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Host-Pathogen Interactions - Top 30 Publications

Modulation of the immune response by Fonsecaea pedrosoi morphotypes in the course of experimental chromoblastomycosis and their role on inflammatory response chronicity.

A common theme across multiple fungal pathogens is their ability to impair the establishment of a protective immune response. Although early inflammation is beneficial in containing the infection, an uncontrolled inflammatory response is detrimental and may eventually oppose disease eradication. Chromoblastomycosis (CBM), a cutaneous and subcutaneous mycosis, caused by dematiaceous fungi, is capable of inducing a chronic inflammatory response. Muriform cells, the parasitic form of Fonsecaea pedrosoi, are highly prevalent in infected tissues, especially in long-standing lesions. In this study we show that hyphae and muriform cells are able to establish a murine CBM with skin lesions and histopathological aspects similar to that found in humans, with muriform cells being the most persistent fungal form, whereas mice infected with conidia do not reach the chronic phase of the disease. Moreover, in injured tissue the presence of hyphae and especially muriform cells, but not conidia, is correlated with intense production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in vivo. High-throughput RNA sequencing analysis (RNA-Seq) performed at early time points showed a strong up-regulation of genes related to fungal recognition, cell migration, inflammation, apoptosis and phagocytosis in macrophages exposed in vitro to muriform cells, but not conidia. We also demonstrate that only muriform cells required FcγR and Dectin-1 recognition to be internalized in vitro, and this is the main fungal form responsible for the intense inflammatory pattern observed in CBM, clarifying the chronic inflammatory reaction observed in most patients. Furthermore, our findings reveal two different fungal-host interaction strategies according to fungal morphotype, highlighting fungal dimorphism as an important key in understanding the bipolar nature of inflammatory response in fungal infections.

Extracellular Vesicles Deliver Host and Virus RNA and Regulate Innate Immune Response.

The innate immune system plays a crucial role in controlling viral infection. Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), such as Toll-like receptors and RIG-I-like receptors, sense viral components called pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and trigger signals to induce innate immune responses. Extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes and microvesicles, deliver functional RNA and mediate intercellular communications. Recent studies have revealed that EVs released from virus-infected cells deliver viral RNA to dendritic cells and macrophages, thereby activating PRRs in recipient cells, which results in the expression of type I interferon and pro-inflammatory cytokines. On the other hand, EVs transfer not only viral RNA but also host microRNAs to recipient cells. Recently, infection of hepatocytes with hepatitis B virus (HBV) was shown to affect microRNA levels in EVs released from virus-infected cells, leading to attenuation of host innate immune response. This suggests that the virus utilizes the EVs and host microRNAs to counteract the antiviral innate immune responses. In this review, we summarize recent findings related to the role of EVs in antiviral innate immune responses.

Genetic Analysis of Two Chicken Infectious Anemia Virus Variants-Related Gyrovirus in Stray Mice and Dogs: The First Report in China, 2015.

Chicken infectious anemia virus (CIAV) causes acute viral infection in chickens worldwide. It can infect chickens of all ages, but the disease is seen only in young chickens and is characterized by hemorrhagic lesions in the muscles, atrophic changes in the lymphoid organs, aplastic bone marrow, and immunosuppression causing increased mortality. Previous studies have demonstrated that CIAV can be isolated from blood specimens of humans and fecal samples of stray cats. In the present study, two variants of CIAV were isolated from fecal samples of mice (CIAV-Mouse) and stray dogs (CIAV-Dog), respectively. The genome of the two CIAV variants was sequenced and the results of the recombination detection program suggested that the CIAV-Dog strain could be a recombinant viral strain generated from parental CIAV strains, AB119448 and GD-1-12, with high confidence. Particularly, these findings were obtained from the comparison of genetic diversity and the relationship of CIAV between different hosts. This is the first report indicating that there is a significant difference in the number of transcription factor binding sites in CIAV noncoding regions from different hosts. Further studies are required to investigate the large geographic distribution of CIAV and monitor the variants, host range, and associated diseases.

Technologies for Proteome-Wide Discovery of Extracellular Host-Pathogen Interactions.

