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Sample records for praomys mastomys natalensis

  1. The ecology of Praomys (Mastomys) natalensis in southern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Isaäcson, Margaretha

    1975-01-01

    The only non-human host of Lassa virus so far identified is the multimammate mouse, Praomys (Mastomys) natalensis, but its precise role in the natural Lassa fever cycle remains to be determined. This species is also an important link in the plague cycle in southern Africa and is one of the commonest rodents of Africa. It is a prolific breeder and can be kept and bred easily in captivity. It is thus an excellent laboratory animal, although it needs to be handled with care because it is aggressive towards man and bites readily. The current status of knowledge of its taxonomy, ecology, distribution, and role as a disease vector is reviewed, but attention is drawn to the possibly disastrous consequences of attempting to eradicate a vector species before the natural cycle of the disease and the ecology of the vector are fully understood. ImagesFig. 2 PMID:1085218

  2. Spontaneous diseases in a closed colony of Praomys (Mastomys) natalensis

    PubMed Central

    Snell, K. C.; Stewart, H. L.

    1975-01-01

    In comparison with other rodents, the mastomys is unique as regards the patterns of neoplastic and non-neoplastic diseases that it develops, some of which may constitute suitable animal models for corresponding diseases of man. Among the spontaneous diseases commonly encountered in necropsies of 600 mastomys maintained in a closed colony were: (1) degenerative joint disease of diarthroses and interventricular disks, which develops regularly in the second year of life; (2) renal disease, a type of immune-complex glomerulonephritis, affecting approximately 80% of mastomys in the age bracket 18-36 months; (3) thymomas and thymic hyperplasia affecting 30% of mastomys by the time they are 2 years old or older; (4) a combination of thymoma and polymyositis in a mastomys showing serum-globulin reactivity, presumably auto-antibody against striated muscle; (5) beginning before the age of 1 year, replacement of the normal cell population of the lymphoid tissues by plasma cells, and intense plasma cell infiltration at many other organ and tissue sites; (6) haematopoietic neoplasms, without leukaemic blood, in 10% of mastomys; and (7) histamine-producing argyrophilic carcinoid tumours of the glandular stomach in approximately 60% of old male and 30% of old female mastomys. Additionally, other neoplasms not infrequently encountered in mastomys rarely occur in other rodent species; conversely some neoplasms commonly found in other rodents, including especially tumours of the lung and mammary gland and leukaemia, are rare or absent in mastomys. PMID:1085220

  3. Mastomys natalensis and Lassa fever, West Africa.

    PubMed

    Lecompte, Emilie; Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth; Daffis, Stéphane; Koulémou, Kékoura; Sylla, Oumar; Kourouma, Fodé; Doré, Amadou; Soropogui, Barré; Aniskin, Vladimir; Allali, Bernard; Kouassi Kan, Stéphane; Lalis, Aude; Koivogui, Lamine; Günther, Stephan; Denys, Christiane; ter Meulen, Jan

    2006-12-01

    PCR screening of 1,482 murid rodents from 13 genera caught in 18 different localities of Guinea, West Africa, showed Lassa virus infection only in molecularly typed Mastomys natalensis. Distribution of this rodent and relative abundance compared with M. erythroleucus correlates geographically with Lassa virus seroprevalence in humans. PMID:17326956

  4. Mastomys natalensis and Lassa Fever, West Africa

    PubMed Central

    Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth; Daffis, Stéphane; Koulémou, Kékoura; Sylla, Oumar; Kourouma, Fodé; Doré, Amadou; Soropogui, Barré; Aniskin, Vladimir; Allali, Bernard; Kan, Stéphane Kouassi; Lalis, Aude; Koivogui, Lamine; Günther, Stephan; Denys, Christiane; ter Meulen, Jan

    2006-01-01

    PCR screening of 1,482 murid rodents from 13 genera caught in 18 different localities of Guinea, West Africa, showed Lassa virus infection only in molecularly typed Mastomys natalensis. Distribution of this rodent and relative abundance compared with M. erythroleucus correlates geographically with Lassa virus seroprevalence in humans. PMID:17326956

  5. Arenavirus Diversity and Phylogeography of Mastomys natalensis Rodents, Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    Obadare, Adeoba; Oyeyiola, Akinlabi; Igbokwe, Joseph; Fasogbon, Ayobami; Igbahenah, Felix; Ortsega, Daniel; Asogun, Danny; Umeh, Prince; Vakkai, Innocent; Abejegah, Chukwuyem; Pahlman, Meike; Becker-Ziaja, Beate; Günther, Stephan; Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth

    2016-01-01

    Mastomys natalensis rodents are natural hosts for Lassa virus (LASV). Detection of LASV in 2 mitochondrial phylogroups of the rodent near the Niger and Benue Rivers in Nigeria underlines the potential for LASV emergence in fresh phylogroups of this rodent. A Mobala-like sequence was also detected in eastern Nigeria. PMID:26982388

  6. Chemotherapeutic studies on Litomosoides carinii infection of Mastomys natalensis*

    PubMed Central

    Lämmler, Georg; Herzog, Heike; Saupe, Eberhard; Schütze, Hans Rudolf

    1971-01-01

    The antifilarial action of 2-[2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-6-benzimidazolyl]-6-(1-methyl-4-piperazyl) benzimidazole (HOE 33258) was investigated in Mastomys natalensis infected with Litomosoides carinii. The subcutaneous administration of HOE 33258 in a single daily dose for 5 consecutive days, or at other intervals, produced, depending on the dosage, a rapid reduction in the number of microfilariae in the circulating blood. The reduction amounted to more than 90% within 7-14 days after the treatment was started or at the end of the dosage schedule. The small, slow increase in the microfilarial count during a period of 6-7 weeks after treatment ended reached not more than half the number present before treatment. HOE 33258 showed marked activity on the reproductive system of mature female worms, although only few macrofilariae were killed by the drug. The results also demonstrated the usefulness of L. carinii infection of M. natalensis as a model for the evaluation of the filaricidal activity of drugs. PMID:5317445

  7. Laboratory test of seven rodenticides for the control of Mastomys natalensis.

    PubMed

    Gill, J E; Redfern, R

    1979-10-01

    Laboratory feeding tests were carried out to assess the efficacy of seven rodenticides against Mastomys natalensis. The poisons (warfarin, coumatetralyl, difenacoum, brodifacoum, bromadiolone, calciferol and zinc phosphide) were all toxic at the concentrations normally used against Rattus norvegicus (Berk.), although several were unpalatable. Trials are now needed to demonstrate the relative efficacy of these poisons in the field, but it is likely that, given suitable bait formulations, they would all be useful as practical control agents. PMID:489963

  8. Laboratory test of seven rodenticides for the control of Mastomys natalensis.

    PubMed Central

    Gill, J. E.; Redfern, R.

    1979-01-01

    Laboratory feeding tests were carried out to assess the efficacy of seven rodenticides against Mastomys natalensis. The poisons (warfarin, coumatetralyl, difenacoum, brodifacoum, bromadiolone, calciferol and zinc phosphide) were all toxic at the concentrations normally used against Rattus norvegicus (Berk.), although several were unpalatable. Trials are now needed to demonstrate the relative efficacy of these poisons in the field, but it is likely that, given suitable bait formulations, they would all be useful as practical control agents. PMID:489963

  9. Host evolution in Mastomys natalensis (Rodentia: Muridae): An integrative approach using geometric morphometrics and genetics.

    PubMed

    Lalis, Aude; Evin, Allowen; Janier, Marc; Koivogui, Lamine; Denys, Christiane

    2015-11-01

    The commensal rodent Mastomys natalensis is the natural reservoir of Lassa arenavirus (LASV), which causes hemorrhagic fever in West Africa. To study a possible effect of the virus on phenotypic and genotypic variation of its persistently infected host, we compared LASV-positive and non-infected wild-caught M. natalensis. The LASV effects on the phenotypic variation were explored using standard external morphometric measurements, geometric morphometric analyses of the cranial size and shape, and brain case volume. The genetic variability of M. natalensis specimens was assessed using 9 polymorphic microsatellite markers. Independent of sex and age, LASV-infected animals had smaller external body measurements, reproductive organs, skull size and brain case volume. Cranial shape differences between the 2 groups are represented by a lateral constriction of the entire skull. The genetic variability revealed consanguinity only among the LASV-positive rodents. We hypothesize that growth impairment may result in a selective disadvantage for LASV-infected M. natalensis, leading to a preferably commensal lifestyle in areas where the LAVS is endemic and, thereby, increasing the risk of LASV transmission to humans. PMID:26331855

  10. Transcriptome analysis of Mastomys natalensis papillomavirus in productive lesions after natural infection.

    PubMed

    Salvermoser, Melanie; Chotewutmontri, Sasithorn; Braspenning-Wesch, Ilona; Hasche, Daniel; Rösl, Frank; Vinzón, Sabrina E

    2016-07-01

    Mastomys coucha, an African rodent, is a useful animal model of papillomavirus infection, as it develops both premalignant and malignant skin tumors as a consequence of a persistent infection with Mastomys natalensis papillomavirus (MnPV). In this study, we mapped the MnPV transcriptome in productive lesions by both classical molecular techniques and high-throughput RNA sequencing. Combination of these methods revealed a complex and comprehensive transcription map, with novel splicing events not described in other papillomaviruses. Furthermore, these splicing occurrences could potentially lead to the expression of novel E2, E1∧E4, E7 and L2 isoforms. Expression level estimation of each transcript showed that late-region mRNAs considerably outnumber early transcripts, with species coding for L1 and E1∧E4 being the most abundant. In summary, the full transcription map assembled in this study will allow us to further understand MnPV gene expression and the mechanisms that lead to natural tumour development. PMID:27043420

  11. Trichuris spp. (Nematoda: Trichuridae) from two rodents, Mastomys natalensis and Gerbilliscus vicinus in Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Ribas, Alexis; López, Sergi; Makundi, Rhodes H; Leirs, Herwig; de Bellocq, Joëlle Goüy

    2013-10-01

    During a survey of the helminth community of several rodent species in the Morogoro region (Tanzania), Trichuris whipworms (Nematoda: Trichuridae) were found in the ceca of the Natal multimammate mouse, Mastomys natalensis and a gerbil, Gerbilliscus vicinus (both Rodentia: Muridae). The taxonomic literature regarding Trichuris from African native rodents describes 10 species, but includes few metric and morphologic characters that discriminate between some of the pairs. The whipworms we sampled in Tanzanian Natal multimammate mice and gerbils were morphologically identified, respectively, as Trichuris mastomysi Verster, 1960 and Trichuris carlieri Gedoelst, 1916 sensu lato, but with characters that overlap or partially overlap with the cosmopolitan Murinae whipworm, Trichuris muris , already reported from several rodents in Africa. To clarify our identification, we sequenced the ITS-1, 5.8S, and ITS-2 ribosomal DNA region of the worms' nuclear genome. The genetic analyses clearly distinguish the whipworms we found in M. natalensis from those found in the gerbil, and both of these from T. muris whipworm reference sequences. The overlap of morphological characters between rodent whipworms suggests that reports of T. muris from rodent species not closely related to Murinae in other parts of Africa should be treated with caution. PMID:23560615

  12. Comparative pathogenicity of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense strains in Swiss white mice and Mastomys natalensis rats.

    PubMed

    Muchiri, Margaret Wanjiku; Ndung'u, Kariuki; Kibugu, James Karuku; Thuita, John Kibuthu; Gitonga, Purity Kaari; Ngae, Geoffrey Njuguna; Mdachi, Raymond Ellie; Kagira, John Maina

    2015-10-01

    We evaluated Mastomys natelensis rat as an animal model for Rhodesian sleeping sickness. Parasitaemia, clinical and pathological characteristics induced by T. b. rhodesiense isolates, KETRI 3439, 3622 and 3637 were compared in Mastomys rats and Swiss white mice. Each isolate was intra-peritonially injected in mice and rat groups (n=12) at 1×10(4) trypanosomes/0.2mL. Pre-patent period (PP) range for KETRI 3439 and KETRI 3622-groups was 3-6 days for mice and 4-5 days for rats while for KETRI 3637-infected mice and rats was 5-9 and 4-12 days, respectively. Pairwise comparison between PP of mice and rats separately infected with either isolate showed no significant difference (p>0.05). The PP's of KETRI 3637-infected mice were significantly (p>0.01) longer than those infected with KETRI 3439 or KETRI 3622, a trend also observed in rats. The second parasitaemic wave was more prominent in mice. Clinical signs included body weakness, dyspnoea, peri-orbital oedema and extreme emaciation which were more common in rats. Survival time for KETRI 3439 and 3622-infected groups was significantly (p<0.05) longer in mice than rats but similar in KETRI 3637-infected groups. Inflammatory lesions were more severe in rats than mice. All mice and KETRI 3622-infected rats had splenomegaly, organ congestion with rats additionally showing prominent lymphadenopathy. KETRI 3439-infected rats showed hemorrhagic pneumonia, enteritis with moderate splenomegaly and lymphadenopathy. KETRI 3637-infected rats had the most severe lesions characterized by prominent splenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, hepatomegaly, enlarged adrenal glands, organ congestion, generalized oedemas, gastroenteritis, pneumonia and brain congestion. KETRI 3637-infected Mastomys is a suitable model for studying pathophysiology of HAT. PMID:26099681

  13. Chemotherapeutic studies on Litomosoides carinii infection of Mastomys natalensis. 8. The action of furazolidone on adult worms and microfilariae.

    PubMed

    Wegerhof, P H; Lämmler, G; Sänger, I; Zahner, H

    1979-09-01

    After oral administration of furazolidone in doses of 5 x 50 mg/kg and 1 x 100 mg/kg body weight to Litomosoides carinii--infected Mastomys natalensis microfilaraemia decreased continuously and was reduced by more than 98% 42 days after start of treatment. After the 5-day treatment all adult female and male worms were found dead and encapsulated within 2 weeks, whereas after the single dose 100% of the female parasites were encapsulated 28 days after treatment. In untreated animals quantiative examinations of the intrauterine stages showed an average number of 500 x 103 embryos per adult female worm. Following the 5-day treatment the number of embryos per female parasite was reduced after 42 days to 12.5 x 103, and after the single treatment to 26.9 x 103. By classification into 5 different stages (2- and 4-cell stages, Morula stage, "Horse-shoe" stage, "Ring" and "Brezel" stages, and intruterine microfilariae) an embryogram showed a continuous increase in pathologically-altered embryos during the whole observation period. The 2- and 4-cell stages suffered the most damaged. By 16 days after the end of the 5-day treatment and by 28 days after the single treatment all embryonic stages in the uteri were found to be pathologically altered. Furazolidone possessess high macrofilaricidal activity together with a considerable adverse effect on embryognesis and some delayed effect on microfilaraemia. PMID:543002

  14. Increased Incidence of Squamous Cell Carcinomas in Mastomys natalensis Papillomavirus E6 Transgenic Mice during Two-Stage Skin Carcinogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Helfrich, Iris; Chen, Min; Schmidt, Rainer; Fürstenberger, Gerhard; Kopp-Schneider, Annette; Trick, David; Gröne, Hermann-Josef; zur Hausen, Harald; Rösl, Frank

    2004-01-01

    Papillomaviruses cause certain forms of human cancers, most notably carcinomas of the uterine cervix. In contrast to the well-established involvement of papillomavirus infection in the etiology of cervical carcinomas and in carcinomas of a rare hereditary condition, epidermodysplasia verruciformis, a causative role for cutaneous human papillomavirus types in the development of nonmelanoma skin cancer has not been proven. In order to better understand the functions of individual genes of cutaneous papillomavirus types, we generated transgenic mice carrying oncogene E6 of the Mastomys natalensis papillomavirus (MnPV), which causes keratoacanthomas of the skin in its natural host. In the present study, we demonstrate that under conditions of experimental two-stage skin carcinogenesis, fast-paced squamous cell carcinomas develop in nearly 100% of MnPV E6 transgenic mice in comparison to 10% in their nontransgenic littermates (log rank test; P < 0.0001). Therefore, we conclude that the MnPV E6 transgene favors the malignant progression of chemically induced tumors. Whereas an activating H-ras mutation is a consistent feature in benign and malignant tumors in wild-type mice, the majority of papillomas and keratoacanthomas and all squamous cell carcinomas obtained in MnPV E6 transgenic mice contain nonmutated ras alleles. These results indicate that the development of squamous cell carcinomas in MnPV E6 transgenic mice does not depend on an activated H-ras oncogene. PMID:15078961

  15. The Impact of Human Conflict on the Genetics of Mastomys natalensis and Lassa Virus in West Africa

    PubMed Central

    Denys, Christiane; ter Meulen, Jan; Wirth, Thierry

    2012-01-01

    Environmental changes have been shown to play an important role in the emergence of new human diseases of zoonotic origin. The contribution of social factors to their spread, especially conflicts followed by mass movement of populations, has not been extensively investigated. Here we reveal the effects of civil war on the phylogeography of a zoonotic emerging infectious disease by concomitantly studying the population structure, evolution and demography of Lassa virus and its natural reservoir, the rodent Mastomys natalensis, in Guinea, West Africa. Analysis of nucleoprotein gene sequences enabled us to reconstruct the evolutionary history of Lassa virus, which appeared 750 to 900 years ago in Nigeria and only recently spread across western Africa (170 years ago). Bayesian demographic inferences revealed that both the host and the virus populations have gone recently through severe genetic bottlenecks. The timing of these events matches civil war-related mass movements of refugees and accompanying environmental degradation. Forest and habitat destruction and human predation of the natural reservoir are likely explanations for the sharp decline observed in the rodent populations, the consequent virus population decline, and the coincident increased incidence of Lassa fever in these regions. Interestingly, we were also able to detect a similar pattern in Nigeria coinciding with the Biafra war. Our findings show that anthropogenic factors may profoundly impact the population genetics of a virus and its reservoir within the context of an emerging infectious disease. PMID:22615894

  16. The impact of human conflict on the genetics of Mastomys natalensis and Lassa virus in West Africa.

    PubMed

    Lalis, Aude; Leblois, Raphaël; Lecompte, Emilie; Denys, Christiane; Ter Meulen, Jan; Wirth, Thierry

    2012-01-01

    Environmental changes have been shown to play an important role in the emergence of new human diseases of zoonotic origin. The contribution of social factors to their spread, especially conflicts followed by mass movement of populations, has not been extensively investigated. Here we reveal the effects of civil war on the phylogeography of a zoonotic emerging infectious disease by concomitantly studying the population structure, evolution and demography of Lassa virus and its natural reservoir, the rodent Mastomys natalensis, in Guinea, West Africa. Analysis of nucleoprotein gene sequences enabled us to reconstruct the evolutionary history of Lassa virus, which appeared 750 to 900 years ago in Nigeria and only recently spread across western Africa (170 years ago). Bayesian demographic inferences revealed that both the host and the virus populations have gone recently through severe genetic bottlenecks. The timing of these events matches civil war-related mass movements of refugees and accompanying environmental degradation. Forest and habitat destruction and human predation of the natural reservoir are likely explanations for the sharp decline observed in the rodent populations, the consequent virus population decline, and the coincident increased incidence of Lassa fever in these regions. Interestingly, we were also able to detect a similar pattern in Nigeria coinciding with the Biafra war. Our findings show that anthropogenic factors may profoundly impact the population genetics of a virus and its reservoir within the context of an emerging infectious disease. PMID:22615894

  17. Immune responses of two Mastomys sibling species to Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed Central

    Arntzen, L; Wadee, A A; Isaäcson, M

    1991-01-01

    This study assessed the in vitro cell-mediated immune responses of Mastomys natalensis, with a diploid chromosome number of 2n = 32, and Mastomys coucha, with a diploid chromosome number of 2n = 36, to Yersinia pestis. Splenic mononuclear (MN) cells of uninfected M. natalensis proliferated in response to crude fraction 1 of Y. pestis and two subfractions derived from fraction 1 in vitro. Proliferation was dose dependent and followed the time kinetics of other well-known mitogens. Further characterization of the two fractions revealed similar protein profiles in sodium dodecyl sulfide-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and indicated a heat-stable protein of 25 kDa responsible for the mitogenic activity. No such response was observed with MN cells from M. coucha. The unresponsiveness of M. coucha-derived MN cells appears to be related to an inability to respond to Y. pestis organisms. The results may help explain the relative resistance and susceptibility of M. natalensis and M. coucha to Y. pestis infection. Images PMID:2037358

  18. Care of Mastomys in the laboratory.

    PubMed

    Scholz, Jodi; Wilson, Steven

    2016-05-20

    Mastomys rodents occupy a valuable niche in biomedical research, but there is very little published information regarding how to care for them in the laboratory. Here we provide information about the physical and behavioral characteristics of this unusual laboratory rodent, its taxonomic history, common diseases that affect it, and its use in research. We also provide housing recommendations based upon almost 15 years of experience successfully maintaining a colony of Mastomys coucha at our institution. PMID:27203263

  19. Antimicrobial activity of the solvent fractions from Bulbine natalensis Tuber.

    PubMed

    Yakubu, M T; Mostafa, M; Ashafa, A O T; Afolayan, A J

    2012-01-01

    Bulbine natalensis Baker has been acclaimed to be used as an antimicrobial agent in the folklore medicine of South Africa without scientific evidence to substantiate or refute this claim. In view of this, the in vitro antimicrobial activity of solvent fractions (ethanol, ethyl acetate, n-butanol and water) from Bulbine natalensis Tuber against 4 Gram positive and 12 Gram negative bacteria as well as 3 fungal species were investigated using agar dilution. The ethanolic extract, n-butanol and ethyl acetate fractions inhibited 75, 87.5 and 100% respectively of the bacterial species in this study. The ethanolic, n-butanol and ethyl acetate fractions produced growth inhibition at MIC range of 1-10, 3-10 as well as 1 and 5 mg/ml respectively whereas the water fraction did not inhibit the growth of any of the bacterial species. Again, it was only the ethyl acetate fraction that inhibited the growth of Shigelli flexneri, Staphyloccus aureus and Escherichia coli. The ethanolic, ethyl acetate and n-butanolic fractions dose dependently inhibited the growth of Aspergillus niger and A. flavus whereas the water fraction produced 100% growth inhibition of the Aspergillus species at all the doses investigated. In contrast, no growth inhibition was produced on Candida albicans. The growth inhibition produced by the solvent fractions of B. natalensis Tuber in this study thus justifies the acclaimed use of the plant as an antimicrobial agent. The ethyl acetate fraction was the most potent. PMID:23983381

  20. Establishment of an Immortalized Skin Keratinocyte Cell Line Derived from the Animal Model Mastomys coucha

    PubMed Central

    Hasche, Daniel; Stephan, Sonja; Savelyeva, Larissa; Westermann, Frank; Rösl, Frank

    2016-01-01

    In the present report we describe the establishment of a spontaneous immortalized skin keratinocyte cell line derived from the skin of the multimammate rodent Mastomys coucha. These animals are used in preclinical studies for a variety of human diseases such as infections with nematodes, bacteria and papillomaviruses, especially regarding cutaneous manifestations such as non-melanoma skin cancer. Here we characterize the cells in terms of their origin and cytogenetic features. Searching for genomic signatures, a spontaneous mutation in the splicing donor sequence of Trp53 (G to A transition at the first position of intron 7) could be detected. This point mutation leads to alternative splicing and to a premature stop codon, resulting in a truncated and, in turn, undetectable form of p53, probably contributing to the process of immortalization. Mastomys coucha-derived skin keratinocytes can be used as an in vitro system to investigate molecular and immunological aspects of infectious agent interactions with their host cells. PMID:27533138

  1. Establishment of an Immortalized Skin Keratinocyte Cell Line Derived from the Animal Model Mastomys coucha.

    PubMed

    Hasche, Daniel; Stephan, Sonja; Savelyeva, Larissa; Westermann, Frank; Rösl, Frank; Vinzón, Sabrina E

    2016-01-01

    In the present report we describe the establishment of a spontaneous immortalized skin keratinocyte cell line derived from the skin of the multimammate rodent Mastomys coucha. These animals are used in preclinical studies for a variety of human diseases such as infections with nematodes, bacteria and papillomaviruses, especially regarding cutaneous manifestations such as non-melanoma skin cancer. Here we characterize the cells in terms of their origin and cytogenetic features. Searching for genomic signatures, a spontaneous mutation in the splicing donor sequence of Trp53 (G to A transition at the first position of intron 7) could be detected. This point mutation leads to alternative splicing and to a premature stop codon, resulting in a truncated and, in turn, undetectable form of p53, probably contributing to the process of immortalization. Mastomys coucha-derived skin keratinocytes can be used as an in vitro system to investigate molecular and immunological aspects of infectious agent interactions with their host cells. PMID:27533138

  2. Activity of Redox Enzymes in the Thallus of Anthoceros natalensis.

    PubMed

    Chasov, A V; Beckett, R P; Minibayeva, F V

    2015-09-01

    Anthocerotophyta (hornworts) belong to a group of ancient nonvascular plants and originate from a common ancestor with contemporary vascular plants. Hornworts represent a unique model for investigating mechanisms of formation of stress resistance in higher plants due to their high tolerance to the action of adverse environmental factors. In this work, we demonstrate that the thallus of Anthoceros natalensis exhibits high redox activity changing under stress. Dehydration of the thallus is accompanied by the decrease in activities of intracellular peroxidases, DOPA-peroxidases, and tyrosinases, while catalase activity increases. Subsequent rehydration results in the increase in peroxidase and catalase activities. Kinetic features of peroxidases and tyrosinases were characterized as well as the peroxidase isoenzyme composition of different fractions of the hornwort cell wall proteins. It was shown that the hornwort peroxidases are functionally similar to peroxidases of higher vascular plants including their ability to form superoxide anion-radical. The biochemical mechanism was elucidated, supporting the possible participation of peroxidases in the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) via substrate-substrate interactions in the hornwort thallus. It has been suggested that the ROS formation by peroxidases is an evolutionarily ancient process that emerged as a protective mechanism for enhancing adaptive responses of higher land plants and their adaptation to changing environmental conditions and successful colonization of various ecological niches. PMID:26555468

  3. Susceptibility of two-week old Lymnaea natalensis to some plant extracts.

    PubMed

    Kela, S L; Ogunsusi, R A; Ogbogu, V C; Nwude, N

    1989-01-01

    The molluscacidal potency of 17 Nigerian plants extracted by the unevaporated crude water (UECW) method was evaluated on two-week old Lymnaea natalensis Krauss. Five extracts were not active but extracts of Balanites aegytiaca, Blighia sapida, Boswellia dalzielii, Cissampelos mucronata, Detarium microcarpum, Kigelia africana, Opilia celtidifolia, Parkia clappertoniana, Polygonum limbatum, Pseudocedrela kotschyi, Nauclea latifolia and Securidaca longipedunculata were molluscacidal. There is potential for their future use in the integrated control of Lymnaea natalensis, as well as other snails. Mortality data for lethal concentration values for all extracts were analysed by use of probit transformation. The upper and lower fiducial limits of the LC50 (P = 0.05) were also determined. PMID:2626571

  4. Effect of aqueous extract of Bulbine natalensis (Baker) stem on the sexual behaviour of male rats.

    PubMed

    Yakubu, M T; Afolayan, A J

    2009-12-01

    The phytochemical constituents of aqueous extract of Bulbine natalensis (Baker) stem and its effect on male rat sexual behaviour were evaluated for 7 days. Phytochemical screening revealed the presence of saponins, cardiac glycoside, tannins, alkaloids and anthraquinones. Administration of the extract at the doses of 25 and 50 mg/kg body weight resulted in the significant increase (p < 0.05) in mount frequency, intromission frequency, ejaculatory latency, ejaculation frequency, serum testosterone and luteinizing hormone concentrations, computed indices of sexual behaviour, erection, quick flips, long flips and total penile reflexes whereas the mount latency, intromission latency and post-ejaculatory interval were significantly decreased (p < 0.05) throughout the experimental period. The 100 mg/kg body weight of the extract produced contrasting pattern to the lower doses of the extract in all the parameters of sexual behaviour monitored throughout the experimental period. The results are indicative of prosexual stimulatory potentials of Bulbine natalensis in male rats. The aqueous extract of Bulbine natalensis stem at these doses (25 and 50 mg/kg body weight) may be used in the management of disorders of desire/libido, premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction in males. PMID:18710410

  5. Comparative toxicity of Paraquat herbicide and some plant extracts in Lymnaea natalensis snails.

    PubMed

    Bakry, Fayez A; Eleiwa, Mona E; Taha, Samir A; Ismil, Somya M

    2016-01-01

    Paraquat has been shown to be a highly toxic compound for humans and animals, and many cases of acute poisoning and death have been reported over the past few decades. The present study was undertaken to evaluate comprehensively herbicides (Paraquat) and some plant extracts to biochemical aspects of Lymnaea natalensis snails. It was found that the exposure of L. natalensis to Paraquat and plant extracts led to a significant reduction in the infectivity of Fasciola gigantica miracidia to the snail. The glucose level in hemolymph of exposed snails was elevated, while the glycogen showed a decrease in soft tissues when compared with the control group. In addition, the activity level of some enzymes representing glycolytic enzymes as hexokinase (HK), pyruvate kinase (PK), phosphofructokinase (PFK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and glucose phosphate isomerase (GPI) in snail's tissues were reduced in response to the treatment. It was concluded that the pollution of the aquatic environment by herbicide would adversely affect the metabolism of the L. natalensis snails. Snails treated with Agave attenuate, Ammi visnaga, and Canna iridiflora plant had less toxic effect compared to snails treated with Paraquat. PMID:24081640

  6. Reflecting optics in the diverticular eye of a deep-sea barreleye fish (Rhynchohyalus natalensis)

    PubMed Central

    Partridge, J. C.; Douglas, R. H.; Marshall, N. J.; Chung, W.-S.; Jordan, T. M.; Wagner, H.-J.

