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is the leading cause of nosocomial diarrhea in the United States. The primary virulence factors are two homologous glucosyltransferase toxins, TcdA and TcdB, that inactivate host Rho-family GTPases. The glucosyltransferase activity has been linked to a "cytopathic" disruption of the actin cytoskeleton and contributes to the disruption of tight junctions and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. TcdB is also a potent cytotoxin that causes epithelium necrotic damage through an NADPH oxidase (NOX)-dependent mechanism. We conducted a small molecule screen to identify compounds that confer protection against TcdB-induced necrosis. We identified an enrichment of "hit compounds" with a dihydropyridine (DHP) core which led to the discovery of a key early stage calcium signal that serves as a mechanistic link between TcdB-induced NOX activation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Disruption of TcdB-induced calcium signaling (with both DHP and non-DHP molecules) is sufficient to ablate ROS production and prevent subsequent necrosis in cells and in a mouse model of intoxication.
BACKGROUND - Prior retrospective cross-sectional work has associated antimicrobials with a non-specific phrase: encephalopathy without seizures. The purpose of this study is to determine whether different classes of antimicrobials have differential associations with the daily risk of delirium after critical illness is adjusted for.
METHODS - Our study was a nested cohort that enrolled non-neurological critically ill adults from a medical or surgical intensive care unit (ICU) with daily follow-up to 30 days. Our independent variable was exposure to previous-day antimicrobial class: beta-lactams (subclasses: penicillins, first- to third-generation cephalosporins, fourth-generation cephalosporins, and carbapenems), macrolides, fluoroquinolones, and other. We adjusted for baseline covariates (age, comorbidities, cognition scores, sepsis, and mechanical ventilation), previous-day covariates (delirium, doses of analgesics/sedatives, and antipsychotic use), and same-day covariates (illness severity). Our primary outcome of delirium was measured by using the Confusion Assessment Method for the ICU. A daily delirium logistic regression model was used with an ICU time-restricted sensitivity analysis including daily adjustment for sepsis and mechanical ventilation.
RESULTS - Of 418 ICU patients, delirium occurred in 308 (74%) with a median of 3 days (interquartile range 2-6) among those affected and 318 (76%) were exposed to antimicrobials. When covariates and ICU type were adjusted for, only first- to third-generation cephalosporins were associated with delirium (logistic regression model odds ratio (OR) = 2.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.28-3.79, P = 0.004; sensitivity analysis OR = 2.13, 95% CI 1.10-4.10, P = 0.024).
CONCLUSIONS - First-, second-, and third-generation cephalosporins doubled the odds of delirium after baseline co-morbidities, ICU type, the course of critical care, and other competing antimicrobial and psychotropic medication risks were adjusted for. We did not find an association between delirium and cefepime, penicillins, carbapenems, fluoroquinolones, or macrolides.
is a Gram-negative opportunistic pathogen that causes diverse infections, including pneumonia, bacteremia, and wound infections. Due to multiple intrinsic and acquired antimicrobial-resistance mechanisms, isolates are commonly multidrug resistant, and infections are notoriously difficult to treat. The World Health Organization recently highlighted carbapenem-resistant as a "critical priority" for the development of new antimicrobials because of the risk to human health posed by this organism. Therefore, it is important to discover the mechanisms used by to survive stresses encountered during infection in order to identify new drug targets. In this study, by use of imaging, we identified hydrogen peroxide (HO) as a stressor produced in the lung during infection and defined OxyR as a transcriptional regulator of the HO stress response. Upon exposure to HO, differentially transcribes several hundred genes. However, the transcriptional upregulation of genes predicted to detoxify hydrogen peroxide is abolished in an strain in which the transcriptional regulator is genetically inactivated. Moreover, inactivation of in both antimicrobial-susceptible and multidrug-resistant strains impairs growth in the presence of HO OxyR is a direct regulator of and , which encode the major HO-degrading enzymes in , as confirmed through measurement of promoter binding by recombinant OxyR in electromobility shift assays. Finally, an mutant is less fit than wild-type during infection of the murine lung. This work reveals a mechanism used by this important human pathogen to survive HO stress encountered during infection.
Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.
