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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
The complexity and diversity of the Pathogenicity locus in Clostridium difficile clade 5.
Genome Biol Evol
PUBLISHED: 11-10-2014
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The symptoms of C. difficile infection are caused by two closely related toxins, TcdA and TcdB, which are encoded by the 19.6 kb Pathogenicity Locus (PaLoc). The PaLoc is variably present among strains and in this respect it resembles a mobile genetic element. The C. difficile population structure consists mainly of five phylogenetic clades designated 1 to 5. Certain genotypes of clade 5 are associated with recently emergent highly pathogenic strains causing human disease and animal infections. The aim of this study was to explore the evolutionary history of the PaLoc in C. difficile clade 5. Phylogenetic analyses and annotation of clade 5 PaLoc variants and adjoining genomic regions were undertaken using a representative collection of toxigenic and non-toxigenic strains. Comparison of the core genome and PaLoc phylogenies obtained for clade 5 and representatives of the other clades identified two distinct PaLoc acquisition events, one involving a toxin A(+)B(+) PaLoc variant and the other an A(-)B(+) variant. Although the exact mechanism of each PaLoc acquisition is unclear, evidence of possible homologous recombination with other clades and between clade 5 lineages was found within the PaLoc and adjacent regions. The generation of non-toxigenic variants by PaLoc loss via homologous recombination with PaLoc-negative members of other clades was suggested by analysis of cdu2, although none is likely to have occurred recently. A variant of the putative holin gene present in the clade 5 A(-)B(+) PaLoc was likely acquired via allelic exchange with an unknown element. Fine-scale phylogenetic analysis of C. difficile clade 5 revealed the extent of its genetic diversity, consistent with ancient evolutionary origins and a complex evolutionary history for the PaLoc.
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Multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli soft tissue infection investigated with bacterial whole genome sequencing.
BMJ Case Rep
PUBLISHED: 10-22-2014
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A 45-year-old man with dilated cardiomyopathy presented with acute leg pain and erythema suggestive of necrotising fasciitis. Initial surgical exploration revealed no necrosis and treatment for a soft tissue infection was started. Blood and tissue cultures unexpectedly grew a Gram-negative bacillus, subsequently identified by an automated broth microdilution phenotyping system as an extended-spectrum ?-lactamase producing Escherichia coli. The patient was treated with a 3-week course of antibiotics (ertapenem followed by ciprofloxacin) and debridement for small areas of necrosis, followed by skin grafting. The presence of E. coli triggered investigation of both host and pathogen. The patient was found to have previously undiagnosed liver disease, a risk factor for E. coli soft tissue infection. Whole genome sequencing of isolates from all specimens confirmed they were clonal, of sequence type ST131 and associated with a likely plasmid-associated AmpC (CMY-2), several other resistance genes and a number of virulence factors.
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Infectious Diseases and Tropical Disease Pathology: SC16-1 rRNA SEQUENCING IN MOLECULAR MICROBIOLOGICAL DIAGNOSIS OF BACTERIAL INFECTIONS IN THE AUTOPSY SETTING.
Pathology
PUBLISHED: 09-05-2014
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Diagnosing the aetiology of infectious diseases at autopsy, such as pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis or SUDI, is complicated due to issues including post mortem contamination, difficulty culturing fastidious organisms and subjective interpretation of polymicrobial cultures. Death of organisms may also occur post mortem, especially if antibiotics were given to the patient, but residual DNA from non-viable organisms, amenable to molecular detection, may remain. The 16S rRNA gene is present in all bacteria with conserved and hyper-variable regions along its length, allowing amplification and sequencing of all bacterial 16S sequences present in a sample. 16S sequencing offers potential advantages over culture-based diagnostics and is increasingly used in clinical practice. It has been used to identify bacteria in formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) surgical pathology specimens but its use has not been reported in autopsy diagnosis. This talk will summarise a study aimed to assess the utility of 16S sequencing as an adjunctive microbiological test in the autopsy. Our preliminary work has used post mortem lung tissue samples from children dying with pneumonia as part of the Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) project. The technique has identified known pathogens in some cases and provided additional diagnostic information in others. The presentation will discuss the technical aspects of 16S sequencing from FFPE and autopsy material, and the issues surrounding its application to diagnosis in comparison with standard culture based diagnostics on surgical/autopsy material.
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Can rapid integrated polymerase chain reaction-based diagnostics for gastrointestinal pathogens improve routine hospital infection control practice? A diagnostic study.
Health Technol Assess
PUBLISHED: 08-23-2014
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Every year approximately 5000-9000 patients are admitted to a hospital with diarrhoea, which in up to 90% of cases has a non-infectious cause. As a result, single rooms are 'blocked' by patients with non-infectious diarrhoea, while patients with infectious diarrhoea are still in open bays because of a lack of free side rooms. A rapid test for differentiating infectious from non-infectious diarrhoea could be very beneficial for patients.
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Reduction of invasive pneumococcal disease 3 years after the introduction of the 13-valent conjugate vaccine in the Oxfordshire region of England.
J. Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 04-09-2014
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The 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate (PCV7) vaccine's impact on invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) is well described, but few reports exist on the additional impact of the 13-valent vaccine (PCV13).
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Assessment of Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission in Oxfordshire, UK, 2007-12, with whole pathogen genome sequences: an observational study.
Lancet Respir Med
PUBLISHED: 03-04-2014
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Patients born outside the UK have contributed to a 20% rise in the UK's tuberculosis incidence since 2000, but their effect on domestic transmission is not known. Here we use whole-genome sequencing to investigate the epidemiology of tuberculosis transmission in an unselected population over 6 years.
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Prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus protein A (spa) mutants in the community and hospitals in Oxfordshire.
BMC Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 03-04-2014
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Staphylococcal protein A (spa) is an important virulence factor which enables Staphylococcus aureus to evade host immune responses. Genotypes known as "spa-types", based on highly variable Xr region sequences of the spa-gene, are frequently used to classify strains. A weakness of current spa-typing primers is that rearrangements in the IgG-binding region of the gene cause 1-2% of strains to be designated as "non-typeable".
