Because of their relative simplicity and the barriers to gene flow, islands are ideal systems to study the distribution of biodiversity. However, the knowledge that can be extracted from this peculiar ecosystem regarding epidemiology of economically relevant diseases has not been widely addressed. We used information available in the scientific literature for 10 old world islands or archipelagos and original data on Sicily to gain new insights into the epidemiology of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC). We explored three nonexclusive working hypotheses on the processes modulating bovine tuberculosis (bTB) herd prevalence in cattle and MTC strain diversity: insularity, hosts and trade. Results suggest that bTB herd prevalence was positively correlated with island size, the presence of wild hosts, and the number of imported cattle, but neither with isolation nor with cattle density. MTC strain diversity was positively related with cattle bTB prevalence, presence of wild hosts and the number of imported cattle, but not with island size, isolation, and cattle density. The three most common spoligotype patterns coincided between Sicily and mainland Italy. However in Sicily, these common patterns showed a clearer dominance than on the Italian mainland, and seven of 19 patterns (37%) found in Sicily had not been reported from continental Italy. Strain patterns were not spatially clustered in Sicily. We were able to infer several aspects of MTC epidemiology and control in islands and thus in fragmented host and pathogen populations. Our results point out the relevance of the intensity of the cattle commercial networks in the epidemiology of MTC, and suggest that eradication will prove more difficult with increasing size of the island and its environmental complexity, mainly in terms of the diversity of suitable domestic and wild MTC hosts.
Lung cancer (LC) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) commonly coexist in smokers, and the presence of COPD increases the risk of developing LC. Cigarette smoke causes oxidative stress and an inflammatory response in lung cells, which in turn may be involved in COPD and lung cancer development. The aim of this study was to identify differential proteomic profiles related to oxidative stress response that were potentially involved in these two pathological entities. Protein content was assessed in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) of 60 patients classified in four groups: COPD, COPD and LC, LC, and control (neither COPD nor LC). Proteins were separated into spots by two dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) and examined by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/TOF). A total of 16 oxidative stress regulatory proteins were differentially expressed in BAL samples from LC and/or COPD patients as compared with the control group. A distinct proteomic reactive oxygen species (ROS) protein signature emerged that characterized lung cancer and COPD. In conclusion, our findings highlight the role of the oxidative stress response proteins in the pathogenic pathways of both diseases, and provide new candidate biomarkers and predictive tools for LC and COPD diagnosis.
bronchoalveolar lavage; lung cancer; screening; biomarker; inflammation; proteomics; ROS; oxidative stress
Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a chronic infectious disease mainly caused by Mycobacterium bovis. Although eradication is a priority for the European authorities, bTB remains active or even increasing in many countries, causing significant economic losses. The integral consideration of epidemiological factors is crucial to more cost-effectively allocate control measures. The aim of this study was to identify the nature and extent of the association between TB distribution and a list of potential risk factors regarding cattle, wild ungulates and environmental aspects in Ciudad Real, a Spanish province with one of the highest TB herd prevalences.
We used a Bayesian mixed effects multivariable logistic regression model to predict TB occurrence in either domestic or wild mammals per municipality in 2007 by using information from the previous year. The municipal TB distribution and endemicity was clustered in the western part of the region and clearly overlapped with the explanatory variables identified in the final model: (1) incident cattle farms, (2) number of years of veterinary inspection of big game hunting events, (3) prevalence in wild boar, (4) number of sampled cattle, (5) persistent bTB-infected cattle farms, (6) prevalence in red deer, (7) proportion of beef farms, and (8) farms devoted to bullfighting cattle.
The combination of these eight variables in the final model highlights the importance of the persistence of the infection in the hosts, surveillance efforts and some cattle management choices in the circulation of M. bovis in the region. The spatial distribution of these variables, together with particular Mediterranean features that favour the wildlife-livestock interface may explain the M. bovis persistence in this region. Sanitary authorities should allocate efforts towards specific areas and epidemiological situations where the wildlife-livestock interface seems to critically hamper the definitive bTB eradication success.
Eradication of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) through the application of test-and-cull programs is a declared goal of developed countries in which the disease is still endemic. Here, longitudinal data from more than 1,700 cattle herds tested during a 12 year-period in the eradication program in the region of Madrid, Spain, were analyzed to quantify the within-herd transmission coefficient (β) depending on the herd-type (beef/dairy/bullfighting). In addition, the probability to recover the officially bTB free (OTF) status in infected herds depending on the type of herd and the diagnostic strategy implemented was assessed using Cox proportional hazard models.
