2003

vendredi 24 avril 2009
par   G. Grégori

Abd H, Johansson T, Golovliov I, Sandstrom G, Forsman M (2003) Survival and growth of Francisella tularensis in Acanthamoeba castellanii. Appl Environ Microbiol 69 :600-606

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Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious, facultative intracellular bacterium which causes epidemics of tularemia in both humans and mammals at regular intervals. The natural reservoir of the bacterium is largely unknown, although it has been speculated that protozoa may harbor it. To test this hypothesis, Acanthamoeba castellanii was cocultured with a strain of F. tularensis engineered to produce green fluorescent protein (GFP) in a nutrient-rich medium. GFP fluorescence within A. castellanii was then monitored by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. In addition, extracellular bacteria were distinguished from intracellular bacteria by targeting with monoclonal antibodies. Electron microscopy was used to determine the intracellular location of F. tularensis in A. castellanii, and viable counts were obtained for both extracellular and intracellular bacteria. The results showed that many F. tularensis cells were located intracellularly in A. castellanii cells. The bacteria multiplied within intracellular vacuoles and eventually killed many of the host cells. F. tularensis was found in intact trophozoites, excreted vesicles, and cysts. Furthermore, F. tularensis grew faster in cocultures with A. castellanii than it did when grown alone in the same medium. This increase in growth was accompanied by a decrease in the number of A. castellanii cells. The interaction between F. tularensis and amoebae demonstrated in this study indicates that ubiquitous protozoa might be an important environmental reservoir for F. tularensis.


Alonso M, Rodriguez Saint-Jean S, Perez-Prieto SI (2003) Virulence of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus and Infectious pancreatic necrosis virus coinfection in rainbow trout ( Oncorhynchus mykiss) and nucleotide sequence analysis of the IHNV glycoprotein gene. Arch Virol 148 :1507-1521

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The outcomes of a coinfection of rainbow trout ( Oncorhynchus mykiss) with Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) strain S46 and Infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV) strain S46 was determined after waterborne infection. Trout infected with the IHNV/IPNV.S46 sample, (a mixed sample containing equal infectious titers of the viruses) showed 50% less mortality than fish infected with either of the reference viruses alone. Forty-five days after the coinfection, IPNV antigens were detected by flow cytometry in 49 to 63% of the leukocytes from the surviving trout ; whereas, only 9-15.6% of the leukocytes expressed IHNV viral antigens. IPNV was easily detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), whereas, for IHNV, a second step of amplification of a 753 bp fragment corresponding to the internal sequences of the IHNV G gene was necessary to optimize viral detection. The sequence of the IHNV gene involved in virulence, the glycoprotein (G) gene, was determined for the IHNV.S46 and compared with other sequences available in the GenBank. Changes found were not located in the antigenic domains of the glycoprotein and were considered not significant.


Alviano DS, Kneipp LF, Lopes AH, Travassos LR, Meyer-Fernandes JR, Rodrigues ML, Alviano CS (2003) Differentiation of Fonsecaea pedrosoi mycelial forms into sclerotic cells is induced by platelet-activating factor. Res Microbiol 154 :689-695

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Platelet-activating factor (PAF) has been shown to induce the differentiation of several cell types. In this work, we evaluated the effects of PAF on the formation of sclerotic cells of Fonsecaea pedrosoi, the major causative agent of chromoblastomycosis. Cell differentiation was evaluated by light and electron microscopy, which showed that treatment of mycelial forms with PAF results in the generation of sclerotic bodies with typical morphological characteristics. Biochemical features of PAF-induced sclerotic cells were also analyzed and compared with those from sclerotic forms induced by propranolol, a previously described differentiating agent of F. pedrosoi. Chemical analyses of lipid and carbohydrate components from PAF- or propranolol-induced sclerotic bodies revealed that palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids were the major fatty acid components, while glucose, mannose, galactose and rhamnose were detected as the principal sugar constituents in these cells. Surface carbohydrate components of PAF- and propranolol-induced sclerotic cells were also evaluated, by flow cytometry analysis with twelve different lectins. The profile of reactivity of PAF- or propranolol-induced fungal cells with lectins was also very similar. Hydrolysis of the synthetic substrate p-nitrophenylphosphate by fungal cells demonstrated that the addition of PAF or propranolol to the mycelial cultures similarly promotes a significant increase in ecto-phosphatase activity. These results indicate that the differentiation of F. pedrosoi mycelial cells induced by PAF generates authentic sclerotic forms, as confirmed by the analysis of morphological and biochemical attributes. Since PAF is synthesized in normal conditions by the human host, these observations may have a correlation with the differentiation of F. pedrosoi in vivo.


An DS, Xie Y, Mao SH, Morizono K, Kung SK, Chen IS (2003) Efficient lentiviral vectors for short hairpin RNA delivery into human cells. Hum Gene Ther 14 :1207-1212

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RNA interference is an evolutionarily conserved process of gene silencing that in plants serves as a natural defense mechanism against exogenous viral agents. RNA interference is becoming an important tool for the study of biological processes through reverse genetics and has potential for therapeutic applications in humans ; however, effective delivery is still a major issue. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) and short hairpin RNA (shRNA) have been introduced into cells by transfection of chemically synthesized and RNA expression via plasmid cassettes utilizing RNA polymerase III transcription. The employment of siRNA/shRNA for gene knockout requires an efficient stable transfection or transduction process. Here, we report the successful construction of lentiviral vectors to express shRNA stably in human cells. We demonstrate that lentiviral vectors expressing siRNA directed to the reporter gene luciferase, when stably transduced into human cells without drug selection, are capable of protecting the cells from infection by a lentiviral vector encoding humanized firefly luciferase as a reporter gene. We observed 16- to 43-fold reduction of gene expression in infected cells transduced with shRNA vectors relative to cells transduced with control vectors. This model system demonstrates the utility of lentiviral vectors to stably express shRNA as both a cellular gene knockout tool and as a means to inhibit exogenous infectious agents such as viruses in human cells.


Anding K, Rost JM, Jacobs E, Daschner FD (2003) Flow cytometric measurements of neutrophil functions : the dependence on the stimulus to cell ratio. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol 35 :147-152

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Phagocytosis and antimicrobial killing of neutrophils has been quantitatively determined as a function of the stimulus (Candida albicans) to cell ratio R using two donor collectives containing a total of 115 blood samples. Analysis of the collectives in two different laboratories according to the same flow cytometric protocol for simultaneous measurement of neutrophil functions did not produce statistically significant differences. The number of phagocytosing leukocytes as well as that of killed fungi per leukocyte depends strongly on R. While each phagocytosing neutrophil kills one fungus at low values of R, each neutrophil kills on average 2.5 fungi for large R.


Andrade L, Gonzalez AM, Araujo FV, Paranhos R (2003) Flow cytometry assessment of bacterioplankton in tropical marine environments. J Microbiol Methods 55 :841-850

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Flow cytometry was used to characterize bacterioplankton from two tropical environments in Brazil : the eutrophic Guanabara Bay and the oligotrophic southwest Atlantic Ocean. Bacterial abundance was evaluated by flow cytometry, and cells were stained with SYTO 13, allowing demonstration of differences in nucleic acid content. Bacterial production was also evaluated by means of 3H-leucine incorporation. Bacterial numbers were different for both sites. In Atlantic Ocean samples, we found a maximum of 5.50 x 10(5) cells ml(-1), and low nucleic acid content organisms predominated. In Guanabara Bay, bacterial numbers were one order of magnitude higher than in the ocean, and they varied from outer bay (1.01 x 10(6) cells ml(-1)) to inner bay (6.90 x 10(6) cells ml(-1)). Bacterial activity in ocean samples varied from 4.6 to 126 ng C l(-1) h(-1), while in the bay, mean values ranged from 1.95 microg C l(-1) h(-1) (outer bay) to 7.35 microg C l(-1) h(-1) (inner bay). Values found for both parameters are characteristic of different trophic situations. These results illustrate the utility of cytometric analyses of bacterioplankton populations in characterizing their large spatial and temporal scales of distribution in aquatic ecosystems.


Andre-Garnier E, Robillard N, Costa-Mattioli M, Besse B, Billaudel S, Imbert-Marcille BM (2003) A one-step RT-PCR and a flow cytometry method as two specific tools for direct evaluation of human herpesvirus-6 replication. J Virol Methods 108 :213-222

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In order to confirm the occurrence of active Human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) infection, two optimal procedures were developed to detect directly replicating virus. MT4 cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) infected with two different strains (HST and a patient strain GUI) were used. The first method consisted of a one-step reverse transcription PCR amplifying a part of the late alternatively spliced U100 gene which encode the gp 82-105 viral glycoprotein. Two extraction methods and two RT-PCR kits were evaluated, leading to the selection of TaKaRa mRNA selective PCR kit. The second procedure consisted in a flow cytometry method to analyze the expression of two late viral HHV-6 antigens using 7C7 and 10G6 monoclonal antibodies. Four fixation permeabilization procedures were compared and the preparation of cells with paraformaldehyde (PFA) 4% was found to be optimal. Evaluation of these methods was then realized during a sequential culture of HST strain on MT4 cells. This kinetic study confirmed that Mabs recognized late antigens and demonstrate that the U100 gene splicing starts at a late stage of multiplication whereas unspliced forms are detectable earlier in the cycle.


Arrese JE, Quatresooz P, Pierard-Franchimont C, Pierard GE (2003) [Nail histomycology. Protean aspects of a human fungal bed]. Ann Dermatol Venereol 130 :1254-1259

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Onychomycosis exhibits considerable diversity when the disease is scrutinized using traditional, fluorescence or confocal microscopy. Histomycology is a non-invasive assessment performed on nail clippings. The location of and the density in fungal cells is variable. In some instances, these aspects remain clinically unsuspected. In vivo confocal microscopy can provide the same information. Computerized image analysis of histological sections is the most powerful means for quantifying the fungal load. Immunohistochemistry provides information about the identity of the fungus or the association of different fungi present in the nail plate. Mixed infections may be unifocal or located at different levels in the nail apparatus. The viability of fungi as assessed by vital stains can be visualized under the microscope and quantified by flow cytometry. The different aspects of nail histomycology are complementary and shed some light on sometimes unsuspected aspects of onychomycoses.


Barel MT, Pizzato N, van Leeuwen D, Bouteiller PL, Wiertz EJ, Lenfant F (2003) Amino acid composition of alpha1/alpha2 domains and cytoplasmic tail of MHC class I molecules determine their susceptibility to human cytomegalovirus US11-mediated down-regulation. Eur J Immunol 33 :1707-1716

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During co-evolution with its host, human cytomegalovirus has acquired multiple defense mechanisms to escape from immune recognition. In this study, we focused on US11, which binds to MHC class I heavy chains and mediates their dislocation to the cytosol and subsequent degradation by proteasomes. To examine which domains of class I heavy chains are involved in this process, we constructed chimeric HLA molecules of US11-sensitive and -insensitive class I molecules (HLA-A2 and HLA-G, respectively). Pulse-chase experiments were performed to evaluate protein stability and interactions between class I heavy chains and US11. Flow cytometry was employed to assess the effect of US11 on surface expression of the different chimeras. Our results indicate that the alpha1 and alpha2 domains of HLA molecules are important for the affinity of US11 association. However, the degradation efficiency seems to rely mostly on cytosolic tail residues. We found that the nonclassical HLA-G molecule is insensitive to US11-mediated degradation solely because it lacks essential tail residues. A deletion of the last two tail residues in full-length MHC class I molecules already caused a severe reduction in degradation efficiency. Altogether, our data provide new insights into the mechanism by which US11 down-regulates MHC class I molecules.


Barrio MB, Rainard P, Gilbert FB, Poutrel B (2003) Assessment of the opsonic activity of purified bovine sIgA following intramammary immunization of cows with Staphylococcus aureus. J Dairy Sci 86 :2884-2894

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The phagocytosis of Staphylococcus aureus by bovine polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) requires the presence of antibodies. Among the major isotypes of bovine antibodies, IgG2 and IgM are considered opsonic for bovine PMN. However, the role of purified bovine secretory IgA (sIgA) as an opsonin has not been assessed. In the present study, IgG2 were obtained from serum and sIgA, IgG1, and IgM were purified from the colostrums of three cows intramammarily immunized with heat-killed Staphylococcus aureus. The Ig preparations were assayed for specific antibodies, and the opsonic capacity of every isotype was investigated. Despite the presence of antibodies, we observed no distinct chemiluminescence response of PMN stimulated with sIgA- or IgG1-opsonized S. aureus, whereas IgM or IgG2 bound to bacteria induced a marked chemiluminescence response. Moreover, the counting of internalized bacteria per PMN after phagocytosis revealed a low uptake of S. aureus opsonized with sIgA or IgG1, in contrast to IgM or IgG2, which triggered efficient ingestion of bacteria. Priming of neutrophils by TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma, or C5adesArg did not promote an oxidative burst or uptake of sIgA-opsonized S. aureus to a greater extent than with IgG1-opsonized bacteria. Furthermore, analysis of uningested bacteria by flow cytometry after incubation with PMN showed a preferential uptake of IgM-opsonized S. aureus by PMN and only few sIgA-positive stained bacteria were PMN-associated. These experiments indicate that sIgA, like IgG1 and unlike IgM or IgG2, could not be considered as a major opsonin for phagocytosis of S. aureus by bovine blood PMN.


Bauters TG, Swinne D, Stove V, Nelis HJ (2003) Detection of single cells of Cryptococcus neoformans in clinical samples by solid-phase cytometry. J Clin Microbiol 41 :1736-1737

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A method based on solid-phase cytometry for the detection and enumeration of single cells of Cryptococcus neoformans in serum and cerebrospinal fluid is described. Both viable and nonviable cells are detected by using fluorescence viability labeling and immunofluorescence. This 30-min procedure has a detection limit of 3 to 6 cells per ml.


Behrens S, Ruhland C, Inacio J, Huber H, Fonseca A, Spencer-Martins I, Fuchs BM, Amann R (2003) In situ accessibility of small-subunit rRNA of members of the domains Bacteria, Archaea, and Eucarya to Cy3-labeled oligonucleotide probes. Appl Environ Microbiol 69 :1748-1758

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Low accessibility of the rRNA is together with cell wall impermeability and low cellular ribosome content a frequent reason for failure of whole-cell fluorescence hybridization with fluorescently labeled oligonucleotide probes. In this study we compare accessibility data for the 16S rRNA of Escherichia coli (gamma Proteobacteria, Bacteria) with the phylogenetically distantly related organisms Pirellula sp. strain 1 (Planctomycetes, Bacteria) and Metallosphaera sedula (Crenarchaeota, Archaea) and the 18S rRNA accessibility of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Eucarya). For a total of 537 Cy3-labeled probes, the signal intensities of hybridized cells were quantified under standardized conditions by flow cytometry. The relative probe-conferred fluorescence intensities are shown on color-coded small-subunit rRNA secondary-structure models. For Pirellula sp., most of the probes belong to class II and III (72% of the whole data set), whereas most of the probes targeting sites on M. sedula were grouped into class V and VI (46% of the whole data set). For E. coli, 45% of all probes of the data set belong to class III and IV. A consensus model for the accessibility of the small-subunit rRNA to oligonucleotide probes is proposed which uses 60 homolog target sites of the three prokaryotic 16S rRNA molecules. In general, open regions were localized around helices 13 and 14 including target positions 285 to 338, whereas helix 22 (positions 585 to 656) and the 3’ half of helix 47 (positions 1320 to 1345) were generally inaccessible. Finally, the 16S rRNA consensus model was compared to data on the in situ accessibility of the 18S rRNA of S. cerevisiae.


Bennett RJ, Johnson AD (2003) Completion of a parasexual cycle in Candida albicans by induced chromosome loss in tetraploid strains. Embo J 22 :2505-2515

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The human pathogenic fungus Candida albicans has traditionally been classified as a diploid, asexual organism. However, mating-competent forms of the organism were recently described that produced tetraploid mating products. In principle, the C.albicans life cycle could be completed via a sexual process, via a parasexual mechanism, or by both mechanisms. Here we describe conditions in which growth of a tetraploid strain of C.albicans on Saccharomyces cerevisiae ’pre-sporulation’ medium induced efficient, random chromosome loss in the tetraploid. The products of chromosome loss were often strains that were diploid, or very close to diploid, in DNA content. If they inherited the appropriate MTL (mating-type like) loci, these diploid products were themselves mating competent. Thus, an efficient parasexual cycle can be performed in C.albicans, one that leads to the reassortment of genetic material in this organism. We show that this parasexual cycle-consisting of mating followed by chromosome loss-can be used in the laboratory for simple genetic manipulations in C.albicans.


Benyacoub J, Czarnecki-Maulden GL, Cavadini C, Sauthier T, Anderson RE, Schiffrin EJ, von der Weid T (2003) Supplementation of food with Enterococcus faecium (SF68) stimulates immune functions in young dogs. J Nutr 133 :1158-1162

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The gut microflora play a crucial role in several physiologic functions of the host, including maturation of the gut-associated lymphoid tissues during the first months of life. Oral administration of probiotic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) modulates the immune system of humans and some laboratory animals. This effect has never been examined in dogs ; therefore, our aim was to study the capacity of a probiotic LAB to stimulate immune functions in young dogs. Puppies were allotted to two groups receiving either a control diet or a diet supplemented with 5 x 10(8) colony forming units (cfu)/d of probiotic Enterococcus faecium (SF68) from weaning to 1 y of age. Fecal and blood samples were collected from the dogs at different time points for the measurement of fecal immunoglobulin (Ig)A, circulating IgG and IgA, and the proportions of lymphoid cell subsets. Fecal IgA and canine distemper virus (CDV) vaccine-specific circulating IgG and IgA were higher in the group receiving the probiotic than in controls. There were no differences in the percentages of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells between the groups, but the proportion of mature B cells [CD21(+)/major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II(+)] was greater in those fed the probiotic. These data show for the first time that a dietary probiotic LAB enhance specific immune functions in young dogs, thus offering new opportunities for the utilization of probiotics in canine nutrition.


Biegala IC, Not F, Vaulot D, Simon N (2003) Quantitative assessment of picoeukaryotes in the natural environment by using taxon-specific oligonucleotide probes in association with tyramide signal amplification-fluorescence in situ hybridization and flow cytometry. Appl Environ Microbiol 69 :5519-5529

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Picoeukaryotes (cells of <3 micro m in diameter) contribute significantly to marine plankton biomass and productivity, and recently molecular studies have brought to light their wide diversity. Among the methods that have been used so far to quantify aquatic microorganisms, fluorescence in situ hybridization of oligonucleotide probes combined with flow cytometry offers the advantages of both high resolution for taxonomic identification and automated cell counting. However, cell losses, cell clumps, and low signal-to-background ratio have often been mentioned as major problems for routine application of this combination of techniques. We developed a new protocol associating tyramide signal amplification-fluorescence in situ hybridization and flow cytometry, which allows the detection of picoeukaryotes in cultures during both the exponential and stationary phases. The use of surfactant and sonication proved to be essential for the detection and quantification of picoeukaryotes from the natural environment, with as little as a few tenths of a milliliter of 3- micro m-pore-size prefiltered sea water. The routine application of the technique was tested along a coastal transect off Brittany (France), where the different groups of picoeukaryotes were investigated using already published specific probes and a newly designed probe that targets the order Mamiellales (Prasinophyceae, Chlorophyta). Among the picoeukaryotes, Mamiellales outnumbered by 1 order of magnitude both the cyanobacteria and the non-Chlorophyta, which were represented mainly by the Pelagophyceae class. Picoeukaryote abundance increased from open toward more estuarine water, probably following changes in water temperature and stability.


Blinkova A, Hermandson MJ, Walker JR (2003) Suppression of temperature-sensitive chromosome replication of an Escherichia coli dnaX(Ts) mutant by reduction of initiation efficiency. J Bacteriol 185 :3583-3595

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Temperature sensitivity of DNA polymerization and growth of a dnaX(Ts) mutant is suppressible at 39 to 40 degrees C by mutations in the initiator gene, dnaA. These suppressor mutations concomitantly cause initiation inhibition at 20 degrees C and have been designated Cs,Sx to indicate both phenotypic characteristics of cold-sensitive initiation and suppression of dnaX(Ts). One dnaA(Cs,Sx) mutant, A213D, has reduced affinity for ATP, and two mutants, R432L and T435K, have eliminated detectable DnaA box binding in vitro. Two models have explained dnaA(Cs,Sx) suppression of dnaX, which codes for both the tau and gamma subunits of DNA polymerase III. The initiation deficiency model assumes that reducing initiation efficiency allows survival of the dnaX(Ts) mutant at the somewhat intermediate temperature of 39 to 40 degrees C by reducing chromosome content per cell, thus allowing partially active DNA polymerase III to complete replication of enough chromosomes for the organism to survive. The stabilization model is based on the idea that DnaA interacts, directly or indirectly, with polymerization factors during replication. We present five lines of evidence consistent with the initiation deficiency model. First, a dnaA(Cs,Sx) mutation reduced initiation frequency and chromosome content (measured by flow cytometry) and origin/terminus ratios (measured by real-time PCR) in both wild-type and dnaX(Ts) strains growing at 39 and 34 degrees C. These effects were shown to result specifically from the Cs,Sx mutations, because the dnaX(Ts) mutant is not defective in initiation. Second, reduction of the number of origins and chromosome content per cell was common to all three known suppressor mutations. Third, growing the dnaA(Cs,Sx) dnaX(Ts) strain on glycerol-containing medium reduced its chromosome content to one per cell and eliminated suppression at 39 degrees C, as would be expected if the combination of poor carbon source, the Cs,Sx mutation, the Ts mutation, and the 39 degrees C incubation reduced replication to the point that growth (and, therefore, suppression) was not possible. However, suppression was possible on glycerol medium at 38 degrees C. Fourth, the dnaX(Ts) mutation can be suppressed also by introduction of oriC mutations, which reduced initiation efficiency and chromosome number per cell, and the degree of suppression was proportional to the level of initiation defect. Fifth, introducing a dnaA(Cos) allele, which causes overinitiation, into the dnaX(Ts) mutant exacerbated its temperature sensitivity.


Boyd AR, Gunasekera TS, Attfield PV, Simic K, Vincent SF, Veal DA (2003) A flow-cytometric method for determination of yeast viability and cell number in a brewery. FEMS Yeast Res 3 :11-16

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A flow-cytometric assay, using the fluorescent dye, oxonol, for the simultaneous determination of yeast cell viability and cell number is described. The assay was optimised, and trialed at a brewery for 6 months. The flow-cytometry assay offered a substantially reduced error in viability determination, compared to methylene blue which is the industry standard for measuring viability. Further, by calculating yeast cell number at the same time, this assay provides a reliable method for determining pitching rate, allowing increased quality control of subsequent fermentations.