    2014-01-01

    We describe the bi-directed eyes of a mesopelagic teleost fish, Rhynchohyalus natalensis, that possesses an extensive lateral diverticulum to each tubular eye. Each diverticulum contains a mirror that focuses light from the ventro-lateral visual field. This species can thereby visualize both downwelling sunlight and bioluminescence over a wide field of view. Modelling shows that the mirror is very likely to be capable of producing a bright, well focused image. After Dolichopteryx longipes, this is only the second description of an eye in a vertebrate having both reflective and refractive optics. Although superficially similar, the optics of the diverticular eyes of these two species of fish differ in some important respects. Firstly, the reflective crystals in the D. longipes mirror are derived from a tapetum within the retinal pigment epithelium, whereas in R. natalensis they develop from the choroidal argentea. Secondly, in D. longipes the angle of the reflective crystals varies depending on their position within the mirror, forming a Fresnel-type reflector, but in R. natalensis the crystals are orientated almost parallel to the mirror's surface and image formation is dependent on the gross morphology of the diverticular mirror. Two remarkably different developmental solutions have thus evolved in these two closely related species of opisthoproctid teleosts to extend the restricted visual field of a tubular eye and provide a well-focused image with reflective optics. PMID:24648222

  7. Reflecting optics in the diverticular eye of a deep-sea barreleye fish (Rhynchohyalus natalensis).

    PubMed

    Partridge, J C; Douglas, R H; Marshall, N J; Chung, W-S; Jordan, T M; Wagner, H-J

    2014-05-01

    We describe the bi-directed eyes of a mesopelagic teleost fish, Rhynchohyalus natalensis, that possesses an extensive lateral diverticulum to each tubular eye. Each diverticulum contains a mirror that focuses light from the ventro-lateral visual field. This species can thereby visualize both downwelling sunlight and bioluminescence over a wide field of view. Modelling shows that the mirror is very likely to be capable of producing a bright, well focused image. After Dolichopteryx longipes, this is only the second description of an eye in a vertebrate having both reflective and refractive optics. Although superficially similar, the optics of the diverticular eyes of these two species of fish differ in some important respects. Firstly, the reflective crystals in the D. longipes mirror are derived from a tapetum within the retinal pigment epithelium, whereas in R. natalensis they develop from the choroidal argentea. Secondly, in D. longipes the angle of the reflective crystals varies depending on their position within the mirror, forming a Fresnel-type reflector, but in R. natalensis the crystals are orientated almost parallel to the mirror's surface and image formation is dependent on the gross morphology of the diverticular mirror. Two remarkably different developmental solutions have thus evolved in these two closely related species of opisthoproctid teleosts to extend the restricted visual field of a tubular eye and provide a well-focused image with reflective optics. PMID:24648222

  8. Evaluation of an Experimental Gel Containing Euclea natalensis: An In Vitro Study

    PubMed Central

    Sales-Peres, Sílvia Helena de Carvalho; Brianezzi, Letícia Ferreira de Freitas; Marsicano, Juliane Avansini; Forim, Moacir Rossi; da Silva, Maria Fatima das Graças Fernandes; Sales-Peres, Arsenio

    2012-01-01

    Objective. To evaluate the effect of an experimental gel containing Euclea natalensis extract on dentin permeability. Methods. Thirty-six dentin discs, 1-mm-thick. The discs were prepared from the coronal dentin of extracted human third molars that were divided into 3 groups (n = 10). The dentin discs in each group were treated with the groups following experimental materials: (FG): 1.23% fluoride gel, pH 4.1; (EG): Euclea natalensis extract gel, pH 4.1; (CG): control gel, pH 4.1. The gels were applied to the occlusal slide of the dentin under the following conditions: after 37% phosphoric acid and before 6% citric acid. The hydraulic conductance (HC) of each condition was determined four times using a fluid flow apparatus (Flodec). The data were analyzed using Two-way ANOVA and Tukey's test (P < 0.05). Results. The greatest mean reduction in HC was produced in group EG dentin discs (61.2%; P < 0.05). Even after acid challenge with 6% citric acid the great reduction occurred in group EG (66.0%; P < 0.05) than other groups (CG-77.1%, FG-90.8%). Conclusion. E. natalensis gel not only reduced dentin permeability, but also resisted posttreatment citric acid challenge without changing its permeability. Further research has to confirm this promising result in the clinical situation. PMID:23243432

  9. Erosion and abrasion-inhibiting in situ effect of the Euclea natalensis plant of African regions.

    PubMed

    Sales-Peres, Silvia Helena de Carvalho; Xavier, Cheila Nilza Hamina; Mapengo, Marta Artemisa Abel; Forim, Moacir Rossi; Silva, Maria de Fatima; Sales-Peres, Arsenio

    2016-06-14

    This study evaluated the effect of Euclea natalensis gel on the reduction of erosive wear with or without abrasion, in enamel and dentin. During two five-day experimental crossover phases, volunteers (n = 10) wore palatal devices containing human enamel and dentin blocks (E = 8 and D = 8). The gel was applied in a thin layer in the experimental group, and was not applied in the control group. In the intraoral phase, volunteers used the palatal appliance for 12 h before the gel treatment, and were instructed to start the erosive challenges 6 h after the gel application. Erosion was performed with Coca-Cola® (for 5 min) 4 times/day. The appliance was then put back into the mouth and was brushed after 30 minutes. After intraoral exposure, the appliances were removed and the specimens were analyzed using profilometry (mean ± SD, μm). The Euclea natalensis gel caused less wear in enamel in the experimental group (EROS = 12.86 ± 1.75 µm; EROS + ABRAS = 12.13 ± 2.12 µm) than in the control group (EROS = 14.12 ± 7.66 µm; EROS + ABRAS = 16.29 ± 10.72 µm); however, the groups did not differ from each other significantly. A statistically significant value was found for erosion and eros + abrasion in dentin (p = 0.001). Euclea natalensis may play a role in the prevention of dentin loss under mild erosive and abrasive conditions. A clinical trial is required to confirm these promising results in a clinical situation. PMID:27305512

  10. Setaria digitata microfilaraemia in Mastomys coucha: an animal model for chemotherapeutic and immunobiological studies.

    PubMed

    Mukhopadhyay, S; Dash, A P; Ravindran, B

    1996-10-01

    Intraperitoneal implantation of adult gravid females of the bovine filarial parasite, Setaria digitata in Mastomys coucha was found to induce microfilaraemia lasting for about 125 days. The microfilariae (mf) could be detected as early as 4 days post-implantation (p.i.) and peak levels of about 30 mf in 20 microliters of blood were observed by 21 days. A significant positive correlation was found between mf density and the body weight of recipients pre-implantation. The implanted adult worms were generally viable only for less than 1 week. Implantation resulted in a significant decrease in total leucocytes and erythrocytes, induction of eosinophilia, splenomegaly and anti-erythrocyte autoantibodies. The microfilariae in circulation developed into 3rd-stage infective larvae (L3) when fed onto Aedes aegypti (refm, Liverpool strain). The mf in circulation were found to be eliminated by oral administration of diethylcarbamazine citrate, indicating the usefulness of this model for screening potential anti-microfilarial drugs. During the microfilaraemic phase, priming with tetanus toxoid (TT) resulted in significantly decreased production of anti-toxin levels indicating a state of generalized immunosuppression. Induction of antibodies to various fractionated antigenic components of adult parasites could be demonstrated by enzyme immunoassay (EIA) in M. coucha implanted with live or cold-stunned adult worms. The S. digitata-M. coucha model thus is found amenable to perform chemotherapeutic and immunobiological investigations in experimental filariasis. PMID:8873474

  11. Streptomyces natalensis programmed cell death and morphological differentiation are dependent on oxidative stress

    PubMed Central

    Beites, Tiago; Oliveira, Paulo; Rioseras, Beatriz; Pires, Sílvia D. S.; Oliveira, Rute; Tamagnini, Paula; Moradas-Ferreira, Pedro; Manteca, Ángel; Mendes, Marta V.

    2015-01-01

    Streptomyces are aerobic Gram-positive bacteria characterized by a complex life cycle that includes hyphae differentiation and spore formation. Morphological differentiation is triggered by stressful conditions and takes place in a pro-oxidant environment, which sets the basis for an involvement of the oxidative stress response in this cellular process. Characterization of the phenotypic traits of Streptomyces natalensis ΔkatA1 (mono-functional catalase) and ΔcatR (Fur-like repressor of katA1 expression) strains in solid medium revealed that both mutants had an impaired morphological development process. The sub-lethal oxidative stress caused by the absence of KatA1 resulted in the formation of a highly proliferative and undifferentiated vegetative mycelium, whereas de-repression of CatR regulon, from which KatA1 is the only known representative, resulted in the formation of scarce aerial mycelium. Both mutant strains had the transcription of genes associated with aerial mycelium formation and biosynthesis of the hyphae hydrophobic layer down-regulated. The first round of the programmed cell death (PCD) was inhibited in both strains which caused the prevalence of the transient primary mycelium (MI) over secondary mycelium (MII). Our data shows that the first round of PCD and morphological differentiation in S. natalensis is dependent on oxidative stress in the right amount at the right time. PMID:26256439

  12. Variable effects of host characteristics on species richness of flea infracommunities in rodents from three continents.

    PubMed

    Kiffner, Christian; Stanko, Michal; Morand, Serge; Khokhlova, Irina S; Shenbrot, Georgy I; Laudisoit, Anne; Leirs, Herwig; Hawlena, Hadas; Krasnov, Boris R

    2014-08-01

    We studied the effect of host gender and body mass on species richness of flea infracommunities in nine rodent host species from three biomes (temperate zone of central Europe, desert of the Middle East and the tropics of East Africa). Using season- and species-specific generalized linear mixed models and controlling for year-to-year variation, spatial clustering of rodent sampling and over-dispersion of the data, we found inconsistent associations between host characteristics and flea species richness. We found strong support for male-biased flea parasitism, especially during the reproductive period (higher species richness in male hosts than in females) in all considered European rodents (Apodemus agrarius, Myodes glareolus and Microtus arvalis) and in one rodent species from the Middle East (Dipodillus dasyurus). In contrast, two of three African rodent species (Lophuromys kilonzoi and Praomys delectorum) demonstrated a trend of female-biased flea species richness. Positive associations between body mass and the number of flea species were detected mainly in males (five of nine species: A. agrarius, M. glareolus, M. arvalis, D. dasyurus and Mastomys natalensis) and not in females (except for M. natalensis). The results of this study support earlier reports that gender-biased, in general, and male-biased, in particular, infestation by ectoparasites is not a universal rule. This suggests that mechanisms of parasite acquisition by an individual host are species-specific and have evolved independently in different rodent host-flea systems. PMID:24820040

  13. Crosstalk between ROS Homeostasis and Secondary Metabolism in S. natalensis ATCC 27448: Modulation of Pimaricin Production by Intracellular ROS

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Catarina L.; Osório, Hugo; Moradas-Ferreira, Pedro; Mendes, Marta V.

    2011-01-01

    Streptomyces secondary metabolism is strongly affected by oxygen availability. The increased culture aeration enhances pimaricin production in S. natalensis, however the excess of O2 consumption can lead to an intracellular ROS imbalance that is harmful to the cell. The adaptive physiological response of S. natalensis upon the addition of exogenous H2O2 suggested that the modulation of the intracellular ROS levels, through the activation of the H2O2 inducible catalase during the late exponential growth phase, can alter the production of pimaricin. With the construction of defective mutants on the H2O2 related enzymes SodF, AhpCD and KatA1, an effective and enduring modulation of intracellular ROS was achieved. Characterization of the knock-out strains revealed different behaviours regarding pimaricin production: whilst the superoxide dismutase defective mutant presented low levels of pimaricin production compared to the wild-type, the mutants defective on the H2O2-detoxifying enzymes displayed a pimaricin overproducer phenotype. Using physiological and molecular approaches we report a crosstalk between oxidative stress and secondary metabolism regulatory networks. Our results reveal that the redox-based regulation network triggered by an imbalance of the intracellular ROS homeostasis is also able to modulate the biosynthesis of pimaricin in S. natalensis. PMID:22114674

  14. Antioxidant study of flavonoid derivatives from the aerial parts of Rhus natalensis growing in Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    Alqasoumi, Saleh Ibrahim; Basudan, Omer Ahmed; Alam, Prawez; Abdel-Kader, Maged Saad

    2016-01-01

    Phytochemical study of the CH(2)Cl(2) soluble fraction of the aerial parts of R. natalensis resulted in the isolation and identification of six flavonoid derivatives, β-amyrin and β-sitosterol glucoside (daucosterol). The isolated compounds were identified utilizing physical, chemical and different spectral methods including UV, 1D- 2D-NMR and MS. The compounds were identified as four flavanones; 7-O-methyl hesperetin (1), 7-O-methyl naringenin (4), (-)-homoeriodictyol (eriodictyonone) (5), eriodictyol-7-methyl ether (6) and two flavones; 7-O-methyl isokaemferide (2) and genkwanin (3). The isolated compounds as well as some available standards representing structurally similar flavones and flavanones were used to study their antioxidant potential using DPPH and try to explore the impact of structures on the antioxidant activity. In other assays flavanones were less active than flavones as antioxidant due to lack of the C-4 carbonyl group in conjugation with 2,3-double bond. However, in DPPH assay based on the ability of molecules to donate hydrogen flavanones were found more active than flavones. PMID:26826843

  15. The complete mitochondrial genome of fungus-growing termite, Macrotermes natalensis (Isoptera: Macrotermitinae).

    PubMed

    Meng, Ziye; Jiang, Shihong; Chen, Xiaoqin; Lei, Chaoliang

    2016-05-01

    In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome of a fungus-growing termite, Macrotermes natalensis, with the total length of 16,325 bp, is reported for the first time. This mtgenome harbors 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, and 1 control region (D-loop). The total base composition is 44.1% of A, 21.5% of T, 11.5% of G, and 22.9% of C, so the percentage of A and T (65.6%) is much higher than that of G and C. Most of the genes are distributed on H-strand, except for four subunit genes (ND1, ND4, ND4L, ND5) and eight tRNA genes. All protein-coding genes start with an ATN codon, and terminate with the canonical stop codon (TAA/TAG) or a single T (T- -). The complete mitochondrial genome sequence reported here adds a new genetic resource for the genus Macrotermes and might be useful for phylogenetic and systematic analyses within the genus Macrotermes. PMID:25259453

  16. The Effect of Different Host Plants on Development and Survival of Nysius natalensis (Hemiptera: Orsillidae).

    PubMed

    Du Plessis, Hannalene; Byrne, Marcus; Van Den Berg, Johnnie

    2015-02-01

    Nysius natalensis Evans (Hemiptera: Orsillidae) is a pest of sunflower in South Africa. Adults invade sunflower fields from their weedy hosts. The host plant suitability for development and survival and the effect of between-generation host switching were studied on different wild host plants and sunflower. Parameters used to assess host plant suitability were nymphal development, head widths, mean mass, and survival. Nymphs and adults were provided with crushed seed of five host plants, as well as a combination of seeds of the five species. Duration of the nymphal stage, development and mortality, and mean development time to adult were recorded. Between-generation host switching was studied by providing first-instar nymphs (F2) with seed of either the same plant species or transferred to different ones. Mean mass and mean head widths of adults (F2) were determined. The food source during the first and second generation, as well as the interaction thereof, has a significant effect on head widths of resultant males and females, as well as on female mass, but first-generation food did not have a significant effect on male mass. Feeding the F2 on sunflower proved to be beneficial to the false chinch bug, as it provided the heaviest males and females as well as females with the biggest head widths. Lack of constant availability of moisture had a detrimental effect on longevity. Host plant switching to sunflower likely happens as a result of senescence of wild host plants prior to winter. PMID:26308814

  17. Development of cycad ovules and seeds. 2. Histological and ultrastructural aspects of ontogeny of the embryo in Encephalartos natalensis (Zamiaceae).

    PubMed

    Woodenberg, Wynston Ray; Berjak, Patricia; Pammenter, N W; Farrant, Jill M

    2014-07-01

    Development of the embryo of Encephalartos natalensis from a rudimentary meristematic structure approximately 700 μm in length extends over 6 months after the seed is shed from the strobilus. Throughout its development, the embryo remains attached to a long suspensor. Differentiation of the shoot meristem flanked by two cotyledonary protuberances occurs over the first 2 months, during which peripheral tannin channels become apparent. Tannins, apparently elaborated by the endoplasmic reticulum, first accumulate in the large central vacuole and ultimately fill the channel. By the fourth month of development, the root meristem is apparent and procambial tissue forming discrete vascular bundles can be discerned in the elongating cotyledons. Between 4 and 6 months, mucilage ducts differentiate; after 6 months, when the seed becomes germinable, the embryo is characterised by cotyledons far longer than the axis. Shoot and root meristem cells remain ultrastructurally similar throughout embryo ontogeny, containing small vacuoles, many well-differentiated mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) profiles, abundant polysomes, plastids containing small starch deposits and Golgi bodies. Unusually, however, Golgi bodies are infrequent in other cells including those elaborating mucilage which is accumulated in distended ER and apparently secreted into the duct lumen directly by ER-derived vesicles. The non-meristematic cells accumulate massive starch deposits to the exclusion of any protein bodies and only very sparse lipid, features which are considered in terms of the prolonged period of embryo development and the high atmospheric oxygen content of the Carboniferous Period, when cycads are suggested to have originated. PMID:24240517

  18. Immunization with Wuchereria bancrofti Glutathione-S-transferase Elicits a Mixed Th1/Th2 Type of Protective Immune Response Against Filarial Infection in Mastomys.

    PubMed

    Andure, Dhananjay; Pote, Kiran; Khatri, Vishal; Amdare, Nitin; Padalkar, Ramchandra; Reddy, Maryada Venkata Rami

    2016-10-01

    Lymphatic filariasis is a mosquito borne parasitic infection and can severely affect the normal working ability of an individual. Currently there is no vaccine available to prevent this infection and the development of a potential vaccine could effectively support the on-going mass drug administration program by World Health Organization (WHO). Filarial parasites have complex mechanisms to modulate the host immune responses against them. The glutathione-S-transferases (GST) are the important enzymes effectively involved to counteract the oxidative free radicals produced by the host. In the present study, we have shown that the mastomys which are fully permissible rodents for Brugia malayi when immunized with Wuchereria bancrofti recombinant GST (rWbGST) could induce 65.5 % in situ cytotoxicity against B. malayi infective (L3) larvae. There was a balanced Th1/Th2 immune response in the vaccinated animals, characterized by higher levels of WbGST-specific IgG1 and IgG2a antibodies and pronounced IFN-γ, IL-10 and IL-4 cytokines production by the spleen cells. PMID:27605739

  19. Elimination of Biomphalaria pfeifferi, Bulinus tropicus and Lymnaea natalensis by the ampullarid snail, Marisa cornuarietis, in a man-made dam in northern Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Nguma, J F; McCullough, F S; Masha, E

    1982-03-01

    Marisa cornuarietis is a well known ampullarid competitor/predator of Biomphalaria glabrata in Puerto Rico. For the first time in Africa a flourishing population of Marisa has been established in a small, permanent, man-made dam at Kisangara, near Moshi, Tanzania. Prior to the release of M. cornuarietis in June 1977, this dam supported thriving populations of the pulmonate snail hosts Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Lymnaea natalensis; Bulinus tropicus and the melaniid Melanoides tuberculata were also common. Some 24 months after the establishment of Marisa the three pulmonate species had been eliminated; only M. tuberculata remained at about the same population density as originally recorded. Marisa has not caused any obvious adverse environmental impact in the dam. There is at present no valid evidence that this ampullarid would be a threat to local rice production, which is the only crop at risk, but carefully designed field trials should be undertaken to confirm or refute this view. In view of the vast number of permanent, lentic habitats throughout the Afrotropical region, which act as important transmission sites of schistosomiasis and fascioliasis, the role of Marisa cornuarietis as a cost-effective biological control agent in integrated control operations deserves henceforth to be energetically explored. PMID:6122367

  20. μ-Theraphotoxin-An1a: primary structure determination and assessment of the pharmacological activity of a promiscuous anti-insect toxin from the venom of the tarantula Acanthoscurria natalensis (Mygalomorphae, Theraphosidae).

    PubMed

    Rates, Breno; Prates, Maura V; Verano-Braga, Thiago; da Rocha, Angela P; Roepstorff, Peter; Borges, Carlos L; Lapied, Bruno; Murillo, Laurence; Pimenta, Adriano M C; Biondi, Ilka; De Lima, Maria Elena

    2013-08-01

    Tarantulas are included in the mygalomorph spider family Theraphosidae. Although the pharmacological diversity of theraphosid toxins (theraphotoxins) is broad, studies dedicated to the characterization of biologically active molecules from the theraphosid genus Acanthoscurria have been restricted to the investigation of antimicrobial peptides and polyamines produced by the hemocytes of Acanthoscurria gomesiana. The present study reports the purification, primary structure determination and electrophysiological effects of an anti-insect toxin, named μ-theraphotoxin-An1a (μ-TRTX-An1a), from the venom of Acanthoscurria natalensis - a tarantula species occurring in the Brazilian biomes caatinga and cerrado. The analysis of the primary structure of μ-TRTX-An1a revealed the similarity of this toxin to theraphosid toxins bearing a huwentoxin-II-like fold. Electrophysiological experiments showed that μ-TRTX-An1a (100 nM) induces membrane depolarization, increases the spontaneous firing frequency and reduces spike amplitude of cockroach dorsal unpaired median (DUM) neurons. In addition, under voltage-clamp conditions, μ-TRTX-An1a (100 nM) only partially blocks voltage-dependent sodium current amplitudes in DUM neurons without any effect on their voltage dependence. This effect correlates well with the reduction of the spontaneous action potential amplitudes. Altogether, these last results suggest that μ-TRTX-An1a affects insect neuronal voltage-dependent sodium channels, which are among possible channels targeted by this promiscuous toxin. PMID:23651762

  1. Lassa fever or lassa hemorrhagic fever risk to humans from rodent-borne zoonoses.

    PubMed

    El-Bahnasawy, Mamdouh M; Megahed, Laila Abdel-Mawla; Abdalla Saleh, Hala Ahmed; Morsy, Tosson A

    2015-04-01

    Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) typically manifest as rapidly progressing acute febrile syndromes with profound hemorrhagic manifestations and very high fatality rates. Lassa fever, an acute hemorrhagic fever characterized by fever, muscle aches, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and chest and abdominal pain. Rodents are important reservoirs of rodent-borne zoonosis worldwide. Transmission rodents to humans occur by aerosol spread, either from the genus Mastomys rodents' excreta (multimammate rat) or through the close contact with infected patients (nosocomial infection). Other rodents of the genera Rattus, Mus, Lemniscomys, and Praomys are incriminated rodents hosts. Now one may ask do the rodents' ectoparasites play a role in Lassa virus zoonotic transmission. This paper summarized the update knowledge on LHV; hopping it might be useful to the clinicians, nursing staff, laboratories' personals as well as those concerned zoonoses from rodents and rodent control. PMID:26012219

  2. New Hosts of The Lassa Virus.

    PubMed

    Olayemi, Ayodeji; Cadar, Daniel; Magassouba, N'Faly; Obadare, Adeoba; Kourouma, Fode; Oyeyiola, Akinlabi; Fasogbon, Samuel; Igbokwe, Joseph; Rieger, Toni; Bockholt, Sabrina; Jérôme, Hanna; Schmidt-Chanasit, Jonas; Garigliany, Mutien; Lorenzen, Stephan; Igbahenah, Felix; Fichet, Jean-Nicolas; Ortsega, Daniel; Omilabu, Sunday; Günther, Stephan; Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth

    2016-01-01

    Lassa virus (LASV) causes a deadly haemorrhagic fever in humans, killing several thousand people in West Africa annually. For 40 years, the Natal multimammate rat, Mastomys natalensis, has been assumed to be the sole host of LASV. We found evidence that LASV is also hosted by other rodent species: the African wood mouse Hylomyscus pamfi in Nigeria, and the Guinea multimammate mouse Mastomys erythroleucus in both Nigeria and Guinea. Virus strains from these animals were isolated in the BSL-4 laboratory and fully sequenced. Phylogenetic analyses of viral genes coding for glycoprotein, nucleoprotein, polymerase and matrix protein show that Lassa strains detected in M. erythroleucus belong to lineages III and IV. The strain from H. pamfi clusters close to lineage I (for S gene) and between II &III (for L gene). Discovery of new rodent hosts has implications for LASV evolution and its spread into new areas within West Africa. PMID:27140942

  3. New Hosts of The Lassa Virus

    PubMed Central

    Olayemi, Ayodeji; Cadar, Daniel; Magassouba, N’Faly; Obadare, Adeoba; Kourouma, Fode; Oyeyiola, Akinlabi; Fasogbon, Samuel; Igbokwe, Joseph; Rieger, Toni; Bockholt, Sabrina; Jérôme, Hanna; Schmidt-Chanasit, Jonas; Garigliany, Mutien; Lorenzen, Stephan; Igbahenah, Felix; Fichet, Jean-Nicolas; Ortsega, Daniel; Omilabu, Sunday; Günther, Stephan; Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth

    2016-01-01

    Lassa virus (LASV) causes a deadly haemorrhagic fever in humans, killing several thousand people in West Africa annually. For 40 years, the Natal multimammate rat, Mastomys natalensis, has been assumed to be the sole host of LASV. We found evidence that LASV is also hosted by other rodent species: the African wood mouse Hylomyscus pamfi in Nigeria, and the Guinea multimammate mouse Mastomys erythroleucus in both Nigeria and Guinea. Virus strains from these animals were isolated in the BSL-4 laboratory and fully sequenced. Phylogenetic analyses of viral genes coding for glycoprotein, nucleoprotein, polymerase and matrix protein show that Lassa strains detected in M. erythroleucus belong to lineages III and IV. The strain from H. pamfi clusters close to lineage I (for S gene) and between II & III (for L gene). Discovery of new rodent hosts has implications for LASV evolution and its spread into new areas within West Africa. PMID:27140942

  4. Geographic Distribution and Genetic Characterization of Lassa Virus in Sub-Saharan Mali

    PubMed Central

    Safronetz, David; Sogoba, Nafomon; Lopez, Job E.; Maiga, Ousmane; Dahlstrom, Eric; Zivcec, Marko; Feldmann, Friederike; Haddock, Elaine; Fischer, Robert J.; Anderson, Jennifer M.; Munster, Vincent J.; Branco, Luis; Garry, Robert; Porcella, Stephen F.; Schwan, Tom G.; Feldmann, Heinz

    2013-01-01

    Background Lassa fever is an acute viral illness characterized by multi-organ failure and hemorrhagic manifestations. Lassa fever is most frequently diagnosed in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, although sporadic cases have been recorded in other West African countries, including Mali. The etiological agent of Lassa fever is Lassa virus (LASV), an Arenavirus which is maintained in nature and frequently transmitted to humans by Mastomys natalensis. The purpose of this study was to better define the geographic distribution of LASV-infected rodents in sub-Saharan Mali. Methodologies/Principal Findings Small mammals were live-trapped at various locations across Mali for the purpose of identifying potential zoonotic pathogens. Serological and molecular assays were employed and determined LASV infected rodents were exclusively found in the southern Mali near the border of Côte d'Ivoire. Overall, 19.4% of Mastomys natalensis sampled in this region had evidence of LASV infection, with prevalence rates for individual villages ranging from 0 to 52%. Full-length genomic sequences were determined using high throughput sequencing methodologies for LASV isolates generated from tissue samples of rodents collected in four villages and confirmed the phylogenetic clustering of Malian LASV with strain AV. Conclusions/Significance The risk of human infections with LASV is greatest in villages in southern Mali. Lassa fever should be considered in the differential diagnosis for febrile individuals and appropriate diagnostic techniques need to be established to determine the incidence of infection and disease in these regions. PMID:24340119

  5. Sequence Variability and Geographic Distribution of Lassa Virus, Sierra Leone

    PubMed Central

    Stockelman, Michael G.; Moses, Lina M.; Park, Matthew; Stenger, David A.; Ansumana, Rashid; Bausch, Daniel G.; Lin, Baochuan

    2015-01-01

    Lassa virus (LASV) is endemic to parts of West Africa and causes highly fatal hemorrhagic fever. The multimammate rat (Mastomys natalensis) is the only known reservoir of LASV. Most human infections result from zoonotic transmission. The very diverse LASV genome has 4 major lineages associated with different geographic locations. We used reverse transcription PCR and resequencing microarrays to detect LASV in 41 of 214 samples from rodents captured at 8 locations in Sierra Leone. Phylogenetic analysis of partial sequences of nucleoprotein (NP), glycoprotein precursor (GPC), and polymerase (L) genes showed 5 separate clades within lineage IV of LASV in this country. The sequence diversity was higher than previously observed; mean diversity was 7.01% for nucleoprotein gene at the nucleotide level. These results may have major implications for designing diagnostic tests and therapeutic agents for LASV infections in Sierra Leone. PMID:25811712

  6. Cryptosporidia: epicellular parasites embraced by the host cell membrane.

    PubMed

    Valigurová, Andrea; Jirků, Miloslav; Koudela, Bretislav; Gelnar, Milan; Modrý, David; Slapeta, Jan

    2008-07-01

    The ultrastructure of two gastric cryptosporidia, Cryptosporidium muris from experimentally infected rodents (Mastomys natalensis) and Cryptosporidium sp. 'toad' from naturally infected toads (Duttaphrynus melanostictus), was studied using electron microscopy. Observations presented herein allowed us to map ultrastructural aspects of the cryptosporidian invasion process and the origin of a parasitophorous sac. Invading parasites attach to the host cell, followed by gradual envelopment, with the host's cell membrane folds, eventually forming the parasitophorous sac. Cryptosporidian developmental stages remain epicellular during the entire life cycle. The parasite development is illustrated in detail using high resolution field emission scanning electron microscopy. This provides a new insight into the ultrastructural detail of host-parasite interactions and species-specific differences manifested in frequency of detachment of the parasitophorous sac, radial folds of the parasitophorous sac and stem-formation of the parasitised host cell. PMID:18158154

  7. Diversity and habitat association of small mammals in Aridtsy forest, Awi Zone, Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    BANTIHUN, Getachew; BEKELE, Afework

    2015-01-01

    Here, we conducted a survey to examine the diversity, distribution and habitat association of small mammals from August 2011 to February 2012 incorporating both wet and dry seasons in Aridtsy forest, Awi Zone, Ethiopia. Using Sherman live traps and snap traps in four randomly selected trapping grids, namely, natural forest, bushland, grassland and farmland, a total of 468 individuals comprising eight species of small mammals (live traps) and 89 rodents of six species (snap traps) were trapped in 2352 and 1200 trap nights, respectively. The trapped small mammals included seven rodents and one insectivore: Lophuromys flavopuntatus (30.6%), Arvicanthis dembeensis (25.8%), Stenocephalemys albipes (20%), Mastomys natalensis (11.6%), Pelomys harringtoni (6.4%), Acomys cahirinus (4.3%), Lemniscomys zebra (0.2%) and the greater red musk shrew (Crocidura flavescens, 1.1%). Analysis showed statistically significant variations in the abundance and habitat preferences of small mammals between habitats during wet and dry seasons. PMID:25855227

  8. Diversity and habitat association of small mammals in Aridtsy forest, Awi Zone, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Bantihun, Getachew; Bekele, Afework

    2015-03-18

    Here, we conducted a survey to examine the diversity, distribution and habitat association of small mammals from August 2011 to February 2012 incorporating both wet and dry seasons in Aridtsy forest, Awi Zone, Ethiopia. Using Sherman live traps and snap traps in four randomly selected trapping grids, namely, natural forest, bushland, grassland and farmland, a total of 468 individuals comprising eight species of small mammals (live traps) and 89 rodents of six species (snap traps) were trapped in 2352 and 1200 trap nights, respectively. The trapped small mammals included seven rodents and one insectivore: Lophuromys flavopuntatus (30.6%), Arvicanthis dembeensis (25.8%), Stenocephalemys albipes (20%), Mastomys natalensis (11.6%), Pelomys harringtoni (6.4%), Acomys cahirinus (4.3%), Lemniscomys zebra (0.2%) and the greater red musk shrew (Crocidura flavescens, 1.1%). Analysis showed statistically significant variations in the abundance and habitat preferences of small mammals between habitats during wet and dry seasons. PMID:25855227

  9. Lassa Virus Seroprevalence in Sibirilia Commune, Bougouni District, Southern Mali

    PubMed Central

    Sogoba, Nafomon; Rosenke, Kyle; Adjemian, Jennifer; Diawara, Sory Ibrahim; Maiga, Ousmane; Keita, Moussa; Konaté, Drissa; Keita, Abdoul Salam; Sissoko, Ibrahim; Boisen, Matt; Nelson, Diana; Oottamasathien, Darin; Millett, Molly; Garry, Robert F.; Branco, Luis M.; Traoré, Sékou F.; Doumbia, Seydou; Feldmann, Heinz

    2016-01-01

    Lassa virus (LASV) is endemic to several nations in West Africa. In Mali, LASV was unknown until an exported case of Lassa fever was reported in 2009. Since that time, rodent surveys have found evidence of LASV-infected Mastomys natalensis rats in several communities in southern Mali, near the border with Côte d’Ivoire. Despite increased awareness, to date only a single case of Lassa fever has been confirmed in Mali. We conducted a survey to determine the prevalence of LASV exposure among persons in 3 villages in southern Mali where the presence of infected rodents has been documented. LASV IgG seroprevalence ranged from 14.5% to 44% per village. No sex bias was noted; however, seropositivity rates increased with participant age. These findings confirm human LASV exposure in Mali and suggest that LASV infection/Lassa fever is a potential public health concern in southern Mali. PMID:26981786

  10. Poor housing quality increases risk of rodent infestation and Lassa fever in refugee camps of Sierra Leone.

    PubMed

    Bonner, Phillip Cullison; Schmidt, Wolf-Peter; Belmain, Steven R; Oshin, Babafemi; Baglole, Debbie; Borchert, Matthias

    2007-07-01

    Lassa fever, a viral hemorrhagic fever endemic in parts of West Africa, is a severe febrile illness transmitted to humans by the rodent Mastomys natalensis. To determine risk of Lassa fever in households in Sierra Leonean refugee camps, we analyzed the spatial relationships between households with a Lassa case and focal locations of potential rodent habitats. Quality and hygiene factors of households were assessed to determine possible risk factors for household rodent infestation and occurrence of Lassa fever. The odds to have a rat burrow were higher in case houses than in control houses (OR 24, 95% CI 6.0-93). Case houses scored significantly worse in the quality of housing and external hygiene. These findings suggest that risk of Lassa fever in refugee camps depends on individual housing quality and the hygiene of the immediate surrounding environment. PMID:17620650

  11. Spatio-temporal variation in small mammal species richness, relative abundance and body mass reveal changes in a coastal wetland ecosystem in Ghana.

