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Sample records for agent coxiella burnetii

  1. Coxiella burnetii, the agent of Q fever, in domestic sheep flocks from Wyoming, United States.

    PubMed

    Loftis, Amanda D; Reeves, Will K; Miller, Myrna M; Massung, Robert F

    2012-03-01

    Coxiella burnetii, the agent of Q fever, is an intracellular bacterial pathogen. It has a nearly cosmopolitan distribution. We conducted a serological survey of domestic sheep herds for infections with C. burnetii in Wyoming following reports of abortion and open ewes. Based on the serologic evidence, there was no link between reproductive problems and exposure to C. burnetii. However, the overall prevalence of C. burnetii in WY sheep was 7%, which indicates that the agent is present in the environment and could pose a threat to public health.

  2. Coxiella burnetii Genotypes in Iberian Wildlife.

    PubMed

    González-Barrio, David; Hagen, Ferry; Tilburg, Jeroen J H C; Ruiz-Fons, Francisco

    2016-11-01

    To investigate if Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever, genotypes circulating in wildlife are associated with those infecting livestock and humans, multiple-locus variable number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA-6-marker) was carried out over C. burnetii obtained from red deer (Cervus elaphus), Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa), European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), black rat (Rattus rattus), and wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus). MLVA typing was performed by using six variable loci in C. burnetii: Ms23, Ms24, Ms27, Ms28, Ms33, and Ms34. The C. burnetii cooperative database from MLVABank 5.0 was employed to compare genotypes found in this study with 344 isolates of diverse origin. Twenty-two genotypes from wildlife and two genotypes from domestic goats were identified. Some MLVA genotypes identified in wildlife or in farmed game clustered with genotypes of human Q fever clinical cases, supporting the idea that humans and wildlife share C. burnetii genotypes. The major part of genotypes identified in coexisting red deer and rabbits clustered according to their host of origin, suggesting host specificity for particular C. burnetii genotypes. These findings provide important insights to understand the epidemiology of C. burnetii at the wildlife-livestock-human interface.

  3. The survival of Coxiella burnetii in soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evstigneeva, A. S.; Ul'Yanova, T. Yu.; Tarasevich, I. V.

    2007-05-01

    Coxiella burnetii is a pathogen of Q-fever—a widespread zoonosis. The effective adaptation of C. burnetii to intracellular existence is in contrast with its ability to survive in the environment outside the host cells and its resistance to chemical and physical agents. Its mechanism of survival remains unknown. However, its survival appears to be related to the developmental cycle of the microorganism itself, i.e., to the formation of its dormant forms. The survival of Coxiella burnetii was studied for the first time. The pathogenic microorganism was inoculated into different types of soil and cultivated under different temperatures. The survival of the pathogen was verified using a model with laboratory animals (mice). Viable C. burnetii were found in the soil even 20 days after their inoculation. The relationship between the organic carbon content in the soils and the survival of C. burnetii was revealed. Thus, the results obtained were the first to demonstrate that the soil may serve as a reservoir for the preservation and further spreading of the Q-fever pathogen in the environment, on the one hand, and reduce the risk of epidemics, on the other.

  4. Genetic manipulation of Coxiella burnetii.

    PubMed

    Beare, Paul A

    2012-01-01

    Until very recently, Coxiella burnetii was viewed and studied as an obligate intracellular bacterium that relied exclusively on a eucaryotic host cell for growth. Other medically relevant obligate intracellular bacteria reside in the genera Anaplasma, Chlamydia, Ehrlichia, Orientia, and Rickettsia. An obligate intracellular lifestyle presents a significant obstacle to genetic transformation. Procedures that are straightforward with free-living bacteria, such as antibiotic selection and cloning, can be very difficult when growth of transformants is restricted to a host cell. Long-term passage in host cells to expand small transformant populations can further complicate the procedure. Despite these and other obstacles, at least rudimentary systems are currently available for genetic transformation of most obligate intracellular bacterial pathogens. Dramatically aiding the development of new genetic methods for C. burnetii is the recent discovery of a medium that supports host cell-free growth of the organism in liquid, and importantly, on solid media as clonal colonies. The expanded C. burnetii genetics toolbox now includes transposon systems for random mutagenesis and single-copy, site-specific chromosomal gene knock-ins, as well as a shuttle vector for heterologous gene expression and in trans complementation. A reliable method of targeted gene inactivation remains a challenge. Advances in C. burnetii genetic manipulation will allow identification of genes essential for intracellular parasitism and disease pathogenesis, and undoubtedly fuel new interest in this minimally studied bacterial pathogen.

  5. European Rabbits as Reservoir for Coxiella burnetii

    PubMed Central

    González-Barrio, David; Maio, Elisa; Vieira-Pinto, Madalena

    2015-01-01

    We studied the role of European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) as a reservoir for Coxiella burnetii in the Iberian region. High individual and population seroprevalences observed in wild and farmed rabbits, evidence of systemic infections, and vaginal shedding support the reservoir role of the European rabbit for C. burnetii. PMID:25988670

  6. Coxiella burnetii Shedding by Farmed Red Deer (Cervus elaphus).

    PubMed

    González-Barrio, D; Almería, S; Caro, M R; Salinas, J; Ortiz, J A; Gortázar, C; Ruiz-Fons, F

    2015-10-01

    Wildlife and notably deer species--due to the increasing relevance of deer farming worldwide--may contribute to the maintenance of Coxiella burnetii, the causal agent of Q fever. Currently, there are no precedents linking exposure to deer species with human Q fever cases. However, a human case of Q fever was recently diagnosed in a red deer (Cervus elaphus) farm, which led us to investigate whether deer could be a source for environmental contamination with C. burnetii and ascertain the implication of C. burnetii in reproductive failure in the farm. Blood serum and vaginal swabs were collected from hinds either experiencing or not reproductive failure and tested to detect the presence of antibodies and DNA, respectively, of C. burnetii, Chlamydia abortus, Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii. Serology and PCR results suggest C. burnetii was the primary cause of the reproductive failure. We identified vaginal shedding of C. burnetii in hinds, confirming red deer as a source of Q fever zoonotic infection.

  7. Mouse Model of Coxiella burnetii Aerosolization

    PubMed Central

    Melenotte, Cléa; Lepidi, Hubert; Nappez, Claude; Bechah, Yassina; Audoly, Gilles; Terras, Jérôme; Raoult, Didier

    2016-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii is mainly transmitted by aerosols and is responsible for multiple-organ lesions. Animal models have shown C. burnetii pathogenicity, but long-term outcomes still need to be clarified. We used a whole-body aerosol inhalation exposure system to mimic the natural route of infection in immunocompetent (BALB/c) and severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. After an initial lung inoculum of 104 C. burnetii cells/lung, the outcome, serological response, hematological disorders, and deep organ lesions were described up to 3 months postinfection. C. burnetii-specific PCR, anti-C. burnetii immunohistochemistry, and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) targeting C. burnetii-specific 16S rRNA completed the detection of the bacterium in the tissues. In BALB/c mice, a thrombocytopenia and lymphopenia were first observed, prior to evidence of C. burnetii replication. In all SCID mouse organs, DNA copies increased to higher levels over time than in BALB/c ones. Clinical signs of discomfort appeared in SCID mice, so follow-up had to be shortened to 2 months in this group. At this stage, all animals presented bone, cervical, and heart lesions. The presence of C. burnetii could be attested in situ for all organs sampled using immunohistochemistry and FISH. This mouse model described C. burnetii Nine Mile strain spread using aerosolization in a way that corroborates the pathogenicity of Q fever described in humans and completes previously published data in mouse models. C. burnetii infection occurring after aerosolization in mice thus seems to be a useful tool to compare the pathogenicity of different strains of C. burnetii. PMID:27160294

  8. High seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii in dairy cattle in China.

    PubMed

    El-Mahallawy, Heba S; Kelly, Patrick; Zhang, Jilei; Yang, Yi; Zhang, Hui; Wei, Lanjing; Mao, Yongjiang; Yang, Zhangping; Zhang, Zhenwen; Fan, Weixing; Wang, Chengming

    2016-02-01

    Coxiella burnetii is the agent of Q fever, a zoonosis which occurs worldwide. As there is little reliable data on the organism in China, we investigated C. burnetii infections in dairy cattle herds around the country. Opportunistic whole blood samples were collected from 1140 dairy cattle in 19 herds, and antibodies to phase I and II C. burnetii antigens were detected using commercial ELISA kits. Seropositive cattle (381/1140, 33 %) were detected in 13 of the 15 surveyed provinces and in 16 of the 19 herds (84 %) studied. Our data indicates C. burnetii is widespread in China and that animal and human health workers should be aware of the possibility of Q fever infection in their patients.

  9. Proteomic comparison of phase I and II coxiella burnetii cells reveals potential virulence biomarkers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Coxiella burnetii, a category B biological warfare agent, causes several worldwide outbreaks of zoonotic disease each year. In order to identify C. burnetii virulence factors, the virulent phase I and avirulent phase II variants of the Nine Mile RSA strains, were propagated in embryonated hen eggs ...

  10. Coxiella burnetii in central Italy: novel genotypes are circulating in cattle and goats.

    PubMed

    Di Domenico, Marco; Curini, Valentina; De Massis, Fabrizio; Di Provvido, Andrea; Scacchia, Massimo; Cammà, Cesare

    2014-10-01

    Genotyping of bacteria is critical for diagnosis, treatment, and epidemiological surveillance. Coxiella burnetii, the etiological agent of Q fever, has been recognized to have a potential for bioterrorism purposes. Because few serosurveys have been conducted in Italy, there is still limited information about the distribution of this pathogen in natural conditions. In this paper, we describe the genotyping of C. burnetii strains by multispacer sequence typing (MST) detected in cattle and goat farms in the Abruzzi region of Italy. Biological samples (milk, aborted fetus) positive for C. burnetii DNA were sequenced in the spacer regions and compared with those already publicly available ( http://ifr48.timone.univ-mrs.fr/MST_Coxiella/mst/group_detail ). The MST profile of C. burnetii detected in milk samples demonstrated the presence of a new allele, whereas the C. burnetii spacer sequences from fetus and milk goat samples displayed a new allelic combination. The results suggest the circulation of novel genotypes of C. burnetii in Italy.

  11. Seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii in Australian dogs.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, A J; Norris, J M; Heller, J; Brown, G; Malik, R; Bosward, K L

    2016-09-01

    The role of dogs in the transmission of Coxiella burnetii to humans is uncertain, and extensive seroprevalence studies of dogs have not been previously conducted in Australia. This study determined C. burnetii exposure in four diverse canine subpopulations by adapting, verifying and comparing an indirect immunofluoresence assay (IFA) and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) used to detect anti-C. burnetii antibodies in humans. Canine serum samples (n = 1223) were tested with IFA from four subpopulations [breeding establishments; household pets; free-roaming dogs in Aboriginal communities; shelter dogs]. The proportions of seropositive dogs were as follows: breeding (7/309, 2.3%), household pets (10/328, 3%), Aboriginal communities (21/321, 6.5%) and shelters (5/265, 1.9%). Dogs from Aboriginal communities were 2.8 times (CI 1.5-5.1; P < 0.001) more likely to be seropositive than dogs from other populations. The ELISA was used on 86 of 1223 sera tested with IFA, and a Cohen's Kappa coefficient of 0.60 (CI 0.43-0.78) indicated good agreement between the two assays. This study has established that Australian dogs within all four subpopulations have been exposed to C. burnetii and that a higher seroprevalence was observed amongst free-roaming dogs associated with Aboriginal communities. As C. burnetii recrudesces during pregnancy and birth products contain the highest concentration of organism, individuals assisting at the time of parturition, those handling pups shortly after birth as well as those residing in the vicinity of whelping dogs are potentially at risk of developing Q fever. However, the identification of active antigen shed in excreta from seropositive dogs is required in order to accurately define and quantify the public health risk.

  12. Coxiella burnetii, the agent of Q fever in Brazil: its hidden role in seronegative arthritis and the importance of molecular diagnosis based on the repetitive element IS1111 associated with the transposase gene.

    PubMed

    Rozental, Tatiana; Mascarenhas, Luis Filipe; Rozenbaum, Ronaldo; Gomes, Raphael; Mattos, Grasiely Souza; Magno, Cecília Carlos; Almeida, Daniele Nunes; Rossi, Maria Inês Doria; Favacho, Alexsandra R M; de Lemos, Elba Regina Sampaio

    2012-08-01

    Coxiella burnetii is the agent of Q fever , an emergent worldwide zoonosis of wide clinical spectrum. Although C. burnetii infection is typically associated with acute infection, atypical pneumonia and flu-like symptoms, endocarditis, osteoarticular manifestations and severe disease are possible, especially when the patient has a suppressed immune system; however, these severe complications are typically neglected. This study reports the sequencing of the repetitive element IS1111 of the transposase gene of C. burnetii from blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples from a patient with severe pneumonia following methotrexate therapy, resulting in the molecular diagnosis of Q fever in a patient who had been diagnosed with active seronegative polyarthritis two years earlier. To the best of our knowledge, this represents the first documented case of the isolation of C. burnetii DNA from a BAL sample.

  13. Genome sequence of Coxiella burnetii strain Namibia

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    We present the whole genome sequence and annotation of the Coxiella burnetii strain Namibia. This strain was isolated from an aborting goat in 1991 in Windhoek, Namibia. The plasmid type QpRS was confirmed in our work. Further genomic typing placed the strain into a unique genomic group. The genome sequence is 2,101,438 bp long and contains 1,979 protein-coding and 51 RNA genes, including one rRNA operon. To overcome the poor yield from cell culture systems, an additional DNA enrichment with whole genome amplification (WGA) methods was applied. We describe a bioinformatics pipeline for improved genome assembly including several filters with a special focus on WGA characteristics. PMID:25593636

  14. [Coxiella burnetii and Chlamydia psittaci infection in dogs].

    PubMed

    Kocianová, E; Lisák, V; Kopcok, M

    1992-03-01

    The prevalence of Coxiella burnetii and Chlamydia psittaci antibodies was investigated in 530 dog specimens divided into six groups, i. e. A = private watch dogs, B1 = service dogs from Bratislava, B2 = service dogs from other localities of Slovakia and Moravia, C = watch dogs from farms, I = household dogs, T = stray dogs. The dogs demonstrated the higher seropositivity to C. burnetii (11.7%) than to Ch. psittaci (5.5%). The highest percentage of antibodies to C. burnetii was found in stray dogs (23.7%), less prevalence of antibodies was observed in the animals in group C (13.6%), almost the same positivity was proved in the dogs of group B1 and B2 (10.5 and 10.6%). The highest positivity to Ch. psittaci was demonstrated in the dogs of group A (8.7%), less in group B2 (6.6%) and the least number in group B1 (1.9%). The stray dogs occupied the intermediate position in this data (Tab. I). Ninety four localities were tested, from which 38 were seropositive. Neither acute coxiellosis nor chlamydiosis were proved in any animals examined. Ninety per cent of dogs were found healthy, but 10% of dogs demonstrated hepatopathia and gastroenteritis. Two of them (category A and I) were seropositive to C. burnetii (titer 1:8 to 1:16) and one to Ch. psittaci (titer 1:16). Both C. burnetii and Ch. psittaci attack dogs parallely with the agents of other zoonoses, of which the most common is Toxoplasma gondii (Tab. II). Several dogs demonstrated seropositivity to three up to five zoonotic agents (Tab. III).

  15. The Intervening Sequence of Coxiella burnetii: Characterization and Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Warrier, Indu; Walter, Mathias C.; Frangoulidis, Dimitrios; Raghavan, Rahul; Hicks, Linda D.; Minnick, Michael F.

    2016-01-01

    The intervening sequence (IVS) of Coxiella burnetii, the agent of Q fever, is a 428-nt selfish genetic element located in helix 45 of the precursor 23S rRNA. The IVS element, in turn, contains an ORF that encodes a hypothetical ribosomal S23 protein (S23p). Although S23p can be synthesized in vitro in the presence of an engineered E. coli promoter and ribosome binding site, results suggest that the protein is not synthesized in vivo. In spite of a high degree of IVS conservation among different strains of C. burnetii, the region immediately upstream of the S23p start codon is prone to change, and the S23p-encoding ORF is evidently undergoing reductive evolution. We determined that IVS excision from 23S rRNA was mediated by RNase III, and IVS RNA was rapidly degraded, thereafter. Levels of the resulting 23S rRNA fragments that flank the IVS, F1 (~1.2 kb) and F2 (~1.7 kb), were quantified over C. burnetii's logarithmic growth phase (1–5 d). Results showed that 23S F1 quantities were consistently higher than those of F2 and 16S rRNA. The disparity between levels of the two 23S rRNA fragments following excision of IVS is an interesting phenomenon of unknown significance. Based upon phylogenetic analyses, IVS was acquired through horizontal transfer after C. burnetii's divergence from an ancestral bacterium and has been subsequently maintained by vertical transfer. The widespread occurrence, maintenance and conservation of the IVS in C. burnetii imply that it plays an adaptive role or has a neutral effect on fitness. PMID:27595093

  16. Incidence of ovine abortion by Coxiella burnetii in northern Spain.

    PubMed

    Oporto, B; Barandika, J F; Hurtado, A; Aduriz, G; Moreno, B; Garcia-Perez, A L

    2006-10-01

    The infectious causes of ovine abortion occurring in 148 farms in northern Spain between 1999 and 2003 were investigated. Laboratory analysis included microbiological, serological, pathological and molecular techniques. Border disease was diagnosed in 16% of the flocks, toxoplasmosis in 15%, chlamydiosis in 12%, salmonellosis in 10%, Q fever in 3%, miscellaneous infections in 7% (Yersinia spp., Listeria spp., Brucella spp.), and inflammatory lesions compatible with an infectious cause were seen in 7% of the flock. In an additional 1% of the flocks non-infectious causes were identified, and a diagnosis was not reached in 38% of the flocks. When a PCR retrospective study was carried out to investigate the possible implication of Coxiella burnetii in the cases without diagnosis, including those with inflammatory lesions, the prevalence of this pathogen increased from 3% up to 9% of the flocks, revealing the importance of this zoonotic pathogen as a small-ruminant abortifacient agent. Placenta was the most commonly positive sample, but other fetal tissues were also of value for C. burnetii DNA detection. The present results update information about the situation of abortion in sheep farms in northern Spain, and highlight the relevance of molecular diagnostic tools in routine laboratory analysis of abortions by C. burnetii.

  17. Coxiella burnetii detected in three species of endangered North African gazelles that recently aborted.

    PubMed

    García, Elena; Espeso, Gerardo; Fernández, Rocío; Gómez-Martín, Ángel; Rodríguez-Linde, José María; De la Fe, Christian

    2017-01-15

    Coxiella (C.) burnetii is the etiological agent of the zoonotic disease known a Q fever. This agent can infect multiple hosts although its pathogenic potential in wild ruminants has been poorly studied. The polymerase chain reaction and the serological test detected the presence of C. burnetii in a population of North African gazelles (n = 355), comprising dorcas gazelle (Gazella dorcas neglecta), dama gazelle (Nanger dama mhorr) and Cuvier's gazelle (Gazella cuvieri) which, some of them, they recently aborted. Serological tests for Brucella spp., C. burnetii, Chlamydophila abortus, border disease pestivirus, and Toxoplasma spp. were performed together with specific cultures to detect Salmonella spp., Listeria spp., and Campylobacter spp. and a polymerase chain reaction for C. burnetii on serum and vaginal swabs samples collected from a representative number of animals (n = 65). These tests only detected the presence of C. burnetii in 18 specimens (27.3%). C. burnetii was the only pathogen detected, with eight animals testing positive on the polymerase chain reaction, 15 on the serological test, and five on both the tests. This article reveals the presence of C. burnetii during a medium and late-stage abortions occurred in a population of North African gazelles. The presence of C. burnetii as causal agent of abortions in Cuvier's gazelles has never been reported. The consequences of the findings are discussed here, showing the need to adopt urgent control measures to prevent the spread of C. burnetii in captive populations that are essential for the conservation of these endangered species.

  18. Animal Models of Q Fever (Coxiella burnetii)

    PubMed Central

    Bewley, Kevin R

    2013-01-01

    Q fever, caused by the pathogen Coxiella burnetii, is an acute disease that can progress to become a serious chronic illness. The organism leads an obligate, intracellular lifecycle, during which it multiplies in the phagolytic compartments of the phagocytic cells of the immune system of its hosts. This characteristic makes study of the organism particularly difficult and is perhaps one of the reasons why, more than 70 y after its discovery, much remains unknown about the organism and its pathogenesis. A variety of animal species have been used to study both the acute and chronic forms of the disease. Although none of the models perfectly mimics the disease process in humans, each opens a window onto an important aspect of the pathology of the disease. We have learned that immunosuppression, overexpression of IL10, or physical damage to the heart muscle in mice and guinea pigs can induce disease that is similar to the chronic disease seen in humans, suggesting that this aspect of disease may eventually be fully understood. Models using species from mice to nonhuman primates have been used to evaluate and characterize vaccines to protect against the disease and may ultimately yield safer, less expensive vaccines. PMID:24326221

  19. Detection and differentiation of coxiella burnetii in biological fluids

    DOEpatents

    Frazier, Marvin E.; Mallavia, Louis P.; Baca, Oswald G.; Samuel, James E.

    1989-01-01

    Methods for detecting the presence of Coxiella burnetii in biological samples, as well as a method for differentiating strains of C. burnetii that are capable of causing acute disease from those strains capable of causing chronic disease are disclosed. The methods generally comprise treating cells contained within the biological sample to expose cellular DNA, and hybridizing the cellular DNA (specifically rickettsial DNA) with a C. burnetii-specific labeled DNA probe. Radioisotope and biotin labels are preferred, allowing detection through autoradiography and colorimetric assays, respectively.

  20. Detection and differentiation of coxiella burnetii in biological fluids

    DOEpatents

    Frazier, Marvin E.; Mallavia, Louis P.; Samuel, James E.; Baca, Oswald G.

    1993-01-01

    Methods for detecting the presence of Coxiella burnetii in biological samples, as well as a method for differentiating strains of C. burnetii that are capable of causing acute disease from those strains capable of causing chronic disease are disclosed. The methods generally comprise treating cells contained within the biological sample to expose cellular DNA, and hybridizing the cellular DNA with a DNA probe containing DNA sequences that specifically hybridize with C. burnetii DNA of strains associated with the capacity to cause acute or chronic disease.

  1. Coxiella burnetii in bulk tank milk samples, United States.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sung Guk; Kim, Eun Hee; Lafferty, Caroline J; Dubovi, Edward

    2005-04-01

    Dairy cattle are a primary reservoir of Coxiella burnetii, which causes Q fever. However, no recent nationwide studies have assessed the prevalence and risks of Q fever in dairy cattle. We report >or=94% prevalence in samples of bulk tank milk from U.S. dairy herds tested during the past 3 years.

  2. Coxiella burnetii in Bulk Tank Milk Samples, United States

    PubMed Central

    Lafferty, Caroline J.; Dubovi, Edward

    2005-01-01

    Dairy cattle are a primary reservoir of Coxiella burnetii, which causes Q fever. However, no recent nationwide studies have assessed the prevalence and risks of Q fever in dairy cattle. We report ≥94% prevalence in samples of bulk tank milk from U.S. dairy herds tested during the past 3 years. PMID:15829205

  3. Induction of hyperreactivity to endotoxin in mice by Coxiella burnetii.

    PubMed Central

    Schramek, S; Kazar, J; Sekeyova, Z; Freudenberg, M A; Galanos, C

    1984-01-01

    Intraperitoneal inoculation of mice with live or killed Coxiella burnetii phase I or phase II cells induced a marked hyperreactivity to the lethal effect of bacterial endotoxin and was accompanied by a marked hepatosplenomegaly. The degree and duration of hyperreactivity depended on the dose of C. burnetii administered and were higher with phase I than with phase II cells. Sensitization to the lethal effects of endotoxin and induction of splenomegaly by phase I C. burnetii cells also proceeded in the endotoxin-resistant C3H/HeJ strain of mice. Preincubation of C. burnetii cells with the corresponding immune serum significantly diminished the ability of phase I but not phase II cells to induce hyperreactivity to endotoxin. PMID:6469358

  4. Does Coxiella burnetii affect reproduction in cattle? A clinical update.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Ispierto, I; Tutusaus, J; López-Gatius, F

    2014-08-01

    Q fever is a zoonosis produced by Coxiella burnetii, a bacterium that is widely distributed worldwide. Domestic ruminants are the most important source of C. burnetii for human infection. In sheep and goats, abortion is the main clinical consequence of infection, yet the symptoms described in cattle have so far been inconsistent. Q fever has been also scarcely reported in cattle, most likely because of its difficult diagnosis at the farm level and because of the many existing responsible C. burnetii strains. In this report, the effects of C. burnetii infection or Q fever disease on the reproductive behaviour of dairy cattle are reviewed, with special emphasis placed on the scarcity of data available and possible control actions discussed.

  5. Coxiella burnetii infections in sheep or goats: an opinionated review.

    PubMed

    Van den Brom, R; van Engelen, E; Roest, H I J; van der Hoek, W; Vellema, P

    2015-12-14

    Q fever is an almost ubiquitous zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii, which is able to infect several animal species, as well as humans. Cattle, sheep and goats are the primary animal reservoirs. In small ruminants, infections are mostly without clinical symptoms, however, abortions and stillbirths can occur, mainly during late pregnancy. Shedding of C. burnetii occurs in feces, milk and, mostly, in placental membranes and birth fluids. During parturition of infected small ruminants, bacteria from birth products become aerosolized. Transmission to humans mainly happens through inhalation of contaminated aerosols. In the last decade, there have been several, sometimes large, human Q fever outbreaks related to sheep and goats. In this review, we describe C. burnetii infections in sheep and goats, including both advantages and disadvantages of available laboratory techniques, as pathology, different serological tests, PCR and culture to detect C. burnetii. Moreover, worldwide prevalences of C. burnetii in small ruminants are described, as well as possibilities for treatment and prevention. Prevention of shedding and subsequent environmental contamination by vaccination of sheep and goats with a phase I vaccine are possible. In addition, compulsory surveillance of C. burnetii in small ruminant farms raises awareness and hygiene measures in farms help to decrease exposure of people to the organism. Finally, this review challenges how to contain an infection of C. burnetii in small ruminants, bearing in mind possible consequences for the human population and probable interference of veterinary strategies, human risk perception and political considerations.

  6. Detection and differentiation of coxiella burnetii in biological fluids

    DOEpatents

    Frazier, Marvin E.; Mallavia, Louis P.; Samuel, James E.; Baca, Oswald G.

    1990-01-01

    Methods for detecting the presence of Coxiella burenetii in biological samples, as well as a method for differentiating strains of C. burnetii that are capable of causing acute disease from those strains capable of causing chronic disease are disclosed. The methods generally comprise treating cells contained within the biological sample to expose cellular DNA, and hybridizing the cellular DNA (specifically rickettsial DNA) with a C. burnetii-specific labeled DNA probe. Radioisotope and biotin labels are preferred, allowing detection through autoradiography and colorimetric assays, respectively.

  7. Microevolution of the Chromosomal Region of Acute Disease Antigen A (adaA) in the Query (Q) Fever Agent Coxiella burnetii

    PubMed Central

    Frangoulidis, Dimitrios; Splettstoesser, Wolf D.; Landt, Olfert; Dehnhardt, Jasmin; Henning, Klaus; Hilbert, Angela; Bauer, Tilman; Antwerpen, Markus; Meyer, Hermann

    2013-01-01

    The acute disease antigen A (adaA) gene is believed to be associated with Coxiella burnetii strains causing acute Q fever. The detailed analysis of the adaA genomic region of 23 human- and 86 animal-derived C. burnetii isolates presented in this study reveals a much more polymorphic appearance and distribution of the adaA gene, resulting in a classification of C. burnetii strains of better differentiation than previously anticipated. Three different genomic variants of the adaA gene were identified which could be detected in isolates from acute and chronic patients, rendering the association of adaA positive strains with acute Q fever disease disputable. In addition, all adaA positive strains in humans and animals showed the occurrence of the QpH1 plasmid. All adaA positive isolates of acute human patients except one showed a distinct SNP variation at position 431, also predominant in sheep strains, which correlates well with the observation that sheep are a major source of human infection. Furthermore, the phylogenetic analysis of the adaA gene revealed three deletion events and supported the hypothesis that strain Dugway 5J108-111 might be the ancestor of all known C. burnetii strains. Based on our findings, we could confirm the QpDV group and we were able to define a new genotypic cluster. The adaA gene polymorphisms shown here improve molecular typing of Q fever, and give new insights into microevolutionary adaption processes in C. burnetii. PMID:23301072

  8. Strain and phase identification of the U.S. category B agent Coxiella burnetii by matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry and multivariate pattern recognition.

    PubMed

    Pierce, Carrie Y; Barr, John R; Woolfitt, Adrian R; Moura, Hercules; Shaw, Edward I; Thompson, Herbert A; Massung, Robert F; Fernandez, Facundo M

    2007-01-30

    Accurate bacterial identification is important in diagnosing disease and in microbial forensics. Coxiella burnetii, a highly infective microorganism causative of the human disease Q fever, is now considered a U.S. category B potential bioterrorism agent. We report here an approach for the confirmatory identification of C. burnetii at the strain level which involves the combined use of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and supervised pattern recognition via Partial Least Squares-Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA). C. burnetii isolates investigated in this study included the following prototype strains from different geographical and/or historical origins and with different antigenic properties: Nine Mile I, Australian QD, M44, KAV, PAV, Henzerling, and Ohio. After culture and purification following standard protocols, linear MALDI-TOF mass spectra of pure bacterial cultures were acquired in positive ion mode. Mass spectral data were normalized, baseline-corrected, denoised, binarized and modeled by PLS-DA under crossvalidation conditions. Robustness with respect to uncontrolled variations in the sample preparation and MALDI analysis protocol was assessed by repeating the experiment on five different days spanning a period of 6 months. The method was validated by the prediction of unknown C. burnetii samples in an independent test set with 100% sensitivity and specificity for five out of six strain classes.

  9. Developmental transitions of Coxiella burnetii grown in axenic media

    PubMed Central

    Sandoz, Kelsi M.; Sturdevant, Daniel E.; Hansen, Bryan; Heinzen, Robert A.

    2014-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii undergoes a biphasic developmental cycle within its host cell that generates morphologically and physiologically distinct large cell variants (LCV) and small cell variants (SCV). During the lag phase of the C. burnetii growth cycle, non-replicating SCV differentiate into replicating LCV that in turn differentiate back into SCV during stationary phase. Nearly homogeneous SCV are observed in infected Vero cells after extended incubation (21 to 28 days). In the current study, we sought to establish whether C. burnetii developmental transitions in host cells are recapitulated during host cell-free (axenic) growth in first and second generation acidified citrate cysteine media (ACCM-1 and ACCM-2, respectively). We show that ACCM-2 supported developmental transitions and viability. Although ACCM-1 also supported SCV to LCV transition, LCV to SCV transition did not occur after extended incubation (21 days). Instead, C. burnetii exhibited a ghost-like appearance with bacteria containing condensed chromatin but otherwise devoid of cytoplasmic content. This phenotype correlated with a near total loss in viability between 14 and 21 days of cultivation. Transcriptional profiling of C. burnetii following 14 days of incubation revealed elevated expression of oxidative stress genes in ACCM-1 cultivated bacteria. ACCM-2 differs from ACCM-1 by the substitution of methyl-β-cyclodextrin (Mβ-CD) for fetal bovine serum. Addition of Mβ-CD to ACCM-1 at 7 days post-inoculation rescued C. burnetii viability and lowered expression of oxidative stress genes. Thus, Mβ-CD appears to alleviate oxidative stress in ACCM-2 to result in C. burnetii developmental transitions and viability that mimic host cell-cultivated organisms. Axenic cultivation of C. burnetii in ACCM-2 and new methods of genetic manipulation now allow investigation of the molecular basis of C. burnetii biphasic development. PMID:24286928

  10. Developmental transitions of Coxiella burnetii grown in axenic media.

    PubMed

    Sandoz, Kelsi M; Sturdevant, Daniel E; Hansen, Bryan; Heinzen, Robert A

    2014-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii undergoes a biphasic developmental cycle within its host cell that generates morphologically and physiologically distinct large cell variants (LCV) and small cell variants (SCV). During the lag phase of the C. burnetii growth cycle, non-replicating SCV differentiate into replicating LCV that in turn differentiate back into SCV during stationary phase. Nearly homogeneous SCV are observed in infected Vero cells after extended incubation (21 to 28days). In the current study, we sought to establish whether C. burnetii developmental transitions in host cells are recapitulated during host cell-free (axenic) growth in first and second generation acidified citrate cysteine media (ACCM-1 and ACCM-2, respectively). We show that ACCM-2 supported developmental transitions and viability. Although ACCM-1 also supported SCV to LCV transition, LCV to SCV transition did not occur after extended incubation (21days). Instead, C. burnetii exhibited a ghost-like appearance with bacteria containing condensed chromatin but otherwise devoid of cytoplasmic content. This phenotype correlated with a near total loss in viability between 14 and 21days of cultivation. Transcriptional profiling of C. burnetii following 14days of incubation revealed elevated expression of oxidative stress genes in ACCM-1 cultivated bacteria. ACCM-2 differs from ACCM-1 by the substitution of methyl-β-cyclodextrin (Mβ-CD) for fetal bovine serum. Addition of Mβ-CD to ACCM-1 at 7days post-inoculation rescued C. burnetii viability and lowered expression of oxidative stress genes. Thus, Mβ-CD appears to alleviate oxidative stress in ACCM-2 to result in C. burnetii developmental transitions and viability that mimic host cell-cultivated organisms. Axenic cultivation of C. burnetii in ACCM-2 and new methods of genetic manipulation now allow investigation of the molecular basis of C. burnetii biphasic development.

  11. Similarity in Pathogenic Features in Lung and Peritoneal Infection by Coxiella burnetii, Typhus Group Rickettsiae, and Chlamydiae

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-06-26

    onset of infection. 4 Current data on Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) suggest that for its agent, R. rickettsii , another member of the Rickettsia ...Continue on reverse it necessary anid identify by block number) FIELD GROUP SUB-GROUP Proteobacteria; Coxiella burnetii; Typhus group rickettsiae ...New York Academy of Sciences June 26, 1990 Similarity in Pathogenic Features in Lung and Peritoneal Infection by Coxiella burdi, T"hus Group Rickettsiae

  12. Coxiella burnetii exposure in northern sea otters Enhydra lutris kenyoni.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Colleen; Gill, Verena A; Worman, Kristin; Burek-Huntington, Kathy; Pabilonia, Kristy L; Johnson, Sam; Fitzpatrick, Kelly A; Weller, Christina; Kersh, Gilbert J

    2015-05-11

    Valvular endocarditis has been well described in northern sea otters Enhydra lutris kenyoni of Alaska and in many cases no cause has been identified. It is also one of the most common conditions observed in people with chronic Coxiella burnetii infection. Given the high levels of C. burnetii exposure in marine mammals distributed throughout the same geographic range as the northern sea otter, and the presence of valvular lesions seen in otters, the objective of this study was to determine the level of C. burnetii exposure in otters and investigate any association between exposure, infection and valvular disease in this species. Archived serum from 75 live captured, apparently healthy otters (25 from each of 3 stocks) and 30 dead otters were tested for C. burnetii antibodies by indirect florescent antibody assay (IFA). Archived bone marrow and heart valves were tested for C. burnetii DNA by real-time PCR (qPCR). Overall, the seroprevalence in live otters was 17%, with significantly more exposed animals in the south central (40%) stock relative to the southwest (8%) and southeast (4%). The seroprevalence of animals sampled post mortem was 27%, although none of the bone marrow or heart valve samples were positive by qPCR. Results of this study failed to demonstrate a significant association between C. burnetii infection and valvular endocarditis in sea otters; however, the differing seroprevalence suggests that exposure opportunities vary geographically.

  13. Occurrence of Coxiella burnetii in goat and ewe unpasteurized cheeses: Screening and genotyping.

    PubMed

    Galiero, Alessia; Fratini, Filippo; Cammà, Cesare; Di Domenico, Marco; Curini, Valentina; Baronti, Irene; Turchi, Barbara; Cerri, Domenico

    2016-11-21

    Q fever is a zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii which infects humans as well as several animal species; sheep, goats and cattle are the primary animal reservoir. The main route of human exposure to Coxiella burnetii is inhalation of contaminated aerosols from excreta, especially birth products, while the role of unpasteurized dairy products in the transmission of Q fever to humans remains still controversial. The aim of this work was to evaluate the presence of Coxiella burnetii in unpasteurized cheese samples (n=84) by PCR and to genotype the circulating strains by Multispacer sequence typing (MST) analysis. Coxiella burnetii DNA was detected in 27/84 (32.14%) cheeses and positivity rate of handicraft cheeses reached 17.24%, while positivity rate of non-handicraft cheeses reached 65.38%. In addition, the MST profile of Coxiella burnetii detected in 5 cheese samples have shown the circulation of ST12 and ST32 genotypes in Tuscany.

  14. DETECTION OF COXIELLA BURNETII INFECTION IN A SAHARAWI DORCAS GAZELLE (GAZELLA DORCAS NEGLECTA).

    PubMed

    García-Seco, Teresa; Pérez-Sancho, Marta; Martínez-Nevado, Eva; Álvarez, Julio; Santiago-Moreno, Julián; Goyache, Joaquín; Domínguez, Lucas; García, Nerea

    2016-09-01

    Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever, can infect a wide range of host species, but limited information exists on the occurrence and implications of infection in wild species. This study describes a natural infection in a population of dorcas gazelles ( Gazella dorcas ) from a zoo. A 9-yr-old male Saharawi dorcas gazelle ( Gazella dorcas neglecta) tested positive on enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and fecal polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Despite treatment with oxytetracycline, the animal did not clear the infection after 6 mo, as confirmed by a PCR test on a semen sample. This is the first report of a Saharawi dorcas gazelle infection with C. burnetii and the first time that C. burnetii was detected in semen from a zoo animal, suggesting the possibility of venereal transmission in captive wild species. This may have major implications for management of zoo populations, particularly in endangered species.

  15. Prevalence of Coxiella burnetii in clinically healthy German sheep flocks

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Current epidemiological data on the situation of Coxiella (C.) burnetii infections in sheep are missing, making risk assessment and the implementation of counteractive measures difficult. Using the German state of Thuringia as a model example, the estimated sero-, and antigen prevalence of C. burnetii (10% and 25%, respectively) was assessed at flock level in 39/252 randomly selected clinically healthy sheep flocks with more than 100 ewes and unknown abortion rate. Results The CHECKIT™ Q-fever Test Kit identified 11 (28%) antibody positive herds, whereas real-time PCR revealed the presence of C. burnetii DNA in 2 (5%) of the flocks. Multiple-locus variable number of tandem repeats analysis of 9 isolates obtained from one flock revealed identical profiles. All isolates contained the plasmid QpH1. Conclusions The results demonstrate that C. burnetii is present in clinically inconspicuous sheep flocks and sporadic flare-ups do occur as the notifications to the German animal disease reporting system show. Although C. burnetii infections are not a primary veterinary concern due to the lack of significant clinical impact on animal health (with the exception of goats), the eminent zoonotic risk for humans should not be underestimated. Therefore, strategies combining the interests of public and veterinary public health should include monitoring of flocks, the identification and culling of shedders as well as the administration of protective vaccines. PMID:22429653

  16. Nitric Oxide Inhibits Coxiella burnetii Replication and Parasitophorous Vacuole Maturation

    PubMed Central

    Howe, Dale; Barrows, Lorraine F.; Lindstrom, Nicole M.; Heinzen, Robert A.

    2002-01-01

    Nitric oxide is a recognized cytotoxic effector against facultative and obligate intracellular bacteria. This study examined the effect of nitric oxide produced by inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) up-regulated in response to cytokine stimulation, or by a synthetic nitric oxide donor, on replication of obligately intracellular Coxiella burnetii in murine L-929 cells. Immunoblotting and nitrite assays revealed that C. burnetii infection of L-929 cells augments expression of iNOS up-regulated in response to gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). Infection in the absence of cytokine stimulation did not result in demonstrable up-regulation of iNOS expression or in increased nitrite production. Nitrite production by cytokine-treated cells was significantly inhibited by the iNOS inhibitor S-methylisothiourea (SMT). Treatment of infected cells with IFN-γ and TNF-α or the synthetic nitric oxide donor 2,2′-(hydroxynitrosohydrazino)bis-ethanamine (DETA/NONOate) had a bacteriostatic effect on C. burnetii replication. Inhibition of replication was reversed upon addition of SMT to the culture medium of cytokine-treated cells. Microscopic analysis of infected cells revealed that nitric oxide (either cytokine induced or donor derived) inhibited formation of the mature (large) parasitophorous vacuole that is characteristic of C. burnetii infection of host cells. Instead, exposure of infected cells to nitric oxide resulted in the formation of multiple small, acidic vacuoles usually containing one C. burnetii cell. Removal of nitrosative stress resulted in the coalescence of small vacuoles to form a large vacuole harboring multiple C. burnetii cells. These experiments demonstrate that nitric oxide reversibly inhibits replication of C. burnetii and formation of the parasitophorous vacuole. PMID:12183564

  17. Can Coxiella burnetii be transmitted by embryo transfer in goats?

    PubMed

    Alsaleh, A; Fieni, F; Rodolakis, A; Bruyas, J F; Roux, C; Larrat, M; Chatagnon, G; Pellerin, J L

    2013-10-01

    The detection of significant bacterial loads of Coxiella burnetii in flushing media and tissue samples from the genital tracts of nonpregnant goats represents a risk factor for in utero infection and transmission during embryo transfer. The aim of this study was to investigate (1) whether cells of early goat embryos isolated from in vivo-fertilized goats interact with C. burnetii in vitro, (2) whether the embryonic zona pellucida (ZP) protects early embryo cells from infection, and (3) the efficacy of the International Embryo Transfer Society (IETS) washing protocol for bovine embryos. The study was performed in triple replicate: 12 donor goats, certified negative by ELISA and polymerase chain reaction, were synchronized, superovulated, and subsequently inseminated by Q fever-negative males. Sixty-eight embryos were collected 4 days later by laparotomy. Two-thirds of the resulting ZP-intact and ZP-free 8- to 16-cell embryos (9-9, 11-11, and 4-4 in replicates 1, 2, and 3, respectively) were placed in 1 mL minimum essential medium containing 10(9)C. burnetii CBC1 (IASP, INRA Tours). After overnight incubation at 37 °C and 5% CO2, the embryos were washed according to the IETS procedure. In parallel, the remaining third ZP-intact and ZP-free uninfected embryos (3-3, 5-5, and 2-2 in replicates 1, 2, and 3, respectively) were subjected to the same procedures, but without C. burnetii, thus serving as controls. The 10 washing fluids for all batches of each replicate were collected and centrifuged for 1 hour at 13,000 × g. The washed embryos and pellets were tested by polymerase chain reaction. Coxiella burnetii DNA was found in all batches of ZP-intact and ZP-free infected embryos after 10 successive washes. It was also detected in the first five washing fluids for ZP-intact embryos and in the first eight washing fluids for ZP-free embryos. None of the control batches (embryos and washing fluids) were found to contain bacterial DNA. These results clearly indicate that

  18. High-Content Imaging Reveals Expansion of the Endosomal Compartment during Coxiella burnetii Parasitophorous Vacuole Maturation

    PubMed Central

    Larson, Charles L.; Heinzen, Robert A.

    2017-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii is an obligate intracellular pathogen and the causative agent of human Q fever. Replication of the bacterium within a large parasitophorous vacuole (PV) resembling a host phagolysosome is required for pathogenesis. PV biogenesis is a pathogen driven process that requires engagement of several host cell vesicular trafficking pathways to acquire vacuole components. The goal of this study was to determine if infection by C. burnetii modulates endolysosomal flux to potentially benefit PV formation. HeLa cells, infected with C. burnetii or left uninfected, were incubated with fluorescent transferrin (Tf) for 0–30 min, and the amount of Tf internalized by cells quantitated by high-content imaging. At 3 and 5 days, but not 1 day post-infection, the maximal amounts of fluorescent Tf internalized by infected cells were significantly greater than uninfected cells. The rates of Tf uptake and recycling were the same for infected and uninfected cells; however, residual Tf persisted in EEA.1 positive compartments adjacent to large PV after 30 min of recycling in the absence of labeled Tf. On average, C. burnetii-infected cells contained significantly more CD63-positive endosomes than uninfected cells. In contrast, cells containing large vacuoles generated by Chlamydia trachomatis exhibited increased rates of Tf internalization without increased CD63 expression. Our results suggest that C. burnetii infection expands the endosomal system to increase capacity for endocytic material. Furthermore, this study demonstrates the power of high-content imaging for measurement of cellular responses to infection by intracellular pathogens. PMID:28293541

  19. The SCID Mouse Model for Identifying Virulence Determinants in Coxiella burnetii

    PubMed Central

    van Schaik, Erin J.; Case, Elizabeth D.; Martinez, Eric; Bonazzi, Matteo; Samuel, James E.

    2017-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii is an intracellular, zoonotic pathogen that is the causative agent of Q fever. Infection most frequently occurs after inhalation of contaminated aerosols, which can lead to acute, self-limiting febrile illness or more serve chronic infections such as hepatitis or endocarditis. Macrophages are the principal target cells during infection where C. burnetii resides and replicates within a unique phagolysosome-like compartment, the Coxiella-containing vacuole (CCV). The first virulence determinant described as necessary for infection was full-length lipopolysaccarride (LPS); spontaneous rough mutants (phase II) arise after passage in immuno-incompetent hosts. Phase II C. burnetii are attenuated in immuno-competent animals, but are fully capable of infecting a variety of host cells in vitro. A clonal strain of the Nine Mile isolate (RSA439, clone 4), has a 26 KDa chromosomal deletion that includes LPS biosynthetic genes and is uniquely approved for use in BL2/ABL2 conditions. With the advances of axenic media and genetic tools for C. burnetii research, the characterization of novel virulence determinants is ongoing and almost exclusively performed using this attenuated clone. A major problem with predicting essential virulence loci with RSA439 is that, although some cell-autonomous phenotypes can be assessed in tissue culture, no animal model for assessing pathogenesis has been defined. Here we describe the use of SCID mice for predicting virulence factors of C. burnetii, in either independent or competitive infections. We propose that this model allows for the identification of mutations that are competent for intracellular replication in vitro, but attenuated for growth in vivo and predict essential innate immune responses modulated by the pathogen during infection as a central pathogenic strategy. PMID:28217558

  20. Elevated Cholesterol in the Coxiella burnetii Intracellular Niche Is Bacteriolytic

    PubMed Central

    Mulye, Minal; Samanta, Dhritiman; Winfree, Seth; Heinzen, Robert A.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Coxiella burnetii is an intracellular bacterial pathogen and a significant cause of culture-negative endocarditis in the United States. Upon infection, the nascent Coxiella phagosome fuses with the host endocytic pathway to form a large lysosome-like vacuole called the parasitophorous vacuole (PV). The PV membrane is rich in sterols, and drugs perturbing host cell cholesterol homeostasis inhibit PV formation and bacterial growth. Using cholesterol supplementation of a cholesterol-free cell model system, we found smaller PVs and reduced Coxiella growth as cellular cholesterol concentration increased. Further, we observed in cells with cholesterol a significant number of nonfusogenic PVs that contained degraded bacteria, a phenotype not observed in cholesterol-free cells. Cholesterol had no effect on axenic Coxiella cultures, indicating that only intracellular bacteria are sensitive to cholesterol. Live-cell microscopy revealed that both plasma membrane-derived cholesterol and the exogenous cholesterol carrier protein low-density lipoprotein (LDL) traffic to the PV. To test the possibility that increasing PV cholesterol levels affects bacterial survival, infected cells were treated with U18666A, a drug that traps cholesterol in lysosomes and PVs. U18666A treatment led to PVs containing degraded bacteria and a significant loss in bacterial viability. The PV pH was significantly more acidic in cells with cholesterol or cells treated with U18666A, and the vacuolar ATPase inhibitor bafilomycin blocked cholesterol-induced PV acidification and bacterial death. Additionally, treatment of infected HeLa cells with several FDA-approved cholesterol-altering drugs led to a loss of bacterial viability, a phenotype also rescued by bafilomycin. Collectively, these data suggest that increasing PV cholesterol further acidifies the PV, leading to Coxiella death. PMID:28246364

  1. Identification of Coxiella burnetii type IV secretion substrates required for intracellular replication and Coxiella-containing vacuole formation.

    PubMed

    Weber, Mary M; Chen, Chen; Rowin, Kristina; Mertens, Katja; Galvan, Gloria; Zhi, Hui; Dealing, Christopher M; Roman, Victor A; Banga, Simran; Tan, Yunhao; Luo, Zhao-Qing; Samuel, James E

    2013-09-01

    Coxiella burnetii, the etiological agent of acute and chronic Q fever in humans, is a naturally intracellular pathogen that directs the formation of an acidic Coxiella-containing vacuole (CCV) derived from the host lysosomal network. Central to its pathogenesis is a specialized type IVB secretion system (T4SS) that delivers effectors essential for intracellular replication and CCV formation. Using a bioinformatics-guided approach, 234 T4SS candidate substrates were identified. Expression of each candidate as a TEM-1 β-lactamase fusion protein led to the identification of 53 substrates that were translocated in a Dot/Icm-dependent manner. Ectopic expression in HeLa cells revealed that these substrates trafficked to distinct subcellular sites, including the endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondrion, and nucleus. Expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae identified several substrates that were capable of interfering with yeast growth, suggesting that these substrates target crucial host processes. To determine if any of these T4SS substrates are necessary for intracellular replication, we isolated 20 clonal T4SS substrate mutants using the Himar1 transposon and transposase. Among these, 10 mutants exhibited defects in intracellular growth and CCV formation in HeLa and J774A.1 cells but displayed normal growth in bacteriological medium. Collectively, these results indicate that C. burnetii encodes a large repertoire of T4SS substrates that play integral roles in host cell subversion and CCV formation and suggest less redundancy in effector function than has been found in the comparative Legionella Dot/Icm model.

  2. Detection of Coxiella burnetii in Ambient Air after a Large Q Fever Outbreak

    PubMed Central

    de Rooij, Myrna M. T.; Borlée, Floor; Smit, Lidwien A. M.; de Bruin, Arnout; Janse, Ingmar; Heederik, Dick J. J.; Wouters, Inge M.

    2016-01-01

    One of the largest Q fever outbreaks ever occurred in the Netherlands from 2007–2010, with 25 fatalities among 4,026 notified cases. Airborne dispersion of Coxiella burnetii was suspected but not studied extensively at the time. We investigated temporal and spatial variation of Coxiella burnetii in ambient air at residential locations in the most affected area in the Netherlands (the South-East), in the year immediately following the outbreak. One-week average ambient particulate matter < 10 μm samples were collected at eight locations from March till September 2011. Presence of Coxiella burnetii DNA was determined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Associations with various spatial and temporal characteristics were analyzed by mixed logistic regression. Coxiella burnetii DNA was detected in 56 out of 202 samples (28%). Airborne Coxiella burnetii presence showed a clear seasonal pattern coinciding with goat kidding. The spatial variation was significantly associated with number of goats on the nearest goat farm weighted by the distance to the farm (OR per IQR: 1.89, CI: 1.31–2.76). We conclude that in the year after a large Q fever outbreak, temporal variation of airborne Coxiella burnetii is suggestive to be associated with goat kidding, and spatial variation with distance to and size of goat farms. Aerosol measurements show to have potential for source identification and attribution of an airborne pathogen, which may also be applicable in early stages of an outbreak. PMID:26991094

  3. Genotyping of Coxiella burnetii from domestic ruminants in northern Spain

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Information on the genotypic diversity of Coxiella burnetii isolates from infected domestic ruminants in Spain is limited. The aim of this study was to identify the C. burnetii genotypes infecting livestock in Northern Spain and compare them to other European genotypes. A commercial real-time PCR targeting the IS1111a insertion element was used to detect the presence of C. burnetii DNA in domestic ruminants from Spain. Genotypes were determined by a 6-loci Multiple Locus Variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) panel and Multispacer Sequence Typing (MST). Results A total of 45 samples from 4 goat herds (placentas, N = 4), 12 dairy cattle herds (vaginal mucus, individual milk, bulk tank milk, aerosols, N = 20) and 5 sheep flocks (placenta, vaginal swabs, faeces, air samples, dust, N = 21) were included in the study. Samples from goats and sheep were obtained from herds which had suffered abortions suspected to be caused by C. burnetii, whereas cattle samples were obtained from animals with reproductive problems compatible with C. burnetii infection, or consisted of bulk tank milk (BTM) samples from a Q fever surveillance programme. C. burnetii genotypes identified in ruminants from Spain were compared to those detected in other countries. Three MLVA genotypes were found in 4 goat farms, 7 MLVA genotypes were identified in 12 cattle herds and 4 MLVA genotypes were identified in 5 sheep flocks. Clustering of the MLVA genotypes using the minimum spanning tree method showed a high degree of genetic similarity between most MLVA genotypes. Overall 11 different MLVA genotypes were obtained corresponding to 4 different MST genotypes: MST genotype 13, identified in goat, sheep and cattle from Spain; MST genotype 18, only identified in goats; and, MST genotypes 8 and 20, identified in small ruminants and cattle, respectively. All these genotypes had been previously identified in animal and human clinical samples from several European countries, but

  4. Coxiella burnetii Infections in Small Ruminants and Humans in Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Magouras, I; Hunninghaus, J; Scherrer, S; Wittenbrink, M M; Hamburger, A; Stärk, K D C; Schüpbach-Regula, G

    2017-02-01

    The recent Q fever epidemic in the Netherlands raised concerns about the potential risk of outbreaks in other European countries. In Switzerland, the prevalence of Q fever in animals and humans has not been studied in recent years. In this study, we describe the current situation with respect to Coxiella (C.) burnetii infections in small ruminants and humans in Switzerland, as a basis for future epidemiological investigations and public health risk assessments. Specific objectives of this cross-sectional study were to (i) estimate the seroprevalence of C. burnetii in sheep and goats, (ii) quantify the amount of bacteria shed during abortion and (iii) analyse temporal trends in human C. burnetii infections. The seroprevalence of C. burnetii in small ruminants was determined by commercial ELISA from a representative sample of 100 sheep flocks and 72 goat herds. Herd-level seroprevalence was 5.0% (95% CI: 1.6-11.3) for sheep and 11.1% (95% CI: 4.9-20.7) for goats. Animal-level seroprevalence was 1.8% (95% CI: 0.8-3.4) for sheep and 3.4% (95% CI: 1.7-6) for goats. The quantification of C. burnetii in 97 ovine and caprine abortion samples by real-time PCR indicated shedding of >10(4) bacteria/g in 13.4% of all samples tested. To our knowledge, this is the first study reporting C. burnetii quantities in a large number of small ruminant abortion samples. Annual human Q fever serology data were provided by five major Swiss laboratories. Overall, seroprevalence in humans ranged between 1.7% and 3.5% from 2007 to 2011, and no temporal trends were observed. Interestingly, the two laboratories with significantly higher seroprevalences are located in the regions with the largest goat populations as well as, for one laboratory, with the highest livestock density in Switzerland. However, a direct link between animal and human infection data could not be established in this study.

  5. A Method for Purifying Obligate Intracellular Coxiella burnetii that Employs Digitonin Lysis of Host Cells

    PubMed Central

    Cockrell, Diane C.; Beare, Paul A.; Fischer, Elizabeth R.; Howe, Dale; Heinzen, Robert. A.

    2008-01-01

    Purification of the obligate intracellular bacterium Coxiella burnetii requires physical disruption of infected cells. Here we describe a gentle and safe digitonin lysis procedure to release C. burnetii from infected cells. The purity, yield, and infectivity of digitonin-prepped organisms are comparable to that of organisms purified using cell lysis by sonication. PMID:18242746

  6. Proteomic and Systems Biology Analysis of the Monocyte Response to Coxiella burnetii Infection

    PubMed Central

    Shipman, Matt; Lubick, Kirk; Fouchard, David; Gurram, Rajani; Grieco, Paul; Jutila, Mark; Dratz, Edward A.

    2013-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii is an obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen and the causative agent of Q fever. Chronic Q fever can produce debilitating fatigue and C. burnetii is considered a significant bioterror threat. C. burnetii occupies the monocyte phagolysosome and although prior work has explained features of the host-pathogen interaction, many aspects are still poorly understood. We have conducted a proteomic investigation of human Monomac I cells infected with the Nine Mile Phase II strain of C. burnetii and used the results as a framework for a systems biology model of the host response. Our principal methodology was multiplex differential 2D gel electrophoresis using ZDyes, a new generation of covalently linked fluorescent protein detection dyes under development at Montana State University. The 2D gel analysis facilitated the detection of changes in posttranslational modifications on intact proteins in response to infection. The systems model created from our data a framework for the design of experiments to seek a deeper understanding of the host-pathogen interactions. PMID:23990884

  7. Coxiella burnetii DNA detected in domestic ruminants and wildlife from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Cumbassá, Aminata; Barahona, Maria J; Cunha, Mónica V; Azórin, Beatriz; Fonseca, Carlos; Rosalino, Luís Miguel; Tilburg, Jeroen; Hagen, Ferry; Santos, Ana S; Botelho, Ana

    2015-10-22

    Coxiella burnetii is the etiological agent of Q fever or Coxiellosis, a zoonosis mainly affecting domestic ruminants. Information on the population structure and epidemiology of C. burnetii in animals is scarce in Portugal. Evidence of C. burnetti infection was sought in domestic, wild and captive animals based on the detection of bacterial DNA. Tissue samples from 152 domestic animals (cattle=24, goats=51, sheep=76 and swine=1), 55 wild carnivores (Egyptian mongoose=45, red fox=4, common genet=3, weasel=2 and European badger=1) and 22 zoo animals (antelopes=15, impala=1; rhinoceros=1, deer=2, zebras=2 and giraffe=1) were screened by nested-touchdown PCR. Cloacae swabs from 19 griffon vultures were also analysed. Among the domestic ruminants, goats presented the highest prevalence of infection (23.53%), followed by cattle, (20.83%) and sheep (10.53%). C. burnetii DNA was also detected in five Egyptian mongooses and two antelopes and one giraffe. Using a 6-locus multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA-6) six complete genotypes, T, I and CM and the first reported CN, CO and CP, were identified, respectively, in small ruminants and Egyptian mongooses. Clustering analysis of genotypes exposed four distinct groups, according to detection source, enlightening an apparent association between C. burnetii genotype and host.

  8. Coxiella burnetii seroprevalence and associated risk factors in dairy and mixed cattle farms from Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Carbonero, Alfonso; Guzmán, Lucía T; Montaño, Karen; Torralbo, Alicia; Arenas-Montes, Antonio; Saa, Luis R

    2015-03-01

    Q fever is a zoonotic disease caused by Coxiella burnetii, a bacterial agent for which ruminants are the main reservoir. An extensive cross-sectional study to determine the seroprevalence of and associated risk factors for Q fever was performed in dairy and mixed (dairy-beef) cattle herds in Ecuador. A total of 2668 serum samples from 386 herds were analyzed using an ELISA. In addition, a questionnaire with 57 variables related to management, feeding, facilities, biosecurity and animal health was completed for every cattle farm. A Generalized Estimating Equations model was used to determine the factors associated with C. burnetii seropositivity. The true prevalence of C. burnetii seropositivity in dairy and mixed cattle from Ecuador reached 12.6% (CI95%: 11.3-13.9%). The herd prevalence was 46.9% (181/386) (CI95%: 41.9-51.9%), and the within herd prevalence ranged between 8% and 100% (mean: 25.0%; Q1: 12.5%, Q2: 25.0%, Q3: 37.5%). Four factors were included in the GEE model for C. burnetii seropositivity: age of the cattle (OR: 1.01; CI95%: 1.006-1.014), feeding of calves with milk replacers (OR: 1.94; CI95%: 1.1-3.3), bovine respiratory syncytial virus seropositivity (OR: 1.54; CI95%: 1.1-2.3), and disinfection of the umbilical cord (OR: 0.60; CI95%: 0.4-0.9).

  9. Prevalence of Antibodies Against Coxiella burnetii in Korean Native Cattle, Dairy Cattle, and Dogs in South Korea.

    PubMed

    Lyoo, Kwang-Soo; Kim, Doo; Jang, Hyung Gwan; Lee, Seung-Joon; Park, Mi Yeoun; Hahn, Tae-Wook

    2017-03-01

    Coxiella burnetii is a zoonotic agent and causes coxiellosis, which is a cause of reproductive failure in a range of animal species, including abortion and stillbirth and Q fever, which is most often characterized by an acute flu-like illness, mild pneumonia, and/or hepatitis in humans. While livestock are well recognized worldwide as a source of infection, the zoonotic risk of C. burnetii infection in companion animals such as dogs may be overlooked. For serological diagnosis, indirect immunofluorescent assay (IFA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) are generally considered good methods for prevalence surveys of coxiellosis. In this study, we conducted a nationwide survey of the seroprevalence of previous exposure to C. burnetii in dogs, dairy cattle, and Korean native cattle (a primarily beef breed) in South Korea. Serum samples obtained from 3087 Korean native cattle, 1224 dairy cattle, and 1023 dogs were collected from eight provinces in South Korea, and IFA and ELISA were performed to test for seropositivity. The prevalence of C. burnetii was 1.7% in Korean native cattle, 10.5% in dairy cattle, and 2.9% in dogs. This is the first report identifying previous exposure to C. burnetii in South Korean dogs. Furthermore, the presence of C. burnetii antibodies in companion and feral dogs indicates that dogs can be a potential reservoir species for zoonotic risk of C. burnetii infection in South Korea. Therefore, more detailed studies aiming to clarify epidemiological factors should be performed in the future.

  10. First seropositive cases of Coxiella burnetii in red deer populations in the southwest Iberian peninsula.

    PubMed

    Castillo, Leticia; Fernández-Llario, Pedro; Carranza Almansa, Juan; Bermejo, Félix; Hermoso de Mendoza, Javier

    2010-09-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii in different red deer populations and to investigate role of red deer densities, livestock, and habitat on seroprevalence. The serosurvey revealed 5 positive cases out of 137 sera (3.64%) that occurred in two of the three study areas. This study documents the first cases of Coxiella burnetii in red deer in the southwest Iberian peninsula. A relationship between deer density and Coxiella seroprevalence was not found. Results revealed that indirect transmission through ticks between livestock and red deer might be associated with higher prevalence. The timing of shelter area usage may influence the contact between ticks and red deer by favoring transmission. Coxiella burnetii in red deer may be associated with infertility or early abortions with reabsorption. Further research is needed to evaluate its epidemiology and effect on the disease dynamics of red deer in the southwest Iberian peninsula.

