Ascaris lumbricoides and Ascaris suum are socioeconomically important and widespread parasites of humans and pigs, respectively. The excretory-secretory (ES) molecules produced and presented at the parasite-host interface during the different phases of tissue invasion and migration are likely to play critical roles in the induction and development of protective immune and other host responses.
The aim of this study was to identify the ES proteins of the different larval stages (L3-egg, L3-lung and L4) by LC-MS/MS. In total, 106 different proteins were identified, 20 in L3-egg, 45 in L3-lung stage and 58 in L4. Although most of the proteins identified were stage-specific, 15 were identified in the ES products of at least two stages. Two proteins, i.e. a 14-3-3-like protein and a serpin-like protein, were present in the ES products from the three different larval stages investigated. Interestingly, a comparison of ES products from L4 with those of L3-egg and L3-lung showed an abundance of metabolic enzymes, particularly glycosyl hydrolases. Further study indicated that most of these glycolytic enzymes were transcriptionally upregulated from L4 onwards, with a peak in the adult stage, particularly in intestinal tissue. This was also confirmed by enzymatic assays, showing the highest glycosidase activity in protein extracts from adult worms gut.
The present proteomic analysis provides important information on the host-parasite interaction and the biology of the migratory stages of A. suum. In particular, the high transcriptional upregulation of glycosyl hydrolases from the L4 stage onwards reveals that the degradation of complex carbohydrates forms an essential part of the energy metabolism of this parasite once it establishes in the small intestine.
The gastro-intestinal nematodes Ascaris lumbricoides and Ascaris suum are amongst the most prevalent parasites of humans and pigs, respectively. To date, little is known about A. suum excretory-secretory proteins, which are present at the parasite-host interface and likely to play a critical role in the induction and development of the immune response. The aim of this study was to identify the excretory-secretory proteins of the migratory stages of A. suum utilizing LC-MS/MS. In total, 106 proteins were identified, some of which are known as important players in the parasite-host interface. Interestingly, an abundance of glycosyl hydrolases was observed in the ES material of the intestinal L4 stage larvae. By combining the proteomic analysis with in depth genomic, transcriptomic and enzymatic analyses we could show that the glycosyl hydrolase protein family has undergone a massive expansion in A. suum and that most of the glycolytic activity is present in the intestinal tissue of the adult parasites. This could suggest that the degradation of complex carbohydrates forms an essential part of the energy metabolism of this parasite once it establishes in the small intestine. These findings provided useful information on the host-parasite interaction and the biology of this parasite, which can support the concerted efforts to develop better intervention strategies.
The objective of this study was to screen a dog population from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany for the presence of mutant alleles associated with hip dysplasia (HD), degenerative myelopathy (DM), exercise-induced collapse (EIC), neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis 4A (NCL), centronuclear myopathy (HMLR), mucopolysaccharidosis VII (MPS VII), myotonia congenita (MG), gangliosidosis (GM1) and muscular dystrophy (Duchenne type) (GRMD). Blood samples (K3EDTA) were collected for genotyping with Kompetitive Allele Specific PCR (n = 476). Allele and genotype frequencies were calculated in those breeds with at least 12 samples (n = 8). Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium was tested. Genetic variation was identified for 4 out of 9 disorders: mutant alleles were found in 49, 15, 3 and 2 breeds for HD, DM, EIC and NCL respectively. Additionally, mutant alleles were identified in crossbreeds for both HD and EIC. For HD, DM, EIC and NCL mutant alleles were newly discovered in 43, 13, 2 and 1 breed(s), respectively. In 9, 2 and 1 breed(s) for DM, EIC and NCL respectively, the mutant allele was detected, but the respective disorder has not been reported in those breeds. For 5 disorders (HMLR, MPS VII, MG, GM1, GRMD), the mutant allele could not be identified in our population. For the other 4 disorders (HD, DM, EIC, NCL), prevalence of associated mutant alleles seems strongly breed dependent. Surprisingly, mutant alleles were found in many breeds where the disorder has not been reported to date.