Pathogens have evolved unique mechanisms to breach the cell surface barrier and manipulate the host immune response to establish a productive infection. Proteins exposed to the extracellular environment, both cell surface-expressed receptors and secreted proteins, are essential targets for initial invasion and play key roles in pathogen recognition and subsequent immunoregulatory processes. The identification of the host and pathogen extracellular molecules and their interaction networks is fundamental to understanding tissue tropism and pathogenesis and to inform the development of therapeutic strategies. Nevertheless, the characterization of the proteins that function in the host-pathogen interface has been challenging, largely due to the technical challenges associated with detection of extracellular protein interactions. This review discusses available technologies for the high throughput study of extracellular protein interactions between pathogens and their hosts, with a focus on mammalian viruses and bacteria. Emerging work illustrates a rich landscape for extracellular host-pathogen interaction and points towards the evolution of multifunctional pathogen-encoded proteins. Further development and application of technologies for genome-wide identification of extracellular protein interactions will be important in deciphering functional host-pathogen interaction networks, laying the foundation for development of novel therapeutics.

IL-10: A Multifunctional Cytokine in Viral Infections.

The anti-inflammatory master regulator IL-10 is critical to protect the host from tissue damage during acute phases of immune responses. This regulatory mechanism, central to T cell homeostasis, can be hijacked by viruses to evade immunity. IL-10 can be produced by virtually all immune cells, and it can also modulate the function of these cells. Understanding the effects of this multifunctional cytokine is therefore a complex task. In the present review we discuss the factors driving IL-10 production and the cellular sources of the cytokine during antiviral immune responses. We particularly focus on the IL-10 regulatory mechanisms that impact antiviral immune responses and how viruses can use this central regulatory pathway to evade immunity and establish chronic/latent infections.

Neutrophils and Immunity: From Bactericidal Action to Being Conquered.

The neutrophil is the major phagocyte and the final effector cell of the innate immunity, with a primary role in the clearance of extracellular pathogens. Using the broad array of cytokines, extracellular traps, and effector molecules as the humoral arm, neutrophils play a crucial role in the host defense against pathogen infections. On the other hand, the pathogen has the capacity to overcome neutrophil-mediated host defense to establish infection causing human disease. Pathogens, such as S. aureus, have the potential to thwart neutrophil chemotaxis and phagocytosis and thereby succeed in evading killing by neutrophils. Furthermore, S. aureus surviving within neutrophils promotes neutrophil cytolysis, resulting in the release of host-derived molecules that promote local inflammation. Here, we provide a detailed overview of the mechanisms by which neutrophils kill the extracellular pathogens and how pathogens evade neutrophils degradation. This review will provide insights that might be useful for the development of novel therapies against infections caused by antibiotic resistant pathogens.

RNA-Seq Based Transcriptome Analysis of the Type I Interferon Host Response upon Vaccinia Virus Infection of Mouse Cells.

Vaccinia virus (VACV) encodes the soluble type I interferon (IFN) binding protein B18 that is secreted from infected cells and also attaches to the cell surface, as an immunomodulatory strategy to inhibit the host IFN response. By using next generation sequencing technologies, we performed a detailed RNA-seq study to dissect at the transcriptional level the modulation of the IFN based host response by VACV and B18. Transcriptome profiling of L929 cells after incubation with purified recombinant B18 protein showed that attachment of B18 to the cell surface does not trigger cell signalling leading to transcriptional activation. Consistent with its ability to bind type I IFN, B18 completely inhibited the IFN-mediated modulation of host gene expression. Addition of UV-inactivated virus particles to cell cultures altered the expression of a set of 53 cellular genes, including genes involved in innate immunity. Differential gene expression analyses of cells infected with replication competent VACV identified the activation of a broad range of host genes involved in multiple cellular pathways. Interestingly, we did not detect an IFN-mediated response among the transcriptional changes induced by VACV, even after the addition of IFN to cells infected with a mutant VACV lacking B18. This is consistent with additional viral mechanisms acting at different levels to block IFN responses during VACV infection.

A test of the nest sanitation hypothesis for the evolution of foreign egg rejection in an avian brood parasite rejecter host species.

