Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 28

Search results for: serotypes

28 Determining the Effects of Wind-Aided Midge Movement on the Probability of Coexistence of Multiple Bluetongue Virus Serotypes in Patchy Environments

Authors: Francis Mugabi, Kevin Duffy, Joseph J. Y. T Mugisha, Obiora Collins

Abstract:

Bluetongue virus (BTV) has 27 serotypes, with some of them coexisting in patchy (different) environments, which make its control difficult. Wind-aided midge movement is a known mechanism in the spread of BTV. However, its effects on the probability of coexistence of multiple BTV serotypes are not clear. Deterministic and stochastic models for r BTV serotypes in n discrete patches connected by midge and/or cattle movement are formulated and analyzed. For the deterministic model without midge and cattle movement, using the comparison principle, it is shown that if the patch reproduction number R0 < 1, i=1,2,...,n, j=1,2,...,r, all serotypes go extinct. If R^j_i0>1, competitive exclusion takes place. Using numerical simulations, it is shown that when the n patches are connected by midge movement, coexistence takes place. To account for demographic and movement variability, the deterministic model is transformed into a continuous-time Markov chain stochastic model. Utilizing a multitype branching process, it is shown that the midge movement can have a large effect on the probability of coexistence of multiple BTV serotypes. The probability of coexistence can be brought to zero when the control interventions that directly kill the adult midges are applied. These results indicate the significance of wind-aided midge movement and vector control interventions on the coexistence and control of multiple BTV serotypes in patchy environments.

Keywords: bluetongue virus, coexistence, multiple serotypes, midge movement, branching process

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27 Nasopharyngeal Carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae in Children under 5 Years of Age before Introduction of Pneumococcal Vaccine (PCV 10) in Urban and Rural Sindh

Authors: Muhammad Imran Nisar, Fyezah Jehan, Tauseef Akhund, Sadia Shakoor, Kanwal Nayani, Furqan Kabir, Asad Ali, Anita Zaidi

Abstract:

Pneumococcal Vaccine -10 (PCV 10) was included in the Expanded Program of immunization (EPI) in Sindh, Pakistan in February 2013. This study was carried out immediately before the introduction of PCV 10 to establish baseline pneumococcal carriage and prevalent serotypes in naso-pharynx of children 3-11 months of age in an urban and rural community in Sindh, Pakistan. An additional sample of children aged 12 to 59 months was drawn from the urban community. Nasopharyngeal specimens were collected from a random sample of children. Samples were processed in a central laboratory in Karachi. Pneumococci were cultured on 5% Sheep Blood Agar and serotyping was performed using CDC standardized sequential multiplex PCR assay on bacterial colonies. Serotypes were then categorized into vaccine (PCV-10 and PCV-13) type and non-vaccine types. A total of 670 children were enrolled. Carriage rate for pneumococcus based on culture positivity was 74% and 79.5 % in the infant group in Karachi and Matiari respectively. Carriage rate was 78.2% for children aged 12 to 59 months in Karachi. Proportion of PCV 10 serotypes in infants was 38.8% and 33.5% in Karachi and Matiari respectively. In the older age group in Karachi, the proportion was 30.6%. Most common serotypes were 6A, 6B, 23F, 19A and 18C. This survey establishes vaccine and non-vaccine serotype carriage rate in a vaccine-naïve pediatric population among rural and urban communities in Sindh province. Annually planned surveys in the same communities will inform change in carriage rate after the introduction and uptake of PCV 10 in these communities.

Keywords: Naso-Pharyngeal carriage, Pakistan, PCV10, Pneumococcus

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26 Prevalence and Antibiotic Resistance Patterns of Salmonella from Retail Dressed Chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) in Wet Markets of Cavite, Philippines

Authors: Chester Joshua V. Saldana, Yolanda A. Ilagan

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This study determines the prevalence of Salmonella from retail dressed chickens using chicken wings as samples in five wet city markets of Cavite, Philippines, compares the prevalence among the markets' samples and determines the serotypes and antibiotic resistance pattern of Salmonella isolates. The overall prevalence of Salmonella in five wet markets in Cavite was 13.33 percent. Samples from Bacoor yielded the highest prevalence rate of 26.6 percent, followed by Imus (23.3%), Dasmarinas (11.6%), Trece Martires (3.3%) and Tagaytay (1.6%). Seven serotypes (serogroups B, C2, C3, D1 and E1) were isolated which include Salmonella weltevreden, S. derby, S. newport, S. albany, S. typhimurium, and S. enteritidis. Salmonella weltevreden was the predominant serotype while S. typhi and S. albany were the least common. Among the 15 antibiotics tested, resistance to ampicillin, tetracycline, and cephalexin was exhibited by all the isolates while 5 percent showed resistance to gentamicin, 2.5 percent to streptomycin and 12.5 percent to nitrofurantoin. One isolate was resistant to four antibiotics whereas most isolates of S. enteritidis were resistant to 2 to 5 antibiotics. Four resistance patterns were recorded. This study revealed the emergence of multidrug-resistant Salmonella serotypes from chicken meat in Cavite, Philippines.

Keywords: antibiotics, dressed chickens, resistance patterns, Salmonella serovars

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25 Prevalence and Distribution of Verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (Vtec) Non-O157 Serotypes in Cattle in Abuja, Nigeria

Authors: S. I. Enem, S. I. Oboegbulem

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Objective: The most frequently implicated E. coli serotype causing haemorrhagic colitis and haemorrhagic uraemic syndrome (HUS) is VTEC 0157. However, non-O157 VTEC is now known to be as prevalent as VETC O157 infection (or even more) in most parts of the world. The objective of the study was to establish the occurrence of non-O157 VTEC serotypes in cattle in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria. The level of significance of the infection with sex, age and season were also tested. Methods: The study was carried out in the FCT, Abuja, Nigeria which is located between latitude 8o and 90 25` North of the equator and longitude 60 45` and 7045` East of the Greenwich meridian. The cross sectional epidemiological method and multi-staged sampling technique were used in this study. Samples were collected from the freshly voided faeces of both apparently healthy and diarrhoeic cattle in selected abattoirs and cattle herds. Enriched samples were analyzed bacteriologically and biochemically after which they were characterised using commercially prepared latex agglutination test kits. Results: A total of 718 faecal samples from cattle were analyzed for the presence of VTEC non-O157. Thirty eight (5.23%) were positive for non-O157. There was no significant association (p > 0.05) between sex and infection with non-O157 VTEC in cattle. There was a significant association (P < 0.05) between age and infection with non-O157 VTEC in cattle. Calves were more associated than the adults. There was also a significant association (P < 0.05) between season and infection with non-O157 VTEC in cattle. The dry season was more associated than the wet season. Conclusion: The study established the occurrence and prevalence of non-O157 VTEC in cattle in FCT, Abuja, Nigeria. As a major food animal in Nigeria, infection in cattle provides an epidemiological causal association to the infection in humans. The result showed that warmer seasons (dry season) stimulate the presence of VTEC infection in animals and thus, as a consequence, increases the number of human cases. The prevalence was also higher in younger calves (< 6 months) probably as a result of undeveloped immune system.

