Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the most frequent causes of hospital- and community-associated infections. Resistance to the entire class of β-lactam antibiotics, such as methicillin and penicillin, makes MRSA infections difficult to treat. Hospital-associated MRSA strains are often multi-drug resistant, leaving only lower efficiency drugs such as vancomycin as treatments options. Like many other S. aureus strains, MRSA strains produce a series of virulence factors, such as toxins and adhesion proteins. Recent findings have shed some new light on the molecular events that underlie MRSA epidemic waves. Newly emerging MRSA clones appear to have acquired phenotypic traits that render them more virulent or able to colonize better, either via mobile genetic elements or adaptation of gene expression. Acquisition of Panton-Valentine leukocidin genes and increased expression of core genome-encoded toxins are being discussed as potentially contributing to the success of the recently emerged community-associated MRSA strains. However, the molecular factors underlying the spread of hospital- and community-associated MRSA strains are still far from being completely understood, a situation calling for enhanced research efforts in that area.
Staphylococcus aureus strains of the 8325 lineage, especially 8325-4 and derivatives lacking prophage, have been used extensively for decades of research. We report herein the results of our deep sequence analysis of strain 8325-4. Assignment of sequence variants compared with the reference strain 8325 (NRS77/PS47) required correction of errors in the 8325 reference genome, and reassessment of variation previously attributed to chemical mutagenesis of the restriction-defective RN4220. Using an extensive strain pedigree analysis, we discovered that 8325-4 contains 16 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) arising prior to the construction of RN4220. We identified 5 indels in 8325-4 compared with 8325. Three indels correspond to expected Φ11, 12, 13 excisions, one indel is explained by a sequence assembly artifact, and the final indel (Δ63bp) in the spa-sarS intergenic region is common to only a sub-lineage of 8325-4 strains including SH1000. This deletion was found to significantly decrease (75%) steady state sarS but not spa transcript levels in post-exponential phase. The sub-lineage 8325-4 was also found to harbor 4 additional SNPs. We also found large sequence variation between 8325, 8325-4 and RN4220 in a cluster of repetitive hypothetical proteins (SA0282 homologs) near the Ess secretion cluster. The overall 8325-4 SNP set results in 17 alterations within coding sequences. Remarkably, we discovered that all tested strains of the 8325-4 lineage lack phenol soluble modulin α3 (PSMα3), a virulence determinant implicated in neutrophil chemotaxis, biofilm architecture and surface spreading. Collectively, our results clarify and define the 8325-4 pedigree and reveal clear evidence that mutations existing throughout all branches of this lineage, including the widely used RN6390 and SH1000 strains, could conceivably impact virulence regulation.
The frequency of mood and anxiety disorders is elevated among individuals with a history of intravenous drug abuse and among those with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and these disorders are associated with continued substance use despite treatment. The present study examined rates of mood and anxiety disorders, and recent heroin use, among HIV-infected and HIV-noninfected patients receiving methadone maintenance therapy. Participants were 160 (80 HIV-infected, 80 HIV-noninfected) methadone patients. Clinician-administered, semistructured interviews were used to identify unipolar and bipolar depression, and four major anxiety disorders (panic disorder with agoraphobia [PDA], generalized anxiety disorder [GAD], post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD], and social anxiety disorder [SAD]). Toxicology screens and self-reporting were used to assess heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol use over the past month. The entire sample met criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder other than substance dependence. Substantial proportions of participants met criteria for major depressive disorder (55.6%), bipolar I, bipolar II, or cyclothymia (6.4%), PDA (34.4%), GAD (22.5%), SAD (16.9%), and PTSD (34.4%). A greater proportion of HIV-infected participants met criteria for SAD (χ2 = 5.03), and a greater proportion of HIV-noninfected participants met criteria for GAD (χ2 = 5.39, P < 0.01). About 14% of participants continued to use heroin over the past month, a significantly greater proportion of whom were HIV-infected. In adjusted analyses, none of the mood or anxiety disorders emerged as significant predictors of recent heroin use, but being HIV-infected did. This study highlights the high rate of psychopathology and continued heroin use despite substance abuse treatment, and underscores the need for interventions that help mitigate these problems among methadone patients.
