vendredi 24 avril 2009
par   G. Grégori

Albanyan EA, Vallejo JG, Smith CW, Edwards MS (2000) Nonopsonic binding of type III Group B Streptococci to human neutrophils induces interleukin-8 release mediated by the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. Infect Immun 68 :2053-2060


Nonopsonic interaction of host immune cells with pathogens is an important first line of defense. We hypothesized that nonopsonic recognition between type III group B streptococcus and human neutrophils would occur and that the interaction would be sufficient to trigger neutrophil activation. By using a serum-free system, it was found that heat-killed type III group B streptococci bound to neutrophils in a rapid, stable, and inoculum-dependent manner that did not result in ingestion. Transposon-derived type III strain COH1-13, which lacks capsular polysaccharide, and strain COH1-11 with capsular polysaccharide lacking terminal sialic acid demonstrated increased neutrophil binding, suggesting that capsular polysaccharide masks an underlying binding site. Experiments using monoclonal antibodies to complement receptor 1 and to the I domain or lectin site of complement receptor 3 did not inhibit binding, indicating that the complement receptors used for ingestion of opsonized group B streptococci were not required for nonopsonic binding. Nonopsonic binding resulted in rapid activation of cellular p38 and p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinases. This interaction was not an effective trigger for superoxide production but did promote release of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-8. The release of interleukin-8 was markedly suppressed by the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitor SB203580 but was only minimally suppressed by the mitogen-activated protein/extracellular signal-regulated kinase inhibitor PD98059. Thus, nonopsonic binding of type III group B streptococci to neutrophils is sufficient to initiate intracellular signaling pathways and could serve as an arm of innate immunity of particular importance to the immature host.

Al-Majali AM, Asem EK, Lamar CH, Robinson JP, Freeman MJ, Saeed AM (2000) Studies on the mechanism of diarrhoea induced by Escherichia coli heat-stable enterotoxin (STa) in newborn calves. Vet Res Commun 24 :327-338


Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) produces a heat-stable enterotoxin (STa) that binds to and activates a putative intestinal receptor, guanylate cyclase, causing an increase in the intracellular levels of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). Using flow cytometry and 125I-STa binding assays, we studied the distribution of STa-receptors on enterocytes isolated from different segments of the newborn calf’s intestinal tract. We also investigated the effect of STa on the intracellular levels of cGMP and ion transport to the intestinal lumen. More STa-receptors were found on enterocytes prepared from the ileum than on enterocytes obtained from the other segments of the intestinal tract. Guanylate cyclase activity was higher in the ileum of STa-challenged calves than in the ileum of control calves. No changes were observed in the guanylate cyclase activity of the other intestinal segments of the STa-challenged and control calves. Na+ levels, as measured by atomic absorption spectroscopy, were significantly increased in the luminal contents of the ileum of STa-challenged calves, whereas serum Cl- levels were significantly lower in the STa-challenged calves than in control calves. This study supports previous observations on the role of guanylate cyclase in the initiation of STa-induced secretory diarrhoea and suggests that Na+/Cl- coupling may be the major mechanism for the loss of ions in the diarrhoeal response that is mostly induced in the ileum of newborn calves.

Alvarez-Barrientos A, Arroyo J, Canton R, Nombela C, Sanchez-Perez M (2000) Applications of flow cytometry to clinical microbiology. Clin Microbiol Rev 13 :167-195


Classical microbiology techniques are relatively slow in comparison to other analytical techniques, in many cases due to the need to culture the microorganisms. Furthermore, classical approaches are difficult with unculturable microorganisms. More recently, the emergence of molecular biology techniques, particularly those on antibodies and nucleic acid probes combined with amplification techniques, has provided speediness and specificity to microbiological diagnosis. Flow cytometry (FCM) allows single- or multiple-microbe detection in clinical samples in an easy, reliable, and fast way. Microbes can be identified on the basis of their peculiar cytometric parameters or by means of certain fluorochromes that can be used either independently or bound to specific antibodies or oligonucleotides. FCM has permitted the development of quantitative procedures to assess antimicrobial susceptibility and drug cytotoxicity in a rapid, accurate, and highly reproducible way. Furthermore, this technique allows the monitoring of in vitro antimicrobial activity and of antimicrobial treatments ex vivo. The most outstanding contribution of FCM is the possibility of detecting the presence of heterogeneous populations with different responses to antimicrobial treatments. Despite these advantages, the application of FCM in clinical microbiology is not yet widespread, probably due to the lack of access to flow cytometers or the lack of knowledge about the potential of this technique. One of the goals of this review is to attempt to mitigate this latter circumstance. We are convinced that in the near future, the availability of commercial kits should increase the use of this technique in the clinical microbiology laboratory.

An K, Fattaey HK, Paulsen AQ, Consigli RA (2000) Murine polyomavirus infection of 3T6 mouse cells shows evidence of predominant necrosis as well as limited apoptosis. Virus Res 67 :81-90


The current study was developed to determine if polyomavirus infected 3T6 mouse cells evoked an apoptotic or a necrotic mechanism during infection. Infected cells were analyzed by flow cytometry, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), DNA electrophoresis and by measuring caspase-3 enzymatic activity. Infected cells that were analyzed at 72 h post-infection showed the following : flow cytometry analysis revealed a 5% increase in apoptotic cells and a 46% increase in necrotic cells when compared to uninfected cells ; electron microscopy showed 10% cells with characteristic apoptotic morphology and 40% with necrotic appearance ; caspase-3 activity was found to increase two fold when compared to uninfected cells and DNA fragmentation (laddering) was clearly evident late in infection. It was concluded that infected cells predominantly showed necrosis, although some cells showed apoptosis in late infection. Recombinant capsid-like particles composed of the polyomavirus structural proteins were not able to induce cell death.

Barbesti S, Citterio S, Labra M, Baroni MD, Neri MG, Sgorbati S (2000) Two and three-color fluorescence flow cytometric analysis of immunoidentified viable bacteria. Cytometry 40 :214-218


BACKGROUND : Traditional culture methods well established in the past and still in use are not able to detect the environmental microorganisms that exist in a viable but not culturable state. A number of different fluorescence-based assays have been developed over the past decade to detect and identify viable bacteria in the environment. METHODS : We have developed a simple and rapid method for measuring the number and viability of immunolabeled bacteria by means of a two/three color fluorescence flow cytometric analysis. After washing, cultured bacteria in suspension were labeled with a rabbit polyclonal antibody recognizing the wall lipopolysaccharide complex. A secondary biotinylated anti-rabbit polyclonal antibody was added allowing the cells to be labeled with the streptavidin R-phycoerythrin-Cyanine 5 (RPE-Cy5) fluorochrome. Before flow cytometric analysis, bacterial suspensions were stained with SYBR Green I and propidium iodide which stain all of the cells and the non viable ones, respectively. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS : With the appropriate filter sets of both Bryte-HS (Bio-Rad, Hercules, CA) and FACScan (Becton Dickinson, San Jose, CA) flow cytometers, the measurement of separated green (SYBR Green I), orange-red (propidium iodide), and far red (RPE-Cy5) fluorescence was possible, allowing the enumeration of viable immunodetected bacteria. The entire protocol is completed in less than 3 h, offering numerous possibilities for rapid and precise analyses in sanitary, industrial, and environmental microbiology.

Bernander R, Poplawski A, Grogan DW (2000) Altered patterns of cellular growth, morphology, replication and division in conditional-lethal mutants of the thermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius. Microbiology 146 ( Pt 3) :749-757


As a basis for studing the essential cellular processes of hyperthermophilic archaea, thermosensitive mutants of Sulfolobus acidocaldarius were isolated and characterized. Exponential-phase liquid cultures were shifted to the nonpermissive temperature and growth, viability, and distributions of cell mass and DNA content were measured as a function of time after the shift. The observed phenotypes demonstrate that chromosome replication, nucleoid organization, nucleoid partition and cell division, which normally are tightly co-ordinated during cellular growth, can be inhibited or uncoupled by mutation in this hyperthermophilic archaeon.

Bouchara JP, Zouhair R, Le Boudouil S, Renier G, Filmon R, Chabasse D, Hallet JN, Defontaine A (2000) In-vivo selection of an azole-resistant petite mutant of Candida glabrata. J Med Microbiol 49 :977-984


Two isolates of Candida glabrata from the same stool sample from a bone marrow transplant recipient treated with fluconazole, and designated 1084-L for large colonies on yeast extract-peptone-dextrose-agar and 1084-S for small colonies, were analysed. In-vitro susceptibility tests with a commercially available disk diffusion procedure showed that isolate 1084-L had a susceptibility pattern typical of wild-type strains of C. glabrata with sensitivity to polyenes and the presence of resistant colonies randomly distributed within the inhibition zones for all azole compounds except tioconazole. In contrast, isolate 1084-S, which was found by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and random amplification of polymorphic DNA to be genetically closely related to isolate 1084-L, exhibited cross-resistance to the azole compounds except tioconazole. Determination of MICs by the E-test method confirmed these results, showing that isolate 1084-S had greater sensitivity to amphotericin B and complete resistance to ketoconazole and fluconazole. Growth on agar plates containing glucose or glycerol as the sole carbon source suggested that the resistant isolate had a respiratory deficiency, which was further demonstrated by flow cytometric analysis of the fluorescence of rhodamine 123-stained blastoconidia. Restriction endonuclease analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) established the mitochondrial origin of the respiratory deficiency. However, PCR amplification of the mtDNA with primers ML1 and ML6, as well as transmission electron microscopy, suggested a partial deletion of the mtDNA analogous to that described for rho- petite mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Together, these results provided evidence that the selection of azole-resistant petite mutants of C. glabrata may occur in vivo after fluconazole administration, which might explain, therefore, clinical failure of antifungal therapy.

Brussaard CP, Marie D, Bratbak G (2000) Flow cytometric detection of viruses. J Virol Methods 85 :175-182


Representatives from several different virus families (Baculoviridae, Herpesviridae, Myoviridae, Phycodnaviridae, Picornaviridae, Podoviridae, Retroviridae, and Siphoviridae) were stained using a variety of highly fluorescent nucleic acid specific dyes (SYBR Green I, SYBR Green II, OliGreen, PicoGreen) and examined using a standard flow cytometer equipped with a standard 15 mW argon-ion laser. The highest green fluorescence intensities were obtained using SYBR Green I. DNA viruses with genome sizes between 48.5 and 300 kb could easily be detected. The fluorescence signals of the small genome-sized RNA viruses (7.4-14.5 kb) were found at the limit of detection. No significant linear relationship could be found between genome size and the green fluorescence intensity of the SYBR Green I stained virus preparations. To our knowledge, this is the first report of detecting and discriminating between a wide range of different viruses directly using flow cytometry. This rapid and precise assay represents a new and promising tool in the field of virology.

Caselgrandi E, Kletsas D, Ottaviani E (2000) Neutral endopeptidase-24.11 (NEP) deactivates PDGF- and TGF-beta-induced cell shape changes in invertebrate immunocytes. Cell Biol Int 24 :85-90


Using a cytofluorimetric assay, we found that immunocytes of the mollusc, Mytilus galloprovincialis, express CD10, a surface antigen known to be identical to neutral endopeptidase-24.11 (NEP). The spectrofluorimetric analysis demonstrates that the growth factors PDGF-AB and TGF-beta1 provoke an increase in NEP-like activity in membrane preparations from the immunocytes, but have no effect on the soluble form in the serum. On the other hand, computer-assisted microscopic image analysis reveals that NEP deactivates the PDGF-AB- and TGF-beta1-induced shape changes in immunocytes. However, Western blots show that, in solution, NEP does not cleave PDGF-AB or TGF-beta1, indicating that the inactivation is not due to proteolysis. These results suggest a functional interplay in invertebrate immunocytes between growth factors and NEP, as previously shown in vertebrate cells.

Chan LA, Lyczak JB, Zhang K, Morrison SL, Saxon A (2000) The novel human IgE epsilon heavy chain, epsilon tailpiece, is present in plasma as part of a covalent complex. Mol Immunol 37 :241-252


Several splice variants of the secreted human epsilon heavy chain have previously been identified by reverse transcription-PCR. The heavy chain of one isoform, IgE tailpiece, differs from the originally identified IgE, IgE classic, by the replacement of the 2 carboxy-terminal amino acids by 8 novel amino acids including a carboxy-terminal cysteine residue. Recombinant human epsilon tailpiece and epsilon classic heavy chains were expressed and secreted as H2L2 monomers in Sp2/0 murine myeloma cells. We have investigated the in vitro function and in vivo occurrence of epsilon tailpiece heavy chains using receptor binding assays, granule release assays, flow cytometry, half-life studies, immunoprecipitation, SDS-PAGE, two-dimensional SDS-PAGE, and Western blotting. IgE tailpiece and IgE classic exhibited similar in vivo half-lives in BALB/c mice, bound the human high- and low-affinity IgE receptors with similar affinities and triggered equivalent levels of high affinity IgE receptor induced degranulation. In humans, IgE classic is present as a 190 kD circulating protein in vivo. In contrast, we found that in plasma epsilon tailpiece was primarily present as part of covalent complexes of approximately 300 and 338 kD. Dissociation of the complexes revealed that two species of epsilon tailpiece heavy chains were present therein and surprisingly, these in vivo derived epsilon tailpiece heavy chains were approximately 5 and 10 kD smaller than the recombinant expressed epsilon tailpiece or epsilon classic heavy chains. These results show that epsilon tailpiece is present in novel covalent complexes in humans.

Chandratilleke D, Marsh JA (2000) The effect of thymulin on avian IL-2 receptor expression. Int J Immunopharmacol 22 :887-896


The effect of thymulin on IL-2 receptor (IL-2R) expression by avian splenocytes was examined in the functionally hypothyroid sex-linked dwarf (SLD) and in normal euthyroid K strain chickens. Daily thymulin injections of 0, 0.05 and 5.0 ng/100 g body weight were given from hatching until 4 weeks of age. ConA-treated and non-stimulated splenocytes from these animals were analyzed by flow cytometry for their expression of IL-2Ralpha, CD4 and CD8 cell surface molecules. ConA activation increased the number of IL-2R+ cells within K strain more than in the SLD. Thymulin treatment increased the number of IL-2R+ cells in the SLD but had the opposite effect in K strain chickens. Mitogen activation or thymulin treatment had little effect on the IL-2R density within small cell populations. In contrast, mitogen activation increased the density of IL-2R on larger cell populations in both K and SLD. IL-2R densities on non-stimulated larger cells decreased in the SLD after thymulin exposure. Thymulin treatment produced no effect on the mean IL-2R densities for large activated cells. ConA stimulation increased the number of CD4+ cells in both strains. The density of CD4 expression was modulated by both mitogen activation and thymulin treatment. ConA stimulation produced an increase in the number of CD8+ cells. The SLD had fewer CD8+ cells than did the K strain and thymulin treatment had little effect on this population in either strain. Mitogen stimulation increased the density of CD8 on CD8+ cells but again thymulin treatment had little effect. These results suggest that thymulin can modulate IL-2R expression on splenocytes and that this effect may be dependent upon the thyroidal status of the animal. Further, these data suggest that thymulin has a differential effect on the CD4 and CD8 T-cell subpopulations.

Cherry SR, Biniszkiewicz D, van Parijs L, Baltimore D, Jaenisch R (2000) Retroviral expression in embryonic stem cells and hematopoietic stem cells. Mol Cell Biol 20 :7419-7426


Achieving long-term retroviral expression in primary cells has been problematic. De novo DNA methylation of infecting proviruses has been proposed as a major cause of this transcriptional repression. Here we report the development of a mouse stem cell virus (MSCV) long terminal repeat-based retroviral vector that is expressed in both embryonic stem (ES) cells and hematopoietic stem (HS) cells. Infected HS cells and their differentiated descendants maintained long-term and stable retroviral expression after serial adoptive transfers. In addition, retrovirally infected ES cells showed detectable expression level of the green fluorescent protein (GFP). Moreover, GFP expression of integrated proviruses was maintained after in vitro differentiation of infected ES cells. Long-term passage of infected ES cells resulted in methylation-mediated silencing, while short-term expression was methylation independent. Tissues of transgenic animals, which we derived from ES cells carrying the MSCV-based provirus, did not express GFP. However, treatment with the demethylating agent 5-azadeoxycytidine reactivated the silent provirus, demonstrating that DNA methylation is involved in the maintenance of retroviral repression. Our results indicate that retroviral expression in ES cells is repressed by methylation-dependent as well as methylation-independent mechanisms.

