Matching Items (7)

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Identification of Mycobacterium smegmatis and antibiotic resistance through the utilization of high titer mycobacteriophage concentrations and MALDI-TOF MS

Description

The diagnosis of bacterial infections based on phage multiplication has the potential for profound clinical implications, particularly for antibiotic-resistant strains and the slow-growing Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The possibility of hastening the diagnosis of antibiotic-resistant mycobacterial infections was accomplished via the study

The diagnosis of bacterial infections based on phage multiplication has the potential for profound clinical implications, particularly for antibiotic-resistant strains and the slow-growing Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The possibility of hastening the diagnosis of antibiotic-resistant mycobacterial infections was accomplished via the study of Mycobacterium smegmatis, a generally non-pathogenic, comparatively fast growing microorganism to M. tuberculosis. These proof-of-concept studies established that after transduction of M. smegmatis cells with bacteriophages, MALDI-TOF MS could be used to detect increased amounts of phage proteins. Recording the growth of M. smegmatis over an 8-hour period, starting with very low OD600 measurements, simulated bacterial loads in clinical settings. For the purposes of MALDI-TOF MS, the procedure for the most effective lethal exposure for M. smegmatis was determined to be a 1-hour incubation in a 95°C water bath. Successful precipitation of the lytic mycobacteriophages D29 and Giles was performed using chloroform and methanol and overlaid with 1-2 μL of α-cyano-4-hydoxycinnaminic acid, which allowed for more distinct and repeatable MALDI-TOF MS spectra. Phage D29 was found to produce an m/z peak at 18.477 kDa, which may have indicated a 2+-charged ion of the 34.8 kDa minor tail protein. The Giles proteins that were identified with MALDI-TOF MS have not been directly compared to protein values reported in the scientific literature. However, the MALDI-TOF MS spectra suggested that distinct peaks existed between M. smegmatis mc2155 and mycobacteriophages, indicating that successful infection with lytic phage and replication thereafter may have occurred. The distinct peaks between M. smegmatis and the phage can be used as indicators of the presence of mycobacteria. At this point, the limits of detection of each phage must be elucidated in order for MALDI-TOF MS spectra to be successfully implemented as a mechanism to rapidly detect antibiotic-resistant mycobacteria.

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2015-05

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Tuberculosis, social inequality, and the hospital in nineteenth-century Scotland

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Medical practice surrounding tuberculosis (TB) treatment in two nineteenth-century Scottish charitable hospitals reveals that in developing empirically-positioned constructs of this and related diseases, medical practitioners drew upon social assumptions about women and the working classes, thus reinforcing rather than shedding

Medical practice surrounding tuberculosis (TB) treatment in two nineteenth-century Scottish charitable hospitals reveals that in developing empirically-positioned constructs of this and related diseases, medical practitioners drew upon social assumptions about women and the working classes, thus reinforcing rather than shedding cultural notions of who becomes ill and why. TB is a social disease, its distribution determined by relationships among human groups; primary among these is the patient-practitioner relationship, owing to the social role of medical treatment in restoring the ill to both health and society. To clarify the influence of cultural context upon the evolution of medical constructs of TB, I examined Glasgow Royal Infirmary (GRI) and Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (RIE) ward journals, admissions registers, and institution management records from 1794 through 1905. Medical practice at the turn of the nineteenth century was dominated by observation and questioning of the patient, concordant with conceptions of physicians' labor as mental rather than physical. This changed with the introduction of the stethoscope in the 1820s, which together with the dissection of the poor allowed by the 1832 Anatomy Act ushered in disease concepts emphasizing pathological anatomy. Relationships between patient and practitioner also altered at this time, exhibiting distrust and medical dominance. The mid-Victorian era was notable for clinicians' increasing interest in immorality's contributions to ill health, absent in earlier practice and linked to conceptions of women and the working classes as inherently pathological. In 1882, discovery of the tubercle bacillus challenged existing nutritional, hereditary, and environmental explanations for TB. Although practitioners utilized bacteriological methods, this discovery did not revolutionize diagnosis or treatment. Rather, these older models were incorporated with perceived behavioral, environmental, and biological degradation of the working classes, rendering marginalized groups "soil" prepared for the "seeds" of disease -- at risk, but also to blame. This framework, in which marginalized groups contribute to their increased risk for disease through refusal to accord with hegemonically-established "healthy" behavior, persists. As a result, meaningful change in TB rates will need to address these longstanding contributions of social inequality to Western medical treatment.

