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Alexia V Harrist - Top 30 Publications

Statistical Method to Detect Tuberculosis Outbreaks among Endemic Clusters in a Low-Incidence Setting.

We previously reported use of genotype surveillance data to predict outbreaks among incident tuberculosis clusters. We propose a method to detect possible outbreaks among endemic tuberculosis clusters. We detected 15 possible outbreaks, of which 10 had epidemiologic data or whole-genome sequencing results. Eight outbreaks were corroborated.

Evaluation of the Completeness, Data Quality, and Timeliness of Fetal Mortality Surveillance in Wyoming, 2006-2013.

Purpose The number of fetal deaths in the United States each year exceeds that of infant deaths. High quality fetal death certificate data are necessary for states to effectively address preventable fetal deaths. We evaluated completeness of detection of fetal deaths among Wyoming residents that occur out-of-state, quality of cause-of-death data, and timeliness of Wyoming fetal death certificate registration during 2006-2013. Description The numbers of out-of-state fetal deaths among Wyoming residents recorded by Wyoming surveillance and reported by the National Vital Statistics System were compared. Quality of cause-of-death data was assessed by calculating percentage of fetal death certificates completed in Wyoming with ill-defined, unknown, or missing cause-of-death entries. Timeliness was determined using the time between the fetal death and filing of the fetal death certificate with the Wyoming Department of Health Vital Statistics Service. Assessment Wyoming surveillance detected none of the 76 out-of-state fetal deaths among Wyoming residents reported by the National Vital Statistics System. Among 263 fetal death certificates completed in Wyoming and collected by Wyoming surveillance, 108 (41%) contained ill-defined, unknown, or missing cause-of-death entries. Median duration between the fetal death and filing with the Wyoming Vital Statistics Service was 33 days. Conclusion Wyoming fetal mortality surveillance is limited by failure to register out-of-state fetal deaths among residents, poor quality of cause-of-death data, and lack of timeliness. Strategies to improve surveillance include automating interjurisdictional sharing of fetal death data, certifier education, and electronic fetal death registration.

Anx2 interacts with HIV-1 Gag at phosphatidylinositol (4,5) bisphosphate-containing lipid rafts and increases viral production in 293T cells.

The neuronal damage characteristic of HIV-1-mediated CNS diseases is inflicted by HIV-1 infected brain macrophages. Several steps of viral replication, including assembly and budding, differ between macrophages and T cells; it is likely that cell-specific host factors mediate these differences. We previously defined Annexin 2 (Anx2) as an HIV Gag binding partner in human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) that promotes proper viral assembly. Anx2, a calcium-dependent membrane-binding protein that can aggregate phospholipid-containing lipid rafts, is expressed to high levels in macrophages, but not in T lymphocytes or the 293T cell line. Here, we use bimolecular fluorescence complementation in the 293T cell model to demonstrate that Anx2 and HIV-1 Gag interact at the phosphatidylinositol (4,5) bisphosphate-containing lipid raft membrane domains at which Gag mediates viral assembly. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Anx2 expression in 293T cells increases Gag processing and HIV-1 production. These data provide new evidence that Anx2, by interacting with Gag at the membranes that support viral assembly, functions in the late stages of HIV-1 replication.

Annexin 2: a novel human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Gag binding protein involved in replication in monocyte-derived macrophages.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication in the major natural target cells, CD4+ T lymphocytes and macrophages, is parallel in many aspects of the virus life cycle. However, it differs as to viral assembly and budding, which take place on plasma membranes in T cells and on endosomal membranes in macrophages. It has been postulated that cell type-specific host factors may aid in directing viral assembly to distinct destinations. In this study we defined annexin 2 (Anx2) as a novel HIV Gag binding partner in macrophages. Anx2-Gag binding was confined to productively infected macrophages and was not detected in quiescently infected monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) in which an HIV replication block was mapped to the late stages of the viral life cycle (A. V. Albright, R. M. Vos, and F. Gonzalez-Scarano, Virology 325:328-339, 2004). We demonstrate that the Anx2-Gag interaction likely occurs at the limiting membranes of late endosomes/multivesicular bodies and that Anx2 depletion is associated with a significant decline in the infectivity of released virions; this coincided with incomplete Gag processing and inefficient incorporation of CD63. Cumulatively, our data suggest that Anx2 is essential for the proper assembly of HIV in MDM.

Nestin promoter/enhancer directs transgene expression to precursors of adult generated periglomerular neurons.

The subventricular zone (SVZ) is a major neurogenic region in the adult brain. Cells from the SVZ give rise to two populations of olfactory bulb interneurons: the granule cells and periglomerular (PG) cells. Currently, little is known about the signaling pathways that direct these newly generated neurons to become either granule or PG neurons. In the present study, we used the nestin promoter and enhancer to direct expression of the tetracycline transactivator (tTA). We generated two independent strains of nestin-tTA transgenic animals and crossed founder mice from both lines to mice containing a tetracycline-regulated transgene (mCREB) whose expression served as a marker for the activity of the nestin-tTA transgene. mCREB expression occurred in a subset of proliferating cells in the SVZ and rostral migratory stream in both lines. Surprisingly, in both lines of nestin-tTA mice transgene expression in the olfactory bulb was limited to PG neurons and was absent from granule cells, suggesting that this nestin promoter construct differentiates between the two interneuronal populations. Transgene expression occurred in several subtypes of PG neurons, including those expressing calretinin, calbindin, GAD67, and tyrosine hydroxylase. These results suggest that a unique subset of SVZ precursor cells gives rise to PG, and not granule cells. The ability to express different transgenes within this subpopulation of neuronal precursors provides a powerful system to define the signals regulating the differentiation and survival of adult-generated neurons in the olfactory bulb.