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Zhang J.,Research Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command | Zhu J.,Research Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command | Feng Y.,Research Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command | Feng Y.,Zhejiang University | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology | Year: 2013

An epidemic of human H7N9 influenza virus infection recently emerged in China whose clinical features include high mortality and which has also resulted in serious economic loss.The novel reassortant avian-origin influenza A (H7N9) virus which was the causative agent of this epidemic raised the possibility of triggering a large-scale influenza pandemic worldwide.It seemed likely that fast molecular detection assays specific for this virus would be in great demand.Here, we report a one-step reverse transcription-loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) method for rapid detection of the hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes of H7N9 virus, the minimum detection limit of which was evaluated using in vitro RNA transcription templates.In total, 135 samples from clinical specimens (from either patients or poultry) were tested using this method in comparison with the real-time PCR recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).Our results showed that (i) RT-LAMP-based trials can be completed in approximately 12 to 23 min and (ii) the detection limit for the H7 gene is around 10 copies per reaction, similar to that of the real-time PCR, whereas the detection limit for its counterpart the N9 gene is 5 copies per reaction, a 100-fold-higher sensitivity than the WHO-recommended method.Indeed, this excellent performance of our method was also validated by the results for a series of clinical specimens.Therefore, we believe that the simple, fast, and sensitive method of RT-LAMP might be widely applied for detection of H7N9 infections and may play a role in prevention of an influenza pandemic © 2013, American Society for Microbiology.All Rights Reserved.


Li M.,CAS Institute of Microbiology | Shen X.,Chongqing Medical University | Yan J.,CAS Institute of Microbiology | Han H.,CAS Institute of Microbiology | And 11 more authors.
Molecular Microbiology | Year: 2011

Pathogenicity islands (PAIs), a distinct type of genomic island (GI), play important roles in the rapid adaptation and increased virulence of pathogens. 89K is a newly identified PAI in epidemic Streptococcus suis isolates that are related to the two recent large-scale outbreaks of human infection in China. However, its mechanism of evolution and contribution to the epidemic spread of S. suis 2 remain unknown. In this study, the potential for mobilization of 89K was evaluated, and its putative transfer mechanism was investigated. We report that 89K can spontaneously excise to form an extrachromosomal circular product. The precise excision is mediated by an 89K-borne integrase through site-specific recombination, with help from an excisionase. The 89K excision intermediate acts as a substrate for lateral transfer to non-89K S. suis 2 recipients, where it reintegrates site-specifically into the target site. The conjugal transfer of 89K occurred via a GI type IV secretion system (T4SS) encoded in 89K, at a frequency of 10 -6 transconjugants per donor. This is the first demonstration of horizontal transfer of a Gram-positive PAI mediated by a GI-type T4SS. We propose that these genetic events are important in the emergence, pathogenesis and persistence of epidemic S. suis 2 strains. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Zhang J.,Shanghai University | Zhu J.,Research Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command | Ren H.,Shanghai University | Zhu S.,Shanghai University | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology | Year: 2013

Streptococcus suis serotype 2 (S. suis 2) is an important zoonotic pathogen that causes considerable economic losses to the pig industry and significantly threatens public health worldwide. The highly pathogenic S. suis 2, which contains the 89K pathogenicity island (PAI), has caused large-scale outbreaks of infections in humans, resulting in high mortality rates. In this study, we established two loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP)-based assays that can rapidly detect S. suis 2 and the 89K PAI and can be performed simultaneously under the same conditions. Further, based on the findings of these two LAMP assays and using the same set of serially diluted DNA samples, we compared the sensitivities of different LAMP product detection methods, including SYBR green detection, gel electrophoresis, turbidimetry, calcein assays, and hydroxynaphthol blue detection. The results suggest that target genes can be amplified and detected within 48 min under 63°C isothermal conditions. The sensitivity of tests for S. suis 2 detection varies between detection methods and reaction systems, indicating that for each LAMP reaction system, multiple detection methods should be performed to select the optimal one. The sensitivities of the optimized methods (7.16 copies/reaction) in the present study were identical to those of the real-time PCR assay, and the test results for reference strains and clinical samples showed that these LAMP systems have high specificities. Thus, since the LAMP systems established in this study are simple, fast, and sensitive, they may have good clinical potential for detecting the highly pathogenic S. suis 2. Copyright © 2013, American Society for Microbiology.


