mBio

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.

Wed, 02/26/2020 - 03:24
ABSTRACT Bacterial flagella are reversible rotary motors that rotate external filaments for bacterial propulsion. Some flagellar motors have diversified by recruiting additional components that influence torque and rotation, but little is known about the possible diversification and evolution of core motor components. The mechanistic core of flagella is the cytoplasmic C ring, which functions as...
Wed, 02/26/2020 - 03:24
ABSTRACT Hepatitis E virus (HEV), a single-strand positive-sense RNA virus, is an understudied but important human pathogen. The virus can establish infection at a number of host tissues, including the small intestine and liver, causing acute and chronic hepatitis E as well as certain neurological disorders. The retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) pathway is essential to induce the interferon...
Wed, 02/26/2020 - 03:24
ABSTRACT Listeria monocytogenes moves from one cell to another using actin-rich membrane protrusions that propel the bacterium toward neighboring cells. Despite cholesterol being required for this transfer process, the precise host internalization mechanism remains elusive. Here, we show that caveolin endocytosis is key to this event as bacterial cell-to-cell transfer is severely impaired when...
Wed, 02/26/2020 - 03:24
ABSTRACT Shigella species cause diarrheal disease globally. Shigellosis is typically characterized by bloody stools and colitis with mucosal damage and is the leading bacterial cause of diarrheal death worldwide. After the pathogen is orally ingested, it invades and replicates within the colonic epithelium through mechanisms that rely on its type III secretion system (T3SS). Currently, oral...
Wed, 02/26/2020 - 03:24
ABSTRACT Group D and group B Salmonella enterica serovars differ in their susceptibility to colistin with the former frequently intrinsically resistant (MIC > 2 μg/ml); however, the mechanism has not been described. Here, we show that the O-antigen epitope in group D Salmonella governs the levels of colistin susceptibility. Substitution of the rfbJ gene in a group B Salmonella with the...
Wed, 02/26/2020 - 03:24
ABSTRACT New antimalarial drugs are needed. The benzoxaborole AN13762 showed excellent activity against cultured Plasmodium falciparum, against fresh Ugandan P. falciparum isolates, and in murine malaria models. To gain mechanistic insights, we selected in vitro for P. falciparum isolates resistant to AN13762. In all of 11 independent selections with 100 to 200 nM AN13762, the 50% inhibitory...
Wed, 02/26/2020 - 03:24
ABSTRACT The pharmacopeia used by physicians and laypeople in medieval Europe has largely been dismissed as placebo or superstition. While we now recognize that some of the materia medica used by medieval physicians could have had useful biological properties, research in this area is limited by the labor-intensive process of searching and interpreting historical medical texts. Here, we...
Wed, 02/26/2020 - 03:24
ABSTRACT Mitochondrial function adapts to cellular demands and is affected by the ability of the organelle to undergo fusion and fission in response to physiological and nonphysiological cues. We previously showed that infection with the human bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes elicits transient mitochondrial fission and a drop in mitochondrion-dependent energy production through a...
Wed, 02/26/2020 - 03:24
ABSTRACT The temporal switching of serotypes from serotype Ogawa to Inaba and back to Ogawa was identified in Vibrio cholerae O1, which was responsible for seasonal outbreaks of cholera in Dhaka during the period 2015 to 2018. In order to delineate the factors responsible for this serotype transition, we performed whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of V. cholerae O1 multidrug-resistant strains...
Wed, 02/26/2020 - 03:24
ABSTRACT Cryptococcus neoformans infections are significant causes of morbidity and mortality among AIDS patients and the third most common invasive fungal infection in organ transplant recipients. One of the main interfaces between the fungus and the host is the fungal cell wall. The cryptococcal cell wall is unusual among human-pathogenic fungi in that the chitin is predominantly deacetylated...
Wed, 02/26/2020 - 03:24
ABSTRACT Fungi are versatile organisms which thrive in hostile environments, including the International Space Station (ISS). Several isolates of the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus have been found contaminating the ISS, an environment with increased exposure to UV radiation. Secondary metabolites (SMs) in spores, such as melanins, have been shown to protect spores from UV radiation in other...
Wed, 02/26/2020 - 03:24
ABSTRACT The Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium PhoPQ two-component system is activated within the intracellular phagosome environment, where it promotes remodeling of the outer membrane and resistance to innate immune antimicrobial peptides. Maintenance of the PhoPQ-regulated outer membrane barrier requires PbgA, an inner membrane protein with a transmembrane domain...
Wed, 02/26/2020 - 03:24
ABSTRACT Staphylococcus epidermidis is a leading cause of nosocomial infections in patients with a compromised immune system and/or an implanted medical device. Seventy to 90% of S. epidermidis clinical isolates are methicillin resistant and carry the mecA gene, present in a mobile genetic element (MGE) called the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) element. Along with the presence of...