INTRODUCTION - Osteomyelitis, a common and debilitating invasive infection of bone, is a frequent complication following orthopedic surgery and causes pathologic destruction of skeletal tissues. Bone destruction during osteomyelitis results in necrotic tissue, which is poorly penetrated by antibiotics and can serve as a nidus for relapsing infection. Osteomyelitis therefore frequently necessitates surgical debridement procedures, which provide a unique opportunity for targeted delivery of antimicrobial and adjunctive therapies. Areas covered: Following surgical debridement, tissue voids require implanted materials to facilitate the healing process. Antibiotic-loaded, non-biodegradable implants have been the standard of care. However, a new generation of biodegradable, osteoconductive materials are being developed. Additionally, in the face of widespread antimicrobial resistance, alternative therapies to traditional antibiotic regimens are being investigated, including bone targeting compounds, antimicrobial surface modifications of orthopedic implants, and anti-virulence strategies. Expert commentary: Recent advances in biodegradable drug delivery scaffolds make this technology an attractive alternative to traditional techniques for orthopedic infection that require secondary operations for removal. Advances in novel treatment methods are expanding the arsenal of viable antimicrobial treatment strategies in the face of widespread drug resistance. Despite a need for large scale clinical investigations, these strategies offer hope for future treatment of this difficult invasive disease.
BACKGROUND - The clinical significance of pneumonia visualized on CT scan in the setting of a normal chest radiograph is uncertain.
METHODS - In a multicenter prospective surveillance study of adults hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), we compared the presenting clinical features, pathogens present, and outcomes of patients with pneumonia visualized on a CT scan but not on a concurrent chest radiograph (CT-only pneumonia) and those with pneumonia visualized on a chest radiograph. All patients underwent chest radiography; the decision to obtain CT imaging was determined by the treating clinicians. Chest radiographs and CT images were interpreted by study-dedicated thoracic radiologists blinded to the clinical data.
RESULTS - The study population included 2,251 adults with CAP; 2,185 patients (97%) had pneumonia visualized on chest radiography, whereas 66 patients (3%) had pneumonia visualized on CT scan but not on concurrent chest radiography. Overall, these patients with CT-only pneumonia had a clinical profile similar to those with pneumonia visualized on chest radiography, including comorbidities, vital signs, hospital length of stay, prevalence of viral (30% vs 26%) and bacterial (12% vs 14%) pathogens, ICU admission (23% vs 21%), use of mechanical ventilation (6% vs 5%), septic shock (5% vs 4%), and inhospital mortality (0 vs 2%).
CONCLUSIONS - Adults hospitalized with CAP who had radiological evidence of pneumonia on CT scan but not on concurrent chest radiograph had pathogens, disease severity, and outcomes similar to patients who had signs of pneumonia on chest radiography. These findings support using the same management principles for patients with CT-only pneumonia and those with pneumonia seen on chest radiography.
Copyright © 2017 American College of Chest Physicians. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - The aim of this study was to analyse wound biofilm from a clinical perspective. Research has shown that biofilm is the preferred microbial phenotype in health and disease and is present in a majority of chronic wounds. Biofilm has been linked to chronic wound inflammation, impairment in granulation tissue and epithelial migration, yet there lacks the ability to confirm the clinical presence of biofilm. This study links the clinical setting with microscopic laboratory confirmation of the presence of biofilm in carefully selected wound debridement samples.
METHOD - Human wound debridement samples were collected from adult patients with chronic non-healing wounds who presented at the wound care centre. Sample choice was guided by an algorithm that was developed based on what is known about the characteristics of wound biofilm. The samples were then evaluated by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy for the presence of biofilm. Details about subject history and treatment were recorded. Adherence to biofilm-based wound care (BBWC) strategies was inconsistent. Other standard antimicrobial dressings were used and no modern antiseptic wound dressings with the addition of proven antibiofilm agents were available for use.
RESULTS - Of the patients recruited, 75% of the macroscopic samples contained biofilm despite the prior use of modern antiseptic wound dressings and in some cases, systemic antibiotics. Wounds found to contain biofilm were not all acutely infected but biofilm was present when infection was noted. The clinical histories associated with positive samples were consistent with ideas presented in the algorithm used to guide sample selection.
CONCLUSION - Visual cues can be used by the clinician to guide suspicion of the presence of wound biofilm. This suspicion can be further enhanced with the use of a clinical algorithm. Standard antiseptic wound dressings used in this study demonstrated limited antibiofilm efficacy. This study also highlighted a need for the clinical team to focus on expiration of dressing action and consistent practice of BBWC strategies which includes the use of proven antibiofilm agents.
BACKGROUND - Helicobacter pylori is a bacterial carcinogen that is supposed to have the highest known level of risk for the development of gastric cancer, a disease that claims hundreds of thousands of lives per year. Approximately 89% of the global gastric cancer burden and 5.5% of malignancies worldwide are attributed to H. pylori-induced inflammation and injury. However, only a fraction of colonized persons ever develop neoplasia, and disease risk involves well-choreographed interactions between pathogen and host, which are dependent upon strain-specific bacterial factors, host genotypic traits, and/or environmental conditions.
