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Articles by Alex van Belkum
Total Records ( 6 ) for Alex van Belkum
  Rogier Louwen , Astrid Heikema , Alex van Belkum , Alewijn Ott , Michel Gilbert , Wim Ang , Hubert P. Endtz , Mathijs P. Bergman and Edward E. Nieuwenhuis
  Campylobacter jejuni is a frequent cause of bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide. Lipooligosaccharide (LOS) has been identified as an important virulence factor that may play a role in microbial adhesion and invasion. Here we specifically address the question of whether LOS sialylation affects the interaction of C. jejuni with human epithelial cells. For this purpose, 14 strains associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), 34 enteritis-associated strains, the 81-176 reference strain, and 6 Penner serotype strains were tested for invasion of two epithelial cell lines. C. jejuni strains expressing sialylated LOS (classes A, B, and C) invaded cells significantly more frequently than strains expressing nonsialylated LOS (classes D and E) (P < 0.0001). To further explore this observation, we inactivated the LOS sialyltransferase (Cst-II) via knockout mutagenesis in three GBS-associated C. jejuni strains expressing sialylated LOS (GB2, GB11, and GB19). All knockout strains displayed significantly lower levels of invasion than the respective wild types. Complementation of a Δcst-II mutant strain restored LOS sialylation and reset the invasiveness to wild-type levels. Finally, formalin-fixed wild-type strains GB2, GB11 and GB19, but not the isogenic Δcst-II mutants that lack sialic acid, were able to inhibit epithelial invasion by viable GB2, GB11, and GB19 strains. We conclude that sialylation of the LOS outer core contributes significantly to epithelial invasion by C. jejuni and may thus play a role in subsequent postinfectious pathologies.
  Martin Reijans , Gijs Dingemans , Corne H. Klaassen , Jacques F. Meis , Judith Keijdener , Brit Mulders , Kimberly Eadie , Willem van Leeuwen , Alex van Belkum , Alphons M. Horrevorts and Guus Simons
  Broad-spectrum analysis for pathogens in patients with respiratory tract infections is becoming more relevant as the number of potential infectious agents is still increasing. Here we describe the new multiparameter RespiFinder assay, which is based on the multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) technology. This assay detects 15 respiratory viruses in one reaction. The MLPA reaction is preceded by a preamplification step which ensures the detection of both RNA and DNA viruses with the same specificity and sensitivity as individual monoplex real-time reverse transcription-PCRs. The RespiFinder assay was validated with 144 clinical samples, and the results of the assay were compared to those of cell culture and a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-specific immunochromatography assay (ICA). Compared to the cell culture results, the RespiFinder assay showed specificities and sensitivities of 98.2% and 100%, respectively, for adenovirus; 96.4% and 100%, respectively, for human metapneumovirus; 98.2% and 100%, respectively, for influenza A virus (InfA); 99.1% and 100%, respectively, for parainfluenza virus type 1 (PIV-1); 99.1% and 80%, respectively, for PIV-3; 90.1% and 100%, respectively, for rhinovirus; and 94.6% and 100%, respectively, for RSV. Compared to the results of the RSV-specific ICA, the RespiFinder assay gave a specificity and a sensitivity of 82.4% and 80%, respectively. PIV-2, PIV-4, influenza B virus, InfA H5N1, and coronavirus 229E were not detected in the clinical specimens tested. The use of the RespiFinder assay resulted in an increase in the diagnostic yield compared to that obtained by cell culture (diagnostic yields, 60% and 35.5%, respectively). In conclusion, the RespiFinder assay provides a user-friendly and high-throughput tool for the simultaneous detection of 15 respiratory viruses with excellent overall performance statistics.
