Article: Answer to December 2015 Photo Quiz
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Importance: This study investigates a novel mechanism for regulating gene expression in the pathogenic bacterium Chlamydia. The Chlamydia type III secretion (T3S) chaperone Scc4 has been shown to inhibit transcription by RNA polymerase. This study describes physical interactions between Scc4 and the T3S proteins Scc1 and CopN. Furthermore Chlamydia Scc1 and CopN antagonized the inhibitory effects of Scc4 on transcription and growth in a heterologous E. coli system. These results provide evidence that transcription in Chlamydia can be regulated by the T3S system through interactions between T3S proteins.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The salicylidene acylhydrazide (SA) compounds have exhibited promising microbicidal properties. Previous reports have shown the SA compounds, using cell cultures, to exhibit activity against Chlamydia trachomatis, herpes simplex virus and HIV-1. In addition, using an animal model of a vaginal infection the SA compound INP0341, when dissolved in a liquid, was able to significantly protect mice from a vaginal infection with C. trachomatis. To expand upon this finding, in this report INP0341 was formulated as a vaginal gel, suitable for use in humans. Gelling agents (polymers) with inherent antimicrobial properties were chosen to maximize the total antimicrobial effect of the gel. In vitro formulation work generated a gel with suitable rheology and sustained drug release. A formulation containing 1 mM INP0341, 1.6 wt% Cremophor ELP (solubility enhancer) and 1.5 wt% poly(acrylic acid) (gelling and antimicrobial agent), was chosen for studies of efficacy and toxicity using a mouse model of a vaginal infection. The gel formulation was able to attenuate a vaginal challenge with C. trachomatis, serovar D. Formulations with and without INP0341 afforded protection, but the inclusion of INP0341 increased the protection. Mouse vaginal tissue treated with the formulation showed no indication of gel toxicity. The lack of toxicity was confirmed by in vitro assays using EpiVaginal tissues, which showed that a 24 h exposure to the gel formulation did not decrease the cell viability or the barrier function of the tissue. Therefore, the gel formulation described here appears to be a promising vaginal microbicide to prevent a C. trachomatis infection with the potential to be expanded to other sexually transmitted diseases.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: To evaluate whether an ecologic inverse association exists between methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) prevalence and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) prevalence in nursing homes. Methods: We conducted a secondary analysis of a prospective cross-sectional study of S. aureus prevalence in 26 nursing homes across Orange County, California, from 2008-2011. Admission prevalence was assessed using bilateral nares swabs collected from all new residents within 3 days of admission until 100 swabs were obtained. Point prevalence was assessed from a representative sample of 100 residents. Swab samples were plated on 5% sheep blood agar and Spectra MRSA chromogenic agar. If MRSA was detected, no further tests were performed. If MRSA was not detected, blood agar was evaluated for MSSA growth. We evaluated the association between MRSA and MSSA admission and point prevalence using correlation and linear regression testing. Results: We collected 3,806 total swabs. MRSA and MSSA admission prevalence were not correlated (r = -0.40, P = .09). However, MRSA and MSSA point prevalence were negatively correlated regardless of whether MSSA prevalence was measured among all residents sampled (r = -0.67, P = .0002) or among those who did not harbor MRSA (r = -0.41, P = .04). This effect persisted in regression models adjusted for the percentage of residents with diabetes (β = -0.73, P = .04), skin lesions (β = -1.17, P = .002), or invasive devices (β = -1.4, P = .0006). Conclusions: The inverse association between MRSA and MSSA point prevalence and minimal association on admission prevalence suggest MSSA carriage may protect against MRSA acquisition in nursing homes. The minimal association on admission prevalence further suggests competition may occur during nursing home stays.