• Chronic lung inflammation primes humoral immunity and augments antipneumococcal resistance.

      Boehme, Julia D; Stegemann-Koniszewski, Sabine; Autengruber, Andrea; Peters, Nicole; Wissing, Josef; Jänsch, Lothar; Jeron, Andreas; Bruder, Dunja; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-07-10)
      Airway epithelial cells (AECs) display remarkable plasticity in response to infectious stimuli and their functional adaptations are critical for antimicrobial immunity. However, the roles of AECs and humoral mediators to host defense in non-communicable lung inflammation remain elusive. We dissected pulmonary defense against Streptococcus pneumoniae in hosts with pre-existing inflammatory conditions (SPC-HAxTCR-HA mice). Lung tissue transcriptomics and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) proteomics revealed an induction of humoral defense mechanisms in inflamed lungs. Accordingly, besides antibacterial proteins and complement components being overrepresented in inflamed lungs, elevated polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR)-expression in AECs correlated with increased secretory immunoglobulin (SIg) transport. Consequently, opsonization assays revealed augmented pneumococcal coverage by SIgs present in the BALF of SPC-HAxTCR-HA mice, which was associated with enhanced antipneumococcal resistance. These findings emphasize the immunologic potential of AECs as well as their central role in providing antibacterial protection and put forward pIgR as potential target for therapeutic manipulation in infection-prone individuals.
    • Global proteome response of Escherichia coli BL21 to production of human basic fibroblast growth factor in complex and defined medium

      Li, Zhaopeng; Nimtz, Manfred; Rinas, Ursula; Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany.; Technical Chemistry - Life Science; Leibniz University of Hannover; Hannover Germany; Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research; Braunschweig Germany; Technical Chemistry - Life Science; Leibniz University of Hannover; Hannover Germany (2017-06-20)
    • Degradable magnesium implant-associated infections by bacterial biofilms induce robust localized and systemic inflammatory reactions in a mouse model.

      Rahim, Muhammad Imran; Babbar, Anshu; Lienenklaus, Stefan; Pils, Marina; Rohde, M; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-06-01)
      Biomaterial-associated Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm infections constitute cascade of host immune reactions ultimately leading towards implant failure. Due to lack of relevant in vivo biofilm models, majority of the studies report host immune responses against free living or planktonic bacteria while bacteria in clinical situations live more frequently as biofilm communities than as single cells. Present study investigated host immune responses against biomaterial-associated P. aeruginosa biofilms in a clinically relevant mouse model. Previously, we reported metallic magnesium, a prospective biodegradable implant, to be permissive for bacterial biofilms in vivo even though it exhibits antibacterial properties in vitro. Therefore, magnesium was employed as biomaterial to investigate in vivo biofilm formation and associated host immune responses by using two P. aeruginosa strains and two mouse strains. P. aeruginosa formed biofilms on subcutaneously implanted magnesium discs. Non-invasive in vivo imaging indicated transient inflammatory responses at control sites whereas robust prolonged interferon-β (IFN-β) expression was observed from biofilms in a transgenic animal reporter. Further, immunohistology and electron microscopic results showed that bacterial biofilms were located in two dimensions immediately on the implant surface and at a short distance in the adjacent tissue. These biofilms were surrounded by inflammatory cells (mainly polymorphonuclear cells) as compared to controls. Interestingly, even though the number of live bacteria in various organs remained below detectable levels, splenomegaly indicated systemic inflammatory processes. Overall, these findings confirmed the resistance of biofilm infections in vivo to potentially antibacterial properties of magnesium degradation products. In vivo imaging and histology indicated the induction of both, local and systemic host inflammatory responses against P. aeruginosa biofilms. Even though the innate host immune defenses could not eliminate the local infection for up to two weeks, there was no apparent systemic bacteremia and all animals investigated survived the infection.
    • Iron affinity gel and gallium immobilized metal affinity chromatographic technique for phosphopeptide enrichment: a comparative study