Keywords: prevalence, distribution, Verocytotoxigenic escherichia coli (VTEC), non-O157 serotypes, cattle

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24 High Prevalence of Asymptomatic Dengue among Healthy Adults in Southern Malaysia: A Longitudinal Prospective Study

Authors: Nowrozy Jahan, Sharifah Syed Hassan, Daniel Reidpath

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In recent decades, Malaysia has become a dengue hyper-endemic country with the co-circulation of the four-dengue virus (DENV) serotypes. The number of symptomatic dengue cases is maintaining an increasing trend since 1995 and sharply increased in 2014. The four DENV serotypes have been co-circulating since 2000, and this pattern of cyclical dominance of sub-types contributed to the development of frequent major dengue epidemics in Malaysia. Since 2012, different Malaysian state was dominated by different serotypes. The study aims to estimate the burden of asymptomatic dengue in a healthy adult population which may act as a potential source of further symptomatic dengue infection. It also aims to identify the predominant DENV serotypes which are circulating at the community level. A longitudinal prospective community-based study was conducted in the Segamat district of Johor State, southern part of Malaysia where the number of reported dengue cases has steadily increased over the last three years (2013-2015). More specifically, the study was conducted in and around of Kampung Abdullah of Sungai Segamat sub-district which was identified as a hot spot area over the period of 2013-2015. This community-based study has been conducted by Southeast Asia Community Observatory (SEACO), an ISO-certified research platform in collaboration of the Ministry of Health Malaysia and Monash University Malaysia. It was conducted from May 2015 to May 2016. In this study, 277 apparently looking healthy respondents joined who were followed up as a cohort for four times during the one-year study period. Blood was collected to detect the serological marker of dengue at each round of follow-up. Among 277, 184 respondents (66%) joined all four rounds. Half of the study respondents were at the age-group of 45-64 years, slightly more than half of the respondents (59%) were female, and the most (69%) of them were Malay; only 35% lived in urban areas. During the baseline, the study found a very high prevalence of exposure to dengue virus; 89% of the study respondents had serological evidence of previous asymptomatic dengue infection; the majority of them did not know about it as they did not develop any symptom of dengue fever; only 13% knew as they developed symptoms. At the end of the one-year study period, 19% of respondents developed recent secondary dengue infection which was also identified by the serological marker as they did not develop any symptom (asymptomatic cases). The asymptomatic dengue incidence was higher during the rainy season compared to the dry season. All four dengue serotypes were identified in the serum of the infected respondents; among them, DENV-2 was the most prominent. Further genetic analysis is going on to identify the association of HLA-B*46 and HLA-DRB1*08 with dengue resistance. This study provides evidence for the policymakers to be aware of asymptomatic dengue infection, to develop a useful tool for raising awareness about asymptomatic dengue infection among the general population, to monitor the community participation to strengthen the individual and community level dengue prevention and control measures when neither there is vaccine nor particular treatment for dengue.

Keywords: asymptomatic, dengue, health adults, prospective study

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23 Haemoperitoneum in a Case of Dengue Fever

Authors: Sagarjyoti Roy

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Dengue is an arboviral infection, belonging to family flaviviridae, comprising of four serotypes; DENV1, DENV2, DENV3 and DENV4. All four serotypes are capable of causing full-spectrum of clinical features, ranging from self-limiting fever to severe dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS). Complications may affect any organ system, including those involving gastrointestinal system and serositis. We report a case, of a 28 years, non-alcoholic male, presenting with a 7 day history of fever and malaise followed by abdominal pain and distension, from 4th day of fever. He was admitted in medicine department of RG KAR medical college hospital. Dengue fever was confirmed by NS1 and dengue IgM positivity. Platelet count was 30,000/cc (1.5- 4 lac/cc) and haematocrit was 52% (38- 50% for men). Clinicoradiological findings revealed bilateral pleural effusion, ascites and splenomegaly. Ascitic fluid was hemorrhagic in nature, with a high protein and RBC content. Liver function tests revealed mild transaminitis with normal coagulation profile. Patient was managed conservatively. A diagnosis of dengue fever complicated by serositis and spontaneous haemoperitoneum was made. The symptoms subsided after a hospital stay of 10 days. The case highlights haemorrhage into peritoneal cavity as a possible complication of dengue fever. Although a definite explanation requires more detailed studies, platelet or endothelial cell dysfunction might be contributory.

Keywords: ascites, dengue, haemoperitoneum, serositis

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22 Differential Infection of Primary Human B-Cells and EBV Positive B-Lymphoma Cell Lines by Recombinant AAV Serotypes

Authors: Elham Ahmadi, Mehrdad Ravanshad, Joyce Fingeroth, Mazyar Ziyaeyan, Rajesh Panigrahi, Jun Xie, Gao Guangping

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B-cell proliferative disorders often occur among persons that are T-cell compromised. These disorders are primarily EBV+ and can first present with a focal lesion. Direct introduction of oncolytic viruses into localized tumors provides theoretical advantages over chemotherapy and immunotherapy by reducing systemic toxicity, to which the immunocompromised host is most vulnerable. Widely studied as a vehicle for gene therapy, AAV has only rarely been applied to treat cancer. As a prelude to development of a therapeutic vehicle, we assessed the ability of 15 distinct recombinant AAV serotypes (rAAV1, rAAV2, rAAV3b, rAAV4, rAAV5, rAAV6, rAAV6.2, rAAV6TM, rAAV7, rAAV8, rAAVrh8, rAAV9, rAAVrh10, rAAV39, rAAV43) bearing eGFP to infect human B-cell tumor lines compared with primary B-cells in vitro. Enhanced infection of tumor lines by AAV 6.2 was demonstrated by flow cytometry. EBV superinfection of EBV negative B-cell tumor lines increased susceptibility to AAV6.2 infection. As proof of concept, AAV6.2 bearing HSV-1 thymidine kinase in place of eGFP eliminated tumor cells upon exposure to ganciclovir.

Keywords: AAV, gene therapy, lymphoma, malignancy, tropism

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21 Characterization of Shiga Toxin Escherichia coli Recovered from a Beef Processing Facility within Southern Ontario and Comparative Performance of Molecular Diagnostic Platforms

Authors: Jessica C. Bannon, Cleso M. Jordao Jr., Mohammad Melebari, Carlos Leon-Velarde, Roger Johnson, Keith Warriner

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There has been an increased incidence of non-O157 Shiga Toxin Escherichia coli (STEC) with six serotypes (Top 6) being implicated in causing haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Beef has been suggested to be a significant vehicle for non-O157 STEC although conclusive evidence has yet to be obtained. The following aimed to determine the prevalence of the Top 6 non-O157 STEC in beef processing using three different diagnostic platforms then characterize the recovered isolates. Hide, carcass and environmental swab samples (n = 60) were collected from a beef processing facility over a 12 month period. Enriched samples were screened using Biocontrol GDS, BAX or PALLgene molecular diagnostic tests. Presumptive non-O157 STEC positive samples were confirmed using conventional PCR and serology. STEC was detected by GDS (55% positive), BAX (85% positive), and PALLgene (93%). However, during confirmation testing only 8 of the 60 samples (13%) were found to harbour STEC. Interestingly, the presence of virulence factors in the recovered isolates was unstable and readily lost during subsequent sub-culturing. There is a low prevalence of Top 6 non-O157 STEC associated with beef although other serotypes are encountered. Yet, the instability of the virulence factors in recovered strains would question their clinical relevance.

