October 23, 2019  |  

Sites of retroviral DNA integration: From basic research to clinical applications.

One of the most crucial steps in the life cycle of a retrovirus is the integration of the viral DNA (vDNA) copy of the RNA genome into the genome of an infected host cell. Integration provides for efficient viral gene expression as well as for the segregation of viral genomes to daughter cells upon cell division. Some integrated viruses are not well expressed, and cells latently infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) can resist the action of potent antiretroviral drugs and remain dormant for decades. Intensive research has been dedicated to understanding the catalytic mechanism of integration, as well as the viral and cellular determinants that influence integration site distribution throughout the host genome. In this review, we summarize the evolution of techniques that have been used to recover and map retroviral integration sites, from the early days that first indicated that integration could occur in multiple cellular DNA locations, to current technologies that map upwards of millions of unique integration sites from single in vitro integration reactions or cell culture infections. We further review important insights gained from the use of such mapping techniques, including the monitoring of cell clonal expansion in patients treated with retrovirus-based gene therapy vectors, or patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) on suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART). These insights span from integrase (IN) enzyme sequence preferences within target DNA (tDNA) at the sites of integration, to the roles of host cellular proteins in mediating global integration distribution, to the potential relationship between genomic location of vDNA integration site and retroviral latency.


September 22, 2019  |  

Advantages of genome sequencing by long-read sequencer using SMRT technology in medical area.

PacBio RS II is the first commercialized third-generation DNA sequencer able to sequence a single molecule DNA in real-time without amplification. PacBio RS II’s sequencing technology is novel and unique, enabling the direct observation of DNA synthesis by DNA polymerase. PacBio RS II confers four major advantages compared to other sequencing technologies: long read lengths, high consensus accuracy, a low degree of bias, and simultaneous capability of epigenetic characterization. These advantages surmount the obstacle of sequencing genomic regions such as high/low G+C, tandem repeat, and interspersed repeat regions. Moreover, PacBio RS II is ideal for whole genome sequencing, targeted sequencing, complex population analysis, RNA sequencing, and epigenetics characterization. With PacBio RS II, we have sequenced and analyzed the genomes of many species, from viruses to humans. Herein, we summarize and review some of our key genome sequencing projects, including full-length viral sequencing, complete bacterial genome and almost-complete plant genome assemblies, and long amplicon sequencing of a disease-associated gene region. We believe that PacBio RS II is not only an effective tool for use in the basic biological sciences but also in the medical/clinical setting.


September 22, 2019  |  

Researches on transcriptome sequencing in the study of traditional Chinese medicine

Due to its incomparable advantages, the application of transcriptome sequencing in the study of traditional Chinese medicine attracts more and more attention of researchers, which greatly promote the development of traditional Chinese medicine. In this paper, the applications of transcriptome sequencing in traditional Chinese medicine were summarized by reviewing recent related papers.


September 22, 2019  |  

Long-term microbiota and virome in a Zürich patient after fecal transplantation against Clostridium difficile infection.

Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is an emerging therapeutic option for Clostridium difficile infections that are refractory to conventional treatment. FMT introduces fecal microbes into the patient’s intestine that prevent the recurrence of C. difficile, leading to rapid expansion of bacteria characteristic of healthy microbiota. However, the long-term effects of FMT remain largely unknown. The C. difficile patient described in this paper revealed protracted microbiota adaptation processes from 6 to 42 months post-FMT. Ultimately, bacterial communities were donor similar, suggesting sustainable stool engraftment. Since little is known about the consequences of transmitted viruses during C. difficile infection, we also interrogated virome changes. Our approach allowed identification of about 10 phage types per sample that represented larger viral communities, and phages were found to be equally abundant in the cured patient and donor. The healthy microbiota appears to be characterized by low phage abundance. Although viruses were likely transferred, the patient established a virome distinct from the donor. Surprisingly, the patient had sequences of algal giant viruses (chloroviruses) that have not previously been reported for the human gut. Chloroviruses have not been associated with intestinal disease, but their presence in the oropharynx may influence cognitive abilities. The findings suggest that the virome is an important indicator of health or disease. A better understanding of the role of viruses in the gut ecosystem may uncover novel microbiota-modulating therapeutic strategies.© 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.