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2013

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TB or Not TB: Methodologies and Clinical Validation of Tuberculosis Detection Using Nanoplasmon-Enhanced Scattering and Dark Field Microscopy

Description

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the primary bacteria responsible for tuberculosis, one of the most dangerous diseases, and top causes of death worldwide, as identified by the World Health Organization in a 2018 report. Diagnostic tools currently exist for identifying those who

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the primary bacteria responsible for tuberculosis, one of the most dangerous diseases, and top causes of death worldwide, as identified by the World Health Organization in a 2018 report. Diagnostic tools currently exist for identifying those who carry active or latent versions of the infection including chest radiographs, a Mantoux tuberculin skin test, or an acid-fast bacilli smear of sputum samples. These methods are standard in the medical community of high income countries, but pose challenges for lower-income regions of the world as well as vulnerable populations. The need for a rapid, inexpensive, and non-invasive method of tuberculosis detection is evident by the ten million that contracted and 1.6 million that died from TB in 2017 alone. In our study, we used a previously developed nanoplasmon-enhanced scattering technology combined with dark field microscopy in order to investigate the potential for a blood-based TB detection assay. Twenty-eight capture antibodies were screened using cell culture exosomes and human serum samples to identify candidates for a TB-derived exosome biomarker. Four antibodies demonstrated potential for distinguishing negative controls from positive controls in this study: anti-AG85, anti-AG85B, anti-SodA, anti-Ald. These capture antibodies displayed significant differences (p<0.05) for both cell culture exosomes and human serum samples on more than one occasion. The work is significant in its ability to distinguish potential capture antibody targets, and future experimentation may yield a technology ready for clinical settings to address the gap in current TB detection methods.

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2019-05

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Cultural transmission and the disease ecology of tuberculosis in indigenous communities of the Paraguayan Chaco

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The health situation of indigenous peoples is comparable to that of the world's poorest populations, but with the additional burdens of social and cultural marginalization, geographic and cultural barriers to accessing health services, and, in some areas, appropriation of land

The health situation of indigenous peoples is comparable to that of the world's poorest populations, but with the additional burdens of social and cultural marginalization, geographic and cultural barriers to accessing health services, and, in some areas, appropriation of land and natural resources. Cultural transmission (the transfer of beliefs, ideas, and behaviors from one culture to another) from outsider health institutions should presumably aid in closing this health gap by transferring knowledge, practices, and infrastructure to prevent and treat disease. This study examines the biosocial construction of the disease ecology of tuberculosis (TB) in indigenous communities of the Paraguayan Chaco with varying degrees of cultural transmission from outside institutions (government, religious, and NGOs), to determine the influence of cultural transmission on local disease ecologies. Using a biocultural epidemiological framework for the analysis of human infectious disease ecology, this study employed an interdisciplinary, mixed methods approach to examine the interactions of host, pathogen, and the environment in the Paraguayan Chaco. Three case studies examining aspects of TB disease ecology in indigenous communities are presented: (1) The effective cultural transmission of biomedical knowledge to isolated communities, (2) Public health infrastructure, hygiene, and the prevalence of intestinal parasites: co-morbidities that promote the progression to active TB disease, and (3) Community-level risk factors for TB and indigenous TB burden. Findings from the case studies suggest that greater influence from outside institutions was not associated with greater adoption of biomedical knowledge of TB. The prevalence of helminthiasis was unexpectedly low, but infection with giardia was common, even in a community with cleaner water sources. Communities with a health post were more likely to report active adult TB, while communities with more education were less likely to report active pediatric TB, suggesting that healthcare access is the major determinant of TB detection. More research is needed on the role of non-indigenous community residents and other measures of acculturation or integration in TB outcomes, especially at the household level. Indigenous TB burden in the Chaco is disproportionately high, and better understanding of the mechanisms that produce higher incidence and prevalence of the disease is needed.

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2014

Evolution and Disease Ecology of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex in the Americas Prior to European Contact: Inter-continental and Intra-site Perspectives

Description

Tuberculosis (TB) is a deadly disease that infects millions of people annually. TB has a global distribution and remains a significant cause of mortality, despite decades of eradication campaigns and antibiotic development. TB is caused by genetically similar pathogens in

Tuberculosis (TB) is a deadly disease that infects millions of people annually. TB has a global distribution and remains a significant cause of mortality, despite decades of eradication campaigns and antibiotic development. TB is caused by genetically similar pathogens in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC), and human infections are generally caused by human-associated strains, although humans can contract animal-associated strains. Skeletal evidence of TB on archaeological human skeletal remains and evolutionary dating of MTBC genomes reveal that TB has afflicted humans for approximately 6,000 years. Previous research has shown that MTBC pathogens were introduced into the Americas through a zoonotic transmission from seals and sea lions along the coasts of South America by at least 1000 CE. Characterizing the introduction and enigmatic intercontinental spread of a successful zoonotic transmission over hundreds of years provides valuable insight into the potential of zoonotic MTBC infections. Through the recovery and phylogenomic analysis of the first ancient MTBC genomes (n = 2) from pre-contact North America, I establish that there were multiple contemporaneous MTBC lineages circulating in human populations in the Americas. The high genomic diversity and deep divergence of strains from Mesoamerica suggest that TB was endemic in the region. To reveal the impact of TB within a Mesoamerican city, I examined human skeletons (n = 137) for evidence of disease from sacrificial and natural mortality burial contexts within Tlatelolco, a ceremonial precinct and interregional marketplace at the heart of the Aztec Empire (1300-1521 CE). I found that TB disproportionately affected sacrificial victims, who also exhibited evidence of food insecurity and resource inequality. These results mirror the socioeconomic patterns of TB distribution today. Further, I sampled broadly from sacrificial victims with skeletal evidence of TB not only for biomolecular confirmation of MTBC but also to uncover associations between skeletal TB manifestation and ability to recover ancient MTBC DNA. I identify 10 additional cases of MTBC at Tlatelolco and link ancient MTBC DNA recovery to TB skeletal lesion characteristics and age-at-death of the infected individual. Overall, this body of work combines paleogenomic and paleopathological data to highlight the impact of ancient TB zoonoses.

