Vol. 10 | No. 5
Charlie Calisher's new Book!
Move over Dan Brown – there’s a new hot summer read in town. We strongly advise all readers to stop perusing the MIPnews and go directly to this website to pick up this terrific new book that was published earlier this month from our own Charlie Calisher. You won’t be disappointed.
While the title is borrowed from a phrase used in a letter from Walter Reed to his wife describing a breakthrough in understanding the transmission of yellow fever, the rest of this new novel is 100% Charlie Calisher at his best. The work is described by several well-known virologists as "an ode to science" and "a special perspective" that is full of "priceless gems" that are presented by a "witty raconteur" with a "timely" and "self-deprecating" sense of humor. "Start reading it and you won’t stop".
Congratulations Charlie on a job well done! Plus we’ll be sure to add the term ‘raconteur’ to the list of names that we’ve heard you called over the years…
The 2013 ACLAM Board Examination was administered on June 29. Tina Weiner and Liz Magden, who completed the CSU Lab Animal Comparative Medicine Residency in 2010 and 2011, respectively, sat for the exam, though as you can see by Tina's condition in this post-examination photo, she probably did not sit comfortably...
Both Tina and Liz passed the examination, making the CSU program 3 for 3 in passing the exam at first attempt!
Tina gave birth to a 9 lb 9 oz boy, Silas Matthew, at 4:12AM on 7/8/13. They are both doing great, especially since they heard the outcome of the exam results.
Congratulations to Phillida Charley, second year PhD student in the Wilusz lab, on recently receiving scholarship awards from both the Native Women in Science Foundation as well as a Navajo Nation Scholarship.
Dr. Ramesh Akkina has been appointed as a standing member of the AIDS Discovery and Development of Therapeutics Study Section at the Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health. He has previously been a member of this study section and has also served as Chair.
In addition, we are very pleased to announce that the following paper from the Akkina Lab (which was highlighted as an MIPublication of the Month in January) has been selected for special recognition as a ‘Faculty of 1000 Recommended Article’ : In Vivo Blockade of the PD-1 Receptor Suppresses HIV-1 Viral Loads and Improves CD4+ T Cell Levels in Humanized Mice., Journal of Immunology, 2013. Congratulations Ramesh!
Dr. Herbert Schweizer gave an invited lecture at the Advanced Bacterial Genetics 2013 course at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory which was held in Cold Spring Harbor, NY, from June 5-25. He was one of nine invited lecturers in this course that is rich in history. Advanced Bacterial Genetics has its roots in and is the continuation of an intensive phage genetics course that was first taught at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory by pioneer of phage and bacterial genetics and Nobel Prize winner Max Delbrück in the summer of 1945. The now 68 year old course is taught in the Max Delbrück Laboratory on the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory campus and this year’s 18 attendees ranged from graduate student to Associate Professor and hailed from six countries. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory opened in 1890 and its pivotal contributions to the field of microbiology were honored last year by designation as a Milestones in Microbiology site by the American Society for Microbiology.
A hearty thank you to the hardworking MIP Administrative and Accounting Staff for all you do on a daily basis to keep the department moving forward. Most of all, thanks for the extra effort you put in at fiscal year end when their hours are long, workloads heavy, and deadlines short. It is recognized and appreciated!
In the News...
CSU Tuberculosis Researchers were highlighted in the online publication, News Medical, in the July 5 article, Collaborative research yields a wiring map on how TB responds to changes in environment
Diane Ordway, Randall Basaraba, and Ian Orme's tuberculosis research in South Africa was highlighted in the June 18 Coloradoan in the article, "CSU scientists bringing humans, guinea pigs together for TB tests", as well as the June 18 InnovatioNews article, "CSU researchers launch 'most realistic' study of how tuberculosis pathogen is transmitted", and in the July 23 North Forty News article, "CSU researchers launch novel investigation into tuberculosis transmission"
Patrick Brennan was quoted in the July 13 Science News article, "Leprosy bacterium changed little in last millennium"
Microbiology Senior, Victoria Frank and recent Microbiology graduate, Keifer Walsh were highlighted in the July 2nd Today@ColoradoState article, "Undergrads claim top honors for research into public health and degenerative brain disease".
The BpeEF-OprC efflux pump is responsible for widespread trimethoprim resistance in clinical and environmental Burkholderia pseudomallei isolates
Nicole Podnecky, Vanaporn Wuthiekanun, Sharon Peacock and Herbert Schweizer
Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. doi:10.1128/AAC.00660-13 (published online July 1)
Imagine 100+ years ago trying to figure out anything about a disease with an extraordinarily wide range of symptoms that can appear anywhere between two weeks to 62 years after exposure to the causative agent? Hence I propose a tip of the proverbial MIP hat to Major Alfred Whitmore, the English pathologist who first described meliodosis as a disease caused by a gram negative bacterium called Burkholderia pseudomallei. This pathogen can be found in the soil and water in many tropical/sub-tropical locales. Treating infections with this bug requires ~2 weeks of ceftazdine antibiotic followed by up to 20 weeks of treatment with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (a pair of antibiotics that inhibit different enzymes in folic acid biosynthesis) to prevent relapse. There are clear indications of antibiotic resistance of B. pseudomallei, so studies need to be done to determine just how prevalent drug resistance is in clinical isolates and what the mechanisms might be.