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Mobile elements drive recombination hotspots in the core genome of Staphylococcus aureus.
Nat Commun
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2014
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Horizontal gene transfer is an important driver of bacterial evolution, but genetic exchange in the core genome of clonal species, including the major pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, is incompletely understood. Here we reveal widespread homologous recombination in S. aureus at the species level, in contrast to its near-complete absence between closely related strains. We discover a patchwork of hotspots and coldspots at fine scales falling against a backdrop of broad-scale trends in rate variation. Over megabases, homoplasy rates fluctuate 1.9-fold, peaking towards the origin-of-replication. Over kilobases, we find core recombination hotspots of up to 2.5-fold enrichment situated near fault lines in the genome associated with mobile elements. The strongest hotspots include regions flanking conjugative transposon ICE6013, the staphylococcal cassette chromosome (SCC) and genomic island ?Sa?. Mobile element-driven core genome transfer represents an opportunity for adaptation and challenges our understanding of the recombination landscape in predominantly clonal pathogens, with important implications for genotype-phenotype mapping.
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Dynamics of acquisition and loss of carriage of Staphylococcus aureus strains in the community: the effect of clonal complex.
J. Infect.
PUBLISHED: 01-04-2014
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Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage increases infection risk. However, few studies have investigated S. aureus acquisition/loss over >1 year, and fewer still used molecular typing.
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Whole-genome Sequencing Shows That Patient-to-patient Transmission Rarely Accounts for Acquisition of Staphylococcus aureus on an Intensive Care Unit.
Clin. Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 12-12-2013
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Background.?Strategies to prevent Staphylococcus aureus infection in hospitals focus on patient-to-patient transmission. We used whole-genome sequencing to investigate: (i) the role of colonized patients as the source of new S. aureus acquisitions; (ii) the reliability of identifying patient-to-patient transmission using the conventional approach of spa-typing and overlapping patient stay. Methods.?Over 14-months, all unselected patients admitted to an adult intensive care unit (ICU) were serially screened for S. aureus. All available isolates (n?=?275) were spa-typed and underwent whole-genome sequencing to investigate their relatedness at high resolution. Results.?S. aureus was carried by 185/1109 patients sampled within 24 hours of ICU admission (16.7%); 59 patients carried MRSA (5.3%). Forty-four S. aureus (22 MRSA) acquisitions while on ICU were detected. Isolates were available for genetic analysis from 37 acquisitions. Whole-genome sequencing indicated that 7/37 (18.9%) were transmissions from other colonized patients. Conventional methods (spa-typing combined with overlapping patient stay) falsely identified 3 patient-to-patient transmissions (all MRSA) and failed to detect two acquisitions and four transmissions (2 MRSA). Conclusions.?Only a minority of S. aureus acquisitions can be explained by patient-to-patient transmission. Whole-genome sequencing provides the resolution to disprove transmission events indicated by conventional methods and also to reveal otherwise unsuspected transmission events. Whole-genome sequencing should replace conventional methods for detection of nosocomial S. aureus transmission.
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Whole-Genome Sequencing Demonstrates That Fidaxomicin Is Superior to Vancomycin for Preventing Reinfection and Relapse of Infection With Clostridium difficile.
J. Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 11-11-2013
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Whole-genome sequencing was used to determine whether the reductions in recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection observed with fidaxomicin in pivotal phase 3 trials occurred by preventing relapse of the same infection, by preventing reinfection with a new strain, or by preventing both outcomes. Paired isolates of C. difficile were available from 93 of 199 participants with recurrences (28 were treated with fidaxomicin, and 65 were treated with vancomycin). Given C. difficile evolutionary rates, paired samples ?2 single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) apart were considered relapses, paired samples >10 SNVs apart were considered reinfection, and those 3-10 SNVs apart (or without whole-genome sequences) were considered indeterminate in a competing risks survival analysis. Fidaxomicin reduced the risk of both relapse (competing risks hazard ratio [HR], 0.40 [95% confidence interval {CI}, .25-.66]; P = .0003) and reinfection (competing risks HR, 0.33 [95% CI, 0.11-1.01]; P = .05).
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Diverse sources of C. difficile infection identified on whole-genome sequencing.
N. Engl. J. Med.
PUBLISHED: 09-27-2013
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It has been thought that Clostridium difficile infection is transmitted predominantly within health care settings. However, endemic spread has hampered identification of precise sources of infection and the assessment of the efficacy of interventions.
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Whole genome sequencing and de novo assembly identifies Sydney-like variant noroviruses and recombinants during the winter 2012/2013 outbreak in England.
Virol. J.
PUBLISHED: 09-09-2013
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Norovirus is the commonest cause of epidemic gastroenteritis among people of all ages. Outbreaks frequently occur in hospitals and the community, costing the UK an estimated [pound sign]110 m per annum. An evolutionary explanation for periodic increases in norovirus cases, despite some host-specific post immunity is currently limited to the identification of obvious recombinants. Our understanding could be significantly enhanced by full length genome sequences for large numbers of intensively sampled viruses, which would also assist control and vaccine design. Our objective is to develop rapid, high-throughput, end-to-end methods yielding complete norovirus genome sequences. We apply these methods to recent English outbreaks, placing them in the wider context of the international norovirus epidemic of winter 2012.
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Differences in outcome according to Clostridium difficile testing method: a prospective multicentre diagnostic validation study of C difficile infection.
Lancet Infect Dis
PUBLISHED: 09-03-2013
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Diagnosis of Clostridium difficile infection is controversial because of many laboratory methods, compounded by two reference methods. Cytotoxigenic culture detects toxigenic C difficile and gives a positive result more frequently (eg, because of colonisation, which means that individuals can have the bacterium but no free toxin) than does the cytotoxin assay, which detects preformed toxin in faeces. We aimed to validate the reference methods according to clinical outcomes and to derive an optimum laboratory diagnostic algorithm for C difficile infection.
