Matching Items (23)

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Comparative Analysis of Immunosignatures and Serological Reactivity for Disease Profiling

Description

Blood donations today undergo extensive screening for transfusion transmitted infections (TTI) since the discovery of the first infectious agent in the early 1900s. Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) is a serological test used widely in disease detection. NAT is known to

Blood donations today undergo extensive screening for transfusion transmitted infections (TTI) since the discovery of the first infectious agent in the early 1900s. Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) is a serological test used widely in disease detection. NAT is known to rapidly and effectively detect pathogenic genomic material in blood by reducing the "window period" of infection. However, NAT produces false negative results for disease positive samples posing a risk of disease transmission. Therefore, NAT is used in conjunction with the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) to mitigate these risks. However, the ELISA assay also poses the same risk as NAT. This study proposes immunosignaturing as an alternative serological test that may combat this risk and investigates whether it would be more effective than other standardized serological tests in disease detection. Immunosignaturing detects antibodies by utilizing a microarray of randomized peptide sequences. Immunosignaturing provides information about an individual's immune health from the pattern of reactivity of antibody-peptide binding. Unlike ELISA and NAT, immunosignaturing can be programmed to detect any disease and detect multiple diseases simultaneously. Using ELISA, NAT, and immunosignaturing, immune profiles of asymptomatic patients were constructed for 10 different classes of blood borne diseases. A pattern of infection was identified for each disease and the sensitivity and specificity of these assays were assessed relative to each other. Results indicate that immunosignaturing can be a viable diagnostic tool in blood testing. Immunosignatures demonstrated increased sensitivity and specificity compared to ELISA and NAT in discerning disease positive and negative samples within and across different classes of disease.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Development and evaluation of selective and differential media for polymicrobial communities from the International Space Station potable water system

Description

The International Space Station (ISS) utilizes recycled water for consumption, cleaning and air humidity control. The Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) have been rigorously tested at the NASA Johnson Space Center. Despite the advanced engineering of the water

The International Space Station (ISS) utilizes recycled water for consumption, cleaning and air humidity control. The Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) have been rigorously tested at the NASA Johnson Space Center. Despite the advanced engineering of the water recovery system, bacterial biofilms have been recovered from this potable water source. Microbial contamination of potable water poses a potential threat to crew members onboard the ISS. Because astronauts have been found to have compromised immune systems, bacterial strains that would not typically be considered a danger must be carefully studied to better understand the mechanisms enabling their survival, including polymicrobial interactions. The need for a more thorough understanding of the effect of spaceflight environment on polymicrobial interactions and potential impact on crew health and vehicle integrity is heightened since 1) several potential pathogens have been isolated from the ISS potable water system, 2) spaceflight has been shown to induce unexpected alterations in microbial responses, and 3) emergent phenotypes are often observed when multiple bacterial species are co- cultured together, as compared to pure cultures of single species. In order to address these concerns, suitable growth media are required that will not only support the isolation of these microbes but also the ability to distinguish between them when grown as mixed cultures. In this study, selective and/or differential media were developed for bacterial isolates collected from the ISS potable water supply. In addition to facilitating discrimination between bacteria, the ideal media for each strain was intended to have a 100% recovery rate compared to traditional R2A media. Antibiotic and reagent susceptibility and resistance tests were conducted for the purpose of developing each individual medium. To study a wide range of targets, 12 antibiotics were selected from seven major classes, including penicillin, cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, aminoglycosides, glycopeptides/lipoglycopeptides, macrolides/lincosamides/streptogramins, tetracyclines, in addition to seven unclassified antibiotics and three reagents. Once developed, medium efficacy was determined by means of growth curve experiments. The development of these media is a critical step for further research into the mechanisms utilized by these strains to survive the harsh conditions of the ISS water system. Furthermore, with an understanding of the complex nature of these polymicrobial communities, specific contamination targeting and control can be conducted to reduce the risk to crew members. Understanding these microbial species and their susceptibilities has potential application for future NASA human explorations, including those to Mars.

