New Tech Professional Development Grant Program

If you are a relatively new clinical laboratory scientist (CLS) or equivalent working in a clinical microbiology laboratory, are directly involved with bench work, have aspirations of doing more and possibly assume a leadership role, you may be eligible for an ASM $1,500 Professional Development Grant. The eligibility criteria are:

  • Worked as a clinical microbiologist for more than 1 and less than 5 years
  • Non-doctoral level professional
  • ASM member
  • Never attended an ASM General Meeting
  • Not presenting a poster or talk at the 2018 meeting

This grant is designed to inspire beginning non-doctoral level clinical microbiologists to get more engaged in our profession by attending the 2018 ASM Microbe meeting. The award will be used for the meeting registration fee and to help defray travel expenses. During the meeting you will interact with a pre-assigned mentor, attend symposia, visit poster sessions, peruse industry-sponsored exhibits featuring the latest technological advances, have the opportunity to network with other new and "seasoned" microbiologists and learn more about the profession of microbiology.

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Membership for Clinical Microbiologists



“Who is looking out for the interests of clinical microbiologists? In my view, the American Society for Microbiology is doing this exceedingly well.”

Joseph Campos, PhD, D(ABMM), FAAM
Director of the Microbiology Laboratory at Children’s National Medical Center

ASM understands the vital importance clinical microbiology plays in sustaining the health of the world population. We know the daily challenges that you face in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious disease. ASM supports the clinical microbiological community in many unique ways – with cutting-edge information, professional certification and awards, and a robust advocacy for the field. Here is how we can help you…

Access to cutting-edge information through:

  • ASM’s Microbe 2017 meeting, combining the dedicated clinical track of the former General Meeting with the premier infectious disease offerings of ICAAC
  • ASM Journals – seven journals devoted to clinical microbiology and immunology that delivers authoritative and high-quality clinical research
  • CUMITECH lab references – now free with membership!
  • Clinical Microbiology Portal – access to a database of over 1,500 expertly answered questions, and more
  • Two vibrant listservs dedicated to current clinical issues
  • NEW MEMBER TYPE:  CLS/MT/MLT Labtech Membership with up to 12 CE credits


Certify your accomplishment and expertise through:

  • Certification by the American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM), the American Board of Medical Laboratory Immunology (ABMLI), and the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists (NRCM)
  • ASM’s Continuing Education (CE) Portal – the online source for accessing and tracking all continuing education activities
  • Awards and recognition specifi cally focused on clinical microbiologists including the BD Award for Research in Clinical Microbiology, Scherago-Rubin Award, and the Beckman-Coulter Young Investigator Award

Advocacy for the interests of the clinical community through:

  • Encouraging the adoption of sound policies
  • Monitoring federal legislation and regulation
  • Communicating microbiological issues to the public
  • Participating in CDC/APHL organized meetings


ASM's Statement on the March for Science

March for Science Statement Graphic

ASM and Science Advocacy:

There is a widespread desire among scientists to be actively involved in science advocacy and societal issues. This is an opportune time for making science and scientists visible within society at large. The ASM has a strong tradition of engagement with policy issues, and it consistently supports its members in their advocacy for science that serves the public interest.

The March for Science:

A March for Science is being organized for April 22, Earth Day, in Washington DC. The mission statement and additional information can be found on the March for Science web page. A hope is that policy makers will take note of the value of science. ASM members might choose to participate in this march or concurrent events being planned for other cities, but it remains crucial that sustained, effective advocacy for science continues beyond these demonstrations.

ASM and Federal Policy on Science:

To inform and influence sound federal policy, the ASM and its members must repeatedly present clear, science based messages to policymakers and the broader public on the value of scientific knowledge that results from well funded research. Legislators are most receptive when they are contacted directly by constituents who succinctly express their views and focus on specific issues of the greatest importance to the largest number of voters. ASM has posted an advocacy page on its website to assist those members who wish to advocate for the microbial sciences.

Clinical Microbiologists

“Who is looking out for the interests of clinical microbiologists? In my view, the American Society for Microbiology is doing this exceedingly well.”

Joseph Campos, PhD, D(ABMM), FAAM
Director of the Microbiology Laboratory at Children’s National Medical Center

ASM understands the vital importance clinical microbiology plays in sustaining the health of the
world population. We know the daily challenges that you face in the prevention, diagnosis, and
treatment of infectious disease. ASM supports the clinical microbiological community in many
unique ways – with cutting-edge information, professional certifi cation and awards, and a robust advocacy for the field. Here is how we can help you…

Access to cutting-edge information through:
• ASM’s Microbe 2017 meeting, combining the dedicated clinical track of the former General Meeting with the premier infectious disease offerings of ICAAC
• ASM Journals – seven journals devoted to clinical microbiology and immunology that delivers authoritative and high-quality clinical research
• CUMITECH lab references – now free with membership!
• Clinical Microbiology Portal – access to a database of over 1,500 expertly answered questions, and more
• Two vibrant listservs dedicated to current clinical issues
•  NEW MEMBER TYPE:  CLS/MT/MLT Labtech Membership with up to 12 CE credits

Certify your accomplishment and expertise through:
• Certifi cation by the American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM), the American Board of Medical Laboratory Immunology (ABMLI), and the National Registry of Certifi ed Microbiologists (NRCM)
• ASM’s Continuing Education (CE) Portal – the online source for accessing and tracking all continuing education activities
• Awards and recognition specifi cally focused on clinical microbiologists including the BD Award for Research in Clinical Microbiology, Scherago-Rubin Award, and the Beckman-Coulter Young Investigator Award

Advocacy for the interests of the clinical community through:
• Encouraging the adoption of sound policies
• Monitoring federal legislation and regulation
• Communicating microbiological issues to the public
• Participating in CDC/APHL organized meetings


ASM Response to White House Executive Order Regarding Travel and Immigration

ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences through conferences and meetings that provide a forum for all scientists to come together and exchange scientific discovery. We recognize that diversity makes science stronger and collaboration across the globe is imperative for scientific advancements. ASM strives for an inclusive and welcoming environment and our goal is to provide a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences. The participation of scientists from all countries and backgrounds is extremely important to our organization.

The recent White House Executive Order, if reinstated, could restrict scientists, students and postdoctoral fellows from attending ASM meetings. ASM remains committed towards inclusion of all attendees at its meetings.

Anyone affected who has submitted an abstract or registered for one of our upcoming conferences, but may no longer be able to attend the conference due to the Executive Order, should not hesitate to contact our Meeting Customer Service Department at 202.942.9250 or for assistance.

Multisociety Transition Letter

November 23, 2016

Mr. Donald Trump
Office of President-Elect
1800 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006

Dear President-elect Trump:

On behalf of the U.S. scientific, engineering, and higher education community we are looking forward to working with you, as 45th President of the United States, and your administration.

As President you will face a wide range of domestic and international challenges, from protecting national and energy security, to ensuring U.S. economic competitiveness, curing diseases, and responding to natural disasters. These challenges share one thing in common: the need for scientific knowledge and technological expertise to address them successfully.

For this reason, we urge that you quickly appoint a science advisor with the title of Assistant to the President for Science and Technology who is a nationally respected leader with the appropriate engineering, scientific, management and policy skills necessary for this critically important role. This senior level advisor can assist you in determining effective ways to use science and technology to address major national challenges. Moreover, this individual can coordinate relevant science and technology policy and personnel decisions within the executive branch of government.

The economic benefits of advancements in science, technology and innovation have been well documented, estimated by leading economists to have accounted for approximately half of U.S. economic growth over the last fifty years. Past government investments in the U.S. scientific and technological enterprise have fueled our economy, created new jobs, and ensured our global competitiveness and national security. At the same time, these investments have enabled the development of a system of U.S. research universities and national laboratories unmatched in the world.

We know that one of your top priorities will be to focus on ensuring that the U.S. economy remains strong and continues to grow. If we are to maintain America’s global leadership, and respond to the economic and security challenges currently facing the nation, we must build on our strong history of federal support for innovation, entrepreneurship and science and technology.

Toward that end we would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you or leaders of your transition team to discuss how the science and engineering community can assist with developing a path forward to ensure that the U.S. innovation infrastructure grows and flourishes under your administration and to suggest candidates for top science and technology posts.

Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to your response. You may contact Joanne Carney ( with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to coordinate a convenient meeting time, and we will follow up with a proposed list of attendees.

Rush D. Holt
Chief Executive Officer
American Association for the Advancement of Science

Kevin B. Marvel
Executive Officer
American Astronomical Society

Donna J. Nelson
American Chemical Society

Chris McEntee
Executive Director and CEO
American Geophysical Union

Milan P. Yager
Executive Director
American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering

Robert G.W. Brown
Chief Executive Officer
American Institute of Physics

Kate P. Kirby
Chief Executive Officer
American Physical Society

Martin Frank
Executive Director
American Physiological Society

Stefano Bertuzzi
Chief Executive Officer
American Society for Microbiology (ASM)

Crispin Taylor
Chief Executive Officer
American Society of Plant Biologists

Nancy Kidd
Executive Officer
American Sociological Association

Robert H. Rich
Executive Director
Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS)

Thomas G. Loughlin
Executive Director

Sarah Brookhart
Executive Director
Association for Psychological Science

Mary Sue Coleman
Association of American Universities

Peter McPherson
Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

Keith Yamamoto
Coalition for the Life Sciences

RADM Jonathan White (ret., USN)
President and CEO
Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Wendy A. Naus
Executive Director
Consortium of Social Science Associations

Madeleine Jacobs
President and CEO
Council of Scientific Society Presidents

David M. Lodge
Ecological Society of America

Howard H. Garrison
Deputy Executive Director for Policy
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Shirley M. Tilghman
Rescuing Biomedical Research

Mary Woolley

John C. Nemeth.
Executive Director and CEO
SIGMA Xi, The Scientific Research Society

Thomas Grumbly
SoAR Foundation

Marty Saggese
Executive Director
Society for Neuroscience

Peter Walter
The American Society for Cell Biology

Elizabeth A. Rogan
Chief Executive Officer
The Optical Society (OSA)


ASM's Support of International Scientists

Dear Member,

You are receiving this email because you are an ASM member living in a country that is being affected by the January 27 White House Executive Order on immigration that bars the entry or return of individuals to the U.S. We are actively working with policy makers to end the adverse effects it is having on the ability of researchers and students to study, attend conferences, and collaborate with counterparts in the United States.

We support all our global members. We are proud of how highly engaged and dedicated you are in advancing the microbial sciences as well as preventing and curing infectious diseases that threaten millions worldwide. The ASM AmbassadorsYoung Ambassadors and BioResource Centers in your country have been actively providing education and microbiology skills building opportunities and will continue to do so. You will also have access to our online resources as before.

ASM is your professional society and a global home for your science. We recognize that diversity makes science stronger and collaboration across the globe is imperative for scientific advancements. The latest bLogphase post underlines all the dangers we face when we close our borders to global science.

SusieSharpNew     bertuzzi

Susan E. Sharp                                Stefano Bertuzzi, CEO, ASM    

Volunteer and Governance Engagement Program Coordinator

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM), headquartered in Washington, DC, is seeking a full-time Volunteer and Governance Engagement Program Coordinator in the Office of the Executive Director department. The incumbent will be responsible for volunteer leadership and governance support, organizational governance nomination, appointments, and recruitment activities and coordinating the annual election of volunteer leadership positions for the Office of the Executive Director. In addition, the incumbent will be responsible for preparing and tracking budget for the volunteer leadership and governance activities.

ASM is Your Global Society

Dear Members,

The ASM is as deeply concerned as you are about the January 27 White House Executive Order on immigration that bars the entry or return of individuals from certain countries and we are working with policy makers to end the adverse effects it is having on the ability of researchers to study and exchange knowledge. ASM prides itself on being a global community and our strength lies in both our national and international members.

We want to send a strong message of support to all our dedicated members worldwide who are working to prevent and cure infectious diseases that threaten global health. ASM is your professional society and a global home for your science. We recognize that diversity makes science stronger and collaboration across the globe is imperative for scientific advancements. The latest bLogphase post underlines all the dangers we face when we close our borders to global science.

SusieSharpNew    bertuzzi

Susan E. Sharp, President             Stefano Bertuzzi, CEO, ASM


Premium +1

For a limited time, the first 400 members who renew at the Premium member rate will be given one free membership* to award to the student, postdoc, or colleague of their choice. Hurry and renew!  The offer is only good for the first 400 members who renew, and all must be received by October 15, 2016.


1)  You renew your membership at the Premium level before 10/15/16.

2)   Within 2 business days of processing your renewal you will receive an email with an application attached. 

3)  You select your recipient and forward the application for them to complete and return to ASM.  Please note:  all awarded membership applications must be received by November 15, 2016.


-*Only Student, Postdoc, or Supporting memberships are included in this offer.
- Recipients cannot have been a member during 2016.
- The offer is first-come, first-served: when 400 applications have been awarded the offer will conclude.
- Each Premium member is eligible to receive only one free membership.
- The free membership cannot be used in combination with any other ASM product to receive a discount, or as part of a Lab & Classroom group.
- If are a 2016 Contributing Member and would like to upgrade to Premium in order to take advantage of this offer, either change your member type on the renewal form, and enter $132 for  payment OR select Premium membership when renewing online at

Questions?  Contact



ASM on U.S. Immigration Policy Concerns

ASM on U.S. Immigration Policy Concerns

The mission of the ASM is to promote and advance the microbial sciences, in the United States and worldwide.

The revised travel executive order issued March 6 by President Trump aims to make America safe and protect the country from the threat of terrorism. While we are supportive of the goals to prevent terrorism, we also recognize the global challenges for which international scientific collaborations are essential, such as infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance.

ASM is closely monitoring the news on immigration policy and is advocating for maintaining a global culture of science. We are concerned about the perception that the US is no longer welcoming scientists from around the world who want to work in our ecosystem of universities, government and industry that has produced countless health and environmental advances.

pollfavorableviewsimageZogby Impressions of America survey.

In addition, ASM continues to champion science diplomacy and promote international partnerships in the sciences. As a survey done by Zogby International noted, countries with low regard for the US and its policies still had high respect for US science. America’s science and technology enterprise is one of our greatest strengths, and the common language of science and the challenges we share allows for meaningful exchange between groups that are increasingly isolated.