  Damian C. Melles , Fred C. Tenover , Matthew J. Kuehnert , Hanneke Witsenboer , Justine K. Peeters , Henri A. Verbrugh and Alex van Belkum
  To understand Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage and its relationship with subsequent disease, insight into the natural (nonclinical) bacterial population structure is essential. This study investigated whether the distributions of S. aureus genotypes that cause colonization differ by geographic locales. High-throughput amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis was performed on nasal isolates of S. aureus from healthy American (n = 391) and Dutch (n = 829) volunteers. In total, 164,970 binary outcomes, covering 135 different markers per isolate, were scored. Methicillin resistance was defined for all strains; pulsed-field gel electrophoresis typing was performed for the American isolates. The overall population structures of the American and Dutch S. aureus isolates were comparable. The same four major AFLP clusters (I to IV) and subclusters were identified for both collections. However, the Dutch methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) isolates were overrepresented in AFLP cluster III (P = 0.0016). Furthermore, the majority of the American methicillin-resistant S. aureus isolates (90.5%) were located in AFLP cluster I (P < 0.0001). This result identifies differences in the local prevalence of certain S. aureus genotypes. AFLP clusters II and III, which represent multilocus sequence typing clonal complexes 30 and 45, respectively, account for 46.4% of all MSSA isolates in the study, suggesting that these two lineages have evolved as extremely successful pandemic colonizers of humans. In conclusion, the overall population structures of American and Dutch nasal carriage isolates of S. aureus are surprisingly similar, despite subtle geographic differences in the prevalence of certain S. aureus genotypes.
  Juliette A. Severin , Endang Sri Lestari , Kuntaman Kuntaman , Damian C. Melles , Martijn Pastink , Justine K. Peeters , Susan V. Snijders , Usman Hadi , D. Offra Duerink , Alex van Belkum and Henri A. Verbrugh
  Few data on the molecular characteristics and epidemiology of Staphylococcus aureus from Indonesia are available. The purpose of the present study was to define S. aureus reservoirs in both the Indonesian community and hospital using a collection of 329 nasal carriage isolates obtained during a survey of 3,995 healthy individuals and patients from Java, Indonesia. Only one strain (0.3%) was identified as methicillin-resistant S. aureus by mecA gene PCR. The Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes were detected in 35 methicillin-sensitive S. aureus strains (10.6%). Molecular typing by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of the 329 isolates showed extensive genetic diversity among both PVL-positive and PVL-negative strains. In Surabaya, Indonesia, however, a cluster was identified that was strongly associated with the presence of the PVL locus (P < 0.0001). As determined by high-throughput amplified fragment length polymorphism, PVL-positive strains occurred throughout all major AFLP clusters (I to IV). Multilocus sequence typing of a subset of isolates showed that most PVL-positive strains belonged to sequence type (ST) 188, while most PVL-negative isolates belonged to ST45. The high prevalence of PVL-positive S. aureus strains in certain regions of Indonesia is of concern since these strains may cause severe infections in the community and in hospitals.
  Ankie Lebon , Joost A. M. Labout , Henri A. Verbrugh , Vincent W. V. Jaddoe , Albert Hofman , Willem van Wamel , Henriette A. Moll and Alex van Belkum
  Serial nasal swabs were collected at the ages of 1.5, 6, and 14 months from 443 infants in the Generation R Study. The objective was to study the dynamics and determinants of Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage in the first year of life. The prevalence of S. aureus carriage decreased in the first year of life, from 52.1% at the age of 1.5 months to 12.9% at 14 months. Persistent carriage, defined as continuous carriage of the same S. aureus strain at the three sampling moments, was rarely detected in early infancy.
  Monika Dzieciatkowska , Xin Liu , Astrid P. Heikema , R. Scott Houliston , Alex van Belkum , Elke K. H. Schweda , Michel Gilbert , James C. Richards and Jianjun Li
  Campylobacter jejuni lipooligosaccharide (LOS) can trigger Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) due to its similarity to human gangliosides. Rapid and accurate structural elucidation of the LOS glycan of a strain isolated from a GBS patient could help physicians determine the spectrum of anti-ganglioside antibodies likely to be found and therefore provide valuable assistance in establishing an appropriate course of treatment. The ability of implemented mass spectrometry-based approaches in a clinical setting has been limited by the laborious and time-consuming nature of the protocols, typically 3 to 4 days, used to prepare LOS. In order to improve the analytical throughput, microwave-assisted enzymatic digestion was investigated. In this study, the bacterial cells were suspended in 50 µl of 20 mM ammonium acetate buffer containing DNase and RNase and treated by direct microwave irradiation for 3 min. Then, proteinase K was added and the samples were again microwaved. The intact LOS samples were analyzed using electrophoresis-assisted open-tubular liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. The reliability of the rapid, high-throughput technique was demonstrated through analysis of LOS glycans from 73 C. jejuni strains. The structure was elucidated using material from a single colony. The total time for sample preparation and MS analysis is less than 60 min.
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