September 22, 2019  |  

The features of mucosa-associated microbiota in primary sclerosing cholangitis.

Little is known about the role of the microbiome in primary sclerosing cholangitis.To explore the mucosa-associated microbiota in primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) patients across different locations in the gut, and to compare it with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)-only patients and healthy controls.Biopsies from the terminal ileum, right colon, and left colon were collected from patients and healthy controls undergoing colonoscopy. Microbiota profiling using bacterial 16S rRNA sequencing was performed on all biopsies.Forty-four patients were recruited: 20 with PSC (19 with PSC-IBD and one with PSC-only), 15 with IBD-only and nine healthy controls. The overall microbiome profile was similar throughout different locations in the gut. No differences in the global microbiome profile were found. However, we observed significant PSC-associated enrichment in Barnesiellaceae at the family level, and in Blautia and an unidentified Barnesiellaceae at the genus level. At the operational taxa unit level, most shifts in PSC were observed in Clostridiales and Bacteroidales orders, with approximately 86% of shifts occurring within the former order.The overall microbiota profile was similar across multiple locations in the gut from the same individual regardless of disease status. In this study, the mucosa associated-microbiota of patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis was characterised by enrichment of Blautia and Barnesiellaceae and by major shifts in operational taxa units within Clostridiales order.© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


September 22, 2019  |  

Next generation sequencing technology: Advances and applications.

Impressive progress has been made in the field of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). Through advancements in the fields of molecular biology and technical engineering, parallelization of the sequencing reaction has profoundly increased the total number of produced sequence reads per run. Current sequencing platforms allow for a previously unprecedented view into complex mixtures of RNA and DNA samples. NGS is currently evolving into a molecular microscope finding its way into virtually every fields of biomedical research. In this chapter we review the technical background of the different commercially available NGS platforms with respect to template generation and the sequencing reaction and take a small step towards what the upcoming NGS technologies will bring. We close with an overview of different implementations of NGS into biomedical research. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: From Genome to Function. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Fungal ITS1 deep-sequencing strategies to reconstruct the composition of a 26-species community and evaluation of the gut mycobiota of healthy Japanese individuals.

The study of mycobiota remains relatively unexplored due to the lack of sufficient available reference strains and databases compared to those of bacterial microbiome studies. Deep sequencing of Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) regions is the de facto standard for fungal diversity analysis. However, results are often biased because of the wide variety of sequence lengths in the ITS regions and the complexity of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies. In this study, a curated ITS database, ntF-ITS1, was constructed. This database can be utilized for the taxonomic assignment of fungal community members. We evaluated the efficacy of strategies for mycobiome analysis by using this database and characterizing a mock fungal community consisting of 26 species representing 15 genera using ITS1 sequencing with three HTS platforms: Illumina MiSeq (MiSeq), Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine (IonPGM), and Pacific Biosciences (PacBio). Our evaluation demonstrated that PacBio’s circular consensus sequencing with greater than 8 full-passes most accurately reconstructed the composition of the mock community. Using this strategy for deep-sequencing analysis of the gut mycobiota in healthy Japanese individuals revealed two major mycobiota types: a single-species type composed of Candida albicans or Saccharomyces cerevisiae and a multi-species type. In this study, we proposed the best possible processing strategies for the three sequencing platforms, of which, the PacBio platform allowed for the most accurate estimation of the fungal community. The database and methodology described here provide critical tools for the emerging field of mycobiome studies.


September 22, 2019  |  

High-resolution characterization of the human microbiome.

The human microbiome plays an important and increasingly recognized role in human health. Studies of the microbiome typically use targeted sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, whole metagenome shotgun sequencing, or other meta-omic technologies to characterize the microbiome’s composition, activity, and dynamics. Processing, analyzing, and interpreting these data involve numerous computational tools that aim to filter, cluster, annotate, and quantify the obtained data and ultimately provide an accurate and interpretable profile of the microbiome’s taxonomy, functional capacity, and behavior. These tools, however, are often limited in resolution and accuracy and may fail to capture many biologically and clinically relevant microbiome features, such as strain-level variation or nuanced functional response to perturbation. Over the past few years, extensive efforts have been invested toward addressing these challenges and developing novel computational methods for accurate and high-resolution characterization of microbiome data. These methods aim to quantify strain-level composition and variation, detect and characterize rare microbiome species, link specific genes to individual taxa, and more accurately characterize the functional capacity and dynamics of the microbiome. These methods and the ability to produce detailed and precise microbiome information are clearly essential for informing microbiome-based personalized therapies. In this review, we survey these methods, highlighting the challenges each method sets out to address and briefly describing methodological approaches. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

The small peptide world in long noncoding RNAs.

Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a group of transcripts that are longer than 200 nucleotides (nt) without coding potential. Over the past decade, tens of thousands of novel lncRNAs have been annotated in animal and plant genomes because of advanced high-throughput RNA sequencing technologies and with the aid of coding transcript classifiers. Further, a considerable number of reports have revealed the existence of stable, functional small peptides (also known as micropeptides), translated from lncRNAs. In this review, we discuss the methods of lncRNA classification, the investigations regarding their coding potential and the functional significance of the peptides they encode.


September 22, 2019  |  

Plasmodium knowlesi: a superb in vivo nonhuman primate model of antigenic variation in malaria.

Antigenic variation in malaria was discovered in Plasmodium knowlesi studies involving longitudinal infections of rhesus macaques (M. mulatta). The variant proteins, known as the P. knowlesi Schizont Infected Cell Agglutination (SICA) antigens and the P. falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) antigens, expressed by the SICAvar and var multigene families, respectively, have been studied for over 30 years. Expression of the SICA antigens in P. knowlesi requires a splenic component, and specific antibodies are necessary for variant antigen switch events in vivo. Outstanding questions revolve around the role of the spleen and the mechanisms by which the expression of these variant antigen families are regulated. Importantly, the longitudinal dynamics and molecular mechanisms that govern variant antigen expression can be studied with P. knowlesi infection of its mammalian and vector hosts. Synchronous infections can be initiated with established clones and studied at multi-omic levels, with the benefit of computational tools from systems biology that permit the integration of datasets and the design of explanatory, predictive mathematical models. Here we provide an historical account of this topic, while highlighting the potential for maximizing the use of P. knowlesi – macaque model systems and summarizing exciting new progress in this area of research.


September 22, 2019  |  

Developing collaborative works for faster progress on fungal respiratory infections in cystic fibrosis.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the major genetic inherited disease in Caucasian populations. The respiratory tract of CF patients displays a sticky viscous mucus, which allows for the entrapment of airborne bacteria and fungal spores and provides a suitable environment for growth of microorganisms, including numerous yeast and filamentous fungal species. As a consequence, respiratory infections are the major cause of morbidity and mortality in this clinical context. Although bacteria remain the most common agents of these infections, fungal respiratory infections have emerged as an important cause of disease. Therefore, the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology (ISHAM) has launched a working group on Fungal respiratory infections in Cystic Fibrosis (Fri-CF) in October 2006, which was subsequently approved by the European Confederation of Medical Mycology (ECMM). Meetings of this working group, comprising both clinicians and mycologists involved in the follow-up of CF patients, as well as basic scientists interested in the fungal species involved, provided the opportunity to initiate collaborative works aimed to improve our knowledge on these infections to assist clinicians in patient management. The current review highlights the outcomes of some of these collaborative works in clinical surveillance, pathogenesis and treatment, giving special emphasis to standardization of culture procedures, improvement of species identification methods including the development of nonculture-based diagnostic methods, microbiome studies and identification of new biological markers, and the description of genotyping studies aiming to differentiate transient carriage and chronic colonization of the airways. The review also reports on the breakthrough in sequencing the genomes of the main Scedosporium species as basis for a better understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms of these fungi, and discusses treatment options of infections caused by multidrug resistant microorganisms, such as Scedosporium and Lomentospora species and members of the Rasamsonia argillacea species complex.


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.


September 22, 2019  |  

Emergence of an XDR and carbapenemase-producing hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae strain in Taiwan.

Carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae causes high mortality owing to the limited therapeutic options available. Here, we investigated an emergent carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae strain with hypervirulence found among KPC-2-producing strains in Taiwan.KPC-producing K. pneumoniae strains were collected consecutively from clinical specimens at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital between January 2012 and December 2014. Capsular types and the presence of rmpA/rmpA2 were analysed, and PFGE and MLST performed using these strains. The strain positive for rmpA/rmpA2 was tested in an in vivo mouse lethality study to verify its virulence and subjected to WGS to delineate its genomic features.A total of 62 KPC-2-producing K. pneumoniae strains were identified; all of these belonged to ST11 and capsular genotype K47. One strain isolated from a fatal case with intra-abdominal abscess (TVGHCRE225) harboured rmpA and rmpA2 genes. This strain was resistant to tigecycline and colistin, in addition to carbapenems, and did not belong to the major cluster in PFGE. TVGHCRE225 exhibited high in vivo virulence in the mouse lethality experiment. WGS showed that TVGHCRE225 acquired a novel hybrid virulence plasmid harbouring a set of virulence genes (iroBCDN, iucABCD, rmpA and rmpA2, and iutA) compared with the classic ST11 KPC-2-producing strain.We identified an XDR ST11 KPC-2-producing K. pneumoniae strain carrying a hybrid virulent plasmid in Taiwan. Active surveillance focusing on carbapenem-resistant hypervirulent K. pneumoniae strains is necessary, as the threat to human health is imminent.


September 22, 2019  |  

Eco-friendly Management of Karnal Bunt (Neovossia indica) of Wheat

Karnal bunt incited by Neovossia indica is one of the most important disease of wheat crop. To develop an eco-friendly management practice against Karnal bunt of wheat, integration of fungicidal seed treatment with foliar sprays of phytoextracts, bio-control agent and fungicide revealed. Uses of Thiram 75DS or Kavach 75WP @2g/Kg, Dithane M-45 or Captan [email protected]/Kg, Vitavax [email protected]/Kg, Tilt 25EC or Raxil [email protected]/Kg or Pseudomonas [email protected] mL/Kg or Trichoderma viride (Ecoderma) or T. [email protected] mL/Kg seed treatment for eliminating primary inoculum (teliospores). Seed soaking in Lantana (L. camara) or Eucalyptus (E. globulus) or Akh (Calotropis procera) or Kali basuti (Eupatorium adenophorum) @ 250 mL/L for 60 min and dry in shad are effective in eradicating the seed infection also. Application foliar spray of Baycor 25WP or Bavistin 50WP or F-100 or Moximate [email protected]/Kg, Tilt 25EC or Folicur 25EC or Contaf [email protected]/Kg at boot leaf stage and 50% emergence flowering heads against the secondary air-borne inoculum (Allantoides sporidia). This is concerning integration of fungicide seed treatment with foliar spray of bio- control agent and phyto-extract. It is cheaper and eco-friendly practice for the control of Karnal bunt of wheat.


September 22, 2019  |  

Development of New Tools to Detect Colistin-Resistance among Enterobacteriaceae Strains.

The recent discovery of the plasmid-mediated mcr-1 gene conferring resistance to colistin is of clinical concern. The worldwide screening of this resistance mechanism among samples of different origins has highlighted the urgent need to improve the detection of colistin-resistant isolates in clinical microbiology laboratories. Currently, phenotypic methods used to detect colistin resistance are not necessarily suitable as the main characteristic of the mcr genes is the low level of resistance that they confer, close to the clinical breakpoint recommended jointly by the CLSI and EUCAST expert systems (S?=?2?mg/L and R?>?2?mg/L). In this context, susceptibility testing recommendations for polymyxins have evolved and are becoming difficult to implement in routine laboratory work. The large number of mechanisms and genes involved in colistin resistance limits the access to rapid detection by molecular biology. It is therefore necessary to implement well-defined protocols using specific tools to detect all colistin-resistant bacteria. This review aims to summarize the current clinical microbiology diagnosis techniques and their ability to detect all colistin resistance mechanisms and describe new tools specifically developed to assess plasmid-mediated colistin resistance. Phenotyping, susceptibility testing, and genotyping methods are presented, including an update on recent studies related to the development of specific techniques.


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