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1.  Epidemiological Evidence That Garden Birds Are a Source of Human Salmonellosis in England and Wales 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88968.
The importance of wild bird populations as a reservoir of zoonotic pathogens is well established. Salmonellosis is a frequently diagnosed infectious cause of mortality of garden birds in England and Wales, predominantly caused by Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Typhimurium definitive phage types 40, 56(v) and 160. In Britain, these phage types are considered highly host-adapted with a high degree of genetic similarity amongst isolates, and in some instances are clonal. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis, however, demonstrated minimal variation amongst matched DT40 and DT56(v) isolates derived from passerine and human incidents of salmonellosis across England in 2000–2007. Also, during the period 1993–2012, similar temporal and spatial trends of infection with these S. Typhimurium phage types occurred in both the British garden bird and human populations; 1.6% of all S. Typhimurium (0.2% of all Salmonella) isolates from humans in England and Wales over the period 2000–2010. These findings support the hypothesis that garden birds act as the primary reservoir of infection for these zoonotic bacteria. Most passerine salmonellosis outbreaks identified occurred at and around feeding stations, which are likely sites of public exposure to sick or dead garden birds and their faeces. We, therefore, advise the public to practise routine personal hygiene measures when feeding wild birds and especially when handling sick wild birds.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088968
PMCID: PMC3935841  PMID: 24586464
2.  Risk factors for the development of severe typhoid fever in Vietnam 
Background
Typhoid fever is a systemic infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi. Age, sex, prolonged duration of illness, and infection with an antimicrobial resistant organism have been proposed risk factors for the development of severe disease or fatality in typhoid fever.
Methods
We analysed clinical data from 581 patients consecutively admitted with culture confirmed typhoid fever to two hospitals in Vietnam during two periods in 1993–1995 and 1997–1999. These periods spanned a change in the antimicrobial resistance phenotypes of the infecting organisms i.e. fully susceptible to standard antimicrobials, resistance to chloramphenicol, ampicillin and trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole (multidrug resistant, MDR), and intermediate susceptibility to ciprofloxacin (nalidixic acid resistant). Age, sex, duration of illness prior to admission, hospital location and the presence of MDR or intermediate ciprofloxacin susceptibility in the infecting organism were examined by logistic regression analysis to identify factors independently associated with severe typhoid at the time of hospital admission.
Results
The prevalence of severe typhoid was 15.5% (90/581) and included: gastrointestinal bleeding (43; 7.4%); hepatitis (29; 5.0%); encephalopathy (16; 2.8%); myocarditis (12; 2.1%); intestinal perforation (6; 1.0%); haemodynamic shock (5; 0.9%), and death (3; 0.5%). Severe disease was more common with increasing age, in those with a longer duration of illness and in patients infected with an organism exhibiting intermediate susceptibility to ciprofloxacin. Notably an MDR phenotype was not associated with severe disease. Severe disease was independently associated with infection with an organism with an intermediate susceptibility to ciprofloxacin (AOR 1.90; 95% CI 1.18-3.07; p = 0.009) and male sex (AOR 1.61 (1.00-2.57; p = 0.035).
Conclusions
In this group of patients hospitalised with typhoid fever infection with an organism with intermediate susceptibility to ciprofloxacin was independently associated with disease severity. During this period many patients were being treated with fluoroquinolones prior to hospital admission. Ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin should be used with caution in patients infected with S. Typhi that have intermediate susceptibility to ciprofloxacin.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-73
PMCID: PMC3923984  PMID: 24512443
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi; Severe typhoid; Antimicrobial resistance; Multidrug resistance; Intermediate ciprofloxacin susceptibility
3.  Evaluating the Use of Multilocus Variable Number Tandem Repeat Analysis of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli O157 as a Routine Public Health Tool in England 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e85901.
Multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) provides microbiological support for investigations of clusters of cases of infection with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O157. All confirmed STEC O157 isolated in England and submitted to the Gastrointestinal Bacteria Reference Unit (GBRU) during a six month period were typed using MLVA, with the aim of assessing the impact of this approach on epidemiological investigations. Of 539 cases investigated, 341 (76%) had unique (>2 single locus variants) MLVA profiles, 12% of profiles occurred more than once due to known household transmission and 12% of profiles occurred as part of 41 clusters, 21 of which were previously identified through routine public health investigation of cases. The remaining 20 clusters were not previously detected and STEC enhanced surveillance data for associated cases were retrospectively reviewed for epidemiological links including shared exposures, geography and/or time. Additional evidence of a link between cases was found in twelve clusters. Compared to phage typing, the number of sporadic cases was reduced from 69% to 41% and the diversity index for MLVA was 0.996 versus 0.782 for phage typing. Using MLVA generates more data on the spatial and temporal dispersion of cases, better defining the epidemiology of STEC infection than phage typing. The increased detection of clusters through MLVA typing highlights the challenges to health protection practices, providing a forerunner to the advent of whole genome sequencing as a diagnostic tool.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085901
PMCID: PMC3895024  PMID: 24465775
4.  Complete Genome Sequence of the Campylobacter coli Clinical Isolate 15-537360 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(6):e01056-13.
