vendredi 24 avril 2009
par   G. Grégori

Achilles J, Stahl F, Harms H, Muller S (2007) Isolation of intact RNA from cytometrically sorted Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the analysis of intrapopulation diversity of gene expression. Nat Protoc 2 :2203-2211


Characterizing and understanding the functional heterogeneity in a given population on the cellular and molecular level is a great challenge in microbiology. Each microorganism contributes differently to the overall performance of the community and responds differently to changing microenvironmental conditions. Here, we present a method for isolation of intact RNA out of small subpopulations of live Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells for differential gene expression analysis. The protocol includes fluorescence staining, flow cytometric analysis and sorting of live yeast cells, subsequent isolation of RNA from the resulting subpopulations and finally RNA quantification and integrity check. The isolated RNA can be transcribed into cDNA and successfully used for microarray analysis. This aids in relating molecular regulation processes within subpopulations with the dynamics and functioning of the entire population. The procedure can be accomplished in 2 d.

Akazawa D, Date T, Morikawa K, Murayama A, Miyamoto M, Kaga M, Barth H, Baumert TF, Dubuisson J, Wakita T (2007) CD81 expression is important for the permissiveness of Huh7 cell clones for heterogeneous hepatitis C virus infection. J Virol 81 :5036-5045


Huh7 cells constitute a permissive cell line for cell culture of hepatitis C virus (HCV) particles. However, our Huh7 line shows limited permissiveness for HCV. Thus, in this study we set out to determine which host factors are important for conferring permissiveness. To analyze the limited permissiveness of our Huh7 cells, 70 clones were obtained after single-cell cloning of parental Huh7 cells. The cloned Huh7 cells exhibited various levels of HCV pseudoparticles and JFH-1 virus infection efficiency, and some clones were not permissive. A subgenomic replicon was then transfected into the cloned Huh7 cells. While the replication efficiencies differed among the cloned Huh7 cells, these efficiencies did not correlate with infectious permissibility. Flow cytometry showed that CD81, scavenger receptor class B type I, and low-density-lipoprotein receptor expression on the cell surfaces of the Huh7 clones differed among the clones. Interestingly, we found that all of the permissive cell clones expressed CD81 while the nonpermissive cell clones did not. To confirm the importance of CD81 expression for HCV permissiveness, CD81 was then transiently and stably expressed on a nonpermissive Huh7 cell clone, which was consequently restored to HCV infection permissiveness. Furthermore, permissiveness was down-regulated upon transfection of CD81 silencing RNA into a CD81-positive cell clone. In conclusion, CD81 expression is an important determinant of HCV permissiveness of Huh7 cell clones harboring different characteristics.

Al-Hertani W, Yan SR, Byers DM, Bortolussi R (2007) Human newborn polymorphonuclear neutrophils exhibit decreased levels of MyD88 and attenuated p38 phosphorylation in response to lipopolysaccharide. Clin Invest Med 30 :E44-53


PURPOSE : Human newborn infants have increased susceptibility to gram-negative bacterial infection. Since lipopolysaccharide (LPS) primes polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) to enhance host defense functions, we investigated its effect on adult and newborn PMN in vitro. METHODS : PMN were isolated from blood of healthy adults and umbilical cords of full term newborns using dextran and Ficoll-Paque gradient sedimentation. Gel electrophoresis and Western blotting of membranes were used to probe for Mitogen-Activated Protein (MAP) kinase p38 phosphorylation, Toll-like Receptor-4 (TLR-4) and Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88 (MyD88) on isolated PMN membranes using specific antibodies. LPS induced degranulation was assessed using CD66 expression on PMN measured by flow cytometry. RESULTS : We show that p38 phosphorylation in newborn PMN is attenuated in response to LPS stimulation even though adult and newborn PMN have similar amounts of p38 protein. The degree of attenuation in newborn PMN is dependent on the osmolarity of the medium. In addition, LPS-induced degranulation, a process that is p38 dependent, was also absent in newborn PMN. Although the LPS receptor TLR-4 is present at similar levels on newborn and adult PMN, its downstream adaptor protein MyD88 was significantly diminished in newborn PMN compared to adult cells. CONCLUSIONS : Although the mechanism of PMN priming by LPS is not fully understood, our results suggest that MyD88 and p38 phosphorylation are important pathways in the process and contribute to attenuated response of newborn PMN to LPS in vitro.

Alzhanov DT, Suchland RJ, Bakke AC, Stamm WE, Rockey DD (2007) Clonal isolation of chlamydia-infected cells using flow cytometry. J Microbiol Methods 68 :201-208


This manuscript describes a new technique for the microbiological cloning of chlamydia-infected cells using a fluorescence activated cell sorter (FACS). The approach exploits chlamydial acquisition of the fluorescent, Golgi-specific, stain 6-((N-7-(-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)amino)-hexanoyl)sphingosine (C6-NBD-cer). This fluorescent lipid is delivered from the Golgi apparatus to the chlamydial inclusion membrane and then to the developmental forms within the inclusion in living, infected cells. Labeling with C6-NBD-cer results in easily identifiable chlamydial inclusions that can then be analyzed and sorted by FACS. This technique was used successfully to sort individual chlamydia-infected cells into individual wells of a culture dish and, in this experimental system, resulted in the isolation of cloned chlamydial isolates. FACS-based sorting was used to isolate clonal populations of prototype strains from Chlamydia trachomatis, C. caviae and C. suis. Recent clinical isolates were also successfully cloned using FACS. The procedure is simple and rapid, with single cloning cycles being completed 24 h post-culture of a sample. It is anticipated that FACS-based sorting of live chlamydia-infected cells will be a significant technical tool for the isolation of clonal populations of any chlamydial strain.

Arikan S (2007) Current status of antifungal susceptibility testing methods. Med Mycol 45 :569-587


Antifungal susceptibility testing is a very dynamic field of medical mycology. Standardization of in vitro susceptibility tests by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) and the European Committee for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST), and current availability of reference methods constituted the major remarkable steps in the field. Based on the established minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) breakpoints, it is now possible to determine the susceptibilities of Candida strains to fluconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole, and flucytosine. Moreover, utility of fluconazole antifungal susceptibility tests as an adjunct in optimizing treatment of candidiasis has now been validated. While the MIC breakpoints and clinical significance of susceptibility testing for the remaining fungi and antifungal drugs remain yet unclear, modifications of the available methods as well as other methodologies are being intensively studied to overcome the present drawbacks and limitations. Among the other methods under investigation are Etest, colorimetric microdilution, agar dilution, determination of fungicidal activity, flow cytometry, and ergosterol quantitation. Etest offers the advantage of practical application and favorable agreement rates with the reference methods that are frequently above acceptable limits. However, MIC breakpoints for Etest remain to be evaluated and established. Development of commercially available, standardized colorimetric panels that are based on CLSI method parameters has added more to the antifungal susceptibility testing armamentarium. Flow cytometry, on the other hand, appears to offer rapid susceptibility testing but requires specified equipment and further evaluation for reproducibility and standardization. Ergosterol quantitation is another novel approach, which appears potentially beneficial particularly in discrimination of azole-resistant isolates from heavy trailers. The method is yet investigational and requires to be further studied. Developments in methodology and applications of antifungal susceptibility testing will hopefully provide enhanced utility in clinical guidance of antifungal therapy. However, and particularly in immunosuppressed host, in vitro susceptibility is and will remain only one of several factors that influence clinical outcome.

Assuncao P, Davey HM, Rosales RS, Antunes NT, de la Fe C, Ramirez AS, de Galarreta CM, Poveda JB (2007) Detection of mycoplasmas in goat milk by flow cytometry. Cytometry A 71 :1034-1038


The detection of mycoplasma in milk can be performed by either culture techniques or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based methods. Although PCR can reduce the average diagnostic time to 5 h in comparison with the several days for the isolation of the agent, there is still a need to develop methods, which could give earlier results. For this purpose, we tested the ability of flow cytometry (FC) to detect mycoplasmas in milk samples. Milk samples inoculated with four different mycoplasmas, Mycoplasma agalactiae, Mycoplasma putrefaciens, Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. Capricolum, or Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides large-colony type, known to cause contagious agalactia in goats, were stained with the DNA stain SYBR Green I and analyzed by FC. Three goat milk samples, from which mycoplasmas have been isolated in broth medium were also analyzed. All mycoplasmas were easily distinguished from debris of milk samples, but it was not possible to distinguish between the different mycoplasma species. In our conditions, the detection limit of the technique was of the order of 10(3)-10(4) cells ml(-1). Furthermore, mycoplasmas were also distinguished from Staphylococcus aureus. FC together with SYBR Green I was able to distinguish between mycoplasma cells and debris present in milk samples and gave results in 20-30 min. This is an important first step in developing a robust, routine flow cytometric method for the detection of mycoplasmas in milk samples.

Assuncao P, Rosales RS, Antunes NT, de la Fe C, Poveda JB (2007) Applications of flow cytometry to mycoplasmology. Front Biosci 12 :664-672


Flow cytometry has become a valuable tool in different fields of microbiology, such as clinical microbiology, aquatic and environmental microbiology, food microbiology, and biotechnology. It combines direct and rapid assays to determine numbers, biochemical and physiological characteristics of individual cells, revealing the heterogeneity present in a population. This review focuses on the applications of flow cytometry to the field of mycoplasmology. It tries to give a scope of the important breakthroughs which occurred in this field in the last decades, and in the advantages of introducing flow cytometry in research and routine diagnostic procedures of mycoplasmas.

Au WW, Abdou-Salama S, Al-Hendy A (2007) Inhibition of growth of cervical cancer cells using a dominant negative estrogen receptor gene. Gynecol Oncol 104 :276-280


OBJECTIVE : Estrogen stimulates human papilloma virus oncogene expression, promotes cervical cancer (CC) cell proliferation and prevents apoptosis. Therefore, blockage of estrogen function may have therapeutic application to CC. METHODS : CasKi CC cells were transfected with an adenovirus expressing a dominant negative estrogen receptor gene (Ad-ER-DN) and their responses were investigated by RT-PCR, Flow Cytometry and Western blot assays. RESULT : Transfected cells showed disturbance of cell colony morphology, reduced HPV E6 and E7 mRNA, interruption of cell proliferation, reduced cyclin D1 protein and expression of apoptosis. CONCLUSION : We report, for the first time, the use of Ad-ER-DN to block estrogen receptors which led to dramatic changes in CC cells that are consistent with the possible reactivation of cellular p53 and Rb function. Their reactivation most likely allowed the recognition of existing chromosome abnormalities as a serious stress signal and the initiation of a cascade of cellular events in response to the stress, including the activation of the core apoptotic machinery which led to self-destruction of the CC cells.

Bahl MI, Hansen LH, Licht TR, Sorensen SJ (2007) Conjugative transfer facilitates stable maintenance of IncP-1 plasmid pKJK5 in Escherichia coli cells colonizing the gastrointestinal tract of the germfree rat. Appl Environ Microbiol 73 :341-343


Quantitative determination of IncP-1 plasmid loss from Escherichia coli cells colonizing the gastrointestinal tracts of germfree rats was achieved by flow cytometry. Results show that the plasmid’s ability to conjugate counteracts plasmid loss and is thus an important mechanism for the stable maintenance of IncP-1 plasmids within the gastrointestinal environment.

Bahl MI, Hansen LH, Sorensen SJ (2007) Impact of conjugal transfer on the stability of IncP-1 plasmid pKJK5 in bacterial populations. FEMS Microbiol Lett 266 :250-256


The intrinsic stability of IncP-1 plasmid pKJK5 was assessed in both an Escherichia coli and a Kluyvera sp. population maintained in bacterial mats and in liquid nutrient broth without selective pressure. A fluorescence tagging/flow cytometry approach was used to detect and quantify plasmid loss from populations harboring either conjugation-proficient or -deficient pKJK5 derivatives. The results show that the plasmid’s ability to conjugate plays an important role in its stable maintenance in populations of both species. This effect was most pronounced in dense bacterial populations and to a far lesser extent during growth in liquid broth. Furthermore, conjugation-proficient plasmids were able to spread infectiously in the bacterial mats initiated with various ratios of plasmid-harboring cells, resulting in a nearly exclusively plasmid-harboring population.

Bakker RG, Li C, Miller MR, Cunningham C, Charon NW (2007) Identification of specific chemoattractants and genetic complementation of a Borrelia burgdorferi chemotaxis mutant : flow cytometry-based capillary tube chemotaxis assay. Appl Environ Microbiol 73 :1180-1188


Measuring the chemotactic response of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterial species that causes Lyme disease, is relatively more difficult than measuring that of other bacteria. Because these spirochetes have long generation times, enumerating cells that swim up a capillary tube containing an attractant by using colony counts is impractical. Furthermore, direct counts with a Petroff-Hausser chamber is problematic, as this method has a low throughput and necessitates a high cell density ; the latter can lead to misinterpretation of results when assaying for specific attractants. Only rabbit serum and tick saliva have been reported to be chemoattractants for B. burgdorferi. These complex biological mixtures are limited in their utility for studying chemotaxis on a molecular level. Here we present a modified capillary tube chemotaxis assay for B. burgdorferi that enumerates cells by flow cytometry. Initial studies identified N-acetylglucosamine as a chemoattractant. The assay was then optimized with respect to cell concentration, incubation time, motility buffer composition, and growth phase. Besides N-acetylglucosamine, glucosamine, glucosamine dimers (chitosan), glutamate, and glucose also elicited significant chemoattractant responses, although the response obtained with glucose was weak and variable. Serine and glycine were nonchemotactic. To further validate and to exploit the use of this assay, a previously described nonchemotactic cheA2 mutant was shown to be nonchemotactic by this assay ; it also regained the wild-type phenotype when complemented in trans. This is the first report that identifies specific chemical attractants for B. burgdorferi and the use of flow cytometry for spirochete enumeration. The method should also be useful for assaying chemotaxis for other slow-growing prokaryotic species and in specific environments in nature.

Ben Amor K, Vaughan EE, de Vos WM (2007) Advanced molecular tools for the identification of lactic acid bacteria. J Nutr 137 :741S-747S


Recent years have seen an explosion in the development and application of molecular tools for identifying microbes and analyzing their activity. These tools are increasingly applied to strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), including those used in fermentation and as well as those marketed as probiotics, for identification and analysis of their activity. Many of these tools are based on 16S ribosomal DNA sequences and exploit either hybridization or PCR techniques. Furthermore, complete or partial genomes of various LAB and bifidobacteria have been determined and offer omics-based approaches to analyze the activity of the bacteria provided that the mechanisms of their action are known. Finally, fluorescent probes coupled to flow cytometry are used to monitor the physiological capacity of bacterial cells in situ. All these approaches can be used for the screening and selection of LAB, assessing their role in fermentation and flavor development in fermented products. Additional aspects of probiotic LAB include their viability and vitality during processing and analysis of their presence, persistence, and performance in the gastrointestinal tract. An overview of these approaches is provided, and specific examples of their application to lactic cultures are presented. Because of their abundant use in tracing and tracking of LAB, a complete listing of 16S ribosomal RNA probes for lactobacilli and bifidobacteria is provided.

Berkova Z, Crawford SE, Blutt SE, Morris AP, Estes MK (2007) Expression of rotavirus NSP4 alters the actin network organization through the actin remodeling protein cofilin. J Virol 81 :3545-3553


Rotavirus is a major cause of infantile gastroenteritis with a multifactorial pathogenesis. As with many other pathogens, rotavirus infection and replication leads to rearrangement of the cytoskeleton with disorganization of cytoskeletal elements such as actin and cytokeratin through a calcium-dependent process that has not been fully characterized. The rotavirus enterotoxin NSP4, shown previously to elevate intracellular calcium levels when added exogenously as well as when expressed intracellularly, is a key player in intracellular calcium regulation during rotavirus infection. Here, we investigated the role NSP4 may play in actin rearrangement. Expression of NSP4 fused to enhanced green fluorescent protein (NSP4-EGFP), but not expression of EGFP alone, caused stabilization of long cellular projections in fully confluent HEK 293 cells. Cells expressing NSP4-EGFP for 24 h were also resistant to cell rounding induced by cytochalasin D. Quantification of filamentous actin (F-actin) content by using rhodamine-conjugated phalloidin and flow cytometry showed an elevated F-actin content in NSP4-EGFP-expressing and rotavirus-infected cells in comparison with that in nonexpressing and noninfected cells. Normalization of intracellular calcium levels prevented alterations of F-actin content. Observed changes in F-actin amounts correlated with the increased activation of the actin-remodeling protein cofilin. These calcium-dependent actin rearrangements induced by intracellular NSP4 expression may contribute to rotavirus pathogenesis by interfering with cellular processes dependent on subcortical actin remodeling, including ion transport and viral release.

Berney M, Hammes F, Bosshard F, Weilenmann HU, Egli T (2007) Assessment and interpretation of bacterial viability by using the LIVE/DEAD BacLight Kit in combination with flow cytometry. Appl Environ Microbiol 73 :3283-3290


The commercially available LIVE/DEAD BacLight kit is enjoying increased popularity among researchers in various fields of microbiology. Its use in combination with flow cytometry brought up new questions about how to interpret LIVE/DEAD staining results. Intermediate states, normally difficult to detect with epifluorescence microscopy, are a common phenomenon when the assay is used in flow cytometry and still lack rationale. It is shown here that the application of propidium iodide in combination with a green fluorescent total nucleic acid stain on UVA-irradiated cells of Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, Shigella flexneri, and a community of freshwater bacteria resulted in a clear and distinctive flow cytometric staining pattern. In the gram-negative bacterium E. coli as well as in the two enteric pathogens, the pattern can be related to the presence of intermediate cellular states characterized by the degree of damage afflicted specifically on the bacterial outer membrane. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that EDTA-treated nonirradiated cells exhibit the same staining properties. On the contrary, this pattern was not observed in gram-positive Enterococcus faecalis, which lacks an outer membrane. Our observations add a new aspect to the LIVE/DEAD stain, which so far was believed to be dependent only on cytoplasmic membrane permeability.

Berney M, Weilenmann HU, Egli T (2007) Adaptation to UVA radiation of E. coli growing in continuous culture. J Photochem Photobiol B 86 :149-159


Adaptive responses of bacteria to physical or chemical stresses in the laboratory or in the environment are of great interest. Here we investigated the ability of Escherichia coli growing in continuous culture to adapt to UVA radiation. It was shown that E. coli indeed expressed an adaptive response to UVA irradiation at an intensity of 50W/m(2). Cells grown in continuous culture with complex medium (diluted Luria Bertani broth) at dilution rates of 0.7h(-1), 0.5h(-1) and 0.3h(-1) were able to maintain growth under UVA irradiation after a transient reduction of specific growth rate and recovery. In contrast, slow-growing cells (D=0.05h(-1)) were unable to induce enough protection capacity to maintain growth under UVA irradiation. We propose that faster growing E. coli cells have a higher adaptive flexibility to UVA light-stress than slow-growing cells. Furthermore it was shown with flow cytometry and viability stains that at a dilution rate of 0.3h(-1) only a small fraction (1%) of the initial cell population survived UVA light-stress. Adapted cells were significantly larger (30%) than unstressed cells and had a lower growth yield. Furthermore, efflux pump activity was diminished in adapted cells. In a second irradiation period (after omitting UVA irradiation for 70h) adapted cells were able to trigger the adaptive response twice as fast. Additionally, this study shows that continuous cultivation with direct stress application allows reproducible investigation of the physiological and possibly also molecular mechanisms during adaptation of E. coli populations to UVA light.

Bickerstaff AA, Zimmerman PD, Wing BA, Taylor F, Trgovcich J, Cook CH (2007) A flow cytometry-based method for detecting antibody responses to murine cytomegalovirus infection. J Virol Methods 142 :50-58


An assay based on target cells infected with green fluorescent protein labeled murine cytomegalovirus (GFP-MCMV) and dual color flow cytometry for detecting antibody to MCMV is described. After optimizing conditions for this technique, kinetics of anti-MCMV IgG antibody response was tested in susceptible (BALB/c) and resistant (C57BL/6) mouse strains following primary MCMV infection. Previously published antibody kinssetics were confirmed in susceptible mice, with peak IgG response seen approximately 8 weeks after primary infection, decreasing by 20 weeks after infection. In contrast, MCMV resistant C57BL/6 mice showed significantly lower IgG antibody responses than susceptible mice. Although several techniques have been previously described to detect murine antibody responses to MCMV, including nuclear anti-complement immunofluorescence, viral immunoblotting, complement fixation, indirect immunofluorescence, indirect hemagglutination, and enzyme-liked immunosorbent assay techniques, these techniques are all time consuming and laborious. The technique presented is a simple time efficient alternative to detect previous MCMV antibody responses in experimentally infected mice.

Biedendieck R, Yang Y, Deckwer WD, Malten M, Jahn D (2007) Plasmid system for the intracellular production and purification of affinity-tagged proteins in Bacillus megaterium. Biotechnol Bioeng 96 :525-537


A multiple vector system for the intracellular high-level production of affinity tagged recombinant proteins in Bacillus megaterium was developed. The N- and C-terminal fusion of a protein of interest to a Strep II and a His(6)-tag is possible. Corresponding genes are expressed under the control of a xylose-inducible promoter in a xylose isomerase deficient host strain. The exemplatory protein production of green fluorescent protein (GFP) showed differences in produced and recovered protein amounts in dependence of the employed affinity tag and its N- or C-terminal location. Up to 9 mg GFP per liter shake flask culture were purified using one-step affinity chromatography. Integration of a protease cleavage site into the recombinant fusion protein allowed tag removal via tobacco etch virus (TEV) protease or Factor Xa treatment and a second affinity chromatographic step. Up to 274 mg/L culture were produced at 52 g CDW/L using a glucose limited fedbatch cultivation. GFP production and viability of the production host were followed by flow cytometry.

Bouvier T, Del Giorgio PA, Gasol JM (2007) A comparative study of the cytometric characteristics of high and low nucleic-acid bacterioplankton cells from different aquatic ecosystems. Environ Microbiol 9 :2050-2066


Flow cytometry has revealed the existence of two distinct fractions of bacterioplankton cells, characterized by high and low nucleic acid contents (HNA and LNA cells). Although these fractions seem ubiquitous in aquatic systems, little is known concerning the variation in the cytometric parameters used to characterize them. We have performed cytometric analyses of samples from a wide range of aquatic systems to determine the magnitude and variability in the cytometric characteristics of HNA/LNA. We show that neither group is associated to a fixed level of fluorescence and of light scatter. Rather, the relative position of HNA and LNA in the fluorescence versus side scatter cytograms varies greatly, both within and among ecosystems. Although the cytometric parameters of both groups tend to covary, there is often uncoupling between the two, particularly in light scatter. Our results show that, although the basic HNA/LNA configuration is present in most samples, its cytometric expression changes greatly in different ecosystems and along productivity gradients. The patterns in cytometric parameters do not support the simple, dichotomous view of HNA and LNA as active and inactive cells, or the notion of two distinct and independent communities, but rather suggest that there may be cells that are intrinsic to each fraction, as well as others that may exchange between fractions.

Caballero ML, Gomez M, Gonzalez-Munoz M, Reinoso L, Rodriguez-Perez R, Alday E, Moneo I (2007) Occupational sensitization to fungal enzymes used in animal feed industry. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 144 :231-239


BACKGROUND : Industrial enzymes cause the increasing prevalence of occupational hypersensitivity. Our objective was to study workers occupationally exposed to fungal enzymes in 2 animal feed factories to determine if the sensitization originated in the enzymes or was caused by the microorganism used to produce the enzymes. METHODS : Eighty-six consenting workers were studied by skin prick tests with extracts from the enzymatic products handled in their factories. Positive workers were then studied by IgE immunoblotting and basophil activation was measured by flow cytometry. RESULTS : Eight of the 86 workers analysed (9%) tested positive and were more frequently sensitized to phytase from Trichoderma and Peniophora. Glucanase and alpha-amylase from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens did not cause sensitization in any worker. No cross-reactions were observed between Trichoderma and Peniophora sp. phytases. Workers were sensitized to the product that they handled. CONCLUSIONS : Fungal enzymes cause occupational hypersensitivity in animal feed industries. Immunoblotting and basophil activation are useful to evaluate the effects of handling enzymes as part of the medical surveillance of enzyme-exposed workers. We describe Peniophora sp. 6-phytase as a new allergen and enzymes from Trichoderma as strong sensitizers.

Call DR, Satterwhite DM, Soule M (2007) Using DNA suspension arrays to identify library-independent markers for bacterial source tracking. Water Res 41 :3740-3746


We developed a suspension array to enhance the ability to use library-independent genetic markers for bacterial source tracking. Six markers from Enterococcus spp. were selected to distinguish between cattle, humans, and cervids. Multiplex PCR was used to amplify fecal markers and resulting products were biotinylated and fragmented by nick translation followed by hybridization to polystyrene beads. Six populations of beads were included simultaneously in each assay where beads were labeled with an oligonucleotide probe complementary to one of the six library-independent markers. Hybridized products were detected on the beads using a 2-laser flow cytometer in a 96-well format. Testing with previously characterized strains showed that the assay could achieve 100% diagnostic sensitivity and >95% diagnostic specificity. Results from water samples were congruent for conventional PCR. Serial dilutions of template DNA demonstrated that the bench top analytic sensitivity of the entire assay was equivalent to <1600> http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=17557824 ]

Bifidobacteria constitute up to 3% of the total microbiota and represent one of the most important health-promoting bacterial groups of the human intestinal microflora. The presence of Bifidobacterium in the human gastrointestinal tract has been directly related to several health-promoting activities ; however, to date, no information about the specific mechanisms of interaction with the host is available. In order to provide some insight into the molecular mechanisms involved in the interaction with the host, we investigated whether Bifidobacterium was able to capture human plasminogen on the cell surface. By using flow cytometry, we demonstrated a dose-dependent human plasminogen-binding activity for four strains belonging to three bifidobacterial species : Bifidobacterium lactis, B. bifidum, and B. longum. The binding of human plasminogen to Bifidobacterium was dependent on lysine residues of surface protein receptors. By using a proteomic approach, we identified five putative plasminogen-binding proteins in the cell wall fraction of the model strain B. lactis BI07. The data suggest that plasminogen binding to B. lactis is due to the concerted action of a number of proteins located on the bacterial cell surface, some of which are highly conserved cytoplasmic proteins which have other essential cellular functions. Our findings represent a step forward in understanding the mechanisms involved in the Bifidobacterium-host interaction.

Caro A, Gros O, Got P, De Wit R, Troussellier M (2007) Characterization of the population of the sulfur-oxidizing symbiont of Codakia orbicularis (Bivalvia, Lucinidae) by single-cell analyses. Appl Environ Microbiol 73 :2101-2109


We investigated the characteristics of the sulfur-oxidizing symbiont hosted in the gills of Codakia orbicularis, a bivalve living in shallow marine tropical environments. Special attention was paid to describing the heterogeneity of the population by using single-cell approaches including flow cytometry (FCM) and different microscopic techniques and by analyzing a cell size fractionation experiment. Up to seven different subpopulations were distinguished by FCM based on nucleic acid content and light side scattering of the cells. The cell size analysis of symbionts showed that the symbiotic population was very heterogeneous in size, i.e., ranging from 0.5 to 5 mum in length, with variable amounts of intracellular sulfur. The side-scatter signal analyzed by FCM, which is often taken as a proxy of cell size, was greatly influenced by the sulfur content of the symbionts. FCM revealed an important heterogeneity in the relative nucleic acid content among the subclasses. The larger cells contained exceptionally high levels of nucleic acids, suggesting that these cells contained multiple copies of their genome, i.e., ranging from one copy for the smaller cells to more than four copies for the larger cells. The proportion of respiring symbionts (5-cyano-2,3-ditolyl-terazolium chloride positive) in the bacteriocytes of Codakia revealed that around 80% of the symbionts hosted by Codakia maintain respiratory activity throughout the year. These data allowed us to gain insight into the functioning of the symbionts within the host and to propose some hypotheses on how the growth of the symbionts is controlled by the host.

Carpenter BM, McDaniel TK, Whitmire JM, Gancz H, Guidotti S, Censini S, Merrell DS (2007) Expanding the Helicobacter pylori genetic toolbox : modification of an endogenous plasmid for use as a transcriptional reporter and complementation vector. Appl Environ Microbiol 73 :7506-7514


Helicobacter pylori is an important human pathogen. However, the study of this organism is often limited by a relative shortage of genetic tools. In an effort to expand the methods available for genetic study, an endogenous H. pylori plasmid was modified for use as a transcriptional reporter and as a complementation vector. This was accomplished by addition of an Escherichia coli origin of replication, a kanamycin resistance cassette, a promoterless gfpmut3 gene, and a functional multiple cloning site to form pTM117. The promoters of amiE and pfr, two well-characterized Fur-regulated promoters, were fused to the promoterless gfpmut3, and green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression of the fusions in wild-type and delta fur strains was analyzed by flow cytometry under iron-replete and iron-depleted conditions. GFP expression was altered as expected based on current knowledge of Fur regulation of these promoters. RNase protection assays were used to determine the ability of this plasmid to serve as a complementation vector by analyzing amiE, pfr, and fur expression in wild-type and delta fur strains carrying a wild-type copy of fur on the plasmid. Proper regulation of these genes was restored in the delta fur background under high- and low-iron conditions, signifying complementation of both iron-bound and apo Fur regulation. These studies show the potential of pTM117 as a molecular tool for genetic analysis of H. pylori.