Over the past two decades, several fungal outbreaks have occurred, including the high-profile ‘Vancouver Island’ and ‘Pacific Northwest’ outbreaks, caused by Cryptococcus gattii, which has affected hundreds of otherwise healthy humans and animals. Over the same time period, C. gattii was the cause of several additional case clusters at localities outside of the tropical and subtropical climate zones where the species normally occurs. In every case, the causative agent belongs to a previously rare genotype of C. gattii called AFLP6/VGII, but the origin of the outbreak clades remains enigmatic. Here we used phylogenetic and recombination analyses, based on AFLP and multiple MLST datasets, and coalescence gene genealogy to demonstrate that these outbreaks have arisen from a highly-recombining C. gattii population in the native rainforest of Northern Brazil. Thus the modern virulent C. gattii AFLP6/VGII outbreak lineages derived from mating events in South America and then dispersed to temperate regions where they cause serious infections in humans and animals.
AIM: To investigate cellular 5-HT4(-h/+h) receptor distribution, particularly in the epithelial layer, by laser microdissection and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in porcine gastrointestinal (GI) tissues.
METHODS: A stepwise approach was used to evaluate RNA quality and to study cell-specific 5-HT4 receptor mRNA expression in the porcine gastric fundus and colon descendens. After freezing, staining and laser microdissection and pressure catapulting (LMPC), RNA quality was evaluated by the Experion automated electrophoresis system. 5-HT4 receptor and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) expressions were examined by endpoint reverse transcription (RT)-PCR in mucosal and muscle-myenteric plexus (MMP) tissue fractions, in mucosal and MMP parts of hematoxylin and eosin (HE) stained tissue sections and in microdissected patches of the epithelial and circular smooth muscle cell layer in these sections. Pig gastric fundus tissue sections were also stained immunohistochemically (IHC) for enterochromaffin cells (EC cells; MAB352); these cells were isolated by LMPC and examined by endpoint RT-PCR.
RESULTS: After HE staining, the epithelial and circular smooth muscle cell layer of pig colon descendens and the epithelial cell layer of gastric fundus were identified morphologically and isolated by LMPC. EC cells of pig gastric fundus were successfully stained by IHC and isolated by LMPC. Freezing, HE and IHC staining, and LMPC had no influence on RNA quality. 5-HT4 receptor and GAPDH mRNA expressions were detected in mucosa and MMP tissue fractions, and in mucosal and MMP parts of HE stained tissue sections of pig colon descendens and gastric fundus. In the mucosa tissue fractions of both GI regions, the expression of h-exon containing receptor [5-HT4(+h) receptor] mRNA was significantly higher (P < 0.01) compared to 5-HT4(-h) receptor expression, and a similar trend was obtained in the mucosal part of HE stained tissue sections. Large microdissected patches of the epithelial and circular smooth muscle cell layer of pig colon descendens and of the epithelial cell layer of pig gastric fundus, also showed 5-HT4 receptor and GAPDH mRNA expression. No 5-HT4 receptor mRNA expression was detected in gastric LMPC-isolated EC cells from IHC stained tissues, which cells were positive for GAPDH.
CONCLUSION: Porcine GI mucosa predominantly expresses 5-HT4(+h) receptor splice variants, suggesting their contribution to the 5-HT4 receptor-mediated mucosal effects of 5-HT.
5-hydroxytryptamine 4 receptors; Pig; Gastric fundus; Colon descendens; Epithelium; Smooth muscle; Laser microdissection and pressure catapulting
Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) are widely used drugs in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. Although SRIs are generally regarded as safe drugs with relatively few side effects, literature suggests that high concentrations of SRIs may alter immune function. We investigated whether high-dose treatment with fluoxetine was able to suppress acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) in a MHC-matched, minor histocompatibility antigen mismatched murine bone marrow transplantation model. We found that high doses fluoxetine induce a significant reduction of clinical symptoms and increase survival of these animals. The amelioration of clinical GvHD was accompanied by a reduced expansion of alloreactive T cells. We further analyzed the direct in vitro effect of six SRIs on the viability and proliferation of human T cells and found an anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effect that was significantly larger in activated than in resting T cells. We discuss these results in the light of potential future exploration of SRIs as a novel class of T cell immunosuppressive drugs.
