A systematic review and meta-analysis of the prevalence of osteoarticular brucellosis

by Shakirat A. Adetunji, Gilbert Ramirez, Margaret J. Foster, Angela A. M. Arenas-Gamboa

Background

Infection of bones and joints remains one of the most commonly described complications of brucellosis in humans and is predominantly reported in all ages and sexes in high-risk regions, such as the Middle East, Asia, South and Central America, and Africa. We aimed to systematically review the literature and perform a meta-analysis to estimate the global prevalence of osteoarticular brucellosis.

Methodology

Major bibliographic databases were searched using keywords and suitable combinations. All studies reporting the incidence and clinical manifestations of osteoarticular brucellosis in humans, and demonstrated by two or more diagnostic methods (bacteriological, molecular, serological, and/or radiographic) were included. Random effect model was used, and statistical significance was set at 0.5%

Principal findings

A total of 56 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis. There was an evidence of geographical variation in the prevalence of osteoarticular disease with estimates ranging from 27% in low-risk regions to 36% in high-risk regions. However, the difference was not significant. Thus, brucellosis patients have at least 27% chance of developing osteoarticular disease.

Conclusions

The prevalence of OAB is not dependent on the endemicity of brucellosis in a particular region. Hence, further research should investigate the potential mechanisms of OAB, as well as the influence of age, gender, and other socioeconomic factor variations in its global prevalence, as this may provide insight into associated exposure risks and management of the disease.

Tratto da: www.plos.org
Note sul Copyright: Articles and accompanying materials published by PLOS on the PLOS Sites, unless otherwise indicated, are licensed by the respective authors of such articles for use and distribution by you subject to citation of the original source in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

Surface molecules of extracellular vesicles secreted by the helminth pathogen <i>Fasciola hepatica</i> direct their internalisation by host cells

by Eduardo de la Torre-Escudero, Jared Q. Gerlach, Adam P. S. Bennett, Krystyna Cwiklinski, Heather L. Jewhurst, Kathryn M. Huson, Lokesh Joshi, Michelle Kilcoyne, Sandra O’Neill, John P. Dalton, Mark W. Robinson

Helminth parasites secrete extracellular vesicles (EVs) that can be internalised by host immune cells resulting in modulation of host immunity. While the molecular cargo of EVs have been characterised in many parasites, little is known about the surface-exposed molecules that participate in ligand-receptor interactions with the host cell surface to initiate vesicle docking and subsequent internalisation. Using a membrane-impermeable biotin reagent to capture proteins displayed on the outer membrane surface of two EV sub-populations (termed 15k and 120k EVs) released by adult F. hepatica, we describe 380 surface proteins including an array of virulence factors, membrane transport proteins and molecules involved in EV biogenesis/trafficking. Proteomics and immunohistochemical analysis show that the 120k EVs have an endosomal origin and may be released from the parasite via the protonephridial (excretory) system whilst the larger 15k EVs are released from the gastrodermal epithelial cells that line the fluke gut. A parallel lectin microarray strategy was used to profile the topology of major surface oligosaccharides of intact fluorogenically-labelled EVs as they would be displayed to the host. Lectin profiles corresponding to glycoconjugates exposed on the surface of the 15 K and 120K EV sub-populations are practically identical but are distinct from those of the parasite surface tegument, although all are predominated by high mannose sugars. We found that while the F. hepatica EVs were resistant to exo– and endo-glycosidases, the glyco-amidase PNGase F drastically remodelled the surface oligosaccharides and blocked the uptake of EVs by host macrophages. In contrast, pre-treatment with antibodies obtained from infected hosts, or purified antibodies raised against the extracellular domains of specific EV surface proteins (DM9-containing protein, CD63 receptor and myoferlin), significantly enhanced their cellular internalisation. This work highlights the diversity of EV biogenesis and trafficking pathways used by F. hepatica and sheds light on the molecular interaction between parasite EVs and host cells.

Tratto da: www.plos.org
Note sul Copyright: Articles and accompanying materials published by PLOS on the PLOS Sites, unless otherwise indicated, are licensed by the respective authors of such articles for use and distribution by you subject to citation of the original source in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

<i>Naja annulifera</i> Snake: New insights into the venom components and pathogenesis of envenomation

by Felipe Silva-de-França, Isadora Maria Villas-Boas, Solange Maria de Toledo Serrano, Bruno Cogliati, Sonia Aparecida de Andrade Chudzinski, Priscila Hess Lopes, Eduardo Shigueo Kitano, Cinthya Kimori Okamoto, Denise V. Tambourgi

Background

Naja annulifera is a medically important venomous snake occurring in some of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Accidental bites result in severe coagulation disturbances, systemic inflammation and heart damage, as reported in dogs, and death, by respiratory arrest, in humans. Despite the medical importance of N. annulifera, little is known about its venom composition and the pathogenesis of envenomation. In this paper, the toxic, inflammatory and immunogenic properties of N. annulifera venom were analyzed.