psychopathology; substance dependence; human immunodeficiency virus; methadone
Widespread antibiotic resistance among important bacterial pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus1 calls for alternative routes of drug development. Interfering with critical virulence determinants is considered a promising novel approach to control bacterial infection2. Phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs) are peptide toxins with multiple key roles in pathogenesis3–5 and a major impact on the ability of highly virulent S. aureus to cause disease3,6. However, targeting PSMs for therapeutic intervention is hampered by their multitude and diversity. Here, we report that an ABC transporter with previously unknown function is responsible for the export of all PSM classes, thus representing a single target to interfere simultaneously with the production of all PSMs. The transporter had a strong effect on virulence phenotypes, such as neutrophil lysis, and the development of S. aureus infection, similar in extent to the sum of all PSMs. Furthermore, it proved essential for bacterial growth. Moreover, it protected the producer from the antimicrobial activity of secreted PSMs and contributed to defense against PSM-mediated bacterial interference. Our study reveals a non-canonical, dedicated secretion mechanism for an important toxin class and identifies this mechanism as a comprehensive potential target for the development of drugs efficiently inhibiting growth and virulence of pathogenic staphylococci.
Distress intolerance is an important transdiagnostic variable that has long been implicated in the development and maintenance of psychological disorders. Self-report measurement strategies for distress intolerance have emerged from several different models of psychopathology and these measures have been applied inconsistently in the literature in the absence of a clear gold standard. The absence of a consistent assessment strategy has limited the ability to compare across studies and samples, thus hampering the advancement of this research agenda. This study evaluated the latent factor structure of existing measures of DI to examine the degree to which they are capturing the same construct. Results of confirmatory factor analysis in 3 samples totaling 400 participants provided support for a single factor latent structure. Individual items of these four scales were then correlated with this factor to identify those that best capture the core construct. Results provided consistent supported for 10 items that demonstrated the strongest concordance with this factor. The use of these 10 items as a unifying measure in the study of DI and future directions for the evaluation of its utility are discussed.
distress tolerance; distress intolerance; anxiety sensitivity; discomfort intolerance; assessment
Little is known about predictors of recovery from bipolar depression or moderators of treatment response. In the present study we investigated attributional style (a cognitive pattern of explaining the causes of life events) as a predictor of recovery from episodes of bipolar depression and as a moderator of response to psychotherapy for bipolar depression.
106 depressed outpatients with DSM-IV bipolar I or II disorder enrolled in the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD) were randomized to intensive psychotherapy for depression (n=62), or collaborative care (n=44), a minimal psychoeducational intervention. The primary outcome was recovery status at each study visit as measured by the Clinical Monitoring Form. Attributional style was measured at baseline using the Attributional Style Questionnaire. Data were collected between 1998 and 2005.
All analyses were by intention to treat. Extreme attributions predicted a lower likelihood of recovery (p=.01, OR=0.93, 95% CI=.88-.98) and longer time until recovery (p<.01, OR=0.96, 95% CI=.93-.99), independent of the effects of initial depression severity. Among individuals with more pessimistic attributional styles, initial depression severity predicted a lower likelihood of recovery (p=.01, OR=0.64, 95% CI=.45-.91) and longer time until recovery (p<.001, OR=0.76, 95% CI=.66-.88). There was no difference in recovery rates between intensive psychotherapy and collaborative care (OR=0.90, 95% CI=0.40-2.01) in the full sample.
These results suggest that extreme, rigid attributions may be associated with a more severe course of depression, and that evaluating attributional style may help clinicians to identify patients who are at risk for experiencing a more severe course of depression.
The propensity to engage in risk behaviors confers an elevated risk of HIV and other infectious disease transmission in opioid-dependent populations. Although drug abuse treatment may decrease drug-related risk behaviors such as needle-sharing, additional intervention may be needed to reduce HIV risk behavior. In this investigation, we assessed sexual HIV risk behaviors in opioid-dependent patients who were engaging in regular drug use despite ongoing counseling and methadone maintenance therapy. Potential risk and protective factors for engaging in sexual HIV risk behavior were examined. Taking into account demographic, psychiatric, substance use, and psychological variables, the only significant predictor of risk behavior was age. Specifically, younger patients were more likely to engage in sexual HIV risk behavior. The implications of these results for reducing sexual HIV risk behavior and for HIV prevention in methadone-maintained, treatment-refractory opioid-dependent patients are discussed.
