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This Week in PLOS: Mar 9, 2015

Using stool samples collected over time from dozens of premature infants, a team from Brigham and Women's Hospital and elsewhere uncovered gut microbiome patterns associated with necrotizing enterocolitis — either in the first few weeks of life or slightly later. As they report in PLOS One, the researchers did 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing on hundreds of samples from 12 premature infants with necrotizing enterocolitis and 26 age-matched controls. Gut microbiome dynamics differed in those with the inflammatory bowel disease, they note. But they also saw microbiome shifts that seemed to distinguish early- from late-onset necrotizing enterocolitis. GenomeWeb has more on the study, here.

A PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases study by researchers in Singapore considers proteomic profiles present in Aedes albopictus mosquito cells infected with the Chikungunya virus. The team used a combination of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry to track down nearly two dozen mosquito proteins that appear to undergo altered regulation in mosquito cells infected by the virus. The study's authors argue that their analysis "illustrates the importance of mosquito cellular factors in association with [Chikungunya virus] infection in mosquito cells and reveals an interesting portal for developing novel antiviral strategies in [Chikungunya virus] studies."

In PLOS Pathogens, a National Institutes of Health-led team took a look at the microbial communities found in the sub-gingival region of individuals with a condition called leukocyte adhesion deficiency, which increases the risk of oral disease and other infections. The researchers used 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing to identify members of sub-gingival microbiomes in five individuals with leukocyte adhesion deficiency who had also experienced moderate to severe periodontitis. Their results revealed distinct microbial communities in the leukocyte adhesion deficiency patients compared with both health individuals and individuals with periodontitis that was not linked to the leukocyte adhesion deficiency.

The Scan

Pfizer-BioNTech Seek Full Vaccine Approval

According to the New York Times, Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking full US Food and Drug Administration approval for their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Viral Integration Study Critiqued

Science writes that a paper reporting that SARS-CoV-2 can occasionally integrate into the host genome is drawing criticism.

Giraffe Species Debate

The Scientist reports that a new analysis aiming to end the discussion of how many giraffe species there are has only continued it.

Science Papers Examine Factors Shaping SARS-CoV-2 Spread, Give Insight Into Bacterial Evolution

In Science this week: genomic analysis points to role of human behavior in SARS-CoV-2 spread, and more.