PubMed | Research Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command and Shanghai University
Type: | Journal: OncoTargets and therapy | Year: 2016

This study aimed to identify molecular prognostic biomarkers for gastric cancer.mRNA and miRNA expression profiles of eligible gastric cancer and control samples were downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus to screen the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and differentially expressed miRNAs (DEmiRs), using MetaDE and limma packages, respectively. Target genes of the DEmiRs were also collected from both predictive and experimentally validated target databases of miRNAs. The overlapping genes between selected targets and DEGs were identified as risk genes, followed by functional enrichment analysis. Human pathways and their corresponding genes were downloaded from the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database for the expression analysis of each pathway in gastric cancer samples. Next, co-pathway pairs were selected according to the Pearson correlation coefficients. Finally, the co-pathway pairs, miRNA-target pairs, and risk gene-pathway pairs were merged into a complex interaction network, the most important nodes (miRNAs/target genes/co-pathway pairs) of which were selected by calculating their degrees.Totally, 1,260 DEGs and 144 DEmiRs were identified. There were 336 risk genes found in the 9,572 miRNA-target pairs. Judging from the pathway expression files, 45 co-pathway pairs were screened out. There were 1,389 interactive pairs and 480 nodes in the integrated network. Among all nodes in the network, focal adhesion/extracellular matrix-receptor interaction pathways, CALM2, miR-19b, and miR-181b were the hub nodes with higher degrees.CALM2, hsa-miR-19b, and hsa-miR-181b might be used as potential prognostic targets for gastric cancer.


Feng Y.,Zhejiang University | Zhang H.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Wu Z.,Iowa State University | Wang S.,Fujian Agriculture and forestry University | And 3 more authors.
Virulence | Year: 2014

Streptococcus suis (S. suis) is a family of pathogenic grampositive bacterial strains that represents a primary health problem in the swine industry worldwide. S. suis is also an emerging zoonotic pathogen that causes severe human infections clinically featuring with varied diseases/syndromes (such as meningitis, septicemia, and arthritis). Over the past few decades, continued efforts have made significant progress toward better understanding this zoonotic infectious entity, contributing in part to the elucidation of the molecular mechanism underlying its high pathogenicity. This review is aimed at presenting an updated overview of this pathogen from the perspective of molecular epidemiology, clinical diagnosis and typing, virulence mechanism, and protective antigens contributing to its zoonosis. © 2014 Landes Bioscience.


PubMed | U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Research Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command and Zhejiang University
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2016

In 2007, 19 cases of a scrub typhus epidemic occurred within a week at a sports school in Mingguang County, Anhui Province, where no previous incidence of this mite borne disease had been reported. Sero-surveillance in 2009 indicated that 10 of the 100 school students possessed anti-Orientia tsutsugamushi antibodies. From 2009 to 2013, 60 small animals and 2250 mites were collected in the vicinity of the school. 5 of the Apodemus agrarius samples and 1 group of Leptotrombidium linhuaikongense tested positive via PCR for O. tsutsugamushi. Two strains of O. tsutsugamushi were identified by injecting Kun Ming (KM) mice peritoneally with the organs of either Apodemus agrarius or Leptotrombidium linhuaikongense. Apart from sharing 98% homology with the O. tsutsugamushi Yongworl strain, genes encoding the membrane protein from the two O. tsutsugamushi isolates shared >99% sequence homology with each other, reflecting the consistency of the pathogen in both the vector and the host. In addition, we also characterized a chronic scrub typhus infection in a local patient. The membrane protein gene fragment from the patients blood shared 99% homology with O. tsutsugamushi Gilliam strain, suggesting that more than one O. tsutsugamushi strain is present at this location.


Shao Z.-Q.,Nanjing University | Zhang Y.-M.,Nanjing University | Pan X.-Z.,Research Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command | Wang B.,Nanjing University | Chen J.-Q.,Nanjing University
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

The Histidine Triad Proteins (HTPs), also known as Pht proteins in Streptococcus pneumoniae, constitute a family of surface-exposed proteins that exist in many pathogenic streptococcal species. Although many studies have revealed the importance of HTPs in streptococcal physiology and pathogenicity, little is known about their origin and evolution. In this study, after identifying all htp homologs from 105 streptococcal genomes representing 38 different species/subspecies, we analyzed their domain structures, positions in genome, and most importantly, their evolutionary histories. By further projecting this information onto the streptococcal phylogeny, we made several major findings. First, htp genes originated earlier than the Streptococcus genus and gene-loss events have occurred among three streptococcal groups, resulting in the absence of the htp gene in the Bovis, Mutans and Salivarius groups. Second, the copy number of htp genes in other groups of Streptococcus is variable, ranging from one to four functional copies. Third, both phylogenetic evidence and domain structure analyses support the division of two htp subfamilies, designated as htp I and htp II. Although present mainly in the pyogenic group and in Streptococcus suis, htp II members are distinct from htp I due to the presence of an additional leucine-rich-repeat domain at the C-terminus. Finally, htp genes exhibit a faster nucleotide substitution rate than do housekeeping genes. Specifically, the regions outside the HTP domains are under strong positive selection. This distinct evolutionary pattern likely helped Streptococcus to easily escape from recognition by host immunity. © 2013 Shao et al.


