mSphere

Thu, 03/04/2021 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Our understanding of the mechanisms underlying phage-bacterium interactions remains limited. In Escherichia coli, RapZ regulates glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN6P) metabolism, the formation of which initiates synthesis of the bacterial cell envelope, including lipopolysaccharides (LPS). However, the role of RapZ, if any, on phage infectivity remains to be investigated. Here, we isolated...
Thu, 02/25/2021 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Neutrophils, the first line of defense against pathogens, are critical in the host response to acute and chronic infections. In Gram-negative pathogens, the bacterial outer membrane (OM) is a key mediator of pathogen detection; nonetheless, the effects of variations in its molecular structure on the neutrophil migratory response to bacteria remain largely unknown. Here, we developed a...
Thu, 02/11/2021 - 10:01
ABSTRACT Pleiotropic drug resistance (PDR) ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters of the ABCG family are eukaryotic membrane proteins that pump an array of compounds across organelle and cell membranes. Overexpression of the archetype fungal PDR transporter Cdr1 is a major cause of azole antifungal drug resistance in Candida albicans, a significant fungal pathogen that can cause life-threatening...
Thu, 02/04/2021 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Peptidoglycan (PG) is a major component of the bacterial cell wall, forming a mesh-like structure enwrapping the bacteria that is essential for maintaining structural integrity and providing support for anchoring other components of the cell envelope. PG biogenesis is highly dynamic and requires multiple enzymes, including several hydrolases that cleave glycosidic or amide bonds in the...
Thu, 01/28/2021 - 10:03
ABSTRACT IS26 forms cointegrates using two distinct routes, a copy-in mechanism involving one insertion sequence (IS) and a target and a targeted conservative mechanism involving two ISs in different DNA molecules. In this study, the ability of IS26 and some close relatives, IS1006, IS1008, and a natural hybrid, IS1006/IS1008, which are found predominantly in Acinetobacter spp., to interact was...
Thu, 01/28/2021 - 10:03
ABSTRACT Human noroviruses (HuNoVs) are the leading cause of epidemic and sporadic acute gastroenteritis worldwide. We previously demonstrated human intestinal stem cell-derived enteroids (HIEs) support cultivation of several HuNoV strains. However, HIEs did not support virus replication from every HuNoV-positive stool sample, which led us to test and optimize new medium conditions, identify...
Thu, 01/14/2021 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), is related to immunological and microbial factors, with the possible implication of enteric viruses. We characterized the interaction between human noroviruses (HuNoVs) and blood group antigens in refractory CD and UC using HuNoV virus-like particles (VLPs) and histological tissues....
Thu, 01/07/2021 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Ching-Hsuan Lin works in the field of Candida biology. In this mSphere of Influence article, he reflects on how the papers "Use of ichip for high-throughput in situ cultivation of uncultivable microbial species" by D. Nichols, N. Cahoon, E. M. Trakhtenberg, L. Pham, et al. (Appl Environ Microbiol 76:2445–2450, 2010, https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.01754-09) and "A new antibiotic kills...
Thu, 01/07/2021 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Salmonella enterica encodes a wide array of virulence factors. One novel virulence factor, an A2B5 toxin known as the typhoid toxin (TT), was recently identified among a variety of S. enterica serovars. While past studies have shown that some serovars encode both the TT (active subunits CdtB and PltA and binding subunit PltB) and a second binding subunit (ArtB), these serovars were...
Thu, 01/07/2021 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Escherichia coli is a common bacterial species in the gastrointestinal tracts of warm-blooded animals and humans. Pathogenicity and antimicrobial resistance in E. coli may emerge via host switching from animal reservoirs. Despite its potential clinical importance, knowledge of the population structure of commensal E. coli within wild hosts and the epidemiological links between E. coli in...
Thu, 12/24/2020 - 10:01
ABSTRACT The cure rate of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is relatively low in China. The reasons for the treatment failure and within-host evolution during treatment have not been sufficiently studied. All MDR-TB patients receiving standard treatment from January 2014 to September 2016 at a designated TB Hospital in Zhejiang Province were retrospectively included and grouped according...
Thu, 12/17/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT The type II secretion system (T2SS) is a conserved transport pathway responsible for the secretion of a range of virulence factors by many pathogens, including Vibrio cholerae. Disruption of the T2SS genes in V. cholerae results in loss of secretion, changes in cell envelope function, and growth defects. While T2SS mutants are viable, high-throughput genomic analyses have listed these...