Keywords: beef, food microbiology, shiga toxin, STEC

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20 Comparative Vector Susceptibility for Dengue Virus and Their Co-Infection in A. aegypti and A. albopictus

Authors: Monika Soni, Chandra Bhattacharya, Siraj Ahmed Ahmed, Prafulla Dutta

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Dengue is now a globally important arboviral disease. Extensive vector surveillance has already established A.aegypti as a primary vector, but A.albopictus is now accelerating the situation through gradual adaptation to human surroundings. Global destabilization and gradual climatic shift with rising in temperature have significantly expanded the geographic range of these species These versatile vectors also host Chikungunya, Zika, and yellow fever virus. Biggest challenge faced by endemic countries now is upsurge in co-infection reported with multiple serotypes and virus co-circulation. To foster vector control interventions and mitigate disease burden, there is surge for knowledge on vector susceptibility and viral tolerance in response to multiple infections. To address our understanding on transmission dynamics and reproductive fitness, both the vectors were exposed to single and dual combinations of all four dengue serotypes by artificial feeding and followed up to third generation. Artificial feeding observed significant difference in feeding rate for both the species where A.albopictus was poor artificial feeder (35-50%) compared to A.aegypti (95-97%) Robust sequential screening of viral antigen in mosquitoes was followed by Dengue NS1 ELISA, RT-PCR and Quantitative PCR. To observe viral dissemination in different mosquito tissues Indirect immunofluorescence assay was performed. Result showed that both the vectors were infected initially with all dengue(1-4)serotypes and its co-infection (D1 and D2, D1 and D3, D1 and D4, D2 and D4) combinations. In case of DENV-2 there was significant difference in the peak titer observed at 16th day post infection. But when exposed to dual infections A.aegypti supported all combinations of virus where A.albopictus only continued single infections in successive days. There was a significant negative effect on the fecundity and fertility of both the vectors compared to control (PANOVA < 0.001). In case of dengue 2 infected mosquito, fecundity in parent generation was significantly higher (PBonferroni < 0.001) for A.albopicus compare to A.aegypti but there was a complete loss of fecundity from second to third generation for A.albopictus. It was observed that A.aegypti becomes infected with multiple serotypes frequently even at low viral titres compared to A.albopictus. Possible reason for this could be the presence of wolbachia infection in A.albopictus or mosquito innate immune response, small RNA interference etc. Based on the observations it could be anticipated that transovarial transmission may not be an important phenomenon for clinical disease outcome, due to the absence of viral positivity by third generation. Also, Dengue NS1 ELISA can be used for preliminary viral detection in mosquitoes as more than 90% of the samples were found positive compared to RT-PCR and viral load estimation.

Keywords: co-infection, dengue, reproductive fitness, viral quantification

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19 Serotype Distribution and Demographics of Dengue Patients in a Tertiary Hospital of Lahore, Pakistan During the 2011 Epidemic

Authors: Muhammad Munir, Riffat Mehboob, Samina Naeem, Muhammad Salman, Shehryar Ahmed, Irshad Hussain Qureshi, Tahira Murtaza Cheema, Ashraf Sultan, Akmal Laeeq, Nakhshab Choudhry, Asad Aslam Khan, Fridoon Jawad Ahmad

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A dengue outbreak in Lahore, Pakistan during 2011 was unprecedented in terms of severity and magnitude. This research aims to determine the serotype distribution of dengue virus during this outbreak and classify the patients demographically. 5ml of venous blood was drawn aseptically from 166 patients with dengue-like signs to test for the virus between the months of August to November 2011. The samples were sent to the CDC, Atlanta, Georgia for the purpose of molecular assays to determine their serotype. RT-PCR protocol was performed targeting at the 4 dengue serotypes. Out of 166 cases, dengue infection was detected with RT-PCR in 95 cases, all infected with same serotype DEN-2. 75% of positive cases were males while 25% were females. Most positive patients were in the age range of 16-30 years. 33% positive cases had accompanying bleeding. This is first study during the 2011 dengue epidemic in Lahore that reports DEN-2 as the only prevalent serotype. It also indicates that more infected patients were males, adults, within age range of 16-30 years, peaked in the month of November, Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) is manifested more in females, Ravi town was heavily hit by dengue virus infection.

Keywords: dengue, serotypes, Pakistan, DEN 2, Lahore, demography, serotype distrbution, 2011 epidemic

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18 Molecular Evolutionary Relationships Between O-Antigens of Enteric Bacteria

Authors: Yuriy A. Knirel

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Enteric bacteria Escherichia coli is the predominant facultative anaerobe of the colonic flora, and some specific serotypes are associated with enteritis, hemorrhagic colitis, and hemolytic uremic syndrome. Shigella spp. are human pathogens that cause diarrhea and bacillary dysentery (shigellosis). They are in effect E. coli with a specific mode of pathogenicity. Strains of Salmonella enterica are responsible for a food-borne infection (salmonellosis), and specific serotypes cause typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever. All these bacteria are closely related in respect to structure and genetics of the lipopolysaccharide, including the O-polysaccharide part (O‑antigen). Being exposed to the bacterial cell surface, the O antigen is subject to intense selection by the host immune system and bacteriophages giving rise to diverse O‑antigen forms and providing the basis for typing of bacteria. The O-antigen forms of many bacteria are unique, but some are structurally and genetically related to others. The sequenced O-antigen gene clusters between conserved galF and gnd genes were analyzed taking into account the O-antigen structures established by us and others for all S. enterica and Shigella and most E. coli O-serogroups. Multiple genetic mechanisms of diversification of the O-antigen forms, such as lateral gene transfer and mutations, were elucidated and are summarized in the present paper. They include acquisition or inactivation of genes for sugar synthesis or transfer or recombination of O-antigen gene clusters or their parts. The data obtained contribute to our understanding of the origins of the O‑antigen diversity, shed light on molecular evolutionary relationships between the O-antigens of enteric bacteria, and open a way for studies of the role of gene polymorphism in pathogenicity.

Keywords: enteric bacteria, O-antigen gene cluster, polysaccharide biosynthesis, polysaccharide structure

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17 Molecular Epidemiology of Circulating Adenovirus Types in Acute Conjunctivitis Cases in Chandigarh, North India

Authors: Mini P. Singh, Jagat Ram, Archit Kumar, Tripti Rungta, Jasmine Khurana, Amit Gupta, R. K. Ratho

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Introduction: Human adenovirus is the most common agent involved in viral conjunctivitis. The clinical manifestations vary with different serotypes. The identification of the circulating strains followed by phylogenetic analysis can be helpful in understanding the origin and transmission of the disease. The present study aimed to carry out molecular epidemiology of the adenovirus types in the patients with conjunctivitis presenting to the eye centre of a tertiary care hospital in North India. Materials and Methods: The conjunctival swabs were collected from 23 suspected adenoviral conjunctivitis patients between April-August, 2014 and transported in viral transport media. The samples were subjected to nested PCR targeting hexon gene of human adenovirus. The band size of 956bp was eluted and 8 representative positive samples were subjected to sequencing. The sequences were analyzed by using CLUSTALX2.1 and MEGA 5.1 software. Results: The male: female ratio was found to be 3.6:1. The mean age of presenting patients was 43.95 years (+17.2). Approximately 52.1% (12/23) of patients presented with bilateral involvement while 47.8% (11/23) with unilateral involvement of the eye. Human adenovirus DNA could be detected in 65.2% (15/23) of the patients. The phylogenetic analysis revealed presence of serotype 8 in 7 patients and serotype 4 in one patient. The serotype 8 sequences showed 99-100% identity with Tunisian, Indian and Japanese strains. The adenovirus serotype 4 strains had 100% identity with strains from Tunisia, China and USA. Conclusion: Human adenovirus was found be an important etiological agent for conjunctivitis in our set up. The phylogenetic analysis showed that the predominant circulating strains in our epidemic keratoconjunctivitis were serotypes 8 and 4.

