A 59-year-old man with a history of fever, unsteadiness, hemiparesis, motor aphasia and consciousness disturbance was hospitalized for Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus meningitis. He denied contact with farm animals, but had a practice of consuming unpasteurized goats’ cheese from an uncertain source.
Microbiological contamination is an important water-quality problem worldwide. Human impact on this category of contamination is significant and several human-related activities, and also the population explosion, have affected and are still affecting dramatically the aquatic environment. Extensive industrialization and agriculture have led to increased pollution and hydromorphological changes in many river basins. The Danube river is one of the most affected by these changes where human involvement is undeniable, and subsequently, the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve became one of the most vulnerable ecosystems. This review is an attempt to analyse the microbiological contamination and to identify the major role human activities play in altering the water quality of the rivers.
Current vaccine approaches to combat anthrax are effective; however, they target only a single protein [the protective antigen (PA) toxin component] that is produced after spore germination. PA production is subsequently increased during later vegetative cell proliferation. Accordingly, several aspects of the vaccine strategy could be improved. The inclusion of spore-specific antigens with PA could potentially induce protection to initial stages of the disease. Moreover, adding other epitopes to the current vaccine strategy will decrease the likelihood of encountering a strain of Bacillus anthracis (emerging or engineered) that is refractory to the vaccine. Adding recombinant spore-surface antigens (e.g. BclA, ExsFA/BxpB and p5303) to PA has been shown to augment protection afforded by the latter using a challenge model employing immunosuppressed mice challenged with spores derived from the attenuated Sterne strain of B. anthracis. This report demonstrated similar augmentation utilizing guinea pigs or mice challenged with spores of the fully virulent Ames strain or a non-toxigenic but encapsulated ΔAmes strain of B. anthracis, respectively. Additionally, it was shown that immune interference did not occur if optimal amounts of antigen were administered. By administering the toxin and spore-based immunogens simultaneously, a significant adjuvant effect was also observed in some cases. Thus, these data further support the inclusion of recombinant spore antigens in next-generation anthrax vaccine strategies.
Bacteria of the genus Corynebacterium are important primary and opportunistic pathogens. Many are zoonotic agents. In this report, phenotypic (API Coryne analysis), genetic (rpoB and 16S rRNA gene sequencing), and physical methods (MS) were used to distinguish the closely related diphtheroid species Corynebacterium ulcerans and Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, and to definitively diagnose Corynebacterium
renale from cephalic implants of rhesus (Macaca mulatta) and cynomolgus (Macaca fascicularis) macaques used in cognitive neuroscience research. Throat and cephalic implant cultures yielded 85 isolates from 43 macaques. Identification by API Coryne yielded C. ulcerans (n = 74), Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis (n = 2), C. renale or most closely related to C. renale (n = 3), and commensals and opportunists (n = 6). The two isolates identified as C. pseudotuberculosis by API Coryne required genetic and MS analysis for accurate characterization as C. ulcerans. Of three isolates identified as C. renale by 16S rRNA gene sequencing, only one could be confirmed as such by API Coryne, rpoB gene sequencing and MS. This study emphasizes the importance of adjunct methods in identification of coryneforms and is the first isolation of C. renale from cephalic implants in macaques.
Helicobacter pullorum is an enterohepatic Helicobacter species (EHS) that was recently reported as a naturally acquired infection in mice. Faecal samples from 18 out of 20 Brown Norway (BN) rats, housed in the same barrier as the H. pullorum-infected mice, were positive for H. pullorum using species-specific PCR. In addition, we determined whether H. pullorum was able to persistently colonize the gastrointestinal tract and/or biliary tree and elicit tissue inflammation as well as a serum IgG response in BN rats. Six (four male, two female) 6-week-old, H. pullorum-negative BN rats were orally dosed with 4×108 c.f.u. of H. pullorum every other day for a total of three doses. At 2 weeks post-infection, all rats were H. pullorum-positive by faecal PCR. Five out of the six BN rats remained H. pullorum-positive for the entire 30 week study. PCR analysis of tissue collected at necropsy confirmed that the colon and caecum were the primary sites of H. pullorum colonization. Rats that were persistently colonized by H. pullorum had a sustained H. pullorum-specific IgG response measured by ELISA. Intestinal or hepatic pathology associated with H. pullorum infection was not noted. To our knowledge, this is the first report documenting that rats can be persistently colonized with an EHS that also infects humans.
