Download the Free Unbound MEDLINE PubMed App to your smartphone or tablet.
Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android.
Int J Med Microbiol [journal]
- Genotyping of samples from German patients with ocular, cerebral and systemic toxoplasmosis reveals a predominance of Toxoplasma gondii type II. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 Jun 27.
Toxoplasmosis is an important zoonosis transmitted from animals to humans world-wide. In order to determine Toxoplasma gondii genotypes in individuals living in Germany and to compare findings with those in animals, we analysed nine independent and unlinked genetic markers (nSAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1 and Apico) by PCR-RFLP in 83 archived T. gondii-positive DNA samples from patients with ocular toxoplasmosis (n=35), toxoplasmic encephalitis (n=32), systemic toxoplasmosis after bone-marrow transplantation (n=15) and congenital toxoplasmosis (n=1). In 46 of these 83 samples the presence of T. gondii DNA was confirmed by conventional end-point PCR. Among these, 17 T. gondii-positive samples were typed at all nine loci. The majority (15/17, 88.2%) of these samples were of T. gondii type II (i.e., including both, the Apico type II and Apico type I variants). In addition, in one sample a T. gondii type II/type III allele combination and in another sample a T. gondii genotype displaying type III alleles at all markers was observed. In the remaining 11 samples, in which T. gondii could only be partially typed, exclusively type II (n=10) or type III (n=1) alleles were observed. Results of the present study suggest that the majority of patients in Germany are infected with type II T. gondii regardless of the clinical manifestation of toxoplasmosis. This finding is in accord with the predominance of type II T. gondii in oocysts isolated from cats and in tissues of other intermediate hosts in Germany.
- Molecular analysis of Coxiella burnetii in Germany reveals evolution of unique clonal clusters. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 Jun 27.
The causative agent of Q fever, Coxiella burnetii, is a query agent occurring naturally all over the world. We studied 104 German Coxiella burnetii strains/DNA samples obtained between 1969 and 2011 using a 14 microsatellite marker Multiple-locus variable-number of tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) technique. We were able to divide our collection into 32 different genotypes clustered into four major groups (A-D). Two of these (A and C) formed predominant clonal complexes that covered 97% of all studied samples. Group C consisted exclusively of cattle-associated isolates/DNA specimens, while group A comprised all other affected species including all sheep-derived strains/DNA samples. Within this second cluster, two major genotypes (A1, A2) were identified. Genotype A2 occurred in strains isolated from ewes in northern and central Germany, whereas genotype A1 was found in most areas of Germany. MLVA analysis of C. burnetii strains from neighbouring countries revealed a close relationship to German strains. We thus hypothesize that there is a western and central European cluster of C. burnetii. We identified predominant genotypes related to relevant host species and geographic regions which is in line with findings of the Dutch Q fever outbreak (2007-2010). Furthermore three of our analyzed German strains are closely related to the Dutch outbreak clone. These findings support the theory of predominant genotypes in the context of regional outbreaks. Our results show that a combination of 8 MLVA markers provides the highest discriminatory power for attributing C. burnetii isolates to genotypes. For future epidemiological studies we propose the use of three MLVA markers for easy and rapid classification of C. burnetii into 4 main clusters.
- Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) of human and avian origin belonging to sequence type complex 95 (STC95) portray indistinguishable virulence features. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 Jun 27.
Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) strains of certain genetic lineages are frequently implicated in a wide range of diseases in humans and birds. ExPEC strains belonging to the phylogenetic lineage/sequence type complex 95 (STC95) are one such prominent lineage that is commonly isolated from extraintestinal infections such as systemic disease in poultry and urinary tract infections (UTIs), neonatal meningitis and sepsis in humans. Several epidemiological studies have indicated that ST95 strains obtained from such infections may share similar virulence genes and other genomic features. However, data on their ability to establish infections in vivo as deduced from the manifestation of similar virulence phenotypes remain elusive. In the present study, 116 STC95 ExPEC isolates comprising 55 human and 61 avian strains, possessing similar virulence gene patterns, were characterized in vitro using adhesion, invasion, biofilm formation and serum bactericidal assays. Overall, STC95 strains from both groups, namely human and birds, were equally capable of adhering to and invading the two mammalian kidney cell lines. Similarly, these strains were able to form strong biofilms in M63 medium. Furthermore, they were equally resistant to the bactericidal activity of human and avian serum. Our cumulative data reinforce the understanding that ST95 strains from poultry present a potential zoonotic risk and therefore need a One Health strategy for a successfull intervention.
