Mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) is a relatively common salivary tumor with varying potential for aggressive behavior. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma grading has evolved from descriptive two-tiered schemata to more objective three-tiered systems. In 2001, we published a grading system Brandwein et al. in Am J Surg Pathol 25:835–845, (2001) which modified the prevailing criteria of Auclair et al. in Cancer 69:2021–2030 (1992), and included additional features of aggressive MEC. Here we seek to validate our modified grading system in a new multicenter cohort. The retrospective cohort consisted of 76 patients with confirmed MEC and known outcome data. The resection specimens were reviewed and uniformly graded according to our modified criteria Brandwein et al. in Am J Surg Pathol 25:835–845 (2001), and the Auclair criteria Auclair et al. in Cancer 69:2021–2030, (1992), Goode et al. in Cancer 82:1217–1224, (1998). Case distribution was as follows: Montefiore Medical Center: 41 (1977–2009), University of Alabama at Birmingham: 21 (1999–2010), and Rhode Island Hospital: 14, (1995–2011). Patient age ranged from 7 to 81 years (mean 51 years). The female to male ratio was 3:1. The most commonly involved sites were: parotid: n = 39 (51 %), palate: n = 10 (13 %), retromolar trigone: n = 6 (8 %), buccal: n = 5 (7 %), and submandibular gland: n = 5 (7 %). The modified criteria upgraded 41 % MEC; 20/25 MEC from AFIP Grade 1 to Grade 2 and 5/25 from AFIP Grade 1 to Grade 3. Eleven patients had positive lymph nodes; the AFIP MEC grade for cases were: Grade 1–3/11, Grade 2–1/11, and Grade 3–7/11; the modified grading criteria distribution for these cases were Grade 1: 0/11, Grade 2: 1/11, and Grade 3: 10/11. Nine patients developed disease progression after definitive treatment. High-stage and positive lymph node status were significantly associated with disease progression (p = 0.0003 and p < 0.0001, respectively). For the nine patients with disease progression, the modified grading schema classified eight MEC as Grade 3 and one as Grade 2. By comparison, the AFIP grading schema classified three of these MEC as Grade 1, and the remaining six as Grade 3. Despite the fact that this multicenter retrospective study accrued 76 patients with outcome, the predictive performance of the two grading schema could not be compared due to the few patients who experienced disease progression and were also reclassified with respect to grade (n = 3).
Mucoepidermoid carcinoma; Grading; Pattern of invasion; AFIP; Modified criteria
During acute Lyme disease, bacteria can disseminate to the central nervous system (CNS) leading to the development of meningitis and other neurologic symptoms. Here we have analyzed pooled cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) allowing a deep view into the proteome for patients diagnosed with early-disseminated Lyme disease and CSF inflammation. Additionally, we analyzed individual patient samples and quantified differences in protein abundance employing label-free quantitative mass spectrometry based methods. We identified 108 proteins that differ significantly in abundance in patients with acute Lyme disease from controls. Comparison between infected patients and control subjects revealed differences in proteins in the CSF associated with cell death localized to brain synapses and others that likely originate from brain parenchyma.
Proteomics; mass spectrometry; Lyme disease; cerebrospinal fluid; Lyme neuroborreliosis
Up to 7% of patients with severe-to-profound deafness do not benefit from cochlear implantation. Given the high surgical implantation and clinical management cost of cochlear implantation (> $1 million lifetime cost), prospective identification of the worst performers would reduce unnecessary procedures and healthcare costs. Because cochlear implants bypass the membranous labyrinth but rely on the spiral ganglion for functionality, we hypothesize that cochlear implant (CI) performance is dictated in part by the anatomic location of the cochlear pathology that underlies the hearing loss. As a corollary, we hypothesize that because genetic testing can identify sites of cochlear pathology, it may be useful in predicting CI performance.
29 adult CI recipients with idiopathic adult-onset severe-to-profound hearing loss were studied. DNA samples were subjected to solution-based sequence capture and massively parallel sequencing using the OtoSCOPE® platform. The cohort was divided into three CI performance groups (good, intermediate, poor) and genetic causes of deafness were correlated with audiometric data to determine whether there was a gene-specific impact on CI performance.
The genetic cause of deafness was determined in 3/29 (10%) individuals. The two poor performers segregated mutations in TMPRSS3, a gene expressed in the spiral ganglion, while the good performer segregated mutations in LOXHD1, a gene expressed in the membranous labyrinth. Comprehensive literature review identified other good performers with mutations in membranous labyrinth-expressed genes; poor performance was associated with spiral ganglion-expressed genes.