Hosts of avian brood parasites have evolved diverse defenses to avoid the costs associated with raising brood parasite nestlings. In egg ejection, the host recognizes and removes foreign eggs laid in its nest. Nest sanitation, a behavior similar in motor pattern to egg ejection, has been proposed repeatedly as a potential pre-adaptation to egg ejection. Here, we separately placed blue 3D-printed, brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) eggs known to elicit interindividual variation in ejection responses and semi-natural leaves into American robins' (Turdus migratorius) nests to test proximate predictions that (1) rejecter hosts should sanitize debris from nests more frequently and consistently than accepter hosts and (2) hosts that sanitize their nests of debris prior to the presentation of a foreign egg will be more likely to eject the foreign egg. Egg ejection responses were highly repeatable within individuals yet variable between them, but were not influenced by prior exposure to debris, nor related to sanitation tendencies as a whole, because nearly all individuals sanitized their nests. Additionally, we collected published data for eight different host species to test for a potential positive correlation between sanitation and egg ejection. We found no significant correlation between nest sanitation and egg ejection rates; however, our comparative analysis was limited to a sample size of 8, and we advise that more data from additional species are necessary to properly address interspecific tests of the pre-adaptation hypothesis. In lack of support for the nest sanitation hypothesis, our study suggests that, within individuals, foreign egg ejection is distinct from nest sanitation tendencies, and sanitation and foreign egg ejection may not correlate across species.

Defense Responses in Grapevine (cv. Mourvèdre) after Inoculation with the Botryosphaeria Dieback Pathogens Neofusicoccum parvum and Diplodia seriata and Their Relationship with Flowering.

As a result of the increasing economic impact of grapevine trunk diseases on viticulture worldwide, efficient and viable control strategies are urgently needed. However, understanding both plant-pathogen interactions and plant physiological changes related to these diseases is fundamental to such an achievement. In this study, we analyzed the effect of inoculation with the Botryosphaeria dieback fungal agents, Neofusicoccum parvum and Diplodia seriata, with and without inflorescence removal at the onset of G stage (separated clusters), I stage (flowering) and M stage (veraison). A measure of lesion size and real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction-based analysis were carried out. The results clearly show the importance of inflorescences in the development of lesions associated with Botryosphaeria dieback pathogens inoculated on green stems of adult vines, especially at the onset of flowering. At flowering, the biggest necroses were observed with the inflorescences present, as well as an activation of the studied defense responses. Thus, an ineffective response to the pathogen could be consistent with a possible metabolic reprogramming linked to the host phenophase.

Differential responses of Helicoverpa armigera C-type immunlectin genes to the endoparasitoid Campoletis chlorideae.

The C-type lectins mediate nonself recognition in insects. The previous studies focused on host immunlectin response to bacterial infection; however, the molecular basis of immunlectin reactions to endoparasitoids has not been elucidated. The present study investigated the effect of parasitization by Campoletis chlorideae on hemagglutination activity (HA; defined as the ability of lectin to agglutinate erythrocytes or other cells), and transcriptional expression of C-type immunlectin genes in the larval host, Helicoverpa armigera. Parasitization induced four- to eightfold higher HA in the parasitized larvae, compared to nonparasitized larvae at days 2 and 6 postparasitization (PP), however inhibited HA at other days PP. Eight C-type lectins were differentially expressed in different host developmental stages, from feeding to wandering stage. The mRNA levels of HaCTL1, HaCTL3, HaCTL4, and HaCTL5 were upregulated and HaCTL2 and HaCTL7 were downregulated. Tissue analysis showed that HaCTLs were mainly expressed in fat body or hemocytes, while HaCTL5 was highly expressed in testes. The effects of parasitization on the lectin expression patterns differed. Lectins except HaCTL6 or HaCTL5 were significantly down- or upregulated in parasitized larvae at day 4 or 6 PP compared with that of nonparasitized larvae. We infer from our results that C-type immunlectins are involved in host-parasitoid interactions, and parasitization alter host immunlectin levels both in inhibiting and promoting host immune defenses to endoparasitoids. These immunlectin genes indicated an altered physiological status of the host insect, depending on developmental stage, tissue, and parasitization.

Immune response- and viral control-related pathways in the progression of chronic hepatitis B.

Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) is a complicated and dynamic course, and is associated with advanced liver disease. Host immune response against viral infection plays a pivotal role in the progression of CHB. However, it is still uncharted that how the hepatic transcriptomes in patients with CHB are correlated with the clinical phases.

The Dynamics of the Defense Strategy of Pea Induced by Exogenous Nitric Oxide in Response to Aphid Infestation.

