Microbiology Spectrum publishes commissioned review articles on topics in microbiology representing ten content areas: Archaea; Food Microbiology; Bacterial Genetics, Cell Biology, and Physiology; Clinical Microbiology; Environmental Microbiology and Ecology; Eukaryotic Microbes; Genomics, Computational, and Synthetic Microbiology; Immunology; Pathogenesis; and Virology. Reviews are interrelated, with each review linking to other related content. A large board of Microbiology Spectrum editors aids in the development of topics for potential reviews and in the identification of an editor, or editors, who shepherd each collection. Articles are written and peer-reviewed by leading researchers in each field. Although the reviews are commissioned and Microbiology Spectrum does not.accept unsolicited articles, topical idea suggestions are welcomed.
The Emerging Amphibian Fungal Disease, Chytridiomycosis: A Key Example of the Global Phenomenon of Wildlife Emerging Infectious Diseases
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Publication Date : May 2016 DOI 10.1128/microbiolspec.EI10-0004-2015Abstract:
The spread of amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is associated with the emerging infectious wildlife disease chytridiomycosis. This fungus poses an overwhelming threat to global amphibian biodiversity and is contributing toward population declines and extinctions worldwide. Extremely low host-species specificity potentially threatens thousands of the 7,000+ amphibian species with infection, and hosts in additional classes of organisms have now also been identified, including crayfish and nematode worms.
Soon after the discovery of B. dendrobatidis in 1999, it became apparent that this pathogen was already pandemic; dozens of countries and hundreds of amphibian species had already been exposed. The timeline of B. dendrobatidis’s global emergence still remains a mystery, as does its point of origin. The reason why B. dendrobatidis seems to have only recently increased in virulence to catalyze this global disease event remains unknown, and despite 15 years of investigation, this wildlife pandemic continues primarily uncontrolled. Some disease treatments are effective on animals held in captivity, but there is currently no proven method to eradicate B. dendrobatidis from an affected habitat, nor have we been able to protect new regions from exposure despite knowledge of an approaching “wave” of B. dendrobatidis and ensuing disease.
International spread of B. dendrobatidis is largely facilitated by the commercial trade in live amphibians. Chytridiomycosis was recently listed as a globally notifiable disease by the World Organization for Animal Health, but few countries, if any, have formally adopted recommended measures to control its spread. Wildlife diseases continue to emerge as a consequence of globalization, and greater effort is urgently needed to protect global health.
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Publication Date : May 2016 DOI 10.1128/microbiolspec.EI10-0007-2015Abstract:
Clostridium difficile is an anaerobic, Gram-positive, spore-forming, toxin-secreting bacillus that has long been recognized to be the most common etiologic pathogen of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. C. difficile infection (CDI) is now the most common cause of health care–associated infections in the United States and accounts for 12% of these infections (Magill SS et al., N Engl J Med 370:1198–1208, 2014). Among emerging pathogens of public health importance in the United States, CDI has the highest population-based incidence, estimated at 147 per 100,000 (Lessa FC et al., N Engl J Med 372:825–834, 2015). In a report on antimicrobial resistance, C. difficile has been categorized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of three “urgent” threats (http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/threat-report-2013/). Although C. difficile was first described in the late 1970s, the past decade has seen the emergence of hypertoxigenic strains that have caused increased morbidity and mortality worldwide. Pathogenic strains, host susceptibility, and other regional factors vary and may influence the clinical manifestation and approach to intervention. In this article, we describe the global epidemiology of CDI featuring the different strains in circulation outside of North America and Europe where strain NAP1/027/BI/III had originally gained prominence. The elderly population in health care settings has been disproportionately affected, but emergence of CDI in children and healthy young adults in community settings has, likewise, been reported. New approaches in management, including fecal microbiota transplantation, are discussed.
Preparing for Serious Communicable Diseases in the United States: What the Ebola Virus Epidemic Has Taught Us
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Publication Date : May 2016 DOI 10.1128/microbiolspec.EI10-0011-2016Abstract:
Ending the West Africa Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak required an unprecedented international response. For the United States, participation in the international response to the West Africa EVD outbreak provided an opportunity to learn important lessons in four key domains critical to preparing for future outbreaks of EVD and other serious communicable diseases: (i) safe and effective patient care, (ii) the role of experimental therapeutics and vaccines, (iii) infection control, and (iv) hospital and community preparedness.