Methodology/Principal findings

Venom proteomic analysis identified 79 different proteins, including Three Finger Toxins, Cysteine Rich Secretory Proteins, Metalloproteinases, Phospholipases A2 (PLA2), Hyaluronidase, L-amino-acid oxidase, Cobra Venom Factor and Serine Proteinase. The presence of PLA2, hyaluronidase, fibrinogenolytic and anticoagulant activities was detected using functional assays. The venom was cytotoxic to human keratinocytes. In an experimental murine model of envenomation, it was found that the venom induced local changes, such as swelling, which was controlled by anti-inflammatory drugs. Moreover, the venom caused death, which was preceded by systemic inflammation and pulmonary hemorrhage. The venom was shown to be immunogenic, inducing a strong humoral immune response, with the production of antibodies able to recognize venom components with high molecular weight and to neutralize its lethal activity.

Conclusions/Significance

The results obtained in this study demonstrate that N. annulifera venom contains toxins able to induce local and systemic inflammation, which can contribute to lung damage and death. Moreover, the venom is immunogenic, an important feature that must be considered during the production of a therapeutic anti-N. annulifera antivenom.

Tratto da: www.plos.org
Note sul Copyright: Articles and accompanying materials published by PLOS on the PLOS Sites, unless otherwise indicated, are licensed by the respective authors of such articles for use and distribution by you subject to citation of the original source in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

Identification of a short, highly conserved, motif required for picornavirus capsid precursor processing at distal sites

by Thea Kristensen, Graham J. Belsham

Many picornaviruses cause important diseases in humans and other animals including poliovirus, rhinoviruses (causing the common cold) and foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV). These small, non-enveloped viruses comprise a positive-stranded RNA genome (ca. 7–9 kb) enclosed within a protein shell composed of 60 copies of three or four different capsid proteins. For the aphthoviruses (e.g. FMDV) and cardioviruses, the capsid precursor, P1-2A, is cleaved by the 3C protease (3Cpro) to generate VP0, VP3 and VP1 plus 2A. For enteroviruses, e.g. poliovirus, the capsid precursor is P1 alone, which is cleaved by the 3CD protease to generate just VP0, VP3 and VP1. The sequences required for correct processing of the FMDV capsid protein precursor in mammalian cells were analyzed. Truncation of the P1-2A precursor from its C-terminus showed that loss of the 2A peptide (18 residues long) and 27 residues from the C-terminus of VP1 (211 residues long) resulted in a precursor that cannot be processed by 3Cpro although it still contained two unmodified internal cleavage sites (VP0/VP3 and VP3/VP1 junctions). Furthermore, introduction of small deletions within P1-2A identified residues 185–190 within VP1 as being required for 3Cpro-mediated processing and for optimal accumulation of the precursor. Within this C-terminal region of VP1, five of these residues (YCPRP), are very highly conserved in all FMDVs and are also conserved amongst other picornaviruses. Mutant FMDV P1-2A precursors with single amino acid substitutions within this motif were highly resistant to cleavage at internal junctions. Such substitutions also abrogated virus infectivity. These results can explain earlier observations that loss of the C-terminus (including the conserved motif) from the poliovirus capsid precursor conferred resistance to processing. Thus, this motif seems essential for maintaining the correct structure of picornavirus capsid precursors prior to processing and subsequent capsid assembly; it may represent a site that interacts with cellular chaperones.