Cooper S (2000) The continuum model and G1-control of the mammalian cell cycle. Prog Cell Cycle Res 4 :27-39


The continuum model of the mammalian division cycle proposes that there are no G1-phase specific controls or events. The G1 phase is simply the time when processes begun in the previous cell cycle are completed. In this review, the continuum model is applied the variability of the G1-phase, the existence of G1-less cells, the ubiquitous G1-phase arrest phenomenon, the effect of over-expressed cyclins on G1-phase length, the statistical variation of the cell cycle, the reports of G1-phase syntheses, the proposed variation in retinoblastoma protein phosphorylation in G1-phase, and the myriad findings put forward to support the G1-control model of the mammalian division cycle. The continuum model is a valid description of the mammalian division cycle.

Deriy LV, Chor J, Thomas LL (2000) Surface expression of lactoferrin by resting neutrophils. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 275 :241-246


We examined the surface expression of lactoferrin by human neutrophils. Western blot analysis with anti-lactoferrin antibodies demonstrated the presence of a 78- to 79-kDa band in plasma membranes isolated from resting neutrophils that corresponded to the 78- to 79-kDa protein in neutrophil secondary granules. Flow cytometry using FITC-conjugated anti-lactoferrin antibodies confirmed that lactoferrin is expressed on the neutrophil surface. Preincubating the neutrophils in acidic (pH 3.9) buffer did not alter staining of the cells by the antibodies. Surface expression of lactoferrin was also detected on neutrophils in whole blood. Neutrophil activation by C5a or the calcium ionophore A23187 did not increase the surface expression of lactoferrin. Instead, the level of lactoferrin expression detected with one of two monoclonal antibodies was diminished after neutrophil activation, suggesting a possible conformational change in the lactoferrin. The surface-expressed lactoferrin may provide a mechanism for the interaction between lactoferrin-binding microorganisms and neutrophils.

D’Haese E, Nelis HJ (2000) Effect of antibiotics on viability staining of Escherichia coli in solid phase cytometry. J Appl Microbiol 89 :778-784


Solid phase cytometry (SPC) has been investigated as a tool to assess the effect of antibiotics on the viability of Escherichia coli. After exposure of the cells to the antibiotic, they are retained on a polyester membrane filter and labelled using a fluorescein derivative as a substrate for intracellular esterases. The number of fluorescent bacteria is automatically counted in an Ar laser scanning device. In the presence of nutrients, all antibiotics tested in concentrations exceeding the MIC inhibited the multiplication of cells but not the labelling per se. However, when no nutrients were added, the cells did not multiply, and inhibition of the fluorescent staining was only observed for membrane permeabilizing antibiotics, even at sub-MIC concentrations. The selective detection by SPC of membrane-permeabilizing antibiotics corroborates the requirement of membrane integrity for viability labelling of bacteria. This selectivity has been exploited to develop a method for the detection of colistin residues in milk.

Di Biase AM, Petrone G, Conte MP, Seganti L, Ammendolia MG, Tinari A, Iosi F, Marchetti M, Superti F (2000) Infection of human enterocyte-like cells with rotavirus enhances invasiveness of Yersinia enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis. J Med Microbiol 49 :897-904


Mixed infection with rotavirus and either Yersinia enterocolitica or Y. pseudotuberculosis was analysed in Caco-2 cells, an enterocyte-like cell line highly susceptible to these pathogens. Results showed an increase of bacterial adhesion and internalisation in rotavirus-infected cells. Increased internalisation was also seen with Escherichia coli strain HB101 (pRI203), harbouring the inv gene from Y. pseudotuberculosis, which is involved in the invasion process of host cells. In contrast, the superinfection with bacteria of Caco-2 cells pre-infected with rotavirus resulted in decreased viral antigen synthesis. Transmission electron microscopy confirmed the dual infection of enterocytes. These data suggest that rotavirus infection enhances the early interaction between host cell surfaces and enteroinvasive Yersinia spp.

Eilers H, Pernthaler J, Amann R (2000) Succession of pelagic marine bacteria during enrichment : a close look at cultivation-induced shifts. Appl Environ Microbiol 66 :4634-4640


Enrichment experiments with North Sea bacterioplankton were performed to test if rapid incubation-induced changes in community structure explain the frequent isolation of members of a few particular bacterial lineages or if readily culturable bacteria are common in the plankton but in a state of dormancy. A metabolic inhibitor of cell division (nalidixic acid [NA]) was added to substrate-amended (S+) and unamended (S-) grazer-free seawater samples, and shifts in community composition and per cell DNA and protein content were compared with untreated controls. In addition, starvation survival experiments were performed on selected isolates. Incubations resulted in rapid community shifts towards typical culturable genera rather than in the activation of either dormant cells or the original DNA-rich bacterial fraction. Vibrio spp. and members of the Alteromonas/Colwellia cluster (A/C) were selectively enriched in S+ and S-, respectively, and this trend was even magnified by the addition of NA. These increases corresponded with the rise of cell populations with distinctively different but generally higher protein and DNA content in the various treatments. Uncultured dominant gamma-proteobacteria affiliating with the SAR86 cluster and members of the culturable genus Oceanospirillum were not enriched or activated, but there was no indication of substrate-induced cell death, either. Strains of Vibrio and A/C maintained high ribosome levels in pure cultures during extended periods of starvation, whereas Oceanospirillum spp. did not. The life strategy of rapidly enriched culturable gamma-proteobacteria could thus be described as a "feast and famine" existence involving different activation levels of substrate concentration.

Evans DL, Bishop GR, Jaso-Friedmann L (2000) Methods for cell cycle analysis and detection of apoptosis of teleost cells. Methods Cell Sci 22 :225-231


Flow cytometric techniques have not been previously used on a routine basis to study teleost cell growth and development. In the present chapter, flow instrumentation and cell preparation protocols are given in order to provide evaluation criteria characteristic of different phases of the cell cycle. Flow cytometry is used as an analytical and diagnostic tool to measure DNA ploidy as well as to measure alterations in cell cycle profiles characteristic of random DNA fragmentation (necrosis) compared to patterned DNA cleavage (apoptosis). The types of information obtained by flow analysis include the visualization of cell subpopulations with differing DNA content. For each identified nuclei subpopulation, the parameters of population size, fractions of nuclei in each phase of the cell cycle and computation of DNA ratios can be discerned. Data are presented of ex vivo prepared teleost nonspecific cytotoxic cells (NCC) at resting phase compared to NCC undergoing DNA hypoploid changes characteristic of apoptosis. These cells are compared with a teleost tissue cultured cell line maintained under optimum cell growth conditions versus cells undergoing necrotic cellular pathology. Finally, the requirements for optimum flow analysis are described. Techniques including gating strategies, voltage and gain settings, discrimination options and data collection and interpretation are provided.

Evans DL, Oumouna M, Jaso-Friedmann L (2000) Nonradiometric detection of cytotoxicity of teleost nonspecific cytotoxic cells. Methods Cell Sci 22 :233-237


The development of a sensitive, rapid and reliable nonradiometric cytotoxicity assay would significantly facilitate studies of teleost nonspecific cytotoxic cells. Such an assay would not require handling and disposal of radionuclides and it would not depend on secondary enzyme or colorimetric determinations. The requirements for this assay would consist of a one-step binding protocol which could detect early target cell membrane lesions and at very low effector:target cell ratios. In this chapter, we have developed a flow cytometry based cytotoxicity assay utilizing the uptake of propidium iodide (PI) into cells containing damaged (i.e. permeabilized) cell membranes. The basis of detection of cellular damage depended on flow discrimination of targets from effector cells by establishing ’scatter’ gates from these mixtures. Teleost (catfish) anterior kidney NCC were mixed with human transformed targets (IM-9 and HL-60 cells) at effector:target cell ratios of 1, 5 and 10 and PI uptake was determined at 3 and 14 hours post-incubation. Percent specific uptake (PSU) was calculated by determining total binding capacity (TBC) (i.e. uptake of PI by cold acetone permeabilized target cells) and spontaneous binding capacity (SBC) (i.e. PI uptake by target cells incubated in media w/o effectors). This was represented by the formula PSU = [T - SBC/TBC - SBC] x 100 where T is the PI uptake of targets following addition of effector cells. Using this technique, NCC initiated target cell permeabilization as early as 30 minutes co-incubation (25:1 E:T ratio) and damaged membranes were detected in mixtures containing as few as 1:1 effector:target cell ratios. At 5:1 E:T ratios, greater than 50 PSU was determined following 14 hours co-incubation. Using these criteria, a new and sensitive cytotoxicity assay has been developed to determine NCC activity.

Evans DL, Taylor SL, Leary JH, 3rd, Bishop GR, Eldar A, Jaso-Friedmann L (2000) In vivo activation of tilapia nonspecific cytotoxic cells by Streptococcus iniae and amplification with apoptosis regulatory factor(s). Fish Shellfish Immunol 10 :419-434


An important component of immediate innate responses of tilapia to stress is the release within minutes of soluble cytokine-like substances into the peripheral circulation. These cytokine-like stress factors bind nonspecific cytotoxic cells (NCC) and produce 3-4-fold increased cytotoxicity. In the present study, the in vivo responses of tilapia NCC following injection with different isolates of intact killed Streptococcus iniae was investigated. Activated cytotoxicity of NCC in the peripheral blood (PB) was produced by increased specific activity of resident cells rather than increased numbers. Tilapia injected intravenously (i.v.) with killed S. iniae produced different cytotoxicity responses compared to fish injected intraperitoneally (i.p.). In the spleen (S) and anterior kidney (AK), there was no correlation between S. iniae isolate and cytotoxicity response at 4, 8 or 24 h following i.p. injection. The NCC response following i.v. injection of killed bacteria was different. Within minutes following i.v. injection, NCC cytotoxicity from the PB increased 100% compared to naive controls. The existence of subsets of differentiated NCC in the PB was suggested because i.v. injection had no amplification effects on NCC from the AK or S. Likewise, NCC from the PB only appeared to exhibit a degree of antigen specificity. S. iniae strain #173 produced activation of cytotoxicity compared to isolates #164 and ATCC. Evidence for soluble factor (cytokine ?) involvement in increased cytotoxicity was obtained by passive activation of NCC with serum from #173 (i.v.) injected fish. Incubation of this serum with control (naive) NCC produced large increases in the cytotoxicity of labelled HL-60 target cells. Similarly obtained serum from fish injected with ATCC and #164 isolates had no amplification activity. Studies were also performed to study the mechanism(s) of passive activation. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that NCC from the S, AK and PB constitutively expressed cytosolic (not membrane) FasL. Stress serum treated NCC obtained from the peripheral blood produced an increase in the expression of FasL, CAS and FADD by Western blot examination. These data indicated that cytokine like factors in the serum of stressed tilapia activate increased NCC cytotoxicity (possibly) by stimulating the expression of proteins involved in activation of programmed cell death.

Fernandez-Lago L, Vallejo FJ, Trujillano I, Vizcaino N (2000) Fluorescent whole-cell hybridization with 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes to identify Brucella spp. by flow cytometry. J Clin Microbiol 38 :2768-2771


A whole-cell hybridization assay with fluorescent oligonucleotide probes derived from the 16S rRNA sequence of Brucella abortus in combination with flow cytometry has been developed. With the three fluorescent probes selected, a positive signal was observed with all the representative strains of the species and biovars of Brucella and with a total of nine different Brucella clinical isolates. Using the B9 probe in the hybridization assay, it was possible to discriminate between Brucella suis biovars 2, 3, 4, and 5 and almost all the other Brucella spp. On the basis of differences in fluorescence intensities, no discrimination was established between Brucella spp. and other phylogenetically related microorganisms. No positive fluorescence signals were detected with any of the bacteria showing serological cross-reactions with Brucella spp. and with a total of 17 clinical isolates not belonging to the genus Brucella. These results suggest that the 16S rRNA whole-cell hybridization technique could be a valuable diagnostic tool for the detection and identification of Brucella spp.

Ferrari BC, Vesey G, Davis KA, Gauci M, Veal D (2000) A novel two-color flow cytometric assay for the detection of Cryptosporidium in environmental water samples. Cytometry 41 :216-222


BACKGROUND : Cryptosporidium is an important waterborne pathogen. Detection of Cryptosporidium in concentrated water samples depends on oocyst isolation using immunomagnetic separation (IMS) and/or fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), followed by confirmation using immunofluorescence staining (IFA) and fluorescence microscopy. These methods require highly trained microscopists for oocyst identification and confirmation. Analysis is hampered due to the presence of autofluorescent particles coupled with particles binding nonspecifically with the monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) used for detection. Flow cytometry (FCM) has the potential to be a more specific method for oocyst detection, but such a system would require more than one selection parameter. METHODS : Various mAbs from commercial suppliers were paired with CRY104-PE and evaluated. The mAb combination that best discriminated stained oocyst from detritus was optimized and compared to Cryptosporidium detection utilizing one-color IFA/FACS. RESULTS : A highly specific two-color assay employing the IgG(1) mAb CRY104 was developed. The assay resulted in reductions, up to 20-fold, in the number of non-Cryptosporidium particles detected. The addition of a second selection parameter improved microscopic analysis times and simplified oocyst confirmation by microscopists. CONCLUSIONS : A two-color assay employing competing surface mAbs reduces the number of fluorescent particles sorted, thus improving FCM detection methods for Cryptosporidium.

Flaswinkel H, Alessandrini F, Rathkolb B, Decker T, Kremmer E, Servatius A, Jakob T, Soewarto D, Marschall S, Fella C, Behrendt H, Ring J, Wolf E, Balling R, Hrabe de Angelis M, Pfeffer K (2000) Identification of immunological relevant phenotypes in ENU mutagenized mice. Mamm Genome 11 :526-527


The immunology screen focuses on the identification of novel gene products involved in the mammalian immune response and on the establishment of mouse models for immunological disorders. For this purpose, high throughput and semi-automated techniques were developed and optimized for low cost per sample and reproducibility. All assays are designed to be nonconsumptive and are based on peripheral blood or direct PCR amplification.

Fuchs BM, Zubkov MV, Sahm K, Burkill PH, Amann R (2000) Changes in community composition during dilution cultures of marine bacterioplankton as assessed by flow cytometric and molecular biological techniques. Environ Microbiol 2 :191-201


Dilution cultures are a common technique for measuring the growth of bacterioplankton communities. In this study, the taxonomic composition of marine bacterioplankton dilution cultures was followed in water samples from Plymouth Sound and the English Channel (UK). Bacterial abundances as well as protein and DNA content were closely monitored by flow cytometry. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplified 16S rDNA fragments and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) were applied directly to the water samples and to cells sorted from the dilution cultures based on their protein and DNA content. As expected, a rapid activation of bacteria occurred. However, molecular techniques showed that the community developed in the dilution culture within 1 day was significantly different from that in the original water samples. Whereas in the original samples, cells detectable by FISH were dominated by members of the Cytophagal Flavobacterium (CF) cluster, in dilution cultures, gamma-proteobacteria accounted for the majority of cells detected, followed by alpha-proteobacteria. An actively growing and an apparently non-growing population with average cellular protein contents of 24 and 4.5 fg respectively, were sorted by flow cytometry. FISH indicated mostly gamma- (64%) and alpha-proteobacteria (33%) in the first active fraction and 78% members of the CF cluster in the second fraction. Sequencing of DGGE bands confirmed the FISH assignments of the latter two groups. The data presented clearly show that even relatively short-term dilution experiments do not measure in situ growth, but rather growth patterns of an enrichment. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that the combination of flow cytometric analysis and sorting combined with FISH and DGGE analysis presented a fairly rapid method of analysing the taxonomic composition of marine bacterioplankton.

Fuller ME, Streger SH, Rothmel RK, Mailloux BJ, Hall JA, Onstott TC, Fredrickson JK, Balkwill DL, DeFlaun MF (2000) Development of a vital fluorescent staining method for monitoring bacterial transport in subsurface environments. Appl Environ Microbiol 66 :4486-4496


Previous bacterial transport studies have utilized fluorophores which have been shown to adversely affect the physiology of stained cells. This research was undertaken to identify alternative fluorescent stains that do not adversely affect the transport or viability of bacteria. Initial work was performed with a groundwater isolate, Comamonas sp. strain DA001. Potential compounds were first screened to determine staining efficiencies and adverse side effects. 5-(And 6-)-carboxyfluorescein diacetate, succinimidyl ester (CFDA/SE) efficiently stained DA001 without causing undesirable effects on cell adhesion or viability. Members of many other gram-negative and gram-positive bacterial genera were also effectively stained with CFDA/SE. More than 95% of CFDA/SE-stained Comamonas sp. strain DA001 cells incubated in artificial groundwater (under no-growth conditions) remained fluorescent for at least 28 days as determined by epifluorescent microscopy and flow cytometry. No differences in the survival and culturability of CFDA/SE-stained and unstained DA001 cells in groundwater or saturated sediment microcosms were detected. The bright, yellow-green cells were readily distinguished from autofluorescing sediment particles by epifluorescence microscopy. A high throughput method using microplate spectrofluorometry was developed, which had a detection limit of mid-10(5) CFDA-stained cells/ml ; the detection limit for flow cytometry was on the order of 1,000 cells/ml. The results of laboratory-scale bacterial transport experiments performed with intact sediment cores and nondividing DA001 cells revealed good agreement between the aqueous cell concentrations determined by the microplate assay and those determined by other enumeration methods. This research indicates that CFDA/SE is very efficient for labeling cells for bacterial transport experiments and that it may be useful for other microbial ecology research as well.

