• 14-3-3 proteins are constituents of the insoluble glycoprotein framework of the chlamydomonas cell wall.

      Voigt, Jürgen; Frank, Ronald; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2003-06)
      The cell wall of the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii consists predominantly of Hyp-rich glycoproteins, which also occur in the extracellular matrix of multicellular green algae and higher plants. In addition to the Hyp-rich polypeptides, the insoluble glycoprotein framework of the Chlamydomonas cell wall contains minor amounts of 14-3-3 proteins, as revealed by immunochemical studies and mass spectroscopic analysis of tryptic peptides. Polypeptides immunologically related to the 14-3-3 proteins also were found in the culture medium of Chlamydomonas. The levels of two of these 14-3-3-related polypeptides were decreased in the culture medium of the wall-deficient mutant cw-15. These findings indicate that 14-3-3 proteins are involved in the cross-linking of Hyp-rich glycoproteins in the Chlamydomonas cell wall.
    • 4-sulfomuconolactone hydrolases from Hydrogenophaga intermedia S1 and Agrobacterium radiobacter S2.

      Halak, Sad; Basta, Tamara; Bürger, Sibylle; Contzen, Matthias; Wray, Victor; Pieper, Dietmar Helmut; Stolz, Andreas; Institut für Mikrobiologie, Universität Stuttgart, Allmandring 31, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany. (2007-10)
      The 4-carboxymethylen-4-sulfo-but-2-en-olide (4-sulfomuconolactone) hydrolases from Hydrogenophaga intermedia strain S1 and Agrobacterium radiobacter strain S2 are part of a modified protocatechuate pathway responsible for the degradation of 4-sulfocatechol. In both strains, the hydrolase-encoding genes occur downstream of those encoding the enzymes that catalyze the lactonization of 3-sulfomuconate. The deduced amino acid sequences of the 4-sulfomuconolactone hydrolases demonstrated the highest degree of sequence identity to 2-pyrone-4,6-dicarboxylate hydrolases, which take part in the meta cleavage pathway of protocatechuate. The 4-sulfomuconolactone hydrolases did not convert 2-pyrone-4,6-dicarboxylate, and the 2-pyrone-4,6-dicarboxylate hydrolase from Sphingomonas paucimobilis SYK-6 did not convert 4-sulfomuconolactone. Nevertheless, the presence of highly conserved histidine residues in the 4-sulfomuconolactone and the 2-pyrone-4,6-dicarboxylate hydrolases and some further sequence similarities suggested that both enzymes belong to the metallo-dependent hydrolases (the "amidohydrolase superfamily"). The 4-sulfomuconolactone hydrolases were heterologously expressed as His-tagged enzyme variants. Gel filtration experiments suggested that the enzymes are present as monomers in solution, with molecular weights of approximately 33,000 to 35,000. 4-Sulfomuconolactone was converted by sulfomuconolactone hydrolases to stoichiometric amounts of maleylacetate and sulfite. The 4-sulfomuconolactone hydrolases from both strains showed pH optima at pH 7 to 7.5 and rather similar catalytic constant (k(cat)/K(M))values. The suggested 4-sulfocatechol pathway from 4-sulfocatechol to maleylacetate was confirmed by in situ nuclear magnetic resonance analysis using the recombinantly expressed enzymes.
    • The active bacterial assemblages of the upper GI tract in individuals with and without Helicobacter infection.

      Schulz, Christian; Schütte, Kerstin; Koch, Nadine; Vilchez-Vargas, Ramiro; Wos-Oxley, Melissa L; Oxley, Andrew P A; Vital, Marius; Malfertheiner, Peter; Pieper, Dietmar H; Hel,holtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-12-05)
      Patients infected with Helicobacter pylori develop chronic gastritis with a subgroup progressing to further complications. The role of microbiota from the oral cavity swallowed with saliva and either transiting the stomach or persisting in the gastric mucosa is uncertain. It is also not known whether the bacterial community differs in luminal and mucosal niches. A key question is whether H. pylori influences the bacterial communities of gastroduodenal niches.
    • Advances and Challenges of Biodegradable Implant Materials with a Focus on Magnesium-Alloys and Bacterial Infections