The aim of this study was to determine the frequency and allele associations of locus of enterocyte effacement encoded esp and tir genes among 181 enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) strains (90 diarrhoea-associated and 91 controls) isolated from Peruvian children under 18 months of age. We analysed espA, espB, espD and tir alleles by PCR-RFLP. EPEC strains were isolated with higher frequency from healthy controls (91/424, 21.7 %) than from diarrhoeal samples (90/936, 9.6 %) (P<0.001); 28.9 % of diarrhoeal and 17.6 % of control samples were typical EPEC (tEPEC). The distribution of espA alleles (alpha, beta, beta2 and gamma) and espD alleles (alpha, beta, gamma and a new variant, espD-N1) between tEPEC and atypical EPEC (aEPEC) was significantly different (P<0.05). espD-alpha was more common among acute episodes (P<0.05). espB typing resulted in five alleles (alpha, beta, gamma and two new sub-alleles, espB-alpha2 and espB-alpha3), while tir-beta and tir-gamma2 were the most common intimin receptor subtypes. Seventy-two combinations of espA, espB, espD and tir alleles were found; the most prevalent combination was espA-beta, espB-beta, espD-beta, tir-beta (34/181 strains), which was more frequent among tEPEC strains (P<0.05). Our findings indicate that there is a high degree of heterogeneity among EPEC strains isolated from Peruvian children and that aEPEC and tEPEC variants cluster.
Staphylococcus aureus is a leading cause of catheter infections, and biofilm formation plays a key role in the pathogenesis. Metal ion chelators inhibit bacterial biofilm formation and viability, making them attractive candidates as components in catheter lock solutions. The goal of this study was to characterize further the effect of chelators on biofilm formation. The effect of the calcium chelators ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid (EGTA) and trisodium citrate (TSC) on biofilm formation by 30 S. aureus strains was tested. The response to subinhibitory doses of EGTA and TSC varied dramatically depending on strain variation. In some strains, the chelators prevented biofilm formation, in others they had no effect, and they actually enhanced biofilm formation in others. The molecular basis for this phenotypic variability was investigated using two related strains: Newman, in which biofilm formation was inhibited by chelators, and 10833, which formed strong biofilms in the presence of chelators. It was found that deletion of the gene encoding the surface adhesin clumping factor B (clfB) completely eliminated chelator-induced biofilm formation in strain 10833. The role of ClfB in biofilm formation activity in chelators was confirmed in additional strains. It was concluded that biofilm-forming ability varies strikingly depending on strain background, and that ClfB is involved in biofilm formation in the presence EGTA and citrate. These results suggest that subinhibitory doses of chelating agents in catheter lock solutions may actually augment biofilm formation in certain strains of S. aureus, and emphasize the importance of using these agents appropriately so that inhibitory doses are achieved consistently.
Mobile drug-resistance genes with identical nucleic acid sequences carried by multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli strains that cause community-acquired infections are becomingly increasingly dispersed worldwide. Over a 2-year period, we analysed Gram-negative bacterial (GNB) pathogens from the blood of inpatients at an urban public hospital to determine what proportion of these isolates carried such globally dispersed drug-resistance genes. Of 376 GNB isolates, 167 (44 %) were Escherichia coli, 50 (13 %) were Klebsiella pneumoniae, 25 (7 %) were Pseudomonas aeruginosa, 25 (7 %) were Proteus mirabilis and 20 (5 %) were Enterobacter cloacae; the remainder (24 %) comprised 26 different GNB species. Among E. coli isolates, class 1 integrons were detected in 64 (38 %). The most common integron gene cassette configuration was dfrA17-aadA5, found in 30 (25 %) of 119 drug-resistant E. coli isolates and in one isolate of Moraxella morganii. Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) genes were found in 16 E. coli isolates (10 %). These genes with identical sequences were found in nearly 40 % of bloodstream E. coli isolates in the study hospital, as well as in a variety of bacterial species from clinical and non-clinical sources worldwide. Thus, a substantial proportion of bloodstream infections among hospitalized patients were caused by E. coli strains carrying drug-resistance genes that are dispersed globally in a wide variety of bacterial species.