Zheng F.,Chongqing Medical University | Zheng F.,Research Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command | Ji H.,Research Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command | Cao M.,Chongqing Medical University | And 11 more authors.
Infection and Immunity | Year: 2011

The Rgg-like regulators, a family of transcription factors commonly found in many Gram-positive bacteria, play multiple roles, especially in the control of pathogen virulence. Here, we report an rgg homologue from a Chinese isolate, 05ZYH33, of Streptococcus suis serotype 2 (SS2). Deletion of the rgg gene in SS2 increased its adhesion to Hep-2 cells and hemolytic activity in vitro. Significantly, inactivation of the rgg gene attenuated SS2 virulence in an experimental piglet infection model. Using DNA microarrays and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, we found that the Rgg regulator affects the transcriptional profile of 15.87% (n = 345) of all of the annotated chromosomal genes, including those involved in nonglucose carbohydrate metabolism, DNA recombination, protein biosynthesis, bacterial defense mechanisms, and others. It was experimentally verified that the deletion of rgg in SS2 reduced the utilization of nonglucose carbohydrates, such as lactose and maltose. In addition, the rgg gene was found to be associated with changes in the bacterial microscopic phenotype and growth curve. These data suggested that Rgg in SS2 is a global transcriptional regulator that plays an important role in promoting SS2 bacterial survival during pathogen-host interaction. Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


PubMed | Nanjing Medical University and Research Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Diagnostic pathology | Year: 2016

To identify molecular characteristics in situ in response to repetitive UVB (ultraviolet-B) irradiation.Microarray data from the Gene Expression Omnibus were re-analyzed to identify DEGs (differentially expressed genes) between UVB-irradiated and non-irradiated skin biopsies. Enrichment and annotation analyses were performed respectively using DAVID, and TSGene and TAG databases. PPIs (protein-protein interactions) were analyzed using STRING, and miRNAs (microRNAs) and TFs (transcription factors) were predicted separately by miRNA-related databases and ENCODE. Accordingly, the PPI network and regulatory networks were visualized using Cytoscape, and they were merged together to obtain an integrated network for mining densely connected modules.Altogether, 151 up- and 64 down-regulated genes were identified between UVB-irradiated and non-irradiated skin biopsies, among which down-regulated DNAJB4 and SLIT2 were annotated as tumor-suppressors and up-regulated KIT was annotated as an oncogene. The up-regulated DEGs were significantly enriched in biological processes related to pigmentation (DCT, SOX10, TYRP1, TYR, MLPH, KIT and GPR143), while the down-regulated DEGs were dramatically related to haemopoiesis and the immune system (GPR183, INHBA, PTPRC, PLEK, CD8A and IKZF1). Furthermore, many miRNAs were screened for the DEGs, including miR-206 and miR-496 targeting KIT, miR-184 targeting DCT, and highly significant miR-337-5p, miR-21 and miR-16. Additionally, TFs were identified for the DEGs, among which PAX5 and HNF4A targeted MLPH and GPR143, respectively, while BATF, SPI1 and EP300 jointly target GPR183, PTPRC and PLEK.The pigmentation and immune system implicated by DEGs, miRNAs and TFs might be important molecular mechanisms in response to UVB irradiation.


PubMed | Russian Academy of Sciences, Research Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command, University of Luxembourg and Zhejiang University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: MicrobiologyOpen | Year: 2016

Bacterial pathogens can exploit metabolic pathways to facilitate their successful infection cycles, but little is known about roles of d-galactosamine (GalN)/N-acetyl-d-galactosamine (GalNAc) catabolism pathway in bacterial pathogenesis. Here, we report the genomic reconstruction of GalN/GalNAc utilization pathway in Streptococci and the diversified aga regulons. We delineated two new paralogous AgaR regulators for the GalN/GalNAc catabolism pathway. The electrophoretic mobility shift assays experiment demonstrated that AgaR2 (AgaR1) binds the predicted palindromes, and the combined in vivo data from reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction and RNA-seq suggested that AgaR2 (not AgaR1) can effectively repress the transcription of the target genes. Removal of agaR2 (not agaR1) from Streptococcus suis 05ZYH33 augments significantly the abilities of both adherence to Hep-2 cells and anti-phagocytosis against RAW264.7 macrophage. As anticipated, the dysfunction in AgaR2-mediated regulation of S. suis impairs its pathogenicity in experimental models of both mice and piglets. Our finding discovered two novel regulators specific for GalN/GalNAc catabolism and assigned them distinct roles into bacterial infections. To the best of our knowledge, it might represent a first paradigm that links the GalN/GalNAc catabolism pathway to bacterial pathogenesis.

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