210 research outputs found

    Gut-Homing Conventional Plasmablasts and CD27− Plasmablasts Elicited after a Short Time of Exposure to an Oral Live-Attenuated Shigella Vaccine Candidate in Humans

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    Currently, there is no licensed Shigella vaccine; however, various promising live-attenuated vaccine candidates have emerged, including CVD1208S (ΔguaBA, Δset, Δsen S. flexneri 2a), which was shown to be safe and immunogenic in Phase 1 clinical trials. Here, we report the immune responses elicited in an outpatient Phase 2 clinical trial in which subjects were vaccinated with CVD 1208S. Oral immunization with CVD 1208S elicited high anti-S. flexneri 2a LPS and IpaB antibody responses as well as an acute plasmablast (PB) infiltration in peripheral blood 7 days after immunization. PB sorted based on their expression of homing molecules confirmed that cells expressing integrin α4β7 alone or in combination with CD62L were responsible for antibody production (as measured by ELISpot). Furthermore, using high-color flow-cytometry, on day 7 after immunization, we observed the appearance of conventional PB (CPB, CD19(dim) CD20(−) CD27(+high) CD38(+high) CD3(−)), as well as a PB population that did not express CD27 (CD27(−) PB; pre-plasmablasts). The pattern of individual or simultaneous expression of homing markers (integrin α4β7, CD62L, CXCR3, and CXCR4) suggested that CPB cells homed preferentially to the inflamed gut mucosa. In contrast, ~50% CD27(−) PB cells appear to home to yet to be identified peripheral lymphoid organs or were in a transition state preceding integrin α4β7 upregulation. In sum, these observations demonstrate that strong immune responses, including distinct PB subsets with the potential to home to the gut and other secondary lymphoid organs, can be elicited after a short time of exposure to a shigella oral vaccine

    Identification and Characterization of Human Monoclonal Antibodies for Immunoprophylaxis Against Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Infection

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    Background. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) cause diarrheal illness in infants in the developing world and travelers to endemic countries including military personnel. ETEC infection of the host involves colonization of the small intestinal epithelium and toxin secretion leading to watery diarrhea. There is currently no vaccine licensed to prevent ETEC. CFA/I is one of the most common colonization factor antigens (CFAs). The CFA/I adhesin subunit, CfaE, is required for ETEC adhesion to host intestinal cells. Human antibodies against CfaE have potential to block colonization of ETEC and serve as an immunoprophylactic against ETEC-related diarrhea. Methods. Mice transgenic for human immunoglobulin genes were immunized with CfaE to generate a panel of human monoclonal IgG1 antibodies (HuMAbs). The most potent IgG1 identified in the in vitro functional assays were selected and isotype switched to secretory IgA (sIgA) and tested in animal colonization assays via oral administration. Results. Over 300 unique anti-CfaE IgG1 HuMabs were identified. The lead IgG1 anti-CfaE HuMAbs completely inhibited hemagglutination and blocked adhesion of ETEC to Caco-2 cells. Epitope mapping studies revealed that HuMAbs recognized epitopes in the N-terminal domain of CfaE near the putative receptor binding site. Oral administration of anti-CfaE antibodies in either IgG or secretory IgA isotypes inhibited intestinal colonization in mice challenged with ETEC. A two to four log decrease of colony forming units was observed as compared to irrelevant isotype controls. Conclusions. We identified fully human monoclonal antibodies against CfaE adhesion domain that can be potentially employed as an immunoprophylaxis to prevent ETEC-related diarrhea

    Hemoglobin level is an independent predictor for adverse cardiovascular outcomes in women undergoing evaluation for chest pain Results from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute women's ischemia syndrome evaluation study

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    AbstractObjectivesThis study was designed to investigate the relationship between hemoglobin level (Hgb) and adverse cardiovascular outcomes in women with suspected ischemia.BackgroundLow Hgb levels correlate with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in patients presenting with acute myocardial infarction (MI) or congestive heart failure (CHF). However, the prognostic significance of Hgb in women with suspected ischemia is unclear.MethodsAs part of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)-sponsored Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE), we prospectively studied 936 women referred for coronary angiography to evaluate suspected ischemia. We compared Hgb levels with cardiovascular risk factors, core lab interpreted angiograms, inflammatory markers, and adverse cardiovascular outcomes.ResultsOf women enrolled, 864 (mean age 58.4 ±11.6 years) had complete Hgb, angiogram, and follow-up (mean 3.3 ± 1.7 years) data. The mean Hgb was 12.9 g/dl (range 7.7 to 16.4 g/dl) and 184 women (21%) were anemic (Hgb <12 g/dl). Anemic women had higher creatinine and were more likely to be nonwhite and have a history of diabetes, hypertension, and CHF (p < 0.05). However, we found no difference in EF or severity of coronary artery disease. Anemic women had a higher risk of death from any cause (10.3% vs. 5.4%; p = 0.02) and total adverse outcomes (26% vs. 16%, p < 0.01). In a multivariable model, decreasing Hgb was associated with significantly higher risk of adverse outcomes (hazard ratio = 1.20, p = 0.002). Also, anemic women had shorter survival time free of adverse outcome (p < 0.001).ConclusionsOur findings extend previous reports, linking lower hemoglobin levels with higher risk for adverse cardiovascular outcomes, to women evaluated for suspected ischemia in the absence of acute MI or CHF