Gerashchenko BI, Nishihara N, Ohara T, Tosuji H, Kosaka T, Hosoya H (2000) Flow cytometry as a strategy to study the endosymbiosis of algae in Paramecium bursaria. Cytometry 41 :209-215


BACKGROUND : The stable symbiotic association between Paramecium bursaria and algae is of interest to study such mechanisms in biology as recognition, specificity, infection, and regulation. The combination of algae-free strains of P. bursaria, which have been recently established by treating their stocks of green paramecia with herbicide paraquat (Hosoya et al. : Zool Sci 12 : 807-810, 1995), with the cloned symbiotic algae isolated from P. bursaria (Nishihara et al. : Protoplasma 203 : 91-99, 1998), provides an excellent clue to gain fundamental understanding of these phenomena. METHODS : Flow cytometry and light microscopy have been employed to characterize the algal cells after they have been released from the paramecia by ultrasonic treatment. Algal optical properties such as light scattering and endogenous chlorophyll fluorescence intensity have been monitored for symbiotic and free-living strains, and strains at stages of interaction with a host. RESULTS : Neither algal morphology nor chlorophyll content has been found to be altered by sonication of green paramecia. This fact allows to interpret in adequate degree changes in the optical properties of symbiont that just has been released from the association with a host (decreased forward light scatter and chlorophyll fluorescence signals). Optical characterization of both symbiotic and free-living algal strains with respect to their ability to establish symbioses with P. bursaria showed that chlorophyll content per cell volume seems to be a valuable factor for predicting a favorable symbiotic relationship between P. bursaria and algae. CONCLUSIONS : Flow cytometry combined with algae-free paramecia and cloned symbiotic algae identifies algal populations that may be recognized by host cells for the establishment of symbioses.

Gerceker AA, Zaidi T, Marks P, Golan DE, Pier GB (2000) Impact of heterogeneity within cultured cells on bacterial invasion : analysis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella enterica serovar typhi entry into MDCK cells by using a green fluorescent protein-labelled cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator receptor. Infect Immun 68 :861-870


The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is a chloride ion channel that also serves as a receptor for entry of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi into epithelial cells. To evaluate heterogeneity in CFTR protein expression in cultured cells and the effect of heterogeneity on internalization of different P. aeruginosa and serovar Typhi strains, we used two-color flow cytometry and confocal laser microscopy to study bacterial uptake by Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) type I epithelial cells stably expressing a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-CFTR fusion construct (MDCK-GFP-CFTR cells). We found a strong correlation between cell size and GFP-CFTR protein expression, with 60 to 70% of cells expressing low levels of GFP-CFTR protein, 20 to 30% expressing intermediate levels, and <10% expressing high levels. The cells were sorted into low-, intermediate-, or high-level producers of CFTR protein ; in vitro growth of each sorted population yielded the same distribution of CFTR protein expression as that in the original population. Cells expressing either low or high levels of CFTR protein internalized bacteria poorly ; maximal bacterial uptake occurred in the cells expressing intermediate levels of CFTR protein. Treatment of MDCK cells with sodium butyrate markedly enhanced the production of CFTR protein without increasing cell size ; butyrate treatment also increased the proportion of cells with internalized bacteria. However, there were fewer bacteria per butyrate-treated cell and, for P. aeruginosa, there was an overall decrease in the total level of bacterial uptake. The most highly ingested bacterial strains were internalized by fewer total MDCK-GFP-CFTR cells, indicating preferential bacterial uptake by a minority of epithelial cells within a given culture. Confocal fluorescence microscopy showed that P. aeruginosa and serovar Typhi induced cytoplasmic accumulation of CFTR protein close to the plasma membrane where the bacteria were adherent. These results show that within a population of MDCK-GFP-CFTR cells, there are cells with markedly different abilities to ingest bacteria via CFTR, the majority of the P. aeruginosa and serovar Typhi cells are ingested by the one-fourth to one-third of the cells that exhibit an intermediate size and level of CFTR protein expression, and overexpression of the CFTR receptor does not increase total bacterial uptake but rather allows more epithelial cells to ingest fewer total bacteria.

Gershwin LJ, Gunther RA, Anderson ML, Woolums AR, McArthur-Vaughan K, Randel KE, Boyle GA, Friebertshauser KE, McInturff PS (2000) Bovine respiratory syncytial virus-specific IgE is associated with interleukin-2 and -4, and interferon-gamma expression in pulmonary lymph of experimentally infected calves. Am J Vet Res 61 :291-298


OBJECTIVE : To study the local immune response of calves to bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) infection with emphasis on IgE production and cytokine gene expression in pulmonary lymph. ANIMALS : Twelve 6- to 8-week-old Holstein bull calves. Six similar control calves were mock infected to obtain control data. PROCEDURE : Lymphatic cannulation surgery was performed on 12 calves to create a long-term thoracic lymph fistula draining to the exterior. Cannulated calves were exposed to virulent BRSV by aerosol. Lymph fluid collected daily was assayed for BRSV and isotype-specific IgE antibody, total IgG, IgA, IgM, and protein concentrations. Interleukin-4 (IL-4), interleukin-2 (IL-2), and interferon-gamma were semi-quantitated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Cell counts and fluorescence-activated cell scanner (FACSCAN) analysis of T-cell subsets were performed on lymph cells. RESULTS : Calves had clinical signs of respiratory tract disease during days 5 to 10 after infection and shed virus. Bovine respiratory syncytial virus-specific IgE in infected calves was significantly increased over baseline on day 9 after infection. Mean virus-specific IgE concentrations strongly correlated with increases in severity of clinical disease (r = 0.903). Expression of IL-2, IL-4, and interferon-gamma was variably present in infected and control calves, with IL-4 expression most consistent during early infection. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE : Infection with BRSV was associated with production of BRSV-specific IgE, and IL-4 message was commonly found in lymph cells of infected calves. This finding supports the concept that BRSV-induced pathophysiology involves a T helper cell type-2 response. Effective therapeutic and prophylactic strategies could, therefore, be developed using immunomodulation to shift the immune response more toward a T helper cell type-1 response.

Giaretta I, Madeo D, Bonaguro R, Cappellari A, Rodeghiero F, Giorgio P (2000) A comparative evaluation of gene transfer into blood cells using the same retroviral backbone for independent expression of the EGFP and deltaLNGFR marker genes. Haematologica 85 :680-689


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES : Retroviral vectors are widely used to deliver foreign genes to hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). Improvement of marking protocols needs reporter genes to allow rapid detection and efficient selection of transduced cells. The great potential of EGFP and LNGFR as reporter systems prompted us to compare them simultaneously, using the same retroviral backbone and the same gene transfer procedures. DESIGN AND METHODS : The EGFP and LNGFR coding sequences were separately cloned into the MFG retroviral backbone. A cloning strategy assuring that both genes utilize the same ATG as the start codon was adopted. Marker gene expression, viral titers, transduction efficiency, and vector stability were evaluated in expanded amphotropic packaging clones and human hematopoietic cell lines by flow cytometry and PCR analysis. Vectors were also tested for their ability to transduce CD34+ peripheral blood cells. RESULTS : A significantly larger number of MFG- LNGFR packaging clones were obtained that produced high viral titers. A direct correlation between viral titer and marker gene expression in packaging clones was demonstrated for both constructs. Similar expression kinetics and absence of in vitro toxicity in transduced cells were also observed for both constructs. Successful infection of CD34+ cells was achieved even after a short time of exposure to recombinant viruses. INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS : Our results demonstrate that EGFP and LNGFR marker genes are equally useful for a rapid, specific and non-toxic detection of transduced cells. The MFG-EGFP construct appears useful to optimize gene transfer protocols in vitro. On the other hand, the MFG-LNGFR construct, for making possible a more efficient selection of high titer producer clones, as well as for safety and adaptability to the in vivo use, is more suitable for clinical applications.

Gunasekera TS, Attfield PV, Veal DA (2000) A flow cytometry method for rapid detection and enumeration of total bacteria in milk. Appl Environ Microbiol 66 :1228-1232


Application of flow cytometry (FCM) to microbial analysis of milk is hampered by the presence of milk proteins and lipid particles. Here we report on the development of a rapid (/= 0.98) between the FCM assay and the more conventional methods of plating and direct microscopic counting was achieved. Raw milk data showed a significant correlation (P < 0.01) and a good agreement (r = 0.91) between FCM and standard plate count methods. The detection limit of the FCM assay was

Guo A, Lu C (2000) Canine distemper virus causes apoptosis of Vero cells. J Vet Med B Infect Dis Vet Public Health 47 :183-190


Apoptosis of Vero cells infected with two canine distemper virus (CDV) vaccine strains was detected using TdT (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase)-mediated dUTP nick end-labelling (TUNEL), flow cytometric analysis, agarose gel electrophoresis and electron microscopy (EM). By TUNEL, apoptotic cells were found in CDV-Onderstepoort (CDV-Ond)-infected cells. DNA fragments isolated from infected cells were separated by agarose gel electrophoresis and a ’ladder’ pattern appeared. EM observations demonstrated that the cells undergoing cytopathic effect (CPE) possessed morphological characteristics of apoptotic cells. Flow cytometric analysis indicated that CDV could induce apoptosis of Vero cells, but the percentages of the apoptotic cells were correlated with the CPE types. The strain showing the cell-rounding type of CPE produced a much higher percentage of apoptotic cells than CDV-Ond with the syncytium type of CPE (P < 0.01). It was concluded that CDV vaccine strains could induce apoptosis of Vero cells and the apoptosis was virus strain-dependent and cell-dependent. The mechanism remains to be studied.

Hagele S, Kohler R, Merkert H, Schleicher M, Hacker J, Steinert M (2000) Dictyostelium discoideum : a new host model system for intracellular pathogens of the genus Legionella. Cell Microbiol 2 :165-171


The soil amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum is a haploid eukaryote that, upon starvation, aggregates and enters a developmental cycle to produce fruiting bodies. In this study, we infected single-cell stages of D. discoideum with different Legionella species. Intracellular growth of Legionella in this new host system was compared with their growth in the natural host Acanthamoeba castellanii. Transmission electron microscopy of infected D. discoideum cells revealed that legionellae reside within the phagosome. Using confocal microscopy, it was observed that replicating, intracellular, green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged legionellae rarely co-localized with fluorescent antibodies directed against the lysosomal protein DdLIMP of D. discoideum. This indicates that the bacteria inhibit the fusion of phagosomes and lysosomes in this particular host system. In addition, Legionella infection of D. discoideum inhibited the differentiation of the host into the multicellular fruiting stage. Co-culture studies with profilin-minus D. discoideum mutants and Legionella resulted in higher rates of infection when compared with infections of wild-type amoebae. Because the amoebae are amenable to genetic manipulation as a result of their haploid genome and because a number of cellular markers are available, we show for the first time that D. discoideum is a valuable model system for studying intracellular pathogenesis of microbial pathogens.

Hartleib J, Kohler N, Dickinson RB, Chhatwal GS, Sixma JJ, Hartford OM, Foster TJ, Peters G, Kehrel BE, Herrmann M (2000) Protein A is the von Willebrand factor binding protein on Staphylococcus aureus. Blood 96 :2149-2156


Endovascular infection is a highly critical complication of invasive Staphylococcus aureus disease. For colonization, staphylococci must first adhere to adhesive endovascular foci. Von Willebrand factor (vWF) is a large, multimeric glycoprotein mediating platelet adhesion at sites of endothelial damage. Earlier it was demonstrated that vWF binds to and promotes the surface adhesion of S. aureus, prompting this effort to identify the vWF adhesin. In Western ligand assays of S. aureus lysates, staphylococcal protein A (SPA) was recognized by purified vWF. Surface plasmon resonance demonstrated the binding of soluble vWF to immobilized recombinant protein A with a K(d) of 1.49 x 10(-8) mol/L. Using flow cytometry, the binding of fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled vWF to S. aureus was found to be saturable and inhibitable by unlabeled vWF, antiprotein-A antibodies, or IgG. Isogenic Deltaspa ::Tc(r) mutants were constructed by the insertion of a tetracycline resistance cassette into spa using allelic replacement, and it exhibited decreased binding of soluble vWF and decreased adhesion to vWF-adsorbed surfaces. The interaction was restored on complementation of the mutants with spa-containing plasmid pSPA7235. In conclusion, protein A confers interaction of S. aureus with soluble and immobilized vWF in a newly discovered function characterizing protein A as a novel member of the staphylococcal surface protein adhesin superfamily and suggesting its potential role in the pathogenesis of endovascular staphylococcal disease.

Hsieh S, Chen N, Tarbell K, Liao N, Lai Y, Lee K, Lee K, Wu S, Sytwu H, Han S, McDevitt H (2000) Transgenic mice expressing surface markers for IFN-gamma and IL-4 producing cells. Mol Immunol 37 :281-293


The detection of T(H)1-type and T(H)2-type cells directly in situ would be of great value in the study of T(H) development and function in vivo. Transgenic mice expressing human Thy1 and mouse Thy1.1 under the control of the murine IFN-gamma and IL-4 promoters, respectively, have been generated. The hThy1(+) cells represent (with some temporal lag) most of the IFN-gamma-producing CD4(+) T-cells, while the mThy1.1(+) cells represent only a percentage of IL-4 secreting cells. This may be due to mono-allelic expression of the IFN-gamma and IL-4 genes. Since permeabilization is not required for the detection of the transgenic surface markers, these transgenic mice can facilitate the detection of T(H)1-type and T(H)2-type cells by flow cytometry with surface immunofluorescent staining. These surface markers should permit isolation of viable cells according to their T(H) type for adoptive transfer experiments, and may serve as a model system for tracing the development of T(H)1 and T(H)2-type cells in vivo.

Kalinin Iu T, Vorob’ev SA, Khramov EN, Vorob’eva EA, Kuznetsov AP, Kiselev OS (2000) [Use of laser flow-type fluorescence aerosol particle counter to evaluate the concentration of microbes in the surface air under high dust content]. Vestn Ross Akad Med Nauk :16-19


The paper deals with the use of a laser flow-type fluorescence aerosol particle counter to evaluate the concentrations of microbes in the surface air under high dust content. Various circuits of flow-type optic aerosol recorders are analyzed. Flow spectral luminescence analysis of some particles flow while exciting the fourth harmonics of a pulse laser on yttrium-aluminium garnet with neodymium by ultraviolet radiation is shown to be the most optimum method for indication of individual aerosol particles. Experiments were conducted on the authors’ model of a pilot plant based on this method. The model of a laser flow-type optic analyzer was developed for experimental studies that give a clear display of biological aerosols in complex aerosols. The laser flow-type analyzer-based unit developed may provide a fluorescence signal of aerosol particles in the flow of a sample and that light diffusion signal from them at an exciting light wavelength of 266 nm. Experiments with BVC aerosols and soil dust particles were conducted in different regions of Russia. They showed it possible to detect and to rapidly calculate soil microorganisms by laser flow-type fluorescence assay of individual particles when excited by ultraviolet radiation.

Kenzelmann M, Muhlemann K (2000) Transcriptome analysis of fibroblast cells immediate-early after human cytomegalovirus infection. J Mol Biol 304 :741-751


Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been shown to have the potential to alter cellular gene expression early after infection. However, one-gene approaches and the use of closed system gene expression technologies have identified only few cellular genes whose activity changed immediate-early. We therefore used serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) to investigate the transcriptional program of human fibroblasts in response to HCMV in the immediate-early phase of infection. Differential expression of various cellular genes was monitored. Transcriptional expression changes of genes coding for ribosomal proteins reflected a general cellular response to starvation and stress. But differential regulation of genes coding for transcription factors and proteins associated with cellular metabolism, homeostasis and cell structure may represent transcriptional alterations in response to HCMV infection. Expression kinetics by 5’ nuclease fluorigenic real-time PCR of selected genes revealed partial protection of infected cells against initial stress-associated alterations of gene expression and indicated fluctuations of transcriptional levels over time. Additionally, agreement with the quantitative results obtained by SAGE was observed only for genes up-regulated in HCMV-infected cells. This finding pointed to various technical and statistical parameters that all may be critical for quantitative transcriptome studies using global approaches, especially when exploring biological systems in a critical phase of cellular physiology.

