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1.  Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in Lake Catchments, in River Water Abstracted for Domestic Use, and in Effluent from Domestic Sewage Treatment Works: Diverse Opportunities for Environmental Cycling and Human Exposure 
Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis from infected animals enters surface waters and rivers in runoff from contaminated pastures. We studied the River Tywi in South Wales, United Kingdom, whose catchment comprises 1,100 km2 containing more than a million dairy and beef cattle and more than 1.3 million sheep. The River Tywi is abstracted for the domestic water supply. Between August 2002 and April 2003, 48 of 70 (68.8%) twice-weekly river water samples tested positive by IS900 PCR. In river water, the organisms were associated with a suspended solid which was depleted by the water treatment process. Disposal of contaminated slurry back onto the land established a cycle of environmental persistence. A concentrate from 100 liters of finished water tested negative, but 1 of 54 domestic cold water tanks tested positive, indicating the potential for these pathogens to access domestic outlets. In the separate English Lake District region, with hills up to 980 m, tests for M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis in the high hill lakes and sediments were usually negative, but streams and sediments became positive lower down the catchment. Sediments from 9 of 10 major lakes receiving inflow from these catchments were positive, with sediment cores indicating deposition over at least 40 to 50 years. Two of 12 monthly 1-liter samples of effluent and a single 100-liter sample from the Ambleside sewage treatment works were positive for M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis. Since Lake Ambleside discharges into Lake Windermere, which is available for domestic supply, there is a potential for these organisms to cycle within human populations.
PMCID: PMC1489623  PMID: 16751517
2.  Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in the Catchment Area and Water of the River Taff in South Wales, United Kingdom, and Its Potential Relationship to Clustering of Crohn's Disease Cases in the City of Cardiff 
In South Wales, United Kingdom, a populated coastal region lies beneath hill pastures grazed by livestock in which Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis is endemic. The Taff is a spate river running off the hills and through the principal city of Cardiff. We sampled Taff water above Cardiff twice weekly from November 2001 to November 2002. M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis was detected by IS900 PCR and culture. Thirty-one of 96 daily samples (32.3%) were IS900 PCR positive, and 12 grew M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis bovine strains. Amplicon sequences from colonies were identical to the sequence with GenBank accession no. X16293, whereas 16 of 19 sequences from river water DNA extracts had a single-nucleotide polymorphism at position 214. This is consistent with a different strain of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis in the river, which is unculturable by the methods we used. Parallel studies showed that M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis remained culturable in lake water microcosms for 632 days and persisted to 841 days. Of four reservoirs controlling the catchment area of the Taff, M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis was present in surface sediments from three and in sediment cores from two, consistent with deposition over at least 50 years. Previous epidemiological research in Cardiff demonstrated a highly significant increase of Crohn's disease in 11 districts. These bordered the river except for a gap on the windward side. A topographical relief map shows that this gap is directly opposite a valley open to the prevailing southwesterly winds. This would influence the distribution of aerosols carrying M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis from the river.
PMCID: PMC1082532  PMID: 15812047
3.  1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 and Development of Tuberculosis in Cattle 
This report describes the presence and activity of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-D3) in experimental bovine tuberculosis. Animals that went on to develop tuberculous lesions exhibited a rapid transient increase in serum 1,25-D3 within the first 2 weeks following infection with Mycobacterium bovis. 1,25-D3-positive mononuclear cells were later identified in all tuberculous granulomas by immunohistochemical staining of postmortem lymph node tissue. These results suggest a role for 1,25-D3 both at the onset of infection and in the development of the granuloma in these infected animals. Using a monoclonal antibody to the vitamin D receptor (VDR) as a VDR agonist, we confirmed that activation of the vitamin D pathway profoundly depresses antigen-specific, but not mitogenic, bovine peripheral blood T-cell responses (proliferation and gamma interferon production). Investigation of the mechanism of this suppression showed that the VDR antibody modified the expression of CD80 by accessory cells, such that a significant positive correlation between T-cell proliferation and accessory cell CD80 emerged.