  11. Evidence of Coxiella burnetii in Punjab province, Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Shabbir, Muhammad Zubair; Akram, Sidra; Hassan, Zia Ul; Hanif, Kashif; Rabbani, Masood; Muhammad, Javed; Chaudhary, Muhammad Hamid; Abbas, Tariq; Ghori, Muhammad Taslim; Rashid, Haroon; Jamil, Tariq; Islam, Zia-Ul-; Rasool, Haisem; Bano, Asghari; Ahmad, Arfan; Ali, Muhammad Asad; Yaqub, Tahir; McVey, Walt; Jayarao, Bhushan M

    2016-11-01

    Coxiella burnetii causes query (Q) fever, an important zoonotic disease with worldwide significance. The role of environment in the ecology of C. burnetti, and its influence on seroconversion in animals has not been elucidated in Pakistan. We carried out a cross-sectional study in Punjab province to (1) determine the prevalence and distribution of C. burnetii in soil using an ISIIII gene-based real time-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay, (2) analyze association between the occurrence of C. burnetii in soil and its predictors i.e. soil characteristics (macro- and micro-nutrients) and several likely risk factors including the seroconversion in small ruminants at places where its genome had or had not been detected, and (3) predict homology and genetic diversity of the identified strains using sequences originated from different hosts worldwide. A total of 2425 soil samples from nine districts of Punjab province were processed. C. burnetii DNA was detected in 47 samples (1.94%, 95% CI: ±0.55) originating from 35 villages of studied districts (7.22%, 95% CI: ±2.30). The highest prevalence was found in Attock (7.11%, 95% CI: ±3.36), followed by Lahore (4.83%, 95% CI: ±3.49), Sahiwal (4.70%, 95% CI: ±2.6), Dera Ghazi Khan (2.33%, 95% CI: ±2.02), Faisalabad (1.35%, 95% CI: ±1.18) and Sheikhupura (0.68%, 95% CI: ±0.94). The odds of detecting bacterial DNA in soil was increased with a unit increase in organic matter [2.511 (95% CI: 1.453-4.340), p=0.001] and sodium [1.013 (95% CI: 1.005-1.022), p=0.001], whereas, calcium [0.984 (95% CI: 0.975-0.994), p=0.002] and potassium [0.994 (95% CI: 0.990-0.999), p=0.011] had protective effect where a unit increase in each analyte decreased odds for its occurrence by 1.0% approximately. Likewise, for categorical variables (risk factors), the odds of detecting C. burnetii were higher at locations >500m away from a main road [1.95 (95% CI: 1.06-3.78), p=0.04]. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA

  12. The Recent Evolution of a Maternally-Inherited Endosymbiont of Ticks Led to the Emergence of the Q Fever Pathogen, Coxiella burnetii

    PubMed Central

    Duron, Olivier; Noël, Valérie; McCoy, Karen D.; Bonazzi, Matteo; Sidi-Boumedine, Karim; Morel, Olivier; Vavre, Fabrice; Zenner, Lionel; Jourdain, Elsa; Durand, Patrick; Arnathau, Céline; Renaud, François; Trape, Jean-François; Biguezoton, Abel S.; Cremaschi, Julie; Dietrich, Muriel; Léger, Elsa; Appelgren, Anaïs; Dupraz, Marlène; Gómez-Díaz, Elena; Diatta, Georges; Dayo, Guiguigbaza-Kossigan; Adakal, Hassane; Zoungrana, Sébastien; Vial, Laurence; Chevillon, Christine

    2015-01-01

    Q fever is a highly infectious disease with a worldwide distribution. Its causative agent, the intracellular bacterium Coxiella burnetii, infects a variety of vertebrate species, including humans. Its evolutionary origin remains almost entirely unknown and uncertainty persists regarding the identity and lifestyle of its ancestors. A few tick species were recently found to harbor maternally-inherited Coxiella-like organisms engaged in symbiotic interactions, but their relationships to the Q fever pathogen remain unclear. Here, we extensively sampled ticks, identifying new and atypical Coxiella strains from 40 of 58 examined species, and used this data to infer the evolutionary processes leading to the emergence of C. burnetii. Phylogenetic analyses of multi-locus typing and whole-genome sequencing data revealed that Coxiella-like organisms represent an ancient and monophyletic group allied to ticks. Remarkably, all known C. burnetii strains originate within this group and are the descendants of a Coxiella-like progenitor hosted by ticks. Using both colony-reared and field-collected gravid females, we further establish the presence of highly efficient maternal transmission of these Coxiella-like organisms in four examined tick species, a pattern coherent with an endosymbiotic lifestyle. Our laboratory culture assays also showed that these Coxiella-like organisms were not amenable to culture in the vertebrate cell environment, suggesting different metabolic requirements compared to C. burnetii. Altogether, this corpus of data demonstrates that C. burnetii recently evolved from an inherited symbiont of ticks which succeeded in infecting vertebrate cells, likely by the acquisition of novel virulence factors. PMID:25978383

  13. The Recent Evolution of a Maternally-Inherited Endosymbiont of Ticks Led to the Emergence of the Q Fever Pathogen, Coxiella burnetii.

    PubMed

    Duron, Olivier; Noël, Valérie; McCoy, Karen D; Bonazzi, Matteo; Sidi-Boumedine, Karim; Morel, Olivier; Vavre, Fabrice; Zenner, Lionel; Jourdain, Elsa; Durand, Patrick; Arnathau, Céline; Renaud, François; Trape, Jean-François; Biguezoton, Abel S; Cremaschi, Julie; Dietrich, Muriel; Léger, Elsa; Appelgren, Anaïs; Dupraz, Marlène; Gómez-Díaz, Elena; Diatta, Georges; Dayo, Guiguigbaza-Kossigan; Adakal, Hassane; Zoungrana, Sébastien; Vial, Laurence; Chevillon, Christine

    2015-05-01

    Q fever is a highly infectious disease with a worldwide distribution. Its causative agent, the intracellular bacterium Coxiella burnetii, infects a variety of vertebrate species, including humans. Its evolutionary origin remains almost entirely unknown and uncertainty persists regarding the identity and lifestyle of its ancestors. A few tick species were recently found to harbor maternally-inherited Coxiella-like organisms engaged in symbiotic interactions, but their relationships to the Q fever pathogen remain unclear. Here, we extensively sampled ticks, identifying new and atypical Coxiella strains from 40 of 58 examined species, and used this data to infer the evolutionary processes leading to the emergence of C. burnetii. Phylogenetic analyses of multi-locus typing and whole-genome sequencing data revealed that Coxiella-like organisms represent an ancient and monophyletic group allied to ticks. Remarkably, all known C. burnetii strains originate within this group and are the descendants of a Coxiella-like progenitor hosted by ticks. Using both colony-reared and field-collected gravid females, we further establish the presence of highly efficient maternal transmission of these Coxiella-like organisms in four examined tick species, a pattern coherent with an endosymbiotic lifestyle. Our laboratory culture assays also showed that these Coxiella-like organisms were not amenable to culture in the vertebrate cell environment, suggesting different metabolic requirements compared to C. burnetii. Altogether, this corpus of data demonstrates that C. burnetii recently evolved from an inherited symbiont of ticks which succeeded in infecting vertebrate cells, likely by the acquisition of novel virulence factors.

  14. Surfactant Protein D Binds to Coxiella burnetii and Results in a Decrease in Interactions with Murine Alveolar Macrophages.

    PubMed

    Soltysiak, Kelly A; van Schaik, Erin J; Samuel, James E

    2015-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii is a Gram-negative, obligate intracellular bacterium and the causative agent of Q fever. Infections are usually acquired after inhalation of contaminated particles, where C. burnetii infects its cellular target cells, alveolar macrophages. Respiratory pathogens encounter the C-type lectin surfactant protein D (SP-D) during the course of natural infection. SP-D is a component of the innate immune response in the lungs and other mucosal surfaces. Many Gram-negative pulmonary pathogens interact with SP-D, which can cause aggregation, bactericidal effects and aid in bacterial clearance. Here we show that SP-D binds to C. burnetii in a calcium-dependent manner with no detectable bacterial aggregation or bactericidal effects. Since SP-D interactions with bacteria often alter macrophage interactions, it was determined that SP-D treatment resulted in a significant decrease in C. burnetii interactions to a mouse alveolar macrophage model cell line MH-S indicating SP-D causes a significant decrease in phagocytosis. The ability of SP-D to modulate macrophage activation by C. burnetii was tested and it was determined that SP-D does not alter the correlates measured for macrophage activation. Taken together these studies support those demonstrating limited activation of alveolar macrophages with C. burnetii and demonstrate interactions with SP-D participate in reduction of phagocyte attachment and phagocytosis.

  15. Serosurvey of Coxiella burnetii (Q fever) in Dromedary Camels (Camelus dromedarius) in Laikipia County, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Browne, A S; Fèvre, E M; Kinnaird, M; Muloi, D M; Wang, C A; Larsen, P S; O'Brien, T; Deem, S L

    2017-02-08

    Dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) are an important protein source for people in semi-arid and arid regions of Africa. In Kenya, camel populations have grown dramatically in the past few decades resulting in the potential for increased disease transmission between humans and camels. An estimated four million Kenyans drink unpasteurized camel milk, which poses a disease risk. We evaluated the seroprevalence of a significant zoonotic pathogen, Coxiella burnetii (Q fever), among 334 camels from nine herds in Laikipia County, Kenya. Serum testing revealed 18.6% positive seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii (n = 344). Increasing camel age was positively associated with C. burnetii seroprevalence (OR = 5.36). Our study confirmed that camels living in Laikipia County, Kenya, have been exposed to the zoonotic pathogen, C. burnetii. Further research to evaluate the role of camels in disease transmission to other livestock, wildlife and humans in Kenya should be conducted.

  16. The Effect of Wind on Coxiella burnetii Transmission Between Cattle Herds: a Mechanistic Approach.

    PubMed

    Nusinovici, S; Hoch, T; Brahim, M L; Joly, A; Beaudeau, F

    2017-04-01

    There is a consensus that wind plays a key role in the transmission of Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever, between ruminants and from ruminants to humans. However, no observational study so far has focused on the mechanisms associated with this airborne transmission. This study applied a mechanistic epidemiological approach to investigate the processes underlying the wind effect and to assess its influence on the risk for a dairy herd to become C. burnetii infected. Ninety-five dairy cattle herds located in the Finistère department (western France) were subjected to samplings of bulk tank milk and indoor dust every 4 months over a 1-year period to determine their C. burnetii status using PCR tests. A total of 27 incident herd-periods (negative-tested on both PCR tests and becoming positive-tested at least once at the subsequent sampling time) and 71 negative herd-periods were retained for analysis. Using logistic regression, we assessed the effect of (i) the cumulated number of bacteria in herds located under the main wind direction and (ii) the mean wind speed in this area, on a given herd's risk of becoming incident. Compared to herds in areas with low wind speed (≤5.5 m/s), the risk was significantly higher (OR = 3.7) in herds in areas with high wind speed (>5.5 m/s) and high bacterial load (>10), whereas it was not significantly different from unity in other situations. In agreement with our assumptions, C. burnetii transmission to a previously infection-free herd occurs only when (i) the wind transporting from infected sources and (ii) the load in the contaminated particles/aerosols generated are high enough to act jointly.

  17. Serological evidence of Rickettsia and Coxiella burnetii in humans of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Cicuttin, Gabriel Leonardo; Degiuseppe, Juan Ignacio; Mamianetti, Andrea; Corin, Marcela Viviana; Linares, María Cielo; De Salvo, María Nazarena; Dohmen, Federico Eugenio Gury

    2015-12-01

    In Buenos Aires city (Argentina), the circulation of these agents has been detected mainly in vectors and animals, few human cases having been described. The aim of our study was to determine the seroprevalence of Rickettsia (spotted fever--SFG--and typhus--TG--groups) and Coxiella burnetii (Q fever agent) in residents of Buenos Aires city. The study involved 99 participants. Rickettsia IgG antibodies against SFG and TG were detected by IFA in 28.3% and 16.2% of serum samples, respectively. SFG titers were mostly 1/64 (53.6%) with a maximum of 1/512 (3.5%) whereas TG titers ranged between 1/64 (62.5%) and 1/256 (6.3%). Only one sample showed a titer of 1/32 for C. burnetii (phases I and II). The circulation of these pathogens in urban areas such as the city of Buenos Aires should be considered by health services, especially at the primary care level.

  18. Coxiella burnetii infection of marine mammals in the Pacific Northwest, 1997-2010.

    PubMed

    Kersh, Gilbert J; Lambourn, Dyanna M; Raverty, Stephen A; Fitzpatrick, Kelly A; Self, Joshua S; Akmajian, Adrianne M; Jeffries, Steven J; Huggins, Jessica; Drew, Clifton P; Zaki, Sherif R; Massung, Robert F

    2012-01-01

    Q fever is a zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii. Humans are commonly exposed via inhalation of aerosolized bacteria derived from the waste products of domesticated sheep and goats, and particularly from products generated during parturition. However, many other species can be infected with C. burnetii, and the host range and full zoonotic potential of C. burnetii is unknown. Two cases of C. burnetii infection in marine mammal placenta have been reported, but it is not known if this infection is common in marine mammals. To address this issue, placenta samples were collected from Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardsi), harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena), and Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus). Coxiella burnetii was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the placentas of Pacific harbor seals (17/27), harbor porpoises (2/6), and Steller sea lions (1/2) collected in the Pacific Northwest. A serosurvey of 215 Pacific harbor seals sampled in inland and outer coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest showed that 34.0% (73/215) had antibodies against either Phase 1 or Phase 2 C. burnetii. These results suggest that C. burnetii infection is common among marine mammals in this region.

  19. Coxiella burnetii Infection of a Steller Sea Lion (Eumetopias jubatus) Found in Washington State ▿

    PubMed Central

    Kersh, Gilbert J.; Lambourn, Dyanna M.; Self, Joshua S.; Akmajian, Adrianne M.; Stanton, James B.; Baszler, Timothy V.; Raverty, Stephen A.; Massung, Robert F.

    2010-01-01

    A pregnant sea lion stranded in the State of Washington was found to have placentitis caused by a unique strain of Coxiella burnetii. This is the first description of coxiellosis in a sea lion and suggests that exposure to sea lions may be a risk factor for contracting Q fever. PMID:20592144

  20. In silico biosynthesis of virenose, a methylated deoxy-sugar unique to Coxiella burnetii lipopolysaccharide

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background: Coxiella burnetii is Gram-negative bacterium responsible for the zoonosis Q-fever. While it has an obligate intracellulargrowth habit, it is able to persist for extended periods outside of a host cell and can resist environmental conditions that would be lethal to most prokaryotes. It is...

  1. Coxiella burnetii Endocarditis in a Child Caused by a New Genotype.

    PubMed

    Briggs, Benjamin J; Raoult, Didier; Hijazi, Ziyad M; Edouard, Sophie; Angelakis, Emmanouil; Logan, Latania K

    2016-02-01

    Coxiella burnetii endocarditis is a rare diagnosis in children. We present a case of Q fever endocarditis due to a new genotype, MST 54, and review recent literature on Q fever infections in children. Practitioners should consider Q fever in culture-negative endocarditis, particularly in children with congenital heart disease and history of travel or residence in endemic regions.

  2. Occurrence and Genotyping of Coxiella burnetii in Ixodid Ticks in Oromia, Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    Kumsa, Bersissa; Socolovschi, Cristina; Almeras, Lionel; Raoult, Didier; Parola, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    This study was conducted from September 2011 to March 2014 to address the occurrence and genotypes of Coxiella burnetii using molecular methods in ticks collected from domestic animals in Ethiopia. Ticks were tested for C. burnetii by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) targeting two different genes followed by multispacer sequence typing (MST). An overall prevalence of 6.4% (54/842) of C. burnetii was recorded. C. burnetii was detected in 28.6% (14/49) of Amblyomma gemma, 25% (31/124) of Rhipicephalus pulchellus, 7.1% (1/14) of Hyalomma marginatum rufipes, 3.2% (2/62) of Am. variegatum, 3.1% (4/128) of Am. cohaerens, 1.6% (1/63) of Rh. praetextatus, and 0.6% (1/153) of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) decoloratus. Significantly higher overall frequencies of C. burnetii DNA were observed in Am. gemma and Rh. pulchellus than in other tick species (Mantel–Haenszel [MH], P < 0.0001). The overall frequency of C. burnetii was significantly higher (MH, P < 0.0001) in ticks from southeastern districts (Arero, Moyale, and Yabelo) than that from other districts. This study demonstrated the presence of C. burnetii genotype MST 18 in ticks in southeastern districts and genotype MST 20 in ticks in central districts. This study highlights the importance of ticks in the epidemiology of C. burnetii in Ethiopia. PMID:26392155

  3. Antigenicity of chloroform-methanol-treated Coxiella burnetii preparations.

    PubMed

    Kazár, J; Schramek, S; Lisák, V; Brezina, R

    1987-03-01

    Phase I Coxiella burnetii (C.b.) cells untreated (Cb I) or treated with chloroform-methanol (CM) mixture (Cb I-CM) were compared as to their capacity to induce antibodies in laboratory animals and cattle, their ability to elicit delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction in mice and rabbits and protective effect in mice. In all animal species (mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, cattle) tested, the same doses of Cb I-CM cells induced lower levels of both phase I and phase II microagglutinating (MA) antibodies than Cb I cells at different intervals post-immunization (p.i.). Though for elicitation of DTH reaction in rabbits immunized with different C.b. preparations lower doses of Cb I than of Cb I-C M cells were necessary, C.b. cells caused inflammatory reaction at lower doses also in control rabbits. In mice immunized with Cb I and Cb I-CM cells, but not with trichloracetic acid extract (TCAE) from intact Cb I cells, DTH reaction was elicited by the same doses of Cb I and Cb I-CM cells. Higher immunizing doses of Cb I-CM than of Cb I cells were required, however, to induce DTH reaction (as tested by TCAE) as well as protection to phase I virulent challenge. TCAE from intact Cb I cells was protective in mice also at lower doses than TCAE from Cb I-CM cells (TCAE-CM). In humans who suffered from Q fever one year ago, higher proportion of positive skin test (ST) reactions and antibody recalls with higher mean geometric titres (MGT) of phase II MA antibodies was noticed following intradermal administration of TCAE than of TCAE-CM. When humans with no evidence of Q fever in past were vaccinated with TCAE or TCAE-CM, the former preparation not only caused higher proportion of both local and general post-vaccination reactions, but also of phase II MA antibody response and positive ST reactions as tested by TCAE 3 months post-vaccination in addition to higher proportion of phase II MA antibody recalls.

  4. Prevalence and risk factors for Coxiella burnetii seropositivity in small ruminant veterinarians and veterinary students in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Meadows, Shannon L; Jones-Bitton, Andria; McEwen, Scott A; Jansen, Jocelyn; Patel, Samir N; Filejski, Catherine; Menzies, Paula

    2017-04-01

    Coxiella burnetii is a zoonotic pathogen that causes Q fever in humans. Serological and questionnaire data on C. burnetii were obtained from 32 small ruminant veterinarians and veterinary students in Ontario, Canada, in February 2012. Overall, 59% of participants were seropositive; advanced stage of career and increased age were associated with seropositivity.

  5. Development of an Ex Vivo Tissue Platform To Study the Human Lung Response to Coxiella burnetii

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Joseph G.; Winchell, Caylin G.; Kurten, Richard C.

    2016-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii is an intracellular bacterial pathogen that causes human Q fever, an acute debilitating flu-like illness that can also present as chronic endocarditis. Disease typically occurs following inhalation of contaminated aerosols, resulting in an initial pulmonary infection. In human cells, C. burnetii generates a replication niche termed the parasitophorous vacuole (PV) by directing fusion with autophagosomes and lysosomes. C. burnetii requires this lysosomal environment for replication and uses a Dot/Icm type IV secretion system to generate the large PV. However, we do not understand how C. burnetii evades the intracellular immune surveillance that triggers an inflammatory response. We recently characterized human alveolar macrophage (hAM) infection in vitro and found that avirulent C. burnetii triggers sustained interleukin-1β (IL-1β) production. Here, we evaluated infection of ex vivo human lung tissue, defining a valuable approach for characterizing C. burnetii interactions with a human host. Within whole lung tissue, C. burnetii preferentially replicated in hAMs. Additionally, IL-1β production correlated with formation of an apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase activation and recruitment domain (ASC)-dependent inflammasome in response to infection. We also assessed potential activation of a human-specific noncanonical inflammasome and found that caspase-4 and caspase-5 are processed during infection. Interestingly, although inflammasome activation is closely linked to pyroptosis, lytic cell death did not occur following C. burnetii-triggered inflammasome activation, indicating an atypical response after intracellular detection. Together, these studies provide a novel platform for studying the human innate immune response to C. burnetii. PMID:26902725

  6. Coxiella burnetii associated reproductive disorders in domestic animals-a critical review

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The bacterium Coxiella burnetii has been detected in the fetal membranes, birth fluids and vaginal mucus, as well as in the milk and other excretions of several domestic mammals. The finding of C. burnetii in association with abortion, parturition and in the postpartum period has led to the hypothesis that C. burnetii causes a range of reproductive diseases. This review critically evaluates the scientific basis for this hypothesis in domestic mammals. The review demonstrates a solid evidence for the association between C. burnetii infection and sporadic cases of abortion, premature delivery, stillbirth and weak offspring in cattle, sheep and goats. C. burnetii induced in-herd epidemics of this complete expression of reproductive failure have been reported for sheep and goats, but not for cattle. The single entities occur only as part of the complex and not as single events such as generally increased stillbirth rate. Studies show that C. burnetii initially infects the placenta and that subsequent spread to the fetus may occur either haematogenous or by the amniotic-oral route. The consequences for the equine, porcine, canine and feline conceptus remains to the elucidated but that infection of the conceptus may occur is documented for most species. There is no solid evidence to support a hypothesis of C. burnetii causing disorders such as subfertility, endometritis/metritis, or retained fetal membranes in any kind of domestic animal species. There is a strong need to validate non-pathology based methods such as polymerase chain reaction for their use in diagnostic and research in relation to establishing C. burnetii as the cause of abortion and to adapt an appropriate study design and include adequate control animals when linking epidemiological findings to C. burnetii or when evaluating effects of vaccination in production herds. PMID:23419216

  7. Coxiella burnetii Employs the Dot/Icm Type IV Secretion System to Modulate Host NF-κB/RelA Activation

    PubMed Central

    Mahapatra, Saugata; Gallaher, Brandi; Smith, Sydni Caet; Graham, Joseph G.; Voth, Daniel E.; Shaw, Edward I.

    2016-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii is the causative agent of Q fever and an obligate intracellular pathogen in nature that survives and grows in a parasitophorous vacuole (PV) within eukaryotic host cells. C. burnetii promotes intracellular survival by subverting apoptotic and pro-inflammatory signaling pathways that are typically regulated by nuclear transcription factor-κB (NF-κB). We and others have demonstrated that C. burnetii NMII proteins inhibit expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and induce expression of anti-apoptotic genes during infection. Here, we demonstrate that C. burnetii promotes intracellular survival by modulating NF-κB subunit p65 (RelA) phosphorylation, and thus activation, in a Type Four B Secretion System (T4BSS)-dependent manner. Immunoblot analysis of RelA phosphorylated at serine-536 demonstrated that C. burnetii increases NF-κB activation via the canonical pathway. However, RelA phosphorylation levels were even higher in infected cells where bacterial protein or mRNA synthesis was inhibited. Importantly, we demonstrate that inhibition of RelA phosphorylation impairs PV formation and C. burnetii growth. We found that a T4BSS-defective mutant (CbΔdotA) elicited phosphorylated RelA levels similar to those of wild type C. burnetii infection treated with Chloramphenicol. Moreover, cells infected with CbΔdotA or wild type C. burnetii treated with Chloramphenicol showed similar levels of GFP-RelA nuclear localization, and significantly increased localization compared to wild type C. burnetii infection. These data indicate that without de novo protein synthesis and a functional T4BSS, C. burnetii is unable to modulate NF-κB activation, which is crucial for optimal intracellular growth. PMID:28066723

  8. Analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans innate immune response to Coxiella burnetii

    PubMed Central

    Battisti, James M; Watson, Lance A; Naung, Myo T; Drobish, Adam M; Voronina, Ekaterina; Minnick, Michael F

    2016-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is well established as a system for characterization and discovery of molecular mechanisms mediating microbe-specific inducible innate immune responses to human pathogens. Coxiella burnetii is an obligate intracellular bacterium that causes a flu-like syndrome in humans (Q fever), as well as abortions in domesticated livestock, worldwide. Initially, when wild type C. elegans (N2 strain) was exposed to mCherry-expressing C. burnetii (CCB) a number of overt pathological manifestations resulted, including intestinal distension, deformed anal region and a decreased lifespan. However, nematodes fed autoclave-killed CCB did not exhibit these symptoms. Although vertebrates detect C. burnetii via TLRs, pathologies in tol-1(−) mutant nematodes were indistinguishable from N2, and indicate nematodes do not employ this orthologue for detection of C. burnetii. sek-1(−) MAP kinase mutant nematodes succumbed to infection faster, suggesting that this signaling pathway plays a role in immune activation, as previously shown for orthologues in vertebrates during a C. burnetii infection. C. elegans daf-2(−) mutants are hyper-immune and exhibited significantly reduced pathological consequences during challenge. Collectively, these results demonstrate the utility of C. elegans for studying the innate immune response against C. burnetii and could lead to discovery of novel methods for prevention and treatment of disease in humans and livestock. PMID:27884946

  9. Transmission of Coxiella burnetii to cage mates using murine animal model.

    PubMed

    Bechah, Yassina; Raoult, Didier

    2017-02-01

    Aerosols from the products of abortions of infected animals with Coxiella burnetii were known to be the main source of infection in humans with this bacterium. However, little is known about the excretion of C. burnetii in the feces and urine of infected mice, or the dynamic of transmission between infected and healthy mice. To investigate whether C. burnetii can be excreted in the feces and urine of infected mice and whether transmission to uninfected cage mates occurs, male mice were inoculated with C. burnetii using a "whole body aerosol system" and feces and urine were collected different time points post-infection from these mice. One hour post exposure to aerosols, uninfected mice was placed with infected mice and the transmission was monitored using blood, and organs biopsies collected after sacrifice of contact mice different time points post-contact. Bacterial DNA was not detected in the feces and urine of infected mice at 3, 7, 14 and 28days post-inoculation suggesting that C. burnetii was not excreted in the feces and urine and consequently they cannot be source of contamination. However, based on the positive PCR results for lungs, blood, spleen, tracheal lymph nodes and cervical lymph nodes, some of the contact animals were considered contaminated at 8days post-contact. These results indicated that transmission of C. burnetii to contact animals occurs, and it is unlikely that feces and urine act as source of this transmission. Further experiments are needed to clarify the exact mode of contamination.

  10. Serological evidence of Coxiella burnetii exposure in native marsupials and introduced animals in Queensland, Australia.

    PubMed

    Cooper, A; Goullet, M; Mitchell, J; Ketheesan, N; Govan, B

    2012-07-01

    The state of Queensland has the highest incidence of Q fever in Australia. In recent years, there has been an increase in human cases where no contacts with the typical reservoir animals or occupations were reported. The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii in Australian native animals and introduced animals in northern and southeastern Queensland. Australian native marsupials sampled included the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) and common northern bandicoot (Isoodon macrourus). Introduced species sampled included dingoes (Canis lupus dingo), cats (Felis catus), foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and pigs (Sus scrofa). Serum samples were tested by ELISA for both phase II and phase I antigens of the organism using an Australian isolate. The serological evidence of C. burnetii infection demonstrated in these species has public health implications due to their increasing movement into residential areas in regional Queensland. This study is the first known investigation of C. burnetii seroprevalence in these species in northern Queensland.

  11. Coxiella burnetii infection in a patient from a rural area of Monteria, Colombia.

    PubMed

    Mattar, Salim; Contreras, Verónica; González, Marco; Camargo, Francisco; Álvarez, Jaime; Oteo, José A

    2014-01-01

    Q fever is a zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii. In Colombia, there have been very few human cases reported to date. This report describes the case of a 56-year-old patient with a background in agriculture and livestock handling. An indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) showed high titers of IgG for C. burnetii anti-phase I (1: 256) and anti-phase II (1:1024). For the next six months the patient's IgG antibody titers remained high, and after treatment with doxycycline, the IgG antibody titers decreased to 50% (anti-phase I 1:128 and anti-phase II 1:512); this profile suggests an infection of C. burnetii.

  12. Ultrastructural investigations on surface structures involved in Coxiella burnetii phase variation.

    PubMed Central

    Krauss, H; Schiefer, H G; Schmatz, H D

    1977-01-01

    By using the cytochemical staining procedure with concanavalin A, horseradish peroxidase, and diaminobenzidine, no surface carbohydrates with terminal alpha-glucosyl or sterically closely related residues could be detected on the cell walls of Coxiella burnetii phases I and II. Using a polycationized ferritin derivative as a cytochemical probe, anionic binding sites were visualized in the electron microscope on cell membranes of C. burnetii phase II, but not on phase I organisms. The sites appeared to be masked in phase I particles. Anionic sites could be demonstrated on phase I organisms after treatment with NaIO4 or dimethyl sulfoxide. A number of different biological properties of C. burnetii phases I and II may depend on the presence or absence of a net negative charge on the surface of the cell walls of these organisms. Images PMID:404251

  13. Serological Evidence of Coxiella burnetii Infection in Cattle and Goats in Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Haider, Najmul; Rahman, Md Shafiqur; Khan, Salah Uddin; Mikolon, Andrea; Osmani, Muzaffor G; Gurley, Emily S; Shanta, Ireen Sultana; Paul, Suman Kumer; Macfarlane-Berry, Laura; Islam, Ariful; Islam, Ausraful; Desmond, James; Epstein, Jonathan H; Priestley, Rachael A; Kersh, Gilbert J; Rahman, Mohammed Ziaur; Daszak, Peter; Luby, Stephen P; Massung, Robert F; Zeidner, Nord

    2015-06-01

    We tested 1149 ruminant sera conveniently collected from three districts of Bangladesh to identify the serological evidence of Coxiella burnetii infection in cattle and goats by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We found that 0.7% (8/1149) of ruminants had detectable immunoglobulin G for C. burnetii: 0.65% (4/620) in cattle and 0.76% (4/529) in goats. A sub-set of ruminant samples was retested and confirmed by immunofluorescence assay (18/112). Although we cannot rule out false-positive reactions, our study suggests the presence of C. burnetii in cattle and goats in Bangladesh. Further studies are required to estimate disease burden at the population level and identify risk factors for Q fever in ruminants in Bangladesh.

  14. Search for correlates of resistance to virulent challenge in mice immunized with Coxiella burnetii.

    PubMed

    Kazár, J; El-Najdawi, E; Brezina, R; Schramek, S

    1977-09-01

    Mice immunized with live phase I or phase II Coxiella burnetii, with killed phase I or phase II organisms or with trichloroacetic acid (TCAE) or phenol (PE) extracts were resistant to intraperitoneal infection with phase I C. burnetii irrespective of whether or not they displayed phase I antibody response at the time of virulent challenge. Increased phagocytosis of purified phase I organisms by blood leukocytes or peritoneal exudate cells (PEC) was noticed only in mice with phase I agglutinating antibodies in their sera or peritoneal washings. Passive transfer of resistance was made possible only by sera containing phase I agglutinating antibodies. Adoptive transfer of immunity by spleen cells, but not by PEC, was achieved providing that these cells were taken from mice immunized with live phase I C. burnetii.

  15. Identification of Coxiella burnetii genotypes in Croatia using multi-locus VNTR analysis.

    PubMed

    Račić, Ivana; Spičić, Silvio; Galov, Ana; Duvnjak, Sanja; Zdelar-Tuk, Maja; Vujnović, Anja; Habrun, Boris; Cvetnić, Zeljko

    2014-10-10

    Although Q fever affects humans and animals in Croatia, we are unaware of genotyping studies of Croatian strains of the causative pathogen Coxiella burnetii, which would greatly assist monitoring and control efforts. Here 3261 human and animal samples were screened for C. burnetii DNA by conventional PCR, and 335 (10.3%) were positive. Of these positive samples, 82 were genotyped at 17 loci using the relatively new method of multi-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). We identified 13 C. burnetii genotypes not previously reported anywhere in the world. Two of these 13 genotypes are typical of the continental part of Croatia and share more similarity with genotypes outside Croatia than with genotypes within the country. The remaining 11 novel genotypes are typical of the coastal part of Croatia and show more similarity to one another than to genotypes outside the country. Our findings shed new light on the phylogeny of C. burnetii strains and may help establish MLVA as a standard technique for Coxiella genotyping.

  16. Low-Dose Priming Before Vaccination with the Phase I Chloroform-Methanol Residue Vaccine Against Q Fever Enhances Humoral and Cellular Immune Responses to Coxiella Burnetii

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-10-01

    Vaccination with the Phase I Chloroform-Methanol Residue Vaccine against Q Fever Enhances Humoral and Cellular Immune Responses to Coxiella burnetii David... I Coxiella burnetii cellular vaccine is completely efficacious in humans, adverse local and systemic reactions may develop if immune individuals are...inadvertently vaccinated. The phase I chloroform- methanol residue (CMRI) vaccine was developed as a potentially safer alternative. Human volunteers

  17. Coxiella burnetii in sewage water at sewage water treatment plants in a Q fever epidemic area.

    PubMed

    Schets, F M; de Heer, L; de Roda Husman, A M

    2013-11-01

    During 2007-2010, over 4000 persons in The Netherlands contracted Q-fever, a zoonosis caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii. Goats and sheep are the main reservoir of C. burnetti and infected animals shed the bacterium with their urine, faeces and birth products. Human infections may occur through direct contact with infected animals, or through inhalation of contaminated dust particles or aerosols. Discharge of waste water from Q fever contaminated goat farms may result in the presence of C. burnetii in sewage water and aerosols at sewage water treatment plants (SWTPs) which may pose a health risk for workers or neighbouring residents. The objectives of this study were to determine the presence of C. burnetii at SWTPs and to optimize available detection methods. In March-July 2011, sewage influent and aeration tank samples from four SWTPs receiving discharge from Q fever positive goat farms were examined by using a multiplex real-time PCR detecting C. burnetii DNA by targeting IS1111 and com1 genes. Influent (44%; n=16/36) and active sludge (36%; n=13/36) samples were positive with low C. burnetii DNA content. Percentage positive samples per SWTP were 28-61%. Positive samples were most frequent in March 2011 and least frequent in May 2011. The presence of C. burnetii DNA in sewage water samples suggests that SWTPs receiving waste water from Q fever contaminated goat farms may contribute to the spread of C. burnetii to the environment. The low levels of C. burnetii DNA in sewage water during the decline of the Q fever outbreak in The Netherlands in 2011 indicate a low health risk for SWTP workers and residents.

  18. Seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii in domesticated and feral cats in eastern Australia.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, Amanda J; Bosward, Katrina L; Heller, Jane; Norris, Jacqueline M

    2015-05-15

    The seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii (C. burnetii) in cats in eastern Australia is unknown, and the risk of transmission from cats to humans is undetermined. This study aimed to determine the exposure of cats to C. burnetii in four distinct cat subpopulations. An indirect immunofluoresence assay (IFA) and an Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) used for detection of anti-C. burnetii antibodies in humans were adapted, verified for use on feline serum, and compared. Cat serum samples (n=712) were tested with IFA from four subpopulations [cattery-confined breeding cats, pet cats, feral cats and shelter cats]. The proportions of seropositive cats were; cattery-confined breeding cats (35/376, 9.3%), pets (2/198, 1%), feral cats (0/50), shelter cats (0/88). The significant variables in C. burnetii seropositivity were cattery-confined breeding cat subpopulation and sterilisation status, with infected cats 17.1 (CI 4.2-70.2; P<0.001) times more likely to be cattery-confined breeding cats and 6.00 (CI 2.13-16.89; P<0.001) times more likely to be entire than sterilised. ELISA was used on 143 of 712 sera tested with IFA, and the Cohen's Kappa coefficient of 0.75 indicated 92.2% agreement between the two assays. These results confirm that Australian cats have been exposed to C. burnetii and that a higher seroprevalence of C. burnetii is seen amongst cattery-confined breeding cats. Cat breeders and veterinary personnel involved in feline reproductive procedures may be at higher risk of exposure to C. burnetii.

  19. Immunogenicity of Coxiella burnetii whole cells and their outer membrane components.

    PubMed

    Gajdosová, E; Kovácová, E; Toman, R; Skultéty, L; Lukácová, M; Kazár, J

    1994-12-01

    The immunogenicity and protective efficacy of the phase I and phase II Coxiella burnetii whole cells (Cb I and Cb II) and their outer membrane components (OMC), i.e. phase I trichloroacetic acid extract (TCAE), phase I 29 K protein (PRO), phase I and II lipopolysaccharides (LPS I, LPS II), polysaccharides (PS I, PS II), and lipid A (LA I, LA II), were compared. The highest immune response was observed in BALB/c mice by Cb I in both humoral immunity and lymphocyte transformation assays, and in the protective effect as well. The immune response was also significant by Cb II, but their protective capacity was low. The OMC reacted variously. Only TCAE and PRO gave a high value of humoral immunity evaluated by the serological methods. All OMC reacted in the haemolytic plaque assay giving different responses. Lymphoproliferation of splenocytes was positive with all OMC using both Cb I and Cb II antigens with the exception of PS I and PS II in the case of Cb II antigen. The induction of protection against infectious Cb I was demonstrated after immunization with TCAE, PRO, and LPS I. Other OMC did not induce protection against this agent.

  20. Coxiella Burnetii: Host and Bacterial Responses to Infection

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-10-16

    investigations into Rocky Mountain spotted fever . Allowing the ticks to feed on guinea pigs resulted in a febrile response [2] and their inflammatory...Introduction .1. History Q fever was first observed in Australia in 1933 as a dis...bacterial response to infection. This review is ntended to provide a basic introduction to C. burnetii and Q fever , while emphasizing immunomodulatory

  1. Coxiella burnetii superoxide dismutase gene: cloning, sequencing, and expression in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed Central

    Heinzen, R A; Frazier, M E; Mallavia, L P

    1992-01-01

    A superoxide dismutase (SOD) gene from the obligate intracellular bacterium Coxiella burnetii has been cloned, and its DNA sequence has been determined and expressed in Escherichia coli. The gene was identified on pSJR50, a pHC79-derived genomic clone, by using the polymerase chain reaction with degenerate oligonucleotide primers corresponding to conserved regions of known SODs. Sequences resembling conventional E. coli ribosomal and RNA polymerase-binding sites preceded the C. burnetii 579-bp SOD open reading frame. An E. coli SOD-deficient double mutant (sodA sodB) that carried pSJR50 had growth and survival responses similar to those of the wild type when the transformant was challenged with 0.05 mM paraquat and 5 mM hydrogen peroxide, respectively. These observations indicated that the C. burnetii gene was functionally expressed in E. coli. Staining of native polyacrylamide gels for SOD activity demonstrated that pSJR50 insert DNA codes for an SOD that comigrates with an SOD found in C. burnetii cell lysates. The enzyme was inactivated by 5 mM hydrogen peroxide, which is indicative of an iron-containing SOD. Additionally, the predicted amino acid sequence was significantly more homologous to known iron-containing SODs than to manganese-containing SODs. Isolation of the C. burnetii SOD gene may provide an opportunity to examine its role in the intracellular survival of this rickettsia. Images PMID:1500190

  2. The prevalence of Coxiella burnetii infection in wild Korean water deer, Korea.

    PubMed

    Shin, Gee-Wook; Kim, Eun-Ju; Lee, Hae-Beom; Cho, Ho-Seong

    2014-07-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of Coxiella burnetti infection in wild Korean water deer (Hydropotes inermis argyropus) in Korea, by using serology and real-time PCR analyses. One hundred ninety-six sera were collected from 4 provinces and tested for anti-C. burnetii antibody detection, by means of CHEKIT Q fever ELISA kit; and C. burnetii IS1111 insertion sequence detection, by means of real-time PCR. Antibodies were detected in 18 of the 196 (9.18%) serum samples, whereas genomes of C. burnetii were detected in 13 of the 196 (6.63%) serum samples. Based on overall high seroprevalence, the public health implications of these findings are important, because they indicate that asymptomatic seropositive or seronegative wild animals may be consistently shedding C. burnetii. This is the first study of C. burnetii prevalence in Korean water deer in the Republic of Korea that has indicated the presence of infected animals throughout the country.

  3. Emergence of Coxiella burnetii in Ruminants on Reunion Island? Prevalence and Risk Factors

    PubMed Central

    Cardinale, Eric; Esnault, Olivier; Beral, Marina; Naze, Florence; Michault, Alain

    2014-01-01

    Q fever is a widespread zoonosis that is caused by Coxiella burnetii (C. burnetii), and ruminants are identified as the main sources of human infections. Some human cases have been described, but very limited information was available about Q fever in ruminants on Reunion Island, a tropical island in the Indian Ocean. A cross-sectional study was undertaken from March 2011 to August 2012 to assess the Q fever prevalence and to identify the major risk factors of C. burnetii infection in ruminants. A total of 516 ruminants (245 cattle, 137 sheep and 134 goats) belonging to 71 farms and localized in different ecosystems of the island were randomly selected. Samples of blood, vaginal mucus and milk were concomitantly collected from females, and a questionnaire was submitted to the farmers. Ticks from positively detected farms were also collected. The overall seropositivity was 11.8% in cattle, 1.4% in sheep and 13.4% in goats. C. burnetii DNA was detected by PCR in 0.81%, 4.4% and 20.1% in cow, sheep and goat vaginal swabs, respectively. C. burnetii shedding in milk was observed in 1% of cows, 0% in sheep and 4.7% in goats. None of the ticks were detected to be positive for C. burnetii. C. burnetii infection increased when the farm was exposed to prevailing winds and when there were no specific precautions for a visitor before entering the farm, and they decreased when a proper quarantine was set up for any introduction of a new ruminant and when the animals returned to the farm at night. MLVA genotyping confirmed the role of these risk factors in infection. PMID:25101780

  4. Emergence of Coxiella burnetii in ruminants on Reunion Island? Prevalence and risk factors.

    PubMed

    Cardinale, Eric; Esnault, Olivier; Beral, Marina; Naze, Florence; Michault, Alain

    2014-08-01

    Q fever is a widespread zoonosis that is caused by Coxiella burnetii (C. burnetii), and ruminants are identified as the main sources of human infections. Some human cases have been described, but very limited information was available about Q fever in ruminants on Reunion Island, a tropical island in the Indian Ocean. A cross-sectional study was undertaken from March 2011 to August 2012 to assess the Q fever prevalence and to identify the major risk factors of C. burnetii infection in ruminants. A total of 516 ruminants (245 cattle, 137 sheep and 134 goats) belonging to 71 farms and localized in different ecosystems of the island were randomly selected. Samples of blood, vaginal mucus and milk were concomitantly collected from females, and a questionnaire was submitted to the farmers. Ticks from positively detected farms were also collected. The overall seropositivity was 11.8% in cattle, 1.4% in sheep and 13.4% in goats. C. burnetii DNA was detected by PCR in 0.81%, 4.4% and 20.1% in cow, sheep and goat vaginal swabs, respectively. C. burnetii shedding in milk was observed in 1% of cows, 0% in sheep and 4.7% in goats. None of the ticks were detected to be positive for C. burnetii. C. burnetii infection increased when the farm was exposed to prevailing winds and when there were no specific precautions for a visitor before entering the farm, and they decreased when a proper quarantine was set up for any introduction of a new ruminant and when the animals returned to the farm at night. MLVA genotyping confirmed the role of these risk factors in infection.

  5. Coxiella burnetii Infects Primary Bovine Macrophages and Limits Their Host Cell Response

    PubMed Central

    Sobotta, Katharina; Hillarius, Kirstin; Mager, Marvin; Kerner, Katharina; Heydel, Carsten

    2016-01-01

    Although domestic ruminants have long been recognized as the main source of human Q fever, little is known about the lifestyle that the obligate intracellular Gram-negative bacterium Coxiella burnetii adopts in its animal host. Because macrophages are considered natural target cells of the pathogen, we established primary bovine monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) as an in vitro infection model to study reservoir host-pathogen interactions at the cellular level. In addition, bovine alveolar macrophages were included to take cell type peculiarities at a host entry site into account. Cell cultures were inoculated with the virulent strain Nine Mile I (NMI; phase I) or the avirulent strain Nine Mile II (NMII; phase II). Macrophages from both sources internalized NMI and NMII. MDM were particularly permissive for NMI internalization, but NMI and NMII replicated with similar kinetics in these cells. MDM responded to inoculation with a general upregulation of Th1-related cytokines such as interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-12, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) early on (3 h postinfection). However, inflammatory responses rapidly declined when C. burnetii replication started. C. burnetii infection inhibited translation and release of IL-1β and vastly failed to stimulate increased expression of activation markers, such as CD40, CD80, CD86, and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. Such capability of limiting proinflammatory responses may help Coxiella to protect itself from clearance by the host immune system. The findings provide the first detailed insight into C. burnetii-macrophage interactions in ruminants and may serve as a basis for assessing the virulence and the host adaptation of C. burnetii strains. PMID:27021246

  6. Coxiella burnetii Infects Primary Bovine Macrophages and Limits Their Host Cell Response.

    PubMed

    Sobotta, Katharina; Hillarius, Kirstin; Mager, Marvin; Kerner, Katharina; Heydel, Carsten; Menge, Christian

    2016-06-01

    Although domestic ruminants have long been recognized as the main source of human Q fever, little is known about the lifestyle that the obligate intracellular Gram-negative bacterium Coxiella burnetii adopts in its animal host. Because macrophages are considered natural target cells of the pathogen, we established primary bovine monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) as an in vitro infection model to study reservoir host-pathogen interactions at the cellular level. In addition, bovine alveolar macrophages were included to take cell type peculiarities at a host entry site into account. Cell cultures were inoculated with the virulent strain Nine Mile I (NMI; phase I) or the avirulent strain Nine Mile II (NMII; phase II). Macrophages from both sources internalized NMI and NMII. MDM were particularly permissive for NMI internalization, but NMI and NMII replicated with similar kinetics in these cells. MDM responded to inoculation with a general upregulation of Th1-related cytokines such as interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-12, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) early on (3 h postinfection). However, inflammatory responses rapidly declined when C. burnetii replication started. C. burnetii infection inhibited translation and release of IL-1β and vastly failed to stimulate increased expression of activation markers, such as CD40, CD80, CD86, and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. Such capability of limiting proinflammatory responses may help Coxiella to protect itself from clearance by the host immune system. The findings provide the first detailed insight into C. burnetii-macrophage interactions in ruminants and may serve as a basis for assessing the virulence and the host adaptation of C. burnetii strains.

  7. Detection of Coxiella burnetii DNA on small-ruminant farms during a Q fever outbreak in the Netherlands.

    PubMed

    de Bruin, A; van der Plaats, R Q J; de Heer, L; Paauwe, R; Schimmer, B; Vellema, P; van Rotterdam, B J; van Duynhoven, Y T H P

    2012-03-01

    During large Q fever outbreaks in the Netherlands between 2007 and 2010, dairy goat farms were implicated as the primary source of human Q fever. The transmission of Coxiella burnetii to humans is thought to occur primarily via aerosols, although available data on C. burnetii in aerosols and other environmental matrices are limited. During the outbreak of 2009, 19 dairy goat farms and one dairy sheep farm were selected nationwide to investigate the presence of C. burnetii DNA in vaginal swabs, manure, surface area swabs, milk unit filters, and aerosols. Four of these farms had a positive status during the Coxiella burnetii bulk milk monitoring program in 2009 and additionally reported abortion waves in 2008 or 2009. Eleven farms were reported as having positive bulk milk only, and five selected (control) farms had a bulk milk-negative status in 2009 and no reported Q fever history. Screening by quantitative PCR (qPCR) revealed that on farms with a history of abortions related to C. burnetii and, to a lesser extent, on farms positive by bulk milk monitoring, generally higher proportions of positive samples and higher levels of C. burnetii DNA within positive samples were observed than on the control farms. The relatively high levels of C. burnetii DNA in surface area swabs and aerosols sampled in stables of bulk milk-positive farms, including farms with a Q fever-related abortion history, support the hypothesis that these farms can pose a risk for the transmission of C. burnetii to humans.

  8. Investigations concerning the prevalence of Coxiella burnetii and Chlamydia abortus in sheep in correlation with management systems and abortion rate in Lower Saxony in 2004.

    PubMed

    Runge, Martin; Binder, Alfred; Schotte, Ulrich; Ganter, Martin

    2012-01-01

    The intracellular bacteria Coxiella (C) burnetii and Chlamydia (Chl) abortus induce abortion in sheep and also affect humans. While Chl. abortus only infrequently infects humans, C burnetii is the aetiological agent of numerous Q fever outbreaks during the last decades. There is only limited knowledge about the prevalence of both pathogens in sheep, although sheep are involved in almost all Q fever outbreaks in Germany. The aim of our study was to investigate the prevalence of both pathogens in flocks located in Lower Saxony, Germany, in correlation to the management form and abortion rate. Serum samples of 1714 sheep from 95 flocks located in Lower Saxony were investigated by ELISA. 2.7% of these samples were positive, 1.3% showed inconclusive results in the C. burnetii-ELISA. Elevated intra-flock seroprevalences were only detected in three migrating flocks. Chlamydia-specific antibodies could be detected in 15.1% serum samples of mainly shepherded and migrating flocks. In one of these flocks with a high intra-flock seroprevalence for C burnetii (27%) and Chlamydia (44.9%), C burnetii was detected in 21.6% of the placenta samples of normal births and in 12.5% of the colostrum samples by PCR. Aborted fetuses and the corresponding placentas were negative in C burnetii-PCR, but in most of them and also in many other placenta samples Chl. abortus could be detected by PCR and DNA microarray. This survey shows a low overall prevalence of C. burnetii in sheep in Lower Saxony in the year 2004. However, three migrating flocks with a high intra-flock prevalence are localized in the southern parts of Lower Saxony. Spreading of C burnetii could occur, because of the large radius of grazing of all three flocks.

  9. Vasodilator-Stimulated Phosphoprotein Activity Is Required for Coxiella burnetii Growth in Human Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Colonne, Punsiri M.; Winchell, Caylin G.; Graham, Joseph G.; Onyilagha, Frances I.; MacDonald, Laura J.; Doeppler, Heike R.; Storz, Peter; Kurten, Richard C.; Beare, Paul A.; Voth, Daniel E.

    2016-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii is an intracellular bacterial pathogen that causes human Q fever, an acute flu-like illness that can progress to chronic endocarditis and liver and bone infections. Humans are typically infected by aerosol-mediated transmission, and C. burnetii initially targets alveolar macrophages wherein the pathogen replicates in a phagolysosome-like niche known as the parasitophorous vacuole (PV). C. burnetii manipulates host cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) signaling to promote PV formation, cell survival, and bacterial replication. In this study, we identified the actin regulatory protein vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) as a PKA substrate that is increasingly phosphorylated at S157 and S239 during C. burnetii infection. Avirulent and virulent C. burnetii triggered increased levels of phosphorylated VASP in macrophage-like THP-1 cells and primary human alveolar macrophages, and this event required the Cα subunit of PKA. VASP phosphorylation also required bacterial protein synthesis and secretion of effector proteins via a type IV secretion system, indicating the pathogen actively triggers prolonged VASP phosphorylation. Optimal PV formation and intracellular bacterial replication required VASP activity, as siRNA-mediated depletion of VASP reduced PV size and bacterial growth. Interestingly, ectopic expression of a phospho-mimetic VASP (S239E) mutant protein prevented optimal PV formation, whereas VASP (S157E) mutant expression had no effect. VASP (S239E) expression also prevented trafficking of bead-containing phagosomes to the PV, indicating proper VASP activity is critical for heterotypic fusion events that control PV expansion in macrophages. Finally, expression of dominant negative VASP (S157A) in C. burnetii-infected cells impaired PV formation, confirming importance of the protein for proper infection. This study provides the first evidence of VASP manipulation by an intravacuolar bacterial pathogen via activation of PKA in human

  10. Long-Term Dynamics of Coxiella burnetii in Farmed Red Deer (Cervus elaphus)

    PubMed Central

    González-Barrio, David; Fernández-de-Mera, Isabel G.; Ortiz, José Antonio; Queirós, João; Ruiz-Fons, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Several aspects of the dynamics of Coxiella burnetii that are relevant for the implementation of control strategies in ruminant herds with endemic Q fever are unknown. We designed a longitudinal study to monitor the dynamics of exposure to C. burnetii in a red deer herd with endemic infection in order to allow the design of Q fever-specific control approaches. Other relevant aspects of the dynamics of C. burnetii – the effect of herd immune status, age, season, and early infection on exposure, the average half-life of antibodies, the presence and duration of maternal humoral immunity, and the age of first exposure – were analyzed. The dynamics of C. burnetii in deer herds seems to be modulated by host herd and host individual factors and by particular host life-history traits. Red deer females become exposed to C. burnetii at the beginning of their second year since maternal antibodies protect them after birth and during the main pathogen shedding season – at the end of spring-early summer. Infection pressure varies between years, probably associated with herd immunity effects, determining inter-annual variation in the risk of exposure. These results suggest that any strategy applied to control C. burnetii in deer herds should be designed to induce immunity in their first year of life immediately after losing maternal antibodies. The short average life of C. burnetii antibodies suggests that any protection based on humoral immunity would require re-vaccination every 6 months. PMID:26697437

  11. Histological changes in mouse liver and spleen caused by different Coxiella burnetii antigenic preparations.

    PubMed

    Kokorin, I N; Pushkareva, V I; Kazár, J; Schramek, S

    1985-09-01

    The effect was examined on mouse liver and spleen (inbred line A) of intraperitoneal (i.p.) inoculation of phase I Coxiella burnetii (C.b.) cells either untreated or treated with chloroform-methanol (CM) mixture in comparison to the trichloracetic acid extract (TCAE) from phase I C.b.) cells. The phase I C.b. cells were highly toxic as manifested by marked hepatosplenomegaly accompanied with hyperplastic, degenerative and necrotic changes in the liver. By contrast, phase I CM--treated C.b. cells and TCAE were nontoxic as evidenced by the absence of any distinct pathological changes in mouse viscera.

  12. Chemical composition of phase I Coxiella burnetii soluble antigen prepared by trichloroacetic acid extraction.

    PubMed

    Lukácová, M; Brezina, R; Schramek, S; Pastorek, J

    1989-01-01

    Optimal conditions of extraction (time and temperature) by trichloroacetic acid of soluble antigen from phase I Coxiella burnetii (TCAE), possessing protective properties and used as a chemovaccine against Q fever in men, were studied. Extracts prepared under various conditions were analysed for their polysaccharide, protein and phosphorus contents. Forty-five min of extraction at 0 degrees C were sufficient to obtain a soluble antigen reacting in immunodiffusion with hyperimmune rabbit antiserum. The polysaccharide contents decreased with prolonged extraction at 0 degrees C. At higher extraction temperatures (37 and 100 degrees C), the polysaccharide contents increased while that of proteins decreased. TCAE prepared at 100 degrees C gave no positive immunodiffusion reaction.

  13. [Investigation of Coxiella burnetii prevalence in women who had miscarriage and their spouses by serological and molecular methods].

    PubMed

    Eyigör, Mete; Gültekin, Berna; Telli, Murat; Odabaşı, Ali Rıza; Yüksel, Hasan; Demircan Sezer, Selda; Aydın, Neriman

    2013-04-01

    Coxiella burnetii is the causative agent of the common zoonotic disease known as Q fever. Human infection is mostly maintained by inhalation of contaminated aerosols that originate from infected birth products, milk and urine. Sexual transmission has also been reported. In pregnant women the disease causes abortion during the first trimester, while at later stages it tends to become chronic causing low birth weight babies and premature birth. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of C.burnetii in women who had miscarriages, their spouses and in a control group composed of women with normal delivery by using serological and molecular methods. A total of 89 cases (58 female, 31 male; age range: 21-64 years, mean age: 33.1 ± 7.6 years) were included in the study. Women who had abortion (n= 36) were recruited along with their husbands (n= 31), and 22 women who had normal pregnancy were accepted as controls. Blood and placental tissue samples (after abortion or normal delivery) were collected from all of the female subjects, while blood samples were collected from the males. C.burnetii IgG and IgM antibodies in the sera of patients and controls were analysed by ELISA and indirect fluorescein antibody (IFA) methods, and the presence of C.burnetii DNA was searched in whole blood and placenta samples by using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In our study, C.burnetii Phase II IgG antibody positivity rates in women who had miscarriages, their spouses and in women with normal delivery were found as 27.8% (10/36), 38.7% (12/31) and 4.5% (1/22), respectively by ELISA, while those rates were detected as 27.8% (10/36), 41.9% (13/31) and 9.1% (2/22), respectively by IFA which was accepted as the reference method. However C.burnetii Phase I IgM, Phase I IgG and Phase II IgM antibodies were not detected in none of the subjects by both methods. The relatively high seropositivity rate in our study group (25/89; 28.1%) was thought to be associated with high rates of

  14. Coxiella burnetii lipopolysaccharide blocks p38α-MAPK activation through the disruption of TLR-2 and TLR-4 association

    PubMed Central

    Conti, Filippo; Boucherit, Nicolas; Baldassarre, Veronica; Trouplin, Virginie; Toman, Rudolf; Mottola, Giovanna; Mege, Jean-Louis; Ghigo, Eric

    2015-01-01

    To survive in macrophages, Coxiella burnetii hijacks the activation pathway of macrophages. Recently, we have demonstrated that C. burnetii, via its lipopolysaccharide (LPS), avoids the activation of p38α-MAPK through an antagonistic engagement of Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4. We investigated the fine-tuned mechanism leading to the absence of activation of the p38α-MAPK despite TLR-4 engagement. In macrophages challenged with LPS from the avirulent variants of C. burnetii, TLR-4 and TLR-2 co-immunoprecipitated. This association was absent in cells challenged by the LPS of pathogenic C. burnetii. The disruption makes TLRs unable to signal during the recognition of the LPS of pathogenic C. burnetii. The disruption of TLR-2 and TLR-4 was induced by the re-organization of the macrophage cytoskeleton by C. burnetii LPS. Interestingly, blocking the actin cytoskeleton re-organization relieved the disruption of the association TLR-2/TLR-4 by pathogenic C. burnetii and rescued the p38α-MAPK activation by C. burnetii. We elucidated an unexpected mechanism allowing pathogenic C. burnetii to avoid macrophage activation by the disruption of the TLR-2 and TLR-4 association. PMID:25610812

  15. A serologic survey for Coxiella burnetii in semi-wild ungulates in the Emirate of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

    PubMed

    Chaber, Anne-Lise; Lloyd, Christopher; O'Donovan, Declan; McKeown, Sean; Wernery, Ulrich; Bailey, Tom

    2012-01-01

    Q fever, a highly infectious zoonotic disease caused by Coxiella burnetii, has not been officially reported in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This first serosurvey of a large group of semi-free-ranging animals in the UAE indicates that a wide range of ungulates have been exposed C. burnettii in the region.

  16. Complementation of Arginine Auxotrophy for Genetic Transformation of Coxiella burnetii by Use of a Defined Axenic Medium

    PubMed Central

    Sandoz, Kelsi M.; Beare, Paul A.; Cockrell, Diane C.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Host cell-free (axenic) culture of Coxiella burnetii in acidified citrate cysteine medium-2 (ACCM-2) has provided important opportunities for investigating the biology of this naturally obligate intracellular pathogen and enabled the development of tools for genetic manipulation. However, ACCM-2 has complex nutrient sources that preclude a detailed study of nutritional factors required for C. burnetii growth. Metabolic reconstruction of C. burnetii predicts that the bacterium cannot synthesize all amino acids and therefore must sequester some from the host. To examine C. burnetii amino acid auxotrophies, we developed a nutritionally defined medium with known amino acid concentrations, termed ACCM-D. Compared to ACCM-2, ACCM-D supported longer logarithmic growth, a more gradual transition to stationary phase, and approximately 5- to 10-fold greater overall replication. Small-cell-variant morphological forms generated in ACCM-D also showed increased viability relative to that generated in ACCM-2. Lack of growth in amino acid-deficient formulations of ACCM-D revealed C. burnetii auxotrophy for 11 amino acids, including arginine. Heterologous expression of Legionella pneumophila argGH in C. burnetii permitted growth in ACCM-D missing arginine and supplemented with citrulline, thereby providing a nonantibiotic means of selection of C. burnetii genetic transformants. Consistent with bioinformatic predictions, the elimination of glucose did not impair C. burnetii replication. Together, these results highlight the advantages of a nutritionally defined medium in investigations of C. burnetii metabolism and the development of genetic tools. IMPORTANCE Host cell-free growth and genetic manipulation of Coxiella burnetii have revolutionized research of this intracellular bacterial pathogen. Nonetheless, undefined components of growth medium have made studies of C. burnetii physiology difficult and have precluded the development of selectable markers for genetic

  17. Risk Factors of Coxiella burnetii (Q Fever) Seropositivity in Veterinary Medicine Students

    PubMed Central

    de Rooij, Myrna M. T.; Schimmer, Barbara; Versteeg, Bart; Schneeberger, Peter; Berends, Boyd R.; Heederik, Dick; van der Hoek, Wim; Wouters, Inge M.

    2012-01-01

    Background Q fever is an occupational risk for veterinarians, however little is known about the risk for veterinary medicine students. This study aimed to assess the seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii among veterinary medicine students and to identify associated risk factors. Methods A cross-sectional study with questionnaire and blood sample collection was performed among all veterinary medicine students studying in the Netherlands in 2006. Serum samples (n = 674), representative of all study years and study directions, were analyzed for C. burnetii IgG and IgM phase I and II antibodies with an immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Seropositivity was defined as IgG phase I and/or II titer of 1∶32 and above. Results Of the veterinary medicine students 126 (18.7%) had IgG antibodies against C. burnetii. Seropositivity associated risk factors identified were the study direction ‘farm animals’ (Odds Ratio (OR) 3.27 [95% CI 2.14–5.02]), advanced year of study (OR year 6: 2.31 [1.22–4.39] OR year 3–5 1.83 [1.07–3.10]) having had a zoonosis during the study (OR 1.74 [1.07–2.82]) and ever lived on a ruminant farm (OR 2.73 [1.59–4.67]). Stratified analysis revealed study direction ‘farm animals’ to be a study-related risk factor apart from ever living on a farm. In addition we identified a clear dose-response relation for the number of years lived on a farm with C. burnetii seropositivity. Conclusions C. burnetii seroprevalence is considerable among veterinary medicine students and study related risk factors were identified. This indicates Q fever as an occupational risk for veterinary medicine students. PMID:22363803

  18. Early cytokine and antibody responses against Coxiella burnetii in aerosol infection of BALB/c mice

    PubMed Central

    Schoffelen, Teske; Self, Joshua S.; Fitzpatrick, Kelly A.; Netea, Mihai G.; van Deuren, Marcel; Joosten, Leo A. B.; Kersh, Gilbert J.

    2016-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii, a Gram-negative intracellular bacterium, can give rise to Q fever in humans and is transmitted mainly by inhalation of infected aerosols from animal reservoirs. Serology is commonly used to diagnose Q fever, but the early cellular immune response –i.e. C. burnetii-specific interferon(IFN)-γ production in response to antigen challenge– might be an additional diagnostic. Detection of IFN-γ responses has been used to identify past and chronic Q fever infections, but the IFN-γ response in acute Q fever has not been described. By challenging immunocompetent BALB/c mice with aerosols containing phase I C. burnetii, the timing and extent of IFN-γ recall responses was evaluated in an acute C. burnetii infection. Other cytokines were also measured in an effort to identify other potential diagnostic markers. The data show that after initial expansion of bacteria first in lungs and then in other tissues, the infection was cleared from day 10 onwards as reflected by the decreasing number of bacteria. The antigen-induced IFN-γ production by splenocytes coincided with emergence of IgM phase II-antibodies at day 10 post-infection, and preceded appearance of IgG-antibodies. This was accompanied by the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL-6, KC and IP-10, followed by MCP-1, but not by IL-1β and TNF-α, and only very low production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. These data suggest that analysis of antigen-specific IFN-γ responses could be a useful tool for diagnosis of acute Q-fever. Moreover, the current model of C.burnetii infection could be used to give new insights into immunological factors that predispose to development of persistent infection. PMID:25618420

  19. Coxiella burnetii Type IV Secretion-Dependent Recruitment of Macrophage Autophagosomes

    PubMed Central

    Winchell, Caylin G.; Graham, Joseph G.; Kurten, Richard C.

    2014-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii is an intracellular Gram-negative bacterium that causes human Q fever, a flu-like disease that can progress to chronic, life-threatening endocarditis. In humans, C. burnetii infects alveolar macrophages and promotes phagosomal fusion with autophagosomes and lysosomes, establishing a unique parasitophorous vacuole (PV) in which to replicate. The pathogen uses a Dot/Icm type IV secretion system (T4SS) to deliver effector proteins to the host cytoplasm, where they alter cellular processes to benefit the pathogen. The T4SS is required for PV expansion and prevention of apoptosis, but little else is known about the role of the system during intracellular growth. Recent reports suggest that C. burnetii actively recruits autophagosomes to the PV to deliver nutrients to the pathogen and provide membrane for the expanding vacuole. In this study, we examined the role of the T4SS in mediating PV interactions with autophagosomes. We found that the autophagy-related proteins LC3 and p62 localized to wild-type PV but not to T4SS mutant organism-containing phagosomes in human macrophage-like cells, primary human alveolar macrophages, and Chinese hamster ovary cells. However, while lipidated LC3 levels were elevated regardless of T4SS activity, no p62 turnover was observed during C. burnetii growth in macrophages, suggesting that the pathogen recruits preformed autophagosomes. When the T4SS was activated 24 h after infection, autophagosome recruitment ensued, indicating that autophagosome interactions are dispensable for initial PV maturation to a phagolysosome-like compartment but are involved in vacuole expansion. Together, these results demonstrate that C. burnetii actively directs PV-autophagosome interactions by using the Dot/Icm T4SS. PMID:24643534

  20. High seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii antibodies in veterinarians associated with cattle obstetrics, Bavaria, 2009.

