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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: PloS one, 2015, Vol.10(4), pp.e0124373
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi resists the cytotoxic effects of human antimicrobial peptides (APs), including α-defensins, β-defensins, and the cathelicidin LL-37. Resistance to LL-37, mediated by the sensitive to antimicrobial peptide (Sap) transporter, is required for H. ducreyi virulence in humans. Cationic APs are attracted to the negatively charged bacterial cell surface. In other gram-negative bacteria, modification of lipopolysaccharide or lipooligosaccharide (LOS) by the addition of positively charged moieties, such as phosphoethanolamine (PEA), confers AP resistance by means of electrostatic repulsion. H. ducreyi LOS has PEA modifications at two sites, and we identified three genes (lptA, ptdA, and ptdB) in H. ducreyi with homology to a family of bacterial PEA transferases. We generated non-polar, unmarked mutants with deletions in one, two, or all three putative PEA transferase genes. The triple mutant was significantly more susceptible to both α- and β-defensins; complementation of all three genes restored parental levels of AP resistance. Deletion of all three PEA transferase genes also resulted in a significant increase in the negativity of the mutant cell surface. Mass spectrometric analysis revealed that LptA was required for PEA modification of lipid A; PtdA and PtdB did not affect PEA modification of LOS. In human inoculation experiments, the triple mutant was as virulent as its parent strain. While this is the first identified mechanism of resistance to α-defensins in H. ducreyi, our in vivo data suggest that resistance to cathelicidin LL-37 may be more important than defensin resistance to H. ducreyi pathogenesis.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Genetics ; Drug Resistance, Bacterial -- Genetics ; Ethanolaminephosphotransferase -- Genetics ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Genetics ; Lipid A -- Metabolism
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 2012, Vol.7(5), p.e36298
    Description: Lactobacillus- dominated vaginal microbiotas are associated with reproductive health and STI resistance in women, whereas altered microbiotas are associated with bacterial vaginosis (BV), STI risk and poor reproductive outcomes. Putative vaginal taxa have been observed in male first-catch urine, urethral swab and coronal sulcus (CS) specimens but the significance of these observations is unclear. We used 16 S rRNA sequencing to characterize the microbiota of the CS and urine collected from 18 adolescent men over three consecutive months. CS microbiotas of most participants were more stable than their urine microbiotas and the composition of CS microbiotas were strongly influenced by circumcision. BV-associated taxa, including Atopobium , Megasphaera , Mobiluncus , Prevotella and Gemella , were detected in CS specimens from sexually experienced and inexperienced participants. In contrast, urine primarily contained taxa that were not abundant in CS specimens. Lactobacilllus and Streptococcus were major urine taxa but their abundance was inversely correlated. In contrast, Sneathia , Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma were only found in urine from sexually active participants. Thus, the CS and urine support stable and distinct bacterial communities. Finally, our results suggest that the penis and the urethra can be colonized by a variety of BV-associated taxa and that some of these colonizations result from partnered sexual activity.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology ; Medicine ; Public Health And Epidemiology ; Infectious Diseases ; Microbiology ; Urology
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Pediatrics, February 2011, Vol.127(2), pp.e336-44
    Description: We assessed differences in chlamydia screening rates according to race/ethnicity, insurance status, age, and previous sexually transmitted infection (STI) or pregnancy. A retrospective cohort study was performed using electronic medical record and billing data for women 14 to 25 years of age in 2002-2007, assessing differences in the odds of a chlamydia test being performed at that visit. Adjusted odds of a chlamydia test being performed were lower among women 14 to 15 years of age (odds ratio: 0.83 [95% confidence interval: 0.70-1.00]) and 20 to 25 years of age (20-21 years, odds ratio: 0.78 [95% confidence interval: 0.70-0.89]; 22-23 years, odds ratio: 0.76 [95% confidence interval: 0.67-0.87]; 24-25 years, odds ratio: 0.64 [95% confidence interval: 0.57-0.73]), compared with women 18 to 19 years of age. Black women had 3 times increased odds (odds ratio: 2.96 [95% confidence interval: 2.66-3.28]) and Hispanic women nearly 13 times increased odds (odds ratio: 12.89 [95% confidence interval: 10.85-15.30]) of testing, compared with white women. Women with public (odds ratio: 1.74 [95% confidence interval: 1.58-1.91]) and public pending (odds ratio: 6.85 [95% confidence interval: 5.13-9.15]) insurance had increased odds of testing, compared with women with private insurance. After first STI diagnosis, differences according to race/ethnicity persisted but were smaller; after first pregnancy, differences persisted. Despite recommendations to screen all sexually active young women for chlamydia, providers screened women differently according to age, race/ethnicity, and insurance status, although differences were reduced after first STI or pregnancy.