Kolberg J, Hoiby EA, Aase A, Sletten K, Rodal G, Michaelsen TE, Bucher A (2000) Streptococcus pneumoniae heat shock protein 70 does not induce human antibody responses during infection. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol 29 :289-294


Mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were developed against Streptococcus pneumoniae in search for potential common pneumococcal proteins as vaccine antigens. mAb 230,B-9 (IgG1) reacted by immunoblotting with a 70-kDa protein which was isolated by immunoaffinity chromatography and subsequent preparative electrophoresis. N-terminal amino acid sequencing showed homology to that of heat shock protein 70 (hsp70). The hsp70 epitope reactive with mAb 230,B-9 was found in all the pneumococci examined as well as in other streptococci and enterococci. The epitope was not expressed in several other examined Gram-positive or -negative bacteria. Pneumococcal hsp70 has by other investigators been proposed to be a vaccine candidate. Binding experiments using flow cytometry showed that the epitope was not surface-exposed on live exponential phase grown S. pneumoniae. Human patient sera did not react with affinity-purified pneumococcal hsp70. Therefore the pneumococcal hsp70 does not seem to be of special interest in a vaccine formulation. The human sera contained antibodies to high molecular proteins co-purified with hsp70. Some of these proteins could be the pneumococcal surface protein A.

Kusunoki H, Bari ML, Kita T, Sugii S, Uemura T (2000) Flow cytometry for the detection of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 with latex beads sensitized with specific antibody. J Vet Med B Infect Dis Vet Public Health 47 :551-559


To detect low concentrations of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 rapidly, flow cytometry (FCM) was carried out with specific IgG-sensitized latex beads (IgG-Lx). It was found that test samples for FCM can be prepared for much shorter periods by culturing E. coli O157:H7 in trypto-soya broth at 42 degrees C and by treatment with 0.5% formalin at 37 degrees C. FCM with IgG-Lx performed with E. coli O157:H7 prepared by such a procedure revealed that the lowest number of E. coli O157:H7 prepared in pure culture detected by FCM was 10(3)/ml. Because similar findings have already been reported by FCM with immunomagnetic beads, FCM with IgG-Lx is also suggested to be a valuable technique to detect low numbers of E. coli O157:H7 rapidly in food stuffs.

Kwissa M, Unsinger J, Schirmbeck R, Hauser H, Reimann J (2000) Polyvalent DNA vaccines with bidirectional promoters. J Mol Med 78 :495-506


The hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and core antigen (HBcAg) were coexpressed from a synthetic bidirectional promoter with the tetracycline-inactivated transactivator (tTA). The function of this autoregulative system was evaluated following either transfer into established cell lines or intramuscular and intradermal injection of high or low doses of DNA into mice. We measured in vitro antigen expression and in vivo the induction of specific humoral and cellular immune responses. Successful regulation of antigen expression was observed in cultured cells. DNA vaccination with these constructs efficiently primed hepatitis B virus (HBV) specific immunity. However, immunogenic concentrations of the antigens were expressed even in the absence of the transactivator, indicating that low expression level is sufficient to prime an immune response. The bidirectional promoter allows coexpression of either both HBV antigens or a HBV antigen and enhanced green fluorescent protein leading to efficient priming of stable immunity against both antigens. This study demonstrates the potential of synthetic polyvalent plasmids in DNA vaccination.

Lauzon W, Sanchez Dardon J, Cameron DW, Badley AD (2000) Flow cytometric measurement of telomere length. Cytometry 42 :159-164


The regulation of telomere length may be involved in the cellular physiology of senescence, reproduction, cancer, immune response to infection, and possibly immune deficiency. The measurement of telomere length, critical to research in this area, has traditionally been performed by Southern blot analysis, which is cumbersome and time consuming. Several alternative methods have been described in recent years. Some, such as pulsed-field electrophoresis, slot blots, and centromere-to-telomere ratio measurements are essentially improvements to the Southern blot technique. However, other methods such as fluorescent in situ hybridization on metaphase chromosome spreads and flow cytometry-based fluorescent in situ hybridization represent a completely new technical approach to the problem. In this review, we compare methods, with particular emphasis placed on flow cytometric techniques for measuring telomere length in situ and identifying potential areas where improvements may still be made.

Lee JS, Shin KS, Pan JG, Kim CJ (2000) Surface-displayed viral antigens on Salmonella carrier vaccine. Nat Biotechnol 18 :645-648


We have developed a recombinant live oral vaccine using the ice-nucleation protein (Inp) from Pseudomonas syringae to display viral antigens on the surface of Salmonella spp. Fusion proteins containing viral antigens were expressed in the oral vaccine strain, Salmonella typhi Ty21a. Surface localization was verified by immunoblotting and fluorescence-activated cell sorting. The immunogenicity of surface-displayed viral antigens on the recombinant live vaccine strain was assessed in mice inoculated intranasally and intraperitoneally. Inoculation resulted in significantly higher serum antibody level than those induced by viral antigens expressed intracellularly. Thus, this multivalent mucosal live vaccine may provide an effective means for inducing mucosal or systemic immune responses against multiple viral antigens.

Lloyd D, Harris JC, Maroulis S, Biagini GA, Wadley RB, Turner MP, Edwards MR (2000) The microaerophilic flagellate Giardia intestinalis : oxygen and its reaction products collapse membrane potential and cause cytotoxicity. Microbiology 146 Pt 12 :3109-3118


Trophozoites of the microaerophilic flagellate parasitic protozoon Giardia intestinalis have only a limited capacity to detoxify O(2). Thus, when exposed to controlled concentrations of dissolved O(2) >8 microM, they gradually lose their ability to scavenge O(2). In a washed cell suspension stirred under 10% air in N(2) (equivalent to 25 microM O(2)), inactivation of the O(2)-consuming system was complete after 3.5 h ; during this period accumulation of H(2)O(2) (3 micromol per 10(6) organisms) and oxidation of cellular thiols to 16% of their initial level occurred. Under 20% air (50 microM O(2)), respiratory inactivation was complete after 1.5 h, and under air (258 microM O(2)), after 50 min. Loss of O(2)-consuming capacity was accompanied by loss of motility. Use of the fluorogen 2, 7-dichlorodihydrofluorescein acetate indicated that intracellular H(2)O(2) is produced at extranuclear sites. Flow cytometric estimation of the plasma membrane electrochemical potentials using bis(1,3-dibutylbarbituric acid) trimethine oxonol, DiBAC(4)(3), showed that values declined from -134 mV to -20 mV after 4.5 h aeration. Incubation of organisms with 60 microM H(2)O(2) for 10 min gave partial collapse of plasma membrane potential and complete loss of O(2) uptake capacity ; motility and viability as assessed by DiBAC(4)(3) exclusion were completely lost after 1 h. Inactivation of the O(2)-consuming system and loss of viability were also observed on exposure to singlet oxygen photochemically generated from rose bengal or toluidine blue.

Londrigan SL, Hewish MJ, Thomson MJ, Sanders GM, Mustafa H, Coulson BS (2000) Growth of rotaviruses in continuous human and monkey cell lines that vary in their expression of integrins. J Gen Virol 81 :2203-2213


Rotavirus replication occurs in vivo in intestinal epithelial cells. Cell lines fully permissive to rotavirus include kidney epithelial (MA104), colonic (Caco-2) and hepatic (HepG2) types. Previously, it has been shown that cellular integrins alpha 2 beta 1, alpha 4 beta 1 and alpha X beta 2 are involved in rotavirus cell entry. As receptor usage is a major determinant of virus tropism, the levels of cell surface expression of these integrins have now been investigated by flow cytometry on cell lines of human (Caco-2, HepG2, RD, K562) and monkey (MA104, COS-7) origin in relation to cellular susceptibility to infection with monkey and human rotaviruses. Cells supporting any replication of human rotaviruses (RD, HepG2, Caco-2, COS-7 and MA104) expressed alpha 2 beta 1 and (when tested) alpha X beta 2, whereas the non-permissive K562 cells did not express alpha 2 beta 1, alpha 4 beta 1 or alpha X beta 2. Only RD cells expressed alpha 4 beta 1. Although SA11 grew to higher titres in RD, HepG2, Caco-2, COS-7 and MA104 cells, this virus still replicated at a low level in K562 cells. In all cell lines tested, SA11 replicated to higher titres than did human strains, consistent with the ability of SA11 to use sialic acids as alternative receptors. Levels of cell surface alpha 2 integrin correlated with levels of rotavirus growth. The alpha 2 integrin relative linear median fluorescence intensity on K562, RD, COS-7, MA104 and Caco-2 cells correlated linearly with the titre of SA11 produced in these cells at 20 h after infection at a multiplicity of 0.1, and the data best fitted a sigmoidal dose-response curve (r(2)=1.00, P=0.005). Thus, growth of rotaviruses in these cell lines correlates with their surface expression of alpha 2 beta 1 integrin and is consistent with their expression of alpha X beta 2 and alpha 4 beta 1 integrins.

Lopez S, Espinosa R, Isa P, Merchant MT, Zarate S, Mendez E, Arias CF (2000) Characterization of a monoclonal antibody directed to the surface of MA104 cells that blocks the infectivity of rotaviruses. Virology 273 :160-168


Rhesus rotavirus (RRV) binds to sialic acid residues on the surface of target cells, and treatment of these cells with neuraminidase greatly reduces virus binding with the consequent reduction of infectivity. Variants that can efficiently infect neuraminidase-treated cells have been isolated, indicating that attachment to sialic acid is not an essential step for animal rotaviruses to infect cells. To identify and characterize the neuraminidase-resistant receptor for rotaviruses, we have isolated a hybridoma that secrets a monoclonal antibody (MAb) (2D9) that specifically blocks the infectivity of wild-type (wt) RRV and of its sialic acid-independent variant nar3, in untreated as well as in neuraminidase-treated cells. The infectivity of a human rotavirus was also inhibited, although to a lesser extent. MAb 2D9 blocks the binding of the variant to MA104 cells, while not affecting the binding of wt RRV ; in addition, this MAb blocked the attachment of a recombinant glutathione S-transferase (GST)-VP5 fusion protein, but did not affect the binding of GST-VP8. Altogether these results suggest that MAb 2D9 is directed to the neuraminidase-resistant receptor. This receptor seems to mediate the direct attachment of the variant to the cell, through VP5, while the receptor is used by wt RRV for a secondary interaction, after its initial binding to sialic acid, through VP8. MAb 2D9 interacts specifically with the cell surface by indirect immunofluorescence, immunoelectron microscopy, and FACS. By a solid-phase immunoisolation technique, MAb 2D9 was found to react with three proteins of ca. 47, 55, and 220 kDa, which might form a complex.

Lopez-Amoros R, Comas J, Garcia MT, Vives-Rego J (2000) Flow cytometric analysis of a marine LAS-degrading consortia. Microbios 101 :23-36


The specific nucleic acid fluorochrome SYTO-13 was used in flow cytometric analysis to assess changes in the density and heterogeneity of marine bacterial populations which biodegrade linear alkylbenzene sulphonate (LAS). Seawater samples with LAS and incubated in the laboratory (20 degrees C, 100 rpm, 30 days) were used to monitor LAS-degrading consortia. Flow cytometric studies and culture methods were used to characterize the LAS degrading bacterioplankton consortia. Fluorescence and scatter signals enabled us to define three regions (R1, R2 and R3) in the dual parameter cytograms. The distribution of the bacterial counts in these regions allowed us to monitor the formation and evolution of the consortia.

Lorens JB, Bennett MK, Pearsall DM, Throndset WR, Rossi AB, Armstrong RJ, Fox BP, Chan EH, Luo Y, Masuda E, Ferrick DA, Anderson DC, Payan DG, Nolan GP (2000) Retroviral delivery of peptide modulators of cellular functions. Mol Ther 1 :438-447


Stable transduction of genetic material, in combination with sensitive methodologies for in vivo study of cell physiology, provides an opportunity to efficiently evaluate the functions of regulatory proteins. To dissect the minimal therapeutic function of such proteins, we have stably expressed protein microdomains as fusions, composed of short peptides, and detected specific subfunctions distinct from holoprotein function, using flow cytometry and other techniques. We demonstrate that retroviral delivery of the 24-amino-acid proliferating cell nuclear antigen-binding motif (p21C), derived from the C-terminus of the cell cycle inhibitor protein, p21, is sufficient to induce cell cycle arrest. Cells expressing this peptide motif reversibly execute both G1- and G2-checkpoint controls that are normally activated subsequent to interference with DNA synthesis. The p21C effect is distinct from results obtained with an intact p21 protein that also binds cyclin-CDK complexes and arrested cells exclusively at the G1/S transition. Thus, microdomains can exert unique biological effects compared to the parental molecules from which they were derived. To further evaluate the peptide delivery strategy, we analyzed the role of various kinases in IgE-mediated stimulation of mast cell exocytosis. Primary bone marrow-derived mast cells were transduced with retroviral constructs encoding short-kinase inhibitor motifs and analyzed by flow cytometry for effects on exocytosis. We found that a specific protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor peptide suppressed IgE-mediated stimulation of mast cell exocytosis. This anti-exocytotic effect was mimicked by a small molecule inhibitor of PKA (KT5720). Thus, the ability to express protein microdomains can be a powerful means to subtly perturb cellular physiology in manners that reveal new paths for therapeutic intervention. We believe that such approaches might allow for new forms of gene therapy to become available.

Lozano M, Escolar G, Mazzara R, Connor J, White JG, DeLecea C, Ordinas A (2000) Effects of the addition of second-messenger effectors to platelet concentrates separated from whole-blood donations and stored at 4 degrees C or -80 degrees C. Transfusion 40 :527-534


BACKGROUND : Platelet concentrates (PCs) are currently stored at 22 degrees C under continuous agitation. Because of the potential risk of the overgrowth of bacteria in case of contamination, PC shelf life is limited to 5 days. A mixture of second-messenger effectors is being evaluated to determine if it has benefits for cold liquid storage and cryopreservation of platelets. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS : PCs separated from whole-blood donations by the buffy coat method were randomly assigned (n = 6 each) to be stored for 5 days at 22 degrees C under continuous agitation or at 4 degrees C after treatment with a platelet storage medium (ThromboSol, LifeCell Corp. ). PCs were also cryopreserved with 6-percent DMSO (final concentration) or with ThromboSol plus 2-percent DMSO (final concentration) (TC). After storage, platelets were analyzed by flow cytometry, transmission electron microscopy, and aggregation and perfusion techniques. RESULTS : Cold liquid storage of ThromboSol-treated platelets resulted in a lower binding of coagulation factor Va on the platelet surface than on platelets stored at 22 degrees C. In transmission electron microscopy, a conversion to spherical morphology was seen in the case of cold liquid storage. No difference between ThromboSol-treated platelets stored at 4 degrees C and platelets stored at 22 degrees C was seen in perfusion studies. Cryopreservation in the presence of TC prevented the reduction in glycoprotein Ib and IV expression on platelet surface that is seen in 6-percent DMSO-cryopreserved platelets. Platelets cryopreserved in TC covered, by thrombus, a significantly greater percentage of the perfused surface after the freezing and thawing process. CONCLUSION : ThromboSol-treated PCs separated from whole-blood donations by the buffy coat method, stored at 4 degrees C for 5 days, or cryopreserved in the presence of TC, maintained in vitro functional activity comparable to that achieved by current methods of storage, although discoid morphology was not preserved during cold liquid storage with ThromboSol.

Lund BT, Barrett T (2000) Rinderpest virus infection in primary bovine skin fibroblasts. Arch Virol 145 :1231-1237


Rinderpest virus (RPV) replicated to a high titre in primary bovine skin fibroblasts. The course of infection was similar to that seen in established cell lines. Virulent field virus grew at a faster rate than the fully attenuated vaccine strain of the virus. Virus antigen expression, as measured by FACScan analysis, correlated with the time course of infection for the two strains in cell cultures. Wild type virus, obtained directly from cattle, infected cells at a slower rate than virus passaged even once in primary bovine skin fibroblasts. This is the first report of a productive infection of primary bovine skin fibroblasts by wild type RPV.