Keywords: conjunctivitis, human adenovirus, molecular epidemiology, phylogenetics

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16 Salmonella Emerging Serotypes in Northwestern Italy: Genetic Characterization by Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis

Authors: Clara Tramuta, Floris Irene, Daniela Manila Bianchi, Monica Pitti, Giulia Federica Cazzaniga, Lucia Decastelli

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This work presents the results obtained by the Regional Reference Centre for Salmonella Typing (CeRTiS) in a retrospective study aimed to investigate, through Pulsed-field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis, the genetic relatedness of emerging Salmonella serotypes of human origin circulating in North-West of Italy. Furthermore, the goal of this work was to create a Regional database to facilitate foodborne outbreak investigation and to monitor them at an earlier stage. A total of 112 strains, isolated from 2016 to 2018 in hospital laboratories, were included in this study. The isolates were previously identified as Salmonella according to standard microbiological techniques and serotyping was performed according to ISO 6579-3 and the Kaufmann-White scheme using O and H antisera (Statens Serum Institut®). All strains were characterized by PFGE: analysis was conducted according to a standardized PulseNet protocol. The restriction enzyme XbaI was used to generate several distinguishable genomic fragments on the agarose gel. PFGE was performed on a CHEF Mapper system, separating large fragments and generating comparable genetic patterns. The agarose gel was then stained with GelRed® and photographed under ultraviolet transillumination. The PFGE patterns obtained from the 112 strains were compared using Bionumerics version 7.6 software with the Dice coefficient with 2% band tolerance and 2% optimization. For each serotype, the data obtained with the PFGE were compared according to the geographical origin and the year in which they were isolated. Salmonella strains were identified as follow: S. Derby n. 34; S. Infantis n. 38; S. Napoli n. 40. All the isolates had appreciable restricted digestion patterns ranging from approximately 40 to 1100 kb. In general, a fairly heterogeneous distribution of pulsotypes has emerged in the different provinces. Cluster analysis indicated high genetic similarity (≥ 83%) among strains of S. Derby (n. 30; 88%), S. Infantis (n. 36; 95%) and S. Napoli (n. 38; 95%) circulating in north-western Italy. The study underlines the genomic similarities shared by the emerging Salmonella strains in Northwest Italy and allowed to create a database to detect outbreaks in an early stage. Therefore, the results confirmed that PFGE is a powerful and discriminatory tool to investigate the genetic relationships among strains in order to monitoring and control Salmonellosis outbreak spread. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) still represents one of the most suitable approaches to characterize strains, in particular for the laboratories for which NGS techniques are not available.

Keywords: emerging Salmonella serotypes, genetic characterization, human strains, PFGE

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15 Fecal Prevalence, Serotype Distribution and Antimicrobial Resistance of Salmonella in Dairy Cattle in Central Ethiopia

Authors: Tadesse Eguale, Ephrem Engdawork, Wondwossen Gebreyes, Dainel Asrat, Hile Alemayehu, John Gunn

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Salmonella is one of the major zoonotic pathogens affecting wide range of vertebrates and humans worldwide. Consumption of contaminated dairy products and contact with dairy cattle represent the common sources of non-typhoidal Salmonella infection in humans. Fecal samples were collected from 132 dairy herds in central Ethiopia and cultured for Salmonella to determine the prevalence, serotype distribution and antimicrobial susceptibility. Salmonella was recovered from the feces of at least one cattle in 10(7.6%) of the dairy farms. Out of 1193 fecal samples 30(2.5%) were positive for Salmonella. Large farm size, detection of diarrhea in one or more animals during sampling and keeping animals completely indoor compared to occasional grazing outside were associated with Salmonella positivity of the farms. Farm level prevalence of Salmonella was significantly higher in young animals below 6 months of age compared to other age groups(X2=10.24; p=0.04). Nine different serotypes were isolated. The four most frequently recovered serotypes were S. Typhimurium (23.3%),S. Saintpaul (20%) and S. Kentucky and S. Virchow (16.7%) each. All isolates were resistant or intermediately resistant to at least one of the 18 drugs tested. Twenty-six (86.7%), 20(66.7%), 18(60%), 16(53.3%) of the isolates were resistant to streptomycin, nitrofurantoin, sulfisoxazole and tetracycline respectively. Resistance to 2 drugs was detected in 93.3% of the isolates. Resistance to 3 or more drugs were detected in 21(70%) of the total isolates while multi-drug resistance (MDR) to 7 or more drugs were detected in 12 (40%) of the isolates. The rate of occurrence of MDR in Salmonella strains isolated from dairy farms in Addis Ababa was significantly higher than those isolated from farms outside of Addis Ababa((p= 0.009). The detection of high MDR in Salmonella isolates originating from dairy farms warrants the need for strict pathogen reduction strategy in dairy cattle and spread of these MDR strains to human population.

Keywords: salmonella, antimicrobial resistance, fecal prevalence

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14 Comparative Functional Analysis of Two Major Sterol-Biosynthesis Regulating Transcription Factors, Hob1 and Sre1, in Pathogenic Cryptococcus Species Complex

Authors: Dong-Gi Lee, Suyeon Cha, Yong-Sun Bahn

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Sterol lipid is essential for cell membrane structure in eukaryotic cells. In mammalian cells, sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBPs) act as principal regulators of cellular cholesterol which is essential for proper cell membrane fluidity and structure. SREBP and sterol regulation are related to levels of cellular oxygen because it is a major substrate for sterol synthesis. Upon cellular sterol and oxygen levels are depleted, SREBP is translocated to the Golgi where it undergoes proteolytic cleavage of N terminus, then it travels to the nucleus to play a role as transcription factor. In yeast cells, synthesis of ergosterol is also highly oxygen consumptive, and Sre1 is a transcription factor known to play a central role in adaptation to growth under low oxygen condition and sterol homeostasis in Cryptococcus neoformans. In this study, we observed phenotypes in other strains of Cryptococcus species by constructing hob1Δ and sre1Δ mutants to confirm whether the functions of both genes are conserved in most serotypes. As a result, hob1Δ showed no noticeable phenotype under treatment of antifungal drugs and most environmental stresses in R265 (C. gattii) and XL280 (C. neoformans), suggesting that Hob1 is related to sterol regulation only in H99 (serotype A). On the other hand, the function of Sre1 was found to be conserved in most serotypes. Furthermore, mating experiment of hob1Δ or sre1Δ showed dramatic defects in serotype A (H99) and D (XL280). It revealed that Hob1 and Sre1 related to mating ability in Cryptococcus species, especially cell fusion efficiency. In conclusion, HOB1 and SRE1 play crucial role in regulating sterol-homeostasis and differentiation in C. neoformans, moreover, Hob1 is specific gene in Cryptococcus neoformans. It suggests that Hob1 is considered as potent factor-targeted new safety antifungal drug.

