Christian M. Leutenegger

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Ammonium oxidation by autotrophic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) is a key process in agricultural and natural ecosystems and has a large global impact. In the past, the ecology and physiology of AOB were not well understood because these organisms are notoriously difficult to culture. Recent applications of molecular techniques have advanced our knowledge(More)
We report the design and validation of new TaqMan((R)) assays for microbial source tracking based on the amplification of fecal 16S rRNA marker sequences from uncultured cells of the order Bacteroidales. The assays were developed for the detection and enumeration of non-point source input of fecal pollution to watersheds. The quantitative(More)
The Koi herpesvirus (KHV) is a herpes-like virus now recognized as a worldwide cause of mortality among populations of koi Cyprinus carpio koi and common carp Cyprinus carpio carpio. Temperature is a key factor influencing virus replication both in cell culture and in the tissues of experimentally infected fish. Genomic DNA sequences were used to optimize a(More)
Adult Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected in Switzerland and tested for the presence of coinfection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) agent by real-time PCR. Of 100 ticks, 49% were positive for B. burgdorferi and 2% were positive for the HGE agent. The two HGE agent-positive ticks were also found to be(More)
A one-tube reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for absolute feline coronavirus (FCoV) quantitation was developed. The assay is based on the 5' nuclease activity of the Thermus flavus (Tfl) polymerase and a fluorogenic probe which generates fluorescence when it is cleaved. The fluorogenic probe, also called TaqMan(TM) probe (Perkin(More)
Toxoplasma gondii is associated with morbidity and mortality in a variety of marine mammals, including fatal meningoencephalitis in the southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis). The source(s) of T. gondii infection and routes of transmission in the marine environment are unknown. We hypothesise that filter-feeding marine bivalve shellfish serve as(More)
A total of 1,667 Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected from five regions in Switzerland where there have been sporadic occurrences of granulocytic ehrlichiosis in dogs and horses. The ticks were examined for rickettsiae of the Ehrlichia phagocytophila group via nested PCR. Twenty-one ticks (1.3%) were positive; 3 (0.5%) were nymphs, 6 (1.3%) were adult males,(More)
Plasma viral RNA load is a key parameter in disease progression of lentiviral infections. To measure simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) RNA loads, we have established a quantitative one-tube assay based on TaqMan chemistry. This real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) has advantages compared with previous methods, such as higher(More)
OBJECTIVE To estimate the analytic sensitivity of microscopic detection of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts and the environmental loading of T gondii oocysts on the basis of prevalence of shedding by owned and unowned cats. DESIGN Cross-sectional survey. SAMPLE POPULATION 326 fecal samples from cats. PROCEDURES Fecal samples were collected from cat shelters,(More)
Here we present a novel methodology to quantitate bovine cytokines and growth factors contributing to immunity against bacterial infections of the mammary gland in cattle. Real-time TaqMan PCR systems were developed to overcome limitations of conventional quantitative PCR methods. The TaqMan method is based on the cleavage of fluorescent dye-labeled probes(More)