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Date Created
2018-12

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Conservation of the Low-Shear Modeled Microgravity Response in Enterobacteriaceae and Analysis of the TRP Genes in This Response

Description

Low fluid shear force, including that encountered in microgravity models, induces bacterial responses, but the range of bacteria capable of responding to this signal remains poorly characterized. We systematically analyzed a range of Gram negative Enterobacteriaceae for conservation of the

Low fluid shear force, including that encountered in microgravity models, induces bacterial responses, but the range of bacteria capable of responding to this signal remains poorly characterized. We systematically analyzed a range of Gram negative Enterobacteriaceae for conservation of the low-shear modeled microgravity (LSMMG) response using phenotypic assays, qPCR, and targeted mutations. Our results indicate LSMMG response conservation across Enterobacteriacae with potential variance in up- or down-regulation of a given response depending on genus. Based on the data, we analyzed the role of the trp operon genes and the TrpR regulator in the LSMMG response using targeted mutations in these genes in S. Typhimurium and E. coli. We found no alteration of the LSMMG response compared to WT in these mutant strains under the conditions tested here. To our knowledge, this study is first-of-kind for Citrobacter, Enterobacter, and Serratia, presents novel data for Escherichia, and provides the first analysis of trp genes in LSMMG responses. This impacts our understanding of how LSMMG affects bacteria and our ability to modify bacteria with this condition in the future.

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Created

Date Created
2014

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Antimicrobial Efficacy Against Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Biofilm Formation in a Three-Dimensional Lung Epithelial Model and the Influence of Fetal Bovine Serum

Description

In vitro models that mimic in vivo host-pathogen interactions are needed to evaluate candidate drugs that inhibit bacterial virulence traits. We established a new approach to study Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm susceptibility on biotic surfaces, using a three-dimensional (3-D) lung epithelial

In vitro models that mimic in vivo host-pathogen interactions are needed to evaluate candidate drugs that inhibit bacterial virulence traits. We established a new approach to study Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm susceptibility on biotic surfaces, using a three-dimensional (3-D) lung epithelial cell model. P. aeruginosa formed antibiotic resistant biofilms on 3-D cells without affecting cell viability. The biofilm-inhibitory activity of antibiotics and/or the anti-biofilm peptide DJK-5 were evaluated on 3-D cells compared to a plastic surface, in medium with and without fetal bovine serum (FBS). In both media, aminoglycosides were more efficacious in the 3-D cell model. In serum-free medium, most antibiotics (except polymyxins) showed enhanced efficacy when 3-D cells were present. In medium with FBS, colistin was less efficacious in the 3-D cell model. DJK-5 exerted potent inhibition of P. aeruginosa association with both substrates, only in serum-free medium. DJK-5 showed stronger inhibitory activity against P. aeruginosa associated with plastic compared to 3-D cells. The combined addition of tobramycin and DJK-5 exhibited more potent ability to inhibit P. aeruginosa association with both substrates. In conclusion, lung epithelial cells influence the efficacy of most antimicrobials against P. aeruginosa biofilm formation, which in turn depends on the presence or absence of FBS.

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Created

Date Created
2017-03-03

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Spaceflight Modulates Gene Expression in the Whole Blood of Astronauts

Description

Astronauts are exposed to a unique combination of stressors during spaceflight, which leads to alterations in their physiology and potentially increases their susceptibility to disease, including infectious diseases. To evaluate the potential impact of the spaceflight environment on the regulation

Astronauts are exposed to a unique combination of stressors during spaceflight, which leads to alterations in their physiology and potentially increases their susceptibility to disease, including infectious diseases. To evaluate the potential impact of the spaceflight environment on the regulation of molecular pathways mediating cellular stress responses, we performed a first-of-its-kind pilot study to assess spaceflight-related gene-expression changes in the whole blood of astronauts. Using an array comprised of 234 well-characterized stress-response genes, we profiled transcriptomic changes in six astronauts (four men and two women) from blood preserved before and immediately following the spaceflight. Differentially regulated transcripts included those important for DNA repair, oxidative stress, and protein folding/degradation, including HSP90AB1, HSP27, GPX1, XRCC1, BAG-1, HHR23A, FAP48, and C-FOS. No gender-specific differences or relationship to number of missions flown was observed. This study provides a first assessment of transcriptomic changes occurring in the whole blood of astronauts in response to spaceflight.

