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Epidemiological studies of the naturally transformable bacterial pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae have previously been confounded by high rates of recombination. Sequencing 240 isolates of the PMEN1 (Spain(23F)-1) multidrug-resistant lineage enabled base substitutions to be distinguished from polymorphisms arising through horizontal sequence transfer. More(More)
Executive Summary The world's climate is continuing to change at rates that are projected to be unprecedented in recent human history. Some models are now indicating that the temperature increases to 2100 may be larger than previously estimated in 2001. The impacts of climate change are likely to be considerable in tropical regions. Developing countries are(More)
We report the discovery of a group of highly conserved DNA sequences located, in those cases studied, within intergenic regions of the chromosome of the Gram positive Streptococcus pneumoniae. The S. pneumoniae genome contains about 25 of these elements called BOX. From 5' to 3', BOX elements are composed of three subunits (boxA, boxB, and boxC) which are(More)
Although there is substantial evidence that pneumolysin is an important virulence factor in pneumococcal pneumonia, relatively little is known about how it influences cellular infiltration into the lungs. We investigated how the inability of mutant pneumococci to produce pneumolysin altered the pattern of inflammation and cellular infiltration into the(More)
We present a detailed analysis of the oligomeric subunit organisation of pneumolysin by the use of negative stain electron microscopy and image processing to produce a projection density map. Analysis of the rotational symmetry has revealed a large and variable subunit number, between 40-50. The projected subunit density by rotational averaging shows at(More)
Intracellular killing of Streptococcus pneumoniae is complemented by induction of macrophage apoptosis. Here, we show that the toxin pneumolysin (PLY) contributes both to lysosomal/phagolysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP), an upstream event programing susceptibility to apoptosis, and to apoptosis execution via a mitochondrial pathway, through distinct(More)
Alterations in whole genome expression profiles following exposure of the pneumococcus (strain 172, serotype 23F) to cigarette smoke condensate (160 μg/mL) for 15 and 60 min have been determined using the TIGR4 DNA microarray chip. Exposure to CSC resulted in the significant (P<0.014-0.0006) upregulation of the genes encoding the two-component regulatory(More)
This study compares two models for examining ependymal ciliary function: rat brain slices cut from the fourth ventricle and primary ependymal cells in culture. The cilia from both preparations were very reproducible; each preparation had cilia beating at a constant frequency of between 38 and 44 Hz. With the brain slices, ciliary stasis occurred after 5 d(More)
Microglial cells express Toll-like receptors (TLRs) recognising exogenous and endogenous ligands. Upon stimulation with agonists of TLR2, TLR4, and TLR9, nitric oxide (NO) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) were released by primary mouse microglial cell cultures. Endotoxin was most potent in stimulating microglia followed by pneumolysin,(More)
Ciliated ependymal cells line the ventricular surfaces and aqueducts of the brain. In ex vivo experiments, pneumolysin caused rapid inhibition of the ependymal ciliary beat frequency and caused ependymal cell disruption. Wild-type pneumococci and pneumococci deficient in pneumolysin caused ciliary slowing, but penicillin lysis of wild-type, not(More)