Campylobacter coli strain 15-537360 was originally isolated in 2001 from a 42-year-old patient with gastroenteritis. Here, we report its complete genome sequence, which comprises a 1.7-Mbp chromosome and a 29-kbp conjugative cryptic plasmid. This is the first complete genome sequence of a clinical isolate of C. coli.
doi:10.1128/genomeA.01056-13
PMCID: PMC3861437  PMID: 24336384
5.  In Vivo Imaging of Tracheal Epithelial Cells in Mice during Airway Regeneration 
Many human lung diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchiolitis obliterans, and cystic fibrosis, are characterized by changes in the cellular composition and architecture of the airway epithelium. Intravital fluorescence microscopy has emerged as a powerful approach in mechanistic studies of diseases, but it has been difficult to apply this tool for in vivo respiratory cell biology in animals in a minimally invasive manner. Here, we describe a novel miniature side-view confocal probe capable of visualizing the epithelium in the mouse trachea in vivo at a single-cell resolution. We performed serial real-time endotracheal fluorescence microscopy in live transgenic reporter mice to view the three major cell types of the large airways, namely, basal cells, Clara cells, and ciliated cells. As a proof-of-concept demonstration, we monitored the regeneration of Clara cells over 18 days after a sulfur dioxide injury. Our results show that in vivo tracheal microscopy offers a new approach in the study of altered, regenerating, or metaplastic airways in animal models of lung diseases.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2012-0164OC
PMCID: PMC3547097  PMID: 22984086
in vivo fluorescence microscopy; mouse imaging; epithelial regeneration
6.  Genomic Characterisation of Invasive Non-Typhoidal Salmonella enterica Subspecies enterica Serovar Bovismorbificans Isolates from Malawi 
Background
Invasive Non-typhoidal Salmonella (iNTS) are an important cause of bacteraemia in children and HIV-infected adults in sub-Saharan Africa. Previous research has shown that iNTS strains exhibit a pattern of gene loss that resembles that of host adapted serovars such as Salmonella Typhi and Paratyphi A. Salmonella enterica serovar Bovismorbificans was a common serovar in Malawi between 1997 and 2004.
Methodology
We sequenced the genomes of 14 Malawian bacteraemia and four veterinary isolates from the UK, to identify genomic variations and signs of host adaptation in the Malawian strains.
Principal Findings
Whole genome phylogeny of invasive and veterinary S. Bovismorbificans isolates showed that the isolates are highly related, belonging to the most common international S. Bovismorbificans Sequence Type, ST142, in contrast to the findings for S. Typhimurium, where a distinct Sequence Type, ST313, is associated with invasive disease in sub-Saharan Africa. Although genome degradation through pseudogene formation was observed in ST142 isolates, there were no clear overlaps with the patterns of gene loss seen in iNTS ST313 isolates previously described from Malawi, and no clear distinction between S. Bovismorbificans isolates from Malawi and the UK.
The only defining differences between S. Bovismorbificans bacteraemia and veterinary isolates were prophage-related regions and the carriage of a S. Bovismorbificans virulence plasmid (pVIRBov).
Conclusions
iNTS S. Bovismorbificans isolates, unlike iNTS S. Typhiumrium isolates, are only distinguished from those circulating elsewhere by differences in the mobile genome. It is likely that these strains have entered a susceptible population and are able to take advantage of this niche. There are tentative signs of convergent evolution to a more human adapted iNTS variant. Considering its importance in causing disease in this region, S. Bovismorbificans may be at the beginning of this process, providing a reference against which to compare changes that may become fixed in future lineages in sub-Saharan Africa.
Author Summary
Bacteraemia and meningitis caused by non-typhoidal Salmonella (including serovars Typhimurium, Enteritidis and Bovismorbificans) are a serious health issue in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in young children and HIV-infected adults. Previous work has indicated that a distinct S. Typhimurium sequence type, ST313, has evolved and spread in these countries, and may be more human-adapted than isolates found in the developed world. We therefore investigated the genomes of Salmonella enterica serovar Bovismorbificans bacteraemia isolates from Malawi and compared them to genomes of veterinary S. Bovismorbificans isolates from the UK using Next Generation Sequencing Technology and subsequent genomic comparisons to establish if there is a genetic basis for this increase in invasive disease observed among African NTS. Contrary to the previous findings for S. Typhimurium, where a distinct ST is found only in sub-Saharan Africa, we discovered that the S. Bovismorbificans isolates from Malawi belong to the most common ST of the serovar and the genome is highly conserved across all sequenced isolates. The major differences between UK veterinary and African human isolates were due to prophage regions inserted into the genomes of African isolates, coupled with a higher prevalence of a virulence plasmid compared to the UK isolates.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002557
PMCID: PMC3828162  PMID: 24244782
7.  Mechanical Ventilation and Air Leaks After Lung Biopsy for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome 
The Annals of thoracic surgery  2006;82(1):10.1016/j.athoracsur.2006.02.022.
Background
Open lung biopsy in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) may provide a specific etiology and change clinical management, yet concerns about complications remain. Persistent air leak is the most common postoperative complication. Risk factors in this setting are not known.