age; HIV; methadone; opioids; risk behaviors; substance dependence
A designed peptide named LZ1 with 15 amino acid residues containing strong antimicrobial activity against bacteria pathogens of acne vulgaris including Propionibacterium acnes, Staphylococcus epidermidis and S. aureus. Especially, it exerted strong anti-P. acnes ability. The minimal inhibitory concentration against three strains of P. acnes was only 0.6 µg/ml, which is 4 times lower than that of clindamycin. In experimental mice skin colonization model, LZ1 significantly reduced the number of P. acnes colonized on the ear, P. acnes-induced ear swelling, and inflammatory cell infiltration. It ameliorated inflammation induced by P. acnes by inhibiting the secretion of inflammatory factors including tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin (IL)-1β. LZ1 showed little cytotoxicity on human keratinocyte and hemolytic activity on human blood red cells. Furthermore, LZ1 was very stable in human plasma. Combined with its potential bactericidal and anti-inflammatory properties, simple structure and high stability, LZ1 might be an ideal candidate for the treatment of acne.
In the past decade, community-associated (CA-) infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have emerged throughout the world. Different CA-MRSA strains dominate in different geographical locations. Many CA-MRSA lineages contain genes coding for the Pantón-Valentine leukocidin. However, the role of this leukotoxin in CA-MRSA pathogenesis is still controversial. The genome sequences of two key PVL-positive CA-MRSA strains (USA300, USA400) have been reported, but we lack information on the more recently found PVL-negative CA-MRSA strains. One such strain is the PVL-negative ST72, the main cause of CA-MRSA infections in Korea. Here, we report the entire genome sequence of CA-MRSA ST72 and analyze its gene content with a focus on virulence factors. Our results show that this strain does not have considerable differences in virulence factor content compared to other CA-MRSA strains (USA300, USA400), indicating that other toxins do not substitute for the lack of PVL in ST72. This finding is in accordance with the notion that differential expression of widespread virulence determinants, rather than the acquisition of additional virulence factors on mobile genetic elements, such as PVL, is responsible for the increased virulence of CA- compared to hospital-associated MRSA.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization of livestock animals is common and prevalence rates for pigs have been reported to be as high as 49%. Mechanisms contributing to the persistent carriage and high prevalence rates of livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) strains in swine herds and production facilities have not been investigated. One explanation for the high prevalence of MRSA in swine herds is the ability of these organisms to exist as biofilms. In this report, the ability of swine LA-MRSA strains, including ST398, ST9, and ST5, to form biofilms was quantified and compared to several swine and human isolates. The contribution of known biofilm matrix components, polysaccharides, proteins and extracellular DNA (eDNA), was tested in all strains as well. All MRSA swine isolates formed robust biofilms similar to human clinical isolates. The addition of Dispersin B had no inhibitory effect on swine MRSA isolates when added at the initiation of biofilm growth or after pre-established mature biofilms formed. In contrast, the addition of proteinase K inhibited biofilm formation in all strains when added at the initiation of biofilm growth and was able to disperse pre-established mature biofilms. Of the LA-MRSA strains tested, we found ST398 strains to be the most sensitive to both inhibition of biofilm formation and dispersal of pre-formed biofilms by DNaseI. Collectively, these findings provide a critical first step in designing strategies to control or eliminate MRSA in swine herds.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has emerged as one of the most important pathogens both in health care and community-onset infections. The prerequisite for methicillin resistance is mecA, which encodes a β-lactam-insensitive penicillin binding protein PBP2a. A characteristic of MRSA strains from hospital and community associated infections is their heterogeneous expression of resistance to β-lactam (HeR) in which only a small portion (≤0.1%) of the population expresses resistance to oxacillin (OXA) ≥10 µg/ml, while in other isolates, most of the population expresses resistance to a high level (homotypic resistance, HoR). The mechanism associated with heterogeneous expression requires both increase expression of mecA and a mutational event that involved the triggering of a β-lactam-mediated SOS response and related lexA and recA genes. In the present study we investigated the cellular physiology of HeR-MRSA strains during the process of β-lactam-mediated HeR/HoR selection at sub-inhibitory concentrations by using a combinatorial approach of microarray analyses and global biochemical profiling employing gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) to investigate changes in metabolic pathways and the metabolome associated with β-lactam-mediated HeR/HoR selection in clinically relevant heterogeneous MRSA. We found unique features present in the oxacillin-selected SA13011-HoR derivative when compared to the corresponding SA13011-HeR parental strain that included significant increases in tricarboxyl citric acid (TCA) cycle intermediates and a concomitant decrease in fermentative pathways. Inactivation of the TCA cycle enzyme cis-aconitase gene in the SA13011-HeR strain abolished β-lactam-mediated HeR/HoR selection demonstrating the significance of altered TCA cycle activity during the HeR/HoR selection. These results provide evidence of both the metabolic cost and the adaptation that HeR-MRSA clinical strains undergo when exposed to β-lactam pressure, indicating that the energy production is redirected to supply the cell wall synthesis/metabolism, which in turn contributes to the survival response in the presence of β-lactam antibiotics.