This discussion is intended to be an overview of current advances in the development of fungal cell wall vaccines with an emphasis on Candida; it is not a comprehensive historical review of all fungal cell wall vaccines. Selected, more recent, innovative strategies for developing fungal vaccines will be highlighted. Both scientific and logistical obstacles related to the development of, and clinical use of, fungal vaccines will be discussed.
Helicobacter pullorum, an enterohepatic Helicobacter species, is associated with gastroenteritis and hepatobiliary disease in humans and chickens. Recently, a novel H. pullorum outbreak in barrier-maintained rats and mice was described. In this study, persistence of infection and serological responses were further evaluated in H. pullorum-infected female C57BL/6NTac and C3H/HeNTac mice obtained from the barrier outbreak. C57BL/6NTac mice (n = 36) aged 10–58 weeks were confirmed to be chronically infected with H. pullorum by PCR or culture of caecum, colon and faeces, with no evidence of hepatic infection; two of three C3H/HeNTac mice cleared H. pullorum infection by 26 weeks of age. A quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay based on the cdtB gene specific to H. pullorum demonstrated that colonization was high in the caecum and colon at 104–106 c.f.u. equivalents per µg host DNA, and decreased by several logs from 32 to 58 weeks of age. Infected mice were seropositive by ELISA, and H. pullorum-specific IgG levels decreased as colonization was lost over time in selected mice. Consistent with the lack of pathology associated with chronic infection of C57BL/6 mice with other murine enteric helicobacters, C57BL/6NTac and C3H/HeNTac mice infected with H. pullorum did not develop gross or histological lesions of the liver or gastrointestinal tract. The cdtB-based qPCR assay can be used in screening animals, food sources and environmental samples for H. pullorum, as this food-borne pathogen has zoonotic potential. These findings will also allow future studies in murine models to dissect potential pathogenic mechanisms for this emerging pathogen.
A child’s death due to pneumococcal meningitis after contracting the disease in an after-school programme prompted an investigation to assess nasopharyngeal (NP) carriage among her contacts. The serotype of the meningitis case isolate was determined, together with the serotypes of the NP specimens of contacts, comprising the case patient’s brother, the case patient’s after-school programme contacts and the brother’s day-care centre (DCC) contacts. NP swabs from 155 children and 69 adults were obtained. Real-time PCR and conventional multiplex PCR (CM-PCR) assays were used to detect pneumococcal carriage and determine serotypes. Broth-enriched culture of NP specimens followed by pneumococcal isolation and Quellung-based serotyping were also performed. DNA extracts prepared from cerebrospinal fluid of the index case and from the NP strain isolated from the brother and from one attendee of the brother’s DCC were subjected to genotyping. Pneumococcal carriage assessed by real-time PCR and culture was 49.6 and 36.6 %, respectively (P<0.05). Twenty-three serotypes were detected using CM-PCR, with serotypes 6A/6B, 14, 19F, 6C/6D, 22F/22A, 23F and 11A/11D being the most frequent. All eight serotype 22F/22A NP specimens recovered were from children attending the brother’s DCC. The meningitis case isolate and the NP carriage isolate from the patient’s brother were both serotype 22F and shared the same new multilocus sequence type (ST6403) with the attendee of the brother’s DCC. CM-PCR proved to be useful for assessing carriage serotype distribution in a setting of high-risk pneumococcal transmission. The causal serotype appeared to be linked to the brother of the case patient and attendees of his DCC.
