Infectious Disease Publications
Enterococci are ancient commensal bacteria that recently emerged as leading causes of antibiotic-resistant, hospital-acquired infection. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) epitomize why drug-resistant enterococcal infections are a problem: VRE readily colonize the antibiotic-perturbed gastrointestinal (GI) tract where they amplify to large numbers, and from there, they infect other body sites, including the bloodstream, urinary tract, and surgical wounds. VRE are resistant to many antimicrobials and host defenses, which facilitates establishment at the site of infection and confounds therapeutic clearance. Having evolved to colonize the GI tract, VRE are comparatively ill adapted to the human bloodstream. A recent study by Honsa and colleagues (E. S. Honsa et al., mBio 8:e02124-16, 2017, https://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.02124-16) found that a strain of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium evolved antibiotic tolerance within the bloodstream of an immunocompromised host by activating the stringent response through mutation of relA Precisely how VRE colonize and infect and the selective pressures that led to the outgrowth of relA mutants are the subjects of ongoing research.
PURPOSE: To review antibiotic resistance associated with S. aureus endophthalmitis and the virulence of S. aureus. METHODS: Review of the current and prospective approaches for treating S. aureus endophthalmitis. RESULTS: Bacterial endophthalmitis remains to be a major threat for vision. S. aureus endophthalmitis specifically, carries a poor visual prognosis making early diagnosis and treatment crucial. Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) endophthalmitis represents a significant number of S. aureus endophthalmitis cases. MRSA with reduced susceptibility to glycopeptide antibiotics such as vancomycin (vancomycin intermediate S. aureus, VISA) have also emerged in the ocular infections, and there has been a rise in S. aureus resistance to new and old generation fluoroquinolones that are commonly used for prophylaxis after intravitreal injections and intraocular surgeries. CONCLUSIONS: With the rise in the number of penetrating procedures in the ophthalmology practice and the parallel rise in antibiotic resistance, prophylaxis and awareness of the antimicrobial resistance profiles remain crucial and the identification of novel antimicrobials is essential.
Nonhuman primates are commonly used for cognitive neuroscience research and often surgically implanted with cephalic recording chambers for electrophysiological recording. Aerobic bacterial cultures from 25 macaques identified 72 bacterial isolates, including 15 Enterococcus faecalis isolates. The E. faecalis isolates displayed multi-drug resistant phenotypes, with resistance to ciprofloxacin, enrofloxacin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline, chloramphenicol, bacitracin, and erythromycin, as well as high-level aminoglycoside resistance. Multi-locus sequence typing showed that most belonged to two E. faecalis sequence types (ST): ST 4 and ST 55. The genomes of three representative isolates were sequenced to identify genes encoding antimicrobial resistances and other traits. Antimicrobial resistance genes identified included aac(6')-aph(2"), aph(3')-III, str, ant(6)-Ia, tetM, tetS, tetL, ermB, bcrABR, cat, and dfrG, and polymorphisms in parC (S80I) and gyrA (S83I) were observed. These isolates also harbored virulence factors including the cytolysin toxin genes in ST 4 isolates, as well as multiple biofilm-associated genes (esp, agg, ace, SrtA, gelE, ebpABC), hyaluronidases (hylA, hylB), and other survival genes (ElrA, tpx). Crystal violet biofilm assays confirmed that ST 4 isolates produced more biofilm than ST 55 isolates. The abundance of antimicrobial resistance and virulence factor genes in the ST 4 isolates likely relates to the loss of CRISPR-cas. This macaque colony represents a unique model for studying E. faecalis infection associated with indwelling devices, and provides an opportunity to understand the basis of persistence of this pathogen in a healthcare setting.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of a sustained-release dexamethasone intracanalicular insert (Dextenza™) in a model of allergic conjunctivitis. METHODS: This was a randomized, double-masked, vehicle-controlled, Phase 2 study. Subjects had to have a positive conjunctival allergen challenge (CAC) reaction to allergen (bilateral +2 itching and redness on 5-point, 0-4 scales) at Visit 1, and for 2 of 3 time points on subsequent visits. Subjects who met entry criteria were randomized to receive Dextenza or PV (vehicle insert). Challenges occurred over 42 days, with efficacy assessed at 14 (primary endpoint visit), 28, and 40 days postinsertion. Outcome measures included the evaluation of ocular itching, redness, tearing, chemosis, eyelid swelling, rhinorrhea, and congestion. RESULTS: Twenty-eight subjects completed the study in the Dextenza group and 31 in the vehicle group. At 14 days postinsertion, Dextenza was statistically superior to PV, with least square mean differences for ocular itching of -0.76, -0.97, and -0.87 at 3, 5, and 7 min post-CAC, and for conjunctival redness of -0.46, -0.66, and -0.68 at 7, 15, and 20 min post-CAC. Clinical significance, defined as a 1-U decrease from PV, was not met for primary efficacy. Secondary endpoints, including number of subjects reporting itching and conjunctival redness, indicated superior performance of Dextenza compared with vehicle. Eleven Dextenza-treated (35.5%) and 10 vehicle-treated (30.3%) subjects each experienced a single adverse event. CONCLUSION: This Phase 2 study demonstrated preliminary efficacy and safety data of Dextenza for treatment of allergic conjunctivitis.