Keywords: cryptococcus neoformans, Hob1, Sre1, sterol regulatory element binding proteins

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13 Clinical Risk Score for Mortality and Predictors of Severe Disease in Adult Patients with Dengue

Authors: Siddharth Jain, Abhenil Mittal, Surendra Kumar Sharma

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Background: With its recent emergence and re-emergence, dengue has become a major international public health concern, imposing significant financial burden especially in developing countries. Despite aggressive control measures in place, India experienced one of its largest outbreaks in 2015 with Delhi being most severely affected. There is a lack of reliable predictors of disease severity and mortality in dengue. The present study was carried out to identify these predictors during the 2015 outbreak. Methods: This prospective observational study conducted at an apex tertiary care center in Delhi, India included confirmed adult dengue patients admitted between August-November 2015. Patient demographics, clinical details, and laboratory findings were recorded in a predesigned proforma. Appropriate statistical tests were used to summarize and compare the clinical and laboratory characteristics and derive predictors of mortality and severe disease, while developing a clinical risk score for mortality. Serotype analysis was also done for 75 representative samples to identify the dominant serotypes. Results: Data of 369 patients were analyzed (mean age 30.9 years; 67% males). Of these, 198 (54%) patients had dengue fever, 125 (34%) had dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF Grade 1,2)and 46 (12%) developed dengue shock syndrome (DSS). Twenty two (6%) patients died. Late presentation to the hospital (≥5 days after onset) and dyspnoea at rest were identified as independent predictors of severe disease. Age ≥ 24 years, dyspnoea at rest and altered sensorium were identified as independent predictors of mortality. A clinical risk score was developed (12*age + 14*sensorium + 10*dyspnoea) which, if ≥ 22, predicted mortality with a high sensitivity (81.8%) and specificity (79.2%). The predominant serotypes in Delhi (2015) were DENV-2 and DENV-4. Conclusion: Age ≥ 24 years, dyspnoea at rest and altered sensorium were identified as independent predictors of mortality. Platelet counts did not determine the outcome in dengue patients. Timely referral/access to health care is important. Development and use of validated predictors of disease severity and simple clinical risk scores, which can be applied in all healthcare settings, can help minimize mortality and morbidity, especially in resource limited settings.

Keywords: dengue, mortality, predictors, severity

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12 The Incidence of Prostate Cancer in Previous Infected E. Coli Population

Authors: Andreea Molnar, Amalia Ardeljan, Lexi Frankel, Marissa Dallara, Brittany Nagel, Omar Rashid

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Background: Escherichia coli is a gram-negative, facultative anaerobic bacteria that belongs to the family Enterobacteriaceae and resides in the intestinal tracts of individuals. E.Coli has numerous strains grouped into serogroups and serotypes based on differences in antigens in their cell walls (somatic, or “O” antigens) and flagella (“H” antigens). More than 700 serotypes of E. coli have been identified. Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, a few strains, such as E. coli O157:H7 which produces Shiga toxin, can cause intestinal infection with symptoms of severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. Infection with E. Coli can lead to the development of systemic inflammation as the toxin exerts its effects. Chronic inflammation is now known to contribute to cancer development in several organs, including the prostate. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the correlation between E. Coli and the incidence of prostate cancer. Methods: Data collected in this cohort study was provided by a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant national database to evaluate patients infected with E.Coli infection and prostate cancer using the International Classification of Disease (ICD-10 and ICD-9 codes). Permission to use the database was granted by Holy Cross Health, Fort Lauderdale for the purpose of academic research. Data analysis was conducted through the use of standard statistical methods. Results: Between January 2010 and December 2019, the query was analyzed and resulted in 81, 037 patients after matching in both infected and control groups, respectively. The two groups were matched by Age Range and CCI score. The incidence of prostate cancer was 2.07% and 1,680 patients in the E. Coli group compared to 5.19% and 4,206 patients in the control group. The difference was statistically significant by a p-value p<2.2x10-16 with an Odds Ratio of 0.53 and a 95% CI. Based on the specific treatment for E.Coli, the infected group vs control group were matched again with a result of 31,696 patients in each group. 827 out of 31,696 (2.60%) patients with a prior E.coli infection and treated with antibiotics were compared to 1634 out of 31,696 (5.15%) patients with no history of E.coli infection (control) and received antibiotic treatment. Both populations subsequently developed prostate carcinoma. Results remained statistically significant (p<2.2x10-16), Odds Ratio=0.55 (95% CI 0.51-0.59). Conclusion: This retrospective study shows a statistically significant correlation between E.Coli infection and a decreased incidence of prostate cancer. Further evaluation is needed in order to identify the impact of E.Coli infection and prostate cancer development.

Keywords: E. Coli, prostate cancer, protective, microbiology

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11 History and Epidemiology of Foot and Mouth Disease in Afghanistan: A Retrospective Study

Authors: Arash Osmani, Ian Robertson, Ihab Habib, Ahmad Aslami

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Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is endemic in Afghanistan. A retrospective study of data collected through passive surveillance of outbreaks of FMD from 1995 to 2016 was undertaken. A total of 1471 outbreaks were reported between 1995 and 2008. Of 7776 samples originating from 34 provinces tested between 2009 and 2016 4845 (62.3%) tested positive. The prevalence varied significantly between years (2009 and 2016) (P < 0.001); however, the number of outbreaks did not differ significantly (P = 0.24) between 1995 and 2008. During this period, there was a strong correlation between the number of outbreaks reported and the number of districts with infected animals (r = 0.74, P = 0.002). Serotype O was the predominant serotype detected, although serotypes A and Asia1 were also detected. Cattle were involved in all outbreaks reported. Herat province in the north-west (bordering Iran), Nangarhar province in the east (bordering Pakistan) and Kabul province in the centre of the country had infections detected in all years of the study. The findings from this study provide valuable direction for further research to understand the epidemiology of FMD in Afghanistan.

Keywords: foot and mouth disease, retrospective, epidemiology, Afghanistan

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10 Isolation, Characterization and Application of Bacteriophages on the Biocontrol of Listeria monocytogenes in Soft Cheese

Authors: Vinicius Buccelli Ribeiro, Maria Teresa Destro, Mariza Landgraf

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Bacteriophages are one of the most abundant replicating entities on Earth and can be found everywhere in which their hosts live and there are reports regarding isolation from different niches such as soil and foods. Since studies are moving forward with regard to biotechnology area, different research projects are being performed focusing on the phage technology and its use by the food industry. This study aimed to evaluate a cocktail (LP501) of phages isolated in Brazil for its lytic potential against Listeria monocytogenes. Three bacteriophages (LP05, LP12 and LP20) were isolated from soil samples and all of them showed 100% lysis against a panel of 10 L. monocytogenes strains representing different serotypes of this pathogen. A mix of L. monocytogenes 1/2a and 4b were inoculated in soft cheeses (approximately 105 cfu/cm2) with the phage cocktail added thereafter (1 x 109 PFU/cm2). Samples were analyzed immediately and then stored at 10°C for ten days. At 30 min post-infection, the cocktail reduced L. monocytogenes counts approximately 1.5 logs, compared to controls without bacteriophage. The treatment produced a statistically significant decrease in the counts of viable cells (p < 0.05) and in all assays performed we observed a decrease of up to 4 logs of L. monocytogenes. This study will make available to the international community behavioral and molecular data regarding bacteriophages present in soil samples in Brazil. Furthermore, there is the possibility to apply this new cocktail of phages in different food products to combat L. monocytogenes.

