circulating in China currently, indicating the conservation of hexon genes of both HAdV-3 and HAdV-7. CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge of the epidemiological features and molecular types of HAdV, a major pathogen of pediatric ARI, as well as other co-infected respiratory pathogens circulating in Guangzhou, southern China, is vital to predict and prevent future disease outbreaks in children. This study will certainly facilitate HAdV vaccine development and treatment of HAdV infections in children.

Chen L, Fu T, Gu H, Jie Y, Sun Z, Jiang D, Yu J, Zhu X, Xu J, Hong J. Trends in dacryocystitis in China: A STROBE-compliant article. Medicine (Baltimore) 2018;97(26):e11318.Abstract
The aim of the study was to review the distribution, current trends, and microbiological characteristics of bacterial pathogens isolated from dacryocystitis patients in China during the last 15 years.This is a retrospective multiple-center noncomparative case series. The medical records of 15,452 consecutive patients from 7 cities diagnosed as having dacryocystitis between 2002 and 2016 were reviewed. The patients' demographics, microbiological data, and antibiotic sensitivity were reviewed and analyzed.A total of 3344 lacrimal sac content cultures were taken (21.6%) during the study period. A pathogen was identified in 1996 samples (59.7%), with bacterial isolates accounting for 1902 of the positive cultures (95.3%). Gram-positive isolates, gram-negative isolates, and anaerobic bacteria were found in 1218 (61.0%), 607 (30.4%), and 285 (14.3%) samples, respectively. An increase in gram-positive isolates over the study duration was found (P = .003). The predominant isolates were coagulase negative Staphylococci (485, 25.5%), Staphylococcus aureus (186, 9.8%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (184, 9.7%), and Haemophilus influenzae (152, 9.0%). There was a trend toward increasing resistance to erythromycin from 10.5% during the first 5 years of the study to 20.7% during the last 5 years (P < .001). Antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed that gatifloxacin was the most effective drug against most of gram-positive, gram-negative, and anaerobic bacteria.The microbial culture rate of dacryocystitis in China is low. There was an increase in the percentage of gram-positive bacteria over time. The sensitivity of gram-positive isolates to tested antibiotics is relatively low compared with that of gram-negative isolates. Our data show that the empiric use of fourth-generation fluoroquinolones in refractory dacryocystitis may be justified.
Chi M, Kim JH, Basham R, Yoon MK, Vagefi R, Kersten RC. Temporal Artery Calciphylaxis Presenting as Temporal Arteritis in a Case of Rhinoorbitocerebral Mucormycosis. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2015;31(5):e132-5.Abstract

Mucormycosis is a rare often fatal opportunistic fungal infection. It is typically described in patients with diabetes in ketoacidotic status and is rare in renal transplant recipients. Calciphylaxis is a rare and highly morbid disease of vascular calcification affecting patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The first case of a renal transplant recipient who was inflicted with both rhinoorbitocerebral mucormycosis and calciphylaxis is reported. A 45-year-old man presented with 2-day history of left upper blepharoptosis, periorbital pain, left-sided headache, binocular diplopia, and left V2 numbness. He had undergone renal transplant for ESRD 7 months earlier with resultant immunosuppressive therapy. MRI and nasal biopsy confirmed rhinoorbitocerebral mucormycosis. Immunosuppressive therapy was stopped and antifungal therapy begun. He had orbital exenteration for progressive rhinoorbitocerebral mucormycosis. Two months later, the patient reported new-onset intermittent bitemporal headache and bilateral swollen, tender temporal arteries. Temporal artery biopsy revealed features consistent with calciphylaxis. Clinical presentation, treatment course, and follow up are discussed.

