Journal of Pathogens
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Journal of Pathogens has recently been accepted into Food Science & Technology Abstracts

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 Journal profile

Journal of Pathogens publishes papers on all aspects of pathogens and pathogen-host interactions, covering all pathogenic bacteria, viruses, fungi, prions, parasites, and protozoa that infect humans, animals, or plants.

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Chief Editor, Professor Chambers, is a biochemist with expertise in various techniques for the detection and diagnosis of Influenza and bacterial pathogens.

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Do you think there is an emerging area of research that really needs to be highlighted? Or an existing research area that has been overlooked or would benefit from deeper investigation? Raise the profile of a research area by leading a Special Issue.

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Research Article

The Pattern of Microorganisms and Drug Susceptibility in Pediatric Oncologic Patients with Febrile Neutropenia

Objective. The study aimed to describe the pattern of causative microorganisms, drug susceptibility, risk factors of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection, and clinical impact of these organisms on pediatric oncology patients with febrile neutropenia. Methods. A retrospective descriptive study of oncologic patients aged less than 15 years who were diagnosed with febrile neutropenia in King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital was conducted between January 2013 to December 2017. Characteristics and clinical outcomes of febrile neutropenia episodes, causative pathogens, and their antibiotic susceptibilities were recorded. Result. This study included 267 patients with 563 febrile neutropenia episodes. The median (range) age was 5.1 years (1 month–15 years). The most common underlying disease was acute lymphoblastic leukemia (42.7%). Of 563 febrile episodes, there were 192 (34.1%) with microbiologically documented infection. Among these 192 episodes of microbiologically documented infection, there were 214 causative pathogens: 154 bacteria (72%), 32 viruses (15%), 27 fungus (12.6%), and 1 Mycobacterium tuberculosis (0.4%). Gram-negative bacteria (48.6%) accounted for most of the causative pathogens. Twenty-three percent of them were multidrug resistant, and 18% were carbapenem resistant. Among Gram-positive bacterial infection which accounted for 23.4% of all specimens, the proportion of MRSA was 20%. The 2-week mortality rate was 3.7%. Drug-resistant Gram-negative bacterial infection caused significant adverse events and mortality compared to nonresistant bacterial infection (). Conclusion. There is high rate of drug-resistant organism infection in pediatric oncology patients in a tertiary-care center in Thailand. Infection with drug-resistant Gram-negative bacterial infection was associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Continuous surveillance for the pattern of drug-resistant infections is crucial.

Research Article

Resistance Status of Bacteria from a Health Facility in Ghana: A Retrospective Study

Background. Regardless of the global concerted effort to control the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance, increasing cases are continually documented at many medical centres. This situation is reinforced by inadequate information on the trend of resistance resulting from lack of regular antimicrobial resistance surveillance. The present study sought to detect the number of multidrug-resistant (MDR), extended drug-resistant (XDR), and pandrug-resistant (PDR) bacterial isolates at a health facility in Ghana from January 2018 to July 2020. Method. A total of 800 data on antimicrobial testing results were extracted from the records of the health facility. The extracted data were explored for the detection of MDR, XDR, and PDR. The study further determined the use of antibiotics using the multiple-drug resistance index (MDRI). Results. Except for Staphylococcus and Neisseria spp., all bacterial isolates showed extremely high (100%) proportion of MDR. Although only Staphylococcus spp. (38 (4.8%)) was observed to be XDR, the rest of the bacteria showed the potential to attain the status of XDR or PDR. MDRI indicated high use of antibiotics in the health facility. Conclusion. The high antimicrobial resistance observed by the study underscores the need for prompt and effective antibiotic resistance control strategies.

Research Article

Topical Bambusa vulgaris Extract Enhances Wound Healing in Cutaneous Leishmaniasis

Background. Bambusa vulgaris (Tabashir) has been shown to have antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects due to the presence of ascorbic acid, vitamin B2, flavonoid, and phenolic compounds which can be beneficial in the process of wound healing. The current study aimed to evaluate the effects of topical Tabashir extract on cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) caused by Leishmania major in BALB/c mice. Methods. Twenty-eight female BALB/c mice (4 weeks old, 18 ± 4 grams) were injected subcutaneously in tail-base with L. major amastigotes. Treatment started when the CL lesions were appeared and continued for 21 days. Mice were then divided into four groups: E1, treated daily with 5% of Tabashir extract gel; E2, treated daily with 10% Tabashir gel; C1, irrigated daily only with normal saline; and C2, received vehicle gel daily. The wounds’ sizes were measured every 3 days, using vernier caliper. The volume densities of vessels, collagens, and hair follicles, vessels’ length density, and mean diameter were soteriologically determined. Results. Tabashir enhanced wound closure rate through increasing the number of fibroblasts, collagen bundles, and vessels, according to histomorphometric evaluation while it did not affect the parasitic load. Findings of the in vitro study revealed that the extract has substantial mortality for the Leishmania promastigotes. Conclusion. Topical Tabashir showed promising effects on the healing process of skin wounds caused by CL in this experimental study. Further studies are suggested to find out the molecules which are involved in the healing process.