Methods
We performed a retrospective analysis of 53 patients who underwent open lung biopsy for clinical ARDS (based on American European Consensus Conference criteria) between 1989 and 2000.
Results
Sixteen patients (30.2%) developed an air leak lasting more than 7 days or died with an air leak. Univariate analyses showed no significant correlation with age, gender, sex, corticosteroid use, diabetes, immunocompromised status, or pathologic diagnosis. A lower risk of air leak was associated with lower peak airway pressure and tidal volume, use of pressure-cycled ventilation, and use of an endoscopic stapling device. In multivariate analyses, only peak airway pressure remained a significant predictor. The risk of prolonged air leak was reduced by 42% (95% confidence interval [CI: 17% to 60%]) for every 5 cm H2O reduction in peak airway pressure.
Conclusions
The use of a lung-protective ventilatory strategy that limits peak airway pressures is strongly associated with a reduced risk of postoperative air leak after open lung biopsy in ARDS. Using such a strategy may allow physicians to obtain information from open lung biopsy to make therapeutic decisions without undue harm to ARDS patients.
doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2006.02.022
PMCID: PMC3822769  PMID: 16798226
8.  Comparative Analysis of ESBL-Positive Escherichia coli Isolates from Animals and Humans from the UK, The Netherlands and Germany 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e75392.
The putative virulence and antimicrobial resistance gene contents of extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-positive E. coli (n=629) isolated between 2005 and 2009 from humans, animals and animal food products in Germany, The Netherlands and the UK were compared using a microarray approach to test the suitability of this approach with regard to determining their similarities. A selection of isolates (n=313) were also analysed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Isolates harbouring blaCTX-M-group-1 dominated (66%, n=418) and originated from both animals and cases of human infections in all three countries; 23% (n=144) of all isolates contained both blaCTX-M-group-1 and blaOXA-1-like genes, predominantly from humans (n=127) and UK cattle (n=15). The antimicrobial resistance and virulence gene profiles of this collection of isolates were highly diverse. A substantial number of human isolates (32%, n=87) did not share more than 40% similarity (based on the Jaccard coefficient) with animal isolates. A further 43% of human isolates from the three countries (n=117) were at least 40% similar to each other and to five isolates from UK cattle and one each from Dutch chicken meat and a German dog; the members of this group usually harboured genes such as mph(A), mrx, aac(6’)-Ib, catB3, blaOXA-1-like and blaCTX-M-group-1. forty-four per cent of the MLST-typed isolates in this group belonged to ST131 (n=18) and 22% to ST405 (n=9), all from humans. Among animal isolates subjected to MLST (n=258), only 1.2% (n=3) were more than 70% similar to human isolates in gene profiles and shared the same MLST clonal complex with the corresponding human isolates. The results suggest that minimising human-to-human transmission is essential to control the spread of ESBL-positive E. coli in humans.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075392
PMCID: PMC3784421  PMID: 24086522
9.  MTHFR Polymorphisms, Folate Intake, and Carcinogen DNA Adducts in the Lung 
The methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) genes and folate in one-carbon metabolism are essential for DNA methylation and synthesis. However, their role in carcinogen DNA damage in target lung tissue, a dosimeter for cancer risk, is not known. Our study aimed to investigate the association between genetic and nutritional one-carbon metabolism factors and DNA adducts in target lung. Data on 135 lung cancer cases from the Massachusetts General Hospital were studied. Genotyping was completed for MTHFR C677T (rs1801133) and A1298C (rs1801131). Information on dietary intake for one-carbon related micronutrients, folate and other B vitamin, was derived from a validated food frequency questionnaire. DNA adducts in lung were measured by 32P-postlabeling. After adjusting for potential confounders, DNA adduct levels in lung significantly increased by 69.2% [95% confidence interval (CI), 5.5% to 171.5%] for the MTHFR 1298AC+CC genotype. The high risk group, combining the A1298C (AC+CC) plus C677T (CT+TT) genotypes, had significantly enhanced levels of lung adducts by 210.7% (95% CI, 21.4% to 695.2%) in contrast to the A1298C (AA) plus C677T (CC) genotypes. Elevation of DNA adduct was pronounced - 111.3% (95% CI, −3.0 to 360.5%) among 1298AC+CC patients who consumed the lowest level of folate intake as compared with 1298AA individuals with highest tertile of intake. These results indicate that DNA adducts levels are influenced by MTHFR polymorphisms and low folate consumption, suggesting an important role of genetic and nutritional factors in protecting DNA damage from lung carcinogen in at-risk populations.
doi:10.1002/ijc.27338
PMCID: PMC3293105  PMID: 22052259
MTHFR; folate; genetic polymorphisms; DNA adducts; one carbon metabolism
10.  Public Health Value of Next-Generation DNA Sequencing of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Isolates from an Outbreak 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2013;51(1):232-237.
