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1.  Human Babesiosis, Maine, USA, 1995–2011  
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2014;20(10):1727-1730.
We observed an increase in the ratio of pathogenic Babesia microti to B. odocoilei in adult Ixodes scapularis ticks in Maine. Risk for babesiosis was associated with adult tick abundance, Borrelia burgdorferi infection prevalence, and Lyme disease incidence. Our findings may help track risk and increase the focus on blood supply screening.
doi:10.3201/eid2010.130938
PMCID: PMC4193268  PMID: 25272145
Babesiosis; Babesia microti; Babesia odocoilei; black-legged tick; Ixodes scapularis; Maine; vector-borne infections; deer tick
2.  Perturbation of the Human Microbiome as a Contributor to Inflammatory Bowel Disease 
Pathogens  2014;3(3):510-527.
The human microbiome consist of the composite genome of native flora that have evolved with humanity over millennia and which contains 150-fold more genes than the human genome. A “healthy” microbiome plays an important role in the maintenance of health and prevention of illness, inclusive of autoimmune disease such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is a prevalent spectrum of disorders, most notably defined by Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), which are associated with considerable suffering, morbidity, and cost. This review presents an outline of the loss of a normal microbiome as an etiology of immune dysregulation and IBD pathogenesis initiation. We, furthermore, summarize the knowledge on the role of a healthy microbiome in terms of its diversity and important functional elements and, lastly, conclude with some of the therapeutic interventions and modalities that are now being explored as potential applications of microbiome-host interactions.
doi:10.3390/pathogens3030510
PMCID: PMC4243426  PMID: 25438009
microbiota; metagenome; microbiome; inflammatory bowel disease; ulcerative colitis; Crohn’s Disease
3.  Culture-negative endocarditis diagnosed using 16S DNA polymerase chain reaction 
16S DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a molecular amplification technique that can be used to identify bacterial pathogens in culture-negative endocarditis. Bacterial DNA can be isolated from surgically excised valve tissue or from blood collected in EDTA vials. Use of this technique is particularly helpful in identifying the bacterial pathogen in cases of culture-negative endocarditis. A case involving a 48-year-old man who presented with severe aortic regurgitation and a four-month prodrome of low-grade fever is reported. Blood and valve tissue cultures following valve replacement were negative. A valve tissue sample was sent for investigation with 16S DNA PCR, which successfully identified Streptococcus salivarius and was interpreted as the true diagnosis. A review of the literature suggests that 16S DNA PCR from valve tissue is a more sensitive diagnostic test than culture. It is also extremely specific, based on a sequence match of at least 500 base pairs.
PMCID: PMC3597401  PMID: 24294278
Endocarditis; S salivarius; 16S DNA PCR
4.  Responses to pandemic ASO3-adjuvanted A/California/07/09 H1N1 influenza vaccine in human immunodeficiency virus-infected individuals 
BMC Immunology  2012;13:49.
Background
Influenza infection may be more serious in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals, therefore, vaccination against seasonal and pandemic strains is highly advised. Seasonal influenza vaccines have had no significant negative effects in well controlled HIV infection, but the impact of adjuvanted pandemic A/California/07/2009 H1N1 influenza hemaglutinin (HA) vaccine, which was used for the first time in the Canadian population as an authorized vaccine in autumn 2009, has not been extensively studied.
Objective
Assess vaccine-related effects on CD4+ T cell counts and humoral responses to the vaccine in individuals attending the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial HIV clinic.
Methods
A single dose of ArepanrixTM split vaccine including 3.75 μg A/California/07/2009 H1N1 HA antigen and ASO3 adjuvant was administered to 81 HIV-infected individuals by intramuscular injection. Plasma samples from shortly before, and 1–5 months after vaccination were collected from 80/81 individuals to assess humoral anti-H1N1 HA responses using a sensitive microbead-based array assay. Data on CD4+ T cell counts, plasma viral load, antiretroviral therapy and patient age were collected from clinical records of 81 individuals.
Results
Overall, 36/80 responded to vaccination either by seroconversion to H1N1 HA or with a clear increase in anti-H1N1 HA antibody levels. Approximately 1/3 (28/80) had pre-existing anti-H1N1 HA antibodies and were more likely to respond to vaccination (22/28). Responders had higher baseline CD4+ T cell counts and responders without pre-existing antibodies against H1N1 HA were younger than either non-responders or responders with pre-existing antibodies. Compared to changes in their CD4+ T cell counts observed over a similar time period one year later, vaccine recipients displayed a minor, transient fall in CD4+ T cell numbers, which was greater amongst responders.
Conclusions
We observed low response rates to the 2009 pandemic influenza vaccine among HIV-infected individuals without pre-existing antibodies against H1N1 HA and a minor transient fall in CD4+ T cell numbers, which was accentuated in responders. A single injection of the ArepanrixTM pandemic A/California/07/2009 H1N1 HA split vaccine may be insufficient to induce protective immunity in HIV-infected individuals without pre-existing anti-H1N1 HA responses.
doi:10.1186/1471-2172-13-49
PMCID: PMC3482569  PMID: 22937824
HIV; influenza; pandemic; A/California/07/2009 H1N1 HA antigen; AS03 oil in water adjuvant; inflammation; CD4+ T cells; age

Results 1-4 (4)