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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)
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)
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)
Neuronal injury in bacterial meningitis is caused by the interplay of host inflammatory responses and direct bacterial toxicity. We investigated the mechanisms by which pneumolysin, a cytosolic pneumococcal protein, induces damage to neurons. The toxicity after exposure of human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells and hippocampal organotypic cultures to pneumolysin(More)
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major cause of pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis. The pore-forming toxin pneumolysin is a key virulence factor of S. pneumoniae, which can be sensed by the NLRP3 inflammasome. Among the over 90 serotypes, serotype 1 pneumococci (particularly MLST306) have emerged across the globe as a major cause of invasive disease. The cause(More)
BACKGROUND Infections can aggravate the course of neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Mutations in the anti-oxidant enzyme Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (EC 1.15.1.1, SOD1) are associated with familial ALS. Streptococcus pneumoniae, the most frequent respiratory pathogen, causes damage by the action of the(More)
Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcal) meningitis is a common bacterial infection of the brain. The cholesterol-dependent cytolysin pneumolysin represents a key factor, determining the neuropathogenic potential of the pneumococci. Here, we demonstrate selective synaptic loss within the superficial layers of the frontal neocortex of post-mortem brain(More)