Cynthia M McMillen

West Virginia University, MGW, West Virginia, United States

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Publications (4)17.56 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) is an inducible cell surface glycoprotein that is expressed on many cell types. Influenza virus infection enhanced ICAM-1 expression and messenger RNA levels. Human bronchial epithelial cells (HBEpC) and nasal epithelial cells, on exposure to different strains of influenza virus (H1N1, H3N2, and H9N1) showed significant increase in ICAM-1 gene expression (p<0.001) along with the ICAM-1 protein levels (surface and secreted). Depleting ICAM-1 in HBEpC with ICAM-1 siRNA and subsequently infecting with H1N1 showed increased viral copy numbers. Influenza virus infection in HBEpC resulted in up-regulation of NF-ĸB protein and the lack of ICAM-1 decreased NF-ĸB activity in NF-ĸB luciferase reporter assay. Addition of exogenous IL-1β to HBEpC induced the ICAM-1 expression and decreased matrix gene copy number. Taken together, HBEpC induced ICAM-1 plays a key role in modulating the influenza virus survival possibly through the NF-ĸB pathway.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Virology
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    ABSTRACT: The role of relative humidity in the aerosol transmission of influenza was examined in a simulated examination room containing coughing and breathing manikins. Nebulized influenza was coughed into the examination room and Bioaerosol samplers collected size-fractionated aerosols (<1 µM, 1-4 µM, and >4 µM aerodynamic diameters) adjacent to the breathing manikin's mouth and also at other locations within the room. At constant temperature, the RH was varied from 7-73% and infectivity was assessed by the viral plaque assay. Total virus collected for 60 minutes retained 70.6-77.3% infectivity at relative humidity ≤23% but only 14.6-22.2% at relative humidity ≥43%. Analysis of the individual aerosol fractions showed a similar loss in infectivity among the fractions. Time interval analysis showed that most of the loss in infectivity within each aerosol fraction occurred 0-15 minutes after coughing. Thereafter, losses in infectivity continued up to 5 hours after coughing, however, the rate of decline at 45% relative humidity was not statistically different than that at 20% regardless of the aerosol fraction analyzed. At low relative humidity, influenza retains maximal infectivity and inactivation of the virus at higher relative humidity occurs rapidly after coughing. Although virus carried on aerosol particles <4 µM have the potential for remaining suspended in air currents longer and traveling further distances than those on larger particles, their rapid inactivation at high humidity tempers this concern. Maintaining indoor relative humidity >40% will significantly reduce the infectivity of aerosolized virus.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: The potential for aerosol transmission of infectious influenza virus (ie, in healthcare facilities) is controversial. We constructed a simulated patient examination room that contained coughing and breathing manikins to determine whether coughed influenza was infectious and assessed the effectiveness of an N95 respirator and surgical mask in blocking transmission. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health aerosol samplers collected size-fractionated aerosols for 60 minutes at the mouth of the breathing manikin, beside the mouth, and at 3 other locations in the room. Total recovered virus was quantitated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and infectivity was determined by the viral plaque assay and an enhanced infectivity assay. Infectious influenza was recovered in all aerosol fractions (5.0% in >4 μm aerodynamic diameter, 75.5% in 1-4 μm, and 19.5% in <1 μm; n = 5). Tightly sealing a mask to the face blocked entry of 94.5% of total virus and 94.8% of infectious virus (n = 3). A tightly sealed respirator blocked 99.8% of total virus and 99.6% of infectious virus (n = 3). A poorly fitted respirator blocked 64.5% of total virus and 66.5% of infectious virus (n = 3). A mask documented to be loosely fitting by a PortaCount fit tester, to simulate how masks are worn by healthcare workers, blocked entry of 68.5% of total virus and 56.6% of infectious virus (n = 2). These results support a role for aerosol transmission and represent the first reported laboratory study of the efficacy of masks and respirators in blocking inhalation of influenza in aerosols. The results indicate that a poorly fitted respirator performs no better than a loosely fitting mask.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Clinical Infectious Diseases
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    Anna K Snyder · Cynthia M McMillen · Peter Wallenhorst · Rita V M Rio
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    ABSTRACT: Phylogenetic analyses of 16S rRNA support close relationships between the Gammaproteobacteria Sodalis glossinidius, a tsetse (Diptera: Glossinidae) symbiont, and bacteria infecting diverse insect orders. To further examine the evolutionary relationships of these Sodalis-like symbionts, phylogenetic trees were constructed for a subset of putative surface-encoding genes (i.e. ompA, spr, slyB, rcsF, ycfM, and ompC). The ompA and ompC loci were used toward examining the intra- and interspecific diversity of Sodalis within tsetse, respectively. Intraspecific analyses of ompA support elevated nonsynonymous (dN) polymorphism with an excess of singletons, indicating diversifying selection, specifically within the tsetse Glossina morsitans. Additionally, interspecific ompC comparisons between Sodalis and Escherichia coli demonstrate deviation from neutrality, with higher fixed dN observed at sites associated with extracellular loops. Surface-encoding genes varied in their phylogenetic resolution of Sodalis and related bacteria, suggesting conserved vs. host-specific roles. Moreover, Sodalis and its close relatives exhibit genetic divergence at the rcsF, ompA, and ompC loci, indicative of initial molecular divergence. The application of outer membrane genes as markers for further delineating the systematics of recently diverged bacteria is discussed. These results increase our understanding of insect symbiont evolution, while also identifying early genome alterations occurring upon integration of microorganisms with eukaryotic hosts.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2011 · FEMS Microbiology Letters

Publication Stats

62 Citations
17.56 Total Impact Points


  • 2011-2013
    • West Virginia University
      • • Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology
      • • Department of Biology
      MGW, West Virginia, United States