Mikeljon P Nikolich

Mikeljon P Nikolich
Walter Reed Army Institute of Research | WRAIR · Department of Emerging Bacterial Infections

About

59
Publications
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1,526
Citations
Citations since 2016
22 Research Items
676 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
Full-text available
Shigellosis is a leading global cause of diarrheal disease and travelers’ diarrhea now being complicated by the dissemination of antibiotic resistance, necessitating the development of alternative antibacterials such as therapeutic bacteriophages (phages). Phages with lytic activity against Shigella strains were isolated from sewage. The genomes of...
Article
Full-text available
Brucellosis is one of the most important and widespread bacterial zoonoses worldwide. Cases are reported annually across the range of known infectious species of the genus Brucella. Globally, Brucella melitensis, primarily hosted by domestic sheep and goats, affects large proportions of livestock herds, and frequently spills over into humans. While...
Article
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Providencia rettgeri is an emerging opportunistic Gram-negative pathogen with reports of increasing antibiotic resistance. Pan-drug resistant (PDR) P. rettgeri infections are a growing concern, demonstrating a need for the development of alternative treatment options which is fueling a renewed interest in bacteriophage (phage) therapy. Here, we ide...
Article
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Here, we describe genome sequences of 17 Pseudomonas aeruginosa phages, including therapeutic candidates. They belong to the families Myoviridae , Podoviridae , and Siphoviridae and six different genera. The genomes ranged in size from 42,788 to 88,805 bp, with G+C contents of 52.5% to 64.3% and numbers of coding sequences from 58 to 179.
Article
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Multidrug-resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections pose a serious health threat. Bacteriophage–antibiotic combination therapy is a promising candidate for combating these infections. A 5-phage P. aeruginosa cocktail, PAM2H, was tested in combination with antibiotics (ceftazidime, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, meropenem) to determine if PAM2H...
Article
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A potentially therapeutic Twort-like myophage, Esa1, with specificity toward Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from lake water. We report the complete genome sequence of ESa1, assembled using both MinION and Illumina MiSeq reads, consisting of 153,106 bp, with 30.3% GC content, 253 protein coding sequences, 4 tRNAs, and 10,437-bp direct terminal r...
Article
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We report the genome sequences of 10 Pseudomonas aeruginosa phages studied for their potential for formulation of a therapeutic cocktail; they represent the families Myoviridae , Podoviridae , and Siphoviridae . Genome sizes ranged from 43,299 to 88,728 nucleotides, with G+C contents of 52.1% to 62.2%. The genomes contained 68 to 168 coding sequenc...
Article
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In an era of proliferating multidrug resistant bacterial infections that are exhausting the capacity of existing chemical antibiotics and in which the development of new antibiotics is significantly rarer, Western medicine must seek additional therapeutic options that can be employed to treat these infections. Among the potential antibacterial solu...
Article
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Objectives: This study reports the draft genomes of four newly isolated multidrug resistant A. baumannii strains (0830, 0365, 4022 and 2846) from western Georgia to identify putative antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) and to determine the clonal subtypes of local clinical isolates. Methods: An Illumina MiSeq sequencer was used to perform whol...
Article
Because of limited therapeutic options, infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus represent a serious problem in both civilian and military health care settings. Phages have potential as alternative antibacterial agents that can be used in combination with antibiotic drugs. For decades, phage Sb-1 has been used in former Sovi...
Article
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A potential concern with bacteriophage (phage) therapeutics is a host-versus-phage response in which the immune system may neutralize or destroy phage particles and thus impair therapeutic efficacy, or a strong inflammatory response to repeated phage exposure might endanger the patient. Current literature is discrepant with regard to the nature and...
Article
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Following the publication of this article [1], the authors noted two typographical errors: one in Table 1 with regard to the location of the Basilisk Phage, which was incorrectly captured as "Kutaisis, country of Georgia Utah, USA" but should be "Utah, USA".
Article
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Sequence analyses and subtyping of Bacillus anthracis strains from Georgia reveal a single distinct lineage (Aust94) that is ecologically established. Phylogeographic analysis and comparisons to a global collection reveals a clade that is mostly restricted to Georgia. Within this clade, many groups are found around the country, however at least one...
Article
Whole genome sequencing of six diagnostic brucellaphages, Tbilisi (Tb), Firenze (Fz), Weybridge (Wb), S708, Berkeley (Bk) and R/C, was followed with genomic comparisons including recently described genomes of the Tb phage from Mexico (TbM) and Pr phage to elucidate genomic diversity and candidate host range determinants. Comparative whole genome an...
Article
Global gene expression profile changes were monitored in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) after challenge with the live vaccine strain (LVS) of Francisella tularensis. Because these PBMCs were from individuals previously immunized with LVS, stimulating these cells with LVS should activate memory responses. The Ingenuity Pathway Anal...