The brain has a tightly regulated environment that protects neurons and limits inflammation, designated "immune privilege." However, there is not an absolute lack of an immune response. We tested the ability of the brain to initiate an innate immune response to a virus, which was directly injected into the brain parenchyma, and to determine whether this response could limit viral spread. We injected vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), a transsynaptic tracer, or naturally occurring VSV-derived defective interfering particles (DIPs), into the caudate-putamen (CP) and scored for an innate immune response and inhibition of virus spread. We found that the brain parenchyma has a functional type I interferon (IFN) response that can limit VSV spread at both the inoculation site and among synaptically connected neurons. Furthermore, we characterized the response of microglia to VSV infection and found that infected microglia produced type I IFN and uninfected microglia induced an innate immune response following virus injection.
Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) are critical to the early detection and innate immune responses to pathogens. In particular, the toll-like receptor (TLR) system and its associated adaptor proteins have essential roles in early host responses to infection. Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis, caused by the human adenovirus, is a severe ocular surface infection associated with corneal inflammation (stromal keratitis). We previously showed that adenovirus capsid was a key molecular pattern in adenovirus keratitis, with viral DNA having a lesser role. We have now investigated the role of the adaptor molecule MyD88 in a mouse model of adenovirus keratitis in which there is no viral replication. In MyD88(-/-) mice infected with human adenovirus type 37, clinical keratitis was markedly reduced, along with infiltration of CD45(+) cells, and expression of inflammatory cytokines. Reduction of inflammatory cytokines was also observed in infected primary human corneal fibroblasts pretreated with a MyD88 inhibitory peptide. Keratitis similar to wild type mice was observed in TLR2, TLR9 and IL-1R knockout mice, but was reduced in TLR2/9 double knockout mice, consistent with synergy of TLR2 and TLR9 in the response to adenovirus infection. MyD88 co-immunoprecipitated with Src kinase in mice corneas and in human corneal fibroblasts infected with adenovirus, and MyD88 inhibitory peptide reduced Src phosphorylation, linking MyD88 activation to inflammatory gene expression through a signaling cascade previously shown to be directed by Src. Our findings reveal a critical role for the PRRs TLR2 and 9, and their adaptor protein MyD88, in corneal inflammation upon adenovirus infection.
Conjunctival goblet cells play a major role in maintaining the mucus layer of the tear film under physiological conditions as well as in inflammatory diseases like dry eye and allergic conjunctivitis. Resolution of inflammation is mediated by proresolution agonists such as lipoxin A4 (LXA4) that can also function under physiological conditions. The purpose of this study was to determine the actions of LXA4 on cultured rat conjunctival goblet cell mucin secretion, intracellular [Ca(2+)] ([Ca(2+)]i), and identify signaling pathways activated by LXA4. ALX/FPR2 (formyl peptide receptor2) was localized to goblet cells in rat conjunctiva and in cultured goblet cells. LXA4 significantly increased mucin secretion, [Ca(2+)]i, and extracellular regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK 1/2) activation. These functions were inhibited by ALX/FPR2 inhibitors. Stable analogs of LXA4 increased [Ca(2+)]i to the same extent as LXA4. Sequential addition of either LXA4 or resolvin D1 followed by the second compound decreased [Ca(2+)]i of the second compound compared with its initial response. LXA4 activated phospholipases C, D, and A2 and downstream molecules protein kinase C, ERK 1/2, and Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent kinase to increase mucin secretion and [Ca(2+)]i. We conclude that conjunctival goblet cells respond to LXA4 to maintain the homeostasis of the ocular surface and could be a novel treatment for dry eye diseases.