Alfa Herrera

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Despite a growing appreciation of their vast diversity in nature, mechanisms of speciation are poorly understood in Bacteria and Archaea. Here we use high-throughput genome sequencing to identify ongoing speciation in the thermoacidophilic Archaeon Sulfolobus islandicus. Patterns of homologous gene flow among genomes of 12 strains from a single hot spring(More)
BACKGROUND Predator-prey models for virus-host interactions predict that viruses will cause oscillations of microbial host densities due to an arms race between resistance and virulence. A new form of microbial resistance, CRISPRs (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) are a rapidly evolving, sequence-specific immunity mechanism in(More)
Virus-host interactions are a key factor shaping population dynamics of microbial species. The CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune system confers sequence-specific immunity to viral infection and has the potential to dramatically shape coevolutionary interactions between viruses and their microbial hosts. To assess evolutionary dynamics of CRISPR loci, we have(More)
BACKGROUND Staphylococcus aureus causes life-threatening infections, including infective endocarditis, sepsis, and pneumonia. β-toxin is a sphingomyelinase encoded for by virtually all S. aureus strains and exhibits human immune cell cytotoxicity. The toxin enhances S. aureus phenol-soluble modulin activity, and its activity is enhanced by superantigens.(More)
Staphylococcus aureus strains that cause human diseases produce a large family of pyrogenic toxin superantigens (SAgs). These include toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1), the staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs), and the SE-like proteins; to date, 23 staphylococcal SAgs have been described. Among the SAgs, three have been highly associated with human(More)
β-Toxin is an important virulence factor of Staphylococcus aureus, contributing to colonization and development of disease [Salgado-Pabon, W., et al. (2014) J. Infect. Dis. 210, 784-792; Huseby, M. J., et al. (2010) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 107, 14407-14412; Katayama, Y., et al. (2013) J. Bacteriol. 195, 1194-1203]. This cytotoxin has two distinct(More)
BACKGROUND Superantigens are indispensable virulence factors for Staphylococcus aureus in disease causation. Superantigens stimulate massive immune cell activation, leading to toxic shock syndrome (TSS) and contributing to other illnesses. However, superantigens differ in their capacities to induce body-wide effects. For many, their production, at least as(More)
Staphylococcus aureus causes many infections, such as skin and soft tissue, pneumonia, osteomyelitis, and infective endocarditis (IE). IE is an endovascular infection of native and prosthetic valves and the lining of the heart; it is characterized by the formation of cauliflower-like "vegetations" composed of fibrin, platelets, other host factors, bacteria,(More)
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