Infection and Immunity

The Research Publications track research that is published across national and international peer-reviewed journals. The most recent articles are available ahead of print and searchable by Journal Title, Subject, USDA Grant Funding Agencies or FDA Grant Funding Agencies. The research publications are tracked across five subject areas: Bacterial Pathogens, Chemical Contaminants, Natural Toxins, Parasites, and Viruses.

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 03:39
Oral administration is a preferred model for studying infection by bacterial enteropathogens such as Yersinia spp. In the mouse model, the most frequent method for oral infection consists of oral gavage with a feeding needle directly introduced in the animal stomach via the esophagus. In this study, we compared needle gavage to bread feeding as an alternative mode of bacterial administration....
Tue, 03/24/2020 - 03:39
Osteoarticular disease is a frequent complication of human brucellosis. Vaccination remains a critical component of brucellosis control, but there are currently no vaccines for use in humans, and no in vitro models for assessing the safety of candidate vaccines in reference to the development of bone lesions currently exist. While the effect of Brucella infection on osteoblasts has been...
Tue, 03/24/2020 - 03:39
Cellular membrane proteins are a critical part of the host defense mechanisms against infection and intracellular survival of Listeria monocytogenes. The complex spatiotemporal regulation of bacterial infection by various membrane proteins has been challenging to study. Here, using mass spectrometry analyses, we depicted the dynamic expression landscape of membrane proteins upon L. monocytogenes...
Tue, 03/24/2020 - 03:39
The complex bacterial populations that constitute the gut microbiota can harbor antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), including those encoding β-lactamase enzymes (BLA), which degrade commonly prescribed antibiotics such as ampicillin. The prevalence of such genes in commensal bacteria has been increased in recent years by the wide use of antibiotics in human populations and in livestock....
Tue, 03/24/2020 - 03:39
Nontyphoidal Salmonella species are globally disseminated pathogens and are the predominant cause of gastroenteritis. The pathogenesis of salmonellosis has been extensively studied using in vivo murine models and cell lines, typically challenged with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. Although S. enterica serovars Enteritidis and Typhimurium are responsible for most of the human infections...
Fri, 02/21/2020 - 03:47
Like many other pathogens, Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera, can modulate its gene expression to combat stresses encountered in both aquatic and host environments, including stress posed by reactive oxygen species (ROS). We previously reported that the virulence activator AphB in V. cholerae is involved in ROS resistance. In this study, we found that another key virulence regulator...
Fri, 02/21/2020 - 03:47
Multidrug efflux systems belonging to the resistance-nodulation-division (RND) superfamily are ubiquitous in Gram-negative bacteria. RND efflux systems are often associated with multiple antimicrobial resistance and also contribute to the expression of diverse bacterial phenotypes including virulence, as documented in the intestinal pathogen Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of the severe...
Fri, 02/21/2020 - 03:47
The twin-arginine translocation (Tat) system is involved in not only a wide array of cellular processes but also pathogenesis in many bacterial pathogens; thus, this system is expected to become a novel therapeutic target to treat infections. To the best of our knowledge, involvement of the Tat system has not been reported in the gut infection caused by Citrobacter rodentium. Here, we studied the...
Fri, 02/21/2020 - 03:47
RNA thermometers are cis-acting riboregulators that mediate the posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression in response to environmental temperature. Such regulation is conferred by temperature-responsive structural changes within the RNA thermometer that directly result in differential ribosomal binding to the regulated transcript. The significance of RNA thermometers in controlling...
Fri, 02/21/2020 - 03:47
Salmonella enterica serovar Pullorum is the pathogen of pullorum disease, which leads to severe economic losses in many developing countries. In contrast to the strong inflammatory response induced by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis, S. Pullorum causes systemic infection with little inflammation. The effector proteins secreted by Salmonella...
Fri, 02/21/2020 - 03:47
Modeling host-pathogen interactions with human intestinal epithelia using enteroid monolayers on permeable supports (such as Transwells) represents an alternative to animal studies or use of colon cancer-derived cell lines. However, the static monolayer model does not expose epithelial cells to mechanical forces normally present in the intestine, including luminal flow and serosal blood flow (...
Fri, 02/21/2020 - 03:47
To understand the role of major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) and MHC-II in vaccine-mediated protection against Coxiella burnetii, we evaluated the protective efficacy of a formalin-inactivated C. burnetii Nine Mile phase I vaccine (PIV) in β2-microglobulin-deficient (B2m KO) and MHC-II-deficient (MHC-II KO) mice. Vaccination reduced disease severity in wild-type (WT) and B2m KO...