Bradel-Tretheway BG, Zhen Z, Dewhurst S (2003) Effects of codon-optimization on protein expression by the human herpesvirus 6 and 7 U51 open reading frame. J Virol Methods 111 :145-156

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Codon-optimization refers to the alteration of gene sequences, to make codon usage match the available tRNA pool within the cell/species of interest. Codon-optimization has emerged as a powerful tool to increase protein expression by genes from small RNA and DNA viruses, which commonly contain overlapping reading frames as well as structural elements that are embedded within coding regions ; these features are not widespread among large DNA viruses. We therefore examined whether codon-optimization might influence protein expression from a herpesvirus gene. We focused on the U51 gene from human herpesviruses-6 and -7, which was cloned in both native and codon-optimized form, with an N-terminal HA epitope tag to allow protein detection. Codon-optimization was associated with a profound (10-100 fold) increase in U51 expression in human (293A, HSG, K562) or hamster (CHO) cell lines, suggesting this may represent a valuable tool to facilitate functional studies on recalcitrant herpesvirus genes. Finally, it is postulated that the suboptimal expression of native U51 may reflect a regulatory mechanism that controls viral gene expression.


Brehm-Stecher BF, Johnson EA (2003) Sensitization of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli to antibiotics by the sesquiterpenoids nerolidol, farnesol, bisabolol, and apritone. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 47 :3357-3360

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The sesquiterpenoids nerolidol, farnesol, bisabolol, and apritone were investigated for their abilities to enhance bacterial permeability and susceptibility to exogenous antimicrobial compounds. Initially, it was observed by flow cytometry that these sesquiterpenoids promoted the intracellular accumulation of the membrane-impermeant nucleic acid stain ethidium bromide by live cells of Lactobacillus fermentum, suggesting that enhanced permeability resulted from disruption of the cytoplasmic membrane. The ability of these sesquiterpenoids to increase bacterial susceptibility to a number of clinically important antibiotics was then investigated. In disk diffusion assays, treatment with low concentrations (0.5 to 2 mM) of nerolidol, bisabolol, or apritone enhanced the susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus to ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, erythromycin, gentamicin, tetracycline, and vancomycin. Nerolidol and farnesol also sensitized Escherichia coli to polymyxin B. Our results indicate the practical utility of sensitizing bacteria to antimicrobials with sesquiterpenoids that have traditionally been used as flavorants and aroma compounds in the food and perfume industries.


Broadaway SC, Barton SA, Pyle BH (2003) Rapid staining and enumeration of small numbers of total bacteria in water by solid-phase laser cytometry. Appl Environ Microbiol 69 :4272-4273

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The nucleic acid stain SYBR Green I was evaluated for use with solid-phase laser cytometry to obtain total bacterial cell counts from several water sources with small bacterial numbers. Results were obtained within 30 min and exceeded or equaled counts on R2A agar plates incubated for 14 days at room temperature.


Burdz TV, Wolfe J, Kabani A (2003) Evaluation of sputum decontamination methods for Mycobacterium tuberculosis using viable colony counts and flow cytometry. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis 47 :503-509

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Continuous monitoring systems for the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis are reported to have higher contamination rates than traditional radiometric technologies. Multiple decontamination methods have recently been reported in an attempt to optimize contamination rates for these systems. In this study, several decontamination methods for sputum were evaluated using viable colony count and flow cytometry. The decontamination protocols evaluated include N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine-Sodium Hydroxide (NALC-NaOH), modified Petroffs’s method, and the Yamane procedure. Several parameters of the NALC-NaOH method were analyzed including final NaOH concentrations of 0.5-3%, NaOH exposure times of 0-30 min, and variations in resuspension media for the resultant pellet. All decontamination methods were performed on pooled and sterilized sputum seeded separately with either a mixture of common contaminating bacteria or M. tuberculosis H37Ra. Viability of organisms following decontamination was assessed by both colony counts and flow cytometric analysis. Flow cytometry viability assays utilized a combination of viability dyes and reference beads to determine viable organism concentrations. The results indicated that no decontamination method was clearly superior, however a concentration of 1-2% NaOH and an increase in the time of NaOH exposure to 30 min will effectively kill contaminating bacteria without significantly affecting the viability of M. tuberculosis H37Ra. While flow cytometry viability analysis did not directly correspond to viable colony counts, it was a useful tool for rapid viability analysis M. tuberculosis.


Burmolle M, Hansen LH, Oregaard G, Sorensen SJ (2003) Presence of N-acyl homoserine lactones in soil detected by a whole-cell biosensor and flow cytometry. Microb Ecol 45 :226-236

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Quorum sensing enables bacteria to regulate expression of certain genes according to population density. N-acyl homoserine lactone (AHL)-based quorum sensing is known to be widespread among gram-negative bacteria. Several bacterial whole-cell biosensors for AHL detection have been developed and some were used in in situ studies of AHL production. From these studies our knowledge of the significance of quorum sensing in various environments has been improved. However, very little is known about production of AHLs in soil environments. In the present study, an approach for detecting AHL production in bulk soil was developed. A whole-cell biosensor based on the regulatory region of the lux-operon from Vibrio fischeri fused to gfp was constructed, resulting in a luxR-PluxI-gfpmut3*-fusion in the high copy plasmid, pAHL-GFP. Escherichia coli MC4100 harboring pAHL-GFP responded to the AHL-compound N-octanoyl homoserine lactone (OHL) by expressing green fluorescence. In situ application of E. coli MC4100/pAHL-GFP was tested by adding OHL in different concentrations to sterile soil microcosms. E. coli MC4100/pAHL-GFP were incubated in the soil microcosms and extracted by an improved Nycodenz-extraction method optimized for flow cytometry. The presence of induced cells was then verified by single-cell analysis by flow cytometry. OHL concentrations between 0.5 and 50 nmol per g soil were detected. When introducing the AHL-producing Serratia liquefaciens to soil microcosms, expression of green fluorescent protein was induced in E. coli MC4100/pAHL-GFP. Thereby, the ability of this strain to detect excretion of AHLs by S. liquefaciens in sterile soil was shown. The use of an improved extraction method and a whole-cell biosensor combined with flow cytometry analysis proved to be promising tools in future studies of AHL production by microbial populations in soil environments.


Calkhoven CF, Muller C, Martin R, Krosl G, Pietsch H, Hoang T, Leutz A (2003) Translational control of SCL-isoform expression in hematopoietic lineage choice. Genes Dev 17 :959-964

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We investigated the translational regulation of SCL protein expression and its role in hematopoietic lineage choice. We show that the expression of different SCL protein isoforms is regulated by signal transduction pathways that modulate translation initiation factor (eIF) function. A conserved small upstream open reading frame (uORF) in SCL transcripts acts as a cis-regulatory element for isoform expression. At the onset of erythroid differentiation, truncated SCL protein isoforms arise by alternative translation initiation and favor the erythroid lineage. In comparison, full-length SCL proteins are more efficient at enhancing the megakaryocyte lineage. Together, our studies unravel translational control as a novel mechanism regulating hematopoietic outcome.


Cannon CL, Kowalski MP, Stopak KS, Pier GB (2003) Pseudomonas aeruginosa-induced apoptosis is defective in respiratory epithelial cells expressing mutant cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 29 :188-197

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Chronic lung infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa constitutes the most severe manifestation of cystic fibrosis, a scenario that results from defects in early clearance of the microbe. Early clearance involves epithelial cell ingestion of bacteria, rapid activation of nuclear factor-kappa B and cellular desquamation within minutes of P. aeruginosa infection, processes that are deficient in cells with mutant alleles of Cftr. Analyzing the effect of Cftr genotype on the apoptotic response of airway epithelial cells to P. aeruginosa, we found that human bronchial epithelial cells expressing Delta F508 cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) underwent significantly delayed apoptosis compared with cells expressing wild-type (WT) CFTR. Mice with a WT Cftr allele had apoptotic cells in their lungs after P. aeruginosa infections, whereas mice homozygous for the Delta F508 or G551D Cftr alleles showed little apoptosis in response to acute infection. Pseudomonal infection induced expression of CD95 and CD95 ligand, a response that was also delayed in cells homozygous for mutant Cftr alleles. Thus, WT CFTR expression promotes a rapid expression of CD95/CD95 ligand and apoptotic response to P. aeruginosa infection. Prompt apoptosis of infected epithelial cells may be critical for clearance of P. aeruginosa, and CFTR-associated defects in apoptosis may contribute to the pathogenesis of the lung disease in cystic fibrosis.


Cao J, Zhao P, Zhao LJ, Wu SM, Zhu SY, Qi ZT (2003) Identification and expression of human CD81 gene on murine NIH/3T3 cell membrane. J Microbiol Methods 54 :81-85

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The human CD81 (hCD81) molecule has been identified as a putative receptor for hepatitis C virus (HCV). In this study, eukaryotic expression vector pCDM8-hCD81 containing hCD81 cDNA and pSV2neo helper plasmid was used to cotransfect with lipofectamine into murine fibroblast cell line NIH/3T3 to establish an hCD81-expressing cell line. Resistant cell clones were obtained 20 days after the selection with neomycin (600 micro/ml) and then cultured as monoclones. The expression of the transfected hCD81 gene in the cells was verified by RT-PCR and flow cytometry analyses. One of the selected cell clones showed obvious expression of hCD81 and was named NIH/3T3-hCD81. Competitive inhibition tests indicated that the binding of monoclonal anti-hCD81 (JS-81) to NIH/3T3-hCD81 cells was inhibited by recombinant HCV E2 protein, suggesting that the expressed hCD81 molecules on NIH/3T3-hCD81 cells maintain natural conformation of binding to HCV E2. The transfected NIH/3T3-hCD81 cells should be of great potential value in studies on HCV attachment and onset of infection.


Chang HH, Kau JH, Lo SJ, Sun DS (2003) Cell-adhesion and morphological changes are not sufficient to support anchorage-dependent cell growth via non-integrin-mediated attachment. Cell Biol Int 27 :123-133

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Cell-adhesion and spread are important for cell survival. Although extensive studies have suggested several potential mechanisms of action, it is not yet clear how important cell-morphological change per se contributes to the cell-surviving signal. We employed a non-integrin-mediated cell-adhesion system to explore this question. BHK-Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) cells (BHK21 cells that are persistently infected with JEV) express a large amount of JEV-envelope protein (JEV E) on their surfaces, and can attach and form pseudopodia on the anti-JEV E antibody-coated substrates. However, cells that adhered on the antibody substrate underwent a caspase-3-mediated apoptosis together with a down-regulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase activity within 20 h after adhesion, which indicates that viral-protein-mediated cell-adhesion and cell-spread are not sufficient for supporting cell survival. This provides a different perspective for the study of the relationships between the cell-morphological change and the cell-survival signal.


Chawla G, Sapra AK, Surana U, Vijayraghavan U (2003) Dependence of pre-mRNA introns on PRP17, a non-essential splicing factor : implications for efficient progression through cell cycle transitions. Nucleic Acids Res 31 :2333-2343

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Saccharomyces cerevisiae PRP17 (CDC40) encodes a second-step pre-mRNA splicing factor with a role in cell division. The functions of Prp17 in specific cell cycle transitions were examined using temperature-sensitive alleles in arrest/release experiments. We find that G(1)/S and G(2)/M transitions depend on Prp17. G(1)-synchronized prp17 ::LEU2 cells arrest at non-permissive temperatures as unbudded haploid cells with low levels of CLN1, CLB5 and RNR1 transcripts. This indicates a Prp17 execution point at or prior to Start. Reduced levels of alpha-tubulin protein, a mitotic spindle component, underlie the benomyl sensitivity of prp17 mutants and possibly their G(2)/M arrest. Splicing of TUB1 and TUB3 transcripts, which encode alpha-tubulin, was analyzed in prp17 and other second-step factor mutants. TUB1 splicing is inefficient in prp17, prp16 and prp22, and marginally affected in prp18, slu7-1 and psf1-1. TUB3 splicing is similarly affected. In vitro splicing with TUB3 pre-mRNA demonstrates a compromised second step in prp17 ::LEU2 extracts, implicating a direct role for Prp17 in its efficient splicing. Genomic replacement of an intronless TUB1 gene relieves the benomyl sensitivity of prp17 mutants ; however, they remain temperature sensitive, implying multiple limiting factors for mitosis. The data suggest that integration of splicing with the cell cycle is important for G(1)/S and G(2)/M transitions.


Chitarra GS, Breeuwer P, Nout MJ, van Aelst AC, Rombouts FM, Abee T (2003) An antifungal compound produced by Bacillus subtilis YM 10-20 inhibits germination of Penicillium roqueforti conidiospores. J Appl Microbiol 94 :159-166

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=12534806

AIMS : To identify and characterize an antifungal compound produced by Bacillus subtilis YM 10-20 which prevents spore germination of Penicillium roqueforti. METHODS AND RESULTS : The antifungal compound was isolated by acid precipitation with HCl. This compound inhibited fungal germination and growth. Identification by HPLC and mass spectrometry analysis showed high similarity to iturin A. Permeabilization and morphological changes in P. roqueforti conidia in the presence of the inhibitor were revealed by fluorescence staining and SEM, respectively. CONCLUSOINS : The iturin-like compound produced by B. subtilis YM 10-20 permeabilizes fungal spores and blocks germination. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY : Fluorescence staining in combination with flow cytometry and scanning electron microscopy are efficient tools for assessing the action of antifungal compounds against spores. Iturin-like compounds may permeabilize fungal spores and inhibit their germination.


Choquet G, Soudant P, Lambert C, Nicolas JL, Paillard C (2003) Reduction of adhesion properties of Ruditapes philippinarum hemocytes exposed to Vibrio tapetis. Dis Aquat Organ 57 :109-116

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Vibrio tapetis is the causative agent of brown ring disease (BRD), which affects a species of clam, Ruditapes philippinarum. After incubation with V. tapetis, hemocytes lose filopods and become rounded, indicating cytotoxic activity of the bacterium. To rapidly quantify this cytotoxicity, a flow-cytometry test was developed based on the capacity of V. tapetis to inhibit adhesion of clam hemocytes to plastic. Several bacteria:hemocyte ratios, the cytotoxicity of other Vibrio spp. pathogenic to bivalves, and that of various V. tapetis isolates were tested. Inhibition of adherence is detectable with as few as 5 bacteria per hemocyte. The greater cytotoxic activity of V. tapetis compared to that of V. splendidus and V. pectenicida suggests a specific pathogenicity of V. tapetis to R. philippinarum hemocytes. Although all V. tapetis isolates inhibited adhesion, significant variations in cytotoxicity among isolates was demonstrated.


Christiansen T, Michaelsen S, Wumpelmann M, Nielsen J (2003) Production of savinase and population viability of Bacillus clausii during high-cell-density fed-batch cultivations. Biotechnol Bioeng 83 :344-352

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The growth and product formation of a Savinase-producing Bacillus clausii were investigated in high-cell-density fed-batch cultivations with both linear and exponential feed profiles. The highest specific productivity of Savinase was observed shortly after the end of the initial batch phase for all feed profiles applied and, in addition, there was a time-dependent decrease in specific productivity. The specific glucose uptake rate increased with time for constant specific growth rate indicating that the maintenance requirements increased with time, possibly due to a decreasing K(+) concentration. The physiological state of the cells was monitored during the cultivations using a flow cytometry assay based on the permeability of the cell membrane to propidium iodide. In the latter parts of the fed-batch cultures with a linear feed profile, a large portion of the cell population was found to have a permeable membrane, indicating a large percentage of dead cells. By assuming that only cells with a nonpermeable membrane contributed to growth and product formation, the physiological properties of this subpopulation were calculated.


Christopherson KW, 2nd, Cooper S, Broxmeyer HE (2003) Cell surface peptidase CD26/DPPIV mediates G-CSF mobilization of mouse progenitor cells. Blood 101 :4680-4686

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CXC ligand 12 (CXCL12 ; also known as stromal cell-derived factor 1alpha/SDF-1alpha) chemoattracts hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSCs/HPCs) and is thought to play a crucial role in the mobilization of HSCs/HPCs from the bone marrow. CD26 (dipeptidylpeptidase IV [DPPIV]) is a membrane-bound extracellular peptidase that cleaves dipeptides from the N-terminus of polypeptide chains. CD26 has the ability to cleave CXCL12 at its position-2 proline. We found by flow cytometry that CD26 is expressed on a subpopulation of normal Sca-1+c-kit+lin- hematopoietic cells isolated from mouse bone marrow, as well as Sca-1+c-kit-lin- cells, and that these cells possess CD26 peptidase activity. To test the functional role of CD26 in CXCL12-mediated normal HSC/HPC migration, chemotaxis assays were performed. The CD26 truncated CXCL12(3-68) showed an inability to induce the migration of sorted Sca-1+c-kit+lin- or Sca-1+c-kit-lin- mouse marrow cells compared with the normal CXCL12. In addition, CXCL12(3-68) acts as an antagonist, resulting in the reduction of migratory response to normal CXCL12. Treatment of Sca-1+c-kit+lin- mouse marrow cells, and myeloid progenitors within this population, or Sca-1+c-kit-lin- cells with a specific CD26 inhibitor, enhanced the migratory response of these cells to CXCL12. Finally, to test for potential in vivo relevance of these in vitro observations, mice were treated with CD26 inhibitors during granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)-induced mobilization. This treatment resulted in a reduction in the number of progenitor cells in the periphery as compared with the G-CSF regimen alone. This suggests that a mechanism of action of G-CSF mobilization involves CD26.


Cigel F, Batchelder J, Burns JM, Jr., Yanez D, van der Heyde H, Manning DD, Weidanz WP (2003) Immunity to blood-stage murine malarial parasites is MHC class II dependent. Immunol Lett 89 :243-249

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To determine whether MHC class II antigen presentation is essential for the induction of protective immunity against blood-stage malarial parasites, we used gene-targeted knockout (KO) mice to follow the time-course of nonlethal Plasmodium yoelii and Plasmodium chabaudi infections in two models of MHC class II deficiency. Infection of MHC class II KO (A(-/-)) mice with either parasite species resulted in an unremitting hyperparasitemia, whereas MHC-intact control mice resolved their parasitemia. In contrast, invariant chain KO (Ii(-/-)) mice, which present antigen via recycled but not nascent MHC class II molecules, eventually cured their infections when infected with P. yoelii. P. chabaudi parasitemia declined to subpatent levels in most Ii(-/-) mice but then recrudesced. Immunity to blood-stage malaria may be achieved by cell-mediated and antibody-mediated mechanisms of immunity, as such, the findings in A(-/-) mice indicate an essential role for MHC class II presentation of malarial antigens. Moreover, they suggest that protective immune responses to malarial antigens capable of eliminating blood-stage parasites are T cell dependent and can be induced with antigens processed in early and late endosomes.


Cooper S (2003) How the change from FLM to FACS affected our understanding of the G1-phase of the cell cycle. Cell Cycle 2 :157-159

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The frequency of labeled mitoses (FLM) method for analyzing cell-cycle phases necessitates a determination of cell-cycle interdivision times and the absolute lengths of the cell-cycle phases. The change to flow sorting (FACS) analysis, a simpler, less labor intensive, and more rapid method, eliminated determinations of absolute phase times, yielding only percents of cells exhibiting particular DMA contents. Without an interdivision time value, conversion of these fractions into absolute phase lengths is not possible. This change in methodology has led to an alteration in how the cell cycle is viewed. The FLM method allowed the conclusion that G1 phase variability resulted from constancy of S and G2 phase lengths. In contrast, with FACS analysis, slow growing cells exhibiting a large fraction of cells with a G1-phase amount of DMA appeared to be "arrested in G1 phase". The loss of absolute phase length determinations has therefore led to the proposals of G1-phase arrest, G1-phase controls, restriction points, and G0 phase. It is suggested that these G1-phase controls and phenomena require a critical reevaluation in the light of an alternative cell-cycle model that does not require or postulate such G1-phase controls.


Crosbie ND, Pockl M, Weisse T (2003) Rapid establishment of clonal isolates of freshwater autotrophic picoplankton by single-cell and single-colony sorting. J Microbiol Methods 55 :361-370

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We describe single-cell and single-colony sorting protocols which allowed for rapid establishment of a diverse culture collection of clonal autotrophic picoplankton (APP) isolates originating from oligotrophic and oligo-mesotrophic subalpine lakes. Overall sort recoveries, expressed as the percentage of sorted microwells exhibiting APP growth, ranged from 5% to 17% depending on the type of APP, but the growth success varied greatly (from 0% to 68%) depending on the origin of the sorted sample. We applied two direct sequencing and two denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) protocols to identify and characterize the genetic purity of 21 of our picocyanobacteria cultures, namely, direct sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene and cpcBA-IGS region, and DGGE analyses involving a 194-bp fragment of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and a ca. 500-bp fragment of the phycocyanin (PC) operon (cpcBA-IGS, novel protocol described herein). Of those 21 picocyanobacteria cultures obtained by single-cell/single-colony sorting and subsequently characterized genetically/screened for genetic purity, only one culture was composed of multiple picocyanobacterial strains.


Dai X, Boll J (2003) Evaluation of attachment of Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia to soil particles. J Environ Qual 32 :296-304

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Transport of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts and Giardia lamblia cysts in the aquatic environment is poorly understood. Information about their transport is essential for actual risk assessment and development of effective control practices. Several studies have suggested that attachment to soil particles is not likely to occur, but the hypothesis has not been well tested, partly because enumeration of C. parvum oocysts or G. lamblia cysts [written as (oo)cysts] in the presence of soil has been difficult. In this paper, a combination of flow cytometry, and epifluorescence and confocal microscopy was successfully used to enumerate (oo)cysts in the presence of soil and determine whether (oo)cysts travel freely in water or attached to soil particles. The maximum soil concentration in water samples for reliable enumeration of (oo)cysts was 2 mg/L. Particle attachment experiments detected attached pairs of oppositely charged beads and (oo)cysts, while no attachment was observed between like charged beads, (oo)cysts, and soil particles. These results support the hypothesis that electrostatic forces govern the interaction between (oo)cysts and soil particles. Batch experiments further confirmed the null hypothesis (p > 0.05) that (oo)cysts do not attach to natural soil particles. These findings suggest that, when (oo)cysts have been entrained in overland flow (i.e., runoff), they will travel freely in the water and not as part of the particulate sediment load.