Mack A, Furmann C, Hacker G (2000) Detection of caspase-activation in intact lymphoid cells using standard caspase substrates and inhibitors. J Immunol Methods 241 :19-31


Members of the caspase family of proteases are important in the implementation of apoptotic cell death. These caspases are intracellularly activated upon a death stimulus, and exhibit a distinctive proteolytic activity which transmits a death signal and readily detected by measuring the cleavage of synthetic substrates in cell extracts. In this report, we show that apoptosis-associated caspase activation can be recorded not only in cell lysates but also in intact lymphoid cells with commercially available peptides which are either biotinylated or carry an amino-methylcoumarin (AMC) group. Incubation of intact cells induced to undergo apoptosis with Ac-Asp-Glu-Val-Asp-AMC (DEVD-AMC) leads to the release of AMC in amounts very similar to the amounts released when cell extracts are prepared and incubated with DEVD-AMC. This release can be detected by a fluorescence read-out and is blocked by caspase-inhibitors such as Ac-DEVD-cho or Z-VAD-fmk. Similarly, labelling of intact cells with the biotinylated peptides Tyr-Val-Ala-Asp-cmk (YVAD-cmk) or YVAD-faom permits the detection of active caspases by affinity blotting and the detection of apoptotic cells by FACS analysis. These methods enable the investigator to detect at the single-cell level those cells which have activated their caspases and to evaluate such activation without the need for lysis of the cells.

Manichanh C, Grenot P, Gautheret-Dejean A, Debre P, Huraux JM, Agut H (2000) Susceptibility of human herpesvirus 6 to antiviral compounds by flow cytometry analysis. Cytometry 40 :135-140


BACKGROUND : The emergence of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) as a human pathogen led to the possibility of specific therapy against HHV-6 and the development of standardized susceptibility assays of HHV-6 to antivirals. METHODS : We have developed a flow cytometry method to analyze the multiplication of the HST strain of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) variant B in vitro using monoclonal antibodies specific to virus proteins. This method was subsequently used to determine the sensitivity of HST multiplication in MT4 cells to four antiviral compounds of three different classes : acyclovir (ACV) and ganciclovir (GCV), two acyclic guanosine analogs ; cedofovir (CDV), an acyclic nucleoside phosphonate ; and phosphonoformic acid (PFA), a pyrophosphate analog. RESULTS : The 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC(50)) of ACV, GCV, CDV, and PFA determined by flow cytometry assay were 25.3, 6.4, 0.95, and 6.0 microM, respectively (5.7, 1.6, 0.3, and 1.8 microg/ml, respectively). These data together with the results of cytotoxicity assays confirmed the high efficiency and selectivity of CDV and PFA against HHV-6 B in vitro, suggested by previous results. CONCLUSIONS : Our flow cytometric assay appeared as a reproducible specific method to characterize HHV-6 susceptibility to antiviral compounds. It can be considered as a convenient alternative to the other immunologic and DNA hybridization assays used for that purpose.

Mattick KL, Jorgensen F, Legan JD, Cole MB, Porter J, Lappin-Scott HM, Humphrey TJ (2000) Survival and filamentation of Salmonella enterica serovar enteritidis PT4 and Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium DT104 at low water activity. Appl Environ Microbiol 66 :1274-1279


In this study we investigated the long-term survival of and morphological changes in Salmonella strains at low water activity (a(w)). Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis PT4 and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium DT104 survived at low a(w) for long periods, but minimum humectant concentrations of 8% NaCl (a(w), 0. 95), 96% sucrose (a(w), 0.94), and 32% glycerol (a(w), 0.92) were bactericidal under most conditions. Salmonella rpoS mutants were usually more sensitive to bactericidal levels of NaCl, sucrose, and glycerol. At a lethal a(w), incubation at 37 degrees C resulted in more rapid loss of viability than incubation at 21 degrees C. At a(w) values of 0.93 to 0.98, strains of S. enterica serovar Enteritidis and S. enterica serovar Typhimurium formed filaments, some of which were at least 200 microm long. Filamentation was independent of rpoS expression. When the preparations were returned to high-a(w) conditions, the filaments formed septa, and division was complete within approximately 2 to 3 h. The variable survival of Salmonella strains at low a(w) highlights the importance of strain choice when researchers produce modelling data to simulate worst-case scenarios or conduct risk assessments based on laboratory data. The continued increase in Salmonella biomass at low a(w) (without a concomitant increase in microbial count) would not have been detected by traditional microbiological enumeration tests if the tests had been performed immediately after low-a(w) storage. If Salmonella strains form filaments in food products that have low a(w) values (0.92 to 0.98), there are significant implications for public health and for designing methods for microbiological monitoring.

Meyers SP (2000) Developments in aquatic microbiology. Int Microbiol 3 :203-211


Major discoveries in marine microbiology over the past 4-5 decades have resulted in the recognition of bacteria as a major biomass component of marine food webs. Such discoveries include chemosynthetic activities in deep-ocean ecosystems, survival processes in oligotrophic waters, and the role of microorganisms in food webs coupled with symbiotic relationships and energy flow. Many discoveries can be attributed to innovative methodologies, including radioisotopes, immunofluorescent-epifluorescent analysis, and flow cytometry. The latter has shown the key role of marine viruses in marine system energetics. Studies of the components of the "microbial loop" have shown the significance of various phagotrophic processes involved in grazing by microinvertebrates. Microbial activities and dissolved organic carbon are closely coupled with the dynamics of fluctuating water masses. New biotechnological approaches and the use of molecular biology techniques still provide new and relevant information on the role of microorganisms in oceanic and estuarine environments. International interdisciplinary studies have explored ecological aspects of marine microorganisms and their significance in biocomplexity. Studies on the origins of both life and ecosystems now focus on microbiological processes in the marine environment. This paper describes earlier and recent discoveries in marine (aquatic) microbiology and the trends for future work, emphasizing improvements in methodology as major catalysts for the progress of this broadly-based field.

Papi A, Papadopoulos NG, Degitz K, Holgate ST, Johnston SL (2000) Corticosteroids inhibit rhinovirus-induced intercellular adhesion molecule-1 up-regulation and promoter activation on respiratory epithelial cells. J Allergy Clin Immunol 105 :318-326


BACKGROUND : Rhinoviruses are associated with the majority of asthma exacerbations. To date, the pathogenesis of virus-induced asthma exacerbations is still unclear, and no safe effective therapy is available. Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) has a central role in inflammatory cell recruitment to the airways in asthma and is the receptor for 90% of rhinoviruses. We have previously shown that rhinovirus infection of lower airway epithelium induces ICAM-1 expression by a transcriptional mechanism that is critically nuclear factor-kappaB-dependent. OBJECTIVE : The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of systemic (hydrocortisone [HC], dexamethasone [DM]) and topical (mometasone furoate [MF]) corticosteroids on rhinovirus-induced ICAM-1 up-regulation. METHODS : Cultured primary bronchial or transformed (A549) respiratory epithelial cells were pretreated with corticosteroids for 16 hours and infected with rhinovirus type 16 for 8 hours. ICAM-1 surface expression was evaluated by flow cytometry. In A549 cells ICAM-1 messenger RNA was evaluated by specific reverse transcription-PCR and promoter activation by chloramphenicol acetyltransferase assay. RESULTS : We observed inhibition of rhinovirus-induced ICAM-1 up-regulation with corticosteroid pretreatment in both primary bronchial epithelial and A549 cells. In A549 cells systemic and topical corticosteroids demonstrated a dose-dependent inhibition with similar efficacy (inhibitory concentration 50% 10(-10) mol/L, 10(-11) mol/L, and 10(-11) mol/L for HC, DM, and MF respectively). MF also inhibited ICAM-1 messenger RNA induction by rhinovirus infection in a dose-dependent manner. MF completely inhibited rhinovirus-induced ICAM-1 promoter activation. HC, DM, and MF had no direct effect on rhinovirus infectivity and replication in cultured cells. CONCLUSION : Corticosteroids decrease rhinovirus-induced ICAM-1 up-regulation in respiratory epithelial cells and modulate pretranscriptional mechanisms. This effect may be important for the therapeutic control of virus-induced asthma exacerbations.

Park JH, Lee YS, Lim YK, Kwon SH, Lee CU, Yoon BS (2000) Specific binding of recombinant Listeria monocytogenes p60 protein to Caco-2 cells. FEMS Microbiol Lett 186 :35-40


The Listeria monocytogenes p60 is a major extracellular protein, which is believed to be involved in the invasion of these bacteria into their host cells. So far the mechanism by which p60 participates in the internalization or penetration of L. monocytogenes is still veiled. To determine the possibility of a direct interaction of p60 with the host cell surface, the iap gene was recombinantly expressed in Escherichia coli and used for binding studies with the enterocyte-like Caco-2 cells. Fluorescence activated flow cytometry and confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed a cell membrane specific staining with p60, which implications in Listeria virulence are discussed.

Parthuisot N, Catala P, Lemarchand K, Baudart J, Lebaron P (2000) Evaluation of ChemChrome V6 for bacterial viability assessment in waters. J Appl Microbiol 89 :370-380


The efficiency of ChemChrome B (CB) and ChemChrome V6 (CV6) dyes to stain viable bacterial cells in water was compared. Both dyes are fluorogenic esters converted to free fluorescein by esterase activity. The dyes were applied to a wide variety of bacterial species, including those poorly stained by CB, and to natural waters. Some species tested gave unacceptable low fluorescence intensities by being inefficiently or non-labelled with the CB. In contrast, CV6-stained bacteria were easily detected by both flow cytometry and solid-phase cytometry. As a consequence, higher viable cell counts were found with CV6 compared with CB in natural waters. Viable counts determined by CV6 staining were always higher than cfu counts. In contrast, respiring cell counts (CTC) were always lower than CV6 counts and, in the case of tap and mineral waters, they were lower than cfu counts.

Pearson TW, Beecroft RP, Welburn SC, Ruepp S, Roditi I, Hwa KY, Englund PT, Wells CW, Murphy NB (2000) The major cell surface glycoprotein procyclin is a receptor for induction of a novel form of cell death in African trypanosomes in vitro. Mol Biochem Parasitol 111 :333-349


Bloodstream forms (BSF) and procyclic culture forms (PCF) of African trypanosomes were incubated with a variety of lectins in vitro. Cessation of cell division and profound morphological changes were seen in procyclic forms but not in BSF after incubation with concanavalin A (Con A), wheat germ agglutinin and Ricinus communis agglutinin. These lectins caused the trypanosomes to cease division, become round and increase dramatically in size, the latter being partially attributable to the formation of what appeared to be a large ’vacuole-like structure’ or an expanded flagellar pocket. Con A was used in all further experiments. Spectrophotometric quantitation of extracted DNA and flow cytometry using the DNA intercalating dye propidium iodide showed that the DNA content of Con A-treated trypanosomes increased dramatically when compared to untreated parasites. Examination of these cells by fluorescence microscopy showed that many of the Con A-treated cells were multinucleate whereas the kinetoplasts were mostly present as single copies, indicating a disequilibrium between nuclear and kinetoplast replication. Immunofluorescence experiments using monoclonal antibodies (mAb) specific for paraflagellar rod proteins and for kinetoplastid membrane protein-11 (KMP-11), showed that the Con A-treated parasites had begun to duplicate the flagellum but that this had only proceeded along part of the length of the cells, suggesting that the cell division process was initiated but that cytokinesis was subsequently inhibited. Tunicamycin-treated wild-type trypanosomes and mutant trypanosomes expressing both high levels of non-glycosylated procyclins and procyclin isoforms with truncated N-linked sugars were resistant to the effects of Con A, suggesting that N-linked carbohydrates on the procyclin surface coat were the ligands for Con A binding. This was supported by data obtained using mutant parasites created by deletion of all three EP procyclin isoforms, two of which contain N-glycosylation sites, by homologous recombination. The knockout mutants showed reduced binding of fluorescein-labelled Con A as determined by flow cytometry and were resistant to the effects of Con A. Taken together the results show that Con A induces multinucleation, a disequilibrium between nuclear and kinetoplast replication and a unique form of cell death in procyclic African trypanosomes and that the ligands for Con A binding are carbohydrates on the EP forms of procyclin. The possible significance of these findings for the life cycle of the trypanosomes in the tsetse fly vector is discussed.

Petering H, Kohl J, Weyergraf A, Dulkys Y, Kimmig D, Smolarski R, Kapp A, Elsner J (2000) Characterization of synthetic C3a analog peptides on human eosinophils in comparison to the native complement component C3a. J Immunol 164 :3783-3789


The C3a anaphylatoxin is a potent proinflammatory mediator derived from the complement system inducing biologic effects of human eosinophils like Ca2+ transients and the activation of the respiratory burst. These findings support an important role for C3a in diseases typically associated with a peripheral blood or tissue eosinophilia. Synthetic human C3a analogue peptides with variations at the C-terminal effector domain have been evaluated with respect to their binding affinity and signaling potency on human eosinophils. Flow cytometrical analysis and RT-PCR revealed that the C3a receptor is constitutively expressed on human eosinophils. Peptides bearing an N-terminal 9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl and the 6-aminohexanoyl motif were the most powerful peptides tested. Amino acid replacements in the conserved C-terminal pentapeptide decreased binding affinity and functional potency substantially. In addition, synthetic C3a analogue peptides induced C3aR internalization, led to transient changes of intracellular Ca2+ concentration, and did release reactive oxygen species in human eosinophils indicating the in vivo relevance of C3a-related sequences. The tripeptide LAR was found to be essential for C3a receptor binding on human eosinophils. Moreover, the putative binding motif of C3a anaphylatoxin is also crucial for the induction of biologic effects in the human system such as changes of intracellular Ca2+ concentration and the release of reactive oxygen species. This study demonstrates that the carboxyl terminus is important for the interaction with the C3aR and the biologic potency of C3a anaphylatoxin in the human system and plays a key role in the activation process of human eosinophils.

Pina-Vaz C, Rodrigues AG, Sansonetty F, Martinez-De-Oliveira J, Fonseca AF, Mardh PA (2000) Antifungal activity of local anesthetics against Candida species. Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol 8 :124-137


OBJECTIVE : To evaluate the activity of benzydamine, lidocaine, and bupivacaine, three drugs with local anesthetic activity, against Candida albicans and non-albicans strains and to clarify their mechanism of activity. METHODS : The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined for 20 Candida strains (18 clinical isolates and two American Type Culture Collection strains). The fungistatic activity was studied with the fluorescent probe FUN-1 and observation under epifluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. The fungicidal activity of the three drugs was assayed by viability counts. Membrane alterations induced in the yeast cells were evaluated by staining with propidium iodide, by quantitation of intracellular K+ leakage and by transmission electron microscopy of intact yeast cells and prepared spheroplasts. RESULTS : The MIC ranged from 12.5-50.0 microg/mL, 5.0-40.0 mg/mL, and 2.5-10.0 mg/mL for benzydamine, lidocaine, and bupivacaine, respectively. The inhibitory activity of these concentrations could be detected with the fluorescent probe FUN-1 after incubation for 60 minutes. A very fast fungicidal activity was shown by 0.2, 50, and 30 mg/mL of benzydamine, lidocaine, and bupivacaine, respectively. CONCLUSIONS : At lower concentrations, the tested drugs have a fungistatic activity, due to yeast metabolic impairment, while at higher concentrations they are fungicidal, due to direct damage to the cytoplasmic membrane.

Poirier-Toulemonde AS, Milpied N, Cantarovich D, Morcet JF, Billaudel S, Imbert-Marcille BM (2000) Clinical relevance of direct quantification of pp65 antigenemia using flow cytometry in solid organ and stem cell transplant recipients. J Clin Microbiol 38 :3143-3149


A total of 1,305 blood samples from 85 solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients and 25 stem cell transplant (SCT) recipients at risk for cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection were prospectively collected and tested using the shell vial assay (SVA) and a leukocytic qualitative PCR (q-PCR). Of these, 462 specimens were further tested by direct quantification of CMV antigenemia by flow cytometry (FC-Ag), 125 were tested with a quantitative competitive PCR, and 200 were tested for pp65 antigenemia using the slide method (S-Ag). Laboratory data were statistically analyzed according to the presence of CMV-related symptoms. In SOT and SCT recipients, active CMV infection occurred in 63.5 and 36%, respectively, and CMV disease occurred in 53 and 24%, respectively. FC-Ag results correlated better with q-PCR and S-Ag than with SVA. The first test found to be positive during follow-up was FC-Ag in 73% of cases. In SOT recipients, FC-Ag showed the highest sensitivity and negative predictive value for the diagnosis of any grade of CMV disease. For FC-Ag, the threshold beyond which CMV disease was highly probable seemed to lie at 0.20% positive polymorphonuclear leukocytes. FC-Ag appears to be a useful test for the early detection of CMV infection and the prediction of CMV disease.

