The performance of a real-time PCR assay targeting the Tropheryma whipplei rpoB gene was evaluated using test strains and 1,236 clinical specimens in a national reference laboratory. The novel rpoB-PCR assay proved to be specific, revealed improved analytical sensitivity, and substantially accelerated detection of T. whipplei DNA in clinical specimens.
The aetiology of periodontal disease has been a field of intensive research in the past decades. Along with a variety of other putative pathogens, different members of the genus Selenomonas have repeatedly been associated with both generalized aggressive periodontitis and chronic periodontitis. For the present study, a specific oligonucleotide probe targeting the majority of all oral Selenomonas spp. was designed. Their prevalence was determined, using dot-blot hybridization, in a total of 742 subgingival samples collected from patients with generalized aggressive (n=62) and chronic periodontitis (n=82), and from periodontitis-resistant subjects (n=19). In addition, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and electron microscopy were performed to analyze the spatial arrangement of Selenomonas in subgingival biofilms collected from patients with generalized aggressive periodontitis. In the samples from patients, Selenomonas spp. showed a lower prevalence in both diseased groups compared with other putative pathogens, and a relatively high prevalence in the periodontitis-resistant group. Consequently, Selenomonas spp. do not seem to be suitable diagnostic marker organisms for periodontal disease. By contrast, FISH and electron microscopic analysis of periodontal carriers revealed that Selenomonas spp. appeared in large numbers in all parts of the collected biofilms and seemed, if present in a site from patients, to make a relevant contribution to their structural organization.
Bacteria in periodontal pockets develop complex sessile communities that attach to the tooth surface. These highly dynamic microfloral environments challenge both clinicians and researchers alike. The exploration of structural organisation and bacterial interactions within these biofilms is critically important for a thorough understanding of periodontal disease. In recent years, Filifactor alocis, a fastidious, Gram-positive, obligately anaerobic rod was repeatedly identified in periodontal lesions using DNA-based methods. It has been suggested to be a marker for periodontal deterioration. The present study investigated the epidemiology of F. alocis in periodontal pockets and analysed the spatial arrangement and architectural role of the organism in in vivo grown subgingival biofilms.
Host susceptibility to infection is controlled in large measure by the genetic makeup of the host. Spirochetes of the genus Borrelia include nearly 40 species of vector-borne spirochetes that are capable of infecting a wide range of mammalian hosts, causing Lyme disease and relapsing fever. Relapsing fever is associated with high-level bacteremia, as well as hematologic manifestations, such as thrombocytopenia (i.e., low platelet numbers) and anemia. To facilitate studies of genetic control of susceptibility to Borrelia hermsii infection, we performed a systematic analysis of the course of infection using immunocompetent and immunocompromised inbred strains of mice. Our analysis revealed that sensitivity to B. hermsii infections is genetically controlled. In addition, whereas the role of adaptive immunity to relapsing fever-causing spirochetes is well documented, we found that innate immunity contributes significantly to the reduction of bacterial burden. Similar to human infection, the progression of the disease in mice was associated with thrombocytopenia and anemia. Histological and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis of infected tissues indicated that red blood cells (RBCs) were removed by tissue-resident macrophages, a process that could lead to anemia. Spirochetes in the spleen and liver were often visualized associated with RBCs, lending support to the hypothesis that direct interaction of B. hermsii spirochetes with RBCs leads to clearance of bacteria from the bloodstream by tissue phagocytes.
Human intestinal spirochetosis (HIS) is associated with overgrowth of the large intestine by spirochetes of the genus Brachyspira. The microbiological diagnosis of HIS is hampered by the fastidious nature and slow growth of Brachyspira spp. In clinical practice, HIS is diagnosed histopathologically, and a significant portion of cases may be missed. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is a molecular method that allows the visualization and identification of single bacteria within tissue sections. In this study, we analyzed intestinal biopsy samples from five patients with possible HIS. All specimens yielded positive results by histopathological techniques. PCR amplification and sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene were performed. Sequences of two isolates clustered in the group of Brachyspira aalborgi, whereas in three cases, the sequences were highly similar to that of Brachyspira pilosicoli. Three phylotypes showed mismatches at distinct nucleotide positions with Brachyspira sp. sequences published previously. In addition, culture for Brachyspira was successful in three cases. On the basis of these data, we designed and evaluated a Brachyspira genus-specific 16S rRNA-directed FISH probe that detects all of the Brachyspira spp. published to date. FISH of biopsy samples resulted in strong, unequivocal signals of brush-like formations at the crypt surfaces. This technique allowed simultaneous visualization of single spirochetes and their identification as Brachyspira spp. In conclusion, FISH provides a fast and accurate technique for the visualization and identification of intestinal spirochetes in tissue sections. It therefore represents a valuable tool for routine diagnosis of HIS.
The polymicrobial nature of periodontal diseases is reflected by the diversity of phylotypes detected in subgingival plaque and the finding that consortia of suspected pathogens rather than single species are associated with disease development. A number of these microorganisms have been demonstrated in vitro to interact and enhance biofilm integration, survival or even pathogenic features. To examine the in vivo relevance of these proposed interactions, we extended the spatial arrangement analysis tool of the software daime (digital image analysis in microbial ecology). This modification enabled the quantitative analysis of microbial co-localization in images of subgingival biofilm species, where the biomass was confined to fractions of the whole-image area, a situation common for medical samples. Selected representatives of the disease-associated red and orange complexes that were previously suggested to interact with each other in vitro (Tannerella forsythia with Fusobacterium nucleatum and Porphyromonas gingivalis with Prevotella intermedia) were chosen for analysis and labeled with specific fluorescent probes via fluorescence in situ hybridization. Pair cross-correlation analysis of in vivo grown biofilms revealed tight clustering of F. nucleatum/periodonticum and T. forsythia at short distances (up to 6 µm) with a pronounced peak at 1.5 µm. While these results confirmed previous in vitro observations for F. nucleatum and T. forsythia, random spatial distribution was detected between P. gingivalis and P. intermedia in the in vivo samples. In conclusion, we successfully employed spatial arrangement analysis on the single cell level in clinically relevant medical samples and demonstrated the utility of this approach for the in vivo validation of in vitro observations by analyzing statistically relevant numbers of different patients. More importantly, the culture-independent nature of this approach enables similar quantitative analyses for "as-yet-uncultured" phylotypes which cannot be characterized in vitro.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.