Deparis V, Jestin A, Marc A, Goergen JL (2003) Use of flow cytometry to monitor infection and recombinant human alpha-1,3/4 fucosyltransferase production in baculovirus infected Sf9 cell cultures. Biotechnol Prog 19 :624-630

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This paper describes the setup and the use of a flow cytometric method for monitoring Sf9 insect cell infection by a recombinant baculovirus expressing the human alpha1,3/4 fucosyltransferase Fuc-TIII. Using side scattered light coupled to green fluorescence detection after immunolabeling of the recombinant protein, this method made it possible to monitor baculovirus infection of Sf9 cells grown in batch cultures and infected at different cell densities and multiplicities of infection. The method was able to precisely assess the extent of infection of the insect cells from 60 h postinfection. In asynchronously infected Sf9 cell cultures, the two-step infection process (primary and secondary infection) was well-characterized using this technique. Finally, a reduced sensitivity to baculovirus infection was observed for cells infected at the end of the growth phase compared to the cells infected during exponential growth phase.


Diebel LN, Liberati DM, Dulchavsky SA, Diglio CA, Brown WJ (2003) Enterocyte apoptosis and barrier function are modulated by SIgA after exposure to bacteria and hypoxia/reoxygenation. Surgery 134 :574-580 ; discussion 580-571

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BACKGROUND : Secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) is the principal immune defense against luminal pathogens at gut mucosal surfaces. It also has anti-inflammatory activities that may be important for the maintenance of mucosal surface integrity. Enterocyte apoptosis (Apo) is increased after challenge with invasive bacteria and ischemia-reperfusion insults. Increased Apo also has been associated with impaired intestinal barrier function. However, the impact of SIgA on enterocyte apoptosis and mucosal barrier integrity after challenge with commensal bacteria and ischemia-reperfusion is unknown. METHODS : Caco2 intestinal epithelial cell monolayers were subjected to 21% O(2) (control) or 95% N(2)/15% CO(2) (hypoxic) conditions for 90 minutes, followed by 21% O(2). Escherichia coli and SIgA were added in subsets. Caco2 cell Apo was identified by flow cytometry and barrier function indexed by permeability to dextran-fluorescein isothiocyanate. RESULTS : There were no differences in the percentage of Apo Caco2 cells after exposure to either bacteria or hypoxic-reoxygenation versus control. There was a significant increase in Apo after the combined bacteria/hypoxia-reoxygenation challenge. SIgA abrogated the Apo response and preserved barrier function after this combined challenge. CONCLUSION : Modulation of enterocyte Apo by SIgA may serve to maintain intestinal barrier function and thereby decrease the systemic inflammatory response after clinical conditions associated with gut ischemia-reperfusion insults.


Doulatov SR (2003) Plasmid-based reporter genes : assays for green fluorescent protein. Methods Mol Biol 235 :297-304

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Esquenazi D, de Souza W, Alviano CS, Rozental S (2003) The role of surface carbohydrates on the interaction of microconidia of Trichophyton mentagrophytes with epithelial cells. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol 35 :113-123

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The presence of carbohydrate-binding adhesins on the microconidia of Trichophyton mentagrophytes surface and their role on cellular interactions were investigated. Flow cytometry showed that this fungus recognizes the sugars mannose and galactose. The binding was inhibited by the addition of methyl alpha-D-mannopyranoside and methyl alpha-D-galactopyranoside, and showed higher fluorescence intensity at 37 degrees C than 28 degrees C. Trypsin treatment and heating of the cells reduced the binding, suggesting a (glyco) protein nature of the microconidia adhesin. The interaction of the fungus to Chinese hamster ovary epithelial cells and its glycosylation-deficient mutants demonstrated a higher adhesion index in Lec1 and Lec2 mutants, which express mannose and galactose, respectively, as the terminal carbohydrate on the cell surface. Endocytosed fungi were shown preferentially in Lec2 cells. Addition of the carbohydrates methyl alpha-D-mannopyranoside and methyl alpha-D-galactopyranoside to the interaction medium, pretreatment of Lec1 and Lec2 cells with lectins Concanavalina A and Arachis hypogaea and pretreatment with sodium periodate decreased the adhesion and the endocytic index. Examination of thin section by transmission electron microscopy showed that after fungal ingestion by Lec2 cells the fungi are enclosed in a ’loose’-type vacuole while the other cells are found within a ’tight’-type membrane-bound cytoplasmic vacuole. Our results suggest the occurrence of carbohydrate-specific adhesins on microconidia surface that recognize mannose and galactose. This may have a role in the adhesion process during the infectious process of dermatophytosis.


Forster S, Lappin-Scott HM, Snape JR, Porter J (2003) Rains, drains and active strains : towards online assessment of wastewater bacterial communities. J Microbiol Methods 55 :859-864

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Wastewater treatment is one of the largest scale and arguably the most commercially important biotechnological process in the world. Bacterial breakdown of waste materials facilitates the safe disposal of effluents into receiving water bodies. Given this significance, research has focused on identifying the keystone species on which efficient treatment is based. However, unravelling the microbial diversity within such systems has proven difficult. This is highlighted by our lack of detailed knowledge of the microbial interactions within these complex populations, limiting our ability to fully exploit bacterial degradative abilities. Even with the incorporation of new emerging molecular techniques, there have been no investigations linking genetic sequence to microbial function and successful treatment operation. To reach this goal, researchers need the ability to identify, enumerate and monitor the metabolic functions of subpopulations within these complex bacterial communities. Flow cytometry (FCM) combined with fluorescence-based molecular identification techniques provides a method for such studies. Moreover, single-cell sorting provides a unique opportunity to identify and remove individual cells of interest. Laboratory culture of sorted cells is often possible and permits the use of more traditional microbiological techniques to backup molecular investigations. Utilising this approach will advance our understanding of wastewater treatment processes and help maintain and enhance plant operation to improve efficiency.


Furukawa M, Suzuki H, Tohmiya Y, Matsuura K, Takahashi E, Ichinohasama R, Kobayashi T (2003) Natural killer cell lymphoma of the parotid gland. ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec 65 :219-222

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The majority of all parotid lymphomas are of the non-Hodgkin type and of B-cell origin. Primary natural killer cell lymphomas of the parotid gland are extremely rare. We present a case of natural killer cell lymphoma in a 34-year-old woman. The disease was refractory to chemotherapy, and the patient eventually succumbed due to lymphoma-associated hemophagocytic syndrome.


Garmendia J, Beuzon CR, Ruiz-Albert J, Holden DW (2003) The roles of SsrA-SsrB and OmpR-EnvZ in the regulation of genes encoding the Salmonella typhimurium SPI-2 type III secretion system. Microbiology 149 :2385-2396

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The type III secretion system (TTSS) encoded by Salmonella typhimurium pathogenicity island 2 (SPI-2) is expressed after bacterial entry into host cells. The SPI-2 TTSS secretes the translocon components SseBCD, which translocate across the vacuolar membrane a number of effector proteins whose action is required for intracellular bacterial replication. Several of these effectors, including SifA and SifB, are encoded outside SPI-2. The two-component regulatory system SsrA-SsrB, encoded within SPI-2, controls the expression of components of the SPI-2 TTSS apparatus as well as its translocated effectors. The expression of SsrA-B is in turn regulated by the OmpR-EnvZ two-component system, by direct binding of OmpR to the ssrAB promoter. Several environmental signals have been shown to induce in vitro expression of genes regulated by the SsrA-B or OmpR-EnvZ systems. In this work, immunoblotting and flow cytometry were used to analyse the roles of SsrA-B and OmpR-EnvZ in coupling different environmental signals to changes in expression of a SPI-2 TTSS translocon component (SseB) and two effector genes (sifA and sifB). Using single and double mutant strains the relative contribution of each regulatory system to the response generated by low osmolarity, acidic pH or the absence of Ca2+ was determined. SsrA-B was found to be essential for the induction of SPI-2 gene expression in response to each of these individual signals. OmpR-EnvZ was found to play a minor role in sensing these signals and to require a functional SsrA-B system to mediate their effect on SPI-2 TTSS gene expression.


Gessler P, Dahinden C (2003) Increased respiratory burst and increased expression of complement receptor-3 (CD11b/CD18) and of IL-8 receptor-A in neutrophil granulocytes from newborns after vaginal delivery. Biol Neonate 83 :107-112

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To study neutrophil activation in cord blood as a function of the mode of delivery, we performed analysis of the function of neutrophil granulocytes by assessing their ability to produce reactive oxygen products (ROP) as well as neutrophil cell surface expression of CD11b/CD18 and interleukin (IL)-8 receptors quantified with flow cytometry. Plasma levels of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) were measured using an immunoassay. Neutrophil granulocytes were derived from cord blood of term newborns delivered vaginally (n = 20) and by cesarean section (n = 10), and, for comparison, from adult peripheral blood (n = 15). Blood neutrophil counts and the capacity of neutrophil granulocytes to produce ROP in response to stimulation with Escherichia coli was increased in newborns after vaginal delivery as compared to newborns delivered by cesarean section. The level of expression of the adhesion molecule/complement receptor CD11b/CD18 and the chemokine receptor IL-8 RA was also higher after vaginal delivery. Plasma concentrations of G-CSF in cord blood of newborns were higher than those of adults with no difference detectable between vaginal delivery and cesarean section. The data demonstrate a higher functional responsiveness and a higher expression level of functionally important receptors in neutrophils after vaginal delivery possibly due to activation of neutrophil granulocytes during labor.


Gokahmetoglu S, Nedret Koc A, Patiroglu T (2003) Antifungal susceptibility testing of Candida albicans by flow cytometry. Mycoses 46 :307-311

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Antifungal susceptibilities of 28 Candida albicans isolates and two quality control strains to amphotericin B and fluconazole were determined by flow cytometry and microdilution method. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) obtained by flow cytometry were compared with the results obtained by The National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards Subcommittee (NCCLS) broth microdilution method. The agreement of results (within two dilution) obtained was found as 96 and 93% for amphotericin B and fluconazole, respectively. At least 24 h incubation was required for reading the microdilution assays. Four hours of incubation was required for fluconazole, whereas 2-h incubation was sufficient for amphotericin B to provide MIC by flow cytometry. Results of this study show that flow cytometry provides a rapid and sensitive in vitro method for antifungal susceptibility testing of Candida albicans isolates.


Gregori G, Denis M, Seorbati S, Citterio S (2003) Resolution of viable and membrane-compromised free bacteria in aquatic environments by flow cytometry. Curr Protoc Cytom Chapter 11 :Unit 11 15

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In aquatic environments, free heterotrophic bacteria play an extremely important role because of their high biomass, wide panel of metabolisms, and ubiquity, as well as the toxicity of certain species. This unit presents a nucleic-acid double-staining protocol (NADS) for flow cytometry that can distinguish the fractions of viable, damaged, or membrane-compromised cells within the free-bacterial community. The NADS protocol is based on the simultaneous utilization of two nucleic acid stains, membrane-permeant SYBR Green and membrane-impermeant PI. The efficiency of the double staining is magnified by the FRET from SYBR Green to PI when both are bound to the nucleic acids. Full quenching of SYBR Green fluorescence by PI will identify cells with a compromised membrane, partial quenching will indicate cells with a slightly damaged membrane, and lack of quenching will characterize cells with an intact membrane. Samples do not require any pretreatment and this protocol can be performed almost anywhere.


Gruden CL, Khijniak A, Adriaens P (2003) Activity assessment of microorganisms eluted from sediments using 5-cyano-2,3-ditolyl tetrazolium chloride : a quantitative comparison of flow cytometry to epifluorescent microscopy. J Microbiol Methods 55 :865-874

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Enhanced natural recovery may be successfully implemented at contaminated sediment sites, which are often characterized by large volumes of sediments with low to moderate levels of contamination to cost-effectively reduce human and ecological risks. In order to evaluate the potential for microbial contribution to remediation strategies, physiological assessment of indigenous microorganisms is essential. We report here a method for rapid and accurate assessment of metabolically (5-cyano-2,3-ditolyl tetrazolium chloride [CTC]) active microorganisms eluted from sediment, based on flow cytometry (FCM). Microorganisms eluted from sediment and suspended in estuarine medium were stained with CTC and counterstained with the DNA stain Picogreen (PG). Optimal stain concentrations and incubation times were employed. FCM quantification of the dual-stained microorganisms was not statistically different (paired t test ; alpha=0.05 ; df=10) from enumeration (total or active numbers) by an established method (fluorescent microscopy) over two orders of magnitude (approximately 10(4)-10(6)/ml). This research suggests that FCM, which allows the collection and analysis of multiple parameters (light scatter and fluorescence emission), is a good candidate for microbial characterization in complex environmental matrices, such as sediments, across a broad range of activity levels (approximately 2% to 84% of total). Potential applications for this FCM-based method include the rapid assessment of changes in sediment microbial activity in response to enhanced bioremediation strategies.


Gunasekera TS, Dorsch MR, Slade MB, Veal DA (2003) Specific detection of Pseudomonas spp. in milk by fluorescence in situ hybridization using ribosomal RNA directed probes. J Appl Microbiol 94 :936-945

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AIMS : Pseudomonas spp. are considered the most important milk spoilage organisms. Here we describe development of a fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) probe specific for detection and enumeration of Pseudomonas spp. in milk. METHODS AND RESULTS : 16S rRNA sequences were analysed to develop specific oligonucleotide probe for the genus Pseudomonas. Twenty different Pseudomonas spp. and 23 bacterial species from genera other than Pseudomonas (as negative controls) were tested. All tested Pseudomonas spp. yielded a positive FISH reaction, whereas negative controls showed no FISH reaction except for Burkholderia cepacia that showed a relatively weak FISH reaction. The FISH assay specifically stains Pseudomonas in milk when the milk contains a mixture of other bacterial species. The FISH assay takes 2 h and compares favourably with current culturing methods, which take a minimum of 48 h. Specificity of the probe was validated using polymerase chain reaction to selectively amplifying the Pseudomonas rDNA gene and sequencing the gene products. CONCLUSIONS : The method presented in this study allows simultaneously detection, identification and enumeration of Pseudomonas spp. in milk. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY : Rapid and accurate enumeration of Pseudomonas facilitates the identification of specific contamination sources in dairy plants, the accurate validation of pasteurization treatments and the prediction of shelf life of processed milk.


Gunasekera TS, Veal DA, Attfield PV (2003) Potential for broad applications of flow cytometry and fluorescence techniques in microbiological and somatic cell analyses of milk. Int J Food Microbiol 85 :269-279

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Monitoring the quality and safety of milk requires careful analysis of microbial and somatic cell loading. Our aim was to demonstrate proof of the principle that flow cytometry (FCM), coupled with fluorescence techniques for distinguishing between cell types, could potentially be employed in a wide variety of biological assays relevant to the dairy industry. To this end, we studied raw milk samples and ultraheat-treated milk, into which known numbers of bacteria or mouse cells were inoculated. For bacterial analyses, protein and lipids were removed, whereas only centrifugal lipid clearing was needed for somatic cell analyses. Cleared samples were stained with fluorescent dyes or with bacterial-specific fluorescent-labeled oligonucleotides and analyzed by FCM. A fluoresceinated peptide nucleic acid probe enabled efficient enumeration of bacteria in milk. Dual staining of samples with fluorescent dyes that indicate live (5-cyanol-2,3-ditolyl tetrazolium chloride, CTC or SYTO 9) or damaged cells (oxonol or propidium iodide, PI) enabled determination of viable bacteria in milk. Gram-positive and -negative bacteria were distinguished using hexidium iodide and SYTO 13 in dual staining of cleared milk samples. An FCM-based method gave a good correlation (r=0.88) with total microscopic counts of somatic cells in raw milk. The FCM method also correlated strongly (r=0.98) with the standard Fossomatic method for somatic cell detection. We conclude that FCM, coupled with fluorescence staining techniques, offers potentially diverse and rapid approaches to biological safety and quality testing in the dairy industry. Potential application of flow cytometers to a broad range of assays for milk biological quality should make this instrumentation more attractive and cost effective to the dairy industry and indeed the broader food industry.


Hatakeyama J, Tamai R, Sugiyama A, Akashi S, Sugawara S, Takada H (2003) Contrasting responses of human gingival and periodontal ligament fibroblasts to bacterial cell-surface components through the CD14/Toll-like receptor system. Oral Microbiol Immunol 18 :14-23

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We compared human periodontal ligament fibroblasts with human gingival fibroblasts isolated from the same donor to examine interleukin-8 (IL-8) responses of the cells to Salmonella lipopolysaccharide, a water-soluble peptidoglycan from Staphylococcus epidermidis and the synthetic muramyldipeptide, with special reference to the possible involvement of the CD14/Toll-like receptor (TLR) system of the cells in the responses. Human gingival fibroblasts expressed CD14 on their surfaces and strongly expressed CD14 mRNA, while human periodontal ligament fibroblasts showed considerably lower levels of expression in both respects. Both cells expressed mRNA of TLR-related molecules, i.e. TLR2, TLR4, MD-2 and MyD88, although human periodontal ligament fibroblasts expressed TLR2 more strongly than human gingival fibroblasts. Human gingival fibroblasts exhibited a stronger IL-8 response than human periodontal ligament fibroblasts to lipopolysaccharide, while human periodontal ligament fibroblasts exhibited a response comparable to, or slightly stronger than, that of human gingival fibroblasts to S. epidermidis peptidoglycan and muramyldipeptide. The IL-8 responses of both cells to lipopolysaccharide and S. epidermidis peptidoglycan were completely inhibited by antihuman CD14 monoclonal antibody (MAb). The responses of both cells to lipopolysaccaride were significantly inhibited by antihuman TLR4 MAb, while those to S. epidermidis peptidoglycan were inhibited by antihuman TLR2 MAb. In contrast, muramyldipeptide activated both types of cells in a TLR2- and TLR4-independent manner, although the activities of muramyldipeptide on human gingival fibroblasts, but not human periodontal ligament fibroblasts, were significantly inhibited by anti-CD14 MAb.


Haussler S, Ziegler I, Lottel A, von Gotz F, Rohde M, Wehmhohner D, Saravanamuthu S, Tummler B, Steinmetz I (2003) Highly adherent small-colony variants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis lung infection. J Med Microbiol 52 :295-301

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Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic human pathogen and ubiquitous environmental bacterium, is capable of forming specialized bacterial communities, referred to as biofilm. The results of this study demonstrate that the unique environment of the cystic fibrosis (CF) lung seems to select for a subgroup of autoaggregative and hyperpiliated P. aeruginosa small-colony variants (SCVs). These morphotypes showed increased fitness under stationary growth conditions in comparison with clonal wild-types and fast-growing revertants isolated from the SCV population in vitro. In accordance with the SCVs being hyperpiliated, they exhibited increased twitching motility and capacity for biofilm formation. In addition, the SCVs attached strongly to the pneumocytic cell line A549. The emergence of these highly adherent SCVs within the CF lung might play a key role in the pathogenesis of P. aeruginosa lung infection, where a biofilm mode of growth is thought to be responsible for persistent infection.


Hertel L, Lacaille VG, Strobl H, Mellins ED, Mocarski ES (2003) Susceptibility of immature and mature Langerhans cell-type dendritic cells to infection and immunomodulation by human cytomegalovirus. J Virol 77 :7563-7574

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Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection initiates in mucosal epithelia and disseminates via leukocytes throughout the body. Langerhans cells (LCs), the immature dendritic cells (DCs) that reside in epithelial tissues, are among the first cells to encounter virus and may play important roles in the immune response, as well as in pathogenesis as hosts for viral replication and as vehicles for dissemination. Here, we demonstrate that CD34(+) progenitor cell-derived LC-type DCs exhibit a differentiation state-dependent susceptibility to CMV infection. In contrast to the small percentage (3 to 4%) of the immature LCs that supported infection, a high percentage (48 to 74%) of mature, LC-derived DCs were susceptible to infection with endotheliotropic strains (TB40/E or VHL/E) of CMV. These cells were much less susceptible to viral strains AD169varATCC, TownevarRIT(3), and Toledo. When exposed to endotheliotropic strains, viral gene expression (IE1/IE2 and other viral gene products) and viral replication proceeded efficiently in LC-derived mature DCs (mDCs). Productive infection was associated with downmodulation of cell surface CD83, CD1a, CD80, CD86, ICAM-1, major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I, and MHC class II on these cells. In addition, the T-cell proliferative response to allogeneic LC-derived mDCs was attenuated when CMV-infected cultures were used as stimulators. This investigation revealed important characteristics of the interaction between CMV and the LC lineage of DCs, suggesting that LC-derived mDCs are important to viral pathogenesis and immunity through their increased susceptibility to virus replication and virus-mediated immune escape.


Hoefel D, Grooby WL, Monis PT, Andrews S, Saint CP (2003) A comparative study of carboxyfluorescein diacetate and carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester as indicators of bacterial activity. J Microbiol Methods 52 :379-388

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Staining bacteria with esterified fluorogenic substrates followed by flow cytometric analysis offers a means for rapid detection of metabolically active bacteria. Flow cytometry (FCM) was used to assess carboxyfluorescein diacetate (CFDA) and carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFDA/SE) as indicators of bacterial activity for cultured bacteria, including Aeromonas hydrophila, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus epidermidis and bacteria from environmental waters. In theory, CFDA/SE should be a better indicator of metabolic bacterial activity compared to CFDA due to greater intracellular retention of the fluorescent product. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of exponential phase cultures, mixtures of active and inactive cells and bacteria from environmental waters revealed CFDA was successful in detecting active bacteria, whereas CFDA/SE was not. CFDA/SE labelled inactive cells with intensities equal to that of the active population and could not even discriminate between bacteria in exponential phase growth and a fixed cell preparation. We propose that the specific mode of action of the succinimidyl ester (SE) group in combination with the nonenzymatic aqueous hydrolysis of the CFDA moiety results in the nonspecific labelling of all cells, irrespective of their metabolic state. This study shows that CFDA/SE is a poor marker of bacterial activity.


Hoefel D, Grooby WL, Monis PT, Andrews S, Saint CP (2003) Enumeration of water-borne bacteria using viability assays and flow cytometry : a comparison to culture-based techniques. J Microbiol Methods 55 :585-597

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Maintaining optimal conditions in catchments or distribution systems relies heavily on water authorities having access to rapid and accurate water quality data, including an indication of bacteriological quality. In this study, the BacLight bacterial viability kit and carboxyfluorescein diacetate (CFDA) were coupled with flow cytometry (FCM) for rapid detection of physiologically active bacteria from raw and potable waters taken from various locations around South Australia. Results were compared to the direct viable count (DVC) and quantitative DVC (qDVC), in addition to the culture-based methods of the heterotrophic plate count (HPC) and a commercial SimPlate technique. Raw and potable water analysis revealed that DVC and culture-based techniques reported significantly fewer viable bacteria compared to the number of physiologically active bacteria detected using the rapid FCM assays, where this difference appeared to be nonlinear across different samples. Inconclusive results were obtained using qDVC as a viability assay. In particular, HPC results were 2-4 log orders of magnitude below that reported by the FCM assays for raw waters. Few bacteria in potable waters examined were culturable by HPC, even though FCM assays reported between 5.56 x 10(2) and 3.94 x 10(4) active bacteria ml(-1). These differences may be attributed to the presence of nonheterotrophic bacteria, sublethal injury or the adoption of an active but nonculturable (ABNC) state.


