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The Unrecognized Threat of Secondary Bacterial Infections with COVID-19.

Mylene Vaillancourt, Peter Jorth,

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is the greatest pandemic of our generation, with 16 million people affected and 650,000 deaths worldwide so far. One of the risk factors associated with COVID-19 is secondary bacterial pneumonia. In recent studies on COVID-19 patients, secondary bacterial infections were significantly associated with worse outcomes and ... Read more >>

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[2020, 11(4):]

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Defects in the Ferroxidase That Participates in the Reductive Iron Assimilation System Results in Hypervirulence in Botrytis Cinerea.

Esteban Vasquez-Montaño, Gustavo Hoppe, Andrea Vega, Consuelo Olivares-Yañez, Paulo Canessa,

The plant pathogen Botrytis cinerea is responsible for gray-mold disease, which infects a wide variety of species. The outcome of this host-pathogen interaction, a result of the interplay between plant defense and fungal virulence pathways, can be modulated by various environmental factors. Among these, iron availability and acquisition play a ... Read more >>

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Subpopulations of Stressed Yersinia pseudotuberculosis Preferentially Survive Doxycycline Treatment within Host Tissues.

Jasmine Ramirez Raneses, Alysha L Ellison, Bessie Liu, Kimberly M Davis,

Severe systemic bacterial infections result in colonization of deep tissues, which can be very difficult to eliminate with antibiotics. It remains unclear if this is because antibiotics are not reaching inhibitory concentrations within tissues, if subsets of bacteria are less susceptible to antibiotics, or if both contribute to limited treatment ... Read more >>

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Rethinking Gain-of-Function Experiments in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Michael J Imperiale, Arturo Casadevall,

Proponents of the use of gain-of-function (GOF) experiments with pathogens with pandemic potential (PPP) have argued that such experiments are necessary because they reveal important facets of pathogenesis and can be performed safely. Opponents of GOF experiments with PPP have argued that the risks outweigh the knowledge gained. The COVID-19 ... Read more >>

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Phage-Antibiotic Synergy Is Driven by a Unique Combination of Antibacterial Mechanism of Action and Stoichiometry.

Carmen Gu Liu, Sabrina I Green, Lorna Min, Justin R Clark, Keiko C Salazar, Austen L Terwilliger, Heidi B Kaplan, Barbara W Trautner, Robert F Ramig, Anthony W Maresso,

The continued rise in antibiotic resistance is precipitating a medical crisis. Bacteriophage (phage) has been hailed as one possible therapeutic option to augment the efficacy of antibiotics. However, only a few studies have addressed the synergistic relationship between phage and antibiotics. Here, we report a comprehensive analysis of phage-antibiotic interaction ... Read more >>

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HIV Vpr Modulates the Host DNA Damage Response at Two Independent Steps to Damage DNA and Repress Double-Strand DNA Break Repair.

Donna Li, Andrew Lopez, Carina Sandoval, Randilea Nichols Doyle, Oliver I Fregoso,

The DNA damage response (DDR) is a signaling cascade that is vital to ensuring the fidelity of the host genome in the presence of genotoxic stress. Growing evidence has emphasized the importance of both activation and repression of the host DDR by diverse DNA and RNA viruses. Previous work has ... Read more >>

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PPP6C Negatively Regulates STING-Dependent Innate Immune Responses.

Guoxin Ni, Zhe Ma, Jason P Wong, Zhigang Zhang, Emily Cousins, M Ben Major, Blossom Damania,

Stimulator of interferon genes (STING) is an essential adaptor protein of the innate DNA-sensing signaling pathway, which recognizes genomic DNA from invading pathogens to establish antiviral responses in host cells. STING activity is tightly regulated by several posttranslational modifications, including phosphorylation. However, specifically how the phosphorylation status of STING is ... Read more >>

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Bacterial Evolution in High-Osmolarity Environments.

Spencer Cesar, Maya Anjur-Dietrich, Brian Yu, Ethan Li, Enrique Rojas, Norma Neff, Tim F Cooper, Kerwyn Casey Huang,

Bacteria must maintain a cytosolic osmolarity higher than that of their environment in order to take up water. High-osmolarity environments therefore present formidable stress to bacteria. To explore the evolutionary mechanisms by which bacteria adapt to high-osmolarity environments, we selected Escherichia coli in media with a variety of osmolytes and ... Read more >>

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Coactosin Phosphorylation Controls Entamoeba histolytica Cell Membrane Protrusions and Cell Motility.