Chilambi GS, Nordstrom HR, Evans DR, Ferrolino JA, Hayden RT, Marón GM, Vo AN, Gilmore MS, Wolf J, Rosch JW, Van Tyne D. Evolution of vancomycin-resistant during colonization and infection in immunocompromised pediatric patients. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020;117(21):11703-11714.Abstract
Patients with hematological malignancies or undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation are vulnerable to colonization and infection with multidrug-resistant organisms, including vancomycin-resistant (VREfm). Over a 10-y period, we collected and sequenced the genomes of 110 VREfm isolates from gastrointestinal and blood cultures of 24 pediatric patients undergoing chemotherapy or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for hematological malignancy at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. We used patient-specific reference genomes to identify variants that arose over time in subsequent gastrointestinal and blood isolates from each patient and analyzed these variants for insight into how VREfm adapted during colonization and bloodstream infection within each patient. Variants were enriched in genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, and phenotypic analysis identified associated differences in carbohydrate utilization among isolates. In particular, a Y585C mutation in the sorbitol operon transcriptional regulator was associated with increased bacterial growth in the presence of sorbitol. We also found differences in biofilm-formation capability between isolates and observed that increased biofilm formation correlated with mutations in the putative capsular polysaccharide () biosynthetic locus, with different mutations arising independently in distinct genetic backgrounds. Isolates with mutations showed improved survival following exposure to lysozyme, suggesting a possible reason for the selection of capsule-lacking bacteria. Finally, we observed mutations conferring increased tolerance of linezolid and daptomycin in patients who were treated with these antibiotics. Overall, this study documents known and previously undescribed ways that VREfm evolve during intestinal colonization and subsequent bloodstream infection in immunocompromised pediatric patients.
Cho H, Shin YU, Siegel NH, Yu HG, Sobrin L, Patel A, Durand ML, Miller JW, Husain D. Endogenous Endophthalmitis in the American and Korean Population: An 8-year Retrospective Study. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2016;:1-8.Abstract

PURPOSE: To study the clinical features of endogenous endophthalmitis (EE) in sample patient populations from the USA and South Korea over an 8-year period. METHODS: We reviewed data from 128 eyes of 60 American and 48 Korean patients diagnosed with EE and compared their clinical characteristics. RESULTS: Fungemia and liver abscess were the most common extraocular infection sources among American (26.7%) and Korean patients (33.3%), respectively. Klebsiella pneumoniae and Candida species were the most common pathogens of EE in the Korean and the American patients, respectively. Endophthalmitis caused by fungi had a better visual prognosis than that caused by bacteria (p = 0.001). Vitrectomy was beneficial for eyes with EE due to virulent bacteria presenting with worse than counting finger vision. CONCLUSIONS: The predisposing conditions and responsible organisms for EE vary in different regions of the world. The visual prognosis was strongly influenced by the underlying pathogen.

Chwalisz BK, Dinkin MJ. Disease of the Year: COVID-19 and Its Neuro-ophthalmic Complications. J Neuroophthalmol 2020;40(3):283-284.
Ciolino JB, McLaurin EB, Marsico NP, Ackerman SL, Williams JM, Villanueva L, Hollander DA. Effect of alcaftadine 0.25% on ocular itch associated with seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis: a pooled analysis of two multicenter randomized clinical trials. Clin Ophthalmol 2015;9:765-72.Abstract

PURPOSE: Seasonal and perennial allergic conjunctivitis represent the majority of cases of ocular allergy. This analysis was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of once-daily alcaftadine 0.25% in preventing ocular itching associated with seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Pooled data from two double-masked, multicenter, placebo-controlled studies using the conjunctival allergen challenge (CAC) model of allergic conjunctivitis were analyzed. Subjects randomized to receive treatment with alcaftadine 0.25% or placebo were challenged with seasonal (grass, ragweed, trees) or perennial (cat dander, cat hair, dog dander, dust mites, cockroach) allergens, 16 hours after treatment instillation. The primary efficacy measure was subject-evaluated mean ocular itching at 3 minutes post-CAC. Secondary measures included ocular itching at 5 and 7 minutes post-CAC. The proportion of subjects with minimal itch (itch score <1) and zero itch (itch score =0), and safety were also assessed. RESULTS: A total of 189 subjects enrolled in the two studies were treated with alcaftadine or placebo. Overall, 129 subjects were challenged with seasonal allergens and 60 subjects were challenged with perennial allergens. Alcaftadine 0.25% achieved a statistically significant reduction in mean itch score at 3, 5, and 7 minutes post-CAC compared with placebo in subjects challenged with seasonal allergens (P<0.0001 at all time points) and those challenged with perennial allergens (P<0.0001 at all time points). A higher percentage of subjects treated with alcaftadine compared with placebo achieved minimal itch (P≤0.001 versus placebo at all time points) and zero itch (P<0.05 at all time points except 7 minutes for perennial) when challenged with either seasonal or perennial allergens. No treatment-related or serious adverse events were reported. CONCLUSION: Once-daily alcaftadine 0.25% ophthalmic solution was well tolerated and demonstrated effective relief of ocular itching in subjects challenged with allergens classic for triggering either seasonal or perennial allergic conjunctivitis.