Tratto da: www.plos.org
Note sul Copyright: Articles and accompanying materials published by PLOS on the PLOS Sites, unless otherwise indicated, are licensed by the respective authors of such articles for use and distribution by you subject to citation of the original source in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

Zika virus infection at mid-gestation results in fetal cerebral cortical injury and fetal death in the olive baboon

by Sunam Gurung, Nicole Reuter, Alisha Preno, Jamie Dubaut, Hugh Nadeau, Kimberly Hyatt, Krista Singleton, Ashley Martin, W. Tony Parks, James F. Papin, Dean A. Myers

Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy in humans is associated with an increased incidence of congenital anomalies including microcephaly as well as fetal death and miscarriage and collectively has been referred to as Congenital Zika Syndrome (CZS). Animal models for ZIKV infection in pregnancy have been developed including mice and non-human primates (NHPs). In macaques, fetal CZS outcomes from maternal ZIKV infection range from none to significant. In the present study we develop the olive baboon (Papio anubis), as a model for vertical transfer of ZIKV during pregnancy. Four mid-gestation, timed-pregnant baboons were inoculated with the French Polynesian ZIKV isolate (104 ffu). This study specifically focused on the acute phase of vertical transfer. Dams were terminated at 7 days post infection (dpi; n = 1), 14 dpi (n = 2) and 21 dpi (n = 1). All dams exhibited mild to moderate rash and conjunctivitis. Viremia peaked at 5–7 dpi with only one of three dams remaining mildly viremic at 14 dpi. An anti-ZIKV IgM response was observed by 14 dpi in all three dams studied to this stage, and two dams developed a neutralizing IgG response by either 14 dpi or 21 dpi, the latter included transfer of the IgG to the fetus (cord blood). A systemic inflammatory response (increased IL2, IL6, IL7, IL15, IL16) was observed in three of four dams. Vertical transfer of ZIKV to the placenta was observed in three pregnancies (n = 2 at 14 dpi and n = 1 at 21 dpi) and ZIKV was detected in fetal tissues in two pregnancies: one associated with fetal death at ~14 dpi, and the other in a viable fetus at 21 dpi. ZIKV RNA was detected in the fetal cerebral cortex and other tissues of both of these fetuses. In the fetus studied at 21 dpi with vertical transfer of virus to the CNS, the frontal cerebral cortex exhibited notable defects in radial glia, radial glial fibers, disorganized migration of immature neurons to the cortical layers, and signs of pathology in immature oligodendrocytes. In addition, indices of pronounced neuroinflammation were observed including astrogliosis, increased microglia and IL6 expression. Of interest, in one fetus examined at 14 dpi without detection of ZIKV RNA in brain and other fetal tissues, increased neuroinflammation (IL6 and microglia) was observed in the cortex. Although the placenta of the 14 dpi dam with fetal death showed considerable pathology, only minor pathology was noted in the other three placentas. ZIKV was detected immunohistochemically in two placentas (14 dpi) and one placenta at 21 dpi but not at 7 dpi. This is the first study to examine the early events of vertical transfer of ZIKV in a NHP infected at mid-gestation. The baboon thus represents an additional NHP as a model for ZIKV induced brain pathologies to contrast and compare to humans as well as other NHPs.

Tratto da: www.plos.org
Note sul Copyright: Articles and accompanying materials published by PLOS on the PLOS Sites, unless otherwise indicated, are licensed by the respective authors of such articles for use and distribution by you subject to citation of the original source in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

Correction: Frequency and distribution of 152 genetic disease variants in over 100,000 mixed breed and purebred dogs

by Jonas Donner, Heidi Anderson, Stephen Davison, Angela M. Hughes, Julia Bouirmane, Johan Lindqvist, Katherine M. Lytle, Balasubramanian Ganesan, Claudia Ottka, Päivi Ruotanen, Maria Kaukonen, Oliver P. Forman, Neale Fretwell, Cynthia A. Cole, Hannes Lohi

Tratto da: www.plos.org
Note sul Copyright: Articles and accompanying materials published by PLOS on the PLOS Sites, unless otherwise indicated, are licensed by the respective authors of such articles for use and distribution by you subject to citation of the original source in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

SUMO modification of LBD30 by SIZ1 regulates secondary cell wall formation in <i>Arabidopsis thaliana</i>

by Chang Liu, Hasi Yu, Laigeng Li

A wide range of biological processes are regulated by sumoylation, a post-translational modification involving the conjugation of SUMO (Small Ubiquitin-Like Modifier) to protein. In Arabidopsis thaliana, AtSIZ1 encodes a SUMO E3 ligase for SUMO modification. siz1 mutants displayed defective secondary cell walls (SCWs) in inflorescence fiber cells. Such defects were caused by repression of SND1/NST1-mediated transcriptional networks. Yeast two-hybrid assay indicated that SIZ1 interacts with the LBD30 C-terminal domain, which was further confirmed using bimolecular fluorescence complementation and immunoprecipitation. Mass spectrometry and co-immunoprecipitation indicated that SIZ1 mediates SUMO conjugation to LBD30 at the K226 residue. Genes controlling SCW formation were activated by the overexpression of LBD30, but not in the LBD30(K226R) mutant. LBD30 enhancement of SCW formation resulted from upregulation of SND1/NST1-mediated transcriptional networks. This study presents a mechanism by which sumoylation of LBD30, mediated by SIZ1, regulates SCW formation in A. thaliana.