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Renal impairment and clinical outcomes of Clostridium difficile infection in two randomized trials.
Am. J. Nephrol.
PUBLISHED: 05-02-2013
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Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have increased risk for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) and for subsequent mortality. We determined the effect of CKD on response to treatment for CDI.
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Detection of mixed infection from bacterial whole genome sequence data allows assessment of its role in Clostridium difficile transmission.
PLoS Comput. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 05-01-2013
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Bacterial whole genome sequencing offers the prospect of rapid and high precision investigation of infectious disease outbreaks. Close genetic relationships between microorganisms isolated from different infected cases suggest transmission is a strong possibility, whereas transmission between cases with genetically distinct bacterial isolates can be excluded. However, undetected mixed infections-infection with ?2 unrelated strains of the same species where only one is sequenced-potentially impairs exclusion of transmission with certainty, and may therefore limit the utility of this technique. We investigated the problem by developing a computationally efficient method for detecting mixed infection without the need for resource-intensive independent sequencing of multiple bacterial colonies. Given the relatively low density of single nucleotide polymorphisms within bacterial sequence data, direct reconstruction of mixed infection haplotypes from current short-read sequence data is not consistently possible. We therefore use a two-step maximum likelihood-based approach, assuming each sample contains up to two infecting strains. We jointly estimate the proportion of the infection arising from the dominant and minor strains, and the sequence divergence between these strains. In cases where mixed infection is confirmed, the dominant and minor haplotypes are then matched to a database of previously sequenced local isolates. We demonstrate the performance of our algorithm with in silico and in vitro mixed infection experiments, and apply it to transmission of an important healthcare-associated pathogen, Clostridium difficile. Using hospital ward movement data in a previously described stochastic transmission model, 15 pairs of cases enriched for likely transmission events associated with mixed infection were selected. Our method identified four previously undetected mixed infections, and a previously undetected transmission event, but no direct transmission between the pairs of cases under investigation. These results demonstrate that mixed infections can be detected without additional sequencing effort, and this will be important in assessing the extent of cryptic transmission in our hospitals.
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Improved workflows for high throughput library preparation using the transposome-based nextera system.
BMC Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 03-26-2013
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The Nextera protocol, which utilises a transposome based approach to create libraries for Illumina sequencing, requires pure DNA template, an accurate assessment of input concentration and a column clean-up that limits its applicability for high-throughput sample preparation. We addressed the identified limitations to develop a robust workflow that supports both rapid and high-throughput projects also reducing reagent costs.
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Identification of another module involved in the horizontal transfer of the Haemophilus genomic island ICEHin1056.
Plasmid
PUBLISHED: 03-18-2013
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A significant part of horizontal gene transfer is facilitated by genomic islands. Haemophilus influenzae genomic island ICEHin1056 is an archetype of a genomic island that accounts for pandemic spread of antibiotics resistance. ICEHin1056 has modular structure and harbors modules involved in type IV secretion and integration. Previous studies have shown that ICEHin1056 encodes a functional type IV secretion system; however, other modules have not been characterized yet. Here we show that the module on the 5 extremity of ICEHin1056 consists of 15 genes that are well conserved in a number of related genomic islands. Furthermore by disrupting six genes of the investigated module of ICEHin1056 by site-specific mutagenesis we demonstrate that in addition to type IV secretion system module, the investigated module is also important for the successful conjugal transfer of ICEHin1056 from donor to recipient cells.
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Relationship between bacterial strain type, host biomarkers, and mortality in Clostridium difficile infection.
Clin. Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 03-05-2013
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Despite substantial interest in biomarkers, their impact on clinical outcomes and variation with bacterial strain has rarely been explored using integrated databases.
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Effect of age on treatment outcomes in Clostridium difficile infection.
J Am Geriatr Soc
PUBLISHED: 02-04-2013
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To determine the effect of advancing age on the clinical outcomes of Clostridium difficile (CDI) treatment.
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Asymptomatic Clostridium difficile Colonisation and Onward Transmission.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Combined genotyping/whole genome sequencing and epidemiological data suggest that in endemic settings only a minority of Clostridium difficile infection, CDI, is acquired from other cases. Asymptomatic patients are a potential source for many unexplained cases.
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A modified RNA-Seq approach for whole genome sequencing of RNA viruses from faecal and blood samples.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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To date, very large scale sequencing of many clinically important RNA viruses has been complicated by their high population molecular variation, which creates challenges for polymerase chain reaction and sequencing primer design. Many RNA viruses are also difficult or currently not possible to culture, severely limiting the amount and purity of available starting material. Here, we describe a simple, novel, high-throughput approach to Norovirus and Hepatitis C virus whole genome sequence determination based on RNA shotgun sequencing (also known as RNA-Seq). We demonstrate the effectiveness of this method by sequencing three Norovirus samples from faeces and two Hepatitis C virus samples from blood, on an Illumina MiSeq benchtop sequencer. More than 97% of reference genomes were recovered. Compared with Sanger sequencing, our method had no nucleotide differences in 14,019 nucleotides (nt) for Noroviruses (from a total of 2 Norovirus genomes obtained with Sanger sequencing), and 8 variants in 9,542 nt for Hepatitis C virus (1 variant per 1,193 nt). The three Norovirus samples had 2, 3, and 2 distinct positions called as heterozygous, while the two Hepatitis C virus samples had 117 and 131 positions called as heterozygous. To confirm that our sample and library preparation could be scaled to true high-throughput, we prepared and sequenced an additional 77 Norovirus samples in a single batch on an Illumina HiSeq 2000 sequencer, recovering >90% of the reference genome in all but one sample. No discrepancies were observed across 118,757 nt compared between Sanger and our custom RNA-Seq method in 16 samples. By generating viral genomic sequences that are not biased by primer-specific amplification or enrichment, this method offers the prospect of large-scale, affordable studies of RNA viruses which could be adapted to routine diagnostic laboratory workflows in the near future, with the potential to directly characterize within-host viral diversity.