Casamayor EO, Ferrera I, Cristina X, Borrego CM, Gasol JM (2007) Flow cytometric identification and enumeration of photosynthetic sulfur bacteria and potential for ecophysiological studies at the single-cell level. Environ Microbiol 9 :1969-1985


We show the potential of flow cytometry as a fast tool for population identification and enumeration of photosynthetic sulfur bacteria. Purple (PSB) and green sulfur bacteria (GSB) oxidize hydrogen sulfide to elemental sulfur that can act as storage compound to be further oxidized to sulfate generating the reducing power required for growth. Both groups have different elemental sulfur allocation strategies : whereas PSB store elemental sulfur as intracellular inclusions, GSB allocate sulfur globules externally. We used well-characterized laboratory strains and complex natural photosynthetic populations developing in a sharply stratified meromictic lake to show that PSB and GSB could be detected, differentiated and enumerated in unstained samples using a blue laser-based flow cytometer. Variations in cell-specific pigment content and the dynamics of sulfur accumulation, both intra- and extracellularly, were also detected in flow cytometric plots as sulfur accumulation changed the light scatter characteristics of the cells. These data were used to show the potential for studies on the metabolic status and the rate of activity at the single-cell level. Flow cytometric identification and enumeration resulted in faster and more precise analyses than previous approaches, and may open the door to more complex ecophysiological experiments with photosynthetic sulfur bacteria in mixed cultures and natural environments.

Chen J, Chen L, Wang G, Tang H (2007) Cholesterol-dependent and -independent CD40 internalization and signaling activation in cardiovascular endothelial cells. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 27 :2005-2013


OBJECTIVE : It remains elusive how CD40 endocytosis or clustering on the cell surface is induced by different forms of CD40 agonist. This study aims to investigate whether lipid rafts differentially regulate CD40 traffic and signaling in proinflammatory activation of cardiovascular endothelial cells (ECs). METHODS AND RESULTS : Using fluorescent microscopy and flow cytometry, we demonstrated that soluble CD40L and agonistic antibody G28.5 induced CD40 internalization via clathrin-independent pathway. Furthermore, depletion of cholesterol by methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (MCD) or siRNA knockdown of caveolin-1 efficiently blocked CD40 internalization, suggesting that caveolae-rafts pathway regulates CD40 internalization. In contrast, a membrane-bound CD40L mimic (megamer) triggered aggregation of CD40 rafts outside of the conventional cholera toxin B subunit-positive lipid rafts resistant to cholesterol depletion. Finally, both G28.5 and megamer induced CD40 translocation to Brij58-insoluble, low buoyant density rafts, a movement insensitive to cholesterol depletion. However, MCD effectively inhibited G28.5 but not megamer-induced CD40 activation, and such inhibition could be alleviated by cholesterol reconstitution, suggesting that 2 different raft structures of CD40 induced by G28.5 or megamer possess differential sensitivity to cellular cholesterol levels in downstream signaling. CONCLUSIONS : Depending on different forms of agonist, CD40 uses either a cholesterol-dependent or -independent mode for trafficking and signaling in ECs.

Chen PS, Li CS (2007) Real-time monitoring for bioaerosols—flow cytometry. Analyst 132 :14-16


Bioaerosol detection in real time is an urgent civilian and military requirement. In this article, bioaerosol mass spectrometry, an instrument for real-time detection of bioaerosols using simultaneous measurement of particle aerodynamic size and intrinsic fluorescence, real-time qPCR, and FCM/FL were discussed. Although, challenging work remains to determine the interfering substances (e.g. particulates) of different environments, distinguish the specific species with specific probe, and overcome the high detection limit of FCM (10(4)-10(8) cells ml(-1)), literature reports suggested that FCM/FL has a great potential for real-time monitoring of bioaerosols.

Collado MC, Sanz Y (2007) Characterization of the gastrointestinal mucosa-associated microbiota of pigs and chickens using culture-based and molecular methodologies. J Food Prot 70 :2799-2804


The microbiota of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) can play an important role in the healthy status of farm animals and in the safety of the whole food chain. In this study, the mucosa-associated microbiota of the GIT of pigs and chickens was analyzed by culture methods and fluorescence in situ hybridization combined with flow cytometry (FCM-FISH). In all pig GIT sections, lactic acid bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, Atopobium, Bacteroides, and Clostridium histolyticum were the predominant bacterial groups. Atopobium, Bifidobacterium, Bacteroides, and Lactobacillus were detected at higher levels (P < 0.05) in the intestine than in the stomach. In all broilers’ GIT sections, lactic acid bacteria, Atopobium, Bacteroides, and Escherichia coli were the predominant bacterial groups. Atopobium, Bifidobacterium, E. coli, and Eubacterium rectale—Clostridium coccoides counts were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in the crop, while those of Bacteroides and Lactobacillus were higher (P < 0.05) in the large intestine. Lactic acid bacteria were one of the predominant GIT mucosa-associated bacteria of pigs and broilers, which could be an index of their healthy status. FCM-FISH analysis also allowed the detection of bacterial groups hard to cultivate yet quantitatively important. The distribution of Lactobacillus and Bacteroides followed the same trend in both animal species, whereas that of Atopobium and Bifidobacterium was the opposite. These results contribute to the knowledge on the diversity and distribution of the animal GIT mucosa-associated microbiota.

Collado MC, Sanz Y (2007) Quantification of mucosa-adhered microbiota of lambs and calves by the use of culture methods and fluorescent in situ hybridization coupled with flow cytometry techniques. Vet Microbiol 121 :299-306


The intestinal mucosa-associated microbiota could play important biological roles due to its close proximity with the animal host, but knowledge on its composition is still limited. The aim of this study was to characterize the microbial communities tightly associated with different parts (rumen, duodenum and colon) of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of healthy lambs and calves by using both cultural, and fluorescent in situ hybridization-flow cytometry (FCM-FISH) techniques. Lactic acid bacteria genera were one of the predominant bacteria detected in lambs and calves by both methodologies, possibly constituting an index of their healthy status. The levels of Lactobacillus were significantly higher (p<0.05) in the rumen and duodenum of lambs, and in the rumen of calves. The levels of Bifidobacterium were significantly higher (p<0.05) in the colon of both animal species and the rumen of lambs. Significant differences (p<0.05) were found in counts of other microbial groups (yeast, Enterococcus, Propionibacterium, Bacteroides, Clostridium and Enterobacteriaceae) at diverse GI sections depending on the animal species. In general, microbial counts follow the same trends regardless the applied technique. The most remarkable differences were found in detection levels of Bacteroides and Clostridium, which tended to be significantly higher (p<0.05) when analysed by FCM-FISH. This technique also allowed the detection of quantitatively important bacteria (sulphate-reducing bacteria, Atopobium and Coriobacterium), which are difficult to cultivate in selective medium. Therefore, FCM-FISH has been proven to be a sensitive high throughput approach that provides additional information to that obtained by traditional culture techniques about the complexity of the GI ecosystem of these animal species.

Dahlback M, Lavstsen T, Salanti A, Hviid L, Arnot DE, Theander TG, Nielsen MA (2007) Changes in var gene mRNA levels during erythrocytic development in two phenotypically distinct Plasmodium falciparum parasites. Malar J 6 :78


BACKGROUND : The var multigene family encodes PfEMP1, which are expressed on the surface of infected erythrocytes and bind to various host endothelial receptors. Antigenic variation of PfEMP1 plays a key role in malaria pathogenesis, a process partially controlled at the level of var gene transcription. Transcriptional levels, throughout the intra-erythrocytic cycle, of 59 var genes of the NF54 clone were measured simultaneously by quantitative real-time PCR. The timing of var transcript abundance, the number of genes transcribed and whether transcripts were correctly spliced for protein expression were determined. Two parasite populations were studied ; an unselected population of NF54 and a selected population, NF54VAR2CSA, to compare both the transcription of var2csa and the expression pattern of the corresponding protein. METHODS : Synchronized parasites were harvested at different time points along the 48 hours intra-erythrocytic cycle for extraction of RNA and for analysis of expression of variant surface antigens by flow cytometry. Total RNA from each parasite sample was extracted and cDNA synthesized. Quantitative real-time PCR was performed using gene-specific primers for all var genes. Samples for flow cytometry were labelled with rabbit IgG targeting DBL5epsilon of VAR2CSA and serum IgG from malaria-exposed men and pregnant women. RESULTS : var transcripts were detected at all time points of the intra-erythrocytic cycle by quantitative real-time PCR, although transcription peaked in ring-stage parasites. There was no difference in the timing of appearance of group A, B or C transcripts, and dominant and subdominant var transcripts appeared to be correctly spliced at all time points. VAR2CSA appeared on the surface of infected erythrocytes 16 hours after invasion, consistent with previous studies of other PfEMP1. Transcription of the pseudogene var1csa could not be detected in NF54VAR2CSA cells. CONCLUSION : The optimal sampling point for analysis of var transcripts using quantitative real-time PCR is the ring-stage, which is encouraging for the analysis of fresh clinical isolates. The data presented here indicate that there is no promiscuous transcription of var genes at the individual cell level and that it is possible to correlate dominant transcripts with adhesion phenotype and clinical markers of malaria severity.

Daly RI, Ho L, Brookes JD (2007) Effect of chlorination on Microcystis aeruginosa cell integrity and subsequent microcystin release and degradation. Environ Sci Technol 41 :4447-4453


The proliferation of cyanobacteria in drinking water sources is problematic for water authorities as they can interfere with water treatment processes. Studies have shown that oxidants such as chlorine can enhance the coagulation of cyanobacteria ; however, chlorine can potentially lyse cyanobacterial cells, releasing toxic metabolites. Chlorine also has the potential to effectively degrade these toxins. This study evaluated the effect of chlorine on the cell integrity of toxic Microcystis aeruginosa in reservoir water using flow cytometry. In addition, the effect of chlorine on the subsequent release and degradation of microcystin toxins was systematically assessed. Cell lysis occurred at chlorine exposure values between 7 and 29 mg min/L, which is within the range of normal disinfection practices. Intracellular toxin was shown to be released from damaged cells at a rate three times faster than it was degraded by chlorine. The degradation of extracellular microcystin by chlorine was found to be dependent upon the pH, chlorine exposure, and the presence of cyanobacterial cells.

Donini M, Zenaro E, Tamassia N, Dusi S (2007) NADPH oxidase of human dendritic cells : role in Candida albicans killing and regulation by interferons, dectin-1 and CD206. Eur J Immunol 37 :1194-1203


Human monocyte-derived DC express the enzyme NADPH oxidase, responsible for ROS production. We show that Candida albicans did not activate NADPH oxidase in DC, and was poorly killed by these cells. However, Candida-killing activity increased upon DC stimulation with the NADPH oxidase activator PMA and was further enhanced by DC treatment with IFN-alpha or IFN-gamma. This fungicidal activity took place at high DC-to-Candida ratio, but decreased at low DC-to-yeast ratio, when Candida inhibited the NADPH oxidase by contrasting the assembly of the enzyme on DC plasma membrane. The NADPH oxidase inhibitor diphenyliodonium chloride abrogated the PMA-dependent DC candidacidal capacity. Engagement of beta-glucan receptor dectin-1 induced NADPH oxidase activation in DC that was depressed by mannose-binding receptor CD206 co-stimulation. Candida was internalized by DC through mannose-binding receptors, but not through dectin-1, thus explaining why Candida did not elicit NADPH oxidase activity. Our results indicate that NADPH oxidase is involved in DC Candida-killing activity, which is increased by IFN. However, Candida escapes the oxidative damage by inhibiting NADPH oxidase and by entering DC through receptors not involved in NADPH oxidase activation.

Du EQ, Yan F, Jin WX, Lu N, Xiao HZ, Lu SY, Qi YP (2007) P13 of Leucania separata multiple nuclear polyhedrosis virus affected the polyhedra and budded virions yields of AcMNPV. Virus Res 124 :160-167


p13 gene was first described by our laboratory in Leucania separata multiple nuclear polyhedrovirus (Ls-p13, ORF114) back to 1995. However, the functions of Ls-P13 and its reported homologues remained unknown. In order to probe the function of Ls-P13, recombinant Autographa californica nucleopolyhedroviruses (rAcMNPVs) were constructed to express Ls-P13 in the Sf9 cells at early, late or early/late phase. Observations of microscope showed that the expression of Ls-P13 could decrease the yield of AcMNPV polyhedra in Sf9 cells, and early expressed Ls-P13 had stronger inhibition efficiency than that of the late expressed. Results of flow cytometry also indicated that Ls-P13 decreased the yield of AcMNPV polyhedra while increased those of budded virions (BVs) in Sf9 cells, but the efficacy was lost when its leucine zipper-like domain was mutated. Ls-P13 is a transmembrane protein, which was early located in the nucleus and late mainly in the cytoplasm membrane at 48 h. When its transmembrane domains were deleted, Ls-P13 distribution was dramatically diverted from cytoplasm membrane to nucleus, its corresponding efficacy on polyhedra yield was further increased while that on BVs was slightly weakened. Bioassay results indicated that Ls-P13 accelerated the larvae-killing rate. The mechanism might be that Ls-P13 increased BV yield.

Duan HY, Zhang BY, Hu Y, Song LH, Zhu H, Duan Q (2007) [Study on the ability of mammalian reovirus BYD1 to induce apoptosis and analysis of the structure of viral major membrane penetration protein involved in proapoptosis induction]. Zhonghua Shi Yan He Lin Chuang Bing Du Xue Za Zhi 21 :223-225


OBJECTIVE : To study a newly isolated domestic mammalian reovirus, BYD1, its ability to induce apoptosis analyze the three-dimensional structure of its major membrane penetration protein to predict its function in inducing apoptosis. METHODS : HeLa cells infected with BYD1 reovirus were metered with flow cytometer (FCM) to quantify the ratio of apoptotic cells. The data were analyzed with Student’s t-test to judge the ability of BYD1 strain to induce apoptosis. The primary sequence ranged from 582 to 675 per microliter protein of BYD1, T1L, T2J and T3D were aligned and compared. The three-dimensional comparative protein structure model of microliter protein was generated by homology-modeling pipeline SWISS MODEL was applied to annotate its secondary and tertiary structure. RESULTS : BYD1 strain was verified with the ability to induce the apoptosis of HeLa cells. The 643-675 segment composing an alpha-helix showed major difference compared with prototype T2J. CONCLUSION : The newly isolated reovirus BYD1 is an apoptosis inducing strain. The alpha-helix (residues 643 to 675) of microliter protein of BYD1 may play a key role to induce the proapoptotic activity of infected cells.

Ducey TF, Page B, Usgaard T, Borucki MK, Pupedis K, Ward TJ (2007) A single-nucleotide-polymorphism-based multilocus genotyping assay for subtyping lineage I isolates of Listeria monocytogenes. Appl Environ Microbiol 73 :133-147


Listeria monocytogenes is a facultative intracellular pathogen responsible for food-borne disease with high mortality rates in humans and is the leading microbiological cause of food recalls. Lineage I isolates of L. monocytogenes are a particular public health concern because they are responsible for most sporadic cases of listeriosis and the vast majority of epidemic outbreaks. Rapid, reproducible, and sensitive methods for differentiating pathogens below the species level are required for effective pathogen control programs, and the CDC PulseNet Task Force has called for the development and validation of DNA sequence-based methods for subtyping food-borne pathogens. Therefore, we developed a multilocus genotyping (MLGT) assay for L. monocytogenes lineage I isolates based on nucleotide variation identified by sequencing 23,251 bp of DNA from 22 genes distributed across seven genomic regions in 65 L. monocytogenes isolates. This single-well assay of 60 allele-specific probes captured 100% of the haplotype information contained in approximately 1.5 Mb of comparative DNA sequence and was used to reproducibly type a total of 241 lineage I isolates. The MLGT assay provided high discriminatory power (Simpson’s index value, 0.91), uniquely identified isolates from the eight listeriosis outbreaks examined, and differentiated serotypes 1/2b and 4b as well as epidemic clone I (ECI), ECIa, and ECII. In addition, the assay included probes for a previously characterized truncation mutation in inlA, providing for the identification of a specific virulence-attenuated subtype. These results demonstrate that MLGT represents a significant new tool for use in pathogen surveillance, outbreak detection, risk assessment, population analyses, and epidemiological investigations. DNA sequences were deposited in the GenBank database under accession numbers DQ 812146 to DQ 812517, DQ 843664 to DQ 844598, and AY 512391 to AY 512502.

El Shikh ME, El Sayed RM, Tew JG, Szakal AK (2007) Follicular dendritic cells stimulated by collagen type I develop dendrites and networks in vitro. Cell Tissue Res 329 :81-89


Follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) reside in germinal centers in which their dendrites interdigitate and form non-mobile networks. FDC purification requires the use of collagenase and selection columns and leaves FDCs without detectable dendrites when examined by light microscopy. We have reasoned that isolated FDCs might reattach to a collagen matrix, extend their processes, and form immobile networks in vitro. As a test for this, cells were plated on collagen type I, laminin, biglycan, and hyaluronan. After 12 h, 80%-90% of FDCs adhered to all tested matrices but not to plastic. Within 2 weeks, FDCs adhering to type I collagen had spread out and had begun to acquire processes with occasional interconnections. By day 30, most FDCs had fine processes that formed networks through interdigitation with neighboring cells. FDC identity was confirmed by FDC-M1 labeling, immune complex trapping, and retention by FDCs in the networks. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed that groups of FDCs were in networks composed of convolutions and branching dendrites emanating from FDC cell bodies. In vivo, collagen type I was co-localized with FDCs, 5 h after challenge of immune mice with antigen. However, 2 days later, the collagen type I fibers were largely found at the periphery of the active follicles. Flow cytometry established the expression of CD29 and CD44 on FDCs ; this may have partly mediated FDC-collagen interactions. Thus, we report, for the first time, that FDCs attach to collagen type I in vitro and regenerate their processes and networks with features in common with networks present in vivo.

El Shikh ME, El Sayed RM, Wu Y, Szakal AK, Tew JG (2007) TLR4 on follicular dendritic cells : an activation pathway that promotes accessory activity. J Immunol 179 :4444-4450


Microbial molecular patterns engage TLRs and activate dendritic cells and other accessory cells. Follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) exist in resting and activated states, but are activated in germinal centers, where they provide accessory function. We reasoned that FDCs might express TLRs and that engagement might activate FDCs by up-regulating molecules important for accessory activity. To test this hypothesis, TLR4 expression on FDCs was studied in situ with immunohistochemistry, followed by flow cytometry and RT-PCR analysis. TLR4 was expressed on FDC reticula in situ, and flow cytometry indicated that TLR4 was expressed on surface membranes and TLR4 message was readily apparent in FDCs by RT-PCR. Injecting mice or treating purified FDCs with LPS up-regulated molecules important for accessory activity including, FDC-Fc gammaRIIB, FDC-ICAM-1, and FDC-VCAM-1. Treatment of purified FDCs with LPS also induced intracellular phospho-IkappaB-alpha, indicating NF-kappaB activation, and that correlated with increased Fc gammaRIIB, ICAM-1, and VCAM-1. FDCs in C3H/HeJ mice were not activated with LPS even when mice were reconstituted with C3H/HeN leukocytes, suggesting that engagement of FDC-TLR4 is necessary for activation. Moreover, activated FDCs exhibited increased accessory activity in anti-OVA recall responses in vitro, and the FDC number could be reduced 4-fold if they were activated. In short, we report expression of TLR4 on FDCs for the first time and that engagement of FDC-TLR4 activated NF-kappaB, up-regulated expression of molecules important in FDC accessory function, including Fc gammaRIIB, ICAM-1, and VCAM-1, as well as FDC accessory activity in promoting recall IgG responses.

Evenson DP, Kasperson K, Wixon RL (2007) Analysis of sperm DNA fragmentation using flow cytometry and other techniques. Soc Reprod Fertil Suppl 65 :93-113


The goal of a rapid, precise and objective sperm measure of sperm DNA fragmentation, in situ, was realised a quarter century ago by the pioneer development of the sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA). Since then, measurements on many thousands of sperm samples from a variety of animals and humans exposed to reproductive toxicants and having different diseases or infertility pathologies have solidly established the utility of sperm DNA fragmentation in experimental and clinical settings. New methods have been developed that measure sperm DNA fragmentation by different means such as the enzymatic labelling of broken DNA strands (Tunel assay by light microscopy or flow cytometry) and the light microscope observations of DNA fragments in the Comet assay and the negative loops of sperm chromatin in the Halo sperm assay.These assays have proven useful in the areas of livestock and captive wildlife reproduction efficiency, toxicology and more recently in the human infertility clinic. A significant problem is the lack of quality control and standards of threshold values between laboratories. At this time, only the SCSA has been deemed sufficiently rigorous in methodology and established clinical thresholds for utility in the human infertility clinic.

Ewaschuk JB, Backer JL, Churchill TA, Obermeier F, Krause DO, Madsen KL (2007) Surface expression of Toll-like receptor 9 is upregulated on intestinal epithelial cells in response to pathogenic bacterial DNA. Infect Immun 75 :2572-2579


Colonic epithelial cells are constantly exposed to high levels of bacterial DNA in the intestinal lumen and must recognize and respond appropriately to pathogens, while they maintain a tolerance to nonpathogenic commensal bacterial strains. Bacterial DNA is recognized by Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9). The aim of this study was to investigate TLR9 expression and localization in colonic epithelial cells under basal conditions and in response to bacterial DNA. HT-29 cells were exposed to DNA from various strains of commensal and pathogenic microbes. TLR9 mRNA expression was determined by real-time reverse transcription-PCR, and interleukin-8 (IL-8) secretion was measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Localization of TLR9 was determined by flow cytometry in HT-29 cells and by immunofluorescence in HT-29 cells and mouse colonic tissue. Immunofluorescence and flow cytometric analyses demonstrated that there was intracellular and surface expression of TLR9 in HT-29 cells under basal conditions. Exposure of cells to DNA from pathogenic strains of Salmonella and Escherichia coli resulted in a significant increase in TLR9 mRNA expression. Salmonella enterica serovar Dublin DNA increased surface TLR9 protein and IL-8 secretion. There was no change in mRNA levels or localization of TLR9 in response to Bifidobacterium breve. Chloroquine did not block IL-8 secretion in response to S. enterica serovar Dublin DNA. TLR9 was expressed on the colonic apical surface in wild-type mice but not in germfree mice. These results demonstrate that intestinal epithelial cells recognize pathogenic bacterial DNA and respond by increasing surface localization and expression of TLR9, suggesting that the epithelial inflammatory response to pathogenic DNA is mediated at least in part by increased TLR9 expression.

Fairweather D, Rose NR (2007) Coxsackievirus-induced myocarditis in mice : a model of autoimmune disease for studying immunotoxicity. Methods 41 :118-122


Excellent animal models are available for virus-induced and autoimmune heart disease that are remarkably similar to human disease. Developing good animal models for heart disease is crucial because cardiovascular disease is now the leading cause of death in the United States and is estimated to be the leading cause of death in the world by the year 2020. A significant proportion of heart disease in Western populations is associated with inflammation. Myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, is the major cause of sudden death in young adults. Although most individuals recover from acute myocarditis, genetically susceptible individuals may go on to develop chronic myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) resulting in congestive heart failure. In this article, we describe a model of autoimmune myocarditis and DCM induced by inoculation with heart-passaged coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3). Intraperitoneal inoculation of susceptible mice with CVB3 induces acute cardiac inflammation from days 7 to 14 postinfection (pi) that progresses to chronic myocarditis and DCM from day 28 to at least 56 pi. The model of CVB3-induced myocarditis presented here allows dissection of the contribution of viral infection and xenobiotics on immune dysregulation and inflammation in the heart. An improved understanding of the interaction between environmental exposures and the development of heart disease represents a clear challenge for immunotoxicologists.

Felip M, Andreatta S, Sommaruga R, Straskrabova V, Catalan J (2007) Suitability of flow cytometry for estimating bacterial biovolume in natural plankton samples : comparison with microscopy data. Appl Environ Microbiol 73 :4508-4514


The relationship between flow cytometry data and epifluorescence microscopy measurements was assessed in bacterioplankton samples from 80 lakes to estimate bacterial biovolume and cell size distribution. The total counts of 4’,6’-diamidino-2-phenylindole-stained cells estimated by both methods were significantly related, and the slope of their linear regression was not significantly different from 1, indicating that both methods produce very similar estimates of bacterial abundance. The relationships between side scatter (SSC) and 4’,6’-diamidino-2-phenylindole fluorescence and cell volume (microscopy values) were improved by binning of the data in three frequency classes for each, but further increases in the number of classes did not improve these relationships. Side scatter was the best cell volume predictor, and significant relationships were observed between the SSC classes and the smallest (R2 = 0.545, P < 0.001, n = 80) and the largest (R2 = 0.544, P < 0.001, n = 80) microscopy bacterial-size classes. Based on these relationships, a reliable bacterial biomass estimation was obtained from the SSC frequency classes. Our study indicates that flow cytometry can be used to properly estimate bacterioplankton biovolume, with an accuracy similar to those of more time-consuming microscopy methods.

Flint S, Walker K, Waters B, Crawford R (2007) Description and validation of a rapid (1 h) flow cytometry test for enumerating thermophilic bacteria in milk powders. J Appl Microbiol 102 :909-915


AIMS : The aim of this study was to develop a rapid assay for enumerating thermophilic bacteria in milk powder. METHODS AND RESULTS : The BactiFlow flow cytometer was used to count bacteria based on esterase activity in viable bacterial cells. A protocol for total viable bacteria was modified by heat-treating the sample to selectively label thermophilic bacteria. Samples of milk powder dissolved in 0.1% peptone were treated with 0.8% ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid to reduce background interference because of denatured milk proteins. Either thermophilic bacteria were added to the dissolved milk powder or milk powder solutions were incubated at 55 degrees C for 2-3 h to enrich the natural thermophile population for testing. Results from the BactiFlow were compared with traditional plate count results. CONCLUSIONS : Thermophilic bacteria in milk powder can be enumerated within 1 h using the BactiFlow flow cytometer. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY : Microbiological test results obtained within 1 h can potentially be used to monitor manufacturing processes, effectively trace problems and provide confidence in the manufacture of product.

Foladori P, Laura B, Gianni A, Giuliano Z (2007) Effects of sonication on bacteria viability in wastewater treatment plants evaluated by flow cytometry—fecal indicators, wastewater and activated sludge. Water Res 41 :235-243


The application of sonication to wastewater or sludge contributes to the dispersion of aggregates, the solubilisation of particulate matter with an increase in its biodegradability, the damage of microorganisms due to the loss of cellular membrane integrity. This research is aimed at investigating the effects of sonication at 20kHz frequency on viability of microorganisms present in raw wastewater and activated sludge taken from a municipal wastewater treatment plant, as well as pure strains of Escherichia coli and E. faecalis. Flow cytometry was applied for the identification and quantification of viable and dead bacteria free in the bulk liquid, after the fluorescent staining of cellular nucleic acids. The main results showed that : (i) cells of E. coli were highly sensitive to sonication, even at low specific ultrasonic energy (E(s)), and disintegration of a large amount of cells was observed ; (ii) on the contrary E. faecalis were more resistant than E. coli, even if high levels of E(s) were applied ; (iii) bacteria in raw wastewater exhibited a dynamic of viable and dead bacteria similar to E. coli ; (iv) in activated sludge samples, low levels of E(s) produced a prevalent disaggregation of flocs releasing single cells in the bulk liquid, while disruption of bacteria was induced only by very high levels of E(s).

Fornwald JA, Lu Q, Wang D, Ames RS (2007) Gene expression in mammalian cells using BacMam, a modified baculovirus system. Methods Mol Biol 388 :95-114


BacMams are modified baculoviruses that contain mammalian expression cassettes for gene delivery and expression in mammalian cells. The BacMam system combines the advantages of viral transient expression, ease in generation, and a wide cell tropism. It enables rapid, facile, and flexible gene over-expression experiments to be performed in a variety of mammalian cell lines. Conversion of baculovirus vectors to BacMam vectors involves replacement of the viral specific expression cassette with a mammalian expression cassette or the addition of a mammalian expression cassette. Viruses are produced using standard methods in a few weeks. Mammalian cells transduced with the BacMam viruses have been routinely used as substitutes for stable cell lines.

Gagnaire B, Gay M, Huvet A, Daniel JY, Saulnier D, Renault T (2007) Combination of a pesticide exposure and a bacterial challenge : in vivo effects on immune response of Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas (Thunberg). Aquat Toxicol 84 :92-102


To assess the impact of pollution induced by pesticides on Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, health in France, in vivo effects of combined pesticide exposure and bacterial challenge on cell activities and gene expression in hemocytes were tested using flow cytometry and real-time PCR. As a first step, an in vivo model of experimental contamination was developed. Pacific oysters were exposed to a mixture of eight pesticides (atrazine, glyphosate, alachlor, metolachlor, fosetyl-alumimium, terbuthylazine, diuron and carbaryl) at environmentally relevant concentrations over a 7-day period. Hemocyte parameters (cell mortality, enzyme activities and phagocytosis) were monitored using flow cytometry and gene expression was evaluated by real-time PCR (RT-PCR). The expression of 19 genes involved in C. gigas hemocyte functions was characterized using RT-PCR. After 7 days of exposure, phagocytosis was significantly reduced and the 19 selected genes were down-regulated in treated animals. As a second step, the experimental contamination method previously developed was used to study interactions between pesticide exposure and bacterial challenge by intramuscular injection of two Vibrio splendidus-related pathogenic strains. Oyster mortality and expression of 10 of the 19 selected genes were followed 4 and 24h post-injection. Oyster mortality was higher in pesticide-treated oysters compared to untreated oysters after the bacterial challenge. Gene expression was up-regulated in pesticide-treated oysters compared to untreated oysters after the bacterial challenge. We hypothesize that gene over-expression due to an interaction between pesticides and bacteria could lead to an injury of host tissues, resulting in higher mortality rates. In conclusion, this study is the first to show effects of pesticides at environmentally relevant concentrations on C. gigas hemocytes and to hypothesize that pesticides modulate the immune response to a bacterial challenge in oysters.