Keywords: bacteriophages, biocontrol, listeria monocytogenes, soft cheese

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9 Botulism Clinical Experience and Update

Authors: Kevin Yeo, Christine Hall, Babinchak Tim

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BAT® [Botulism Antitoxin Heptavalent (A,B,C,D,E,F,G)-(Equine)] anti-toxin is a mixture of equine immune globulin fragments indicated for the treatment of symptomatic botulism in adult and pediatric patients. The effectiveness of BAT anti-toxin is based on efficacy studies conducted in animal models. A general explanation of the pivotal animal studies, post market surveillance and outcomes of an observational patient registry for patients treated with BAT product distributed in the USA is briefly discussed. Overall it took 20 animal studies for two well-designed and appropriately powered pivotal efficacy studies – one in which the effectiveness of BAT was assessed against all 7 serotypes in the guinea pig, and the other where efficacy is confirmed in the Rhesus macaque using Serotype A. Clinical Experience for BAT to date involves approximately 600 adult and pediatric patients with suspected botulism. In pre-licensure, patient data was recorded under the US CDC expanded access program (259 adult and pediatric patients between 10 days to 88 years of age). In post licensure, greater than 350 patients to date have received BAT and been followed up by enhanced expanded access program. The analysis of the post market surveillance data provided a unique opportunity to demonstrate clinical benefit in the field study required by the animal rule. While the animal rule is applied because human efficacy studies are not ethical or feasible, a post-marketing requirement is to conduct a study to evaluate safety and clinical benefit when circumstances arise and demonstrate the favourable benefit-risk profile that supported licensure.

Keywords: botulism, threat, clinical benefit, observational patient registry

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8 Positivity of Pathogenic Leptospira in Pigs from Rural Communities on the Coast of Ecuador

Authors: Veronica Barragan, Ligia Luna, Maria Patricia Zambrano, Carlos Bulnes, Eduardo Diaz, Talima Pearson

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Leptospirosis impacts animal production and is responsible for important economic losses in the pig industry. Infection is associated with reproductive failures that lead to abortions, stillbirth, and perinatal mortality. The leptospira serogroups that have been traditionally linked to disease in pigs are Pomona, Australis, and Tarassovi. Unfortunately, knowledge about pig leptospirosis is biased towards infection in large-scale commercial farms from developed countries, where exposure is usually limited to host-specific serotypes. The aim of our study is to describe leptospirosis in pigs from rural communities located in the coast of Ecuador-South America, where leptospirosis is endemic. A particularity of these pigs is that, because they are usually raised in the backyard of their owner’s houses, exposure to other leptospira excreted by other animals is likely to occur. Therefore, we collected 420 kidney samples from pigs sacrificed at a local slaughterhouse, and Leptospira positivity was tested in all samples by amplifying the Lipl32 gen. Our results show pathogenic Leptospira positivity in 19.3% (81/420) of pigs. Microaglutination test was performed in 60 PCR positive samples with titers >1:100 in 17 pigs, titers of 1:50 in 28 pigs, and no MAT titers in 15 pigs even though Leptospira DNA was found in their kidneys. Interestingly, reacting serovars were very diverse, with 18.3% of pig sera reacting with two or more serovars. Additionally, serovar Canicola was found in 16.7% of pigs followed by Tarassovi (10%), Australis (6.7%), Pyogenes (5%), Icterohaemorrhageae (1.7%), and Grippotyphosa (1.7%). It is also important to highlight that most of the analyzed animals came from small-scale farms where pigs may be exposed to the pathogen by exposure to other domestic and peridomestic animals such as rats, dogs, horses, donkeys, and even wildlife. This would explain the finding of non-pig adapted Leptospira serovars such as Canicola, which is commonly reported in dogs.

Keywords: Leptospira, Lipl32, peridomestic, pig, serovar

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7 Molecular Identification and Genotyping of Human Brucella Strains Isolated in Kuwait

Authors: Abu Salim Mustafa

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Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease endemic in Kuwait. Human brucellosis can be caused by several Brucella species with Brucella melitensis causing the most severe and Brucella abortus the least severe disease. Furthermore, relapses are common after successful chemotherapy of patients. The classical biochemical methods of culture and serology for identification of Brucellae provide information about the species and serotypes only. However, to differentiate between relapse and reinfection/epidemiological investigations, the identification of genotypes using molecular methods is essential. In this study, four molecular methods [16S rRNA gene sequencing, real-time PCR, enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC)-PCR and multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA)-16] were evaluated for the identification and typing of 75 strains of Brucella isolated in Kuwait. The 16S rRNA gene sequencing suggested that all the strains were B. melitensis and real-time PCR confirmed their species identity as B. melitensis. The ERIC-PCR band profiles produced a dendrogram of 75 branches suggesting each strain to be of a unique type. The cluster classification, based on ~ 80% similarity, divided all the ERIC genotypes into two clusters, A and B. Cluster A consisted of 9 ERIC genotypes (A1-A9) corresponding to 9 individual strains. Cluster B comprised of 13 ERIC genotypes (B1-B13) with B5 forming the largest cluster of 51 strains. MLVA-16 identified all isolates as B. melitensis and divided them into 71 MLVA-types. The cluster analysis of MLVA-16-types suggested that most of the strains in Kuwait originated from the East Mediterranean Region, a few from the African group and one new genotype closely matched with the West Mediterranean region. In conclusion, this work demonstrates that B. melitensis, the most pathogenic species of Brucella, is prevalent in Kuwait. Furthermore, MLVA-16 is the best molecular method, which can identify the Brucella species and genotypes as well as determine their origin in the global context. Supported by Kuwait University Research Sector grants MI04/15 and SRUL02/13.

Keywords: Brucella, ERIC-PCR, MLVA-16, RT-PCR, 16S rRNA gene sequencing

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6 Health Outcomes from Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella in High-Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Authors: Andrea Parisi, Samantha Vilkins, Luis Furuya-Kanamori, John A. Crump, Benjamin P. Howden, Darren Gray, Kathryn Glass, Martyn Kirk

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Objectives: Salmonella is a leading cause of foodborne enterocolitis worldwide. Nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS) infections that are Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) (non-susceptible to ≥1 agent in ≥3 antimicrobial categories) may result in more severe outcomes, although these effects have not been systematically examined. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine impacts of MDR NTS on health in high-income settings. Methods: We systematically reviewed the literature from scientific databases, including PubMed, Scopus and grey literature sources, using PRISMA guidelines. We searched for data from case-control studies, cohorts, outbreaks, reports and theses, imposing no language restriction. We included only publications from January 1990 to September 2016 from high income countries as classified by World Bank. We extracted data from papers on duration of illness, hospitalisation rates, morbidity and mortality for MDR and non-MDR NTS strains. Results: After removing duplicates, the initial search revealed 4258 articles. After further screening, we identified 16 eligible studies for the systematic review, and 9 of these were included in meta-analysis. NTS serotypes differed among the reported studies but serotype Typhimurium, Enteritidis, Newport and Heidelberg were among the most often reported as MDR pathogens. Salmonella infections that were MDR were associated with excess bloodstream infections (OR 1.63; 95%CI 1.18-2.26), excess hospitalisations (OR 2.77; 95%CI 1.47-5.21) and higher mortality (OR 3.54; 95%CI 1.10-11.40). Conclusions: MDR NTS infections are a serious public health concern. With the emergence of MDR Salmonella strains in the high-income countries, it is crucial to restrict the use of antimicrobials both in animals and humans, and intervene to prevent foodborne infections.