    Keywords: Chlamydia Infections -- Diagnosis ; Health Personnel -- Standards ; Mass Screening -- Methods
    ISSN: 00314005
    E-ISSN: 1098-4275
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Disease models & mechanisms, 01 April 2017, Vol.10(4), pp.425-437
    Description: Molecular mechanisms underlying development of acute pneumonitis and/or late fibrosis following thoracic irradiation remain poorly understood. Here, we hypothesize that heterogeneity in disease progression and phenotypic expression of radiation-induced lung disease (RILD) across murine strains presents an opportunity to better elucidate mechanisms driving tissue response toward pneumonitis and/or fibrosis. Distinct differences in disease progression were observed in age- and sex-matched CBA/J, C57L/J and C57BL/6J mice over 1 year after graded doses of whole-thorax lung irradiation (WTLI). Separately, comparison of gene expression profiles in lung tissue 24 h post-exposure demonstrated 〉5000 genes to be differentially expressed (twofold change) between strains with early versus late onset of disease. An immediate divergence in early tissue response between radiation-sensitive and -resistant strains was observed. In pneumonitis-prone C57L/J mice, differentially expressed genes were enriched in proinflammatory pathways, whereas in fibrosis-prone C57BL/6J mice, genes were enriched in pathways involved in purine and pyrimidine synthesis, DNA replication and cell division. At 24 h post-WTLI, different patterns of cellular damage were observed at the ultrastructural level among strains but microscopic damage was not yet evident under light microscopy. These data point toward a fundamental difference in patterns of early pulmonary tissue response to WTLI, consistent with the macroscopic expression of injury manifesting weeks to months after exposure. Understanding the mechanisms underlying development of RILD might lead to more rational selection of therapeutic interventions to mitigate healthy tissue damage.
    Keywords: Gene Expression Profiling ; Lung Fibrosis ; Murine Strain Differences ; Radiation Pneumonitis ; Disease Progression ; Gene Expression Profiling ; Lung Diseases -- Genetics ; Radiation Injuries -- Genetics
    ISSN: 17548403
    E-ISSN: 1754-8411
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: BMC microbiology, 24 June 2014, Vol.14, pp.166
    Description: Bacterial lipoproteins often play important roles in pathogenesis and can stimulate protective immune responses. Such lipoproteins are viable vaccine candidates. Haemophilus ducreyi, which causes the sexually transmitted disease chancroid, expresses a number of lipoproteins during human infection. One such lipoprotein, OmpP4, is homologous to the outer membrane lipoprotein e (P4) of H. influenzae. In H. influenzae, e (P4) stimulates production of bactericidal and protective antibodies and contributes to pathogenesis by facilitating acquisition of the essential nutrients heme and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). Here, we tested the hypothesis that, like its homolog, H. ducreyi OmpP4 contributes to virulence and stimulates production of bactericidal antibodies. We determined that OmpP4 is broadly conserved among clinical isolates of H. ducreyi. We next constructed and characterized an isogenic ompP4 mutant, designated 35000HPompP4, in H. ducreyi strain 35000HP. To test whether OmpP4 was necessary for virulence in humans, eight healthy adults were experimentally infected. Each subject was inoculated with a fixed dose of 35000HP on one arm and three doses of 35000HPompP4 on the other arm. The overall parent and mutant pustule formation rates were 52.4% and 47.6%, respectively (P = 0.74). These results indicate that expression of OmpP4 in not necessary for H. ducreyi to initiate disease or progress to pustule formation in humans. Hyperimmune mouse serum raised against purified, recombinant OmpP4 did not promote bactericidal killing of 35000HP or phagocytosis by J774A.1 mouse macrophages in serum bactericidal and phagocytosis assays, respectively. Our data suggest that, unlike e (P4), H. ducreyi OmpP4 is not a suitable vaccine candidate. OmpP4 may be dispensable for virulence because of redundant mechanisms in H. ducreyi for heme acquisition and NAD utilization.
