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1.  Interaction of serotonin with Candida albicans selectively attenuates fungal virulence in vitro 
In this study we investigated whether the direct interaction between Candida albicans CBS 5982 and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) alters candidial virulence. Hyphae elongation, phospholipase activity and the production of secreted aspartyl proteinases (Saps) following 5-HT treatment were investigated. 5-HT treatment of C. albicans significantly (P < 0.05) affected hyphal extension, phospholipase activity and the production of Saps at concentrations of 118–0.46 mM. In conclusion, our findings suggest that the interaction between 5-HT and C. albicans may diminish the virulence properties of this fungal pathogen.
doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2005.07.006
PMCID: PMC2980867  PMID: 16157477
Candida albicans; 5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT); Virulence factor; Antifungal activity
2.  Detection of gyrA mutations associated with ciprofloxacin resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae by rapid and reliable pre-programmed short DNA sequencing 
Quinolone resistance is rapidly increasing in Neisseria gonorrhoeae and is posing a significant public health threat that requires constant surveillance. A rapid and reliable mutation detection assay has been developed. The assay is based on pre-programmed short DNA sequencing and is designed to detect point mutations in the gyrA gene that are highly related to ciprofloxacin resistance, i.e. in codons 91 and 95. By developing an assay based on pyrosequencing and exploiting the pre-programmed nucleotide dispensation capability of this technology, the sequence comprising the mutations will be analysed and promptly reveal whether the N. gonorrhoeae pathogen carries resistance to ciprofloxacin. A panel of 40 N. gonorrhoeae clinical isolates, of which 27 phenotypically displayed decreased susceptibility or resistance to ciprofloxacin, was used in the present study. All point mutations in the short stretch of the N. gonorrhoeae gyrA gene were easily discriminated, and the genotypic results obtained by pre-programmed sequencing were mainly in agreement with the phenotypically identified decreased susceptibility or resistance to ciprofloxacin. The new method used in the present study has the potential for rapid and reliable identification of known as well as previously unknown drug resistance mutations.
doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2005.08.017
PMCID: PMC2768773  PMID: 16274961
DNA sequencing; Ciprofloxacin resistance; Neisseria gonorrhoeae; Pre-programmed DNA sequencing; Pyrosequencing technology
3.  Towards rational treatment of bacterial infections during extended space travel 
In the next 15–30 years, manned space flight to Mars, our planetary neighbour, will become a reality and astronauts are likely to spend at least 2–3 years away from Earth. Time spent in such extreme environments will result in a diminution of immune status and profound changes in the human bacterial microflora. In microgravity, the efficacy of antibiotics is reduced and microbial mutation rates increase dramatically. These factors will impinge on the capacity to treat effectively the infections that will doubtless arise during such long and stressful endeavour. We highlight new rationales for the treatment of infectious disease that may be applicable to therapy in extreme environments such as deep space.
doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2005.06.002
PMCID: PMC2025679  PMID: 16118047
Space travel; Bacterial infection; Intestinal flora; Mars missions; Photodynamic therapy; Bacteriophage therapy

Results 1-3 (3)