    PubMed

    Bernard, Helen; Brockmann, Stefan O; Kleinkauf, Niels; Klinc, Christina; Wagner-Wiening, Christiane; Stark, Klaus; Jansen, Andreas

    2012-07-01

    Q fever is a zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii. Infection can result in severe disease. However, little is known about the risk of infection in veterinarians. In a cross-sectional study among German veterinarians, participants provided sera and completed an exposure questionnaire. We investigated predictors for seropositivity using multivariable logistic regression modelling. The 424 participants' median age was 40 (18-74) years, and 276 (65%) were female. Sera of 162 (38%) were positive for Coxiella burnetii phase II IgG antibodies (by ELISA and IFAT). Predictors for seropositivity were occupational exposure to cattle (aOR 2.83, 95% CI 1.64-4.87), occupational exposure to sheep (2.09, 1.22-3.58), male sex (1.9, 1.15-3.13), and increasing age (30-39 years: 4.91, 2.00-12.04; 40-49 years: 5.32, 2.12-13.33; >50 years: 6.70, 2.60-17.25; compared with <30 years). When investigating occupational exposure to cattle and sheep in detail in a separate model, the seroprevalence increased with increasing numbers of cattle obstetrics procedures performed per month, and with increasing numbers of individual cattle treated per week. The high antibody prevalence implies a high lifetime-risk of Q fever in veterinarians. Cattle veterinarians, especially those frequently performing obstetrics, should be counseled early in their career on the clinical picture of Q fever, and on specific risks.

  1. Bayesian estimation of sensitivity and specificity of Coxiella burnetii antibody ELISA tests in bovine blood and milk.

    PubMed

    Paul, Suman; Toft, Nils; Agerholm, Jørgen S; Christoffersen, Anna-Bodil; Agger, Jens F

    2013-05-01

    Serological tests for Coxiella burnetii (the causative agent of Q fever) antibodies are usually based on enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) although this method is not thoroughly evaluated. The objective of this study was to determine the sensitivity and specificity of an ELISA for detection of C. burnetii antibodies in milk and blood samples, using latent class models in a Bayesian analysis. Blood and milk samples of 568 lactating cows from 17 Danish dairy cattle herds collected in 2008 were used. The best combination of sensitivity and specificity estimates was revealed at a sample to positive (S/P) cut-off of 40 for both blood and milk ELISAs. At this cut-off, sensitivity of milk ELISA was 0.86 (95% posterior credibility interval [PCI] [0.76; 0.96]). This was slightly but insignificantly higher than sensitivity of blood ELISA (0.84; 95% PCI [0.75; 0.93]). The specificity estimates of the ELISA methods on milk and blood were equal at 0.99. No conditional dependence was observed between the specificity estimates of the two test methods. However, the sensitivity estimates of both tests were significantly reduced when conditional covariances ≥ 40 were used. Collection of milk samples from lactating cows is relatively easy, non-invasive and inexpensive and hence milk ELISA may be a better option for screening lactating cows. But, blood ELISA is an option for screening non-lactating cattle.

  2. Host and Environmental Factors Modulate the Exposure of Free-Ranging and Farmed Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) to Coxiella burnetii

    PubMed Central

    Velasco Ávila, Ana Luisa; Boadella, Mariana; Beltrán-Beck, Beatriz; Barasona, José Ángel; Santos, João P. V.; Queirós, João; García-Pérez, Ana L.; Barral, Marta; Ruiz-Fons, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    The control of multihost pathogens, such as Coxiella burnetii, should rely on accurate information about the roles played by the main hosts. We aimed to determine the involvement of the red deer (Cervus elaphus) in the ecology of C. burnetii. We predicted that red deer populations from broad geographic areas within a European context would be exposed to C. burnetii, and therefore, we hypothesized that a series of factors would modulate the exposure of red deer to C. burnetii. To test this hypothesis, we designed a retrospective survey of 47 Iberian red deer populations from which 1,751 serum samples and 489 spleen samples were collected. Sera were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) in order to estimate exposure to C. burnetii, and spleen samples were analyzed by PCR in order to estimate the prevalence of systemic infections. Thereafter, we gathered 23 variables—within environmental, host, and management factors—potentially modulating the risk of exposure of deer to C. burnetii, and we performed multivariate statistical analyses to identify the main risk factors. Twenty-three populations were seropositive (48.9%), and C. burnetii DNA in the spleen was detected in 50% of the populations analyzed. The statistical analyses reflect the complexity of C. burnetii ecology and suggest that although red deer may maintain the circulation of C. burnetii without third species, the most frequent scenario probably includes other wild and domestic host species. These findings, taken together with previous evidence of C. burnetii shedding by naturally infected red deer, point at this wild ungulate as a true reservoir for C. burnetii and an important node in the life cycle of C. burnetii, at least in the Iberian Peninsula. PMID:26150466

  3. Host and Environmental Factors Modulate the Exposure of Free-Ranging and Farmed Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) to Coxiella burnetii.

    PubMed

    González-Barrio, David; Velasco Ávila, Ana Luisa; Boadella, Mariana; Beltrán-Beck, Beatriz; Barasona, José Ángel; Santos, João P V; Queirós, João; García-Pérez, Ana L; Barral, Marta; Ruiz-Fons, Francisco

    2015-09-01

    The control of multihost pathogens, such as Coxiella burnetii, should rely on accurate information about the roles played by the main hosts. We aimed to determine the involvement of the red deer (Cervus elaphus) in the ecology of C. burnetii. We predicted that red deer populations from broad geographic areas within a European context would be exposed to C. burnetii, and therefore, we hypothesized that a series of factors would modulate the exposure of red deer to C. burnetii. To test this hypothesis, we designed a retrospective survey of 47 Iberian red deer populations from which 1,751 serum samples and 489 spleen samples were collected. Sera were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) in order to estimate exposure to C. burnetii, and spleen samples were analyzed by PCR in order to estimate the prevalence of systemic infections. Thereafter, we gathered 23 variables-within environmental, host, and management factors-potentially modulating the risk of exposure of deer to C. burnetii, and we performed multivariate statistical analyses to identify the main risk factors. Twenty-three populations were seropositive (48.9%), and C. burnetii DNA in the spleen was detected in 50% of the populations analyzed. The statistical analyses reflect the complexity of C. burnetii ecology and suggest that although red deer may maintain the circulation of C. burnetii without third species, the most frequent scenario probably includes other wild and domestic host species. These findings, taken together with previous evidence of C. burnetii shedding by naturally infected red deer, point at this wild ungulate as a true reservoir for C. burnetii and an important node in the life cycle of C. burnetii, at least in the Iberian Peninsula.

  4. Apoptosis in normal and Coxiella burnetii-infected placentas from Alaskan northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus).

    PubMed

    Myers, E; Ehrhart, E J; Charles, B; Spraker, T; Gelatt, T; Duncan, C

    2013-07-01

    In 2010, Coxiella burnetii was identified in 75% of northern fur seal placentas from a single rookery in Alaska, but nothing was known about the significance of this organism in the population. Although many infectious organisms cause increased cell death, C. burnetii has been shown to suppress apoptosis of the host macrophages as an intracellular survival mechanism. To determine if infection induces a similar functional change in the placenta, immunohistochemistry for antibodies to cleaved caspase-3 (activated caspase-3) and the (TDT)-mediated dUTP-digoxigenin nick end labeling (TUNEL) technique were used to compare the amount of placental apoptosis in infected and noninfected placentas. There was a statistically significant difference in the frequency of apoptotic cells between infected and uninfected placentas, with more apoptosis identified in the uninfected placentas. This finding suggests that the survival mechanism of C. burnetii in host macrophages to reduce apoptosis may also be utilized in trophoblasts. The significance of decreased trophoblastic apoptosis for the northern fur seal fetus requires further investigation.

  5. Field collection and genetic classification of tick-borne Rickettsiae and Rickettsiae-like pathogens from South Texas: Coxiella burnetii isolated from field-collected Amblyomma cajennense.

    PubMed

    Sanders, David M; Parker, Jill E; Walker, Wes W; Buchholz, Matt W; Blount, Keith; Kiel, Johnathan L

    2008-12-01

    We are reporting the first known isolation of the Q-fever agent Coxiella burnetii from field-collected cayenne ticks Amblyomma cajennense in North America. Q-fever affects a number of domestic ungulates where it can lead to abortion in sheep and goats. There is far less known about the disease's effects on wild species, primarily because of the tendency of the disease to self resolve and to provide long-term immunity to subsequent infections. The first recovery of C. burnetii in North America was from the tick species Dermacentor andersoni. Since the original isolation C. burnetii has been recovered from five other North American tick species. The currently accepted mode for the majority of human infections is inhalation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch asserts the Q-fever agent as requiring as few as one organism to cause disease via inhalation in susceptible humans. However, with more and more isolations from ticks, evidence linking C. burnetii and ticks is mounting. The true role of tick species as competent vectors is still unconfirmed. Preemptive field collections of possible vector arthropods, hosts, and reservoirs can provide invaluable baseline environmental data that will prove supportive in follow-up studies and abatement efforts.

  6. Q Fever (Coxiella burnetii) Knowledge and Attitudes of Australian Cat Breeders and Their Husbandry Practices.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, A J; Norris, J M; Bosward, K L; Heller, J

    2016-09-13

    A Q fever outbreak in a small animal veterinary hospital, associated with a cat caesarean section, initiated a cat seroprevalence study (n = 712) that found circulating antibodies to Coxiella burnetii was highest in cattery-confined breeding cats (9.3%). These findings stimulated interest about potential sources of C. burnetii infection for cats and humans associated with cats. Cat breeders are potentially a group at increased risk of C. burnetii infection, and this study sought to identify potential risk factors. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted targeting all domestic cat breeders registered with an affiliate member body in Australia in 2015. Responses from 177 cat breeders across Australia were analysed. Forty per cent of responding cat breeders had not heard of Q fever. Raw meat was fed as an integral constituent of the diet by 89% of respondents. Eighty per cent of respondents allowed queens access to the home for parturition, and assistance of queens and resuscitation of kittens at the time of birth were reported by 97% of respondents. Respondents who perceived some level of exposure to Q fever through their breeding activities were three times less likely to perform mouth-to-snout resuscitation (OR 0.3 95% CI 0.1-0.9; P = 0.034) than those who did not perceive a risk of exposure. Similarly, respondents who perceived Q fever as a risk through breeding activities were close to eight times more likely to use personal protective equipment during parturition (OR 7.7 95% CI 1.5-39.9; P = 0.015) than those who did not. Husbandry practices of cat breeders that may increase the risk of C. burnetii transmission require further targeted investigations to assess the contribution of these risk factors to the acquisition of disease. Concurrent education forums are recommended to inform Australian cat breeders of the aetiopathogenesis of Q fever.

  7. Maternofetal consequences of Coxiella burnetii infection in pregnancy: a case series of two outbreaks

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background A high complication rate of Q fever in pregnancy is described on the basis of a limited number of cases. All pregnant women with proven Q fever regardless of clinical symptoms should therefore receive long-term cotrimoxazole therapy. But cotrimoxazole as a folic acid antagonist may cause harm to the fetus. We therefore investigated the Q fever outbreaks, Soest in 2003 and Jena in 2005, to determine the maternofetal consequences of Coxiella burnetii infection contracted during pregnancy. Methods Different outbreak investigation strategies were employed at the two sides. Antibody screening was performed with an indirect immunofluorescence test. Medical history and clinical data were obtained and serological follow up performed at delivery. Available placental tissue, amniotic fluid and colostrum/milk were further investigated by polymerase chain reaction and by culture. Results 11 pregnant women from Soest (screening rate: 49%) and 82 pregnant women from Jena (screening rate: 27%) participated in the outbreak investigation. 11 pregnant women with an acute C. burnetii infection were diagnosed. Three women had symptomatic disease. Three women, who were infected in the first trimester, were put on long-term therapy. The remaining women received cotrimoxazole to a lesser extent (n=3), were treated with macrolides for three weeks (n=1) or after delivery (n=1), were given no treatment at all (n=2) or received antibiotics ineffective for Q fever (n=1). One woman and her foetus died of an underlying disease not related to Q fever. One woman delivered prematurely (35th week) and one child was born with syndactyly. We found no obvious association between C. burnetii infection and negative pregnancy outcome. Conclusions Our data do not support the general recommendation of long-term cotrimoxazole treatment for Q fever infection in pregnancy. Pregnant women with symptomatic C. burnetii infections and with chronic Q fever should be treated. The risk-benefit ratio of

  8. Quantitation of viable Coxiella burnetii in milk using an integrated cell culture-polymerase chain reaction (ICC-PCR) assay.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Diana; Shieh, Y-Carol; Tortorello, Mary; Kukreja, Ankush; Shazer, Arlette; Schlesser, Joseph

    2015-11-01

    The obligate intracellular pathogen Coxiella burnetii has long been considered the most heat resistant pathogen in raw milk, making it the reference pathogen for determining pasteurisation conditions for milk products. New milk formulations and novel non-thermal processes require validation of effectiveness which requires a more practical method for analysis than using the currently used animal model for assessing Coxiella survival. Also, there is an interest in better characterising thermal inactivation of Coxiella in various milk formulations. To avoid the use of the guinea pig model for evaluating Coxiella survival, an Integrated Cell Culture-PCR (ICC-PCR) method was developed for determining Coxiella viability in milk. Vero cell cultures were directly infected from Coxiella-contaminated milk in duplicate 24-well plates. Viability of the Coxiella in milk was shown by a ≥ 0.5 log genome equivalent (ge)/ml increase in the quantity of IS111a gene from the baseline post-infection (day 0) level after 9-11 d propagation. Coxiella in skim, 2%, and whole milk, and half and half successfully infected Vero cells and increased in number by at least 2 logs using a 48-h infection period followed by 9-d propagation time. As few as 125 Coxiella ge/ml in whole milk was shown to infect and propagate at least 2 logs in the optimised ICC-PCR assay, though variable confirmation of propagation was shown for as low as 25 Coxiella ge/ml. Applicability of the ICC-PCR method was further proven in an MPN format to quantitate the number of viable Coxiella remaining in whole milk after 60 °C thermal treatment at 0, 20, 40, 60 and 90 min.

  9. Coxiella burnetii Induces Inflammatory Interferon-Like Signature in Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells: A New Feature of Immune Response in Q Fever

    PubMed Central

    Ka, Mignane B.; Mezouar, Soraya; Ben Amara, Amira; Raoult, Didier; Ghigo, Eric; Olive, Daniel; Mege, Jean-Louis

    2016-01-01

    Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) play a major role in antiviral immunity via the production of type I interferons (IFNs). There is some evidence that pDCs interact with bacteria but it is not yet clear whether they are protective or contribute to bacterial pathogenicity. We wished to investigate whether Coxiella burnetii, the agent of Q fever, interacts with pDCs. The stimulation of pDCs with C. burnetii increased the expression of activation and migratory markers (CD86 and CCR7) as determined by flow cytometry and modulated gene expression program as revealed by a microarray approach. Indeed, genes encoding for pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and type I INF were up-regulated. The up-regulation of type I IFN was correlated with an increase in IFN-α release by C. burnetii-stimulated pDCs. We also investigated pDCs in patients with Q fever endocarditis. Using flow cytometry and a specific gating strategy, we found that the number of circulating pDCs was significantly lower in patients with Q fever endocarditis as compared to healthy donors. In addition, the remaining circulating pDCs expressed activation and migratory markers. As a whole, our study identified non-previously reported activation of pDCs by C. burnetii and their modulation during Q fever. PMID:27446817

  10. Occurrence of Coxiella burnetii and Chlamydiales species in abortions of domestic ruminants and in wild ruminants in Hungary, Central Europe.

    PubMed

    Kreizinger, Zsuzsa; Szeredi, Levente; Bacsadi, Árpád; Nemes, Csaba; Sugár, László; Varga, Tamás; Sulyok, Kinga M; Szigeti, Alexandra; Ács, Kornél; Tóbiás, Enikő; Borel, Nicole; Gyuranecz, Miklós

    2015-03-01

    Coxiella burnetii and certain members of the Chlamydiales order are zoonotic, intracellular, Gram-negative bacteria, with abortigenic potential in ruminants. These pathogens have a broad host range and worldwide geographical distribution. The current study aimed to reveal the importance of C. burnetii and Chlamydiales spp. in abortions in domestic ruminants and their occurrence in wild ruminants with real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays, histology, and immunohistochemical staining (IHC). From the 111 abortion cases of domestic ruminants examined, C. burnetii was detected in 33 placenta samples (cattle, n = 22; sheep, n = 10; goat, n = 1), and members of the Chlamydiales order were detected in 32 placenta samples (cattle, n = 14; sheep, n = 16; goat, n = 2) using qPCR. Coinfection with both C. burnetii and Chlamydiales spp. were identified in 12 cases (cattle, n = 3; sheep, n = 8; goat, n = 1) out of the qPCR-positive samples. The presence of the relevant antigen was confirmed by IHC in 20 cases (C. burnetii, n = 2, in sheep; Chlamydiaceae, n = 17, in sheep [n = 15] and goat [n = 2]; and both pathogens in 1 sheep). Coxiella burnetii was identified in 2.2% (2/91) of the wild ruminants, but the samples were negative by IHC. Uncultured Chlamydiales spp. were detected in 4.4% (4/91) of the placenta samples by qPCR. In conclusion, Q fever is widespread among domestic ruminants in Hungary, and, in several cases, C. burnetii was implicated as the primary cause of abortions. Waddlia chondrophila, Parachlamydia spp., and uncultured Chlamydiales spp. were present only sporadically in samples from cattle and wild ruminants.

  11. Chloroform-Methanol Residue of Coxiella burnetii Markedly Potentiated the Specific Immunoprotection Elicited by a Recombinant Protein Fragment rOmpB-4 Derived from Outer Membrane Protein B of Rickettsia rickettsii in C3H/HeN Mice

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Wenping; Wang, Pengcheng; Xiong, Xiaolu; Jiao, Jun; Yang, Xiaomei; Wen, Bohai

    2015-01-01

    The obligate intracellular bacteria, Rickettsia rickettsii and Coxiella burnetii, are the potential agents of bio-warfare/bio-terrorism. Here C3H/HeN mice were immunized with a recombinant protein fragment rOmp-4 derived from outer membrane protein B, a major protective antigen of R. rickettsii, combined with chloroform-methanol residue (CMR) extracted from phase I C. burnetii organisms, a safer Q fever vaccine. These immunized mice had significantly higher levels of IgG1 and IgG2a to rOmpB-4 and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), two crucial cytokines in resisting intracellular bacterial infection, as well as significantly lower rickettsial loads and slighter pathological lesions in organs after challenge with R. rickettsii, compared with mice immunized with rOmpB-4 or CMR alone. Additionally, after challenge with C. burnetii, the coxiella loads in the organs of these mice were significantly lower than those of mice immunized with rOmpB-4 alone. Our results prove that CMR could markedly potentiate enhance the rOmpB-4-specific immunoprotection by promoting specific and non-specific immunoresponses and the immunization with the protective antigen of R. rickettsii combined with CMR of C. burnetii could confer effective protection against infection of R. rickettsii or C. burnetii. PMID:25909586

  12. Chloroform-Methanol Residue of Coxiella burnetii Markedly Potentiated the Specific Immunoprotection Elicited by a Recombinant Protein Fragment rOmpB-4 Derived from Outer Membrane Protein B of Rickettsia rickettsii in C3H/HeN Mice.

    PubMed

    Gong, Wenping; Wang, Pengcheng; Xiong, Xiaolu; Jiao, Jun; Yang, Xiaomei; Wen, Bohai

    2015-01-01

    The obligate intracellular bacteria, Rickettsia rickettsii and Coxiella burnetii, are the potential agents of bio-warfare/bio-terrorism. Here C3H/HeN mice were immunized with a recombinant protein fragment rOmp-4 derived from outer membrane protein B, a major protective antigen of R. rickettsii, combined with chloroform-methanol residue (CMR) extracted from phase I C. burnetii organisms, a safer Q fever vaccine. These immunized mice had significantly higher levels of IgG1 and IgG2a to rOmpB-4 and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), two crucial cytokines in resisting intracellular bacterial infection, as well as significantly lower rickettsial loads and slighter pathological lesions in organs after challenge with R. rickettsii, compared with mice immunized with rOmpB-4 or CMR alone. Additionally, after challenge with C. burnetii, the coxiella loads in the organs of these mice were significantly lower than those of mice immunized with rOmpB-4 alone. Our results prove that CMR could markedly potentiate enhance the rOmpB-4-specific immunoprotection by promoting specific and non-specific immunoresponses and the immunization with the protective antigen of R. rickettsii combined with CMR of C. burnetii could confer effective protection against infection of R. rickettsii or C. burnetii.

  13. Massive dispersal of Coxiella burnetii among cattle across the United States

    PubMed Central

    Olivas, Sonora; Hornstra, Heidie; Priestley, Rachael A.; Kaufman, Emily; Hepp, Crystal; Sonderegger, Derek L.; Handady, Karthik; Massung, Robert F.; Keim, Paul; Kersh, Gilbert J.

    2016-01-01

    Q-fever is an underreported disease caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii, which is highly infectious and has the ability to disperse great distances. It is a completely clonal pathogen with low genetic diversity and requires whole-genome analysis to identify discriminating features among closely related isolates. C. burnetii, and in particular one genotype (ST20), is commonly found in cow’s milk across the entire dairy industry of the USA. This single genotype dominance is suggestive of host-specific adaptation, rapid dispersal and persistence within cattle. We used a comparative genomic approach to identify SNPs for high-resolution and high-throughput genotyping assays to better describe the dispersal of ST20 across the USA. We genotyped 507 ST20 cow milk samples and discovered three subgenotypes, all of which were present across the entire country and over the complete time period studied. Only one of these sub-genotypes was observed in a single dairy herd. The temporal and geographic distribution of these sub-genotypes is consistent with a model of large-scale, rapid, frequent and continuous dissemination on a continental scale. The distribution of subgenotypes is not consistent with wind-based dispersal alone, and it is likely that animal husbandry and transportation practices, including pooling of milk from multiple herds, have also shaped the patterns. On the scale of an entire country, there appear to be few barriers to rapid, frequent and large-scale dissemination of the ST20 subgenotypes. PMID:28348863

  14. Molecular survey of Ehrlichia canis and Coxiella burnetii infections in wild mammals of southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Santoro, Mario; Veneziano, Vincenzo; D'Alessio, Nicola; Di Prisco, Francesca; Lucibelli, Maria Gabriella; Borriello, Giorgia; Cerrone, Anna; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Latrofa, Maria Stefania; Otranto, Domenico; Galiero, Giorgio

    2016-11-01

    Ehrlichiosis and Q fever caused by the intracellular bacteria Ehrlichia canis and Coxiella burnetii, respectively, are tick-borne diseases with zoonotic potential and widespread geographical distribution. This study investigated the prevalence of both infections in wild mammals in southern Italy. Tissue samples obtained from the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), European badger (Meles meles), gray wolf (Canis lupus), beech marten (Martes foina), and crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) were processed for molecular detection of both pathogens. E. canis was detected in 55 out of 105 (52 %) red foxes and three out of six gray wolves. Four sequence types were identified, three of which were found in the spleen and liver samples of red foxes and wolves, and one in the kidney of a red fox. None of the examined mammals was positive to C. burnetii type. This represents the first report of E. canis in free-ranging wolves worldwide, as well as the first evidence of this pathogen in red foxes in the peninsular Italy. Our results suggest that E. canis infection is common in free-ranging canids in southern Italy and that a sylvatic life cycle of this pathogen may occur.

  15. Myeloid decidual dendritic cells and immunoregulation of pregnancy: defective responsiveness to Coxiella burnetii and Brucella abortus

    PubMed Central

    Gorvel, Laurent; Ben Amara, Amira; Ka, Mignane B.; Textoris, Julien; Gorvel, Jean-Pierre; Mege, Jean-Louis

    2014-01-01

    Dendritic cells (DCs) are a component of the placental immune system, but their role in pregnancy is still poorly understood. Decidual DCs (dDCs) were selected from at-term pregnancy on the basis of CD14 and CD11c expression. A phenotypic analysis revealed that dDCs are characterized by the expression of monocyte-derived DC (moDCs) markers and specific markers such as HLA-G and its ligand ILT4. As demonstrated by whole-genome microarray, dDCs expressed a specific gene program markedly distinct from that of moDCs; it included estrogen- and progesterone-regulated genes and genes encoding immunoregulatory cytokines, which is consistent with the context of foeto-maternal tolerance. A functional analysis of dDCs showed that they were unable to mature in response to bacterial ligands such as lipopolysaccharide or peptidoglycan, as assessed by the expression of HLA-DR, CD80, CD83, and CD86. When dDCs were incubated with bacteria known for their placenta tropism, Coxiella burnetii and Brucella abortus, they were also unable to mature and to produce inflammatory cytokines. It is likely that the defective maturation of dDCs and their inability to produce inflammatory cytokines is related to the spontaneous release of IL-10 by these cells. Taken together, these results suggest that dDCs exhibit an immunoregulatory program, which may favor the pathogenicity of C. burnetii or B. abortus. PMID:25566514

  16. Molecular and serologic detection of Coxiella burnetii in native Korean goats (Capra hircus coreanae).

    PubMed

    Jung, Byeong Yeal; Seo, Min-Goo; Lee, Seung-Hun; Byun, Jae-Won; Oem, Jae-Ku; Kwak, Dongmi

    2014-09-17

    The occurrence of Q fever in native Korean goats (Capra hircus coreanae) was investigated for the first time in the country using ELISA and PCR. A total of 597 blood samples were collected from goats belonging to five different provinces of Korea. To detect Coxiella burnetii, sera were separated from the whole blood and analysed by ELISA; DNA was extracted directly from the whole blood and analysed by PCR. Overall, 114 (19.1%, 95% C.I.=16.1-22.4) and 57 goats (9.5%, 95% C.I.=7.5-12.2) tested positive for C. burnetii in the ELISA- and PCR-based screening, respectively, while 18 goats (3.0%, 95% C.I.=1.9-4.7) tested positive in both the assays. There was a significant difference between the number of ELISA- and PCR-positive goats (P<0.05). The seroprevalence of Q fever was significantly higher among the adult goats (≥1y, 22.0%) than among the young goats (<1y, 13.8%) (P<0.05). While the results of the serologic analysis showed no seasonal variation, data from the PCR-based assay indicated that there were a higher number of positive cases during the cold seasons. Because Q fever infection has high rates of prevalence in native Korean goats, further studies on humans at a high risk of contracting this disease should be conducted. The PCR-based assay used in this study is a useful method for the direct detection of C. burnetii in blood samples from small ruminants.

  17. LAMP proteins account for the maturation delay during the establishment of the Coxiella burnetii-containing vacuole.

    PubMed

    Schulze-Luehrmann, Jan; Eckart, Rita A; Ölke, Martha; Saftig, Paul; Liebler-Tenorio, Elisabeth; Lührmann, Anja

    2016-02-01

    The obligate intracellular pathogen Coxiella burnetii replicates in a large phagolysosomal-like vacuole. Currently, both host and bacterial factors required for creating this replicative parasitophorous C. burnetii-containing vacuole (PV) are poorly defined. Here, we assessed the contributions of the most abundant proteins of the lysosomal membrane, LAMP-1 and LAMP-2, to the establishment and maintenance of the PV. Whereas these proteins were not critical for uptake of C. burnetii, they influenced the intracellular replication of C. burnetii. In LAMP-1/2 double-deficient fibroblasts as well as in LAMP-1/2 knock-down cells, C. burnetii establishes a significantly smaller, yet faster maturing vacuole, which harboured more bacteria. The accelerated maturation of PVs in LAMP double-deficient fibroblasts, which was partially or fully reversed by ectopic expression of LAMP-1 or LAMP-2, respectively, was characterized by an increased fusion rate with endosomes, lysosomes and bead-containing phagosomes, but not by different fusion kinetics with autophagy vesicles. These findings establish that LAMP proteins are critical for the maturation delay of PVs. Unexpectedly, neither the creation of the spacious vacuole nor the delay in maturation was found to be prerequisites for the intracellular replication of C. burnetii.

  18. No detectable precolostral antibody response in calves born from cows with cotyledons positive for Coxiella burnetii by quantitative PCR.

    PubMed

    Tutusaus, Joan; López-Gatius, Fernando; Almería, Sonia; Serrano, Beatriz; Monleón, Eva; José Badiola, Juan; García-Ispierto, Irina

    2013-12-01

    Samples from 45 dams (milk/colostrum, faeces, vaginal fluid and blood on days 171-177 of gestation and at parturition, and cotyledons at parturition) and their calves (blood collected before colostrum intake and weekly until days 29-35) were analysed to examine the vertical transmission of Coxiella burnetii and links between shedding and seropositivity. All calves were born C. burnetii seronegative. Only those born to seropositive dams seroconverted following colostrum intake. Logistic regression analyses indicated that the likelihood of dam seropositivity was 21 and 4.85 times higher for multiparous than for primiparous (65.6% vs. 8.3%, P = 0.006) and for prepartum shedding cows (75% vs. 38.2%, P = 0.03) compared to the remaining animals, respectively. In conclusion, the results of this study indicate no detectable precolostral antibody response in calves born from dams with cotyledons positive for C. burnetii by qPCR. In order to analyse the possibility of persistent infection due to immunotolerance to an early in utero infection, further studies will need to test for C. burnetii DNA. In addition, in the present study multiparous cows showed a significantly higher seroprevalence than primiparous cows and heifers, colostral antibodies were efficiently transferred to newborn calves, and there was a link between bacterial shedding on days 171-177 of gestation and Coxiella seropositivity of the dam.

  19. Coxiella burnetii Phagocytosis Is Regulated by GTPases of the Rho Family and the RhoA Effectors mDia1 and ROCK

    PubMed Central

    Distel, Jesús S.; Aguilera, Milton O.; Colombo, María I.; Berón, Walter

    2015-01-01

    The GTPases belonging to the Rho family control the actin cytoskeleton rearrangements needed for particle internalization during phagocytosis. ROCK and mDia1 are downstream effectors of RhoA, a GTPase involved in that process. Coxiella burnetii, the etiologic agent of Q fever, is internalized by the host´s cells in an actin-dependent manner. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanism involved in this process has been poorly characterized. This work analyzes the role of different GTPases of the Rho family and some downstream effectors in the internalization of C. burnetii by phagocytic and non-phagocytic cells. The internalization of C. burnetii into HeLa and RAW cells was significantly inhibited when the cells were treated with Clostridium difficile Toxin B which irreversibly inactivates members of the Rho family. In addition, the internalization was reduced in HeLa cells that overexpressed the dominant negative mutants of RhoA, Rac1 or Cdc42 or that were knocked down for the Rho GTPases. The pharmacological inhibition or the knocking down of ROCK diminished bacterium internalization. Moreover, C. burnetii was less efficiently internalized in HeLa cells overexpressing mDia1-N1, a dominant negative mutant of mDia1, while the overexpression of the constitutively active mutant mDia1-ΔN3 increased bacteria uptake. Interestingly, when HeLa and RAW cells were infected, RhoA, Rac1 and mDia1 were recruited to membrane cell fractions. Our results suggest that the GTPases of the Rho family play an important role in C. burnetii phagocytosis in both HeLa and RAW cells. Additionally, we present evidence that ROCK and mDia1, which are downstream effectors of RhoA, are involved in that process. PMID:26674774

  20. Coxiella burnetii (Q-Fever) Seroprevalence in Prey and Predators in the United Kingdom: Evaluation of Infection in Wild Rodents, Foxes and Domestic Cats Using a Modified ELISA.

    PubMed

    Meredith, A L; Cleaveland, S C; Denwood, M J; Brown, J K; Shaw, D J

    2015-12-01

    Coxiella burnetii, the agent of Q-fever, is recognized as a worldwide zoonosis with a wide host range and potentially complex reservoir systems. Infected ruminants are the main source of infection for humans, but cats and other mammals, including wild rodents, also represent potential sources of infection. There has been a recent upsurge of reported cases in humans, domestic ruminants and wildlife in many parts of the world, and studies have indicated that wild brown rats may act as true reservoirs for C. burnetii and be implicated in outbreaks in livestock and humans. However, investigation of reservoir systems is limited by lack of validated serological tests for wildlife or other non-target species. In this study, serum samples from 796 wild rodents (180 bank voles, 309 field voles, 307 wood mice) 102 wild foxes and 26 domestic cats from three study areas in the UK were tested for the presence of antibodies to C. burnetii using a commercial indirect ELISA kit modified for use in multiple wildlife species. Test thresholds were determined for each species in the absence of species-specific reference sera using a bi-modal latent class mixture model to discriminate between positive from negative results. Based on the thresholds determined, seroprevalence in the wild rodents ranged from 15.6% to 19.1% depending on species (overall 17.3%) and was significantly higher in both foxes (41.2%) and cats (61.5%) than in rodents. This is the first report to quantify seroprevalence to C. burnetii in bank voles, field voles, wood mice, foxes and cats in the UK and provides evidence that predator species could act as indicators for the presence of C. burnetii in rodents. The study demonstrates that wildlife species could be significant reservoirs of infection for both livestock and humans, and the high seroprevalence in domestic cats highlights the potential zoonotic risk from this species.

  1. Coxiella burnetii seropositivity and associated risk factors in goats in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Meadows, S; Jones-Bitton, A; McEwen, S; Jansen, J; Menzies, P

    2015-10-01

    Coxiella burnetii is a zoonotic bacterium, and infection in goats with this bacterium can result in abortion, stillbirth or birth of non-viable kids. A cross-sectional study was conducted to identify the seroprevalence and risk factors for C. burnetii exposure in Ontario goats. Sera were collected between August 2010 and February 2012, and tested for C. burnetii specific antibodies using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (IDEXX). Overall, 63.2% (48/76, 95% CI=51.9-73.4) of farms had one or more seropositive goats. A higher farm-level seroprevalence of 78.6% (33/42) was found on dairy goat farms, compared to 44.1% (15/34) on meat goat farms (p<0.01). At the overall individual-animal level, 32.5% (714/2195, 95% CI=30.6-34.5) of goats were seropositive. Similarly, a higher individual-level seroprevalence was identified for dairy goats (43.7%, 633/1447) compared to meat goats (10.8%, 81/748) (p<0.001). A mixed multivariable logistic model that controlled for farm-level clustering identified risk factors associated with seropositivity (p<0.05). Increases in the female herd size (logarithmic scale) were associated with increased odds of seropositivity, while increases in male herd size had a negative association with seropositivity. If other sheep or goat farms were located in a 5-km radius, goats had 5.6 times (95% CI=1.01-30.8) times the odds of seropositivity compared to those that were not. Relative to goats from farms where all kidding pen hygiene was practiced (adding bedding, removing birth materials and disinfection after kidding), goats from farms which only added bedding and removed birth materials had a higher odds of seropositivity (OR=19.3, 95% CI=1.1-330.4), as did goats from farms which practiced none of these measures (OR=161.0, 95% CI=2.4-10822.2). An interaction term revealed kidding outdoors when there were no swine on farm had a protective effect on seropositivity compared to kidding indoors, or kidding outdoors with swine on the farm. These

  2. Molecular evidence for a novel Coxiella from Argas monolakensis (Acari: Argasidae) from Mono Lake, California, USA.

    PubMed

    Reeves, Will K

    2008-01-01

    Argasid ticks are vectors of viral and bacterial agents of humans and animals. Recent reports indicate that some ornithophilic argasids harbored rickettsial agents. A Nearctic tick, Argas monolakensis Schwan, Corwin, Brown is ornithophilic and has not previously been examined for rickettsial agents. Thirty adult A. monolakensis were tested by PCR for DNA from Rickettsia or Coxiella. Amplicons from a Coxiella sp. that were divergent from Coxiella burnetii were detected in 16/30 A. monolakensis. These molecular isolates were similar but not identical to C. burnetii, the Coxiella spp. of other ticks, and "Coxiella cheraxi" a pathogen of crayfish.

  3. The Effector Cig57 Hijacks FCHO-Mediated Vesicular Trafficking to Facilitate Intracellular Replication of Coxiella burnetii

    PubMed Central

    Latomanski, Eleanor A.; Newton, Patrice; Khoo, Chen Ai; Newton, Hayley J.

    2016-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii is an intracellular bacterial pathogen that infects alveolar macrophages and replicates within a unique lysosome-derived vacuole. When Coxiella is trafficked to a host cell lysosome the essential Dot/Icm type IV secretion system is activated allowing over 130 bacterial effector proteins to be translocated into the host cytosol. This cohort of effectors is believed to manipulate host cell functions to facilitate Coxiella-containing vacuole (CCV) biogenesis and bacterial replication. Transposon mutagenesis has demonstrated that the Dot/Icm effector Cig57 is required for CCV development and intracellular replication of Coxiella. Here, we demonstrate a role for Cig57 in subverting clathrin-mediated traffic through its interaction with FCHO2, an accessory protein of clathrin coated pits. A yeast two-hybrid screen identified FCHO2 as a binding partner of Cig57 and this interaction was confirmed during infection using immunoprecipitation experiments. The interaction between Cig57 and FCHO2 is dependent on one of three endocytic sorting motif encoded by Cig57. Importantly, complementation analysis demonstrated that this endocytic sorting motif is required for full function of Cig57. Consistent with the intracellular growth defect in cig57-disrupted Coxiella, siRNA gene silencing of FCHO2 or clathrin (CLTC) inhibits Coxiella growth and CCV biogenesis. Clathrin is recruited to the replicative CCV in a manner that is dependent on the interaction between Cig57 and FCHO2. Creation of an FCHO2 knockout cell line confirmed the importance of this protein for CCV expansion, intracellular replication of Coxiella and clathrin recruitment to the CCV. Collectively, these results reveal Cig57 to be a significant virulence factor that co-opts clathrin-mediated trafficking, via interaction with FCHO2, to facilitate the biogenesis of the fusogenic Coxiella replicative vacuole and enable intracellular success of this human pathogen. PMID:28002452

  4. Applying Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) to Examine Effector Translocation Efficiency by Coxiella burnetii during siRNA Silencing.

    PubMed

    Newton, Patrice; Latomanski, Eleanor A; Newton, Hayley J

    2016-07-06

    Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever, is an intracellular pathogen that relies on a Type IV Dot/Icm Secretion System to establish a replicative niche. A cohort of effectors are translocated through this system into the host cell to manipulate host processes and allow the establishment of a unique lysosome-derived vacuole for replication. The method presented here involves the combination of two well-established techniques: specific gene silencing using siRNA and measurement of effector translocation using a FRET-based substrate that relies on β-lactamase activity. Applying these two approaches, we can begin to understand the role of host factors in bacterial secretion system function and effector translocation. In this study we examined the role of Rab5A and Rab7A, both important regulators of the endocytic trafficking pathway. We demonstrate that silencing the expression of either protein results in a decrease in effector translocation efficiency. These methods can be easily modified to examine other intracellular and extracellular pathogens that also utilize secretion systems. In this way, a global picture of host factors involved in bacterial effector translocation may be revealed.

  5. Robust growth of avirulent phase II Coxiella burnetii in bone marrow-derived murine macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Cockrell, Diane C.; Long, Carrie M.; Robertson, Shelly J.; Shannon, Jeffrey G.; Miller, Heather E.; Myers, Lara; Larson, Charles L.; Starr, Tregei; Beare, Paul A.

    2017-01-01

    Published data show that murine bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) restrict growth of avirulent phase II, but not virulent phase I, Coxiella burnetii. Growth restriction of phase II bacteria is thought to result from potentiated recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns, which leads to production of inhibitory effector molecules. Past studies have used conditioned medium from L-929 murine fibroblasts as a source of macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) to promote differentiation of bone marrow-derived myeloid precursors into macrophages. However, uncharacterized components of conditioned medium, such as variable amounts of type I interferons, can affect macrophage activation status and their permissiveness for infection. In the current study, we show that the C. burnetii Nine Mile phase II (NMII) strain grows robustly in primary macrophages from C57BL/6J mice when bone marrow cells are differentiated with recombinant murine M-CSF (rmM-CSF). Bacteria were readily internalized by BMDM, and replicated within degradative, LAMP1-positive vacuoles to achieve roughly 3 logs of growth over 6 days. Uninfected BMDM did not appreciably express CD38 or Egr2, markers of classically (M1) and alternatively (M2) activated macrophages, respectively, nor did infection change the lack of polarization. In accordance with an M0 phenotype, infected BMDM produced moderate amounts of TNF and nitric oxide. Similar NMII growth results were obtained using C57BL/6J myeloid progenitors immortalized with an estrogen-regulated Hoxb8 (ER-Hoxb8) oncogene. To demonstrate the utility of the ER-Hoxb8 system, myeloid progenitors from natural resistance-associated macrophage protein 1 (Nramp1) C57BL/6J knock-in mice were transduced with ER-Hoxb8, and macrophages were derived from immortalized progenitors using rmM-CSF and infected with NMII. No difference in growth was observed when compared to macrophages from wild type mice, indicating depletion of metal ions by the Nramp1

  6. Simultaneous differential detection of Chlamydophila abortus, Chlamydophila pecorum and Coxiella burnetii from aborted ruminant's clinical samples using multiplex PCR

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Chlamydiosis and Q fever, two zoonosis, are important causes of ruminants' abortion around the world. They are caused respectively by strictly intracellular and Gram negative bacterium Chlamydophila abortus (Cp. abortus) and Coxiella burnetii (C. burnetii). Chlamydophila pecorum (Cp. pecorum) is commonly isolated from the digestive tract of clinically inconspicuous ruminants but the abortive and zoonotic impact of this bacterium is still unknown because Cp. pecorum is rarely suspected in abortion cases of small ruminants. We have developed a multiplex PCR (m-PCR) for rapid simultaneous differential detection of Cp. abortus, Cp. pecorum and C. burnetii in clinical samples taken from infected animals. Results Specific PCR primers were designed and a sensitive and specific m-PCR was developed to detect simultaneously, in one tube reaction, three specific fragments of 821, 526 and 687-bp long for Cp. abortus, Cp. pecorum and C. burnetii respectively. This m-PCR assay was performed on 253 clinical samples taken from infected ruminant's flocks that have showed problems of abortion diseases. Thus, 67 samples were infected by either one of the three pathogens: 16 (13 vaginal swabs and 3 placentas) were positive for Cp. abortus, 2 were positive for Cp. pecorum (1 vaginal swab and 1 placenta) and 49 samples (33 vaginal swabs, 11 raw milks, 4 faeces and 1 placenta) were positive for C. burnetii. Two vaginal swabs were m-PCR positive of both Cp. abortus and C. burnetii and none of the tested samples was shown to be infected simultaneously with the three pathogens. Conclusion We have successfully developed a rapid multiplex PCR that can detect and differentiate Cp. abortus, Cp. pecorum and C. burnetii; with a good sensitivity and specificity. The diagnosis of chlamydiosis and Q fever may be greatly simplified and performed at low cost. In addition, the improvement in diagnostic techniques will enhance our knowledge regarding the prevalence and the pathogenetic

  7. Relative contributions of neighbourhood and animal movements to Coxiella burnetii infection in dairy cattle herds.

    PubMed

    Nusinovici, Simon; Hoch, Thierry; Widgren, Stefan; Joly, Alain; Lindberg, Ann; Beaudeau, François

    2014-05-01

    Q fever in dairy cattle herds occurs mainly after inhalation of contaminated aerosols generated from excreta by shedder animals. Propagation of Coxiella burnetii, the cause of the disease between ruminant herds could result from transmission between neighbouring herds and/or the introduction of infected shedder animals in healthy herds. The objective of this study were (i) to describe the spatial distribution C. burnetii-infected dairy cattle herds in two different regions: the Finistère District in France (2,829 herds) and the island of Gotland in Sweden (119 herds) and (ii) to quantify and compare the relative contributions of C. burnetii transmission related to neighbourhood and to animal movements on the risk for a herd to be infected. An enzyme--linked immunosorbent assay was used for testing bulk tank milk in May 2012 and June 2011, respectively. Only one geographical cluster of positive herds was identified in north-western Finistère. Logistic regression was used to assess the association of risk for a herd to test positively with local cattle density (the total number of cattle located in a 5 km radius circle) and the in-degree (ID) parameter, a measure of the number of herds from which each herd had received animals directly within the last 2 years. The risk for a herd to test positively was higher for herds with a higher local cattle density [odds ratio (OR) = 2.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.6-3.2, for herds with a local density between 100 and 120 compared to herds with a local density 60]. The risk was also higher for herds with higher IDs (OR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.6-3.2, for herds with ID 3 compared to herds that did not introduce animals). The proportion of cases attributable to infections in the neighbourhood in high-density areas was twice the proportion attributable to animal movements, suggesting that wind plays a main role in the transmission.

  8. Human Coxiella burnetii infections in regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2002.

    PubMed

    Sukrija, Zvizdić; Hamzić, Sadeta; Cengić, Dzevad; Beslagić, Edina; Fejzić, Nihad; Cobanov, Darko; Maglajlić, Jasminka; Puvacić, Sandra; Puvacić, Zlatko

    2006-10-01

    Acute infections in humans and animals caused by Coxiella burnetii (C. burnetii) are becoming an important medical problem for Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H). From a clinical and epidemiological aspect, Q fever represents a complex medical problem, considering that one of the highest incidence rates of Q fever in Europe has been recorded during the last few years in B&H. The first case of this disease in B&H was described in 1950, by Muray et al., and the first epidemic, with 16 infected individuals, was recorded the same year. Confirmed animal infections by C. burnetii in B&H were first reported in 1985 when, of all tested sheep, positive results were found in 12.4%. During 2001, 2.11% of tested sheep and goats were found to have a positive result, which was also confirmed by studies from the following years in particular regions of B&H. These studies suggest that endemic loci of infected animals are established in particular geographic regions in B&H, which is important to emphasize for better understanding of the sources and routes of C. burnetii transmission to the human population. This conclusion is based on the studies from 2000, when 2.17% of positive cattle, 1.85% of positive sheep, and 0.27% of positive goats were registered. During the same period, in B&H, in 6 different regions, 156 individuals with Q fever were registered as were 3 separate epidemics with 115 infected individuals. Official data on the number of detected animal C. burnetii infections during 2002 suggest that 10 positive cattle and 88 positive sheep or goats were registered. During 2003, 24 positive cattle, 29 positive goats, and 167 positive sheep were detected, while in 2004, 71 positive cattle, 4 positive goats, 37 positive sheep, and 72 positive animals from the sheep-goat group were registered. According to official reports from 2001, 19 individuals with Q fever were registered in B&H, while in 2002, the number of infected individuals increased to 250. In five cantons in B&H, 43

  9. A DNA-binding peroxiredoxin of Coxiella burnetii is involved in countering oxidative stress during exponential-phase growth.

    PubMed

    Hicks, Linda D; Raghavan, Rahul; Battisti, James M; Minnick, Michael F

    2010-04-01

    Coxiella burnetii is a Gram-negative, obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen that resides within the harsh, acidic confines of a lysosome-like compartment of the host cell that is termed a parasitophorous vacuole. In this study, we characterized a thiol-specific peroxidase of C. burnetii that belongs to the atypical 2-cysteine subfamily of peroxiredoxins, commonly referred to as bacterioferritin comigratory proteins (BCPs). Coxiella BCP was initially identified as a potential DNA-binding protein by two-dimensional Southwestern (SW) blots of the pathogen's proteome, probed with biotinylated C. burnetii genomic DNA. Confirmation of the identity of the DNA-binding protein as BCP (CBU_0963) was established by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-tandem time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/TOF MS). Recombinant Coxiella BCP (rBCP) was generated, and its DNA binding was demonstrated by two independent methods, including SW blotting and electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs). rBCP also demonstrated peroxidase activity in vitro that required thioredoxin-thioredoxin reductase (Trx-TrxR). Both the DNA-binding and peroxidase activities of rBCP were lost upon heat denaturation (100 degrees C, 10 min). Functional expression of Coxiella bcp was demonstrated by trans-complementation of an Escherichia coli bcp mutant, as evidenced by the strain's ability to grow in an oxidative-stress growth medium containing tert-butyl hydroperoxide to levels that were indistinguishable from, or significantly greater than, those observed with its wild-type parental strain and significantly greater than bcp mutant levels (P < 0.05). rBCP was also found to protect supercoiled plasmid DNA from oxidative damage (i.e., nicking) in vitro. Maximal expression of the bcp gene coincided with the pathogen's early (day 2 to 3) exponential-growth phase in an experiment involving synchronized infection of an epithelial (Vero) host cell line. Taken as a whole, the results show that

  10. Modulation of the host transcriptome by Coxiella burnetii nuclear effector Cbu1314.

    PubMed

    Weber, Mary M; Faris, Robert; McLachlan, Juanita; Tellez, Andres; Wright, William U; Galvan, Gloria; Luo, Zhao-Qing; Samuel, James E

    2016-05-01

    Coxiella burnetii is a Gram-negative, obligate intracellular pathogen that directs the formation of a parasitophorous vacuole derived from the host lysosomal network. Biogenesis and maintenance of this replicative compartment is dependent on bacterial protein synthesis and results in differential expression of specific host genes. However, the mechanisms by which the pathogen induces changes in the host transcriptome is poorly understood. In the current study we identified a Dot/Icm secreted effector, Cbu1314, which encodes two nuclear localization signals that are required for nuclear localization and association with host chromatin. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and deep sequencing revealed that Cbu1314 associated with host genes involved in transcription, cell signaling, and the immune response. RNA sequencing of cells overexpressing Cbu1314 demonstrated that Cbu1314 modulates the host transcriptome and these transcriptional changes required a functional nuclear localization signal. Of the differentially expressed genes, sixteen were also identified as Cbu1314 targets using ChIP sequencing. Collectively these results suggest that Cbu1314 associates with host chromatin and plays a role in modulating the host transcriptome.

  11. Identification of Novel Coxiella burnetii Icm/Dot Effectors and Genetic Analysis of Their Involvement in Modulating a Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Lifshitz, Ziv; Burstein, David; Schwartz, Kierstyn; Shuman, Howard A.; Pupko, Tal

    2014-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever, is a human intracellular pathogen that utilizes the Icm/Dot type IVB secretion system to translocate effector proteins into host cells. To identify novel C. burnetii effectors, we applied a machine-learning approach to predict C. burnetii effectors, and examination of 20 such proteins resulted in the identification of 13 novel effectors. To determine whether these effectors, as well as several previously identified effectors, modulate conserved eukaryotic pathways, they were expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The effects on yeast growth were examined under regular growth conditions and in the presence of caffeine, a known modulator of the yeast cell wall integrity (CWI) mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway. In the presence of caffeine, expression of the effectors CBU0885 and CBU1676 caused an enhanced inhibition of yeast growth, and the growth inhibition of CBU0388 was suppressed. Furthermore, analysis of synthetic lethality effects and examination of the activity of the CWI MAP kinase transcription factor Rlm1 indicated that CBU0388 enhances the activation of this MAP kinase pathway in yeast, while CBU0885 and CBU1676 abolish this activation. Additionally, coexpression of CBU1676 and CBU0388 resulted in mutual suppression of their inhibition of yeast growth. These results strongly indicate that these three effectors modulate the CWI MAP kinase pathway in yeast. Moreover, both CBU1676 and CBU0885 were found to contain a conserved haloacid dehalogenase (HAD) domain, which was found to be required for their activity. Collectively, our results demonstrate that MAP kinase pathways are most likely targeted by C. burnetii Icm/Dot effectors. PMID:24958706

  12. Agglutinins to Coxiella burnetii and Brucella spp, with particular reference to Brucella canis, in wild animals of southern Texas.

    PubMed

    Randhawa, A S; Kelly, V P; Baker, E F

    1977-11-01

    The prevalence of agglutinins to Coxiella burnetii and Brucella spp, particularly Brucella canis, was determined in 269 wild animals (14 species) in southern Texas. Serologic evidence of coxiellosis and brucellosis, including B canis infection, was shown for coyotes, raccoons, opossums, badgers, jackrabbits, and feral hogs. Using the microagglutination test, the seroprevalence of C burnetii, phases I and II (titer greater than or equal to 4) was 4.1 and 27.9%, respectively. For brucella agglutinins, prevalence rates were 7.1, 8.9, and 6.7%, as determined by the brucellosis card test, the rapid slide agglutination test, and the salt 2-mercaptoethanol tube agglutination (titer greater than or equal to 50) test, respectively.

  13. Coxiella burnetii Infection in a Community Operating a Large-Scale Cow and Goat Dairy, Missouri, 2013

    PubMed Central

    Biggs, Holly M.; Turabelidze, George; Pratt, Drew; Todd, Suzanne R.; Jacobs-Slifka, Kara; Drexler, Naomi A.; McCurdy, Gail; Lloyd, Jennifer; Evavold, Charles L.; Fitzpatrick, Kelly A.; Priestley, Rachael A.; Singleton, Joseph; Sun, David; Tang, Minh; Kato, Cecilia; Kersh, Gilbert J.; Anderson, Alicia

    2016-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii is a zoonotic pathogen that causes Q fever in humans and is transmitted primarily from infected goats, sheep, or cows. Q fever typically presents as an acute febrile illness; however, individuals with certain predisposing conditions, including cardiac valvulopathy, are at risk for chronic Q fever, a serious manifestation that may present as endocarditis. In response to a cluster of Q fever cases detected by public health surveillance, we evaluated C. burnetii infection in a community that operates a large-scale cow and goat dairy. A case was defined as an individual linked to the community with a C. burnetii phase II IgG titer ≥ 128. Of 135 participants, 47 (35%) cases were identified. Contact with or close proximity to cows, goats, and their excreta was associated with being a case (relative risk 2.7, 95% confidence interval 1.3–5.3). Cases were also identified among individuals without cow or goat contact and could be related to windborne spread or tracking of C. burnetii on fomites within the community. A history of injection drug use was reported by 26/130 (20%) participants; follow-up for the presence of valvulopathy and monitoring for development of chronic Q fever may be especially important among this population. PMID:26811433

  14. Molecular characterization by MLVA of Coxiella burnetii strains infecting dairy cows and goats of north-eastern Italy.

    PubMed

    Ceglie, Letizia; Guerrini, Eulalia; Rampazzo, Erika; Barberio, Antonio; Tilburg, Jeroen J H C; Hagen, Ferry; Lucchese, Laura; Zuliani, Federica; Marangon, Stefano; Natale, Alda

    2015-01-01

    Q fever is a worldwide zoonotic disease caused by Coxiella burnetii (C. burnetii), an obligate intracellular bacterium. In ruminants, shedding into the environment mainly occurs during parturition or abortion, but the bacterium is shed also in milk, vaginal mucus, stools and urine. In Italy few surveys have been conducted and reported seroprevalence values ranged between 10% and 60%, even if few human cases have been described. Genotyping of bacteria is crucial for enhancing diagnostic methods and for epidemiological surveillance. The objective of this study was to investigate genotypic differences of C. burnetii genotypes directly in 34 samples, collected during a 3-years survey among 11 dairy cattle and 11 goat farms in the north-eastern part of Italy using a 6-locus multiple loci variable number of tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) method. The samples analysed included 13 bulk tank milk (BTM), 6 individual milk, 11 vaginal swabs and 4 foetal spleens. MLVA-type 2 was determined as the most prevalent in cattle in this study. C. burnetii strains circulating in the studied cattle population are very similar to genotypes previously described, while genotypes from goats showed an important variability. Further investigation are needed to understand the reason of this pattern.

  15. The natural infection of birds and ticks feeding on birds with Rickettsia spp. and Coxiella burnetii in Slovakia.

    PubMed

    Berthová, Lenka; Slobodník, Vladimír; Slobodník, Roman; Olekšák, Milan; Sekeyová, Zuzana; Svitálková, Zuzana; Kazimírová, Mária; Špitalská, Eva

    2016-03-01

    Ixodid ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) are known as primary vectors of many pathogens causing diseases in humans and animals. Ixodes ricinus is a common ectoparasite in Europe and birds are often hosts of subadult stages of the tick. From 2012 to 2013, 347 birds belonging to 43 species were caught and examined for ticks in three sites of Slovakia. Ticks and blood samples from birds were analysed individually for the presence of Rickettsia spp. and Coxiella burnetii by PCR-based methods. Only I. ricinus was found to infest birds. In total 594 specimens of bird-attached ticks were collected (451 larvae, 142 nymphs, 1 female). Altogether 37.2% (16/43) of bird species were infested by ticks and some birds carried more than one tick. The great tit, Parus major (83.8%, 31/37) was the most infested species. In total, 6.6 and 2.7% of bird-attached ticks were infected with Rickettsia spp. and C. burnetii, respectively. Rickettsia helvetica predominated (5.9%), whereas R. monacensis (0.5%) was only sporadically detected. Coxiella burnetii was detected in 0.9%, Rickettsia spp. in 8.9% and R. helvetica in 4.2% of bird blood samples. The great tit was the bird species most infested with I. ricinus, carried R. helvetica and C. burnetti positive tick larvae and nymphs and was found to be rickettsaemic in its blood. Further studies are necessary to define the role of birds in the circulation of rickettsiae and C. burnetii in natural foci.

  16. Comparative virulence of intra- and interstrain lipopolysaccharide variants of Coxiella burnetii in the guinea pig model.

    PubMed Central

    Moos, A; Hackstadt, T

    1987-01-01

    We compared the relative infectivity and virulence of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) variants of the Nine Mile strain of Coxiella burnetii with those of the Priscilla strain, a representative of endocarditis-type strains. In agreement with results of previous studies, Nine Mile phase I (9mi/I) organisms were highly infectious, eliciting seroconversion and fever with inocula containing as few as four organisms. Viable 9mi/I was recovered from the spleens of infected animals 30 days postinfection. Nine Mile phase II (9mi/II) organisms did not elicit fever or seroconversion except with very large inocula, and viable organisms could not be recovered at 30 days postinfection. The Nine Mile/Crazy variant, bearing the intermediate-type LPS, was also highly infectious, as determined by fever response and seroconversion, although, as with 9mi/II, viable organisms could not be recovered 30 days postinfection. The Priscilla strain in phase I (Pris/I) was as infectious as 9mi/I, as determined by seroconversion and its presence in the spleen 30 days postinfection; but in contrast to 9mi/I, more than 10(5) Pris/I isolates were required to induce fever. The temporal appearances of anti-phase I and II antibodies were similar for the two strains. A variety of serological techniques measuring antibody response against whole-cell and purified LPS antigens in agglutination, immunofluorescence, enzyme-linked immunosorbent, and immunoblot assays did not demonstrate sufficient specificity to distinguish between 9mi/I and Pris/I infections. Results of vaccine cross-challenge experiments showed a significant degree of protection between homologous and heterologous challenge strains. protection between homologous Images PMID:3570458

  17. Coxiella burnetii antibody dynamics in heifers born to vaccinated versus non-vaccinated dams in a chronically infected dairy herd.

    PubMed

    Tutusaus, Joan; Garcia-Ispierto, Irina; López-Gatius, Fernando

    2015-09-01

    This study was designed to compare Coxiella burnetii antibody dynamics in heifers born to vaccinated or non-vaccinated dams in a single high-producing dairy herd chronically infected with the bacterium. Antibody dynamics were examined from birth to the postpartum period in replacement heifers (n = 14) born to non-vaccinated dams (n = 7) or to dams that had been vaccinated on gestation days 171-177 (n = 7) and 192-198. Samples of blood, milk, faeces, vaginal fluid, colostrum and cotyledons (the latter two only at parturition) were obtained in the dams over the period from gestation days 171-177 to postpartum days 91-97. Blood samples were used to detect antibodies against C. burnetii and remaining samples for PCR identification of the bacterium. In their calves/heifers, blood samples for antibody determinations were collected from birth to postpartum at the time points 1-7 and 22-28 days and 3, 6 and 12 months of age; 90-96 and 210-216 days of gestation; and 22-28 days postpartum. All calves were born seronegative for C. burnetii. Irrespective of the shedding status of their mothers (7 were C. burnetii shedders), seroconversion occurred after colostrum intake in all calves born to seropositive cows (n = 9) and in two of three vaccinated seronegative dams. Thereafter antibody titres gradually declined and by 6 months of age all calves were seronegative. Seronegativity persisted until their first postpartum period. These findings indicate that cows vaccinated during advanced pregnancy transfer immunity to their calves via the colostrum. Maternal C. burnetii antibodies in calves persisted for three months in calves born both to seronegative vaccinated and seropositive dams.

  18. [Detection of Coxiella burnetii in dairy cattle bulk tank milk and single tank milk samples by confirmatory testing].

    PubMed

    Hilbert, Angela; Andres, Tatjana; Werner, Ralf; Wehr, Roswitha; Fröhlich, Andreas; Conraths, Franz J; Henning, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    Q fever is a worldwide zoonotic disease caused by the pathogen Coxiella (C.) burnetii. A wide range of animal species is susceptible to this intracellular bacterium with great importance in ruminants. Human infections occur mainly by airborne transmission. C burnetii was detected in animal products such as raw milk, raw-milk cheese and butter prepared from raw milk as well as in the meat of infected animals. In cattle milk, the pathogen was detected up to 13 months after calving. The risk of human foodborne C. Burnetii infection is still considered to be low, but cannot be completely ruled out and remains under discussion. The aim of this study was to compare different laboratory diagnostic methods for C. burnetii in milk sample. The bulk tank and individual milk samples were sent and studied at the National Reference Laboratory for Q-fever in the context of confirmatory laboratory testing after clinical suspicion or retesting of previously antibody detection was in the analysis of 888 individual milk samples a match of 93.3% (Cohen-kappa). A total of 173 bulk milk samples and 2,807 individual milk samples from bovine herds for the presence of C. burnetii DNA and antibodies were tested against the pathogen. The pathogen was detected in 62.5% of the bulk milk samples and up to 60% in individual milk samples. The highest proportion of positive bulk milks was determined as 68.3% in 2012. In individual milk samples, the highest proportion of seropositive samples was 62.2%.

  19. Identification of ElpA, a Coxiella burnetii pathotype-specific Dot/Icm type IV secretion system substrate.

    PubMed

    Graham, Joseph G; Winchell, Caylin G; Sharma, Uma M; Voth, Daniel E

    2015-03-01

    Coxiella burnetii causes human Q fever, a zoonotic disease that presents with acute flu-like symptoms and can result in chronic life-threatening endocarditis. In human alveolar macrophages, C. burnetii uses a Dot/Icm type IV secretion system (T4SS) to generate a phagolysosome-like parasitophorous vacuole (PV) in which to replicate. The T4SS translocates effector proteins, or substrates, into the host cytosol, where they mediate critical cellular events, including interaction with autophagosomes, PV formation, and prevention of apoptosis. Over 100 C. burnetii Dot/Icm substrates have been identified, but the function of most remains undefined. Here, we identified a novel Dot/Icm substrate-encoding open reading frame (CbuD1884) present in all C. burnetii isolates except the Nine Mile reference isolate, where the gene is disrupted by a frameshift mutation, resulting in a pseudogene. The CbuD1884 protein contains two transmembrane helices (TMHs) and a coiled-coil domain predicted to mediate protein-protein interactions. The C-terminal region of the protein contains a predicted Dot/Icm translocation signal and was secreted by the T4SS, while the N-terminal portion of the protein was not secreted. When ectopically expressed in eukaryotic cells, the TMH-containing N-terminal region of the CbuD1884 protein trafficked to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), with the C terminus dispersed nonspecifically in the host cytoplasm. This new Dot/Icm substrate is now termed ElpA (ER-localizing protein A). Full-length ElpA triggered substantial disruption of ER structure and host cell secretory transport. These results suggest that ElpA is a pathotype-specific T4SS effector that influences ER function during C. burnetii infection.