ASM has almost 2,000 members in the six countries impacted by the ban. We want to send a strong message to them and all our dedicated members worldwide who are working to prevent and cure infectious diseases and study the role of microbes on earth and in the oceans. ASM is your professional society and a global home for your science. We recognize that diversity makes science stronger and collaboration across the globe is imperative for scientific advancements.

ASM does not participate in partisan politics and maintains strict political neutrality on issues, while being a strong advocate for science.


SusieSharpNew                  stefano signature

Susan E. Sharp, President, ASM           Stefano Bertuzzi, CEO, ASM


ASM's Action Items on Immigration Policy:

The Dangers of Closing the Borders on Global Science

ASM and 150 Partner Organizations Urge Administration to rescind White House Executive Order on Immigration

ASM Letter to President Trump Regarding Immigration Executive Order

Immigration and Visa Information

ASM is Your Global Society

ASM's Support of International Scientists


How long does the grant writing process take?

How well do you know the grant writing process?

For a successful grant application, the typical time from submission to funding is:

a. 1-2 months
b. 3-4 months
c. 5-6 months
d. 7-8 months
e. 9-10 months

The typical length of the grant writing process, from when you begin planning your application to when you receive the funds, is 9-10 months. Since the grant process takes a significant amount of time and has important future implications, it is important to utilize all available resources. One such resource is the ASM Grant Writing Online Course. This three month, six-part webinar series provides graduate, postdoctoral sciences and early to mid-career scientists with an overview of the NIH and NSF grant process. Led by individuals who have successfully obtained grants, this course will provide participants with a broad understanding of (i) the grant making enterprise and the overall funding landscape, (ii) tips for successfully writing NIH and NSF grants, (iii) developing an impactful NIH/NSF Biosketch, and (iv) viewing your grant from the reviewer's perspective. 

Register here
Registration deadline: December 1, 2016
January - March 2017
ASM members: $150 | Non-members: $200

2017 Election Winners


 swansonMichele Swanson, President-Elect
University of Michigan Medical School
Ann Arbor, MI

Michele Swanson, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan Medical School
Education: After studying biology and playing field hockey and softball at Yale, she was introduced to the exciting world of experimental science as a research technician at Rockefeller University in the lab of Samuel C. Silverstein, an expert in leukocyte cell biology who conducted seminal studies of Legionella pneumophila growth in macrophages. Michele developed a love of genetics as a graduate student, using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a tool to study gene expression with Marian Carlson at Columbia and Fred Winston at Harvard. After a brief hiatus devoted to her children, she trained as a postdoctoral fellow with Ralph Isberg at Tufts and HHMI, where she developed cell biological methods to analyze the fate of L. pneumophila in macrophages. In addition to exploiting this pathogen as a genetic probe of macrophage function, her lab investigates how metabolic cues govern the microbe’s resilience in the environment and virulence in phagocytes. Currently they are investigating whether changes in the chemistry of Flint, MI’s water supply altered persistence or virulence of L. pneumophila.
Professional Experience: At Michigan, Swanson teaches infectious diseases to medical students, bacterial pathogenesis to graduate students, and current topics in microbiology to freshman undergraduates. She is also Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Studies at the medical school.


donohueTimothy J. Donohue, Secretary
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI

Timothy Donohue, UW Foundation Chairman Fetzer-Bascom Professor of Bacteriology, Director, Great Lakes Bioenergy, Wisconsin Energy Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Education: 1975 B.S., Life Sciences, Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn; 1977 M.S., Microbiology, Pennsylvania State University; 1979, Ph.D., Microbiology, Pennsylvania State University (Mentor, Dr. Robert Bernlohr); 1979-1986 Postdoctoral Fellow/NRSA Fellow & Visiting Assistant Professor – Microbiology Department, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Mentor, Dr. Samuel Kaplan).
Professional Experience: 1986-1991, Assistant Professor of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison); 1991-1996, Associate Professor of Bacteriology, UW-Madison; 1996-Present. Professor of Bacteriology, UW-Madison; 2016-Present UW Foundation Chairman Fetzer-Bascom Professor; 2007-2009, Director, Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative, UW-Madison; 2007–Present, Principal Investigator and Director, Department of Energy Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, UW-Madison; 2011-Present, Steering Committee Member Wisconsin Energy Institute, UW-Madison; 1986-Present, Trainer in UW-Madison Bacteriology and Microbiology Doctoral Programs; 1986-Present, Trainer in UW-Madison Cellular and Molecular Biology Doctoral Program; 1989-Present, Trainer in UW-Madison Genetics Doctoral Program; 1986-Present, Trainer in NIGMS Molecular Biosciences Pre-doctoral Training Program, UW-Madison; 1988-Present, Trainer in NIGMS Biotechnology Training Program, UW-Madison; 1989-Present, Trainer in NIGMS Genetics Training Program, UW-Madison; Member, AAAS, ACS, ASM, FASEB; SACNAS, SGM SIM, Wisconsin Academy of Arts and Sciences.

diazGreetchen Diaz, Early Career Scientist 1-year term
Board of Directors
Puerto Rico Science Technology and Research Trust
San Juan, PR

Greetchen Díaz, Ph.D., Grants Program Director, Puerto Rico Science, Technology, and Research Trust, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Education: Dr. Díaz completed a Bachelor and Master Degrees in Biology, at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez. Then, she earned her PhD in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at The Ohio State University, where she studied intracellular protein trafficking using yeast as a model system. Her research described a requirement of the Spindle Pole Body (yeast centrosome) for Targeting/Tethering peripheral proteins to the Inner Nuclear Membrane. After earning her PhD, Greetchen started as a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Virology, University of Nebraska, where she got a NIH T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship to conduct studies in reproduction of Human Papilloma Virus.
Professional Experience: Dr. Greetchen Díaz is the Grants Program Director at the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust. Greetchen was responsible for the implementation of the first local grants in Puerto Rico, such as the Science and Technology Research Grants, the Small Research Grants and the Researcher’s Startup Funds. At the Trust, Dr. Díaz also coordinates the outreach and science education initiatives. For more than 9 years, Greetchen is part of the administrative team of "Ciencia Puerto Rico" (CienciaPR), a non-profit organization that promotes science and scientific careers among Puerto Ricans and Hispanics. At CienciaPR, she participates in numerous projects in science communication, science outreach, and science education. She is the founder and coordinator of CienciaPR's "Borinqueña", the bilingual blog for Hispanic and Puerto Rican Women in Science and Technology. She was the coordinator of "Semillas de Triunfo" (Seeds of Succeed), the first STEM Ambassador Program for middle school girls in Puerto Rico.

acostaPatricio Acosta, International Scientist 1-year term
Board of Directors

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Patricio L. Acosta, PhD, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) – Argentina, Facultad de Medicina - Universidad de Buenos Aires - Argentina
Education: Bachelor of Science – Colegio Gdor. Mariano Saavedra. Master of Science in Genetics – Universidad Nacional del Nordeste (UNNE). Doctor in immunopathology – School of Medicine – Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA).
Professional Experience: Dr. Patricio Acosta is an Assistant Professor at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council, CONICET (Argentina) and at the School of Medicine – Universidad de Buenos Aires. He received his MSc with concentration in genetics from the Universidad Nacional del Nordeste and his doctorate in immunopathology from the Universidad de Buenos Aires with the highest honors (summa cum laude). Following his graduate training, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship training program at Fundacion INFANT under the supervision of Dr. Fernando Polack. During 2010-11 he worked as research fellow in the laboratory of Dr. James Crowe Jr. at Vanderbilt University. Since 2011, he has led the team responsible of the laboratory viral diagnoses for a huge study funded (for the first time in Argentina) by the Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation. His work combines the virological laboratory diagnostics and investigation. He has received among other distinctions, awards from the Universidad Nacional del Nordeste, the Sociedad Argentina de Microbiología, the Entre Ríos government, the Argentine National Educational Ministry, the International Society of Influenza and Respiratory Viruses, the National Scientific and Technical Research Council and the Macrae Foundation. Finally, this year he received the Young Investigator Award 2016 from the Pan-American Society for Clinical Virology. On the other hand, he has been engaged in teaching undergraduate courses at the Universidad Nacional del Nordeste, Universidad de Buenos Aires and has also served as mentor in the “Translational Health Science Internship in Argentina”, a program from Georgetown University (USA). Finally, is appropriate to mention that Dr. Acosta is guest editor of Mediators of Inflammation Journal.

maloysStanley Maloy, At-Large 2-year term
Board of Directors
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA

Maloy, Stanley, Professor of Microbiology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Education: 1981 Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine; 1977 M.S. in Microbiology, California State University, Long Beach; 1975 B.S. in Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine
Professional Experience: 2006-2010 Chief Scientific Officer, Vaxiion Therapeutics, Inc., Sorrento Valley, CA; 2003-2006 Director, Center for Applied and Experimental Genomics, San Diego State Univ.; 2002-2014 Co-Director, Bacterial Pathogenesis Course, Watson Graduate School, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY; 2000-2006 Director, Center for Microbial Sciences, San Diego, CA; 2001-2002 Director, Biotechnology Center, Univ. Illinois, Urbana, IL; 1995-2002 Professor of Microbiology, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL; 1991-1992; Sabbatical leave at the California Biological Research Institute La Jolla, CA ; 1990-1995 Associate Professor of Microbiology, Univ. Illinois, Urbana, IL; 1990-1995 Instructor, Advanced Bacterial Genetics Course, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY; 1984-1990 Assistant Professor of Microbiology, Univ. Illinois, Urbana, IL; 1982-1983 Instructor, Human Genetics, Univ. Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; 1981-1984 Postdoctoral fellow at Univ. Utah, Salt Lake City, UT ; 1979-1980 General Chemistry Instructor, Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, CA; 1977-1981 Teaching assistant for General Microbiology Labs, UC Irvine; 1976-1977 Teaching assistant for Bacterial Physiology Labs, CSU, Long Beach; 1975-1977 Electron Microcopy technician, Microbiology Department, CSU Long Beach; 1975-1976 Teaching assistant for General Microbiology Labs, CSU Long Beach; 1974-1975 Co-Founder, Laboratory Management Co., Torrance, CA (Clinical Laboratories),

patelRobin Patel, At-Large 2-year term
Board of Directors

Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN

Robin Patel, MD, FRCP(C), D(ABMM), FIDSA, FACP, F(AAM), Chair, Division of Clinical Microbiology; Director, Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory; Co-Director, Clinical Bacteriology Laboratory; Professor of Microbiology and Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
Education: Princeton University, BA Chemistry, 1985; McGill University, MD, 1989; Mayo Clinic, Internal Medicine Residency, Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Fellowships, 1989-1996
Professional Experience: 96-Present Faculty, Mayo Clinic (Assistant Professor, 96-00; Associate Professor, 00-06; Professor, 06-Present); 96-Present Member, Infectious Diseases Research Committee, Mayo Clinic; 98-Present Multiple NIH Study Sections and Special Emphasis Panels; 00-09 Chair, Infectious Diseases Research, Mayo Clinic; 01-Present Director, Microbiology Course, Mayo Medical School; 04-06 Member, IDSA Publications Committee; 07-12 Program Director, Clinical Microbiology Fellowship Program, Mayo Clinic; 07-10 Member, Student Promotions Committee, Mayo Medical School; 07-Present Director, Clinical Bacteriology Laboratory, Mayo Clinic (Co-Director 15-Present); 07-Present Basic Science Theme Leader, Mayo Medical School; 09-Present USMLE Committees: Microbiology and Immunology Test Development (Member 09-14; Chair, 14-17), Item Review (Member 15-present); 09-Present Member, Mayo Foundation Conflict of Interest Review Board; 10-15 Member, Research Finance Subcommittee, Mayo Clinic; 10-13 Member, IDSA’s Annual Meeting Planning Committee; 11-Present Chair, Division of Clinical Microbiology, Mayo Clinic; 13-15 Chair, Diagnostics and Devices Subcommittee, Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG); 13-Present Member, Mentoring Committee, ARLG; 13-14 Advisor, Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), Subcommittee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing; 15-Present Director of Diagnostics and Master Protocol, ARLG; 15-Present Member, CLSI, Subcommittee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing; 16-Present Member, Research Space and Equipment Subcommittee, Mayo Clinic; 16-Present Associate Editor, Clinical Infectious Diseases; 17-20 Member, National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council

carrollKaren Carroll, 3-year term
Board of Directors

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD

Karen C Carroll, MD, Professor of Pathology, Director, Division of Medical Microbiology, Section Director Bacteriology and Molecular Epidemiology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Education: 1975 B.A., Biology, College of Notre Dame, Baltimore, MD; 1979 M.D., University of Maryland School of Medicine; 1978-80 Internship in Medicine, University of Maryland; 1980-82 Residency in Primary Care Internal Medicine (R2 & R3), Associated Hospitals Program in Internal Medicine, University of Rochester; 1982-83 Chief Residency, Associated Hospitals Program in Internal Medicine, University of Rochester; 1984-86 Fellow in Infectious Diseases, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA; 1989-90 AAM/CPEP Fellow in Medical Microbiology, Department of Pathology, University of Utah Health Sciences Center; 2011-2013 Science of Clinical Investigation Certificate Program, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; 2012-2013 Leadership Program for Women Faculty
Professional Experience: 1982-83 Instructor in Medicine, University of Rochester; 1983-84 Staff Physician, Mattapan Chronic Disease Hospital, Boston, MA; 1985-86 Instructor in Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical Center; 1986-88 Hospital Epidemiologist, St. Joseph's Hospital, Memphis, TN; 1988-90 Clinical Instructor in Medicine, University of Utah Medical Center; 1990-91 Limited Term Instructor, Department of Pathology, University of Utah; 1991-1997 Assistant Professor of Pathology, University of Utah; 1991-1997 Adjunct Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases, University of Utah; 1997 Associate Professor of Pathology, University of Utah, Award of Tenure; 1997 Adjunct Associate Professor, Infectious Diseases, University of Utah; 2002 Associate Professor Pathology and Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; 2002-2015 Secondary Appointment Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; 2006-present Professor Pathology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

millerVirginia Miller, 3-year term
Board of Directors
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC

Virginia L. Miller, Professor of Genetics and Microbiology & Immunology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Education: Dr. Miller earned her B.A. at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Harvard University where she studied regulation of cholera toxin expression. She then pursued postdoctoral training at Stanford University where she began her studies on Yersinia and Salmonella.
Professional Experience: After postdoctoral training at Stanford University, she joined the faculty at UCLA where she was granted tenure in 1994. She then moved to Washington University in St. Louis in 1996 and in 2008 she moved to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as Professor and Associate Dean of Graduate Education in the School of Medicine.

