Hyphal death during colony development in Streptomyces antibioticus: morphological evidence for the existence of a process of cell deletion in a multicellular prokaryote.
During the life cycle of the streptomycetes, large numbers of hyphae die; the surviving ones undergo cellular differentiation and appear as chains of spores in the mature colony. Here we report that the hyphae of Streptomyces antibioticus die through an orderly process of internal cell dismantling that permits the doomed hyphae to be eliminated with minimum disruption of the colony architecture. Morphological and biochemical approaches revealed progressive disorganization of the nucleoid substructure, followed by degradation of DNA and cytoplasmic constituents with transient maintenance of plasma membrane integrity. Then the hyphae collapsed and appeared empty of cellular contents but retained an apparently intact cell wall. In addition, hyphal death occurred at specific regions and times during colony development. Analysis of DNA degradation carried out by gel electrophoresis and studies on the presence of dying hyphae within the mycelium carried out by electron microscopy revealed two rounds of hyphal death: in the substrate mycelium during emergence of the aerial hyphae, and in the aerial mycelium during formation of the spores. This suggests that hyphal death in S. antibioticus is somehow included in the developmental program of the organism. (+info)
The post-exposure response of Enterobacteriaceae to ceftibuten.
The responses of ten isolates of Enterobacteriaceae to ceftibuten exposure were monitored by measuring several parameters. Post-antibiotic effect (PAE), control-related effective regrowth time (CERT) and post-antibiotic sub-MIC effect (PA-SME) were determined by bacterial enumeration carried out either by impedance in combination with viable counting (IMP/VC) or by impedance in combination with bioluminescence (IMP/BIOL). Kill curves were carried out by bioluminescence, viable counting and direct microscopy and post-exposure morphology was established. Ceftibuten primarily provoked filamentation. Over 24 h, kill of up to 3.6 log10 was evident by viable counting and direct microscopy at and above the MIC. Minimal kill, of up to 0.26 log10, was shown by bioluminescence. PAE was found to be method dependent, with statistical differences established by Student's t-test. PAE values of up to 0.48 h and 1.47 h (by IMP/BIOL and IMP/VC respectively) were not concentration dependent above 1 x MIC. CERT values were not method dependent, with values of up to 1.71 h also showing a lack of concentration dependence above 1 x MIC. PA-SME may reflect the situation in vivo more accurately than either PAE or CERT. In PAE and CERT studies the antibiotic is eliminated almost immediately, whereas in vivo there is gradual decrease in antibiotic levels. These persisting levels are reflected more accurately by PA-SME. Compared with PAE and CERT, significantly longer values, of up to 7.27 h, were obtained by PA-SME, although this parameter was also found to be method dependent. The results of the PA-SME studies, which may be the most clinically relevant pharmacodynamic parameter, confirm the appropriateness of the current once- or twice-daily dosing schedules despite the lack of PAE. (+info)
Effects of anticoagulant, processing delay, and assay method (branched DNA versus reverse transcriptase PCR) on measurement of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 RNA levels in plasma.
We conducted two studies to determine the potential influence of delays in blood processing, type of anticoagulant, and assay method on human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA levels in plasma. The first was an experimental study in which heparin- and EDTA-anticoagulated blood samples were collected from 101 HIV-positive individuals and processed to plasma after delays of 2, 6, and 18 h. HIV-1 RNA levels in each sample were then measured by both branched-DNA (bDNA) and reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) assays. Compared to samples processed within 2 h, the loss (decay) of HIV-1 RNA in heparinized blood was significant (P < 0.05) but small after 6 h (bDNA assay, -0.12 log(10) copies/ml; RT-PCR, -0.05 log(10) copies/ml) and after 18 h (bDNA assay, -0.27 log(10) copies/ml; RT-PCR, -0.15 log(10) copies/ml). Decay in EDTA-anticoagulated blood was not significant after 6 h (bDNA assay, -0.002 log(10) copies/ml; RT-PCR, -0.02 log(10) copies/ml), but it was after 18 h (bDNA assay, -0.09 log(10) copies/ml; RT-PCR, -0.09 log(10) copies/ml). Only 4% of samples processed after 6 h lost more than 50% (>/=0.3 log(10) copies/ml) of the HIV-1 RNA, regardless of the anticoagulant or the assay that was used. The second study compared HIV-1 RNA levels in samples from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS; samples were collected in heparin-containing tubes in 1985, had a 6-h average processing delay, and were assayed by bDNA assay) and the British Columbia Drug Treatment Program (BCDTP) (collected in EDTA- or acid citrate dextrose-containing tubes in 1996 and 1997, had a 2-h maximum processing delay, and were assayed by RT-PCR). HIV-1 RNA levels in samples from the two cohorts were not significantly different after adjusting for CD4(+)-cell count and converting bDNA assay values to those corresponding to the RT-PCR results. In summary, the decay of HIV-1 RNA measured in heparinized blood after 6 h was small (-0.05 to -0.12 log(10) copies/ml), and the minor impact of this decay on HIV-1 RNA concentrations in archived plasma samples of the MACS was confirmed by the similarity of CD4(+)-cell counts and assay-adjusted HIV-1 RNA concentrations in the MACS and BCDTP. (+info)
Performance of the Affymetrix GeneChip HIV PRT 440 platform for antiretroviral drug resistance genotyping of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 clades and viral isolates with length polymorphisms.