- LA-MRSA CC398 differ from classical community acquired-MRSA and hospital acquired-MRSA lineages: Functional analysis of infection and colonization processes. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 Jun 27.
Livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) of the clonal complex (CC) 398 became primarily known as colonizers of livestock animals. In the past few years, they have been increasingly introduced into hospitals with subsequent emergence of human infections. However, the (re-)adaptation to the human host is only incompletely understood. This study aimed to assess virulence properties of LA-MRSA CC398 by functional modeling of infection and colonization processes. A selection of 15 human LA-MRSA CC398 isolates and 11 pig-colonizing isolates were characterized regarding their virulence capacities and compared with human isolates of hospital-acquired (HA)-MRSA (CC5, CC22 and CC45) and community-associated (CA)-MRSA (CC8, CC30 and CC80) clonal lineages. Our investigations demonstrated that LA-MRSA CC398 adhered less efficient to human cells and human/bovine plasma fibronectin than CA-MRSA and HA-MRSA isolates. In contrast, the LA-MRSA CC398 isolates revealed a high cytotoxic potential comparable to certain CA-MRSA. Comparing the most prevalent LA-MRSA CC398 spa types (t011, t034, t108), isolates associated with spa t108 showed an increased adhesive and invasive potential paired with an increased ability to evade phagocytosis. The results underline both the pathogenic potential of LA-MRSA in general and the heterogeneity within the CC398 clade regarding the virulence characteristics of CC398 subpopulations. Assuming an ongoing (re-)adaptation to the human host combined with a huge reservoir of LA-MRSA CC398 in livestock and constant zoonotic transmission, the LA-MRSA CC398 lineage has the potential to pose a serious threat to human health.
- Methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus isolates: The "mec alphabet" with specific consideration of mecC, a mec homolog associated with zoonotic S. aureus lineages. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 Jun 28.
Livestock-associated (LA) methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have globally emerged during the past decade. In Europe, this was particularly due to the occurrence of LA-MRSA strains associated with the clonal complex (CC) 398 as defined by multilocus sequence typing. However, more recently animal-adapted clonal lineages of S. aureus showing phenotypic methicillin resistance have been identified such as CC130, CC599, CC59, CC1943 and CC425. These newly emerging LA-MRSA CCs/STs caused infections in animals and zoonoses in humans. In contrast to other S. aureus clonal lineages, the methicillin resistance of the latter CCs/STs is based on a mecA gene homolog, designated mecC, which is part of a distinct SCCmec type (SCCmec XI). Including mecB found in Macrococcus caseolyticus, henceforth, the "mec alphabet" comprises three major gene types with several allotypes. As known for mecA, the gene homolog mecC is also not restricted to S. aureus, but found in several staphylococcal species including S. sciuri, S. stepanovicii and S. xylosus (mecC1 allotype). First investigations showed a wide geographical distribution of mecC-MRSA in Europe and a broad diversity of host species including livestock, companion and wildlife animals. In particular, wild rodents and insectivores might serve as reservoir for staphylococci harboring mecC. Economic burden may be caused by mastitis of dairy cattle. Livestock animals may likely serve as source for human infections with mecC-MRSA; reported cases comprise skin and soft tissue infections, osteomyelitis and bacteremia. Due to the divergent molecular nature of mecC-MRSA, its diagnostics is hampered by difficulties to verify the methicillin resistance using phenotypic as well as DNA-based procedures, which could have negative consequences for therapy of mecC-MRSA-caused infections.