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2021

Tracing the Evolutionary Histories of Leprosy and Tuberculosis using Ancient DNA and Phylogenomics Methods

Description

Leprosy and tuberculosis are age-old diseases that have tormented mankind and left behind a legacy of fear, mutilation, and social stigmatization. Today, leprosy is considered a Neglected Tropical Disease due to its high prevalence in developing countries, while tuberculosis is

Leprosy and tuberculosis are age-old diseases that have tormented mankind and left behind a legacy of fear, mutilation, and social stigmatization. Today, leprosy is considered a Neglected Tropical Disease due to its high prevalence in developing countries, while tuberculosis is highly endemic in developing countries and rapidly re-emerging in several developed countries. In order to eradicate these diseases effectively, it is necessary to understand how they first originated in humans and whether they are prevalent in nonhuman hosts which can serve as a source of zoonotic transmission. This dissertation uses a phylogenomics approach to elucidate the evolutionary histories of the pathogens that cause leprosy and tuberculosis, Mycobacterium leprae and the M. tuberculosis complex, respectively, through three related studies. In the first study, genomes of M. leprae strains that infect nonhuman primates were sequenced and compared to human M. leprae strains to determine their genetic relationships. This study assesses whether nonhuman primates serve as a reservoir for M. leprae and whether there is potential for transmission of M. leprae between humans and nonhuman primates. In the second study, the genome of M. lepraemurium (which causes leprosy in mice, rats, and cats) was sequenced to clarify its genetic relationship to M. leprae and other mycobacterial species. This study is the first to sequence the M. lepraemurium genome and also describes genes that may be important for virulence in this pathogen. In the third study, an ancient DNA approach was used to recover M. tuberculosis genomes from human skeletal remains from the North American archaeological record. This study informs us about the types of M. tuberculosis strains present in post-contact era North America. Overall, this dissertation informs us about the evolutionary histories of these pathogens and their prevalence in nonhuman hosts, which is not only important in an anthropological context but also has significant implications for disease eradication and wildlife conservation.

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2017

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Identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Fic as an AMPylator that promotes intracellular survival and forms a toxin-antitoxin-like complex with its putative antitoxin

Description

Many Fic domain proteins, through catalyzing post translational modifications (PTM) of protein substrates, functionally contribute to bacterial pathogenesis and the regulation of bacterial growth. Furthermore, one form of Fic-mediated regulation is the Fic toxin-antitoxin system, whereby an antitoxin interacts with

Many Fic domain proteins, through catalyzing post translational modifications (PTM) of protein substrates, functionally contribute to bacterial pathogenesis and the regulation of bacterial growth. Furthermore, one form of Fic-mediated regulation is the Fic toxin-antitoxin system, whereby an antitoxin interacts with and inhibits the Fic toxin. This study sought to determine the functional importance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Fic and its putative antitoxin protein, Rv3642c. Using M. tuberculosis H37Rv genetic deletion mutants, fic and Rv3642c were demonstrated to promote intracellular survival in human THP-1 macrophage-like cells. Unlike other Fic toxins, of Fic toxin-antitoxin systems, Fic did not inhibit bacterial growth in vitro in the absence of Rv3642c. Notably, Fic demonstrated in vitro AMPylation of a THP-1 cell extract protein as shown by immunodetection. Fic also exhibited auto-AMPylation activity. Interestingly, a mutation of the conserved histidine in the Fic domain motif, a residue previously shown to be critical for AMPylation, had no effect on Fic-mediated ATP hydrolysis or AMPylation activity. Rv3642c was demonstrated to form a complex with Fic when co-expressed in Escherichia coli, indicating a toxin-antitoxin interaction. Screening M. tuberculosis protein fractions and culture filtrate with α-Fic and α-Rv3642c rabbit antisera did not detect monomers of Fic or Rv3642c, thus the cellular localization of Fic and the Rv3642c-Fic complex remains unclear. The results of this study provide insight into the function of M. tuberculosis Fic, and suggest that Fic and Rv3642c are important for M. tuberculosis survival in the intracellular macrophage environment. Furthermore, these findings challenge the current dogma that Fic domain catalysis is dependent on the conserved histidine of the Fic motif.

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2017