Gagnon V, Chazarenc F, Comeau Y, Brisson J (2007) Influence of macrophyte species on microbial density and activity in constructed wetlands. Water Sci Technol 56 :249-254


It is often assumed that planted wastewater treatment systems outperform unplanted ones, mainly because plants stimulate belowground microbial population. Yet, fundamental interactions between plants and associated microorganisms remain only partly understood. The aim of our project was to evaluate microbial density and activity associated to the rhizosphere of three plant species. Experimental set-up, in six replicates, consisted of four 1.8-L microcosms respectively planted in monoculture of Typha angustifolia, Phragmites australis, Phalaris arundinacea and unplanted control. Plants were grown for two months with 25 L m(-2) d(-1) of secondary effluent (in g m(-2) d(-1) : 1.3 TSS, 7.5 COD, 1.0 TKN). Sampling of substrate, roots and interstitial water was made according to depth (0-10, 10-20 cm). Biofilm was extracted with 500 mL of a buffer solution. Microbial density was directly estimated by flow cytometry and indirectly by protein measurements. Biological activity was determined using respirometry assays, dehydrogenase and enzymatic activity measurements. Our results show that microbial density and activity are higher in the presence of plants, with significantly higher values associated with Phalaris arundinacea. Greater density of aerobic or facultative bacteria was present in planted microcosm, particularly on root surface, suggesting root oxygen release. Microbes were present on substrate and roots as an attached biofilm and abundance was correlated to root surface throughout depth. Plant species root morphology and development seem to be a key factor influencing microbial-plant interaction.

Ge F, Luo Y, Liew PX, Hung E (2007) Derivation of a novel SARS-coronavirus replicon cell line and its application for anti-SARS drug screening. Virology 360 :150-158


The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2002, which had a high morbidity rate and caused worldwide alarm, remains untreated today even though SARS was eventually isolated and controlled. Development and high-throughput screening of efficacious drugs is therefore critical. However, currently there remains a lack of such a safe system. Here, the generation and characterization of the first selectable, SARS-coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-based replicon cell line which can be used for screening is described. Partial SARS-CoV cDNAs and antibiotic resistance/reporter gene DNA were generated and assembled in vitro to produce the replicon transcription template, which was then transcribed in vitro to generate the replicon RNA. The latter was introduced into a mammalian cell line and the transfected cells were selected for by antibiotic application. For the antibiotic-resistant cell lines thus generated, the expression of reporter gene was ensured by continued monitoring using fluorescent microscopy and flow cytometry. The suitability of this replicon cell line in drug screening was demonstrated by testing the inhibitory effect of several existing drugs and the results demonstrate that the SARS-CoV replicon cell lines provide a safe tool for the identification of SARS-CoV replicase inhibitors. The replicon cell lines thus developed can be applied to high-throughput screening for anti-SARS drugs without the need to grow infectious SARS-CoV.

Gitaitis R, Walcott R (2007) The epidemiology and management of seedborne bacterial diseases. Annu Rev Phytopathol 45 :371-397


Although seed production has been moved to semiarid regions to escape seedborne pathogens, seedborne bacterial diseases continue to be problematic and cause significant economic losses worldwide. Infested seeds are responsible for the re-emergence of diseases of the past, movement of pathogens across international borders, or the introduction of diseases into new areas. Considerable attention has been paid to improving the sensitivity and selectivity of seed health assays by using techniques such as flow cytometry and the polymerase chain reaction. There has also been progress in understanding infection thresholds and how they influence seed sample size determination and ultimately the reliability of seed health testing. Disease development and dissemination of pathogens from contaminated seedlots can be predicted using formulas that take into account inoculum density and environmental pressures. In general, seeds infested with bacterial pathogens are distributed within a Poisson distribution. In a subset of contaminated seeds, bacteria are distributed in non-Gaussian distributions, e.g., a lognormal distribution.

Gniechwitz D, Reichardt N, Blaut M, Steinhart H, Bunzel M (2007) Dietary fiber from coffee beverage : degradation by human fecal microbiota. J Agric Food Chem 55 :6989-6996


Arabinogalactans and galactomannans from coffee beverages are part of the dietary fiber complex. Chemical structures and fermentability of soluble dietary fiber obtained from a standard filter coffee beverage (Coffea arabica, origin Colombia, medium roasted) by human intestinal bacteria were investigated. One cup (150 mL) of filter coffee contained approximately 0.5 g of soluble dietary fiber (enzymatic-gravimetric methodology), 62% of which were polysaccharides. The remainder was composed of Maillard reaction products and other nonidentified substances. Galactomannans and type II arabinogalactans were present in almost equal proportions. Coffee dietary fiber was readily fermented by human fecal slurries, resulting in the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). After 24 h of fermentation, 85% of total carbohydrates were degraded. In general, arabinosyl units from the polysaccharide fraction were degraded at a slower rate than mannosyl and galactosyl units. In the process of depolymerization arabinogalactans were debranched and the ratio of (1—>3)-linked to (1—>6)-linked galactosyl residues decreased. Structural units composed of (1—>5)-linked arabinosyl residues were least degradable, whereas terminally linked arabinosyl residues were easily utilized. The impact of coffee fiber on numerically dominant population groups of the intestinal microbiota was investigated by fluorescence in situ hybridization combined with flow cytometry (FISH-FC). After 24 h of fermentation, an increase of about 60% of species belonging to the Bacteroides-Prevotella group was observed. The growth of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli was not stimulated.

Grage-Griebenow E, Loseke S, Kauth M, Gehlhar K, Zawatzky R, Bufe A (2007) Anti-BDCA-4 (neuropilin-1) antibody can suppress virus-induced IFN-alpha production of plasmacytoid dendritic cells. Immunol Cell Biol 85 :383-390


Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDC) in human blood are the main source of virus-induced interferon (IFN)-alpha. They exhibit a lineage-negative phenotype but all express BDCA-4, which is homologous to the neuronal receptor neuropilin-1. Specific staining with anti-BDCA-4 antibody is used for positive isolation of PDC from blood by magnetic cells sorting. Here, it is demonstrated that these positively selected PDC showed reduced or completely abolished IFN-alpha release compared to unstained PDC, which were negatively selected by magnetic depletion of lineage-positive blood mononuclear cells. In addition, treatment of these unstained PDC with anti-BDCA-4 mAb also resulted in at least two-fold lower or reduced virus-induced IFN-alpha production. It is shown that the antibody not only affects cell survival or block virus attachment but also reduces IFN-alpha release induced by non-viral CpG oligodeoxynucleotides. In conclusion, data suggest an immunoregulatory role for BDCA-4 on PDC as demonstrated for IFN-alpha response to virus.

Groseth A, Hoenen T, Alimonti JB, Zielecki F, Ebihara H, Theriault S, Stroher U, Becker S, Feldmann H (2007) In vitro evaluation of antisense RNA efficacy against filovirus infection, by use of reverse genetics. J Infect Dis 196 Suppl 2 :S382-389


BACKGROUND : Recent reports indicate the possibility of using small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to treat filovirus infections ; however, they also show that the effectiveness of this approach is highly dependent on target site selection. Therefore, we explored the application of minigenomes as screening tools to identify functional siRNA targets under biosafety level 2 conditions. METHODS : siRNA candidates were screened using the minigenome system to identify those with potential antiviral activity, compared with controls with poor predicted function on the basis of design guidelines, or those that were noncomplementary to Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV). These findings were then validated in cell culture by use of a previously developed ZEBOV expressing green fluorescent protein (ZEBOV-GFP), which allowed siRNA function to be easily assessed via flow cytometry or focus formation. RESULTS : The most promising siRNA based on minigenome screening, targeting the nucleoprotein (NP) mRNA (ZNP1), also reduced protein expression and decreased viral titers after infection with ZEBOV-GFP to an extent similar to that reported for an siRNA recently shown to be therapeutic in guinea pigs. CONCLUSIONS : Minigenome screening appears to be an effective and convenient method of evaluating the therapeutic potential of siRNA targets, and findings suggest that its use would increase success rates in later stages of siRNA testing.

Gunther S, Geyer W, Harms H, Muller S (2007) Fluorogenic surrogate substrates for toluene-degrading bacteria—are they useful for activity analysis ? J Microbiol Methods 70 :272-283


Cultivated bacterial toluene degraders use one or several of four described pathways for the aerobic degradation of this priority groundwater contaminant. To be able to identify un-cultivated toluene-degrading bacteria within enriched or natural consortia, we attempted to develop a set of staining techniques that invariably label toluene-degrading bacteria while differentiating between the different degradation pathways. In the literature, we found suggestions for pathway-specific labels of individual cells that rely on the conversion of toluene surrogates into specific colored and fluorescent products. These surrogate substrates were phenylacetylene (PA), cinnamonitrile, 3-hydroxyphenylacetylene (3-HPA), and indole. We were able to confirm that the chromogenic reactions reliably verified the pathway-specific reactions of well-characterized toluene-degrading bacterial species. However, it was most surprising to find out that three (PA, 3-HPA and cinnamonitrile) of the four supplied surrogate substrates did not lead to any product fluorescence above the cultures’ autofluorescence, neither inside of cells nor in supernatants. More disturbingly, the original surrogate compound 3-HPA was inherently fluorescent and found to stain cells at intensities that depended on their states in the cell cycle. Indoxyl originating from the surrogate substrate indole was the only fluorescent product that was formed. It was detected intracellularly when the cells were sealed with para-formaldehyde, but its appearance was unrelated to the presence of expressed toluene degradation pathways. These findings were scrutinized by fluorescence spectroscopy, fluorescence microscopy, and flow cytometry. Activity and growth of the test bacteria were determined by analyzing chromosome numbers and membrane integrity. Our results contradict literature reports that propose the surrogate fluorogenic substrates for the identification of toluene degraders and the identification of specific pathways used by them.

Halwani M, Mugabe C, Azghani AO, Lafrenie RM, Kumar A, Omri A (2007) Bactericidal efficacy of liposomal aminoglycosides against Burkholderia cenocepacia. J Antimicrob Chemother 60 :760-769


OBJECTIVES : Burkholderia cenocepacia (formally a genotype of Burkholderia cepacia complex called genomovar III) has emerged as a serious opportunistic pathogen in individuals with cystic fibrosis. We developed a liposomal antibiotic formulation composed of 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine and cholesterol (molar ratio 2:1) to overcome B. cenocepacia’s resistance to commonly used aminoglycosidic antibiotics. METHODS : The dehydration-rehydration vesicles technique was used to entrap antibiotics in liposomes. The size of liposome formulations was measured and encapsulation efficiencies were determined by microbiological assays. MICs of free and liposomal antibiotics against the clinical isolates of B. cenocepacia were determined by the standard broth dilution method and in vitro time—kill studies were performed using free and liposomal antibiotics at one, two or four times the MICs. We studied the mechanism of action of these formulations by using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS) analysis, lipid-mixing assay and immunocytochemistry. RESULTS : The encapsulation efficiencies of amikacin, gentamicin and tobramycin into liposomes were 52.08 +/- 5.4%, 27.72 +/- 1.14% and 28.08 +/- 1.54%, respectively. The liposome formulations were more stable in PBS at 4 degrees C than in PBS, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid or plasma at 37 degrees C. The TEM studies along with lipid-mixing assays and FACS analysis indicated the lipid contact of the liposomal bilayers and bacterial cell membranes. Most importantly, our liposomal formulations reduced MICs for highly antibiotic-resistant strains and enhanced the antibiotics’ penetration into the bacterial cells. For instance, bacterial eradication by liposomal tobramycin was 4-fold higher than free tobramycin. CONCLUSIONS : A liposomal drug delivery system might enhance the efficacy of commonly used aminoglycosides.

Hammes F, Meylan S, Salhi E, Koster O, Egli T, von Gunten U (2007) Formation of assimilable organic carbon (AOC) and specific natural organic matter (NOM) fractions during ozonation of phytoplankton. Water Res 41 :1447-1454


Ozonation of natural surface water increases the concentration of oxygen-containing low molecular weight compounds. Many of these compounds support microbiological growth and as such are termed assimilable organic carbon (AOC). Phytoplankton can contribute substantially to the organic carbon load when surface water is used as source for drinking water treatment. We have investigated dissolved organic carbon (DOC) formation from the ozonation of a pure culture of Scenedesmus vacuolatus under defined laboratory conditions, using a combination of DOC fractionation, analysis of selected organic acids, aldehydes and ketones, and an AOC bioassay. Ozonation of algae caused a substantial increase in the concentration of DOC and AOC, notably nearly instantaneously upon exposure to ozone. As a result of ozone exposure the algal cells shrunk, without disintegrating entirely, suggesting that DOC from the cell cytoplasm leaked through compromised cell membranes. We have further illustrated that the specific composition of newly formed AOC (as concentration of organic acids, aldehydes and ketones) in ozonated lake water differed in the presence and absence of additional algal biomass. It is therefore conceivable that strategies for the removal of phytoplankton before pre-ozonation should be considered during the design of drinking water treatment installations, particularly when surface water is used.

Hanley B (2007) Variance in multiplex suspension array assays : intraplex method improves reliability. Theor Biol Med Model 4 :32


BACKGROUND : Flow cytometry based suspended microarray assays are susceptible to many sources of variance ; multi-well replication and inter-instrument reproducibility is uncertain. METHOD AND RESULTS : An "intraplex" method was developed in order to minimize differences in sample readings between instruments. A full intraplex assay consists of a set m of microparticle set classifications assaying for the same analyte, with each of the m classifier sets having different sensitivity to analyte, and n classifier sets replicating each of the m levels of sensitivity, where m > 1 (generally m > 4 would be used). CONCLUSION : The intraplex method can compensate adequately for the sources of variance that have been identified in suspended microarray assays. It requires no changes to current equipment in use, and is a superior method of constructing precision assays. Additionally, Luminex users may want to consider the evidence that shows that despite calibration to the same standard, two instruments may not give similar results for all concentrations of analytes.

Hara-Kaonga B, Pistole TG (2007) A dual fluorescence flow cytometric analysis of bacterial adherence to mammalian host cells. J Microbiol Methods 69 :37-43


Flow cytometry has provided a powerful tool for analyzing bacteria-host cell associations. Established approaches have used bacteria, labeled either directly with fluorochromes or indirectly with fluorescently conjugated antibodies, to detect these associations. Although useful, these techniques are consistently unable to include all host cells in the analysis while excluding free, aggregated bacteria. This study describes a new flow cytometry method of assessing bacterial adherence to host cells based on direct fluorescent labeling of both bacteria and host cells. Eukaryotic host cells were labeled with PKH-26, a red fluorescent dye, and bacteria were labeled with fluorescein isothiocyanate, a green fluorescent dye. The red host cells were gated and the mean green fluorescence intensity (MFI) of these red cells was determined. We used MFI values obtained from control samples (unlabeled and labeled host cells with unlabeled bacteria) to eliminate contributions due to autofluorescence. The final MFI values represent fluorescence of host cells resulting from the adherent bacteria. Because all red fluorescent cells are analyzed, this method includes all the eukaryotic cells for analysis but excludes all free or aggregated bacteria that are not bound to target cells.

Hernlem BJ, Ravva SV (2007) Application of flow cytometry and cell sorting to the bacterial analysis of environmental aerosol samples. J Environ Monit 9 :1317-1322


Flow cytometry (FCM) combined with viability staining is a useful tool in discerning viable bacteria in environmental samples where traditional culture methods may fail. Contamination of aerosol samples with dust and other non-biological particles can interfere with accurate sample analysis and therefore there is a desire to exclude those particles from analysis. Particles were sorted according to their light scattering properties, cultured and isolates obtained. Isolates were cultured in suspension and reanalyzed by flow cytometry. The isolates were also analyzed and identified by DNA sequence analysis. Isolates with statistically similar light scattering properties shared common sequence identification. Isolates exhibited distinct light scattering profiles that roughly correlated with their originating gate, but often the peak of the profile was outside that gate.

Hewitt CJ, Onyeaka H, Lewis G, Taylor IW, Nienow AW (2007) A comparison of high cell density fed-batch fermentations involving both induced and non-induced recombinant Escherichia coli under well-mixed small-scale and simulated poorly mixed large-scale conditions. Biotechnol Bioeng 96 :495-505


In this work, multi-parameter flow cytometric techniques, coupled with dual colour fluorescent staining, have been used to study the metabolic consequences of inclusion body formation in high cell density fed-batch cultures of the recombinant E. coli strain MSD3735, producing the IPTG inducible model mammalian protein, AP50. Further, we report on the development of the scale-down, two compartment (STR + PFR) experimental simulation model to study, for the first time, the effect of a changing microenvironment with respect to three of the major spatial heterogeneities that may be associated with large-scale bioprocessing (pH, glucose and dissolved oxygen concentration) on a recombinant bacterial system. Using various time points for induction and various scale-down configurations, it has been shown that inclusion body formation is followed immediately by a detrimental progressive change in individual cell physiological state with respect to both cytoplasmic membrane polarisation and permeability, resulting in a lower final biomass yield. However, the extent of this change was found to be dependent on whether the AP50 protein was induced or not, on the time of induction and on which combination of heterogeneities was being simulated. From this and previous work, it is clear that the scale-down two-compartment model can be used to study the impact of genetically modifying an organism to produce inclusion bodies and any range and combination of potential heterogeneities known to exist at the large scale.

Hinterkorner G, Brugger G, Muller D, Hesse F, Kunert R, Katinger H, Borth N (2007) Improvement of the energy metabolism of recombinant CHO cells by cell sorting for reduced mitochondrial membrane potential. J Biotechnol 129 :651-657


One of the major problems in process performance of mammalian cell cultures is the production of lactic acid. Cell specific glucose uptake rates usually correlate to glucose concentration and approximately 80% of the metabolised glucose is converted into lactic acid. As the mitochondrial membrane potential was shown to correlate to cell specific glucose uptake rates, we used Rhodamine 123, a lipophilic cationic dye for cell sorting to improve the energy metabolism of existing production cell lines. Two recombinant CHO cell lines with known differences in lactic acid production rate were used to evaluate Rhodamine 123 staining as a descriptor for glucose uptake rates and to determine whether it is possible to isolate subclones with altered metabolic properties. Such subclones would exhibit an improved process performance, and in addition could be used as models for genomic and metabolic studies. From the cell line with high lactate production, a subclone sorted for reduced mitochondrial membrane potential was found to have a lower specific lactate formation rate compared to the parental cell line in batch cultures. In addition, the glucose consumption rate was also reduced, while both the growth rate and the final cell concentration were increased. A subclone sorted for high mitochondrial membrane potential, on the other hand, had a higher glucose consumption rate, a higher lactate production rate and reduced growth. The potential of using flow cytometric cell sorting methods based on physiological activity for cell line optimisation is discussed.

Hultberg A, Tremblay DM, de Haard H, Verrips T, Moineau S, Hammarstrom L, Marcotte H (2007) Lactobacillli expressing llama VHH fragments neutralise Lactococcus phages. BMC Biotechnol 7 :58


BACKGROUND : Bacteriophages infecting lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are widely acknowledged as the main cause of milk fermentation failures. In this study, we describe the surface-expression as well as the secretion of two functional llama heavy-chain antibody fragments, one binding to the major capsid protein (MCP) and the other to the receptor-binding proteins (RBP) of the lactococcal bacteriophage p2, by lactobacilli in order to neutralise lactococcal phages. RESULTS : The antibody fragment VHH5 that is directed against the RBP, was fused to a c-myc tag and expressed in a secreted form by a Lactobacillus strain. The fragment VHH2 that is binding to the MCP, was fused to an E-tag and anchored on the surface of the lactobacilli. Surface expression of VHH2 was confirmed by flow cytometry using an anti-E-tag antibody. Efficient binding of both the VHH2 and the secreted VHH5 fragment to the phage antigens was shown in ELISA. Scanning electron microscopy showed that lactobacilli expressing VHH2 anchored at their surface were able to bind lactococcal phages. A neutralisation assay also confirmed that the secreted VHH5 and the anchored VHH2 fragments prevented the adsorption of lactococcal phages to their host cells. CONCLUSION : Lactobacilli were able to express functional VHH fragments in both a secreted and a cell surface form and reduced phage infection of lactococcal cells. Lactobacilli expressing llama heavy-chain antibody fragments represent a novel way to limit phage infection.

Hunt ME, Brown DR (2007) Role of sialidase in Mycoplasma alligatoris-induced pulmonary fibroblast apoptosis. Vet Microbiol 121 :73-82


Mycoplasma alligatoris causes acute lethal cardiopulmonary disease of susceptible hosts. A survey of its genome implicated sialidase and hyaluronidase, synergistic regulators of hyaluronan receptor CD44-mediated signal transduction leading to apoptotic cell death, as virulence factors of M. alligatoris. In this study, after the existence of a CD44 homolog in alligators was established by immunolabeling primary pulmonary fibroblasts with monoclonal antibody IM7 against murine CD44, the sialidase inhibitor 2,3-didehydro-2-deoxy-N-acetylneuraminic acid (DANA) was used to examine the effects of sialidase on fibroblast apoptosis following in vitro infection with M. alligatoris. While their CD44 expression remained constant, infected cells exhibited morphologic changes characteristic of apoptosis including decreased size, rounding, disordered alpha-tubulin, and nuclear disintegration compared to untreated controls. DANA was a potent, non-toxic inhibitor of the sialidase activity, equivalent to about 1mU of Clostridium perfringens Type VI sialidase, expressed by M. alligatoris in the inoculum. Although DANA did not measurably reduce the proportion of infected fibroblasts labeled by a specific ligand of activated caspases, co-incubation with DANA protected (P<0.01) fibroblasts in a concentration-dependent fashion from the M. alligatoris-induced trends toward increased apoptosis receptor CD95 expression, and increased 5-bromo-2’-deoxyuridine incorporation measured in a terminal dUTP nick end-labeling apoptosis assay. In contrast, incubation with 200-fold excess purified C. perfringens sialidase alone did not affect CD95 expression or chromatin integrity, or induce fibroblast apoptosis. From those observations we conclude that interaction of its sialidase with hyaluronidase or another virulence factor(s) is necessary to elicit the pro-apoptotic effects of M. alligatoris infection.

Ivanikova NV, Popels LC, McKay RM, Bullerjahn GS (2007) Lake Superior supports novel clusters of cyanobacterial picoplankton. Appl Environ Microbiol 73 :4055-4065


Very little is known about the biodiversity of freshwater autotrophic picoplankton (APP) in the Laurentian Great Lakes, a system comprising 20% of the world’s lacustrine freshwater. In this study, the genetic diversity of Lake Superior APP was examined by analyzing 16S rRNA gene and cpcBA PCR amplicons from water samples. By neighbor joining, the majority of 16S rRNA gene sequences clustered within the "picocyanobacterial clade" consisting of freshwater and marine Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus. Two new groups of Synechococcus spp., the pelagic Lake Superior clusters I and II, do not group with any of the known freshwater picocyanobacterial clusters and were the most abundant species (50 to 90% of the sequences) in samples collected from offshore Lake Superior stations. Conversely, at station Portage Deep (PD), located in a nearshore urbanized area, only 4% of the sequences belonged to these clusters and the remaining clones reflected the freshwater Synechococcus diversity described previously at sites throughout the world. Supporting the 16S rRNA gene data, the cpcBA library from nearshore station PD revealed a cosmopolitan diversity, whereas the majority of the cpcBA sequences (97.6%) from pelagic station CD1 fell within a unique Lake Superior cluster. Thus far, these picocyanobacteria have not been cultured, although their phylogenetic assignment suggests that they are phycoerythrin (PE) rich, consistent with the observation that PE-rich APP dominate Lake Superior picoplankton. Lastly, flow cytometry revealed that the summertime APP can exceed 10(5) cells ml-1 and suggests that the APP shifts from a community of PE and phycocyanin-rich picocyanobacteria and picoeukaryotes in winter to a PE-rich community in summer.

Jang KI, Kim MG, Ha SD, Kim KS, Lee KH, Chung DH, Kim CH, Kim KY (2007) Morphology and adhesion of Campylobacter jejuni to chicken skin under varying conditions. J Microbiol Biotechnol 17 :202-206


The adhesion of Campylobacter jejuni to chicken skin, along with the associated morphological changes under aerobic conditions at 4, 25, and 37 degrees C and microaerobic (O2 5%, CO2 10%, N2 85%) conditions, were investigated using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), flow cytometry, and plate counting. The morphological change of C. jejuni from a spiral shape to a coccoid form or VBNC form (viable but nonculturable form) progressed rapidly under aerobic conditions at 25, 37, and 4 degrees C. As regards adhesion, the C. jejuni cells were mostly located in the crevices and feather follicles of the chicken skin, where the cells in the feather follicles floated freely in the entrapped water, even after the skin was rinsed quite thoroughly. CLSM also revealed the penetration of some spiral-shaped C. jejuni cells into the chicken skin. Even after changing their shape at various temperatures, coccoid-form C. jejuni cells were still found in the crevices and feather follicles of the chicken skin.

Ji S, Hyun J, Park E, Lee BL, Kim KK, Choi Y (2007) Susceptibility of various oral bacteria to antimicrobial peptides and to phagocytosis by neutrophils. J Periodontal Res 42 :410-419


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE : The aim of this study was to compare the susceptibility of nonperiodontopathic and periodontopathic bacteria to major defense mechanisms for bacterial clearance in gingival sulcus. MATERIAL AND METHODS : Twenty strains of 13 oral bacterial species were studied for their susceptibility to phagocytosis by human neutrophils and to the antimicrobial peptides LL-37 and human beta defensin-3. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of LL-37 and human beta defensin-3 were determined by a liquid dilution assay, and susceptibility to phagocytosis was examined by a flow cytometric phagocytosis assay. RESULTS : The minimum inhibitory concentrations of LL-37 and human beta defensin-3 varied greatly, depending on the strain and species. Although a significant difference between the non- and periodontopathic groups was not observed, the red-complex bacteria were more resistant to LL-37 than the others (p=0.004). The susceptibility of oral bacteria to phagocytosis was quite variable, depending on the species but not on the strains. The periodontopathic bacteria, especially Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and the red-complex triad, were more resistant to phagocytosis than were the nonperiodontopathic bacteria (p=0.0003). In addition, bacteria resistant both to antimicrobial peptides and to phagocytosis were more common in the periodontopathic group. CONCLUSION : Our results indicate that immune evasion may contribute to the pathogenicity of some periodontopathic bacteria.

Jirapongsananuruk O, Noack D, Boonchoo S, Thepthai C, Chokephaibulkit K, Visitsunthorn N, Vichyanond P, Luangwedchakarn V, Likasitwattanakul S, Piboonpocanun S (2007) A novel mutation of the CYBB gene resulting in severe form of X-linked chronic granulomatous disease. Asian Pac J Allergy Immunol 25 :249-252


We evaluated a boy who had multiple Salmonella septicemia, Aspergillus pneumonia and brain abscesses. His nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) test was reportedly abnormal. The dihydrorhodamine (DHR) flow cytometry assay was compatible with typical X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (X-CGD). CYBB analysis revealed a novel complex mutation atggacg —> ttca in exon 12 (base pairs 1532-1538). As a result, 3 amino acids Tyr 511, Gly 512 and Arg 513 were deleted and replaced by 2 amino acids, Phe and Gln. The DHR and mutation analysis of his mother showed normal DHR pattern and no mutations in exon 12 of CYBB gene. In conclusion, any children with multiple Salmonella and Aspergillus infection should be suspected of CGD. NBT test, DHR assay and gene analysis are helpful toolsto confirm the diagnosis e v en i n the case of de novo mutation.

Jog NR, Rane MJ, Lominadze G, Luerman GC, Ward RA, McLeish KR (2007) The actin cytoskeleton regulates exocytosis of all neutrophil granule subsets. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 292 :C1690-1700


A comprehensive analysis of the role of the actin cytoskeleton in exocytosis of the four different neutrophil granule subsets had not been performed previously. Immunoblot analysis showed that, compared with plasma membrane, there was less actin associated with secretory vesicles (SV, 75%), gelatinase granules (GG, 40%), specific granules (SG, 10%), and azurophil granules (AG, 5%). Exocytosis of SV, SG, and AG was measured as increased plasma membrane expression of CD35, CD66b, and CD63, respectively, with flow cytometry, and GG exocytosis was measured as gelatinase release with an ELISA. N-formylmethionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (FMLP) stimulated exocytosis of SV, GG, and SG with an ED(50) of 15, 31, and 28 nM, respectively, with maximal response at 10(-7) M FMLP by 5 min, while no exocytosis of AG was detected. Disruption of the actin cytoskeleton by latrunculin A and cytochalasin D induced a decrease in FMLP-stimulated CD35 expression after an initial increase. Both drugs enhanced the rate and extent of FMLP-stimulated GG, SG, and AG exocytosis, while the EC(50) for FMLP was not altered. We conclude that the actin cytoskeleton controls access of neutrophil granules to the plasma membrane, thereby limiting the rate and extent of exocytosis of all granule subsets. Differential association of actin with the four granule subsets was not associated with graded exocytosis.

Joung YH, Kim HR, Lee MK, Park AJ (2007) Fluconazole susceptibility testing of Candida species by flow cytometry. J Infect 54 :504-508


OBJECTIVE : Currently, antifungal drug susceptibility testing is labor-intensive, limited by delays in obtaining results and high costs. The purpose of this study was to determine the usefulness of flow cytometry (FCM) antifungal drug susceptibility testing as a routine laboratory procedure. METHODS : A total of 24 clinical isolates of Candida spp. and reference strains were tested for susceptibility to fluconazole by FCM using propidium iodide (PI) as an indicator of viability. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was defined as the lowest concentration of fluconazole that resulted in an increase of 30% in mean channel fluorescence (MCF), compared to the growth control. FCM results were compared with MIC results as determined by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) method. RESULTS : An 8h incubation was sufficient for determination of the MICs. The results by FCM at 8h and the NCCLS methods at 24h showed 87.5% agreement to within two drug dilutions. However, the FCM method is labor-intensive in proportion to the larger number of samples. For Candida lusitaniae, MICs by the FCM method showed poor correlation with the CLSI method. CONCLUSIONS : Further evaluation is necessary to assess the usefulness of FCM as a technique for routine antifungal MIC testing in the clinical laboratory.

