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1.  A Comprehensive Analysis of Gene Expression Changes Provoked by Bacterial and Fungal Infection in C. elegans 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e19055.
While Caenorhabditis elegans specifically responds to infection by the up-regulation of certain genes, distinct pathogens trigger the expression of a common set of genes. We applied new methods to conduct a comprehensive and comparative study of the transcriptional response of C. elegans to bacterial and fungal infection. Using tiling arrays and/or RNA-sequencing, we have characterized the genome-wide transcriptional changes that underlie the host's response to infection by three bacterial (Serratia marcescens, Enterococcus faecalis and otorhabdus luminescens) and two fungal pathogens (Drechmeria coniospora and Harposporium sp.). We developed a flexible tool, the WormBase Converter (available at, to allow cross-study comparisons. The new data sets provided more extensive lists of differentially regulated genes than previous studies. Annotation analysis confirmed that genes commonly up-regulated by bacterial infections are related to stress responses. We found substantial overlaps between the genes regulated upon intestinal infection by the bacterial pathogens and Harposporium, and between those regulated by Harposporium and D. coniospora, which infects the epidermis. Among the fungus-regulated genes, there was a significant bias towards genes that are evolving rapidly and potentially encode small proteins. The results obtained using new methods reveal that the response to infection in C. elegans is determined by the nature of the pathogen, the site of infection and the physiological imbalance provoked by infection. They form the basis for future functional dissection of innate immune signaling. Finally, we also propose alternative methods to identify differentially regulated genes that take into account the greater variability in lowly expressed genes.
PMCID: PMC3094335  PMID: 21602919
2.  Clinical relevance of and risk factors for HSV-related tracheobronchitis or pneumonia: results of an outbreak investigation 
Critical Care  2007;11(6):R119.
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 was identified in respiratory specimens from a cluster of eight patients on a surgical intensive care unit within 8 weeks. Six of these patients suffered from HSV-related tracheobronchitis and one from HSV-related pneumonia only. Our outbreak investigation aimed to determine the clinical relevance of and risk factors associated with HSV-related tracheobronchitis or pneumonia in critically ill patients, and to investigate whether the cluster was caused by nosocomial transmission.
A retrospective cohort study was performed to identify risk factors for the outcomes of HSV-related tracheobronchitis or pneumonia and death using univariable analysis as well as logistic regression analysis. Viruses were typed by molecular analysis of a fragment of the HSV type 1 glycoprotein G.
The cohort of patients covering the outbreak period comprised 53 patients, including six patients with HSV-related tracheobronchitis and one patient with pneumonia only. HSV-related tracheobronchitis or pneumonia was associated with increased mortality (100% in patients with versus 17.8% in patients without HSV-related tracheobronchitis or pneumonia; P < 0.0001). The interaction of longer duration of ventilation and tracheotomy was associated with HSV-related tracheobronchitis or pneumonia in multivariable analysis.
Identical HSV type 1 glycoprotein G sequences were found in three patients and in two patients. The group of three identical viral sequences belonged to a widely circulating strain. The two identical viral sequences were recovered from bronchoalveolar lavages of one patient with HSV-related tracheobronchitis and of one patient without clinical symptoms. These viral sequences showed unique polymorphisms, indicating probable nosocomial transmission.
HSV-related tracheobronchitis or pneumonia is associated with increased mortality in critically ill patients. Care should be taken to avoid nosocomial transmission and early diagnosis should be attempted.
PMCID: PMC2246208  PMID: 17996032

Results 1-2 (2)