Research Article

Antimalarial Activity of Nigella sativa L. Seed Extracts and Selection of Resistance in Plasmodium berghei ANKA in a Mouse Model

Background. Chemotherapy plays a crucial role in malaria control. However, the main obstacle to treatment has been the rise of parasite resistance to most antimalarial drugs. Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) remain the most effective antimalarial medicines available today. However, malaria parasite tolerance to ACTs is now increasingly prevalent especially in Southeast Asia presenting the danger of the spread of ACTs resistance to other parts of the world. Consequently, this creates the need for alternative effective antimalarials. Therefore, this study sought out to determine antimalarial potential, safety, and resistance development of the extracts in a mouse model. Method. Methanolic and ethyl acetate extracts were obtained by solvent extraction. The extracts were assayed for acute toxicity in vivo. Additionally, the two extracts were evaluated for antimalarial activity in vivo against Plasmodium berghei ANKA strain by the 4-day suppressive test at 500, 250, and 125 mg/kg/day. Packed cell volume was evaluated to determine anemia manifestation. Finally, continuous drug pressure experiment at 500 mg/kg and DNA amplification via PCR were conducted. The amplicons underwent through Sanger sequencing. Results. There was no toxicity realized in the animals at 2000 mg/kg. Importantly, high parasitemia suppression of 75.52% and 75.30% using a dose of 500 mg/kg of methanolic and ethyl acetate extracts, respectively, was noted. The extracts were able to reverse packed cell volume reduction. Nigella sativa-resistant phenotype was selected as delayed parasite clearance. However, there was no change in the nucleotide sequences of PbMDR1 and PbCRT genes. Conclusion. The results provide room for future exploitation of the plant as an antimalarial.

Review Article

SARS-CoV-2, Early Entry Events

Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites, and host cell entry is the first step in the viral life cycle. The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) entry process into susceptible host tissue cells is complex requiring (1) attachment of the virus via the conserved spike (S) protein receptor-binding motif (RBM) to the host cell angiotensin-converting-enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, (2) S protein proteolytic processing, and (3) membrane fusion. Spike protein processing occurs at two cleavage sites, i.e., S1/S2 and . Cleavage at the S1/S2 and sites ultimately gives rise to generation of competent fusion elements important in the merging of the host cell and viral membranes. Following cleavage, shedding of the S1 crown results in significant conformational changes and fusion peptide repositioning for target membrane insertion and fusion. Identification of specific protease involvement has been difficult due to the many cell types used and studied. However, it appears that S protein proteolytic cleavage is dependent on (1) furin and (2) serine protease transmembrane protease serine 2 proteases acting in tandem. Although at present not clear, increased SARS-CoV-2 S receptor-binding motif binding affinity and replication efficiency may in part account for observed differences in infectivity. Cleavage of the ACE2 receptor appears to be yet another layer of complexity in addition to forfeiture and/or alteration of ACE2 function which plays an important role in cardiovascular and immune function.

Research Article

Toxin Production and Resistance of Staphylococcus Species Isolated from Fermented Artisanal Dairy Products in Benin

Staphylococcus species are considered as one of the major pathogens causing outbreaks of food poisoning. The aim of this work was to assess the toxinogenic and antibiotic susceptibility profiles of the strains of Staphylococcus spp isolated from three types of fermented dairy products (yoghourt, millet dêguê, and couscous dêguê). The isolation of the Staphylococcus strains was performed on selective media, and their identification was done using biochemical and molecular methods. The susceptibility at 15 antibiotics tested was assessed using the disc diffusion method. The immunodiffusion method was used to evaluate the toxin (luk-E/D, luk-S/F, ETA, and ETB) production. Biofilm formation was qualitatively researched on microplates. Less than half (42.77%) of the collected samples were contaminated with Staphylococcus spp. The yoghourt and millet dêguê samples collected in the afternoon were more contaminated than those collected in the morning. The S. aureus, S. capitis, and S. xylosus strains, respectively, were the most present. S. aureus was the only coagulase-positive species identified in our samples. The highest resistance to antibiotics was observed with penicillin (100%) irrespective of the nature of the sample. S. aureus strains were highly (71.4%) resistant to methicillin. The S. aureus strains were the most biofilm-forming (27.6%), followed by S. capitis strains. Panton and Valentine’s leukocidin (luk-S/F) was produced by only S. aureus strains at a rate of 8.33%. Only coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (CNS) produced Luk-E/D. The high rates of Staphylococci contamination indicate bad hygiene quality during the production and distribution of dairy products. It is, therefore, necessary to improve the quality of fermented milk products.

Journal of Pathogens
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Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2020, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.