    PubMed

    Ofori, Benjamin Y; Attuquayefio, Daniel K; Owusu, Erasmus H; Musah, Yahaya; Ntiamoa-Baidu, Yaa

    2016-06-01

    Coastal wetlands in Ghana are under severe threat of anthropogenic drivers of habitat degradation and climate change, thereby increasing the need for assessment and monitoring to inform targeted and effective conservation of these ecosystems. Here, we assess small mammal species richness, relative abundance and body mass in three habitats at the Muni-Pomadze Ramsar site of Ghana, and compare these to baseline data gathered in 1997 to evaluate changes in the wetland ecosystem. Small mammals were live-trapped using Sherman collapsible and pitfall traps. We recorded 84 individuals of 10 species in 1485 trap-nights, whereas the baseline study recorded 45 individuals of seven species in 986 trap-nights. The overall trap-success was therefore greater in the present study (5.66 %) than the baseline study (4.56 %). The species richness increased from one to four in the forest, and from zero to eight in the thicket, but decreased from six to four in the grassland. The total number of individuals increased in all habitats, with the dominant species in the grassland shifting from Lemniscomys striatus to Mastomys erythroleucus. Three species, Malacomys edwardsi, Grammomys poensis and Praomys tullbergi are the first records for the Muni-Pomadze Ramsar site. Generally, the average body mass of individual species in the grassland was lower in the present study. The considerable changes in small mammal community structure suggest changes in the wetland ecosystem. The conservation implications of our findings are discussed. PMID:27154051

  12. Heat production in cold and long scotophase acclimated and winter acclimatized rodents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haim, A.; Fourie, F. Le R.

    1980-09-01

    Heat production by means of oxygen consumptionVo2 (at Ta = 6° C, 25° C, 30° C, and 32° C) and non-shivering thermogenesis (NST) were studied in individuals of a diurnal rodent ( Rhabdomys pumilio) and a nocturnal rodent ( Praomys natalensis). The studied mice were acclimated to cold at Ta=8°C with a photoperiod of LD 12:12. On the otherhand specimens of these two species were acclimated at Ta=25°C with a long scotophase LD8:16. The results were compared with a control group (Ta=25° C, LD 12:12) and winter acclimatized individuals of both species.Vo2 in cold acclimated mice of both species was significantly increased when compared to the control group and was even higher than the winter acclimatized group when measured below the lower critical temperature. Long scotophase acclimated mice of both species also increased their oxygen consumption significantly when compared to the control group. NST was significantly increased in long scotophase acclimated mice from both species when compared to the control group. The results of this study indicate that the effects of acclimation to long scotophase are similar to those of cold acclimation. As changes in photoperiod are regular, it may be assumed that heat production mechanisms in acclimatization to winter will respond to changes in photoperiodicity.

  13. Enzymatic activity of rodents acclimated to cold and long scotophase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fourie, F. Le R.; Haim, A.

    1980-09-01

    Rodents representative of a diurnal species ( Rhabdomys pumilio) as well as a nocturnal species ( Praomys natalensis) were acclimated to cold (Ta = 8°C) at a photoperiod of LD 12:12 and a long scotophase (LD 8; 16) at a temperature of 25° C(Ta). Control groups were kept for both species at Ta = 25° C and LD 12:12 and winter acclimated individuals were obtained during July and August to serve as further reference. Blood samples obtained from the tail were analysed for enzymes representative of three major biochemical pathways. The enzymatic activity of LDH (glycolytic pathway), MDH (Krebs cycle) and G6PDH (hexose monophosphate shunt, as an indicator of gonadal activity) were monitored to represent metabolic activity of the respective cycles. Cold acclimated as well as winter acclimatized mice revealed similar enzymatic patterns for both species and significant increases in LDH and MDH were recorded with a concurrent decrease in G6PDH activity. Specimens exposed to long scotophase exhibited similar enzymatic patterns for both species studied, but enzymatic activity was higher than those of cold acclimated individuals. From these results it is concluded that cold as well as long scotophase induce metabolic adaptations through biochemical activity in the experimental animals. The effect of long scotophase is assumed to be an important factor in the induction of winter acclimatization.

  14. Landscape determinants of fine-scale genetic structure of a small rodent in a heterogeneous landscape (Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa).

    PubMed

    Russo, Isa-Rita M; Sole, Catherine L; Barbato, Mario; von Bramann, Ullrich; Bruford, Michael W

    2016-01-01

    Small mammals provide ecosystem services, acting, for example, as pollinators and seed dispersers. In addition, they are also disease reservoirs that can be detrimental to human health and they can also act as crop pests. Knowledge of their dispersal preferences is therefore useful for population management and landscape planning. Genetic data were used alongside landscape data to examine the influence of the landscape on the demographic connectedness of the Natal multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis) and to identify landscape characteristics that influence the genetic structure of this species across a spatially and temporally varying environment. The most significant landscape features shaping gene flow were aspect, vegetation cover, topographic complexity (TC) and rivers, with western facing slopes, topographic complexity and rivers restricting gene flow. In general, thicket vegetation was correlated with increased gene flow. Identifying features of the landscape that facilitate movement/dispersal in M. natalensis potentially has application for other small mammals in similar ecosystems. As the primary reservoir host of the zoonotic Lassa virus, a landscape genetics approach may have applications in determining areas of high disease risk to humans. Identifying these landscape features may also be important in crop management due to damage by rodent pests. PMID:27406468

  15. [The mammals of Guinea as reservoirs and carriers of arboviruses].

    PubMed

    Konstantinov, O K; Diallo, S M; Inapogi, A P; Ba, A; Kamara, S K

    2006-01-01

    A great body of data on the fauna and ecology of wild mammals and their participation in the circulation of arboviruses were collected when the ecology of the latter of the Republic of Guinea was studied in 1978 to 1989. A hundred and eighteen species belonging to 10 orders were identified. Over 2,000 biological specimens were virologically and serologically examined. Six arboviruses were isolated. These included Dugbe virus (from the hussar monkey Cercopithecus (Erythrocebus patas) and 5 viruses from chiropters: Rift valley fever, from Micropteropus pusillus, Miniopterus schreibersi, and Hipposideros caffer, Saboya, Fomede, and Ank 6909 from Nycteris gambiensis and Kolenter from Hipposideros sp. Fomede, Kolente, and Ank 6909 viruses turned out to be new species for science. Rodents were found to have viral antigens of Lass fever (Mastomys natalensis, Tatera valida kempi and Rattus rattus), Dugbe and Chikungunya fevers (M. natalensis) and West Nile fever (Mus sp.). A serological survey of mammals revealed that the latter had antibodies to 12 arboviruses. Thus, the mammals of Guinea participate in the circulation of 18 arboviruses, 13 of them are pathogenic for man. PMID:16562748

  16. Observations on the food habits of some African rodents.

    PubMed

    Iwuala, M O; Braide, E I; Maduka, N

    1980-12-01

    Food habits of four common species of African rodents: the giant rat (Cricetomys gambianus), the black house rat (Rattus rattus), the multimammate rat (Mastomys natalensis) and the pygmy mouse (Mus minutoides) were studied on the basis of stomach content analysis, habitat sampling and experimental trials with caged animals. Vegetable items (especially grass, grains and tubers) formed the bulk of the food of all the species. Oil-palm nuts and kernels were also common in the guts of C. gambianus and M. natalensis. Animal food components of all the rodent species comprised mainly insects (especially ants, crickets etc.). Vertebrate flesh and scales were also well represented in the guts of C. gambianus. Domestic and miscellaneous food items were recorded from R. rattus, most of which were trapped in human and animal shelters. Inorganic gut contents, primarily sand grains, were found in sizeable quantities in more than 70% of the rodents examined. Results of experimental feeding trials with caged rodents showed close correlation with those recorded from field samples, especially in terms of food choices and the relative quantities consumed. The ecological and practical implications of these observations are discussed in the light of the importance of the rodents as agricultural and domestic pests. PMID:7323341

  17. Recent isolations of Lassa virus from Nigerian rodents

    PubMed Central

    Wulff, Herta; Fabiyi, A.; Monath, T. P.

    1975-01-01

    Rodents were trapped in the Benue-Plateau and North-Eastern States of Nigeria where Lassa fever had been reported in previous years. Eight Lassa virus strains were isolated from tissues and blood of rodents identified in the field as being of 3 different species: Mastomys natalensis, Rattus rattus, and Mus minutoides. All the infected rodents were collected in village habitats. These isolations indicate the presence of Lassa virus in wild rodents in Nigeria during periods when no human infections were evident. Prior studies in Sierra Leone have indicated that a single rodent species, M. natalensis, may be the important reservoir host of Lassa virus. Since the present study indicates that other rodent species may be involved as well, the ecology of Lassa virus may be more complicated than was heretofore supposed. In view of the importance of determining the geographic and species range of rodent hosts of Lassa virus, and because of the problems inherent in rodent identification under austere field conditions, it is urgent that further studies be conducted in the same areas of Nigeria to confirm these findings. PMID:1085216

  18. Landscape determinants of fine-scale genetic structure of a small rodent in a heterogeneous landscape (Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa)

    PubMed Central

    Russo, Isa-Rita M.; Sole, Catherine L.; Barbato, Mario; von Bramann, Ullrich; Bruford, Michael W.

    2016-01-01

    Small mammals provide ecosystem services, acting, for example, as pollinators and seed dispersers. In addition, they are also disease reservoirs that can be detrimental to human health and they can also act as crop pests. Knowledge of their dispersal preferences is therefore useful for population management and landscape planning. Genetic data were used alongside landscape data to examine the influence of the landscape on the demographic connectedness of the Natal multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis) and to identify landscape characteristics that influence the genetic structure of this species across a spatially and temporally varying environment. The most significant landscape features shaping gene flow were aspect, vegetation cover, topographic complexity (TC) and rivers, with western facing slopes, topographic complexity and rivers restricting gene flow. In general, thicket vegetation was correlated with increased gene flow. Identifying features of the landscape that facilitate movement/dispersal in M. natalensis potentially has application for other small mammals in similar ecosystems. As the primary reservoir host of the zoonotic Lassa virus, a landscape genetics approach may have applications in determining areas of high disease risk to humans. Identifying these landscape features may also be important in crop management due to damage by rodent pests. PMID:27406468

  19. Immunocytochemical studies on several developmental stages of Dipetalonema viteae (Filarioidea).

    PubMed

    Prüsse, A; Vollmer, S; Diesfeld, H J

    1983-09-01

    The binding of antibodies to infective larvae (L3), eggs, uterine contents and blood microfilariae was demonstrated by light microscopy employing the peroxidase-antiperoxidase (PAP) method. Antigen-antibody reactions were located on the shell of filarial eggs as well as on the cuticle and the interior of L3 and microfilariae. Using sera from Meriones unguiculatus, Mastomys natalensis and golden hamsters infected with D. viteae obtained at 7, 14, 21 and 28 weeks p.i. it was observed that the intensity of the immunostaining on several developmental stages of the filariae decreased with increasing duration of infection. This effect was more pronounced in the case of M. unguiculatus and M. natalensis than in the case of golden hamsters. For detection of surface antigenicity the simple procedure of drying the test material on microscopic slides proved to be time saving and equally specific as compared to the embedding in Epon of the filarial stages and the successive preparation of semithin sections. However, embedded filarial stages presented more intensive immunostaining than nonembedded stages. Moreover, sections allowed to demonstrate antigen-antibody reactions on the cuticle as well as inside the body cavity of the stages. PMID:6685362

  20. Sex-biased parasitism is not universal: evidence from rodent-flea associations from three biomes.

    PubMed

    Kiffner, Christian; Stanko, Michal; Morand, Serge; Khokhlova, Irina S; Shenbrot, Georgy I; Laudisoit, Anne; Leirs, Herwig; Hawlena, Hadas; Krasnov, Boris R

    2013-11-01

    The distribution of parasites among individual hosts is characterised by high variability that is believed to be a result of variations in host traits. To find general patterns of host traits affecting parasite abundance, we studied flea infestation of nine rodent species from three different biomes (temperate zone of central Europe, desert of Middle East and tropics of East Africa). We tested for independent and interactive effects of host sex and body mass on the number of fleas harboured by an individual host while accounting for spatial clustering of host and parasite sampling and temporal variation. We found no consistent patterns of the effect of host sex and body mass on flea abundance either among species within a biome or among biomes. We found evidence for sex-biased flea infestation in just five host species (Apodemus agrarius, Myodes glareolus, Microtus arvalis, Gerbillus andersoni, Mastomys natalensis). In six rodent species, we found an effect of body mass on flea abundance (all species mentioned above and Meriones crassus). This effect was positive in five species and negative in one species (Microtus arvalis). In M. glareolus, G. andersoni, M. natalensis, and M. arvalis, the relationship between body mass and flea abundance was mediated by host sex. This was manifested in steeper change in flea abundance with increasing body mass in male than female individuals (M. glareolus, G. andersoni, M. natalensis), whereas the opposite pattern was found in M. arvalis. Our findings suggest that sex and body mass are common determinants of parasite infestation in mammalian hosts, but neither of them follows universal rules. This implies that the effect of host individual characteristics on mechanisms responsible for flea acquisition may be manifested differently in different host species. PMID:23636459

  1. Protective Vaccination against Papillomavirus-Induced Skin Tumors under Immunocompetent and Immunosuppressive Conditions: A Preclinical Study Using a Natural Outbred Animal Model

    PubMed Central

    Vinzón, Sabrina E.; Braspenning-Wesch, Ilona; Müller, Martin; Geissler, Edward K.; Nindl, Ingo; Gröne, Hermann-Josef

    2014-01-01

    Certain cutaneous human papillomaviruses (HPVs), which are ubiquitous and acquired early during childhood, can cause a variety of skin tumors and are likely involved in the development of non-melanoma skin cancer, especially in immunosuppressed patients. Hence, the burden of these clinical manifestations demands for a prophylactic approach. To evaluate whether protective efficacy of a vaccine is potentially translatable to patients, we used the rodent Mastomys coucha that is naturally infected with Mastomys natalensis papillomavirus (MnPV). This skin type papillomavirus induces not only benign skin tumours, such as papillomas and keratoacanthomas, but also squamous cell carcinomas, thereby allowing a straightforward read-out for successful vaccination in a small immunocompetent laboratory animal. Here, we examined the efficacy of a virus-like particle (VLP)-based vaccine on either previously or newly established infections. VLPs raise a strong and long-lasting neutralizing antibody response that confers protection even under systemic long-term cyclosporine A treatment. Remarkably, the vaccine completely prevents the appearance of benign as well as malignant skin tumors. Protection involves the maintenance of a low viral load in the skin by an antibody-dependent prevention of virus spread. Our results provide first evidence that VLPs elicit an effective immune response in the skin under immunocompetent and immunosuppressed conditions in an outbred animal model, irrespective of the infection status at the time of vaccination. These findings provide the basis for the clinical development of potent vaccination strategies against cutaneous HPV infections and HPV-induced tumors, especially in patients awaiting organ transplantation. PMID:24586150

  2. The effect of diethylcarbamazine on microfilariae of Litomosoides carinii in vitro and in vivo.

    PubMed

    Weiner, D J; Abraham, D; D'Antonio, R

    1986-01-01

    Culture-derived Litomosoides carinii microfilariae (MFF) were used in in vitro and in vivo systems to investigate the effect of diethylcarbamazine (DEC) on these MFF. In vivo: Male rats, Mastomys natalensis, all of the same age, were injected intrathoracically (12) or intraperitoneally (36) with 10(3) or 10(4) MFF. After 30 min one half of each group of rats was given DEC per os. At 30, 60, and 120 min after DEC administration, two rats from the treated and two from the untreated group were bled and killed. The pleural or peritoneal cavities were rinsed with warm saline (0.15 M NaCl) to recover MFF. In both the intrathoracic and intraperitoneal experiments, equal numbers of MFF were recovered from treated and control rats at 30 and 120 min. However, at 60 min 85.5% fewer were recovered from the treated than from the nontreated animals. MFF were not found in the blood. In vitro: MFF were added to tissue culture dish wells (Linbro Div., Flow Labs, Hamden, Conn) prepared as follows: DEC-Serum (serum from normal rats given DEC at 500 mg/kg), DEC + Serum (serum with added DEC), serum only, RPMI 1640 only, and RPMI 1640 + DEC. Furthermore, the five treatments were prepared either with or without unstimulated peritoneal exudate (PE) cells. At 30 min in the DEC-Serum wells 45% of the MFF had adherent PE cells; in the remaining wells these cells adhered to 11% or fewer MFF. We interpret the aforementioned phenomena as representing the first step in the trapping and elimination of MFF after DEC treatment of L. carinii-infected M. natalensis. PMID:3799010

  3. Lassa fever: review of epidemiology and epizootiology

    PubMed Central

    Monath, T. P.

    1975-01-01

    The basic ecology of Lassa fever appears to involve enzootic transmission of virus in commensal populations of a single murine species, Mastomys natalensis. Virus may spill over from the rodent cycle to man by various routes. Secondary spread between humans may occur within domiciliary groups, and persons infected within the community who develop clinical disease may introduce the virus into hospital and begin a cycle of nosocomial infection. Between 1969, when Lassa fever was first described, and June 1975, the disease was recognized on 9 discrete occasions, affecting 114 persons. Over one-third of these infections were acquired by person-to-person spread within hospitals. In only one outbreak (in Sierra Leone) were the majority of cases acquired in the community. Recent observations have indicated hyperendemic disease in eastern Sierra Leone. Cases have occurred in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, and serological evidence exists for activity of the virus elsewhere in West and Central Africa. Seasonal factors appear to play a role in the appearance of human cases. Attack rates have been higher in adults than in children. The source of infection and potential routes of virus transmission in the various epidemics are discussed, and perspectives for future epidemiological research are presented. PMID:782738

  4. Viremia and antibody response of small African and laboratory animals to Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus infection.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, A J; Leman, P A; Swanepoel, R

    1989-05-01

    Eleven species of small African wild mammals, laboratory rabbits, guinea pigs, and Syrian hamsters were infected with Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus. Low-titered viremia followed by development of antibody was observed in scrub hares (Lepus saxatilis), Cape ground squirrels (Xerus inauris), red veld rats (Aethomys chrysophilus), white tailed rats (Mystromys albicaudatus), bushveld gerbils (Tatera leucogaster), striped mice (Rhabdomys pumilio), and guinea pigs. The maximum viremic titer in 4 scrub hares was 10(1.7-4.2) 50% mouse lethal doses/ml. Viremia was detected in 1/17 infected laboratory rabbits. Antibody response was only detected in South African hedgehogs (Atelerix frontalis), highveld gerbils (T. brantsii), Namaqua gerbils (Desmodillus auricularis), 2 species of multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis and M. coucha), and Syrian hamsters. The results of the study indicate that a proportion of infected scrub hares develop CCHF viremia of an intensity shown in the Soviet Union to be sufficient for infection of feeding immature ixodid ticks, but that South African hedgehogs and wild rodents are unlikely to be of importance as maintenance hosts of the virus in southern Africa. PMID:2499205

  5. Stochastic seasonality and nonlinear density-dependent factors regulate population size in an African rodent

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leirs, H.; Stenseth, N.C.; Nichols, J.D.; Hines, J.E.; Verhagen, R.; Verheyen, W.

    1997-01-01

    Ecology has long been troubled by the controversy over how populations are regulated. Some ecologists focus on the role of environmental effects, whereas others argue that density-dependent feedback mechanisms are central. The relative importance of both processes is still hotly debated, but clear examples of both processes acting in the same population are rare. Keyfactor analysis (regression of population changes on possible causal factors) and time-series analysis are often used to investigate the presence of density dependence, but such approaches may be biased and provide no information on actual demographic rates. Here we report on both density-dependent and density-independent effects in a murid rodent pest species, the multimammate rat Mastomys natalensis (Smith, 1834), using statistical capture-recapture models. Both effects occur simultaneously, but we also demonstrate that they do not affect all demographic rates in the same way. We have incorporated the obtained estimates of demographic rates in a population dynamics model and show that the observed dynamics are affected by stabilizing nonlinear density-dependent components coupled with strong deterministic and stochastic seasonal components.

  6. Spatial Segregation between Invasive and Native Commensal Rodents in an Urban Environment: A Case Study in Niamey, Niger

    PubMed Central

    Garba, Madougou; Dalecky, Ambroise; Kadaoure, Ibrahima; Kane, Mamadou; Hima, Karmadine; Veran, Sophie; Gagare, Sama; Gauthier, Philippe; Tatard, Caroline; Rossi, Jean-Pierre; Dobigny, Gauthier

    2014-01-01

    Invasive rodents have been responsible for the diffusion worldwide of many zoonotic agents, thus representing major threats for public health. Cities are important hubs for people and goods exchange and are thus expected to play a pivotal role in invasive commensal rodent dissemination. Yet, data about urban rodents' ecology, especially invasive vs. native species interactions, are dramatically scarce. Here, we provide results of an extensive survey of urban rodents conducted in Niamey, Niger, depicting the early stages of rodent bioinvasions within a city. We explore the species-specific spatial distributions throughout the city using contrasted approaches, namely field sampling, co-occurrence analysis, occupancy modelling and indicator geostatistics. We show that (i) two species (i.e. rural-like vs. truly commensal) assemblages can be identified, and that (ii) within commensal rodents, invasive (Rattus rattus and Mus musculus) and native (Mastomys natalensis) species are spatially segregated. Moreover, several pieces of arguments tend to suggest that these exclusive distributions reflect an ongoing native-to-invasive species turn over. The underlying processes as well as the possible consequences for humans are discussed. PMID:25379785

  7. Lassa virus isolates from Mali and the Ivory Coast represent an emerging fifth lineage

    PubMed Central

    Manning, John T.; Forrester, Naomi; Paessler, Slobodan

    2015-01-01

    Previous imported cases of Lassa fever (LF) into the United Kingdom from the Ivory Coast and Mali, as well as the detection of Lassa virus (LASV) among the Mastomys natalensis population within Mali has led to the suggestion that the endemic area for LF is expanding. Initial phylogenetic analyses arrange isolates from Mali and the Ivory Coast separately from the classical lineage IV isolates taken from Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. The availability of full genome sequences continues to increase, allowing for a more complete phylogenetic comparison of the isolates from Mali and the Ivory Coast to the other existing isolates. In this study, we utilized a Bayesian approach to infer the demographic histories of each LASV isolate for which the full sequence was available. Our results indicate that the isolates from Mali and the Ivory Coast group separately from the isolates of lineage IV, comprising a distinct fifth lineage. The split between lineages IV and V is estimated to have occurred around 200–300 years ago, which coincides with the colonial period of West Africa. PMID:26483768

  8. Toxoplasmosis seroprevalence in urban rodents: a survey in Niamey, Niger

    PubMed Central

    Mercier, Aurélien; Garba, Madougou; Bonnabau, Henri; Kane, Mamadou; Rossi, Jean-Pierre; Dardé, Marie-Laure; Dobigny, Gauthier

    2013-01-01

    A serological survey of Toxoplasma gondii was conducted on 766 domestic and peridomestic rodents from 46 trapping sites throughout the city of Niamey, Niger. A low seroprevalence was found over the whole town with only 1.96% of the rodents found seropositive. However, differences between species were important, ranging from less than 2% in truly commensal Mastomys natalensis, Rattus rattus and Mus musculus, while garden-associated Arvicanthis niloticus displayed 9.1% of seropositive individuals. This is in line with previous studies on tropical rodents - that we reviewed here - which altogether show that Toxoplasma seroprevalence in rodent is highly variable, depending on many factors such as locality and/or species. Moreover, although we were not able to decipher statistically between habitat or species effect, such a contrast between Nile grass rats and the other rodent species points towards a potentially important role of environmental toxoplasmic infection. This would deserve to be further scrutinised since intra-city irrigated cultures are extending in Niamey, thus potentially increasing Toxoplasma circulation in this yet semi-arid region. As far as we are aware of, our study is one of the rare surveys of its kind performed in Sub-Saharan Africa and the first one ever conducted in the Sahel. PMID:23828008

  9. Effects of Land Use on Plague (Yersinia pestis) Activity in Rodents in Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    McCauley, Douglas J.; Salkeld, Daniel J.; Young, Hillary S.; Makundi, Rhodes; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Eckerlin, Ralph P.; Lambin, Eric F.; Gaffikin, Lynne; Barry, Michele; Helgen, Kristofer M.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the effects of land-use change on zoonotic disease risk is a pressing global health concern. Here, we compare prevalence of Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of plague, in rodents across two land-use types—agricultural and conserved—in northern Tanzania. Estimated abundance of seropositive rodents nearly doubled in agricultural sites compared with conserved sites. This relationship between land-use type and abundance of seropositive rodents is likely mediated by changes in rodent and flea community composition, particularly via an increase in the abundance of the commensal species, Mastomys natalensis, in agricultural habitats. There was mixed support for rodent species diversity negatively impacting Y. pestis seroprevalence. Together, these results suggest that land-use change could affect the risk of local transmission of plague, and raise critical questions about transmission dynamics at the interface of conserved and agricultural habitats. These findings emphasize the importance of understanding disease ecology in the context of rapidly proceeding landscape change. PMID:25711606

  10. Rat-atouille: A Mixed Method Study to Characterize Rodent Hunting and Consumption in the Context of Lassa Fever.

    PubMed

    Bonwitt, Jesse; Kelly, Ann H; Ansumana, Rashid; Agbla, Schadrac; Sahr, Foday; Saez, Almudena Mari; Borchert, Matthias; Kock, Richard; Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth

    2016-06-01

    Lassa fever is a zoonotic hemorrhagic illness predominant in areas across Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and southern Mali. The reservoir of Lassa virus is the multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis), a highly commensal species in West Africa. Primary transmission to humans occurs through direct or indirect contact with rodent body fluids such as urine, feces, saliva, or blood. Our research draws together qualitative and quantitative methods to provide a fuller and more nuanced perspective on these varied points of human-animal contact. In this article, we focus on the hunting, preparation, and consumption of rodents as possible routes of exposure in Bo, Sierra Leone. We found that the consumption of rodents, including the reservoir species, is widespread and does not neatly tally against generational or gender lines. Further, we found that the reasons for rodent consumption are multifactorial, including taste preferences, food security, and opportunistic behavior. We argue that on certain topics, such as rodent consumption, establishing trust with communities, and using qualitative research methods, is key to investigate sensitive issues and situate them in their wider context. To conclude, we recommend ways to refine sensitization campaigns to account for these socio-cultural contexts. PMID:26895631

  11. Housing equity for health equity: a rights-based approach to the control of Lassa fever in post-war Sierra Leone.

    PubMed

    Kelly, J Daniel; Barrie, M Bailor; Ross, Rachel A; Temple, Brian A; Moses, Lina M; Bausch, Daniel G

    2013-01-01

    Poor quality housing is an infringement on the rights of all humans to a standard of living adequate for health. Among the many vulnerabilities of those without adequate shelter is the risk of disease spread by rodents and other pests. One such disease is Lassa fever, an acute and sometimes severe viral hemorrhagic illness endemic in West Africa. Lassa virus is maintained in the rodent Mastomys natalensis, commonly known as the "multimammate rat," which frequently invades the domestic environment, putting humans at risk of Lassa fever. The highest reported incidence of Lassa fever in the world is consistently in the Kenema District of Sierra Leone, a region that was at the center of Sierra Leone's civil war in which tens of thousands of lives were lost and hundreds of thousands of dwellings destroyed. Despite the end of the war in 2002, most of Kenema's population still lives in inadequate housing that puts them at risk of rodent invasion and Lassa fever. Furthermore, despite years of health education and village hygiene campaigns, the incidence of Lassa fever in Kenema District appears to be increasing. We focus on Lassa fever as a matter of human rights, proposing a strategy to improve housing quality, and discuss how housing equity has the potential to improve health equity and ultimately economic productivity in Sierra Leone. The manuscript is designed to spur discussion and action towards provision of housing and prevention of disease in one of the world's most vulnerable populations. PMID:23282054

  12. Effects of land use on plague (Yersinia pestis) activity in rodents in Tanzania.

    PubMed

    McCauley, Douglas J; Salkeld, Daniel J; Young, Hillary S; Makundi, Rhodes; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Eckerlin, Ralph P; Lambin, Eric F; Gaffikin, Lynne; Barry, Michele; Helgen, Kristofer M

    2015-04-01

    Understanding the effects of land-use change on zoonotic disease risk is a pressing global health concern. Here, we compare prevalence of Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of plague, in rodents across two land-use types-agricultural and conserved-in northern Tanzania. Estimated abundance of seropositive rodents nearly doubled in agricultural sites compared with conserved sites. This relationship between land-use type and abundance of seropositive rodents is likely mediated by changes in rodent and flea community composition, particularly via an increase in the abundance of the commensal species, Mastomys natalensis, in agricultural habitats. There was mixed support for rodent species diversity negatively impacting Y. pestis seroprevalence. Together, these results suggest that land-use change could affect the risk of local transmission of plague, and raise critical questions about transmission dynamics at the interface of conserved and agricultural habitats. These findings emphasize the importance of understanding disease ecology in the context of rapidly proceeding landscape change. PMID:25711606

  13. Novel Arenavirus Sequences in Hylomyscus sp. and Mus (Nannomys) setulosus from Côte d'Ivoire: Implications for Evolution of Arenaviruses in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Kouassi, Stéphane K.; Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth; Becker-Ziaja, Beate; Rieger, Toni; Ölschläger, Stephan; Dosso, Hernri; Denys, Christiane; ter Meulen, Jan; Akoua-Koffi, Chantal; Günther, Stephan

    2011-01-01

    This study aimed to identify new arenaviruses and gather insights in the evolution of arenaviruses in Africa. During 2003 through 2005, 1,228 small mammals representing 14 different genera were trapped in 9 villages in south, east, and middle west of Côte d'Ivoire. Specimens were screened by pan-Old World arenavirus RT-PCRs targeting S and L RNA segments as well as immunofluorescence assay. Sequences of two novel tentative species of the family Arenaviridae, Menekre and Gbagroube virus, were detected in Hylomyscus sp. and Mus (Nannomys) setulosus, respectively. Arenavirus infection of Mus (Nannomys) setulosus was also demonstrated by serological testing. Lassa virus was not found, although 60% of the captured animals were Mastomys natalensis. Complete S RNA and partial L RNA sequences of the novel viruses were recovered from the rodent specimens and subjected to phylogenetic analysis. Gbagroube virus is a closely related sister taxon of Lassa virus, while Menekre virus clusters with the Ippy/Mobala/Mopeia virus complex. Reconstruction of possible virus–host co-phylogeny scenarios suggests that, within the African continent, signatures of co-evolution might have been obliterated by multiple host-switching events. PMID:21695269

  14. Imported Lassa fever--New Jersey, 2004.

    PubMed

    2004-10-01

    Lassa fever is an acute viral illness caused by Lassa virus, which is hosted by rodents in the Mastomys natalensis species complex and rarely imported to countries outside of those areas in Africa where the disease is endemic. Lassa fever is characterized by fever, muscle aches, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, and chest and abdominal pain. Approximately 15%-20% of patients hospitalized for Lassa fever die from the illness; however, approximately 80% of human infections with Lassa virus are mild or asymptomatic, and 1% of infections overall result in death. On August 28, 2004, a man aged 38 years residing in New Jersey died from Lassa fever after returning from travel to West Africa. This report summarizes the clinical and epidemiologic investigations conducted by federal, state, and local public health agencies. The findings illustrate the need for clinicians and public health officials to remain alert to emerging infectious diseases and to institute appropriate measures to promptly identify and limit spread of unusual pathogens. PMID:15457145

  15. Advanced vaccine candidates for Lassa fever.

    PubMed

    Lukashevich, Igor S

    2012-11-01

    Lassa virus (LASV) is the most prominent human pathogen of the Arenaviridae. The virus is transmitted to humans by a rodent reservoir, Mastomys natalensis, and is capable of causing lethal Lassa Fever (LF). LASV has the highest human impact of any of the viral hemorrhagic fevers (with the exception of Dengue Fever) with an estimated several hundred thousand infections annually, resulting in thousands of deaths in Western Africa. The sizeable disease burden, numerous imported cases of LF in non-endemic countries, and the possibility that LASV can be used as an agent of biological warfare make a strong case for vaccine development. Presently there is no licensed vaccine against LF or approved treatment. Recently, several promising vaccine candidates have been developed which can potentially target different groups at risk. The purpose of this manuscript is to review the LASV pathogenesis and immune mechanisms involved in protection. The current status of pre-clinical development of the advanced vaccine candidates that have been tested in non-human primates will be discussed. Major scientific, manufacturing, and regulatory challenges will also be considered. PMID:23202493

  16. Advanced Vaccine Candidates for Lassa Fever

    PubMed Central

    Lukashevich, Igor S.