maloyjJeffrey Maloy, Early Career Scientist, 1-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences

University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA

Maloy, Jeffrey, Microbiology PhD Candidate, University of California, Los Angeles
Education: 2017 Ph.D. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics (anticipated), University of California, Los Angeles; 2011 B.S. in Molecular Biology, University of California, San Diego
Professional Experience: 2016-2017 Teaching Assistant Consultant, University of California, Los Angeles - Organized workshops and two UCLA courses to train new TAs and familiarize them with active learning techniques; 2017 Invited Panelist for “Building Inclusive Classrooms Forum,” University of California, Los Angeles; 2016-2017 Staff Writer, Signal to Noise Magazine; 2016-2017 Vice President, SciComm Hub @ UCLA; 2014-2015 Guest Lecturer for Introduction to Microbial Pathogenesis course, University of California, Los Angeles; 2013-2014 TA for Introduction to Microbial Pathogenesis course, University of California, Los Angeles; 2014 STEAM Carnival outreach facilitator, 2014 Student Mentor, CityLab at UCLA; 2011-2012 Academic Tutor for Advancing Careers in Engineering and Science (ACES) - Taught science to middle school students from low academic performance index schools in the Los Angeles area

brownPaul Brown, International Scientist, 1-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences

The University of the West Indies
Kingston, Jamaica

Paul D Brown, PhD, Senior Lecturer and Head, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica
Education: BSc (Hons) with double major in Biochemistry & Chemistry. The UWI, Mona, Jamaica 1989; MPhil in Biochemistry. The UWI, Mona, Jamaica. 1992; PhD in Microbiology (advisor, Paul N. Levett, PhD). The UWI, Cave Hill, Barbados. 1995
Professional Experience: 1999–2001, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Chemistry and Medical Technology, Northern Caribbean University, Mandeville, Jamaica; 2001–2009, Lecturer in Microbiology, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Biochemistry Section, The UWI, Mona, Jamaica; 2003-present, Graduate Course Coordinator, BAMS6011/BC60B: Understanding Research; 2003-2009, Chair, Staff/Student Liaison Committee, Biochemistry section, The UWI, Mona, Jamaica; 2009-present, Senior Lecturer, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Biochemistry Section, The UWI, Mona, Jamaica; 2012-present, Council member, International Society of Infectious Diseases; 2013-present, Member, FMS Sub-Committee for Research, UWI, Mona; 2014-present, Chair, Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS) Annual Research Conference and Workshop Organizing Committee, The UWI, Mona, Jamaica; 2014-present, Member, FMS Committee for Annual Research Awards; 2015-present, President, West Indies Group of University Teachers (WIGUT) Jamaica; 2015-present, Member, Health Services Committee, UWI, Mona August 2016-present, Head, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, The UWI, Mona, Jamaica; August 2016-present, Deputy Dean, Allied Health, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The UWI, Mona, Jamaica.

haysJohn Hays, International Scientist, 1-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences

Erasmus University Medical Center
Rotterdam, Netherlands

John P. Hays, Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam (Erasmus MC), Rotterdam, Zuid Holland, the Netherlands
Education: PhD 'The Genetic Diversity and Complement Resistance Phenotype of Moraxella catarrhalis’. Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. 2000 - 2005. PhD - 'The Molecular Epidemiology of Human Coronavirus 229E'. University of Leicester, Leicester, UK. 1993–1996. MSc (with Distinction) - Biomedical Science. Nottingham Polytechnic, Nottingham, UK 1990–1992. BSc - Biology with Food Science and Nutrition. Oxford Polytechnic, Oxford, UK1983–1986.
Professional Experience: Scientific Research and Management Experience: Coordinator on 3 European Union Funded International research projects - 1) 'Development of Tailored Antimicrobial Treatment Regimens' ( 2) 'New Anti-Bacterials with Inhibitory Activity on Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases.' ( 3) 'An Integrated Tool-Kit.' ( Principle Investigator on 5 European Union Funded International Research Projects - 1) 'Antimicrobial Resistance Rapid Diagnostic Tests Working Group' (JPIAMR). 2) 'Chair / Bedside Diagnosis for Personalized Monitoring and Treatment' ( 3) 'Nanotherapeutics to Treat Antibiotic Resistant Gram-Negative Pneumonia Infections’ ( 4). 'Novel Prevention and Treatment Possibilities for Otitis Media' (OMVac). 5) ‘Mobile Genetic Elements in the Spread of Antimicrobial Drug Resistance (DRESP2). Scientific Employment: Clinical Scientist Grade B15, Enteric and Respiratory Virus Laboratory, CPHL, London, UK. 1998–1999. Higher Scientific Officer, Virology and Molecular Methods Group, Central Science Laboratory, York, UK. 1997-1998. Medical Laboratory Scientific Officer, Clinical Microbiological Diagnostic Laboratory, QMC Hospital, Nottingham, UK. 1987-1993. Teaching and Training Experience: BSc - 'Clinical Medicine', 'Clinical Technology' and 'Life Sciences', MSc - 'Infection and Immunity', 6 PhD students. Miscellaneous: 1) Scientific Advisor to a Member of the European Parliament. 2) Scientific Board - Omnigen BV ( 3) Scientific Advisor - Sparks and Co. (

crossonSean Crosson, At Large, 2-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences

University of Chicago
Chicago, IL

Sean Crosson, Professor, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Education: B.A. Biology, Earlham College, 1996; Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, University of Chicago, 2002. Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University, 2002-2005.
Professional Experience: Chair of the graduate program in microbiology, University of Chicago (2015-present); NIH study section (PCMB, 2016-2017, ad hoc); NSF study panels (Microbial Communities; Mathematical Biology; 2014-2016); Beckman Young Investigator Award, review committee (2012-2016); Faculty, Microbial Diversity Course, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA. (2015-present); Editorial board, Journal of Bacteriology (2012-present); Editorial advisory board, Molecular Microbiology (2011-present)

vollmerAmy Cheng Vollmer, At Large, 2-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences

Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, PA

Amy Cheng Vollmer, Isaac H. Clothier, Jr. Professor of Biology at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA
Education: She began her training at Rice University where she received her BA in Biochemistry in 1977. She then earned PhD in Biochemistry in 1983 from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Professional Experience: After a postdoctoral fellowship in the Division of Immunology (Stanford Medical School) she spent four years at Mills College before joining the faculty at Swarthmore. There she has served two terms as biology department chair, was the inaugural Luhrs Fellow at Swarthmore’s Center for Leadership and Innovation, and most recently, was one of four founding faculty members in Swarthmore’s Summer Scholars Program that focuses on developing young successful scholars in STEM. She has been a member of the Gordon Research Conference Microbial Stress Response community since 1994 and co-chaired the conference in 2000. In 2006 she was received the Carski Foundation Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award from the ASM. She has led the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology since 2007 as its fourth president. She was an ASM Distinguished Lecturer from 2011 to 2013. In 2014, she was recognized as a National Academies Summer Institute Education Fellow in the Sciences.

wylieKristine Wylie, At Large, 2-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences

Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, MO

Kristine M. Wylie, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
Education: 2003-2009, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Doctoral Program in Biomedical Sciences, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Dissertation: Manipulation of virus-host interactions to determine protein function, Mentor: Lynda A. Morrison, Professor; 1993-1996, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, B.A., cum laude in Biology
Professional Experience: July 2015 – Present, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, Studies of the microbiome, infectious diseases, and microbe-host interactions; February 2013 – June 2015, Research Instructor, Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, Microbial genomics research, with emphasis on studying the human virome and infectious diseases; October 2009 – January 2013, Postdoctoral Research Associate, The Genome Institute, Washington University School of Medicine, Mentor: George Weinstock, Professor, Metagenomic analysis of the human virome; discovery of novel microbes; May 1996 – May 2003, Manager and research technician, Physical Mapping Group, The Genome Center, Washington University School of Medicine, Supervisor: Dr. John McPherson, Managed projects and personnel for a number of large-scale genome projects, including human, mouse, chicken, and zebrafish

depascalisRoberto De Pascalis, At Large, 3-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Silver Spring, MD

Roberto De Pascalis, M.D., Laboratory of Mucosal Pathogens and Cellular Immunology, Office of Vaccines Research and Review, Center for Biologic Evaluation and Review, Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD
Education: Medical Doctor Degree, University of Naples, Italy; Specialty in Microbiology and Virology, University of Naples, Italy
Professional Experience: Resident, Department of Molecular Biology and Pathology, University of Naples, Italy; Visiting Fellow, Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, NIH, Bethesda, MD; Visiting Associate, CBER, FDA, Bethesda, MD; Research Microbiologist, LMPCI, CBER, FDA, Silver Spring, MD
Publications (Selected): De Pascalis R, Taylor BC and KL Elkins. Diverse myeloid and lymphoid cell subpopulations produce gamma interferon during early innate immune responses to Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain. Infect Immun. 2008; 76(9):4311-4321; Elkins KL, Colombini SM, Krieg AM, De Pascalis R. NK cells activated in vivo by bacterial DNA control the intracellular growth of Francisella tularensis LVS. Microbes Infect. 2009; 11(1): 49-56; De Pascalis R, Chou AY, Bosio CM, et al. Development of functional and molecular correlates of vaccine-induced protection for a model intracellular pathogen, F. tularensis LVS. PLoS Pathogens. 2012; 8(1) e1002494; De Pascalis R, Chou AY, Ryden P, et al. Models derived from in vitro analyses of spleen, liver, and lung leukocyte functions predict vaccine efficacy against Francisella tularensis LVS. mBio. 2014; 5(2): e00936-13; De Pascalis R, Mittereder L, Chou AY, et al. Francisella tularensis vaccines elicit concurrent protective T- and B-cell immune responses in Balb/cByJ mice. PloS One. 2015; 10(5) e0126570; De Pascalis R, Mittereder L, Kennet NJ, and Elkins KL. Activities of murine peripheral blood lymphocytes provide immune correlates that predict Francisella tularensis vaccine efficacy. Infect Immun. 2016; 84(4):1054-1061; Elkins KL, Kurtz SL, De Pascalis R. Progress, challenges, and opportunities in Francisella vaccine development. Expert Rev Vaccines. 2016 May 3:1-14.

diritaVictor DiRita, At-Large, 3-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences

Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI

Victor DiRita, Rudolph Hugh Endowed Chair, Department Chair, Michigan State University
Education: B.S. Michigan State University – 1980; Ph.D. Purdue University – 1986; Postdoctoral – Harvard Medical School – 1986-1991
Professional Experience: 1991-2015, Assistant, Associate, Full Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Michigan; 2010-2015 Associate Dean, Graduate & Postdoctoral Training, University of Michigan Medical School

ferrellRebecca Ferrell, At Large, 3-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences

Metropolitan State University of Denver
Denver, CO

Rebecca V. Ferrell, Professor of Biology, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado
Education: B.S., 1978, Missouri State University, biology major, English minor; M.S., 1980, Missouri State University, immunology in murine model, Richard Myers lab; PhD, 1990, University of Missouri Medical School, microbial genetics in mycoplasmas, Mark McIntosh lab; Post-doc, 1990-91, University of Colorado, RNA selex of viral polymerases, Larry Gold lab
Professional Experience: I joined the Metropolitan State faculty in 1991, earning tenure in 1996 and Professor in 2000. Teaching is our main focus. I teach 24 credits annually; my rotation includes General Microbiology, Microbial Ecology, Microbial Genetics, Virology, and Biology of Women. Before joining the faculty, along with the usual teaching and research assistant jobs, I enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve, training as a 91-S Environmental Health specialist, the military equivalent of public health work. I also taught middle school math and science, and college biology as an adjunct professor to Americans stationed in West Germany.

marloweElizabeth Marlowe, At Large, 3-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences

Roche Molecular Systems Inc.
Pleasanton, CA

Elizabeth M. Marlowe, PhD, D (ABMM), Director Medical Affairs, Microbiology, Roche Molecular Systems, Inc., Pleasanton, Ca
Education: Bachelor of Science: 1989-1993, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Minor: Mathematics/Chemistry; Master of Science: 1993-1995, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, Environmental Microbiology; Ph.D.: 1995-1999, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, Environmental Microbiology; Postdoctoral Fellow: 1999-2001, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, Clinical/Public Health Microbiology
Professional Experience: 2016 Director of Medical Affairs, Microbiology, Roche Molecular Systems, Incorporated, Pleasanton, CA; 2015-2016 Technical Director of Microbiology, Kaiser Permanente, TPMG Regional Reference Laboratories, Berkeley, CA; 2005- 2015 Assistant Director of Microbiology and Molecular Testing, Kaiser Permanente, SCPMG Regional Reference Laboratories, North Hollywood, CA; 2002-2005 Research Scientist I, Research Scientist II, Senior Scientist, Gen-Probe Incorporated, San Diego, CA; 2001-2002 Research Scientist, Project Coordinator, Wadsworth Anaerobe Laboratory, Brentwood Biomedical Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA


bioRxiv (static HTML)

Genome Integration and Reactivation of the Virophage MavirusIn the Marine Protozoan Cafeteria roenbergensis


Fischer, M. G. | Hackl, T. |


Endogenous viral elements are increasingly found in eukaryotic genomes, yet little is known about their origins, dynamics, or function. Here, we provide a compelling example of a DNA virus that readily integrates into a eukaryotic genome where it acts as an inducible antiviral defense system. We found that the virophage mavirus, a parasite of the giant virus CroV, integrates at multiple sites within the nuclear genome of the marine heterotrophic nanoflagellate Cafeteria roenbergensis. The endogenous mavirus is structurally and genetically similar to the eukaryotic Maverick/Polinton DNA transposons. Provirophage genes are activated by superinfection with CroV, which leads to the production of infectious mavirus particles. While provirophage-carrying cells are not directly protected from lysis by CroV, release of reactivated virophage particles promotes survival of other host populations. Our results corroborate the connection between mavirus and Maverick/Polinton elements and suggest that provirophages can defend natural protist populations against infection by giant viruses.