Article
Introduction The role of explosions and patient transport vehicles as sources and vectors of Gram-negative, multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) that predominate infections following lengthy evacuations after disasters due to natural hazards and in current war-trauma patients is unknown.Hypothesis/Problem Damaged or heavily-used vehicles could be...
Article
A multiplex TaqMan real-time PCR to detect carbapenem-hydrolysing class D β-lactamases (bla(OXA-23)-like, bla(OXA-24/40)-like, bla(OXA-51)-like and bla(OXA-58)-like genes) was developed and evaluated for early detection of imipenem (IMP) resistance in clinically significant Acinetobacter baumannii isolates. Well-characterized strains of A. baumanni...
Article
There are several bacteriophages (phages) utilized for diagnosis of plague and pseudotuberculosis. Some of them could be used for antibacterial therapy of corresponding drug-resistant infections. Testing the ability of plague and pseudotuberculosis diagnostic phages to plate on Escherichia coli is important to estimate their diagnostic value and po...
Article
Bacteriophage lysis tests remain important tools for Yersinia pestis detection and plague diagnostics, but they usually include the isolation of pure Y. pestis culture that requires about 3 days to accomplish. Recently, we have developed a rapid and sensitive alternative assay based on quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) monitoring of the amplificati...
Article
The emergence of multidrug-resistant strains of Yersinia pestis may result in epidemics of untreatable bubonic and pneumonic plague and requires urgent development of alternative therapeutics. The purpose of this work was to test plague diagnostic bacteriophages as a potential therapy against experimental bubonic plague. Purified phages φA1122 and...
Article
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Background: Gram-negative multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria are major causes of nosocomial infections, and antibiotic resistance in these organisms is often plasmid mediated. Data are scarce pertaining to molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in resource constrained areas such as Iraq. Methodology/principal findings: In this study, all...
Article
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The spread of natural or weaponized drug-resistant plague among humans is a credible high consequence threat to public health that demands the prompt introduction of alternatives to antibiotics such as bacteriophage. Early attempts to treat plague with phages in the 1920s-1930s were sometimes promising but mostly failed, purportedly due to insuffic...
Article
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Global dissemination of imipenem-resistant (IR) clones of Acinetobacter baumannii –A. calcoaceticus complex (ABC) have been frequently reported but the molecular epidemiological features of IR-ABC in military treatment facilities (MTFs) have not been described. We characterized 46 IR-ABC strains from a dataset of 298 ABC isolates collected from US...
Article
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Bacteriophages specific for Yersinia pestis are routinely used for plague diagnostics and could be an alternative to antibiotics in case of drug-resistant plague. A major concern of bacteriophage therapy is the emergence of phage-resistant mutants. The use of phage cocktails can overcome this problem but only if the phages exploit different recepto...
Article
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To investigate potential sources of gram-negative multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) in a deployed US military healthcare facility. Active surveillance. Swab sampling of patients, hospital personnel, and environmental surfaces was performed before the opening of a new medical treatment facility in Iraq and then serially for the next 6 months. Mu...
Article
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SUMMARYStaphylococcus aureus is a leading cause of infections in deployed service members. Based on a molecular epidemiological study of 182 MRSA isolates from patients in three U.S. Army combat support hospitals in separate regions in Iraq, USA300 clone was the most predominant (80%) pulsotype. This finding suggested that strain carriage from the...
Article
To determine whether cytokines and T-cell subsets other than Th1 cells contribute to secondary immune responses against Francisella species, we investigated production of Th17-associated cytokines IL-17 and IL-22 in a recall response to Francisella tularensis. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from volunteers previously immunized with the...
Article
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Yersinia pestis, the agent of plague, has caused many millions of human deaths and still poses a serious threat to global public health. Timely and reliable detection of such a dangerous pathogen is of critical importance. Lysis by specific bacteriophages remains an essential method of Y. pestis detection and plague diagnostics. The objective of th...
Article
Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are potent protectors of cellular integrity against environmental stresses, including toxic microbial products. To investigate the mechanism of HSP-70 cell protection against bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), we established a stable HSP-70 gene-transfected RAW 264.7 murine macrophage model of LPS-induced cell death. Bac...
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To gain insights into the origin and genome evolution of the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis, we have sequenced the deep-rooted strain Angola, a virulent Pestoides isolate. Its ancient nature makes this atypical isolate of particular importance in understanding the evolution of plague pathogenicity. Its chromosome features a unique genetic make-up...
Article
Rough Brucella mutants have been sought as vaccine candidates because they do not induce seroconversion. In this study, two defined nonreverting rough mutants were derived from virulent Brucella melitensis strain 16M: a wboA deletion mutant designated WRR51 and a wboA purEK dual deletion mutant designated WRRP1. Strain WRRP1 exhibited reduced survi...
Article
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To determine the anatomic sites and natural history of colonization with gram-negative multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs). Prospective, longitudinal cohort study. Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a 236-bed tertiary care center in Washington, DC. Deployed subjects (ie, inpatients medically evacuated from Iraq or Afghanistan) or nondeployed subjec...