Serotonin reuptake inhibitors; Fluoxetine; Graft-versus-host disease; Immunosuppression; T cells
Cell nuclei detection in fluorescent microscopic images is an important and time consuming task in a wide range of biological applications. Blur, clutter, bleed through and partial occlusion of nuclei make individual nuclei detection a challenging task for automated image analysis. This paper proposes a novel and robust detection method based on the active contour framework. Improvement over conventional approaches is achieved by exploiting prior knowledge of the nucleus shape in order to better detect individual nuclei. This prior knowledge is defined using a dictionary based approach which can be formulated as the optimization of a convex energy function. The proposed method shows accurate detection results for dense clusters of nuclei, for example, an F-measure (a measure for detection accuracy) of 0.96 for the detection of cell nuclei in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, compared to an F-measure of 0.90 achieved by state-of-the-art nuclei detection methods.
Here we report the genome sequence of Helicobacter heilmannii sensu stricto ASB1 isolated from the gastric mucosa of a kitten with severe gastritis. Helicobacter heilmannii sensu stricto has also been associated with gastric disease in humans. Availability of this genome sequence will contribute to the identification of genes involved in the pathogen’s virulence and carcinogenic properties.
In forensic casework analysis, identification of the biological matrix and the species of a forensic trace, preferably without loss of DNA, is of major importance. The biological matrices that can be encountered in a forensic context are blood (human or non-human), saliva, semen, vaginal fluid, and to a lesser extent nasal secretions, feces, and urine. All these matrices were applied on swabs and digested with trypsin in order to obtain peptides. These peptides were injected on a mass spectrometer (ESI Q-TOF) resulting in the detection of several biomarkers that were used to build a decision tree for matrix identification. Saliva and blood were characterized by the presence of alpha-amylase 1 and hemoglobin, respectively. In vaginal fluid, cornulin, cornifin, and/or involucrin were found as biomarkers while semenogelin, prostate-specific antigen, and/or acid phosphatase were characteristic proteins for semen. Uromodulin or AMBP protein imply the presence of urine, while plunc protein is present in nasal secretions. Feces could be determined by the presence of immunoglobulins without hemoglobin. The biomarkers for the most frequently encountered biological matrices (saliva, blood, vaginal fluid, and semen) were validated in blind experiments and on real forensic samples. Additionally, by means of this proteomic approach, species identification was possible. This approach has the advantage that the analysis is performed on the first “washing” step of the chelex DNA extraction, a solution which is normally discarded, and that one single test is sufficient to determine the identity and the species of the biological matrix, while the conventional methods require cascade testing. This technique can be considered as a useful additional tool for biological matrix identification in forensic science and holds the promise of further automation.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00414-012-0747-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Mass spectrometry; Species identification; Biological matrices; Proteomics
Antibodies against citrullinated proteins are highly specific for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and are currently used as a diagnostic marker. In this study, we wanted to quantify the numbers of T cells that react to a wide range of citrullinated proteins in a wide range of HLA-DR subtypes in order to investigate whether citrullination might create T-cell neo-epitopes and could initiate a universal T-cell response. Therefore, PBMCs from healthy volunteers and RA patients were stimulated with a citrullinated and non-citrullinated cell extract on IFNγ-ELISpot. We found a significantly higher number of IFNγ-secreting cells after stimulation with citrullinated proteins compared to non-citrullinated proteins in RA patients (1:14,441 cells vs. 1:32,880 cells) as well as in healthy subjects (1:6,261 reactive cells compared to 1:16,212 cells). Additionally, a higher number of IL17-secreting cells were found after stimulation with citrullinated proteins compared to their non-citrullinated counterparts. Our data indicate that citrulline-dependent T-cell response is not restricted to RA patients but that citrullination as such gives rise to a universal break in tolerance.