PUBLISHED: 2016-08-07

Generated MeSH Terms

Animals | DNA Transposable Elements | Parasites | Eukaryota | Superinfection | SERPINA3 protein, human | Serpins | Viruses | DNA Viruses | Antiviral Agents |

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21385722 | 23701946 | 24973308 | 21559486 | 26305943 | 20974979 | 24747414 | 26560305 | 23071316 | 24882428

Direct correlation between motile behavior and protein abundance in single cells


Dufour, Y. S. | Gillet, S. | Frankel, N. W. | Weibel, D. B. | Emonet, T. |


Understanding how stochastic molecular fluctuations affect cell behavior requires the quantification of both behavior and protein numbers in the same cells. Here, we combine automated microscopy with in situ hydrogel polymerization to measure single-cell protein expression after tracking swimming behavior. We characterized the distribution of non-genetic phenotypic diversity in Escherichia coli motility, which affects single-cell exploration. By expressing fluorescently tagged chemotaxis proteins (CheR and CheB) at different levels, we quantitatively mapped motile phenotype (tumble bias) to protein numbers using thousands of single-cell measurements. Our results disagreed with established models until we incorporated the role of CheB in receptor deamidation and the slow fluctuations in receptor methylation. Beyond refining models, our central finding is that changes in numbers of CheR and CheB affect the population mean tumble bias and its variance independently. Therefore, it is possible to adjust the degree of phenotypic diversity of a population by adjusting the global level of expression of CheR and CheB while keeping their ratio constant, which, as shown in previous studies, confers functional robustness to the system. Since genetic control of protein expression is heritable, our results suggest that non-genetic diversity in motile behavior is selectable, supporting earlier hypotheses that such diversity confers a selective advantage.


PUBLISHED: 2016-08-04

Generated MeSH Terms

Methylation | Escherichia coli | Microscopy | Polymerization | Hydrogel | Swimming | Chemotaxis | Gene Expression Regulation | 5-(2-cyclohexylidene-ethyl)-5-ethylbarbiturate | Barbiturates | Phenotype | Genetic Variation |

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16788185 | 11717272 | 21292743 | 20972792 | 3056911 | 2188960 | 2661528 | 10464232 | 19231145 | 9465023

Rapid resistome mapping using nanopore sequencing


van der Helm, E. | Imamovic, L. | Hashim Ellabaan, M. M. | Koza, A. | Sommer, M. O. A. O. A. |


The emergence of antibiotic resistance in human pathogens has become a major threat to modern medicine and in particular hospitalized patients. The outcome of antibiotic treatment can be affected by the composition of the gut resistome either by enabling resistance gene acquisition of infecting pathogens or by modulating the collateral effects of antibiotic treatment on the commensal microbiome. Accordingly, knowledge of the gut resistome composition could enable more effective and individualized treatment of bacterial infections. Yet, rapid workflows for resistome characterization are lacking. To address this challenge we developed the poreFUME workflow that deploys functional metagenomic selections and nanopore sequencing to resistome mapping. We demonstrate the approach by functionally characterizing the gut resistome of an ICU patient. The accuracy of the poreFUME pipeline is >97 % sufficient for the reliable annotation of antibiotic resistance genes. The poreFUME pipeline provides a promising approach for efficient resistome profiling that could inform antibiotic treatment decisions in the future.


PUBLISHED: 2016-08-03

Generated MeSH Terms

Humans | Workflow | Nanopores | Drug Resistance, Microbial | Microbiota | Metagenomics | Bacterial Infections | Anti-Bacterial Agents | Intensive Care Units |

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26419330 | 24710024 | 25918444 | 25247417 | 23370726 | 22827799 | 24474281 | 24236055 | 22936781 | 22954750

Experimental estimation of the effects of all amino-acid mutations to HIV Env


Haddox, H. K. | Dingens, A. S. | Bloom, J. |


HIV is notorious for its capacity to evade immunity and anti-viral drugs through rapid sequence evolution. Knowledge of the functional effects of mutations to HIV is critical for understanding this evolution. HIV's most rapidly evolving protein is its envelope (Env). Here we use deep mutational scanning to experimentally estimate the effects of all amino-acid mutations to Env on viral replication in cell culture. Most mutations are under purifying selection in our experiments, although a few sites experience strong selection for mutations that enhance HIV's growth in cell culture. We compare our experimental measurements of each site's preference for each amino acid to the actual frequencies of these amino acids in naturally occurring HIV sequences. Our measured amino-acid preferences correlate with amino-acid frequencies in natural sequences for most sites. However, our measured preferences are less concordant with natural amino-acid frequencies at surface-exposed sites that are subject to pressures absent from our experiments such as antibody selection. We show that some regions of Env have a high inherent tolerance to mutation, whereas other regions (such as epitopes of broadly neutralizing antibodies) have a significantly reduced capacity to tolerate mutations. Overall, our results help disentangle the role of inherent functional constraints and external selection pressures in shaping Env's evolution.


PUBLISHED: 2016-08-02

Generated MeSH Terms

Antibodies, Neutralizing | Epitopes | Antiviral Agents | Amino Acids | Genes, env | HIV Infections | Virus Replication | Mutation |

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18177204 | 19096508 | 24713822 | 25006036 | 17534408 | 26506369 | 8995670 | 23468626 | 10364320 | 22073263

Small molecules with antibiofilm, antivirulence and antibiotic synergy activities against Pseudomonas aeruginosa.


van Tilburg Bernardes, E. | Charron-Mazenod, L. | Reading, D. | Reckseidler-Zenteno, S. L. | Lewenza, S. |


Biofilm formation is a universal bacterial strategy for long-term survival in nature and during infections. Biofilms are dense microbial communities enmeshed within a polymeric extracellular matrix that protects bacteria from antibiotic exposure and the immune system and thus contribute to chronic infections. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an archetypal biofilm-forming organism that utilizes a biofilm growth strategy to cause chronic lung infections in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients. The extracellular matrix of P. aeruginosa biofilms is comprised mainly of exopolysaccharides (EPS) and DNA. Both mucoid and non-mucoid isolates of P. aeruginosa produces the Pel and Psl EPS, each of which have important roles in antibiotic resistance, biofilm formation and immune evasion. Given the central importance of the Pel and Psl EPS in biofilm structure, they are attractive targets for novel anti-infective compounds. In this study we used a high throughput gene expression screen to identify compounds that repress expression of pel and psl genes as measured by transcriptional lux fusions. Testing of the pel/psl repressors demonstrated an antibiofilm activity against microplate and flow chamber biofilms formed by wild type and hyperbiofilm forming strains. To determine the potential role of EPS in virulence, mutants in pel/psl were shown to have reduced virulence in the feeding behavior and slow killing virulence assays in Caenorhabditis elegans. The antibiofilm molecules also reduced P. aeruginosa PAO1 virulence in the nematode slow killing model. Importantly, the combination of antibiotics and antibiofilm compounds were synergistic in killing P. aeruginosa biofilms. These small molecules represent a novel anti-infective strategy for the possible treatment of chronic P. aeruginosa infections.


PUBLISHED: 2016-08-01

Generated MeSH Terms

Animals | Humans | Pseudomonas aeruginosa | Biofilms | Anti-Bacterial Agents | Caenorhabditis elegans | Virulence | Cystic Fibrosis | Immune Evasion | Drug Resistance, Microbial | Anti-Infective Agents | Biological Processes | Physiological Processes | DNA | Extracellular Matrix | Immune System | Feeding Behavior |

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21605307 | 22176658 | 24595142 | 22309106 | 21666010 | 22309122 | 25096883 | 21298031 | 21998591 | 22585230

Stochastic Assembly Produces Heterogeneous Communities in the C. elegans Intestine


Vega, N. | Gore, J. |


Host-associated bacterial communities vary extensively between individuals, but it can be very difficult to determine the sources of this heterogeneity. Here we demonstrate that stochastic bacterial community assembly in the C. elegans intestine is sufficient to produce strong inter-worm heterogeneity in community composition. When worms are fed with two neutrally-competing fluorescently labeled bacterial strains, we observe stochastically-driven bimodality in community composition, where approximately half of the worms are dominated by each bacterial strain. A simple model incorporating stochastic colonization suggests that heterogeneity between worms is driven by the low rate at which bacteria successfully establish new intestinal colonies. We can increase this rate experimentally by feeding worms at high bacterial density; in these conditions the bimodality disappears. These results demonstrate the potential importance of stochastic processes in bacterial community formation and suggest a role for C. elegans as a model system for ecology of host-associated communities.


PUBLISHED: 2016-08-01

Generated MeSH Terms

Animals | Caenorhabditis elegans | Stochastic Processes | Ecology | Intestines | Bacteria |

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24449749 | 23462114 | 23812817 | 21608478 | 23407312 | 24489823 | 23613815 | 22452899 | 22276219 | 26699734

Cohort Specific Effects of Cereal-bar Supplementation in Overweight Patients With or Without Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus


Lauber, C. | Chou, C. J. | Chakrabarti, A. | Siddharth, J. | Chalut-Carpentier, A. | Pataky, Z. | Golay, A. | Parkinson, S. |


The importance of gut microbes to metabolic health is becoming more evident and nutrition-based therapies to alter the composition of bacterial communities to manage metabolic disease are an attractive avenue to ameliorate some effects of Western diets. While the composition of gut microbial communities can vary significantly across disease states, it is not well known if these communities have common responses to nutritional interventions. To better understand diet-bacterial community interactions, we collected biological parameters and fecal samples of overweight non-diabetic (OND) and diabetic (OD) individuals before and after daily supplementation of 2.8 g {beta}-glucan on their habitual diet for 30 days. Fecal bacterial communities in an age-matched cohort were measured by sequencing partial 16S rRNA genes and imputed metagenomic content. Unexpectedly, we observed disconnected responses of biological measurements and the bacterial community. Based on average effect size, biological measurements were greater in the OND group while effects on the bacterial community were greatest on the OD cohort, and we suspect these observations are due to the significantly lower alpha diversity in the OD cohort. Our data indicate that responses to cereal-bar supplementation are cohort specific and this should be considered when manipulating the microbiome via diet supplementation.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-29

Generated MeSH Terms

Humans | Edible Grain | Diet, Western | RNA, Ribosomal, 16S | Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 | Metagenomics | Microbiota | Overweight | Glucans |

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25271941 | 25954902 | 18974945 | 20368178 | 26039313 | 26147095 | 19706296 | 26066038 | 19043404 | 21121044

Capture of Vibrio cholerae by charged polymers inhibits pathogeniciy by inducing a sessile lifestyle


Perez-Soto, N. | Moule, L. | Crisan, D. N. | Insua, I. | Taylor-Smith, L. M. | Voelz, K. | Fernandez-Trillo, F. | Krachler, A. |


Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera, is an abundant environmental bacterium that can efficiently colonize the intestinal tract and trigger severe diarrheal illness. Motility, and the production of colonization factors and cholera toxin, are fundamental for the establishment of disease. In the aquatic environment, V. cholerae persists by forming avirulent biofilms on zooplankton, phytoplankton and chitin debris. Here, we describe the formation of artificial, biofilm-like communities, driven by exposure of planktonic bacteria to synthetic polymers. This recruitment is extremely rapid and charge-driven, and leads to the formation of initial 'seed clusters' which then recruit additional bacteria to extend in size. Bacteria that become entrapped in these 'forced communities' undergo transcriptional changes in motility and virulence genes, and phenotypically mimic features of environmental biofilm communities by forming a matrix that contains polysaccharide and extracellular DNA. As a result of this lifestyle transition, pathogenicity and in vivo host colonization decrease. These findings highlight the potential of synthetic polymers to disarm pathogens by modulating their lifestlye, without creating selective pressure favoring the emergence of antimicrobial resistant strains.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-28

Generated MeSH Terms

Animals | Vibrio cholerae | Cholera | Cholera Toxin | Virulence | Zooplankton | Biofilms | Plankton | Phytoplankton | Chitin | Polymers | Anti-Infective Agents | Intestines | DNA | Polysaccharides | Biological Processes | Life Style |

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25368110 | 16267135 | 19933826 | 24375135 | 22354023 | 16359328 | 14536065 | 22710417 | 22032623 | 22106284

Sequence based prediction of novel domains in the cellulosome of Ruminiclostridium thermocellum


Basharat, Z. | Yasmin, A. |


Ruminiclostridium thermocellum strain ATCC 27405 is valuable with reference to the next generation biofuel production being a degrader of crystalline cellulose. The completion of its genome sequence has revealed that this organism carries 3,376 genes with more than hundred genes encoding for enzymes involved in cellulysis. Novel protein domain discovery in the cellulose degrading enzyme complex of this strain has been attempted to understand this organism at molecular level. Streamlined automated methods were employed to generate possibly unreported or new domains. A set of 12 novel Pfam-B domains was developed after detailed analysis. This finding will enhance our understanding of this bacterium and its molecular processes involved in the degradation of cellulose. This approach of in silico analysis prior to experimentation facilitates in lab study. Previously uncorrelated data has been utilized for rapid generation of new biological information in this study.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-27

Generated MeSH Terms

Cellulosomes | Biofuels | Cellulose | Clostridium thermocellum | Protein Structure, Tertiary | Multienzyme Complexes | Base Sequence |

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12625841 | 20662379 | 21672225 | 19384422 | 21526192 | 1490597 | 21255373 | 25956772 | 20307315 | 23176123

A Novel Family of Genomics Islands Across Multiple Species of Streptococcus


Wang, J. | Wang, C. | Feng, W. | Feng, Y. | Zhi, L. | Li, W. | Yao, Y. | Jiang, S. | Tang, J. |


The genus Streptococcus is one of the most genomically diverse and important human and agricultural pathogens. The acquisition of genomic islands (GIs) plays a central role in adaptation to new hosts in the genus pathogens. The research presented here employs a comparative genomics approach to define a novel family of GIs in the genus Streptococcus which also appears across strains of the same species. Specifically, we identified 9 Streptococcus genomes out of 67 sequenced genomes analyzed, and we termed these as 15bp Streptococcus genomic islands, or 15SGIs, including i) insertion adjacent to the 3' end of ribosome l7/l12 gene, ii) large inserts of horizontally acquired DNA, and iii) the presence of mobility genes (integrase) and replication initiators. We have identified a novel family of 15SGIs and seems to be important in species differentiation and adaptation to new hosts. It plays an important role during strain evolution in the genus Streptococcus.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-26

Generated MeSH Terms

Humans | Genomic Islands | Integrases | Genomics | Biological Evolution | Streptococcus | DNA | Ribosomes |

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23096693 | 17475002 | 22306813 | 21672261 | 23204461 | 18071028 | 21536150 | 24977706 | 25009843 | 20826944