  20. Molecular method for the characterization of Coxiella burnetii from clinical and environmental samples: variability of genotypes in Spain

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Coxiella burnetii is a highly clonal microorganism which is difficult to culture, requiring BSL3 conditions for its propagation. This leads to a scarce availability of isolates worldwide. On the other hand, published methods of characterization have delineated up to 8 different genomic groups and 36 genotypes. However, all these methodologies, with the exception of one that exhibited limited discriminatory power (3 genotypes), rely on performing between 10 and 20 PCR amplifications or sequencing long fragments of DNA, which make their direct application to clinical samples impracticable and leads to a scarce accessibility of data on the circulation of C. burnetii genotypes. Results To assess the variability of this organism in Spain, we have developed a novel method that consists of a multiplex (8 targets) PCR and hybridization with specific probes that reproduce the previous classification of this organism into 8 genomic groups, and up to 16 genotypes. It allows for a direct characterization from clinical and environmental samples in a single run, which will help in the study of the different genotypes circulating in wild and domestic cycles as well as from sporadic human cases and outbreaks. The method has been validated with reference isolates. A high variability of C. burnetii has been found in Spain among 90 samples tested, detecting 10 different genotypes, being those adaA negative associated with acute Q fever cases presenting as fever of intermediate duration with liver involvement and with chronic cases. Genotypes infecting humans are also found in sheep, goats, rats, wild boar and ticks, and the only genotype found in cattle has never been found among our clinical samples. Conclusions This newly developed methodology has permitted to demonstrate that C. burnetii is highly variable in Spain. With the data presented here, cattle seem not to participate in the transmission of C. burnetii to humans in the samples studied, while sheep, goats, wild

  1. The Type IV Secretion System Effector Protein CirA Stimulates the GTPase Activity of RhoA and Is Required for Virulence in a Mouse Model of Coxiella burnetii Infection

    PubMed Central

    Weber, Mary M.; Faris, Robert; van Schaik, Erin J.; McLachlan, Juanita Thrasher; Wright, William U.; Tellez, Andres; Roman, Victor A.; Rowin, Kristina; Case, Elizabeth Di Russo; Luo, Zhao-Qing

    2016-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii, the etiological agent of Q fever in humans, is an intracellular pathogen that replicates in an acidified parasitophorous vacuole derived from host lysosomes. Generation of this replicative compartment requires effectors delivered into the host cell by the Dot/Icm type IVb secretion system. Several effectors crucial for C. burnetii intracellular replication have been identified, but the host pathways coopted by these essential effectors are poorly defined, and very little is known about how spacious vacuoles are formed and maintained. Here we demonstrate that the essential type IVb effector, CirA, stimulates GTPase activity of RhoA. Overexpression of CirA in mammalian cells results in cell rounding and stress fiber disruption, a phenotype that is rescued by overexpression of wild-type or constitutively active RhoA. Unlike other effector proteins that subvert Rho GTPases to modulate uptake, CirA is the first effector identified that is dispensable for uptake and instead recruits Rho GTPase to promote biogenesis of the bacterial vacuole. Collectively our results highlight the importance of CirA in coopting host Rho GTPases for establishment of Coxiella burnetii infection and virulence in mammalian cell culture and mouse models of infection. PMID:27324482

  2. The Type IV Secretion System Effector Protein CirA Stimulates the GTPase Activity of RhoA and Is Required for Virulence in a Mouse Model of Coxiella burnetii Infection.

    PubMed

    Weber, Mary M; Faris, Robert; van Schaik, Erin J; McLachlan, Juanita Thrasher; Wright, William U; Tellez, Andres; Roman, Victor A; Rowin, Kristina; Case, Elizabeth Di Russo; Luo, Zhao-Qing; Samuel, James E

    2016-09-01

    Coxiella burnetii, the etiological agent of Q fever in humans, is an intracellular pathogen that replicates in an acidified parasitophorous vacuole derived from host lysosomes. Generation of this replicative compartment requires effectors delivered into the host cell by the Dot/Icm type IVb secretion system. Several effectors crucial for C. burnetii intracellular replication have been identified, but the host pathways coopted by these essential effectors are poorly defined, and very little is known about how spacious vacuoles are formed and maintained. Here we demonstrate that the essential type IVb effector, CirA, stimulates GTPase activity of RhoA. Overexpression of CirA in mammalian cells results in cell rounding and stress fiber disruption, a phenotype that is rescued by overexpression of wild-type or constitutively active RhoA. Unlike other effector proteins that subvert Rho GTPases to modulate uptake, CirA is the first effector identified that is dispensable for uptake and instead recruits Rho GTPase to promote biogenesis of the bacterial vacuole. Collectively our results highlight the importance of CirA in coopting host Rho GTPases for establishment of Coxiella burnetii infection and virulence in mammalian cell culture and mouse models of infection.

  3. Prevalence and Risk Factors of Coxiella burnetii Antibodies in Bulk Milk from Cattle, Sheep, and Goats in Jordan.

    PubMed

    Obaidat, Mohammad M; Kersh, Gilbert J

    2017-04-01

    This large-scale cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence, geographical distribution, and risk factors for the presence of antibodies against Coxiella burnetii in bulk tank milk derived from dairy cattle, sheep, and goats in Jordan. Bulk milk samples were collected from 78 dairy cattle, 48 sheep, and 23 goat farms from various places in Jordan according to the density of these animal species in each region of the country. The samples were tested for C. burnetii antibodies using the CHEKIT Q-Fever Antibody ELISA kit. A standardized questionnaire was also used to collect data from each farm to identify and rank the risk factors for the presence of C. burnetii antibodies. The results revealed that 62.9% (95% confidence interval: 55.1 to 70.0%) of the tested ruminant farms were positive for C. burnetii antibodies. Positive results were obtained from 70.9% (60.6 to 79.5%) of dairy cattle farms, 52.1% (38.3 to 65.5%) of sheep farms, and 56.0% (37.1 to 73.3%) of goat farms. Six factors were associated with the presence of these antibodies on cattle farms, and five factors were associated with these antibodies on sheep and goat farms (chi-square test). The multivariate logistic regression model revealed that large dairy cattle farms, farms that add new animals to the herd, farms that infrequently clean the feeders, and farms in particular areas are 28.6, 19.9, 8.0, and 6.4 times more likely, respectively, to have animals with C. burnetii antibodies. Sheep and goat farms that mix their animals with those from other farms, graze more than 5 km, and infrequently sanitize the feeders were 8.0, 0.06, and 13.6 times more likely, respectively, to have animals with C. burnetii antibodies. These data reveal the widespread exposure of Jordanian ruminants to C. burnetii and suggest a high risk for public health.

  4. Coxiella burnetii Isolates Cause Genogroup-Specific Virulence in Mouse and Guinea Pig Models of Acute Q Fever▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Russell-Lodrigue, K. E.; Andoh, M.; Poels, M. W. J.; Shive, H. R.; Weeks, B. R.; Zhang, G. Q.; Tersteeg, C.; Masegi, T.; Hotta, A.; Yamaguchi, T.; Fukushi, H.; Hirai, K.; McMurray, D. N.; Samuel, J. E.

    2009-01-01

    Q fever is a zoonotic disease of worldwide significance caused by the obligate intracellular bacterium Coxiella burnetii. Humans with Q fever may experience an acute flu-like illness and pneumonia and/or chronic hepatitis or endocarditis. Various markers demonstrate significant phylogenetic separation between and clustering among isolates from acute and chronic human disease. The clinical and pathological responses to infection with phase I C. burnetii isolates from the following four genomic groups were evaluated in immunocompetent and immunocompromised mice and in guinea pig infection models: group I (Nine Mile, African, and Ohio), group IV (Priscilla and P), group V (G and S), and group VI (Dugway). Isolates from all of the groups produced disease in the SCID mouse model, and genogroup-consistent trends were noted in cytokine production in response to infection in the immunocompetent-mouse model. Guinea pigs developed severe acute disease when aerosol challenged with group I isolates, mild to moderate acute disease in response to group V isolates, and no acute disease when infected with group IV and VI isolates. C. burnetii isolates have a range of disease potentials; isolates within the same genomic group cause similar pathological responses, and there is a clear distinction in strain virulence between these genomic groups. PMID:19786560

  5. Prevalence of Coxiella burnetii in bulk milk samples from dairy bovine, ovine, caprine, and camel herds in Iran as determined by polymerase chain reaction.

    PubMed

    Rahimi, Ebrahim; Ameri, Mehrdad; Karim, Guity; Doosti, Abbas

    2011-02-01

    Q fever is a widespread zoonosis caused by the obligate intracellular micro-organism Coxiella burnetii. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence rate of C. burnetii in bulk milk samples from dairy bovine, ovine, caprine, and camel herds in Isfahan province, Iran. In the present study, 567 bulk milk samples from 186 dairy bovine, ovine, caprine, and camel herds were tested for C. burnetii using a nested polymerase chain reaction assay. The animals whose milk samples collected for this study were clinically healthy. In total, 8 of 247 (3.2%) bovine milk samples were positive; the positive samples originated from 6 of 90 (6.7%) dairy herds. Eight of 140 (5.7%) ovine bulk milk samples from 42 sheep breeding farms and 5 of 110 (4.5%) caprine bulk milk samples from 32 goat breeding farms were positive for C. burnetii. One of 70 (1.4%) camel bulk milk samples from 22 camel breeding farms was also positive for C. burnetii. Although no extensive prevalence study was undertaken, the results of this study indicate that clinically healthy dairy animals are important sources of C. burnetii infection in Iran. To the authors' knowledge, this study is the first report of direct identification of C. burnetii using polymerase chain reaction in bulk milk samples from dairy ovine herds in Iran and the first report of direct identification of C. burnetii in bulk milk samples from dairy camel herds. Further intensive prevalence studies on Coxiella infection and on possible risks of dairy products will be needed to elucidate the epidemiology of Q fever in Iran.

  6. Seroprevalence for Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, Brucella abortus and Brucella melitensis in Austrian adults: a cross-sectional survey among military personnel and civilians.

    PubMed

    Tobudic, Selma; Nedomansky, Klara; Poeppl, Wolfgang; Müller, Maria; Faas, Angelus; Mooseder, Gerhard; Allerberger, Franz; Stanek, Gerold; Burgmann, Heinz

    2014-04-01

    The prevalence of Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, Brucella abortus, and Brucella melitensis infections in Austria and the exposure risk of military personnel were assessed in an exploratory nationwide cross-sectional seroprevalence survey in 526 healthy adult individuals, 222 of which were soldiers and 304 were civilians. Screening for IgA/IgG antibodies to C. burnetii (Phase I) and IgG/IgM antibodies to C. burnetii (Phase II), and to F. tularensis was done with commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. To detect antibodies against B. abortus and B. melitensis, an in-house complement fixation test was used. Overall, 11 individuals (2.0%) showed antibodies to C. burnetii, 3 individuals (0.5%) were seropositive for F. tularensis, and one (0.3%) individual was borderline positive. All individuals positive or borderline for F. tularensis tested negative for antibodies against C. burnetii. All individuals tested negative for antibodies against B. melitensis/B. abortus. There were no significant differences between the seroprevalence of C. burnetii and F. tularensis among military personnel and civilians. Our data demonstrate serological evidence of a low rate of exposure to C. burnetii and F. tularensis among the Austrian adult population and military personnel.

  7. Seroepidemiologic Survey for Coxiella burnetii Among US Military Personnel Deployed to Southwest and Central Asia in 2005

    PubMed Central

    Royal, Joseph; Riddle, Mark S.; Mohareb, Emad; Monteville, Marshall R.; Porter, Chad K.; Faix, Dennis J.

    2013-01-01

    We used a seroepidemiologic study to estimate Q fever (Coxiella burnetii) seroprevalence, seroincidence, and risk factors for seroconversion in two deployed military populations in 2005. The first study group resided in an area with a known Q fever outbreak history (Al Asad, Iraq). Of this population, 7.2% seroconverted for an incidence rate of 10.6 seroconversions per 1,000 person-months. The second population included personnel transiting through Qatar on mid-deployment leave from southwest/central Asia. In this group, we found 2.1% prevalence with 0.92 seroconversions per 1,000 person-months. However, no significant risk factors for Q fever seroconversion were found in either population. PMID:24043692

  8. Detection of phase I IgG antibodies to Coxiella burnetii with EIA as a screening test for blood donations.

    PubMed

    van der Hoek, W; Wielders, C C H; Schimmer, B; Wegdam-Blans, M C A; Meekelenkamp, J; Zaaijer, H L; Schneeberger, P M

    2012-11-01

    The presence of a high phase I IgG antibody titre may indicate chronic infection and a risk for the transmission of Coxiella burnetii through blood transfusion. The outbreak of Q fever in the Netherlands allowed for the comparison of an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) with the reference immunofluorescence assay (IFA) in a large group of individuals one year after acute Q fever. EIA is 100 % sensitive in detecting high (≥1:1,024) phase I IgG antibody titres. The cost of screening with EIA and confirming all EIA-positive results with IFA is much lower than screening all donations with IFA. This should be taken into account in cost-effectiveness analyses of screening programmes.

  9. Serosurvey of Coxiella burnetii infection in dairy goat herds in Ontario. A comparison of two methods of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

    PubMed Central

    Lang, G H

    1988-01-01

    Two technical variations of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the detection of antibodies to Coxiella burnetii were compared in this serosurvey on 20 Ontario dairy goat herds. Both a trichloracetic acid extract and a coctoantigen of purified coxiellas were used to sensitize the microtitration plates. Technical differences related to coating pH, serum dilutions tested and interpretation of results. Results agreed in 98.6% of sera examined, the differing sera were in the low titer borderline range. Only 20% of the herds had seroreactors. PMID:3349400

  10. Transcriptional Profiling of Coxiella burnetii Reveals Extensive Cell Wall Remodeling in the Small Cell Variant Developmental Form.

    PubMed

    Sandoz, Kelsi M; Popham, David L; Beare, Paul A; Sturdevant, Daniel E; Hansen, Bryan; Nair, Vinod; Heinzen, Robert A

    2016-01-01

    A hallmark of Coxiella burnetii, the bacterial cause of human Q fever, is a biphasic developmental cycle that generates biologically, ultrastructurally, and compositionally distinct large cell variant (LCV) and small cell variant (SCV) forms. LCVs are replicating, exponential phase forms while SCVs are non-replicating, stationary phase forms. The SCV has several properties, such as a condensed nucleoid and an unusual cell envelope, suspected of conferring enhanced environmental stability. To identify genetic determinants of the LCV to SCV transition, we profiled the C. burnetii transcriptome at 3 (early LCV), 5 (late LCV), 7 (intermediate forms), 14 (early SCV), and 21 days (late SCV) post-infection of Vero epithelial cells. Relative to early LCV, genes downregulated in the SCV were primarily involved in intermediary metabolism. Upregulated SCV genes included those involved in oxidative stress responses, arginine acquisition, and cell wall remodeling. A striking transcriptional signature of the SCV was induction (>7-fold) of five genes encoding predicted L,D transpeptidases that catalyze nonclassical 3-3 peptide cross-links in peptidoglycan (PG), a modification that can influence several biological traits in bacteria. Accordingly, of cross-links identified, muropeptide analysis showed PG of SCV with 46% 3-3 cross-links as opposed to 16% 3-3 cross-links for LCV. Moreover, electron microscopy revealed SCV with an unusually dense cell wall/outer membrane complex as compared to LCV with its clearly distinguishable periplasm and inner and outer membranes. Collectively, these results indicate the SCV produces a unique transcriptome with a major component directed towards remodeling a PG layer that likely contributes to Coxiella's environmental resistance.

  11. Effect of a phase I Coxiella burnetii inactivated vaccine on body temperature and milk yield in dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Schulze, L S-Ch; Borchardt, S; Ouellet, V; Heuwieser, W

    2016-01-01

    Q fever is a zoonotic disease caused by Coxiella burnetii. The pathogen is prevalent in ruminants (goats, sheep, cows), which are the main sources of human infection. In the cattle industry around the world, animal (15 to 20%) and herd (38 to 72%) level prevalences of C. burnetii are high. Vaccination of ruminants against Q fever is considered important to prevent spreading of the disease and risk of infection in humans. However, published information on side effects of the Q fever vaccination under field conditions is limited for cows. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of the phase I C. burnetii inactivated vaccine Coxevac on body temperature and milk yield in dairy cows. In 2 experiments, a total of 508 cows were randomly divided into 2 groups to determine the effect of first vaccination on body temperature and milk yield. The C. burnetii serostatus of all cows was tested before vaccination with an indirect ELISA. The first experiment took place in the teaching and research barn of the Clinic of Animal Reproduction at the Freie Universität Berlin. Temperature was measured vaginally in 10 cows in a crossover design. The second experiment was conducted on a commercial dairy farm. Milk yield of 498 cows was measured 1 wk before and 1 wk after vaccination. In a subset of 41 cows, temperature was measured rectally. In both experiments, body temperature increased significantly after vaccination (1.0 ± 0.9°C and 0.7 ± 0.8°C). A significant difference was also found in body temperature between vaccinated and control cows. Thirty percent of the vaccinated animals in experiment 1 showed reversible swelling at the injection site as a reaction to the vaccination. The results indicate that vaccination against Q fever causes a transient increase of body temperature that peaks in the first 12 to 24h and declines after that. In experiment 2, vaccinated cows (26.8 ± 0.39 kg/d) produced significantly less milk than did control cows (28.2 ± 0.44 kg

  12. Variation in interferon-gamma responses to Coxiella burnetii antigens with lymphocytes from vaccinated or naturally infected subjects.

    PubMed Central

    Izzo, A A; Marmion, B P

    1993-01-01

    Previous work in our laboratory has shown that lymphocytes from persons vaccinated with a formalin-inactivated Phase I Q fever vaccine (Q-Vax CSL Ltd) show a mitogenic response to Coxiella burnetii antigens. The mitogenic response is the sum of that from various subsets of CD4+, T helper cells, CD8+ T cells and probably B cells. It does not distinguish between T helper cell responses leading to formation of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)--a cytokine responsible for clearing intracellular infection with C. burnetii organisms--and responses of other T cell subsets which may produce disease-enhancing cytokines. The present study analyses (i) the capacity of Q-Vax to induce T cell sensitization which leads to IFN-gamma responses on antigen stimulation, and (ii) the immunomodulatory, (down-regulatory) effects of the Phase I lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of the organism, which interacts with monocyte/macrophages to limit IL-2 production and production of IFN-gamma by sensitized T lymphocytes. PMID:8252811

  13. Isolation of Coxiella burnetii from dairy cattle and ticks, and some characteristics of the isolates in Japan.

    PubMed

    Ho, T; Htwe, K K; Yamasaki, N; Zhang, G Q; Ogawa, M; Yamaguchi, T; Fukushi, H; Hirai, K

    1995-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii was isolated from raw milk (36/214, 16.8%) and uterus swab samples (13/61, 21.3%) originating from dairy cattle with reproductive disorders, aborted bovine fetus samples (2/4, 50%), mammary gland samples (4/50, 8%) originating from healthy dairy cattle, and tick samples (4/15, 26.7%) originating from 2 pastures. Fifty-nine strains had various degrees of pathogenicity, high (8; 13.6%), moderate (28; 47.5%) and low (23; 39%), for guinea pigs. The results of isolation suggested a high prevalence of Coxiella infection in dairy cattle with reproductive problems in Japan. Twelve strains (7, 2 and 3 strains from cattle, ticks and humans, respectively) and the reference Nine Mile strain of phases I and II were propagated in both yolk sacs of embryonated hen eggs and Buffalo green monkey (BGM) cell cultures. Protein profiles of these strains were similar to those of the reference strain of phase I. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) profiles of 12 strains were similar to those of the reference strain of phase I and different from those of the reference strain of phase II. The LPS profiles of 12 strains suggested that these strains are associated with an acute form of Q fever.

  14. A probably minor role for land-applied goat manure in the transmission of Coxiella burnetii to humans in the 2007-2010 Dutch Q fever outbreak.

    PubMed

    van den Brom, René; Roest, Hendrik-Jan; de Bruin, Arnout; Dercksen, Daan; Santman-Berends, Inge; van der Hoek, Wim; Dinkla, Annemiek; Vellema, Jelmer; Vellema, Piet

    2015-01-01

    In 2007, Q fever started to become a major public health problem in the Netherlands, with small ruminants as most probable source. In order to reduce environmental contamination, control measures for manure were implemented because of the assumption that manure was highly contaminated with Coxiella burnetii. The aims of this study were 1) to clarify the role of C. burnetii contaminated manure from dairy goat farms in the transmission of C. burnetii to humans, 2) to assess the impact of manure storage on temperature profiles in dunghills, and 3) to calculate the decimal reduction time of the Nine Mile RSA 493 reference strain of C. burnetii under experimental conditions in different matrices. For these purposes, records on distribution of manure from case and control herds were mapped and a potential relation to incidences of human Q fever was investigated. Additionally, temperatures in two dunghills were measured and related to heat resistance of C. burnetii. Results of negative binomial regression showed no significant association between the incidence of human Q fever cases and the source of manure. Temperature measurements in the core and shell of dunghills on two farms were above 40°C for at least ten consecutive days which would result in a strong reduction of C. burnetii over time. Our findings indicate that there is no relationship between incidence of human Q fever and land applied manure from dairy goat farms with an abortion wave caused by C. burnetii. Temperature measurements in dunghills on two farms with C. burnetii shedding dairy goat herds further support the very limited role of goat manure as a transmission route during the Dutch human Q fever outbreak. It is very likely that the composting process within a dunghill will result in a clear reduction in the number of viable C. burnetii.

  15. Q fever in the Greek island of Crete: detection, isolation, and molecular identification of eight strains of Coxiella burnetii from clinical samples.

    PubMed

    Spyridaki, I; Gikas, A; Kofteridis, D; Psaroulaki, A; Tselentis, Y

    1998-07-01

    Over a period of 6 years (1989 to 1995), serum samples from 3,300 patients suspected to be infected by Coxiella burnetii were assayed for the presence of antibodies against antigen phase II of the microorganism by the indirect immunofluorescence antibody technique (IFAT). One hundred fifty-two cases were recorded, and blood samples from 17 patients were cultured for the isolation of the pathogen. By a centrifugation shell vial technique, eight strains were isolated from patients suffering from acute Q fever. The microorganism was detected in the cultures by IFAT, by Gimenez staining, and by the cytopathogenic effect on Vero and human embryonic lung (HEL) cells. PCR followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis was used to confirm the diagnosis and identify the Coxiella burnetii strains within the cell cultures as well as to compare them with reference strains. In order to avoid time-consuming cultures, to achieve direct detection of Coxiella burnetii in clinical samples (blood, buffy coat, etc.), and to increase the specificity and sensitivity of the detection, nested PCR was performed. The first step of DNA extraction was performed with the QIAamp blood kit 250. For the second step of the PCR assays, the conditions of temperature and times of recycling were properly modified, and the microorganism was detected within 4 h. Our study demonstrates that Q fever is an endemic disease in Crete and that the diagnosis of Coxiella burnetii infection can be rapidly achieved by the detection of the microorganism in buffy coat samples by nested PCR. Although the presenting symptoms of the disease in this study differed from those in other studies, the Cretan strains do not differ genotypically from the reference strains (Nine Mile and Q212).

  16. Coxiella burnetii Seroprevalence and Risk Factors in Cattle Farmers and Farm Residents in Three Northeastern Provinces and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China.

    PubMed

    Sun, Wu-Wen; Cong, Wei; Li, Mao-Hui; Wang, Chun-Feng; Shan, Xiao-Feng; Qian, Ai-Dong

    2016-01-01

    Little is known about Coxiella burnetii infection among cattle farmers and farm residents in China. Thus, the present study was conducted to detect the seroprevalence of C. burnetii infection and estimate associated risk factors among cattle farmers and farm residents in China. A cross-sectional study was designed, and sera of 362 people living or working on 106 cattle farms were tested for C. burnetii IgG and IgM antibodies by immunofluorescence assay. Overall C. burnetii seroprevalence was 35.6% (129/362, 95% CI: 30.70-40.57), and 112 participants had experienced a past infection and seventeen (4.7%) had experienced a relatively recent infection. In the final combined multilevel model, the following activities were significantly associated with presence of antibodies against C. burnetii: milking cattle, providing general healthcare to cattle, providing birth assistance, contact dead-born animals, urbanization, and presence of mice and/or rats in the stable. Moreover, presence of disinfection equipment was a significant protective factor. This is the first study addressing the seroprevalence and risk factors of C. burnetii infection in cattle farmers and farm residents in three northeastern provinces and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China.

  17. Serological survey of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii and Coxiella burnetii in rodents in north-western African islands (Canary Islands and Cape Verde).

    PubMed

    Foronda, Pilar; Plata-Luis, Josué; del Castillo-Figueruelo, Borja; Fernández-Álvarez, Ángela; Martín-Alonso, Aarón; Feliu, Carlos; Cabral, Marilena D; Valladares, Basilio

    2015-05-29

    Coxiella burnetii and Toxoplasma gondii are intracellular parasites that cause important reproductive disorders in animals and humans worldwide, resulting in high economic losses. The aim of the present study was to analyse the possible role of peridomestic small mammals in the maintenance and transmission of C. burnetii and T. gondii in the north-western African archipelagos of the Canary Islands and Cape Verde, where these species are commonly found affecting humans and farm animals. Between 2009 and 2013, 108 black rats (Rattus rattus) and 77 mice (Mus musculus) were analysed for the presence of Coxiella and Toxoplasma antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and indirect immunofluorescence (IFA), respectively. Our results showed a wide distribution of C. burnetii and T. gondii, except for T. gondii in Cape Verde, in both rodent species. The overall seroprevalence of C. burnetii antibodies was 12.4%; 21.1% for Cape Verde and 10.2% for the Canary Islands. With respect to T. gondii, seropositive rodents were only observed in the Canary Islands, with an overall seroprevalence of 15%. Considering the fact that both pathogens can infect a large range of hosts, including livestock and humans, the results are of public health and veterinary importance and could be used by governmental entities to manage risk factors and to prevent future cases of Q fever and toxoplasmosis.

  18. The Sero-epidemiology of Coxiella burnetii in Humans and Cattle, Western Kenya: Evidence from a Cross-Sectional Study.

    PubMed

    Wardrop, Nicola A; Thomas, Lian F; Cook, Elizabeth A J; de Glanville, William A; Atkinson, Peter M; Wamae, Claire N; Fèvre, Eric M

    2016-10-01

    Evidence suggests that the intracellular bacterial pathogen Coxiella burnetii (which causes Q fever) is widespread, with a near global distribution. While there has been increasing attention to Q fever epidemiology in high-income settings, a recent systematic review highlighted significant gaps in our understanding of the prevalence, spatial distribution and risk factors for Q fever infection across Africa. This research aimed to provide a One Health assessment of Q fever epidemiology in parts of Western and Nyanza Provinces, Western Kenya, in cattle and humans. A cross-sectional survey was conducted: serum samples from 2049 humans and 955 cattle in 416 homesteads were analysed for C. burnetii antibodies. Questionnaires covering demographic, socio-economic and husbandry information were also administered. These data were linked to environmental datasets based on geographical locations (e.g., land cover). Correlation and spatial-cross correlation analyses were applied to assess the potential link between cattle and human seroprevalence. Multilevel regression analysis was used to assess the relationships between a range of socio-economic, demographic and environmental factors and sero-positivity in both humans and animals. The overall sero-prevalence of C. burnetii was 2.5% in humans and 10.5% in cattle, but we found no evidence of correlation between cattle and human seroprevalence either within households, or when incorporating spatial proximity to other households in the survey. Multilevel modelling indicated the importance of several factors for exposure to the organism. Cattle obtained from market (as opposed to those bred in their homestead) and those residing in areas with lower precipitation levels had the highest sero-prevalence. For humans, the youngest age group had the highest odds of seropositivity, variations were observed between ethnic groups, and frequent livestock contact (specifically grazing and dealing with abortion material) was also a risk

  19. Studying Coxiella burnetii Type IV Substrates in the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae: Focus on Subcellular Localization and Protein Aggregation

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Escudero, María; Cid, Víctor J.; Molina, María; Schulze-Luehrmann, Jan; Lührmann, Anja; Rodríguez-Escudero, Isabel

    2016-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii is a Gram-negative obligate parasitic bacterium that causes the disease Q-fever in humans. To establish its intracellular niche, it utilizes the Icm/Dot type IVB secretion system (T4BSS) to inject protein effectors into the host cell cytoplasm. The host targets of most cognate and candidate T4BSS-translocated effectors remain obscure. We used the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model to express and study six C. burnetii effectors, namely AnkA, AnkB, AnkF, CBU0077, CaeA and CaeB, in search for clues about their role in C. burnetii virulence. When ectopically expressed in HeLa cells, these effectors displayed distinct subcellular localizations. Accordingly, GFP fusions of these proteins produced in yeast also decorated distinct compartments, and most of them altered cell growth. CaeA was ubiquitinated both in yeast and mammalian cells and, in S. cerevisiae, accumulated at juxtanuclear quality-control compartments (JUNQs) and insoluble protein deposits (IPODs), characteristic of aggregative or misfolded proteins. AnkA, which was not ubiquitinated, accumulated exclusively at the IPOD. CaeA, but not AnkA or the other effectors, caused oxidative damage in yeast. We discuss that CaeA and AnkA behavior in yeast may rather reflect misfolding than recognition of conserved targets in the heterologous system. In contrast, CBU0077 accumulated at vacuolar membranes and abnormal ER extensions, suggesting that it interferes with vesicular traffic, whereas AnkB associated with the yeast nucleolus. Both effectors shared common localization features in HeLa and yeast cells. Our results support the idea that C. burnetii T4BSS effectors manipulate multiple host cell targets, which can be conserved in higher and lower eukaryotic cells. However, the behavior of CaeA and AnkA prompt us to conclude that heterologous protein aggregation and proteostatic stress can be a limitation to be considered when using the yeast model to assess the function of bacterial effectors

  20. The Sero-epidemiology of Coxiella burnetii in Humans and Cattle, Western Kenya: Evidence from a Cross-Sectional Study

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Lian F.; Cook, Elizabeth A. J.; de Glanville, William A.; Atkinson, Peter M.; Wamae, Claire N.; Fèvre, Eric M.

    2016-01-01

    Evidence suggests that the intracellular bacterial pathogen Coxiella burnetii (which causes Q fever) is widespread, with a near global distribution. While there has been increasing attention to Q fever epidemiology in high-income settings, a recent systematic review highlighted significant gaps in our understanding of the prevalence, spatial distribution and risk factors for Q fever infection across Africa. This research aimed to provide a One Health assessment of Q fever epidemiology in parts of Western and Nyanza Provinces, Western Kenya, in cattle and humans. A cross-sectional survey was conducted: serum samples from 2049 humans and 955 cattle in 416 homesteads were analysed for C. burnetii antibodies. Questionnaires covering demographic, socio-economic and husbandry information were also administered. These data were linked to environmental datasets based on geographical locations (e.g., land cover). Correlation and spatial-cross correlation analyses were applied to assess the potential link between cattle and human seroprevalence. Multilevel regression analysis was used to assess the relationships between a range of socio-economic, demographic and environmental factors and sero-positivity in both humans and animals. The overall sero-prevalence of C. burnetii was 2.5% in humans and 10.5% in cattle, but we found no evidence of correlation between cattle and human seroprevalence either within households, or when incorporating spatial proximity to other households in the survey. Multilevel modelling indicated the importance of several factors for exposure to the organism. Cattle obtained from market (as opposed to those bred in their homestead) and those residing in areas with lower precipitation levels had the highest sero-prevalence. For humans, the youngest age group had the highest odds of seropositivity, variations were observed between ethnic groups, and frequent livestock contact (specifically grazing and dealing with abortion material) was also a risk

  1. Studying Coxiella burnetii Type IV Substrates in the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae: Focus on Subcellular Localization and Protein Aggregation.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Escudero, María; Cid, Víctor J; Molina, María; Schulze-Luehrmann, Jan; Lührmann, Anja; Rodríguez-Escudero, Isabel

    2016-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii is a Gram-negative obligate parasitic bacterium that causes the disease Q-fever in humans. To establish its intracellular niche, it utilizes the Icm/Dot type IVB secretion system (T4BSS) to inject protein effectors into the host cell cytoplasm. The host targets of most cognate and candidate T4BSS-translocated effectors remain obscure. We used the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model to express and study six C. burnetii effectors, namely AnkA, AnkB, AnkF, CBU0077, CaeA and CaeB, in search for clues about their role in C. burnetii virulence. When ectopically expressed in HeLa cells, these effectors displayed distinct subcellular localizations. Accordingly, GFP fusions of these proteins produced in yeast also decorated distinct compartments, and most of them altered cell growth. CaeA was ubiquitinated both in yeast and mammalian cells and, in S. cerevisiae, accumulated at juxtanuclear quality-control compartments (JUNQs) and insoluble protein deposits (IPODs), characteristic of aggregative or misfolded proteins. AnkA, which was not ubiquitinated, accumulated exclusively at the IPOD. CaeA, but not AnkA or the other effectors, caused oxidative damage in yeast. We discuss that CaeA and AnkA behavior in yeast may rather reflect misfolding than recognition of conserved targets in the heterologous system. In contrast, CBU0077 accumulated at vacuolar membranes and abnormal ER extensions, suggesting that it interferes with vesicular traffic, whereas AnkB associated with the yeast nucleolus. Both effectors shared common localization features in HeLa and yeast cells. Our results support the idea that C. burnetii T4BSS effectors manipulate multiple host cell targets, which can be conserved in higher and lower eukaryotic cells. However, the behavior of CaeA and AnkA prompt us to conclude that heterologous protein aggregation and proteostatic stress can be a limitation to be considered when using the yeast model to assess the function of bacterial effectors.

  2. The burden of Coxiella burnetii among aborted dairy animals in Egypt and its public health implications.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Moein, Khaled A; Hamza, Dalia A

    2017-02-01

    Q fever is a zoonotic disease of mounting public health implications. Dairy animals are major reservoir for such disease whereas abortion is the main clinical outcome. The current study was conducted to investigate the burden of C. burnetii abortions among dairy animals in Egypt to provide more knowledge for better control of such disease. For this purpose, placental cotyledons and vaginal discharges from 108 aborted dairy animals (27 sheep, 29 goats, 26 cattle, 26 buffaloes) were examined for the presence of C. burnetii by nested PCR. Serum samples from 58 human contacts were examined for the presence of C. burnetii IgG antibodies using ELISA. Out of the 108 examined animals only one goat yielded positive result in both placental tissue and vaginal discharges with an overall prevalence 0.9% while that among goats is 3.4%. Moreover, the seroprevalence of C. burnetii IgG antibodies among the examined individuals was 19% whereas the prevalence in farmers is significantly higher than that among veterinarians and veterinary assistants. In conclusion, C. burnetii may play a role in dairy goat abortions rather than other dairy animals in Egypt while its public health implications cannot be ruled out.

  3. Seroprevalence and Factors Associated with Coxiella burnetii Infection in Small Ruminants in Baringo County, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Muema, J; Thumbi, S M; Obonyo, M; Wanyoike, S; Nanyingi, M; Osoro, E; Bitek, A; Karanja, S

    2017-01-24

    To improve estimates of C. burnetii epidemiology in Kenya, a survey was undertaken in small ruminants in Baringo County, where acute cases of Q fever in humans had been reported in 2014. From 140 household herds selected, 508 (60.5%) goats and 332 (39.5%) sheep were included and an indirect ELISA assay for C. burnetii IgG antibodies performed. In addition, epidemiological information at both herd and animal level was collected. Generalized mixed-effects multivariable logistic model using herd as the random effect was used to determine variables correlated to the outcome. Overall seroprevalence was 20.5% (95% CI: 17.8%, 23.3%). Goats had 26.0% (95% CI: 22.2%, 30.0%) compared to sheep 12.2% (95% CI: 8.7%, 16.0%). Nomadic pastoralism, goats and older animals (>1 year) were associated with greater risk of C. burnetii seropositivity (P = ≤0.05). Heterogeneity in C. burnetii seropositivity was observed across the sublocations (P = 0.028). Evidence of C. burnetii exposure in small ruminants revealed poses a potential risk of exposure to the people living in close proximity to the animals. We recommended integrated animal-human surveillance and socio-economic studies for C. burnetii, to aid our understanding of the risk of transmission between the animals and humans, and in the design of prevention and control strategies for the disease in the region.

  4. Surveillance of Egyptian fleas for agents of public health significance: Anaplasma, Bartonella, Coxiella, Ehrlichia, Rickettsia, and Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Loftis, Amanda D; Reeves, Will K; Szumlas, Daniel E; Abbassy, Magda M; Helmy, Ibrahim M; Moriarity, John R; Dasch, Gregory A

    2006-07-01

    Serologic surveys in Egypt have documented human and animal exposure to vector-borne bacterial pathogens, but the presence and distribution of these agents in arthropods has not been determined. Between July 2002 and July 2003, fleas were collected from 221 mammals trapped in 17 cities throughout Egypt. A total of 987 fleas were collected, representing four species (Ctenocephalides felis, Echidnophaga gallinacea, Leptopsylla segnis, and Xenopsylla cheopis); 899 of these fleas were X. cheopis from rats (Rattus spp.). Fleas were tested for DNA from Anaplasma spp., Bartonella spp., Coxiella burnetii, Ehrlichia spp., Rickettsia spp., and Yersinia pestis. Rickettsia typhi, the agent of murine typhus, was detected in X. cheopis and L. segnis from rats from nine cities. A spotted-fever group Rickettsia sp. similar to "RF2125" was detected in E. gallinacea, and two unidentified spotted fever group Rickettsia were detected in two X. cheopis. Novel Bartonella genotypes were detected in X. cheopis and L. segnis from three cities. Coxiella burnetii was detected in two fleas. Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Y. pestis were not detected.

  5. Seroprevalence and risk factors of Coxiella burnetii infection among high-risk population in center of Iran, a neglected health problem.

    PubMed

    Nokhodian, Zary; Ataei, Behrooz; Moradi, Abdolreza; Yaran, Majid; Hoseini, Shervin Gaffari; Feizi, Awat; Sherkat, Roya

    2017-02-05

    In order to evaluate the prevalence of antibodies against phase I and II antigens of Coxiella Burnetii and to identify related risk factors among high-risk groups in the center of Iran, a serological survey was performed in Isfahan County. In a cross-sectional study, 401 sera were collected from slaughterhouse workers, butchers, farmers and veterinarians in spring 2015. Samples were tested for specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against phase I and II of C. burnetii by indirect immunofluorescence assay. A checklist was fulfilled to document demographic information. Univariate analysis and multivariable binary logistic regression model were used to analyze data. IgG antibodies against phases I and II of C. burnetii were detected in 19% and 36.9% of participants, respectively. The overall seropositivity (IgG against phase I and/or II) was 43.1%. The present study shows a high seroprevalence of C. burnetii infection among high-risk population in center of Iran. It is suggested to carry out occupational health monitoring programs for individuals who may be exposed to C. burnetii.

  6. Wide exposure to Coxiella burnetii in ruminant and feline species living in a natural environment: zoonoses in a human-livestock-wildlife interface.

    PubMed

    Candela, M G; Caballol, A; Atance, P M

    2017-02-01

    Assessment of the role of wild and domestic hosts as potential reservoirs of misdiagnosed zoonoses, such as Q fever by Coxiella burnetii, is an important public health issue today both for wildlife conservation and management of disease in human-livestock-wildlife interface. This study used ELISA, an indirect antibody, to research (2003-2013) C. burnetii infection in seven free-living wild and domestic ruminant species and in European wildcats (Felis silvestris). The animals studied were 0 European wildcats, 21 Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica), 314 red deer (Cervus elaphus), 556 fallow deer (Dama dama), 211 European mouflon (Ovis aries musimon), eight roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), 407 bovines (Bos taurus) and 3739 sheep (Ovis aries). All the animals shared the same habitat in the Serranía de Cuenca Natural Park (Castile-La Mancha, Spain). The study area is an example of human-domestic-wildlife interface where people and domestic animals live in close proximity to wildlife. Observed C. burnetii seropositive frequencies were: 33·3% European wildcats, 23·8% Spanish ibex, 22·5% domestic sheep 1·5% red deer, 1·4% European mouflon, 0·24% cattle, 0·18% fallow deer and 0% roe deer. The study found a wide C. burnetii prevalence of previous and present exposure in wild and domestic ruminant hosts in the Serranía de Cuenca Natural Park and reports the first evidence of C. burnetii exposure in free-living European wildcats.

  7. Transcriptional Profiling of Coxiella burnetii Reveals Extensive Cell Wall Remodeling in the Small Cell Variant Developmental Form

    PubMed Central

    Sandoz, Kelsi M.; Popham, David L.; Beare, Paul A.; Sturdevant, Daniel E.; Hansen, Bryan; Nair, Vinod; Heinzen, Robert A.

    2016-01-01

    A hallmark of Coxiella burnetii, the bacterial cause of human Q fever, is a biphasic developmental cycle that generates biologically, ultrastructurally, and compositionally distinct large cell variant (LCV) and small cell variant (SCV) forms. LCVs are replicating, exponential phase forms while SCVs are non-replicating, stationary phase forms. The SCV has several properties, such as a condensed nucleoid and an unusual cell envelope, suspected of conferring enhanced environmental stability. To identify genetic determinants of the LCV to SCV transition, we profiled the C. burnetii transcriptome at 3 (early LCV), 5 (late LCV), 7 (intermediate forms), 14 (early SCV), and 21 days (late SCV) post-infection of Vero epithelial cells. Relative to early LCV, genes downregulated in the SCV were primarily involved in intermediary metabolism. Upregulated SCV genes included those involved in oxidative stress responses, arginine acquisition, and cell wall remodeling. A striking transcriptional signature of the SCV was induction (>7-fold) of five genes encoding predicted L,D transpeptidases that catalyze nonclassical 3–3 peptide cross-links in peptidoglycan (PG), a modification that can influence several biological traits in bacteria. Accordingly, of cross-links identified, muropeptide analysis showed PG of SCV with 46% 3–3 cross-links as opposed to 16% 3–3 cross-links for LCV. Moreover, electron microscopy revealed SCV with an unusually dense cell wall/outer membrane complex as compared to LCV with its clearly distinguishable periplasm and inner and outer membranes. Collectively, these results indicate the SCV produces a unique transcriptome with a major component directed towards remodeling a PG layer that likely contributes to Coxiella’s environmental resistance. PMID:26909555

  8. Essential role for the response regulator PmrA in Coxiella burnetii type 4B secretion and colonization of mammalian host cells.

    PubMed

    Beare, Paul A; Sandoz, Kelsi M; Larson, Charles L; Howe, Dale; Kronmiller, Brent; Heinzen, Robert A

    2014-06-01

    Successful host cell colonization by the Q fever pathogen, Coxiella burnetii, requires translocation of effector proteins into the host cytosol by a Dot/Icm type 4B secretion system (T4BSS). In Legionella pneumophila, the two-component system (TCS) PmrAB regulates the Dot/Icm T4BSS and several additional physiological processes associated with pathogenesis. Because PmrA consensus regulatory elements are associated with some dot/icm and substrate genes, a similar role for PmrA in regulation of the C. burnetii T4BSS has been proposed. Here, we constructed a C. burnetii pmrA deletion mutant to directly probe PmrA-mediated gene regulation. Compared to wild-type bacteria, C. burnetii ΔpmrA exhibited severe intracellular growth defects that coincided with failed secretion of effector proteins. Luciferase gene reporter assays demonstrated PmrA-dependent expression of 5 of 7 dot/icm operons and 9 of 11 effector-encoding genes with a predicted upstream PmrA regulatory element. Mutational analysis verified consensus sequence nucleotides required for PmrA-directed transcription. RNA sequencing and whole bacterial cell mass spectrometry of wild-type C. burnetii and the ΔpmrA mutant uncovered new components of the PmrA regulon, including several genes lacking PmrA motifs that encoded Dot/Icm substrates. Collectively, our results indicate that the PmrAB TCS is a critical virulence factor that regulates C. burnetii Dot/Icm secretion. The presence of PmrA-responsive genes lacking PmrA regulatory elements also suggests that the PmrAB TCS controls expression of regulatory systems associated with the production of additional C. burnetii proteins involved in host cell parasitism.

  9. Construction of chimeric phagosomes that shelter Mycobacterium avium and Coxiella burnetii (phase II) in doubly infected mouse macrophages: an ultrastructural study.

    PubMed

    de Chastellier, C; Thibon, M; Rabinovitch, M

    1999-08-01

    Dual infection of cells may divert pathogens to intracellular compartments different from those occupied in mono-infected cells. In the present studies, mouse bone marrow in vitro-derived macrophages were first infected with virulent Mycobacterium avium, which are normally singly lodged within tight phagosomes. These phagosomes do not mature; they undergo homotypic fusion with early endosomes and do not fuse with lysosomes. Seven days later, the cultures were superinfected with phase II (non-virulent) Coxiella burnetii, organisms sheltered in lysosome- (or prelysosome)-like, multi-occupancy phagosomes. The latter can attain large size and engage in efficient homo- and heterotypic fusion with other phagosomes. Cultures were fixed for transmission electron microscopy 6, 12, 24, and 48 h later. Other M. avium-infected cultures were superinfected with amastigotes of the trypanosomatid flagellate Leishmania amazonensis, which are also sheltered in lysosome- (or prelysosome)-like multi-occupancy vacuoles, and fixed at the same time periods. Chimeric phagosomes containing both M. avium and C. burnetii, were found already at 6 h and the proportion of M. avium that colocalized with C. burnetii in the same phagosomes reached over 90% after 48 h. In such phagosomes, both organisms were ultrastructurally well preserved. In contrast, colocalization of M. avium and L. amazonensis was rarely found. Speculative scenarios that could underlie the formation of chimeric phagosomes could involve delayed maturation of C. burnetii-containing phagosomes in presence of M. avium, which would allow for fusion of C. burnetii- and M. avium-containing phagosomes; the production, by C. burnetii, of molecules that upregulate the fusion of M. avium-containing phagosomes with those that contain C. burnetii; and the secretion of factors that could favour the survival of M. avium within chimeric vacuoles.

  10. Screening-level risk assessment of Coxiella burnetii (Q fever) transmission via aeration of drinking water.

    PubMed

    Sales-Ortells, Helena; Medema, Gertjan

    2012-04-03

    A screening-level risk assessment of Q fever transmission through drinking water produced from groundwater in the vicinity of infected goat barnyards that employed aeration of the water was performed. Quantitative data from scientific literature were collected and a Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment approach was followed. An exposure model was developed to calculate the dose to which consumers of aerated groundwater are exposed through aerosols inhalation during showering. The exposure assessment and hazard characterization were integrated in a screening-level risk characterization using a dose-response model for inhalation to determine the risk of Q fever through tap water. A nominal range sensitivity analysis was performed. The estimated risk of disease was lower than 10(-4) per person per year (pppy), hence the risk of transmission of C. burnetii through inhalation of drinking water aerosols is very low. The sensitivity analysis shows that the most uncertain parameters are the aeration process, the transport of C. burnetii in bioaerosols via the air, the aerosolization of C. burnetii in the shower, and the air filtration efficiency. The risk was compared to direct airborne exposure of persons in the vicinity of infected goat farms; the relative risk of exposure through inhalation of drinking water aerosols was 0.002%.

  11. Spatial Prediction of Coxiella burnetii Outbreak Exposure via Notified Case Counts in a Dose-Response Model.

    PubMed

    Brooke, Russell J; Kretzschmar, Mirjam E E; Hackert, Volker; Hoebe, Christian J P A; Teunis, Peter F M; Waller, Lance A

    2017-01-01

    We develop a novel approach to study an outbreak of Q fever in 2009 in the Netherlands by combining a human dose-response model with geostatistics prediction to relate probability of infection and associated probability of illness to an effective dose of Coxiella burnetii. The spatial distribution of the 220 notified cases in the at-risk population are translated into a smooth spatial field of dose. Based on these symptomatic cases, the dose-response model predicts a median of 611 asymptomatic infections (95% range: 410, 1,084) for the 220 reported symptomatic cases in the at-risk population; 2.78 (95% range: 1.86, 4.93) asymptomatic infections for each reported case. The low attack rates observed during the outbreak range from (Equation is included in full-text article.)to (Equation is included in full-text article.). The estimated peak levels of exposure extend to the north-east from the point source with an increasing proportion of asymptomatic infections further from the source. Our work combines established methodology from model-based geostatistics and dose-response modeling allowing for a novel approach to study outbreaks. Unobserved infections and the spatially varying effective dose can be predicted using the flexible framework without assuming any underlying spatial structure of the outbreak process. Such predictions are important for targeting interventions during an outbreak, estimating future disease burden, and determining acceptable risk levels.

  12. Molecular epidemiology of Coxiella burnetii in French livestock reveals the existence of three main genotype clusters and suggests species-specific associations as well as regional stability.

    PubMed

    Joulié, Aurelien; Sidi-Boumedine, Karim; Bailly, Xavier; Gasqui, Patrick; Barry, Séverine; Jaffrelo, Lydia; Poncet, Charles; Abrial, David; Yang, Elise; Leblond, Agnès; Rousset, Elodie; Jourdain, Elsa

    2017-03-01

    Q fever is a worldwide zoonosis caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii. In domestic ruminants, Q fever main clinical manifestations are abortions. Although the clinical signs may differ between ruminant species, C. burnetii's genetic diversity remains understudied in enzootic areas. Here, we focused on France, where Q fever is enzootic, with the aims to (a) identify potential associations between C. burnetii genotypes and ruminant host species; (b) assess the distribution of C. burnetii genotypes both within French farms and across France's major livestock-farming regions; and (c) suggest a subset of markers for future genotypic studies. We used DNA samples collected between 2006 and 2015 from 301 females (160 cows, 76 ewes, 65 goats) aborted of Q fever within 7 different farming regions. C. burnetii diversity was determined using a multiple-locus variable-number of tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) considering 17 markers. Using a phylogenetic approach, we identified 3 main genotypic clusters divided into 12 sub-clusters. These clusters were significantly associated with ruminant species: almost all the cattle genotypes were found in a "cattle-specific" cluster whereas small ruminants genotypes essentially grouped into the two other clusters. The clusters also proved stable over space and time, some genotypes being more specifically observed in certain farming regions. We also observed some within-farm diversity but this diversity was restricted to a same genotypic cluster. Finally, we identified 6 MLVA markers that maximized the representativeness of the diversity described. Overall, we highlighted that molecular epidemiology is a relevant approach to assess C. burnetii's genetic diversity and to reveal the existence of species-specific associations and regional stability. These results will be valuable in the field to trace genotype circulation among ruminants and from ruminants to humans. Ultimately, the potential links between genotypes and virulence traits need

  13. Dynamics of relationship between the presence of Coxiella burnetii DNA, antibodies, and intrinsic variables in cow milk and bulk tank milk from Danish dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    Angen, Ø; Ståhl, M; Agerholm, J S; Christoffersen, A-B; Agger, J F

    2011-12-01

    Milk samples of 12 Danish dairy herds were collected 3 times during an 11-mo period and tested for Coxiella burnetii DNA by real-time PCR, detecting the IS1111 element, and for the presence of antibodies against the bacterium by ELISA. On average, 25% of 1,514 samples were seropositive and 32% were positive for C. burnetii DNA. Among the 485 DNA-positive samples, quantification cycle values ranging from 15.8 to 37.8 were found. Test sensitivity did not increase after DNA extraction from the cream fraction compared with full milk. The relationship between antibody levels and bacterial shedding was investigated among 166 cows from 9 herds. The prevalence levels of C. burnetii DNA and antibodies in the herds were found to be rather stable for 6 of the herds. The test results were highly influenced by results obtained 3 to 7 mo earlier. A significant association between the antibody titer and the DNA shedding level at the same and the preceding visit was found. In addition, a significant association between the antibody titer and the antibody titers 3 to 11 mo earlier was found. A multivariable analysis identified a significant increase in C. burnetii DNA shedding with increasing parity and increasing protein concentration in milk. The antibody levels in bulk tank milk and prevalence levels of C. burnetii DNA and antibodies in individual cow milk samples were correlated. A significant correlation was also found between the quantification cycle values of the cow samples (weighted according to milk yield) and the C. burnetii concentration in bulk tank milk.

  14. Coxiella burnetii stimulates production of RANTES and MCP-1 by mononuclear cells: modulation by adhesion to endothelial cells and its implication in Q fever.

    PubMed

    Meghari, Soraya; Desnues, Benoît; Capo, Christian; Grau, Georges E; Raoult, Didier; Mege, Jean-Louis

    2006-12-01

    Q fever is an infectious disease caused by Coxiella burnetii, which may become chronic when cytokine network and cell-mediated immune responses are altered. Chemokines, such as Regulated upon Activation, Normal T cell Expressed and Secreted (RANTES, CCL5) and Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 (MCP-1, CCL2), are specialized in the trafficing of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), and are associated with T cell polarization that is essential for intracellular survival of C. burnetii. The present study investigated whether or not the infection status (no infection and acute or chronic infection with C. burnetii) of donors, affected the production of the two chemokines by PBMC with or without stimulation with virulent and avirulent C. burnetii. Our findings indicate that in vitro exposure to virulent or avirulent C. burnetii stimulated the production of RANTES and MCP-1 in PBMC obtained from healthy adults. The co-cultivation of endothelial cells and human PBMC resulted in an increased production of MCP-1 and the up-regulation of RANTES, which were contact-dependent. Unstimulated PBMC from patients with acute or chronic Q fever overproduced MCP-1. Interestingly, the addition of C. burnetii resulted in an increased production of RANTES and MCP-1 by PBMC obtained from patients with chronic Q fever, and the co-cultivation of PBMC with endothelial cells amplified increased production of chemokines. Circulating levels of RANTES and MCP-1 were also increased in chronic Q fever. We suggest that the overproduction of RANTES and MCP-1 secondary to the contact of PBMC with endothelium may perpetuate exaggerated inflammatory responses leading to inappropriate PBMC trafficking and to the pathogenesis of Q fever.

  15. Short communication: investigation of Coxiella burnetii occurrence in dairy sheep flocks by bulk-tank milk analysis and antibody level determination.

    PubMed

    García-Pérez, A L; Astobiza, I; Barandika, J F; Atxaerandio, R; Hurtado, A; Juste, R A

    2009-04-01

    To estimate the prevalence of Coxiella burnetii in the dairy sheep population from the Basque Country (northern Spain), a study was carried out combining molecular and serological techniques. First, bulk-tank milk samples from 154 flocks belonging to the Latxa Breed Farmers Association were analyzed by PCR, with 22% of flocks testing positive for C. burnetii. Then, a selection of 34 flocks (7 PCR positive and 17 negative) was investigated for the presence of serum antibodies by ELISA test on 1,011 ewes (approximately 30 ewes per flock). A total of 8.9% of the animals were seropositive, 67.6% of the flocks had at least one seropositive animal, but only in 14.7% of them was seroprevalence greater than 25%. Older ewes showed a significantly greater prevalence (17.5%) compared with yearlings (7.5%) or replacement lambs (1.5%). A marginally significant association was found between seroprevalence and PCR detection of C. burnetii in bulk-tank milk. The widespread distribution of C. burnetii in the region advocates for the implementation of Q fever control strategies and highlights the potential risk of sheep as a reservoir and infection source for other domestic and wildlife species and the human population.

  16. Rickettsiae of spotted fever group, Borrelia valaisiana, and Coxiella burnetii in ticks on passerine birds and mammals from the Camargue in the south of France.

    PubMed

    Socolovschi, Cristina; Reynaud, Pierre; Kernif, Tahar; Raoult, Didier; Parola, Philippe

    2012-12-01

    Ticks are obligate hematophagous arthropods that have a limited mobility, but can be transported over large geographical distances by wild and domestic mammals and birds. In this study, we analyze the presence of emerging zoonotic bacteria in ticks collected from passerine birds and mammals present in the Camargue, in the south of France, which is a major rallying point for birds migrating from Eurasia and Africa. The presence of Coxiella burnetii, Rickettsia, Borrelia, and Bartonella was examined by real-time PCR on DNA samples extracted from 118 ticks. Rickettsia massiliae was detected in ticks from Passer domesticus, Ri. aeschlimannii in ticks from Acrocephalus scirpaceus and Luscinia megarhynchos, and Borrelia valaisiana in one tick from Turdus merula. In addition, Ri. massiliae, Ri. slovaca, Candidatus Ri. barbariae, and C. burnetii were detected in ticks from dogs, horses, cats, and humans. No Bartonella DNA was detected in these samples. The migratory birds may play a role in the transmission of infectious diseases and contribute to the geographic distribution of Ri. aeschlimannii, Bo. valaisiana, and C. burnetii. The role of birds in spreading Rh. sanguineus ticks infected with Ri. massiliae needs to be clarified by complementary studies. This is the first detection of Candidatus Ri. barbariae in Rh. sanguineus from the south of France.

  17. The inhibition of the apoptosis pathway by the Coxiella burnetii effector protein CaeA requires the EK repetition motif, but is independent of survivin.

    PubMed

    Bisle, Stephanie; Klingenbeck, Leonie; Borges, Vítor; Sobotta, Katharina; Schulze-Luehrmann, Jan; Menge, Christian; Heydel, Carsten; Gomes, João Paulo; Lührmann, Anja

    2016-05-18

    ABSRTACT Coxiella burnetii is an obligate intracellular bacterium that causes Query (Q) fever, a zoonotic disease. It requires a functional type IV secretion system (T4SS) which translocate bacterial effector proteins into the host cell cytoplasm and thereby facilitates bacterial replication. To date, more than 130 effector proteins have been identified, but their functions remain largely unknown. Recently, we demonstrated that one of these proteins, CaeA (CBU1524) localized to the host cell nucleus and inhibited intrinsic apoptosis of HEK293 or CHO cells. In the present study we addressed the question whether CaeA also affects the extrinsic apoptosis pathway. Ectopic expression of CaeA reduced extrinsic apoptosis and prevented the cleavage of the executioner caspase 7, but did not impair the activation of initiator caspase 9. CaeA expression resulted in an up-regulation of survivin (an inhibitor of activated caspases), which, however, was not causal for the anti-apoptotic effect of CaeA. Comparing the sequence of CaeA from 25 different C. burnetii isolates we identified an EK (glutamic acid/ lysine) repetition motif as a site of high genetic variability. The EK motif of CaeA was essential for the anti-apoptotic activity of CaeA. From these data, we conclude that the C. burnetii effector protein CaeA interferes with the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis pathway. The process requires the EK repetition motif of CaeA, but is independent of the upregulated expression of survivin.

  18. Antibodies to Rickettsia rickettsii, Rickettsia typhi, Coxiella burnetii, Bartonella henselae, Bartonella quintana, and Ehrlichia chaffeensis among healthy population in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

    PubMed

    da Costa, Paulo Sérgio Gonçalves; Brigatte, Marcos Emilio; Greco, Dirceu Bartolomeu

    2005-12-01

    Rickettsial diseases except those belonging to spotted fever group rickettsioses are poorly studied in South America particularly in Brazil where few epidemiological reports have been published. We describe a serosurvey for Rickettsia rickettsii, R. typhi, Coxiella burnetii, Bartonella henselae, B. quintana, and Ehrlichia chaffeensis in 437 healthy people from a Brazilian rural community. The serum samples were tested by indirected micro-immunoflourescence technique and a cutoff titer of 1:64 was used. The seroprevalence rates for R. rickettsii, R. typhi, C. burnetii, B. henselae, B. quintana, and E. chaffeensis were respectively 1.6% (7 samples); 1.1% (5 samples); 3.9% (17 samples); 13.7% (60 samples); 12.8% (56 samples), and 10.5% (46 samples). Frequent multiple/cross-reactivity was observed in this study. Age over 40 years old, urban profession, and rural residence were significantly associated with some but not all infections rate. Low seropositivity rates for R. rickettsii, R. typhi, and C. burnetii contrasted with higher rates of seropositivity for B. quintana, B. henselae, and E. chaffeensis. These results show that all tested rickettsial species or antigenically closely related possible exist in this particular region.

  19. Simultaneous detection of Chlamydia spp., Coxiella burnetii, and Neospora caninum in abortion material of ruminants by multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction.

    PubMed

    Reisberg, Kerstin; Selim, Abdelfattah M; Gaede, Wolfgang

    2013-09-01

    Chlamydia spp., Coxiella burnetii, and Neospora caninum are responsible for reproductive diseases and are closely linked with high abortion rates in ruminants. Furthermore, C. burnetii and Chlamydia spp. have zoonotic potential. A real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed for the simultaneous detection of Chlamydia spp., C. burnetii, and N. caninum. The detection of beta-actin as internal control in the same PCR reaction provides additional information about sample quality by detecting the presence of PCR inhibitors. The multiplex real-time PCR developed in the current study shows a greater sensitivity compared to previously used single-target PCR reactions with a reproducible detection limit of 0.13 plasmid copies per PCR for each target. Additional parallel amplification of all detectable pathogens did not adversely impact sensitivity. This new multiplex PCR allows the highly sensitive, cost-effective, and rapid detection of 3 important pathogens and has the potential to be a useful time-saving tool in the routine diagnosis of abortion cases in ruminants.

  20. Complement fixation test to C. burnetii

    MedlinePlus

    ... ency/article/003520.htm Complement fixation test to C burnetii To use the sharing features on this ... JavaScript. The complement fixation test to Coxiella burnetii ( C burnetti ) is a blood test that checks for ...

  1. Isolation of Coxiella burnetii by a centrifugation shell-vial assay from ticks collected in Cyprus: detection by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses.

    PubMed

    Spyridaki, Ioanna; Psaroulaki, Anna; Loukaides, Fidias; Antoniou, Maria; Hadjichristodolou, Christos; Tselentis, Yannis

    2002-01-01

    Ticks are the principal vectors and reservoirs of Coxiella burnetii. The identification of isolates is necessary for understanding the clinical diversity of Q fever in different geographic areas. This is the first report of isolation of C. burnetii from ticks by the shell-vial assay and by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for the detection of this pathogen in ticks. Of 141 ticks collected in Cyprus (Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Hyalloma spp.), 10% were found to be infected with C. burnetii. Three ticks were positive by hemolymph test, and 11 triturated ticks were positive by nested PCR. Three isolates were obtained by the centrifugation shell-vial technique. Analysis by PCR, then restriction fragment length polymorphism showed that the 3 Cyprus isolates had identical restriction profiles to reference strains Nine Mile and Q212. The methods described are useful in studying the epidemiology and ecology of C. burnetii.

  2. 18F-FDG PET/CT as a central tool in the shift from chronic Q fever to Coxiella burnetii persistent focalized infection: A consecutive case series.

    PubMed

    Eldin, Carole; Melenotte, Cléa; Million, Matthieu; Cammilleri, Serge; Sotto, Albert; Elsendoorn, Antoine; Thuny, Franck; Lepidi, Hubert; Roblot, France; Weitten, Thierry; Assaad, Souad; Bouaziz, Anissa; Chapuzet, Claire; Gras, Guillaume; Labussiere, Anne-Sophie; Landais, Cécile; Longuet, Pascale; Masseau, Agathe; Mundler, Olivier; Raoult, Didier

    2016-08-01

    Because Q fever is mostly diagnosed serologically, localizing a persistent focus of Coxiella burnetii infection can be challenging. F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (F-FDG PET/CT) could be an interesting tool in this context.We performed a retrospective study on patients diagnosed with C burnetii infection, who had undergone F-FDG PET/CT between 2009 and 2015. When positive F-FDG PET/CT results were obtained, we tried to determine if it changed the previous diagnosis by discovering or confirming a suspected focus of C burnetii infection.One hundred sixty-seven patients benefited from F-FDG PET/CT. The most frequent clinical subgroup before F-FDG PET/CT was patients with no identified focus of infection, despite high IgG1 serological titers (34%). For 59% (n = 99) of patients, a hypermetabolic focus was identified. For 62 patients (62.6%), the positive F-FDG PET/CT allowed the diagnosis to be changed. For 24 of them, (38.7%), a previously unsuspected focus of infection was discovered. Forty-two (42%) positive patients had more than 1 hypermetabolic focus. We observed 21 valvular foci, 34 vascular foci, and a high proportion of osteoarticular localizations (n = 21). We also observed lymphadenitis (n = 27), bone marrow hypermetabolism (n = 11), and 9 pulmonary localizations.We confirmed thatF-FDG PET/CT is a central tool in the diagnosis of C burnetii focalized persistent infection. We proposed new diagnostic scores for 2 main clinical entities identified using F-FDG PET/CT: osteoarticular persistent infections and lymphadenitis.