      Rahim, Muhammad; Ullah, Sami; Mueller, Peter; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (MPDI, 2018-07-10)
      Medical implants made of biodegradable materials could be advantageous for temporary applications, such as mechanical support during bone-healing or as vascular stents to keep blood vessels open. After completion of the healing process, the implant would disappear, avoiding long-term side effects or the need for surgical removal. Various corrodible metal alloys based on magnesium, iron or zinc have been proposed as sturdier and potentially less inflammatory alternatives to degradable organic polymers, in particular for load-bearing applications. Despite the recent introduction of magnesium-based screws, the remaining hurdles to routine clinical applications are still challenging. These include limitations such as mechanical material characteristics or unsuitable corrosion characteristics. In this article, the salient features and clinical prospects of currently-investigated biodegradable implant materials are summarized, with a main focus on magnesium alloys. A mechanism of action for the stimulation of bone growth due to the exertion of mechanical force by magnesium corrosion products is discussed. To explain divergent in vitro and in vivo effects of magnesium, a novel model for bacterial biofilm infections is proposed which predicts crucial consequences for antibacterial implant strategies.
    • Allogeneic gene-modified tumor cells (RCC-26/IL-7/CD80) as a vaccine in patients with metastatic renal cell cancer: a clinical phase-I study.

      Westermann, J; Flörcken, A; Willimsky, G; van Lessen, A; Kopp, J; Takvorian, A; Jöhrens, K; Lukowsky, A; Schönemann, C; Sawitzki, B; et al. (2011-04)
      Despite novel targeted agents, prognosis of metastatic renal cell cancer (RCC) remains poor, and experimental therapeutic strategies are warranted. Transfection of tumor cells with co-stimulatory molecules and/or cytokines is able to increase immunogenicity. Therefore, in our clinical study, 10 human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A(*)0201(+) patients with histologically-confirmed progressive metastatic clear cell RCC were immunized repetitively over 22 weeks with 2.5-40 × 10(6) interleukin (IL)-7/CD80 cotransfected allogeneic HLA-A(*)0201(+) tumor cells (RCC26/IL-7/CD80). Endpoints of the study were feasibility, safety, immunological and clinical responses. Vaccination was feasible and safe. In all, 50% of the patients showed stable disease throughout the study; the median time to progression was 18 weeks. However, vaccination with allogeneic RCC26/IL-7/CD80 tumor cells was not able to induce TH1-polarized immune responses. A TH2 cytokine profile with increasing amounts of antigen-specific IL-10 secretion was observed in most of the responding patients. Interferon-γ secretion by patient lymphocytes upon antigen-specific and non-specific stimulation was substantially impaired, both before and during vaccination, as compared with healthy controls. This is possibly due to profound tumor-induced immunosuppression, which may prevent induction of antitumor immune responses by the gene-modified vaccine. Vaccination in minimal residual disease with concurrent depletion of regulatory cells might be one strategy to overcome this limitation.
    • Alterations of the Murine Gut Microbiome with Age and Allergic Airway Disease.

      Vital, Marius; Harkema, Jack R; Rizzo, Mike; Tiedje, James; Brandenberger, Christina; Center for Microbial Ecology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA. (2015)
      The gut microbiota plays an important role in the development of asthma. With advanced age the microbiome and the immune system are changing and, currently, little is known about how these two factors contribute to the development of allergic asthma in the elderly. In this study we investigated the associations between the intestinal microbiome and allergic airway disease in young and old mice that were sensitized and challenged with house dust mite (HDM). After challenge, the animals were sacrificed, blood serum was collected for cytokine analysis, and the lungs were processed for histopathology. Fecal pellets were excised from the colon and subjected to 16S rRNA analysis. The microbial community structure changed with age and allergy development, where alterations in fecal communities from young to old mice resembled those after HDM challenge. Allergic mice had induced serum levels of IL-17A and old mice developed a greater allergic airway response compared to young mice. This study demonstrates that the intestinal bacterial community structure differs with age, possibly contributing to the exaggerated pulmonary inflammatory response in old mice. Furthermore, our results show that the composition of the gut microbiota changes with pulmonary allergy, indicating bidirectional gut-lung communications.
    • Anaerobic naphthalene degradation by sulfate-reducing Desulfobacteraceae from various anoxic aquifers.