Citrullination; Rheumatoid arthritis; ELISpot; T cells
Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a common nosocomial infection in mechanically ventilated patients. Biofilm formation is one of the mechanisms through which the endotracheal tube (ET) facilitates bacterial contamination of the lower airways. In the present study, we analyzed the composition of the ET biofilm flora by means of culture dependent and culture independent (16 S rRNA gene clone libraries and pyrosequencing) approaches. Overall, the microbial diversity was high and members of different phylogenetic lineages were detected (Actinobacteria, beta-Proteobacteria, Candida spp., Clostridia, epsilon-Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Fusobacteria and gamma-Proteobacteria). Culture dependent analysis, based on the use of selective growth media and conventional microbiological tests, resulted in the identification of typical aerobic nosocomial pathogens which are known to play a role in the development of VAP, e.g. Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Other opportunistic pathogens were also identified, including Staphylococcus epidermidis and Kocuria varians. In general, there was little correlation between the results obtained by sequencing 16 S rRNA gene clone libraries and by cultivation. Pyrosequencing of PCR amplified 16 S rRNA genes of four selected samples resulted in the identification of a much wider variety of bacteria. The results from the pyrosequencing analysis suggest that these four samples were dominated by members of the normal oral flora such as Prevotella spp., Peptostreptococcus spp. and lactic acid bacteria. A combination of methods is recommended to obtain a complete picture of the microbial diversity of the ET biofilm.
Hereditary hearing loss (HL) can originate from mutations in one of many genes involved in the complex process of hearing. Identification of the genetic defects in patients is currently labor intensive and expensive. While screening with Sanger sequencing for GJB2 mutations is common, this is not the case for the other known deafness genes (> 60). Next generation sequencing technology (NGS) has the potential to be much more cost efficient. Published methods mainly use hybridization based target enrichment procedures that are time saving and efficient, but lead to loss in sensitivity. In this study we used a semi-automated PCR amplification and NGS in order to combine high sensitivity, speed and cost efficiency.
In this proof of concept study, we screened 15 autosomal recessive deafness genes in 5 patients with congenital genetic deafness. 646 specific primer pairs for all exons and most of the UTR of the 15 selected genes were designed using primerXL. Using patient specific identifiers, all amplicons were pooled and analyzed using the Roche 454 NGS technology. Three of these patients are members of families in which a region of interest has previously been characterized by linkage studies. In these, we were able to identify two new mutations in CDH23 and OTOF. For another patient, the etiology of deafness was unclear, and no causal mutation was found. In a fifth patient, included as a positive control, we could confirm a known mutation in TMC1.
We have developed an assay that holds great promise as a tool for screening patients with familial autosomal recessive nonsyndromal hearing loss (ARNSHL). For the first time, an efficient, reliable and cost effective genetic test, based on PCR enrichment, for newborns with undiagnosed deafness is available.
Deafness; Next generation sequencing; PCR based enrichment; Genetic diagnostics
Antibodies against citrullinated proteins (ACPAs) are highly specific for RA. Since the discovery of these antibodies, several of studies that focused on the presence and identity of citrullinated proteins in the joints of RA patients have been carried out. The best-known antigens that bind ACPAs are citrullinated filaggrin, Type II collagen (CII), α-enolase, fibrinogen and vimentin. This review compares citrullinated filaggrin, CII, α-enolase and fibrinogen with vimentin in their contribution to ACPA triggering, and gives an overview of the literature in which the role of citrullinated and non-citrullinated vimentin in the onset of ACPA production and the pathogenesis of RA is discussed.
