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Berlin, Germany

In staphylococci, methylation of A2503 of 23S rRNA leads to resistance against several classes of antibiotics (oxazolidinones, phenicols, streptogramin compounds, lincosamidins and pleuromutilins). The corresponding resistance gene cfr is located on plasmid(s) and is transferable within and between staphylococcal species including Staphylococcus aureus. It first emerged in coagulase-negative staphylococci, later in Central Europe also in S. aureus ST9 and in methicillin-resistant S. aureus ST398, which have their main reservoir in pigs, and meanwhile also in nosocomial coagulase-negative staphylococci from Southern Europe and the USA, and furthermore in nosocomial methicillin-resistant S. aureus in Spain. Timely detection and targeted prevention of further dissemination in both human and veterinary medicine is warranted for preserving the activity linezolid as an important antibiotic for treatment of staphylococcal infections.

We investigated the associations between education and leisure-time, occupational, sedentary and total physical-activity levels based on data from the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey 1998 (GNHIES98). The roles of income level, occupational status and other mediating variables for these associations were also examined. The total study sample of the GNHIES98 comprised 7,124 participants between the ages of 18 and 79. Complete information was available for 6,800 persons on leisure-time, sedentary and total physical-activity outcomes and for 3,809 persons in regular employment on occupational activity outcomes. The associations between educational level and physical activity (occupational, sedentary, leisure-time and total physical activity) were analysed separately for men and women using multivariate logistic regression analysis. Odds ratios (OR) of educational level on physical-activity outcomes were calculated and adjusted for age, region, occupation, income and other mediating variables. After adjusting for age and region, a higher education level was associated with more leisure-time activity - with an OR of 1.6 (95% CI, 1.3-2.0) for men with secondary education and 2.1 (1.7-2.7) for men with tertiary education compared to men with primary education. The corresponding ORs for women were 1.3 (1.1-1.6) and 1.7 (1.2-2.4), respectively. Higher education was associated with a lower level of vigorous work activity: an OR of 6.9 (4.6-10.3) for men with secondary education and 18.6 (12.0-27.3) for men with primary education compared to men with tertiary education. The corresponding ORs for women were 2.8 (2.0-4.0) and 5.8 (4.0-8.5), respectively. Higher education was also associated with a lower level of total activity: an OR of 2.9 (2.2-3.8) for men with secondary education and 4.3 (3.3-5.6) for men with tertiary education compared to men with primary education. The corresponding ORs for women were 1.6 (1.2-2.0) and 1.6 (1.2-2.1), respectively. In Germany adults with a lower level of education are more physically active, both at work and overall, compared to adults with a higher education level, although they are less physically active in their leisure time. Higher work-related activity levels among adults with lower education may explain why they are less active in their leisure time.

Due to the lack of fossil evidence, the timescales of bacterial evolution are largely unknown. The speed with which genetic change accumulates in populations of pathogenic bacteria, however, is a key parameter that is crucial for understanding the emergence of traits such as increased virulence or antibiotic resistance, together with the forces driving pathogen spread. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a common cause of hospital-acquired infections. We have investigated an MRSA strain (ST225) that is highly prevalent in hospitals in Central Europe. By using mutation discovery at 269 genetic loci (118,804 basepairs) within an international isolate collection, we ascertained extremely low diversity among European ST225 isolates, indicating that a recent population bottleneck had preceded the expansion of this clone. In contrast, US isolates were more divergent, suggesting they represent the ancestral population. While diversity was low, however, our results demonstrate that the short-term evolutionary rate in this natural population of MRSA resulted in the accumulation of measurable DNA sequence variation within two decades, which we could exploit to reconstruct its recent demographic history and the spatiotemporal dynamics of spread. By applying Bayesian coalescent methods on DNA sequences serially sampled through time, we estimated that ST225 had diverged since approximately 1990 (1987 to 1994), and that expansion of the European clade began in 1995 (1991 to 1999), several years before the new clone was recognized. Demographic analysis based on DNA sequence variation indicated a sharp increase of bacterial population size from 2001 to 2004, which is concordant with the reported prevalence of this strain in several European countries. A detailed ancestry-based reconstruction of the spatiotemporal dispersal dynamics suggested a pattern of frequent transmission of the ST225 clone among hospitals within Central Europe. In addition, comparative genomics indicated complex bacteriophage dynamics.

Denner J.,Robert Koch Institute
Xenotransplantation | Year: 2015

Xenotransplantation using pig cells, tissues and organs may be associated with the transmission of porcine microorganisms to the human recipient. Some of these microorganisms may induce a zoonosis, that is an infectious disease induced by microorganisms transmitted from another species. With exception of the porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs), which are integrated in the genome of all pigs, the transmission of all other microorganisms can be prevented by specified or designated pathogen-free (spf or dpf, respectively) production of the animals. However, it is becoming clear in the last years that the hepatitis E virus (HEV) is one of the viruses which are difficult to eliminate. It is important to note that there are differences between HEV of genotypes (gt) 1 and gt2 on one hand and HEV of gt3 and gt4 on the other. HEV gt1 and gt2 are human viruses, and they induce hepatitis and in the worst case fatal infections in pregnant women. In contrast, HEV gt3 and gt4 are viruses of pigs, and they may infect humans, induce commonly only mild diseases, if any, and are harmless for pregnant women. The goal of this review was to evaluate the risk posed by HEV gt3 and gt4 for xenotransplantation and to indicate ways of their elimination from pigs in order to prevent transmission to the human recipient. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Many microorganisms including retroviruses suppress the immune system of the infected host in order to maintain infection. Unfortunately, it is still unclear how retroviruses induce immunosuppression. There is increasing evidence of a common mechanism based on their transmembrane envelope proteins. This review therefore summarizes evidence of the involvement of the transmembrane envelope proteins in the immunopathogenesis of different retroviruses including HIV-1. Mutations in the immunosuppressive (isu) domain of the transmembrane envelope protein of several retroviruses abrogate the immunosuppressive activities in vitro and in vivo. Most importantly, virus sequences with such abrogating mutations were never found in HIV-1-infected individuals despite the fact that the mutated viruses are replicationcompetent. However, there is also evidence for additional, perhaps even divergent, strategies for each retrovirus. For example, in contrast to many other retroviruses, the HIV directly interacts with immune cells and infects them. In addition, HIV uses several accessory proteins to evade the immune response. Furthermore, the possible contribution of the transmembrane envelope proteins of endogenous retroviruses to immunosuppression when expressed on tumor cells or in the placenta is analyzed. © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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