Fri, 02/21/2020 - 03:47
Infections with Trichuris trichiura are among the most common causes of intestinal parasitism in children worldwide, and the diagnosis is based on microscopic egg identification in the chronic phase of the infection. During parasitism, the adult worm of the trichurid nematode maintains its anterior region inserted in the intestinal mucosa, which causes serious damage and which may open access for...
Fri, 02/21/2020 - 03:47
Coxiella burnetii is an obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen that replicates inside the lysosome-derived Coxiella-containing vacuole (CCV). To establish this unique niche, C. burnetii requires the Dot/Icm type IV secretion system (T4SS) to translocate a cohort of effector proteins into the host cell, which modulate multiple cellular processes. To characterize the host-pathogen interactions...
Thu, 01/23/2020 - 03:24
Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne bacterium that causes gastroenteritis, meningitis, or abortion. Listeria induces its internalization (entry) into some human cells through interaction of the bacterial surface protein InlB with its host receptor, the Met tyrosine kinase. InlB and Met promote entry through stimulation of localized actin polymerization and exocytosis. How actin cytoskeletal...
Thu, 01/23/2020 - 03:24
Isoprenoids are an essential and diverse class of molecules, present in all forms of life, that are synthesized from an essential common precursor derived from either the mevalonate pathway or the nonmevalonate pathway. Most bacteria have one pathway or the other, but the Gram-positive, facultative intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes is unusual because it carries all the genes for both...
Thu, 01/23/2020 - 03:24
l-Serine is a nonessential amino acid and a key intermediate in several relevant metabolic pathways. In bacteria, the major source of l-serine is the phosphorylated pathway, which comprises three enzymes: d-3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PGDH; SerA), phosphoserine amino transferase (PSAT; SerC), and l-phosphoserine phosphatase (PSP; SerB). The Brucella abortus genome encodes two PGDHs (SerA-1...
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 03:42
Human α-defensins are 3- to 5-kDa disulfide-bridged peptides with a multitude of antimicrobial activities and immunomodulatory functions. Recent studies show that human enteric α-defensin 5 (HD5), a host defense peptide important for intestinal homeostasis and innate immunity, aids the highly infectious enteropathogen Shigella in breaching the intestinal epithelium in vitro and in...
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 03:42
To survive and replicate during infection, pathogens utilize different carbon and energy sources depending on the nutritional landscape of their host microenvironment. Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is an intracellular bacterial pathogen that occupies diverse cellular niches. While it is clear that Salmonella Typhimurium requires access to glucose during systemic infection, data on the...
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 03:42
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) relies upon the inner membrane protein PbgA to enhance outer membrane (OM) integrity and promote virulence in mice. The PbgA transmembrane domain (residues 1 to 190) is essential for viability, while the periplasmic domain (residues 191 to 586) is dispensable. Residues within the basic region (residues 191 to 245) bind acidic phosphates on...
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 03:42
The avian pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum, the etiological agent of chronic respiratory disease in chickens, exhibits enhanced pathogenesis in the presence of a copathogen such as low-pathogenic avian influenza virus (LPAIV). To further investigate the intricacies of this copathogenesis, chickens were monoinfected or coinfected with either virulent M. gallisepticum strain Rlow or LPAIV H3N8 (A/...
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 03:42
Salmonella is an intracellular bacterium found in the gastrointestinal tract of mammalian, avian, and reptilian hosts. Mouse models have been extensively used to model in vivo distinct aspects of human Salmonella infections and have led to the identification of several host susceptibility genes. We have investigated the susceptibility of Collaborative Cross strains to intravenous infection with...
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 03:42
Listeria monocytogenes, a Gram-positive, facultative intracellular pathogen, survives and replicates in the cytosol of host cells. Synthesis of 1,4-dihydroxy-2-naphthoate (DHNA), an intermediate of menaquinone biosynthesis, is essential for cytosolic survival of L. monocytogenes independent from its role in respiration. Here, we demonstrate that DHNA is essential for virulence in a murine model...
Tue, 11/19/2019 - 03:26
Toll-like receptors (TLR) trigger the immune system to mount a rapid innate response capable of protecting the host from a wide variety of bacterial and viral pathogens. There is interest in harnessing TLR agonists to reduce the susceptibility of at-risk populations to infection. However, the widespread prophylactic use of TLR agonists has been compromised by the need to administer them by...
Tue, 11/19/2019 - 03:25
Pasteurella multocida causes a variety of infectious diseases in various species of mammals and birds, resulting in enormous economic loss to the modern livestock and poultry industry. However, the mechanism of host-pathogen interaction is unclear. Here, we found that l-serine levels were significantly decreased in murine lungs infected with P. multocida. Exogenous l-serine supplementation...