Keywords: Antimicrobial Resistance, Bloodstream Infection, Health Outcomes, Hospitalisation, Invasive Disease, Multi-Drug Resistance (MDR), Mortality, Nontyphoidal Salmonella

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5 Prevalence of Foodborne Pathogens in Pig and Cattle Carcass Samples Collected from Korean Slaughterhouses

Authors: Kichan Lee, Kwang-Ho Choi, Mi-Hye Hwang, Young Min Son, Bang-Hun Hyun, Byeong Yeal Jung

Abstract:

Recently, worldwide food safety authorities have been strengthening food hygiene in order to curb foodborne illness outbreaks. The hygiene status of Korean slaughterhouses has been monitored annually by Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency and provincial governments through foodborne pathogens investigation using slaughtered pig and cattle meats. This study presented the prevalence of food-borne pathogens from 2014 to 2016 in Korean slaughterhouses. Sampling, microbiological examinations, and analysis of results were performed in accordance with ‘Processing Standards and Ingredient Specifications for Livestock Products’. In total, swab samples from 337 pig carcasses (100 samples in 2014, 135 samples in 2015, 102 samples in 2016) and 319 cattle carcasses (100 samples in 2014, 119 samples in 2015, 100 samples in 2016) from twenty slaughterhouses were examined for Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter coli, Salmonella spp., Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens, Yersinia enterocolitica, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and non-O157 enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC, serotypes O26, O45, O103, O104, O111, O121, O128 and O145) as foodborne pathogens. The samples were analyzed using cultural and PCR-based methods. Foodborne pathogens were isolated in 78 (23.1%) out of 337 pig samples. In 2014, S. aureus (n=17) was predominant, followed by Y. enterocolitica (n=7), C. perfringens (n=2) and L. monocytogenes (n=2). In 2015, C. coli (n=14) was the most prevalent, followed by L. monocytogenes (n=4), S. aureus (n=3), and C. perfringens (n=2). In 2016, S. aureus (n=16) was the most prevalent, followed by C. coli (n=13), L. monocytogenes (n=2) and C. perfringens (n=1). In case of cattle carcasses, foodborne bacteria were detected in 41 (12.9%) out of 319 samples. In 2014, S. aureus (n=16) was the most prevalent, followed by Y. enterocolitica (n=3), C. perfringens (n=3) and L. monocytogenes (n=2). In 2015, L. monocytogenes was isolated from 4 samples, S. aureus from three, C. perfringens, Y. enterocolitica and Salmonella spp. from one, respectively. In 2016, L. monocytogenes (n=6) was the most prevalent, followed by C. perfringens (n=3) C. jejuni (n=1), respectively. It was found that 10 carcass samples (4 cattle and 6 pigs) were contaminated with two bacterial pathogen tested. Interestingly, foodborne pathogens were more detected from pig carcasses than cattle carcasses. Although S. aureus was predominantly detected in this study, other foodborne pathogens were also isolated in slaughtered meats. Results of this study alerted the risk of foodborne pathogen infection for humans from slaughtered meats. Therefore, the authors insisted that it was important to enhance hygiene level of slaughterhouses according to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point.

Keywords: carcass, cattle, foodborne, Korea, pathogen, pig

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4 Molecular Characterization of Listeria monocytogenes from Fresh Fish and Fish Products

Authors: Beata Lachtara, Renata Szewczyk, Katarzyna Bielinska, Kinga Wieczorek, Jacek Osek

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Listeria monocytogenes is an important human and animal pathogen that causes foodborne outbreaks. The bacteria may be present in different types of food: cheese, raw vegetables, sliced meat products and vacuum-packed sausages, poultry, meat, fish. The most common method, which has been used for the investigation of genetic diversity of L. monocytogenes, is PFGE. This technique is reliable and reproducible and established as gold standard for typing of L. monocytogenes. The aim of the study was characterization by molecular serotyping and PFGE analysis of L. monocytogenes strains isolated from fresh fish and fish products in Poland. A total of 301 samples, including fresh fish (n = 129) and fish products (n = 172) were, collected between January 2014 and March 2016. The bacteria were detected using the ISO 11290-1 standard method. Molecular serotyping was performed with PCR. The isolates were tested with the PFGE method according to the protocol developed by the European Union Reference Laboratory for L. monocytogenes with some modifications. Based on the PFGE profiles, two dendrograms were generated for strains digested separately with two restriction enzymes: AscI and ApaI. Analysis of the fingerprint profiles was performed using Bionumerics software version 6.6 (Applied Maths, Belgium). The 95% of similarity was applied to differentiate the PFGE pulsotypes. The study revealed that 57 of 301 (18.9%) samples were positive for L. monocytogenes. The bacteria were identified in 29 (50.9%) ready-to-eat fish products and in 28 (49.1%) fresh fish. It was found that 40 (70.2%) strains were of serotype 1/2a, 14 (24.6%) 1/2b, two (4.3%) 4b and one (1.8%) 1/2c. Serotypes 1/2a, 1/2b, and 4b were presented with the same frequency in both categories of food, whereas serotype 1/2c was detected only in fresh fish. The PFGE analysis with AscI demonstrated 43 different pulsotypes; among them 33 (76.7%) were represented by only one strain. The remaining 10 profiles contained more than one isolate. Among them 8 pulsotypes comprised of two L. monocytogenes isolates, one profile of three isolates and one restriction type of 5 strains. In case of ApaI typing, the PFGE analysis showed 27 different pulsotypes including 17 (63.0%) types represented by only one strain. Ten (37.0%) clusters contained more than one strain among which four profiles covered two strains; three had three isolates, one with five strains, one with eight strains and one with ten isolates. It was observed that the isolates assigned to the same PFGE type were usually of the same serotype (1/2a or 1/2b). The majority of the clusters had strains of both sources (fresh fish and fish products) isolated at different time. Most of the strains grouped in one cluster of the AscI restriction was assigned to the same groups in ApaI investigation. In conclusion, PFGE used in the study showed a high genetic diversity among L. monocytogenes. The strains were grouped into varied clonal clusters, which may suggest different sources of contamination. The results demonstrated that 1/2a serotype was the most common among isolates from fresh fish and fish products in Poland.

Keywords: Listeria monocytogenes, molecular characteristic, PFGE, serotyping

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3 Gene Expression Profiling of Iron-Related Genes of Pasteurella multocida Serotype A Strain PMTB2.1

Authors: Shagufta Jabeen, Faez Jesse Firdaus Abdullah, Zunita Zakaria, Nurulfiza Mat Isa, Yung Chie Tan, Wai Yan Yee, Abdul Rahman Omar

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Pasteurella multocida is associated with acute, as well as, chronic infections in avian and bovine such as pasteurellosis and hemorrhagic septicemia (HS) in cattle and buffaloes. Iron is one of the most important nutrients for pathogenic bacteria including Pasteurella and acts as a cofactor or prosthetic group in several essential enzymes and is needed for amino acid, pyrimidine, and DNA biosynthesis. In our recent study, we showed that 2% of Pasteurella multocida serotype A strain PMTB2.1 encode for iron regulating genes (Accession number CP007205.1). Genome sequencing of other Pasteurella multocida serotypes namely PM70 and HB01 also indicated up to 2.5% of the respective genome encode for iron regulating genes, suggesting that Pasteurella multocida genome comprises of multiple systems for iron uptake. Since P. multocida PMTB2.1 has more than 40 CDs out of 2097 CDs (approximately 2%), encode for iron-regulated. The gene expression profiling of four iron-regulating genes namely fbpb, yfea, fece and fur were characterized under iron-restricted environment. The P. multocida strain PMTB2.1 was grown in broth with and without iron chelating agent and samples were collected at different time points. Relative mRNA expression profile of these genes was determined using Taqman probe based real-time PCR assay. The data analysis, normalization with two house-keeping genes and the quantification of fold changes were carried out using Bio-Rad CFX manager software version 3.1. Results of this study reflect that iron reduced environment has significant effect on expression profile of iron regulating genes (p < 0.05) when compared to control (normal broth) and all evaluated genes act differently with response to iron reduction in media. The highest relative fold change of fece gene was observed at early stage of treatment indicating that PMTB2.1 may utilize its periplasmic protein at early stage to acquire iron. Furthermore, down-regulation expression of fece with the elevated expression of other genes at later time points suggests that PMTB2.1 control their iron requirements in response to iron availability by down-regulating the expression of iron proteins. Moreover, significantly high relative fold change (p ≤ 0.05) of fbpb gene is probably associated with the ability of P. multocida to directly use host iron complex such as hem, hemoglobin. In addition, the significant increase (p ≤ 0.05) in fbpb and yfea expressions also reflects the utilization of multiple iron systems in P. multocida strain PMTB2.1. The findings of this study are very much important as relative scarcity of free iron within hosts creates a major barrier to microbial growth inside host and utilization of outer-membrane proteins system in iron acquisition probably occurred at early stage of infection with P. multocida. In conclusion, the presence and utilization of multiple iron system in P. multocida strain PMTB2.1 revealed the importance of iron in the survival of P. multocida.

