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Rxivist combines preprints from bioRxiv with data from Twitter to help you find the papers being discussed in your field. Currently indexing 62,198 bioRxiv papers from 276,129 authors.

Most downloaded bioRxiv papers, all time

in category microbiology

4,864 results found. For more information, click each entry to expand.

1: Isolation of an archaeon at the prokaryote-eukaryote interface
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Posted to bioRxiv 06 Aug 2019

Isolation of an archaeon at the prokaryote-eukaryote interface
17,164 downloads microbiology

Hiroyuki Imachi, Masaru K Nobu, Nozomi Nakahara, Yuki Morono, Miyuki Ogawara, Yoshihiro Takaki, Yoshinori Takano, Katsuyuki Uematsu, Tetsuro Ikuta, Motoo Ito, Yohei Matsui, Masayuki Miyazaki, Kazuyoshi Murata, Yumi Saito, Sanae Sakai, Chihong Song, Eiji Tasumi, Yuko Yamanaka, Takashi Yamaguchi, Yoichi Kamagata, Hideyuki Tamaki, Ken Takai

The origin of eukaryotes remains enigmatic. Current data suggests that eukaryotes may have risen from an archaeal lineage known as "Asgard archaea". Despite the eukaryote-like genomic features found in these archaea, the evolutionary transition from archaea to eukaryotes remains unclear due to the lack of cultured representatives and corresponding physiological insight. Here we report the decade-long isolation of a Lokiarchaeota-related Asgard archaeon from deep marine sediment. The archaeon, " Candidatus Prometheoarchaeum syntrophicum strain MK-D1", is an anaerobic, extremely slow-growing, small cocci (~550 nm), that degrades amino acids through syntrophy. Although eukaryote-like intracellular complexities have been proposed for Asgard archaea, the isolate has no visible organella-like structure. Ca . P. syntrophicum instead displays morphological complexity - unique long, and often, branching protrusions. Based on cultivation and genomics, we propose an "Entangle-Engulf-Enslave (E3) model" for eukaryogenesis through archaea-alphaproteobacteria symbiosis mediated by the physical complexities and metabolic dependency of the hosting archaeon.

2: An Improved Crystal Violet Assay for Biofilm Quantification in 96-Well Microtitre Plate
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Posted to bioRxiv 13 Jan 2017

An Improved Crystal Violet Assay for Biofilm Quantification in 96-Well Microtitre Plate
15,000 downloads microbiology

Sudhir K Shukla, T. Subba Rao

Microplates are essential tools for biofilm research since it allows high throughput screening of biofilm forming strains or in the assay of anti-biofilm drugs. However, 96 well microtitre plate based assays share the issue of 'edge effect'. The primary cause of the 'edge effect' phenomenon is evaporation. As edge effect causes a significant increase in plate rejection rate by introducing experimental error, we improvised the classical crystal violet assay to reduce water loss from the peripheral wells. The improvised method showed a significant reduction in edge effect and minimised error in crystal violet assay

3: Spread of the pandemic Zika virus lineage is associated with NS1 codon usage adaptation in humans
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Posted to bioRxiv 25 Nov 2015

Spread of the pandemic Zika virus lineage is associated with NS1 codon usage adaptation in humans
14,162 downloads microbiology

Caio Cesar de Melo Freire, Atila Iamarino

Zika virus (ZIKV) infections were more common in the zoonotic cycle until the end of the 20th century with few human cases in Africa and Southeastern Asia. Recently, the Asian lineage of ZIKV is spreading along human-to-human chains of transmission in the Pacific Islands and in South America. To better understand its recent urban expansion, we compared genetic differences among the lineages. Herein we show that the recent Asian lineage spread is associated with significant NS1 codon usage adaptation to human housekeeping genes, which could facilitate viral replication and increase viral titers. These findings were supported by a significant correlation with growth in Malthusian fitness. Furthermore, we predicted several epitopes in the NS1 protein that are shared between ZIKV and Dengue. Our results imply in a significant dependence of the recent human ZIKV spread on NS1 translational selection.