Wed, 02/26/2020 - 03:24
ABSTRACT A major obstacle in infection biology is the limited ability to recapitulate human disease trajectories in traditional cell culture and animal models, which impedes the translation of basic research into clinics. Here, we introduce a three-dimensional (3D) intestinal tissue model to study human enteric infections at a level of detail that is not achieved by conventional two-dimensional...
Wed, 02/26/2020 - 03:24
ABSTRACT Many patients with severe infections receive inappropriate empirical treatment, and rapid detection of bacterial antibiotic susceptibility can improve clinical outcome and reduce mortality. To this end, we have developed a multiplex fluidic chip for rapid phenotypic antibiotic susceptibility testing of bacteria. A total of 21 clinical isolates of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae,...
Wed, 02/26/2020 - 03:24
ABSTRACT The Bacillus cereus group comprises numerous closely related species, including bioterrorism agent B. anthracis, foodborne pathogen B. cereus, and biopesticide B. thuringiensis. Differentiating organisms capable of causing illness or death from those used in industry is essential for risk assessment and outbreak preparedness. However, current species definitions facilitate species-...
Wed, 02/26/2020 - 03:24
ABSTRACT Lassa virus (LASV) is endemic in Western Africa and is estimated to infect hundreds of thousands of individuals annually. A considerable number of these infections result in Lassa fever (LF), which is associated with significant morbidity and a case-fatality rate as high as 69% among hospitalized confirmed patients. U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved LF vaccines are not available...
Wed, 12/25/2019 - 03:23
ABSTRACT In this study, we demonstrate a novel mechanism for hemagglutinin (HA) activation in a naturally occurring H7N6 avian influenza A virus strain, A/mallard duck/Korea/6L/2007 (A/Mdk/6L/07). This novel mechanism allows for systemic infection of chickens, ducks, and mice, and A/Mdk/6L/07 can replicate in vitro without exogenous trypsin and exhibits broad tissue tropism in animals despite the...
Wed, 12/25/2019 - 03:23
ABSTRACT The gut microbiota can significantly impact invading pathogens and the disease they cause; however, many of the mechanisms that dictate commensal-pathogen interactions remain unclear. Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) is a potentially lethal human intestinal pathogen that uses microbiota-derived molecules as cues to efficiently regulate virulence factor expression. Here, we...
Wed, 12/25/2019 - 03:23
ABSTRACT A key mechanism that Neisseria gonorrhoeae uses to achieve multidrug resistance is the expulsion of structurally different antimicrobials by the MtrD multidrug efflux protein. MtrD resembles the homologous Escherichia coli AcrB efflux protein with several common structural features, including an open cleft containing putative access and deep binding pockets proposed to interact with...
Wed, 12/25/2019 - 03:23
ABSTRACT The use of animal infection models is essential to understand microbial pathogenesis and to develop and test treatments. Insects and two-dimensional (2D) and 3D tissue models are increasingly being used as surrogates for mammalian models. However, there are concerns about whether these models recapitulate the complexity of host-pathogen interactions. In this study, we developed the ex...
Wed, 12/25/2019 - 03:23
ABSTRACT The dinucleotide second messenger c-di-GMP has emerged as a central regulator of reversible cell attachment during bacterial biofilm formation. A prominent cell adhesion mechanism first identified in pseudomonads combines two c-di-GMP-mediated processes: transcription of a large adhesin and its cell surface display via posttranslational proteolytic control. Here, we characterize an...
Wed, 12/25/2019 - 03:23
ABSTRACT Cryptococcal meningitis is a lethal disease with few therapeutic options. Induction therapy with fluconazole has been consistently demonstrated to be associated with suboptimal microbiological and clinical outcomes. Exposure to fluconazole causes dynamic changes in antifungal susceptibility, which are associated with the development of aneuploidy. The implications of this phenomenon for...
Wed, 12/25/2019 - 03:23
ABSTRACT Two Shigella species, Shigella flexneri and Shigella sonnei, cause approximately 90% of bacterial dysentery worldwide. While S. flexneri is the dominant species in low-income countries, S. sonnei causes the majority of infections in middle- and high-income countries. S. flexneri is a prototypic cytosolic bacterium; once intracellular, it rapidly escapes the phagocytic vacuole and causes...
Wed, 12/25/2019 - 03:23
ABSTRACT The Gram-negative marine bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a common cause of infectious gastroenteritis due to the ingestion of contaminated seafood. Most virulent V. parahaemolyticus strains encode two type III secretion systems (T3SS1 and T3SS2); however, the roles they and their translocated effectors play in causing intestinal disease remain unclear. While studies have identified...