Microbial Communities are Well Adapted to Disturbances in Energy Input


Fernandez-Gonzalez, N. | Huber, J. A. | Vallino, J. J. |


Although microbial systems are well-suited for studying concepts in ecological theory, little is known about how microbial communities respond to long-term periodic perturbations beyond diel oscillations. Taking advantage of an ongoing microcosm experiment, we studied how methanotrophic microbial communities adapted to disturbances in energy input over a 20 day cycle period. Sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes together with quantification of microbial abundance and ecosystem function was used to explore the long-term dynamics (510 days) of methanotrophic communities under continuous versus cyclic chemical energy supply. We observed that microbial communities appear inherently well-adapted to disturbances in energy input and that changes in community structure in both treatments are more dependent on internal dynamics than on external forcing. Results also show that the rare biosphere is critical to seeding the internal community dynamics, perhaps due to cross-feeding or other strategies. We conclude that in our experimental system, endogenous feedbacks were more important than exogenous drivers in shaping the community dynamics over time, suggesting that ecosystems can maintain their function despite inherently unstable community dynamics. IMPORTANCE Within the broader ecological context, biological communities are often viewed as stable and only experience succession or replacement when subject to external perturbations, such as changes in food availability or introduction of exotic species. Our findings indicate that microbial communities can exhibit strong internal dynamics that may be more important in shaping community succession than external drivers. Dynamic "unstable" communities may be important for ecosystem functional stability, with rare organisms playing an important role in community restructuring. Understanding the mechanisms responsible for internal community dynamics will certainly be required for understanding and manipulating microbiomes in both host-associated and natural ecosystems.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-26

Generated MeSH Terms

RNA, Ribosomal, 16S | Biota | Microbiota | Ecology |

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25028427 | 24732211 | 23462114 | 24926862 | 23985743 | 18043612 | 12755711 | 22530997 | 22286988 | 19030917

S2 from Equine infectious anemia virus is an infectivity factor which counteracts the retroviral inhibitors SERINC5 and SERINC3


Chande, A. | Cuccurullo, E. | Rosa, A. | Ziglio, S. | Carpenter, S. | Pizzato, M. |


The lentivirus equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) encodes S2, a pathogenic determinant important for virus replication and disease progression in horses. No molecular function has yet been linked to this accessory protein. We now report that S2 can replace the activity of Nef on HIV-1 infectivity, being required to antagonize the inhibitory activity of SERINC proteins on Nef-defective HIV-1. Similar to Nef, S2 excludes SERINC5 from virus particles and requires an ExxxLL motif predicted to recruit the clathrin adaptor AP2. Accordingly, a functional endocytic machinery is essential for S2-mediated infectivity enhancement, which is impaired by inhibitors of clathrin-mediated endocytosis. In addition to retargeting SERINC5 to a late endosomal compartment, S2 promotes the host factor degradation. Emphasizing the similarity with Nef, we show that S2 is myristoylated and, compatible with a crucial role of the post-translational modification, its N-terminal glycine is required for the anti-SERINC5 activity. EIAV-derived vectors devoid of S2 are less susceptible than HIV-1 to the inhibitory effect of both human and equine SERINC5. We then identified the envelope glycoprotein of EIAV as a determinant which also modulates retrovirus susceptibility to SERINC5, indicating a bi-modular ability of the equine lentivirus to counteract the host factor. S2 shares no sequence homology with other retroviral factors known to counteract SERINC5. Adding to primate lentivirus Nef and gammaretrovirus glycoGag, the accessory protein from EIAV makes another example of a retroviral virulence determinant which independently evolved SERINC5-antagonizing activity. SERINC5 therefore plays a critical role for the interaction of the host with diverse retrovirus pathogens.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-21

Generated MeSH Terms

Humans | Horses | Animals | Infectious Anemia Virus, Equine | HIV-1 | Lentiviruses, Primate | Virion | Lentivirus | Gammaretrovirus | Retroviridae | Lentiviruses, Equine | Protein Processing, Post-Translational | Glycine | Virulence | Equidae | Virus Replication | HIV Infections | Sequence Homology | Endocytosis | Disease Progression | Clathrin | Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport |

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26416734 | 26416733 | 10590152 | 20417672 | 17267500 | 16503341 | 15539516 | 19769166 | 25390683 | 18057237

Understanding How Microbiomes Influence the Systems they Inhabit: Insight from Ecosystem Ecology


Hall, E. | Bernhardt, E. | Bier, R. | Bradford, M. | Boot, C. | Cotner, J. | del Giorgio, P. | Evans, S. | Graham, E. | Jones, S. | Lennon, J. | Locey, K. | Nemergut, D. | Osborne, B. | Rocca, J. | Schimel, J. | Waldrop, M. | Wallenstein, M. |


The well-documented significance of microorganisms to the function of virtually all ecosystems has led to the assumption that more information on microbiomes will improve our ability to understand and predict system-level processes. Notably, the importance of the microbiome has become increasingly evident in the environmental sciences and in particular ecosystem ecology. However, translating the ever-increasing wealth of information on environmental microbiomes to advance ecosystem science is proving exceptionally challenging. One reason for this challenge is that correlations between microbiomes and the ecosystem processes they influence are often reported without the underlying causal mechanisms. This limits the predictive power of each correlation to the time and place at which it was identified. In this paper, we assess the assumptions and approaches currently used to establish links between environmental microbiomes and the ecosystems they influence, propose a framework to more effectively harness our understanding of microbiomes to advance ecosystem science, and identify key challenges and solutions required to apply the proposed framework. Specifically, we suggest identifying each microbial process that contributes to the ecosystem process of interest a priori. We then suggest linking information on microbial community membership through microbial community properties (such as biomass elemental ratios) to the microbial processes that drive each ecosystem process (e.g. N -mineralization). A key challenge in this framework will be identifying which microbial community properties can be determined from the constituents of the community (community aggregated traits, CATs) and which properties are unable to be predicted from a list of their constituent taxa (emergent properties, EPs). We view this directed approach as a promising pathway to advance our understanding of how microbiomes influence the systems they inhabit.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-21

Generated MeSH Terms

Biomass | Ecology | Microbiota |

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26200800 | 26422463 | 26378320 | 20662931 | 26380076 | 18695234 | 23462114 | 21272182 | 26207269 | 25880923

Impact of Sample Type and DNA Isolation Procedure on Genomic Inference of Microbiome Composition


Knudsen, B. E. | Bergmark, L. | Munk, P. | Lukjancenko, O. | Prieme, A. | Aarestrup, F. M. | Pamp, S. J. |


Explorations of complex microbiomes using genomics greatly enhance our understanding about their diversity, biogeography, and function. The isolation of DNA from microbiome specimens is a key prerequisite for such examinations, but challenges remain in obtaining sufficient DNA quantities required for certain sequencing approaches, achieving accurate genomic inference of microbiome composition, and facilitating comparability of findings across specimen types and sequencing projects. These aspects are particularly relevant for the genomics-based global surveillance of infectious agents and antimicrobial resistance from different reservoirs. Here, we compare a total of eight DNA extraction procedures for three specimen types (human feces, pig feces, hospital sewage), assess DNA extraction using spike-in controls and different types of beads for bead-beating facilitating cell lysis. We evaluate DNA concentration, purity, and stability, and microbial community composition using 16S rRNA gene sequencing and for selected samples using shotgun metagenomic sequencing. Our results suggest that inferred community composition was dependent on inherent specimen properties as well as DNA extraction method. We further show that bead-beating or enzymatic treatment can increase the extraction of DNA from Gram-positive bacteria. Final DNA quantities could be increased by isolating DNA from a larger volume of cell lysate compared to standard protocols. Based on this insight, we have designed an improved DNA isolation procedure optimized for microbiome genomics that can be used for the three examined specimen types and potentially also for other biological specimens.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-18

Generated MeSH Terms

Humans | Animals | Swine | Sewage | RNA, Ribosomal, 16S | Anti-Infective Agents | Metagenomics | Microbiota | DNA | Genomics | Feces | Bacteria |

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26094313 | 22457796 | 23844068 | 25880246 | 20140796 | 25548939 | 25257543 | 25798612 | 24884524 | 25549184



Khambhala, P. | Paliwal, P. | Kothari, V. |


Microwave mutagenesis of Brevibacillus parabrevis for enhanced cellulase production was attempted. Though microwave treatment could alter the cellulase activity of the test bacterium, none of the mutants obtained were found to be genetically stable, indicating the reversible nature of microwave-induced mutation(s). Thermal stability of the B. parabrevis cellulase was also investigated. This enzyme was found to be capable of retaining its activity even after heat treatment (50-121{degrees}C, for 30-60 min). Fluorescence spectrum revealed a red shift in the emission maxima of the heat-treated enzyme preparations, indicating some structural change upon heating, but no major loss of activity was observed. This enzyme was found to be active over a broad temp range, with 90{degrees}C as the optimum temp, which is interesting as the producing organism is a mesophile.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-18

Generated MeSH Terms

Cellulase | Heating | Microwaves | Brevibacillus | Fluorescence | Hot Temperature | Temperature | Hyperthermia, Induced | Mutagenesis | Mutation |

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19656667 | 12153 | 19859753 | 25886936 | 11272024 | 780122 | 11854 | 19711200 | 11341679 | 15659186

Comparative phylogenetic analysis of bacterial associates in Pyrrhocoroidea and evidence for ancient and persistent environmental symbiont reacquisition in Largidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera).


Gordon, E. R. L. | McFrederick, Q. S. | Weirauch, C. |


The ancient insect order Hemiptera, one of the most well-studied insect lineages with respect to bacterial symbioses, still contains major branches which lack robust phylogenies and comprehensive characterization of associated bacterial symbionts. The Pyrrhocoroidea (Largidae [220 species]; Pyrrhocoridae [~300 species]) is a superfamily of the primarily-herbivorous hemipteran infraorder Pentatomomorpha, though relationships to related superfamilies are controversial. Studies on bacterial symbionts of this group have focused on members of Pyrrhocoridae, but recent examination of species of two genera of Largidae demonstrated divergent symbiotic complexes between these putative sister families. We surveyed bacterial diversity of this group using paired-end Illumina and targeted Sanger sequencing of bacterial 16S amplicons of 30 pyrrhocoroid taxa, including 17 species of Largidae, in order to determine the identity of bacterial associates and similarity of associated microbial communities among species. We also constructed the first comprehensive phylogeny of this superfamily (4,800 bp; 5 loci; 57 ingroup + 12 outgroup taxa) in order accurately trace the evolution of symbiotic complexes among Pentatomomorpha. We undertook multiple lines of investigation (i.e., experimental rearing, FISH microscopy, phylogenetic and co-evolutionary analyses) to understand potential transmission routes of largid symbionts. We found a prevalent, specific association of Largidae with plant-beneficial-environmental clade Burkholderia housed in midgut tubules. As in other distantly-related Heteroptera, symbiotic bacteria seem to be acquired from the environment every generation. We review current understanding of symbiotic complexes within the Pentatomomorpha and discuss means to further investigations of the evolution and function of these symbioses. Importance. Obligate symbioses with bacteria are common in insects, particularly for Hemiptera wherein varied forms of symbiosis occur, though knowledge of symbionts remains incomplete for major lineages. Thus, an accurate understanding of how these partnerships evolved and changed over millions of years is not yet achievable. We contribute to our understanding of the evolution of symbiotic complexes in Hemiptera by characterizing bacterial associates of Pyrrhocoroidea focusing on the family Largidae and by constructing a phylogeny to establish evolutionary relationships of and within this group. Members of Largidae are associated with specific symbiotic Burkholderia from a different clade than Burkholderia symbionts in other Hemiptera and are members of the earliest-diverging superfamily of Burkholderia-associated Hemiptera. Evidence suggests that species of Largidae reacquire specific symbiotic bacteria every generation environmentally, a rare strategy for insects with potentially volatile evolutionary ramifications, but one that has persisted in Largidae and other related lineages since the Cretaceous.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-15

Generated MeSH Terms

Animals | Female | Heteroptera | Phylogeny | Symbiosis | Burkholderia | Siblings | Microscopy | Biological Evolution | Herbivory | Residence Characteristics |

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26023876 | 25521625 | 19146674 | 20882057 | 23574391 | 26116716 | 21385056 | 23949857 | 23691052 | 26045536

Recent Outbreaks of Shigellosis in California Caused by Two Distinct Populations of Shigella sonnei With Increased Virulence or Fluoroquinolone Resistance


Kozyreva, V. K. | Jospin, G. | Greninger, A. | Watt, J. P. | Eisen, J. A. | Chaturvedi, V. |


Shigella sonnei has caused unusually large outbreaks of shigellosis in California in 2014 - 2015. Preliminary data indicated the involvement of two distinct yet related bacterial populations, one from San Diego and San Joaquin (SD/SJ) and one from the San Francisco (SF) Bay area. Whole genome sequencing of sixty-eight outbreak and archival isolates of S. sonnei was performed to investigate the microbiological factors related to these outbreaks. Both SD/SJ and SF populations, as well as almost all of the archival S. sonnei isolates belonged to sequence type 152 (ST152). Genome-wide SNP analysis clustered the majority of California (CA) isolates to an earlier described global Lineage III, which has persisted in CA since 1986. Isolates in the SD/SJ population had a novel Shiga-toxin (STX)-encoding lambdoid bacteriophage, most closely related to that found in an Escherichia coli O104:H4 strain responsible for a large outbreak. However, the STX genes (stx1a and stx1b) from this novel phage had sequences most similar to the phages from S. flexneri and S. dysenteriae. The isolates in the SF population yielded evidence of fluoroquinolone resistance acquired via the accumulation of point mutations in gyrA and parC genes. Thus, the CA S. sonnei lineage continues to evolve by the acquisition of increased virulence and antibiotic resistance, and enhanced monitoring is advocated for its early detection in future outbreaks.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-14

Generated MeSH Terms

Shigella sonnei | Dysentery, Bacillary | Shiga Toxin | Virulence | San Francisco | Point Mutation | Escherichia coli | Bays | Drug Resistance, Microbial | Fluoroquinolones | Bacteriophages | Disease Outbreaks |

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11705937 | 23390901 | 22858547 | 19297378 | 23341549 | 11699845 | 9623912 | 3049838 | 17587439 | 20947666

Microbial Mat Functional and Compositional Sensitivity to Environmental Disturbance