4: Gamblers: an Antibiotic-induced Evolvable Cell Subpopulation Differentiated by Reactive-oxygen-induced General Stress Response
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Posted to bioRxiv 11 Dec 2018

Gamblers: an Antibiotic-induced Evolvable Cell Subpopulation Differentiated by Reactive-oxygen-induced General Stress Response
8,212 downloads microbiology

John P Pribis, Libertad García-Villada, Yin Zhai, Ohad Lewin-Epstein, Anthony Wang, Jingjing Liu, Jun Xia, Qian Mei, Devon M Fitzgerald, Julia Bos, Robert Austin, Christophe Herman, David Bates, Lilach Hadany, P.J. Hastings, Susan M Rosenberg

Antibiotics can induce mutations that cause antibiotic resistance. Yet, despite their importance, mechanisms of antibiotic-promoted mutagenesis remain elusive. We report that the fluoroquinolone antibiotic ciprofloxacin (cipro) induces mutations that cause drug resistance by triggering differentiation of a mutant-generating cell subpopulation, using reactive oxygen species (ROS) to signal the sigma-S (σS) general-stress response. Cipro-generated DNA breaks activate the SOS DNA-damage response and error-prone DNA polymerases in all cells. However, mutagenesis is restricted to a cell subpopulation in which electron transfer and SOS induce ROS, which activate the σS response, allowing mutagenesis during DNA-break repair. When sorted, this small σS-response-'on' subpopulation produces most antibiotic cross-resistant mutants. An FDA-approved drug prevents σS induction specifically inhibiting antibiotic-promoted mutagenesis. Furthermore, SOS-inhibited cell division, causing multi-chromosome cells, is required for mutagenesis. The data support a model in which within-cell chromosome cooperation together with development of a 'gambler' cell subpopulation promote resistance evolution without risking most cells.

5: In-field metagenome and 16S rRNA gene amplicon nanopore sequencing robustly characterize glacier microbiota
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Posted to bioRxiv 07 Sep 2016

In-field metagenome and 16S rRNA gene amplicon nanopore sequencing robustly characterize glacier microbiota
7,098 downloads microbiology

Arwyn Edwards, Aliyah R Debbonaire, Samuel M Nicholls, Sara ME Rassner, Birgit Sattler, Joseph M Cook, Tom Davy, André Soares, Luis AJ Mur, Andrew J Hodson

In the field of observation, chance favours only the prepared mind (Pasteur). Impressive developments in genomics have led microbiology to its third Golden Age. However, conventional metagenomics strategies necessitate retrograde transfer of samples from extreme or remote environments for later analysis, rendering the powerful insights gained retrospective in nature, striking a contrast with Pasteur's dictum. Here we implement highly portable USB-based nanopore DNA sequencing platforms coupled with field-adapted environmental DNA extraction, rapid sequence library generation and off-line analyses of shotgun metagenome and 16S ribosomal RNA gene amplicon profiles to characterize microbiota dwelling within cryoconite holes upon Svalbard glaciers, the Greenland Ice Sheet and the Austrian Alps. We show in-field nanopore sequencing of metagenomes captures taxonomic composition of supraglacial microbiota, while 16S rRNA Furthermore, comparison of nanopore data with prior 16S rRNA gene V1-V3 pyrosequencing from the same samples, demonstrates strong correlations between profiles obtained from nanopore sequencing and laboratory based sequencing approaches. 16S gene amplicon sequencing resolves bacterial community responses to habitat changes. Finally, we demonstrate the fidelity and sensitivity of in-field sequencing by analysis of mock communities using field protocols. Ultimately, in-field sequencing potentiated by nanopore devices raises the prospect of enhanced agility in exploring Earth's most remote microbiomes.

6: Time-kill curve analysis and pharmacodynamic functions for in vitro evaluation of antimicrobials against Neisseria gonorrhoeae
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Posted to bioRxiv 06 Oct 2015

Time-kill curve analysis and pharmacodynamic functions for in vitro evaluation of antimicrobials against Neisseria gonorrhoeae
6,268 downloads microbiology