Nicole and company gathered 60 clinical/environmental isolates from Thailand and 6 from the Land Down Under. Scaringly (if that’s a word – if it’s not, it should be….), 47% of the clinical isolates from Thailand and 60% of the Australian bugs were resistant to trimethoprim. Luckily none were resistant to sulfamethoxazole (so the bacterial isolates are still susceptible to the combination therapy used to prevent relapses). Based on sequencing 9 strains, they found no mutations in the dihydrofolate reducatase enzyme target of trimethoprim which would account for resistance. Turning their attention to the BpeEF-OprC efflux pump (which plays a role in trimethorprim resistance in the related Pseudomonas species and has been implicated in antibiotic resistance in other Burkholderia sp.), the group found no mutations that would likely account for increased resistance. However upon analyzing the expression of the mRNA for the efflux pump, they were undoubtedly disappointed to find no differences among resistant or susceptible isolates grown in normal media, However when they grew the bugs in the presence of trimethoprim, resistant isolates had a 3-6X fold higher level of expression of the efflux pump. What is regulating this dramatic and clinically-significant increase efflux pump expression is unclear – and undoubtedly a topic for their next grant/paper.
So why did we choose this treatise as our coveted MIPublicaton of the Month® for July? First, the study moves beyond theoretical issues involving antibiotic resistance and provides clear documentation of a very real drug resistance concern in a relatively large survey of clinical isolates. In addition, it goes beyond the descriptive stage and provides insight into the underlying mechanism of resistance which may prove very useful down the road in determining strategies to combat resistance. Second, the study nicely illustrates the international flavor of MIP research with collaborators from both Bangkok and the UK. Finally, the study allows us a nice starting point to kick off our ‘C’mon Folks Let’s Come Up With Catchier Scientific Names®’ Campaign. BpeEF-OprC doesn’t exactly roll off of the tongue now does it……..
MIP Publications July 2013
Flores AE, Ponce G, Silva BG, Gutierrez SM, Bobadilla C, Lopez B, Mercado R, Black WC 4th. Wide spread cross resistance to pyrethroids in Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) from Veracruz state Mexico. J Econ Entomol. 2013 Apr;106(2):959-69.
Jackson M, McNeil MR, Brennan PJ. Progress in targeting cell envelope biogenesis in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Future Microbiol. 2013 Jul;8:855-75. doi: 10.2217/fmb.13.52.
Dailey DD, Anfinsen KP, Pfaff LE, Ehrhart E, Charles JB, Bønsdorff TB, Thamm DH, Powers BE, Jonasdottir TJ, Duval DL. HES1, a target of Notch signaling, is elevated in canine osteosarcoma, but reduced in the most aggressive tumors. BMC Vet Res. 2013 Jul 1;9(1):130. [Epub ahead of print]
Yoshikawa H, Ehrhart EJ, Charles JB, Custis JT, Larue SM. Assessment of predictive molecular variables in feline oral squamous cell carcinoma treated with stereotactic radiation therapy. Vet Comp Oncol. 2013 Jul 2. doi: 10.1111/vco.12050. [Epub ahead of print]
Clarke L, Simon A, Ehrhart EJ, Mulick J, Charles B, Powers B, Duncan C. Histologic Characteristics and KIT Staining Patterns of Equine Cutaneous Mast Cell Tumors. Vet Pathol. 2013 Jun 21. [Epub ahead of print]
Myers E, Ehrhart EJ, Charles B, Spraker T, Gelatt T, Duncan C. Apoptosis in Normal and Coxiella burnetii-Infected Placentas From Alaskan Northern Fur Seals (Callorhinus ursinus). Vet Pathol. 2013 Jul;50(4):622-5.
Eisen L, Moore CG. Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti in the continental United States: a vector at the cool margin of its geographic range. J Med Entomol. 2013 May;50(3):467-78.
Gonzalez-Juarrero M, Bosco-Lauth A, Podell B, Soffler C, Brooks E, Izzo A, Sanchez-Campillo J, Bowen R. Experimental aerosol Mycobacterium bovis model of infection in goats. Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2013 Jul 10. doi:pii: S1472-9792(13)00101-7. 10.1016/j.tube.2013.05.006. [Epub ahead of print]
Epple LM, Bemis LT, Cavanaugh RP, Skope A, Mayer-Sonnenfeld T, Frank C, Olver CS, Lencioni AM, Dusto NL, Tal A, Har-Noy M, Lillehei KO, Katsanis E, Graner MW. Prolonged remission of advanced bronchoalveolar adenocarcinoma in a dog treated with autologous, tumour-derived chaperone-rich cell lysate (CRCL) vaccine. Int J Hyperthermia. 2013 Jun 20. [Epub ahead of print]
Orme IM. Vaccine development for tuberculosis: current progress. Drugs. 2013 Jul;73(10):1015-24. doi: 10.1007/s40265-013-0081-8.