Preisner, E. C. | Fichot, E. B. | Norman, R. S. |


The ability of ecosystems to adapt to environmental perturbations depends on the duration and intensity of change and the overall biological diversity of the system. While studies have indicated that rare microbial taxa may provide a biological reservoir that supports long-term ecosystem stability, how this dynamic population is influenced by environmental parameters remains unclear. In this study, a microbial mat ecosystem located on San Salvador Island, The Bahamas was used as a model to examine how environmental disturbance affects the activity of rare and abundant archaeal and bacterial communities and how these changes impact potential biogeochemical processes. While this ecosystem undergoes a range of seasonal variation, it experienced a large shift in salinity (230 to 65 g kg-1) during 2011-2012 following the landfall of Hurricane Irene on San Salvador Island. High throughput sequencing and analysis of 16S rRNA and rRNA genes from samples before and after the pulse disturbance showed significant changes in the diversity and activity of abundant and rare taxa, suggesting overall functional and compositional sensitivity to environmental change. In both archaeal and bacterial communities, while the majority of taxa showed low activity across conditions, the total number of active taxa and overall activity increased post-disturbance, with significant shifts in activity occurring among abundant and rare taxa across and within phyla. Broadly, following the post-disturbance reduction in salinity, taxa within Halobacteria decreased while those within Crenarchaeota, Thaumarchaeota, Thermoplasmata, Cyanobacteria, and Proteobacteria, increased in abundance and activity. Quantitative PCR of genes and transcripts involved in nitrogen and sulfur cycling showed concomitant shifts in biogeochemical cycling potential. Post-disturbance conditions increased the expression of genes involved in N-fixation, nitrification, denitrification, and sulfate reduction. Together, our findings show complex community adaptation to environmental change and help elucidate factors connecting disturbance, biodiversity, and ecosystem function that may enhance ecosystem models.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-12

Generated MeSH Terms

Archaea | Nitrification | Nitrogen | RNA, Ribosomal, 16S | Crenarchaeota | Denitrification | Sulfur | Seasons | Euryarchaeota | Salinity | Proteobacteria | Halobacterium | Cyclonic Storms | Bahamas | Genes, rRNA | Biodiversity | Ecosystem | Cyanobacteria | Islands | Polymerase Chain Reaction | Sulfates |

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25028427 | 25781013 | 24704080 | 26474747 | 17298358 | 23254515 | 25912922 | 22194288 | 25423027 | 26283343

Benzoate and Salicylate Tolerant Strains Lose Antibiotic Resistance during Laboratory Evolution of Escherichia coli K-12


Creamer, K. | Ditmars, F. | Basting, P. J. | Acero, S. | Kunka, K. S. | Hamdallah, I. | Bush, S. P. | Scott, Z. | He, A. | Penix, S. | Gonzales, A. | Eder, E. K. | Camperchioli, D. | Berndt, A. | Clark, M. W. | Rouhier, K. | Slonczewski, J. L. |


Escherichia coli K-12 W3110 grows in the presence of membrane-permeant organic acids that can depress cytoplasmic pH and accumulate in the cytoplasm. We conducted laboratory evolution by daily dilution in increasing concentrations of benzoic acid (from 5 to 20 mM) buffered at external pH 6.5, a pH at which permeant acids concentrate in the cytoplasm. By 2,000 generations, clones isolated from the evolving populations showed change in phenotype from benzoate-sensitive to benzoate-tolerant but sensitive to chloramphenicol and tetracycline. Sixteen clones isolated at 2,000 generations grew to stationary phase in 20 mM benzoate, whereas the ancestral strain W3110 peaked and declined. Similar growth profiles were seen in 10 mM salicylate. The strains showed growth profiles indistinguishable from W3110 in the absence of benzoate; in media buffered at pH 4.8, pH 7.0, or pH 9.0; or in 20 mM acetate or sorbate at pH 6.5. The genomes of 16 strains revealed over 100 mutations including SNPs, large deletions, and insertion sequence knockouts. Most strains acquired deletions in the benzoate-induced multiple antibiotic resistance (Mar) regulon or associated regulators such as rob and cpx, as well as MDR efflux pumps emrA, emrY, and mdtA. Strains also lost or down-regulated the Gad acid fitness regulon. In 5 mM benzoate, or in 2 mM salicylate, most strains showed increased sensitivity to the antibiotic chloramphenicol, some more sensitive than a marA knockout. Thus, the benzoate-evolved strains may reveal additional unknown drug resistance components. Benzoate is a common food preservative, and salicylate is the primary active metabolite of aspirin. In the gut microbiome, genetic adaptation to salicylate may involve loss or downregulation of inducible multidrug resistance systems. This discovery implies that aspirin therapy may modulate the human gut microbiome to favor salicylate tolerance at the expense of drug resistance.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-11

Generated MeSH Terms

Tetracycline | Chloramphenicol | Benzoic Acid | Food Preservatives | DNA Transposable Elements | Aspirin | Escherichia coli | Benzoates | Escherichia coli K12 | Regulon | Down-Regulation | Gastrointestinal Microbiome | Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide | Drug Resistance, Microbial | Salicylates | Anti-Bacterial Agents | Acids | Phenotype | Drug Resistance, Multiple | Mutation | Acetates |

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25556191 | 7504664 | 3909154 | 20011599 | 15496390 | 2954947 | 21541325 | 9097440 | 1537798 | 11257026

Molecular and biological characterization of an isolate of Tomato mottle mosaic virus (ToMMV) infecting tomato and other experimental hosts in a greenhouse in Valencia, Spain


Ambros, S. | Martinez, F. | Ivars, P. | Hernandez, C. | de la Iglesia, F. | Elena, S. F. |


Tomato is known to be a natural and experimental reservoir host for many plant viruses. In the last few years a new tobamovirus species, Tomato mottle mosaic virus (ToMMV), has been described infecting tomato and pepper plants in several countries worldwide. Upon observation of symptoms in tomato plants growing in a greenhouse in Valencia, Spain, we aimed to ascertain the etiology of the disease. Using standard molecular techniques, we first detected a positive sense single-stranded RNA virus as the probable causal agent. Next, we amplified, cloned and sequenced a ~3 kb fragment of its RNA genome which allowed us to identify the virus as a new ToMMV isolate. Through extensive assays on distinct plant species, we validated Koch's postulates and investigated the host range of the ToMMV isolate. Several plant species were locally and/or systemically infected by the virus, some of which had not been previously reported as ToMMV hosts despite they are commonly used in research greenhouses. Finally, two reliable molecular diagnostic techniques were developed and used to assess the presence of ToMMV in different plants species. We discuss the possibility that, given the high sequence homology between ToMMV and Tomato mosaic virus, the former may have been mistakenly diagnosed as the latter by serological methods.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-11

Generated MeSH Terms

Tobamovirus | Lycopersicon esculentum | Host Specificity | RNA | Spain | Base Sequence | Plant Viruses | Sequence Homology | Piper nigrum | Molecular Diagnostic Techniques | RNA Viruses |

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14579173 | 22080188 | 21853328 | 24390328 | 19768650 | 26239043 | 19423673 | 20470828 | 22523958 | 23064695

An ex vivo lung model to study bronchioles infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms


Harrison, F. | Diggle, S. P. |


A key aim in microbiology is to determine the genetic and phenotypic bases of bacterial virulence, persistence and antimicrobial resistance in chronic biofilm infections. This requires tractable, high-throughput models that reflect the physical and chemical environment encountered in specific infection contexts. Such models will increase the predictive power of microbiological experiments and provide platforms for enhanced testing of novel antibacterial or antivirulence therapies. We present an optimised ex vivo model of cystic fibrosis lung infection: ex vivo culture of pig bronchiolar tissue in artificial cystic fibrosis mucus. We focus on the formation of biofilms by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We show highly repeatable and specific formation of biofilms that resemble clinical biofilms by a commonly-studied lab strain and ten cystic fibrosis isolates of this key opportunistic pathogen.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-11

Generated MeSH Terms

Animals | Swine | Pseudomonas aeruginosa | Cystic Fibrosis | Biofilms | Anti-Bacterial Agents | Bronchioles | Virulence | Anti-Infective Agents | Mucus | Pseudomonas Infections | Lung | Sus scrofa |

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26506004 | 16207991 | 21998591 | 17116883 | 25448466 | 11048725 | 22309106 | 26253522 | 17224667 | 25477303

Origins of pandemic clones from environmental gene pools


Shapiro, B. J. | Levade, I. | Kovacikova, G. | Taylor, R. K. | Almagro-Moreno, S. |


Some microbes can transition from an environmental lifestyle to a pathogenic one. This ecological switch typically occurs through the acquisition of horizontally acquired virulence genes. However, the genomic features that must be present in a population prior to the acquisition of virulence genes and emergence of pathogenic clones remain unknown. We hypothesized that virulence adaptive polymorphisms (VAPs) circulate in environmental populations and are required for this transition. We developed a comparative genomic framework for identifying VAPs, using Vibrio cholerae as a model. We then characterized several environmental VAP alleles to show that one of them reduced the ability of clinical strains to colonize a mammalian host, whereas two other alleles conferred efficient colonization. These results show that VAPs are present in environmental bacterial populations prior to the emergence of virulent clones. We propose a scenario in which VAPs circulate in the environment, they become selected and enriched under certain ecological conditions, and finally a genomic background containing several VAPs acquires virulence factors that allows for its emergence as a pathogenic clone.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-10

Generated MeSH Terms

Animals | Vibrio cholerae | Virulence | Alleles | Virulence Factors | Gene Pool | Pandemics | Ecology | Genomics | Mammals | Life Style |

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14766976 | 18462070 | 23076327 | 19319196 | 11939579 | 22676367 | 14607067 | 15728357 | 10024551 | 21078967

Metabolic Reconstruction and Modeling Microbial Electrosynthesis


Marshall, C. | Ross, D. | Handley, K. | Weisenhorn, P. | Edirisinghe, J. | Henry, C. | Gilbert, J. | May, H. | Norman, R. S. |


Microbial electrosynthesis is a renewable energy and chemical production platform that relies on microbial taxa to capture electrons from a cathode and fix carbon. Yet the metabolic capacity of multispecies microbial communities on electrosynthetic biocathodes remains unknown. We assembled 13 genomes from a high-performing electroacetogenic culture, and mapped their transcriptional activity from a range of conditions. This allowed us to create a metabolic model of the primary community members (Acetobacterium, Sulfurospirillum, and Desulfovibrio). Acetobacterium was the primary carbon fixer, and a keystone member of the community. Based on transcripts upregulated near the electrode surface, soluble hydrogenases and ferredoxins from Acetobacterium and hydrogenases, formate dehydrogenase, and cytochromes of Desulfovibrio were essential conduits for electron flow from the electrode into the electrosynthetic community. A nitrogenase gene cluster with an adjacent ferredoxin and one of two Rnf complexes within the genome of the Acetobacterium were also upregulated on the electrode. Nitrogenase is known to serve as a hydrogenase, thereby it would contribute to hydrogen production by the biocathode. Oxygenases of microaerobic members of the community throughout the cathode chamber, including Sulfurospirillum and Rhodobacteraceae, were expressed. While the reactors were maintained anaerobically, this gene expression would support anaerobic growth and thus electrosynthesis by scrubbing small amounts of O2 out of the reactor. These molecular discoveries and metabolic modeling now serve as a foundation for future examination and development of electrosynthetic microbial communities.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-07

Generated MeSH Terms

Acetobacterium | Hydrogenase | Ferredoxins | Formate Dehydrogenases | Desulfovibrio | Electrons | Rhodobacteraceae | Nitrogenase | Carbon | Oxygenases | Electrodes | Renewable Energy | Biological Processes | Up-Regulation | Multigene Family | Hydrogen | Cytochromes |

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23676111 | 23001672 | 26399888 | 26079858 | 24910339 | 17353934 | 18284174 | 23603672 | 24126154 | 25333313

Characterization of the effects of n-butanol on the cell envelope of E. coli


Fletcher, E. | Pilizota, T. | Davies, P. R. | McVey, A. | French, C. E. |


Biofuel alcohols have severe consequences on the microbial hosts used in their biosynthesis, which limits the productivity of the bioconversion. The cell envelope is one of the most strongly affected structures, in particular, as the external concentration of biofuels rises during biosynthesis. Damage to the cell envelope can have severe consequences, such as impairment of transport into and out of the cell; however the nature of butanol-induced envelope damage has not been well characterized. In the present study, the effects of n-butanol on the cell envelope of Escherichia coli were investigated. Using enzyme and fluorescence-based assays, we observed that 1% v/v n-butanol resulted in release of lipopolysaccharides from the outer membrane of E. coli and caused leakiness in both outer and inner membranes. Higher concentrations of n-butanol, within the range of 2% - 10% (v/v), resulted in inner membrane protrusion through the peptidoglycan observed by characteristic blebs. The findings suggest that strategies for rational engineering of butanol-tolerant bacterial strains should take into account all components of the cell envelope.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-07

Generated MeSH Terms

1-Butanol | Peptidoglycan | Escherichia coli | Lipopolysaccharides | Biofuels | Alcohols | Fluorescence | Blister | Butanols | Cell Membrane | Cell Wall | Biological Transport |

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24056459 | 21408113 | 20118358 | 6630230 | 22898718 | 2045784 | 24014527 | 6415062 | 24967819 | 17506684

The clinically approved antiviral drug sofosbuvir impairs Brazilian zika virus replication


Sacramento, C. Q. | de Melo, G. R. | Rocha, N. | Hoelz, L. V. B. | Mesquita, M. | de Freitas, C. S. | Fintelman-Rodrigues, N. | Marttorelli, A. | Ferreira, A. C. | Barbosa-Lima, G. | Bastos, M. M. | Volotao, E. d. M. | Tschoeke, D. A. | Leomil, L. | Bozza, F. A. | Bozza, P. T. | Boechat, N. | Thompson, F. L. | de Filippis, A. M. B. | Bruning, K. | Souza, T. |


Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of Flaviviridae family, as other agents of clinical significance, such as dengue (DENV) and hepatitis C (HCV) viruses. ZIKV spread from Africa to Pacific and South American territories, emerging as an etiological pathogen of neurological disorders, during fetal development and in adulthood. Therefore, antiviral drugs able to inhibit ZIKV replication are necessary. Broad spectrum antivirals, such as interferon, ribavirin and favipiravir, are harmful for pregnant animal models and women. The clinically approved uridine nucleotide analog anti-HCV drug, sofosbuvir, has not been affiliated to teratogenicity. Sofosbuvir target the most conserved protein over the members of the Flaviviridae family, the viral RNA polymerase. We thus studied ZIKV susceptibility to sofosbovir. We initially characterized a Brazilian ZIKV strain for use in experimental assays. Sofosbuvir inhibits the Brazilian ZIKV replication in a dose-dependent manner, both in BHK-21 cells and SH-Sy5y, by targeting ZIKV RNA polymerase activity, with the involvement of conserved amino acid residues over the members of Flaviviridae family. The identification of clinically approved antiviral drugs endowed with anti-ZIKV could reduce the time frame in pre-clinical development. Altogether, our data indicates that sofosbuvir chemical structure is endowed with anti-ZIKV activity.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-06