- The role of ZmpC in the clinical manifestation of invasive pneumococcal disease. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 Jun 19.
The clinical severity and course of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) differs substantially between patients. Streptococcus pneumoniae harbors large genetic variability. Zinc metalloproteinase C (ZmpC), a secreted pneumococcal protein involved in neutrophil extravasation, inflammation and tissue remodeling, is present in a minority of IPD isolates. We investigated whether the presence of zmpC was associated with the clinical manifestation of IPD.IPD patients admitted to two Dutch hospitals between 2000 and 2013 were included in the study. Detailed clinical data were collected and the serotype and presence of zmpC were determined in the corresponding blood culture isolates.ZmpC was present in 21% of the 542 included IPD cases and was mainly associated with serotypes 8, 4, 33A/F and 11A/D. Infection with S. pneumoniae positive for zmpC was more frequently observed in females (p=0.048) and patients with a history of smoking (p=0.033). Although no relation to clinical syndrome was observed, zmpC positive cases more often presented with cough, dyspnea and sepsis (p-values 0.026, 0.001 and 0.018), and more frequently required ICU admission (p=0.011) compared to zmpC negative cases.The presence of zmpC was associated with a more severe clinical manifestation of IPD. This study demonstrates that information on pneumococcal genetic background may be useful to identify vulnerable individuals, to monitor clinical presentation and to predict the course of IPD.
- Analysis of the Staphylococcus aureus capsule biosynthesis pathway in vitro: Characterization of the UDP-GlcNAc C6 dehydratases CapD and CapE and identification of enzyme inhibitors. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 Jun 6.
Polysaccharide capsules significantly contribute to virulence of invasive pathogens, and inhibition of capsule biosynthesis may offer a valuable strategy for novel anti-infective treatment. We purified and characterized the enzymes CapD and CapE of the Staphylococcus aureus serotype 5 biosynthesis cluster, which catalyze the first steps in the synthesis of the soluble capsule precursors UDP-d-FucNAc and UDP-l-FucNAc, respectively. CapD is an integral membrane protein and was obtained for the first time in a purified, active form. A capillary electrophoresis (CE)-based method applying micellar electrokinetic chromatography (MEKC) coupled with UV detection at 260nm was developed for functional characterization of the enzymes using a fused-silica capillary, electrokinetic injection, and dynamic coating with polybrene at pH 12.4. The limits of detection for the CapD and CapE products UDP-2-acetamido-2,6-dideoxy-α-d-xylo-hex-4-ulose and UDP-2-acetamido-2,6-dideoxy-β-l-arabino-hex-4-ulose, respectively, were below 1μM. Using this new, robust and sensitive method we performed kinetic studies for CapD and CapE and screened a compound library in search for enzyme inhibitors. Several active compounds were identified and characterized, including suramin (IC50 at CapE 1.82μM) and ampicillin (IC50 at CapD 40.1μM). Furthermore, the cell wall precursors UDP-d-MurNAc-pentapeptide and lipid II appear to function as inhibitors of CapD enzymatic activity, suggesting an integrated mechanism of regulation for cell envelope biosynthesis pathways in S. aureus. Corroborating the in vitro findings, staphylococcal cells grown in the presence of subinhibitory concentrations of ampicillin displayed drastically reduced CP production. Our studies contribute to a profound understanding of the capsule biosynthesis in pathogenic bacteria. This approach may lead to the identification of novel anti-virulence and antibiotic drugs.
- Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli infections in children: Are community-acquired strains different from nosocomial strains? [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 Jun 19.