Muhammad M Hasan, José E Teixeira, Ying-Wai Lam, Christopher D Huston,

Invasion of the colon wall by Entamoeba histolytica during amoebic dysentery entails migration of trophozoites through tissue layers that are rich in extracellular matrix. Transcriptional silencing of the E. histolytica surface metalloprotease EhMSP-1 produces hyperadherent less-motile trophozoites that are deficient in forming invadosomes. Reversible protein phosphorylation is often implicated in ... Read more >>

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Novel Antimicrobials from Uncultured Bacteria Acting against Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Jeffrey Quigley, Aaron Peoples, Asel Sarybaeva, Dallas Hughes, Meghan Ghiglieri, Catherine Achorn, Alysha Desrosiers, Cintia Felix, Libang Liang, Stephanie Malveira, William Millett, Anthony Nitti, Baldwin Tran, Ashley Zullo, Clemens Anklin, Amy Spoering, Losee Lucy Ling, Kim Lewis,

Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which causes tuberculosis (TB), is estimated to infect one-third of the world's population. The overall burden and the emergence of drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis underscore the need for new therapeutic options against this important human pathogen. Our recent work demonstrated the success of natural product discovery in ... Read more >>

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Zika Virus Infection Promotes Local Inflammation, Cell Adhesion Molecule Upregulation, and Leukocyte Recruitment at the Blood-Brain Barrier.

Marion Clé, Caroline Desmetz, Jonathan Barthelemy, Marie-France Martin, Orianne Constant, Ghizlane Maarifi, Vincent Foulongne, Karine Bolloré, Yaël Glasson, Frédéric De Bock, Marine Blaquiere, Lucie Dehouck, Nelly Pirot, Edouard Tuaillon, Sébastien Nisole, Fatiha Najioullah, Philippe Van de Perre, André Cabié, Nicola Marchi, Fabien Gosselet, Yannick Simonin, Sara Salinas,

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) largely prevents toxins and pathogens from accessing the brain. Some viruses have the ability to cross this barrier and replicate in the central nervous system (CNS). Zika virus (ZIKV) was responsible in 2015 to 2016 for a major epidemic in South America and was associated in ... Read more >>

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Quantifying the Transmission of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus in Cattle via a Contaminated Environment.

Claire Colenutt, Emma Brown, Noel Nelson, David J Paton, Phaedra Eblé, Aldo Dekker, José L Gonzales, Simon Gubbins,

Indirect transmission via a contaminated environment can occur for a number of pathogens, even those typically thought of as being directly transmitted, such as influenza virus, norovirus, bovine tuberculosis, or foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV). Indirect transmission facilitates spread from multiple sources beyond the infectious host, complicating the epidemiology and control ... Read more >>

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Mechanism and Function of Antiviral RNA Interference in Mice.

Qingxia Han, Gang Chen, Jinyan Wang, David Jee, Wan-Xiang Li, Eric C Lai, Shou-Wei Ding,

Distinct mammalian RNA viruses trigger Dicer-mediated production of virus-derived small-interfering RNAs (vsiRNA) and encode unrelated proteins to suppress vsiRNA biogenesis. However, the mechanism and function of the mammalian RNA interference (RNAi) response are poorly understood. Here, we characterized antiviral RNAi in a mouse model of infection with Nodamura virus (NoV), ... Read more >>

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In Vivo Analysis of Trypanosoma cruzi Persistence Foci at Single-Cell Resolution.

Alexander I Ward, Michael D Lewis, Archie A Khan, Conor J McCann, Amanda F Francisco, Shiromani Jayawardhana, Martin C Taylor, John M Kelly,

Infections with Trypanosoma cruzi are usually lifelong despite generating a strong adaptive immune response. Identifying the sites of parasite persistence is therefore crucial to understanding how T. cruzi avoids immune-mediated destruction. However, this is a major technical challenge, because the parasite burden during chronic infections is extremely low. Here, we ... Read more >>

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Methylglyoxal Detoxification Revisited: Role of Glutathione Transferase in Model Cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. Strain PCC 6803.

Xavier Kammerscheit, Arnaud Hecker, Nicolas Rouhier, Franck Chauvat, Corinne Cassier-Chauvat,

Methylglyoxal (MG) is a detrimental metabolic by-product that threatens most organisms (in humans MG causes diabetes). MG is predominantly detoxified by the glyoxalase pathway. This process begins with the conjugation of MG with glutathione (GSH), yielding a hemithioacetal product that is subsequently transformed by the glyoxalase enzymes into d-lactate and ... Read more >>

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The ASM Journals Committee Values the Contributions of Black Microbiologists.

Patrick D Schloss, Melissa Junior, Rebecca Alvania, Cesar A Arias, Andreas Baumler, Arturo Casadevall, Corrella Detweiler, Harold Drake, Jack Gilbert, Michael J Imperiale, Susan Lovett, Stanley Maloy, Alexander J McAdam, Irene L G Newton, Michael J Sadowsky, Rozanne M Sandri-Goldin, Thomas J Silhavy, Peter Tontonoz, Jo-Anne H Young, Craig E Cameron, Isaac Cann, A Oveta Fuller, Ariangela J Kozik,

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FEDS: a Novel Fluorescence-Based High-Throughput Method for Measuring DNA Supercoiling In Vivo.

Alexandre Duprey, Eduardo A Groisman,

DNA supercoiling (DS) is essential for life because it controls critical processes, including transcription, replication, and recombination. Current methods to measure DNA supercoiling in vivo are laborious and unable to examine single cells. Here, we report a method for high-throughput measurement of bacterial DNA supercoiling in vivo Fluorescent evaluation of ... Read more >>

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[2020, 11(4):]

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An Entry-Triggering Protein of Ehrlichia Is a New Vaccine Candidate against Tick-Borne Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis.

