Development of a Quantitative PCR Assay for Differentiating the Agent of Heartwater Disease, Ehrlichia ruminantium, from the Panola Mountain Ehrlichia.
Author information: Sayler KA1,2, Loftis AD3, Mahan SM4,5, Barbet AF4.
1Department of Physiological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org.
2Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA. email@example.com.
3Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Midwestern University, Glendale, AZ, USA.
4Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
5Zoetis, Kalamazoo, MI, USA.
Journal: Transboundary and Emerging Diseases
Date of e-pub: December 2016
Abstract: Panola Mountain Ehrlichia (PME) is an emerging Ehrlichia sp. reported in ten US states. Based on the sequence homology of all known genes, PME is closely related to Ehrlichia ruminantium (ER), the causative agent of heartwater. Heartwater is an economically important tick-borne disease of cattle, sheep and goats responsible for stock losses in sub-Saharan Africa. Unfortunately, ER was imported to the Caribbean islands in the 19th century, and the presence of this foreign animal disease in the Caribbean poses a threat to the US mainland. If introduced, a heartwater outbreak would cause massive losses of naïve livestock. The serologic assay of choice to diagnose heartwater is cross-reactive with Ehrlichia spp., including PME, as we demonstrate here, which would confound disease surveillance in the event of a heartwater outbreak. The purpose of this study was to develop a diagnostic assay capable of rapidly distinguishing between these pathogens. Using synthetic MAP-1B peptides for ER and PME, we tested the cross-reactivity of this assay using sera from infected livestock. The MAP-1B ELISA cannot distinguish between animals infected with PME and ER. Therefore, a dual-plex Taqman™ qPCR assay targeting the groEL gene of PME and ER was developed and validated. Primers were designed that are conserved among all known strains of ER, allowing for the amplification of strains from the Caribbean and Africa. The assay is highly sensitive (10 copies of DNA) and specific. This assay distinguishes between infection with PME and ER and will be a valuable tool in the event of heartwater outbreak on the US mainland, or for epidemiological studies involving either disease-causing organism.
Distributions, abundances and activities of microbes associated with the nitrogen cycle in riparian and stream sediments of a river tributary.
Author information: Kim H1, Bae HS2, Reddy KR1, Ogram A1.
1Department of Soil and Water Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611 FL, USA.
2Department of Soil and Water Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611 FL, USA. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Journal: Water Research
Date of e-pub: December 2016
Abstract: River tributaries are ecologically important environments that function as sinks of inorganic nitrogen. To gain greater insight into the nitrogen cycle (N-cycle) in these environments, the distributions and activities of microbial populations involved in the N-cycle were studied in riparian and stream sediments of the Santa Fe River (SFR) tributaries located in northern Florida, USA. Riparian sediments were characterized by much higher organic matter content, and extracellular enzyme activities, including cellobiohydrolase, β-d-glucosidase, and phenol oxidase than stream sediments. Compared with stream sediments, riparian sediments exhibited significantly higher activities of nitrification, denitrification, dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonia (DNRA) and anaerobic ammonia oxidation; correspondingly, with higher copies of amoA (a biomarker for enumerating nitrifiers), nirS and nirK (for denitrifiers), and nrfA (for DNRA bacteria). Among N-cycle processes, denitrification showed the highest activities and the highest concentrations of the corresponding gene (nirK and nirS) copy numbers. In riparian sediments, substantial nitrification activities (6.3 mg-N kg soil-1d-1 average) and numbers of amoA copies (7.3 × 107 copies g soil-1average) were observed, and nitrification rates correlate with denitrification rates. The guild structures of denitrifiers and nitrifiers in riparian sediments differed significantly from those found in stream sediments, as revealed by analysis of nirS and archaeal amoA sequences. This study shows that riparian sediments serve as sinks for inorganic nitrogen loads from non-point sources of agricultural runoff, with nitrification and denitrification associated with elevated levels of carbon and nitrogen contents and extracellular enzyme activities.
Arsenic and phosphate rock impacted the abundance and diversity of bacterial arsenic oxidase and reductase genes in rhizosphere of As-hyperaccumulator Pteris vittata.
Author information: Han YH1, Fu JW1, Xiang P1, Cao Y1, Rathinasabapathi B2, Chen Y3, Ma LQ4.