    2012-01-01

    Lassa virus (LASV) is the most prominent human pathogen of the Arenaviridae. The virus is transmitted to humans by a rodent reservoir, Mastomys natalensis, and is capable of causing lethal Lassa Fever (LF). LASV has the highest human impact of any of the viral hemorrhagic fevers (with the exception of Dengue Fever) with an estimated several hundred thousand infections annually, resulting in thousands of deaths in Western Africa. The sizeable disease burden, numerous imported cases of LF in non-endemic countries, and the possibility that LASV can be used as an agent of biological warfare make a strong case for vaccine development. Presently there is no licensed vaccine against LF or approved treatment. Recently, several promising vaccine candidates have been developed which can potentially target different groups at risk. The purpose of this manuscript is to review the LASV pathogenesis and immune mechanisms involved in protection. The current status of pre-clinical development of the advanced vaccine candidates that have been tested in non-human primates will be discussed. Major scientific, manufacturing, and regulatory challenges will also be considered. PMID:23202493

  17. Mapping the zoonotic niche of Lassa fever in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Mylne, Adrian Q. N.; Pigott, David M.; Longbottom, Joshua; Shearer, Freya; Duda, Kirsten A.; Messina, Jane P.; Weiss, Daniel J.; Moyes, Catherine L.; Golding, Nick; Hay, Simon I.

    2015-01-01

    Background Lassa fever is a viral haemorrhagic illness responsible for disease outbreaks across West Africa. It is a zoonosis, with the primary reservoir species identified as the Natal multimammate mouse, Mastomys natalensis. The host is distributed across sub-Saharan Africa while the virus' range appears to be restricted to West Africa. The majority of infections result from interactions between the animal reservoir and human populations, although secondary transmission between humans can occur, particularly in hospital settings. Methods Using a species distribution model, the locations of confirmed human and animal infections with Lassa virus (LASV) were used to generate a probabilistic surface of zoonotic transmission potential across sub-Saharan Africa. Results Our results predict that 37.7 million people in 14 countries, across much of West Africa, live in areas where conditions are suitable for zoonotic transmission of LASV. Four of these countries, where at-risk populations are predicted, have yet to report any cases of Lassa fever. Conclusions These maps act as a spatial guide for future surveillance activities to better characterise the geographical distribution of the disease and understand the anthropological, virological and zoological interactions necessary for viral transmission. Combining this zoonotic niche map with detailed patient travel histories can aid differential diagnoses of febrile illnesses, enabling a more rapid response in providing care and reducing the risk of onward transmission. PMID:26085474

  18. Lassa fever in West African sub-region: an overview.

    PubMed

    Ogbu, O; Ajuluchukwu, E; Uneke, C J

    2007-03-01

    Lassa fever is an acute viral zoonotic illness caused by Lassa virus, an arenavirus known to be responsible for a severe haemorrhagic fever characterised by fever, muscle aches, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and, chest and abdominal pain. The virus exhibits persistent, asymptomatic infection with profuse urinary virus excretion in the ubiquitous rodent vector, Mastomys natalensis. Lassa fever is endemic in West Africa and has been reported from Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and Nigeria. Some studies indicate that 300,000 to 500,000 cases of Lassa fever and 5000 deaths occur yearly across West Africa. Studies reported in English, that investigated Lassa fever with reference to West Africa were identified using the Medline Entrez-PubMed search and were used for this review. The scarcity of resources available for health care delivery system and the political instability that characterise the West African countries would continue to impede efforts for the control of Lassa fever in the sub-region. There is need for adequate training of health care workers regarding diagnostics, intensive care of patients under isolation, contact tracing, adequate precautionary measures in handling infectious laboratory specimens, control of the vector as well as care and disposal of infectious waste. PMID:17378212

  19. High incidence of preharvest colonization of huanglongbing-symptomatic Citrus sinensis fruit by Lasiodiplodia theobromae (Diplodia natalensis) and exacerbation of postharvest fruit decay by that fungus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Huanglongbing (HLB), presumably caused by bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), is a devastating citrus disease associated with excessive pre-harvest fruit drop. Lasiodiplodia theobromae (Diplodia) is the causal organism of citrus stem end rot (SER). The pathogen infects citrus fruit ...

  20. High Incidence of Preharvest Colonization of Huanglongbing-Symptomatic Citrus sinensis Fruit by Lasiodiplodia theobromae (Diplodia natalensis) and Exacerbation of Postharvest Fruit Decay by That Fungus

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Wei; Bai, Jinhe; McCollum, Greg

    2014-01-01

    Huanglongbing (HLB), presumably caused by the bacterium “Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus,” is a devastating citrus disease associated with excessive preharvest fruit drop. Lasiodiplodia theobromae (diplodia) is the causal organism of citrus stem end rot (SER). The pathogen infects citrus fruit under the calyx abscission zone (AZ-C) and is associated with cell wall hydrolytic enzymes similar to plant enzymes involved in abscission. By means of DNA sequencing, diplodia was found in “Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus”-positive juice from HLB-symptomatic fruit (S) but not in “Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus”-negative juice. Therefore, the incidence of diplodia in fruit tissues, the impact on HLB-related postharvest decay, and the implications for HLB-related preharvest fruit drop were investigated in Hamlin and Valencia oranges. Quantitative PCR results (qPCR) revealed a significantly (P < 0.001) greater incidence of diplodia in the AZ-C of HLB-symptomatic (S; “Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus” threshold cycle [CT] of <30) than in the AZ-C of in asymptomatic (AS; “Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus” CT of ≥30) fruit. In agreement with the qPCR results, 2 weeks after exposure to ethylene, the incidences of SER in S fruit were 66.7% (Hamlin) and 58.7% (Valencia), whereas for AS fruit the decay rates were 6.7% (Hamlin) and 5.3% (Valencia). Diplodia colonization of S fruit AZ-C was observed by scanning electron microscopy and confirmed by PCR test and morphology of conidia in isolates from the AZ-C after surface sterilization. Diplodia CT values were negatively correlated with ethylene production (R = −0.838 for Hamlin; R = −0.858 for Valencia) in S fruit, and positively correlated with fruit detachment force (R = 0.855 for Hamlin; R = 0.850 for Valencia), suggesting that diplodia colonization in AZ-C may exacerbate HLB-associated preharvest fruit drop. PMID:25344245

  1. High incidence of preharvest colonization of huanglongbing-symptomatic citrus sinensis fruit by Lasiodiplodia theobromae (Diplodia natalensis) and exacerbation of postharvest fruit decay by that fungus.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Wei; Bai, Jinhe; McCollum, Greg; Baldwin, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Huanglongbing (HLB), presumably caused by the bacterium "Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus," is a devastating citrus disease associated with excessive preharvest fruit drop. Lasiodiplodia theobromae (diplodia) is the causal organism of citrus stem end rot (SER). The pathogen infects citrus fruit under the calyx abscission zone (AZ-C) and is associated with cell wall hydrolytic enzymes similar to plant enzymes involved in abscission. By means of DNA sequencing, diplodia was found in "Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus"-positive juice from HLB-symptomatic fruit (S) but not in "Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus"-negative juice. Therefore, the incidence of diplodia in fruit tissues, the impact on HLB-related postharvest decay, and the implications for HLB-related preharvest fruit drop were investigated in Hamlin and Valencia oranges. Quantitative PCR results (qPCR) revealed a significantly (P < 0.001) greater incidence of diplodia in the AZ-C of HLB-symptomatic (S; "Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus" threshold cycle [CT] of <30) than in the AZ-C of in asymptomatic (AS; "Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus" CT of ≥30) fruit. In agreement with the qPCR results, 2 weeks after exposure to ethylene, the incidences of SER in S fruit were 66.7% (Hamlin) and 58.7% (Valencia), whereas for AS fruit the decay rates were 6.7% (Hamlin) and 5.3% (Valencia). Diplodia colonization of S fruit AZ-C was observed by scanning electron microscopy and confirmed by PCR test and morphology of conidia in isolates from the AZ-C after surface sterilization. Diplodia CT values were negatively correlated with ethylene production (R = -0.838 for Hamlin; R = -0.858 for Valencia) in S fruit, and positively correlated with fruit detachment force (R = 0.855 for Hamlin; R = 0.850 for Valencia), suggesting that diplodia colonization in AZ-C may exacerbate HLB-associated preharvest fruit drop. PMID:25344245

  2. First Detection of Mycobacteria in African Rodents and Insectivores, Using Stratified Pool Screening▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Durnez, Lies; Eddyani, Miriam; Mgode, Georgies F.; Katakweba, Abdul; Katholi, Charles R.; Machang'u, Robert R.; Kazwala, Rudovik R.; Portaels, Françoise; Leirs, Herwig

    2008-01-01

    With the rising number of patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS in developing countries, the control of mycobacteria is of growing importance. Previous studies have shown that rodents and insectivores are carriers of mycobacteria. However, it is not clear how widespread mycobacteria are in these animals and what their role is in spreading them. Therefore, the prevalence of mycobacteria in rodents and insectivores was studied in and around Morogoro, Tanzania. Live rodents were trapped, with three types of live traps, in three habitats. Pieces of organs were pooled per habitat, species, and organ type (stratified pooling); these sample pools were examined for the presence of mycobacteria by PCR, microscopy, and culture methods. The mycobacterial isolates were identified using phenotypic techniques and sequencing. In total, 708 small mammals were collected, 31 of which were shrews. By pool prevalence estimation, 2.65% of the animals were carriers of mycobacteria, with a higher prevalence in the urban areas and in Cricetomys gambianus and the insectivore Crocidura hirta. Nontuberculous mycobacteria (Mycobacterium chimaera, M. intracellulare, M. arupense, M. parascrofulaceum, and Mycobacterium spp.) were isolated from C. gambianus, Mastomys natalensis, and C. hirta. This study is the first to report findings of mycobacteria in African rodents and insectivores and the first in mycobacterial ecology to estimate the prevalence of mycobacteria after stratified pool screening. The fact that small mammals in urban areas carry more mycobacteria than those in the fields and that potentially pathogenic mycobacteria were isolated identifies a risk for other animals and humans, especially HIV/AIDS patients, that have a weakened immune system. PMID:18065608

  3. First detection of mycobacteria in African rodents and insectivores, using stratified pool screening.

    PubMed

    Durnez, Lies; Eddyani, Miriam; Mgode, Georgies F; Katakweba, Abdul; Katholi, Charles R; Machang'u, Robert R; Kazwala, Rudovik R; Portaels, Françoise; Leirs, Herwig

    2008-02-01

    With the rising number of patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS in developing countries, the control of mycobacteria is of growing importance. Previous studies have shown that rodents and insectivores are carriers of mycobacteria. However, it is not clear how widespread mycobacteria are in these animals and what their role is in spreading them. Therefore, the prevalence of mycobacteria in rodents and insectivores was studied in and around Morogoro, Tanzania. Live rodents were trapped, with three types of live traps, in three habitats. Pieces of organs were pooled per habitat, species, and organ type (stratified pooling); these sample pools were examined for the presence of mycobacteria by PCR, microscopy, and culture methods. The mycobacterial isolates were identified using phenotypic techniques and sequencing. In total, 708 small mammals were collected, 31 of which were shrews. By pool prevalence estimation, 2.65% of the animals were carriers of mycobacteria, with a higher prevalence in the urban areas and in Cricetomys gambianus and the insectivore Crocidura hirta. Nontuberculous mycobacteria (Mycobacterium chimaera, M. intracellulare, M. arupense, M. parascrofulaceum, and Mycobacterium spp.) were isolated from C. gambianus, Mastomys natalensis, and C. hirta. This study is the first to report findings of mycobacteria in African rodents and insectivores and the first in mycobacterial ecology to estimate the prevalence of mycobacteria after stratified pool screening. The fact that small mammals in urban areas carry more mycobacteria than those in the fields and that potentially pathogenic mycobacteria were isolated identifies a risk for other animals and humans, especially HIV/AIDS patients, that have a weakened immune system. PMID:18065608

  4. Plague in Africa from 1935 to 1949

    PubMed Central

    Davis, D. H. S.

    1953-01-01

    The history of plague in Africa during the period 1935-49 is reviewed. Much of the information derives from a questionnaire sent to all African territories in 1950. The annual incidence of plague in Africa declined, particularly from 1946 onwards. In 1949, under 400 cases were reported, as compared with over 6,000 in 1935. By the end of 1949, plague was still active in the Belgian Congo, Kenya and Tanganyika, Madagascar, and southern Africa. No cases were reported from Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Senegal, or Uganda during 1949. A comparison of the seasonal incidence of plague with prevailing atmospheric conditions (temperature and rainfall) in African territories shows that human plague is more frequent in warm moist weather—60°-80°F (15°-27°C)—than in hot dry, or cold, weather—over 80°F (27°C) or under 60°F (15°C). The highlands of equatorial Africa and of Madagascar appear to provide the optimum environment for the persistence of plague on the domestic (murine) plane and the high-veld and Kalahari of southern Africa on the sylvatic plane. The rat (Rattus rattus) and the multimammate mouse (R. (Mastomys) natalensis) and their fleas Xenopsylla brasiliensis and X. cheopis appear to be mainly responsible for the persistence of the reservoir in the East African highlands; R. rattus and X. cheopis play this role in Madagascar. The gerbils (Tatera and Desmodillus) and their burrow fleas X. philoxera and X. piriei are the main reservoirs of plague in southern Africa. Within these areas, Pasteurella pestis finds an environment suitable for its continued survival; the conditions seem to be comparable to those defined as obtaining in endemic centres in India. Elsewhere in Africa such endemic centres do not appear to exist. PMID:13115987

  5. Anthropogenic soils and land use patterns in relation to small mammal and flea abundance in plague endemic area of Western Usambara Mountains, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Kimaro, Didas N; Msanya, Balthazar M; Meliyo, Joel; Hieronimo, Proches; Mwango, Sibaway; Kihupi, Nganga I; Gulinck, Hubert; Deckers, Jozef A

    2014-07-01

    Heterogeneity in the landscapes of West Usambara Mountains on land use and human activities has been reported. However, the interface of land use patterns and human modified soils with small mammal and flea abundance for possible explanation of plague has not been explored. This study was carried out to determine the link between anthropogenic soils and land use patterns on small mammal and flea abundance and the occurrence of reported plague in the Western Usambara Mountains in Tanzania. Standard soil survey methods were used to identify and describe soils and land use patterns on lower slopes and valley bottoms on which the surrounding villages are reported to have high and medium plague frequencies. The identified soils were characterised in terms of their morphological and physico-chemical properties and classified according to FAO-World Reference Base for Soil Resources. Small mammals were trapped on the same landscape positions and identified to genus/species level. Fleas were removed from the trapped small mammals, counted and identified to species level. In total 57 small mammals were captured from which 32 fleas were collected. Results show that human settlements and mixed cultivation on lower slopes and continuous vegetable cropping in the valley bottoms are dominant land use types. Intensive use of forest soils, manuring and irrigation on farms in the studied landscapes have contributed to the development of uniquely human modified soils namely Hortic Anthrosols in the lower slopes and Plaggic Irragric Hortic Anthrosols in valley bottoms. The identified anthropogenic soils and land use patterns are associated with high abundance of small mammals (Mastomys natalensis) and flea species (Xenopsylla brasiliensis and Dinopsyllus lypusus). This phenomenon is vividly apparent in the villages with medium to high plague frequencies. The study suggests that plague surveillance programmes should consider the existing relationship between anthropogenic soils, land

  6. Housing equity for health equity: a rights-based approach to the control of Lassa fever in post-war Sierra Leone

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Poor quality housing is an infringement on the rights of all humans to a standard of living adequate for health. Among the many vulnerabilities of those without adequate shelter is the risk of disease spread by rodents and other pests. One such disease is Lassa fever, an acute and sometimes severe viral hemorrhagic illness endemic in West Africa. Lassa virus is maintained in the rodent Mastomys natalensis, commonly known as the “multimammate rat,” which frequently invades the domestic environment, putting humans at risk of Lassa fever. The highest reported incidence of Lassa fever in the world is consistently in the Kenema District of Sierra Leone, a region that was at the center of Sierra Leone’s civil war in which tens of thousands of lives were lost and hundreds of thousands of dwellings destroyed. Despite the end of the war in 2002, most of Kenema’s population still lives in inadequate housing that puts them at risk of rodent invasion and Lassa fever. Furthermore, despite years of health education and village hygiene campaigns, the incidence of Lassa fever in Kenema District appears to be increasing. We focus on Lassa fever as a matter of human rights, proposing a strategy to improve housing quality, and discuss how housing equity has the potential to improve health equity and ultimately economic productivity in Sierra Leone. The manuscript is designed to spur discussion and action towards provision of housing and prevention of disease in one of the world’s most vulnerable populations. PMID:23282054

  7. Understanding and managing sanitary risks due to rodent zoonoses in an African city: beyond the Boston Model.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Peter J; Arntzen, Lorraine; Hayter, Mel; Iles, Malcolm; Frean, John; Belmain, Steven

    2008-03-01

    The Boston Model describes a successful rodent management plan that succeeded in a first-world city in the USA. In third-world cities, which often contain informal shack settlements, it is debatable whether the Boston Model would apply. In Durban, a major harbor city of three million people on the east coast of South Africa, we investigated the sanitary risks due to rodents in both formal (residential and commercial) and informal (shacks) sectors, and we evaluated the relative merits of different management interventions suggested by the Boston Model. Blood and tissue samples of six species (Rattus norvegicus, R. tanezumi, R. rattus, Mus musculus, Mastomys natalensis, Tatera brantsi) from 262 live-trapped rodents from 54 localities were tested for antibodies or DNA for plague (n= 193: antibody test), leptospirosis (n= 221 for antibody test; n= 69 for polymerase chain reaction test for DNA) and toxoplasmosis (n= 217: antibody test). We conducted a socioeconomic survey of 90 household to determine environmental and socioeconomic disease risk factors in the shack settlement of Cato Crest. No rodents were seropositive for plague, but nine Norway rats, R. norvegicus (4.1% of the sample tested) were seropositive for toxoplasmosis, and 22 R. norvegicus (10.0% of sample tested) were seropositive for leptospirosis. Disease endemic areas were concentrated in Cato Crest and the commercial district of Durban. Serology tests of humans living in Cato Crest (n= 219) showed 0% exposure to plague, 23% to leptospirosis and 35% to toxoplasmosis. Compared with shack-dwellers, the residents of brick houses had slightly lower levels of exposure to leptospirosis and toxoplasmosis. Based on our results, environmental hygiene and rodent-trapping campaigns were launched in Cato Crest. The initiative owes much of its current success to implementation of the principles inherent in the Boston Model, even though certain elements were lacking. PMID:21396050

  8. Prevalence and Risk Factors of Lassa Seropositivity in Inhabitants of the Forest Region of Guinea: A Cross-Sectional Study

    PubMed Central

    Kernéis, Solen; Koivogui, Lamine; Magassouba, N'Faly; Koulemou, Kekoura; Lewis, Rosamund; Aplogan, Aristide; Grais, Rebecca F.; Guerin, Philippe J.; Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth

    2009-01-01

    Background Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever endemic in West Africa. The reservoir host of the virus is a multimammate rat, Mastomys natalensis. Prevalence estimates of Lassa virus antibodies in humans vary greatly between studies, and the main modes of transmission of the virus from rodents to humans remain unclear. We aimed to (i) estimate the prevalence of Lassa virus–specific IgG antibodies (LV IgG) in the human population of a rural area of Guinea, and (ii) identify risk factors for positive LV IgG. Methods and Findings A population-based cross-sectional study design was used. In April 2000, all individuals one year of age and older living in three prefectures located in the tropical secondary forest area of Guinea (Gueckedou, Lola and Yomou) were sampled using two-stage cluster sampling. For each individual identified by the sampling procedure and who agreed to participate, a standardized questionnaire was completed to collect data on personal exposure to potential risk factors for Lassa fever (mainly contact with rodents), and a blood sample was tested for LV IgG. A multiple logistic regression model was used to determine risk factors for positive LV IgG. A total of 1424 subjects were interviewed and 977 sera were tested. Prevalence of positive LV Ig was of 12.9% [10.8%–15.0%] and 10.0% [8.1%–11.9%] in rural and urban areas, respectively. Two risk factors of positive LV IgG were identified: to have, in the past twelve months, undergone an injection (odds ratio [OR] = 1.8 [1.1–3.1]), or lived with someone displaying a haemorrhage (OR = 1.7 [1.1–2.9]). No factors related to contacts with rats and/or mice remained statistically significant in the multivariate analysis. Conclusions Our study underlines the potential importance of person-to-person transmission of Lassa fever, via close contact in the same household or nosocomial exposure. PMID:19924222

  9. Risk Maps of Lassa Fever in West Africa

    PubMed Central

    Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth; Rogers, David John

    2009-01-01

    Background Lassa fever is caused by a viral haemorrhagic arenavirus that affects two to three million people in West Africa, causing a mortality of between 5,000 and 10,000 each year. The natural reservoir of Lassa virus is the multi-mammate rat Mastomys natalensis, which lives in houses and surrounding fields. With the aim of gaining more information to control this disease, we here carry out a spatial analysis of Lassa fever data from human cases and infected rodent hosts covering the period 1965–2007. Information on contemporary environmental conditions (temperature, rainfall, vegetation) was derived from NASA Terra MODIS satellite sensor data and other sources and for elevation from the GTOPO30 surface for the region from Senegal to the Congo. All multi-temporal data were analysed using temporal Fourier techniques to generate images of means, amplitudes and phases which were used as the predictor variables in the models. In addition, meteorological rainfall data collected between 1951 and 1989 were used to generate a synoptic rainfall surface for the same region. Methodology/Principal Findings Three different analyses (models) are presented, one superimposing Lassa fever outbreaks on the mean rainfall surface (Model 1) and the other two using non-linear discriminant analytical techniques. Model 2 selected variables in a step-wise inclusive fashion, and Model 3 used an information-theoretic approach in which many different random combinations of 10 variables were fitted to the Lassa fever data. Three combinations of absence∶presence clusters were used in each of Models 2 and 3, the 2 absence∶1 presence cluster combination giving what appeared to be the best result. Model 1 showed that the recorded outbreaks of Lassa fever in human populations occurred in zones receiving between 1,500 and 3,000 mm rainfall annually. Rainfall, and to a much lesser extent temperature variables, were most strongly selected in both Models 2 and 3, and neither vegetation nor

  10. 78 FR 39307 - National Environmental Policy Act: Implementing Procedures; Addition to Categorical Exclusions...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-01

    ... snakes (Burmese python (Python molurus), Northern African python (Python sebae), Southern African python (Python natalensis), and yellow anaconda (Eunectes notaeus), 2012). The issues addressed in the EAs...

  11. Relative importance of perch and facilitative effects on nucleation in tropical woodland in Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujita, Tomohiro

    2016-01-01

    Individual trees in open vegetation such as woodlands can act as "nuclei" for the colonization of forest tree species, which consequently lead to the formation of forest patches. This phenomenon is known as nucleation. The mechanism of nucleation is generally attributed to two factors: trees provide perches for frugivores that increase seed deposition (perch effect), and tree crowns ameliorate environmental conditions, which improves seedling establishment (facilitative effect). Few studies have attempted to distinguish the relative importance of these two factors. In this study, I separated these two effects in a woodland in northern Malawi. I chose Ficus natalensis as a potential nuclei tree because large individuals of this species are commonly located at the center of forest patches within open woodland at the study site. I monitored several environmental variables, seedling survival, seedling composition, and seed rain at three microsites: under F. natalensis, under Brachystegia floribunda (a dominant woodland species), and in open sites. Both tree species provided similar favorable conditions for the establishment of forest species compared to open sites. Thus, the survival of forest tree seedlings under F. natalensis and B. floribunda was similar, and substantially higher than seedling survival in open sites. However, communities of naturally occurring seedlings differed significantly between F. natalensis and B. floribunda. These results indicate that the facilitative effect alone cannot explain the nucleation pattern. I attribute this result to the perch effect of F. natalensis because the forest seedling species recorded under F. natalensis reportedly have small, brightly colored diaspores, which are indicative of dispersal by birds. Seed deposition of forest species under F. natalensis was significantly higher than that under B. floribunda or in open sites. My findings reinforce the idea that trees will lead to nucleation when they enhance seed

  12. A study on biological control of six fresh water snails of medical and veterinary importance.

    PubMed

    Abd-Allah, Karim F; Negm-Eldin, Mohsen M; Saleh, Mohamed H; El-Hamshary, Azza M S; El-Gozamy, Bothina M R; Aly, Nagwa S M

    2009-04-01

    This study evaluated the molluscicidal effect of Commiphora mnolmol oil extract (Myrrh), on control of six fresh water snails (Lymnaea natalensis, Bulinus truncatus, Biomphalaria alexandrina, Physa acuta, Melania tuberculata and Cleopatra bulimoides). Also, the extract effect on the egg masses of L. natalensis, B. truncatus, B. alexandrina and Ph. acuta was evaluated. Snails and egg masses were exposed at 16-20 degrees C to various concentrations (conc.). LD50 after 24 hours expo-sure were 264/132, 283/195, 230/252, 200/224, 241/246 & 241/246 ppm for young/adult of L. natalensis, B. truncatus, B. alexandrina, Ph. acuta, M. tuberculata and C. bulimnoides respectively. LDtoo after 24 hours exposure were 400/400 for L. natalensis, B. truncatus, B. alexandrina, M. tuberculata and C. bulimoides, and 300/300 for Ph. acuta. Also, complete mortality (100%) was achieved for the egg masses of L. natalensis, B. truncatus, B. alexandrina and Ph. acuta at concentrations of 300, 200, 300 & 400 ppm respectively. Lower concentrations gave the same results after longer exposure. LD100 of C. molmol oil extract (Myrrh) had a rapid lethal effect on the six snail species and their egg masses in high conc. of 300 & 400 ppm. Commiphora molmol is a promising plant to be included with the candidate plant molluscicides. The oil extract of this plant showed a remarkable molluscicidal activity against used snail species. PMID:19530615

  13. Helobdella nilae and Alboglossiphonia conjugata leeches as biological agents for snails control.

    PubMed

    Abd-Allah, Karim F; Saleh, Mohamed H; El-Hamshary, Azza M S; Negm-Eldin, Mohsen M; El-Fakahany, Amany F; Abdel-Tawab, Ahmed H; Abdel-Maboud, Amina I; Aly, Nagwa S M

    2009-04-01

    The efficacy of leeches, as biological agents, in control of snail intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis (Bulinus truncatus, Biomphalaria alexandrina) and fascioliasis (Lymnaea natalensis) as well as their effect on the non-target snails Physa acuta, Melanioides tuberculata and Cleopatra bulimoides was evaluated. Two glossiphoniid snail leeches, Helobdella nilae and Alboglossiphonia conjugata were used. They destroyed egg masses and young snails more rapidly than adult ones. H. nilae showed a stronger destructive effect than A. conjugata. In a descending order, it preferred L. natalensis followed by B. truncatus, B. alexandrina, Ph. acuta, M. tuberculata and lastly C. bulimoides. But, A. conjugata preferred L. natalensis followed by B. truncatus, Ph. acuta, M. tuberculata, B. alexandrina and lastly C. bulimoides. The detailed diagnostic morphology and biology of the two leeches were given. PMID:19530628

  14. Huanglongbing increases Diplodia Stem End Rot in Citrus sinensis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Huanglongbing (HLB), one of the most devastating diseases of citrus is caused by the a-Proteobacteria Candidatus Liberibacter. Diplodia natalensis Pole-Evans is a fungal pathogen which has been known to cause a postharvest stem-end rot of citrus, the pathogen infects citrus fruit under the calyx, an...

