121 research outputs found

    Preharvest Environmental and Management Drivers of Multidrug Resistance in Major Bacterial Zoonotic Pathogens in Pastured Poultry Flocks

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    Due to nutritional benefits and perceived humane ways of treating the animals, the demand for antibiotic-free pastured poultry chicken has continued to be steadily rise. Despite the non-usage of antibiotics in pastured poultry broiler production, antibiotic resistance (AR) is reported in zoonotic poultry pathogens. However, factors that drive multidrug resistance (MDR) in pastured poultry are not well understood. In this study, we used machine learning and deep learning approaches to predict farm management practices and physicochemical properties of feces and soil that drive MDR in zoonotic poultry pathogens. Antibiotic use in agroecosystems is known to contribute to resistance. Evaluation of the development of resistance in environments that are free of antibiotics such as the all-natural, antibiotic-free, pastured poultry production systems described here is critical to understand the background AR in the absence of any selection pressure, i.e., basal levels of resistance. We analyzed 1635 preharvest (feces and soil) samples collected from forty-two pastured poultry flocks and eleven farms in the Southeastern United States. CDC National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System guidelines were used to determine antimicrobial/multidrug resistance profiles of Salmonella, Listeria, and Campylobacter. A combination of two traditional machine learning (RandomForest and XGBoost) and three deep learning (Multi-layer Perceptron, Generative Adversarial Network, and Auto-Encoder) approaches identified critical farm management practices and environmental variables that drive multidrug resistance in poultry pathogens in broiler production systems that represents background resistance. This study enumerates management practices that contribute to AR and makes recommendations to potentially mitigate multidrug resistance and the prevalence of Salmonella and Listeria in pastured poultry

    Mannheimia haemolytica Negatively Affects Bovine Herpesvirus Type 1.1 Replication Capacity In Vitro

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    Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) is a multifactorial condition affecting cattle worldwide resulting in high rates of morbidity and mortality. The disease can be triggered by Bovine Herpesvirus-1 (BoHV-1) infection, stress, and the subsequent proliferation and lung colonization by commensal bacteria such as Mannheimia haemolytica, ultimately inducing severe pneumonic inflammation. Due to its polymicrobial nature, the study of BRD microbes requires co-infection models. While several past studies have mostly focused on the effects of co-infection on host gene expression, we focused on the relationship between BRD pathogens during co-infection, specifically on M. haemolytica’s effect on BoHV-1 replication. This study shows that M. haemolytica negatively impacts BoHV-1 replication in a dose-dependent manner in different in vitro models. The negative effect was observed at very low bacterial doses while increasing the viral dose counteracted this effect. Viral suppression was also dependent on the time at which each microbe was introduced to the cell culture. While acidification of the culture medium did not grossly affect cell viability, it significantly inhibited viral replication. We conclude that M. haemolytica and BoHV-1 interaction is dose and time-sensitive, wherein M. haemolytica proliferation induces significant viral suppression when the viral replication program is not fully established

    Artificial Intelligence Models for Zoonotic Pathogens: A Survey

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    Zoonotic diseases or zoonoses are infections due to the natural transmission of pathogens between species (animals and humans). More than 70% of emerging infectious diseases are attributed to animal origin. Artificial Intelligence (AI) models have been used for studying zoonotic pathogens and the factors that contribute to their spread. The aim of this literature survey is to synthesize and analyze machine learning, and deep learning approaches applied to study zoonotic diseases to understand predictive models to help researchers identify the risk factors, and develop mitigation strategies. Based on our survey findings, machine learning and deep learning are commonly used for the prediction of both foodborne and zoonotic pathogens as well as the factors associated with the presence of the pathogens

    The Effect of Impaired Polyamine Transport on Pneumococcal Transcriptome

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    Infections due to Streptococcus pneumoniae, a commensal in the nasopharynx, still claim a significant number of lives worldwide. Genome plasticity, antibiotic resistance, and limited serotype coverage of the available polysaccharide-based conjugate vaccines confounds therapeutic interventions to limit the spread of this pathogen. Pathogenic mechanisms that allow successful adaption and persistence in the host could be potential innovative therapeutic targets. Polyamines are ubiquitous polycationic molecules that regulate many cellular processes. We previously reported that deletion of polyamine transport operon potABCD, which encodes a putrescine/spermidine transporter (ΔpotABCD), resulted in an unencapsulated attenuated phenotype. Here, we characterize the transcriptome, metabolome, and stress responses of polyamine transport-deficient S. pneumoniae. Compared with the wild-type strain, the expression of genes involved in oxidative stress responses and the nucleotide sugar metabolism was reduced, while expression of genes involved in the Leloir, tagatose, and pentose phosphate pathways was higher in ΔpotABCD. A metabolic shift towards the pentose phosphate pathway will limit the synthesis of precursors of capsule polysaccharides. Metabolomics results show reduced levels of glutathione and pyruvate in the mutant. Our results also show that the potABCD operon protects pneumococci against hydrogen peroxide and nitrosative stress. Our findings demonstrate the importance of polyamine transport in pneumococcal physiology that could impact in vivo fitness. Thus, polyamine transport in pneumococci represents a novel target for therapeutic interventions