Rheumatoid arthritis; Citrullinated vimentin; Citrullinated fibrinogen; Citrullinated filaggrin; Type II collagen; α-enolase; Anti-Sa; Anti-mutated citrullinated vimentin; Immune complexes
The mycotoxin T-2 toxin and Salmonella Typhimurium infections pose a significant threat to human and animal health. Interactions between both agents may result in a different outcome of the infection. Therefore, the aim of the presented study was to investigate the effects of low and relevant concentrations of T-2 toxin on the course of a Salmonella Typhimurium infection in pigs. We showed that the presence of 15 and 83 μg T-2 toxin per kg feed significantly decreased the amount of Salmonella Typhimurium bacteria present in the cecum contents, and a tendency to a reduced colonization of the jejunum, ileum, cecum, colon and colon contents was noticed. In vitro, proteomic analysis of porcine enterocytes revealed that a very low concentration of T-2 toxin (5 ng/mL) affects the protein expression of mitochondrial, endoplasmatic reticulum and cytoskeleton associated proteins, proteins involved in protein synthesis and folding, RNA synthesis, mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling and regulatory processes. Similarly low concentrations (1-100 ng/mL) promoted the susceptibility of porcine macrophages and intestinal epithelial cells to Salmonella Typhimurium invasion, in a SPI-1 independent manner. Furthermore, T-2 toxin (1-5 ng/mL) promoted the translocation of Salmonella Typhimurium over an intestinal porcine epithelial cell monolayer. Although these findings may seem in favour of Salmonella Typhimurium, microarray analysis showed that T-2 toxin (5 ng/mL) causes an intoxication of Salmonella Typhimurium, represented by a reduced motility and a downregulation of metabolic and Salmonella Pathogenicity Island 1 genes. This study demonstrates marked interactions of T-2 toxin with Salmonella Typhimurium pathogenesis, resulting in bacterial intoxication.
Persistence of fetal microchimeric cells may result in the development of autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD) such as Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT) or Graves disease (GD). In women, HT and GD show an increased incidence in the years following parturition. Although fetal cells have already been shown to be more common in the thyroid glands of patients with an AITD compared with controls, these cells haven’t been described in blood of these patients. Our study detected fetal cells in blood of all patients with an AITD. Moreover, fetal cells were immune cells potentially capable of initiating a graft vs. host reaction and suggest a potential role of these cells in the pathogenesis of AITD. Our study indicates the value and need for further research in this field.
autoimmune thyroid disease; fetal microchimerism; fish; Graves disease; Hashimoto thyroiditis; real-time PCR
Helicobacter (H.) suis is a porcine and human gastric pathogen. Previous studies in mice showed that an H. suis infection does not result in protective immunity, whereas immunization with H. suis whole-cell lysate (lysate) protects against a subsequent experimental infection. Therefore, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of H. suis proteins was performed followed by immunoblotting with pooled sera from H. suis- infected mice or mice immunized with lysate. Weak reactivity against H. suis proteins was observed in post-infection sera. Sera from lysate-immunized mice, however, showed immunoreactivity against a total of 19 protein spots which were identified using LC-MS/MS. The H. suis urease subunit B (UreB) showed most pronounced reactivity against sera from lysate-immunized mice and was not detected with sera from infected mice. None of the pooled sera detected H. suis neutrophil-activating protein A (NapA). The protective efficacy of intranasal vaccination of BALB/c mice with H. suis UreB and NapA, both recombinantly expressed in Escherichia coli (rUreB and rNapA, respectively), was compared with that of H. suis lysate. All vaccines contained choleratoxin as adjuvant. Immunization of mice with rUreB and lysate induced a significant reduction of H. suis colonization compared to non-vaccinated H. suis-infected controls, whereas rNapA had no significant protective effect. Probably, a combination of local Th1 and Th17 responses, complemented by antibody responses play a role in the protective immunity against H. suis infections.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) and Graves' disease (GD), two autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD), occur more frequently in women than in men and show an increased incidence in the years following parturition. Persisting fetal cells could play a role in the development of these diseases.
Aim of this study was to detect and characterize fetal cells in blood of postpartum women with and without an AITD.
Eleven patients with an AITD and ten healthy volunteers, all given birth to a son maximum 5 years before analysis, and three women who never had been pregnant, were included. None of them had any other disease of the thyroid which could interfere with the results obtained.
Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and repeated FISH were used to count the number of male fetal cells. Furthermore, the fetal cells were further characterized.
