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Frederick, MD, United States

Benitez A.J.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Diaz M.H.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Wolff B.J.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Pimentel G.,Naval Medical Research Center Frederick | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology | Year: 2012

In this study, we evaluated a recently developed multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) method for the molecular typing of Mycoplasma pneumoniae. The method is based on GeneScan analysis of five VNTR loci throughout the genome which define a specific genotype based on the number of tandem repeats within each locus. A retrospective analysis of 154 M. pneumoniae clinical isolates collected over the last 50 years and a limited (n = 4) number of M. pneumoniae-positive primary specimens acquired by the CDC was performed using MLVA. Eighteen distinct VNTR types were identified, including two previously unidentified VNTR types. Isolates from several M. pneumoniae community outbreaks within the United States were also analyzed to examine clonality of a specific MLVA type. Observed in vitro variability of the Mpn1 VNTR locus prompted further analysis, which showed multiple insertions or deletions of tandem repeats within this locus for a number of specimens and isolates. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing variation within the Mpn1 locus, thus affecting precise and reliable classification using the current MLVA typing system. The superior discriminatory capability of MLVA provides a powerful tool for greater resolution of M. pneumoniae strains and could be useful during outbreaks and epidemiological investigations. Copyright © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Source

Loraine A.E.,North Carolina A&T State University | McCormick S.,University of California at Berkeley | Estrada A.,North Carolina A&T State University | Patel K.,North Carolina A&T State University | And 3 more authors.
Plant Physiology | Year: 2013

Pollen grains of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) contain two haploid sperm cells enclosed in a haploid vegetative cell. Upon germination, the vegetative cell extrudes a pollen tube that carries the sperm to an ovule for fertilization. Knowing the identity, relative abundance, and splicing patterns of pollen transcripts will improve our understanding of pollen and allow investigation of tissue-specific splicing in plants. Most Arabidopsis pollen transcriptome studies have used the ATH1 microarray, which does not assay splice variants and lacks specific probe sets for many genes. To investigate the pollen transcriptome, we performed high-throughput sequencing (RNA-Seq) of Arabidopsis pollen and seedlings for comparison. Gene expression was more diverse in seedling, and genes involved in cell wall biogenesis were highly expressed in pollen. RNA-Seq detected at least 4,172 protein-coding genes expressed in pollen, including 289 assayed only by nonspecific probe sets. Additional exons and previously unannotated 59 and 39 untranslated regions for pollen-expressed genes were revealed. We detected regions in the genome not previously annotated as expressed; 14 were tested and 12 were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction. Gapped read alignments revealed 1,908 high-confidence new splicing events supported by 10 or more spliced read alignments. Alternative splicing patterns in pollen and seedling were highly correlated. For most alternatively spliced genes, the ratio of variants in pollen and seedling was similar, except for some encoding proteins involved in RNA splicing. This study highlights the robustness of splicing patterns in plants and the importance of ongoing annotation and visualization of RNA-Seq data using interactive tools such as Integrated Genome Browser. © 2013 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved. Source

Bah E.I.,Donka Hospital | Lamah M.-C.,Donka Hospital | Fletcher T.,University of Liverpool | Jacob S.T.,Hospital Mulago | And 24 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2015

Background In March 2014, the World Health Organization was notified of an outbreak of Zaire ebolavirus in a remote area of Guinea. The outbreak then spread to the capital, Conakry, and to neighboring countries and has subsequently become the largest epidemic of Ebola virus disease (EVD) to date. Methods From March 25 to April 26, 2014, we performed a study of all patients with laboratoryconfirmed EVD in Conakry. Mortality was the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included patient characteristics, complications, treatments, and comparisons between survivors and nonsurvivors. Results Of 80 patients who presented with symptoms, 37 had laboratory-confirmed EVD. Among confirmed cases, the median age was 38 years (interquartile range, 28 to 46), 24 patients (65%) were men, and 14 (38%) were health care workers; among the health care workers, nosocomial transmission was implicated in 12 patients (32%). Patients with confirmed EVD presented to the hospital a median of 5 days (interquartile range, 3 to 7) after the onset of symptoms, most commonly with fever (in 84% of the patients; mean temperature, 38.6°C), fatigue (in 65%), diarrhea (in 62%), and tachycardia (mean heart rate, >93 beats per minute). Of these patients, 28 (76%) were treated with intravenous fluids and 37 (100%) with antibiotics. Sixteen patients (43%) died, with a median time from symptom onset to death of 8 days (interquartile range, 7 to 11). Patients who were 40 years of age or older, as compared with those under the age of 40 years, had a relative risk of death of 3.49 (95% confidence interval, 1.42 to 8.59; P = 0.007). Conclusions Patients with EVD presented with evidence of dehydration associated with vomiting and severe diarrhea. Despite attempts at volume repletion, antimicrobial therapy, and limited laboratory services, the rate of death was 43%. © 2015 Massachusetts Medical Society. Source