Cruzat A, Hamrah P, Cavalcanti BM, Zheng L, Colby K, Pavan-Langston D. Corneal Reinnervation and Sensation Recovery in Patients With Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus: An In Vivo and Ex Vivo Study of Corneal Nerves. Cornea 2016;35(5):619-25.Abstract

PURPOSE: To study corneal reinnervation and sensation recovery in Herpes zoster ophthalmicus (HZO). METHODS: Two patients with HZO were studied over time with serial corneal esthesiometry and laser in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). A Boston keratoprosthesis type 1 was implanted, and the explanted corneal tissues were examined by immunofluorescence histochemistry for βIII-tubulin to stain for corneal nerves. RESULTS: The initial central corneal IVCM performed in each patient showed a complete lack of the subbasal nerve plexus, which was in accordance with severe loss of sensation (0 of 6 cm) measured by esthesiometry. When IVCM was repeated 2 years later before undergoing surgery, case 1 showed a persistent lack of central subbasal nerves and sensation (0 of 6). In contrast, case 2 showed regeneration of the central subbasal nerves (4786 μm/mm) with partial recovery of corneal sensation (2.5 of 6 cm). Immunostaining of the explanted corneal button in case 1 showed no corneal nerves, whereas case 2 showed central and peripheral corneal nerves. Eight months after surgery, IVCM was again repeated in the donor tissue around the Boston keratoprosthesis in both patients to study innervation of the corneal transplant. Case 1 showed no nerves, whereas case 2 showed new nerves growing from the periphery into the corneal graft. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that regaining corneal innervation and corneal function are possible in patients with HZO as shown by corneal sensation, IVCM, and ex vivo immunostaining, indicating zoster neural damage is not always permanent and it may recover over an extended period of time.