      Biswas, Sagarika; Sarkar, Ashish; Misra, Richa; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany.; Department of Genomics and Molecular Medicine, CSIR – Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Delhi, India; Department of Genomics and Molecular Medicine, CSIR – Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Delhi, India; Department of Genomics and Molecular Medicine, CSIR – Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Delhi, India (2017-02-28)
    • The zlog value as a basis for the standardization of laboratory results

      Hoffmann, Georg; Klawonn, Frank; Lichtinghagen, Ralf; Orth, Matthias; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-01-26)
      Abstract Background: With regard to the German E-Health Law of 2016, the German Society for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (DGKL) has been invited to develop a standard procedure for the storage and transmission of laboratory results. We suggest the commonly used z-transformation. Methods: This method evaluates by how many standard deviations (SDs) a given result deviates from the mean of the respective reference population. We confirm with real data that laboratory results of healthy individuals can be adjusted to a normal distribution by logarithmic transformation. Results: Thus, knowing the lower and upper reference limits LL and UL, one can transform any result x into a zlog value using the following equation: $\eqalign{ {\rm{zlog}} = & {\rm{(log(x)}}-{\rm{(log(LL)}} + {\rm{log(UL))/2)\cdot3}}{\rm{.92/(log(UL)}} \cr -{\bf{ }}{\rm{log(LL))}} \cr} $ The result can easily be interpreted, as its reference interval (RI) is –1.96 to +1.96 by default, and very low or high results yield zlog values around –5 and +5, respectively. For intuitive data presentation, the zlog values may be transformed into a continuous color scale, e.g. from blue via white to orange. Using the inverse function, any zlog value can then be translated into the theoretical result of an analytical method with another RI: (1) $${\rm{x}} = {\rm{L}}{{\rm{L}}^{0.5 - {\rm{zlog}}/3.92}} \cdot {\rm{U}}{{\rm{L}}^{0.5 + {\rm{zlog}}/3.92}}$$ Conclusions: Our standardization proposal can easily be put into practice and may effectively contribute to data quality and patient safety in the frame of the German E-health law. We suggest for the future that laboratories should provide the zlog value in addition to the original result, and that the data transmission protocols (e.g. HL7, LDT) should contain a special field for this additional value.
    • Der zlog-Wert als Basis für die Standardisierung von Laborwerten

      Hoffmann, Georg; Klawonn, Frank; Lichtinghagen, Ralf; Orth, Matthias; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforshung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-01-01)
      Zusammenfassung Hintergrund Im Zuge des deutschen E-Health-Gesetzes von 2016 wurde die DGKL aufgefordert, Vorschläge für die standardisierte Speicherung und Übermittlung von Labordaten zu erarbeiten. Wir schlagen dafür die in der Statistik weit verbreitete z-Transformation vor. Methoden Man erhält mit diesem Verfahren einen Relativwert, der angibt, um wie viele Standardabweichungen ein Messwert vom Mittelwert des Referenzkollektivs abweicht. Anhand realer Daten belegen wir die Annahme, dass die Werte gesunder Referenzpersonen durch logarithmische Transformation einer Normalverteilung angenähert werden können. Ergebnisse Kennt man somit die Unter- und Obergrenze UG und OG des Referenzintervalls, so kann man jedes Laborergebnis mit folgender Gleichung transformieren: Der zlog-Wert ist leicht interpretierbar: Sein Referenzintervall liegt methodenunabhängig stets zwischen –1,96 und +1,96; stark erniedrigte oder erhöhte Laborergebnisse führen zu zlog-Werten um –5 bzw. +5. Für eine intuitive Befunddarstellung kann man zlog-Werte auch in eine kontinuierliche Farbskala, z. B. von Blau über Weiß bis Orange umrechnen. Mithilfe der Umkehrfunktion lässt sich aus dem zlog-Wert auch das theoretische Resultat einer Messmethode mit einem anderen Referenzintervall berechnen: Schlussfolgerung Unser Standardisierungsvorschlag ist ein leicht realisierbarer und effektiver Beitrag zur Verbesserung der Datenqualität und Patientensicherheit im Rahmen des E-Health-Gesetzes. Es wird gefordert, dass alle Labore künftig zusätzlich zum Originalwert den zlog-Wert zur Verfügung stellen und dass in die Protokolle für die elektronische Labordatenübertragung (HL7, LDT) ein eigenes Feld für diesen zusätzlichen Wert eingefügt wird.
    • Patient's Experience in Pediatric Primary Immunodeficiency Disorders: Computerized Classification of Questionnaires.

