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Epidemiological and health economic implications of symptom propagation in respiratory pathogens : a mathematical modelling investigation

Asplin, Phoebe, Keeling, Matt J., Mancy, Rebecca and Hill, Edward M.

We propose a novel framework for incorporating different levels of symptom propagation into models of infectious disease transmission via a single parameter, α. Varying α tunes the model from having no symptom propagation (α = 0, as typically assumed) to one where symptoms always propagate (α = 1). For parameters corresponding to three respiratory pathogens—seasonal influenza, pandemic influenza and SARS-CoV-2—we explored how symptom propagation impacted the relative epidemiological and health-economic performance of three interventions, conceptualised as vaccines with different actions: symptom-attenuating (labelled SA), infection-blocking (IB) and infection-blocking admitting only mild breakthrough infections (IB_MB). Overall, the preferred intervention type depended on the combination of the strength of symptom propagation and uptake. Given the importance of determining robust public health responses, we highlight the need to gather further data on symptom propagation, with our modelling framework acting as a template for future analysis.

PLoS Computational Biology. May 2024

Fri 07 Jun 2024, 08:20 | Tags: Microbiology & Infectious Disease

Unveiling novel Neocosmospora species from Thai mangroves as potent biocontrol agents against Colletotrichum species

Klomchit, A, Calabon, MS, Worabandit, S, Weaver, JA, Karima, EM, Alberti, F, Greco, C and Mahanil, S

This study aims to investigate the taxonomy, biosynthetic potential, and application of three newly isolated Neocosmospora species from mangrove habitats in the southern part of Thailand using phylogeny, bioactivity screening, genome sequencing, and bioinformatics analysis.

Two fungal isolates of Neocosmospora and a new species of N. mangrovei were reported in this study. These fungal strains showed activity against pathogenic fungi causing anthracnose in chili. In addition, full genome sequencing and bioinformatics analysis of N. mangrovei MFLUCC 17–0253 were obtained.

Journal of Applied Microbiology. May 2024


Astrocyte ryanodine receptors facilitate gliotransmission and astroglial modulation of synaptic plasticity

Ulyana Lalo, Yuriy Pankratov

Intracellular Ca2+-signaling in astrocytes is instrumental for their brain “housekeeping” role and astroglial control of synaptic plasticity. An important source for elevating the cytosolic Ca2+ level in astrocytes is a release from endoplasmic reticulum which can be triggered via two fundamental pathways: IP3 receptors and calcium-induced calcium release (CICR) mediated by Ca2+-sensitive ryanodine receptors (RyRs). We explored the role for ryanodine receptors in the modulation of cytosolic Ca2+-signaling in the cortical and hippocampal astrocytes, astrocyte-neuron communication and astroglia modulation of synaptic plasticity. Our data demonstrate that ryanodine receptors are essential for astrocytic Ca2+-signaling and efficient astrocyte-neuron communications. The RyR-mediated CICR contributes to astrocytic control of synaptic plasticity and can underlie, at least partially, neuroprotective and cognitive effects of caffein.

Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. May 2024

Mon 03 Jun 2024, 08:26 | Tags: Neuroscience Cells & Development

A distinct, high affinity, alkaline phosphatase facilitates occupation of P-depleted environments by marine picocyanobacteria

Alberto Torcello-Requena, Andrew Murphy, Ian D. E. A. Lidbury, Frances D. Pitt, Richard Stark, Andrew D. Millard, Richard J. Puxty, Yin Chen, David J. Scanlan

Marine picocyanobacteria of the genera Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus, the two most abundant phototrophs on Earth, thrive in oligotrophic oceanic regions. While it is well known that specific lineages are exquisitely adapted to prevailing in situ light and temperature regimes, much less is known of the molecular machinery required to facilitate occupancy of these low-nutrient environments. Here, we describe a hitherto unknown alkaline phosphatase, Psip1, that has a substantially higher affinity for phosphomonoesters than other well-known phosphatases like PhoA, PhoX, or PhoD and is restricted to clade III Synechococcus and a subset of high light I-adapted Prochlorococcus strains, suggesting niche specificity.

PNAS. May 2024


N-terminal tagging of RNA Polymerase II shapes transcriptomes more than C-terminal alterations

Adam Callan-Sidat, Emmanuel Zewdu, Massimo Cavallaro, Juntai Liu, Daniel Hebenstreit

RNA polymerase II (Pol2) has a C-terminal domain (CTD) that is unstructured, consists of a large number of heptad repeats, and whose precise function remains unclear. Here, we investigate how altering the CTD’s length and fusing it with protein tags affects transcriptional output on genome-wide scale in mammalian cells, at single cell resolution. While transcription generally appears to occur in burst-like fashion, where RNA is predominantly made during short bursts of activity that are interspersed with periods of transcriptional silence, the CTD’s role in shaping these dynamics seems gene-dependent; global patterns of bursting appear mostly robust to CTD alterations

iScience. May 2024

Tue 28 May 2024, 08:03 | Tags: Quantitative, Systems & Engineering Biology

RecGraph: recombination-aware alignment of sequences to variation graphs

Jorge Avila Cartes, Paola Bonizzoni, Simone Ciccolella, Gianluca Della Vedova, Luca Denti, Xavier Didelot, Davide Monti, Yuri Pirola

In this paper, we present the extension of the notion of sequence-to-graph alignment to a variation graph that incorporates a recombination, so that the latter are explicitly represented and evaluated in an alignment. Moreover, we present a dynamic programming approach for the special case where there is at most a recombination—we implement this case as RecGraph. From a modelling point of view, a recombination corresponds to identifying a new path of the variation graph, where the new arc is composed of two halves, each extracted from an original path, possibly joined by a new arc. Our experiments show that RecGraph accurately aligns simulated recombinant bacterial sequences that have at most a recombination, providing evidence for the presence of recombination events. 

Bioinformatics. April 2024

Thu 23 May 2024, 08:31 | Tags: Microbiology & Infectious Disease

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