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Dabul ANG, Avaca-Crusca JS, Navais RB, Merlo TP, Van Tyne D, Gilmore MS, da Camargo ILBC. Molecular basis for the emergence of a new hospital endemic tigecycline-resistant Enterococcus faecalis ST103 lineage. Infect Genet Evol 2019;67:23-32.Abstract
Enterococcus faecalis are a major cause of nosocomial infection worldwide, and the spread of vancomycin resistant strains (VRE) limits treatment options. Tigecycline-resistant VRE began to be isolated from inpatients at a Brazilian hospital within months following the addition of tigecycline to the hospital formulary. This was found to be the result of a spread of an ST103 E. faecalis clone. Our objective was to identify the basis for tigecycline resistance in this lineage. The genomes of two closely related tigecycline-susceptible (MIC = 0.06 mg/L), and three representative tigecycline-resistant (MIC = 1 mg/L) ST103 isolates were sequenced and compared. Further, efforts were undertaken to recapitulate the emergence of resistant strains in vitro. The specific mutations identified in clinical isolates in several cases were within the same genes identified in laboratory-evolved strains. The contribution of various polymorphisms to the resistance phenotype was assessed by trans-complementation of the wild type or mutant alleles, by testing for differences in mRNA abundance, and/or by examining the phenotype of transposon insertion mutants. Among tigecycline-resistant clinical isolates, five genes contained non-synonymous mutations, including two genes known to be related to enterococcal tigecycline resistance (tetM and rpsJ). Finally, within the in vitro-selected resistant variants, mutation in the gene for a MarR-family response regulator was associated with tigecycline resistance. This study shows that E. faecalis mutates to attain tigecycline resistance through the complex interplay of multiple mechanisms, along multiple evolutionary trajectories.
Dabul ANG, Avaca-Crusca JS, Van Tyne D, Gilmore MS, Camargo ILBC. Resistance in In Vitro Selected Tigecycline-Resistant Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Sequence Type 5 Is Driven by Mutations in mepR and mepA Genes. Microb Drug Resist 2018;24(5):519-526.Abstract
A tigecycline-susceptible (TGC-S) Sequence Type (ST) 5 clinical methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strain was cultured in escalating levels of tigecycline, yielding mutants eightfold more resistant. Their genomes were sequenced to identify genetic alterations, resulting in resistance. Alterations in rpsJ, commonly related to tigecycline resistance, were also investigated. Tigecycline resistance was mediated by loss-of-function mutations in the transcriptional repressor mepR, resulting in derepression of the efflux pump mepA. Increased levels of resistance were obtained by successive mutations in mepA itself. No alterations in RpsJ were observed in selected strains, but we observed a K57M substitution, previously correlated with resistance, among TGC-S clinical strains. Thus, the pathway to tigecycline resistance in CC5 MRSA in vitro appears to be derepression of mep operon as the result of mepR loss-of-function mutation, followed by alterations in MepA efflux pump. This shows that other evolutionary pathways, besides mutation of rpsJ, are available for evolving tigecycline resistance in CC5 MRSA.
DeFrancesco AS, Masloboeva N, Syed AK, DeLoughery A, Bradshaw N, Li G-W, Gilmore MS, Walker S, Losick R. Genome-wide screen for genes involved in eDNA release during biofilm formation by Staphylococcus aureus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2017;114(29):E5969-E5978.Abstract
Staphylococcus aureus is a leading cause of both nosocomial and community-acquired infection. Biofilm formation at the site of infection reduces antimicrobial susceptibility and can lead to chronic infection. During biofilm formation, a subset of cells liberate cytoplasmic proteins and DNA, which are repurposed to form the extracellular matrix that binds the remaining cells together in large clusters. Using a strain that forms robust biofilms in vitro during growth under glucose supplementation, we carried out a genome-wide screen for genes involved in the release of extracellular DNA (eDNA). A high-density transposon insertion library was grown under biofilm-inducing conditions, and the relative frequency of insertions was compared between genomic DNA (gDNA) collected from cells in the biofilm and eDNA from the matrix. Transposon insertions into genes encoding functions necessary for eDNA release were identified by reduced representation in the eDNA. On direct testing, mutants of some of these genes exhibited markedly reduced levels of eDNA and a concomitant reduction in cell clustering. Among the genes with robust mutant phenotypes were gdpP, which encodes a phosphodiesterase that degrades the second messenger cyclic-di-AMP, and xdrA, the gene for a transcription factor that, as revealed by RNA-sequencing analysis, influences the expression of multiple genes, including many involved in cell wall homeostasis. Finally, we report that growth in biofilm-inducing medium lowers cyclic-di-AMP levels and does so in a manner that depends on the gdpP phosphodiesterase gene.
Dehghan S, Seto J, Liu EB, Ismail AM, Madupu R, Heim A, Jones MS, Dyer DW, Chodosh J, Seto D. A Zoonotic Adenoviral Human Pathogen Emerged through Genomic Recombination among Human and Nonhuman Simian Hosts. J Virol 2019;93(18)Abstract
Genomics analysis of a historically intriguing and predicted emergent human adenovirus (HAdV) pathogen, which caused pneumonia and death, provides insight into a novel molecular evolution pathway involving "ping-pong" zoonosis and anthroponosis. The genome of this promiscuous pathogen is embedded with evidence of unprecedented multiple, multidirectional, stable, and reciprocal cross-species infections of hosts from three species (human, chimpanzee, and bonobo). This recombinant genome, typed as HAdV-B76, is identical to two recently reported simian AdV (SAdV) genomes isolated from chimpanzees and bonobos. Additionally, the presence of a critical adenoviral replication element found in HAdV genomes, in addition to genes that are highly similar to counterparts in other HAdVs, reinforces its potential as a human pathogen. Reservoirs in nonhuman hosts may explain periods of apparent absence and then reemergence of human adenoviral pathogens, as well as present pathways for the genesis of those thought to be newly emergent. The nature of the HAdV-D76 genome has implications for the use of SAdVs as gene delivery vectors in human gene therapy and vaccines, selected to avoid preexisting and potentially fatal host immune responses to HAdV. An emergent adenoviral human pathogen, HAdV-B76, associated with a fatality in 1965, shows a remarkable degree of genome identity with two recently isolated simian adenoviruses that contain cross-species genome recombination events from three hosts: human, chimpanzee, and bonobo. Zoonosis (nonhuman-to-human transmission) and anthroponosis (human to nonhuman transmission) may play significant roles in the emergence of human adenoviral pathogens.

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