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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Basic characterization of natural transformation in a highly transformable Haemophilus parasuis strain SC1401.

Haemophilus parasuis causes Glässer’s disease and pneumonia, incurring serious economic losses in the porcine industry. In this study, natural competence was investigated in H. parasuis. We found competence genes in H. parasuis homologous to ones in Haemophilus influenzae and a high consensus battery of Sxy-dependent cyclic AMP (cAMP) receptor protein (CRP-S) regulons using bioinformatics. High rates of natural competence were found from the onset of stationary-phase growth condition to mid-stationary phase (OD600 from 0.29 to 1.735); this rapidly dropped off as cells reached mid-stationary phase (OD600 from 1.735 to 1.625). As a whole, bacteria cultured in liquid media were observed…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Construction and characterization of bacterial artificial chromosomes harboring the full-length genome of a highly attenuated vaccinia virus LC16m8.

LC16m8 (m8), a highly attenuated vaccinia virus (VAC) strain, was developed as a smallpox vaccine, and its safety and immunogenicity have been confirmed. Here, we aimed to develop a system that recovers infectious m8 from a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) that retains the full-length viral genomic DNA (m8-BAC system). The infectious virus was successfully recovered from a VAC-BAC plasmid, named pLC16m8-BAC. Furthermore, the bacterial replicon-free virus was generated by intramolecular homologous recombination and was successfully recovered from a modified VAC-BAC plasmid, named pLC16m8.8S-BAC. Also, the growth of the recovered virus was indistinguishable from that of authentic m8. The full genome…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

N4-cytosine DNA methylation regulates transcription and pathogenesis in Helicobacter pylori.

Many bacterial genomes exclusively display an N4-methyl cytosine base (m4C), whose physiological significance is not yet clear. Helicobacter pylori is a carcinogenic bacterium and the leading cause of gastric cancer in humans. Helicobacter pylori strain 26695 harbors a single m4C cytosine methyltransferase, M2.HpyAII which recognizes 5′ TCTTC 3′ sequence and methylates the first cytosine residue. To understand the role of m4C modification, M2.hpyAII deletion strain was constructed. Deletion strain displayed lower adherence to host AGS cells and reduced potential to induce inflammation and apoptosis. M2.hpyAII gene deletion strain exhibited reduced capacity for natural transformation, which was rescued in the complemented…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Whole genome sequencing of greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili) for SNP identification on aligned scaffolds and genome structural variation analysis using parallel resequencing

Greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili) is distributed in tropical and temperate waters worldwide and is an important aquaculture fish. We carried out de novo sequencing of the greater amberjack genome to construct a reference genome sequence to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for breeding amberjack by marker-assisted or gene-assisted selection as well as to identify functional genes for biological traits. We obtained 200 times coverage and constructed a high-quality genome assembly using next generation sequencing technology. The assembled sequences were aligned onto a yellowtail (Seriola quinqueradiata) radiation hybrid (RH) physical map by sequence homology. A total of 215 of the longest…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Tn2008-driven carbapenem resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii isolates from a period of increased incidence of infections in a Southwest Virginia hospital (USA).

The objectives of this study were (i) to determine the genetic basis for carbapenem resistance in multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii strains isolated from patients affected by a sudden increase in the incidence of infections by such organisms in a tertiary care hospital in Virginia, USA, in 2009-2010 and (ii) to examine whether such strains are commonly encountered in the hospital setting.The whole genomes of one outbreak strain as well as one carbapenem-resistant and one carbapenem-sensitive strain from sporadic infections in 2010-2012 were sequenced and analysed. Then, 5 outbreak isolates and 57 sporadic isolates (of which 39 were carbapenem-resistant) were screened…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

CliqueSNV: Scalable reconstruction of intra-host viral populations from NGS reads

Highly mutable RNA viruses such as influenza A virus, human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus exist in infected hosts as highly heterogeneous populations of closely related genomic variants. The presence of low-frequency variants with few mutations with respect to major strains may result in an immune escape, emergence of drug resistance, and an increase of virulence and infectivity. Next-generation sequencing technologies permit detection of sample intra-host viral population at extremely great depth, thus providing an opportunity to access low-frequency variants. Long read lengths offered by single-molecule sequencing technologies allow all viral variants to be sequenced in a single pass.…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Mycobacterial biomaterials and resources for researchers.

There are many resources available to mycobacterial researchers, including culture collections around the world that distribute biomaterials to the general scientific community, genomic and clinical databases, and powerful bioinformatics tools. However, many of these resources may be unknown to the research community. This review article aims to summarize and publicize many of these resources, thus strengthening the quality and reproducibility of mycobacterial research by providing the scientific community access to authenticated and quality-controlled biomaterials and a wealth of information, analytical tools and research opportunities.

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A molecular window into the biology and epidemiology of Pneumocystis spp.