Podnecky NL, Wuthiekanun V, Peacock SJ, Schweizer HP. The BpeEF-OprC efflux pump is responsible for widespread trimethoprim resistance in clinical and environmental Burkholderia pseudomallei isolates. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2013 Jul 1. [Epub ahead of print]
Orlova, M., A. Cobat, N. T. Huong, N. N. Ba, N. V. Thuc, V. M. Fava, R. W. Truman, J. S. Spencer, Y. Nédélec, L. Barreiro, V. H. Thai, A. Alcaïs, and E. Schurr. 2013. Gene set signature of reversal reaction type I in leprosy patients. PloS Genetics In press.
Mark Your Calendars!
Next June, we’ll be hosting the large (1,200+ participant) 33rd Annual meeting of the American Society for Virology right here on the CSU campus! Please mark your calendars for this special, can’t-be-missed event. Also – we’ll be looking for numerous (50+) volunteers to help with numerous AV/customer service aspects of this event – so please consider helping us out when asked.
This is a golden opportunity to showcase MIP’s infectious disease expertise and high-quality environment to a large international group of experts in the field. We’ll definitely need the collective help of the MIP community to make this a truly special meeting. For further information on the event, please contact Jeff Wilusz (local lead organizer) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Your Calendars!
The Prion Research Center will be hosting a conference this year: "Expanding Prion Horizons", October 16-18 at the University Center for the Arts. For more information, visit the Expanding Prion Horizons 2013 Registration Webpage.
Mark Your Calendars!
Go to the Rocky Mountain Virology Club website for more information.
Ben Krajacich and Nathan Grubaugh just got back from Liberia where they sampled mosquitoes for 3 weeks. In addition to eating snails, frogs and other bushmeat delicacies, rumor has it that their driver picked up a pangolin on the road through the jungle, which ended up in their sauce that night.
PRC takes on the Poudre...
PRC Runs into Trouble with the Local in Banff, while attending Prion Conference
Congratulations to Erica Suchman on her July 5th marriage to Joe Bixler. Pictured above are Erica, Joe, and his children Nolan, Scott and Jackie. May you be blessed with many wonderful years together!
Best wishes to Karen Hofmaier and her future endeavors! We'll miss you!
Plan to park on campus August 1, 2013 to July 31, 2014? If so, you will need to purchase or renew your parking permit by July 31, 2013!!. You can purchase your permit ONLINE now.
Also, be aware there will no longer be parking placards. Parking Services is transitioning to License Plate Recognition technology, which means all permit holders will need to register the license plates of any vehicles they may be driving to campus.
More information can be found at the CSU Parking & Transportation Services website.
School is Cool is a community outreach effort managed and organized by CSU employees that provides backpacks and school supplies to K-12 students in Fort Collins, Wellington, Timnath and LaPorte, and to outlying mountain schools. Since 1992, School Is Cool has helped more than 29,000 children. Last year, the program assisted 2,534 students in 46 schools.
A $25 donation provides a brand-new backpack filled with an average of 13 grade-appropriate school supplies.
Besides ensuring the students have the supplies they need, the program strives to build self-esteem – an important factor to academic success.
Ongoing/Upcoming Construction Projects
Fort Collins Bans Cardboard in the Trash
CSU needs everyone to help keep cardboard out of the trash. Please remember to place cardboard in the blue recycle bins. Trash that includes cardboard will not be picked up.
See the Do Not Throw Cardboard in Trash for more information.
Also, as a reminder, E-Waste should also be disposed of properly. See the Landfill Electronics Ban for more information.
New Grant Awards
Sandra Quackenbush, "Molecular Biology Services for Wildlife Disease Diagnostics", Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife
Sue VandeWoude, "Stutzman-Rodriguez- AHA Veterinary Summer Fellow ", American Humane Association
RECENT GRANT AWARDS
Laurie Baeten, Colleen Duncan and Richard Bowen, "Characterization of non-pregnant ruminant model for Coxiella burnetii"
The sequester is wreaking havoc with all of us trying to survive. Francis Collins, Director of the NIH, has been lobbying Congress to restore funding that was cut. He has recently come out with a nifty song about this, "The Sequester Blues", which you can view at the Biotechniquest website
At least Brazil seems to be pouring money into science and technology...the two grants that Brazilian researchers Dr. Euzenir Sarno and Dr. Claudio Salgado submitted with John Spencer for leprosy research projects in Brazil were funded. Check out the video below that tells a little about the work John is doing in Brazil:
Do you have NEWS or PICTURES you would like to share?
Send In your ideas or newsworthy items. Contributions make the Newsletter better!