Journal: Journal of Hazardous Materials
Date of e-pub: January 2017
Abstract: Microbially-mediated arsenic (As) transformation in soils affects As speciation and plant uptake. However, little is known about the impacts of As on bacterial communities and their functional genes in the rhizosphere of As-hyperaccumulator Pteris vittata. In this study, arsenite (AsIII) oxidase genes (aroA-like) and arsenate (AsV) reductase genes (arsC) were amplified from three soils, which were amended with 50mgkg-1As and/or 1.5% phosphate rock (PR) and grew P. vittata for 90 d. The aroA-like genes in the rhizosphere were 50 times more abundant than arsC genes, consistent with the dominance of AsV in soils. According to functional gene alignment, most bacteria belonged to α-, β- and γ-Proteobacteria. Moreover, aroA-like genes showed a higher biodiversity than arsC genes based on clone library analysis and could be grouped into nine clusters based on terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis. Besides, AsV amendment elevated aroA-like gene diversity, but decreased arsC gene diversity. Redundancy analysis indicated that soil pH, available Ca and P, and AsV concentration were key factors driving diverse compositions in aroA-like gene community. This work identified new opportunities to screen for As-oxidizing and/or -reducing bacteria to aid phytoremediation of As-contaminated soils.
Author information: Su X1, Kang PB2, Russell JA3, Simmons Z4.
Journal: Muscle & Nerve
Date of e-pub: December 2016
Abstract: Genetic testing is rapidly becoming an increasingly significant part of the diagnostic armamentarium of neuromuscular clinicians. Although technically easy to order, the results of such testing, whether positive or negative, have potentially enormous consequences for the individual tested and for family members. As a result, ethical considerations must be in the forefront of the physician’s agenda when obtaining genetic testing. Informed consent is an important starting point for discussions between physicians and patients, but the counseling embedded in the informed consent process must be an ongoing part of subsequent interactions, including return of results and follow-up. Patient autonomy, including the right to know and right not-to-know results, must be respected. Considerations of capacity, physician beneficence and nonmaleficence, and privacy all play roles in the process. Muscle Nerve 54: 997-1006, 2016.
Author information: Kumar G1, Denslow ND2.
Journal: Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Date of e-pub: 2017
Abstract: In this review, we present an overview of transcriptomic responses to chemical exposures in a variety of fish species. We have discussed the use of several molecular approaches such as northern blotting, differential display reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (DDRT-PCR), suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH), real time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), microarrays, and next-generation sequencing (NGS) for measuring gene expression. These techniques have been mainly used to measure the toxic effects of single compounds or simple mixtures in laboratory conditions. In addition, only few studies have been conducted to examine the biological significance of differentially expressed gene sets following chemical exposure. Therefore, future studies should focus more under field conditions using a multidisciplinary approach (genomics, proteomics and metabolomics) to understand the synergetic effects of multiple environmental stressors and to determine the functional significance of differentially expressed genes. Nevertheless, recent developments in NGS technologies and decreasing costs of sequencing holds the promise to uncover the complexity of anthropogenic impacts and biological effects in wild fish populations.
Inspiratory muscle conditioning exercise and diaphragm gene therapy in Pompe disease: Clinical evidence of respiratory plasticity.
Author information: Smith BK1, Martin AD2, Lawson LA3, Vernot V4, Marcus J5, Islam S6, Shafi N7, Corti M3, Collins SW3, Byrne BJ3.
Journal: Experimental Neurology
Date of e-pub: January 2017
Abstract: Pompe disease is an inherited disorder due to a mutation in the gene that encodes acid α-glucosidase (GAA). Children with infantile-onset Pompe disease develop progressive hypotonic weakness and cardiopulmonary insufficiency that may eventually require mechanical ventilation (MV). Our team conducted a first in human trial of diaphragmatic gene therapy (AAV1-CMV-GAA) to treat respiratory neural dysfunction in infantile-onset Pompe. Subjects (aged 2-15years, full-time MV: n=5, partial/no MV: n=4) underwent a period of preoperative inspiratory muscle conditioning exercise. The change in respiratory function after exercise alone was compared to the change in function after intramuscular delivery of AAV1-CMV-GAA to the diaphragm with continued exercise. Since AAV-mediated gene therapy can reach phrenic motoneurons via retrograde transduction, we hypothesized that AAV1-CMV-GAA would improve dynamic respiratory motor function to a greater degree than exercise alone. Dependent measures were maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP), respiratory responses to inspiratory threshold loads (load compensation: LC), and physical evidence of diaphragm activity (descent on MRI, EMG activity). Exercise alone did not change function. After AAV1-CMV-GAA, MIP was unchanged. Flow and volume LC responses increased after dosing (p<0.05 to p<0.005), but only in the subjects with partial/no MV use. Changes in LC tended to occur on or after 180days. At Day 180, the four subjects with MRI evidence of diaphragm descent had greater maximal voluntary ventilation (p<0.05) and tended to be younger, stronger, and use fewer hours of daily MV. In conclusion, combined AAV1-CMV-GAA and exercise training conferred benefits to dynamic motor function of the diaphragm. Children with a higher baseline neuromuscular function may have greater potential for functional gains.