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chlamydophila pneumoniae (CPn) is a common respiratory pathogen that causes a chronic and persistent airway infection. The elderly display an increased susceptibility and severity to this infection. However, the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Dendritic cells (DCs) are the initiators and regulators of immune responses. Therefore, we investigated the role of DCs in the age-associated increased CPn infection in vitro in humans. Though the expression of activation markers was comparable between the two age groups, DCs from aged subjects secreted enhanced levels of proinflammatory mediators such as TNF-α and CXCL-10 in response to CPn. In contrast, the secretion of IL-10 and innate interferons, IFN-α and IFN-λ, was severely impaired in DCs from aged donors. The increased activation of DCs from aged subjects to CPn also resulted in enhanced proliferation of CD4 and CD8 T cells in a DC-T coculture. Furthermore, T cells primed with CPn-stimulated DCs from aged subjects secreted increased levels of IFN-γ and reduced levels of IL-10 compared to DCs obtained from young subjects. In summary, DCs from the elderly displayed enhanced inflammatory response to CPn which may result in airway remodeling and increase the susceptibility of the elderly to respiratory diseases such as asthma.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effectiveness of a Cidex-based decontamination protocol was analyzed for its effectiveness in cleaning various components of a flexible fiberoptic laryngoscope (FFL), including the handle, eyepiece, and detachable light cable. A random microbiological sampling and aerobic bacterial culture analysis of 6 FFL eyepieces, 6 FFL driver handles, and 5 light cables prior to patient use was performed. Of 17 samples collected, 7 (41%) were contaminated with bacterial organisms. Organisms recovered represented both environmental organisms from skin and oral flora origin. This study demonstrates that potential contaminants may be present on FFL eyepieces and light cables, which are commonly overlooked in the cleaning protocols of a standard otolaryngology clinic.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the performance of screening rectal cultures obtained 2 weeks before transrectal prostate biopsy to detect fluoroquinolone-resistant organisms and again at transrectal prostate biopsy. After institutional review board approval for observational study, we obtained a rectal culture on patients identified for a prostate biopsy but before antibiotic prophylaxis from September 12, 2011 to April 23, 2012. The specimen was cultured onto MacConkey agar with and without 1 μg/mL ciprofloxacin. We then obtained a second rectal culture immediately before prostate biopsy after 24 hours of ciprofloxacin prophylaxis. All cultures were blinded to the practitioner until the end of the study. Of 108 patients enrolled, 58 patients had both rectal cultures for comparison. The median time duration between cultures was 14 (6-119) days. There were 54 of 58 concordant pairs (93%), which included 47 negative cultures and 7 positive cultures; 2 patients (3%) who were culture negative from the first screening culture became positive at biopsy. Sensitivity, specificity, negative, positive predictive values, and area under the operator curve were 95.9%, 77.8%, 95.9%, 77.8%, and 0.868, respectively. When Pseudomonas spp. are removed from the analysis, the area under the curve is increased to 0.927. Screening rectal cultures 2 weeks before prostate biopsy has favorable test performance, suggesting screening cultures give an accurate estimate of fluoroquinolone-resistant colonization.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: To identify the prevalence and characteristics of fluoroquinolone-resistant (FQ-R) Escherichia coli ST131 isolates in men undergoing ultrasound-guided transrectal prostate biopsy (TPB). Materials and methods: Twenty-seven FQ-R E coli isolates from rectal swabs from 136 men undergoing TPB at 3 institutions in southern California (January 2009 to March 2010), with a focus on repeat biopsy patients, were assessed for E coli phylogenetic group, sequence type ST131 status, extended virulence genotype, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis profile, and antimicrobial susceptibility profile. Results: ST131 accounted for 70% of the 27 FQ-R pre-TPB E coli rectal isolates, including 82% of those from non-Asians vs 20% from Asians (P = .017). ST131 was associated negatively with prebiopsy enemas and positively with previous TPB. Compared with non-ST131 isolates, the ST131 isolates had a significantly higher prevalence of 4 virulence genes (sat, usp, ompT, and malX), distinctive virulence profiles, and numerically higher virulence scores (median, 12 vs 8), but similar antimicrobial resistance scores. Most rectal ST131 isolates exhibited pulsed-field gel electrophoresis profiles typical of clinical ST131 isolates. Conclusion: In our locale, the epidemic multidrug-resistant ST131 clonal group accounts for 70% of FQ-R rectal E coli isolates among men undergoing TPB. Such ST131 isolates have distinctive virulence profiles, are extensively antimicrobial-resistant, and are negatively associated with Asian race. Further investigation is needed regarding risk factors for and clinical consequences of colonization with such strains among men undergoing TPB.