The objectives of this study were to investigate the immune response to intradermal immunization with wall teichoic acid (WTA) and the effect of MBL deficiency in a murine model of infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). WTA is a bacterial cell wall component that is implicated in invasive infection. We tested susceptibility to MRSA infection in wild type (WT) and MBL deficient mice using two strains of MRSA: MW2, a community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA); and COL, a healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). We also performed in vitro assays to investigate the effects of anti-WTA IgG containing murine serum on complement activation and bacterial growth in whole blood. We found that MBL knockout (KO) mice are relatively resistant to a specific MRSA strain, MW2 CA-MRSA, compared to WT mice, while both strains of mice had similar susceptibility to a different strain, COL HA-MRSA. Intradermal immunization with WTA elicited and augmented an anti-WTA IgG response in both WT and MBL KO mice. WTA immunization significantly reduced susceptibility to both MW2 CA-MRSA and COL HA-MRSA, independent of the presence of MBL. The protective mechanisms of anti-WTA IgG are mediated at least in part by complement activation and clearance of bacteria from blood. The significance of these findings is that 1) Intradermal immunization with WTA induces production of anti-WTA IgG; and 2) This anti-WTA IgG response protects from infection with both MW2 CA-MRSA and COL HA-MRSA even in the absence of MBL, the deficiency of which is common in humans.
Community associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) is an emerging threat to human health throughout the world. Rodent MRSA pneumonia models mainly focus on the early innate immune responses to MRSA lung infection. However, the molecular pattern and mechanisms of recovery from MRSA lung infection are largely unknown. In this study, a sublethal mouse MRSA pneumonia model was employed to investigate late events during the recovery from MRSA lung infection. We compared lung bacterial clearance, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) characterization, lung histology, lung cell proliferation, lung vascular permeability and lung gene expression profiling between days 1 and 3 post MRSA lung infection. Compared to day 1 post infection, bacterial colony counts, BALF total cell number and BALF protein concentration significantly decreased at day 3 post infection. Lung cDNA microarray analysis identified 47 significantly up-regulated and 35 down-regulated genes (p<0.01, 1.5 fold change [up and down]). The pattern of gene expression suggests that lung recovery is characterized by enhanced cell division, vascularization, wound healing and adjustment of host adaptive immune responses. Proliferation assay by PCNA staining further confirmed that at day 3 lungs have significantly higher cell proliferation than at day 1. Furthermore, at day 3 lungs displayed significantly lower levels of vascular permeability to albumin, compared to day 1. Collectively, this data helps us elucidate the molecular mechanisms of the recovery after MRSA lung infection.
Distress intolerance may be an important individual difference variable in understanding maladaptive coping responses across diagnostic categories. However, the measurement of distress intolerance remains inconsistent across studies and little evidence for convergent validity among existing measures is available. This study evaluated the overlap among self-report and behavioral measures of distress intolerance in four samples, including an unselected sample, a sample of patients with drug dependence, and two samples of cigarette smokers. Results suggested that the self-report measures were highly correlated, as were the behavioral measures; however, behavioral and self-report measures did not exhibit significant associations with each other. There was some evidence of domain specificity, with anxiety sensitivity demonstrating strong associations with somatic distress intolerance, and a lack of association between behavioral measures that elicit affective distress and those that elicit somatic distress. These findings highlight a potential divergence in the literature relative to the conceptualization of distress intolerance as either sensitivity to distress or as the inability to persist at a task when distressed. Further research is needed to elucidate the conceptualization and measurement of distress intolerance to facilitate future clinical and research applications of this construct.