  3. Bulk tank milk surveillance as a measure to detect Coxiella burnetii shedding dairy goat herds in the Netherlands between 2009 and 2014.

    PubMed

    Van den Brom, R; Santman-Berends, I; Luttikholt, S; Moll, L; Van Engelen, E; Vellema, P

    2015-06-01

    In the period from 2005 to 2009, Coxiella burnetii was a cause of abortion waves at 28 dairy goat farms and 2 dairy sheep farms in the Netherlands. Two years after the first abortion waves, a large human Q fever outbreak started mainly in the same region, and aborting small ruminants were regarded as most probable source. To distinguish between infected and noninfected herds, a surveillance program started in October 2009, based on PCR testing of bulk tank milk (BTM) samples, which had never been described before. The aim of this study was to analyze the effectiveness of this surveillance program and to evaluate both the effect of culling of pregnant dairy goats on positive farms and of vaccination on BTM results. Bulk tank milk samples were tested for C. burnetii DNA using a real-time PCR, and results were analyzed in relation to vaccination, culling, and notifiable (officially reported to government) C. burnetii abortion records. In spring and autumn, BTM samples were also tested for antibodies using an ELISA, and results were evaluated in relation to the compulsory vaccination campaign. Between October 2009 and April 2014, 1,660 (5.6%) out of 29,875 BTM samples from 401 dairy goat farms tested positive for C. burnetii DNA. The percentage of positive samples dropped from 20.5% in 2009 to 0.3% in 2014. In a multivariable model, significantly higher odds of being PCR positive in the BTM surveillance program were found in farms of which all pregnant dairy goats were culled. Additionally, the risk for C. burnetii BTM PCR positivity significantly decreased after multiple vaccinations. Bulk tank milk ELISA results were significantly higher after vaccination than before. The ELISA results were higher after multiple vaccinations compared with a single vaccination, and ELISA results on officially declared infected farms were significantly higher compared with noninfected farms. In conclusion, BTM surveillance is an effective and useful tool to detect C. burnetii shedding

  4. Brucellosis and Coxiella burnetii Infection in Householders and Their Animals in Secure Villages in Herat Province, Afghanistan: A Cross-Sectional Study

    PubMed Central

    Akbarian, Zarif; Ziay, Ghulam; Schauwers, Willy; Noormal, Bashir; Saeed, Islam; Qanee, Abul Hussain; Shahab, Zabiullah; Dennison, Tania; Dohoo, Ian; Jackson, Ronald

    2015-01-01

    Background Brucellosis and coxiellosis are known to be endemic in ruminant populations throughout Afghanistan, but information about their prevalence and factors that affect prevalence in householders and livestock under diverse husbandry systems and pastoral settings is sparse. Methods/Principal Findings We conducted a cross-sectional survey to investigate the seroprevalence of brucellosis and Coxiella burnetii in humans and livestock in six secure districts in Herat from 26th December 2012–17th January 2013. A total of 204 households with livestock were surveyed in six Kuchi and five sedentary type villages. Blood samples from 1,017 humans, 1,143 sheep, 876 goats and 344 cattle were tested for brucellosis and Q fever. About one in six households (15.7%) had at least one Brucella seropositive person, about one in eight households (12.3%) had at least one Brucella seropositive animal and about one in four (24.5%) had either seropositive animals or humans. Ninety-seven percent of households had at least one C. burnetii seropositive person and 98.5% of households had one or more C. burnetii seropositive animals. Forty- seven householders had serological evidence of exposure to both C. burnetii and Brucella and eight animals were serologically positive for both diseases. Drinking unpasteurised milk (OR 1.6), treating animals for ticks (OR 1.4), milking sheep (OR 1.4), male gender (OR 1.4) and seropositivity to Brucella (OR 4.3) were identified as risk factors for seropositivity to C. burnetii in householders. Household factors associated with households having either Brucella seropositive animals or humans were Kuchi households (OR 2.5), having ≤4 rooms in the house (OR 2.9) and not owning land (OR 2.9). Conclusions The results from this study provide baseline information for the planning and monitoring of future interventions against these diseases. The implementation of this study greatly improved collaboration, coordination and capability of veterinary and

  5. Serological survey using ELISA to determine the prevalence of Coxiella burnetii infection (Q fever) in sheep and goats in Great Britain.

    PubMed

    Lambton, S L; Smith, R P; Gillard, K; Horigan, M; Farren, C; Pritchard, G C

    2016-01-01

    A survey of Coxiella burnetii infection (Q fever) in sheep flocks and goat herds in Great Britain was undertaken. A total of 5791 sheep (384 flocks) and 522 goats (145 herds) were examined for C. burnetii antibodies using an ELISA. Overall, 53 sheep (37 flocks), and four goats (four herds), tested positive. Estimates of individual animal, between-flock/-herd and within-flock/-herd crude prevalences were 0·9%, 10·2% and 9·0%, respectively, for sheep, and 0·8%, 3% and 26·3%, respectively, for goats. With sheep, the likelihood of an animal testing positive increased with total flock size (P = 0·002) and number of breeding ewes in the flock (P = 0·021). It also increased with number of goats within a 10 km radius (P = 0·038). There was no evidence for spatial clustering of positive herds above that expected by chance alone. No analysis of risk factors was attempted for goats because of the paucity of positives.

  6. The inhibition of the apoptosis pathway by the Coxiella burnetii effector protein CaeA requires the EK repetition motif, but is independent of survivin

    PubMed Central

    Bisle, Stephanie; Klingenbeck, Leonie; Borges, Vítor; Sobotta, Katharina; Schulze-Luehrmann, Jan; Menge, Christian; Heydel, Carsten; Gomes, João Paulo; Lührmann, Anja

    2016-01-01

    ABSRTACT Coxiella burnetii is an obligate intracellular bacterium that causes Query (Q) fever, a zoonotic disease. It requires a functional type IV secretion system (T4SS) which translocate bacterial effector proteins into the host cell cytoplasm and thereby facilitates bacterial replication. To date, more than 130 effector proteins have been identified, but their functions remain largely unknown. Recently, we demonstrated that one of these proteins, CaeA (CBU1524) localized to the host cell nucleus and inhibited intrinsic apoptosis of HEK293 or CHO cells. In the present study we addressed the question whether CaeA also affects the extrinsic apoptosis pathway. Ectopic expression of CaeA reduced extrinsic apoptosis and prevented the cleavage of the executioner caspase 7, but did not impair the activation of initiator caspase 9. CaeA expression resulted in an up-regulation of survivin (an inhibitor of activated caspases), which, however, was not causal for the anti-apoptotic effect of CaeA. Comparing the sequence of CaeA from 25 different C. burnetii isolates we identified an EK (glutamic acid/ lysine) repetition motif as a site of high genetic variability. The EK motif of CaeA was essential for the anti-apoptotic activity of CaeA. From these data, we conclude that the C. burnetii effector protein CaeA interferes with the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis pathway. The process requires the EK repetition motif of CaeA, but is independent of the upregulated expression of survivin. PMID:26760129

  7. Serological survey of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii and Coxiella burnetii in rodents in north-western African islands (Canary Islands and Cape Verde).

    PubMed

    Foronda, Pilar; Plata-Luis, Josué; Del Castillo-Figueruelo, Borja; Fernández-Álvarez, Ángela; Martín-Alonso, Aarón; Feliu, Carlos; Cabral, Marilena D; Valladares, Basilio

    2015-05-29

    Coxiella burnetii and Toxoplasma gondii are intracellular parasites that cause important reproductive disorders in animals and humans worldwide, resulting in high economic losses. The aim of the present study was to analyse the possible role of peridomestic small mammals in the maintenance and transmission of C. burnetii and T. gondii in the north-western African archipelagos of the Canary Islands and Cape Verde, where these species are commonly found affecting humans and farm animals. Between 2009 and 2013, 108 black rats (Rattus rattus) and 77 mice (Mus musculus) were analysed for the presence of Coxiella and Toxoplasma antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and indirect immunofluorescence (IFA), respectively. Our results showed a wide distribution of C. burnetii and T. gondii, except for T. gondii in Cape Verde, in both rodent species. The overall seroprevalence of C. burnetii antibodies was 12.4%; 21.1% for Cape Verde and 10.2% for the Canary Islands. With respect to T. gondii, seropositive rodents were only observed in the Canary Islands, with an overall seroprevalence of 15%. Considering the fact that both pathogens can infect a large range of hosts, including livestock and humans, the results are of public health and veterinary importance and could be used by governmental entities to manage risk factors and to prevent future cases of Q fever and toxoplasmosis.

  8. Coxiella burnetii total immunoglobulin G, phase I and phase II immunoglobulin G antibodies, and bacterial shedding in young dams in persistently infected dairy herds.

    PubMed

    Serrano-Pérez, Beatriz; Almería, Sonia; Tutusaus, Joan; Jado, Isabel; Anda, Pedro; Monleón, Eva; Badiola, Juan; Garcia-Ispierto, Irina; López-Gatius, Fernando

    2015-03-01

    The current study examines Coxiella burnetii infection patterns in young dairy dams around the calving period in persistently infected high-producing dairy herds. Infection patterns were determined in terms of total immunoglobulin G (IgG) and phase-specific IgG antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and bacterial shedding by real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). On days 171-177 of gestation, at parturition, and on days 15-21 and 91-97 postpartum, 7 first-parity cows and 7 second-parity cows were sampled for serology and qPCR. Total phase-specific I (PhI) and II (PhII) IgG antibodies were detected in 2 animals at days 171-177 of gestation. Four additional animals underwent seroconversion on days 91-97 postpartum. Three of 6 seropositive dams according to total IgG, showed a PhI+/PhII+ profile, whereas dams that seroconverted exhibited a PhI-/PhII+ (2/6) or PhI+/PhII- (1/6) profile. An indirect fluorescent antibody test for PhI and PhII immunoglobulin M (IgM) was performed on plasma samples from the shedding dams, confirming seropositivity in a first-parity dam that seroconverted, and detecting a sudden spike of PhI-IgM antibodies in 1 further dam. No relationship was detected in young C. burnetii-infected animals between total IgG, PhI and/or PhII antibodies, and bacterial shedding throughout the study period. The highest bacterial load measured by qPCR was recorded in a second-parity dam. This animal presented abnormal peripheral blood counts, which would be an indication of severe peripheral blood alterations in some infected cattle. This study suggests that young shedder cows are mostly seronegative in early stages of infection.

  9. A systematic review and meta-analysis of phase I inactivated vaccines to reduce shedding of Coxiella burnetii from sheep and goats from routes of public health importance.

    PubMed

    O'Neill, T J; Sargeant, J M; Poljak, Z

    2014-12-01

    Q fever in humans and coxiellosis in livestock are both caused by Coxiella burnetii. The public health importance of vaccination against C. burnetii shedding from sheep and goats was evaluated using systematic review and meta-analysis to provide evidence for policy direction to prevent potential zoonotic spread. Publications reporting shedding of C. burnetii in vaginal and uterine secretions, milk, placenta and faeces were included. A single observational (one goat) and seven experimental (four goat and three sheep) vaccine studies were included in the review. No relevant publications on other interventions were identified. Random effects meta-analyses were performed for the risk of shedding in individuals in the control and vaccinated groups and for the mean difference in the level of bacterial shedding in sheep and goats stratified by age and previous exposure status. Limited data were available for further analytic evaluation. From the pooled analysis, an inactivated phase I vaccine significantly reduced the risk of shedding from uterine (RR = 0.10; 95%CI 0.05-0.20) secretions in previously sensitized goats. Individual studies reported significant risk reduction in milk (RR = 0.03; 95%CI 0.01-0.26), vaginal secretions (RR = 0.40; 95%CI 0.22-0.75) and faeces (RR = 0.79; 95%CI 0.63-0.97) from naïve goats. The pooled mean levels of bacteria shed from placental [mean difference (MD = -5.24 Log10 ; 95%CI -6.75 to -3.7)] and vaginal (MD = -1.78 Log10 ; 95%CI -2.19 to -1.38) routes were significantly decreased in vaccinated naïve goats compared with controls. Shedding through all other routes from vaccinated goats was not significantly different than shedding from control goats. No effect of vaccination was found on the risk of shedding or the mean level of shedding in vaccinated sheep compared with control sheep. Our conclusions are based on a limited amount of data with variable risk of systematic error.

  10. Development of Tools for Surveillance of Coxiella burnetii in Domestic Ruminants and Australian Marsupials and Their Waste

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-06-12

    rickettsii ARRL 12/06/2009 School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences 2-55 Rickettsia prowazekii ARRL MU = Murdoch University DAFWA...the wildlife and domestic cycles of C. burnetii. 15. SUBJECT TERMS Rickettsia surveillance, Emerging infectious diseases 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION...a virus despite the fact that rickettsia -like organisms were identified in the spleens of infected laboratory animals (Reimer 1993). Burnet and

  11. Use of a Dose-Response Model to Study Temporal Trends in Spatial Exposure to Coxiella burnetii: Analysis of a Multiyear Outbreak of Q Fever.

    PubMed

    Brooke, R J; Teunis, P F M; Kretzschmar, M E E; Wielders, C C H; Schneeberger, P M; Waller, L A

    2017-03-01

    The Netherlands underwent a large Q fever outbreak between 2007 and 2009. In this paper, we study spatial and temporal Coxiella burnetii exposure trends during this large outbreak as well as validate outcomes against other published studies and provide evidence to support hypotheses on the causes of the outbreak. To achieve this, we develop a framework using a dose-response model to translate acute Q fever case incidence into exposure estimates. More specifically, we incorporate a geostatistical model that accounts for spatial and temporal correlation of exposure estimates from a human Q fever dose-response model to quantify exposure trends during the outbreak. The 2051 cases, with the corresponding age, gender and residential addresses, reside in the region with the highest attack rates during the outbreak in the Netherlands between 2006 and 2009. We conclude that the multiyear outbreak in the Netherlands is caused by sustained release of infectious bacteria from the same sources, which suggests that earlier implementation of interventions may have prevented many of the cases. The model predicts the risk of infection and acute symptomatic Q fever from multiple exposure sources during a multiple-year outbreak providing a robust, evidence-based methodology to support decision-making and intervention design.

  12. Prevalence and risk factors for Campylobacter spp., Salmonella spp., Coxiella burnetii, and Newcastle disease virus in feral pigeons (Columba livia) in public areas of Montreal, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Gabriele-Rivet, Vanessa; Fairbrother, Julie-Hélène; Tremblay, Donald; Harel, Josée; Côté, Nathalie; Arsenault, Julie

    2016-01-01

    Feral pigeons (Columbia livia) can harbor a range of zoonotic pathogens. A transversal study was undertaken to estimate the prevalence of feral pigeons infected by various pathogens in public areas in Montreal, Quebec. Cloacal swabs from captured birds were cultured for Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp. and tested by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the detection of Coxiella burnetii. An oropharyngeal swab was also submitted to real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) for the detection of Newcastle disease virus. Among the 187 pigeons tested from 10 public areas, 9.1% (95% CI: 3.0 to 15.2) were positive for Campylobacter spp. with all strains identified as Campylobacter jejuni. The Campylobacter status of birds was not associated with individual characteristics of birds, with the exception of body score. None of the pigeons tested positive for the other pathogens. Direct or indirect contacts with feral pigeons may constitute a potential risk for Campylobacter infection in humans. PMID:26733736

  13. Prevalence and risk factors for Campylobacter spp., Salmonella spp., Coxiella burnetii, and Newcastle disease virus in feral pigeons (Columba livia) in public areas of Montreal, Canada.

    PubMed

    Gabriele-Rivet, Vanessa; Fairbrother, Julie-Hélène; Tremblay, Donald; Harel, Josée; Côté, Nathalie; Arsenault, Julie

    2016-01-01

    Feral pigeons (Columbia livia) can harbor a range of zoonotic pathogens. A transversal study was undertaken to estimate the prevalence of feral pigeons infected by various pathogens in public areas in Montreal, Quebec. Cloacal swabs from captured birds were cultured for Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp. and tested by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the detection of Coxiella burnetii. An oropharyngeal swab was also submitted to real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) for the detection of Newcastle disease virus. Among the 187 pigeons tested from 10 public areas, 9.1% (95% CI: 3.0 to 15.2) were positive for Campylobacter spp. with all strains identified as Campylobacter jejuni. The Campylobacter status of birds was not associated with individual characteristics of birds, with the exception of body score. None of the pigeons tested positive for the other pathogens. Direct or indirect contacts with feral pigeons may constitute a potential risk for Campylobacter infection in humans.

  14. Diversity and global distribution of the Coxiella intracellular bacterium in seabird ticks.

    PubMed

    Duron, Olivier; Jourdain, Elsa; McCoy, Karen D

    2014-09-01

    The obligate intracellular bacterium Coxiella burnetii is the etiological agent of Q fever, a widespread zoonotic disease whose most common animal reservoirs are domestic ruminants. Recently, a variety of Coxiella-like organisms have also been reported from non-mammalian hosts, including pathogenic forms in birds and forms without known effects in ticks, raising questions about the potential importance of non-mammalian hosts as reservoirs of Coxiella in the wild. In the present study, we examined the potential role of globally-distributed seabird ticks as reservoirs of these bacteria. To this aim, we tested for Coxiella infection 11 geographically distinct populations of two tick species frequently found in seabird breeding colonies, the hard tick Ixodes uriae (Ixodidae) and soft ticks of the Ornithodoros (Carios) capensis group (Argasidae). We found Coxiella-like organisms in all O. capensis sensu lato specimens, but only in a few I. uriae specimens of one population. The sequencing of 16S rDNA and GroEL gene sequences further revealed an unexpected Coxiella diversity, with seven genetically distinct Coxiella-like organisms present in seabird tick populations. Phylogenetic analyses show that these Coxiella-like organisms originate from three divergent subclades within the Coxiella genus and that none of the Coxiella strains found in seabird ticks are genetically identical to the forms known to be associated with pathogenicity in vertebrates, including C. burnetii. Using this data set, we discuss the potential epidemiological significance of the presence of Coxiella in seabird ticks. Notably, we suggest that these organisms may not be pathogenic forms, but rather behave as endosymbionts engaged in intricate interactions with their tick hosts.

  15. Validation study for using lab-on-chip technology for Coxiella burnetii multi-locus-VNTR-analysis (MLVA) typing: application for studying genotypic diversity of strains from domestic ruminants in France.

    PubMed

    Prigent, Myriam; Rousset, Elodie; Yang, Elise; Thiéry, Richard; Sidi-Boumedine, Karim

    2015-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii, the etiologic bacterium of Q fever zoonosis, is still difficult to control. Ruminants are often carriers and involved in human epidemics. MLVA is a promising genotyping method for molecular epidemiology. Different techniques are used to resolve the MLVA band profiles such as electrophoresis on agarose gels, capillary electrophoresis or using the microfluidic Lab-on-Chip system. In this study, system based on microfluidics electrophoresis with Lab-on-Chip technology was assessed and applied on DNA field samples to investigate the genotypic diversity of C. burnetii strains circulating in France. The Lab-on-Chip technology was first compared to agarose gel electrophoresis. Subsequently, the set-up Lab-on-Chip technology was applied on 97 samples collected from ruminants in France using the 17 markers previously described. A discordance rate of 27% was observed between Lab-on-Chip and agarose gel electrophoresis. These discrepancies were checked and resolved by sequencing. The cluster analysis revealed classification based on host species and/or geographic origin criteria. Moreover, the circulation of different genotypic strains within the same farm was also observed. In this study, MLVA with Lab-on-Chip technology was shown to be more accurate, reproducible, user friendly and safer than gel electrophoresis. It also provides an extended data set from French ruminant C. burnetii circulating strains useful for epidemiological investigations. Finally, it raises some questions regarding the standardization and harmonization of C. burnetii MLVA genotyping.

  16. Evaluation of qPCR and phase I and II antibodies for detection of Coxiella burnetii infection in cattle.

    PubMed

    Szymańska-Czerwińska, Monika; Niemczuk, Krzysztof; Jodełko, Agnieszka

    2016-10-01

    Diagnosis of Q fever in cattle is not easy due to the need to test the samples by both serological and molecular methods. Aim of this study was to evaluate qPCR, and phase I and II antibodies for detection of C. burnetii infection in cattle. A total of 187 bovine blood and vaginal swabs, and 97 milk samples, were tested. Limitations of serological tests were that the available indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA) could lose positive results if antibody titres were low; or phase II antibodies were present. The highest level of correlation between iELISA and complement fixation test (CFT) was noted with the antigen specific phase I antibodies. Neither the mode of shedding nor its intensity correlated with phase I and II antibodies, but positive results in CFT mixed-phase and shedding in vaginal mucous did correlate, and showed the highest correlation. Antigenic diversity, and variability could be crucial in laboratory diagnosis of Q fever.

  17. Synthesis in Escherichia coli of two smaller enzymically active analogues of Coxiella burnetii macrophage infectivity potentiator (CbMip) protein utilizing a single open reading frame from the cbmip gene.

    PubMed Central

    Mo, Y Y; Seshu, J; Wang, D; Mallavia, L P

    1998-01-01

    FK506-binding proteins (FKBPs) have been identified in a variety of eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. Macrophage infectivity potentiator (CbMip, 23.5 kDa) protein of the obligate intracellular bacterium, Coxiella burnetii, was shown previously to belong to the family of FKBPs based on sequence homology and peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerase (PPIase) activity. Further characterization of the cbmip gene has identified two additional proteins with molecular masses of 15.5 and 15.0 kDa that are synthesized, in addition to the 23.5 kDa CbMip, when expressed in Escherichia coli. Amino acid sequencing at the N-terminus combined with transcription and translation fusion expression revealed that the two proteins were synthesized from the same open reading frame of the cbmip gene, but starting at different internal translation start codons, probably by translational reinitiation. When the internal methionines serving as start sites were replaced with lysine by site-directed mutagenesis, the synthesis of 15.5 and 15.0 kDa proteins was abolished even though the synthesis of 23.5 kDa CbMip was intact. This confirmed that the 15.5 and 15.0 kDa proteins are indeed generated by translational reinitiation and are not degradation products of the 23.5 kDa protein. Like other FKBPs, both 15.5 and 15.0 kDa proteins exhibit PPIase activity. Because they share significant sequence homology with FKBPs and have a similar PPIase activity, 15.5 and 15. 0 kDa proteins are designated as C. burnetii FKBP (Cb-FKBP) analogues I and II, respectively. TnphoA mutagenesis demonstrated that whereas the large protein (CbMip) is secreted, Cb-FKBP analogues I and II are cytoplasmic, indicating that structural variations could allow for different subcellular compartmentalization of similar proteins. Western-blot analysis of lysates of purified C. burnetii using a CbMip-specific monoclonal antibody revealed the presence of a protein migrating at approximately 15 kDa, indicating the presence of smaller

  18. Bayesian Validation of the Indirect Immunofluorescence Assay and Its Superiority to the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay and the Complement Fixation Test for Detecting Antibodies against Coxiella burnetii in Goat Serum

    PubMed Central

    Stenos, John; Vincent, Gemma; Campbell, Angus; Graves, Stephen; Warner, Simone; Devlin, Joanne M.; Nguyen, Chelsea; Stevenson, Mark A.; Wilks, Colin R.; Firestone, Simon M.

    2016-01-01

    Although many studies have reported the indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) to be more sensitive in detection of antibodies to Coxiella burnetii than the complement fixation test (CFT), the diagnostic sensitivity (DSe) and diagnostic specificity (DSp) of the assay have not been previously established for use in ruminants. This study aimed to validate the IFA by describing the optimization, selection of cutoff titers, repeatability, and reliability as well as the DSe and DSp of the assay. Bayesian latent class analysis was used to estimate diagnostic specifications in comparison with the CFT and the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The optimal cutoff dilution for screening for IgG and IgM antibodies in goat serum using the IFA was estimated to be 1:160. The IFA had good repeatability (>96.9% for IgG, >78.0% for IgM), and there was almost perfect agreement (Cohen's kappa > 0.80 for IgG) between the readings reported by two technicians for samples tested for IgG antibodies. The IFA had a higher DSe (94.8%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 80.3, 99.6) for the detection of IgG antibodies against C. burnetii than the ELISA (70.1%; 95% CI, 52.7, 91.0) and the CFT (29.8%; 95% CI, 17.0, 44.8). All three tests were highly specific for goat IgG antibodies. The IFA also had a higher DSe (88.8%; 95% CI, 58.2, 99.5) for detection of IgM antibodies than the ELISA (71.7%; 95% CI, 46.3, 92.8). These results underscore the better suitability of the IFA than of the CFT and ELISA for detection of IgG and IgM antibodies in goat serum and possibly in serum from other ruminants. PMID:27122484

  19. The genome of Coxiella burnetii Z3055, a clone linked to the Netherlands Q fever outbreaks, provides evidence for the role of drift in the emergence of epidemic clones.

    PubMed

    D'Amato, Felicetta; Rouli, Laetitia; Edouard, Sophie; Tyczka, Judith; Million, Matthieu; Robert, Catherine; Nguyen, Thi Tien; Raoult, Didier

    2014-12-01

    Coxiella burnetii is a pathogen causing Q fever. The aim of our work was to study Z3055, a strain that is genotypically related to the strain causing the Netherlands outbreak. We compared Z3055 to 5 other completed genomes available in GenBank. We calculated the blast score ratio (BSR) to analyze genetic differences among the strains. The ratio core genome/pangenome was 98% likely other bacteria with closed pangenomes. Differences between Z3055 and the reference NMI consisted only of point mutations and insertion/deletion (INDELs). Non-synonymous mutations significantly increased in genes coding for membrane proteins (16/156 vs 103/1757, bilateral Chi(2) test, p<0.05), ankyrin repeat domains containing proteins (2/9 vs 117/1904, bilateral Chi(2) test, p<0.05), transcription factors (7/53 vs 112/1860, bilateral Chi(2) test, p<0.05) and translation proteins (15/144 vs 109/1655, bilateral Chi(2) test, p<0.05). The evolution of this strain may have been driven by mutations in critical genes.

  20. A Coxiella-Like Endosymbiont Is a Potential Vitamin Source for the Lone Star Tick

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Todd A; Driscoll, Timothy; Gillespie, Joseph J; Raghavan, Rahul

    2015-01-01

    Amblyomma americanum (Lone star tick) is an important disease vector in the United States. It transmits several human pathogens, including the agents of human monocytic ehrlichiosis, tularemia, and southern tick-associated rash illness. Blood-feeding insects (Class Insecta) depend on bacterial endosymbionts to provide vitamins and cofactors that are scarce in blood. It is unclear how this deficiency is compensated in ticks (Class Arachnida) that feed exclusively on mammalian blood. A bacterium related to Coxiella burnetii, the agent of human Q fever, has been observed previously within cells of A. americanum. Eliminating this bacterium (CLEAA, Coxiella-like endosymbiont of A. americanum) with antibiotics reduced tick fecundity, indicating that it is an essential endosymbiont. In an effort to determine its role within this symbiosis, we sequenced the CLEAA genome. While highly reduced (656,901 bp) compared with C. burnetii (1,995,281 bp), the CLEAA genome encodes most major vitamin and cofactor biosynthesis pathways, implicating CLEAA as a vitamin provisioning endosymbiont. In contrast, CLEAA lacks any recognizable virulence genes, indicating that it is not a pathogen despite its presence in tick salivary glands. As both C. burnetii and numerous “Coxiella-like bacteria” have been reported from several species of ticks, we determined the evolutionary relationship between the two bacteria. Phylogeny estimation revealed that CLEAA is a close relative of C. burnetii, but was not derived from it. Our results are important for strategies geared toward controlling A. americanum and the pathogens it vectors, and also contribute novel information regarding the metabolic interdependencies of ticks and their nutrient-provisioning endosymbionts. PMID:25618142

  1. Serological survey of Bartonella spp., Borrelia burgdorferi, Brucella spp., Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, Leptospira spp., Echinococcus, Hanta-, TBE- and XMR-virus infection in employees of two forestry enterprises in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, 2011-2013.

    PubMed

    Jurke, Annette; Bannert, N; Brehm, K; Fingerle, V; Kempf, V A J; Kömpf, D; Lunemann, M; Mayer-Scholl, A; Niedrig, M; Nöckler, K; Scholz, H; Splettstoesser, W; Tappe, D; Fischer, Silke F

    2015-10-01

    We initiated a survey to collect basic data on the frequency and regional distribution of various zoonoses in 722 employees of forestry enterprises in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) from 2011 to 2013. Exposures associated with seropositivity were identified to give insight into the possible risk factors for infection with each pathogen. 41.2% of participants were found to be seropositive for anti-Bartonella IgG, 30.6% for anti-Borrelia burgdorferi IgG, 14.2% for anti-Leptospira IgG, 6.5% for anti-Coxiella burnetii IgG, 6.0% for anti-Hantavirus IgG, 4.0% for anti-Francisella tularensis IgG, 3.4% for anti-TBE-virus IgG, 1.7% for anti-Echinococcus IgG, 0.0% for anti-Brucella IgG and anti-XMRV IgG. Participants seropositive for B. burgdorferi were 3.96 times more likely to be professional forestry workers (univariable analysis: OR 3.96; 95% CI 2.60-6.04; p<0.001); and participants seropositive for Hantavirus 3.72 times more likely (univariable analysis: OR 3.72; 95% CI 1.44-9.57; p=0.007). This study found a surprisingly high percentage of participants seropositive for anti-B. henselae IgG and for anti-F. tularensis IgG. The relatively high seroprevalence for anti-Leptospira IgG seen in this study could be related to living conditions rather than to exposure at work. No specific risk for exposure to C. burnetii and Echinococcus was identified, indicating that neither forestry workers nor office workers represent a risk population and that NRW is not a typical endemic area. Forestry workers appear to have higher risk for contact with B. burgdorferi-infected ticks and a regionally diverse risk for acquiring Hantavirus-infection. The regional epidemiology of zoonoses is without question of great importance for public health. Knowledge of the regional risk factors facilitates the development of efficient prevention strategies and the implementation of such prevention measures in a sustainable manner.

  2. Coxiella Detection in Ticks from Wildlife and Livestock in Malaysia

    PubMed Central

    Khoo, Jing-Jing; Lim, Fang-Shiang; Chen, Fezshin; Phoon, Wai-Hong; Khor, Chee-Sieng; Pike, Brian L.; Chang, Li-Yen

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Recent studies have shown that ticks harbor Coxiella-like bacteria, which are potentially tick-specific endosymbionts. We recently described the detection of Coxiella-like bacteria and possibly Coxiella burnetii in ticks found from rural areas in Malaysia. In the present study, we collected ticks, including Haemaphysalis bispinosa, Haemaphysalis hystricis, Dermacentor compactus, Dermacentor steini, and Amblyomma sp. from wildlife and domesticated goats from four different locations in Malaysia. Coxiella 16s rRNA genomic sequences were detected by PCR in 89% of ticks tested. Similarity analysis and phylogenetic analyses of the 16s rRNA and rpoB partial sequences were performed for 10 representative samples selected based on the tick species, sex, and location. The findings here suggested the presence of C. burnetii in two samples, each from D. steini and H. hystricis. The sequences of both samples clustered with published C. burnetii sequences. The remaining eight tick samples were shown to harbor 16s rRNA sequences of Coxiella-like bacteria, which clustered phylogenetically according to the respective tick host species. The findings presented here added to the growing evidence of the association between Coxiella-like bacteria and ticks across species and geographical boundaries. The importance of C. burnetii found in ticks in Malaysia warrants further investigation. PMID:27763821

  3. Coxiella-like endosymbiont in argasid ticks (Ornithodoros muesebecki) from a Socotra Cormorant colony in Umm Al Quwain, United Arab Emirates.

    PubMed

    Al-Deeb, Mohammad A; Frangoulidis, Dimitrios; Walter, Mathias C; Kömpf, Daniela; Fischer, Silke F; Petney, Trevor; Muzaffar, Sabir Bin

    2016-02-01

    Coxiella burnetii is a pathogen causing Q fever in domestic animals and humans. Seabirds have been implicated as possible reservoirs of this bacterium in the Arabian Gulf and in the Western Indian Ocean. Recently, Coxiella species closely related to C. burnetii was detected from ticks collected from oil rigs used as roosting areas by Socotra Cormorants (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis) in the western Arabian Gulf. We collected ticks from the largest breeding colony of Socotra Cormorants in the United Arab Emirates on the eastern extreme of the species' breeding range to determine the prevalence of C. burnetii and evaluate its role as a wild reservoir. All ticks were identified as Ornithodoros muesebecki and genomic DNA was extracted from larval and nymph/adult tick pools. Multiplex PCR tests were performed targeting three C. burnetii specific genes. C. burnetii was not detected although a Coxiella-like endosymbiont was identified that was closely related to Coxiella symbionts from Ornithodoros capensis ticks. Because domestic and wild ungulates are the primary source of C. burnetii, we suggest that the presence of free-ranging, native and non-native ungulates in some off-shore islands in the Arabian Gulf could disseminate C. burnetii to seabirds. More comprehensive studies on seabird colonies are needed to better understand the diversity and prevalence of Coxiella symbionts and to establish if C. burnetii is endemic on some of these islands.

  4. Pathogenic rickettsiae as bioterrorism agents.

    PubMed

    Azad, Abdu F

    2007-07-15

    Because of their unique biological characteristics, such as environmental stability, small size, aerosol transmission, persistence in infected hosts, low infectious dose, and high associated morbidity and mortality, Rickettsia prowazekii and Coxiella burnetii have been weaponized. These biological attributes would make the pathogenic rickettsiae desirable bioterrorism agents. However, production of highly purified, virulent, weapon-quality rickettsiae is a daunting task that requires expertise and elaborate, state-of-the art laboratory procedures to retain rickettsial survival and virulence. Another drawback to developing rickettsial pathogens as biological weapons is their lack of direct transmission from host to host and the availability of very effective therapeutic countermeasures against these obligate intracellular bacteria.

  5. Light Addressable Potentiometric Immunoassays for Identification of Biological Agents: NATO SIBCA Exercise I

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2001-11-01

    developed: Bacillus anthracis, Brucella melitensis , Francisella tularensis, Burkholderia mallei, Yersinia pestis, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis virus...tularensis, Brucella metitensis. Burkholderia mallei, Yellow Fever virus, Vaccinia virus, or Coxiella burnetii. The participating laboratory for Canada was

  6. Induction of Heat-Shock Proteins in Coxiella burnetii

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-06-26

    similar structure have since been found in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, 𔃺 Mycobacterium leprae , I Treponema pallidum,𔃽 Borrelia burgdorferi,n4...in both Mycobacteria and Escheri- chia coi. J. Bacteriol. 170: 1227-1234. 10. SHINNICK, T. M., M. H. VODKIN & J. C. WILLIAMS. 1988. The Mycobacterium

  7. Coxiella Burnetii’ Vaccine Development: Lipopolysaccharide Structural Analysis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-02-20

    was determined to be 2.0 x 104 M-1 cm- 1 and 1.9 x 10 - cm- 1 for the fucose glycosylated derivative. The concentration of the latter derivative was... fucose was determined to have an = 0.8 x 1i0 -1 cm- 1 , indicating less sensitive detection limits. Page 5 L The t’A- fucose derivat>-’ was measured...at its absorption maximum of 232 vim. The PFBAB reagent was also found to be fluorescent. The fucose derivative provided a Xmax = 350 -H upon

  8. Molecular detection of Rickettsia, Anaplasma, Coxiella and Francisella bacteria in ticks collected from Artiodactyla in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Sumrandee, Chalao; Baimai, Visut; Trinachartvanit, Wachareeporn; Ahantarig, Arunee

    2016-07-01

    A total of 79 ticks collected from Sambar deer (Cervus unicolor), Barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak) and Wild boar (Sus scrofa) were examined by PCR for the presence of Rickettsia, Anaplasma, Coxiella, and Francisella bacteria. Of the 79 ticks, 13% tested positive for Rickettsia, 15% tested positive for Anaplasma, 4% tested positive for Coxiella, and 3% tested positive for Francisella. Interestingly, triple infection with Anaplasma, Rickettsia and Francisella was determined in a Dermacentor auratus tick. Moreover, another triple infection with Rickettsia, Anaplasma, and Coxiella was found in a Haemaphysalis lagrangei tick. Double infection of Rickettsia with Coxiella was also detected in another H. lagrangei tick. From the phylogenetic analyses, we found a Rickettsia sp. with a close evolutionary relationship to Rickettsia bellii in the H. lagrangei tick. We also found the first evidence of a Rickettsia sp. that is closely related to Rickettsia tamurae in Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus ticks from Thailand. H. lagrangei and Haemaphysalis obesa ticks collected from Sambar deer tested positive for Anaplasma species form the same clade with Anaplasma bovis. In contrast, other H. lagrangei ticks collected from Sambar deer and D. auratus ticks collected from Wild boar were also reported for the first time to be infected with an Anaplasma species that is closely related to Anaplasma platys. The phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene of Coxiella bacteria revealed that Coxiella symbionts from H. lagrangei formed a distinctly different lineage from Coxiella burnetii (a human pathogen). Additionally, Francisella bacteria identified in D. auratus ticks were found to be distantly related to a group of pathogenic Francisella species. The identification of these bacteria in several feeding ticks suggests the risk of various emerging tick-borne diseases and endosymbionts in humans, wildlife, and domestic animals in Thailand.

  9. Zoonotic pathogens in Atlantic Forest wild rodents in Brazil: Bartonella and Coxiella infections.

    PubMed

    Rozental, Tatiana; Ferreira, Michelle Santos; Guterres, Alexandro; Mares-Guia, Maria Angélica; Teixeira, Bernardo R; Gonçalves, Jonathan; Bonvicino, Cibele Rodrigues; D'Andrea, Paulo Sergio; de Lemos, Elba Regina Sampaio

    2017-04-01

    Zoonotic pathogens comprise a significant and increasing fraction of all emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases that plague humans. Identifying host species is one of the keys to controlling emerging infectious diseases. From March 2007 until April 2012, we collected a total of 131 wild rodents in eight municipalities of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We investigated these rodents for infection with Coxiella burnetii, Bartonella spp. and Rickettsia spp. In total, 22.1% (29/131) of the rodents were infected by at least one pathogen; co-infection was detected in 1.5% (2/131) of rodents. Coxiella burnetii was detected in 4.6% (6/131) of the wild animals, 17.6% of the rodents harbored Bartonella spp. No cases of Rickettsia were identified. Bartonella doshiae and Bartonella vinsonii were the species found on the wild mammals. This report is the first to note C. burnetii, B. doshiae and B. vinsonii natural infections in Atlantic Forest wild rodents in Brazil. Our work highlights the potential risk of transmission to humans, since most of the infected specimens belong to generalist species that live near human dwellings.

  10. A heat shock operon in Coxiella burnetti produces a major antigen homologous to a protein in both mycobacteria and Escherichia coli.

    PubMed Central

    Vodkin, M H; Williams, J C

    1988-01-01

    A gene library from the DNA of Coxiella burnetii has been constructed in the cosmid vector pHC79. A particular clone, pJB196, reacted strongly with Coxiella-specific antibodies elicited in a number of different species of animals. This clone produced two abundant C. burnetii-specific polypeptides, a 14-kilodalton nonimmunoreactive protein and a 62-kilodalton immunoreactive protein. Sequencing identified two open reading frames, encoding polypeptides of 10.5 and 58.3 kilodaltons. The only transcriptional control element observed on the 5' side of the initiation codon resembled a heat shock promoter. This heat shock promoter was functionally regulated in Escherichia coli, since both proteins were produced by growth conditions at 37 degrees C and neither protein was detected at 23 degrees C. There were four sequences from the literature that were highly homologous (greater than 50%) to the 62-kilodalton protein from C. burnetii. Three were from Mycobacterium species and represent the immunodominant antigen of this genus. The other was from E. coli, detected as a gene that complements or suppresses a temperature-sensitive RNase activity. Since the recombinant protein was immunogenic, it may serve as an efficacious vaccine against C. burnetii and other pathogenic microorganisms that express the conserved antigen. Images PMID:3343219

  11. Molecular Detection and Genotyping of Coxiella-Like Endosymbionts in Ticks that Infest Horses in South Korea

    PubMed Central

    Seo, Min-Goo; Lee, Seung-Hun; Ouh, In-Ohk; Lee, Gwang Hyeop; Goo, Youn-Kyoung; Kim, Seungjoon; Kwon, Oh-Deog

    2016-01-01

    Members of the genus Coxiella can be transmitted from ticks to humans during contact with animals; Coxiella may thus spread from the infected horses or ticks to humans. In this study, the presence of Coxiella burnetii and Coxiella-like endosymbionts (CLE) in ticks found on infested horses was determined using PCR and genotyping. A total of 213 ticks were randomly collected from 51 horses (4–5 ticks per horse) raised on Jeju Island, Korea, between 2009 and 2013. All ticks were morphologically identified as adult Haemaphysalis longicornis, a predominant tick species widespread in Korea. Based on the results of nested PCR and 16S rRNA sequencing, CLE were detected in 121 (52.4%, 95% CI: 45.9–58.8) ticks. CLE 16S rRNA sequences from 9 randomly selected ticks were 100% identical. Phylogenetic analysis showed that these 9 sequences were highly similar (97.9–100%) to the sequences of clade B species, like the CLE previously described to be found in Haemaphysalis spp. This study showed that CLE are prevalent in ticks that infest horses reared on Jeju Island, and this is, to the best of our knowledge, the first study to describe CLE occurrence in ticks infesting animals reared in Korea. Because of the high prevalence of CLE in ticks found on horses, CLE transmission from ticks to other animals and humans remains a possibility. This warrants a detailed study of other hosts and regions. Considering the zoonotic potential of Coxiella, further strategic surveillance of Coxiella transmission is necessary. PMID:27792764

  12. 2013 Review on the Extension of the AMedP-8(C) Methodology to New Agents, Materials, and Conditions

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-06-30

    12 Teske et al., “Animal and Human Dose-Response Models for Brucella Species,” Risk Analysis 31 (2011...Dose-Response Model of Coxiella burnetii (Q Fever).” Risk Analysis 31, no. 1 (2011): 120–128. Teske , S. S., Huang, Y., Tamrakar, S. B., Bartrand, T

  13. Characterization of the Origin of DNA Replication of the Coxiella burnetii Chromosome

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-01-26

    clone 7 chromosomal DNA, (lane 4) EcoR I digest of S. typhimurium DNA, (lane 5) Sal I digest of E . aerogenes DNA, (lane 6) Sal I digest of K. pneumoniae...I digest of K. pneumoniae DNA, (lane 6) Sal I digest of E . aerogenes DNA. 491 ANNALS NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES E 0 d uC ~ 0 2 3 4 5 KI4~ b I J , II...all initiated simultaneously.3 The initiation of replication at E . coli oriC is a compli- cated event, which has been elucidated through construction

  14. Genome-Wide Profiling of Humoral Immune Response to Coxiella burnetii Infection by Protein Microarray

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-01

    Wei Chen3.4, Wei-Mei Chinif· 4 and Philip L. Felgner1 1 Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases , University of California, Irvine, CA...USA 2 Antigen Discovery, Inc., Irvine, CA, USA 3 Viral and Rickettsial Diseases Department, Infectious Diseases Directorate, Naval Medical Research...Dr. Adam Vigil, Department of Medicine, Divi- sion of Infectious Diseases , University of California, 375b Med Surge II, Irvine, CA 92697, USA E

  15. Immune Modulation by Coxiella burnetii: Characterization of a Phase 1 Immunosuppressive Complex Differentially Expressed among Strains

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-01-01

    components may bear compositional similarities to a Mycobacterium leprae glycolipid, which is capable of inducing suppression of mitogenic responses of...of the phenolic glycolipid of M. leprae (20). Suppressor cell- inducing epitopes have also been demonstrated in the lysozyme 256 WAAG AND WILLIAMS...V., Brennan. P. J., Rada, E., Convit, J., and Bloom, B. R. Lymphocyte suppression in leprosy induced by a unique M. leprae glycolipid. Nature 308:194

  16. Effector Protein Cig2 Decreases Host Tolerance of Infection by Directing Constitutive Fusion of Autophagosomes with the Coxiella-Containing Vacuole

    PubMed Central

    Kohler, Lara J.; Reed, Shawna R.; Sarraf, Shireen A.; Arteaga, David D.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Coxiella burnetii replicates in an acidified lysosome-derived vacuole. Biogenesis of the Coxiella-containing vacuole (CCV) requires bacterial effector proteins delivered into host cells by the Dot/Icm secretion system. Genetic and cell biological analysis revealed that an effector protein called Cig2 promotes constitutive fusion of autophagosomes with the CCV to maintain this compartment in an autolysosomal stage of maturation. This distinguishes the CCV from other pathogen-containing vacuoles that are targeted by the host autophagy pathway, which typically confers host resistance to infection by delivering the pathogen to a toxic lysosomal environment. By maintaining the CCV in an autolysosomal stage of maturation, Cig2 enabled CCV homotypic fusion and enhanced bacterial virulence in the Galleria mellonella (wax moth) model of infection by a mechanism that decreases host tolerance. Thus, C. burnetii residence in an autolysosomal organelle alters host tolerance of infection, which indicates that Cig2-dependent manipulation of a lysosome-derived vacuole influences the host response to infection. PMID:27435465

  17. Zoonotic Agents in Small Ruminants Kept on City Farms in Southern Germany

    PubMed Central

    Schilling, Anna-Katarina; Hotzel, Helmut; Methner, Ulrich; Sprague, Lisa D.; Schmoock, Gernot; El-Adawy, Hosny; Ehricht, Ralf; Wöhr, Anna-Caroline; Erhard, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Sheep and goats are popular examples of livestock kept on city farms. In these settings, close contacts between humans and animals frequently occur. Although it is widely accepted that small ruminants can carry numerous zoonotic agents, it is unknown which of these agents actually occur in sheep and goats on city farms in Germany. We sampled feces and nasal liquid of 48 animals (28 goats, 20 sheep) distributed in 7 city farms and on one activity playground in southern Germany. We found that 100% of the sampled sheep and 89.3% of the goats carried Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). The presence of Staphylococcus spp. in 75% of both sheep and goats could be demonstrated. Campylobacter spp. were detected in 25% and 14.3% of the sheep and goats, respectively. Neither Salmonella spp. nor Coxiella burnetii was found. On the basis of these data, we propose a reasonable hygiene scheme to prevent transmission of zoonotic agents during city farm visits. PMID:22447607

  18. Zoonotic agents in small ruminants kept on city farms in southern Germany.

    PubMed

    Schilling, Anna-Katarina; Hotzel, Helmut; Methner, Ulrich; Sprague, Lisa D; Schmoock, Gernot; El-Adawy, Hosny; Ehricht, Ralf; Wöhr, Anna-Caroline; Erhard, Michael; Geue, Lutz

    2012-06-01

    Sheep and goats are popular examples of livestock kept on city farms. In these settings, close contacts between humans and animals frequently occur. Although it is widely accepted that small ruminants can carry numerous zoonotic agents, it is unknown which of these agents actually occur in sheep and goats on city farms in Germany. We sampled feces and nasal liquid of 48 animals (28 goats, 20 sheep) distributed in 7 city farms and on one activity playground in southern Germany. We found that 100% of the sampled sheep and 89.3% of the goats carried Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). The presence of Staphylococcus spp. in 75% of both sheep and goats could be demonstrated. Campylobacter spp. were detected in 25% and 14.3% of the sheep and goats, respectively. Neither Salmonella spp. nor Coxiella burnetii was found. On the basis of these data, we propose a reasonable hygiene scheme to prevent transmission of zoonotic agents during city farm visits.

  19. A Coxiella burnetti repeated DNA element resembling a bacterial insertion sequence.

    PubMed Central

    Hoover, T A; Vodkin, M H; Williams, J C

    1992-01-01

    A DNA fragment located on the 3' side of the Coxiella burnetii htpAB operon was determined by Southern blotting to exist in approximately 19 copies in the Nine Mile I genome. The DNA sequences of this htpAB-associated repetitive element and two other independent copies were analyzed to determine the size and nature of the element. The three copies of the element were 1,450, 1,452, and 1,458 bp long, with less than 2% divergence among the three sequences. Several features characteristic of bacterial insertion sequences were discovered. These included a single significant open reading frame that would encode a 367-amino-acid polypeptide which was predicted to be highly basic, to have a DNA-binding helix-turn-helix motif, to have a leucine zipper motif, and to have homology to polypeptides found in several other bacterial insertion sequences. Identical 7-bp inverted repeats were found at the ends of all three copies of the element. However, duplications generated by many bacterial mobile elements in the recipient DNA during insertion events did not flank the inverted repeats of any of the three C. burnetii elements examined. A second pair of inverted repeats that flanked the open reading frame was also found in all three copies of the element. Most of the divergence among the three copies of the element occurred in the region between the two inverted repeat sequences in the 3' end of the element. Despite the sequence changes, all three copies of the element have retained significant dyad symmetry in this region. Images PMID:1324903

  20. Survey of nine abortifacient infectious agents in aborted bovine fetuses from dairy farms in Beijing, China, by PCR.

    PubMed

    Yang, Na; Cui, Xia; Qian, Weifeng; Yu, Shanshan; Liu, Qun

    2012-03-01

    Abortion in dairy cattle causes considerable economic losses to the dairy industry. Aborted fetuses and samples from the corresponding aborting dams from 12 dairy herds in Beijing were tested for 9 abortifacient infectious pathogens by PCR between 2008 and 2010. From a total of 80 abortion cases collected during this period, infectious agents were detected in 45 (56.3%) cases, 22 (48.9%) of which represented co-infections with two or three infectious agents. The detected pathogens included infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus (36.3%) and Neospora caninum (31.3%), followed by bovine viral diarrhoea virus (7.5%), Brucella abortus (6.3%), Tritrichomonas foetus (5%) and Toxoplasma gondii (1.3%). Campylobacter fetus, Coxiella burnetii and Chlamydophila psittaci were not detected in any abortion case. Findings from this study indicated that infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus and Neospora caninum were the main potential causes of abortions in Beijing dairy herds, whereas the bacterial pathogens were not, in contrast to reports from other countries. This is the first study to test nine abortifacient infectious agents by PCR at the same time, and it is also the first time to report the involvement of a variety of infectious agents in bovine abortion cases in China.

  1. Detection of Microbial Agents in Ticks Collected from Migratory Birds in Central Italy

    PubMed Central

    Toma, Luciano; Mancini, Fabiola; Di Luca, Marco; Cecere, Jacopo G.; Bianchi, Riccardo; Khoury, Cristina; Quarchioni, Elisa; Manzia, Francesca; Rezza, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Tick species characterization and molecular studies were performed within ornithological surveys conducted during 2010 and 2011 in the Lazio Region of central Italy. A total of 137 ticks were collected from 41 migratory birds belonging to 17 species (four partial migrants and 13 long-distance migrants). Most ticks were nymphs, with a predominance of Hyalomma marginatum marginatum and H. m. rufipes, and a small portion of Ixodes and Amblyomma species. All tick species analyzed were infected, and the molecular pathogen recognition revealed the presence of Rickettsia aeschlimannii, Rickettsia africae, Erlichia spp., Coxiella burnetii, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato group, and Babesia microti, whereas no genomic DNA of Bartonella spp. or Francisella tularensis was detected. The results of the survey show that H. marginatum ticks appear to be a vector of microbial agents that may affect human and animal health and that migratory birds may be an important carrier of these ticks. Additional studies are needed to better investigate the role of migratory birds in the epidemiology of these pathogens. PMID:24576218

  2. Molecular Survey of Zoonotic Agents in Rodents and Other Small Mammals in Croatia.

    PubMed

    Tadin, Ante; Tokarz, Rafal; Markotić, Alemka; Margaletić, Josip; Turk, Nenad; Habuš, Josipa; Svoboda, Petra; Vucelja, Marko; Desai, Aaloki; Jain, Komal; Lipkin, W Ian

    2016-02-01

    Croatia is a focus for many rodent-borne zoonosis. Here, we report a survey of 242 rodents and small mammals, including 43 Myodes glareolus, 131 Apodemus flavicollis, 53 Apodemus agrarius, three Apodemus sylvaticus, six Sorex araneus, four Microtus arvalis, one Microtus agrestis, and one Muscardinus avellanarius, collected at eight sites in Croatia over an 8-year period. Multiplex MassTag polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used for detection of Borrelia, Rickettsia, Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Francisella tularensis, and Coxiella burnetii. Individual PCR assays were used for detection of Leptospira, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, orthopoxviruses, flaviviruses, hantaviruses, and Toxoplasma gondii. Of the rodents, 52 (21.5%) were infected with Leptospira, 9 (3.7%) with Borrelia miyamotoi, 5 (2%) with Borrelia afzelii, 29 (12.0%) with Bartonella, 8 (3.3%) with Babesia microti, 2 (0.8%) with Ehrlichia, 4 (1.7%) with Anaplasma, 2 (0.8%) with F. tularensis, 43 (17.8%) with hantaviruses, and 1 (0.4%) with an orthopoxvirus. Other agents were not detected. Multiple infections were found in 32 rodents (13.2%): dual infections in 26 rodents (10.7%), triple infections in four rodents (2.9%), and quadruple infections in two rodents (0.8%). Our findings indicate that rodents in Croatia harbor a wide range of bacteria and viruses that are pathogenic to humans.

  3. Molecular Survey of Zoonotic Agents in Rodents and Other Small Mammals in Croatia

    PubMed Central

    Tadin, Ante; Tokarz, Rafal; Markotić, Alemka; Margaletić, Josip; Turk, Nenad; Habuš, Josipa; Svoboda, Petra; Vucelja, Marko; Desai, Aaloki; Jain, Komal; Ian Lipkin, W.

    2016-01-01

    Croatia is a focus for many rodent-borne zoonosis. Here, we report a survey of 242 rodents and small mammals, including 43 Myodes glareolus, 131 Apodemus flavicollis, 53 Apodemus agrarius, three Apodemus sylvaticus, six Sorex araneus, four Microtus arvalis, one Microtus agrestis, and one Muscardinus avellanarius, collected at eight sites in Croatia over an 8-year period. Multiplex MassTag polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used for detection of Borrelia, Rickettsia, Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Francisella tularensis, and Coxiella burnetii. Individual PCR assays were used for detection of Leptospira, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, orthopoxviruses, flaviviruses, hantaviruses, and Toxoplasma gondii. Of the rodents, 52 (21.5%) were infected with Leptospira, 9 (3.7%) with Borrelia miyamotoi, 5 (2%) with Borrelia afzelii, 29 (12.0%) with Bartonella, 8 (3.3%) with Babesia microti, 2 (0.8%) with Ehrlichia, 4 (1.7%) with Anaplasma, 2 (0.8%) with F. tularensis, 43 (17.8%) with hantaviruses, and 1 (0.4%) with an orthopoxvirus. Other agents were not detected. Multiple infections were found in 32 rodents (13.2%): dual infections in 26 rodents (10.7%), triple infections in four rodents (2.9%), and quadruple infections in two rodents (0.8%). Our findings indicate that rodents in Croatia harbor a wide range of bacteria and viruses that are pathogenic to humans. PMID:26711522

  4. Development of a set of multiplex standard polymerase chain reaction assays for the identification of infectious agents from aborted bovine clinical samples.

    PubMed

    Tramuta, Clara; Lacerenza, Daniela; Zoppi, Simona; Goria, Mariella; Dondo, Alessandro; Ferroglio, Ezio; Nebbia, Patrizia; Rosati, Sergio

    2011-07-01

    The current study describes the development of a set of 5 multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR) assays for the simultaneous detection of abortive infection agents in bovine fetal tissues, including Brucella spp., Leptospira spp., and Campylobacter fetus (mPCR1); Hammondia heydorni, Neospora caninum, and Toxoplasma gondii (mPCR2); Coxiella burnetii and Chlamydophila psittaci (mPCR3); Mycoplasma bovis, Mycoplasma bovigenitalium, and Ureaplasma diversum (mPCR4); and Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) and Bovine herpesvirus-1 (BoHV-1; mPCR5). The protocol was tested on different tissue samples collected from 50 aborted bovine fetuses, and it showed that out of the 50 fetuses, 7 (14%, mPCR2) were PCR-positive for N. caninum, 4 (8%, mPCR5) were PCR-positive for BVDV, and 2 (4%, mPCR4) were PCR-positive for U. diversum. The results obtained by using each multiplex PCR were 100% concordant with those obtained by using the respective PCR assays targeting single genes on the same specimens. Moreover, all multiplex PCR assays on clinical samples were compared with reference methods, obtaining a perfect accordance in all samples and confirming the validity of the set of multiplex PCR assays. The proposed set of multiplex PCR assays is, therefore, suitable for the simultaneous detection of the main infectious agents responsible for bovine abortion.

  5. In Vitro Studies of Interaction of Rickettsia and Macrophages: Effect of Ultraviolet Light on Coxiella burnetii Inactivation and Macrophage Enzymes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-03-01

    aminoethyl ether)-N,N-tetraacetic acid and 3 mM im- data). These results suggest that exposure to UV idazole hydrochloride buffer (pH 7.5) with a syringe...acetyl-f- glucosamin - 40- idase, no detectable quantities of these macro- - Kphage marker enzyme activities were found in 20- either the phase I or the

  6. Coxiella burnetii in bulk tank milk samples from dairy goat and dairy sheep farms in The Netherlands in 2008.

    PubMed

    van den Brom, R; van Engelen, E; Luttikholt, S; Moll, L; van Maanen, K; Vellema, P

    2012-03-24

    In 2007, a human Q fever epidemic started, mainly in the south eastern part of The Netherlands with a suspected indirect relation to dairy goats, and, to a lesser degree, to dairy sheep. This article describes the Q fever prevalences in Dutch dairy goat and dairy sheep bulk tank milk (BTM) samples, using a real-time (RT) PCR and ELISA. Results of BTM PCR and ELISA were compared with the serological status of individual animals, and correlations with a history of Q fever abortion were determined. When compared with ELISA results, the optimal cut-off value for the RT-PCR was 100 bacteria/ml. In 2008, there were 392 farms with more than 200 dairy goats, of which 292 submitted a BTM sample. Of these samples, 96 (32.9 per cent) were PCR positive and 87 (29.8 per cent) were ELISA positive. All farms with a history of Q fever abortion (n=17) were ELISA positive, 16 out of 17 were also PCR positive. BTM PCR or ELISA positive farms had significantly higher within-herd seroprevalences than BTM negative farms. In the south eastern provinces, the area where the human Q fever outbreak started in 2007, a significantly larger proportion of the BTM samples was PCR and ELISA positive compared to the rest of The Netherlands. None of the BTM samples from dairy sheep farms (n=16) were PCR positive but three of these farms were ELISA positive. The higher percentage of BTM positive farms in the area where the human Q fever outbreak started, supports the suspected relation between human cases and infected dairy goat farms.

  7. Real-time PCR for the Early Detection and Quantification of Coxiella burnetii as an Alternative to the Murine Bioassay

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-01

    fluid and tissues of infected animals are at the greatest risk of direct exposure. Indirect exposure results from a highly infective spore-like form...2/4 0/9 0/9 0/9 0/9 9/10 8/9 7/9 2/4 1/9 0/9 0/9 0/9 oral changes, abnormal blood chemistries. Table 3 Exclusivity panel: DNA from the following...14 strains) Feline DNA Rhizobium radiobacter Actinomyces naeslundi Brucella neotame (3 strains) Francisella philomiragia Saccharomyces cerevisiae

  8. A Systematic Screen of FDA-Approved Drugs for Inhibitors of Biological Threat Agents

    PubMed Central

    Madrid, Peter B.; Chopra, Sidharth; Manger, Ian D.; Gilfillan, Lynne; Keepers, Tiffany R.; Shurtleff, Amy C.; Green, Carol E.; Iyer, Lalitha V.; Dilks, Holli Hutcheson; Davey, Robert A.; Kolokoltsov, Andrey A.; Carrion, Ricardo; Patterson, Jean L.; Bavari, Sina; Panchal, Rekha G.; Warren, Travis K.; Wells, Jay B.; Moos, Walter H.; Burke, RaeLyn L.; Tanga, Mary J.

    2013-01-01

    Background The rapid development of effective medical countermeasures against potential biological threat agents is vital. Repurposing existing drugs that may have unanticipated activities as potential countermeasures is one way to meet this important goal, since currently approved drugs already have well-established safety and pharmacokinetic profiles in patients, as well as manufacturing and distribution networks. Therefore, approved drugs could rapidly be made available for a new indication in an emergency. Methodology/Principal Findings A large systematic effort to determine whether existing drugs can be used against high containment bacterial and viral pathogens is described. We assembled and screened 1012 FDA-approved drugs for off-label broad-spectrum efficacy against Bacillus anthracis; Francisella tularensis; Coxiella burnetii; and Ebola, Marburg, and Lassa fever viruses using in vitro cell culture assays. We found a variety of hits against two or more of these biological threat pathogens, which were validated in secondary assays. As expected, antibiotic compounds were highly active against bacterial agents, but we did not identify any non-antibiotic compounds with broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. Lomefloxacin and erythromycin were found to be the most potent compounds in vivo protecting mice against Bacillus anthracis challenge. While multiple virus-specific inhibitors were identified, the most noteworthy antiviral compound identified was chloroquine, which disrupted entry and replication of two or more viruses in vitro and protected mice against Ebola virus challenge in vivo. Conclusions/Significance The feasibility of repurposing existing drugs to face novel threats is demonstrated and this represents the first effort to apply this approach to high containment bacteria and viruses. PMID:23577127

  9. Serologic screening for 13 infectious agents in roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in Flanders

    PubMed Central

    Tavernier, Paul; Sys, Stanislas U.; De Clercq, Kris; De Leeuw, Ilse; Caij, Anne Brigitte; De Baere, Miet; De Regge, Nick; Fretin, David; Roupie, Virginie; Govaerts, Marc; Heyman, Paul; Vanrompay, Daisy; Yin, Lizi; Kalmar, Isabelle; Suin, Vanessa; Brochier, Bernard; Dobly, Alexandre; De Craeye, Stéphane; Roelandt, Sophie; Goossens, Els; Roels, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Introduction In order to investigate the role of roe deer in the maintenance and transmission of infectious animal and human diseases in Flanders, we conducted a serologic screening in 12 hunting areas. Materials and methods Roe deer sera collected between 2008 and 2013 (n=190) were examined for antibodies against 13 infectious agents, using indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, virus neutralisation, immunofluorescence, or microagglutination test, depending on the agent. Results and discussion High numbers of seropositives were found for Anaplasma phagocytophilum (45.8%), Toxoplasma gondii (43.2%) and Schmallenberg virus (27.9%), the latter with a distinct temporal distribution pattern following the outbreak in domestic ruminants. Lower antibody prevalence was found for Chlamydia abortus (6.7%), tick-borne encephalitis virus (5.1%), Neospora caninum (4.8%), and Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (4.1%). The lowest prevalences were found for Leptospira (1.7%), bovine viral diarrhoea virus 1 (1.3%), and Coxiella burnetii (1.2%). No antibodies were found against Brucella sp., bovine herpesvirus 1, and bluetongue virus. A significant difference in seroprevalence between ages (higher in adults >1 year) was found for N. caninum. Four doubtful reacting sera accounted for a significant difference in seroprevalence between sexes for C. abortus (higher in females). Conclusions Despite the more intensive landscape use in Flanders, the results are consistent with other European studies. Apart from maintaining C. abortus and MAP, roe deer do not seem to play an important role in the epidemiology of the examined zoonotic and domestic animal pathogens. Nevertheless, their meaning as sentinels should not be neglected in the absence of other wild cervid species. PMID:26609692

  10. Arthropods: Vectors of Disease Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-07-01

    andersoni 0-fever Coxiella burnetti Dermacentor andersoni, Rhipicephalus san guineus Rocky Mountain spotted fever Rickettsia rickettsii Dermacentor...andersoni, D variabilis Rickettsial pox (mite-borne) Rickettsia akari Liponyssoides san guineus Relapsing fever Borre/ja turicatae 8 hermsi4 B parkeri...typhus Rickettsia typhi Xenopsylla cheopis, others ELB agent R 4/phi-like Ctenocephalides fe/is Louse-borne Epidemic typhus Rickettsia prowazekii

  11. Brucella and Coxiella; if you don't look, you don't find.

    PubMed

    Lambourne, Jonathan R; Brooks, Tim

    2015-02-01

    Brucella and Coxiella are similar; both are obligate intracellular, zoonotic pathogens with a broad geographic distribution. Infection in animals is usually asymptomatic, but causes fetal loss and therefore has significant economic impact. Human infection may be asymptomatic or give rise to either organ-specific or multi-system disease. Organism culture is challenging for Coxiella and can lack sensitivity for Brucella. Therefore, infection is most commonly diagnosed by serology, but this may be negative in early infection and serology results may be challenging to interpret. Both Brucella and Coxiella are typically susceptible to a wide range of antimicrobials, but long courses may be needed.

