Publications by authors named "E Kim Mulholland"

193 Publications

Synergism and Antagonism of Bacterial-Viral Coinfection in the Upper Respiratory Tract.

mSphere 2022 Jan 19:e0098421. Epub 2022 Jan 19.

Infection and Immunity, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus) is a leading cause of pneumonia in children under 5 years of age. Coinfection by pneumococci and respiratory viruses enhances disease severity. Little is known about pneumococcal coinfections with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Here, we developed a novel infant mouse model of coinfection using pneumonia virus of mice (PVM), a murine analogue of RSV, to examine the dynamics of coinfection in the upper respiratory tract, an anatomical niche that is essential for host-to-host transmission and progression to disease. Coinfection increased damage to the nasal tissue and increased production of the chemokine CCL3. Nasopharyngeal pneumococcal density and shedding in nasal secretions were increased by coinfection. In contrast, coinfection reduced PVM loads in the nasopharynx, an effect that was independent of pneumococcal strain and the order of infection. We showed that this "antagonistic" effect was absent using either ethanol-killed pneumococci or a pneumococcal mutant deficient in capsule production and incapable of nasopharyngeal carriage. Colonization with a pneumococcal strain naturally unable to produce capsule also reduced viral loads. The pneumococcus-mediated reduction in PVM loads was caused by accelerated viral clearance from the nasopharynx. Although these synergistic and antagonistic effects occurred with both wild-type pneumococcal strains used in this study, the magnitude of the effects was strain dependent. Lastly, we showed that pneumococci can also antagonize influenza virus. Taken together, our study has uncovered multiple novel facets of bacterial-viral coinfection. Our findings have important public health implications, including for bacterial and viral vaccination strategies in young children. Respiratory bacterial-viral coinfections (such as pneumococci and influenza virus) are often synergistic, resulting in enhanced disease severity. Although colonization of the nasopharynx is the precursor to disease and transmission, little is known about bacterial-viral interactions that occur within this niche. In this study, we developed a novel mouse model to examine pneumococcal-viral interactions in the nasopharynx with pneumonia virus of mice (PVM) and influenza. We found that PVM infection benefits pneumococci by increasing their numbers in the nasopharynx and shedding of these bacteria in respiratory secretions. In contrast, we discovered that pneumococci decrease PVM numbers by accelerating viral clearance. We also report a similar effect of pneumococci on influenza. By showing that coinfections lead to both synergistic and antagonistic outcomes, our findings challenge the existing dogma in the field. Our work has important applications and implications for bacterial and viral vaccines that target these microbes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/msphere.00984-21DOI Listing
January 2022

The impact of 10-valent pneumococcal vaccine introduction on invasive disease in Fiji.

Lancet Reg Health West Pac 2022 Mar 5;20:100352. Epub 2022 Jan 5.

Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Background: In 2012, Fiji introduced the 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV10). We assessed the impact of PCV10 on invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), probable bacterial or pneumococcal meningitis (PBPM), meningitis and sepsis 3-5 years post-introduction.

Methods: Laboratory-confirmed IPD and PBPM cases were extracted from national laboratory records. ICD-10-AM coded all-cause meningitis and sepsis cases were extracted from national hospitalisation records. Incidence rate ratios were used to compare outcomes pre/post-PCV10, stratified by age groups: 1-23m, 2-4y, 5-9y, 10-19y, 20-54y, ≥55y. To account for different detection and serotyping methods in the pre-and post-PCV10 period, a Bayesian inference model estimated serotype-specific changes in IPD, using pneumococcal carriage and surveillance data.

Findings: There were 423 IPD, 1,029 PBPM, 1,391 all-cause meningitis and 7,611 all-cause sepsis cases. Five years post-PCV10 introduction, IPD declined by 60% (95%CI: 37%, 76%) in children 1-23m months old, and in age groups 2-4y, 5-9y, 10-19y although confidence intervals spanned zero. PBPM declined by 36% (95%CI: 21%, 48%) among children 1-23 months old, and in all other age groups, although some confidence intervals spanned zero. Among children <5y of age, PCV10-type IPD declined by 83% (95%CI; 70%, 90%) and with no evidence of change in non-PCV10-type IPD (9%, 95%CI; -69, 43%). There was no change in all-cause meningitis or sepsis. Post-PCV10, the most common serotypes in vaccine age-eligible and non-age eligible people were serotypes 8 and 23B, and 3 and 7F, respectively.

Interpretations: Our study demonstrates the effectiveness of PCV10 against IPD in a country in the Asia-Pacific of which there is a paucity of data.