  15. 77 FR 3329 - Injurious Wildlife Species; Listing Three Python Species and One Anaconda Species as Injurious...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-23

    ...The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is amending its regulations under the Lacey Act to add Python molurus (which includes Burmese python Python molurus bivittatus and Indian python Python molurus molurus), Northern African python (Python sebae), Southern African python (Python natalensis), and yellow anaconda (Eunectes notaeus) to the list of injurious reptiles. By this action, the......

  16. Reproductive isolation between Zaluzianskya species: the influence of volatiles and flower orientation on hawkmoth foraging choices.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Diane R; Jürgens, Andreas; Johnson, Steven D

    2016-04-01

    Floral trait differences between related species may play a key role in reproductive isolation imposed by pollinators. Volatile emissions can influence pollinator choice, but how they act in combination with traits such as flower orientation is rarely studied. We compared flower-opening patterns, morphology, colour, orientation and volatile emissions for two closely related species of Zaluzianskya and their natural hybrids. Hawkmoth pollinators were tested for preference between flowers of the two species, and between flowers with manipulations of volatiles or orientation. Flowers of Z. natalensis and Z. microsiphon open at night and day, respectively, but they overlap during early evening, when hawkmoths showed a strong preference for Z. natalensis. The species have similar flower size and colour, but Z. natalensis emits more floral volatiles in the evening and presents flowers vertically face-up as opposed to horizontally in Z. microsiphon, whereas natural hybrids are intermediate. Adding methyl benzoate and linalool to flowers of Z. microsiphon did not increase hawkmoth attraction, but re-orientation of flowers to face vertically increased attraction when scent cues were present, whereas re-orientation of Z. natalensis flowers to face horizontally decreased attraction. This study highlights the importance of flower orientation in imposing reproductive isolation. PMID:26536281

  17. Hemagglutination by Pasteurellaceae isolated from rodents.

    PubMed

    Boot, R; Thuis, H; Teppema, J S

    1993-06-01

    Pasteurellaceae notably P. pneumotropica, have been associated with severe outbreaks of respiratory disease in several species of rodents. Host-specific parasitism of Pasteurellaceae in rodents has hardly been studied. Since host tropism in many bacteria involves adhesive mechanisms, we examined the hemagglutinating (HA) properties of 44 isolates from different rodent species (mouse (15) rat (8), hamster (9), gerbil (10) and Mastomys (2)). Only 13 mouse isolates and the 2 Mastomys isolates hemagglutinated human (type O Rh+) and canine red blood cells (RBCs). No HA was found using RBCs from 10 other animal species. HA was not inhibited by simple sugars and glycoconjugates, but was completely inhibited by heating of bacterial cells for 10 min at 80 or 100 degrees C, partially inhibited by glutaraldehyde and inhibited in a dose-dependent mode by NaIO4, suggesting the involvement of bacterial polysaccharide structures in the HA process. Enrichment procedures did not reveal the presence of HA- subpopulations in HA+ isolates or the presence of HA+ subpopulations in HA- isolates. Electron microscopy revealed the presence of fimbriae both in HA+ and HA- isolates. A regularly structured (RS) layer was detected on cells of part of the HA+ isolates only. Our results suggest that Pasteurellaceae of mice and Mastomys may be related and differ from isolates isolated from other rodent species. PMID:8219497

  18. Laboratory assessment of the molluscicidal and cercariacidal activities of Balanites aegyptiaca

    PubMed Central

    Molla, Eshetu; Giday, Mirutse; Erko, Berhanu

    2013-01-01

    Objective To assess the molluscicidal and cercariacidal activities of aqueous extracts of Balanites aegyptiaca (B. aegyptiaca) against Ethiopian Biomphalaria pfeifferi (B. pfeifferi), Lymnaea natalensis (L. natalensis) and Schistosoma mansoni (S. mansoni) cercariae. Methods Extracts of seeds, endocarp, mesocarp, and fruit of B. aegyptiaca were tested for their activities against adult B. pfeifferi and L. natalensis. The cercariacidal activity of the seeds of the plant was also evaluated against S. mansoni. Bioassays were carried out following the methods recommended by WHO. Snail mortalities were compared between each plant part and snail species, and LC50 and LC90 values for the plant parts tested were computed. The cercariacidal activity of the plant was assessed by exposing the mice to the cercariae pre-exposed to aqueous extract of B. aegyptiaca seeds. Results For the molluscicidal activities of seeds, endocarp, mesocarp and whole fruit, the LC50 values against B. pfeifferi were 56.32, 77.53, 65.51 and 66.63 mg/L, respectively, while the respective LC90 values were 77.70, 120.04, 89.50 and 97.55 mg/L. Similarly, the LC50 values for the seeds, endocarp, mesocarp and whole fruit against L. natalensis were 80.33, 92.61, 83.52 and 87.84 mg/L, respectively, while the respective LC90 values were 102.30, 138.21, 115.42 and 127.69 mg/L. B. pfeifferi were found to be more susceptible to B. aegyptiaca than L. natalensis. S. mansoni cercariae exposed to 15 mg/L of extract of seeds were incapable of infecting mice. The mean egg load of tissue was reduced in mice infected with the cercariae exposed to 5 and 10 mg/L of the extract. Conclusions The aqueous extracts of different parts of B. aegyptiaca exhibited reasonable molluscicidal activity against B. pfeifferi and L. natalensis, as well as cercariacidal activity against S. mansoni cercariae. However, comprehensive laboratory evaluation is recommended prior to field tests of the plant parts since their impact on other

  19. Morphologic and Genotypic Characterization of Psoroptes Mites from Water Buffaloes in Egypt

    PubMed Central

    Amer, Said; Abd El Wahab, Taher; El Naby Metwaly, Abd; Feng, Yaoyu; Xiao, Lihua

    2015-01-01

    Species delimitation of Psoroptes spp. and identity of the parasite in water buffaloes remain poorly defined. In this study, Psoroptes infestation on three water buffalo farms in Egypt was examined based on morphometric characteristics, especially the opisthosomal setae of adult male mites. Clinical investigations showed that 28% (196/700) of the sampled animals had mange infestation. Microscopic examinations of 80 skin scrapings indicated the occurrence of Psoroptes mites in 17 (21.3%) samples, Sarcoptes mites in 27 (33.7%) samples, and the concurrence of both in 36 (45.0%) samples. Morphologically, the Psoroptes parasite was identified as Psoroptes natalensis. DNA sequence analysis of the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) in 11 representative samples confirmed the diagnosis and suggested the presence of a distinct variety of Psoroptes natalensis in Egypt. PMID:26517834

  20. Morphologic and Genotypic Characterization of Psoroptes Mites from Water Buffaloes in Egypt.

    PubMed

    Amer, Said; Abd El Wahab, Taher; El Naby Metwaly, Abd; Feng, Yaoyu; Xiao, Lihua

    2015-01-01

    Species delimitation of Psoroptes spp. and identity of the parasite in water buffaloes remain poorly defined. In this study, Psoroptes infestation on three water buffalo farms in Egypt was examined based on morphometric characteristics, especially the opisthosomal setae of adult male mites. Clinical investigations showed that 28% (196/700) of the sampled animals had mange infestation. Microscopic examinations of 80 skin scrapings indicated the occurrence of Psoroptes mites in 17 (21.3%) samples, Sarcoptes mites in 27 (33.7%) samples, and the concurrence of both in 36 (45.0%) samples. Morphologically, the Psoroptes parasite was identified as Psoroptes natalensis. DNA sequence analysis of the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) in 11 representative samples confirmed the diagnosis and suggested the presence of a distinct variety of Psoroptes natalensis in Egypt. PMID:26517834

  1. Aqueous extracts of Mozambican plants as alternative and environmentally safe acid-base indicators.

    PubMed

    Macuvele, Domingos Lusitaneo Pier; Sithole, Gerre Zebedias Samo; Cesca, Karina; Macuvele, Suzana Lília Pinare; Matsinhe, Jonas Valente

    2016-06-01

    Indicators are substances that change color as the pH of the medium. Many of these substances are dyes of synthetic origin. The mulala plant (Euclea natalensis), which roots are commonly used by rural communities for their oral hygiene, and roseira (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), an ornamental plant, are abundant in Mozambique. Currently, synthetic acid-base indicators are most commonly used but have environmental implications and, on the other hand, are expensive products, so the demand for natural indicators started. This study investigated the applicability of aqueous extracts of H. rosa-sinensis and E. natalensis as acid-base indicators. Ground on this work, the extracts can be used as acid-base indicators. On the basis of the absorption spectroscopy in both the UV-Vis region and previous studies, it was possible to preliminarily pinpoint anthocyanins and naphthoquinones as responsible for the shifting of colors depending on the pH range of aqueous extracts of H. rosa-sinensis and E. natalensis. These natural indicators are easily accessible, inexpensive, easy to extract, environmentally safe, and locally available. PMID:26936478

  2. In vitro inhibition of drug-resistant and drug-sensitive strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by ethnobotanically selected South African plants.

    PubMed

    Lall, N; Meyer, J J

    1999-09-01

    Twenty South African medicinal plants used to treat pulmonary diseases were screened for activity against drug-resistant and drug-sensitive strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A preliminary screening of acetone and water plant extracts against a drug-sensitive strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, H37Rv, was done by the agar plate method. Fourteen of the 20 acetone extracts showed inhibitory activity at a concentration of 0.5 mg/ml against this strain. Acetone as well as water extracts of Cryptocarya latifolia, Euclea natalensis, Helichrysum melanacme, Nidorella anomala and Thymus vulgaris inhibited the growth of M. tuberculosis. Given the activity of 14 acetone extracts at 0.5 mg/ml against the drug-sensitive strain by the agar plate method, a further study was done employing a rapid radiometric method to confirm the inhibitory activity. These active acetone extracts were screened against the H37Rv strain as well as a strain resistant to the drugs isoniazid and rifampin. The minimal inhibitory concentration of Croton pseudopulchellus, Ekebergia capensis, Euclea natalensis, Nidorella anomala and Polygala myrtifolia was 0.1 mg/ml against the H37Rv strain by the radiometric method. Extracts of Chenopodium ambrosioides, Ekebergia capensis, Euclea natalensis, Helichrysum melanacme, Nidorella anomala and Polygala myrtifolia were active against the resistant strain at 0.1 mg/ml. Eight plants showed activity against both strains at a concentration of 1.0 mg/ml. PMID:10473184

  3. Update of fasciolosis-transmitting snails in Egypt (review and comment).

    PubMed

    Dar, Y D; Rondelaud, D; Dreyfuss, G

    2005-08-01

    Several snail species may contribute in transmission of fasciolosis in Egypt. These molluscs show a variable sensibility to natural infections with Fasciola species. Radix natalensis is considered to be the essential intermediate host for F. gigantica based on field and experimental studies. Cercarial production from R. natalensis experimentally infected with F. gigantica is affected by the species of definitive host from which the eggs are obtained, as well as the different laboratory conditions. Another lymnaeid, Galba truncatula, may play a role in transmitting this parasite in Egypt, as it was found naturally infected with F. gigantica. Latter snail species, originated from France, was susceptible to experimental infections with Egyptian miracidia of F. gigantica and it had a cercarial production close to that of local R. natalensis. Two other snails, Pseudosuccinea columella and Biomphalaria alexandrina, were naturally found harboring larvae of Fasciola sp. At the level of intermediate hosts of F. gigantica, the conditions are thus favorable in Egypt to transmit fasciolosis which could also be caused by another fasciolid, F. hepatica, as the existance of this fluke was confirmed in Egypt. PMID:16083061

  4. LINE-1 retrotransposons: from 'parasite' sequences to functional elements.

    PubMed

    Paço, Ana; Adega, Filomena; Chaves, Raquel

    2015-02-01

    Long interspersed nuclear elements-1 (LINE-1) are the most abundant and active retrotransposons in the mammalian genomes. Traditionally, the occurrence of LINE-1 sequences in the genome of mammals has been explained by the selfish DNA hypothesis. Nevertheless, recently, it has also been argued that these sequences could play important roles in these genomes, as in the regulation of gene expression, genome modelling and X-chromosome inactivation. The non-random chromosomal distribution is a striking feature of these retroelements that somehow reflects its functionality. In the present study, we have isolated and analysed a fraction of the open reading frame 2 (ORF2) LINE-1 sequence from three rodent species, Cricetus cricetus, Peromyscus eremicus and Praomys tullbergi. Physical mapping of the isolated sequences revealed an interspersed longitudinal AT pattern of distribution along all the chromosomes of the complement in the three genomes. A detailed analysis shows that these sequences are preferentially located in the euchromatic regions, although some signals could be detected in the heterochromatin. In addition, a coincidence between the location of imprinted gene regions (as Xist and Tsix gene regions) and the LINE-1 retroelements was also observed. According to these results, we propose an involvement of LINE-1 sequences in different genomic events as gene imprinting, X-chromosome inactivation and evolution of repetitive sequences located at the heterochromatic regions (e.g. satellite DNA sequences) of the rodents' genomes analysed. PMID:25106509

  5. Effects of anthropogenic and demographic factors on patterns of parasitism in African small mammal communities.

    PubMed

    Salzer, Johanna S; Carroll, Darin S; Williams-Newkirk, Amanda Jo; Lang, Stefanie; Peterhans, Julian Kerbis; Rwego, Innocent B; Ockers, Sandra; Gillespie, Thomas R

    2015-03-01

    Habitat disturbance often results in alterations in community structure of small mammals. Additionally, the parasites harboured by these small mammals may be impacted by environmental changes or indirectly affected by changes in available hosts. To improve our understanding of this interplay, we examined the patterns of parasitism in small mammal communities from a variety of habitats in forested Uganda. Small mammals were collected from areas experiencing variable habitat disturbance, host density and species richness. The analysis focused on 3 most abundant rodent species, Lophuromys aquilus, Praomys jacksoni and Hylomyscus stella, and a diverse group of parasites they harbour. The impact of various habitat and host community factors on parasite prevalence was examined using linear regression and Spearman's rank-order correlation. We further investigated the parasite communities associated with each individual using correspondence analysis. We determined that, parasite prevalence and richness may be occasionally influenced by community and habitat factors, but taxonomy is a driving force in influencing the parasite community harboured by an individual host. Ultimately, applying general principles across a broad range of disturbance levels and diverse host communities needs to be approached with caution in complex communities. PMID:25262668

  6. A catalogue of the scaleworm genus Lepidonotus (Polynoidae, Polychaeta) from South America, with two new records for Brazilian waters

    PubMed Central

    De Assis, José Eriberto; de Brito, Rafael Justino; Christoffersen, Martin Lindsey; de Souza, José Roberto Botelho

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The genus Lepidonotus is the largest in number of species within the Polynoidae, with more than 70 described species and subspecies. A catalogue of 18 nominal species and subspecies of Lepidonotus from South America is provided, with valid names, synonyms and original citations. Redescriptions and illustrations of two species based on new specimens collected along the littoral of the State of Paraíba, northeastern Brazil are included. Lepidonotus carinulatus and Lepidonotus natalensis are reported for the first time for Brazilian waters. A comparative table of characters for all reported species and subspecies of Lepidonotus from South America is provided. PMID:26668541

  7. Spatial and temporal evolution of Lassa virus in the natural host population in Upper Guinea.

    PubMed

    Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth; Ölschläger, Stephan; Strecker, Thomas; Koivogui, Lamine; Becker-Ziaja, Beate; Camara, Amara Bongo; Soropogui, Barré; Magassouba, N'Faly; Günther, Stephan

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed at reconstructing the spatial and temporal evolution of Lassa virus (LASV) in the natural host population. To this end, we generated 132 partial nucleoprotein sequences of LASV from M. natalensis trapped in 12 villages around Faranah, Upper Guinea, over a period of 12 years. This study reveals two main features of LASV evolution in M. natalensis. First, the virus evolves in the reservoir with a molecular clock rate of 9 (7-11) × 10(-4) position(-1) year(-1) implying that contemporary LASV lineages circulate in the Faranah area since less than 100 years. Second, viruses circulating in a specific village are diverse and polyphyletic. We observed, however, there are monophyletic clusters at village and sub-village level at specific points in time. In conclusion, our data indicate that the temporal and spatial pattern of LASV evolution in the natural reservoir is characterized by a combination of stationary circulation within a village and virus movement between villages. The latter feature is relevant for rodent control strategies, as it implies that recurrence of the virus from neighbouring villages may occur in villages where the virus has previously been eradicated. PMID:26911443

  8. Spatial and temporal evolution of Lassa virus in the natural host population in Upper Guinea

    PubMed Central

    Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth; Ölschläger, Stephan; Strecker, Thomas; Koivogui, Lamine; Becker-Ziaja, Beate; Camara, Amara Bongo; Soropogui, Barré; Magassouba, N’Faly; Günther, Stephan

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed at reconstructing the spatial and temporal evolution of Lassa virus (LASV) in the natural host population. To this end, we generated 132 partial nucleoprotein sequences of LASV from M. natalensis trapped in 12 villages around Faranah, Upper Guinea, over a period of 12 years. This study reveals two main features of LASV evolution in M. natalensis. First, the virus evolves in the reservoir with a molecular clock rate of 9 (7–11) × 10–4 position–1 year–1 implying that contemporary LASV lineages circulate in the Faranah area since less than 100 years. Second, viruses circulating in a specific village are diverse and polyphyletic. We observed, however, there are monophyletic clusters at village and sub-village level at specific points in time. In conclusion, our data indicate that the temporal and spatial pattern of LASV evolution in the natural reservoir is characterized by a combination of stationary circulation within a village and virus movement between villages. The latter feature is relevant for rodent control strategies, as it implies that recurrence of the virus from neighbouring villages may occur in villages where the virus has previously been eradicated. PMID:26911443

  9. Antimicrobial activity of medicinal plants against oral microorganisms.

    PubMed

    More, G; Tshikalange, T E; Lall, N; Botha, F; Meyer, J J M

    2008-10-28

    Ethanol extracts of eight plant species used traditionally in South Africa for the treatment of oral diseases were investigated for in vitro antimicrobial activity against oral pathogens namely Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Actinomyces naeslundii, Actinomyces israelii, Candida albicans, Porphyromonus gingivalis, Privotella intermedia and Streptococcus mutans using the disk diffusion method. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of ethanol extracts were determined against these microorganisms using micro dilution. The cytotoxicity and therapeutic index (TI) of selected active extracts were also determined. Out of eight plants, six (Annona senegalensis, Englerophytum magalismontanum, Dicerocarym senecioides, Euclea divinorum, Euclea natalensis, Solanum panduriforme and Parinari curatellifolia) exhibited MIC values ranging from 25.0 mg/ml to 0.8 mg/ml. Gram negative bacteria were found to be more resistant to the plant extracts than Gram positive bacteria, except for Euclea natalensis which inhibited all three Gram negative bacteria tested in this study. All plant extracts showed moderate cytotoxicity on the Vero cell line. The fifty percent inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) of all plants tested range from 92.3 to 285.1 microg/ml. PMID:18672045

  10. Gedunin and photogedunin of Xylocarpus granatum possess antifilarial activity against human lymphatic filarial parasite Brugia malayi in experimental rodent host.

    PubMed

    Misra, Sweta; Verma, Meenakshi; Mishra, Sunil Kumar; Srivastava, Shishir; Lakshmi, Vijai; Misra-Bhattacharya, Shailja

    2011-11-01

    The present study is aimed to evaluate antifilarial activity of Xylocarpus granatum (fruit from Andaman) against human lymphatic filarial parasite Brugia malayi in vivo. The in vitro antifilarial activity has already been reported earlier for this mangrove plant which has traditionally been used against several ailments. Aqueous ethanolic crude extract, four fractions (ethyl acetate fraction, n-butanol fraction, water-soluble fraction and water-insoluble fraction) and pure molecule/s of X. granatum (fruit) were tested in vitro on adult worms and microfilariae (mf) of B. malayi and the active samples were further evaluated in vivo in B. malayi (intraperitoneally) i.p. transplanted in the jird model (Meriones unguiculatus) and Mastomys coucha subcutaneously infected with infective larvae (L3). The crude aqueous ethanolic extract was active in vitro (IC50: adult = 15.46 μg/ml; mf = 13.17 μg/ml) and demonstrated 52.8% and 62.7% adulticidal and embryostatic effect on B. malayi, respectively, in Mastomys at a dose of 5 × 50 mg/kg by oral route. The antifilarial activity was primarily localized in the ethyl acetate-soluble fraction which revealed IC50 of 8.5 and 6.9 μg/ml in adult and mf, respectively. This fraction possessed moderate adulticidal and embryostatic action in vivo in Mastomys. Out of eight pure molecules isolated from the active fraction, two compounds gedunin (IC50 = 0.239 μg/ml, CC50 = 212.5 μg/ml, SI = 889.1) and photogedunin (IC50 = 0.213 μg/ml, CC50 = 262.3 μg/ml, SI = 1231.4) at 5 × 100 mg/kg by subcutaneous route revealed excellent adulticidal efficacy resulting in to the death of 80% and 70% transplanted adult B. malayi in the peritoneal cavity of jirds respectively in addition to noticeable microfilaricidalo action on the day of autopsy. The findings reveal that the extract from the fruit X. granatum contains promising in vitro and in vivo antifilarial activity against human lymphatic filarial parasite B. malayi which could be attributed to

  11. Bartonella spp. in Small Mammals, Benin.

    PubMed

    Martin-Alonso, Aarón; Houemenou, Gualbert; Abreu-Yanes, Estefanía; Valladares, Basilio; Feliu, Carlos; Foronda, Pilar

    2016-04-01

    This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and genetic diversity of Bartonella organisms in small mammals in Cotonou, Benin. We captured 163 rodents and 12 insectivores and successfully detected Bartonella DNA from 13 of the 175 small mammal individuals. Bartonella spp., identical or closely related to Bartonella elizabethae, Bartonella tribocorum, and Bartonella rochalimae, was detected. A potential new Bartonella species, proposed as Candidatus Bartonella mastomydis, was found in three Mastomys individuals and genetically characterized by targeting two housekeeping genes (rpoB and gltA) and the intergenic species region. However, 20.8% of gray rats were found to be infected with Bartonella spp., and none of the black rats analyzed was positive. This work may be important from a public health point of view due to the zoonotic nature of the Bartonella species detected and warrants further investigation on the unknown zoonotic potential of this newly proposed Bartonella species. PMID:26910412

  12. Borrelia infection in small mammals in West Africa and its relationship with tick occurrence inside burrows.

    PubMed

    Diatta, Georges; Duplantier, Jean-Marc; Granjon, Laurent; Bâ, Khalilou; Chauvancy, Gilles; Ndiaye, Mady; Trape, Jean-François

    2015-12-01

    Tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF) is a zoonotic disease caused by several Borrelia species transmitted to humans by Ornithodoros tick vectors. In West Africa, Borrelia crocidurae is a common cause of disease in many rural populations. Small mammals act as reservoirs of infection. We report here the results of surveys that investigated the occurrence of B. crocidurae infection in rodents and insectivores from eight countries of West and Central Africa. Animals were identified at the species level and tested for Borrelia either by examination of thick blood film, intra-peritoneal inoculation of blood or brain tissues into laboratory mice, or by molecular techniques. A total of 4358 small mammals belonging to 38 species and 7 families were collected, including 3225 specimens collected in areas where the occurrence of Ornithodoros sonrai tick in rodent burrows was documented, and 1133 in areas where this tick was absent. In areas with O. sonrai, Borrelia infection was demonstrated in 287 of 3109 (9.2%) small mammals tested, and none was documented in 1004 animals tested from other areas. There was no relationship between the occurrence of Rhipicephalus, Hyaloma and Argas ticks in burrows and the distribution of Borrelia infection in small mammals. The 287 specimens infected by Borrelia belonged to 15 rodent and shrew species, including three Saharo-Sahelian species - Gerbillus gerbillus, Gerbillus occiduus and Gerbillus tarabuli - identified as reservoirs for TBRF with a distribution restricted to this area. In Sudan and Sudano-Sahelian areas, Arvicanthis niloticus, Mastomys erythroleucus and Mastomys huberti were the main reservoir of infection. Although most small mammals species collected had a large distribution in West and Central Africa, the fact that only animals collected in areas with O. sonrai were found infected suggest that this tick is the only vector of TBRF in rodents and insectivores in this part of Africa. PMID:26327444

  13. A genomic comparison of two termites with different social complexity

    PubMed Central

    Korb, Judith; Poulsen, Michael; Hu, Haofu; Li, Cai; Boomsma, Jacobus J.; Zhang, Guojie; Liebig, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    The termites evolved eusociality and complex societies before the ants, but have been studied much less. The recent publication of the first two termite genomes provides a unique comparative opportunity, particularly because the sequenced termites represent opposite ends of the social complexity spectrum. Zootermopsis nevadensis has simple colonies with totipotent workers that can develop into all castes (dispersing reproductives, nest-inheriting replacement reproductives, and soldiers). In contrast, the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes natalensis belongs to the higher termites and has very large and complex societies with morphologically distinct castes that are life-time sterile. Here we compare key characteristics of genomic architecture, focusing on genes involved in communication, immune defenses, mating biology and symbiosis that were likely important in termite social evolution. We discuss these in relation to what is known about these genes in the ants and outline hypothesis for further testing. PMID:25788900

  14. Antineoplastic constituents of some Southern African plants.

    PubMed

    Charlson, A J

    1980-12-01

    Extracts of several Southern African plants which have been used in folk remedies have been prepared, and the extracts were tested in a variety of experimental tumour test-systems. Raphionacme hirsuta and Cheilanthes contracta have been used in African anticancer medicines. Extracts of these plants showed antitumor activity in some rodent test-systems, but the results were not confirmed. In the folk-lore, Haemanthus natalensis has been used in emetics and Urginea capitata preparations have been used to vaccinate African chiefs. Extracts of these plants showed significant cytotoxicity in the KB cell culture test-system. Infusions of Brunsvigia radulosa have been used as folk remedies for abdominal troubles. An extract of this Amaryllis plant increased the life span of P-388 leukaemic mice. Amaryllis bellandonna has also been investigated. Extracts of Amaryllis belladonna had to be fractionated in order to produce significant antitumour activity in the P-388 lymphocytic leukaemia test-system. PMID:7421280

  15. Screening of some Nigerian plants for molluscicidal activity.

    PubMed

    Kela, S L; Ogunsusi, R A; Ogbogu, V C; Nwude, N

    1989-01-01

    Methanolic (MEOH), evaporated crude water (ECW) and unevaporated crude water (UECW) extracts of 25 Nigerian plants, used for different medicinal and domestic purposes were screened for molluscacidal activity on laboratory-reared Lymnaea natalensis Krauss. Seven of the plants were not active; extracts from 18 (72 per cent) of the plants, some of which are renowned fish poisons, had molluscicidal activity. These were Acacia nilotica, Aristolochia albida, Balanites aegyptiaca, Blighia sapida, Boswellia dalzielii, Detarium microcarpum, Gnidia kraussiana, Kigelia africana, Nauclea latifolia, Opilia celtidefolia, Parkia clappertoniana, Polygonum limbatum, Pseudocedrela kotschyi, Sclerocarya birrea, Securidaca longipedunculata, Ximenia americana, Vetiveria nigritana and Ziziphus abyssinica. The LC50 of these extracts were determined. It is strongly recommended that the toxic effects of these extracts against fish, cercariae, snail eggs and mammals be further investigated so as to determine the right concentration, especially for use in fish ponds. PMID:2626572

  16. In vitro effect of medicinal plants used to treat erectile dysfunction on smooth muscle relaxation and human sperm.

    PubMed

    Rakuambo, N C; Meyer, J J M; Hussein, A; Huyser, C; Mdlalose, S P; Raidani, T G

    2006-04-21

    Chloroform and ethanol extracts of root bark of Securidaca longepedunculata, Wrightia natalensis and Rhoicissus tridentata were investigated for their in vitro activity on the contraction of corpus cavernosal smooth muscle of white New Zealand rabbits. Some of the extracts of these plants relaxed the corpus cavernosal smooth muscle at low concentrations. The highest activity was obtained from Securidaca longepedunculata chloroform extracts at a concentration of 13.0 mg/ml, which induced 66.6% relaxation. Viagra was used as a positive control in this study. Extracts of Securidaca longepedunculata added to human spermatozoa affected certain sperm parameters negatively at 6.5 mg/ml and higher whilst there was no effect at 1.0 mg/ml. PMID:16309865

  17. Habitat characteristics for different freshwater snail species as determined biologically through macroinvertebrate information.

    PubMed

    El-Khayat, Hanaa M M; Mahmoud, Kadria M A; Mostafa, Bayomy B; Tantawy, Ahmad A; El-Deeb, Fatma A; Ragb, Fawzy M; Ismail, Nahed M; El-Said, Kalil M; Taleb, Hoda M Abu

    2011-12-01

    Macro-invertebrates including freshwater snails collected from 643 sites over 8 successive seasons among the River Nile, branches, main canals and certain drains in eight Egyptian Governorates. Thirteen snail species and one bivalve species were identified. The most distributed were Lanistus carinatus and Physa acuta while the most abundant were Cleopatra bulimoides and Physa acuta during the whole study. The sites that harbored each snail species in all the examined water-courses were grouped seasonally and their biological assessment was determined by their minimum and maximum total point similarity percentage to that of the corresponded reference site and mean of the total points. Habitats for most snail species attained minimum total point's similarity percentage less than 21% (very poor habitat) during autumn and winter then spring while during summer very poor habitat was harbored by only few snail species. P. acuta was the only survived snails in habitat which attained 0 as a minimum total point's similarity percentage during two seasons and L. carinatus and Succinea cleopatra during one season. With respect to medically important snails very poor sites constituted 23% of Biomphalaria alexandrina sites, 14% of Lymnaea natalensis and 9.4% of Bulinus truncatus sites. The studied macroinvertebrate matrices, total number of organisms, taxa richness, the Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) index, ratio of EPT index to chironomidae, ratio of scraper to filtering collector, contribution of dominant macroinvertebrate major group, comparison revealed descending tolerances from B. alexanrina followed by L. natalensis then B. truncates, but Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (HBI) showed the same tolerance to organic pollution. PMID:22435158

  18. Cryptosporidium proliferans n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Cryptosporidiidae): Molecular and Biological Evidence of Cryptic Species within Gastric Cryptosporidium of Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Kváč, Martin; Havrdová, Nikola; Hlásková, Lenka; Daňková, Tereza; Kanděra, Jiří; Ježková, Jana; Vítovec, Jiří; Sak, Bohumil; Ortega, Ynes; Xiao, Lihua; Modrý, David; Chelladurai, Jeba Rose Jennifer Jesudoss; Prantlová, Veronika; McEvoy, John

    2016-01-01

    The morphological, biological, and molecular characteristics of Cryptosporidium muris strain TS03 are described, and the species name Cryptosporidium proliferans n. sp. is proposed. Cryptosporidium proliferans obtained from a naturally infected East African mole rat (Tachyoryctes splendens) in Kenya was propagated under laboratory conditions in rodents (SCID mice and southern multimammate mice, Mastomys coucha) and used in experiments to examine oocyst morphology and transmission. DNA from the propagated C. proliferans isolate, and C. proliferans DNA isolated from the feces of an African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in Central African Republic, a donkey (Equus africanus) in Algeria, and a domestic horse (Equus caballus) in the Czech Republic were used for phylogenetic analyses. Oocysts of C. proliferans are morphologically distinguishable from C. parvum and C. muris HZ206, measuring 6.8–8.8 (mean = 7.7 μm) × 4.8–6.2 μm (mean = 5.3) with a length to width ratio of 1.48 (n = 100). Experimental studies using an isolate originated from T. splendens have shown that the course of C. proliferans infection in rodent hosts differs from that of C. muris and C. andersoni. The prepatent period of 18–21 days post infection (DPI) for C. proliferans in southern multimammate mice (Mastomys coucha) was similar to that of C. andersoni and longer than the 6–8 DPI prepatent period for C. muris RN66 and HZ206 in the same host. Histopatologicaly, stomach glands of southern multimammate mice infected with C. proliferans were markedly dilated and filled with necrotic material, mucus, and numerous Cryptosporidium developmental stages. Epithelial cells of infected glands were atrophic, exhibited cuboidal or squamous metaplasia, and significantly proliferated into the lumen of the stomach, forming papillary structures. The epithelial height and stomach weight were six-fold greater than in non-infected controls. Phylogenetic analyses based on small subunit rRNA, Cryptosporidium oocyst

  19. Cryptosporidium proliferans n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Cryptosporidiidae): Molecular and Biological Evidence of Cryptic Species within Gastric Cryptosporidium of Mammals.