Temiz N.A.,Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research | Temiz N.A.,University of Minnesota | Donohue D.E.,Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research | Donohue D.E.,U.S. Army | And 12 more authors.
Human Genetics | Year: 2015

DNA damage in somatic cells originates from both environmental and endogenous sources, giving rise to mutations through multiple mechanisms. When these mutations affect the function of critical genes, cancer may ensue. Although identifying genomic subsets of mutated genes may inform therapeutic options, a systematic survey of tumor mutational spectra is required to improve our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of mutagenesis involved in cancer etiology. Recent studies have presented genome-wide sets of somatic mutations as a 96-element vector, a procedure that only captures the immediate neighbors of the mutated nucleotide. Herein, we present a 32 × 12 mutation matrix that captures the nucleotide pattern two nucleotides upstream and downstream of the mutation. A somatic autosomal mutation matrix (SAMM) was constructed from tumor-specific mutations derived from each of 909 individual cancer genomes harboring a total of 10,681,843 single-base substitutions. In addition, mechanistic template mutation matrices (MTMMs) representing oxidative DNA damage, ultraviolet-induced DNA damage, 5mCpG deamination, and APOBEC-mediated cytosine mutation, are presented. MTMMs were mapped to the individual tumor SAMMs to determine the maximum contribution of each mutational mechanism to the overall mutation pattern. A Manhattan distance across all SAMM elements between any two tumor genomes was used to determine their relative distance. Employing this metric, 89.5 % of all tumor genomes were found to have a nearest neighbor from the same tissue of origin. When a distance-dependent 6-nearest neighbor classifier was used, 86.9 % of all SAMMs were assigned to the correct tissue of origin. Thus, although tumors from different tissues may have similar mutation patterns, their SAMMs often display signatures that are characteristic of specific tissues. © 2015, The Author(s). Source

Cosby M.T.,United States Naval Medical Research Unit No 3 Namru 3 | Pimentel G.,Naval Medical Research Center Frederick | Ahmed S.F.,United States Naval Medical Research Unit No 3 Namru 3 | Klena J.D.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Background: Influenza pandemics have significant operational impact on deployed military personnel working in areas throughout the world. The US Department of Defense global influenza-like illness (ILI) surveillance network serves an important role in establishing baseline trends and can be leveraged to respond to outbreaks of respiratory illness. Objective: We identified and characterized an operationally unique outbreak of H3N2 influenza at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti occurring simultaneously with the H1N1 pandemic of 2009 [A(H1N1)pdm09]. Methods: Enhanced surveillance for ILI was conducted at Camp Lemonnier in response to local reports of a possible outbreak during the A(H1N1)pdm09 pandemic. Samples were collected from consenting patients presenting with ILI (utilizing a modified case definition) and who completed a case report form. Samples were cultured and analyzed using standard real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (rt-RT-PCR) methodology and sequenced genetic material was phylogenetically compared to other published strains. Results: rt-RT-PCR and DNA sequencing revealed that 25 (78%) of the 32 clinical samples collected were seasonal H3N2 and only 2 (6%) were A(H1N1)pdm09 influenza. The highest incidence of H3N2 occurred during the month of May and 80% of these were active duty military personnel. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that sequenced H3N2 strains were genetically similar to 2009 strains from the United States of America, Australia, and South east Asia. Conclusions: This outbreak highlights challenges in the investigation of influenza among deployed military populations and corroborates the public health importance of maintaining surveillance systems for ILI that can be enhanced locally when needed. Source

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