Tratto da: www.plos.org
Note sul Copyright: Articles and accompanying materials published by PLOS on the PLOS Sites, unless otherwise indicated, are licensed by the respective authors of such articles for use and distribution by you subject to citation of the original source in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

Ten Simple Rules for avoiding and resolving conflicts with your colleagues

by Fran Lewitter, Philip E. Bourne, Teresa K. Attwood

Tratto da: www.plos.org
Note sul Copyright: Articles and accompanying materials published by PLOS on the PLOS Sites, unless otherwise indicated, are licensed by the respective authors of such articles for use and distribution by you subject to citation of the original source in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

OpenCASA: A new open-source and scalable tool for sperm quality analysis

by Carlos Alquézar-Baeta, Silvia Gimeno-Martos, Sara Miguel-Jiménez, Pilar Santolaria, Jesús Yániz, Inmaculada Palacín, Adriana Casao, José Álvaro Cebrián-Pérez, Teresa Muiño-Blanco, Rosaura Pérez-Pé

In the field of assisted reproductive techniques (ART), computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) systems have proved their utility and potential for assessing sperm quality, improving the prediction of the fertility potential of a seminal dose. Although most laboratories and scientific centers use commercial systems, in the recent years certain free and open-source alternatives have emerged that can reduce the costs that research groups have to face. However, these open-source alternatives cannot analyze sperm kinetic responses to different stimuli, such as chemotaxis, thermotaxis or rheotaxis. In addition, the programs released to date have not usually been designed to encourage the scalability and the continuity of software development. We have developed an open-source CASA software, called OpenCASA, which allows users to study three classical sperm quality parameters: motility, morphodmetry and membrane integrity (viability) and offers the possibility of analyzing the guided movement response of spermatozoa to different stimuli (useful for chemotaxis, thermotaxis or rheotaxis studies) or different motile cells such as bacteria, using a single software. This software has been released in a Version Control System at Github. This platform will allow researchers not only to download the software but also to be involved in and contribute to further developments. Additionally, a Google group has been created to allow the research community to interact and discuss OpenCASA. For validation of the OpenCASA software, we analysed different simulated sperm populations (for chemotaxis module) and evaluated 36 ejaculates obtained from 12 fertile rams using other sperm analysis systems (for motility, membrane integrity and morphology modules). The results were compared with those obtained by Open-CASA using the Pearson’s correlation and Bland-Altman tests, obtaining a high level of correlation in all parameters and a good agreement between the different used methods and the OpenCASA. With this work, we propose an open-source project oriented to the development of a new software application for sperm quality analysis. This proposed software will use a minimally centralized infrastructure to allow the continued development of its modules by the research community.

Tratto da: www.plos.org
Note sul Copyright: Articles and accompanying materials published by PLOS on the PLOS Sites, unless otherwise indicated, are licensed by the respective authors of such articles for use and distribution by you subject to citation of the original source in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

Progress in the HIV epidemic: Identifying goals and measuring success

by Jeb Jones, Patrick S. Sullivan, James W. Curran

Substantial progress has been made towards the goal of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic due to advancements in both prevention and treatment of HIV. However, major challenges still remain. We describe basic principles of epidemic control in the context of HIV and identify a number of attainable goals in terms of control and elimination of HIV in specific populations and risk groups, given currently available HIV prevention and treatment methods. Currently available HIV prevention methods make it a feasible goal to eliminate HIV transmission attributable to mother-to-child transmission and blood transfusions. Reductions in transmission attributable to sexual behavior and injection drug use are feasible, but elimination of these modes of transmission will require further advancements in behavioral and biomedical HIV prevention. With regard to HIV-related mortality, we argue that elimination of death due to HIV-related causes is a feasible goal. HIV-related deaths should be treated as sentinel events triggering epidemiological investigation into the breakdowns in the HIV care continuum that led to them. We briefly discuss additional considerations that will affect the success of HIV prevention programs.

Tratto da: www.plos.org
Note sul Copyright: Articles and accompanying materials published by PLOS on the PLOS Sites, unless otherwise indicated, are licensed by the respective authors of such articles for use and distribution by you subject to citation of the original source in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

Biblioteca multimediale libera, legale e gratuita.