Keywords: iron-related genes, real-time PCR, gene expression profiling, fold changes

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2 Listeria and Spoilage Inhibition Using Neutralized and Sodium Free Vinegar Powder

Authors: E. Heintz, H. J. van Lent, K. Glass, J. Lim

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The trend for sodium reduction in food products is clear. Following the World Health Organization (WHO) publication on sodium usage and intake, several countries have introduced initiatives to reduce food-related sodium intake. As salt is a common food preservative, this trend motivates the formulation of a suitable additive with comparable benefits of shelf life extension and microbial safety. Organic acid derivatives like acetates are known as generic microbial growth inhibitors and are commonly applied as additives to meet food safety demands. However, modern consumers have negative perceptions towards -synthetic-derived additives and increasingly prefer natural alternatives. Vinegar, for example, is a well-known natural fermentation product used in food preservation. However, the high acidity of vinegar often makes it impractical for direct use in meat products and a neutralized form would be desirable. This research demonstrates the efficacy of powdered vinegar (Provian DV) in inhibiting Listeria and spoilage organisms (LAB) to increase safety and shelf life of meat products. For this, the efficacy of Provian DV was compared to the efficacy of Provian K, a commonly used sodium free acetate-based preservative, which is known for its inhibition against Listeria. Materials & methods— Cured pork hams: Ingredients: Pork ham muscle, water, salt, dextrose, sodium tripolyphosphate, carrageenan, sodium nitrite, sodium erythorbate, and starch. Targets: 73-74% moisture, 1.75+0.1% salt, and pH 6.4+0.1. Treatments: Control (no antimicrobials), Provian®K 0.5% and 0.75%, Provian®DV 0.5%, 0.65%, 0.8% and 1.0%. Meat formulations in casings were cooked reaching an internal temperature of 73.9oC, cooled overnight and stored for 4 days at 4oC until inoculation. Inoculation: Sliced products were inoculated with approximately 3-log per gram of a cocktail of L. monocytogenes (including serotypes 4b, 1/2a and 1/2b) or LAB-cocktail (C. divergens and L. mesenteroides). Inoculated slices were vacuum packaged and stored at 4oC and 7°C. Samples were incubated 28 days (LAB) or 12 weeks (L. monocytogenes) Microbial analysis: Microbial populations were enumerated in rinsate obtained after adding 100ml of sterile Butterfield’s phosphate buffer to each package and massaging the contents externally by hand. L. monocytogenes populations were determined on triplicate samples by surface plating on Modified Oxford agar whereas LAB plate counts were determined on triplicate samples by surface plating on All Purpose Tween agar with 0.4% bromocresol purple. Proximate analysis: Triplicate non-inoculated ground samples were analyzed for the moisture content, pH, aw, salt, and residual nitrite. Results—The results confirmed the no growth of Listeria on cured ham with 0.5% Provian K stored at 4°C and 7°C for 12 weeks, whereas the no-antimicrobial control showed a 1-log increase within two weeks. 0.5% Provian DV demonstrated similar efficacy towards Listeria inhibition at 4°C while 0.65% Provian DV was required to match the Listeria control at 7°C. 0.75% Provian K and 1% Provian DV were needed to show inhibition of the LAB for 4 weeks at both temperatures. Conclusions—This research demonstrated that it is possible to increase safety and shelf life of cured ready-to-eat ham using preservatives that meet current food trends, like sodium reduction and natural origin.

Keywords: food safety, natural preservation, listeria control, shelf life extension

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1 Development of Peptide Inhibitors against Dengue Virus Infection by in Silico Design

Authors: Aussara Panya, Nunghathai Sawasdee, Mutita Junking, Chatchawan Srisawat, Kiattawee Choowongkomon, Pa-Thai Yenchitsomanus

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Dengue virus (DENV) infection is a global public health problem with approximately 100 million infected cases a year. Presently, there is no approved vaccine or effective drug available; therefore, the development of anti-DENV drug is urgently needed. The clinical reports revealing the positive association between the disease severity and viral titer has been reported previously suggesting that the anti-DENV drug therapy can possibly ameliorate the disease severity. Although several anti-DENV agents showed inhibitory activities against DENV infection, to date none of them accomplishes clinical use in the patients. The surface envelope (E) protein of DENV is critical for the viral entry step, which includes attachment and membrane fusion; thus, the blocking of envelope protein is an attractive strategy for anti-DENV drug development. To search the safe anti-DENV agent, this study aimed to search for novel peptide inhibitors to counter DENV infection through the targeting of E protein using a structure-based in silico design. Two selected strategies has been used including to identify the peptide inhibitor which interfere the membrane fusion process whereby the hydrophobic pocket on the E protein was the target, the destabilization of virion structure organization through the disruption of the interaction between the envelope and membrane proteins, respectively. The molecular docking technique has been used in the first strategy to search for the peptide inhibitors that specifically bind to the hydrophobic pocket. The second strategy, the peptide inhibitor has been designed to mimic the ectodomain portion of membrane protein to disrupt the protein-protein interaction. The designed peptides were tested for the effects on cell viability to measure the toxic to peptide to the cells and their inhibitory assay to inhibit the DENV infection in Vero cells. Furthermore, their antiviral effects on viral replication, intracellular protein level and viral production have been observed by using the qPCR, cell-based flavivirus immunodetection and immunofluorescence assay. None of tested peptides showed the significant effect on cell viability. The small peptide inhibitors achieved from molecular docking, Glu-Phe (EF), effectively inhibited DENV infection in cell culture system. Its most potential effect was observed for DENV2 with a half maximal inhibition concentration (IC50) of 96 μM, but it partially inhibited other serotypes. Treatment of EF at 200 µM on infected cells also significantly reduced the viral genome and protein to 83.47% and 84.15%, respectively, corresponding to the reduction of infected cell numbers. An additional approach was carried out by using peptide mimicking membrane (M) protein, namely MLH40. Treatment of MLH40 caused the reduction of foci formation in four individual DENV serotype (DENV1-4) with IC50 of 24-31 μM. Further characterization suggested that the MLH40 specifically blocked viral attachment to host membrane, and treatment with 100 μM could diminish 80% of viral attachment. In summary, targeting the hydrophobic pocket and M-binding site on the E protein by using the peptide inhibitors could inhibit DENV infection. The results provide proof of-concept for the development of antiviral therapeutic peptide inhibitors to counter DENV infection through the use of a structure-based design targeting conserved viral protein.

Keywords: dengue virus, dengue virus infection, drug design, peptide inhibitor

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