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A transrectal prostate biopsy is the most common procedure used to establish the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Prior to biopsy, patients are commonly given ciprofloxacin for prophylaxis. However, a complication of the procedure is infection with ciprofloxacin-resistant organisms, in particular resistant Escherichia coli. In order to identify patients carrying ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli, so as to tailor their antibiotic prophylaxis, rectal swabs are screened using selective broth and/or solid medium. In our evaluation, we compared broth enrichment and direct plating techniques by using brain heart infusion broth and MacConkey agar containing 1 μg/ml or 10 μg/ml of ciprofloxacin. Of the 100 patients included in the study, 20 were colonized with ciprofloxacin-resistant organisms, 19 of which were E. coli. There was no significant difference (P > 0.1) between the culture methods or the ciprofloxacin concentrations in the medium when identifying patients with ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli; however, broth enrichment using 1 μg/ml ciprofloxacin was the most sensitive at 100%, but it was the least specific. Direct plating of rectal swabs onto MacConkey agar containing 10 μg/ml of ciprofloxacin was 100% specific and missed only 1 positive specimen, with a sensitivity of 94.7%; this method was the most cost-effective. Therefore, direct plating of rectal swabs onto selective medium proved to be a sensitive and cost-effective approach in identifying patients colonized with ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chlorhexidine and mupirocin are used in health care facilities to eradicate methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage. The objective of this study was to assess the frequency of chlorhexidine and mupirocin resistance in isolates from nares carriers in multiple nursing homes and to examine characteristics associated with resistance. Nasal swab samples were collected from approximately 100 new admissions and 100 current residents in 26 nursing homes in Orange County, CA, from October 2008 to May 2011. MRSA isolates were tested for susceptibility by using broth microdilution, disk diffusion, and Etest; for genetic relatedness using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis; and for qac gene carriage by PCR. Characteristics of the nursing homes and their residents were collected from the Medicare Minimum Data Set and Long-Term Care Focus. A total of 829 MRSA isolates were obtained from swabbing 3,806 residents in 26 nursing homes. All isolates had a chlorhexidine MIC of ≤4 μg/ml. Five (0.6%) isolates harbored the qacA and/or qacB gene loci. Mupirocin resistance was identified in 101 (12%) isolates, with 78 (9%) isolates exhibiting high-level mupirocin resistance (HLMR). HLMR rates per facility ranged from 0 to 31%. None of the isolates with HLMR displayed qacA or qacB, while two isolates carried qacA and exhibited low-level mupirocin resistance. Detection of HLMR was associated with having a multidrug-resistant MRSA isolate (odds ratio [OR], 2.69; P = 0.004), a history of MRSA (OR, 2.34; P < 0.001), and dependency in activities of daily living (OR, 1.25; P = 0.004). In some facilities, HLMR was found in nearly one-third of MRSA isolates. These findings may have implications for the increasingly widespread practice of MRSA decolonization using intranasal mupirocin.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Salicylidene acylhydrazides belong to a class of compounds shown to inhibit bacterial type III secretion (T3S) in pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria. This class of compounds also inhibits growth and replication of Chlamydiae, strict intracellular bacteria that possess a T3S system. In this study a library of 58 salicylidene acylhydrazides was screened to identify inhibitors of Chlamydia growth. Compounds inhibiting growth of both Chlamydia trachomatis and Chlamydophila pneumoniae were tested for cell toxicity and seven compounds were selected for preliminary pharmacokinetic analysis in mice using cassette dosing. Two compounds, ME0177 and ME0192, were further investigated by individual pharmacokinetic analysis. Compound ME0177 had a relatively high peak plasma concentration (C(max)) and area under curve and therefore may be considered for systemic treatment of Chlamydia infections. The other compound, ME0192, had poor pharmacokinetic properties but the highest anti-chlamydial activity in vitro and therefore was tested for topical treatment in a mouse vaginal infection model. ME0192 administered vaginally significantly reduced the infectious burden of C. trachomatis and the number of infected mice.