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Short-term genome stability of serial Clostridium difficile ribotype 027 isolates in an experimental gut model and recurrent human disease.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Clostridium difficile whole genome sequencing has the potential to identify related isolates, even among otherwise indistinguishable strains, but interpretation depends on understanding genomic variation within isolates and individuals.
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Within-host evolution of Staphylococcus aureus during asymptomatic carriage.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Staphylococcus aureus is a major cause of healthcare associated mortality, but like many important bacterial pathogens, it is a common constituent of the normal human body flora. Around a third of healthy adults are carriers. Recent evidence suggests that evolution of S. aureus during nasal carriage may be associated with progression to invasive disease. However, a more detailed understanding of within-host evolution under natural conditions is required to appreciate the evolutionary and mechanistic reasons why commensal bacteria such as S. aureus cause disease. Therefore we examined in detail the evolutionary dynamics of normal, asymptomatic carriage. Sequencing a total of 131 genomes across 13 singly colonized hosts using the Illumina platform, we investigated diversity, selection, population dynamics and transmission during the short-term evolution of S. aureus.
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Clostridium difficile mixed infection and reinfection.
J. Clin. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 11-09-2011
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Isolates from consecutive Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) fecal samples underwent multilocus sequence typing. Potential reinfections with different genotypes were identified in 88/560 (16%) sample pairs taken 1 to 1,414 days (median, 24; interquartile range [IQR], 1 to 52 days) apart; odds of reinfection increased by 58% for every doubling of time between samples. Of 109 sample pairs taken on the same day, 3 (3%) had different genotypes. Considering samples 0 to 7 days apart as the same CDI, 7% of cases had mixed infections with >1 genotype.
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Waves of trouble: MRSA strain dynamics and assessment of the impact of infection control.
J. Antimicrob. Chemother.
PUBLISHED: 09-21-2011
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There has been a sustained decline in bloodstream infections due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) throughout the UK. The UK MRSA epidemic, which began in the 1990s, has been dominated by two epidemic MRSA (EMRSA) clones {EMRSA-15, of clonal complex (CC) 22 [sequence type (ST) 22], and EMRSA-16, of CC30 (ST36)}. It appears that both these clones followed a wave trajectory (initial expansion, relative stasis, then decline). Three recent studies have shown that ST36 has declined faster than ST22, a change that appears to have begun before the recent intensification of intensive control measures in the UK. The biological basis of infectious disease waves, including those of MRSA, is discussed, as are the implications of such waves for the assessment of the impact of infection control measures.
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Molecular epidemiology of Clostridium difficile strains in children compared with that of strains circulating in adults with Clostridium difficile-associated infection.
J. Clin. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 09-21-2011
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Molecular analysis of Clostridium difficile (28 isolates) from children (n = 128) in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, identified eight toxigenic genotypes. Six of these were isolated from 27% of concurrent adult C. difficile-associated infections studied (n = 83). No children carried hypervirulent PCR ribotype 027. Children could participate in the transmission of some adult disease-causing genotypes.
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Changes in serogroup and genotype prevalence among carried meningococci in the United Kingdom during vaccine implementation.
J. Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 09-02-2011
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Herd immunity is important in the effectiveness of conjugate polysaccharide vaccines against encapsulated bacteria. A large multicenter study investigated the effect of meningococcal serogroup C conjugate vaccine introduction on the meningococcal population.
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Decline of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Oxfordshire hospitals is strain-specific and preceded infection-control intensification.
BMJ Open
PUBLISHED: 08-27-2011
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Background In the past, strains of Staphylococcus aureus have evolved, expanded, made a marked clinical impact and then disappeared over several years. Faced with rising meticillin-resistant S aureus (MRSA) rates, UK government-supported infection control interventions were rolled out in Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust from 2006 onwards. Methods Using an electronic Database, the authors identified isolation of MRS among 611?434 hospital inpatients admitted to acute hospitals in Oxford, UK, 1 April 1998 to 30 June 2010. Isolation rates were modelled using segmented negative binomial regression for three groups of isolates: from blood cultures, from samples suggesting invasion (eg, cerebrospinal fluid, joint fluid, pus samples) and from surface swabs (eg, from wounds). Findings MRSA isolation rates rose rapidly from 1998 to the end of 2003 (annual increase from blood cultures 23%, 95% CI 16% to 30%), and then declined. The decline accelerated from mid-2006 onwards (annual decrease post-2006 38% from blood cultures, 95% CI 29% to 45%, p=0.003 vs previous decline). Rates of meticillin-sensitive S aureus changed little by comparison, with no evidence for declines 2006 onward (p=0.40); by 2010, sensitive S aureus was far more common than MRSA (blood cultures: 2.9 vs 0.25; invasive samples 14.7 vs 2.0 per 10?000 bedstays). Interestingly, trends in isolation of erythromycin-sensitive and resistant MRSA differed. Erythromycin-sensitive strains rose significantly faster (eg, from blood cultures p=0.002), and declined significantly more slowly (p=0.002), than erythromycin-resistant strains (global p<0.0001). Bacterial typing suggests this reflects differential spread of two major UK MRSA strains (ST22/36), ST36 having declined markedly 2006-2010, with ST22 becoming the dominant MRSA strain. Conclusions MRSA isolation rates were falling before recent intensification of infection-control measures. This, together with strain-specific changes in MRSA isolation, strongly suggests that incompletely understood biological factors are responsible for the much recent variation in MRSA isolation. A major, mainly meticillin-sensitive, S aureus burden remains.