    Keywords: Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins -- Metabolism ; Chancroid -- Microbiology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Pathogenicity ; Virulence Factors -- Metabolism
    E-ISSN: 1471-2180
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: BMC medicine, 06 November 2014, Vol.12, pp.204
    Description: Nearly 1 in 5 people living with HIV in the United States are unaware they are infected. Therefore, it is important to develop and evaluate health communication messages that clinicians can use to encourage HIV testing. The objective was to evaluate health communication messages designed to increase HIV testing rates among women and evaluate possible moderators of message effect. We used a randomized four-arm clinical trial conducted at urban community outpatient health clinics involving 1,919 female patients, 18 to 64 years old. The four health message intervention groups were: i) information-only control; ii) one-sided message describing the advantages of HIV testing; iii) two-sided message acknowledging a superficial objection to testing (i.e., a 20 minute wait for results) followed by a description of the advantages of testing; and iv) two-sided message acknowledging a serious objection (i.e., fear of testing positive for HIV) followed by a description of the advantages of testing. The main outcome was acceptance of an oral rapid HIV test. Participants were randomized to receive the control message (n = 483), one-sided message (n = 480), two-sided message with a superficial objection (n = 481), or two-sided message with a serious objection (n = 475). The overall rate of HIV test acceptance was 83%. The two-sided message groups were not significantly different from the controls. The one-sided message group, however, had a lower rate of testing (80%) than the controls (86%) (OR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.47-0.93; P = 0.018). "Perceived obstacles to HIV testing" moderated this effect, indicating that the decrease in HIV test acceptance for the one-sided message group was only statistically significant for those who had reported high levels of obstacles to HIV testing (OR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.19-0.67; P = 0.001). None of the messages increased test acceptance. The one-sided message decreased acceptance and this effect was particularly true for women with greater perceived obstacles to testing, the very group one would most want to persuade. This finding suggests that efforts to persuade those who are reluctant to get tested, in some circumstances, may have unanticipated negative effects. Other approaches to messaging around HIV testing should be investigated, particularly with diverse, behaviorally high-risk populations. Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00771537. Registration date: October 10. 2008.
    Keywords: HIV Infections -- Diagnosis ; Mass Screening -- Statistics & Numerical Data ; Patient Acceptance of Health Care -- Statistics & Numerical Data ; Patient Education As Topic -- Methods
    E-ISSN: 1741-7015
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: The Journal of infectious diseases, 01 January 2010, Vol.201(1), pp.42-51
    Description: Repeated Chlamydia trachomatis infections are common among young sexually active women. The relative frequency of reinfection and antibiotic treatment failure is undefined. Adolescent women enrolled in a longitudinal cohort had behavioral and sexually transmitted infection assessments performed every 3 months, including amplification tests for C. trachomatis, ompA genotyping, and interviews and diary entries to document sex partner-specific coitus and event-specific condom use. Repeated infections were classified as reinfection or treatment failure by use of an algorithm. All infections for which treatment outcomes were known were used to estimate the effectiveness of antibiotic use. We observed 478 episodes of infection among 210 study participants; 176 women remained uninfected. The incidence rate was 34 episodes/100 woman-years. Of the women who were infected, 121 experienced 1 repeated infections, forming 268 episode pairs; 183 pairs had complete data available and were classified using the algorithm. Of the repeated infections, 84.2% were definite, probable, or possible reinfections; 13.7% were probable or possible treatment failures; and 2.2% persisted without documented treatment. For 318 evaluable infections, we estimated 92.2% effectiveness of antibiotic use. Most repeated chlamydial infections in this high-incidence cohort were reinfections, but repeated infections resulting from treatment failures occurred as well. Our results have implications for male screening and partner notification programs and suggest the need for improved antibiotic therapies.
