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1.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 265, 2021 Mar 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33731022

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Increasing arbovirus infections have been a global burden in recent decades. Many countries have experienced the periodic emergence of arbovirus diseases. However, information on the prevalence of arboviruses is largely unknown or infrequently updated because of the lack of surveillance studies, especially in Africa. METHODS: A surveillance study was conducted in Gabon, Central Africa, on arboviruses, which are a major public health concern in Africa, including: West Nile virus (WNV), dengue virus (DENV), Zika virus (ZIKV), yellow fever virus (YFV), chikungunya virus (CHIKV), and Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV). Serological and molecular assays were performed to investigate past infection history and the current status of infection, using serum samples collected from healthy individuals and febrile patients, respectively. RESULTS: The overall seroprevalence during 2014-2017 was estimated to be 25.3% for WNV, 20.4% for DENV, 40.3% for ZIKV, 60.7% for YFV, 61.2% for CHIKV, and 14.3% for RVFV. No significant differences were found in the seroprevalence of any of the viruses between the male and female populations. However, a focus on the mean age in each arbovirus-seropositive individual showed a significantly younger age in WNV- and DENV-seropositive individuals than in CHIKV-seropositive individuals, indicating that WNV and DENV caused a relatively recent epidemic in the region, whereas CHIKV had actively circulated before. Of note, this indication was supported by the detection of both WNV and DENV genomes in serum samples collected from febrile patients after 2016. CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed the recent re-emergence of WNV and DENV in Gabon as well as the latest seroprevalence state of the major arboviruses, which indicated the different potential risks of virus infections and virus-specific circulation patterns. This information will be helpful for public health organizations and will enable a rapid response towards these arbovirus infections, thereby preventing future spread in the country.


Subject(s)
Arboviruses/isolation & purification , Dengue/epidemiology , Zika Virus Infection/epidemiology , Adolescent , Animals , Arbovirus Infections/diagnosis , Arbovirus Infections/epidemiology , Arboviruses/classification , Child , Child, Preschool , Communicable Diseases, Emerging , Dengue/diagnosis , Female , Fever/epidemiology , Fever/virology , Gabon/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Male , Public Health , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Zika Virus Infection/diagnosis
2.
Int J Infect Dis ; 105: 452-459, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33667697

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), a human pathogenic arenavirus, is distributed worldwide. However, no human cases have been reported in Africa. This study aimed to investigate the current situation and potential risks of LCMV infection in Gabon, Central Africa. METHODS: A total of 492 human samples were screened to detect LCMV genome RNA and anti-LCMV IgG antibodies using reverse transcription-quantitative PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively. ELISA-positive samples were further examined using a neutralization assay. Viral RNAs and antibodies were also analyzed in 326 animal samples, including rodents, shrews, and bushmeat. RESULTS: While no LCMV RNA was detected in human samples, the overall seroprevalence was 21.5% and was significantly higher in male and adult populations. The neutralization assay identified seven samples with neutralizing activity. LCMV RNA was detected in one species of rodent (Lophuromys sikapusi) and a porcupine, and anti-LCMV IgG antibodies were detected in four rodents and three shrews. CONCLUSIONS: This study determined for the first time the seroprevalence of LCMV in Gabon, and revealed that local rodents, shrews, and porcupines in areas surrounding semi-urban cities posed an infection risk. Hence, LCMV infection should be considered a significant public health concern in Africa.