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of exogenous nitric oxide (NO), i.e., S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP), on the metabolic status of Pisum sativum L. cv. Cysterski leaves infested by Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris, population demographic parameters and A. pisum feeding activity. A reduction in the level of semiquinone radicals in pea seedling leaves pretreated with exogenous NO occurred 24 h after A. pisum infestation, which was earlier than in non-pretreated leaves. A decrease in the level of O₂(•-) was observed in leaves pretreated with GSNO and infested by aphids at 48 and 72 h post-infestation (hpi). Directly after the pretreatment with GSNO, an increase in the level of metal ions was recorded. NO considerably induced the relative mRNA levels for phenylalanine ammonia-lyase in 24-h leaves pretreated with NO donors, both non-infested and infested. NO stimulated the accumulation of pisatin in leaves until 24 h. The Electrical Penetration Graph revealed a reduction in the feeding activity of the pea aphid on leaves pretreated with NO. The present study showed that foliar application of NO donors induced sequentially defense reactions of pea against A. pisum and had a deterrent effect on aphid feeding and limited the population growth rate.

The influence of innate and adaptative immune responses on the differential clinical outcomes of leprosy.

Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. According to official reports from 121 countries across five WHO regions, there were 213 899 newly diagnosed cases in 2014. Although leprosy affects the skin and peripheral nerves, it can present across a spectrum of clinical and histopathological forms that are strongly influenced by the immune response of the infected individuals. These forms comprise the extremes of tuberculoid leprosy (TT), with a M. leprae-specific Th1, but also a Th17, response that limits M. leprae multiplication, through to lepromatous leprosy (LL), with M. leprae-specific Th2 and T regulatory responses that do not control M. leprae replication but rather allow bacterial dissemination. The interpolar borderline clinical forms present with similar, but less extreme, immune biases. Acute inflammatory episodes, known as leprosy reactions, are complications that may occur before, during or after treatment, and cause further neurological damages that can cause irreversible chronic disabilities. This review discusses the innate and adaptive immune responses, and their interactions, that are known to affect pathogenesis and influence the clinical outcome of leprosy.

Comparisons of Transcriptional Profiles of Gut Genes between Cry1Ab-Resistant and Susceptible Strains of Ostrinia nubilalis Revealed Genes Possibly Related to the Adaptation of Resistant Larvae to Transgenic Cry1Ab Corn.

A microarray developed on the basis of 2895 unique transcripts from larval gut was used to compare gut gene expression profiles between a laboratory-selected Cry1Ab-resistant (R) strain and its isoline susceptible (S) strain of the European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) after the larvae were fed the leaves of transgenic corn (MON810) expressing Cry1Ab or its non-transgenic isoline for 6 h. We revealed 398 gut genes differentially expressed (i.e., either up- or down-regulated genes with expression ratio ≥2.0) in S-strain, but only 264 gut genes differentially expressed in R-strain after being fed transgenic corn leaves. Although the percentages of down-regulated genes among the total number of differentially expressed genes (50% in S-strain and 45% in R-strain) were similar between the R- and S-strains, the expression ratios of down-regulated genes were much higher in S-strain than in R-strain. We revealed that 17 and 9 significantly up- or down-regulated gut genes from S and R-strain, respectively, including serine proteases and aminopeptidases. These genes may be associated with Cry1Ab toxicity by degradation, binding, and cellular defense. Overall, our study suggests enhanced adaptation of Cry1Ab-resistant larvae on transgenic Cry1Ab corn as revealed by lower number and lower ratios of differentially expressed genes in R-strain than in S-strain of O. nubilalis.

Functional study of gene hp0169 in Helicobacter pylori pathogenesis.

Many virulence genes have been reported to play important roles in Helicobacter pylori pathogenesis. However the detailed mechanisms of many of them have not been completely clear. In this study, we found gene hp0169, encoding a putative collagenase (HpPrtC), was involved in pathogenesis of H. pylori. Recombinant HpPrtC shows activities to both native and heat-denatured collagens. This result indicated that HpPrtC may act as a virulence factor to help the bacterium colonize in their host stomach by degrading surrounding collagens. hp0169 was deleted by homologous recombination to study its function in bacterium-host cell interaction. For the pathogenic functions on the host cells, the hp0169 mutant exhibits no significant changes on inducing apoptosis of GES-1 cells. However, the viability and proliferation rate of GES-1 cells infected with mutant strain were higher than the cells infected with wild-type strain. These results indicated that except for its collagenolytic activity, HpPrtC might participate in H. pylori pathogenesis through an additional pathway. Functional studies on hp0169 involved in pathogenesis would shed light on deep understanding of the pathogenic mechanism of H. pylori.

Biology and Systematics of Echinococcus.

