Nutrition & Food Science Research Works

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    Complete genome sequences and genomic characterization of five plasmids harbored by environmentally persistent Cronobacter sakazakii strains ST83 H322 and ST64 GK1025B obtained from powdered infant formula manufacturing facilities
    (Springer Nature, 2022-06-06) Negrete, Flavia J.; Ko, Katie; Jang, Hyein; Hoffmann, Maria; Lehner, Angelika; Stephan, Roger; Fanning, Séamus; Tall, Ben D.; Gopinath, Gopal R.
    Cronobacter sakazakii is a foodborne pathogen that causes septicemia, meningitis, and necrotizing enterocolitis in neonates and infants. The current research details the full genome sequences of two extremely persistent C. sakazakii strains (H322 and GK1025B) isolated from powdered infant formula (PIF) manufacturing settings. In addition, the genetic attributes associated with five plasmids, pH322_1, pH322_2, pGK1025B_1, pGK1025B_2, and pGK1025B_3 are described. Using PacBio single-molecule real-time (SMRT®) sequencing technology, whole genome sequence (WGS) assemblies of C. sakazakii H322 [Sequence type (ST)83, clonal complex [CC] 83) and GK1025B (ST64, CC64) were generated. Plasmids, also sequenced, were aligned with phylogenetically related episomes to determine, and identify conserved and missing genomic regions. A truncated ~ 13 Kbp type 6 secretion system (T6SS) gene cluster harbored on virulence plasmids pH322_2 and pGK1025B_2, and a second large deletion (~ 6 Kbp) on pH322_2, which included genes for a tyrosine-type recombinase/integrase, a hypothetical protein, and a phospholipase D was identified. Within the T6SS of pH322_2 and pGK1025B_2, an arsenic resistance operon was identified which is in common with that of plasmids pSP291_1 and pESA3. In addition, PHASTER analysis identified an intact 96.9 Kbp Salmonella SSU5 prophage gene cluster in pH322_1 and pGK1025B_1 and showed that these two plasmids were phylogenetically related to C. sakazakii plasmids: pCS1, pCsa767a, pCsaC757b, pCsaC105731a. Plasmid pGK1025B_3 was identified as a novel conjugative Cronobacter plasmid. Furthermore, WGS analysis identified a ~ 16.4 Kbp type 4 secretion system gene cluster harbored on pGK1025B_3, which contained a phospholipase D gene, a key virulence factor in several host–pathogen diseases. These data provide high resolution information on C. sakazakii genomes and emphasizes the need for furthering surveillance studies to link genotype to phenotype of strains from previous investigations. These results provide baseline data necessary for future in-depth investigations of C. sakazakii that colonize PIF manufacturing facility settings and genomic analyses of these two C. sakazakii strains and five associated plasmids will contribute to a better understanding of this pathogen's survival and persistence within various “built environments” like PIF manufacturing facilities.
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    The Relationship between Macronutrient Distribution and Type 2 Diabetes in Asian Indians
    (MDPI, 2021-12-09) Pandya, Amisha; Mehta, Mira; Sankavaram, Kavitha
    Asian Indians (AIs) are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus than other ethnic groups. AIs also have lower body mass index (BMI) values than other populations, so can benefit from strategies other than weight reduction. Macronutrient distributions are associated with improved glycemic control; however, no specific distribution is generally recommended. This study looks at whether a macronutrient distribution of 50:30:20 (percent of total calories from carbohydrates, fats, and protein) is related to diabetes status in AIs. Diet and Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) were assessed from convenience sample of AI adults in Maryland. A ratio of actual to needed calories using the 50:30:20 macronutrient distribution was then tested against diabetes status to identify associations. All groups except non-diabetic females, were in negative energy balance. The non-diabetic group consumed larger actual to needed ratios of protein than pre-diabetics and diabetics. However, all groups consumed protein at the lower end of the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR), and the quality of all macronutrients consumed was low. Therefore, weight loss may not be the recommendation for diabetes management for AIs. Increasing protein and insoluble fiber consumption, could play a critical role.
