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author:("Morel, vivian")
1.  Distribution of the leptospiral immunoglobulin-like (lig) genes in pathogenic Leptospira species and application of ligB to typing leptospiral isolates 
Journal of Medical Microbiology  2009;58(Pt 9):1173-1181.
The family of leptospiral immunoglobulin-like (lig) genes comprises ligA, ligB and ligC. This study used PCR to demonstrate the presence of lig genes among serovars from a collection of leptospiral strains and clinical isolates. Whilst ligA and ligC appeared to be present in a limited number of pathogenic serovars, the ligB gene was distributed ubiquitously among all pathogenic strains. None of the lig genes were detected among intermediate or saprophytic Leptospira species. It was also shown that, similar to the previously characterized secY gene, a short specific PCR fragment of ligB could be used to correctly identify pathogenic Leptospira species. These findings demonstrate that ligB is widely present among pathogenic strains and may be useful for their reliable identification and classification.
PMCID: PMC2887549  PMID: 19528180
2.  Environmental Poliovirus Surveillance during Oral Poliovirus Vaccine and Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine Use in Córdoba Province, Argentina▿  
This study compares the presence of environmental poliovirus in two Argentinean populations using oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) or inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV). From January 2003 to December 2005, Córdoba City used IPV in routine infant immunizations, with the exception of intermittent OPV use in August 2005. Between May 2005 and April 2006, we collected weekly wastewater samples in Córdoba City and the province's three major towns, which continued OPV use at all times. Wastewater samples were processed and analyzed for the presence of poliovirus according to WHO guidelines. During the months of IPV use in Córdoba City, the overall proportion of poliovirus-positive samples was 19%. During an intermittent switch from IPV to OPV, this proportion increased to 100% within 2 months. During the 3 months when IPV was reintroduced to replace OPV, a substantial proportion of samples (25%) remained positive for poliovirus. In the OPV-using sites, on average, 54% of samples were poliovirus positive. Seventy-seven percent of poliovirus isolates showed at least one mutation in the VP1-encoding sequence; the maximum genetic divergence from the Sabin strain was 0.7%. Several isolates showed mutations on attenuation markers in the VP1-encoding sequence. The frequency or type of virus mutation did not differ between periods of IPV and OPV use or by virus serotypes. This study indicates that the sustained transmission of OPV viruses was limited during IPV use in a middle-income country with a temperate climate. The continued importation of poliovirus and genetic instability of vaccine strains even in the absence of sustained circulation suggest that high poliovirus vaccine coverage has to be maintained for all countries until the risk of reintroduction of either wild or vaccine-derived poliovirus is close to zero worldwide.
PMCID: PMC2648149  PMID: 19124585
3.  Genome-Wide Transposon Mutagenesis in Pathogenic Leptospira Species▿ ‡  
Infection and Immunity  2008;77(2):810-816.
Leptospira interrogans is the most common cause of leptospirosis in humans and animals. Genetic analysis of L. interrogans has been severely hindered by a lack of tools for genetic manipulation. Recently we developed the mariner-based transposon Himar1 to generate the first defined mutants in L. interrogans. In this study, a total of 929 independent transposon mutants were obtained and the location of insertion determined. Of these mutants, 721 were located in the protein coding regions of 551 different genes. While sequence analysis of transposon insertion sites indicated that transposition occurred in an essentially random fashion in the genome, 25 unique transposon mutants were found to exhibit insertions into genes encoding 16S or 23S rRNAs, suggesting these genes are insertional hot spots in the L. interrogans genome. In contrast, loci containing notionally essential genes involved in lipopolysaccharide and heme biosynthesis showed few transposon insertions. The effect of gene disruption on the virulence of a selected set of defined mutants was investigated using the hamster model of leptospirosis. Two attenuated mutants with disruptions in hypothetical genes were identified, thus validating the use of transposon mutagenesis for the identification of novel virulence factors in L. interrogans. This library provides a valuable resource for the study of gene function in L. interrogans. Combined with the genome sequences of L. interrogans, this provides an opportunity to investigate genes that contribute to pathogenesis and will provide a better understanding of the biology of L. interrogans.
PMCID: PMC2632054  PMID: 19047402

Results 1-3 (3)