Thu, 12/10/2020 - 10:01
ABSTRACT Pathogenic strains of Vibrio cholerae require careful regulation of horizontally acquired virulence factors that are largely located on horizontally acquired genomic islands (HAIs). While TsrA, a Vibrionaceae-specific protein, is known to regulate the critical HAI virulence genes toxT and ctxA, its broader function throughout the genome is unknown. Here, we find that deletion of tsrA...
Thu, 12/10/2020 - 10:01
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to report the characterization of the first mcr-positive Enterobacterales isolated from Czech hospitals. In 2019, one Citrobacter freundii and four Enterobacter isolates were recovered from Czech hospitals. The production of carbapenemases was examined by a matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) imipenem...
Thu, 11/26/2020 - 10:01
ABSTRACT Total biosynthesis or whole-cell biocatalytic production of sulfated small molecules relies on the discovery and implementation of appropriate sulfotransferase enzymes. Although fungi are prominent biocatalysts and have been used to sulfate drug-like phenolics, no gene encoding a sulfotransferase enzyme has been functionally characterized from these organisms. Here, we identify a...
Thu, 11/26/2020 - 10:01
ABSTRACT Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected over 40 million people worldwide, with over 1 million deaths as of October 2020 and with multiple efforts in the development and testing of antiviral drugs and vaccines under way. In order to gain insights into SARS-CoV-2 evolution and drug targets, we investigated how and to what extent the SARS-CoV-2 genome...
Thu, 11/26/2020 - 10:01
ABSTRACT Although most of the approximately 94 million annual human cases of gastroenteritis due to Salmonella enterica resolve without medical intervention, antimicrobial therapy is recommended for patients with severe disease. Wild birds can be natural hosts of Salmonella that pose a threat to human health; however, multiple-drug-resistant serovars of S. enterica have rarely been described. In...
Thu, 11/19/2020 - 10:01
ABSTRACT The prokaryotic adaptive immune system CRISPR/Cas serves as a defense against bacteriophage and invasive nucleic acids. A type I-E CRISPR/Cas system has been detected in classical biotype isolates of Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of the disease cholera. Experimental characterization of this system revealed a functional immune system that operates using a 5'-TT-3' protospacer-...
Thu, 11/19/2020 - 10:01
ABSTRACT The emergence of antibiotic genetic resisters of pathogenic bacteria poses a major public health challenge. The mechanism by which bacterial antibiotic genetic resister clones formed de novo multiply and establish a resister population remained unknown. Here, we delineated the unique mode of cell division of the antibiotic genetic resisters of Mycobacterium smegmatis and Mycobacterium...
Thu, 11/12/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Natural transformation is a broadly conserved mechanism of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in bacteria that can shape their evolution through the acquisition of genes that promote virulence, antibiotic resistance, and other traits. Recent work has established that neighbor predation via type VI secretion systems, bacteriocins, and virulent phages plays an important role in promoting HGT....
Thu, 11/05/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Gram-positive, spore-forming members of the Bacillus cereus group species complex are widespread in natural environments and display various degrees of pathogenicity. Recently, B. cereus group strain Bacillus mycoides Flugge ATCC 21929 was found to represent a novel lineage within the species complex, sharing a relatively low degree of genomic similarity with all B. cereus group genomes...
Thu, 10/29/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Fluoroquinolones and cephalosporins are critically important antimicrobial classes for both human and veterinary medicine. We previously found a drastic increase in enrofloxacin resistance in clinical Escherichia coli isolates collected from diseased pigs from the United States over 10 years (2006 to 2016). However, the genetic determinants responsible for this increase have yet to be...
Thu, 10/29/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Staphylococcus pseudintermedius is a major canine pathogen but also occasionally colonizes and infects humans. Multidrug-resistant methicillin-resistant S. pseudintermedius (MDR MRSP) strains have emerged globally, making treatment and control of this pathogen challenging. Sequence type 71 (ST71), ST68, and ST45 are the most widespread and successful MDR MRSP clones. The potential...
Thu, 10/29/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a pathogen of both humans and livestock in Africa and the Middle East. Severe human disease is associated with hepatitis and/or encephalitis. Current pathogenesis studies rely on rodents and nonhuman primates, which have advantages and disadvantages. We evaluated disease progression in Mustela putorius furo (the ferret) following intradermal (i.d.) or...
Thu, 10/22/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Supply shortages of N95 respirators during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have motivated institutions to develop feasible and effective N95 respirator reuse strategies. In particular, heat decontamination is a treatment method that scales well and can be implemented in settings with variable or limited resources. Prior studies using multiple inactivation methods,...
