Parasit Vectors. 2022 Jun 6;15(1):188. doi: 10.1186/s13071-022-05267-x.
BACKGROUND: Cryptosporidium is one of the most prevalent parasites infecting both birds and mammals. To examine the prevalence of Cryptosporidium species and evaluate the public health significance of domestic chickens in Guangdong Province, southern China, we analyzed 1001 fecal samples from 43 intensive broiler chicken farms across six distinct geographical regions.
METHODS: Individual DNA samples were subjected to nested PCR-based amplification and sequencing of the small subunit of the nuclear ribosomal RNA gene (SSU rRNA). Analysis of the 60 kDa glycoprotein gene (gp60) was performed to characterize the subtypes of C. meleagridis.
RESULTS: The overall prevalence of Cryptosporidium was 13.2% (95% CI 11.1-15.3) (24 of 43 farms), with C. meleagridis (7.8%), C. baileyi (4.8%) and mixed infections (0.6%). Using the gp60 gene, three subtype families, IIIb, IIIe and IIIg, were identified, including six subtypes: one novel (IIIgA25G3R1a) and five previously reported (IIIbA23G1R1c, IIIbA24G1R1, IIIbA21G1R1a, IIIeA17G2R1 and IIIeA26G2R1). Within these subtypes, five known subtypes were genetically identical to those identified in humans.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of C. meleagridis in chickens from Guangdong. The frequent occurrence of C. meleagridis in domestic chickens and the common C. meleagridis subtypes identified in both humans and chickens is of public health significance. Our study indicates that broiler chickens represent a potential zoonotic risk for the transmission of Cryptosporidium in this region.
J Antibiot (Tokyo). 2022 Jul;75(7):396-402. doi: 10.1038/s41429-022-00532-8. Epub 2022 May 26.
According to recent studies, the importance of MLS (macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin) resistance phenotypes and genes in enterococci are reflected in the fact that they represent reservoirs of MLS resistance genes. The aim of this study was to investigate distribution of MLS resistance genes and phenotypes in community- and hospital-acquired enterococcal isolates and to determine their prevalence. The MLS resistance phenotypes (cMLSb, iMLSb, M/MSb, and L/LSa) were determined in 245 enterococcal isolates were characterized using the double-disc diffusion method. Specific primers were chosen from database sequences for detection of the MLS resistance genes (ermA, ermB, ermC, msrA/B, lnuA, lnuB, and lsaA) in 60 isolates of enterococci by end-point PCR. There was no linezolid-resistant enterococcal isolate. Only one vancomycin-resistant (0.6%) isolate was found and it occurred in a community-acquired enterococcal isolate. The most frequent MLS resistance phenotype among enterococcal isolates was cMLSb (79.7% community- and 67.9% hospital-acquired). The most common identified MLS resistance genes among enterococcal isolates were lsaA (52.9% community- and 33.3% hospital-acquired) and ermB (17.6% community- and 33.3% hospital-acquired). The most prevalent MLS gene combination was lnuA + lsaA (five enterococcal isolates). The ermB gene encoded cMLSb phenotype, and it was identified in only one isolate that displayed iMLSb resistance phenotype. Based on the results obtained, we can conclude that the most frequent MLS resistance phenotype among enterococcal isolates was cMLSb. Surprisingly, a vancomycin-resistant enterococcal isolate was identified in a community-acquired enterococcal isolate. This study shows that enterococci may represent a major reservoir of ermB, lsaA, and lnuA genes.
Front Microbiol. 2022 Apr 25;13:811428. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.811428. eCollection 2022.
Avian coccidiosis is an important intestinal protozoan disease that has caused major economic losses to the poultry industry. Clostridium butyricum can not only maintain the stability of the intestinal barrier, but can also improve the production performance of broiler chickens. We studied the effects of feeding C. butyricum alone, administration of coccidiosis vaccine alone, and the combined administration of C. butyricum and coccidiosis vaccine on body weight gain, feed consumption, and feed conversion ratio of broilers. Meanwhile, intestinal contents of 8- and 15-day-old broilers were collected, and their intestinal microbiome was characterized by high-throughput sequencing of the V3-V4 region of 16S rDNA. We analyzed the oocysts per gram values and lesion scores in the C. butyricum alone group, in a group challenged with the coccidiosis-causing parasite, Eimeria, and in groups simultaneously challenged Eimeria and pretreated with C. butyricum, the coccidiosis vaccine, or combined C. butyricum and coccidiosis vaccine. Intestinal tissue samples were collected from 32-day-old broilers for microbiome analysis. Our results showed that combination of C. butyricum with coccidiosis vaccine significantly improved the performance of broiler chickens and also significantly reduced the oocysts per gram value and intestinal lesions caused by Eimeria sp. infection. Furthermore, C. butyricum and coccidiosis vaccine administered alone or in combination significantly increased the relative abundance of the immune biomarker genus Barnesiella. The significant increase in the abundance of the Clostridia_UCG.014, Eubacterium coprostanoligenes group and Bacteroides was a key factor in controlling Eimeria sp. infection.
Front Vet Sci. 2022 Apr 8;9:873062. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2022.873062. eCollection 2022.