In patients with HT, 7 to 11 fetal cells per 1.000.000 maternal cells were detected, compared to 14 to 29 fetal cells in patients with GD (p = 0,0061). In patients with HT, mainly fetal CD8+ T cells were found, while in patients with GD, fetal B and CD4+ T cells were detected. In healthy volunteers with son, 0 to 5 fetal cells were observed, which was significantly less than the number observed in patients (p<0,05). In women who never had been pregnant, no male cells were detected.
This study shows a clear association between fetal microchimeric cells and autoimmune thyroid diseases.
Standard Illumina mate-paired libraries are constructed from 3- to 5-kb DNA fragments by a blunt-end circularization. Sequencing reads that pass through the junction of the two joined ends of a 3–5-kb DNA fragment are not easy to identify and pose problems during mapping and de novo assembly. Longer read lengths increase the possibility that a read will cross the junction. To solve this problem, we developed a mate-paired protocol for use with Illumina sequencing technology that uses Cre-Lox recombination instead of blunt end circularization. In this method, a LoxP sequence is incorporated at the junction site. This sequence allows screening reads for junctions without using a reference genome. Junction reads can be trimmed or split at the junction. Moreover, the location of the LoxP sequence in the reads distinguishes mate-paired reads from spurious paired-end reads. We tested this new method by preparing and sequencing a mate-paired library with an insert size of 3 kb from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We present an analysis of the library quality statistics and a new bio-informatics tool called DeLoxer that can be used to analyze an IlluminaCre-Lox mate-paired data set. We also demonstrate how the resulting data significantly improves a de novo assembly of the S. cerevisiae genome.
Here we demonstrate a method for unbiased multiplexed deep sequencing of RNA and DNA libraries using a novel, efficient and adaptable barcoding strategy called Post Amplification Ligation-Mediated (PALM). PALM barcoding is performed as the very last step of library preparation, eliminating a potential barcode-induced bias and allowing the flexibility to synthesize as many barcodes as needed. We sequenced PALM barcoded micro RNA (miRNA) and DNA reference samples and evaluated the quantitative barcode-induced bias in comparison to the same reference samples prepared using the Illumina TruSeq barcoding strategy. The Illumina TruSeq small RNA strategy introduces the barcode during the PCR step using differentially barcoded primers, while the TruSeq DNA strategy introduces the barcode before the PCR step by ligation of differentially barcoded adaptors. Results show virtually no bias between the differentially barcoded miRNA and DNA samples, both for the PALM and the TruSeq sample preparation methods. We also multiplexed miRNA reference samples using a pre-PCR barcode ligation. This barcoding strategy results in significant bias.
Despite improvements in terms of sequence quality and price per basepair, Sanger sequencing remains restricted to screening of individual disease genes. The development of massively parallel sequencing (MPS) technologies heralded an era in which molecular diagnostics for multigenic disorders becomes reality. Here, we outline different PCR amplification based strategies for the screening of a multitude of genes in a patient cohort. We performed a thorough evaluation in terms of set-up, coverage and sequencing variants on the data of 10 GS-FLX experiments (over 200 patients). Crucially, we determined the actual coverage that is required for reliable diagnostic results using MPS, and provide a tool to calculate the number of patients that can be screened in a single run. Finally, we provide an overview of factors contributing to false negative or false positive mutation calls and suggest ways to maximize sensitivity and specificity, both important in a routine setting. By describing practical strategies for screening of multigenic disorders in a multitude of samples and providing answers to questions about minimum required coverage, the number of patients that can be screened in a single run and the factors that may affect sensitivity and specificity we hope to facilitate the implementation of MPS technology in molecular diagnostics.
In forensic sciences, short tandem repeat (STR) analysis has become the prime tool for DNA-based identification of the donor(s) of biological stains and/or traces. Many traces, however, contain cells and, hence, DNA, from more than a single individual, giving rise to mixed genotypes and the subsequent difficulties in interpreting the results. An even more challenging situation occurs when cells of a victim are much more abundant than the cells of the perpetrator. Therefore, the forensic community seeks to improve cell-separation methods in order to generate single-donor cell populations from a mixed trace in order to facilitate DNA typing and identification. Laser capture microdissection (LCM) offers a valuable tool for precise separation of specific cells. This review summarises all possible forensic applications of LCM, gives an overview of the staining and detection options, including automated detection and retrieval of cells of interest, and reviews the DNA extraction protocols compatible with LCM of cells from forensic samples.