    Differential Growth of Francisella tularensis, Which Alters Expression of Virulence Factors, Dominant Antigens, and Surface-Carbohydrate Synthases, Governs the Apparent Virulence of Ft SchuS4 to Immunized Animals

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    The gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis (Ft) is both a potential biological weapon and a naturally occurring microbe that survives in arthropods, fresh water amoeba, and mammals with distinct phenotypes in various environments. Previously, we used a number of measurements to characterize Ft grown in Brain-Heart Infusion (BHI) broth as (1) more similar to infection-derived bacteria, and (2) slightly more virulent in naïve animals, compared to Ft grown in Mueller Hinton Broth (MHB). In these studies we observed that the free amino acids in MHB repress expression of select Ft virulence factors by an unknown mechanism. Here, we tested the hypotheses that Ft grown in BHI (BHI-Ft) accurately displays a full protein composition more similar to that reported for infection-derived Ft and that this similarity would make BHI-Ft more susceptible to pre-existing, vaccine-induced immunity than MHB-Ft. We performed comprehensive proteomic analysis of Ft grown in MHB, BHI, and BHI supplemented with casamino acids (BCA) and compared our findings to published “omics” data derived from Ft grown in vivo. Based on the abundance of ~1,000 proteins, the fingerprint of BHI-Ft is one of nutrient-deprived bacteria that—through induction of a stringent-starvation-like response—have induced the FevR regulon for expression of the bacterium's virulence factors, immuno-dominant antigens, and surface-carbohydrate synthases. To test the notion that increased abundance of dominant antigens expressed by BHI-Ft would render these bacteria more susceptible to pre-existing, vaccine-induced immunity, we employed a battery of LVS-vaccination and S4-challenge protocols using MHB- and BHI-grown Ft S4. Contrary to our hypothesis, these experiments reveal that LVS-immunization provides a barrier to infection that is significantly more effective against an MHB-S4 challenge than a BHI-S4 challenge. The differences in apparent virulence to immunized mice are profoundly greater than those observed with primary infection of naïve mice. Our findings suggest that tularemia vaccination studies should be critically evaluated in regard to the growth conditions of the challenge agent

    Complete genome sequence of the filamentous anoxygenic phototrophic bacterium Chloroflexus aurantiacus

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p><it>Chloroflexus aurantiacus </it>is a thermophilic filamentous anoxygenic phototrophic (FAP) bacterium, and can grow phototrophically under anaerobic conditions or chemotrophically under aerobic and dark conditions. According to 16S rRNA analysis, <it>Chloroflexi </it>species are the earliest branching bacteria capable of photosynthesis, and <it>Cfl. aurantiacus </it>has been long regarded as a key organism to resolve the obscurity of the origin and early evolution of photosynthesis. <it>Cfl. aurantiacus </it>contains a chimeric photosystem that comprises some characters of green sulfur bacteria and purple photosynthetic bacteria, and also has some unique electron transport proteins compared to other photosynthetic bacteria.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>The complete genomic sequence of <it>Cfl. aurantiacus </it>has been determined, analyzed and compared to the genomes of other photosynthetic bacteria.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Abundant genomic evidence suggests that there have been numerous gene adaptations/replacements in <it>Cfl. aurantiacus </it>to facilitate life under both anaerobic and aerobic conditions, including duplicate genes and gene clusters for the alternative complex III (ACIII), auracyanin and NADH:quinone oxidoreductase; and several aerobic/anaerobic enzyme pairs in central carbon metabolism and tetrapyrroles and nucleic acids biosynthesis. Overall, genomic information is consistent with a high tolerance for oxygen that has been reported in the growth of <it>Cfl. aurantiacus</it>. Genes for the chimeric photosystem, photosynthetic electron transport chain, the 3-hydroxypropionate autotrophic carbon fixation cycle, CO<sub>2</sub>-anaplerotic pathways, glyoxylate cycle, and sulfur reduction pathway are present. The central carbon metabolism and sulfur assimilation pathways in <it>Cfl. aurantiacus </it>are discussed. Some features of the <it>Cfl. aurantiacus </it>genome are compared with those of the <it>Roseiflexus castenholzii </it>genome. <it>Roseiflexus castenholzii </it>is a recently characterized FAP bacterium and phylogenetically closely related to <it>Cfl. aurantiacus</it>. According to previous reports and the genomic information, perspectives of <it>Cfl. aurantiacus </it>in the evolution of photosynthesis are also discussed.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>The genomic analyses presented in this report, along with previous physiological, ecological and biochemical studies, indicate that the anoxygenic phototroph <it>Cfl. aurantiacus </it>has many interesting and certain unique features in its metabolic pathways. The complete genome may also shed light on possible evolutionary connections of photosynthesis.</p