Porter J, Pickup RW (2000) Nucleic acid-based fluorescent probes in microbial ecology : application of flow cytometry. J Microbiol Methods 42 :75-79


Microorganisms in natural environments have often been treated as ’black box’ systems. Researchers have measured the inputs and outputs of the box, and have made bulk measurements on cell behaviour. However, unravelling the details of the diversity and interactions that exist within these microbial populations has proven exceptionally difficult. The information gained from the black box approach has been invaluable, and has allowed models of global foodwebs to be generated and tested. However, there is still little information about the interactions of individual microbial cells within natural populations. Such studies are essential to fully understand the integrated functioning of ecosystems. To achieve this goal, researchers need to be able to identify individual cells within a population, enumerate them, estimate both viability and activity, and monitor changes in response to relevant parameters. Due to the diversity, heterogeneity and numbers of cells that make up these populations, these measurements require automation and speed. At present, the use of flow cytometry in conjunction with nucleic acid probes provides an excellent method with which to pursue such studies.

Purcell AW, Kelly AJ, Peh CA, Dudek NL, McCluskey J (2000) Endogenous and exogenous factors contributing to the surface expression of HLA B27 on mutant APC. Hum Immunol 61 :120-130


We have examined the expression of HLA B*2705 in the mutant cell line 721.220, which lacks endogenous HLA A and B alleles and expresses a defective tapasin molecule. Several peptide sensitive mAbs distinguish between HLA B*2705 expressed on the surface of 721.220 cells (B27.220) and 721.220 cells co-transfected with human tapasin (B27.220.hTsn). This differential staining defines subtle differences in the conformation of HLA B27, which most likely reflect changes in the repertoire of antigenic peptides bound to B27 in the presence and absence of wild type tapasin. HLA B27 molecules expressed on the surface of 721.220 display increased levels of "free" B27 heavy chain (HC-10 staining), an epitope that is dependent on TAP-translocated peptides. The conformation and stability of B27 molecules was examined by investigating the integrity of mAb epitopes and the half-lives of these complexes on cells cultured with and without serum. The decay of surface B27 epitopes occurred more rapidly in B27.220 and this effect was exaggerated in serum free media. Importantly, the decay of surface B27 molecules in B27.220.hTsn cells was characterized by an early increase in HC-10 staining when the cells were grown in serum free media. This decay of B27 molecules via HC-10 reactive intermediates was not observed in B27.220 cells, implying molecules on these cells may already have passed through this stage prior to surface expression. Taken together these observations indicate that tapasin has a significant contribution to the composition and stability of the B27-bound peptide repertoire.

Qian Y, Ainsworth AJ (2000) Characterization and expression of an EB1 protein in Ictalurus punctatus neutrophils. Dev Comp Immunol 24 :741-750


We have identified an EB1 gene (CfEB1) and protein in channel catfish neutrophils. The complete cDNA sequence is 1725 bp and the putative protein is composed of 258 amino acids. Western blot analysis of channel catfish neutrophil cell membrane with a monoclonal antibody (14I) yielded a 28 kD protein band with the protein preparation. Aside from neutrophils only a small percentage of other cells tested expressed detectable amounts of EB1 as determined by flow cytometry. Furthermore, EB1 expression increased after phorbol dibutyrate stimulation of neutrophils or incubation of catfish neutrophils with Edwardsiella ictaluri. Nonpermeabilized, fixed catfish neutrophils demonstrated immunofluorescent staining with 14I indicating that EB1 is apparently externally oriented in catfish neutrophils. This is the first report of the external orientation of the EB1 molecule. Because of its increase after stimulation and detection on cell membranes, EB1 may participate in catfish neutrophil cell regulation, signal transduction, or cell membrane changes necessary for phagocytosis.

Qian Y, Noya M, Ainsworth AJ (2000) Molecular characterization and leukocyte distribution of a teleost beta1 integrin molecule. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 76 :61-74


The beta1 integrin, in combination with the alpha subunit, is responsible for migration of leukocytes into areas of inflammation. Although identified in mammalian species ; the beta1 or CD29 molecule has yet to be identified in fish. The present investigation has identified a full-length channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, cDNA beta1 molecule composed of 2786 bases and a deduced amino acid sequence of 797 amino acids. The catfish molecule has an amino acid identity ranging from 71.87 to 74.12% with bovine, feline, human, and Xenopus. The channel catfish molecule retains several characteristics of mammalian beta1 molecules, such as four cysteine-rich repeat regions, and eight potential N-linked glycosylation sites. Based on Western blotting the channel catfish beta1 molecule has a molecular mass of approximately 130kDa, essentially the same as that for mammalian species. These results confirm the existence and expression of a beta1 gene in channel catfish, a species phylogenetically distant from mammals.

Qiu J, Handa A, Kirby M, Brown KE (2000) The interaction of heparin sulfate and adeno-associated virus 2. Virology 269 :137-147


Recently heparan sulfate was proposed as the host cell receptor for the dependovirus, adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2). We show that although heparan sulfate on the cell surface may contribute to the binding of AAV2 to permissive cells, the amount of heparan sulfate on the cell surface as determined by flow cytometry using four different monoclonal antibodies does not correlate with AAV2 binding to cells or recombinant AAV2 transduction efficiency. Experiments with either mutant CHO cells or cells treated with chlorate to remove sulfate groups showed that sulfation was not absolutely required for infection or binding : in the absence of cell surface sulfation, recombinant AAV2 was still able to be transduced in previously permissive cells. Heparin is commonly used as a substitute in studies of the interaction between heparan sulfate and ligand, and we demonstrate that the binding affinity of AAV2/heparin is low, with a K(d) value of approximately 2.0 nM. A study of the direct interaction between AAV2 and artificial glycosaminoglycans showed that a high degree of sulfation on heparin was critical for the ability to bind AAV2 and compete rAAV2 transduction and that both O- and N-sulfate groups are required. Overall, our data suggest that, as has been shown for other viruses, the presence of a high-affinity AAV2 receptor mediates AAV2 infection in addition to the low-affinity heparan sulfate binding.

Ramakrishnan MS, Somashekar D, Joseph R (2000) Induction of colony morphology variation in Rhodotorula gracilis by UV irradiation. Folia Microbiol (Praha) 45 :51-55


Nonlethal UV irradiation induced an unusually high frequency of colony morphology variation in Rhodotorula gracilis. The variation was not fixed but indicated further variability in subsequent platings. Microscopic examination of the cultures indicated that UV-irradiated variants had grossly varying types of shapes and arrangements of cells in contrast to the uniformly shaped and budding cells of the nonirradiated culture. Flow-cytometric analysis of a colony variant suggested a slightly higher proportion of cells with variable DNA content than the nonirradiated culture. Extensive biochemical characterization revealed only one difference in that the nonirradiated culture had a partial requirement for pantothenate while the colony variant was completely independent of this requirement. We speculate that UV triggers a yet unstudied means of variability in R. gracilis with possible accompanying recombinational events.

Resto-Ruiz SI, Sweger D, Widen RH, Valkov N, Anderson BE (2000) Transcriptional activation of the htrA (High-temperature requirement A) gene from Bartonella henselae. Infect Immun 68 :5970-5978


Bacterial htrA genes are typically activated as part of the periplasmic stress response and are dependent on the extracytoplasmic sigma factor rpoE. A putative promoter region, P1, of the sigma(E)-type heat-inducible promoters has previously been identified upstream of the htrA gene of Bartonella henselae. Further analysis of the htrA mRNA by primer extension demonstrated that transcription initiates from P1 and a second region downstream of P1. This second promoter region, termed P2, had no sequence identity to sigma(E)-type heat-inducible promoters. Promoter regions were cloned individually and in tandem into pANT3 upstream of a promoterless version of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene (gfpmut3) and transformed into B. henselae by electroporation. The contiguous promoter region containing both P1 and P2 were necessary for the optimal transcriptional activation of the htrA gene. Promoter activity at 37 degrees C was distinctively higher than at 27 degrees C. However, thermal induction at 47 degrees C did not increase expression of gfpmut3. Invasion of human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1) by B. henselae resulted in the formation of well-defined vacuoles containing clusters of bacteria exhibiting marked expression of gfpmut3 transcribed from the P1-P2 region. In addition, a moderate yet significant increase in the ratio of bacterial GFP to DNA was detected for intracellular bacteria compared to extracellular bacteria, indicating upregulation of htrA upon invasion of HMEC-1. The activation of specific genes in the intracellular environment may help us better understand the novel pathogenic mechanisms used by this bacterium.

Rioux S, Galarneau C, Harel J, Kobisch M, Frey J, Gottschalk M, Jacques M (2000) Isolation and characterization of a capsule-deficient mutant of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae serotype 1. Microb Pathog 28 :279-289


The capsular polysaccharides (CPS) play a major role in pathogenicity of Actinobacillus pleuroIpneumoniae, the causative agent of porcine pleuropneumonia. The purpose of the present study was to isolate a mutant in CPS biosynthesis by using a mini-Tn 10 transposon mutagenesis system and evaluate its adherence to host cells. One mutant apparently did not possess CPS as it did not react with a monoclonal antibody against A. pleuropneumoniae serotype 1 capsular antigen. Absence of capsule was confirmed by flow cytometry and also by transmission electron microscopy after polycationic ferritin labelling. The site of insertion of the mini-Tn 10 was determined and found to be in the cpxC gene. Its gene product, CpxC, is a protein involved in polysaccharide transport across the cytoplasmic membrane during CPS biosynthesis. Use of piglet tracheal frozen sections indicated that the CPS mutant adhered significantly (P=0.0001) more than the parent strain. The non-capsular mutant was less virulent in pigs compared to the parent strain and showed no mortality in experimentally infected pigs. The CPS mutant was however resistant to pig serum. This CPS mutant is the first A. pleuropneumoniae mutant in a CPS transport gene. It is also the first time that adherence of a CPS mutant of A. pleuropneumoniae is evaluated. Our observations indicate that capsular polysaccharides of A. pleuropneumoniae serotype 1 are not involved in adherence to piglet tracheal frozen sections but rather mask, at least in part, the adhesive functions.

Rossi JL, Gissmann L, Jansen K, Muller M (2000) Assembly of human papillomavirus type 16 pseudovirions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Hum Gene Ther 11 :1165-1176


Studies of the encapsidation of papillomavirus (PV) DNA, and production of preparative amounts of PVs in vitro, have met with only limited success. To circumvent this problem we established a system in yeast to generate infectious HPV-16 pseudovirions. Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain 1699 was transformed with a construct to allow production of HPV-16 virus-like particles (VLPs). This strain was then transformed with a second construct (target plasmid), the same size as the HPV-16 genome and containing the HPV-16 upstream regulatory region (URR) and the HPV-16 E2 open reading frame. In addition, the target plasmid contained the green fluorescent protein gene to monitor delivery of the target plasmid into mammalian cells after infection. We conclude that this system allows HPV DNA encapsidation because (1) HPV-16 VLPs of two different types (heavy and light) were detected by CsCl gradient centrifugation, (2) DNase I-resistant DNA was detected by PCR/Southern blot analysis in fractions of CsCl gradients at a density corresponding to heavy VLPs, (3) in vitro infection of mammalian cells, including primary mouse splenocytes, with pseudovirions resulted in delivery of the reporter gene as demonstrated by FACS analysis for GFP expression, and (4) after injection of pseudovirions into mice, in vivo reporter gene expression was detected by confocal microscopy in sections of muscle tissue. We conclude that HPV-16 pseudovirions produced in yeast may be useful both for in vitro transduction and for gene delivery in vivo.

Sachetelli S, Khalil H, Chen T, Beaulac C, Senechal S, Lagace J (2000) Demonstration of a fusion mechanism between a fluid bactericidal liposomal formulation and bacterial cells. Biochim Biophys Acta 1463 :254-266


It was previously demonstrated that fluid liposomal-encapsulated tobramycin, named Fluidosomes, was successful in eradicating mucoid Pseudomonas aeruginosa in an animal model of chronic pulmonary infection, whereas free antibiotic did not reduce colony-forming unit (CFU) counts (C. Beaulac et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 40 (1996) 665-669 ; C. Beaulac et al., J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 41 (1998) 35-41). These liposomes were also shown to be bactericidal in in vitro tests against strong resistant P. aeruginosa 64 microg/ml). The time needed to reach the maximal fusion rate was about 5 h for the resistant strain comparatively to much shorter time for the sensitive strain. The specific characteristics of Fluidosomes could help overcome bacterial resistance related to permeability barrier and even enzymatic hydrolysis considering the importance of synergy in the whole process of antibiotic resistance.

Santo Domingo JW, Harmon S, Bennett J (2000) Survival of Salmonella species in river water. Curr Microbiol 40 :409-417


The survival of four Salmonella strains in river water microcosms was monitored by culturing techniques, direct counts, whole-cell hybridization, scanning electron microscopy, and resuscitation techniques via the direct viable count method and flow cytometry. Plate counts of bacteria resuspended in filtered and untreated river water decreased several orders of magnitude within the first week of incubation, while they did not decrease as rapidly in autoclaved water. In situ hybridization studies suggested a rapid decrease in ribosomal content, as determined by the drastic decrease in the number of detectable cells after 72 h. In contrast, direct counts remained relatively constant during 45 days in all microcosoms. Although the culturable counts of two bacterial strains in filtered water after 31 days represented approximately 0.001% of the total counts, direct viable counts and resuscitation studies with a dilution series suggested that the number of viable bacteria was at least four orders of magnitude higher. Additionally, notable changes in forward scatter and in nucleic acid content were observed only after 4 h of nutrient amendments by flow cytometry. However, cells from the resuscitation experiments did not grow on solid media unless cell-free supernatant from viable cultures was added during the resuscitation period. The results in this study suggest the presence of a not immediately culturable status in Salmonella.

Seghatchian J, Krailadsiri P, Beard M (2000) Does bacterial contamination of platelet concentrates influence the leucocyte content and the rate of platelet storage lesion ? Transfus Sci 22 :139-143


An observational study was carried out to assess the effect of bacterial growth on changes in platelet cellular indices and leucocyte content. Platelet derived from pooled buffy coats, with and without an additional leucocyte removal step by filtration and platelet derived from Cobe LRS system were used. These were spiked with two doses of several types of bacteria (1 and 50 CFU) in a paired control and test experiment. The changes in cellular parameters were monitored by an automated cell counter (Sysmex SE-9000) and the concentration of the residual leucocyte were evaluated by two automated techniques, based on DNA staining principles (flow cytometry-EPICS-XL Coutter and Imagn 2000). Our results indicate that initially bacterial growth is associated with a decrease in leucocyte count, followed by a concomitant increase in platelet large cell ratio, possibly due to aggregate formation. During the prolonged storage a dramatic increase in pseudoleucocytes was observed by both Imagn 2000 and flow cytometry techniques with an abnormal dot plot around FL3 regions in the latter counting method, making the true identification of native leucocytes rather difficult. It is concluded that bacterial growth is associated with both changes in platelet cellular indices and development of cellular aggregates and/or partially fragmented cells with DNA binding properties appearing as pseudoleucocytes. Further work on the true nature of so called ’pseudoleucocyte’ is in progress.

Shapiro HM (2000) Microbial analysis at the single-cell level : tasks and techniques. J Microbiol Methods 42 :3-16


The heterogeneity of microorganisms themselves is orders of magnitude greater than the heterogeneity of perspectives from which they are contemplated by human observers. Even closely related species may exhibit marked differences in biochemistry and behavior, and, under many conditions, similar, striking heterogeneity may exist within a clonal population of organisms which, in the aggregate, occupy too small a region of space to be visible to the unaided human eye. Using methods of microscopy, microspectrophotometry, and cytometry developed and refined since the 1960s, it is now possible to characterize the physiology and pharmacology of individual microorganisms, and, in many cases, to isolate organisms with selected characteristics for culture and/or further analysis. These methods include fluorescent and confocal microscopy, scanning and image cytometry, and flow cytometry. Fluorescence measurements are particularly important in single-cell analysis ; they allow demonstration and quantification of cells’ nucleic acid content and sequence, of the presence of specific antigens, and of physiologic characteristics such as enzyme activity and membrane potential. Multiparameter cytometry, combined with cell sorting, provides insight into population heterogeneity and allows selected cells to be separated for further analysis and culture. The technology is applicable to a wide range of problems in contemporary microbiology, including strain selection and the development of antimicrobial agents.