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Clinical Clostridium difficile: clonality and pathogenicity locus diversity.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-19-2011
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Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is an important cause of mortality and morbidity in healthcare settings. The major virulence determinants are large clostridial toxins, toxin A (tcdA) and toxin B (tcdB), encoded within the pathogenicity locus (PaLoc). Isolates vary in pathogenicity from hypervirulent PCR-ribotypes 027 and 078 with high mortality, to benign non-toxigenic strains carried asymptomatically. The relative pathogenicity of most toxigenic genotypes is still unclear, but may be influenced by PaLoc genetic variant. This is the largest study of C. difficile molecular epidemiology performed to date, in which a representative collection of recent isolates (n?=?1290) from patients with CDI in Oxfordshire, UK, was genotyped by multilocus sequence typing. The population structure was described using NeighborNet and ClonalFrame. Sequence variation within toxin B (tcdB) and its negative regulator (tcdC), was mapped onto the population structure. The 69 Sequence Types (ST) showed evidence for homologous recombination with an effect on genetic diversification four times lower than mutation. Five previously recognised genetic groups or clades persisted, designated 1 to 5, each having a strikingly congruent association with tcdB and tcdC variants. Hypervirulent ST-11 (078) was the only member of clade 5, which was divergent from the other four clades within the MLST loci. However, it was closely related to the other clades within the tcdB and tcdC loci. ST-11 (078) may represent a divergent formerly non-toxigenic strain that acquired the PaLoc (at least) by genetic recombination. This study focused on human clinical isolates collected from a single geographic location, to achieve a uniquely high density of sampling. It sets a baseline of MLST data for future comparative studies investigating genotype virulence potential (using clinical severity data for these isolates), possible reservoirs of human CDI, and the evolutionary origins of hypervirulent strains.
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Reduction in invasive pneumococcal disease following implementation of the conjugate vaccine in the Oxfordshire region, England.
J. Med. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 09-23-2010
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Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to seven capsular types has been highly effective in the US since its introduction in 2000. The same vaccine was adopted by the UK in 2006. Ongoing surveillance since 1995 of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in Oxfordshire, UK, allowed assessment of the impact of vaccine intervention. The vaccine significantly reduced IPD among the target group, children under 2 years of age; incidence rate ratio (IRR)=0.62 (95?% CI 0.43-0.90) (P=0.008) comparing the 3 years pre- and post-implementation with a residual incidence of 22.4/100?000 children. The reduction was even greater when comparing 11 years pre- with the 3 years post-implementation of vaccine; IRR=0.53 (0.39-0.70) (P<0.0001). There was a marked direct effect of the vaccine evidenced by substantial reductions in the seven serotypes contained in the vaccine. There was also a clear reduction in IPD for those serotypes contained in the vaccine among those older than 2 years when comparing both the 3 and 11 year pre-PCV7 time periods, with IRR=0.57 (0.47-0.69) (P<0.0001) and IRR=0.50 (0.43-0.58) (P<0.0001), respectively, indicating a strong herd effect. There was a significant, though moderate, rise in the serotypes not contained in the vaccine, with clear evidence for replacement in some serotypes.
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Enhanced determination of Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes associated with invasive disease in Laos by using a real-time polymerase chain reaction serotyping assay with cerebrospinal fluid.
Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg.
PUBLISHED: 09-03-2010
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A prospective hospital-based study was undertaken to define the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and circulating serotypes in Laos. Of 10,799 patients with hemocultures and 353 patients with cerebrospinal fluid samples, 0.21% and 5.4%, respectively, were positive for Streptococcus pneumoniae, giving a total of 35 IPD patients. We developed a real-time polymerase chain reaction to detect serotypes represented in the 13-valent pneumococcal vaccine. A blinded evaluation comparing serotype as defined by the Quellung reaction versus the polymerase chain reaction demonstrated 100% concordance. The most frequent serotype (n = 33 patients) was 1 (n = 6), followed by serotypes 5, 6A/B/C, 14, and 23F. Serotypes represented in the 7-valent polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccine (PCV-7) infected 39% of patients, with 73% coverage for the PCV-10 and PCV-13 vaccines. Although the sample size is small, these data suggest that the PCV-7 vaccine may have relatively low efficacy in Laos. Further studies are urgently needed to guide pneumococcal vaccine policy in Laos.
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Common NFKBIL2 polymorphisms and susceptibility to pneumococcal disease: a genetic association study.
Crit Care
PUBLISHED: 08-02-2010
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Streptococcus pneumoniae remains a major global health problem and a leading cause of death in children worldwide. The factors that influence development of pneumococcal sepsis remain poorly understood, although increasing evidence points towards a role for genetic variation in the hosts immune response. Recent insights from the study of animal models, rare human primary immunodeficiency states, and population-based genetic epidemiology have focused attention on the role of the proinflammatory transcription factor NF-?B in pneumococcal disease pathogenesis. The possible role of genetic variation in the atypical NF-?B inhibitor I?B-R, encoded by NFKBIL2, in susceptibility to invasive pneumococcal disease has not, to our knowledge, previously been reported upon.
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Construction of a novel shuttle vector for use in Haemophilus influenzae and H. parainfluenzae.
J. Microbiol. Methods
PUBLISHED: 04-14-2010
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Haemophilus influenzae is an important human pathogen. A number of complete genome sequences of various haemophili are available; however, functional studies have been limited by the lack of an effective shuttle vector which functions in all strains. Here, we have constructed a shuttle vector, pEJ6, which transfers genes between Escherichia coli and H. influenzae and H. parainfluenzae. The vector contains an origin of replication from pLS88 which is functional in E. coli and H. influenzae. In addition it contains an RP4 mobilisation region. The vector can be introduced by electroporation and conjugation into capsulate and non-typeable H. influenzae and is functional for allelic replacement and mutant complementation. The vector will be useful for investigating gene function in Haemophilus spp.
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Mannose-binding lectin genotypes: lack of association with susceptibility to thoracic empyema.
BMC Med. Genet.
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2010
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The role of the innate immune protein mannose-binding lectin (MBL) in host defence against severe respiratory infection remains controversial. Thoracic empyema is a suppurative lung infection that arises as a major complication of pneumonia and is associated with a significant mortality. Although the pathogenesis of thoracic empyema is poorly understood, genetic susceptibility loci for this condition have recently been identified. The possible role of MBL genotypic deficiency in susceptibility to thoracic empyema has not previously been reported.
