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We demonstrate the use of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a facile and inexpensive model host for several Gram-positive human bacterial pathogens. Enterococcus faecalis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Staphylococcus aureus, but not Bacillus subtilis, Enterococcus faecium, or Streptococcus pyogenes, kill adult C. elegans. Focusing our studies on the(More)
Google Flu Trends can detect regional outbreaks of influenza 7-10 days before conventional Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveillance systems. We describe the Google Trends tool, explain how the data are processed, present examples, and discuss its strengths and limitations. Google Trends shows great promise as a timely, robust, and sensitive(More)
Multidrug resistance (MDR) is a serious complication during treatment of opportunistic fungal infections that frequently afflict immunocompromised individuals, such as transplant recipients and cancer patients undergoing cytotoxic chemotherapy. Improved knowledge of the molecular pathways controlling MDR in pathogenic fungi should facilitate the development(More)
Fungi occupy diverse environments and are subjected to many extreme conditions. Among the stressful conditions faced by fungi are pH changes, osmotic changes, thermal changes, oxide radicals, nutrient deprivation, and exposure to chemicals. These adversities can be found either in the environment or in animal and human hosts. The cell wall integrity (CWI)(More)
We reviewed 776 previously reported and 44 new cases of CNS listeriosis outside of pregnancy and the neonatal period, and evaluated the epidemiologic, diagnostic, and therapeutic characteristics of this infection. Among patients with Listeria meningitis/meningoencephalitis, hematologic malignancy and kidney transplantation were the leading predisposing(More)
Central nervous system (CNS) aspergillosis is a highly fatal infection. We review the clinical presentation, diagnosis, and outcome of this infection and present a case series of 14 consecutive patients with CNS aspergillosis admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) from 2000 to 2011. We also review 123 cases reported in the literature during that(More)
Although the opportunistic bacterial pathogen Enterococcus faecium is a leading source of nosocomial infections, it appears to lack many of the overt virulence factors produced by other bacterial pathogens, and the underlying mechanism of pathogenesis is not clear. Using E. faecium-mediated killing of the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans as an indicator(More)
Evaluation of Cryptococcus neoformans virulence in a number of nonmammalian hosts suggests that C. neoformans is a nonspecific pathogen. We used the killing of Galleria mellonella (the greater wax moth) caterpillar by C. neoformans to develop an invertebrate host model system that can be used to study cryptococcal virulence, host immune responses to(More)
Invasive fungal infections are a leading cause of mortality among immunocompromised individuals. Treatment is notoriously difficult with the limited armamentarium of antifungal drugs, whose efficacy is compromised by host toxicity, a limited activity spectrum, or the emergence of drug resistance. We previously established that the molecular chaperone Hsp90(More)