In 2009, an outbreak of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) on an open farm infected 93 persons, and approximately 22% of these individuals developed hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). Genome sequencing was used to investigate outbreak-derived animal and human EHEC isolates. Phylogeny based on the whole-genome sequence was used to place outbreak isolates in the context of the overall E. coli species and the O157:H7 sequence type 11 (ST11) subgroup. Four informative single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified and used to design an assay to type 122 other outbreak isolates. The SNP phylogeny demonstrated that the outbreak strain was from a lineage distinct from previously reported O157:H7 ST11 EHEC and was not a member of the hypervirulent clade 8. The strain harbored determinants for two Stx2 verotoxins and other putative virulence factors. When linked to the epidemiological information, the sequence data indicate that gross contamination of a single outbreak strain occurred across the farm prior to the first clinical report of HUS. The most likely explanation for these results is that a single successful strain of EHEC spread from a single introduction through the farm by clonal expansion and that contamination of the environment (including the possible colonization of several animals) led ultimately to human cases.
doi:10.1128/JCM.01696-12
PMCID: PMC3536255  PMID: 23135946
11.  Population Genetic Structure of 4,12:a:− Salmonella enterica Strains from Harbor Porpoises 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2012;78(24):8829-8833.
According to pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) typing, 4,12:a:− Salmonella enterica isolates from harbor porpoises are highly diverse. However, porpoise isolates belong to only two multilocus sequence types within the eBurst group 18 (eBG18) genetic cluster, which also includes S. enterica serovars Bispebjerg and Abortusequi. Isolates of other, serologically similar serovars belong to unrelated eBGs. These assignments to eBGs were supported by eBG-specific sequences of the flagellar gene fliC.
doi:10.1128/AEM.02310-12
PMCID: PMC3502922  PMID: 23042176
12.  Intra-continental spread of human invasive Salmonella Typhimurium pathovariants in sub-Saharan Africa 
Nature genetics  2012;44(11):1215-1221.
A highly invasive form of non-typhoidal Salmonella (iNTS) disease has been recently documented in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The most common Salmonella enterica serovar causing this disease is Typhimurium. We applied whole-genome sequence-based phylogenetic methods to define the population structure of sub-Saharan African invasive Salmonella Typhimurium and compared these to global Salmonella Typhimurium isolates. Notably, the vast majority of sub-Saharan invasive Salmonella Typhimurium fell within two closely-related, highly-clustered phylogenetic lineages that we estimate emerged independently ~52 and ~35 years ago, in close temporal association with the current HIV pandemic. Clonal replacement of isolates of lineage I by lineage II was potentially influenced by the use of chloramphenicol for the treatment of iNTS disease. Our analysis suggests that iNTS disease is in part an epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa caused by highly related Salmonella Typhimurium lineages that may have occupied new niches associated with a compromised human population and antibiotic treatment.
doi:10.1038/ng.2423
PMCID: PMC3491877  PMID: 23023330
13.  Generation of Multipotent Lung and Airway Progenitors from Mouse ESCs and Patient-Specific Cystic Fibrosis iPSCs 
Cell stem cell  2012;10(4):385-397.
SUMMARY
Deriving lung progenitors from patient-specific pluripotent cells is a key step in producing differentiated lung epithelium for disease modeling and transplantation. By mimicking the signaling events that occur during mouse lung development, we generated murine lung progenitors in a series of discrete steps. Definitive endoderm derived from mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) was converted into foregut endoderm, then into replicating Nkx2.1+ lung endoderm, and finally into multipotent embryonic lung progenitor and airway progenitor cells. We demonstrated that precisely-timed BMP, FGF, and WNT signaling are required for NKX2.1 induction. Mouse ESC-derived Nkx2.1+ progenitor cells formed respiratory epithelium (tracheospheres) when transplanted subcutaneously into mice. We then adapted this strategy to produce disease-specific lung progenitor cells from human Cystic Fibrosis induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), creating a platform for dissecting human lung disease. These disease-specific human lung progenitors formed respiratory epithelium when subcutaneously engrafted into immunodeficient mice.
doi:10.1016/j.stem.2012.01.018
PMCID: PMC3474327  PMID: 22482504
14.  A comparison of dense transposon insertion libraries in the Salmonella serovars Typhi and Typhimurium 
Nucleic Acids Research  2013;41(8):4549-4564.
Salmonella Typhi and Typhimurium diverged only ∼50 000 years ago, yet have very different host ranges and pathogenicity. Despite the availability of multiple whole-genome sequences, the genetic differences that have driven these changes in phenotype are only beginning to be understood. In this study, we use transposon-directed insertion-site sequencing to probe differences in gene requirements for competitive growth in rich media between these two closely related serovars. We identify a conserved core of 281 genes that are required for growth in both serovars, 228 of which are essential in Escherichia coli. We are able to identify active prophage elements through the requirement for their repressors. We also find distinct differences in requirements for genes involved in cell surface structure biogenesis and iron utilization. Finally, we demonstrate that transposon-directed insertion-site sequencing is not only applicable to the protein-coding content of the cell but also has sufficient resolution to generate hypotheses regarding the functions of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) as well. We are able to assign probable functions to a number of cis-regulatory ncRNA elements, as well as to infer likely differences in trans-acting ncRNA regulatory networks.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkt148
PMCID: PMC3632133  PMID: 23470992
15.  Revolutionising Bacteriology to Improve Treatment Outcomes and Antibiotic Stewardship 
Infection & Chemotherapy  2013;45(1):1-10.