The biology of Echinococcus, the causative agent of echinococcosis (hydatid disease) is reviewed with emphasis on the developmental biology of the adult and metacestode stages of the parasite. Major advances include determining the origin, structure and functional activities of the laminated layer and its relationship with the germinal layer; and the isolation, in vitro establishment and characterization of the multipotential germinal cells. Future challenges are to identify the mechanisms that provide Echinococcus with its unique developmental plasticity and the nature of activities at the parasite-host interface, particularly in the definitive host. The revised taxonomy of Echinococcus is presented and the solid nomenclature it provides will be essential in understanding the epidemiology of echinococcosis.

Echinococcus-Host Interactions at Cellular and Molecular Levels.

The potentially lethal zoonotic diseases alveolar and cystic echinococcosis are caused by the metacestode larval stages of the tapeworms Echinococcus multilocularis and Echinococcus granulosus, respectively. In both cases, metacestode growth and proliferation occurs within the inner organs of mammalian hosts, which is associated with complex molecular host-parasite interactions that regulate nutrient uptake by the parasite as well as metacestode persistence and development. Using in vitro cultivation systems for parasite larvae, and informed by recently released, comprehensive genome and transcriptome data for both parasites, these molecular host-parasite interactions have been subject to significant research during recent years. In this review, we discuss progress in this field, with emphasis on parasite development and proliferation. We review host-parasite interaction mechanisms that occur early during an infection, when the invading oncosphere stage undergoes a metamorphosis towards the metacestode, and outline the decisive role of parasite stem cells during this process. We also discuss special features of metacestode morphology, and how this parasite stage takes up nutrients from the host, utilizing newly evolved or expanded gene families. We comprehensively review mechanisms of host-parasite cross-communication via evolutionarily conserved signalling systems and how the parasite signalling systems might be exploited for the development of novel chemotherapeutics. Finally, we point to an urgent need for the development of functional genomic techniques in this parasite, which will be imperative for hypothesis-driven analyses into Echinococcus stem cell biology, developmental mechanisms and immunomodulatory activities, which are all highly relevant for the development of anti-infective measures.

cis-Jasmone Elicits Aphid-Induced Stress Signalling in Potatoes.

Elicitation of plant defense signaling that results in altered emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) offers opportunities for protecting plants against arthropod pests. In this study, we treated potato, Solanum tuberosum L., with the plant defense elicitor cis-jasmone (CJ), which induces the emission of defense VOCs and thus affects the behavior of herbivores. Using chemical analysis, electrophysiological and behavioral assays with the potato-feeding aphid Macrosiphum euphorbiae, we showed that CJ treatment substantially increased the emission of defense VOCs from potatoes compared to no treatment. Coupled GC-electroantennogram (GC-EAG) recordings from the antennae of M. euphorbiae showed robust responses to 14 compounds present in induced VOCs, suggesting their behavioral role in potato/aphid interactions. Plants treated with CJ and then challenged with M. euphorbiae were most repellent to alate M. euphorbiae. Principal component analysis (PCA) of VOC collections suggested that (E)-2-hexenal, (E,E)-4,8,12-trimethyl-1,3,7,11-tridecatetraene (TMTT), (E)-β-farnesene, (E)-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene (DMNT), methyl salicylate (MeSA), CJ, and methyl benzoate (MeBA) were the main VOCs contributing to aphid behavioral responses, and that production of TMTT, (E)-β-farnesene, CJ, and DMNT correlated most strongly with aphid repellency. Our findings confirm that CJ can enhance potato defense against aphids by inducing production of VOCs involved in aphid-induced signalling.

Recent advances in the identification of the host factors involved in dengue virus replication.

Dengue virus (DENV) belongs to the genus Flavivirus of the family Flaviviridae and it is primarily transmitted via Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. The life cycle of DENV includes attachment, endocytosis, protein translation, RNA synthesis, assembly, egress, and maturation. Recent researches have indicated that a variety of host factors, including cellular proteins and microRNAs, positively or negatively regulate the DENV replication process. This review summarizes the latest findings (from 2014 to 2016) in the identification of the host factors involved in the DENV life cycle and Dengue infection.

Transmissible gastroenteritis virus does not suppress IFN-β induction but is sensitive to IFN in IPEC-J2 cells.