  12. Louse-borne bacterial pathogens in lice (Phthiraptera) of rodents and cattle from Egypt.

    PubMed

    Reeves, Will K; Szumlas, Daniel E; Moriarity, John R; Loftis, Amanda D; Abbassy, Magda M; Helmy, Ibrahim M; Dasch, Gregory A

    2006-04-01

    We collected 1,023 lice, representing 5 species, from rats and domestic cattle throughout 13 governorates in Egypt and tested these lice for Anaplasma marginale, Bartonella spp., Brucella spp., Borrelia recurrentis, Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, and Rickettsia spp. by PCR amplification and sequencing. Five different louse-borne bacterial agents were detected in lice from rodents or cattle, including "Bartonella rattimassiliensis", "B. phoceensis", and Bartonella sp. near Bartonella tribocorum, Coxiella burnetii, and Rickettsia typhi. More lice from governorates bordering the Mediterranean and Red Seas contained pathogens. Our data indicate that lice of urban and domestic animals harbor pathogenic or potentially pathogenic bacterial agents throughout Egypt.

  13. [Occurrence of Coxiella burneti in foodstuffs in animal origin].

    PubMed

    Schaal, E

    1977-10-01

    Some of the organs and secretions from Q fever infected cattle originally intended for human consumption were tested for their Coxiella content. In the cows, the udder and udder lymph nodes were found to contain over 75% of the exciters; the exciters were also found to a large extent in the milk, reaching levels of between 10(1) and 10(5) Inf. E/ml milk. On the other hand, other parts of the animal used as meat were less infected. Lymph nodes in the body contained 28%, liver, kidney, pancreas and lungs 25% and musculature (meat) 8%. Udder infections in cows can last for months or even years, but they persist only for a few weeks in sheep. Treatment and preservation methods used on the meat after the animals is slaughtered also decimate the exciters, thus decreasing any risk to the consumer. Infected milk also loses its capacity for infection when sufficiently pasteurised, though the problem of oral infection in fresh milk still exists. Tests on guinea pigs show that when they are fed fresh milk containing Coxiella the formation of blood antibodies can take place, and also infestation of the organs. Essential conditions for this can be found in the exciter content, the virulence of the exciters and a weak defence mechanism in the organism.

  14. Agents.

    PubMed

    Chambers, David W

    2002-01-01

    Although health care is inherently an economic activity, it is inadequately described as a market process. An alternative, grounded in organizational economic theory, is to view professionals and many others as agents, contracted to advance the best interests of their principals (patients). This view untangles some of the ethical conflicts in dentistry. It also helps identify major controllable costs in dentistry and suggests that dentists can act as a group to increase or decrease agency costs, primarily by controlling the bad actors who damage the value of all dentists.

  15. Tissue tropism and vertical transmission of Coxiella in Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Rhipicephalus turanicus ticks.

    PubMed

    Lalzar, Itai; Friedmann, Yael; Gottlieb, Yuval

    2014-12-01

    Arthropod symbionts present tissue tropism that corresponds to the nature of the association and the mode of transmission between host generations. In ticks, however, our knowledge of symbiont tissue tropism and function is limited. Here, we quantified and localized previously described Coxiella-like symbionts in several organs of the tick Rhipicephalus turanicus. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction revealed high densities of Coxiella in the female gonads, and both male and female Malpighian tubules. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization and transmission electron microscopy, we further showed that in the gonads of both Rh. turanicus and Rh. sanguineus, Coxiella does not colonize the primary oocytes but is found later in young and mature oocytes in a specific distribution, suggesting controlled vertical transmission. This method revealed the presence Coxiella in the distal part of the Malpighian tubules, suggesting a possible role in nitrogen metabolism. While testing Rickettsia symbionts, no specific tissue tropism was found, but a slightly higher densities in the tick gut. The low density of Rickettsia in the female ovaries suggests competition between Rickettsia and Coxiella for vertical transmission. The described tissue distribution supports an obligatory role for Coxiella in ticks.

  16. Report of the Working Group on Strengthening the Biosecurity of the United States

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-10-01

    Coccidioides posadasii/Coccidioides immitis Coxiella burnetii Francisella tularensis Rickettsia prowazekii Rickettsia rickettsii Yersinia...Biosafety Level, Agent type ( bacteria , virus, etc.) 4. Storage location (building, room number, freezer number) 5. Storage conditions (refrigerator...16, 2008. APPENDIX 1-C 83 HHS SELECT AGENTS AND TOXINS Bacteria Viruses Botulinum neurotoxin producing species of Clostridium

  17. Possible Impacts of Major Counter Terrorism Security Actions on Research, Development, and Higher Education

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-04-08

    botulinum, Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis; Rickettsiae : Coxiella burnetii, Rickettsia prowazekii, Rickettsia rickettsii ; Fungi: Coccidioides...virus (smallpox virus), Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Viruses causing hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, Yellow fever virus; Bacteria : Bacillus...select” agents (viruses, bacteria , fungi, and toxins, including genetically modified or genetic material from those listed agents),61 as well as

  18. Detection of antibodies against spotted fever group Rickettsia (SFGR), typhus group Rickettsia (TGR), and Coxiella burnetii in human febrile patients in the Philippines.

    PubMed

    Camer, Gerry Amor; Alejandria, Marissa; Amor, Miguel; Satoh, Hiroshi; Muramatsu, Yasukazu; Ueno, Hiroshi; Morita, Chiharu

    2003-02-01

    A total of 157 sera from febrile patients in the Philippine General Hospital in Manila, Luzon, and the Northern Samar Provincial Hospital, the Philippines, were used. Serum antibodies against spotted fever group Rickettsia (SFGR) and typhus group Rickettsia (TGR) were detected by indirect immunofluorescence test. Antibody positive rates were 1.3% for SFGR (Rickettsia japonica) and 2.5% for TGR (R. typhus), respectively. Rickettsial antibodies in humans in the Philippines were found for the first time. These results underscore the need for further epidemiological study of clinical rickettsioses in the Philippines.

  19. Identification by genotyping of a commercial antigen preparation as the source of a laboratory contamination with Coxiella burnetii and as an unexpected rich source of control DNA.

    PubMed

    Tilburg, Jeroen J H C; Horrevorts, Alphons M; Peeters, Marcel F; Klaassen, Corné H W; Rossen, John W A

    2011-01-01

    By performing genotyping, a laboratory contamination involving Q fever was traced back to the antigen preparation used in a commercially available complement fixation test. It was established that such antigen preparations contain relatively high loads of DNA/RNA, making them potential sources of contamination but also convenient preparations for control material.

  20. Combined vaccination of live 1B Chlamydophila abortus and killed phase I Coxiella burnetii vaccine does not destroy protection against chlamydiosis in a mouse model

    PubMed Central

    2004-01-01

    Abstract Q fever and chlamydiosis often affect ovine and caprine flocks simultaneously or successively. Combination vaccines effective against these 2 diseases would be of great value in veterinary medicine. Unfortunately, the current effective vaccines are a live vaccine for chlamydiosis and killed vaccine for Q fever. Vaccination of mice with live chlamydiosis vaccine 1B and killed phase I vaccine against Q fever at 2 points on the back at the same time produced good protection against chlamydial abortion. This suggests that it may be possible to vaccinate ewes and goats against chlamydiosis and Q fever simultaneously. PMID:15352550

  1. Localization and visualization of a coxiella-type symbiont within the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum.

    PubMed

    Klyachko, Olga; Stein, Barry D; Grindle, Nathan; Clay, Keith; Fuqua, Clay

    2007-10-01

    A Coxiella-type microbe occurs at 100% frequency in all Amblyomma americanum ticks thus far tested. Using laboratory-reared ticks free of other microbes, we identified the Amblyomma-associated Coxiella microbe in several types of tissue and at various stages of the life cycle of A. americanum by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and diagnostic PCR. We visualized Amblyomma-associated Coxiella through the use of a diagnostic fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay supplemented with PCR-based detection, nucleic acid fluorescent staining, wide-field epifluorescence and confocal microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Specific fluorescent foci were observed in several tick tissues, including the midgut and the Malpighian tubules, but particularly bright signals were observed in the granular acini of salivary gland clusters and in both small and large oocytes. TEM confirmed intracellular bacterial structures in the same tissues. The presence of Amblyomma-associated Coxiella within oocytes is consistent with the vertical transmission of these endosymbionts. Further, the presence of the Amblyomma-associated Coxiella symbiont in other tissues such as salivary glands could potentially lead to interactions with horizontally acquired pathogens.

  2. Feasibility of Screening for Antibiotic Resistance-Part II

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-08-01

    however, that biological (warfare) agents with multiple resistance characteristics can be encountered. TNO report IDV2 2005-A050 12 /38 2 Materials and...Gram-negative bacteria: TNO report [ DV2 2005-A050 25/38 Brucella melitensis, Brucella suis, Citrobacterfreundii, Coxiella burnetii, Enterobacter ... aerogenes , Erwinia carotovora, Escherichia coli K12, Francisella tularensis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Providencia stuartii

  3. Animal Models in Q Fever: Pathological Responses of Inbred Mice to Phase 1 Coxiella burnetti

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-01-01

    Hosts involved in the epizootiology of Q fever range from animal ectoparasites to man (Ormsbee, 1965). A micro- organism adapted to growth in so many...initially for human use from the Henzerling strain of C. burnetii by Merrell-National Laboratories, Swiftwater, Pa., USA, and designated NDBR 105...Previous studies with mice and humans have correlated T-cell inresponsiveness with Q fever (Damrow et al., 1985; Koster et al., 1985a, b). Mouse resistance

  4. PCR screening of tick-borne agents in sensitive conservation areas, Southeast Portugal.

    PubMed

    Santos-Silva, Maria Margarida; Melo, Pedro; Santos, Nuno; Antunes, Sandra; Duarte, Luís Raposo; Ferrolho, Joana; Milhano, Natacha; Santos, Patrícia Tavares; Domingos, Ana; Santos, Ana Sofia

    2017-02-01

    The Southeast region of Portugal, particularly the Guadiana valley, is currently the reintroduction territory of Lynx pardinus (Iberian lynx), one of the most endangered felids in the world that is only found in the Iberian Peninsula. Over the last century, populations have declined, placing L. pardinus at extremely high risk of extinction in the wild and relying on reintroduction projects. Among the aspects taken into account in the establishment of new populations is the sanitary status of the selected habitats, especially concerning infectious diseases, including tick-borne pathogens (TBPs). This study presents the results of TBPs survey on ticks collected at sensitive conservation areas of Southeast Portugal. From 2012 to 2014, 231 ticks obtained from vegetation, sympatric domestic and wild animals were submitted for analysis. The presence of Babesia spp., Cytauxzoon spp., Theileria spp., Hepatozoon spp., Anaplasma spp., Ehrlichia spp., Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis, among other Anaplasmataceae, and Coxiella burnetii were investigated by PCR. Six tick species were recorded, Dermacentor marginatus (n = 13/5.6%), Hyalomma lusitanicum (n = 175/75.8%), Ixodes ricinus (n = 4/1.7%), Rhipicephalus bursa (n = 7/3.0%), R. pusillus (n = 21/9.1%) and R. sanguineus sensu lato (n = 11/4.8%). The molecular screening confirmed the presence of two tick-borne pathogens, C. burnetii (N = 34) and Anaplasma platys (N = 1), and one tick-endosymbiont, Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii (N = 45). The results obtained provide new information on the circulation of ticks and TBPs with potential veterinary importance in Iberian lynx habitat.

  5. Ehrlichiosis: A Vector-Borne Disease of Animals and Humans. Current Topics in Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Volume 54

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-01-01

    distinct groups of rickettsiae pathogenic for humans and animals, i.e., Rickcttsia typhi, R. rickettsii , R. tsutsugamijshi, Coxiella burnetii...studies of E. canis led to experiments with Rickettsia rickettsii , the etiologic agent of RMSF, in the dog [251. The findings showed that the dog was...used to grow E. canis in cell cultures have been applied to other rickettsiae , including R. rickettsii [5] and Neorickettsia helminthoeca [4], the

  6. Distinctive Genome Reduction Rates Revealed by Genomic Analyses of Two Coxiella-Like Endosymbionts in Ticks.

    PubMed

    Gottlieb, Yuval; Lalzar, Itai; Klasson, Lisa

    2015-05-28

    Genome reduction is a hallmark of symbiotic genomes, and the rate and patterns of gene loss associated with this process have been investigated in several different symbiotic systems. However, in long-term host-associated coevolving symbiont clades, the genome size differences between strains are normally quite small and hence patterns of large-scale genome reduction can only be inferred from distant relatives. Here we present the complete genome of a Coxiella-like symbiont from Rhipicephalus turanicus ticks (CRt), and compare it with other genomes from the genus Coxiella in order to investigate the process of genome reduction in a genus consisting of intracellular host-associated bacteria with variable genome sizes. The 1.7-Mb CRt genome is larger than the genomes of most obligate mutualists but has a very low protein-coding content (48.5%) and an extremely high number of identifiable pseudogenes, indicating that it is currently undergoing genome reduction. Analysis of encoded functions suggests that CRt is an obligate tick mutualist, as indicated by the possible provisioning of the tick with biotin (B7), riboflavin (B2) and other cofactors, and by the loss of most genes involved in host cell interactions, such as secretion systems. Comparative analyses between CRt and the 2.5 times smaller genome of Coxiella from the lone star tick Amblyomma americanum (CLEAA) show that many of the same gene functions are lost and suggest that the large size difference might be due to a higher rate of genome evolution in CLEAA generated by the loss of the mismatch repair genes mutSL. Finally, sequence polymorphisms in the CRt population sampled from field collected ticks reveal up to one distinct strain variant per tick, and analyses of mutational patterns within the population suggest that selection might be acting on synonymous sites. The CRt genome is an extreme example of a symbiont genome caught in the act of genome reduction, and the comparison between CLEAA and CRt

  7. Distinctive Genome Reduction Rates Revealed by Genomic Analyses of Two Coxiella-Like Endosymbionts in Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Gottlieb, Yuval; Lalzar, Itai; Klasson, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    Genome reduction is a hallmark of symbiotic genomes, and the rate and patterns of gene loss associated with this process have been investigated in several different symbiotic systems. However, in long-term host-associated coevolving symbiont clades, the genome size differences between strains are normally quite small and hence patterns of large-scale genome reduction can only be inferred from distant relatives. Here we present the complete genome of a Coxiella-like symbiont from Rhipicephalus turanicus ticks (CRt), and compare it with other genomes from the genus Coxiella in order to investigate the process of genome reduction in a genus consisting of intracellular host-associated bacteria with variable genome sizes. The 1.7-Mb CRt genome is larger than the genomes of most obligate mutualists but has a very low protein-coding content (48.5%) and an extremely high number of identifiable pseudogenes, indicating that it is currently undergoing genome reduction. Analysis of encoded functions suggests that CRt is an obligate tick mutualist, as indicated by the possible provisioning of the tick with biotin (B7), riboflavin (B2) and other cofactors, and by the loss of most genes involved in host cell interactions, such as secretion systems. Comparative analyses between CRt and the 2.5 times smaller genome of Coxiella from the lone star tick Amblyomma americanum (CLEAA) show that many of the same gene functions are lost and suggest that the large size difference might be due to a higher rate of genome evolution in CLEAA generated by the loss of the mismatch repair genes mutSL. Finally, sequence polymorphisms in the CRt population sampled from field collected ticks reveal up to one distinct strain variant per tick, and analyses of mutational patterns within the population suggest that selection might be acting on synonymous sites. The CRt genome is an extreme example of a symbiont genome caught in the act of genome reduction, and the comparison between CLEAA and CRt

  8. The contribution of genomics to the study of Q fever.

    PubMed

    D'Amato, Felicetta; Eldin, Carole; Raoult, Didier

    2016-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii is the etiological agent of Q fever, a worldwide zoonosis that can result in large outbreaks. The birth of genomics and sequencing of C. burnetii strains has revolutionized many fields of study of this infection. Accurate genotyping methods and comparative genomic analysis have enabled description of the diversity of strains around the world and their link with pathogenicity. Genomics has also permitted the development of qPCR tools and axenic culture medium, facilitating the diagnosis of Q fever. Moreover, several pathophysiological mechanisms can now be predicted and therapeutic strategies can be determined thanks to in silico genome analysis. An extensive pan-genomic analysis will allow for a comprehensive view of the clonal diversity of C. burnetii and its link with virulence.

  9. Novel Detection of Coxiella spp., Theileria luwenshuni, and T. ovis Endosymbionts in Deer Keds (Lipoptena fortisetosa)

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Seung-Hun; Kim, Kyoo-Tae; Kwon, Oh-Deog; Ock, Younsung; Kim, Taeil; Choi, Donghag

    2016-01-01

    We describe for the first time the detection of Coxiella-like bacteria (CLB), Theileria luwenshuni, and T. ovis endosymbionts in blood-sucking deer keds. Eight deer keds attached to a Korean water deer were identified as Lipoptena fortisetosa (Diptera: Hippoboscidae) by morphological and genetic analyses. Among the endosymbionts assessed, CLB, Theileria luwenshuni, and T. ovis were identified in L. fortisetosa by PCR and nucleotide sequencing. Based on phylogeny, CLB 16S rRNA sequences were classified into clade B, sharing 99.4% identity with CLB from Haemaphysalis longicornis in South Korea. Although the virulence of CLB to vertebrates is still controversial, several studies have reported clinical symptoms in birds due to CLB infections. The 18S rRNA sequences of T. luwenshuni and T. ovis in this study were 98.8–100% identical to those in GenBank, and all of the obtained sequences of T. ovis and T. luwenshuni in this study were 100% identical to each other, respectively. Although further studies are required to positively confirm L. fortisetosa as a biological vector of these pathogens, strong genetic relationships among sequences from this and previous studies suggest potential transmission among mammalian hosts by ticks and keds. PMID:27244561

  10. Seroprevalence of seven zoonotic pathogens in pregnant women from the Caribbean.

    PubMed

    Wood, Heidi; Drebot, Michael A; Dewailly, Eric; Dillon, Liz; Dimitrova, Kristina; Forde, Martin; Grolla, Allen; Lee, Elise; Loftis, Amanda; Makowski, Kai; Morrison, Karen; Robertson, Lyndon; Krecek, Rosina C

    2014-09-01

    Studies examining the prevalence of zoonotic agents in the Caribbean are very limited. The objective of this study was to examine the seroprevalence of seven zoonotic agents among individuals residing on 10 English-speaking Caribbean countries. Sera from healthy, pregnant women were collected from Antigua-Barbuda, Belize, Bermuda, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent-Grenadines and tested for the presence of IgG antibodies to dengue virus, hepatitis E virus, hantaviruses, leptospiral agents, spotted fever group rickettsiae (SFGR), typhus group rickettsiae (TGR), and Coxiella burnetii (Q fever). The highest seroprevalence values were observed for dengue virus, SFGR, and leptospirosis, although the lowest seroprevalence values were observed for hepatitis E virus, C. burnetii, and TGR. Antibodies to hantaviruses were not detected in any individuals.

  11. Molecular Evidence for a Novel Coxiella from Argas monolakensis (Acari: Argasidae) from Mono Lake, California, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Argasid ticks are vectors of viral and bacterial agents of humans and animals. Recent reports indicate that some ornithophilic argasids harbored rickettsial agents. A Nearctic tick, Argas monolakensis Schwan, Corwin, Brown is ornithophilic and has not previously been examined for rickettsial agents....

  12. Rickettsial pathogens in the tropical rat mite Ornithonyssus bacoti (Acari: Macronyssidae) from Egyptian rats (Rattus spp.).

    PubMed

    Reeves, Will K; Loftis, Amanda D; Szumlas, Daniel E; Abbassy, Magda M; Helmy, Ibrahim M; Hanafi, Hanafi A; Dasch, Gregory A

    2007-01-01

    We collected and tested 616 tropical rat mites (Ornithonyssus bacoti (Hirst)) from rats (Rattus norvegicus (Berkenhout) and R. rattus (Linnaeus)) throughout 14 governorates in Egypt and tested DNA extracts from pools of these mites for Bartonella spp., Coxiella burnetii, and Rickettsia spp. by PCR amplification and sequencing. Three different mite-associated bacterial agents, including one Bartonella and two Rickettsia spp., were detected in eight pools of mites. Further research could demonstrate the vector potential of mites and pathogenicity of these agents to humans or animals.

  13. Evidence of rickettsial disease agents in ticks from Ethiopian cattle*

    PubMed Central

    Philip, Cornelius B.; Hoogstraal, Harry; Reiss-Gutfreund, Ruth; Clifford, Carleton M.

    1966-01-01

    Evidence has recently been accumulating that domestic animals may play an ancillary role in rickettsial zoonoses. In particular, attention has been focused on the activity of Rickettsia prowazekii in Egyptian and Ethiopian livestock and their ticks. An attempt has now been made to confirm previous findings of R. prowazekii in the sera of zebus, sheep and goats in Ethiopia, which brought epidemic typhus into the category of a zoonosis. This attempt was not successful, but tests did indicate that some ticks were infected with R. conori (boutonneuse fever or tick-borne typhus) and Coxiella burneti (Q fever), this being the first evidence for the existence of these agents in Ethiopia. Antibodies against R. conori were found in significant numbers in the sera of sheep and goats from one locality, but Q-fever antibodies were surprisingly rare. PMID:5296996

  14. Smallpox Vaccination Information for Women Who Are Pregnant or Breastfeeding

    MedlinePlus

    ... Clostridium botulinum toxin (botulism) Coxiella burnetii (Q fever) Ebola virus hemorrhagic fever E. coli O157:H7 (Escherichia ... cholerae (cholera) Viral hemorrhagic fevers (filoviruses [e.g., Ebola, Marburg] and arenaviruses [e.g., Lassa, Machupo]) Yersinia ...

  15. Facts about Botulism

    MedlinePlus

    ... Clostridium botulinum toxin (botulism) Coxiella burnetii (Q fever) Ebola virus hemorrhagic fever E. coli O157:H7 (Escherichia ... cholerae (cholera) Viral hemorrhagic fevers (filoviruses [e.g., Ebola, Marburg] and arenaviruses [e.g., Lassa, Machupo]) Yersinia ...

  16. A Study of the Ecology and Epizoology of the Native Fauna of the Great Salt Lake Desert, 1964.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    ARBOVIRUSES, COXIELLA BURNETII, BRUCELLA, RABBITS, MIYAGAWANELLA, FRANCISCELLA TULARENSIS, RICKETTSIA RICKETTSII , VETERINARY MEDICINE, UTAH....DISEASE VECTORS, *ECOLOGY, INFECTIOUS DISEASES, DESERTS, MAMMALS, BIRDS, VIRUS DISEASES, BACTERIA , IMMUNITY, RODENTS, INSECTICIDES, PESTICIDES

  17. A Study of the Ecology and Epizoology of the Native Fauna of the Great Salt Lake Desert, 1965.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    PESTICIDES, ARBOVIRUSES, COXIELLA BURNETII, BRUCELLA, MIYAGAWANELLA, FRANCISCELLA TULARENSIS, RICKETTSIA RICKETTSII , VETERINARY MEDICINE, RODENTICIDES, UTAH....ECOLOGY, INFECTIOUS DISEASES, DISEASE VECTORS, DESERTS, MAMMALS, BIRDS, RODENTS, RABBITS, VIRUS DISEASES, BACTERIA , IMMUNITY, INSECTICIDES

  18. Q fever

    MedlinePlus

    ... bacteria can infect: Sheep Goats Cattle Dogs Cats Birds Rodents Ticks Infected animals shed these bacteria in: ... from becoming chronic. Alternative Names Query fever Images Temperature measurement References Marrie TJ, Raoult D. Coxiella burnetii ( ...

  19. Detection of rickettsioses and Q fever in Sri Lanka.

    PubMed

    Angelakis, Emmanouil; Munasinghe, Aruna; Yaddehige, Iranga; Liyanapathirana, Veranja; Thevanesam, Vasanthi; Bregliano, Anne; Socolovschi, Cristina; Edouard, Sophie; Fournier, Pierre Edouard; Raoult, Didier; Parola, Philippe

    2012-04-01

    Current serological evidence suggests the presence of scrub typhus and spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiosis in Sri Lanka. Our objective was to identify rickettsial agents/Q fever as aetiological causes for patients who were presumed having rickettsioses by the presence of an eschar or a rash. Sera from patients with unknown origin fever from Matara were tested by immunofluorescence for SFG rickettsial antigens, typhus group rickettsiae, Orientia tsutsugamushi, and Coxiella burnetii antigens. Thirteen (7.3%) of the patients presented with a rash, 11 (6.1%) had an inoculation eschar, and 16 patients recalled a tick or flea bite. We found that 25 (14%) patients had scrub typhus, 6 (3%) SFG rickettsioses, 3 (1.6%) acute Q fever, 3 (1.6%) murine typhus, and 3 (1.6%) were infected by Rickettsia felis. In addition to already described scrub and murine typhus, we found that R. felis and C. burnetii infections should be considered in Sri Lanka.

  20. Rickettsial diseases and ectoparasites from military bases in Japan.

    PubMed

    Reeves, Will K; Durden, Lance A; Iwakami, Masahiro; Vince, Kent J; Paul, Robert R

    2015-04-01

    Ectoparasitic arthropods are often vectors of rickettsiosis. We conducted a survey of ectoparasites on U.S. military facilities throughout Japan with the use of specimens submitted by pest control, public health, and veterinary personnel. Over 1,600 individual ectoparasites were collected. Fifteen species were identified, including several significant vectors of human diseases such as scrub typhus and rickettsial spotted fevers. These ectoparasites included Ctenocephalides felis , Haemaphysalis longicornis, Ixodes persulcatus , Leptotrombidium fuji, Leptotrombidium pallidum, and Rhipicephalus sanguineus . Rickettsial agents were detected by PCR and DNA sequencing. These included Bartonella henselae , Bartonella japonica, a novel Bartonella, Coxiella burnetii , an unnamed Coxiella, Ehrlichia canis , Orientia tsutsugamushi , Rickettsia typhi , and "Rickettsia Rf2125"/"Rickettsia cf1and5".

  1. Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... Index Agent Orange Agent Orange Home Facts about Herbicides Veterans' Diseases Birth Defects Benefits Exposure Locations Provider ... Orange Parkinson’s Awareness Month Were you exposed to herbicides during service and have Parkinson’s disease? You may ...

  2. Cell Extract-Containing Medium for Culture of Intracellular Fastidious Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Sudhir; Kowalczewska, Malgorzata; Edouard, Sophie; Eldin, Carole; Perreal, Céline; Weber, Pascal; Azza, Said

    2013-01-01

    The culture of fastidious microorganisms is a critical step in infectious disease studies. As a proof-of-concept experiment, we evaluated an empirical medium containing eukaryotic cell extracts for its ability to support the growth of Coxiella burnetii. Here, we demonstrate the exponential growth of several bacterial strains, including the C. burnetii Nine Mile phase I and phase II strains, and C. burnetii isolates from humans and animals. Low-oxygen-tension conditions and the presence of small hydrophilic molecules and short peptides were critical for facilitating growth. Moreover, bacterial antigenicity was conserved, revealing the potential for this culture medium to be used in diagnostic tests and in the elaboration of vaccines against C. burnetii. We were also able to grow the majority of previously tested intracellular and fastidious bacterial species, including Tropheryma whipplei, Mycobacterium bovis, Leptospira spp., Borrelia spp., and most putative bioterrorism agents. However, we were unable to culture Rickettsia africae and Legionella spp. in this medium. The versatility of this medium should encourage its use as a replacement for the cell-based culture systems currently used for growing several facultative and putative intracellular bacterial species. PMID:23740722

  3. Q fever diagnosis and control in domestic ruminants.

    PubMed

    Roest, H I J; Bossers, A; Rebel, J M J

    2013-01-01

    Q fever is a zoonosis caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii, a highly infectious agent that can survive in the environment. Therefore, Q fever has a major public health impact when outbreaks occur. Small ruminants are identified as the source in the majority of outbreaks in humans. Accurate diagnosis and effective control strategies are necessary to limit the zoonotic and veterinary impact of Q fever. For this, knowledge of the pathogenesis of Q fever and excretion routes of C. burnetii from infected animals is crucial. Abortions as well as normal parturitions in infected small ruminants are the most important excretion routes of C. burnetii. Excretion of C. burnetii via faeces and vaginal mucus has also been suggested. However, contamination of these samples by bacteria present in the environment may influence the results. This hampers the accurate identification of infected animals by these samples; however, the detection of C. burnetii in milk samples seems not to be influenced by environmental contamination. Q fever in animals can be detected by direct (immunohistochemistry and PCR) and indirect (complement fixation test (CFT), enzyme- linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) methods. A combination of both direct and indirect methods is recommended in current protocols to detect Q fever on herd level. For the control of Q fever in domestic animals, vaccination with a phase 1 C. burnetii whole cell inactivated vaccine is reported to be effective in preventing abortion and reducing bacterial shedding, especially after several years of administration. Vaccination might not be effective in already infected animals nor in pregnant animals. Furthermore, the complicated vaccine production process, requiring biosafety level 3 facilities, could hamper vaccine availability. Future challenges include the development of improved, easier to produce Q fever vaccines.

  4. Survey of Infectious Etiologies of Bovine Abortion during Mid- to Late Gestation in Dairy Herds

    PubMed Central

    Barkallah, Mohamed; Slima, Ahlem Ben; Mallek, Zouhir; Gautier, Michel; Greub, Gilbert; Gdoura, Radhouane; Fendri, Imen

    2014-01-01

    Bovine abortion of unknown infectious etiology still remains a major economic problem. Thus, we investigated whether Brucella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp. and Coxiella burnetii are associated with abortion and/or stillbirth in Tunisian dairy cattle. Using a pan-Chlamydiales PCR, we also investigated the role of Chlamydiaceae, Waddlia chondrophila, Parachlamydia acanthamoebae and other members of the Chlamydiales order in this setting. Veterinary samples taken from mid to late-term abortions from twenty dairy herds were tested. From a total of 150 abortion cases collected, infectious agents were detected by PCR in 73 (48.66%) cases, 13 (8.66%) of which represented co-infections with two infectious agents. Detected pathogens include Brucella spp (31.3%), Chlamydiaceae (4.66%), Waddlia chondrophila (8%), Parachlamydia acanthamoebae (5.33%), Listeria monocytogenes (4.66%) and Salmonella spp. (3.33%). In contrast, Campylobacter spp. and Coxiella burnetii DNA were not detected among the investigated veterinary samples. This demonstrates that different bacterial agents may cause bovine abortion in Tunisia. This is the first report suggesting the role of Parachlamydia acanthamoebae in bovine abortion in Africa. Further studies with a larger number of samples are necessary to confirm whether this emerging pathogen is directly linked to abortion in cattle. PMID:24662769

  5. Antibiotic Agents

    MedlinePlus

    ... producing ). Examples of this type are the alcohols, chlorine, peroxides, and aldehydes. The second group consists mostly ... viruses have some kind of antibacterial agent. Alcohols, chlorine and peroxides have been used for many decades ...

  6. Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... Z) Hepatitis HIV Mental Health Mental Health Home Suicide Prevention Substance Abuse Military Sexual Trauma PTSD Research ( ... eligible Veterans a free Agent Orange Registry health exam for possible long-term health problems related to ...

  7. Sunscreening Agents

    PubMed Central

    Martis, Jacintha; Shobha, V; Sham Shinde, Rutuja; Bangera, Sudhakar; Krishnankutty, Binny; Bellary, Shantala; Varughese, Sunoj; Rao, Prabhakar; Naveen Kumar, B.R.

    2013-01-01

    The increasing incidence of skin cancers and photodamaging effects caused by ultraviolet radiation has increased the use of sunscreening agents, which have shown beneficial effects in reducing the symptoms and reoccurrence of these problems. Many sunscreen compounds are in use, but their safety and efficacy are still in question. Efficacy is measured through indices, such as sun protection factor, persistent pigment darkening protection factor, and COLIPA guidelines. The United States Food and Drug Administration and European Union have incorporated changes in their guidelines to help consumers select products based on their sun protection factor and protection against ultraviolet radiation, whereas the Indian regulatory agency has not yet issued any special guidance on sunscreening agents, as they are classified under cosmetics. In this article, the authors discuss the pharmacological actions of sunscreening agents as well as the available formulations, their benefits, possible health hazards, safety, challenges, and proper application technique. New technologies and scope for the development of sunscreening agents are also discussed as well as the role of the physician in patient education about the use of these agents. PMID:23320122

  8. Application of a Broad-Range Resequencing Array for Detection of Pathogens in Desert Dust Samples from Kuwait and Iraq ▿

    PubMed Central

    Leski, Tomasz A.; Malanoski, Anthony P.; Gregory, Michael J.; Lin, Baochuan; Stenger, David A.

    2011-01-01

    A significant percentage of the human population is exposed to high levels of naturally occurring airborne dusts. Although the link between airborne particulate inhalation and a variety of respiratory diseases has long been established, little is known about the pathogenic role of the microbial component of the dust. In this study, we applied highly multiplexed PCR and a high-density resequencing microarray (RPM-TEI version 1.0) to screen samples of fine topsoil particles and airborne dust collected in 19 locations in Iraq and Kuwait for the presence of a broad range of human pathogens. The results indicated the presence of potential human pathogens, including Mycobacterium, Brucella, Coxiella burnetii, Clostridium perfringens, and Bacillus. The presence of Coxiella burnetii, a highly infectious potential biowarfare agent, was confirmed and detected in additional samples by use of a more sensitive technique (real-time PCR), indicating a high prevalence of this organism in the analyzed samples. The detection of potentially viable pathogens in breathable dusts from arid regions of Iraq and Kuwait underscores the importance of further study of these environments. PMID:21571877

  9. Antidiabetic Agents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plummer, Nancy; Michael, Nancy, Ed.

    This module on antidiabetic agents is intended for use in inservice or continuing education programs for persons who administer medications in long-term care facilities. Instructor information, including teaching suggestions, and a listing of recommended audiovisual materials and their sources appear first. The module goal and objectives are then…

  10. Unusual Bacterial Infections and the Pleura

    PubMed Central

    Kummerfeldt, Carlos E; Huggins, John T; Sahn, Steven A

    2012-01-01

    Rickettsiosis, Q fever, tularemia, and anthrax are all bacterial diseases that can affect the pleura. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) and Mediterranean Spotted Fever (MSF) are caused by Rickettsia rickettsii and Rickettsia conorii, respectively. Pleural fluid from a patient with MSF had a neutrophil-predominant exudate. Coxiella burnetii is the causative agent of Q fever. Of the two cases described in the literature, one was an exudate with a marked eosinophilia while the other case was a transudate due to a constrictive pericarditis. Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of tularemia. Pleural fluid from three tularemia patients showed a lymphocyte predominant exudate. Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax. Cases of inhalational anthrax from a recent bioterrorist attack evidenced the presence of a serosanguineous exudative pleural effusion. These four bacterial microorganisms should be suspected in patients presenting with a clinical history, exposure to known risk factors and an unexplained pleural effusion. PMID:22977649

  11. KGB agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaina, Alex

    A short story is reported in which the activity of Communist Party of the USSR and secret KGB agents, which were payed by the State, in view of controlling of the conscience of population. The story reffers to the Physics Department of the Moscow University, Planing Institute of the Gosplan of Moldavian S.S.R. and Chishinau Technical University (actually: Technical University of Moldova), where the author has worked during Soviet times. Almost every 6-th citizen in the USSR was engaged in this activity, while actually the former communists rule in the Republic of Moldova.

  12. A transversal study on antibodies against selected pathogens in dromedary camels in the Canary Islands, Spain.

    PubMed

    Mentaberre, Gregorio; Gutiérrez, Carlos; Rodríguez, Noé F; Joseph, Sunitha; González-Barrio, David; Cabezón, Oscar; de la Fuente, José; Gortazar, Christian; Boadella, Mariana

    2013-12-27

    The Canary Islands contain the most important dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius) population in the European Union and are the main export point of dromedaries to continental Europe and Latin America. We investigated the presence of antibodies against relevant disease agents in 100 Canarian camel sera. Selected blood samples of the same animals were also tested by PCR. Sera were tested for antibodies against Bluetongue virus (BTV; 0%), Bovine Viral Diarrhoea virus (BVDV; 0%), Camelpox virus (CPV; 8% by serum neutralization, 16% by ELISA), Peste des Petits Ruminants virus (PPRV, 0%), Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV; 0%) and West Nile Fever virus (WNV; 3%), the bacterial pathogens Anaplasma sp. (3%), Brucella sp. (1%), Coxiella burnetii (19%), Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP; 22%), Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC; 10%) and Rickettsia sp. (83%), and the parasites Toxoplasma gondii (36%) and Neospora caninum (86%). The most remarkable findings were the detection of antibodies against CPV and the high antibody prevalence against C. burnetii, Rickettsia sp., T. gondii and N. caninum. By PCR, we found no C. burnetii, N. caninum and Anaplasma sp. DNA in the tested samples. However, Rickettsia sp. DNA was detected in six antibody positive tested samples. These results should be taken into consideration in order to implement adequate control measures and avoid a potential dissemination of infections to other territories.

  13. A seroepidemiological study of the risks of Q fever infection in Japanese veterinarians.

    PubMed

    Abe, T; Yamaki, K; Hayakawa, T; Fukuda, H; Ito, Y; Kume, H; Komiya, T; Ishihara, K; Hirai, K

    2001-01-01

    The causative agent of Q fever, a widespread zoonotic disease, is the bacteria Coxiella burnetii. Although cases of Q fever have been documented in countries throughout the world, the prevalence of the disease in Japan is not yet known. Q fever is a demonstrated occupational hazard to those employed in zoological professions, but the risk to Japanese veterinarians has not yet been quantified. In order to evaluate the risk to Japanese veterinarians, we performed a serological survey using serum samples from 267 veterinarians. Two control groups consisting of 352 medical workers and 2003 healthy blood donors were also evaluated. The antibody titers of the serum samples were measured by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) using phase II C. burnetii Nine Mile strain as the antigen. The positive rate of IgG antibody was 13.5% in the veterinarians, which was higher than in the blood donors (3.6%, p < 0.001) and medical workers (5.1 %,p < 0.001). These findings suggest that Japanese veterinarians have a higher risk of infection by C. burnetii than other members of the Japanese population. An interesting finding of this study was that positive rates of IgG and IgM antibodies in the blood donor group were higher in younger individuals. The IgM antibody positive rate was the highest in females under 30 years old.

  14. Health care agents

    MedlinePlus

    Durable power of attorney for health care; Health care proxy; End-of-life - health care agent; Life support treatment - ... Respirator - health care agent; Ventilator - health care agent; Power of attorney - health care agent; POA - health care ...

  15. Detecting agents.

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Susan C

    2003-01-01

    This paper reviews a recent set of behavioural studies that examine the scope and nature of the representational system underlying theory-of-mind development. Studies with typically developing infants, adults and children with autism all converge on the claim that there is a specialized input system that uses not only morphological cues, but also behavioural cues to categorize novel objects as agents. Evidence is reviewed in which 12- to 15-month-old infants treat certain non-human objects as if they have perceptual/attentional abilities, communicative abilities and goal-directed behaviour. They will follow the attentional orientation of an amorphously shaped novel object if it interacts contingently with them or with another person. They also seem to use a novel object's environmentally directed behaviour to determine its perceptual/attentional orientation and object-oriented goals. Results from adults and children with autism are strikingly similar, despite adults' contradictory beliefs about the objects in question and the failure of children with autism to ultimately develop more advanced theory-of-mind reasoning. The implications for a general theory-of-mind development are discussed. PMID:12689380

  16. Evaluation of specificity of indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for diagnosis of human Q fever.

    PubMed Central

    Uhaa, I J; Fishbein, D B; Olson, J G; Rives, C C; Waag, D M; Williams, J C

    1994-01-01

    Ninety-five acute- and convalescent-phase serum specimens from 48 patients suspected of having rickettsial or Legionella infections were assayed for antibodies to Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever. To evaluate the specificity of the indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for human Q fever, we compared the ELISA results with those of the indirect immunofluorescence antibody (IFA) test. The ELISA data were analyzed by two different criteria for a positive test. The first criterion for positive results by ELISA was based upon diagnostic titers established in a study of 150 subjects who had no demonstrable cellular or humoral immune responses to C. burnetii phase I or phase II whole cells or phase I lipopolysaccharide. The second criterion was based upon diagnostic antibody titers in a study of 51 subjects who had been diagnosed as having clinical Q fever and had fourfold or greater rises in humoral immune responses to C. burnetii phase I and phase II whole-cell antigens. A comparison of the ELISA and IFA test results of the 95 serum specimens indicated excellent agreement between the tests (Kappa = 92.9%; P < 0.05). None of the 38 patients whose etiologies were confirmed serologically as Legionnaires' disease or rickettsial diseases other than Q fever were classified as positive for C. burnetii by the ELISA. Only one patient identified by the IFA test as having Q fever was not scored positive by the ELISA. These results suggest that the ELISA is useful for epidemiologic screening and as a diagnostic test for human Q fever. PMID:8077404

  17. Preparing Change Agents for Change Agent Roles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sedlacek, James R.

    Seventy-seven Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking agricultural change agents from developing Central and South American countries responded to a questionnaire which sought perceptions of the roles in which the change agents felt they were involved and the roles for which they felt they were being trained. The agents were participating in training…

  18. Development of Liposomal Ciprofloxacin to Treat Lung Infections

    PubMed Central

    Cipolla, David; Blanchard, Jim; Gonda, Igor

    2016-01-01

    Except for management of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) in cystic fibrosis, there are no approved inhaled antibiotic treatments for any other diseases or for infections from other pathogenic microorganisms such as tuberculosis, non-tuberculous mycobacteria, fungal infections or potential inhaled biowarfare agents including Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis and Coxiella burnetii (which cause pneumonic tularemia, plague and Q fever, respectively). Delivery of an antibiotic formulation via the inhalation route has the potential to provide high concentrations at the site of infection with reduced systemic exposure to limit side effects. A liposomal formulation may improve tolerability, increase compliance by reducing the dosing frequency, and enhance penetration of biofilms and treatment of intracellular infections. Two liposomal ciprofloxacin formulations (Lipoquin® and Pulmaquin®) that are in development by Aradigm Corporation are described here. PMID:26938551

  19. Biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Pohanka, Miroslav; Kuca, Kamil

    2010-01-01

    Biological warfare agents are a group of pathogens and toxins of biological origin that can be potentially misused for military or criminal purposes. The present review attempts to summarize necessary knowledge about biological warfare agents. The historical aspects, examples of applications of these agents such as anthrax letters, biological weapons impact, a summary of biological warfare agents and epidemiology of infections are described. The last section tries to estimate future trends in research on biological warfare agents.

  20. Spacecraft sanitation agent development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    The development of an effective sanitizing agent that is compatible with the spacecraft environment and the human occupant is discussed. Experimental results show that two sanitation agents must be used to satisfy mission requirements: one agent for personal hygiene and one for equipment maintenance. It was also recommended that a water rinse be used with the agents for best results, and that consideration be given to using the agents pressure packed or in aerosol formulations.

  1. Profiling the Humoral Immune Response of Acute and Chronic Q Fever by Protein Microarray*

    PubMed Central

    Vigil, Adam; Chen, Chen; Jain, Aarti; Nakajima-Sasaki, Rie; Jasinskas, Algimantas; Pablo, Jozelyn; Hendrix, Laura R.; Samuel, James E.; Felgner, Philip L.

    2011-01-01

    Antigen profiling using comprehensive protein microarrays is a powerful tool for characterizing the humoral immune response to infectious pathogens. Coxiella burnetii is a CDC category B bioterrorist infectious agent with worldwide distribution. In order to assess the antibody repertoire of acute and chronic Q fever patients we have constructed a protein microarray containing 93% of the proteome of Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever. Here we report the profile of the IgG and IgM seroreactivity in 25 acute Q fever patients in longitudinal samples. We found that both early and late time points of infection have a very consistent repertoire of IgM and IgG response, with a limited number of proteins undergoing increasing or decreasing seroreactivity. We also probed a large collection of acute and chronic Q fever patient samples and identified serological markers that can differentiate between the two disease states. In this comparative analysis we confirmed the identity of numerous IgG biomarkers of acute infection, identified novel IgG biomarkers for acute and chronic infections, and profiled for the first time the IgM antibody repertoire for both acute and chronic Q fever. Using these results we were able to devise a test that can distinguish acute from chronic Q fever. These results also provide a unique perspective on isotype switch and demonstrate the utility of protein microarrays for simultaneously examining the dynamic humoral immune response against thousands of proteins from a large number of patients. The results presented here identify novel seroreactive antigens for the development of recombinant protein-based diagnostics and subunit vaccines, and provide insight into the development of the antibody response. PMID:21817167

  2. Chemical warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Kuca, Kamil; Pohanka, Miroslav

    2010-01-01

    Chemical warfare agents are compounds of different chemical structures. Simple molecules such as chlorine as well as complex structures such as ricin belong to this group. Nerve agents, vesicants, incapacitating agents, blood agents, lung-damaging agents, riot-control agents and several toxins are among chemical warfare agents. Although the use of these compounds is strictly prohibited, the possible misuse by terrorist groups is a reality nowadays. Owing to this fact, knowledge of the basic properties of these substances is of a high importance. This chapter briefly introduces the separate groups of chemical warfare agents together with their members and the potential therapy that should be applied in case someone is intoxicated by these agents.

  3. Delta agent (Hepatitis D)

    MedlinePlus

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000216.htm Delta agent (Hepatitis D) To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Delta agent is a type of virus called hepatitis ...

  4. 42 CFR 73.3 - HHS select agents and toxins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ..., paralytic alpha conotoxins containing the following amino acid sequence X1CCX2PACGX3X4X5X6CX7) Coxiella... neurotoxins; 100 mg of Conotoxins (Short, paralytic alpha conotoxins containing the following amino acid...) Genetic Elements, Recombinant and/or Synthetic Nucleic Acids, and Recombinant and/or Synthetic...

  5. 42 CFR 73.3 - HHS select agents and toxins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ..., paralytic alpha conotoxins containing the following amino acid sequence X1CCX2PACGX3X4X5X6CX7) Coxiella... neurotoxins; 100 mg of Conotoxins (Short, paralytic alpha conotoxins containing the following amino acid...) Genetic Elements, Recombinant and/or Synthetic Nucleic Acids, and Recombinant and/or Synthetic...

  6. Animal Capture Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-01-01

    agents and delivery systems reviewed . Questionnaires were sent to 137 Air Force bases to obtain information about the chemical agents and delivery systems...used by animal control personnel. A literature review included chemical agents, delivery methods, toxicity information and emergency procedures from...34-like agent. Users should familiarize themselves with catatonia in general and particularly that its successful use as an immobilizer doesn’t necessarily

  7. Hydroxypyridonate chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Raymond, Kenneth N.; Scarrow, Robert C.; White, David L.

    1987-01-01

    Chelating agents having 1-hydroxy-2-pyridinone (HOPO) and related moieties incorporated within their structures, including polydentate HOPO-substituted polyamines such as spermidine and spermine, and HOPO-substituted desferrioxamine. The chelating agents are useful in selectively removing certain cations from solution, and are particularly useful as ferric ion and actinide chelators. Novel syntheses of the chelating agents are provided.

  8. Intelligent Agents: A Primer.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yu, Edmund; Feldman, Susan

    1999-01-01

    Provides an in-depth introduction to the various technologies that are bringing intelligent agents into the forefront of information technology, explaining how such agents work, the standards involved, and how agent-based applications can be developed. (Author/AEF)

  9. Standard Agent Framework 1

    SciTech Connect

    Goldsmith, Steven Y.

    1999-04-06

    The Standard Agent framework provides an extensible object-oriented development environment suitable for use in both research and applications projects. The SAF provides a means for constructing and customizing multi-agent systems through specialization of standard base classes (architecture-driven framework) and by composition of component classes (data driven framework). The standard agent system is implemented as an extensible object-centerd framework. Four concrete base classes are developed: (1) Standard Agency; (2) Standard Agent; (3) Human Factor, and (4) Resources. The object-centered framework developed and utilized provides the best comprimise between generality and flexibility available in agent development systems today.

  10. Agricultural Bioterrorism What Challenges and Actions Remain

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-03-10

    Midwest annually produces more than 80 million cattle, hogs, sheep, goats and bison and is more economically exposed to the threat of agroterrorism...pestis (plaque), Francisella tularensis (tularemia), Coxiella burnetii (Q fever), Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Brucella suis ( brucellosis ), and

  11. Acute Q Fever and Scrub Typhus, Southern Taiwan

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Chung-Hsu; Chen, Yen-Hsu; Lin, Jiun-Nong; Chang, Lin-Li; Chen, Wei-Fang

    2009-01-01

    Acute Q fever and scrub typhus are zoonoses endemic to southern Taiwan. Among the 137 patients with acute Q fever (89, 65.0%) or scrub typhus (43, 31.4%), we identified 5 patients (3.6%) who were co-infected with Coxiella burnetii and Orientia tsutsugamushi. PMID:19861068

  12. Cross-species complementation of the indispensable Escherichia coli era gene highlights amino acid regions essential for activity.

    PubMed Central

    Pillutla, R C; Sharer, J D; Gulati, P S; Wu, E; Yamashita, Y; Lerner, C G; Inouye, M; March, P E

    1995-01-01

    Era is an essential GTP binding protein in Escherichia coli. Two homologs of this protein, Sgp from Streptococcus mutans and Era from Coxiella burnetii, can substitute for the essential function of Era in E. coli. Site-specific and randomly generated Era mutants which may indicate regions of the protein that are of functional importance are described. PMID:7721709

  13. Practical method for extraction of PCR-quality DNA from environmental soil samples.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Kelly A; Kersh, Gilbert J; Massung, Robert F

    2010-07-01

    Methods for the extraction of PCR-quality DNA from environmental soil samples by using pairs of commercially available kits were evaluated. Coxiella burnetii DNA was detected in spiked soil samples at <1,000 genome equivalents per gram of soil and in 12 (16.4%) of 73 environmental soil samples.

  14. Catalytic Enzyme-Based Methods for Water Treatment and Water Distribution System Decontamination. 1. Literature Survey

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-06-01

    bacteria , rickettsiae , protozoa and viruses. Some would be potentially lethal; others would be more incapacitating in nature. The following Table 164 is...Coxiella burnetii Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus Rickettsia prowazekii Viruses causing hantavirus pulmonary Rickettsia rickettsii syndrome...the first to report on the DFPases in microorganisms. Of the bacteria tested, the highest activity was observed with the Gram-negative Proteus

  15. The Medical NBC Battlebook

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-05-01

    often the only treatment for viral infections. (3) Rickettsiae . Rickettsiae are microorganisms that have characteristics common to both bacteria and...Unknown Plague Yersinia pestis Bacteria Probable Q fever Coxiella burnetii Rickettsia Yes Epidemic Typhus Rickettsia prowazekii Rickettsia Probable... rickettsii Rickettsia Unknown Argentine hemorrhagic fever (Junin) Tacaribe Virus complex Arenavirus Virus Probable Bolivian hemorrhagic fever (Muchupo

  16. 77 FR 39162 - Implementation of the Understandings Reached at the 2011 Australia Group (AG) Plenary Meeting and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-02

    ... (Rickettsiae), since these organisms are more appropriately identified as bacteria. Coxiella burnetii and.... Bartonella Quintana (Rochalimea Quintana, Rickettsia Quintana) and Rickettsia rickettsii, which were..., 1C353, 2B350 and 2B352. Except for the removal of Bartonella Quintana and Rickettsia rickettsii...

  17. Intelligent Adversary Risk Analysis: A Bioterrorism Risk Management Model (PREPRINT)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-02-20

    pseudomallei Emerging infectious disease threats such as Nipah virus and additional hantaviruses . • Coxiella burnetii (Q fever) • Clostridium...Waterborne Pathogens • Lassa Fever • Other Rickettsias • Bacteria • Bunyaviruses • Rabies • Diarrheagenic E.coli • Hantaviruses • Prions* • Pathogenic

  18. Resolution of Q Fever–Associated Cryoglobulinemia With Anti-CD20 Monoclonal Antibody Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Hawkins, Kellie L.; Janoff, Edward N.; Janson, Robert W.

    2017-01-01

    Immunologic phenomena can complicate chronic infections with Coxiella burnetii (Q fever), including immune complex deposition causing vasculitis, neuropathy, and glomerulonephritis. We describe the case of a man with Q fever endocarditis, mixed cryoglobulinemia, and life-threatening vasculitis driven by immune complex deposition who was successfully treated with B cell depleting therapy (rituximab). PMID:28203574

  19. 38 CFR 3.317 - Compensation for certain disabilities due to undiagnosed illnesses.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... jejuni. (iii) Coxiella burnetii (Q fever). (iv) Malaria. (v) Mycobacterium tuberculosis. (vi) Nontyphoid... tuberculosis to have become manifest to a degree of 10 percent or more. (ii) For purposes of this paragraph (c... Diseases A B Disease Brucellosis • Arthritis. • Cardiovascular, nervous, and respiratory system...

  20. 38 CFR 3.317 - Compensation for certain disabilities occurring in Persian Gulf veterans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    .... (iii) Coxiella burnetii (Q fever). (iv) Malaria. (v) Mycobacterium tuberculosis. (vi) Nontyphoid... tuberculosis to have become manifest to a degree of 10 percent or more. (ii) For purposes of this paragraph (c... Diseases A B Disease Brucellosis • Arthritis. • Cardiovascular, nervous, and respiratory system...

  1. 38 CFR 3.317 - Compensation for certain disabilities occurring in Persian Gulf veterans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    .... (iii) Coxiella burnetii (Q fever). (iv) Malaria. (v) Mycobacterium tuberculosis. (vi) Nontyphoid... tuberculosis to have become manifest to a degree of 10 percent or more. (ii) For purposes of this paragraph (c... Diseases A B Disease Brucellosis • Arthritis. • Cardiovascular, nervous, and respiratory system...

  2. 38 CFR 3.317 - Compensation for certain disabilities due to undiagnosed illnesses.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    .... (iii) Coxiella burnetii (Q fever). (iv) Malaria. (v) Mycobacterium tuberculosis. (vi) Nontyphoid... tuberculosis to have become manifest to a degree of 10 percent or more. (ii) For purposes of this paragraph (c... Diseases A B Disease Brucellosis • Arthritis. • Cardiovascular, nervous, and respiratory system...

  3. Multiple infections of rodents with zoonotic pathogens in Austria.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Sabrina; Essbauer, Sandra S; Mayer-Scholl, Anne; Poppert, Sven; Schmidt-Chanasit, Jonas; Klempa, Boris; Henning, Klaus; Schares, Gereon; Groschup, Martin H; Spitzenberger, Friederike; Richter, Dania; Heckel, Gerald; Ulrich, Rainer G

    2014-07-01

    Rodents are important reservoirs for a large number of zoonotic pathogens. We examined the occurrence of 11 viral, bacterial, and parasitic agents in rodent populations in Austria, including three different hantaviruses, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, orthopox virus, Leptospira spp., Borrelia spp., Rickettsia spp., Bartonella spp., Coxiella burnetii, and Toxoplasma gondii. In 2008, 110 rodents of four species (40 Clethrionomys glareolus, 29 Apodemus flavicollis, 26 Apodemus sylvaticus, and 15 Microtus arvalis) were trapped at two rural sites in Lower Austria. Chest cavity fluid and samples of lung, spleen, kidney, liver, brain, and ear pinna skin were collected. We screened selected tissue samples for hantaviruses, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, orthopox viruses, Leptospira, Borrelia, Rickettsia, Bartonella spp., C. burnetii, and T. gondii by RT-PCR/PCR and detected nucleic acids of Tula hantavirus, Leptospira spp., Borrelia afzelii, Rickettsia spp., and different Bartonella species. Serological investigations were performed for hantaviruses, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, orthopox viruses, and Rickettsia spp. Here, Dobrava-Belgrade hantavirus-, Tula hantavirus-, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus-, orthopox virus-, and rickettsia-specific antibodies were demonstrated. Puumala hantavirus, C. burnetii, and T. gondii were neither detected by RT-PCR/PCR nor by serological methods. In addition, multiple infections with up to three pathogens were shown in nine animals of three rodent species from different trapping sites. In conclusion, these results show that rodents in Austria may host multiple zoonotic pathogens. Our observation raises important questions regarding the interactions of different pathogens in the host, the countermeasures of the host's immune system, the impact of the host-pathogen interaction on the fitness of the host, and the spread of infectious agents among wild rodents and from those to other animals or humans.

  4. Multiple Infections of Rodents with Zoonotic Pathogens in Austria

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Sabrina; Essbauer, Sandra S.; Mayer-Scholl, Anne; Poppert, Sven; Schmidt-Chanasit, Jonas; Klempa, Boris; Henning, Klaus; Schares, Gereon; Groschup, Martin H.; Spitzenberger, Friederike; Richter, Dania; Heckel, Gerald

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Rodents are important reservoirs for a large number of zoonotic pathogens. We examined the occurrence of 11 viral, bacterial, and parasitic agents in rodent populations in Austria, including three different hantaviruses, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, orthopox virus, Leptospira spp., Borrelia spp., Rickettsia spp., Bartonella spp., Coxiella burnetii, and Toxoplasma gondii. In 2008, 110 rodents of four species (40 Clethrionomys glareolus, 29 Apodemus flavicollis, 26 Apodemus sylvaticus, and 15 Microtus arvalis) were trapped at two rural sites in Lower Austria. Chest cavity fluid and samples of lung, spleen, kidney, liver, brain, and ear pinna skin were collected. We screened selected tissue samples for hantaviruses, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, orthopox viruses, Leptospira, Borrelia, Rickettsia, Bartonella spp., C. burnetii, and T. gondii by RT-PCR/PCR and detected nucleic acids of Tula hantavirus, Leptospira spp., Borrelia afzelii, Rickettsia spp., and different Bartonella species. Serological investigations were performed for hantaviruses, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, orthopox viruses, and Rickettsia spp. Here, Dobrava-Belgrade hantavirus-, Tula hantavirus-, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus-, orthopox virus-, and rickettsia-specific antibodies were demonstrated. Puumala hantavirus, C. burnetii, and T. gondii were neither detected by RT-PCR/PCR nor by serological methods. In addition, multiple infections with up to three pathogens were shown in nine animals of three rodent species from different trapping sites. In conclusion, these results show that rodents in Austria may host multiple zoonotic pathogens. Our observation raises important questions regarding the interactions of different pathogens in the host, the countermeasures of the host's immune system, the impact of the host–pathogen interaction on the fitness of the host, and the spread of infectious agents among wild rodents and from those to other animals or humans. PMID

  5. Moral actor, selfish agent.

    PubMed

    Frimer, Jeremy A; Schaefer, Nicola K; Oakes, Harrison

    2014-05-01

    People are motivated to behave selfishly while appearing moral. This tension gives rise to 2 divergently motivated selves. The actor-the watched self-tends to be moral; the agent-the self as executor-tends to be selfish. Three studies present direct evidence of the actor's and agent's distinct motives. To recruit the self-as-actor, we asked people to rate the importance of various goals. To recruit the self-as-agent, we asked people to describe their goals verbally. In Study 1, actors claimed their goals were equally about helping the self and others (viz., moral); agents claimed their goals were primarily about helping the self (viz., selfish). This disparity was evident in both individualist and collectivist cultures, attesting to the universality of the selfish agent. Study 2 compared actors' and agents' motives to those of people role-playing highly prosocial or selfish exemplars. In content (Study 2a) and in the impressions they made on an outside observer (Study 2b), actors' motives were similar to those of the prosocial role-players, whereas agents' motives were similar to those of the selfish role-players. Study 3 accounted for the difference between the actor and agent: Participants claimed that their agent's motives were the more realistic and that their actor's motives were the more idealistic. The selfish agent/moral actor duality may account for why implicit and explicit measures of the same construct diverge, and why feeling watched brings out the better angels of human nature.

  6. Molecular evidence of vector-borne pathogens in dogs and cats and their ectoparasites in Algiers, Algeria.

    PubMed

    Bessas, Amina; Leulmi, Hamza; Bitam, Idir; Zaidi, Sara; Ait-Oudhia, Khatima; Raoult, Didier; Parola, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    In Algeria, only limited information is currently available on the prevalence of emergent canine and feline vector-borne diseases. The aim of the present work was to detect by qPCR vector-associated bacteria in stray dogs and cats and their ectoparasites from Algiers. 18/117 (15.38%) dogs and 2/107 (1.87%) cats were positive for at least one vector-borne agent. Coxiella burnetii and Bartonella henselae were identified in 1/117 (0.85%) dog individually. Ehrlichia canis DNA was detected in 17/117 (14.52%) dogs. 1/107 (0.93%) cat was positive to C. burnetii and another 1/107 (0.93%) to B. henselae. DNA of Rickettsia massiliae, Rickettsia conorii and E. canis was detected in Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Cat fleas were infected with Rickettsia felis, B. henselae and Bartonella clarridgeiae. B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii was identified in Xenopsylla cheopis collected from dogs. The findings of this study indicate that dogs and cats from Algeria are exposed to multiple tick and flea-borne pathogens.

  7. Zoonotic infections in communities of the James Bay Cree territory: An overview of seroprevalence.

    PubMed

    Sampasa-Kanyinga, Hugues; Lévesque, Benoit; Anassour-Laouan-Sidi, Elhadji; Côté, Suzanne; Serhir, Bouchra; Ward, Brian J; Libman, Michael D; Drebot, Michael A; Makowski, Kai; Dimitrova, Kristina; Ndao, Momar; Dewailly, Eric

    2013-01-01

    The Cree communities of James Bay are at risk for contracting infectious diseases transmitted by wildlife. Data from serological testing for a range of zoonotic infections performed in the general population (six communities), or trappers and their spouses (one community), were abstracted from four population-based studies conducted in Cree territory (Quebec) between 2005 and 2009. Evidence of exposure to Trichinella species, Toxoplasma gondii, Toxocara canis, Echinococcus granulosus, Leptospira species, Coxiella burnetii and Francisella tularensis was verified in all communities, whereas antibodies against Sin Nombre virus and California serogroup viruses (Jamestown Canyon and snowshoe hare viruses) were evaluated in three and six communities, respectively. Seroprevalence varied widely among communities: snowshoe hare virus (1% to 42%), F tularensis (14% to 37%), Leptospira species (10% to 27%), Jamestown Canyon virus (9% to 24%), C burnetii (0% to 18%), T gondii (4% to 12%), T canis (0% to 10%), E granulosus (0% to 4%) and Trichinella species (0% to 1%). No subject had serological evidence of Sin Nombre virus exposure. These data suggest that large proportions of the Cree population have been exposed to at least one of the targeted zoonotic agents. The Cree population, particularly those most heavily exposed to fauna, as well as the medical staff living in these regions, should be aware of these diseases. Greater awareness would not only help to decrease exposures but would also increase the chance of appropriate diagnostic testing.