Infections caused by extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli are an important cause of morbidity and mortality, especially in children. We compared 58 epidemiologically unrelated ESBL-producing E. coli strains that caused infections. They were isolated between 2008 and 2012 in two Parisian pediatric hospitals and grouped according to their origin into either community-acquired (CA) (n=37) or nosocomially acquired (NA) (n=21) strains. Molecular characteristics of the ESBLs, phylogenetic traits of the strains including their belonging to clone O25b-ST131, prevalence of associated virulence genes, growth capacities in different media, metabolic phenotype and biofilm formation abilities were studied. ESBL type, associated resistance and distribution of phylogenetic groups were similar in the CA and NA groups. More than 60% of the B2 phylogroup strains in both groups belonged to the ST131 clone. Interestingly, CA strains possessed more genes encoding virulence factors and the distribution of these genes differed significantly between the two groups: fyuA, hlyC, papC and papGII were more frequent in the CA group, whereas iroN was more frequent in the NA group. CA strains also showed enhanced growth capacities in Luria Bertani rich medium. They tended to produce more biofilm but the difference was not significant. This study confirms the wide spread of clone ST131 among infected children, regardless of whether their infections were community- or nosocomially acquired. It highlights genotypic and phenotypic differences according to the origin of the strains that could indicate adaptability of these multi-resistant bacteria to specific environmental and host factors.
- The role of serum proteins in Staphylococcus aureus adhesion to ethylene glycol coated surfaces. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 Jun 5.
Bacterial adhesion on implants is a first step in the development of chronic foreign body associated infections. Finding strategies to minimize bacterial adhesion may contribute to minimize such infections. It is known that surfaces with oligo-ethylene-glycol (EG3OMe) or poly-ethylene-glycol (PEG2k) terminations decrease unspecific protein adsorption and bacterial adhesion. However, little is known about the influence of serum and its components on bacterial adhesion. We therefore prepared two coatings on gold surface with HS-(CH2)11EG3OMe (EG3OMe) and PEG2k-thiol and studied the role of bovine serum albumin (BSA), γ-globulins, and serum on Staphylococcus aureus adhesion. While BSA and lysozyme showed no adherence even when applied at very high concentrations (100mg/ml), γ-globulins adsorbed already from 10mg/ml on. The adsorption of γ-globulins was, however, significantly decreased when it was mixed with BSA in a ratio of 3:1, as it is in the serum. Pretreatment of EG3OMe and PEG2k coatings with γ-globulins or serum strongly promoted adherence of S. aureus when resuspended in buffer, suggesting that γ-globulins play a pivotal role in promoting S. aureus adhesion by its IgG binding proteins; the finding that a spa-deletion mutant, lacking the IgG binding protein A, showed decreased adherence corroborated this. Similarly, when S. aureus was pretreated with serum or γ-globulins its adherence was also significantly decreased. Our findings show that particularly γ-globulins bind to the coated surfaces thus mediating adherence of S. aureus via its protein A. As pretreatment of S. aureus with serum or γ-globulins significantly decreased adherence, treatment of patients with γ-globulins before implant surgery might lower the risk of implant-associated infections.
- Metabolic and transcriptional activities of Staphylococcus aureus challenged with high-doses of daptomycin. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Med Microbiol 2014 May 28.
Treatment of stationary growth phase Staphylococcus aureus SA113 with 100-fold of the MIC of the lipopeptide antibiotic daptomycin leaves alive a small fraction of drug tolerant albeit genetically susceptible bacteria. This study shows that cells of this subpopulation exhibit active metabolism even hours after the onset of the drug challenge. Isotopologue profiling using fully (13)C-labeled glucose revealed de novo biosynthesis of the amino acids Ala, Asp, Glu, Ser, Gly and His. The isotopologue composition in Asp and Glu suggested an increased activity of the TCA cycle under daptomycin treatment compared to unaffected stationary growth phase cells. Microarray analysis showed differential expression of specific genes 10min and 3h after addition of the drug. Besides factors involved in drug response, a number of metabolic genes appear to shape the signature of daptomycin-tolerant S. aureus cells. These observations will be useful toward the development of new strategies against persisters and related forms of bacterial cells with downshifted physiology.