Our data support the underlying hypothesis that mutations in genes preferentially expressed in the spiral ganglion portend poor CI performance while mutations in genes expressed in the membranous labyrinth portend good CI performance. Although the low mutation rate in known deafness genes in this cohort likely relates to the ascertainment characteristics (postlingual hearing loss in adult CI recipients), these data suggest that genetic testing should be implemented as part of the CI evaluation to test this association prospectively.
Cochlear implant performance; spiral ganglion; hearing loss; genetic testing; massively parallel sequencing
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus accessory protein ORF6 antagonizes interferon signaling by blocking karyopherin-mediated nuclear import processes. Viral nuclear import antagonists, expressed by several highly pathogenic RNA viruses, likely mediate pleiotropic effects on host gene expression, presumably interfering with transcription factors, cytokines, hormones, and/or signaling cascades that occur in response to infection. By bioinformatic and systems biology approaches, we evaluated the impact of nuclear import antagonism on host expression networks by using human lung epithelial cells infected with either wild-type virus or a mutant that does not express ORF6 protein. Microarray analysis revealed significant changes in differential gene expression, with approximately twice as many upregulated genes in the mutant virus samples by 48 h postinfection, despite identical viral titers. Our data demonstrated that ORF6 protein expression attenuates the activity of numerous karyopherin-dependent host transcription factors (VDR, CREB1, SMAD4, p53, EpasI, and Oct3/4) that are critical for establishing antiviral responses and regulating key host responses during virus infection. Results were confirmed by proteomic and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay analyses and in parallel microarray studies using infected primary human airway epithelial cell cultures. The data strongly support the hypothesis that viral antagonists of nuclear import actively manipulate host responses in specific hierarchical patterns, contributing to the viral pathogenic potential in vivo. Importantly, these studies and modeling approaches not only provide templates for evaluating virus antagonism of nuclear import processes but also can reveal candidate cellular genes and pathways that may significantly influence disease outcomes following severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection in vivo.
Motivation: The size and complex nature of mass spectrometry-based proteomics datasets motivate development of specialized software for statistical data analysis and exploration. We present DanteR, a graphical R package that features extensive statistical and diagnostic functions for quantitative proteomics data analysis, including normalization, imputation, hypothesis testing, interactive visualization and peptide-to-protein rollup. More importantly, users can easily extend the existing functionality by including their own algorithms under the Add-On tab.
Availability: DanteR and its associated user guide are available for download free of charge at http://omics.pnl.gov/software/. We have an updated binary source for the DanteR package up on our website together with a vignettes document. For Windows, a single click automatically installs DanteR along with the R programming environment. For Linux and Mac OS X, users must install R and then follow instructions on the DanteR website for package installation.
The cause of multiple sclerosis (MS), its driving pathogenesis at the earliest stages, and what factors allow the first clinical attack to manifest remain unknown. Some imaging studies suggest gray rather than white matter may be involved early, and some postulate this may be predictive of developing MS. Other imaging studies are in conflict. To determine if there was objective molecular evidence of gray matter involvement in early MS we used high-resolution mass spectrometry to identify proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of first-attack MS patients (two independent groups) compared to established relapsing remitting (RR) MS and controls. We found that the CSF proteins in first-attack patients were differentially enriched for gray matter components (axon, neuron, synapse). Myelin components did not distinguish these groups. The results support that gray matter dysfunction is involved early in MS, and also may be integral for the initial clinical presentation.
Differential ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS) integrated with mass spectrometry (MS) is a powerful new tool for biological and environmental analyses. Large proteins occupy regions of FAIMS spectra distinct from peptides, lipids, or other medium-size biomolecules, likely because strong electric fields align huge dipoles common to macroions. Here we confirm this phenomenon in separations of proteins at extreme fields using FAIMS chips coupled to MS and demonstrate their use to detect even minor amounts of large proteins in complex matrices of smaller proteins and peptides.
