Current protocols in microbiology

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ISSN 1934-8533

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    ABSTRACT: Antibiotic resistance is one of the major threats to global health and well-being. The past decade has seen an alarming rise in the evolution and spread of drug-resistant strains of pathogenic microbes. The emergence of extensively-drug-resistant (XDR) strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, antimicrobial resistance among the ESKAPE (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumanii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species) as well as fungal pathogens (such as certain species of Candida, Aspergillus, Cryptococcus, Trichophyton) poses a significant 21st century scientific challenge. With an extremely limited arsenal of efficacious antibiotics, techniques that can (a) identify novel antimicrobials and (b) detect antimicrobial resistance are becoming increasingly important. In this article, we illustrate the HT-SPOTi, an assay that is principally based on the growth of an organism on agar media containing a range of different concentrations of drugs or inhibitors. The simple methodology makes this assay ideal for evaluating novel antimicrobial compounds as well as profiling an organism’s antibiotic resistance profile.
    Current protocols in microbiology 12/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic manipulation of obligate intracellular bacteria of the genus Rickettsia is currently undergoing a rapid period of change. The development of viable genetic tools, including replicative plasmids, transposons, homologous recombination, fluorescent protein-encoding genes, and antibiotic selectable markers has provided the impetus for future research development. This unit is designed to coalesce the basic methods pertaining to creation of genetically modified Rickettsia. The unit describes a series of methods, from inserting exogenous DNA into Rickettsia to the final isolation of genetically modified bacterial clones. Researchers working towards genetic manipulation of Rickettsia or similar obligate intracellular bacteria will find these protocols to be a valuable reference. © 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Current protocols in microbiology 11/2015; 39:3A.6.1-3A.6.20. DOI:10.1002/9780471729259.mc03a06s39
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    ABSTRACT: This unit describes how to infect cells with vaccinia virus and then transfect them with a plasmid-transfer vector or PCR fragment to generate a recombinant virus. Selection and screening methods used to isolate recombinant viruses and a method for the amplification of recombinant viruses are described. Finally, a method for live immunostaining that has been used primarily for detection of recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) is presented. © 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Current protocols in microbiology 11/2015; 39:14A.4.1-14A.4.18. DOI:10.1002/9780471729259.mc14a04s39
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    ABSTRACT: This unit is an overview of biosafety compliance and oversight in the United States. Specific attention is given to the oversight of the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) and how the purview of the IBC may overlap with other local committees, such as the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) for animal research and the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for research on human subjects. Requirements for the Federal Select Agent Program and Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC) are also briefly reviewed for those working with materials and experiments covered under these regulations. This unit serves as a guide for new and established investigators who are navigating the regulatory world and how regulatory oversight applies to their research. © 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Current protocols in microbiology 11/2015; 39:1A.5.1-1A.5.16. DOI:10.1002/9780471729259.mc01a05s39
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    ABSTRACT: Myxobacteria are a highly social group among the delta proteobacteria that display unique multicellular behaviors during their complex life cycle and provide a rare opportunity to study the boundary between single cells and multicellularity. These organisms are also unusual as their entire life cycle is surface associated and includes a number of social behaviors: social gliding and rippling motility, 'wolf-pack'-like predation, and self-organizing complex biostructures, termed fruiting bodies, which are filled with differentiated environmentally resistant spores. Here we present methods for the growth, maintenance, and storage of Myxococcus xanthus, the most commonly studied of the myxobacteria. We also include methods to examine various developmental and social behaviors (fruiting body and spore formation, predation, and rippling motility). As the myxobacteria, similar to the streptomycetes, are excellent sources of many characterized and uncharacterized antibiotics and other natural products, we have provided a protocol for obtaining natural isolates from a variety of environmental sources. © 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Current protocols in microbiology 11/2015; 39:7A.1.1-7A.1.21. DOI:10.1002/9780471729259.mc07a01s39
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    ABSTRACT: Nocardia spp. are aerobic, Gram-positive, catalase-positive, non-motile actinomycetes. Various species of the genus Nocardia have attracted attention due to their detrimental effects on human health. Recent discoveries, however, have exposed their importance as producers of bioactive compounds and degraders of complex organic compounds, as well as their involvement in biotransformation into valuable products. This unit includes general protocols for the laboratory maintenance of Nocardia spp., including growth in liquid medium, growth on solid agar, and long-term storage. Nocardia sp. CS682 (KCTC11297BP), isolated from soil collected in Jeonnam, Korea, is used as a prototype for explaining the considerations for efficient laboratory maintenance of Nocardia spp. © 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Current protocols in microbiology 11/2015; 39:10F.1.1-10F.1.8. DOI:10.1002/9780471729259.mc10f01s39