Laser capture microdissection; Forensics; Sexual assault; Cell separation techniques
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory disease, which results in destruction of the joint. The presence of immune complexes (IC) in serum and synovial fluid of RA patients might contribute to this articular damage through different mechanisms, such as complement activation. Therefore, identification of the antigens from these IC is important to gain more insight into the pathogenesis of RA. Since RA patients have antibodies against citrullinated proteins (ACPA) in their serum and synovial fluid (SF) and since elevated levels of citrullinated proteins are detected in the joints of RA patients, citrullinated antigens are possibly present in IC from RA patients.
IC from serum of healthy persons, serum of RA patients and IC from synovial fluid of RA patients and Spondyloarthropathy (SpA) patients were isolated by immunoprecipitation. Identification of the antigens was performed by SDS-PAGE, mass spectrometry and immunodetection. The presence of citrullinated proteins was evaluated by anti-modified citrulline (AMC) staining.
Circulating IC in the serum of RA patients and healthy controls contain fibrinogenβ and fibronectin, both in a non-citrullinated form. Additionally, in IC isolated from RA SF, fibrinogenγ and vimentin were identified as well. More importantly, vimentin and a minor portion of fibrinogenβ were found to be citrullinated in the isolated complexes. Moreover these citrullinated antigens were only found in ACPA+ patients. No citrullinated antigens were found in IC from SF of SpA patients.
Citrullinated fibrinogenβ and citrullinated vimentin were found in IC from SF of ACPA+ RA patients, while no citrullinated antigens were found in IC from SF of ACPA- RA patients or SpA patients or in IC from serum of RA patients or healthy volunteers. The identification of citrullinated vimentin as a prominent citrullinated antigen in IC from SF of ACPA+ RA patients strengthens the hypothesis that citrullinated vimentin plays an important role in the pathogenesis of RA.
CTX-M-producing Escherichia coli strains are regarded as major global pathogens.
The nucleotide sequence of three plasmids (pEC_B24: 73801-bp; pEC_L8: 118525-bp and pEC_L46: 144871-bp) from Escherichia coli isolates obtained from patients with urinary tract infections and one plasmid (pEC_Bactec: 92970-bp) from an Escherichia coli strain isolated from the joint of a horse with arthritis were determined. Plasmid pEC_Bactec belongs to the IncI1 group and carries two resistance genes: blaTEM-1 and blaCTX-M-15. It shares more than 90% homology with a previously published blaCTX-M-plasmid from E. coli of human origin. Plasmid pEC_B24 belongs to the IncFII group whereas plasmids pEC_L8 and pEC_L46 represent a fusion of two replicons of type FII and FIA. On the pEC_B24 backbone, two resistance genes, blaTEM-1 and blaCTX-M-15, were found. Six resistance genes, blaTEM-1, blaCTX-M-15, blaOXA-1, aac6'-lb-cr, tetA and catB4, were detected on the pEC_L8 backbone. The same antimicrobial drug resistance genes, with the exception of tetA, were also identified on the pEC_L46 backbone. Genome analysis of all 4 plasmids studied provides evidence of a seemingly frequent transposition event of the blaCTX-M-15-ISEcp1 element. This element seems to have a preferred insertion site at the tnpA gene of a blaTEM-carrying Tn3-like transposon, the latter itself being inserted by a transposition event. The IS26-composite transposon, which contains the blaOXA-1, aac6'-lb-cr and catB4 genes, was inserted into plasmids pEC_L8 and pEC_L46 by homologous recombination rather than a transposition event. Results obtained for pEC_L46 indicated that IS26 also plays an important role in structural rearrangements of the plasmid backbone and seems to facilitate the mobilisation of fragments from other plasmids.