Overall, dairy herds showed higher β (median 4.7) than beef or bullfighting herds (2.3 and 2.2 respectively). Introduction of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) as an ancillary test produced an apparent increase in the β coefficient regardless of production type, likely due to an increase in diagnostic sensitivity. Time to recover OTF status was also significantly lower in dairy herds, and length of bTB episodes was significantly reduced when the IFN-γ was implemented to manage the outbreak.
Our results suggest that bTB spreads more rapidly in dairy herds compared to other herd types, a likely cause being management and demographic-related factors. However, outbreaks in dairy herds can be controlled more rapidly than in typically extensive herd types. Finally, IFN-γ proved its usefulness to rapidly eradicate bTB at a herd-level.
This study describes the attempt to trace the first Mycobacterium bovis outbreak in alpacas (Lama pacos) in Spain by spoligotyping and variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) analysis. Due to high genotype diversity, no matching source was identified, but local expansion of a clonal group was found and its significance for molecular tracing is discussed.
All Streptococcus bovis blood culture isolates recovered from January 2003 to January 2010 (n = 52) at the Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal were reidentified on the basis of their genetic traits using new taxonomic criteria. Initial identification was performed by the semiautomatic Wider system (Fco. Soria-Melguizo, Spain) and the API 20 Strep system (bioMérieux, France). All isolates were reidentified by PCR amplification and sequencing of both the 16S rRNA and sodA genes and by mass spectrometry using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS; Bruker, Germany). Results of 16S rRNA/sodA gene sequencing were as follows: Streptococcus gallolyticus subsp. gallolyticus, 14/14 (number of isolates identified by 16S rRNA/number of isolates identified by sodA gene sequencing); Streptococcus gallolyticus subsp. pasteurianus, 24/24; Streptococcus spp., 7/0; Streptococcus infantarius subsp. infantarius, 0/2; Streptococcus lutetiensis, 0/5; Leuconostoc mesenteroides, 4/0; and Lactococcus lactis, 3/3. MALDI-TOF MS identified 27 S. gallolyticus isolates but not at the subspecies level, 4 L. mesenteroides isolates, 3 L. lactis isolates, and 6 S. lutetiensis isolates, whereas 12 isolates rendered a nonreliable identification result. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis grouped all S. gallolyticus subsp. gallolyticus isolates into 3 major clusters clearly different from those of the S. gallolyticus subsp. pasteurianus isolates, which, in turn, exhibited no clonal relationship. The percentages of resistance to the tested antimicrobials were 38% for erythromycin, 23% for fosfomycin, 10% for levofloxacin, 6% for tetracycline, and 4% for co-trimoxazole. The most frequent underlying diseases were hepatobiliary disorders (53%), endocarditis (17%), and malignancies (12%). We conclude that sequencing of the sodA gene was the most discriminatory method and that S. gallolyticus subsp. pasteurianus appears to have a higher genetic diversity than S. gallolyticus subsp. gallolyticus.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis; human; cattle; epidemiology; bacteria; drug resistance; zoonoses; tuberculosis and other mycobacteria
Tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium bovis and closely related members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex continues to affect humans and animals worldwide and its control requires vaccination of wildlife reservoir species such as Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa). Vaccination efforts for TB control in wildlife have been based primarily on oral live BCG formulations. However, this is the first report of the use of oral inactivated vaccines for controlling TB in wildlife. In this study, four groups of 5 wild boar each were vaccinated with inactivated M. bovis by the oral and intramuscular routes, vaccinated with oral BCG or left unvaccinated as controls. All groups were later challenged with a field strain of M. bovis. The results of the IFN-gamma response, serum antibody levels, M. bovis culture, TB lesion scores, and the expression of C3 and MUT genes were compared between these four groups. The results suggested that vaccination with heat-inactivated M. bovis or BCG protect wild boar from TB. These results also encouraged testing combinations of BCG and inactivated M. bovis to vaccinate wild boar against TB. Vaccine formulations using heat-inactivated M. bovis for TB control in wildlife would have the advantage of being environmentally safe and more stable under field conditions when compared to live BCG vaccines. The antibody response and MUT expression levels can help differentiating between vaccinated and infected wild boar and as correlates of protective response in vaccinated animals. These results suggest that vaccine studies in free-living wild boar are now possible to reveal the full potential of protecting against TB using oral M. bovis inactivated and BCG vaccines.
Mycobacterium caprae is a pathogen that can infect animals and humans. To better understand the epidemiology of M. caprae, we spoligotyped 791 animal isolates. Results suggest infection is widespread in Spain, affecting 6 domestic and wild animal species. The epidemiology is driven by infections in caprids, although the organism has emerged in cattle.