      Mücke, Urs; Klemann, Christian; Baumann, Ulrich; Meyer-Bahlburg, Almut; Kortum, Xiaowei; Klawonn, Frank; Lechner, Werner M; Grigull, Lorenz; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017)
      Primary immunodeficiency disorders (PIDs) are a heterogeneous group of more than 200 rare diseases. Timely diagnosis is of uttermost importance. Therefore, we aimed to develop a diagnostic questionnaire with computerized pattern-recognition in order to support physicians to identify suspicious patient histories.
    • Diagnostic needs for rare diseases and shared prediagnostic phenomena: Results of a German-wide expert Delphi survey.

      Blöß, Susanne; Klemann, Christian; Rother, Ann-Katrin; Mehmecke, Sandra; Schumacher, Ulrike; Mücke, Urs; Mücke, Martin; Stieber, Christiane; Klawonn, Frank; Kortum, Xiaowei; et al. (2017)
      Worldwide approximately 7,000 rare diseases have been identified. Accordingly, 4 million individuals live with a rare disease in Germany. The mean time to diagnosis is about 6 years and patients receive several incorrect diagnoses during this time. A multiplicity of factors renders diagnosing a rare disease extremely difficult. Detection of shared phenomena among individuals with different rare diseases could assist the diagnostic process. In order to explore the demand for diagnostic support and to obtain the commonalities among patients, a nationwide Delphi survey of centers for rare diseases and patient groups was conducted.
    • Effects of drift and noise on the optimal sliding window size for data stream regression models

      Tschumitschew, Katharina; Klawonn, Frank; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-05-27)
    • Relative ion intensities of maltooligosaccharide ethers in electrospray ionization ion trap mass spectrometry: A quantitative evaluation

      Gangula, Sheetal; Nimtz, Manfred; Mischnick, Petra; Technische Universität Braunschweig, Institute of Food Chemistry, Schleinitzstr. 20, Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-05)
    • The Molybdenum Active Site of Formate Dehydrogenase Is Capable of Catalyzing C-H Bond Cleavage and Oxygen Atom Transfer Reactions.

      Hartmann, Tobias; Schrapers, Peer; Utesch, Tillmann; Nimtz, Manfred; Rippers, Yvonne; Dau, Holger; Mroginski, Maria Andrea; Haumann, Michael; Leimkühler, Silke; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-04-26)
      Formate dehydrogenases (FDHs) are capable of performing the reversible oxidation of formate and are enzymes of great interest for fuel cell applications and for the production of reduced carbon compounds as energy sources from CO2. Metal-containing FDHs in general contain a highly conserved active site, comprising a molybdenum (or tungsten) center coordinated by two molybdopterin guanine dinucleotide molecules, a sulfido and a (seleno-)cysteine ligand, in addition to a histidine and arginine residue in the second coordination sphere. So far, the role of these amino acids in catalysis has not been studied in detail, because of the lack of suitable expression systems and the lability or oxygen sensitivity of the enzymes. Here, the roles of these active site residues is revealed using the Mo-containing FDH from Rhodobacter capsulatus. Our results show that the cysteine ligand at the Mo ion is displaced by the formate substrate during the reaction, the arginine has a direct role in substrate binding and stabilization, and the histidine elevates the pKa of the active site cysteine. We further found that in addition to reversible formate oxidation, the enzyme is further capable of reducing nitrate to nitrite. We propose a mechanistic scheme that combines both functionalities and provides important insights into the distinct mechanisms of C-H bond cleavage and oxygen atom transfer catalyzed by formate dehydrogenase.
    • Diagnostic support for selected neuromuscular diseases using answer-pattern recognition and data mining techniques: a proof of concept multicenter prospective trial.