Thu, 10/22/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Accumulating evidence has strengthened a link between dysbiotic gut microbiota and autism. Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) is a promising therapy to repair dysbiotic gut microbiota. We previously performed intensive FMT called microbiota transfer therapy (MTT) for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and observed a substantial improvement of gastrointestinal and behavioral...
Thu, 10/22/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae represent a serious public health threat worldwide. Carbapenemase genes, harbored on a transferable plasmid, have been isolated globally with distinct geographical features. Klebsiella pneumoniae, included in Enterobacteriaceae, also produces carbapenemase and often shows hypervirulence. Overlapping carbapenem resistance and hypervirulence in K...
Thu, 10/08/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Pseudomonas aeruginosa chronic lung infections in individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF) significantly reduce quality of life and increase morbidity and mortality. Tracking these infections is critical for monitoring patient health and informing treatments. We are working toward the development of novel breath-based biomarkers to track chronic P. aeruginosa lung infections in situ. Using...
Thu, 10/08/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Shigella is the second leading cause of bacterial diarrhea worldwide. Recently, Shigella sonnei seems to be replacing Shigella flexneri in low- and middle-income countries undergoing economic development. Despite this, studies focusing on these species at the genomic level remain largely unexplored. Here, we compared the genome sequences of S. flexneri and S. sonnei isolates from India...
Thu, 10/01/2020 - 10:08
ABSTRACT The inaugural Black In Microbiology Week (#BlackInMicro) is 28 September 2020 through 4 October 2020. Its mission is to "showcase the presence and accomplishments of Black microbiologists from around the globe, connect Black microbiologists with one another and foster a sense of community among them, and provide a forum for the discussion of racial disparities in microbiology and its...
Thu, 09/24/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Shigella is a major cause of moderate to severe diarrhea largely affecting children (<5 years old) living in low- and middle-income countries. Several vaccine candidates are in development, and controlled human infection models (CHIMs) can be useful tools to provide an early assessment of vaccine efficacy and potentially support licensure. A lyophilized strain of S. sonnei 53G was...
Thu, 09/24/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Controlled human infection models (CHIMs) are useful for vaccine development. To improve on existing models, we developed a CHIM using a lyophilized preparation of Shigella sonnei strain 53G produced using current good manufacturing practice (cGMP). Healthy adults were enrolled in an open-label dose-ranging study. Following administration of a dose of rehydrated S. sonnei strain 53G,...
Thu, 09/17/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Listeria monocytogenes is thought to colonize the brain using one of three mechanisms: direct invasion of the blood-brain barrier, transportation across the barrier by infected monocytes, and axonal migration to the brain stem. The first two pathways seem to occur following unrestricted bacterial growth in the blood and thus have been linked to immunocompromise. In contrast, cell-to-cell...
Thu, 09/17/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H7 is a major cause of foodborne gastrointestinal illness. The adhesion of EHEC to host tissues is the first step enabling bacterial colonization. Adhesins such as fimbriae and flagella mediate this process. Here, we studied the interaction of the bacterial flagellum with the host cell’s plasma membrane using giant unilamellar vesicles...
Thu, 09/10/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Multiple epidemiological studies identify Dolosigranulum pigrum as a candidate beneficial bacterium based on its positive association with health, including negative associations with nasal/nasopharyngeal colonization by the pathogenic species Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Using a multipronged approach to gain new insights into D. pigrum function, we observed...
Thu, 09/10/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Enrofloxacin is an important antibiotic used for prevention and treatment of Salmonella infection in poultry in many countries. However, oral administration of enrofloxacin may lead to the alterations in the microbiota and metabolome in the chicken intestine, thereby reducing colonization resistance to the Salmonella infection. To study the effect of enrofloxacin on Salmonella in the...
Thu, 08/27/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Cholera remains a formidable disease, and reports of multidrug-resistant strains of the causative agent Vibrio cholerae have become common during the last 3 decades. The pervasiveness of resistance determinants has largely been ascribed to mobile genetic elements, including SXT/R391 integrative conjugative elements, IncC plasmids, and genomic islands (GIs). Conjugative transfer of IncC...
Thu, 08/27/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Filamentous fungi produce small cysteine-rich proteins with potent, specific antifungal activity, offering the potential to fight fungal infections that severely threaten human health and food safety and security. The genome of the citrus postharvest fungal pathogen Penicillium digitatum encodes one of these antifungal proteins, namely AfpB. Biotechnologically produced AfpB inhibited the...
