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Current Protocols in Microbiology

Felipe H Santiago-Tirado, Robyn S Klein, Tamara L Doering
Cryptococcus neoformans is an environmental yeast found worldwide that causes lethal brain infections, particularly in immunocompromised hosts. In 2016, there were 280,000 cases of cryptococcal meningitis in the HIV+ population, two-thirds of them fatal; other immunocompromised patients are also affected. The burden of cryptococcal disease and the limits of current chemotherapy create a pressing need for improved treatment. One hindrance to the development of new therapies is lack of understanding of how this pathogen breaches the barriers protecting the brain...
February 18, 2019: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Corey Frazer, Aaron D Hernday, Richard J Bennett
Candida albicans is an opportunistic human fungal pathogen that is able to cause both mucosal and systemic infections. It is also a frequent human commensal, where it is typically found inhabiting multiple niches including the gastrointestinal tract. One of the most remarkable features of C. albicans biology is its ability to undergo heritable and reversible switching between different phenotypic states, a phenomenon known as phenotypic switching. This is best exemplified by the white-opaque switch, in which cells undergo epigenetic transitions between two alternative cellular states...
February 12, 2019: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Lyne Jossé, Alexander J Bones, Tracey Purton, Martin Michaelis, Anastasios D Tsaousis
Cryptosporidium is a genus of ubiquitous unicellular parasites belonging to the phylum Apicomplexa. Cryptosporidium species are the second largest cause of childhood diarrhea and are associated with increased morbidity. Accompanying this is the low availability of treatment and lack of vaccines. The major barrier to developing effective treatment is the lack of reliable in vitro culture methods. Recently, our lab has successfully cultivated C. parvum in the esophageal cancer-derived cell line COLO-680N, and has been able to maintain infection for several weeks...
February 8, 2019: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Chris Kay, Lori Peacock, Wendy Gibson
Trypanosoma congolense, together with T. vivax and T. brucei, causes African animal trypanosomiasis (AAT), or nagana, a livestock disease carried by bloodsucking tsetse flies in sub-Saharan Africa. These parasitic protists cycle between two hosts: mammal and tsetse fly. The environment offered by each host to the trypanosome is markedly different, and hence the metabolism of stages found in the mammal differs from that of insect stages. For research on new diagnostics and therapeutics, it is appropriate to use the mammalian life cycle stage, bloodstream forms...
February 1, 2019: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Sheng Sun, Shelby J Priest, Joseph Heitman
The Cryptococcus pathogenic species complex is a group of opportunistic human fungal pathogens that cause cryptococcal meningoencephalitis, an infection associated with unacceptably high mortality rates. The public health relevance of these pathogens has galvanized extensive research over the past several decades and led to characterization of their sexual cycles. This research has allowed several Cryptococcus species to develop into model fungal organisms for both pathogenesis and basic science studies. Many of these studies require observation of the meiotic process and its associated mating structures as well as generation of meiotic progeny with novel phenotypes and genotypes...
January 20, 2019: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Nicolas Fernandez, Christopher M Waters
Bacterial biofilms are notorious for their deleterious effects on human health and industrial biofouling. Key processes in biofilm formation are regulated by the second messenger signal cyclic dimeric guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP); accumulation of c-di-GMP promotes biofilm formation, while lowering c-di-GMP promotes motility. Complex networks of modular enzymes are involved in regulating c-di-GMP homeostasis. Understanding how these enzymes function in bacterial cells can help enlighten how bacteria use environmental cues to modulate c-di-GMP and cell physiology...
November 29, 2018: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Bing Han, Magali Moretto, Louis M Weiss
Microsporidia are eukaryotic unicellular parasites that have been studied for more than 150 years. They are found throughout the world and are capable of infecting various invertebrate and vertebrate hosts. They can cause disease in both immune-compromised and immune-competent humans. In immune-compromised individuals, infections can be severe and often fatal. Microsporidia possess a unique, highly specialized invasion mechanism that involves a structure known as the polar tube as well as the spore wall. During spore germination, the polar tube rapidly discharges from the spore and deliver the sporoplasm into the host cell...