Altered metabolite accumulation in tomato fruits by coexpressing a feedback-insensitive AroG and the PhODO1 MYB-type transcription factor.
Author information: Xie Q1,2, Liu Z3, Meir S2, Rogachev I2, Aharoni A2, Klee HJ3, Galili G2.
Journal: Plant Biotechnology Journal
Date of e-pub: December 2016
Abstract: Targeted manipulation of phenylalanine (Phe) synthesis is a potentially powerful strategy to boost biologically and economically important metabolites, including phenylpropanoids, aromatic volatiles and other specialized plant metabolites. Here, we use two transgenes to significantly increase the levels of aromatic amino acids, tomato flavour-associated volatiles and antioxidant phenylpropanoids. Overexpression of the petunia MYB transcript factor, ODORANT1 (ODO1), combined with expression of a feedback-insensitive E. coli 3-deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonate 7-phosphate synthase (AroG), altered the levels of multiple primary and secondary metabolites in tomato fruit, boosting levels of multiple secondary metabolites. Our results indicate that coexpression of AroG and ODO1 has a dual effect on Phe and related biosynthetic pathways: (i) positively impacting tyrosine (Tyr) and antioxidant related metabolites, including ones derived from coumaric acid and ferulic acid; (ii) negatively impacting other downstream secondary metabolites of the Phe pathway, including kaempferol-, naringenin- and quercetin-derived metabolites, as well as aromatic volatiles. The metabolite profiles were distinct from those obtained with either single transgene. In addition to providing fruits that are increased in flavour and nutritional chemicals, coexpression of the two genes provides insights into regulation of branches of phenylpropanoid metabolic pathways.
Author information: Miller D1, Tallmadge RL1, Binns M2, Zhu B3, Mohamoud YA4, Ahmed A4, Brooks SA5, Antczak DF6.
Date of e-pub: November 2016
Abstract: The polymorphism of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II DQ and DR genes in five common equine leukocyte antigen (ELA) haplotypes was determined through sequencing of mRNA transcripts isolated from lymphocytes of eight ELA homozygous horses. Ten expressed MHC class II genes were detected in horses of the ELA-A3 haplotype carried by the donor horses of the equine bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library and the reference genome sequence: four DR genes and six DQ genes. The other four ELA haplotypes contained at least eight expressed polymorphic MHC class II loci. Next generation sequencing (NGS) of genomic DNA of these four MHC haplotypes revealed stop codons in the DQA3 gene in the ELA-A2, ELA-A5, and ELA-A9 haplotypes. Few NGS reads were obtained for the other MHC class II genes that were not amplified in these horses. The amino acid sequences across haplotypes contained locus-specific residues, and the locus clusters produced by phylogenetic analysis were well supported. The MHC class II alleles within the five tested haplotypes were largely non-overlapping between haplotypes. The complement of equine MHC class II DQ and DR genes appears to be well conserved between haplotypes, in contrast to the recently described variation in class I gene loci between equine MHC haplotypes. The identification of allelic series of equine MHC class II loci will aid comparative studies of mammalian MHC conservation and evolution and may also help to interpret associations between the equine MHC class II region and diseases of the horse.
Author information: Cavallari LH1, Obeng AO2.
Date of e-pub: January 2017
Abstract: There is significant interpatient variability in clopidogrel effectiveness, which is due in part to cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2C19 genotype. Approximately 30% of individuals carry CYP2C19 loss-of-function alleles, which have been consistently shown to reduce clopidogrel effectiveness after an acute coronary syndrome and percutaneous coronary intervention. Guidelines recommend consideration of prasugrel or ticagrelor in these patients. A clinical trial examining outcomes with CYP2C19 genotype-guided antiplatelet therapy is ongoing. In the meantime, based on the evidence available to date, several institutions have started clinically implementing CYP2C19 genotyping to assist with antiplatelet selection after percutaneous coronary intervention.
Author information: Cavallari LH1, Lee CR2,3, Duarte JD4,5, Nutescu EA6,5, Weitzel KW7, Stouffer GA8, Johnson JA7.