Distress Intolerance; Measurement; Task Persistence; Anxiety Sensitivity
The global spread and increasing incidence of carbapenem non-susceptible Klebsiella pneumoniae (CnSKP) has made its treatment difficult, increasing the mortality. To establish nationwide data on CnSKP spread and carbapenem-resistance mechanisms, we conducted a national surveillance study in Taiwanese hospitals.
We collected 100 and 247 CnSKP isolates in 2010 and 2012, respectively. The tests performed included antibiotic susceptibility tests; detection of carbapenemase, extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL), and AmpC β-lactamases genes; outer membrane porin profiles; and genetic relationship with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence type.
The resistance rate of CnSKP isolates to cefazolin, cefotaxime, cefoxitin, ceftazidime, and ciprofloxacin was over 90%. Susceptibility rate to tigecycline and colistin in 2010 was 91.0% and 83.0%, respectively; in 2012, it was 91.9% and 87.9%, respectively. In 2010, carbapenemase genes were detected in only 6.0% of isolates (4 blaIMP-8 and 2 blaVIM-1). In 2012, carbapenemase genes were detected in 22.3% of isolates (41 blaKPC-2, 7 blaVIM-1, 6 blaIMP-8, and 1 blaNDM-1). More than 95% of isolates exhibited either OmpK35 or OmpK36 porin loss or both. Impermeability due to porin mutation coupled with AmpC β-lactamases or ESBLs were major carbapenem-resistance mechanisms. Among 41 KPC-2-producing K. pneumoniae isolates, all were ST11 with 1 major pulsotype.
In 2010 and 2012, the major mechanisms of CnSKP in Taiwan were the concomitance of AmpC with OmpK35/36 loss. KPC-2-KP dissemination with the same ST11 were observed in 2012. The emergence and rapid spread of KPC-2-KP is becoming an endemic problem in Taiwan. The identification of NDM-1 K. pneumoniae case is alarming.
Staphylococcus aureus uses two-component systems (TCSs) to adapt to stressful environmental conditions. To colonize a host, S. aureus must resist bacteriocins produced by commensal bacteria. In a comprehensive analysis using individual TCS inactivation mutants, the inactivation of two TCSs, graRS and braRS, significantly increased the susceptibility to the class I bacteriocins, nukacin ISK-1 and nisin A, and inactivation of vraSR slightly increased the susceptibility to nukacin ISK-1. In addition, two ABC transporters (BraAB and VraDE) regulated by BraRS and one transporter (VraFG) regulated by GraRS were associated with resistance to nukacin ISK-1 and nisin A. We investigated the role of these three TCSs of S. aureus in co-culture with S. warneri, which produces nukacin ISK-1, and Lactococcus lactis, which produces nisin A. When co-cultured with S. warneri or L. lactis, the braRS mutant showed a significant decrease in its population compared with the wild-type, whereas the graRS and vraSR mutants showed slight decreases. Expression of vraDE was elevated significantly in S. aureus co-cultured with nisin A/nukacin ISK-1-producing strains. These results suggest that three distinct TCSs are involved in the resistance to nisin A and nukacin ISK-1. Additionally, braRS and its related transporters played a central role in S. aureus survival in co-culture with the strains producing nisin A and nukacin ISK-1.
Staphylococcus aureus is the leading cause of skin infections. In a mouse model of S. aureus skin infection, we found that lesion size did not correlate with bacterial burden. Athymic nude mice had smaller skin lesions that contained lower levels of myeloperoxidase, IL-17A, and CXCL1, compared with wild type mice, although there was no difference in bacterial burden. T cell deficiency did not explain the difference in lesion size, because TCR βδ (-/-) mice did not have smaller lesions, and adoptive transfer of congenic T cells into athymic nude mice prior to infection did not alter lesion size. The differences observed were specific to the skin, because mortality in a pneumonia model was not different between wild type and athymic nude mice. Thus, the clinical severity of S. aureus skin infection is driven by the inflammatory response to the bacteria, rather than bacterial burden, in a T cell independent manner.