Wed, 12/25/2019 - 03:23
ABSTRACT Listeria monocytogenes can cause a life-threatening illness when the foodborne pathogen spreads beyond the intestinal tract to distant organs. Many aspects of the intestinal phase of L. monocytogenes pathogenesis remain unknown. Here, we present a foodborne infection model using C57BL/6 mice that have been pretreated with streptomycin. In this model, as few as 100 L. monocytogenes CFU...
Wed, 12/25/2019 - 03:23
ABSTRACT Clostridium perfringens type F strains cause gastrointestinal disease when they produce a pore-forming toxin named C. perfringens enterotoxin (CPE). In human enterocyte-like Caco-2 cells, low CPE concentrations cause caspase-3-dependent apoptosis, while high CPE concentrations cause necrosis. Since necrosis or apoptosis sometimes involves receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein...
Wed, 12/25/2019 - 03:23
ABSTRACT Listeria monocytogenes is a pathogenic bacterium causing potentially fatal foodborne infections in humans and animals. While the mechanisms used by Listeria to manipulate its host have been thoroughly characterized, how the host controls bacterial virulence factors remains to be extensively deciphered. Here, we found that the secreted Listeria virulence protein InlC is monoubiquitinated...
Wed, 12/25/2019 - 03:23
ABSTRACT In Vibrio species, chitin-induced natural transformation enables bacteria to take up DNA from the external environment and integrate it into their genome. Expression of the master competence regulator TfoX bypasses the need for chitin induction and drives expression of the genes required for competence in several Vibrio species. Here, we show that TfoX expression in Vibrio campbellii...
Wed, 12/25/2019 - 03:23
ABSTRACT Multidrug resistance (MDR) has emerged in hospitals due to the use of several agents administered in combination or sequentially to the same individual. We reported earlier MDR in Candida lusitaniae during therapy with amphotericin B (AmB), azoles, and candins. Here, we used comparative genomic approaches between the initial susceptible isolate and 4 other isolates with different MDR...
Wed, 10/30/2019 - 03:26
ABSTRACT The transition from a planktonic lifestyle to a host-attached state is often critical for bacterial virulence. Upon attachment to host cells, enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) employs a type III secretion system (T3SS) to inject into the host cells ~20 effector proteins, including Tir. CesT, which is encoded from the same operon downstream of tir, is a Tir-bound chaperone that...
Wed, 10/30/2019 - 03:26
ABSTRACT GII.4 noroviruses are a major cause of acute gastroenteritis. Their dominance has been partially explained by the continuous emergence of antigenically distinct variants. To gain insights into the mechanisms of viral emergence and population dynamics of GII.4 noroviruses, we performed large-scale genomics, structural, and mutational analyses of the viral capsid protein (VP1). GII.4...
Wed, 10/30/2019 - 03:26
ABSTRACT Typhoid fever, caused primarily by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi), is a life-threatening systemic disease responsible for significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Three to 5% of individuals infected with S. Typhi become chronic carriers due to bacterial persistence in the gallbladder. We have demonstrated that Salmonella forms biofilms on gallstones to establish...
Wed, 10/30/2019 - 03:26
ABSTRACT Human norovirus (HuNoV) is the main cause of gastroenteritis worldwide, yet no therapeutics are currently available. Here, we utilize a human norovirus replicon in human gastric tumor (HGT) cells to identify host factors involved in promoting or inhibiting HuNoV replication. We observed that an interferon (IFN)-cured population of replicon-harboring HGT cells (HGT-Cured) was enhanced in...
Wed, 10/30/2019 - 03:26
ABSTRACT Swarmer cells of the Gram-negative uropathogenic bacteria Proteus mirabilis and Vibrio parahaemolyticus become long (>10 to 100 μm) and multinucleate during their growth and motility on polymer surfaces. We demonstrated that the increasing cell length is accompanied by a large increase in flexibility. Using a microfluidic assay to measure single-cell mechanics, we identified large...
Wed, 10/30/2019 - 03:26
ABSTRACT Antibiotics, which are used both to prevent and to treat infections, are a mainstay therapy for lifesaving procedures such as transplantation. For this reason, and many others, increased antibiotic resistance among human-associated pathogens, such as the carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae species, is of grave concern. In this study, we report on a hematopoietic stem cell transplant...
Wed, 10/30/2019 - 03:26
ABSTRACT Cellular sensing of bacterial RNA is increasingly recognized as a determinant of host-pathogen interactions. The intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes induces high levels of type I interferons (alpha/beta interferons [IFN-α/β]) to create a growth-permissive microenvironment during infection. We previously demonstrated that RNAs secreted by L. monocytogenes (comprising...
