Naval Medical Research Center Silver Spring

Silver Spring, MD, United States

Naval Medical Research Center Silver Spring

Silver Spring, MD, United States

Time filter

Source Type

PubMed | National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Virginia Commonwealth University and Naval Medical Research Center Silver Spring
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology | Year: 2015

Scrub typhus is an understudied, potentially fatal infection that threatens one billion persons in the Asia-Pacific region. How the causative obligate intracellular bacterium, Orientia tsutsugamushi, facilitates its intracellular survival and pathogenesis is poorly understood. Many intracellular bacterial pathogens utilize the Type 1 (T1SS) or Type 4 secretion system (T4SS) to translocate ankyrin repeat-containing proteins (Anks) that traffic to distinct subcellular locations and modulate host cell processes. The O. tsutsugamushi genome encodes one of the largest known bacterial Ank repertoires plus T1SS and T4SS components. Whether these potential virulence factors are expressed during infection, how the Anks are potentially secreted, and to where they localize in the host cell are not known. We determined that O. tsutsugamushi transcriptionally expresses 20 unique ank genes as well as genes for both T1SS and T4SS during infection of mammalian host cells. Examination of the Anks C-termini revealed that the majority of them resemble T1SS substrates. Escherichia coli expressing a functional T1SS was able to secrete chimeric hemolysin proteins bearing the C-termini of 19 of 20 O. tsutsugamushi Anks in an HlyBD-dependent manner. Thus, O. tsutsugamushi Anks C-termini are T1SS-compatible. Conversely, Coxiella burnetii could not secrete heterologously expressed Anks in a T4SS-dependent manner. Analysis of the subcellular distribution patterns of 20 ectopically expressed Anks revealed that, while 6 remained cytosolic or trafficked to the nucleus, 14 localized to, and in some cases, altered the morphology of the endoplasmic reticulum. This study identifies O. tsutsugamushi Anks as T1SS substrates and indicates that many display a tropism for the host cell secretory pathway.


Zins S.R.,Naval Medical Research Center Silver Spring | Amare M.F.,Naval Medical Research Center Silver Spring | Anam K.,Naval Medical Research Center Silver Spring | Elster E.A.,Naval Medical Research Center Silver Spring | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Inflammation | Year: 2010

Background. Severe trauma can induce pathophysiological responses that have marked inflammatory components. The development of systemic inflammation following severe thermal injury has been implicated in immune dysfunction, delayed wound healing, multi-system organ failure and increased mortality. Methods. In this study, we examined the impact of thermal injury-induced systemic inflammation on the healing response of a secondary wound in the MRL/MpJ mouse model, which was anatomically remote from the primary site of trauma, a wound that typically undergoes scarless healing in this specific strain. Ear-hole wounds in MRL/MpJ mice have previously displayed accelerated healing and tissue regeneration in the absence of a secondary insult. Results. Severe thermal injury in addition to distal ear-hole wounds induced marked local and systemic inflammatory responses in the lungs and significantly augmented the expression of inflammatory mediators in the ear tissue. By day 14, 61% of the ear-hole wounds from thermally injured mice demonstrated extensive inflammation with marked inflammatory cell infiltration, extensive ulceration, and various level of necrosis to the point where a large percentage (38%) had to be euthanized early during the study due to extensive necrosis, inflammation and ear deformation. By day 35, ear-hole wounds in mice not subjected to thermal injury were completely closed, while the ear-hole wounds in thermally injured mice exhibited less inflammation and necrosis and only closed partially (62%). Thermal injury resulted in marked increases in serum levels of IL-6, TNF, KC (CXCL1), and MIP-2 (CXCL2). Interestingly, attenuated early ear wound healing in the thermally injured mouse resulted in incomplete tissue regeneration in addition to a marked inflammatory response, as evidenced by the histological appearance of the wound and increased transcription of potent inflammatory mediators. Conclusion. These findings suggest that the observed systemic inflammatory response of a severe thermal injury undoubtedly has an adverse effect on wound healing and tissue regeneration. © 2010 Zins et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Abeykoon A.H.,Georgetown University | Chao C.-C.,Naval Medical Research Center Silver Spring | Wang G.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Gucek M.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Bacteriology | Year: 2012