November 16, 2018: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Andrew B Janowski, David Wang
Astrovirus VA1/HMO-C (VA1) is the representative genotype of mamastrovirus 9, a species of the single-stranded, positive-sense RNA viral family, Astroviridae. Astroviruses have been traditionally considered pathogens of the gastrointestinal tract but they have been recently associated with neurological diseases in humans, cattle, mink, sheep, and pigs. VA1 is the astrovirus genotype most commonly identified from human cases of meningoencephalitis and has been recently propagated in cell culture. VA1 can now be used as a model system to study pathogenesis of the neurological diseases associated with astrovirus infection...
November 16, 2018: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Patrick Videau, Loralyn M Cozy
Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 is a multicellular, filamentous, freshwater cyanobacterium that is capable of differentiating specialized heterocyst cells for nitrogen fixation. This unit includes protocols for the growth and maintenance of Anabaena appropriate for a research or teaching laboratory. Controlled induction and assessment of heterocyst development is also covered. © 2018 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
November 6, 2018: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Geeta Chaudhri, Georgina Kaladimou, Pratikshya Pandey, Gunasegaran Karupiah
Ectromelia virus (ECTV) is an orthopoxvirus that causes mousepox in mice. Members of the genus orthopoxvirus are closely related and include variola (the causative agent of smallpox in humans), monkeypox, and vaccinia. Common features of variola virus and ECTV further include a restricted host range and similar disease progression in their respective hosts. Mousepox makes an excellent small animal model for smallpox to investigate pathogenesis, vaccine and antiviral agent testing, host-virus interactions, and immune and inflammatory responses...
November 2018: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Kelly M King, Koenraad Van Doorslaer
Phylogenetic analyses allow for inferring a hypothesis about the evolutionary history of a set of homologous molecular sequences. This hypothesis can be used as the basis for further molecular and computational studies. In this unit, we offer one specific method to construct a Maximum Likelihood phylogenetic tree. We outline how to identify homologous sequences and construct a multiple sequence alignment. Following alignment, sequences are screened for potentially confounding factors such as recombination and genetic saturation...
November 2018: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Elizabeth M Anderson, Frank Maldarelli
HIV persists, despite effective antiretroviral therapy, in long-lived cells, posing a major barrier toward a cure. A key step in the HIV replication cycle and a hallmark of the Retroviridae family is the integration of the viral DNA into the host genome. Once integrated, HIV expression is regulated by host machinery and the provirus persists until the cell dies. A reservoir of cells harboring replication-competent proviruses can survive for years, and mechanisms that maintain that reservoir are under investigation...
November 2018: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Catherine J Redmond, Haiqing Fu, Mirit I Aladjem, Alison A McBride
Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are frequently integrated in HPV-associated cancers. HPV genomes can be integrated in three patterns: A single integrated HPV genome (type I), multiple, tandemly integrated HPV genomes (type II), and multiple, tandemly integrated HPV genomes interspersed with host DNA (type III). Analysis of the organization of type II and type III integration sites is complicated by their repetitive nature, as sequences of individual repeats are difficult to distinguish from each other. This article presents a method for directly visualizing HPV integration sites using molecular combing combined with fluorescent in situ hybridization, also known as fiber-FISH...
November 2018: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Brittni R Kelley, J Christopher Ellis, Doug Hyatt, Dan Jacobson, Jeremiah Johnson
As a leading cause of bacterial-derived gastroenteritis worldwide, Campylobacter has a significant impact on human health. In the developed world, most campylobacteriosis cases are attributed to the consumption of undercooked, contaminated poultry; however, it has been shown that Campylobacter can be transmitted to humans through contaminated water and other types of food, including beef and milk. As such, high-resolution microbial source-tracking is essential for health department officials to determine the source(s) of Campylobacter outbreaks...