Hohenblum H, Borth N, Mattanovich D (2003) Assessing viability and cell-associated product of recombinant protein producing Pichia pastoris with flow cytometry. J Biotechnol 102 :281-290

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This paper describes the establishment of flow cytometric methods for recombinant Pichia pastoris strains, and their application to a lab scale fed batch fermentation. Using a strain which secretes human trypsinogen, the viability and the product which remained associated to the cell were measured with propidium iodide and immunofluorescent staining, respectively. Viability decreases significantly below 70% during the methanol fed batch phase, indicating a stress situation triggered by the fermentation conditions. Cell associated product is accumulated earlier after methanol induction than secreted product. These data demonstrate that flow cytometry is a powerful tool for the analysis and optimization of recombinant protein production processes, and they indicate the need to further improve a widely used fermentation protocol for P. pastoris.


Holm C, Jespersen L (2003) A flow-cytometric gram-staining technique for milk-associated bacteria. Appl Environ Microbiol 69 :2857-2863

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A Gram-staining technique combining staining with two fluorescent stains, Oregon Green-conjugated wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) and hexidium iodide (HI) followed by flow-cytometric detection is described. WGA stains gram-positive bacteria while HI binds to the DNA of all bacteria after permeabilization by EDTA and incubation at 50 degrees C for 15 min. For WGA to bind to gram-positive bacteria, a 3 M potassium chloride solution was found to give the highest fluorescence intensity. A total of 12 strains representing some of the predominant bacterial species in bulk tank milk and mixtures of these were stained and analyzed by flow cytometry. Overall, the staining method showed a clear differentiation between gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial populations. For stationary-stage cultures of seven gram-positive bacteria and five gram-negative bacteria, an average of 99% of the cells were correctly interpreted. The method was only slightly influenced by the growth phase of the bacteria or conditions such as freezing at -18 degrees C for 24 h. For any of these conditions, an average of at least 95% of the cells were correctly interpreted. When stationary-stage cultures were stored at 5 degrees C for 14 days, an average of 86% of the cells were correctly interpreted. The Gram-staining technique was applied to the flow cytometry analysis of bulk tank milk inoculated with Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. These results demonstrate that the technique is suitable for analyzing milk samples without precultivation.


Horn H, Reiff H, Morgenroth E (2003) Simulation of growth and detachment in biofilm systems under defined hydrodynamic conditions. Biotechnol Bioeng 81 :607-617

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Detachment from biofilms was evaluated using a mixed culture biofilm grown on primary wastewater in a tube reactor. The growth of biofilms and the detachment of biomass from biofilms are strongly influenced by hydrodynamic conditions. In a long-term study, three biofilms were cultivated in a biofilm tube reactor. The conducted experiments of biofilm growth and detachment can be divided into three phases : 1) an exponential phase with a rapid increase of the biofilm thickness, 2) a quasi-steady-state with spontaneous fluctuation of the biofilm thickness between 500 and 1,200 microm in the investigated biofilm systems, and 3) a washout experiment with increased shear stress in three to four steps after several weeks of quasi-steady-state. Whereas the biofilm thickness during the homogeneous growth phase can be regarded constant throughout the reactor, it was found to be very heterogeneous during the quasi-steady-state and the washout experiments. Growth and detachment during all three phases was simulated with the same one-dimensional biofilm model. For each of the three phases, a different detachment rate model was used. During the homogeneous growth phase, detachment was modeled proportional to the biofilm growth rate. During the quasi-steady-state phase, detachment was described by random detachment events assuming a base biofilm thickness. Finally, the washout experiment was simulated with detachment being a function of the biofilm thickness before the increase of the shear stress.


Howard K, Inglis TJ (2003) The effect of free chlorine on Burkholderia pseudomallei in potable water. Water Res 37 :4425-4432

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Chlorine is widely used in public water supplies to provide a disinfection barrier. The effect of chlorine disinfection on the water-borne pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei was assessed using multiple techniques. After exposure to chlorine viable bacteria were undetectable by conventional plate count techniques ; however, persistence of B. pseudomallei was verified by flow cytometry and bacteria were recoverable following a simple one-step broth procedure. The minimum residual chlorine concentration and contact time as prescribed by potable water providers in Australia was insufficient to reduce a B. pseudomallei population by more than 2 log(10). Chlorine had a bacteriostatic effect only on B. pseudomallei ; viable bacteria were recovered from water containing up to 1000 ppm free chlorine. This finding has practical implications for water treatment in regions where B. pseudomallei is endemic. Future work to assess the effect of alternative water disinfection processes either singly or in sequence is necessary.


Huising MO, Guichelaar T, Hoek C, Verburg-van Kemenade BM, Flik G, Savelkoul HF, Rombout JH (2003) Increased efficacy of immersion vaccination in fish with hyperosmotic pretreatment. Vaccine 21 :4178-4193

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Immersion vaccination is common practice in aquaculture, because of its convenience for mass vaccination with sufficient protection. However, the mechanisms of antigen uptake and presentation, resulting in a protective immune response and the role of the innate immune system therein are largely unknown. The impact of immersion vaccination on fish physiology and on the ensuing innate and specific immune response was characterized with fluorescently labeled particulate and soluble model antigens. Vaccination of common carp by direct immersion (DI) or hyperosmotic immersion (HI ; direct immersion, preceded by a brief immersion in a hypertonic solution) greatly enhanced the uptake of soluble, but not particulate antigen through temporary disruption of the integrity of the epithelia of gills and skin. Damage induced is mild and does not impose additional stress over the handling associated with immersion vaccination. Especially HI briefly but strongly activates the innate immune system. We conclude that HI more effectively increased the uptake of vaccine and enhanced the efficacy by which vaccine components are processed and presented by the innate immune system, dually enhancing the mucosal immune response. Understanding the mechanisms involved in uptake and processing of vaccine in the early phase of the immune response will greatly benefit the design of immersion vaccination.


Humphries AD, Raffatellu M, Winter S, Weening EH, Kingsley RA, Droleskey R, Zhang S, Figueiredo J, Khare S, Nunes J, Adams LG, Tsolis RM, Baumler AJ (2003) The use of flow cytometry to detect expression of subunits encoded by 11 Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium fimbrial operons. Mol Microbiol 48 :1357-1376

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The Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) genome contains 13 putative fimbrial operons termed agf (csg), fim, pef, lpf, bcf, saf, stb, stc, std, stf, sth, sti and stj. Evidence for in vitro expression of fimbrial proteins encoded by these operons is currently only available for agf, fim and pef. We raised antisera against putative major fimbrial subunits of S. Typhimurium, including AgfA, FimA, PefA, LpfA, BcfA, StbA, StcA, StdA, StfA, SthA and StiA. Elaboration of StcA on the bacterial surface could be detected by flow cytometry and immunoelectron microscopy after expression of the cloned stcABCD operon from a heterologous T7 promoter in Escherichia coli. To study the expression of fimbrial antigens in S. Typhimurium by flow cytometry, we constructed strains carrying deletions of agfAB, pefBACDI, lpfABCDE, bcfABCDEFG, stbABCD, stcABC, stdAB, stfACDEFG, sthABCDE or stiABCDE. Using these deletion mutants for gating, expression of fimbrial antigens was measured by flow cytometry in cultures grown in vitro or in samples recovered 8 h after infection of bovine ligated ileal loops with S. Typhimurium. FimA was the only fimbrial antigen expressed by S. Typhimurium after static growth in Luria-Bertani (LB) broth. Injection of static LB broth cultures of S. Typhimurium into bovine ligated ileal loops resulted in the expression of BcfA, FimA, LpfA, PefA, StbA, StcA, StdA, StfA and StiA. These data show that in vivo growth conditions drastically alter the repertoire of fimbrial antigens expressed in S. Typhimurium.


Ikeda R, Sugita T, Jacobson ES, Shinoda T (2003) Effects of melanin upon susceptibility of Cryptococcus to antifungals. Microbiol Immunol 47 :271-277

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Melanin is a recognized virulence factor in Cryptococcus neoformans ; several pathogenetic mechanisms have been suggested. We studied melanin as an antifungal resistance factor. The growth of laccase-active strains of C. neoformans and C. albidus in L-DOPA resulted in the production of black pigment. The formal minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of amphotericin B and fluconazole were not changed by melanization. However, when we examined those wells which contained inhibited cells, we found live cells only in wells containing melanized C. neoformans. In contrast, melanization did not protect C. albidus from killing by amphotericin B. In an amphotericin B time-kill study of C. neoformans, significantly more melanized cells than non-melanized survived for the first few hours. Fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry analyses showed that fewer melanized cells were stained with the fluorescent dye MitoRed. Incubation of MitoRed (the model) or amphotericin B with melanin extracted from C. neoformans decreased the free concentrations of these substances. Fluconazole, in contrast, was not removed from solution by melanin. This suggests that neoformans cryptococcal melanin deposited amphotericin B in the cell wall binds, reducing its effective concentrations.


Ishibashi Y, Nishikawa A (2003) Role of nuclear factor-kappa B in the regulation of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 after infection of human bronchial epithelial cells by Bordetella pertussis. Microb Pathog 35 :169-177

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Previous work has demonstrated that infection of human bronchial epithelial cells by Bordetella pertussis up-regulates intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) gene and protein expression. It has also been shown that interaction of the Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) site of filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA) with host cell very late antigen (VLA)-5 (alpha 5 beta 1 integrin) is required for the up-regulation of epithelial ICAM-1 expression, and that pertussis toxin (PT) impairs this response. We therefore examined the molecular mechanisms leading to B. pertussis-induced ICAM-1 up-regulation in BEAS-2B human bronchial epithelial cells. A colorimetric nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappa B) activation assay demonstrated that NF-kappa B was activated in response to infection of these cells with B. pertussis. This activation occurred in an FHA(RGD)-dependent manner, and was blocked by an antibody against VLA-5, implying that binding of the RGD to VLA-5 integrin is involved in NF-kappa B activation. Western blot analysis revealed that the activation of NF-kappa B by B. pertussis was preceded by degradation of I kappa B alpha, a major cytoplasmic inhibitor of NF-kappa B. Pretreatment of the BEAS-2B cells with the NF-kappa B inhibitors pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC), MG-132, and SN50 resulted in a marked decrease in B. pertussis-induced ICAM-1 expression, implying the involvement of NF-kappa B in ICAM-1 expression. Purified PT abrogated both NF-kappa B activation and I kappa B alpha degradation. These results suggest that ligation of VLA-5 integrin by FHA induces RGD-dependent NF-kappa B activation, thus leading to the up-regulation of epithelial ICAM-1 expression, and that a PT-sensitive G protein may be involved in this signaling pathway.


Jo D, Lin Q, Nashabi A, Mays DJ, Unutmaz D, Pietenpol JA, Ruley HE (2003) Cell cycle-dependent transduction of cell-permeant Cre recombinase proteins. J Cell Biochem 89 :674-687

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Protein transduction has been widely used to analyze biochemical processes in living cells quantitatively and under non-steady-state conditions. The present study analyzed the effects of cell cycle on the uptake and activity of cell-permeant Cre recombinase proteins. Previous studies had suggested that the efficiency of recombination and/or protein transduction varied among individual cells, even within a clonal population. We report here that cells in the G1 phase of the cell cycle undergo recombination at a lower rate than cells at other phases of the cell cycle, and that this variation results largely from differences in protein uptake, associated with differences in cell size. These results have implications regarding the mechanism of protein transduction and identify a source of heterogeneity that can influence the response of individual cells to cell-permeant proteins.


Joachimsthal EL, Ivanov V, Tay JH, Tay ST (2003) Flow cytometry and conventional enumeration of microorganisms in ships’ ballast water and marine samples. Mar Pollut Bull 46 :308-313

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Conventional methods for bacteriological testing of water quality take long periods of time to complete. This makes them inappropriate for a shipping industry that is attempting to comply with the International Maritime Organization’s anticipated regulations for ballast water discharge. Flow cytometry for the analysis of marine and ship’s ballast water is a comparatively fast and accurate method. Compared to a 5% standard error for flow cytometry analysis the standard methods of culturing and epifluorescence analysis have errors of 2-58% and 10-30%, respectively. Also, unlike culturing methods, flow cytometry is capable of detecting both non-viable and viable but non-culturable microorganisms which can still pose health risks. The great variability in both cell concentrations and microbial content for the samples tested is an indication of the difficulties facing microbial monitoring programmes. The concentration of microorganisms in the ballast tank was generally lower than in local seawater. The proportion of aerobic, microaerophilic, and facultative anaerobic microorganisms present appeared to be influenced by conditions in the ballast tank. The gradual creation of anaerobic conditions in a ballast tank could lead to the accumulation of facultative anaerobic microorganisms, which might represent a potential source of pathogenic species.


Kalvegren H, Majeed M, Bengtsson T (2003) Chlamydia pneumoniae binds to platelets and triggers P-selectin expression and aggregation : a causal role in cardiovascular disease ? Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 23 :1677-1683

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OBJECTIVE : Evidence linking Chlamydia pneumoniae to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is expanding. Platelets are considered to play an essential role in cardiovascular diseases ; however, so far platelets have not been associated with an infectious cause of atherosclerosis. This study aims to clarify the interaction between C pneumoniae and platelets and possibly present a novel mechanism in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. METHODS AND RESULTS : The effects of C pneumoniae on platelet aggregation and secretion were assessed with lumiaggregometry, and the ability of C pneumoniae to bind to platelets and stimulate expression of P-selectin was analyzed with flow cytometry. We found that C pneumoniae, at a chlamydia:platelet ratio of 1:15, adheres to platelets and triggers P-selectin expression after 1 minute and causes an extensive aggregation and ATP secretion after 20 minutes of incubation. Inhibition of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa with Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser or abciximab markedly reduced C pneumoniae-induced platelet aggregation. Exposure of C pneumoniae to polymyxin B, but not elevated temperature, abolished the stimulatory effects on platelet activation, suggesting that chlamydial lipopolysaccharide has an active role. In contrast, other tested bacteria had no or only moderate effects on platelet functions. CONCLUSIONS : Our findings demonstrate a new concept of how C pneumoniae activates platelets and thereby may cause atherosclerosis and thrombotic vascular occlusion.


Kantakamalakul W, Jaroenpool J, Pattanapanyasat K (2003) A novel enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-K562 flow cytometric method for measuring natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxic activity. J Immunol Methods 272 :189-197

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Enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) was stably expressed in human erythroleukaemia K562 cells (EGFP-K562) and used as target cells for measurement of natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity by flow cytometry. The compromised EGFP-K562 target cells were stained with propidium iodide (PI) and showed dual (green-red) fluorescent. Although the kinetic study demonstrated that the optimal incubation time for the assay was 4 h, a 2-h incubation period also gave comparable results. This new technique correlated strongly with the standard chromium (51Cr) release assay at the correlation coefficients of 0.87 and 0.89 at p-value <0.001 for 2- and 4-h incubation times, respectively. The EGFP-K562 stable cell line provides a novel method to measure NK cytotoxicity by flow cytometry without pre-staining or pre-labeling target cells.


Katsuragi H, Ohtake M, Kurasawa I, Saito K (2003) Intracellular production and extracellular release of oxygen radicals by PMNs and oxidative stress on PMNs during phagocytosis of periodontopathic bacteria. Odontology 91 :13-18

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=14505184

In this study we investigated intracellular and extracellular oxygen radical production by polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) during the phagocytosis of periodontopathic bacteria. In in vitro assays, bacteria of the species Porphyromonas gingivalis, Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, and Fusobacterium nucleatum were phagocytosed at 37 degrees C for 4 h by purified peripheral human PMNs from healthy subjects (n = 6). Superoxide production during phagocytosis was determined by flow cytometry and with a fluorescence/luminescence microplate reader. After phagocytosis, oxidative stress was determined by flow cytometry. Both the intracellular and extracellular oxygen radical production by PMNs phagocytosing F. nucleatum was significantly greater than that of PMNs phagocytosing P. gingivalis and A. actinomycetemcomitans ( P < 0.01 by the Mann-Whitney test). Moreover, after 4 h of incubation, the oxidative stress of PMNs phagocytosing F. nucleatum was significantly greater than that of PMNs phagocytosing P. gingivalis and A. actinomycetemcomitans. We conclude that a high level of superoxide production by PMNs may damage not only periodontopathic bacteria but also PMNs themselves, and may be correlated with the destruction of periodontal tissue.


Kiechle FL, Holland-Staley CA (2003) Genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and numbers. Arch Pathol Lab Med 127 :1089-1097

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=12946210

OBJECTIVE : To review the advances in clinically useful molecular biologic techniques and to identify their applications in clinical practice, as presented at the 11th Annual William Beaumont Hospital DNA Symposium. DATA SOURCES : The 8 manuscripts submitted were reviewed, and their major findings were compared with literature on the same or related topics. STUDY SELECTION : Manuscripts address the use of molecular techniques in microbiology to evaluate infectious disease and epidemiology ; molecular microbiology methods, including rapid-cycle real-time polymerase chain reaction ; peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma as a potential therapeutic target in inflammatory bowel disease or colon cancer ; the effect of nonapoptotic doses of the bisbenizamide dye Hoechst 33342 on luciferase expression in plasmid-transfected BC3H-1 myocytes ; the routine use of cystic fibrosis screening and its challenges ; and the use of flow cytometry and/or chromosomal translocation in the diagnostic evaluation of hematopoietic malignancies. DATA SYNTHESIS : Three current issues related to the use of molecular tests in clinical laboratories are (1) the restriction on introducing new tests secondary to existing patents or licenses ; (2) the preanalytic variables for the different specimen types currently in use, including whole blood, plasma, serum, fresh or frozen tissues, and free-circulating DNA ; and (3) the interpretation of studies evaluating the association of complex diseases with a single mutation or single-nucleotide polymorphism. Molecular methods have had a major impact on infectious disease through the rapid identification of organisms, the evaluation of outbreaks, and the characterization of drug resistance when compared with standard culture techniques. The activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma stimulated by thiazolidinedione is useful in the treatment of type II diabetes mellitus and may have value in preventing inflammatory bowel disease or colon cancer. Hoechst 33342 binding to adenine-thymine-rich regions in the minor groove of DNA is a fluorescent stain for DNA and initiates apoptosis at >10 microg/mL. Lower doses of Hoechst 33342 promote luciferase expression by a mechanism that may involve binding to cryptic promoters facilitated by dye-associated misalignment of the tertiary structure of DNA. The routine use of cystic fibrosis screening is complicated by the more than 1000 mutations associated with the disease. The use of 4-color flow cytometry and the detection of chromosomal translocation are both invaluable aids in establishing the diagnosis of lymphoid or myeloid hematopoietic malignancies. CONCLUSIONS : The current postgenomic era will continue to emphasize the use of microarrays and database software for genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic screening in the search for useful clinical assays. The number of molecular pathologic techniques will expand as additional disease-associated mutations are defined.


Kim KJ, Elliott SJ, Di Cello F, Stins MF, Kim KS (2003) The K1 capsule modulates trafficking of E. coli-containing vacuoles and enhances intracellular bacterial survival in human brain microvascular endothelial cells. Cell Microbiol 5 :245-252

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=12675682

Escherichia coli K1 has been shown to invade human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC) in vitro and translocate the blood-brain barrier in vivo, but it is unclear how E. coli K1 traverses HBMEC. We have previously shown that internalized E. coli K1 is localized within membrane-bound vacuole in HBMEC. The present study was carried out to understand intracellular trafficking of E. coli K1 containing vacuoles (ECVs) in HBMEC. ECVs initially acquired two early endosomal marker proteins, EEA1 and transferrin receptor. Rab7 and Lamp-1, markers for late endosome and late endosome/lysosome, respectively, were subsequently recruited on the ECVs, which was confirmed with flow cytometry analysis of ECVs. However, ECVs did not obtain cathepsin D, a lysosomal enzyme, even after 120 min incubation, suggesting that E. coli K1 avoids lysosomal fusion. In contrast, isogenic K1 capsule-deletion mutant obtained early and late endosomal markers on vacuolar membranes and allowed lysosomal fusion with subsequent degradation inside vacuoles. This observation was consistent with the decreased intracellular survival of K1 capsule-deletion mutant, even though the binding and internalization rates of the mutant were higher than those of the parent E. coli K1 strain. This is the first demonstration that E. coli K1, via the K1 capsule on the bacterial surface, modulates the maturation process of ECVs and prevents fusion with lysosomes, which is an event necessary for traversal of the blood-brain barrier as live bacteria.


Kohl A, Clayton RF, Weber F, Bridgen A, Randall RE, Elliott RM (2003) Bunyamwera virus nonstructural protein NSs counteracts interferon regulatory factor 3-mediated induction of early cell death. J Virol 77 :7999-8008

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=12829839

The genome of Bunyamwera virus (BUN ; family Bunyaviridae, genus Orthobunyavirus) consists of three segments of negative-sense RNA. The smallest segment, S, encodes two proteins, the nonstructural protein NSs, which is nonessential for viral replication and transcription, and the nucleocapsid protein N. Although a precise role in the replication cycle has yet to be attributed to NSs, it has been shown that NSs inhibits the induction of alpha/beta interferon, suggesting that it plays a part in counteracting the host antiviral defense. A defense mechanism to limit viral spread is programmed cell death by apoptosis. Here we show that a recombinant BUN that does not express NSs (BUNdelNSs) induces apoptotic cell death more rapidly than wild-type virus. Screening for apoptosis pathways revealed that the proapoptotic transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF-3) was activated by both wild-type BUN and BUNdelNSs infection, but only wild-type BUN was able to suppress signaling downstream of IRF-3. Studies with a BUN minireplicon system showed that active replication induced an IRF-3-dependent promoter, which was suppressed by the NSs protein. In a cell line (P2.1) defective in double-stranded RNA signaling due to low levels of IRF-3, induction of apoptosis was similar for wild-type BUN and BUNdelNSs. These data suggest that the BUN NSs protein can delay cell death in the early stages of BUN infection by inhibiting IRF-3-mediated apoptosis.


Kolberg J, Aase A, Rodal G, Littlejohn JE, Jedrzejas MJ (2003) Epitope mapping of pneumococcal surface protein A of strain Rx1 using monoclonal antibodies and molecular structure modelling. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol 39 :265-273

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=14642312

Pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA) is an antigenic variable vaccine candidate of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Epitope similarities between PspA from the American vaccine candidate strain Rx1 and Norwegian clinical isolates were studied using PspA specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) made against clinical Norwegian strains. Using recombinant PspA/Rx1 fragments and immunoblotting the epitopes for mAbs were mapped to two regions of amino acids, 1-67 and 67-236. The discovered epitopes were visualized by modelling of the PspA:Fab part of mAb in three dimensions. Flow cytometric analysis showed that the epitopes for majority of mAbs were accessible for antibody binding on live pneumococci. Also, the epitopes for majority of the mAbs are widely expressed among clinical Norwegian isolates.