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Campylobacter (Campy; BD Diagnostics, Sparks, MD), Spectra VRE (Remel, Lenexa, KS), and bile-esculin-azide-vancomycin (BEAV; Remel) agars were compared for their ability to detect vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in 750 stool specimens. The media were compared at 24 h and 48 h of incubation at 35°C and 42°C. When incubated for 24 h at 35°C, Campy was the most sensitive (97.8%) and specific (99.9%) but was comparable to Spectra, which has a sensitivity of 95.6% and a specificity of 99.1%, whereas BEAV was significantly less sensitive (90%) and specific (96.1%). Incubation at 42°C or extended incubation at 35°C for 48 h yielded no advantage over incubation at 35°C for 24 h.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The salicylidene acylhydrazide INP0341 inhibits growth of Chlamydia in HeLa cells, has negligible cell toxicity, and does not inhibit the growth of lactobacilli. The antichlamydial activity of INP0341 was retained when tested in vaginal and semen simulants. Vaginal tissue from INP0341-treated mice appeared similar to control sham-treated mice. To determine whether INP0341 can protect mice from a vaginal challenge, C3H/HeJ mice were either sham or INP0341 treated intravaginally pre- and postinoculation with 5 × 102 inclusion-forming units (IFUs) of Chlamydia trachomatis serovar D. Vaginal cultures taken over a month-long period showed a significant difference in the number of control mice that were culture positive versus the number in the INP0341-treated group, 100% (25/25) and 31% (8/26), respectively (P < .05). The quantity of IFUs shed and antibody titers to Chlamydia were significantly higher for the control group (P < .05). In summary, INP0341 is a promising compound to be considered for formulation as a vaginal microbicide.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We estimated the prevalence of fluoroquinolone resistant Escherichia coli in patients undergoing repeat transrectal ultrasound guided prostate needle biopsy and identified high risk groups. From January 2009 to March 2010 rectal swabs of 136 men from 3 institutions undergoing transrectal ultrasound guided prostate needle biopsy were obtained. There were 33 men with no previous biopsy who served as the controls. Participants completed questionnaires and rectal swab culture was obtained just before performing the prostate biopsy. Selective media was used to specifically isolate fluoroquinolone resistant E. coli and sensitivities were obtained. The patients were contacted via telephone 7 days after the procedure for a followup questionnaire. A total of 30 patients had cultures positive for fluoroquinolone resistant bacteria for an overall rate of 22% (95% CI 15, 29). Patients with diabetes and Asian ethnicity had higher risks of resistant rectal flora colonization (OR 2.3 and 2.8, respectively). However, differences did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.09 and p = 0.08, respectively). Patients with no prior biopsy had a positive rate of 15% (5 of 33) compared to 24% (25 of 103) in those with 1 or more prior biopsies (OR 1.8, p = 0.27). Five patients (3.6%) had post-biopsy fever while only 1 of those patients had a positive rectal swab. Using selective media to isolate fluoroquinolone resistant E. coli from the rectum before transrectal ultrasound guided prostate biopsy, we isolated organisms in 22% of patients with a wide resistance pattern. This protocol may be used to provide information regarding targeted antibiotic prophylaxis before transrectal prostate biopsies.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sepsis caused by fluoroquinolone-resistant Escherichia coli is a risk for patients undergoing an ultrasound-guided, transrectal prostate biopsy. A method incorporating selective broth and media was evaluated using rectal swabs obtained from 136 patients prior to a biopsy procedure. Fluoroquinolone-resistant organisms were isolated from 22% of the patients included in this study.