Funding: This study was support by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government and Fiji Health Sector Support Program (FHSSP). FHSSP is implemented by Abt JTA on behalf of the Australian Government.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lanwpc.2021.100352DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8741523PMC
March 2022

Can early measles vaccination control both measles and respiratory syncytial virus infections?

Lancet Glob Health 2022 Feb 22;10(2):e288-e292. Epub 2021 Dec 22.

New Vaccines Group, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

Measles virus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are two important global health pathogens causing substantial morbidity and mortality worldwide. The current measles vaccination schedule has the first dose given at 9-12 months of age and the second dose given at 15-18 months of age. Measles outbreaks have been associated with an increase in severe RSV infections in children younger than 6 months, probably as a result of measles-induced immunosuppression. A resurgence in measles cases was already occurring before the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected global immunisation programmes, resulting in millions of children, mostly in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), missing out on their measles vaccine. This will leave many children living in the most vulnerable of circumstances highly susceptible to measles and RSV infections when current COVID-19 public health control measures are lifted. This Viewpoint discusses these issues and highlights the need for urgent action to address this looming crisis. The use of early measles vaccination at 4 months of age could be an effective strategy to prevent severe morbidity and death from both measles and RSV infections in many LMICs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(21)00464-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8694706PMC
February 2022

Assessment of Rapid Diagnostic Tests for Typhoid Diagnosis and Assessment of Febrile Illness Outbreaks in Fiji.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2021 Nov 29. Epub 2021 Nov 29.

School of Tropical Medicine and Global Health, University of Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Japan.

Typhoid is an endemic in Fiji with increases observed since the early 2000s and frequent outbreaks reported. We assessed the diagnostic accuracy of currently available typhoid rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) (TUBEX, Typhidot Rapid, and Test-It assay) to establish their performance against blood culture in Fiji and to examine their suitability for rapid typhoid outbreak identification. The performance of RDTs was assessed in the public health reference laboratory in Suva, Fiji, according to the manufacturers' instructions. A simulation was used to examine the potential use of RDTs for attribution of a febrile illness outbreak to typhoid. For the diagnostic evaluation, 179 patients were included; 49 had blood culture-confirmed typhoid, 76 had fever as a result of non-typhoid etiologies, and 54 were age-matched community controls. The median (interquartile range) age was 29 (20-46) years. Of the participants, 92 (51.4%) were male and 131 (73.2%) were indigenous Fijians. The sensitivities of the tests were 77.6% for TUBEX, 75.5% for Typhidot Rapid, and 57.1% for Test-It assay. The Test-It assay had the highest specificity of 93.4%, followed by Typhidot Rapid 85.5% and TUBEX 60.5%. Typhidot Rapid had the best performance in the simulation for attribution of a febrile illness outbreak to typhoid. Typhoid RDTs performed suboptimally for individual patient diagnosis due to low sensitivity and variable specificity. We demonstrate that RDTs could be useful in the field for rapid attribution of febrile illness outbreaks to typhoid. Typhidot Rapid had the best combination of sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, cost, and ease of use for this purpose.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.21-0771DOI Listing
November 2021

Morphogen regulation of stem cell plasticity in intestinal regeneration and carcinogenesis.

Dev Dyn 2022 01 8;251(1):61-74. Epub 2021 Nov 8.

Intestinal Stem Cell Biology Lab, Wellcome Centre Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

The intestinal epithelium is a tissue with high cell turnover, supported by adult intestinal stem cells. Intestinal homeostasis is underpinned by crypt basal columnar stem cells, marked by expression of the LGR5 gene. However, recent research has demonstrated considerable stem cell plasticity following injury, with dedifferentiation of a range of other intestinal cell populations, induced by a permissive microenvironment in the regenerating mucosa. The regulation of this profound adaptive cell reprogramming response is the subject of current research. There is a demonstrable contribution from disruption of key homeostatic signaling pathways such as wingless-related integration site and bone morphogenetic protein, and an emerging signaling hub role for the mechanoreceptor transducers Yes-associated protein 1/transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif, negatively regulated by the Hippo pathway. However, a number of outstanding questions remain, including a need to understand how tissues sense damage, and how pathways intersect to mediate dynamic changes in the stem cell population. Better understanding of these pathways, associated functional redundancies, and how they may be both enhanced for recovery of inflammatory diseases, and co-opted in neoplasia development, may have significant clinical implications, and could lead to development of more targeted molecular therapies which target individual stem or stem-like cell populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dvdy.434DOI Listing
January 2022
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