Aspergillus terreus is an emerging pathogen that mostly affects immunocompromised patients, causing infections that are often difficult to manage therapeutically. Current diagnostic strategies are limited to the detection of fungal growth using radiological methods or biopsy, which often does not enable species-specific identification. There is thus a critical need for diagnostic techniques to enable early and specific identification of the causative agent. In this study, we describe monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) developed to a previously described recombinant form of the haemolysin terrelysin. Sixteen hybridomas of various IgG isotypes were generated to the recombinant protein, of which seven demonstrated reactivity to the native protein in hyphal extracts. Cross-reactivity analysis using hyphal extracts from 29 fungal species, including 12 Aspergillus species and five strains of A. terreus, showed that three mAbs (13G10, 15B5 and 10G4) were A. terreus-specific. Epitope analysis demonstrated mAbs 13G10 and 10G4 recognize the same epitope, PSNEFE, while mAb 15B5 recognizes the epitope LYEGQFHS. Time-course studies showed that terrelysin expression was highest during early hyphal growth and dramatically decreased after mycelial expansion. Immunolocalization studies demonstrated that terrelysin was not only localized within the cytoplasm of hyphae but appeared to be more abundant at the hyphal tip. These findings were confirmed in cultures grown at room temperature as well as at 37 °C. Additionally, terrelysin was detected in the supernatant of A. terreus cultures. These observations suggest that terrelysin may be a candidate biomarker for A. terreus infection.
This study examined the sequences of the two rRNA (rrn) operons of pathogenic non-cultivable treponemes, comprising 11 strains of T. pallidum ssp. pallidum (TPA), five strains of T. pallidum ssp. pertenue (TPE), two strains of T. pallidum ssp. endemicum (TEN), a simian Fribourg-Blanc strain and a rabbit T. paraluiscuniculi (TPc) strain. PCR was used to determine the type of 16S–23S ribosomal intergenic spacers in the rrn operons from 30 clinical samples belonging to five different genotypes. When compared with the TPA strains, TPc Cuniculi A strain had a 17 bp deletion, and the TPE, TEN and Fribourg-Blanc isolates had a deletion of 33 bp. Other than these deletions, only 17 heterogeneous sites were found within the entire region (excluding the 16S–23S intergenic spacer region encoding tRNA-Ile or tRNA-Ala). The pattern of nucleotide changes in the rrn operons corresponded to the classification of treponemal strains, whilst two different rrn spacer patterns (Ile/Ala and Ala/Ile) appeared to be distributed randomly across species/subspecies classification, time and geographical source of the treponemal strains. It is suggested that the random distribution of tRNA genes is caused by reciprocal translocation between repetitive sequences mediated by a recBCD-like system.
Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an emerging tick-borne pathogen that infects humans, domestic animals and wildlife throughout the Holarctic. In the far-western United States, multiple rodent species have been implicated as natural reservoirs for A. phagocytophilum. However, the presence of multiple A. phagocytophilum strains has made it difficult to determine which reservoir hosts pose the greatest risk to humans and domestic animals. Here we characterized three genetic markers (23S–5S rRNA intergenic spacer, ank and groESL) from 73 real-time TaqMan PCR-positive A. phagocytophilum strains infecting multiple rodent and reptile species, as well as a dog and a horse, from California. Bayesian and maximum-likelihood phylogenetic analyses of all three genetic markers consistently identified two major clades, one of which consisted of A. phagocytophilum strains infecting woodrats and the other consisting of strains infecting sciurids (chipmunks and squirrels) as well as the dog and horse strains. In addition, analysis of the 23S–5S rRNA spacer region identified two unique and highly dissimilar clades of A. phagocytophilum strains infecting several lizard species. Our findings indicate that multiple unique strains of A. phagocytophilum with distinct host tropisms exist in California. Future epidemiological studies evaluating human and domestic animal risk should incorporate these distinctions.
Mycoplasma genitalium, a human pathogen associated with sexually transmitted diseases, is unique in that it has the smallest genome of any known free-living organism. Despite its small genome, 4.7 % of the total genomic sequence is devoted to making the MgPa adhesin operon (containing the MG190, MG191 and MG192 genes) and its repetitive chromosomal sequences (known as MgPars). The goals of this study were to investigate the location, organization and variability of trinucleotide tandem repeats (TTRs) in the MgPa operon and MgPars and to explore the possible mechanisms and role of TTR variations. By analysing the complete MgPa operon and complete or partial MgPar sequences in a collection of 15 geographically diverse clinical strains of M. genitalium, TTR sequences were identified in four regions in MG191, one region in MG192, and two or three regions in each of all nine MgPars except for MgPar 3. These TTRs were variable not only in the repeat copy number but also in the repeat unit sequence among or within strains. The key mechanisms for the TTR variations likely include recombination between MgPa and MgPars, and slipped-strand mispairing. TTR variation may represent a mechanism to maximize the variation of the MgPa operon, which is complementary to genetic variation involving segmental recombination between MgPa and MgPars, thus enhancing the organism’s ability to adhere to and colonize host cells as well as evasion of the host immune system.