Rickettsia prowazekii, the etiologic agent of epidemic typhus, is a potential biological threat agent. Its outer membrane protein B (OmpB) is an immunodominant antigen and plays roles as protective envelope and as adhesins. The observation of the correlation between methylation of lysine residues in rickettsial OmpB and bacterial virulence has suggested the importance of an enzymatic system for the methylation of OmpB. However, no rickettsial lysine methyltransferase has been characterized. Bioinformatic analysis of genomic DNA sequences of Rickettsia identified putative lysine methyltransferases. The genes of the potential methyltransferases were synthesized, cloned, and expressed in Escherichia coli, and expressed proteins were purified by nickelnitrilotriacetic acid (Ni-NTA) affinity chromatography. The methyltransferase activities of the purified proteins were analyzed by methyl incorporation of radioactively labeled S-adenosylmethionine into recombinant fragments of OmpB. Two putative recombinant methyltransferases (rRP789 and rRP027-028) methylated recombinant OmpB fragments. The specific activity of rRP789 is 10-to 30-fold higher than that of rRP027-028. Western blot analysis using specific antibodies against trimethyl lysine showed that both rRP789 and rRP027-028 catalyzed trimethylation of recombinant OmpB fragments. Liquid chromatographytandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS-MS) analysis showed that rRP789 catalyzed mono-, di-, and trimethylation of lysine, while rRP027-028 catalyzed exclusively trimethylation. To our knowledge, rRP789 and rRP027-028 are the first biochemically characterized lysine methyltransferases of outer membrane proteins from Gram-negative bacteria. The production and characterization of rickettsial lysine methyltransferases provide new tools to investigate the mechanism of methylation of OmpB, effects of methylation on the structure and function of OmpB, and development of methylated OmpB-based diagnostic assays and vaccine candidates. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology.


Campo J.J.,Naval Medical Research Center Silver Spring | Campo J.J.,University of Barcelona | Whitman T.J.,National Naval Medical Center | Freilich D.,Naval Medical Research Center Silver Spring | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Background: Biomarkers of exposure to Plasmodium falciparum would be a useful tool for the assessment of malaria burden and analysis of intervention and epidemiological studies. Antibodies to pre-erythrocytic antigens represent potential surrogates of exposure. Methods and Findings: In an outbreak cohort of U.S. Marines deployed to Liberia, we modeled pre- and post-deployment IgG against P. falciparum sporozoites by immunofluorescence antibody test, and both IgG and IgM against the P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein by enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay. Modeling seroconversion thresholds by a fixed ratio, linear regression or nonlinear regression produced sensitivity for identification of exposed U.S. Marines between 58-70% and specificities between 87-97%, compared with malaria-naïve U.S. volunteers. Exposure was predicted in 30-45% of the cohort. Conclusion: Each of the three models tested has merits in different studies, but further development and validation in endemic populations is required. Overall, these models provide support for an antibody-based surrogate marker of exposure to malaria.


PubMed | National Biofoerensic Analysis and CountermeasuResearch Center, Biological Defense Research Directorate and Naval Medical Research Center Silver Spring
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Bacteriophage | Year: 2016

Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) caused by methicillin resistant


Guerry P.,Naval Medical Research Center Silver Spring
Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology | Year: 2012

Campylobacter jejuni remains a major cause of bacterial diarrhea worldwide and is associated with numerous sequelae, including Guillain Barré Syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, reactive arthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome. C. jejuni is unusual for an intestinal pathogen in its ability to coat its surface with a polysaccharide capsule (CPS). These capsular polysaccharides vary in sugar composition and linkage, especially those involving heptoses of unusual configuration and O-methyl phosphoramidate linkages. This structural diversity is consistent with CPS being the major serodeterminant of the Penner scheme, of which there are 47 C. jejuni serotypes. Both CPS expression and expression of modifications are subject to phase variation by slip strand mismatch repair. Although capsules are virulence factors for other pathogens, the role of CPS in C. jejuni disease has not been well defined beyond descriptive studies demonstrating a role in serum resistance and for diarrhea in a ferret model of disease. However, perhaps the most compelling evidence for a role in pathogenesis are data that CPS conjugate vaccines protect against diarrheal disease in non-human primates. A CPS conjugate vaccine approach against this pathogen is intriguing, but several questions need to be addressed, including the valency of CPS types required for an effective vaccine. There have been numerous studies of prevalence of CPS serotypes in the developed world, but few studies from developing countries where the disease incidence is higher. The complexity and cost of Penner serotyping has limited its usefulness, and a recently developed multiplex PCR method for determination of capsule type offers the potential of a more rapid and affordable method. Comparative studies have shown a strong correlation of the two methods and studies are beginning to ascertain CPS-type distribution worldwide, as well as examination of correlation of severity of illness with specific CPS types.


Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) resulting from exposure to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) has fueled a requirement to develop animals models that mirror this condition using exposure to blast overpressure (BOP). En route to developing a model of repeated exposure to BOP we sought to initially characterize the effects of acute BOP exposure in rodents, focusing specifically on the levels of BOP exposure that produced clinical mTBI symptoms. We first measured BOP effects on gross motor function on a balance beam. Separate groups of unanesthetized rats were exposed (in different orientations) to 36.6, 74.5, and 116.7kPa BOP exposure inside a pneumatically driven shock tube. Results demonstrated that rats exposed to 116.7kPa demonstrated transient alterations or loss of consciousness indicated by a transient loss of righting and by increased latencies on the balance beam. The 116.7kPa exposure was the threshold for overt pathology for acute BOP exposure with approximately 30% of rats presenting with evidence of subdural hemorrhage and cortical contusions. All animals exposed to 116.7kPa BOP manifested evidence of significant pulmonary hemorrhage. Anterograde memory deficits were observed in rats exposed to 74.5kPa facing the BOP wave and rats exposed to 116.7kPa in the lateral (side) orientation. We next assessed repeated exposure to either lateral or frontal 36.6kPa BOP in anesthetized rats, once per day for 12days. Results showed that repeated exposure in the frontal, but not side, orientation to the BOP wave produced a transitory learning deficit on a Morris water maze task as shown by significantly longer latencies to reach the submerged platform in the second and third blocks of a four block session. Implications of these data are discussed in relation to the manifestation of mTBI in military personnel exposed to IEDs. Finally, we suggest that there are multiple types of long-term brain injury from blast exposure.


PubMed | Naval Medical Research Center Silver Spring
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology | Year: 2012

Campylobacter jejuni remains a major cause of bacterial diarrhea worldwide and is associated with numerous sequelae, including Guillain Barr Syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, reactive arthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome. C. jejuni is unusual for an intestinal pathogen in its ability to coat its surface with a polysaccharide capsule (CPS). These capsular polysaccharides vary in sugar composition and linkage, especially those involving heptoses of unusual configuration and O-methyl phosphoramidate linkages. This structural diversity is consistent with CPS being the major serodeterminant of the Penner scheme, of which there are 47 C. jejuni serotypes. Both CPS expression and expression of modifications are subject to phase variation by slip strand mismatch repair. Although capsules are virulence factors for other pathogens, the role of CPS in C. jejuni disease has not been well defined beyond descriptive studies demonstrating a role in serum resistance and for diarrhea in a ferret model of disease. However, perhaps the most compelling evidence for a role in pathogenesis are data that CPS conjugate vaccines protect against diarrheal disease in non-human primates. A CPS conjugate vaccine approach against this pathogen is intriguing, but several questions need to be addressed, including the valency of CPS types required for an effective vaccine. There have been numerous studies of prevalence of CPS serotypes in the developed world, but few studies from developing countries where the disease incidence is higher. The complexity and cost of Penner serotyping has limited its usefulness, and a recently developed multiplex PCR method for determination of capsule type offers the potential of a more rapid and affordable method. Comparative studies have shown a strong correlation of the two methods and studies are beginning to ascertain CPS-type distribution worldwide, as well as examination of correlation of severity of illness with specific CPS types.

Loading Naval Medical Research Center Silver Spring collaborators
Loading Naval Medical Research Center Silver Spring collaborators