Laboratory investigation of bacterial infections generally takes two days: one to grow the bacteria and another to identify them and to test their susceptibility. Meanwhile the patient is treated empirically, based on likely pathogens and local resistance rates. Many patients are over-treated to prevent under-treatment of a few, compromising antibiotic stewardship. Molecular diagnostics have potential to improve this situation by accelerating precise diagnoses and the early refinement of antibiotic therapy. They include: (i) the use of 'biomarkers' to swiftly distinguish patients with bacterial infection, and (ii) molecular bacteriology to identify pathogens and their resistance genes in clinical specimens, without culture. Biomarker interest centres on procalcitonin, which has given good results particularly for pneumonias, though broader biomarker arrays may prove superior in the future. PCRs already are widely used to diagnose a few infections (e.g. tuberculosis) whilst multiplexes are becoming available for bacteraemia, pneumonia and gastrointestinal infection. These detect likely pathogens, but are not comprehensive, particularly for resistance genes; there is also the challenge of linking pathogens and resistance genes when multiple organisms are present in a sample. Next-generation sequencing offers more comprehensive profiling, but obstacles include sensitivity when the bacterial load is low, as in bacteraemia, and the imperfect correlation of genotype and phenotype. In short, rapid molecular bacteriology presents great potential to improve patient treatments and antibiotic stewardship but faces many technical challenges; moreover it runs counter to the current nostrum of defining resistance in pharmacodynamic terms, rather than by the presence of a mechanism, and the policy of centralising bacteriology services.
doi:10.3947/ic.2013.45.1.1
PMCID: PMC3780945  PMID: 24265945
Biomarkers; Molecular microbiology; Rapid diagnostics; Antibiotic stewardship
16.  Interactions between Environmental Factors and Polymorphisms in Angiogenesis Pathway Genes in Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Risk: A Case-Only Study 
Cancer  2011;118(3):804-811.
BACKGROUND
Gastroesophageal reflux symptoms (GERD), higher body mass index (BMI), smoking, and genetic variants in angiogenic pathway genes have been individually associated with increased risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA). However, how angiogenic gene polymorphisms and environmental factors jointly affect EA development remains unclear.
METHODS
Using a case-only design (n = 335), we examined interaction between 141 functional/tagging angiogenic SNPs and environmental factors (GERD, BMI, smoking) in modulating EA risk. Gene-environment interactions were assessed by a two-step approach. First, we applied random forest (RF) to screen for important SNPs that had either main or interaction effects. Second, we used case-only logistic regression (LR) to assess the effects of gene-environment interactions on EA risk, adjusting for covariates and false-discovery rate (FDR).
RESULTS
RF analyses identified three sets of SNPs (17 SNPs-GERD, 26 SNPs-smoking, and 34 SNPs-BMI) that had the highest importance scores. In subsequent LR analyses, interactions between 3 SNPs (rs2295778 of HIF1AN, rs133376 of TSC2, and rs2519757 of TSC1) and GERD, 2 SNPs (rs2295778 of HIF1AN, rs2296188 (VEGFR1) and smoking, and 7 SNPs (rs2114039 of PDGRFA, rs2296188 of VEGFR1, rs11941492 of VEGFR1, rs3756309 of PDGFRB, rs7324547 of VEGFR1, rs17619601 of VEGFR1, and rs17625898 of VEGFR1) and BMI were significantly associated with EA development (all FDR ≤0.10). Moreover, these interactions tended to have a SNP dose-response effects for increased EA risk with increasing number of combined risk genotypes.
CONCLUSIONS
These findings suggest that genetic variations in angiogenic genes may modify EA susceptibility through interactions with environmental factors in a SNP dose-response manner.
doi:10.1002/cncr.26325
PMCID: PMC3193872  PMID: 21751195
Esophageal adenocarcinoma; angiogenesis pathway genes; gene-environment interaction; case-only analysis
17.  Mechanisms of Acquired Crizotinib Resistance in ALK-Rearranged Lung Cancers 
Science Translational Medicine  2012;4(120):120ra17.
Most anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)–positive non–small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) are highly responsive to treatment with ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). However, patients with these cancers invariably relapse, typically within 1 year, because of the development of drug resistance. Herein, we report findings from a series of lung cancer patients (n = 18) with acquired resistance to the ALK TKI crizotinib. In about one-fourth of patients, we identified a diverse array of secondary mutations distributed throughout the ALK TK domain, including new resistance mutations located in the solvent-exposed region of the adenosine triphosphate–binding pocket, as well as amplification of the ALK fusion gene. Next-generation ALK inhibitors, developed to overcome crizotinib resistance, had differing potencies against specific resistance mutations. In addition to secondary ALK mutations and ALK gene amplification, we also identified aberrant activation of other kinases including marked amplification of KIT and increased autophosphorylation of epidermal growth factor receptor in drug-resistant tumors from patients. In a subset of patients, we found evidence of multiple resistance mechanisms developing simultaneously. These results highlight the unique features of TKI resistance in ALK-positive NSCLCs and provide the rationale for pursuing combinatorial therapeutics that are tailored to the precise resistance mechanisms identified in patients who relapse on crizotinib treatment.
doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3003316
PMCID: PMC3385512  PMID: 22277784
18.  Multilocus Sequence Typing as a Replacement for Serotyping in Salmonella enterica 
PLoS Pathogens  2012;8(6):e1002776.
Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica is traditionally subdivided into serovars by serological and nutritional characteristics. We used Multilocus Sequence Typing (MLST) to assign 4,257 isolates from 554 serovars to 1092 sequence types (STs). The majority of the isolates and many STs were grouped into 138 genetically closely related clusters called eBurstGroups (eBGs). Many eBGs correspond to a serovar, for example most Typhimurium are in eBG1 and most Enteritidis are in eBG4, but many eBGs contained more than one serovar. Furthermore, most serovars were polyphyletic and are distributed across multiple unrelated eBGs. Thus, serovar designations confounded genetically unrelated isolates and failed to recognize natural evolutionary groupings. An inability of serotyping to correctly group isolates was most apparent for Paratyphi B and its variant Java. Most Paratyphi B were included within a sub-cluster of STs belonging to eBG5, which also encompasses a separate sub-cluster of Java STs. However, diphasic Java variants were also found in two other eBGs and monophasic Java variants were in four other eBGs or STs, one of which is in subspecies salamae and a second of which includes isolates assigned to Enteritidis, Dublin and monophasic Paratyphi B. Similarly, Choleraesuis was found in eBG6 and is closely related to Paratyphi C, which is in eBG20. However, Choleraesuis var. Decatur consists of isolates from seven other, unrelated eBGs or STs. The serological assignment of these Decatur isolates to Choleraesuis likely reflects lateral gene transfer of flagellar genes between unrelated bacteria plus purifying selection. By confounding multiple evolutionary groups, serotyping can be misleading about the disease potential of S. enterica. Unlike serotyping, MLST recognizes evolutionary groupings and we recommend that Salmonella classification by serotyping should be replaced by MLST or its equivalents.
Author Summary
Microbiologists have used serological and nutritional characteristics to subdivide pathogenic bacteria for nearly 100 years. These subdivisions in Salmonella enterica are called serovars, some of which are thought to be associated with particular diseases and epidemiology. We used MultiLocus Sequence-based Typing (MLST) to identify clusters of S. enterica isolates that are related by evolutionary descent. Some clusters correspond to serovars on a one to one basis. But many clusters include multiple serovars, which is of public health significance, and most serovars span multiple, unrelated clusters. Despite its broad usage, serological typing of S. enterica has resulted in confusing systematics, with a few exceptions. We recommend that serotyping for strain discrimination of S. enterica be replaced by a DNA-based method, such as MLST. Serotyping and other non-sequence based typing methods are routinely used for detecting outbreaks and to support public health responses. Moving away from these methods will require a major shift in thinking by public health microbiology laboratories as well as national and international agencies. However, a transition to the routine use of MLST, supplemented where appropriate by even more discriminatory sequence-based typing methods based on entire genomes, will provide a clearer picture of long-term transmission routes of Salmonella, facilitate data transfer and support global control measures.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002776
PMCID: PMC3380943  PMID: 22737074
19.  Giant thoracic meningocele associated with neurofibromatosis 1 
Neurology  2011;76(22):1943.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e31821d7667
PMCID: PMC3115810  PMID: 21624995
20.  Genetic modifiers of carcinogen DNA adducts in target lung and peripheral blood mononuclear cells 
Carcinogenesis  2010;31(12):2091-2096.
Measurement of carcinogen DNA adducts in blood has been used as a surrogate for the target lung tissue. We aimed to examine whether genetic polymorphisms in several metabolic pathway genes modify the relation between DNA adducts in target lung and blood. One hundred and thirty-five early-stage lung cancer patients from the Massachusetts General Hospital were studied. DNA adducts were measured by the 32P-postlabeling assay in lung and blood mononuclear cells (MNCs) in a subset of 53 who had paired blood samples. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were assessed in genes involved in phase II (GSTs, NAT2, EPHX and NQO1), DNA repair (ERCC1, ERCC2 and XRCC1) and DNA methylation (MTHFR C677T and A1298C) pathways. There was a significant correlation between DNA adduct levels in lung and blood within the different genotypes, with one exception. Significant modifications in adducts were found by variants in genes for phase II metabolism [NAT2 (1.51 for rapid versus 0.76 for slow, P = 0.022)], DNA repair [ERCC1 C118T (P = 0.014), ERCC2 (P = 0.003) and XRCC1 (P = 0.025)] and MTHFR [C677T (P = 0.005) and A1298C (P = 0.005)]. The relation between DNA adducts in blood MNCs and target lung tissue was significantly modified by the single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the three main pathways. Despite the relatively small sample size, our results suggest that genetic factors may need to be considered when assessing the association of DNA adducts using surrogate tissue in studies of lung cancer. Further studies are needed to better understand their role and the mechanisms.
doi:10.1093/carcin/bgq208
PMCID: PMC2994283  PMID: 20935060
21.  Rapid evolution of fluoroquinolone-resistant Escherichia coli in Nigeria is temporally associated with fluoroquinolone use 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:312.