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Created

Date Created
2016-12-08

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Physiological Fluid Shear Alters the Virulence Potential of Invasive Multidrug-Resistant Non-Typhoidal Salmonella Typhimurium D23580

Description

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strains belonging to sequence type ST313 are a major cause of fatal bacteremia among HIV-infected adults and children in sub-Saharan Africa. Unlike “classical” non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS), gastroenteritis is often absent during ST313 infections and isolates are

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strains belonging to sequence type ST313 are a major cause of fatal bacteremia among HIV-infected adults and children in sub-Saharan Africa. Unlike “classical” non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS), gastroenteritis is often absent during ST313 infections and isolates are most commonly recovered from blood, rather than from stool. This is consistent with observations in animals, in which ST313 strains displayed lower levels of intestinal colonization and higher recovery from deeper tissues relative to classic NTS isolates. A better understanding of the key environmental factors regulating these systemic infections is urgently needed. Our previous studies using dynamic Rotating Wall Vessel (RWV) bioreactor technology demonstrated that physiological levels of fluid shear regulate virulence, gene expression, and stress response profiles of classic S. Typhimurium. Here we provide the first demonstration that fluid shear alters the virulence potential and pathogenesis-related stress responses of ST313 strain D23580 in a manner that differs from classic NTS.

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Created

Date Created
2016-06-09

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Glycerol Supplementation Enhances L. Reuteri’s Protective Effect Against S. Typhimurium Colonization in a 3-D Model of Colonic Epithelium

Description

The probiotic effects of Lactobacillus reuteri have been speculated to partly depend on its capacity to produce the antimicrobial substance reuterin during the reduction of glycerol in the gut. In this study, the potential of this process to protect human

The probiotic effects of Lactobacillus reuteri have been speculated to partly depend on its capacity to produce the antimicrobial substance reuterin during the reduction of glycerol in the gut. In this study, the potential of this process to protect human intestinal epithelial cells against infection with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium was investigated. We used a three-dimensional (3-D) organotypic model of human colonic epithelium that was previously validated and applied to study interactions between S. Typhimurium and the intestinal epithelium that lead to enteric salmonellosis. Using this model system, we show that L. reuteri protects the intestinal cells against the early stages of Salmonella infection and that this effect is significantly increased when L. reuteri is stimulated to produce reuterin from glycerol. More specifically, the reuterin-containing ferment of L. reuteri caused a reduction in Salmonella adherence and invasion (1 log unit), and intracellular survival (2 log units). In contrast, the L. reuteri ferment without reuterin stimulated growth of the intracellular Salmonella population with 1 log unit. The short-term exposure to reuterin or the reuterin-containing ferment had no observed negative impact on intestinal epithelial cell health. However, long-term exposure (24 h) induced a complete loss of cell-cell contact within the epithelial aggregates and compromised cell viability. Collectively, these results shed light on a potential role for reuterin in inhibiting Salmonella-induced intestinal infections and may support the combined application of glycerol and L. reuteri. While future in vitro and in vivo studies of reuterin on intestinal health should fine-tune our understanding of the mechanistic effects, in particular in the presence of a complex gut microbiota, this the first report of a reuterin effect on the enteric infection process in any mammalian cell type.

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Created

Date Created
2012-05-31

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Evaluation of Microorganisms Cultured From Injured and Repressed Tissue Regeneration Sites in Endangered Giant Aquatic Ozark Hellbender Salamanders

Description

Investigation into the causes underlying the rapid, global amphibian decline provides critical insight into the effects of changing ecosystems. Hypothesized and confirmed links between amphibian declines, disease, and environmental changes are increasingly represented in published literature. However, there are few

Investigation into the causes underlying the rapid, global amphibian decline provides critical insight into the effects of changing ecosystems. Hypothesized and confirmed links between amphibian declines, disease, and environmental changes are increasingly represented in published literature. However, there are few long-term amphibian studies that include data on population size, abnormality/injury rates, disease, and habitat variables to adequately assess changes through time. We cultured and identified microorganisms isolated from abnormal/injured and repressed tissue regeneration sites of the endangered Ozark Hellbender, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi, to discover potential causative agents responsible for their significant decline in health and population. This organism and our study site were chosen because the population and habitat of C. a. bishopi have been intensively studied from 1969–2009, and the abnormality/injury rate and apparent lack of regeneration were established.