Coronaviruses tend to efficiently evade innate immune sensing. Alpha-coronaviruses interfere with the type I interferon (IFN) response in various ways, ensuring the limited activation of IFN responses. Transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV), an Alphacoronavirus genera virus, is an important pathogen that mainly infects piglet, but little is known about the activation of the host immune response. We show that TGEV induces a delayed activation of the IFN response in intestinal epithelial cells. Briefly, IFN-β expression induced by TGEV infection is delayed with respect to that induced by poly(I:C) transfection. In addition, some of the IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) were up-regulated in the early infection stage without obvious expression of IFN-β. Moreover, we show that activation of IFN responses induced by poly(I:C) could inhibit viral replication in the early infection stage, but failed in the late infection stage in IPEC-J2 cells. Finally, the activation of IFN responses induced by TGEV infection cannot inhibit viral replication. Taken together, this study provides a preliminary analysis of an interaction between TGEV and IFN-β responses of intestinal epithelial cells.

Streptococcus suis small RNA rss04 contributes to the induction of meningitis by regulating capsule synthesis and by inducing biofilm formation in a mouse infection model.

Streptococcus suis (SS) is an important pathogen for pigs, and it is also considered as a zoonotic agent for humans. Meningitis is one of the most common features of the infection caused by SS, but little is known about the mechanisms of SS meningitis. Recent studies have revealed that small RNAs (sRNAs) have emerged as key regulators of the virulence in several bacteria. In the previous study, we reported that SS sRNA rss04 was up-regulated in pig cerebrospinal fluid and contributes to SS virulence in a zebrafish infection model. Here, we show that rss04 facilitates SS invasion of mouse brain and lung in vivo. Label-free quantitation mass spectrometry analysis revealed that rss04 regulates transcriptional regulator CcpA and several virulence factors including LuxS. Transmission electron microscope and Dot-blot analyses indicated that rss04 represses capsular polysaccharide (CPS) production, which in turn facilitates SS adherence and invasion of mouse brain microvascular endothelial cells bEnd.3 in vitro and activates the mRNA expression of TLR2, CCL2, IL-6 and TNF-α in mouse brain in vivo at 12h post-infection. In addition, rss04 positively regulates SS biofilm formation. Survival analysis of infected mice showed that biofilm state in brain contributes to SS virulence by intracranial subarachnoidal route of infection. Together, our data reveal that SS sRNA rss04 contributes to the induction of meningitis by regulating the CPS synthesis and by inducing biofilm formation, thereby increasing the virulence in a mouse infection model. To our knowledge, rss04 represents the first bacterial sRNA that plays definitive roles in bacterial meningitis.

Differences in Monoterpene Biosynthesis and Accumulation in Pistacia palaestina Leaves and Aphid-Induced Galls.

Certain insect species can induce gall formation on numerous plants species. Although the mechanism of gall development is largely unknown, it is clear that insects manipulate their hosts' anatomy, physiology, and chemistry for their own benefit. It is well known that insect-induced galls often contain vast amounts of plant defensive compounds as compared to non-colonized tissues, but it is not clear if defensive compounds can be produced in situ in the galled tissues. To answer this question, we analyzed terpene accumulation patterns and possible independent biosynthetic potential of galls induced by the aphid Baizongia pistaciae L. on the terminal buds of Pistacia palaestina Boiss. We compared monoterpene levels and monoterpene synthase enzyme activity in galls and healthy leaves from individual trees growing in a natural setting. At all developmental stages, monoterpene content and monoterpene synthase activity were consistently (up to 10 fold on a fresh weight basis) higher in galls than in intact non-colonized leaves. A remarkable tree to tree variation in the products produced in vitro from the substrate geranyl diphosphate by soluble protein extracts derived from individual trees was observed. Furthermore, galls and leaves from the same trees displayed enhanced and often distinct biosynthetic capabilities. Our results clearly indicate that galls possess independent metabolic capacities to produce and accumulate monoterpenes as compared to leaves. Our study indicates that galling aphids manipulate the enzymatic machinery of their host plant, intensifying their own defenses against natural enemies.

Infectious Bursal Disease Virus-Host Interactions: Multifunctional Viral Proteins that Perform Multiple and Differing Jobs.