Pneumocystis, a unique atypical fungus with an elusive lifestyle, has had an important medical history. It came to prominence as an opportunistic pathogen that not only can cause life-threatening pneumonia in patients with HIV infection and other immunodeficiencies but also can colonize the lungs of healthy individuals from a very early age. The genus Pneumocystis includes a group of closely related but heterogeneous organisms that have a worldwide distribution, have been detected in multiple mammalian species, are highly host species specific, inhabit the lungs almost exclusively, and have never convincingly been cultured in vitro, making Pneumocystis a fascinating but difficult-to-study…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Natural selection in bats with historical exposure to white-nose syndrome

Hibernation allows animals to survive periods of resource scarcity by reducing their energy expenditure through decreased metabolism. However, hibernators become susceptible to psychrophilic pathogens if they cannot mount an efficient immune response to infection. While Nearctic bats infected with white-nose syndrome (WNS) suffer high mortality, related Palearctic taxa are better able to survive the disease than their Nearctic counterparts. We hypothesised that WNS exerted historical selective pressure in Palearctic bats, resulting in genomic changes that promote infection tolerance.

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Characterization and genomic analyses of Pseudomonas aeruginosa podovirus TC6: establishment of genus Pa11virus.

Phages have attracted a renewed interest as alternative to chemical antibiotics. Although the number of phages is 10-fold higher than that of bacteria, the number of genomically characterized phages is far less than that of bacteria. In this study, phage TC6, a novel lytic virus of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, was isolated and characterized. TC6 consists of an icosahedral head with a diameter of approximately 54 nm and a short tail with a length of about 17 nm, which are characteristics of the family Podoviridae. TC6 can lyse 86 out of 233 clinically isolated P. aeruginosa strains, thus showing application potentials for…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Functional metagenomics identifies an exosialidase with an inverting catalytic mechanism that defines a new glycoside hydrolase family (GH156).

Exosialidases are glycoside hydrolases that remove a single terminal sialic acid residue from oligosaccharides. They are widely distributed in biology, having been found in prokaryotes, eukaryotes, and certain viruses. Most characterized prokaryotic sialidases are from organisms that are pathogenic or commensal with mammals. However, in this study, we used functional metagenomic screening to seek microbial sialidases encoded by environmental DNA isolated from an extreme ecological niche, a thermal spring. Using recombinant expression of potential exosialidase candidates and a fluorogenic sialidase substrate, we discovered an exosialidase having no homology to known sialidases. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that this protein is a member…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Insights into the microbiota of Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer) with tenacibaculosis symptoms and description of sp. nov. Tenacibaculum singaporense

Outbreaks of diseases in farmed fish remain a recurring problem despite the development of vaccines and improved hygiene standards on aquaculture farms. One commonly observed bacterial disease in tropical aquaculture of the South-East Asian region is tenacibaculosis, which is attributed to members of the Bacteroidetes genus Tenacibaculum, most notably T. maritimum. The impact of tenacibaculosis on fish microbiota remains poorly understood. In this study, we analysed the microbiota of different tissue types of commercially reared Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer) that showed symptoms of tenacibaculosis and compared the microbial communities to those of healthy and experimentally infected fish that were exposed…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Staying alive: growth and survival of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. animalis under in vitro and in vivo conditions.

Members of the Bifidobacterium genus are widely used as probiotics in fermented milk products. Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. animalis CNCM I-4602 grows and survives poorly in reconstituted skimmed milk (RSM). Availing of genome and transcriptome information, this poor growth and survival phenotype in milk was substantially improved by the addition of certain compounds, such as yeast extract, uric acid, glutathione, cysteine, ferrous sulfate, and a combination of magnesium sulfate and manganese sulfate. Carbohydrate utilization of CNCM I-4602 was also investigated, allowing the identification of several carbohydrate utilization gene clusters, and highlighting this strain’s inability to utilize lactose, unlike the type strain…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Hypervirulent group A Streptococcus emergence in an acaspular background is associated with marked remodeling of the bacterial cell surface

Inactivating mutations in the control of virulence two-component regulatory system (covRS) often account for the hypervirulent phenotype in severe, invasive group A streptococcal (GAS) infections. As CovR represses production of the anti-phagocytic hyaluronic acid capsule, high level capsule production is generally considered critical to the hypervirulent phenotype induced by CovRS inactivation. There have recently been large outbreaks of GAS strains lacking capsule, but there are currently no data on the virulence of covRS-mutated, acapsular strains in vivo. We investigated the impact of CovRS inactivation in acapsular serotype M4 strains using a wild-type (M4-SC-1) and a naturally-occurring CovS-inactivated strain (M4-LC-1) that…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Emerging multidrug-resistant hybrid pathotype shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O80 and related strains of clonal complex 165, Europe.

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli serogroup O80, involved in hemolytic uremic syndrome associated with extraintestinal infections, has emerged in France. We obtained circularized sequences of the O80 strain RDEx444, responsible for hemolytic uremic syndrome with bacteremia, and noncircularized sequences of 35 O80 E. coli isolated from humans and animals in Europe with or without Shiga toxin genes. RDEx444 harbored a mosaic plasmid, pR444_A, combining extraintestinal virulence determinants and a multidrug resistance-encoding island. All strains belonged to clonal complex 165, which is distantly related to other major enterohemorrhagic E. coli lineages. All stx-positive strains contained eae-?, ehxA, and genes characteristic of pR444_A. Among…

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