Abstract: The operational elements essential for establishing an inpatient pharmacogenetic service are reviewed, and the role of the pharmacist in the provision of genotype-guided drug therapy in pharmacogenetics programs at three institutions is highlighted. Pharmacists are well positioned to assume important roles in facilitating the clinical use of genetic information to optimize drug therapy given their expertise in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics. Pharmacists have assumed important roles in implementing inpatient pharmacogenetics programs. This includes programs designed to incorporate genetic test results to optimize antiplatelet drug selection after percutaneous coronary intervention and personalize warfarin dosing. Pharmacist involvement occurs on many levels, including championing and leading pharmacogenetics implementation efforts, establishing clinical processes to support genotype-guided therapy, assisting the clinical staff with interpreting genetic test results and applying them to prescribing decisions, and educating other healthcare providers and patients on genomic medicine. The three inpatient pharmacogenetics programs described use reactive versus preemptive genotyping, the most feasible approach under the current third-party payment structure. All three sites also follow Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium guidelines for drug therapy recommendations based on genetic test results. With the clinical emergence of pharmacogenetics into the inpatient setting, it is important that pharmacists caring for hospitalized patients are well prepared to serve as experts in interpreting and applying genetic test results to guide drug therapy decisions. Since genetic test results may not be available until after patient discharge, pharmacists practicing in the ambulatory care setting should also be prepared to assist with genotype-guided drug therapy as part of transitions in care.
Vitamin D status in youth with type 1 and type 2 diabetes enrolled in the Pediatric Diabetes Consortium (PDC) is not worse than in youth without diabetes.
Author information: Wood JR1, Connor CG2, Cheng P2, Ruedy KJ3, Tamborlane WV4, Klingensmith G5, Schatz D6, Gregg B7, Cengiz E4, Willi S8, Bacha F9, Beck RW2; Pediatric Diabetes Consortium.
Date of e-pub: December 2016
Abstract: To describe vitamin D levels and prevalence of vitamin D sufficiency, insufficiency and deficiency in a large, ethnically/racially diverse population of youth with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) in comparison to national data and examine the associations between clinical/demographic factors and vitamin D levels. 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25OHD) levels were measured in 215 youth with T1D and 326 youth with T2D enrolled in the Pediatric Diabetes Consortium (PDC). These levels were compared with those of youth of the same age without diabetes from the 2005-2006 NHANES Survey. Vitamin D deficiency (<21 ng/mL) was present in 36% of PDC participants, and insufficiency (21-29 ng/mL) was present in an additional 34%. About 36% of age-matched youth in the NHANES Survey were vitamin D deficient and an additional 41% were insufficient. Deficiency or insufficiency varied by race/ethnicity, being highest in African-Americans (86%), intermediate in Hispanics (77%), and lowest in non-Hispanic whites (47%). Lower 25OHD levels were observed in African-American and Hispanic youth, during fall and winter, and at sites in the northern United States (all p-values < 0.001). Youth with T2D had significantly lower 25OHD levels than youth with T1D (p < 0.001), but this difference was largely eliminated after adjusting for race/ethnicity and socio-economic status. Vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency is present in a substantial proportion of youth with diabetes, particularly minorities, but the prevalence appears similar to that in youth without diabetes. Further studies are needed to examine whether youth with diabetes would benefit from vitamin D supplementation.
Author information: Siqueira LG1,2, Hansen PJ3.
Date of e-pub: December 2016
Abstract: We tested whether gene expression of the bovine morula is modified by CSF2 in a sex-dependent manner and if sex determines the effect of CSF2 on competence of embryos to become blastocysts. Embryos were produced in vitro using X- or Y-sorted semen and treated at Day 5 of culture with 10 ng/mL bovine CSF2 or control. In experiment 1, morulae were collected at Day 6 and biological replicates (n = 8) were evaluated for transcript abundance of 90 genes by RT-qPCR using the Fluidigm Delta Gene assay. Expression of more than one-third (33 of 90) of genes examined was affected by sex. The effect of CSF2 on gene expression was modified by sex (P < 0.05) for five genes (DDX3Y/DDX3X-like, NANOG, MYF6, POU5F1 and RIPK3) and tended (P < 0.10) to be modified by sex for five other genes (DAPK1, HOXA5, PPP2R3A, PTEN and TNFSF8). In experiment 2, embryos were treated at Day 5 with control or CSF2 and blastocysts were collected at Day 7 for immunolabeling to determine the number of inner cell mass (ICM) and trophectoderm (TE) cells. CSF2 increased the percent of putative zygotes that became blastocysts for females, but did not affect the development of males. There was no effect of CSF2 or interaction of CSF2 with sex on the total number of blastomeres in blastocysts or in the number of inner cell mass or trophectoderm cells. In conclusion, CSF2 exerted divergent responses on gene expression and development of female and male embryos. These results are evidence of sexually dimorphic responses of the preimplantation embryo to this embryokine.
Aging amplifies multiple phenotypic defects in mice with zinc transporter Zip14 (Slc39a14) deletion.