Generated MeSH Terms

Humans | Animals | Female | Antiviral Agents | Ribavirin | Interferons | Sofosbuvir | RNA, Viral | favipiravir | Uridine | Zika Virus | Hepatitis C Antibodies | Hepacivirus | Hepatitis C | Amides | Pyrazines | DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases | Dengue | Amino Acids | Virus Replication | Models, Animal | Fetal Development | Nervous System Diseases | Africa | Brazil |

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26085147 | 26283013 | 26294237 | 19788800 | 26527535 | 25822283 | 24148652 | 22389730 | 22953014 | 25175944

General calibration of microbial growth in microplate readers


Stevenson, K. | McVey, A. F. | Clark, I. B. N. | Swain, P. S. | Pilizota, T. |


Optical density (OD) measurements of microbial growth are one of the most common techniques used in microbiology, with applications ranging from antibiotic efficacy studies, studies of growth under different nutritional or stress environments, to studies of different mutant strains, including those harbouring synthetic circuits. OD measurements are performed under the assumption that the OD value obtained is proportional to the cell number, i.e. the concentration of the sample. However, the assumption holds true in a limited range of conditions and calibration techniques that determine that range are currently missing. Here we present a set of calibration procedures and considerations that are necessary to successfully estimate the cell concentration from OD measurements.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-04

Generated MeSH Terms

Calibration | Biological Processes | Physiological Processes | Cell Count | Research | Anti-Bacterial Agents |

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17061075 | 22280888 | 16313423 | 24654390 | 4005611 | 10624324 | 19726895 | 21509987 | 23016461 | 22947163

Dysregulation of Long Non-coding RNA (lncRNA) Genes and Predicted lncRNA-protein Interactions during Zika Virus Infection


Ramaiah, A. | Contreras, D. | Gangalapudi, V. | Padhye, M. S. | Tang, J. | Arumugaswami, V. |


Zika Virus (ZIKV) is a causative agent for poor pregnancy outcome and fetal developmental abnormalities, including microcephaly and eye defects. As a result, ZIKV is now a confirmed teratogen. Understanding host-pathogen interactions, specifically cellular perturbations caused by ZIKV, can provide novel therapeutic targets. In order to complete viral replication, viral pathogens control the host cellular machineries and regulate various factors, including long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) genes, at transcriptional levels. The role of lncRNA genes in the pathogenesis of ZIKV-mediated microcephaly and eye defects is currently unknown. To gain additional insights, we focused on profiling the differentially expressed lncRNA genes during ZIKV infection in mammalian cells. For this study, we employed a contemporary clinical Zika viral isolate, PRVABC59, of Asian genotype. We utilized an unbiased RNA sequencing approach to profile the lncRNA transcriptome in ZIKV infected Vero cells. We identified a total of 121 lncRNA genes that are differentially regulated at 48 hours post-infection. The majority of these genes are independently validated by reverse-transcription qPCR. A notable observation was that the lncRNAs, MALAT1 (Metastasis Associated Lung Adenocarcinoma Transcript 1) and NEAT1 (Nuclear Paraspeckle Assembly Transcript 1), are down-regulated upon Zika viral infection. MALAT1 and NEAT1 are known as nuclear localized RNAs that regulate gene expression and cell proliferation. Protein-lncRNA interaction maps revealed that MALAT1 and NEAT1 share common interacting partners and form a larger network comprising of 71 cellular factors. ZIKV-mediated dysregulation of these two regulatory lncRNAs can alter the expression of respective target genes and associated biological functions, an important one being cell division. In conclusion, this investigation is the first to provide insight into the biological connection of lncRNAs and ZIKV which can be further explored for developing antiviral therapy and understanding fetal developmental processes.


PUBLISHED: 2016-07-01

Generated MeSH Terms

Humans | Animals | Cercopithecus aethiops | Female | Pregnancy | RNA, Long Noncoding | Adenocarcinoma of lung | Vero Cells | Teratogens | Transcriptome | Sequence Analysis, RNA | RNA, Nuclear | Host-Pathogen Interactions | Microcephaly | Pregnancy Outcome | Zika Virus | Zika Virus Infection | Adenocarcinoma | Lung Neoplasms | Virus Replication | Cell Division | Antiviral Agents | Genotype |

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When is a bacterial "virulence factor" really virulent?


Granato, E. T. | Harrison, F. | Kummerli, R. | Ross-Gillespie, A. |


Bacterial traits that contribute to disease are termed 'virulence factors' and there is much interest in therapeutic approaches that disrupt such traits. However, ecological theory predicts disease severity to be multifactorial and context dependent, which might complicate our efforts to identify the most generally important virulence factors. Here, we use meta-analysis to quantify disease outcomes associated with one well-studied virulence factor - pyoverdine, an iron-scavenging compound secreted by the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Consistent with ecological theory, we found that the effect of pyoverdine, albeit frequently contributing to disease, varied considerably across infection models. In many cases its effect was relatively minor, suggesting that pyoverdine is rarely essential for infections. Our work demonstrates the utility of meta-analysis as a tool to quantify variation and overall effects of purported virulence factors across different infection models. This standardised approach will help us to evaluate promising targets for anti-virulence approaches.


PUBLISHED: 2016-06-29

Generated MeSH Terms

Pseudomonas aeruginosa | Virulence | Virulence Factors | pyoverdin | Iron | Oligopeptides | Iron Compounds | Ecology | Reference Standards |

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Characterization of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Isolates from Fitness Centers in Memphis Metropolitan Area, USA


Mukherjee, N. | Sulaiman, I. M. | Banerjee, P. |


Indoor skin-contact surfaces of public fitness centers may serve as reservoirs of potential human transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). We found a high prevalence of multi-drug resistant (MDR)-MRSA of CC59 lineage harboring a variety of extracellular toxin genes from surface swab samples collected from inanimate surfaces of fitness centers in Memphis metropolitan area, USA. Our findings underscore the role of inanimate surfaces as potential sources of transmission of MDR-MRSA strains with considerable genetic diversity.


PUBLISHED: 2016-06-29

Generated MeSH Terms

Humans | Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus | Methicillin | Fitness Centers | Prevalence | Staphylococcal Infections | Staphylococcus aureus | Genetic Variation | Toxins, Biological |

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Norovirus-mediated modification of the translational landscape via virus and host-induced cleavage of translation initiation factors.


Emmott, E. | Sorgeloos, F. | Caddy, S. L. | Vashist, S. | Sosnovtsev, S. | Lloyd, R. | Heesom, K. | Goodfellow, I. |


Noroviruses produce viral RNAs lacking a 5' cap structure and instead use a virus-encoded VPg protein covalently linked to viral RNA to interact with translation initiation factors and drive viral protein synthesis. Norovirus infection results in the induction of the innate response leading to interferon stimulated gene (ISG) transcription. However the translation of the induced ISG mRNAs is suppressed. Using a novel mass spectrometry approach we demonstrate that diminished host mRNA translation correlates with changes to the composition of the eukaryotic initiation factor complex. The suppression of host ISG translation correlates with the activity of the viral protease (NS6) and the activation of cellular caspases leading to the establishment of an apoptotic environment. These results indicate that noroviruses exploit the differences between viral VPg-dependent and cellular cap-dependent translation in order to diminish the host response to infection.


PUBLISHED: 2016-06-26

Generated MeSH Terms

RNA, Viral | Norovirus | RNA, Messenger | Interferons | Interferon Inducers | Caspases | Eukaryotic Initiation Factors | Viral Proteins | Peptide Initiation Factors | Mass Spectrometry |

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Description of New Governance Bodies


The BOD has the primary fiduciary responsibility for governance and the exercise and assignment of power of authority for the Society. It is the highest governing body of the Society and oversees all other bodies and functions. The BOD’s role includes:

  • Setting the strategic direction and upholding the objectives of the Society
  • Authorizing policy matters
  • Directing fiduciary, legal , and business decisions
  • Hiring and overseeing the work of the CEO
  • Upholding the strategies and measuring progress through objectives
  • Ensuring that the Society’s property, funds, and affairs are handled in conformity with the Bylaws and within the Articles of Incorporation of the Society under the statutes of the District of Columbia (D.C.)
  • Approving an annual budget

The BOD delegates to the COMS the role of identifying trends in science and suggesting programs that best capture and serve the future of microbial sciences and its workforce and reserves for itself the role of approving them. The BOD delegates to the CEO responsibility for leading and managing operations. The BOD does not operate as an “outside examiner” of the Society; rather, it supports the roles of the COMS, Program Boards/Committees, and CEO in a constructive partnership. The role of the BOD is to govern, while the COMS is responsible for scientific activities and the CEO is responsible for implementation and operations.

Broadly defined characteristics of an exception al board include, but are not limited to:

  • Works in constructive partnership with the COMS, Program Boards/Committees, and CEO
  • Is mission driven, articulating a compelling vision to ensure congruence between decisions and core values
  • Sets the strategic direction, engaging in discussions and deliberations which affect the Society’s direction in the long run
  • Presents a culture of inquiry, respect , and debate that leads to sound strategic decisions
  • Is independent -minded, putting forward the interests of the Society before anything else
  • Develops a culture of transparency, ensuring that members and all stakeholders have access to appropriate and accurate information regarding finances, operations, and outcomes
  • Adheres to the highest standards of integrity by managing conflicts of interest and establishing appropriate mechanisms of oversight
  • Is a careful steward of the Society ’s resources, by linking bold visions and plans to appropriate financial prudence
  • Is results-oriented, measuring and evaluating the performance of various bodies and programs without managing them directly
  • Operates under best practices in fulfilling its governance duties
  • Evaluates its own actions for continuous learning and improvement
  • Revitalizes itself through planned turnover and inclusiveness based on diversity at all levels (gender, race, geography, sexual orientation, scientific discipline)

In concert with the broadly defined characteristics of an exceptional board, a Director should:

  • Be an individual who is a leader in the field of microbial sciences as viewed by his/her peers and has a stake in microbial sciences;
  • Be an individual who is selected for this role on the basis of his/her skills in governing and has experience and competencies in this arena;
  • Be familiar with ASM bylaws and governance structure, in particular with the roles and responsibilities of key components of the organization, such a s the BOD, COMS, and CEO;
  • Consider the needs of the entire organization, not the specific region or section from which he /she was elected;
  • Understand the decision process and chain of command for both the volunteer leaders and the headquarters staff;
  • Maintain respect for other Directors and their opinions; the BOD should be a place where it is safe to disagree without being disagreeable. Once decisions are made, though, the BOD speaks with one voice, and responsible Directors do not publicly voice their dissent with decisions made by the BOD;
  • Study and become knowledgeable about all subjects on which a decision is needed;
  • Know when and how to present views on policy or issues, knowing that the BOD needs to function as a group that makes decisions and is not simply a discussion forum;
  • Set personal goals as a volunteer leader in support of the Society's mission and strategic plan; and
  • Set personal priorities to ensure attention to all communications and attendance at all BOD meetings.

For more information about the Board of Directors (BOD) please see the Policy and Procedure Manual


The Society's scientific affairs shall be conducted through the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS), which advises the BOD on scientific matters coming before the COMS and from other groups within the Society.

Functions. The COMS serves six main functions:

  • Is the “creative mind” of the Society that generates and deliberates on microbial sciences - related ideas, issues, and programs. The COMS has its radar screen set to scan the horizon to detect and anticipate trends in the science
  • Informs and advise s the BOD on scientific opportunities and threats , suggesting policies, actions , and programs that need to be taken or initiated to advance the microbial sciences
  • Works in partnership with the BOD and seeks BOD approval for resources for scientific programmatic activities deemed a priority by the COMS
  • Works in partnership with BOD , CEO , and staff to explore feasibility and implementation of programs
  • Identifies and makes recommendations to the BOD for discontinuation of scientific programs deemed no longer essential for the future of microbial sciences
  • Considers petitions to charter Branches and Divisions/SIGs at the programmatic level, and submit s to the BOD for fiduciary review and approval

Six broadly defined characteristics of an exceptional COMS to be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Is broadly representative of the microbial sciences and the various components of the Society in all its scientific, ethnic, gender, cultural, and geographical components
  • Is composed of elected members who are recognized for their scientific and professional achievements and are leaders in their profession
  • Is visionary regarding the future of microbial sciences and speaks authoritatively
  • Is focused on the long-term horizon of the science, professional practice, and educational affairs
  • Works in partnership with the BOD, CEO, and staff to ensure that ASM allocates attention and resources to anticipate opportunities which will grow and advance the microbial sciences
  • Works in partnership with committees and staff to ensure the feasibility and implementation of proposed programs

Committees of the COMS will be generated and populated by processes identified in policies and procedures established by the COMS itself. The COMS shall adopt, and may amend from time to time, policies and procedures in the scientific interest of the Society, provided that such policies and procedures shall not be inconsistent with the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, or Policy and Procedures Manual of the Society. The COMS shall publish and make generally available to the membership any such policies and procedures in effect at any time.

For more information about the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS) please see the Policy and Procedure Manual

Agar Art Calendar


ASM Agar Art Calendar (July 2016 - June 2017)

Featuring the winners of the 2015 Agar Art Contest, along with People's Choice winners, the Agar Art Calendar is a first of its kind!
Available for $18 (includes domestic shipping), this calendar is a must have for any microbiology fan!

Sample Images:
agar-art-sample1 agar-art-sample2


Thank you for your interest.  Sorry, we're sold out. There are no more calendars available.

2017 Election Position Descriptions

President-Elect    Secretary    BOD At-Large Representatives    COMS At-Large Representatives




The President-Elect provides secondary leadership for the Society, substitutes for the President when needed, and prepares to serve as President. The President-Elect shall assist the President, shall be a voting member of the BOD and an ex officio, nonvoting member of the COMS, and  shall substitute for the President in the absence of the President. The President-Elect shall take precedence over the Past President in substituting for the President.

Other roles of the President-Elect include:

  • Review the performance of the various BOD Standing Committee and Program Board/Committee Chairs.
  • Chair the Appointments Committee.
  • Chair, if requested by the BOD, an ad hoc committee to review a major activity, function, or program of the Society or profession and provide a written report with specific recommendations to the BOD.