Collectively, these data suggests that IS26 together with ISEcp1 could play a critical role in the evolution of diverse multiresistant plasmids found in clinical Enterobacteriaceae.
Next-generation amplicon sequencing enables high-throughput genetic diagnostics, sequencing multiple genes in several patients together in one sequencing run. Currently, no open-source out-of-the-box software solution exists that reliably reports detected genetic variations and that can be used to improve future sequencing effectiveness by analyzing the PCR reactions.
We developed an integrated database oriented software pipeline for analysis of 454/Roche GS-FLX amplicon resequencing experiments using Perl and a relational database. The pipeline enables variation detection, variation detection validation, and advanced data analysis, which provides information that can be used to optimize PCR efficiency using traditional means. The modular approach enables customization of the pipeline where needed and allows researchers to adopt their analysis pipeline to their experiments. Clear documentation and training data is available to test and validate the pipeline prior to using it on real sequencing data.
We designed an open-source database oriented pipeline that enables advanced analysis of 454/Roche GS-FLX amplicon resequencing experiments using SQL-statements. This modular database approach allows easy coupling with other pipeline modules such as variant interpretation or a LIMS system. There is also a set of standard reporting scripts available.
Candida albicans infections are often associated with biofilm formation. Previous work demonstrated that the expression of HWP1 (hyphal wall protein) and of genes belonging to the ALS (agglutinin-like sequence), SAP (secreted aspartyl protease), PLB (phospholipase B) and LIP (lipase) gene families is associated with biofilm growth on mucosal surfaces. We investigated using real-time PCR whether genes encoding potential virulence factors are also highly expressed in biofilms associated with abiotic surfaces. For this, C. albicans biofilms were grown on silicone in microtiter plates (MTP) or in the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) reactor, on polyurethane in an in vivo subcutaneous catheter rat (SCR) model, and on mucosal surfaces in the reconstituted human epithelium (RHE) model.
HWP1 and genes belonging to the ALS, SAP, PLB and LIP gene families were constitutively expressed in C. albicans biofilms. ALS1-5 were upregulated in all model systems, while ALS9 was mostly downregulated. ALS6 and HWP1 were overexpressed in all models except in the RHE and MTP, respectively. The expression levels of SAP1 were more pronounced in both in vitro models, while those of SAP2, SAP4 and SAP6 were higher in the in vivo model. Furthermore, SAP5 was highly upregulated in the in vivo and RHE models. For SAP9 and SAP10 similar gene expression levels were observed in all model systems. PLB genes were not considerably upregulated in biofilms, while LIP1-3, LIP5-7 and LIP9-10 were highly overexpressed in both in vitro models. Furthermore, an elevated lipase activity was detected in supernatans of biofilms grown in the MTP and RHE model.
Our findings show that HWP1 and most of the genes belonging to the ALS, SAP and LIP gene families are upregulated in C. albicans biofilms. Comparison of the fold expression between the various model systems revealed similar expression levels for some genes, while for others model-dependent expression levels were observed. This suggests that data obtained in one biofilm model cannot be extrapolated to other model systems. Therefore, the need to use multiple model systems when studying the expression of genes encoding potential virulence factors in C. albicans biofilms is highlighted.
Laser microdissection is a valuable tool for isolating specific cells from mixtures, such as male cells in a mixture with female cells, e.g., in cases of sexual assault. These cells can be stained with Y-chromosome-specific probes. We developed an automatic screening method to detect male cells after fluorescence in situ hybridization in suspension (S-FISH). To simulate forensic casework, the method was tested on female saliva after cataglottis (a kiss involving tongue-to-tongue contact) and on licking traces (swabs of dried male saliva on female skin) even after drying. After isolation of the detected cells, short tandem repeat profiling was performed. Full DNA profiles could consistently be obtained from as little as ten buccal cells. Isolation of five cells resulted in a mean of 98% (SD of 3.4%) of the alleles detected, showing that the developed S-FISH staining had no significant negative influence on DNA recovery and can be used in forensic casework.
Forensic science; Laser capture microdissection; Male non-sperm cells; Hybridization; Automatic cell recognition