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Multilocus sequence typing of Clostridium difficile.
J. Clin. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 12-30-2009
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A robust high-throughput multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme for Clostridium difficile was developed and validated using a diverse collection of 50 reference isolates representing 45 different PCR ribotypes and 102 isolates from recent clinical samples. A total of 49 PCR ribotypes were represented overall. All isolates were typed by MLST and yielded 40 sequence types (STs). A web-accessible database was set up (http://pubmlst.org/cdifficile/) to facilitate the dissemination and comparison of C. difficile MLST genotyping data among laboratories. MLST and PCR ribotyping were similar in discriminatory abilities, having indices of discrimination of 0.90 and 0.92, respectively. Some STs corresponded to a single PCR ribotype (32/40), other STs corresponded to multiple PCR ribotypes (8/40), and, conversely, the PCR ribotype was not always predictive of the ST. The total number of variable nucleotide sites in the concatenated MLST sequences was 103/3,501 (2.9%). Concatenated MLST sequences were used to construct a neighbor-joining tree which identified four phylogenetic groups of STs and one outlier (ST-11; PCR ribotype 078). These groups apparently correlate with clades identified previously by comparative genomics. The MLST scheme was sufficiently robust to allow direct genotyping of C. difficile in total stool DNA extracts without isolate culture. The direct (nonculture) MLST approach may prove useful as a rapid genotyping method, potentially benefiting individual patients and informing hospital infection control.
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Genomic islands: tools of bacterial horizontal gene transfer and evolution.
FEMS Microbiol. Rev.
PUBLISHED: 01-31-2009
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Bacterial genomes evolve through mutations, rearrangements or horizontal gene transfer. Besides the core genes encoding essential metabolic functions, bacterial genomes also harbour a number of accessory genes acquired by horizontal gene transfer that might be beneficial under certain environmental conditions. The horizontal gene transfer contributes to the diversification and adaptation of microorganisms, thus having an impact on the genome plasticity. A significant part of the horizontal gene transfer is or has been facilitated by genomic islands (GEIs). GEIs are discrete DNA segments, some of which are mobile and others which are not, or are no longer mobile, which differ among closely related strains. A number of GEIs are capable of integration into the chromosome of the host, excision, and transfer to a new host by transformation, conjugation or transduction. GEIs play a crucial role in the evolution of a broad spectrum of bacteria as they are involved in the dissemination of variable genes, including antibiotic resistance and virulence genes leading to generation of hospital superbugs, as well as catabolic genes leading to formation of new metabolic pathways. Depending on the composition of gene modules, the same type of GEIs can promote survival of pathogenic as well as environmental bacteria.
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Microevolutionary analysis of Clostridium difficile genomes to investigate transmission.
Genome Biol.
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BACKGROUND: The control of Clostridium difficile infection is a major international healthcare priority, hindered by a limited understanding of transmission epidemiology for these bacteria. However, transmission studies of bacterial pathogens are rapidly being transformed by the advent of next generation sequencing. RESULTS: Here we sequence whole C. difficile genomes from 486 cases arising over four years in Oxfordshire. We show that we can estimate the times back to common ancestors of bacterial lineages with sufficient resolution to distinguish whether direct transmission is plausible or not. Time depths were inferred using a within-host evolutionary rate that we estimated at 1.4 mutations per genome per year based on serially isolated genomes. The subset of plausible transmissions was found to be highly associated with pairs of patients sharing time and space in hospital. Conversely, the large majority of pairs of genomes matched by conventional typing and isolated from patients within a month of each other were too distantly related to be direct transmissions. CONCLUSIONS: Our results confirm that nosocomial transmission between symptomatic C. difficile cases contributes far less to current rates of infection than has been widely assumed, which clarifies the importance of future research into other transmission routes, such as from asymptomatic carriers. With the costs of DNA sequencing rapidly falling and its use becoming more and more widespread, genomics will revolutionize our understanding of the transmission of bacterial pathogens.
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Recombinational switching of the Clostridium difficile S-layer and a novel glycosylation gene cluster revealed by large-scale whole-genome sequencing.
J. Infect. Dis.
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Clostridium difficile is a major cause of nosocomial diarrhea, with 30-day mortality reaching 30%. The cell surface comprises a paracrystalline proteinaceous S-layer encoded by the slpA gene within the cell wall protein (cwp) gene cluster. Our purpose was to understand the diversity and evolution of slpA and nearby genes also encoding immunodominant cell surface antigens.
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Whole-genome sequencing to delineate Mycobacterium tuberculosis outbreaks: a retrospective observational study.
Lancet Infect Dis
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Tuberculosis incidence in the UK has risen in the past decade. Disease control depends on epidemiological data, which can be difficult to obtain. Whole-genome sequencing can detect microevolution within Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains. We aimed to estimate the genetic diversity of related M tuberculosis strains in the UK Midlands and to investigate how this measurement might be used to investigate community outbreaks.
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Fidaxomicin versus vancomycin for Clostridium difficile infection: meta-analysis of pivotal randomized controlled trials.
Clin. Infect. Dis.
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Two recently completed phase 3 trials (003 and 004) showed fidaxomicin to be noninferior to vancomycin for curing Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) and superior for reducing CDI recurrences. In both studies, adults with active CDI were randomized to receive blinded fidaxomicin 200 mg twice daily or vancomycin 125 mg 4 times a day for 10 days. Post hoc exploratory intent-to-treat (ITT) time-to-event analyses were undertaken on the combined study 003 and 004 data, using fixed-effects meta-analysis and Cox regression models. ITT analysis of the combined 003/004 data for 1164 patients showed that fidaxomicin reduced persistent diarrhea, recurrence, or death by 40% (95% confidence interval [CI], 26%-51%; P < .0001) compared with vancomycin through day 40. A 37% (95% CI, 2%-60%; P = .037) reduction in persistent diarrhea or death was evident through day 12 (heterogeneity P = .50 vs 13-40 days), driven by 7 (1.2%) fidaxomicin versus 17 (2.9%) vancomycin deaths at <12 days. Low albumin level, low eosinophil count, and CDI treatment preenrollment were risk factors for persistent diarrhea or death at 12 days, and CDI in the previous 3 months was a risk factor for recurrence (all P < .01). Fidaxomicin has the potential to substantially improve outcomes from CDI.