PMCID: PMC262436  PMID: 14607878
4.  Distinct Response Kinetics of Gamma Interferon and Interleukin-4 in Bovine Tuberculosis 
Infection and Immunity  2000;68(9):5393-5400.
This study shows that gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) cytokine responses are produced by peripheral blood cells in cattle infected with Mycobacterium bovis. The different kinetics of the IFN-γ and IL-4 responses to bovine tuberculin and to ESAT-6 following experimental intratracheal infection with M. bovis are described. An early increase in IFN-γ was observed that was maintained throughout the period studied. In contrast, the IL-4 response was delayed and confined to a peak of activity lasting 6 to 8 weeks. Interestingly, an experimental challenge of cattle with a lower dose of M. bovis which did not result in the development of lesions, positive DTH skin test, or substantial IFN-γ responses nevertheless generated strong specific IL-4 responses. Investigation of naturally infected M. bovis field reactors showed increased IFN-γ and IL-4 responses compared to uninfected cattle and that both of these cytokines were equally able to differentiate infected from uninfected animals. The magnitude of the M. bovis-induced IL-4 responses were found to be similar to the antigen-specific IL-4 responses of cattle infected with the parasitic nematode Onchocerca ochengi, further supporting the presence of this type 2 cytokine in bovine tuberculosis.
PMCID: PMC101803  PMID: 10948169
5.  Antigen Specificity in Experimental Bovine Tuberculosis 
Infection and Immunity  2000;68(5):2573-2578.
This report describes the kinetics of T-cell responses to a panel of mycobacterial antigens (PPD-M, PPD-A, ESAT-6, Ag85, 38kD, MPB64, MPB70, MPB83, hsp16.1, hsp65, and hsp70) following experimental infection of cattle with Mycobacterium bovis. Increased antigen-specific lymphocyte proliferation, gamma interferon, and interleukin-2 responses were observed in all calves following infection. Positive lymphocyte proliferation and cytokine responses to PPD-M and ESAT-6 were observed throughout the infection period studied. In contrast, responses to all other antigens were more variable and were not constantly present, suggesting that antigen cocktails rather than individual antigens should be used for immunodiagnosis. The detection of cytokine responses in the absence of lymphocyte proliferation, particularly during the early stages of infection, suggests a role for antigen-specific cytokine readout systems in the early identification of M. bovis infection in cattle.
PMCID: PMC97461  PMID: 10768946
6.  Epstein-Barr virus-induced autoimmune responses. II. Immunoglobulin G autoantibodies to mimicking and nonmimicking epitopes. Presence in autoimmune disease. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1995;95(3):1316-1327.
During infectious mononucleosis, IgM autoantibodies are generated to a protein, p542, which contains a glycine-rich 28-mer epitope cross-reactive with the Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen-1 through Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen-1's glycine/alanine repeat. In normal individuals it is uncommon to find IgG anti-p542, but among patients with progressive systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and ulcerative colitis high IgG anti-p542 (> 3 SD above the mean of normal 20-50 yr controls) occurred frequently. Lesser elevations occurred in Sjögren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and Crohn's disease, but none with chronic hepatitis B infection. The reactive epitopes on p542 were mapped with deletion mutants, which indicated that the glycine-rich 28-mer was the major antigenic determinant, with lesser antibody responses to other epitopes. We conclude that normally there is an inability to generate IgG autoantibodies to the cross-reactive (mimicking) epitope of the p542 host protein, but that this inability is overcome in a proportion of patients with autoimmune disease. We conclude also that non-cross-reactive autoepitopes exist on p542 protein, to which IgG autoantibodies can commonly be formed in autoimmune disorders. The mechanisms responsible for the latter must involve different mechanisms than those responsible for autoantibodies to the mimicking epitope.
PMCID: PMC441471  PMID: 7533789
7.  Epstein-Barr virus-induced autoimmune responses. I. Immunoglobulin M autoantibodies to proteins mimicking and not mimicking Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen-1. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1995;95(3):1306-1315.