      Kümmel, Steffen; Herbst, Florian-Alexander; Bahr, Arne; Duarte, Márcia; Pieper, Dietmar H; Jehmlich, Nico; Seifert, Jana; von Bergen, Martin; Bombach, Petra; Richnow, Hans H; et al. (2015-03)
      Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are widespread and persistent environmental contaminants, especially in oxygen-free environments. The occurrence of anaerobic PAH-degrading bacteria and their underlying metabolic pathways are rarely known. In this study, PAH degraders were enriched in laboratory microcosms under sulfate-reducing conditions using groundwater and sediment samples from four PAH-contaminated aquifers. Five enrichment cultures were obtained showing sulfate-dependent naphthalene degradation. Mineralization of naphthalene was demonstrated by the formation of sulfide concomitant with the depletion of naphthalene and the development of (13)C-labeled CO2 from [(13)C6]-naphthalene. 16S rRNA gene and metaproteome analyses revealed that organisms related to Desulfobacterium str. N47 were the main naphthalene degraders in four enrichment cultures. Protein sequences highly similar to enzymes of the naphthalene degradation pathway of N47 were identified, suggesting that naphthalene was activated by a carboxylase, and that the central metabolite 2-naphthoyl-CoA was further reduced by two reductases. The data indicate an importance of members of the family Desulfobacteraceae for naphthalene degradation under sulfate-reducing conditions in freshwater environments.
    • Analysis of defence systems and a conjugative IncP-1 plasmid in the marine polyaromatic hydrocarbons-degrading bacterium Cycloclasticus sp. 78-ME.

      Yakimov, Michail M; Crisafi, Francesca; Messina, Enzo; Smedile, Francesco; Lopatina, Anna; Denaro, Renata; Pieper, Dietmar H; Golyshin, Peter N; Giuliano, Laura; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-08)
      Marine prokaryotes have evolved a broad repertoire of defence systems to protect their genomes from lateral gene transfer including innate or acquired immune systems and infection-induced programmed cell suicide and dormancy. Here we report on the analysis of multiple defence systems present in the genome of the strain Cycloclasticus sp. 78-ME isolated from petroleum deposits of the tanker 'Amoco Milford Haven'. Cycloclasticus are ubiquitous bacteria globally important in polyaromatic hydrocarbons degradation in marine environments. Two 'defence islands' were identified in 78-ME genome: the first harbouring CRISPR-Cas with toxin-antitoxin system, while the second was composed by an array of genes for toxin-antitoxin and restriction-modification proteins. Among all identified spacers of CRISPR-Cas system only seven spacers match sequences of phages and plasmids. Furthermore, a conjugative plasmid p7ME01, which belongs to a new IncP-1θ ancestral archetype without any accessory mobile elements was found in 78-ME. Our results provide the context to the co-occurrence of diverse defence mechanisms in the genome of Cycloclasticus sp. 78-ME, which protect the genome of this highly specialized PAH-degrader. This study contributes to the further understanding of complex networks established in petroleum-based microbial communities.
    • Analysis of gene expression data from non-small cell lung carcinoma cell lines reveals distinct sub-classes from those identified at the phenotype level.

      Dalby, Andrew R; Emam, Ibrahim; Franke, Raimo; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2012)
      Microarray data from cell lines of Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma (NSCLC) can be used to look for differences in gene expression between the cell lines derived from different tumour samples, and to investigate if these differences can be used to cluster the cell lines into distinct groups. Dividing the cell lines into classes can help to improve diagnosis and the development of screens for new drug candidates. The micro-array data is first subjected to quality control analysis and then subsequently normalised using three alternate methods to reduce the chances of differences being artefacts resulting from the normalisation process. The final clustering into sub-classes was carried out in a conservative manner such that sub-classes were consistent across all three normalisation methods. If there is structure in the cell line population it was expected that this would agree with histological classifications, but this was not found to be the case. To check the biological consistency of the sub-classes the set of most strongly differentially expressed genes was be identified for each pair of clusters to check if the genes that most strongly define sub-classes have biological functions consistent with NSCLC.
    • Anti-biofilm Agents against Pseudomonas aeruginosa: A Structure-Activity Relationship Study of C-Glycosidic LecB Inhibitors

