Irga, P.J., Armstrong, B., King, W.L., Burchett, M. & Torpy, F.R. 2016, 'Correspondence Between Urban Bird Roosts and the Presence of Aerosolised Fungal Pathogens.', Mycopathologia, vol. 181, no. 9-10, pp. 689-699.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Habitat fragmentation in urban environments concentrates bird populations that have managed to adapt to these newly developed areas. Consequently, the roosts of these birds are potentially creating environments conducive to fungal growth and dissemination. Airborne fungi derived from these environments are relatively unstudied, as is the potential health risk arising from these fungi. This study documented the diversity of culturable airborne fungal propagules associated with forty urban bird roosts. Environmental variables from each site were recorded to allow us to analyse the correspondence between different bird species, the substrate they occupy and airborne fungal propagules. Associations were established between Rhodotorula and Pacific black ducks, wood ducks, myna birds and miner birds when in the presence of bare soil as a substrate. Further associations were established between Penicillium, Scopulariopsis and Cunninghamella and pigeons, sparrows and swallows living in areas with hard surfaces such as bitumen and rocks.
Labbate, M., Orata, F.D., Petty, N.K., Jayatilleke, N.D., King, W.L., Kirchberger, P.C., Allen, C., Mann, G., Mutreja, A., Thomson, N.R., Boucher, Y. & Charles, I.G. 2016, 'A genomic island in Vibrio cholerae with VPI-1 site-specific recombination characteristics contains CRISPR-Cas and type VI secretion modules.', Scientific Reports, vol. 6, pp. 1-7.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Cholera is a devastating diarrhoeal disease caused by certain strains of serogroup O1/O139 Vibrio cholerae. Mobile genetic elements such as genomic islands (GIs) have been pivotal in the evolution of O1/O139 V. cholerae. Perhaps the most important GI involved in cholera disease is the V. cholerae pathogenicity island 1 (VPI-1). This GI contains the toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP) gene cluster that is necessary for colonization of the human intestine as well as being the receptor for infection by the cholera-toxin bearing CTX phage. In this study, we report a GI (designated GIVchS12) from a non-O1/O139 strain of V. cholerae that is present in the same chromosomal location as VPI-1, contains an integrase gene with 94% nucleotide and 100% protein identity to the VPI-1 integrase, and attachment (att) sites 100% identical to those found in VPI-1. However, instead of TCP and the other accessory genes present in VPI-1, GIVchS12 contains a CRISPR-Cas element and a type VI secretion system (T6SS). GIs similar to GIVchS12 were identified in other V. cholerae genomes, also containing CRISPR-Cas elements and/or T6SS's. This study highlights the diversity of GIs circulating in natural V. cholerae populations and identifies GIs with VPI-1 recombination characteristics as a propagator of CRISPR-Cas and T6SS modules.