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    Induction of apoptosis in HeLa cells by chloroform fraction of seed extracts of Nigella sativa
    (Springer Nature, 2009-11-27) Shafi, Gowhar; Munshi, Anjana; Hasan, Tarique N; Alshatwi, Ali A; Jyothy, A; Lei, David KY
    Cancer remains one of the most dreaded diseases causing an astonishingly high death rate, second only to cardiac arrest. The fact that conventional and newly emerging treatment procedures like chemotherapy, catalytic therapy, photodynamic therapy and radiotherapy have not succeeded in reverting the outcome of the disease to any drastic extent, has made researchers investigate alternative treatment options. The extensive repertoire of traditional medicinal knowledge systems from various parts of the world are being re-investigated for their healing properties. This study progresses in the direction of identifying component(s) from Nigella sativa with anti cancer acitivity. In the present study we investigated the efficacy of Organic extracts of Nigella sativa seed powder for its clonogenic inhibition and induction of apoptosis in HeLa cancer cell. Methanolic, n-Hexane and chloroform extracts of Nigella sativa seedz effectively killed HeLa cells. The IC50 values of methanolic, n-hexane, and chloroform extracts of Nigella sativa were 2.28 μg/ml, 2.20 μg/ml and 0.41 ng/ml, respectively. All three extracts induced apoptosis in HeLa cells. Apoptosis was confirmed by DNA fragmentation, western blot and terminal transferase-mediated dUTP-digoxigenin-end labeling (TUNEL) assay. Western Blot and TUNEL results suggested that Nigella sativa seed extracts regulated the expression of pro- and anti- apoptotic genes, indicating its possible development as a potential therapeutic agent for cervical cancer upon further investigation.
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    Knowledge and attitudes about vitamin D and sunlight exposure in premenopausal women living in Jeddah, and their relationship with serum vitamin D levels
    (Springer Nature, 2021-08-28) Zareef, Tahani A.; Jackson, Robert T.
    Saudi women are at risk of vitamin D deficiency because they are fully covered by traditional clothing and because of their indoor lifestyle. The latest national study reported that vitamin D deficiency (serum 25(OH)D < 50 nmol/L) affects 72% of young Saudi women. Because little information is available regarding knowledge on vitamin D, attitudes toward sun exposure, and the vitamin D status of premenopausal women in Jeddah, more research is necessary in order to develop effective intervention programs. The purpose of this study is to explore how the relationship between knowledge of vitamin D and attitudes about sun exposure affect the serum 25(OH)D levels in premenopausal Saudi women. This cross-sectional study included 257 women aged 20–50 years attending the primary care clinic in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Participants completed questionnaires about socio-demographics, dietary vitamin D intake, attitudes toward sun exposure, and were tested on their knowledge of vitamin D. Serum 25(OH)D was evaluated using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Although 99% of participants had heard of vitamin D and 91% knew that sunlight exposure is a primary source of vitamin D, they also expressed the feeling of having insufficient knowledge regarding vitamin D sources. Furthermore, the majority of participants had negative attitudes toward sun exposure. High fish consumption was associated with a higher level of knowledge regarding vitamin D. The binary logistic regression indicated that low levels of knowledge about vitamin D were associated with low education levels (odds ratio = 0.397, 95% CI = [0.206, 0.765], p = 0.019) and with being married (odds ratio = 0.522, 95% CI = [0.281, 0.971], p = 0.04). In addition, spending time outside in the sun was significantly associated with increased serum 25(OH)D levels (p = 0.006), and the wearing of colored abaya was significantly associated with increased serum 25(OH)D levels (p = 0.008). Suboptimal vitamin D status and insufficient knowledge of vitamin D intake sources are common in premenopausal women in Jeddah. Based on this data, health professionals could provide medical intervention to the most vulnerable female patients, as well as offer clear guidelines and information to the general public.
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    Impact of the shedding level on transmission of persistent infections in Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP)
    (Springer Nature, 2016-02-29) Slater, Noa; Mitchell, Rebecca Mans; Whitlock, Robert H.; Fyock, Terry; Pradhan, Abani Kumar; Knupfer, Elena; Schukken, Ynte Hein; Louzoun, Yoram
    Super-shedders are infectious individuals that contribute a disproportionate amount of infectious pathogen load to the environment. A super-shedder host may produce up to 10 000 times more pathogens than other infectious hosts. Super-shedders have been reported for multiple human and animal diseases. If their contribution to infection dynamics was linear to the pathogen load, they would dominate infection dynamics. We here focus on quantifying the effect of super-shedders on the spread of infection in natural environments to test if such an effect actually occurs in Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP). We study a case where the infection dynamics and the bacterial load shed by each host at every point in time are known. Using a maximum likelihood approach, we estimate the parameters of a model with multiple transmission routes, including direct contact, indirect contact and a background infection risk. We use longitudinal data from persistent infections (MAP), where infectious individuals have a wide distribution of infectious loads, ranging upward of three orders of magnitude. We show based on these parameters that the effect of super-shedders for MAP is limited and that the effect of the individual bacterial load is limited and the relationship between bacterial load and the infectiousness is highly concave. A 1000-fold increase in the bacterial contribution is equivalent to up to a 2–3 fold increase in infectiousness.