Wed, 10/30/2019 - 03:26
ABSTRACT Fermented foods provide novel ecological opportunities for natural populations of microbes to evolve through successive recolonization of resource-rich substrates. Comparative genomic data have reconstructed the evolutionary histories of microbes adapted to food environments, but experimental studies directly demonstrating the process of domestication are lacking for most fermented food...
Wed, 10/30/2019 - 03:26
ABSTRACT E165R, a highly specific dUTP nucleotidohydrolase (dUTPase) encoded by the African swine fever virus (ASFV) genome, is required for productive replication of ASFV in swine macrophages. Here, we solved the high-resolution crystal structures of E165R in its apo state and in complex with its product dUMP. Structural analysis explicitly defined the architecture of the active site of the...
Wed, 10/30/2019 - 03:26
ABSTRACT Big defensins, ancestors of β-defensins, are composed of a β-defensin-like C-terminal domain and a globular hydrophobic ancestral N-terminal domain. This unique structure is found in a limited number of phylogenetically distant species, including mollusks, ancestral chelicerates, and early-branching cephalochordates, mostly living in marine environments. One puzzling...
Wed, 10/30/2019 - 03:26
ABSTRACT Sporadic literature reports describe isolates of pathogenic bacteria that harbor an antibiotic resistance determinant but remain susceptible to the corresponding antibiotic as a consequence of a genetic defect. Such strains represent a source from which antibiotic resistance may reemerge to cause treatment failure in patients. Here, we report a systematic investigation into the...
Wed, 10/30/2019 - 03:26
ABSTRACT Tuberculosis, one of the world’s most severe infectious diseases, is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A major weapon of this pathogen is a unique cell wall that protects the pathogen from eradication by the immune system. Mycobacteria have specialized secretion systems, e.g., type VII secretion or ESX systems, to transport substrates across this cell wall. The largest group of...
Mon, 09/30/2019 - 16:53
ABSTRACT We have previously identified Vibrio cholerae mutants in which the stress response to subinhibitory concentrations of aminoglycoside is altered. One gene identified, VC1636, encodes a putative DNA/RNA helicase, recently named RadD in Escherichia coli. Here we combined extensive genetic characterization and high-throughput approaches in order to identify partners and molecular mechanisms...
Mon, 09/30/2019 - 16:53
ABSTRACT Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is a Gram-negative, nonfermenting, environmental bacillus that is an important cause of nosocomial infections, primarily associated with the respiratory tract in the immunocompromised population. Aiming to understand the population structure, microbiological characteristics and impact of allelic variation on β-lactamase structure and function, we...
Mon, 09/30/2019 - 16:53
ABSTRACT BolA family proteins are conserved in Gram-negative bacteria and many eukaryotes. While diverse cellular phenotypes have been linked to this protein family, the molecular pathways through which these proteins mediate their effects are not well described. Here, we investigated the roles of BolA family proteins in Vibrio cholerae, the cholera pathogen. Like Escherichia coli, V. cholerae...
Mon, 09/30/2019 - 16:53
ABSTRACT Mannitol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase (M1PDH) is a key enzyme in Staphylococcus aureus mannitol metabolism, but its roles in pathophysiological settings have not been established. We performed comprehensive structure-function analysis of M1PDH from S. aureus USA300, a strain of community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus, to evaluate its roles in cell viability and virulence under...
Mon, 09/30/2019 - 16:53
ABSTRACT Subversion of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) function is a feature shared by multiple intracellular bacteria and viruses, and in many cases this disruption of cellular function activates pathways of the unfolded protein response (UPR). In the case of infection with Brucella abortus, the etiologic agent of brucellosis, the unfolded protein response in the infected placenta contributes to...
Mon, 09/30/2019 - 16:53
ABSTRACT Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion-related transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of cervids, including deer, elk, reindeer, sika deer, and moose. CWD has been confirmed in at least 26 U.S. states, three Canadian provinces, South Korea, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, with a notable increase in the past 5 years. The continued geographic spread of this disease increases the frequency...
Mon, 09/30/2019 - 16:53
ABSTRACT The filoviruses are etiological agents of life-threatening hemorrhagic fever with high mortality rate and risk of potential outbreak. Among members of this family, the Ebola (EBOV), Sudan (SUDV), and Marburg (MARV) viruses are considered the most pathogenic for humans. The ebolavirus nucleoprotein (NP) is the most abundant protein in infected cells and is essential for viral...
Mon, 09/30/2019 - 16:53
ABSTRACT The stator units of the flagellum supply power to the flagellar motor via ion transport across the cytoplasmic membrane and generate torque on the rotor for rotation. Flagellar motors across bacterial species have evolved adaptations that impact and enhance stator function to meet the demands of each species, including producing stator units using different fuel types or various stator...

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