Background
Antibiotic resistance has necessitated fluoroquinolone use but little is known about the selective forces and resistance trajectory in malaria-endemic settings, where selection from the antimalarial chloroquine for fluoroquinolone-resistant bacteria has been proposed.
Methods
Antimicrobial resistance was studied in fecal Escherichia coli isolates in a Nigerian community. Quinolone-resistance determining regions of gyrA and parC were sequenced in nalidixic acid resistant strains and horizontally-transmitted quinolone-resistance genes were sought by PCR. Antimicrobial prescription practices were compared with antimicrobial resistance rates over a period spanning three decades.
Results
Before 2005, quinolone resistance was limited to low-level nalixidic acid resistance in fewer than 4% of E. coli isolates. In 2005, the proportion of isolates demonstrating low-level quinolone resistance due to elevated efflux increased and high-level quinolone resistance and resistance to the fluoroquinolones appeared. Fluoroquinolone resistance was attributable to single nucleotide polymorphisms in quinolone target genes gyrA and/or parC. By 2009, 35 (34.5%) of isolates were quinolone non-susceptible with nine carrying gyrA and parC SNPs and six bearing identical qnrS1 alleles. The antimalarial chloroquine was heavily used throughout the entire period but E. coli with quinolone-specific resistance mechanisms were only detected in the final half decade, immediately following the introduction of the fluoroquinolone antibacterial ciprofloxacin.
Conclusions
Fluoroquinolones, and not chloroquine, appear to be the selective force for fluoroquinolone-resistant fecal E. coli in this setting. Rapid evolution to resistance following fluoroquinolone introduction points the need to implement resistant containment strategies when new antibacterials are introduced into resource-poor settings with high infectious disease burdens.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-312
PMCID: PMC3226678  PMID: 22060770
antimicrobial resistance; antimicrobial use; quinolone resistance; drug resistance; ciprofloxacin; fluoroquinolones; selective pressure; Nigeria; chloroquine; antimalarial; fluoroquinolone-resistant; Escherichia coli
22.  Genotypic and Histological Evolution of Lung Cancers Acquiring Resistance to EGFR Inhibitors 
Science translational medicine  2011;3(75):75ra26.
Lung cancers harboring mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) respond to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors, but drug resistance invariably emerges. To elucidate mechanisms of acquired drug resistance, we performed systematic genetic and histological analyses of tumor biopsies from 37 patients with drug-resistant non–small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) carrying EGFR mutations. All drug-resistant tumors retained their original activating EGFR mutations, and some acquired known mechanisms of resistance including the EGFR T790M mutation or MET gene amplification. Some resistant cancers showed unexpected genetic changes including EGFR amplification and mutations in the PIK3CA gene, whereas others underwent a pronounced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Surprisingly, five resistant tumors (14%) transformed from NSCLC into small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and were sensitive to standard SCLC treatments. In three patients, serial biopsies revealed that genetic mechanisms of resistance were lost in the absence of the continued selective pressure of EGFR inhibitor treatment, and such cancers were sensitive to a second round of treatment with EGFR inhibitors. Collectively, these results deepen our understanding of resistance to EGFR inhibitors and underscore the importance of repeatedly assessing cancers throughout the course of the disease.
doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3002003
PMCID: PMC3132801  PMID: 21430269
23.  Impact on Disease Development, Genomic Location and Biological Function of Copy Number Alterations in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(8):e22961.
Lung cancer, of which more than 80% is non-small cell, is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Copy number alterations (CNAs) in lung cancer have been shown to be positionally clustered in certain genomic regions. However, it remains unclear whether genes with copy number changes are functionally clustered. Using a dense single nucleotide polymorphism array, we performed genome-wide copy number analyses of a large collection of non-small cell lung tumors (n = 301). We proposed a formal statistical test for CNAs between different groups (e.g., non-involved lung vs. tumors, early vs. late stage tumors). We also customized the gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) algorithm to investigate the overrepresentation of genes with CNAs in predefined biological pathways and gene sets (i.e., functional clustering). We found that CNAs events increase substantially from germline, early stage to late stage tumor. In addition to genomic position, CNAs tend to occur away from the gene locations, especially in germline, non-involved tissue and early stage tumors. Such tendency decreases from germline to early stage and then to late stage tumors, suggesting a relaxation of selection during tumor progression. Furthermore, genes with CNAs in non-small cell lung tumors were enriched in certain gene sets and biological pathways that play crucial roles in oncogenesis and cancer progression, demonstrating the functional aspect of CNAs in the context of biological pathways that were overlooked previously. We conclude that CNAs increase with disease progression and CNAs are both positionally and functionally clustered. The potential functional capabilities acquired via CNAs may be sufficient for normal cells to transform into malignant cells.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022961
PMCID: PMC3149069  PMID: 21829676
24.  Emergence of a Globally Dominant IncHI1 Plasmid Type Associated with Multiple Drug Resistant Typhoid 
Typhoid fever, caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi), remains a serious global health concern. Since their emergence in the mid-1970s multi-drug resistant (MDR) S. Typhi now dominate drug sensitive equivalents in many regions. MDR in S. Typhi is almost exclusively conferred by self-transmissible IncHI1 plasmids carrying a suite of antimicrobial resistance genes. We identified over 300 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within conserved regions of the IncHI1 plasmid, and genotyped both plasmid and chromosomal SNPs in over 450 S. Typhi dating back to 1958. Prior to 1995, a variety of IncHI1 plasmid types were detected in distinct S. Typhi haplotypes. Highly similar plasmids were detected in co-circulating S. Typhi haplotypes, indicative of plasmid transfer. In contrast, from 1995 onwards, 98% of MDR S. Typhi were plasmid sequence type 6 (PST6) and S. Typhi haplotype H58, indicating recent global spread of a dominant MDR clone. To investigate whether PST6 conferred a selective advantage compared to other IncHI1 plasmids, we used a phenotyping array to compare the impact of IncHI1 PST6 and PST1 plasmids in a common S. Typhi host. The PST6 plasmid conferred the ability to grow in high salt medium (4.7% NaCl), which we demonstrate is due to the presence in PST6 of the Tn6062 transposon encoding BetU.
