Nora C. Toussaint

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The gastrointestinal tracts of mammals are colonized by hundreds of microbial species that contribute to health, including colonization resistance against intestinal pathogens. Many antibiotics destroy intestinal microbial communities and increase susceptibility to intestinal pathogens. Among these, Clostridium difficile, a major cause of antibiotic-induced(More)
The intestinal microbiota is a microbial ecosystem of crucial importance to human health. Understanding how the microbiota confers resistance against enteric pathogens and how antibiotics disrupt that resistance is key to the prevention and cure of intestinal infections. We present a novel method to infer microbial community ecology directly from(More)
String kernels are commonly used for the classification of biological sequences, nucleotide as well as amino acid sequences. Although string kernels are already very powerful, when it comes to amino acids they have a major short coming. They ignore an important piece of information when comparing amino acids: the physico-chemical properties such as size,(More)
Bacteria causing infections in hospitalized patients are increasingly antibiotic resistant. Classical infection control practices are only partially effective at preventing spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria within hospitals. Because the density of intestinal colonization by the highly antibiotic-resistant bacterium vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus(More)
We conducted an open-label crossover trial to test whether proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) affect the gastrointestinal microbiome to facilitate Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). Twelve healthy volunteers each donated 2 baseline fecal samples, 4 weeks apart (at weeks 0 and 4). They then took PPIs for 4 weeks (40 mg omeprazole, twice daily) and fecal(More)
BACKGROUND Epitope-based vaccines (EVs) make use of immunogenic peptides (epitopes) to trigger an immune response. Due to their manifold advantages, EVs have recently been attracting growing interest. The success of an EV is determined by the choice of epitopes used as a basis. However, the experimental discovery of candidate epitopes is expensive in terms(More)
The Biochemical Algorithms Library (BALL) is a comprehensive rapid application development framework for structural bioinformatics. It provides an extensive C++ class library of data structures and algorithms for molecular modeling and structural bioinformatics. Using BALL as a programming toolbox does not only allow to greatly reduce application(More)
Epitope-based vaccines (EVs) have recently been attracting significant interest. They trigger an immune response by confronting the immune system with immunogenic peptides derived from, e.g. viral- or cancer-related proteins. Binding of these peptides to proteins from the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is crucial for immune system activation.(More)
The lack of sufficient training data is the limiting factor for many Machine Learning applications in Computational Biology. If data is available for several different but related problem domains, Multitask Learning algorithms can be used to learn a model based on all available information. In Bioinformatics, many problems can be cast into the Multitask(More)
The gastrointestinal tracts of mammals are colonized by hundreds of microbial species that contribute to health, including colonization resistance against intestinal pathogens1. Many antibiotics destroy intestinal microbial communities and increase susceptibility to intestinal pathogens2. Among these, Clostridium difficile, a major cause of(More)