Krog J, Hokland M, Andersen SK, Tonnesen E (2003) Phenotypic characterisation of porcine counterparts of human NK cell populations—implications for pre-clinical studies. APMIS Suppl :133-139

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=12874965

The phenotype of cryopreserved crossbred porcine PBMC, with special emphasis on NK cell related surface markers, was characterised. The phenotype expressed prior to stimulation with rHu IL2 and rHu IL12 was related to the in vitro cytotoxic capacity estimated in a 4-h or 21-h 51Cr-release assay. PBMC incubated in growth medium without addition of cytokines were used to investigate the spontaneous cytotoxic capacity. The results of this study suggest that crossbred porcine PBMC comprise a specific subset expressing the phenotype CD2+CD3-CD4-CD8+SWC3-CD16+CD21-. No spontaneous cytotoxicity of the PBMC could be estimated, but the expression of CD16 seems to be a basic marker of the cytokine induced cytotoxic activity. This study suggests that cryopreserved porcine PBMC can be used when possible influences on the porcine NK cell system are investigated in relation to disease models conducted experimentally in crossbred pigs.


Kuon W, Sieper J (2003) Identification of HLA-B27-restricted peptides in reactive arthritis and other spondyloarthropathies : computer algorithms and fluorescent activated cell sorting analysis as tools for hunting of HLA-B27-restricted chlamydial and autologous crossreactive peptides involved in reactive arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Rheum Dis Clin North Am 29 :595-611

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=12951870

The illustrated clinical and experimental results demonstrate the strong relationship between the MHC class I antigen HLA-B27 and synovial CD8+ T cells with specificity for bacterial and possible self-antigen in SpA. These new aspects obtained in recent experimental and clinical studies might also provide clues to the pathomechanisms of joint inflammation in SpA. In particular, the newly developed techniques will be of great relevance in the near future. New and more precise bioalgorithms reflecting new insights in the biology and biochemistry of proteins as recently presented [98, 99] can be helpful (e.g., a program with an improved prediction of the features of immunoproteasomes). Intracellular and secreted cytokine staining by FACScan allows examination of a great number of cells expressing certain antigens in response to certain stimuli. The analysis of T-cell responses with tetramer/peptide complexes can be useful to screen tissue sections for TCR, recognizing foreign or self-derived epitopes on those complexes loaded with selected (e.g., bacterial) peptides. Identification of arthritogenic peptides and a further understanding of the immunology of the pathomechanisms in SpA might open ways to design new peptide vaccines to prevent inflammation, autoimmunity, and other diseases by early intervention [100].


Kupferwasser LI, Yeaman MR, Nast CC, Kupferwasser D, Xiong YQ, Palma M, Cheung AL, Bayer AS (2003) Salicylic acid attenuates virulence in endovascular infections by targeting global regulatory pathways in Staphylococcus aureus. J Clin Invest 112 :222-233

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=12865410

Aspirin has been previously shown to reduce the in vivo virulence of Staphylococcus aureus in experimental endocarditis, through antiplatelet and antimicrobial mechanisms. In the present study, salicylic acid, the major in vivo metabolite of aspirin, mitigated two important virulence phenotypes in both clinical and laboratory S. aureus strains : alpha-hemolysin secretion and fibronectin binding in vitro. In addition, salicylic acid reduced the expression of the alpha-hemolysin gene promoter, hla, and the fibronectin gene promoter, fnbA. Transcriptional analysis, fluorometry, and flow cytometry revealed evidence of salicylic acid-mediated activation of the stress-response gene sigB. Expression of the sigB-repressible global regulon sarA and the global regulon agr were also mitigated by salicylic acid, corresponding to the reduced expression of the hla and fnbA genes in vitro. Studies in experimental endocarditis confirmed the key roles of both sarA and sigB in mediating the antistaphylococcal effects of salicylic acid in vivo. Therefore, aspirin has the potential to be an adjuvant therapeutic agent against endovascular infections that result from S. aureus, by downmodulating key staphylococcal global regulons and structural genes in vivo, thus abrogating relevant virulence phenotypes.


Lemar KM, Muller CT, Plummer S, Lloyd D (2003) Cell death mechanisms in the human opportunistic pathogen Candida albicans. J Eukaryot Microbiol 50 Suppl :685-686

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=14736219

Difficulties arising during chemotherapy of Candida albicans necessitate novel chemotherapeutic strategies. Garlic extract and two of its constituents, diallyl disulphide and allyl alcohol, are potentially useful anti-candidal agents. Flow Cytometry has been used to measure the population distributions of apoptotic/necrotic cell death using annexin V-FITC/propidium iodide and oxidative stress dichlorodihydrofluorescein. Candicidal mechanisms may be due to programmed cell death induced by oxidative stress, mediated by the generation of reactive oxygen species or alternatively by the depletion of cellular thiols, which normally act as redox buffer systems for defence. We suggest that mechanisms that these anti-candidal agents have in common is the triggering some of the characteristics of apoptotic cell death.


Levy AM, Burgess SC, Davidson I, Underwood G, Leitner G, Heller ED (2003) Interferon-containing supernatants increase Marek’s disease herpesvirus genomes and gene transcription levels, but not virion replication in vitro. Viral Immunol 16 :501-509

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Viruses encounter the innate immune system immediately after infection of the host ; specifically, soluble molecules that are both directly lethal and that initiate acquired immunity. Using the oncogenic Marek’s disease alpha-herpesvirus (MDV) model, we quantified the effect of a interferon-containing supernatants (ICS), on MDV replication, gene transcription and antigen expression kinetics. We used an established cell culture system and a well-defined virulent MDV (RB-1B). RB-1B was cultured without ICS, or pretreated and then continuously treated with ICS. We compared (i) RB-1B infectivity ; (ii) RB-1B growth by microscopy ; (iii) numbers of cells expressing RB-1B antigens by flow cytometry ; (iv) RB-1B-DNA load per cell by duplex real-time PCR, and (v) gene transcription kinetics for key MDV-life stages by duplex real-time reverse-transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR). ICS inhibited RB-1B infection, completion of productive life cycle and cell-to-cell infection. The numbers of cells expressing glycoprotein B (a kinetically late antigen) greatly decreased, but the numbers of cells expressing pp38 (a kinetically early antigen) decreased only slightly. The two greatest effects were increases in both RB-1B-DNA per infected cell and pp38 mRNA. We propose MDV has evolved to increase specific gene transcription and genome copies per cell to compensate for ICS. We speculate that the bi-directional shared pp38/origin of replication promoter, is central to this mechanism.


Lin CF, Lei HY, Shiau AL, Liu CC, Liu HS, Yeh TM, Chen SH, Lin YS (2003) Antibodies from dengue patient sera cross-react with endothelial cells and induce damage. J Med Virol 69 :82-90

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Dengue virus infection causes a wide range of diseases from the mild febrile illness dengue fever to the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS). Vascular leakage and hemorrhagic syndrome are the clinical features associated with dengue infection, yet the mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, the cross-reactivity of dengue patient sera with endothelial cells was demonstrated. There were higher percentages of endothelial cells reactive with dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome patient sera than those with dengue fever patient sera. The percentages of endothelial cells reactive with patient serum IgM were higher than those with IgG. Further studies showed that the endothelial cell binding activity was inhibited by pretreatment with dengue virus nonstructural protein 1 (NS1). The antibodies against NS1 produced after dengue virus infection may, at least in part, account for the cross-reactivity of patient sera with endothelial cells. Furthermore, dengue patient sera induced endothelial cell apoptosis via a caspase-dependent pathway that was also inhibited by NS1 pretreatment. In addition to apoptosis, patient sera caused cell lysis in the presence of complement, and DHF/DSS patient sera showed higher percentages of cytotoxicity than dengue fever patient sera. Thus, the generation of cross-reactive autoantibodies against endothelial cells would lead to their dysfunction, which may play a role in the pathogenesis of dengue virus infection.


Litvintseva AP, Marra RE, Nielsen K, Heitman J, Vilgalys R, Mitchell TG (2003) Evidence of sexual recombination among Cryptococcus neoformans serotype A isolates in sub-Saharan Africa. Eukaryot Cell 2 :1162-1168

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The most common cause of fungal meningitis in humans, Cryptococcus neoformans serotype A, is a basidiomycetous yeast with a bipolar mating system. However, the vast majority (>99.9%) of C. neoformans serotype A isolates possess only one of the two mating type alleles (MATalpha). Isolates with the other allele (MATa) were recently discovered and proven to mate in the laboratory. It has been a mystery whether and where C. neoformans strains undergo sexual reproduction. Here, we applied population genetic approaches to demonstrate that a population of C. neoformans serotype A clinical isolates from Botswana contains an unprecedented proportion of fertile MATa isolates and exhibits evidence of both clonal expansion and recombination within two partially genetically isolated subgroups. Our findings provide evidence for sexual recombination among some populations of C. neoformans serotype A from sub-Saharan Africa, which may have a direct impact on their evolution.


Lloyd D, Harris JC, Maroulis S, Mitchell A, Hughes MN, Wadley RB, Edwards MR (2003) Nitrosative stress induced cytotoxicity in Giardia intestinalis. J Appl Microbiol 95 :576-583

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=12911706

AIMS : To investigate the antigiardial properties of the nitrosating agents : sodium nitrite, sodium nitroprusside and Roussin’s black salt. METHODS AND RESULTS : Use of confocal laser scanning microscopy and flow cytometry indicated permeabilization of the plasma membrane to the anionic fluorophore, DiBAC4(3) [bis(1,3-dibutylbarbituric acid) trimethine oxonol]. Loss of plasma membrane electrochemical potential was accompanied by loss of regulated cellular volume control. Changes in ultrastructure revealed by electron microscopy and capacity for oxygen consumption, were also consequences of nitrosative stress. Roussin’s black salt (RBS), active at micromolar concentrations was the most potent of the three agents tested. CONCLUSIONS : These multitargeted cytotoxic agents affected plasma membrane functions, inhibited cellular functions in Giardia intestinalis and led to loss of viability. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY : Nitrosative damage, as an antigiardial strategy, may have implications for development of chemotherapy along with suggesting natural host defence mechanisms.


Lotfi M, Alan AR, Henning MJ, Jahn MM, Earle ED (2003) Production of haploid and doubled haploid plants of melon ( Cucumis melo L) for use in breeding for multiple virus resistance. Plant Cell Rep 21 :1121-1128

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=12836007

We have developed improved procedures for recovery of haploid and doubled haploid (DH) melon plants, using hybrids derived from crosses of lines with multiple virus resistance. Seeds formed after pollination with irradiated pollen were cultured in liquid medium for 10 days before excision of the embryos for further culture. This made it easier to identify the seeds containing parthenogenetic embryos, thereby reducing the effort required and increasing the percentage of plants recovered. The plants obtained (approximately 175) were transferred to a greenhouse for evaluation. Three fertile lines were identified, and selfed seeds were obtained for evaluating virus resistance. Flow cytometry of leaf tissues showed that two of these lines were spontaneous DH and the third was a mixoploid containing haploid and diploid cells. The other plants remained sterile through the flowering stage. Flow cytometry of 20 sterile plants showed that all were haploid. Attempts to induce chromosome doubling by applying colchicine to greenhouse-grown plants were unsuccessful. Shoot tips from the haploid plants were used to establish new in vitro cultures. In vitro treatment of 167 micropropagated haploid shoots with colchicine produced 10 diploid plants as well as 100 mixoploid plants. Pollen from male flowers that formed in vitro on the colchicine-treated plants was examined. High percentages of viable pollen that stained with acetocarmine were found not only in the diploids but also in >60% of the plants scored as mixoploid or haploid by flow cytometry. Efficient recovery of DH from hybrid melon lines carrying combinations of important horticultural traits will be a valuable tool for melon breeders.


Lotfian P, Levy MS, Coffin R, Ward J, Shamlou PA (2003) Shear-induced release of disabled herpes simplex virus from baby-hamster kidney cells. Biotechnol Appl Biochem 38 :271-281

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=12901722

A new process route is proposed to increase the production yield of disabled herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1 DIS). Infected baby-hamster kidney (BHK) cells were subjected to a range of shear rates between 3.69 x 10(3) s(-1) and 51.3 x 10(3) s(-1) in the gap between a pair of co-axial cylinders. Analysis of the supernatant fractions of sheared material established that optimal virus release was achieved by exposing the infected cells to a shear rate of 42.7 x 10(3) s(-1) for a period of 1 min. Compared with the current laboratory process, the titre of HSV-1 DIS was increased over 30-fold, from about 1 x 10(6) to 30 x 10(6) pfu (plaque-forming units)/ml. Evaluation of the supernatant fractions by flow cytometry, total protein assay, PAGE and dot-blot assays showed no evidence of cell disruption, supporting the hypothesis that shear-induced release of the cell-membrane-bound virus was achieved without compromising downstream purification. The proposed method is scalable, and since no additional chemicals are required, it provides an attractive option for enhanced recovery of virus particles for therapeutic applications.


Lucas A, Kremer EJ, Hemmi S, Luis J, Vignon F, Lazennec G (2003) Comparative transductions of breast cancer cells by three DNA viruses. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 309 :1011-1016

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Defining the ideal vectors to transduce breast cancer using viruses is currently under intense pre-clinical evaluation. Our study constitutes the first direct comparison of the infection efficiencies of a human serotype 5 (Ad5), a canine serotype 2 (CAV-2) adenovirus, and a human serotype 2 adeno-associated virus (AAV-2) in breast cancer cells. We observed an excellent infection efficiency for Ad5 vector, whereas both CAV-2 and AAV-2 vectors lead to low infection of these cells. Real-time PCR, flow cytometry, and antibody blocking studies suggest that Ad5 and CAV-2 infection ability is not strictly dependent on coxsackie adenovirus receptor (CAR) or alpha(v) integrin levels. In conclusion, our data suggest that human adenoviruses are excellent transducers of breast cancer cells, though it may be difficult to predict the extent of infection solely on CAR or alpha(v) integrin levels.


Luppens SB, Barbaras B, Breeuwer P, Rombouts FM, Abee T (2003) Selection of fluorescent probes for flow cytometric viability assessment of Listeria monocytogenes exposed to membrane-active and oxidizing disinfectants. J Food Prot 66 :1393-1401

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The aim of this study was to select fluorescence methods for use as alternatives to plate counting to assess the viability of Listeria monocytogenes cells exposed to benzalkonium chloride (BAC) and hydrogen peroxide, two disinfectants with different mechanisms of action. A further aim of this study was to determine whether growth phase influences fluorescence labeling and whether it is possible to predict whether a probe will be a good viability indicator for cells exposed to a certain disinfectant on the basis of the mechanism of action of the disinfectant and the target of the fluorescent probe. The fluorescence methods used were labeling with 5-cyano-2,3-ditolyl tetrazolium chloride (CTC ; dehydrogenase activity), labeling with TOTO-1 iodide (TOTO ; membrane-impermeant probe), and assessment of pH gradient maintenance in a low-pH buffer after labeling with the pH-sensitive probe 5-(and 6)-carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester (CFSE) (the pH(in) method). Growth phase influenced fluorescent labeling. However, the cutoff value for distinction between viable and nonviable cells was the same for both growth phases. The viability (determined by plate counts) of BAC-exposed cells correlated well with CTC labeling and TOTO exclusion. For both BAC-exposed and hydrogen peroxide-exposed cells, the pH(in) method gave a good qualitative indication of viability, sublethal damage, and cell death. CTC labeling and TOTO exclusion did not correlate with the viability of hydrogen peroxide-exposed cells. Our results demonstrate that even if the mechanism of action of a disinfectant is known, in some cases it is still difficult to predict whether a certain fluorescent probe is suitable for viability assessment. Thus, the proper selection of fluorescent probes for the assessment of the efficacy of antimicrobial agents is essential.


Mailloux BJ, Fuller ME (2003) Determination of in situ bacterial growth rates in aquifers and aquifer sediments. Appl Environ Microbiol 69 :3798-3808

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Laboratory and field-scale studies with stained cells were performed to monitor cell growth in groundwater systems. During cell division, the fluorescence intensity of the protein stain 5-(and 6-)-carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFDA/SE) for each cell is halved, and the intensity can be tracked with a flow cytometer. Two strains of bacteria, Comamonas sp. strain DA001 and Acidovorax sp. strain OY-107, both isolated from a shallow aquifer, were utilized in this study. The change in the average generation or the average fluorescence intensity of the CFDA/SE-stained cells could be used to obtain estimates of doubling times. In microcosm experiments, the CFDA/SE-based doubling times were similar to the values calculated by total cell counting and were independent of cell concentration. Intact and repacked sediment core experiments with the same bacteria indicated that changes in groundwater chemistry were just as important as growth rates in determining planktonic cell concentrations. The growth rates within the sediment cores were similar to those calculated in microcosm experiments, and preferential transport of the daughter cells was not observed. The experiments indicated that the growth rates could be determined in systems with cell losses due to other phenomena, such as attachment to sediment or predation. Application of this growth rate estimation method to data from a field-scale bacterial transport experiment indicated that the doubling time was approximately 15 days, which is the first known direct determination of an in situ growth rate for bacteria in an aquifer.


McGaha TL, Le M, Kodera T, Stoica C, Zhu J, Paul WE, Bona CA (2003) Molecular mechanisms of interleukin-4-induced up-regulation of type I collagen gene expression in murine fibroblasts. Arthritis Rheum 48 :2275-2284

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=12905482

OBJECTIVE : There is evidence that interleukin-4 (IL-4) plays a major role in the induction of extracellular matrix protein synthesis in fibrotic disease. We therefore examined the effect of IL-4 on collagen synthesis in primary fibroblasts isolated from normal and TSK/+ mice, which spontaneously develop a scleroderma-like syndrome characterized by diffuse cutaneous hyperplasia. METHODS : Expression of the IL-4 receptor was determined by flow cytometry and Western blotting. The IL-4 signal transduction cascade was analyzed by Western blotting. We assessed the role of signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (STAT-6) in IL-4 induction of alpha2(I) collagen promoter activity and message levels via luciferase reporter assay and real-time polymerase chain reaction. The activation status of the transcription factors activator protein 1 (AP-1) and Sp-1 upon stimulation with IL-4 in normal and TSK/+ fibroblasts was examined by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. RESULTS : Flow cytometry and Western blotting showed that IL-4 receptor alpha expression was elevated in TSK/+ fibroblasts compared with normal fibroblasts. After IL-4 stimulation, janus-activated kinase 1 (JAK-1) and JAK-2 were phosphorylated to a greater degree in TSK/+ fibroblasts than in C57BL/6 fibroblasts. TSK/+ fibroblasts appeared to be hyperresponsive to IL-4, displaying increased synthesis of alpha1(I) collagen messenger RNA (mRNA), collagen protein, and activity of a luciferase reporter construct containing the -300 to +54 murine alpha2(I) collagen promoter. Overexpression of STAT-6 enhanced this effect, whereas expression of a dominant-negative STAT-6 abrogated the ability of IL-4 to induce alpha1(I) collagen mRNA in TSK/+ fibroblasts. Moreover, IL-4 induced increased DNA binding activity of transcription factors that are important for collagen synthesis. CONCLUSION : Our observations indicate that IL-4 has a profound effect on several factors that have been identified as playing major roles in the regulation of collagen synthesis and suggest that IL-4 increases the expression of type I collagen through a mechanism involving the activation of transcription factors that bind to and activate collagen promoter.


McGinnes LW, Reitter JN, Gravel K, Morrison TG (2003) Evidence for mixed membrane topology of the newcastle disease virus fusion protein. J Virol 77 :1951-1963

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The synthesis of the Newcastle disease virus (NDV) fusion (F) protein in a cell-free protein-synthesizing system containing membranes was characterized. The membrane-associated products were in at least two different topological forms with respect to the membranes. The properties of one form were consistent with the expected membrane insertion as a classical type 1 glycoprotein. This form of the protein was fully glycosylated, and sequences amino terminal to the transmembrane domain were protected from protease digestion by the membranes. The second form of membrane-associated F protein was partially glycosylated and partially protected from protease digestion by the membranes. Protease digestion resulted in a 23-kDa protease-protected polypeptide derived from F2 sequences and sequences from the amino-terminal end of the F1 domain. Furthermore, a 10-kDa polypeptide derived from the cytoplasmic domain (CT) was also protected from protease digestion by the membranes. Protease resistance of the 23- and 10-kDa polypeptides suggested that this second form of F protein inserted in membranes in a polytopic conformation with both the amino-terminal end and the carboxyl-terminal end translocated across membranes. To determine if this second form of the fusion protein could be found in cells expressing the F protein, two different approaches were taken. A polypeptide with the size of the partially translocated F protein was detected by Western analysis of proteins in total-cell extracts of NDV strain B1 (avirulent)-infected Cos-7 cells. Using antibodies raised against a peptide with sequences from the cytoplasmic domain, CT sequences were detected on surfaces of F protein-expressing Cos-7 cells by immunofluorescence and by flow cytometry. This antibody also inhibited the fusion of red blood cells to cells expressing F and HN proteins. These results suggest that NDV F protein made both in a cell-free system and in Cos-7 cells may exist in two topological forms with respect to membranes and that the second form of the protein may be involved in cell-cell fusion.


McKenna GF, Todd D, Borghmans BJ, Welsh MD, Adair BM (2003) Immunopathologic investigations with an attenuated chicken anemia virus in day-old chickens. Avian Dis 47 :1339-1345

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The immunopathologic effects induced by two attenuated chicken anemia virus (CAV) isolates, known as cloned isolate 34 (CI 34) and cloned revertant isolate 18 (CRI 18), that were derived from highly passaged pools of Cux-1 CAV isolate, were compared with those induced by a pathogenic, molecularly cloned, low-passage Cux-1 isolate (CI Cux). This comparison involved the intramuscular inoculation of 1-day-old specific-pathogen-free chicks with each of the viruses and investigation of birds at selected days postinoculation for gross pathology and depletions in the thymic T-cell populations as determined by flow cytometry. Whereas infection with the pathogenic CI Cux produced severe anemia and pronounced bone marrow and thymus lesions, infections with the attenuated CRI 18 and CI 34 isolates produced no anemia, no or mild lesions, respectively, and moderate T-cell depletion. The results suggest that, with CAV, reduced pathogenicity for 1-day-old chicks correlates with reduced depletion of T-cell populations in the thymus and with reduced severity of lesions in the thymus and bone marrow.