      Sommer, Roman; Rox, Katharina; Wagner, Stefanie; Hauck, Dirk; Henrikus, Sarah S; Newsad, Shelby; Arnold, Tatjana; Ryckmans, Thomas; Brönstrup, Mark; Imberty, Anne; et al. (American Chemical Society, 2019-10-24)
      Biofilm formation is a key mechanism of antimicrobial resistance. We have recently reported two classes of orally bioavailable C-glycosidic inhibitors of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa lectin LecB with antibiofilm activity. They proved efficient in target binding, were metabolically stable, nontoxic, selective, and potent in inhibiting formation of bacterial biofilm. Here, we designed and synthesized six new carboxamides and 24 new sulfonamides for a detailed structure-activity relationship for two clinically representative LecB variants. Sulfonamides generally showed higher inhibition compared to carboxamides, which was rationalized based on crystal structure analyses. Substitutions at the thiophenesulfonamide increased binding through extensive contacts with a lipophilic protein patch. These metabolically stable compounds showed a further increase in potency toward the target and in biofilm inhibition assays. In general, we established the structure-activity relationship for these promising antibiofilm agents and showed that modification of the sulfonamide residue bears future optimization potential.
    • Antibacterial activity of xylose-derived LpxC inhibitors - Synthesis, biological evaluation and molecular docking studies.

      Dreger, Alexander; Hoff, Katharina; Agoglitta, Oriana; Hotop, Sven-Kevin; Brönstrup, Mark; Heisig, Peter; Kirchmair, Johannes; Holl, Ralph; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Elsevier, 2020-12-31)
      LpxC inhibitors represent a promising class of novel antibiotics selectively combating Gram-negative bacteria. In chiral pool syntheses starting from D- and L-xylose, a series of four 2r,3c,4t-configured C-furanosidic LpxC inhibitors was obtained. The synthesized hydroxamic acids were tested for antibacterial and LpxC inhibitory activity, the acquired biological data were compared with those of previously synthesized C-furanosides, and molecular docking studies were performed to rationalize the observed structure-activity relationships. Additionally, bacterial uptake and susceptibility to efflux pump systems were investigated for the most promising stereoisomers.
    • Antiviral drug discovery: broad-spectrum drugs from nature.

      Martinez, J P; Sasse, F; Brönstrup, M; Diez, J; Meyerhans, A; Helmholtz Centre for infection research (HZI), Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2015-01)
      Covering: up to April 2014. The development of drugs with broad-spectrum antiviral activities is a long pursued goal in drug discovery. It has been shown that blocking co-opted host-factors abrogates the replication of many viruses, yet the development of such host-targeting drugs has been met with scepticism mainly due to toxicity issues and poor translation to in vivo models. With the advent of new and more powerful screening assays and prediction tools, the idea of a drug that can efficiently treat a wide range of viral infections by blocking specific host functions has re-bloomed. Here we critically review the state-of-the-art in broad-spectrum antiviral drug discovery. We discuss putative targets and treatment strategies, with particular focus on natural products as promising starting points for antiviral lead development.
    • Application of a Novel "Pan-Genome"-Based Strategy for Assigning RNAseq Transcript Reads to Staphylococcus aureus Strains.

      Chaves-Moreno, Diego; Wos-Oxley, Melissa L; Jáuregui, Ruy; Medina, Eva; Oxley, Andrew P A; Pieper, Dietmar H; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2015)
      Understanding the behaviour of opportunistic pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus in their natural human niche holds great medical interest. With the development of sensitive molecular methods and deep-sequencing technology, it is now possible to robustly assess the global transcriptome of bacterial species in their human habitat. However, as the genomes of the colonizing strains are often not available compiling the pan-genome for the species of interest may provide an effective method to reliably and rapidly compile the transcriptome of a bacterial species. The pan-genome of S. aureus and its associated core and accessory components were compiled based on 25 genomes and comprises a total of 65,557 proteins clustering into 4,198 Orthologous Groups (OGs). The generated gene catalogue was used to assign RNAseq-derived sequence reads to S. aureus in a variety of in vitro and in vivo samples. In all cases, the number of reads that could be assigned to S. aureus was greater using the OG database than using a reference genome. Growth of two S. aureus strains in synthetic nasal medium confirmed that both strains experienced strong iron starvation. Traits such as purine metabolism appeared to be more affected in a typical nasal colonizer than in a strain representative of the S. aureus USA300 lineage. Mapping sequencing reads from a metatranscriptome generated from the human anterior nares allowed the identification of genes highly expressed by S. aureus in vivo. The OG database generated in this study represents a useful tool to obtain a snapshot of the functional attributes of S. aureus under different in vitro and in vivo conditions. The approach proved to be advantageous to assign sequencing reads to bacterial strains when RNAseq data is derived from samples where strain information and/or the corresponding genome/s are unavailable.
    • Archazolid A-15-O-β-D-glucopyranoside and iso-archazolid B: potent V-ATPase inhibitory polyketides from the myxobacteria Cystobacter violaceus and Archangium gephyra.