Ju Y, Wang T, Li Y, Xin W, Wang S, Li J (2007) Coxsackievirus B3 affects endothelial tight junctions : possible relationship to ZO-1 and F-actin, as well as p38 MAPK activity. Cell Biol Int 31 :1207-1213


Tight junction (TJ) plays a pivotal role in preventing the invasion of pathogens from the blood to extracellular environment. However, the mechanisms by which Group B coxsackievirus 3 (CVB(3)) can get through TJ from the apical surface still remain obscure. In the present study, the human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) was utilized to investigate the alterations in F-actin and ZO-1 status, permeability as well as p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity in response to CVB(3) by means of fluorescence labeling, flow cytometry, and macromolecule permeability assay. We found that CVB(3) was able to induce reorganization of F-actin and redistribution of ZO-1, increase the level of F-actin, and elevate the permeability of FITC-albumin. Moreover, CVB(3)-mediated the above effects involve in P38 MAPK activation. Our preliminary study indicates that CVB(3)-induced alteration in permeability may be attributed to disruption of F-actin and ZO-1 organizations and that SB203580, a specific P38 MAPK inhibitor, can reverse these effects. The precise mechanisms underlying the CVB(3)-mediated effects on HUVECs need to be studied further.

Jung ID, Lee JS, Kim YJ, Jeong YI, Lee CM, Baumruker T, Billlich A, Banno Y, Lee MG, Ahn SC, Park WS, Han J, Park YM (2007) Sphingosine kinase inhibitor suppresses a Th1 polarization via the inhibition of immunostimulatory activity in murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells. Int Immunol 19 :411-426


Sphingosine kinase (Sphk) has been shown to be activated by growth factor and survival factors, and one of its products, sphingosine-1-phosphate, plays an important role in the regulation of various cellular responses. However, the effect of Sphk on the maturation and immunostimulatory function of dendritic cells (DCs) still remains largely unknown. In this study, we examined whether sphingosine kinase inhibitor (SKI) can influence co-stimulatory molecules (CD40, CD80, CD86 and MHC class II) and cytokine production (IL-12 and IL-10) in murine bone marrow-derived DCs. SKI significantly inhibited co-stimulatory molecules in DCs. SKI suppressed IL-12 production by DCs and IFN-gamma production by T cells. In addition, SKI-inhibited LPS induced the translocation of nuclear factor-kappaB, whereas it did not affect the degradation of IL-1 receptor-associated kinase-1 by LPS. These novel findings provide new insight into the immunopharmacological role of SKI in terms of its effects on DCs. These findings open a possibility for further understanding of the immunopharmacological functions of SKI, as well as therapeutic adjuvants for the treatment of DC-related acute and chronic diseases.

Jung YJ, Ju SY, Yoo ES, Cho SJ, Cho KA, Woo SY, Seoh JY, Park JW, Han HS, Ryu KH (2007) MSC-DC interactions : MSC inhibit maturation and migration of BM-derived DC. Cytotherapy 9 :451-458


BACKGROUND : Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) comprise one of the BM stromal cells that are known to support hematopoiesis. It has also been suggested recently that MSC display immunosuppressive capacities through inhibiting the differentiation of monocyte-derived DC. DC travel to the lymph nodes (LN) to present Ag to T cells, and CCL21 is the chemokine that plays an important role in DC migration into the T-cell area of LN. We addressed the effect of MSC on this chemotactic activity of DC, one of the typical characteristics upon maturation. METHODS : BM cells were isolated and then cultured for generation of myeloid DC in the presence of GM-CSF and/or lipopolysaccharide with or without MSC. MSC were identified by flow cytometry of the immunologic markers and by performing colony-forming unit fibroblast assay. Migration of DC was observed with a newly developed time-lapse video microscopic technique. RESULTS : MSC co-culture inhibited the initial differentiation of DC, as well as their maturation. The matured DC actively migrated directionally in response to CCL21, a powerful DC-attracting chemokine, whereas the MSC co-cultured DC did not. DISCUSSION : Collectively, the findings of these experiments raise the possibility that MSC suppress the migratory function of DC and so they may serve immunoregulatory activities through the modulation of the Ag-presenting function of DC.

Kalina J, Senigl F, Micakova A, Mucksova J, Blazkova J, Yan H, Poplstein M, Hejnar J, Trefil P (2007) Retrovirus-mediated in vitro gene transfer into chicken male germ line cells. Reproduction 134 :445-453


Chicken testicular cells, including spermatogonia, transplanted into the testes of recipient cockerels sterilized by repeated gamma-irradiation repopulate the seminiferous epithelium and resume the exogenous spermatogenesis. This procedure could be used to introduce genetic modifications into the male germ line and generate transgenic chickens. In this study, we present a successful retroviral infection of chicken testicular cells and consequent transduction of the retroviral vector into the sperm of recipient cockerels. A vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein G-pseudotyped recombinant retroviral vector, carrying the enhanced green fluorescent protein reporter gene was applied to the short-term culture of dispersed testicular cells. The efficiency of infection and the viability of infected cells were analyzed by flow cytometry. No significant CpG methylation was detected in the infected testicular cells, suggesting that epigenetic silencing events do not play a role at this stage of germ line development. After transplantation into sterilized recipient cockerels, these retrovirus-infected testicular cells restored exogenous spermatogenesis within 9 weeks with approximately the same efficiency as non-infected cells. Transduction of the reporter gene encoding the green fluorescent protein was detected in the sperms of recipient cockerels with restored spermatogenesis. Our data demonstrate that, similarly as in mouse and rat, the transplantation of retrovirus-infected spermatogonia provides an efficient system to introduce genes into the chicken male germ line.

Kim MJ, Kim MK, Kang JS (2007) Improved antibiotic susceptibility test of Orientia tsutsugamushi by flow cytometry using monoclonal antibody. J Korean Med Sci 22 :1-6


Orientia tsutsugamushi causes scrub typhus, which is endemic in many countries in the Asia-Pacific region including Korea. Recent emergence of doxycycline-resistant strains from Thailand has underlined the importance of the susceptibility tests of O. tsutsugamushi to antibiotics. To improve the flow cytometric technique for the susceptibility test, we applied a monoclonal antibody (MAb) in the quantification of O. tsutsugamushi. With using MAb FS15, we determined the doxycycline susceptibility of two strains, Boryong and AFSC-4 strain which is reported to be doxycycline-sensitive and resistant, respectively. The growth of both strains was inhibited to below 10% of the control in the presence of 0.1 microg/mL or higher concentrations of doxycycline. We suggest that our approach is more quantitative and reproducible than the conventional microscopic methods.

Kim NY, Jung WW, Oh YK, Chun T, Park HY, Lee HT, Han IK, Yang JM, Kim YB (2007) Natural protection from zoonosis by alpha-gal epitopes on virus particles in xenotransmission. Xenotransplantation 14 :104-111


Clinical transplantation has become one of the preferred treatments for end-stage organ failure, and one of the novel approaches being pursued to overcome the limited supply of human organs involves the use of organs from other species. The pig appears to be a near ideal animal due to proximity to humans, domestication, and ability to procreate. The presence of Gal-alpha1,3-Gal residues on the surfaces of pig cells is a major immunological obstacle to xenotransplantation. Alpha1,3galactosyltransferase (alpha1,3GT) catalyzes the synthesis of Gal alpha 1-3Gal beta 1-4GlcNAc-R (alpha-gal epitope) on the glycoproteins and glycolipids of non-primate mammals, but this does not occur in humans. Moreover, the alpha-gal epitope causes hyperacute rejection of pig organs in humans, and thus, the elimination of this antigen from pig tissues is highly desirable. Recently, concerns have been raised that the risk of virus transmission from such pigs may be increased due to the absence of alpha-gal on their viral particles. In this study, transgenic cells expressing alpha1,3GT were selected using 1.25 mg/ml neomycin. The development of HeLa cells expressing alpha1,3GT now allows accurate studies to be conducted on the function of the alpha-gal epitope in xenotransmission. The expressions of alpha-gal epitopes on HeLa/alpha-gal cells were demonstrated by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy using cells stained with IB4-fluorescein isothiocyanate lectin. Vaccinia viruses propagated in HeLa/alpha-gal cells also expressed alpha-gal on their viral envelopes and were more sensitive to inactivation by human sera than vaccinia virus propagated in HeLa cells. Moreover, neutralization of vaccinia virus was inhibited in human serum by 10 mm ethylene glycol bis(beta-aminoethylether)tetraacetic acid (EDTA) treatment. Our data indicated that alpha-gal epitopes are one of the major barriers to zoonosis via xenotransmission.

King DN, Brenner KP, Rodgers MR (2007) A critical evaluation of a flow cytometer used for detecting enterococci in recreational waters. J Water Health 5 :295-305


The current U. S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved method for enterococci (Method 1600) in recreational water is a membrane filter (MF) method that takes 24 hours to obtain results. If the recreational water is not in compliance with the standard, the risk of exposure to enteric pathogens may occur before the water is identified as hazardous. Because flow cytometry combined with specific fluorescent antibodies has the potential to be used as a rapid detection method for microorganisms, this technology was evaluated as a rapid, same-day method to detect enterococci in bathing beach waters. The flow cytometer chosen for this study was a laser microbial detection system designed to detect labeled antibodies. A comparison of MF counts with flow cytometry counts of enterococci in phosphate buffer and sterile-filtered recreational water showed good agreement between the two methods. However, when flow cytometry was used, the counts were several orders of magnitude higher than the MF counts with no correlation to Enterococcus spike concentrations. The unspiked sample controls frequently had higher counts than the samples spiked with enterococci. Particles within the spiked water samples were probably counted as target cells by the flow cytometer because of autofluorescence or non-specific adsorption of antibody and carryover to subsequent samples. For these reasons, this technology may not be suitable for enterococci detection in recreational waters. Improvements in research and instrument design that will eliminate high background and carryover may make this a viable technology in the

Kobayashi M, Shimizu H, Shioya S (2007) Physiological analysis of yeast cells by flow cytometry during serial-repitching of low-malt beer fermentation. J Biosci Bioeng 103 :451-456


At the end of beer brewing fermentation, yeast cells are collected and repitched for economical reasons. Although it is generally accepted that the physiological state of inoculated yeast cells affects their subsequent fermentation performance, the effect of serial-repitching on the physiological state of such yeast cells has not been well clarified. In this study, the fermentation performance of yeast cells during serial-repitching was investigated. After multiple repitchings, the specific growth rate and maximum optical density (OD(660)) decreased, and increases in isoamyl alcohol, which causes an undesirable flavor, and residual free amino acid nitrogen (FAN) concentrations were observed. The physiological state of individual cells before inoculation was characterized by flow cytometry using the fluorescent dyes dehydrorhodamine 123 (DHR) and bis-(1,3-dibutylbarbituric acid) trimethine oxonol (OXN). The fluorescence intensities of DHR, an indicator of reactive oxygen species (ROSs), and OXN, which indicates membrane potential, gradually increased as the number of serial-repitching cycles increased. Fluorescence intensity correlated strongly with cell growth. The subsequent fermentation performance can be predicted from this correlation.

Konopka JL, Penalva LO, Thompson JM, White LJ, Beard CW, Keene JD, Johnston RE (2007) A two-phase innate host response to alphavirus infection identified by mRNP-tagging in vivo. PLoS Pathog 3 :e199


A concept fundamental to viral pathogenesis is that infection induces specific changes within the host cell, within specific tissues, or within the entire animal. These changes are reflected in a cascade of altered transcription patterns evident during infection. However, elucidation of this cascade in vivo has been limited by a general inability to distinguish changes occurring in the minority of infected cells from those in surrounding uninfected cells. To circumvent this inherent limitation of traditional gene expression profiling methods, an innovative mRNP-tagging technique was implemented to isolate host mRNA specifically from infected cells in vitro as well as in vivo following Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEE) infection. This technique facilitated a direct characterization of the host defense response specifically within the first cells infected with VEE, while simultaneous total RNA analysis assessed the collective response of both the infected and uninfected cells. The result was a unique, multifaceted profile of the early response to VEE infection in primary dendritic cells, as well as in the draining lymph node, the initially targeted tissue in the mouse model. A dynamic environment of complex interactions was revealed, and suggested a two-step innate response in which activation of a subset of host genes in infected cells subsequently leads to activation of the surrounding uninfected cells. Our findings suggest that the application of viral mRNP-tagging systems, as introduced here, will facilitate a much more detailed understanding of the highly coordinated host response to infectious agents.

Kramer MF, Vesey G, Look NL, Herbert BR, Simpson-Stroot JM, Lim DV (2007) Development of a Cryptosporidium oocyst assay using an automated fiber optic-based biosensor. J Biol Eng 1 :3


ABSTRACT : An intestinal protozoan parasite, Cryptosporidium parvum, is a major cause of waterborne gastrointestinal disease worldwide. Detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts in potable water is a high priority for the water treatment industry to reduce potential outbreaks among the consumer populace. Anti-Cryptosporidium oocyst polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies were tested as capture and detection reagents for use in a fiber optic biosensor assay for the detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts. Antibodies were validated using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, flow cytometry, Western blotting and fluorescent microscopy. Oocysts could be detected at a concentration of 105 oocysts/ml when the polyclonal antibodies were used as the capture and detection reagents. When oocysts were boiled prior to detection, a ten-fold increase in sensitivity was achieved using the polyclonal antibody. Western blotting and immunofluorescence revealed that both the monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies recognize a large (>300 kDa) molecular weight mucin-like antigen present on the surface of the oocyst wall. The polyclonal antibody also reacted with a small (105 kDa) molecular weight antigen that was present in boiled samples of oocysts. Preliminary steps to design an in-line biosensor assay system have shown that oocysts would have to be concentrated from water samples and heat treated to allow detection by a biosensor assay.

Kraus AA, Messer W, Haymore LB, de Silva AM (2007) Comparison of plaque- and flow cytometry-based methods for measuring dengue virus neutralization. J Clin Microbiol 45 :3777-3780


As dengue vaccines enter clinical trials, there is a need for rapid and quantitative assays to measure neutralization. We have developed flow-based neutralization assays which generated results similar to those generated by the established, plaque reduction neutralization test. The flow assays are an improvement, as they use human cells and allow for high-throughput screening.

Kummer M, Turza NM, Muhl-Zurbes P, Lechmann M, Boutell C, Coffin RS, Everett RD, Steinkasserer A, Prechtel AT (2007) Herpes simplex virus type 1 induces CD83 degradation in mature dendritic cells with immediate-early kinetics via the cellular proteasome. J Virol 81 :6326-6338


Mature dendritic cells (DCs) are the most potent antigen-presenting cells within the human immune system. However, Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is able to interfere with DC biology and to establish latency in infected individuals. In this study, we provide new insights into the mechanism by which HSV-1 disarms DCs by the manipulation of CD83, a functionally important molecule for DC activation. Fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS) analyses revealed a rapid downmodulation of CD83 surface expression within 6 to 8 h after HSV-1 infection, in a manner strictly dependent on viral gene expression. Soluble CD83 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, together with Western blot analysis, demonstrated that CD83 rapidly disappears from the cell surface after contact with HSV-1 by a mechanism that involves protein degradation rather than shedding of CD83 from the cell surface into the medium. Infection experiments with an ICP0 deletion mutant demonstrated an important role for this viral immediate-early protein during CD83 degradation, since this particular mutant strain leads to strongly reduced CD83 degradation. This hypothesis was further strengthened by cotransfection of plasmids expressing CD83 and ICP0 into 293T cells, which led to significantly reduced accumulation of CD83. In strong contrast, transfection of plasmids expressing CD83 and a mutant ICP0 defective in its RING finger-mediated E3 ubiquitin ligase function did not reduce CD83 expression. Inhibition of the proteasome, the cellular protein degradation machinery, almost completely restored CD83 surface expression during HSV-1 infection, indicating that proteasome-mediated degradation and HSV-1 ICP0 play crucial roles in this novel viral immune escape mechanism.

Lasco TM, Gonzalez-Juarrero M, Saalmuller A, Lunney JK (2007) Cross-reaction of anti-human CD monoclonal antibodies on guinea pig cells : a summary of the guinea pig section of the HLDA8 animal homologues data. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 119 :131-136


A panel of 377 commercially available monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specific for a total of 144 CD antigens was submitted to the animal homologue section of the Eighth International Workshop on Human Leukocyte Differentiation Antigens (HLDA8, Adelaide, Australia) for cross-reactivity studies in a range of vertebrate species. Each of the mAbs in this study was screened for positive reactivity with guinea pig splenocytes by flow cytometry. In the first phase of this study 36 of the total 367 mAbs (9.81%) cross-reacted with splenocyte surface molecules. The majority (26 of 36) of these cross-reactive mAbs were analysed further to confirm appropriate cell subset expression by two-color immunofluorescence. Our results indicate that 15 anti-human CD9, CD10, CD14, CD20 (two clones), CD22, CD25, CD29 (two clones), CD32, CD47 (two clones), CD49d, CD49e, and CD86 mAbs exhibit clear cross-reactivity with guinea pig splenocytes. These mAb can potentially be added to the limited repertoire of reagents available for studies in this model system. This data clearly indicates that mouse anti-human CD mAb guinea pig cross-reactions have been defined and that an aim of this HLDA8 section has been fulfilled, i.e., to identify mAbs which recognize conserved, species-independent CD epitopes. These results will contribute to the availability of mAbs and tools in veterinary medicine and immunology.

Lay C, Dore J, Rigottier-Gois L (2007) Separation of bacteria of the Clostridium leptum subgroup from the human colonic microbiota by fluorescence-activated cell sorting or group-specific PCR using 16S rRNA gene oligonucleotides. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 60 :513-520


Molecular methods based on 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses have shown that bacteria of the Clostridium leptum subgroup are predominant in the colonic microbiota of healthy humans ; this subgroup includes bacteria that produce butyrate, a source of energy for intestinal epithelial cells. To improve our understanding of the species within this important group, separation methods using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) and specific PCR were combined with 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses. FACS was developed for bacteria labelled in situ with two rRNA oligonucleotide probes, namely EUB338-FITC for total bacteria and Clep866-CY5/cp or Fprau645-CY5 for bacteria of the C. leptum subgroup. Bacterial cell sorting allowed a selective recovery of members of the C. leptum subgroup from the human microbiota with efficiencies as high as 95%. Group-specific PCR amplification of the C. leptum subgroup was developed, and temporal thermal gradient gel electrophoresis showed host-specific profiles with low complexity, with a sharing of common bands between individuals and bands stable over 2 months for the same individual. A library of 16S rRNA gene cloned sequences (106 sequences) was prepared with DNA obtained from both separation methods, and 15 distinct phylotypes were identified, among which 10 have no cultivable or currently cultivated representative in reference collections.

Lea JS, Sunaga N, Sato M, Kalahasti G, Miller DS, Minna JD, Muller CY (2007) Silencing of HPV 18 oncoproteins With RNA interference causes growth inhibition of cervical cancer cells. Reprod Sci 14 :20-28


Silencing the expression of human papillomavirus (HPV) oncoproteins should have therapeutic benefits for cervical cancer. The authors’ objective was to study RNA interference of the HPV 18 E6/E7 bicistronic mRNA with E6 small interfering RNA (siRNA) and E7 siRNA and determine the effect of each siRNA on oncoprotein expression, resultant cell growth, and downstream molecular effects. RNA interference was used to knockdown HPV 18 E6 and E7 oncoproteins on the HPV 18 positive cervical cancer cell lines HeLa and C4I. Western blotting was used to assay for each oncoprotein expression and select downstream molecular targets. Cell cycle analyses, cell viability assays, and colony formation assays were performed to determine the effect of treatment by both HPV 18 E6 siRNA and E7 siRNA. The transfection reagent oligofectamine and Tax siRNA were used as negative controls. Transfection with E6 siRNA caused complete loss of E6 but not E7 oncoprotein. However, E7 siRNA induced complete loss of both E6 and E7 oncoproteins. E6 siRNA mediated the reexpression of p53 protein and a moderate decrease in phosphorylated retinoblastoma protein expression (pRb), resulting in decreased colony formation. Transfection with E7 siRNA mediated a robust increase in p53 expression and complete loss of pRb, resulting in a marked decrease in colony formation compared to the E6 siRNA (P =.001). Flow cytometry revealed significantly increased apoptotic cells with E7 siRNA compared to E6 siRNA and control. RNA interference targeting the E7 portion of the bicistronic HPV 18 mRNA can silence both E6 and E7 oncoproteins and is most effective in cervical cancer growth inhibition.

Lee YH, Shin DW, Lee JH, Nam HW, Ahn MH (2007) Vaccination against murine toxoplasmosis using recombinant Toxoplasma gondii SAG3 antigen alone or in combination with Quil A. Yonsei Med J 48 :396-404


PURPOSE : Surface antigen 3 (SAG3) of Toxoplasma gondii is very similar in structure to the major surface antigen 1 (SAG1). Although numerous studies have supported the importance of SAG1 in protection against T. gondii infection, few reports exist on SAG3. MATERIALS AND METHODS : Glutathione-S-transferase (GST)-fused SAG3 of T. gondii (rSAG3) were immunized into BALB/c mice alone or in combination with Quil A (rSAG3/Quil A), and then evaluated the protective immunity in vivo and in vitro against murine toxoplasmosis. RESULTS : Immunization with rSAG3 or rSAG3/Quil A resulted in significantly more survival days and fewer brain cysts after challenge with T. gondii compared to an infected control group. Mice immunized with rSAG3 alone or in combination with Quil A produced significantly more specific IgG2a antibody, whereas specific IgG1 antibody titers did not increase. The percentage of CD8+ T cells, IFN-gamma mRNA expression, and nitric oxide production significantly increased in rSAG3- and rSAG3/Quil A-immunized mice. CONCLUSION : These results indicate that vaccination with Toxoplasma rSAG3 results in partial protective immunity against T. gondii infection through induction of a Th1-type immune response, and that protective immunity is accelerated by the modulating effects of Quil A.

Lenaerts J, Lappin-Scott HM, Porter J (2007) Improved fluorescent in situ hybridization method for detection of bacteria from activated sludge and river water by using DNA molecular beacons and flow cytometry. Appl Environ Microbiol 73 :2020-2023


Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) remains a key technique in microbial ecology. Molecular beacons (MBs) are self-reporting probes that have potential advantages over linear probes for FISH. MB-FISH strategies have been described using both DNA-based and peptide nucleic acid (PNA)-based approaches. Although recent reports have suggested that PNA MBs are superior, DNA MBs have some advantages, most notably cost. The data presented here demonstrate that DNA MBs are suitable for at least some FISH applications in complex samples, providing superior discriminatory power compared to that of corresponding linear DNA-FISH probes. The use of DNA MBs for flow cytometric detection of Pseudomonas putida resulted in approximately double the signal-to-noise ratio of standard linear DNA probes when using laboratory-grown cultures and yielded improved discrimination of target cells in spiked environmental samples, without a need for separate washing steps. DNA MBs were also effective for the detection and cell sorting of both spiked and indigenous P. putida from activated sludge and river water samples. The use of DNA MB-FISH presents another increase in sensitivity, allowing the detection of bacteria in environmental samples without the expense of PNA MBs or multilaser flow cytometry.

Li CS, Chia WC, Chen PS (2007) Fluorochrome and flow cytometry to monitor microorganisms in treated hospital wastewater. J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng 42 :195-203


Flow cytometry with a fluorescent technique (FCM/FL), epifluorescence microscopy with a fluorescent technique (EFM/FL), and a culture method were used and compared to study the microorganism population profiles in wastewater treatment. In the two non-culture methods (FCM/FL and EFM/FL), four fluorescent dyes [acridine orange (AO), 4’,6-diamino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride (DAPI), propidium iodide (PI), and YOPRO-1] were used to determine the total concentration and viability of microorganisms in the wastewater samples. Results showed that the total cell concentrations (both the bacteria and fungi) determined by using the non-culture-based methods were 18 to 67 times higher than those by the culture method (p = 0.036) : the total cell concentration ranged from 1.10 x 10(7) to 2.44 x 10(8) cells/mL determined by both FCM and EFM with AO-staining method, and from 1.02 x 10(7) to 2.00 x 10(8) cells/mL by EFM with DAPI-staining method, whereas the culturable concentration of bacteria and fungi ranged from 0 to 3.22 x 10(6) CFU/mL and from 0 to 4.13 x 10(5) CFU/mL, respectively. No difference in total concentrations between dyes (AO and DAPI) and methods (FCM and EFM) were observed. By using EFM method, the microorganism viability ranged from 0.24 to 0.86 with PI staining and from 0.09 to 0.74 with YOPRO-1 staining. In the FCM analysis, the microorganism viability ranged from 0.23 to 0.87 with PI staining and from 0.18 to 0.73 with YOPRO-1 staining. In addition, the cultivability of microorganism ranged from 0 to 0.105 by the culture method. The total concentrations and viabilities of microorganisms were highly underestimated by the culture method. Results also showed that the viabilities determined by using either EFM/FL or FCM/FL were significantly higher than the cultivabilities. In addition, significant difference in viability between PI and YOPRO-1 for both EFM and FCM analysis was observed. However, the difference in viability between EFM and FCM depended on dyes. In regard to the difference between bacteria and fungi, significant difference in total concentration, viability, and cultivability was observed. In conclusion, the EFM/FL and FCM/FL methods can effectively assess total concentration and viability of microorganisms in environmental samples.

Li GM, Li YG, Yamate M, Li SM, Ikuta K (2007) Lipid rafts play an important role in the early stage of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus life cycle. Microbes Infect 9 :96-102


Lipid rafts are involved in the life cycle of many viruses. In this study, we showed that lipid rafts also play an important role in the life cycle of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-coronavirus (CoV). Cholesterol depletion by pretreatment of Vero E6 cells with methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (MbetaCD) inhibited the production of SARS-CoV particles released from the infected cells. This inhibition was prevented by addition of cholesterol to the culture medium, indicating that the reduction of virus particle release was caused by the loss of cholesterol in the cell membrane. In contrast, cholesterol depletion at the post-entry stage (3h post-infection) caused only a limited effect on virus particle release. Northern blot analysis revealed that the levels of viral mRNAs were significantly affected by pretreatment with MbetaCD, but not by treatment at 3h post-infection. Interestingly, no apparent evidence for colocalization of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 with lipid rafts in the membrane of Vero E6 cells was obtained. These results suggest that lipid rafts could contribute to SARS-CoV infection in the early replication process in Vero E6 cells.

Li SH, Huang WG, Huang B, Chen XG (2007) High expression of hepatitis B virus based vector with reporter gene in hepatitis B virus infection system. World J Gastroenterol 13 :2490-2495


AIM : To construct a hepatitis B virus (HBV)-based vector with a reporter gene and to establish an HBV infection system to evaluate the availability of the vector. METHODS : The HBV-based vectors with green fluorescence protein (GFP) were packaged into the liver of immunodeficient mice through transfer and helper plasmid using hydrodynamic technology. Wild type HBV (wt HBV) was provided by plasmid MC2009. Primary human hepatocytes (PHH) were isolated and infected with recombinant HBV (rHBV) or wt HBV. GFP expression was monitored by confocal and flow cytometry. HBV DNA and HBV surface antigen (HBSAg) were analyzed by PCR and ELISA. RESULTS : 3 x 10(7) wt HBV copies/mL and 5 x 10(6) rHBV copies/mL were collected from mice serum. In the wt HBV infected group, HBV progeny was 2 x 10(7) copies/mL and HBSAg was 770 ng/mL. In the rHBV infected group, GFP fluorescence was detected on d 3 post-infection and over 85% of the parenchymal cells expressed green fluorescence on d 12 post-infection. Compared with wt HBV in the PHH infection system, no rHBV DNA or HBSAg were detected in PHH culture media. CONCLUSION : An effective HBV based vector was developed, which proved to be a useful HBV infection system. This vector and infection system can be applied to develop a therapeutic vector and study the HBV life cycle and viral pathogenesis.

Li XF, Wang QW, He ZX, Chen H, Chen ML, Chen JL, Yang M (2007) [Human cytomegalovirus induces apoptosis of human promyelocytic leukemic cells via direct infection in vitro]. Zhongguo Shi Yan Xue Ye Xue Za Zhi 15 :63-66


The study was purposed to investigate the proliferation and the suppression effect of human cytomegalovirus (hCMV) on human promyelocyte cell line HL-60, and to study whether hCMV can induce apoptosis of HL-60 via direct infection in vitro and its mechanism. Promyelocyte cell line HL-60 and hCMV AD169 strain were co-cultured. PCR was used to detect the direct infection of HL-60 cells by hCMV IEA expression. The apoptosis cells were analyzed by morphologic observation, DNA ladder formation, flow cytometry with Annexin V/PI stain. The results indicated that hCMV AD169 suppressed the differentiation and proliferation of HL-60 cells in vitro significantly (P < 0.05). The suppression was dose-dependent. hCMV DNA was successfully detected in HL-60 cells of viral infection groups by PCR. The apoptotic cells were confirmed by morphologic observation and DNA ladder formation. The results of flow cytometry showed that the percentage of apoptotic cells increased along with the increase of hCMV titer and the time after infection. It is concluded that the promyelocyte can be infected directly by hCMV AD169 strain. hCMV AD169 strain inhibited the differentiation and proliferation of promyelocyte. The apoptosis of HL-60 cells can be induced by hCMV infection. With the increase of viral infectious titer and the time after infection, the percentage of apoptotic cells also increase and produce in dose-dependent and time- dependent manner. Induced apoptosis may be one of the mechanisms of granulocytopenia induced by hCMV infection.