Metz S, Beisker W, Hartmann A, Schloter M (2003) Detection methods for the expression of the dissimilatory copper-containing nitrite reductase gene (DnirK) in environmental samples. J Microbiol Methods 55 :41-50

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In situ assays, based on monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), were developed to study the microbial expression of the bacterial dissimilatory copper-containing nitrite reductase gene (DnirK), one of the key enzymes involved in denitrification, in different ecosystems. With a combination of an anti-DnirK mAb and phylogenetic oligonucleotide probes, it is possible to bring structural and functional aspects of microbial communities together. To perform a double labelling, yielding a high signal strength for both the oligonucleotide and the antibody, cells have to be labelled with the oligonucleotide first followed by immunostaining. When the labelling sequence was changed, the accessibility for the oligonucleotide was reduced if high amounts of DnirK were expressed. Using flow cytometry, it was possible to sort bacterial cells, which were stained by the antibody, from nonlabelled cells. This technique provides means for a detailed analysis of populations, which express DnirK genes in the environment, including structural aspects of a community and detailed promoter studies. Using the immunostaining approach, it was possible to identify bacteria, which have the DnirK system expressed, in samples from a wastewater sewage treatment plant as well as in samples from the rhizosphere of wheat roots. Furthermore, expression studies using an Ochrobactrum anthropi strain were carried out to investigate the correlation between N(2)O production rates and DnirK expression in batch cultures, which had been shifted from aerobic to anaerobic conditions. As expected, expression of DnirK was the highest during periods with the greatest synthesis rates for N(2)O. However, the amount of expressed enzyme was not reduced in the cells, although the N(2)O production rates dropped in the cultures 12 h after the shift from aerobic to anaerobic conditions.


Michaelsen TE, Ihle O, Beckstrom KJ, Herstad TK, Sandin RH, Kolberg J, Aase A (2003) Binding properties and anti-bacterial activities of V-region identical, human IgG and IgM antibodies, against group B Neisseria meningitidis. Biochem Soc Trans 31 :1032-1035

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We have constructed chimaeric (ch) mouse/human antibodies with identical binding regions isolated from the V-genes of two mouse parent hybridoma cell lines, with specificity against the P1.7 and P1.16 epitopes on the outer-membrane protein PorA on meningococci. The chimaeric antibodies can be used to analyse relationships between specificity, binding activity (avidity and kinetics), isotype (antibody class and antibody subclass) and in vitro anti-bacterial activity of meningococcal antibodies. The antibody sets represented the human isotypes IgG1, IgG3 and IgM, which dominate during immune response against protein antigens. The binding activities were quite similar for all these isotypes, surprisingly also for the pentameric IgM. Interestingly, monomeric IgM, prepared from pentameric IgM by partially reduction and alkylation, had similar binding activities as the original pentameric IgM. Regarding in vitro anti-bacterial activity, chIgG1 was superior in SBA (serum bactericidal activity) compared with chIgG3, while chIgG3 was more efficient in OP (opsonophagocytosis ; measured by flow cytometry) than chIgG1. ChIgM showed slightly higher SBA than chIgG1 on molar basis, and much higher OP than chIgG3 and chIgG1. A lower concentration of antibodies was needed against the P1.16 than against the P1.7 epitope to induce SBA, but this was not the case for OP.


Michelsen O, Teixeira de Mattos MJ, Jensen PR, Hansen FG (2003) Precise determinations of C and D periods by flow cytometry in Escherichia coli K-12 and B/r. Microbiology 149 :1001-1010

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The C and D cell cycle periods of seven Escherichia coli K-12 strains and three E. coli B/r strains were determined by computer simulation of DNA histograms obtained by flow cytometry of batch cultures grown at several different generation times. To obtain longer generation times two of the K-12 strains were cultivated at several different dilution rates in glucose-limited chemostats. The replication period (C period) was found to be similar in K-12 and B/r strains grown at similar generation times. At generation times below 60 min the C period was constant ; above 60 min it increased linearly with increasing generation time. The period from termination of replication to cell division (D period) was more variable. It was much shorter in B/r than in K-12 strains. Like the C period it was relatively constant at generation times below 60 min and it increased with increasing generation times at longer generation times. In glucose-limited chemostats good correlation was found between D periods and generation times, whereas batch cultures exhibited carbon-source-dependent variations. Chemostat cultures showed cell cycle variations very similar to those obtained in batch cultures. These flow cytometric determinations of cell cycle periods confirm earlier determinations of the C period and establish that the D period also varies with generation time in slowly growing cultures. In addition they extend the range of growth rates at which cell cycle periods have been determined in E. coli K-12.


Mollenkvist A, Nordstrom T, Hallden C, Christensen JJ, Forsgren A, Riesbeck K (2003) The Moraxella catarrhalis immunoglobulin D-binding protein MID has conserved sequences and is regulated by a mechanism corresponding to phase variation. J Bacteriol 185 :2285-2295

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The prevalence of the Moraxella catarrhalis immunoglobulin D (IgD)-binding outer membrane protein MID and its gene was determined in 91 clinical isolates and in 7 culture collection strains. Eighty-four percent of the clinical Moraxella strains expressed MID-dependent IgD binding. The mid gene was detected in all strains as revealed by homology of the signal peptide sequence and a conserved area in the 3’ end of the gene. When MID proteins from five different strains were compared, an identity of 65.3 to 85.0% and a similarity of 71.2 to 89.1% were detected. Gene analyses showed several amino acid repeat motifs in the open reading frames, and MID could be called a putative autotransport protein. Interestingly, homopolymeric [polyguanine [poly(G)]] tracts were detected at the 5’ ends within the open reading frames. By flow cytometry, using human IgD and fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated anti-IgD polyclonal antibodies, most strains showed two peaks : one high- and one low-intensity peak. All isolates expressing high levels of MID had 1, 2, or 3 triplets of G’s in their poly(G) tracts, while strains not expressing MID had 4, 7, 8, or 10 G’s in their poly(G) tracts or point mutations causing a putative preterminated translation. Northern blot analysis revealed that the mid gene was regulated at the transcriptional level. Experiments with nonclumping variants of M. catarrhalis proved that bacteria lost their MID expression by removing a G in their poly(G) tracts. Moraxella strains isolated from the nasopharynx or from blood and sputum specimens expressed MID at approximately the same frequency. In addition, no variation was observed between strains of different geographical origins (Australia, Europe, Japan, or the United States). MID and the mid gene were found solely in M. catarrhalis, whereas related Neisseria and Moraxella species did not express MID. Taken together, MID appears to be a conserved protein that can be found in essentially all M. catarrhalis strains. Furthermore, MID is governed by poly(G) tracts when bacteria undergo phase variation.


Muller S, Babel W (2003) Analysis of bacterial DNA patterns—an approach for controlling biotechnological processes. J Microbiol Methods 55 :851-858

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Optimisation of biotechnological processes catalysed by microbial cells requires detailed information about operational limits of the single cells. Their performance is correlated with distinct physiological states. We related these states to cell cycle events, which were found to proceed extremely diversely in different bacterial strains. Characteristic DNA patterns were found flow cytometrically, depending on the type of strain, substrates and growth conditions involved ; this information can be used for the development of control strategies of bioprocesses, although some skill is required.Four bacterial strains (the Gram-negative strains Acinetobacter calcoaceticus 69-V, Ralstonia eutropha JMP 134, Ochrobactrum anthropi K2-14 and the Gram-positive strain Rhodococcus erythropolis K2-3) were grown in mono- and mixed cultures on different substrates, and analysed regarding their proliferation behaviour. The resulting DNA distribution patterns provided three types of valuable information. First, correlation of proliferation activity with the appearance of a major part of cells within the C(2) stage of the cell cycle is a strain-specific feature. Second, bacteria usually maintain more than one chromosome under limiting growth conditions : DNA replication is completed in such cases, but cell division fails. Third, high growth rates are associated with uncoupled DNA synthesis. Its general initiation might be genetically determined in the first place, but it is promoted by optimal growth conditions and the presence of substrates that can be metabolised at high rates, thereby allowing substantial amounts of carbon, other nutrients and energy to be used exclusively for DNA synthesis.


Narayanan SK, Chengappa MM, Stewart GC, Nagaraja TG (2003) Immunogenicity and protective effects of truncated recombinant leukotoxin proteins of Fusobacterium necrophorum in mice. Vet Microbiol 93 :335-347

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Fusobacterium necrophorum, a gram-negative, anaerobic and rod-shaped bacterium, is generally an opportunistic pathogen and causes a wide variety of necrotic infections in animals and humans. Leukotoxin, a secreted protein, is a major virulence factor. The gene encoding the leukotoxin (lktA) in F. necrophorum has been cloned, sequenced and expressed in Escherichia coli. Because of low expression levels, problems associated with purifying full-length recombinant protein, and of the physical instability of the protein, five overlapping leukotoxin gene truncations were constructed. The recombinant polypeptides (BSBSE, SX, GAS, SH, and FINAL) were expressed in E. coli and purified by nickel-affinity chromatography. The objectives were to investigate the effectiveness of the purified truncated polypeptides to induce protective immunity in mice challenged with F. necrophorum. The polypeptides, individually or in combination, and inactivated native leukotoxin or culture supernatant of F. necrophorum were homogenized with an adjuvant and injected into mice on days 0 and 21. Blood samples were collected to measure serum anti-leukotoxin antibody titers on days 0, 21 and 42 and on day 42, mice were experimentally challenged with F. necrophorum. All polypeptides were immunogenic, with GAS polypeptide eliciting the least antibody response. Two polypeptides (BSBSE and SH) induced significant protection in mice against F. necrophorum infection. Protection was better than the full-length native leukotoxin or inactivated supernatant.The study demonstrated that the leukotoxin of F. necrophorum carries epitopes that induce protective immunity against experimental fusobacterial infection, thus providing further evidence to the importance of leukotoxin as a major virulence factor.


Nohynek L, Saski E, Haikara A, Raaska L (2003) Detection of bacterial contamination in starch and resin-based papermaking chemicals using fluorescence techniques. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 30 :239-244

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Rapid fluorescence techniques were evaluated for the detection of bacterial contaminants in papermaking chemicals including starch and the resin-based sizes and starch slurries used in the paper industry. Viable and non-viable bacterial cells were visualised by fluorescent probes and detected by epifluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. The best discrimination ability was obtained with the fluorescent probes LIVE/DEAD and SYBR Green, based on the staining of cellular nucleic acid, and ChemChrome V3, which demonstrated cellular enzymatic activity. The process samples had to be diluted and filtered before fluorescence staining and analysis because they were viscous and contained solid particles. Fluorescence microscopic counts of bacteria in highly contaminated process samples were similar to plate counts, but flow cytometric enumeration of bacterial cells in process samples yielded 2- to 10-fold lower counts compared with plate counts, depending on the consistency of the sample. The detection limits in flow cytometric analysis and in epifluorescence microscopy were 10(3)-10(6) cells ml(-1) and 10(5)-10(6) cells ml(-1), respectively. Intrinsic bacterial contamination was detectable with fluorescence techniques and highly contaminated process samples could be analysed with fluorescence methods.


Novak A, Vagvolgyi C, Pesti M (2003) Characterization of Candida albicans colony-morphology mutants and their hybrids. Folia Microbiol (Praha) 48 :203-209

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The collection wild-type strain of Candida albicans was used to obtain auxotrophic and colony-morphology mutants by ’nitrosoguanidine’ treatment. Intraspecific protoplast fusion induced by Ca(2+)-poly(ethyleneglycol) was carried out in various pairings between the auxotrophic strain producing smooth colonies and containing blastospores and the colony-morphology mutants containing a mixture of blastospores and pseudohyphae or only hyphae. Hybrids exhibiting full or partial complementation were obtained when mutants producing smooth colonies and colony-morphology variants of different origins were fused. The mutation responsible for the colony-morphology character (if various types of colony morphomutants were crossed) proved to be recessive or semidominant. Representative hybrids exhibited elevated DNA contents as measured by flow cytometry. To illustrate various cell types, and especially the intermediate one (never observed in natural isolates), a preparation method was further developed for scanning electron microscopic studies.


Odeberg J, Plachter B, Branden L, Soderberg-Naucler C (2003) Human cytomegalovirus protein pp65 mediates accumulation of HLA-DR in lysosomes and destruction of the HLA-DR alpha-chain. Blood 101 :4870-4877

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Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has developed multiple strategies to escape immune recognition. Here, we demonstrate that HCMV down-regulates HLA-DR expression in infected interferon gamma (IFN-gamma)-stimulated fibroblasts at 1 day after infection. Decreased HLA-DR expression was not observed on cells infected with an HCMV strain lacking the pp65 gene (RVAD65), but was observed on cells transfected with the pp65 gene. HLA-DR expression accumulated in vacuoles near the nucleus in HCMV-infected, but not in uninfected or RVAD65-infected cells. In addition, the HLA-DR alpha-chain, but not the beta-chain or HLA-DM, was degraded in HCMV-infected but not in RVAD65-infected cells. Thus, the HCMV protein pp65 mediates decreased expression of HLA-DR, by mediating an accumulation of HLA class II molecules in lysosomes that results in degradation of the HLA-DR alpha-chain.


Olsen PA, McKeen C, Krauss S (2003) Branched oligonucleotides induce in vivo gene conversion of a mutated EGFP reporter. Gene Ther 10 :1830-1840

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Branched oligonucleotides (b-oligonucleotides) based on a novel branching monomer were used for site-specific sequence alteration in vivo. With a stable integrated mutated enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) template in Chinese hamster ovary cells, up to 0.1% EGFP-positive cells were counted after transfection with b-oligonucleotides. The presence of EGFP protein in converted cells was demonstrated by anti-EGFP immunocytochemistry. Genomic sequencing of converted cells showed in 40% of the analysed clones the corrected wild-type codon, while 9.3% of the sequences showed a corrected wild-type sequence and an additional collateral mutation. Despite the stable corrected genomic locus, converted cells entered selective apoptosis after 3-6 days. The cell line Irs-1 that is deficient in the homologous recombination pathway showed a reduced frequency of b-oligonucleotide-induced site-specific sequence conversion. The reduced conversion rates in the mutant cell line could be partly rescued by complementation with XRCC2 cDNA.


Onyeaka H, Nienow AW, Hewitt CJ (2003) Further studies related to the scale-up of high cell density Escherichia coli fed-batch fermentations : the additional effect of a changing microenvironment when using aqueous ammonia to control pH. Biotechnol Bioeng 84 :474-484

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In this work, we report on the further development of the scale-down, two-compartment (STR + PFR) experimental simulation model. For the first time, the effect on high cell density Escherichia coli fed-batch fermentations of a changing microenvironment with respect to all three of the major spatial heterogeneities that may be associated with large-scale processing (pH, glucose, and dissolved oxygen concentration) were studied simultaneously. To achieve this, we used traditional microbiological analyses as well as multiparameter flow cytometry to monitor cell physiological response at the individual cell level. It was demonstrated that for E. coli W3110 under such conditions in a 20 m(3) industrial fed-batch fermentation, the biomass yield is lower and final cell viability is higher than those found in the equivalent well-mixed, 5L laboratory scale case. However, by using a combination of the well-mixed 5L stirred tank reactor (STR) with a suitable plug flow reactor (PFR) to mimic the changing microenvironment at the large scale, very similar results to those in the 20 m(3) reactor may be obtained. The similarity is greatest when the PFR is operated with a mean residence time of 50 sec with a low level of dO(2) and a high glucose concentration with either a pH of 7 throughout the two reactors or with pH controlled at 7 in the STR by addition into the PFR where the pH is > 7.


Pancholi V, Fontan P, Jin H (2003) Plasminogen-mediated group A streptococcal adherence to and pericellular invasion of human pharyngeal cells. Microb Pathog 35 :293-303

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Alpha-enolase (SEN) is a strong plasminogen-binding protein on the surface of group A streptococci (GAS). By flow cytometry and immunofluorescence analyses and using human enolase-specific antibody, human pharyngeal cells (Detroit 562) also were found to express enolase on their surface. Detroit 562 cells preferentially bound to Lys-plasminogen and this binding was inhibited in the presence of a lysine analog, epsilon-aminocaproic acid and by carboxypeptidase-B treatment suggesting that the C-terminal lysine residue of the putative pharyngeal cell receptor(s) may play an important role in plasminogen-binding. The increased plasminogen-binding in the presence of free enolase indicated the presence of an enolase/SEN-specific receptor on the pharyngeal cell surface. GAS, when precoated with Lys-plasminogen, adhered to pharyngeal cells significantly more in numbers than when precoated with fibronectin or laminin. Similarly, GAS adhered also significantly more in numbers to pharyngeal cells which were precoated with Lys-plasminogen. GAS adhered similarly in high numbers when incubated with pharyngeal cells in the presence of soluble plasminogen. The de novo pharyngeal cell-bound protease activity, created as a result of activation of bound plasminogen by t-PA, indicated its potential role in pericellular fibrinolytic activity. Further GAS with tPA-activated plasminogen bound on their surface penetrated through Transwell-grown pharyngeal cells in significantly higher numbers. Together, the results presented in this study highlight a novel function of plasminogen in streptococcal adherence to pharyngeal cells and a newly discovered streptococcal ability to pericellularly invade pharyngeal cells as a result of tPA/endogenous plasminogen activator-mediated proteolytic activity.


Par G, Szekeres-Bartho J, Buzas E, Pap E, Falus A (2003) Impaired reproduction of histamine deficient (histidine-decarboxylase knockout) mice is caused predominantly by a decreased male mating behavior. Am J Reprod Immunol 50 :152-158

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PROBLEM : Histamine induces a Th2 shift. As successful allopregnancy is characterized by a peripheral Th2 dominance, we investigated the role of histamine in reproduction. METHOD OF STUDY : HDC knockout (HDC-/-) or wild-type (HDC+/+) mice kept on histamine-deficient or normal diet were mated. Appearance of vaginal plugs indicated day 0.5 of pregnancy. On day 10.5 uteri were inspected. Splenic IFN-gamma production and cytotoxic activity were determined. RESULTS : In HDC+/+ or HDC-/- females on normal diet, plugs appeared between 3 and 6 days. In 80% of the (HDC-/-)/(HDC-/-) matings on histamine-deficient diet, no vaginal plugs were observed for more than 1 month. After replacing males with the wild type, plugs appeared within 3 days. In HDC-/- mice, litter size was lower than in HDC+/+ animals. Cytotoxicity and IFN-gamma production were significantly increased in non-pregnant histamine-deficient mice, but not in pregnant mice. CONCLUSION : Histamine affects male mating behavior, but is not indispensable for successful pregnancy.


Park JC, Suh H, Sung HJ, Han DW, Lee DH, Park BJ, Park YH, Cho BK (2003) Liposomal entrapment of cefoxitin to improve cellular viability and function in human saphenous veins. Artif Organs 27 :623-630

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Liposomal cefoxitin was prepared and applied to the pretreatment of human saphenous vein (HSV) for implantation. The possible use of liposomal cefoxitin to improve cellular viability and function and to maintain its potential sterilization effect was investigated. Entrapment efficiency and size distribution of liposomal cefoxitin were 75.7% and 652 +/- 75.7 nm, respectively. The weight ratio between cefoxitin and liposome was calculated at 1 : 40.6. When cefoxitin was entrapped with liposome, the released amount of cefoxitin was not affected by temperature conditions (37 degrees C, 25 degrees C, and 4 degrees C). The amount of free cefoxitin present in HSV reached 59% at 0.5 h and gradually decreased with time, while liposomal cefoxitin showed a maximum amount (63%) at 1.5 h, indicating that liposomal cefoxitin seemed to control the initial amount of cefoxitin present in HSV. Liposomal cefoxitin showed better viabilities of whole cells and endothelial cells dissociated from HSV than free cefoxitin and remarkably superior function of endothelial cells, as determined by Griffonia simplicifolia agglutinins-fluorescein isothiocyanate/propidium iodide double-staining methods combined with flow cytometry and endothelial nitric oxide synthase assay, respectively. In terms of sterilization effect, there was no significant difference between liposomal cefoxitin and free cefoxitin. These results suggest that liposomal entrapment of cefoxitin could improve cellular viability and functions and maintain the original sterilization effect.


Park Y, Moon Y, Chung HY (2003) AIRE-1 (autoimmune regulator type 1) as a regulator of the thymic induction of negative selection. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1005 :431-435

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The monogenic autoimmune syndrome, APS-1 (autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 1), is characterized by the loss of self-tolerance to multiple organs. Although mutations in the AIRE (autoimmune regulator) gene are responsible for the APS-1, the function of AIRE is not known. AIRE may determine thymic induction of tolerance to self-antigens in multiple organs. To study the function of AIRE in induction of self-tolerance, an in vitro negative selection system was made using 10(6) DO11.10 TCR transgenic thymocytes, 10(5) antigen-presenting cells (APC), and the different constructs of ovalbumin (OVA). In this system, the addition of the immunodominant epitopes of OVA peptide, the antigenic ligand for the DO11.10, made the thymocytes apoptotic and negatively selected. Overexpression of the AIRE gene in APC using retroviral transduction did not cause more thymocytes to become apoptotic. However, the suppression of the expression of AIRE in APC using the dominant-negative gene made the recovery rates of the thymocytes higher than those with the expression of LacZ as a control, and consequently inducing loss of self-tolerance. From these studies, it might be possible to suggest that the AIRE gene might regulate thymic induction of the negative selection process. The target genes for transcriptional regulation by AIRE have been investigated to study the influence of AIRE expression on other proteins in antigen presentation. The expression level of B7.1 was higher in APC expressing the dominant-negative form of AIRE. The target gene regulated by AIRE in transcription will be screened using cDNA microarray.


Passler S, Pfeffer M (2003) Detection of antibodies to alphaviruses and discrimination between antibodies to eastern and western equine encephalitis viruses in rabbit sera using a recombinant antigen and virus-specific monoclonal antibodies. J Vet Med B Infect Dis Vet Public Health 50 :265-269

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Three arthropod-borne alphaviruses, western equine encephalitis viruses (WEEV), eastern equine encephalitis viruses (EEEV) and Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses are the aetiological agents of a sometimes severe encephalomyelitis in equines and humans in the New World. With regard to the different ecology and epidemiology of these viruses, a method applied in serological screening should be able to distinguish between them as well as other related members of the genus Alphavirus in the American continent. However, this has been hampered in the past by (a) the close antigenic relationship between alphaviruses in traditional serological assays, especially in the routinely used haemagglutination-inhibition, and (b) the need of biosafety level 3 facilities to grow the viral antigens. An epitope blocking assay using an EEEV glycoprotein E1-expressing recombinant Sindbis virus and virus-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) binding to the E1 of EEEV (strain NJ/60) and the E1 of Sindbis virus was established using automated flow cytometry. The test was evaluated using sera of infected and vaccinated rabbits. A cut-off value of 30% inhibition for antigenic complex-specific seroconversion was found to be sufficient for the detection of the respective infection. By using three different mAbs in parallel, we were able to detect alphavirus genus-, EEEV- and WEEV-complex-specific serum antibodies. As this test is based on the inhibition of binding of virus-specific mAbs, sera of every origin other than mouse can be tested. Thus, this assay may prove useful in the serological screening of a variety of animal species during an outbreak investigation.