  8. Host-Directed Antimicrobial Drugs with Broad-Spectrum Efficacy against Intracellular Bacterial Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Czyż, Daniel M.; Potluri, Lakshmi-Prasad; Jain-Gupta, Neeta; Riley, Sean P.; Martinez, Juan J.; Steck, Theodore L.; Crosson, Sean; Gabay, Joëlle E.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT We sought a new approach to treating infections by intracellular bacteria, namely, by altering host cell functions that support their growth. We screened a library of 640 Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved compounds for agents that render THP-1 cells resistant to infection by four intracellular pathogens. We identified numerous drugs that are not antibiotics but were highly effective in inhibiting intracellular bacterial growth with limited toxicity to host cells. These compounds are likely to target three kinds of host functions: (i) G protein-coupled receptors, (ii) intracellular calcium signals, and (iii) membrane cholesterol distribution. The compounds that targeted G protein receptor signaling and calcium fluxes broadly inhibited Coxiella burnetii, Legionella pneumophila, Brucella abortus, and Rickettsia conorii, while those directed against cholesterol traffic strongly attenuated the intracellular growth of C. burnetii and L. pneumophila. These pathways probably support intracellular pathogen growth so that drugs that perturb them may be therapeutic candidates. Combining host- and pathogen-directed treatments is a strategy to decrease the emergence of drug-resistant intracellular bacterial pathogens. PMID:25073644

  9. Agent Architectures for Compliance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgemeestre, Brigitte; Hulstijn, Joris; Tan, Yao-Hua

    A Normative Multi-Agent System consists of autonomous agents who must comply with social norms. Different kinds of norms make different assumptions about the cognitive architecture of the agents. For example, a principle-based norm assumes that agents can reflect upon the consequences of their actions; a rule-based formulation only assumes that agents can avoid violations. In this paper we present several cognitive agent architectures for self-monitoring and compliance. We show how different assumptions about the cognitive architecture lead to different information needs when assessing compliance. The approach is validated with a case study of horizontal monitoring, an approach to corporate tax auditing recently introduced by the Dutch Customs and Tax Authority.

  10. Change Agent Survival Guide

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunbar, Folwell L.

    2011-01-01

    Consulting is a rough racket. Only a tarantula hair above IRS agents, meter maids and used car sales people, the profession is a prickly burr for slings and arrows. Throw in education, focus on dysfunctional schools and call oneself a "change agent," and this bad rap all but disappears. Unfortunately, though, consulting/coaching/mentoring in…

  11. Detecting biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Song, Linan; Ahn, Soohyoun; Walt, David R

    2005-10-01

    We developed a fiber-optic, microsphere-based, high-density array composed of 18 species-specific probe microsensors to identify biological warfare agents. We simultaneously identified multiple biological warfare agents in environmental samples by looking at specific probe responses after hybridization and response patterns of the multiplexed array.

  12. Travel Agent Course Outline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    British Columbia Dept. of Education, Victoria.

    Written for college entry-level travel agent training courses, this course outline can also be used for inservice training programs offered by travel agencies. The outline provides information on the work of a travel agent and gives clear statements on what learners must be able to do by the end of their training. Material is divided into eight…

  13. Detecting Biological Warfare Agents

    PubMed Central

    Song, Linan; Ahn, Soohyoun

    2005-01-01

    We developed a fiber-optic, microsphere-based, high-density array composed of 18 species-specific probe microsensors to identify biological warfare agents. We simultaneously identified multiple biological warfare agents in environmental samples by looking at specific probe responses after hybridization and response patterns of the multiplexed array. PMID:16318712

  14. How do agents represent?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, Alex

    Representation is inherent to the concept of an agent, but its importance in complex systems has not yet been widely recognised. In this paper I introduce Peirce's theory of signs, which facilitates a definition of representation in general. In summary, representation means that for some agent, a model is used to stand in for another entity in a way that shapes the behaviour of the agent with respect to that entity. Representation in general is then related to the theories of representation that have developed within different disciplines. I compare theories of representation from metaphysics, military theory and systems theory. Additional complications arise in explaining the special case of mental representations, which is the focus of cognitive science. I consider the dominant theory of cognition — that the brain is a representational device — as well as the sceptical anti-representational response. Finally, I argue that representation distinguishes agents from non-representational objects: agents are objects capable of representation.

  15. Biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Thavaselvam, Duraipandian; Vijayaraghavan, Rajagopalan

    2010-07-01

    The recent bioterrorist attacks using anthrax spores have emphasized the need to detect and decontaminate critical facilities in the shortest possible time. There has been a remarkable progress in the detection, protection and decontamination of biological warfare agents as many instrumentation platforms and detection methodologies are developed and commissioned. Even then the threat of biological warfare agents and their use in bioterrorist attacks still remain a leading cause of global concern. Furthermore in the past decade there have been threats due to the emerging new diseases and also the re-emergence of old diseases and development of antimicrobial resistance and spread to new geographical regions. The preparedness against these agents need complete knowledge about the disease, better research and training facilities, diagnostic facilities and improved public health system. This review on the biological warfare agents will provide information on the biological warfare agents, their mode of transmission and spread and also the detection systems available to detect them. In addition the current information on the availability of commercially available and developing technologies against biological warfare agents has also been discussed. The risk that arise due to the use of these agents in warfare or bioterrorism related scenario can be mitigated with the availability of improved detection technologies.

  16. Topical hemostatic agents: a review.

    PubMed

    Palm, Melanie D; Altman, Jeffrey S

    2008-04-01

    Topical hemostatic agents play an important role in both common and specialized dermatologic procedures. These agents can be classified based on their mechanism of action and include physical or mechanical agents, caustic agents, biologic physical agents, and physiologic agents. Some agents induce protein coagulation and precipitation resulting in occlusion of small cutaneous vessels, while others take advantage of latter stages in the coagulation cascade, activating biologic responses to bleeding. Traditional and newer topical hemostatic agents are discussed in this review, and the benefits and costs of each agent will be provided.

  17. Agent oriented programming

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shoham, Yoav

    1994-01-01

    The goal of our research is a methodology for creating robust software in distributed and dynamic environments. The approach taken is to endow software objects with explicit information about one another, to have them interact through a commitment mechanism, and to equip them with a speech-acty communication language. System-level applications include software interoperation and compositionality. A government application of specific interest is an infrastructure for coordination among multiple planners. Daily activity applications include personal software assistants, such as programmable email, scheduling, and new group agents. Research topics include definition of mental state of agents, design of agent languages as well as interpreters for those languages, and mechanisms for coordination within agent societies such as artificial social laws and conventions.

  18. Radioactive diagnostic agent

    SciTech Connect

    Shigematsu, A.; Aihara, M.; Matsuda, M.; Suzuki, A.; Tsuya, A.

    1984-02-07

    A radioactive diagnostic agent for renal cortex, adrenal cortex, myocardium, brain stem, spinal nerve, etc., which comprises as an essential component monoiodoacetic acid wherein the iodine atom is radioactive.

  19. Agility: Agent - Ility Architecture

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-10-01

    Figure 2: Overview of eGents 9 Specific scientific and engineering subgoals were: • develop a lightweight agent system that uses email- based ...applets makes them hard to operate over corporate firewalls. eGents e - mail based ACL bus imposes fewer requirements on agents that use it, and firewalls...do not pose a problem for an e - mail based ACL bus. While applets limit 35 JATLites range of applications, they also make JATlite easy to deploy

  20. Multiple pathogens in adult patients admitted with community-acquired pneumonia: a one year prospective study of 346 consecutive patients.

    PubMed Central

    Lieberman, D.; Schlaeffer, F.; Boldur, I.; Lieberman, D.; Horowitz, S.; Friedman, M. G.; Leiononen, M.; Horovitz, O.; Manor, E.; Porath, A.

    1996-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to assess the causes of community-acquired pneumonia in adult patients admitted to hospital. METHODS: A prospective study was performed on 346 consecutive adult patients (54% men) of mean (SD) 49.3 (19.5) years (range 17-94) admitted to a university affiliated regional hospital in southern Israel with community-acquired pneumonia over a period of one year. Convalescent serum samples were obtained from 308 patients (89%). The aetiological diagnosis for community-acquired pneumonia was based on positive blood cultures and/or significant changes in antibody titres to Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, respiratory viruses, Coxiella burnetii, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, and Legionella sp. RESULTS: The aetiology of community-acquired pneumonia was identified in 279 patients (80.6%). The distribution of causal agents was as follows: S pneumoniae, 148 patients (42.8%); M pneumoniae, 101 (29.2%); C pneumoniae, 62 (17.9%); Legionella sp, 56 (16.2%); respiratory viruses, 35 (10.1%); C burnetii, 20 (5.8%); H influenzae 19 (5.5%); and other causes, 21 patients (6.0%). In patients above the age of 55 years C pneumoniae was the second most frequent aetiological agent (25.5%). In 133 patients (38.4%) more than one causal agent was found. CONCLUSIONS: The causal agents for community-acquired pneumonia in Israel are different from those described in other parts of the world. In many of the patients more than one causal agent was found. In all these patients treatment should include a macrolide antibiotic, at least in the first stage of their illness. PMID:8711652

  1. Sunscreening agents: a review.

    PubMed

    Latha, M S; Martis, Jacintha; Shobha, V; Sham Shinde, Rutuja; Bangera, Sudhakar; Krishnankutty, Binny; Bellary, Shantala; Varughese, Sunoj; Rao, Prabhakar; Naveen Kumar, B R

    2013-01-01

    The increasing incidence of skin cancers and photodamaging effects caused by ultraviolet radiation has increased the use of sunscreening agents, which have shown beneficial effects in reducing the symptoms and reoccurrence of these problems. Many sunscreen compounds are in use, but their safety and efficacy are still in question. Efficacy is measured through indices, such as sun protection factor, persistent pigment darkening protection factor, and COLIPA guidelines. The United States Food and Drug Administration and European Union have incorporated changes in their guidelines to help consumers select products based on their sun protection factor and protection against ultraviolet radiation, whereas the Indian regulatory agency has not yet issued any special guidance on sunscreening agents, as they are classified under cosmetics. In this article, the authors discuss the pharmacological actions of sunscreening agents as well as the available formulations, their benefits, possible health hazards, safety, challenges, and proper application technique. New technologies and scope for the development of sunscreening agents are also discussed as well as the role of the physician in patient education about the use of these agents.

  2. Agent independent task planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, William S.

    1990-01-01

    Agent-Independent Planning is a technique that allows the construction of activity plans without regard to the agent that will perform them. Once generated, a plan is then validated and translated into instructions for a particular agent, whether a robot, crewmember, or software-based control system. Because Space Station Freedom (SSF) is planned for orbital operations for approximately thirty years, it will almost certainly experience numerous enhancements and upgrades, including upgrades in robotic manipulators. Agent-Independent Planning provides the capability to construct plans for SSF operations, independent of specific robotic systems, by combining techniques of object oriented modeling, nonlinear planning and temporal logic. Since a plan is validated using the physical and functional models of a particular agent, new robotic systems can be developed and integrated with existing operations in a robust manner. This technique also provides the capability to generate plans for crewmembers with varying skill levels, and later apply these same plans to more sophisticated robotic manipulators made available by evolutions in technology.

  3. [Preparation of antineoplastic agents].

    PubMed

    Descoutures, J-M

    2006-01-01

    In the last fifteen years, the preparation of antineoplastic agents has tended to be centralized in the hospital pharmacy for two main reasons: to enable better protection for the staff, to enable better safety for the patient. The consequences of this organization have led to standardization of techniques, implementation of a quality system and also a better use of antineoplastic agents. After protocols have been standardized by the physician and validated by the pharmacist, four main steps are necessary: phamaceutical validation of the prescription, preparation of IV admixtures according to a production file, control of the final product, dispatching of the preparation to the patient. Computer-controlled processes guarantee the safety of these different steps. The centralized preparations are made either with a vertical laminar flow hood or with an isolator. With the implementation of the National Cancer Plan, antineoplastic agents for patients on home treatments will also be prepared in centralized hospital pharmacies.

  4. Polyphenols as antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed

    Daglia, Maria

    2012-04-01

    Polyphenols are secondary metabolites produced by higher plants, which play multiple essential roles in plant physiology and have potential healthy properties on human organism, mainly as antioxidants, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antihypertensive, and antimicrobial agents. In the present review the antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activities of the most active polyphenol classes are reported, highlighting, where investigated, the mechanisms of action and the structure-activity relationship. Moreover, considering that the microbial resistance has become an increasing global problem, and there is a compulsory need to find out new potent antimicrobial agents as accessories to antibiotic therapy, the synergistic effect of polyphenols in combination with conventional antimicrobial agents against clinical multidrug-resistant microorganisms is discussed.

  5. Agent Persuasion Mechanism of Acquaintance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jinghua, Wu; Wenguang, Lu; Hailiang, Meng

    Agent persuasion can improve negotiation efficiency in dynamic environment based on its initiative and autonomy, and etc., which is being affected much more by acquaintance. Classification of acquaintance on agent persuasion is illustrated, and the agent persuasion model of acquaintance is also illustrated. Then the concept of agent persuasion degree of acquaintance is given. Finally, relative interactive mechanism is elaborated.

  6. Model Checking Normative Agent Organisations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dennis, Louise; Tinnemeier, Nick; Meyer, John-Jules

    We present the integration of a normative programming language in the MCAPL framework for model checking multi-agent systems. The result is a framework facilitating the implementation and verification of multi-agent systems coordinated via a normative organisation. The organisation can be programmed in the normative language while the constituent agents may be implemented in a number of (BDI) agent programming languages.

  7. Remote Agent Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benard, Doug; Dorais, Gregory A.; Gamble, Ed; Kanefsky, Bob; Kurien, James; Millar, William; Muscettola, Nicola; Nayak, Pandu; Rouquette, Nicolas; Rajan, Kanna; Norvig, Peter (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Remote Agent (RA) is a model-based, reusable artificial intelligence (At) software system that enables goal-based spacecraft commanding and robust fault recovery. RA was flight validated during an experiment on board of DS1 between May 17th and May 21th, 1999.

  8. Can Subscription Agents Survive?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tuttle, Marcia

    1985-01-01

    With the saturation of traditional markets for their services, subscription agents have evolved from orders and invoices to serving customers by communicating with librarians and publishers and making automated and paper products available. Magazine fulfillment centers, publisher discounts, and electronic publishing will influence the subscription…

  9. E-Learning Agents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gregg, Dawn G.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the advantages of using intelligent agents to facilitate the location and customization of appropriate e-learning resources and to foster collaboration in e-learning environments. Design/methodology/approach: This paper proposes an e-learning environment that can be used to provide customized…

  10. Pharmacology of antiplatelet agents.

    PubMed

    Kalra, Kiran; Franzese, Christopher J; Gesheff, Martin G; Lev, Eli I; Pandya, Shachi; Bliden, Kevin P; Tantry, Udaya S; Gurbel, Paul A

    2013-12-01

    Pharmacotherapies with agents that inhibit platelet function have proven to be effective in the treatment of acute coronary syndromes, and in the prevention of complications during and after percutaneous coronary intervention. Because of multiple synergetic pathways of platelet activation and their close interplay with coagulation, current treatment strategies are based not only on platelet inhibition, but also on the attenuation of procoagulant activity, inhibition of thrombin generation, and enhancement of clot dissolution. Current strategies can be broadly categorized as anticoagulants, antiplatelet agents, and fibrinolytics. This review focuses on the pharmacology of current antiplatelet therapy primarily targeting the inhibition of the enzyme cyclooxygenase 1, the P2Y12 receptor, the glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor, and protease-activated receptor 1.

  11. [The antiretroviral agent Fullevir].

    PubMed

    Nosik, D N; Lialina, I K; Kalnina, L B; Lobach, O A; Chataeva, M S; Rasnetsov, L D

    2009-01-01

    The antiretroviral properties of Fullevir (sodium salt of fullerenepolyhydropolyaminocaproic acid) manufactured by IntelFarm Co.) were studied in the human cell culture infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The agent was ascertained to be able to protect the cell from the cytopathic action of HIV. The 90% effective concentration (EF90) was 5 microg/ml. The 50% average toxic concentration was 400 microg/ml. Testing of different (preventive and therapeutic) Fullevir dosage regimens has shown that the drug is effective when used both an hour before and an hour after infection and when administered simultaneously with cell infection. The longer contact time for the agent with the cells increased the degree of antiviral defense. Co-administration of Fullevir and the HIV reverse transcriptase inhibitor Retrovir (azidothymidine) showed a synergistic antiretroviral effect. Thus, Fullevir may be regarded as a new promising antiretroviral drug for the treatment of HIV infection.

  12. Intelligent Agent Integration Technology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-04-01

    and Manipulation Language (KQML) specification under the DARPA-sponsored Knowledge Sharing Initiative and the developing of a scaleable and an... Shared Communication Ontology ’$" 10.3 IMPLEMENTATION 151 10.3.1 Intelligent Resource Agent Architecture ^ 10.3.2 Application to K-12 Education 153...DARPA-sponsored Knowledge Sharing Initiative, the developing a scaleable and an efficient implementation of information system components for

  13. Pathophysiology of Anticholinesterase Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-07-07

    PATHOPHYSIOLOGY OF ANTICHOLINESTERASE AGENTS Annual and Final Report DTIC ! ELECTEI aohn E. Rash, Ph. D. ALCTRf Julie K. Elmund, Ph.D. July 7 , 1988...Ph.D. ..-,. July 7 , 1988 Dis t Supported by A __ U. S. ARMY MEDICAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMAND Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland 21701-5012...samples for electron microscopic analysis from diaphragm, soleus and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles at J hour and 1, 7 , 14, 21, and 56 days

  14. Rigid bifunctional chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Sweet, M.P.; Mease, R.C.; Srivastava, S.C.

    1998-07-21

    Bicyclo[2.2.2] octane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N`,N`-tetraacetic acids (BODTA) and bicyclo[2.2.1] heptane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N`,N`-tetraacetic acid (BHDTA) are chelating agents useful in forming detectably labeled bioconjugate compounds for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. New compounds and processes of forming BODTA and BHDTA are disclosed. Radioimmunoconjugates of the present invention show high and prolonged tumor uptake with low normal tissue uptakes.

  15. Rigid bifunctional chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Sweet, Mark P.; Mease, Ronnie C.; Srivastava, Suresh C.

    1998-07-21

    Bicyclo›2.2.2! octane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acids (BODTA) and bicyclo›2.2.1! heptane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BHDTA) are chelating agents useful in forming detectably labeled bioconjugate compounds for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. New compounds and processes of forming BODTA and BHDTA are disclosed. Radioimmunoconjugates of the present invention show high and prolonged tumor uptake with low normal tissue uptakes.

  16. Rigid bifunctional chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Sweet, Mark P.; Mease, Ronnie C.; Srivastava, Suresh C.

    2000-02-08

    Bicyclo[2.2.2]octane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acids (BODTA) and bicyclo[2.2.1]heptane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BHDTA) are chelating agents useful in forming detectably labeled bioconjugate compounds for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. New compounds and processes of forming BODTA and BHDTA are disclosed. Radioimmunoconjugates of the present invention show high and prolonged tumor uptake with low normal tissue uptakes.

  17. Vaporizing Fire Extinguishing Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1950-08-18

    the pro- ject under contract included: Dr. Earl T. McBee, Head, Chemistry Department; Dr. Zara D. Welch, Researbh Supervisor; and Dr’s T. R. Santelli...Aeronautics Authority kxperimental Station, Indianapolis, Indiana, which has supplied test data for inclusion in this report. The Medical Division of the...Development of sources of supply for agent anAL con- tainers. f. Service testing. This report oovers technical phases a, b, and a to 1 April 1950, and

  18. Agent Based Computing Machine

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-12-09

    coordinates as in cellular automata systems. But using biology as a model suggests that the most general systems must provide for partial, but constrained...17. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF 118. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF 19. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF 20. LIMITATION OF ABSTRA REPORT THIS PAGE ABSTRACT...system called an "agent based computing" machine (ABC Machine). The ABC Machine is motivated by cellular biochemistry and it is based upon a concept

  19. Surface polymerization agents

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, C.; Wilkerson, C.

    1996-12-01

    This is the final report of a 1-year, Laboratory-Directed R&D project at LANL. A joint technical demonstration was proposed between US Army Missile Command (Redstone Arsenal) and LANL. Objective was to demonstrate that an unmanned vehicle or missile could be used as a platform to deliver a surface polymerization agent in such a manner as to obstruct the filters of an air-breathing mechanism, resulting in operational failure.

  20. Agents Technology Research

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-02-01

    62702F 6. AUTHOR(S) Robert Wright, Jeffrey Hudack, Nathaniel Gemelli, Steven Loscalzo, and Tsu Kong Lue 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 558S 5e. TASK...NAME OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON Robert Wright a. REPORT U b. ABSTRACT U c. THIS PAGE U 19b. TELEPHONE NUMBER (Include area code) N/A...avoided by the other agents removing the incentive to lie or free-load. This phenomenon is termed as the shadow of the future and was shown in Robert

  1. Newer antifungal agents.

    PubMed

    Türel, Ozden

    2011-03-01

    The frequency and spectrum of fungal infections have been increasing steadily over the last several decades. The reason for this increase may be explained by the increase in the number of immunocompromised patients due to malignancies, AIDS, invasive surgical procedures and transplantation. In parallel with this increase, several therapeutic options have become available but problems such as intrinsic or acquired antifungal resistance have led researchers to develop new antifungal drugs with expanded effectiveness. Reduced toxicity, enhancement of bioavailability and counteraction of resistance are features desired by clinicians. The aim of this article is to summarize the studies involving isavuconazole, ravuconazole, albaconazole, aminocandin and some other investigational antifungal agents. Most data on the clinical use of ravuconazole, isavuconazole and albaconazole are mainly available as meeting abstracts or limited to animal studies or Phase I/II studies in humans. These new antifungal agents in development offer extended half-lives, possibly reduced drug interaction profiles and good tolerance. In addition to activity against Candida and Aspergillus spp., they have a broad spectrum of activity including activity against resistant and emerging pathogens. The real possibilities of these agents will only be fully understood after adequate randomized clinical trials.

  2. Advanced scale conditioning agents

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, Jeff; Battaglia, Philip J.

    2004-06-01

    A technical description of Advanced Scale Conditioning Agents (ASCA) technology was published in the May-June 2003 edition of the Nuclear Plant Journal. That article described the development of programs of advanced scale conditioning agents and specific types to maintain the secondary side of steam generators within a pressurized water reactor free of deposited corrosion products and corrosion-inducing contaminants to ensure their long-term operation. This article describes the first two plant applications of advanced scale conditioning agents implemented at Southern Nuclear Operating Company's Vogtle Units 1 and 2 during their 2002 scheduled outages to minimize tube degradation and maintain full power operation using the most effective techniques while minimizing outage costs. The goal was to remove three to four fuel cycles of deposits from each steam generator so that after future chemical cleaning activities, ASCAs could be used to maintain the cleanliness of the steam generators without the need for additional chemical cleaning efforts. The goal was achieved as well as several other benefits that resulted in cost savings to the plant.

  3. Anaplasma marginale and Theileria annulata in questing ticks from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Antunes, S; Ferrolho, J; Domingues, N; Santos, A S; Santos-Silva, M M; Domingos, A

    2016-09-01

    Ticks are ubiquitous arthropods and vectors of several pathogenic agents in animals and humans. Monitoring questing ticks is of great importance to ascertain the occurrence of pathogens and the potential vector species, offering an insight into the risk of disease transmission in a given area. In this study 428 host-seeking ticks, belonging to nine species of Ixodidae and collected from 17 of the 23 Portuguese mainland subregions, were screened for several tick-borne agents with veterinary relevance: Anaplasma marginale, Anaplasma ovis, Anaplasma centrale, Babesia spp., Coxiella burnetii and Theileria spp. Prevalence was assessed by PCR and amplified amplicons sequenced for validation of results. Twenty ticks, in a total of 428, were found positive: one Ixodes ventalloi for Theileria annulata and four Dermacentor marginatus, one Haemaphysalis punctata, five Ixodes ricinus, five I. ventalloi, and four Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato for A. marginale. According to the reviewed literature, this is the first report of A. marginale and T. annulata detection in I. ventalloi. Furthermore, the amplification of A. marginale DNA in several tick species suggests a broad range for this agent in Portugal that might include other uncommon species as R. sanguineus s.l. This work provides new data towards a better understanding of tick-pathogen associations and also contributes to the surveillance of tick-borne agents in geographic areas with limited information.

  4. Seroepidemiologic study of three zoonoses (leptospirosis, Q fever, and tularemia) among trappers in Québec, Canada.

    PubMed Central

    Lévesque, B; De Serres, G; Higgins, R; D'Halewyn, M A; Artsob, H; Grondin, J; Major, M; Garvie, M; Duval, B

    1995-01-01

    This study was undertaken to evaluate the prevalence of antibodies against Francisella tularensis, Coxiella burnetii, and certain serovars of Leptospira interrogans among trappers in Québec, Canada. Muskrat trapping was identified as a risk factor for F. tularensis infection, whereas having a cat at home apparently protected trappers against infection by L. interrogans. High percentages of control sera were positive for antibodies against C. burnetii (15%) and L. interrogans (5%), most frequently serovar bratislava. This is the first report of human infection by serovar bratislava in North America. PMID:7583933

  5. Liposome encapsulation of chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Rahman, Yueh Erh

    1976-01-13

    A method for transferring a chelating agent across a cellular membrane by encapsulating the charged chelating agent within liposomes and carrying the liposome-encapsulated chelating agent to the cellular membrane where the liposomes containing the chelating agent will be taken up by the cells, thereby transferring the chelating agent across the cellular membrane. A chelating agent can be introduced into the interior of a cell of a living organism wherein the liposomes will be decomposed, releasing the chelating agent to the interior of the cell. The released chelating agent will complex intracellularly deposited toxic heavy metals, permitting the more soluble metal complex to transfer across the cellular membrane from the cell and subsequently be removed from the living organism.

  6. Collaborating with Autonomous Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trujillo, Anna C.; Cross, Charles D.; Fan, Henry; Hempley, Lucas E.; Motter, Mark A.; Neilan, James H.; Qualls, Garry D.; Rothhaar, Paul M.; Tran, Loc D.; Allen, B. Danette

    2015-01-01

    With the anticipated increase of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) entering into the National Airspace System, it is highly likely that vehicle operators will be teaming with fleets of small autonomous vehicles. The small vehicles may consist of sUAS, which are 55 pounds or less that typically will y at altitudes 400 feet and below, and small ground vehicles typically operating in buildings or defined small campuses. Typically, the vehicle operators are not concerned with manual control of the vehicle; instead they are concerned with the overall mission. In order for this vision of high-level mission operators working with fleets of vehicles to come to fruition, many human factors related challenges must be investigated and solved. First, the interface between the human operator and the autonomous agent must be at a level that the operator needs and the agents can understand. This paper details the natural language human factors e orts that NASA Langley's Autonomy Incubator is focusing on. In particular these e orts focus on allowing the operator to interact with the system using speech and gestures rather than a mouse and keyboard. With this ability of the system to understand both speech and gestures, operators not familiar with the vehicle dynamics will be able to easily plan, initiate, and change missions using a language familiar to them rather than having to learn and converse in the vehicle's language. This will foster better teaming between the operator and the autonomous agent which will help lower workload, increase situation awareness, and improve performance of the system as a whole.

  7. 13 CFR 107.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANIES SBA Financial Assistance for... will appoint or cause to be appointed agent(s) to perform functions necessary to market and service... Fiscal Agent to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the...

  8. 13 CFR 108.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION NEW MARKETS VENTURE CAPITAL (âNMVCâ) PROGRAM SBA Financial... financial markets to determine those factors that will minimize or reduce the cost of funding Debentures...) Agents. SBA may appoint or cause to be appointed agent(s) to perform functions necessary to market...

  9. 13 CFR 108.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION NEW MARKETS VENTURE CAPITAL (âNMVCâ) PROGRAM SBA Financial... financial markets to determine those factors that will minimize or reduce the cost of funding Debentures...) Agents. SBA may appoint or cause to be appointed agent(s) to perform functions necessary to market...

  10. 13 CFR 107.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANIES SBA Financial Assistance for... will appoint or cause to be appointed agent(s) to perform functions necessary to market and service... Fiscal Agent to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the...

  11. Hydroxypyridonate and hydroxypyrimidinone chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Raymond, Kenneth N.; Doble, Daniel M.; Sunderland, Christopher J.; Thompson, Marlon

    2005-01-25

    The present invention provides hydroxypyridinone and hydroxypyrimidone chelating agents. Also provides are Gd(III) complexes of these agents, which are useful as contrast enhancing agents for magnetic resonance imaging. The invention also provides methods of preparing the compounds of the invention, as well as methods of using the compounds in magnetic resonance imaging applications.

  12. Chemical warfare agents

    PubMed Central

    Ganesan, K.; Raza, S. K.; Vijayaraghavan, R.

    2010-01-01

    Among the Weapons of Mass Destruction, chemical warfare (CW) is probably one of the most brutal created by mankind in comparison with biological and nuclear warfare. Chemical weapons are inexpensive and are relatively easy to produce, even by small terrorist groups, to create mass casualties with small quantities. The characteristics of various CW agents, general information relevant to current physical as well as medical protection methods, detection equipment available and decontamination techniques are discussed in this review article. A brief note on Chemical Weapons Convention is also provided. PMID:21829312

  13. Pharmacologic agents targeting autophagy

    PubMed Central

    Vakifahmetoglu-Norberg, Helin; Xia, Hong-guang; Yuan, Junying

    2015-01-01

    Autophagy is an important intracellular catabolic mechanism critically involved in regulating tissue homeostasis. The implication of autophagy in human diseases and the need to understand its regulatory mechanisms in mammalian cells have stimulated research efforts that led to the development of high-throughput screening protocols and small-molecule modulators that can activate or inhibit autophagy. Herein we review the current landscape in the development of screening technology as well as the molecules and pharmacologic agents targeting the regulatory mechanisms of autophagy. We also evaluate the potential therapeutic application of these compounds in different human pathologies. PMID:25654545

  14. Holograms as Teaching Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Robin A.

    2013-02-01

    Hungarian physicist Dennis Gabor won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1947 introduction of basic holographic principles, but it was not until the invention of the laser in 1960 that research scientists, physicians, technologists and the general public began to seriously consider the interdisciplinary potentiality of holography. Questions around whether and when Three-Dimensional (3-D) images and systems would impact American entertainment and the arts would be answered before educators, instructional designers and students would discover how much Three-Dimensional Hologram Technology (3DHT) would affect teaching practices and learning environments. In the following International Symposium on Display Holograms (ISDH) poster presentation, the author features a traditional board game as well as a reflection hologram to illustrate conventional and evolving Three-Dimensional representations and technology for education. Using elements from the American children's toy Operation® (Hasbro, 2005) as well as a reflection hologram of a human brain (Ko, 1998), this poster design highlights the pedagogical effects of 3-D images, games and systems on learning science. As teaching agents, holograms can be considered substitutes for real objects, (human beings, organs, and animated characters) as well as agents (pedagogical, avatars, reflective) in various learning environments using many systems (direct, emergent, augmented reality) and electronic tools (cellphones, computers, tablets, television). In order to understand the particular importance of utilizing holography in school, clinical and public settings, the author identifies advantages and benefits of using 3-D images and technology as instructional tools.

  15. [New agents for hypercholesterolemia].

    PubMed

    Pintó, Xavier; García Gómez, María Carmen

    2016-02-19

    An elevated proportion of high cardiovascular risk patients do not achieve the therapeutic c-LDL goals. This owes to physicians' inappropriate or insufficient use of cholesterol lowering medications or to patients' bad tolerance or therapeutic compliance. Another cause is an insufficient efficacy of current cholesterol lowering drugs including statins and ezetimibe. In addition, proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 inhibitors are a new cholesterol lowering medications showing safety and high efficacy to reduce c-LDL in numerous already performed or underway clinical trials, potentially allowing an optimal control of hypercholesterolemia in most patients. Agents inhibiting apolipoprotein B synthesis and microsomal transfer protein are also providing a new potential to decrease cholesterol in patients with severe hypercholesterolemia and in particular in homozygote familial hypercholesterolemia. Last, cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitors have shown powerful effects on c-HDL and c-LDL, although their efficacy in cardiovascular prevention and safety has not been demonstrated yet. We provide in this article an overview of the main characteristics of therapeutic agents for hypercholesterolemia, which have been recently approved or in an advanced research stage.

  16. Model Checking Agent Communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bentahar, J.; Meyer, J.-J. Ch.; Wan, W.

    Model checking is a formal and automatic technique used to verify computational systems (e.g. communication protocols) against given properties. The purpose of this chapter is to describe a model checking algorithm to verify communication protocols used by autonomous agents interacting using dialogue games, which are governed by a set of logical rules. We use a variant of Extended Computation Tree Logic CTL* for specifying these dialogue games and the properties to be checked. This logic, called ACTL*, extends CTL* by allowing formulae to constrain actions as well as states. The verification method uses an on-the-fly efficient algorithm. It is based on translating formulae into a variant of alternating tree automata called Alternating Büchi Tableau Automata (ABTA). We present a tableau-based version of this algorithm and provide the soundness, completeness, termination and complexity results. Two case studies are discussed along with their respective implementations to illustrate the proposed approach. The first one is about an agent-based negotiation protocol and the second one considers a modified version of the NetBill protocol.

  17. Cleaning agents and asthma.

    PubMed

    Quirce, S; Barranco, P

    2010-01-01

    Although cleaners represent a significant part of the working population worldwide, they remain a relatively understudied occupational group. Epidemiological studies have shown an association between cleaning work and asthma, but the risk factors are uncertain. Cleaning workers are exposed to a large variety of cleaning products containing both irritants and sensitizers, as well as to common indoor allergens and pollutants. Thus, the onset or aggravation of asthma in this group could be related to an irritant-induced mechanism or to specific sensitization. The main sensitizers contained in cleaning products are disinfectants, quaternary ammonium compounds (such as benzalkonium chloride), amine compounds, and fragrances.The strongest airway irritants in cleaning products are bleach (sodium hypochlorite), hydrochloric acid, and alkaline agents (ammonia and sodium hydroxide), which are commonly mixed together. Exposure to the ingredients of cleaning products may give rise to both new-onset asthma, with or without a latency period, and work-exacerbated asthma. High-level exposure to irritants may induce reactive airways dysfunction syndrome. Cleaning workers may also have a greater relative risk of developing asthma due to prolonged low-to-moderate exposure to respiratory irritants. In addition, asthma-like symptoms without confirmed asthma are also common after exposure to cleaning agents. In many cleaners, airway symptoms induced by chemicals and odors cannot be explained by allergic or asthmatic reactions. These patients may have increased sensitivity to inhaled capsaicin, which is known to reflect sensory reactivity, and this condition is termed airway sensory hyperreactivity.

  18. [Bacteriophages as antibacterial agents].

    PubMed

    Shasha, Shaul M; Sharon, Nehama; Inbar, Michael

    2004-02-01

    Bacteriophages are viruses that only infect bacteria. They have played an important role in the development of molecular biology and have been used as anti-bacterial agents. Since their independent discovery by Twort and d'Herelle, they have been extensively used to prevent and treat bacterial infections, mainly in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. In western countries this method has been sporadically employed on humans and domesticated animals. However, the discovery and widespread use of antibiotics, coupled with doubts about the efficacy of phage therapy, led to an eclipse in the use of phage in medicine. The emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria, especially strains that are multiply resistant, has resulted in a renewed interest in alternatives to conventional drugs. One of the possible replacements for antibiotics is the use of bacteriophages as antimicrobial agents. This brief review aims to describe the history of bacteriophage and early clinical studies on their use in bacterial disease prophylaxis and therapy, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of bacteriophage in this regard.

  19. Agent-Based Automated Algorithm Generator

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-12

    Detection and Isolation Agent (FDIA), Prognostic Agent (PA), Fusion Agent (FA), and Maintenance Mining Agent (MMA). FDI agents perform diagnostics...manner and loosely coupled). The library of D/P algorithms will be hosted in server-side agents, consisting of four types of major agents: Fault

  20. Flexible, secure agent development framework

    DOEpatents

    Goldsmith; Steven Y.

    2009-04-07

    While an agent generator is generating an intelligent agent, it can also evaluate the data processing platform on which it is executing, in order to assess a risk factor associated with operation of the agent generator on the data processing platform. The agent generator can retrieve from a location external to the data processing platform an open site that is configurable by the user, and load the open site into an agent substrate, thereby creating a development agent with code development capabilities. While an intelligent agent is executing a functional program on a data processing platform, it can also evaluate the data processing platform to assess a risk factor associated with performing the data processing function on the data processing platform.

  1. Learning models of intelligent agents

    SciTech Connect

    Carmel, D.; Markovitch, S.

    1996-12-31

    Agents that operate in a multi-agent system need an efficient strategy to handle their encounters with other agents involved. Searching for an optimal interactive strategy is a hard problem because it depends mostly on the behavior of the others. In this work, interaction among agents is represented as a repeated two-player game, where the agents` objective is to look for a strategy that maximizes their expected sum of rewards in the game. We assume that agents` strategies can be modeled as finite automata. A model-based approach is presented as a possible method for learning an effective interactive strategy. First, we describe how an agent should find an optimal strategy against a given model. Second, we present an unsupervised algorithm that infers a model of the opponent`s automaton from its input/output behavior. A set of experiments that show the potential merit of the algorithm is reported as well.

  2. Fluoroquinolone antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed Central

    Wolfson, J S; Hooper, D C

    1989-01-01

    The fluoroquinolones, a new class of potent orally absorbed antimicrobial agents, are reviewed, considering structure, mechanisms of action and resistance, spectrum, variables affecting activity in vitro, pharmacokinetic properties, clinical efficacy, emergence of resistance, and tolerability. The primary bacterial target is the enzyme deoxyribonucleic acid gyrase. Bacterial resistance occurs by chromosomal mutations altering deoxyribonucleic acid gyrase and decreasing drug permeation. The drugs are bactericidal and potent in vitro against members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, Haemophilus spp., and Neisseria spp., have good activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and staphylococci, and (with several exceptions) are less potent against streptococci and have fair to poor activity against anaerobic species. Potency in vitro decreases in the presence of low pH, magnesium ions, or urine but is little affected by different media, increased inoculum, or serum. The effects of the drugs in combination with a beta-lactam or aminoglycoside are often additive, occasionally synergistic, and rarely antagonistic. The agents are orally absorbed, require at most twice-daily dosing, and achieve high concentrations in urine, feces, and kidney and good concentrations in lung, bone, prostate, and other tissues. The drugs are efficacious in treatment of a variety of bacterial infections, including uncomplicated and complicated urinary tract infections, bacterial gastroenteritis, and gonorrhea, and show promise for therapy of prostatitis, respiratory tract infections, osteomyelitis, and cutaneous infections, particularly when caused by aerobic gram-negative bacilli. Fluoroquinolones have also proved to be efficacious for prophylaxis against travelers' diarrhea and infection with gram-negative bacilli in neutropenic patients. The drugs are effective in eliminating carriage of Neisseria meningitidis. Patient tolerability appears acceptable, with gastrointestinal or central nervous

  3. A Survey of Zoonotic Pathogens Carried by Non-Indigenous Rodents at the Interface of the Wet Tropics of North Queensland, Australia.

    PubMed

    Chakma, S; Picard, J; Duffy, R; Constantinoiu, C; Gummow, B

    2017-02-01

    In 1964, Brucella was isolated from rodents trapped in Wooroonooran National Park (WNP), in Northern Queensland, Australia. Genotyping of bacterial isolates in 2008 determined that they were a novel Brucella species. This study attempted to reisolate this species of Brucella from rodents living in the boundary area adjacent to WNP and to establish which endo- and ecto-parasites and bacterial agents were being carried by non-indigenous rodents at this interface. Seventy non-indigenous rodents were trapped [Mus musculus (52), Rattus rattus (17) and Rattus norvegicus (1)], euthanized and sampled on four properties adjacent to the WNP in July 2012. Organ pools were screened by culture for Salmonella, Leptospira and Brucella species, real-time PCR for Coxiella burnetii and conventional PCR for Leptospira. Collected ecto- and endo-parasites were identified using morphological criteria. The percentage of rodents carrying pathogens were Leptospira (40%), Salmonella choleraesuis ssp. arizonae (14.29%), ectoparasites (21.42%) and endoparasites (87%). Brucella and C. burnetii were not identified, and it was concluded that their prevalences were below 12%. Two rodent-specific helminthic species, namely Syphacia obvelata (2.86%) and Nippostrongylus brasiliensis (85.71%), were identified. The most prevalent ectoparasites belonged to Laelaps spp. (41.17%) followed by Polyplax spp. (23.53%), Hoplopleura spp. (17.65%), Ixodes holocyclus (17.64%) and Stephanocircus harrisoni (5.88%), respectively. These ectoparasites, except S. harrisoni, are known to transmit zoonotic pathogens such as Rickettsia spp. from rat to rat and could be transmitted to humans by other arthropods that bite humans. The high prevalence of pathogenic Leptospira species is of significant public health concern. This is the first known study of zoonotic agents carried by non-indigenous rodents living in the Australian wet-tropical forest interface.

  4. Peptide Antimicrobial Agents

    PubMed Central

    Jenssen, Håvard; Hamill, Pamela; Hancock, Robert E. W.

    2006-01-01

    Antimicrobial host defense peptides are produced by all complex organisms as well as some microbes and have diverse and complex antimicrobial activities. Collectively these peptides demonstrate a broad range of antiviral and antibacterial activities and modes of action, and it is important to distinguish between direct microbicidal and indirect activities against such pathogens. The structural requirements of peptides for antiviral and antibacterial activities are evaluated in light of the diverse set of primary and secondary structures described for host defense peptides. Peptides with antifungal and antiparasitic activities are discussed in less detail, although the broad-spectrum activities of such peptides indicate that they are important host defense molecules. Knowledge regarding the relationship between peptide structure and function as well as their mechanism of action is being applied in the design of antimicrobial peptide variants as potential novel therapeutic agents. PMID:16847082

  5. [Chemotherapeutic agents under study].

    PubMed

    Kawahara, S

    1998-12-01

    The development of new drugs with strong antituberculous activity and fewer side effects which are not cross-resistant to conventional antituberculosis drugs is urgently desired now. The chemotherapeutic agents under study which are considered a candidate for a new antituberculosis drug are listed below. 1) Rifamycin derivatives: rifabutin, rifapentin, KRM-1648, FCE-22250, 22807, CGP-7040, 27557, 29035, 29861, P-DEA, SPA-S-565, R-76-1. 2) New quinolones: ofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, sparfloxacin, gatifloxacin, CS-940, Du-6859a. 3) Phenazines: clofazimine, B746, B4101, B4154, B4157. 4) Pyrazinamide derivatives: N-hydroxy pyrazinamide, N-hydroxy pyrazinamide-4-oxide. 5) Nitroimidazole derivatives: metronidazole et al.

  6. Ultrasound contrast agents

    PubMed Central

    Ignee, Andre; Atkinson, Nathan S. S.; Schuessler, Gudrun; Dietrich, Christoph F.

    2016-01-01

    Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) plays an important role in imaging of the mediastinum and abdominal organs. Since the introduction of US contrast agents (UCA) for transabdominal US, attempts have been made to apply contrast-enhanced US techniques also to EUS. Since 2003, specific contrast-enhanced imaging was possible using EUS. Important studies have been published regarding contrast-enhanced EUS and the characterization of focal pancreatic lesions, lymph nodes, and subepithelial tumors. In this manuscript, we describe the relevant UCA, their application, and specific image acquisition as well as the principles of image tissue characterization using contrast-enhanced EUS. Safety issues, potential future developments, and EUS-specific issues are reviewed. PMID:27824024

  7. Abortion in small ruminants in the Netherlands between 2006 and 2011.

    PubMed

    van den Brom, R; Lievaart-Peterson, K; Luttikholt, S; Peperkamp, K; Wouda, W; Vellema, P

    2012-07-01

    During five successive lambing seasons between 2006 and 2011, 453 submissions of abortion material, 282 of ovine and 171 of caprine origin, were examined at the Animal Health Service in the Netherlands. Infectious agents as the most plausible cause of the abortion were found in 48 percent of the ovine submissions and in 34 percent of the caprine submissions. Submission of both aborted fetus and placental membranes increased the diagnostic yield of laboratory investigations (17 percent and 21 percent for ovine and caprine submissions, respectively). The main infectious causes of abortion in sheep were Chlamydia abortus, Campylobacter spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Listeria spp., and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. The main infectious causes of abortion in goats were Coxiella burnetii, Chlamydia abortus, Listeria spp., Toxoplasma gondii, and Campylobacter spp. In 42 percent of the ovine and in 56 percent of the caprine submissions a causal agent was not identified. Furthermore, in 12 percent of the ovine and 10 percent of the caprine submissions evidence of placentitis, indicative of an infectious cause of the abortion, was found, but no infectious agent was identified. Most infectious causes of ovine and caprine abortion have zoonotic potential. Humans, especially pregnant women, who are in close contact with lambing sheep or goats should be aware of the importance of precautionary hygiene measures.

  8. Vaccination programs for reproductive disorders of small ruminants.

    PubMed

    Menzies, P I

    2012-02-01

    Vaccines are available for the control of contagious epididymitis and abortion in small ruminants, although many of them have significant limitations either in efficacy or safety to both the animals vaccinated and to the people handling the vaccine or animals. Shelf-life of vaccines should be extended and improved, so that the vaccine remains effective with longer term storage and ideally without refrigeration, so that use in under-developed rural areas is not restricted (e.g., Brucella melitensis, Toxoplasma gondii). The vaccines should not be dangerous for veterinarians or producers to handle (again as examples, B. melitensis, T. gondii). The vaccines should prevent shedding of the organism, in order to prevent spread of the disease causal agent through the sale of vaccinated but shedding animals (e.g., inactivated killed Chlamydophila abortus vaccines), as well as to prevent possible exposure to people handling those vaccinated animals. Production of vaccines using zoonotic disease agents is problematic and sometime dangerous, which increases regulatory restrictions and reduces availability of those vaccines (e.g., C. abortus, Coxiella burnetii). Development of subunit recombinant DNA vaccines may offer a method to increase access to these important vaccines, as long as they are also effective, prevent shedding and remain cost effective. It is important that these vaccines are brought to international commercial production. As many of these disease agents are zoonotic and prevalent world-wide, improvement in vaccine efficacy and safety is of extreme importance.

  9. Collaborating Fuzzy Reinforcement Learning Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berenji, Hamid R.

    1997-01-01

    Earlier, we introduced GARIC-Q, a new method for doing incremental Dynamic Programming using a society of intelligent agents which are controlled at the top level by Fuzzy Relearning and at the local level, each agent learns and operates based on ANTARCTIC, a technique for fuzzy reinforcement learning. In this paper, we show that it is possible for these agents to compete in order to affect the selected control policy but at the same time, they can collaborate while investigating the state space. In this model, the evaluator or the critic learns by observing all the agents behaviors but the control policy changes only based on the behavior of the winning agent also known as the super agent.

  10. Agent-based enterprise integration

    SciTech Connect

    N. M. Berry; C. M. Pancerella

    1998-12-01

    The authors are developing and deploying software agents in an enterprise information architecture such that the agents manage enterprise resources and facilitate user interaction with these resources. The enterprise agents are built on top of a robust software architecture for data exchange and tool integration across heterogeneous hardware and software. The resulting distributed multi-agent system serves as a method of enhancing enterprises in the following ways: providing users with knowledge about enterprise resources and applications; accessing the dynamically changing enterprise; locating enterprise applications and services; and improving search capabilities for applications and data. Furthermore, agents can access non-agents (i.e., databases and tools) through the enterprise framework. The ultimate target of the effort is the user; they are attempting to increase user productivity in the enterprise. This paper describes their design and early implementation and discusses the planned future work.

  11. Agent-based enterprise integration

    SciTech Connect

    N. M. Berry; C. M. Pancerella

    1999-05-01

    The authors are developing and deploying software agents in an enterprise information architecture such that the agents manage enterprise resources and facilitate user interaction with these resources. Their enterprise agents are built on top of a robust software architecture for data exchange and tool integration across heterogeneous hardware and software. The resulting distributed multi-agent system serves as a method of enhancing enterprises in the following ways: providing users with knowledge about enterprise resources and applications; accessing the dynamically changing enterprise; intelligently locating enterprise applications and services; and improving search capabilities for applications and data. Furthermore, agents can access non-agents (i.e., databases and tools) through the enterprise framework. The ultimate target of their effort is the user; they are attempting to increase user productivity in the enterprise. This paper describes their design and early implementation and discusses their planned future work.

  12. Polymeric gastrointestinal MR contrast agents.

    PubMed

    Tilcock, C; Unger, E C; Ahkong, Q F; Fritz, T; Koenig, S H; Brown, R D

    1991-01-01

    Combining either paramagnetic (gadolinium chelates) or superparamagnetic (ferrite) contrast agents with polymers such as polyethylene glycol or cellulose, or with simple sugars such as dextrose, results in mixtures that exhibit improved T1 and/or T2 relaxivity compared with that of the contrast agent alone. It is suggested that the addition of such inexpensive and nontoxic polymers or saccharides may improve the effectiveness and decrease the cost of enteric contrast agents.

  13. Antithrombotic agents: implications in dentistry.

    PubMed

    Little, James W; Miller, Craig S; Henry, Robert G; McIntosh, Bruce A

    2002-05-01

    Thrombosis and the complicating emboli that can result are important causes of illness and death. Thrombosis is of greater overall clinical importance in terms of morbidity and mortality than all of the hemorrhagic disorders combined. Agents such as heparin, low-molecular weight heparin, warfarin, aspirin, ticlopidine, clopidogrel, and tirofiban are used to prevent venous or arterial thrombosis. Patients taking these antithrombotic agents may be at risk for excessive bleeding after invasive dental procedures. The current antithrombotic agents used in medicine are reviewed, and the dental management of patients taking these agents is discussed.

  14. Broad-spectrum antiviral agents

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Jun-Da; Meng, Wen; Wang, Xiao-Jia; Wang, Hwa-Chain R.

    2015-01-01

    Development of highly effective, broad-spectrum antiviral agents is the major objective shared by the fields of virology and pharmaceutics. Antiviral drug development has focused on targeting viral entry and replication, as well as modulating cellular defense system. High throughput screening of molecules, genetic engineering of peptides, and functional screening of agents have identified promising candidates for development of optimal broad-spectrum antiviral agents to intervene in viral infection and control viral epidemics. This review discusses current knowledge, prospective applications, opportunities, and challenges in the development of broad-spectrum antiviral agents. PMID:26052325

  15. The Agent of Change: The Agent of Conflict.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hatfield, C. R., Jr.

    This speech examines the role of change agents in third world societies and indicates that the change agent must, to some extent, manipulate the social situation, even if his view of society is a more optimistic one than he finds in reality. If he considers strains and stresses to be the lubricants of change, then his focus on conflict as a…

  16. Incorporating BDI Agents into Human-Agent Decision Making Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamphorst, Bart; van Wissen, Arlette; Dignum, Virginia

    Artificial agents, people, institutes and societies all have the ability to make decisions. Decision making as a research area therefore involves a broad spectrum of sciences, ranging from Artificial Intelligence to economics to psychology. The Colored Trails (CT) framework is designed to aid researchers in all fields in examining decision making processes. It is developed both to study interaction between multiple actors (humans or software agents) in a dynamic environment, and to study and model the decision making of these actors. However, agents in the current implementation of CT lack the explanatory power to help understand the reasoning processes involved in decision making. The BDI paradigm that has been proposed in the agent research area to describe rational agents, enables the specification of agents that reason in abstract concepts such as beliefs, goals, plans and events. In this paper, we present CTAPL: an extension to CT that allows BDI software agents that are written in the practical agent programming language 2APL to reason about and interact with a CT environment.

  17. Contrast agents for MRI.

    PubMed

    Shokrollahi, H

    2013-12-01

    Contrast agents are divided into two categories. The first one is paramagnetic compounds, including lanthanides like gadolinium, which mainly reduce the longitudinal (T1) relaxation property and result in a brighter signal. The second class consists of super-paramagnetic magnetic nanoparticles (SPMNPs) such as iron oxides, which have a strong effect on the transversal (T2) relaxation properties. SPMNPs have the potential to be utilized as excellent probes for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). For instance, clinically benign iron oxide and engineered ferrite nanoparticles provide a good MRI probing capability for clinical applications. Furthermore, the limited magnetic property and inability to escape from the reticuloendothelial system (RES) of the used nanoparticles impede their further advancement. Therefore, it is necessary to develop the engineered magnetic nanoparticle probes for the next-generation molecular MRI. Considering the importance of MRI in diagnosing diseases, this paper presents an overview of recent scientific achievements in the development of new synthetic SPMNP probes whereby the sensitive and target-specific observation of biological events at the molecular and cellular levels is feasible.

  18. Plasmids encoding therapeutic agents

    DOEpatents

    Keener, William K.

    2007-08-07

    Plasmids encoding anti-HIV and anti-anthrax therapeutic agents are disclosed. Plasmid pWKK-500 encodes a fusion protein containing DP178 as a targeting moiety, the ricin A chain, an HIV protease cleavable linker, and a truncated ricin B chain. N-terminal extensions of the fusion protein include the maltose binding protein and a Factor Xa protease site. C-terminal extensions include a hydrophobic linker, an L domain motif peptide, a KDEL ER retention signal, another Factor Xa protease site, an out-of-frame buforin II coding sequence, the lacZ.alpha. peptide, and a polyhistidine tag. More than twenty derivatives of plasmid pWKK-500 are described. Plasmids pWKK-700 and pWKK-800 are similar to pWKK-500 wherein the DP178-encoding sequence is substituted by RANTES- and SDF-1-encoding sequences, respectively. Plasmid pWKK-900 is similar to pWKK-500 wherein the HIV protease cleavable linker is substituted by a lethal factor (LF) peptide-cleavable linker.

  19. Phytonutrients as therapeutic agents.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Charu; Prakash, Dhan

    2014-09-01

    Nutrients present in various foods plays an important role in maintaining the normal functions of the human body. The major nutrients present in foods include carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins, and minerals. Besides these, there are some bioactive food components known as "phytonutrients" that play an important role in human health. They have tremendous impact on the health care system and may provide medical health benefits including the prevention and/or treatment of disease and various physiological disorders. Phytonutrients play a positive role by maintaining and modulating immune function to prevent specific diseases. Being natural products, they hold a great promise in clinical therapy as they possess no side effects that are usually associated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. They are also comparatively cheap and thus significantly reduce health care cost. Phytonutrients are the plant nutrients with specific biological activities that support human health. Some of the important bioactive phytonutrients include polyphenols, terpenoids, resveratrol, flavonoids, isoflavonoids, carotenoids, limonoids, glucosinolates, phytoestrogens, phytosterols, anthocyanins, ω-3 fatty acids, and probiotics. They play specific pharmacological effects in human health such as anti-microbial, anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, anti-spasmodic, anti-cancer, anti-aging, hepatoprotective, hypolipidemic, neuroprotective, hypotensive, diabetes, osteoporosis, CNS stimulant, analgesic, protection from UVB-induced carcinogenesis, immuno-modulator, and carminative. This mini-review attempts to summarize the major important types of phytonutrients and their role in promoting human health and as therapeutic agents along with the current market trend and commercialization.

  20. TACtic- A Multi Behavioral Agent for Trading Agent Competition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khosravi, Hassan; Shiri, Mohammad E.; Khosravi, Hamid; Iranmanesh, Ehsan; Davoodi, Alireza

    Software agents are increasingly being used to represent humans in online auctions. Such agents have the advantages of being able to systematically monitor a wide variety of auctions and then make rapid decisions about what bids to place in what auctions. They can do this continuously and repetitively without losing concentration. To provide a means of evaluating and comparing (benchmarking) research methods in this area the trading agent competition (TAC) was established. This paper describes the design, of TACtic. Our agent uses multi behavioral techniques at the heart of its decision making to make bidding decisions in the face of uncertainty, to make predictions about the likely outcomes of auctions, and to alter the agent's bidding strategy in response to the prevailing market conditions.

  1. Q Fever, Scrub Typhus, and Rickettsial Diseases in Children, Kenya, 2011-2012.

    PubMed

    Maina, Alice N; Farris, Christina M; Odhiambo, Antony; Jiang, Ju; Laktabai, Jeremiah; Armstrong, Janice; Holland, Thomas; Richards, Allen L; O'Meara, Wendy P

    2016-05-01

    To increase knowledge of undifferentiated fevers in Kenya, we tested paired serum samples from febrile children in western Kenya for antibodies against pathogens increasingly recognized to cause febrile illness in Africa. Of patients assessed, 8.9%, 22.4%, 1.1%, and 3.6% had enhanced seroreactivity to Coxiella burnetii, spotted fever group rickettsiae, typhus group rickettsiae, and scrub typhus group orientiae, respectively.

  2. Successful management of chronic multifocal Q fever Osteomyelitis with adjuvant interferon-gamma therapy.

    PubMed

    Neth, Olaf Werner; Falcon, Dolores; Peromingo, Estrella; Soledad Camacho, Maria; Rodríguez-Gallego, Carlos; Obando, Ignacio

    2011-09-01

    We present a 3-year-old girl who had chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis caused by Coxiella burnetii despite long-term dual antibiotic therapy. Excellent clinical response was achieved and sustained when immunomodulatory therapy with interferon-γ was initiated. This is the case of a first child who was successfully treated with interferon-γ as adjuvant therapy for chronic multifocal Q fever osteomyelitis.

  3. Q Fever with unusual exposure history: a classic presentation of a commonly misdiagnosed disease.

    PubMed

    Nett, Randall J; Book, Earl; Anderson, Alicia D

    2012-01-01

    We describe the case of a man presumptively diagnosed and treated for Rocky Mountain spotted fever following exposure to multiple ticks while riding horses. The laboratory testing of acute and convalescent serum specimens led to laboratory confirmation of acute Q fever as the etiology. This case represents a potential tickborne transmission of Coxiella burnetii and highlights the importance of considering Q fever as a possible diagnosis following tick exposures.

  4. U.S. Army Medical Department Journal (April-June 2006)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-06-01

    of Rocky Mounted Spotted fever ( Rickettsia rickettsii ) or Q fever (Coxiella burnetii), nor were these animals protected against challenge with R...important but not particularly challenging from a technical standpoint. For example, field water surveillance was largely limited to coliform bacteria ...gum added to the field rations, Meal, Ready to Eat (MREs).8 Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that kills the bacteria that causes

  5. Oral contraceptive agents.

    PubMed

    Shearman, R P

    1986-02-17

    The history of the development of oral contraceptives (OCs) has been a progressive reduction in dosage to what is now probably the lowest does that is compatible with the desired therapeutic effect -- to inhibit ovluation. Yet, controversy and argument continue. A table lists the OCs that are available in Australia. Many of these preparations, although having different trade names, have an identical composition. Since the withdrawal of sequential OCs from the Australian market, there are only 2 generic types. These are the progestogen only (mini) OCs, which consist of either 30 mcg of levonorgestrel or 350 mcg of norethisterone given at the same time every day; and the combined OCs, which contain an estrogen and a progestogen. In the last 12 months, some of the older high-dose OCs have been withdrawn, and it seems likely that further withdrawals will follow. Only 2 estrogens are used in the formulation of the OC, but there is a greater variety of progestogens. Ethinyl estradiol is used in most preparations. A small minority of OCs contain mestranol, the 3-methyl ether of ethinyl estradiol. Currently, there are only 4 OC agents that are available in Australia that contain mestranol and 2 of these contain the high doses of 100 mcg. Fundamentally, there are 2 types of progestogens -- those that contain, or are metabolized to, norethisterone and those that contain norgestrel or its close relative, desogestrel. With the exception of the norgestrel group and desogestrel, all other progestins, including norethisterone itself, are effective in vivo after they have been metablized to norethisterone. Mestranol is effective in humans after demethylation to ethinyl estradiol. In the norgesterel group, since d-norgestrel is inert endocrinologically, 250 mcg of levonorgestrel and 500 mcg of dl-norgestrel are equivalent. Levonorgestrel and desogestrel are of approximately equal potency. With the combined OC agents, the overwhelming mechanism of action is by the inhibition of the

  6. 7 CFR 4290.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the financial markets..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RURAL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANY (âRBICâ) PROGRAM Financial Assistance for RBICs... or cause to be appointed agent(s) to perform functions necessary to market and service Debentures...

  7. 7 CFR 4290.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the financial markets..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RURAL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANY (âRBICâ) PROGRAM Financial Assistance for RBICs... or cause to be appointed agent(s) to perform functions necessary to market and service Debentures...

  8. Gelled Anti-icing Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markles, O. F.; Sperber, H. H.

    1983-01-01

    Pectin added to antifreeze/water mixture. Formulations include water with dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as deicer and pectin as gel former. Without gelling agent, deicer runs off vertical surfaces. Without pectin solution will completely evaporate in far less time. Agents developed have wide potential for ice prevention on runways, highways, bridges and sidewalks.

  9. Field Agent Activities: Level 1.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gussett, James

    One of a series of monographs providing information about the Delaware Model: A Systems Approach to Science Education (Del Mod System), this monograph describes the role of field agents. These agents are responsible for individual teachers who express a desire for involvement in improving teacher effectiveness and to be involved in the teaching of…

  10. Hypersensitivity to antineoplastic agents.

    PubMed

    Castells, M C

    2008-01-01

    The need to offer first line therapy for primary and recurrent cancers has spurred the clinical development of rapid desensitizations for chemotherapy and monoclonal antibodies. Rapid desensitizations allow patients to be treated with medications to which they have presented with hypersensitivity reactions (HSRs), including anaphylaxis. Rapid desensitization achieves temporary tolerization to full therapeutic doses by slow administration of incremental doses of the drug inducing the HSR. Protocols are available for most chemotherapy agents, including taxanes, platins, doxorubicin, monoclonal antibodies, and others. Candidate patients include those who present with type I HSRs, mast cell/IgE dependent, including anaphylaxis, and non-IgE mediated HSRs, during the chemotherapy infusion or shortly after. Idiosyncratic reactions, erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis are not amenable to rapid desensitization. The recommendation for rapid desensitization can only be made by allergy and immunology specialists and can only be performed in settings with one-to-one nurse-patient care and where resuscitation personnel and resources are readily available. Repeated desensitizations can be safely performed in outpatient settings with similar conditions, which allow cancer patients to remain in clinical studies. We have generated a universal 12-step protocol that was applied to 413 cases of intravenous and intraperitoneal rapid desensitizations using taxanes, platins, liposomal doxorubicin, doxorubicin, rituximab, and other chemotherapy drugs. Under this protocol all patients were able to complete their target dose, and 94% of the patients had limited or no reactions. No deaths or codes were reported, indicating that the procedure was safe and effective in delivering first line chemotherapy drugs.

  11. Dialogue Games for Agent Argumentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McBurney, Peter; Parsons, Simon

    The rise of the Internet and the growth of distributed computing have led to a major paradigm shift in software engineering and computer science. Until recently, the notion of computation has been variously construed as numerical calculation, as information processing, or as intelligent symbol analysis, but increasingly, it is now viewed as distributed cognition and interaction between intelligent entities [60]. This new view has major implications for the conceptualization, design, engineering and control of software systems, most profoundly expressed in the concept of systems of intelligent software agents, or multi-agent systems [99]. Agents are software entities with control over their own execution; the design of such agents, and of multi-agent systems of them, presents major research and software engineering challenges to computer scientists.

  12. Transdermal delivery of therapeutic agent

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kwiatkowski, Krzysztof C. (Inventor); Hayes, Ryan T. (Inventor); Magnuson, James W. (Inventor); Giletto, Anthony (Inventor)

    2008-01-01

    A device for the transdermal delivery of a therapeutic agent to a biological subject that includes a first electrode comprising a first array of electrically conductive microprojections for providing electrical communication through a skin portion of the subject to a second electrode comprising a second array of electrically conductive microprojections. Additionally, a reservoir for holding the therapeutic agent surrounding the first electrode and a pulse generator for providing an exponential decay pulse between the first and second electrodes may be provided. A method includes the steps of piercing a stratum corneum layer of skin with two arrays of conductive microprojections, encapsulating the therapeutic agent into biocompatible charged carriers, surrounding the conductive microprojections with the therapeutic agent, generating an exponential decay pulse between the two arrays of conductive microprojections to create a non-uniform electrical field and electrokinetically driving the therapeutic agent through the stratum corneum layer of skin.