Bacteria; zoonoses; Mycobacterium caprae; tuberculosis and other mycobacteria; epidemiology; molecular characterization; livestock; goats; spoligotyping; dispatch
Insertion sequence IS900 is used as a target for the identification of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis. Previous reports have revealed single nucleotide polymorphisms within IS900. This study, which analyzed the IS900 sequences of a panel of isolates representing M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis strain types I, II, and III, revealed conserved type-specific polymorphisms that could be utilized as a tool for diagnostic and epidemiological purposes.
Isolation of Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) organisms from clinical samples may occur in patients without clinical disease, making the interpretation of results difficult. The clinical relevance of MAC isolates from different types of clinical samples (n = 47) from 39 patients in different sections of a hospital was assessed by comparison with environmental isolates (n = 17) from the hospital. Various methods for identification and typing (commercial probes, phenotypic characteristics, PCR for detection of IS1245 and IS901, sequencing of the hsp65 gene, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis) were evaluated. The same strain was found in all the environmental isolates, 21 out of 23 (91.3%) of the isolates cultured from urine samples, and 5 out of 19 (26.3%) isolates from respiratory specimens. This strain did not cause disease in the patients. Testing best characterized the strain as M. avium subsp. hominissuis, with the unusual feature that 81.4% of these isolates lacked the IS1245 element. Contamination of certain clinical samples with an environmental strain was the most likely event; therefore, characterization of the environmental mycobacteria present in health care facilities should be performed to discard false-positive isolations in nonsterile samples, mainly urine samples. Molecular techniques applied in this study demonstrated their usefulness for this purpose.
PCR-based characterization techniques have been adopted in most laboratories for Mycobacterium bovis typing. We report a molecular characterization of human multidrug-resistant M. bovis isolates and three bovine isolates that share the spoligotyping profile. The analysis of the direct repeat region showed that both groups differed in the presence of spacers not included in the current membrane. They were also distinguished by two out of the nine mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit variable-number tandem repeat loci tested, indicating that the human infection was not acquired from the cattle from which isolates were obtained. These results highlight that a combination of techniques is required for appropriate discrimination, even for those spoligotypes that have a low frequency.
Culture is considered the definitive technique for Johne's disease diagnosis, and it is essential for later applications of certain molecular typing techniques. In this study, we have tested four solid media (Herrold's egg yolk medium [HEYM] with sodium pyruvate and mycobactin [HEYMm-SP], HEYM with mycobactin and without sodium pyruvate [HEYMm], Middlebrook 7H11 with mycobactin [Mm], and Löwenstein-Jensen with mycobactin [LJm]) for isolation of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis strains in 319 tissue samples from cattle herds and goat flocks. We have shown that each of the two main groups of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis (type II and type I/III) has different requirements for growth in the culture media studied. The recommended solid media for isolation of type I/III strains are LJm and Mm, since the combination of both media allowed the recovery of all these strains. The most widespread culture medium, HEYM, is not suitable for the isolation of this group of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis strains. Regarding the type II strains, HEYMm-SP was the medium where more strains were isolated, but the other three media are also needed in order to recover all type II strains. The incubation period is also related to the strain type. In conclusion, because the type of strain cannot be known in advance of culture, coupled with the fact that cattle and goats can be infected with both groups of strains, we recommend the use of the four solid media and the prolongation of the incubation period to more than 6 months to detect paratuberculous herds/flocks and to determine the true prevalence of the infection.
Spoligotyping is a major tool for molecular typing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex organisms. For epidemiological purposes, strains are considered clonal only when their spoligotyping patterns are identical. We report a change in the spoligotyping profiles of truly isogenic strains (a clinical isolate and a subculture derived in the laboratory) caused by deletion of a direct variable repeat. Without the information about the relationship between them, a link between these strains would have gone unnoticed. Evolutionary events should be taken into account in the interpretation of spoligotyping results and in the design of databases.
Mycobacterium bovis infection in wildlife and feral species is a potential source of infection for livestock and a threat to protected and endangered species. The aim of this study was to identify Spanish wild animal species infected with M. bovis through bacteriological culture and spacer oligonucleotide typing (spoligotyping) of isolates for epidemiological purposes. This study included samples from red deer (Cervus elaphus), fallow deer (Dama dama), wild boar (Sus scrofa), Iberian lynx (Lynx pardina), hare (Lepus europaeus), and cattle (Bos taurus). They were collected in several geographical areas that were selected for their unique ecological value and/or known relationships between wildlife and livestock. In the areas included in this survey, M. bovis strains with the same spoligotyping pattern were found infecting several wild species and livestock, which indicates an epidemiological link. A locally predominant spoligotype was found in these areas. Better understanding of the transmission and distribution of disease in these populations will permit more precise targeting of control measures.