Abstract Brazilian Purpuric Fever (BPF) is a hemorrhagic pediatric illness caused by Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius (Hae), a bacterium that was formerly associated with self-limited purulent conjunctivitis. BPF is assumed to be eradicated. However, the virulence mechanisms inherent to Hae strains associated with BPF is still a mystery and deficient in studies. Here, we aim to analyze the role of the autotransporter genes related to adherence and colonization las, tabA1, and hadA genes through RT-qPCR expression profiling and knockout mutants. Relative quantification by real-time PCR after infection in human cells and infant rat model suggests that las was initially downregulated probably duo to immune evasion, tabA1, and hadA were overexpressed in general, suggesting an active role of TabA1 and HadA1 adhesins in Hae in vitro and in vivo. Transformation attempts were unsuccessful despite the use of multiple technical approaches and in silico analysis revealed that Hae lacks genes related to competence in Haemophilus, which could be part of the elucidation of the difficulty of genetically manipulating Hae strains.
Abstract Investigating the etiological causes of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) at the molecular level should help in identifying targets and strategies that would increase the efficacy of the current management regimens. Some genes may act as molecular diagnostics, of these ASXL1 and PHF6 are involved in regulation of gene expression, and BAX , and ARC, are pro- and anti-apoptotic molecules, respectively. In this study, peripheral blood samples were collected from 54 recently diagnosed AML patients in addition to 20 healthy individuals (the control group). Cellular RNA was extracted from all the samples and were subjected to quantitative analysis of the transcript levels of the four selected markers. Our data showed a significant elevation in the expression levels of PHF6 and ARC in AML patients, when compared to the controls (77.8% and 83.3%, respectively). On the other hand, ASXL1 and BAX exhibited increase, to a lesser extent, in the expression levels of the AML patients (52% and 55.6%, respectively). Our study also showed that the expression levels of ARC and PHF6 exhibited a concomitant increase and this could be correlated with poor prognosis of the cases. Thus, we can suggest these markers as reliable prognostic markers for prediction of AML outcomes.
Abstract Banana vascular wilt or Moko is a disease caused by Ralstonia solanacearum. This study aimed to sequence, assemble, annotate, and compare the genomes of R. solanacearum Moko ecotypes of different sequevar strains from Brazil. Average nucleotide identity analyses demonstrated a high correlation (> 96%) between the genome sequences of strains CCRMRs277 (sequevar IIA-24), CCRMRs287 (IIB-4), CCRMRs304 (IIA-24), and CCRMRsB7 (IIB-25), which were grouped into phylotypes IIA and IIB. The number of coding sequences present in chromosomes and megaplasmids varied from 3,070 to 3,521 and 1,669 to 1,750, respectively. Pangenome analysis identified 3,378 clusters in the chromosomes, of which 2,604 were shared by all four analyzed genomes and 2,580 were single copies. In megaplasmids, 1,834 clusters were identified, of which 1,005 were shared by all four genomes and 992 were identified as single copies. Strains CCRMRsB7 and CCRMRs287 differed from the others by having unique clusters in both their chromosomes and megaplasmids, and CCRMRsB7 possessed the largest genome among all Moko ecotype strains sequenced to date. Therefore, the genomic information obtained in this study provides a theoretical basis for the identification, characterization, and phylogenetic analysis of R. solanacearum Moko ecotypes.
Abstract Plant growth-promoting bacteria are ecological alternatives for fertilization, mainly for gramineous. Since plant x bacteria interaction is genotype and strain dependent, searching for new strains may contribute to the development of new biofertilizers. We aim to characterize plant growth-promoting capacity of Leclercia adecarboxylata strain Palotina, formerly isolated by our group in corn. A single isolated colony was taken and its genome was sequenced using Illumina technology. The whole genome was compared to other Leclercia adecarboxylata strains, and their biological and growth-promoting traits, such as P solubilization and auxin production, were tested. Following that, a 4.8 Mb genome of L. adecarboxylata strain Palotina was assembled and the functional annotation was carried out. This paper is the first to report the genes associated with plant growth promotion demonstrating in vitro indole acid production by this strain. These results project the endophyte as a potential biofertilizer for further commercial exploitation.