Tue, 11/19/2019 - 03:25
Campylobacter jejuni is a leading cause of foodborne illnesses worldwide. Its porA gene encodes the major outer membrane protein (MOMP) that is abundantly expressed and has important physiological functions, including a key role in systemic infection and abortion induction in pregnant animals. Despite the importance of porA in C. jejuni pathogenesis, mechanisms modulating its expression levels...
Tue, 11/19/2019 - 03:25
Most Salmonella serovars cause disease in many host species, while a few serovars have evolved to be host specific. Very little is known about the mechanisms that contribute to Salmonella host specificity. We compared the interactions between chicken primary macrophages (CDPM) and host-generalist serovar Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, host-adapted Salmonella enterica serovar Dublin, and...
Tue, 11/19/2019 - 03:25
Coxiella burnetii, the etiological agent of Q fever, is a Gram-negative bacterium transmitted to humans by inhalation of contaminated aerosols. Acute Q fever is often self-limiting, presenting as a febrile illness that can result in atypical pneumonia. In some cases, Q fever becomes chronic, leading to endocarditis that can be life threatening. The formalin-inactivated whole-cell vaccine (WCV)...
Tue, 11/19/2019 - 03:25
Epidemiological studies suggest frequent association of enteropathogenic bacteria with Entamoeba histolytica during symptomatic infection. In this study, we sought to determine if the interaction with enteropathogenic (EPEC) or nonpathogenic Escherichia coli (strain DH5α) could modify the virulence of E. histolytica to cause disease in animal models of amebiasis. In vitro studies showed a 2...
Sat, 10/19/2019 - 03:30
Salmonella infection can cause gastroenteritis in healthy individuals or a serious, systemic infection in immunocompromised patients and has a global impact. CD4 Th1 cells represent the main lymphocyte population that participates in bacterial clearance during both primary and secondary infections in mice of the H-2b haplotype. Previous studies have used congenic mice to examine the function of...
Sat, 10/19/2019 - 03:30
Giardia lamblia is usually cultured axenically in TYI-S-33, a complex medium which does not permit survival and growth of mammalian cells. Likewise, medium commonly used to maintain and grow mammalian cells does not support healthy trophozoite survival for more than a few hours. The inability to coculture trophozoites and epithelial cells under optimal conditions limits studies of their...
Sat, 10/19/2019 - 03:30
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is a major cause of infectious diarrhea in children, travelers, and deployed military personnel. As such, development of a vaccine would be advantageous for public health. One strategy is to use subunits of colonization factors combined with antigen/adjuvant toxoids as an ETEC vaccine. Here, we investigated the intradermal (i.d.) or sublingual (s.l.)...
Sat, 10/19/2019 - 03:30
Coxiella burnetii is an intracellular bacterium that causes query, or Q fever, a disease that typically manifests as a severe flu-like illness. The initial target of C. burnetii is the alveolar macrophage. Here, it regulates vesicle trafficking pathways and fusion events to establish a large replication vacuole called the Coxiella-containing vacuole (CCV). Similar to a phagolysosome, the CCV has...
Sat, 10/19/2019 - 03:30
Coxiella burnetii is an obligate intracellular Gram-negative bacterium which causes human Q fever. An acidified citrate cysteine medium (ACCM-2) has been developed which mimics the intracellular replicative niche of C. burnetii and allows axenic growth of the bacteria. To determine if C. burnetii cultured in ACCM-2 retains immunogenicity, we compared the protective efficacies of formalin-...
Sat, 10/19/2019 - 03:30
To date, the implications of interleukin 6 (IL-6) for immune responses in the context of Brucella infection are still unknown. In the present study, we found that Brucella abortus infection induced marked production of IL-6 in mice that was important for sufficient differentiation of CD8+ T cells, a key factor in Brucella clearance. Blocking IL-6 signaling also significantly induced serum IL-4...
Tue, 09/24/2019 - 03:27
Type VI secretion systems (T6SSs) are highly conserved and complex protein secretion systems that deliver effector proteins into eukaryotic hosts or other bacteria. T6SSs are regulated precisely by a variety of regulatory systems, which enables bacteria to adapt to varied environments. A T6SS within Salmonella pathogenicity island 6 (SPI-6) is activated during infection, and it contributes to the...
Mon, 09/23/2019 - 03:22
To successfully colonize host tissues, bacteria must respond to and detoxify many different host-derived antimicrobial compounds, such as nitric oxide (NO). NO has direct antimicrobial activity through attack on iron-sulfur (Fe-S) cluster-containing proteins. NO detoxification plays an important role in promoting bacterial survival, but it remains unclear if repair of Fe-S clusters is also...