    Pathogenomic analyses of Shigella isolates inform factors limiting shigellosis prevention and control across LMICs

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    Shigella spp. are the leading bacterial cause of severe childhood diarrhoea in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), are increasingly antimicrobial resistant and have no widely available licenced vaccine. We performed genomic analyses of 1,246 systematically collected shigellae sampled from seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia as part of the Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS) between 2007 and 2011, to inform control and identify factors that could limit the effectiveness of current approaches. Through contemporaneous comparison among major subgroups, we found that S. sonnei contributes ≥6-fold more disease than other Shigella species relative to its genomic diversity, and highlight existing diversity and adaptative capacity among S. flexneri that may generate vaccine escape variants in <6 months. Furthermore, we show convergent evolution of resistance against ciprofloxacin, the current WHO-recommended antimicrobial for the treatment of shigellosis, among Shigella isolates. This demonstrates the urgent need to integrate existing genomic diversity into vaccine and treatment plans for Shigella, providing a framework for the focused application of comparative genomics to guide vaccine development, and the optimization of control and prevention strategies for other pathogens relevant to public health policy considerations

    Pneumonic Tularemia in Rabbits Resembles the Human Disease as Illustrated by Radiographic and Hematological Changes after Infection

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    Background: Pneumonic tularemia is caused by inhalation of the gram negative bacterium, Francisella tularensis. Because of concerns that tularemia could be used as a bioterrorism agent, vaccines and therapeutics are urgently needed. Animal models of pneumonic tularemia with a pathophysiology similar to the human disease are needed to evaluate the efficacy of these potential medical countermeasures. Principal Findings: Rabbits exposed to aerosols containing Francisella tularensis strain SCHU S4 developed a rapidly progressive fatal pneumonic disease. Clinical signs became evident on the third day after exposure with development of a fever (>40.5°C) and a sharp decline in both food and water intake. Blood samples collected on day 4 found lymphopenia and a decrease in platelet counts coupled with elevations in erythrocyte sedimentation rate, alanine aminotransferase, cholesterol, granulocytes and monocytes. Radiographs demonstrated the development of pneumonia and abnormalities of intestinal gas consistent with ileus. On average, rabbits were moribund 5.1 days after exposure; no rabbits survived exposure at any dose (190-54,000 cfu). Gross evaluation of tissues taken at necropsy showed evidence of pathology in the lungs, spleen, liver, kidney and intestines. Bacterial counts confirmed bacterial dissemination from the lungs to the liver and spleen. Conclusions/Significance: The pathophysiology of pneumonic tularemia in rabbits resembles what has been reported for humans. Rabbits therefore are a relevant model of the human disease caused by type A strains of F. tularensis. © 2011 Reed et al

    Reflections on the Formation and Growth of the SURE Network: a National Disciplinary Network to Enhance Undergraduate Research in the Sciences

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    The Science Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Network is an academic network comprised of nine Higher Education Institutions (HEI) in Ireland that seeks to enhance the profile of, and practices in, undergraduate research in the Sciences within the Technological Higher Education Sector. This paper presents the reflections of the network\u27s leaders on the formation and growth of the network over the period from 2015, just prior to its establishment, to 2020 when the network hosted its seventh undergraduate research conference, published its second undergraduate journal issue, and initiated a coordinated community of practice in response to the Covid-19 crisis. The paper presents the motivations of the leaders for establishing and joining the SURE network, their interpretation of how involvement in the network enhances practice in their own HEI, their reflections on how their own personal development was enhanced, their interpretation of the factors that have contributed to the success of the network, and the direction in which they see the network going in the future. The collective reflections of the leaders of the SURE Network, as presented in this paper, provide importance guidance for those seeking to establish similar academic networks, both in the area of undergraduate research and elsewhere
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