Mannitol (Mtl) fermentation, with the subsequent production of acid, is a species signature of Staphylococcus aureus, and discriminates it from most other members of the genus. Inactivation of the gene mtlD, encoding Mtl-1-P dehydrogenase was found to markedly reduce survival in the presence of the antimicrobial fatty acid, linoleic acid. We demonstrate that the sugar alcohol has a potentiating action for this membrane-acting antimicrobial. Analysis of cellular metabolites revealed that, during exponential growth, the mtlD mutant accumulated high levels of Mtl and Mtl-P. The latter metabolite was not detected in its isogenic parent strain or a deletion mutant of the entire mtlABFD operon. In addition, the mtlD mutant strain exhibited a decreased MIC for H2O2, however virulence was unaffected in a model of septic arthritis.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) remains one of the most important causes of nosocomial infections worldwide. Since the global spread of MRSA in the 1960s, MRSA strains have evolved with increased pathogenic potential. Notably, some strains are now capable of causing persistent infections not only in hospitalized patients but also in healthy individuals in the community. Furthermore, MRSA is increasingly associated with infections among livestock-associated workers, primarily because of transmission from animals to humans. Moreover, many MRSA strains have gained resistance to most available antibiotics. In this review, we will present current knowledge on MRSA epidemiology and discuss new endeavors being undertaken to understand better the molecular and epidemiological underpinnings of MRSA outbreaks.
Staphylococcus aureus; MRSA; nosocomial infection; community-associated infection
Linezolid (LZD) is beneficial to patients with MRSA pneumonia, but whether and how LZD influences global host lung immune responses at the mRNA level during MRSA-mediated pneumonia is still unknown.
A lethal mouse model of MRSA pneumonia mediated by USA300 was employed to study the influence of LZD on survival, while the sublethal mouse model was used to examine the effect of LZD on bacterial clearance and lung gene expression during MRSA pneumonia. LZD (100mg/kg/day, IP) was given to C57Bl6 mice for three days. On Day 1 and Day 3 post infection, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) protein concentration and levels of cytokines including IL6, TNFα, IL1β, Interferon-γ and IL17 were measured. In the sublethal model, left lungs were used to determine bacterial clearance and right lungs for whole-genome transcriptional profiling of lung immune responses.
LZD therapy significantly improved survival and bacterial clearance. It also significantly decreased BALF protein concentration and levels of cytokines including IL6, IL1β, Interferon-γ and IL17. No significant gene expression changes in the mouse lungs were associated with LZD therapy.
LZD is beneficial to MRSA pneumonia, but it does not modulate host lung immune responses at the transcriptional level.
Bacteria respond to their environment via signal transduction pathways, often two-component type systems that function through phosphotransfer to control expression of specific genes. Phosphorelays are derived from two-component systems but are comprised of additional components. The essential cckA-chpT-ctrA phosphorelay in Caulobacter crescentus has been well studied and is important in orchestrating the cell cycle, polar development and flagellar biogenesis. Although cckA, chpT and ctrA homologues are widespread among the Alphaproteobacteria, relatively few is known about their function in the large and ecologically significant Roseobacter clade of the Rhodobacterales. In this study the cckA-chpT-ctrA system of the marine sponge symbiont Ruegeria sp. KLH11 was investigated. Our results reveal that the cckA, chpT and ctrA genes positively control flagellar biosynthesis. In contrast to C. crescentus, the cckA, chpT and ctrA genes in Ruegeria sp. KLH11 are non-essential and do not affect bacterial growth. Gene fusion and transcript analyses provide evidence for ctrA autoregulation and the control of motility-related genes. In KLH11, flagellar motility is controlled by the SsaRI system and acylhomoserine lactone (AHL) quorum sensing. SsaR and long chain AHLs are required for cckA, chpT and ctrA gene expression, providing a regulatory link between flagellar locomotion and population density in KLH11.
The isoprenoid pathway converts pyruvate to isoprene and related isoprenoid compounds in plants and some bacteria. Currently, this pathway is of great interest because of the critical role that isoprenoids play in basic cellular processes, as well as the industrial value of metabolites such as isoprene. Although the regulation of several pathway genes has been described, there is a paucity of information regarding system level regulation and control of the pathway. To address these limitations, we examined Bacillus subtilis grown under multiple conditions and determined the relationship between altered isoprene production and gene expression patterns. We found that with respect to the amount of isoprene produced, terpenoid genes fall into two distinct subsets with opposing correlations. The group whose expression levels positively correlated with isoprene production included dxs, which is responsible for the commitment step in the pathway, ispD, and two genes that participate in the mevalonate pathway, yhfS and pksG. The subset of terpenoid genes that inversely correlated with isoprene production included ispH, ispF, hepS, uppS, ispE, and dxr. A genome-wide partial least squares regression model was created to identify other genes or pathways that contribute to isoprene production. These analyses showed that a subset of 213 regulated genes was sufficient to create a predictive model of isoprene production under different conditions and showed correlations at the transcriptional level. We conclude that gene expression levels alone are sufficiently informative about the metabolic state of a cell that produces increased isoprene and can be used to build a model that accurately predicts production of this secondary metabolite across many simulated environmental conditions.