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vaginal microbicides with activity towards organisms that cause sexually transmitted infections have been proposed as a strategy to reduce transmission. Small-molecule inhibitors of Chlamydia trachomatis serovar D belonging to the class of salicylidene acylhydrazides (INPs) have been shown to work through a mechanism that involves iron restriction. Expanding on this work, ten INPs were tested against a lymphogranuloma venereum strain of C. trachomatis (serovar L2), Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and hydrogen peroxide-producing Lactobacillus crispatus and Lactobacillus jensenii. Seven INPs had minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and minimal bactericidal concentrations of <50 microM towards C. trachomatis L2. Three INPs had a MIC <12.5 microM against N. gonorrhoeae. Inhibition was reversed by iron, holo-transferrin and holo-lactoferrin but not by the iron-poor forms of these compounds. The compounds exhibited no bactericidal activity toward Lactobacillus. The INPs were not cytotoxic to HeLa 229 cells. When INP 0341 was tested in a mouse model of a Chlamydia vaginal infection there was a significant reduction in the number of mice shedding C. trachomatis up to 4 days after infection (P<0.01). In summary, select INPs are promising vaginal microbicide candidates as they inhibit the growth of two common sexually transmitted organisms in vitro, are active in a mouse model against C. trachomatis, are not cytotoxic and do not inhibit organisms that compose the normal vaginal flora.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Type III secretion (T3S) is important for the establishment and maintenance of a chlamydial infection. The genes encoding T3S components in Chlamydia are transcribed as separate temporal classes, but the mechanisms that regulate the timing of their expression are not understood. In this study, we demonstrate that promoters for 10 predicted T3S transcriptional units are each transcribed in vitro by the major form of chlamydial RNA polymerase but not by an alternative form of RNA polymerase containing sigma(28). Since changes in DNA supercoiling during chlamydial development have been proposed as a mechanism for temporal gene regulation, we examined the in vitro response of T3S promoters to altered superhelical density. Promoters for three T3S genes that are upregulated at mid times were activated in response to increased DNA supercoiling. In contrast, promoters for three late T3S genes were not sensitive to changes in superhelical density. This differential response to changes in DNA topology is similar to the pattern that has been reported for representative mid and late chlamydial genes that are unrelated to the T3S system. Based on these results, we propose that the temporal expression of T3S genes in Chlamydia is controlled by general mechanisms that regulate sigma(66)-dependent gene expression during the developmental cycle. Our results are consistent with a model in which T3S genes that are upregulated in mid cycle are activated together with other mid genes in response to increased DNA supercoiling.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A vaccine is likely the most effective strategy for controlling human chlamydial infections. Recent studies have shown immunization with Chlamydia muridarum major outer membrane protein (MOMP) can induce significant protection against infection and disease in mice if its native trimeric structure is preserved (nMOMP). The objective of this study was to investigate the immunogenicity and vaccine efficacy of Chlamydia trachomatis nMOMP in a nonhuman primate trachoma model. Cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) were immunized systemically with nMOMP, and monkeys were challenged ocularly. Immunization induced high serum IgG and IgA ELISA Ab titers, with Abs displaying high strain-specific neutralizing activity. The PBMCs of immunized monkeys produced a broadly cross-reactive, Ag-specific IFN-gamma response equivalent to that induced by experimental infection. Immunized monkeys exhibited a significant decrease in infectious burden during the early peak shedding periods (days 3-14). However, at later time points, they exhibited no difference from control animals in either burden or duration of infection. Immunization had no effect on the progression of ocular disease. These results show that systemically administered nMOMP is highly immunogenic in nonhuman primates and elicits partially protective immunity against ocular chlamydial challenge. This is the first time a subunit vaccine has shown a significant reduction in ocular shedding in nonhuman primates. A partially protective vaccine, particularly one that reduces infectious burden after primary infection of children, could interrupt the natural trachoma reinfection cycle. This would have a beneficial effect on the transmission between children and sensitized adults which drives blinding inflammatory disease.
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA, United States
- • Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
- • Division of General Internal Medicine
Orange County Health Care AgencySanta Ana, California, United States