Herbivores gain access to nutrients stored in plant biomass largely by harnessing the metabolic activities of microbes. Leaf-cutter ants of the genus Atta are a hallmark example; these dominant neotropical herbivores cultivate symbiotic fungus gardens on large quantities of fresh plant forage. As the external digestive system of the ants, fungus gardens facilitate the production and sustenance of millions of workers. Using metagenomic and metaproteomic techniques, we characterize the bacterial diversity and physiological potential of fungus gardens from two species of Atta. Our analysis of over 1.2 Gbp of community metagenomic sequence and three 16S pyrotag libraries reveals that in addition to harboring the dominant fungal crop, these ecosystems contain abundant populations of Enterobacteriaceae, including the genera Enterobacter, Pantoea, Klebsiella, Citrobacter and Escherichia. We show that these bacterial communities possess genes associated with lignocellulose degradation and diverse biosynthetic pathways, suggesting that they play a role in nutrient cycling by converting the nitrogen-poor forage of the ants into B-vitamins, amino acids and other cellular components. Our metaproteomic analysis confirms that bacterial glycosyl hydrolases and proteins with putative biosynthetic functions are produced in both field-collected and laboratory-reared colonies. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that fungus gardens are specialized fungus–bacteria communities that convert plant material into energy for their ant hosts. Together with recent investigations into the microbial symbionts of vertebrates, our work underscores the importance of microbial communities in the ecology and evolution of herbivorous metazoans.
leaf-cutter ants; symbiosis; Leucoagaricus gongylophorus; microbial consortia; Atta
The utility of mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomic analyses and their clinical applications have been increasingly recognized over the past decade due to their high sensitivity, specificity and throughput. MS-based proteomic measurements have been used in a wide range of biological and biomedical investigations, including analysis of cellular responses and disease-specific post-translational modifications. These studies greatly enhance our understanding of the complex and dynamic nature of the proteome in biology and disease. Some MS techniques, such as those for targeted analysis, are being successfully applied for biomarker verification, whereas others, including global quantitative analysis (for example, for biomarker discovery), are more challenging and require further development. However, recent technological improvements in sample processing, instrumental platforms, data acquisition approaches and informatics capabilities continue to advance MS-based applications. Improving the detection of significant changes in proteins through these advances shows great promise for the discovery of improved biomarker candidates that can be verified pre-clinically using targeted measurements, and ultimately used in clinical studies - for example, for early disease diagnosis or as targets for drug development and therapeutic intervention. Here, we review the current state of MS-based proteomics with regard to its advantages and current limitations, and we highlight its translational applications in studies of protein biomarkers.
biomarker; clinical proteomics; ion mobility separations; mass spectrometry; multiple reaction monitoring; selected reaction monitoring; shotgun proteomics; targeted proteomics; translational proteomics
MYO15A is located at the DFNB3 locus on chromosome 17p11.2, and encodes myosin-XV, an unconventional myosin critical for the formation of stereocilia in hair cells of cochlea. Recessive mutations in this gene lead to profound autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing loss (ARNSHL) in humans and the shaker2 (sh2) phenotype in mice. Here, we performed a study on 140 Iranian families in order to determine mutations causing ARNSHL. The families, who were negative for mutations in GJB2, were subjected to linkage analysis. Eight of these families showed linkage to the DFNB3 locus, suggesting a MYO15A mutation frequency of 5.71% in our cohort of Iranian population. Subsequent sequencing of the MYO15A gene led to identification of 7 previously unreported mutations, including 4 missense mutations, 1 nonsense mutation, and 2 deletions in different regions of the myosin-XV protein.
autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing loss; DFNB3; Myo15A; Iran
Over the past several years meditation practice has gained increasing attention as a non-pharmacological intervention to provide health related benefits, from promoting general wellness to alleviating the symptoms of a variety of medical conditions. However, the effects of meditation training on brain activity still need to be fully characterized. Sleep provides a unique approach to explore the meditation-related plastic changes in brain function. In this study we performed sleep high-density electroencephalographic (hdEEG) recordings in long-term meditators (LTM) of Buddhist meditation practices (approximately 8700 mean hours of life practice) and meditation naive individuals. We found that LTM had increased parietal-occipital EEG gamma power during NREM sleep. This increase was specific for the gamma range (25–40 Hz), was not related to the level of spontaneous arousal during NREM and was positively correlated with the length of lifetime daily meditation practice. Altogether, these findings indicate that meditation practice produces measurable changes in spontaneous brain activity, and suggest that EEG gamma activity during sleep represents a sensitive measure of the long-lasting, plastic effects of meditative training on brain function.
In classic work, Kuntz et al. (Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 1999, 96, 9997–10002) introduced the concept of ligand efficiency. Though that study focused primarily on drug-like molecules, it also showed that metal binding led to the greatest ligand efficiencies. Here, the physical limits of binding are examined across the wide variety of small molecules in the Binding MOAD database. The complexes with the greatest ligand efficiencies share the trait of being small, charged ligands bound in highly charged, well buried binding sites. The limit of ligand efficiency is −1.75 kcal/mol-atom for the protein-ligand complexes within Binding MOAD, and 95% of the set have efficiencies below a “soft limit” of −0.83 kcal/mol-atom. Based on buried molecular surface area, the hard limit of ligand efficiency is −117 cal/mol-Å2, which is in surprising agreement with the limit of macromolecule-protein binding. Close examination of the most efficient systems reveals their incredibly high efficiency is dictated by tight contacts between the charged groups of the ligand and the pocket. In fact, a misfit of 0.24 Å in the average contacts inherently decreases the maximum possible efficiency by at least 0.1 kcal/mol-atom.
Ligand Efficiency; Maximum Binding Affinity; Protein-Ligand Binding; Electrostatics
Autosomal Dominant Nonsyndromic Hearing Loss (ADNSHL) is a common and often progressive sensory deficit. ADNSHL displays a high degree of genetic heterogeneity, and varying rates of progression. Accurate, comprehensive and cost-effective genetic testing facilitates genetic counseling and provides valuable prognostic information to affected individuals. In this paper, we describe the algorithm underlying AudioGene, a software system employing machine-learning techniques that utilizes phenotypic information derived from audiograms to predict the genetic cause of hearing loss in persons segregating ADNSHL. Our data show that AudioGene has an accuracy of 68% in predicting the causative gene within its top three predictions, as compared to 44% for a Majority classifier. We also show that AudioGene remains effective for audiograms with high levels of clinical measurement noise. We identify audiometric outliers for each genetic locus and hypothesize that outliers may reflect modifying genetic effects. As personalized genomic medicine becomes more common, AudioGene will be increasingly useful as a phenotypic filter to assess pathogenicity of variants identified by massively parallel sequencing.
Phenotype to Genotype; Hearing Loss; Next Generation Sequencing; Machine Learning
Ischemia/reperfusion injury of lower extremities and associated lung damage may result from thrombotic occlusion, embolism, trauma, or surgical intervention with prolonged ischemia and subsequent restoration of blood flow. This clinical entity is characterized by high morbidity and mortality. Deprivation of blood supply leads to molecular and structural changes in the affected tissue. Upon reperfusion inflammatory cascades are activated causing tissue injury. We therefore tested preoperative treatment for prevention of reperfusion injury by using C1 esterase inhibitor (C1 INH).
Methods and Findings
Wistar rats systemically pretreated with C1 INH (n = 6), APT070 (a membrane-targeted myristoylated peptidyl construct derived from human complement receptor 1, n = 4), vehicle (n = 7), or NaCl (n = 8) were subjected to 3h hind limb ischemia and 24h reperfusion. The femoral artery was clamped and a tourniquet placed under maintenance of a venous return. C1 INH treated rats showed significantly less edema in muscle (P<0.001) and lung and improved muscle viability (P<0.001) compared to controls and APT070. C1 INH prevented up-regulation of bradykinin receptor b1 (P<0.05) and VE-cadherin (P<0.01), reduced apoptosis (P<0.001) and fibrin deposition (P<0.01) and decreased plasma levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, whereas deposition of complement components was not significantly reduced in the reperfused muscle.
C1 INH reduced edema formation locally in reperfused muscle as well as in lung, and improved muscle viability. C1 INH did not primarily act via inhibition of the complement system, but via the kinin and coagulation cascade. APT070 did not show beneficial effects in this model, despite potent inhibition of complement activation. Taken together, C1 INH might be a promising therapy to reduce peripheral ischemia/reperfusion injury and distant lung damage in complex and prolonged surgical interventions requiring tourniquet application.
Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) play an important role in mediating the innate immune response after severe traumatic injury; however, the cellular proteome response to traumatic condition is still largely unknown.
We applied 2D-LC-MS/MS based shotgun proteomics to perform comparative proteome profiling of human PMNs from severe trauma patients and healthy controls.