Sunniva Foerster, Magnus Unemo, Lucy J Hathaway, Nicola Low, Christian L Althaus

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Resistance to first-line empirical monotherapy has emerged, so robust methods are needed to appropriately evaluate the activity of existing and novel antimicrobials against the bacterium. Pharmacodynamic functions, which describe the relationship between the concentration of antimicrobials and the bacterial net growth rate, provide more detailed information than the MIC only. In this study, a novel standardized in vitro time-kill curve assay was developed. The assay was validated using five World Health Organization N. gonorrhoeae reference strains and various concentrations of ciprofloxacin, and then the activity of nine antimicrobials with different target mechanisms were examined against a highly susceptible clinical wild type isolate (cultured in 1964). From the time-kill curves, the bacterial net growth rates at each antimicrobial concentration were estimated. Finally, a pharmacodynamic function was fitted to the data, resulting in four parameters that describe the pharmacodynamic properties of each antimicrobial. Ciprofloxacin resistance determinants shifted the pharmacodynamic MIC (zMIC) and attenuated the bactericidal effect at antimicrobial concentrations above the zMIC. Ciprofloxacin, spectinomycin and gentamicin had the strongest bactericidal effect during the first six hours of the assay. Only tetracycline and chloramphenicol showed a purely bacteriostatic effect. The pharmacodynamic functions differed between antimicrobials, showing that the effect of the drugs at concentrations below and above the MIC vary widely. In conclusion, N. gonorrhoeae time-kill curve experiments analyzed with pharmacodynamic functions have potential for in vitro evaluation of new and existing antimicrobials and dosing strategies to treat gonorrhea.

7: A proposal for a standardized bacterial taxonomy based on genome phylogeny
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Posted to bioRxiv 30 Jan 2018

A proposal for a standardized bacterial taxonomy based on genome phylogeny
6,135 downloads microbiology

Donovan H Parks, Maria Chuvochina, David W Waite, Christian Rinke, Adam Skarshewski, Pierre-Alain Chaumeil, Philip Hugenholtz

Taxonomy is a fundamental organizing principle of biology, which ideally should be based on evolutionary relationships. Microbial taxonomy has been greatly restricted by the inability to obtain most microorganisms in pure culture and, to a lesser degree, the historical use of phenotypic properties as the basis for classification. However, we are now at the point of obtaining genome sequences broadly representative of microbial diversity by using culture-independent techniques, which provide the opportunity to develop a comprehensive genome-based taxonomy. Here we propose a standardized bacterial taxonomy based on a concatenated protein phylogeny that conservatively removes polyphyletic groups and normalizes ranks based on relative evolutionary divergence. From 94,759 bacterial genomes, 99 phyla are described including six major normalized monophyletic units from the subdivision of the Proteobacteria, and amalgamation of the Candidate Phyla Radiation into the single phylum Patescibacteria. In total, 73% of taxa had one or more changes to their existing taxonomy.

8: Evaluation of Oxford Nanopore MinION Sequencing for 16S rRNA Microbiome Characterization
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Posted to bioRxiv 12 Jan 2017

Evaluation of Oxford Nanopore MinION Sequencing for 16S rRNA Microbiome Characterization
5,651 downloads microbiology

Xiao Ma, Elyse Stachler, Kyle Bibby

In this manuscript we evaluate the potential for microbiome characterization by sequencing of near-full length 16S rRNA gene region fragments using the Oxford Nanopore MinION (hereafter Nanopore) sequencing platform. We analyzed pure-culture E. coli and P. fluorescens, as well as a low-diversity mixed community sample from hydraulic fracturing produced water. Both closed and open reference operational taxonomic unit (OTU) picking failed, necessitating the direct use of sequences without OTU picking. The Ribosomal Database Project classifier against the Green Genes database was found to be the optimal annotation approach, with average pure-culture annotation accuracies of 93.8% and 82.0% at the phyla and genus levels, respectively. Comparative analysis of an environmental sample using Nanopore and Illumina MiSeq sequencing identified high taxonomic similarity when using a weighted metric (Bray-Curtis), and significantly reduced similarity when using an unweighted metric (Jaccard). These results highlight the great potential of Nanopore sequencing to analyze broad microbial community trends, and the challenge of applying Nanopore sequencing to discern rare taxa in mixed microbial communities. Finally, we observed that between-run carryover following washes on the same flowcell accounted for >10% of sequence reads, necessitating future development to either prevent carryover or filter sequences of interest (e.g. barcoding).