Although many bacterial and fungal isolates recovered were common environmental organisms, several opportunistic pathogens were identified in association with only the injured tissues of C.a. bishopi. Bacterial isolates included Aeromonas hydrophila, a known amphibian pathogen, Granulicetella adiacens, Gordonai terrae, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Aerococcus viridans, Streptococcus pneumoniae and a variety of Pseudomonads, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, P. stutzeri, and P. alcaligenes. Fungal isolates included species in the genera Penicillium, Acremonium, Cladosporium, Curvularia, Fusarium, Streptomycetes, and the Class Hyphomycetes. Many of the opportunistic pathogens identified are known to form biofilms. Lack of isolation of the same organism from all wounds suggests that the etiological agent responsible for the damage to C. a. bishopi may not be a single organism. To our knowledge, this is the first study to profile the external microbial consortia cultured from a Cryptobranchid salamander. The incidence of abnormalities/injury and retarded regeneration in C. a. bishopi may have many contributing factors including disease and habitat degradation. Results from this study may provide insight into other amphibian population declines.

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Created

Date Created
2011-12-19

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New Insights Into the Bacterial Fitness-Associated Mechanisms Revealed by the Characterization of Large Plasmids of an Avian Pathogenic E. Coli

Description

Extra-intestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC), including avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC), pose a considerable threat to both human and animal health, with illness causing substantial economic loss. APEC strain χ7122 (O78∶K80∶H9), containing three large plasmids [pChi7122-1 (IncFIB/FIIA-FIC), pChi7122-2 (IncFII), and

Extra-intestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC), including avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC), pose a considerable threat to both human and animal health, with illness causing substantial economic loss. APEC strain χ7122 (O78∶K80∶H9), containing three large plasmids [pChi7122-1 (IncFIB/FIIA-FIC), pChi7122-2 (IncFII), and pChi7122-3 (IncI2)]; and a small plasmid pChi7122-4 (ColE2-like), has been used for many years as a model strain to study the molecular mechanisms of ExPEC pathogenicity and zoonotic potential. We previously sequenced and characterized the plasmid pChi7122-1 and determined its importance in systemic APEC infection; however the roles of the other pChi7122 plasmids were still ambiguous. Herein we present the sequence of the remaining pChi7122 plasmids, confirming that pChi7122-2 and pChi7122-3 encode an ABC iron transport system (eitABCD) and a putative type IV fimbriae respectively, whereas pChi7122-4 is a cryptic plasmid. New features were also identified, including a gene cluster on pChi7122-2 that is not present in other E. coli strains but is found in Salmonella serovars and is predicted to encode the sugars catabolic pathways. In vitro evaluation of the APEC χ7122 derivative strains with the three large plasmids, either individually or in combinations, provided new insights into the role of plasmids in biofilm formation, bile and acid tolerance, and the interaction of E. coli strains with 3-D cultures of intestinal epithelial cells. In this study, we show that the nature and combinations of plasmids, as well as the background of the host strains, have an effect on these phenomena. Our data reveal new insights into the role of extra-chromosomal sequences in fitness and diversity of ExPEC in their phenotypes.

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Created

Date Created
2012-01-04

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Recellularization of Decellularized Lung Scaffolds Is Enhanced by Dynamic Suspension Culture

Description

Strategies are needed to improve repopulation of decellularized lung scaffolds with stromal and functional epithelial cells. We demonstrate that decellularized mouse lungs recellularized in a dynamic low fluid shear suspension bioreactor, termed the rotating wall vessel (RWV), contained more cells

Strategies are needed to improve repopulation of decellularized lung scaffolds with stromal and functional epithelial cells. We demonstrate that decellularized mouse lungs recellularized in a dynamic low fluid shear suspension bioreactor, termed the rotating wall vessel (RWV), contained more cells with decreased apoptosis, increased proliferation and enhanced levels of total RNA compared to static recellularization conditions. These results were observed with two relevant mouse cell types: bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal (stem) cells (MSCs) and alveolar type II cells (C10). In addition, MSCs cultured in decellularized lungs under static but not bioreactor conditions formed multilayered aggregates. Gene expression and immunohistochemical analyses suggested differentiation of MSCs into collagen I-producing fibroblast-like cells in the bioreactor, indicating enhanced potential for remodeling of the decellularized scaffold matrix. In conclusion, dynamic suspension culture is promising for enhancing repopulation of decellularized lungs, and could contribute to remodeling the extracellular matrix of the scaffolds with subsequent effects on differentiation and functionality of inoculated cells.

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Created

Date Created
2015-05-11