Shinomiya N, Kuno Y, Yamamoto F, Fukasawa M, Okumura A, Uefuji M, Rokutanda M (2000) Different mechanisms between premitotic apoptosis and postmitotic apoptosis in X-irradiated U937 cells. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 47 :767-777


PURPOSE : Apoptosis is currently being evaluated for its importance as a pathway of radiation-induced cell death. However, the difference in the mechanisms between premitotic and postmitotic apoptosis following X-irradiation remains not well understood. We show here that the human monoblastoid cell line U937 can be induced to undergo these two different types of apoptosis. METHODS AND MATERIALS : U937 cells were irradiated at a dose of 5 or 20 Gy, and the DNA fragmentation rate was measured by both flow cytometric analysis and gel electrophoresis. Activation of caspase-3 was detected by Western blot analysis and fluorogenic assay using acetyl-Asp-Glu-Val-Asp-7-amino-4-methyl-coumarin (Ac-DEVD-AMC). Detection of mitochondrial transmembrane potential (DeltaPsi) was performed by using Rho123. Chasing of S-phase fraction following X-irradiation was performed after labeling with 5-bromo-2’-deoxyuridine (BrdU). Thymidine was used for synchronization of the cells. Inhibition of caspase-3 activity was achieved by Acetyl-Asp-Glu-Val-Asp-aldehyde (Ac-DEVD-CHO). RESULTS : Time courses of the apoptotic rates, caspase activation, and DeltaPsi indicated that two different types of cell death were induced by the different X-ray doses. High-dose X-ray (20 Gy) induced a rapid and strong apoptosis, whereas low-dose X-ray (5 Gy) induced a slow and mild apoptosis. Cell-cycle analyses revealed that there was cell death before cell division in the former apoptosis but the cells must be dying after cell division in the latter apoptosis. By means of cell-cycle synchronization, the S-phase cells proved to be the most sensitive fraction to premitotic apoptosis, but an obvious difference in the susceptibility to cell death among the cell-cycle phases was not observed in postmitotic apoptosis. Ac-DEVD-CHO treatment effectively blocked caspase activity and premitotic apoptosis, but it failed to block postmitotic apoptosis. CONCLUSIONS : Irradiation of U937 cells at different X-ray doses induced two different types of apoptotic cell death, premitotic apoptosis and postmitotic apoptosis, which are characterized by the time course and cell-cycle specificity. Decision concerning these two types of apoptotic cell death may be made by the difference in the magnitude of cell damage following X-irradiation.

Sindre H, Haraldsen G, Beck S, Hestdal K, Kvale D, Brandtzaeg P, Degre M, Rollag H (2000) Human intestinal endothelium shows high susceptibility to cytomegalovirus and altered expression of adhesion molecules after infection. Scand J Immunol 51 :354-360


Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) causes gastro intestinal disease with ulcerations, apparently as a consequence of cytopathic damage to endothelial cells (EC) and subsequent microvascular obliteration. In this study we showed that cultured human intestinal microvascular endothelial cells (HIMEC) are much more susceptible to HCMV infection than human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). When both cell types were challenged with a clinical isolate of HCMV (10 pfu per cell), 30% of HIMEC expressed HCMV immediate early proteins, but only 10% of HUVEC. Enhanced susceptibility was also reflected in the expression of early and late HCMV proteins. In addition, the interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta)-induced cellular expression of adhesion molecules differed between HIMEC and HUVEC after HCMV-infection. E-selectin was unaffected in HUVEC but increased in HIMEC, whereas vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1 was increased in HUVEC but decreased in HIMEC. Furthermore, HCMV-infection enhanced the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 in both cell types. In conclusion, the enhanced susceptibility to HCMV infection observed in HIMEC and the elevated expression of E-selectin and ICAM-1 observed in these cells may provide an indication to the liability of developing gastrointestinal HCMV disease and may have a possible relevance to the survival of intestinal transplants.

Steen HB (2000) Flow cytometry of bacteria : glimpses from the past with a view to the future. J Microbiol Methods 42 :65-74


Measurement of bacteria and other microorganisms at the level of single cells has progressed enormously over the last couple of decades. Up to the late 1970s, there were no other means than microscopy for observation of single microorganisms, making any type of measurement very cumbersome and tedious, at best. Today, we measure several parameters simultaneously with a precision of a few per cent, and at a rate of 1000 cells per second. The first papers on the use of flow cytometry to measure bacteria appeared only in 1977, although the method had proved highly successful in studies of mammalian cells for almost a decade. There were several reasons for this relatively late introduction, including technical limitations, problems with adequate staining, and, not least, the human factor. Today, flow cytometry has a wide range of microbiological applications, ranging from studies of the bacterial cell cycle and many other cellular characteristics to assessment of antibiotic susceptibility of clinical samples, and monitoring of bacteria and other microorganisms in anything from sewage to sea water. Still, the potential of flow cytometry in microbiology is far from fully utilised. Better instruments and new stains will provide new opportunities to understand, control and exploit this vital part of the biosphere.

Stephens PJ, Druggan P, Caron GN (2000) Stressed salmonella are exposed to reactive oxygen species from two independent sources during recovery in conventional culture media. Int J Food Microbiol 60 :269-285


Previously, Stephens et al. [J. Appl. Microbiol. 83 (1997) 445-455] developed a sensitive technique for studying the resuscitation of low levels of stressed Salmonella. Using this technique the influence on recovery performance of the peptone component of buffered peptone water was investigated. Within 12 different peptone types as much as 3.5 log10 cells/ml difference was observed between the best and worst performing formulations. Poor recovery performance was linked to reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation through auto-oxidation of reducing sugars and photo-sensitisation of sensitive components such as riboflavin. Supplementary recovery agents were explored with only Oxyrase, which has both enzymes to degrade ROS and the ability to rapidly turn a medium anaerobic, having any significant effect. It improved the speed of recovery and increased, by up to 100-fold, the number of stressed cells recovered. Stressed cells were further studied by flow cytometry with cell sorting, based on the staining pattern from a novel fluorochrome combination, into good and poor recovery media. It was identified that within a stressed population the removal of all oxygen protected actively respiring cells the most by forcing them to generate energy from anaerobic metabolism thus avoiding any risk from accidental endogenous ROS generation. The recognition of two independent sources of oxidative stress in the routine use of conventional culture media is discussed in relation to pathogen detection and other areas of food microbiology.

Sudo N, Aiba Y, Takaki A, Tanaka K, Yu XN, Oyama N, Koga Y, Kubo C (2000) Dietary nucleic acids promote a shift in Th1/Th2 balance toward Th1-dominant immunity. Clin Exp Allergy 30 :979-987


BACKGROUND : Dietary sources of nucleic acids and their relative components are known to affect host immune function ; however, it has not yet been clarified whether such dietary nucleic acids influence the pathogenesis of allergic reaction. OBJECTIVE : The purpose of this study is to elucidate the effect of dietary nucleic acids on Th1/Th2 balance. METHODS : Both human flora-associated and specific pathogen-free BALB/c mice were maintained on either nucleic acid-free, or -supplemented diets. The effects of nucleic acids on both in vivo antibody levels and in vitro splenocyte cytokine production were compared using these mice. RESULTS : Supplementation of nucleic acids caused a reduction in the serum antibody levels of total IgM, IgG, IgG1, and IgE in the human flora-associated mice without affecting the composition of intestinal flora. In contrast, there was no significant difference of the serum IgG2a levels between nucleic acid-free and -supplemented mice. Such a phenomenon as that, the supplementation of dietary nucleic acids reduces the serum IgE or IgG1 levels, but not the IgG2a level, was also seen in the specific pathogen free mice. Moreover, when the mice were systematically challenged with ovalbumin, the supplementation of nucleic acids also suppressed the serum ovalbumin-specific IgE and IgG1 antibody levels as well as in vitro IL-4 and IL-10 secretion, while enhancing both the serum ovalbumin-specific IgG2a antibody levels and in vitro IFN gamma secretion. CONCLUSION : These results suggested that dietary nucleic acids may play an important role in promoting a shift in Th1/Th2 balance toward Th1-dominant immunity.

Summerfield A, Knoetig SM, Tschudin R, McCullough KC (2000) Pathogenesis of granulocytopenia and bone marrow atrophy during classical swine fever involves apoptosis and necrosis of uninfected cells. Virology 272 :50-60


Granulocytopenia, a hematological hallmark of classical swine fever, is partially responsible for the suppression of innate immune defenses during classical swine fever. The present report demonstrates that this depletion was apparent as early as 3 days postinfection (p.i.). Both mature peripheral and bone marrow neutrophils were affected, whereas immature neutrophils increased absolutely in the periphery and coincidentally immature myeloid progenitors in the bone marrow. These data suggest that a pathogenic relationship exists between these compartments. The central event was not the arrest of hematopoietic cell proliferation or of the mobilization process, but instead apoptosis and possibly also necrosis were shown to play a role. This increase in apoptotic and dead cells was detected as early as 1-3 days p.i. In contrast, viral RNA in bone marrow hematopoietic cells (BMHC) was first detected 5 days p.i., and significant amounts of infected BMHC were detected only 7 days p.i., with the major target being the myeloid compartment. The increased caspase-3 activity observed supported a role for apoptotic cell death. Furthermore, the elevated caspase-9 activity indicated the involvement of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. Taken together, the results demonstrate that granulocytopenia and bone marrow atrophy are mediated by hematopoietic cell death and that indirect virus-host-mediated mechanisms are likely to be responsible.

Suzuki MT, Taylor LT, DeLong EF (2000) Quantitative analysis of small-subunit rRNA genes in mixed microbial populations via 5’-nuclease assays. Appl Environ Microbiol 66 :4605-4614


Few techniques are currently available for quantifying specific prokaryotic taxa in environmental samples. Quantification of specific genotypes has relied mainly on oligonucleotide hybridization to extracted rRNA or intact rRNA in whole cells. However, low abundance and cellular rRNA content limit the application of these techniques in aquatic environments. In this study, we applied a newly developed quantitative PCR assay (5’-nuclease assay, also known as TaqMan) to quantify specific small-subunit (SSU) rRNA genes (rDNAs) from uncultivated planktonic prokaryotes in Monterey Bay. Primer and probe combinations for quantification of SSU rDNAs at the domain and group levels were developed and tested for specificity and quantitative reliability. We examined the spatial and temporal variations of SSU rDNAs from Synechococcus plus Prochlorococcus and marine Archaea and compared the results of the quantitative PCR assays to those obtained by alternative methods. The 5’-nuclease assays reliably quantified rDNAs over at least 4 orders of magnitude and accurately measured the proportions of genes in artificial mixtures. The spatial and temporal distributions of planktonic microbial groups measured by the 5’-nuclease assays were similar to the distributions estimated by quantitative oligonucleotide probe hybridization, whole-cell hybridization assays, and flow cytometry.

Tan KS, Ng GC, Quek E, Howe J, Ramachandran NP, Yap EH, Singh M (2000) Blastocystis hominis : A simplified, high-efficiency method for clonal growth on solid agar. Exp Parasitol 96 :9-15


Colony growth of protozoan parasites in agar can be useful for axenization, cloning, and viability studies. This is usually achieved with the pour plate method, for which the parasite colonies are situated within the agar. This technique has been described for Giardia intestinalis, Trichomonas vaginalis, and Entamoeba and Blastocystis species. Extracting such colonies can be laborious. It would be especially useful if parasites could be grown on agar as colonies. These colonies, being exposed on the agar surface, could be conveniently isolated for further investigation. In this study, we report the successful culture of B. hominis cells as colonies on solid agar. Colonies were enumerated and the efficiency of plating was determined. It was observed that B. hominis could be easily cultured on agar as clones. The colonies were dome-shaped and mucoid and could grow to 3 mm in diameter. Flow cytometric analyses revealed that parasite colonies remained viable for up to 2 weeks. Viable colonies were conveniently expanded in liquid or solid media. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that each colony consists of two regions ; a dome-shaped, central core region and a flattened, peripheral region. Older colonies possessed numerous strand-like surface coat projections. This study provides the first report of clonal growth of B. hominis on agar and a simple, effective method for cloning and expansion of B. hominis cells.

Tanaka Y, Yamaguchi N, Nasu M (2000) Viability of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in natural river water determined by the use of flow cytometry. J Appl Microbiol 88 :228-236


The enzymatic activity and viability of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in natural river water was determined by flow cytometry. River water was collected at two sites (an agricultural area and an industrial area) on the Aigawa River (Osaka, Japan). To facilitate estimation of the physiology of E. coli O157 in natural river water, bacterial cells in the water were stained with 6-carboxyfluorescein diacetate (6CFDA) and propidium iodide (PI). The cells were sorted into two populations, using a flow cytometer, based on their esterase activity. Each population was stained with E. coli O157:H7 fluorescent antibody (FA), and E. coli O157:H7 cells were observed in the esterase-active population. River water samples collected at the same points were incubated with yeast extract containing antibiotics to prevent cell division, and bacterial cells in the incubated samples were stained with PI and FA. Escherichia coli O157:H7 existed in both the viable (elongated and/or fattened) and inactive bacterial population determined by flow cytometry. These results indicate that E. coli O157:H7 may retain metabolic activity and growth potential in the natural aquatic environment.

Tegtmeier C, AngenO, Grell SN, Riber U, Friis NF (2000) Aerosol challenge of calves with Haemophilus somnus and Mycoplasma dispar. Vet Microbiol 72 :229-239


The aim of the study was to examine the ability of Haemophilus somnus and Mycoplasma dispar to induce pneumonia in healthy calves under conditions closely resembling the supposed natural way of infection, viz. by inhalation of aerosol droplets containing the microorganisms. The infections were investigated by recording clinical data, cytokine expression of peripheral blood cells and pathology. Twelve calves were included in the study : Three animals were exposed to H. somnus only, and two to M. dispar only, whereas five were challenged to M. dispar followed by exposure to H. somnus 11-14 days later. Also, one calf was exposed to M. dispar followed by exposure to a sterile saline solution 11 days later, and one calf was only exposed to a sterile saline solution. Just one animal, only challenged with H. somnus, developed a focal necrotizing pneumonia, from which H. somnus was isolated. Thus, the ability of H. somnus and M. dispar to act as primary pathogens under these conditions were minimal and inconsistent.However, a transient rise in body temperature, a marked granulocytosis and increased levels of interleukin-8 in peripheral blood after inoculation with H. somnus indicated a clear systemic response, probably as a consequence of the natural non-specific local and systemic defence mechanisms acting in healthy calves.

Thomas JC, St-Pierre Y, Beaudet R, Villemur R (2000) Monitoring by laser-flow-cytometry of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading Sphingomonas sp. strain 107 during biotreatment of a contaminated soil. Can J Microbiol 46 :433-440


A flow cytometric method (FCM) was used to detect and accurately enumerate a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading bacterial strain, Sphingomonas sp. 107, inoculated into a soil sample artificially contaminated with pyrene. To compare the FCM method with colony forming unit (CFU) assays, a rifampicin-resistant Sphingomonas sp. 107 was obtained which could be distinguished from the indigenous microflora, since there was no organism resistant to rifampicin in the soil that could transform indole to indigo (naphthalene dioxygenase activity). By combining light-scattering profiles (i.e., morphological properties), ethidium bromide influx (i.e., cell wall permeability), and fluorescence in situ hybridization against the 16S rRNA (i.e., detection specificity), we could enumerate the bacterial population of interest from the indigenous microflora and soil debris during the biotreatment. The FCM technique revealed that the number of inoculated Sphingomonas cells decreased gradually for 15 days of incubation before reaching a steady level of 7 to 12 x 10(5) cells.g-1 of soil. Similar values were obtained with the CFU assay. During this period, pyrene concentration decreased from 632 to 26 mg.kg-1 of dry soil. The FCM detection was improved by adding blocking reagent to the hybridization buffer to minimize the non-specific attachment of the fluorescent probe to soil particles. Combined with the improvements in probe technology, FCM detection was shown to be a good alternative to the conventional culture methods for the analysis of bacterial populations in environmental samples. This technique could be potentially useful for the detection of microorganisms that grow poorly in culture.

Valente E, Assis MC, Alvim IM, Pereira GM, Plotkowski MC (2000) Pseudomonas aeruginosa induces apoptosis in human endothelial cells. Microb Pathog 29 :345-356


Pseudomonas aeruginosa has been shown to enter into human endothelial cells in vitro. To ascertain the effects of bacterial intracellular (IC) infection, endothelial cells were exposed to PAK and PAO-1 strains for 1 h and treated with gentamicin in culture medium for different periods. P. aeruginosa induced a significant production of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide by endothelial cells. Concentrations of IC bacteria were reduced progressively with time and no viable PAO-1 was detected at 24 h after infection. However, IC infection led to killing of 32.2%+/-2.9 and 51.8%+/-3.5 of the cells infected with PAK and PAO-1, respectively, as determined by the MTT assay. By three criteria (transmission electron microscopy, DNA electrophoresis and reactivity with annexin V) infected cells exhibited features of apoptosis. Treatment of infected cells with anti-oxidants (catalase, tocopherol and N -acetyl-L-cysteine) significantly decreased the percentage of cell death. In contrast, treatment with aminoguanidine, an inhibitor of inducible NO synthase, increased significantly the killing of PAO-1 infected cells. Based on these results we speculate that in response to P. aeruginosa infection, endothelial cells increase the production of reactive oxygen intermediates to eliminate IC pathogens, but cells do not resist the oxidative stress and die by apoptosis.