Author information: Aydemir TB1, Troche C1, Kim J1, Kim MH1, Teran OY1, Leeuwenburgh C2, Cousins RJ3.
Date of e-pub: December 2016
Abstract: Inflammation and zinc dyshomeostasis are two common hallmarks of aging. A major zinc transporter ZIP14 (slc39a14) is upregulated by proinflammatory stimuli, e.g. interleukin-6. We have evaluated the influence of age on the Zip14 KO phenotype using wild-type (WT) and Zip14 knockout (KO) mice. Aging produced a major increase in serum IL-6 concentrations that was dramatically augmented in the Zip14 KO mice. In keeping with enhanced serum IL-6 concentrations, aging produced tissue-specific increases in zinc concentration of skeletal muscle and white adipose tissue. Metabolic endotoxemia produced by Zip14 ablation is maintained in aged KO mice. Muscle non-heme iron (NHI) was increased in aged WT mice but not in aged Zip14 KO mice demonstrating NHI uptake by muscle is ZIP14-dependent and increases with age. NF-κB and STAT3 activation was greater in aged mice, but was tissue specific and inversely related to tissue zinc. Micro-CT analysis revealed that Zip14 KO mice had markedly reduced trabecular bone that was greatly amplified with aging. These results demonstrate that the inflammation-responsive zinc transporter ZIP14 has phenotypic effects that are amplified with aging.
Effectiveness of Ledipasvir-Sofosbuvir Combination in Patients With Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Factors Associated With Sustained Virologic Response.
Author information: Terrault NA1, Zeuzem S2, Di Bisceglie AM3, Lim JK4, Pockros PJ5, Frazier LM6, Kuo A7, Lok AS8, Shiffman ML9, Ben Ari Z10, Akushevich L11, Vainorius M11, Sulkowski MS12, Fried MW11, Nelson DR13; HCV-TARGET Study Group.
Date of e-pub: December 2016
Abstract: The combination of ledipasvir and sofosbuvir has been approved for treatment of genotype 1 hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, including an 8-week regimen for treatment-naïve patients without cirrhosis and a baseline level of HCV RNA <6 million IU/mL. We analyzed data from a multicenter, prospective, observational study to determine real-world sustained virologic responses 12 weeks after treatment (SVR12) with regimens containing ledipasvir and sofosbuvir and identify factors associated with treatment failure. We collected data from 2099 participants in the HCV-TARGET study with complete virologic data (per-protocol population). We analyzed data from 1788 patients receiving ledipasvir-sofosbuvir (282 for 8 weeks, 910 for 12 weeks, 510 for 24 weeks, and 86 for a different duration) and 311 receiving ledipasvir-sofosbuvir plus ribavirin (212 for 12 weeks and 81 for 24 weeks, 18 for other duration) to estimate SVR12 (with 95% confidence interval [CI]), and logistic regression methods to identify factors that predicted an SVR12. The overall study population was 25% black, 66% with HCV genotype 1A infection, 41% with cirrhosis, 50% treatment-experienced, and 30% receiving proton pump inhibitors at start of treatment. In the per-protocol population, SVR12s were achieved by 96% of patients receiving ledipasvir-sofosbuvir for 8 weeks (95% CI, 93%-98%), 97% receiving the drugs for 12 weeks (95% CI, 96%-98%), and 95% receiving the drugs for 24 weeks (95% CI, 93%-97%). Among patients also receiving ribavirin, SVR12 was achieved by 97% of the patients receiving the drugs for 12 weeks (95% CI, 94%-99%) and 95% receiving the drugs for 24 weeks (95% CI, 88%-99%). Of the 586 patients who qualified for 8 weeks of treatment, only 255 (44%) received the drugs for 8 weeks. The rate of SVR12 among those who qualified for and received 8 weeks of therapy was similar in those who qualified for 8 weeks but received 12 weeks therapy (96%; 95% CI, 92%-99% vs 98%; 95% CI, 95%-99%). Factors that predicted SVR12 were higher albumin (≥3.5 g/dL), lower total bilirubin (≤1.2 g/dL), absence of cirrhosis, and absence of proton pump inhibitor use. Regimens containing ledipasvir and sofosbuvir are highly effective for a broad spectrum of patients with HCV genotype 1 infection treated in different clinical practice settings. Expanded use of 8-week treatment regimens for eligible patients is supported by these real-world results. Modification of proton pump inhibitor use may increase rates of SVR. ClinicalTrials.gov no. NCT01474811.
NOTE: These abstracts were retrieved from the U.S. National Library of Medicine website managed in collaboration with the U.S. National Library of Medicine