We have investigated the reproducibility of DiversiLab rep-PCR fingerprints between two laboratories with the aim of determining if the fingerprints and clustering are laboratory-specific or portable. One-hundred non-duplicate Acinetobacter baumannii isolates were used in this study. DNA isolation and rep-PCR were each performed separately in two laboratories and rep-PCR patterns generated in laboratory A were compared with those from laboratory B. Twelve A. baumannii isolates processed in laboratory A showed ≥98 % pattern similarity with the corresponding 12 isolates tested in laboratory B and were considered identical. Sixty-four isolates showed 95–97.9 % similarity with their corresponding isolates. Twenty-three isolates showed 90–94 % similarity with the corresponding isolates, while one isolate showed only 87.4 % similarity. However, intra-laboratory clustering was conserved: isolates that clustered in laboratory A also clustered in laboratory B. While clustering was conserved and reproducible at two different laboratories, demonstrating the robustness of rep-PCR, interlaboratory comparison of individual isolate fingerprints showed more variability. This comparison allows conclusions regarding clonality to be reached independent of the laboratory where the analysis is performed.
Aspergillosis is one of the most common causes of death in captive birds. Aspergillus fumigatus accounts for approximately 95 % of aspergillosis cases and Aspergillus flavus is the second most frequent organism associated with avian infections. In the present study, the fungi were grown from avian clinical samples (post-mortem lung material) and environmental samples (eggs, food and litter). Microsatellite markers were used to type seven clinical avian isolates and 22 environmental isolates of A. flavus. A. flavus was the only species (28 % prevalence) detected in the avian clinical isolates, whereas this species ranked third (19 %) after members of the genera Penicillium (39 %) and Cladosporium (21 %) in the environmental samples. Upon microsatellite analysis, five to eight distinct alleles were detected for each marker. The marker with the highest discriminatory power had eight alleles and a 0.852 D value. The combination of all six markers yielded a 0.991 D value with 25 distinct genotypes. One clinical avian isolate (lung biopsy) and one environmental isolate (egg) shared the same genotype. Microsatellite typing of A. flavus grown from avian and environmental samples displayed an excellent discriminatory power and 100 % reproducibility. This study showed a clustering of clinical and environmental isolates, which were clearly separated. Based upon these results, aspergillosis in birds may be induced by a great diversity of isolates.
The phylogenetic relationships of non-typable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) strains prospectively isolated from healthy children and children with acute otitis media (AOM) were analysed using multilocus sequence typing (MLST). A total of 165 NTHi isolates were collected over a 3.5 year time frame during 2006 through 2009. The strains were tested for β-lactamase production; 28.5 % were positive. Seventy different NTHi sequence types (STs) were identified of which 29 (41.4 %) were novel. NTHi strains did not show any phylogenetic grouping or clustering among asymptomatic colonizing strains or strains that caused AOM, or based on β-lactamase enzyme production. Evaluation of triplets and other siblings over time demonstrated relatively frequent genetic exchanges in NTHi isolates in vivo in a short time frame and subsequent transfer among children in a family. Comparison of the MLST STs isolated at different time points showed that in ~85 % of the nasopharynx (NP) colonizations, NTHi strains cleared from the host within 3 months, that sequential colonization in the same child involved different strains in all cases except one, and that NP and middle ear isolates were identical STs in 84 % of cases. In this first study of its type to our knowledge, we could not identify predominant MLST types among strains colonizing the NP versus those causing AOM or expressing a β-lactamase enzyme conferring penicillin resistance in children.
Candiduria is a common finding in hospitalized patients with indwelling urine-draining devices. Animal models for candiduria are not well-developed and, despite its prevalence and associated mortality, candiduria is understudied. The presence of Candida in urine does not imply disease because it is also a commensal. Biofilm formation on catheters and the host–pathogen interaction are likely to be important factors that contribute to the pathogenesis. The objective of this study was to establish a candiduria model in mice with indwelling catheters. Our data demonstrate that biofilm formation on indwelling catheters and persistent candiduria can be established in mice. The study supports the concept that biofilm formation contributes to persistence. It also outlines differences between catheter-related candiduria in mice and humans. Specifically, mice exhibit higher levels of leukocyturia. In addition, mean daily fungal burden in urine in the murine model is 10- to 100-fold lower than that in humans. These important findings must be taken into consideration when using this model to study host–pathogen interaction in the setting of candiduria.