In previous studies of infectious mononucleosis, we found IgM autoantibodies which react with hematopoietic cell antigens. Many of these were inhibited by synthetic glycine/alanine peptides representing the glycine/alanine repeat of Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen-1. We have cloned and expressed fragments of genes encoding two of these autoantigens. One gene (p542) encodes a protein containing a glycine-rich 28-mer, which is its chief autoantigenic epitope and which represents a newly identified class of evolutionarily conserved autoepitopes. The other gene (p554) encodes a protein that is not demonstrably cross-reactive with Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen-1 or with any other EBV protein, but forms complexes with other proteins. Immunoaffinity-purified anti-p542 and anti-p554 have relatively high binding affinities, as evidenced by inhibition at 10(6)-10(8) M-1, and neither autoantibody showed polyreactivity with other common antigens. The data thus suggest that neither autoantibody is simply an expression of polyclonal B cell activation. We conclude that the two autoantigens stimulate autoantibody synthesis by different mechanisms. One autoantigen shares homology to a viral protein which generates cross-reacting antibodies to the autoantigenic epitope. The other has no recognizable cross-reaction with the infecting pathogen and may become immunogenic through complexing with other proteins.
PMCID: PMC441470  PMID: 7533788
8.  Survival of nonculturable Aeromonas salmonicida in lake water. 
The survival of Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida was investigated in sterile and untreated lake water. In sterile lake water (filtered and autoclaved), it was found that cells of A. salmonicida entered a nonculturable but viable condition. Viability was determined by flow cytometry with the dye rhodamine 123, which is taken up and maintained within cells with a membrane potential. For survival studies in untreated lake water, A. salmonicida was marked with the xylE gene by using the plasmid pLV1013. Marked cells were detected by growth on tryptone soy agar and tryptone soy agar supplemented with kanamycin. Cells were also detected by polymerase chain reaction DNA amplification of the xylE gene and a chromosomal DNA fragment specific for A. salmonicida (pLV1013). The results indicated that A. salmonicida entered a nonculturable condition in untreated lake water over a 21-day study. The viability of nonculturable cells could not be determined in mixed samples; however, the presence of nonculturable cells containing both chromosomal and plasmid DNA was confirmed.
PMCID: PMC202202  PMID: 8481011
9.  Rheumatoid arthritis synovial membrane contains a 62,000-molecular-weight protein that shares an antigenic epitope with the Epstein-Barr virus-encoded associated nuclear antigen. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1986;77(5):1539-1547.
A monoclonal antibody, selected for reactivity with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded antigen EBNA-1, exhibited strong reactivity with the synovial lining cells in joint biopsies from 10 of 12 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and adherent cells eluted from these tissues. No staining of RA synovial membrane frozen tissue sections or eluted synovial-lining cells was obtained with monoclonal antibodies directed against other EBV-encoded antigens (anti-p160, anti-gp200/350) or with monoclonal antibodies directed against antigens encoded by cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex viruses, or human T cell leukemia virus type I. Among 12 osteoarthritis and normal synovial biopsies only rare reactive cells were noted. Characterization of the antigen(s) in RA synovium by the Western immunoblotting technique revealed a 62,000-molecular-weight (mol-wt) protein, in contrast to the 70,000-85,000-mol-wt EBNA-1 antigen found in EBV-transformed cells. The structural basis for the cross-reactivity of the RA synovial membrane 62,000-mol-wt protein and the EBNA-1 antigen appears to reside in the glycine-alanine rich region of these molecules. A rabbit antibody directed against a synthetic peptide (IR3-VI-2) derived from the glycine-alanine-rich region of EBNA-1 reacted with the 70,000-85,000-mol-wt EBNA-1 antigen in EBV-infected cells and with the 62,000-mol-wt molecule in RA synovial membrane extracts. Since strong antibody responses to EBNA-1 are known to exist in RA patients, these results suggest that immune responses to a cross-reactive antigen may play a role in the pathogenesis of RA.
PMCID: PMC424557  PMID: 2422209

Results 1-11 (11)