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  1. Abstract Background Acinetobacter baumannii is a gram-negative bacterium which causes opportunistic infections in immunocompromised hosts. Genome plasticity has given rise to a wide range of strain variation with respect to antimicrobial resistance profiles and expression of virulence factors which lead to altered phenotypes associated with pathogenesis. The purpose of this study was to analyze clinical strains of A. baumannii for phenotypic variation that might correlate with virulence phenotypes, antimicrobial resistance patterns, or strain isolation source. We hypothesized that individual strain virulence phenotypes might be associated with anatomical site of isolation or alterations in susceptibility to antimicrobial interventions. Methodology A cohortmore »of 17 clinical isolates of A. baumannii isolated from diverse anatomical sites were evaluated to ascertain phenotypic patterns including biofilm formation, hemolysis, motility, and antimicrobial resistance. Antibiotic susceptibility/resistance to ampicillin-sulbactam, amikacin, ceftriaxone, ceftazidime, cefotaxime, ciprofloxacin, cefepime, gentamicin, levofloxacin, meropenem, piperacillin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, ticarcillin- K clavulanate, tetracyclin, and tobramycin was determined. Results Antibiotic resistance was prevalent in many strains including resistance to ampicillin-sulbactam, amikacin, ceftriaxone, ceftazidime, cefotaxime, ciprofloxacin, cefepime, gentamicin, levofloxacin, meropenem, piperacillin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, ticarcillin- K clavulanate, tetracyclin, and tobramycin. All strains tested induced hemolysis on agar plate detection assays. Wound-isolated strains of A. baumannii exhibited higher motility than strains isolated from blood, urine or Foley catheter, or sputum/bronchial wash. A. baumannii strains isolated from patient blood samples formed significantly more biofilm than isolates from wounds, sputum or bronchial wash samples. An inverse relationship between motility and biofilm formation was observed in the cohort of 17 clinical isolates of A. baumannii tested in this study. Motility was also inversely correlated with induction of hemolysis. An inverse correlation was observed between hemolysis and resistance to ticarcillin-k clavulanate, meropenem, and piperacillin. An inverse correlation was also observed between motility and resistance to ampicillin-sulbactam, ceftriaxone, ceftoxamine, ceftazidime, ciprofloxacin, or levofloxacin. Conclusions Strain dependent variations in biofilm and motility are associated with anatomical site of isolation. Biofilm and hemolysis production both have an inverse association with motility in the cohort of strains utilized in this study, and motility and hemolysis were inversely correlated with resistance to numerous antibiotics.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 27, 2022
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
  4. Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is one of the leading infection-related causes of adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes. This includes chorioamnionitis, which leads to preterm ruptures of membranes and can ultimately result in preterm or stillbirth. Infection can also lead to maternal and neonatal sepsis that may contribute to mortality. Currently, treatment for GBS infection include a bolus of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis to mothers testing positive for GBS colonization during late pregnancy. Lactoferrin is an antimicrobial peptide expressed in human breast milk, mucosal epithelia, and secondary granules of neutrophils. We previously demonstrated that lactoferrin possesses antimicrobial and antibiofilm properties against severalmore »strains of GBS. This is largely due to the ability of lactoferrin to bind and sequester iron. We expanded upon that study by assessing the effects of purified human breast milk lactoferrin against a panel of phenotypically and genetically diverse isolates of GBS. Of the 25 GBS isolates screened, lactoferrin reduced bacterial growth in 14 and biofilm formation in 21 strains. Stratifying the data, we observed that colonizing strains were more susceptible to the growth inhibition activity of lactoferrin than invasive isolates at lactoferrin concentrations between 250-750 µg/mL. Treatment with 750 µg/mL of lactoferrin resulted in differences in bacterial growth and biofilm formation between discrete sequence types. Differences in bacterial growth were also observed between capsular serotypes 1a and III. Maternally isolated strains were more susceptible to lactoferrin with respect to bacterial growth, but not biofilm formation, compared to neonatal sepsis isolates. Finally, high biofilm forming GBS strains were more impacted by lactoferrin across all isolates tested. Taken together, this study demonstrates that lactoferrin possesses antimicrobial and antibiofilm properties against a wide range of GBS isolates, with maternally isolated colonizing strains being the most susceptible.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 20, 2022
  5. ABSTRACT Adjuvants can be used to potentiate the function of antibiotics whose efficacy has been reduced by acquired or intrinsic resistance. In the present study, we discovered that human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) sensitize strains of group B Streptococcus (GBS) to trimethoprim (TMP), an antibiotic to which GBS is intrinsically resistant. Reductions in the MIC of TMP reached as high as 512-fold across a diverse panel of isolates. To better understand HMOs’ mechanism of action, we characterized the metabolic response of GBS to HMO treatment using ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography–high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-HRMS/MS) analysis. These data showed that when challenged bymore »HMOs, GBS undergoes significant perturbations in metabolic pathways related to the biosynthesis and incorporation of macromolecules involved in membrane construction. This study represents reports the metabolic characterization of a cell that is perturbed by HMOs. IMPORTANCE Group B Streptococcus is an important human pathogen that causes serious infections during pregnancy which can lead to chorioamnionitis, funisitis, premature rupture of gestational membranes, preterm birth, neonatal sepsis, and death. GBS is evolving antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, and the work presented in this paper provides evidence that prebiotics such as human milk oligosaccharides can act as adjuvants to restore the utility of antibiotics.« less
  6. Calgranulin proteins are an important class of molecules involved in innate immunity. These members of the S100 class of the EF-hand family of calcium-binding proteins have numerous cellular and antimicrobial functions. One protein in particular, S100A12 (also called EN-RAGE or calgranulin C), is highly abundant in neutrophils during acute inflammation and has been implicated in immune regulation. Structure-function analyses reveal that S100A12 has the capacity to bind calcium, zinc, and copper, processes that contribute to nutritional immunity against invading microbial pathogens. S100A12 is a ligand for the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), and CD36,more »which promote cellular and immunological pathways to alter inflammation. We conducted a scoping review of the existing literature to define what is known about the association of S100A12 with digestive disease and health. Results suggest that S100A12 is implicated in gastroenteritis, necrotizing enterocolitis, gastritis, gastric cancer, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and digestive tract cancers. Together, these results reveal S100A12 is an important molecule broadly associated with the pathogenesis of digestive diseases.« less