Infectious bursal disease (IBD) is an acute, highly contagious and immunosuppressive poultry disease caused by IBD virus (IBDV). The consequent immunosuppression increases susceptibility to other infectious diseases and the risk of subsequent vaccination failure as well. Since the genome of IBDV is relatively small, it has a limited number of proteins inhibiting the cellular antiviral responses and acting as destroyers to the host defense system. Thus, these virulence factors must be multifunctional in order to complete the viral replication cycle in a host cell. Insights into the roles of these viral proteins along with their multiple cellular targets in different pathways will give rise to a rational design for safer and effective vaccines. Here we summarize the recent findings that focus on the virus-cell interactions during IBDV infection at the protein level.

Larval stages of Neoplagioporus elongatus (Goto and Ozaki, 1930) (Opecoelidae: Plagioporinae), with notes on potential second intermediate hosts.

The morphology of sporocysts and cercariae of Neoplagioporus elongatus (Goto and Ozaki, 1930) is described for the first time. A cotylomicrocercous cercaria obtained from the sorbeoconch snail Semisulcospira nakasekoae was confirmed to be the cercaria of N. elongatus, based on the degree of sequence identity of the COI gene to that of adult worms. Freshwater annelids (oligochaetes and leeches) and some aquatic insects (odonates) were demonstrated experimentally to be potential second intermediate hosts.

Role and mechanism of the Hsp70 molecular chaperone machines in bacterial pathogens.

Heat shock proteins are highly conserved, stress-inducible, ubiquitous proteins that maintain homeostasis in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Hsp70 proteins belong to the heat shock protein family and enhance bacterial survival in hostile environments. Hsp70, known as DnaK in prokaryotes, supports numerous processes such as the assembly and disassembly of protein complexes, the refolding of misfolded and clustered proteins, membrane translocation and the regulation of regulatory proteins. The chaperone-based activity of Hsp70 depends on dynamic interactions between its two domains, known as the ATPase domain and the substrate-binding domain. It also depends on interactions between these domains and other co-chaperone molecules such as the Hsp40 protein family member DnaJ and nucleotide exchange factors. DnaJ is the primary chaperone that interacts with nascent polypeptide chains and functions to prevent their premature release from the ribosome and misfolding before it is targeted by DnaK. Adhesion of bacteria to host cells is mediated by both host and bacterial Hsp70. Following infection of the host, bacterial Hsp70 (DnaK) is in a position to initiate bacterial survival processes and trigger an immune response by the host. Any mutations in the dnaK gene have been shown to decrease the viability of bacteria inside the host. This review will give insights into the structure and mechanism of Hsp70 and its role in regulating the protein activity that contributes to pathogenesis.

Nematode Root Herbivory in Tomato Increases Leaf Defenses and Reduces Leaf Miner Oviposition and Performance.

The outcome of plant-mediated interactions among herbivores from several feeding guilds has been studied intensively. However, our understanding on the effects of nematode root herbivory on leaf miner oviposition behavior and performance remain limited. In this study, we evaluated whether Meloidogyne incognita root herbivory affects Tuta absoluta oviposition preference on Solanum lycopersicum plants and the development of the resulting offspring. To investigate the M. incognita-herbivory induced plant systemic responses that might explain the observed biological effects, we measured photosynthetic rates, leaf trypsin protease inhibitor activities, and analyzed the profile of volatiles emitted by the leaves of root-infested and non-infested plants. We found that T. absoluta females avoided laying eggs on the leaves of root-infested plants, and that root infestation negatively affected the pupation process of T. absoluta. These effects were accompanied by a strong suppression of leaf volatile emissions, a decrease in photosynthetic rates, and an increase in the activity of leaf trypsin protease inhibitors. Our study reveals that root attack by nematodes can shape leaf physiology, and thereby increases plant resistance.

Millipede Defensive Compounds Are a Double-Edged Sword: Natural History of the Millipede-Parasitic Genus Myriophora Brown (Diptera: Phoridae).

Toxic defensive secretions produced by millipedes in the orders Julida, Spirobolida, Spirostreptida, and Polydesmida are highly repellent to most vertebrate and invertebrate natural enemies, but a few insects have evolved mechanisms to overcome these defenses. We demonstrate that highly specialized parasitic phorid flies in the species-rich genus Myriophora use volatile millipede defensive compounds as kairomones for host location. Of the two predominant quinone components in the defensive blend of juliform millipedes, 2-methoxy-3-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone alone was sufficient to attract adult flies of both sexes; however, a combination of 2-methoxy-3-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone and 2-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone increased attractiveness nearly threefold. We further discuss oviposition behavior, adult and larval feeding habits, life history parameters, and the potential competitive interactions between phorid flies in the genus Myriophora and other millipede-associated insects.