  13. Intelligent Agents in Physics Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez-Guzmán, D.; Mora, César

    2010-07-01

    Intelligent Agents are being applied in a wide range of processes and everyday applications. Their development is not new, in recent years they have had an increased attention and design; like learning and mentoring tools. In this work we discuss the definition of what an intelligent agent is; how they are applied; how they look like; recent implementations of agents; agents as support in the learning process, more precisely intelligent tutors; their state in Latin-American countries and future developments and trends that will permit a better communication between people and agents. Also we present an Intelligent Tutor applied as a tool for improving high-school students' skills and reasoning for the first five topics of Mechanics curricula.

  14. Markov Tracking for Agent Coordination

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Washington, Richard; Lau, Sonie (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    Partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs) axe an attractive representation for representing agent behavior, since they capture uncertainty in both the agent's state and its actions. However, finding an optimal policy for POMDPs in general is computationally difficult. In this paper we present Markov Tracking, a restricted problem of coordinating actions with an agent or process represented as a POMDP Because the actions coordinate with the agent rather than influence its behavior, the optimal solution to this problem can be computed locally and quickly. We also demonstrate the use of the technique on sequential POMDPs, which can be used to model a behavior that follows a linear, acyclic trajectory through a series of states. By imposing a "windowing" restriction that restricts the number of possible alternatives considered at any moment to a fixed size, a coordinating action can be calculated in constant time, making this amenable to coordination with complex agents.

  15. Knowledge focus via software agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henager, Donald E.

    2001-09-01

    The essence of military Command and Control (C2) is making knowledge intensive decisions in a limited amount of time using uncertain, incorrect, or outdated information. It is essential to provide tools to decision-makers that provide: * Management of friendly forces by treating the "friendly resources as a system". * Rapid assessment of effects of military actions againt the "enemy as a system". * Assessment of how an enemy should, can, and could react to friendly military activities. Software agents in the form of mission agents, target agents, maintenance agents, and logistics agents can meet this information challenge. The role of each agent is to know all the details about its assigned mission, target, maintenance, or logistics entity. The Mission Agent would fight for mission resources based on the mission priority and analyze the effect that a proposed mission's results would have on the enemy. The Target Agent (TA) communicates with other targets to determine its role in the system of targets. A system of TAs would be able to inform a planner or analyst of the status of a system of targets, the effect of that status, adn the effect of attacks on that system. The system of TAs would also be able to analyze possible enemy reactions to attack by determining ways to minimize the effect of attack, such as rerouting traffic or using deception. The Maintenance Agent would scheudle maintenance events and notify the maintenance unit. The Logistics Agent would manage shipment and delivery of supplies to maintain appropriate levels of weapons, fuel and spare parts. The central idea underlying this case of software agents is knowledge focus. Software agents are createad automatically to focus their attention on individual real-world entities (e.g., missions, targets) and view the world from that entities perspective. The agent autonomously monitors the entity, identifies problems/opportunities, formulates solutions, and informs the decision-maker. The agent must be

  16. Endocarditis Due to Rare and Fastidious Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Brouqui, P.; Raoult, D.

    2001-01-01

    The etiologic diagnosis of infective endocarditis is easily made in the presence of continuous bacteremia with gram-positive cocci. However, the blood culture may contain a bacterium rarely associated with endocarditis, such as Lactobacillus spp., Klebsiella spp., or nontoxigenic Corynebacterium, Salmonella, Gemella, Campylobacter, Aeromonas, Yersinia, Nocardia, Pasteurella, Listeria, or Erysipelothrix spp., that requires further investigation to establish the relationship with endocarditis, or the blood culture may be uninformative despite a supportive clinical evaluation. In the latter case, the etiologic agents are either fastidious extracellular or intracellular bacteria. Fastidious extracellular bacteria such as Abiotrophia, HACEK group bacteria, Clostridium, Brucella, Legionella, Mycobacterium, and Bartonella spp. need supplemented media, prolonged incubation time, and special culture conditions. Intracellular bacteria such as Coxiella burnetii cannot be isolated routinely. The two most prevalent etiologic agents of culture-negative endocarditis are C. burnetti and Bartonella spp. Their diagnosis is usually carried out serologically. A systemic pathologic examination of excised heart valves including periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining and molecular methods has allowed the identification of Whipple's bacillus endocarditis. Pathologic examination of the valve using special staining, such as Warthin-Starry, Gimenez, and PAS, and broad-spectrum PCR should be performed systematically when no etiologic diagnosis is evident through routine laboratory evaluation. PMID:11148009

  17. Ectoparasites and associated pathogens of free-roaming and captive animals in zoos of South Carolina.

    PubMed

    Nelder, Mark P; Reeves, Will K; Adler, Peter H; Wozniak, Arthur; Wills, William

    2009-10-01

    A survey of ectoparasites and their associated pathogens was conducted in two South Carolina zoos, from 2004 to 2007. Dead, wild birds and mammals, as well as captive animals examined during routine veterinary checks constituted the study populations. Ectoparasites were tested for species of Anaplasma, Bartonella, Coxiella burnetii, Ehrlichia, Rickettsia, and Trypanosoma. Forty-six species of ectoparasites were collected from 133 free-roaming and captive hosts and their associated nesting and bedding materials. Six vector-borne pathogens were detected molecularly in the ectoparasites, including Anaplasma phagocytophilum in the tick Ixodes dentatus Marx from an eastern cottontail rabbit, Bartonella clarridgeiae in the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché) from a Virginia opossum, Bartonella sp. Oh6 in the squirrel flea Orchopeas howardi (Baker) from an eastern grey squirrel, Bartonella sp. T7498 in the sucking louse Neohaematopinus sciuri Jancke from a squirrel, Rickettsia sp. Rf2125 in C. felis from a zookeeper and a grizzly bear, and Rickettsiales sp. Ib 2006 in Ixodes brunneus Koch from an American crow. While the pathology of some of these pathogens is poorly known, Anaplasma phagocytophilum (causative agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis) and Bartonella clarridgeiae (causative agent of a disease similar to cat-scratch disease) can infect humans. Ectoparasites and their pathogens, especially those originating from free-roaming animals, present a potential threat to captive animals and humans.

  18. Contrast agents for cardiac angiography: effects of a nonionic agent vs. a standard ionic agent

    SciTech Connect

    Bettmann, M.A.; Bourdillon, P.D.; Barry, W.H.; Brush, K.A.; Levin, D.C.

    1984-12-01

    The effects on cardiac hemodynamics and of a standard contrast agent, sodium methylglucamine diatrizoate (Renografin 76) were compared with the effects of a new nonionic agent (iohexol) in a double-blind study in 51 patietns undergoing coronary angiography and left ventriculography. No significant alteration in measured blood parameters occurred with either contrast agent. Hemodynamic changes occurred with both, but were significantly greater with the standard renografin than with the low-osmolality, nonionic iohexol. After left ventriculography, heart rate increased and peripheral arterial pressure fell with both agents, but less with iohexol. It is concluded that iohexol causes less alteration in cardiac function than does the agent currently most widely used. Nonionic contrast material is likely to improve the safety of coronary angiography, particularly in those patients at greatest risk.

  19. Agent Communications using Distributed Metaobjects

    SciTech Connect

    Goldsmith, Steven Y.; Spires, Shannon V.

    1999-06-10

    There are currently two proposed standards for agent communication languages, namely, KQML (Finin, Lobrou, and Mayfield 1994) and the FIPA ACL. Neither standard has yet achieved primacy, and neither has been evaluated extensively in an open environment such as the Internet. It seems prudent therefore to design a general-purpose agent communications facility for new agent architectures that is flexible yet provides an architecture that accepts many different specializations. In this paper we exhibit the salient features of an agent communications architecture based on distributed metaobjects. This architecture captures design commitments at a metaobject level, leaving the base-level design and implementation up to the agent developer. The scope of the metamodel is broad enough to accommodate many different communication protocols, interaction protocols, and knowledge sharing regimes through extensions to the metaobject framework. We conclude that with a powerful distributed object substrate that supports metaobject communications, a general framework can be developed that will effectively enable different approaches to agent communications in the same agent system. We have implemented a KQML-based communications protocol and have several special-purpose interaction protocols under development.

  20. Requirements Modeling with Agent Programming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dasgupta, Aniruddha; Krishna, Aneesh; Ghose, Aditya K.

    Agent-oriented conceptual modeling notations are highly effective in representing requirements from an intentional stance and answering questions such as what goals exist, how key actors depend on each other, and what alternatives must be considered. In this chapter, we review an approach to executing i* models by translating these into set of interacting agents implemented in the CASO language and suggest how we can perform reasoning with requirements modeled (both functional and non-functional) using i* models. In this chapter we particularly incorporate deliberation into the agent design. This allows us to benefit from the complementary representational capabilities of the two frameworks.

  1. Nuclear magnetic resonance contrast agents

    DOEpatents

    Smith, P.H.; Brainard, J.R.; Jarvinen, G.D.; Ryan, R.R.

    1997-12-30

    A family of contrast agents for use in magnetic resonance imaging and a method of enhancing the contrast of magnetic resonance images of an object by incorporating a contrast agent of this invention into the object prior to forming the images or during formation of the images. A contrast agent of this invention is a paramagnetic lanthanide hexaazamacrocyclic molecule, where a basic example has the formula LnC{sub 16}H{sub 14}N{sub 6}. Important applications of the invention are in medical diagnosis, treatment, and research, where images of portions of a human body are formed by means of magnetic resonance techniques. 10 figs.

  2. Nuclear magnetic resonance contrast agents

    DOEpatents

    Smith, Paul H.; Brainard, James R.; Jarvinen, Gordon D.; Ryan, Robert R.

    1997-01-01

    A family of contrast agents for use in magnetic resonance imaging and a method of enhancing the contrast of magnetic resonance images of an object by incorporating a contrast agent of this invention into the object prior to forming the images or during formation of the images. A contrast agent of this invention is a paramagnetic lanthanide hexaazamacrocyclic molecule, where a basic example has the formula LnC.sub.16 H.sub.14 N.sub.6. Important applications of the invention are in medical diagnosis, treatment, and research, where images of portions of a human body are formed by means of magnetic resonance techniques.

  3. Serologic and molecular characterization of tickborne pathogens in lions (Panthera leo) from the Fasano Safari Park, Italy.

    PubMed

    Torina, Alessandra; Naranjo, Victoria; Pennisi, Maria Grazia; Patania, Tatiana; Vitale, Fabrizio; Laricchiuta, Pietro; Alongi, Angelina; Scimeca, Salvatore; Kocan, Katherine M; de la Fuente, José

    2007-12-01

    Lions (Panthera leo) are an endangered species threatened by illegal hunting, habitat loss, and infectious diseases. Little is known about the tick-borne pathogens that infect lions and could contribute to population declines. The objective of this study was to characterize Rickettsia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Coxiella burnetii infections in 10 lions from the Fasano Safari Park in Italy by serology, polymerase chain reaction, and sequence analysis. Although animals did not show clinical signs of tick-borne diseases, evidence of infection with C. burnetii, spotted fever group Rickettsia sp., and A. phagocytophilum were found in 50%, 20%, and 10% of the lions, respectively. One of the lions tested positive for all three pathogens. This study is the first report of molecular evidence of infection with C. burnetii, Rickettsia sp., and A. phagocytophilum in lions and provides evidence that these felids become infected and serve as hosts for tick-transmitted bacteria.

  4. Seroepidemiological study of Q fever in small ruminants from Southeast Iran.

    PubMed

    Ezatkhah, Majid; Alimolaei, Mojtaba; Khalili, Mohammad; Sharifi, Hamid

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of Coxiella burnetii antibodies in small ruminants in Southeast Iran. A total of 368 small ruminant blood samples (241 caprine blood samples and 127 ovine blood samples) were collected from January to May of 2011 in Southeast Iran. A commercial ELISA test kit was employed to identify specific antibodies against C. burnetii in the sheep and goats. Seropositivity in the examined counties ranged from 17.1% to 39.2%. Of the animals tested, 97 animals (26.4%), including 43 sheep (33.9%) and 54 goats (22.4%), had antibodies to C. burnetii. The results of the current study reveal the high prevalence of antibody positivity in small ruminants in Southeast Iran. Thus, sheep and goats are important reservoirs in this area. Additionally, we performed a logistic regression to the identify risk factors for positivity and concluded that age was an important risk factor (P<0.001).

  5. Agent-based forward analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Kerekes, Ryan A.; Jiao, Yu; Shankar, Mallikarjun; Potok, Thomas E.; Lusk, Rick M.

    2008-01-01

    We propose software agent-based "forward analysis" for efficient information retrieval in a network of sensing devices. In our approach, processing is pushed to the data at the edge of the network via intelligent software agents rather than pulling data to a central facility for processing. The agents are deployed with a specific query and perform varying levels of analysis of the data, communicating with each other and sending only relevant information back across the network. We demonstrate our concept in the context of face recognition using a wireless test bed comprised of PDA cell phones and laptops. We show that agent-based forward analysis can provide a significant increase in retrieval speed while decreasing bandwidth usage and information overload at the central facility. n

  6. Peripheral Neuropathy and Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... ZIP code here Enter ZIP code here Peripheral Neuropathy and Agent Orange VA presumes Veterans' early-onset ... percent disabling by VA's rating regulations. About peripheral neuropathy Peripheral neuropathy is a condition of the peripheral ...

  7. Diamine curing agents for polyurethanes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, V. L.; St. Clair, T. L.

    1975-01-01

    Three aromatic diamines have properties that make them promising candidates as curing agents for converting isocyanates to polyurethanes with higher adhesive strengths, higher softening temperatures, better toughness, and improved abrasion resistance.

  8. Triggered pore-forming agents

    DOEpatents

    Bayley, Hagan; Walker, Barbara J.; Chang, Chung-yu; Niblack, Brett; Panchal, Rekha

    1998-01-01

    An inactive pore-forming agent which is activated to lytic function by a condition such as pH, light, heat, reducing potential, or metal ion concentration, or substance such as a protease, at the surface of a cell.

  9. Tissue Penetration of Antifungal Agents

    PubMed Central

    Felton, Timothy; Troke, Peter F.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Understanding the tissue penetration of systemically administered antifungal agents is critical for a proper appreciation of their antifungal efficacy in animals and humans. Both the time course of an antifungal drug and its absolute concentrations within tissues may differ significantly from those observed in the bloodstream. In addition, tissue concentrations must also be interpreted within the context of the pathogenesis of the various invasive fungal infections, which differ significantly. There are major technical obstacles to the estimation of concentrations of antifungal agents in various tissue subcompartments, yet these agents, even those within the same class, may exhibit markedly different tissue distributions. This review explores these issues and provides a summary of tissue concentrations of 11 currently licensed systemic antifungal agents. It also explores the therapeutic implications of their distribution at various sites of infection. PMID:24396137

  10. AL Amyloidosis and Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... for survivors' benefits . Research on AL amyloidosis and herbicides The Health and Medicine Division (formally known as ... to the compounds of interest found in the herbicide Agent Orange and AL amyloidosis." VA made a ...

  11. Peripheral Neuropathy and Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... Z) Hepatitis HIV Mental Health Mental Health Home Suicide Prevention Substance Abuse Military Sexual Trauma PTSD Research ( ... eligible for a free Agent Orange registry health exam . Research on peripheral neuropathy and herbicides The Health ...

  12. AL Amyloidosis and Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... Z) Hepatitis HIV Mental Health Mental Health Home Suicide Prevention Substance Abuse Military Sexual Trauma PTSD Research ( ... eligible for a free Agent Orange registry health exam . Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of ...

  13. Launch Commit Criteria Monitoring Agent

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Semmel, Glenn S.; Davis, Steven R.; Leucht, Kurt W.; Rowe, Dan A.; Kelly, Andrew O.; Boeloeni, Ladislau

    2005-01-01

    The Spaceport Processing Systems Branch at NASA Kennedy Space Center has developed and deployed a software agent to monitor the Space Shuttle's ground processing telemetry stream. The application, the Launch Commit Criteria Monitoring Agent, increases situational awareness for system and hardware engineers during Shuttle launch countdown. The agent provides autonomous monitoring of the telemetry stream, automatically alerts system engineers when predefined criteria have been met, identifies limit warnings and violations of launch commit criteria, aids Shuttle engineers through troubleshooting procedures, and provides additional insight to verify appropriate troubleshooting of problems by contractors. The agent has successfully detected launch commit criteria warnings and violations on a simulated playback data stream. Efficiency and safety are improved through increased automation.

  14. What makes virtual agents believable?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogdanovych, Anton; Trescak, Tomas; Simoff, Simeon

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we investigate the concept of believability and make an attempt to isolate individual characteristics (features) that contribute to making virtual characters believable. As the result of this investigation we have produced a formalisation of believability and based on this formalisation built a computational framework focused on simulation of believable virtual agents that possess the identified features. In order to test whether the identified features are, in fact, responsible for agents being perceived as more believable, we have conducted a user study. In this study we tested user reactions towards the virtual characters that were created for a simulation of aboriginal inhabitants of a particular area of Sydney, Australia in 1770 A.D. The participants of our user study were exposed to short simulated scenes, in which virtual agents performed some behaviour in two different ways (while possessing a certain aspect of believability vs. not possessing it). The results of the study indicate that virtual agents that appear resource bounded, are aware of their environment, own interaction capabilities and their state in the world, agents that can adapt to changes in the environment and exist in correct social context are those that are being perceived as more believable. Further in the paper we discuss these and other believability features and provide a quantitative analysis of the level of contribution for each such feature to the overall perceived believability of a virtual agent.

  15. Learning in multi-agent systems

    SciTech Connect

    Goldman, C.V.

    1996-12-31

    Learning agents acting in a multi agent environment can improve their performance. These agents might decide upon their course of action by learning about other agents with whom they interact. The learning agents can learn about the others information and rules of behavior. The agents will not need to plan their actions beforehand, each time they are asked to solve the same problem they have already solved or when dealing with similar problems.

  16. The Genera Coxiella, Wolbachia, and Rickettsiella,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-01-01

    108 microorganisms burnetti (Spicer et al.. 1981). Rifampin. th- or the strain is extremely virulent. methopnm. doxycycline. and oxytetracycline are...large malin to cross-link and stabilize the surface an- numbers of serurrsamples can be tested at one tigens. Treatment of the whoie-cell antigens with...other microorganisms: 2) are in- remarkable stability in the environment: one is digenous to the species; and 3) are appropniate its sporogenic cycle

  17. Coxiella Burnetti Vaccine Development: Lipopolysaccharide Structural Analysis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-12-29

    coefficiqnt fe) of PFBAB was determined to be 2.0 x 104 M-1 cm- and 1.9 x 104 M-1 cm- for the fucose glycosylated derivative. The concentration of...pyridiny amine (PA) derivative of fucose was determined to have an C - 0.8 x 0i M- 1 cm-’, indicating less sensitive detection limits. The PA- fucose ...derivative was measured at its absorption maximum of 232 )m. The PFBAB reagent was also found to be fluorescent. The fucose derivative provided a Xmax - 350

  18. Collective behavior of predictive agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kephart, Jeffrey O.; Hogg, Tad; Huberman, Bernardo A.

    1990-06-01

    We investigate the effect of predictions upon a model of coevolutionary systems which was originally inspired by computational ecosystems. The model incorporates many of the features of distributed resource allocation in systems comprised of many individual agents, including asynchrony, resource contention, and decision-making based upon incomplete knowledge and delayed information. Previous analyses of a similar model of non-predictive agents have demonstrated that periodic or chaotic oscillations in resource allocation can occur under certain conditions, and that these oscillations can affect the performance of the system adversely. In this work, we show that the system performance can be improved if the agents do an adequate job of predicting the current state of the system. We explore two plausible methods for prediction - technical analysis and system analysis. Technical analysts are responsive to the behavior of the system, but suffer from an inability to take their own behavior into account. System analysts perform extremely well when they have very accurate information about the other agents in the system, but can perform very poorly when their information is even slightly inaccurate. By combining the strengths of both methods, we obtain a successful hybrid of the two prediction methods which adapts its model of other agents in response to the observed behavior of the system.

  19. Investigational Antimicrobial Agents of 2013

    PubMed Central

    Pucci, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY New antimicrobial agents are always needed to counteract the resistant pathogens that continue to be selected by current therapeutic regimens. This review provides a survey of known antimicrobial agents that were currently in clinical development in the fall of 2012 and spring of 2013. Data were collected from published literature primarily from 2010 to 2012, meeting abstracts (2011 to 2012), government websites, and company websites when appropriate. Compared to what was reported in previous surveys, a surprising number of new agents are currently in company pipelines, particularly in phase 3 clinical development. Familiar antibacterial classes of the quinolones, tetracyclines, oxazolidinones, glycopeptides, and cephalosporins are represented by entities with enhanced antimicrobial or pharmacological properties. More importantly, compounds of novel chemical structures targeting bacterial pathways not previously exploited are under development. Some of the most promising compounds include novel β-lactamase inhibitor combinations that target many multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, a critical medical need. Although new antimicrobial agents will continue to be needed to address increasing antibiotic resistance, there are novel agents in development to tackle at least some of the more worrisome pathogens in the current nosocomial setting. PMID:24092856

  20. Next Generation Remote Agent Planner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jonsson, Ari K.; Muscettola, Nicola; Morris, Paul H.; Rajan, Kanna

    1999-01-01

    In May 1999, as part of a unique technology validation experiment onboard the Deep Space One spacecraft, the Remote Agent became the first complete autonomous spacecraft control architecture to run as flight software onboard an active spacecraft. As one of the three components of the architecture, the Remote Agent Planner had the task of laying out the course of action to be taken, which included activities such as turning, thrusting, data gathering, and communicating. Building on the successful approach developed for the Remote Agent Planner, the Next Generation Remote Agent Planner is a completely redesigned and reimplemented version of the planner. The new system provides all the key capabilities of the original planner, while adding functionality, improving performance and providing a modular and extendible implementation. The goal of this ongoing project is to develop a system that provides both a basis for future applications and a framework for further research in the area of autonomous planning for spacecraft. In this article, we present an introductory overview of the Next Generation Remote Agent Planner. We present a new and simplified definition of the planning problem, describe the basics of the planning process, lay out the new system design and examine the functionality of the core reasoning module.

  1. Dual Rationality and Deliberative Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debenham, John; Sierra, Carles

    Human agents deliberate using models based on reason for only a minute proportion of the decisions that they make. In stark contrast, the deliberation of artificial agents is heavily dominated by formal models based on reason such as game theory, decision theory and logic—despite that fact that formal reasoning will not necessarily lead to superior real-world decisions. Further the Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek warns us of the ‘fatal conceit’ in controlling deliberative systems using models based on reason as the particular model chosen will then shape the system’s future and either impede, or eventually destroy, the subtle evolutionary processes that are an integral part of human systems and institutions, and are crucial to their evolution and long-term survival. We describe an architecture for artificial agents that is founded on Hayek’s two rationalities and supports the two forms of deliberation used by mankind.

  2. [Anti-influenza virus agent].

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Shigeki; Kohno, Shigeru

    2012-04-01

    The necessity of newly anti-influenza agents is increasing rapidly after the prevalence of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009. In addition to the existing anti-influenza drugs, novel neuraminidase inhibitors such as peramivir (a first intravenous anti-influenza agent) and laninamivir (long acting inhaled anti-influenza agent) can be available. Moreover favipiravir, which shows a novel anti-influenza mechanism acting as RNA polymerase inhibitor, has been developing. These drugs are expected to improve the prognosis of severe cases caused by not only seasonal influenza but pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 virus and H5N1 avian influenza, and also treat oseltamivir-resistant influenza effectively.

  3. Agent review phase one report.

    SciTech Connect

    Zubelewicz, Alex Tadeusz; Davis, Christopher Edward; Bauer, Travis LaDell

    2009-12-01

    This report summarizes the findings for phase one of the agent review and discusses the review methods and results. The phase one review identified a short list of agent systems that would prove most useful in the service architecture of an information management, analysis, and retrieval system. Reviewers evaluated open-source and commercial multi-agent systems and scored them based upon viability, uniqueness, ease of development, ease of deployment, and ease of integration with other products. Based on these criteria, reviewers identified the ten most appropriate systems. The report also mentions several systems that reviewers deemed noteworthy for the ideas they implement, even if those systems are not the best choices for information management purposes.

  4. Learning Agents in Automated Negotiations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandrashekhar, Hemalatha; Bhasker, Bharat

    In bilateral multi-issue negotiations involving two-sided information uncertainty, selfish agents participating in a distributed search of the solution space need to learn the opponent’s preferences from the on-going negotiation interactions and utilize such knowledge to construct future proposals in order to hope to arrive at efficient outcomes. Besides, negotiation support systems that inhibit strategic misrepresentation of information need to be in place in order to assist the protagonists to obtain truly efficient solutions. To this end, this work suggests an automated negotiation procedure that while protecting the information privacy of the participating agents encourages truthful revelation of information through successive proposals. Further we present an algorithm for proposal construction in the case of two continuous issues. When both the negotiating agents implement the algorithm the negotiation trace shall be confined to the Pareto frontier. The Pareto-optimal deal close to the Nash solution shall be located whenever such a deal exists.

  5. Landslides as agents of diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geertsema, Marten

    2016-04-01

    Landslides, often destructive and damaging, are also agents of change that introduce diversity to landscapes. I discuss landslide diversity at three levels: site diversity, soil diversity, and habitat diversity. There are many landslide types involving different materials and rates and styles of movement. Landscape diversity varies with different types of landslides. Landslides, at the same time depositional and erosional agents, influence sites by redistributing materials and changing microtopography. Eroded portions of landslides, with exposed parent material, revert to the initial stages of soil development and ecological succession. Landslides can also alter soil properties including, surface texture, chemistry and porosity. Landslides influence habitat diversity by creating ecosystem mosaics.

  6. Autonomous sensor manager agents (ASMA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osadciw, Lisa A.

    2004-04-01

    Autonomous sensor manager agents are presented as an algorithm to perform sensor management within a multisensor fusion network. The design of the hybrid ant system/particle swarm agents is described in detail with some insight into their performance. Although the algorithm is designed for the general sensor management problem, a simulation example involving 2 radar systems is presented. Algorithmic parameters are determined by the size of the region covered by the sensor network, the number of sensors, and the number of parameters to be selected. With straight forward modifications, this algorithm can be adapted for most sensor management problems.

  7. Neospora caninum infection as a cause of reproductive failure in a sheep flock.

    PubMed

    González-Warleta, Marta; Castro-Hermida, José Antonio; Regidor-Cerrillo, Javier; Benavides, Julio; Álvarez-García, Gema; Fuertes, Miguel; Ortega-Mora, Luis Miguel; Mezo, Mercedes

    2014-08-26

    Neospora caninum has been detected only sporadically in cases of ovine abortion, and it has therefore traditionally been considered as an unimportant parasite in small ruminants. This study was carried out with the aim of identifying the pathogen causing serious reproductive problems on a commercial sheep farm. Sera from all rams and ewes tested negative for antibodies against Border disease virus, Schmallenberg virus and Coxiella burnetii, and infections by these agents were therefore ruled out. Nevertheless, seropositivity to N. caninum and/or Toxoplasma gondii was detected, although the seroprevalence was higher in the case of N. caninum. The percentage of lambings and the number of lambs per dam were significantly lower in ewes that were seropositive to N. caninum while no effect on these parameters was detected in ewes that were seropositive to T. gondii. There was also no evidence of infection by T. gondii in the foetal/lamb tissues analyzed by PCR and/or immunohistopathological techniques. On the contrary, the DNA of N. caninum was detected in 13 out of 14 foetuses/lambs descendant from dams seropositive to this parasite. Characteristic lesions caused by N. caninum and/or its antigen were also detected. Genotyping of the N. caninum DNA revealed only two closely related microsatellite multilocus genotypes. The results clearly demonstrate that infection by N. caninum was the cause of the low reproductive performance of this sheep flock.

  8. Topical hemostatic agents for dermatologic surgery.

    PubMed

    Larson, P O

    1988-06-01

    Topical hemostatic agents are very helpful in attaining capillary and small vessel hemostasis in dermatologic surgery. The commonly used topical hemostatic agents, including oxidized cellulose, absorbable gelatin, and thrombin are reviewed, along with newer agents such as microfibrillar collagen, fibrin sealants, and acrylates. Agents best suited for certain situations are recommended.

  9. 13 CFR 120.952 - Fiscal agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Fiscal agent. 120.952 Section 120... Loan Program (504) Debenture Sales and Service Agents § 120.952 Fiscal agent. SBA shall appoint a Fiscal Agent to assess the financial markets, minimize the cost of sales, arrange for the production...

  10. Topical hemostatic agents in otolaryngologic surgery.

    PubMed

    Acar, Baran; Babademez, Mehmet Ali; Karabulut, Hayriye

    2010-01-01

    Topical hemostatic agents are largely used to reduce blood loss during otolaryngologic surgery. These agents play an important role in both keeping the patient's hemodynamic equilibrium and allowing for a better view of the surgical field. These agents can be classified based on their mechanism of action, and include physical or mechanical agents. Most complications of topical hemostatic agents are sustained because of the antigenic reaction of those products. This paper reviews traditional and newer topical hemostatic agents with regard to their chemical properties, their mechanisms of action, and the benefits and complications of topical agents.

  11. Other Viruses and Viruslike Agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The diseases reported under 'Virus and Virus-like Agents' in the first volume of this compendium, with the exception of Cherry rasp leaf virus and Rubus chinese seed-borne virus, should be considered oddities since there are no known type isolates available for these reported viruses. Without a po...

  12. Activity Recognition for Agent Teams

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-07-01

    correspond to a real team, but is rather a visual illusion caused by a coincidental configuration of agents. 50 CHAPTER 4. STABR The behavior...each frame-pair were only classified with 76% accuracy, such a method would hallucinate false action transitions at unacceptable rates). Fortunately

  13. Nucleotide cleaving agents and method

    DOEpatents

    Que, Jr., Lawrence; Hanson, Richard S.; Schnaith, Leah M. T.

    2000-01-01

    The present invention provides a unique series of nucleotide cleaving agents and a method for cleaving a nucleotide sequence, whether single-stranded or double-stranded DNA or RNA, using and a cationic metal complex having at least one polydentate ligand to cleave the nucleotide sequence phosphate backbone to yield a hydroxyl end and a phosphate end.

  14. Foodborne illness and microbial agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Foodborne illnesses result from the consumption of food containing microbial agents such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or food contaminated by poisonous chemicals or bio-toxins. Pathogen proliferation is due to nutrient composition of foods, which are capable of supporting the growth of microorgan...

  15. An Introduction to Software Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-02-01

    applicable to modelling red force entities for VMSA. This paper provides an overview of software agents and represents the first step in the...ordinateur, et que la simulation en cours modélise leurs capteurs , leurs armes et leurs caractéristiques matérielles. vi DRDC Atlantic TM...34 9 Sample Applications

  16. 7 CFR 4290.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RURAL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANY (âRBICâ) PROGRAM Financial Assistance for RBICs (Leverage) Funding Leverage by Use of Guaranteed Trust Certificates (âtcsâ) § 4290.1620 Functions of agents... to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the financial...

  17. 13 CFR 107.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANIES SBA Financial Assistance for Licensees (Leverage) Funding Leverage by Use of Sba-Guaranteed Trust Certificates (âtcsâ) § 107.1620... Fiscal Agent to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the...

  18. 7 CFR 4290.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RURAL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANY (âRBICâ) PROGRAM Financial Assistance for RBICs (Leverage) Funding Leverage by Use of Guaranteed Trust Certificates (âtcsâ) § 4290.1620 Functions of agents... to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the financial...

  19. 13 CFR 107.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANIES SBA Financial Assistance for Licensees (Leverage) Funding Leverage by Use of Sba-Guaranteed Trust Certificates (âtcsâ) § 107.1620... Fiscal Agent to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the...

  20. 13 CFR 107.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANIES SBA Financial Assistance for Licensees (Leverage) Funding Leverage by Use of Sba-Guaranteed Trust Certificates (âtcsâ) § 107.1620... Fiscal Agent to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the...

  1. 7 CFR 4290.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RURAL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANY (âRBICâ) PROGRAM Financial Assistance for RBICs (Leverage) Funding Leverage by Use of Guaranteed Trust Certificates (âtcsâ) § 4290.1620 Functions of agents... to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the financial...

  2. SEM: A Cultural Change Agent

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnes, Bradley; Bourke, Brian

    2015-01-01

    The authors advance the concept that institutional culture is a purposeful framework by which to view SEM's utility, particularly as a cultural change agent. Through the connection of seemingly independent functions of performance and behavior, implications emerge that deepen the understanding of the influence of culture on performance outcomes…

  3. Triggered pore-forming agents

    DOEpatents

    Bayley, H.; Walker, B.J.; Chang, C.Y.; Niblack, B.; Panchal, R.

    1998-07-07

    An inactive pore-forming agent is revealed which is activated to lytic function by a condition such as pH, light, heat, reducing potential, or metal ion concentration, or substance such as a protease, at the surface of a cell. 30 figs.

  4. Voter models with contrarian agents.

    PubMed

    Masuda, Naoki

    2013-11-01

    In the voter and many other opinion formation models, agents are assumed to behave as congregators (also called the conformists); they are attracted to the opinions of others. In this study I investigate linear extensions of the voter model with contrarian agents. An agent is either congregator or contrarian and assumes a binary opinion. I investigate three models that differ in the behavior of the contrarian toward other agents. In model 1, contrarians mimic the opinions of other contrarians and oppose (i.e., try to select the opinion opposite to) those of congregators. In model 2, contrarians mimic the opinions of congregators and oppose those of other contrarians. In model 3, contrarians oppose anybody. In all models, congregators are assumed to like anybody. I show that even a small number of contrarians prohibits the consensus in the entire population to be reached in all three models. I also obtain the equilibrium distributions using the van Kampen small-fluctuation approximation and the Fokker-Planck equation for the case of many contrarians and a single contrarian, respectively. I show that the fluctuation around the symmetric coexistence equilibrium is much larger in model 2 than in models 1 and 3 when contrarians are rare.

  5. Limonene and tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol cleaning agent

    DOEpatents

    Bohnert, G.W.; Carter, R.D.; Hand, T.E.; Powers, M.T.

    1996-05-07

    The present invention is a tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol and limonene or terpineol cleaning agent and method for formulating and/or using the cleaning agent. This cleaning agent effectively removes both polar and nonpolar contaminants from various electrical and mechanical parts and is readily used without surfactants, thereby reducing the need for additional cleaning operations. The cleaning agent is warm water rinsable without the use of surfactants. The cleaning agent can be azeotropic, enhancing ease of use in cleaning operations and ease of recycling.

  6. Limonene and tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol cleaning agent

    DOEpatents

    Bohnert, G.W.; Carter, R.D.; Hand, T.E.; Powers, M.T.

    1997-10-21

    The present invention is a tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol and limonene cleaning agent and method for formulating and/or using the cleaning agent. This cleaning agent effectively removes both polar and nonpolar contaminants from various electrical and mechanical parts and is readily used without surfactants, thereby reducing the need for additional cleaning operations. The cleaning agent is warm water rinsable without the use of surfactants. The cleaning agent can be azeotropic, enhancing ease of use in cleaning operations and ease of recycling.

  7. Limonene and tetrahydrofurfurly alcohol cleaning agent

    DOEpatents

    Bohnert, George W.; Carter, Richard D.; Hand, Thomas E.; Powers, Michael T.

    1997-10-21

    The present invention is a tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol and limonene cleaning agent and method for formulating and/or using the cleaning agent. This cleaning agent effectively removes both polar and nonpolar contaminants from various electrical and mechanical parts and is readily used without surfactants, thereby reducing the need for additional cleaning operations. The cleaning agent is warm water rinsable without the use of surfactants. The cleaning agent can be azeotropic, enhancing ease of use in cleaning operations and ease of recycling.

  8. Halide test agent replacement study

    SciTech Connect

    Banks, E.M.; Freeman, W.P.; Kovach, B.J.

    1995-02-01

    The intended phaseout of the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from commercial use required the evaluation of substitute materials for the testing for leak paths through both individual adsorbers and installed adsorbent banks. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Committee on Nuclear Air and Gas Treatment (CONAGT) is in charge of maintaining the standards and codes specifying adsorbent leak test methods for the nuclear safety related air cleaning systems. The currently published standards and codes cite the use of R-11, R-12 and R-112 for leak path test agents. All of these compounds are CFCs. There are other agencies and organizations (USDOE, USDOD and USNRC) also specifying testing for leak paths or in some cases for special life tests using the above compounds. The CONAGT has recently developed criteria for the suitability evaluation of substitute test agents. On the basis of these criteria, several compounds were evaluated for their acceptability as adsorbent bed leak and life test agents. The ASME CONAGT Test Agent Qualification Criteria. The test agent qualification is based on the following parameters: (1) Similar retention times on activated carbons at the same concentration levels as one of the following: R-11, R-12, R-112 or R-112a. (2) Similar lower detection limit sensitivity and precision in the concentration range of use as R-11, R-12, R-112 and R-112a. (3) Gives the same in-place leak test results as R-11, R-12, R-112, or R-112a. (4) Chemical and radiological stability under the use conditions. (5) Causes no degradation of the carbon and its impregnant or of the other NATS components under the use conditions. (6) Is listed in the USEPA Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) inventory for commercial use.

  9. Laser interrogation of surface agents (LISA) for chemical agent reconnaissance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higdon, N. S.; Chyba, Thomas H.; Richter, Dale A.; Ponsardin, Patrick L.; Armstrong, Wayne T.; Lobb, C. T.; Kelly, Brian T.; Babnick, Robert D.; Sedlacek, Arthur J., III

    2002-06-01

    Laser Interrogation of Surface Agents (LISA) is a new technique which exploits Raman scattering to provide standoff detection and identification of surface-deposited chemical agents. ITT Industries, Advanced Engineering and Sciences Division is developing the LISA technology under a cost-sharing arrangement with the US Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command for incorporation on the Army's future reconnaissance vehicles. A field-engineered prototype LISA-Recon system is being designed to demonstrate on-the- move measurements of chemical contaminants. In this article, we will describe the LISA technique, data form proof-of- concept measurements, the LISA-Recon design, and some of the future realizations envisioned for military sensing applications.

  10. Onto-Agents-Enabling Intelligent Agents on the Web

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-05-01

    concept of the semantic web, but also time- consuming . There has been much research here, but I have not yet seen any public 10 business ...OntoAgents project. 1. Prof. Gio Wiederhold, PhD, Principal Investigator * (Retired) Recalled for active duty to teach the Freshman course: Business on the...Manual annotation is tedious, and often done poorly. Even within the funded DAML project fewer pages were annotated than was hoped. In eCommerce , there

  11. The New Agent: A Qualitative Study to Strategically Adapt New Agent Professional Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Lauri M.; Hadley, Gregg

    2014-01-01

    The qualitative study reported here assessed the needs of agents related to new agent professional development to improve the current model. Agents who participated in new agent professional development within the last 5 years were selected to participate in focus groups to determine concerns and continued needs. Agents enjoyed networking and…

  12. Does an Agent Matter? The Effects of Animated Pedagogical Agents on Multimedia Environments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Craig, Scotty D.; Gholson, Barry

    Data are presented on the effects of Animated Agents on multimedia learning environments with specific concerns of split attention and modality effects. The study was a 3 (agent properties: agent only, agent with gestures, no agent) x 3 (picture features: static picture, sudden onset, animation) factorial design with outcome measures of mental…

  13. Innovative agents in cancer prevention.

    PubMed

    Manson, Margaret M; Farmer, Peter B; Gescher, Andreas; Steward, William P

    2005-01-01

    There are many facets to cancer prevention: a good diet, weight control and physical activity, a healthy environment, avoidance of carcinogens such as those in tobacco smoke, and screening of populations at risk to allow early detection. But there is also the possibility of using drugs or naturally occurring compounds to prevent initiation of, or to suppress, tumour growth. Only a few such agents have been used to date in the clinic with any success, and these include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for colon, finasteride for prostate and tamoxifen or raloxifene for breast tumours. An ideal chemopreventive agent would restore normal growth control to a preneoplastic or cancerous cell population by modifying aberrant signalling pathways or inducing apoptosis (or both) in cells beyond repair. Characteristics for such an agent include selectivity for damaged or transformed cells, good bioavailability and more than one mechanism of action to foil redundancy or crosstalk in signalling pathways. As more research effort is being targeted towards this area, the distinction between chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive agents is blurring. Chemotherapeutic drugs are now being designed to target over- or under-active signalling molecules within cancer cells, a philosophy which is just as relevant in chemoprevention. Development of dietary agents is particularly attractive because of our long-standing exposure to them, their relative lack of toxicity, and encouraging indications from epidemiology. The carcinogenic process relies on the cell's ability to proliferate abnormally, evade apoptosis, induce angiogenesis and metastasise to distant sites. In vitro studies with a number of different diet-derived compounds suggest that there are molecules capable of modulating each of these aspects of tumour growth. However, on the negative side many of them have rather poor bioavailability. The challenge is to uncover their multiple mechanisms of action in order to predict their

  14. Neuroprotective "agents" in surgery. Secret "agent" man, or common "agent" machine?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Andrews, R. J.

    1999-01-01

    The search for clinically-effective neuroprotective agents has received enormous support in recent years--an estimated $200 million by pharmaceutical companies on clinical trials for traumatic brain injury alone. At the same time, the pathophysiology of brain injury has proved increasingly complex, rendering the likelihood of a single agent "magic bullet" even more remote. On the other hand, great progress continues with technology that makes surgery less invasive and less risky. One example is the application of endovascular techniques to treat coronary artery stenosis, where both the invasiveness of sternotomy and the significant neurological complication rate (due to microemboli showering the cerebral vasculature) can be eliminated. In this paper we review aspects of intraoperative neuroprotection both present and future. Explanations for the slow progress on pharmacologic neuroprotection during surgery are presented. Examples of technical advances that have had great impact on neuroprotection during surgery are given both from coronary artery stenosis surgery and from surgery for Parkinson's disease. To date, the progress in neuroprotection resulting from such technical advances is an order of magnitude greater than that resulting from pharmacologic agents used during surgery. The progress over the last 20 years in guidance during surgery (CT and MRI image-guidance) and in surgical access (endoscopic and endovascular techniques) will soon be complemented by advances in our ability to evaluate biological tissue intraoperatively in real-time. As an example of such technology, the NASA Smart Probe project is considered. In the long run (i.e., in 10 years or more), pharmacologic "agents" aimed at the complex pathophysiology of nervous system injury in man will be the key to true intraoperative neuroprotection. In the near term, however, it is more likely that mundane "agents" based on computers, microsensors, and microeffectors will be the major impetus to improved

  15. Needs, Pains, and Motivations in Autonomous Agents.

    PubMed

    Starzyk, Janusz A; Graham, James; Puzio, Leszek

    2016-08-17

    This paper presents the development of a motivated learning (ML) agent with symbolic I/O. Our earlier work on the ML agent was enhanced, giving it autonomy for interaction with other agents. Specifically, we equipped the agent with drives and pains that establish its motivations to learn how to respond to desired and undesired events and create related abstract goals. The purpose of this paper is to explore the autonomous development of motivations and memory in agents within a simulated environment. The ML agent has been implemented in a virtual environment created within the NeoAxis game engine. Additionally, to illustrate the benefits of an ML-based agent, we compared the performance of our algorithm against various reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms in a dynamic test scenario, and demonstrated that our ML agent learns better than any of the tested RL agents.

  16. CATS-based Agents That Err

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Callantine, Todd J.

    2002-01-01

    This report describes preliminary research on intelligent agents that make errors. Such agents are crucial to the development of novel agent-based techniques for assessing system safety. The agents extend an agent architecture derived from the Crew Activity Tracking System that has been used as the basis for air traffic controller agents. The report first reviews several error taxonomies. Next, it presents an overview of the air traffic controller agents, then details several mechanisms for causing the agents to err in realistic ways. The report presents a performance assessment of the error-generating agents, and identifies directions for further research. The research was supported by the System-Wide Accident Prevention element of the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Program.

  17. Chaotic neurodynamics for autonomous agents.

    PubMed

    Harter, Derek; Kozma, Robert

    2005-05-01

    Mesoscopic level neurodynamics study the collective dynamical behavior of neural populations. Such models are becoming increasingly important in understanding large-scale brain processes. Brains exhibit aperiodic oscillations with a much more rich dynamical behavior than fixed-point and limit-cycle approximation allow. Here we present a discretized model inspired by Freeman's K-set mesoscopic level population model. We show that this version is capable of replicating the important principles of aperiodic/chaotic neurodynamics while being fast enough for use in real-time autonomous agent applications. This simplification of the K model provides many advantages not only in terms of efficiency but in simplicity and its ability to be analyzed in terms of its dynamical properties. We study the discrete version using a multilayer, highly recurrent model of the neural architecture of perceptual brain areas. We use this architecture to develop example action selection mechanisms in an autonomous agent.

  18. Bacteriocins as Potential Anticancer Agents

    PubMed Central

    Kaur, Sumanpreet; Kaur, Sukhraj

    2015-01-01

    Cancer remains one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide, despite advances in its treatment and detection. The conventional chemotherapeutic agents used for the treatment of cancer have non-specific toxicity toward normal body cells that cause various side effects. Secondly, cancer cells are known to develop chemotherapy resistance in due course of treatment. Thus, the demand for novel anti-cancer agents is increasing day by day. Some of the experimental studies have reported the therapeutic potential of bacteriocins against various types of cancer cell lines. Bacteriocins are ribosomally-synthesized cationic peptides secreted by almost all groups of bacteria. Some bacteriocins have shown selective cytotoxicity toward cancer cells as compared to normal cells. This makes them promising candidates for further investigation and clinical trials. In this review article, we present the overview of the various cancer cell-specific cytotoxic bacteriocins, their mode of action and efficacies. PMID:26617524

  19. Mechanisms of contrast agent destruction.

    PubMed

    Chomas, J E; Dayton, P; Allen, J; Morgan, K; Ferrara, K W

    2001-01-01

    Various applications of contrast-assisted ultrasound, including blood vessel detection, perfusion estimation, and drug delivery, require controlled destruction of contrast agent microbubbles. The lifetime of a bubble depends on properties of the bubble shell, the gas core, and the acoustic waveform impinging on the bubble. Three mechanisms of microbubble destruction are considered: fragmentation, acoustically driven diffusion, and static diffusion. Fragmentation is responsible for rapid destruction of contrast agents on a time scale of microseconds. The primary characteristics of fragmentation are a very large expansion and subsequent contraction, resulting in instability of the bubble. Optical studies using a novel pulsed-laser optical system show the expansion and contraction of ultrasound contrast agent microbubbles with the ratio of maximum diameter to minimum diameter greater than 10. Fragmentation is dependent on the transmission pressure, occurring in over 55% of bubbles insonified with a peak negative transmission pressure of 2.4 MPa and in less than 10% of bubbles insonified with a peak negative transmission pressure of 0.8 MPa. The echo received from a bubble decorrelates significantly within two pulses when the bubble is fragmented, creating an opportunity for rapid detection of bubbles via a decorrelation-based analysis. Preliminary findings with a mouse tumor model verify the occurrence of fragmentation in vivo. A much slower mechanism of bubble destruction is diffusion, which is driven by both a concentration gradient between the concentration of gas in the bubble compared with the concentration of gas in the liquid, as well as convective effects of motion of the gas-liquid interface. The rate of diffusion increases during insonation, because of acoustically driven diffusion, producing changes in diameter on the time scale of the acoustic pulse length, thus, on the order of microseconds. Gas bubbles diffuse while they are not being insonified, termed

  20. Safety Pharmacology of Anticancer Agents.

    PubMed

    Martin, Pauline L

    2015-01-01

    The safety pharmacology testing for anticancer agents has historically differed for small molecule pharmaceutical drugs versus large-molecule biopharmaceuticals. For pharmaceutical drugs, dedicated safety pharmacology studies have been conducted according to the ICH M3 (R2), ICH 7A, and ICH S7B guidance documents. For biopharmaceuticals, safety pharmacology endpoints have been incorporated into the repeated-dose toxicology studies according to ICHS6 (R1). However, the introduction of the ICH S9 guidance document for the nonclinical evaluation for anticancer pharmaceuticals has allowed for a streamlined approach for both types of molecules to facilitate access of new potential therapeutics to cancer patients and to reduce the number of animal studies. Examples of the testing strategies that have previously been employed for some representative anticancer agents are provided, and their predictivity to adverse events noted in the clinic is discussed.

  1. Antisense Treatments for Biothreat Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-08-01

    oligomers (ASOs) represent a promising technology to treat viral and bacterial infections, and have already been shown to be successful against a...viral and bacterial agents have a history of state- sponsored ’weaponization’, including Marburg, Ebola, Junin, Machupo, yellow fever viruses and...14. ABSTRACT Antisense oligomers (ASOs) represent a promising technology to treat viral and bacterial infections, and have already been shown to be

  2. Multi-agent autonomous system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fink, Wolfgang (Inventor); Dohm, James (Inventor); Tarbell, Mark A. (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    A multi-agent autonomous system for exploration of hazardous or inaccessible locations. The multi-agent autonomous system includes simple surface-based agents or craft controlled by an airborne tracking and command system. The airborne tracking and command system includes an instrument suite used to image an operational area and any craft deployed within the operational area. The image data is used to identify the craft, targets for exploration, and obstacles in the operational area. The tracking and command system determines paths for the surface-based craft using the identified targets and obstacles and commands the craft using simple movement commands to move through the operational area to the targets while avoiding the obstacles. Each craft includes its own instrument suite to collect information about the operational area that is transmitted back to the tracking and command system. The tracking and command system may be further coupled to a satellite system to provide additional image information about the operational area and provide operational and location commands to the tracking and command system.

  3. New agents in HSC mobilization.

    PubMed

    Domingues, Mélanie J; Nilsson, Susan K; Cao, Benjamin

    2017-02-01

    Mobilized peripheral blood (PB) is the most common source of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) for autologous transplantation. Granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is the most commonly used mobilization agent, yet despite its widespread use, a considerable number of patients still fail to mobilize. Recently, a greater understanding of the interactions that regulate HSC homeostasis in the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment has enabled the development of new molecules that mobilize HSC through specific inhibition, modulation or perturbation of these interactions. AMD3100 (plerixafor), a small molecule that selectively inhibits the chemokine receptor CXCR4 is approved for mobilization in combination with G-CSF in patients with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Nevertheless, identifying mobilization strategies that not only enhance HSC number, but are rapid and generate an optimal "mobilized product" for improved transplant outcomes remains an area of clinical importance. In recent times, new agents based on recombinant proteins, peptides and small molecules have been identified as potential candidates for therapeutic HSC mobilization. In this review, we describe the most recent developments in HSC mobilization agents and their potential impact in HSC transplantation.

  4. Expressing Quality of Service in Agent Communication

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2001-06-01

    many criteria within a multi - agent system . It can be used to express timing capabilties of an agent, or the accuracy of a response that an agent can...upon a model of a real-time multi - agent system (RTMAS) that we have developed [3]. The model is based on the assumption that agents may be able to...Providence, RI, July 1997. [3] L.C. DiPippo, V. F.-Wolfe, L. Nair, E. Hodys and O. Uvarov. A Real-Time Multi - Agent System Architecture for E- Commerce

  5. Agent planning in AgScala

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tošić, Saša; Mitrović, Dejan; Ivanović, Mirjana

    2013-10-01

    Agent-oriented programming languages are designed to simplify the development of software agents, especially those that exhibit complex, intelligent behavior. This paper presents recent improvements of AgScala, an agent-oriented programming language based on Scala. AgScala includes declarative constructs for managing beliefs, actions and goals of intelligent agents. Combined with object-oriented and functional programming paradigms offered by Scala, it aims to be an efficient framework for developing both purely reactive, and more complex, deliberate agents. Instead of the Prolog back-end used initially, the new version of AgScala relies on Agent Planning Package, a more advanced system for automated planning and reasoning.

  6. Preoperative management of anticoagulation and antiplatelet agents.

    PubMed

    Gleason, Lauren Jan; Friedman, Susan M

    2014-05-01

    This article describes current literature and treatment plans for managing anticoagulation and antiplatelet agents in patients presenting with hip fractures. Indications for anticoagulation and antiplatelet agents are discussed, and management techniques for when patients present with hip fractures are reviewed.

  7. What Are Anticoagulants and Antiplatelet Agents?

    MedlinePlus

    ... by heart Treatments + Tests What Are Anticoagulants and Antiplatelet Agents? Anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents are medicines that reduce blood clotting in an artery, a vein or the heart. Blood clots can block the ...

  8. Intelligent Agent Architectures: Reactive Planning Testbed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenschein, Stanley J.; Kahn, Philip

    1993-01-01

    An Integrated Agent Architecture (IAA) is a framework or paradigm for constructing intelligent agents. Intelligent agents are collections of sensors, computers, and effectors that interact with their environments in real time in goal-directed ways. Because of the complexity involved in designing intelligent agents, it has been found useful to approach the construction of agents with some organizing principle, theory, or paradigm that gives shape to the agent's components and structures their relationships. Given the wide variety of approaches being taken in the field, the question naturally arises: Is there a way to compare and evaluate these approaches? The purpose of the present work is to develop common benchmark tasks and evaluation metrics to which intelligent agents, including complex robotic agents, constructed using various architectural approaches can be subjected.

  9. 7 CFR 58.720 - Acidifying agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.720 Acidifying agents. Acidifying agents if used shall be those permitted by the Food...

  10. Intraperitoneal contrast agents for computed tomography

    SciTech Connect

    Stork, J.

    1985-08-01

    Intraperitoneal contrast agents have been used to diagnose mass lesions, adhesions, and hernias using conventional radiographic techniques. The use of intraperitoneal contrast agents in conjunction with computed tomography (CT) has been limited and is the subject of this report.

  11. Security Measures to Protect Mobile Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dadhich, Piyanka; Govil, M. C.; Dutta, Kamlesh

    2010-11-01

    The security issues of mobile agent systems have embarrassed its widespread implementation. Mobile agents that move around the network are not safe because the remote hosts that accommodate the agents initiates all kinds of attacks. These hosts try to analyze the agent's decision logic and their accumulated data. So, mobile agent security is the most challenging unsolved problems. The paper analyzes various security measures deeply. Security especially the attacks performed by hosts to the visiting mobile agent (the malicious hosts problem) is a major obstacle that prevents mobile agent technology from being widely adopted. Being the running environment for mobile agent, the host has full control over them and could easily perform many kinds of attacks against them.

  12. 7 CFR 58.720 - Acidifying agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.720 Acidifying agents. Acidifying agents if used shall be those permitted by the Food...

  13. 7 CFR 58.629 - Flavoring agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.629 Flavoring agents. Flavoring agents either natural or artificial shall be wholesome...

  14. 7 CFR 58.720 - Acidifying agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.720 Acidifying agents. Acidifying agents if used shall be those permitted by the Food...

  15. 7 CFR 58.629 - Flavoring agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.629 Flavoring agents. Flavoring agents either natural or artificial shall be wholesome...

  16. 7 CFR 58.628 - Sweetening agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.628 Sweetening agents. Sweetening agents shall be clean and wholesome and consist of one...

  17. 7 CFR 58.628 - Sweetening agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.628 Sweetening agents. Sweetening agents shall be clean and wholesome and consist of one...

  18. 7 CFR 58.628 - Sweetening agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.628 Sweetening agents. Sweetening agents shall be clean and wholesome and consist of one...

  19. 7 CFR 58.628 - Sweetening agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.628 Sweetening agents. Sweetening agents shall be clean and wholesome and consist of one...

  20. 7 CFR 58.628 - Sweetening agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.628 Sweetening agents. Sweetening agents shall be clean and wholesome and consist of one...

  1. 7 CFR 58.720 - Acidifying agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.720 Acidifying agents. Acidifying agents if used shall be those permitted by the Food...

  2. 7 CFR 58.629 - Flavoring agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.629 Flavoring agents. Flavoring agents either natural or artificial shall be wholesome...

  3. 7 CFR 58.720 - Acidifying agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.720 Acidifying agents. Acidifying agents if used shall be those permitted by the Food...

  4. 7 CFR 58.629 - Flavoring agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.629 Flavoring agents. Flavoring agents either natural or artificial shall be wholesome...

  5. Learning other agents` preferences in multiagent negotiation

    SciTech Connect

    Bui, H.H.; Kieronska, D.; Venkatesh, S.

    1996-12-31

    In multiagent systems, an agent does not usually have complete information about the preferences and decision making processes of other agents. This might prevent the agents from making coordinated choices, purely due to their ignorance of what others want. This paper describes the integration of a learning module into a communication-intensive negotiating agent architecture. The learning module gives the agents the ability to learn about other agents` preferences via past interactions. Over time, the agents can incrementally update their models of other agents` preferences and use them to make better coordinated decisions. Combining both communication and learning, as two complement knowledge acquisition methods, helps to reduce the amount of communication needed on average, and is justified in situations where communication is computationally costly or simply not desirable (e.g. to preserve the individual privacy).

  6. Extinguishing agent for combustible metal fires

    DOEpatents

    Riley, John F.; Stauffer, Edgar Eugene

    1976-10-12

    A low chloride extinguishing agent for combustible metal fires comprising from substantially 75 to substantially 94 weight percent of sodium carbonate as the basic fire extinguishing material, from substantially 1 to substantially 5 weight percent of a water-repellent agent such as a metal stearate, from substantially 2 to substantially 10 weight percent of a flow promoting agent such as attapulgus clay, and from substantially 3 to substantially 15 weight percent of a polyamide resin as a crusting agent.

  7. Pathogenic agents in freshwater resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geldreich, Edwin E.

    1996-02-01

    Numerous pathogenic agents have been found in freshwaters used as sources for water supplies, recreational bathing and irrigation. These agents include bacterial pathogens, enteric viruses, several protozoans and parasitic worms more common to tropical waters. Although infected humans are a major source of pathogens, farm animals (cattle, sheep, pigs), animal pets (dogs, cats) and wildlife serve as significant reservoirs and should not be ignored. The range of infected individuals within a given warm-blooded animal group (humans included) may range from 1 to 25%. Survival times for pathogens in the water environment may range from a few days to as much as a year (Ascaris, Taenia eggs), with infective dose levels varying from one viable cell for several primary pathogenic agents to many thousands of cells for a given opportunistic pathogen.As pathogen detection in water is complex and not readily incorporated into routine monitoring, a surrogate is necessary. In general, indicators of faecal contamination provide a positive correlation with intestinal pathogen occurrences only when appropriate sample volumes are examined by sensitive methodology.Pathways by which pathogens reach susceptible water users include ingestion of contaminated water, body contact with polluted recreational waters and consumption of salad crops irrigated by polluted freshwaters. Major contributors to the spread of various water-borne pathogens are sewage, polluted surface waters and stormwater runoff. All of these contributions are intensified during periods of major floods. Several water-borne case histories are cited as examples of breakdowns in public health protection related to water supply, recreational waters and the consumption of contaminated salad crops. In the long term, water resource management must focus on pollution prevention from point sources of waste discharges and the spread of pathogens in watershed stormwater runoff.

  8. Honey - A Novel Antidiabetic Agent

    PubMed Central

    Erejuwa, Omotayo O.; Sulaiman, Siti A.; Wahab, Mohd S. Ab

    2012-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus remains a burden worldwide in spite of the availability of numerous antidiabetic drugs. Honey is a natural substance produced by bees from nectar. Several evidence-based health benefits have been ascribed to honey in the recent years. In this review article, we highlight findings which demonstrate the beneficial or potential effects of honey in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), on the gut microbiota, in the liver, in the pancreas and how these effects could improve glycemic control and metabolic derangements. In healthy subjects or patients with impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes mellitus, various studies revealed that honey reduced blood glucose or was more tolerable than most common sugars or sweeteners. Pre-clinical studies provided more convincing evidence in support of honey as a potential antidiabetic agent than clinical studies did. The not-too-impressive clinical data could mainly be attributed to poor study designs or due to the fact that the clinical studies were preliminary. Based on the key constituents of honey, the possible mechanisms of action of antidiabetic effect of honey are proposed. The paper also highlights the potential impacts and future perspectives on the use of honey as an antidiabetic agent. It makes recommendations for further clinical studies on the potential antidiabetic effect of honey. This review provides insight on the potential use of honey, especially as a complementary agent, in the management of diabetes mellitus. Hence, it is very important to have well-designed, randomized controlled clinical trials that investigate the reproducibility (or otherwise) of these experimental data in diabetic human subjects. PMID:22811614

  9. Online Deception Detection Using BDI Agents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Merritts, Richard A.

    2013-01-01

    This research has two facets within separate research areas. The research area of Belief, Desire and Intention (BDI) agent capability development was extended. Deception detection research has been advanced with the development of automation using BDI agents. BDI agents performed tasks automatically and autonomously. This study used these…

  10. 13 CFR 120.951 - Selling agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Selling agent. 120.951 Section 120.951 Business Credit and Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION BUSINESS LOANS Development Company Loan Program (504) Debenture Sales and Service Agents § 120.951 Selling agent. The CDC, with...

  11. 13 CFR 120.951 - Selling agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Selling agent. 120.951 Section 120.951 Business Credit and Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION BUSINESS LOANS Development Company Loan Program (504) Debenture Sales and Service Agents § 120.951 Selling agent. The CDC, with...

  12. 13 CFR 120.951 - Selling agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Selling agent. 120.951 Section 120.951 Business Credit and Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION BUSINESS LOANS Development Company Loan Program (504) Debenture Sales and Service Agents § 120.951 Selling agent. The CDC, with...

  13. 13 CFR 120.951 - Selling agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Selling agent. 120.951 Section 120.951 Business Credit and Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION BUSINESS LOANS Development Company Loan Program (504) Debenture Sales and Service Agents § 120.951 Selling agent. The CDC, with...

  14. 13 CFR 120.951 - Selling agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Selling agent. 120.951 Section 120.951 Business Credit and Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION BUSINESS LOANS Development Company Loan Program (504) Debenture Sales and Service Agents § 120.951 Selling agent. The CDC, with...

  15. 24 CFR 232.1011 - Management agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 2 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Management agents. 232.1011 Section... Management agents. (a) An operator or borrower may, with the prior written approval of HUD, execute a management agent agreement setting forth the duties and procedures for matters related to the management...

  16. 24 CFR 232.1011 - Management agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 2 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Management agents. 232.1011 Section... Management agents. (a) An operator or borrower may, with the prior written approval of HUD, execute a management agent agreement setting forth the duties and procedures for matters related to the management...

  17. Infants Attribute to Agents Goals and Dispositions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luo, Yuyan; Choi, You-jung

    2012-01-01

    This commentary article is to be published alongside: Hernik, M., & Southgate, V. (2012). What do infants know about agents' goals? The authors see this issue consisting of two closely related questions. First, what is an agent to infants? Second, how do infants attribute goals to agents? Hernik and Southgage (H&S) focused on the second question.…

  18. Construction and Evaluation of Animated Teachable Agents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bodenheimer, Bobby; Williams, Betsy; Kramer, Mattie Ruth; Viswanath, Karun; Balachandran, Ramya; Belynne, Kadira; Biswas, Gautam

    2009-01-01

    This article describes the design decisions, technical approach, and evaluation of the animation and interface components for an agent-based system that allows learners to learn by teaching. Students learn by teaching an animated agent using a visual representation. The agent can answer questions about what she has been taught and take quizzes.…

  19. Agent-based modeling of complex infrastructures

    SciTech Connect

    North, M. J.

    2001-06-01

    Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) can be applied to investigate complex infrastructures and infrastructure interdependencies. The CAS model agents within the Spot Market Agent Research Tool (SMART) and Flexible Agent Simulation Toolkit (FAST) allow investigation of the electric power infrastructure, the natural gas infrastructure and their interdependencies.

  20. Hydroxypyridonate chelating agents and synthesis thereof

    DOEpatents

    Raymond, K.N.; Scarrow, R.C.; White, D.L.

    1985-11-12

    Chelating agents having 1-hydroxy-2-pyridinone (HOPO) and related moieties incorporated within their structures, including polydentate HOPO-substituted polyamines such as spermidine and spermine, and HOPO-substituted desferrioxamine. The chelating agents are useful in selectively removing certain cations from solution, and are particularly useful as ferric ion and actinide chelators. Novel syntheses of the chelating agents are provided. 4 tabs.