    Arginine Decarboxylase Is Essential for Pneumococcal Stress Responses

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    Polyamines such as putrescine, cadaverine, and spermidine are small cationic molecules that play significant roles in cellular processes, including bacterial stress responses and host–pathogen interactions. Streptococcus pneumoniae is an opportunistic human pathogen, which causes several diseases that account for significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. As it transits through different host niches, S. pneumoniae is exposed to and must adapt to different types of stress in the host microenvironment. We earlier reported that S. pneumoniae TIGR4, which harbors an isogenic deletion of an arginine decarboxylase (ΔspeA), an enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of agmatine in the polyamine synthesis pathway, has a reduced capsule. Here, we report the impact of arginine decarboxylase deletion on pneumococcal stress responses. Our results show that ΔspeA is more susceptible to oxidative, nitrosative, and acid stress compared to the wild-type strain. Gene expression analysis by qRT-PCR indicates that thiol peroxidase, a scavenger of reactive oxygen species and aguA from the arginine deiminase system, could be important for peroxide stress responses in a polyamine-dependent manner. Our results also show that speA is essential for endogenous hydrogen peroxide and glutathione production in S. pneumoniae. Taken together, our findings demonstrate the critical role of arginine decarboxylase in pneumococcal stress responses that could impact adaptation and survival in the host

    Proteogenomic Identification of a Novel Protein-Encoding Gene in Bovine Herpesvirus 1 That Is Expressed during Productive Infection

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    Bovine herpesvirus 1 (BoHV-1) is one of several microbes that contributes to the development of the bovine respiratory disease (BRD) and can also induce abortions in cattle. As other alpha-herpesvirinae subfamily members, BoHV-1 efficiently replicates in many cell types and subsequently establishes a life-long latent infection in sensory neurons. BoHV-1 encodes more than 70 proteins that are expressed in a well-defined manner during productive infection. However, in silico open reading frame (ORF) prediction of the BoHV-1 genome suggests that the virus may encode more than one hundred proteins. In this study we used mass spectrometry followed by proteogenomic mapping to reveal the existence of 92 peptides that map to previously un-annotated regions of the viral genome. Twenty-one of the newly termed “intergenic peptides” were predicted to have a viable ORF around them. Twelve of these produced an mRNA transcript as demonstrated by strand-specific RT-PCR. We further characterized the 5′ and 3′ termini of one mRNA transcript, ORF-A, and detected a 55 kDa protein produced during active infection using a custom-synthesized antibody. We conclude that the coding potential of BoHV-1 is underestimated

    The Role of Cadaverine Synthesis on Pneumococcal Capsule and Protein Expression

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    Invasive infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a commensal in the nasopharynx, pose significant risk to human health. Limited serotype coverage by the available polysaccharide-based conjugate vaccines coupled with increasing incidence of antibiotic resistance complicates therapeutic strategies. Bacterial physiology and metabolism that allows pathogens to adapt to the host are a promising avenue for the discovery of novel therapeutics. Intracellular polyamine concentrations are tightly regulated by biosynthesis, transport and degradation. We previously reported that deletion of cadA, a gene that encodes for lysine decarboxylase, an enzyme that catalyzes cadaverine synthesis results in an attenuated phenotype. Here, we report the impact of cadA deletion on pneumococcal capsule and protein expression. Our data show that genes for polyamine biosynthesis and transport are downregulated in ∆cadA. Immunoblot assays show reduced capsule in ∆cadA. Reduced capsule synthesis could be due to reduced transcription and availability of precursors for synthesis. The capsule is the predominant virulence factor in pneumococci and is critical for evading opsonophagocytosis and its loss in ∆cadA could explain the reported attenuation in vivo. Results from this study show that capsule synthesis in pneumococci is regulated by polyamine metabolism, which can be targeted for developing novel therapies
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