    Keywords: Anti-Bacterial Agents -- Therapeutic Use ; Azithromycin -- Therapeutic Use ; Chlamydia Infections -- Drug Therapy
    ISSN: 00221899
    E-ISSN: 1537-6613
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: The Journal of infectious diseases, 15 June 2011, Vol.203(12), pp.1859-65
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi 35000HP contains a homolog of the CpxRA 2-component signal transduction system, which controls the cell envelope stress response system in other gram-negative bacteria and regulates some important H. ducreyi virulence factors. A H. ducreyi cpxR mutant was compared with its parent for virulence in the human challenge model of experimental chancroid. The pustule formation rate in 5 volunteers was 33% (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3%-65.3%) at 15 parent sites and 40% (95% CI, 18.1%-61.9%) at 15 mutant sites (P = .35). Thus, the cpxR mutant was not attenuated for virulence. Inactivation of the H. ducreyi cpxR gene did not reduce the ability of this mutant to express certain proven virulence factors, including the DsrA serum resistance protein and the LspA2 protein, which inhibits phagocytosis. These results expand our understanding of the involvement of the CpxRA system in regulating virulence expression in H. ducreyi.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Genetics ; Chancroid -- Microbiology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Genetics
    ISSN: 00221899
    E-ISSN: 1537-6613
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: The Journal of infectious diseases, November 2012, Vol.206(9), pp.1407-14
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi encounters several classes of antimicrobial peptides (APs) in vivo and utilizes the sensitive-to-antimicrobial-peptides (Sap) transporter as one mechanism of AP resistance. A mutant lacking the periplasmic solute-binding component, SapA, was somewhat more sensitive to the cathelicidin LL-37 than the parent strain and was partially attenuated for virulence. The partial attenuation led us to question whether the transporter is fully abrogated in the sapA mutant. We generated a nonpolar sapBC mutant, which lacks both inner membrane permeases of the Sap transporter, and tested the mutant for virulence in human volunteers. In vitro, we compared LL-37 resistance phenotypes of the sapBC and sapA mutants. Unlike the sapA mutant, the sapBC mutant was fully attenuated for virulence in human volunteers. In vitro, the sapBC mutant exhibited significantly greater sensitivity than the sapA mutant to killing by LL-37. Similar to the sapA mutant, the sapBC mutant did not affect H. ducreyi's resistance to human defensins. Compared with the sapA mutant, the sapBC mutant exhibited greater attenuation in vivo, which directly correlated with increased sensitivity to LL-37 in vitro. These results strongly suggest that the SapBC channel retains activity when SapA is removed.
    Keywords: Drug Resistance, Bacterial ; Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides -- Pharmacology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Enzymology ; Membrane Transport Proteins -- Metabolism ; Virulence Factors -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00221899
    E-ISSN: 1537-6613
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Sports Medicine, 2018, Vol.48(8), pp.1971-1985
    Description: Background Sport-related concussion and repetitive head impact exposure in contact sports continue to receive increased attention in public and medical spheres. The Concussion Assessment, Research and Education (CARE) Consortium, a multicenter cooperative, was established to study the natural history of concussion in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) collegiate student-athletes across 29 colleges and universities in the United States. The purpose of this investigation is to provide normative data from the CARE Consortium and evaluate for differences between sport categories. Methods NCAA student-athletes were evaluated annually for general demographics and sport-specific characteristics before the start of the competitive season. We collected demographic and medical history information and evaluated each student-athlete's neurocognitive function, neurological status, postural stability, and self-reported symptoms. Sports were categorized by the amount of contact typically associated with the sport (i.e., contact, limited contact, non-contact). Comparisons between the three sport categories for the evaluated variables were made using linear or zero inflated negative binomial regression models adjusted for gender, concussion history, and household income. Results Over a 2-year period (August 2014-July 2016), 15,681 NCAA athletes completed preseason evaluations. Overall, 53% of the athletes were in the contact sport group, 31% were in the limited contact group and 17% were in the non-contact group. After adjusting for covariates, there were statistically significant differences found between athlete groups, although the differences and effect sizes were small and not clinically significant. The contact sport group had better scores on Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment Testing (ImPACT®) visual and verbal memory, Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) symptom checklist, and Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18), but slower ImPACT reaction time and worse scores on Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC). Further, the data indicate that some ImPACT score distributions were noticeably different from those presented in the technical manual. Conclusions In this large, racially and socio-economically diverse cohort of male and female college athletes, we found no evidence that student-athletes participating in contact sports have clinically meaningful deficits in preseason cognitive and balance testing. They also did not report significantly more symptoms of psychological distress when compared with student-athletes in non-contact or limited contact sports. In addition, the data suggest potential limitations when using published ImPACT norms when evaluating injured athletes.
    Keywords: United States–Us ; Gender Differences ; Students ; Cognition ; Consortia ; Colleges & Universities ; Injury Prevention ; Medical Research ; Posture ; Demographics ; Reaction Time ; Brain Research ; Regression Analysis ; Regression Models ; Concussion ; Athletes ; Norms ; Cognitive Ability ; Statistical Analysis ; Contact Sports ; Pediatrics ; Concussion ; Memory ; Ultrasonic Testing ; College Football ; Consortia ; Data Collection ; Demography ; Stability Analysis ; Athletes ; Family Income ; Cognitive Ability ; Sports Injuries ; Traumatic Brain Injury ; Athletes ; Colleges & Universities ; National Collegiate Athletic Association–Ncaa;
    ISSN: 0112-1642
    E-ISSN: 1179-2035
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