A total of 197 out of ~2500 proteins (being identified with at least two peptides) were observed with significant abundance changes following the injury. The proteomics data were further compared with transcriptomics data for the same genes obtained from an independent patient cohort. The comparison showed that the protein abundance changes for the majority of proteins were consistent with the mRNA abundance changes in terms of directions of changes. Moreover, increased protein secretion was suggested as one of the mechanisms contributing to the observed discrepancy between protein and mRNA abundance changes. Functional analyses of the altered proteins showed that many of these proteins were involved in immune response, protein biosynthesis, protein transport, NRF2-mediated oxidative stress response, the ubiquitin-proteasome system, and apoptosis pathways.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Our data suggest increased neutrophil activation and inhibited neutrophil apoptosis in response to trauma. The study not only reveals an overall picture of functional neutrophil response to trauma at the proteome level, but also provides a rich proteomics data resource of trauma-associated changes in the neutrophil that will be valuable for further studies of the functions of individual proteins in PMNs.
human neutrophil; LC-MS/MS; Proteomics; Trauma; Genomics
Systems biology offers considerable promise in uncovering novel pathways by which viruses and other microbial pathogens interact with host signaling and expression networks to mediate disease severity. In this study, we have developed an unbiased modeling approach to identify new pathways and network connections mediating acute lung injury, using severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) as a model pathogen. We utilized a time course of matched virologic, pathological, and transcriptomic data within a novel methodological framework that can detect pathway enrichment among key highly connected network genes. This unbiased approach produced a high-priority list of 4 genes in one pathway out of over 3,500 genes that were differentially expressed following SARS-CoV infection. With these data, we predicted that the urokinase and other wound repair pathways would regulate lethal versus sublethal disease following SARS-CoV infection in mice. We validated the importance of the urokinase pathway for SARS-CoV disease severity using genetically defined knockout mice, proteomic correlates of pathway activation, and pathological disease severity. The results of these studies demonstrate that a fine balance exists between host coagulation and fibrinolysin pathways regulating pathological disease outcomes, including diffuse alveolar damage and acute lung injury, following infection with highly pathogenic respiratory viruses, such as SARS-CoV.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) emerged in 2002 and 2003, and infected patients developed an atypical pneumonia, acute lung injury (ALI), and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) leading to pulmonary fibrosis and death. We identified sets of differentially expressed genes that contribute to ALI and ARDS using lethal and sublethal SARS-CoV infection models. Mathematical prioritization of our gene sets identified the urokinase and extracellular matrix remodeling pathways as the most enriched pathways. By infecting Serpine1-knockout mice, we showed that the urokinase pathway had a significant effect on both lung pathology and overall SARS-CoV pathogenesis. These results demonstrate the effective use of unbiased modeling techniques for identification of high-priority host targets that regulate disease outcomes. Similar transcriptional signatures were noted in 1918 and 2009 H1N1 influenza virus-infected mice, suggesting a common, potentially treatable mechanism in development of virus-induced ALI.
A multi-functional liquid chromatography system that performs 1-dimensional, 2-dimensional (strong cation exchange/reverse phase liquid chromatography, or SCX/RPLC) separations and online phosphopeptide enrichment using a single binary nano-flow pump has been developed. With a simple operation of a function selection valve equipped with a SCX column and a TiO2 (titanium dioxide) column, a fully automated selection of three different experiment modes was achieved. Because the current system uses essentially the same solvent flow paths, the same trap column, and the same separation column for reverse-phase separation of 1D, 2D, and online phosphopeptides enrichment experiments, the elution time information obtained from these experiments is in excellent agreement, which facilitates correlating peptide information from different experiments. The final reverse-phase separation of the three experiments is completely decoupled from all of function selection processes; thereby salts or acids from SCX or TiO2 column do not affect the efficiency of the reverse-phase separation.
Post-infectious glomerulonephritis is a common disorder that develops following an infection. In the majority of cases, there is complete recovery of renal function within a few days to weeks following resolution of the infection. In a small percentage of patients, however, the glomerulonephritis takes longer to resolve resulting in persistent hematuria and proteinuria, or even progression to end-stage kidney disease. In some cases of persistent hematuria and proteinuria, kidney biopsies show findings of a post-infectious glomerulonephritis even in the absence of any evidence of a preceding infection. The cause of such ‘atypical’ post-infectious glomerulonephritis, with or without evidence of preceding infection, is unknown. Here, we show that most patients diagnosed with this ‘atypical’ post-infectious glomerulonephritis have an underlying defect in the regulation of the alternative pathway of complement. These defects include mutations in complement regulating proteins and antibodies to the C3 convertase known as C3 nephritic factors. As a result, the activated alternative pathway is not brought under control even after resolution of the infection. Hence, the sequela is continual glomerular deposition of complement factors with resultant inflammation and development of an ‘atypical’ post-infectious glomerulonephritis.