October 25, 2018: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Robert T Todd, Ann L Braverman, Anna Selmecki
Ploidy, the number of sets of homologous chromosomes in a cell, can alter cellular physiology, gene regulation, and the spectrum of acquired mutations. Advances in single-cell flow cytometry have greatly improved the understanding of how genome size contributes to diverse biological processes including speciation, adaptation, pathogenesis, and tumorigenesis. For example, fungal pathogens can undergo whole genome duplications during infection of the human host and during acquisition of antifungal drug resistance...
August 2018: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Kwang-Woo Jung, Kyung-Tae Lee, Yee-Seul So, Yong-Sun Bahn
Cryptococcus neoformans is an opportunistic fungal pathogen, which causes life-threatening meningoencephalitis in immunocompromised individuals and is responsible for more than 1,000,000 infections and 600,000 deaths annually worldwide. Nevertheless, anti-cryptococcal therapeutic options are limited, mainly because of the similarity between fungal and human cellular structures. Owing to advances in genetic and molecular techniques and bioinformatics in the past decade, C. neoformans, belonging to the phylum basidiomycota, is now a major pathogenic fungal model system...
August 2018: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Megha Gulati, Matthew B Lohse, Craig L Ennis, Ruth E Gonzalez, Austin M Perry, Priyanka Bapat, Ashley Valle Arevalo, Diana L Rodriguez, Clarissa J Nobile
Candida albicans is a normal member of the human microbiota that asymptomatically colonizes healthy individuals, however it is also an opportunistic pathogen that can cause severe infections, especially in immunocompromised individuals. The medical impact of C. albicans depends, in part, on its ability to form biofilms, communities of adhered cells encased in an extracellular matrix. Biofilms can form on both biotic and abiotic surfaces, such as tissues and implanted medical devices. Once formed, biofilms are highly resistant to antifungal agents and the host immune system, and can act as a protected reservoir to seed disseminated infections...
August 2018: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Benjamin J Koestler, Cara M Ward, Shelley M Payne
Shigella is an enteroinvasive human pathogen that infects the colonic epithelium and causes Shigellosis, an infectious diarrheal disease. There is no vaccine for the prevention or treatment of Shigellosis and antibiotic-resistant strains of Shigella are increasing, emphasizing the need for a deeper understanding of Shigella pathogenesis in order to design effective antimicrobial therapies. Small animal models do not recapitulate Shigellosis, therefore tissue-cultured cells have served as model systems to study Shigella pathogenesis...
August 2018: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Savannah E Sanchez, Eduardo Vallejo-Esquerra, Anders Omsland
Coxiella burnetii is a highly infectious obligate intracellular bacterium and the etiological agent of the zoonosis Query (Q) fever. This Gram-negative gamma-proteobacterium has adapted to replicate within a specialized compartment in mammalian phagocytic cells, known as the Coxiella-containing vacuole (CCV). Knowledge of critical characteristics of the CCV microenvironment (e.g., luminal pH), analysis of the C. burnetii genome sequence, and strategic metabolic profiling have provided the basis for determining the physicochemical and nutritional conditions necessary to support axenic replication of C...
August 2018: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Nina M Poole, Anubama Rajan, Anthony W Maresso
Adherence, invasion, and translocation to and through the intestinal epithelium are important drivers of disease for many enteric bacteria. However, most work has been limited to transformed intestinal cell lines or murine models that often do not faithfully recapitulate key elements associated with human disease. The recent technological advances in organotypic tissue and cell culture are providing unparalleled access to systems with human physiology and complexity. Human intestinal enteroids (HIEs), derived from patient biopsy or surgical specimens of intestinal tissues, are organotypic cultures now being adapted to the study of enteric infections...
August 2018: Current Protocols in Microbiology
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