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      Non-Typeable Haemophilus influenzae Invasion and Persistence in the Human Respiratory Tract


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          Non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen of the human respiratory tract and is a leading cause of respiratory infections in children and adults. NTHI is considered to be an extracellular pathogen, but has consistently been observed within and between human respiratory epithelial cells and macrophages, in vitro and ex vivo. Until recently, few studies have examined the internalization, trafficking, and fate of NTHI in host cells. It is important to clarify this interaction because of a possible correlation between intracellular NTHI and symptomatic infection, and because NTHI infections frequently persist and recur despite antibiotic therapy and the development of bactericidal antibodies, suggesting a possible intracellular state or reservoir for NTHI. How does NTHI enter host cells? Can NTHI survive intracellularly and, if so, for how long? Strides have been made in the identification of host receptors, signaling, endocytosis, and trafficking pathways involved in the entry and persistence of NTHI in the respiratory tract.

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          Defining macropinocytosis.

          Macropinocytosis represents a distinct pathway of endocytosis in mammalian cells. This actin-driven endocytic process is not directly co-ordinated by the presence of cargo but can be induced upon activation of growth factor signalling pathways. The capacity to dissect the contribution of macropinocytosis to cellular processes has been hampered by a lack of unique molecular markers and defining features. While aspects of macropinosome formation and maturation are common to those shared by the other endocytic pathways, a number of key differences have recently begun to emerge and will be discussed in this study. It is now well established that macropinocytosis significantly contributes to antigen presentation by the immune system and is exploited by a range of pathogens for cellular invasion and avoidance of immune surveillance.
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            Single-cell identification in microbial communities by improved fluorescence in situ hybridization techniques.

            The ribosomal-RNA (rRNA) approach to microbial evolution and ecology has become an integral part of environmental microbiology. Based on the patchy conservation of rRNA, oligonucleotide probes can be designed with specificities that range from the species level to the level of phyla or even domains. When these probes are labelled with fluorescent dyes or the enzyme horseradish peroxidase, they can be used to identify single microbial cells directly by fluorescence in situ hybridization. In this Review, we provide an update on the recent methodological improvements that have allowed more reliable quantification of microbial populations in situ in complex environmental samples, with a particular focus on the usefulness of group-specific probes in this era of ever-growing rRNA databases.
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              Pharmacological inhibition of endocytic pathways: is it specific enough to be useful?

              Eukaryotic cells constantly form and internalize plasma membrane vesicles in a process known as endocytosis. Endocytosis serves a variety of housekeeping and specialized cellular functions, and it can be mediated by distinct molecular pathways. Among them, internalization via clathrin-coated pits, lipid raft/caveolae-mediated endocytosis and macropinocytosis/phagocytosis are the most extensively characterized. The major endocytic pathways are usually distinguished on the basis of their differential sensitivity to pharmacological/chemical inhibitors, although the possibility of nonspecific effects of such inhibitors is frequently overlooked. This review provides a critical evaluation of the selectivity of the most widely used pharmacological inhibitors of clathrin-mediated, lipid raft/caveolae-mediated endocytosis and macropinocytosis/phagocytosis. The mechanisms of actions of these agents are described with special emphasis on their reported side effects on the alternative internalization modes and the actin cytoskeleton. The most and the least-selective inhibitors of each major endocytic pathway are highlighted.

                Author and article information

                Front Cell Infect Microbiol
                Front Cell Infect Microbiol
                Front. Cell. Inf. Microbio.
                Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
                Frontiers Research Foundation
                18 November 2011
                : 1
                : 1
                [1] 1simpleDepartment of Microbiology and Immunology, University at Buffalo, State University of New York Buffalo, NY, USA
                Author notes

                Edited by: W. Edward Swords, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, USA

                Reviewed by: Michael L. Vasil, University of Colorado Medical School, USA; Jeffery Andre Hobden, LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, USA

                *Correspondence: Timothy F. Murphy, Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, 701 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA. e-mail: murphyt@ 123456buffalo.edu
                Copyright © 2011 Clementi and Murphy.

                This is an open-access article subject to a non-exclusive license between the authors and Frontiers Media SA, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and other Frontiers conditions are complied with.

                : 01 July 2011
                : 04 October 2011
                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 92, Pages: 9, Words: 8556
                Review Article

                Infectious disease & Microbiology


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