      Horstmann, Nicole; Essig, Sebastian; Bockelmann, Svenja; Wieczorek, Helmut; Huss, Markus; Sasse, Florenz; Menche, Dirk; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2011-05-27)
      Two structurally novel analogues of the macrolides archazolids A and B, archazolid A-15-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (archazolid E, 5) and iso-archazolid B (archazolid F, 6), were isolated from the myxobacterium Cystobacter violaceus and Archangium gephyra, respectively. Macrolactone 5 represents the first 15-O-glycoside of the archazolids. iso-Archazolid B (6) incorporates a C-3 alkene and presents the first constitutional isomer reported for this natural product class. The structures of these polyketides were determined by spectroscopic analysis, in particular by HMBC, HMQC, and ROESY NMR investigations and by chemical degradation. iso-Archazolid B (6) demonstrated extremely high antiproliferative and V-ATPase inhibitory effects, with IC(50) values in the picomolar range, while only moderate activity was observed for glycoside 5. iso-Archazolid B presents the most potent archazolid known.
    • Archazolid and apicularen: novel specific V-ATPase inhibitors.

      Huss, Markus; Sasse, Florenz; Kunze, Brigitte; Jansen, Rolf; Steinmetz, Heinrich; Ingenhorst, Gudrun; Zeeck, Axel; Wieczorek, Helmut; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2005-08-04)
      V-ATPases constitute a ubiquitous family of heteromultimeric, proton translocating proteins. According to their localization in a multitude of eukaryotic membranes, they energize many different transport processes. Since their malfunction is correlated with various diseases in humans, the elucidation of the properties of this enzyme for the development of selective inhibitors and drugs is one of the challenges in V-ATPase research.
    • AromaDeg, a novel database for phylogenomics of aerobic bacterial degradation of aromatics.

      Duarte, Márcia; Jauregui, Ruy; Vilchez-Vargas, Ramiro; Junca, Howard; Pieper, Dietmar H; Research group Microbial interactions and processes (MINP). Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, D38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2014)
      Understanding prokaryotic transformation of recalcitrant pollutants and the in-situ metabolic nets require the integration of massive amounts of biological data. Decades of biochemical studies together with novel next-generation sequencing data have exponentially increased information on aerobic aromatic degradation pathways. However, the majority of protein sequences in public databases have not been experimentally characterized and homology-based methods are still the most routinely used approach to assign protein function, allowing the propagation of misannotations. AromaDeg is a web-based resource targeting aerobic degradation of aromatics that comprises recently updated (September 2013) and manually curated databases constructed based on a phylogenomic approach. Grounded in phylogenetic analyses of protein sequences of key catabolic protein families and of proteins of documented function, AromaDeg allows query and data mining of novel genomic, metagenomic or metatranscriptomic data sets. Essentially, each query sequence that match a given protein family of AromaDeg is associated to a specific cluster of a given phylogenetic tree and further function annotation and/or substrate specificity may be inferred from the neighboring cluster members with experimentally validated function. This allows a detailed characterization of individual protein superfamilies as well as high-throughput functional classifications. Thus, AromaDeg addresses the deficiencies of homology-based protein function prediction, combining phylogenetic tree construction and integration of experimental data to obtain more accurate annotations of new biological data related to aerobic aromatic biodegradation pathways. We pursue in future the expansion of AromaDeg to other enzyme families involved in aromatic degradation and its regular update. Database URL: http://aromadeg.siona.helmholtz-hzi.de.
    • An aryl dioxygenase shows remarkable double dioxygenation capacity for diverse bis-aryl compounds, provided they are carbocyclic.