Author Summary
Typhoid fever is caused by the bacterium Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi). Treatment relies on antimicrobial drugs, however many S. Typhi are multi-drug resistant (MDR), severely compromising treatment options. MDR typhoid is associated with multiple drug resistance genes, which can be transferred between S. Typhi and other bacteria via self-transmissible plasmids. We used sequence analysis to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within these plasmids, and used high-resolution SNP typing to trace the subtypes (termed haplotypes) of both the S. Typhi bacteria and their MDR plasmids isolated from more than 450 typhoid patients since 1958. Among isolates collected before 1995, a variety of plasmid haplotypes and S. Typhi haplotypes were detected, indicating that MDR typhoid was caused by a diverse range of S. Typhi and MDR plasmids. In contrast, 98% of MDR S. Typhi samples isolated from 1995 were of the same S. Typhi haplotype and plasmid haplotype, indicating that the recent increase in rates of MDR typhoid is due to the global spread of a dominant S. Typhi-plasmid combination. We demonstrate this particular plasmid type contains a transposon encoding two transporter genes, enabling its S. Typhi host to grow in the presence of high salt concentrations.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001245
PMCID: PMC3139670  PMID: 21811646
25.  The Influence of Reduced Susceptibility to Fluoroquinolones in Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhi on the Clinical Response to Ofloxacin Therapy 
Background
Infection with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) with reduced susceptibility to fluoroquinolones has been associated with fluoroquinolone treatment failure. We studied the relationship between ofloxacin treatment response and the ofloxacin minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the infecting isolate. Individual patient data from seven randomised controlled trials of antimicrobial treatment in enteric fever conducted in Vietnam in which ofloxacin was used in at least one of the treatment arms was studied. Data from 540 patients randomised to ofloxacin treatment was analysed to identify an MIC of the infecting organism associated with treatment failure.
Principal Findings
The proportion of patients failing ofloxacin treatment was significantly higher in patients infected with S. Typhi isolates with an MIC≥0.25 µg/mL compared with those infections with an MIC of ≤0.125 µg/mL (p<0.001). Treatment success was 96% when the ofloxacin MIC was ≤0.125 µg/mL, 73% when the MIC was between 0.25 and 0.50 µg/mL and 53% when the MIC was 1.00 µg/mL. This was despite a longer duration of treatment at a higher dosage in patients infected with isolates with an MIC≥0.25 µg/mL compared with those infections with an MIC of ≤0.125 µg/mL.
Significance
There is a clear relationship between ofloxacin susceptibility and clinical outcome in ofloxacin treated patients with enteric fever. An ofloxacin MIC of ≥0.25 µg/mL, or the presence of nalidixic acid resistance, can be used to define S. Typhi infections in which the response to ofloxacin may be impaired.
Author Summary
Typhoid fever is an infection of the bloodstream caused by the organism Salmonella Typhi (S. Typhi). Treatment with antimicrobials is critical for preventing severe infection and even death, yet antimicrobial resistant organisms have become a problem in many places where typhoid is common. Fluoroquinolones are a group of antimicrobials that are commonly used to treat typhoid, we analysed data from 540 enteric fever patients treated with ofloxacin (a fluoroquinolone) to identify a level of resistance (minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC)) from the infecting organism which is associated with treatment failure. The proportion of patients failing treatment was higher in those infected with a bacterium with an MIC≥0.25 µg/mL, compared with those infections with an MIC of ≤0.125 µg/mL. Treatment success was 96% when the ofloxacin MIC was ≤0.125 µg/mL, yet only 53% when the MIC was 1.00 µg/mL. Our data demonstrates that an S. Typhi bacterium with an ofloxacin MIC of ≥0.25 µg/mL correlates with a poor outcome when treated with this antimicrobial. Therefore, we propose an amendment in the current MIC guidelines for microbiology laboratories to aid clinicians treating typhoid and suggest the use of alternative therapy in these patients.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001163
PMCID: PMC3119645  PMID: 21713025

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