    PubMed

    Kváč, Martin; Havrdová, Nikola; Hlásková, Lenka; Daňková, Tereza; Kanděra, Jiří; Ježková, Jana; Vítovec, Jiří; Sak, Bohumil; Ortega, Ynes; Xiao, Lihua; Modrý, David; Chelladurai, Jeba Rose Jennifer Jesudoss; Prantlová, Veronika; McEvoy, John

    2016-01-01

    The morphological, biological, and molecular characteristics of Cryptosporidium muris strain TS03 are described, and the species name Cryptosporidium proliferans n. sp. is proposed. Cryptosporidium proliferans obtained from a naturally infected East African mole rat (Tachyoryctes splendens) in Kenya was propagated under laboratory conditions in rodents (SCID mice and southern multimammate mice, Mastomys coucha) and used in experiments to examine oocyst morphology and transmission. DNA from the propagated C. proliferans isolate, and C. proliferans DNA isolated from the feces of an African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in Central African Republic, a donkey (Equus africanus) in Algeria, and a domestic horse (Equus caballus) in the Czech Republic were used for phylogenetic analyses. Oocysts of C. proliferans are morphologically distinguishable from C. parvum and C. muris HZ206, measuring 6.8-8.8 (mean = 7.7 μm) × 4.8-6.2 μm (mean = 5.3) with a length to width ratio of 1.48 (n = 100). Experimental studies using an isolate originated from T. splendens have shown that the course of C. proliferans infection in rodent hosts differs from that of C. muris and C. andersoni. The prepatent period of 18-21 days post infection (DPI) for C. proliferans in southern multimammate mice (Mastomys coucha) was similar to that of C. andersoni and longer than the 6-8 DPI prepatent period for C. muris RN66 and HZ206 in the same host. Histopatologicaly, stomach glands of southern multimammate mice infected with C. proliferans were markedly dilated and filled with necrotic material, mucus, and numerous Cryptosporidium developmental stages. Epithelial cells of infected glands were atrophic, exhibited cuboidal or squamous metaplasia, and significantly proliferated into the lumen of the stomach, forming papillary structures. The epithelial height and stomach weight were six-fold greater than in non-infected controls. Phylogenetic analyses based on small subunit rRNA, Cryptosporidium oocyst wall

  20. Dental microwear of sympatric rodent species sampled across habitats in southern Africa: Implications for environmental influence.

    PubMed

    Burgman, Jenny H E; Leichliter, Jennifer; Avenant, Nico L; Ungar, Peter S

    2016-03-01

    Dental microwear textures have proven to be a valuable tool for reconstructing the diets of a wide assortment of fossil vertebrates. Nevertheless, some studies have recently questioned the efficacy of this approach, suggesting that aspects of habitat unrelated to food preference, especially environmental grit load, might have a confounding effect on microwear patterning that obscures the diet signal. Here we evaluate this hypothesis by examining microwear textures of 3 extant sympatric rodent species that vary in diet breadth and are found in a variety of habitat types: Mastomys coucha, Micaelamys namaquensis and Rhabdomys pumilio. We sample each of these species from 3 distinct environmental settings in southern Africa that differ in rainfall and vegetative cover: Nama-Karoo shrublands (semi-desert) and Dry Highveld grasslands in the Free State Province of South Africa, and Afromontane (wet) grasslands in the highlands of Lesotho. While differences between habitat types are evident for some of the species, inconsistency in the pattern suggests that the microwear signal is driven by variation in foods eaten rather than grit-level per se. It is clear that, at least for species and habitats sampled in the current study, environmental grit load does not swamp diet-related microwear signatures. PMID:26748948

  1. In vivo/ex vivo targeting of Langerhans cells after topical application of the immune response modifier TMX-202: confocal Raman microscopy and histology analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darvin, Maxim E.; Thiede, Gisela; Ascencio, Saul Mujica; Schanzer, Sabine; Richter, Heike; Vinzón, Sabrina E.; Hasche, Daniel; Rösl, Frank; May, Roberto; Hazot, Yohan; Tamarkin, Dov; Lademann, Juergen

    2016-05-01

    The increased ability of TMX-202 (derivative of imiquimod) to penetrate the intact stratum corneum (SC) and the follicular orifices of porcine ear skin was shown ex vivo using confocal Raman microscopy and laser scanning microscopy. Moreover, to assess whether TMX-202 is able to reach the immune cells, Langerhans cells extracted from pretreated human skin were investigated ex vivo using confocal Raman microscopy combined with multivariate statistical methods. Tracking the Raman peak of dimethyl sulfoxide centered at 690 cm-1, the absorption of TMX-202 containing formulation by Langerhans cells was shown. To answer the question whether the TMX-202 active ingredient is able to reach Langerhans cells, the attraction of immune cells to TMX-202 containing formulation treated skin was measured in the in vivo rodent model Mastomys coucha. The results show that TMX-202 active ingredient is able to reach Langerhans cells after penetrating through the intact skin and subsequently attract immune cells. Both the intercellular/transcellular as well as the follicular pathways allow the penetration through the intact barrier of the SC.

  2. Tandem antioxidant enzymes confer synergistic protective responses in experimental filariasis.

    PubMed

    Prince, P R; Madhumathi, J; Anugraha, G; Jeyaprita, P J; Reddy, M V R; Kaliraj, P

    2014-12-01

    Helminth parasites use antioxidant defence strategies for survival during oxidative stress due to free radicals in the host. Accordingly, tissue-dwelling filarial parasites counteract host responses by releasing a number of antioxidants. Targeting these redox regulation proteins together, would facilitate effective parasite clearance. Here, we report the combined effect of protective immune responses trigged by recombinant Wuchereria bancrofti thioredoxin (WbTRX) and thioredoxin peroxidase (WbTPX) in an experimental filarial model. The expression of WbTRX and WbTPX in different stages of the parasite and their cross-reactivity were analysed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The immunogenicity of recombinant proteins and their protective efficacy were studied in animal models when immunized in single or cocktail mode. The antigens showed cross-reactive epitopes and induced high humoral and cellular immune responses in mice. Further, parasite challenge against Brugia malayi L3 larvae in Mastomys coucha conferred significant protection of 57% and 62% against WbTRX and WbTPX respectively. The efficacy of L3 clearance was significantly higher (71%) (P <  0.001) when the antigens were immunized together, showing a synergistic effect in multiple-mode vaccination. Hence, the study suggests WbTRX and WbTPX to be attractive vaccine candidates when immunized together and provides a tandem block for parasite elimination in the control of lymphatic filariasis. PMID:23676147

  3. Anti-erosion stone bunds influence rodent dynamics and crop damage in Ethiopian highlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meheretu, Yonas; Welegerima, Kiros; Teferi, Mekonen; Yirga, Gidey; Haile, Mitiku; Sluydts, Vincent; Bauer, Hans; Nyssen, Jan; Deckers, Jozef; Leirs, Herwig

    2014-05-01

    In areas of subsistence agriculture, a variety of soil conservation methods have been implemented in the last few decades to improve crop yields, however these can have unintended consequences such as providing habitat for rodent pests. We studied rodent population dynamics and estimated crop damage in high and low stone bund density fields for four cropping seasons in Tigray highlands, northern Ethiopia. Stone bunds are physical structures for soil and water conservation, and potentially habitat for rodents. We used a general model to relate the proportion of crop damage to rodent abundance, stone bund density and crop stages. We found a positive correlation between rodent abundance and crop damage, and significant variation in rodent abundance and crop damage between high and low stone bund density fields. Furthermore, crop damage also varied significantly between crop stages. We concluded that Mastomys awashensis and Arvicanthis dembeensis were the two most important crop pests in the highlands causing significant damage. Fields with high stone bund density (~10 m average distance apart) harbor more rodents and endure a significantly higher proportion of crop damage compared to fields with lower stone bund density (~15 m average distance apart). The fact that rodent abundances peaked during the reproductive stage of the crop and around harvest implies the need for management intervention before these crop stages are attained.

  4. Cryptosporidium scrofarum n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Cryptosporidiidae) in domestic pigs (Sus scrofa)

    PubMed Central

    Kváč, Martin; Kestřánová, Michaela; Pinková, Martina; Květoňová, Dana; Kalinová, Jana; Wagnerová, Pavla; Kotková, Michaela; Vítovec, Jiří; Ditrich, Oleg; McEvoy, John; Stenger, Brianna; Sak, Bohumil

    2012-01-01

    We describe the morphological, biological, and molecular characteristics of Cryptosporidium pig genotype II and propose the species name Cryptosporidium scrofarum n. sp. to reflect its prevalence in adult pigs worldwide. Oocysts of C. scrofarum are morphologically indistinguishable from C. parvum, measuring 4.81–5.96 µm (mean = 5.16) × 4.23–5.29 µm (mean = 4.83) with a length to width ratio of 1.07 ± 0.06 (n = 400). Oocysts of C. scrofarum obtained from a naturally infected pig were infectious for 8-week-old pigs but not 4-week-old pigs. The prepatent period in 8-week-old Cryptosporidium-naive pigs was 4–6 days and the patent period was longer than 30 days. The infection intensity of C. scrofarum in pigs was generally low, in the range 250-4000 oocysts per gram of faeces. Infected pigs showed no clinical signs of cryptosporidiosis and no pathology was detected. Cryptosporidium scrofarum was not infectious for adult SCID mice, adult BALB c mice, Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus), southern multimammate mice (Mastomys coucha), yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis), or guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus). Phylogenetic analyses based on Small subunit rRNA, actin, and heat shock protein 70 gene sequences revealed that C. scrofarum is genetically distinct from all known Cryptosporidium species. PMID:23021264

  5. Cryptosporidium scrofarum n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Cryptosporidiidae) in domestic pigs (Sus scrofa).

    PubMed

    Kváč, Martin; Kestřánová, Michaela; Pinková, Martina; Květoňová, Dana; Kalinová, Jana; Wagnerová, Pavla; Kotková, Michaela; Vítovec, Jiří; Ditrich, Oleg; McEvoy, John; Stenger, Brianna; Sak, Bohumil

    2013-01-31

    We describe the morphological, biological, and molecular characteristics of Cryptosporidium pig genotype II and propose the species name Cryptosporidium scrofarum n. sp. to reflect its prevalence in adult pigs worldwide. Oocysts of C. scrofarum are morphologically indistinguishable from C. parvum, measuring 4.81-5.96 μm (mean=5.16)×4.23-5.29 μm (mean=4.83) with a length to width ratio of 1.07±0.06 (n=400). Oocysts of C. scrofarum obtained from a naturally infected pig were infectious for 8-week-old pigs but not 4-week-old pigs. The prepatent period in 8-week-old Cryptosporidium-naive pigs was 4-6 days and the patent period was longer than 30 days. The infection intensity of C. scrofarum in pigs was generally low, in the range 250-4000 oocysts per gram of feces. Infected pigs showed no clinical signs of cryptosporidiosis and no pathology was detected. Cryptosporidium scrofarum was not infectious for adult SCID mice, adult BALB/c mice, Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus), southern multimammate mice (Mastomys coucha), yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis), or guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus). Phylogenetic analyses based on small subunit rRNA, actin, and heat shock protein 70 gene sequences revealed that C. scrofarum is genetically distinct from all known Cryptosporidium species. PMID:23021264

  6. The rubber plantation environment and Lassa fever epidemics in Liberia, 2008-2012: a spatial regression.

    PubMed

    Olugasa, Babasola O; Dogba, John B; Ogunro, Bamidele; Odigie, Eugene A; Nykoi, Jomah; Ojo, Johnson F; Taiwo, Olalekan; Kamara, Abraham; Mulbah, Charles K; Fasunla, Ayotunde J

    2014-10-01

    As Lassa fever continues to be a public health challenge in West Africa, it is critical to produce good maps of its risk pattern for use in active surveillance and control intervention. We identified eight spatial features related to the rubber plantation environment and used them as explanatory variables for Lassa fever (LF) outbreaks on the Uniroyal Liberian Agricultural Company (LAC) rubber plantation environment in Grand Bassa County, Liberia. We computed classical and spatial lag regression models on all spatial features, including proximity of residential camp to rubber tree-edge, main road in the plantation, LAC hospital, rice farmland, household refuse dump, human population density, post-harvest storage density of rice and density of rodent deterrent on rice storage. We found significant (p=0.0024) spatial autocorrelation between LF cases and the spatial features we have considered. We concluded that the rubber plantation environment influenced Mastomys species' breeding and transmission of Lassa virus along spatial scale to humans. The risk factors identified in this study offered a baseline for more effective surveillance and control of LF in the post-civil conflict Liberia. PMID:25457605

  7. [Characterization of contacts of the population of Guinea with synanthropic rodents as Lassa fever virus carriers].

    PubMed

    Inapogui, A P; Konstantinov, O K; Lapshov, V N; Comara, S K

    2007-01-01

    Questionnaire surveys made in 17 villages from 3 ecological zones of Guinea have provided evidence for the population's contact with synanthropic rodents as Lassa fever virus carriers. Over 100 rodents are quarterly captured in the houses of the traditional type in the villages located in the savanna woodland. Less than 10 specimens are captured at the food warehouses. There are more than 100 rodents in the majority of houses of the traditional type in the villages located in the secondary forest. In the villages of rainy tropical forests, the capture rate is low--10 to 100 rodents. The main rodent capturers are boys and young men (aged 7 to 20 years) who are principal rodent meat eaters; although almost the whole population, particularly in rural areas, consumes this meat in varying degrees. The proportion of captured rats of the genus Mastomys (the carrier of Lassa fever virus) in the town of Kindia is 11%. In the rural area, it is much higher (as high as 94%) in the villages located in the rainy tropical forests. It is estimated that one trapper quarterly catches 0.2 (in the savanna woodland) to 6.9 (in the secondary forests) infected rats, which agrees with the data of a serological survey of Guinea's population. By and large, the majority of the Guinean population may be referred to as a group at risk for Lassa fever due to their permanent contacts with rodents. PMID:17436732

  8. Bovine fasciolosis at increasing altitudes: Parasitological and malacological sampling on the slopes of Mount Elgon, Uganda

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background To clarify the extent and putative transmission zone of bovine fasciolosis on the slopes of Mount Elgon, Uganda, conjoint parasitological and malacological surveys, inclusive of inspection of animals at slaughter, were undertaken at increasing altitudes. Results A total of 239 cattle were sampled across eight locations ranging in elevation from 1112-2072 m. Faecal material was examined for presence of Fasciola eggs and sera were tested by ELISA for antibodies against Fasciola antigens. Bolstering this, 38 cattle at slaughter from 2 abattoir sites at 1150 m and 1947 m were inspected; in addition, wild buffalo stool (n = 10) opportunistically picked within Mount Elgon National Park (MENP) at 3640 m was examined. By faecal egg detection, prevalence of Fasciola gigantica at low (<1500 m) and high (>1500 m) altitude sites was 43.7% (95% CI 35.4-52.2) and 1.1% (95% CI 0.0-6.0), respectively, while by ELISA was much higher, low altitude - 77.9% (95% CI 69.7-85.4) and high altitude - 64.5% (95% CI 51.3-76.3). The decline in prevalence with increasing altitude was corroborated by abattoir sampling. Thirty seven aquatic habitats, ranging from 1139-3937 m in altitude were inspected for freshwater snails, 12 of which were within MENP. At lower altitudes, Lymnaea (Radix) natalensis was common, and often abundant, but at higher altitudes became much rarer ceasing to be found above 1800 m. On the other hand, Lymnaea (Galba) truncatula was found only at altitudes above 3000 m and within MENP alone. The snail identifications were confirmed by DNA analysis of the ribosomal 18S gene. Conclusions Active infections of F. gigantica in cattle are common in lower altitude settings but appear to diminish with increasing elevation. This is likely due to a growing paucity of intermediate hosts, specifically populations of L. natalensis for which a natural boundary of 1800 m appeared. Although F. hepatica was not encountered, the presence of several

  9. New records of marine algae in Vietnam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Hau, Nhu; Ly, Bui Minh; Van Huynh, Tran; Trung, Vo Thanh

    2015-06-01

    In May, 2013, a scientific expedition was organized by the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) and the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (FEBRAS) through the frame of the VAST-FEBRAS International Collaboration Program. The expedition went along the coast of Vietnam from Quang Ninh to Kien Giang. The objective was to collect natural resources to investigate the biological and biochemical diversity of the territorial waters of Vietnam. Among the collected algae, six taxa are new records for the Vietnam algal flora. They are the red algae Titanophora pikeana (Dickie) Feldmann from Cu Lao Xanh Island, Laurencia natalensis Kylin from Tho Chu Island, Coelothrix irregularis (Harvey) Børgesen from Con Dao Island, the green algae Caulerpa oligophylla Montagne, Caulerpa andamanensis (W.R. Taylor) Draisma, Prudhomme et Sauvage from Phu Quy Island, and Caulerpa falcifolia Harvey & Bailey from Ly Son Island. The seaweed flora of Vietnam now counts 833 marine algal taxa, including 415 Rhodophyta, 147 Phaeophyceae, 183 Chlorophyta, and 88 Cyanobacteria.

  10. Bat Accelerated Regions Identify a Bat Forelimb Specific Enhancer in the HoxD Locus.

    PubMed

    Booker, Betty M; Friedrich, Tara; Mason, Mandy K; VanderMeer, Julia E; Zhao, Jingjing; Eckalbar, Walter L; Logan, Malcolm; Illing, Nicola; Pollard, Katherine S; Ahituv, Nadav

    2016-03-01

    The molecular events leading to the development of the bat wing remain largely unknown, and are thought to be caused, in part, by changes in gene expression during limb development. These expression changes could be instigated by variations in gene regulatory enhancers. Here, we used a comparative genomics approach to identify regions that evolved rapidly in the bat ancestor, but are highly conserved in other vertebrates. We discovered 166 bat accelerated regions (BARs) that overlap H3K27ac and p300 ChIP-seq peaks in developing mouse limbs. Using a mouse enhancer assay, we show that five Myotis lucifugus BARs drive gene expression in the developing mouse limb, with the majority showing differential enhancer activity compared to the mouse orthologous BAR sequences. These include BAR116, which is located telomeric to the HoxD cluster and had robust forelimb expression for the M. lucifugus sequence and no activity for the mouse sequence at embryonic day 12.5. Developing limb expression analysis of Hoxd10-Hoxd13 in Miniopterus natalensis bats showed a high-forelimb weak-hindlimb expression for Hoxd10-Hoxd11, similar to the expression trend observed for M. lucifugus BAR116 in mice, suggesting that it could be involved in the regulation of the bat HoxD complex. Combined, our results highlight novel regulatory regions that could be instrumental for the morphological differences leading to the development of the bat wing. PMID:27019019

  11. Generic Delimitations in Tuberous Periplocoideae (Apocynaceae) from Africa and Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    MEVE, ULRICH; LIEDE, SIGRID

    2004-01-01

    • Background and Aims The number of genera included in Apocynaceae subfamily Periplocoideae is a matter of debate. DNA sequences are used here as an independent dataset to clarify generic relationships and classification of the tuberous periplocoid genera and to address the question of the phylogenetic interpretation of pollinia formation in Schlechterella. • Methods Representatives of nearly all African and Malagasy genera of Periplocoideae possessing root tubers were analysed using ITS and plastid DNA sequence characters. • Key Results Sequence data from non‐coding molecular markers (ITS of nrDNA and the trnT‐L and trnL‐F spacers as well as the trnL intron of plastid DNA) give support for a broad taxonomic concept of Raphionacme including Pentagonanthus. Together with Schlechterella, which is sister to Raphionacme, all Raphionacme‐like taxa form a derived monophyletic group of somewhat diverse species. Sister to the Schlechterella/Raphionacme clade is a clade comprising Stomatostemma and the not truly tuberous vine Mondia. In the combined analysis, sister to these two clades combined is a clade formed by Petopentia natalensis and Periploca. • Conclusions The recent inclusion of the monotypic South African Petopentia in the monotypic Malagasy endemic Ischnolepis is to be rejected. The Malagasy Camptocarpus is sister to the remainder of Periplocoideae in the ITS and combined analyses, and a Malagasy origin for the subfamily is discussed. PMID:14980976

  12. Analysis of cyanolipids from Sapindaceae seed oils by gas chromatography-EI-mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Tava, Aldo; Avato, Pinarosa

    2014-04-01

    As a continuation of our investigation on unusual lipids, in the present work we describe a method based on GC-FID and GC-EI-MS to analyze the molecular composition of intact cyanolipids (CL) from selected Sapindaceae plants. We applied our method to the study of CL of type I (1-cyano-2-hydroxymethyl-prop-2-en-1-ol-diester) from Paullinia cupana var. sorbilis and Allophylus dregeanus and CL type III (1-cyano-2-hydroxymethyl-prop-1-en-3-ol-diester) from A. natalensis and Nephelium lappaceum. Our analytical approach allowed us to obtain useful mass spectra to identify individual isomeric molecular species composing the CL mixtures and resulted in the very sensitive detection and identification of minor CL. Defined CL mass spectra resulted in suitable detection of these phytochemicals in complex plant oil mixtures containing acylglycerols. To the best of our knowledge GC-EI-MS spectra of cyanolipids have never been reported before. Moreover, this study improved previous knowledge of the lipid chemistry of Sapindaceae plants. PMID:24549633

  13. Trematode infections in freshwater snails and cattle from the Kafue wetlands of Zambia during a period of highest cattle-water contact.

    PubMed

    Phiri, A M; Phiri, I K; Chota, A; Monrad, J

    2007-03-01

    A total of 984 snails, comprising nine species, were collected from six areas in the Kafue wetlands between August and October 2003 to assess larval trematode infections. Of these, 135 (13.7%) were positive. Most trematode infections were recorded from Lymnaea natalensis (42.8%), which harboured four of the five morphologically different cercariae found. No trematodes were recovered from Bellamya capillata, Biomphalaria pfeifferi, Melanoides tuberculata, Physa acuta and Cleopatra nswendweensis. One snail (0.2%) of 416 Bulinus snails shed brevifurcate-apharyngeate distome cercariae while three (0.7%) shed amphistomes. Gymnocephalous and longifurcate-pharyngeate distome were the commonest types of cercariae recorded while xiphidiocercaria was the least common. The highest prevalence rates of F. gigantica (68.8%) and amphistomes (50.0%) in cattle (n = 101) were in Chiyasa while those in Kaleya had the lowest (9.1 and 18.2%, respectively). In most habitats, infections were recorded in both cattle and snails. Critical determinants of infection may have been the distance of settlements and/or cattle kraals, the number of animals in nearby homesteads and the presence of susceptible host snails. This study suggests that fascioliasis and amphistomiasis could be major constraints of cattle production in the Kafue wetlands because favourable factors were available to introduce and maintain the infections. It further provides a starting point for some comprehensive studies on snail-related aspects of transmission and snail host ecology in Zambia. PMID:17381873

  14. Multi-plant or single-plant extracts, which is the most effective for local healing in Tanzania?

    PubMed

    Otieno, Joseph Nicolao; Hosea, Kennedy Macha Matengo; Lyaruu, Herbert Valentine; Mahunnah, Rogasian Lemmy Anselm

    2008-01-01

    Use of multi-plant extracts against infectious diseases is increasing in rural Tanzania. The study evaluated this ethnomedicinal practice by using mixed root extracts of Carisa edulis, Ximenia caffra, Harrisonia abyssinica and Euclea natalensis against single extracts of the same plants. Disc diffusion assay and Tube dilution techniques were used to compare bioactivity of plant extracts in-vitro. The ANOVA test indicated significant difference (P < 0.05) between these extracts types. Multi-plant extracts had inhibition zones of up to 26 mm as compared to 14 mm for single extracts. Minimum Inhibitory Concentration for multi-plant extract was 8.3 microg/ml against 69 microg/ml for single extracts. Multi-plant extracts inhibited all the five test bacterial species while single extracts inhibited three species. Eight out of ten multi-plant extracts (80%) were bactericidal while only two out of four single extracts (50%) were bactericidal. Generally, multi-plant extracts were more superior over single plant extracts and could be developed into more potent antibiotics against resistant pathogens. PMID:20161933

  15. Complementary symbiont contributions to plant decomposition in a fungus-farming termite

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Haofu; Li, Cai; Chen, Zhensheng; Otani, Saria; Nygaard, Sanne; Nobre, Tania; Klaubauf, Sylvia; Schindler, Philipp M.; Hauser, Frank; Pan, Hailin; Yang, Zhikai; Sonnenberg, Anton S. M.; de Beer, Z. Wilhelm; Zhang, Yong; Wingfield, Michael J.; Grimmelikhuijzen, Cornelis J. P.; de Vries, Ronald P.; Korb, Judith; Aanen, Duur K.; Wang, Jun; Boomsma, Jacobus J.; Zhang, Guojie

    2014-01-01

    Termites normally rely on gut symbionts to decompose organic matter but the Macrotermitinae domesticated Termitomyces fungi to produce their own food. This transition was accompanied by a shift in the composition of the gut microbiota, but the complementary roles of these bacteria in the symbiosis have remained enigmatic. We obtained high-quality annotated draft genomes of the termite Macrotermes natalensis, its Termitomyces symbiont, and gut metagenomes from workers, soldiers, and a queen. We show that members from 111 of the 128 known glycoside hydrolase families are represented in the symbiosis, that Termitomyces has the genomic capacity to handle complex carbohydrates, and that worker gut microbes primarily contribute enzymes for final digestion of oligosaccharides. This apparent division of labor is consistent with the Macrotermes gut microbes being most important during the second passage of comb material through the termite gut, after a first gut passage where the crude plant substrate is inoculated with Termitomyces asexual spores so that initial fungal growth and polysaccharide decomposition can proceed with high efficiency. Complex conversion of biomass in termite mounds thus appears to be mainly accomplished by complementary cooperation between a domesticated fungal monoculture and a specialized bacterial community. In sharp contrast, the gut microbiota of the queen had highly reduced plant decomposition potential, suggesting that mature reproductives digest fungal material provided by workers rather than plant substrate. PMID:25246537

  16. Complementary symbiont contributions to plant decomposition in a fungus-farming termite.

    PubMed

    Poulsen, Michael; Hu, Haofu; Li, Cai; Chen, Zhensheng; Xu, Luohao; Otani, Saria; Nygaard, Sanne; Nobre, Tania; Klaubauf, Sylvia; Schindler, Philipp M; Hauser, Frank; Pan, Hailin; Yang, Zhikai; Sonnenberg, Anton S M; de Beer, Z Wilhelm; Zhang, Yong; Wingfield, Michael J; Grimmelikhuijzen, Cornelis J P; de Vries, Ronald P; Korb, Judith; Aanen, Duur K; Wang, Jun; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Zhang, Guojie

    2014-10-01

    Termites normally rely on gut symbionts to decompose organic matter but the Macrotermitinae domesticated Termitomyces fungi to produce their own food. This transition was accompanied by a shift in the composition of the gut microbiota, but the complementary roles of these bacteria in the symbiosis have remained enigmatic. We obtained high-quality annotated draft genomes of the termite Macrotermes natalensis, its Termitomyces symbiont, and gut metagenomes from workers, soldiers, and a queen. We show that members from 111 of the 128 known glycoside hydrolase families are represented in the symbiosis, that Termitomyces has the genomic capacity to handle complex carbohydrates, and that worker gut microbes primarily contribute enzymes for final digestion of oligosaccharides. This apparent division of labor is consistent with the Macrotermes gut microbes being most important during the second passage of comb material through the termite gut, after a first gut passage where the crude plant substrate is inoculated with Termitomyces asexual spores so that initial fungal growth and polysaccharide decomposition can proceed with high efficiency. Complex conversion of biomass in termite mounds thus appears to be mainly accomplished by complementary cooperation between a domesticated fungal monoculture and a specialized bacterial community. In sharp contrast, the gut microbiota of the queen had highly reduced plant decomposition potential, suggesting that mature reproductives digest fungal material provided by workers rather than plant substrate. PMID:25246537

  17. Role of the lymnaeid snail Pseudosuccinea columella in the transmission of the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica in Egypt.