The Secretary shall assist the President and shall be responsible for overseeing the accuracy of the minutes of all meetings of the BOD and meetings of the Membership.

In addition, the Secretary shall:
•    Provide continuity of service and experience among the Officers.
•    Work closely with the CEO to ensure timely appointment of volunteer members of the organization.
•    In collaboration with the CEO, ensure transmittal to ASM Archives of documents of archival or historical value.

Main Functions

Members of the Board of Directors have the primary fiduciary responsibility for governance and the exercise and assignment of power of authority for the Society. It is the highest governing body of the Society which oversees all other bodies and functions. The Board of Directors (BOD) functions include:

  • Setting the strategic direction and upholding the objectives of the Society
  • Authorizing policy matters
  • Directing fiduciary, legal, and business decisions
  • Hiring and overseeing the work of the CEO
  • Upholding the strategies and measuring progress through objectives
  • Ensuring that the Society’s property, funds, and affairs are handled in conformity with the Bylaws and within the Articles of Incorporation of the Society under the statutes of the District of Columbia (D.C.)
  • Approving an annual budget

The BOD delegates to the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS) the role of identifying trends in science and suggesting programs that best capture and serve the future of microbial sciences and its workforce, and reserves for itself the role of approving them. The BOD delegates to the CEO responsibility for leading and managing operations. The BOD does not operate as an “outside examiner” of the Society; rather, it supports the roles of the COMS, Program Boards/Committees, CEO and staff in a constructive partnership. The role of the BOD is to govern, the role of the COMS is to exercise oversight over scientific and programmatic activities; the CEO is responsible for implementation and operations.
Directors are responsible, in partnership with other Board members and staff, for helping to shape and lead ASM to promote and advance microbial sciences. They accomplish their function by participating actively in Board meetings, guiding and overseeing the ASM strategic plan, and by performing fiduciary, strategic, and policy responsibilities.

At-Large BOD members serve three year terms, and can be reelected only once. Just for elections in 2017, in order to stagger terms of various members, a cohort of Directors will serve a one-year term, another cohort a two-year term, and the third cohort a three-year term.

Time Commitment
Directors are expected to attend all in-person meetings and phone calls. It is expected that the BOD will normally meet three times a year, twice in person for 1.5 days and once for half a day electronically. One of the in-person meetings will be in conjunction with the ASM Microbe meeting. 

BOD members are expected to read the provided background material in advance and actively participate in meetings and calls. More calls could be scheduled throughout the year, if needed. BOD members are expected to participate in ASM Microbe meeting and other working groups or events that may require Directors’ presence. In total it is expected a time commitment of ~ 9-10 days per year. This job requires a level of awareness of ASM as an organization and responsiveness to ongoing Board work.


  • Set direction for ASM, after considering input from the Council of Microbial Sciences (COMS)
  • Establish the vision, mission, and strategic plan of ASM. Oversee the execution of the strategic direction of ASM
  • Articulate, safeguard, model, and promote ASM’s core values and principles
  • Act in the best interests of the organization as a whole, not for any individual, particular constituencies or sub-discipline
  • Delegate authority for organizational and staff management to the CEO
  • Provide oversight and ensure resources
  • Be knowledgeable about the bylaws, policies and procedures, strategic plan, and governance responsibilities of the ASM BOD
  • Establish financial policies and ensure accountability
  • Ensure resource allocation is aligned with the ASM strategic plan
  • Ensure compliance with applicable laws and ethical standards
  • Receive and examine an annual audit of ASM by an independent auditor
  • Approve an annual budget and review performance of the annual operating plan and budget
  • Hire, support and evaluate the CEO
  • Serve as an ambassador for ASM to promote and advance microbial sciences, by promoting ASM and encouraging others to get involved in volunteering at ASM
  • Utilize and respect staff expertise
  • Prepare for, attend, and actively participate in all Board of Directors meetings
  • Work collegially with other Board members and key staff by “holding their own” feeling safe to disagree without being disagreeable
  • Understand that the BOD is not a stakeholder group, rather a governing body, therefore, once a decision is made, it is the decision of the whole group
  • Know when and how to present views on policy or issues, knowing that the BOD needs to function as a group that makes decisions and is not simply a discussion forum
  • Understand and apply the provisions of fiduciary responsibility, the bylaws and other policies
  • Abide by the code of conduct and conflict of interest policies
  • Function at a strategic, not tactical, level
  • Participate in periodic evaluation of the Board’s performance and contribute to ongoing improvement of ASM governance
    Participate in Board orientation and be knowledge about effective governance



Main Functions

The ASM Council on Microbial Sciences At-Large members advance ASM and microbial sciences by scanning the environment and advising the Board of Directors (BOD) on scientific and programmatic matters. COMS members bring a key perspective which represents the diversity of microbial sciences and demographics that exist within ASM. The COMS partners with the BOD and staff to shape and lead ASM and microbial sciences into the future.

COMS has several key distinctive functions:

  • Is the “creative mind” of the Society that generates and deliberates on microbial sciences-related ideas, issues, and programs.
  • The COMS has its radar screen set to scan the horizon to detect and anticipate trends in the field Informs and advises the BOD on scientific opportunities and threats, suggesting policies, actions, and programs that need to be taken or initiated to advance the microbial sciences
  • Works in partnership with the BOD staff and seeks BOD approval for resources for scientific programmatic activities deemed a priority by the COMS
  • Works in partnership with BOD and staff to explore feasibility and implementation of programs Identifies and makes recommendations to the BOD for discontinuation of scientific programs deemed no longer essential for the future of microbial sciences
  • Considers petitions to charter Branches and Divisions/SIGs at the programmatic level, and submits to the BOD for fiduciary review and approval


At-Large Councilors are elected for a three-year term, renewable once. For elections in 2017 only, to generate staggered terms, there will be three cohorts of At-Large members serving respectively one, two, and three year terms.

  •  Time Commitment

    At-Large members of COMS are required to attend one day-long in-person meeting, held in conjunction with the ASM Microbe meeting. In addition, working groups and task forces of COMS will meet electronically throughout the year, possibly 3-4 times for a few hours each time. Full participation requires reading background material in advance and collegial discussions and active work. This job requires a level of awareness of ASM strategic plan, activities, and responsiveness.

     Roles and Responsibilities:

    • Advise the BOD and support ASM mission Maintain awareness of emerging issues that could impact microbial sciences
    • Oversee and propose scientific and programmatic activities to advance microbial sciences through ASM activities
    • Understand and act within the financial and strategic framework set by the BOD
    • Engage members
    • Advance the vision, mission, and strategic plan of ASM
    • Bring a unique perspective within microbial sciences, keeping in mind your responsibility to act in the best interests of the organization, not of yourself, nor of any particular constituency
    • Build relationships internally and externally
    • Champion ASM and microbial sciences to all constituents and publics
    • Ensure good interaction with other components of the Society
    • Act as an ASM ambassador, encouraging others to get involved in volunteering at ASM
    • Utilize staff expertise
    • Get to know other COMS members and key staff
    • Be an active member of the COMS
    • Prepare for, attend, and actively participate in all COMS meetings
    • Be knowledgeable about the ASM bylaws, policies and procedures, strategic plan, and governance responsibilities of the COMS
    • Abide by the code of conduct and conflict of interest policies
    • Function at a strategic, not tactical or operational level
    • Be cognizant that the authority rests with the COMS as a collective body, not to any one individual member, or group of members
    • Participate in COMS orientation and be knowledgeable about effective governance

    Join the Clinical Microbiology Conversation

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    Everyday your peers and colleagues are participating in the most extensive and robust discussion of all things Clinical Microbiology – and you can too!  Join the group whose recent discussions include:

    • How are you handling Yersinia cultures?
    • Does your lab charge for antibiograms?
    • Looking for lab to type Staph aureus to see if it is the USA300 strain
    • Recommendations for verifying BD BACTEC FX plastic blood cultures bottles
    • Maldi users: How do you differentiate E. coli from Shigella?

    FREE TRIAL:  Try it for free today! Simply send an email to for a 2-month trial.  At the end of 2-months you’ll be given the option of joining ASM – memberships start at $22!

    LEARN MORE: ASM membership delivers top benefits and resources for clinical microbiologists.

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    ASM 2017 Election


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    Strategic Plan simple

    It is with great excitement that we approach the new ASM governance.  One of the most important steps is that of filling the At-Lavote microberge positions for both the Board of Directors (BOD) and the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS). This is a unique opportunity for ASM members to get involved in leadership positions.



    Briefly, the BOD is the governance body that sets the course for the whole Society by fulfilling all fiduciary roles, including approval of the budget.  

    The COMS will be the main advisory body to the BOD and will make recommendations for the strategic, scientific, and programmatic direction of the Society. Both bodies will serve key roles in the microbial sciences by providing leadership and direction to the Society and to the whole field.

    It is worth noticing that there will be one slot on the BOD and one slot on COMS for a young microbial scientist, someone who is at the level of Graduate Student, Postdoc, Assistant Professor, or junior clinical microbiologist or equivalent.  There will also be one slot on the BOD, and two slots on COMS, for members working outside of the US.

     FAQS - either drop down list of questions or link to another page


    What is the ASM Board of Directors? Summary

     What is the Council on Microbial Sciences?  Summary

    What are the position descriptions?


    If you have any questions, please reach out to Ms. Cheryl Lehr in the Office of the ASM CEO.


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    Thank You for Volunteering


    Thank you for volunteering to serve as a speaker for ASM's Speakers Bureau. The information you submitted will be added to the online profile of speakers. ASM staff will contact you in the coming months with additional information. If you have any questions or concerns, please email


    Take Advantage of These ASM Resources


    Step 1: Register for ASM Microbe 2017

    Join your peers from around the world to explore the complete scope of microbiology – from basic science to translational and clinical application – at ASM Microbe 2017 (June 1–5, 2017, New Orleans, Louisiana). The special Infectious Diseases Fellows Program offers an opportunity for you to attend the meeting free of charge.

    >> View the program.

    >> Register before April 20 for the special rates.


    Step 2: Listen to the ASM-CLSI Webinar Series

    Register for the ASM-CLSI Webinar Series in Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing: Fundamentals of Susceptibility Testing, Reporting, and Test Validation to learn the fundamentals for AST in the clinical microbiology laboratory. Registration includes access to the live webinars, the recorded presentation, and P.A.C.E.® or Florida continuing education credits.

    >> Register for the webinar now.



    Step 3: Join ASM

    Join the world’s largest life science society that works for you.  Enrich your network with ASM’s clinical microbiology listserv, pursue career opportunities with ASM’s career website, and obtain discounts* on public health-related books, journals, and conferences!  Membership starts at $22. 

    >> Become an ASM member now.

    * Discounts do not apply to all membership categories.

    Starving Yourself Just Might Let You Live Longer and Healthier

    While it is generally thought that bacteria are bad for us, research has shown that bacteria are important in our health and possibly longevity. Bacteria inhabit just about every part of the human body ranging from the skin, nose and the intestinal tract. In fact, bacteria make up more cells in the body than human cells and are collectively known as the microbiome. The microbiome of the intestine has been shown to play a role in disease such as obesity and diabetes. The intestinal microbiota has also been linked to a variety of beneficial functions that include the breakdown of nutrients, vitamin production and development of the immune system. For over 50 years, research has shown that reducing the amount of food an animal consumes (a process known as calorie restriction, CR) increases lifespan by retarding aging because most age-related diseases are delayed or reduced by CR.  Because diet and age can exert major effects on the composition of the intestinal microbiota, we hypothesized that CR, specifically 40% restriction, would delay/prevent age related changes in the intestinal microbiota.

    Researchers from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) and the Missouri Mutant Mouse Resource and Research Center (MU MMRRC) studied the effect of age and life-long CR on the composition of the intestinal microbiota of young and old laboratory mice. The results will be presented at the ASM Microbe in Boston, Massachusetts on Saturday June 18, 2016.

    As mice age, significant changes in the composition of the microbiota were observed. For example, there was a decrease or absence of specific bacteria in the old mice that were present in the young mice.  Conversely, there were also bacteria that were found in the old mice but not in the young mice. In addition to the changes described above, overall, there was about a 30% reduction in the number of different types of bacteria found in the old mice compared to the young mice.

    CR altered the overall composition of the intestinal microbiota of old mice in comparison to their old counterparts that were given unlimited access to food. The old calorie restricted mice contained a microbiome profile that was highly similar to that found in the young mice.  Additionally, with the old calorie restricted mice there were no age-related reductions in the number of different types of bacteria and were comparable to that of the young mice.

    From this study, researchers were able to demonstrate for the first time that CR prevented the age-related changes in the intestinal microbiome. The implications of this data suggests that the preservation of the young intestinal microbiota profile found within old CR mice may play a role in the prevention or delay of age-related diseases as well as the extension in lifespan seen with CR.  Additional research will be needed to determine if these differences in the microbiome are beneficial or harmful as well as determine whether or not these changes play a role in the extension of lifespan.

    This study will be presented on at the American Society for Microbiology’s Microbe 2016 meeting in Boston, MA.

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    Pisciotta1Photo: WCU Researchers: From left to right. Dr. John Pisciotta, graduate student Paige Minka and undergraduate Jeremy Irving prepare to install sMFCs in Paradise Farms pond (Downingtown, PA).
















    muddy microbesFig. 1:  sMFC components and experimental installation plan depict two sMFCs with identical sediment-buried graphite anodes wired (in red) to transmit microbially-generated electric current from anodes to an upper cellular data relay unit (upper box) that transmits the data from the field site. Electrons then pass via wires (green) to carbon cloth cathodes (grey ovals) suspended in the water at variable depths. Leftmost sMFC features a surface cathode while the sMFC at right has a submerged cathode. Identical replicate sMFCs (not shown) were included in the study.

    Journals Reception RSVP



    Thank you for your RSVP

    Thank you for your RSVP to the ASM Officers' Reception.


    Saturday, June 18th from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

    The Westin Boston Waterfront

    Grand Ballrooms BCDE (Concourse Level)

    425 Summer Street

    Boston, MA

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    Thank you for your RSVP to the Division Officers Forum.

    The meeting will be held on Thursday, June 16th from 8:30 - noon at
    The Westin Boston Waterfront
    Grand Ballrooms C
    425 Summer Street
    Boston, MA

    A continental breakfast will be served.

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