Veal DA, Deere D, Ferrari B, Piper J, Attfield PV (2000) Fluorescence staining and flow cytometry for monitoring microbial cells. J Immunol Methods 243 :191-210


Large numbers of microbiological samples are analysed annually using traditional culture-based techniques. These techniques take hours to days to yield a result, are tedious and are not suitable for non-culturable microorganisms. Further, culture-based techniques do not provide real-time information on the physiological status of the organism in situ which is important in the industrial manufacture of many microbial products. Flow cytometry offers the prospect of real-time microbial analysis of individual microorganisms, without dependency on microbial culture. However, flow cytometry has not been extensively used as a tool for routine microbial analysis. This has been mainly due to the high cost and complexity of instrumentation, the need for trained flow cytometrists and the lack of assay kits with appropriate biological reagents for specific applications. Many modern instruments are now relatively simple to operate, due to improvements in the user-interface, and no longer need a specialist operator. However, most cytometers are still reliant on analogue technology first developed 20-30 years ago. The incorporation of modern, solid state opto-electronics combined with micro-fabrication and digital signal processing technology offers the prospect of simple to use, low cost and robust instruments suitable for microbial analyses. Advances are being made in the development of a range of biological reagents and these are now being formulated into simple to use kits for microbiological applications. Currently, these kits are largely restricted to simple analyses, for example to assay for total or viable numbers of microorganisms present. However, technologies are available to selectively label specific types of microorganisms. For example, fluorescent antibodies can be used to label microorganisms according to expression of particular antigens, fluorescent in situ hybridisation to label according to phylogeny and fluorogenic enzymatic substrates to label according to expression of specific enzyme activities. Reagents are also available that stain viruses sufficiently brightly to enable their direct detection in environments such as sea water. Microorganisms need to be detected in a variety of different matrices (e.g., water, mud, food, and beverages) and these matrices may be highly variable in nature (e.g., tap water compared to river water). Many matrices have high background autofluorescence (e.g., algae and minerals in water samples) or may bind non-specifically to the fluorescent biological reagents used (e.g., protein micelles in milk). Formulation of biological reagents and sample pre-treatments are critical to the development of suitable microbiological assays. Here, developments in instrumentation and biological reagents for microbiological applications are reviewed with specific examples from environmental or industrial microbiology. The broader considerations for the development of microbial assays for flow cytometry are also considered.

Veldkamp KE, Heezius HC, Verhoef J, van Strijp JA, van Kessel KP (2000) Modulation of neutrophil chemokine receptors by Staphylococcus aureus supernate. Infect Immun 68 :5908-5913


In a previous study, we showed that Staphylococcus aureus supernate (SaS) is a potent agonist for both neutrophils and mononuclear cells. To further investigate the immunomodulating effects of SaS, the effect on different neutrophil receptors was studied. Expression of various neutrophil receptors, before and after treatment with SaS, was quantified by flow cytometry. We found that SaS treatment of neutrophils resulted in a specific and total downregulation of the C5a and the fMLP receptor, both serpentine receptors, while other receptors were totally unaffected. Since these two receptors are both involved in chemotaxis, we tested the effect of SaS in calcium flux and chemotaxis assays. We showed that preincubation with SaS abrogated the rise in intracellular calcium concentration upon triggering with fMLP and C5a. We also showed that SaS is a potent inhibitor of neutrophil chemotaxis towards fMLP and C5a, but does not interfere with chemotaxis towards interleukin-8. These findings indicate that S. aureus produces a virulence factor extracellularly, which impairs chemotaxis towards the infected site.

Verma A, Davis GE, Ihler GM (2000) Infection of human endothelial cells with Bartonella bacilliformis is dependent on Rho and results in activation of Rho. Infect Immun 68 :5960-5969


Bartonella bacilliformis was continuously internalized into human endothelial cells beginning shortly after addition of the bacteria and continuing for at least 24 h after infection in vitro, with a major increase in uptake occurring between 16 and 24 h. Preincubation of endothelial cells with C3 exoenzyme, which inactivated intracellular Rho-GTPase, blocked internalization of the bacteria. Addition of C3 exoenzyme at any time after addition of the bacteria blocked further internalization of bacteria, including the major uptake of bacteria internalized at 16 to 24 h. Rho, a key signaling protein in pathways involving actin organization, was directly shown to be activated in endothelial cells undergoing infection with B. bacilliformis, with maximal activation and translocation to the plasma membrane at 12 to 16 h. At late times of infection, most of the bacteria were found in a perinuclear location. Staining of the Golgi complex with specific markers, anti-human Golgin-97, anti-KDEL receptor, and BODIPY-TR ceramide, showed colocalization of bacteria in the Golgi complex region. Disruption of the Golgi complex with brefeldin A scattered the bacteria from this perinuclear location and resulted in inhibition of internalization of the bacteria in endothelial cells.

Vives-Rego J, Lebaron P, Nebe-von Caron G (2000) Current and future applications of flow cytometry in aquatic microbiology. FEMS Microbiol Rev 24 :429-448


Flow cytometry has become a valuable tool in aquatic and environmental microbiology that combines direct and rapid assays to determine numbers, cell size distribution and additional biochemical and physiological characteristics of individual cells, revealing the heterogeneity present in a population or community. Flow cytometry exhibits three unique technical properties of high potential to study the microbiology of aquatic systems : (i) its tremendous velocity to obtain and process data ; (ii) the sorting capacity of some cytometers, which allows the transfer of specific populations or even single cells to a determined location, thus allowing further physical, chemical, biological or molecular analysis ; and (iii) high-speed multiparametric data acquisition and multivariate data analysis. Flow cytometry is now commonly used in aquatic microbiology, although the application of cell sorting to microbial ecology and quantification of heterotrophic nanoflagellates and viruses is still under development. The recent development of laser scanning cytometry also provides a new way to further analyse sorted cells or cells recovered on filter membranes or slides. The main infrastructure limitations of flow cytometry are : cost, need for skilled and well-trained operators, and adequate refrigeration systems for high-powered lasers and cell sorters. The selection and obtaining of the optimal fluorochromes, control microorganisms and validations for a specific application may sometimes be difficult to accomplish.

von Laer D, Corovic A, Vogt B, Herwig U, Roscher S, Fehse B, Baum C (2000) Amphotropic and VSV-G-pseudotyped retroviral vectors transduce human hematopoietic progenitor cells with similar efficiency. Bone Marrow Transplant 25 Suppl 2 :S75-79


One restriction of retroviral gene transfer into hematopoietic stem cells is the low level of amphotropic virus receptor. In the present study, we examined whether retroviral vectors pseudotyped with the G-protein of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) can overcome this restriction. Human progenitor cells purified by magnetic beads and cell sorting were transduced with an amphotropic or VSV-G-pseudotyped retroviral vector containing the truncated human nerve growth factor receptor as a marker gene. Cells were prestimulated with flt-3 ligand, stem cell factor, and interleukin-3 and transduced on fibronectin. Marker gene expression was analyzed by flow cytometry. Transduction efficiencies of amphotropic and VSV-G-pseudotyped virus for CD34+ cells did not differ significantly. Gene transfer into CD34+CD38- cells, which are enriched in more immature progenitors, was not restricted and transfer efficiencies for this subset were also similar for both pseudotypes. The addition of fibronectin improved gene transfer with the amphotropic vector considerably (5- to 19.3-fold, mean 12.6), while the effect on the VSV-G-pseudotype was far less pronounced (1- to 3.9-fold, mean 2.1, P = 0.04). In conclusion, high levels of gene transfer to human hematopoietic progenitors were achieved with an optimized transduction protocol, and transduction efficiencies could not be improved further by the use of VSV-G-pseudotypes.

Vorauer-Uhl K, Wagner A, Borth N, Katinger H (2000) Determination of liposome size distribution by flow cytometry. Cytometry 39 :166-171


BACKGROUND : An essential parameter that describes the quality of liposome suspensions is the mean size, respectively the size distribution. Currently several analytical methods including laser light scattering techniques (LLST) are being employed. METHODS : Here we present an alternative technique using flow cytometry (FCM) to characterize uni- and polydisperse suspensions. As model liposomes preparations containing dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) were used. A constant number of particles (1,500/s) in the fluid stream and a representative number of 10,000 particles of each sample was measured. Fluorescence-labeled latex beads were measured identically, and their side scatter signals were calibrated and correlated to the results obtained with liposome vesicles. RESULTS : Evaluation of the measurement and validation of the FCM results in comparison to LLST confirm the reliability of results obtained with our method. Latex beads in the range of 100-1000 nm were used for calibration to classify liposomes. Although measurement characteristics and calculation in both methods are basically different, very good agreement of the results was achieved. CONCLUSIONS : Demonstration of stability, reproducibility, and reliability of results make the employment of this method acceptable for an adequate routine analysis technique.

Whyte J, Roberts AD, Morley KA, Sharp RJ, Marsh PD (2000) Phagocytosis of mycobacteria by U937 cells : a rapid method for monitoring uptake and separating phagocytosed and free bacteria by magnetic beads. Lett Appl Microbiol 30 :90-94


A human-derived monocytic cell line (U937) was induced to phagocytose Mycobacterium phlei by the addition of phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) to the culture medium for 50-60 h. Cells not treated with PMA were unable to phagocytose M. phlei. Magnetic beads enabled a rapid and highly efficient separation of phagocytosed and free bacteria to be achieved, an approach which is particularly useful if colony plating is used to enumerate bacterial survival within phagocytic cells. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis showed that 98% of U937 cells contained viable bacteria after 3 h.

Wickens HJ, Pinney RJ, Mason DJ, Gant VA (2000) Flow cytometric investigation of filamentation, membrane patency, and membrane potential in Escherichia coli following ciprofloxacin exposure. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 44 :682-687


Ninety-eight percent of the cells in a population of Escherichia coli in log-phase growth lost colony-forming ability after being exposed for 3 h to the quinolone antibiotic ciprofloxacin at four times the MIC in nutrient broth, a concentration easily reached in vivo. Flow cytometric analysis, however, demonstrated that only 68% of this bacterial population had lost membrane potential, as judged by the membrane potential-sensitive dye bis-(1,3-dibutylbarbituric acid) trimethine oxonol [DiBAC(4)(3)], and only 30% could no longer exclude the nucleic acid-binding dye propidium iodide (PI), reflecting lost membrane integrity, efflux mechanisms, or both. Subsequent removal of ciprofloxacin and resuspension in nutrient broth resulted in renewed cell division after 2 h, with a calculated postantibiotic effect (PAE) time of 57 min. The proportion of DiBAC- and PI-fluorescent cells in this recovering population remained stable for more than 4 h after antibiotic removal. Eighty percent of cells present at drug removal were filamentous. Their number subsequently decreased with time, and the increase in particle count seen at the end of the PAE resulted from the division of short cells. Exposure to ciprofloxacin in the presence of the protein synthesis inhibitor chloramphenicol increased colony-forming ability to 60% of starting population numbers. In contrast to ciprofloxacin alone, this antibiotic combination resulted in insignificant filamentation and no dye uptake. Subsequent drug removal and resuspension in nutrient broth resulted in the appearance of filaments within 1 h, with 69% of the population forming filaments at 3 h. Dye uptake was also seen, with 20% of the population fluorescing with either dye after 4 h. We were unable to relate dye uptake to the viable count. Cell division resumed 240 min after removal of both drugs, yielding a PAE calculated at 186 min. Inhibition of protein synthesis with chloramphenicol prevented ciprofloxacin-induced changes in bacterial morphology, cell membrane potential, and ability to exclude nucleic acid-binding dye. These changes persisted beyond the end of the classically defined PAE and were not a definite indicator of cell death as defined by loss of colony formation, which related at least in part to filamentation.

Wilkins MF, Boddy L, Morris CW (2000) Proportion estimation with confidence limits. J Microbiol Methods 43 :55-64


A common task in microbiology involves determining the composition of a mixed population of individuals by drawing a sample from the population and using some procedure to identify the individuals in the sample. There may be a significant probability that the identification procedure misidentifies some members of the sample (for example, because the available data are insufficient unambiguously to identify an individual) which makes finding the proportions in the underlying population non-trivial. A further complication arises where individuals are present in the population that do not belong to any of the subpopulations recognised by use of the identification procedure. A simple algorithm is presented to address these problems and construct a maximum likelihood estimate of the proportions, together with confidence limits. The technique is illustrated using an example drawn from flow cytometry in which phytoplankton cells are identified from flow cytometry data by an RBF neural network, and the limitations of the approach are discussed.

Winson MK, Davey HM (2000) Flow cytometric analysis of microorganisms. Methods 21 :231-240


The application of flow cytometry to microorganisms is as old as the technique itself, but it has historically been underexploited for microbial applications. This is now being reversed and microbiologists are ideally placed to benefit from recent technological advances. While earlier papers demonstrated the use of flow cytometry for studies of viability and taxonomy, recent developments in bioinformatics and reporter gene technologies are leading to novel applications in microbiology. Variants of green fluorescent protein have been used for the study of conditional microbial gene regulation in medically important host-pathogen interactions and fluorescence-activated cell sorting is being applied to the isolation of novel mutants in directed evolution studies. This paper reviews the reasons for the delay in the application of flow cytometry to microbial problems, the range of applications, and their limitations and considers the progress made in developing new strategies for use in microbiological investigations.

Wyatt CR, Brackett EJ, Mason PH, Savidge J, Perryman LE (2000) Excretion patterns of mucosally delivered antibodies to p23 in Cryptosporidium parvum infected calves. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 76 :309-317


Fecal samples obtained at intervals from six calves with acute cryptosporidiosis contained antibodies of multiple isotypes to p23. IgM-, IgA-, and IgG(1)-isotype anti-p23 appeared before IgG(2)-isotype antibodies. All anti-p23 antibodies had declined by 2 months after infection. One calf that failed to shed oocysts following initial exposure developed IgG(1)-isotype anti-p23 antibodies. One calf that died following exposure to Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts lacked detectable anti-p23 antibodies. Re-inoculation with C. parvum resulted in a brief, marked recall response to p23.

Wyatt CR, Perryman LE (2000) Detection of mucosally delivered antibody to Cryptosporidium parvum p23 in infected calves. Ann N Y Acad Sci 916 :378-387


We have developed an assay to detect mucosally delivered antibody to Cryptosporidium parvum sporozoite antigens. We absorbed a recombinant 23-kD sporozoite protein to polystyrene microspheres, and used flow cytometry to detect, titer, and determine the isotype of antibody to p23 that was shed in the feces of experimentally infected calves. Noninoculated calves have low levels of mucosal antibody to p23, with IgG1 as the predominant isotype. Antibody titers rise in inoculated calves as the animals recover from cryptosporidiosis. A calf that was naturally protected from cryptosporidiosis had mucosal IgM and IgG1 isotype anti-p23 antibodies prior to challenge with C. parvum oocysts. Ten days after challenge, the calf had high titers of IgM, IgA, IgG1, and IgG2 anti-p23 antibodies. Together, the data show that this method can be used to assess mucosally delivered antibody to C. parvum.

Yoosook C, Bunyapraphatsara N, Boonyakiat Y, Kantasuk C (2000) Anti-herpes simplex virus activities of crude water extracts of Thai medicinal plants. Phytomedicine 6 :411-419


A number of Thai medicinal plants, recommended as remedies for herpesvirus infection and have been used in primary health care were investigated for their intracellular activities against herpes simplex viruses (HSV). Centella asiatica L., Maclura cochinchinensis Cornor, and Mangifera indica L. contained both anti-HSV-1 and -2 activities, as determined by plaque inhibition assay. An inhibition of the production of infectious HSV-2 virions from infected Vero cells could also be demonstrated. Combinations of each of these reconstituted extracts with 9-(2-hydroxyethoxymethyl) guanosine (acyclovir ; ACV) resulted either in subadditive, additive, or synergistic interaction, against HSV-2, depending on the dose of ACV used ; mixture of C. asiatica and M. indica exerted an additive effect in a similar assay. Furthermore, the inhibitory effects of these plant extracts were also substantiated by flow cytometric analysis of virus-specific antigens in the infected cells. The active constituent present in C. asiatica extract was determined to be asiaticoside while in M. indica was mangiferin. Thus, these data suggest therapeutic potential of these plant extracts.