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Predictors of first recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection: implications for initial management.
Clin. Infect. Dis.
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Symptomatic recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) occurs in approximately 20% of patients and is challenging to treat. Identifying those at high risk could allow targeted initial management and improve outcomes. Adult toxin enzyme immunoassay-positive CDI cases in a population of approximately 600,000 persons from September 2006 through December 2010 were combined with epidemiological/clinical data. The cumulative incidence of recurrence ? 14 days after the diagnosis and/or onset of first-ever CDI was estimated, treating death without recurrence as a competing risk, and predictors were identified from cause-specific proportional hazards regression models. A total of 1678 adults alive 14 days after their first CDI were included; median age was 77 years, and 1191 (78%) were inpatients. Of these, 363 (22%) experienced a recurrence ? 14 days after their first CDI, and 594 (35%) died without recurrence through March 2011. Recurrence risk was independently and significantly higher among patients admitted as emergencies, with previous gastrointestinal ward admission(s), last discharged 4-12 weeks before first diagnosis, and with CDI diagnosed at admission. Recurrence risk also increased with increasing age, previous total hours admitted, and C-reactive protein level at first CDI (all P < .05). The 4-month recurrence risk increased by approximately 5% (absolute) for every 1-point increase in a risk score based on these factors. Risk factors, including increasing age, initial disease severity, and hospital exposure, predict CDI recurrence and identify patients likely to benefit from enhanced initial CDI treatment.
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Transforming clinical microbiology with bacterial genome sequencing.
Nat. Rev. Genet.
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Whole-genome sequencing of bacteria has recently emerged as a cost-effective and convenient approach for addressing many microbiological questions. Here, we review the current status of clinical microbiology and how it has already begun to be transformed by using next-generation sequencing. We focus on three essential tasks: identifying the species of an isolate, testing its properties, such as resistance to antibiotics and virulence, and monitoring the emergence and spread of bacterial pathogens. We predict that the application of next-generation sequencing will soon be sufficiently fast, accurate and cheap to be used in routine clinical microbiology practice, where it could replace many complex current techniques with a single, more efficient workflow.
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Surveillance of infection severity: a registry study of laboratory diagnosed Clostridium difficile.
PLoS Med.
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Changing clinical impact, as virulent clones replace less virulent ones, is a feature of many pathogenic bacterial species and can be difficult to detect. Consequently, innovative techniques monitoring infection severity are of potential clinical value.
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High confidence prediction of essential genes in Burkholderia cenocepacia.
PLoS ONE
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Essential genes are absolutely required for the survival of an organism. The identification of essential genes, besides being one of the most fundamental questions in biology, is also of interest for the emerging science of synthetic biology and for the development of novel antimicrobials. New antimicrobial therapies are desperately needed to treat multidrug-resistant pathogens, such as members of the Burkholderia cepacia complex.
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Treatment of first recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection: fidaxomicin versus vancomycin.
Clin. Infect. Dis.
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Recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) occurs in approximately 25% of successfully treated patients. Two phase 3 randomized, double-blind trials were conducted at 154 sites in the United States, Canada, and Europe to compare fidaxomicin vs vancomycin in treating CDI. Patients with CDI received fidaxomicin 200 mg twice daily or vancomycin 125 mg 4 times daily for 10 days. The primary end point was clinical cure of CDI at end of treatment, and a secondary end point was recurrence during the 28 days following clinical cure. In all, 1164 subjects were enrolled, of which a subgroup of 128 in the per-protocol population had another recent episode of CDI prior to the CDI diagnosis at study enrollment. In the analysis of this subgroup, initial response to therapy was similar for both drugs (>90% cure). However, recurrence within 28 days occurred in 35.5% of patients treated with vancomycin and 19.7% of patients treated with fidaxomicin (-15.8% difference; 95% confidence interval, -30.4% to -0.3%; P = .045). Early recurrence (within 14 days) was reported in 27% of patients treated with vancomycin and 8% of patients treated with fidaxomicin (P = .003). In patients with a first recurrence of CDI, fidaxomicin was similar to vancomycin in achieving a clinical response at end of therapy but superior in preventing a second recurrence within 28 days.
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Fidaxomicin attains high fecal concentrations with minimal plasma concentrations following oral administration in patients with Clostridium difficile infection.
Clin. Infect. Dis.
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Fidaxomicin has recently been approved for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). As part of phase III studies, plasma and fecal samples were analyzed for concentrations of fidaxomicin and its metabolite, OP-1118. Plasma samples were collected before and after dose receipt on the first and last days of therapy, and fecal samples were collected on the last day of therapy. Samples were analyzed for fidaxomicin and OP-1118 (metabolite), using validated liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometric methods. Plasma concentrations were low for both fidaxomicin (mean [± standard deviation {SD}], 22.8 ± 26.7 ng/mL and 28.5 ± 33.4 ng/mL on the first and last days of therapy, respectively) and OP-1118 (mean [± SD], 44.5 ± 50.4 ng/mL and 85.6 ± 131 ng/mL, respectively). In contrast, fecal levels were >1000 µg/g for fidaxomicin and >800 µg/g for OP-1118. Fidaxomicin mean fecal levels were >5000 times the minimum inhibitory concentration for C. difficile of 0.25 µg/mL.
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A pilot study of rapid benchtop sequencing of Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile for outbreak detection and surveillance.
BMJ Open
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To investigate the prospects of newly available benchtop sequencers to provide rapid whole-genome data in routine clinical practice. Next-generation sequencing has the potential to resolve uncertainties surrounding the route and timing of person-to-person transmission of healthcare-associated infection, which has been a major impediment to optimal management.