Rapid diagnosis of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is essential for the prompt initiation of effective second-line therapy to improve treatment outcome and limit transmission of this obstinate disease. A variety of molecular methods that enable the rapid detection of mutations implicated in MDR-TB have been developed. The sensitivity of the methods is dependent, in principle, on the repertoire of mutations being detected, which is typically limited to mutations in the genes rpoB, katG and the promoter region of inhA. In this study, a new reverse hybridization assay, REBA MTB-MDR (M&D), that probes mutations in the oxyR–ahpC intergenic region, in addition to those in rpoB, katG and the inhA promoter region, was evaluated. A set of 240 Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates from patients receiving retreatment regimens was subjected to conventional phenotypic drug-susceptibility testing (DST) and the REBA MTB-MDR assay. The nucleotide sequences of the loci known to be involved in drug resistance were determined for comparison. In brief, the results showed that the REBA MTB-MDR assay efficiently recognized nucleotide changes in the oxyR–ahpC intergenic region as well as those in rpoB, katG and the inhA promoter region with higher sensitivity, resulting in an 81.0 % detection rate for isoniazid resistance. Inclusion of the oxyR–ahpC intergenic region in the REBA MTB-MDR assay improved the overall sensitivity of molecular DST for MDR-TB from 73.1 to 79.9 %.
We performed genotyping of Mycobacterium leprae present in skin biopsy samples that were collected during the first and the second disease occurrences from eight leprosy patients, seven of whom were diagnosed as suffering from disease relapse. Sequence analysis of part of the M. leprae
rpoB, folP1, gyrB and gyrA genes did not show genetic change that supported the presence of drug-resistant bacilli. However, we observed a synonymous nucleotide change at position 297 of gyrA among five of these patients, one presenting C to T (CgyrAT) and four presenting T to C (TgyrAC) at this position. Additional genotyping by analysis of the four short tandem repeats GAA, GTA9, AT17 and TA18 showed that the gyrA single nucleotide polymorphism change was accompanied by a change in short tandem repeat genotype. Our data suggest that leprosy relapse in these patients, living in an area endemic for leprosy, could be caused by M. leprae with a genotype different from the one that caused initial disease.
Prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are used to study the aetiology and prevention of gallstones because of the similarities of prairie dog and human bile gallstone composition. Epidemiological and experimental studies have suggested a connection between infection with Helicobacter species and cholesterol cholelithiasis, cholecystis and gallbladder cancer. Ten of the 34 prairie dogs in this study had positive Helicobacter species identified by PCR using Helicobacter genus-specific primers. Ten of 34 prairie dogs had positive Campylobacter species identified in the intestine by PCR with Campylobacter genus-specific primers. Six Helicobacter sp. isolates and three Campylobacter sp. isolates were identified taxonomically by 16S rRNA gene analysis. The prairie dog helicobacters fell into three clusters adjacent to Helicobacter marmotae. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, three strains in two adjacent clusters were included in the species H. marmotae. Three strains were only 97.1 % similar to the sequence of H. marmotae and can be considered a novel species with the provisional designation Helicobacter sp. Prairie Dog 3. The prairie dog campylobacters formed a single novel cluster and represent a novel Campylobacter sp. with the provisional designation Campylobacter sp. Prairie Dog. They branched with Campylobacter
cuniculorum at 96.3 % similarity and had the greatest sequence similarity to Campylobacter
helveticus at 97.1 % similarity. Whether H. marmotae or the novel Helicobacter sp. and Campylobacter sp. identified in prairie dogs play a role in cholesterol gallstones or hepatobiliary disease requires further studies.