      Grigull, Lorenz; Lechner, Werner; Petri, Susanne; Kollewe, Katja; Dengler, Reinhard; Mehmecke, Sandra; Schumacher, Ulrike; Lücke, Thomas; Schneider-Gold, Christiane; Köhler, Cornelia; et al. (2016)
      Diagnosis of neuromuscular diseases in primary care is often challenging. Rare diseases such as Pompe disease are easily overlooked by the general practitioner. We therefore aimed to develop a diagnostic support tool using patient-oriented questions and combined data mining algorithms recognizing answer patterns in individuals with selected neuromuscular diseases. A multicenter prospective study for the proof of concept was conducted thereafter.
    • Analysis of Practical Identifiability of a Viral Infection Model.

      Nguyen, Van Kinh; Klawonn, Frank; Mikolajczyk, Rafael; Hernandez-Vargas, Esteban Abelardo; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016)
      Mathematical modelling approaches have granted a significant contribution to life sciences and beyond to understand experimental results. However, incomplete and inadequate assessments in parameter estimation practices hamper the parameter reliability, and consequently the insights that ultimately could arise from a mathematical model. To keep the diligent works in modelling biological systems from being mistrusted, potential sources of error must be acknowledged. Employing a popular mathematical model in viral infection research, existing means and practices in parameter estimation are exemplified. Numerical results show that poor experimental data is a main source that can lead to erroneous parameter estimates despite the use of innovative parameter estimation algorithms. Arbitrary choices of initial conditions as well as data asynchrony distort the parameter estimates but are often overlooked in modelling studies. This work stresses the existence of several sources of error buried in reports of modelling biological systems, voicing the need for assessing the sources of error, consolidating efforts in solving the immediate difficulties, and possibly reconsidering the use of mathematical modelling to quantify experimental data.
    • Fuzzy clustering: More than just fuzzification

      Klawonn, Frank; Kruse, Rudolf; Winkler, Roland; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2015-12)
    • Assessment of cross-species transmission of hepatitis C virus-related non-primate hepacivirus in a population of humans at high risk of exposure.

      Pfaender, Stephanie; Walter, Stephanie; Todt, Daniel; Behrendt, Patrick; Doerrbecker, Juliane; Wölk, Benno; Engelmann, Michael; Gravemann, Ute; Seltsam, Axel; Steinmann, Joerg; et al. (2015-09)
      The recent discovery of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related viruses in different animal species has raised new speculations regarding the origin of HCV and the possibility of a zoonotic source responsible for the endemic HCV transmission. As a consequence, these new findings prompt questions regarding the potential for cross-species transmissions of hepaciviruses. The closest relatives to HCV discovered to date are the non-primate hepaciviruses (NPHVs), which have been described to infect horses. To evaluate the risk of a potential zoonotic transmission, we analysed NPHV RNA and antibodies in humans with occupational exposure to horses in comparison with a low-risk group. Both groups were negative for NPHV RNA, even though low seroreactivities against various NPHV antigens could be detected irrespective of the group. In conclusion, we did not observe evidence of NPHV transmission between horses and humans.
    • LC/MS Based Monitoring of Endogenous Decay Markers for Quality Assessment of Serum Specimens

