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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Androgen and estrogen sensitivity of bird song: a comparative view on gene regulatory levels.

Singing of songbirds is sensitive to testosterone and its androgenic and estrogenic metabolites in a species-specific way. The hormonal effects on song pattern are likely mediated by androgen receptors (AR) and estrogen receptor alpha (ERa), ligand activated transcription factors that are expressed in neurons of various areas of the songbirds’ vocal control circuit. The distribution of AR in this circuit is rather similar between species while that of ERa is species variant and concerns a key vocal control area, the HVC (proper name). We discuss the regulation of the expression of the cognate AR and ERa and putative splice variants.…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Predicting an HLA-DPB1 expression marker based on standard DPB1 genotyping: Linkage analysis of over 32,000 samples.

The risk of acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is increased with donor-recipient HLA-DPB1 allele mismatching. The single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs9277534 within the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) correlates with HLA-DPB1 allotype expression and serves as a marker for permissive HLA-DPB1 mismatches. Since rs9277534 is not routinely typed, we analyzed 32,681 samples of mostly European ancestry to investigate if the rs9277534 allele can be reliably imputed from standard DPB1 genotyping. We confirmed the previously-defined linkages between rs9277534 and 18 DPB1 alleles and established additional linkages for 46 DPB1 alleles. Based on these linkages, the rs9277534 allele could be…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Whole-genome-sequencing characterization of bloodstream infection-causing hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae of capsular serotype K2 and ST374.

Hypervirulent K. pneumoniae variants (hvKP) have been increasingly reported worldwide, causing metastasis of severe infections such as liver abscesses and bacteremia. The capsular serotype K2 hvKP strains show diverse multi-locus sequence types (MLSTs), but with limited genetics and virulence information. In this study, we report a hypermucoviscous K. pneumoniae strain, RJF293, isolated from a human bloodstream sample in a Chinese hospital. It caused a metastatic infection and fatal septic shock in a critical patient. The microbiological features and genetic background were investigated with multiple approaches. The Strain RJF293 was determined to be multilocis sequence type (ST) 374 and serotype K2,…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Predominant gut Lactobacillus murinus strain mediates anti-inflammaging effects in calorie-restricted mice.

Calorie restriction (CR), which has a potent anti-inflammaging effect, has been demonstrated to induce dramatic changes in the gut microbiota. Whether the modulated gut microbiota contributes to the attenuation of inflammation during CR is unknown, as are the members of the microbial community that may be key mediators of this process.Here, we report that a unique Lactobacillus-predominated microbial community was rapidly attained in mice within 2 weeks of CR, which decreased the levels of circulating microbial antigens and systemic inflammatory markers such as tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a). Lactobacillus murinus CR147, an isolate in the most abundant operational taxonomic unit (OTU)…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Autologous cell therapy approach for Duchenne muscular dystrophy using PiggyBac transposons and mesoangioblasts.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal muscle-wasting disease currently without cure. We investigated the use of the PiggyBac transposon for full-length dystrophin expression in murine mesoangioblast (MABs) progenitor cells. DMD murine MABs were transfected with transposable expression vectors for full-length dystrophin and transplanted intramuscularly or intra-arterially into mdx/SCID mice. Intra-arterial delivery indicated that the MABs could migrate to regenerating muscles to mediate dystrophin expression. Intramuscular transplantation yielded dystrophin expression in 11%-44% of myofibers in murine muscles, which remained stable for the assessed period of 5 months. The satellite cells isolated from transplanted muscles comprised a fraction of MAB-derived cells, indicating…

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Sunday, 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…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Case report of an extensively drug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae infection with genomic characterization of the strain and review of similar cases in the United States

Reports of extensively drug-resistant and pan-drug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (XDR-KP and PDR-KP) cases are increasing worldwide. Here, we report a case of XDR-KP with an in-depth molecular characterization of resistance genes using whole-genome sequencing, and we review all cases of XDR-KP and PDR-KP reported in the United States to date.

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Inferring the minimal genome of Mesoplasma florum by comparative genomics and transposon mutagenesis.

The creation and comparison of minimal genomes will help better define the most fundamental mechanisms supporting life. Mesoplasma florum is a near-minimal, fast-growing, nonpathogenic bacterium potentially amenable to genome reduction efforts. In a comparative genomic study of 13 M. florum strains, including 11 newly sequenced genomes, we have identified the core genome and open pangenome of this species. Our results show that all of the strains have approximately 80% of their gene content in common. Of the remaining 20%, 17% of the genes were found in multiple strains and 3% were unique to any given strain. On the basis of random…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Progressive approach for SNP calling and haplotype assembly using single molecular sequencing data.

Haplotype information is essential to the complete description and interpretation of genomes, genetic diversity and genetic ancestry. The new technologies can provide Single Molecular Sequencing (SMS) data that cover about 90% of positions over chromosomes. However, the SMS data has a higher error rate comparing to 1% error rate for short reads. Thus, it becomes very difficult for SNP calling and haplotype assembly using SMS reads. Most existing technologies do not work properly for the SMS data.In this paper, we develop a progressive approach for SNP calling and haplotype assembly that works very well for the SMS data. Our method…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

High-Resolution Full-Length HLA Typing Method Using Third Generation (Pac-Bio SMRT) Sequencing Technology.

The human HLA genes are among the most polymorphic genes in the human genome. Therefore, it is very difficult to find two unrelated individuals with identical HLA molecules. As a result, HLA Class I and Class II genes are routinely sequenced or serotyped for organ transplantation, autoimmune disease-association studies, drug hypersensitivity research, and other applications. However, these methods were able to give two or four digit data, which was not sufficient enough to understand the completeness of haplotypes of HLA genes. To overcome these limitations, we here described end-to-end workflow for sequencing of HLA class I and class II genes…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Diversity of hepatitis E virus genotype 3

Summary Hepatitis E virus genotype 3 (HEV-3) can lead to chronic infection in immunocompromised patients, and ribavirin is the treatment of choice. Recently, mutations in the polymerase gene have been associated with ribavirin failure but their frequency before treatment according to HEV-3 subtypes has not been studied on a large data set. We used single-molecule real-time sequencing technology to sequence 115 new complete genomes of HEV-3 infecting French patients. We analyzed phylogenetic relationships, the length of the polyproline region, and mutations in the HEV polymerase gene. Eighty-five (74%) were in the clade HEV-3efg, 28 (24%) in HEV-3chi clade, and 2…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Clonal emergence of invasive multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis deconvoluted via a combination of whole-genome sequencing and microbiome analyses.

Pathobionts, bacteria that are typically human commensals but can cause disease, contribute significantly to antimicrobial resistance. Staphylococcus epidermidis is a prototypical pathobiont as it is a ubiquitous human commensal but also a leading cause of healthcare-associated bacteremia. We sought to determine the etiology of a recent increase in invasive S. epidermidis isolates resistant to linezolid.Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was performed on 176 S. epidermidis bloodstream isolates collected at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, between 2013 and 2016. Molecular relationships were assessed via complementary phylogenomic approaches. Abundance of the linezolid resistance determinant cfr was determined in stool samples via…

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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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