The kinetics of bacterial killing for fidaxomicin and its major metabolite, OP-1118, were investigated against Clostridium difficile strains, including two clinical strains belonging to the restriction endonuclease analysis group BI (ORG 1687 and 1698), the ATCC 43255 strain and two laboratory-derived mutant strains with decreased susceptibility to fidaxomicin (ORG 919 and 1620). Both fidaxomicin and OP-1118 demonstrated time-dependent killing of C. difficile strains. Fidaxomicin (at 4× MIC) reduced bacterial counts of the ATCC 43255 strain, clinical strain ORG 1687 and the two laboratory-generated mutant strains by ≥3 logs within 48 h of exposure. The other BI strain, ORG 1698, was tested at 2× MIC fidaxomicin with bacterial counts decreasing 1 log in 48 h. Exposure to OP-1118 (at 4× MIC) also resulted in a ≥3 log drop in c.f.u. counts for the ATCC 43255 strain, the clinical BI strain ORG 1687 and the mutant strain ORG 919. Higher concentrations of OP-1118 (32× MIC) were required for a 3 log reduction in c.f.u. counts for the other BI strain, ORG 1698. In summary, the results indicate that both fidaxomicin and its major metabolite, OP-1118, are bactericidal against C. difficile strains, including the hypervirulent restriction endonuclease analysis group BI strains, at concentrations that are many fold below the detected faecal concentrations of these compounds after oral administration of fidaxomicin.
Three clinical Klebsiella pneumoniae strains, KpARG74, KpARG220 and KpARG185, isolated from a hospital in Algeria, carried the novel β-lactamases SHV-98, SHV-99 and SHV-100, respectively, and co-expressed TEM-1 and either CTX-M-3 or CTX-M-15. In contrast, transformed cells possessing the genes for these novel β-lactamases, i.e. EcDH5α-SHV-98, EcDH5α-SHV-99 and EcDH5α-SHV-100, respectively, carried unique sequence features of blaSHV gene variants, enabling oxyimino-cephalosporin susceptibility and confirming that none of the transformants exhibited extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) properties. SHV-100 is apparently functional, despite differing from the SHV-1 sequence by duplication of 13 amino acids. The SHV-99 enzyme differed from the parental SHV-1 by the amino acid substitution Asp104→Gly, which is an important position in the development of the ESBL phenotype in TEM β-lactamases. This is the first time, to our knowledge, that this mutation has been reported in clinically occurring isolates. Thus, kinetic characterization of the SHV-99 enzyme was performed. The SHV-99 enzyme showed higher affinity (Km of 196 µM), catalytic activity (kcat of 0.5 s−1) and catalytic efficiency (kcat/Km of 0.003 µM−1 s−1) than SHV-1 β-lactamase against aztreonam. These results showed that the neutral glycine at residue 104 increased the affinity of the enzyme to aztreonam, but was unable to develop the ESBL phenotype in SHV enzymes. As the emergence of new threatening combinations of resistance determinants among nosocomial pathogens is further possible, this study has highlighted the need to reverse the spread of initial mutations.
Millions of intravaginal rings (IVRs) are used by women worldwide for contraception and for the treatment of vaginal atrophy. These devices also are suitable for local and systemic sustained release drug delivery, notably for antiviral agents in human immunodeficiency virus pre-exposure prophylaxis. Despite the widespread use of IVRs, no studies have examined whether surface-attached bacterial biofilms develop in vivo, an important consideration when determining the safety of these devices. The present study used scanning electron microscopy, fluorescence in situ hybridization and confocal laser scanning microscopy to study biofilms that formed on the surface of IVRs worn for 28 days by six female pig-tailed macaques, an excellent model organism for the human vaginal microbiome. Four of the IVRs released the nucleotide analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitor tenofovir at a controlled rate and the remaining two were unmedicated. Large areas of the ring surfaces were covered with monolayers of epithelial cells. Two bacterial biofilm phenotypes were found to develop on these monolayers and both had a broad diversity of bacterial cells closely associated with the extracellular material. Phenotype I, the more common of the two, consisted of tightly packed bacterial mats approximately 5 µm in thickness. Phenotype II was much thicker, typically 40 µm, and had an open architecture containing interwoven networks of uniform fibres. There was no significant difference in biofilm thickness and appearance between medicated and unmedicated IVRs. These preliminary results suggest that bacterial biofilms could be common on intravaginal devices worn for extended periods of time.