    PubMed

    Dar, Y; Vignoles, P; Rondelaud, D; Dreyfuss, G

    2015-11-01

    Experimental infections of three Egyptian Pseudosuccinea columella populations with sympatric miracidia of Fasciola sp., coming from cattle- or sheep-collected eggs, were carried out to determine the capacity of this lymnaeid to support larval development of the parasite. Using microsatellite markers, the isolates of Egyptian miracidia were identified as Fasciola hepatica. Apart from being independent of snail origin, prevalences ranging from 60.4 to 75.5% in snails infected with five miracidia of F. hepatica were significantly higher than values of 30.4 to 42.2% in snails with bi-miracidial infections. The number of metacercariae ranged from 243 to 472 per cercarial-shedding snail and was independent of snail origin, parasite origin and miracidial dose used for infection. If P. columella was subjected to two successive bi-miracidial infections with F. hepatica, prevalence of infection was 63.3%, with a mean of 311 metacercariae per snail. These values were clearly greater than those already reported for Radix natalensis infected with the same parasite and the same protocol. Successful experimental infection of P. columella with F. hepatica suggests that this lymnaeid snail is an important intermediate host for the transmission of fascioliasis in Egypt. PMID:24865184

  18. Aromatic amino acids as precursors of antimicrobial metabolites in Geotrichum candidum.

    PubMed

    Naz, Saima; Gueguen-Minerbe, Marielle; Cretenet, Marina; Vernoux, Jean-Paul

    2013-07-01

    Geotrichum candidum ATCC 204307 was previously found to generate phenyllactic acid (PLA) and indoleacetic acid (ILA) in complex culture media. In this study, a relationship between concentrations of PLA, ILA, and hydroxy PLA (OH-PLA) and initial concentrations of phenylalanine, tryptophan, and tyrosine, added respectively as unique sources of nitrogen in synthetic medium, was established. Phenylpyruvic acid (PPA), an intermediate compound of PLA metabolism, was able to induce not only PLA but also phenylethyl alcohol (PEA) production when used separately as initial substrate. Under pH, temperature, and salt concentrations used for cheese-making, phenylalanine was found to be the most efficient substrate for antimicrobial metabolite production. In excess of substrate, different yeast strains of Geotrichum candidum, Yarrowia lipolytica, Candida natalensis, and Candida catenulata were shown here to produce 1.6 ± 0.5-5.0 ± 0.2 mM of PLA from phenylalanine, 5.0 ± 0.1-10.9 ± 0.3 mM of ILA from tryptophan, and 1.3 ± 0.3-7.0 ± 0.02 of PLA and 0.1 ± 0.0-2.22 ± 0.09 mM of PEA from PPA. Geotrichum candidum ATCC 204307 was the highest producer. This is the first time these antimicrobial metabolites PLA, OH-PLA, ILA, and PEA are being reported as the reaction products of aromatic amino acids catabolism in G. candidum. PMID:23590565

  19. Bat Accelerated Regions Identify a Bat Forelimb Specific Enhancer in the HoxD Locus

    PubMed Central

    Mason, Mandy K.; VanderMeer, Julia E.; Zhao, Jingjing; Eckalbar, Walter L.; Logan, Malcolm; Illing, Nicola; Pollard, Katherine S.; Ahituv, Nadav

    2016-01-01

    The molecular events leading to the development of the bat wing remain largely unknown, and are thought to be caused, in part, by changes in gene expression during limb development. These expression changes could be instigated by variations in gene regulatory enhancers. Here, we used a comparative genomics approach to identify regions that evolved rapidly in the bat ancestor, but are highly conserved in other vertebrates. We discovered 166 bat accelerated regions (BARs) that overlap H3K27ac and p300 ChIP-seq peaks in developing mouse limbs. Using a mouse enhancer assay, we show that five Myotis lucifugus BARs drive gene expression in the developing mouse limb, with the majority showing differential enhancer activity compared to the mouse orthologous BAR sequences. These include BAR116, which is located telomeric to the HoxD cluster and had robust forelimb expression for the M. lucifugus sequence and no activity for the mouse sequence at embryonic day 12.5. Developing limb expression analysis of Hoxd10-Hoxd13 in Miniopterus natalensis bats showed a high-forelimb weak-hindlimb expression for Hoxd10-Hoxd11, similar to the expression trend observed for M. lucifugus BAR116 in mice, suggesting that it could be involved in the regulation of the bat HoxD complex. Combined, our results highlight novel regulatory regions that could be instrumental for the morphological differences leading to the development of the bat wing. PMID:27019019

  20. Energetic Benefits of Sociality Offset the Costs of Parasitism in a Cooperative Mammal

    PubMed Central

    Lutermann, Heike; Bennett, Nigel C.; Speakman, John R.; Scantlebury, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Sociality and particularly advanced forms of sociality such as cooperative breeding (living in permanent groups with reproductive division of labour) is relatively rare among vertebrates. A suggested constraint on the evolution of sociality is the elevated transmission rate of parasites between group members. Despite such apparent costs, sociality has evolved independently in a number of vertebrate taxa including humans. However, how the costs of parasitism are overcome in such cases remains uncertain. We evaluated the potential role of parasites in the evolution of sociality in a member of the African mole-rats, the only mammal family that exhibits the entire range of social systems from solitary to eusocial. Here we show that resting metabolic rates decrease whilst daily energy expenditure and energy stores (i.e. body fat) increase with group size in social Natal mole rats (Cryptomys hottentotus natalensis). Critically, larger groups also had reduced parasite abundance and infested individuals only showed measurable increases in energy metabolism at high parasite abundance. Thus, in some circumstances, sociality appears to provide energetic benefits that may be diverted into parasite defence. This mechanism is likely to be self-reinforcing and an important factor in the evolution of sociality. PMID:23451285

  1. Farming termites determine the genetic population structure of Termitomyces fungal symbionts.

    PubMed

    Nobre, Tânia; Fernandes, Cecília; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Korb, Judith; Aanen, Duur K

    2011-05-01

    Symbiotic interactions between macrotermitine termites and their fungal symbionts have a moderate degree of specificity. Consistent with horizontal symbiont transmission, host switching has been frequent over evolutionary time so that single termite species can often be associated with several fungal symbionts. However, even in the few termite lineages that secondarily adopted vertical symbiont transmission, the fungal symbionts are not monophyletic. We addressed this paradox by studying differential transmission of fungal symbionts by alate male and female reproductives, and the genetic population structure of Termitomyces fungus gardens across 74 colonies of Macrotermes bellicosus in four west and central African countries. We confirm earlier, more limited, studies showing that the Termitomyces symbionts of M. bellicosus are normally transmitted vertically and clonally by dispersing males. We also document that the symbionts associated with this termite species belong to three main lineages that do not constitute a monophyletic group. The most common lineage occurs over the entire geographical region that we studied, including west, central and southern Africa, where it is also associated with the alternative termite hosts Macrotermes subhyalinus and Macrotermes natalensis. While Termitomyces associated with these alternative hosts are horizontally transmitted and recombine freely, the genetic population structure of the same Termitomyces associated with M. bellicosus is consistent with predominantly clonal reproduction and only occasional recombination. This implies that the genetic population structure of Termitomyces is controlled by the termite host and not by the Termitomyces symbiont. PMID:21410808

  2. Exposing the illegal trade in cycad species (Cycadophyta: Encephalartos) at two traditional medicine markets in South Africa using DNA barcoding.

    PubMed

    Williamson, J; Maurin, O; Shiba, S N S; van der Bank, H; Pfab, M; Pilusa, M; Kabongo, R M; van der Bank, M

    2016-09-01

    Species in the cycad genus Encephalartos are listed in CITES Appendix I and as Threatened or Protected Species in terms of South Africa's National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEM:BA) of 2004. Despite regulations, illegal plant harvesting for medicinal trade has continued in South Africa and resulted in declines in cycad populations and even complete loss of sub-populations. Encephalartos is traded at traditional medicine markets in South Africa in the form of bark strips and stem sections; thus, determining the species traded presents a major challenge due to a lack of characteristic plant parts. Here, a case study is presented on the use of DNA barcoding to identify cycads sold at the Faraday and Warwick traditional medicine markets in Johannesburg and Durban, respectively. Market samples were sequenced for the core DNA barcodes (rbcLa and matK) as well as two additional regions: nrITS and trnH-psbA. The barcoding database for cycads at the University of Johannesburg was utilized to assign query samples to known species. Three approaches were followed: tree-based, similarity-based, and character-based (BRONX) methods. Market samples identified were Encephalartos ferox (Near Threatened), Encephalartos lebomboensis (Endangered), Encephalartos natalensis (Near Threatened), Encephalartos senticosus (Vulnerable), and Encephalartos villosus (Least Concern). Results from this study are crucial for making appropriate assessments and decisions on how to manage these markets. PMID:27595914

  3. Trials with N-tritylmorpholine (Shell WL 8008) as a molluscicide in Southern Rhodesia

    PubMed Central

    Shiff, C. J.

    1966-01-01

    In the course of research into the effectiveness of new molluscicides for bilharziasis control, a recently developed compound, Shell WL 8008 (N-tritylmorpholine), has been tested in Southern Rhodesia, both in the laboratory and in the field. It is highly toxic to Bulinus (Physopsis) globosus, Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Lymnaea natalensis, all of which succumbed to the compound at a concentration of 1.0 ppm in a contact time of only 15 minutes. In experiments in reservoirs and natural watercourses, a concentrated aqueous suspension was sprayed on or just under the water surface, forming a white ”blanket” that sank at a rate depending on temperature, amount of vegetation, and so on. The period of contact with snails is sufficiently long for the molluscicide to kill them as it sinks; this characteristic is of great importance in the economic treatment of large stagnant water bodies or slow-moving streams. The compound is highly piscicidal, but has little effect on a wide range of microfauna. PMID:5297004

  4. Effect of storage on the chemical composition and biological activity of several popular South African medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Stafford, G I; Jäger, A K; van Staden, J

    2005-02-10

    The in vitro biological activity of nine frequently used medicinal plants in South Africa was assessed and re-assessed after various lengths of storage. The plants investigated were Alepidea amatymbica, Leonotis leonurus, Drimia robusta, Vernonia colorata, Merwilla natalensis, Eucomis autumnalis, Bowiea volubilis, Helichrysum cymosum and Siphonochilus aethiopicus. Water, ethanol and hexane extracts of fresh, 90-day-old and 1-year-old material were assayed for antibacterial activity against four strains of bacteria and for COX-1 inhibition activity. TLC-fingerprints of the fresh and stored extracts were produce to document chemical changes. Alepidea amatymbica, Eucomis autumnalis, Helichrysum cymosum, Leonotis leonurus, Siphonochilus aethiopicus and Vernonia colorata were investigated further as to the effect of 1 year's storage. Elevated temperature and humidity (55 degrees C and 100% relative humidity) were used to accelerate the ageing process of Alepidea amatymbica, Leonotis leonurus and Vernonia colorata plant material for further investigation. The TLC-fingerprints indicated that there was chemical breakdown during storage in certain species. The degree of changes in biological activity and chemistry due to storage were species-specific. In general, antibacterial activity was retained in most species while COX-1 inhibition activity was lost rapidly. PMID:15652284

  5. Indels ascertain the phylogenetic position of Coleodactylus elizae Gonçalves, Torquato, Skuk & Sena, 2012 (Gekkota: Sphaerodactylidae).

    PubMed

    Correia, Larissa Lima; Gamble, Tony; Landell, Melissa Fontes; Mott, Tamí

    2016-01-01

    The Neotropical gecko genus Coleodactylus Parker 1926 was, until recently, composed of five species: C. amazonicus (Andersson 1918), C. brachystoma (Amaral 1935), C. meridionalis (Boulenger 1888), C. natalensis Freire 1999, and C. septentrionalis Vanzolini 1980 (Geurgas et al. 2008). However, several phylogenetic analyses recovered a polyphyletic Coleodactylus (Geurgas et al. 2008; Gamble et al. 2011a) leading Gamble et al. (2011b) to recognize a new genus, Chatogekko, for C. amazonicus. Coleodactylus and Chatogekko differ in both morphological and molecular characters. Coleodactylus has smooth dorsal scales and five scales forming the ungual sheath, while Chatogekko has keeled dorsal scales and four scales forming the ungual sheath (Gamble et al. 2011b). Furthermore, all Coleodactylus species have two deletions in the protein coding recombination-activating gene 1 (RAG1), one of six base pairs (bp) and another of 18 bp (Gamble et al. 2008a; Geurgas et al. 2008), while Chatogekko has a unique three bp deletion in the RBMX gene and a three bp deletion in the protein tyrosine phosphatase nonreceptor type 12 gene (PTPN12) (Gamble et al. 2011b). In addition, Chatogekko is differentiated from all others geckos by a unique set of 10 craniofacial features (Gamble et al. 2011b). PMID:27394257

  6. Mapping Transmission Risk of Lassa Fever in West Africa: The Importance of Quality Control, Sampling Bias, and Error Weighting

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, A. Townsend; Moses, Lina M.; Bausch, Daniel G.

    2014-01-01

    Lassa fever is a disease that has been reported from sites across West Africa; it is caused by an arenavirus that is hosted by the rodent M. natalensis. Although it is confined to West Africa, and has been documented in detail in some well-studied areas, the details of the distribution of risk of Lassa virus infection remain poorly known at the level of the broader region. In this paper, we explored the effects of certainty of diagnosis, oversampling in well-studied region, and error balance on results of mapping exercises. Each of the three factors assessed in this study had clear and consistent influences on model results, overestimating risk in southern, humid zones in West Africa, and underestimating risk in drier and more northern areas. The final, adjusted risk map indicates broad risk areas across much of West Africa. Although risk maps are increasingly easy to develop from disease occurrence data and raster data sets summarizing aspects of environments and landscapes, this process is highly sensitive to issues of data quality, sampling design, and design of analysis, with macrogeographic implications of each of these issues and the potential for misrepresenting real patterns of risk. PMID:25105746

  7. Mapping transmission risk of Lassa fever in West Africa: the importance of quality control, sampling bias, and error weighting.

    PubMed

    Peterson, A Townsend; Moses, Lina M; Bausch, Daniel G

    2014-01-01

    Lassa fever is a disease that has been reported from sites across West Africa; it is caused by an arenavirus that is hosted by the rodent M. natalensis. Although it is confined to West Africa, and has been documented in detail in some well-studied areas, the details of the distribution of risk of Lassa virus infection remain poorly known at the level of the broader region. In this paper, we explored the effects of certainty of diagnosis, oversampling in well-studied region, and error balance on results of mapping exercises. Each of the three factors assessed in this study had clear and consistent influences on model results, overestimating risk in southern, humid zones in West Africa, and underestimating risk in drier and more northern areas. The final, adjusted risk map indicates broad risk areas across much of West Africa. Although risk maps are increasingly easy to develop from disease occurrence data and raster data sets summarizing aspects of environments and landscapes, this process is highly sensitive to issues of data quality, sampling design, and design of analysis, with macrogeographic implications of each of these issues and the potential for misrepresenting real patterns of risk. PMID:25105746

  8. Transcriptomic and epigenomic characterization of the developing bat wing.

    PubMed

    Eckalbar, Walter L; Schlebusch, Stephen A; Mason, Mandy K; Gill, Zoe; Parker, Ash V; Booker, Betty M; Nishizaki, Sierra; Muswamba-Nday, Christiane; Terhune, Elizabeth; Nevonen, Kimberly A; Makki, Nadja; Friedrich, Tara; VanderMeer, Julia E; Pollard, Katherine S; Carbone, Lucia; Wall, Jeff D; Illing, Nicola; Ahituv, Nadav

    2016-05-01

    Bats are the only mammals capable of powered flight, but little is known about the genetic determinants that shape their wings. Here we generated a genome for Miniopterus natalensis and performed RNA-seq and ChIP-seq (H3K27ac and H3K27me3) analyses on its developing forelimb and hindlimb autopods at sequential embryonic stages to decipher the molecular events that underlie bat wing development. Over 7,000 genes and several long noncoding RNAs, including Tbx5-as1 and Hottip, were differentially expressed between forelimb and hindlimb, and across different stages. ChIP-seq analysis identified thousands of regions that are differentially modified in forelimb and hindlimb. Comparative genomics found 2,796 bat-accelerated regions within H3K27ac peaks, several of which cluster near limb-associated genes. Pathway analyses highlighted multiple ribosomal proteins and known limb patterning signaling pathways as differentially regulated and implicated increased forelimb mesenchymal condensation in differential growth. In combination, our work outlines multiple genetic components that likely contribute to bat wing formation, providing insights into this morphological innovation. PMID:27019111

  9. Protection against filarial infection by 45-49 kDa molecules of Brugia malayi via IFN-γ-mediated iNOS induction.

    PubMed

    Verma, Shiv K; Joseph, Sujith K; Verma, Richa; Kushwaha, Vikas; Parmar, Naveen; Yadav, Pawan K; Thota, Jagadeshwar Reddy; Kar, Susanta; Murthy, P Kalpana

    2015-01-15

    Nitric oxide (NO) mediated mechanisms have been implicated in killing of some life-stages of Brugia malayi/Wuchereria bancrofti and protect the host through type 1 responses and IFN-γ stimulated toxic mediators' release. However, the identity of NO stimulating molecules of the parasites is not known. Three predominantly NO-stimulating SDS-PAGE resolved fractions F8 (45.24-48.64 kDa), F11 (33.44-38.44 kDa) and F12 (28.44-33.44 kDa) from B. malayi were identified and their proteins were analyzed by 2-DE and MALDI-TOF/TOF. Tropomyosin, calponin and de novo peptides were identified by 2-DE and MALDI-TOF/TOF in F8 and immunization with F8 conferred most significant protection against L3-initiated infection in Mastomys coucha. Immunized animals showed upregulated F8-induced NO, IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-10, TGF-β release, cellular proliferative responses and specific IgG and IgG1. Anti-IFN-γ, anti-TNF-α, and anti-IL-1β significantly reduced F8-mediated NO generation and iNOS induction at protein levels. Anti-IFN-γ treated cells showed maximum reduction (>74%) in NO generation suggesting a predominant role of IFN-γ in iNOS induction. In conclusion, the findings suggest that F8 which contains tropomyosin, calponin and de novo peptides protects the host via IFN-γ mediated iNOS induction and may hold promise as vaccine candidate(s). This is also the first report of identification of tropomyosin and calponin in B. malayi. PMID:25454090

  10. Homology Modeling of NAD+-Dependent DNA Ligase of the Wolbachia Endosymbiont of Brugia malayi and Its Drug Target Potential Using Dispiro-Cycloalkanones

    PubMed Central

    Shrivastava, Nidhi; Nag, Jeetendra K.; Pandey, Jyoti; Tripathi, Rama Pati; Shah, Priyanka; Siddiqi, Mohammad Imran

    2015-01-01

    Lymphatic filarial nematodes maintain a mutualistic relationship with the endosymbiont Wolbachia. Depletion of Wolbachia produces profound defects in nematode development, fertility, and viability and thus has great promise as a novel approach for treating filarial diseases. NAD+-dependent DNA ligase is an essential enzyme of DNA replication, repair, and recombination. Therefore, in the present study, the antifilarial drug target potential of the NAD+-dependent DNA ligase of the Wolbachia symbiont of Brugia malayi (wBm-LigA) was investigated using dispiro-cycloalkanone compounds. Dispiro-cycloalkanone specifically inhibited the nick-closing and cohesive-end ligation activities of the enzyme without inhibiting human or T4 DNA ligase. The mode of inhibition was competitive with the NAD+ cofactor. Docking studies also revealed the interaction of these compounds with the active site of the target enzyme. The adverse effects of these inhibitors were observed on adult and microfilarial stages of B. malayi in vitro, and the most active compounds were further monitored in vivo in jirds and mastomys rodent models. Compounds 1, 2, and 5 had severe adverse effects in vitro on the motility of both adult worms and microfilariae at low concentrations. Compound 2 was the best inhibitor, with the lowest 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) (1.02 μM), followed by compound 5 (IC50, 2.3 μM) and compound 1 (IC50, 2.9 μM). These compounds also exhibited the same adverse effect on adult worms and microfilariae in vivo (P < 0.05). These compounds also tremendously reduced the wolbachial load, as evident by quantitative real-time PCR (P < 0.05). wBm-LigA thus shows great promise as an antifilarial drug target, and dispiro-cycloalkanone compounds show great promise as antifilarial lead candidates. PMID:25845868

  11. Molecular Characterization of an rsmD-Like rRNA Methyltransferase from the Wolbachia Endosymbiont of Brugia malayi and Antifilarial Activity of Specific Inhibitors of the Enzyme

    PubMed Central

    Rana, Ajay Kumar; Chandra, Sharat; Siddiqi, Mohammad Imran

    2013-01-01

    The endosymbiotic organism Wolbachia is an attractive antifilarial drug target. Here we report on the cloning and expression of an rsmD-like rRNA methyltransferase from the Wolbachia endosymbiont of Brugia malayi, its molecular properties, and assays for specific inhibitors. The gene was found to be expressed in all the major life stages of B. malayi. The purified enzyme expressed in Escherichia coli was found to be in monomer form in its native state. The activities of the specific inhibitors (heteroaryl compounds) against the enzyme were tested with B. malayi adult and microfilariae for 7 days in vitro at various concentrations, and NSC-659390 proved to be the most potent compound (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50], 0.32 μM), followed by NSC-658343 (IC50, 4.13 μM) and NSC-657589 (IC50, 7.5 μM). On intraperitoneal administration at 5 mg/kg of body weight for 7 days to adult jirds into which B. malayi had been transplanted intraperitoneally, all the compounds killed a significant proportion of the implanted worms. A very similar result was observed in infected mastomys when inhibitors were administered. Docking studies of enzyme and inhibitors and an in vitro tryptophan quenching experiment were also performed to understand the binding mode and affinity. The specific inhibitors of the enzyme showed a higher affinity for the catalytic site of the enzyme than the nonspecific inhibitors and were found to be potent enough to kill the worm (both adults and microfilariae) in vitro as well as in vivo in a matter of days at micromolar concentrations. The findings suggest that these compounds be evaluated against other pathogens possessing a methyltransferase with a DPPY motif and warrant the design and synthesis of more such inhibitors. PMID:23733469

  12. Disorganized muscle protein-1 (DIM-1) of filarial parasite Brugia malayi: cDNA cloning, expression, purification, structural modeling and its potential as vaccine candidate for human filarial infection.

    PubMed

    Kushwaha, Vikas; Kumar, Vikash; Verma, Shiv K; Sharma, Rolee; Siddiqi, M I; Murthy, P K

    2014-03-26

    We have recently identified disorganized muscle protein-1 (DIM-1) in one of the proinflammatory fractions of the human filaria Brugia malayi adult worm. The present study was undertaken to characterize B. malayi DIM-1 (DIM-1bm) and explore its vaccine potential. In this study we cloned and expressed the DIM-1bm gene, investigated its sequence homology with other nematodes, constructed in silico structural model, purified the recombinant DIM-1bm (rDIM-1bm) protein, and studied the effect of immunization with rDIM-1bm on the establishment of B. malayi infection in Mastomys coucha. DIM-1bm showed similarity with DIM-1 of Caenorhabditis elegans, Ascaris suum and Loa loa. Structural modeling revealed three immunoglobulin domains in DIM-1bm indicating that it is a member of immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF) and 'blastn' results showed that DIM-1bm coding sequence (CDS) have almost no homology with human and mouse nucleotide sequences. Immunization with rDIM-1bm partially protected M. coucha against establishment of infection as inferred by a low recovery of microfilariae (37-64%) and parasite burden (∼50%). The enhanced activity of macrophages, and IFN-γ and NO responses, and elevated levels of specific IgG, IgG1, IgG2a and IgG2b correlated with parasitological findings. This is the first report on cloning, expression, structural modeling and purification of rDIM-1bm and its ability to partially prevent establishment of B. malayi infection. DIM-1bm's almost complete lack of homology with the human counterpart makes it an attractive protein for exploring its vaccine potential. PMID:24513011

  13. Moxidectin causes adult worm mortality of human lymphatic filarial parasite Brugia malayi in rodent models.

    PubMed

    Verma, Meenakshi; Pathak, Manisha; Shahab, Mohd; Singh, Kavita; Mitra, Kalyan; Misra-Bhattacharya, Shailja

    2014-12-01

    Moxidectin is a macrocyclic lactone belonging to milbemycin family closely related to ivermectin and is currently progressing towards Phase III clinical trial against human infection with the filaria Onchocerca volvulus (Leuckart, 1894). There is a single report on the microfilaricidal and embryostatic activity of moxidectin in case of the human lymphatic filarial parasite Brugia malayi (Brug, 1927) in Mastomys coucha (Smith) but without any adulticidal action. In the present study, the in vitro and in vivo antifilarial efficacy of moxidectin was evaluated on, B. malayi. In vitro moxidectin showed 100% reduction in adult female worm motility at 0.6 μM concentration within 7 days with 68% inhibition in the reduction of MTT (3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide dye) (which is used to detect viability of worms). A 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of moxidectin for adult female parasite was 0.242 μM, for male worm 0.186 μM and for microfilaria IC50 was 0.813 μM. In adult B. malayi-transplanted primary screening model (Meriones unguiculatus Milne-Edwards), moxidectin at a single optimal dose of 20 mg/kg by oral and subcutaneous route was found effective on both adult parasites and microfilariae. In secondary screening (M coucha, subcutaneously inoculated with infective larvae), moxidectin at the same dose by subcutaneous route brought about death of 49% of adult worms besides causing sterilisation in 54% of the recovered live female worms. The treated animals exhibited a continuous and sustained reduction in peripheral blood microfilaraemia throughout the observation period of 90 days. The mechanism of action of moxidectin is suggested to be similar to avermectins. The in silico studies were also designed to explore the interaction of moxidectin with glutamate-gated chloride channels of B. malayi. The docking results revealed a close interaction of moxidectin with various GluCl ligand sites of B. malayi. PMID:25651699

  14. Identification of Two Novel Members of the Tentative Genus Wukipolyomavirus in Wild Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Nainys, Juozas; Timinskas, Albertas; Schneider, Julia; Ulrich, Rainer G.; Gedvilaite, Alma

    2015-01-01

    Two novel polyomaviruses (PyVs) were identified in kidney and chest-cavity fluid samples of wild bank voles (Myodes glareolus) and common voles (Microtus arvalis) collected in Germany. All cloned and sequenced genomes had the typical PyV genome organization, including putative open reading frames for early regulatory proteins large T antigen and small T antigen on one strand and for structural late proteins (VP1, VP2 and VP3) on the other strand. Virus-like particles (VLPs) were generated by yeast expression of the VP1 protein of both PyVs. VLP-based ELISA and large T-antigen sequence-targeted polymerase-chain reaction investigations demonstrated signs of infection of these novel PyVs in about 42% of bank voles and 18% of common voles. In most cases only viral DNA, but not VP1-specific antibodies were detected. In additional animals exclusively VP1-specific antibodies, but no viral DNA was detected, indicative for virus clearance. Phylogenetic and clustering analysis including all known PyV genomes placed novel bank vole and common vole PyVs amongst members of the tentative Wukipolymavirus genus. The other known four rodent PyVs, Murine PyV and Hamster PyV, and Murine pneumotropic virus and Mastomys PyV belong to different phylogenetic clades, tentatively named Orthopolyomavirus I and Orthopolyomavirus II, respectively. In conclusion, the finding of novel vole-borne PyVs may suggest an evolutionary origin of ancient wukipolyomaviruses in rodents and may offer the possibility to develop a vole-based animal model for human wukipolyomaviruses. PMID:26474048

  15. Coevolution of Cryptosporidium tyzzeri and the house mouse (Mus musculus)✯

    PubMed Central

    Kváč, Martin; McEvoy, John; Loudová, Martina; Stenger, Brianna; Sak, Bohumil; Květoňová, Dana; Ditrich, Oleg; Rašková, Veronika; Moriarty, Elaine; Rost, Michael; Macholán, Miloš; Piálek, Jaroslav

    2013-01-01

    Two house mouse subspecies occur in Europe, eastern and northern Mus musculus musculus (Mmm) and western and southern Mus musculus domesticus (Mmd). A secondary hybrid zone occurs where their ranges meet, running from Scandinavia to the Black Sea. In this paper, we tested a hypothesis that the apicomplexan protozoan species Cryptosporidium tyzzeri has coevolved with the house mouse. More specifically, we assessed to what extent the evolution of this parasite mirrors divergence of the two subspecies. In order to test this hypothesis, we analyzed sequence variation at five genes (ssrRNA, Cryptosporidium oocyst wall protein (COWP), thrombospondin-related adhesive protein of Cryptosporidium 1 (TRAP-C1), actin and gp60) in C. tyzzeri isolates from Mmd and Mmm sampled along a transect across the hybrid zone from the Czech Republic to Germany. Mmd samples were supplemented with mice from New Zealand. We found two distinct isolates of C. tyzzeri, each occurring exclusively in one of the mouse subspecies (C. tyzzeri-Mmm and C. tyzzeri-Mmd). In addition to genetic differentiation, oocysts of the C. tyzzeri-Mmd subtype (mean: 4.24 × 3.69 μm) were significantly smaller than oocysts of C. tyzzeri-Mmm (mean: 4.49 × 3.90 μm). Mmm and Mmd were susceptible to experimental infection with both C. tyzzeri subtypes; however, the subtypes were not infective for the rodent species Meriones unguiculatus, Mastomys coucha, Apodemus flavicollis or Cavia porcellus. Overall, our results support the hypothesis that C. tyzzeri is coevolving with Mmm and Mmd. PMID:23791796

  16. Tempo of genetic diversification in southern African rodents: The role of Plio-Pleistocene climatic oscillations as drivers for speciation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montgelard, Claudine; Matthee, Conrad A.

    2012-07-01

    The evolution of the southern African faunal assemblages is thought to have been largely influenced by climatic oscillations of the Plio-Pleistocene. These fluctuations presumably had a major impact in the form of vicariant diversification of taxa by causing simultaneous speciation/cladogenetic events due to habitat fragmentation. We aimed to test this hypothesis by comparing the timing of diversification observed for several rodent lineages with three peaks of aridification described at approximately 2.8, 1.7 and 1.0 Mya. Our study included nine rodent taxa (Nannomys, Aethomys, Otomys, Myotomys, Rhabdomys and Mastomys for the Muridae, Saccostomus for the Nesomyidae, Cryptomys for the Bathyergidae, and Xerus for the Sciuridae) that showed intrageneric mitochondrial cytochrome b cladogenesis during the last 5 Ma. Phylogenetic analysis performed with maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods supported the monophyly of all subgenera and genera. Most diversifications are also well supported and in agreement with previously published studies. Divergence dates between lineages were estimated using a Bayesian relaxed molecular clock and the 7 Myr split between different Apodemus species as well as the divergence between Tatera and Gerbillurus at 6.3 Myr were used as calibration points. Our results did not provide any convincing evidence of a correspondence between rodent diversification events and peaks in aridity during the Plio-Pleistocene. The nearly perfect linear correlation between cladogenesis and time, during the last 5 Myr, strongly suggests that the diversification of southern African rodent lineages is driven by complex interactions between different factors, including life history, climatic changes, and topographic barriers.

  17. In vitro excystation of Cryptosporidium muris oocysts and viability of released sporozoites in different incubation media.