Khemraj Budachetri, Omid Teymournejad, Mingqun Lin, Qi Yan, Mariella Mestres-Villanueva, Guy Nathaniel Brock, Yasuko Rikihisa,

Ehrlichia chaffeensis is an obligatory intracellular bacterium that causes human monocytic ehrlichiosis, an emerging disease transmitted by the Lone Star tick, Amblyomma americanum . E. chaffeensis outer membrane protein entry triggering protein of Ehrlichia (EtpE) is necessary for bacterial entry into human cells. We investigated the role of EtpE in ... Read more >>

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Lipoprotein N-Acylation in Staphylococcus aureus Is Catalyzed by a Two-Component Acyl Transferase System.

John H Gardiner, Gloria Komazin, Miki Matsuo, Kaitlin Cole, Friedrich Götz, Timothy C Meredith,

Bacterial lipoproteins (Lpps) are a class of membrane-associated proteins universally distributed among all bacteria. A characteristic N-terminal cysteine residue that is variably acylated anchors C-terminal globular domains to the extracellular surface, where they serve numerous roles, including in the capture and transport of essential nutrients. Lpps are also ligands for ... Read more >>

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Polyphosphate Functions In Vivo as an Iron Chelator and Fenton Reaction Inhibitor.

François Beaufay, Ellen Quarles, Allison Franz, Olivia Katamanin, Wei-Yun Wholey, Ursula Jakob,

Maintaining cellular iron homeostasis is critical for organismal survival. Whereas iron depletion negatively affects the many metabolic pathways that depend on the activity of iron-containing enzymes, any excess of iron can cause the rapid formation of highly toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) through Fenton chemistry. Although several cellular iron chelators ... Read more >>

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The Vibrio cholerae Quorum-Sensing Protein VqmA Integrates Cell Density, Environmental, and Host-Derived Cues into the Control of Virulence.

Ameya A Mashruwala, Bonnie L Bassler,

Quorum sensing is a chemical communication process in which bacteria use the production, release, and detection of signal molecules called autoinducers to orchestrate collective behaviors. The human pathogen Vibrio cholerae requires quorum sensing to infect the small intestine. There, V. cholerae encounters the absence of oxygen and the presence of ... Read more >>

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Interactions of Monocytes, HIV, and ART Identified by an Innovative scRNAseq Pipeline: Pathways to Reservoirs and HIV-Associated Comorbidities.

Rosiris León-Rivera, Brenda Morsey, Meng Niu, Howard S Fox, Joan W Berman,

HIV reservoirs persist despite successful antiretroviral therapy (ART) and are a major obstacle to the eradication and cure of HIV. The mature monocyte subset, CD14+CD16+, contributes to viral reservoirs and HIV-associated comorbidities. Only a subset of monocytes harbors HIV (HIV+), while the rest remain uninfected, exposed cells (HIVexp). We developed ... Read more >>

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A MARTX Toxin rtxA Gene Is Controlled by Host Environmental Signals through a CRP-Coordinated Regulatory Network in Vibrio vulnificus.

Zee-Won Lee, Seung-Ho Hwang, Garam Choi, Kyung Ku Jang, Tae Hee Lee, Kyung Min Chung, Byoung Sik Kim, Sang Ho Choi,

A multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxin plays an essential role in the virulence of many pathogens, including a fulminating human pathogen Vibrio vulnificus H-NS and HlyU repress and derepress expression of the MARTX toxin gene rtxA in V. vulnificus, respectively. However, little is known about other regulatory proteins and environmental ... Read more >>

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Can Dietary Fatty Acids Affect the COVID-19 Infection Outcome in Vulnerable Populations?

J C Onishi, M M Häggblom, S A Shapses,

There is high mortality in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-infected individuals with chronic inflammatory diseases, like obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. A cytokine storm in some patients after infection contributes to this mortality. In addition to lungs, the intestine is targeted during COVID-19 infection. The intestinal membrane serves as a barrier to ... Read more >>

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[2020, 11(4):]

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Discovery and Genomic Characterization of a 382-Nucleotide Deletion in ORF7b and ORF8 during the Early Evolution of SARS-CoV-2.

Yvonne C F Su, Danielle E Anderson, Barnaby E Young, Martin Linster, Feng Zhu, Jayanthi Jayakumar, Yan Zhuang, Shirin Kalimuddin, Jenny G H Low, Chee Wah Tan, Wan Ni Chia, Tze Minn Mak, Sophie Octavia, Jean-Marc Chavatte, Raphael T C Lee, Surinder Pada, Seow Yen Tan, Louisa Sun, Gabriel Z Yan, Sebastian Maurer-Stroh, Ian H Mendenhall, Yee-Sin Leo, David Chien Lye, Lin-Fa Wang, Gavin J D Smith,

To date, limited genetic changes in the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genome have been described. Here, we report a 382-nucleotide (nt) deletion in SARS-CoV-2 that truncates open reading frame 7b (ORF7b) and ORF8, removing the ORF8 transcription regulatory sequence (TRS) and eliminating ORF8 transcription. The earliest 382-nt ... Read more >>

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