9: First detection of Zika virus in neotropical primates in Brazil: a possible new reservoir.
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Posted to bioRxiv 20 Apr 2016

First detection of Zika virus in neotropical primates in Brazil: a possible new reservoir.
5,407 downloads microbiology

Silvana Favoretto, Danielle Araújo, Danielle Oliveira, Nayle Duarte, Flavio Mesquita, Paolo Zanotto, Edison Durigon

Samples from sera and oral swabs from fifteen marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) and nine capuchin-monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus) captured in Ceara State in Brazil were tested for Zika virus. Samples were positive by Real time PCR and sequencing of the amplified product from a capuchin monkey showed 100% similarity to other ZIKV from South America. This is the first report on ZIKV detection among Neotropical primates.

10: NanoAmpli-Seq: A workflow for amplicon sequencing for mixed microbial communities on the nanopore sequencing platform
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Posted to bioRxiv 07 Jan 2018

NanoAmpli-Seq: A workflow for amplicon sequencing for mixed microbial communities on the nanopore sequencing platform
4,677 downloads microbiology

Szymon T Calus, Umer Zeeshan Ijaz, Ameet J Pinto

Background: Amplicon sequencing on Illumina sequencing platforms leverages their deep sequencing and multiplexing capacity, but is limited in genetic resolution due to short read lengths. While Oxford Nanopore or Pacific Biosciences platforms overcome this limitation, their application has been limited due to higher error rates or smaller data output. Results: In this study, we introduce an amplicon sequencing workflow, i.e., NanoAmpli-Seq, that builds on Intramolecular-ligated Nanopore Consensus Sequencing (INC-Seq) approach and demonstrate its application for full-length 16S rRNA gene sequencing. NanoAmpli-Seq includes vital improvements to the aforementioned protocol that reduces sample-processing time while significantly improving sequence accuracy. The developed protocol includes chopSeq software for fragmentation and read orientation correction of INC-Seq consensus reads while nanoClust algorithm was designed for read partitioning-based de novo clustering and within cluster consensus calling to obtain full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences. Conclusions: NanoAmpli-Seq accurately estimates the diversity of tested mock communities with average sequence accuracy of 99.5% for 2D and 1D2 sequencing on the nanopore sequencing platform. Nearly all residual errors in NanoAmpli-Seq sequences originate from deletions in homopolymer regions, indicating that homopolymer aware basecalling or error correction may allow for sequencing accuracy comparable to short-read sequencing platforms.

11: A 16S rRNA gene sequencing and analysis protocol for the Illumina MiniSeq platform
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Posted to bioRxiv 02 Dec 2017

A 16S rRNA gene sequencing and analysis protocol for the Illumina MiniSeq platform
4,626 downloads microbiology

Monica Pichler, Ömer K. Coskun, Ana Sofia Ortega, Nicola Conci, Gert Wörheide, Sergio Vargas, William D. Orsi

High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene is widely used in microbial ecology, with Illumina platforms being widely used in recent studies. The MiniSeq, Illumina's latest benchtop sequencer, enables more cost-efficient DNA sequencing relative to larger sequencing platforms (e.g. MiSeq). Here we used a modified custom primer sequencing approach to test the fidelity of the MiniSeq for high-throughput sequencing of the V4 hypervariable region of 16S rRNA genes from complex communities in environmental samples. To this end, we designed an additional sequencing primer that enabled application of a dual-index barcoding method on the MiniSeq. A mock community was sequenced alongside the environmental samples as a quality control benchmark. After careful filtering procedures, we were able to recapture a realistic richness of the mock community, and identify meaningful differences in alpha and beta diversity in the environmental samples. These results show that the MiniSeq can produce similar quantities of high quality V4 reads compared to the MiSeq, yet is a cost-effective option for any laboratory interested in performing high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing.

12: Rapid Diagnosis of Lower Respiratory Infection using Nanopore-based Clinical Metagenomics
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Posted to bioRxiv 09 Aug 2018

Rapid Diagnosis of Lower Respiratory Infection using Nanopore-based Clinical Metagenomics
4,620 downloads microbiology

Themoula Charalampous, Hollian Richardson, Gemma L. Kay, Rossella Baldan, Christopher Jeanes, Duncan Rae, Sara Grundy, Daniel J Turner, John Wain, Richard M. Leggett, David M Livermore, Justin O’Grady