The pandemic human pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus, displays high levels of antibiotic resistance and is a major cause of hospital- and community-associated infections. S. aureus disease manifestation is to a great extent due to the production of a large arsenal of virulence factors, which include a series of secreted toxins. Antibodies to S. aureus toxins are found in people who are infected or asymptomatically colonized with S. aureus. Immunotherapies consisting of neutralizing anti-toxin antibodies could provide immediate aid to patients with impaired immune systems or in advanced stages of disease.
Important S. aureus toxins, their roles in pathogenesis, rationales for selecting S. aureus toxins for immunization efforts, and caveats associated with monoclonal antibody-based passive immunization are discussed. This review will focus on hyper-virulent community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) because of their recent surge and clinical importance.
Antibodies against genome-encoded toxins may be more broadly applicable than those directed against toxins found only in a sub-population of S. aureus isolates. Furthermore, there is substantial functional redundancy among S. aureus toxins. Thus, an optimal anti-S. aureus formulation may consist of multiple antibodies directed against a series of key S. aureus genome-encoded toxins.
Toxin; vaccine; immunotherapy; methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; monoclonal antibody; alpha-hemolysin; phenol-soluble modulins; superantigens; leukotoxins; Panton-Valentine leukocidin
Depression and substance use, the most common comorbidities with HIV, are both associated with poor treatment adherence. Injection drug users comprise a substantial portion of individuals with HIV in the U.S. and globally. The present study tested cognitive-behavioral therapy for adherence and depression (CBT-AD) in patients with HIV and depression in active substance abuse treatment for injection drug use.
This is a two-arm, randomized controlled trial (N = 89) comparing CBT-AD to enhanced treatment as usual (ETAU). Analyses were conducted for two time-frames: 1) baseline to post-treatment 2) post-treatment to follow-up at 3- and 6-months after intervention discontinuation.
At post-treatment, the CBT-AD condition showed significantly greater improvement than ETAU in MEMS (electronic pill cap) based adherence (γslope = 0.8873, t (86) = 2.38, p = .02; dGMA-raw = .64), and depression, assessed by blinded assessor [Mongomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (F(1,79) = 6.52, p<.01); d = .55)] and clinical global impression [(F(1,79) = 14.77, p<.001; d = .85)]. After treatment discontinuation, depression gains were maintained, though adherence gains were not. Viral load did not differ across condition, however, the CBT-AD condition had significant improvements in CD4 cell counts over time compared to ETAU (γslope= 2.09, t (76) = 2.20, p = .03; dGMA-raw = .60).
In patients managing multiple challenges including HIV, depression, substance dependence, and adherence, CBT-AD is a useful way to integrate treatment of depression with an adherence intervention. Continued adherence counseling is likely needed, however, to maintain or augment adherence gains in this population.
HIV; AIDS; Antiretroviral therapy; ART; depression; randomized controlled trial; adherence; substance abuse
Anxiety disorders constitute a significant public health problem. Current gold standard treatments are limited in their effectiveness, prompting the consideration of alternative approaches. In this review, we examine the evidence for exercise as an intervention for anxiety disorders. This evidence comes from population studies, studies of nonclinical anxiety reduction, as well as a limited number of studies of clinically anxious individuals. All of these studies provide converging evidence for consistent beneficial effects of exercise on anxiety, and are consistent with a variety of accounts of the mechanism of anxiety reduction with exercise. Further study of clinical populations is encouraged, as are studies of the mechanism of change of exercise interventions, which have the potential to help refine exercise intervention strategies. Likewise, studies that identify moderators of treatment efficacy will assist clinicians in deciding how and for whom to prescribe exercise.
anxiety; anxiety disorders; exercise; intervention; physical activity; treatment