Pfefferle W, Mockel B, Bathe B, Marx A (2003) Biotechnological manufacture of lysine. Adv Biochem Eng Biotechnol 79 :59-112

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L-Lysine has been manufactured using Corynebacterium glutamicum for more than 40 years. Nowadays production exceeds 600,000 tons per year. Based on conventionally bred strains, further improvement of lysine productivity has been achieved by genetic engineering. Pyruvate carboxylase, aspartate kinase, dihydrodipicolinate synthase, homoserine dehydrogenase and the specific lysine exporter were shown to be key enzymes for lysine production and were characterized in detail. Their combined engineering led to a striking increase in lysine formation. Pathway modeling with data emerging from 13C-isotope experiments revealed a coordinated flux through pentose phosphate cycle and tricarboxylic acid cycle and intensive futile cycling between C3 compounds of glycolysis and C4 compounds of tricarboxylic acid cycle. Process economics have been optimized by developing repeated fed-batch techniques and technical continuous fermentations. In addition, on-line metabolic pathway analysis or flow cytometry may help to improve the fermentation performance. Finally, the availability of the Corynebacterium glutamicum genome sequence has a major impact on the improvement of the biotechnological manufacture of lysine. In this context, all genes of the carbon flow from sugar uptake to lysine secretion have been identified and are accessible to manipulation. The whole sequence information gives access to post genome technologies such as transcriptome analysis, investigation of the proteome and the active metabolic network. These multi-parallel working technologies will accelerate the generation of knowledge. For the first time there is a chance of understanding the overall picture of the physiological state of lysine overproduction in a technical environment.


Ren B, Szalai AJ, Thomas O, Hollingshead SK, Briles DE (2003) Both family 1 and family 2 PspA proteins can inhibit complement deposition and confer virulence to a capsular serotype 3 strain of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Infect Immun 71 :75-85

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Pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA), a virulence factor of Streptococcus pneumoniae, is exceptionally diverse, being classified into two major families which are over 50% divergent by sequence analysis. A family 1 PspA from strain WU2 was previously shown to impede the clearance of pneumococci from mouse blood and to interfere with complement deposition on the bacterial surface. To determine whether a family 2 PspA can perform the same role as family 1 PspA, the family 1 PspA (from strain WU2) was replaced with a family 2 PspA (from strain TIGR4) by molecular genetic methods to make an isogenic pair of strains expressing different PspA proteins. Surface binding of lactoferrin and interference with C3 deposition by the two types of PspA proteins were determined by flow cytometry, and virulence was assessed in a mouse bacteremia model. Although the family 2 PspA appeared to bind less human lactoferrin than did the family 1 PspA, both PspA proteins could interfere with complement deposition on the pneumococcal surface and could provide full virulence in the mouse infection model. A mutant form of the family 2 PspA with a deletion within the choline-binding region was also produced. Pneumococci with this mutant PspA failed to bind human lactoferrin even though the PspA was present on the pneumococcal surface. The mutant PspA only partially interfered with complement deposition and moderately attenuated virulence. These results suggest that family 1 and family 2 PspA proteins play similar roles in virulence and that surface accessibility of PspA is important for their function.


Rigottier-Gois L, Rochet V, Garrec N, Suau A, Dore J (2003) Enumeration of Bacteroides species in human faeces by fluorescent in situ hybridisation combined with flow cytometry using 16S rRNA probes. Syst Appl Microbiol 26 :110-118

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Bacteroides is a predominant group of the faecal microbiota in healthy adults. To investigate the species composition of Bacteroides by fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) combined with flow cytometry, we developed five species-specific probes targeting the 16S rRNA. Probes were designed to identify cells belonging to Bacteroides distasonis, B. fragilis, B. ovatus, B. vulgatus and B. putredinis. The species-specificity of the probes was assessed against a collection of reference strains from the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides group. The results of the FISH experiments showed that the probes were specific as they only detected strains of the target species. Determining the fluorescence intensity of each probe relative to that of the EUB 338 probe (domain bacteria) further showed that each species probe easily accessed the targeted site. The probes were applied to quantify the Bacteroides species in faeces collected from 20 healthy adults. All five species were detected in the faecal samples. Cells hybridised with Bfra 998 were the most frequent as they were observed in 90% of individuals (18/20 samples, mean proportion of 3.9 +/- 2.2%). The cells hybridised with Bvulg 1017 were observed in 85% of individuals (17/20 samples) and represented with a mean proportion of 4.2 +/- 6.1%, the most abundant Bacteroides species in human faeces. Cells hybridising with probes for B. ovatus, B. distasonis and B. putredinis were less frequently detected. The large distribution of B. vulgatus and B. fragilis in human faeces is in accordance with previous reports based on culture or molecular studies. This work showed that fluorescent in situ hybridisation is a tool appropriate for a high-resolution analysis of the species composition of complex ecosystems and especially of the Bacteroides group within the faecal microbiota.


Ritzi M, Tillack K, Gerhardt J, Ott E, Humme S, Kremmer E, Hammerschmidt W, Schepers A (2003) Complex protein-DNA dynamics at the latent origin of DNA replication of Epstein-Barr virus. J Cell Sci 116 :3971-3984

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The sequential binding of the origin recognition complex (ORC), Cdc6p and the minichromosome maintenance proteins (MCM2-7) mediates replication competence at eukaryotic origins of DNA replication. The latent origin of Epstein-Barr virus, oriP, is a viral origin known to recruit ORC. OriP also binds EBNA1, a virally encoded protein that lacks any activity predicted to be required for replication initiation. Here, we used chromatin immunoprecipitation and chromatin binding to compare the cell-cycle-dependent binding of pre-RC components and EBNA1 to oriP and to global cellular chromatin. Prereplicative-complex components such as the Mcm2p-Mcm7p proteins and HsOrc1p are regulated in a cell-cycle-dependent fashion, whereas other HsOrc subunits and EBNA1 remain constantly bound. In addition, HsOrc1p becomes sensitive to the 26S proteasome after release from DNA during S phase. These results show that the complex protein-DNA dynamics at the viral oriP are synchronized with the cell division cycle. Chromatin-binding and chromatin-immunoprecipitation experiments on G0 arrested cells indicated that the ORC core complex (ORC2-5) and EBNA1 remain bound to chromatin and oriP. HsOrc6p and the MCM2-7 complex are released in resting cells. HsOrc1p is partly liberated from chromatin. Our data suggest that origins remain marked in resting cells by the ORC core complex to ensure a rapid and regulated reentry into the cell cycle. These findings indicate that HsOrc is a dynamic complex and that its DNA binding activity is regulated differently in the various stages of the cell cycle.


Robinson KA, Beverley SM (2003) Improvements in transfection efficiency and tests of RNA interference (RNAi) approaches in the protozoan parasite Leishmania. Mol Biochem Parasitol 128 :217-228

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Approaches which eliminate mRNA expression directly are ideally suited for reverse genetics applications in eukaryotic microbes which are asexual diploids, such as the protozoan parasite Leishmania. RNA interference (RNAi) approaches have been successful in many species, including the related parasite Trypanosoma brucei. For RNAi tests in Leishmania, we developed improved protocols for transient and stable DNA transfection, attaining efficiencies of up to 25 and 3%, respectively. This facilitated RNAi tests at the alpha-tubulin locus, whose inhibition gives a strong lethal phenotype in trypanosomatids. However, transient or stable transfection of DNAs encoding mRNAs for an alpha-tubulin stem-loop construct and GFP to monitor transfection resulted in no effect on parasite morphology, growth or tubulin expression in Leishmania major or L. donovani. Transient transfection of a 24-nucleotide double-stranded alpha-tubulin siRNA also had no effect. Similar results were obtained in studies targeting an introduced GFP gene with a GFP stem-loop construct. These data suggest that typical RNAi strategies may not work effectively in Leishmania, and raise the possibility that Leishmania is naturally deficient for RNAi activity, like Saccharomyces cerevisae. The implications to parasite biology, gene amplification, and genetic analysis are discussed.


Sachidanandham R, Gin KY (2003) Flow cytometric detection of beta-D-glucuronidase gene in wild-type bacterial cells using in-situ PCR. Biotechnol Bioeng 82 :127-133

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An in situ PCR-based flow cytometry method useful for monitoring the presence or absence of the beta-D-glucuronidase gene in Escherichia coli has been developed. A single-step fixation and permeabilization procedure, which maintained cell integrity at the elevated temperatures used during thermal cycling in the presence of PCR reagents, was demonstrated. We have chosen a shorter DNA sequence of length 147 bp for the PCR. Cells subjected to in situ PCR using fluorescein-12-dUTP as a label, showed the presence of uid both in epifluorescence microscopic examination and flow cytometric analysis. Multi-parametric analysis of flow cytometric profiles revealed that the efficiency of labeling was found to be high. The potential of in situ PCR for the detection of uid in intact coliform cells was then successfully tested with a fecal coliform isolated from the coastal waters of Singapore.


Sahoo S, Verma RK, Suresh AK, Rao KK, Bellare J, Suraishkumar GK (2003) Macro-level and genetic-level responses of Bacillus subtilis to shear stress. Biotechnol Prog 19 :1689-1696

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Responses of bacterial (Bacillus subtilis) cells under different shear levels, from both the macro and genetic viewpoints, have been presented. The responses were studied using a novel, couette flow bioreactor (CFB), in which the entire cultivation can be performed under defined shear conditions. Oxygen supply, the normal limiting factor for entire cultivations under defined shear conditions, has been achieved by passing air through a poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) membrane fixed on the inner cylinder of the CFB. More importantly, analyses of the oxygen transfer capabilities as well as the shear rates show that in this CFB, the effects of defined shear can be studied without interference from the effects of oxygen supply. Further, the shake flask can be used as a proper control for studying the shear effects, mainly because the shear rate in the shake flask under normal shaker operating conditions of 190 rpm has been estimated to be a negligible 0.028 s(-1) compared to a value of 445 s(-1) at the lowest rpm employed in the CFB. At the macro level the cell size decreased by almost 50% at 1482 s(-1) compared to that at 0.028 s(-1), the growth rate increased by 245%, and the maximum cell concentration increased by 190% when the shear rate was increased from 0.028 to 1482 s(-1). The specific intracellular catalase level increased by 335% and protease by 87% at 1482 s(-1) as compared to the control cultures at a shear rate 0.028 s(-1). In addition, the specific intracellular reactive oxygen species level (siROS) at the highest shear rate was 9.3-fold compared to the control conditions. At the genetic level we have established the involvement of the transcription factor, sigma(B), in the bacterial responses to shear stress, which was unknown in the literature thus far ; the sigma(B) expression correlated inversely with the siROS. Further, through experiments with ROS quenchers, we showed that ROS regulated sigma(B) expression under shear.


Sanz R, Galceran MT, Puignou L (2003) Field-flow fractionation as analytical technique for the characterization of dry yeast : correlation with wine fermentation activity. Biotechnol Prog 19 :1786-1791

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Important oenological properties of wine depend on the winemaking yeast used in the fermentation process. There is considerable controversy about the quality of yeast, and a simple and cheap analytical methodology for quality control of yeast is needed. Gravitational field flow fractionation (GFFF) was used to characterize several commercial active dry wine yeasts from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces bayanus and to assess the quality of the raw material before use. Laboratory-scale fermentations were performed using two different S. cerevisiae strains as inocula, and GFFF was used to follow the behavior of yeast cells during alcoholic fermentation. The viable/nonviable cell ratio was obtained by flow cytometry (FC) using propidium iodide as fluorescent dye. In each experiment, the amount of dry wine yeast to be used was calculated in order to provide the same quantity of viable cells. Kinetic studies of the fermentation process were performed controlling the density of the must, from 1.071 to 0.989 (20/20 density), and the total residual sugars, from 170 to 3 g/L. During the wine fermentation process, differences in the peak profiles obtained by GFFF between the two types of commercial yeasts that can be related with the unlike cell growth were observed. Moreover, the strains showed different fermentation kinetic profiles that could be correlated with the corresponding fractograms monitored by GFFF. These results allow optimism that sedimentation FFF techniques could be successfully used for quality assessment of the raw material and to predict yeast behavior during yeast-based bioprocesses such as wine production.


Selinka HC, Giroglou T, Nowak T, Christensen ND, Sapp M (2003) Further evidence that papillomavirus capsids exist in two distinct conformations. J Virol 77 :12961-12967

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Cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) serve as primary attachment receptors for human papillomaviruses (HPVs). To demonstrate that a biologically functional HPV-receptor interaction is restricted to a specific subset of HSPGs, we first explored the role of HSPG glucosaminoglycan side chain modifications. We demonstrate that HSPG O sulfation is essential for HPV binding and infection, whereas de-N-sulfated heparin interfered with VLP binding but not with HPV pseudoinfection. This points to differences in VLP-HSPG and pseudovirion-HSPG interactions. Interestingly, internalization kinetics of VLPs and pseudovirions, as measured by fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis, also differ significantly with approximate half times of 3.5 and 7.5 h, respectively. These data suggest that differences in HSPG binding significantly influence postbinding events. We also present evidence that pseudovirions undergo a conformational change after cell attachment. A monoclonal antibody (H33.J3), which displays negligible effectiveness in preattachment neutralization assays, efficiently neutralizes cell-bound virions. However, no difference in H33.J3 binding to pseudovirions and VLPs was observed in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and virus capture assays. In contrast to antibody H33.B6, which displays equal efficiencies in pre- and postattachment neutralization assays, H33.J3 does not block VLP binding to heparin, demonstrating that it interferes with steps subsequent to virus binding. Our data strongly suggest that H33.J3 recognizes a conformation-dependent epitope in capsid protein L1, which undergoes a structural change after cell attachment.


Shen L, Stuge TB, Evenhuis JP, Bengten E, Wilson M, Chinchar VG, Clem LW, Miller NW (2003) Channel catfish NK-like cells are armed with IgM via a putative FcmicroR. Dev Comp Immunol 27 :699-714

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Two-color flow cytometry demonstrated that 4-8% of channel catfish PBL are positive for both F and G IgL chain isotypes, suggesting that they passively acquire serum IgM via a putative FcmicroR. These cells show spontaneous killing toward allogeneic targets, and in vitro stimulation of PBL with allogeneic cells results in an increase of double IgL chain positive cells with a concomitant increase in nonspecific cytotoxicity. Long-term cultures of alloantigen-stimulated PBL contain both sIgM(+) and sIgM(-) cytotoxic cells that transcribe message for the catfish homolog of the FcepsilonR gamma chain, but not for Igmicro and TCR-alpha,-beta, or -gamma chains. Immunoprecipitation of lysates from sIgM(+) NK-like cells with anti-IgM co-immunoprecipitated a putative FcmicroR of approximately 64 kDa. Finally, removal of IgM from sIgM(+) NK-like cells and replacement with anti-hapten antibody enabled antibody-armed effectors to kill haptenated targets that were refractory to killing by effectors armed with normal IgM. This is the first report suggesting that teleost NK-like cells express a putative FcmicroR which participates in antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity.


Sheridan PP, Miteva VI, Brenchley JE (2003) Phylogenetic analysis of anaerobic psychrophilic enrichment cultures obtained from a greenland glacier ice core. Appl Environ Microbiol 69 :2153-2160

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The examination of microorganisms in glacial ice cores allows the phylogenetic relationships of organisms frozen for thousands of years to be compared with those of current isolates. We developed a method for aseptically sampling a sediment-containing portion of a Greenland ice core that had remained at -9 degrees C for over 100,000 years. Epifluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry results showed that the ice sample contained over 6 x 10(7) cells/ml. Anaerobic enrichment cultures inoculated with melted ice were grown and maintained at -2 degrees C. Genomic DNA extracted from these enrichments was used for the PCR amplification of 16S rRNA genes with bacterial and archaeal primers and the preparation of clone libraries. Approximately 60 bacterial inserts were screened by restriction endonuclease analysis and grouped into 27 unique restriction fragment length polymorphism types, and 24 representative sequences were compared phylogenetically. Diverse sequences representing major phylogenetic groups including alpha, beta, and gamma Proteobacteria as well as relatives of the Thermus, Bacteroides, Eubacterium, and Clostridium groups were found. Sixteen clone sequences were closely related to those from known organisms, with four possibly representing new species. Seven sequences may reflect new genera and were most closely related to sequences obtained only by PCR amplification. One sequence was over 12% distant from its closest relative and may represent a novel order or family. These results show that phylogenetically diverse microorganisms have remained viable within the Greenland ice core for at least 100,000 years.


Shim TS, Turner OC, Orme IM (2003) Toll-like receptor 4 plays no role in susceptibility of mice to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Tuberculosis (Edinb) 83 :367-371

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Although various members of the pattern recognition Toll-like receptor (TLR) family have been implicated in host resistance to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, it remains unclear if the TLR4 receptor plays an important role. We demonstrate here that infection of TRL4-competent and TLR4-deficient mice on the C3H inbred mouse strain background had similar outcomes, measured in terms of the course of the disease, cell accumulation patterns in the lungs, and lung histopathology. These data argue against a significant role for TLR4 in immunity to tuberculosis in the mouse model.


Shinomiya N, Shinomiya M (2003) Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane suppresses neurite outgrowth and induces apoptosis in PC12 pheochromocytoma cells. Toxicol Lett 137 :175-183

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It is well known that dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) is used as an insecticide and prevents many people in the tropical zone from devastating malaria. On the other hand, a number of reports have indicated that it may act as an endocrine disruptor and also has possible carcinogenic effects. However, the effects of DDT on the neural cells remain to be investigated. In this study, therefore, we observed the effects of p,p’-DDT, o,p’-DDT and its major metabolite p,p’-DDE on the differentiation and survival of PC12 pheochromocytoma cells. After stimulation with nerve growth factor, PC12 cells exhibited remarkable neurite outgrowth, suggesting that neuronal differentiation was induced by this growth factor. p,p’-DDT and o,p’-DDT suppressed this neurite outgrowth dose dependently, and p,p’-DDE also revealed a similar effect but to a lesser extent. Apoptotic cell death was induced within 3-6 h after treatment with p,p’-DDT and o,p’-DDT. Again p,p’-DDE showed a weaker apoptosis-inducing effect. In the organochlorine-treated PC12 cells phosphorylation of p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) was upregulated, whereas phosphorylation bands were not detected in any kinases of other MAPK groups such as p38 MAPK and SAPK/JNK. A kinase assay on p44/42 MAPK revealed that the extent of phosphorylation of Elk-1 substrates well correlated with the suppressive effect on neuronal differentiation and apoptosis-inducing activity. These results suggest that p,p’-DDT and o,p’-DDT exerted their effects on neuronal cells by the stimulation of p44/42 MAPK, and p,p’-DDE had less effects than the other two organochlorines.


Shu SN, Fang F, Dong YS (2003) [An experimental study on the effect of allitridin on inhibiting the expression of HCMV immediate-early antigens in vitro]. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 28 :967-970

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OBJECTIVE : To investigate the prophylactic, blocking and therapeutic effects of Allitridin on inhibiting HCMV proliferation by measuring the expression level of HCMV IEA in vitro and explore the mechanism of Allitridin anti-HCMVactivity. METHODS : The cytotocity of Allitridin was evaluated through MTT colorimetry and cell morphology. HCMV IEA levels were quantitatively detected by Flow Cytometry respectively under the following conditions : Allitridin was given before (pretreated for 24 h), during, or after viral inoculation in which serial doses (maximum tolerant concentration, MTC for human embryo lung cells, HEL) of Allitridin was used to treat HCMV infected HLE cells for different durations (24, 48, 72, 96 h) after viral infection. RESULT : The MTC of Allitridin was 9.60 mg x L(-1). Allitridin remarkably inhibited the expression of HCMV IEA in vitro. Within MTC, the inhibitory rate had a significant correlation with its dosage (r = 0.96). At the time of IEA highest expression (72 h after infection), inhibitory effect was the greatest (inhibitory rate : 89.3%). With pretreatment of Allitridin, the inhibitory rate was 28.6%. When Allitridin was used together with HCMV inoculation, IEA inhibitory rate was only 10.3%. CONCLUSION : Allitridin can inhibit HCMV, IEA expression in vitro remarkably which is probably one of the major mechanisms of Allitridin anti-HCMV activity because IEAs are the very important regulatory factors for the expression of all HCMV genes. Its therapeutic effect is the best at the peak stage of IE1 gene expression (72 h after infection) but it has low prophylactic and little blocking effect.


Smith EM, Green LE, Mason D (2003) Savinase is a bactericidal enzyme. Appl Environ Microbiol 69 :719-720 ; author reply 720-711

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Sorensen SJ, Sorensen AH, Hansen LH, Oregaard G, Veal D (2003) Direct detection and quantification of horizontal gene transfer by using flow cytometry and gfp as a reporter gene. Curr Microbiol 47 :129-133

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A new cultivation-independent method for studying conjugal gene transfer between bacteria was evaluated. The method was based on direct detection and enumeration of donor and transconjugant bacterial cells by flow cytometry. Specific detection of transconjugants was obtained by using a conjugative plasmid tagged with a reporter gene (gfp) encoding green fluorescent protein. A chromosomal encoded repressor (lacI(ql)) repressed expression of GFP in the donor bacteria. Enumeration of the donor cells was performed after induction of GFP expression by the addition of inducer isopropyl-thio-beta-D-galactoside (IPTG). The method presented here provided simple and precise quantification of horizontal gene transfer between both Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas putida strains.


Staali L, Morgelin M, Bjorck L, Tapper H (2003) Streptococcus pyogenes expressing M and M-like surface proteins are phagocytosed but survive inside human neutrophils. Cell Microbiol 5 :253-265

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Strains of the Gram-positive human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus) that express surface-associated M or M-like proteins survive and grow in non-immune fresh human blood. This is generally accepted to be caused by an antiphagocytic property of these proteins. However, in most previous studies, an inhibition of the internalization of the bacteria into host cells has not been studied or not directly demonstrated. Therefore, in the present paper, we used flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy to study phagocytosis by human neutrophils of wild-type S. pyogenes and strains deficient in expression of M protein and/or the M-like protein H. The results demonstrate that all strains of S. pyogenes tested, including the wild-type AP1 strain, induce actin polymerization and are efficiently phagocytosed by human neutrophils. In addition, using classical bactericidal assays, we show that the wild-type AP1 strain can survive inside neutrophils, whereas mutant strains are rapidly killed. We conclude that the ability of virulent S. pyogenes to survive and multiply in whole blood is most likely not possible to explain only by an antiphagocytic effect of bacterial surface components. Instead, our data suggest that bacterial evasion of host defences occurs intracellularly and that survival inside human neutrophils may contribute to the pathogenesis of S. pyogenes and the recurrence of S. pyogenes infections.