Abstract The mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) are a group of lysosomal storage disorders caused by 11 enzyme deficiencies, classified into seven types. Data on the birth prevalence of each MPS type are available for only a few countries, and the totality of cases may be underestimated. To determine the epidemiological profile of MPS in each Brazilian region, we analyzed data collected between 1982 and 2019 by a national reference laboratory and identified 1,652 patients. Using data between 1994 and 2018, the birth prevalence (by 100,000 live births) for MPS was 1.57. MPS II was the most common type of MPS in Brazil, and its birth prevalence was 0.48 (0.94 considering only male births). Regarding the number of cases per region, MPS II was the most frequent in the North and Center-West (followed by MPS VI), and also in the Southeast (followed by MPS I); MPS I and MPS II were the most common types in the South; and MPS VI was the most common in the Northeast (followed by MPS II). The differences observed in the relative frequencies of MPS types across Brazilian regions are likely linked to founder effect, endogamy, and consanguinity, but other factors may be present and need further investigation.
Abstract The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caught the attention of the global community and rekindled the debate about our ability to prevent and manage outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics. Many alternatives are suggested to address these urgent issues. Some of them are quite interesting, but with little practical application in the short or medium term. To realistically control infectious diseases, human, animal, and environmental factors need to be considered together, based on the One Health perspective. In this article, we highlight the most effective initiatives for the control and prevention of infectious diseases: vaccination; environmental sanitation; vector control; social programs that encourage a reduction in the population growth; control of urbanization; safe sex stimulation; testing; treatment of sexually and vertically transmitted infections; promotion of personal hygiene practices; food safety and proper nutrition; reduction of the human contact with wildlife and livestock; reduction of social inequalities; infectious disease surveillance; and biodiversity preservation. Subsequently, this article highlights the impacts of human genetics on susceptibility to infections and disease progression, using the SARS-CoV-2 infection as a study model. Finally, actions focused on mitigation of outbreaks and epidemics and the importance of conservation of ecosystems and translational ecology as public health strategies are also discussed.
Abstract Beta-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) plays a critical role in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between microRNA-149 (miR-149) and BACE1, and evaluate the clinical significance and biological function of miR-149 in AD progression. Bioinformatics analysis and a luciferase reporter assay were used to confirm the interaction between miR-149 and BACE1. Expression of miR-149 and BACE1 was estimated using quantitative real-time PCR. The clinical significance of miR-149 in AD diagnosis and severity determination was evaluated using ROC analysis. The effect of miR-149 on Aβ accumulation and neuronal viability was analyzed in Aβ-treated SH-SY5Y cells. miR-149 was found directly binding the 3’-UTR of BACE1 and was negatively correlated with BACE1 in AD patients and cell model. Serum miR-149 expression was downregulated in AD patients and served as a potential diagnostic biomarker. The overexpression of miR-149 in Aβ-treated SH-SY5Y cells resulted in inhibited Aβ accumulation and enhanced neuronal viability. This study demonstrated that serum miR-149 is decreased in AD patients and serves as a candidate diagnostic biomarker, and that the overexpression of miR-149 may suppress Aβ accumulation and promote neuronal viability by targeting BACE1 in AD model cells.
Abstract The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic gave rise to a spirit of methodological anarchy in some fronts of biomedical research, embraced by some under the excuses of urgency and time restraints. This movement, however, comes at the same time when social sciences begin to recognize the value and soundness of the clinical research rationale - the need for randomization, of fair comparisons between intervention groups, the humility of acknowledging ignorance and accepting uncertainty, these last two imperatives usually subsumed under the principle of “equipoise”.
Abstract S. pneumoniae, commonly known as pneumococcus, is a naturally competent Gram-positive bacterium and is the major cause of pneumonia in elderly and children in developing countries. This pathogen is associated with respiratory diseases affected by pollution. The objective of this work was determining the effect of ash and environmental dust from the burning of sugarcane on pneumococci bacterial transformation. The transformation capacity of the Pn360 pneumococci strain was performed using the assays of DNA donor of mutant for luxS gene. Thus, the transformation tests were performed in contact with dust collected in the southwestern region of Brazil (important region where burning of sugar cane is present in the agriculture). The use of degradative practices in the sugar cane agriculture in Brazil was involved in the transformation capacity of the S. pneumoniae. This phenomenon includes important consequences for public health concerning to resistance acquisition and new virulence factors of this important infection. In conclusion, we obtained important results concerning the action of environmental pollution in Streptococcus pneumoniae transformation, increasing the DNA acquisition for this pathogen.