3.
J Viral Hepat ; 27(11): 1234-1242, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32564517

ABSTRACT

Although a high seroprevalence of antibodies against hepatitis A virus (HAV) has been estimated in Central Africa, the current status of both HAV infections and seroprevalence of anti-HAV antibodies remains unclear due to a paucity of surveillance data available. We conducted a serological survey during 2015-2017 in Gabon, Central Africa, and confirmed a high seroprevalence of anti-HAV antibodies in all age groups. To identify the currently circulating HAV strains and to reveal the epidemiological and genetic characteristics of the virus, we conducted molecular surveillance in a total of 1007 patients presenting febrile illness. Through HAV detection and sequencing, we identified subgenotype IIA (HAV-IIA) infections in the country throughout the year. A significant prevalence trend emerged in the young child population, presenting several infection peaks which appeared to be unrelated to dry or rainy seasons. Whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analyses revealed local HAV-IIA evolutionary events in Central Africa, indicating the circulation of HAV-IIA strains of a region-specific lineage. Recombination analysis of complete genome sequences revealed potential recombination events in Gabonese HAV strains. Interestingly, Gabonese HAV-IIA possibly acquired the 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) of the rare subgenotype HAV-IIB in recent years, suggesting the present existence of HAV-IIB in Central Africa. These findings indicate a currently stable HAV-IIA circulation in Gabon, with a high risk of infections in children aged under 5 years. Our findings will enhance the understanding of the current status of HAV infections in Central Africa and provide new insight into the molecular epidemiology and evolution of HAV genotype II.

4.
Int J Infect Dis ; 91: 129-136, 2020 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31821892

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Dengue outbreaks, mainly caused by dengue virus serotype 2 (DENV-2), occurred in 2007 and in 2010 in Gabon, Central Africa. However, information on DENV infections has been insufficient since 2010. The aim of this study was to investigate the current DENV infection scenario and the risk of repeated infections in Gabon. METHODS: During 2015-2017, serum samples were collected from enrolled febrile participants and were tested for DENV infection using RT-qPCR. DENV-positive samples were analyzed for a history of previous DENV infection(s) using ELISA. The complete DENV genome was sequenced to analyze the phylogeny of Gabonese DENV strains. RESULTS: DENV-3 was exclusively detected, with a high rate of anti-DENV IgG seropositivity among DENV-3-positive participants. DENV-3 showed higher infection rates in adults and the infection was seasonal with peaks in the rainy seasons. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Gabonese DENV-3 originated from West African strains and has been circulating continuously in Gabon since at least 2010, when the first DENV-3 case was reported. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate stable DENV-3 circulation and the risk of repeated DENV infections in Gabon, highlighting the need for continuous monitoring to control DENV infections.


Subject(s)
Dengue Virus/isolation & purification , Dengue/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Child , Child, Preschool , Dengue/virology , Dengue Virus/classification , Dengue Virus/genetics , Female , Gabon/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Phylogeny , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Seasons , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Serogroup , Young Adult
5.
J Med Virol ; 92(2): 251-256, 2020 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31538666

ABSTRACT

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains to be a major public health issue worldwide, although there is currently a safe vaccine and effective antiviral treatments. In surveillance of infectious diseases in Gabon, HBV viremia was detected in patients with febrile. Whole-genome sequencing was conducted to characterize the HBV strains currently circulating in Gabon and to investigate HBV genome diversity during viremia. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the existence of former subgenotype A5, which exhibits a particular pattern of distribution from several West and Central African countries to Haiti. Furthermore, sequencing analysis identified two similar HBV strains mixed in one sample, and a very rare 1-base pair insertion in the viral precore region. This insertion caused a frameshift mutation, indicating the production of an aberrant fusion protein of the HBV x and e antigens. Our data showed that the detected HBV strain was possibly in an "evolving" state during viremia, a phase of active replication.

6.
Microorganisms ; 7(12)2019 Nov 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31795457

ABSTRACT

The evolutionary success of Staphylococcus aureus as an opportunistic human pathogen is largely attributed to its prominent abilities to cope with a variety of stresses and host bactericidal factors. Reactive oxygen species are important weapons in the host arsenal that inactivate phagocytosed pathogens, but S. aureus can survive in phagosomes and escape from phagocytic cells to establish infections. Molecular genetic analyses combined with atomic force microscopy have revealed that the MrgA protein (part of the Dps family of proteins) is induced specifically in response to oxidative stress and converts the nucleoid from the fibrous to the clogged state. This review collates a series of evidences on the staphylococcal nucleoid dynamics under oxidative stress, which is functionally and physically distinct from compacted Escherichia coli nucleoid under stationary phase. In addition, potential new roles of nucleoid clogging in the staphylococcal life cycle will be proposed.

7.
Front Microbiol ; 10: 988, 2019.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31134027

ABSTRACT

Biofilms of S. aureus accumulate cells resistant to the antibiotic rifampicin. We show here that the accumulation of rifampicin resistant mutants (RifR) in biofilms is not equable but rather is a local event, suggesting that the growth of a few locally emerged mutants is responsible for this. Competition assays demonstrated that, compared to wild-type bacteria, the isolated RifR mutants have a growth advantage in biofilms, but not in planktonic culture. To gain insight into the mechanism of the growth advantage, we tested the involvement of the two-component systems (TCS) that sense and respond to environmental changes. We found that a deletion of SrrAB or NreBC has a drastic effect on the growth advantage of RifR mutants, suggesting the importance of oxygen/respiration responses. All six of the RifR isolates tested showed increased resistance to at least one of the common stresses found in the biofilm environment (i.e., oxidative, nitric acid, and organic acid stress). The RifR mutants also had a growth advantage in a biofilm flow model, which highlights the physiological relevance of our findings.

8.
BMC Microbiol ; 17(1): 207, 2017 Oct 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28969590

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Bacterial nucleoid consists of genome DNA, RNA, and hundreds of nucleoid-associated proteins (NAPs). Escherichia coli nucleoid is compacted towards the stationary phase, replacing most log-phase NAPs with the major stationary-phase nucleoid protein, Dps. In contrast, Staphylococcus aureus nucleoid sustains the fiber structures throughout the growth. Instead, the Dps homologue, MrgA, expresses under oxidative stress conditions to clump the nucleoid, but the composition of the clumped nucleoid was elusive. RESULTS: The staphylococcal nucleoid under oxidative stress was isolated by sucrose gradient centrifugation, and the proteins were analyzed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). We identified 299 proteins in the nucleoid under oxidative stress, including 113 csNAPs (contaminant-subtracted NAPs). Comparison with the previously identified csNAPs in log- and stationary phase indicated that one fifth of the csNAPs under oxidative stress were the constitutive nucleoid components; importantly, several factors including HU, SarA, FabZ, and ribosomes were sustained under oxidative stress. Some factors (e.g. SA1663 and SA0092/SA0093) with unknown functions were included in the csNAPs list specifically under oxidative stress condition. CONCLUSION: Nucleoid constitutively holds Hu, SarA, FabG, and ribosomal proteins even under the oxidative stress, reflecting the active functions of the clumped nucleoid, unlikely to the dormant E. coli nucleoid compacted in the stationary phase or starvation.


Subject(s)
Bacterial Proteins/isolation & purification , DNA-Binding Proteins/isolation & purification , Oxidative Stress/physiology , RNA-Binding Proteins/isolation & purification , Staphylococcus aureus/physiology , Bacterial Proteins/metabolism , Chromatography, Liquid , DNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Ribosomal Proteins/isolation & purification , Ribosomal Proteins/metabolism , Tandem Mass Spectrometry
9.
Microbiology (Reading) ; 162(10): 1822-1828, 2016 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27539241

ABSTRACT

Dps family proteins have the ferroxidase activity that contributes to oxidative stress resistance. In addition, a part of Dps family proteins including Escherichia coli Dps and Staphylococcus aureus MrgA (metallo regulon gene A) bind DNA and induce the structural change of the nucleoid. We previously showed that a mutated MrgA with reduced ferroxidase activity was unable to contribute to the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and UV resistance in S. aureus, suggesting that the nucleoid clumping by MrgA is not sufficient for the resistance. However, it remained elusive whether the nucleoid clumping is dispensable for the resistance. Here, we aimed to clarify this question by employing the E. coli Dps lacking DNA-binding activity, DpsΔ18. Staphylococcal nucleoid was clumped by E. coli Dps, but not by DpsΔ18. H2O2 stress assay indicated that Dps and DpsΔ18 restored the reduced susceptibility of S. aureus ΔmrgA. Thus, we concluded that the staphylococcal nucleoid clumping is dispensable for the Dps-mediated H2O2 resistance. In contrast, Dps was unable to complement S. aureus ΔmrgA in the UV resistance, suggesting the MrgA function that cannot be compensated for by E. coli Dps.


Subject(s)
Bacterial Proteins/metabolism , Cell Nucleus/metabolism , Hydrogen Peroxide/pharmacology , Staphylococcus aureus/drug effects , Bacterial Proteins/genetics , Cell Nucleus/genetics , Drug Resistance, Bacterial , Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial , Oxidative Stress , Staphylococcus aureus/genetics , Staphylococcus aureus/metabolism
10.
FEMS Microbiol Lett ; 360(2): 144-51, 2014 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25227518

ABSTRACT

Staphylococcus aureus MrgA (encoded by mrgA) belongs to the Dps family of proteins, which play important roles in coping with various stresses. The staphylococcal mrgA gene is specifically expressed under oxidative stress conditions and is one of the most highly induced genes during phagocytic killing by macrophages. We previously reported that mrgA is essential for oxidative stress resistance, and can cause nucleoid compaction. However, whether nucleoid compaction by itself would contribute to oxidative stress resistance was hard to determine, because Dps family proteins generally have ferroxidase activity to prevent hydroxyl radical formation via the Fenton reaction. In this study, we resolved the crystal structure of MrgA and conducted mutation analysis of Asp56 and Glu60, which are located at the expected ferroxidase centre. In the strain expressing Asp56Ala/Glu60Ala MrgA (termed MrgA*), MrgA* retained dodecamer formation and nucleoid compaction ability. By contrast, the ferroxidase activity of MrgA* decreased by about half. Viability of the mrgA* strain was as low as the mrgA null mutant in oxidative stress and phagocytic killing assays. These results suggest that nucleoid compaction by itself is insufficient for oxidative stress resistance, and Asp56 and Glu60 constitute essential molecular sites in MrgA for oxidative stress resistance and survival against phagocytic killing.


Subject(s)
Bacterial Proteins/metabolism , DNA, Bacterial/metabolism , DNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Macrophages/immunology , Microbial Viability , Oxidative Stress , Staphylococcus aureus/physiology , Bacterial Proteins/chemistry , Bacterial Proteins/genetics , Crystallography, X-Ray , DNA Mutational Analysis , DNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , Macrophages/microbiology , Mutant Proteins/genetics , Mutant Proteins/metabolism , Protein Conformation , Staphylococcus aureus/immunology , Staphylococcus aureus/metabolism , Stress, Physiological
11.
PLoS One ; 6(4): e19172, 2011 Apr 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21541338

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The bacterial nucleoid contains several hundred kinds of nucleoid-associated proteins (NAPs), which play critical roles in genome functions such as transcription and replication. Several NAPs, such as Hu and H-NS in Escherichia coli, have so far been identified. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Log- and stationary-phase cells of E. coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis, and Staphylococcus aureus were lysed in spermidine solutions. Nucleoids were collected by sucrose gradient centrifugation, and their protein constituents analyzed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Over 200 proteins were identified in each species. Envelope and soluble protein fractions were also identified. By using these data sets, we obtained lists of contaminant-subtracted proteins enriched in the nucleoid fractions (csNAP lists). The lists do not cover all of the NAPs, but included Hu regardless of the growth phases and species. In addition, the csNAP lists of each species suggested that the bacterial nucleoid is equipped with the species-specific set of global regulators, oxidation-reduction enzymes, and fatty acid synthases. This implies bacteria individually developed nucleoid associated proteins toward obtaining similar characteristics. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Ours is the first study to reveal hundreds of NAPs in the bacterial nucleoid, and the obtained data set enabled us to overview some important features of the nucleoid. Several implications obtained from the present proteomic study may make it a landmark for the future functional and evolutionary study of the bacterial nucleoid.


Subject(s)
Bacillus subtilis/metabolism , Bacterial Proteins/metabolism , DNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Proteomics/methods , Pseudomonas aeruginosa/metabolism , Staphylococcus aureus/metabolism , Blotting, Western , DNA, Bacterial/isolation & purification , DNA, Bacterial/metabolism , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism
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