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    ABSTRACT: The vast majority of surgical biopsy and post-mortem tissue samples are formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE), but this process leads to RNA degradation that limits gene expression analysis. As an example, the viral RNA genome of the 1918 pandemic influenza A virus was previously determined in a 9-year effort by overlapping RT-PCR from post-mortem samples. Using the protocols described here, the full genome of the 1918 virus was determined at high coverage in one high-throughput sequencing run of a cDNA library derived from total RNA of a 1918 FFPE sample after duplex-specific nuclease treatments. This basic methodological approach should assist in the analysis of FFPE tissue samples isolated over the past century from a variety of infectious diseases. © 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Current protocols in microbiology 09/2015; 33:1E.8.1-1E.8.16. DOI:10.1002/9780471729259.mc01e08s37
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    ABSTRACT: Human papillomaviruses (HPV) infect skin or mucosal epidermis. The simplistic capsid consists of a major capsid protein L1, a minor capsid protein L2, and a double-stranded circular DNA of about 8kB in size. The development of HPV-based vectors [i.e., pseudovirions (PsV)] as tools to study the initial infection has facilitated our understanding of HPV entry. The covalent coupling of fluorescent molecules to these PsV allows following the viruses en route to the nucleus, i.e., the site of replication. In the first section, we describe a facile method to covalently label HPV PsV that retain their infectivity. In this method, fluorophores coupled to a reactive succinimidyl ester are covalently attached to amine residues in the virion in a one-step chemical reaction. In the second section of this unit, several assays are outlined that use the fluorescently labeled virions for entry studies in live and fixed cells. © 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Current protocols in microbiology 09/2015; 37:14B.4.1-14B.4.22. DOI:10.1002/9780471729259.mc14b04s37
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    ABSTRACT: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is an emerging highly pathogenic respiratory virus. Although MERS-CoV only emerged in 2012, we and others have developed assays to grow and quantify infectious MERS-CoV and RNA products of replication in vitro. MERS-CoV is able to infect a range of cell types, but replicates to high titers in Vero E6 cells. Protocols for the propagation and quantification of MERS-CoV are presented. © 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Current protocols in microbiology 09/2015; 37:15E.2.1-15E.2.9. DOI:10.1002/9780471729259.mc15e02s37
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    ABSTRACT: The prognosis from thyroid cancer subtypes in humans covers a spectrum from "cured at almost 90%" to "100% lethal." Invasive and poorly differentiated forms of thyroid cancer are among the most aggressive human cancers, and there are few effective therapeutic options. Genetically engineered mice, based on mutations observed in patients, can accurately recapitulate the human disease and its progression, providing invaluable tools for the preclinical evaluation of novel therapeutic approaches. This overview details models developed to date as well as their uses for identifying novel anticancer agents. © 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Current protocols in microbiology 09/2015; 33:14.33.1-14.33.14. DOI:10.1002/0471141755.ph1433s69
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    ABSTRACT: Epichloë species (including former Neotyphodium species) are endophytic fungi that significantly affect fitness of cool-season grass hosts, potentially by increasing nutrient uptake and resistance to drought, parasitism and herbivory. Epichloë species are obligately biotrophic, living in the intercellular spaces of their plant hosts, and spreading systemically throughout host aerial tissues. The reproduction of Epichloë species is versatile; some strains have both sexual and asexual modes of reproduction, but others are restricted to one or the other mode. The reproduction mode determines the dissemination mechanism, and the asexual species most important to agriculture are strictly seed-borne, cause no signs or symptoms, and are undetectable except by specialized microscopic, molecular or antigenic procedures. These procedures can be used to identify endophytes in a variety of plant tissues. Similar protocols can be modified to detect less common symbionts, such as the penicillate "p-endophytes," when they occur by themselves or together with Epichloë species. © 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Current protocols in microbiology 08/2015; 38:19A.1.1-19A.1.24. DOI:10.1002/9780471729259.mc19a01s38