Liman M, Rautenschlein S (2007) Induction of local and systemic immune reactions following infection of turkeys with avian Metapneumovirus (aMPV) subtypes A and B. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 115 :273-285


Most of the studies regarding the immunopathogenesis of avian Metapneumovirus (aMPV) have been done with subtype C of aMPV. Not much is known about the immunopathogenesis of aMPV subtypes A and B in turkeys. Specifically, local immune reactions have not been investigated yet. We conducted two experiments in commercial turkeys. We investigated local and systemic humoral and cell mediated immune reactions following infection with an attenuated vaccine strain of aMPV subtype B (Experiment I) and virulent strains of aMPV subtypes A and B (Experiment II). Turkeys infected with virulent aMPV strains developed mild respiratory signs while birds inoculated with the attenuated aMPV did not show any clinical signs. Virus neutralizing antibodies were detected locally in tracheal washes and systemically in serum as soon as 5-7 days post aMPV infection (PI) independent of the strain used. Virus neutralizing antibody titres peaked at 7 days PI and then antibody levels declined. The peak of serum ELISA antibody production varied between infected groups and ranged from 14 and 28 days PI. All aMPV strains induced an increase in the percentage of CD4+ T cell populations in spleen and Harderian gland at days 7 or 14 PI. Furthermore, as shown in Experiment I, infection with the attenuated aMPV-B strain stimulated spleen leukocytes to release significantly higher levels of interferons (IFNs), interleukin-6 and nitric oxide in ex vivo culture in comparison to virus-free controls up to 7 days PI (P<0.05). As detected by quantitative real time RT-PCR in Experiment II, infection with virulent aMPV induced an increased IFNgamma expression in the Harderian gland in comparison to virus-free controls. IFNgamma expression in the spleen varied between aMPV strains and days PI. Overall, our study demonstrates that aMPV subtypes A and B infection induced humoral and cell mediated immune reactions comparable to subtype C infections. We observed only temporary stimulation of serum virus neutralizing antibodies and of most of the local immune reactions independent of the aMPV strain used. The temporary character of immune reactions may explain the short duration of protection against challenge following aMPV vaccination in the field.

Link AJ, Jeong KJ, Georgiou G (2007) Beyond toothpicks : new methods for isolating mutant bacteria. Nat Rev Microbiol 5 :680-688


Over the past 50 years genetic analysis in microbiology has relied predominantly on selections and plate assays using chromogenic enzyme substrates - for example, X-gal assays for the detection of beta-galactosidase activity. Recent advances in fluorescent assays and high throughput screening technologies have paved the way for the rapid isolation of mutants that confer complex phenotypes and for the quantitative analysis of the evolution of new traits in bacterial populations. This Review highlights the power of novel single-cell screening technologies and their applications to genetics, evolution and the biotechnological uses of bacteria.

Lipski SL, Akimana C, Timpe JM, Wooten RM, Lafontaine ER (2007) The Moraxella catarrhalis autotransporter McaP is a conserved surface protein that mediates adherence to human epithelial cells through its N-terminal passenger domain. Infect Immun 75 :314-324


The protein McaP was previously shown to be an adhesin expressed by the Moraxella catarrhalis strain O35E, which also displays esterase and phospholipase B activities (J. M. Timpe et al., Infect. Immun. 71:4341-4350, 2003). In the present study, sequence analysis suggests that McaP is a conventional autotransporter protein that contains a 12-stranded beta-barrel transporter module (amino acids [aa] 383 to 650) linked to a surface-exposed passenger domain exhibiting lipolytic activity (aa 62 to 330). An in-frame deletion removing most of this predicted N-terminal passenger domain was engineered, and Escherichia coli expressing the truncated McaP protein exhibited greatly reduced adherence to A549 human lung epithelial cells compared to E. coli expressing wild-type McaP. Site-directed mutagenesis of a serine residue at position 62 of McaP, predicted to be important for the lipolytic activity of the protein, resulted in loss of hydrolysis of p-nitrophenyl ester of caproate. E. coli expressing this mutated McaP, however, adhered to A549 monolayers at levels greater than recombinant bacteria expressing the wild-type adhesin. These results indicate that the predicted passenger domain of McaP is involved in both the binding and the lipolytic activity of the molecule and demonstrate that the adhesive properties of McaP do not require its lipolytic activity. Sequence analysis of mcaP from eight Moraxella catarrhalis strains revealed that the gene product is highly conserved at the amino acid level (98 to 100% identity), and Western blot analysis demonstrated that a panel of 16 isolates all express McaP. Flow cytometry experiments using antibodies raised against various portions of McaP indicated that its predicted passenger domain as well as transporter module contain surface-exposed epitopes. In addition to binding to the surface of intact bacteria, these antibodies were found to decrease adherence of M. catarrhalis to A549 human lung cells by up to 47% and to reduce binding of recombinant E. coli expressing McaP by 98%. These results suggest that McaP should be considered as a potential vaccine antigen.

Liu W, Brayton KA, Davis WC, Mansfield K, Lagerquist J, Foreyt W, Srikumaran S (2007) Mannheimia (Pasteurella) haemolytica leukotoxin utilizes CD18 as its receptor on bighorn sheep leukocytes. J Wildl Dis 43 :75-81


Pneumonia caused by Mannheimia (Pasteurella) haemolytica is a highly fatal disease of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis). Leukotoxin (Lkt), secreted by M. haemolytica, is an important virulence factor of this organism, and is cytolytic to bighorn sheep leukocytes. Previously, we have shown that CD18, the beta subunit of beta2 integrins, serves as the receptor for Lkt on bovine leukocytes. Furthermore, anti-CD18 antibodies inhibit Lkt-induced cytotoxicity of bighorn sheep leukocytes. Therefore, we hypothesized that Lkt utilizes CD18 as its receptor on bighorn sheep leukocytes. Confirmation of bighorn sheep CD18 as a receptor for Lkt requires the demonstration that the recombinant expression of bighorn sheep CD18 in Lkt-nonsusceptible cells renders them susceptible to Lkt. Therefore, we transfected cDNA encoding CD18 of bighorn sheep into a Lkt-nonsusceptible murine cell line. Cell surface expression of bighorn sheep CD18 on the transfectants was tested by flow cytometry with anti-CD18 antibodies. Transfectants stably expressing bighorn sheep CD18 on their surface were subjected to flow cytometric analysis for detection of Lkt binding, and cytotoxicity assays for detection of Lkt-induced cytotoxicity. Leukotoxin bound to the transfectants. More importantly, the transfectants were effectively lysed by Lkt in a concentration-dependent manner, whereas the parent cells were not. These results clearly indicate that M. haemolytica Lkt utilizes CD18 as a receptor on bighorn sheep leukocytes. Identification of CD18 as a receptor for Lkt on bighorn sheep leukocytes should enhance our understanding of the pathogenesis of pneumonia, which in turn should help in the development of control measures against this fatal disease of bighorn sheep.

Lohr J, Munn CB, Wilson WH (2007) Characterization of a latent virus-like infection of symbiotic zooxanthellae. Appl Environ Microbiol 73 :2976-2981


A latent virus-like agent, which we designated zooxanthella filamentous virus 1 (ZFV1), was isolated from Symbiodinium sp. strain CCMP 2465 and characterized. Transmission electron microscopy and analytical flow cytometry revealed the presence of a new group of distinctive filamentous virus-like particles after exposure of the zooxanthellae to UV light. Examination of thin sections of the zooxanthellae revealed the formation and proliferation of filamentous virus-like particles in the UV-induced cells. Assessment of Symbiodinium sp. cultures was used here as a model to show the effects of UV irradiance and induction of potential latent viruses. The unique host-virus system described here provides insight into the role of latent infections in zooxanthellae through environmentally regulated viral induction mechanisms.

Losekann T, Knittel K, Nadalig T, Fuchs B, Niemann H, Boetius A, Amann R (2007) Diversity and abundance of aerobic and anaerobic methane oxidizers at the Haakon Mosby Mud Volcano, Barents Sea. Appl Environ Microbiol 73 :3348-3362


Submarine mud volcanoes are formed by expulsions of mud, fluids, and gases from deeply buried subsurface sources. They are highly reduced benthic habitats and often associated with intensive methane seepage. In this study, the microbial diversity and community structure in methane-rich sediments of the Haakon Mosby Mud Volcano (HMMV) were investigated by comparative sequence analysis of 16S rRNA genes and fluorescence in situ hybridization. In the active volcano center, which has a diameter of about 500 m, the main methane-consuming process was bacterial aerobic oxidation. In this zone, aerobic methanotrophs belonging to three bacterial clades closely affiliated with Methylobacter and Methylophaga species accounted for 56%+/-8% of total cells. In sediments below Beggiatoa mats encircling the center of the HMMV, methanotrophic archaea of the ANME-3 clade dominated the zone of anaerobic methane oxidation. ANME-3 archaea form cell aggregates mostly associated with sulfate-reducing bacteria of the Desulfobulbus (DBB) branch. These ANME-3/DBB aggregates were highly abundant and accounted for up to 94%+/-2% of total microbial biomass at 2 to 3 cm below the surface. ANME-3/DBB aggregates could be further enriched by flow cytometry to identify their phylogenetic relationships. At the outer rim of the mud volcano, the seafloor was colonized by tubeworms (Siboglinidae, formerly known as Pogonophora). Here, both aerobic and anaerobic methane oxidizers were found, however, in lower abundances. The level of microbial diversity at this site was higher than that at the central and Beggiatoa species-covered part of the HMMV. Analysis of methyl-coenzyme M-reductase alpha subunit (mcrA) genes showed a strong dominance of a novel lineage, mcrA group f, which could be assigned to ANME-3 archaea. Our results further support the hypothesis of Niemann et al. (54), that high methane availability and different fluid flow regimens at the HMMV provide distinct niches for aerobic and anaerobic methanotrophs.

Lu YW, Tan TL, Zhang J, Chen WN (2007) Cellular apoptosis induced by replication of hepatitis B virus : possible link between viral genotype and clinical outcome. Virol J 4 :117


HBV remains one of the major pathogens of liver diseases but the outcomes as inflammation, cirrhosis and cancer of the liver are greatly related to different viral genotypes. The aim of this study was to assess the pro-apoptotic effect of HBSP from three HBV genotypes on liver derived cells. HepG2 cells were applied in our system and transfected by HBV genotype A, B, and C. Cells were observed under phase contrast microscope, stained by apoptosis marker and analyzed by flow cytometry. HBSP expression was detected by western blot assay. BH3 sequences were aligned and analyzed by Vector NTI. HBV genotypes A, B, and C transfected cells displayed evidence of cell death which was further proved as apoptosis. Natural expression of a pro-apoptotic protein HBSP was detected during genomes transfection. The different apoptotic effects were correlated to the HBSP expression from each genome. Alignment and analysis of the BH3 domains from the three genomes revealed slight variance which might also contribute to the result. Our results suggested that variant HBSP expression and BH3 sequence of HBV genotypes may be involved in differential apoptotic effect in transfected cells. Detailed analysis of the role of HBV genotypes in cellular apoptotic process should provide molecular information on the reported clinical outcome of infection by different HBV genotypes.

Lundberg P, Openshaw H, Wang M, Yang HJ, Cantin E (2007) Effects of CXCR3 signaling on development of fatal encephalitis and corneal and periocular skin disease in HSV-infected mice are mouse-strain dependent. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 48 :4162-4170


PURPOSE : The host inflammatory response to ocular infection with herpes simplex virus (HSV) can be either protective, with disease-free survival, or it can promote diseases such as HSV corneal disease (or herpes stromal keratitis [HSK] in humans) and encephalitis (HSE), depending on mouse strain. The role of CXCR3 chemokine signaling in HSV-induced central nervous system (CNS) inflammation and corneal disease was evaluated, and responses in genetically susceptible and resistant strains of mice were contrasted. METHODS : Resistant C57BL/6J (B6) and susceptible 129S6 (129) mice were given monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to neutralize the CXCR3 ligands monokine induced by interferon-gamma (MIG, CXCL9) and interferon inducible protein-10 (IP-10, CXCL10) during HSV infection. In addition, the development of HSV disease was monitored in CXCR3-null mutant mice derived from resistant (B6) and susceptible (BALB/c) strains. Inflammatory cells infiltrating the cornea and brain stem were isolated and stained for flow cytometric analysis. RESULTS : MIG and IP-10 were induced in nervous system tissue after HSV inoculation by the corneal route. HSV-infected 129 mice treated with MIG- or IP-10-neutralizing mAbs showed significantly enhanced survival compared with mice treated with control isotype antibody, whereas survival of the B6 mice was unaltered. Similarly, greater survival was observed for BALB.CXCR3(-/-) mice compared with control BALB/c mice. Reduced CNS inflammation was documented that extended to the cornea, such that HSV corneal disease severity was reduced in susceptible BALB.CXCR3(-/-). In contrast, although survival of B6 and B6.CXCR3(-/-) mice was indistinguishable, B6.CXCR3(-/-) mice developed more severe corneal and periocular skin disease. CONCLUSIONS : The effects of CXCR3 signaling in HSV infection are strongly dependent on mouse strain.

Lundstedt AC, Leijonhufvud I, Ragnarsdottir B, Karpman D, Andersson B, Svanborg C (2007) Inherited susceptibility to acute pyelonephritis : a family study of urinary tract infection. J Infect Dis 195 :1227-1234


BACKGROUND : Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are important causes of morbidity and death. The present study investigated whether genetic factors influence susceptibility to acute pyelonephritis (APN). CXCR1 expression was investigated as a factor predisposing to APN, because low CXCR1 expression has been associated with disease susceptibility in mice and disease-prone children. METHODS : The families of APN-prone children (n=130) and of age-matched control subjects without UTI (n=101) were studied. Three-generation pedigrees of UTI-associated morbidity were established by means of structured interviews of the families. CXCR1 expression was quantified by flow cytometric analysis of peripheral blood neutrophils obtained from family members and control subjects. RESULTS : APN was significantly more common in the family members of the APN-prone children (20 [15%] of 130 family members) than in the relatives of the control subjects (3 [3%] of 101 family members) (P<.002). Acute cystitis, in contrast, occurred with equal frequency in both groups (19% ; P=1.0). Some families included many affected individuals, consistent with a dominant pattern of inheritance, whereas other families showed a recessive pattern of disease susceptibility. CXCR1 expression was significantly lower in the APN-prone children and in their relatives than in pediatric and adult control subjects (P<.0001). CONCLUSIONS : Our results suggest that susceptibility to APN is inherited and that low CXCR1 expression might predispose to disease.

Mah KW, Chin VI, Wong WS, Lay C, Tannock GW, Shek LP, Aw MM, Chua KY, Wong HB, Panchalingham A, Lee BW (2007) Effect of a milk formula containing probiotics on the fecal microbiota of asian infants at risk of atopic diseases. Pediatr Res 62 :674-679


The fecal microbiota of 37 infants with (n = 20) or without (n = 17) probiotic administration was evaluated on D 3, and at 1, 3, and 12 mo by fluorescence in situ hybridization-flow cytometry (FISH-FC), PCR, and bacteriological culture methods. They represent consecutive subjects of an ongoing double-blind, placebo-controlled trial on a probiotic formula (LGG and Bifidobacterium longum) administered during the first 6 mo of life. Despite varying composition in each baby, there was a general bacterial colonization pattern in the first year. Bifidobacteria increased markedly (p = 0.0003) with a parallel decrease in Enterobacteriaceae (p < 0.001) and Bacteroides-Prevotella (p = 0.005) populations. Eubacterium rectale-Clostridium coccoides (p < 0.001) and Atopobium (p = 0.039) groups also gradually increased. This overall pattern was unaffected by probiotic administration (p > 0.05). B. longum (p = 0.005) and Lactobacillus rhamnosus (p < 0.001) were detected more frequently in probiotic group during supplementation, but no difference after supplementation had ceased (p > 0.05). Cultured lactic acid bacteria were also more numerous in the probiotic-administered babies during treatment period (log CFU/g 8.4 versus 7.4 ; p = 0.035). Our results indicate that supplemented strains could be detected but did not persist in the bowel once probiotic administration had ceased.

Makelainen HS, Makivuokko HA, Salminen SJ, Rautonen NE, Ouwehand AC (2007) The effects of polydextrose and xylitol on microbial community and activity in a 4-stage colon simulator. J Food Sci 72 :M153-159


This study focused on the effects of candidate prebiotics polydextrose (PDX) and xylitol on the microbial community and its metabolic activity in a colon simulator. A semicontinuous, anaerobic culture system was used with 4 vessels mimicking the conditions in the human large intestine from proximal to distal colon. Bacterial inocula for the independent simulations were obtained from fecal samples of different donors. Synthetic medium, mimicking the contents of the small intestine, containing either 2% of the prebiotic candidate or no added carbohydrates as a control, was fed to the system. After 48 h of simulation samples were collected and analyzed. A sustained degradation of polydextrose throughout the colon model and a more rapid degradation of xylitol were observed. The fermentation of both compounds was characterized by a significantly increased production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). Polydextrose increased the concentrations of all SCFA, especially acetate and propionate, and xylitol especially the concentration of butyrate. Branched-chain fatty acids (BCFA) levels decreased significantly as a result of polydextrose and xylitol supplementation, whereas biogenic amine levels remained mostly unchanged. Thus, a beneficial shift in the metabolic patterns of the colon microbes was measured with both of the tested products. These in vitro studies provide evidence to the prebiotic characteristics of polydextrose ; also, further beneficial properties of xylitol were demonstrated in the colon model.

Martinez JM, Schroeder DC, Larsen A, Bratbak G, Wilson WH (2007) Molecular dynamics of Emiliania huxleyi and cooccurring viruses during two separate mesocosm studies. Appl Environ Microbiol 73 :554-562


In this study we used denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, sequencing analysis, and analytical flow cytometry to monitor the dynamics and genetic richness of Emiliania huxleyi isolates and cooccurring viruses during two mesocosm experiments in a Norwegian fjord in 2000 and 2003. We exploited variations in a gene encoding a protein with calcium-binding motifs (GPA) and in the major capsid protein (MCP) gene to assess allelic and genotypic richness within E. huxleyi and E. huxleyi-specific viruses (EhVs), respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first report that shows the effectiveness of the GPA gene for analysis of natural communities of E. huxleyi. Our results revealed the existence of a genetically rich, yet stable E. huxleyi and EhV community in the fjordic environment. Incredibly, the same virus and host genotypes dominated in separate studies conducted 3 years apart. Both E. huxleyi-dominated blooms contained the same six E. huxleyi alleles. In addition, despite the presence of at least six and four EhV genotypes at the start of the blooms in 2000 and 2003, respectively, the same two virus genotypes dominated the naturally occurring infections during the exponential and termination phases of the blooms in both years.

Mattila JT, Munderloh UG, Kurtti TJ (2007) Rickettsia peacockii, an endosymbiont of Dermacentor andersoni, does not elicit or inhibit humoral immune responses from immunocompetent D. andersoni or Ixodes scapularis cell lines. Dev Comp Immunol 31 :1095-1106


Ixodes scapularis and Dermacentor andersoni cell lines were stimulated with heat-killed Escherichia coli and Micrococcus luteus to investigate whether infection by Rickettsia peacockii, an endosymbiont of D. andersoni, modifies humoral immune responses. Radial diffusion assays, western blotting, flow cytometry, and quantitative reverse-transcription PCR were used to determine if expression of bacteriolytic peptides, including lysozyme and defensin, was upregulated by bacterial stimulation or infection with R. peacockii. The I. scapularis line IDE12 upregulated expression of lysozyme and defensin following stimulation. The D. andersoni cell line DAE15 also expressed defensin and lysozyme, but only lysozyme was upregulated by bacterial stimulation. R. peacockii infection alone, or in cells stimulated with bacteria, did not modify defensin or lysozyme expression in either cell line. These results suggest tick endosymbionts may avoid recognition by the tick immune system, and infection may not affect humoral immune responses to bacteria not normally associated with ticks.

Mena JA, Ramirez OT, Palomares LA (2007) Population kinetics during simultaneous infection of insect cells with two different recombinant baculoviruses for the production of rotavirus-like particles. BMC Biotechnol 7 :39


BACKGROUND : The simultaneous production of various recombinant proteins in every cell of a culture is often needed for the production of virus-like particles (VLP) or vectors for gene therapy. A common approach for such a purpose is the coinfection of insect cell cultures with different recombinant baculoviruses, each containing one or more recombinant genes. However, scarce information exists regarding kinetics during multiple infections, and to our knowledge, no studies are available on the behavior of the different populations that arise during coinfections. Such information is useful for designing infection strategies that maximize VLP or vector yield. In this work, kinetics of cell populations expressing rotavirus GFPVP2 (infected with bacGFPVP2), VP6 (infected with bacVP6), or both proteins simultaneously (coinfected with both baculoviruses) were followed by flow cytometry. RESULTS : In single infections, the population infected with any of the recombinant baculoviruses followed the Poisson distribution, as the population expressing a recombinant protein exhibited a hyperbolic-type function with respect to the multiplicity of infection (MOI) up to 5 pfu/cell. In coinfections, the population fraction expressing each recombinant protein could not be anticipated from results of single infections, as in some cases interference and synergistic effects were found. Only cultures with a total MOI below 5 pfu/cell followed the Poisson distribution. For cultures with a MOI of bacGFPVP2 above that of bacVP6 (overall MOI above 5 pfu/cell), the total population expressing one or both recombinant proteins was as low as 50% below that predicted by Poisson. In contrast, the population fraction expressing VP6 increased in coinfections, compared to that in single infections. The largest population fraction simultaneously expressing both recombinant proteins was 58%, and corresponded to cultures infected at a MOI of 5 and 1 pfu/cell of bacGFPVP2 and bacVP6, respectively. CONCLUSION : The infection conditions that maximize the cell population simultaneously expressing two recombinant proteins were determined. Such conditions could not have been anticipated from population kinetics in individual infections. This information should be taken into account for improved simultaneous production of various recombinant proteins in any work dealing with coinfections.

Menon SG, Sarsour EH, Kalen AL, Venkataraman S, Hitchler MJ, Domann FE, Oberley LW, Goswami PC (2007) Superoxide signaling mediates N-acetyl-L-cysteine-induced G1 arrest : regulatory role of cyclin D1 and manganese superoxide dismutase. Cancer Res 67 :6392-6399


Thiol antioxidants, including N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), are widely used as modulators of the intracellular redox state. We investigated the hypothesis that NAC-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) signaling perturbs cellular proliferation by regulating the cell cycle regulatory protein cyclin D1 and the ROS scavenging enzyme Mn-superoxide dismutase (MnSOD). When cultured in media containing NAC, mouse fibroblasts showed G(1) arrest with decreased cyclin D1 protein levels. The absence of a NAC-induced G(1) arrest in fibroblasts overexpressing cyclin D1 (or a nondegradable mutant of cyclin D1-T286A) indicates that cyclin D1 regulates this G(1) arrest. A delayed response to NAC exposure was an increase in both MnSOD protein and activity. NAC-induced G(1) arrest is exacerbated in MnSOD heterozygous fibroblasts. Results from electron spin resonance spectroscopy and flow cytometry measurements of dihydroethidine fluorescence showed an approximately 2-fold to 3-fold increase in the steady-state levels of superoxide (O(2)(*-)) in NAC-treated cells compared with control. Scavenging of O(2)(*-) with Tiron reversed the NAC-induced G(1) arrest. These results show that an O(2)(*-) signaling pathway regulates NAC-induced G(1) arrest by decreasing cyclin D1 protein levels and increasing MnSOD activity.

Michelou VK, Cottrell MT, Kirchman DL (2007) Light-stimulated bacterial production and amino acid assimilation by cyanobacteria and other microbes in the North Atlantic ocean. Appl Environ Microbiol 73 :5539-5546


We examined the contribution of photoheterotrophic microbes—those capable of light-mediated assimilation of organic compounds—to bacterial production and amino acid assimilation along a transect from Florida to Iceland from 28 May to 9 July 2005. Bacterial production (leucine incorporation at a 20 nM final concentration) was on average 30% higher in light than in dark-incubated samples, but the effect varied greatly (3% to 60%). To further characterize this light effect, we examined the abundance of potential photoheterotrophs and measured their contribution to bacterial production and amino acid assimilation (0.5 nM addition) using flow cytometry. Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus were abundant in surface waters where light-dependent leucine incorporation was observed, whereas aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria were abundant but did not correlate with the light effect. The per-cell assimilation rates of Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus were comparable to or higher than those of other prokaryotes, especially in the light. Picoeukaryotes also took up leucine (20 nM) and other amino acids (0.5 nM), but rates normalized to biovolume were much lower than those of prokaryotes. Prochlorococcus was responsible for 80% of light-stimulated bacterial production and amino acid assimilation in surface waters south of the Azores, while Synechococcus accounted for on average 12% of total assimilation. However, nearly 40% of the light-stimulated leucine assimilation was not accounted for by these groups, suggesting that assimilation by other microbes is also affected by light. Our results clarify the contribution of cyanobacteria to photoheterotrophy and highlight the potential role of other photoheterotrophs in biomass production and dissolved-organic-matter assimilation.

Michelsen O, Cuesta-Dominguez A, Albrechtsen B, Jensen PR (2007) Detection of bacteriophage-infected cells of Lactococcus lactis by using flow cytometry. Appl Environ Microbiol 73 :7575-7581


Bacteriophage infection in dairy fermentation constitutes a serious problem worldwide. We have studied bacteriophage infection in Lactococcus lactis by using the flow cytometer. The first effect of the infection of the bacterium is a change from cells in chains toward single cells. We interpret this change as a consequence of a cease in cell growth, while the ongoing cell divisions leave the cells as single cells. Late in the infection cycle, cells with low-density cell walls appear, and these cells can be detected on cytograms of light scatter versus, for instance, fluorescence of stained DNA. We describe a new method for detection of phage infection in Lactococcus lactis dairy cultures. The method is based on flow cytometric detection of cells with low-density cell walls. The method allows fast and early detection of phage-infected bacteria, independently of which phage has infected the culture. The method can be performed in real time and therefore increases the chance of successful intervention in the fermentation process.

Mills MF, Marquart ME, McDaniel LS (2007) Localization of PcsB of Streptococcus pneumoniae and its differential expression in response to stress. J Bacteriol 189 :4544-4546


PcsB of Streptococcus pneumoniae is an essential hydrolase involved in the separation of dividing cells. In this study, it was found that PcsB localizes to the plasma membrane and is released into the growth environment, yet it is detectable on the pneumococcal surface by flow cytometry analysis. High temperature and osmolarity led to upregulation of pcsB expression.

Minohara Y, Boyd DK, Hawkins HK, Ernst PB, Patel J, Crowe SE (2007) The effect of the cag pathogenicity island on binding of Helicobacter pylori to gastric epithelial cells and the subsequent induction of apoptosis. Helicobacter 12 :583-590


BACKGROUND : Helicobacter pylori infection leads to gastritis, peptic ulcer, and gastric cancer, in part due to epithelial damage following bacteria binding to the epithelium. Infection with cag pathogenicity island (PAI) bearing strains of H. pylori is associated with increased gastric inflammation and a higher incidence of gastroduodenal diseases. It is now known that various effector molecules are injected into host epithelial cells via a type IV secretion apparatus, resulting in cytoskeletal changes and chemokine secretion. Whether binding of bacteria and subsequent apoptosis of gastric epithelial cells are altered by cag PAI status was examined in this study. METHODS : AGS, Kato III, and N87 human gastric epithelial cell lines were incubated with cag PAI-positive or cag PAI-negative strains of H. pylori in the presence or absence of clarithromycin. Binding was evaluated by flow cytometry and scanning electron microscopy. Apoptosis was assessed by detection of DNA degradation and ELISA detection of exposed histone residues. RESULTS : cag PAI-negative strains bound to gastric epithelial cells to the same extent as cag PAI-positive strains. Both cag PAI-positive and cag PAI-negative strains induced apoptosis. However, cag PAI-positive strains induced higher levels of DNA degradation. Incubation with clarithromycin inactivated H. pylori but did not affect binding. However, pretreatment with clarithromycin decreased infection-induced apoptosis. CONCLUSIONS : cag PAI status did not affect binding of bacteria to gastric epithelial cells but cag PAI-positive H. pylori induced apoptosis more rapidly than cag PAI-negative mutant strains, suggesting that H. pylori binding and subsequent apoptosis are differentially regulated with regard to bacterial properties.

Miyauchi R, Oki K, Aoi Y, Tsuneda S (2007) Diversity of nitrite reductase genes in "Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis"-dominated cultures enriched by flow-cytometric sorting. Appl Environ Microbiol 73 :5331-5337


"Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis" is considered a polyphosphate-accumulating organism (PAO) though it has not been isolated yet. To reveal the denitrification ability of this organism, we first concentrated this organism by flow cytometric sorting following fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using specific probes for this organism. The purity of the target cells was about 97% of total cell count in the sorted sample. The PCR amplification of the nitrite reductase genes (nirK and nirS) from unsorted and sorted cells was performed. Although nirK and nirS were amplified from unsorted cells, only nirS was detected from sorted cells, indicating that "Ca. Accumulibacter phosphatis" has nirS. Furthermore, nirS fragments were cloned from unsorted (Ba clone library) and sorted (Bd clone library) cells and classified by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. The most dominant clone in clone library Ba, which represented 62% of the total number of clones, was not found in clone library Bd. In contrast, the most dominant clone in clone library Bd, which represented 59% of the total number of clones, represented only 2% of the total number of clones in clone library Ba, indicating that this clone could be that of "Ca. Accumulibacter phosphatis." The sequence of this nirS clone exhibited less than 90% similarity to the sequences of known denitrifying bacteria in the database. The recovery of the nirS genes makes it likely that "Ca. Accumulibacter phosphatis" behaves as a denitrifying PAO capable of utilizing nitrite instead of oxygen as an electron acceptor for phosphorus uptake.

Morin H, Tremblay MH, Plante E, Pare C, Majeau N, Hogue R, Leclerc D (2007) High avidity binding of engineered papaya mosaic virus virus-like particles to resting spores of Plasmodiophora brassicae. J Biotechnol 128 :423-434


Papaya mosaic virus (PapMV) like particles (VLPs) were used as a platform for fusion of affinity peptides binding to resting spores of Plasmodiophora brassicae-a major pathogen of crucifers. Three peptides with specific affinity to the target were isolated and cloned at the C-terminus of the PapMV coat protein (CP), generating three different high avidity VLPs. The peptides were exposed at the surface of the VLPs and their avidity to resting spores of P. brassicae was measured by flow cytometry. NLP-A, with the peptide DPAPRPR, showed the highest avidity. The binding avidity of NLP-A to P. brassicae spores was comparable to that of a polyclonal antibody. NLP-A was also shown to be more specific than the antibody. Fusion of the affinity peptide to a monomeric form (mCP) of the CP [Lecours, K., Tremblay, M.-H., Laliberte Gagne, M.-E., Gagne, S.M., Leclerc, D., 2006. Purification and biochemical characterization of a monomeric form of papaya mosaic potexvirus coat protein. Protein Express. Purific. 47, 273-280] generated a fusion protein that was unable to assemble into VLPs, and mCP-A fusions failed to bind resting spores. The avidity of VLP-A was increased by adding a glycine spacer between the C-terminus of the PapMV CP and the peptide, and improved even further by using a duplicated A peptide in the fusion protein. The use of high avidity VLPs has advantages over polyclonal antibodies because of target specificity. VLPs offers the specificity of monoclonal antibodies but can be more easily generated using the powerful selection of phage display.