The role of gut microbiota in health and disease: In vitro modeling of host-microbe interactions at the aerobe-anaerobe interphase of the human gut.

The microbiota of the gut has many crucial functions in human health. Dysbiosis of the microbiota has been correlated to a large and still increasing number of diseases. Recent studies have mostly focused on analyzing the associations between disease and an aberrant microbiota composition. Functional studies using (in vitro) gut models are required to investigate the precise interactions that occur between specific bacteria (or bacterial mixtures) and gut epithelial cells. As most gut bacteria are obligate or facultative anaerobes, studying their effect on oxygen-requiring human gut epithelial cells is technically challenging. Still, several (anaerobic) bacterial-epithelial co-culture systems have recently been developed that mimic host-microbe interactions occurring in the human gut, including 1) the Transwell "apical anaerobic model of the intestinal epithelial barrier", 2) the Host-Microbiota Interaction (HMI) module, 3) the "Human oxygen-Bacteria anaerobic" (HoxBan) system, 4) the human gut-on-a-chip and 5) the HuMiX model. This review discusses the role of gut microbiota in health and disease and gives an overview of the characteristics and applications of these novel host-microbe co-culture systems.

Characterization of the interaction of African swine fever virus with monocytes and derived macrophage subsets.

African swine fever (ASF) is a devastating disease for which there is no vaccine available. The ASF virus (ASFV) primarily infects cells of the myeloid lineage and this tropism is thought to be crucial for disease pathogenesis. A detailed in vitro characterization of the interactions of a virulent Sardinian isolate (22653/14) and a tissue culture adapted avirulent strain (BA71V) of ASFV with porcine monocytes, un-activated (moMΦ), classically (moM1) and alternatively (moM2) activated monocyte-derived macrophages was conducted in an attempt to better understand this relationship. Using a multiplicity-of-infection (MOI) of 1, both viruses were able to infect monocytes and macrophage subsets, but BA71V presented a reduced ability to infect moM1 compared to 22653/14, with higher expression of early compared to late proteins. Using an MOI of 0.01, only 22653/14 was able to replicate in all the macrophage subsets, with initially lowest in moM1 and moM2. No differences were observed in the expression of CD163 between ASFV infected and uninfected bystander cells. ASFV down-regulated CD16 expression but did not modulate MHC class II levels in monocytes and macrophage subsets. BA71V-infected but not 22653/14-infected moMΦ and moM2 presented with a reduced expression of MHC class I compared to the mock-infected controls. Higher levels of IL-18, IL1-β and IL-1α were released from moM1 after infection with BA71V compared to 22653/14 or mock-infected control. These results revealed differences between these ASFV strains, suggesting that virulent isolates have evolved mechanisms to counteract activated macrophages responses, promoting their survival, dissemination in the host and so ASF pathogenesis.

Effects of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae on porcine nasal cavity dendritic cells.

Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (Mhp) is the primary etiological agent responsible for swine enzootic pneumonia (EP), a disease that cause tremendous economic losses all over the swine industry. Dendritic cells (DCs), the most effective antigen-presenting cells, are widely distributed beneath respiratory epithelium. DCs uptake and present antigens to T cells, to initiate protective immune responses or generate immune-mediated pathology in different infections. In this study, we investigated the changes in the different DCs subpopulations, T cells and SIgA positive cells counts in porcine nasal cavity after long time Mhp infection. We further evaluated the role of porcine DCs in Mhp exposure. Our results showed that the number of SLA-II-DR(+)SWC3a(+)DCs, SLA-II-DR(+)CD11b(+) DCs, T cells, SIgA positive cells in nasal cavity were decreased after Mhp 28 days infection in vivo experiment. The antigen presenting ability of DCs were inhibited by Mhp exposure. DCs couldn't activate T-cell proliferation by down-regulating the antigen presenting molecule CD1a expression and promoting high level of IL-10 production. Further more, the expression levels of IL-12 and IFN-γ in DCs were decreased, suggesting that DCs favour for Th2 immune response development after Mhp exposure in vitro. Taken together, Mhp infection impairs the immune function which allows the persistence of Mhp and cause predispose pigs to secondary infections. The decline of DCs presentation ability is the reason why dysfunction and persistence in Mhp infection. These findings are benefit for exploring the pathogenic mechanisms of Mhp in pigs.