      Overwin, Heike; González, Myriam; Méndez, Valentina; Seeger, Michael; Wray, Victor; Hofer, Bernd; Hel,holtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-09)
      The bacterial dioxygenation of mono- or polycyclic aromatic compounds is an intensely studied field. However, only in a few cases has the repeated dioxygenation of a substrate possessing more than a single aromatic ring been described. We previously characterized the aryl-hydroxylating dioxygenase BphA-B4h, an artificial hybrid of the dioxygenases of the biphenyl degraders Burkholderia xenovorans LB400 and Pseudomonas sp. strain B4-Magdeburg, which contains the active site of the latter enzyme, as an exceptionally powerful biocatalyst. We now show that this dioxygenase possesses a remarkable capacity for the double dioxygenation of various bicyclic aromatic compounds, provided that they are carbocyclic. Two groups of biphenyl analogues were examined: series A compounds containing one heterocyclic aromatic ring and series B compounds containing two homocyclic aromatic rings. Whereas all of the seven partially heterocyclic biphenyl analogues were solely dioxygenated in the homocyclic ring, four of the six carbocyclic bis-aryls were converted into ortho,meta-hydroxylated bis-dihydrodiols. Potential reasons for failure of heterocyclic dioxygenations are discussed. The obtained bis-dihydrodiols may, as we also show here, be enzymatically re-aromatized to yield the corresponding tetraphenols. This opens a way to a range of new polyphenolic products, a class of compounds known to exert multiple biological activities. Several of the obtained compounds are novel molecules.
    • Association between cytokine response, the LRINEC score and outcome in patients with necrotising soft tissue infection: a multicentre, prospective study.

      Hansen, Marco Bo; Rasmussen, Lars Simon; Svensson, Mattias; Chakrakodi, Bhavya; Bruun, Trond; Madsen, Martin Bruun; Perner, Anders; Garred, Peter; Hyldegaard, Ole; Norrby-Teglund, Anna; et al. (2017-02-08)
      Early assessment of necrotising soft tissue infection (NSTI) is challenging. Analysis of inflammatory markers could provide important information about disease severity and guide decision making. For this purpose, we investigated the association between cytokine levels and the Laboratory Risk Indicator for Necrotising Fasciitis (LRINEC)-score, disease severity and mortality in NSTI patients. In 159 patients, plasma was analysed for IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10 and TNF-α upon admission. The severity of NSTI was assessed by SAPS, SOFA score, septic shock, microbial aetiology, renal replacement therapy and amputation. We found no significant difference in cytokine levels according to a LRINEC- score above or below 6 (IL-1β: 3.0 vs. 1.3; IL-6: 607 vs. 289; IL-10: 38.4 vs. 38.8; TNF-α: 15.1 vs. 7.8 pg/mL, P > 0.05). Patients with β-haemolytic streptococcal infection had higher level of particularly IL-6. There was no difference in mortality between patients with a LRINEC-score above or below 6. In the adjusted analysis assessing 30-day mortality, the association was strongest for IL-1β (OR 3.86 [95% CI, 1.43-10.40], P = 0.008) and IL-10 (4.80 [1.67-13.78], P = 0.004). In conclusion, we found no significant association between the LRINEC-score and cytokine levels on admission. IL-6 was consistently associated with disease severity, whereas IL-1β had the strongest association with 30-day mortality.
    • Bacterial community structure and effects of picornavirus infection on the anterior nares microbiome in early childhood.

      Caputo, Mahrrouz; Zoch-Lesniak, Beate; Karch, André; Vital, Marius; Meyer, Frederic; Klawonn, Frank; Baillot, Armin; Pieper, Dietmar H; Mikolajczyk, Rafael T; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (BMC, 2019-01-07)
      Little is known regarding the nasal microbiome in early childhood and the impact of respiratory infection on the infants' nasal microbial composition. Here we investigated the temporal dynamics and diversity of the bacterial composition in the anterior nares in children attending daycare centers. For our investigation, we considered 76 parental-taken nasal swabs of 26 children (aged 13 to 36 months) collected over a study period of 3 months. Overall, there was no significant age-specific effect or seasonal shift in the nasal bacterial community structure. In a sub-sample of 14 healthy children the relative abundance of individual taxa as well as the overall diversity did not reveal relevant changes, indicating a stable community structure over the entire study period. Moreover, the nasal bacterial profiles clustered subject-specific with Bray-Curtis similarities being elevated in intra-subject calculations compared to between-subject calculations. The remaining subset of 12 children provided samples taken during picornavirus infection (PVI) and either before or after a PVI. We detected an association between the relative abundance of members of the genus Streptococcus and PV when comparing both (i) samples taken during PVI with samples out of 14 healthy children and (ii) samples taken during PVI with samples taken after PVI within the same individual. In addition, the diversity was higher during PVI than after infection. Our findings suggest that a personalized structure of the nasal bacterial community is established already in early childhood and could be detected over a timeframe of 3 months. Studies following infants over a longer time with frequent swab sampling would allow investigating whether certain parameter of the bacterial community, such as the temporal variability, could be related to viral infection.