Motaleb MA, Miller MR, Bakker RG, Li C, Charon NW (2007) Isolation and characterization of chemotaxis mutants of the Lyme disease Spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi using allelic exchange mutagenesis, flow cytometry, and cell tracking. Methods Enzymol 422 :421-437


Constructing mutants by targeted gene inactivation is more difficult in the Lyme disease organism, Borrelia burgdorferi, than in many other species of bacteria. The B. burgdorferi genome is fragmented, with a large linear genome and 21 linear and circular plasmids. Some of these small linear and circular plasmids are often lost during laboratory propagation, and the loss of specific plasmids can have a significant impact on virulence. In addition to the unusual structure of the B. burgdorferi genome, the presence of an active restriction-modification system impedes genetic transformation. Furthermore, B. burgdorferi is relatively slow growing, with a 7- to 12-h generation time, requiring weeks to obtain single colonies. The beginning part of this chapter details the procedure in targeting specific B. burgdorferi genes by allelic exchange mutagenesis. Our laboratory is especially interested in constructing and analyzing B. burgdorferi chemotaxis and motility mutants. Characterization of these mutants with respect to chemotaxis and swimming behavior is more difficult than for many other bacterial species. We have developed swarm plate and modified capillary tube assays for assessing chemotaxis. In the modified capillary tube chemotaxis assay, flow cytometry is used to rapidly enumerate cells that accumulate in the capillary tubes containing attractants. To assess the swimming behavior and velocity of B. burgdorferi wild-type and mutant cells, we use a commercially available cell tracker referred to as "Volocity." The latter part of this chapter presents protocols for performing swarm plate and modified capillary tube assays, as well as cell motion analysis. It should be possible to adapt these procedures to study other spirochete species, as well as other species of bacteria, especially those that have long generation times.

Mukhopadhyay K, Whitmire W, Xiong YQ, Molden J, Jones T, Peschel A, Staubitz P, Adler-Moore J, McNamara PJ, Proctor RA, Yeaman MR, Bayer AS (2007) In vitro susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus to thrombin-induced platelet microbicidal protein-1 (tPMP-1) is influenced by cell membrane phospholipid composition and asymmetry. Microbiology 153 :1187-1197


Thrombin-induced platelet microbicidal proteins (e.g. tPMP-1) are small cationic peptides released from mammalian platelets. As the cytoplasmic membrane (CM) is a primary target of tPMPs, distinct CM characteristics are likely to affect the cells’ susceptibility profiles. In Staphylococcus aureus, CM surface charge and hydrophobicity are principally determined by the content and distribution of its three major phospholipid (PL) constituents : negatively charged phosphatidylglycerol (PG) and cardiolipin (CL) and positively charged lysyl-PG (LPG). PL composition profiles, and inner vs outer CM leaflet PL distributions, were compared in an isogenic tPMP-susceptible (tPMP(S)) and -resistant (tPMP(R)) S. aureus strain pair (ISP479C vs ISP479R respectively). All PLs were asymmetrically distributed between the outer and inner CM leaflets in both strains. However, in ISP479R, the outer CM leaflet content of LPG was significantly increased vs ISP479C (27.3+/-11.0 % vs 18.6+/-7.0 % respectively ; P=0.05). This observation correlated with reduced binding of the cationic proteins cytochrome c, poly-L-lysine, tPMP-1 and the tPMP-1-mimetic peptide, RP1, to tPMP-1(R) whole cells and to model liposomal CMs with LPG content and distribution similar to that of tPMP-1(R) strains. Collectively, selected CM parameters correlated with reduced staphylocidal capacities of tPMP-1 against certain S. aureus strains, including relative increases in outer CM leaflet positive charge and reduced surface binding of cationic molecules. These findings offer new insights into mechanisms of antimicrobial peptide susceptibility and resistance in S. aureus.

Muller S (2007) Modes of cytometric bacterial DNA pattern : a tool for pursuing growth. Cell Prolif 40 :621-639


Analyses of DNA pattern provide an excellent tool to determine activity states of bacteria. Bacterial cell cycle behaviour is generally different from the eukaryotic one and is pre-determined by the bacteria’s diversity within the phylogenetic tree, and their metabolic traits. As a result, every species creates its specific proliferation pattern that differs from every other one. Up to now, just few bacterial species have been investigated and little information is available concerning DNA cycling even in already known species. This prevents understanding of the complexity and diversity of ongoing bacterial interactions in many ecosystems or in biotechnology. Flow cytometry is the only possible technique to shed light on the dynamics of bacterial communities and DNA patterns will help to unlock the hidden principles of their life. This review provides basic knowledge about the molecular background of bacterial cell cycling, discusses modes of cell cycle phases and presents techniques to both obtain DNA patterns and to combine the contained information with physiological cell states.

Murakami S, Sakurai F, Kawabata K, Okada N, Fujita T, Yamamoto A, Hayakawa T, Mizuguchi H (2007) Interaction of penton base Arg-Gly-Asp motifs with integrins is crucial for adenovirus serotype 35 vector transduction in human hematopoietic cells. Gene Ther 14 :1525-1533


Most subgroup B adenoviruses (Ads), including adenovirus (Ad) serotype 35 (Ad35), bind to human CD46 as a receptor ; however, the infection processes of subgroup B Ads following attachment to CD46 remain to be elucidated. Subgroup B Ads possess Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motifs in the penton base, similarly to subgroup C Ad serotypes 2 and 5. In this study, we examined the role of penton base RGD motifs in Ad35 vector-mediated transduction in human hematopoietic cells. Inhibition of interaction between integrins and the RGD motifs by divalent cation chelation and a synthetic RGD peptide reduced the transduction efficiencies of Ad35 vectors ; however, the amounts of cell-associated vector DNA of Ad35 vectors at 4 or 37 degrees C were not decreased by divalent cation chelation or the RGD peptide. Mutation of penton base RGD motifs reduced the transduction efficiencies of Ad35 vectors, although the amounts of cell-associated vector DNA of Ad35 vectors at 4 or 37 degrees C were not altered by mutation of penton base RGD motifs in Ad35 vectors. Furthermore, preincubation with several types of anti-integrin antibodies significantly inhibited Ad35 vector-mediated transduction. These results suggest that interaction between integrins and penton base RGD motifs plays a crucial role in Ad35 vector-mediated transduction in hematopoietic cells, probably in the post-internalization steps.

Nishimura Y, Shimojima M, Tohya Y, Miyazawa T (2007) Molecular cloning of a cDNA encoding the feline CD62L. J Vet Med Sci 69 :81-84


We cloned a cDNA fragment encoding a feline homologue of L-selectin (CD62L). The extracellular region of the feline CD62L fragment contained a calcium-dependent (C-type) lectin domain, an epidermal growth factor-like domain, and two Sushi/CCP/SCR domains. The flow cytometric analysis confirmed that the feline CD62L molecule, which was expressed 293T cells, retained an epitope recognized by an anti-human CD62L monoclonal antibody (Leu-8).

Nordman J, Skovgaard O, Wright A (2007) A novel class of mutations that affect DNA replication in E. coli. Mol Microbiol 64 :125-138


Over-initiation of DNA replication in cells containing the cold-sensitive dnaA(cos) allele has been shown to lead to extensive DNA damage, potentially due to head-to-tail replication fork collisions that ultimately lead to replication fork collapse, growth stasis and/or cell death. Based on the assumption that suppressors of the cold-sensitive phenotype of the cos mutant should include mutations that affect the efficiency and/or regulation of DNA replication, we subjected a dnaA(cos) mutant strain to transposon mutagenesis and selected mutant derivatives that could form colonies at 30 degrees C. Four suppressors of the dnaA(cos)-mediated cold sensitivity were identified and further characterized. Based on origin to terminus ratios, chromosome content per cell, measured by flow cytometry, and sensitivity to the replication fork inhibitor hydroxyurea, the suppressors fell into two distinct categories : those that directly inhibit over-initiation of DNA replication and those that act independently of initiation. Mutations that decrease the cellular level of HolC, the chi subunit of DNA polymerase, or loss of ndk (nucleoside diphosphate kinase) function fall into the latter category. We propose that these novel suppressor mutations function by decreasing the efficiency of replication fork movement in vivo, either by decreasing the dynamic exchange of DNA polymerase subunits in the case of HolC, or by altering the balance between DNA replication and deoxynucleoside triphosphate synthesis in the case of ndk. Additionally, our results indicate a direct correlation between over-initiation and sensitivity to replication fork inhibition by hydroxyurea, supporting a model of increased head-to-tail replication fork collisions due to over-initiation.

Not F, Valentin K, Romari K, Lovejoy C, Massana R, Tobe K, Vaulot D, Medlin LK (2007) Picobiliphytes : a marine picoplanktonic algal group with unknown affinities to other eukaryotes. Science 315 :253-255


Environmental sequencing has revealed unimagined diversity among eukaryotic picoplankton. A distinct picoplanktonic algal group, initially detected from 18S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequences, was hybridized with rRNA-targeted probes, detected by tyramide signal amplification-fluorescent in situ hybridization, and showed an organelle-like body with orange fluorescence indicative of phycobilins. Using this fluorescence signal, cells were sorted by flow cytometry and probed. Hybridized cells contained a 4’,6’-diamidino-2-phenylindole-stained organelle resembling a plastid with a nucleomorph. This suggests that they may be secondary endosymbiotic algae. Pending the isolation of living cells and their formal description, these algae have been termed picobiliphytes.

Nwanegbo EC, Romanowski EG, Gordon YJ, Gambotto A (2007) Efficacy of topical immunoglobulins against experimental adenoviral ocular infection. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 48 :4171-4176


PURPOSE : Presently, there is no U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA)-approved antiviral therapy for the treatment of adenoviral (Ad) ocular infections. The goal of the present study was to determine the antiviral efficacy of human immunoglobulin (Ig), a preparation of highly purified and concentrated immunoglobulin (IgG) antibodies isolated from a large pool of human plasma donors, in vitro and on acute Ad replication in the Ad5 New Zealand White (NZW) rabbit ocular model. METHODS : The antiviral activity of human Ig against multiple wild-type and human ocular isolates of adenovirus serotypes was investigated in vitro by using neutralizing assays in different human epithelial cell lines. In vivo bilateral topical ocular toxicity and antiviral efficacy were evaluated with established Ad5/NZW rabbit ocular models. In vivo Ig antiviral results were compared with those obtained with topical 0.5% cidofovir and saline. RESULTS : In three different epithelial cell lines,

O'Connell HA, Niu C, Gilbert ES (2007) Enhanced high copy number plasmid maintenance and heterologous protein production in an Escherichia coli biofilm. Biotechnol Bioeng 97:439-446


Escherichia coli has been widely used for heterologous protein production (HPP). To determine whether a biofilm environment could benefit E. coli HPP using high copy number plasmids, we compared plasmid maintenance and HPP by E. coli ATCC 33456 containing plasmid pEGFP (a pUC family vector) cultivated in biofilms and in suspended culture. Cells were grown with or without antibiotic selective pressure in flow cells or chemostats for up to 6 days. In biofilms, antibiotic selective pressure increased the plasmid copy number (PCN), but by 144 h, biofilms grown in antibiotic-free media had comparable plasmid concentrations. In the chemostat, the PCN declined steadily, although 100 ppm ampicillin in the medium slowed the rate of plasmid loss. Production of green fluorescent protein (GFP), a representative heterologous protein, was quantified by flow cytometry. In biofilms, at ampicillin concentrations >or=33 ppm, strongly fluorescent cells comprised more than half of the population by 48 h. In the chemostat, more than 50% of the population was non-fluorescent by 48 h in media containing 100 ppm ampicillin, and strongly fluorescent cells were <10% of the population. Biofilm structure was determined by confocal microscopy. Maximum biofilm thickness ranged from 30 to 45 microns, with no significant changes in biofilm structure after 48 h. Plasmid multimer percentages were similar to inocula for cells cultivated in either biofilms or the chemostat. The results indicate that the biofilm environment enhanced both plasmid maintenance and cellular GFP concentrations, and that low levels of antibiotic increased the beneficial effect.

Odeberg J, Wolmer N, Falci S, Westgren M, Sundtrom E, Seiger A, Soderberg-Naucler C (2007) Late human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) proteins inhibit differentiation of human neural precursor cells into astrocytes. J Neurosci Res 85 :583-593


Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is the most common cause of congenital infections in developed countries, with an incidence varying between 0.5-2.2%. Such infection may be the consequence of either a primary infection or reactivation of a latent infection in the mother and the outcome may vary from asymptomatic to severe brain disorders. Moreover, infants that are asymptomatic at the time of birth may still develop neurologic sequelae at a later age. Our hypothesis is that infection of stem cells of the central nervous system by HCMV alters the proliferation, differentiation or migration of these cells, and thereby gives rise to the brain abnormalities observed. We show that infection of human neural precursor cells (NPCs) with the laboratory strain Towne or the clinical isolate TB40 of HCMV suppresses the differentiation of these cells into astrocytes even at an multiplicity of infection (MOI) as low as 0.1 (by 33% and 67%, respectively). This inhibition required active viral replication and the expression of late HCMV proteins. Infection as late as 24 hr after the onset of differentiation, but not after 72 hr, also prevented the maturation of infected cultures. Furthermore, in cultures infected with TB40 (at an MOI of 1), approximately 54% of the cells were apoptotic and cell proliferation was significantly attenuated. Clearly, HCMV can reduce the capacity of NPCs to differentiate into astrocytes and this effect may provide part of the explanation for the abnormalities in brain development associated with congenital HCMV infection.

O’Donnell K, Sarver BA, Brandt M, Chang DC, Noble-Wang J, Park BJ, Sutton DA, Benjamin L, Lindsley M, Padhye A, Geiser DM, Ward TJ (2007) Phylogenetic diversity and microsphere array-based genotyping of human pathogenic Fusaria, including isolates from the multistate contact lens-associated U.S. keratitis outbreaks of 2005 and 2006. J Clin Microbiol 45 :2235-2248


In 2005 and 2006, outbreaks of Fusarium keratitis associated with soft contact lens use occurred in multiple U.S. states and Puerto Rico. A case-control study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed a significant association between infections and the use of one particular brand of lens solution. To characterize the full spectrum of the causal agents involved and their potential sources, partial DNA sequences from three loci (RPB2, EF-1alpha, and nuclear ribosomal rRNA) totaling 3.48 kb were obtained from 91 corneal and 100 isolates from the patient’s environment (e.g., contact lens and lens cases). We also sequenced a 1.8-kb region encoding the RNA polymerase II second largest subunit (RPB2) from 126 additional pathogenic isolates to better understand how the keratitis outbreak isolates fit within the full phylogenetic spectrum of clinically important fusaria. These analyses resulted in the most robust phylogenetic framework for Fusarium to date. In addition, RPB2 nucleotide variation within a 72-isolate panel was used to design 34 allele-specific probes to identify representatives of all medically important species complexes and 10 of the most important human pathogenic Fusarium in a single-well diagnostic assay, using flow cytometry and fluorescent microsphere technology. The multilocus data revealed that one haplotype from each of the three most common species comprised 55% of CDC’s corneal and environmental isolates and that the corneal isolates comprised 29 haplotypes distributed among 16 species. The high degree of phylogenetic diversity represented among the corneal isolates is consistent with multiple sources of contamination.

Oroszlan M, Daha MR, Cervenak L, Prohaszka Z, Fust G, Roos A (2007) MBL and C1q compete for interaction with human endothelial cells. Mol Immunol 44 :1150-1158


C1q, the recognition molecule of the classical pathway of complement, binds to endothelial cells, leading to cell activation. Mannose-binding lectin (MBL), a recognition molecule of the lectin pathway, is structurally and functionally related to C1q. Therefore, we investigated the interaction of MBL with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). C1q and MBL were purified from normal human plasma and binding to HUVEC was evaluated by flow cytometry. Cross-competition experiments were performed using MBL and C1q labeled with digoxygenin. MBL, similar to C1q, exhibited a dose-dependent binding to HUVEC under calcium-free conditions, suggesting involvement of its collagenous domains. Pre-incubation of HUVEC with MBL inhibited the binding of digoxygenin-labeled MBL at equimolar concentrations, confirming the specificity of the interaction. Pre-incubation of HUVEC with MBL inhibited the binding of C1q and vice versa. Activation of HUVEC with LPS resulted in increased C1q and MBL binding. Stimulation of HUVEC with MBL did not result in a detectable increase in cytokine production. Based on these results, we propose that MBL and C1q bind to a shared receptor on endothelial cells. Interaction of MBL and C1q with receptors on endothelial cells may be involved in inflammatory processes, and in clearance of pathogens and apoptotic cells.

Ostergaard TG, Hansen LH, Binderup ML, Norman A, Sorensen SJ (2007) The cda GenoTox assay : a new and sensitive method for detection of environmental genotoxins, including nitroarenes and aromatic amines. Mutat Res 631 :77-84


A new bacterial test system for detection of genotoxic compounds was developed, based on two new Salmonella typhimurium tester strains, TGO1 and TGO2. Both strains contain a gene fusion between a strong SOS-promotor, P(cda), and the gfp gene, which allows detection of genotoxic compounds that induce the SOS response. SOS induction was detected by means of flow cytometry. TGO1 showed an increased sensitivity to N-methyl-N’-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine compared with a previously developed strain, which had an Escherichia coli strain as host instead of S. typhimurium. S9 mix was introduced into the assay, making the test system suitable for detection of indirect mutagens. Furthermore, the genes for bacterial nitro-reductase (NR) and o-acetyl transferase (o-AT) were inserted into TGO2, making it an NR- and o-AT-over-expressing strain. This resulted in an assay that was able to detect the nitroarene 1-nitropyrene and the aromatic amine 2-aminoanthracene with high sensitivity.

Parada V, Sintes E, van Aken HM, Weinbauer MG, Herndl GJ (2007) Viral abundance, decay, and diversity in the meso- and bathypelagic waters of the north atlantic. Appl Environ Microbiol 73 :4429-4438


To elucidate the potential importance of deep-water viruses in controlling the meso- and bathypelagic picoplankton community, the abundance, decay rate, and diversity of the virioplankton community were determined in the meso- and bathypelagic water masses of the eastern part of the subtropical North Atlantic. Viral abundance averaged 1.4 x 10(6) ml(-1) at around 100 m of depth and decreased only by a factor of 2 at 3,000 to 4,000 m of depth. In contrast, picoplankton abundance decreased by 1 order of magnitude to the Lower Deep Water (LDW ; 3,500- to 5,000-m depth). The virus-to-picoplankton ratio increased from 9 at about 100 m of depth to 110 in the LDW. Mean viral decay rates were 3.5 x 10(-3) h(-1) between 900 m and 2,750 m and 1.1 x 10(-3) h(-1) at 4,000 m of depth, corresponding to viral turnover times of 11 and 39 days, respectively. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis fingerprints obtained from the viral community between 2,400 m and 4,000 m of depth revealed a maximum of only four bands from 4,000 m of depth. Based on the high viral abundance and the low picoplankton production determined via leucine incorporation, we conclude that the viral production calculated from the viral decay is insufficient to maintain the high viral abundance in the deep North Atlantic. Rather, we propose that substantial allochthonous viral input or lysogenic or pseudolysogenic production is required to maintain the high viral abundance detected in the meso- and bathypelagic North Atlantic. Consequently, deep-water prokaryotes are apparently far less controlled in their abundance and taxon richness by lytic prokaryotic phages than the high viral abundance and the virus-to-picoplankton ratio would suggest.

Park C, So HS, Shin SH, Choi JY, Lee I, Kim JK, Chung SY, Park R (2007) The water extract of Omija protects H9c2 cardiomyoblast cells from hydrogen peroxide through prevention of mitochondrial dysfunction and activation of caspases pathway. Phytother Res 21 :81-88


The water extract of Omija (Omija) has been used traditionally in the treatment of ischemic damage of the heart and brain tissues. However, little is known about the mechanism by which it rescues myocardial cells from oxidative stress. This study was designed to investigate the protective mechanisms of Omija on H(2)O(2)-induced cytotoxicity in H9c2 cardiomyoblast cells. Treatment with H(2)O(2) resulted in the death of H9c2 cells, characterized by apparent apoptotic features, including fragmentation of the nucleus and an increase in the sub-G(0)/G(1) fraction of the cell cycle. However, Omija markedly suppressed the apoptotic characteristics of H9c2 cells induced by H(2)O(2). In addition, Omija suppressed the features of mitochondrial dysfunction, including changes in the mitochondrial membrane potential and cytosolic release of cytochrome c in H(2)O(2)-treated cells. Treatment with Omija further inhibited the catalytic activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3 and induction of Fas by H(2)O(2). Taken together, these data indicate that the water extract of Omija protects H9c2 cardiomyoblast cells from oxidative stress of H(2)O(2) through inhibition of mitochondrial dysfunction and activation of intrinsic caspase cascades, including caspase-3 and caspase-9.

Parker J, Oviedo-Rondon EO, Clack BA, Clemente-Hernandez S, Osborne J, Remus JC, Kettunen H, Makivuokko H, Pierson EM (2007) Enzymes as feed additive to aid in responses against Eimeria species in coccidia-vaccinated broilers fed corn-soybean meal diets with different protein levels. Poult Sci 86 :643-653


This research aimed to evaluate the effects of adding a combination of exogenous enzymes to starter diets varying in protein content and fed to broilers vaccinated at day of hatch with live oocysts and then challenged with mixed Eimeria spp. Five hundred four 1-d-old male Cobb-500 chickens were distributed in 72 cages. The design consisted of 12 treatments. Three anticoccidial control programs [ionophore (IO), coccidian vaccine (COV), and coccidia-vaccine + enzymes (COV + EC)] were evaluated under 3 CP levels (19, 21, and 23%), and 3 unmedicated-uninfected (UU) negative controls were included for each one of the protein levels. All chickens except those in unmedicated-uninfected negative controls were infected at 17 d of age with a mixed oral inoculum of Eimeria acervulina, Eimeria maxima, and Eimeria tenella. Live performance, lesion scores, oocyst counts, and samples for gut microflora profiles were evaluated 7 d postinfection. Ileal digestibility of amino acids (IDAA) was determined 8 d postinfection. Microbial communities (MC) were analyzed by G + C%, microbial numbers were counted by flow cytometry, and IgA concentrations were measured by ELISA. The lowest CP diets had poorer (P < or = 0.001) BW gain and feed conversion ratio in the preinfection period. Coccidia-vaccinated broilers had lower performance than the ones fed ionophore diets during pre- and postchallenge periods. Intestinal lesion scores were affected (P < or = 0.05) by anticoccidial control programs, but responses changed according to gut section. Feed additives or vaccination had no effect (P > or = 0.05) on IDAA, and diets with 23% CP had the lowest (P < or = 0.001) IDAA. Coccidial infection had no effect on MC numbers in the ileum but reduced MC numbers in ceca and suppressed ileal IgA production. The COV + EC treatment modulated MC during mixed coccidiosis infection but did not significantly improve chicken performance. Results indicated that feed enzymes may be used to modulate the gut microflora of cocci-vaccinated broiler chickens.

Pathirana RD, O’Brien-Simpson NM, Visvanathan K, Hamilton JA, Reynolds EC (2007) Flow cytometric analysis of adherence of Porphyromonas gingivalis to oral epithelial cells. Infect Immun 75 :2484-2492


By using fluorescence microscopy, fluorescently labeled Porphyromonas gingivalis W50 was shown to adhere to oral epithelial (KB) cells as discrete cells or small cell aggregates, whereas P. gingivalis ATCC 33277 bound as large cell aggregates. Flow cytometric analysis showed that for P. gingivalis W50 there was a logarithmic relationship between the bacterial cell ratio (BCR), that is the number of bacterial cells to KB cells, and the percentage of KB cells with W50 cells attached. This percentage of KB cells with W50 attached reached a plateau of approximately 84% cells at a BCR of 500:1. In contrast, a quadratic relationship was observed between BCR and the percentage of KB cells with P. gingivalis ATCC 33277 attached, reaching a maximum of 47% at a BCR of 100:1 but decreasing to 7% at a BCR of 1,000:1. The lower binding of ATCC 33277 at high cell concentrations was attributed to autoaggregation. P. gingivalis W50 cells treated with an inhibitor (Nalpha-p-tosyl-L-lysine chloromethyl ketone [TLCK]) of its RgpA-Kgp proteinase-adhesin complex exhibited significantly reduced binding to KB cells than to untreated cells, suggesting a role for proteinase activity in binding to KB cells. Competitive inhibition with purified proteinase-active and TLCK-inactivated RgpA-Kgp complex significantly decreased the adherence of P. gingivalis W50 cells to KB cells. Furthermore, isogenic mutants of P. gingivalis W50 lacking the kgp gene product, but not the rgpA or rgpB gene products, exhibited significantly decreased adherence to KB cells compared to the wild type.

Pervez S, Khan MN, Nasir MI (2007) Comparative predictive value of three prognostic markers—S-phase fraction, PCNA and Mitotic count on axillary lymph node metastasis in carcinoma breast. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad 19 :3-5


BACKGROUND : Axillary lymph node metastasis is the single most important prognostic factor in carcinoma of the breast. Therefore, prognostic markers that may reliably predict probability of lymph node (LN) metastases are of great value. This study was conducted to compare the predictive value of two novel prognostic / proliferative markers i.e. S-phase fraction (SPF) and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in parallel with mitotic index. METHODS : Data of consecutive cases of infiltrating ductal carcinoma (IDC) breast diagnosed from July 2003 to July 2004 at the section of the Histopathology, The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, were reviewed. Atotal of 112 cases of infiltrating ductal carcinoma (IDC) of the breast with axillary LN sampling were selected. SPF was calculated by flow cytometry while PCNA staining was done by immunohistochemistry. Mitotic count was calculated according to modified Bloom and Richardson’s grading guidelines. RESULT : It was observed that the number of axillary LN metastases was increased with higher SPF (p value : 0.008). However no significant difference was found between the results of various categories of PCNA on axillary LN metastases (p value : 0.182) and mitotic count with axillary lymph node metastases (p value : 0.324). CONCLUSION : It was concluded that mitotic count and / PCNA alone cannot be used in predicting axillary LN metastases. SPF was found to be a more reliable marker compared to PCNAreactivity and conventional mitotic count in predicting axillary LN metastases.

Pipkin ME, Ljutic B, Cruz-Guilloty F, Nouzova M, Rao A, Zuniga-Pflucker JC, Lichtenheld MG (2007) Chromosome transfer activates and delineates a locus control region for perforin. Immunity 26 :29-41


Perforin gene (PRF1) transcription regulates perforin expression in NK cells and CTL. Here we identified the locus-wide ensemble of cis-acting sequences that drives PRF1 transcription physiologically. By using chromosome transfer, we revealed that de novo activation of a silent PRF1 locus was controlled by a 150 kb domain comprised of 16 DNase I hypersensitive sites (DHSs). These cis-acting sequences included a locus control region (LCR) and conferred developmentally appropriate and lineage-specific expression of human perforin from BAC transgenes. The LCR included four distal DHSs that were required for perforin expression from its natural locus, and their engineered deletion from the PRF1 BAC transgene abolished LCR function and led to rapid gene silencing. Thus, LCR function is central for regulating the developmental and activation-specific PRF1 promoter activity characteristic of NK cells and CTL.

Podar M, Abulencia CB, Walcher M, Hutchison D, Zengler K, Garcia JA, Holland T, Cotton D, Hauser L, Keller M (2007) Targeted access to the genomes of low-abundance organisms in complex microbial communities. Appl Environ Microbiol 73 :3205-3214


Current metagenomic approaches to the study of complex microbial consortia provide a glimpse into the community metabolism and occasionally allow genomic assemblies for the most abundant organisms. However, little information is gained for the members of the community present at low frequencies, especially those representing yet-uncultured taxa, which include the bulk of the diversity present in most environments. Here we used phylogenetically directed cell separation by fluorescence in situ hybridization and flow cytometry, followed by amplification and sequencing of a fraction of the genomic DNA of several bacterial cells that belong to the TM7 phylum. Partial genomic assembly allowed, for the first time, a look into the evolution and potential metabolism of a soil representative from this group of organisms for which there are no species in stable laboratory cultures. Genomic reconstruction from targeted cells of uncultured organisms isolated directly from the environment represents a powerful approach to access any specific members of a community and an alternative way to assess the community’s metabolic potential.

Pothier JF, Wisniewski-Dye F, Weiss-Gayet M, Moenne-Loccoz Y, Prigent-Combaret C (2007) Promoter-trap identification of wheat seed extract-induced genes in the plant-growth-promoting rhizobacterium Azospirillum brasilense Sp245. Microbiology 153 :3608-3622


Azospirillum strains have been used as plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) of cereal crops, but their adaptation to the root remains poorly understood. Here, we used a global approach based on differential fluorescence induction (DFI) promoter trapping to identify genes of the wheat isolate Azospirillum brasilense Sp245 that are induced in the presence of spring wheat seed extracts. Fluorescence-based flow cytometry sorting of Sp245 cells was validated using PlacZ, PsbpA and PnifH promoters and egfp. A random promoter library was constructed by cloning 1-3 kb Sp245 fragments upstream of a promoterless version of egfp in the promoter-trap plasmid pOT1e (genome coverage estimated at threefold). Exposure to spring wheat seed extracts obtained using a methanol solution led to the detection of 300 induced DFI clones, and upregulation by seed extracts was confirmed in vitro for 46 clones. Sequencing of 21 clones enabled identification of seven promoter regions. Five of them displayed upregulation once inoculated onto spring wheat seedlings. Their downstream sequence was similar to (i) a predicted transcriptional regulator, (ii) a serine/threonine protein kinase, (iii) two conserved hypothetical proteins, or (iv) the copper-containing dissimilatory nitrite reductase NirK. Two of them were also upregulated when inoculated on winter wheat and pea but not on maize, whereas the three others (including PnirK) were upregulated on the three hosts. The amounts of nitrate and/or nitrite present in spring wheat seed extracts were sufficient for PnirK upregulation. Overall, DFI promoter trapping was useful to reveal Azospirillum genes involved in the interaction with the plant.

Prokopovich S, Knight J, Assimos DG, Holmes RP (2007) Variability of Oxalobacter formigenes and oxalate in stool samples. J Urol 178 :2186-2190


PURPOSE : The intestinal organism Oxalobacter formigenes is unique in using oxalate as its primary carbon and energy source. Intestinal colonization with O. formigenes may have clinical significance by decreasing intestinal oxalate and its absorption, thereby influencing the concentration of oxalate in plasma and urine, and the development of calcium oxalate stone disease. Because the oxalate content of the diet varies considerably, we hypothesized that the number of O. formigenes and amount of oxalate would vary in feces. MATERIALS AND METHODS : To enumerate the number of O. formigenes in feces an accurate and reproducible real-time polymerase chain reaction assay was developed to quantify O. formigenes DNA. Stool samples were obtained from 10 colonized individuals to determine the levels of O. formigenes by this assay and the oxalate content by ion chromatography. RESULTS : Concentrations of O. formigenes ranged from lower than the limit of detection of 5 x 10(3) to 1.04 x 10(9) cells per gm stool. The total oxalate content of stool samples varied from 0.1 to 1.8 mg/gm and fecal water oxalate varied from 60 to 600 microM. All parameters measured varied within each stool collection, among stool collections on different days and among individuals. Notably in 7 of 10 individuals at least 1 stool sample contained no detectable O. formigenes. In addition, 7 of 10 subjects had a fecal colonization of less than 4 x 10(4) per gm stool. CONCLUSIONS : This study demonstrates that there is intrastool and interstool sample variability in the amount of O. formigenes measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction that did not correlate with the quantity of oxalate in stool. Most subjects had a fecal colonization of less than 4 x 10(4) per gm stool.

Ramachandiran V, Grigoriev V, Lan L, Ravkov E, Mertens SA, Altman JD (2007) A robust method for production of MHC tetramers with small molecule fluorophores. J Immunol Methods 319 :13-20


Tetramers of major histocompatibility complex molecules (MHC) are now well-established reagents for the detection of antigen-specific T cells by flow cytometry. MHC tetramers are prepared by mixing enzymatically biotinylated MHC molecules with commercial preparations of streptavidin, usually conjugated to a fluorescent phycobiliprotein such as phycoerythrin (PE) or allophycocyanin (APC). While data obtained with MHC tetramers prepared with small molecule fluorophores has been reported, considerable lot-to-lot variation among conventional streptavidin conjugates to small molecules prevents routine preparation of such reagents. We now report robust preparation of MHC tetramers with small molecule fluorophores, using a recombinant mutant of streptavidin incorporating a carboxy-terminal cysteine in each of the four identical subunits that is conjugated to maleimide derivatives of any of several small molecule fluorophores. These reagents significantly expand the versatility of the MHC tetramer methodology.

Repetto O, Massa N, Gianinazzi-Pearson V, Dumas-Gaudot E, Berta G (2007) Cadmium effects on populations of root nuclei in two pea genotypes inoculated or not with the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus mosseae. Mycorrhiza 17 :111-120


Plants possess a broad range of strategies to cope with cadmium (Cd) stress, including the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis. In cell responses towards Cd, the contribution of changes in ploidy levels is still unclear. We used flow cytometry to investigate if nuclear ploidy changes are involved in response mechanisms toward Cd and to analyze the effect of the symbiotic status on populations of nuclei. The impact of Cd was investigated in roots of two pea (Pisum sativum L.) genotypes differing in their Cd-sensitivity (Cd-sensitive VIR4788 and Cd-tolerant VIR7128). In pea seedlings grown under hydropony, 25 and 250 microM Cd concentrations lead to an increase in 4 C together with a decrease in 2 C nuclei. The same genotypes, grown in soil/sand substrate, were inoculated or not with the AM fungus Glomus mosseae BEG12 and treated or not with Cd at transplanting (Cd1) or 2 weeks after (Cd2). The Cd2 increased the proportion of 6 and 8 C nuclei in the mycorrhizal VIR4788 and in the non-mycorrhizal VIR7128 genotypes. Thus, changes in ploidy levels reflect pea responses towards Cd, which are modulated by the symbiotic interaction. The Cd-induced increase in ploidy may account for changes in DNA transcription and/or translation.

Riber U, Jungersen G (2007) Cell-mediated immune responses differentiate infections with Brucella suis from Yersinia enterocolitica serotype O:9 in pigs. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 116 :13-25


Due to almost identical lipopolysaccharide (LPS) O-antigens, infections with Yersinia enterocolitica serotype O:9 (YeO:9) cause false positive serological reactions (FPSR) in tests for Brucella and thus cause problems in National Brucella surveillance programs. As LPS are strong inducers of antibody responses it was hypothesized that cell-mediated immune responses to non-LPS antigens of the two bacteria can be used to separate immune responses to these two biologically very different infections. Following subclinical experimental infections with Brucella suis biovar 2, high interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) assay responses with a commercial Brucella melitensis antigen preparation (Brucellergene OCB) preceded the development of antibodies. High IFN-gamma responses in the seven B. suis inoculated pigs with serological evidence of infection were consistent throughout a 20-week post-inoculation observation period. In contrast, IFN-gamma responses in two B. suis inoculated pigs without bacteriological or serological evidence of infection were below a cut-point of 25pg/ml at all samplings. IFN-gamma responses in repeated samplings from 5 uninfected control pigs and 18 pigs experimentally infected with YeO:9 were all negative, except for solitary false positives in 3.7% of the samples from both the experimentally YeO:9 infected pigs and control pigs. Skin tests using the same commercial Brucella antigen confirmed the ability of cell-mediated immune responses to differentiate between the two infections. In addition, a field evaluation of the diagnostic use of cell-mediated immune responses by IFN-gamma assay and skin test to resolve serological suspicions of Brucella was conducted in an YeO:9 infected pig herd. Following a screening of 200 pigs 39 pigs were identified with false positive serological Brucellosis reactions. While 36 of the 39 FPSR pigs were also FPSR in a second test, none of the pigs were test positive in whole blood IFN-gamma assay or Brucellergene OCB skin test. In conclusion, use of IFN-gamma assay and skin test as measurements of cell-mediated immune responses to non-LPS Brucella antigens were specific and sensitive in discriminating subclinical experimental infections with B. suis from both natural and experimental infections with YeO:9.

Risley AL, Loughman A, Cywes-Bentley C, Foster TJ, Lee JC (2007) Capsular polysaccharide masks clumping factor A-mediated adherence of Staphylococcus aureus to fibrinogen and platelets. J Infect Dis 196 :919-927


BACKGROUND : Clumping factor A (ClfA) is a Staphylococcus aureus cell wall-associated adhesin that mediates staphylococcal binding to fibrinogen and platelets. Our goals were to determine whether expression of capsular polysaccharide (CP) affected ClfA-mediated adherence of S. aureus and to assess whether the length of the ClfA repeat region influenced this interaction. METHODS : ClfA constructs with repeat regions of different lengths were introduced into isogenic S. aureus strains that expressed CP5, CP8, or no CP. S. aureus binding to fibrinogen was assessed in rabbit plasma and on fibrinogen-coated microtiter plates. Adherence of S. aureus strains to platelets was evaluated by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. RESULTS : As the length of the ClfA repeat region increased, binding of acapsular S. aureus to fibrinogen-coated microtiter plates was enhanced. By contrast, encapsulated S. aureus expressing the full-length ClfA were poorly adherent. The acapsular S. aureus mutant strain showed a 2-fold increase in platelet binding, compared with the isogenic encapsulated strains. By contrast, platelet aggregation was unaffected by CP production. CONCLUSION : CP expression inhibits S. aureus ClfA-mediated binding to fibrinogen and platelets, and a full-length repeat region cannot overcome this inhibition. These findings have important implications for vaccine development, given that CP may mask surface adhesins.

Rodel J, Lehmann M, Vogelsang H, Straube E (2007) Chlamydia pneumoniae infection of aortic smooth muscle cells reduces platelet-derived growth factor receptor-beta expression. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol 51 :363-371


Chlamydia pneumoniae infection may play a role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. In this study, an oligonucleotide microarray was utilized to examine the transcriptional response of human aortic smooth muscle cells (AoSMC) to C. pneumoniae infection. Alteration of mRNA expression in 71 out of 780 genes was detected at 24 h after infection. Among the down-regulated genes, platelet-derived growth factor receptor-beta (PDGFR-beta) was identified as a target for further analysis because the PDGF system is involved in the fibroproliferative response of SMC in atherogenesis. Reverse transcriptase PCR analysis demonstrated that C. pneumoniae inhibits the up-regulation of PDGFR-beta mRNA occurring in AoSMC after mock infection. PDGFR-beta protein synthesis was examined by immunoblotting and fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Compared with mock-infected cells, the amount of receptor protein was reduced at 24, 48, and 72 h after infection. Diminished PDGFR-beta synthesis in infected cultures was accompanied by the suppression of AoSMC growth following PDGF-BB stimulation. The interference of C. pneumoniae with PDGFR-beta expression may result in decreased SMC proliferation in atherosclerotic plaques, thereby affecting the development and stability of advanced lesions.

Rossi S, Antonelli M, Mezzanotte V, Nurizzo C (2007) Peracetic acid disinfection : a feasible alternative to wastewater chlorination. Water Environ Res 79 :341-350


The paper summarizes the results of a bench-scale study to evaluate the feasibility of using peracetic acid (PAA) as a substitute for sodium hypochlorite both for discharge into surface water and for agricultural reuse. Trials were carried out with increasing doses (1, 2, 3, 5, 10, and 15 mg/L) and contact times (6, 12, 18, 36, 42, and 54 minutes) to study disinfectant decay and bacterial removal and regrowth, using fecal coliform and Escherichia coli (E. coli) as process efficiency indicators. Peracetic acid decay kinetics was evaluated in tap water and wastewater ; in both cases, PAA decays according to first-order kinetics with respect to time, and a correlation was found between PAA oxidative initial consumption and wastewater characteristics. The PAA disinfection efficiency was correlated with operating parameters (active concentration and contact time), testing different kinetic models. Two data groups displaying a different behavior on the basis of initial active concentration ranges (1 to 2 mg/L and 5 to 15 mg/L, respectively) can be outlined. Both groups had a "tailing-off" inactivation curve with respect to time, but the second one showed a greater inactivation rate. Moreover, the effect of contact time was greater at the lower doses. Hom’s model, used separately for the two data groups, was found to best fit experimental data, and the disinfectant active concentration appears to be the main factor affecting log-survival ratios. Moreover, the S-model better explains the initial resistance of E. coli, especially at low active concentrations (< 2 mg/L) and short contact times (< 12 minutes). Microbial counts, performed by both traditional methods and flow cytometry, immediately and 5 hours after sample collection (both with or without residual PAA inactivation), showed that no appreciable regrowth took place after 5 hours, neither for coliform group bacteria, nor for total heterotrophic bacteria.

Rule AM, Kesavan J, Schwab KJ, Buckley TJ (2007) Application of flow cytometry for the assessment of preservation and recovery efficiency of bioaerosol samplers spiked with Pantoea agglomerans. Environ Sci Technol 41 :2467-2472


Exposure assessment of biological aerosols requires trade-offs between efficient sampling of airborne microorganisms as either particles or viable units. The main objective of this work was to characterize aspects of bioaerosol measurement efficiency. A known concentration of the vegetative bacteria Pantoea agglomerans was spiked onto different samplers (AGI-30, BioSampler, and membrane filters) and then run for increasing time periods using HEPA filtered air. Measurement efficiency was evaluated based on total, viable, and culturable counts. Total and viable counts were determined by flow-cytometry (FCM) ; culturable counts were evaluated by standard plating. FCM as a method for assaying viability showed excellent agreement with known proportions of live/dead organisms (slope = 0.82, R(2) = 0.99). P. agglomerans recoveries (total, viable, and culturable) in order of best sampler performance included the BioSampler (75%, 52%, and 50%), filtration (50%, 13%, and 2%), and the AGI-30 (<30%, 15%, and 5%). The difference between viability and culturability provided an indication of viable but nonculturable (VBNC) cells. VBNC efficiency for sampling by filter, AGI-30, and BioSampler was 80%, 50%, and 100%, respectively. This research helps characterize recovery, survival, and culturability efficiencies while sampling environmentally sensitive airborne bacteria for purposes of exposure assessment, epidemiologic studies, and homeland security.

Ruszczynska A, Szteyn J, Wiszniewska-Laszczych A (2007) Flow cytometry as a method for the evaluation of raw material, product and process in the dairy industry. Pol J Vet Sci 10 :119-121


Producing dairy products which are safe for consumers requires the constant monitoring of the microbiological quality of raw material, the production process itself and the end product. Traditional methods, still a "gold standard", require a specialized laboratory working on recognized and validated methods. Obtaining results is time- and labor-consuming and do not allow rapid evaluation. Hence, there is a need for a rapid, precise method enabling the real-time monitoring of microbiological quality, and flow cytometry serves this function well. It is based on labeling cells suspended in a solution with fluorescent dyes and pumping them into a measurement zone where they are exposed to a precisely focused laser beam. This paper is aimed at presenting the possibilities of applying flow cytometry in the dairy industry.

Saegeman VS, De Vos R, Tebaldi ND, van der Wolf JM, Bergervoet JH, Verhaegen J, Lismont D, Verduyckt B, Ectors NL (2007) Flow cytometric viability assessment and transmission electron microscopic morphological study of bacteria in glycerol. Microsc Microanal 13 :18-29


Human cadaveric skin allografts are used in the treatment of burns and can be preserved in glycerol at high concentrations. Previously, glycerol has been attributed some antimicrobial effect. In an experimental set-up, we aimed at investigating this effect of prolonged incubation of bacteria in 85% glycerol. Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Bacillus subtilis were incubated in 85% glycerol. The influence of duration of incubation and temperature on ultrastructure and viability were investigated. Unstressed cultures served as controls. Survival was studied after 24-36 h and 10 days incubation in 85% glycerol at 4 degrees C and 36 degrees C with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and flow cytometry using viability stains indicating membrane damage (SYTO9, propidium iodide) or esterase activity (carboxyfluorescein diacetate). TEM clearly demonstrated variability in morphological changes of bacteria suggesting different mechanisms of damage. Viability stains supported these findings with faster declining viable cell populations in 85% glycerol at 36 degrees C compared with 4 degrees C. Both methods demonstrated that Gram-negative species were more susceptible than Gram-positive species. In conclusion, 85% glycerol may have some additional antimicrobial effect. Temperature is an important factor herein and Gram-negatives are most susceptible. The latter finding probably reflects the difference in cell wall composition between Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.

Saffran HA, Pare JM, Corcoran JA, Weller SK, Smiley JR (2007) Herpes simplex virus eliminates host mitochondrial DNA. EMBO Rep 8 :188-193


Mitochondria have crucial roles in the life and death of mammalian cells, and help to orchestrate host antiviral defences. Here, we show that the ubiquitous human pathogen herpes simplex virus (HSV) induces rapid and complete degradation of host mitochondrial DNA during productive infection of cultured mammalian cells. The depletion of mitochondrial DNA requires the viral UL12 gene, which encodes a conserved nuclease with orthologues in all herpesviruses. We show that an amino-terminally truncated UL12 isoform-UL12.5-localizes to mitochondria and triggers mitochondrial DNA depletion in the absence of other HSV gene products. By contrast, full-length UL12, a nuclear protein, has little or no effect on mitochondrial DNA levels. Our data document that HSV inflicts massive genetic damage to a crucial host organelle and show a novel mechanism of virus-induced shutoff of host functions, which is likely to contribute to the cell death and tissue damage caused by this widespread human pathogen.

Sakamoto C, Yamaguchi N, Yamada M, Nagase H, Seki M, Nasu M (2007) Rapid quantification of bacterial cells in potable water using a simplified microfluidic device. J Microbiol Methods 68 :643-647


A simplified microfluidic device for quantification of bacteria in potable water was fabricated and examined. Comparisons of counts of Escherichia coli by the microfluidic system and by epifluorescence microscopy closely correlated (r2=0.99). Bacteria in natural mineral water and in purified household tap water were accurately enumerated by using this system within 15 min after fluorescent staining.

Salcher MM, Hofer J, Hornak K, Jezbera J, Sonntag B, Vrba J, Simek K, Posch T (2007) Modulation of microbial predator-prey dynamics by phosphorus availability : growth patterns and survival strategies of bacterial phylogenetic clades. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 60 :40-50


We simultaneously studied the impact of top-down (protistan grazing) and bottom-up (phosphorus availability) factors on the numbers and biomasses of bacteria from various phylogenetic lineages, and on their growth and activity parameters in the oligo-mesotrophic Piburger See, Austria. Enhanced grazing resulted in decreased proportions of bacteria with high nucleic acid content (high-NA bacteria) and lower detection rates by FISH. There was a change in the composition of the bacterial assemblage, whereby Betaproteobacteria were heavily grazed while Alphaproteobacteria and Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides were less affected by predators. Changes in bacterial assemblage composition were also apparent in the treatments enriched with phosphorus, and even more pronounced in the incubations in dialysis tubes (allowing relatively free nutrient exchange). Here, Betaproteobacteria became dominant and appeared to act as successful opportunistic competitors for nutrients. In contrast, Actinobacteria did not respond to surplus phosphorus by population growth, and, moreover, maintained their small size, which resulted in a very low biomass contribution. In addition, significant relationships between high-NA bacteria and several bacterial phylogenetic clades were found, indicating an enhanced activity status. By combining several single-cell methods, new insight is gained into the competitive abilities of freshwater bacteria from a variety of phylogenetic lineages under contrasting sets of bottom-up and top-down constraints.

Sarinova M, Strakova V, Balkova K, Gbelska Y (2007) Decreased susceptibility to antifungals in respiratory-deficient Kluyveromyces lactis mutants. Folia Microbiol (Praha) 52 :484-490


Decreased susceptibility of K. lactis mutants impaired in the function of cytochrome c, cytochrome c1 and cytochrome-c oxidase to fluconazole, bifonazole and amphotericin B in comparison with the isogenic wild-type strain was observed. Flow cytometry with rhodamine 6G did not show any changes in the accumulation of the dye in the mutant cells compared with the corresponding wild-type strain. Sterol analysis showed similar overall amount of sterols in both wild-type and mutant cells. Taking into account the increased amphotericin B resistance and significantly diminished susceptibility of mutant cells to lyticase digestion, the cell wall structure and/or composition may probably be responsible for the observed changes in the susceptibility of mutants to the antifungal compounds used.

Schnitger K, Njau F, Wittkop U, Liese A, Kuipers JG, Thiel A, Morgan MA, Zeidler H, Wagner AD (2007) Staining of Chlamydia trachomatis elementary bodies : a suitable method for identifying infected human monocytes by flow cytometry. J Microbiol Methods 69 :116-121


Persistence of Chlamydia trachomatis (C. trachomatis) in the joint is the most frequent cause of reactive arthritis following urogenital tract infection. The resulting changes of host cell antigen- and cytokine-expression are not precisely understood. We developed and evaluated a direct cytometric approach to visualize in vitro C. trachomatis-infected monocytes. Infectious elementary bodies (EBs) of C. trachomatis serovar K were labelled by incubation with 5-(and-6)-carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFSE). Afterwards, human peripheral blood monocytes were cultured with the CFSE-labelled EBs and analysed by flow cytometry. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to demonstrate intracellular uptake and viability of CFSE-labelled C. trachomatis by the determination of gene expression. Labelling EBs with CFSE may become a valuable tool for studying the interaction between C. trachomatis and the host cell.

Servan de Almeida R, Keita D, Libeau G, Albina E (2007) Control of ruminant morbillivirus replication by small interfering RNA. J Gen Virol 88 :2307-2311


Peste-des-petits-ruminants virus (PPRV) and rinderpest virus (RPV) are two morbilliviruses of economic relevance in African and Asian countries. Although efficient vaccines are available for both diseases, they cannot protect the animals before 14 days post-vaccination. In emergencies, it would be desirable to have efficient therapeutics for virus control. Here, two regions are described in the nucleocapsid genes of PPRV and RPV that can be targeted efficiently by synthetic short interfering RNAs (siRNAs), resulting in a >80 % reduction in virus replication. The effects of siRNAs on the production of viral RNA by real-time quantitative PCR, of viral proteins by flow cytometry and of virus particles by appreciation of the cytopathic effect and virus titration were monitored. The findings of this work highlight the potential for siRNA molecules to be developed as therapeutic agents for the treatment of PPRV and RPV infections.

Sirk D, Zhu Z, Wadia JS, Shulyakova N, Phan N, Fong J, Mills LR (2007) Chronic exposure to sub-lethal beta-amyloid (Abeta) inhibits the import of nuclear-encoded proteins to mitochondria in differentiated PC12 cells. J Neurochem 103 :1989-2003


Studies on amyloid beta (Abeta|), the peptide thought to play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease, have implicated mitochondria in Abeta-mediated neurotoxicity. We used differentiated PC12 cells stably transfected with an inducible green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion protein containing an N’-terminal mitochondrial targeting sequence (mtGFP), to examine the effects of sub-lethal Abeta on the import of nuclear-encoded proteins to mitochondria. Exposure to sub-lethal Abeta(25-35) (10 mumol/L) for 48 h inhibited mtGFP import to mitochondria ; average rates decreased by 20 +/- 4%. Concomitant with the decline in mtGFP, cytoplasmic mtGFP increased significantly while mtGFP expression and intramitochondrial mtGFP turnover were unchanged. Sub-lethal Abeta(1-42) inhibited mtGFP import and increased cytoplasmic mtGFP but only after 96 h. The import of two endogenous nuclear-encoded mitochondrial proteins, mortalin/mtHsp70 and Tom20 also declined. Prior to the decline in import, mitochondrial membrane potential (mmp), and reactive oxygen species levels were unchanged in Abeta-treated cells versus reverse phase controls. Sustained periods of decreased import were associated with decreased mmp, increased reactive oxygen species, increased vulnerability to oxygen-glucose deprivation and altered mitochondrial morphology. These findings suggest that an Abeta-mediated inhibition of mitochondrial protein import, and the consequent mitochondrial impairment, may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.

Smith JM, Shen Z, Wira CR, Fanger MW, Shen L (2007) Effects of menstrual cycle status and gender on human neutrophil phenotype. Am J Reprod Immunol 58 :111-119


PROBLEM : The effects of gender and fluctuating ovarian hormones on neutrophil phenotype have yet to be characterized. METHOD OF STUDY : Neutrophils from females at days 7, 14, 21, and 28 of the menstrual cycle were analyzed by flow cytometry for surface receptor, granule protein, and intracellular cytokine expression. Comparisons were made to neutrophils from males isolated at 7-day intervals during 1 month. RESULTS : Decreased MMP-9 and TNF-alpha expression by neutrophils from females was observed during the periovulatory period. Comparing the genders, cells from females during the periovulatory period expressed less CD11b and CD18 than those from males. CXCR1 surface levels were higher on neutrophils from female donors. CONCLUSIONS : Neutrophil phenotype varies minimally during the menstrual cycle and between the genders. Our data provide support for a potential anti-inflammatory effect of ovarian hormones on neutrophils.

Steinberger-Levy I, Zahavy E, Cohen S, Flashner Y, Mamroud E, Aftalion M, Gur D, Ber R (2007) Enrichment of Yersinia pestis from blood cultures enables rapid antimicrobial susceptibility determination by flow cytometry. Adv Exp Med Biol 603 :339-350


Mortality from plague is high if not treated with the proper antibiotics within 18-24 hours after onset of symptoms. The process of antibiotic susceptibility determination of Yersinia pestis isolated from blood samples may extend from 4 to more than 7 days, since the in vitro growth is very slow. To accelerate this process, we developed an enrichment protocol as well as a non-standard yet reliable method for rapid antibiotic susceptibility analysis of Y. pestis from blood cultures using flow cytometry technology. This rapid method is applicable to blood cultures containing low levels of Y. pestis.

Stie J, Jesaitis AV, Lord CI, Gripentrog JM, Taylor RM, Burritt JB, Jesaitis AJ (2007) Localization of hCAP-18 on the surface of chemoattractant-stimulated human granulocytes : analysis using two novel hCAP-18-specific monoclonal antibodies. J Leukoc Biol 82 :161-172


The well-described antimicrobial and immunoregulatory properties of human cathelicidin antimicrobial protein 18 (hCAP-18) derive in part from the ability of its proteolytic fragment, LL-37 (a.k.a. CAP-37), to associate with activated immune and epithelial cells during inflammation. We now show a stable association between hCAP-18 and the cell surface of formyl-Met-Leu-Phe (fMLF)-stimulated neutrophils using two novel hCAP-18-specific mAb, H7 and N9, which recognize a single 16-kDa band, identified by N-terminal sequencing and mass spectrometry as hCAP-18. Phage display analysis of epitope-binding sites showed that both mAb probably recognize a similar five amino acid sequence near the C terminus of the prodomain. Immunoblot analysis of degranulated neutrophil supernatants resulted in mAb recognition of the 14-kDa prodomain of hCAP-18. Subcellular fractionation of unstimulated neutrophils on density gradients showed expected cosedimentation of hCAP-18 with specific granule lactoferrin (LF). fMLF stimulation resulted in an average 25% release of specific granule hCAP-18, with approximately 15% of the total cellular hCAP-18 recovered from culture media, and approximately 10% and approximately 75%, respectively, codistributing with plasma membrane alkaline phosphatase and specific granule LF. Surface association of hCAP-18 on fMLF-stimulated neutrophils was confirmed by immunofluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry analysis, which also suggested a significant up-regulation of surface hCAP-18 on cytochalasin B-pretreated, fully degranulated neutrophils. hCAP-18 surface association was labile to 10 mM NaOH treatment but resistant to 1 M NaCl and also partitioned into the detergent phase following Triton X-114 solubilization, possibly suggesting a stable association with one or more integral membrane proteins. We conclude that fMLF stimulation promotes redistribution of hCAP-18 to the surface of human neutrophils.

Sung WS, Lee DG (2007) In vitro antimicrobial activity and the mode of action of indole-3-carbinol against human pathogenic microorganisms. Biol Pharm Bull 30 :1865-1869


Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) is a naturally occurring constituent of cruciferous vegetables. The aim of this study was to assess the in vitro antimicrobial activity of I3C and its mode of action. By using an NCCLS broth microdilution assay, the activity of I3C was evaluated against human pathogenic microorganisms including clinically isolated antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. The results indicated that I3C exhibited broad spectrum antimicrobial activities. To elucidate the physiological changes of the fungal cells induced by I3C, we performed a flow cytometric analysis for a cell cycle. The results showed that I3C arrested the cell cycle at the G(2)/M phase in Candida albicans. To understand the antifungal mode of action of I3C, the change in the membrane dynamics was monitored by using fluorescence changing experiments against C. albicans. The results suggest that I3C may exert antifungal activity by disrupting the structure of the cell membrane. The present study indicates that I3C has considerable antimicrobial activity, deserving further investigation for clinical applications.

Sung WS, Park Y, Choi CH, Hahm KS, Lee DG (2007) Mode of antibacterial action of a signal peptide, Pep27 from Streptococcus pneumoniae. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 363 :806-810


The aim of this study was to assess the in vitro antimicrobial activity of Pep27 and its mode of action. The results indicated Pep27 exhibited antibacterial activities against pathogenic Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria without hemolytic effect on human erythrocytes, but it did not exhibit antifungal activity. To understand the mode of action of Pep27, the cellular distribution of the peptide was investigated. Flow cytometry analysis exhibited Pep27 penetrated the bacterial membrane by an energy-independent pathway without any damage to the membrane when examined using liposome and membrane probe. After penetration into the bacterial cells, Pep27 was not affected by macromolecular synthesis, but activated protein phosphatase activity in dose ranges of 10-15 microM and time range of 5-10 min in case of Staphylococcus epidermidis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, respectively. These results demonstrated the antibacterial activities of Pep27 are fundamentally attributable to a physiological change by activated phosphatase activity.

Tao W, Evans BG, Yao J, Cooper S, Cornetta K, Ballas CB, Hangoc G, Broxmeyer HE (2007) Enhanced green fluorescent protein is a nearly ideal long-term expression tracer for hematopoietic stem cells, whereas DsRed-express fluorescent protein is not. Stem Cells 25 :670-678


Validated gene transfer and expression tracers are essential for elucidating functions of mammalian genes. Here, we have determined the suitability and unintended side effects of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) and DsRed-Express fluorescent protein as expression tracers in long-term hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Retrovirally transduced mouse bone marrow cells expressing either EGFP or DsRed-Express in single or mixed dual-color cell populations were clearly discerned by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. The results from in vivo competitive repopulation assays demonstrated that EGFP-expressing HSCs were maintained nearly throughout the lifespan of the transplanted mice and retained long-term multilineage repopulating potential. All mice assessed at 15 months post-transplantation were EGFP positive, and, on average, 24% total peripheral white blood cells expressed EGFP. Most EGFP-expressing recipient mice lived at least 22 months. In contrast, Discosoma sp. red fluorescent protein (DsRed)-expressing donor cells dramatically declined in transplant-recipient mice over time, particularly in the competitive setting, in which mixed EGFP- and DsRed-expressing cells were cotransplanted. Moreover, under in vitro culture condition favoring preservation of HSCs, purified EGFP-expressing cells grew robustly, whereas DsRed-expressing cells did not. Therefore, EGFP has no detectable deteriorative effects on HSCs, and is nearly an ideal long-term expression tracer for hematopoietic cells ; however, DsRed-Express fluorescent protein is not suitable for these cells.

Thone F, Schwanhausser B, Becker D, Ballmaier M, Bumann D (2007) FACS-isolation of Salmonella-infected cells with defined bacterial load from mouse spleen. J Microbiol Methods 71 :220-224


Salmonella can cause a typhoid fever like disease in genetically susceptible mice. In contrast to in vitro cell culture models, most host cells in infected tissues contain only one or two Salmonella, but a small subpopulation of infected host cells contains many Salmonella. It has been proposed that these various subpopulations have differential relevance during infection but to test this, methods for isolating such Salmonella will be required. We developed a method to purify differentially infected host cells by flow cytometry using Salmonella expressing the green fluorescent protein (GFP). Critical parameters for this method were sufficient GFP expression to detect infected cells against strong host cell autofluorescence, and low variation in GFP content of individual Salmonella. We evaluated more than hundred different GFP-constructs but only one single-copy chromosomal P(sifB)-gfp fusion met these criteria and enabled differentiation of weakly and highly infected cells based on total GFP fluorescence. Confocal microscopy of sorted cells confirmed the successful separation of these subpopulations. In addition to isolation of infected cells, our method also enabled enumeration of the subpopulations and phenotypic characterization by staining with antibodies to surface markers. Surprisingly, a small subpopulation of highly infected host cells contained the majority of Salmonella but based on MHC II and ICAM I expression, this subpopulation was not more strongly activated than weakly infected cells. Our method will facilitate future characterization of the different subpopulations and the identification of bacterial and host factors that control Salmonella load and proliferation in vivo.

Timmermans F, Van Hauwermeiren F, De Smedt M, Raedt R, Plasschaert F, De Buyzere ML, Gillebert TC, Plum J, Vandekerckhove B (2007) Endothelial outgrowth cells are not derived from CD133+ cells or CD45+ hematopoietic precursors. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 27 :1572-1579


OBJECTIVE : Two types of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), early EPCs and late EPCs (also called endothelial outgrowth cells [EOCs]), were described in vitro previously. In this report, we dissect the phenotype of the precursor(s) that generate these cell types with focus on the markers CD34, CD133, and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR2) that have been used to identify putative circulating endothelial precursors. We also included CD45 in the analysis to assess the relation between CD34+ hematopoietic progenitors (HPC), CD34+ endothelial precursors, and both in vitro generated EPC types. Addressing this issue might lead to a better understanding of the lineage and phenotype of the precursor(s) that give rise to both cell types in vitro and may contribute to a consensus on their flowcytometric enumeration. METHODS AND RESULTS : Using cell sorting of human cord blood (UCB) and bone marrow (BM) cells, we demonstrate that EOC generating precursors are confined to a small CD34+ CD45- cell fraction, but not to the CD34+ CD45+ HPC fraction, nor any other CD45+ subpopulation. CD34+ CD45+ HPC generated monocytic cells that displayed characteristics typical for early EPCs. Phenotypic analysis showed that EOC generating CD34+ CD45- cells express VEGFR2 but not CD133, whereas CD34+ CD45+ HPC express CD133 as expected, but not VEGFR2. CONCLUSION : EOCs are not derived from CD133+ cells or CD45+ hematopoietic precursors.

Tomaso H, Thullier P, Seibold E, Guglielmo V, Buckendahl A, Rahalison L, Neubauer H, Scholz HC, Splettstoesser WD (2007) Comparison of hand-held test kits, immunofluorescence microscopy, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and flow cytometric analysis for rapid presumptive identification of Yersinia pestis. J Clin Microbiol 45 :3404-3407


An in-house immunochromatographic test, Plague BioThreat Alert test strips, ABICAP columns, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, flow cytometry, and immunofluorescence microscopy were compared for the detection of the fraction 1 capsular antigen of Yersinia pestis, using spiked buffer and clinical specimens. Hand-held test kits proved to be excellent benchtop tools.

Torres AG, Tutt CB, Duval L, Popov V, Nasr AB, Michalski J, Scaletsky IC (2007) Bile salts induce expression of the afimbrial LDA adhesin of atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli. Cell Microbiol 9 :1039-1049


Atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (aEPEC) strains are frequently implicated in infant diarrhoea in developing countries. Not much is known about the adherence properties of aEPEC ; however, it has been shown that these strains can adhere to tissue-cultured cells. A chromosomal region designated the locus for diffuse adherence (LDA) confers aEPEC strain 22 the ability to adhere to culture cells. LDA is an afimbrial adhesin that contains a major subunit, LdaG, whose expression is induced on MacConkey agar at 37 degrees C. We hypothesized that the bile salts found in this culture media induce the expression of LdaG. Strain 22 and the LdaG mutant were grown in Luria-Bertani (LB) media in the presence or absence of bile salts and heat-extracted surface-expressed proteins were separated by SDS-PAGE to determine whether expression of the 25 kDa LdaG protein was induced. Western blot analysis with anti-LdaG confirmed that bile salts enhance LdaG expression at 37 degrees C. Adhesion assays on HeLa cells revealed that adhesion in a diffuse pattern of strain 22 increased in the presence of bile salts. We also confirmed that expression of the localized adherence pattern observed in the ldaG mutant required the presence of a large cryptic plasmid found in strain 22 and that this phenotype was not induced by bile salts. At the transcriptional level, the ldaG-lacZ promoter fusion displayed maximum beta-galactosidase activity when the parent strain was grown in LB supplemented with bile salts. Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting analysis, immunogold labelling electron microscopy and immunofluorescence using anti-LdaG sera confirmed that LDA is a bile salts-inducible surface-expressed afimbrial adhesin. Finally, LdaG expression was induced in presence of individual bile salts but not by other detergents. We concluded that bile salts increase expression of LDA, conferring a diffuse adherence pattern and having an impact on the adhesion properties of this aEPEC strain.

Turner P, Petch A, Al-Rubeai M (2007) Encapsulation of viral vectors for gene therapy applications. Biotechnol Prog 23 :423-429


In gene therapy, a number of viruses are currently being used as vectors to provide transient expression of therapeutic proteins. A drawback of using free virus is that it gives a potent immune response, which reduces gene transfer and limits re-administration. An alternative delivery system is to encapsulate the virus in poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLG) microspheres prior to administration. A recombinant adenovirus (Ad) expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) was used to test the transduction efficiency of Ad encapsulated in microspheres on target cells. The number of infected cells that expressed GFP was measured by flow cytometry. It was demonstrated that encapsulated viral vectors could successfully transduce target cells with encapsulation efficiencies up to 23% and that the level of transduction could be controlled by varying both the quantity of microspheres and the amount of Ad in the microspheres. High transduction efficiencies and its recognized biocompatibility make PLG-encapsulated Ad an attractive alternative to the use of free virus in gene therapy applications. The infectivity of Ad was found to be significantly influenced by the processing conditions and changes in environmental factors. Free Ad and encapsulated Ad were able to infect both E1 complimenting cells (HEK 293) and non-complimenting cells (A549), with the viral expression in HEK 293 cells being 2.1 times greater than for A549 cells.

Turtzo LC, Lin DD, Hartung H, Barker PB, Arceci R, Yohay K (2007) A neurologic presentation of familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis which mimicked septic emboli to the brain. J Child Neurol 22 :863-868


Familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis is an inherited deficiency of natural killer cell function and excessive cytokine activity, which predominantly presents in early childhood. The initial symptoms of familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis are often nonspecific but may be predominantly neurologic. The case presented here describes an 18-month-old boy who initially presented with fever, encephalopathy, and hemiparesis. He had innumerable brain lesions visualized on magnetic resonance imaging scans. An infectious etiology was excluded, and brain, liver, and bone marrow biopsies were nonspecific but consistent with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. Cells were sent for flow cytometry perforin analysis, which demonstrated defective natural killer cell function. A diagnosis of familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis was confirmed by mutation analysis and decreased expression of the perforin gene, in the patient and immediate family members. These results showed the patient to be a compound heterozygote for perforin mutations. His case illustrates the potential for a fulminant neurological presentation of familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis with widespread lesions in the brain.

Uchiyama T, Watanabe K (2007) The SIGEX scheme : high throughput screening of environmental metagenomes for the isolation of novel catabolic genes. Biotechnol Genet Eng Rev 24 :107-116


Urbanowski ML, Brutinel ED, Yahr TL (2007) Translocation of ExsE into Chinese hamster ovary cells is required for transcriptional induction of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa type III secretion system. Infect Immun 75 :4432-4439


Transcription of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa type III secretion system (T3SS) is induced under Ca(2+)-limiting growth conditions or following the contact of the bacteria with host cells. The regulatory response to low Ca(2+) levels is initiated by the T3SS-mediated secretion of ExsE, a negative regulatory protein that prevents T3SS gene transcription. In the present study, we demonstrated that ExsE plays an analogous role in transcriptional induction following host cell contact. By using a flow cytometry assay, the host contact-dependent induction of T3SS gene expression was found to be dependent upon the presence of functional type III translocation machinery. Using three independent assays, we demonstrated that ExsE was translocated into Chinese hamster ovary cells in a T3SS-dependent manner. Deletion mapping experiments indicated that the amino terminus of ExsE is required both for secretion under Ca(2+)-limiting growth conditions and for translocation into host cells. A P. aeruginosa mutant expressing an exsE allele lacking codons 3 through 20 was deficient in ExsE secretion and translocation and showed constitutive repression of T3SS gene expression under Ca(2+)-limiting growth conditions. The mutant also failed to induce T3SS gene expression following host cell contact and demonstrated a significant reduction in T3SS-dependent cytotoxicity towards Chinese hamster ovary cells, indicating that the translocation of ExsE is required for the host contact-dependent induction of T3SS gene expression.

Vandeputte O, Vereecke D, Mol A, Lenjou M, Van Bockstaele D, El Jaziri M, Baucher M (2007) Rhodococcus fascians infection accelerates progression of tobacco BY-2 cells into mitosis through rapid changes in plant gene expression. New Phytol 175 :140-154


* To characterize plant cell cycle activation following Rhodococcus fascians infection, bacterial impact on cell cycle progression of tobacco BY-2 cells was investigated. * S-phase-synchronized BY-2 cells were cocultivated with R. fascians and cell cycle progression was monitored by measuring mitotic index, cell cycle gene expression and flow cytometry parameters. Cell cycle alteration was further investigated by cDNA-AFLP (amplified fragment length polymorphism). * It was shown that cell cycle progression of BY-2 cells was accelerated only upon infection with bacteria whose virulence gene expression was induced by a leafy gall extract. Thirty-eight BY-2 genes showed a differential expression within 6 h post-infection. Among these, seven were previously associated with specific plant cell cycle phases (in particular S and G2/M phases). Several genes also showed a differential expression during leafy gall formation. * R. fascians-infected BY-2 cells provide a simple model to identify plant genes related to leafy gall development. R. fascians can also be regarded as a useful biotic agent to alter cell cycle progression and, thereby, gain a better understanding of cell cycle regulation in plants.

Viducic D, Ono T, Murakami K, Katakami M, Susilowati H, Miyake Y (2007) rpoN gene of Pseudomonas aeruginosa alters its susceptibility to quinolones and carbapenems. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 51 :1455-1462


The alternative sigma factor sigma54 has been implicated in diverse functions within the cells. In this study, we have constructed an rpoN mutant of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and investigated its importance as a target for antimicrobial agents, such as quinolones and carbapenems. The stationary-phase cells of the rpoN mutant displayed a survival rate approximately 15 times higher than that of the wild-type cells in the presence of quinolones and carbapenems. The stationary phase led to substantial production of pyoverdine by the P. aeruginosa rpoN mutant. Pyoverdine synthesis correlated with decreased susceptibility to antimicrobial agents. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed that stationary-phase cells of the rpoN mutant grown without an antimicrobial agent had approximately 4- to 140- and 2- to 14-fold-higher levels of transcripts of the pvdS and vqsR genes, respectively, than the wild-type strain. In the presence of an antimicrobial agent, levels of pvdS and vqsR transcripts were elevated 400- and 5-fold, respectively, in comparison to the wild-type levels. Flow cytometry assays using a green fluorescent protein reporter demonstrated increased expression of the vqsR gene in the rpoN mutant throughout growth. A pvdS mutant of P. aeruginosa, deficient in pyoverdine production, was shown to be susceptible to biapenem. These findings suggest that rpoN is involved in tolerance to antimicrobial agents in P. aeruginosa and that its tolerant effect is partly dependent on increased pyoverdine production and vqsR gene expression.

Vital M, Fuchslin HP, Hammes F, Egli T (2007) Growth of Vibrio cholerae O1 Ogawa Eltor in freshwater. Microbiology 153 :1993-2001


Growth of Vibrio cholerae O1 Ogawa Eltor was studied with a growth assay in which autoclaved and filtered (0.22 microm) freshwater was inoculated at low cell density (5 x 10(3) cells ml(-1)) and proliferation was followed with flow cytometry. Against the common view, V. cholerae was able to grow extensively in different kinds of freshwater. The bacterium multiplied in river water, lake water and effluent of a wastewater treatment plant up to a cell density of 1.55 x 10(6) cells ml(-1). In these samples, apparent assimilable organic carbon (AOC(app)) concentrations ranged from 52 up to 800 microg l(-1) and the results demonstrate a positive trend between the AOC(app) concentration and final cell concentration, suggesting that AOC was a key parameter governing growth of V. cholerae. No growth was observed in waters (tap and bottled drinking water) containing less than approximately 60 microg AOC(app) l(-1). When pure cultures of V. cholerae were grown on identical lake water at different temperatures (20, 25 and 30 degrees C) the maximum specific growth rates (micromax) achieved were 0.22 h(-1), 0.32 h(-1) and 0.45 h(-1), respectively. In addition, growth was characterized in lake water samples amended with different concentrations of NaCl. The highest micromax of V. cholerae was recorded at moderate salinity levels (5 g NaCl l(-1), micromax=0.84 h(-1)), whereas at 30 g NaCl l(-1) (micromax=0.30 h(-1)) or 0 g NaCl l(-1) (micromax)=0.40 h(-1)) specific growth rates were significantly reduced. In the water tested here, micro(max) of V. cholerae was always around 50 % of that exhibited by a freshwater community of indigenous bacteria enriched from the water sampling site. Direct batch competition experiments between V. cholerae and the lake water bacterial community were performed at different temperatures in which V. cholerae was enumerated in the total community using fluorescent-surface antibodies. In all cases V. cholerae was able to grow and constituted around 10 % of the final total cell concentration of the community. No significant effect of temperature was observed on the outcome of the competition. Mathematical modelling of the competition at the different temperatures based on the calculated micromax values confirmed these experimental observations. The results demonstrate that V. cholerae is not only able to survive, but also able to grow in freshwater samples. In these experiments the bacterium was able to use a large fraction (12-62 %) of the AOC(app) available to the bacterial AOC-test community, indicating that V. cholerae has the ability to gain access to the substrates present in freshwater even in competition with an autochthonous bacterial lake water consortium.

Wang Y, Hammes F, Boon N, Egli T (2007) Quantification of the filterability of freshwater bacteria through 0.45, 0.22, and 0.1 microm pore size filters and shape-dependent enrichment of filterable bacterial communities. Environ Sci Technol 41 :7080-7086


Micro-filtration is a standard process for sterilization in scientific research, medical, and industrial applications, and to remove particles in drinking water or wastewater treatment. It is generally assumed, and confirmed by quantifying filtration efficiency by plating, that filters with a 0.1-0.45 microm pore size can retain bacteria. In contrast to this assumption, we have regularly observed the passage of a significant fraction of natural freshwater bacterial communities through 0.45, 0.22, and 0.1 microm pore size filters. Flow cytometry and a regrowth assay were applied in the present study to quantify and cultivate filterable bacteria. Here we show for the first time a systematic quantification of their filterability, especially their ability to pass through 0.1 microm pore size filters. The filtered bacteria were subsequently able to grow on natural assimilable organic carbon (AOC) with specific growth rates up to 0.47 h(-1). We were able to enrich bacteria communities that pass preferentially through all three pore size filters at significantly increased percentages using successive filtration-regrowth cycles. In all instances, the dominant microbial populations comprised slender spirillum-shaped Hylemonella gracilis strains, suggesting shape-dependent selection during the filtration process. This quantification of the omnipresence of microfilterable bacterial in natural freshwater and their regrowth characteristics demand a change in the sterile filtration practice used in industrial and engineering applications as well as scientific research.

Weisman R, Roitburg I, Schonbrun M, Harari R, Kupiec M (2007) Opposite effects of tor1 and tor2 on nitrogen starvation responses in fission yeast. Genetics 175 :1153-1162


The TOR protein kinases exhibit a conserved role in regulating cellular growth and proliferation. In the fission yeast two TOR homologs are present. tor1(+) is required for starvation and stress responses, while tor2(+) is essential. We report here that Tor2 depleted cells show a phenotype very similar to that of wild-type cells starved for nitrogen, including arrest at the G(1) phase of the cell cycle, induction of nitrogen-starvation-specific genes, and entrance into the sexual development pathway. The phenotype of tor2 mutants is in a striking contrast to the failure of tor1 mutants to initiate sexual development or arrest in G(1) under nitrogen starvation conditions. Tsc1 and Tsc2, the genes mutated in the human tuberous sclerosis complex syndrome, negatively regulate the mammalian TOR via inactivation of the GTPase Rheb. We analyzed the genetic relationship between the two TOR genes and the Schizosaccharomyces pombe orthologs of TSC1, TSC2, and Rheb. Our data suggest that like in higher eukaryotes, the Tsc1-2 complex negatively regulates Tor2. In contrast, the Tsc1-2 complex and Tor1 appear to work in parallel, both positively regulating amino acid uptake through the control of expression of amino acid permeases. Additionally, either Tsc1/2 or Tor1 are required for growth on a poor nitrogen source such as proline. Mutants lacking Tsc1 or Tsc2 are highly sensitive to rapamycin under poor nitrogen conditions, suggesting that the function of Tor1 under such conditions is sensitive to rapamycin. We discuss the complex genetic interactions between tor1(+), tor2(+), and tsc1/2(+) and the implications for rapamycin sensitivity in tsc1 or tsc2 mutants.

Wu CW, Livesey M, Schmoller SK, Manning EJ, Steinberg H, Davis WC, Hamilton MJ, Talaat AM (2007) Invasion and persistence of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis during early stages of Johne’s disease in calves. Infect Immun 75 :2110-2119


Infection with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis causes Johne’s disease in cattle and is a serious problem for the dairy industry worldwide. Development of models to mimic aspects of Johne’s disease remains an elusive goal because of the chronic nature of the disease. In this report, we describe a surgical approach employed to characterize the very early stages of infection of calves with M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis. To our surprise, strains of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis were able to traverse the intestinal tissues within 1 h of infection in order to colonize distant organs, such as the liver and lymph nodes. Both the ileum and the mesenteric lymph nodes were persistently infected for months following intestinal deposition of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis despite a lack of fecal shedding of mycobacteria. During the first 9 months of infection, humoral immune responses were not detected. Nonetheless, using flow cytometric analysis, we detected a significant change in the cells participating in the inflammatory responses of infected calves compared to cells in a control animal. Additionally, the levels of cytokines detected in both the ileum and the lymph nodes indicated that there were TH1-type-associated cellular responses but not TH2-type-associated humoral responses. Finally, surgical inoculation of a wild-type strain and a mutant M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis strain (with an inactivated gcpE gene) demonstrated the ability of the model which we developed to differentiate between the wild-type strain and a mutant strain of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis deficient in tissue colonization and invasion. Overall, novel insights into the early stages of Johne’s disease were obtained, and a practical model of mycobacterial invasiveness was developed. A similar approach can be used for other enteric bacteria.

Wu ZX, Gan NQ, Huang Q, Song LR (2007) Response of microcystis to copper stress : do phenotypes of microcystis make a difference in stress tolerance ? Environ Pollut 147 :324-330


To elucidate the role of phenotype in stress-tolerant bloom-forming cyanobacterium Microcystis, two phenotypes of M. aeruginosa - unicellular and colonial strains were selected to investigate how they responded to copper stress. Flow cytometry (FCM) examination indicated that the percents of viable cells in unicellular and colonial Microcystis were 1.92-2.83% and 72.3-97.51%, respectively, under 0.25 mgl(-1) copper sulfate treatment for 24h. Upon exposure to 0.25 mgl(-1) copper sulfate, the activities of antioxidative enzyme, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT), were significantly increased in colonial Microcystis compared to unicellular Microcystis. Meanwhile, the values of the photosynthetic parameters (F(v)/F(m), ETR(max), and oxygen evolution rate) decreased more rapidly in unicellular Microcystis than in colonial Microcystis. The results indicate that colonial Microcystis has a higher endurance to copper than unicellular Microcystis. This suggests that the efficient treatment concentration of copper sulfate as algaecides will be dependent on the phenotypes of Microcystis.

Yadav AB, Misra A (2007) Enhancement of apoptosis of THP-1 cells infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis by inhalable microparticles and relevance to bactericidal activity. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 51 :3740-3742


The relevance of apoptosis to killing of intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis was studied with phorbol-differentiated THP-1 cells. Microparticles containing isoniazid and rifabutin induced intrinsic apoptosis and bacterial killing equivalent to that with dissolved drugs and maximally enhanced purinergic P2 receptor activity, while drug-free microparticles induced apoptosis via a different mechanism without killing bacteria.

Yip CW, Yeung YS, Ma CM, Lam PY, Hon CC, Zeng F, Leung FC (2007) Demonstration of receptor binding properties of VP2 of very virulent strain infectious bursal disease virus on Vero cells. Virus Res 123 :50-56


Tissue culture adaptation of infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) results in alternation of three residues on its major capsid protein VP2 and these residues may engage in receptor binding. Although the key of successful infection of tissue culture adapted IBDV in tissue cultures was defined as the virus entering steps, mechanism of the adaptation is poorly understood. In this study, recombinant VP2s of an attenuated strain (D78) and a very virulent strain (HK46) of IBDV tagged with rabbit immunoglobulin G heavy chain were expressed in mammalian cells, generating RAVP2 and RVVP2, respectively, in high purity. Using flow cytometry, both RAVP2 and RVVP2 were demonstrated to bind with Vero cells while these bindings were blocked by D78 viral particles, implying both very virulent IBDVs (vvIBDVs) and attenuated IBDVs bind to Vero cells through the same receptor(s). Since vvIBDVs cannot be propagated directly in tissue cultures, the specific binding between RVVP2 and Vero cells suggests the barrier for tissue culture adaptation may be beyond the virus attachment process.

Yuan TH, Li MY, Li WY, Li H, Jiang ZH (2007) [Combinatorial effects of ST6Gal I siRNA and antisense oligonucleotide-mediated gene silence on metastasis ability of cervical carcinoma cells]. Sichuan Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban 38 :217-221


OBJECTIVE : To study the combinatorial effects of small interfering RNA (siRNA) and antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) targeting alpha 2,6 sialyltransferase (ST6Gal I) on the cell adhesion and invasiveness of human cervical carcinoma cell line, HeLa with over-expressing ST6Gal I. METHODS : The siRNA and ASOs targeting to ST6Gal I were designed and synthesized chemically, and then with lipofectamine 2000, transferred into HeLa cells, which were cultured and divided into 7 groups : blank control group, liposome group, siRNA group transfected with ST6Gal I siRNA, ASO1 group transfected with ST6Gal I ASO whose target site is same as siRNA, ASO2 group transfected with ST6Gal I ASO whose target site is different with siRNA, siRNA+ASO1 group transfected with siRNA and its homologous ASO1, siRNA+ASO2 group transfected with siRNA and its nonhomologous ASO2. RT-PCR was used to examine the ST6Gal I mRNA expression. Flow cytometry was used to examine the amount of alpha2, 6-sialylation on the HeLa cell surface. The HeLa cell adhesion or invasiveness to extracellular matrix (ECM) was analyzed by using CytoMatrix kit or cell invasion assay kit, respectively. RESULTS : The expression of ST6Gal I mRNA, the amount of a2,6-sialylation of cell surface, the cell adhesion and invasion to ECM were remarkably decreased in siRNA group, ASO1 group, ASO2 group, siRNA+ASO, group and siRNA+ASO2 group, and all significantly lower than those in the blank control group and liposome group (all P < 0.05), especially in siRNA+ASO2 group. The difference was significant between siRNA+ASO2 group and siRNA group (all P < 0.05). No significant difference was observed between siRNA+ASO1 group and siRNA group, neither between blank control group and liposome group (all P > 0.05). CONCLUSION : The synthesized chemically specific siRNA targeting to ST6Gal I can effectively downregulate the ST6Gal I expression in HeLa cell and further lead to the decline of cell adhesion and invasiveness to ECM, and use of associating siRNA with ASO targeting to same gene but different oligonucleotide location possesses the synergy and additive effect on targeted gene expression knocked down.

Yuan TH, Li MY, Li WY, Li H, Jiang ZH (2007) [ST6Gal I siRNA and antisense oligonucleotide-mediated gene silencing lowers the invasiveness potential of colonic carcinoma cells]. Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao 27 :136-140


OBJECTIVE : To study the effects of small interfering RNA (siRNA) and antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) targeting ST6Gal I on adhesion and invasiveness of human colonic carcinoma cell line SW480 over-expressing ST6Gal I. METHODS : siRNA and ASOs targeting ST6Gal I were constructed and transfected into SW480 cells via lipofectmine 2000. SW480 cells were cultured and divided into 7 groups, namely the blank control group, liposome group, siRNA group (transfected with ST6Gal I siRNA), ASO(1) group (transfected with ST6Gal I ASO whose target site is different from the siRNA), ASO(2) group (transfected with ST6Gal I ASO targeting the same site as siRNA), siRNA+ASO(1) group (transfected with siRNA and ASO(1)), siRNA+ASO(2) group (transfected with siRNA and ASO(2)). RT-PCR was used to examine ST6Gal I mRNA expression following the treatment. Flow cytometry was used to examine the amount of alpha2,6-sialylation on SW480 cell surface. SW480 cell adhesion and invasiveness to the extracellular matrix (ECM) were analyzed using CytoMatrix kit and cell invasion assay kit, respectively. RESULTS : The expression of ST6Gal I mRNA, the amount of alpha2,6-sialylation on the cell surface and cell adhesion and invasion to ECM decreased remarkably in groups siRNA, ASO(1), ASO(2), siRNA+ASO(1) and siRNA+ASO(2), all significantly lower than those of the blank control and liposome groups (all P<0.05), especially in siRNA+ASO(1) group. Significant difference was noted between siRNA+ASO(1) and siRNA groups (P<0.05), but not between siRNA+ASO(2) and siRNA groups, or between blank control and liposome groups (all P>0.05). CONCLUSION : Chemically synthesized specific siRNA targeting ST6Gal I effectively inhibits SW480 cell ST6Gal I expression and leads to diminished cell adhesion and invasiveness to ECM, suggesting a combined effect of siRNA and ASO with different targeting sites.

Zeng J, Du J, Zhao Y, Palanisamy N, Wang S (2007) Baculoviral vector-mediated transient and stable transgene expression in human embryonic stem cells. Stem Cells 25 :1055-1061


Human embryonic stem (hES) cells as a renewable cell source have great prospective applications in both developmental biology research and regenerative medicine. To realize these potentials, the development of effective and safe genetic manipulation methods in hES cells is an obvious demand. We report here that baculoviral vectors were able to transduce hES cells efficiently. In transient transduction experiments, a recombinant baculoviral vector equipped with a human elongation factor 1-alpha promoter and a woodchuck hepatitis post-transcriptional regulatory element transduced up to 80% of cells in hES cell clumps and embryoid bodies. For prolonged transgene expression, hybrid baculoviral vectors that have incorporated a rep gene and inverted terminal repeat sequences from adeno-associated virus were produced. These hybrid vectors yielded stable transgene expression during the prolonged undifferentiated proliferation of hES cells and after differentiation. Baculoviral transduction did not affect the normal growth, phenotype, and pluripotency of hES cells. Thus, baculoviral vectors suitable for both transient overexpression and long-term stable expression are an attractive option for genetic manipulation of hES cells.

Zhang C, Cortez NG, Berns KI (2007) Characterization of a bipartite recombinant adeno-associated viral vector for site-specific integration. Hum Gene Ther 18 :787-797


Adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2) is the only virus known to integrate into a specific locus in the human genome. The locus, AAVS1, is on the q arm of chromosome 19 at position 13.4. AAV is currently a popular vector for human gene therapy. However, current vectors do not contain two important elements needed for site-specific integration, that is, the rep gene or the P5 promoter, although they do integrate with low frequency at random locations in the human genome. We have designed a bipartite vector that does insert the transgene into AAVS1. One component, rAAVSVAV2, contains the rep gene, driven by the simian virus 40 early promoter rather than the P5 promoter. Thus, the integration enhancer element (IEE) within P5, which greatly enhances site-specific integration, has been deleted. The other component, rAAVP5UF11, contains the P5 IEE plus the transgene with associated regulatory elements. We have created clones of transduced HeLa cells, most of which appear to have the transgene inserted in AAVS1. We have not detected any clones that have rep inserted anywhere. With the optimal multiplicity of infection and ratio of rAAVSVAV2 and rAAVP5UF11, the transgene integrated specifically at AAVS1 with high efficiency (>60%). Most importantly, the cloned cell lines with the AAVS1 site-specific integrated green fluorescent protein (GFP) were healthy and stably expressed GFP for 35 passages. An AAV vector that would integrate at a specific site with high frequency could offer significant advantage in the transduction of progenitor cells and stem cells ex vivo and engineered cells could be used for human gene therapy. AAV site-specific integration gene therapy could provide a novel approach for diseases that need long-term gene expression.