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    ABSTRACT: Immunization with Human Papillomavirus (HPV) L1 virus-like particles or L2 capsid protein elicits neutralizing antibodies that mediate protection. A high-throughput and sensitive in vitro neutralization assay is therefore valuable for prophylactic HPV vaccine studies. Over several hours during infection of the genital tract, virions take on a distinct intermediate conformation, including a required furin cleavage of L2 at its N-terminus. This intermediate is an important target for neutralization by L2-specific antibody, but it is very transiently exposed during in vitro infection of most cell lines resulting in insensitive measurement for L2, but not L1-specific neutralizing antibodies. To model this intermediate, we describe a protocol to generate furin-cleaved HPV pseudovirions (fc-PsV), which deliver an encapsidated reporter plasmid to facilitate infectivity measurements. We also describe a protocol for use of fc-PsV in a high-throughput in vitro neutralization assay for the sensitive measurement of both L1 and L2-specific neutralizing antibodies. © 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Current protocols in microbiology 08/2015; 38:14B.5.1-14B.5.26. DOI:10.1002/9780471729259.mc14b05s38
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    ABSTRACT: Vibrio cholerae is the agent of cholera, a potentially lethal diarrheal disease that remains a significant threat to populations in developing nations. The infant rabbit model of cholera is the only non-surgical small animal model system that closely mimics human cholera. Following orogastric inoculation, V. cholerae colonizes the intestines of infant rabbits, and the animals develop severe cholera-like diarrhea. In this unit, we provide a detailed description of the preparation of the V. cholerae inoculum, the inoculation process and the collection and processing of tissue samples. This infection model is useful for studies of V. cholerae factors and mechanisms that promote its intestinal colonization and enterotoxicity, as well as the host response to infection. The infant rabbit model of cholera enables investigations that will further our understanding of the pathophysiology of cholera and provides a platform for testing new therapeutics. © 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Current protocols in microbiology 08/2015; 38:6A.6.1-6A.6.15. DOI:10.1002/9780471729259.mc06a06s38

  • Current protocols in microbiology 05/2015; 37. DOI:10.1002/9780471729259.mc15c06s37
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    ABSTRACT: There is extensive genomic diversity among Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates. Approximately half of the comprehensive set of genes in the species (the supragenome or pangenome) is present in all the isolates (core set), and the remaining is unevenly distributed among strains (distributed set). The Streptococcus pneumoniae Supragenome Hybridization (SpSGH) array provides coverage for an extensive set of genes and polymorphisms encountered within this species, capturing this genomic diversity. Further, the capture is quantitative. In this manner, the SpSGH array allows for both genomic and transcriptomic analyses of diverse S. pneumoniae isolates on a single platform. In this unit, we present the SpSGH array, and describe in detail its design and implementation for both genomic and transcriptomic analyses. The methodology can be applied to construction and modification of SpSGH array platforms, as well to other bacterial species as long as multiple whole-genome sequences are available that collectively capture the vast majority of the species supragenome. © 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Current protocols in microbiology 02/2015; 36:9D.4.1-9D.4.20. DOI:10.1002/9780471729259.mc09d04s36
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    ABSTRACT: Vaccination has a proven record as one of the most effective medical approaches to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Traditional vaccine approaches involve the administration of whole killed or weakened microorganisms to stimulate protective immune responses. Such approaches deliver many microbial components, some of which contribute to protective immunity, and assist in guiding the type of immune response that is elicited. Despite their impeccable record, these approaches have failed to yield vaccines for many important infectious organisms. This has prompted a move towards more defined vaccines ('subunit vaccines'), where individual protective components are administered. This unit provides an overview of the components that are used for the development of modern vaccines including: an introduction to different vaccine types (whole organism, protein/peptide, polysaccharide, conjugate, and DNA vaccines); techniques for identifying subunit antigens; vaccine delivery systems; and immunostimulatory agents ('adjuvants'), which are fundamental for the development of effective subunit vaccines. © 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Current Protocols in Microbiology, Edited by Richard Coico, 02/2015: chapter UNIT 18.1 Progress in vaccine development.: pages 18.1.1-18.1.26; John Wiley & Sons., ISBN: 9780471729259
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    ABSTRACT: Bacterial persisters are cells with an impressive, yet transient, tolerance toward extraordinary concentrations of antibiotics. Persisters are believed to impose a significant burden on the healthcare system because of their role in the proclivity of infections to relapse. During antibiotic challenge, these rare, phenotypic variants enter a dormant state where antibiotic primary targets are rendered inactive, allowing them to survive. Once the antibiotic is removed, persisters reawaken and resume growth, leading to repopulation of the environment. Metabolism plays a pivotal role in coordinating the entry, maintenance, and exit from the persister state. However, the low abundance, transient nature, and similarity of persisters to other cell types have prevented their isolation, which is needed for direct metabolic measurements. In this unit, we describe a technique known as the aminoglycoside (AG) potentiation assay, which can be used to rapidly and specifically measure the breadth of persister metabolism in heterogeneous populations. © 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Current protocols in microbiology 02/2015; 36:17.9.1-17.9.14. DOI:10.1002/9780471729259.mc1709s36