      Thumfart, Jörg Oliver; Abidi, Nada; Mindt, Sonani; Costani, Victor; Hofheinz, Ralf; Klawonn, Frank; Findeisen, Peter; 1Institute for Clinical Chemistry, Medical Faculty Mannheim of the University of Heidelberg, Theodor-Kutzer-Ufer 1-3, 68167 Mannheim, Germany (2015-05-04)
      Preanalytical variations have major impact on most biological assays. Specifically MS-based multiparametric proteomics analyses of blood specimens are seriously affected by limited protein stability due to high intrinsic proteolytic activity of serum and plasma. However, the direct analysis of sample quality (DASQ) for serum specimens is not readily available. Here we propose the mass spectrometry based monitoring of peptide patterns that are ex vivo changing in a time dependent manner to alleviate these constrains.
    • Lipopolysaccharide binding protein, interleukin-10, interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein blood levels in acute ischemic stroke patients with post-stroke infection.

      Worthmann, Hans; Tryc, Anita B; Dirks, Meike; Schuppner, Ramona; Brand, Korbinian; Klawonn, Frank; Lichtinghagen, Ralf; Weissenborn, Karin; Department of Neurology, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, 30623, Hannover, Germany. (2015)
      Ischemic stroke patients are prone to infection by stroke-induced immunodepression. We hypothesized that levels of lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LBP), interleukin-10 (IL-10), IL-6 and C-reactive protein (CRP) are early predictors for the development of stroke-associated infection.
    • Diagnostic Support for Selected Paediatric Pulmonary Diseases Using Answer-Pattern Recognition in Questionnaires Based on Combined Data Mining Applications--A Monocentric Observational Pilot Study.

      Rother, Ann-Katrin; Schwerk, Nicolaus; Brinkmann, Folke; Klawonn, Frank; Lechner, Werner; Grigull, Lorenz; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2015)
      Clinical symptoms in children with pulmonary diseases are frequently non-specific. Rare diseases such as primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), cystic fibrosis (CF) or protracted bacterial bronchitis (PBB) can be easily missed at the general practitioner (GP).
    • Hematological parameters in the early phase of influenza A virus infection in differentially susceptible inbred mouse strains.

      Preusse, Matthias; Schughart, Klaus; Wilk, Esther; Klawonn, Frank; Pessler, Frank; Helmholz Centre for Infection Research (2015)
      Hematological parameters have not received much attention in small animal models of infection, particularly at very early time points. We therefore studied changes in leukocyte and thrombocyte numbers in a mouse model of influenza A virus (IAV) infection, including measurements within the first 24 h after infection, and also assessing effects, if any, of the infection/anesthesia procedure on these parameters.
    • Polyketide synthase (PKS) reduces fusion of Legionella pneumophila-containing vacuoles with lysosomes and contributes to bacterial competitiveness during infection.

      Shevchuk, Olga; Pägelow, Dennis; Rasch, Janine; Döhrmann, Simon; Günther, Gabriele; Hoppe, Julia; Ünal, Can Murat; Bronietzki, Marc; Gutierrez, Maximiliano Gabriel; Steinert, Michael; et al. (2014-11)
      L. pneumophila-containing vacuoles (LCVs) exclude endocytic and lysosomal markers in human macrophages and protozoa. We screened a L. pneumophila mini-Tn10 transposon library for mutants, which fail to inhibit the fusion of LCVs with lysosomes by loading of the lysosomal compartment with colloidal iron dextran, mechanical lysis of infected host cells, and magnetic isolation of LCVs that have fused with lysosomes. In silico analysis of the mutated genes, D. discoideum plaque assays and infection assays in protozoa and U937 macrophage-like cells identified well established as well as novel putative L. pneumophila virulence factors. Promising candidates were further analyzed for their co-localization with lysosomes in host cells using fluorescence microscopy. This approach corroborated that the O-methyltransferase, PilY1, TPR-containing protein and polyketide synthase (PKS) of L. pneumophila interfere with lysosomal degradation. Competitive infections in protozoa and macrophages revealed that the identified PKS contributes to the biological fitness of pneumophila strains and may explain their prevalence in the epidemiology of Legionnaires' disease.