Mon, 08/24/2020 - 17:36
ABSTRACT Staphylococcus aureus is a highly significant infection problem in health care centers, particularly after surgery. It has been shown that nearly 80% of S. aureus infections following surgery are the same as those in the anterior nares of patients, suggesting that the anterior nares is the source of the infection strain. This has led to the use of mupirocin ointment being applied nasally...
Thu, 08/20/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Infections with multidrug-resistant bacteria often leave limited or no treatment options. The transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARG) carrying plasmids between bacterial species by horizontal gene transfer represents an important mode of expansion of ARGs. Here, we demonstrate the application of Nanopore sequencing in a hospital setting for monitoring transfer and rapid...
Thu, 08/13/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT To understand toxin-stimulated host-pathogen interactions, we performed dual-transcriptome sequencing experiments using human epithelial (HT-29) and differentiated THP-1 (dTHP-1) immune cells infected with the sepsis-causing pathogen Vibrio vulnificus (either the wild-type [WT] pathogen or a multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin [MARTX] toxin-deficient strain). Gene set...
Thu, 08/06/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Spore-forming bacteria of the orders Bacillales and Clostridiales play a major role in food spoilage and foodborne diseases. When environmental conditions become favorable, these spores can germinate as the germinant receptors located on the spore’s inner membrane are activated via germinant binding. This leads to the formation of vegetative cells via germination and subsequent...
Thu, 07/23/2020 - 10:01
ABSTRACT Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Query (Q) fever in humans, is a highly infectious obligate intracellular bacterium. Following uptake into a host cell, C. burnetii replicates within a phagolysosome-derived compartment referred to as the Coxiella-containing vacuole (CCV). During infection, C. burnetii exhibits tropism for tissues related to iron storage and recycling (e.g., the...
Thu, 07/23/2020 - 10:01
ABSTRACT The Enterobacterales order of Gram-negative bacteria includes the common nosocomial pathogens Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Serratia marcescens, and Enterobacter species. Intestinal domination by some colonizing bacterial taxa is associated with subsequent infection, but 16S rRNA gene sequencing is too costly and slow to be used in a clinical setting. The objectives of this...
Thu, 07/23/2020 - 10:01
ABSTRACT Antimicrobial resistance is an ongoing issue in the treatment of typhoid fever. Resistance to first-line antimicrobials and extensively drug resistant (XDR) Salmonella Typhi isolates in Pakistan have left azithromycin as the only remaining effective oral treatment. Here, we report the emergence of organisms with a single point mutation in acrB gene, implicated in azithromycin resistance...
Thu, 07/16/2020 - 10:01
ABSTRACT The plasmid-mediated fosfomycin resistance gene fosA3 has been detected in Enterobacterales from various sources but has rarely been reported in vegetables. In this study, the aim was to investigate the prevalence of and, subsequently, to characterize fosA3-positive Enterobacterales isolates from retail vegetables. Seventeen (7.3%) fosA3-carrying strains were identified from 233 extended...
Thu, 07/16/2020 - 10:01
ABSTRACT Shigella flexneri is a major cause of bacillary dysentery in Beijing, China. The genetic features and population structure of locally circulating clones remained unclear. In this study, we sequenced the genomes of 93 S. flexneri isolates from patients in Beijing from 2005 to 2018. Phylogenetic analysis revealed a predominant lineage comprised of ST100 isolates that had acquired an...
Thu, 07/02/2020 - 10:01
ABSTRACT Spores, the infectious agents of many Firmicutes, are remarkably resilient cell forms. Even distant relatives can have similar spore architectures although some display unique features; they all incorporate protective proteinaceous envelopes. We previously found that Bacillus spores can achieve these protective properties through extensive disulfide cross-linking of self-assembled arrays...
Thu, 07/02/2020 - 10:01
ABSTRACT Since the late 1990s, changes in the epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) were recognized with the emergence of community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA). CA-MRSA belonging to clonal complex 152 (CC152), carrying the small staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) type V and encoding the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), has been observed in Europe. The aim...
Thu, 06/18/2020 - 10:02
ABSTRACT Clostridium perfringens type A is involved in gas gangrene in humans and animals. Following a traumatic injury, rapid bacterial proliferation and exotoxin production result in severe myonecrosis. C. perfringens alpha toxin (CPA) and perfringolysin (PFO) are the main virulence factors responsible for the disease. Recent in vitro studies have identified an Agr-like quorum-sensing (QS)...

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