Article
Francisella tularensis Schu S4, LVS and U112 have become model organisms for the study of Francisella pathogenesis, and represent a cross section of the different F. tularensis subspecies. Both Schu S4 and LVS are fastidious organisms, requiring medium fortified with supplements and nutrients for enhanced growth. Chamberlains defined medium, Trypto...
Conference Paper
Background: Attributable sources of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO) causing the current epidemic of nosocomial infections in the military health system remain obscure. Previous studies have characterized isolates recovered from patients in the US who returned from Iraq. Our objective was to initiate a repository of MDRO first isolated in Iraq...
Article
The possibility of expressing a homologous antigen and a heterologous antigen simultaneously in an attenuated Brucella melitensis strain was investigated. The Brucella wboA gene encoding a mannosyltransferase involved in biosynthesis of lipopolysaccharide O-antigen, and the Bacillus anthracis pag gene encoding the protective antigen (PA) were clone...
Conference Paper
Background: Acinetobacter baumannii is an emerging opportunistic pathogen causing significant morbidity and mortality in hospitalized members of the military. In this study, a whole genome sequencing approach was used to investigate the acquisition of multi-drug resistance in clinical strains. Methods: Clinical A. baumannii isolates from WRAMC were...
Article
In an effort to find a rapid, efficient, and reliable method for screening and classifying large numbers of tetracycline-resistant bacterial isolates, we developed a multiplex, real-time PCR assay using SYBR Green I and the Roche LightCycler. The assay can rapidly identify eight genes encoding tetracycline resistance efflux pumps including tet(A),...
Article
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Groups of mice were immunized either subcutaneously or intranasally with purified Brucella melitensis lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or with LPS as a noncovalent complex with Neisseria meningitidis group B outer membrane protein (LPS-GBOMP). Control mice were inoculated with sterile saline. Two doses of vaccine were given 4 weeks apart. Mice were challen...
Article
Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of plague, which diverged from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis within the past 20,000 years. Although these two species share a high degree of homology at the DNA level (>90%), they differ radically in their pathogenicity and transmission. In this review, we briefly outline the known virulence factors that differe...
Article
Brucella melitensis strains may occur as either smooth or rough variants depending on the expression of O-polysaccharides (OPS) as a component of the bacterial outer membrane lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The wboA gene, which codes for the enzyme glycosyl transferase, is essential for the assembly of O-chain in Brucella. Deletion of wboA in smooth viru...
Article
The recent description of the complete genomes of the two most pathogenic species of Brucella opens the way for genome-based analysis of the antigenicity of their proteins. In the present report, we describe a bench-level high-efficiency cloning and expression system (HECES) that allow expression of large numbers of Brucella proteins based on genom...
Article
Brucella, an aerobic, nonsporeforming, nonmotile Gram-negative coccobacillus, is a NIH/CDC category B bioterror threat agent that causes incapacitating human illness. Medical defense against the bioterror threat posed by Brucella would be strengthened by development of a human vaccine and improved diagnostic tests. Central to advancement of these g...
Article
Full-text available
Brucellae are gram-negative intracellular pathogens that survive and multiply within host phagocytic cells. Smooth organisms present O-polysaccharides (OPS) on their surface. The wboA gene, which codes for the enzyme glycosyl transferase, is essential for the assembly of O-chain in Brucella. Deletion of wboA in smooth, virulent B. melitensis 16M re...
Article
Full-text available
Brucella spp. are gram-negative intracellular pathogens that survive and multiply within phagocytic cells of their hosts. Smooth organisms present O polysaccharides (OPS) on their surface. These OPS help the bacteria avoid the bactericidal action of serum. ThewboA gene, coding for the enzyme glycosyltransferase, is essential for the synthesis of O...
Article
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Human brucellosis can be acquired from infected animal tissues by ingestion, inhalation, or contamination of the conjunctiva or traumatized skin by infected animal products. A vaccine to protect humans from occupational exposure or from zoonotic infection in areas where the disease is endemic would reduce an important cause of morbidity worldwide....
Article
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Results of previous investigations suggested that the conjugative transposons found in human colonic Bacteroides species were all members of a closely related family of elements, exemplified by Tcr Emr DOT. We have now found a new type of conjugative transposon, Tcr Emr 7853, that does not belong to this family. Tcr Emr 7853 has approximately the s...
Article
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Though numerous studies have shown that gene transfer occurs between distantly related bacterial genera under laboratory conditions, the frequency and breadth of horizontal transfer events in nature remain unknown. Previous evidence for natural intergeneric transfers came from studies of genes in human pathogens, bacteria that colonize the same hos...
Article
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The ribosome protection type of tetracycline resistance (Tcr) has been found in a variety of bacterial species, but the only two classes described previously, Tet(M) and Tet(O), shared a high degree of amino acid sequence identity (greater than 75%). Thus, it appeared that this type of resistance emerged recently in evolution and spread among diffe...

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