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Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype-2 childhood meningitis in Bangladesh: a newly recognized pneumococcal infection threat.
PLoS ONE
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Streptococcus pneumoniae is a leading cause of meningitis in countries where pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) targeting commonly occurring serotypes are not routinely used. However, effectiveness of PCV would be jeopardized by emergence of invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPD) caused by serotypes which are not included in PCV. Systematic hospital based surveillance in Bangladesh was established and progressively improved to determine the pathogens causing childhood sepsis and meningitis. This also provided the foundation for determining the spectrum of serotypes causing IPD. This article reports an unprecedented upsurge of serotype 2, an uncommon pneumococcal serotype, without any known intervention.
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Increasing incidence of Escherichia coli bacteraemia is driven by an increase in antibiotic-resistant isolates: electronic database study in Oxfordshire 1999-2011.
J. Antimicrob. Chemother.
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To investigate trends in Escherichia coli resistance, bacteraemia rates and post-bacteraemia outcomes over time.
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Evolutionary dynamics of Staphylococcus aureus during progression from carriage to disease.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
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Whole-genome sequencing offers new insights into the evolution of bacterial pathogens and the etiology of bacterial disease. Staphylococcus aureus is a major cause of bacteria-associated mortality and invasive disease and is carried asymptomatically by 27% of adults. Eighty percent of bacteremias match the carried strain. However, the role of evolutionary change in the pathogen during the progression from carriage to disease is incompletely understood. Here we use high-throughput genome sequencing to discover the genetic changes that accompany the transition from nasal carriage to fatal bloodstream infection in an individual colonized with methicillin-sensitive S. aureus. We found a single, cohesive population exhibiting a repertoire of 30 single-nucleotide polymorphisms and four insertion/deletion variants. Mutations accumulated at a steady rate over a 13-mo period, except for a cluster of mutations preceding the transition to disease. Although bloodstream bacteria differed by just eight mutations from the original nasally carried bacteria, half of those mutations caused truncation of proteins, including a premature stop codon in an AraC-family transcriptional regulator that has been implicated in pathogenicity. Comparison with evolution in two asymptomatic carriers supported the conclusion that clusters of protein-truncating mutations are highly unusual. Our results demonstrate that bacterial diversity in vivo is limited but nonetheless detectable by whole-genome sequencing, enabling the study of evolutionary dynamics within the host. Regulatory or structural changes that occur during carriage may be functionally important for pathogenesis; therefore identifying those changes is a crucial step in understanding the biological causes of invasive bacterial disease.
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Characterisation of Clostridium difficile hospital ward-based transmission using extensive epidemiological data and molecular typing.
PLoS Med.
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Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and is endemic in hospitals, hindering the identification of sources and routes of transmission based on shared time and space alone. This may compromise rational control despite costly prevention strategies. This study aimed to investigate ward-based transmission of C. difficile, by subdividing outbreaks into distinct lineages defined by multi-locus sequence typing (MLST).
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Fidaxomicin versus vancomycin for infection with Clostridium difficile in Europe, Canada, and the USA: a double-blind, non-inferiority, randomised controlled trial.
Lancet Infect Dis
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Infection with Clostridium difficile is the primary infective cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea. We aimed to compare efficacy and safety of fidaxomicin and vancomycin to treat patients with C difficile infection in Europe, Canada, and the USA.
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Pneumococcal genome sequencing tracks a vaccine escape variant formed through a multi-fragment recombination event.
Nat. Genet.
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Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) causes an estimated 14.5 million cases of serious disease and 826,000 deaths annually in children under 5 years of age(1). The highly effective introduction of the PCV7 pneumococcal vaccine in 2000 in the United States(2,3) provided an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the response of an important pathogen to widespread, vaccine-induced selective pressure. Here, we use array-based sequencing of 62 isolates from a US national monitoring program to study five independent instances of vaccine escape recombination(4), showing the simultaneous transfer of multiple and often large (up to at least 44 kb) DNA fragments. We show that one such new strain quickly became established, spreading from east to west across the United States. These observations clarify the roles of recombination and selection in the population genomics of pneumococcus and provide proof of principle of the considerable value of combining genomic and epidemiological information in the surveillance and enhanced understanding of infectious diseases.
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Evolutionary History of the Clostridium difficile Pathogenicity Locus.
Genome Biol Evol
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The symptoms of Clostridium difficile infection are caused by toxins expressed from its 19kb pathogenicity locus (PaLoc). Stable integration of the PaLoc is suggested by its single chromosomal location and the clade-specificity of its different genetic variants. However, the PaLoc is variably present, even among closely related strains, and thus resembles a mobile genetic element. Our aim was to explain these apparently conflicting observations by reconstructing the evolutionary history of the PaLoc. Phylogenetic analyses and annotation of the regions spanning the PaLoc were performed using C. difficile population-representative genomes chosen from a collection of 1,693 toxigenic (PaLoc present) and non-toxigenic (PaLoc absent) isolates. Comparison of the core genome and PaLoc phylogenies demonstrated an eventful evolutionary history, with distinct PaLoc variants acquired clade-specifically after divergence. In particular, our data suggest a relatively recent PaLoc acquisition in clade 4. Exchanges and losses of the PaLoc DNA have also occurred, via long homologous recombination events involving flanking chromosomal sequences. The most recent loss event occurred ~30 years ago within a clade 1 genotype. The genetic organisation of the clade 3 PaLoc was unique in containing a stably integrated novel transposon (designated Tn6218), variants of which were found at multiple chromosomal locations. Tn6218 elements were Tn916-related, but non-conjugative, and occasionally contained genes conferring resistance to clinically relevant antibiotics. The evolutionary histories of two contrasting, but clinically important genetic elements were thus characterised: the PaLoc, mobilised rarely via homologous recombination, and Tn6218, mobilised frequently through transposition.
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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.