Mon, 09/23/2019 - 03:22
Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) is a leading cause of moderate to severe diarrhea among young children in developing countries, and EPEC isolates can be subdivided into two groups. Typical EPEC (tEPEC) bacteria are characterized by the presence of both the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) and the plasmid-encoded bundle-forming pilus (BFP), which are involved in adherence and...
Mon, 09/23/2019 - 03:22
Infection with Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever, can result in life-threatening persistent infection. Reactogenicity hinders worldwide implementation of the only licensed human Q fever vaccine. We previously demonstrated long-lived immunoreactivity in individuals with past symptomatic and asymptomatic Coxiella infection (convalescents) to promiscuous HLA class II C. burnetii...
Mon, 09/23/2019 - 03:22
In this study, a novel recombinant attenuated Yersinia pseudotuberculosis PB1+ strain (10069) engineered with yopK yopJ asd triple mutations was used to deliver a Y. pestis fusion protein, YopE amino acid 1 to 138-LcrV (YopENt138-LcrV), to Swiss Webster mice as a protective antigen against infections by yersiniae. 10069 bacteria harboring the pYA5199 plasmid constitutively synthesized the...
Thu, 09/19/2019 - 11:00
Type VI secretion systems (T6SSs) are highly conserved and complex protein secretion systems that deliver effector proteins into eukaryotic hosts or other bacteria. T6SSs are regulated precisely by a variety of regulatory systems, which enables bacteria to adapt to varied environments. A T6SS within Salmonella pathogenicity island 6 (SPI-6) is activated during infection, and it contributes to the...
Thu, 09/19/2019 - 11:00
To successfully colonize host tissues, bacteria must respond to and detoxify many different host-derived antimicrobial compounds, such as nitric oxide (NO). NO has direct antimicrobial activity through attack on iron-sulfur (Fe-S) cluster-containing proteins. NO detoxification plays an important role in promoting bacterial survival, but it remains unclear if repair of Fe-S clusters is also...
Thu, 09/19/2019 - 11:00
Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) is a leading cause of moderate to severe diarrhea among young children in developing countries, and EPEC isolates can be subdivided into two groups. Typical EPEC (tEPEC) bacteria are characterized by the presence of both the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) and the plasmid-encoded bundle-forming pilus (BFP), which are involved in adherence and...
Thu, 09/19/2019 - 11:00
In this study, a novel recombinant attenuated Yersinia pseudotuberculosis PB1+ strain (10069) engineered with yopK yopJ asd triple mutations was used to deliver a Y. pestis fusion protein, YopE amino acid 1 to 138-LcrV (YopENt138-LcrV), to Swiss Webster mice as a protective antigen against infections by yersiniae. 10069 bacteria harboring the pYA5199 plasmid constitutively synthesized the...
Thu, 09/19/2019 - 11:00
Infection with Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever, can result in life-threatening persistent infection. Reactogenicity hinders worldwide implementation of the only licensed human Q fever vaccine. We previously demonstrated long-lived immunoreactivity in individuals with past symptomatic and asymptomatic Coxiella infection (convalescents) to promiscuous HLA class II C. burnetii...
Wed, 08/21/2019 - 11:00
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) induces inflammatory changes in the ceca of streptomycin-pretreated mice. In this mouse model of colitis, the type III secretion system 1 (T3SS-1) has been shown to induce rapid inflammatory change in the cecum at early points, 10 to 24 h after infection. Five proteins, SipA, SopA, SopB, SopD, and SopE2, have been identified as effectors...
Wed, 08/21/2019 - 11:00
Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) has at least three enzymes, NorV, Hmp, and Hcp, that act independently to lower the toxicity of nitric oxide (NO), a potent antimicrobial molecule. This study aimed to reveal the cooperative roles of these defensive enzymes in EHEC against nitrosative stress. Under anaerobic conditions, combined deletion of all three enzymes significantly increased the NO...
Wed, 08/21/2019 - 11:00
In recent years nontyphoidal Salmonella has emerged as one of the pathogens most frequently isolated from the bloodstream in humans. Only a small group of Salmonella serovars cause this systemic infection, known as invasive nontyphoidal salmonellosis. Here, we present a focused minireview on Salmonella enterica serovar Panama, a serovar responsible for invasive salmonellosis worldwide. S. Panama...
Tue, 07/23/2019 - 11:00
The peptidoglycan in Gram-negative bacteria is a dynamic structure in constant remodeling. This dynamism, achieved through synthesis and degradation, is essential because the peptidoglycan is necessary to maintain the structure of the cell but has to have enough plasticity to allow the transport and assembly of macromolecular complexes in the periplasm and outer membrane. In addition, this...

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