KEY MESSAGES - One H. pylori strain-specific virulence determinant that augments the risk for gastric cancer is the cag pathogenicity island, a secretion system that injects the bacterial oncoprotein CagA into host cells. Host polymorphisms within genes that regulate immunity and oncogenesis also heighten the risk for gastric cancer, in conjunction with H. pylori strain-specific constituents. Further, conditions such as iron deficiency and high salt intake can influence H. pylori phenotypes that lower the threshold for disease.
CONCLUSIONS - Delineation of bacterial, host, and environmental mediators that augment gastric cancer risk has profound ramifications for both physicians and biomedical researchers as such findings will not only focus prevention approaches that target H. pylori-infected human populations at increased risk for stomach cancer, but will also provide mechanistic insights into inflammatory carcinomas that develop beyond the gastric niche.
© 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Helicobacter pylori colonization of the human stomach can lead to adverse clinical outcomes including gastritis, peptic ulcers, or gastric cancer. Current data suggest that in addition to bacterial virulence factors, the magnitude and types of immune responses influence the outcome of colonization. Specifically, CD4+ T cell responses impact the pathology elicited in response to H. pylori. Because gastritis is believed to be the initiating host response to more detrimental pathological outcomes, there has been a significant interest in pro-inflammatory T cell cytokines, including the cytokines produced by T helper 17 cells. Th17 cells produce IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-21 and IL-22. While these cytokines have been linked to inflammation, IL-17A and IL-22 are also associated with anti-microbial responses and control of bacterial colonization. The goal of this research was to determine the role of IL-22 in activation of antimicrobial responses in models of H. pylori infection using human gastric epithelial cell lines and the mouse model of H. pylori infection. Our data indicate that IL-17A and IL-22 work synergistically to induce antimicrobials and chemokines such as IL-8, components of calprotectin (CP), lipocalin (LCN) and some β-defensins in both human and primary mouse gastric epithelial cells (GEC) and gastroids. Moreover, IL-22 and IL-17A-activated GECs were capable of inhibiting growth of H. pylori in vitro. While antimicrobials were activated by IL-17A and IL-22 in vitro, using a mouse model of H. pylori infection, the data herein indicate that IL-22 deficiency alone does not render mice more susceptible to infection, change their antimicrobial gene transcription, or significantly change their inflammatory response.
Sarcoidosis is a granulomatous disease of unknown cause. Prior molecular and immunologic studies have confirmed the presence of mycobacterial virulence factors, such as catalase peroxidase and superoxide dismutase A, within sarcoidosis granulomas. Molecular analysis of granulomas can identify targets of known antibiotics classes. Currently, major antibiotics are directed against DNA synthesis, protein synthesis, and cell wall formation. We conducted molecular analysis of 40 sarcoidosis diagnostic specimens and compared them with 33 disease control specimens for the presence of mycobacterial genes that encode antibiotic targets. We assessed for genes involved in DNA synthesis (DNA gyrase A [gyrA] and DNA gyrase B), protein synthesis (RNA polymerase subunit β), cell wall synthesis (embCAB operon and enoyl reductase), and catalase peroxidase. Immunohistochemical analysis was conducted to investigate the locale of mycobacterial genes such as gyrA within 12 sarcoidosis specimens and 12 disease controls. Mycobacterial DNA was detected in 33 of 39 sarcoidosis specimens by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction compared with 2 of 30 disease control specimens (P < 0.001, two-tailed Fisher's test). Twenty of 39 were positive for three or more mycobacterial genes, compared with 1 of 30 control specimens (P < 0.001, two-tailed Fisher's test). Immunohistochemistry analysis localized mycobacterial gyrA nucleic acids to sites of granuloma formation in 9 of 12 sarcoidosis specimens compared with 1 of 12 disease controls (P < 0.01). Microbial genes encoding enzymes that can be targeted by currently available antimycobacterial antibiotics are present in sarcoidosis specimens and localize to sites of granulomatous inflammation. Use of antimicrobials directed against target enzymes may be an innovative treatment alternative.
Sarcoidosis is a granulomatous disease of unknown etiology, most commonly involving the lung, skin, lymph node, and eyes. Molecular and immunologic studies continue to strengthen the association of sarcoidosis with infectious antigens. Independent studies report the presence of microbial nucleic acids and proteins within sarcoidosis specimens. Complementary immunologic studies also support the role of infectious agents in sarcoidosis pathogenesis. Case reports and clinical trials have emerged regarding the efficacy of antimicrobials. They support increasing efforts to identify novel therapeutics, such as antimicrobials, that will have an impact on the observed increase in sarcoidosis morbidity and mortality.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.