Lower respiratory infections (LRIs) accounted for three million deaths worldwide in 2016, the leading infectious cause of mortality. The 'gold standard' for investigation of bacterial LRIs is culture, which has poor sensitivity and is too slow to guide early antibiotic therapy. Metagenomic sequencing potentially could replace culture, providing rapid, sensitive and comprehensive results. We developed a metagenomics pipeline for the investigation of bacterial LRIs using saponin-based host DNA depletion combined with rapid nanopore sequencing. The first iteration of the pipeline was tested on respiratory samples from 40 patients. It was then refined to reduce turnaround and increase sensitivity, before testing a further 41 samples. The refined method was 96.6% concordant with culture for detection of pathogens and could accurately detect resistance genes with a turnaround time of six hours. This study demonstrates that nanopore metagenomics can rapidly and accurately characterise bacterial LRIs when combined with efficient human DNA depletion.

13: Rarefaction, alpha diversity, and statistics
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Posted to bioRxiv 11 Dec 2017

Rarefaction, alpha diversity, and statistics
4,177 downloads microbiology

Amy Willis

Understanding the drivers of microbial diversity is a fundamental question in microbial ecology. Extensive literature discusses different methods for describing microbial diversity and documenting its effects on ecosystem function. However, it is widely believed that diversity depends on the number of reads that are sequenced. I discuss a statistical perspective on diversity, framing the diversity of an environment as an unknown parameter, and discussing the bias and variance of plug-in and rarefied estimates. I argue that by failing to account for both bias and variance, we invalidate analysis of alpha diversity. I describe the state of the statistical literature for addressing these problems, and suggest that measurement error modeling can address issues with variance, but bias corrections need to be utilized as well. I encourage microbial ecologists to avoid motivating their investigations with alpha diversity analyses that do not use valid statistical methodology.

14: Enumeration of coliform bacteria and characterization of Escherichia coli isolated from Staff Club swimming pool in Ile-Ife, Nigeria
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Posted to bioRxiv 15 Apr 2015

Enumeration of coliform bacteria and characterization of Escherichia coli isolated from Staff Club swimming pool in Ile-Ife, Nigeria
4,154 downloads microbiology

Tolutope Oluseyi Akeju

Water recreation, though increasing globally, is strongly associated with infectious diseases. Unexpectedly, artificial water recreation systems e.g. swimming pools account for 90% of these outbreaks. It is therefore essential that pool waters be regularly monitored for deviations from microbial water quality guidelines. To assess the sanitary quality of a club swimming pool in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, I used the multiple-tube fermentation technique to determine the most probable number (MPN) of coliform bacteria in 100 ml of pool water. MPN estimates ranged from 9 to 93 with geometric mean of 38. Escherichia coli was isolated from positive presumptive tubes, indicating recent faecal contamination. The isolate elicited similar biochemical reactions as reference E. coli (ATCC-25922), except that it utilized sucrose and liquefied gelatin, which probably indicates potential pathogenicity. Also, the E. coli isolate was resistant to 13 antibiotics from 9 different classes. Finally, coliform counts and detection of E. coli clearly violates international guidelines. I recommend that pool operators increase water disinfection efficiency and educate the public on the need for improved swimmer hygiene to reduce the risk of recreational water illness transmission.

15: High-throughput amplicon sequencing of the full-length 16S rRNA gene with single-nucleotide resolution
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Posted to bioRxiv 15 Aug 2018

High-throughput amplicon sequencing of the full-length 16S rRNA gene with single-nucleotide resolution
3,459 downloads microbiology

Benjamin J Callahan, Joan Wong, Cheryl Heiner, Steve Oh, Casey M. Theriot, Ajay S Gulati, Sarah K McGill, Michael K Dougherty

Targeted PCR amplification and high-throughput sequencing (amplicon sequencing) of 16S rRNA gene fragments is widely used to profile microbial communities. New sequencing technologies produce long reads that can span the entire 16S rRNA gene, but have substantially higher error rates that have limited their attractiveness when accuracy is important. Here we present a high-throughput amplicon sequencing methodology based on PacBio circular consensus sequencing and the DADA2 sample inference method that measures the full-length 16S rRNA gene with single-nucleotide resolution and a near-zero error rate. In two artificial mixtures of known bacterial strains our method recovered the full complement of full-length 16S sequence variants from expected community members, without residual errors. The measured abundances of intra-genomic sequence variants were in the integral ratios expected from the genuine allelic variants within a genome. E. coli strains in the mock communities were correctly classified to the O157:H7 and K12 sub-species clades from the 16S gene sequences recovered by our method. In human fecal samples, our method recovered the full complement of 16S rRNA gene variants in detected E. coli strains and showed strong technical replication. We discuss the promises and challenges of of classification based on the full complement of multi-copy marker genes such as the 16S rRNA gene. There are likely many applications beyond microbial profiling for which high-throughput amplicon sequencing of complete genes with single-nucleotide resolution will be of use.