Four divergent groups of duck astroviruses (DAstVs) have been identified that infect domestic ducks. In March 2021, a fatal disease characterized by visceral urate deposition broke out in 5-day-old Beijing ducks on a commercial farm in Guangdong province, China. We identified a novel duck astrovirus from the ducklings suffering from gout disease. The complete genome sequence of this DAstV was obtained by virome sequencing and amplification. Phylogenetic analyses and pairwise comparisons demonstrated that this DAstV represented a novel group of avastrovirus. Thus, we designated this duck astrovirus as DAstV-5 JM strain. DAstV-5 JM shared genome sequence identities of 15-45% with other avastroviruses. Amino acid identities with proteins from other avastroviruses did not exceed 59% for ORF1a, 79% for ORF1b, and 60% for ORF2. The capsid region of JM shared genetic distances of 0.596 to 0.695 with the three official avastrovirus species. suggesting that JM could be classified as a novel genotype species in the Avastrovirus genus. Meanwhile, JM shares genetic distances of 0.402-0.662 with all the other known unassigned avastroviruses, revealing that it represents an additional unassigned avastrovirus. In summary, we determined that the DAstV-5 JM strain is a novel genotype species of avastrovirus.
Virol Sin. 2022 Feb;37(1):38-47. doi: 10.1016/j.virs.2022.01.001. Epub 2022 Jan 13.
Since mid-2016, the low pathogenic H7N9 influenza virus has evolved into a highly pathogenic (HP) phenotype in China, raising many concerns about public health and poultry industry. The insertion of a "KRTA" motif at hemagglutinin cleavage site (HACS) occurred in the early stage of HP H7N9 variants. During the co-circulation, the HACS of HP-H7N9 variants were more polymorphic in birds and humans. Although HP-H7N9 variants, unlike the H5 subtype virus, exhibited the insertions of basic and non-basic amino acids, the underlying function of those insertions and substitutions remains unclear. The results of bioinformatics analysis indicated that the PEVPKRKRTAR/G motif of HACS had become the dominant motif in China. Then, we generated six H7N9 viruses bearing the PEIPKGR/G, PEVPKGR/G, PEVPKRKRTAR/G, PEVPKGKRTAR/G, PEVPKGKRIAR/G, and PEVPKRKRR/G motifs. Interestingly, after the deletion of threonine and alanine (TA) at HACS, the H7N9 viruses manifested decreased thermostability and virulence in mice, and the PEVPKRKRTAR/G-motif virus is prevalent in birds and humans probably due to its increased transmissibility and moderate virulence. By contrast, the insertion of non-basic amino acid isoleucine and alanine (IA) decreased the transmissibility in chickens and virulence in mice. Remarkably, the I335V substitution of H7N9 virus enhanced infectivity and transmission in chickens, suggesting that the combination of mutations and insertions of amino acids at the HACS promoted replication and pathogenicity in chickens and mice. The ongoing evolution of H7N9 increasingly threatens public health and poultry industry, so, its comprehensive surveillance and prevention of H7N9 viruses should be pursued.
PLoS Pathog. 2022 Feb 18;18(2):e1010295. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1010295. eCollection 2022 Feb.
Many cellular genes and networks induced in human lung epithelial cells infected with the influenza virus remain uncharacterized. Here, we find that p21 levels are elevated in response to influenza A virus (IAV) infection, which is independent of p53. Silencing, pharmacological inhibition or deletion of p21 promotes virus replication in vitro and in vivo, indicating that p21 is an influenza restriction factor. Mechanistically, p21 binds to the C-terminus of IAV polymerase subunit PA and competes with PB1 to limit IAV polymerase activity. Besides, p21 promotes IRF3 activation by blocking K48-linked ubiquitination degradation of HO-1 to enhance type I interferons expression. Furthermore, a synthetic p21 peptide (amino acids 36 to 43) significantly inhibits IAV replication in vitro and in vivo. Collectively, our findings reveal that p21 restricts IAV by perturbing the viral polymerase complex and activating the host innate immune response, which may aid the design of desperately needed new antiviral therapeutics.
Front Public Health. 2021 Dec 16;9:768091. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2021.768091. eCollection 2021.
The success of public health interventions is highly dependent on the compliance of the general population. State authorities often implement policies without consulting representatives of faith-based communities, thereby overlooking potential implications of public health measures for these parts of society. Although ubiquitous, these challenges are more readily observable in highly religious states. Romania serves as an illustrative example for this, as recent data identify it as the most religious country in Europe. In this paper, we discuss the contributions of the Romanian Orthodox Church (ROC), the major religious institution in the country, to the national COVID-19 mitigation efforts. We present not only the positive outcomes of productive consultations between public health authorities and religious institutions but also the detrimental impact of unidirectional communication. Our work highlights that an efficient dialogue with faith-based communities can greatly enhance the results of public health interventions. As the outlined principles apply to a variety of contexts, the lessons learned from this case study can be generalized into a set of policy recommendations for the betterment of future public health initiatives worldwide.
Genome. 2022 Apr;65(4):241-254. doi: 10.1139/gen-2021-0030. Epub 2021 Dec 16.
Bos indicus cattle breeds have been naturally selected for thousands of years for disease resistance and thermo-tolerance. However, the genetic mechanisms underlying these specific inherited characteristics must be elucidated. Hence, in this study, a whole-genome comparative analysis of the Bos indicus cattle breeds Kangayam, Tharparkar, Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, and Hariana of the Indian subcontinent was conducted. Genetic variant identification analysis revealed 155 851 012 SNPs and 10 062 805 InDels in the mapped reads across all Bos indicus cattle breeds. The functional annotation of 17 252 genes that comprised both SNPs and InDels, with high functional impact on proteins, was carried out. The functional annotation results revealed the pathways involved in the innate immune response, including toll-like receptors, retinoic acid-inducible gene I-like receptors, NOD-like receptors, Jak-STAT signaling pathways, and non-synonymous variants in the candidate immune genes. We also identified several pathways involved in the heat shock response, hair and skin properties, oxidative stress response, osmotic stress response, thermal sweating, feed intake, metabolism, and non-synonymous variants in the candidate thermo-tolerant genes. These pathways and genes directly or indirectly contribute to the disease resistance and thermo-tolerance adaptations of Bos indicus cattle breeds.