    PubMed

    Melicherová, Janka; Mazourová, Veronika; Valigurová, Andrea

    2016-03-01

    This study aimed to evaluate and document the excystation process of Cryptosporidium muris oocysts in various incubation media, and to monitor the behaviour of excysting and freshly excysted sporozoites. A test of oocyst viability, using fluorescent double staining with fluorescein diacetate and propidium iodide, was performed prior to each experimental assay. Light microscope observations confirmed that relatively often only three sporozoites were released; the fourth one either left the oocyst later together with a residual body or remained trapped within the oocyst wall. These results suggest that successful oocyst excystation is not limited by the viability of all four sporozoites. Darkening of oocysts to opaque and their specific movement (the so-called "oocyst dancing") preceded the final excystation and liberation of sporozoites, while the dormant oocysts appeared refractive. The process of excystation in C. muris is not gradual as generally described in cryptosporidia but very rapid in an eruptive manner. Experiments were performed using oocysts stored at 4 °C for various time periods, as well as oocysts freshly shed from host rodents (Mastomys coucha) of different ages. The most suitable medium supporting high excystation rate (76 %) and prolonged motility of sporozoites was RPMI 1640, enriched with 5 % bovine serum albumin (BSA). Our results emphasize that to reliably evaluate the success of in vitro excystation of cryptosporidia, not only the number of released sporozoites in a set time period should be taken into consideration but also their subsequent activity (motility), as it is expected to be essential for the invasion of host cells. PMID:26678654

  18. Urban Market Gardening and Rodent-Borne Pathogenic Leptospira in Arid Zones: A Case Study in Niamey, Niger

    PubMed Central

    Dobigny, Gauthier; Garba, Madougou; Tatard, Caroline; Loiseau, Anne; Galan, Max; Kadaouré, Ibrahima; Rossi, Jean-Pierre; Picardeau, Mathieu; Bertherat, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Leptospirosis essentially affects human following contact with rodent urine-contaminated water. As such, it was mainly found associated with rice culture, recreational activities and flooding. This is also the reason why it has mainly been investigated in temperate as well as warm and humid regions, while arid zones have been only very occasionally monitored for this disease. In particular, data for West African countries are extremely scarce. Here, we took advantage of an extensive survey of urban rodents in Niamey, Niger, in order to look for rodent-borne pathogenic Leptospira species presence and distribution across the city. To do so, we used high throughput bacterial 16S-based metabarcoding, lipL32 gene-targeting RT-PCR, rrs gene sequencing and VNTR typing as well as GIS-based multivariate spatial analysis. Our results show that leptospires seem absent from the core city where usual Leptospira reservoir rodent species (namely R. rattus and M. natalensis) are yet abundant. On the contrary, L. kirschneri was detected in Arvicanthis niloticus and Cricetomys gambianus, two rodent species that are restricted to irrigated cultures within the city. Moreover, the VNTR profiles showed that rodent-borne leptospires in Niamey belong to previously undescribed serovars. Altogether, our study points towards the importance of market gardening in maintain and circulation of leptospirosis within Sahelian cities. In Africa, irrigated urban agriculture constitutes a pivotal source of food supply, especially in the context of the ongoing extensive urbanization of the continent. With this in mind, we speculate that leptospirosis may represent a zoonotic disease of concern also in arid regions that would deserve to be more rigorously surveyed, especially in urban agricultural settings. PMID:26437456

  19. Studies on the effect of pollution on Lake Manzala ecosystem in Port-Said, Damietta and Dakahlia Governorates Egypt.

    PubMed

    El-Khayat, Hanaa M M; Mahmoud, Kadria M A; Gaber, Hanan S; Abdel-Hamid, Hoda; Abu Taleb, Hoda M A

    2015-04-01

    This work studied how pollution impacts the ecosystem of Lake Manzala by determination of physicochemical parameters, studying biodiversity of aquatic plants and macroinvertebrates, and determining bioaccumulation of Pb, Cu, Cd & Zn in some major organisms, Biomphalaria alexandrina and Melanoides tuberculata snails and Oreochromis niloticus fish. The more near to Mediterranean Sea and to the industrial area, Port-Said and Damietta sites showed higher dissolved oxygen and conductivity than Dakahlia sites. Distribution percentage of Eichhornia crassipes is high among Port-Said and Dakahlia sites of 100 and 88%, respectively, while Lemna giba is the most abundant among Damietta sites of 60%. The maximum macroinvertebrate taxa richness was obtained at Gammalya, Dakahlia of 16 species while the maximum abundance was registered at Annanya, Damietta of 591 organisms. Gastropoda are the most distributed organisms in Lake Manzala followed by Hemiptera and Plecoptera then shrimps and scud. All the medically important snails, B. alexandrina, B. truncatus and L. natalensis were recorded in Dakahlia, but only B. alexandrina was in Damietta and Port-Said sites. The collected water samples from Damietta sites showed the highest significant Cu & Cd concentration while Port-Said samples showed the highest Pb concentration and Dakahlia showed the highest Zn concentration. The metals concentrations were higher in snail tissue and in fish liver, kidney and most of muscle samples as compared in surface water. The higher metal bioaccumulation was determined in snails collected from sites showed higher water metals concentrations. Fish muscle showed the least residues than liver and kidney for all the measured metals. Pb and Cd were more accumulated in kidneys, Cu was more accumulated in liver and Zn was accumulated in all examined fish parts in descending order as follows Kidney > liver > muscle. PMID:26012230

  20. Characterization of the goat feeding system among rural small holder farmers in the semi-arid regions of Uganda.

    PubMed

    Nampanzira, Dorothy Kalule; Kabasa, John David; Nalule, Sara Agnes; Nakalembe, Immaculate; Tabuti, John Robert Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Goats (Capra hircus) are widely distributed in Africa and Asia, and are important to the subsistence and economic livelihoods of many people in these areas. The goat feeding system among rural small holder farmers in Buyende district (Uganda) was characterised by determining the goat rearing practices, feed resources fed on by goats and availability of browse species mentioned by small holder farmers. Data was gathered using ethnobotanical and ecological approaches. Results from the ethnobotanical survey revealed that farmers were rearing indigenous goat breeds that are managed by tethering in natural pastures during the rainy season but free ranging during the dry season (i.e. when no crops are susceptible of damage). Major challenges facing goat production in the study area were diseases, shortage of land and inadequate pastures. The reduction of grazing land due to crop farming, has led to tethering of animals which in turn leads to restricted feeding. Goats were known to feed on 48 plant species distributed in 18 families and 39 genera dominated by trees and shrubs. Browse species were known to stay longer in the dry season when the grass and herbaceous species were no longer available. The most frequently mentioned browse species were Ficus natalensis, Harrisonia abyssinica, Acalypha psilostachya, Artocarpus heterophyllus and Lantana camara while Panicum maximum and Impeata cylindrica were the most mentioned herbaceous species. 31 browse species were encountered in the ecological survey. These were dominated by Combretum molle, L. camara, A. zygia, M. indica, and Albizia coriaria. In conclusion, the rearing practices of goats in Buyende district are comprised of indigenous goats tethered in natural pastures especially browses which stay longer through the dry season. However, most of the preferred browses are rare according to the computed IVI (i.e. less than 30%). PMID:25932373

  1. Echolocation in the bat, Rhinolophus capensis: the influence of clutter, conspecifics and prey on call design and intensity

    PubMed Central

    Fawcett, Kayleigh; Jacobs, David S.; Surlykke, Annemarie; Ratcliffe, John M.

    2015-01-01

    Echolocating bats are exposed not only to the echoes of their own calls, but often the signals of conspecifics and other bats. For species emitting short, frequency modulated signals e.g. vespertilionoids, adjustments in both the frequency and time domain have been observed in such situations. However, bats using long duration, constant frequency calls may confront special challenges, since these bats should be less able to avoid temporal and frequency overlap. Here we investigated echolocation call design in the highduty cycle bat, Rhinolophus capensis, as bats flew with either a conspecific or heterospecific in a large outdoor flight-room. We compared these recordings to those made of bats flying alone in the same flight-room, and in a smaller flight room, alone, and hunting tethered moths. We found no differences in duty cycle or peak frequency of the calls of R. capensis across conditions. However, in the presence of a conspecific or the vespertilionoid, Miniopterus natalensis, R. capensis produced longer frequency-modulated downward sweeps at the terminus of their calls with lower minimum frequencies than when flying alone. In the presence of the larger high-duty cycle bat, R. clivosus, R. capensis produced shorter calls than when flying alone or with a conspecific. These changes are similar to those of vespertilionoids when flying from open to more cluttered environments. They are not similar to those differences observed in vespertilionoids when flying with other bats. Also unlike vespertilinoids, R. capensis used calls 15 dB less intense in conspecific pairs than when alone. PMID:25987587

  2. Zooplankton community structure during a transition from dry to wet state in a shallow, subtropical estuarine lake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrasco, Nicola K.; Perissinotto, Renzo

    2015-12-01

    Lake St Lucia is among the most important shallow ecosystems globally and Africa's largest estuarine lake. It has long been regarded as a resilient system, oscillating through periods of hypersalinity and freshwater conditions, depending on the prevailing climate. The alteration of the system's catchment involving the diversion of the Mfolozi River away from Lake St Lucia, however, challenged the resilience of the system, particularly during the most recent drought (2002-2011), sacrificing much of its biodiversity. This study reports on the transition of the St Lucia zooplankton community from a dry hypersaline state to a new wet phase. Sampling was undertaken during routine quarterly surveys at five representative stations along the lake system from February 2011 to November 2013. A total of 54 taxa were recorded during the study period. The zooplankton community was numerically dominated by the calanoid copepods Acartiella natalensis and Pseudodiaptomus stuhlmanni and the cyclopoid copepod Oithona brevicornis. While the mysid Mesopodopsis africana was still present in the system during the wet phase, it was not found in the swarming densities that were recorded during the previous dry phase, possibly due to increased predation pressure, competition with other taxa and or the reconnection with the Mfolozi River via a beach spillway. The increase in zooplankton species richness recorded during the present study shows that the system has undergone a transition to wet state, with the zooplankton community structure reflecting that recorded during the past. It is likely, though, that only a full restoration of natural mouth functioning will result in further diversity increases.

  3. Data for giant constrictors - Biological management profiles and an establishment risk assessment for nine large species of pythons, anacondas, and the boa constrictor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jarnevich, C.S.; Rodda, G.H.; Reed, R.N.

    2011-01-01

    Giant Constrictors' Climate Space The giant constrictors' climate space data set represents the information needed to recreate the climate space and climate matching analyses in Reed and Rodda (2009). A detailed methodology and results are included in that report. The data include locations for nine species of large constrictors including Python molurus, Broghammerus reticulatus, P. sebae, P. natalensis, Boa constrictor, Eunectes notaeus, E. deschauenseei, E. beniensis, and E. murinus. The locations are from published sources. Climate data are included for monthly precipitation and average monthly temperature along with the species locations. The individual spreadsheets of location data match the figures in the Reed and Rodda (2009) report, illustrating areas of the mainland United States that match the climate envelope of the native range. The precipitation and temperature data at each location were used to determine the climate space for each species. Graphs of climate space formed the basis for the algorithms in the data set, and more details can be found in Reed and Rodda (2009). These algorithms were used in ArcGIS to generate maps of areas in the United States that matched the climate space of locations of the snakes in their native range. We discovered a rounding error in ArcGIS in the implementation of the algorithms, which has been corrected here. Therefore the shapefiles are slightly different than those appearing in the risk assessment figures illustrating areas of the United States that match the climate envelope of the species in their native ranges. However, the suitable localities are not different at the scale of intended use for these maps, although there are more noticeable differences between areas classified as 'too cold' and 'too hot'.

  4. Echolocation in the bat, Rhinolophus capensis: the influence of clutter, conspecifics and prey on call design and intensity.

    PubMed

    Fawcett, Kayleigh; Jacobs, David S; Surlykke, Annemarie; Ratcliffe, John M

    2015-01-01

    Echolocating bats are exposed not only to the echoes of their own calls, but often the signals of conspecifics and other bats. For species emitting short, frequency modulated signals e.g. vespertilionoids, adjustments in both the frequency and time domain have been observed in such situations. However, bats using long duration, constant frequency calls may confront special challenges, since these bats should be less able to avoid temporal and frequency overlap. Here we investigated echolocation call design in the highduty cycle bat, Rhinolophus capensis, as bats flew with either a conspecific or heterospecific in a large outdoor flight-room. We compared these recordings to those made of bats flying alone in the same flight-room, and in a smaller flight room, alone, and hunting tethered moths. We found no differences in duty cycle or peak frequency of the calls of R. capensis across conditions. However, in the presence of a conspecific or the vespertilionoid, Miniopterus natalensis, R. capensis produced longer frequency-modulated downward sweeps at the terminus of their calls with lower minimum frequencies than when flying alone. In the presence of the larger high-duty cycle bat, R. clivosus, R. capensis produced shorter calls than when flying alone or with a conspecific. These changes are similar to those of vespertilionoids when flying from open to more cluttered environments. They are not similar to those differences observed in vespertilionoids when flying with other bats. Also unlike vespertilinoids, R. capensis used calls 15 dB less intense in conspecific pairs than when alone. PMID:25987587

  5. Urban Market Gardening and Rodent-Borne Pathogenic Leptospira in Arid Zones: A Case Study in Niamey, Niger.

    PubMed

    Dobigny, Gauthier; Garba, Madougou; Tatard, Caroline; Loiseau, Anne; Galan, Max; Kadaouré, Ibrahima; Rossi, Jean-Pierre; Picardeau, Mathieu; Bertherat, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Leptospirosis essentially affects human following contact with rodent urine-contaminated water. As such, it was mainly found associated with rice culture, recreational activities and flooding. This is also the reason why it has mainly been investigated in temperate as well as warm and humid regions, while arid zones have been only very occasionally monitored for this disease. In particular, data for West African countries are extremely scarce. Here, we took advantage of an extensive survey of urban rodents in Niamey, Niger, in order to look for rodent-borne pathogenic Leptospira species presence and distribution across the city. To do so, we used high throughput bacterial 16S-based metabarcoding, lipL32 gene-targeting RT-PCR, rrs gene sequencing and VNTR typing as well as GIS-based multivariate spatial analysis. Our results show that leptospires seem absent from the core city where usual Leptospira reservoir rodent species (namely R. rattus and M. natalensis) are yet abundant. On the contrary, L. kirschneri was detected in Arvicanthis niloticus and Cricetomys gambianus, two rodent species that are restricted to irrigated cultures within the city. Moreover, the VNTR profiles showed that rodent-borne leptospires in Niamey belong to previously undescribed serovars. Altogether, our study points towards the importance of market gardening in maintain and circulation of leptospirosis within Sahelian cities. In Africa, irrigated urban agriculture constitutes a pivotal source of food supply, especially in the context of the ongoing extensive urbanization of the continent. With this in mind, we speculate that leptospirosis may represent a zoonotic disease of concern also in arid regions that would deserve to be more rigorously surveyed, especially in urban agricultural settings. PMID:26437456

  6. Patterns of interaction specificity of fungus-growing termites and Termitomyces symbionts in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Aanen, Duur K; Ros, Vera ID; de Fine Licht, Henrik H; Mitchell, Jannette; de Beer, Z Wilhelm; Slippers, Bernard; Rouland-LeFèvre, Corinne; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2007-01-01

    Background Termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae live in a mutualistic symbiosis with basidiomycete fungi of the genus Termitomyces. Here, we explored interaction specificity in fungus-growing termites using samples from 101 colonies in South-Africa and Senegal, belonging to eight species divided over three genera. Knowledge of interaction specificity is important to test the hypothesis that inhabitants (symbionts) are taxonomically less diverse than 'exhabitants' (hosts) and to test the hypothesis that transmission mode is an important determinant for interaction specificity. Results Analysis of Molecular Variance among symbiont ITS sequences across termite hosts at three hierarchical levels showed that 47 % of the variation occurred between genera, 18 % between species, and the remaining 35 % between colonies within species. Different patterns of specificity were evident. High mutual specificity was found for the single Macrotermes species studied, as M. natalensis was associated with a single unique fungal haplotype. The three species of the genus Odontotermes showed low symbiont specificity: they were all associated with a genetically diverse set of fungal symbionts, but their fungal symbionts showed some host specificity, as none of the fungal haplotypes were shared between the studied Odontotermes species. Finally, bilaterally low specificity was found for the four tentatively recognized species of the genus Microtermes, which shared and apparently freely exchanged a common pool of divergent fungal symbionts. Conclusion Interaction specificity was high at the genus level and generally much lower at the species level. A comparison of the observed diversity among fungal symbionts with the diversity among termite hosts, indicated that the fungal symbiont does not follow the general pattern of an endosymbiont, as we found either similar diversity at both sides or higher diversity in the symbiont. Our results further challenge the hypothesis that transmission

  7. Distribution and abundance of schistosomiasis and fascioliasis host snails along the Mara River in Kenya and Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Dida, Gabriel O.; Gelder, Frank B.; Anyona, Douglas N.; Matano, Ally-Said; Abuom, Paul O.; Adoka, Samson O.; Ouma, Collins; Kanangire, Canisius K.; Owuor, Phillip O.; Ofulla, Ayub V. O.

    2014-01-01

    We purposively selected 39 sampling sites along the Mara River and its two perennial tributaries of Amala and Nyangores and sampled snails. In addition, water physicochemical parameters (temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, alkalinity, salinity and pH) were taken to establish their influence on the snail abundance and habitat preference. Out of the 39 sites sampled, 10 (25.6%) had snails. The snail species encountered included Biomphalaria pfeifferi Krauss – the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni Sambon, Bulinus africanus – the intermediate host of Schistosoma haematobium, and Lymnaea natalensis Krauss – the intermediate host of both Fasciola gigantica and F. hepatica Cobbold. Ceratophallus spp., a non-vector snail was also encountered. Most (61.0%) of the snails were encountered in streamside pools. Schistosomiasis-transmitting host snails, B. pfeifferi and B. africanus, were fewer than fascioliasis-transmitting Lymnaea species. All the four different snail species were found to be attached to different aquatic weeds, with B. pfeifferi accounting for over half (61.1%) of the snails attached to the sedge, followed by B. africanus and Lymnaea spp., accounting for 22.2 and 16.7%, respectively. Ceratophallus spp. were non-existent in sedge. The results from this preliminary study show that snails intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis and fascioliasis exists in different habitats, in few areas along the Mara River, though their densities are still low to have any noticeable impacts on disease transmission in case they are infected. The mere presence of the vector snails in these focal regions calls for their immediate control and institution of proper regulations, management, and education among the locals that can help curtail the spread of the snails and also schistosomiasis and fascioliasis within the Mara River basin. PMID:25405008

  8. Subcutaneously Administered Ultrafine PLGA Nanoparticles Containing Doxycycline Hydrochloride Target Lymphatic Filarial Parasites.

    PubMed

    Singh, Yuvraj; Srinivas, Adepu; Gangwar, Mamta; Meher, Jaya Gopal; Misra-Bhattacharya, Shailja; Chourasia, Manish K

    2016-06-01

    Systemic chemotherapeutic targeting of filarial parasites is unfocused due to their deep seated location in lymphatic vessels. This warrants a prolonged dosing regimen in high doses for an anthelmintic like doxycycline hydrochloride (DOX). In order to provide an alternative, we have constructed ultrafine PLGA nanoparticles of DOX (DPNPs), so as to exploit the peculiarity of lymphatic vasculature underneath the subcutaneous layer of skin, which preferentially allows entry of only 10-100 nm sized particles. DPNPs were constructed using a novel solvent diffusion method aided by probe sonication, which resulted in an average size 95.43 ± 0.8 nm as per DLS, PDI 0.168 ± 0.03, zeta potential -7.38 ± 0.32, entrapment efficiency 75.58 ± 1.94%, and refrigerator stability of 7 days with respect to size in the optimized batch. TEM further substantiated the spherical shape of DPNPs along with their actual nonhydrated size as being well below 100 nm. FTIR analysis of DOX, dummy nanoparticles, and freeze-dried DPNPs revealed that the formulation step did not induce prominent changes in the chemical nature of DOX. The drug release was significantly altered (p < 0.05) with 64.6 ± 1.67% release in 48 h from DPNPs and was dictated by Fickian diffusion. Pharmacokinetic studies in Wistar rats further revealed that DPNPs caused a 16-fold prolongation in attainment of plasma Tmax and a 2-fold extension of elimination half-life (28.569 ± 1.27 h) at a dose of 5 mg/kg when compared to native drug (DOX solution) of the same strength. Contrastingly the trend was reversed in regional lymph nodes where Cmax for DPNPs (820 ± 84 ng/mg) was 4-fold greater, and lymphatic Tmax was attained in one-fourth of what was required for DOX solution. This size based preferential lymphatic targeting resulted in significantly greater in vivo antifilarial activity of DPNPs when compared to DOX solution as gauged by several parameters in Brugia malayi infected Mastomys coucha. Interestingly, the

  9. Biodiversity census of Lake St Lucia, iSimangaliso Wetland Park (South Africa): Gastropod molluscs

    PubMed Central

    Perissinotto, Renzo; Miranda, Nelson A.F.; Raw, Jacqueline L.; Peer, Nasreen

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The recent dry phase experienced by the St Lucia estuarine system has led to unprecedented desiccation and hypersaline conditions through most of its surface area. This has changed only recently, at the end of 2011, with the onset of a new wet phase that has already caused a major shift to oligo- and mesohaline conditions. The estuary mouth, however, remains closed to the ocean, making the weak connection recently established between the St Lucia and the Mfolozi estuaries the only conveyance for marine recruitment. As a result, only 10 indigenous and two alien aquatic gastropod species are currently found living in the St Lucia estuarine lake. This is out of a total of 37 species recorded within the system since the earliest survey undertaken in 1924, half of which have not been reported in the literature before. The tick shell, Nassarius kraussianus, which was consistently found in large abundance prior to the recent dry phase, appears to have temporarily disappeared from the system, probably as a result of the extinction of Zostera marine grasses inside the lake. Population explosions of the bubble shell Haminoea natalensis, with its distinct egg masses, were recorded seasonally until 2009, but the species has subsequently not been observed again. A molecular DNA analysis of the various populations previously reported as belonging to the same assimineid species, variably referred to as Assiminea capensis, A. ovata, or A. bifasciata, has revealed that the St Lucia assemblage actually comprises two very distinct taxa, A. cf. capensis and a species provisionally referred to here as “A.” aff. capensis or simply Assimineidae sp. In the mangroves, the climbing whelk Cerithidea decollata is still found in numbers, while ellobiids such as Cassidula labrella, Melampus semiaratus and M. parvulus are present in low abundances and all previously recorded littorinids have disappeared. A number of alien freshwater species have colonized areas of the system that

  10. Giant Constrictors: Biological and Management Profiles and an Establishment Risk Assessment for Nine Large Species of Pythons, Anacondas, and the Boa Constrictor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, Robert N.; Rodda, Gordon H.

    2009-01-01

    Giant Constrictors: Biological and Management Profiles and an Establishment Risk Assessment for Nine Large Species of Pythons, Anacondas, and the Boa Constrictor, estimates the ecological risks associated with colonization of the United States by nine large constrictors. The nine include the world's four largest snake species (Green Anaconda, Eunectes murinus; Indian or Burmese Python, Python molurus; Northern African Python, Python sebae; and Reticulated Python, Broghammerus reticulatus), the Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor), and four species that are ecologically or visually similar to one of the above (Southern African Python, Python natalensis; Yellow Anaconda, Eunectes notaeus; DeSchauensee's Anaconda, Eunectes deschauenseei; and Beni Anaconda, Eunectes beniensis). At present, the only probable pathway by which these species would become established in the United States is the pet trade. Although importation for the pet trade involves some risk that these animals could become established as exotic or invasive species, it does not guarantee such establishment. Federal regulators have the task of appraising the importation risks and balancing those risks against economic, social, and ecological benefits associated with the importation. The risk assessment quantifies only the ecological risks, recognizing that ecosystem processes are complex and only poorly understood. The risk assessment enumerates the types of economic impacts that may be experienced, but leaves quantification of economic costs to subsequent studies. Primary factors considered in judging the risk of establishment were: (1) history of establishment in other countries, (2) number of each species in commerce, (3) suitability of U.S. climates for each species, and (4) natural history traits, such as reproductive rate and dispersal ability, that influence the probability of establishment, spread, and impact. In addition, the risk assessment reviews all management tools for control of invasive giant

  11. IgG subclass responses to proinflammatory fraction of Brugia malayi in human filariasis

    PubMed Central

    Joseph, S.K.; Verma, S.K.; Sahoo, M.K.; Sharma, A.; Srivastava, M.; Reddy, M.V.R.; Murthy, P.K.

    2012-01-01

    Background & objectives: Earlier we demonstrated that immunization with F6, a proinflammatory molecular fraction isolated from the human filarial parasite Brugia malayi, protected the host and eliminated the infection in Mastomys coucha by a Th1/Th2 response including IgG2a antibody response. Whether F6 molecules become accessible to human host during natural course of infection and elicit similar response is not known. The present study was undertaken to determine the profile of IgG subclasses specifically reactive to F6 in different categories of bancroftian filariasis cases to infer any relationship between the levels of a particular F6-specific IgG subclass and the infection or disease status. Methods: Serum samples of normal individuals from filariasis non-endemic regions of India like Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, and Chandigarh [(NEN-W; n=10), healthy subjects from USA (NEN-U; n=10) and three categories of bancroftian filariasis cases from endemic areas: endemic normals (EN; n=10) with no symptoms and no microfilariae, asymptomatic microfilaremics (ASM; n=10) and chronic symptomatic amicrofilaremics (CL; n=10) were assayed for F6-specific IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 and IgG4 by ELISA using SDS-PAGE-isolated F6 fraction of B. malayi adult worms. Results: Significantly high levels of F6-specific IgG1, IgG2 and IgG3 were found in CL (P<0.001) and EN (P<0.01-0.001) bancroftian filariasis cases compared to NEN-U. Significant levels of F6-specific IgG1 (P<0.01) and IgG2 (P<0.01) but not IgG3 were found in ASM cases compared to NEN-U. The most abundant was IgG2 which when compared to NEN-U, was significantly high in CL (P<0.001) and EN cases (P<0.001), followed by ASM (P<0.01). F6-specific IgG4 response in EN, ASM and CL subjects was not significantly different from the levels of NEN-U. Among the non-endemic normals, the NEN-W subjects showed significant reactivity with IgG2 (P<0.001) but not with IgG1, IgG3 and IgG4 as compared to NEN-U subjects. IgG subclass levels were

  12. Skeletons in confusion: a review of astrophorid sponges with (dicho–)calthrops as structural megascleres (Porifera, Demospongiae, Astrophorida)

    PubMed Central

    Van Soest, Rob W.M.; Beglinger, Elly J.; De Voogd, Nicole J.

    2010-01-01

    , Pachastrella geodioides, is barely distinct from the type species of Calthropella, Calthropella simplex. Two species previously assigned to Dercitus or Stoeba (Dercitus loricatus and Stoeba natalensis) are excluded from the genus Dercitus as they do not fit with the emended and improved definition of the genus. One species assigned to Calthropella, Calthropella digitata, is excluded from that genus and assigned to the ancorinid genus Stelletta. Based on the similarity of the megascleres and their structure-less arrangement, we predict that the two reviewed genera will be found to be closely related and eventually will need to be accomodated in a single family, but independent molecular evidence is awaited before changes in the family classification, including a verdict on the validity of the family Calthropellidae, will be proposed. Our review included 38 valid species among which fourteen species and one subspecies appear to be new to science. Four of these were represented by insufficient material for a proper description, but the remaining ten are described as new species: Dercitus (Stoeba) senegalensis sp. n., Dercitus (Stoeba) verdensis sp. n., Dercitus (Stoeba) fijiensis sp. n., Dercitus (Stoeba) bahamensis sp. n., Dercitus (Halinastra) berau sp. n., Dercitus (Halinastra) japonensis sp. n., Dercitus (Halinastra) arubensis sp. n., Dercitus (Halinastra) sibogae sp. n., Calthropella (Calthropella) xavierae sp. n., and Calthropella (Pachataxa) pyrifera sp. n. The new subspecies, Dercitus (Dercitus) bucklandi lusitanicus ssp. n. is described for southern East Atlantic populations of the nominal species. Several specimens assigned to existing species were found to be deviating to the extent that they are likely members of further undescribed species. These are briefly discussed to facilitate further studies of the diversity of the two genera. Species of both genera and the six subgenera, including deviating or insufficiently characterized specimens belonging to species not yet

  13. Evaluation of the inhibition of carbohydrate hydrolysing enzymes, antioxidant activity and polyphenolic content of extracts of ten African Ficus species (Moraceae) used traditionally to treat diabetes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Some Ficus species have been used in traditional African medicine in the treatment of diabetes. The antidiabetic potential of certain species has been confirmed in vivo but the mechanism of activity remains uncertain. The aim of this study was to determine the activity and to investigate the mechanism of antidiabetic activity of ten selected Ficus species through inhibition of α-amylase and α-glucosidase activity, and the possible relationship between these activities, the total polyphenolic content and the antioxidant activity. Methods Dried acetone leaf extracts were reconstituted with appropriate solvents and used to determine total polyphenolic content antioxidant activity, α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitory activity. Results The crude acetone extract of F. lutea had the highest polyphenolic content (56.85 ± 1.82 mg GAE/g of dry material) and the strongest antioxidant activity with a TEAC value of 4.80 ± 0.90. The antioxidant activity of the acetone extracts of the Ficus species may not be ascribed to total polyphenolic content alone. The crude extract at a concentration of 0.5 mg/ml of F. lutea (64.3 ± 3.6%) had the best α-glucosidase (sucrase) inhibitory activity. The EC50 of F. lutea (290 ± 111 μg/ml) was not significantly different from that of F. sycomorus (217 ± 69 μg/ml). The α-amylase inhibitory activity of F. lutea (95.4 ± 1.2%) at a concentration of 1 mg/ml was the highest among the Ficus species screened. The EC50 for F. lutea (9.42 ± 2.01 μ g/ml), though the highest, was not significantly different (p < 0.05) from that of F. craterostoma and F. natalensis. It was apparent that the crude acetone extract of F. lutea is a partially non-competitive inhibitor of α-amylase and α-glucosidase. Based on correlation coefficients polyphenolics may be responsible for α-glucosidase activity but probably not for α-amylase activity. Conclusion Antidiabetic activity potential via inhibition

  14. Skeletons in confusion: a review of astrophorid sponges with (dicho-)calthrops as structural megascleres (Porifera, Demospongiae, Astrophorida).

    PubMed

    Van Soest, Rob W M; Beglinger, Elly J; De Voogd, Nicole J

    2010-01-01

    geodioides, is barely distinct from the type species of Calthropella, Calthropella simplex. Two species previously assigned to Dercitus or Stoeba (Dercitus loricatus and Stoeba natalensis) are excluded from the genus Dercitus as they do not fit with the emended and improved definition of the genus. One species assigned to Calthropella, Calthropella digitata, is excluded from that genus and assigned to the ancorinid genus Stelletta. Based on the similarity of the megascleres and their structure-less arrangement, we predict that the two reviewed genera will be found to be closely related and eventually will need to be accomodated in a single family, but independent molecular evidence is awaited before changes in the family classification, including a verdict on the validity of the family Calthropellidae, will be proposed. Our review included 38 valid species among which fourteen species and one subspecies appear to be new to science. Four of these were represented by insufficient material for a proper description, but the remaining ten are described as new species: Dercitus (Stoeba) senegalensissp. n., Dercitus (Stoeba) verdensissp. n., Dercitus (Stoeba) fijiensissp. n., Dercitus (Stoeba) bahamensissp. n., Dercitus (Halinastra) berausp. n., Dercitus (Halinastra) japonensissp. n., Dercitus (Halinastra) arubensissp. n., Dercitus (Halinastra) sibogaesp. n., Calthropella (Calthropella) xavieraesp. n., and Calthropella (Pachataxa) pyriferasp. n. The new subspecies, Dercitus (Dercitus) bucklandi lusitanicusssp. n. is described for southern East Atlantic populations of the nominal species. Several specimens assigned to existing species were found to be deviating to the extent that they are likely members of further undescribed species. These are briefly discussed to facilitate further studies of the diversity of the two genera. Species of both genera and the six subgenera, including deviating or insufficiently characterized specimens belonging to species not yet properly described