The performance of a silica chip-based resequencing method, the Affymetrix HIV PRT 440 assay (hereafter referred to as the Affymetrix assay), was evaluated on a panel of well-characterized nonclade B viral isolates and on isolates exhibiting length polymorphisms. Sequencing of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) pol cDNAs from clades A, C, D, E, and F resulted in clade-specific regions of base-calling ambiguities in regions not known to be associated with resistance polymorphisms, as well as a small number of spurious resistance polymorphisms. The Affymetrix assay failed to detect the presence of additional serine codons distal to reverse transcriptase (RT) codon 68 that are associated with multinucleoside RT inhibitor resistance. The increasing prevalence of non-clade B HIV-1 strains in the United States and Europe and the identification of clinically relevant pol gene length polymorphisms will impact the generalizability of the Affymetrix assay, emphasizing the need to accommodate this expanding pool of pol genotypes in future assay versions. (+info)
Determination of hepatitis C virus genotype by direct sequence analysis of products generated with the Amplicor HCV test.
Consistent with other members of the family Flaviviridae, hepatitis C virus (HCV) demonstrates a high degree of sequence variation throughout the coding regions of its genome. However, there is a high degree of sequence conservation found within the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of the genome, making this region a target of choice for most nucleic acid amplification-based detection assays. In this study, the Amplicor HCV test, a commercially available assay which detects the 5'UTR, was used for the detection of HCV RNA in 669 serum samples obtained from a cohort of liver transplantation patients. Amplification products obtained from the HCV-positive cases were subjected to direct sequencing and genotyping based upon seven phylogenetically informative regions within the 5'UTR. Of the 669 specimens, 416 (62.2%) tested positive for the presence of HCV RNA. Of these, 372 (89.4%) specimens were successfully classified into 11 HCV genotypes and subtypes after computer-assisted analysis of the sequence data. Forty-four (10.6%) of the HCV RNA-positive specimens were not classifiable, the majority corresponding to low-titer specimens as determined by the Chiron Quantiplex HCV RNA 2. 0 assay. Additional comparative studies targeting the NS-5 region of the viral genome generally confirmed the accuracy and sensitivity of the 5'UTR-based classifications, with the exception of the misclassification of a small number of type 1a cases as type 1b. We conclude that although the high sequence conservation within the 5'UTR results in the misclassification of a small number of HCV subtypes, the overall gains of efficiency, the shorter turnaround time, the inclusion of contamination control measures, and the low rate of test failure compared to that of methods based on the NS-5 gene together constitute significant advantages over other techniques. (+info)
Sensitive assays for isolation and detection of simian foamy retroviruses.
Simian foamy viruses (SFVs) are highly prevalent in a variety of nonhuman primate species ranging from prosimians to apes. SFVs possess a broad host range, and human infections can occur by cross-species transfer (W. Heneine et al., Nat. Med. 4:403-407, 1998). Retrovirus screening of potential sources of infection, such as laboratory research animals and simian-derived biological products, could minimize human exposure to SFVs by reducing the risk of potential retrovirus infection in humans. We describe a variety of sensitive assays for SFV isolation and detection which were developed with a prototype strain of SFV serotype 2. The Mus dunni cell line (M. R. Lander and S. K. Chattopadhyay, J. Virol. 52:695-698, 1984) was found to be highly sensitive for SFV production on the basis of various general and specific retrovirus detection assays such as reverse transcriptase assay, transmission electron microscopy, immunofluorescence assay, and Western blotting. A highly sensitive PCR assay was developed on the basis of the sequences in primary SFV isolates obtained from pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina) and rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Analysis of naturally occurring SFV infection in macaques indicated that analysis by a combination of assays, including both highly sensitive, specific assays and less sensitive, broadly reactive assays, is important for evaluation of retrovirus infection. (+info)
Culture-independent identification of microorganisms that respond to specified stimuli.
A new approach that permits culture-independent identification of microorganisms that respond to specified stimuli was developed. This approach was illustrated by examination of microorganisms that grew in response to various nutrient supplements added to soil. A thymidine nucleotide analog, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), and supplements were added to soil and incubated for 3 days. DNA was extracted from the soil, and the newly synthesized DNA was isolated by immunocapture of the BrdU-labeled DNA. The unique perspective this approach offers was demonstrated by comparing the microbial community structures obtained from total soil DNA and the BrdU-labeled fraction in an rRNA gene (rDNA) analysis. The traditional total DNA analysis revealed no notable differences between the treatments, whereas the BrdU-labeled DNA showed significantly different banding patterns between the nutrient supplement treatments and compared with total DNA banding patterns. PCR primers were developed to specifically amplify the intergenic region of an rDNA sequence unique to the BrdU analysis of a phosphate supplement treatment. Amplification of DNA from all treatments using these primers showed that it was unique to the phosphate treatment and that it was present in both the total DNA and BrdU-labeled DNA fractions. This result demonstrates the promise of this new strategy, because it was able to permit identification of a sequence from a phosphate-responsive organism that was not discernable in the traditional total DNA community structure analysis. (+info)
Development and testing of a microbiological assay to detect residual effects of disinfectant on hard surfaces.
We describe a glucuronidase bioassay for detecting residual bactericidal activity from the use of disinfectants on hard surfaces; in this assay we used formaldehyde, ethanol, isopropanol, chlorine, and a commercial preparation containing 2-bromo-2-nitro-1, 3-propanediol. Chlorine and the commercial preparation showed bactericidal activity (53.5% and 98.2%, respectively) for a week after disinfection. (+info)