post-infectious glomerulonephritis; persistent glomerulonephritis; alternative pathway of complement; C3 glomerulonephritis; membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis
Cultures of the cyanobacterial genus Cyanothece have been shown to produce high levels of biohydrogen. These strains are diazotrophic and undergo pronounced diurnal cycles when grown under N2-fixing conditions in light-dark cycles. We seek to better understand the way in which proteins respond to these diurnal changes, and we performed quantitative proteome analysis of Cyanothece sp. strains ATCC 51142 and PCC 7822 grown under 8 different nutritional conditions. Nitrogenase expression was limited to N2-fixing conditions, and in the absence of glycerol, nitrogenase gene expression was linked to the dark period. However, glycerol induced expression of nitrogenase during part of the light period, together with cytochrome c oxidase (Cox), glycogen phosphorylase (Glp), and glycolytic and pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) enzymes. This indicated that nitrogenase expression in the light was facilitated via higher levels of respiration and glycogen breakdown. Key enzymes of the Calvin cycle were inhibited in Cyanothece ATCC 51142 in the presence of glycerol under H2-producing conditions, suggesting a competition between these sources of carbon. However, in Cyanothece PCC 7822, the Calvin cycle still played a role in cofactor recycling during H2 production. Our data comprise the first comprehensive profiling of proteome changes in Cyanothece PCC 7822 and allow an in-depth comparative analysis of major physiological and biochemical processes that influence H2 production in both strains. Our results revealed many previously uncharacterized proteins that may play a role in nitrogenase activity and in other metabolic pathways and may provide suitable targets for genetic manipulation that would lead to improvement of large-scale H2 production.
Background: In many parts of the world, livestock production is undergoing a process of rapid intensification. The health implications of this development are uncertain. Intensification creates cheaper products, allowing more people to access animal-based foods. However, some practices associated with intensification may contribute to zoonotic disease emergence and spread: for example, the sustained use of antibiotics, concentration of animals in confined units, and long distances and frequent movement of livestock.
Objectives: Here we present the diverse range of ecological, biological, and socioeconomic factors likely to enhance or reduce zoonotic risk, and identify ways in which a comprehensive risk analysis may be conducted by using an interdisciplinary approach. We also offer a conceptual framework to guide systematic research on this problem.
Discussion: We recommend that interdisciplinary work on zoonotic risk should take into account the complexity of risk environments, rather than limiting studies to simple linear causal relations between risk drivers and disease emergence and/or spread. In addition, interdisciplinary integration is needed at different levels of analysis, from the study of risk environments to the identification of policy options for risk management.
Conclusion: Given rapid changes in livestock production systems and their potential health implications at the local and global level, the problem we analyze here is of great importance for environmental health and development. Although we offer a systematic interdisciplinary approach to understand and address these implications, we recognize that further research is needed to clarify methodological and practical questions arising from the integration of the natural and social sciences.
emerging diseases; integrated ecology and human health; livestock production; risk characterization; risk management; zoonoses
Conventional non-viral gene transfer uses bacterial plasmid DNA containing antibiotic resistance genes, cis-acting bacterial sequence elements, and prokaryotic methylation patterns that may adversely affect transgene expression and vector stability in vivo. Here, we describe novel replicative forms of a eukaryotic vector DNA that consist solely of an expression cassette flanked by adeno-associated virus (AAV) inverted terminal repeats. Extensive structural analyses revealed that this AAV-derived vector DNA consists of linear, duplex molecules with covalently closed ends (termed closed-ended, linear duplex, or “CELiD”, DNA). CELiD vectors, produced in Sf9 insect cells, require AAV rep gene expression for amplification. Amounts of CELiD DNA produced from insect cell lines stably transfected with an ITR-flanked transgene exceeded 60 mg per 5×109 Sf9 cells, and 1–15 mg from a comparable number of parental Sf9 cells in which the transgene was introduced via recombinant baculovirus infection. In mice, systemically delivered CELiD DNA resulted in long-term, stable transgene expression in the liver. CELiD vectors represent a novel eukaryotic alternative to bacterial plasmid DNA.