16: Transcriptome analysis in whole blood reveals increased microbial diversity in schizophrenia
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Posted to bioRxiv 07 Jun 2016

Transcriptome analysis in whole blood reveals increased microbial diversity in schizophrenia
3,364 downloads microbiology

Loes M Olde Loohuis, Serghei Mangul, Anil P.S. Ori, Guillaume Jospin, David Koslicki, Harry Taegyun Yang, Timothy Wu, Marco P. Boks, Catherine Lomen-Hoerth, Martina Wiedau-Pazos, Rita M Cantor, Willem M de Vos, René S. Kahn, Eleazar Eskin, Roel A. Ophoff

The role of the human microbiome in health and disease is increasingly appreciated. We studied the composition of microbial communities present in blood across 192 individuals, including healthy controls and patients with three disorders affecting the brain: schizophrenia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and bipolar disorder. By using high-quality unmapped RNA sequencing reads as candidate microbial reads, we performed profiling of microbial transcripts detected in whole blood. We were able to detect a wide range of bacterial and archaeal phyla in blood. Interestingly, we observed an increased microbial diversity in schizophrenia patients compared to the three other groups. We replicated this finding in an independent schizophrenia case-control cohort. This increased diversity is inversely correlated with estimated cell abundance of a subpopulation of CD8+ memory T cells in healthy controls, supporting a link between microbial products found in blood, immunity, and schizophrenia.

17: Clades of huge phage from across Earth's ecosystems
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Posted to bioRxiv 11 Mar 2019

Clades of huge phage from across Earth's ecosystems
3,215 downloads microbiology

Basem Al-Shayeb, Rohan Sachdeva, Lin-Xing Chen, Fred Ward, Patrick Munk, Audra Devoto, Cindy J Castelle, Matthew R Olm, Keith Bouma-Gregson, Yuki Amano, Christine He, Raphael Meheust, Brandon Brooks, Alex Thomas, Adi Lavy, Paula Matheus-Carnevali, Christine Sun, Daniela S. A. Goltsman, Mikayla A Borton, Tara C Nelson, Rose Kantor, Alexander L. Jaffe, Ray Keren, Ibrahim F Farag, Shufei Lei, Kari Finstad, Ronald Amundson, Karthik Anantharaman, Jinglie Zhou, Alexander J Probst, Mary E Power, Susannah G Tringe, Wen-Jun Li, Kelly Wrighton, Sue Harrison, Michael Morowitz, David A. Relman, Jennifer A Doudna, Anne-Catherine Lehours, Lesley Warren, Jamie H D Cate, Joanne M Santini, Jill F Banfield

Phage typically have small genomes and depend on their bacterial hosts for replication. DNA sequenced from many diverse ecosystems revealed hundreds of huge phage genomes, between 200 kbp and 716 kbp in length. Thirty-four genomes were manually curated to completion, including the largest phage genomes yet reported. Expanded genetic repertoires include diverse and new CRISPR-Cas systems, tRNAs, tRNA synthetases, tRNA modification enzymes, translation initiation and elongation factors, and ribosomal proteins. Phage CRISPR-Cas systems have the capacity to silence host transcription factors and translational genes, potentially as part of a larger interaction network that intercepts translation to redirect biosynthesis to phage-encoded functions. In addition, some phage may repurpose bacterial CRISPR-Cas systems to eliminate competing phage. We phylogenetically define major clades of huge phage from human and other animal microbiomes, oceans, lakes, sediments, soils and the built environment. We conclude that their large gene inventories reflect a conserved biological strategy, observed over a broad bacterial host range and across Earth's ecosystems.