Abstract The estimation of evolutionary parameters provides essential information for designing public health policies. In short time intervals, however, nucleotide substitutions are ineffective to record all complexities of virus population dynamics. In this sense, the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic poses a challenge for evolutionary analysis. We used computer simulation to evolve populations in scenarios of varying temporal intervals to evaluate the impact of the age of an epidemic on estimates of time and geography. Before estimating virus timescales, the shape of tree topologies can be used as a proxy to assess the effectiveness of the virus phylogeny in providing accurate estimates of evolutionary parameters. In short timescales, estimates have larger uncertainty. We compared the predictions from simulations with empirical data. The tree shape of SARS-CoV-2 was closer to shorter timescales scenarios, which yielded parametric estimates with larger uncertainty, suggesting that estimates from these datasets should be evaluated cautiously. To increase the accuracy of the estimates of virus transmission times between populations, the uncertainties associated with the age estimates of both the crown and stem nodes should be communicated. We place the age of the common ancestor of the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in late September 2019, corroborating an earlier emergence of the virus.
Abstract December 2019 marked the beginning of the current Coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID-19). Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was identified as the causative agent of a viral pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The alarming spread levels and clinical severity elevated the status of COVID-19 to the global pandemic by the World Health Organization. In 6 months, more than 25 million cases of infected people and more than 890,000 deaths by COVID-19 had been reported worldwide. The main goal of this review is to shed light upon the current COVID-19 epidemic situation in Brazil with a health approach highlighting some unique environmental, animal and epidemiological aspects.
Abstract COVID-19 comprises clinical outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection and is highly heterogeneous, ranging from asymptomatic individuals to deceased young adults without comorbidities. There is growing evidence that host genetics play an important role in COVID-19 severity, including inborn errors of immunity, age-related inflammation and immunosenescence. Here we present a brief review on the known order of events from infection to severe system-wide disturbance due to COVID-19 and summarize potential candidate genes and pathways. Finally, we propose a strategy of subject’s ascertainment based on phenotypic extremes to take part in genomic studies and elucidate intrinsic risk factors involved in COVID-19 severe outcomes.
Abstract Male breast cancer (MBC) is a rare malignancy that accounts for about 1.8% of all breast cancer cases. In contrast to the high number of the “omics” studies in breast cancer in women, only recently molecular approaches have been performed in MBC research. High-throughput proteomics based methodologies are promisor strategies to characterize the MBC proteomic signatures and their association with clinico-pathological parameters. In this study, the label-free quantification-mass spectrometry and bioinformatics approaches were applied to analyze the proteomic profiling of a MBC case using the primary breast tumor and the corresponding axillary metastatic lymph nodes and adjacent non-tumor breast tissues. The differentially expressed proteins were identified in the signaling pathways of granzyme B, sirtuins, eIF2, actin cytoskeleton, eNOS, acute phase response and calcium and were connected to the upstream regulators MYC, PI3K SMARCA4 and cancer-related chemical drugs. An additional proteomic comparative analysis was performed with a primary breast tumor of a female patient and revealed an interesting set of proteins, which were mainly involved in cancer biology. Together, our data provide a relevant data source for the MBC research that can help the therapeutic strategies for its management.
Abstract The transmission of pathogens from wild animals to humans is called “zoonotic spillover”. Most human infectious diseases (60-75%) are derived from pathogens that originally circulated in non-human animal species. This demonstrates that spillover has a fundamental role in the emergence of new human infectious diseases. Understanding the factors that facilitate the transmission of pathogens from wild animals to humans is essential to establish strategies focused on the reduction of the frequency of spillover events. In this context, this article describes the basic aspects of zoonotic spillover and the main factors involved in spillover events, considering the role of the inter-species interactions, phylogenetic distance between host species, environmental drivers, and specific characteristics of the pathogens, animals, and humans. As an example, the factors involved in the emergence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic are discussed, indicating what can be learned from this public health emergency, and what can be applied to the Brazilian scenario. Finally, this article discusses actions to prevent or reduce the frequency of zoonotic spillover events.
Abstract Hereditary multiple exostoses (HME) is a rare skeletal disorder characterized by the formation of multiple benign cartilage-capped tumors, usually in the metaphyseal region of the long bones. Over 70% of HME cases arise from monoallelic mutations in either of the two genes encoding the heparan sulfate (HS) synthesis enzymes, ext1 and ext2. To identify more HME-associated mutations, genomic DNA from members of five independent consanguineous families with HME was sequenced with whole exome sequencing (WES). A novel heterozygous splice site mutation (c.1173+2T>A) in ext2 was detected in all three affected members of family V. Further study showed that the novel mutation caused exon 7 of ext2 mRNA to be skipped during splicing and caused a frameshift after the codon for Arg360, which results in the appearance of new 43 codons, followed by a termination codon. Although the resulting truncated protein was still localized to the Golgi, similar to the full-length EXT2, its HS synthesis activity decreased by 40%. In this study, a novel splice site mutation in ext2 was identified and suggested to be a pathogenic mutation of HME, which may expand the genetic etiology spectrum of HME and may be helpful for clinical genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis.