The Many Hosts of Mycobacteria 8 (MHM8): A conference report

Michelle H. Larsen, Karen Lacourciere, Tina M. Parker, Alison Kraigsley, Jacqueline M. Achkar, Linda B. Adams, Kathryn M. Dupnik, Luanne Hall-Stoodley, Travis Hartman, Carly Kanipe, Sherry L. Kurtz, Michele A. Miller, Liliana C.M. Salvador, John S. Spencer, Richard T. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Mycobacteria are important causes of disease in human and animal hosts. Diseases caused by mycobacteria include leprosy, tuberculosis (TB), nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) infections and Buruli Ulcer. To better understand and treat mycobacterial disease, clinicians, veterinarians and scientists use a range of discipline-specific approaches to conduct basic and applied research, including conducting epidemiological surveys, patient studies, wildlife sampling, animal models, genetic studies and computational simulations. To foster the exchange of knowledge and collaboration across disciplines, the Many Hosts of Mycobacteria (MHM) conference series brings together clinical, veterinary and basic scientists who are dedicated to advancing mycobacterial disease research. Started in 2007, the MHM series recently held its 8th conference at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Bronx, NY). Here, we review the diseases discussed at MHM8 and summarize the presentations on research advances in leprosy, NTM and Buruli Ulcer, human and animal TB, mycobacterial disease comorbidities, mycobacterial genetics and ‘omics, and animal models. A mouse models workshop, which was held immediately after MHM8, is also summarized. In addition to being a resource for those who were unable to attend MHM8, we anticipate this review will provide a benchmark to gauge the progress of future research concerning mycobacteria and their many hosts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101914
JournalTuberculosis
Volume121
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
John Spencer presented his work on the dynamics of M. leprae using whole genome sequencing. The M. leprae genome was completely sequenced in 2001 and is one of the most highly conserved genomes in the bacterial world. Whole genome sequence analysis of hundreds of clinical strains from all over the world have been characterized into four main SNP types (SNP 1?4) and 16 subtypes that have a fairly restricted geographic range worldwide [165,166]. In 2013, genome sequences were obtained from skeletons of five medieval leprosy cases from the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Denmark [167]. The ancient M. leprae sequences were compared with modern strains (representing diverse genotypes and geographic regions), and a remarkable genomic conservation during the last millennium was detected. Interestingly, a single Brazilian SNP type 3I isolate from S?o Paulo state was found to branch between two medieval 3I strains, Jorgen_625 from Denmark and SK2 from the UK [168], and represents, for the first time, an ancestral 3I lineage in a modern sample, supporting the hypothesis of the European origin of the 3I lineage in the Americas. Despite several studies and available drugs, it has been difficult to eradicate this disease in humans. Wildlife reservoirs of infection have been found in different parts of the world. Two species of leprosy-causing organisms caused warty growths on the faces and extremities of red squirrels in the British Isles [4]. Armadillos have been shown to be a natural reservoir of M. leprae in the southern states of the U.S. and to have a zoonotic impact in Brazil [39]. Spencer and colleagues are currently analyzing the genetic diversity and distribution of M. leprae strain types from different regions of Brazil and relating them with existing strains around the world. Comparative and phylogenetic analysis like these provide insights into the evolution and antimicrobial resistance around the world, uncovering lineages and phylogenetic trends of particular importance [168].The Many Hosts of Mycobacteria conference was supported by the National Institute of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) grant 1R13AI145362-01. Presented work was further supported in part by funds from the NIH/NIAID (grants AI146329, AI127173, AI117927 to JMA; K23-AI131913 to KMD; AI121212 to RTR), as well as the USDA ARS and Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (to CK). The leprosy work presented by LBA was supported by an Interagency Agreement [AAI15006] between the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the NIAID. The participation and research presented by MAM was supported the South African government through the South African Medical Research Council and the National Research Foundation South African Research Chair Initiative [grant #86949]. We would also like to acknowledge MHL and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine for their generous hosting of MHM8.

Funding Information:
The Many Hosts of Mycobacteria conference was supported by the National Institute of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) grant 1R13AI145362-01 . Presented work was further supported in part by funds from the NIH/NIAID (grants AI146329 , AI127173 , AI117927 to JMA; K23-AI131913 to KMD; AI121212 to RTR), as well as the USDA ARS and Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (to CK). The leprosy work presented by LBA was supported by an Interagency Agreement [ AAI15006 ] between the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the NIAID . The participation and research presented by MAM was supported the South African government through the South African Medical Research Council and the National Research Foundation South African Research Chair Initiative [grant # 86949 ]. We would also like to acknowledge MHL and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine for their generous hosting of MHM8.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

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