Influenza infection causes respiratory disease that can lead to death. The complex interplay between virus-encoded and host-specific pathogenicity regulators – and the relative contributions of each toward viral pathogenicity – is not well-understood.
By analyzing a collection of lung samples from mice infected by A/Vietnam/1203/2004 (H5N1; VN1203), we characterized a signature of transcripts and proteins associated with the kinetics of the host response. Using a new geometrical representation method and two criteria, we show that inoculation concentrations and four specific mutations in VN1203 mainly impact the magnitude and velocity of the host response kinetics, rather than specific sets of up- and down- regulated genes. We observed analogous kinetic effects using lung samples from mice infected with A/California/04/2009 (H1N1), and we show that these effects correlate with morbidity and viral titer.
We have demonstrated the importance of the kinetics of the host response to H5N1 pathogenesis and its relationship with clinical disease severity and virus replication. These kinetic properties imply that time-matched comparisons of ‘omics profiles to viral infections give limited views to differentiate host-responses. Moreover, these results demonstrate that a fast activation of the host-response at the earliest time points post-infection is critical for protective mechanisms against fast replicating viruses.
Influenza; Host; Response; Kinetics; Magnitude; Velocity; Transcriptomics; Proteomics; Multidimensional; Scaling
Respiratory infections stemming from influenza viruses and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome corona virus (SARS-CoV) represent a serious public health threat as emerging pandemics. Despite efforts to identify the critical interactions of these viruses with host machinery, the key regulatory events that lead to disease pathology remain poorly targeted with therapeutics. Here we implement an integrated network interrogation approach, in which proteome and transcriptome datasets from infection of both viruses in human lung epithelial cells are utilized to predict regulatory genes involved in the host response. We take advantage of a novel “crowd-based” approach to identify and combine ranking metrics that isolate genes/proteins likely related to the pathogenicity of SARS-CoV and influenza virus. Subsequently, a multivariate regression model is used to compare predicted lung epithelial regulatory influences with data derived from other respiratory virus infection models. We predicted a small set of regulatory factors with conserved behavior for consideration as important components of viral pathogenesis that might also serve as therapeutic targets for intervention. Our results demonstrate the utility of integrating diverse ‘omic datasets to predict and prioritize regulatory features conserved across multiple pathogen infection models.
Research has indicated that the environment may play an important role in the transmission of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile in healthcare facilities. Despite the significance of this finding, few data exist from longitudinal studies investigating MRSA and C. difficile contamination, concurrently, in both patient rooms and the general ward environment. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of MRSA and C. difficile contamination in patient rooms and the ward environment and identify risk factors associated with a surface being contaminated with these pathogens.
Environmental surfaces in patient rooms and the general environment in the medical and surgical wards of a community hospital were sampled six times over a 15 week period. Sterile electrostatic cloths were used for sampling and information pertaining to the surface sampled was recorded. MRSA isolates and C. difficile specimens were obtained from hospitalized patients.
Enrichment culture was performed and spa typing or ribotyping was conducted for MRSA or C. difficile, respectively. Exact logistic regression models were constructed to examine risk factors associated with MRSA and C. difficile contamination.
Sixteen (41%) patient rooms had ≥ 1 surfaces contaminated with MRSA and/or C. difficile. For 218 surfaces investigated, 3.2% and 6.4% were contaminated with MRSA or C. difficile, respectively. Regression models indicated that surfaces in rooms exposed to a C. difficile patient had significantly increased odds of being contaminated with C. difficile, compared to surfaces in unexposed patient rooms. Additionally, compared to plastic surfaces, cork surfaces had significantly increased odds of being contaminated with C. difficile. For 236 samples collected from the ward environment, MRSA and C. difficile were recovered from 2.5% and 5.9% of samples, respectively. Overall, the majority of MRSA and C. difficile strains were molecularly identified as spa type 2/t002 (84.6%, n = 11) and ribotype 078 (50%, n = 14), respectively.
In patient rooms and the ward environment, specific materials and locations were identified as being contaminated with MRSA or C. difficile. These sites should be cleaned and disinfected with increased vigilance to help limit the transmission and dissemination of MRSA and C. difficile within the hospital.
Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; Clostridium difficile; Epidemiology; Environment; Hospital; Ward; Patient rooms; Risk factors; Ribotype 078