18: Chloroquine inhibits Zika Virus infection in different cellular models
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Posted to bioRxiv 02 May 2016

Chloroquine inhibits Zika Virus infection in different cellular models
3,149 downloads microbiology

Rodrigo Delvecchio, Luiza M Higa, Paula Pezzuto, Ana Luiza Valadão, Patrícia P Garcez, Fábio L. Monteiro, Erick C Loiola, Stevens Rehen, Loraine Campanati, Renato Santana de Aguiar, Amilcar Tanuri

Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in utero might lead to microcephaly and other congenital defects. In adults, cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome and meningoencephalitis associated with ZIKV infection have been reported, but to date, no specific therapy is available. There is an urgency for the discovery of antiviral agents capable of inhibiting viral replication and its deleterious effects. Chloroquine is widely used as an antimalarial drug and anti-inflammatory agent that also shows antiviral activity against several viruses. Here we show that chloroquine exhibits antiviral activity against ZIKV in VERO, human brain microvascular endothelial, and neural stem cells. We demonstrated in vitro that chloroquine reduces the number of ZIKV-infected cells, virus production and cell death promoted by ZIKV infection without cytotoxic effects. Our results suggest that chloroquine is a promising candidate for ZIKV clinical trials, since it is already approved for clinical use and can be safely administered to pregnant woman.

19: The structure of the influenza A virus genome
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Posted to bioRxiv 21 Dec 2017

The structure of the influenza A virus genome
3,138 downloads microbiology

Bernadeta Dadonaite, Egle Barilaite, Ervin Fodor, Alain Laederach, David LV Bauer

Influenza A viruses (IAVs) are segmented single-stranded negative sense RNA viruses that constitute a major threat to human health. The IAV genome consists of eight RNA segments contained in separate viral ribonucleoprotein complexes (vRNPs) that are packaged together into a single virus particle. While IAVs are generally considered to have an unstructured single-stranded genome, it has also been suggested that secondary RNA structures are required for selective packaging of the eight vRNPs into each virus particle. Here, we employ high-throughput sequencing approaches to map both the intra and intersegment RNA interactions inside influenza virions. Our data demonstrate that a redundant network of RNA-RNA interactions is required for vRNP packaging and virus growth. Furthermore, the data demonstrate that IAVs have a much more structured genome than previously thought and the redundancy of RNA interactions between the different vRNPs explains how IAVs maintain the potential for reassortment between different strains, while also retaining packaging selectivity. Our study establishes a framework towards further work into IAV RNA structure and vRNP packaging, which will lead to better models for predicting the emergence of new pandemic influenza strains and will facilitate the development of antivirals specifically targeting genome assembly.

20: Increasing tolerance of hospital Enterococcus faecium to hand-wash alcohols
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Posted to bioRxiv 16 May 2016

Increasing tolerance of hospital Enterococcus faecium to hand-wash alcohols
3,068 downloads microbiology

Sacha J. Pidot, Wei Gao, Andrew H Buultjens, Ian R. Monk, Romain Guerillot, Glen P Carter, Jean Y.H. Lee, Margaret M. C. Lam, M. Lindsay Grayson, Susan A. Ballard, Andrew A. Mahony, Elizabeth A. Grabsch, Despina Kotsanas, Tony M. Korman, Geoffrey W. Coombs, J. Owen Robinson, Anders Gonçalves da Silva, Torsten Seemann, Benjamin P. Howden, Paul D. R. Johnson, Timothy P. Stinear

Alcohol-based hand rubs are international pillars of hospital infection control, restricting transmission of pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus. Despite this success, health care infections caused by Enterococcus faecium (Efm) - another multidrug resistant pathogen - are increasing. We tested alcohol tolerance of 139 hospital Efm isolates, obtained between 1997 and 2015 and found Efm post-2010 were 10-fold more tolerant to alcohol killing than older isolates. Using a mouse infection control model, we then showed that alcohol tolerant Efm resisted standard 70% isopropanol surface disinfection and led to gastrointestinal colonization significantly more often than alcohol sensitive Efm. We next looked for bacterial genomic signatures of adaptation. Tolerant Efm have independently accumulated mutations modifying genes involved in carbohydrate uptake and metabolism. Mutagenesis confirmed their roles in isopropanol tolerance. These findings suggest bacterial adaptation and complicate infection control recommendations. Additional policies and procedures to prevent Efm spread are required.

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