Szczerbakowa A, Maciejewska U, Zimnoch-Guzowska E, Wielgat B (2003) Somatic hybrids Solanum nigrum (+) S. tuberosum : morphological assessment and verification of hybridity. Plant Cell Rep 21 :577-584

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Somatic hybrids between the cultivated potato diploid hybrid clone, ZEL-1136, and hexaploid non-tuber-bearing wild species Solanum nigrum L. exhibiting resistance to Phytophthora infestans were regenerated after PEG-mediated fusion of mesophyll protoplasts. The objective was to transfer the late-blight resistance genes from the wild species into plants of the cultivated potato clone. From a total of 59 regenerants, 40 clones survived and have been maintained in vitro on hormone-free MS/2 medium. Thirty-two somatic hybrids were identified by their intermediate morphology (leaves of nigrum type and flowers of tuberosum type) and verified by flow cytometry and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) patterns. The RAPD analysis of nuclear DNA confirmed the hybrid nature of 29 clones. Flow cytometry revealed a wide range of ploidy in the generated hybrids, from nearly the tetra- to decaploid level. Most of the hybrid clones were stable in vitro, grew vigorously in soil, and set flowers and parthenocarpic berries. However, all of the flowering hybrids were male-sterile. Nine hybrid clones produced tuber-like structures in soil. The most vigorous flowering somatic hybrids were selected for assessment of the late-blight resistance.


Tada H, Sugawara S, Nemoto E, Imamura T, Potempa J, Travis J, Shimauchi H, Takada H (2003) Proteolysis of ICAM-1 on human oral epithelial cells by gingipains. J Dent Res 82 :796-801

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Cysteine proteinases (gingipains) from Porphyromonas gingivalis are considered key virulence factors of severe periodontitis and host immune evasion. Since expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) on gingival epithelium is indispensable in polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) migration at the site of periodontitis, we examined the effects of gingipains on the expression of ICAM-1 on human oral epithelial cell lines (KB and HSC-2) by flow cytometry and Western blotting. We found that three purified forms of gingipains efficiently reduced ICAM-1 expression on the cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Gingipains reduced the expression on fixed cells and degraded the ICAM-1 in the cell membranes, indicating that the reduction resulted from direct proteolysis. They then disturbed the ICAM-1-dependent adhesion of PMNs to the cells. These results indicate that gingipains cleave ICAM-1 on oral epithelial cells, consequently disrupting PMN-oral epithelial cell interaction, and are involved in immune evasion by the bacterium in periodontal tissues.


Valdes VJ, Sampieri A, Sepulveda J, Vaca L (2003) Using double-stranded RNA to prevent in vitro and in vivo viral infections by recombinant baculovirus. J Biol Chem 278 :19317-19324

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Introduction of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) into a wide variety of cells and organisms results in post-transcriptional depletion of the homologue endogenous mRNA. This well-preserved phenomenon known as RNA interference (RNAi) is present in evolutionarily diverse organisms such as plants, fungi, insects, metazoans, and mammals. Because the identification of the targeted mRNA by the RNAi machinery depends upon Watson-Crick base-pairing interactions, RNAi can be exquisitely specific. We took advantage of this powerful and flexible technique to demonstrate that selective silencing of genes essential for viral propagation prevents in vitro and in vivo viral infection. Using the baculovirus Autographa californica, a rapidly replicating and highly cytolytic double-stranded DNA virus that infects many different insect species, we show for the first time that introduction of dsRNA from gp64 and ie1, two genes essential for baculovirus propagation, results in prevention of viral infection in vitro and in vivo. This is the first report demonstrating the use of RNAi to inhibit a viral infection in animals. This inhibition was specific, because dsRNA from the polyhedrin promoter (used as control) or unrelated dsRNAs did not affect the time course of viral infection. The most relevant consequences from the present study are : 1) RNAi offers a rapid and efficient way to interfere with viral genes to assess the role of specific proteins in viral function and 2) using RNAi to interfere with viral genes essential for cell infection may provide a powerful therapeutic tool for the treatment of viral infections.


Valet G (2003) Past and present concepts in flow cytometry : a European perspective. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents 17 :213-222

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The development of flow cytometric instrumentation, methods and research concepts in Europe has been a continuous driving force for the general scientific advancement in this area over the years. This review addresses early European concepts of continuing interest with regard to instrumentation, data analysis, clinical and eperimental DNA analysis, cell function and microbiology at their worldwide first appearence while flow cytometric immunology and immunophenotyping will be covered separately. Flow cytometry represents an efficient approach to the enormous complexity of molecular cell architecture and cell function by the analysis of apparent molecular cell phenotypes in heterogeneous cell samples. The present merger of flow and image cytometry into the method independent cytomics discipline increases the potential of cell analysis very significantly. It opens the way for predictive medicine as well as for predictive cytopathology and predictive cytology in everyday clinical and medical practice. Current progress is driven by joint advances in molecular fluorescence technologies and instrument development. This complements the analysis of genome sequence information in an efficient way.


Varney ML, Li A, Dave BJ, Bucana CD, Johansson SL, Singh RK (2003) Expression of CXCR1 and CXCR2 receptors in malignant melanoma with different metastatic potential and their role in interleukin-8 (CXCL-8)-mediated modulation of metastatic phenotype. Clin Exp Metastasis 20 :723-731

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In the present study, we examined the autocrine/paracrine role of IL-8 in melanoma growth and metastasis by analyzing the expression and functional significance of IL-8 receptors, CXCR1 and CXCR2 in human malignant melanoma cells with different metastatic potential. CXCR1 and CXCR2 mRNA and protein levels were analyzed by reverse trannscriptase-based polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry, immunoprecipitation, flow cytometry and ligand binding assay in melanoma cells in vitro and xenografted in nude mice. Melanoma cells constitutively expressed CXCR1 and CXCR2 mRNA and protein. Highly metastatic A375SM cells expressed higher levels of CXCR1 and CXCR2 mRNA and protein in vitro and in vivo as compared to low metastatic A375P and non-metastatic SBC-2 melanoma cells. Treatment of SBC-2 and A375P cells with exogenously added recombinant IL-8 significantly enhanced their proliferation and invasive potential. Further neutralizing antibodies to CXCR1 and CXCR2 inhibited proliferation and invasive potential of unstimulated and IL-8-stimulated A375P cells. In summary, the data suggest that constitutive expression of CXCR1 and CXCR2 play an important role regulating the IL-8-mediated metastatic phenotype in human malignant melanoma cells.


Vernachio J, Bayer AS, Le T, Chai YL, Prater B, Schneider A, Ames B, Syribeys P, Robbins J, Patti JM (2003) Anti-clumping factor A immunoglobulin reduces the duration of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia in an experimental model of infective endocarditis. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 47 :3400-3406

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SA-IGIV is a human polyclonal immunoglobulin containing elevated levels of antibodies specific for the fibrinogen-binding MSCRAMM protein clumping factor A (ClfA). In vitro, SA-IGIV specifically recognized ClfA that was expressed on the surface of Staphylococcus aureus and inhibited bacterial adherence to immobilized human fibrinogen by >95%. Moreover, SA-IGIV efficiently opsonized ClfA-coated fluorescent beads and facilitated phagocytosis by human polymorphonuclear leukocytes. To determine its potential therapeutic efficacy, SA-IGIV was evaluated in combination with vancomycin in a rabbit model of catheter-induced aortic valve infective endocarditis (IE) caused by methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). The combination therapy was more effective than vancomycin alone in sterilizing all valvular vegetations when used therapeutically during early (12-h) IE. The combination therapy resulted in clearance of bacteremia that was significantly faster than that of vancomycin alone in animals with well-established (24-h) IE. Therefore, in both early and well-established MRSA IE, the addition of SA-IGIV to a standard antibiotic regimen (vancomycin) increased bacterial clearance from the bloodstream and/or vegetations.


Virok D, Loboda A, Kari L, Nebozhyn M, Chang C, Nichols C, Endresz V, Gonczol E, Berencsi K, Showe MK, Showe LC (2003) Infection of U937 monocytic cells with Chlamydia pneumoniae induces extensive changes in host cell gene expression. J Infect Dis 188 :1310-1321

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=14593587

The effect of infection with Chlamydia pneumoniae on host messenger RNA expression in human monocytic cells with complement DNA microarrays was studied. The data chronicle a cascade of transcriptional events affecting 128 genes, many of which have not previously been reported to be affected by C. pneumoniae infection. Down-regulated genes are primarily associated with RNA and DNA metabolism, chromosomal stability, and cell-cycle regulation. Up-regulated messages include those for a variety of genes with important proinflammatory functions. Many of the up-regulated genes-including the hyaluron receptor CD44, vasoconstrictor endothelin-1, smooth muscle growth factor heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor, and fatty acid binding protein-4-had been previously described as linked to the development of atherosclerosis and other chronic inflammatory diseases. C. pneumoniae-infected monocytes can contribute to the development and progression of diseases for which acute or chronic inflammation has been shown to be important, such as atherosclerosis.


Viscardi M, Capparelli R, Iannelli D (2003) Rapid selection of phage-resistant mutants in Streptococcus thermophilus by immunoselection and cell sorting. Int J Food Microbiol 89 :223-231

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=14623388

Immunoselection and flow cytometry allowed the isolation from Streptococcus thermophilus strain Str31 of double mutants displaying resistance to the phage phi31 and good acid production. Strain Str31 is very sensitive to phage phi31. This phage-host system seemed therefore particularly suitable to test the validity of the selection method adopted in this study. Mutants were stable with respect to both characters. The isolation of the double mutants required 4 to 5 days. The approach does not involve genetic manipulations and can therefore be an alternative to genetic engineering when this technology cannot be applied.


Wang HF, Swain JB, Besser TE, Jasmer D, Wyatt CR (2003) Detection of antibodies to a recombinant Cryptosporidium parvum p23 in serum and feces from neonatal calves. J Parasitol 89 :918-923

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=14627138

Passive transfer of maternal antibodies via colostrum is important to protect newborn ruminants against microbial pathogens. In this study, 10 sets of calf serum, a sample of the colostrum fed to the calf, and serial fecal samples through the first 6 days after birth were collected from arbitrarily selected newborn Holstein heifers. A recombinant Cryptosporidium parvum p23, termed rC7, was used to determine whether anti-C. parvum antibodies can be detected in clinically normal neonates. The results demonstrated that serum, the associated colostrum, and fecal samples contained anti-rC7 antibodies. IgM and IgG1 anti-rC7 tended to be present in highest titers. The presence of specific antibodies to C. parvum was confirmed using Western blots of purified sporozoite membranes probed with serum and colostral whey. Collectively, the results indicated that neonatal calves had antibodies to C. parvum as early as 1 day after birth and suggested that the antibodies were passively transferred.


Weimann JM, Johansson CB, Trejo A, Blau HM (2003) Stable reprogrammed heterokaryons form spontaneously in Purkinje neurons after bone marrow transplant. Nat Cell Biol 5 :959-966

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Heterokaryons are the product of cell fusion without subsequent nuclear or chromosome loss. Decades of research using Sendai-virus or polyethylene glycol (PEG)-mediated fusion in tissue culture showed that the terminally differentiated state of a cell could be altered. But whether stable non-dividing heterokaryons could occur in animals has remained unclear. Here, we show that green fluorescent protein (GFP)-positive bone-marrow-derived cells (BMDCs) contribute to adult mouse Purkinje neurons through cell fusion. The formation of heterokaryons increases in a linear manner over 1.5 years and seems to be stable. The dominant Purkinje neurons caused the BMDC nuclei within the resulting heterokaryons to enlarge, exhibit dispersed chromatin and activate a Purkinje neuron-specific transgene, L7-GFP. The observed reprogrammed heterokaryons that form in brain may provide insights into gene regulation associated with cell-fate plasticity.


Whiteley AS, Griffiths RI, Bailey MJ (2003) Analysis of the microbial functional diversity within water-stressed soil communities by flow cytometric analysis and CTC+ cell sorting. J Microbiol Methods 54 :257-267

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Total and active cell counts within soil samples were determined by culture-independent methods using flow cytometry and preparative Nycodenz gradient centrifugation. Whole cells were purified from soil cores and total extractable cell counts assessed by SYBR Green II fluorescence, while active cell counts were determined by 5-cyano-2,3-ditolyl tetrazolium chloride reduction (CTC+ cells). Parallel microcosms, maintained at either field water capacity or subjected to drying, indicated that the total extractable cell count remained between 10(8) and 10(9) g(-1) (dry weight). In contrast, the CTC+ active count fell threefold in dried microcosms (6% of total cell count) when compared to wetted microcosms (18% of total cell count). Specifically, these data highlighted an overall deactivation of microbial biomass during water stress, with 16S rDNA analyses of flow-sorted CTC+ cells demonstrating shifts within the active diversity. Flow cytometry coupled with cell purification techniques represents a significant tool for operationally defining an active and redundant microbial component within soil communities and is demonstrated during water stress.


Williams DD, Benedek O, Turnbough CL, Jr. (2003) Species-specific peptide ligands for the detection of Bacillus anthracis spores. Appl Environ Microbiol 69 :6288-6293

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Currently available detectors for spores of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, are inadequate for frontline use and general monitoring. There is a critical need for simple, rugged, and inexpensive detectors capable of accurate and direct identification of B. anthracis spores. Necessary components in such detectors are stable ligands that bind tightly and specifically to target spores. By screening a phage display peptide library, we identified a family of peptides, with the consensus sequence TYPXPXR, that bind selectively to B. anthracis spores. We extended this work by identifying a peptide variant, ATYPLPIR, with enhanced ability to bind to B. anthracis spores and an additional peptide, SLLPGLP, that preferentially binds to spores of species phylogenetically similar to, but distinct from, B. anthracis. These two peptides were used in tandem in simple assays to rapidly and unambiguously identify B. anthracis spores. We envision that these peptides can be used as sensors in economical and portable B. anthracis spore detectors that are essentially free of false-positive signals due to other environmental Bacillus spores.


Wiznerowicz M, Trono D (2003) Conditional suppression of cellular genes : lentivirus vector-mediated drug-inducible RNA interference. J Virol 77 :8957-8961

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RNA interference has emerged as a powerful technique to downregulate the expression of specific genes in cells and in animals, thus opening new perspectives in fields ranging from developmental genetics to molecular therapeutics. Here, we describe a method that significantly expands the potential of RNA interference by permitting the conditional suppression of genes in mammalian cells. Within a lentivirus vector background, we subjected the polymerase III promoter-dependent production of small interfering RNAs to doxycycline-controllable transcriptional repression. The resulting system can achieve the highly efficient and completely drug-inducible knockdown of cellular genes. As lentivirus vectors can stably transduce a wide variety of targets both in vitro and in vivo and can be used to generate transgenic animals, the present system should have broad applications.


Yamaguchi N, Sasada M, Yamanaka M, Nasu M (2003) Rapid detection of respiring Escherichia coli O157:H7 in apple juice, milk, and ground beef by flow cytometry. Cytometry A 54 :27-35

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=12820118

BACKGROUND : Rapid and simple methods to detect viable pathogenic microbes in foods and drinks are required. Flow cytometry was used for the rapid detection of respiring Escherichia coli O157:H7 cells in apple juice, milk, and ground beef. METHODS : CTC (5-cyano-2,3-ditolyl tetrazolium chloride) was used to estimate the respiratory activity of bacteria. Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled anti-E. coli O157:H7 direct antibody (FA) was used for the specific detection of target cells. Food samples were inoculated with starved E. coli O157:H7 and E. coli K-12 cells, and analyzed by both fluorescent microscopy and flow cytometry after double staining with FA and CTC. RESULTS : Respiring E. coli O157:H7 cells in food samples showed strong fluorescence of both FA (green) and CTC (red) ; thus, they could be clearly and specifically distinguished from respiring E. coli K-12 or inactive cells. A good correlation was achieved in flow cytometric analysis between the numbers of inoculated viable E. coli O157:H7 and those detected in milk and apple juice. The detection threshold for this flow cytometry for E. coli O157:H7 in milk, apple juice, and ground beef was 10(3) cells/ml (milk and apple juice) or 10(3) cells/g (ground beef) of sample when the total bacterial number in the sample was 10(6) cells/ml. CONCLUSIONS : Respiring E. coli O157:H7 in food samples can be detected specifically within a few hours. Flow cytometry with FA-CTC double staining can be used to examine food contamination with various pathogenic microbes demonstrating physiologic activity through the use of a suitable fluorescent antibody.


Yanagita K, Manome A, Meng XY, Hanada S, Kanagawa T, Tsuchida T, Mackie RI, Kamagata Y (2003) Flow cytometric sorting, phylogenetic analysis and in situ detection of Oscillospira guillermondii, a large, morphologically conspicuous but uncultured ruminal bacterium. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 53 :1609-1614

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Flow cytometric sorting based on its large cell size enabled an enriched fraction of Oscillospira guillermondii cells to be obtained from the rumen contents of a sheep. Phylogenetic analysis based on cloned 16S rDNA sequences indicated that the bacterium is a member of the low-G+C Gram-positive bacterial cluster. Sporobacter termitidis and Papillibacter cinnamivorans were the most closely related known species, with sequence similarities of only 86.3-88.1 %. Fluorescently labelled 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes specific for Oscillospira were designed and applied to the rumen sample from which the enriched fraction was obtained. The probes hybridized specifically with the large, morphologically conspicuous Oscillospira cells.


Yoshikawa T, Goshima F, Akimoto S, Ozaki T, Iwasaki T, Kurata T, Asano Y, Nishiyama Y (2003) Human herpesvirus 6 infection of human epidermal cell line : pathogenesis of skin manifestations. J Med Virol 71 :62-68

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=12858410

In order to elucidate the pathogenesis of variant B human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) infection in skin tissues, an A431 cell line was inoculated with variant B HHV-6. HHV-6 causes abortive infection in the A431 cells, because neither late antigen (OHV-3 antigen) nor progeny virus is produced. Maximum levels of HHV-6 antigen (IEA/ex3 antigen)-positive cells (36.4%) were observed 48 hr after viral infection. Cocultivation of HHV-6-infected cord blood mononuclear cells with A431 cells was necessary for the establishment of a sufficient level of viral infection. Cell-to-cell contact between the infected cord blood mononuclear cells and A431 cells was crucial for increasing infection efficiency. To determine the biological effect of HHV-6 infection, flow cytometric analysis was carried out in HHV-6- and mock-infected A431 cells. Although no alteration was observed in VCAM-1 and ELAM-1 expression, that of HLA-ABC, HLA-DR, and ICAM-1 was upregulated after infection with HHV-6.


Yuan JP, Zhao W, Wang HT, Wu KY, Li T, Guo XK, Tong SQ (2003) Coxsackievirus B3-induced apoptosis and caspase-3. Cell Res 13 :203-209

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=12862321

Cell death can be classified into two categories : apoptosis and necrosis. Apoptotic pathway can be either caspase-dependent or caspase-independent. Caspase-independent cytopathic effect (CPE) has been described. In order to evaluate the pattern of HeLa cell death induced by Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) and whether apoptosis involves caspase activation, we co-cultivated HeLa cells with CVB3 and detected the cytopathic changes, the alteration of mRNA and protein expression of caspase-3 gene plus caspase-3 activity, as well as analyzing DNA fragmentation before and after caspase-3 activity inhibition. According to the results, we propose that CVB3 may induce apoptosis and necrosis in HeLa cells, the latter appearing much earlier. Caspase-3 is activated at the levels of both transcription and translation, and procaspase-3 is proteolytically cleaved, thus leading to the continuous increasing of both caspase-3 precursor protein and its subunit. However, besides CPE, apoptosis induced by CVB3 is not a direct consequence of the activation of caspase-3, or caspase-3 is not the only effector molecule in apoptotic cell death, for caspase-3 inhibitor can not decrease DNA fragmentation. Some other biochemical mechanisms may participate in the process, whose role weakens the effect of inhibiting caspase-3 activity.


Zardawi I (2003) Re : Lymph node sampling for flow cytometric analysis. Pathology 35 :183

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=12745474


Zeng Q, Lu C (2003) [Fusion and apoptosis of epithelial cells induced by muramidase released protein of Streptococcus suis type 2]. Wei Sheng Wu Xue Bao 43 :407-412

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=16279210

The pathogenic role of muramidase released protein (MRP), a virulence factor of Streptococcus suis type 2 (SS2) is poorly understood. The purified MRP was co-incubated with HEp-2 cells to determine the effect of MRP on epithelial cells. Under light microscope, two principal morphologic changes were observed. Firstly, the cells were fused to form syncytia and a apoptosis followed. Secondly, single cell was also induced to apoptosis at high level as 18%, which was verified by transmission electron microscopy and flow cytometry. It showed that MRP alone was capable of a virulence factor of SS2.


Zhou J, Stohlman SA, Hinton DR, Marten NW (2003) Neutrophils promote mononuclear cell infiltration during viral-induced encephalitis. J Immunol 170 :3331-3336

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Neutrophils are the first infiltrating cell population to appear within the CNS during infection with the neurotropic JHM strain of mouse hepatitis virus (JHMV). To determine whether neutrophils play a role in limiting acute JHMV infection, mice were depleted of neutrophils. Infection of neutropenic animals resulted in increased levels of virus replication and mortality compared with control mice. Furthermore, neutropenia resulted in significantly reduced mononuclear leukocyte infiltration possibly due to reduced loss of blood brain barrier integrity during acute JHMV infection. These data suggest that infiltrating neutrophils are crucial for limiting virus replication during acute JHMV infection, contribute to the loss of blood brain barrier integrity and play a role in shaping adaptive immunity within the CNS.


Zubkov MV, Fuchs BM, Tarran GA, Burkill PH, Amann R (2003) High rate of uptake of organic nitrogen compounds by Prochlorococcus cyanobacteria as a key to their dominance in oligotrophic oceanic waters. Appl Environ Microbiol 69 :1299-1304

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=12571062

Direct evidence that marine cyanobacteria take up organic nitrogen compounds in situ at high rates is reported. About 33% of the total bacterioplankton turnover of amino acids, determined with a representative [(35)S]methionine precursor and flow sorting, can be assigned to Prochlorococcus spp. and 3% can be assigned to Synechococcus spp. in the oligotrophic and mesotrophic parts of the Arabian Sea, respectively. This finding may provide a mechanism for Prochlorococcus’ competitive dominance over both strictly autotrophic algae and other bacteria in oligotrophic regions sustained by nutrient remineralization via a microbial loop.