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Publication Date : May 2016 DOI 10.1128/microbiolspec.EI10-0014-2016Abstract:
The 2014 Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic in West Africa was unprecedented in its geographical distribution, scale, and toll on public health infrastructure. Standard public health measures were rapidly overwhelmed, and many projections on outbreak progression through the region were dire. At the beginning of the outbreak there were no treatments or vaccines that had been shown to be safe and effective for treating or preventing EVD, limiting health care providers to offer supportive care under extremely challenging circumstances and at great risk to themselves. Over time, however, drugs and vaccines in the development pipeline were prioritized based on all available research data and were moved forward for evaluation in clinical trials to demonstrate safety and efficacy. The armamentarium against EVD eventually included biologics such as monoclonal antibodies, convalescent plasma, and vaccines as well as small molecule therapeutics such as small interfering RNAs and nucleoside analogs. This article provides a high-level overview of the interventions and prophylactics considered for use in the outbreak and discusses the challenges faced when attempting to deploy investigational countermeasures in the midst of an evolving epidemic.
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Publication Date : May 2016 DOI 10.1128/microbiolspec.EI10-0015-2016Abstract:
Invasive nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS) infections in Africa cause an enormous burden of illness. These infections are often devastating, with mortality estimated at 20%, even with appropriate antimicrobial therapy. Two major groups—young children and HIV-infected adults—suffer the great majority of these infections. In children, younger age itself, as well as malaria, malnutrition, and HIV infection, are prominent risk factors. In adults, HIV infection is by far the most important risk factor. The most common serotypes in invasive infections are Salmonella enterica serotypes Typhimurium and Enteritidis. In recent years, a specific strain of Salmonella Typhimurium, multilocus sequence type 313, has caused epidemics of invasive disease. Little is known about risk factors for exposure to NTS, making the design of rational interventions to decrease exposure difficult. Antimicrobial therapy is critically important for treatment of invasive NTS infections. Thus, the emergence and spread of resistance to agents commonly used for treatment of invasive NTS infection, now including third-generation cephalosporins, is an ominous development. Already, many invasive NTS infections are essentially untreatable in many health care facilities in sub-Saharan Africa. Several candidate vaccines are in early development and, if safe and effective, could be promising. Interventions to prevent exposure to NTS (e.g., improved sanitation), to prevent the occurrence of disease if exposure does occur (e.g., vaccination, malaria control), and to prevent severe disease and death in those who become ill (e.g., preserving antimicrobial effectiveness) are all important in reducing the toll of invasive NTS disease in sub-Saharan Africa.
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Publication Date : May 2016 DOI 10.1128/microbiolspec.EI10-0017-2016Abstract:
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-borne alphavirus in the family Togaviridae that causes outbreaks of debilitating acute and chronic arthralgia in humans. Although historically associated with localized outbreaks in Africa and Asia, recent epidemics in the Indian Ocean region and the Americas have led to the recognition that CHIKV is capable of moving into previously unaffected areas and causing significant levels of human suffering. The severity of CHIKV rheumatic disease, which can severely impact life quality of infected individuals for weeks, months, or even years, combined with the explosive nature of CHIKV outbreaks and its demonstrated ability to quickly spread into new regions, has led to renewed interest in developing strategies for the prevention or treatment of CHIKV-induced disease. Therefore, this chapter briefly discusses the biology of CHIKV and the factors contributing to CHIKV dissemination, while also discussing the pathogenesis of CHIKV-induced disease and summarizing the status of efforts to develop safe and effective therapies and vaccines against CHIKV and related viruses.
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About This Journal
Microbiology Spectrum publishes commissioned review articles on topics in microbiology representing ten content areas: Archaea; Food Microbiology; Bacterial Genetics, Cell Biology, and Physiology; Clinical Microbiology; Environmental Microbiology and Ecology; Eukaryotic Microbes; Genomics, Computational, and Synthetic Microbiology; Immunology; Pathogenesis; and Virology. Reviews are interrelated, with each review linking to other related content. A large board of Microbiology Spectrum editors aids in the development of topics for potential reviews and in the identification of an editor, or editors, who shepherd each collection. Articles are written and peer-reviewed by leading researchers in each field. Although the reviews are commissioned and Microbiology Spectrum does not accept unsolicited articles, topical idea suggestions are welcomed. Microbiology Spectrum is indexed in PubMed, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index (Web of Science), CAS, and AGRICOLA.